Our View: Late-add policy restricts independence

Editorial Staff

The Kent Stater reported last week that the university has created a new registration policy requiring class professors to approve students after the first week of classes. From 11:59 p.m. Sunday and moving forward, when students try to enroll in a class this semester on FlashLine, the professor of that class is sent an email requesting the student’s permission to register.


The registration guideline is done with the best intentions. Eboni Pringle, dean of the University College, told the Stater that the policy was created because students registering for classes beyond the first week were more likely to withdraw later that semester or earn a failing grade. This policy is mandated to help students succeed, much like the university policy that students must meet with their advisers to register for the next semester.


However, this policy – although done to help students succeed – both limits their freedom and responsibility when it comes to registration, an important aspect of the college experience.


Students at this age should know their own limitations, and if they feel they’ve got a realistic chance at successfully completing the course despite missing that first week usually full of syllabus reviews, they should have that opportunity free of restriction. We feel it should be the student’s choice to make, primarily because the student is paying tuition money for their own college education and should, within reason, have freedom to register for classes they feel they can complete.


Additionally, we feel this policy unintentionally places the responsibility on the educators rather than the students. By leaving professors in charge of deciding a late-registering student’s fate, a decision we feel should still be a student’s at that point, now comes down to a professor who likely hasn’t even met the student.


In principle, a professor can probably determine whether a student is fit to pick up a new class after missing the first week. But in practice, these professors getting emails for class registration can’t really say for certain. This is particularly true for a professor of a popular Kent Core class, who would likely never know the student they’re accepting or denying. They wouldn’t know the student’s work ethic, personality, etc. Professors can’t properly deem a student qualified or unqualified by not getting to know the student.

Despite Kent State’s good intentions of creating this new late registration policy, we feel the university is taking away students’ freedom to register for classes they’d be paying for and responsibility that is now unjustly placed on the professors.