CAA to vote on changes to residency hour requirements


Ashanti Thomas

Billy Hung, biological sciences professor, gives his thoughts and point of view on a philosophy proposal brought to the Council of Academic Affairs.

Kyara Morales-Rodriguez, Associate News Editor

The Council on Academic Affairs will be meeting to vote on a proposal that, if approved, will lessen the number of residency hours required at Eastern during its meeting at 2 p.m. on Thursday.

The council will be meeting in the Witters Conference Room of the Booth Library.

Residency hours are the minimum number of credit hours a student must complete through a university in order to graduate with a Bachelor’s degree.

The proposal calls for the number of residency hours to be lowered from 42 to 30 for the Fall 2022 semester. It also calls for the minimum of 32 residency hours required in the junior or senior years to be changed to 30 residency hours, 12 of which must be in residence during the senior year.

The reason for the proposal is that “EIU’s residency requirements can make it difficult for transfer students to graduate in a timely manner even after meeting all other major and graduation requirements.”

The proposal also states that “Compared to our Illinois peer institutions, EIU’s residency requirements are less transfer-friendly.”

While Eastern’s residency requirement requires 42 residency hours, 8 of the 12 public universities in Illinois have fewer hours required.

Universities such as Southern Illinois University at Carbondale, Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville and University of Illinois at Springfield all require 30 residency hours.

Comparatively, another university in central Illinois, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign requires 60 residency hours.

The rationale for this proposal is as follows:

“Thirty (30) residency hours is what is required by most of our peer institutions. Aligning with the majority will make us more competitive in the College Search process. Currently, 8 out of 12 institutions have a lower residency requirement than EIU. This difference could affect a prospective transfer student’s College Choice process and deter them from choosing EIU.

According to the proposal, transfer students with many transfer credits are looking for shortest time-to-degree completion. Reducing the residency hour requirement could shorten the time to graduation for transfer students.

CAA will also be voting on a proposal for catalog changes to remain compliant with the Department of Veterans Affairs regulations, changes which, according to the proposal “are required by public law.”

The proposal also states that as of Aug. 1, 2021, “the VA Pending Payment Compliance policy must be incorporated into the institutions catalog/handbook.”

The council will also vote on revisions to the CAA bylaws regarding what the Executive Officer may make decisions about upon the request from either a Dean or a Department Chairperson.

If approved, the revision will include the “addition, deletion, or revision of certificates and other course combinations of 12 credit hours or less, which do not appear in the catalog.”


Kyara Morales-Rodriguez can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected].