At Saddleback College, there are many reasons that students drop classes each semester, but some reasons are more legitimate than others.
According to Camille Desopo, counselor and instructor at Saddleback, there are essentially three acceptable reasons for dropping a class.
1. Difficulty Level:
If you register for a class and find it’s just too difficult for you, it’s ok to drop it and move into a lower level first.
Anthony Berg, 19, communications, said, “For me, if initially I feel like I won’t be successful in a class I’ll drop it, maybe for financial reasons as well.”
“Sometimes a class is too difficult. For example, I’ve seen students who may test into a particular math class and then they take that math class and they find that even though they tested into it, it’s too difficult for them,” Desopo said. “They may drop it and move to a lower math class.”
2. Medical Reasons:
If medical emergencies come up or the schedule you registered for won’t accommodate your medical needs, don’t be afraid to drop a class for one that is easier to manage.
Desopo said that personal reasons might interfere with a student completing a class such as a family emergency or illness.
Daisy Bautista, 20, undecided, said that she had to drop a class her first semester at Saddleback, because of the inflexibility of one of her instructors. The instructor was unwilling to work with her schedule needs due to a medical condition at the time.
“I did drop a class once, because the professor didn’t want to work with my schedule or me having to miss class or leave class early due to emergency situations,” Bautista said.
3. Overloaded schedule:
The stress of juggling college classes, work and a social life/extra curricular activities can feel like way too much, and sometimes it can be. According to Desopo, it’s entirely acceptable to drop a class if you’ve taken on too many units and need some room to breathe.
“If a student is overbooked, maybe a student registered for too many units and is finding it hard to keep up with a work schedule or any other schedule, so he or she could drop a class and it’d be perfectly legitimate,” Desopo said.
However she does warn students to watch drop dates and drop the earliest you can.
“It all comes down to being responsible,” Desopo said. “Read the course description before you register, find out if there are any recommended preparation courses that you should take first, even if they’re not required. Be conscious of the drop date, so if there’s something going on, you can drop it before that deadline.
Another reason students may drop a class may be a mismatch between them and the instructor.
“Sometimes a student and an instructor have a personality clash,” Desopo said. “It does happen, but I usually suggest that students try and work that out, or try to stay in the class despite that, but sometimes it does happen.”
Liz Perez, 21, interior design major said, “If I didn’t like the teacher’s personality I might drop a class.”
While all of these are adequate reasons to drop a class, Desopo still encourages students to plan ahead and drop classes sooner rather than later.
“If at all possible, it’s really good for a student to know when the drop deadlines are and drop it before you get a ‘W,” Desopo said. “Because if you have a ‘W,” you can only take a class three times, and if you have a ‘W’ on your transcript, that counts as one time.”