Departmental closed course policy

In fairness to all students, we cannot entertain personal appeals to open a closed class. But we can ensure that all students will be able to enroll in the courses they need to graduate in a timely fashion.

If the class you want is closed...

  1. Try to find an available course section in this list of open course sections.
  2. If you cannot find a suitable alternative, then join the waiting list for a closed class. Follow the steps below:
    1. Find a list of all courses (closed and open) here. Copy down the five digit (CRN) number associated with the desired course.
    2. In WPConnect, add the course using the five-digit CRN in the usual way, then select "waiting list" from the drop-down menu. (See video instructions here.) Do this no later than 48 hours before the semester begins.
  3. Students on a waiting list can can gain access to a class in one of the following two ways. Either way, you'll be notified by email.
    1. If a student drops out of the course, the first person on the waiting list will be notified by email and have 48 hours to register. If that student doesn't register for the course within 48 hours, then the next student on the waiting list is given an opportunity to enroll. And so on down the list.
    2. The department chair issues you a permit because you need the course to avoid delaying your graduation. This determination is made on the day before the semester begins based on information from students' degree audits. No personal appeals are considered. Everyone who receives a permit will be notified by the first day of the semester. Note: (1) We do not break course caps to allow students to take more than 15 credits in a semester. (2) Students must sign up for a waiting list no later than 48 hours prior to the beginning of the semester in order to be considered.

What about exceptional cases?, i.e. "I was compelled to register late and I need a particular class."
If you find yourself in a situation where you must register late through no fault of your own, you are not alone. A significant number of students find themselves in this predicament. Remember: signing up for the waiting list of a course is the only way to be considered.

Why do we do it this way?
A chief concern is fairness. We base our decision to open a closed course on objective criteria, not on which students are willing to approach a faculty member to request entry to a course. In order to assess which students are most in need of a particular course, the chairperson must examine the records of all students seeking entry to a class in a systematic fashion.

Another reason is that we take course caps seriously. Course caps were adopted for sound pedagogical reasons, and we would like to honor them wherever possible. When course caps are exceeded, there is less faculty time available for each student in the class. The differences in any individual class may be slight, but these differences can be meaningful when aggregated across a student's career at WPU.