Wednesday, September 20, 2017

From the President

Posted: Friday, June 9, 2017

Response to College Senate Recommendation: Revisions to DOPS Policies

At its May 12, 2017, meeting, the College Senate voted to recommend to the president the following revisions to the DOPS policies indicated below:

  • Dual Baccalaureate Degrees (I:01:03)
  • Second Major, Single Degree (I:06:01)
  • Student Eligibility for an Academic Minor (I:08:00)
  • Proposals for Minors (IV:05:00)

DOPS Revisions: Dual Baccalaureate Degrees; Second Major, Single Degree; Student Eligibility for an Academic Minor; Proposals for Minors
Introduced at the April 2017 Senate meeting by the Standards for Students Committee

WHEREAS, SUNY does not have policies related to dual baccalaureate degrees, second majors with single degrees, or proposals for minors, nor does the State Education Department review minors; and

WHEREAS, the Standards for Students Committee was asked by the provost at the end of spring 2016 to review the credit overlap elements of the Second Major, Single Degree DOPS policy (I:06:01); and

WHEREAS, the Academic Standards Office has received numerous inquiries related to credit overlap and issues related to the Student Eligibility for an Academic Minor DOPS policy (I:08:00) and the Proposals for Minors DOPS policy (IV:05:00); and

WHEREAS, there is lack of coherence among the credit overlap requirements of the Dual Baccalaureate Degrees DOPS policy (I:01:03), the Second Major, Single Degree policy, and the Proposals for Minors policy that results in uneven academic integrity for individual programs and Buffalo State degrees; and

WHEREAS, our current policy that requires 152 credit hours for a dual degree and our policies that fail to require a specific number of distinct credits for dual baccalaureate degrees and for second majors with single degrees are inconsistent with similar policies in effect at other SUNY institutions; and

WHEREAS, the lack of specificity about permissible levels of credit overlap in these policies creates ambiguity in policy interpretation that leads to difficulties in academic advisement, course selection, and degree conferral,

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that Buffalo State amend its DOPS policies on Dual Baccalaureate Degrees; Second Major, Single Degree; Student Eligibility for an Academic Minor; and Proposal for Minors as revised* in this document to create coherency among these policies and to assist with accurate academic advisement with the intent to improve students’ timely graduation in these programs that enhance the value of a Buffalo State degree.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED THAT the college catalog be updated to ensure that DOPS language is consistently reflected in the catalog for these policies.

*(Revisions to current policy are noted in the text that follows.)

DOPS Policy Number: I:01:03  (with recommended changes)
Date: Updated February 2009
Subject: Dual Baccalaureate Degrees

The awarding of two degrees at the baccalaureate level may occur under given circumstances. The fulfillment of requirements for two baccalaureate degrees (B.S. or B.A. or both) may be undertaken simultaneously or concurrently but requires significant additional coursework (at least 30 credit hours, usually one additional year) in distinctly different fields with at least 15 distinct upper-division credits (i.e., not overlap with primary major requirements or overlap with the requirements of a minor or concentrations). The exception to this requirement is the bachelor of fine arts, in which two degrees may be awarded upon the fulfillment of the requirements of each degree. Students must earn a minimum of 150 credit hours to qualify for two baccalaureate degrees. The maximum number of degrees awarded at the baccalaureate level is two.

Students opting for a dual degree should contact the departments involved, request a review of their progress and academic advice concerning the second degree, and complete a Change Major/Minor/Concentration form to be filed with the Registrar’s Office. Students pursuing dual baccalaureate degrees should seek academic advisement from the appropriate faculty advisers or department chairs in both majors to ensure that all dual degree requirements will be fulfilled.

DOPS Policy Number: I:06:01 (with recommended changes)
Date: Updated February 2009
Subject: Second Major, Single Degree

A student may fulfill the requirements for two majors and receive a designation on the official transcript indicating the completion of a baccalaureate degree in one major with the fulfillment of requirements of a distinctly different second major. The second major must include at least 15 distinct upper-division credits (i.e., not overlap with primary major requirements or overlap with the requirements of a minor or concentrations). Upon conferral of the degree, the student’s transcript will contain two entries: the major degree and a notation that “this student has also completed all requirements for a second major in the appropriate area.”

The student must use the Application for Undergraduate Degree to identify a primary major in which the degree will be awarded and the second major that will be completed. Students opting for a second major should contact the department involved, request a review of their progress and academic advice concerning the second major, and complete a Change Major/Minor/Concentration form to be filed with the Registrar’s Office. The student’s primary major adviser conducts regular advisement of the student. Only one baccalaureate degree may be awarded for a four-year, 120-credit-hour program.

DOPS Policy Number: I:08:00 (with recommended changes)
Updated: December 2016
Subject: Student Eligibility for an Academic Minor

Buffalo State College academic minors are specifically conceived sequences of courses designed to allow students to achieve important goals. A minor may be used to complement the major course of study, broaden and enhance career opportunities, gain expertise in an area of interdisciplinary studies, or provide in-depth study in a subject of special interest. While an academic minor is an optional study program, students often find it an excellent way to make strategic use of all college elective courses.

Each minor program consists of 18–21 credit hours of coursework. A minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0 is required for admission to a minor program, and at least three of the courses in each minor must be completed at the college. A minor must include at least 9 distinct credits (i.e., not overlap with primary major requirements or overlap with the requirements of a minor or concentrations). A minor may include no more than half of its credit hours at the lower-division level. A maximum of three courses of transfer credit will be permitted. Students may declare up to two minors Students who complete the minor with a minimum GPA of 2.0 will have the minor recorded on their official transcript.

Only matriculated students who intend to seek an undergraduate degree may be accepted into a minor program. Students interested in selecting a minor program should contact the coordinating department as soon as possible and complete a Change Major/Minor/Concentration form. A listing of all minors and requirements is on file in each department and dean’s office. Only the coordinating department provides advisement on individual minors.

For information regarding the development of a proposal for an academic minor, please refer to the Directory of Policy Statements, Section IV:05:00.

DOPS Policy Number: IV:05:00 (with recommended changes)
Revised: Spring 2015
Subject: Proposals for Minors (Relevant excerpts)

Requirements of Minors
According to college policy, each minor program developed and approved must conform to the following guidelines:

  1. A minor may not be taken from the same discipline as a student’s major program.
  2. A 2.0 minimum cumulative grade point average is required for admission to a minor program.
  3. A minor shall consist of no fewer than 18 and no more than 21 credit hours of coursework.
  4. A minor must include at least 9 distinct credits (i.e., not overlap with primary major requirements or overlap with the requirements of a minor or concentrations).
  5. A minor may include no more than half of its credit hours at the lower-division level.
  6. A maximum of three courses of transfer credit will be permitted.
  7. Students may declare up to two minors.
  8. The minor program must include all course prerequisites.
  9. Exceptions to these minor proposal requirements must be requested through the College Senate Curriculum Committee with appropriate justifications provided. Student exceptions to any minor program requirements may be petitioned through the Academic Appeals Committee with appropriate justifications provided.
  10. Faculty, through their departments and programs, will define disciplinary individualities. An academic minor at Buffalo State is an optional program of study available to undergraduate students and may not be required for graduation from any degree program. A minor may be used to complement the major course of study, broaden and enhance career opportunities, gain expertise in an area of interdisciplinary studies, or provide in-depth study in a subject of special interest.

I hereby accept the recommendation of the College Senate with regard to the revisions in the following DOPS policies:

  • Dual Baccalaureate Degree
  • Second Major, Single Degree
  • Student Eligibility for an Academic Minor
  • Proposals for Minors.

I charge the provost with the responsibility for overseeing the implementation of these revisions effective with the fall 2017 semester.

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