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The Daily Tar Heel

Scheduling Hard for Freshmen

Freshman frustrations mount as dwindling class seats can't keep pace with the increasing class size.

But some freshmen say they feel the size of their class made it impossible to obtain a schedule with which they are satisfied. This year's class is the biggest in UNC history, with a total enrollment of almost 3,650 students. "I was in the last C-TOPS session. They said they allotted classes for each session, but I don't really believe that," said Day Kim, a freshman business major from Alabama. "By the time I got there, hardly any of the classes I wanted or needed were open."

But Carolyn Cannon, dean of academic advising, said the department has done everything it could to accommodate freshmen. "We anticipated the problem because we knew the class would be larger than usual," she said. "We went to the dean of the College of Arts and Sciences to get more funds to open more seats."

Although Cannon initiated the requests, it was up to members of the departments to add more spaces.

And several professors said this year's requests were difficult to fill because of already strained academic resources.

"We've been monitoring (the size of the freshman class) all summer and trying to hire additional teachers," said English Professor Erika Lindemann. "The problem isn't money or space but finding qualified teachers."

Lindemann said English 10 and 12, which fulfill the freshman English requirement, are completely full and that students can only get into them if spaces become open because of drops.

Psychology Chairman Peter Ornstein said his department lacks the resources to accommodate all interested freshmen. "Psych 10 always fills out. We are very worried about not being able to offer enough sections," he said."If we had the resources to offer more sections of Psych 10, we could have easily filled them."

The Registrar's Office released data Tuesday showing that an increased number of students in this year's freshman class were registered for 15 or more hours -- 72.38 percent instead of last year's 69.7 percent.

Cannon said these numbers are strong evidence of the advising department's commitment to students. "No students left out of the computer lab (at their C-TOPS registration session) without 12 hours," she said. "We were pretty amazed -- we thought there would be some. The numbers really look pretty good."

But Cannon said the classes students signed up for weren't necessarily their first choices. "We had to do some hustling, we had to sell some courses," she said.

And some freshmen are unhappy with the results. Jennifer Hubert, a freshman from Charlotte, said she wanted to take Biology 11 so she could pursue a pre-medical or psychology major, but she wasn't able to get into both the class and the lab section.

"They said it was better to take bio and bio lab together, and now I have to take them different semesters, which will probably be confusing," she said.

Hubert said she was afraid to drop the lecture in an attempt to take the lecture and lab together in the spring."If I drop bio now, I probably wouldn't get into it then," she said. "All the classes that would fit a normal schedule were taken."

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