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Academic Standards and Student Records Committee

Minutes of September 28, 2006

  1.  The Academic Standards and Student Records Committee met on Thursday, September 28, 2006 from 3:30 p.m. till 5:00 p.m. in S-117. The following members were attending the meeting: Dr. Janna Arney, Ms. Ethel Cantu, Ms. Mari Chapa, Ms. Kathleen Carter, Ms. Mari Chapa, Ms. Ana Linville, Dr. Eldon Nelson, Dr. Taiel Yi, Mr. Tom Welther, and Mr. Steve Wilder. Mr. Albert Barreda, the Registrar, was also attending the meeting.
  2. After committee members had read the minutes of August 31, 2006, the following corrections of the minutes were made: In paragraph #3 the clause “… the student in question was not informed …” was changed to “… the student in question may not have been informed…”, and the clause “… was hammered out be the committee in 2004 …” was changed to “… was hammered out by the committee in 2004 …” In paragraph #5, the clause “… Dr. Fuentes-Martin raced out the room …” was changed to “… Dr. Fuentes-Martin raced out of the room … “ In paragraph #6 the verb “preceded” in the first line was changed to “proceeded”, and in paragraph #8, the phrase “… as well as other department” was changed to “… as well as other departments.” After the committee had corrected the minutes, Dr. Nelson moved that the minutes, along with their corrections, be accepted by the committee. Ms. Chapa seconded his motion, and the committee accepted the minutes of August 31, 2006.
  3. To gather information for the discussion on instructor-initiated drops, Dr. Nelson asked Mr. Barreda what grades students received that were dropped by an instructor due to a bad attendance record. Mr. Barreda replied that the recorded grade in such instances was a W. Next, Dr. Nelson asked whether a grade of F would be more appropriate than a W in such circumstances. Ms. Cantú commented that to avoid confusion, it would be better to simply keep the grade of W. Ms. Linville mentioned that she would contact students who excessively missed class and would drop them if they did not respond to her inquiry. She felt that a W was generous. Mr. Barreda informed the committee members that no grade of F but a W could be given during the semester. He also told the attending members that each long semester hundreds of students with outstanding debts are warned that they may be dropped. These students may wind up on a roster of a class that they won’t attend and, therefore, be given an F by the instructor in charge. A few semesters later, the affected students may return to the college to contest the grade of F. Mr. Barreda further explained that if students never attend a class that they registered for, they can be dropped without a recorded grade; however, this is not true when a student has an attendance record in a class.
  4. Mr. Welther observed that a grade of W is punitive in regard to financial aid. Ms. Chapa confirmed this observation by pointing out that to stay in good standing students have to have a success rate of 70 % over three semesters. Mr. Welther then inquired whether it was true that students were only allowed two attempts to complete a class successfully before they would have to pay additional tuition as the state would not subsidize a third attempt. Both Ms. Chapa and Dr. Eldon mentioned that this probably was not the case at this time. Dr. Eldon asked the committee how the message in regard to dropping students with a bad attendance record was passed on to faculty. Mr. Welther replied that this was usually done by the department chairs. Ms. Chapa explained that it was important for students who were not attending their classes to be dropped as they were ineligible borrowers. Mr. Barreda told the committee members that this was an ongoing problem; therefore, faculty members needed to check their rosters at least weekly. He also mentioned that after the official record day about 3000 transactions will have occurred. Next, however, he explained that the official record day usually is not the 12th class day but the 20th class day. Even the Coordinating Board labors under this assumption. Other institutions also make adjustments in enrollment beyond the 12th class day. Ms. Linville, Dr. Nelson, and Mr. Welther agreed that word would have to get out to faculty members to drop students who are not attending. Mr. Welther said that two slightly different versions would have to be written up for faculty and students. Mr. Barreda continued to urge the committee to take action as the institution needed to be in compliance. In addition, he mentioned that the sooner nonattending students are dropped, the sooner the abuse of financial aid would be stopped. Ms. Chapa confirmed this statement when she explained that financial aid was dispensed ten days before the onset of classes.
  5. Dr. Yi asked Mr. Barreda whether the Registrar’s Office inquired what grade to give when an instructor initiated a drop. Mr. Barreda replied that instructors did not have to issue a grade; however, the office needed to know the last day of attendance if a student had attended the class. The drop would show up as a W in the student’s transcripts. In the case of no attendance, the student’s transcripts would not show any record. Dr. Yi pointed out that different instructors may react differently given the same situation and wondered if this was o.k. Mr. Barreda told him that it was o.k. as long as they stuck to the information in their syllabi. He further said that he wouldn’t want a rigid policy as such a policy might be difficult to be enforced in large classes. Instead of including wording, such as, three misses and a student is out, Mr. Barreda offered that students with excessive absences might be dropped. Dr. Nelson then commented that it was the faculty’s prerogative to decide to drop such students. Mr. Barreda supported Dr. Nelson by stating that the faculty had the responsibility to report students who had never attended a class or who were attending a class but were not listed on the roster. He also said that his office was in dire need of the attendance information because of the impact that this information had on funding. Dr. Nelson concluded this discussion by mentioning that the Registrar, Mr. Barreda, and the Director of Financial Aid, Ms. Mari Chapa, should talk to the Academic Senate in an effort to get this information out.
  6. On a different note, the attending committee members reiterated for Mr. Welther to recommend to the Academic Senate a TOEFL score of 500 for international undergraduates as an admission requirement to UTB/TSC.
  7. A few minutes before 5 p.m., Ms. Linville called for the meeting to be adjourned. Ms. Chapa seconded her motion, and the meeting ended.

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