Class dropping lower as students enter classes this fall
Local statistics show the number of classes being dropped at University of Louisiana at Louisiana is decreasing despite national college unpreparedness increasing.
With the student body steadily increasing every year, one would think the number of classes dropped each semester would also increase. Yet local statistics show it is actually the opposite.
According to the UL Lafayette Academic Success Center, the numbers of dropped classes in Junior Division at UL Lafayette is 35 percent of what it was 10 years ago. In 2003, there were 8,325 classes dropped; in 2013, there were only 2,840, a significant difference despite the larger student body.
Classes dropped within the first week of the semester are considered “adjustments” to the students schedules and not drops; therefore, they are not recorded by the Academic Success Center.
“There was a survey done that showed that students who graduate in four years have an average of two drops; those who graduate in five years have four drops; those who graduate in six years have eight drops,” Bette Harris, director of the Academic Center Junior Division commented. “We used strategy and retention to reduce the drops made by students. The new mentality was that weaker students should take fewer classes. We really want our students to succeed.”
Along with this new strategy to motivate students and encourage them to lessen their course load, Harris credited the lower drop count by the university changing from open admission to select admission in 1999. The date to drop a class to receive a W being scheduled midway in the semester compared to the previous two-thirds into the semester was also a credited reason.
The most recent change to the procedures on dropping classes happened in 2010 with the addition of the drop fee. With the new fee, undergraduate students exceeding the allowed number of courses dropped with a W will be charged a $50 course drop fee.
Brenten Maxile, a junior criminal justice major, shared his experiences with dropping classes. “The first time I dropped a class, it was because I was failing it and didn’t want it to affect my GPA. The second time I dropped a class was because I felt like I didn’t have time to study for it, due to my job and an English professor who felt her class was the only one I was taking, and also other difficult classes.”
Complications with a professor causing students to drop classes is not uncommon as another student who was questioned, Zachary Elliott, a junior public relations major, stated that the one class he dropped was because of the instructor being “unreasonable with her expectations and rude.”
While universities are accepting more students onto their campuses every fall, it does not mean they are necessarily ready for the college level work load.
According to Complete College America, a nonprofit organization that works at increasing college completion in the nation, nearly half of the high school graduates who are accepted into higher education institutions have to start their college careers at a remedial level.
Huffington Post wrote that “many students are unaware that they need (this level of) courses until they start planning their schedules and colleges decide who is required to take what due to placement tests. About 1.7 million students nationwide take remedial classes, which is more than $3 billion of college educational experiences spent on high school level classes.”
For more information on the drop course fee, how to drop classes, and strategies on not dropping classes (such as tutoring), go to the Academic Success Center in Lee Hall.