UC Berkeley College of Letters and Science cuts late change requests to 1 per college career

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In an effort to streamline the late action request process, the College of Letters and Science announced that L&S students may now submit only one late schedule change request during their entire campus career.

In previous years, students could submit multiple requests throughout their time in the college to add, drop or change the grading option of a class after the add/drop deadline. Under the new policy, however, students may only make one request during their time on campus or two requests during the same semester.

According to the L&S website, “The College of L&S will not consider additional requests in subsequent semesters.”

L&S Dean of Undergraduate Studies Bob Jacobsen said under the new policy, students may submit one to two late schedule change requests, which will be automatically approved. The drawback to this quicker method, according to Jacobsen, is that students may only do this once.

In previous years, Jacobsen said students had to undergo an extensive, eight-step process to request a late schedule change, and they often didn’t hear back for several weeks. Additionally, Jacobsen said, advisors had to sift through hundreds of late schedule change requests per semester, leaving little time for academic advising.

“Advisors should be talking to students, not going through paperwork,” Jacobsen said.

Campus sophomore and L&S student Avani Kelekar, however, expressed concern over the new policy, suggesting that the college limit the number of late schedule change requests a student can submit to one per year rather than one per academic career.

“I understand that they are trying to open up space for academic advising, but under the new policy, (L&S advisors) assume that we would have this type of circumstance once while that may not be the case for all students at Cal,” said campus sophomore and L&S student Jose Reyes-Hernandez in an email,

L&S also disposed of its “semester out” policy, which required students who wished to withdraw for a semester to also sit out the subsequent semester. According to Jacobsen, under the new policy, if a student wishes to withdraw, the student can choose to come back during the subsequent semester if they please.

“The decision to drop a course has implications, but in the end, it’s the student that should decide,” Jacobsen said.

Amber Tang covers student life. Contact her at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter at @ambertang_dc.