Whitla Asks New Methods Of Placement

Arranging Courses Would Save Time

Many of the problems of placing students in lower level Gen Ed courses may be solved next year through computer processing.

According to Dean K. Whitla, director of the Office of Tests, a list of Gen Ed course-preferences submitted by students at registration could be correlated with course enrollment statistics, and the over-subscription of some courses quickly straightened out.

So quickly, Whitla speculated, that "there would almost be time to hold another week of classes."

Whitla's plan received cautious support last night from section men and professors in lower level Gen Ed courses. Many said they felt that it would have to be carefully discussed.

Last year, the Committee on Educational Policy unanimously supported an exploration into the problems incurred during fall registration. Whitla explained that since that time the uncertainties raised by the Gen Ed debate have made him reluctant to proceed further with his investigation.

"I saw no point in devising a system that didn't have any more rules to hang its hat on," he said.

Student's Advantage

Whitla emphasized that the new system would be to the student's advantage, permitting him the greatest number of options. Edward T. Wilcox, Director of Advanced Standing, said last night that this was the best part of Whitla's proposal.

In the past, the problem of over- and under-enrolled courses has been solved by meetings of tutors to divide up those students who have applied to more than one course. In some cases, Whitla admits, this has "worked well."

Establish Criteria?

He contended, however, that the procedure could be much more rational if student preferences were immediately known and analyzed. It might also be possible, he added, for section men in over-enrolled courses to establish some criteria for selecting students. From these criteria and the questionnaires, people could quickly be placed in the right course.