New W grades for students who withdraw

If you are planning to drop a class because of an emergency or any other circumstance, a W grade can potentially help you out.

The California Board of Governors passed the EW, or “Excused Withdrawal,” in January 2018 to help students withdraw from courses for reasons beyond their control.

“One important point about EW is that it is not assigned by faculty.” said Mary Pape, Academic Senate vice president, in an email to La Voz.

Under the new policy, students can request an EW from Admissions and Records for reasons such as a job transfer to a different region, incarceration, immigration issues and factors that will be determined on individual case facts.

According to De Anza College Institutional Research, there was a 10 percent course withdrawal rate in the academic year 2017- 18.

In a survey from De Anza College Office of Institutional Research and Planning, 16 percent of students who withdrew from courses did so because of “personal issues outside of school” in spring 2018.

The EW grade can help students and will not be counted in academic withdrawals and other factors that can affect the students’ transcripts, enrollment or financial aid.

Governors also passed regulation changes such as updating the W grade and adding MW, or “Military Withdrawal,” and FW, or “Failed to Withdraw,” grading symbols.

MW, or “Military Withdrawal,” functions in a similar way to EW except it is used for students who are called for active duty and orders that can collide with student’s academics.

FW, or “Failed to Withdraw,” is given when students fail the course due to their prolonged absence during the end of the term.

 Karen Chow, Academic Senate president, said these new grading symbols would take effect in spring 2019 if they were approved by the Foothill-De Anza Board of Trustees.