Admissions and Standards Committee


Modification to the Rules Governing Honors at Graduation
Two Motions

Motion 1--Repeal of Academic Residence Requirement for Graduation with Honors

Motion:
The rule that requires 90 hours of course work at GSU to be eligible for scholastic recognition at graduation is repealed.

Implementation:
The policy shall go into effect for the Winter of 1998 graduation.

Rationale:
Currently, the residence requirement for graduation is different from the residence requirement for graduation with honors. The residence requirement for graduation requires that the the following courses be taken at GSU: 1) 60 quarter hours in courses numbered 300 or above with an average of 2.0 and 2) one-half of the courses comprising the major. The residence requirement for graduation with honors requires that the the following courses be taken at GSU: 90 quarter hours.

Approval of this motion implies that the residence requirement graduation and the residence requirement for graduation with honors will be the same. This is a simplification of our rules that will allow some additional students to graduate with honors. The table below summarizes the effect of this requirement on the number of students graduating with honors.

As you can see, the effect of the proposal is fairly small. Admissions and Standards believes that this simplification would be beneficial to the students. While graduation with honors clearly must require higher scholastic performance than mere graduation, there seems to be no rationale for requiring longer residence at GSU. An investigation of the history of this matter indicates that the current odd structure probably was created by an oversight. When the academic residence requirements were raised, no one remembered to change the requirements for graduation with honors to match.

A check of six other universities (University of Chicago, Oberlin College, University of Toledo, Virginia Commonwealth, University of Missouri-KC, and University of Alabama-Birmingham) reveals that none require additional residence to graduate with honors. (These were the first six college catalogs on the shelf of the chair of Admissions and Standards.)

Table 1

The Effect of Repeal of Academic Residence Requirement for Graduation with Honors
on the Number of Students Graduating with Honors

Quarter Undergrad Degrees Awarded Degrees with Honors Additional students*
Summer 97 599 117 12
Spring 97 1037 301 18
Winter 97 527 79 13
Fall 96 522 91 9

*Refers to the number of additional students who would have graduated with honors had the proposed policy been in effect


Motion 2--Modification of Rounding in the Calculation of GPA for Honors at Graduation

Motion:
The grade point averages used to determine honors at graduation will be rounded as they are rounded on student transcripts and PACE forms.

Implementation:
The policy shall go into effect for the Winter of 1998 graduation.

Rationale:
Currently, honors at graduation scholastic recognition is determined using GPA calculated to four places and not rounded while GPAs on transcripts and PACE forms are rounded to two places. Therefore, students who wish to track their GPA for scholastic recognition purposes must do it themselves. In addition, it seems inappropriate to calculate GPAs to four places when we only give grades on a five-category scale (A, B, C, D, F). Investigation reveals that, had this policy been in effect over the last three quarters, one more student would have graduated with honors.


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Revised 11/26/97