UI to use online system for dropping classes


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University of Iowa students often are forced to undergo a tedious process if they choose to drop classes mid-semester.

But with a new online system scheduled to be implemented later this year or early next year, UI officials are looking to make the procedure easier.

The Standard Work Flow Process will allow students to drop and add classes online mid-semester without having to go through the process of getting signatures and waiting in line as they do now.

Though officials are still working out the details, students will submit drop requests electronically for approval.

"After going through all sorts of processes, ITS assured campus that it could build a system that could serve students," said Tom Kruckeberg, a UI senior associate registrar.

Despite the changes to the process, the fee for dropping classes will remain at $12.

Kruckeberg said the current paper-based student record system was created in the 1960s and needed to be updated.

Students already seem on board with the new program.

"Being electronic would be so much easier," UI freshman Chad Leonard said. "You wouldn’t have the line and the backup and the people waiting. I could see the downfalls of doing online, [if] they mess up information."

Even though the process will be easier, officials don’t expect the number of students dropping classes to jump. That number has stayed about the same in recent years.

"It seems to be static," UI Registrar Larry Lockwood said. "The numbers are going to be no different because the habits of the students are the same."

Lockwood said freshmen and sophomores drop classes more often than juniors and seniors because upperclassmen likely have "an idea of where they are going."

Lockwood said he would rather see a student drop a course than hold onto it and wait until last minute.

"Students getting to that drop date, you’re better off making that decision to drop the course or if you’re too late, you’re better off going to the dean," he said. "They aren’t going to bite your head off."

Lockwood and Kruckeberg both said that if students go to Calvin Hall on the deadline date to drop classes around 3 p.m., they will find a line out the door.

"We’d rather see you drop a course during that week so another student can get into it," Lockwood said.