ARCHITECTURE has dropped a third of incoming sophomores as a result of a higher cut-off grade and “no-failure” policy.

Out of 540 students, around 180 students or 33 percent were axed, reducing the 12 sections to just eight.

Incoming sophomores were required to meet the 2.271 general weighted average (GWA) cut-off, without failures.

But Architecture Dean John Joseph Fernandez said not all students were debarred. Some students dropped out to shift to other courses or because of financial difficulties.

“The Architecture program is a course in which you can’t force a person. There is that realization that one student must consider. Some [students] leave because they are not meant for this course,” he said.

College Secretary Warren Maneja said the purpose of the cut-off and no-failure policy was to push students to work hard to be retained in the college.

“It develops a sense of competition among students to achieve a higher standing in their studies. We want to maintain the quality of the students that we have developed,” he said.

The college sets the new cut-off grade at the end of the second semester every year. The cut-off grade is formulated by counting the available slots per section and is also based on the student’s performance. Incoming freshmen had been told to maintain a 2.25 GWA. Last year’s grade cut-off has set at 2.32, resulting in the debarment of 130 out of 525 incoming sophomores.

Summer classes required

Architecture sophomores are now required to attend summer classes to reduce their 26-unit loads in the regular semesters.

Fernandez said the three drawing classes every semester were “time consuming” and students often had a hard time coping with school work.

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“In other courses, they only have [a full load of] 21 or 18 units. A regular semester in Architecture is 24 or 26 [units],” Fernandez said.

The summer subjects are Visual Techniques 3 (VT3) or different approaches of rendering and Building Technology 1 (BT1) or building materials. VT3 and BT1 are prerequisites for second-year subjects.

A 2011 survey of graduating students found that majority were in favor of summer classes to reduce semestral course work. JEROME P. VILLANUEVA

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