Entrance-to-major updates

Penn State students in Knowledge Commons

Penn State students in the Knowledge Commons (Photo credit: Penn State News)

When Penn State began discussing a replacement for ISIS, a great deal of support emerged in support of changing the entrance-to-major process. With backing of the LionPATH academic advising advisory committee, LionPATH steering committee and the Central Enrollment Management Group (CEMG), LionPATH received approval to implement a process for qualified students to enter their majors on a more flexible timeline.

With the new change-of-major process, which will replace entrance-to-major, students can now enter majors as soon as they meet the qualifications. This is a great benefit to students in that resources such as scholarships, access to guest speakers, opportunities for internships, and other major-related activities are available to the student upon qualification.

The summer/fall 2015 incoming class will be the first group to follow the new change-of-major policies, although the online application will not be available until sometime in 2016.

Although some of the details are still being worked out, below are more specifics on the process, and on the rationale for changing it.

Maintain Program Quality

  • Colleges would determine entrance requirements (i.e., courses, education hours, exams, test scores).
  • Majors would have required cumulative GPAs, determined by their colleges.
  • Open majors would still require a 2.0 cumulative GPA (i.e., HIST).
  • Academically controlled majors would still require the same cumulative GPAs (i.e., SECED).
  • Administratively controlled majors will request approval of their required cumulative GPAs through CEMG (i.e., ME).

Control Enrollment

  • Colleges still request enrollment targets for administrative enrollment controlled majors through the current review process. These changes are not intended to result in increased enrollment in those programs.
  • Entrance requirements, reviewed annually, are based on entrance year of the student.
  • A “credit window” for administratively controlled majorswill be requested by affected colleges and approved throughCEMG.
    • Administratively controlled majors will require admission to the major within the approved “credit window.”
    • Open and academically controlled majors would not have a “credit window,” and will retain their minimum credit requirement.
    • There would no longer be a “pool” semester.
  • “Pending” status will be available for majors requiring portfolios, auditions or interviews.

Provide Consistency and Transparency

  • Change-of-major process can be initiated at any time.
  • The process can also be used for entering concurrent majors, change of majors, and entrance to minors, thereby providing consistency.
  • Students can request one major at a time, and enter into majors when qualified.
  • Denial would generate a notification, including the reason for the denial.
  • The change of campus process, which is separate from change-of-major, will only prompt students when appropriate.

If you have any questions on the change-of-major process, please feel free to contact Project LionPATH.


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