Graduate Council Meeting - Minutes
January 24, 2005

Present: Chair Bruce McLeod, Ken Bowers, Janice Bowman, Patty Holkup (via phone), Marc Giullian, Rich Howard, Robert Maher, Ben Meyer, Steve Shaw, Jenny Miller (CGS), Becky Paye (CGS), and Mary Kay West.

Meeting commenced at 4:10 p.m. in Strand Union Building (SUB) 106E.

GRADUATE COUNCIL AGENDA ITEMS: (Numbers refer to item numbers on the Agenda)

1. Seminar (XXX-500) Grading versus Pass/Fail

McLeod stated that the number of departments using 500 level Seminar courses as graded courses (instead of Pass/Fail) is increasing. A seminar course involves students listening to an invited speaker and possibly some basic writing. This does not constitute a Content course and should not be given a letter grade. McLeod will meet with Registrar Chuck Nelson to place a restriction on 500 Seminars—allowing the recording of ONLY Pass/Fail (no acceptance of a letter grade).

MOTION : Bowman motioned and Howard seconded that College of Graduate Studies will send a notice to all departments reminding them that 500 Seminars are to be graded Pass/Fail ONLY; vote was unanimous.

2. Transfer Credit Policy

McLeod handed out the Proposed Policy Change and opened the floor for discussion. The discussion included:

  • Confusion over the current MSU policy wording—“1/3 of the combined total” and the need for a specific number because minimum numbers of credits required vary by department /degree
  • Confusion over what credits are allowed (eg: non degree, Extended Studies)
  • Credits required for EdD degree are set by Board of Regents and are higher than other doctoral programs. Should they be able to use more than 9?
  • Transfer credit policies are important because they ensure that most of the credits used to meet degree requirements at MSU are MSU credits and therefore the student earns a “MSU degree”
  • Necessity of departments being able to set stricter standards than CGS
  • Across the US, the average number of transfer credits allowed is 9
  • Reminder: courses taken during suspension (non degree) do not count toward degree requirements.

McLeod will have CGS revise the wording of the proposal to allow a maximum of 9 credits of transfer (including non-degree) for all students instead of 6 credits with the possibility of nine being approved through an appeals procedure.

Altering the transfer credit policy will require a modification to the current non-degree credit policy which states that a maximum of 6—9 credits of non-degree may be applicable toward a degree program. The new policy would allow all students the ability to use 9 credits regardless of admissibility at the time the courses were taken. All CGS forms with this information would also need to be updated.

The revised wording will be placed on the Grad Council web board. McLeod asked members to discuss the proposal with faculty and department heads.

Meeting adjourned at 5:02 p.m.