The Enrolled-No Work Submitted (“ENWS” or “NS”) notation was discontinued by the Representative Assembly of the Davis Division of the Academic Senate at their meeting on June 8, 2012. The vote was unanimous and applies to terms from fall 2012 onward. This change was not retroactive and so ENWS notations issued before fall 2012 will remain in effect, unchanged and behave the same as before.
Specifically, with this vote, the Representative Assembly removed the text of Davis Division Regulation A540G, and mandated that the notation is exchanged for an F (or equivalent) in situations where an ENWS would have previously been assigned. More information about this can be found on the agenda of the Representative Assembly from that meeting.
About the ENWS notation
The ENWS notation was created before computers were used for registration when students added and dropped courses using physical registration cards. At that time students were required to go to Freeborn Hall to view their schedules and course management was very difficult. As such, the ENWS notation was created to mitigate the negative impact that an inadvertent extra course could have on a student's academic record. UC Davis was the last UC campus to retain an ENWS option for grading.
The ENWS was defined by Academic Senate Regulation A540(G):
“The instructor in charge of a course shall enter the notation "Enrolled-No Work Submitted" (ENWS) on the end-of-term course report for a student who, to the best of the instructor's knowledge, did not present any work subject to grading. The course number and the notation shall be omitted from the official transcript.”
The ENWS notation was associated with multiple problems:
- The ENWS notation disincentivized students from dropping courses in which they enrolled but did not plan on attending. Students who were enrolled but not attending a course strained already scarce campus resources.
- It was the belief of the Grade Change Committee (2010-2011) that there was widespread misunderstanding of the ENWS notation by campus instructors and thus the notation was often assigned inappropriately or in ways impermissible under Senate policy. Many instructors assigned ENWS notations upon request which, whether warranted or not, indicated a confusion about the purpose and nature of the notation. Furthermore, inappropriate assignment of ENWS notations undermined the late-drop policies of the College Dean’s offices.
- The ENWS notation could cause financial aid to be misallocated, and even the retraction of a student’s previously awarded financial aid. In some cases, this resulted in students owing a great deal of money to the university and even possibly not graduating.
- Because the ENWS notation provided the opportunity to enroll and then not attend a class without penalty, it had the potential to be abused. This was a problem for students participating in extracurricular university activities which required that they be enrolled in a set number of units. For instance, the Intercollegiate Athletic Department had to implement severe penalties to prevent student-athletes from receiving ENWS notations.
- The impact of the ENWS notation was significant: between fall quarter 2008 and winter quarter 2010 (as of May 19, 2010), the ENWS notation was assigned 4760 times.
- The ENWS notation inflated the number of students that appeared to be enrolled in a course and so made the count of the number of students an instructor was teaching inaccurate.
The ENWS and the internal transcript
ENWS notations do appear on a student’s internal record but do not appear on their official transcript. Transcript notations are a sensitive issue with students and, in general, having a notation such as this on their record can make them nervous. However, as is stated in the Senate policy (see above), an NS notation does not appear on a student’s official transcript. In fact, when the Office of the University Registrar receives Retroactive Drop petitions relating to a course in which a student was awarded an ENWS notation, the petition is returned because the change is not needed.