San Diego State University’s Independent Student Newspaper Since 1913

The Daily Aztec

San Diego State University’s Independent Student Newspaper Since 1913

The Daily Aztec

San Diego State University’s Independent Student Newspaper Since 1913

The Daily Aztec

More Majors Facing Impaction Measures

By Susan HaineSenior Staff Writer

Hundreds of students jam the walkways of San Diego State everyday. People spill out the doorways of classrooms while trying tocrash. At times, the line at the Cashier’s Office seems more suitedfor the wait at a theme-park ride than for a university office.

In short, the campus is crowded.

Over the past few years, the university has tried to decreaselines, clear up walkways and make classes smaller throughprogrammatic impaction.

Impaction. Students hear the word and tremble in fear.

“I got a C-minus in a class I needed to get a C in to declare mymajor,” Sara Grant, a business junior, said. “Because of thisrequirement, I was set back a whole semester. I sometimes feel like Imight not graduate at all!”

When potential San Diego State students fill in the major slot ontheir application, they have no idea how difficult it can be toactually declare that major.

With pre-majors, required classes and minimum grade pointaverages, it seems it is more difficult for some students to moveinto the major they have chosen.

Programmatic impaction is expanding and will eventually encompassall majors at SDSU.

In the past, programmatic impaction was active in several areas ofstudy, such as business, nursing, advertising and criminal justice.Currently, 33 majors are impacted and the number will rise to 54 inFall 2002.

According to Ethan Singer, associate vice president of academicaffairs, 75 to 80 percent of majors are now impacted.

Originally, the university tried to solve over-crowding withcampuswide impaction. This status, approved in 1998 by the CaliforniaState University Chancellor’s Office, used a model that admitted 80percent of all applicants to the university based on grades and SATor ACT scores, and then looked at the remaining 20 percent on anindividual basis.

In 2000, the chancellor overturned the university’s campusimpaction status. Instead, it allowed all local students automaticadmission if they met California State University requirements andkept the impacted admission for applicants not living in San Diegocounty.

The university could also impact individual majors and allowdifferent majors to have different standards for admission.

Because of these new standards, fears have been expressed bystudents and faculty regarding impaction.

“My concern with that is that we keep going in and changing theimpaction standards,” Ron Williams, president of Associated Students,said

“Say, for example, if I’m a student now and I came in last fall asundeclared and had a certain GPA and then the minimum GPA for mypre-major rose and I couldn’t get into that pre-major, I lose outbecause the standards were changed before I had a chance to declare.”

At the end of last semester, university senators expressedconcerns when voting on whether to recommend the administration workwith the departments and expand programmatic impaction.

“Some senators are concerned about limiting access in any way,”Bonnie Zimmerman, University Senate chairwoman, said. Zimmerman wasthe tie-breaking vote in this decision.

Williams also said he feels access is affected by impaction.

“Basically, it discourages students from majoring in certainfields, which in turn will discourage people from applying to SDSUand discourage people from staying at SDSU,” he said.

However, Singer said he feels impaction is encouraging students towork harder.

“Students seem to strive harder for the numbers they need to getinto their majors,” he said.

Zimmerman said impaction is the only way to help maintain andincrease quality of education at SDSU.

“We are limited in the number of things that we can do because theChancellor’s Office has told us what we’re able to do and programimpaction is one of the few tools we have,” Zimmerman said. “That’swhy many senators were in favor of pushing forward with programimpaction.

“Classes are already large, lines are already long.”

It has been a major concern among faculty and students thatimpaction will limit diversity. Singer said this has not been anissue.

“All the figures we have show the campus continues to be a diversecampus and is becoming a more and more diverse campus,” he said.

The basic gist of impaction is that it requires students to planahead and work harder toward their goals, university officials said.

It requires students to plan for the right course sequences, thegrades they have to achieve, and the prerequisites they need.

“There may be a few transitional problems, but they would be veryminimal because the criterion for going into new programs are fairlyreasonable,” Singer said.

“For most of the majors that are impacted, the criteria to get inis somewhere between the 2.2 and 2.6 GPA, which is well under theuniversity’s average GPA.”

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More Majors Facing Impaction Measures