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Academic Standards and Student Records Committee

Minutes of August 31, 2006

  1. The Academic Standards and Student Records Committee met on Thursday, August 31, 2006 from 1:30 p.m. till 3:15 p.m. in S-117. The following members were attending the meeting: Dr. Janna Arney, Ms. Ethel Cantu, Ms. Mari Chapa, Dr. Charles Dameron, Dr. Eldon Nelson, Mr. Tom Welther, and Mr. Steve Wilder. Attending guests included Dr. Mari Fuentes-Martin, Mr. Joel Garza, Dr. Patrick McGehee, and Ms. Thelma Sullivan.
  2. After committee members had read the minutes of April 23, 2006, attending members made the following corrections: The clause “Dr. Nelson motioned to accept the meeting, … .” in paragraph #2 should read “Dr. Nelson motioned to accept the minutes, … .” Also, the clause “…, the committee drafted the following police … .” in paragraph #5 should read “…, the committee drafted the following policy … .” Finally, in the same paragraph, the noun “senate” should be replaced by “Academic Senate”. Following these corrections, Dr. Nelson motioned to approve the minutes. Ms. Chapa seconded Dr. Nelson’s motion, prompting the committee members to approve the minutes.
  3. The discussion of the previous meeting concerning whether or not instructors should be able to drop students during the semester continued. Dr. Nelson firmly expressed that students are responsible for their grades and that assigning a failing grade at the end of a semester would make this clear to them. Ms. Chapa added that they were also responsible for the money they owe, and if they couldn’t pay it back, they should not be able to enroll. Dr. Arney distinguished between the following three types of students: a. students that do not do well in a class although they try, b. students who simply do not care to study hard enough to pass, and c. students who get enrolled but never show up in class. She could see using an administrative drop policy to drop the students in category c. Dr. Dameron mentioned that it would be helpful if the committee had the three different policies available to better discuss them presently. Ms. Chapa added that sometimes students get dropped because they owe more than $75.00; however, there have been instances when a student may have owned a few dollars over this amount and was not dropped. Unfortunately, the student in question may not have been informed about this decision and never attended the class that she believed to have been dropped from but, in fact, was still enrolled. Dr. Nelson suggested continuing this discussion at a later date. Mr. Welther asked the committee members if they would like to table this item and to take it up again at the next meeting. Ms. Chapa thought that this would be a good idea and that the Registrar,  Mr. Barreda, and the Director of the Business Office, Ms. Yolanda de la Riva, should be present during this discussion, too. All members agreed to postpone the discussion of this item till the next meeting, and the discussion moved on to implementing a TOEFL score of 500 as an admission requirement for all incoming international undergraduate students.
  4. Mr. Welther broached this topic by mentioning that the School of Education already had a TOEFL score of 500 in place. Ms. Sullivan further qualified Mr. Welther’s statement by saying that international students that had a foreign degree and sought to be certified through the Alternative Education Program were the only ones of which such a score was currently required in the School of Education. In addition, she mentioned that the Graduate Office requires a score of 550 for incoming international graduate students. Dr. Nelson continued the discussion by delineating the two different tracks international undergraduates would take, depending whether they graduated from an English-speaking high school or not. The chart featuring the two tracks was hammered out by the committee in 2004 and is attached to the minutes. Dr. Fuentes-Martin observed that the I-20 form stipulates that international student must be proficient in English and that this was not true in all cases on our campus; thus, the university is failing. Dr. Nelson inquired whether administration knew who the international students were, and Ms. Sullivan answered affirmatively. Dr. Arney inquired whether international students knew about the TOEFL, and Ms. Sullivan also answered  affirmatively to her question. Dr. Nelson launched another question, asking what changes were necessary to introduce the TOEFL on campus. Dr. Fuentes-Martin replied that probably changing a policy and a form were involved.
  5. Next, the committee members discussed to whom a recommendation concerning a TOEFL score on campus should be sent to. To answer the question, Dr. Fuentes-Martin raced out of the room and returned with copies from the HOOP. According to the HOOP section 6.2.1,  … “the Committee shall make recommendations regarding academic standards and student records to the Provost and academic or university committees or administrators as appropriate.” Thus, the committee members decided to send their recommendation, once it has been drawn up, to the President of Academic Affairs, the Academic Senate, and the Deans and Chairs Committee.
  6. Having decided where to send the recommendation, the committee proceeded to work on it. Mr. Welther noted that beginning ESL students would have to progress through a large ESL program to achieve a score of 500, which Dr. Nelson suggested as TOEFL requirement for international undergraduate students. Dr. Arney inquired whether the university’s ESL program could be of assistance to these students. Mr. Garza, the Director of ESL, replied that as long as the international students were not remedial, the ESL program could help them. Ms. Sullivan reported that there have been cases of non-Spanish speaking international students who succeeded at their studies after at least a year at the ESL program. Mr. Garza added that ESL students are provided with grades and aided with placement; however, once in the program, they are not supervised as to whether they follow the recommended sequence. He further added that this semester, the ESL enrollment numbers at about 400 students. Ms. Carter inquired whether the TOEFL and ESL coursework could be required from international students, and Mr. Welther responded that the requirements would have to be decided by the university. Dr. McGehee explained that the TOEFL is only being given a few times a year and costs $150.00.
  7. Finally, the committee drafted the following recommendation: The Academic Standards and Student Records Committee recommends that the admission requirements for international students who did not graduate from an English-speaking high school include a TOEFL score of 500 on the paper test and 173 on the computer-based test. The scores may not be older than two years at the time of application.
  8. Before the committee departed at 3:15 p.m., Ms. Chapa announced to the committee members that imaging had been approved and would be implemented in Financial Aid, as well as other departments.

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