"W? What?

“W? What?

It wouldn’t be a Columbia semester without a tiny yet massively confusing administration change. In an email sent out just yesterday by Kathryn B. Yatrakis, Dean of Academic Affairs, Columbia College students found out that as of the Spring 2014 semester, the “UW” grade will no longer exist and the “W” will be introduced. Apparently the “W” just signifies that a student has withdrawn (by the Pass/D/Fail deadline, of course). All Bwog knows is that the old “UW” meant a University Withdrawal, and that it’s initiated by the professor rather than the student. Here’s the full email, if it can clarify anything at all. Hint: it can’t.

As registration for Spring 2014 begins, I write to let you know about a change to gradingpolicy for Columbia College students that will go into effect next semester (Spring 2014). The faculty Committee on Instruction has decided that the grade of UW will no longer be available for Columbia College students. Instead, you will be able to withdraw from a (non-Core) course after the drop deadline, and before the Pass/D/Fail deadline, and a W will appear on your transcript for the course. After the Pass/D/Fail deadline, you will receive a grade for the course.

The full policy reads:

Columbia College students are not permitted to remove a course from their academic record after the drop deadline (the fifth week of the semester), after which point but no later than the Pass/D/Fail deadline (the eleventh week of the semester), students may withdraw from a class resulting in the mark of W. This is a permanent mark, and remains on the transcript even if the student repeats the course for credit.

Students may not drop or withdraw from a course after the Pass/D/Fail deadline and after that point may only receive the letter grade earned in the course.

Students may not drop or withdraw from a Core Curriculum course after the Core drop deadline (end of the second week of the semester).

Students should be aware that in order to remain in good academic standing they must successfully complete no fewer than 12 points of academic credit. Students who do not earn at least 12 credits in a semester will face academic probation, suspension, or dismissal.

Please be sure to talk with your advising deans to discuss any specific questions you may have regarding your academic program and to receive instructions on how to withdraw from a course.

Thanks for clearing that up, ma’am.

 College student’s confusion via Shutterstock.