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About Course Capacity Overloads

Three times every year, at registration time, I get pleas from students to "squeeze them in" to classes that are already at capacity. I used to do it, but I don't anymore. Instead, I tell them to get on the Owl Express (Banner) waiting list. Here's why:


If I overload someone into a class, I put that person ahead of those who may already be on the waiting list. The ones on the waiting list are the ones who are trying to work within the system. How fair is it that they should lose out because they tried to do things right? It's not fair at all, and I won't do it. If you talk someone else into doing that, I'll probably cancel your registration. (Yes, I can and will do that.)

Extra Students, No Extra Seats

For classroom courses, we are limited by the number of seats in the room. Class capacities are set with the size of the classroom in mind. Think about it for a minute. If I let you in, I've got to have a place for you to sit, right?

Extra Work, No Extra Pay

Faculty are paid for courses of "standard" size. Adding someone to a course increases my workload, but it doesn't increase my pay. And I can't add one of you without doing the same for everyone who asks. It would be really easy to end up with workload increased by 25% or more and pay increased by zero. Is it really fair that I should teach a bunch of extra students for no extra money? Especially since you're paying full tuition? (Hint: No.) So, I won't "overload" you into my courses.

"Rebalancing" Classes

Near the end of registration, department chairs "rebalance" classes, reducing capacity of courses that have low enrollment and increasing capacity in courses that are full. Faculty workload is held constant, but students who need those high-demand courses get in. Who gets those newly-opened seats? People on the waiting list, that's who. Everyone else comes later. If you're not on the waiting list, you take your chances. So, get on the waiting list, OK?

Sometimes rebalancing results in an overload for faculty, and we can be compensated in that case. Sometimes rebalancing even means opening a new section, which reduces workload. So, if there's going to be an extra load, I'll let the department chair assign it rather than doing it to myself.

And a Word About Prerequisite Overrides

The word is "No." Prerequisites are there to assure that you have the background to do well in my courses. Because I want you to do well, I won't approve prerequisite overrides.

How to Get the Courses You Need

KSU looks good when you progress toward graduation and then get that diploma. So, we want you to get the courses you need. You've got to work with us, though. Here are three things you can do to make sure you get the courses you need when you need them.

Register as Early as Allowed

Time tickets are assigned first to those who have petitioned to graduate, then according to the number of hours earned at KSU. As your hours earned go up, you get earlier registration times. That puts people who are nearly finished ahead of those who aren't approaching graduation yet.

You should register as soon as your time ticket allows. If you postpone registration, you let people get ahead of you in registering for the courses you need. Paying for school can be difficult even in good times, and particularly challenging in the current economy. However, you know many months in advance when the registration periods and payment dates will be. Plan for them and be ready when they come around. If you don't, others who did plan will be ahead of you.

File that Petition for Graduation

People who have filed a petition to graduate get the first time tickets. So, file your petition very early in the semester before you plan to graduate. You'll get to register for your final semester before people who haven't filed. Yes, you can wait until the last moment to file, but you might delay your graduation if you do because you won't get that early time ticket. So, get on with it!

Use the Waiting List

If you weren't able to get a class you need, use the Owl Express (Banner) waiting list. That's the best and fastest way to get into a course if an opening becomes available.

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Last updated: 2015-07-15 12:28  
Originally published:

The search function uses Google's custom search to search all pages in the domain except "fac-web," which is full of junk. That's different from the search boxes on and, which search only the "www" and "educate" servers. (So, use Brown's search for the most comprehensive results, OK?)