January 27, 2003

College Schedules and Receptionists

Last September I started taking French classes in the Continuing Education department of my local community college. That means no homework, no exams, no grades, and no college credit. It's just there for people who want to learn. It's also fairly inexpensive. French III, the one I'm up to now, was $139 for 12 weeks, which includes one 2.5-hour class per week.

I had a good experience with both French I and French II in the fall. Those met twice a week so I was able to get in two classes in 4 months. For French III and after they make it one a week, supposedly because there's so much more material to cover and they don't want anyone overwhelmed too quickly. That's fine. In the schedule of classes, they had three French III sections available: Wednesday afternoon (I'm at work, no good), Wednesday night, and Thursday night. Either of the night classes would have been fine, but the Thursday night class had the same teacher as I had last fall, and I really liked her and thought she was a good teacher for me, so I wanted to keep her. Naturally things just couldn't work out that easily.

The Wednesday night class started meeting on January 15. The Thursday night class was supposed to start on January 23. On Thursday afternoon (on the 23rd) I got a call from the receptionist in the Continuing Education department that the Thursday class didn't have enough students to meet, so it was cancelled, and I had the option of switching to another section or getting a refund. There are many reasons why I need to keep taking French continuously, so taking the refund and waiting til summer wasn't really an option. So I signed up for the Wednesday night class, and said, very reasonably, that since I'd missed the first two classes, and that's one sixth of the total class time, it would make sense for them to refund one sixth of my money. Of course the receptionist couldn't agree to that. I told her maybe she should have thought of calling me the day before so I would miss only one class, and she said that wasn't her job either.

So, PFFT! to all of you. I just want CCCCD to be aware that by scheduling classes they know might not go ahead they are making some people unhappy, and not doing anyone a service.

Published: January 27, 2003
Editor: stacy

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