New class withdrawal policy approved

Coastal Carolina University’s Faculty Senate approved a motion to change the withdrawal policy during their meeting on Wednesday, March 29.

The motion, which was submitted by the Academic Affairs Committee, included changes to the timing and limits of student withdrawal from classes. These proposed changes are to limit the number of credits that an undergraduate student can drop with a W grade to 18 credits total. W grades are recorded on a student’s transcript but are not factored into GPA calculation.

It also included an extension of the date to drop a course with a W grade to the last day of class and a proposal to eliminate the WF grade, which is given when a student withdraws from a class after the deadline for withdrawing with a W. However, a WF grade is recorded on a student’s transcript and is factored into their GPA as a failing grade.

The proposal for the motion was justified to improve student retention and decrease the number of students who lose financial aid due to excessive course drops. According to the proposal, this policy change will not impact students admitted prior to Fall 2023.

Provost Daniel Ennis spoke at the faculty senate meeting and said addressing withdrawal rates and increasing student retention is something he and his team have been working on since 2019. Despite his upcoming departure from the University on June 1, he emphasized the importance of policy changes in increasing retention and the upcoming challenge for his successor to achieve this.

“I just want to note that things like withdrawal dates and pace are actually extraordinarily important when you look at student success,” Ennis said.

The motion passed in a 52-3 vote with no members abstaining.

The only motion that wasn’t passed was one to make calendar changes to the Spring 2024 semester.

The motion proposed for the start date for that semester to begin on Jan 17 instead of Jan. 8. This also included changing April 24 as the last day of classes and May 2 as the last day of finals to having May 3 be the last day of the term and allow final exams within the last week of classes.

Some senate members expressed concern about this policy change such as Associate Professor Jonathan Acuff. He said he initially voted in favor of this policy change when the provost office had sent a survey out but then reconsidered.

“I am married to a lecturer who proceeded to bang me over the head for voting for that, reminding me that people who teach [May 5] will have a very different grading experience at the end of the semester if they vote this in,” Acuff said.

The motion was voted to be postponed and discussed at a later date.