by Andie Diemer
Sept. 3, 2008
Those students who normally take home a Dean’s List status may need to work a little harder now to achieve that same standard every semester.
Last year the Academic Standing Committee altered the criteria for being named to the Dean’s List, which recognizes and encourages excellence in academic work. The change, which was applauded by Elon faculty, is set to go into affect starting this semester, according to Registrar Mark Albertson.
The list normally encompasses those students who had no grade below a B– and had a GPA of at least 3.4 in a minimum of 12 semester hours. The university has changed the standards to stay the same as far as receiving no grade below a B– in at least 12 semester hours, but have required students to have a 3.5 GPA.
“The Academic Standing Committee and faculty decided it was time to raise our honors distinction, since we felt that an honor should be an honor,” Albertson said. “We don’t change many rules or regulations that often.”
The change follows 19 years of not altering the criteria to receive the distinction and the steady increase of a stronger student body.
The administration also felt it was necessary to raise the standard since the criteria for graduating Cum Laude was raised to a 3.5 GPA in 2003.
Albertson said this was an important transition since conceivably a person could make the Dean’s List every semester of their time at Elon, but still not be able to graduate with honors.
Last spring 39 percent of full time, undergraduate students made either the Dean’s or President’s List. Had the new regulation been instated then, only 33 percent of students would have qualified.
“We just felt we needed to raise it so getting on lists would carry some distinction to qualify,” Albertson said. “You want it to have a luster.”
After reviewing the policies in place at other peer institutions across the nation the administration knew a change was necessary since in a few years it was possible for about half of the student body to be qualifying for either the Dean’s or the President’s list.
While only about five percent of students would have been affected by the change last semester, Albertson is hoping the new standard will push more students to strive for it.
The change was voted for unanimously at a faculty meeting and no one spoke out against it, including the two students on the Academic Standing Committee, he said.
However, no changes have been made to achieving President’s List status, which requires no grade below an A– in a minimum of 12 semester hours.
Albertson said the percentage of students that fall within that honor has not been growing.
Classes passed on a Pass/Fail basis or classes with grades of “S,” “WD” or “W” are not included in Dean’s List or President’s List eligibility.