Summer classes face recent wave of cancellations, impact on students remains small


Students work on their computers in Homer Babbidge Library. Summer course cancellations have begun, based on under enrollment and unavailabilities of professors, but the cancellations often affect a small amount of students, said the Office of Summer and Winter Programs. (Jason Jiang/Daily Campus)

Some students who have signed up for summer classes may notice the class they enrolled in has been removed, but any cancellation is not definite and will have a small overall affect on the majority of students enrolled in summer classes, according to the director of summer and winter programs.

“Any class cancelled in the spring is most likely cancelled because there was a significant change such as an instructor suddenly becomes unavailable,” Director of the Office of Summer and Winter Programs Susanna Cowan said.

The curriculum and courses that are offered in the summer are up to the various academic departments and instructors, Cowan said.

Some courses that may seem cancelled have actually been realigned, she said. One reason for this is because an instructor may notice that they are in a different summer session than they thought, and need to review this, Cowan said.

Last summer term, 9600 students were enrolled in classes. Out of over 600 classes that were offered, only 17 were cancelled and 49 students affected, she said.

If a class has to be cancelled the students will receive an email no later than 2 weeks before the class was scheduled to start, Cowan said.

“That may seem close, but we’re balancing a fair shot at the course running, for the faculty members’ sake, for the students’ sake, with wanting to give the student ample time to find something else,” she said.

Last year a survey was emailed to students who were enrolled in summer courses and about 900 students had replied, Cowan said. Out of those 900 students about 95% of them said that they were able to get into the courses that they wanted or needed, she said.

“We have our high demand [courses] our Qs, our Ws, our big gen eds, our big power hitters,” Cowan said. “It’s around the edges where predictability becomes harder. It’s very easy for us to predict that chemistry 1127Q will have demand, it is perhaps harder for us to predict that a higher level course will have high demand.”

Predictability is a factor when determining how many sections of a class are offered, she said. If a class has very low enrollment than it may be cancelled and gen eds have more predictability to have high enrollment than other courses might, Cowan said.

“Cancellations are a sad story,” she said. “It’s something that we don’t love to do.”

Annabelle Orlando is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at



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