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Crowding diminishes quality

La Verne has bitten off more than it can chew with students who have transferred to the University from other institutions this semester. The problems of unusually large class sizes — combined with a lack of physical space to house classes, cars, etc. — went from bad in fall 2012 to worse this spring.

The number of students who have been admitted this semester alone threatens to keep transfers and others on campus for extra years – longer than expected, in some cases.

Prospective transfer students first meet with admissions representatives rather than meeting with an academic adviser for the degree they wish to pursue and seem to be getting misinformation. In some cases the general education courses have to be repeated at La Verne because those units do not transfer. In other cases transfer students are accepted after all of their major classes are full, forcing them to hang out and pay tuition to take electives waiting to get major classes next semester. Some majors are so impacted that transfer students cannot graduate in two years as they are promised.

Where is the administration’s sense of ethics? Luring transfer students to the beautiful campus, telling them that if they come to the small, private university they will get all of their classes with ease and be able to graduate on time?

The expectations created for these new students do not measure up to reality. Class sizes are being driven up, and there are only two classrooms on campus that have the capacity to fit more than 35 students. New students are not told that if there are not enough chairs in their classroom they might have to sit on the floor or go across the hall and steal a chair from a nearby office – if they are lucky to get into the over-enrolled class at all.

Maybe the students were fooled when they were driving down the freeway and saw a billboard with someone in a suit with a welcoming smile and the words “One of America’s Best Colleges, again” in big letters.

We wonder if Forbes and U.S. News and World Report would still rank La Verne so high on their lists if they stopped looking at the numbers and took a step inside one of these overstuffed classrooms.

The reason the University receives so many accolades is because of the hard working students and dedicated faculty. The least administrators can do is make us feel comfortable at our own learning institution; if the students do not feel comfortable, get their classes and graduate on time, the University can only expect negative rankings in the future.

While administrators salivate over increasing numbers of new students and enjoy the flow of cash that comes with them, the students are growing weary. The fantasy land admissions paints to lure prospective students will only hurt the University in the long run.

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