The new rule allows flexibility to students who want to drop classes during the COVID-19 pandemic.
By Cassandra Nava, Staff Writer
Community colleges across California are now allowing students to drop courses with an excused withdrawal (EW) rather than a withdrawal (W), due to the coronavirus pandemic.
As of March 30, the spring semester resumed after a two-week hiatus. Almost all classes are offered either online or through remote delivery. During a regular spring session at Valley College, dropping this late into the semester would result in a withdrawal on a student’s transcript, affecting grade point average (GPA) and hindering financial aid disbursements. However, due to COVID-19, any student who withdraws from a course up until the week of finals will receive an excused withdrawal instead. This will have no negative effect on transcripts, GPA or financial aid.
“In all cases, a withdrawal due to extraordinary conditions should not affect a student’s academic progress, academic probation, or ability to repeat a course,” according to a statement from California Community Colleges frequently asked questions web page.
To drop a class, the student must log into their portal, then select the “Manage Classes” icon and click “Drop Classes.” The withdrawal will automatically appear as excused on a student’s transcript, there is no need to make any additional steps.
While Valley students can drop a course for an EW, they have until May 10 to do so under the current system. According to President Barry Gribbons, Valley is currently working on creating a process in which students who drop after May 10 can still receive an EW.
Students who are veterans should first check in with their Campus Certifying Officer before dropping a course. For students concerned with the technicalities surrounding their financial aid or refunds, the financial aid office is currently taking emails at firstname.lastname@example.org. Disbursements will continue as scheduled and the next one will be on April 20, according to Gribbons.
For more general information, students are urged to visit Valley College’s website.
“I would encourage you all to try out the courses for a few weeks,” said Gribbons in an online Town Hall addressed to students via Youtube on March 30. “There is absolutely no difference in dropping now or trying them out for a few weeks and seeing how they go.”