Senate Bill No.: 0304-09

UNIVERSITY SENATE

UNIVERSITY AT ALBANY
STATE UNIVERSITY OF NEW YORK


Introduced by: Undergraduate Academic Council

Date: November 20, 2003


REVISION OF THE CRITERIA FOR DEAN'S LIST AND

DEAN'S COMMENDATION FOR PART-TIME STUDENTS


IT IS HEREBY PROPOSED THAT THE FOLLOWING BE ADOPTED:

1. That the GPA minimum criterion for both the Dean's List and the Dean's Commendation for Part-Time Students be 3.25 for a student's
first matriculated semester at the University and be 3.5 thereafter, without regard to whether the student's basis of admission was "freshman" or "transfer."

2. That this change become effective for all undergraduates matriculating in Fall 2004
and thereafter.

3. That the bill be referred to the President for approval.

RATIONALE:

The current Dean's List and Dean's Commendation for Part-Time Students policies state the GPA minimum for a "freshman*" is 3.25, while the minimum for every other matriculated undergraduate is 3.5. The asterisk, for each policy, defines "freshman" as follows:

"For the purposes of this policy, 'freshman' is defined as a student whose admissions status is freshman and who has completed no more than two full time semesters of study in the fall or spring semester at the University at Albany."

Whatever the current policy may have intended, this definition states that as long as a student admitted as a "freshman" (vs. a "transfer") remains a part-time student, that student will never need higher than a 3.25 to receive the Dean's Commendation. If, later on, perhaps after having completed 90 credits in ten 9-credit semesters, the student decides to go full-time in the senior year, then that senior still needs only a 3.25 for those two full-time semesters to make Dean's List. The UAC does not believe this could have been the spirit of the policy and believes this result to be undesirable and unfair.

The Council can appreciate the desire to encourage a new student with a lower threshold but does not consider a second semester freshman to be a "new" student. The Council also does not see a justification for setting a lower goal for a first semester freshman admit (some of whom bring in a year's worth or work or more in Advanced Placement or other pre-freshman credit) but not for a first semester transfer (some of whom bring in less than a semester's worth of work). It is also the consensus of the UAC that a first semester transfer often has at least as many adjustment problems, and thus would also benefit from an encouraging "break" of a 3.25 minimum for the first semester.

Neither the previous records system (SIRS) nor PeopleSoft can handle the definitions in the current policy. While the UAC has consistently opposed changing academic policies simply to facilitate the workings of whatever computer systems the University is currently employing, the proposed revisions, perhaps because they are simple and rational, can be handled by PeopleSoft. If these revisions are approved, the UAC recommends that the definitions of Dean's List and Dean's Commendation cutoffs be printed on the DARS audit.

Finally, the UAC recommends eliminating the definition in these policies of full- vs. part-time based on a student's registration as of "the last day for adding semester courses." This is not a valid definition, cannot be checked by either SIRS or PeopleSoft, and this limitation has not be used in recent years to determine recipients of these honors

No other changes are recommended in the current policies. The full wording of the revised policies is provided on the following page.


Dean's List

For students matriculating Fall 2004 and thereafter: A full-time student shall be placed on the Dean's List for a particular semester if the following conditions are met: Within the award semester matriculated students must have completed at Albany a minimum of 12 graduation credits in courses graded A-E, with no grade lower than a C, and with no incomplete (I) grades. For a student's first matriculated semester at the University, .the students semester average must be 3.25 or higher; for all other students, the semester average must a 3.5 or higher.

For students matriculating Fall 1997or later but before Fall 2004: A full-time student shall be placed on the Dean's List for a particular semester if the following conditions are met: Within the award semester matriculated students must have completed at Albany a minimum of 12 graduation credits in courses graded A-E. The student's semester average must be 3.5 or higher for a sophomore, junior, or senior, and at least 3.25 for a freshman*, with no grade lower than a C, and with no incomplete (I) grades.* For the purposes of this policy "freshman" is defined as a student whose admissions status is freshman and who has completed no more than two full time semesters of study in the fall or spring semester at the University at Albany.

For students matriculating before Fall 1997: A student shall be placed on the Dean's List for a particular semester if that student has met all of the following criteria: Within that semester the student must have completed at Albany a minimum of 12 graduation credits in courses graded A-E, and must have registered for those credits before the last day for adding semester courses. The student's semester average must be 3.25 or higher, with no grade lower than C-.

Dean's Commendation for Part-Time Students
For students matriculating Fall 2004 and thereafter: A part-time student shall receive the Dean's Commendation for Part-Time Students for a particular semester if the following conditions are met: Within the award semester matriculated students must have completed at Albany a minimum of 6 graduation credits in courses graded A-E, with no grade lower than a C, and with no incomplete (I) grades. For a student's first matriculated semester at the University, .the students semester average must be 3.25 or higher; for all other students, the semester average must a 3.5 or higher.

For students matriculating Fall 1997or later but before Fall 2004: A student shall receive the Dean's Commendation for Part-Time Students for a particular semester if the student has met all of the following criteria: A matriculated student must have completed at least 6 graduation credits at the University at Albany within the given semester in courses graded A-E. The student's semester average must be 3.5 or higher for a sophomore, junior, or senior, and at least 3.25 for a freshman*, with no grade lower than C, and with no incomplete (I) grades. * For the purposes of this policy "freshman" is defined as a student whose admissions status is freshman and who has completed no more than two full time semesters of study in the fall or spring semester at the University at Albany.

For students matriculating before Fall 1997: A student shall receive the Dean's Commendation for Part-Time Students for a particular semester if the student has met all of the following criteria: A matriculated student must have completed at least 6 graduation credits at the University at Albany within the given semester in courses graded A-E and have been registered for fewer than 12 credits on the last day for adding semester courses. The student's semester average must be 3.25 or higher, with no grade lower than C-.