To Drop or Not Drop?

On April 15, SMCCCD sent a mass email concerning the changing of the grading and the withdrawal systems. This email raised the question to many students: With everything that is happening in the world with COVID-19, is continuing even as an option? Students have now been given three options for how they can deal with the rest of the semester’s classes. SMCCCD gave the following options: Firstly, the “incomplete” grading option, for which students can have a class marked “incomplete” and work with the professor at a future time during which the student can complete the class and eventually receive a grade; and the “pass/no pass” grading option; the final option is “excused withdrawal”, usually not given at this time in the semester. These are options available for every class now, and this could have an effect on students planning to transfer in the future. It could prove to be a big help with students who are currently struggling.

It has been over a month now since Skyline’s operations have moved away from campus, and we can all agree that classes do not feel the same. Being inside a classroom being in-person with some of these subjects is, for many, the only way to really comprehend the knowledge. At home, it can be really hard to not procrastinate, with television, phones, and computers all within arm’s reach, being focused can be a struggle. Families are spending more time than ever at home, and many students must be going crazy, since their study habits are not meeting the standards they once did. What about those students who were right at the edge of barely passing with a very difficult class, and then this happened, and the adjustment made that student take ten steps back?! …That is when it becomes okay to drop your class. Yes, you came this far through the semester, but some of these classes have not transitioned into an online format smoothly. 

Then it comes down to those who are, or were, working. Many students had jobs, and due to the pandemic, were unfortunately laid off. Losing one’s job can really bring morale down, and motivation one once had for school may now be gone. People in this situation are probably thinking primarily about their income, and what they’re going to do next Do they file unemployment or go on the job hunt? For these students, school has likely stopped being a priority.

Another group to consider is the students that have become essential workers. Before the pandemic, these may have been part-time workers and full-time students, but now these roles may have been reversed. Essential workers may lose focus on school, trying to take on as many hours and gain as much money as they can, preparing for the worst, and hoping that they don’t end up having to pause their education altogether and become committed only to working. 

We could not control or predict the pandemic that is taking place, but the spring 2020 semester truly has not been the ideal semester for any student. Students find themselves in many different situations, and when it comes down to choosing an option, SMCCCD has offered several potential courses of action. Whatever decision you end up making, there should be no judgement or regret that you experience if you drop your class. At the end of this, students will still be able to come back for a future semester, and make up for whatever progress the pandemic stopped them from making.