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Students who enroll online can choose to put themselves on a waitlist for a class which is already full. Before a course has started:

  • Up to 20 students can add themselves to the waitlist.
  • The system will let students know their position on the waitlist.
  • Before the first day of class, if a space in the class becomes available because someone drops the class, the first student on the waitlist is automatically added to the roster.
  • Before the first day of class, print out the add slips to give to students not yet enrolled who wish to enroll in your class. 

On the first day of class:

  • Students who are still on the waitlist MUST come to the first class meeting and ask to add the class.
  • If a student who is already enrolled does NOT attend the first meeting, an instructor can choose to drop them from the course and add a student from the waitlist. (NOTE: Check with your dean to see if your department has a different policy.)
  • The first student added (by providing the first add slip that you printed) should be the first student on the waitlist who also attends the first class meeting.
  • If the person who is first on the waitlist, does not attend the first class meeting, the instructor should instead take the next person on the waitlist who HAS come to the first meeting.

For additional questions, please contact the Admissions & Records Office.

Waitlist Management Tips

What You Need To Know

You may only enroll as many students in your class as there are permanent seats in the classroom. In some cases, the number of students allowed in the class is not the same as the number of chairs, due to safety requirements (e.g., science labs) or equipment needs (e.g., art classes). Please check with your department chair if you are unsure about this.

For most classes you must add/drop students by the end of the 2nd week of the semester. See Academic Calendar and Deadlines for important enrollment dates.

You must be consistent with how you apply your add/drop policy the first week of the semester.

  • Please be clear with students about your add/drop policy and apply it equitably with all.
  • If you add students, you must do so in the order in which their names appear on the class waitlist.

You can drop a student if s/he does not attend any of the first week of classes.

  • You may use your discretion about “saving” spots for students that contact you about their absences during the 1st week of the semester, as long as you are equitable about it.
  • If waitlisted students do not show the first day of classes you do not have to add them if they show up later.

Classes with Prerequisites

Students must be given the opportunity to verify that they meet a prerequisite or corequisite before being dropped.

  • A requirement is based on information stated in the catalog and is verified only with a Los Rios transcript or assessment/placement results.
  • Approval for meeting the requirement using other evidence can only be accommodated through the prerequisite challenge process.
    • The deadline for students to file a challenge is the end of first week of classes. Department challenge committee has 5 days to make a determination; therefore all challenges are resolved no later than the start of the 3rd week of classes.

Check your online rosters just before class during the first 2 weeks of classes to verify which students have been added and dropped.


Be gentle, honest, but firm.

Communicate your plan to your waitlisted students the first day of class. For example:

  • I will add students on (insert day of week) at the beginning of class.
  • I will take students in order of the waitlist.
  • If you do not come to class on (insert day of week) you cannot be added.
  • If you do not process the permission number by add/drop date your permission number will be invalid and you will not be added.

Communicate to students who want to add, but are not on the waitlist. For example:

  • If you think you will have space:
    • I will add non-waitlisted students on (insert day of week) at the beginning of class by (whatever fair and reasonable method you choose)  after all waitlisted students are added.

Communicate to students who want to add, but are not on the waitlist. For example:

  • If you think you will not have space:
    • After students are added from the waitlist there will be no spots for non-waitlisted students. State that there is no further reason for them to remain in class and politely ask them to leave.

What if students beg to stay in the class?

  • Tell them you do not have room and if they persist, suggest that they speak with the Dean and direct them to the Dean’s office.

What if students do not leave when you ask them to leave?

  • Let them stay until the end of class.
  • Approach them after class and tell them there is no room and/or state that they speak with the Dean, perhaps even offering to walk them to the Dean’s office.

What if unenrolled students come the following class period?

  • State again that there is no reason for them to attend class since they cannot be added.
    • Politely ask them to leave.
    • If they persist, contact the Dean’s office for assistance.

Do not allow unenrolled students to stay in class. Drop “No Show” students.

We are aware that some strongly believe that it is the students’ responsibility to drop the classes that they decide not to attend and any failures to do so should earn students the resulting negative consequences. However, the district is legally responsible for providing accurate enrollment information to the state and faculty are in the best position to help us do that in a timely manner.

If you have any questions, comments, or suggestions, please contact your dean.