Students to control class drops

Adriane Hardin

TopNet may have more student traffic this fall if a recommendation concerning the university’s add/drop policy for classes goes into effect.

Faculty would no longer be able to drop students from courses if they miss classes the first week of the term – the responsibility would fall solely to students.

Provost Barbara Burch said she anticipates the policy would go into effect in the fall.

The recommendation comes from a dean’s council meeting on Feb. 17.

The current policy gives faculty the option of dropping a student from their class if they do not come to the first two meetings of the class within the first week of the term. Now, students who do not come to the first session of a class meeting once a week can also be dropped by a faculty member.

The university will begin charging a $20 fee to students who add or drop courses after the sixth day of the term. The new fee is a result of the state budget cuts. The new policy will make things clear for students and faculty, Burch said.

Some faculty drop students from their roll and others don’t – that leaves some students confused about what to do with their schedules, Burch said.

Burch estimated that about 2,000 students drop classes each term.

“If it is gonna cost students money, it has to be clear,” Ogden College Dean Blaine Ferrell said.

The add/drop fee may actually allow the university to save money since many students register for several classes with the intent to drop some. That causes the university to add more sections to meet rising class enrollments.

The university could save money if it didn’t have to add sections of classes that it probably didn’t need to add, Burch said.

The goal of the policy is to use classroom space more efficiently, said Robert Jefferson, dean of Gordon Ford College of Business.

“We’re trying to be a good steward of our faculty resources,” Burch said. “We’re trying to be fair to students.”

Burch said the university will work to educate faculty and students about the policy change through things like advising.

Students need to know that it is their responsibility to take care of their own schedule, Burch said.

“If you’re going to be dropped, it’s because you initiated the drop,” Burch said.

Versailles senior Abigail King said she doesn’t think that the new policies will decrease students’ apathy towards classroom participation.

“I’m not sure money or policy is going to change their motivation to go to class,” King said.

Reach Adriane Hardin at [email protected]