Baylor amends course repeat policies

Photo credit: Dayday Wynn

By Kalyn Story | Staff Writer

Beginning in fall 2017, there is a new course repeat policy for undergraduate students.

A big change is that starting in the fall, all grades earned at Baylor will be factored into GPA. Previously, if a student retook a class only the second grade would count. Now they will be averaged. Along with this new policy, Baylor is also instating an “academic forgiveness policy” which would allow students to request to have the first grade earned from a course they repeated dropped from their GPA. Students may do this up to three times; after that the grades will be averaged.

“All students need to be aware of these policy changes, their impact on whether or not students will be eligible to attempt a course again and how repeating courses will impact GPAs beginning in fall 2017,” said Wesley Null, Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education. “Based on the fact that the revised repeat policy does not go into effect until Fall 2017, some students may wish to plan ahead and take additional courses at Baylor in summer 2017.”

With this new policy, students will only be able to take a course up to three times. This will include attempts prior to fall of 2017.

Null said the change was made after a broad-based task force studied course repeats and academic forgiveness during the 2014-15 academic year. The new policy is tied directly to Baylor’s goals for the improvement of four-year graduation rates and affordability for all students.

Leonardtown, Md., sophomore Grace Mueller has retaken classes and said she does not like the policy changes

“I’m paying tuition, so I should be able to take classes as many times as I want,” Mueller said. “Things happen. I’m glad they have the academic forgiveness policy, but that should always be the policy.”

Mueller also thinks whatever your best grade in the course is what should be factored into your GPA.

“In addition to studying Baylor’s own policies and data, the group looked carefully at policies at other universities,” Null said. “The proposal was subsequently supported by various representative bodies on campus as well as by then Interim Provost David Garland.”

According to Baylor’s Office of the Registrar website, Baylor’s Information Technology Services division is working on a design within Bearweb that will allow students to request for a grade to be excluded from calculation of their GPA and will enforce the rules defined in the Academic Forgiveness policy.

The complete Undergraduate Course Repeat Policy and Academic Forgiveness Policy can be found on Baylor’s Office of the Registrar website. There is also a Frequently Asked Questions page with examples of how the policy plays out practically for students. Students can also contact the Office of the Registrar with questions or concerns regarding either policy.