With enrollment up by 379 students compared to last Fall Quarter, the campus is feeling the impact with crowded classes across disciplines.
According to Christine Van Gieson, director of admissions for UCSB, the extra heads on campus can be linked to the unusually high influx of transfer students. This quarter, UCSB enrolled 1,603 transfers – 330 more students than last fall.
In response to the increase, Van Gieson said the university has denied all transfer student applications for winter quarter – not a typical decision made by the university.
“We did not take any winter transfer students, when we normally enroll about 300 for the winter,” Van Gieson said. “Much to the disappointment of hundreds of students, the campus rightly shut that down for the winter, so not to contribute any more to the compaction.”
Additionally, according to Mary Nisbet, acting dean of undergraduate students to the College of Letters and Science, both students and staff have noticed that required courses are especially impacted this quarter.
“We have had a lot of anecdotal evidence that people are having difficulties getting into classes this fall, particularly all the big GE classes,” Nisbet said. “It’s something that we are very concerned about, and the main thing that seems to be driving it is that we have more students on campus this year as compared to last year.”
Despite increased enrollment, Nisbet said the vast majority of students have at least been able to enroll in the minimum number of required units.
“The percentage of students doing less than 12 units this fall as compared to last fall is identical – that’s 2 percent of enrolled students,” Nisbet said. “What this says to me is students are having a problem with [enrollment], but are still managing to get 12 units. That’s encouraging news.”
In addition to the increased student population, Nisbet said a lack of student knowledge of registration policies and procedures may also play into the problem.
“We have a huge head count, we have therefore got a big demand and I think we have a communication problem,” Nisbet said. “We have to make sure that students are aware of classes that are open. There is stuff we can do to confront these things.”
In the meantime, Nisbet said the administration remains committed to resolving these issues caused by overcrowding.
“I hope that people understand the university is aware of this situation,” Nisbet said. “I want to get the message out to students about GE classes that are available. I am meeting with departmental advisors to make sure we get information about available courses out to students. We are also talking with the divisional deans to try and make sure that we have classes available.”