On behalf of the Educational Policy Committee, Archie Holmes (associate
professor, electrical and computer engineering and committee chair)
submitted the following proposal to improve course availability for
undergraduates. The secretary has classified this resolution as general
legislation. The Faculty Council will discuss the proposal at its meeting
on April 11, 2005.
Sue Alexander Greninger, Secretary
The Faculty Council
Distributed through the Faculty Council web site (www.utexas.edu/faculty/council/)
on April 11, 2005. Copies are available on request from the Office of the
General Faculty, FAC 22, F9500.
To improve course availability for students, the
Educational Policy Committee recommends that the following five (5) changes
Background and Rationale
|| Create a new symbol, N, that is assigned when
a student drops a class for a documented, non-academic reason.
||Adopt the following add and drop policy for all undergraduate courses:
This change will require that the registration system be changed to
allow students to be able to add themselves to classes up until the fifth
class day and not allow drops of courses after the fourth class day.
||For courses that meet during the first four class days of
the semester, students will be permitted to drop a course,
without penalty, until midnight on the fourth class day of
the semester. Students will be permitted to add a course until midnight
on the fifth class day of the semester.
||For courses that do not meet during the first four class
days of the semester, students will be permitted to drop
a course, without penalty, until midnight on the day
that the class first meets. Students will be permitted
to add a course until midnight on the day after the first
class meeting day of the semester.
||Between the fourth class day and the mid?-semester deadline, students
who drop a course will receive either a symbol of F, Q or N.1
||After the mid-semester deadline, students may only drop a course
for a substantial, non-academic reason. These drops will receive
a symbol of F or N.
||Require faculty to provide students a course syllabus by the first
meeting day of all classes. This syllabus must contain the following
items: grading policy for the course, including whether class attendance
is used in determining the course grade; due dates for assignments that
count 20% or more of the total course grade; and a list of required textbooks
for the course.
||Adopt the following course repeat policy for all undergraduate courses.
No student may enroll in any course (except those that may be repeated
for credit when topics vary) more than twice, even if the course is needed
to meet degree requirements, unless all of the following conditions are
||A symbol of N or W was assigned at least one of the
two times the student has enrolled in the course.
|| Written consent for the third attempt has been obtained from the student’s
||Written consent for the third attempt has been obtained from the department
offering the course.
|| A student who has received 3 Qs must have documented, non-academic
reasons for any additional drops after the fourth class day of the semester.
: In the fall of 2004, the provost
asked the Educational Policy Committee to review a number of recommendations
from the Task Force on Enrollment Strategy. This motion is based on the recommendations
The committee requested the corrections as noted adding "F
" where it had previously been inadvertently omitted. The document was corrected on May 10, 2005.
||Adopt university-wide policy regulating repeated registration for courses which cannot be repeated for additional credit, using the policy in the College of Natural Science as a model.
||Develop a policy to limit the number of times a student may drop a course or withdraw from the University.
Given other legislation recommended by the Educational Policy Committee
and a change to flat-rate tuition at UT Austin, we felt it was important
to put in place a number of changes to address this general topic and make
sure that students have access to the classes they need to graduate in a
timely manner. Our rationale for each of the changes listed above is discussed
Creation of the Symbol N:
The Educational Policy Committee believes that
it is important to define a drop for a documented non-academic reason and
have it be different than a drop without one. The only way to accomplish
this is via a new symbol. Currently, a Q
can mean a number of things.
Under this proposal, a symbol of Q
would mean that a student dropped
the course and did not provide any documented reason for dropping the course.
The determination of whether documentation has been provided to have a symbol
assigned will be determined by the student deans in the various
Change in Add and Drop Policy.
In order to help students gain their degrees
in a timely manner, they must have access to courses. Under the current system,
students can drop a course – without academic penalty – until
the 12th class day. This does not allow a student who wants a seat in the
course to obtain it. Under this proposal, drops without penalty will occur
before the date where students are allowed to add the course. This will help
improve access to courses for students. The dates chosen for adds and drops
were to ensure that student[s] would not be at an academic disadvantage when
they added the course compared to others in the course. This change will
require that the registration system be changed to allow students to be able
to add themselves to classes up until the fifth class day and not allow drops
of courses after the fourth class day.
Syllabus Requirement for First Class Meeting Day.
In order for students
to have information that they need to evaluate a course, they need a syllabus
by the first class meeting day. According to the information given to the
Educational Policy Committee, a syllabus is not provided to students in all
cases early in the semester. The information we recommend be included in
the syllabus is what we believe that students need to evaluate a course and
make a decision about whether to remain in it.
Course Repeat Policy.
To increase student access to classes, we are recommending
that students be limited in the number of times they can repeat a course.
This is similar to the model currently in use by the College of Natural Sciences.
Our change is to allow a student to repeat a course for the third time when
either a symbol of W
(withdrawal from the University) or our proposed
(documented non-academic reason) is received in at least
one of the first two attempts. In addition, permission is required from the
academic advisor and the department offering the course to make sure that
the student has received sound advice before the third attempt and that
the resources available to the department offering the course are being used
Number of Q Drops Allowed to a Student.
To discourage students
from remaining in classes to the point in the semester where another student
could not have that seat, the Educational Policy recommends limiting the
number of Q
drops. For students enrolled in the Spring 2005 semester,
over 90% of undergraduates had 2 or fewer Q
s on their academic
record; over 65% had no Q