Second Start Readmission Policy

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Second Start Readmission Policy

To: Deans, Directors, Department Heads and Advisers


Dennis Ray, Chair, Undergraduate Council

Celeste Pardee, Assistant Director for Academic Policies/Organizations

Subject: Second Start Readmission Policy

Date: July 8, 2016

The Second Start Readmission Policy was proposed as an alternative to the Academic Renewal Policy by the Office of Academic Initiatives and Student Success in December 2015—for reasons listed below. With input from campus stakeholders, the proposal was slightly revised before it passed the Undergraduate Council in February 2016. The Faculty Senate approved the policy on May 2, 2016, to be effective in Fall 2016 for all former undergraduates, regardless of their Catalog year. 

The Second Start Readmission Policy is in the 2016-17 General Catalog,

Undergraduates seeking readmission to the University of Arizona after an absence of at least three years may apply for the Second Start Readmission Program. When a returning student applies for readmission through Second Start, the student's application and prior academic record are reviewed by the academic college offering the student's program of study. If accepted by the college and the University, students are also accepted into the Second Start Program.

Once the conditions of Second Start are met, all grades earned for UA course work prior to the student's absence will be disregarded in the student's cumulative GPA; however, courses in which a C or better was earned will continue to fulfill degree requirements. Credits for those courses with a C grade or above will count as earned units toward specific requirements (e.g., General Education, the major or minor), class standing and total degree units. But only the courses taken after Second Start is enacted will count toward University Credit requirements.

Criteria for Enactment of Second Start - To qualify for the program, the following conditions must be met:

  • The student is pursuing readmission into an undergraduate degree program;
  • At the time the request is filed, a minimum of three years must have elapsed since the most recent UA course work was attempted;
  • The student must complete 12 or more graded units in the 12 months following the absence, with a minimum grade-point average of 2.500 for all courses completed in that interval.

Students may apply for Second Start prior to readmission and up until the first day of classes of the first term of readmission. The application form is available from the student's college advisor. Some colleges will require the program for conditional readmission. Recalculation of the GPA won't occur until after the student completes 12 graded units with a 2.500 GPA within the first 12 months.

If the student satisfies the conditions for Second Start, the Office of the Registrar will annotate the student's permanent record to indicate that the Program was enacted. Once enacted, grades from all course work completed prior to the extended absence will be designated as not contributing to the GPA; courses in which a C or better was earned may count toward degree requirements (courses with grades below a C will no longer satisfy degree requirements).

Once Second Start is granted, a readmitted student must meet all requirements for the degree program and the University, including major, minor and University Credit requirements. Second Start may be granted only once in a student's academic career and is not available to students who have completed requirements for a bachelor's degree. When Second Start is enacted, it is permanent.

While Second Start allows for the GPA to be reset, grades from the previous enrollment will continue to display on the student's academic record for an accurate academic history.

Students with absences of fewer than three years may still apply for readmission without Second Start. Note: General Petitions requesting a shorter absence for Second Start will not be reviewed or granted. 

Justification for Establishing the Policy:

Academic Renewal, the University's grade forgiveness policy that requires a five-year wait and completion of 30 credits of new course work with a 2.500 GPA, is onerous for students who left the UA in poor standing and return to complete a degree on a part-time basis.Those students may transfer to another institution for a fresh start rather than continue at the UA.

A review of readmission policies of UA peers reveals that most have grade forgiveness policies that involve resetting the GPA while still allowing successfully completed courses to meet degree requirements (University of Florida, Pennsylvania State, Ohio State, Arizona State).

Students who left after an academically shaky freshman year and return to the University after a 3-year absence are more mature, have better defined goals, are more likely to have stable family/work obligations, and have more motivation to succeed.Second Start provides the chance those former students need to regain good academic standing, even on a part-time basis.

"Second Start" is a clear, marketable name that will resonate with prospective readmits who left the UA on academic probation or disqualification and who seek a "fresh start" with respect to GPA.

Implementation/Management of the Policy:

Students may be notified of their eligibility for Second Start in one of these ways:

College advisers may pull Second Start reports from the Adviser Dashboard in UAccess Analytics identifying readmitted students who are eligible for Second Start, based on their length of absence (minimum of 36 months). Advisers will contact their students to inform them about the Second Start Policy.

When college advisers review a student's application for readmission, they may notify the student that participation in Second Start is a condition of readmission and that the student should meet with his/her academic adviser to apply.

When eligible students meet with their advisor to discuss their first semester back and to get the advising hold removed, they may be encouraged to participate in Second Start.

In all cases, the academic adviser is the point of contact for a student to be enrolled in Second Start.

The Second Start business processes and declaration form are available to advisers on the ARC website under Quick Links, Forms & Processes.

For main campus students, the adviser will provide the declaration form, will have the student sign the participation agreement and will deliver the form to the Registration Office no later than 5 p.m. on the day before the student's first term of readmission.

For online or remote students, the adviser will ask the student to return the signed declaration form by email and will then forward or deliver the form to the Registration Office by the deadline.

The Registration Office will place a service indicator on the student's UAccess record on the term of readmission. This service indicator will be used to track the student's progress towards the 12-unit/2.500 GPA requirement. The student's record will be monitored at the end of each major term to determine whether the 12-unit minimum has been met. When the minimum has been met, the record will be adjusted.

If the 12-unit minimum is not met within 12 months, the student will become ineligible for the Second Start benefit, but will remain actively enrolled in the UA.

Questions may be addressed to:

Beth Acree, Office of the Registrar, at 621-5200, or about implementation or management of the policy;

Roxie Catts, Advising Resource Center, at 626-7988, or about advising issues;

Celeste Pardee, Curricular Affairs, at 621-5375, or about the policy itself. 

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