Tuesday, June 26, 2012

How Come We Can't Use Drop/Add to Get Better Students?

It can be exciting and nerve-wracking, but there are a few things a graduating high school senior should know about getting ready for college.

The authors of the book The Secrets of College Success, Lynn Jacobs and Jeremy Hyman, tell The New York Times freshmen should make sure the courses they choose are the right level for them. And they recommend using the drop/add process if the student feels he could get a better professor.

College juniors Daisy Kim and Nancy Miles say the best advice they have is that freshmen should complete their homework promptly.

"Oh my gosh, please, don't procrastinate," warns Kim.

"You'll hear it, like, all the time but literally, it's so serious," says Miles.


  1. Use drop/add to get better students? I wish I could shoot them. I had this one grad student from the ed school I really wish I could have done more to stop: that idiot will be a menace.

  2. Oh my gosh, it's good to know that college juniors are so, like, articulate.

  3. I think it's very difficult to tell exactly how good a professor will be during the drop/add period. You get, what, one or maybe two classes with the proffie?

    When I was taking classes, with very few exceptions, I didn't feel as if I knew how good my instructor was going to be until we'd met for at least three weeks. Occasionally "wow" professors got me hooked the first class and ended up delivering the promise I saw. The one time I did use drop/add, the proffie in question was an adjunct in for the person I'd signed up for, who had to take an unexpected leave of absence. She spent the first class telling us how students at our college weren't as smart as the ones at the uni she usually taught at and then had us do a writing sample. The second class, she handed back the samples, told us most of them weren't even worthy of her comments or a grade, and then berated us some more.

    When I dropped her class, I ended up with another adjunct who came to class drunk most days and couldn't even remember whether he'd graded assignments, but at least the discussions were entertaining because he was a funny drunk.

    My college's drop/add period is now just two days long. Students can't be put into a class that's already met unless their class is canceled and there's nowhere else for them to go.


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