The Office of the Provost along with other departments across the University is committed to continually improving the academic success of students. Recently, we announced a change in policy regarding adding and dropping classes, after which some students expressed concern that they will have less flexibility in adjusting their schedules. Students also noted that they did not have sufficient input into this decision.
I’d like to provide some background on this issue and describe plans going forward to increase conversations with students in academic initiatives and policies. Given that the Drexel quarter is ten weeks long, adding courses up to the end of the second week has been a long-standing concern of faculty and advisors. Since students could potentially miss up to two weeks of course material, faculty have often seen students unable to make-up work and subsequently struggle in the rest of the course. Advisors are often faced with students who may earn a lower grade than the rest of the class or have to withdraw from the class. This drove the decision to change the add/drop deadline so that students would be more successful in their courses.
This decision is in the scope of a broader set of initiatives to improve policies to make students more successful as well as to increase advisor interactions with students. It is always recommended that students meet with their advisors early to have future courses selected prior to course registration. We will be monitoring the implementation of this policy very closely throughout the year.
It is clear that our students desire increased dialogue around academics including curricular initiatives, policies and procedures initiated by the Office of the Provost. Although the Dragon’24 group became operational after this decision had generally matriculated administrative approvals, the Office of the Provost indeed commissioned the group to offer this type of strategic guidance. Since their official start in the spring, members of the Dragon’24 have attended several Presidential advisory boards, faculty all-hand meetings, Board of Trustee meetings and can be seen in Graduate College marketing videos. In addition, the group has met with Provost Brian Blake, on average, more than once a month. We will continue to provide opportunities to incorporate students in academic administrative processes. In collaboration with Student Life, we are in the process of assembling student groups that will include broad representation including members of student government to discuss specific issues, provide more information on broader initiatives and obtain regular feedback on the student experience. I welcome students who are interested in participating to contact me directly at [email protected]