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DOCUMENTS OF THE GENERAL FACULTY

EDUCATIONAL POLICY COMMITTEE
AMENDMENTS TO PROPOSED RECOMMENDATIONS FOR CHANGE IN THE RESIDENCY REQUIREMENT IN THE UT AUSTIN UNDERGRADUATE CATALOG (D 2480-2482)

On behalf of the Educational Policy Committee, Professor Paul Woodruff (philosophy) submitted the following amendments to the proposed Recommendation for Change in The Residency Requirement in The UT Austin Undergraduate Catalog (D 2480-2482). Changes to the previous legislation and their rationale appear on the following page under 2c.

The secretary has classified this as general legislation. It will be presented to the Faculty Council for action at its meeting on March 22, 2004.


<signed>

Sue Alexander Greninger, Secretary
The Faculty Council


Posted on the Faculty Council Web site on March 18, 2004. Paper copies are available on request from the Office of the General Faculty, FAC 22, F9500


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EDUCATIONAL POLICY COMMITTEE
AMENDMENTS TO PROPOSED RECOMMENDATIONS FOR CHANGE IN THE RESIDENCY REQUIREMENT IN THE UT AUSTIN UNDERGRADUATE CATALOG (D 2480-2482)

RECOMMENDATION:

1. That the University require that students earn a minimum of sixty hours credit in residence in order to obtain a baccalaureate degree.

2. That the following changes be made in the undergraduate General Requirements for Graduation in chapter 1 of The Undergraduate Catalog, 2002-2004.

(The current catalog is available on the Web.)

On page 17, in chapter 1, section "GRADUATION," subsection "GENERAL REQUIREMENTS," make the following changes:

GENERAL REQUIREMENTS

To receive an undergraduate degree from the University of Texas at Austin a student must fulfill all requirements for the degree as set forth in a catalog under which he or she is eligible to graduate and any special requirements of the college or school and department offering the degree, as well as the following minimum general requirements:

[No changes in number 1.]

2. A student must fulfill the following requirements regarding coursework taken in residence. Residence credit includes only courses taken at the University of Texas at Austin; it does not include credit by examination or courses taken by extension or correspondence, and it does not include online courses that are recorded as transfer credit. Additional requirements imposed by a college or school, if any, are given in the college's chapter of this catalog.
a. The student must complete in residence at least [two long-session semesters, or an equivalent period, and at least thirty] sixty semester hours of coursework counted toward the degree.
b. Twenty-four of the last thirty semester hours counted toward the degree must be completed in residence. [However, among components of the University of Texas System, a]
[c. A student may transfer additional coursework to the degree-granting institution with the approval of the appropriate dean. A student seeking such a transfer must file a written petition at the degree-granting institution with his or her academic dean, who may approve the transfer of additional credit.]

Rationale: Deans already have this power. In any case, the specified power does not relate to courses in residence, so this is irrelevant to the policy at hand. We are told, however, that the 60-hour rule will not work for Nursing, and it may not work for some other colleges. One program in Nursing will have to waive this rule for all of its students, but this should be indicated on the Nursing entry in the catalog.

c. For the purposes of the 60-hour residency requirement, coursework in approved affiliated study abroad programs (international provider programs) shall be counted for in-residence credit.

Rationale: Most study abroad is undertaken by students with senior standing. We do not want the 60-hour rule to deter students from study abroad. The policy must be explicit, so that students know in

 


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  advance that their hours will be approved. Current practice is for deans simply to waive the rules for these cases.

 
d. At least six semester hours of advanced coursework in the major must be completed in residence.

[No changes in numbers 3 and 4.]

RATIONALE: Students who receive degrees from The University of Texas at Austin should have completed a significant portion of their coursework while in residence at the University. Current policy requires that thirty hours be taken in residence over a minimum of two long semesters. It is the consensus of the Educational Policy Committee that a larger proportion of degree requirements should be completed in residence: approximately half the credit hour total. Data from the graduating classes in 2000 and 2001 indicate that fewer than 7% of our graduates are granted degrees with their having taken fewer than sixty credit hours in residence. Thus, the proposed change in policy would affect only a small proportion of the student body. But a sixty-hour minimum residency requirement reflects the view that being on a university campus and participating in a university community is an essential part of an undergraduate’s experience. Setting the minimum requirement to sixty hours would ensure that all students who hold UT degrees had devoted a significant portion of their time completing coursework as part of the community of The University of Texas at Austin.

Practices and procedures at UT Austin are often compared to comparable institutions elsewhere in the United States. Printed below are the residency requirements at other major institutions:

Michigan 60
Illinois 60
Virginia half of credits required for degree
UNC Chapel Hill 45
UC Berkeley 45
Washington 45 of last 60
Iowa 45 of last 60
Texas A & M 36
Ohio State 45 quarter hours
Wisconsin 30 of last 30
TEXAS 30