The University of Georgia is considering changing Dean’s List requirements to better accommodate students with disabilities, according to an article by the Athens Banner-Herald. While this would specifically benefit disabled UGA students who often take lighter course loads to stay afloat, lowered required credits for the Dean’s List would benefit all students.
Current standards for the Dean’s List require students to take at least 14 credit hours and maintain a grade point average greater than or equal to 3.50. Students are not allowed to receive a grade below a B (3.0), according to the UGA Bulletin.
The educational affairs committee argues changing the required credit hours from 14 to 12. This solves the issue of disabled students taking their necessary lighter course loads. However, this could mean students graduate later, which UGA wants to avoid.
“UGA Vice President for Instruction Rahul Shrivastav suggested another possibility — setting the limit to make those landing on the Dean’s List a certain percentage of the class, as at colleges such as Emory, which sets the limit at 20 percent of undergraduates,” the Athens Banner-Herald said.
In addition to setting percentage limits, UGA could increase Dean's List GPA requirements to accommodate for the decrease credit hours. Even though credit hours decreased, academic rigor does not have to be sacrificed.
While definitive changes to Dean’s List requirements have not been confirmed, overall university requirements would benefit the heterogeneous campus of UGA.
All the colleges at UGA already have different requirements to get into their program, so it is beneficial to all students to have a university-wide standard for excellence. Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication requires a 2.8 whereas Terry College of business only requires a UGA 2.0. No matter what college a student is in, they can achieve academic honors.
With lowered credit requirement, all students, regardless of ability, will be able to achieve such excellence.
Students with disabilities deserve the right to be able to grace the Dean’s List at a level complementary to their abilities. If that means changing our universities system, then so be it. This would also help all students achieve their goal of pure academic excellence.