Registrar’s Notes – September 16, 2013

September 16, 2013

Fall 2013 Registration Changes


Students who wish to add a Fall 2013 course to their schedule can do so with the approval of the instructor and the department chair.   The registration will need to be done in the Registrar’s Office and a completed Permission to Late Add form is required, which can be found on the Registrar’s Office website at:
Students adding their first course after census (September 10) will be assessed a late add fee of $100 per class.


Today is the last day students can receive a 50% refund for withdrawing from individual classes.  After today, there is no refund for a partial withdraw.   Students withdrawing from all classes are eligible to receive a 50% refund through Friday, September 27. 
A 24-hour grace period is provided to students who drop a course that meets for the first time on or after the end of the drop/add period.  Students dropping a class within 24 hours of the start date should contact the Registrar’s Office to make sure they receive the correct refund.

Grade mode and credit hour changes

At this point in the semester students can no longer change from a letter grade to credit/no credit, or from credit/no credit to a letter grade.   Students are also unable to decrease credit hours in a variable credit course.   According to university policy, changes to the grade mode and the credit hour range can only be done through the end of the drop/add period.
First Work and Midterm Grades
Reaching out to students who are having difficulty early on in the semester is an important step in our retention efforts.  The following message was sent this week from the Provost to all part-time and graduate teaching assistants:
As an instructor of record at Western Michigan University, I would like to thank you for your continued commitment to the success of our students. As you may know, studies have shown that early and frequent feedback to students has a positive affect on their academic success and persistence. In keeping with this theme of student success and engagement, I am asking you to help our students by completing both the first work and midterm grades for the students in your classes as benchmarks of their academic performance.

The last day for instructors of record to enter first grades is Sunday, Sept. 29, and the last day for midterm grade reporting is Sunday, Oct. 27. Reporting first and midterm grades is an important part of our efforts to increase student retention at every level. Academic advisors will be reviewing first and midterm grades submitted and will follow-up with students who are not performing well academically.

Instructions on how to submit first and midterm grades in GoWMU can be found on the Registrar's Office website at:

Thank you in advance for your help with this important initiative.
Tim Greene
Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs
Cloud Services

Please be aware of the University policy on the use of "cloud" or software as a service (SaaS) instructional websites.  The policy can be found at: and was created to address the intellectual property and copyright, the privacy and data security, and the data availability and records retention concerns that the user of the service needs to take into consideration for the protection of University data.

 If a faculty member is considering such a service, like those offered by book publishers, they should adhere to the Product Review Policy and contact their college IT director and ask for assistance in completing the Product Review Process:
This process was put into place so that the appropriate IT personnel on campus can review these services and assure that University data will be protected and secured per the policies and best practices established by the Office of Information Technology and campus governance groups. Gaining approval of a SaaS application assures that the Registrar is aware of FERPA data being housed outside of the University systems as well as provides others on campus an inventory of acceptable cloud offerings that they too can consider for their instructional and research needs. There is a listing of these and other product reviews linked off of the URL included above.

If faculty have already engaged in these services without a review, proceed with your instruction but with a couple of stipulations. If the cloud web site is asking the students to create their own credentials (username and password), advise them to NOT use their Bronco NetID or their Bronco NetID password on these sites. If these sites were to be compromised, then the hacker would have the credentials of a student to then attempt a breach of data from the students WMU services. Likely these sites will ask that the username is an email address. Advise the students that they MUST use their email address and not their personal email. If correspondence is sent from the site to a non-WMU address, then there's the potential of FERPA data residing outside of WMU controlled or approved systems. And as for approved systems, to continue to use these sites, please go through the Product Review process as soon as possible. The process will require that a security assessment questionnaire is completed by the vendor so you will need to engage the help of the book publisher or other sales representative to see that this document is sent to the vendor’s appropriate technical staff.

If you have any questions about the use of SaaS/cloud services, please contact your college IT director for clarification and assistance with completing the process.
Upcoming Dates:

  • Monday, September 16—Last day to receive a 50% refund for a partial withdraw
  • Friday, September 27—Last day to receive a 50% refund for a complete withdraw
  • Sunday, September 29—First work grades due
  • Wednesday, October 23—Last day to receive a 25% refund for a complete withdraw
  • Sunday, October  27—Midterm grades due
  • Monday, November  4—Last day to withdraw
  • Wednesday, November 27—Thanksgiving recess starts at noon
  • Monday, December 2—Classes resume
  • Tuesday, Dec. 17—Final grades due at noon