Aug 1, 2013 9:56 PM by Connie Tran, KSBY News

CSU system offers more online courses for students

We've all heard about the difficulties of getting the classes you want in college. But now, the California State University system is trying to ease the process by offering more online courses to students.

CSU officials said 32 courses will be available for full-time students even if their own school isn't offering them. CSU said it's part of a new initiative it's building. The only caveat is that Cal Poly students will only be able to take online courses that are offered at other quarter system schools, which actually knocks it down to only five courses.

"I feel like everyone's had difficulty getting a class that they need, just watching it fill up on the portal, it's kinda heartbreaking," said third-year journalism major Alexis Dela Cruz.

Dela Cruz said it's all about getting the classes she needs to graduate in time.

She said, "You're trying to cram so many units into one quarter and graduate on time, because Cal Poly, it is pretty common for people to stay here for five years, and it's, it makes a big dent on your wallet as well."

On Thursday, Dela Cruz said she was excited to learn that the CSU system is pouring $10 million dollars into a course re-design initiative that includes more online courses, which will be available this fall.

Mary Pedersen, the Associate Vice Provost for Programs and Planning at Cal Poly said, "So, there are five quarter courses at other quarter campuses that Cal Poly students will be eligible to take."

Those are: SOC 100 Introduction to Sociology, GEOL 110 Our Oceans, BIO 110 Life Science, MUS 1006 History of Rock and Roll, KIN 370 Stress Management for Healthy Living.

Recent Cal Poly graduate Charlie Showley said the online course may help, but doesn't believe everyone will be affected.

"I never had a need for it because I was never enrolled in any impacted classes, but I could see the need for someone having to take an online course if they need one more GE to graduate, and they are all filled up here," said Showley.

What is most important, said Dela Cruz, is that the shared goal between her and the CSU officials match- that is to get her and her peers graduated in four years.

She said, "Knowing that they're helping, like, doing as much as they possibly can to ease this whole process for us."

Governor Jerry Brown has encouraged universities in the state to invest in online courses as a way to save money while meeting student demand, however Pedersen said it could cost the same amount of money for a faculty member to teach a online course as it would be to teach a regular course. It would also cost students the same amount of money in their tuition to take an online course.

The five online courses are being taught out of other quarter system CSU schools, including Cal State Bakersfield, Cal State East Bay, and Cal Poly Pomona.



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