Policy changes will increase student retention and timely graduation

It is my pleasure to share with you the great progress that is being made toward our goal of increased student retention and timely graduation.  In the spring of 2017, Academic Policies and Admissions Committee along with the University Senate Executive Committee approved changes to eight policies that are intended to remove barriers and assist students in reaching their academic goals – with a specific focus on retention and graduation.

The eight policies, and descriptors of the changes are here. As you review the new policies, you will find that the changes maintain academic rigor while providing avenues to help students graduate in a timely manner. The policy changes are reflected in the 2017-2018 Academic Catalog for your future reference.

You will want to consider the policy changes as you implement your own departmental goals and action items in support of the overall university strategic planning process. I intend to work closely with you in the fall 2017 semester on the implementation and progress toward institutionalizing the policy changes.

This is a tremendous step forward in cultivating an environment that supports student success. Thank you for all you do to help retain our students and move them on a path toward timely graduation.

— Thomas M. DiLorenzo, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs

Summary of APAC policy changes

  • A reduction of the minimum number of credits for a baccalaureate degree from 125 to 120. Colleges and departments may change their curriculum to reflect this or to retain the current minimum number of  credit hours.
  • Recognizes transfer hours from any national accrediting organization recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) and the American Council on Education (ACE).
  • Removes the 60 credit minimum four year institution requirement for transfer. Students still need 30 UND credits as well as 36 upper division credits to earn a baccalaureate.
  • Reduces the credit threshold required to verify high school graduation from 60 credits to 24.
  • Removes the 155 credit limit and permits students to earn a second baccalaureate degree provided they have completed their essential studies and degree program requirements.
  • Removes prohibitions to double count courses toward total credits needed for two majors, two minors, or a major and a minor. New policy is intended to allow double counting when learning outcomes are achieved for two majors, minors (or a major and minor) but allows for departmental exceptions.
  • Allows the registrar to act on routine grade change forms (signed by instructor and dean or dean designee) within 12 months of the end of course. Forms received after 12 months will need approval from the Administrative Procedures Committee.
  • Removes requirement that last 30 credits are earned from UND. This policy is applicable to our military students and promotes flexibility in degree completion.