Academic Responsibility | Albright College

Academic Responsibility

 


A. 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 by the instructor to the student with a copy to the chief academic officer. Academic Affairs will then send a notice to the student and to the Registrar 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 and a letter in the file. A student may be dismissed from the College for a second or subsequent offense at the discretion of the chief academic officer, in which case a notation will be placed on the student’s academic record (his or her transcript) noting only the fact of dismissal.

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, at the discretion of the provost.

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 another person’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, they 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.

Back to Top


B. 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.

  1. 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:

  • 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 twelve-month period.

  1. 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 major
  • 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.
  1. 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).

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

 

Back to Top


C. Academic Appeals

  1. 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 (ADP), 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 the student will have a choice as to whether the original transcript notation will be removed or whether another notation shall be added to the student’s transcript stating that the grade and/ or charge was successfully challenged.

  1. 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.

  1. 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 non-degree 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 grade point average (GPA) level of 2.500. Requests for academic forgiveness are rarely approved.

  1. 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.

 

Back to Top


D. 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.

Back to Top


E. Academic Standards for Participation in Athletics and Registered Student Organizations (RSO)

1.   Grade Point Average Requirement 

a.    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. 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

b.    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.

c.    The Faculty Enrollment Development Committee may declare a student ineligible, with no prior probation, should the student’s GPA fall significantly below the required standard.

2.   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.

 3.   Experience Events 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.

4.    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.

Back to Top


F.  Guidelines for Excused Absences for Course Field Trips, Scheduled Athletic Events and Registered Student Organization (RSO) Travel

1.    Introduction: Balancing Multiple Educational Objectives
The College expects students to attend classes on a regular basis, however attendance is defined for the course’s mode of instruction. The policies stated below offer official guidelines on class attendance in cases of field trips, athletic events, and relevant disability accommodation.

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.

2.   Student Responsibilities: Professional Behavior
Students have the following responsibilities with regard to an excused absence from class or required event for a scheduled athletic competition, required course field trips and RSO travel:

a.     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.

b.     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.

c.     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.

d.     Submit Assignments on Time. The student is responsible for submitting on time all assignments that were assigned prior to the day that the class was missed. A field trip, travel or athletic competition cannot 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.

e.     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.

3.     Faculty Responsibilities for Field Trips: Responsible Implementation
Professors who plan field trips have the following responsibilities:

a.   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.

b.   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.

c.     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.

d.     Notify the Faculty. No later than two weeks prior to the trip an email 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.

4.     Faculty Responsibilities in Excused Absences: Transparency in Requirements and Open Communication
Faculty members have the following responsibilities:

a.     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 participation in events or programs not scheduled during regular class hours.

b.     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. School policy does not require that professors provide additional assignments or work for the missed class.

c.     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. In the case of late assignments due to a qualifying, accommodated disability, the instructor and student should work with the disability office.

d.     Notify Parties. When the professor concludes that the student has been or is at risk of being absent from an inordinate number of classes due to scheduled athletic events, travel, field trips, or accommodated disability, the professor should notify both the student and the relevant staff member (athletic director (AD), academic dean, student affairs staff, or director of disability services) in a timely manner. If faculty members have concerns that the impact of athletic training activities affect a student’s ability of attend class, they should communicate them to the athletic director and dean.

Back to Top