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BOG to vote on reinstatement of minimum GPA, standardized testing requirements

Members of the UNC Board of Governor meet at the UNC System Office on Thursday, Feb. 23, 2023.

The UNC Board of Governors Committee on Educational Planning, Policies and Programs passed a proposed revision to the UNC Policy Manual on Wednesday that, if approved by the full board, would reinstate test score requirements for applicants to UNC System schools. 

The committee also discussed expanding case management programs, providing support to rural medical practices and allocating money to address the nursing shortage. 

Here’s the breakdown.

What’s new:

  • The committee approved changes to the policy manual that update current minimum GPA and standardized test score requirements for applicants for admission, which were temporarily waived until 2024 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 
    • For students entering in fall 2025 or spring 2026 with a weighted high school GPA of at least 2.5 but less than 2.8, submission of a standardized test score would be required.
    • Beginning in fall 2026 and beyond, a minimum weighted high school GPA of 2.5 would be required. Students with a GPA between 2.5 and 2.8 would need to submit an ACT score of at least 17 or an SAT score of at least 930 in order to be eligible for admission.
    • The chancellor of each UNC system school would be able to develop policy regarding admission of students who do not meet grade point average or standardized test score requirements.
    • The chancellor’s exceptions to admission of students cannot exceed one percent of total applicants accepted or 75 students, whichever number is higher.
    • The chancellor can identify standards that exceed minimum expectations of admission, such as essays and letters of recommendation. These requirements would need to be approved by each university’s Board of Trustees and the UNC System President.
  • The committee heard a presentation regarding the outcomes of behavioral health and case management programs in the UNC System, which were implemented through a 2022 grant from the Governor’s Emergency Education Relief Fund.
    • Case management programs prepare college students for managing life outside of college by developing skills, giving opportunities to get assistance and providing resources to problem solve.
    • At UNC System schools in the last 10 months, 21 full-time and six part-time case manager positions have been created, which translates to 27 percent more students receiving services. Also, these programs have been introduced into residence halls, health centers and First-Year Experience programs.
    • “UNC School of the Arts is unique in that their case management office serves both high school and college students. It's a great example of how case management embodies a coaching model, similar to that you would see in highly successful athletic teams,” Suzie Baker, director of student affairs for the UNC System, said.
  • The North Carolina Area Health Education Center’s annual report, which centered on improving rural health workforce, was approved and submitted to the full board.
    • The Center on the Workforce for Health project focuses on building the health workforce through a data-driven approach to identify needs and the distribution of resources to meet those needs.
    • Currently, there are five rural interprofessional teaching hubs that are trying to build rural workforce experience.
    • “The goal is to try to recognize that we need to change how primary care providers are paid, especially in rural North Carolina, and we're going to make some good recommendations that I hope will move the needle on that,” Hugh Tilson, director and associate dean at North Carolina Area Health Education Centers, said.
  • Proposals are currently being considered regarding the allocation of a $40 million allotment to support nursing programs and the current nursing shortage. The money is a result of North Carolina expanding Medicaid which resulted in $1.6 billion bonus funds coming into the state.
    • Individuals eligible for this program include undergraduates, graduate students and those enrolled in the Bachelor of Science in Nursing.
    • “The goal with this $40 million is to increase the overall number of nursing graduates and mitigate the faculty recruitment and retention shortage issues that are pervasive right now,” Katherine Restrepo Martin, senior advisor for health affairs, said.
    • The maximum funding award amount is $3 million and the money is non-recurring. Money distributed can also be dependent on the size of the school. The proposals are due by May 15.
    • Martin said the decision panel is looking for innovative proposals, proposals that create a competitive grant program or create collaborative partnerships with other schools. 

What’s next?

The UNC System Board of Governors will meet on May 23.

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