Admissions and Standards Committee


Policy on Semester Transfer Shortages
Three Motions

Motion 1:
The Offices of Academic Assistance of each college/school will be permitted to waive hours shortages of no more than 2.5 semester hours for bachelor's degree transfer students. All individual course requirements would still be required to be met. The hours shortages that may be waived would result only from transfer of courses that carry fewer hours credit than the corresponding GSU requirement.

Background and Rationale:
Currently colleges can waive up to four quarter hours of shortage that result from transfer credit of courses that carry fewer than five quarter hours of credit as long as the student has at least 180 hours. No petition is required for this waiver. The waiver rule and the 180-hour minimum are university rules, not Regents' rules. They were set by Admissions and Standards in the late '80's.

A difference under the semester system is that we now have the minimum and maximum length of a bachelor's program specified by the Regents and it is the same number--120 semester hours. We do not expect any rulings from the Regents on the topic of hours shortages; there have been none for the quarter system.

Hours shortages will not go away with semester conversion. The frequency may be decreased, however. More schools are on semesters than quarters, so it may be the case that we will have fewer incidences of transfer students with quarter-system credit. For five-quarter-hour courses, the conversion will be to 3.33 semester hours--not a problem. The only "problem" transfer credit will be courses of fewer than five quarter hours that will convert to fewer than three semester hours.

It is Admissions and Standard's view that the 120 SH minimum/maximum means a bachelor's degree cannot be designed to be shorter or longer (without permission) than 120 SH. It does not mean that individual students in specific, controlled circumstances cannot graduate with fewer than 120 SH if all course requirements have been met. Thus, we concluded that it was appropriate to provide some latitude to the colleges to deal with hours shortages that result from transfer credit.

The current amount that can be waived, 4 QH, divided by the conversion factor of 1.5, equals 2.666. Following the philosophy of "direct conversion" that guided the revisions to the academic regulations chapter of the catalog, the subcommittee believes that permitting no more than 2.5 SH to be waived would meet the spirit of the current practice. Note that this amount is still less than the credit of one "typical" course (i.e., 3 SH), just as the current 4 QH is less than the credit of a "typical" quarter-system course of 5 QH.


Motion 2:
No minimum number of semester hours in each core area will be imposed on students as long as hours shortages in the core areas can be offset appropriately elsewhere in their curriculum.

Background and Rationale:
The current core has 20 QH each in areas I, II, and III with a stated minimum of 18 QH in each area. In the semester core, the length of the areas vary and there is no stated minimum.


Motion 3:
The university will disregard "apparent" hours shortages that result solely from the application of semester-system credit to the records of transition students whose records will continue to be expressed in quarter hours. Course-by-course completion of requirements will be used.

Background and Rationale:
The credit for students under a quarter-system catalog edition will continue to be expressed in quarter hours on their academic evaluations (PACEs). Thus, these students will have GSU work that shows as five quarter hours (through summer 98) and GSU work that shows as 4.5 quarter hours (the conversion of 3-SH courses) or other amounts, depending on the SH credit of the courses taken from fall 98 onward.

The "shortages" of one half of a semester hour could mount up and make it appear that the student has an hours shortage. The subcommittee recommends that we confirm that for transition students we will be looking for course-by-course completion of requirements not hours. This motion does not affect hours shortages that might result from transfer credit.

Examples:
The academic residence requirement of 60-QH of upper-level credit: Six 5-QH courses (30 QH) and six 3-SH courses (converted to 27 QH) = 57 QH. This would be acceptable.

A student in a 180-hour program completed 140 QH of credit before fall 98 (GSU and transfer--no hours shortages). The student lacks 40 QH (8 courses) and takes eight 3-SH courses (which convert to 36 QH). 140 + 36 = 176 QH. This would be acceptable.

A student in a 30-hour major completes 20 QH of credit before fall 98. The student lacks 10 QH (2 courses) and takes two 3-SH courses (which convert to nine QH). 20 + 9 = 29 QH. This would be acceptable.


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Revised 12/5/97