Exploratory Freshman Admission and Conditional Admission
Two Proposals from the Academic Standards Committee, October 2014
Genesis of the Proposals & Proposal Development Process
The 2013-2018 Auburn University Strategic Plan establishes promoting academic success as its first priority. It includes the following:StrategicGoal 1.D:“Developa Freshman Advising Center for UndecidedStudents.”StrategicCommitment B.2: “Revise first-year orientation programs to emphasize not only academic success, but also career and professional readiness.”During 2013-2014ad hocgroups developed plans in response to both Strategic Plan objectives.
Ad HocCommittee Memberships
Melissa Adams, Incoming Chair,AdvisorsCaucusMelissaBaumann, Asst. Provost forUndergraduateStudies & Director of the Honors College (Chair)Nancy Bernard, Director, Auburn University CareerCenterJim Carroll,Architect, FacilitiesBob Karcher, Assistant Dean, SamuelGinnCollegeof EngineeringSusan Hubbard, Chair, University UndergraduateAdvising CouncilKathryn Jarvis, Director, Academic SupportJoni Lakin, Assistant Professor,EFLTPatrickMichael, Student Government AssociationBret Smith, Associate Dean, College of ArchitectureRuthanna Spears, First Year Experience Office
Mark Armstrong, First-Year Experience OfficeNancy Bernard, Auburn University Career CenterLady Cox, Student AffairsTracy Donald, office of AccessibilityJeremy Downes, English DepartmentAndy Gillespie, Office of International ProgramsBethGuertal, Crop, Soil, and EnvironmentalScienceKathryn Jarvis, Academic SupportKatie Lackey, Advisors CaucusWill McManus, SGAStaceyNickson,BiggioCenterPaul Patterson, College of AgricultureConstance Relihan, Associate Provost forUndergraduate Studies (chair)Susan Villaume, College of EducationMatthew Cox, Graduate Intern
Ad Hoc Freshman Advising Center Committee
Ad Hoc Orientation Review Committee
Genesis of the Proposals & Proposal Development Process
Thead hoccommittees developed recommendations, submitted to the Provost, in Spring 2014.Specific proposals relating to Exploratory and Conditional Admission were then prepared and submitted to the Academic Standards Committee.The proposals were discussed, revised, and approved unanimously by the Academic Standards Committee.The proposals were submitted to the Senate Steering Committee where they were discussed, further revised, and recommended for consideration by the full Senate.(Other recommendations—such as to create a “Finish in Four” program, to move more orientation materials online, to increase just in time orientation opportunities for all students, etc.– are still being studied.)
Senate Committee Reviews
Sabit Adanur, Polymer&Fiber EngineeringWayneAlderman, Dean of Enrollment ServicesNadine P.Ellero, LibraryXing Fang, Civil Engineering (Chair)Xing Ping Hu, Entomology&Plant PathologyLisa Kensler, Educational Foundations&Leadership TechnologyBrian Parr, Curriculum&TeachingAmysueReilly, Special Ed., Rehabilitation,&CounselingPaula Peek, Consumer AffairsConstanceRelihan, Associate Provost forUndergraduate StudiesMargaretRoss, Educational Foundations &Leadership Technology
MichaelBaginski, Electrical &Computer EngineeringTimothy Boosinger, ProvostGisela Buschle-Diller,Polymer&FiberEngineering, Senate SecretaryLarry Crowley, Civil Engineering, ImmediateSenate Past ChairPatricia Duffy, Ag Economics & Rural Sociology,Senate ChairEmily Myers, SociologyLaura Plexico, Communication Disorders, SenateSecretary-electLarry Teeter, SenateChair-elect, Forestry & WildlifeScienceSara Wolf,Educational Foundations &Leadership TechnologyKevin E. Yost, Finance
Academic Standards Committee
Senate Steering Committee
Recommended Policy:Exploratory Freshman Admission
Individuals applying to Auburn as first-time College students would be eligible to select“Exploratory” as a major option on their Auburn application for admission form. Exploratorystudentswould not be aligned with an existing College/School, but would exist within a unitreportingto the Associate Provost for Undergraduate Studies. Advising for these students wouldbeassigned to the Freshman Advising Center, where they would be provided withintensive advisingand career counseling provided by a cadre of advisors cross-trained in the rudiments ofallmajors on campus. Student-to-advisor ratios must be appropriate to meettheserequirements.Students would be required to select a college/major and transition into aCollegeor School by the time they have completed two semesters at Auburn.
Rationale: Exploratory Freshman Admission
20% of incoming freshmen change their majorbeforethey attend Camp War EagleMany students change their major 3-4 times.The longer it takes a student to find the right major, the longer it takes a student to graduate.Helping students find the right major in their first year should decrease the length of time students need to complete their undergraduate degree, thereby reducing student cost.Institutions permitting exploratory admission:Purdue, Florida State, Virginia Tech, Mississippi State, Georgia State, IndianaStateMoving freshmen who are uncertain about their major out of colleges will permit college-level advisors to focus on students committed to their majors and lower advising ratios in the colleges.
Practicalities: Exploratory Freshman Admission
Exploratory Freshman & the Freshman Advising Center would not be housed in an existing College (this would prevent steering students toward particular majors), they would be in a unit that reports to the Provost“Undeclared CLA” and “Undeclared COSAM” would still be appropriate for many studentsThe student to advisor ratio would be capped at 150:1; a career counselor would also be on the staff of the CenterStudents would undergo an individualized regimen of advising sessions and assignments, which would begin at CWENo student would be permitted to remain Exploratory after two semesters; no transfer student would be permitted to enroll as an Exploratory StudentAuburn would begin admitting Exploratory students for Fall 2016 (the Freshman Advising Center will begin in a pilot fashion Fall 2015 with incoming students who opt to be advised in the Center)The location for theFreshman Advising Center is still being determined.This proposal has the support of the Admissions Office.
Recommended Policy:Conditional Admission
Applicants who are first-time freshmen, and graduates of an accredited high school, but who donotqualify for admission because of inadequate SAT or ACT scores or high school records, butwhodo meet the first-time freshman curriculum requirements, may be admitted to AuburnUniversityon a conditional basis.Studentswho are admitted on a conditional basis are given an opportunity to demonstrate thattheycan perform college-level work and can reasonably be expected to make progress toward adegree; they may be required to successfully complete a summer “bridge” or other programpriorto enrolling in their first fall or spring semester at Auburn. Applicants must demonstratetheirability to perform at the college level by obtaining an overall “C” grade point average (2.0ona 4.0 scale) in 15 college credit hours. Upon completion of at least 15 college credit hours ofapprovedcourses at Auburn University with a grade point average of at least 2.0, studentsadmittedconditionally will be in academic good standing at theUniversity.
Rationale: Conditional Admission
Students in this category would clearly know the performance levels needed to remain at Auburn after their first fall semester.The proposal would help us “clear a pathway to student success” as called for in the Strategic Plan by providing a more accurate category of admission for some students Auburn is already admitting.Students who begin college at a 4-year university are more likely to complete a bachelor’s degree than those that begin at a two-year school.Institutions with Conditional Admission policies: Texas A&M University, Clemson University, University of Maryland, Portland State UniversityConditional Admission will also be of benefit as we increase our number of international undergraduate students.This proposal would permit Auburn to support and monitor a group of students who may need some additional resources to help them make the transition to success at Auburn.
Practicalities: Conditional Admission
Conditional Admission would only be available to first-time college applicants, not to transfer students.Conditionally admitted students could enroll in any major available to students in good standing; there isnoconnection between this proposal and the Exploratory proposalThe “bridge program” for Conditional Admission students would build upon successful bridge programs already in place in Athletics, Engineering, COSAM, and the Office of Multicultural Affairs. It would continue the support and community-building structures through the fall semester.Academic supportand Student Affairs would work together to develop and implement the bridge program and support structures for these students.This proposal has the support of the Admissions Office.No predetermined number of students will be admitted into this category; the intention is not to admit a larger number of additional students.The intention is to provide the support needed to increase our yield of students who, because of their academic profile, may be anxious about their ability to succeed at Auburn.
Recommended Action: Approve both recommendations in November
Exploratory AdmissionPermits first-time college students to enter Auburn without declaring a major or a collegeProvides advising for these students in a free-standing Freshman Advising CenterRequires Exploratory students to select a college (if not a specific major within that college) by the end of their second semester of enrollmentConditional AdmissionPermits some first-time college applicants who nearly meet Auburn’s admissions criteria to be have their full admission into Auburn linked to their successful completion of a summer and fall academic and college transition program