UNIVERSITY SENATE EDUCATIONAL POLICY AND PLANNING COMMITTEES
ACCESS TO MAJORS
A number of Rutgers programs (primarily professional) are requiring a minimum GPA which is higher than the general University minimum for acceptance into their programs. In the case of programs that are in exceptional demand, that minimum may be elevated yet again in order to balance resources with demand.
1. Access Issue: Rutgersí students in good standing are being denied entry into the programs of their choice.
2. "Truth in Advertising" Issue: Prospective students do not have a real understanding about their potential access to the full array of the academic programs at Rutgers. These policies also pose a major handicap to students with high potential but inadequate preparation who would have difficulty maintaining the required GPA in their first years of study; and are a major handicap to student-athletes who are required to balance conflicting priorities.
3. Advising Issue: Advisors find it frustrating and difficult to advise students whose academic goals cannot be met. Nor are all the general advisors aware of the alternative routes available for students that canít get into their programs of choice.
This issue has been discussed/is being discussed in a number of forums:
1. FAS Committee on Academic Access. Issued a report on March 6, 1998 which recommended that no department may require a grade higher than a "C" (2.0) in specific courses prerequisite to accepting a declaration of the major, nor set an overall GPA requirement for acceptance. This was approved by the FAS faculty.
2. New Brunswick College Deans: On April 1, 1998 endorsed FAS Committee recommendations.
3. New Brunswick Faculty Council: The Subcommittee on Access to Majors and Other Academic Programs has been discussing the issue. Jim Reed, the chair of that committee, has met with the Senate Educational Policy Committee to discuss their draft report.
4. Senate Athletic Policy Committee has requested that the Educational Policy Committee endorse the FAS Committee recommendations and bring this matter forward to the whole Senate.
There is general agreement that in principle students should have access to a program if they meet the basic requirements. Therefore
Be it resolved that the University Senate endorses the principle that students who are in good academic standing in their academic unit should have access to all majors recognized by that unit, with the exception of those requiring admission to a different unit. Within an academic unit, admittance to a particular major should not require an overall GPA that is higher than that required for a student to be in good academic standing in that unit.