English, science and math classes see highest number of withdrawals

April 4, 2016

Evan Musick
[email protected]

Like dandelions being pulled from a front lawn, students might believe that some classes are designed to weed them out.

As of mid-March, there were 3,413 course withdrawals among 728 courses within the college of Letters, Arts, and Sciences for the fall 2015 and part of the spring 2016 semesters.

“These would be people who had to appeal in order to get a ‘W’ on the transcript,” said Robyn Marschke, director of Institutional Research, in an email.

A withdrawal grade is given when a student withdraws from the class after census date. Students do not receive a refund for
these courses.

In no particular order, the top ten classes that have experienced the most withdrawals are Chemistry 1401, 1402, 1411 and 1412, English 1310 and 1410, Biology 2010, Math 1040 and 1350, and Psychology 1000.

Among these classes, there were 748 course withdrawals for the fall 2015 and part of the spring 2016 semesters.

The subject areas that generated the most failures in the fall, in no particular order, were psychology, chemistry, physics and energy science, biology, economics, math and the Gateway Program Seminar.

Howie Hill, junior computer science major, has taken a majority of these classes. He said some were easier than others.

When it came to General Chemistry II, he said the class was not constructed well.

“I thought it was harder than it had to be,” said Hill.

Hill said he passed the class, but saw many of his peers struggle, adding that a lot of entry level courses he had taken seemed to be harder.

One course that he took was Calculus I, which he also thought was difficult. He said that once he took a higher level course, it was tailored differently.

“By the time you get to the Calculus III level, they work to keep you,” he said.

Dakota Wilch, sophomore computer science major, had a different perspective on these classes. He is currently taking English 1350.

“If you put in the work for that class, you’ll see the grade you deserve,” he said. “It’s not the professor’s fault; it’s the material he is teaching.”

Peter Braza, dean of LAS, said that he didn’t know of any classes that were specifically designated to remove students.

“Some courses are just hard,” he said.

Braza added that completing a difficult course is beneficial for a student.

“You can get confidence in those courses,” he said. “You can (succeed) in a hard course, you can do it in a job.”

Classes with most withdrawals in the College of Letters, Arts, and Sciences
2015-16, listed in no particular order

Chemistry 1401, 1402, 1411 and 1412
English 1310 and 1410
Biology 2010
Math 1040 and 1350
Psychology 1000