Withdrawal rates affect future students

University officials are studying the reasons students opt out of classes in order to design a better retention method.Retention efforts on campus have become a greater focus because the funding formula was recently changed. Funding is now based on graduation rate rather than enrollment.

“We have not seen any significant change where students are withdrawing from courses,” said Bobby Hodum, enrollment management executive director.

Students can drop a class with a W, or a withdrawal, from the third week of the semester until the end of advisement week. Withdrawing from a required class for your major means you will have to take the class at a later date.

“The withdrawal policy is there to help students,” Hodum said. “Just because a student drops with a “W” doesn’t mean that it’s a non-success story.”

To help with retention efforts, admissions is studying several classes based on the “DFW” rate, or the rate at which students drop the course. It will be based on how many students finish a course with a grade of a D, an F or a W. They will also chart students who finish the class with a letter grade of C or better.

Based on the results of this study, admissions can begin to uncover the reasons why students are dropping classes and fix the problems.

There could be many reasons for students to drop their class, Hodum said. He used class size as an example.

Now, the study is only implemented within certain academic departments.