By Rodolfo Trujillo
Starting this summer students will not be able to attempt a class more than three times. Students will now be limited to receiving three letter grades or a “W” for any one class, or a combination therof.
To understand the new system that was ordered by the state, Richard Moyer, vice president of academic affairs, said that the key thing to remember is, “You have to take advantage of the opportunity (to take a class) when they’re available.”
Moyer also said that the state is cutting back funds and the Board of Governors of California community colleges is responding by limiting the amount of times a class can be attempted.
In the past, students could take a class up to four times for a letter grade. If a student felt that during the semester they could not handle a class anymore, they could withdraw by a deadline and get a “W.” A student could technically take a class up to seven times.
Moyer said that some new students are prevented from enrolling in a class because some continuing students, who have priority, take up space in a class that they haven’t been able to pass. The new rule says that this is not fair.
Moyer said that the theory of the new rule is that it’s the college’s responsibility to teach students. If they haven’t been successful then they shouldn’t be rewarded by being allowed to take a class over and over while other students who might have a good chance at passing wait.
“If this was USC and your parents have to pay $50 thousand a year, (students) would be more serious. According to the original master plan (of the California college system) community colleges are supposed to have open access. We used to be an open door campus. That door is creaking shut,” said Moyer.
Moyer said that students should take advantage of the opportunities that the school provides, like the learning center and the math lab. He said that he notices that many of the students in those centers are ones that are already passing but just want a better grade. “We can’t force a person to get tutoring,” said Moyer.
He said that some students just don’t put the effort into their schoolwork. In the past, if a student became overwhelmed, they would know that they could drop by a certain date, get a “W” and have numerous other chances.
Moyer said that some students did not use that system appropriately, keeping those students in the college longer than necessary. He suggests getting help early. “Enroll in a non-credit class (if a student is not sure they can handle the work). “Don’t wait to sign up and get help,” said Moyer.
A student can petition to be able to take a class more than three times, but Moyer said the college will be viewing such requests with more scrutiny. There are also exceptions in the case of extraordinary circumstances. Military withdrawals will be honored the same. Moyer continues to stress that it’s the responsibility of the student to pass the class.