Appendix K

1/23/18

SENATE COMMITTEE ON UNDERGRADUATE EDUCATION

Summary of Petitions by College, Campus, and Unit 2016-2017

(Informational)

View PDF Version of the Report

The Senate permits students to petition for exceptions to the Senate academic rules found in the Policies and Rules for Undergraduate Students. Exceptions to these policies are the responsibility of the Senate Committee on Undergraduate Education. The committee reports annually to the Senate on student petition actions. This report provides a summary of petitions by colleges and campuses.

The petition provides an opportunity for the student to receive consideration on extenuating circumstances affecting his/her progress. A petition typically contains a letter and transcript from the student, and supporting documents from advisers, instructors, physicians, or other appropriate professionals. The final decision by the Subcommittee on Academic Standards represents an effort to weigh the personal circumstances of the individual while maintaining the academic standards of the University.

There are many factors that can cause the number of student petition submissions to vary from year to year, and this is normal. Every student petition is unique and students submit petitions based on extenuating circumstances beyond their control that affected their academic performance. Fluctuations in numbers of petitions submitted is a reflection of the types of issues students are dealing with at a certain point in their academic career, and in their personal lives.

Note that the total number of petitions decreased for 2016-2017. Retroactive late drops specifically decreased by 277 petitions. When the Senate approved the elimination of the late drop credit limit, effective fall 2016 semester, the Faculty Senate, in collaboration with the Division of Undergraduate Studies, and the Office of Undergraduate Education developed an expedited approval process for retroactive late drop petitions with the following guidelines:

Petitions that requested to exceed the late drop credit limit for a semester/session no earlier than Fall 2015 and where the students provide clear evidence that they intended to late drop within the proper deadline for doing so should be allowed to exceed the former credit limit as the legislation intends (16 for undergraduates in baccalaureate programs and 10 for non-degree, degree-seeking provisional, or undergraduates in an associate degree program).

The number of petitions handled using this expedited process was 203 retroactive late drop petitions.

Also, as a direct result of the policy change that eliminated the late drop credit limit, there is naturally a drop in the number of total retroactive late drop petitions for 2016-2017 because students no longer have to limit the number of late drops they utilize over their academic career. Therefore, this negated the need for some students to petition when they couldn’t late drop due to exhausting their late drop credits. This decrease was expected. Data shows that for the five years prior to the 2015-2016 academic year, the percentage of retroactive late drop petitions that also included a request to exceed the late drop credit limit was consistently between 28% and 32% of the total number of retroactive late drop petitions submitted.

Another factor in the reduction in petition numbers for 2016-2017 is a new requirement for retroactive withdrawals. In March 2016, the Senate Office in collaboration with the Offices of Student Aid, Global Penn State, and the Division of Undergraduate Studies, created two new forms that are now required to be included in every retroactive withdrawal petition. These forms were developed to help avert financial hardships that can occur when students have a petition approved for retroactive withdrawal from one or more terms. The implementation of these forms requires that before submitting a petition, students explore consequences that could occur if their retroactive withdrawal is approved, such as the loss of federal student aid for domestic students, and issues with visa status and sponsorship for international students. Since these new forms were implemented late in the spring 2016 semester, the 2016-2017 academic year is the first year to demonstrate the full effects of using these forms.

Decreases in other categories (e.g. late registration) are less likely to be related to changes in policy directly and will continue to be monitored over time. Mental health issues comprised a large portion (42%) of overall submissions, which is consistent with past numbers (see Table 6).

Following the “Summary of Petitions” is an analysis of 2016-2017 petitions by petition type with reasons for submission and denial.

SENATE COMMITTEE ON UNDERGRADUATE EDUCATION

  • Andrew Ahr
  • Jonna Belanger
  • Gretchen Casper
  • Theodore Cios
  • Delia Conti
  • Joyce Furfaro (Vice Chair)
  • Yvonne Gaudelius
  • David Han
  • Peter Heaney
  • Karen Henninger
  • Peggy Johnson
  • Peter Linehan
  • Karen Pollack
  • Vansh Prabhu
  • Janina Safran
  • George Samuel
  • Elizabeth Seymour (Chair)
  • Keith Shapiro
  • David Smith
  • Michele Stine
  • Samia Suliman

TABLE #1: COMPARATIVE SUMMARY OF PETITIONS
2015-2016; 2016-2017

College or Campus2016-2017
Submitted
Petition %
based on
unit
enrollment
2016-2017
Granted
2016-2017
Denied
2016-2017
Cncl/Pndg
2015-2016*
Submitted
%
Increase/
Decrease
TOTALS1192_80333950**1541-23%
Agricultural Sciences331.7247236-8%
Arts and Architecture121.1120030-60%
Business490.93213454-9%
Communications612.441164122-50%
Div. of Undergrad. Studies1062.7693527934%
Earth and Mineral Sciences834.151293113-27%
Education50.450024-79%
Engineering1401.791436158-11%
Health and Human Dev.892.15927391-2%
Information Sci. & Tech.272.1161012129%
Liberal Arts1633.4109504271-40%
Nursing20.42007-71%
Science601.74316195-37%
Abington561.43025160-7%
Altoona320.9238155-42%
Berks411.4291023517%
Erie611.44515179-23%
Harrisburg711.74324484-15%
University College_______

Beaver

81.1422633%

Brandywine

201.5172123-13%

DuBois

40.74001300%

Fayette

71.1610475%

Greater Allegheny

91.6711813%

Hazleton

60.73128-25%

Lehigh Valley

101.290111-9%

Mont Alto

111.291118-39%

New Kensington

10.11005-80%

Schuylkill

60.86007-14%

Shenango

20.42001100%

Wilkes-Barre

512032150%

Worthington Scranton

30.330012-75%

York

90.863021-57%

*Data for the 2015-2016 academic year may be slightly different than in previous reports due to ongoing process updates and subsequent data entry corrections.
**There was an increase in the number of petitions for 2015-2016 partly due to Senate approval of the elimination of the late drop credit limit on October 27, 2015.
NOTE: Data represents the total number of petitions submitted for each academic unit. These numbers include specialized petitions where applicable (i.e., World Campus, eLion/LionPATH, Trauma, and Appeal petitions).


TABLE #2: 2016-2017 PETITIONS BY UNIT AND CASE TYPE

College or CampusAcademic
Renewal
Corrected
Grade
Course
Cancel
Late
Add
Late
Drop
Late
Registration
Registration
Cancel
WithdrawalOther
TOTALS422117258545442623
Agricultural Sciences00131520120
Arts and Architecture010430031
Business01053210100
Communications00124210123
Div. of Undergrad. Studies02016310381
Earth and Mineral Sciences02164710251
Education000020030
Engineering11067021563
Health and Human Dev.05134870232
Information Sci. & Tech.00001230120
Liberal Arts03347670664
Nursing000011000
Science00053210211
Abington02232440183
Altoona00001500170
Berks0206223161
Erie00172410280
Harrisburg02043160280
University College---------

Beaver

000020051

Brandywine

200242190

DuBois

000210010

Fayette

000200050

Greater Allegheny

011021040

Hazleton

000030030

Lehigh Valley

000130060

Mont Alto

000250040

New Kensington

000000100

Schuylkill

000220020

Shenango

000010001

Wilkes-Barre

100110011

Worthington Scranton

000100020

York

000021060

NOTE: Data represents the total number of petitions per case type for each academic unit. These numbers include specialized petitions where applicable (i.e., World Campus, eLion/LionPATH, Trauma, and Appeal petitions).


TABLE #3: INCREASE/DECREASE IN SUBMITTED PETITIONS BY CASE TYPE
2015-2016 to 2016-2017

Case Type2015-2016*2016-2017% of
Increase/
Decrease
Academic Renewal64-33%
Corrected Grade922144%
Course Cancel1311-15%
Late Add547233%
Late Drop***862585-32%
Late Registration6545-31%
Other**3523-34%
Registration Cancel64-33%
Withdrawal491426-13%
TOTALS15411192-23%
World Campus10162-39%
eLion/LionPATH4125-39%
Trauma496635%
Appeals366581%

*Data for the 2015-2016 academic year may be slightly different than in previous reports due to ongoing process updates and subsequent data entry corrections.

** Examples of petitions in the “other” category: changing registration of a course to reflect the number of credits completed for internships; changing late drop of a course to an administrative course cancellation.

***There was an increase in the number of retroactive late drop petitions for 2015-2016 partly due to Senate approval of the elimination of the late drop credit limit on October 27, 2015.

NOTE:

  • A World Campus petition is one that involves requests for courses taken through World Campus.
  • An eLion/LionPATH petition is one where a student indicates the unsuccessful use of eLion/LionPATH as the basis of the petition.
  • A Trauma petition is one where the student’s circumstances require unusual confidentiality (e.g., the victim of a sexual assault or violent crime).
  • An Appeal petition is one where a student provides additional documentation to support a previously denied request.

TABLE #4: THREE-YEAR SUMMARY OF PETITIONS BY CASE TYPE
2014-2015; 2015-2016; 2016-2017

Academic Year: 2014-2015* – Overall Percentage Granted: 82%

Case TypeSubmittedGrantedDeniedCncl/Pndg
TOTALS1297107020423
Academic Renewal7520
Corrected Grade202000
Course Cancel9900
Late Add484800
Late Drop5824491249
Late Registration484701
Other**343202
Registration Cancel4400
Withdrawal5454567811

Academic Year: 2015-2016* – Overall Percentage Granted: 79%

Case TypeSubmittedGrantedDeniedCncl/Pndg
TOTALS1541122527838
Academic Renewal6600
Corrected Grade9900
Course Cancel131201
Late Add545202
Late Drop***86264719322
Late Registration656302
Other**353140
Registration Cancel6600
Withdrawal4913998111

Academic Year: 2016-2017 – Overall Percentage Granted: 67%

Case TypeSubmittedGrantedDeniedCncl/Pndg
TOTALS119280333950
Academic Renewal4211
Corrected Grade222002
Course Cancel111100
Late Add727200
Late Drop58532523723
Late Registration454401
Other**232012
Registration Cancel4301
Withdrawal42630610020

*Data for the 2014-2015 and 2015-2016 academic years may be slightly different than in previous reports due to ongoing process updates and subsequent data entry corrections.
** Examples of petitions in the “other” category: changing registration of a course to reflect the number of credits completed for internships; changing late drop of a course to an administrative course cancellation.
***There was an increase in the number of retroactive late drop petitions for 2015-2016 partly due to Senate approval of the elimination of the late drop credit limit on October 27, 2015.


TABLE #5: THREE-YEAR SUMMARY OF SPECIALIZED PETITIONS
2014-2015; 2015-2016; 2016-2017

Academic Year: 2014-2015*

Case TypeSubmittedGrantedDeniedCncl/Pndg
World Campus898171
eLion/LionPATH4633121
Trauma494900
Appeals4231110

Academic Year: 2015-2016*

Case TypeSubmittedGrantedDeniedCncl/Pndg
World Campus10170274
eLion/LionPATH4127140
Trauma494900
Appeals3626100

Academic Year: 2016-2017

Case TypeSubmittedGrantedDeniedCncl/Pndg
World Campus6237241
eLion/LionPATH2512121
Trauma666600
Appeals6534247

*Data for the 2014-2015 and 2015-2016 academic years may be slightly different than in previous reports due to ongoing updates and subsequent data entry corrections

NOTE:

  • A World Campus petition is one that involves requests for courses taken through World Campus.
  • An eLion/LionPATH petition is one where a student indicates the unsuccessful use of eLion/LionPATH as the basis of the petition.
  • A Trauma petition is one where a student’s circumstances require unusual confidentiality (e.g., the victim of a sexual assault or violent crime).
  • An Appeal petition is one where the student provides additional documentation to support a previously denied request.

NOTE: Numbers of specialized petitions displayed here are also included in the Comparative Summary of Petitions by College/Campus above. Data for specialized petitions is tracked due to specific interest in the numbers of World Campus, eLion/LionPATH, Trauma, and Appeal petitions submitted.


TABLE #6: FIVE-YEAR SUMMARY OF MENTAL HEALTH RELATED PETITIONS
2012-2017

Academic YearTotal
Number of
Petitions
Submitted
% of Mental Health Related
Petitions based on TOTAL
Number of Petitions Submitted
% of Mental Health Related
Petitions based on Number of
WITHDRAWAL AND LATE
DROP Petitions Submitted
2012-201313733238
2013-201413653340
2014-201512944140
2015-201615333337
2016-201711924249

NOTE: Mental Health Related petitions are any that involve mental health issues (e.g., anxiety, depression, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)). Generally, mental health related petitions are for retroactive withdrawals and retroactive late drops. Therefore, it is important to reflect these data in the report, along with the percentages of the total number of petitions submitted.