Pending the involvement of the Record’s Office, Cal Poly’s policy on culminating experience graduate courses will be modified.
As the policy now stands, graduate student projects and theses are recorded as a Report in Progress (RP) grade for three years, after which they are recorded as No Credit (NC).
However, each graduate student is given seven years to complete coursework for their master’s degree. And if graduate projects or theses are not completed within the current three-year time period, students are forced to re-enroll in order to receive their degrees, program assistant for graduate programs Becky Powell said.
The financial burden that accompanies the re-enrollment is causing a number of graduate students to put off finishing their master’s degrees, Powell added.
To combat this problem, the Graduate Studies Committee proposed a measure to extend the RP grade to seven years, or longer if needed, which will eliminate the NC grade on culminating experience courses and therefore eliminate the need for re-enrollment as well.
The measure was passed by the Academic Senate on May 16 and approved by University President Warren Baker shortly thereafter. Powell said she is hoping to have the new policy implemented by the time spring quarter grades are submitted.
“This applies to students in the past, present and future,” Powell said. “Past students can now submit their thesis and get their degree.”
Two further measures were also passed at the May 16 meeting of the Academic Senate, both of which are awaiting President Baker’s approval.
The first measure would decrease the number of grade forgiveness units allowed from 20 units to 16 units, and would allow only one forgiveness per course, said associate statistics professor Andrew Schaffner.
He said when examining the current grade forgiveness policy against other universities, Cal Poly was more lenient, whereas the changes would put Cal Poly’s grade forgiveness policy more in line with the other universities.
A statistical report submitted with the proposal concluded that 72.5 percent of Cal Poly students have never repeated units, and another 24.4 percent have repeated less than 16 units.
“For the vast majority of the students, this policy won’t make any difference whatsoever,” Schaffner said.
The final measure passed at the May 16 meeting of the Academic Senate involved textbook pricing. The resolution urges Cal Poly faculty to use cost-effective textbook forms whenever possible, and to review textbook prices before ordering.
The resolution also asks faculty to order new editions of textbooks only when necessary, and to order textbooks early as to ensure their availability.
President Baker has 60 days from the date of the meeting of the Academic Senate to respond to the Resolution of Grade Forgiveness and the Resolution on Textbook Pricing.