The college experience is all about challenging oneself and expanding one’s mind. Placing a limit on the number of units a student may take goes against the college experience.
At Pierce College, if a student wants to take over nine units for summer or winter session, or over 19 during the fall or spring semester, they must petition.
Petitioning requires students to see a counselor. The counselor will look at the student’s academic history and determine whether or not they should be allowed to take excess units.
The student must then go to the additional class they would like to take and obtain an add slip if possible.
Finally, the student must take the signed petition and add slip to the admissions office.
This must all be done within the first week of the term. The first week of classes always takes some getting used to, so this simply adds to the chaos.
Students should be allowed to take additional units without going through the red tape.
Students with a sense of belonging, a growth mindset, and specific goals are most likely to succeed, according to a consensus study report by National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.
Additionally, the report found that a student’s belief that they can succeed academically was a contributing factor to their success. Student’s persistence was emphasized heavily in the report.
Nineteen units are equivalent to six three-unit classes and one two-unit lab. If a student is up to the challenge of seven classes, why should their past grades stop them?
The report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine showed the importance of student mindset in success. Failure is an inevitable part of growth.
Some students failures are more significant than others. While one student may fail one assignment or exam and see it as a wake-up call, another may not have the same realization until they fail one class or multiple.
Many students may not know that petitioning is even an option. After enrolling in 19 units, they may think they have reached the limit and there is nothing they can do.
Removing the counselor approval would make enrolling in extra classes more accessible. This would particularly benefit students who have failed previous courses and want to catch up or those who simply want to get ahead.
One may argue that removing the act of petitioning may decrease the overall success rate. However, students who are up for the challenge may have a more positive mindset than the average student population.
Even if there are a handful of students who choose to take additional units and fail, it is a lesson learned. All in all, Pierce College could benefit from removing the act of petitioning to take extra courses.