CAA to discuss proposals, vote on 3 items Thursday

Corryn Brock, News Editor

The Council on Academic Affairs will discuss a proposal called the Fresh Start Academic Renewal Policy during its meeting Thursday afternoon.

The council received a memo from Josh Norman, Associate Vice President for Enrollment Management, and Brad Bennington, Eastern registrar, to include the policy in the 2021-2022 undergraduate academic catalog. 

The policy would be under the readmission section of the catalog. The purpose of the policy is “To allow students returning to EIU with a GPA below 2.0 to reestablish themselves academically and get back on the path towards completing graduation requirements. Please note that any student considering this option should also explore other opportunities available to them such as repeating courses for which they were previously unsuccessful or seeking a withdrawal from courses where appropriate,” according to the proposed policy.

All teacher education programs, the RN to BSN and traditional nursing programs will be excluded from the program, according to the proposal.

A list of requirements is included in the proposal to define who is eligible for the program.

Requirements for the program include:

-A cumulative GPA below a 2.0

-The last term of attendance at EIU must be at least one year prior to readmission. 

-You must be readmitted through the readmission policies outlined in our catalog including those that pertain to academic dismissal. You must indicate your intent to pursue the Fresh Start program on your readmission application. Your term of re-entry must be a Fall or Spring term.

-You must be readmitted to the current catalog year.

-This policy is not available for all academic programs.* For any student who chooses to change their academic program to one which does not qualify for the Fresh Start program, their acceptance into the Fresh Start program will be rescinded and they may not apply again in the future. 

-You must successfully complete your next 12 hours at EIU with a 2.0 GPA or higher after readmission. This requirement must be met before your cumulative GPA will be reset. If approved, your Fresh Start GPA will begin with your term of re-entry. A notation will be made on your transcript. 

-The current academic standing rules still apply after the Fresh Start policy has begun. 

-You may only utilize the fresh start program one time. 

-You will not be eligible for a degree with distinction.

-All courses taken and grades earned will appear on the transcript. All hours earned will count toward total hours for graduation.

-You must complete at least an additional 30 hours at EIU after readmission to be eligible for graduation.

-Previous credits and grades earned are still applied toward your degree requirements. You must still meet the minimum GPA requirements for your major, minor, or concentration.

-Gateway students must still follow the guidelines of the Gateway program.

-This policy does not apply to graduate or post baccalaureate students. 

-Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress rules continue to apply regardless of the academic renewal approval.

-Students not meeting GPA and completion rate minimums will still be required to file an appeal each semester.

-Students are only eligible for the Fresh Start program on their first time being re-admitted after being academically dismissed.

Other public universities in Illinois offer similar policies, like Governor’s State University, Illinois State University, Southern Illinois University-Carbondale, Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville and Western Illinois University.

The policy would allow students who want to keep their earned credit and renew their GPA to stay at Eastern and still earn their degree from the institution rather than attending another university.

According to the memo, Eastern saw 466 students leave the university for academic reason. The policy “is part of a greater strategic plan to see more students who stop out, return and complete their degree.”

The council will also discuss three proposed changes to the General Education Assessment.

The first would have the General Education Committee design and implement a survey on the current courses in the Sciences and ask faculty members to describe their quantitative reasoning-related activities and to evaluate their students.

The second would be that the General Education committee would create a committee to design a quantitative reasoning student assessment instrument to measure proficiency in specific quantitative reasoning sub-skills that are important to curriculum.

The third is a proposal that the General Education Committee will implement a new assessment for critical thinking. This would include a requirement that faculty members evaluate EWP submissions for critical thinking quality in addition to the evaluation of students’ writing.

The council will also discuss and vote on program revisions to the pre-engineering program. 

The proposed changes are adding Computer Science I and Introduction to Logic Design to the core requirements and Principle of Macroeconomics and Computer-Aided Engineering Drawing to the recommended courses.


Corryn Brock can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected]