Higher student volume brings changes in course offerings

Due to this year’s record setting freshmen class, many additional resources will be expended to accommodate a large influx of students. While some changes can be seen in new housing options, others, like changes in course offerings, may have slipped past the eyes of students.

As early as last spring, plans were being made to make sure students had enough courses to choose from.

The trend has been towards adding classes, particularly core classes and classes at the 100 and 200 levels, which are mostly filled by freshmen and sophomores.

“We added more core sections than we did other sections because it was clear that that’s where the demand was going to be,” registrar Sondrea Ozolins said.

When it comes to the new core, it has established some of the classes that were previously pilot courses, such as First Year Seminar.

Students are now required to fulfill both an Indianapolis community requirement and a cultural requirement.  The idea, Ozolins said, is to encourage students to venture outside their comfort zones.

Ozolins said that other measures were taken to get an idea of what the university would need to do to make sure students got into the classes they needed to take.

One measure, temporarily closing down registration for all lower level classes, allowed incoming freshmen to register.

“It gave us a cooling-off period so that we could actually look at exactly what the demand had been and how to serve that demand,” Ozolins said.

Ozolins reassured students that they should not be worried about enrollment difficulties, because the amount of classes being added greatly outnumbers the classes that have been cut.

To keep the low student-to-faculty ratios, Butler has also added more adjuncts to teach the new courses.

“We don’t know what the ratio is going to be exactly until the dust settles and that will be the second week of class,” Ozolins said.

Ultimately, Ozolins said, what matters is that the needs of students are met in terms of which courses they are planning to take.


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