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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Campus split over 15-credit minimum for Dean’s List

    A UA policy requires students to be enrolled in at least 15 units to be a part of the Dean’s List, while Arizona State University, Northern Arizona University and other universities around the country require 12 units for the recognition or other equivalent honors.

    “”I don’t like that at all, “” said psychology junior Nancy Collins. “”(Some students) would need psychological help if they had to work and do 15 credits.””

    Students enrolled in 12 to 14 units during a semester can receive an honorable mention distinction on the Dean’s List at the UA.

    But institutions across the country, including the University of California at Berkeley, Washington State University and Rutgers University, allow all full-time students, including those enrolled in 12 units, to be eligible for the Dean’s List or equivalent honors, according to the universities’ catalogs and Web sites.

    “”That’s not very fair if those prestigious universities only require 12 units,”” while the UA requires 15, said pre-pharmacy sophomore Rory Sears, who has received the Dean’s List honorable mention distinction twice.

    Amelia Hinsdale, a senior majoring in political science and English, disagreed. “”I think it’s fair because we chose to go to the UA, which means we accepted the policies of the UA.””

    “”You’re not required to go to the U of A to get a college degree,”” Hinsdale said. “”I wouldn’t want standards to be the same at every school.””

    I will never take 15 credits,”” said Collins, who is a full-time student, mother and teacher to her home-schooled son. “”I wouldn’t be able to live.””

    Collins said there are students who have to work to pay for their own tuition rather than rely on parents or scholarships. “”So (the policy) increases the privileges of the ‘haves’ and holds down the ‘have-nots,'”” she said.

    Celeste Pardee, a curriculum associate for the Registrar’s Office, said that in her experience, UA policies, such as that governing the Dean’s List, are made on the basis of what the faculty thinks is best for the university.

    “”They are not based on what other universities are requiring,”” Pardee said. “”We look into peer universities’ policies, but they are not a basis for our decisions.””

    The UA policy, included in every recent catalog, states that students must have 15 credit hours in one semester with a grade point average of 3.5 or better to be included on the Dean’s List without any distinctions. To be on the Dean’s List with Distinction, a student must have a 4.0 GPA in 15 credit hours.

    The Dean’s List – Honorable Mention distinction is given for all other full-time students who achieve a GPA of 3.5 to 4.0 with only 12 to 14 credit hours, the policy said. Each distinction is noted on students’ transcripts after completion of the required units for the semester.

    “”I think that the UA probably holds their students to a higher standard,”” said Kim Martinez, a senior majoring in optical sciences and engineering.

    Dean’s List
    distinction requirements

    Deans List
    3.5 GPA or higher and 15 or more units

    Honorable Mention
    3.5 GPA or higher and 12 to 14 units

    Engineering management senior Stephanie Butkus said that while she would take more classes if she didn’t play volleyball, she agreed with the policy.

    “”It’s cool to have that opportunity and to be on the honorable mention list,”” Butkus said.

    The origin of the policy is unclear, due to confusion between university administrative offices as to which office oversees the policy and when it was initiated.

    “”We’ve not made any recent changes,”” Pardee said.

    The Undergraduate Council, a committee of the Faculty Senate that makes recommendations on curricula and policies, last made mention of the Dean’s List in minutes for the meeting of Oct. 7, 1986, when the “”with distinction”” part was added to the standard designation.

    “”Why is that best for this university?”” Sears said.

    If nobody knows where or why the policy was created the way it was, then maybe it’s time for the question to be raised, Sears said.

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