The University Council approved changes in the number of credit hours that can be transferred in and the number of classes a student can take during the three-week session in May.The changes were approved in May and will be implemented before advising begins for the spring 2007 semester.
The University Council is made up of academic deans, elected and appointed representatives from each college and students, said Nowell Donovan, provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs.
“The real change is the limitations of the hours a student can bring in once they have enrolled,” said Patrick Miller, registrar and director of enrollment management.
William Slater, dean of the College of Communication, said he thinks if students are getting a TCU degree, their classes should be taken at TCU.
“The new transfer requirements are aimed primarily at ensuring the integrity of the TCU degree,” Slater said.
Scott Nollet, an associate professor of mathematics, said he can’t assess whether a student has taken previous math courses at a community college or TCU based on their current academic performance.
After students earn 54 cumulative hours from TCU, they may not transfer credits in from community colleges, Miller said. However, a student may transfer credit hours from an upper-division school or university, provided it has been preapproved by the appropriate academic dean.
Before a student earns 54 credit hours at TCU, he or she may transfer up to 12 semester hours from a community college, Slater said.
If a freshman has taken a class before entering TCU, it does not count as part of these 12 hours, Miller said.
The 12 hour limit came from comparing TCU to other universities’ policies, Miller said. Compared to other universities, such as Duke University, Northwestern University and the University of Notre Dame, 12 hours is a lenient allowance of transfer credits from a community college, Miller said.
Donovan said there is flexibility for approved special situations and study abroad programs.
The number of hours a student can take during a summer session will also be limited.
Previously, a student was allowed to take more than one class during the three-week miniterm in May; however, students will now be limited to four credit hours during each three-week miniterm, Slater said.
This means if students are in a three-week class, they may not enroll in an additional class for another session if the class starts during the three-week miniterm, Donovan said.
Donovan said each day during the three-week miniterm counts for about a week, which, he said, makes it hard for students to manage more than one class at a time.
“It’s not in the student’s best interest,” Donovan said.
During other summer sessions, a student may not take more than seven credit hours at one time, Slater said.
Rebekah Fear, a senior theater and radio-TV-film major, said she thinks the new policy on transfer credits should be extended to junior-level hours.
“I understand, but it’s frustrating when trying to graduate early with two degrees,” Fear said.
Sara Spratt, a sophomore speech pathology major, said she did not think taking courses at another school would affect the quality of the education a student receives.
Students must have written approval from the academic deans of their majors before they take courses outside of TCU in order to receive credit for those classes, Slater said. He added that this is not a new stipulation.