Why can’t all students enroll at any time for an online course?

The number of available sections is insufficient to meet current demand.  Online sections typically fill shortly after registration begins.  Much of this backlog is in the Humanities, where we either need to add additional teaching capacity or decide whether we will serve on-campus students at all.  The departments often want to manage this student demand because the students are often enrolled in face-to-face sections, and when they can get into an online section, they drop the face-to-face option.  The university faces a dilemma of having fewer online options than our student population is demanding.  In some cases, there is a shortage of current faculty who are prepared or willing to teach fully online.  This gap between student interests and program responsiveness is the subject of continuing dialogue.  In the Department of English, Literature, and World Languages, current online faculty are assisting other faculty to be prepared to teach fully online, since those courses are also in high demand.  At some universities, on-campus students may only enroll after the face-to-face sections are filled.  However, in a competitive environment and with an increasingly tech-savvy student who wants online options, Ferris’ inability to meet students’ demands may put us at a strategic disadvantage at a time when student enrollments are especially critical to our continued viability.