Transfer credit policies may change to limit number of incoming credits
Published: Friday, October 25, 2013
Updated: Friday, October 25, 2013 00:10
The University Senate Scholastic Standards committee will advocate for changes to the current transfer credit policies to ensure UConn degrees are comprised of predominantly University courses.
If passed, the policies would require UConn undergraduates to earn 90 in-residence credits to graduate instead of just 30. This requirement would apply to all matriculating freshmen beginning in fall 2014, Scholastic Standards Chair Gerald Gianutsos said.
The scholastic standards committee formulated the transfer credit policies on the rationale that a UConn degree should consist of predominantly UConn courses. The new policy would limit the number of freshman transfer credits to 30 with no more than 15 credits applied to general education courses. Credits earned from AP, National Student Exchange, UConn Early College Experience and study abroad courses would be exempt from the 30-credit rule.
According to the scholastic standards committee, a freshman would be defined as a student who checks the box on his/her UConn application indicating that he/she is a freshman. All freshmen would be expected to follow the 90 in-residence transfer credit policy with the exception of those who are undergoing a financial or personal hardship, are a U.S. military veteran or are having course availability issues. The university would consider exceptions individually after a student has filed an appeal.
As the policy stands now, two-thirds of a UConn graduate’s courses could have been taken at other institutions. UConn already requires advanced major courses to be completed at the university, but with the new policy almost all other courses would be completed at UConn as well.
The scholastic standards committee said their new policy would target 75-80 students who were taking advantage of the abundance of allowed transfer credits to fulfill general education, major and minor requirements. The new policy, they said, would close a loophole that has existed since 1938.
Another issue of concern for the committee is that UConn students are developing a trend of taking community college courses, which tend to be less expensive and less challenging, and applying them towards their UConn degree.
“Our students are taking easier and cheaper classes, and data trends suggest that if they take a pre-requisite at a community college, they often fail the subsequent courses,” Vice Provost for Academic Affairs Sally Weis and Vice President for Enrollment Planning and Management Wayne Locust said in a document entitled “Rationale for Limiting the Number of Transfer Credits for UConn Students Who Matriculate as Freshmen.”
Such policies are characteristics of UConn’s aspirant institutions, Weis and Wayne said that top-tier institutions such as Duke University, Northwestern University and Dartmouth College allow for minimal transfer credits. Northwestern caps transfer credits at six, Dartmouth allows four, and Duke will accept a maximum of just two transfer credits, they said.