Faculty Senate to investigate retake policy

The Faculty Senate is investigating whether to revise TCU’s course retake policy because it is more forgiving than many other universities’, a faculty senate member said.

The committee is researching what the impact would be on student GPAs if the current policy is changed, said Blaise Ferrandinothe academic excellence committee chair.

There is no limit to how many times a course can be retaken and any grade can be retaken at TCU. The only grade calculated into a student’s GPA is the last attempt at the course. Credit is given once for a course that is retaken and students run the risk of not making a better grade the second time they take a class.

“Students could take advantage of the policy if it is too lenient,” said David Bedford, a Faculty Senate member.

Committee members are considering if they should change the policy to allow only failing grades to be retaken and what to do with the grade after the course is retaken.

If the committee’s research finds the need to revise the current policy, it will offer a recommendation to the Faculty Senate in the fall.

“TCU is unusually generous in its policy,” Bedford said.

SMU and Baylor University allow students to retake a course if the grade is a D or lower, according to a study done by the committee. SMU also averages both grades.

“We are in the minority in having no limitations on grades that can be retaken,” Ferrandino said.

Of the students admitted to TCU in 2001 and 2002, 1 percent repeated classes they made a B in, 13 percent repeated C’s, 44 percent repeated D’s and 42 percent repeated F’s, Ferrandino said. Students currently enrolled at TCU cannot be included in the survey because of privacy laws, Ferrandino said.

One student said she put more effort into the class she retook because she wanted to improve her grade.

“I would be upset if they changed the policy in such a way that it would not help my GPA as much as possible,” said Catherine Bruni, a sophomore communication studies major.

There are two motives for why people retake classes, said Stuart Youngblood, the Faculty Senate chair.

“Some try to maximize their GPA and others just got off on a bad foot,” Youngblood said.

For students trying to get into graduate school, the retake policy can be really beneficial for their GPA, Youngblood said.

For freshmen and sophomores in foundation classes, it is a matter of mastering the material, Youngblood said. If they can retake the class for a higher grade then they have a better chance of making good grades in their upper level classes, Youngblood said.

“People should exert their best effort from the start but all of us mess up at some point so a do over is not unreasonable,” Bedford said.