Yikes, low enrollments are a problem

I still have to do something about the lack of garish chemicals. They’re mostly clear or gray or cloudy.

Every fall I teach 3 lectures a week in cell biology, and it used to be 3 lab sections. We pared it back to two labs this year, and then…one of them was drastically under-enrolled, so we’re shifting everyone in it to our Wednesday afternoon lab. I’m only teaching one lab this year??!? Feels like cheating.

I’ve still got at least one class every weekday, but suddenly a big block of time opened up for the spiders, which is good. My first year classes are filling up, which probably means I’ll be back to the usual number of lab sections next year. If you want lots of one-on-one attention in biology, though, this is the year to be here.


  1. mordred says

    Back around 2000 when I changed majors to computer science, the university had to reorganise the first term lectures and switch to the bigger lecture halls. With the dot com boom and all that stuff, everybody got told to go computer.

    After the first math exams happened, things became much more personal in the lectures.

  2. robert79 says

    “After the first math exams happened, things became much more personal in the lectures.”

    Hah, I started majoring in CS in ’97, and switched to maths soon after, that’s where the cool people are!

    As for bio labs, is this just the general trend or is there some pandemic effect going on as well? I’ve noticed a lot of weird swings in enrolments around here, there’s a generation of high school students who haven’t had a “lab” in years (and many other ‘weird’ teaching styles), this may affect their choices.

  3. marner says

    Even though it doesn’t start until fall of 2024, I’ve been curious if the “North Star Promise program” will make a difference in your freshman enrollment this year. Especially compared to similar colleges that don’t have it. If there is any polling or demographic data that suggests such, I’d love to see a post about it.

  4. Robert Webster says

    Rats. Almost makes me wish I was into Biology instead of Computer Science. It would be fun!