The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Sunday March 7th

System discusses course drop period

A Board of Governors committee will vote on a proposal today that would limit the drop-add period for courses at UNC-system universities to 10 business days — a significant reduction compared to the eight-week drop period at UNC-CH.

If students withdraw after that course adjustment period, a “W” — for withdrawal — would be recorded on their transcript, and the course would count toward attempted hours.


Time: Today at 1 p.m.

Location: General Administration Bldg., 910 Raleigh Rd., Chapel Hill


Students would be given a limited number of withdrawals.

Samantha McAuliffe, assistant to the senior vice president for academic affairs for the UNC-system, said in an email that the new policy would open up initial course seats for students who previously were denied spots by late withdrawals.

She added that two weeks should be a sufficient time period for students to determine whether they want to stay in the course.

“Good advising, review by students of course syllabi before registration, and two weeks of class attendance and active class participation provides opportunity for a student to make a decision to remain in a course or not,” she said.

Currently, UNC-CH allows students to drop courses online during the first 10 business days after the start of the semester. Between the first 10 days and the end of the eighth week of class, students can still drop classes with their dean or academic adviser’s signature.

“I think the proposal’s a bad idea. The ‘W’ is a stigma on applications to graduate schools,” said Will Leimenstoll, UNC-CH student body president.

Leimenstoll will be talking with UNC-system Association of Student Governments President Cameron Carswell about potentially voicing student concerns at the meeting today, but ASG is still deciding how to respond to the proposal, said Alecia Page, senior vice president of the association.

Leimenstoll sent an email to UNC-CH students Wednesday urging them to contact members of the board’s educational planning, policies and programs committee to voice their concerns.

“My phone has been going off all morning. I’ve got 50 or 60 emails already,” said Aldona Zofia Wos, a committee member. Wos declined to comment on the proposal.

The proposed drop/add changes have elicited mixed reactions on campuses.

The 10-day rule might limit students’ freedom to explore majors and thoroughly grasp the workload and their own interest in a course, said Keith Fraser, student body president at UNC-Wilmington.

“I’m especially concerned for my freshman students, who don’t know what to expect of university courses,” he said.

But Conor Dugan, student body president at UNC-Charlotte, said he supports the proposal, adding that UNC-C does not limit the number of course withdrawals — which lowers the school’s graduation rates.

Ray Angle, director of UNC-CH Career Services, said he’s not aware of employers examining withdrawal records on transcripts.

“I have never ever, in 20 years, had an employer question a withdrawal. They are basically looking at GPA,” he said. “I don’t think employers care.”

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