UNH Faculty Senate

Motion on Minors

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UNH FACULTY SENATE
MOTION IV-M6


1. Faculty Senate Committee: Academic Affairs Committee
2. Committee Chairperson: Deb Winslow
3. Date Submitted to Agenda Committee: March 28, 2000
4. Date of Faculty Senate Discussion: April 17, 2000
5. Committee/Administrator Responsible for Implementation: Registrar
6. Exact wording of committee motion:

Students may earn a minor in any undergraduate discipline designated by the University. A minor typically consists of 20 credits with C- or better and a 2.00 grade-point average in courses that the minor department approves. Courses taken on the pass/fail basis may not be used for a minor. No more than 8 credits used to satisfy major requirements may be used for a minor. There is no limit on the number of overlapping credits allowed between minors.

7. History and rationale:

There currently is no Senate-passed Academic Policy regarding minors or the use of a course for two different minors. There is a trend toward more students electing to fulfill minor requirements in addition their majors; increasing numbers of these students also are choosing to do more than one minor. Thus, this motion is intended to address a gap in academic policy. If passed, it would become part of the Academic Policies section of the Student Rights, Rules, and Responsibilities handbook.

The current catalog statement on minors is (**** indicates where the policy might be inserted):

"Students may earn a minor in any undergraduate discipline designated by the University. A list of minors is available from the advising coordinator in each college or school (or see the program descriptions for each college or school in this catalog). Students must consult with their major adviser and also the minor supervisor. A minor typically consists of 20 credits with C- or better and a 2.00 grade-point average in courses that the minor department approves. Courses taken on the pass/fail basis may not be used for a minor. No more than 8 credits used to satisfy major requirements may be used for the minor. **** Students should declare an intent to earn a minor as early as possible and no later than the end of the junior year. During the final term, an application should be made to the dean to have the minor shown on the academic record." (Undergraduate Catalog 1999-2000, p.21)

According to the Registrar, the commonly accepted current definition of a minor is: "...a coherent set of courses in a discipline or interdisciplinary grouping other than the major of choice. It generally consists of 15-20 credit hours." The policy of majors and minors is to allow 8 credits overlap; but the advising handbook doesn't cover overlap between minors and minors.

The Registrar has asked that a policy be created because more students are enrolling in multiple minors every year. It appears most of the overlap comes from interdisciplinary minors and they each seem to have a set of at least two, sometimes more, "core" courses just for that minor; thus it would probably never happen that a student could have exactly the same courses count for two different minors. Departments have the right to make more stringent limitations by requiring specific courses and thus preserving the long tradition of department control of their curricula, majors, minors, honors programs, etc.

There appears to be no need for a more restrictive policy that would limit the diversity of a student's educational experience and the uses to which that experience could be put, except as otherwise stipulated by an individual minor granting department.

The Senate should determine the basic policy. Courses used for one minor may be applied toward the fulfillment of another minor. A department can establish requirements for the fulfillment of its own minor. A department cannot dictate policy for course approval for the minor granted by another department.

8. Minority Committee Report (if any)
None.

9. Senate Action: Passed on April 17, 2000, by an easy margin

Chair's Verification: Pedro de Alba on April 27, 2000

Forwarded to: President Leitzel on May 1, 2000

Forwarded to Provost Hiley on May 1, 2000
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