On behalf of the Educational Policy Committee, Dr. Mary Rose (committee chair, sociology) submitted the following proposal recommending changes to the language in the General Information
catalog (GIC) on internal transfers policy.
The secretary has classified this proposal as legislation of general
interest. The Faculty Council will act on the proposal at its meeting on April 15, 2013. Final approval resides with UT System.
Sue Alexander Greninger, Secretary
The Faculty Council and General Faculty
Posted on the Faculty Council website
on April 10, 2013.
Background and Policy Rationale
This legislation emerged from the Enrollment Management Policy Implementation Team, a committee appointed by Senior Vice Provost Laude and chaired by Registrar Shelby Stanfield. The team’s task is to review reports on improving the University’s four-year graduation, especially the one produced in February 2012, to consider which policy recommendations can be readily implemented and can help to improve UT Austin’s four-year graduation rate. The committee decided that the University’s policy on “Transfer from One Division to Another Within the University” should be adjusted as recommended by the Task Force on Undergraduate Graduation Rates.
The issue identified by the task force report concerned internal transfers between colleges or schools, particularly those involving colleges with “limited space” (i.e., restricted colleges, such as Business, Communication, Engineering, etc.). Some students enter the University through unrestricted college (Liberal Arts, Natural Sciences, Undergraduate Studies) with the aim of transferring to one of the restricted colleges. The Task Force’s research found that transfers across colleges did not adversely affect time to degree if they were accomplished within the first four semesters of entry (i.e., typically under sixty semester credit hours). Transfers done after that negatively predicted graduating within four years.
Existing GIC policy states that students cannot
transfer to another college if they are past sixty semester credit hours, unless they petition for an exception. The Policy Implementation team found that few, if any, guidelines for granting exceptions exist and that it appeared that many requests were granted. One purpose of the new proposed policy is to help enforce the sixty-unit limit on transfers by requiring that Colleges grant exceptions only after taking into account a student’s ability to graduate within four years (a footnote acknowledges exceptions for the few programs whose current curriculum require more than four years for students).
Further, some students lack qualifications for the restricted colleges and will likely never be permitted to transfer; yet some of these students are unable or unwilling to give up the hope of transferring to their preferred college. Hence, they remain in a holding pattern, trying to arrange a curriculum that would fit with that of their preferred college or biding their time, but not making plans for or working on a course of study that would allow them to graduate in a timely way with a degree from one of the unrestricted colleges. A second change to existing policy places a cap on the number of attempts a student can make to apply to one of the restricted colleges within the first four semesters at the University. The new policy allows for two attempts to a single college. This number gives students more than one chance at a transfer; acceptance rates for restricted colleges vary from semester to semester given changes in the number of applicants to the college and to space constraints, and only one attempt – as originally recommended by the Task Force – seemed too restrictive. However, the policy keeps the attempts to a low enough number to permit a student time to make alternative plans if they are not accepted.
The policy revisions appear on the next page, with underlined material indicated changes to existing policy. The proposed language received unanimous support from the EPC on February 7th, 2013.
Transfer from One Division to Another Within the University (new language underlined below)
Students in any undergraduate college or school of the University may transfer to any other college or school within the University only under the general procedures and conditions described below.
- To transfer, students must obtain the appropriate form at the office of the dean of the new college or school. Transfer procedures must be completed by the end of the eighth class day in the fall or spring or the fourth class day in the summer for the transfer to be effective in the current term.
- Students may apply to transfer only two times to each new college or school that has limited space for internal transfers. For these colleges and schools, student must apply within the student’s first four long-term semesters of enrollment at the University.
- Students who transfer to a new college or school retain the same University probationary status, if any, that was in effect at the time of the transfer.
- Students who are dismissed under University-wide regulations from one college or school are ineligible to transfer to another college or school.
- Restrictions based on credit earned:
- Students who have completed forty-five or fewer semester hours of college credit may transfer between colleges and schools regardless of their University grade point average, provided they satisfy all conditions and procedures that apply to students who enter the same college or school, and any program thereof, when first admitted to the University.
- Students who have completed more than forty-five semester hours of college credit must have a University grade point average of at least 2.00 to qualify for transfer between colleges and schools. Generally, students with more than forty-five semester hours of credit and a grade point average less than 2.00 may not transfer to another division within the University and must enroll in courses approved by their current college or school. All colleges are authorized to allow such students to register for courses required for the students’ potential new majors, provided the normal prerequisites are met.
- Students may not transfer to another college or school after they have completed sixty semester hours of coursework in residence. A student who wishes to seek an exception to this rule should petition the dean’s office of the college into which he or she would like to transfer. Approval of the petition will take into account the student’s ability to graduate within four1 years of entering the University.
- Students may not transfer to another college or school after they have completed four long-session semesters in residence, regardless of the amount of credit they have earned. A student who wishes to seek an exception to this rule should petition the dean’s office of the college into which he or she would like to transfer. Approval of the petition will take into account the student’s ability to graduate within four 2 years of entering the University.
- Transfer students from other institutions of higher education are eligible to transfer between colleges and schools within the University upon completion of their first long-session semester or summer session at the University, regardless of the number of semester hours accumulated, provided they satisfy all conditions and procedures that apply to students entering the same college or school, and any program thereof, when first admitted to the University.
- Students who are readmitted to the University after not enrolling for one or more long-session semesters are readmitted to the college or school in which they were last enrolled. They may then transfer to another college or school, provided they meet the general conditions for transfer given in this section and any special admission requirements of the college or school to which they wish to transfer.
- Graduate students not previously admitted to the University as undergraduates may transfer from the Graduate School to an undergraduate college or school under the general conditions for transfer noted in items 1 and 2 only if they (a) satisfy any pertinent admission requirements for that undergraduate college or school, and (b) have the additional approval of the director of admissions.
1Or more than four years if dictated by the length of the program.
2Or more than four years if dictated by the length of the program.
Posted on the Faculty Council website
on April 10, 2013.