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IRVINE : Room for Students Found After Glitch

Irvine Valley College has found space for most of the 654 would-be students who were mistakenly enrolled into already full classes by an overactive computer system.

Faculty members have solved what college officials described as a potentially “disastrous situation” by taking on extra students into their crowded classrooms. The fall semester began last week.

A computerized telephone registration system created problems at both Irvine Valley and Saddleback community colleges, which are part of the Saddleback Community College District. But only 45 Saddleback College students were affected.

Of the district’s 830 class sections, 200 were over-enrolled due to the computer malfunction. Most classes averaged an extra three to five students, with some faculty members reporting as many as 13 extra students registered for a single class.

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Some of the classes were split in two, but in most cases, faculty members agreed to make room for the additional students. It was a voluntary act by instructors, who are not required to add students when classes are filled.

“There were some cases where instructors took eight to 10 additional students into their classrooms,” said Terry Burgess, vice president of instruction for Irvine Valley College. “The faculty was absolutely wonderful. They brought in extra chairs.”

College officials say the telephone registration system has been relatively glitch-free since it was installed last summer.

So far, about 7,000 of Irvine Valley College’s current 9,000 students have avoided the horrors of long registration lines by registering for fall semester classes over the phone. With credit card in hand, students can also pay their tuition at the same time. And when the semester is over, students can dial into the campus computer system to receive their grades.

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“We don’t send grades out any more,” said Jess Craig, acting vice president of student services at Irvine Valley College. “We used to mail them out, but we just can’t afford that luxury anymore.”

Craig estimates only a handful of Irvine Valley College students ended up without classes because of the computer registration glitch. He said those students will be given top priority for spring semester classes.

“Thanks to the wonderfulness of our faculty, it turned out OK after all,” Craig said. “It could have turned out a lot worse.”

Registration for some fall classes at Irvine Valley College will remain open through Friday. Registration is also available for the college’s eight-week classes, which begin Oct. 17.

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