This morning I had a meeting with the head of the YSDN department, we were early so we went to Mc-dicks and got a Big Mac and a $1 drink (omgosh $1 drinks!). I couldn’t help but think, maybe this burger has more for me than my university? Hey, at least it’s cheap.
So I am currently reconsidering returning to my program, york/sheridan for graphic design, due to what I consider poor management. This is the second year I have had an issue with my enrollment for the following year (last year I could not attend the visual art classes I was entitled to, because of “low funding”). This year, is a whole new bag of worms, I can’t get into the graphic design classes. Yes, this means I cannot go to classes in the degree I am receiving. Confused? Me to.
What it all comes down to is a Mc-dicks Hamburger. It’s easy to get, even easier to consume, but unfortunately it lacks in nutrients and is ultimately unsatisfying. Like a degree, mc-dicks hamburgers look like all the other all natural and fresh hamburgers; includes a bun, a patty, and even condiments! However, even upon the first bite (or first year) you realize your missing something. Oh right, an education. Not that you don’t can anything from school, or that crappy burger, but the quality isn’t the main priority. Unfortunately, they have stripped away all of the stuff that made that burger so good, until it’s still a burger, but somehow lacking.
It took me a bit to except this, remaining hopeful and not to skeptical. When I was un-able to take visual art classes I decided to have workshops where I could show other students what I know, and I in-turn can learn from others. I also joined committee to hopefully make a change in a failing program, where 3rd and 4th years (a year ahead of me) complained that there were not enough space for students to take the classes they need. We pay for 36 credits, and I can barely get enough credits for half in my own program, how is this possible?
"When we plan course offerings for a new academic year, we take into consideration the academic requirements, needs and expectations of the design industry, and popularity of courses. The academic and industry aspects of the planning are based on tangible research and facts.”
- Ronald Mcdonald
Here is some of my tangible research, based on our handbook. We pay for 36 credits ($8,500), we are not offered 30 credits ($6,500) or part-time ($4,500). To graduate we need 120 (exactly 30 a year), but lots of students take extra classes (12 credits) as to not waste their money (which is either “hoarding” or “overloading/over-enrolling”) all arguments aside from the over-priced program issue. We still need 78 credits in design, and only 30 in other electives (the last 12 are free, which most use as YSDN credits (90 ysdn credits).
So, as suggested by the department, I took most of my general electives before 3rd year. If I followed the rule of 30 credits a year all I would need for 3rd and 4th was, 9 fine arts and 51 total ysdn credits (42 are chosen by student, 2 studies and 10 studio classes).
This is fine and dandy (but expensive). There are a total of 56 elective ysdn classes for 3rd and 4th years. A grand total of about 840 max spaces for students -15 students in each class according to department. With a total of around 180 students 3rd and 4th year, that leaves students looking for a minimum of 900 spaces. But because of the 36 credit fee students enroll in many more filling up all the spaces, if each student took 6 design classes we would need 1,080, 7 design classes 1,260. So by the time I went to enrol only a few classes were left for me to choose from.
840 available spaces and 900 minimal spaces students need.
Well then it gets more complicated. Mondays all year there are 21 electives, Tuesdays 16, Wednesday 4, Thursday 5, and Friday 10. Thats 315 spaces Monday, 240 Tuesdays, 60 Wednesday, 75 Thursday, and 150 Friday. Further limiting our options in classes.
I got the kiddy meal of this order (with a broken kiddy toy on top of it all!). I got 2 studio classes I wanted. The rest are filler for me. If I hadn’t “hoarded” classes my first two years (I was so busy with class I had time to complete a collection and 3 fashion shows!), it would’ve been a struggle to graduate with classes I feel benefit my strengths.
What do students do to get the classes they want? They take what they get and trade! We trade Big-Mac classes, for Southwest Chicken class, and a Mc-Nugget Meal Deal, for a Fillet O’ Fish Sandwich. HOARDERS, and what happens to hoarders? Well…
"We have names and facts and will investigate the academic consequences of abuses of the enrollment system."
Academic Consequences of trying to get classes you want? What if you didn’t even get classes to trade? Well we could wait until september to see if students drop out, but how many other students need the classes you need? Well a graduated student said that she had problems as well,
“and yet the department deny there is a problem every year. I only had 3 practicum in 3rd year: 2 in first semester and 1 in second sem…and those were just to fill up my schedule. All the ones I wanted, I had to take in 4th year”
Alright I’m full. Enough of the bullshit. York University cuts funding to classes (as do plenty of universities I am sure) in order to maximize profits. I have no solution to that. I would however suggest everyone re-think the a-degree-equals-a-job mentality. It should be an-education-will-lead-me-to-a-better-understanding-of-what-I-enjoy.