Response to Senate Resolution: Graduate Thesis/Project Continuation Credit Policy

From the Interim President
At its March 12, 2010, meeting, the College Senate voted to forward the following recommendation to the interim president regarding the Graduate Thesis/Project Continuation Credit Policy:

Graduate Thesis/Project Continuation Credit Policy
Discussed and modified by the Senate Instruction and Research Committee, Autumn 2009

Whereas, numerous departments and the Graduate School have experienced problems with students not completing their capstone assignments (theses and projects) in a timely manner; and

Whereas, implementing a continuation credit policy may improve time-to-graduation rates for graduate students as evidenced by at least one other SUNY institution (i.e., Brockport); and

Whereas, students who are using campus resources (e.g., library resources, technology, faculty guidance) to complete their academic work should be paying the tuition and/or fees associated with the provision of such resources; and

Whereas, current registration policies do not reflect faculty time and effort in monitoring ongoing graduate work,

Therefore, be it resolved that Buffalo State College should adopt the following Graduate Thesis/Project Policy to take effect in fall 2010:

  • Graduate students who have 24 or more earned hours and who have received an N grade for at least 1 capstone requirement credit will be required to enroll in 721 Thesis/Project Continuation (non-credit-bearing). Students must receive instructor permission to enroll in this course and will be able to continue to enroll in it for four semesters or until the thesis or project has been completed and the N grade has been changed. Graduate students can enroll for this course at no cost for up to two years immediately after the semester in which the capstone course received an N. If students do not enroll in this course, they will be deactivated from matriculated status and will have to reapply to the college to continue their studies.
  • Once a student has (a) earned 24 or more graduate hours, (b) registered for at least 1 graduate capstone requirement credit and received an N grade, and (c) enrolled in 721 Thesis/Project Continuation for two years, the student must register for 722 Thesis/Project Extended—non-credit-bearing but billable for 1 credit at existing graduate tuition rates, until the thesis or project has been completed and the N grade has been changed.

Be it also resolved that Buffalo State College will examine and implement measures to compensate the expertise and effort that faculty bring to the supervision of graduate capstone requirements (where such compensation is not currently allocated), as this represents the highest level of instruction offered at Buffalo State College.

Implementation issues: A new course number will be created to denote that a student has not completed his/her capstone requirement but has registered for the continuing credit hour. A new non-credit-bearing grade will be created denoting that the student is no longer registered at Buffalo State College, and has not completed his/her capstone requirement (e.g., N/I). The student would be required to reapply and register for the 1-hour thesis/project continuation course until the capstone requirement has been completed.

I hereby approve the Graduate Thesis/Project Continuation Credit Policy as outlined in the above resolution and charge the interim provost with the responsibility of overseeing the implementation of this policy effective with the fall 2010 semester. The interim provost is also charged with the responsibility of communicating this policy widely throughout the institution and in all appropriate documentation.