Students to take writing proficiency exam before 75 units

Adria Brodie

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A.S. President Conor Lansdale speaks to Cynthia Rawitch, associate vice president of undergraduate studies, before the start of the A.S. meeting Tuesday. Rawitch spoke about future requirements and processes for graduating students. Photo Credit: Paul Kingsley / Photo Editor

A possible policy change announced Tuesday will require students to complete the writing proficiency exam (WPE) no later than the semester they reach 75 units.

Dr. Cynthia Rawitch, associate vice president of undergraduate studies, announced the policy change to Associated Students (A.S.) along with three other policy updates that impact CSUN students’ registration, graduation and educational goals.

“Too many students get to their senior year and cannot pass the test,” Rawitch said. “We want to help people identify what it is they need to pass the test early on.”

The university would provide workshops, classes and tutoring for those students who need additional assistance, Rawitch said.

Senator Amanda Flavin asked whether more WPE dates would be offered to students.

“We did add a test this summer in July and 1,000 students took it,” Rawitch said.

The three other policies discussed that impact CSUN students are registration unit limits,  limits on majors and minors and administrative graduation.

Rawitch said the A.S. Senate wanted her to specifically address the registration unit limits and the limits on majors and minors policies.

“I wanted to know why there was a unit limit,” said Senator Cynthia Medrano. “I wanted to know what was the big picture and if it helped students or hurt students.”

Medrano said she thought the presentation would give Senate members the details about how the policies came about. She, along with other A.S. Senate members, listened to Rawitch as she spokeabout the purpose of the policies and their effects on students.

Rawitch said the policy regarding a unit cap on registration limits the maximum number of units for students to 13 during priority and registration by appointment. She said students were able to add additional units through the fourth week of the Fall semester, totaling 17 units.

“We have two rounds of registration,” Rawitch said. “The first round allowed students to think about what 12 or 13 units they really needed most.”

Rawitch said the purpose of having the policy is to ensure fairness and equity among all students.

“Those students who wanted 12 or 13 units got them fairly and easily,” Rawitch said.

She added that despite some students’ concerns about the limit, the process worked well enough to carry over into the Spring semester.

“Most students were able to get the minimum 12 units in the first round and additional units,” Rawitch said. “We think it worked well.”

She said the next important issue impacting students was the limit on majors and minors a student could declare, which was passed in May and became effective this semester.

“Students can only declare two majors and two minors,” Rawitch said. “They have to declare their majors by 60 units and cannot change their majors after 90 units.”

Rawitch said the reason for the policy is to have students focus on where they are going and what they want to do in the future.

“We have way too many students changing their majors,” Rawitch said. “It’s not intended to be punitive, but to be helpful.”

She added there is an appeal process, but only two have been received thus far.

Senator Sydni Powell asked Rawitch if students would get any correspondence from the university regarding the policies.

“Students will receive e-mails and other correspondence about this information,” Rawitch said.

As Rawitch continued with her presentation, she talked about the impact of administrative graduation on students.

“Students who have completed over 140 units and all degree requirements can graduate administratively,” Rawitch said. “Once you have paid your graduation fee, you will receive your diploma.”

Rawitch added the university wanted to help students focus on their future after graduation.

This policy is geared toward undergraduates, but plans are in the works for graduate students as well, Rawitch said. She said graduate students face a different situation because of their requirement to complete a thesis.

After the presentation, Medrano said she felt Dr. Rawitch’s presentation was highly effective.