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D 10359-10361

DOCUMENTS OF THE GENERAL FACULTY

PROPOSED POLICY ON THE RECOGNITION OF UNDERGRADUATE ACADEMIC MINORS ON OFFICIAL UNIVERSITY TRANSCRIPTS AS APPROVED BY THE EDUCATIONAL POLICY COMMITTEE

On behalf of the Educational Policy Committee, Dr. Mary Rose (committee chair, sociology) submitted the following proposed policy on the recognition of undergraduate academic minors on official University transcripts. The secretary has classified this proposal as legislation of general interest. On May 2, 2013, the Educational Policy Committee (EPC) approved the proposal.

The Faculty Council will act on the proposal at its meeting on May 6, 2013.  Final approval resides with UT System with formal notification to the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board.
SAG signature
Sue Alexander Greninger, Secretary

General Faculty and Faculty Council

Posted on the Faculty Council website on May 2, 2013. 



PROPOSED POLICY ON THE RECOGNITION OF UNDERGRADUATE ACADEMIC MINORS ON OFFICIAL UNIVERSITY TRANSCRIPTS AS APPROVED BY THE EDUCATIONAL POLICY COMMITTEE

Rationale
Minors are well understood commonly offered academic credentials at most American colleges and universities. Yet the way that minors are currently awarded at the University of Texas at Austin does not provide for recognition on a student’s transcript or specification of the content of a minor by the offering program or department. The proposed policy would create greater coherence and understanding for what constitutes a minor in a given field of study.  It would provide students with an academic credential for completing a minor. It will also allow the faculty in the offering program or department to determine what curricular requirements students should meet in order to earn that academic credential. The availability of transcript recognized minors may allow students pursuing degrees in areas with a highly structured curriculum to pursue additional academic interests in another area without lengthening the time required to complete their degree. Since the requirements for these minors are clearly specified in the undergraduate catalog, the availability of minors should not add to the burden of advisors as they help students to select courses.  Control over the admissions standards for entrance into a minor will also allow programs and departments to attract well qualified students majoring in other areas, and allow departments to insure that they have enough seats in key courses to meet the needs of their students.

Motion
Undergraduate academic minors earned at The University of Texas at Austin will be indicated on the official University transcript only if the minor meets all of the conditions specified in A, B, and C below. The curricular content of these minors will be defined and governed by the academic unit offering the coursework in the minor.
  1. Minimum Criteria for Minor Recognition on the Transcript
    1. The transcript-recognized undergraduate academic minor must be completed in conjunction with an undergraduate degree at the University of Texas at Austin; students pursuing an integrated undergraduate/graduate program must complete the requirements for the minor within one year after completing the undergraduate requirements of their program.
    2. Transcript-recognized undergraduate academic minors must require a minimum of fifteen hours of course work but not more than eighteen hours. None of the specified coursework for the minor can include unnumbered topics courses. Minors will include a minimum of six hours of upper division coursework except in cases where students are pursuing a minor in a foreign language. In those instances, the minor must include at least nine semester hours of coursework beyond first year competence in a foreign language, including at least three hours of upper-division coursework.
    3. At least half of the required course work in the minor must be completed in residence at The University of Texas at Austin.
    4. A student may not earn a minor in the same field of study as his or her major, and at least nine of the hours required for the minor must include coursework not used to satisfy the requirements of the student’s major. However, courses in the minor may fulfill other degree requirements such as general education requirements or required elective hours.
    5. Students apply for transcript recognized undergraduate academic minors at the time they complete their undergraduate degree. Transcript recognition is awarded at that time.

  2. Approval Process For Transcript-Recognized Undergraduate Academic Minors
    The requirements of transcript-recognized undergraduate academic minors shall be listed in the undergraduate catalog, with proposals reviewed and approved by the Committee on Undergraduate Degree Program Review (CUDPR) and subsequently sent to the Faculty Council as minor legislation for approval. Proposals for these minors are required to obtain prior approval from the sponsoring college(s) or school(s).

    Program proposals submitted by the offering unit (e.g., the department or academic program) must include a statement of objective and need (expected demand), anticipated enrollment capacity, academic course and other requirements, the field of study (and CIP code), and the composition of the minor faculty committee, including the committee chair. Proposals for a transcriptable minor should describe the admissions process (if any) for acceptance into the minor. In cases where minors are offered in the same field of study as a major, the faculty of the unit offering the major will de facto constitute the faculty committee for the minor, and the department chair (or designate) will be designated as the committee chair for the minor. The committee must have a minimum of five members, and at least two-thirds of the committee must be tenured or tenure-track faculty.

    Once approved, programs are required to submit a report to CUDPR every four years. The report must list the current chair and all committee members and include the number of students completing the minor in each of the prior four years. If the committee plans any changes in the requirements of the minor, these changes should be explained; changes require the same approvals as an original application, that is, approval by the college(s) or school(s), CUDPR, and the Faculty Council.

  3. The Certification Process for Students Completing the Requirements for a Minor
    Certification of completion of the requirements is done by the program’s faculty committee chair (or the department’s undergraduate advisor). An application for the certification of completion is initiated by the student and submitted to the chair of the faculty oversight committee at the time they complete their undergraduate degree or the certificate program, whichever comes later. Transcript recognition is awarded at that time.

    Application for certification must be made directly to the academic unit offering the minor and is not a substitute for the application for graduation required by a student’s degree-granting school or college. After approval of the student’s application, the Office of the Registrar will be notified so that the minor can be shown on the official transcript.