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Add/Drop for Class of 2021

Lea111Lea111 Registered User Posts: 120 Junior Member
The only person who might possibly know the answer to my question is the parent of another Class of 2021 kid, I guess. Or maybe a friend of Class of 2021 kid.

Here it is: Has anyone been told that the advisors are able to switch kids into [not-full] classes this week? Has anyone heard of it actually happening?

DD wasn't able to request any of the classes she most wanted in pre-registration, since the classes available to first years through pre-registration were so limited (core classes and like 5 other classes, the only desirable one of which was at that point listed as full, though not full at this point).

Weeks ago, she emailed the teacher of the class she most wanted to take and sought consent to take the class (it's unclear whether consent is required for the class - the course listing says yes, the department website seems to say no and offers no method for requesting consent, and the teacher himself emailed her that he didn't think registering for the class required his consent but he gave it to her via email anyway).

She had also emailed the summer advisor on call re inquiring when add/drop for class of 2021 starts, and someone emailed her back and said he is now her assigned advisor, and add/drop starts the first Monday of classes, but that he could help her add/drop a class during meetings this week. Meetings with advisors are not mandatory this year, but she signed up for one so that she could hopefully make this change.

Today they had their 40-kid group meetings with their advisors, and it sort of seemed like the advisor was telling them NOT to come for meetings to change classes. He did say specifically that he can't add them to a class that is full. But it wasn't clear to DD whether (1) he could make the schedule change she wants if her Most Desired Class (mentioned above) is NOT full but requires instructor consent (which, she has gotten via email, but through no other method)), or (2) he could at least change her this week into a More Desirable Class that is not full and does not require instructor consent. Versus whether she has to wait until the first Monday of classes to do (2) or until Friday afternoon of the first week of classes to get paper consent form, then turn it into registrar, then do that other step online of swapping classes. (So much work, so much stress, so much change to go wrong somewhere ... we we were warned that this process was not anything like Pareto optimizing.)

There is no button for add/drop on her portal for any classes (including class that was listed as a permissible class for 1st years and is not currently full). So it it's doable at all, I guess it's doable only by the advisor.

Replies to: Add/Drop for Class of 2021

  • JBStillFlyingJBStillFlying Registered User Posts: 2,672 Senior Member
    edited September 18
    Based on the information that was available on the orientation website over the summer it did appear that schedule changes this week might be more about special circumstances (for instance, your appeal for a higher level of calculus than originally placed into was granted, etc.) than stuff like switching into a class you like better. That meshes with what your D heard today at the group advisor meetings. Not sure how Add/Drop will work for the first years but I think it's going on currently for upper div. Could be wrong about that.

    Is your daughter taking mostly core classes this quarter? My D found the guidelines to be very useful and the recommendation to load up on the Core in first year is very clear. That two year window means that 3rd and 4th years get lower priority for those crucial classes. Pretty sure all the major courses of study accomodate the fact that you are busy with the Core for at least two quarters of first year.
  • Lea111Lea111 Registered User Posts: 120 Junior Member
    @JBStillFlying DD placed out of foreign language and the 2 quarters of core math. Based on what I've read here, Civ isn't a great class for first years. That left only HUM, SOSC, core science (or, if available, art, but it apparently is never available and attractive choices were not in fact available at pre-registration time). Only one of the classes on the additional permissible non-core courses list was of interest to her, and it was full at the time of pre-registration (although they have since that time added 20 more slots to it, making it now very not-full, but of course, now she can't switch into it). So in pre-registration, she tried to sign up for HUM, SOSC, and a core science. Due to fear that that somehow wouldn't work out and she'd be given only 2 classes (even though there were a bunch of different non-conflicting schedules with those she input, including 7 HUM sections and 9 SOSC sections), she decided to throw in another course from the allowed non-core courses lists, which she was minimally interested in but not unwilling to take. She put that class last on the pre-registration priority list, AND an on-call summer advisor told her that they would not put the non-core courses in until after core courses were tried first (I wonder if that was really true). She ended up with HUM, a core science, and that not-especially-desired non-core course. Not terrible, but kind of a waste of a slot. And it means she doesn't have any class she's really looking forward to taking (which might be okay if she were at least knocking off 3 core courses, but less so since she's not even doing that).
  • JBStillFlyingJBStillFlying Registered User Posts: 2,672 Senior Member
    She might want to schedule an appt. with her academic advisor and get into Sosc. That's a year-long sequence and while it can be done second year, if she has reasons for taking it first year she should try to get in. Sosc is a hard one because so many 2nd years were already registered but Summer Advising told my D that she should be able to get one of her choices (which she did). Surprised that didn't happen for your daughter.

    Not well versed on the Math for the kids who are in the tippy top of the placement but thought if using any calculus to satisfy the Core you still need to take two courses. Wasn't aware that you could place out of core math entirely but you guys undoubtedly looked into this and have the correct info.
  • JBStillFlyingJBStillFlying Registered User Posts: 2,672 Senior Member
    @Lea111 she should also monitor that one course that is not currently full. If the upper div. kids are, indeed, doing add/drop right now, then availability might change over the course of the week.
  • marlowe1marlowe1 Registered User Posts: 236 Junior Member
    @Lea111 I think your daughter ought to consider adding Civ notwithstanding that the class will be mostly composed of 2nd years. I took it in those circumstances many years ago in my first year. At that time it was - and from what I read on this board, still is - a true U of C iconic mind-changer of an experience, with wonderful distinguished profs and a sense of cultural mission. I felt I was barely hanging on to all the weighty concepts and texts, but that very sense of being almost overwhelmed by one's ignorance but starting to do battle with it really set me up for all that was to come in my collegiate career. Recent students can speak to this in terms of today's incarnation of Civ.
  • JHSJHS Registered User Posts: 17,073 Senior Member
    It's obvious that she should meet with an advisor and get into a Sosc class. Whatever the advisors do or don't have power to do at this point, they are almost certain to have the ability to put a first-year into an open slot in THE core Core class.

    She should also meet with an advisor so that more feedback gets back to the administration that whatever software they were using this year in place of advisors doesn't work that well. And because, although it never worked this way for my kids, some students develop dynamite relationships with their advisors and get a lot of help, encouragement, and inspiration from them. So she should give it a shot.

    Finally, she should keep pushing on the class she really wants to take, whatever it is. She'll get into it.

    Her mother is overthinking things, a lot, and spending way too much time reading descriptions of a process that is probably still in development in real life. This is something the student should be doing for herself. Welcome to the real world.
  • JBStillFlyingJBStillFlying Registered User Posts: 2,672 Senior Member
    This year the students were asked to rank their subjects (after Hum which is an obvious first) in order to provide some context to the schedulers/algorithm. Even if Sosc. was ranked below core science, it still should have been prioritized ahead of the non-core class - which is what summer advising told them. So given that it obviously wasn't, that's a glitch and definitely worth a visit to the advisor. The other reasons that @JHS mentioned are excellent as well, and this can be used as a real opportunity to begin that positive relationship.

    With 1,740 first years and another 35 or so transfers, this is one large class. Space might be tight and the ability to get any class you want might be a lower probability than in prior years. Most of those issues are correctly handled during Add/Drop. However, this situation isn't just a preference issue - it's actually a screw-up of the scheduling algorithm. That's precisely the kind of thing that's best handled personally by the advisor (and the sooner the better).
  • Lea111Lea111 Registered User Posts: 120 Junior Member
    She has an appointment scheduled with her advisor. She was thinking about canceling it because advisor made it sound like it was for limited purposes. I told her not to cancel the appointment and to attend it. Maybe he can't help; maybe he can. In fact, a few weeks ago, when she asked by email when add/drop started (because the school won't even tell the kids THAT), he told her that HE can change classes for her this week (but in the group meeting, said he can't add classes that are listed as full). At the group meeting, seemed to say that you only needed to have meeting for specific (not relevant here) circumstances, but that doesn't mean he doesn't have the power to make a change for her, so long as the class isn't full. And if she's sitting right there, and they're having the appointment anyway, what would be the point of making her buy books for both classes, take both classes for an entire week, then try to pink slip in on Friday (teacher agreed to let her pink slip in, but until it's a done deal, I told her don't trust it), then have to carry that form to the registrar, then make the swap online after the first week of classes are over. Lots more work for her and chance that something won't work out, no less work for the advisor (assuming that he can indeed make change). The class she wants to change out of is extremely close to being full itself, so the sooner she gets moved out of that and into the class she wants to take, the sooner that other class will free up a space for someone else. As it is, she won't be able to complete pink slip procedure until the weekend after the first week of class, at earliest. Which might mean another kid doesn't get to add the class she wants to switch out of, since that kid would then need instructor consent to get into the newly free spot. Sub-optimal for everyone. Another problem is that the class she most wants to switch into says it requires instructor consent, but the department website says no and there's no formal way to get instructor consent (she has consent via email). Another screw-up. It's possible that that alone will prevent her advisor from moving her into that class. But then at least he could move her into one of the More Desirable Classes that don't actually conflict with her Most Desired class, and it won't be as much of a waste for her to attend both classes for a week, since she does want to take those other classes in a later quarter.
  • Lea111Lea111 Registered User Posts: 120 Junior Member
    Almost all of of the classes she's looking to move into are moving back and forth between open and closed several times each day for the last couple of weeks. One of the classes (not the Most Desired Class) is inching up every day, but still has 12 spots left at this point. Whether he will be able to switch her into Most Desired Class (assuming the bogus (?) instructor consent requirement doesn't mess that up procedurally) will presumably depend on the luck of whether that class is full at the moment of her appointment. Same with some of the other classes.
  • Lea111Lea111 Registered User Posts: 120 Junior Member
    edited September 19
    Her advisor appears to be new. At least, he's not listed on the website or in Harper Hall list.

    She's already been given some false information from another advisor in the summer, and more generally, we've been told that advising is "terrible" by one person and that it's "hit or miss" by another person. So crowd-sourcing on specific policies is a plus.

    Bottom line though, is that she needs to go the appointment and be the polite squeaky wheel. This is extremely hard for her, though.
  • JBStillFlyingJBStillFlying Registered User Posts: 2,672 Senior Member
    edited September 19
    @Lea111 - Regarding #9, they do that. Add/Drop for non first-years was suspended over this weekend but resumed yesterday, if I'm reading my kid's my.uchicago alerts correctly.

    This is just my impression and probably worth every penny I'm paid to post it ;) but UChicago isn't like State U where taking stuff out of sequence is more tolerated. They expect your D - and the algorithm no doubt supports this - to be taking Core classes for most of her first year. Clearly your D understood this because she signed up for two additional core subjects (plus the HUM) and specified the optional 4th-course non-Core subject as a last priority. However, now that she needs to change her schedule, her chances of success and a smoother sailing in the future will totally depend on whether she can get into Sosc., NOT the non-core class she really wants to take now. She can always take that class later on, when she is given more priority as an upperclass student. In the meantime, her advisor is much more likely to make a change THIS WEEK if it involves a Core subject (as opposed to an optional non-Core subject).

    Sorry to revisit - and this might seem like a stupid question - but are you two absolutely sure that she has placed out of Core-Math? Ie that she does not need to take ANY math course in order to graduate? I'm just not reading that on the website. You can absolutely place out of calculus entirely based on the placement and accreditation tests, but aren't you then encouraged to take at least one course of higher math? It seems very odd that she's able to get out of there without any math enrollment. The reason I ask is that this entire issue can be solved if there are TWO courses to choose from: Core Math, or Sosc. The likelihood of getting one of them should be very high.
  • JHSJHS Registered User Posts: 17,073 Senior Member
    Sosc isn't just one quarter, though. If you're in to a Sosc class this quarter, you are basically committing to Sosc for the year. Not a bad thing, but not the same as taking math 153 in the fall.
  • JBStillFlyingJBStillFlying Registered User Posts: 2,672 Senior Member
    Totally agree and tbh OP's D should get Sosc, given that she registered for it. One of her choices will have a section available most likely. BTW she can take a cmsc class for Math and those are usually offered in sequence so it opens up another realm of possibilities - including that if you take a two sequence math course you can scale back one of the core sciences.

    Sounds like she placed entirely out of the calculus sequence so that allows for other interesting choices.
  • Lea111Lea111 Registered User Posts: 120 Junior Member
    As to taking enough core classes, she only needs to take 13 core courses, spread over first and second year. And she'll have to take at least 38 classes to graduate, so that means 4 classes at least 2 times. When she's taking 4 classes, that might be a better time to take 3 core classes, esp when one of them can be the art class. That would mean she could take an elective (or major class) every quarter of her first two years. She was willing to take HUM, SOSC, and science together, esp if she could get a good course and a really good teacher, but I do think it's okay that she's not taking SOSC this year (pros and cons of taking SOSC as a first year), esp if the third course is something she really wants to take, and maybe even if it's an interesting, not too onerous class for first quarter (she is already committed to a large role in a very valuable extracurricular related to her probable major and probable career ... and wants to make friends and needs to get enough sleep, so starting slowly seems like a pretty good idea to me).

    Also, HydeSnark and others on this board have said that you don't really have to take ALL of your core classes in the first two years, and most people say it's okay to take a desired elective or major class along with your core classes, which I think is especially possible for her given that she only has to take 13 core courses, not 18. Although, because of the way priority for core classes work, I do agree that finishing all 13 in the first two years is a good general goal to shoot for.

    But she could take 2 this quarter, and then for the last two quarters of this year, 3 and 2, or 2 and 3. Especially if she an get into one of the good arts classes, which she'll enjoy. (Presumably easier to do when she's in the regular pre-registration for the next 5 quarters.) If she did that, she'd still have only 6 core classes to take in 2nd year, 2 each quarter.

    Not being in SOSC now does mean SOSC and CIV together, which maybe isn't the best thing, but then again, people also say that SOSC and HUM together can be difficult, so who knows what's best. Pros and cons.

    She was actually a bit excited about a few of the SOSC classes and professors, but she didn't get any of those 9 sections (and none of them conflicted with her science class either, which is what makes me wonder if they really did what they said they were going to do and put in the core classes first!).

    I just looked at SOSC and CIV classes that are remaining. There's almost nothing that isn't full. The very few that have an open space are either non-classic (non-quality according to many on this board) courses, or conflict with her HUM or science class, which she definitely doesn't want to change. And in some cases meet at 8 too, which isn't good for a kid like her. And are with unknown teachers.

    I suppose maybe she could go to the advisor meeting with (in addition the the Most Desired Course and several More Desirable Courses, some of which aren't full right now) a few of the full SOSC sections she was interested in on a list, in case the advisor prefers to move her to SOSC and has the ability to put her in a full section.

    She'd rather stay in the non-core class than switch into a bad SOSC class (= non-classic SOSC class, unknown teacher, bad teacher, bad time).

    (One more thing: can't give more detail here, but if she doesn't get into her Most Desired Course this quarter, she's a little afraid that she won't have the bravery to do it later, so in addition to being excited about taking the class, that's part of the reason she wants to go ahead and do it now.)

    Certainly it's good to double-check about the math. We're as sure as we can be about her being done with core math. She's been told this in email by two different on-call summer advisors. Remember that LAST year, a 5 on the AP Calculus BC exam alone would have met the core math requirement; there was no requirement that you take Calc 3 to get credit for Calc 1 and 2 and get your core math credit last year. She had the 5 on BC Calc test (which she only took in order to get the credit from Chicago, before they made their unreasonably late change to their policy). But then they changed the policy, and told her at the very last second that she was required to take the summer accreditation exam to get the credit and get out of core math altogether. The web site says that for the core, you have to have credit for 2 math classes, and that if it's calculus you want credit for, it has to be credit for 2 calculus courses, not a sigle calculus course and something else, which is why her credit for Calc 1 from the AP exam was useless to her. The word "accreditation" means credit for the classes, and two different on-call summer advisors told her that her placement into Calc 153 gave her not just placement, but actual transcript credit for 151 and 152, and that that credit met the core requirement. (She also has credit for Stat 220 via AP exam, so she actually will have transcript credit for THREE math classes. Plus two electives via other AP credit. So needs to take 38+ courses to graduate.)

    Now we've had UChicago people tell her unambiguously false things before, on more than one occasion. And it would really really suck if she didn't go ahead and take Calc 2 now, while she remembers a bit of her calculus. But I'm not sure what else can be done. Who else would she ask? Math department has given credit. It seems like it's really up to to the college itself whether that credit is used for the core, and two advisors say yes. (And if the school overrules the two on-call summer advisors and she doesn't get core credit, then she not only wasted money and effort studying for and taking the Calc BC exam; we also wasted hundreds of dollars paying for, and ruined a rare family vacation arranging for, the proctor for the accreditation exam, to no effect. I think we'd have to take Chicago out of our wills if that happened. ;-) )

    She has no interest in taking math ever again. She knew she's have to take 2 quarters of biological science, but had hoped she could get out of the physical science core classes too, but they changed the policy on that this year, so oh well, she's resigned to 4 quarters of non-major science. Having to take math would not be a plus for her, and it wouldn't mean that she could take fewer core courses in the future; it would just prevent her from taking a mildly interesting elective course this quarter, at worse, or Most Desired Course, at best. As a probable arts major, she's happy - after 3 years of AP math, 3 AP math exams, 2 years of AP physics, and the Chicago accreditation exam, to skip the math and be able to take what she views as the core of the core, which is HUM, SOSC, CIV, as well as arts, English, philosophy, history, anthropology, education classes.

    Even if her advisor doesn't change her schedule this week, presumably she can still get into her Most Desired Class (or another desirable class) in add/drop next week, esp since the teacher has already agreed to pink slip her. We were just hoping that she could get it taken care of now (me, because I worry something will go wrong - she will lose the pink slip or something; her, because she doesn't really want to attend 5 hours of classes straight on one day, lol). It will probably work out, but there's no guarantee, so I think she should just go and try to get in changed this week. We don't know of anyone who has been successful OR unsuccessful in doing just that. If the advisor is physically able to make the change, I think it's more than 50/50 that he will do so, because why not.

    Anyway thanks for keeping me company in my "overthinking" @JBStillFlying . I told DD if she attended Chicago, she wouldn't have to hear negative things about thinking and overthinking any more, but maybe I'll just amend that to "there will be lots of others like you" ;-)
  • kaukaunakaukauna Registered User Posts: 1,051 Senior Member
    ^^Unless it has changed, you need a minimum of 42 classes to graduate. So that's at least 6 quarters where you have to carry 4 classes.
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