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Adviser Information File
Undergraduate Policies and Procedures

Satisfactory Progress


CONTENTS       Summary
The 2012 policy
    Said another way...
    Intent of the 2012 policy
    Who the 2012 policy applies to
Number of quarters at the UW
    Freshmen
    Transfer students
    What counts as a quarter?
    What does not count as a quarter?
Satisfactory Progress Notifications
The "105-credit rule" notifications & monitoring
    Warning
    Registration Hold
    Premajor Extensions
The "210-credit rule" notifications & monitoring
    Warning
    Registration Hold
    Registration Block
Exceptions and petitions
Double majors and double degrees
Postbaccalaureate students
Part-time students
Prior satisfactory progress rules
College and department continuation policies
Financial aid policy
Excessive withdrawal

Summary

   

Matriculated students are expected to make satisfactory progress toward the attainment of a baccalaureate degree, which means they are expected to enter a major and graduate after completion of a reasonable number of credits. A student should declare a major by the time s/he has earned 105 credits, and graduate by the time s/he has earned 30 credits beyond the minimum number of credits required for the degree; since most UW baccalaureate degrees require 180 credits, most students are expected to graduate by the time they have earned 210 credits.

This AIF will discuss the monitoring and enforcement of the timing of students entering their major (i.e., "the 105-credit rule") and graduating (i.e., "the 210-credit rule").

The scholastic regulation pertaining to satisfactory progress can be found in the UW Policy Directory. On January 27, 2012 (and revised May 25, 2012), the Faculty Council on Academic Standards (FCAS) adopted a policy on satisfactory progress that clarifies the scholastic regulation; that policy can be found in the FCAS Issues pages. Finally, the UW Registrar's Office page on Registration Policies outlines the student-facing policy on satisfactory progress. Much of the language on these pages will be reiterated and discussed here, along with language from the implementation committee's report.

 
 

The 2012 policy

   

The University of Washington seeks to allow fair access to as many eligible applicants as possible each year while enabling students, who so choose, to have a four-year college experience beyond high school. Consequently, the University has set limits on the number of quarters and credits allocated for each student. A student may continue to enroll at the University of Washington until reaching both the quarter and credit limits.

Students admitted as freshmen, including those who have earned credit as part of the Running Start Program, may accrue as many credits as they wish, as long as they graduate within 12 academic satisfactory progress quarters of college work while registered at the University. Transfer students are allowed 6 academic satisfactory progress quarters of college work while registered at the University if they have completed two or more years of college work. Transfer students who enter the University after completing one year of college work will be allowed 9 academic satisfactory progress quarters of college work while registered at the University of Washington. Summer quarters do not count in these limits.

Students who do not complete their degree requirements within the time frames specified above may continue to enroll through the quarter in which they reach 30 credits beyond the number of credits required for their degree. Students pursuing more than one degree may enroll through the quarter in which they reach 30 credits beyond the number of credits required for their concurrent degrees. After reaching these limits, students will no longer be permitted to register as continuing University of Washington students in the regular academic year (Autumn-Winter-Spring). Exceptions may be approved by the college awarding the degree.

Student Guide policy description:
The net result of the policy is that students will be allowed to continue at UW until they have completed 12 quarters and the maximum credits (i.e., 30 credits beyond the credits required for the first degree or concurrent degrees). The maximum credits include those earned at UW, transferred from other institutions, and earned through testing such as Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate, Armed Forces Training School, and credit by examination.

Intent of the 2012 Policy

The policy is based on three beliefs:

  • Should they so choose, students are entitled to a four-year college experience beyond high school.
  • Students should generally be ready to graduate at the completion of four years (12 quarters) of college work.
  • Each student decides the academic content of their four-year college experience, is entitled to apply for any major for which they are prepared, and should have flexibility in reaching his/her goals.

What the student accomplishes in four years is determined by the goals and academic plan of the student along with program admission decisions. A student may graduate in less than four years using credits earned while in high school or at another higher education institution, during summer quarter, and/or by taking heavier credit loads. A student may complete multiple majors under this policy as long as the student can complete the credits for all majors within the quarter and credit limits.

The new policy is intended to guide academic progress decisions by always returning to the guiding beliefs listed above. Some expectations resulting from the revised policy are greater consistency in satisfactory progress implementation and clearer boundaries for student planning.

Who the 2012 policy applies to

The 2012 revised policy applies to new and continuing students at all UW campuses beginning Autumn 2012. The revised policy does not apply to students admitted as post-baccalaureates and students in fee-based programs.

However, the process for satisfactory progress notification emails, registration holds, and registration blocks will be in place for ALL students at all UW campuses beginning in Winter 2013. It is anticipated that the new policy and process will either benefit or represent no change to current students, but students eligible for the previous policy should talk to their adviser if they see a benefit to the previous policy.

 
 

Number of quarters at the UW

   

Freshmen

A student admitted as a freshman (i.e., using the freshman application) at UW-S is considered to have completed zero Academic satisfactory progress quarters no matter how many college credits they have earned before graduating from high school. All credits earned while in high school, whether through courses offered by colleges or test score evaluation, such as AP and IB tests, will be evaluated for transfer to UW and the credits added to the student's credit total. Thus, a student whose record shows 50 credits evaluated as transferable to UW will be classified as a sophomore, but will still have 12 Academic satisfactory progress quarters before the credit limit is imposed. However, the student may choose to complete degree requirements earlier and graduate with fewer than 12 Academic satisfactory progress quarters completed at UW.

Transfer students

For a student admitted as a transfer student (i.e., using the transfer application) the number of Academic satisfactory progress quarters transferred in is set based on the projected class level determined by Admissions from the students' completed and projected coursework reported on the admissions application. For an individual transfer student the number of Academic satisfactory progress quarters completed will be calculated as follows:

Projected Class Level upon Admission to UWYears of College Work CompletedAcademic satisfactory progress quarters Completed
Freshman (0-44 credits)00
Sophomore (45-89 credits)13
Junior or Senior (90 or more credits)26

What counts as a quarter?

The term academic satisfactory progress quarters is defined as quarters that occur during the academic year, specifically Autumn, Winter, and Spring quarters.

What does not count as a quarter?

  • Summer quarters, taken before or after matriculation, at the UW or other institutions, do not count as academic satisfactory progress quarters, with one exception: Summer quarters taken at other institutions before UW matriculation by students who then apply to the UW as transfer students do, in a sense, count as academic satisfactory progress quarters. This is because the starting number of completed academic satisfactory progress quarters for incoming transfer students is calculated based on completed and projected coursework reported on the admissions application, which could include summer quarter courses.
  • Quarters that a student enrolled but did not complete courses by either officially withdrawing from all courses during the quarter or being approved for a hardship withdrawal for a prior quarter do not count as academic satisfactory progress quarters.
  • Quarters that a student enrolled as a non-matriculated student do not count as academic satisfactory progress quarters.
  • Quarters taken at another institution after UW matriculation do not count as academic satisfactory progress quarters.

The number of quarters transferred in and the total quarters completed will appear on the unofficial transcript as shown below.

 
 

Satisfactory Progress Notifications

   

Notification to students about their status with respect to the satisfactory progress guidelines is an automated reporting process managed by UW-IT's Student Information Systems group. The notification process runs on the Monday of the 4th week of Autumn, Winter, and Spring quarters. The process automatically produces e-mail notices and places registration holds or blocks for selected students.

Changes from the notifications prior to Winter 2013 are:

  1. Use of transcripted (completed) credits for all notifications (in the old process, some of the notifications were triggered when the credits were in progress);
  2. Inclusion of completed quarters as an additional condition;
  3. Registration block (as opposed to a hold) at 210 credits or 30 more than required for graduation. The block allows students to register for Summer quarters but not for Autumn, Winter, or Spring quarters to align with the policy passed by FCAS.
  4. Graduation application on file will NOT prevent the block. Only a graduation plan approved by the college will prevent the block.

There are no changes to the notifications for 5th year students.

The table below shows all the notification categories. All conditions of a set of criteria must be met for the student to be sent a notice.


Process PriorityCategoryCriteriaHold or SPP block
BEFORE 1 Undeclared 5th year / 30 credit
  • 30 or more transcripted credits
  • class = 5
  • major(1) = PBSTDY
Yes Hold reason: SPP30
1 Undergrad / 210 credits (30 over min required for major) (SPP Reg Block Notice)
  • 30 or more transcripted credits over the minimum credits required to complete the major (1)
  • 12 or more quarters completed
  • class 1-4
  • no grad plan expiration yr/qtr or grad plan expiration is in the past
SPP block (hold not set)
2 Undergrad / 165 credit (SPP Warning Notice)
  • 165 or more credits
  • 11 or more quarters completed
  • class 1-4
  • does not have a degree app on file for the current or future quarters
  • no grad plan expiration yr/qtr or grad plan expiration is in the past
HOLD Hold reason: SPP165
3 Expired pre-major extension
  • class 1-4
  • major(1) is an extended pre-major:
  • current year/quarter > premajor extension year/quarter
HOLD Hold reason: SPPEXT
4 Undergrad / 150 credit (SPP Early Warning Notice)
  • 150 or more transcripted credits
  • 10 or more quarters completed
  • class 1-4
  • does not have a degree app on file for the current or future quarters
  • no grad plan expiration yr/qtr or grad plan expiration is in the past
No
5 Undergrad pre-major / 105 credit
  • 105 or more transcripted credits
  • 5 or more quarters completed
  • class 1-4
  • major(1) is a premajor and nothing is entered in major(2) and major(3).
HOLD Hold reason: SPP105
6 Undergrad pre-major / 90 credit
  • 90 or more transcripted credits
  • 4 or more quarters completed
  • class 1-4
  • major(1) is a premajor and nothing is entered in major(2) and major(3)
No

The process applies to undergraduates, class level 1 through 4 at all 3 campuses. Students in fee-based programs are excluded from this process.

The process with processing priorities is represented in the flow chart below.

 
 
 
 

The "105-credit rule" notifications & monitoring

   

Students are expected to declare a major by the time they have earned 105 credits and completed 5 academic satisfactory progress quarters. Both conditions need to be met in order for the satisfactory progress rules to go into effect.

Warning

Students who have completed 90 or more credits and 4 or more academic satisfactory progress quarters will receive an email warning that they should plan to declare their major soon. No hold is placed at this point.

Registration Hold (SPP105)

Students who have completed 105 or more credits and 5 or more academic satisfactory progress quarters but have not declared a major will receive a registration hold and will not be allowed to register for the next quarter. Transfer students who enter with 105 or more credits are expected to declare a major before registering for their second quarter at the UW.

Premajor Extensions (EPRMJ)

Students who are not able to declare a major at that point must meet with an adviser. If the student is planning appropriately and pursuing a reasonable goal, an extension is granted for a specific number of quarters. Students who have not declared a major when the extension expires will receive a registration hold (SPPEXT) and must meet with an adviser again.

Most students granted premajor extensions are coded EPRMJ (Extended Premajor); others include EXPBA (Extended Pre Business Administration), EXPENG (Extended Pre Engineering), EXPNUR (Extended Pre Nursing), TXPRMJ (Extended Premajors - Tacoma Campus), and B XPRE (Extended Premajor - Bothell Campus). The quarter in which the extension expires must be indicated on a change-of-major form.

Extensions are granted through the quarter specified on the change-of-major form. Extension through winter quarter, for example, means that a hold will be placed on registration after the end of winter quarter. This means that a student whose premajor extension expires "winter" will be able to register for spring quarter. In fact (since we are allowing the student to register for spring quarter), the extension doesn't expire until the third week of spring quarter, to allow the student to drop and add courses at the beginning of the quarter.

The quarter in which a student's premajor extension expires appears on the EARS Overview tab and on the SRF310 screen.

 
 

The "210-credit rule" notifications & monitoring

   

A student is expected to graduate with no more than 30 credits over the minimum required for the degree; since most UW baccalaureate degrees require 180 credits, most students are expected to graduate by the time they have completed 210 credits and 12 academic satisfactory progress quarters. Both conditions need to be met in order for the satisfactory progress rules to go into effect.

Warning

Students who have completed 150 or more credits and 10 or more academic satisfactory progress quarters and who do not have a graduation application or graduation plan on file will receive an email warning that their credit limit is approaching and they should meet with their adviser and start planning for graduation.

Registration Hold (SPP165)

Students who have completed 165 or more credits and 11 or more academic satisfactory progress quarters and who do not have a graduation application or graduation plan on file will receive a registration hold, and must meet with their adviser and start planning for graduation. In order to remove the hold, the student must submit a graduation application or a graduation plan. Note that this hold occurs at approximately the same credit total as the previous 180-credit hold because the 180 credits were completed and in-progress credits while the 165 credits are completed credits only.

Students whose plans include multiple degrees or whose intended time at UW extends beyond the satisfactory progress limits should complete a graduation plan at this time. Graduation plans must be approved by the college(s) awarding the degree(s).

Registration Block (SPP Block)

Students who have completed 210 (or whatever 30 over the minimum required for the degree is) credits and 12 or more academic satisfactory progress quarters and who do not have a graduation plan on file or have an expired graduation plan will receive a registration block. A graduation application on file will not prevent the block. The block will allow them to register for summer quarters only, but not academic satisfactory progress quarters (e.g., Autumn, Winter, Spring). Students are told to meet with their adviser to prepare for graduation. Unless they successfully petition for an exception through their college, they will have to complete their studies through summer quarters and/or transfer credits.

 
 

Exceptions and Petitions

   

The revised policy states, "Exceptions that allow students to continue to enroll at UW beyond the satisfactory progress limits are rarely granted. Completing a minor, completing requirements for graduate or professional programs, or enrollment in an additional major or degree program is not grounds for an exception. However, circumstances beyond a student's control will be considered in granting exceptions." Circumstances beyond a student's control include institutional constraints, such as access to classes and transferability of courses, as well as personal circumstances.

Petitioning for an exception is a process defined by the college(s) that will award the degree(s). The college submits the notice of approved graduation plans for majors in the college to Graduation and Academic Records via e-mail using the following format.

Satisfactory Progress Holds

Subject: Sat Progress Holds—remove holds

Text of message:

REMOVE HOLD AND REGISTER GRADUATION PLAN EXPIRATION DATE:

List of students including Student No., Last name, First name, Major(s), Plan expiration quarter and year.

Note that if any of the students are completing a degree or major in a second college, the email must include a statement that all colleges involved have approved this plan and expiration date. Requests for multi-college students will not be processed without this statement.

Satisfactory Progress Blocks (must be submitted separately than hold removals)

Subject: Sat Progress Block—remove block

Text of message:

College has approved the removal of the satisfactory progress block for the following students. Enter Graduation Plan Expiration Date:

List of students including Student No., Last name, First name, Major(s), Plan expiration quarter and year.

Note that if any of the students are completing a degree or major in a second college, the email must include a statement that all colleges involved have approved this plan and expiration date. Requests for multi-college students will not be processed without this statement.

GARS enters the expiration information for the graduation plan in the student's record. Expiration dates are visible on the 610 screen in the SDB, and in the "Academics" section of the Overview tab in EARS.

Note: When a student graduation application is submitted, any graduation plan expiration dates are normally deleted to prevent students encountering difficulties with registration changes during their quarter of graduation. However, when a date is submitted as a block removal, an internal note will be made in the student record so the expiration date is not deleted.

 
 

Double majors and double degrees

   

Double majors and double degrees are not prohibited, if the student's program can be completed in a timely manner. As stated in the policy, students pursuing more than one degree may enroll through the quarter in which they reach 30 credits beyond the number of credits required for their concurrent degrees. Since the minimum number of credits required for a double degree is 225, this means a student seeking a double degree may continue to enroll through the quarter in which s/he reaches 255 credits.

In terms of email notifications, registration holds, and registration blocks: the automated tracking does not accommodate multiple majors/degrees. Thus, a student who intends to complete 2 or more degrees will receive notices as if s/he is completing only one degree. Exceptions to allow continuation to complete the credits required for multiple degrees is handled via graduation plans (setting the graduation plan expiration year/quarter to a quarter beyond the point a student has reached both quarter and credit limits).

 
 

Post-baccalaureate students

   

Students admitted as undeclared post-baccalaureate students are expected to declare a major by the time they have earned 30 credits past their last degree. If they do not, they will receive a registration hold. College advisers may grant extensions beyond the 30-credit limit. Extended post-baccalaureate students should be coded Extended Premajor, EPRMJ. (In other words, there is no separate code for extended post-baccalaureate students.)

There is currently no policy specific to post-baccalaureate students that monitors their satisfactory progress toward graduation, and there is no system of email notifications and registration holds/blocks. In terms of spirit, the more general satisfactory policy calling for students to "graduate after a reasonable number of credits" could be referenced. Also, the satisfactory progress scholastic regulation does require that "once a degree objective has been declared, [post-baccalaureate students] must make progress toward that degree as evidenced by the courses they have completed satisfactorily."

 
 

Part-time students

   

Students who regularly enroll for fewer than 15 credits per quarter, sometimes called part-time students, may not have earned the credits necessary to graduate by the time they complete their allowed quarters at UW. These students may continue to attend as long as their total credits do not exceed the limit in the policy, 210 credits for one degree and 255 credits for two degrees. For example, a student who enters as a freshman, with the intent of graduating with one degree, and completes 10 credits each quarter will earn 120 credits by the end of 12 quarters. The student may continue to enroll for as many quarters as it takes to complete the degree requirements and will not be considered to be beyond the satisfactory progress limits until earning 210 credits.

 
 

Prior satisfactory progress rules

   

The 2012 satisfactory progress policy, implemented in winter 2013, is the first one to acknowledge that double degrees require more credits (e.g., 225 minimum); the policy specifically states that students may enroll through the quarter in which they earn 30 credits more than the minimum required for their concurrent degrees (i.e., 255 credits).

Between spring 2003 and autumn 2012, the rule was similar except the hold was placed in the third week of the quarter for all students who would have completed 210 credits at the end of that quarter.

Prior to winter 2003, each spring quarter the Office of the Registrar sent departmental advisers a list of their declared majors who had earned over 210 credits. The adviser was to flag the names of any students whose registration should be held and return the list to the Registrar. The Registrar notified these students of their hold status, and suggested that they apply to graduate. If the adviser did not respond, the Registrar assumed that all the students on the list had the adviser's approval to continue. The 210-credit rule was seldom enforced, and usually only in cases where a student had become a serious drain on department resources.

 
 

College and department continuation policies

   

Many majors have a continuation policy; that is, a satisfactory progress policy for students completing the major. These policies must be approved by the Faculty Council on Academic Standards and should be stated in the General Catalog.

 
 

Financial aid policy

   

For a student to remain eligible for financial aid at UW s/he must maintain satisfactory academic progress as defined in the Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy for Financial Aid. A student who the University decides is not making satisfactory progress is not eligible for financial aid. A student who is within the credit and quarter limits or who has an approved graduation plan to exceed those limits is considered to be making satisfactory progress under the general University policy, but may have reached the financial aid progress policy limits. A student who has a block imposed, as described under notifications, having exceeded both the quarter and credit limits is considered by the University to not be making satisfactory progress and as such is not eligible for financial aid in any quarter of attendance.

 
 

Excessive withdrawal

   

A few students register and withdraw for many sequential quarters, making little or no progress toward a degree. Students who have repeatedly withdrawn from the University are given an ultimatum by the Office of the Registrar that they must complete the classes they are registered for, or they will be subject to a hold on their registration. A student who has received this notification but continues to withdraw is placed on registration hold. If the student wishes to continue, s/he must meet with an adviser in UAA Advising. The student and adviser will discuss the student's academic plans and goals. If the student has declared a major, the department adviser will be contacted for additional information. The adviser then sends an email summarizing the student's situation to the Office of the Registrar, which makes the final decision whether or not to remove the hold.