Effective as of: 07.01.2018
Policy for Publication
Policy Number: ACAD20180025
I. Enrollment Minimums
For undergraduate courses, the minimum enrollment is typically 12 enrolled students.
For graduate courses, the minimum enrollment is typically 8 enrolled students.
Low-enrolled course sections will generally be cancelled one week prior to the first day of classes to ensure sufficient time for students to select alternative course options. Students will be informed by the Registrar’s Office via email and/or phone that their course(s) has been cancelled due to insufficient enrollment. Students will be advised to meet with their program chair/adviser to discuss alternative courses that will ensure that students stay on track for completion of all requirements as per the schedule established in their education contract.
III. Strategies to Avoid Cancellations
If a program is unsure of the number of course sections needed to accommodate demand, multiple sections need to be scheduled concurrently to allow for the combining of sections without change in students’ schedules.
Similarly, if multiple program electives are being offered, where students only need to take one, it is strongly suggested that these electives be scheduled concurrently so if one is cancelled for insufficient enrollment, then students can easily migrate to the higher enrolled course.
There may be exceptions to this guideline such as:
- single-section senior-level courses that are required by graduating students;
- independent study courses;
- capstone/clinical fieldwork experiences;
- new courses and programs that need time to develop;
- selected topics or seminar courses;
- discipline-specific upper level courses;
- strategic initiatives.
The program chair, in conjunction with the dean and instructor can make the case to run a course that has an enrollment under the recommended numbers, which will then be reviewed by the Provost.
V. Accommodations of Full-Time Faculty
For faculty on full-time contracts, accommodations in cases of cancelled courses may include strategies such as: 1) reassignment to a required course that is in high demand (and possibly displacing an adjunct); 2) opening another section of a required course that is in high demand; 3) expansion of enrollment in another course that the faculty member is teaching; 4) balancing the lower teaching load with a higher teaching load in the subsequent semester; 5) cashing in the faculty member’s banked TCPs (if there is a surplus); and 6) assignment to administrative duties that are normally compensated with course release.
VI. Accommodations of Adjunct Faculty
On occasion, the services of some adjuncts may not be needed due to the cancellation of course sections and/or when adjuncts are displaced by full-time faculty members when the latter are reassigned to courses as stipulated in “Accommodations of Full-Time Faculty” above. Program chairs, deans and Human Resources must inform adjuncts of the possibility of course cancellations; adjuncts must be informed of courses that are pending cancellation as soon as possible. Final determinations on course cancellations should be made and communicated to adjuncts no later than a week prior to the first day of classes for that semester.
VII. Maximum Enrollments and Multiple Sections of a Course
While there is not a standard maximum class size, the university adheres to pedagogical best practices; typically, no more than 40 in undergraduate courses and 30 in graduate courses. Courses that go over the cap should funnel students to courses with lower enrolment. This would serve to distribute students better while ensuring that maximum and minimum guidelines are followed.
Multiple sections of a course may be opened when enrollment exceeds available class size or the maximum class size based on pedagogical reasons. Approval from the Provost is required for all multiple-section offerings. As much as possible, multiple sections must be scheduled at the same time slot to allow the possibility of consolidation of sections, if enrollment drops.
VIII. Faculty Workload and Salary
When course enrollments are above or below the stated maximum and minimum class size numbers, there may be an impact on the full-time instructor’s TCP calculation.