Minutes of the Undergraduate Studies Committee

Attending Voting Members: J. Twombly (SSB), R. Steffenson (SSCI), J. Hajek (ITM), E. Orklu (ECE), A. Moller (PSYC), G. Shobeiri (SGA), E. Vosler (ROTC), F. Flury (ARCH), F. Weening (AMAT), G. Pulliam (HUM/CAC), M. Safar (INTM), G. Popovic (MSED), P. Troyk (BME), A. Rogacher (CHEM), J. Budiman (CAEE)

Also attending: J. Gorzkowski (UGAA), G. Smith (UGAA), P. Krolewski (Registrar), N. Novak (Galvin Library), M. Lopez (UGAA), T. Ashad (ARC), B. Katz (UGAA), J. Miller (UGAA), S. Pariseau (UGAA), C. Torres (ARCH)

Departments with absent voting members: CHBE, MMAE, PHY, BIO, CS

Quorum declared at: 12:45

Adjourn at: 1:42


Documents for this meeting are available at:


Meeting chaired by Ray Trygstad

Minutes recorded by Rebecca Steffenson


1. Minutes of the 11/14/17 Meeting [http://www.iit.edu/~ugsc/11-14-17minutes.html]

Minutes approved unanimously.

Old Business

2. Other Old Business


New Business

3.  Changes to the English language requirements for admission [T. Riley – Undergraduate Admissions]

The changes are explained at https://admissions.iit.edu/undergraduate/apply/international-student-english- proficiency-requirement.

Riley explained that IIT previously accepted any student that had TOEFL of 80 or higher with no conditional requirements. Admissions could suggest that students take ESL classes, but no was structure in place to enforce the requirement.  Under the new policy students with a TOEFL of 90 or higher will meet the criteria for admission with no additional English language requirement needed. Students with a TOEFL of 70-89 will be required to take an English assessment upon arrival and may be required to take PESL classes concurrently with academic classes.  Students who do not demonstrate the ability be successful in PESL will need to complete the Intensive English Program. The Admissions Office believes that allowing students to take English classes concurrently will be more attractive to applicants than requiring them to take an intensive program first. Advisors should be aware that you will see a dummy course on student accounts showing 3 hours of ESL. This means that the student will be required to take the English assessment.

Discussion focused on the benchmarks, visa requirements, impact on student course schedules, and IIT’s capacity to offer ESL courses. Riley reported that the benchmarks were in line with other universities and that the IEP program staff had been consulted. Admissions also looked at the performance of students admitted over last two years and is prepared to handle marketing the new requirement to potential applicants. Students will not have to pay extra to take English courses, and they will be able to keep the same international student visa because the courses are taken concurrently and are listed as a requirement in the bulletin. With regards to scheduling it was acknowledged that students required to take ESL may be on a delayed path to graduation given the prerequisite structure of some degree programs.  UGSC members noted that alternative degree path plans could be needed for multiple degrees.

4.  Approval of the Communication Across the Curriculum subcommittee review of the College of Architecture and the CAEE department [G. Pulliam – Communication Across the Curriculum Director]

The report is at http://www.iit.edu/~ugsc/documents/ARCH-CAEEreviewmemo.pdf. Since this comes as a committee report, it does not require a motion or a delay prior to a vote. ARCH is removing the C designation from ARCH 413, 456, and 475. CAEE is removing the C designation from CAEE 312, CAEE 417, CAEE 471. All decisions of the CAC committees were approved unanimously.

5.  Late administration of the Writing Placement Exam [G. Pulliam – Communication Across the Curriculum Director]

Our system currently treats students who did not take the Writing Placement Exam the same as students who failed it—it requires them to take COM 101 and to pass it to satisfy their Basic Writing Proficiency (BWP) requirement. The problem arising is that advisors of students who, for whatever reason, did not take the exam are requesting that their currently-enrolled students be allowed to take the exam long after—sometimes years after—that deadline has passed. This effectively negates the goal of the policy which is to ensure that all incoming students satisfy the BWP as early as possible in their academic careers, as basic writing proficiency is an essential element of a successful academic career and thus should not be postponed. The concern is that we are undermining our goals with regard to the BWP if we have a loophole that gives students a way to circumvent this policy.  The committee discussed the reasonable grace period for completing the writing placement exam. Students are supposed to take the exam before arriving on campus, but many do not. They are then not able to register for HUM 200-299 which is a prerequisite for many other courses. There was some consensus that the current policy needed clarification in the bulletin and that the policy once clearly outlined should be enforced. Pulliam will draft new language for discussion.

6.  Other New Business

[J. Miller-UGAA] There will be an undergraduate Advisor Social on November 30th, 2-4pm in the Lewis College Dean Suite.

7.  The next UGSC meeting will be January 23, 2018 at 12:45pm; location is TBD but we have requested WH 115.


All minutes and supporting documents may be found on the UGSC website: http://www.iit.edu/~ugsc/