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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Policy issues hit UAccess

As students begin priority registration, UAccess still has some kinks to work out.

Some of the problems arise from the system attempting to implement the UA’s course repetition policy. The policy bars a student from retaking a course they have received an “”A”” or a “”B”” in without special permission, or from attempting a course more than twice. An attempt is defined as any time a student receives a grade for their participation in class, including a W for withdrawing.

“”The change that is occurring is with the new system, there’s more accuracy in the counting of course repeats and the displaying of that information on the transcript as well as in the ability to configure the system to stop somebody from repeating a course that is invalid,”” said Beth Acree, the UA Registrar.

Acree said there are still some issues with making UAccess reflect UA policy.

“”We’re still kind of working out some of these policy issues and tweaking things to reflect what the (UA Undergraduate Council) wants to have happen,”” Acree said. “”The system was configured in a way that tried to match the policy as closely as possible but, while the system has new capabilities, there are some consequences that are different than we’ve had in the past.””

Acree’s sentiment is shared by Mary Myles, a student majoring in Spanish and marketing, who is a member of the Undergraduate Council and a senator in the Associated Students of the University of Arizona Senate.

“”Overall I think they’ve done as good a job as they can,”” Myles said. “”The overall purpose of the policy is good, but there are still some kinks to work out.””  

According to data collected by the Undergraduate Council, which helps determine policy of this nature, 1,369 students attempted a course more than twice from the 2004 fall semester to the same semester in 2008. This is still significantly lower than the 23,773 students who attempted a class twice during that same time period.

From fall 2004 through spring 2007, there were 12,692 instances where a student dropped at least one class five weeks into the semester. Under the UA’s course repetition policy dropping a course after five weeks counts as one of the two times a student can attempt the same course.

UAccess also has some issues blocking students from registering for a course they have already received an “”A”” or “”B”” in, according to Tom Bourgeois, the implementation director for the Mosaic Project.

While ideally the system would automatically block a student attempting to register, as it does when attempting to register for a class a third time, UAccess does not bar students from registering for courses they have already received satisfactory grades in. This could lead to erroneous grade point average calculation and credit counting.   

Acree, though, said UAccess is much better at accurately tracking these policies than the previous system.

“”In the old system, we considered the (Degree Audit Report System) to be the accurate representation of the coursework, and now in our new system both the degree audit and what’s displayed in the new system match,”” she said.

Bourgeois also expressed confidence that the system would be able to match UA policy soon, and in the meantime, both he and Acree recommended that students meet often with their advisers to avoid potential problems.


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