This semester, Cabrini University provided students with the opportunity to try classes before officially registering. The tryout policy allowed students to attend classes until the registration deadline, Jan. 26.
Dr. Caroline Nielsen, chair of the University Academic Council, recommended the policy as a way for students with financial aid holds to attend class. Previously, students with holds were unable to register and ultimately missed the first couple classes. This semester, these students were able attend the first week of class under the tryout policy until their holds were resolved.
While the original intention of the policy was to help students with financial aid holds, it was eventually extended to all students.
Dr. Anne Coleman, interim chair while Dr. Nielsen is on maternity leave, said the end intention, “…was for the financial aid hold students and for the students just trying to decide between two classes— what would be a better fit— but we don’t want them to miss that first full week and a half of class, because that’s a lot of time.”
Based on the limited feedback the department has received so far, the biggest issue with this policy seems to have been communication.
Coleman said, “I think there’s been some problems in housing and students not understanding that they have to have their bill paid before they can move into housing.” There have also been issues with students trying out classes that are already full and that they cannot register for, as well as certain classes they are not applicable to the tryout policy.
Along with that, many students were either unaware of the policy or uninterested in participating.
Vice President for Student Life, Dr. Christine Lysionek, said over email that, “I think it’s still too soon and too new for us to have gotten any sense of how students are responding.”
As for next semester, it seems the policy will remain, but there will be revisions and better communication across campus.
While establishing a sort of shopping period for classes was discussed, Dr. Coleman clarified that was not likely to occur. Coleman said, “The intent really is to allow students to attend class while they’re still trying to figure out the basics so they don’t miss the material.”