Add/drop deadline shortened to 6 days

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Sept. 10 is the new add/drop deadline for the Fall 2013 semester.

With the new deadline, students now only have six days to finalize their schedules instead of the previous 10 days allowed in the past.

Barry Allred, vice president of technology and communication at the University Registrar’s office, explained that the change was made for three reasons that, in general, would make the registration process more consistent and would ease the transition at the beginning of each semester for both students and professors.

“First, we strive for consistency and simplicity as much as possible. With the introduction of semester-length courses during spring and summer terms, it became apparent that the add/drop deadlines would not align between term and semester-length courses,” Allred said. “It was felt making one deadline across all terms and semesters would be more consistent. Hopefully more consistency upfront will lead to less administrative exceptions after-the-fact.

“Second, there are some that argue missing several classes early in the semester can put students behind in their coursework and grades could suffer,” Allred added. “With an earlier finalization deadline for semester courses, it is felt this will reduce the risks of adding late on the second week (assuming 10 days for the add/drop deadline) and creating academic challenges throughout the enrollment period.

“Third, earlier solidification of class rolls allows faculty to establish and maintain student groups (if it applies) earlier with less chance of turnover,” Allred said.

Faculty and student response to the shortened deadline has been mixed.

“Generally speaking, feedback has been positive,” Allred said. “A few have expressed this is not enough time for a student to understand if a course is a good fit. Additionally, some courses are only taught once per week and thus students would only have one class period to make a determination to drop. With that said, there has been good support for this change as we have taken it to the Student Advisory Council and the University Curriculum Council and the pros seem to outweigh any cons.”

Allred also mentioned that the change in the add/drop deadline resulted in some other changes to the technical aspects of registering for classes.

“With this change additional changes were required. ‘F’ registration method classes will now be set back to the first day,” Allred said. “This means students can register for these classes online until the first day, at which time they will be required to use a permission-to-add code. The last few semesters have given students a few days into the semester on ‘F’ registration method classes to add online.”

The deadline change also resulted in a change to the way that the online waitlists for classes function.

“Waitlist queues will be dropped after the fourth calendar day so as to not put waitlist transactions at the last minute of the deadline. This is shortened from the historical queue dropping time,” Allred said.

The University Registrar’s office is is optimistic that these changes will yield the intended result.

“It is hard to determine at this point in time if the ‘goals’ have been accomplished,” Allred said. “However, there is confidence this will deliver its intended wins.”

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