Undergraduate Students

Undergraduate Handbook

Academic Discipline

What is the minimum grade point average I need to have to be in good academic standing?

To be in good academic standing, a student must have a term grade point average and a cumulative grade point average of 2.5 or higher.

How often are grade points reviewed?

At the end of each term, Assistant Dean Joann McDaniel reviews the records of all students and determines what academic action, if any, is needed.

What happens if my grade point falls below 2.5?

We get worried. Since the average GPA is above a 3.0, making a C or lower in a course is not good work. Making several of them (or worse — D’s) in a term means that you’re having some big problems. We don’t want to kick you out of school. We want to help you fix the problems.

What is academic probation?

Probation is not punitive. We’re not interested in punishing you. Being on probation signals to you and us that you’re not doing well. It’s a warning. Academic probation is assigned to students whose term grade point average falls below 2.5 and/or who earn a grade below a C- in a required course. Students on probation are required to meet with an academic advisor to plan a way to solve the problems so the student can do good work. And no, you don’t get to choose.

The notation of “Probation” will appear on the student’s unofficial transcript.

By the way, Assistant Dean Joann McDaniel notifies students of their probation by email. Email? Not again! Yes, again.

What is “Probation Continued?”

You’re still on probation because you improved some but not enough. Bring that GPA up faster. Probation Continued is assigned to a student currently on probation who earns a term grade point average above a 2.5 but whose cumulative grade point average remains below 2.5. Probation Continued may also be assigned if a probationary student has a term average of above 2.5, but is not yet determined to be making satisfactory progress toward fulfilling degree and program requirements. That’s really rare. The notation of Probation Continued will appear on the student’s unofficial transcript. The Assistant Dean notifies students by email that their probation has been continued. No surprise there.

What is “Record Clear?”

You’re off probation, you’re back on track, and we’re all happy for you.

Record Clear officially confirms the removal of probation. The notation of “Record Clear” will appear on the student’s unofficial transcript.

In order to clear probation a student must have solved the problems that started it all. Sometimes that means just improving your grades and sometimes it means meeting certain standards set up in your plan to get off probation. The bottom line is that Record Clear means you have stopped digging yourself into a hole; you are now out of the hole and looking around at clear sky in fresh air. Congratulations! Assistant Dean Joann McDaniel notifies students by email that their record is clear.

Now, I’m scared! Tell me the difference between Suspension and Dismissal.

Assistant Dean Joann McDaniel, with the approval of the Associate Dean, assigns suspension when a student’s overall academic performance or performance during a single term indicates evidence of serious academic difficulty or when a student has failed to make satisfactory progress toward a degree. Translation: if you really mess up and your problems are going to take some time to solve, we don’t want you to waste your time and money making bad grades and bad decisions, destroying your academic record beyond redemption. No point in paying to be miserable. Suspension is intended to encourage students to address the issues that have negatively affected their academic performance without incurring further harm to their academic record.

The Assistant Dean notifies students of their suspension by email, and requests to meet with them. The email will contain the terms of the suspension, the process for reinstatement, and the length of the suspension. Suspension is assigned for a specific period, usually one year.

Dismissal is assigned when a student’s progress through the curriculum is no longer viable. This means you get dismissed when there’s nothing more we can do for you. Dismissal is permanent.

Both suspension and dismissal are noted on the student’s official transcript as “Not in Good Academic Standing.”

Students have 72 hours to respond to a decision of suspension or dismissal. Students who wish to appeal either suspension or dismissal must send a written appeal statement to the School’s Appeal Manager within the first 72 hours of notification (see the Appeals section for more information).

Can I be reinstated after a suspension period?

Yes, of course. This happens all the time. Students who wish to be reinstated at the end of their term of suspension must meet with Assistant Dean Joann McDaniel six weeks before the starting date of the term in which they hope to return. The successful student must address all circumstances that affected his/her past academic performance and be ready to demonstrate how he/she has learned to manage similar circumstances with greater success. This is a process of learning to recognize adversity to deal with it effectively. Identify the problem and fix it. Simple.

In reaching a decision, the Assistant Dean will carefully consider the student’s academic promise and any special circumstances that may have contributed to past unsatisfactory academic performance, and will consult with the Associate Dean.

Academic work completed elsewhere when a student is on suspension cannot be transferred back to the University. When you come back, you’ll be on probation for the first semester and we may ask you to take a restricted course load. We do not want you to fail.