August 27, 2009


To:      Rebecca LeDocq, Chair                                                                                                                    
            Faculty Senate

From:  Suzanne Anglehart, Secretary                                                                                            
            Committee on Academic Policies and Standards (CAPS)

Re:       2008-2009 Final Report


According to Faculty Senate Bylaw II. B. The Academic Policies and Standards Committee the duties and responsibilities of the committee shall include:

1.       Formulating and reviewing local policies and standards concerning admissions, advising, retention, advanced standing, probation, dismissal, readmission, the grading system, and graduation honors for undergraduate students.

2.       Ensuring equitable application of standards by the undergraduate schools and colleges.

3.       Supervising the administration of these standards and formulating procedures for hearing student appeals and petitions on academic matters not resolved by administrative offices of the university.

The following is a summary of the activities of the 2008-2009 CAPS in according with these standard committee duties:

·         The implementation of PeopleSoft initiated a review of three CAPS policies.  (10/17/2008)

1.      The current 4-course drop policy will be discontinued.  Students will now be allowed an unlimited number of drops.   UW System has a resolution passed in 1988 that requires campuses to monitor drop rates and to not exceed a drop rate of 5% of the credit hours registered.  UWL had a drop rate of 2.1% in 2006 and 2.2% in 2006.  If an upward trend in our drop rate is observed through our annual monitoring, this policy change can be revisited.

2.      Probation and Retention standards will now reflect a total credit number, not the number of semesters attended.  Semesters 1,2, 3 and 4 were replaced with credit ranges from 1-18, 19-29, 30-44 and 45 and beyond, respectively.

3.      Midterm grading reports for general education courses will be discontinued.  Discussion centered on a report from the Early Identification of At-Risk Student System (EIASS) Working Group Recommendation to Eliminate the Practice of Midterm Grading in General Education Courses (Summer 2008).    There are surely other ways to identify and support academically at-risk students that could be explored.  CAPS recommends other opportunities be explored.  A discussion on 11/21/08 looked at possible ways to identify at-risk students.  Groups identified as at-risk could include 1st year students, transfer students, 1st generation students, students of color, low income students.  This discussion was not continued later in the 08-09 year.


·         A discussion regarding the course repeat policy was initiated.  Information presented included a system-wide comparison where UWL was one of 7 campuses that had no limit to the number of repeats.  Some of these campuses count all grades in GPA.  Five campuses restrict the number of repeats, with four that allow only one repeat as a norm.  SAH college committee presented rationale for a modification of our policy.  CLS chairs and program directors provided rationale to CAPS for not changing the current policy.  This discussion was not taken up again by the 08-09  CAPS. 


·                                             CAPS approved start dates for four summer school classes: 

1.      ACC 421 to start 5/18/09 and run for four weeks

2.      ESS 116 to start 5/18/09 and run for 2 weeks

3.      ESS 460/560 to start July 6, 09, but date is dependent on facility rental in Colorado.

4.      ESS 781 to start June 15, 2009 and run for one week


·         A discussion regarding J-term courses identified some issues.  Some courses offered in J-term are core courses with heavy reading and writing requirements but the time, although equivalent in hours, is not the same as a 15 week course.  This seems to be a trend away from the original intent of J-term courses.   CAPS recommends that all departments critically examine what courses they offer during J-term in comparison to the full semester and only offer those that work well in the 3-week time span of J-term.


·         CAPS heard appeals concerning readmission to UWL (see Table 1)



Type of Appeal

Number of Appeals

Number Approved

Fall 2008





Waiver of graduation GPA requirement




Calculate combined GPA from all institutions



Spring 2009





Waiver of off-campus course repeat policy





This summarizes the work of the committee for this year.  If you require any additional information, please feel free to contact me.