Elizabeth Orcutt, senior communication major, was surprised to discover the retake policy at Boise State. Orcutt is graduating in the spring and is just under the maximum number of course repeats allowed.
“It could have had an impact on me if I wasn’t graduating in the spring. I’ve done my share of retaking classes and I am pretty sure I am at my limit,” Orcutt said. “I think it’s ridiculous that I ever had to take a class three times; I never should have let myself get to that point.”
According to Boise State policy 2190, students can only execute six repeats in their undergraduate career. If a student exceeds the maximum number of retakes, he or she will be forced to change their major. The maximum number of six repeats does not reset upon change of major.
Provost Martin Schimpf said the policy is there to help students, not hinder them.
“It’s not necessarily good for the student if they are taking many years to get through a major that they just don’t have the aptitude for,” Schimpf said.
The six repeats can be used all on the same course or on different courses over a series of semesters.
“We are trying to get students on track to something that they can succeed in and as soon as possible,” Schimpf said.
Students also have 10 withdrawals available to them throughout their undergraduate career. Technically, if a student used his or her withdrawals and retakes, they could be enrolled in a class a total of 16 times, meaning the student would have to withdrawal from 10 courses and retake six.
The university understands that sometimes there are circumstances outside of the student’s control. For those instances, there is an appeals process through the Office of the Dean of Students in which the student would explain his or her extenuating circumstances.
Schimpf explained the policy is also there to maintain fairness at the university.
“How many times do you let a student take a seat just to get a better grade when someone else needs that seat?” Schimpf said.
Orcutt agreed that while the policy may be frustrating, it is also necessary.
“It’s a waste of money and time really. If there was no limit then why would anyone think they need do well in a class?” Orcutt said.
Schimpf encourages students who are feeling the impact of this policy to seek help.
“We’re on your side, we want to help you, come see us. Let’s figure this out. What is in your best interest?” Schimpf said.
Students can receive help by meeting with an advisor or contacting Sharon McGuire, vice provost for undergraduate studies.