May 9, 2008 

 

TO:                  Carmen Wilson, Chair

                        Faculty Senate

 

FROM:             Rebecca LeDocq, Chair

                        Committee on Academic Policies and Standards (CAPS)

 

RE:                   2007-2008 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 2007-2008 CAPS in accordance with these standard committee duties:

 

  • Approved a proposal for determining commencement honors for dual-degree students. For details, see CAPS minutes for 11/9/07.

 

  • Approved a proposal, supported by UW-System and DPI, to allow certified high school agricultural science classes to count toward the high school science credits required of incoming freshmen. For details, see CAPS minutes of 2/29/08.

 

  • Discussed a proposal for changes to the Course Repeat Policy. The proposal failed.  For details, see CAPS minutes of 12/7/07 and 2/29/08.

 

  • Approved a revision of the Removal of Incomplete policy for undergraduate courses. For details, see CAPS minutes of 4/11/08.

 

  • Discussed a proposal from the ESL Institute concerning the academic standing of students taking courses in the Institute. Although most of the proposal involved solely programmatic changes, CAPS did approve the request that CAPS serve as the final avenue of appeal for students affected by the new policies. For details, see CAPS minutes of 4/25/08.

 

  • Discussed the current limit to the number of credits that may be earned through Advanced Placement, Credit by Examination and Retroactive Credit. A revised policy was proposed and discussed, but no action was taken. This should be brought up again next year.

 

  • CAPS chair served on the committee for reviewing Excess Credit Appeals as well as the Enrollment Management Committee Growth, Quality and Access.

 

  • Discussed a proposal from the ESL Institute concerning the academic standing of students taking courses in the Institute. Although most of the proposal involved solely programmatic changes, CAPS did approve the request that CAPS would serve as the final avenue of appeal for students affected by the new policies. the program. For details, see CAPS minutes of 4/25/08.

 

  • Heard appeals from students concerning readmission to UW-L, as well as appeals from faculty and/or departments concerning J-term and summer term policies. (See Table 1)

 

 

 

SEMESTER

Type of Appeal

Number of Appeals

Number Approved

FALL ‘07

Readmission

9

1

Waiver of final 24 resident cr. requirement

1

1

Waiver of AP-Credit Maximum

1

1

Credit from on-line course repeat to fulfull Gen. Ed and Pre-req

1

1

J-term time waiver

1

1

Summer start date

1

1

 

 

 

 

SPRING ‘08

Readmission

10

4

Off-Campus repeat to fulfill Gen. Ed.

1

1

Repeat course off-campus, waive final 24 resident cr. requirement

1

1

Summer start date

12

12

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Text Box: TABLE 1

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

In addition to its usual duties, CAPS was asked to consider and report on the following special charges:

 

1.   Create a set meeting time for the committee.  Please let the senate office know of the set time by

the end of October.”

2.   Create a matrix showing the likelihood of admission using trend data and data from the most recent classes. CAPS will review the matrix each year and update it as necessary.  Please plan to provide a report to faculty senate at the November 15, 2007 meeting.

 

In response to the first of these charges, the committee approved the following on 9/21/07:

 

M/S/P (10/0/0)    The Committee recommends that, beginning fall 2008, CAPS have a standard meeting time of Friday at 2:15.

 

The Committee discussed the issue in the second charge at three consecutive meetings on 9/21/07, 10/5/07 and 10/26/07. It was discovered that such a matrix had already been created and was being used by the Admissions Office. After thorough discussion of how the matrix was created and how it was being used, the Committee was satisfied that it was appropriate. The Committee will need to continue to review the matrix on an annual basis and update as needed.

 

Additional issues were brought to the attention of CAPS this year by committee members and/or guests during meetings. CAPS would like to request that the Faculty Senate Executive Committee consider the following:

 

  • Issues with the implementation of PeopleSoft are initiating the review of many current CAPS policies. In several cases, the recordkeeping involved with maintaining our current policies would require the addition of features that would add significant cost to the conversion to PeopleSoft.  In attempting to look at this is the most positive light possible, CAPS is being given the opportunity to review policies that had not likely been discussed in years, or even decades. This years’ committee has already been apprised of this relating to our limit of four withdrawals after a student’s first two semesters and the reporting of NA grades. These issues are most likely only the tip of the iceberg. It is important that any changes are not made in a piecemeal fashion, but rather that all related issues be thoroughly considered. Next years’ committee should be made aware that such issues will be brought to the committee.

 

  • In particular, several important issues concerning the course repeats and course withdrawals have come to the forefront this past year. These include our current policy which does not limit the number of times a course may be repeated, the way in which the grade for a repeated course is determined and recorded, as well as the limit of four course withdrawals after a student’s first two semesters. It has become clear that there is a problem in some departments with students abusing the course repeat policy, in particular. CAPS believes that these issues are intimately related and cannot be considered in isolation. The issue also involves the availability of support resources for students while they are taking the courses. A thorough investigation into the interrelationships between these issues needs to be completed so that a cohesive policy can be put into effect that will be fair and beneficial to all students.

 

 

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