Like many other community colleges, Germanna has grown exponentially in recent years. This sounds good—and it is to a certain extent—but even though the student body has increased, budget cuts have forced Germanna to decrease the number of available course sections. This means that GCC has a lot of students but not a lot of classes, which inconveniences many working students. However, the instructors and administrators are sympathetic to working with students' demanding schedules. They tend to be very accommodating of work and family commitments, and the College offers multiple online and evening courses for students who cannot attend classes during workdays. But, while Germanna tries to accommodate every person and every schedule, quieter students who don’t advocate for themselves sometimes fall through the proverbial cracks and find themselves dropped out of classes that have been canceled on the first day of the course.
Germanna reserves the right to cancel course sections up to the first day of classes, and if a section has fewer than 15 students, it is likely to be canceled. Many complain about the strict course cancellation policy, saying it isn’t fair to students or faculty members. Students often have to hound the administration to make sure more specialized courses, such as Advanced Composition and University Physics, are still offered even if the class’s minimum enrollment requirement isn’t met. However, students quickly realize that taking advanced classes is exceedingly difficult because few students want to tackle such demanding courses that count simply as transfer electives. If students want to take these more challenging courses, they should enroll during the first month of registration to ensure courses are not canceled for lack of enrollment. Barring that, they should consider leading annual crusades, complete with fliers and strongly worded emails, to make sure the more specialized courses are offered at least once a year. Sound scary? It can be. But these tactics have worked in the past.