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Course Scheduling Policies

The following policies and practices are established by the Office of the Provost and implemented by the Office of the University Registrar to ensure courses and classrooms are scheduled to support the needs of students, faculty and the University. The primary goal of course scheduling policies is to facilitate student registration resulting in conflict free schedules and timely graduation with an array of courses that are based upon student need. The Office of the University Registrar will continue to work collaboratively with academic departments to accommodate the pedagogical preference of faculty while maximizing classroom capacities and room availability. The following policies and procedures will be enforced fairly and consistently across departments, while recognizing special circumstances may require further review. Departments and schools are strongly encouraged to follow the list of policies when planning courses and facilitating student registration.

Contents

Registration

Classes During Co-op
Closed Section Overrides
Independent Study Courses

Scheduling: Planning & Monitoring

Course Meeting Time Blocks
Course Offering Distribution Policy
Classroom Scheduling and Prioritization
Monitoring of Course Offerings
Cancellation of Courses During Registration
Cancellation of Under-Enrolled Courses
Course Minimum Enrollment Policy
Time Equivalency Policy
Terms Offered
Common Exam Hour
Pre-registration Audit Time Period
Special Topics Courses
Classroom Reservations for Non-Course Events

Scheduling Functionalities

Cross-listing
Waitlisting
Reserved Seating – Process & Departmental Approval

Attributes

Diversity Attribute
Sustainability Attribute
Drexel e-Learning Attribute
Part-time Degree Completion Attribute
Writing Intensive Courses
Tuition-Fee Waived/Non-Billable Courses

OUR Procedural Policies

Freshmen Blocks
Galleys
ROTC Courses
Study Abroad Courses

Registration

Classes During Co-op

Departments or students seeking requirements of the Classes During Coop policy can refer to the policy as listed on the Provost’s website.  The Office of the University Registrar will manage the following guidelines as it relates to scheduling:

  • Registration is subject to course availability within established enrollment limits. Closed Section Overrides will not be granted, no new course sections will be added, and students cannot wait list for a closed section.
  • Registration for these students begins Week 10 of the term prior to the term of enrollment through an online time ticket in DrexelOne.

Closed Section Override

A request for a Closed Section Override is made by a student when a course section has reached its maximum capacity that is, when room, regulatory or pedagogical limits established by the College or School in conjunction with the Office of the Registrar have been met and the course section is closed. Consideration of an override request by the College/School and the Office of the University Registrar must balance the needs of the individual student against the well-being and vitality of the class. The following provides the criteria by which student requests are evaluated as well as the step-by-step process for enacting a course override.

 

Steps for Academic Advisor and Department that Owns the Course:

 

  • The Collegiate Advisor/Office of the Dean (hereafter the Advisor) is responsible for evaluating the student request in order to determine whether an override is warranted. Criteria for a Closed Section Override have been established to guide this decision.
  • The Instructor is responsible to comply with the maximum capacities for the course section established by the Department.
  • The Department Scheduler of the department offering the course is responsible to manage pedagogical, seating, and/or regulatory maximums established by Departments in conjunction with the Office of the University Registrar.
  • The Office of the University Registrar will ensure that the Criteria for Closed Section Override are being met and will process the request.

Criteria for a Closed Section Override:

 

The following Criteria for a Closed Section Override are to be considered by the Advisor in shaping the decision to advance an override request to the Office of the University Registrar.

  • The student meets all of the course prerequisite, co-requisite and registration restrictions.
  • The student is a graduating senior in his or her last term and must complete the specified course in order to graduate or,
  • The student is a graduating senior not in his or her last term of study but needs the specified course as a prerequisite in order not to delay graduation. In order to qualify as a graduating senior, the student must have applied for graduation and have AP status.
  • The student is a student-athlete or an ROTC member and cannot take the open section of the course in question because that section conflicts with required university commitments.
  • The student cannot attend the open section of the course because of access issues due to a disability. The student has such disability documented in the Office of Disability Services.
  • The Advisor has determined that the student requires the course in question in order to meet term-by-term requirements; that is, the course in question is required for the student to stay on track in his or her program of study.

Procedure

The request for override is evaluated according to the procedure outlined below. Final approval of an override assumes all criteria are met and signatures are obtained.

  • The student’s Advisor determines whether the student meets the Criteria. If the student does not meet the Criteria for Closed Section Override, the Advisor informs the student that the request is denied and works with the student to identify an alternate course that will meet program requirements, particularly if the student is registered for less than 12 credits for the term. Closed Section Overrides cannot be submitted for students on co-op.
  • If the student meets the Criteria, he or she must then complete an Add/Drop/Withdraw form, and obtain the instructor’s signature for the course.
    • The instructor’s signature on this form is provided as an indication that the addition of the student will not negatively impact his/her ability to achieve pedagogical goals for the course and that the seating capacity of the room has not been exceeded.
    • Once the instructor’s signature is obtained, the student must return the Add/Drop/Withdraw form to his/her Advisor. The Advisor will advance a Request for Closed Section Override on behalf of the student, signifying that the Advisor has evaluated the appeal on the basis of the established Criteria. All Closed Section Overrides must be submitted no later than the Thursday during the second week of the term in which the course is being offered.
  • The Request for Closed Section Override will be processed by the Office of the University Registrar within one business day following confirmation that the seating and/or regulatory capacity limits are not exceeded.

Upon notification from the Office of the University Registrar, the Advisor will contact the student via email to notify him or her of the outcome of the override request and registration status.

Independent Study

Independent Study (IS) courses may be offered for student to explore areas of special interest that are not provided in the existing curriculum. A faculty member and student must together negotiate a course of study. Independent Study may not be used to replace regularly offered courses or courses needed for a degree requirement without approval from the Office of the Provost.

IS Additions After Week 2 of Term:

During the pre-enrollment period through the end of the second week of classes for the term, all students, with the exception of first term freshmen, may add an independent study, thesis, dissertation or research course. Late additions of these courses should follow the late add/drop/withdraw appeal system currently in place for all late add/drop course appeals:

  • Student must complete the Late Add/Drop/Withdraw form and obtain necessary signatures of Academic Advisor and faculty member mentoring the student's independent study
  • Academic Advisor submits the form to the Provost's Office
  • The Senior Vice Provost for Academic Affairs will review the appeal. If approved, the form will be sent to the Office of the University Registrar for processing. If denied, the form will be sent back to the Academic Advisor

Scheduling: Planning & Monitoring

Course Meeting Time Blocks

The academic day is defined as the time period extending from 8:00 am through 10:00 pm. Lecture, including seminars and special topics, and recitation sections must adhere to the official meeting time block patterns. These patterns are listed below with starting times and can be found here in full: Valid Lecture Time Blocks(link)

Day Classes

3 Credits
  1. 1-Hour MWF – 8:00-8:50, 9:00-9:50, 10:00-10:50, 11:00-11:50, 12:00-12:50, 13:00-13:50, 14:00-14:50, 15:00-15:50, 16:00-16:50, 17:00-17:50
  2. 1.5-Hour TR – 8:00-9:20, 9:30-10:50, 11:00-12:20, 12:30-13:50, 14:00-15:20, 15:30-16:50, 17:00-18:20
  3. 1.5-Hour MW or WF – 8:00-9:20, 12:30-13:50, 15:30-16:50
  4. 3-Hours M or F – 8:00-10:50, 11:00-13:50, 14:00-16:50
4 Credits
  1. 1-Hour MTWR or TWRF – 8:00-8:50, 9:00-9:50, 10:00-10:50, 11:00-11:50, 12:00-12:50, 13:00-13:50, 14:00-14:50, 15:00-15:50, 16:00-16:50, 17:00-17:50
  2. 2-Hour MW, TR or WF – 8:00-9:50, 10:00-11:50, 12:00-13:50, 14:00-15:50, 16:00-17:50

Evening Classes

3 Credits
  1. 1.5-Hour TR – 18:30-19:50, 20:00-21:20
  2. 3-Hour M, W or F – 18:00-20:50, 19:00-21:50
  3. 3-Hour T or R – 18:30-21:20
4 Credits
  1. 2-Hour MW, TR, WF – 18:00-19:50, 20:00-21:50
  2. 4-Hour M, T, W, R or F – 18:00-21:50

Additional Notes:

  • Lecture and recitations less than 3 hours using 1-hour blocks must adhere to times listed in Day Classes #1 above.
  • 1.5 hour lecture/online hybrid and recitation sections can be scheduled Monday through Friday, but must adhere to the times listed in Day Classes #2 above.
  • To fully utilize the schedule, 1 and 2 credit courses and hybrid sections should be scheduled in such a way that a complete time block is created. For example, if two hybrid sections are being added, they should be scheduled at offsetting blocks such as T 9:30 and R 9:30.
  • Lab and studio sections are not bound by official time blocks.
  • Sections that do not adhere to the official time blocks will have the lowest classroom scheduling priority.

Extenuating circumstances regarding this policy should be addressed to the Office of the University Registrar.

Course Offering Distribution Policy

The Course Distribution Policy refers to the distribution of course offerings throughout the day; and is mandated by the Office of the Provost, as it greatly influences room scheduling and the ability for students to remain on their plan of study.

Daily Section Distribution - No departments or programs may schedule more than 50% of its sections between the hours of 10:00 am and 2:00 pm on any given day. At least 10% of sections must be offered at the 8:00 and/or 17:00 hours. Classes starting at 18:00 and later are excluded from this calculation

Weekly Section Distribution Rule - No department or program may schedule more than 10% of its sections as 170 minute or 150 minute one-day lecture sections in any given week. A maximum of 45% may be offered on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and at least 50% of its sections as 50 minute lecture sections meeting three times a week.

Extenuating circumstances regarding this policy should be addressed to the Office of the University Registrar.

Classroom Scheduling and Prioritization

Priority for centrally controlled classrooms is given to academic courses. Scheduling of classrooms for all other uses should be done in accordance with the Classroom Reservations for Non-Course Events policy.

Priority for classrooms assignments is based on:

  • Size of class
  • Instructional requirements related to:
    • Technology
    • Board space
    • Room layout
  • Accommodation requirements provided by the Office of Disability Services

Academic units who submit course galleys on time and adhere to academic policies relating to the appropriate use of approved time blocks and distribution of course offerings will be given a higher priority.

Course requests requiring centrally scheduled classrooms, including new course additions, meeting day, meeting time, and section max changes submitted after course schedules have been posted to the web are subject to classroom availability. The Office of the University Registrar will provide available meeting patterns to academic units after classroom assignments have been made.

Academic units with classrooms and other instructional spaces under their purview have first priority to those spaces for the assignment of classes. Scheduling of these spaces for events should only be completed after the academic classroom schedule has been finalized and in accordance with the Classroom Reservations for Non-Course Events policy.

Monitoring of Course Offerings

The University Registrar is responsible for implementing the policies for course meeting time blocks and course offering distributions. In consultation with the department offering the course, the Office of the Provost has the authority to redistribute/change course offering meeting times and/or days.

With the policies listed above, students and faculty will experience:

  • Fewer scheduling conflicts due to the reduction/elimination of overlapping course meeting times
  • Improved utilization of instructional space

Cancellation of Courses During Registration

An academic department may deem it necessary to cancel a course in which students are already registered. Students registered in the canceled course will be notified via email by the department offering the course or by the Office of the University Registrar, and are advised to seek an alternative course or contact their academic advisor for assistance.

Cancellation of Under-Enrolled Courses

In order for a course to be offered in any term, minimum enrollment criteria per the Course Minimum Enrollment policy must be met or the course will be canceled. In some cases, exemptions may be granted by the Senior Vice Provost for Academic Affairs based on valid justifications submitted by the academic department.

Procedure for requesting course cancellations and exemptions

For each academic term the Office of the University Registrar will send an electronic memo detailing section balancing and course justification proceedings to all academic schedulers no later than three weeks prior to the start of the term.

Departments who need to offer justifications for 6 or more courses must schedule a meeting with the Vice Provost for Academic Affairs and Office of the University Registrar to take place on the Thursday prior to the start of the term. During this meeting the following will be discussed:

  • The decision whether or not to cancel a section
  • The use of departmental space, if necessary, for any low enrolled courses that will remain active

The Office of the University Registrar will process the cancellation of any sections as decided in this meeting.

Course Minimum Enrollment Policy

The following course enrollment minimums have been established for each of the following categories:

  • Undergraduate lower division (000-199) – 16
  • Undergraduate upper division (200-499) – 12
  • Graduate lower division (Master's) (500-699) – 10
  • Graduate upper division (Doctoral) (700-999) – 6

Sections with enrollment below the proscribed minimum are subject to cancellation per the Cancellation of Under Enrolled Courses policy.

Laboratory and Studio course enrollments are set based on pedagogy, equipment, space, and other factors.

Time Equivalency Policy

  • Lecture/recitation 1 hr x 10 = 1 quarter hour
  • Lab/studio 2 or more hr x 10 = 1 quarter hour

Terms Offered

All course offerings are planned on a yearly basis by term using the Terms Offered. All departments are required to offer courses as they have them listed on the terms offered, and it is the responsibility of each department to ensure their course offerings are current. By working with the Office of the Registrar each course needs to have the correct terms when they are to be offered and need to reflect what is in the Course Catalog. The Office of the Registrar will have a separate list for Undergraduate and Graduate course offerings posted to their website for students to utilize when planning their schedules for the Academic Year. The Provost's Office mandated academic departments to create a Terms Offered list effective 10-11 AY and the list will be updated annually to include courses that have been added or inactivated in the catalog.

Common Exam Hour

The common exam hour blocks are MWF 8:00 a.m to 8:50 a.m. (Freshmen courses), TR 8:00 a.m to 8:50 a.m (Sophomore courses) & W 6:00 p.m. to 6:50 p.m. Common exams times are periods of times reserved for examinations and that are applied to multiple sections of a course, allowing all sections of a course to be examined together at the time indicated. Common Exam periods are typically reserved for lower-division (freshmen, sophomores and pre-juniors) courses. Students taking larger courses such as Calculus may be automatically registered in the common exam period (i.e. EXAM 080) as it is a co-requisite.

Pre-registration Audit Time Period

Departments may require an adjustment to a course offering following the second week of the term. In instances when a change needs to be made to meeting days or times, schedule types (Lecture, Lab, Recitation, etc.), or grade modes (Standard letter, Credit/No Credit, etc.), the re-registration of enrolled students must also occur. In order to ensure that students are registered correctly for all aspects of a course offering, departments are required to review all course offerings prior to the start of registration during week five of the prior term. Departments will be responsible for the dropping and re-registering of students for these changes.

Special Topics

Two academic years (not necessarily in succession) is the time span allotted for a department to offer a “Special Topics” course. For exceptions to this policy, administrative approval from the Office of the Provost is required.

Courses identified as “Special Topics” can only be used as a degree requirement with approval from the Office of the Provost.

Classroom Reservations for Non-Course Events

First priority for the scheduling of centrally controlled classroom space is given to academic classes and exam scheduling. Adjustments can be made through the end of week two, after which time classrooms will be available on a first come, first served basis for event scheduling.

For information on reserving a room please see Room Scheduling.

Scheduling Functionalities

Cross-listing

Cross-listing refers to the act of linking two or more courses that share the same course content, but are offered at different levels (UG/GR) or within different departments. The cross-listing of an UG course with a GR course is defined as a 400 level course being indicated by the offering department “the same as” a 500 level course. Cross-listing courses produce the following results:

  • Combines both class lists into one – allowing instructors to monitor attendance and grade students from one class list
  • Combines both online course shells into one – allowing all students in both sections to participate in online discussions and assignments
  • Improved utilization of instructor and physical classroom space resources
The cross-listing of an UG and GR course should be granted based on the following parameters:
  • 400 level UG course cross-listed with a 500 level GR course

Cross-listing courses should not occur between in-class and online courses, between non-Drexel University Online and Drexel University Online courses, between Study Abroad and in-class or online courses, or to produce an alternative resolution for a billing issue. Courses in the same subject code, but different course levels (i.e., VSST 311 & 312) should not be cross-listed, as the course material is at a different level in the course series. Any requests to cross-list courses because of the aforementioned reasons will need to be reviewed with the Office of the University Registrar and the Office of the Provost on a case-by-case basis.

Waitlisting

Wait listing allows students to be placed on an electronic wait list for a closed section that has wait list capabilities. Individual departments are responsible for determining which courses will have wait list capabilities. A wait list option can be added to a course during any time, including during the galley phases in addition to during registration. Students can view courses that have the wait list option by the section comments assigned to a course in the Term Master Schedule.

On the Tuesday before classes begin, students who are still on the wait list will be removed.

Reserved Seating

Reserved seating permits specific student populations to register for a course before seats become occupied by other student populations based on earlier time ticket assignments. Individual departments decide which courses will have the reserved seating option, in addition to how many seats are reserved for a specific student population. Departments that want to reserve seats for their department’s students in another department’s course will work collaboratively with the department to ensure the appropriate amounts of seats are reserved. Schedulers must request having reserved seating added to a section at any point during the Galley process. Once registration for the upcoming term begins, departments may not add or remove reserved seating rules.

Any remaining reserved seats that have not been utilized by the reserved population will become available to the general population the Monday of the tenth week of the prior term. Students can view courses that have the reserved seating option by the section comments assigned to a course in the Term Master Schedule.

Attributes

Diversity Attribute

The Diversity attribute is added to courses to assist students in locating topics which increase awareness of diversity. Departments seeking the guidelines for establishing a course as such can refer to the Intercultural & Diversity Committee.

Sustainability Attribute

Any course noted as a sustainable-themed course receives a “SUST” attribute. Departments seeking the requirements for establishing a course as such can refer to the Drexel Green Academic Committee guidelines.

Drexel University Online Attribute

The Drexel e-Learning (DeL) attribute is placed on all online course offerings. The DeL attribute is respective to their college (i.e., DAS for the College of Arts and Science) and is also assigned to a student’s program code. Students who are enrolled in a DeL program and register for an online course will receive the DeL billing rate.

Part-time Degree Completion Attribute

The part-time degree completion attribute (PC) will be placed on student records that are enrolled in part-time degree completion programs. The PCx attribute respective to their college (i.e., PCAS for the College of Arts and Science) will also be placed on all undergraduate courses offered in the evening (6 pm or later) and all undergraduate Architecture courses offered after 5 pm. Students who have a PC attribute and register for a course that has a PCx attribute will be billed the reduced per credit rate. If either the part-time student or the section does not have a PC or PCx attribute, respectively, the student will be charged the regular per credit rate.

Writing Intensive Courses

Any course noted as a writing intensive course can only be determined as such at the course catalog level. All courses determined as writing intensive at the catalog level will consequently be writing intensive at all section offerings. Departments seeking the requirements for establishing writing intensive courses can refer to the Drexel Writing Center’s guidelines.

Tuition-Fee Waived/Non-Billable Courses

Any course determined as non-billable requires the consultation with the Office of the University Registrar, the Bursar’s Office and the Office of the Provost. Courses that are approved to be non-billable will be noted as such at the course catalog level. All courses determined as non-billable will consequently be non-billable at all section offerings.

OUR Procedural Policies

Freshmen Block Scheduling

Freshmen blocks refer to the process in which the University manages and registers all new incoming freshmen students for their Fall term schedule. Freshmen scheduling is a combined effort between academic departments, the Undergraduate Office of Admissions, the Office of the University Registrar, Academic Advising, Retention and Diversity (AARD), The ACHIEVE Center, the Office of Health Insurance & Immunizations, the Bursar’s Office, the Honors College, and the Office of Information Resources & Technology (IRT). The freshmen block process is derived from the block schedule that is created for students outlining courses required during their first term and respective to their major. The process involves an extensive timeline which includes:

  • Academic departments utilizing the confirmed enrollment numbers when establishing their course offerings for the upcoming academic year.
  • Academic departments developing a grouping of courses (a block) in which students will be registered respective to their major.
  • Incoming students are required to take placement exams dependent on their major, which will place them into the appropriate Math or Chemistry course (if required for their major).
  • IRT coordinates the placement exams with the offering academic department, OUR, and AARD.
  • The Office of the University Registrar (OUR) is responsible for the mass registration of all incoming students based on the block information provided by academic departments. All students must be registered for at least 12 credits total prior to the start of term.
  • Academic departments are responsible for ensuring that all newly confirmed students, or students who have changed their major are registered into the appropriate courses by the start of term.
  • The Bursar’s Office processes the annual bill in mid-August; therefore all new incoming students must be registered for at least one credit prior to this date. The Bursar’s Office also processes immunization holds for students who have not received their immunizations required to move into student housing. Holds will prohibit any changes to the student’s schedule.

Galleys

“Galleys” refer to the process in which academic departments establish their course offerings for the upcoming academic year. Revisions to course offerings can include adjustments to existing course section details, such as enrollment maximums, meeting days or times, or course restrictions. Departments will also determine course section additions and deletions.

The galley phases are submitted and reviewed during two adjustment periods between January and May, with a final adjustment period occurring between Finals week of two terms prior to the adjustment term through the Friday before registration begins for the term. Galley adjustments are sent to the Office of the University Registrar (OUR) for processing and OUR will notify the department upon completion of processing in addition to any errors or requests that could not be processed due to policy.

Each department is responsible for submitting a galley during each phase in order to ensure the appropriate courses are offered based on student demand.

ROTC Courses

TBD

Study Abroad Courses

TBD