Proposal sent to Faculty Senate to increase credit limit for freshmen
February 24, 2012
Student Senate has passed a proposal to increase the cap for freshman credits from 17 to 18, according to Senate President Tyler Halverson.
Spelled out in the faculty and staff handbook, “The maximum load for freshmen students is 17 credits per semester.” According to Blake Fry, special assistant to the chancellor, Senate passed the proposal with a 13-9 vote and now the proposal goes to the Faculty Senate.
It will then be assigned to the appropriate Faculty Senate committee to be considered.
“The increase of the cap is not completely necessary, but having a cap at 17 is also unnecessary. The cap prevents UW-River Falls freshmen from potentially completing an additional two classes their freshman year,” said First-Year Representative Alycia Hall.
“The main two reasons for removing the cap were fairness for the freshmen and helping to ensure students can graduate on time,” Vice President Strand said.
At-Large Senator Hannah Carlson said that 144 freshmen are currently on academic probation after the fall 2011 semester.
Students need to get above a 2.0 grade point average to stay off probation. She said that a cap may be in place so that freshmen don’t overload themselves.
“Putting a cap on freshmen credits helps prevent freshmen from overloading and adjusting from high school to college and putting themselves in situations like academic probation or suspension,” said Carlson.
Kayla Edstrom, inclusivity and diversity issues director said that although some freshmen may not be able to handle an 18-credit load, advisors recommend 15 credits for incoming freshmen either way.
“Keep in mind this does not mean that they need to take all 18 credits. Many incoming freshmen are still recommended to take only 15 credits, however with the number of students coming into college today with ‘college in the school’ or Advanced Placement credits raising, there are more and more students at that freshman level that can handle a full 18-credit schedule,” Edstrom said.
Strand said that freshmen deserve the same academic opportunity as everyone else and that credits do not correspond with how hard a semester load is or is not.
“If all students are paying for 18 credits, then everyone should be able to enroll for those 18 credits, including freshmen,” said Strand.
“It should be up to the individual freshmen to decide how many credits they want to take and to use their best judgment,” said Benjamin Blanchard, the Allocable Fee Appropriations Board chair.
“If someone decides they can’t handle their credit load, there is a 30 day drop window in which they can drop a class if they really need it,” Blanchard said.
The proposal is now turned over to Faculty Senate to further the decision-making.