Austin Community College District will comply with all relevant legislative mandates, and will provide processes and information to students to assist them in making appropriate choices related to course drops. Prior to registration, students should meet with a counselor and/or faculty advisor to select an appropriate schedule of courses and minimize the likelihood of dropping a course.
Texas Education Code Section 51.907 mandates that all students who enroll as first time freshmen at a Texas public institution of higher education in Fall 2007 or later may not drop more than six courses during their academic career. Consequently, ACC may not permit these students to drop more than six courses. This includes courses dropped at ACC, as well as any courses dropped at any other Texas public institution of higher education. All courses dropped after the Official Reporting Date will be included in the six-course limit unless:
- the student withdraws from all courses or,
- the drop is authorized by an appropriate College official as an approved Drop Exception.
ACC will not reverse or reclassify decisions made at other institutions related to this rule.
Courses dropped before the Official Reporting Date will not be included in the six-course limit.
ACC will implement a “transcript course drop counter” to identify the number of applicable course drops a student has acquired at ACC and will post that number to the student’s official transcript.
Drop Exceptions will not be included in the lifetime six-course drop limit. Drop Exceptions can be approved if the student documents that the drop resulted from one of the following reasons which prevented the student from satisfactorily completing the course:
- The student, a member of the student’s family, or a person of equally important relationship to the student experiences a serious illness or other debilitating condition.
- The student becomes responsible for the care of a sick, injured, or needy person.
- There is a death in the student’s family or of a non-family member of equally important relationship.
- The student or a member of the student’s family, or a person of equally important relationship to the student, is called to active duty service as a member o1f the Texas National Guard or the armed forces of the United States.
- There is a permanent and/or significant change of the student’s work schedule that is beyond the student’s control.
- The student is required to serve jury duty for a length of time that would significantly negatively impact the student’s ability to successfully complete the course.
- The student is incarcerated for a length of time that would significantly negatively impact the student’s ability to successfully complete the course.
- There is a permanent and/or significant change in the student’s child care arrangements that is beyond the student’s control and that would significantly negatively impact the student’s ability to successfully complete the course.
- The College determines that there is other good cause for the student to drop the course.
Approval and Appeal Process for Drop Exceptions
Requests for Drop Exception status for course drops will be filed using a Request for Drop Exception form and will include appropriate supporting documentation. Students requesting a Drop Exception should first meet with a counselor to discuss the request. All requests for Drop Exceptions will be initially sent to the Registrar. All requests for review must occur within three months of the end of the semester in which the drop occurs.
Requests for Drop Exceptions that clearly fall within a category designated for approval will be approved by the Registrar.
Requests for Drop Exceptions that do not clearly fall within a category designated for approval will be forwarded by the Registrar to the Drop Review Committee. The Drop Review Committee will review the request and supporting documentation and determine whether the course Drop should be categorized as a Drop Exception. The Committee chair will notify the student in writing of the committee’s decision. The decision of the Drop Review Committee is final.
Drop Exception Review Committee Composition and Appointment
The Drop Review Committee is composed of seven members. Both Academic Transfer and Workforce should be represented, and the Student member should be a voting member of the
Student Government Association:
- Instructional dean (appointed by Vice President)
- Instructional Department Chair (appointed by Vice President)
- Full-time Faculty member (appointed by Full-time Faculty Senate)
- Counselor (appointed by Full-time Faculty Senate)
- Adjunct Faculty member (appointed by Adjunct Faculty Association)
- Student peer (appointed by Student Government Association)
- Registrar (voting ex-officio)
The following Courses are specifically exempted from the six-drop rule and dropping these courses will not affect the lifetime six-drop limit:
- courses taken by students while enrolled in high school for dual credit, early college credit, or for college credit alone
- hours attempted through examination or similar method without registering for a course.
- developmental courses
- continuing education courses
- hours earned at a private institution or an out-of-state institution
- hours not eligible for formula funding
- courses in which a punitive non-completion grade (such as WF) is received
- courses in which a student receives an incomplete grade
- documented College error
Course/s comprised of a lecture and a required laboratory will be counted as one drop whether or not identified as separate courses or as separate sections of a course.
Drops include both those initiated by students and those initiated by faculty.
Institutional Exceptions – “Other Good Cause”
Student requests for Drop Exception based on “other good cause” will be assessed individually by the Drop Exception Review Committee. While it is not possible to anticipate all possible reasons for this exception, examples of reasonable categories include, but are not limited to:
- Student removal from class because an error was made in the academic assessment resulting in placement at a level too advanced or far below the student’s ability.
- Student removal to address a serious and otherwise irreconcilable conflict between the student and instructor, or between students.
- Highly individualized circumstances in a student’s life, not covered by legislated exceptions.
Definitions of Withdrawals and Drops as Used in This Rule
The terms “course drop” and “withdrawal” are used differently by different institutions and are often used interchangeably at ACC. For purposes of this rule, the terms are defined as follows:
A course drop is a credit course not completed by a student who:
- Is enrolled at the Official Reporting Date in a course that is (or will be) recorded on the official transcript;
- Will not receive a grade;
- Will not incur an academic penalty; and,
- Does not withdraw from the institution by dropping all courses.
A withdrawal is different than a drop.
- A withdrawal means a student withdraws from all courses and the institution, while a drop means a student drops a course or courses;
- If a drop is the only course taken it is considered a withdrawal;
- A withdrawal can occur before or after the Official Reporting Date;
- A withdrawal after the Official Reporting Date results in grades appearing on the transcript for all courses. The normal symbol used is a “W”.