February 18, 2013


C. Proposal to Align Affiliated Studies Credit with Reciprocal Exchange Credit so that All UT-Approved Study Abroad Programs Have the Same Academic Characteristics (D 10188-10192).

Director of the Study Aboard Office Heather Barclay Hamir presented the proposal and explained that the registration category for affiliated studies was originally created for study abroad programs that are externally operated. She indicated that affiliated studies has become a catchall category for a variety of programs, including some from other universities abroad and not all of which are for profit. The category was originally built from transfer credit, and there are differences in how the programs affect student degrees and GPAs, thus influencing students’ choices of programs, sometimes to the detriment of academic fit.

Ms. Barclay Hamir explained that the proposal would allow affiliated studies courses to fulfill the University’s residence requirements. In addition, grades earned in affiliated studies courses would be calculated into the students’ GPAs as with any other study abroad program. She explained that the changes were being proposed to make students fully accountable for their classes abroad, be they taught by a UT faculty member or an instructor on site. She added that UT Austin faculty members always evaluate the courses for course equivalency.

Professor Patricia Hansen (law) asked if the proposed changes would also apply to graduate students. Ms Barclay Hamir indicated that the program in the School of Law was the only one that impacted graduate students. She pointed out that academic units still have a level of oversight on how to post grades or allow for residency requirements. Professor Hansen declared that the law school would continue to treat affiliated studies differently from study abroad by allowing credit but not grades to be earned. Ms. Barclay Hamir said she did not believe the proposal would impact current law school practices.

Professor Susan Klein (law) asked that the proposal be separated into two proposals, one regarding the residency requirement and the other the calculation of grades earned into the student GPAs. Professor Rose cautioned that if one half of the proposal were approved and not the other, the Study Abroad Office would probably propose not counting grades in any abroad program to create parity across programs.

Chair Hilley asked the Council to vote on agreeing to separate the proposal into two parts, which was approved by voice vote.

The Council then discussed the part of the proposal allowing affiliated study courses to count as in-residence credit. Professor Wilkinson (Germanic studies) asked if the proposal would allow a student to complete all major requirements somewhere else. Ms. Barclay Hamir said this situation would only occur if the same practice were true for exchange study programs as well. She offered to look into controls that might be in place, but she also noted that departments have the option of not providing course equivalency for courses students need to take in residence.

The proposal to allow affiliated study courses to count as in-residence credit was then approved by voice vote.

┬áThe second part of the proposal was to count courses in affiliated studies toward the students’ GPAs. There was no further discussion, and the proposal was approved by show of hands.

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