College of Public Health alters repetition policy

The school will no longer allow students to repeat a course more than two times.

The College of Public Health sent out a notice on Feb. 16 informing students of a policy change that will prohibit them from taking the same course three times beginning in this year’s Summer I session.

This differs from Temple’s current university-wide Repeating a Course policy, which allows a student to retake a course two times, for a total of three attempts at a course. Under CPH’s new ban on third attempts, students who do not pass a course requirement for their major within two attempts will be forced to change their major to one for which the failed course is not a requirement. This may or may not be within their original college at Temple. Students will be able to petition for a third attempt under extenuating circumstances.

The new policy will be implemented by Jennifer Ibrahim, CPH’s associate dean for academic affairs.

“The reason for the change is that the college has found that third attempts at a course are generally unsuccessful and actually harms students by lowering their GPA and impedes progress towards graduation,” the policy reads.

Lindsay Raab, CPH’s assistant director of advising, distributed the notice to students via email. Raab’s email said the policy change is “an effort to ensure students are making satisfactory and timely progress toward their degree.”

“We’ve added a number of additional advisers and part of the idea is all of the intentional intervention we were doing with the advisers on the third attempt are now being shifted to the second attempt,” Ibrahim told The Temple News.

Some students are worried how the new policy will affect their futures.

“I think it’s stupid,” said freshman Hannah Funk, who is undeclared but intends to pursue a major in CPH. “I’m in anatomy right now, and it’s not going well.”

She said one or two attempts may not be enough to pass the college’s anatomy courses, which are required for majors like health information management, nursing and kinesiology.

“The sciences here are already harder, so if you take a science, the amount of work they already give you is high,” said Abriana Outen, a junior therapeutic recreation major.

“I’m taking a few really hard classes right now, so it’s tough to balance everything, and then to be worrying that you can’t retake [a course] at another time isn’t helpful,” said Maria Li, a junior kinesiology major.

Still, other students thought the policy could be beneficial.

“I feel like it’s alright because you really don’t want a public health professional taking a class that they can’t pass,” freshman nursing major Katie Iannotta said. “It weeds out the fact that maybe it’s not the path for you if you’re taking a class for the third time.”

Ibrahim said students can contact her or Raab with any questions or concerns about the policy change.

Laura Smythe can be reached at

This article previously misstated Jennifer Ibrahim’s involvement in the policy. It has been updated. This article has also been edited for clarity regarding students’ ability to petition for a third attempt.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.