CPP’s Academic Senate approves priority registration unit limit

By Reyes Navarrete, Feb. 20, 2024

Cal Poly Pomona’s first academic senate meeting of the spring semester met Wednesday, Feb. 14 approving an update to the priority registration unit limit, a new self-support version of a graduate program and changes to the prerequisites and course names for several general education courses. 

 A referral to increase the limit of priority registration from 15 units to 16 units a semester was adopted and approved by the Academic Senate after waiving the first reading of the report. This means the limit of priority registration will be updated for CPP students starting in April, according to the academic affairs report. 

When CPP transitioned from quarter terms to semesters in fall 2018, taking 15 units a semester became the standard for students to stay on track to graduate within four years. However, the 15-unit limit has shown to adversely affect students in majors with a high number of courses with lab corequisites — mainly STEM majors, according to the academic affairs report findings.   

Students taking a three-unit class with the additional one-unit lab can only take three of those courses plus labs to stay within the 15-unit cap, causing some students to sacrifice required courses for later. A 16 unit increase theoretically allows students to maximize their course load with co-requisite labs. 

The Academic Senate moved to waive the first reading of this referral to meet a February deadline which will allow for the change to take effect in time for fall registration. 

The Academic Affairs Committee brought up this issue in fall 2023 and continued to survey how this might affect students. Senator Jessie Vallejo, associate professor of ethnomusicology in the College of Letters, Arts and Social Sciences spoke of the widespread support. 

“During our discussion last semester, and at the beginning of this semester, we consulted with the Registrar’s Office, Office of Student Success, Equity and Innovation and academic programs,” Vallejo said. “Also, we consulted with constituents, I sent an email to all department chairs, and I sent emails to at least one or two representatives from every student success center, and we received overwhelmingly positive feedback. Everybody was extremely enthusiastic about this, and the committee was trying to make sure that we didn’t find any issues of equity in terms of enrolling but based on the feedback from many chairs and student success center representatives, this is really needed.” 

Senator Corwin Aragon speaking on general education committee reports during the Feb. 14 Academic Senate meeting. | Reyes Navarrete

In other business, a new self-support Master of Science program in information security was also approved during the meeting. The program is identical to the existing 31 credit graduate state-support program in information security, but this self-support program is face-to-face rather than online according to the Academic Programs Committee report 

“This self-support program is targeted not exclusively, but to a significant extent, towards international students who need to be in person for visa reasons,” said College of Science Senator Alex Small, professor and department chair of the Physics and Astronomy department. “And frankly, one reason to study abroad is a certain amount of cultural immersion, which would be much easier in an in-person modality. So, we felt that the modality made sense and would not detract from any of the state side commitments that the department is making.” 

According to the report, the program was proposed collaboratively by the College of Business Administration and the College of Professional and Global Education and will be taught using CPGE facilities with a cohort of 15 students to see if the program is sustainable. According to Small, The College of Business has a strong history of self-support Master of Science programs and any aspiring master’s students should investigate what the program entails before applying.   

Several name changes for Interdisciplinary General Education classes were also updated at the Feb. 14 Academic Senate meeting, including the “Visions of Science and Technology” class to “Mad Scientists and Aliens: Science and Technology in Popular Culture.” According to CLASS Senator and philosophy associate professor Corwin Aragon, these requests are in almost all cases in lower division 2000 level courses to facilitate enrollment. 

The Math and Statistics Department also requested the removal of “Category III” from the list of prerequisite options for several general education courses. According to Aragon, the department had developed and identified other courses that offer extra support to category III students, so they asked to remove those prerequisites to eliminate problems. 

The changes made would not affect the course’s ability to meet GE sub-area B4, Mathematics and quantitative reasoning. 

A continuation of old business from the previous meeting was the Academic Senate Resolution of Immediate and Necessary Actions to Address Urgent Campus Crises which cited CPP President Soraya M. Coley and other university administrators as not having adequately participated in shared governance. As detailed by The Poly Post, the resolution has not moved forward since, and has received some feedback or modifications since its first reading. The Academic Senate voted to postpone the second reading of the resolution until the next Academic Senate meeting March 13. 

Correction: A previous version of this article stated “As detailed by The Poly Post, the resolution has not moved forward since and has not received feedback or modifications since its first reading.” However, there has been some feedback on the resolution but no modifications since its first reading. 

Feature image courtesy of Reyes Navarrete.

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