Saturday, December 06, 2008

Count again

Metropolitan State University claims to be convenient and accessible because "Five convenient metropolitan locations serve as class sites." Except that they don't make a point to hold general classes at each site. Want to take any Math class? You must got to one of the two St. Paul campuses. Art? Every class but one is held in the same building in St. Paul. Chemistry or Biology? Let me give you a map to St. Paul.

I am very annoyed by the lack of any official statement about this. Put it the handbook, note it on the locations page and make it clear on the information pages about each major. "The Math Department is located in ST. Paul and holds classes in St. Paul and Midway." If they were more upfront about it, students could make an informed choice instead of being mislead. I feel mislead.

I've emailed people at the school, complained in class and asked a Metafilter question about it. While I know it can be hard to get an answer to a Why question, I find this one particularly difficult. Several times they have just restate the policy instead of offering a reason. If I did that on a test, I wouldn't get credit for it.

Reasons I have been given:

Lack of students willing to take a class in Minneapolis, due to parking costs or other reasons: Parking is only $2 more here and it's not an issue for College of Management students. If you don't hold classes here, how do you know if students want to take them? The last three classes I took here were full on the first day.

Due to an agreement with MCTC, Metro will not hold 100 level classes in Minneapolis so they won't be in competition: What a crappy agreement. The co-location was nothing of the kind then. It turned Metro into an unwelcome guest, and not a roommate.

Lack of space: How many classrooms are empty in Minneapolis? I'm not just talking about in the CoM building, but in all of the MCTC buildings. An Algebra class needs seats and a whiteboard and I think they have some of those hanging around.

It's! so! easy! to take an MCTC class for Metro students: No it's not. You have to apply, get transcripts twice and you have to take MCTC assessment tests. How is that different than attending any another school?

The bottom line is that you are not filling your customers' needs and I have tried to point this out. Apparently there are too many layers of bureaucracy to get a point across.

I'm so frustrated by this that I have decided not to continue trying to take Metro classes. I haven't decided what I am going to do yet. I have checked out other schools, including MCTC, and might go to one of those. It seems like my job will pay for Associate's degrees now, too. For now I plan to take a CLEP or two this spring.

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