Monday, August 5, 2002 Volume 67, Issue 161


SGA bill could help student GPA's

By Valarie Torres
The Daily Cougar

With current UH grade-keeping policies, if a student fails a course, takes it again and passes with a higher grade, both grades are averaged into the
student's cumulative grade point average. Also, the hours are still counted as hours earned toward the 120 hours accepted by the state for a degree.

A bill written by Student Government Association Speaker of the Senate and senior business major Senator Jeff Hill, hopes to change this policy. The bill
proposes that students who fail a course should be able to repeat the course at least twice and have only the higher grade averaged into their overall
cumulative grade point average. In addition, the bill proposes the hours earned reflect that the class was taken once.

Grade point averages can often be damaged by one bad semester. Most students know it can be difficult to bring it up to acceptable standards again. Hill
said students who graduate with a higher GPA are considered more highly for graduate schools or employment opportunities. The bill also claims to "raise
the level of competency in classes re-taken."

"If a student made a D in a class, and the grade was acceptable to their major, why would the student take the class again?" Hill said.

Students could take the class again, but most couldn't afford to pay for it again, especially if it their department accepts the low grade, Hill said.

But there are some concerns about the acceptance of the bill by UH administration.

Senior education major and SGA Speaker Pro-Tempore April Spreeman-Harter and senior marketing major John Poole have been researching the bill. 

Both have their reservations and concerns about the acceptability of the bill, but actively advocate the benefits of it.

(The bill's acceptance) is a long journey that has barely begun, Spreeman-Harter said. A more thorough investigation into factors affecting the bill, particularly
the 45-hour cap and a recently accepted resolution called the Q grade is needed, she said.

The 45-hour cap is a law enacted in 1999 by the Texas legislature authorizing the University to charge fees to students who take more than 45 hours over the
120 hours required for a degree. The Q grade is a resolution passed by SGA and the administration, which allows students to replace a W (withdrawal)
grade with a Q.

The Q would not affect a GPA, and can be used five times per semester, but would affect hours attempted. But Hill said, the UH administration could argue
that the grade replacement bill, coupled with the Q-grade resolution, would cause many students to exceed the 45-hour cap. 

This would cause the University to charge students out-of-state tuition fees and the student becomes incapable of graduating because they cannot afford the

Provost Ed Sheridan and Director of Academic Program Management Brian McKinney were unavailable for comment on the bill.

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