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Academic Policy Changes

Academic Policies Changed and Effective for the 2020-2021 Academic Year

This page contains a short explanation of academic policy changes each academic year, what students, faculty, and academic advisers need to know about those changes, and provides a short rationale for why these changes were made.

Links to the current policy and its location in the Catalog are also provided.

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Location in the Catalog

I.     Probation and Suspension Policy

Academic Standards

II.    Credit for Prior Learning

Programs, Courses, and Credits

III.    Final Exam Policy

New section
IV.    Additional Changes

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I. Probation and Suspension Policy

What's changed?
  • The suspension process will occur twice a year at the end of each regular term (fall and spring).
  • Students will be suspended for the first time at the end of the third term for which they have an overall GPA that is less than 2.00.
    • This means that freshmen can only be suspended, at the earliest, at the end of their third full term.
  • First and second suspensions are for one year; the third suspension is for three years (before: one semester, one year, five years).
  • Probation contracts are mandatory.
Why did we make this change?
  • To eliminate "surprise" suspensions due to students only being suspended in the spring.
  • To support students who struggle early in their academic career and have the ability to make consequential improvement to their GPA.
  • To ensure that academic suspension is an effective sanction.
  • To increase the transparency and clarity necessary for probationary students to succeed.

II. Credit for Prior Learning

What's changed?

  • Degree programs will now have the ability to grant credit for transcripted learning experiences like professional certifications and training.
    • Students will need to present their documented credential to their academic adviser and work with their degree program to determine if their credential can be awarded credit for that particular program.
Why did we make this change?
  • To facilitate degree completion for students with these kinds of experiences.

III. Final Exam Policy

What's changed?

  • Rules governing giving substantial examinations or quizzes during the last week of regular classes (preceding finals week) were changed so that faculty can only give exams or quizzes that cover less than 20% of the course content AND for which they intend to provide meaningful feedback to students prior to the final examination for the course.
Why did we make this change?
  • To support faculty in providing more low-stakes assessments in their courses.
  • To increase student success in course completion and improve learning in those courses

IV.  Additional Changes

Accelerated Bachelor's to Master's programs and 3+3 degree programs
While there are no changes to existing Accelerated Bachelor's to Master's or 3+3 degree programs, the AY 2020-2021 Catalog will contain much more information that pertains to students enrolled or seeking to enroll in those programs.