Unlimited Wait Lists

Faculty Council is considering the idea of making all wait lists unlimited in number of slots.

The rationale for this move is to have more data on where student needs are not being met by Lane class offerings.  For example, this type of data may better facilitate a program’s ability to add back classes where wait lists are long and demand is not being met.  At present, all such information on student demand is anecdotal at best.

Please leave a reply to share your thoughts or responses.


8 thoughts on “Unlimited Wait Lists

  1. Kate Sullivan

    the purging of wait lists is very confusing and frustrating for students.

    If we keep them indefinitely, though, I would want some strong clarifying language that lets the students know that a wait lit =/= to getting into the class.

    I also have questions/concerns about how the new course caps “enhanced enrollment” will complicate wait lists. It’s really complicated to communicate to students that if anyone drops in a class with an enhanced cap, there’s still no room, unless the number of enrolled students drops below the original course threshold.

    Basically, I think our current situation is pretty awful for faculty trying to mange enrollment and deal with disgruntled students

  2. Consuela Perez Jefferis

    I stated some of this earlier in other blog regarding purging the waitlist:
    Waitlist should have capacity limits; meaning once the waitlist is full, then you can’t get on it until there is an opening. This should also be clearly communicated via the class schedule or myLane registration so student can make and informed decisions.
    Student should be told which number they are in line/waitlist so they can make an informed decision.

  3. Debby Ganser

    I believe we need to also monitor our class lists for the first week because some students will drop classes, for whatever reasons, and this could impact waitlist decisions as well.

  4. Paul Ruscher

    I am unconvinced that either a static or unlimited wait list will provide useful and actionable data, if students indeed can sign up for an unlimited number of class wait lists.

    Wait lists are useful I think to help manage the enrollment process and I would prefer a fixed number; it helps to indicate to the student some measure of popularity of the course or a likelihood of getting in. Not sure an unlimited wait list would be all that helpful.

  5. Jessica Alvarado

    I shared this at Faculty Council also but want to enter a post here. First of all – I’m hoping we are able to have a consistent agreed upon process for all instructional areas – to use waitlists when possible. Having varying systems, methods, strategies for getting into full classes is very challenging both for students and myself and my colleagues (Faculty Counselor/Academic Advisors). At this point – we have directed by our dean to not tell students to “show up” the first day of class or “call/email” instructors. Yet in sitting in for my first time in Faculty Council (a small subset of all faculty) there was great variation in how students were allowed into courses.

    As the Health Professions Counselor Lead – we literally have had a rule set for each type of pre-requisite courses students take and also instructor variation. By honoring the directive we have been provided by our dean – we are creating a disadvantage for students who “respect” our wishes.

    I support the concept of “unlimited” waitlist so instructional areas can begin to gather data for knowing which classes are the highest in demand and be able to respond accordingly. Without an accurate way of collecting information there really is not way to “on the whole” figure out where students course needs are not getting met. I would also pair this with clear understanding of how students are processed who are on waitlists and that if one is down past let’s say the fifth person on the list – the liklihood of being in the class is small.

    Jessica Alvarado
    Health Professions Counselor

  6. Hyla Rosenberg

    Wait lists should have a defined limit, 5 students, maximum. As I commented in the other blog, there may be frustration and confusion for students who expect that if they are on a wait list, they will get in to the class. This is especially true for students who are #1 or #2 on the wait list, and expect or hope that the instructor will allow 1 or 2 students above and beyond the established capacity. However, for those instructors who are already teaching courses with 4 students “above or beyond the established capacity”, adding “1 or 2 more students” may be counterproductive on a number of levels, including student retention and success.

    It seems that having a wait list without a limit only serves to mislead students about the purpose of a wait list and potentially increase frustration.


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