During its third meeting of the semester the Educational Policies Committee approved a recommendation to change the undergraduate policy regarding students who take a course for a third time and furthered their discussion of adding academic minors to diplomas.
According to the current university policy, a student who fails does not complete or for some other reason needs to take a course for the third time must have the approval of the associate dean of the college. However the policy does not state from which college permission is required.
The policy proposed will require the student obtain permission from the college of his or her major before taking a course for the third or subsequent time.
‘The main problem with the policy is that it’s not enforceable in any way,’ said Shannon Morgan. ‘SOLAR’s not going to catch them, they can repeat for the 15th time.’
While the current school policy states that third-time students must receive permission to take the course again, after open registration begins SOLAR, the online registration system, does not request or require approval for the student to register.
The policy is intended to provide students having difficulties with a form of advisement and serves as a scare tactic to motivate the student.
The EPC also furnished five potential designs for diplomas, which include academic options and emphasis, similar to the proposed diplomas listing minors.
‘The students have asked us to consider this so we’re decided whether or not we want to make a policy recommendation,’ said Elizabeth Adams, the chair of the EPC.
That request came in the form of a bill passed by Associated Students in April of 2008.
In that bill A.S. offered to increase graduation fees for students by one dollar to offset additional costs for printing the new diplomas, according to Adams.
However, Adams said, the one dollar increase would not come close to covering the excess costs, and suggested a cost-analysis report for the new diploma designs.
‘The more you load (the diploma) with verbiage, the more it loses its formality or its weight, its importance,’ said EPC member Nazaret Dermendjian. ‘Otherwise it becomes a transcript.’
Morgan called one design, which included a triple major with academic options and honors, ‘a mess.’
However the committee acknowledged the symbolic importance of a student’s work being represented on the diploma and decided to give the proposal further discussion at the next EPC meeting on Nov. 11, pending the completion of a cost analysis report.
The EPC also approved modifications to a number of Mechanical Engineering classes, changing course titles, descriptions and prerequisites. Two ME courses were deleted and four were added.
The EPC also added a History course, 469P, which will focus on pirates. The class will discuss why people became pirates and how they lived and died.