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Over-Scheduled Course in DMACC’s Welding Program Lead Some Students to Fear They Won’t Graduate

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ANKENY, Iowa - Some students in DMACC's welding program are worried their plans to graduate on time could be in jeopardy.

They claim it's from a mistake made by DMACC advisers when scheduling courses within the program this semester. Two students, Jason Wilson and Suzanne Ouciello, tell Channel 13 they were on-track to graduate from the welding program this May. A course they needed, which can only accommodate 16 people at a time, was over-booked, registering 23 students. Wilson and Ouciello were two of seven told they would be dropped from the course, but that they could take it this summer and graduate a few months later.

"But I told them that was not a solution for me," Ouchiello said. "I started the program so I could end the program in May. I set aside a year of my life, and that when I intend to do it. This discrepancy is not ours, the fault is not ours at all, you know we both get good grades, we both show up we do our work, and we do our responsibilities as a student. It's administration over there that's dropping the ball."

Administration at DMACC has owned up to the mistake, citing a curriculum change this semester as part of the reason advisers over-booked the course. Another option being offered to some students is to take the same course at DMACC's Southridge campus, but for students like Ouciello, who commute more than an hour into Ankeny daily for the program, a longer drive isn't feasible with other commitments.

"In the advising department, we made a mistake," said Wade Robinson with student services at DMACC. "Through the advising and registration process, we over-booked it. It's our fault. And so what we're doing is working with the students - based on the timing that they were registered - so it was kind of, priority timing at which they came in, so that we get them other section if they're available, to keep them on their graduation needs."

DMACC says its welding program is recognized as the best in the state, and has an overwhelming interest from students. It credits this as another reason classes are so packed, as it seeks a resolution for these students.