SDSU freshmen guaranteed room in core classes

Ann Kopecky

Ann Kopecky

Incoming freshmen can rest assured that there will be enough room at South Dakota State University.

As enrollment increases at SDSU, students will continue to find open spots in their core classes.

“The University and the College is committed to ensuring enough sections of core classes, such as English and speech, are available for students to take in their first year here,” Dean Jerry Jorgensen of the College of Arts and Science said.

A recent Board of Regents’ policy update requires students to take core classes such as Math 021, Math 101, English 031, English 032 or English 033 in their first 30 credits.

The new policy won’t affect the freshman English and speech sections though.

“As we were registering students this summer, we continually monitored the number of slots available in English and speech, and continually added more sections, all the way up to the first week of classes,” Jorgensen said.

All the sections added were staffed with full-time and part-time faculty or teaching assistants. Jorgensen said that if there was a need now, the departments could still add more sections as teaching resources are still available.

Speech sections 48 and 65 were never opened because other sections continued to have vacancies.

Jorgensen said that the speech and English faculty continue to hear that classes are full and that there are not any slots open.

But as Jorgensen pointed out on Web Advisor, that is not true.

“Of course many sections are full and there are certain times of the day where few classes are available. This is especially true during the primetime hours of 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.,” Jorgensen said. “However, in English 101, there are currently 27 slots available in 14 sections throughout various times of the day. In Speech Communications 101, there are currently 72 slots in 31 sections at various times throughout the day.”

Class section size will also continue to stay the same as enrollment increases.

English classes limit section size to approximately 25 students and speech classes usually enroll 24 students in each lab section while lectures contain approximately 72 to 96 students.

Jorgensen said that the speech lectures are actually a decrease in size.

“Ten years ago, speech lectures were 250 to 350 students in size, so we have actually decreased the size of those sections, despite the increased enrollment,” Jorgensen said.

The freshman-level English and speech classes are taught by teaching assistants as well as part-time and full-time faculty and temporary faculty.

Speech courses are taught by all levels of faculty as English relies on temporary faculty and teaching assistants.

“As a whole, our teaching assistants do a marvelous job,” Jorgensen said. “Bottom-line is that we have not increased our dependence upon TA’s over the years, but held constant.”

Jorgensen said that next year the departments will continue to monitor the enrollment and add more sections if needed.

“There will always be enough teachers and there will always be enough sections,” Jorgensen said. “I think we’ve met and will continue to meet the challenge.”