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Faculty approves 18-unit semester

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The proposal, which would help students graduate sooner, now goes to the Board of Trustees.

Angie Marcos
LV Life Editor

Undergraduate students may soon be able to take a maximum of 18 units per semester instead of the 17 units currently allowed.

Pending Board Of Trustees approval later this month, the change would increase the maximum number of units University of La Verne undergraduates can take per year from 39 to 41, with no additional tuition charges. That includes the January term five-unit limit.

“The faculty and staff were enthusiastic about the measure,” said Kenneth Marcus, chairman of the Undergraduate Academic Policies Committee.”UGAP decided unanimously to go ahead with it.”

Rita Thakur, associate dean of the College of Business and Public Management, proposed the idea to UGAP in April.

“It is for the students,” Thakur said. “You have to do what’s best for the students.”

Per the motion agreed upon unanimously by the Faculty Assembly, in order for students to qualify to take a maximum of 18 units they would have to be in good academic standing. This means a student must have a 2.0 GPA or higher.

Previously students who wanted to take 18 units in a semester would have to go through an appeal process and if approved would have to pay to take the additional unit.

Charging students extra money for one unit seemed unfair, Thakur said.

“The actual financial impact is impossible to verify,” Marcus said.

It could benefit the University because students would not have to enroll in classes at other colleges, which they sometimes do now when they want to take an additional unit without paying several hundred dollars for it here.

“If it makes the University more attractive, then that would benefit everybody,” Marcus said.

“(The proposed change) was sent to the Faculty Senate with the idea that it would make it more convenient for students,” Provost Gregory Dewey said.

The idea was welcomed by many in the University, Dewey added.

Thakur had to convince the committee that changing the maximum number of units allowed for undergraduate students was necessary.

After the proposal was passed by UGAP in May, Marcus took it to the University’s Faculty Senate and Faculty Assembly.

“It’s a long process,” Thakur said. “It takes time and initiative to do it.”

The change will not be made official until the University’s Board of Trustees makes its decision in the coming weeks, said Lori Gordien-Case, associate vice president of finance.
“We’re working on it as fast as we can,” Gordien-Case said.

“The financial impact is that it would now be included in tuition so there would be no overload payment,” Gordien-Case said.

A possible negative consequence is that it could set some students up with too heavy a workload, Thakur said.

“Hopefully students work with their advisers to see what is right for them,” Thakur said. “Adding an extra unit to the maximum allowance doesn’t necessarily mean they have to use it.

“Even if you take 16 units a semester you will still graduate on time,” Thakur said. “This might help you to graduate a semester early, though.”

Graduating early could not only save students an extra semester’s tuition, it could also give them a head start in the workforce, Thakur said.

The allowance of an extra unit per semester would also help transfer students, Thakur said.

Students on academic probation will not see any change in the number of units they are allowed to take.

Angie Marcos can be reached at

The story “Faculty approves 18-unit semester” in the Nov. 6, 2009, edition of the Campus Times misstated some of the background on the proposal to allow students to take 18 units per semester. The proposal was originally passed by the Undergraduate Academic Policies Committee in May. UGAP Chairman Kenneth Marcus then presented it to the Faculty Senate and Faculty Assembly, which passed the proposal in October. The Campus Times regrets the error.

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