By Michael Margavitch
Hofstra students began their spring semester two weeks ago with a new set of classes, teachers, and possibilities to the students. However, a student's optimism can quickly fade within the first day of class. The things that can go wrong in less than two hours are endless. The teacher is boring. The workload promises more than the student can handle. The books cost three times the amount that exists in a student's bank account. Can this mistake be remedied?
The click of a button can make these problems go away. A student can drop a class through their Portal and add another one to fulfill their requirements. They can then attend the next session of their new class and catch up quickly, as they usually only missed a quick run-through of the syllabus.
The younger crop of undergraduate students can still make this mistake as they register after the graduating seniors. However, this makes sense, as seniors have specific classes needed to fulfill their major requirements. An ambitious student with plenty of time left at Hofstra should not stand between a senior's cap and gown. Younger undergrads can fall back on distribution classes and electives.
This means that dropping a class for seniors is a more difficult, if not impossible, undertaking. At this point, seniors need to take the classes for which they have registered. There are no other options unless they want to write Hofstra a check for an additional semester. In this case, seniors need to perform the best they possibly can in these unfavorable circumstances.
Prerequisites for a major also present problems to the younger undergraduate students. If a student chooses not to visit their advisor, he can see in the portal that there are classes that need to be taken in order to register for another class in their major. The timeline that the student has to follow limits the ability to simply drop a class.
The final negative scenarios involve credits. If a student only signed up for the minimum 12 credits to take in a semester, dropping a class would most likely result in a nine-credit semester. If a student is unable to find a good class after dropping, they are a part-time student, which presents problems in regard to scholarships they may have received, living on campus, and student employment.
Just as the students at Hofstra begin to stress over this semester, registration for Fall 2012 begins in less than a month. Looming registration seems to never disappear.
While preparing for a fall schedule, students should disregard RateMyProfessor.com. After they click the "add" button, they should not be able to drop a class so easily after one session in the fall. Floating between distribution classes and electives is reasonable. Dropping major prerequisites or requirements will just leads to trouble.