On Monday, Miami University senate members were presented with data regarding the increasing numbers of students transferring course credit to Miami University through advanced placement (AP) courses, online courses or courses taken at other institutions.
A. John Bailer, chair of the Pathways Committee, offered committee recommendations on how Miami could respond to these increases in transfer credit.
“As a committee, we were charged with the responsibility of considering the implications of the increasing number of transfer credits and to not only react to them, but be proactive in our response,” Bailer said. “We want to maintain the Miami experience, but also enhance it. Our goal is to provide students opportunities to encourage them to stay here to complete coursework.”
According to Bailer, the goal of the committee is to work to enhance the quality of a Miami education, promote flexibility for students, identify barriers and consider strategies for removing these barriers. The committee prepared recommendations for the senate to consider.
One recommendation provided would increase advising opportunities to students who enter Miami with a large amount of hours. Optimistically, coordinated advising would give students more guidance regarding efficient ways to spend time: dual majors, minors and internships.
Another recommendation from the committee would reduce the minimum number of hours required for graduation from 128 to 120. The report produced by Pathways suggests that although some degrees and certifications would require more than the minimum hours, the reduction of hours would encourage more students to continue studies at the Miami campus rather than feel the need to transfer credits. The committee is also considering increasing the amount of possible hours undergraduate students can apply towards a master’s degree program from six to 15.
The final recommendations proposed would increase required Miami hours from 32 to 45 and eliminate the two-year living requirement. Currently, a transfer student can graduate with a Miami degree with only 32 direct hours completed from Miami. The change to 45 would reduce the amount of transfer credits students could apply toward a degree. The on-campus living requirement is increasingly being viewed as a discourager for students who want to attend Miami. According to Bailer, there are numerous reasons the requirement was put in place, but now must be re-evaluated.
Some senate members met the proposal with enthusiasm, but also apprehension.
“Times are changing, and more schools are offering AP and post-secondary credit,” said Rocky Newman, professor and coordinator of supply chain management. “I think availability of a Miami education is the biggest factor to be considered.”
Junior Adam Clampitt-Dietrich, a political science major and president of student senate, would like the committee to look at student reactions to the change.
“In order to address the issue of transfer credit, the committee needs to explore reasons why students feel the need to get credit elsewhere,” Clampitt-Dietrich said.
The senate agreed to continue reviewing the recommendations from the Pathway committee. No timeline was given for the implementation of any proposals.
“Clearly there’s been a response to the perceived cost of higher education and large numbers of students receive credit outside of Miami,” Provost Jeffrey Herbst said. “These recommendations should be seriously considered in order for Miami to be pro-active in the response to student trends.”
In 1973, The Miami Student reported that university council endorsed an earlier semester calendar, with first semester ending Dec. 30 and second semester ending May 20. Nearly 1,000 universities had already implemented this system.