2008-2009 Grading and Academic Standards
Students are classified by the Registrar’s Office at the beginning of each semester. Class standing is determined as follows:
Westminster uses the following grades for the mid-semester and semester grade reports:
Grades of NC, W, AU, T, UW and I yield no credit toward graduation and are not computed in the grade point average.
Grades of NC or I may not be used to replace any previous grade for a course.
“T” grades are intended to be a short-term, temporary grade to clear the registration for a given term and should only be used for senior projects, graduate or undergraduate thesis work, flight training courses, continuing registration coursework, and internships that require a very short extension only. “T” grades should be resolved and replaced with regular grades within one week of the end of the term except in the case of flight training courses. “T” grades are not intended to take the place of an incomplete grade when the student meets the criteria for an incomplete and should not be used for regular coursework when the student has failed to take a final examination or turn in final coursework that would otherwise result in a lowered grade.
Grade Points and Grade Point Average
A student’s academic standing is expressed by a grade point average. Grade points are assigned as shown below:
Calculating the Grade Point Average: The grade point average (GPA) is determined by dividing the sum of grade points earned by the total number of hours earned. All hours taken at Westminster are counted except those for which a mark of CR, NC, W, AU, T, UW, or I is recorded. Hours transferred from other academic institutions count for credit only; they do not count in the grade point average.
Changes to final grades submitted to the Registrar’s Office are only made in the case of instructor error and require the signatures of the instructor, the dean of the appropriate school, and the Provost.
Grade reports are available on WebAdvisor at the end of each semester or term. Individual course grade rosters are not posted. Students needing additional copies of grade reports for reimbursement programs or other verifications may obtain additional copies from the Registrar’s Office.
Credit/No Credit Option
Students may elect to take a maximum of two courses that would normally require letter grades on a credit/no credit basis. Courses taken in this way may not be applied to majors or minors. Students who declare a major or minor in a given subject after having taken a course in that subject on a credit/no credit basis may be required by their major or minor department to retake the course for a letter grade.
There are no limits on Westminster courses that are offered exclusively on a credit/no credit basis, and, when they occur in majors or minors, they may be used in those majors or minors.
Students who take courses credit/no credit must perform work at the level of C- or higher to receive credit. Grades of credit/no credit are not included in GPA calculations.
The grade of Incomplete (I) is a temporary mark given for coursework of acceptable quality which students, through no fault of their own, are unable to complete; it is not given for neglected work. A grade of Incomplete also indicates that more than three-fourths of the work of the course has been completed. Coursework must be completed within six weeks of the start of the following fall or spring semester (see deadlines posted in the Academic Calendar). Under certain circumstances, students may petition instructors to have completion deadlines extended to, at the latest, the end of the semester in which incomplete grades are due. If the work is not completed by the end of the period specified, the temporary mark is changed to the grade indicated by the instructor, or if no grade has been indicated the mark is changed to an F. When coursework in which a student has received an Incomplete has been made up, the final grade is entered with I and the letter grade (for example, IA).
Ordering Official Transcripts
Upon written request, official transcripts are available in the Registrar’s Office to students who have no outstanding obligations to the college. (Unofficial informational transcripts for current students are available in the Registrar’s Office and on the web [WebAdvisor] regardless of outstanding obligations.) There is no charge for transcripts.
Students may elect to audit courses at Westminster according to the guidelines listed in the Academic Policies and Procedures section of this catalog. Courses that are entered on students’ permanent records as audited (AU) earn no credit and fulfill no requirements.
Only the grade and credit hours for the most recent taking of a repeated course are entered into computations of students’ grade point averages and counted toward graduation—in other words, the hours and grade points cannot be used or counted twice.
Repeated course grades on student transcripts are marked by an R in front of the final grade.
Note: Some courses, such as HPW courses and some music courses such as Griffin Chorus, are designated as repeatable courses and are so noted in the individual course descriptions. These courses will count in the hours and the GPA more than one time.
After at least one semester’s grades have been posted, a currently enrolled undergraduate student may petition the Registrar in writing for academic renewal. This is a procedure which allows students to request that their academic records be reviewed for the purpose of discounting for grade point average computation all courses bearing grades of D+ or lower and entered on the academic record ten or more calendar years prior to the request. Under this procedure, courses meeting the criteria do not count toward the total hours, upper division hours, or liberal education hours needed for graduation.
The renewal option can be used only once during a student’s undergraduate career. This procedure does not apply to graduate students or students pursuing a second undergraduate degree.
The academic standing of each undergraduate student is determined by examining records at the end of fall semester, spring semester, and summer terms. (Requirements for students in the masters programs are outlined under the individual graduate program in this catalog.) Students must earn the minimum semester grade point average shown below to be in good academic standing at the college.
* This policy is intended to aid first time students and does not apply to students who have been awarded transfer hours from other institutions.
Students failing to achieve good academic standing are placed on academic probation. While on academic probation, students may register for no more than 13 credit hours, may not register for an internship, and may participate in only one curricular or extracurricular activity, unless additional activity is required for the major and is approved by the program director. Curricular activities include choir, drama, and journalism. Extracurricular activities include student government and students on academic probation are not eligible to participate in college athletics.
Students who meet semester grade point average requirements, but not cumulative grade point average requirements, may be considered for continued probationary status rather than suspension if the term grade point average shows substantial progress toward meeting all grade point average requirements. To be returned to good standing, students must have a 2.0 semester and cumulative grade point average. This applies only to fall semester, spring semester, and summer terms.
Students who fail to earn the minimum grade point average required for good standing during a probationary semester are suspended from the college. Students may not register for any classes while suspended and must remain out of the college for one or more regular semesters. To be readmitted, students must appeal for readmission.
Appeals for Readmission
A student must petition the Appeals Committee for readmission before the beginning of the semester that the student wishes to attend. If the student feels extenuating circumstances contributed to the failure to meet minimum grade point averages, he or she may choose to appeal for readmission immediately following the suspension; however, if the committee finds that extenuating circumstances did not exist, the appeal for readmission is denied and the student must remain out of the college for one or more regular semesters before again appealing for readmission.
Appeals Procedure for Readmission
To appeal for readmission, a student must submit a letter to the Director of Academic and Career Development giving evidence that the student feels supports his or her request. The student is also encouraged to request a letter from his or her academic advisor or other faculty member in support of the appeal. The student is notified of the Appeals Committee meeting and is given an opportunity to present his or her case in person. Decisions of the Appeals Committee are final.
A student readmitted through the appeals procedure is placed on continued probation. If the student has been out of the college for more than three regular semesters, he or she must also submit an application for readmission to the Admissions Office.
Admission and Retention in Academic Programs
Supplemental applications for admission and standards for retention are established by the faculties of some programs, and students may be excluded from a program for cause, as outlined in the appropriate sections of this academic catalog.
Students have the right to appeal or petition an academic decision. For the appeals procedure to be followed after suspension, see Appeals Procedure for Readmission. For other appeals or petitions, the student must make the appeal or petition, in writing, in accordance with the applicable school or program procedure. Please see the appropriate dean or program director for a copy of the procedure. Written appeals must be submitted during the first three weeks into the next semester and must include documentary evidence that the student feels has a bearing upon the request.
A faculty committee from the school involved reviews the appeal. The student may be present at the hearing. The decision of the faculty appeals committee will be reported to the student within five school days of the date of the hearing.
If the decision of the faculty committee is not acceptable to the student, the student may file a written appeal with the Academic Grievance Committee within five school days of notification of the faculty decision. The Academic Grievance Committee is made up of the Academic Vice President, the Dean of Students, and the Academic Deans, except the one whose school is involved in the appeal. All materials included in the faculty’s deliberations, including the student’s written appeal and the proceedings of the faculty hearing, are made available to the Academic Grievance Committee and become part of the proceedings. The hearing before the Academic Grievance Committee will be held within fifteen school days of receiving the written appeal. The student may be present at the appeal hearing. The student and faculty representatives may call members of the college as supporting witnesses. The decision of the Academic Grievance Committee is reported to the student within five school days of the date of the hearing.
Decisions of the Academic Grievance Committee are final.
Students have the right to continue their enrollment and participation in programs until final decisions are reached. Failure of students to file appeals within specified time limits is considered acknowledgment of the action without intent to appeal.
Westminster College of Salt Lake City operates on the assumption that all academic work is the honest product of each student’s own endeavors. The faculty and staff at Westminster expect such integrity from the students, and violations are cause for disciplinary action, including suspension, probation, loss of credit, or expulsion from the college.
Academic dishonesty includes, but is not limited to, cheating, plagiarism, and furnishing false or misleading information to any faculty or staff member.
Cheating on examinations includes, but is not restricted to, copying from another student’s exam paper, using unauthorized notes during an exam, arranging for a substitute to take an examination, or giving or receiving unauthorized information prior to an exam.
Cheating on written assignments includes plagiarism, unauthorized collaboration with others or submitting the same material for more than one class without authorization of the instructor.
Plagiarism includes borrowing information or ideas, whether directly quoted or paraphrased, from any source beyond one’s first-hand experience and not acknowledging the source. The student must give credit for the material by identifying the source, using one of the generally accepted citation methods.
Initially, sanctions are the responsibility of the class instructor. The instructor may simply reprimand the student, or may demand the work be repeated, or may give a failing grade for the assignment or exam in question, or may give a failing grade in the entire course. In each case, a short report of the incident will be filed with the appropriate academic dean.
In the case of repeated or more serious violations, the faculty member may recommend to the dean that the student be put on probation, suspended, or expelled from the college. The dean’s recommendation will then be sent to the Dean of Students.
Students may appeal such decisions to the Academic Grievance Committee. In the case of an appeal, the student has the right to be present at the hearing and refute the charges. A written copy of the decision will be distributed to all involved parties within 72 hours of the hearing.