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Clark’s Directories Fall Behind Local Colleges

Spring course selection began on March 2. The choice of courses every semester will not only affect one semester, but also affect future study careers and career planning.

Compared to WSU Vancouver’s academic link, Clark’s academic link has no department category, no detailed information of each major or professors’ previous experiences. It has a faculty/staff directory only showing how to search for faculty and staff information by name, department, telephone number or building name.

WSU Vancouver’s Academic link was a one-click search streamlined directory with department categories. Each department listed all faculties’ photos, names, phone numbers, emails and some showed research projects they had done.

Donald Ludwig, sociology and criminal justice professor, said, “Clark College is trying to develop a system that will be better for students, and I certainly think that has improved our access to professors and information about professors as well as the classes that they teach somewhere online, so students can readily access them.” 

Donald Ludwig, courtesy of Fion Yin

“I think that would only improve our communication with students and students’ ability to make informed choices about the classes that they wanted to take.” Ludwig said.

Ludwig said when he was a student he knew information about different departments, faculties’ biographic information, professors’ major interests and their areas of expertise before registering for classes through the school’s flip catalogs. But that happened before the internet developed.

Clark students could search “department faculty” on Clark homepage and it showed 633 results. 

It’s difficult for students to search with multiple clicks since they need to filter those results themselves. The searches are not associated with the faculty/staff directory.

English department faculty is on the top search and included student writing awards link and course information. It showed all English department faculties’ names, emails with two paragraphs professors’ background but no photos.

Jill Darley-Vanis, english professor and adjunct coordinator, said, “[it should be] all in one place because then students would probably be more likely to use it, and also if it was in a more obvious place on the website.”

Jill Darley-Vanis, courtesy of Vanis-Davis

Darley-Vanis said it could be organized by department in alphabetical order and maybe even put professors’ photos, contact information and office hours for students to easily access.

Regarding how to register for courses through the ctcLink, Darley-Vanis said ctc is not an easy-to-use search system and could be another barrier unless students already know what faculty they are interested in.

Clark College students usually choose a professor’s course based on recommendation, evaluation from Rate My Professor website and sometimes the first week of class.

Izabella Gasporyan, a second-year running start student, said she asked friends’ suggestions and selected a wide time range teacher who meets her requirement before register classes.

She said students can only get syllabus after the first day introduction class, and she loved to know more details about how the classes structure which she thought it should be better than comments showed on Rate My Professor website.

“Because Rate My Professor, it’s very biased, so you don’t know if it’s true,” Gasporyan said.

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