WVU plans to implement new changes to the WVU academic policy including GPA changes, transient course limitation and the D/F repeat policy starting in the Fall 2019 semester, according to a release from WVU.

Starting next semester, a first time freshman will have an institutional GPA, which will consist of only those courses taken at WVU. This GPA will be used to determine graduation status, programmatic eligibility and standards, academic awards, Latin honors and probation and suspension.

However, a student’s overall GPA, which includes the GPA of transfer and transient coursework, which are courses taken at WVU by students at another college or university, along with WVU courses, will determine eligibility for all financial aid programs, such as the PROMISE Scholarship.

Students will be given only three attempts to complete a course for a grade. Undergraduates with three or more attempts at a course prior to the 2019-20 academic year will be granted one additional attempt automatically during the 2019-20 academic year.

Transfer grades will also no longer be incorporated into their WVU institutional GPA. Transfer grades will count toward a student’s overall GPA and will be used to determine eligibility for all financial aid programs, according to the release.

“Transfer students will have an easier transition to WVU when getting courses articulated and acceptance of their [associate] degrees toward WVU GEF requirements,” said Paul Kreider, vice provost for academic strategies, curriculum and assessment at WVU.

Students will now be able to D/F repeat any number of different courses at any time in their academic career. The previous policy only allowed students to D/F repeat within their first 60 credit hours completed at WVU.

“[The D/F repeat] policy is intended to keep students from staying in a degree path that they are unlikely to complete or driving up more debts because they’ll be in school longer and less likely to complete at some point in the future,” said Louis Slimak, director of Academic Excellence and Assessment at WVU. 

Slimak said these are policies driven by data and that extensive research went into the academic policy changes.  

“We look back three to five years at student performance on our 20-some thousand students each year to determine what kind of changes need made so that when we are enforcing academic policies, we’re being more strict or certainly less strict because now you can D/F repeat a course anytime in your academic career as opposed to the first 60 hours,” he said.

Slimak said the academic policy committee also realized that the previous D/F policy was negatively affecting good students and was not penalizing bad students.

“We will see undergraduate student retention rates increase due to changes that afford students that ability to D/F repeat during any portion of their education,” said Kreider.

Transient courses will also count only toward overall GPA and will be used to determine eligibility for all financial aid programs.

All undergraduate students will be limited to a total of 18 hours in transient courses after enrolling at WVU.

“The main motivating factor behind all of the changes was student success, and we define that primarily in terms of retention, which means specifically freshmen coming back to be sophomores, the persistence which is the students’ continuing to return after their sophomore year, and then completion,” Slimak said.