Academic Senate votes against academic renewal unit increase

By Joshua Inglada

The decision to keep academic renewal at 18 units instead of 30 was made by the District Academic Senate on May 12.

President Alex Immerblum presented the option of whether or not the units needed for academic renewal should be raised from 18 to 30.

Academic renewal allows students to have their transcript reviewed and have 18 units worth of bad grades removed from it. They must meet a certain grade point average and wait one year before they are applicable for the process.

The meeting was extended by 10 minutes to fully cover the details.

The units for academic renewal are much higher at Rio Hondo College and Santa Monica College compared to East Los Angeles College.

The counseling department was divided on the issue. Some counselors felt that raising the number of units would be rewarding students for doing poorly. The other half saw it as helping someone by giving them a second chance to do better.

Other surrounding colleges are more restrictive. Pasadena City College will remove up to two semesters of coursework. If the student has an A, B, C or F, they lose those grades.

Some colleges will not allow students to establish their GPA to get academic renewal with units taken outside of that college. ELAC allows students to bring in units from another college.

The state wants the number increased to 30, but the senate disagreed with the idea. The members believed 30 is too high. It is counterproductive to the state’s plan of getting students in and out with 60 units in a degree program.

What students don’t realize is that private institutions don’t honor academic renewal. When it comes time to transfer, they count all courses, including the bracketed ones in academic renewal. This results in a student’s GPA being much lower than he or she thought it was.

The senate voted to keep the units at 18 because a high number like 30 would encourage laziness in classes and lower the incentive to try harder in school.

The next and final meeting for the senate this semester will be May 26.

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