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Posts Tagged ‘course offerings’

Evan Bogle, Queens College

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I am undecided but likely going into Accounting. My college experience has been impacted by budget cuts when it comes to advisement.  In high school you don’t get to pick your classes, but in college you have to suddenly do that and there are so many different factors we don’t know about going in.  

To get into certain majors you need a certain GPA, but this is something I was never told.   I figured that out by chance when I saw a poster for International Business which I’ve been thinking about majoring in.  When I was in high school, I maintained a certain GPA because I knew I needed it to get into college. Having knowledge of that stuff is important.

Another issue I’ve had is with class registration.   When you get a good enough grade in certain classes you can skip another class.  I took college algebra and got a B which meant that I didn’t need to take precalc.  I went to an advisor before picking my classes for the spring, and they could have explained to me that the grade I got in college algebra could allow me to skip taking precalc.  But that didn’t happen. Taking a class I don’t need to take is a waste when I could be taking other classes toward my graduation. So many people don’t graduate in 4 years. If the college had more money, they could hire more advisors.  The TAP Gap is cheating the university out of money.

Ashton Joseph, Queensborough Community College

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I am majoring in Psychology.  I want to become a mental health counselor for teens and young adults either at a school or have my own private practice.  I am a first generation college student. Both of my parents are from Haiti my dad went to college my mom didn’t. I am in limbo, hoping to graduate by next semester.  

In my Social Behavior course it was often so packed that I couldn’t get a seat and would show up and then just leave.  I didn’t do as well as I hoped to, as a result and am retaking the course in the fall. If high-demand classes were available in the summer and winter, and financial aid covered them, that would greatly help students graduate on time.  We need more class availability for classes that are highly in demand such as pre- or co-requisite classes. We need better paid adjuncts. Every single semester they’re trying to teach and do their best and not being paid as much as they should be.  There should be better trained advisors. One day I was in advisement and I had work at 2pm. I did a walk in and put my name down and waited almost 2 hours.

Evelyn Marks, SUNY Cortland

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I’m a Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) major at SUNY Cortland, but before that I was an Adolescent Education major. I’m kind of a “super duper senior” because I graduated more than 2 years ago with a B.A. in English, which makes me a non-traditional student.

I have two plans that I could go for after graduating. I could get my master’s here at Cortland and then go to New York City to teach, or the second plan is basically going abroad and teaching. I pay for college with loans and work. I used to receive TAP and the Pell Grant when I was initially going to college, but I don’t receive them anymore.

I work part-time at Walmart, roughly 20 hours a week. Last year I worked full-time and could barely balance my workload between classes and work. This year it’s a lot easier to balance the workload. I get my textbooks through the inter-library loan, which is awesome because you don’t have to pay a million dollars for books. I use whatever money I have leftover from work for food, even though right now I don’t have a lot of money for that, either. I was going to apply for SNAP, but I heard that college kids aren’t always eligible.

Even if I didn’t receive financial aid for college I would still go, considering that’s what I’ve been doing for the past couple of years, but I am concerned about graduating on time. Some of the classes I need to take actually conflict with other classes I need, which means I have to push my graduation date out a year, essentially. I think SUNY/CUNY should be free because I think that students shouldn’t have to worry about scraping together money for college when they should be trying to perform better in classes.

Christy Suquitana, Queens College

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I am currently a freshman majoring  in political science and minoring in Urban Studies. After graduation, I plan on going to law school.  I pay for tuition through TAP and Pell Grants, and my parents assist me with the costs of textbooks. TAP only covers four years of financial aid, so I must take fifteen credits per semester to graduate on time. If TAP would cover summer and winter courses then it would lighten my load over the fall and spring semesters. Along with being a full time college student, I also work part time to financially assist my family.  It is nearly impossible to make college my first priority when I feel overwhelmed with the overload of credits and working.

CUNY and SUNY should be fully funded, so that specifically my two siblings will not have to feel pressured to work in order to afford college. In terms of my college experience, CUNY needs to be better funded. I had difficulty registering for a calculus class which I needed to fulfill a core requirement.

Additionally, finding an academic adviser who will be able to give me accurate advice is very hard. At the beginning of my Freshman year, I had a question regarding financial aid. One adviser gave me inaccurate advice which almost caused me to lose my financial aid due to the fact, that there are not enough advisers for the amount of students. She had to rush when giving me advice in order to make time for the long line of students waiting to be advised. This budget deficit at CUNY could have had detrimental effects on my college career.

Dillon Johns, NYC College of Technology

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I am an Accounting and Finance major. I have had more trouble getting into my accounting classes, not my engineering (transferred from engineering to accounting). I tried to sign up 2-3 weeks before classes started and one of my classes was closed already. So I had to drop to a part-time course load this semester and hopefully it’s open the next one.

It hasn’t been easy finding an adviser. I went up to the accounting business finance department and I was greeted by a secretary and I was trying to get advisement and she’s like we don’t really do that here… I talked to a professor and he was like, “you know, I’m not really an adviser,” and he directed me to go online and find the information there. 

I’ve needed other services as well like mental health. I did go a couple times to the counselors. They were very nice to me but they really are there to just give you a referral. They did give me a good referral…but I had to pay for it out of my own pocket. It was expensive. If there were people who would do that here, it would help students a lot, financially.

In terms of physical space in our classes, I have been in a lot of situations where the teacher would give up his desk and people would sit at their desk and the professor just stands up and lectures the whole time. When I first signed up here – I was trying to go to class in one of the elevators [but it malfunctioned and] spit me out into a locked maintenance closet and I was sitting in there for like 20 minutes banging on the door. I eventually had to call 911 and the firefighters came up and opened the door. There were 10 firefighters and NYPD standing outside. Some of these elevators have been out of service for who knows how long.

The biggest reason I had to drop out of the electronics engineering program is because there was no support for people in the program. Any support there was you’d have to hopefully be available during your professor’s office hours, and even then they’re not obligated to do that. The lack of support- the lack of readily available tutors on a schedule that I could make is what led me to drop out of that program and seek something that was my second choice, just because there was nobody here.


Stephanie Moy, Hunter College

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I go to Hunter College, double majoring in Environmental Studies and Urban Studies, and minoring in Asian American Studies. I would like to preface this by clarifying that although my story will sound oddly similar to other students’ experiences with college, it is not a testament of how poorly we manage our time, but rather it is a multitude of personal and systematic circumstances that make us have to work that much harder to leave college successfully with degrees.

Tuition has been going up every year, yet the quality of education is remaining stagnant. Having been at Hunter for nearly four years, I have seen a decrease in diversity and availability of course offerings throughout the semesters, making it harder to finish elective requirements for my majors. In addition to that, I have lost all my financial aid in the last two years of college, even though FAFSA has been asking for the same tax forms with the same necessary information.

To go from having my financial aid covering the entirety of my tuition to having absolutely no funding, it has been an extreme financial burden. As a full time student with an internship and volunteer extracurricular activities, working a part time job in order to fund my education is another stressor making it all the more difficult to have a successful higher education career. Because of the limited course selections, it makes it more difficult to rearrange my class schedules to allow availability for a part time job.

For my first three years of college, I was working not only as a server three to four days a week, but also as an usher. After attending classes and doing all my extracurriculars in the morning and afternoon, I would have to rush to work, work another seven to eight hours, suffer through immense nightly train delays, and get home at 2 or 3am, only to study and do more schoolwork.

Losing my financial aid and having to pay the ever increasing cost of tuition has compromised not only my educational success in college, but also my mental and physical health. For years, I was only getting two the three hours of sleep maximum, if any at all. In addition to that, there were days I did not have time to meal prep and bring lunch from home, leaving me no choice, but to either buy lunch at school or skip out on meals because I simply could not afford it. This is why CUNY schools need more funding for more opportunities to expand financial aid programs.

Luisa Garcia, Nassau Community College

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I am currently in my second semester at Nassau Community College, and every day I have to take 3 different buses just to get to campus, taking me almost 2 hours. Recently, the bus that comes near my house was cut and now it only runs every 5 hours. So my time to be at school and do what I need to do as a student is limited.

Right now, I am working towards becoming a physical therapist but have had issues trying to find the classes I need. I went to the advising office on campus, but was only told what classes I would need to get my general degree and not what would best prepare me to transfer. The office attempted to help, but because they had to help so many other students I wasn’t able to get the advising that I need to make sure that I will be prepared for life after college.  Also, due to budget issues the school does not have all of the classes I will need to continue my education, so I will be behind when I transfer schools.

Right now, I am able to afford to go to school due to financial aid programs. I am very lucky to receive these, but what I will receive will not nearly cover the costs of the four year college that I will need to attend to receive my degree. I’m not sure how I’m going to afford it, right now I already have an on-campus job while I’m in classes full time an am stretched so thin.

Domonique Baker, SUNY New Paltz

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I first got a Medical Assisting certificate at Ridely Lowell, which is a trade school, which I am currently in $18,000 in debt for. I then got my Associates at Dutchess Community College in psychology.  I am now going for my Bachelors in Psychology. I didn’t qualify for any financial aid because I am independent, even though I only make $25,000 a year.

I work full time to cover outside expenses like food, rent, utilities, a car.  I got a better job at a hospital recently which pays a little bit more. I take out loans for New Paltz. If I get a C or above in school, my full time job gives me a grant of $2500 toward tuition. To pay for this semester, I had to put it on a credit card though, because the tuition assistance from my job doesn’t kick in until later. I work full time over night so I only sleep 3 hours a night. Its impossible to study.

If college was free, I wouldn’t have to work so hard, maybe just part time. It would greatly improve my college experience. I’d get to spend more time studying and be able to meet deadlines. Now I record my notes to play while I’m driving. I have to take a course over because I got a D, it was a course that started at 11am but I got out of work at 9:30am and sleep deprivation made it hard to stay awake through the class. I now have to retake the class but it’s full. I often have trouble registering for a class because it interferes with work, especially since I live 30 minutes from campus. If the class is too close to 5pm or right after then I can’t take it. I wanted to get a concentration in organizational psychology but a lot of the required courses were at 8am and since my job wants me to be at work that early it’s not realistic. I need the job though, so what can I do? This limits the options I have for my future prospects of becoming a Physician’s Assistant.

I applied for the Excelsior Scholarship, one day I was on hold for 20 minutes, then 40 minutes. They said I didn’t have enough credits, I was in school for too many semesters, they said over the phone that as long as I don’t have a bachelors and meet the income eligibility I’d get it, but in the 11th hour of the last day they denied it because of credits. When I call them and talk to them no one knows anything.

Haley Gray, SUNY New Paltz

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I am currently a Senior.  When I decided that I wanted to major in art education I chose to come to SUNY New Paltz for their top rated art education program. Since the budget cuts it’s been nearly impossible for me to get all of the classes that I need in order to graduate. When I first transferred here there were so many more sections of classes offered. Making my schedule last semester was a nightmare because the classes I needed for my major and the classes I needed in order to fulfill my general education requirements conflicted in time slots. I had to repeat studio courses that I had already completed just to fulfill the requirements for my major. This semester I had the same experience. Not being able to take the studio courses in my concentration negatively impacts my educational development and my ability to teach in the future. I’m paying for a quality education but due to budget cuts out of my control, my education is being compromised.

Dennis Dontsov, Hunter College

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I am a super senior at Hunter College majoring in philosophy.  I personally have had to stay an extra year at Hunter College because I did not get one of the required courses I needed to graduate on time and now I must wait an extra year to graduate. As a result, I have run out of my TAP award because it only covers four years.  I still get the Pell Grant, but now I must buy my textbooks and other living expenses out of pocket.  Without enough classes available, without enough time with advisers to properly plan out our schedules, students suffer.   I have had classmates offer me money to hold spots in coveted bio courses when I have earlier course registration than them, because there are not enough bio course seats available to accommodate students at **the** CUNY school for students majoring in the pre-health sciences.  This is not acceptable.  Students deserve better, money is owed to education.  That is why Governor Cuomo must pass the MOE.