By Angelica Diaz
Ieshia Walker, a senior telecommunication student, thought she had no other way out.
She made the decision to withdraw from an art class during her freshman year. She was failing the class and thought she had no other options.
Today, Walker calls the move a “setback.” She believes if she would have talked to an academic advisor her situation might have turned out differently.
“A lot of people want to get over and done with college,” Walker said. “If you have to retake a class, it’s a waste of time.”
Tysa Egleton, director of the Penguin Service Center, said she has seen a decrease in dropping classes over the years.
This year, approximately 150 to 200 students have dropped a class, according to Egleton.
“Before dropping a class, we usually encourage people to speak to their advisor,” she said.
Egleton said if a student is still not able to make arrangements to successfully pass the class, then he or she should stop at the Penguin Service Center, which assists and refers students to any other services needed, for further recommendations.
She also added students must keep in mind important dates and deadlines when withdrawing from a class.
Frank Nolasco, academic advisor for the Cliffe College of Creative Arts and Communication, said the topic of dropping a class comes up during academic advising.
He explained steps he takes to help students determine their decision.
“First, I ask the student to explain the situation,” Nolasco said. “Then we discuss what options are available.”
He said he always recommends that students meet with their professor during office hours to get input about where they stand in the class.
“Sometimes the professor will suggest an avenue where the student can remain in the class as long they follow the path the professor has put forth,” Nolasco said. “If both the professor and student agree that withdrawing is in the best interest of the student, then the student and I review the university policy for withdrawing and what that will look like on their transcripts.”
He said dropping a class may have other negative consequences.
“We also look at how withdrawing from a class will change their four-year plan,” Nolasco said.
“Next, I recommend the student contact the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships to inquire if withdrawing from a course will affect their student loans or award money.”
He advises students to be their own advocates and “own their own education.” He said students have the final decision whether or not to withdraw from a class.
“Finally, if the student has decided that withdrawing from the course is in their best interest, I advise them to withdraw from the course,” Nolasco said. “They can either do that on their own time or in our advising office with the assistance of staff.”
He said an academic advisor helps guide the students toward their best option.
“Our role as advisors is to serve the students and equip them to make decisions that best suits their goals and current situation,” Nolasco said.