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77


DOCUMENTS OF THE GENERAL FACULTY

CHANGES IN POLICIES CONCERNING
GRADES AWARDED WITH CREDIT BY EXAMINATION

Robert A. Duke (Music), Chair of the Educational Policy Committee for 1998-99, has filed with the Secretary of the Faculty Council the recommendation from the Educational Policy Committee on changes in policies concerning grades awarded with credit by examination set forth below. The Secretary has classified this recommendation as general legislation. The 10-day circulation rule for general legislation will be satisfied on November 12, 1999.

Notice is hereby given that this legislation will be presented to the Faculty Council for action at its meeting on November 15, 1999.

<signed>

John R. Durbin, Secretary
The Faculty Council


Posted on the Faculty Council web site (www.utexas.edu/faculty/council/) on October 29, 1999. Paper copies are available on request from the Office of the General Faculty, FAC 22, F9500.

78


CHANGES IN POLICIES CONCERNING
GRADES AWARDED WITH CREDIT BY EXAMINATION


RECOMMENDATIONS:
  1. That the University of Texas at Austin continue to award credit by examination either with letter grades or with the symbol CR but that letter grades for credit by examination not be counted in a student's UT Austin grade point average.

  2. That the catalog and other official publications of UT Austin be amended to reflect this change in policies.
RECOMMENDATIONS:

This proposal is based on the premise that a student's UT Austin grade point average should be a record of accomplishment in coursework completed at the University. But current UT Austin policies concerning grades awarded with credit by examination permit a student to elect to have examination credit recorded either with a letter grade (A, B, or C) or with the credit-only symbol (CR), a choice that the student may make after learning of his or her performance on a given examination.

UT Austin grade point averages are used primarily to determine whether a student's academic progress is satisfactory and whether a student is eligible for academic honors, decisions that should be based on a student's performance in coursework taken at UT Austin. A grade point average computed only for courses taken at the University would also aid academic advisers by reflecting more accurately a student's performance at the University.

NATURE OF CREDIT BY EXAMINATION:

At UT Austin credit by examination is used to validate and recognize college-level learning that has not occurred under the direction and supervision of UT Austin faculty members, and this seems entirely appropriate. Knowledge and skills that are comparable to those taught in college-level courses and are documented by student performance in rigorous examinations should be awarded credit that appears on a student's transcript. But credit earned by examination does not reflect a student's performance in coursework at UT Austin. This fact was recognized when the UT Austin faculty enacted legislation in 1974 stating that credit by examination is not credit earned in residence.

79



CREDIT BY EXAMINATION AT UT AUSTIN:

TABLE 1
NUMBER OF 7,085 FIRST-TIME FRESHMEN WHO WERE ELIGIBLE FOR CREDIT BY EXAMINATION
(CBE) IN EACH COURSE AS A RESULT OF A QUALIFYING SCORE ON A TEST:
SUMMER AND FALL 1997-1998

UT Austin Course
No. of Freshmen Eligible for CBE
No. of Semester Hours for which eligible
UT Austin Course
No. of Freshmen Eligible for CBE
No. of Semester Hours for which eligible
UT Austin Course
No. of Freshmen Eligible for CBE
No. of Semester Hours for which eligible
ARH 302
27
81
HEB 506
6
30
PHY 103M
8
8
ARH 303
6
18
HEB 507
7
35
PHY 103N
3
3
ART 302K
41
123
HIN 604
6
36
PHY 309K
2
6
BIO 302
426
1,278
HIN 612
4
24
PHY 309L
2
6
BIO 303
150
450
HIS 309K
108
324
PHY 316
74
222
BIO 304
426
1,278
HIS 309L
109
327
PHY 116L
74
74
C S 304P
127
381
HIS 315K
448
1,344
PHY 317K
1
3
C S 315
50
150
HIS 315L
447
1,341
PHY 117M
1
1
CH 301
232
696
I B 350
1
3
POR 604
1
6
CH 302
138
414
ITL 506
2
10
POR 612
1
6
CH 204
28
56
ITL 507
2
10
PRS 506
2
10
CH 304K
4
12
ITL 312K
1
3
PRS 507
2
10
CH 305
1
3
ITL 312L
1
3
PRS 312K
2
6
CHI 506
163
815
JPN 506
16
80
PRS 312L
2
6
CHI 507
153
765
JPN 507
12
60
PSY 301
112
336
CHI 412K
141
564
JPN 412K
5
20
RUS 506
21
105
CHI 412L
129
516
JPN 412L
3
12
RUS 507
20
100
E 306
2,414
7,242
KOR 506
23
115
RUS 312K
14
42
E 316K
1,613
4,839
KOR 507
22
110
RUS 312L
13
39
E E 302
1
3
KOR 412K
19
76
RUS 218A
14
14
ECO 304K
113
339
KOR 412L
18
72
RUS 218B
13
13
EDP 371
55
165
LAT 507
39
195
RUS 324
2
6
FIN 354
1
3
LAT 311
32
96
RUS 326
2
6
FR 506
336
1,680
LAT 312K
22
66
RUS 327
2
6
FR 507
210
1,050
LAT 316
12
36
RUS 228A
2
2
FR 312K
144
432
M 301
19
57
RUS 228B
2
2
FR 312L
104
312
M 305G
3,466
10,398
SOC 302
19
57
FR 320E
10
30
M 408C
843
3,372
SPN 506
1,778
8,890
FR 120M
6
6
M 408D
1
4
SPN 507
1,212
6,060
FR 322E
2
6
M 308K
299
897
SPN 312K
966
2,898
FR 326L
1
3
M 308L
299
897
SPN 3126
750
2,250
GER 506
112
560
MAL 506
1
5
SPN 315N
38
114
GER 507
47
235
MAL 507
1
5
SPN 319
324
972
GER 312K
32
96
MAL 312K
1
3
SPN 325K
3
9
GER 312L
17
51
MAL 312L
1
3
SPN 326L
2
6
GER 328
7
21
MIS 310
7
21
SPN 327
203
609
GK 507
1
5
MUS 605A
3
9
SWE 604
1
6
GK 310
1
3
PHY 302K
429
1,287
SWE 612
1
6
GK 310K
1
3
PHY 302L
350
1,050
T D 412C
2
8
GK 311
1
3
PHY 102M
429
429
T D 212F
5
10
GOV 310L
773
2,319
PHY 102N
350
350
T D 212G
1
2
HEB 312K
6
18
PHY 303K
8
24
TOTALS
22,168*
74,313
HEB 312L
5
15
PHY 303L
3
9

*This total is the number of courses for which the 7,085 first-time freshmen were eligible.


80



TABLE 2
NUMBERS OF COURSES FOR WHICH 7,085 FIRST-TIME FRESHMEN WERE ELIGIBLE FOR
CREDIT BY EXAMINATION AS A RESULT OF QUALIFYING SCORES ON TESTS:
SUMMER AND FALL 1997-1998


Types of Courses
Number of Courses
Semester Hours of Credit
Humanities and Fine Arts
11,426
43,001
Natural Sciences and Engineering
8,244
23,818
Social and Behavioral Sciences and Business Administration
2,498
7,494
TOTAL AMOUNTS
22,168
74,313
AVERAGE (MEAN) AMOUNTS
3.13
10.49

 


TABLE 3
EFFECTS OF CREDIT BY EXAMINATION (CBE) ON U.T. AUSTIN GRADE POINT AVERAGES
OF 6,890 UNDERGRADUATE STUDENTS WHO WERE GRADUATED IN CALENDAR 1994

How CBE was recorded:
  Some CBE was recordedwith CR symbol Some CBE was recordedwith letter grades
Number of graduates
2,392 (35%)
3,381 (49%)
Average (median) amounts of CBE
5 semester hours
8 semester hours
Effects of CBE on cumulative grade point averages over all coursework:
 
With CBE letter grades excluded from GPAs
With CBE letter grades included in GPAs
Highest GPA
4.0
4.0
Median GPA
2.9
3.0
Lowest GPA
1.6
1.9
Number of students with GPA less than 2.0
59 (1%)
1 (less than 0.1%)

 


81



POLICIES AT OTHER MAJOR UNIVERSITIES:


Credit by examination policies published in recent catalogs of the following 44 major public and private universities were examined:

U. Arizona
Calif. Inst. of Tech
U. Calif. at Berkeley
U. Calif. at Los Angeles
Carnegie-Mellon U.
U. Colorado at Boulder
Cornell U.
Duke U.
U. Florida
Harvard U
U. Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Indiana U.
U. Iowa
Iowa State U.
U. Kansas
Louisiana State U.
U. Maryland
Mass. Inst. of Tech
U. Michigan
Michigan State U.
U. Minnesota
U. Missouri
U. Nebraska at Lincoln
U. North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Northwestern U.
U. Oklahoma
Oklahoma State U.
Ohio State U.
U. Oregon
Penn. State U.

U. Pittsburgh
Princeton U.
Purdue U.
Rice U.
Rutgers U.
Stanford U.
State U. of New York at Buffalo
Texas A&M U.
U. Toronto
Tulane U.
U. Virginia
U. Washington
U. Wisconsin
Yale U.

The policies at those 44 major universities are summarized in Table 4 below:


TABLE 4
HOW MUCH CREDIT BY EXAMINATION CAN BE AWARDED WITH LETTER GRADES, AND ARE THOSE
LETTER GRADES INCLUDED IN GRADE POINT AVERAGES?

 
Public Universities
Non-Public Universities
Total
None with letter grades
25
13
38 (86%)
Some with letter grades that are not in GPAs
2*
0
2 (5%)
Some with letter grades that are in GPAs
1**
0
1 (2%)
All with letter grades
0
0
0
No information in catalogue
2
1
3 (7%)
TOTAL
30
14
44 (100%)

* Indiana University (only if test score was high enough for a grade of A) and University of Kansas (only if departmental tests were used).
** University of Maryland (only if departmental tests were used).

In summary, none of those 44 universities record letter grades for all credit by examination courses, only three of them record letter grades for any CBE courses, and only one of those three includes the CBE letter grades in students' grade point averages.