May 18-20, 2005

 

ITEM 127-104-R0505                 Overall Grade Point Average

 

THAT:                                      The Board of Regents of Higher Education approves a policy concerning a grade point average that includes all of the coursework attempted by students during their postsecondary career. Because the group working on this policy received conflicting feedback on what the policy should do, however, the group is presenting two (2) alternative policies for the Regents’ consideration and, hopefully, resolution.

(1)     The first policy mandates that an overall grade point will appear on all student transcripts.

(2)     The second policy permits students to decide if they want an overall grade point average on their transcripts for informational purposes.

 

EXPLANATION:                        The policy was developed in response to recommendation 5 of the Legislative Audit concerning transfer of credit practices within the Montana University System.  The Board of Regents, at its Fall 2004 retreat, also endorsed this policy, at the suggestion of Regent Kala French.  In addition, at least two (2) students have asked the Board to consider such a policy.

 

Hopefully, the two alternative policies are clear in their intent.

(1)     The first policy is endorsed by the admissions and registrars personnel throughout the Montana University System.  They feel strongly that, if an overall grade point average is included on one student’s transcript, it should be included on all students’ transcripts.  That would be the only fair and equitable solution to this request, from their perspective.  They also emphasize that the Banner student record-keeping system is set up to only permit an “all or nothing” approach.

 

(2)     The second policy reflects the feedback from students and faculty.  Currently, in the Montana University System, all campuses list an institutional grade point average on student transcripts.  Only one campus also lists an overall grade point average for its students.  Most faculty feel very strongly that an institution’s transcript should only reflect the grades earned at that institution.  Many students apparently share that perspective, since the practice gives them a “fresh start” on their academic career, if previous difficulties are not included.  Other students are proud of their academic achievement, regardless of when and where it occurred, and they would like their transcript to reflect that accomplishment.

 

The Montana Board of Regents will have to make the final decision of this policy.

 

The policy will be effective immediately upon adoption by the Montana Board of Regents.  The standardized process for recording transfer classes, credits and grades on student transcripts will be developed by Fall Semester 2005.

 

ATTACHMENT:                         Proposed Policies