The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Texas limits undergraduate drops

By Susan Tallant/editor-in -chief

Attention TCC freshmen: students can no longer shop and drop classes like those treading before … at least not without consequence.

New this semester, a rule fresh from the House that limits the number of classes a new student can drop to six. Students enrolled in a public university prior to this semester are exempt.

Rep. Fred Brown, from College Station, wrote the bill with hopes of easing some of the financial strain placed on the state from refunding course money.

“ The state spends a tremendous amount of money supporting 25 percent of the tuition and fees,” Brown said in an e-mail to The Collegian. “It truly becomes a burden to the state, as well as the expenditures that could be provided in other areas.”

Brown said students also are burdened because of closed enrollments.
“ Many students are unable to enroll in classes that are required by their major, thus preventing them from graduating in a timely manner,” he said.

Brown said the Legislature is expecting a half million new university students by the year 2010 and the state needs not only to be able to pay for them, but to make room for them.

“ I am hoping the six class drop limit will encourage students to become more productive and responsible and graduate in four years, thus allowing the state to support a new generation of students,” Brown said.

The new law may help ease the burden on the state, but according to some TCC administrators, problems will soon begin in other areas.

“ It is very ill conceived and a disadvantage to students at community colleges,” Dr. Cathie Jackson, director of admission and records, said. “[Our students] are the ones with the most complicated lives and greatest academic challenges.”

Jackson said another part that is so distressing about the ruling is that the students’ drop records follow them to every public university.

“ There is no clean slate,” she said.
Jackson said the change creates an enormous cultural shift for everyone involved.

“ This is a huge advisement issue,” she said, “but we will work through it as best as we can.”

Dr. Robert Aguero, vice chancellor of learning and support services, said once students drop six classes, they would not be allowed to drop any more during their entire undergraduate career without getting an approved Drop Exception.

“ This will not be an easy process,” he said. “It will be up to the vice president of teaching and learning services to make that decision.”

Aguero said the burden of proof would then fall upon the student to provide evidence of why the course could not be completed such as a doctor’s note or employer’s note.

Dr. Faye Murphy, director of program development, said faculty and administration are going to change their ways of working with students to help them make better decisions so they will not drop as many classes.

“The tools we are developing to provide information about course content and instructor expectations will help students make better decisions about their schedule,” she said.

Official drop exceptions for students who enroll in a public institution of higher education as a first time freshman in Fall 2007 or later:
1. The student, a member of the student’s family, or a person of equally important relationship to the student experiences a serious illness or other debilitating condition.
2. The student becomes responsible for the care of a sick, injured, or needy person.
3. There is a death in the student’s family or of a non-family member of equally important relationship.
4. The student or a member of the student’s family, or a person of equally important relationship to the student, is called to active duty service as a member of the Texas National Guard or the armed forces of the United States.
5. There is a change of the student’s work schedule that is beyond the student’s control.
6. The College determines that there is other good cause for the student to drop the course.
— source

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