Repeatability changes will affect students

Graham C Wheat, Editor-in-Chief

Changes to repeatability are affecting students with the start of the spring 2014 semester. With the exception to a few classes, students may now only take a class once, unless it is to replace unsatisfactory marks.

Director of Admissions and Records Sue Vaughn said that the decision came directly from the state chancellor’s office.

“There are classes that are repeatable, and the rules have tightened about which classes those are,” said Vaughn.

She elaborated on which classes those are.

“The only classes that can be repeatable as a class are the athletic team sports, or something like debate.” Vaughn said that these classes are performance and competition based and the justification for keeping said classes comes from that aspect.

When questioned if any other programs were under this umbrella Vaughn gave another example.

“Then, in addition to that, the college can make some classes repeatable on the grounds that to transfer, for instance if want to transfer as a music major to a four year school, you have to take a performance class every semester, and usually it is the same class,” said Vaughn. “If you play the cello, the only performance you can do is for the orchestra,” said Vaughn posing a hypothetical scenario.

She also added that a class like theater would fall under the aforementioned umbrella.

Vaughn said that classes most affected by these new regulations would be physical education electives such as tennis or archery

“It used to be that you could take tennis up to three times. For example beginning tennis, intermediate tennis, and advanced tennis. Or someone just taking beginning tennis three times. That is over with,” said Vaughn.

The push from the state level to curtail repeatability in some areas comes from students continuously taking courses even though they may have completed them with good marks.

“Over the last seven years they [the state chancellor’s office] have been concerned,” said Vaughn when prompted as to why the decision fell the way it did.

“We used to have people taking and withdrawing or taking and failing, up to 10, 12, 15 times,” said Vaughn.

“People figured out that was preventing students who hadn’t had a chance to take classes from getting in when enrollment got pushed because of the budget.”

Vaughn did say that the rules for repeating a class under special circumstances are the same.

“Let’s say you have an unsatisfactory grade, the state regulation is that you may repeat a class a maximum of twice, which means you can take it a maximum number of three times,” said Vaughn referring to the current requirements for repeating a class when a student must get permission from a faculty chair.

While she did express some sentiment of regret for older students who would not be able to take a class for personal fulfillment, which is assuaged by the Levan Institutes programs, her feelings are that this is for the best.

“The big philosophical change is driven by a desire to get students who need us in, achieve their goals, and out. Our primary missions are transfer, degrees with job training and certificates, and then basic skills,” said Vaughn on her overriding reaction to the changes.

“I think when we are in tough economic times, it is the only fair thing to do.”