Hello students!

Can you believe we are beyond the 5th week of school already! It is about the time to be hitting midterm exams. While you may be feeling a sharp increase in stress right now, this time in the semester also brings an opportunity for reflection on how you are progressing in your courses. Your professors will help with this reflection by providing midterm grade reports to those students who are currently receiving a D, an F or performing unsatisfactorily in their classes. These reports, if you receive them, should give you a good idea where you stand in the class. They also let you know where your time would be best focused if you are planning on remaining enrolled in those classes for the rest of the semester.

Just a reminder, if you are considering dropping a class, your last day to do so is Friday, November 3rd.  Since we all desire that you are successful in your courses this term, it will be important to determine what classes you are able to finish well. Below are some questions to consider as you are making the decision:

1. Did you receive a midterm grade report in one or more of your classes? If so, then this might be a course that you want to consider removing from your class schedule. Remember that midterm grade reports will only be given for students receiving a D, F or performing unsatisfactorily in their classes. So your grade might be in the C range, which is not acceptable to you, but would not trigger a midterm report.

2. Have you talked to your professor about your current course progress? Many professors do not submit midterm grade reports, so you might be earning one but not know it. It may also be that you are receiving a D or an F right now, but that grade is based off one test, and there are other opportunities to raise the grade as the semester progresses. Make sure to check in with your professors to get their opinions on your ability to successfully finish the course this semester.

3. Do you have at least 12 units? All students must have at least 12 units each semester. This limit makes you a full time student at the college and is one way to ensure that you are making appropriate progress towards your degree. Dropping below 12 units may impact your housing (if you live on campus), your financial aid (both Westmont and federal aid), your ability to graduate “on time”, and any driver discounts or insurance coverage you may have. Please check with the appropriate parties before attempting to drop below 12 units.

4. Do you feel that you have done your best in the class? Some classes are just not a good fit for your learning style. Some do not work well with the other classes and demands that you have on your time during the semester. It is not a failure to remove yourself from a class which is stretching your time too far and causing you to do poorly in other areas. But if you have taken a half hearted attempt to the class and you feel that with a little more focus you could be successful, then stay in the course.

5. Above all, discuss any changes in your course schedule with your advisor. You want to make sure that you know how this decision will impact your long term goals before you make it final. Your advisors signature is not required when dropping a class, so any changes to your schedule are your responsibility. Choose wisely!

Sonya Welch

Coordinator of Academic Support Services