Academic Performance FAQ

+ How do I drop a course?

  1. In the first two weeks, you may drop a class and it will be canceled from your record - the course will not appear on your formal transcript. You may not cancel a course you have attended after the second week.
  2. Between the end of the second week and Wednesday of the seventh week, you may withdraw passing from a class you are passing by completing a withdrawal form available from the registrar, your advisor, or the dean of student academic services office (Briggs Hall, first floor). The form requires the signature of your advisor and verification from the instructor that you are passing. (Exceptions exist and require a petition. These exceptions are described on the WP form.) If you withdraw passing, you will receive a WP on your transcript. The WP does not count in your GPA.
  3. After the 7th week, you may not withdraw passing from a course except for circumstances beyond your control. If this is the case, you may petition the Faculty Subcommittee on Administration for an exception to the faculty legislation. Please be aware that circumstances beyond your control do not include waiting until you have received grades in the course to evaluate your standing, but do include illness, family problems or other personal calamity.
  4. You may withdraw failing from a course any time until the last day of classes. This decision is registered as a "WF" on your transcript and counts like an "F" in your GPA. If you wish to withdraw from a course in which you are failing, you must make an appointment with the Dean of Student Academic Services (x6530).

+ Can I get an extension?

  1. You may request an extension for an assignment or exams/other written exercises from the instructor. In most cases, the instructor will want information that indicates circumstances beyond your control, such as illness. Quite often, an instructor will require you to discuss these circumstances with the Dean of Student Academic Services for formal verification of your circumstances.
  2. If the reasons for your request are private and confidential, you may also choose to discuss these with the Counseling Center staff, who can help you determine what options may help you.
  3. If an extension goes beyond the end of the term, you must request an incomplete. For more information, see the following section on incompletes.

+ How can I take an incomplete?

  1. A student cannot "take" an incomplete. The student should discuss his or her options with the instructor, and then request the incomplete from the Dean of Student Academic Services  before the last day of classes.
  2. The Dean will make a decision based on guidelines set by the faculty and in consultation with the instructor. These guidelines do not allow incompletes, except for circumstances beyond a student's control. Please note: faculty legislation allows incompletes for students who have fallen behind because of extenuating circumstances to have the opportunity to catch up, but not to students who wish more time to “do a better job.”

+ What can I do about changing an exam?

  1. If you wish to change an examination during the term, you should follow the procedures for extensions.
  2. If you wish to change the time for a final examination, you must petition the Faculty Subcommittee on Administration by Tuesday of the tenth week of classes. Petitions are approved for students who have three exams in a row or have exceptional circumstances. Petitions are not approved for travel, for vacations, or for "spacing" exams for studying purposes.

+ What if I need to change an exam time because of travel plans?

No exam change will be made to accommodate travel arrangements. We will DENY any such petition even if it means you will forfeit a pre-purchased ticket. No exceptions will be made—even for international travel. Remember to petition for exceptional circumstances PRIOR to ticket purchase.


Advising FAQ

+ Who is responsible for my future?

As a student at Lawrence University, you are responsible for planning and pursuing your own educational program. You are able to make your own decisions and choose appropriate options.

+ What does an advisor do?

As you begin your college experience, a faculty advisor will help you with the important task of planning your education and will offer guidance. Just like a class instructor, the advisor can assist you in understanding the curriculum, identifying your strengths and weaknesses, setting your goals, and effectively utilizing the resources of Lawrence. Your Lawrence education can be most rewarding when you build a strong relationship with your advisor. In addition to an excellent education, you may gain a valued mentor.

+ How was my advisor assigned?

The Dean for Student Academic Services tries to assign a new student to a faculty advisor on the basis of similar academic interests, particularly those interests indicated in on the “Advisor Information Form.” But even if you are not initially assigned to an advisor in your intended major, be assured that all faculty advisors are prepared to assist student across the liberal arts curriculum.

+ When I declare my major, will my advisor change?

Students are required to declare majors and have advisors in their major department by the beginning of the junior year. There is a form you may get from the Registrar’s home page for that purpose. If you would like assistance in determining an appropriate advisor (if your major is in a department other than the one of your initial advisor), you should consult with the Dean for Student Academic Services. We recommend that sophomores have an advisor in their intended major prior to advance registration in the spring term.

+ How do I change my advisor?

Most students’ needs or interests change over time. You aren’t required to change advisors each time your interests change, however. Not until your junior year must your advisor be in the department of your intended major.

All new students keep their assigned advisors for at least one term. After that time, you may decide to change advisors. Your advisor will not be offended if you change.

If you decide you would like to change advisors:

Complete an Advisor Change Form available from: the Registrar (Brokaw Hall) or or the office of the Dean for Student Academic Services (1st floor Briggs) Obtain the signature only of your new advisor

Return the form to the Registrar. The Registrar notifies your former advisor and requests that your advising material be forwarded to the new advisor. If you are considering an advisor change and want to discuss your options, please see Dean Gajewski or Dean Wickens in Student Academic Services (x6530, 1st floor Briggs).

+ What is the advising relationship?

If you work with your advisor to advance your education and development, you should find your advisor continually helpful and responsive. Your advisor wishes to offer you good guidance and will help you decide among the various course and program options available as you meet general education requirements and pursue your academic interests. The advisor also will direct you to resources concerning such opportunities as study abroad, internships, and research possibilities. In addition, you must consult with your advisor not only about course selection or changes but also about any petitions for exceptions to academic regulations.

+ For what do I need to contact my advisor?

You will need to contact your advisor in order to:

advance register change courses select the S/U option for a course register for an underload or an overload petition the Sub-Committee on Administration for an exception to an academic regulation These actions require an advisor’s signature, or the release of an advising hold, to verify that you have discussed your decision with your advisor.

You may also choose to meet with your advisor to:

discuss your academic program broadly and review plans for the future plan a schedule of courses reflect on changes and plans clarify issues which confuse you alleviate problems and difficulties with courses identify campus resources Your advisor will listen to your plans or questions and present approaches to making the best decision. Often the advisor will refer you to the Career Center, The Center for Teaching and Learning, Counseling Services, to a dean, or other offices to obtain additional insights or more specific information before you make a decision.

+ How do I prepare for my appointments?

Make an appointment (email is recommended) or use regular office hours. Advisors cannot be effective if students ask to have forms signed in the hall or between classes. Plan ahead for the meeting. Prepare a list of specific ideas or questions you wish to discuss. Identify your central concerns in the meeting. Be specific about the kind of advice you want. Ask questions and ask your advisor to question you.

+ Does the advising relationship work the same way in the conservatory?

Yes, for the most part, but some Conservatory regulations governing issues such as transfer music credit, student-designed music majors and B.A. music requirements may differ from the general university regulations, in which case students will need to petition the Conservatory Committee on Administration as well. In either the conservatory or the college, the advisor must sign the appropriate form; this signature indicates advice was given.

+ Will my advisor keep track of my degree requirements?

Your education is ultimately your responsibility. Do not expect the advisor to routinely keep track of your general education, degree, and major requirements. Advisors may review requirements periodically, as part of course planning, but you are responsible for meeting all requirements. Information about requirements is available from your advisor, the Registrar, and Student Academic Services. Each term you should also review your degree summary on Voyager. Be sure to check your Voyager registration before the end of the first week of each term to be sure it accurately lists the courses you are taking.

+ Is it my advisor's responsibility to be in charge of my education?

Students sometimes think that their advisors are able to approve/deny an opportunity or request. At Lawrence, this is not true. The advisor can approve/deny a request for an underload or overload only. In all other cases, advisors provide perspectives to help you make choices; an advisor must sign forms, but the signature means only that they have given the student their best advice on the matter. Your advisor will not make decisions for you. All final decisions are yours.

Leave of Absence

A student who wishes to leave the university should request a leave of absence or withdrawal by completing the request form available from the Dean of Student Academic Services. Using faculty legislation, the dean will review the request, and upon its approval, will notify all appropriate university offices.

A student granted a leave may return at any time prior to the expiration of the leave; otherwise, a student is expected to return at the end of the leave or request an extension prior to the end of the leave. A student who does not return at the expiration of his or her leave and is not granted an extension is withdrawn from the university. Such a student who then wishes to return must petition the Faculty Subcommittee on Administration for readmission. Any student who, without a leave of absence, terminates his or her enrollment at Lawrence or in a Lawrence-sponsored program is withdrawn from the university, and like a student who overstays a leave of absence, may return only upon approval of a petition for readmission.

Petitions for readmission are directed to the Dean of Student Academic Services for consideration by the Faculty Subcommittee on Administration. The petition should include a clear and detailed explanation of why the student terminated his or her enrollment or overstayed a leave of absence, what academic or other worthwhile activities occupied the student while he or she was withdrawn from the university, and why the student wants to be readmitted.

A student who does not follow these procedures for a leave or a withdrawal or who fails to meet refund deadlines may forfeit the continuing-enrollment deposit.

For more information, please contact Student Academic Services.

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