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The news site of Santa Barbara City College.

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The news site of Santa Barbara City College.

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SBCC late-add deadline questioned

Petitions for late adds are piling up in Admissions and Records, with almost 700 students filing paperwork so far this semester.

The first nine weeks of the semester students can apply for late adds of classes. Technically, the deadline to do so is Oct. 22. However, 659 students have applied, a marked increase from last semester.

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But late add petitions don’t stop coming in those first nine weeks.

The late add policy is open-ended. Students can return petitions at anytime, and applications have come in weeks, months, and even years after the class was supposedly taken.

“The longest is a couple of years,” said Allison Curtis, Director of Admissions and Records.

The growing numbers worry Curtis as well as English professor Ann Wilkinson.

They are both felt it was urgent to bring up this issue to the Academic Senate last Wednesday.

“We thought we needed to bring this up to see if nine weeks might be too generous,” Wilkinson said. “We need things clarified.”

“It is a significant number [of petitions] each year,” Curtis said. “Every time we meet, there are new late adds. We need to know what’s going on, we need more information.”

Certain criteria have to be met for a late add.

To be eligible, a student has to state the reason why he or she didn’t register in time. Also, the instructor for that specific class has to sign and testify that the student actually attended that class and qualifies for the units.

If a student’s application fulfills those requirements within the first nine weeks of the semester, the class will be added automatically.

The delayed cases create a lot of problems for the committee. In order to verify the case, the committee has to talk to the instructor of that given class, and that isn’t always that easy.

“It’s very difficult,” Wilkinson said. “What if the instructor is not available anymore? It’s a dilemma.”

Some students wait with the late adds but still go to the class and take tests and exams.

Students who aren’t registered in the class are not allowed to participate, hindering their ability to benefit from instruction.

Wilkinson said those students are taking seats away in classes from others.

“It creates problems for the student,” she said. “There can be problems when other classes can’t be added, and also problems with financial aid.”

Wilkinson also said that when this system was created, the administration didn’t anticipate this many applications.

“It was intended for rare exceptions but it’s now growing and we need to see why,” she said.

Wilkinson said it’s not urgent to get this fixed fast, just that the rules need to be clearer.

“We want it to be thoughtful from both faculty and students,” Wilkinson said. “We want a solution that benefits the institution as a whole.”

Wilkinson said it’s not as much of a workload issue as a policy issue. Therefore, it was brought to the senate’s attention last week. The senate members agreed that this has to be discussed by both the academic and student senates.

It will now go through the Academic Policy Committee. Both Curtis and Wilkinson hope that the Senate will take a vote on it soon and come up with a solution.

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