The Office of the Provost announced academic policy changes in effect for the winter 2013 term in an email sent Jan. 4 to all students. Registration time tickets for spring term will once again be assigned in order of seniority after one term of allowing freshmen to register before most upperclassmen.
The registrar’s office had switched the order of students’ time tickets for winter course registration but returned to a seniority-based order for spring-term registration. Undergraduates registering on the first day (Monday of week 6) will include athletes, graduating seniors, Pennoni Honors College members, ROTC students and performing-arts scholarship recipients. Continuing seniors, juniors, pre-juniors, sophomores and freshmen will each register on different days over the following two weeks.
The new undergraduate registration order is not, however, exactly the same as the order in place for fall 2012 and prior terms. Honors College members originally registered after continuing seniors and before juniors, but that time ticket was moved to the first day of registration for the winter and subsequent terms. Graduating undergraduate seniors were also moved to the first day of registration at that time. Those two changes are not being undone.
“We increased our efforts to monitor demand for courses through the whole time-ticket process. We increased waitlisting, and we opened new sections as needed where we could. We did hear from students, from upperclassmen, who supported the seniority system for registration,” N. John DiNardo, vice provost for academic affairs, said.
“For the freshmen that cannot get their required courses, it is not the end of the world. They will still have three or four more years at Drexel to take those classes. However, if you are an upperclassman and you need a lower-level course, … then it is far more important that the upperclassman take the class. They have far fewer terms … before they graduate,” Thomas Neff, a pre-junior electrical engineering major, said. Neff shares these feelings with many other upperclassmen who were upset by the changes made in the fall.
DiNardo explained that the provost’s office will listen to student input, and this policy was affected by student input.
“We took students’ input into account about changing this back, but we also tried to implement some other processes to improve the student experience, improve the students’ ability to register,” DiNardo said. “We meet periodically with student government, and I think it’s good to have students engaged in the process.”
The other major change implemented by the provost’s office this term is extension of the deadline to withdraw from a class from Friday of week 6 to Thursday of week 7.
“We’ve been thinking about this for a while. The change will allow students to have a little more time to figure it out. … Within that seventh week, maybe they’ll be able to have another exam or assessment to give them a little bit more information about where they’re at in the course before they have to make the decision to withdraw. The 10-week quarter is pretty fast paced, so I think having extra time before they make that decision will be helpful,” DiNardo said.
Nick Maleno, a sophomore business administration major, withdrew from a world history class during his freshman year.
“I withdrew week 6, on the last possible day I could. … I was not very happy with the grade I received on the midterm and thought it might be in my best interest to retake the class later when I had less of a course load,” he wrote in an email. “In my case, I don’t think an extra week would have helped because the class was only based on one midterm and one final.”
Additional information about these changes and their implementation can be found on the provost’s website at www.drexel.edu/provost.