This article originally appeared in ZU News.
From the time the semester starts, students have a week and a half to amend their schedule if they would like to add or drop classes. Many students feel that this does not allow them an adequate amount of time to decide if their schedule is right for them. However, the university has set up the add/drop timeline this way for a reason.
“The feedback we were receiving from our academic partners was that doing adds into the second week of add/drop was becoming challenging for students to achieve progress and success,” One Stop Director Angie DiClaudio said. “So, we abbreviated that time by one week. Going into that second week of classes was detrimental to their success.”
This is the fourth semester under the current model with the add/drop date set up a week and a half in, according to DiClaudio. This semester, classes started on Jan. 9. The last day to add classes was Jan. 17, with the drop date a few days later on Jan. 20.
While this may seem like a short amount of time to pick and choose classes, DiClaudio said that in reality students had much longer to change their schedule.
“Technically, a student can impact their schedule from the time of registration or pre-registration all the way up to the add cycle,” DiClaudio said. “The week of add/drop is the last time you can impact your schedule, but you have months before that where you can actually work on a schedule that you want.”
However, not all students saw it this way.
“I understand the concept of them not wanting to get too far into the semester and people still switching, but I don’t feel what we are given is long enough to make decisions such as dropping a class or adding more units,” freshman psychology major Alyssa Mellor said. “I was thinking about adding a class but I didn’t because I wasn’t sure of what the workload for my other classes would be like. I recognize now I could have done it, but didn’t when it was so early in the semester.”
Mellor, a student in the Honors College, noted that she would have benefitted from a later add date. A fellow Honors College student, freshman math major Hannah Hinds, had a similar experience.
“The add/drop dates are too soon; you may end up stuck in a class you thought you could handle until a few weeks pass and the workload catches up to you,” Hinds said.
Another issue students face besides uncertainty about workload is conflict with professors.
Junior journalism major Hailey Gomez had a bad experience with a professor last semester. She, along with over half of her classmates, dropped or withdrew from the class because of challenges with the professor.
“I think it’s ridiculous that we only have a week and a half to decide on whether or not we want to add or drop the class,” Gomez said. “I mean, that’s only about three classes you have with the professor, and you really have no idea what the course is going to be like until about the third week.”
Gomez would have preferred more time to make her decision so she would not have had to withdraw.
“If you miss the date, you’re either stuck with a withdrawal or have to petition,” Gomez said. “And by that point, it’s already too late to add another class. It is neither helpful to the students’ time or education.”
Gomez is not the only one who has had this problem. DiClaudio noted that One Stop has seen many cases like this in the past where students want to drop a class because of a conflict with the professor. However, DiClaudio has a different perspective on the issue.
“One of the things we encourage students to consider is that sometimes they will be in a class where they might not love the faculty member, but that is in itself a learning opportunity for people, too,” DiClaudio said. “You might be in a workplace environment where it’s not ideal for you. How are you going to navigate that? Are you equipped to manage through a situation or scenario that isn’t always perfect for you?”