Chicago State University will now begin to enforce its policy of dismissing failing students from the school’s enrollment after university records revealed such students were kept to boost enrollment numbers.
The South Side public university recently kicked out 47 students to enforce a policy that says students with a grade-point average below 1.8 should be dismissed.
Students with a 1.99 GPA or lower are placed on academic probation after one semester. If after the next semester they’re below 1.8 with less than 30 credit hours, they’re dismissed "for poor scholarship," according to the CSU policy.
But the Chicago Tribune on Monday reported that students with GPAs as low as 0.0 were allowed to remain enrolled.
Though he said the policy had been in place well before he took over in 2009, University president Wayne Watson said he took action when he learned of it.
"There is no way to say that Chicago didn’t make a mistake," Watson told the Chicago Tribune. "We believe it is wrong, we stopped it, we put in measures to assure that it never happens again going forward."
Chicago State University enrolls around 7,200 students, and it has recently been at risk of losing accreditation due to poor enrollment and retention.
Financial mismanagement, rough audits and a failure to graduate students has plagued the school in recent years as well.
The school also misreported statistics on the retention rate for its group of 2009 freshman, citing a six percent increase from its 55 percent rate during the past 5 years up to 61 percent, according to Watson.
"The numbers are off by a couple percentage points, yes," said Watson. "Our intent was never to mislead you, to mislead the public, and when we found out, we discontinued it immediately."
Of the 598 freshman who started in fall 2009, 140 finished the first year with a GPA below 1.8 and, and 22 had a GPA of 0.0. 64 students finished the spring 2011 semester with a GPA below 1.8, according to the Tribune.