Success fee funds new course sections

by Luke Henning, Senior staff writer

New course sectionsThe Campus Fee Advisory Committee has released a list of 51 new course sections that will be added during the Fall 2014 semester at San Diego State with funding from the newly implemented Student Success Fee.

These classes were identified by the CFAC through the results of an online student survey released at the end of the spring semester, combined with recommendations from each of the colleges, Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs Kathy LaMaster said.

LaMaster said another 39 course sections will be added during next year’s spring semester, although these courses are yet to be determined.

“During the fee’s first year, our approach is more to troubleshoot things and see how students react,” LaMaster said.

The specific course sections may be subject to change depending on the actual demand from students compared to the data CFAC has collected. Though there may be some discrepancies, LaMaster was confident many of the key problem areas have been identified.

“Though new course sections are our immediate goal, the main purpose of this fee is to add tenure-track faculty,” LaMaster said in an interview with The Daily Aztec earlier this year.

LaMaster said the faculty will be supplemented by temporary lecturers in order to ensure the new course sections have teachers as SDSU goes through the lengthy process of hiring tenure-track professors.

“When we asked students what they wanted us to add most, the resounding answer was tenure-track faculty,” LaMaster said.

LaMaster expects the first group of 25 tenure-track faculty will be hired by the spring 2015 semester.

According to the CFAC website, the fee will be an additional $50 per semester for the next year. The fee caps out at $200 per semester during the 2018-19 academic year, although it may be increased slightly to account for inflation.

Director of the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships Rose Pasanelli said her office is working in conjunction with the Office of Student Affairs to create a “hardship exemption” that will exempt some students from paying the new fee if it directly prevents them from continuing to attend SDSU.

“The exemption will be determined case by case, so we have some wiggle room to help out students who will have trouble paying the fee,” Pasanelli said.

Pasanelli added that the hardship exemption is still a work in progress at the moment, but she expects a complete appeal process outlined by the end of the month.