A department may require students to change catalogs when they declare a major. But, if the department does not require that, and students choose to stay on the quarter catalog, then they must meet the quarter-program major requirements using the semester courses and the transition tables.
Issue 2--BusA 2106 and the Academic Residence Requirement
LglS 300, Legal & Ethical Environment of Business, is currently in our junior business core. Under the semester system, it will be BusA 2106, Environment of Business, and will be in core area F. We currently take transfer credit from two-year schools for this course and upgrade it, on an exceptions basis, to LglS 300 because it is an allowed elective in the business core area IV and our accrediting body permits this topic to be at the sophomore o r junior level. The content of our course is not going to change. It is substantially more rigorous than most of the transfer credit we are forced to take for it because of the core curriculum obligations. We were going to label it LglS 2950, to direct students to take it toward the end of their sophomore year, but the Regents mandated a common course prefix and number. Hence, BusA 2106. The question: Continuing students who stay under their quarter-system curriculum will have the LglS 300 requirement to satisfy but will do so with a 2000-level course. If BusA 2106 is taken at GSU and used in our junior business core does it count toward the student's academic residence requirement?
Yes, but only for transition students. Not for those who have taken no quarter-system courses.
Issue 3--Residence Requirements
Suppose that a transition student needs less than 5 quarter hours to satisfy their residence requirement, their 180-hour requirement or the A&S 75-hour upper-division requirement. How do we make the adjustment?
The basic model of course-by-course conversion with a 3 semester-hour course being equivalent to a 5 quarter-hour should be respected. For example, suppose a student needs 6 quarter-hours to meet their 180-hour requirement. If we had not converted to semesters, this student would not have been able to graduate by taking one 5 quarter-hour course. So after the move to semesters, they should not be able to graduate by taking one 3 semester-hour course. They would have to take a 3-hour semester course and then another course or a directed reading. (Or take a 4 semester-hour course.) The same would hold true for a students who needed 7, 8 or 9 quarter- hours to meet the 180-hour requirement. They would need more than one 3 semester-hour course to graduate. Someone who was 10-quarter hours short of the 180-hour requirement would need two 3 semester-hours courses. Someone who was 15-quarter hours short of the requirement would need three and so forth. Another way to say the same thing is that the OAA offices may treat a 3 semester-hour course as a 5 quarter hour course (not a 4.5 quarter-hour course).
Issue 4--Courses Taken as Transients at System and Non-system
After the conversion to semesters FA98, will we only forgive hour shortages created by resident course work (GSU and Cross Registration credit), or will we also forgive hour shortages that occur when our students attend as transients at other semester schools? The same question arises with regard to students with 30-hour majors, i.e., will we forgive hours shortages in the major area for our students who might take major course as transients at other semester schools?
Example: A B.B.A./marketing student, who has a 30-hour major and is following the quarter curriculum, goes as a transient from GSU to Tulane University for fall semester 1998 and takes four courses, each for three semester hours of credit: two marketing courses as marketing major electives, French II and History of Louisiana as College of Arts & Sciences Electives. Since the work will be treated as transfer work back to GSU at 4.5 hours each, will GSU hold the student to a one-hour shortage in the major and a one-hour shortage in Col. Of A&S Electives, or will we treat it as we do our own work earned under the semester system , i.e., course-for-course substitution with no hour shortages? Will the fact that the major the student is completing is only 30 quarter hours (the minimum amount under the quarter system) make a difference in the answer?
We will treat work earned at other institutions as we do our own work earned under the semester system , i.e., course-for-course substitution with no hour shortages. The number of hours required for the major will not affect this policy. In general, as noted above under issue 3, the basic model of course-by-course conversion with a 3 semester-hour course equivalent to a 5 quarter-hour should be respected.
Issue 5--Double Major/Dual Degree
Consider those students who are currently in a quarter program and then declare a second major or dual degree after Fall 98. Which program should those students follow for their second degree? Should they follow the Catalog that is in effect when they declare the second degree or the one in effect when they declared the first degree?
They follow the catalog in effect when they declared their first degree. This follows the general principle that no student should be under more than one catalog at any one time. (If we were to follow the second option there would be students who meet the quarter system requirements for one degree and the semester requirements for the second and thus would be under two catalogs.)
Issue 6--Core Curriculum
If a student has partially completed the quarter program core and decides to update to a semester system catalog, will all courses previously taken be applicable to the semester core?
Yes. This follows the general principle that transition students should lose no credit and not be penalized because of semester conversion. Example: Math 105 is taken under the quarter program and the student updates to the semester program. Math 105 stills applies to the semester core even though the course is no longer an option for students who enter the university after Summer 98.
Issue 7--System Transfer/Transition Students
Will the core be satisfied for system transfer students who have previously completed their core under the quarter system and will now pursue their degrees under the semester system requirements at GSU? What about those students who have not completed the core?
All students transferring to GSU after summer 1998 will be under the semester catalog. Those students who have completed the quarter core at another USG institution will be given credit for the semester core. A student who has not completed the quarter core will be given credit for those quarter courses that match up with the semester core. This policy gives transfering transition students two choices. 1) They can remain at their current institution and complete the quarter core using semester courses. When they transferred to GSU, we would then given them credit for the semester core. 2) They can choose to transfer to GSU before completing the quarter core. In that case, they may or may not need to take additional courses to complete the semester core (depending on how well the quarter courses they have take match our semester core). Students will obviously need to consider their options carefully to decide which is best for them. The only other option would be to allow students who transfer to GSU after summer 98 and have some quarter hours to come in on an old catalog--the last quarter catalog (96-98). It is better to move students off the old catalog as fast as possible and it would be confusing for students to transfer to GSU in 1999 or 2000 and use the 96-98 catalog.
Issue 8--Academic Standing
Currently, we might tell a student he's "10 hrs of B" away from a 2.0 GSU GPA--meaning two courses. Once we change to semesters, two 3-SH courses won't be quite enough to fix the GPA.
Example: a student has earned ten hours of D and ten hours of C by the end of 983--20 quarter hours, 30 quality points for a GPA of 1.50. Divided by 1.5 (the standard conversion factor for converting quarter hours to semester hours), gives the student 13.33 semester hours and 20 quality points and the GPA is still 1.50. If the student took two three-semester-hour courses and received got two Bs, for 18 quality points, the student would have 19.33 semester hous and 38 quality points for a GPA of 1.96. As this is below 2.0, the student would still be on probation. If the student had taken two 5-quarter-hour classes and received two Bs, the student would have had 30 quarter hours and 60 quality points for a GPA of 2.0 and would thus be off probation. This issues comes up because, for many conversion issues, we have decided to use "course by course" equivalents rather than "hour by hour" equivalents. Do we wish to do the same for GPA?
No. This is a fundamentally different issue than those for which we have adopted a "course by course" policy. In those cases, we are certifying that a student has completed an area (or degree program) by taking the correct number of courses. The GPA issue is different. GPA is based on credit hours, not on the number of courses. The BoR has told us what the formula will be (2SH = 3QH). Because GPA is based on hours, not courses, and because there is no body of information that we wish students to have before they have a certain GPA while there is a body of information we wish students to have before they complete an area or degree program, it is not unfair to have a student remain on probation for more courses. There are also practical matters to be considered. Adjusting GPAs to account for this issue cannot be done by a computer. It would have to be hand-checked and this would be very difficult and time-consuming. It is to be emphasized that no student will find themselves on probation as a result of conversion or this policy. For those students already on probation, while they may have to take more courses than they would have had to take if we had not converted to semesters, (if they decide not to take a 4 semester hour course), they will only have to take the equivalent number of hours to get off probation.
Issue 9--Maximum Number of Ds (two parts)
The quarter catalog allows a student to use up to 20 quarter hours of D credit towards a BBA. The semester catalog allows a student to use up to 12 semester hours of D credit. 5 quarter hours transfers as 3.3 semeser hours. (Note that 3.3 x 4 = 13.2) Will a student who has 20 quarter hours of D credit be able to use the 1.2 semester hours over the 12 semester hour maxmimum towards the BA?
Yes. This follows the general principle that transition students should lose no credit and not be penalized because of semester conversion.
Will students who transfer in from other quarter institutions be allowed to count those 1.2 hours?
No. The crucial difference is that, while our students have must complete their degrees here at GSU under the semester system, transfer students are not obliged to come to GSU at all. When students transfer to another institution, they often lose some credits. They must carefully examine their options to see if transferring is in their best interests.
Issue 10--Completion of Core after Conversion
If a student completes the core (areas I, II and III) prior to fall 1998 and decides to update to the semester catalog, the semester core (areas A-E) is automatically satisfied. If a student completes the quarter core after fall '98, then decides to update to the semester catalog, does the same rule apply?
Yes. To do otherwise would be inconsistent and confusing. Note, however, that the student receives credit for the semester core. The conversion of the hours to the semester system may create a total hours shortage. In that case, a student would have to take additional electives to reach 120 hours. For the GSU policy on hour shortages, see the previously enacted Senate policy at: http://www.gsu.edu/~wwwphl/adandst/semtrans.html
Issue 11--Residency/120 Hour Requirements for Student Who Convert to
If quarter courses are converted to 3.3 hours each when a student selects a semester program, does that mean that residency can be filled by fewer than the 13 courses that would be required if the courses were taken on the semester system and were worth 3 hours each (residency being 39 hours of 3000-4000 level work taken at GSU)?
Yes. If a student chooses to SWITCH from the quarter to the semester catalog, then they receive 3.3 semester hours of credit for each 5-quarter hour course. The same policy will apply to the 120 hour requirement as well.
This issue is not to be confused with Issue 3 above. According to that previous enacted policy, students who choose to REMAIN on the quarter catalog complete the quarter residency requirements using semester courses by following the general rule that a 3-semester-hour course is equivalent to a 5-quarter-hour course.
The combination of policies 3 and 11 gives students an incentive to switch to the semester catalog. TRT feels that it make sense to design policies to give students an incentive to switch to the semester catalog. It also means that, in either case, students are treated in the way that is most favorable to them. This is consistent with the general rule that students should not be penalized by the transition to semesters.
Issue 12--Forgiving Fractional Hours
Student who updates from quarter to semester program who, because they have converted quarter hours, falls between .6 and .9 hours short of a requirement--must that partial hour be made up? In the past, up to .5 hours have been forgiven.
The past policy of allowing OAA offices to waive up to .5 hours will be preserved. A somewhat arbitrary line must be drawn somewhere and the .5 rule is consistent with past practice and the normal mathematical rules of rounding.
Issue 13--Incorrect Awarding of the Associate Degree
A student is awarded the associate's degree by another system institution. However, the institution made an error and should not have awarded the degree. For example, the student might be one course short in an area of the core. The student is accepted as a transfer student at GSU. Should we accept the core as complete?
Yes. This situation is analogous to the acceptance of credit from a non-accredited source.
Regents' rules require that if we accept a student with a completed core, then we must accept the core as complete. If system institution grants transfer credit for unaccredited college work and the student transfers to GSU before completing the core, then we can disallow that credit. GSU is also free to decline to admit a transfer student with credit from non-accredited source on her transcript. However, if the AA degree is awarded and if we admit the student, Regents' rules require us to accept the core as complete.
We should not penalize the student we have accepted because the system institution from which she is transferring made an error in awarding her a degree.
The student should be strongly advised, but not required, to take the missing course(s).
The Admissions Office should exercise their professional judgment in considering whether a student awarded an AA degree in error or with non-accredited credit on their transcript should be admitted to GSU.
This policy applies only to an error made by the sending institution. It does not apply to an action taken based on fraudulent information provided by the student.
Issue 14--Differing Semester and Quarter GPAs
A student's GPA, as currently computed, may differ slightly from what his or her GPA would have been if
1) we had remained on the quarter system and
2) the student had taken the equivalent courses.
This occurs because the 3 semester credit hour courses a student who chooses to stay on the quarter system takes only earn 4.5 quarter credit hours while, if the courses had been take on the quarter system, they would have earned 5 quarter credit hours. When this occurs, which GPA should be used?
The GPA as currently figured should be used--whether it is higher or lower than what it would have been had we remained on the quarter system and the student had taken the equivalent courses.
It is important to distinguish this case from a student whose GPA is lowered when we changed from the quarter to the semester system. This change never lowered a student's GPA. However, courses taken after the change may cause a student to have a higher or lower GPA than s/he would have if we had remained on the quarter system and the student had taken the equivalent courses.
There are several reasons in support of this option. First, this case is parallel to the case which occurs when a department decides to drop a course from 4 to 3 semester hours. A student who gets an A in the course when it is a 3 hour course will not have her/his GPA raised as much as one who took it when it was a 4 hour course. However, in this case, we do not adjust a student's GPA. Second, the student has not been charged or paid for the extra .5 credit hours which s/he wants to have figured into her/his GPA. Third, if we had a different policy, we would have to calculate two GPAs for each student and decide which one to use for which purposes. This would be very complex because GPAs are used in many decisions (e.g., graduation with honors, scholastic discipline, admission to upper-level classes, etc.). Fourth, this policy does NOT penalize for the switch to semesters. Their GPA did not change when that switch occurred. Rather, a revision of the entire university's policies has caused the number of credit hours awarded for a course to change. When department's make such a change, we do not calculate two GPAs. There is no reason to do so when the entire university makes the same kind of change.