Agenda/Minutes‎ > ‎2006-2007‎ > ‎

2006 - 09/28

agenda status: approved

University Committee on Academic Policy

Meeting of Thursday, September 28, 2006
10:15 a.m., Administration Bldg. Board Room

1. Approval of the Agenda

2. Approval of Minutes of the September 14, 2006 Meeting.

3. Comments from the Chairperson

4. Comments from the Associate Provost

5. Dietetics Request for Admission Policy Change.......... (Attachment)

6. Undergraduate Assistants Subcommittee Update

7. Fall Break Subcommittee Update

8. Religious Observance Policy Subcommittee Update

9. Academic Dishonesty Grade Marker..........(UCAP Minutes 02/26/2004, UCAP Minutes 04/29/2004, Attachment 1, Attachment 2, Attachment 3)

10. Form Subcommittee to Examine CLEP Test Issues

11. Roundtable

Phone or E-Mail Robin Pline (353-5380; if you cannot be present. Please remember that you are asked to send a substitute from your college.

Attachments: September 14, 2006 Minutes
UCC Materials on Dietetics Admission Policy Change Request
Variety of Materials from Past UCAP Meetings

minutes status: approved

approved at meeting of

UCAP Minutes for meeting held on 09/28/2006

Approved 10/12/06
University Committee on Academic Policy
Thursday, September 28, 2006
Meeting Minutes

Members Present: Dennis Banks, Renée Canady, R. Sekhar Chivukula, Peter Cobbett, Yen-Hwei Lin, Folke Lindahl, Helen Mayer, Philip Moon, Tony Nunez, Ralph Putnam, Brandon Sethi, Mike Shields, Jon Sticklen, Paul Turner, Bruce Vanden Bergh, Alexander von Eye, Connie Zheng, Keri Zolman

Members Absent: Richard Hallgren, Edmund Outslay

Others Present: Doug Estry (Acting Associate Provost and Dean), Dr. Gale Strasberg (Food Sci. & Human Nutrition Chair) and Dr. Lorraine Weatherspoon (Dietetics Program Director)
    Agenda (approved)
    Minutes (September 14, 2006 minutes approved)
    Comments from Chair
        ECAC approved establishing a Committee on Liberal Learning, which is set up as an Advisory/Consultative committee reporting to ECAC. The role of committee is to advise Associate Provost for Undergraduate Education.
        Athletic Council gave a report to ECAC. Dennis Banks serves as UCAP liaison to Athletic Council.
    Comments from the Associate Provost
        Several members from the Undergraduate Assistant/Associate Deans group are meeting today to begin discussing possible revisions to the course repeat policy. Background information has been gathered, and this group will provide a recommendation to UCAP.
    Dietetics Request for Admission Policy Change
        The Dietetics program of the Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition proposes to impose a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.5 for entrance into the Dietetics major at the Junior level (see attachments).
        Drs. Strasberg and Weatherspoon addressed the committee. They explained that the Dietetics program is a professional program with the goal that students become licensed dieticians. The MSU Dietetics program has had “explosive” growth from 230 to 370 over the last couple of years. MSU has the largest Dietetics program in the country; the proposed requirement would reduce the number of majors by approximately 50. There have been a number of faculty retirements, which have limited the capacity of the program. An external review raised the large number of majors and the large student to faculty ratio as significant concerns.
        The American Dietetic Association sets rigorous requirements for certification of the program. In addition to coursework, students must complete an internship and pass an exam in order to be licensed. With growing interest in the field, a larger number of students have applied for internships – currently 90% of students apply for an internship and 95% of those are accepted. This extraordinary placement rate is due to the high reputation of MSU Dietetics Program.
        Dr. Weatherspoon stressed that accreditation of the program is based, in part, on the first-time licensing exam pass rates of graduates. This first-time rate has dropped to just over 80%, which is the threshold for accreditation. Maintaining and improving the quality of the program is, therefore, a paramount concern.
        UCAP considered several issues in regard to this proposal.
            The University, on the whole, has a philosophy of open access to programs. There are several limited enrollment programs (including Medical Technology and Engineering), however, and a distinctive characteristic of many of these programs is that of accreditation – a feature that the Dietetics program shares.
            Programs with limited enrollment have, typically, a minimum GPA (or grade point average in specified courses) and a dedicated admissions process to consider other relevant applicant qualifications. The Dietetics program does not have the staff or faculty resources required to process formal applications, and the minimum GPA is proposed as a way of ensuring the quality of incoming majors without a formal admissions process.
            In regard to the proposed GPA threshold, Dr. Weatherspoon explained that most internships will not accept students unless they have a cumulative 3.0 average. It was felt that a student with a 2.5 could realistically hope to raise their GPA to 3.0 prior to completing the program. In addition, a 2.5 GPA admissions requirement would be in line with other Dietetics programs in the country.
            UCAP asked about the specific statement proposed to implement the requirement, which allows for the consideration of criteria other than GPA. The Dietetics program intends to review students with a GPA under 2.5, to allow those who show promise to succeed in the program to be considered for admission. Furthermore, Dr. Weatherspoon clarified that it is not the intention of the program to exclude any students whose GPA is above 2.5. UCAP raised the concern that the proposed language does not reflect these intentions.
        In light of the points above, UCAP supports the intent of a GPA requirement to limit the enrollment in and maintain the quality of the Dietetics program. Further action on the proposal was deferred, however, until
            the language implementing the proposal is clarified to reflect the intent discussed with the committee, and
            input from current students is provided.
    Undergraduate Assistants Subcommittee Update
        UCAP reviewed the minutes of 3/30/2006 reporting on last year’s subcommittee on this topic. The subcommittee discussed relevant issues with the University Ombudsmen, including: (i) complaints from parents, (ii) the absence of any University-wide policy governing workloads or whether this work is for credit or pay, (iii) the absence, in most cases, of formal training or orientation for undergraduate assistants, and (iv) the fact that undergraduate assistants may not be aware of privacy requirements.
        Additional information is yet to be gathered, such as understanding what other institutions do in this area.
        The issues for UCAP include: Should there be University policies or guidelines in place to govern the use of undergraduate assistants? What training programs or resources should be deployed to support undergraduate assistants? The subcommittee will endeavor to provide UCAP with the information required to answer these questions.
    Fall Break Subcommittee Update
        No report.
    Religious Observance Policy Subcommittee Update
        No report.
    Academic Dishonesty Grade Marker Subcommittee Update
        Received memo from Provost asking for clarification on policy proposed by UCAP.
    Form Subcommittee to Examine CLEP Test Issues
        Information on CLEP policies at other institutions has been compiled.
        Subcommittee members: Tony Nunez & Helen Mayer.
        Connie Zheng: Suggests that Council of Graduate Stuents should have representation on the Committee on Liberal Learning. The Chair will suggest to the Associate Provost for Undergraduate Education that this committee seek informal representation of graduate students on the committee.
        Jon Sticklen: Suggests that Committee for Liberal Learning should report in person directly to Academic Council, as its purview speaks to the heart of the undergraduate academic mission of the University.

Respectfully submitted by

R. Sekhar Chivukula