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DOCUMENTS OF THE GENERAL FACULTY

SUBSTITUTE MOTION FOR THE RECOMMENDATIONS FROM THE ADMISSIONS AND REGISTRATION COMMITTEE ON THE PROPOSAL TO CONTROL ENROLLMENT BY REDEFINING THE PROVISIONAL ADMISSION PROGRAM

 

As a voting member of the Faculty Council (mathematics), I am filing the recommendation set forth below as a substitute motion for the Recommendations from the Admissions and Registration Committee appearing as D 828-830, which are in turn based on the proposal in D 793-796.

This motion will be presented to the Faculty Council for action at its meeting on October 16, 2000.

 

<signed>

John R. Durbin, Secretary
The Faculty Council

 

 

 

This legislation was posted on the Faculty Council web site (http://www.utexas.edu/faculty/council/) on October 13, 2000. Paper copies are available on request from the Office of the General Faculty, FAC 22, F9500.


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SUBSTITUTE MOTION FOR THE RECOMMENDATIONS FROM THE ADMISSIONS AND REGISTRATION COMMITTEE ON THE PROPOSAL TO CONTROL ENROLLMENT BY REDEFINING THE PROVISIONAL ADMISSION PROGRAM

 

This motion is intended to offer a clear alternative to help the Faculty Council concentrate on some of the key philosophical and practical issues involved in new proposals for undergraduate admission. It reflects the opinion of the author as well as issues raised in the Faculty Council meeting on September 18, 2000, and in conversations since that meeting. The motion will be offered as a substitute for the recommendations from the Admissions and Registration Committee (D 828-830) to be presented to the Council on October 16, 2000, which are in turn based on the proposal in D 793-796.

Motion.

  1. The Provisional Admission Program should be eliminated.

  2. A new summer enrollment plan should be offered beginning in the summer of 2001. The qualifications of students admitted under this plan should be sufficient to suggest a strong chance of success at the University.

  3. Students in the new summer enrollment plan should be required to take a minimum of nine semester hours.

  4. Beginning in 2001, admission for new undergraduates will be limited to regular freshman admission (including the summer enrollment plan and spring admission) and transfer admission.

  5. At the November meeting of the Faculty Council, the administration should report on plans for summer courses intended to accommodate those admitted for the summer of 2001, as well as plans for the kinds of courses the students will be required to take. In the long run, the University should aim for a plan that would allow regular admission for either the fall or summer, and rely on inducements (such as smaller classes) rather than a two-tiered system to attract freshmen to the summer program.

Rationale.

Elimination of the current Provisional Admission Program on the UT Austin campus is justified by its contribution to the enrollment growth of the University.

The proposal to initiate a Provisional Admission Program through UT Arlington, and potentially at other UT System schools, has been justified on the grounds that it would offer a second chance to new high school graduates not admitted to the University through either regular admission or the proposed new summer enrollment plan. Although well intentioned, this overlooks the fact that for each applicant admitted under the proposed provisional plan, admission would be denied to some deserving applicant for transfer admission. How can the University justify the potential unfairness in this? Moreover, why should a new high school graduate be forced to attend a UT System school, to be promised the preferred second chance, when he or she might find a community college or four-year institution (public or private) more convenient, more economical, or more appealing on other grounds? Having only two options, regular (including summer) admission and transfer admission, would be much simpler and more fair.

The suggestion that those admitted under the new summer enrollment plan should register for 12 hours, because students under the current provisional plan have been required to take 12 hours, overlooks the fact that those in the provisional program registered for M 301 (college algebra), while, under the new plan, many in science and engineering would register for M 408C (calculus); there is a very significant difference. There are, no doubt, other differences in the courses students might take under the new plan.

Appendix A contains relevant information on freshman admission. Appendix B contains relevant information on transfer admission.

 


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APPENDIX A

 

FRESHMAN ADMISSION

Excerpts from UT Austin's admission web site (http://www.utexas.edu/student/admissions/freshman.html) on Wednesday, October 11, 2000.

Admission Standards

Top 10% Graduates from Texas High Schools

In accordance with Texas Education Code §51.803, students are admissible to the University as first-time freshmen if they:

  1. graduate in the top 10% of their class from an accredited Texas high school; and
  2. submit all required credentials by the appropriate deadline (all credentials must be received by, not postmarked by, the deadline date).

Applicants must have graduated from a Texas high school during one of the two school years preceding the academic year for which they seek admission. Applicants admitted because they are in the top 10% of their high school class may be required to complete additional preparatory work before enrolling in the University; they may also be required to remove any deficiencies in units of high school coursework (see below) before graduating from the University.

Due to the high volume of applications for admission to the McCombs School of Business, Texas applicants ranked in the top 10% of their high school class are admitted on a competitive basis (see below).


Texas High School Graduates Not Ranked in the Top 10%
& All Graduates of Out-of-State High Schools

Graduates of Texas high schools who do not graduate in the top 10% of their class and all nonresident applicants must have graduated from an accredited high school and must have satisfied the unit requirements below. Applications completed by the deadline are evaluated individually. Admission decisions are based on an evaluation of all the following (though no specific class rank, test score, or other qualification by itself assures admission, except as described above under "Top 10% Texas Residents"):

  1. class rank;
  2. the strength of your academic background, including the number of courses taken in math, science, and foreign language;
  3. your SAT-I or ACT scores;
  4. record of achievements/honors/awards;
  5. special accomplishments/work/service both in and out of school;
  6. essays;
  7. special circumstances that put academic achievements into context;
  8. recommendations (although not required);
  9. competitiveness of the major to which you apply.

For Texas residents, consideration may be given to socioeconomic and geographic information.

Enrollment pressures at the University may not permit us to admit all those who are qualified. When this occurs, we may limit enrollment in specific programs to the best qualified applicants; in programs that cannot accommodate all qualified applicants, preference is given to the applicants who have the best qualifications.

The Office of Admissions takes into consideration the University's commitment both to manage enrollment and, within applicable law, to admit qualified students who reflect the diversity of the state's population.


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As a state-supported public institution, the University reserves a majority of its spaces for Texas residents; consequently, admission of nonresidents is more competitive.


Uniform Admission Policy on Class Rank
High school rank for students seeking automatic admission to a general academic teaching institution on the basis of their class rank is determined and reported as follows:

  1. Class rank shall be based on standing at the end of the 11th grade, middle of the 12th grade, or at high school graduation, whichever is most recent at the application deadline.
  2. The top 10% of a high school class shall not contain more than 10% of the total class size.
  3. The student's rank shall be reported by the applicant's high school or school district as a specific number out of a specific number in total class size.
  4. Class rank shall be determined by the Texas school or school district from which the student graduated or is expected to graduate.                                     - from the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board
 

1999 Freshman Class Profile

To give you an idea of the calibre of student admitted to UT-Austin, the entering freshman class of Fall 1999 exhibited the following characteristics:

  • 50% of applicants were in the top 10% of their high school graduating class, 87% were in the top quarter of their class;
  • 60% of applicants scored 1200 or higher on the SAT-I, 34% scored 1300 or higher (the 1999 national average SAT-I is 1016);
  • 18,286 freshman applicants total, 10,878 admitted.

A high proportion of UT-Austin entering freshmen rank near the top of their high school classes. The chart below displays the percentage of students admitted to UT's undergraduate divisions for fall 1999 who ranked in the top decile of their senior class. (The admission decisions represented here were not based solely on class rank, but on a combination of factors. These data are provided simply as a guide to prospective students considering application to specific schools or colleges within UT-Austin.)

The College of Pharmacy is not listed because freshmen are admitted as pre-Pharmacy majors into the College of Natural Sciences; the School of Social Work is not listed because there were too few students to be represented graphically.


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APPENDIX B

 

TRANSFER ADMISSION

Excerpts from UT Austin's admission web site (http:www.utexas.edu/student/admission/transfer.html) on Wednesday, October 11, 2000.

Eligibility

To be eligible for transfer admission consideration, you must have: earned a high school diploma or the equivalent; completed a minimum of 24 semester hours of transferable credit.

Any U.S. citizen or Permanent Resident Immigrant degree-seeking undergraduate applicant who has previously attended a college or university following high school graduation (or the equivalent) and earned any amount or type of credit is considered a transfer student and is no longer eligible for entering freshman admission consideration.

Any applicant who is not eligible to continue at or return to another institution for academic or disciplinary reasons is not eligible for admission to the University of Texas at Austin.

There is no probationary or provisional admission for transfer students at UT-Austin.

How We Review Applications

All applications are individually reviewed and evaluated. In making our decisions, we take into consideration the University's need to manage enrollment and commitment to admit, within applicable law, qualified students who reflect the diversity of Texas. Grade point average (GPA) is the primary consideration in transfer admission decisions; we also evaluate the following:

http://www.utexas.edu/student/admissions/transfer-gpa-range.gif

  • the strength of your academic background, including the difficulty of your courses;
  • your achievements and accomplishments both in and out of school;
  • related factors you tell us about in writing.

No specific grade point average or other qualification by itself guarantees admission. Some UT-Austin undergraduate divisions may be unable to accommodate all qualified applicants, in which case preference is given to candidates considered to have the best qualifications. Some programs have enrollment limitations or special requirements for admission.

Because the University is a state-supported institution, most of our places are reserved for Texas residents; admission is more competitive for nonresidents. Enrollment pressures on the campus may result in our inability to admit all those who are qualified. When this occurs, we may control enrollment in specific programs by limiting the admission of new students.

To give you an idea of the calibre of student admitted to UT-Austin, transfer applicants accepted for fall 1999 exhibited the following characteristics:

  • the campuswide average transfer GPA was 3.44, and 44% of admitted transfer applicants had a transfer GPA of 3.50 or higher;
  • 5412 transfer applicants total, 2536 admitted, 1758 enrolled;
  • 48.6% transferred from 4-year institutions and 51.4% from community colleges;
  • 88.2% were Texas residents and 11.8% were nonresidents of Texas.

The chart below shows the middle 50% of grade-point averages earned in coursework taken at previous institutions by transfer students admitted to UT-Austin's eleven undergraduate divisions for fall 1999. This chart


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serves only as a point of reference for you to consider as you apply to the University; many other factors will be considered in the decision-making process.

 

Applicability of Prior Coursework Toward Admission

The chronology of completed college coursework we need to review your transfer application depends on the academic term for which you apply:

applicants for...

should submit all coursework completed through the preceding...

fall
semesters

fall term

spring
semesters

spring term

summer
sessions

fall term


Coursework in progress
at the time of the application deadline counts toward admission but only when all other completed credit, as indicated in the table above, was originally received by the deadline. For example, spring courses may count toward fall admission and fall courses toward spring admission if transcripts of all other coursework arrive by the appropriate deadlines. (We regret that summer courses cannot be considered toward admission in the following fall because of time constraints.) Even if you are initially denied admission, automatic reconsideration is given when the new grades and credit arrive on official transcript in the Office of Admissions. However, admission to some programs with enrollment limits may become closed before coursework in progress is completed.