UNH Faculty Senate

Motion on Thompson School Course Access


          
                            UNH FACULTY SENATE
                         COMMITTEE MOTION #  IV-M4
          
          1.  Faculty Senate Committee: Academic Affairs.
          2.  Committee Chairperson: Deborah Winslow.
          3.  Date of Faculty Senate Discussion: 1-24-00.
          4.  Committee/Administrator Responsible for
                 Implementation                                     
          5.  Motion:
          
          Motion to amend Student Rule 05.32(as)
          
          The Academic Affairs Committee moves that the following policy
          change be adopted by the Faculty Senate:
          
          University of New Hampshire Baccalaureate or Associate in
          Arts degree candidates may take any Thompson School
          courses with 200 numbers for credit with the following
          stipulations:
           1.  Only a TSAS course transferable to UNH at the time at
          which it was  taken may be taken by a UNH Baccalaureate or
          Associate in Arts degree candidate for credit. The UNH Office
          of Admissions will maintain a list of non-transferable courses,
          as per Senate motion II-M6, 2/23/98.
           2.  Grades received in 200-numbered courses will be recorded
          on the student's transcript but will not affect or be included in
          the student's GPA.
           3.  BA/BS candidates may take a maximum of 16 credits of
          TSAS courses; AA candidates may take a maximum of 8
          credits.   Normally, a student may take no more than 4 credits
          of TSAS coursework per semester, but this limit may be
          waived with the approval of the student's adviser for legitimate
          academic reasons (such as linked courses or because a needed
          course will not be available later).
           4 TSAS courses may not be used for general education,
          writing intensive, or foreign language requirements.  They may
          be used for major or minor requirements only if specifically
          approved on a course-by-course basis by the department
          granting the major or minor and when the student meets the
          usual minimum grade requirements of that program.
          
          6.  Rationale:
          
              (See attached.) 
          
          7.  Senate Action:  Passed on 1-24-00            Vote:  with 3 nays &
                 0 abstentions 
          
          Chair's verification:  Pedro de Alba             Date:  1-28-00 
          
          Forwarded to:     Joan Leitzel, President        Date:  1-28-00 
                                                      
              David Hiley, VPAA                            Date:  1-28-00 
                                                            
              Regina Smick-Attisano, TSAS Director         Date:  1-28-00
          
          
          HISTORY
          
          On 2/23/98, the Faculty Senate passed the following motion:
               "The Admissions Office, with the advice and consent of the
               Academic Affairs Committee of the Faculty Senate, shall
               review and approve courses for either full or zero transfer
               credit to the Other Accepted Courses category. The criteria
               for the award of the full number of credits earned at the
               original institution in this review process shall depend on
               the following conditions:
                 1.  The course credit shall be earned at an institution
               accredited by the New England Association of Schools and
               Colleges, Commission on Institutions of Higher Education
               or its equivalent.
                 2.  The course shall be comparable in scope and level to
               credit bearing course offerings at the University of New
               Hampshire.
                3.  The department/program accreditation in which the
               student majors shall not be adversely affected.
               Accreditation issues that implicate this part of the policy
               shall be raised by the department/program and brought to
               the Academic Affairs Committee of the Faculty Senate."
          
          In the rationale for the motion, as passed by the Faculty Senate and
          forwarded to President Leitzel and Provost Eggers, it specifically
          states that: "This motion is meant to cover all transfer students
          including Thompson School transfers, with the interim exception
          of students from New Hampshire Community Technical Colleges."
          The "interim exception" was covered in a second motion (also,
          2/23/98) that explained that when the NH Community Technical
          Colleges become accredited by the New England Association of
          School and Colleges, Commission on Institutions of Higher
          Education, courses from these institutions also will be transferable.
          
          Since 2/23/98, the Admissions Office has awarded 100% credit to
          transfer students who have taken courses at appropriately
          accredited institutions, including TSAS. UNH BA/BS
          undergraduates who take courses at those same institutions during
          the summer or while otherwise away from the university, also
          receive full transfer credit.
          
          However, there is still a UNH Academic Policy that states:
          " Thompson School 200-level courses must be taken as audit by
          UNH baccalaureate or associate degree candidates, since these
          courses carry no graduation credits" [Student Rule 05.32(as)].
          (Note: All Thompson School courses have 200 numbers.)
          
          The Thompson School of Agriculture was approved to grant
          Associate in Applied Science degrees in 1964; in 1966, it became
          the Thompson School of Applied Science.  It would appear that in
          1964, UNH BA/BS/AA students normally were not allowed to use
          TSAS courses for credits towards their degree. However, the
          earliest documented mention of such a policy that we so far have
          found is a 1971 statement by the Board of Trustees that states,
          "Credits shall be transferable between institutions of the University
          System and applicable to any undergraduate degree program
          provided that: "...(B) they were earned in any undergraduate
          degree program except the Associate of Applied Science." The
          statement goes on to say that "credit may be transferred in full or
          in part, depending on the specific character of the work and upon
          the program to which the student transfers..."  A similar rule
          appears in the Admissions Office Handbook of Transfer Credit
          Policies of 1974, compiled by Eugene Savage, Director of
          Admissions.
          
          Under the UNH credit transfer policy at that time, TSAS students
          who transferred to UNH actually did receive partial credit for their
          TSAS work  (as a block of credit equal to 60% of the total TSAS
          credits), although there also were a few courses (accepted as
          General Education courses or by the student's new major
          department for major credit), that transferred at full credit.
          
          Both the Trustees' policy and the Admissions policy apply to
          students moving from TSAS to a baccalaureate program at UNH.
          Over the years, the number of Thompson School courses
          transferred at full credit has increased, and in 1998, the Faculty
          Senate approved the transfer of most Thompson School courses at
          full credit. To date, there has been no change in the policy
          prohibiting Baccalaureate or Associate in Arts students from
          taking Thompson School courses for credit toward their degrees.
          The purpose of this motion is to amend Student Rule 05.32 (as) to
          make it consistent with other policy changes. 
          
          RATIONALE
          
          1.  Fairness to Students
               a. Former TSAS students can count TSAS courses towards
               their UNH BA or BS degree; therefore, UNH associate in
               arts and  baccalaureate candidates  (hereafter to be called,
               "UNH undergraduates") should be able to,  as well.
               
                b. "UNH undergraduates," while on leave from UNH or
               during the summer, can take a course at any program in the
               country similar to the Thompson School, as long as it is
               appropriately accredited, and have the credits count
               (without it affecting their GPA) towards their UNH degree;
               therefore, they should be able to take Thompson School
               courses for credit, as well.
          
          2.  Access to campus resources.
          
               a.  Courses offered at TSAS can provide opportunities to
               enhance a student's learning generally or major in
               particular. A few TSAS courses,  when transferred in by
               former TSAS students, substitute for major electives.
               "UNH undergraduates" should have access to these same
               opportunities.
               
               b. Many TSAS courses are supported by labs which are not
               available elsewhere on campus. Examples include courses
               in Computer Aided Design (CAD), Geographic
               Information Systems (GIS), metal fabrication technology,
               and aboriculture. It is noteworthy that the only GIS
               teaching lab at UNH is in the TSAS. It seems reasonable
               that all campus students should be able to avail themselves
               of these resources.
          
          3.  Fairness to the TSAS and its faculty.
          
               Over the years since 1977, two major "work arounds" have
               come about, both of which are unfair to the TSAS and its
               faculty.
               
               a.  Cross-listing. There are currently eleven dual-numbered
               courses and a few other courses than can be taken by
               "UNH undergraduates" through the mechanism of cross-
               listing.  A Thompson School student signs up for the
               courses with a TSAS Department name and 200 number;
               the "UNH undergraduate" signs up for it with a non-TSAS
               department name and number. Thus, the student receives
               credit, but the teaching faculty's department does not.
               Understandably, the number of cross-listings has decreased
               in recent years.
               
               b.  Independent study. Under this mechanism, the "UNH
               undergraduate" finds a faculty sponsor who signs him or
               her up for an independent study course. The student takes
               the Thompson School course he or she needs; the faculty
               member reports the grade to the sponsor who enters it on
               the grade roster. With this mechanism, the actual courses
               the student has completed does not appear on the transcript;
               and neither the faculty member nor the TSAS receives
               credit.
          
          CONCLUSION
          
          It is not the intention of this motion to blur the missions of the
          TSAS and UNH. Their separate and equally important roles are
          clear in their programs, catalogues, published literature, and
          histories. The intention here is, rather, to eliminate an inequity and
          contradiction in current policy.
                                         
          


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