Southern California -- this just in

« Previous Post | L.A. NOW Home | Next Post »

Cal State L.A. apologizes for mistakenly telling 500 students they were out

January 6, 2011 |  5:47 pm

About 500 Cal State L.A. students received a shock over the holidays when the campus mistakenly sent letters to them saying they had been academically disqualified from returning for the winter quarter.

All of the students were on academic probation, but they should not have received the disqualification letters, campus officials said Thursday.

The letters, sent out by the registrar’s office the week of Dec. 27, told students that their fall 2010 grade point averages and overall GPAs fell below university standards for continued enrollment. Students were also told that they could submit a petition to be reinstated after meeting with their academic advisor.

About 164 students who were supposed to get disqualification letters received them. But because of a mailing label coding error, 500 probationary students received the letter in error.

The registrar’s office realized the mistake when upset students began calling to disagree with the disqualifications, officials said.

“On Jan. 3, 2011, the university immediately e-mailed these students notifying them of the error and followed up with a hard-copy apology, which also informed them of their correct status,” said Joan Woosley, university registrar and director of enrollment services.

Some may still be in the dark, though, because the notices were sent to the students’ campus e-mail addresses, which they tend to check less frequently than their personal e-mail accounts, said counselor Isis Stansberry.
Several alarmed students e-mailed her over the break asking what to do, Stansberry said.

“It’s holiday time, they’re on break, the winter quarter is about to start and they were really panicking,” she said. Students have also been streaming into her office this week, she added.

Campus officials said students who mistakenly received the disqualification letters do not need to take any action. But Stansberry said that as a precaution, she is advising those students to check with the records office to make sure their status is up to date.

-- Carla Rivera