Monday, April 29, 2013

I Have Some Reservations About that Class...

Over the course of the last couple weeks, the CAS Advisors have been sifting through registration difficulties to help you get the most ideal schedule possible.  However, if you received the "reserve closed" error during registration, there wasn't very much we could do to help you...until today!!

What does it mean if I receive the "reserve closed" message?

Many majors offered at the University of Scranton require specific courses to be taken at specific times during a student's academic career.  Not getting these classes by a certain point could place a student in peril of not graduating on time.  Therefore, to ensure that this does not happen and that all University of Scranton students have a fair opportunity to graduate in four years, departments temporarily reserve seats in required classes for their declared majors and minors.  Students are generally granted one week after Freshmen Registration to claim their reserved seats. 

The Reservations Have Been Removed!

For most classes, reservations are being removed today.  The process officially began at 8:30am but may not be completed until later in the day.  If you think the reservation should have been removed from a class but you are still unable to register for it, you can call our Assistant Dean, Mrs. Butler at 570-941-7562 or email her at to seek additional information.  

Not all reserves get removed.  Some sections have seats reserved for incoming freshman.  Others are reserved for seniors only.  These seats will continue to be reserved. 

I Have a Problem You Didn't Mention!

If you have any other issues, please let us know!  We are aware of certain concerns, such as the fact that organic chemistry is closed, and we are working with department chairs to address them, but you should email me so I am aware of your situation.  If you are holding out for a particular professor or time in any class, grab a seat in a less ideal section and email the advising center to get your name added to the wish list.  We check course enrollments each day and if we see an open seat and you are next on the list, we will add you to the course.  It's a long summer and people change majors, leave the university or realize that they no longer are permitted to continue in certain classes.  Seats may open up!

Katie Robinson
CAS Academic Advisor

Friday, April 5, 2013

Dropping a Course

Academic Difficulty
Midterm grades are in and things aren't going so well in that one class.  You got a deficiency report and an email from the Advising Center and you are wondering if you should stick it out or drop the class.  The decision to drop a course at this point in the semester is not to be made lightly.  You've come so far and probably committed a significant quantity of time and tuition dollars to this course.  You might be concerned about your GPA but equally worried about the impact of a "W" on you future goals.  The last day to drop a course is April 11 so you can't put off a decision much longer...what's the right choice?

Know the Facts
Earning an "F" or a "D" can have a serious and detrimental impact on your GPA.  If your overall GPA falls below a 2.0, you will be placed on academic probation and potentially face dismissal.  While you can reverse the impact on your GPA by retaking the course in a future semester (at The University of Scranton only-not at another institution), the first grade will always remain on your academic transcript.  You do not earn credit for any course in which you earn an "F".  

A "W" does not impact GPA.  While it also remains on your academic transcript forever, it will not impact your academic standing and is generally not viewed as negatively as an "F" or a "D".  Taking a "W" might not be the right choice for everyone but it can sometimes be the only way to make the best of a bad situation.

Deciding What to Do
So should you drop or stick it out?  There is no easy answer but there are some steps you can follow to help you arrive at a decision:

  • Talk to your professor.  Don't skip this step even if you are worried that he or she is unapproachable or that the meeting will be awkward.  Talking to your professor can help you determine exactly where you stand in the course.  At this meeting you should be trying to figure out the answers to questions like:  what exactly is my grade right now?  What is contributing to my deficiency at this point?  (test or quiz grades? attendance? projects?)  What is the maximum grade I can receive in this course?  Is it realistic to think I can pass?  If I remain in the course, what strategies can I employ to maximize my efforts?
  • Talk to an advisor.  We can help you sort out the facts and weigh your options.  There is a lot of information to consider.  For example, for some courses, you only have to pass.  In some, you must earn a "C" or better.  In that case, hanging on for a "D" doesn't make sense.  We can also help you determine what your options are for repeating a course.  If you decide to remain in the class, we can connect you with resources to make your semester more successful.  If you decide to drop, you can start the process in our office.  
  • Talk to Financial Aid.  In order to maintain financial aid and scholarships, students must maintain a cumulative GPA of above a 2.0 and must maintain the PACE requirement established for their academic class.  PACE is the total percentage of the courses for which a student is registered after the drop date (March 1, 2013) that he or she completes.  Freshmen and Sophomores must complete 65% of the courses while juniors and seniors must complete 70% of courses.  Contact the Financial Aid for information regarding how your drop might impact your PACE.

 Katie Robinson
CAS Academic Advisor