CAA reduces transfer hour requirements

Debby Hernandez, Administration Editor

The Council on Academic Affairs voted to lower the number of hours transfer students need to complete at Eastern to earn their bachelor’s degree.

Previously, transfer students needed to complete 56 hours at Eastern, with at least 42 of those hours being on campus.

Now, they will only need to complete 42 hours at Eastern, and those hours can include on-campus or online courses.

According to the Graduate School’s proposal, the goal is to increase Eastern’s competitiveness by adopting more transfer friendly opportunities.

Robert Augustine, the graduate school dean, said the current policy required revision in order to attract more transfer students.

“They have to very carefully consider not only the quality of the programs but the number of hour requirements because that translates into cost for them,” Augustine said.

Augustine said transfer students might not choose Eastern because of the additional 14 hours of study compared to other institutions.

“This is a serious additional amount of study and cost,” he said.

The new policy will be in effect Spring 2015.

CAA members had discussions throughout the year in 2012 about online education, during which a series of recommendations were made for the university to advance its online course offerings.

Augustine said many of these recommendations were considered in the new policy, which will help attract students interested in online programs at Eastern.

He said students interested in obtaining an online bachelor’s degree under programs such as nursing and organizational and professional development were the most affected by the old policy.

Illinois State University and Southern Illinois Carbondale University currently have a 42-semester hour requirement as part of the senior institution hours needed for a bachelor’s degree, according to the new policy proposal.

Augustine said other “sister” institutions will soon follow in adopting the 42-hour requirement.

“We will be competitive with any other institution that is using a similar policy,” he said.

 

Debby Hernandez can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]