Where’s flexibility?

When I came to my Monday evening section of BSA 451 T, I found it had been re-scheduled to daytime hours and no other evening sections were available.

The NIU Catalog states, “… Northern serves and continually seeks to provide greater educational opportunity for students who can pursue courses and degree programs only on a part-time basis …” Is this false advertising? Offering an evening course, collecting tuition and then arbitrarily re-scheduling sounds like the old “bait and switch” routine.

I do not enroll in evening courses because I am a day sleeper. I require evening classes because I have a full-time engineering career during the day. At the rate NIU makes evening business courses available, it will take about eight years for me to complete my remaining four semesters. I do not believe this is my company’s timetable for my matriculation, nor is it mine.

Considering NIU’s stated policy to provide greater educational opportunity to those who require flexibility, the availability of evening courses is a reasonable expectation. I believe it is the responsibility of department chairs to ensure the availability of such courses for those who seek them. Why was I warned I’ll have a hard time finding evening courses when NIU’s policy in the catalog states otherwise? Department chairs should exert their influence to get NIU to provide the service it advertises in the catalog.

I suggest several changes: Provide one business core course and at least 15 semester hours (5 courses) in the major per semester, including summers, on a rotating basis. Put a questionnaire in the catalog and semester schedule to help anticipate the needs of students for the upcoming semester. Do not re-schedule evening classes to daytime. It is generally easier for day students to be inconvenienced by an evening class than for evening students to take a day class. Finally, apply the same sound business procedures that you teach to managing NIU.

J. Michael Shea