Class Cancellation Guidelines


In Spring 2020 and Fall 2020 Academic Senate worked with the Office of Instruction to create Class Cancellation Guidelines. These guidelines were approved by the Academic Senate on October 22nd, 2020.


Cañada College Class Cancellation Guidelines

Download a PDF version of the guidelines


At Cañada College, the administrative team works diligently to ensure Cañada students are in a position to achieve their educational goals in a clear and efficient manner. As such, we engage in a student-ready approach to enrollment management so that we make sure students can "Get in, get through ... and graduate on time" while also establishing efficient, realistic schedules that respond to current trends and changes in the community college environment.


Deans consult with the Vice President of Instruction, Planning, Research and Institutional Effectiveness, Marketing, Communication and Public Relations, and faculty to craft schedules that will support student needs and educational goals. The administrative team works with constituents to identify strategies to increase enrollment and avoid cancellations, as we understand the impact class cancellations have on students and faculty. We acknowledge the usually unpaid work adjunct faculty do to prepare their courses and class cancellations often negatively impact adjunct faculty the most. Class cancellations may sometimes be necessary as a component of enrollment management. Enrollment management is everyone's collective responsibility, so we ensure the class schedule reflects the current needs of students and the College. We endeavor to avoid canceling classes through effective planning to reduce the impact on faculty, staff and students.


The administrative team looks to apply a consistent process across academic divisions. SMCCCD Board Policy 6.04 directly informs the class cancellation process:

  1. The District's Colleges will organize classes in as efficient a manner as possible consistent with good instructional practices and the needs of students.
  2. Classes with fewer than twenty (20) students will normally be cancelled or merged with another section.
  3. Certain classes with enrollments of twenty (20) or fewer, for example required sequential courses, single sessions required for a major, and classes in facilities which will not accommodate twenty (20) students, will be carefully reviewed in consultation with discipline faculty and, if offered, will be balanced against large classes


In consideration of Board Policy 6.04 and in thoughtfully analyzing enrollment and potential class cancellations, administration will utilize a student-ready approach that will encompass the following:

  1. Communication with all students via email and telephone that their class was cancelled and to include (a) alternative courses and open class lists so that the students have choices in continuing their progress toward their academic goals and (b) contact information for a college employee who has been assigned to assist the student.
  2. A notification for faculty, and when appropriate faculty department coordinators, two to three weeks in advance of low-enrolled classes and collaborate to identify strategies to increase enrollment.
  3. The Vice President of Instruction works with deans to report low-enrolled classes to counseling.
  4. Deans may allow time for enrollment to increase up to the first week’s session, per their discretion, and in collaboration with faculty. If a class is cancelled after the first week’s session, faculty will receive compensation at the appropriate rate for the hours of instruction.
  5. A follow up with faculty at least three days before canceling with a firm timeline on allowing the class to run or cancel.
  6. Communication with faculty via email, telephone and/or in person that their classes will be cancelled.
  7. Consultation with the faculty member to adjust the teaching assignment in compliance with the AFT Agreement.


The approach the administrative team takes in determining class cancellations requires collaboration, flexibility, and regular review so that we can act in the best interests of students, faculty, programs, and the College. Before canceling classes, the administrative team will consider a number of factors that will include:

  1. The impact on student degree and certificate completion
  2. Degree and certificate requirements and core courses
  3. Current and historical enrollment patterns
  4. The availability of the same and/or similar courses at Cañada or sister colleges
  5. Needs of the program
  6. Course sequences
  7. New and experimental courses and/or modalities
  8. Courses emphasizing and supporting anti-racism, equity, and social justice
  9. Regional workforce needs
  10. Faculty contractual load obligations


The administrative team consistently focuses on creating realistic, efficient class schedules as the primary strategy for enrollment management.