Undergraduate Council Minutes


Meeting of March 27, 2007
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Attendance:  S. Sutherland, A. Tyree, C. Hamilton, D. Di Donato, N. Goodman, R. Kamoua, R. Gatteau, B. Colle, J. Clarke, C. Dolle, K. Gillespie, B. Rivera, D. Bell.
Guest:  Diane Baldwin-Bello (Associate Registrar)

Agenda for Meeting:

  1. Review Minutes
  2. Select Note taker
  3. Challenge Exam modifications
  4. Graduate credits if withdrawn from combined program

Review Minutes:       
Minutes reviewed, corrections made, accepted.

Select Note taker:
Beverly Rivera volunteered to take notes of the meeting.

Challenge Exam Modifications:
Committee discussed how information related to challenge exams is proliferated throughout the bulletin. The revision provided by Rick Gatteau simply provides more detail and that none of the rules are being taken out of the bulletin.  The new text is consistent with what students are seeing.  The change to the text and labeling of the exams was approved.  The Challenge Exam label is changed to, “Foreign Language Challenge Exam Program” and will be reflected in this manner from here forward.

As per Rick, the text below should replace page 84 of the 2005/07 printed Undergraduate Bulletin under the heading "Challenge Program for Credit by Examination:  ..  I would just change the heading to read "Foreign Language Challenge Exam Program".

 

STONY BROOK UNIVERSITY
FOREIGN LANGUAGE CHALLENGE EXAM PROGRAM

Stony Brook University’s Foreign Language Challenge Exam program permits students to meet requirements, earn credit, and receive advanced placement by taking examinations in place of foreign language courses.  Students interested in taking a Challenge Exam must complete a Challenge Exam form and meet with an academic advisor in the Academic and Pre-Professional Advising Center, certifying eligibility before making payment or scheduling an exam.  Upon receiving advisor approval, the student should contact the appropriate academic department’s Director of Undergraduate Studies to seek approval, schedule the Challenge Exam, and make appropriate payment to the Bursar’s Office.  The fee is $50 per credit (or $50 for skill 3 exemption only), and is non-refundable.  The student should bring the receipt of payment and the signed Challenge Exam form to the academic department giving the exam.  Upon completion of the Challenge Exam, the academic department will forward the form to the Academic and Pre-Professional Advising Center for processing.

  1. Only matriculated undergraduates are eligible to take a Challenge Exam.
  2. The relevant academic department determines the foreign language courses, if any, for which it will offer Challenge Exams.
  3. A maximum of fifteen (15) credits may be accumulated through the Challenge Exam program.  This total is included in the thirty (30) credit limit on examination credits, including AP and CLEP, which can be applied toward the bachelor’s degree. 
  4. Challenge Exams cannot be taken in foreign language courses that are pre-requisites for courses already passed.
  5. Challenge Exams cannot be taken in foreign language courses that already appear on the student’s Stony Brook transcript, including courses transferred, registered, passed, failed, withdrawn, or incomplete.
  6. Challenge Exams cannot be taken more than once for the same course.
  7. Challenge Exam credit does not count toward full-time student status.
  8. Challenge Exam credit does not fulfill the University residence requirement or satisfy the 55 credits in residence required of candidates for degrees with distinction.
  9. Challenge Exam credit may be used to fulfill upper division credit for foreign language courses at the 300-level and higher.
  10. Challenge Exam credit may be used to fulfill foreign language major and minor requirements, pending approval from the Director of Undergraduate Studies in the respective department.
  11. Students who receive academic advising and academic departmental approval to take a Challenge Exam are eligible to take the exam up to six months after approval, unless the applicant ceases to meet the eligibility requirements.
  12. For foreign language courses taught at Stony Brook for which the student wishes to receive academic credit via the Challenge Exam, the grading option is A-F.  A-F grades appear on the student’s transcript and are included in the calculation of the student’s grade point average.
  13. For foreign language courses taught at Stony Brook for which the student wishes to receive a skill 3 exemption only via the Challenge Exam, the grading option is satisfactory/unsatisfactory (S/U).  S/U grades appear on the student’s transcript, but are not factored into the grade point average.
  14. Credit is not awarded for Challenge Exams in foreign languages not included in Stony Brook’s curriculum.  For all foreign language courses not taught at Stony Brook for which the student wishes to receive skill 3 exemption via the Challenge Exam, the grading option is satisfactory/unsatisfactory (S/U).  S/U grades appear on the student’s transcript, but are not factored into the grade point average.

Updated:  3/27/07

The use of Graduate Credits is student withdraws from an approved Combined Program:
What is the maximum number of graduate credits an undergraduate student can use toward the undergraduate degree if and when he/she withdraws from the combined program?

In our minutes of September 12, 2006, the UGC approved a six credit limit.  What was the committee’s rationale at the time of the approval?  Brent Lindquist asked the committee to think about the impact this will have on students. 

(R. Gatteau):  Why not just allow students to have the full credits, they completed the work?
(N.Goodman):  Once the student is in the course, how can you deny them the credits?

As per Diane Baldwin-Bello, Associate Registrar for Records, in most cases students complete the graduate courses, get their grades and then decide they want to revert back to their undergraduate program and be withdrawn from the Combined Program. 

Committee recommended addressing the current student issues and that the process should be reviewed and changed to better serve the needs of the students while also working within the confines of what was SED/SUNY approved.

The problem has been that the students have not been informed correctly, they are being ill advised.  In some cases, approval for waiver of the Admissions GPA requirements has been granted by the program director.  This should not be allowed.  The criteria for admission were laid out within the program proposal and GPA requirements should not be waived.

The question was raised by Diane as to what should be done with the current students whose programs are completed (undergraduate) and are ready to graduate?  Donna Di Donato suggested that she look over and review these cases. 

Kane expressed his concern that requirements to the program should not be compromised due to poor management. 

(S. Sutherland):  If the problem stems from advisement with the program directors (undergraduate/graduate), the program directors should be held accountable and there should be some discussion with them.   As per the MAT program, courses are co-scheduled (i.e. undergraduate level course offered with graduate level),    but students are required to take them at the graduate level. 

(K. Gillespie):  Students should be receiving advisement but it appears that the information being shared is not correct.

(S. Sutherland): Students want to take graduate courses.  They go into it with good intentions and then discover that they cannot follow through. 

As per Brian, Brent raised the question:  If student in a combined program, counting credits toward both the undergraduate and graduate degree, why would we deny them the course credits if they passed the course(s)? 

When the combined programs were discussed and later approved, it was intended that student would be advised from as freshman through entrance or admission to the combined programs.  This has not happened as intended. 
There should therefore be an exit clause for students to read:
(Scott):   Student can apply graduate credits earned as part of their specific combined degree program toward their undergraduate degree. (Approved credits range from 9-15 maximum credits.  Credits are specific to the academic program).

(D.Baldwin-Bello):  The forms that were created by the Graduate School and the Registrar’s Office have statements that students and program directors have to sign off of indicating that students understand how credits will be reflected in both program (undergraduate & graduate), etc.

Brian, Kane and Scott reviewed the text on page 96, section on Combined Bachelor’s/Master’s Degree Program Regulations. 

3c:  Changed from: stipulates that if a student opts to withdraw from a combined program but wishes to complete the bachelor’s degree program, the student may use up to six graduate credits toward the undergraduate degree.  (see 4a and 4b below)
Changed to read:  stipulates that if a student opts to withdraw from a combined program, the student may use up to six graduate credits toward the undergraduate degree.

Number 4 in this section deleted. 
Number 5.  Deleted reference to 4a and 4b

In bulletin, text on page 96, section on Graduate Courses
Changed from: Unless student is pursuing a combined degree program, no more than six graduate credits (including those taken through the School of Professional Development) may count toward the bachelor’s degree.
Changed to read:  No more than six graduate credits (including those taken through the School of Professional Development) may count toward the bachelor’s degree, unless credits earned are part of an approved, combined degree program.