September 21, 2009
To: Paul Doescher, President, Faculty Senate
From: Sheila Roberts, 2008-2009 Chair
Academic Requirements Committee
Advisor, Educational Opportunities Program
Re: Annual Report for 2008-09
The Academic Requirements Committee (ARC) met biweekly during the summer term, 2008, and weekly during the academic year. The committee considered 701 petitions which is an 8% increase over the previous year. Meetings during the academic year generally lasted less than the two hours set aside for the meetings, except during weeks eight, nine, and ten of each term. Occasionally they went beyond the two-hour time frame during these weeks. Summer meetings generally lasted less than two hours.
Late Course Withdrawals (203), Late Course Drops (271), and Late Course Adds (113) were the most common actions requested, but the committee was also asked to consider 60 requests to “late change the grading basis” from A/F to S/U or vice versa. The ARC also considered 42 withdrawals from the university and a few petitions dealing with potential waivers of graduation requirements and exceeding 24 credits. We approved late course withdrawals at a 51% rate, late course drops at a 62% rate with an additional 20% being approved as late withdrawals, and late course adds at a 93% rate. Late course withdrawals tend to be less clear cut and require more documentation, thus the lower approval rate. And the approval rate on late changes of grading basis, 36%, reflects the fact that there are not many circumstances that justify approving these requests.
The number of petitions which resulted in deferrals, typically for clarifying information, documentation and/or appropriate/required signatures, dropped slightly from 10% in 2007-08 to 8% in 2008-09. But we have also made a change in how deferrals are handled which has reduced the work load for the Registrar’s Office. See below under “Form to Provide Feedback to Students.”
Notes on Guidelines & Changes to External Guidelines
Probably the most significant change this year has been the practice of keeping notes on our decision making process as they pertain to the external guidelines that are handed to students. This led to a decision to revise the external guidelines. The key issue was regarding this guideline:
We also asked for feedback from Academic Advising Council on these proposed additions to the external guidelines:
Petitions for exceptions to academic regulations will not generally be approved if the circumstance is more than 3 years in the past.
Students are petitioning for exceptions to university policy and approval is not guaranteed
Instructors and advisor’s comments and approvals are advisory and are not binding on the committee’s decision.
In our discussions regarding the above changes with the Academic Advising Council, they expressed a need to have a better understanding of our process. So ARC met and discussed information we felt would be helpful for them and sent it to their listserve in December, 2008. See attached.
Form to Provide Feedback to Students
Another change we implemented this year was a form (see attached) that was created to give students more information on deferrals or denials. This was prompted by the amount of time the Registrar’s Office was spending following up with students who failed to include documentation or other key points of information. Except for rare situations, follow-up on deferrals is now the responsibility of the student. We also conveyed this change to the Academic Advising Council.
2008-09 Academic Requirements Membership
|Sheila Roberts ’10, Chair||Educational Opportunities Program|
|Anthony Brock ’09||Network Engineering|
|Kelly Donegan ‘09||Horticulture|
|Joy Jorgensen ’11||Enrollment Management|
|Tjodie Richardson ‘11||Agricultural and Resource Economics|
|Andrea Wirth ‘11||Library|
Ex-Officio: Registrar’s Office Representatives: Nancy Laurence and Amy Flint
Executive Committee Liaison: Leslie Burns