By Angel Lizardi |Staff Writer|
The new Dean of the College of Arts and Letters, Terry Ballman, offered her opinions on bottleneck courses and her plan for the college.
During the interview, the idea of two definitions for bottleneck courses came up.
“One, from what I recall concerns students that have difficulty with specific classes,” said Ballman.
The second type was that some classes didn’t have enough section numbers, forcing students to have to wait to take those classes another term.
Ballman mentioned that the college collectively has to focus on the importance of advising.
A southern California native, Ballman received her Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Spanish Linguistics from California State University Long Beach and her Doctorate’s from the University of Texas in Austin.
Ballman had previously worked for five different universities, including California State University, Channel Islands, where she served as Chair of the Spanish language and communication program.
Ballman offers a holistic approach to administration and believes that communication among students and faculty is integral for the college to succeed.
Students are Ballman’s number one priority and she believes she brings the “big picture” view to the college.
In an attempt to find out what students find cumbersome, Ballman has assembled a task force that includes faculty and students.
Student Elizabeth Villela mentioned that she wishes advising was offered to more students besides freshman.
“I wish we had more advising opportunities aside from SOAR,” said Villela.
Ballman said would like to find ways of helping students get the advising that they need by implementing a program similar to the Liberal Studies Program.
“The Liberal Studies has a program named PALS, short for peer advising liberal studies,” said Ballman.
There students make appointments with peer advisors or an advisor that will assist students to graduate on time.
“We hopefully want to have someone that is strictly an advisor, who is in constant communication with the chair and the Dean who helps students from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.,” said Ballman.
Another student, Daniel Cruz mentioned that he believes the university could offer more sections of classes that are needed to graduate.
Ballman believes that students should feel able to communicate with the chairs of their respective departments to get the classes they need offered more frequently.
“Students should feel free to communicate that with administration, perhaps gather a couple of other students with similar concerns,” said Ballman.
Starting initiatives in which students from other majors can work on projects with one another and create more cohesion among students is another goal of Ballman’s.
“Take for example an environmental writer, they could possibly work with the biology department on projects that they have similar interests in,” said Ballman.
Ballman wants to foster a greater community among the college and to hopefully inform everyone that we are doing great things in the university.