Bottlenecks are anything that limit students’ ability to make progress toward graduation. Demand often exceeds supply because public universities are constrained by funding; academic program requirements; student readiness and their academic program choices; limited facilities and course requirements; faculty, staff and student schedules; and resources. There are many reasons why CSU students face these bottleneck issues:
- Student Readiness and Curricular Bottlenecks can result in D, W, and F grades, causing more students to retake the course. Enrollment demands increase through new students and students repeating the course. The CSU has identified 22 high-enrollment, low student success courses.
- Place-bound Bottlenecks result when students must wait for their campus to schedule particular courses. This can be especially significant at smaller campuses where diversity of course offerings competes for limited resources.
- Facilities Bottlenecks can occur for a number of courses, particularly introductory STEM courses with laboratory requirements and restrictions on the number of students who may take lab sections.
- Advising and Scheduling Bottlenecks result from lack of awareness of the wider range of course and program options students have to complete GE and major requirements.
Strategies and Solutions to Address the Causes of Enrollment Bottlenecks
- Proven Course Redesign: Offering a year-long program for CSU faculty who have successfully redesigned their courses to significantly improve student success.
- Promising Practices for Course Redesign: 77 awards were made to campuses to support faculty redesign of bottleneck courses to improve student success and improve access.
- CourseMatch: CSU students now have access to online courses delivered by campuses other than their own.
- Virtual Labs: Planning is underway to build a collection of virtual STEM labs for faculty to adopt for hybrid lab courses.
- eAdvising: All 23 campuses will streamline advising, registration, and academic planning for undergraduate students.