CAA vote to reduce required credit hours


Rob Le Cates

Associate Vice-President for Enrollment Management Josh Norman, and Jeffery Stowell, a psychology professor present a proposal to the Council of Academic Affairs about reducing the current recidency hours requirement for transfer students at the Thursday, Oct. 21, CAA meeting held in the Witters Conference Room. The proposal suggests that the current requirement of 40 credit hours be reduced to 30. The council approved of the vote with only one member, Billy Hung, not in favor.

Luke Taylor, News Editor

Eastern will now be in line with other state universities’ requirements for residency hours now that the Council of Academic Affairs has lowered the number from 42 to 30.

As well as aligning with other standards, the new requirement is designed to be more friendly to transfer students. It would also be beneficial to students who have been involved in the military during their time in college.

The previous requirements lead to situations where transfer students had to take more hours to graduate even after they had fulfilled everything needed for their major and all other graduation requirements.

Committees from different colleges at Eastern, as well as the general education committee, took informal votes on whether they approved of the change.

Some committee members raised concerns about lowering Eastern’s standards, but most committees came out in favor of lowering the requirements so that students would be able to graduate on time.

The proposal for this change suggested that this assurance could affect students’ decisions on which university to attend.

Most transfer and non-traditional students are looking for cost-effective options to complete their degrees. The 42-hour residency requirement pre-supposed that students would be spending at least three semesters on campus, which is of course more expensive than being able to finish everything in two semesters.

The reduced time spent in school is also a strong motivator for most students.

All council members voted yes on the item with the exception of Billy Hung, associate professor of biological sciences, who voted no.

The residency hour reduction was also discussed in faculty senate’s meeting on March 10 of this year, when Josh Norman and Vice Chair of the Faculty Senate Jeffery Stowell introduced the proposal and led a discussion on it.

“Let’s serve our students better, let’s create some efficiency and let’s become more competitive in the marketplace,” Norman said during that meeting. “Especially when we look at those residency hours.”

Since the council of academic affairs had to approve the decision, the purpose of the faculty senate discussion was to inform the senate and hear any major concerns with the decision at that time.

The council also approved an update to the course catalogue in order to maintain compliance with the Department of Veterans Affairs regulations, which are required by law.

The Department of Veterans Affairs contacted Josh Norman, associate vice president for enrollment management, to inform the council of the updates and request that they be made to the current catalogue rather than saving the changes for next year’s catalogue.

The council heard details on this agenda item at a previous meeting and approved it unanimously at this one.

The council also approved a revision to their bylaws regarding what the Executive Officer may make decisions about upon the request from either a Dean or a Department Chairperson.

Council members discussed differentiation between requests that might need a more formal route and those that could be handled in a new way.

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

The council approved it unanimously.

Luke Taylor can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected].