A new year begins as old faces reunite and new faces get acquainted with the Keene State atmosphere.
Along with new beginnings, some changes to the academic policy will provide more flexibility in the readjustment of schedules for students.
KSC officially inducted the academic policy change in April 2011 and enforced said changes for the fall 2011 semester.
The KSC Registrar’s Office contacted students to inform them of the changes and what actions to take if schedules need to be adjusted.
Some of the most significant changes to the policy include: Schedule Adjustment Policy, Course Retake Policy, and Eligibility for the Dean’s list.
For the first week of both semesters, the Schedule Adjustment Period, students are normally accustomed to filling out an add/drop forms located within the Registrar’s Office in the Elliot Center.
With the new Schedule Adjustment Policy students may add or drop a class online through their campus cruiser instead of obtaining a professor’s signature.
The policy however still enforces normal registration rules such as available seats must be open, prerequisites achieved, and the student is in good financial standings.
If by chance the class is closed or requires a professor’s signature then a Schedule Adjustment form must be filled out and delivered to the Registrar’s Office for validity.
Graduating senior Chris Ordway said adding and dropping classes is a lot more flexible and efficient, especially when preparing for his last year at KSC.
“I was a little worried that I was going to have to go through add/drop forms and track down teachers for a signature. With this new policy I just have to through all that nonsense, to me the change is making my semester a lot less stress free,” Ordway said.
Tom Richard, the registrar, said the change in policy will hope to bring more efficiency to the process of adding and dropping classes.
“The best thing about the new changes is we can now spend more time on product activities instead of signing in and out or chasing someone down. It just was not a good use of time during Schedule Readjustment Period,” Richard said. Richard also stated that the responsibility is on both the students and faculty of KSC to keep track of added and dropped classes.
Students have been taking advantage of the new efficiency in adding classes online, but Richard said professors were unaware of these changes in the Schedule Adjustment Policy.
“Once the policy changed we wanted the faculty to move away from the old procedure of scheduling readjustments and allow the new system to sink in. We encourage professors, during the first week of the semester, to update class rosters every time before their specific class, just to ensure all added or dropped students are accounted for and won’t be withdrawn.”
The Course Retake Policy enforces two changes for students who look to retake classes they have already enrolled in previous semesters.
The higher of the two grades in both attempts will be factored into your overall grade point average.
The previous policy required the second grade be also factored into the student’s grade point average.
Secondly, to accommodate students filling out their major requirements, students are allowed to retake a course that would not qualify for retake under the old policy.
In order for the retake, students must fill out a retake form and obtain the signature of the department’s chair. Students must then deliver the form to the Registrar’s Office and register for the appropriate class.
The online scheduling will not permit the registration of a class in which the student received a grade of C or better.
Although there is great praise for the new changes in policy, not all students are thrilled with the scheduling adjustments.
KSC senior Billy Waitt had been prepared for his last year of college ever since the summer weather hit.
He planned on finishing up his management major and graduating in the spring. With changes to the academic policy, Waitt has had to rearrange his entire major and learned he won’t be graduating in the spring.
“I registered for my classes online just like it said to, but it allowed me to register for classes I didn’t have prerequisites for. So I tried to register for the class I hadn’t passed the last two times I took them and the teacher wouldn’t allow me to register because of the new policy,” Waitt said.
The only option was the Career Academic Advising located in Elliot Hall.
“They told me the best option was for me to create an individualized major, ‘make your own major,’ and merge both my management and economic classes into one major. So currently I’m in the process of creating my own major for my senior year, and have no choice but to stay at least an extra semester,” Waitt said.
Students will receive Dean’s List recognition at the end of each semester only if they have completed a minimum of 12 graded credits and earned at least a grade point average of 3.50 or higher.
The semester GPA is never rounded in determining the Dean’s List, and students must complete all credited classes without an incomplete or in-progress grade.
Senior Health and Fitness major Lucas Fiehler said the change is good, as long as people keep track of every registered class online.
“I’ve seen kids get kicked out of classes they’re trying to add because the teacher didn’t update the roster, now those kids can’t find classes to fill their schedule. It’s just going to take some time for the procedure to sink in for everybody.”
The Career Academic Advising (CAA), as stated before, is located within Elliot Hall on the Keene State Campus.
Student Assistant Monica Fuller said the CAA is open to students who are having any issues with scheduling, academics or financial aid.
“During the first week of the semester we help students who withdrew from classes and need help finding new classes that are open. A lot of students couldn’t come back this semester because of financial aid changes and we have helped students who don’t have enough financial aid so they could come back,” Fuller said.
Richard stated if you’re having scheduling or academic issues to consult your faculty advisor if you have questions, and the Academic & Career Advising Center or Registrar’s Office may serve as a resource as well.
“The way it is with the old system is that professors are used to the process being run that way. That’s what they grew up with and changing it is hard to get used to. We encourage students who are having trouble to contact advising for any assistance, we’re here to help,” Richard said.
Jon Carey can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org