Major change policies to go before SGA

John Corum

Changing one’s major once required little interaction between students and their respective departments. A new policy amendment to be presented before the Student Government Association for discussion and approval seeks to facilitate and regulate that interaction.

Recommended by the Faculty Senate as a step to aid retention and achievement, the draft policy reforms the process by which students declare and change their major programs. 

According to the resolution from the Faculty Senate, the first portion of the two-part proposal would require students to declare a major before completing a set number of hours on campus. 

The second part of the proposal would set up a preferred window during which change-of-major requests would be facilitated. Though not compulsory, requests submitted during this window would be reviewed by the new department in time for the student to register for classes in his or her new degree program for the next semester.

Tammera Race, representative of the Academic Quality Committee of the Faculty Senate, explained the proposed changes are designed to increase communication between students and their department during the change-of-major process.

“The main impetus is to make sure that’s an organized process, when the students change their major that the discussion is happening between both the department that the student is leaving and the department that the student is going to,” Race said.

If approved, the changes would apply to all students, not just incoming freshman, Race said.

“Major changes and big decisions like that are tied to retention,” Race said. “The primary thing is to create a structure and document that structure and make sure all the parties are in communication.”

The policy now requires formal approval by the Administrative Council and President Gary Ransdell, a decision that will be made following review and comment on the proposed change from the SGA.

Keyana Boka, SGA president, said an official resolution will likely be composed by the SGA following discussion of the proposal, and an open forum to be held on Feb. 18.

“Hopefully we can get a guest speaker, either Dr. [Joelle] Carter or Provost Emslie himself to help address questions, and there be an open forum where all students are invited and encouraged to listen in and ask questions before we make a decision officially,” Boka said.

A resolution has not yet been written by the SGA either for or against the proposal. That decision will be shaped by the discussion at next week’s meeting.

“We can make our decision of whether it’s best for students or it’s not what students want,” Boka said.