Academic Standards

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Standards of academic achievement provide fair and consistent measures for evaluating the growth and success of students, giving direction and guidance to both the student and the faculty for attaining individual and institutional goals.

ACADEMIC HONESTY 

The integrity of scholarship is the cornerstone of the academic and social structure of the university. It is the expressed policy of the university that every aspect of undergraduate academic life, related in whatever fashion to the university, shall be conducted in an absolutely and uncompromisingly honest manner. Violations of academic honesty are grounds for a failing grade and may result in dismissal from the university. For more information, see the Student Handbook or BOR/CSCU Code of Conduct.

ACADEMIC STANDING 

All students shall demonstrate their ability to do college-level work. The University requires a minimum cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA) of 2.0 to be eligible for a bachelor's degree. Any student with a cumulative GPA of 2.0 shall be considered in Good Standing by the University (some programs may have higher GPA requirements). Students who fall below the required 2.0 shall face academic discipline. The three categories of academic discipline are: Academic Warning, Academic Probation, and Academic Dismissal.

Academic Warning

Students shall be placed on Academic Warning the first fall or spring semester in which their cumulative GPA falls below 2.0. Students on Academic Warning shall be allowed to register for a maximum of 15 credits and must register for classes prior to the first day of the semester.

Academic Probation

Students who are on Academic Warning and fail to raise their cumulative GPA to the minimum 2.0 in the following fall or spring semester shall be placed on Academic Probation. Students on probation shall be allowed to register for a maximum of 14 credits and must register prior to the first day of the semester.  Students on Academic Probation shall be allowed to continue at the University but shall remain on probation provided their semester GPA is at least 2.3. Once the cumulative GPA reaches 2.0, the student shall be removed from Academic Probation and shall be returned to Good Standing. Students shall have three (3) semesters to raise their cumulative GPA to 2.0. If the cumulative GPA is below 2.0 after the third semester of probation, the student shall be academically dismissed.

Academic Dismissal

Students on Academic Probation shall be Academically Dismissed in the fall or spring semester if (1) their semester GPA is below a 2.3 and cumulative GPA is below a 2.0, or (2) their cumulative GPA remains below 2.0 after the third semester of probation. Students who are academically dismissed from Southern Connecticut State University are no longer matriculated at the University, and they may only register for courses on a part-time basis as non-matriculated students.

If students are eligible to appeal for reinstatement to regain matriculation status, they may do so during or subsequent to the semester in which they are non-matriculated. All appeals shall be made to the Academic Standing Committee. Students shall be permitted to appeal for reinstatement only once.

For the Fall 2020 Semester Only:

If a student is on probation during the fall 2020 semester and is approved to take course(s) for pass-fail, their probation will be extended for an additional semester and they will not be dismissed for failure to meet GPA requirements if the course(s) are passed.

ADD OR DROP COURSES

Students may add/drop courses in Banner Web through the end of the designated add/drop period for the given term (see Calendar.SouthernCT.edu), which will also determine students’ status for the semester as either full-time or part-time.  This policy does not apply to students who are dropping all of their courses in a semester.  If dropping all courses in a semester, please refer instead to the Withdrawal from the University or Leave of Absence policy.

A dropped course will not hold an academic penalty nor appear on the final transcript.  Tuition and fee charges will be adjusted based on the student's revised full-time or part-time enrollment status.  Financial Aid recipients should contact the Office of Financial Aid & Scholarships, as the dropped course may reduce financial aid awards, which could result in a balance due to the University and/or government.

Appeal

To make a late change to registration after add/drop has closed, appeals due to extenuating circumstances may be considered for one-week following the add/drop period, by the Academic Dean’s Office in which the course resides.  A student's enrollment status will be adjusted as either full- time or part-time based on any late add/drop approvals granted.

To add a course late, students must first receive permission from the Department Chairperson by filing the Add/Drop Appeal.  If approved, the Department Chairperson will forward the appeal to the Academic Dean’s Office for final approval. To drop a course late, students may file the appeal directly with Academic Dean's Office for approval, Department approval is not required.  

ATTENDANCE

Regular class attendance is expected by the University and is the responsibility of the student. It is the responsibility of the student to understand the attendance policy in each course he or she takes, as outlined in each course syllabus. When absent, students remain responsible for finding out what class activities occurred during the absence, and making up missed work if the instructor permits it. When a student knows in advance that it will be necessary to miss a class session, the student should inform the instructor.

When a student has missed a significant portion of coursework, which may be difficult or impossible to make up, the student should confer with the course instructor to explore options, including withdrawal or late withdrawal from the course. The student also may consult with an Academic Adviser, the Dean of Students or designee, or the Registrar's Office to consider various options.

Absences occasioned by official University activities, such as participation in conferences, intercollegiate athletic events, musical performances, and other events, must be documented in advance through the Office of the Dean of Student Affairs. A student that knows that such absences will occur shall confer with the instructor in respect to such absences.

Students may contact the Office of the Dean of Student Affairs with questions about the University's policy on class attendance.

Policy on Reporting Non-Attendance or Non-Participation

In order to ensure compliance with the United States Department of Education (US DoE) financial aid reporting requirements, Southern Connecticut State University monitors attendance and reports all students who stop attending or participating in on-ground classes or stop participating in online classes to the US DoE. This policy pertains to undergraduate and graduate students.

Group 1: Students who never attended/participated Students who have never attended or participated in a class by the end of the second week of the semester will be reported to the Registrar via the designated electronic reporting portal. The student will be removed from the class roster by the Registrar's office unless approved for reinstatement in the third week.

Group 2: Students who stopped attending/participating Students who have attended at least one class must be reported as attended, but will receive a grade of FS. The faculty member will enter this grade and include the last date of participation when submitting both midterm and final grades. The FS grade will appear as an F on student transcripts.

AUDITING A COURSE

The audit option is a reasonable alternative for a student who wants to take a course but does not have the proper background. Students who audit a course pay the same tuition and fees they would if they opted for a grade; however, they receive no academic grade or grade points, and the course may not be included in the credits needed for full-time status for financial aid purposes. While no final grade is submitted, students do have the right to take exams, write papers, and have them evaluated.  Prior to
auditing, students must discuss the criteria for a successful audit and receive written approval from their instructor.

Once students select the audit option it will not be possible to revert to a graded option following the add/drop period for the course. The Audit Contract must be approved by the instructor prior to the start of the 4th week of the fall or spring semester, or prior to the start of the 2nd week for courses in a shorter term.

CATALOG year

The student must meet the graduation requirements for their selected undergraduate program as published in the catalog in effect at the time of the student's initial enrollment as long as they maintain continuous matriculating status. For all students, the initial enrollment shall be the first day of classes following matriculation in a regular semester at the University.

Courses listed in this catalog are subject to change through normal academic channels. New courses and changes in degree requirements are initiated by departments and approved by the Undergraduate Curriculum Forum and the Provost.  The student will have the option to change catalog years to meet or substitute these degree requirements. 

By changing catalog years, a student becomes responsible for fulfilling all the graduation requirements for their new catalog year, including all changes in general education requirements, major requirements, or other areas. To ensure timely graduation, the director of the LEP may approve substitutions of courses in the LEP, and the Chairperson of the Department may approve substitutions of courses in the program. 

Matriculated students re-enrolling at the University may elect to revert to their original catalog year provided that it is no more than 5 years prior to the current term. Students may not revert to a catalog year that is prior to their initial admission term. Students may elect to switch to a newer catalog year once enrolled.  Students must receive departmental approval to switch catalog year. 

COURSE CANCELLATIONS

Students will be notified of a course cancellation via their Southern e-mail account that their course was canceled.  Student accounts will be credited based on the student's current enrollment status.

FULL-TIME AND PART-TIME STATUS

The academic year is divided into two semesters, each approximately 16 weeks long. Most courses carry three units (or semester hours) of credit and meet for either three 50-minute periods or two 75-minute periods per week. Some laboratory courses follow a different schedule and may carry more or less credit. Students are expected to spend a minimum of two hours weekly on out-of-class preparation for each credit hour they carry.

To maintain full-time status, students must be admitted to an undergraduate program and registered for 12-18 semester credit hours.  Normally, a full-time student carries 15 credits each semester and students wishing to take more than 18 credits may request permission from their academic adviser and school or college dean before they register for classes by completing a Petition for Irregular Schedule.  There is an over-registration fee for registration of more than 18 credits (see Tuition and Fees). 

Part-time students registered in at least 9 credits are considered 3/4 time, at least 6 credits are ½ time, at least 3 credits are ¼ time, and less than 3 credits are less than ¼ time enrolled.

Students may change their status through the end of add/drop of the semester based on registered credits and should consult the Student Accounts Office and Office of Financial Aid & Scholarships to discuss the impact of a status change on billed charges and financial aid awards.

GRADE APPEAL

Preliminary Information

In accordance with SCSU's educational mission, this policy articulates the procedure and criteria for the appeal of a final course grade. This Grade Appeal Procedure is intended to be fair, equitable and transparent.

Following discussion with the Instructor, the Grade Appeals Procedure consists of two parts:

  • Level 1 – Mediation with Department Chairperson / Program Director (hereafter referred to as 'Chairperson')
  • Level 2 – University Academic Standing Committee (UASC)

See Section V. below for detailed information about each part of the appeal process.

I. Grounds for Grade Appeals: Palpable Injustice

In the interest of clear communication to Students about University standards and procedures, the following definitions and descriptions of the acceptable grounds for a grade appeal are presented:

The sole acceptable basis for a grade appeal is the demonstrable commission of a "palpable injustice" in the determination of a Student's final grade by the Instructor. Students may use the appeals process when there is evidence to show that:

A. A mathematical or clerical error resulted in the entry of an incorrect grade; or

B. A final grade was determined by methods and criteria different from those used for determining the final grades of others in the same class; or

C. A final grade was assigned arbitrarily, capriciously, or on the basis of bias or prejudice, without reference to grading criteria as established (for instance) in the syllabus, assignment instructions, and/or University catalog.

The University Academic Standing Committee (UASC) shall make its determination in appeals brought before it solely upon the grounds listed above; a grade change is not warranted, for instance, when the Committee simply disagrees with the grade assigned by the Instructor, would have assessed the Student's work differently, would have graded differently, would have rounded off to the next highest grade, or would have preferred a different evaluation procedure.

II. Assumptions

A. The determination of grades is the responsibility of the Instructor of the course.

B. Grade appeal procedures apply only to the change of a grade under conditions specified in section 4.2.2.2 of the faculty Collective Bargaining Agreement. The appeal process may be initiated after a final grade has been submitted or after a request for a late withdrawal has been denied by the Instructor.

C. All parties work in good faith to arrive at a resolution during all stages of the process.

III. General Guidelines

A. Grade appeals must be initiated on an individual basis by the Student claiming a palpable injustice.

B. A Student may submit a grade appeal within one of four timeframes:

First - Appeals are reviewed in the fall or spring semester that follows the semester in which the grade was earned, hereafter referred to as Appeal Semester (see V. A-D). This applies to courses taken during summer, winter, or spring break sessions. For courses of an 8-week (or fewer) duration, the grade appeal may be made in either of the next two 8-week course periods directly following the semester in which the grade was earned, or during the summer if applicable. The deadlines for the 8-week courses appear in parentheses after the description of each level of the appeals process in section V of this document.

Second - If a grade earned during the spring semester or a summer term prevents a Student from continuing in the Student's program or major, an appeal may be filed during the summer (see section VI.).

Third - If a Student is appealing an "F" grade for which the origin was an "Incomplete" grade that reverted to "F" after the expiration of the thirty-day period to complete coursework after the beginning of the following semester, the appeal timetable shall begin when the "F" grade becomes available to the Student and shall follow the normal academic-year appeal schedule, adjusted to allow for the same number of weeks.

Fourth - Graduating Students shall typically appeal the grade following the established Grade Appeal Procedure. If, however, a graduating Student is appealing a grade that prevents the Student from graduating, it is recognized that time of graduation may be affected if the established Grade Appeal Procedure is followed. In this case, the Instructor, Department Chairperson, and UASC shall expedite the student's appeal with all due procedural promptness.

C. The week of Spring Break shall not be counted when determining how long the grade appeal has been in process.

D. If the Student's graduation may be delayed due to the appeal process, permission may be given by a Department Chairperson for the Student to take subsequent or required courses within the Department.

E. All Grade Appeal forms and documents must be typed; no handwritten forms shall be accepted.

F. For purposes of record-keeping and administrative accounting to governmental regulatory authorities, a copy of the grade appeal form must be filed with the Dean of the Instructor's school or college at each stage of the appeal process. The Chairperson is responsible for forwarding copies to the Dean's office for Level 1 appeals, and the UASC is responsible for forwarding copies to the Dean's office for Level 2 appeals.

G. Students are strongly advised to keep their own copies of all grade appeal forms and supporting documents.

IV. Discussion with Instructor

A. Initiate Discussion

Deadlines: end of week 1 of the Appeal Semester for Student to initiate discussion of disputed grade with the Instructor; end of week 2 to reach agreement. (8-week courses: same.)

Student initiates discussion with the Instructor. The Student and Instructor attempt to settle the matter in good faith. If an agreement is reached to change the grade, the Instructor shall submit the grade change to the Registrar's Office within one week. If an agreement has not been reached by the end of week 2, the Student may initiate a Level 1 appeal by submitting the Grade Appeal Form to the Instructor's Chairperson by the end of week 3.

B. Absent Instructor

An Instructor shall be deemed absent when either of the following apply: 1) the Instructor is no longer employed by the university; 2) the Student, with the help of the Instructor's Chairperson, has not succeeded in eliciting from the Instructor a response to his or her queries over a period of two (2) weeks. In this case, the student may initiate a Level 1 appeal by submitting the Grade Appeal Form to the Instructor's Chairperson by the end of week 3.

V. Appeals

A. Level 1: Deadlines: end of week 3 of the Appeal Semester for Student to submit Grade Appeal Form to Instructor's Chairperson; end of week 5 to reach agreement. (8-week courses, end of week 3 to submit and end of week 4 to reach agreement).

1. Mediation with Instructor's Chairperson

The Student completes the Grade Appeal Form for Level 1 and sends it to the Chairperson by the end of week 3 (8-week courses, end of week 3). The Chairperson shall assist the Instructor and the Student in an attempt to settle the matter. If an agreement is reached to change the grade, the Instructor shall submit the grade change to the Registrar's Office within one week of the agreement. The Chairperson shall confirm that the grade has been changed within two weeks of the agreement. The record of the appeal and of any agreement shall be filed by the Chairperson with the appropriate Dean. If these parties fail to reach an agreement by the end of week 5 (8-week courses, end of week 4), the Student may go to Level 2 of this grade appeal procedure by submitting the Grade Appeal Form to the UASC by the end of week 6 (8-week courses, end of week 5).

If the Instructor is the Chairperson, the Student may appeal the grade directly to the UASC (Level 2).

2. Absent Instructor

In the case of an absent Instructor (as defined in IV.B.), the Student completes the Grade Appeal Form for Level 1 and sends it to the Chairperson by the end of week 3 (8-week courses, end of week 3). The Chairperson shall have the authority to adjust or uphold the grade. If an agreement is reached to change the grade, the Chairperson shall submit the grade change to the Registrar's Office within one week of the agreement. The record of the appeal and of any agreement shall be filed by the Chairperson with the appropriate Dean. If these parties fail to reach an agreement by the end of week 5 (8-week courses, end of week 4), the Student may go to Level 2 of this grade appeal procedure by submitting the Grade Appeal Form to the UASC by the end of week 6 (8-week courses, end of week 5).

B. Level 2: University Academic Standing Committee (UASC)

Deadlines: end of week 6 of the Appeal Semester for Student to submit grade appeal form to UASC, via the Faculty Senate President; end of week 9 for UASC to render decision. (8-week courses, end of week 5 to submit and end of week 7 to reach decision.)

The Student completes the Grade Appeal Form for Level 2 and sends it to the President of the University Faculty Senate, who shall forward it to the UASC by the end of week 6 (8-week courses, end of week 5). Upon receipt of the Grade Appeal Form, the UASC shall forward notice of the appeal to the appropriate Dean.

The sole basis for the UASC's deliberations and decision concerning a Student's grade appeal shall be the standard of "palpable injustice" as defined by Article I of this document. The UASC shall render its decision by the end of week 9 (8-week courses, end of week 7), following a hearing to which Instructor, Student, and others deemed appropriate shall be invited. The Student shall have the right to be accompanied by an advisor or support person, who is a silent non-participant in the hearing. Delays shall not be allowed on the basis of an advisor or support person's scheduling conflicts. The Student, Instructor, Chairperson, and relevant Dean shall be notified in writing of the Committee's decision, which shall include a written rationale. The UASC shall notify the Registrar within one week of the decision if a grade change is required. The decision of the UASC shall be final.

C. Deadlines and deadline extensions

1. "By the 2nd week" means 2 weeks (14 calendar days) into the semester, starting with the 1st day of classes. Other deadlines are to be interpreted similarly.

2. A Dean of the appropriate school or college may extend any grade appeal deadline, only at the Student's request, and only if the Student provides written evidence that significant extenuating circumstances led to the missed deadline. The request must be made, in writing, no later than the end of the first week of classes following the original grade appeal semester.

D. For purposes of record-keeping and administrative accounting to governmental regulatory authorities, a copy of the grade appeal form must be filed with the Dean of the Instructor's school or college at each stage of the appeal process. The Chairperson is responsible for forwarding copies to the Dean's office for a level 1 appeal; the President of the Faculty Senate is responsible for forwarding copies to the Dean's office simultaneously with forwarding a Level 2 appeal to the UASC; and the UASC is responsible for forwarding copies to the Dean's office after a Level 2 appeal has been completed.

VI. Summer Grade Appeal

A. Assumptions/Conditions

If a Student earns a grade in a course in the spring semester that prevents the Student from continuing in a program or major, the Student is eligible to appeal the grade during the summer.

B. Required Procedures

Summer session grade appeals follow the procedures described in Section V, subsections A through D, above, except that the deadlines for each part of process shall be amended as follows:

1. Discussion with Instructor: one week after course grades become available to Students.

2. Level 1—Mediation with Instructor's Chairperson: end of week 2 to submit and end of week 3 to complete mediation.

3. Level 2—UASC: end of week 4 to submit and end of week 6 for UASC to render final decision.

When the timeline established for the summer appeals process by this document would result in a delay of the Student's progress towards degree completion, all parties shall expedite the student's appeal with all due procedural promptness.

Instructors are strongly encouraged to participate in the Summer Grade Appeal Process either in person or remotely.

C. Faculty Compensation

Insofar as the Summer Grade Appeal would not take place during the Academic/Contract year, the Instructor and the members of the UASC shall be compensated for their participation according to the following formula unless they are employed under a full-year contract. The members of the UASC shall receive 4 hours of non-teaching credit load for each appeal; the chair of the appeal hearing shall receive 6 hours of non-teaching credit load for each appeal; the Instructor shall receive 2 hours of non-teaching credit load for each appeal.

VII. Interpretation

This section may not be invoked with respect to the interpretation of any item of the Collective Bargaining Agreement. If an issue develops concerning interpretation of this document, whether initiated by the Faculty Senate, a Faculty Member, or any member of the Administration, a binding decision on such an issue shall be made:

A. by agreement between the President of the University and a majority of the Executive Committee of the Faculty Senate or, failing to obtain agreement on an issue by this method;

B. by a committee consisting of one member selected by the Senate Executive Committee, one selected by the President of the University, and one selected by the first two committee members, who, by a two-thirds vote shall decide such an issue.

VIII. Implementation and Amendment

A. This document shall take effect upon approval by a two-thirds vote of the Faculty Senate with the concurrence of the President of the University.

B. This document may be amended by a two-thirds vote of the Faculty Senate with the concurrence of the University President.

Grade Appeal Process Timeline

  • For academic-year appeals, all events are counted from the first week of the semester following the semester in which the disputed grade was earned ("the Appeal Semester").
  • For 8-week courses, all events are counted from the first week of either of the next two 8-week course periods following the semester in which the disputed grade was earned.
  • For summer appeals, all events are counted from the time that course grades become available to Students.
  • For "F" grades, automatically assigned after expiration of an "I" grade, all events are counted from the time that the "F" grade becomes available to Students and the schedule is modified accordingly.
  Spring/Fall  8-Week Course Summer Appeal
Initiation of Discussion with Instructor Week 1 Week 1 Week 1
Completion of Discussion with Instructor Week 2 Week 2 Week 1
Level 1: Initiation of Mediation with Chairperson / Program Director (Grade Appeal Form—Level 1, Part 1) Week 3 Week 3 Week 2
Level 1: Completion of Mediation with Chairperson / Program Director (Grade Appeal Form—Level 1, Part 2) Week 5 Week 4 Week 3
Level 2: Appeal to University Academic Standing Committee (Grade Appeal Form—Level 2) Week 6 Week 5 Week 4
Level 2: Grade Appeal Hearing with University Academic Standing Committee ASAP ASAP ASAP
Level 2: Decision by University Academic Standing Committee Week 9 Week 7 Week 6

GRADE REPLACEMENT

A student may retake a course for a different grade by registering for the course again. Although both grades will appear on the student's transcript, the higher of the two course grades will be used to calculate the student's University GPA.  Students may not utilize grade  replacement for a course taken as pass-fail.  If the student receives the same grade in both semesters, the new grade will replace the old grade, and the new grade will be used to calculate the current semester’s GPA. The student shall receive credit for the course only once.

Students are strongly encouraged to meet with their academic advisors before pursuing a replacement grade. Replacement may be pursued only once per course, and only for a total of five courses. The first five courses retaken will be the ones for which the grade will be replaced. If a course taken as a writing-intensive "W" course is retaken without a “W” designation, the higher of the two course grades will be used to calculate the student's University GPA. The original “W” may still be used to fulfill a “W” requirement, as long as the student received a passing grade for the "W" course. Once awarded, a student may not go back and replace individual courses within that degree or certificate program.

Please Note: Some programs at Southern may require that all grades be used to calculate the student's program GPA.

GRADE SYSTEM

The following grades are used on the academic records:

Exceptional Superior Average Passing Failure
A+ B+ C+ C- F
A B C D+  
A- B-   D Incomplete:
      D- I
        Incomplete Extension:
        I+

P = Pass in a course where all students receive P or F
S = Pass in a course taken for Pass-Fail Option
Z = Satisfactory Audit

Fresh Start grades are denoted with "S" in front of the letter grade as follows: SA+, SA, SA-, SB+, SB, SB-, SC+, SC, SC-, SD+, SD, SD-, and SF. The student will receive credit for courses with a Fresh Start grade of "SC" or higher; however, the GPA of a Fresh Start is reset to exclude all prior grade points and attempted credits.

In addition, certain codes are used to indicate a course status:

E = No credit awarded via waiver exam
EP = Credit awarded via waiver exam
N = Student never attended
R = No grade reported by instructor
W = Officially withdrawn

Pass-Fail Option

With the approval of their advisor, matriculated students who have completed at least 45 credits are eligible to register for certain courses on a pass-fail basis. The pass-fail option is blind in that the instructor is not aware of the student's use of the pass-fail option until after the grades are submitted. The courses for which the pass-fail option is used may not be applied to the Liberal Education Program or to the requirements of a major or minor. Students may take a total of only five courses on a pass-fail option, with only one taken in any given semester.

The final grade will be reported as "S" if the final grade earned is "D-" or higher. This grade earns zero quality points, has no effect on the GPA, but does count as attempted credit. If the final grade earned is not passing, the final grade will be reported as "F". This grade earns zero quality points, but will impact the GPA, and does count as attempted credit.

Courses taken for pass-fail might not be accepted for transfer credit when attending another institution; are excluded from GPA calculations which may impact a student’s ability to meet certain GPA requirements needed for their major, graduation, or honors; and may not be satisfactory in meeting prerequisite requirements when applying to graduate programs.

Once a student selects the pass-fail option it will not be possible to revert to a graded option following the add/drop period for the course. The Pass-Fail Contract must be approved by their advisor prior to the start of the 4th week of the fall or spring semester, or prior to the start of the 2nd week for courses in a shorter term.

For the Fall 2020 Semester Only:

With the approval of their advisor, matriculated students are eligible to register for certain courses on a pass-fail basis. This option may be used for electives, general education requirements (LEP), or the requirements of a major/minor as determined by the department housing the major/minor. Please review the list of courses excluded from the pass-fail option at https://inside.southernct.edu/onestop/pass-fail-fall2020.

During the fall 2020 semester, there is no limit on the number of courses, that may be taken under the Pass-Fail option. The final grade will be reported as "P" if the final grade earned is "D-" or higher. This grade earns zero quality points and has no effect on the GPA but does count as attempted credit. If the final grade earned is not passing, the final grade will be reported as "F". This grade earns zero quality points, but will impact the GPA, and does count as attempted credit.

Students must submit a complete contract to their advisor no later than December 15, 2020.  Once the pass-fail contract is submitted by the student it will not be possible to revert to a graded option. The pass-fail option is blind to the instructor, they are not aware of the student's use of the pass-fail option until after the grades are submitted. In the event the student's advisor is also the instructor for the course, please submit the contract to the Department Chairperson for approval.

Repeating a Course

A course may be taken more than once but, unless specifically noted otherwise, credit may be offered only once toward degree requirements.  If a course is repeated outside of the grade replacement policy, both grades will appear on the permanent record and will be used in determining the cumulative GPA.  Course repeats may not be covered by financial aid.  Please see the financial aid policy for more information.

Incomplete Courses

A temporary grade of Incomplete (I) is recorded when the instructor has determined that a student has a valid reason for not meeting a particular requirement in a course prior to the termination of the semester.  The student must request an Incomplete grade from the instructor, and if granted, the Incomplete must be removed no more than 30 days after the next semester begins. 

If the student fails to complete the work within this time frame, the grade automatically becomes a failure, "F." If the instructor is providing the student longer than the 30-day period to complete coursework, then the instructor must file a grade change with the Registrar's Office to "Incomplete Extension" with a revised deadline.  Students should be aware that a grade of incomplete may impact financial aid. 

Grade Point Average (GPA)

In order to determine a student's Grade Point Average (GPA) letter grades are assigned grade points as follows:

A+ = 4.0 B+ = 3.3 C+ = 2.3 D+ = 1.3 F = 0
A = 4.0 B = 3.0 C = 2.0 D = 1.0  
A- = 3.7 B- = 2.7 C- = 1.7 D- = .7  

A student's GPA is determined by dividing the total number of quality points received by the number of credits attempted.  The following grades earn zero quality points and have no effect on the GPA: "E", "EP", "I", "I+", "N", "P", "R", "S", "W", and "Z".

If a course is repeated, credit may only be earned once; however, both grades will be used in determining the cumulative GPA, unless excluded by the Grade Replacement Policy. A student's GPA is based solely on courses taken at Southern and does not include transferred courses.

Quality Point Ratio (QPR)

For programs that may require students to meet a certain Quality Point Ratio (QPR) standard, it is determined using the same method as described above for the GPA, except that there are no exclusions for courses eligible for Course Grade Replacement or Fresh Start policies.

LEAVE OF ABSENCE

Students who need to take time off from their studies, with the intention of returning, must submit a Leave of Absence form and are strongly encouraged to meet with their advisor to discuss plans for degree completion.  

The leave of absence will be effective upon receipt of the form by the Registrar’s Office, or as indicated by the student if completing the semester, whichever is later.  Leave of absence requests are not retroactive and will not be accepted after the last day of the semester.  Students may take a leave of absence for up to two consecutive semesters (12 months) without the need to reapply for admission when they return.  Students who attend another institution while on leave must submit a Transfer Credit Request form and receive prior approval.  Students who fail to return within the approved 12-month time frame will be withdrawn from the University.

Students who take a leave of absence prior to the end of the 12th week of the semester, will receive a grade(s) of W-Withdrawn; thereafter, students will receive grades as assigned by the instructors.  Tuition and fee charges may be adjusted based on the student's revised enrollment status.  Financial Aid recipients should contact the Office of Financial Aid & Scholarships, as this change in enrollment status may reduce financial aid awards, which could result in a balance due to the University and/or government.

For the Fall 2020 Semester Only:

The deadline to take a leave of absence and receive a grade of W (Withdrawal) is extneded to December 15, 2020.

Leave of Absence Appeal

The appeal process offers students the ability to request an adjustment to their effective date of withdrawal due to a leave of absence prompted by unforeseen extenuating circumstances that impacted their ability to remain in attendance at the University. The appeal process also exists for students serving in the United States Armed Forces, including the National Guard or Reserve, who have been called or ordered to active duty for a period of more than 30 consecutive days. 

Students may file an Appeal to request a review of their circumstances within 30 days following the end of the semester under appeal. Please be advised that submitting this request does not change any current academic or financial responsibilities, though a review associated charges and financial aid will be conducted. Any reduction to charges authorized by the University President, or designee, will be calculated after any grant or scholarship aid retained. Appeals will be reviewed within 4-6 weeks, and a response will be sent to the students University email.

Students are expected to first exhaust all academic options with faculty and are encouraged to explore University services available including Academic Advisement, the Academic Success Center, and the Disability Resource Center.

MIDTERM GRADES

As part of the course evaluation process, students will receive a midterm grade for courses directly from their instructors. The midterm grade will be given to the student either online or in writing during the eighth week of classes for full-semester courses, and by the end of the fourth week for eight-week courses. A student who has not received a midterm grade should confer with the instructor. If this meeting does not result in the student's receiving a midterm grade, the student should contact the chairperson of the department in which the course is offered. For additional information, the student is advised to consult with the appropriate academic dean.

Any student, especially a freshman who is doing unsatisfactory work ("D" or "F") at the time of midterm grade reporting, is encouraged to initiate conferences with his/her instructor and academic adviser.

PROFESSIONAL PROGRAM ADMISSION

Sophomores who are not in liberal arts programs must apply to one of the professional programs during the first half of their fourth semester at the University. Each student must be interviewed by the personnel in charge of his or her chosen area. Those tentatively approved for acceptance may preregister for the junior year.

At the end of the fourth semester, the application is reviewed by a personnel committee of the department to which the student has applied as his or her major area of study. Students may be denied acceptance if either academic or personal qualifications are unsuited for a particular area. When fixed quotas exist in an area, it is sometimes necessary to deny acceptance even though students may meet minimal standards.

TEACHER CERTIFICATION PROGRAMS

The academic standards below apply to all programs that prepare students for teacher certification, including both those leading to bachelor of science degree and post-baccalaureate certification programs. 

Fingerprinting and Background Check

Connecticut law requires all candidates in teacher/educator certification programs to undergo state and national criminal history background checks before participating in school-based field experiences and student teaching. All candidates enrolled in a course requiring entering a P-12 school to complete an assignment, field experience requirement, and student teaching placement will be required to have a background check completed with the school they are placed in. If a candidate does not pass the background check, s/he may be unable to complete the chosen certification program. The University will not be responsible for a candidate's inability to complete the program.

Revocation of Admission to the Professional Program

Candidates may be dismissed from the professional program for the following:

  • Demonstrated unprofessional behavior or an inability to respond appropriately in various contexts which affects their performance as a teacher and based on the review of the College of Education following the procedure to establish a Scaffolding for Success Action plan.
  • Falsified or misrepresented documentation or information provided for programmatic, academic, or professional qualification/competency purposes;
  • Not achieving an acceptable standard on the performance assessments required by the College of Education, the Educator Preparation Provider Council (EPPC), or the certification program;
  • Conviction in a court of law of a crime involving moral turpitude or of any crime of such nature that in the opinion of the university would impair the standing of the College of Education professional program; or
  • Other due and sufficient cause.

Student Teaching and Certification

After admission to a teacher preparation program, all candidates must complete assessments designated by the College of Education and their specific certification program. All candidates must have a TK20 account in order to submit these assessments.

Candidates must maintain good standing in the program in order to qualify for student teaching and a recommendation from Southern Connecticut State University for State of Connecticut teacher certification. They also must demonstrate the following:

  • Personal attitudes and attributes that affect their performance as teachers
  • Professional behavior appropriate to the context that shows realization that actions reflect directly upon the status and substance of the profession;
  • Confidentiality of all information concerning colleagues and students obtained in the educational process; and
  • Integrity and honesty in written and verbal communication, documentations, and coursework related
  • An undergraduate academic performance of at least a 2.7 GPA. After acceptance into a teacher education program, any candidate who completes 9 or more credits with a cumulative GPA of less than 2.7 will be placed on College of Education academic probation. The student will have one semester to raise the GPA to 2.7 or higher. Failure to do so will result in dismissal from the teacher education program and the College of Education.

Whenever any of the following occurs, a Scaffolding Success Action Plan (SSAP) needs to be provided: candidate GPA is below the program requirements, an assessment performance is at the “unacceptable level”, or a behavior on or off campus that does not meet the Professional Attitudes and Dispositions of Educators occur.

Student teaching requires a full-time commitment. As such, teacher candidates are not permitted to take other courses during the semester in which they student teach, other than the student teaching seminar that is taken simultaneously with student teaching. In rare cases, the department may petition the College of Education Dean for a waiver of this requirement. Additionally, candidates must have all courses and academic requirements completed prior to the semester of student teaching.

To be recommended for certification candidates must successfully complete all program requirements, be in good standing, and pass all assessments mandated by the Connecticut State Department of Education (CSDE) such as edTPA and licensure exams. CSDE assessment requirements (e.g. Praxis® II and ACTFL) vary by certification area (https://portal.ct.gov/-/media/SDE/Certification/assess_for_cert.pdf).

Please note, candidates must meet the certification requirements in effect on the date the CSDE receives the certification application. If CSDE regulations change, candidates may need to meet the new requirements in order to be eligible for certification. Candidates are responsible for familiarizing themselves with Connecticut's teacher certification regulations and keeping abreast of changes to those regulations. Certification news and alerts are available on the Connecticut State Department of Education website.

Teacher Education Performance Assessment

Teacher candidates must maintain good standing in the program in order to qualify for student teaching and a recommendation from Southern Connecticut State University for State of Connecticut initial teacher certification. They also must demonstrate the following:

  • Personal attitudes and dispositions that will affect her or his performance as a teacher;
  • Professional behavior appropriate to the context which demonstrates that actions reflect directly upon the status and substance of the profession;
  • Confidentiality of all information concerning colleagues and students obtained in the educational process; 
  • Integrity and honesty in written and verbal communication and in all coursework related to the professional program for teacher certification; and
  • An undergraduate academic performance of at least a 2.7 GPA average. A candidate, who after acceptance into a teacher education program completes 9 or more credits with a cumulative GPA of less than 2.7, will be placed on College of Education academic probation. The student will have one semester to raise the GPA to 2.7 or higher. Failure to do so will result in dismissal from the College of Education.

Time Limitation for Professional Courses

The program start date for a teacher certification program is the admission date to the College of Education.  For bachelor’s degree programs, students apply during their sophomore year; for post-baccalaureate certification programs, students are accepted at the time of admission to SCSU.

All professional courses required for teacher certification program must be completed within 5 years of the program start date.  In extenuating circumstances, courses completed outside the 5-year window will be evaluated on a course by course basis collaboratively College of Education Dean’s Office and the department.

WITHDRAWAL FROM A COURSE

Students may withdraw from a course online through their student web account, effective upon the date submitted, during the withdrawal periods outlined below. Any student considering a course withdrawal should confer with his or her instructor and academic adviser, in order to understand his or her class standing, before withdrawing from a course. If withdrawing from all courses in a semester, please refer instead to the Withdrawal from the University or Leave of Absence policies.

Students may withdraw from a full-term course prior to the end of the 12th week of classes; for an eight-week course prior to the end of the 6th week of classes; or for shorter terms per the Registrar's Calendar. Students will receive a grade of W (Withdrawal) on the transcript for each withdrawn course submitted after the add/drop period, and prior to the deadlines outlined above; thereafter, students will receive grades as assigned by the instructors. 

Students should consult Refund Policy for the impact on charges. A student's status as full-time or part-time will not change due to course withdrawals submitted after the add/drop period for the term; however, financial aid recipients should contact the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships, as the withdrawn course(s) may reduce financial aid awards, which could result in the student owing funds to the University and/or government.

For the Fall 2020 Semester Only:

The deadline to withdraw from a course(s) and receive a grade of W (Withdrawal) is extended to December 15, 2020. 

Late Withdrawal from a Course

After the scheduled time to withdraw from a course (see above) students may request a late withdrawal from their instructor. In a case where the instructor has determined that due to extenuating circumstance(s) a late withdrawal is justified, the instructor must submit a Late Course Withdrawal form to the Registrar's Office, approved and signed by both the instructor and the department chairperson. In the event that the instructor teaching the course is the department chairperson, the dean must also sign the form. No late course withdrawals will be accepted after the end of classes.  

Students should consult Refund Policy for the impact on charges. A student's status as full-time or part-time will not change due to course withdrawals submitted after the add/drop period for the term; however, financial aid recipients should contact the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships, as the withdrawn course(s) may reduce financial aid awards, which could result in the student owing funds to the University and/or government.

For the Fall 2020 Semester Only:

Late course withdrawals may be considered past the last day of classes for students in an Incomplete status.

WITHDRAWAL FROM THE UNIVERSITY

Students who wish to withdraw from the university must submit a University Withdrawal form.  As an alternative, those students who need to take time off from their studies, with the intention of returning, should consult the Leave of Absence policy to maintain their matriculation status.  University Withdrawal will be effective upon receipt of the form or upon the date a student completes withdrawal from all courses.  

Students who withdraw prior to the end of the 12th week of the semester will receive a grade(s) of W-Withdrawn; thereafter, students will receive grades as assigned by the instructors.  Tuition and fee charges may be adjusted based on the student's revised enrollment status.  Financial Aid recipients should contact the Office of Financial Aid & Scholarships, as this change in enrollment status may reduce financial aid awards, which could result in a balance due to the University and/or government, and to discuss loan repayment and exit counseling requirements.

Students who stop attending the university without notification will be withdrawn at the end of the semester and will receive grades as assigned by their instructors.  Financial aid return calculations will be performed as of the midpoint of the semester, or the last reported date of attendance, whichever is later.  Students who do not take leave or return the following semester will also be withdrawn from the university.  

For the Fall 2020 Semester Only:

The deadline to withdraw from the university and receive a grade of W (Withdrawal) is extended to December 15, 2020. 

Withdrawal Appeal

The appeal process offers students the ability to request an adjustment to their effective date of withdrawal prompted by unforeseen extenuating circumstances that impacted their ability to remain in attendance at the University. The appeal process also exists for students serving in the United States Armed Forces, including the National Guard or Reserve, who have been called or ordered to active duty for a period of more than 30 consecutive days. 

Students may file an Appeal to request a review of their circumstances within 30 days following the end of the semester under appeal. Please be advised that submitting this request does not change any current academic or financial responsibilities, though a review associated charges and financial aid will be conducted. Any reduction to charges authorized by the University President, or designee, will be calculated after any grant or scholarship aid retained. Appeals will be reviewed within 4-6 weeks, and a response will be sent to the students University email.

Students are expected to first exhaust all academic options with faculty and are encouraged to explore University services available including Academic Advisement, the Academic Success Center, and the Disability Resource Center.