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academics at albright

Academic Policies and Procedures


Academic Appeals

Academic Dishonesty and Grade Appeals

Faculty members are expected to follow practices of fairness and objectivity in matters relating both to the issuance of grades and charges of dishonesty. A student who feels that he or she has been wrongly treated in this area has the right of appeal to the Academic Appeals Board.

The Academic Appeals Board is a judiciary body that investigates, holds hearings, and renders decisions on student appeals referred to it by the chief academic officer in which students challenge the academic policies or actions of an instructor. The membership of the Academic Appeals Board includes five faculty members and five students.

A student has the right to initiate an appeal to an instructor's grade which the student regards as unjustified within one week of the beginning of the following fall or spring semester. If the student is in the Accelerated Degree Program, the student may initiate an appeal up to twelve weeks following the issuance of the grade or sanction. Students with documented disabilities may request relevant accommodations if they participate in the appeals process. All requests for accommodations for an appeals hearing will be considered on a case by case  basis and should be submitted in writing, accompanied by qualifying documentation, to the relevant academic dean.

Upon receipt of a complaint from a student alleging that an instructor has not followed practices of fairness and objectivity in matters relating to the issuance of grades and/or charges of dishonesty, the chief academic officer shall attempt a resolution of the problem through consultation with the student, instructor, and the instructor's department chair. In these discussions, the chief academic officer shall articulate her or his judgment of the strength of the case and her or his opinion concerning the decision likely to be rendered by the Academic Appeals Board. The chief academic officer shall also make the student aware that the ultimate responsibility for the determination of a course grade lies with the instructor. If the chief academic officer is unable to achieve a resolution to the matter, she or he is expected to refer such cases to the Board, if the student desires.

The Academic Appeals Board shall hold closed hearings in which the student and the instructor shall be asked to discuss the complaint and present relevant data. The board shall provide a copy of its decision to the instructor, the student and the chief academic officer. A copy of this report shall be made available to the registrar for attachment to the transcripts, if the student requests this.

The instructor has the right to accept or reject the recommendation of the board and make whatever adjustments she or he deems judicious in light of the board's decision. However, if the instructor does not follow the board's decision, then a notation shall be made on the student's transcript that the grade and/ or charge was successfully challenged.

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Academic Standing Appeals

A student who has been academically dismissed may appeal the decision to the Enrollment Development Committee. This committee includes three to five faculty members who are voting members and the chief academic officer, dean of students, vice president for enrollment management and the registrar, who are nonvoting members.

An appeal of an academic dismissal must document the student's extenuating circumstances and must include specific actions that the student will take to improve his or her academic performance. The appeal must be in writing and must be filed in a timely manner (generally within one week of the official notification of dismissal).

A dismissed student may apply for reinstatement after one semester. In general, a student must demonstrate substantial improvement in his or her academic performance to be reinstated. To do this, a student usually must take courses at another college or university. A written petition for reinstatement must be submitted to the Enrollment Development Committee by August 1 for fall semester re-entry and by January 10 for spring semester re-entry. The petition must include the student's personal assessment of the factors that led to dismissal and what specific actions the student will take to improve his or her academic performance. An academic transcript from any other institutions the student attended while dismissed should be included with the petition. The Enrollment Development Committee determines whether to grant or deny requests for reinstatement and determines the conditions of reinstatement.

A student, in attending Albright College, recognizes the right of the College to dismiss for academic reasons. In all matters pertaining to academic standing, the decisions of the Enrollment Development Committee are final.

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Graduation Requirements Appeals

The Enrollment Development Committee is responsible for making decisions regarding student requests for exceptions to graduation requirements. To file such a request, a student should contact the registrar or the academic dean who will submit the student's request to the Committee. Students should be aware that requests for exceptions to graduation requirements are rarely approved.

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Academic Integrity Policy

Academic integrity is part of the foundation of an academic community. Any violation of the highest standards of academic honesty threatens the trust upon which an academic community is built and is conduct that violates its fundamental principles.

Academic dishonesty is a serious breach of the rules of proper academic conduct. The penalty for the first act of academic dishonesty will be a zero on the piece of work involved or an F in the course, at the discretion of the instructor in consultation with the academic dean as appropriate. A letter describing the incident and the action taken will be sent to the chief academic officer for placement in the student's file. The letter will serve as a record of a first offense, but will be removed from the file upon graduation if no subsequent offense occurs. If a student commits a subsequent offense, the mandatory penalty will be an F in that course, a letter in the file, and a notation on the student's academic record (his or her transcript). A student may be dismissed from the College for any subsequent offense at the discretion of the chief academic officer.

Violations of academic integrity that are not relevant to a course in which the student is or was enrolled at the time of the violation -- for example, enabling others to be academically dishonest in a class in which the student is not enrolled, sabotaging another student's academic work in another class, or vandalism, theft or tampering with regards to data files or equipment -- may be referred to the judicial process administered by the Student Affairs Division and described in The Compass, at the discretion of the Provost . In such cases, documentation provided to Academic Affairs by faculty or others will be forwarded to the Dean of Students. The integrity charge will still originate from Academic Affairs, and the student will be subject to the provisions above concerning a letter to the student’s file, transcript notation, and potential dismissal.

A student found guilty of any academic integrity offense may lose his or her eligibility for college honors and awards.

Academic dishonesty can take many forms. In general, academic dishonesty is any behavior that results in the circumvention of the work required and expected to gain academic credit. For example, writing a paper without using your own thoughts and/or words, claiming participation in an academic requirement in which one did not participate, such as group work or required attendance, and submitting the same work more than once for credit all comprise acts of academic dishonesty. Following are further descriptions of behaviors that are considered academically dishonest. However, students should be aware that this list is not meant to be exhaustive. The fundamental question to always keep in mind is whether the behavior is a means by which to avoid the work required to secure academic credit. If the answer is yes, the behavior constitutes academic dishonesty.

One form of academic dishonesty is taking another person's work and presenting it as one's own. This can result from copying another student's paper, display on a terminal or an exam; using data or information stored in a computer system without explicit authorization or acknowledgement of the author; presenting someone else's ideas or words as one's own in a homework assignment or research paper; and so on.

Plagiarism is a distinct form of academic dishonesty in which a person uses the words or ideas of another without proper acknowledgment. But the definition of plagiarism cannot be satisfactorily stated in a few words, and students are encouraged to consult the handbook approved by the English Department for ENG 101 and 102. Students also are encouraged to consult with faculty members if they wish further clarification. Faculty will endeavor to distinguish between intentional plagiarism and the misuse of sources due to poor attribution skills.

Other examples of academic dishonesty include using unauthorized material or devices on examinations or in preparing for examinations; unauthorized collaboration with others; using information stored in a computer system without explicit authorization and acknowledgement of the author; claiming participation in an academic requirement in which one did not participate; submitting the same work more than once for credit (without express permission); falsifying or fabricating data or sources; denying access to information or materials to other students; sabotaging another student's academic work; enabling others to be academically dishonest, whether one benefits or not; failing to acknowledge assistance from others and its specific results; allowing someone else to do work that one claims as one's own; and knowingly violating the ethical code of a profession for which one is preparing.  Theft and/or damaging of books, periodicals, and other instructional materials (including laboratory equipment) shall be deemed acts of academic dishonesty.  As such, the are subject to monetary penalties and to the same penalties as apply to other such acts of academic dishonesty.

The unauthorized or inappropriate use of college computers or tampering with data files or equipment constitutes academic dishonesty. Plagiarism or violation of proprietary agreements concerning the programs and data of other users will be treated as acts of academic dishonesty. The Policy for Responsible Computing, available at the Computer Center, explains the College's guidelines with respect to computer ethics.

The College and its faculty will endeavor to inform students about what constitutes plagiarism and academic dishonesty, but the ultimate responsibility for adhering to accepted standards of academic behavior rests with the student.

A student who feels that he or she has been unfairly treated in a case of academic dishonesty has the right of appeal to the Academic Appeals Board. The appeals process is described in the "Academic Appeals" section of this catalog.

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Academic Forgiveness

By writing to the Enrollment Development Committee, a student may request that a semester of poor performance be dropped from his or her grade point average. All grades will be retained on the transcript.

The following conditions must be met: The student must provide justifiable reasons for the original poor semester's average; at least two years in nondegree status or academic probation status must have elapsed subsequent to the semester for which forgiveness has been requested, and one of these years must have been spent off campus; and, after return to degree status, the student must have completed at least two successive semesters in full-time study (or eight courses, if a part-time or student) on the Albright campus, at a minimum cumulative GPA level of 2.500. Requests for academic forgiveness are rarely approved.

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Academic Honors

Dean's List: Students who earn a grade point average of 3.750 or above for a minimum of three graded (not Q/NQ) courses in a fall or spring semester are placed on the Dean's Honor List for that semester. Students with an Incomplete grade must receive a grade by March 1 for the fall semester or July 1 for the spring semester to be placed on the Dean's Honor List. (For students who matriculated before the 2005 fall semester, the Dean's List grade point average is 3.50.)

Graduation Honors: Students who have completed at least half of their course work at Albright are eligible for degrees with distinction as follows:

• Summa Cum Laude, 3.850 and above
• Magna Cum Laude, 3.700 to 3.849
• Cum Laude, 3.500 to 3.699

Academic honors do not apply to second degree candidates.

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Academic Standards for Participation in Athletics and Organizations

In order to participate in any Recognized Student Organization (RSO) or intercollegiate athletics team, students must meet minimal academic requirements that are consistent with the academic standing policies of the College. Grade Point Average Requirement. Students must attain the minimum cumulative grade point average (GPA) indicated in the following schedule to participate in RSOs and athletics:

Academic Level Minimum GPA
1st Semester, 1st Year 1.500
2nd Semester, 1st Year 1.700
1st Semester, Sophomore Year 1.900
2nd Semester, Sophomore Year 1.900
1st Semester, Junior Year and all later semesters 2.000

Failure to achieve the minimum GPA will result in eligibility probation. Eligibility probation means that the student, although eligible to participate, will have one semester to raise his or her GPA to the designated minimum level. If this level is not attained, the student will be ineligible to participate in RSOs and athletics. After a student is ineligible to participate, he or she must attain the designated minimum GPA to regain eligibility.

The Faculty Enrollment Development Committee may declare a student ineligible, with no eligibility probation, if the student's GPA is significantly below the required level.

Course Completion Requirement. Fulltime students must successfully complete six courses each academic year to maintain eligibility to participate in RSOs and athletics. A student who fails to successfully complete six courses during an academic year will be ineligible to participate beginning with the next fall semester. Such a student will regain eligibility when he or she has successfully completed the sixth course.

Experience Requirement. Students must complete the Albright Cultural Experience requirement by the end of the sophomore year to maintain eligibility to participate in RSOs and athletics. Failure to do so will result in eligibility probation under which the student will have one semester to complete the requirement. Failure to complete the Experience requirement during the eligibility probation semester may result in ineligibility.

Special Provisions. Ineligibility to participate in RSOs and athletics will take effect at the beginning of the next semester.

Any executive officer of a RSO (E-Board member) or captain of an athletics team must forfeit that position if placed on eligibility probation. Individual RSOs and teams may set and enforce higher standards for participation. The special conditions described in the section on academic standing also apply to these academic standards for participation in RSOs and athletics.

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Academic Standing

A student's academic record is reviewed at the end of each semester to determine if the student is making satisfactory progress toward completing degree requirements. A student who is not making satisfactory progress will be subject to the sanctions described below.

The Faculty Enrollment Development Committee, in consultation with the chief academic officer and the registrar, are responsible for reviewing students' academic records and making decisions regarding their academic standing.

Academic Probation. A student will be placed on academic probation for the next semester if the student did not attain the minimum cumulative GPA indicated in the following schedule:

Academic Level Minimum GPA
1st Semester, 1st Year 1.500
2nd Semester, 1st Year 1.700
1st Semester, Sophomore Year 1.900
2nd Semester, Sophomore Year 1.900
1st Semester, Junior Year and all later semesters 2.000

A student on academic probation who did not attain the minimum cumulative GPA to be removed from probation but who is not subject to academic dismissal will be continued on academic probation for an additional semester.

A student may be placed on academic probation if the student failed or withdrew from all courses during a semester. Such a student is required to meet with a member of the chief academic officers staff before the beginning of the next semester. Failure to do so may result in the student not being permitted to attend classes during the next semester. A student on academic probation for this reason will continue to be on academic probation until he or she attains a 2.000 semester GPA.

A student who does not successfully complete six courses during an academic year may be placed on academic probation. A student on academic probation for this reason will continue to be on academic probation until he or she successfully completes six courses in a 12- month period.

Academic Probation Conditions. A student on academic probation is expected to develop personal strategies to improve his or her academic performance. These strategies should include utilizing appropriate College resources such as the academic adviser, Academic Learning Center, Career Development Center, Counseling Center, workshops, tutoring programs and other support systems. The Enrollment Development Committee will require a student on academic probation to meet certain conditions designed to promote improved academic performance. Such conditions may include, but are not limited to, requiring the student to:

• Repeat courses
• Take a different or reduced course load
• Change the area of concentration
• Attend academic and/or career counseling sessions
• Attain a minimum semester GPA

These conditions also may include declaring the student ineligible to participate in recognized student organizations and intercollegiate athletics.

Experience Probation. A student who did not complete the Experience requirement by the end of the sophomore year may be placed on probation. Such a student will remain on probation until the Experience requirement is completed.

Academic Dismissal. A student will be subject to academic dismissal for the following reasons:

1. The student did not attain a 1.000 GPA during the first semester at Albright.
2. The student is on academic probation and did not satisfy the conditions required by the Enrollment Development Committee.
3. The student has been on academic probation for two consecutive semesters and did not attain the minimum cumulative GPA required to be removed from academic probation. However, the Enrollment Development Committee may decide to continue such a student on academic probation for an additional semester if the student's GPA significantly improved.
4. The student's cumulative GPA is below the minimum required for the student's academic level and the Enrollment Development Committee believes the student is not making satisfactory academic progress. A student does not have to be on academic probation to be dismissed under this category.

Appeals. A student who has been academically dismissed may appeal to the Enrollment Development Committee. Such an appeal must document the student's extenuating circumstances and must be filed in a timely manner (generally within one week of the official notification of dismissal by the College).

Reinstatement. A dismissed student may apply for reinstatement after one semester. A student must demonstrate substantial improvement in his or her academic performance to be reinstated. To do this, a student usually must take courses at another college or university. A written petition for reinstatement must be submitted to the registrar by August 1 for fall semester re-entry and by January 10 for spring semester re-entry. The petition must include the student's personal assessment of the factors that led to dismissal and what the student will do to improve his or her academic performance. Transcripts of academic work taken while dismissed should be included with the petition. The Enrollment Development Committee determines whether to grant or deny requests for reinstatement and determines the conditions of reinstatement.

Special Conditions. The following apply to the policy on academic probation and dismissal:

1. An incomplete grade will be treated as an F in calculating the GPA.
2. The academic level of a transfer student will be determined based on the number of courses attempted at Albright and the number of transfer units. The academic level of a student not on a regular four-year program (e.g. a student who has taken off for a semester) will be determined based on the number of courses attempted.
3. Interim grades are not used in making the initial determination of academic probation and dismissal. If an Interim grade changes a student's GPA so that it would change his or her academic warning or probation status, the appropriate change to the student's status will be made. However, an Interim grade will not change an academic dismissal decision.
4. If a student's GPA changes during the semester due to a grade change or removal of an incomplete so that it would change his or her academic warning or probation status, the appropriate change to the student's status will be made.

A student, in attending Albright College, recognizes the right of the College to dismiss for academic reasons. In all matters pertaining to academic standing, the decisions of the Enrollment Development Committee are final.

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The Albright Cultural Experience

The Albright Cultural Experience is a general studies requirement that must be completed in order to graduate.

A full-time day student must attend 16 events by the end of the sophomore year to complete the Experience requirement. If a student does not complete the requirement by the end of the sophomore year, he or she may be placed on academic probation. A student will be removed from academic probation when he or she attends the 16th event.

A student who transfers to Albright as a sophomore must attend eight events by the end of the sophomore year to complete the Experience requirement. A student who transfers as a junior is not required to complete the Experience requirement.

In case of hardship, a student may petition the Experience Committee for a reduction in required events from 16 to eight; a student also may petition the committee for permission to substitute off-campus cultural events for any or all of those required.

Beginning with the class of 2010, students who complete the Experience requirement by the end of the sophomore year will receive a Quality (Q) grade for the Experience on their transcripts. Students who do not complete the Experience requirement by the end of the sophomore year will receive an Incomplete (I) grade on their transcripts. Students who complete the Experience requirements by the end of their junior year will have the "I" grade replaced by a "Q" grade. Students who do not complete the Experience by the junior year will have the "I" replaced by a Failure (F) grade. The "F" will not be calculated into the Grade Point Average (GPA), but will remain permanently on the transcript. Students who complete the Experience requirement by the end of their senior year will have the Experience listed a second time (as if they took the course a second time) with a "Q" grade. Students who do not complete the Experience events will not graduate.

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Appealing a Grade

A student has the right to initiate an appeal to an instructor's grade which the student regards as unjustified within one week of the beginning of the following fall or spring semester. If the matter cannot be resolved by discussion between the student, instructor, and the instructor's department chair, it should be brought to the chief academic officer, who will consult with the instructor and the department chair. If this procedure does not result in a mutually acceptable solution, the chief academic officer is expected to refer the case to the Academic Appeals Board, if the student desires. The appeals process is described in the "Academic Appeals" section of this catalog. Final determination of the grade is the instructor's prerogative.

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Audit

A student may elect to audit a course, with the approval of the instructor. A student does not receive academic credit for an audited course. The audited course will be listed on the student's record and transcript if the instructor certifies satisfactory attendance in the course. A student may request the Registrar's Office to change a course from audit to credit or credit to audit during the add period. Part-time students will be charged an audit fee.

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Class Attendance

Classes are conducted for the benefit of students, and it is important that students attend regularly and participate in class activities. Each instructor is expected to maintain records of attendance and may ask any student to justify excessive absences.

Attendance requirements vary according to the nature of the instruction offered in the course. Instructors may impose specific attendance requirements; such policies should be explained in the first class meeting. Participation courses are those in which the student is expected to take an active role through discussion or assigned exercises. Attendance in these courses is especially important.

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Commencement

Degrees are conferred at graduation dates in May, August and December of the graduation year. Graduates are expected to attend the commencement ceremonies as scheduled, unless excused by the president. Any student completing graduation requirements after the May, August or December graduation dates (but before the next graduation date) will receive, upon request, a letter from the Registrar indicating successful completion of graduation requirements. The diploma will be dated as of the next graduation date.

A student who is in good academic standing who is no more than two courses short of completing his or her graduation requirements may participate in commencement. Such a student will not be recognized for any graduation honors in the commencement program or at the commencement ceremony. Both a student's overall and major grade point averages must be at least 2.000 for the student to be considered in good academic standing.

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Major

The major may be selected at any time, but should be determined by the spring registration prior to the junior year. A delay in this decision may result in postponement of the student's graduation date.

Each major must include at least one 400-level senior seminar course, or two 400-level courses (one in each area) for a combined major. A cumulative grade point average of 2.000 must be achieved in all required courses for the major and any other courses designated by the department as appropriate for calculation inclusion. For a combined major, a grade point average of 2.000 must be achieved in EACH major.

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Course Change Periods

Students may add courses through the first five class days of the traditional fall and spring semesters with the approval of their adviser and the course instructor.

Students may drop courses through the first 10 class days of the traditional fall and spring semesters with the approval of their adviser and the course instructor. A dropped course does not appear on the student's transcript. The Interim and summer sessions have their own course change periods which are indicated in their course schedule publications. Please see "Withdrawal from Courses" for the policy on withdrawing from a course after the drop period.

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Course Loads

A full-time student is one who is enrolled in at least three courses in any given fall or spring semester. The normal student load consists of no more than four courses in the fall semester, one in the Interim, and four in the spring semester. Students with a 3.000 cumulative grade point average may choose to take five courses during one of the semesters in each of the sophomore, junior and senior academic years. In certain cases, the chief academic officer may approve a fifth course for a student with an average below the minimum grade point average (as stated above) or for a student who wishes to take five courses in the spring semester who has already taken five courses in the previous fall semester.

First-year students cannot take five courses in either semester.

Departments that require five courses a semester because of state or professional accrediting requirements should seek a routine exemption from the chief academic officer for the program. Students in such programs will still require the minimum grade point average for the fifth course, as stated above.

A student is allowed to take only one course during the Interim semester.

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Credit by Examination/CLEP

Credit for any courses not previously scheduled at Albright may be granted on the basis of the student's earning a quality grade on a challenge examination prepared and approved by the department involved. Standards on such examinations correspond to those set for students in the courses offered. Preparation for testing may consist of previous study, traditional course work, or student-initiated self-study. A grade of Q is recorded for a successful challenge examination.

Students may receive credit for up to seven courses (three courses in the concentration and related area, four courses in general studies or electives) achieved through College Level Examination Program (CLEP) Subject Exams. A student must achieve a score of 55 or above to count CLEP credits toward graduation.

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Departmental Distinction

Seniors with at least a 3.250 cumulative grade point average and at least a 3.500 grade point average in the major may pursue Departmental Distinction. Students are encouraged to discuss this option with a departmental advisor no later than the junior year.

In addition to the grade point requirements, students must successfully complete a senior honors project. The Honors Committee determines the specific policies relating to the senior honors project and publishes them in the Honors Guide. The senior honors project is a yearlong independent research project completed in the spring of the senior year. The same project may be submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for both Departmental Distinction and College Honors. Students who earn Departmental Distinction will receive special recognition at graduation. Students should speak with their department chair or advisor about other requirements specific to each department.

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Examinations

Written examinations are given at frequent intervals during the semester, at the discretion of the instructor, and at the end of each semester. If, for a legitimate reason, a student is absent on the day scheduled for an announced examination, the student must initiate a request for the instructor to administer a deferred examination.

Students are expected to take their final examinations as scheduled. Accordingly, students should not make plans to leave campus before the last final examination period.

No student is required to take more than two regularly scheduled final examinations on any one day. Any student who has three or more examinations scheduled on one day is responsible for talking to and submitting a written request for rescheduling to each instructor at least two weeks before the beginning of the first scheduled final examination in order to reach a solution. If none of the instructors agrees to reschedule, the student must contact the chief academic officer at least one week before the beginning of the first scheduled final examination in order to reach a solution.

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Excused Absences Guidelines

Introduction: Balancing Multiple Educational Objectives

The College expects students to attend classes on a regular basis but does not, except for the policies stated below, have official guidelines on class attendance.

Field trips, either as part of an academic course or an activity of a registered student organization (RSO), and athletic events provide a rich and valuable educational experience to our students. While these experiences are encouraged and supported by College resources, they must be balanced by a consideration of the impact on the student's entire education, especially the absence from normally scheduled classes that some activities require. For this reason, the following policy has been developed to guide faculty, students and administrators as they balance these competing pressures.

The general principle of these guidelines is that if a scheduled athletic competition conflicts with a class meeting or event, students should be excused from a class, provided that they adhere to the responsibilities listed below. Excused athletic absences from classes apply only to athletic competitions and not practices. For course field trips and RSO travel, faculty planning the excursion should not expect that an excused absence is automatic from the teaching faculty. The guidelines in this policy should be followed. RSO committee meetings or regularly scheduled student organization meetings do not meet eligibility requirements for excused absences.

Coaches, RSO advisers, and professors should strive to understand the demands on the student's time and resources by practicing open communication and dialog in individual cases. Students should never be placed in a conflict among faculty, RSO advisers and coaches. All parties must seek out the counsel of the athletic director, department chairpersons and academic dean if a mutual adjustment cannot be obtained.

The policy outlined below should not be interpreted to mean that only faculty members are to excuse students from classes. Coaches should also be expected to excuse students from athletic events or practices when there are unique academic programs that are offered at times that conflict with athletic events or practices. The College schedules Experience events, seminars and professional gatherings at times that might conflict with athletic activities. Under certain circumstances, such programs may take precedence over athletic events.

Student Responsibilities: Professional Behavior

Students have the following responsibilities in regard to an excused absence from class or required event for a scheduled athletic competition, required course field trips and RSO travel:

Notify the Professor. The student must personally notify his/her instructor at least one week in advance and in the class just prior to the absence.

Obtain Missed Material. The student is responsible for obtaining all information and materials presented or distributed in the missed classes. All academic assignments and course requirements must be made up from the missed class in a timely manner.

Accept Responsibility. Students should be aware that some in-class work simply cannot be made up. Such activities include, but are not limited to, presentations, class participation, drama performances and foreign language practice. Students are encouraged to discuss the class activities with the professor before making the decision to miss class.

Submit Assignments on Time. The student is responsible for submitting all assignments on time that were assigned prior to the day that the class was missed. A field trip, travel or athletic competition can not be used as an excuse for late submissions. Assignments distributed on the day of the missed class, even if due in the next class period, must be completed on time.

Register Intelligently. Students should schedule their courses each semester to minimize the need to miss classes. Review published athletic schedules before course registration periods. Consult with your academic adviser and coach.

Faculty Responsibilities for Field Trips: Responsible Implementation

Professors who plan field trips have the following responsibilities:

Request Funding Early. If a class field trip requires the expenditure of College funds, permission from the department chair or the academic dean must be obtained prior to planning and announcing the field trip to the students.

Plan Weekend Trips. The faculty member is expected to schedule field trips over the weekend so as not to interfere with students' other courses and commitments. In cases where this is not possible, permission from the academic dean is required. If permission is granted, then faculty member is limited to one weekday field trip per semester for all her/his classes. This latter rule is designed to prevent an individual faculty member from scheduling multiple weekday trips that continually disrupt class schedules. Additional weekend trips are still permitted.

Submit Notification to Dean. The faculty member is to submit a field trip notification to the dean by completing the relevant forms, which can be obtained through the Academic Affairs Office. The notification should be presented to the dean's office three weeks before the trip, except in cases where College funding is requested (see above - "Request Early Funding"). Include on Course Syllabus. The field trip description must be included on the course syllabus including date, required fees, and an alternative assignment if other commitments make attendance on the field trip impossible for the student.

Notify the Faculty. No later than two weeks prior to the trip an e-mail is to be sent to faculty@albright.edu that describes the academic importance of the field trip, the date and time of the trip, the names of the students participating, and a request that the students be excused from courses during the specified date and times.

Faculty Responsibilities in Excused Absences: Transparency in Requirements and Open Communication

Faculty members have the following responsibilities with regard to excused absences from class for athletic events, course field trips and
RSO travel:

Provide Clear Written Policies. The course syllabus should clearly explain the professor's policies with regard to attendance and make up work. These policies should be presented and discussed with the class at the beginning of each semester. There should be a clearly articulated policy on make-up testing and the requirements for attendance at programs not offered during regularly scheduled class hours.

Use Transparent Process. The professor must provide a reasonable and clearly understood mechanism for make up work for excused absences. Such transparency is especially important for testing. The College administration encourages professors to aid the students in completing the material from the missed class. However, school policy does not require that professors provide additional assignments or work for the missed class.

Articulate Late Assignment Policy. The course syllabus should include a clear procedure on the submission of assignments by students with excused absence on the date the assignment is due. Assignments should not be due significantly earlier than the class time or in a way which might penalize the student for early submission.

Notify Parties. When the professor concludes that the student has been absent from an inordinate number of classes due to scheduled athletic events, travel or field trips, the professor should notify both the student and the athletic director (AD) or academic dean in a timely manner. The professor is strongly urged to notify the assistant academic dean, who is responsible for academic support services, if continued absences will be likely to affect adversely the student's performance and grade. Faculty members should exercise diligence to insure that the impact of early morning or late evening training activities does not adversely impinge on the student's ability to attend classes. Concerns should be brought to the attention of the AD.

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Grades and Academic Reports

Evaluation of student progress is made at both mid-semester and at the end of the semester. At mid-semester, all grades are reported to firstyear students and only non-quality grades (D, F, NQ, and I) are reported to upperclass students. Grade reports are sent to the students at their home addresses at the end of each semester. To designate the degree of scholastic achievement the following grades are used: A (superior); B (above average); C (average); D (below average); F (failure); and I (incomplete). Albright uses plus-minus qualifiers to indicate work at the upper or lower end of each letter grade range; C-, D+, D, and D- are considered below average. Allowing flexibility for the instructor, the approximate numerical equivalents for these grades are:

• 90 and above, A
• 80-89, B
• 70-79, C
• 60-69, D
• below 60, F.

For purposes of determining a student's grade point average, each grade is assigned a quality point value.

•A+/A=4
•A-=3.67
•B+=3.33
•B=3
•B-=2.67
•C+=2.33
•C=2
•C-=1.67
•D+=1.33
•D=1
•D-=0.67
•F=0

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Grade Changes

Instructors have the discretion to change grades. A grade becomes final and cannot be changed six months after the end of the semester in which the grade was received, unless approved by the chief academic officer.

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Grades of Incomplete

A grade of Incomplete indicates that the student's work is satisfactory but that completion of some requirement has been prevented by unusual circumstances. A request for Incomplete will be considered in the last few weeks of the semester until grades are submitted. The student will complete the Request for Incomplete Grade form with the instructor and submit the signed form to the Registrar's Office. The responsibility for communicating to an instructor a request for an Incomplete rests with the student, and when no such communication occurs, the instructor is expected to give the final grade most appropriate to the work actually completed. An instructor may petition for an Incomplete grade on a student’s behalf only if the student is unable to complete the request for medical or other compelling reasons.

The student is expected to complete the required work so that a final grade can be submitted by the instructor within 30 days after the beginning of the next fall or spring semester. If a grade is not submitted by this time, the incomplete grade will be changed to a failing (F) grade. Any extension of an Incomplete beyond this time must have the approval of the instructor and the chief academic officer.

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Harassment Policy

As a place of work and learning for staff, faculty, students, and their guests, Albright College nurtures respect for the individual within a communal environment, one that encourages each of its members to develop his or her full potential.

To preserve this environment, the College will not tolerate harassment of any kind. Harassment is defined as verbal or physical conduct which has the intent or effect of interfering with an individual's or group's educational and/or work performance at Albright, or conduct that creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive educational and work environment on- or offcampus. Such behavior undermines the atmosphere of trust essential to the academic enterprise and represents a failure of professional ethics. Harassment on the basis of race, color, sex, religion, national origin, sexual orientation or disability includes harassment of an individual in terms of stereotyped group characteristics. In addition to violating the rights of an individual, harassment is inconsistent with the policies and interests of the College, including the preservation of academic freedom, an element at the core of the College's mission. The complete text of the Sexual Harassment Policy is found in The Compass.

Any member of the Albright community who believes that he or she has been harassed is encouraged to raise the issue with the affirmative action officer in the Human Resources Office, the dean of students, the provost or the president.

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International Students-Special Requirements

The College offers a sequence of courses designed to enhance the learning experience of international students and students who are not native speakers of English. These courses provide students with the language proficiency, study skills and cultural understanding they need to be successful students at Albright. Non-native speakers of English are placed in these courses based on their results on an English placement exam.  They must successfully complete the following courses by the end of the sophomore year:

• SPI 101 American English Usage I (general studies foreign language)
• SPI 102 American English Usage II (general studies foreign language)

Students must pass SPI 101 and 102 before taking ENG101 or ENG102 or the First-Year Seminar. A student may be exempted from taking these courses by the English Department. Failure to complete these courses as required may result in the student not being allowed to return to Albright.

 

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Major

The major may be selected at any time, but should be determined by the spring registration prior to the junior year. A delay in this decision may result in postponement of the student's graduation date.

Each major must include at least one 400-level senior seminar course, or two 400-level courses (one in each area) for a combined major. A cumulative grade point average of 2.000 must be achieved in all required courses for the major and any other courses designated by the department as appropriate for calculation inclusion. For a combined major, a grade point average of 2.000 must be achieved in EACH major.

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Non-Traditional Studies

Under the direction of the Enrollment Development Committee, students may receive credit (with a grade of Q) for certain kinds of study outside the course structure. In each major, the faculty may approve a maximum of two courses for previous vocational experience.

Students also may earn credit for allied or cocurricular activities. Petitions to the Committee must be submitted prior to or very early into a designated experience; that activity must be accompanied by supplementary reading and a writing project. The whole project must have the approval of the supervising instructor, the department of the College if appropriate, and the Committee. In some instances, credit also may be granted for performance in the arts. A fee is charged. Grades of Q are recorded.

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Quality/Non-Quality

The designation of Quality/Non-Quality (Q/NQ Grade) has been devised to encourage students to take interesting and challenging courses outside their general area of knowledge. Quality work is C- or better; non-quality work is D+ or less. A student must request this grade designation during the fourth week of a fall or spring semester, or the eighth day of an Interim or summer session. The grades Q and NQ are not counted in the cumulative average; both the Q and NQ grades, however, do appear on the student's transcript. The student may reverse the Q/NQ designation and request to take the final grade earned, but to do so must inform the Registrar's Office of this reversal before the date on which a course withdrawal would automatically result in a WF grade.  Reversing the designation may occur only once per course and applies only to courses not offered Q/NQ only.

In addition to any courses offered Q/NQ only, no more than three courses may be registered for Q/NQ; Q/NQ options may be used in the general studies area and for electives, but not in the major. Students are limited to one Q/NQ course in each of the sophomore, junior and senior years. Any course first elected as Q/NQ and later reversed will count toward the maximum number allowed.

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Repeating a Course

A student may repeat a course in which he or she received a grade of D+, D, D-, F, WF, or NQ. When a course is repeated, it counts only once for credit to the degree. Only the highest grade is included in the calculation of the cumulative grade point average. Each grade appears on the academic transcript. The course must be repeated at Albright for this policy to apply.

In general, a student may not repeat a course in which he or she received a grade of C- or higher. However, a student may repeat such a course with the permission of the adviser and approval of the academic dean. In such case, both the original grade and the second grade are included in the cumulative grade point average.

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The Society of Jacob Albright Scholars

Members-In-Course - During an annual ceremony, those returning full-time upperclass students who possess a cumulative grade point average of 3.850 or above will be inducted as members-in-course of the society, and identified as Jacob Albright Scholars. This membership-in-course and the accompanying designation is for one year, and is subject to renewal.

Members - During the annual commencement ceremonies, those graduating seniors who have completed at least half of their course work at Albright and who possess a cumulative grade point average of 3.850 or above will be inducted as members in the society and will be designated as Jacob Albright Scholars for life.

Note:  The 3.850 Grade Point Average is effective with the Class of 2017.  For previous Classes, the Grade Point Average was 3.700.

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Standard Program

The standard program for full-time day students consists of eight regular semesters.

Students may take up to two Interim courses to fulfill the 32 course graduation requirement. Senior year work must be taken at Albright College as a full-time student. All students are expected to take major courses on the Albright campus. Transfer students must complete a minimum of 16 courses at Albright.

Bachelor's degree holders may earn an additional Albright degree by completing at least eight courses (in a new full major); such students must satisfy general studies and major requirements.

No student is eligible for the degree until all obligations to the College have been met. The student also must be in good standing under the Student Code of Conduct as administered through the judicial system of the College.

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Study at Other Institutions

Current Albright students can transfer to Albright courses taken only from accredited degree-granting institutions. Any exceptions to this policy will be determined by the academic departments involved and the academic dean.

Only courses in which a student earns a grade of C- or better will be transferred to Albright. No more than four courses can be transferred. The grades earned in transfer courses will not be counted in the Albright grade point average. Albright’s Adult Degree Program does not accept transfer courses for major credit due to the cohort-based model of its Degree Completion Program.

In the case of non-major courses, students must obtain preliminary approval to take a course at another academic institution from the Registrar's Office. The Registrar will use academic standards and guidelines provided by the academic departments in granting preliminary approval for a transfer course. Preliminary approval does not guarantee that transfer credit will be granted. Final approval for transfer credit will be granted only when Albright receives an official transcript from the other institution and any other materials that may be requested to establish the nature and transferability of the course, for example a syllabus indicating expected learning outcomes.

In the case of major courses, students must obtain preliminary approval to take a course at another academic institution from both the chair of the academic department in which course credit is sought and from the Registrar's Office. Preliminary approval does not guarantee that transfer credit will be granted. Final approval for transfer credit will be granted only when Albright receives an official transcript from the other institution and any other materials requested to establish the nature and transferability of the course.

Academic departments will use appropriate academic standards in the evaluation of transfer work. This may include, but is not limited to, the evaluation of a course syllabus and expected learning outcomes, other course materials, student work, and the administration of an examination by the department. If major courses are involved, the recommendation of the major's department chair is required.

Students transferring to Albright from other institutions are governed by the above regulations once they are degree students at Albright. Transfer students must complete at least 16 courses at Albright to earn an Albright degree and they may be required to complete more than 16 courses in order to fulfill specific general studies and/or major requirements.

Courses taken in approved Study Abroad programs or in approved domestic Off-Campus Study semester-long programs (such as the Washington Center or the National Theatre Institute) are treated as Albright courses for the requirement that transfer students must complete at least 16 courses at Albright.  They are also treated as Albright courses for the requirement that current students can take no more than four courses at other institutions.

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Transfer Policies

Grades achieved at another institution by a student transferring to Albright do not count toward the cumulative average at Albright College. While the approved courses will count toward graduation, only the grades received while registered at Albright will determine the cumulative average. Transfer students must complete a minimum of 16 Albright courses to become an Albright graduate.

In general, students will receive credit for courses from accredited colleges or universities in which they earned a grade of C- or better and that are comparable to Albright's offerings.

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Withdrawal from College

Students are expected to be enrolled continuously from their initial enrollment through graduation. Understanding that unexpected events may occur, the College allows for a student to request a full withdrawal.  Albright College reserves the right to initiate or mandate withdrawal and reserves the right to defer or refuse readmission. References in this policy to “withdrawal” refer to full withdrawal from all courses.

The following types of withdrawal are addressed in this policy:  voluntary, voluntary medical, and mandated medical.  Issues of Community Standards violations or academic dismissals will be handled by the appropriate department.  

Voluntary Withdrawal Policy  A student who wishes to leave the College for personal reasons may request a withdrawal. A withdrawn student is no longer considered a degree candidate; he/she may not remain living in residence on campus, and may not participate in College activities as an enrolled student.

Procedure:

  • To initiate a withdrawal, a student must acquire a Student Withdrawal Form from the VP of Student Affairs/Dean of Students’ Office and arrange for an exit interview.
  • Depending on the student’s reason for withdrawal, approval from certain departments may be necessary.  This will be determined through the exit interview process. 
  • Once the exit interview and necessary approvals are obtained, the withdrawal form should be returned to the VP for Student Affairs/Dean of Students’ Office.
  • For the non-resident student, withdrawal will be in effect when this form is completed and returned to the VP for Student Affairs/Dean of Students’ Office.
  • For the resident student, withdrawal will be in effect when the student’s room has been vacated and the completed form is returned to the VP for Student Affairs/Dean of Students’ Office. 
  • Note:  Non-attendance in class is not to be assumed as withdrawal. Grades for courses from which there has been no official withdrawal will reflect the student’s academic performance and work completed.
  • To return to Albright, a withdrawn student must contact the Admission Office and reapply for admission. The College reserves the right to refuse readmission.

 Voluntary Medical Withdrawal  All requests for medical withdrawals require the recommendation of the College's Health or Counseling care providers.

 Procedure:

  • Students seeking a medical withdrawal must file a request by completing the Student Withdrawal Form from the VP for Student Affairs/Dean of Students’ Office. A letter from the physician or clinical psychologist must accompany the application.
  • The student will be allowed to register for classes again only after the health center and/or counseling center has authorized a return to classes. 
  • If a student has taken coursework at another institution after withdrawal, he/she may need to reapply as a transfer student through the Admission office.
  • A student seeking readmission after a voluntary medical withdrawal should contact the office of the VP for Student Affairs/Dean of Students’ Office.
  • Readmission will require providing relevant medical information to Health and Counseling Services such as Certification by the student’s physician or psychologist that the student is able to attend classes.  Return to the College may be contingent upon signing a behavioral contract. Such contracts may require the student to acknowledge that certain behaviors are proscribed.

Mandated Withdrawal Policy  A key component of Albright College’s mission is to provide a safe residential learning community where students are able to pursue their academic and social goals. The College may require a student to withdraw from the college if reason exists for the College to believe the student’s continued presence on campus poses a significant threat to self or to others or to the stability and continuance of normal college operations.

 Typically, a Mandated Medical or Psychological Withdrawal will arise from a student exhibiting acute or persistent health or behavioral problems, despite having been offered or provided with reasonable accommodations, such as those made in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act. The College may initiate the Mandated Medical or Psychological Withdrawal process if, in the judgment of the Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students, a student:

  • Engages or threatens to engage in behavior that poses a danger of harm to self or others, causes significant property damage, or substantially affects the health or safety of others.
  • Interferes with or disrupts the operations, activities, or functions of the College or fails to comply with the behavioral requirements of a College official in the performance of his/her duty with regard to the College’s commitments to both the individual and the community.

Procedure:

  • Any individual who believes that a student meets the criteria described above should contact the VP for Student Affairs/Dean of Students.

  • The office of the VP for Student Affairs/Dean of Students will conduct a preliminary investigation and, if necessary, consult with Academic Affairs, Counseling Services, or other appropriate offices. The student may be required to undergo assessment by a medical/psychological provider identified by the Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students. If the student fails to complete this assessment, the VP for Student Affairs/Dean of Students may implement a Mandated Medical or Psychological Withdrawal immediately.

  • If a Mandated Medical or Psychological Withdrawal is implemented, the terms of the leave will be communicated to the student in writing.

  • The decision of the VP for Student Affairs/Dean of Students concerning a Mandated Medical or Psychological Withdrawal is final.

  • A student seeking readmission after a Mandated Medical or Psychological Withdrawal should contact the office of the VP for Student Affairs/Dean of Students.

  • Readmission will require providing relevant medical information to Health and Counseling Services, including certification by the student’s physician or psychologist that the student is able to attend classes.

  • The VP for Student Affairs/Dean of Students has the authority to make the final decision regarding return to the College, including return to activities and residential life, and may determine additional criteria for a student to return.

  • Return to the College may be contingent upon signing a behavioral contract. Such contracts may require the student to acknowledge that certain behaviors are proscribed and that if they reoccur, withdrawal from the College will be mandated.

  • Occasionally, a student is released within hours or within a day or two of entering a hospital. If the student lives on campus, he/she must find alternative accommodations off campus until his or her case is reviewed and readmission is approved.

  • In no case will the student be permitted to attend classes or dining hall meals or participate in extracurricular activities until the review assessment has been completed.

Institutional Refund Policy Students must consult with the Financial Aid Office and the Student Accounts Office prior to withdrawal from college. Refund of any financial aid is determined by the Financial Aid Office in accordance with federal regulations. Refund of any College fees is determined by Student Account Office procedures.

The Student Accounts Office will not issue any refunds without written documentation of withdrawal.  Oral communication or failure to report to class is not considered formal notification of withdrawal and, therefore, no refund will be given.

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Withdrawal from Courses

With the adviser's approval, a student may withdraw from one course at any time throughout the semester after the drop period. Withdrawal without penalty is allowed up to one week after mid-term grades are issued. The designation in this case is W (Withdrawn) and is so noted on the student's record. Withdrawal from a course in the period after the above date and three weeks prior to the beginning of final examinations will result in the student's receiving a W or a WF (Withdrawn Failing) at the discretion of the instructor.

Any student withdrawing from a course in the last three weeks of a semester automatically receives a WF, except for reasons of illness or other dire circumstances as determined by the provost. The grade of WF is counted as an F in computing the student's cumulative average. Grades of F are recorded for courses from which there has been no official withdrawal. Official withdrawal requires that a withdrawal form be submitted to the Registrar's Office.

Financial aid recipients should consult with the Financial Aid Office when considering course withdrawal.

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