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Faculty Senate » 2011-2012 Annual Report

Academic Requirements Committee

2011-2012 Annual Report

To: Kate Hunter-Zaworski, President, Faculty Senate
From: Kelly Kneece, 2011-2012 Chair, Academic Requirements Committee
Date: July 3, 2012
Re: Annual Report for 2011-2012

The Academic Requirements Committee (ARC) met biweekly during the 2011 summer term and weekly during the academic year. Meetings during the academic year generally lasted less than the two hours set aside, 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.

The committee considered 1,018 petitions, a 31% increase over last year and 59% increase over the year before that.

Late Course Withdrawals 266
Late Course Drops 338
Late Course Adds 188
Late Change of grading basis 64
Withdrawals from the university 119
Graduation requirement 5
Max Credit Overload 3

Late Course Withdrawals (266) and Late Course Drops (338) were the most common actions requested. Petitions for Withdrawals from the University increased 2.5 times the amount last year (34 to 119). This trend may be due to the overall increase in numbers of Ecampus petitions received (discussed below).

  • Late Course Withdrawals were approved at a 30% rate. Late course withdrawals tend to be less clear-cut and require more documentation, thus the lower approval rate.
  • Late Course Drops were approved at a 55% rate with 6% of the Late Course Drop petitions being approved as a late withdraw instead of a drop.
  • Late Course Adds were approved at a 94% rate.
  • Late Change of Grading Basis petitions were approved at a 30% rate – an increase from 11% approval rate from last year. This seems like quite a large jump in approvals for this type of petition. Usually, there are not many circumstances that justify approving these requests. So the higher rate of approval is an interesting trend and with an unknown reason behind the increase.
  • The number of petitions which resulted in deferrals, typically for clarifying information, documentation and/or appropriate/required signatures, stayed low at 3% in 2011-2012 similar to last year’s percentage.
Revisiting recommendations from last year

  • Application for Degree by students with Junior Standing
  •     Last year a new challenge we saw were petitions from students with junior standing trying to apply for early graduation. These petitions for exception to AR 25i would allow the student to apply for graduation as a junior and walk in commencement. These new petitions were most likely a result of a Registrar rule change which allows students planning to complete required course work fall term of next year to walk in the graduation ceremony during spring term. This new policy allowed many more seniors to walk in the commencement ceremony (see last year’s report for more detail on the policy).
        We decided last year as a committee that commencement should remain a privilege of students who reach senior standing. It was the agreement of the group that allowing juniors to petition to apply for early graduation could potentially cause an increase in juniors overloading their course schedules and petitioning to walk in commencement. We therefore denied several petitions in Spring of 2011 for exception to this regulation.

        Update: as a follow-up to this issue last year, we saw maybe one petition of this regulation, so it does not seem to be an issue that would require a change in the ARC guidelines.

  • Distance Students
  • Last year it was noted that the ARC reviewed a large number of Ecampus petitions from distance students. The typical Ecampus petitions we saw were either students who signed up for one class (or a few classes), never logged on to Blackboard or checked their ONID email account, and assumed they had been dropped from the class, or thought they dropped the class, or completely forgot about the class but never attended or participated.
        Typically, our guidelines indicate that if a student does not attend or participate in the class we approve the petition. However, due to the number of petitions of this type we see, and the time it takes to review these petitions, the committee decided that data needed to be kept on these Ecampus petitions. We wanted to see if a new guideline, policy, or process should be discussed to mitigate the rise in numbers of this type of petition. We also had the sense that most of these students were Non-Degree seeking students, who do not get specific advising and often get confused with policies from other universities. The other possible types of students these petitions could be from are fully on-line degree seeking students or on-campus students taking an Ecampus course. These last two types of students would most likely have a major advisor that would reinforce the communication about the drop/withdraw deadlines. Therefore, we wanted to get data on the type of student in these petitions as well.

    Update: This year during winter and spring term 2012 we collected all Ecampus petitions that fit the description above. During the winter 2012 term we had 38 Ecampus petitions that fit the category of "Late Drop" or "Withdrawal from the University" because the student never attended or didn’t participate in the course. This was 28% of all of the "Late Drop" (90) and "Withdrawal from the University" (43) petitions for winter term. During spring 2012 term we had 16 of these types of petitions or 17% of the Late Drop (64) and Withdraw from the University (26) petitions for spring term. In regards to the type of students that fall into the category above, the overwhelming majority were Non-degree seeking students.
        Using the percentages above for the small amount of data collected over Winter and Spring terms, it is the committee’s recommendation that it would be useful to either collect more extensive data, revisit the guidelines for the committee, or discuss implementing a new Ecampus policy.
New Challenges for this academic year

  • Increase in Petitions from College of Veterinary Medicine and College of Pharmacy
  • This last year we seemed to see a large number of petitions from the Veterinary Medicine and Pharmacy graduate school programs. At the end of the year we saw around 17 pharmacy late adds, 12 pharmacy late drops, 10 Vet Med late adds and 7 Vet med late drops, a total of 29 pharmacy changes and 17 Vet Med changes. We wanted to keep track of these numbers because each change in registration (adds, drops, etc.) that the Registrar makes to a student’s record costs the student $20 to be processed. It also takes committee time to review these petitions, which were all approved by the committee. It is recommended that, if this number continues to grow, a discussion with the above colleges about their scheduling processes should take place with a possible change in registration process for these graduate students.

2011-2012 Academic Requirements Membership
Kelly Kneece ’12, Chair College of Science
Richard Halse ’12 Botany & Plant Pathology
Maureen Childers (v. Alexander) ’12 Disability Access Services
Kira Hughes College of Forestry
Nancy Allen Fisheries and Wildlife
Dodi Reesman Animal Sciences
Marilyn Stewart ’13 Educational Opportunities Program

Ex-Officio Registrar’s Office Representatives: Tom Watts, Amy Flint and Nancy Laurence
Executive Committee Liaison: Jack Higginbotham