Our View: Bottleneck courses hinder a student’s ability to graduate
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Students, beware: registration appointments are lurking.
As students prepare to select classes for next semester, those who need to take bottleneck courses, classes that are needed for graduation but are often filled quickly, may find themselves struggling.
According to the Long Beach Press-Telegram, the Cal State University has 1,294 bottleneck courses throughout its 23-campus system.
Reasons for the high number of bottleneck courses include a lack of veteran professors and high enrollment demands, according to the Press-Telegram.
In addition, students retaking courses they had previously failed and insufficient lab space are reasons for the high bottleneck course numbers.
Approximately 36 percent of all bottleneck courses are in the science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields, according to the Press-Telegram.
How can students graduate on-time when courses necessary for graduation are being filled so quickly?
Given that graduation rates are linked to a student’s ability to successfully complete bottleneck courses, we are concerned with the limited number of courses available.
To help students get these necessary classes, more sections of bottleneck courses should be made available, and in order to do that, more faculty — especially tenure-track faculty — must be hired.
Instead of allowing the problem to affect more students, the state should provide more funding to the CSU to hire additional faculty.
If more faculty were hired, more sections of courses would be offered.
To combat this problem of bottleneck courses, the CSU has started offering more online courses to meet the increasing demand.
Although the online courses may help some students, we wonder if they alone can resolve the problem.
After all, online courses lack the face-to-face interaction with professors and students, which, in our opinion, could mean lower-quality courses.
Students are paying thousands of dollars to attend these classes. Shouldn’t we get the best quality courses available?
Perhaps online courses can provide a temporary solution to address bottleneck courses.
But to fully eliminate the issue, the CSU needs to offer more in-person sections of these courses.