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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    “Add this, drop that”

    Course-shopping, or the adding and dropping of classes, is becoming such a popular method that Texas legislators have implemented limitations on the number of courses that students can add or drop to their schedules.

    Although the UA currently has no limitations on course-shopping, the legislation is drawing attention to the issue.

    “”(Course-shopping) doesn’t make it any easier to do our planning,”” said W. Gary Wagner, assistant vice president for enrollment systems and registrar.

    Currently, students can only add courses until their credit hours exceed 19 units, but then they may request for special approval, Wagner said.

    The university is not exploring the option of limiting the number of classes a student can add or drop.

    Students should course-shop as little possible, although there are certainly times when courses look equally attractive, and students are invited to explore their options, Wagner said.

    There are certain instances when adding and dropping courses can create problems, he added.

    “”When students horde courses with the idea that they will drop later, it makes it difficult for other students,”” Wagner said. “”Less is better in terms of course-shopping.””

    To get a feel of a course ahead of time, students can read course descriptions in the UA online catalog, or visit with their advisers.

    “”If the student meets with the adviser, they can get a pretty good sense of what the course will be like,”” Wagner said.

    In response to the Texas law, the Los Angeles Community College District surveyed students, finding that 23.7 percent shopped occasionally, while 61.4 percent reported not shopping at all.

    Based on the findings, women are more likely to course-shop than men, and math courses are most likely to be dropped. Students who drop English and math usually end up taking courses in other subjects.

    The grade-point average fluctuates for course-shoppers.

    According to the study, which focused exclusively on Los Angeles community colleges, non-shoppers have an average of 2.66 GPA, while cyclic shoppers, who replace dropped courses with others, have a 2.68 GPA. Bulk shoppers, who sign up for several courses with a plan to drop many, have a 2.67 average GPA.

    Students who add and drop at least a third of their courses had the lowest GPA average.

    The UA does not have the means to produce a similar study, Wagner said, but there are certain things that UA students can do to ensure that they place into the best possible courses.

    For one, students can go to a bookstore and browse through textbooks to see if the subject material interests them, Wagner said.

    Also, there are reviews of professors and courses online to peruse.

    Because students’ priorities change over the course of a semester, it is often impossible to eliminate course-shopping altogether.

    Jonathan Puente, a journalism senior who is graduating in December, said he has often ended up dropping classes halfway through the first week of school.

    “”Usually I have problems with business courses that are either at the same time or at strange times in the day and conflict with my work schedule,”” he said. “”This semester I could only find classes at the end of the day.””

    Danielle Chapot, also a journalism senior, said that she has heard of situations where students struggle to get into courses and off waiting lists, although she has never encountered the problem.

    “”I added a psychology class that I ended up dropping this semester because I no longer needed the credits,”” Chapot said. “”I was on a waiting list for some of my classes, but I was lucky to get in.””

    Sept. 14 is the last day to drop a course without having the course name or the grade appear on a transcript.

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