Departmental Authority to Modify Requirements for Transfer Students (Trans-Flex)

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University of Arkansas at Little Rock
Policy Name: Departmental Authority to Modify Requirements for Transfer Students (Trans-Flex)
Policy Number:
Effective Date: January 2011

Trans-Flex Reporting Form (8-20-12)

Policy:

INTRODUCTION

In January 2011, the Faculty Senate passed legislation that granted to departments special authority to modify degree requirements for transfer students. (The Senate had previously granted such authority to four programs on a trial basis.)

On May 4, 2012, the Faculty Senate revised the legislation of January 2011, removing the options to 1) reduce the hours required in residency from 30, and 2) reduce the total hours of upper level required from 45. The motion indicates that elements of the January 2011 legislation that are not explicitly altered are still binding.

The revised policy is effective August 23, 2012 (start of the Fall 2012 term)

The following outlines the substantive details of the current policy and specifies reporting and processing procedures.

Substantive policy details relevant to implementation as established by the Admission and Transfer Credit Committee.
Eligible students

Per the May 2012 legislation: To be eligible for a Transflex modification, a student must transfer to UALR at least 12 college-level credits.

The January 2011 Faculty Senate minutes state, “ …high school students with concurrent credit are not considered transfer students.”

Requirements that cannot be adjusted, per the May 2012 legislation:
  1. Minimum hours (124) and GPA (2.00) required for graduation
  2. Minimum hours and GPA required for majors and minors
  3. Foreign language competence for BA majors
  4. Mathematics & U.S. History/Government
  5. 45 upper-level hours
  6. 30 hours in residence
Requirements that may be adjusted, per the May 2012 legislation:
  1. core requirements*
  2. the requirement to complete a minor

* (Per the January 2011 Legislation) “While students entering UALR with a high number of semester credit hours (75 or more) in transfer should be given the benefit of a broad interpretation regarding satisfaction of core requirements, the state specified 35-hour core is still applicable.”

Notes:

a. Departments have always had the authority to make adjustments to majors and minors they offer. The legislation does not alter that authority.

b. The only adjustment to a minor that a department other than the department offering the minor can make is to waive the general requirement for a minor (if the major in question requires the student to have a minor). For example, the BA in Political Science normally requires a minor, and Senate legislation authorizes the Political Science Department to waive the requirement for a minor. However, the Political Science Department cannot change the requirements of, say, the Bioinfomatics minor. If the student wants a Bioinfomatics minor, only the chair of Information Science can make adjustments to that minor.

c. The January 2011 legislation indicates two broad guidelines for adjustments: “Departments should keep two broad criteria in mind when considering waivers, substitutions, exceptions, etc., to current policies: (a) Will the student be as ready for graduate study in the discipline? (b) Will the student be as employable?”

d. Per the Admission and Transfer Committee’s interpretation of the January 2011 legislation, the phrase “75 or more” in the asterisked statement is a recommendation and should not be interpreted as the minimum number of credit hours a transfer student must have to receive an adjustment to core requirements.

e. An additional recommendation of the Admission and Transfer Committee is that requirements should not be waived for students who have free remaining general elective hours (that is, the difference between 120 and any remaining requirements in the core, major, minor, or second languages). If a student has free remaining hours that could be used to take any course whatsoever, it would be difficult to justify why those hours should not be devoted to regular requirements.

f. Per the Admission and Transfer Committee’s interpretation of the January 2011 legislation, a student for whom adjustments to degree requirements is made under this legislation does not have a right for those adjustments to continue to apply if he or she declares a different major.

g. The January 2011 legislation requires departments to keep records of any adjustments so that the Associate Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs can collect and report data on the use of the authority granted by the legislation.

In order to grant adjustments, the department chair and/or undergraduate program coordinator must do the following:
    • Before initiating changes in core requirements, review the core transfer articulation completed by the Office of Transfer Student Services
    • Follow the other reporting and processing procedures specified in Part II of this document below
PART II: Reporting and processing procedures
Reporting procedures:

The department chair and/or undergraduate program coordinator must complete the reporting form that appears in appendix A of this document when making any adjustments to degree requirements under Senate legislation (Trans-Flex).

The Trans-Flex Reporting Form (8-20-12) requests background information that is not provided via the online Individual Degree Adjustment process. In particular, the reporting form requires a summary of the remaining requirements a student would have were he or she not granted any special adjustments (information that cannot be extracted from BOSS or Banner alone). This information is necessary to monitor need for the special flexibility authorized by the legislation and its application across campus.

The department should complete the Excel form and forward it to transflexreports@ualr.edu as an attachment to email at the same time it submits the Individual Degree Adjustment (IDA) in BOSS.

The Associate Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs will collect the Excel forms from the Transflex mail box for the compilation and analysis of data.

Neither the Office of Transfer Support Services nor the Office of Records will retain or forward the reporting forms to the Office of the Provost. Whatever other use might be made of the Excel reporting form, it must always also be forwarded directly to transflexreports@ualr.edu.

Processing procedures:

The basic processing of adjustments made under the authority of Transflex is relatively easy. Matters are complicated somewhat if a student for whom adjustments have been made under Transflex subsequently changes majors. Although the student has no right by policy for the adjustments to follow him or her to the new major, some of the adjustments (because of the way the degree audit is built) are not automatically removed from the degree audit.

Because of the procedural complications introduced if a student changes majors after adjustments have been made, departments should be certain that a student is deeply committed to the major before processing these special adjustments.

Also, if a student’s degree requirements are adjusted under the authority of Transflex, the signed degree plan for the student should include a note to indicate clearly that the adjustments apply only the to the major for which the plan is drawn up.

The basic instructions for each type of allowable adjustment are in standard text below. Further remarks and instructions that address the effect of a change of major on the adjustments are italicized. Also, an abbreviated summary of the effects of a change of major on the adjustments appears in “C” below. It is recommended that readers first familiarize themselves with the basic instructions before tackling the passages that address the effect of a change of major on the adjustments.

      1. Adjustments to core:If, after reviewing the transfer core articulation completed by the Office of Transfer Student Services (reflected on the degree audit or CAPP report), the department wishes to waive a component or components of core requirements, it must do the following:

        a. Send an email to transferoffice@ualr.edu, with “Transflex” in the subject line.
        b. Indicate the component or components of the core to be waived in the body of the email.
        c. Attach a copy of the Excel reporting form (see Part II, A, above). The form is available at http://ualr.edu/advisingcentral/.

        Note: While the Office of Transfer Student Services may consult the Excel reporting form for context when it is useful to do so, that office will not retain or forward the form to transflexreports@ualr.edu. It is the responsibility of the department to do so.

        d. Follow the same steps for waiving core requirements for students who were in the pipeline prior to when the Office of Transfer Support Services began articulating core transfer work.

        The Office of Transfer Student Services will verify that the adjustment is within the requirements of the 35-hour State Minimum Core and submit the adjustment to the Office of Records via the Individual Degree Adjustment (IDA). The Office of Transfer Student Services will indicate in the textbox of the IDA that the adjustments are done under the authority of Transflex.

        The major department will receive an email confirming that the IDA has been submitted. When the adjustment is processed by the Office of Records, it will appear on the degree audit or CAPP report.

        In addition to the adjustments, a text note will appear in the core area of the degree audit indicating “Core adjusted under Transflex by [alpha code of major department].”

        If a student has adjustments made in one core and then changes to a major with a different core (say, from Information Science, which requires the EIT core, to French, which requires the standard core), the core adjustments will not appear on the degree audit report for the new major. However, if the students changes to a major with the same core (say, from French to Criminal Justice, both of which require the standard core), the adjustments and text note will still appear on the degree audit for the new major. If the new major does not wish to approve the adjustments (the student does not have a right for the adjustment to follow him or her to the new major—see Part I. C, note 5 above), it must submit an IDA to reverse them.

      2. Waiver of requirement for a minor:Adjustments that waive the requirement for a minor are processed directly by departments via the online Individual Degree Adjustment (IDA) process.

        Note: Since the Senate legislation does not change the authority of a department to adjust requirements of majors and minors that it offers, such adjustments should be processed according to normal Individual Degree Adjustments procedures. The following instructions are for waiving the requirement for a minor, done under the special authority of Transflex only. (See note “b” under item “C” of Part I of this document for further clarification of the flexibility regarding minors authorized by the Senate legislation)

        If the student’s major requires a minor, but the student has yet to declare a minor, proceed to directly to the instructions below.

        If the student has already declared a minor, have the student un-declare the minor using the normal declaration of major/minor process. After the major department and college have approved the request, follow the instructions below.

        • Since the student will not have a declared minor, an area for a minor will not appear on the IDA form. Therefore, select the major area on the IDA form. Be sure to select the major area as opposed to particular requirements within the major.
        • Select “Other Change” from the action menu.
        • Enter “Waive minor per Trans-Flex” in the “Request Details” text box.
        • Continue to process IDA per IDA training instructions.

        Once the request has been processed by Records, a text note that a minor is not required of the student will appear in the major area of the degree audit report.

        If, after the requirement for a minor has been waived, a student changes to a different major, the text note will not appear in the degree audit report for the new major. If the new major normally requires a minor, that requirement applies unless the new major waives it. (See Part I. C, note 5 above.)

        Departments should not send the Excel reporting form to Records; that form should be sent directly to transflexreports@ualr.edu (see instructions for reporting above, Part II, A).

Summary of effect of change of major on adjustments in Degree Audit done under Trans-Flex Authority

The basic processing of adjustments made under the authority of Transflex is relatively easy. As the foregoing instructions make evident, matters are complicated somewhat if a student for whom adjustments have been made under Trans-Flex changes majors. Although the student has no right for the adjustments to follow him or her to the new major, some of the adjustments are not automatically removed from the degree audit. The following summarizes the effects of a change a major on adjustments in the degree audit. In cases where the adjustments are not automatically removed and the new major does not wish to approve them, the new major must submit an IDA to remove the adjustments

1. Adjustment of core requirements:

a. If new major requires same core as previous major:

Adjustments will still appear on the report for new major. Text note in core area of report will prompt new major that adjustments under Transflex have been made to core. If new major does not approve adjustments, it must submit new IDA to reverse them.

b. If the new major requires a different core:

Adjustments will not appear on the report for the new major. No additional action required by the new major.

2. Waiver of requirement for a minor:

The text note in the Major Area of the report for the original major that the minor requirement has been waived will not appear in the report for the new major. No additional action required by the new major.

Instructions for using the Hours Remaining Block of the Transflex Reporting Form to calculate hours saved by waiving a minor

You can use the calculator built into the Hours Remaining Block of the Transfex Reporting Form to calculate whether waiving the minor will reduce total remaining hours. It is not always the case that it will. See the explanation of why this is the case in step 3 below.

1. In the Hour Remaining Block enter remaining hours for core; second language (if required), the major, and a minor.

a. If a minor is declared, base remaining hours on the declared minor. If no minor is declared go to step b below.

b. If no minor is declared, assume a typical minor of 18 hours, 6 of which are LL.

        i. A student with many transfer hours is likely to have at least 3, and perhaps 6, lower-level hours that would count toward a minor. If the student has 3 LL hours that would count, enter 3 LL remaining hours. If the student has 6 LL hours that would count, enter 0 LL remaining hours. If the student has no LL hours that would count, enter 6 LL remaining hours.

ii. Enter 12 UL hours remaining (unless you see UL hours that would definitely count; if so, adjust the remaining UL hours down from 12 as appropriate).

2. Note and record the grand Total Hours Remaining (the lower right-hand cell of the calculator).

3. Now enter zero in for both LL and UL hours remaining in the minor. This may or may not alter the grand total of remaining hours. (E.g., if all the remaining hours in the minor were UL, and if the student needed at least some of them to reach the minimum of 45, zeroing out remaining hours in the minor—i.e., waiving the minor—will only push the UL hours into the remaining UL electives without changing the grand Total Hours Remaining.)

4. Note the grand total of remaining hours. Calculate the difference, if any, between this figure and the original figure recorded in step 2, and enter the figure in the Total Hours Saved cell in the Waive Requirement for Minor block.

5. Before submitting the form, re-enter the hours remaining for the minor—that is, return the hours remaining block to the way it was at the end of step 2 above. The Hours Remaining Block as submitted must reflect hours remaining if no adjustment under Transflex are made.


      Source: Faculty Senate

 

      Revised: August 20, 2012, July 7, 2011

 

      Approved by: Daryl Rice, Associate Vice Chancellor for Student Success

 

    Custodian: Provost