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Viewing: Course Repeat

Last approved: Thu, 21 Nov 2019 23:04:36 GMT

Last edit: Thu, 21 Nov 2019 23:04:35 GMT

Catalog Pages Using this Policy
Course Repeat
Fall 2019
University Level
EPC Ad Hoc Committee for Academic Policies
The EPC Ad Hoc Committee for Academic Policies recommends to the EPC a revision to the course repeat policy to allow all repeated undergraduate courses to be eligible for recalculation of the GPA for graduation. Currently, only lower-division courses are eligible. Students may repeat an undergraduate course only two times (maximum three attempts of the same course).
The revised policy is not for the high-achieving students who are consistently above average each semester. This policy serves the students who are on the cusp of meeting the required GPA to graduate (between a 2.000 and 2.490 GPA, see table 4) and then do poorly in one or more courses in their later semesters. There are few options for students towards the end of their program to rectify a low GPA to graduate.

Proposal Summary for a Policy:

University Catalog
The EPC Ad Hoc Committee is charged with reviewing academic policies that create barriers for student success (see end of document for committee membership and philosophy). Over the past semester, members discussed Kent State’s course repeat policy, sought feedback from others, read literature and research on the matter and reviewed course repeat policies at 38 universities, including those that are considered peer, benchmark and aspirational.

The current course repeat policy allows students to repeat the same undergraduate course a maximum of two times (three attempts total). What grades apply to the GPA for repeated coursework depends on the level of the course. For lower-division courses (00000-20000 levels), only the highest grade earned in the course is counted in the GPA for graduation. For upper-division courses (30000-40000 levels), all grades earned in the course are counted in the GPA for graduation.

A policy that extends grade forgiveness for certain repeated courses but not for others creates negative consequences for students, as well as confusion. Data analysis shows that it is much harder to improve a GPA near the end of a program. By that time, students have amassed credit hours and are now taking upper-division courses in their major. If they fail or earn a below-acceptable grade for a course at this point, repeating the course and earning a better grade has minimum impact on their GPA for graduation and may even make it worse (see next page for examples of actual Kent State students). Their choices now are either to:

(1) Continue to repeat upper-division courses to see incremental increases in their GPA, or
(2) Repeat lower-division courses, which will have a more significant impact on their GPA for graduation, but will be unhelpful to the student’s learning in their major.

The revised policy supports students who may take longer to learn a subject or, for a myriad of other reasons, did not do well in their first attempt of a course.
This revised policy to include upper-division courses in the GPA recalculation is for graduation only. The revision affects neither the student’s transcript, which includes all course attempts and grades, nor the GPA used for class standing and institutional honors. In addition, all grades may be counted for admission to or progression in specific programs, for admission to graduate programs or for admission to other institutions. Credit hours for a repeated course will apply only once toward meeting program requirements.
Academic policies that involve GPA pose true dilemmas for a university. The GPA should uphold the integrity and reputation of the degree. In addition, a university’s mission is to educate students and help them succeed. Allowing students to repeat a course to be able to master the material, and have their GPA reflect that student learning, does not need to conflict with university integrity. Universities that give students another chance at a course to demonstrate their knowledge, but don’t forgive the original grade—resulting in the student having to continually take courses just to meet the required GPA to graduate—raise the question of how the university is fulfilling its mission.
It is recommended that effective for fall 2019, revisions to the course repeat policy as outlined on the attached be approved to continue the goal of removing obstacles and supporting student graduation on a timely basis.

Proposal Summary to Establish or Revise an Academic Administrative Structure

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