Back 2 Campus…Academic Options!
Considering your academic options? Do you even know them?
Been going to class and finding your coursework a wee bit more difficult than what you had anticipated?
Maybe you need to think about revisiting your academic plan or do you have one?
You do remember hearing something about experiencing academic difficulty during your campus orientation session.
While reviewing the college’s student handbook for a list of student academic options, did you feel like you were visiting a foreign land?
A lot of the academic phrases/explanations were really difficult to understand.
Orientation presenters did chat about various options available to you such as academic tutors, reduced course loads, and the campus writing center.
In addition, they also chatted about other academic options, but you just can’t quite remember the details at the moment.
The orientation experience itself was like sitting through a cultural information tsunami, more information presented than one human being could possibly process.
Perhaps, the most noteworthy for new and continuing students to consider is the several academic options listed below:
1. ADD/DROP PERIOD
Most colleges and universities have a period, at the beginning of each semester, during which students have the option to drop courses from their schedule and/or add new courses to their schedule (if space is available) without penalty or annotation on their student academic record.
There is no financial cost, and courses dropped during the Add/Drop period will not be recorded on the student’s academic transcript.
Whenever possible, always consult your academic adviser about add/drop changes before you make the move.
2. PASS/FAIL OPTION
On many college and university campuses across the country, students may have the option to select one or more courses per semester under a Pass/Fail Option.
Under the Pass/Fail option, a student may earn a Pass (P) grade as well as graduation credit. Be aware that a grade of “P” does not impact your grade point average.
However, in most cases, a grade of “F” WILL impact your grade point average.
Pass/fail option policies vary from campus to campus as well as pass/fail request deadlines.
So always make sure you check with your academic adviser and/ or the Registrar’s Office BEFORE selecting the Pass/Fail option.
3. COURSE WITHDRAWAL OPTION
There are usually two pathways for students to consider when thinking about withdrawing from a course. The institution’s policy and deadline for each pathway will govern your ultimate decision:
1. Withdrawing from a course after the Add/Drop Period.
Most institutions have a 4 to 6-week refund cycle after the Add/Drop period for students to withdraw from a course(s) and receive a prorated tuition bill refund.
2. After the Refund Period.
Withdrawing from a course(s) is an option for students who are usually experiencing academic and/or personal difficulty in completing course requirements. A grade of “W” is listed on the student’s transcript.
Be aware that there are serious consequences for selecting either option, particularly if you are a financial aid recipient.
REMEMBER – each college campus is different, so it is in your best interest to read and understand their policies before taking any direct action.
To make the best decision for your particular circumstance, definitely check in first with your academic adviser.
Optimizing Your Success Strategy
The 3 academic options listed above are essential planning tools for you to use in managing your academic challenges as well as your successes.
Consider them as academic assets for you to incorporate in your college success strategic plan. And utilize them strategically!
Selecting the right course to match the right academic option requires consultation with, at least, your academic adviser.
Do not just pay attention to the advice of your peers. Everyone’s experience is unique and different. What works for one may not work for another!
And, to do so, without proper validation of the information shared, could unnecessarily extend your 4-year graduation plan to 5 or 6 years.
Finally, make sure you have regular, thorough, and detailed conversations with your academic adviser so that you can make the best planning decisions in in pursuing successfully your college and career goals.