Academic Policies and Procedures
Classification of Students
Courses taken at other colleges
Leave of Absence
Life Experience Credit
Quality Point Index and Credit Hours
Satisfactory Academic Progress
Withdrawal/Change of Program
Withdrawal from the College
Regular and prompt attendance at all classes is required. Responsibility for attendance at classes rests with the student. Instructors may specify particular academic penalties for infractions of the attendance policy. Students
who are absent because of religious beliefs will be given an opportunity to make up any missed examination or work requirements if they request it at least two weeks prior to the absence. No fee will be charged for this opportunity.
CLASSIFICATION OF STUDENTS
Students are classified according to the number of semester hours of credit they have earned and the number of semester hours carried. Listed below are the requirements for the respective classifications:
Full -Time: A student carrying 12 or more credits.
Part -Time: A student carrying fewer than 12 credits.
Freshman: An enrolled student who has not completed 30 credits.
Sophomore: A student who has successfully completed 30+ credits.
Junior: A student who has successfully completed 60+ credits.
Senior: A student who has successfully completed 90+ credits and has a cumulative GPA of at least 2.0 (C average).
Non-matriculated: A student who has not been accepted by the College as a degree candidate.
Commencement is held once a year after the end of the spring semester. Students who have completed all requirements as of the end of the spring semester will be considered May graduates. Students who have no more than 6 credits to complete may be considered August graduates and may attend Commencement only if they pre-register for the remaining credits during the summer sessions. Graduation applications are to be submitted to the Registrar in mid September.
COURSES TAKEN AT OTHER COLLEGES
Once a student has matriculated at the College it is expected that the remainder of the courses required by his/her program of study will be taken on campus. Students who have not transferred credit to the College, however, may receive permission to take a maximum of six (6) credits off campus at an accredited college.
Appraisal of student work is done at a frequency and through techniques specified for each course by the instructor. The final grade is determined by the combined results of examinations, assignments, class participation, outside work, and application, as specified by the instructor at the beginning of the semester.
Grades are available through Banner Self Service for students.. The College reserves the right to withhold a student’s report of grades, and to withhold granting of college credit, if the student has any indebtedness to the College. No grade may be changed after the first three weeks of the following semester.
Excellent. Indicates unusually high achievement. Students who merit A, in addition to fulfilling the minimum requirements, give evidence of the ability to work independently, read rather widely on their own initiative, organize the materials of the course in relation to its wider implications, give evidence in skill subjects of habitual errorless mastery.
Very good-superior. Indicates achievement demonstrably above average and an intelligent fulfillment of course requirements in a manner that approaches the excellence of the highest grade.
Good. Signifies a consistently high level of achievement and indicates that the course requirements have been fulfilled in an intelligent and above-average manner.
Very satisfactory. Signifies a more acceptable degree of understanding and consistent achievement than a C. Indicates that a student has mastered the basic course material, attended classes regularly, fulfilled assignments as required, and given evidence of mastery of the skills required for the course.
Satisfactory. Signifies acceptable understanding & consistent achievement of quality that satisfies the required graduation grade.
Inferior-passing. Indicates understanding and achievement below the average level expected of students and therefore warrants only minimum approval.
Failure. Indicates that the student’s work does not merit a passing grade.
Repeated Course. Indicates that the student has repeated a course in which a grade of D or F had been received. Original grade is not counted towards GPA. Students may only repeat a course in which they have earned a grade of D or F. To repeat a course more than once, a student must obtain the permission of the Director of Academic Advisement or the Registrar. Repeated courses may not be taken as courses-by-appointment. Repeated courses MUST BE taken at STAC so that the original grade may be replaced in the cumulative grade point. The original grade is not counted toward GPA.
Withdrawal up to date specified in Academic Calendar. No credit granted.
Incomplete. Students who, because of an extraordinary circumstance, request an Incomplete must do so prior to the last day of class. A form must be completed by the student, signed by the instructor, and forwarded to the Registrar with the grade sheet. Incompletes are given at the discretion of the faculty member. For courses other than practicums/internships/ field study, no grade higher than a B (except in extenuating circumstances and then only with the permission of the Director of Academic Advisement and the Registrar) may be granted for an incomplete. All work must be submitted by the date stipulated by the instructor (but not later than one month prior to the end of the following semester), or the Incomplete becomes an F.
Pass indicates that the student has satisfied the requirements for the course. A Fail indicates that
the course goals have not been attained. No quality points are assigned to a Pass/Fail. Only those courses so indicated in the course listings may be taken on a Pass/Fail basis.
No show. Student never reported to class. No credit granted. No academic penalty.
Students may audit courses. Students who audit courses receive neither credit nor quality points
for the course. Audited courses do not satisfy degree requirements nor are they counted in determining student load.
LEAVE OF ABSENCE
For satisfactory reasons, the Director of Academic Advisement or the Registrar may give a student in good standing a leave of absence for a maximum period of two semesters. Requests for leave of absence must be in writing and submitted the semester prior to the semester desired. Obtain forms in the Records Office.
LIFE EXPERIENCE CREDIT
The College may award academic credit to students who have achieved the objectives of specific courses outside of traditional classroom instruction and who satisfactorily validate that achievement through the submission of a portfolio conforming to specified criteria. Applicants must be matriculated in a degree program at St. Thomas Aquinas College. Credit for Life Experience may be awarded as follows:
• A maximum of 30 Life Experience credits toward a Bachelor’s Degree.
• A maximum of 15 Life Experience credits toward an Associate Degree.
The fee for the awarding of life experience credits begins at $300 and increases according to the number of credits awarded. Copies of the complete statement of the criteria and procedures for applying for Life Experience Credit are available in the Office of the Director of Academic Advisement.
QUALITY POINT INDEX AND CREDIT HOURS
One credit hour represents 50 minutes of lecture or recitation or 120 to 180 minutes of laboratory/studio work. Most courses carry 3 semester hours of credit.
Quality points are assigned to grades as follows: for each credit hour with a grade of A, 4 quality points; B+, 3.5; B, 3; C+, 2.5; C, 2; D, 1; F, 0. If a student earns a grade of A in a 3 semester hour course he/she receives 12 quality points; one who earns a grade of B receives 9 quality points, and so forth. The quality point index is determined by dividing the total number of quality points earned by the number of credits attempted, that is, the number of credits for which a student is registered, whether or not the courses are passed or failed
Since courses from which a student withdraws are not counted in credits attempted, they do not affect a student’s average.
All matriculated students must register during regular registration periods or open registration. Non-matriculated students register during open registration. The Admissions Office notifies incoming freshmen and transfers of registration dates.
His/her assigned advisor must approve each student’s registration. The registration may be rescinded at the discretion of the College if financial obligations are not met.
A late registration fee is charged after the semester begins. No credit will be given for a course in which a student has not formally registered. Students who wish to enter a course after the first week must have the permission of the Registrar. No student may enter a course after the second week of class.
For more information, visit our Registrar’s website.
SATISFACTORY ACADEMIC PROGRESS
It is imperative that students continue to make satisfactory academic progress toward graduation and the acquisition of their baccalaureate degree. The college provides a variety of academic support services to assist students who are having - or wish to avoid - academic difficulties. To learn more about these services, please contact the Office of Academic Services (398-4028).
However, students who do not continue to make satisfactory academic progress are subject to being placed on probation, being suspended from the college, or being dismissed from the college. The following material states the college’s criteria for judging satisfactory academic progress and the conditions which result from a student’s failure to maintain satisfactory progress. Some academic programs have requirements in addition to those below. Students pursuing such programs must satisfy the additional requirements as determined by the relevant program director. Students who sign academic contracts as a condition of admission to the college and who do not fulfill the conditions of the contract may be placed on probation, suspended, or dismissed independent of the following criteria.
Satisfactory Academic Progress
Full-time students (and equivalent part-time students) are considered to be making satisfactory progress toward graduation and their degree if they have achieved:
- A semester grade point index in the most recently completed semester of at least 1.8, and
- A cumulative grade point index of at least: 1.8 upon completion of one academic year of full-time college enrollment (24 credit hours for part-time students);
- 2.0 upon completion of two academic years of full-time college enrollment (48 credit hours for part-time students) and thereafter.
Unsatisfactory Academic Progress
Full-time students (and equivalent part-time students) who do not fulfill the conditions for satisfactory academic progress are judged to be making unsatisfactory progress toward graduation and are subject to the following conditions.
Students on academic probation may not carry more than 12 credits a semester. And they may be further limited in their college activities. Students on probation must attain a semester grade point index of at least 2.0 for the current semester or be subject to suspension or dismissal.
Students may be placed on probation if: The cumulative grade point index falls below 1.8 but not below 1.5 during the first year of full-time enrollment; or if:
The cumulative grade point index falls below 2.0 but not below 1.8 during the second and subsequent years of full-time enrollment.
Students on academic probation must attend the Center for Academic Excellence on a weekly schedule (typically 2 hours per week) determined either by the student's academic advisor or the Provost & Vice President for Academic Affairs. In addition, students on academic probation must make an appointment with their academic advisor within the first week of the term, in order to arrange a schedule of periodic meetings with the advisor throughout the semester.
Students placed on suspension at the end of an academic semester may not attend the college for the subsequent semester. Suspended students may attend summer and inter-session courses. Readmission to the college following the semester of suspension may normally be gained by appealing in writing to the Director of Academic Advisement and indicating evidence of greater academic maturity.
Students may be suspended from the college if while on probation, the student achieves at least a 1.8 semester grade point index but less than a 2.0 grade point index; or if the semester grade point index falls below 1.5; or if
the cumulative grade point index falls below 1.5 during the first year of full-time enrollment; or if the cumulative grade point index falls below 1.8 but not below 1.5 during the second and subsequent years of full-time enrollment.
Students dismissed from the college may not register to attend it. There is no expectation that a dismissed student will be successful in appealing to return. Students may be dismissed from the college if while on probation, the student does not achieve at least a 1.8 semester grade point index; or if the cumulative grade point index falls below 1.5 in any semester of full-time enrollment after the second semester; or if a student is eligible for suspension for the second time.
Sexual harassment of students by faculty, staff or other students is contrary to College policy. If a student believes that he or she has been subjected to sexual harassment, the student should immediately report such harassment to the Vice President for Student Development. The Vice President shall undertake an investigation of the facts and circumstances forming the basis of the student’s complaint. The complaint and investigation will be kept as confidential as possible. If the student is not satisfied with the handling of the complaint by the Vice President for Student Development, he or she should promptly bring the complaint to the attention of the President of the College. Any faculty member, staff member, or student found to have engaged in the sexual harassment of a student will be subject to appropriate disciplinary action up to and including suspension, termination or expulsion.
The normal student load is fifteen credits a semester. The maximum load permitted without extra charge is sixteen hours, including audited courses. Permission to carry more hours must be obtained from the Director of Academic Advisement or the Registrar. Such permission is ordinarily granted only to students with a cumulative quality point average of at least 3.2. Students who are engaged in student teaching are considered full-time and pay full tuition.
Prior approval is required to assure that the courses successfully completed off campus will apply to the student’s course of study. Further information and application forms are available through the Office of Academic Advisement. The credit for the course will transfer to STAC if the grade is a “C” or better. In addition, students are expected to be registered at STAC for their last 10 courses.
In accordance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, no one outside St. Thomas Aquinas College shall have access to, nor will the College disclose any information (other than “Directory Information”) from students’ records without the written consent of students, except to appropriate personnel within the College, to officials of other institutions to which students apply, to persons or organizations providing students with financial aid, to accrediting agencies involved in their accreditation process, to persons in compliance with a judicial order, to parents of dependent students, and to persons in an emergency to protect the health or safety of students or other persons. Standard “Directory Information” is not protected under the provisions of the Privacy Act. The College, however, will honor student requests (in writing) to withhold any or all of the “Directory Information,” which includes such things as, name, address, email address, honors achieved in the curricular life of the college, individually identifiable photograph, telephone listing, date and place of birth, major field of study, participation in officially recognized activities and sports, dates of attendance, degrees and awards received, and the most recent previous educational agency or institution attended. For further clarification students should consult the Registrar.
An official transcript is one bearing the seal of the College. Official transcripts of academic records are not given to students or graduates but are mailed directly to the college, professional or graduate school, government agency or business concern they designate. An unofficial transcript is one given to the person whose credits are listed thereon and marked “Student Copy.” The College accepts no responsibility for the accuracy of the unofficial transcript after it has been issued.
Upon graduation, each student is entitled to one unofficial transcript of his/her college record. There is a fee of $5.00 for each additional transcript requested whether official or unofficial.
Transcripts will not be issued during registration periods, and during the three weeks following the end of each semester. The College does not accept hand-delivered official transcripts. All official transcripts from other institutions must be mailed by the issuing institution.
WITHDRAWAL/CHANGE OF PROGRAM
Students who wish to withdraw from a course must do so by the date indicated on the academic calendar (available in the Records Office). There is a $25 change of program fee. Withdrawal forms must be completed in the Office of the Registrar. Withdrawal from a course after the mid-term without permission of the Registrar automatically merits the grade of F.
WITHDRAWAL FROM THE COLLEGE
A student who leaves the College during any semester or special session must complete a withdrawal form available from the Office of the Registrar. Students who withdraw from the College after the last posted drop date will receive grades as submitted by the faculty. Students who return after one full year, must reapply and will be subject to current curriculum requirements.