Considering Dropping A Course

When considering whether we will advise a student to drop one or more courses, we take some of the following things into account. It is not a question of whether you are smart enough - we know you are intellectually capable of learning the material. Instead, it is a question of what is possible under the circumstances.

How overwhelmed is the student? The more overwhelmed a person is feeling, the more likely they will become stuck and unable to move forward in their courses.

How much work is outstanding? If a student has two or more missed assignments, quizzes, tests, etc. in a course, we start to worry about a snowball effect. The same is true if they are behind in multiple courses. Being behind makes it hard to learn the current material as it is being taught.

How many deferred exams or deferred conditions does the student have? Given the work involved in getting ready for a final exam or completing an outstanding assignment, these should be considered the equivalent of an on-going course. For example, if a student has two deferred final exams and then takes four courses in the subsequent semester, they are effectively taking six courses.

Does the student have a realistic expectation of the marks they need to pass the course? Do they have a realistic expectation of the work they will need to do? Is it feasible to accomplish everything that needs to be done under the current circumstances?

Note: it is better to take fewer courses and complete them within the semester than to take more courses and have to defer finishing them until a subsequent semester. You are much more likely to be successful when your learning is in sync with the class/semester.

In all of this, we want to avoid situations where you are going to feel worse because of the overwhelming amount of learning/work you need to do. Learning takes a lot of mental, emotional and physical energy. For many of our students, if they deplete all of their energy it exacerbates their symptoms or causes a flare-up of an illness. We want you to be healthy and feel good about your academic work!

Finally, it is better to take fewer courses and get good grades, than to take lots of courses and get poor grades simply to earn the credits. Poor grades tend to haunt students in the future.