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DOCUMENTS OF THE GENERAL FACULTY

EDUCATIONAL POLICY COMMITTEE
INTERIM REPORT ON HONORS CRITERIA AT THE UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS AT AUSTIN

On behalf of the Educational Policy Committee, Co-Chairs Archie Holmes (associate professor, electrical and computer engineering) and Paul Woodruff (professor, philosophy) have presented the following interim report for discussion by the Faculty Council at its meeting on January 26, 2004.


<signed>

Sue Alexander Greninger, Secretary
The Faculty Council

 

 

Posted on the Faculty Council Web site on January 26, 2004. Paper copies are available on request from the Office of the General Faculty, FAC 22, F9500.


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EDUCATIONAL POLICY COMMITTEE
INTERIM REPORT ON HONORS CRITERIA AT THE UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS AT AUSTIN

The committee was asked by Vice-Provost Lucia Gilbert to consider catalog changes for honors criteria used by the University. As a point of reference, in the spring 2003 semester, there were 5270 College Scholars and 487 Distinguished College Scholars recognized on Honors Day.

Current Status

There are three different types of honors that the Educational Policy Committee has been asked to review. These are College Scholars, University Honors, and Distinguished College Scholars.

College Scholars
On Honors Day each spring, the University designates outstanding students as College Scholars. To be designated a College Scholar, a student must meet the following requirements:

  • The student must be registered as an undergraduate for at least nine semester hours of coursework, unless he or she lacks fewer than nine hours to complete degree requirements. Students who hold an undergraduate degree are not eligible.
  • The student must have been registered at the University at least once during the preceding calendar year.
  • The student must have completed at least thirty semester hours of coursework at the University, excluding credit by examination, and at least sixty semester hours of college coursework, including transferred work and credit by examination.
  • The student must have a University grade point average of at least 3.50.

University Honors
Each semester, undergraduates who complete a full course load and earn outstanding grades are recognized by inclusion on the University Honors list. Each time a student is included on the list, his or her official record also shows the award of University Honors for that semester. The list is compiled at the end of the fall and spring semesters but not at the end of the summer session. To be included, a student must earn at least forty-five grade points and a grade point average of at least 3.50 on courses completed in residence and must have no incomplete grades (symbol X).

Distinguished College Scholars
The catalog does not define criteria for the Distinguished College Scholars. Current practice is that students who meet the criteria for College Scholars and have a University grade point average of 4.0 are given this distinction

Current List of Recommendations

To date the committee has agreed to recommend the following changes:

1. 1. As a minimum, all honors should require that students be enrolled as full time students (i.e., twelve hours).
2. 2. The GPA requirement for College Scholars should be changed to in-residence GPA
3. 3. The provost office should work with the various colleges to ensure that the criteria for College Honors are uniform for the entire campus and in line with the criteria for University Honors
4. 4. Criteria for Distinguished College Scholars should be defined in the Catalog; the committee will consider recommending a 3.9 GPA for this category.

Outstanding Issues

The committee is looking into the effects on the number of students who receive honors if (a) the minimum number of hours is increased and/or (b) the in-residence GPA is increased. The effects of a change in the number of hours is shown below:


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Honor
Current Status
Student is required
to be in 12 hours
Student is required
to be in 12 hours
College Scholars 5270 5039 (- 4.4%) 2784 (- 47.2%)
Distinguished College Scholars 487 472 (- 3.1%) 249 (- 48.9%)

The Educational Policy Committee plans to finish its recommendations in January and present their final recommendations to the Faculty Council, for endorsement, at the February meeting.