Educational Policies Council emphasizes student success


Eslah Attar

Provost fellow Jarrod Tudor reviews notes at Monday afternoon’s faculty senate meeting in the governance chambers, March 17, 2014.

Marissa Barnhart

Melody Tankersley, associate provost for academic affairs, said she calls the policies discussed during the Educational Policies Council (EPC) meeting “student success policies.”

“We’re looking at all of our policies to see if there’s something in there that prohibits students from being as successful as they can be,” Tankersley said. “When we come up against one that might prevent students from being successful — graduating on time, using all of the work that they’ve done — we’re bringing it here; We’ve tried to rewrite it so that it will help students be successful.”

The EPC met Monday afternoon to approve and discuss different policies and items.

Seven action items were approved, including allowing students who test into and pass an advanced-level course to obtain credit for a lower-level course of the same subject.

Director of Curriculum Services Therese Tillett said the idea of students gaining credit for lower-level classes by completing an advanced course is not new. Many universities have this policy; however, Kent State wants to take a different approach to it.

“If you look at a lot of universities, they do it for foreign language, but we’ve decided to broaden it if we’re able to,” Tillett said. “Not every course is going to be on that list, not every discipline is going to be represented. It’s really the ones where we have evidence that they’re going to succeed in the higher-level course.”

Kent State already offers placement tests for courses such as math and languages; however, Tankersley said tests would be set up for courses that require them. She said it will apply only to very specific classes.

The council also approved removing the 30 credit-hour restriction for Advanced Placement, Credit by Examination and College Level Examination Program credits.

According to the certification of curriculum proposal to remove the alternative credit-hour restriction, the restriction was approved in 1984 and established in 1985. The restriction stated: “The limitation on hours is intended to ensure that students receive appropriate classroom instruction. However, very good students who are capable of doing more work through testing should readily be granted a waiver for the rule, depending on the individual college or school’s view of the student’s program and individual performance.”

However, Tillett said the policy is outdated for today’s students.

“Back in 1984, the administrators who created it explained why they did it, which may have been very true and essential back then, but 1984 students are very different than today’s students,” Tillett said. “They bring in a lot more AP, CLEP — there’s a lot more credit coming in than they ever did before.”

Tillett said it is important for students to be able to receive credit for everything they do.

“We did some research on students who came in with more than 30 hours, and by and large, they have high GPAs, they’re in intensive programs, plus they’re the ones who benefit from this,” Tillett said. “Why have a policy that makes them run around trying to get approvals?”

Also among the approvals is the College of Applied Engineering, Sustainability and Technology’s name change. The new name for the college will be the College of Aeronautics, Applied Engineering and Construction Management, which reflects the programs available.

“The new name better represents what goes on in the college,” interim Dean Robert Sines said during the meeting.

The EPC will meet again April 21 at 3:20 p.m.

Contact Marissa Barnhart at [email protected].