THE COLLEGE of Architecture has dropped a quarter of its freshmen under a stricter retention policy that required a higher cut-off grade.

A total of 135 out of 540 first-year students failed to meet the higher general weighted average (GWA) cut-off grade of 1.948 and the “no-failure” policy of the college.

Architecture Dean John Joseph Fernandez said the college lowered the initial cut-off grade from 1.880 after numerous appeals for reconsideration from students.

“After careful consideration, the new GWA cut-off grade for [incoming] second-year students is lowered to 1.948,” Fernandez said in a statement posted online last May 29.

Warren Maneja, college secretary, said there would be another section for students who did not meet the original cut-off grade.

“Nagulat kami sa competitiveness ng batch. Nanghinayang din kami sa ibang maka-cut sa 1.88,” Maneja said in an interview. “We could easily adjust the cut-off [grade] if we see there is a genuine need for students with sufficient and commendable grades and performance [to be retained]. So instead of releasing them, we’ll create a new section.”

Maneja also clarified that the yearly cut-off grade was based on the performance of each batch of students.

The cut-off grade may still be raised next year, Maneja said.

“[If the] next batch is academically competitive, there is a big tendency that the cut-off [grade] will rise. If the batch is lax, ang cut-off [grade] ay bababa,” Maneja said.

Last year, 175 out of 539 freshmen (32.47 percent) were axed for not being able to meet the cut-off grade of 2.109, which was also higher than the 2.271 retention grade in 2013.

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The college sets the new cut-off grade at the end of the second semester every year.

Incoming Architecture sophomores retained must still take summer classes to reduce the 26-unit load during regular semesters.

Architecture sophomores will take summer courses such as Visual Techniques 3 (VT3) or different approaches of rendering, and Building Technology 1 (BT1), or building materials, which are prerequisites for other second-year subjects.

Summer classes were required beginning in 2013, as a result of a survey of graduating Architecture students in 2011 who voted in favor of summer classes to reduce course work during regular classes. Dayanara T. Cudal with reports from Jerome P. Villanueva

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