First-year students may gain peace of mind with the option to drop a course after the last class day if the administration accepts a Senate of College Councils resolution.
The University Academic Policies and Procedures’ current policy only allows a student to drop courses after the mid-semester mark for non-academic circumstances, such as severe illness or mental stress following a family member’s death.
The new resolution will permit first-year students, including transfer students, to drop a course up until the final exam.
Senate of College Councils president-elect Carisa Nietsche said Faculty Council is currently discussing the resolution and will have to approve it before it is implemented.
“It could potentially mean that a student could drop a course after a class has already ended, as long as they haven’t completed the coursework,” Nietsche said.
She said although the administration has already begun discussing the resolution, implementation will depend on how they prioritize it. The policy may go into effect as soon as the fall semester, she said.
The policy prohibits students from using the exemption after they have completed all of the coursework because it is not meant for students whose final exams will determine whether they will fail the class, said resolution co-author Ashley Adamo.
Radio-television-film junior Rhea Fluker said she could have benefited from the policy as a second-semester transfer student. She said she realized too late that she needed to drop one of her courses or she would fail it.
“At this point, I couldn’t handle the course load anymore, but by the time I realized that, there was little I could do to not fail the class. It was the Friday after the Q-drop date,” she said.
Fluker said she checked with her advisers and met with her professor multiple times to see if there was any way she could have dropped the class to “salvage” her grade point average, but there were no options.
“If I could have dropped it last minute, I definitely would have benefited because it would have eased the blow to my GPA and stress levels,” she said.
The College of Natural Sciences, the School of Architecture and the School of Nursing are currently the only schools with the one-time exemption policy in place, and each has their own implementation guidelines.
The one-time exemption policy could be especially beneficial for first- or second-year students in a five-year program such as the one at the School of Architecture, said Jeanne Crawford, assistant dean for the school’s undergraduate programs.
“There are those times when something is going on in the student’s life, and they might not be aware of drop policies or they forget them, so we always allow them that one exemption during their time at UT,” Crawford said. “I would say for those students, it certainly helps when it comes down to dropping or receiving an ‘F.’”