The Office of Educational Access and Success has answers to some of the most frequently asked questions on updated policies. If you have a question not included here, please feel free to contact us via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
A: The changes to how students can address RHSC deficiencies went into effect August 20, 2014, the date the policy was approved. The USG recognizes that there may be delays as institutions prepare their staff and internal systems for these changes.
A: Yes, the policy change may be applied retroactively to currently enrolled students at the discretion of the institution. For example, if a student has already taken a course that addresses a RHSC deficiency, that course also counts towards that student’s degree program as stipulated in the revised procedure.
A: The following mathematics and foreign language courses may be considered terminal:
Courses that indicate the completion of the second year of foreign language
A: We are working with the USG Banner team to develop a business process for coding how a RHSC has been satisfied. Once the business process is developed we will send out a notification.
A: The science portion of the ACT would fall into the category of BOR approved examinations and in those cases, we only ask that institutions establish required scores necessary to demonstrate competency in the subject area. Therefore, for the science section of the ACT, your institution can use this stipulation (score is at or above average of previous fall semester first-time freshmen).
A: Students admitted with a deficiency should satisfy the deficiency within their first 30 hours. Students not addressing a deficiency within their first 30 hours may not register for courses unless they also register for an appropriate course to satisfy the deficiency.
A: Students who successfully complete an appropriate collegiate course to satisfy a deficiency after reaching 30 hours may also receive collegiate credit for the course.
A: Institutions may use their discretion in determining what is satisfactory for addressing an RHSC deficiency. The aim of changing the RHSC policy and procedures is to allow institutions more flexibility (and students with more options) to satisfy RHSC deficiencies in a manner that will support college access and completion.
Allowing a score that is the average or above that of the previous admitted class' average SAT/ACT to satisfy a deficiency is aligned with current Board of Regents policy for home schooled students who can use those scores as a means to demonstrate completion of the RHSC. Therefore, the procedure was essentially revised to provide some "guard rails" based on what is already in place but to also allow for flexibility.
Also noteworthy, in determining an appropriate threshold SAT/ACT score to satisfy an RHSC deficiency, Learning Support exemption needs to be considered. If a student has a SAT/ACT score that would exempt him or her from Learning Support placement, then the RSHC deficiency would be satisfied as well (see the answer for Question 8 for additional details).
A: If a student exempts Learning Support, any corresponding RHSC deficiencies are also satisfied.
To determine exemption from Learning Support, a placement index is calculated. One method for calculating this index involves using an SAT or ACT score and high school GPA. A student's SAT/ACT score, depending on his or her high school GPA, could allow the student to exempt Learning Support and satisfy the deficiency. Exemption from Learning Support satisfies the deficiency even if the student’s SAT/ACT score is below what an institution requires to waive a deficiency. Therefore, when an institution determines the threshold SAT/ACT scores necessary to waive a RHSC deficiency, Learning Support exemption needs to be a consideration.
The following is an example of how Learning Support exemption by USG standards (individual institutions may have higher Learning Support exemption criteria than those used in these examples) affects satisfaction of an RHSC deficiency:
Example: There is a student with a 2.9 high school GPA, a 400 SAT verbal score and a 450 SAT mathematics score. This student’s English Placement Index and Mathematics Placement Index, which were calculated using the student’s high school GPA and SAT scores, would exempt him or her from Learning Support for English and mathematics. This student would be placed out of Learning Support and any English and/or mathematics RHSC deficiencies would be satisfied. This would be true even if the institution requires SAT scores higher than 400 and 450 for verbal and mathematics respectively to waive English and mathematics RHSC deficiencies.
Institutions should strive for alignment between the SAT/ACT scores needed to satisfy an RHSC deficiency and to exempt Learning Support placement if possible. A suggestion is that those institutions that opt to have higher SAT/ACT score thresholds for satisfying RHSC deficiencies, may also want to consider higher placement index cutoffs for placement into Learning Support.
If a student has two RHSC deficiencies in the same area, can the student satisfy that deficiency by taking one 3 semester hour course or must a course be taken for each deficiency in that area? For example, if a student did not take two units of the same foreign language, two units of American Sign Language, or two units of approved computer science courses in high school, is that student required to take one or two 3 semester hour courses to satisfy the deficiency?
A: Successful completion of a 3 semester hour course in the appropriate subject area demonstrates collegiate-level preparedness and is sufficient for satisfying an area of the RHSC. Students who have two or more deficiencies in an area may satisfy all deficiencies in that area by taking one 3 semester hour course.