I. Policies and Procedures Regarding Closing Students Out of Courses
Faculty Handbook Revision Approved by the Knox College Faculty, January 2006
- During pre-enrollment, all section limits are temporarily set to 999 to gather all students who want to take the course. Note that for fall 1st year pre-enrollment, returning student enrollments are frozen, so that only new students compete for the available spaces.
- When pre-enrollment ends, chairs are asked for decisions about revised class size limits, new sections, balancing of sections of a course, and criteria for closing students out. Chairs sometimes defer to individual instructors.
- The basic procedure when a course is oversubscribed is as follows. Students who do not meet the prerequisites for the course are eliminated. Students who have been closed out in the most recent term when the course was offered are allowed in first. If spaces remain, then the criteria set by the department are applied. In the large majority of cases, these criteria are: (1) enroll majors first; (2) accept students by class standing, usually seniors first, but sometimes, especially in 100 level courses, first year students first. Other criteria, however, may apply. If at any point in the procedure, i.e. within the recent close-out group, the majors group, the seniors, juniors, etc., the class would become over-subscribed if all of the members of the group were allowed in, then a sufficient number of students in that group is picked at random to bring the enrollment up to the maximum. In cases where no criteria are set, a random number of still competing students are chosen to achieve the maximum size.
- Language 101 courses sometimes eliminate students with previous high school experience in the language. These decisions are made by the faculty in languages based on an evaluation of high school records and/or language placement exams.
- To ensure fairness, in no case is a department or an individual instructor permitted to select individual students. Criteria must identify unambiguous groups (e.g., majors, sophomores, research students), and the group definition must be pertinent to the needs of the course and the program. Discrimination of any kind against individuals or groups is prohibited.
Off-Campus Programs and Off-Campus Courses
- Off-Campus Study Programs may require additional procedures. Approved off-campus programs, sponsored by Knox or by others, may use an application process by which they select students most able to benefit from, and meet any special challenges of, a particular program. This process may include (i) applicant essays that provide an educational rationale for program participation or explain preparation and motivation, (ii) assurances of careful student course planning, (iii) letters of reference, and (iv) transcripts. All students should be aware of the information requested prior to submitting their applications. In the case of over-subscribed programs, no additional information from students should be requested by the College; in those cases, remaining acceptance decisions should follow (3) above. The application process for Off-Campus Study is the responsibility of the Center for Global Studies.
- Knox-sponsored courses with off-campus components (e.g., London Arts Alive, Quick-Start language courses) may use the regular on-campus course registration procedures or the off-campus program application methods described in (a) above. In the case of over-subscribed courses, no additional information from students should be requested; in those cases, remaining acceptance decisions should follow (3) above. Courses with off-campus components are required to have their enrollment procedures approved by the Curriculum Committee.