Flagler making room for big class on campus

By Tiffanie Reynolds | gargoyle@flagler.edu

On registration day, Heather Cribbs logged onto myflagler to find that the class she needed to take was no longer listed. It’s a scenario that has happened more than usual this semester, from seniors to freshmen finding more classes full or taken out all together.

“If you can’t get into it or your classes coincide, then you kinda have to choose your battle,” said Cribbs, a junior theater arts major.

Junior Johanna Falzone, a fine arts major, also had the same problem. The lack of class choice not only made it difficult to schedule her classes, but also made her feel under-appreciated as an upperclassman.

“I personally [feel] like I’m less important now. I know it’s important to try to engage freshmen, but with that huge amount you start to ignore your upperclassmen,” said Falzone.

Tiphanie Frazier, a freshman, couldn’t get into any of her first choice classes, even when there was a variety of times to choose from. She is enrolled in a learning community for Spring semester and only had to register for three classes on the day she was scheduled.

“If I wanted to go to another time slot, I couldn’t because the class was taken,” said Frazier.

With an enrollment of 2,633 students, 671 of them freshmen, having a problem registering for classes comes as no surprise. This semester, students have found longer lines at the dining hall, more seats taken up in the student center, and now less classes to choose from.

What did come as a surprise was the 40 percent increase of applications the Admissions Office received for this fall 2011 semester. Last year, a record total of 4,400 students applied for Fall 2011. 3,900 of those applications checked to register as freshmen.

“We went a little heavier on freshmen this year not only because of the difference between the freshmen pool and the transfer applicant pool, but also because of the number of beds available in the residence halls,” said Marc Williar, Vice President for Enrollment Management.

Part of college policy is that freshmen are required to stay on campus, which would economically guarantee less wasted space. Although, an enrollment of 57 more freshmen than last year was a jump the Admissions Office wasn’t expecting.

“You’re making these numbers and you don’t know until everybody gets here,” said Michelle Hourihan, director of admissions.

This increase didn’t change much at the registrar. Working with the department heads to schedule classes every semester, director Miriam Roberson did not find any huge differences in the way she schedules the classes.

“It’s not very black and white in doing this [scheduling] at the registrar,” said Roberson.

A huge part of Flagler College’s increased attendance came from moving up the date for early decision by a month, from December to Nov. 1. Hourihan also said the combination of a close date with Flagler’s modest price tag might have pushed more students than usual to apply by the early decision deadline.

In response to the surge of applications, the admissions office is planning to adjust the enrollment goal for next year to only reach a student population of 2,500. They plan to do this by decreasing the number of incoming freshmen by 5 percent and increase the number of transfer students.

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