Faculty Senate Removes 16-Credit Late Drop Limit

The Faculty Senate approved the University Park Undergraduate Association’s recommendation to eliminate the 16-credit late drop limit at its meeting on Tuesday. The new resolution is expected to go into effect Fall 2016 when students begin to schedule classes on LionPATH, according to UPUA Speaker Emily Miller.

During last week’s full assembly meeting, UPUA spent the majority of the time discussing three resolutions that were ultimately presented to the Faculty Senate at its meeting. Two of the three resolutions ultimately passed through the tenth assembly.

Resolution 12-10 supported the change to the university policy, which was approved today, that will eradicate the 16-credit late-drop limit.

The other resolution, Resolution 14-10, will limit students to repeating a course a maximum of three times. “This was the compromise we made with the senate,” Miller said at the meeting last Wednesday. “This ensures students won’t abuse the unlimited late drop and attempt to retake a class over and over again.”

There were two major issues brought up in opposition to the resolution. For one, some felt as if they were being forced to support the eradication of the credit limit because LionPATH, in its current form, cannot handle keeping track of how many credits every student has dropped and it would be potentially costly to remedy this. Others were worried students might abuse the lack of limits and end up staying at Penn State longer than necessary.

“Students do not drop classes with the intent to be here for six years and hope that they cost themselves more money,” Miller said, noting the change affords the opportunity for exploration instead. “Students are responsible and will not mindlessly drop classes, but use the lack of a limit to enhance their education.”

Others argued fellow Big Ten schools do not have a limit on late drop credits, and if they’re able to handle it there’s no reason Penn State shouldn’t be able to as well.

The vote was conducted online, so while the Senate office knows the resolution passed, it doesn’t have an exact count yet. According to Miller, however, it wasn’t even close.

UPUA President Emily McDonald tweeted after the Faculty Senate meeting. “This is a great win for students,” she said. “I’m proud of my colleagues on the Faculty Senate for voting to make this change.”

This is another Faculty Senate win for the tenth assembly, which will meet Wednesday night in the HUB.

Editors note: This post was updated with additional information after the meeting concluded. 

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