With money and time on the line, many University of Tennessee students are facing at least one more semester of school because they can't get the classes they need in order to graduate.
In a recent survey, several students said that they would have to spend another year in the classroom because of a lack of classes.
Out of the currently enrolled UT undergraduates that participated in the survey, 21 percent said that a lack of classes had delayed their expected graduation date. Of that 21 percent, 72 percent said that it had been delayed for one semester, and 25 percent said that it had been delayed for two semesters.
An overwhelming number of the students also said that the Tennessee state budget crisis highly affects the lack of class availability.
The students were asked to rate how the state budget crisis affects class availability on a scale from one to 10, with one being unaffected and 10 being very affected. Seventy-five percent of students responded with a six or higher.
Public Relations senior Rachel Parsons said that every class she has taken in her major has been difficult to enroll in.
"Every semester that I have been in the College of Communications, I've had to be on a waiting list for every communications class that I have ever had to enroll in," Parsons said. "I know if there was more funding, the university would have money to pay professors and provide more class sections."
Even when they are able to get the classes they need, a vast majority of the students said that the budget crisis highly affects class size. On the same 10-point scale with one being unaffected and 10 being very affected, 74 percent of the students surveyed responded with a six or higher.
History major Jake White, a junior, said that the large size of one of his classes creates several limitations.
"My History 315 class has 55 students in it when there are only supposed to be 20," White said. "The size of the class limits the attention each individual student gets when discussions take place. It also causes the professor to focus more on broader themes than on in-depth topics."
These developments come at a time when faith in the state legislature concerning UT students' academic needs is low. Students were asked whether or not they felt that the state legislature takes their academic needs seriously. Seventy-two percent said they felt they did not. The students were also asked whether or not they felt that the state legislature takes funding higher education seriously. Sixty-eight percent said they felt they did not.
In addition to class availability and class size, the survey showed that students said several other things are being highly affected by the state budget crisis.
The students were asked to rate how the budget crisis affects their education quality on the 10-point scale, with one being unaffected and 10 being very affected. Seventy-six percent responded with a six or higher.
The undergraduates were also asked to rate how the crisis affects faculty quality on the same 10-point scale. Seventy-four percent responded with a six or higher.
The students also said that the crisis highly affects both student and faculty morale. On the 10-point scale, 62 percent responded with a six or higher when asked to rate the affect of the crisis on student morale.
However, the survey did show that the majority of students said the state budget crisis does not affect the quality of library facilities. The UT students were asked to rate the effect of the crisis on library quality using the 10-point scale. Fifty-eight percent responded with a five or lower.
- Contributed by Emily Sandlin, Sarah Hoadley, Jen Piper, Ben Medley, Chelsea Cox. Specials to the Beacon.
Budget crisis concerns students
Published: Mon Apr 29, 2002 | Modified: Sat Aug 06, 2005 04:17 p.m.