DeCal student facilitators struggle to reach out to students for enrollment

Decal
Zahira Chaudhry/File
In absence of the support for student enrollment that would be provided from an appointed DeCal board this fall semester, student facilitator Daniel Ha planned his own DeCal fair to allow DeCals to connect with students.

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DeCal student facilitators are struggling to engage with students and get them to enroll in courses without help from an appointed DeCal board, which typically aids in managing courses.

The DeCal program is run by students and allows them to create their own curriculum with a faculty sponsor. Student facilitators were informed by email Friday that there are no current members on the DeCal board, according to student facilitator Gabriel Kelvin. The board helps student instructors manage listings on the DeCal website, secure funding, advertise information to students and complete paperwork, the website states.

The DeCal program was contacted for comment but did not respond as of press time.

“Going onto the DeCal site, I didn’t see any DeCals on it until last week, and being so close to the school year, it’s a nightmare,” Kelvin said.

Kelvin added that without a board, student facilitators are “working in the dark.” Facilitators are allowed to start instruction for the semester but are not sure if there will be any students to teach, given the lack of advertising efforts that board members usually oversee, Kelvin said.

According to Kelvin, two former members of the board are currently working to approve courses on the website and respond to emails.

There are usually more than 150 DeCal courses during a semester, but this semester, there are 92 being offered, the website states. According to Kelvin, the two former board members are still working to approve courses. 

Facilitators were not informed in the email as to why there was no appointed board for this year, according to student facilitator Daniel Ha.

“This situation has been a challenge,” Ha said. “It’s harder to reach out to students because we’re not flyering on Sproul or going into classes to give shoutouts.”

Ha added that he was told there would be no DeCal fair to showcase courses to students. Ha decided to start his own fair with 35 DeCals, as of press time, set to present Monday, Aug. 31.

DeCal facilitators will be able to present their courses and will be segmented into different categories, including business, tech and health and wellness, according to Ha.

Kelvin said this was an “awesome” opportunity for some of the DeCal courses to get publicity.

“I’m excited about the traction it has gained,” Ha said. “It has made me happy to see the response, and I’m glad we’re able to do that for them.”

While facilitators are struggling to enroll students, Kelvin said he is grateful for the program because it allows facilitators to gain experience teaching and can help students reach unit requirements.

Kelvin added that DeCals are important for campus and allow students to explore interests and hobbies in a student-led environment.

Shylie Ati is an academics and administration reporter. Contact her at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter at @shylieati.