Graduate Academic Policies and Services

Academic honesty policy

Academic honesty and integrity are highly valued in our campus community. Academic honesty directly concerns ethical behaviors that affect both the academic environment and the civic community. Academic dishonesty seriously violates the integrity of the academic enterprise and will not be tolerated at St. Scholastica.

Definition

Academic dishonesty is defined as follows: misrepresentation of the work of others as one's own, dishonesty in testing, violating authorized guidelines established by instructors for individual assignments, sabotaging or damaging the work of others, or engaging in dishonesty in other academic work.

Implementation

To minimize student misunderstanding, faculty shall state in writing what degree of cooperation or help is authorized and what behaviors constitute academic dishonesty on collaborative efforts by students (team projects, group work, etc.). Students shall be responsible for asking faculty for clarification in any unclear situation.

Enforcement

Because academic dishonesty is a transgression against the entire college community, the entire community should be involved in handling the problem. Students and faculty are encouraged to contact instructors with reports of, or concerns about, academic dishonesty. If a faculty member has determined that a student has been academically dishonest, the violation must be reported.

Penalties

In cases of academic dishonesty, the minimum penalty to be applied by the faculty member shall be failure of the assignment or test, and the maximum penalty shall be failure of the course. In addition, a department may deny admission to or dismiss from a program a student who has engaged in academic dishonesty, and the Vice President for Academic Affairs or Vice President for Student Affairs may exclude such a student from extracurricular activities or expel him or her from the College, even on the first instance of academic dishonesty.

Appeals

An aggrieved student may appeal any adverse decision regarding academic dishonesty by following the procedure outlined in the academic appeal procedure in the student handbook, http://www.css.edu/student-affairs/student-life/table-of-contents-for-student-code-of-conduct-and-policy-library.html.

Class attendance

Students are expected to be responsible for their educational progress by attending classes regularly, participating during class sessions and completing required work outside the classroom. Specific attendance requirements are set by instructors. Students receiving veteran's benefits are expected to attend all scheduled classes. Students are encouraged to discuss any attendance issues with their faculty member or an academic advisor.

Only registered students may participate in classes.

Registration

At St. Scholastica, registration takes place near the middle of the semester when each student meets with his/her advisor to review educational plans and specify class schedules for the succeeding semester. To ensure accurate fee statements, grant allocations and statistics upon which many decisions are based, it is imperative that all students complete registration each semester according to the announced procedures and deadlines.

Repeated courses

Unless there are extenuating circumstances, an undergraduate student may repeat only those courses in which he/she earned a C- or lower grade at The College of St. Scholastica. In the case of extenuating circumstances, the undergraduate or graduate student may appeal through the Registrar's Office for permission to repeat a course in which he/she earned a "C" or higher grade at St. Scholastica. Consideration of an appeal will be made in consultation with the course instructor. In either case, both grades will remain on the student's permanent record but only the grade earned in the second enrollment will be used in grade point computations; similarly, credit will be awarded only with the second enrollment. Except in very unusual circumstances, courses may not be attempted a third time.

Courses failed at The College of St. Scholastica may not be repeated at any other college.

Changing Registration

Students may change registration with the following stipulations noted below. For registration purposes, each week following the drop period begins on a Monday regardless of holidays and other breaks. All student requests that are initiated on a Monday will move forward to the next week. If a student communicates a request to drop or withdraw and it is after hours, or on the weekend, we will honor the date and time that the email and/or voicemail was received. Enrollment certifications and tuition refunds are based upon registering for course(es) and the withdrawal form.

Courses Following the Accelerated Calendar (partial academic term; 7-8 weeks in length)

Add a course

Adds are allowed until the end of the first week, except under extenuating circumstances. After the third day of a term, signatures are required by the instructor and advisor.

Drop a course

Drops are allowed during the first week of a term. After the third day of a term, signatures are required by the instructor and advisor. The date the student requests the course drop is the official date used in registration. Confirmation of last date of attendance must be supplied by the course instructor. A dropped course will not be officially entered on the students’ record, including the student’s transcript.

Withdraw from a course

Course withdrawals are allowed during weeks 2 through 5 of a term. The date the student requests the course withdrawal is the official date used in registration. Confirmation of last date of attendance must be supplied by the course instructor. A grade of W will be officially entered on the students’ record, including the student’s transcript.

Registration Appeal

Beginning on week 6 of a term, no drops or course withdrawals are permitted unless there are circumstances beyond the control of the student that prevented an earlier, timely drop or withdrawal. See Registration Appeal section of Changing Registration Policy for details.

Drop or withdrawal from a course after the close of the academic year in which the course was held

Under no circumstances.

Drop for Non-Attendance

Students who are registered for a course but who do not attend the course by the end of week 1 may be administratively dropped from the course. Instructor confirmation that the student never attended is required.

Drop and withdrawal deadlines for courses that begin or end on nonstandard dates will be set by the Registrar, but the drop and withdrawal intervals will be proportional to intervals for a full academic semester.

Courses Following the Traditional Calendar (full academic semester; 16 weeks in length)

Add a course

Adds are allowed until the end of the second week, except under extenuating circumstances. After the third day of a term, signatures are required by the instructor and advisor or professional advisor.

Drop a course

Drops are allowed during the first two weeks of a semester. After the third day of a term, signatures are required by the instructor and advisor. The date the student requests the course drop is the official date used in registration. Confirmation of last date of attendance must be supplied by the course instructor. A dropped course will not be officially entered on the students’ record, including the student’s transcript.

Withdraw from a course

Course withdrawals are allowed during weeks 3 through 9 of a semester. The date the student requests the course withdrawal is the official date used in registration. Confirmation of last date of attendance must be supplied by the course instructor. A grade of W will be officially entered on the students’ record, including the student’s transcript.

Registration Appeal

Beginning on week 10 of a semester, no drops or course withdrawals are permitted unless there are circumstances beyond the control of the student that prevented an earlier, timely drop or withdrawal. See Registration Appeal section of Changing Registration Policy for details.

Drop or withdrawal from a course after the close of the academic year in which the course was held

Under no circumstances.

Drop for Non-Attendance

Students who are registered for a course but who do not attend the course by the end of week 2 may be administratively dropped from the course. Instructor confirmation that the student never attended is required.

Registration Appeal

Appeals for course drops or course withdrawals that are received after the published last day to drop or withdraw are considered for the current academic year only, with the exception of summer where the last date to appeal is extended beyond the current academic year but no later than September 15. Appeals will only be considered under the following circumstances.

Institutional error (specific written documentation required).
Medical circumstances (specific written documentation required).
Family emergency (specific written documentation required).
Unusual circumstances (specific written documentation required).

A registration appeal must include confirmation of last date of attendance supplied by the course instructor. Each request will be submitted to the Registrar for evaluation by a Registration Appeals Committee, including the Vice President for Student Affairs. All decisions of the Registration Appeals Committee are final.

The forms, available in both electronic and paper format, used to drop a course, withdraw from a course, or add courses are available through OneStop Student Services.

College Withdrawal and Stop-Out policy

Any student who withdraws or stops-out from the College during the course of the academic year must communicate with the students’ advisor or a professional academic advisor to complete the official college withdrawal or stop-out process. A student is legally registered until the official withdrawal or stop-out process is completed or the student completes the period of registration.

For registration purposes, each week following the drop period begins on a Monday regardless of holidays and other breaks. All student requests that are initiated on a Monday will move forward to the next week. If a student communicates a request to withdraw or stop-out and it is after hours, or on the weekend, we will honor the date and time that the email and/or voicemail was received. From the first day of classes until the Monday of the ninth week of the full academic semester or the Monday of the fifth week of the partial academic term, withdrawals and subsequent refunds follow the Changing Registration Policy. A student who has left the College while in good academic and financial standing may re-enter at any time by simply following the designated readmission and registration procedures.

The forms, available in electronic format, used for college withdrawal and stop-out are available through OneStop Student Services.

Release of transcript and grade report

Copies of transcript and grade reports will not be released if the student has an unpaid balance at St. Scholastica resulting from charges made for tuition and fees, fines, room damage assessments, student emergency loan, health hold, library hold or delinquent/defaulted Federal Perkins, Nursing or Ordean Student Loans.

Student records

Students are hereby notified that pursuant to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, students are entitled to review those records, files, documents and other materials that contain information directly related to themselves that are maintained by the College. It is further understood that a student may request a hearing, in accordance with the regulations issued by the Secretary of Education, to challenge the content of the educational records to ensure that the records are not inaccurate, misleading or otherwise in violation of one's rights. The student may insert in the records a written explanation regarding the contents of such records if the College does not make the suggested corrections or deletions.
Student access and review is subject to the following conditions:

  1. The College has 45 days to comply with a written request to the College official responsible for maintaining the record sought.
  2. All information declared confidential by the Act or excluded from the definition of "education records" by the Act is unavailable for inspection.
  3. After reviewing the records, the student may request the unit maintaining the record to remove or modify information believed to be misleading, inaccurate or inappropriate. If the request is refused, the student may insert in the records a written explanation regarding the contents to which he/she objects or may file an appeal with the President's Office which will be heard by a person or committee designated by the president.

Release of information

Students are further notified of the fact that the Act states that the following information may be construed to be directory information that is available to the public, and is hereby so declared: name, address, telephone listing, date of birth, photograph, major field of study, part-time/ full-time status, participation in officially recognized activities and sports, weight and height of members of athletic teams, dates of attendance, classification, degrees and awards received and the most recent previous educational agency or institution attended. Students have the right to inform the College that any or all of the bold-faced information should not be released without prior consent. If a student wishes to restrict the release of this information, a written request to that effect must be completed in the Registrar's Office before the fifth day of fall semester classes. After the student has filed the required written request, the College will notify the appropriate offices and begin to comply with the request as soon as possible.

No information other than the items listed above will be released without specific written permission except as provided by law. A complete statement of the St. Scholastica policy is available in the Registrar's Office. 

Culminating Graduate Experience

Each graduate level program requires a culminating experience, e.g., a thesis, research study, final project, internship, and provides its own guidelines.

Transfer Credits

Students may transfer a maximum number of six semester graduate credits appropriate to the program, earned from a regionally accredited college or university, toward completion of their St. Scholastica degree. Departments are looking for corresponding outcomes and other curricular requirements to the completed transfer courses and the courses within our curriculum.

Exceptions to this policy for individual students may be made by individual departments. The transfer credit must have been completed no more than seven years prior to the date the St. Scholastica degree is completed. Forms to request transfer of credits can be obtained online and submitted to the Office of Graduate Admissions. 

The College of St. Scholastica will consider transfer credits from students who:

  • Submit a Graduate Credit Transfer Application form.
  • Submit an official transcript sent directly from the regionally accredited institution.
  • Submit the course syllabus, catalog, or other pertinent descriptive information to determine equivalency of course content.
  • Have earned a course grade of 3.0 or better.
  • Completed the course not more than seven years prior to graduating from the St. Scholastica program.

Degree-seeking students planning to enroll in courses at another institution with the intent to transfer the credits to The College of St. Scholastica will need to send a written request and supporting course documentation to the program director prior to enrolling in the course. Written approval will be provided if the course is acceptable for transfer.

Course load

The full-time student load at the graduate level is 6 semester credits for academic and financial aid purposes. Additional fees are assessed dependent on the number of credits a student is taking.

A student's graduate enrollment status is based upon the number of credits as indicated below. These credits are used for deferment reporting and financial aid.

Full time: 6 or more credits
3/4 time:  5 credits
1/2 time:   3-4 credits
Less than half time:  Fewer than 3 credits

Grade Definitions

Graduate students must maintain an average GPA of 3.0 and no grade lower than a C.  A student's performance is recorded in grades as follows: 

A   4.0 grade points
A-   3.7 grade points
B+  3.3 grade points
B    3.0 grade points
B-   2.7 grade points
C+   2.3 grade points
C    2.0 grade points
F    0.0 grade point

A = Evidence of exceptional and outstanding work.

B = Evidence of acceptable work.

C = Minimally acceptable if the required overall GPA is maintained for that program.

F = Failing work.

P = The P (pass) may be used if agreed upon ahead of time by the faculty and student. The P grade indicates successful completion of course requirements.

N = The N (no credit) grade is used when Pass/No Pass has been agreed upon and when course requirements have not been successfully completed.

I = The I (incomplete) grade is given to students who have requested an I grade because they are unable to complete the course requirements by the end of the course/semester due to extraordinary circumstances. The request must be made to the faculty on the Graduate Course Incomplete Contract form. The I grade must be converted to a letter grade (A through F) or P or N within the contract time frame.

IP = The IP (in progress) grade is used to signify courses that are usually not completed within the term due to the nature of the course. The IP grade must be converted to a letter grade (A through F) or P or N within 12 months from the time the course was ended.

Graduate Incomplete Policy

  1. An incomplete may be assigned by the instructor at his/her discretion at the end of a term.
  2. Faculty and student must complete an  Incomplete Contract Form. This form is available at http://resources.css.edu/Registrar/forms/incomplete_grade_contract.pdf
  3. A limit will be placed on the length of time that "I" may stand on the student's record: that limit, unless extended by the instructor, will be the fifth week of the subsequent term. "Incompletes" must be resolved before the student can officially graduate.
  4. Procedure

    A.  Faculty and student must complete the Incomplete Contract Form with the student outlining specific requirements to complete the "I" the required completion date and default grade. Both student and faculty member sign the form and submit to the campus site director.

    B.  Campuses will keep a copy of the form in the student's file.

    C.  The Registrar will notify the instructor of outstanding "I" prior to week five of the subsequent term. Advisors will be copied.

              D.  The instructor responds in one of two ways:
                    1.  Requests an extension of the incomplete for the student.
                    2.  Enters a default grade (A-F) on the student's transcript.

Completion of the Graduate Degree

Time Limits for Completion of the Graduate Degree

The credits required for obtaining a graduate degree, including transfer credits, must have been earned within seven years. Transfer credits approved early in the program may not apply toward the degree if they become older than seven years before all of the degree requirements are completed.

Commencement

In order to be awarded the graduate degree or certificate, students must complete an Application to Graduate. The process for applying can be obtained from the Registrar at https://css.edu/administration/registrar/graduation-processes.html and should be completed before Oct. 1 for Fall commencement and Feb. 1 for Spring commencement. 

Graduate students generally participate in commencement at the Fall or Spring ceremony following completion of all degree requirements. In those programs (or tracks) where the final requirement is an off-site internship/field placement, e.g. occupational therapy, students who are making normal progress toward their degree may participate in the ceremony prior to completing the final requirement.

Students in other programs or tracks who have special circumstances may participate in commencement with the permission of the Graduate Program Director and the School Dean. Participation in the ceremony does not confer the degree. The degree is conferred when all requirements have been completed and appear on the official transcript.

Disciplinary Policies

Students may be placed on probation, or dismissed, for academic and behavioral reasons. Most lapses in ethical or academic standards will be addressed with probation, but some may be severe enough to warrant dismissal.

A student may be placed on probation only once during the timeframe of a given program. Exceptions to this policy for individual students may be made with approval of the program department and the School Dean.

Academic Probation

Students must maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.0 and completion ratio of 67 percent. If the cumulative GPA falls below 3.0 or completion ratio below 67%, the student is placed on academic probation.

Academic dishonesty such as plagiarism, falsification of data, or cheating will result, at a minimum, in failure of the assignment involved, and may result in failure of the course. Course failure will result in academic probation. More than one instance of academic dishonesty will result in dismissal. However, in cases of serious dishonesty, dismissal may result after the first instance. Any instance of academic dishonesty and the resultant disciplinary actions must be reported to the School Dean.

Satisfactory Academic Progress

The federal government requires institutions to monitor recipients of federal financial aid to ensure that they are meeting satisfactory academic progress standards. At St. Scholastica, students must demonstrate that they are making satisfactory academic progress towards their degree and this is reviewed each semester. For financial aid purposes, the definition of satisfactory academic progress includes three required components:

  • The graduate student must maintain a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of a 3.0 or better;
  • The graduate student must successfully complete at least two-thirds (67%) of all credits they attempt;
  • The graduate student cannot exceed more than 150% of the credit hours required to complete their degree.

If the student does not meet this, they are put on financial aid (FA) probation for 1 semester (still eligible for FA). If at the end of the 2nd semester they do not meet the requirements, they move to FA suspension (ineligible for FA).

Behavioral Probation

Students are expected to conform to professional standards of behavior. Some examples of reasons for behavioral probation are minor infractions in the following areas:

  1. Lying, stealing, or breach of confidentiality when dealing with a patient/client or related health-record data.
  2. Behavioral or emotional problems that are incompatible with competent and/or ethical performance as a graduate student.
  3. Failure to abide by the code of ethics governing the discipline.
  4. Impeding the learning of other students in the program through disruptive behavior, lack of cooperation, or other actions or lapses.
  5. Unprofessional behavior while in clinical/practicum/internship settings.

The student and the faculty of the department will create a set of expectations to address the problems (i.e. a contract), and a specified period of time will be set in which to correct them. Failure to conform to the terms of the probationary contract will result in dismissal from the program.

Students will normally be put on probation before being dismissed unless the student has committed acts of gross or irreparable unethical nature.

During a probationary period:

  1. Standards must not be higher than those of other students in the program; however, students on probation may be monitored more frequently or more intensively than other students.
  2. Clear descriptions of the reasons for probation, and expectations for the future, will be laid out in a written communication; copies to the student, the faculty advisor, any other faculty member involved in coursework, and the Program Director.
  3. Faculty involved must follow up with the student and with the Program Director at regular intervals and give factual evidence of progress (example; weekly or bi-weekly grade reports or clinical evaluations).

At the end of the probationary period:

  • If the student has completed the probationary period satisfactorily, and has corrected all problems laid out in the probation agreement, the student is returned to regular status.

Dismissal

Students will be subject to dismissal for severe and/or repeated academic or behavioral issues whereby expected academic or behavioral standards are not met.
Examples include:

Academic Dismissal

1.  Failure to maintain an overall 3.0 GPA and/or completion ratio of 67%.
2.  Incursion of a second probationary status for either academic or behavioral cause.
3.  Repeated or serious plagiarism or other infractions of academic dishonesty.
4.  Failure to meet stipulations of an academic probationary contract.
5.  Failure to meet the conditions of a provisional/probationary admittance contract.

Behavioral Dismissal

1.  Failure to meet expectations outlined in a probationary contract designed to correct any behavioral infractions.
2.  Comission of acts of a gross or irreparable unethical nature.
3.  Incursion of a second probationary status for either academic or behavioral cause.

Dismissal Procedure

In cases of continued violations during the probationary period, unsatisfactory progress during the probationary period, or in cases of single but severe violations, the department may proceed with dismissal according to specific procedures outlined in their department policies and procedures handbook.