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Henry Ford Community College to Offer 'No Class Cancellation Guarantee'

Beginning in fall 2014, all active classes at HFCC will not be canceled due to low enrollment.

Students at Henry Ford Community College will soon have a safety net when it comes to mapping out a plan for graduation.

The college announced at Monday's Board of Trustees meeting that it plans to offer a "no class cancellation guarantee" beginning with the fall 2014 registration period.

The guarantee means that every “active” class section offered by the college will run for the 2014-2015 academic year.

Tracy Pierner, vice president of academic affairs at HFCC, explained that at many colleges, class sections that don’t meet a minimum enrollment target are canceled. Under HFCC's guarantee, any "active" class section with students registered will run. The college reserves the right to cancel that section for other reasons (i.e. no available teacher), but it won’t be canceled because of the number of students enrolled.

"As we continue to serve our students we want to shift away from a culture of cancellation to a culture of addition," Pierner said.

Pierner explained that students will only be able to see the active classes when enrolling, however as a class fills up, additional sections and times will be added.

"This is a paradigm shift. Since I've been here we've put out a schedule that throws everything up against the wall and whatever sticks, sticks. If it doesn't stick, then it gets canceled. That negatively impacts students who are doing last minute schedule changes," he said.

The current scheduling system also affects faculty at HFCC who may spend time developing a syllabus for a particular course only to have the course canceled or the instructor bumped off at the last minute, Pierner said.

"Under the new paradigm, we're going to end up with the courses that would normally run, it's just two ways of getting there. Do you get there by setting up a schedule that is more than what you need and then cancel your way back down? Or do you start with a little less than what you will need and then move up and add sections?" he said.

In preparation for the change, Pierner said HFCC will offer a phase-in period. For the winter 2014, spring 2014 and summer 2014 semesters no active section will be canceled after one week before the semester begins.
Tom B October 24, 2013 at 08:16 AM
I am assuming an "active" class is one that is being offered. And, I do understand how frustrating it may be for a student who signs up for a class and it is cancelled for lack of enrollment. But, it is fiscally irresponsible to pay an instructor with a very low enrollment in the class. Let us say, one or two students. I am a taxpayer and resident in Dearborn.

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