Academic Standards


Academic Year

Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College course credits are measured in semester hours. The campus academic year is comprised of two 16-week semesters (beginning in August and January) and a summer session. The distance learning program utilizes 8 and 16 week semesters and has several starting points in the calendar year.

Student Classification

A student’s academic classification is based on total credits earned toward a degree at the College as shown on the transcript. These credits include both institutional hours and any transfer hours.

Freshman 0-29 semester hours
Sophomore 30 - 59 semester hours
Junior 60 - 89 semester hours
Senior 90 or more semester hours

Student Enrollment Status

A student who is enrolled in at least 12 semester hours is classified as a full-time student. Students enrolled in less than 12 hours are part-time students:

9-11 hours 3/4 time
6-8 hours 1/2 time
<6 hours <1/2 time

 

 

Students enrolling in fewer than 6 hours are usually not eligible for financial aid. The normal load for a student who begins with no transfer credit and plans to graduate with a baccalaureate degree in four years is an average of 32 semester hours per year.

Grading System

A = 4.0 Superior C = 2.0 Average P = Pass (ungraded)
A-  = 3.7   C- 1.7   I Incomplete
B+  = 3.4    D+  = 1.4   Au = Audit (no credit)
B  = 3.0  Good D 1.0   W = Withdraw
B-  =  2.7   F  = 0 Failure R = Retake
C+  =  2.4                

 

Students enrolling in fewer than 6 hours are usually not eligible for financial aid. The normal load for a student who begins with no transfer credit and plans to graduate with a baccalaureate degree in four years is an average of 32 semester hours per year.

Student Course Problems

Student academic problems are address initially between the student and the faculty member teaching the course. Students with academic grievances should follow the procedures referred to in their program's Student Handbook. See Complaint Procedures.

Grade Appeal Policy

A student who believes that a grade awarded is in error may appeal that grade through the following procedure.

  1. The student must first exhaust all possibilities for resolution of the problem through discussion, dialogue, and written communication with the instructor.
  2. If the student is unable to resolve the problem by these efforts, the student may appeal to the chair of the department in which the course is offered. If the dispute involves the department chair, the student should direct her appeal to the vice president for Academic Affairs. The appeal consists of a letter clearly describing the grounds for the appeal, together with unaltered copies of all relevant examinations or assignments. If the dispute involves a grade for an entire course, the appeal must be delivered to the chair (or vice president for Academic Affairs) within one month after the course grade is posted in the Office of the Registrar. If the dispute concerns a grade for work done within a course, the appeal must be delivered within a month after the student receives the grade.
  3. The chair (or vice president for Academic Affairs) shall notify the faculty member of the appeal and shall seek to mediate the dispute.
  4. If mediation is unsuccessful, the student may request a second reading of the examination or assignments. In this case, the chair (or vice president for Academic Affairs) may ask another faculty member whom she or he deems qualified to evaluate the work in question. The second reader will submit an evaluation to the chair (the vice president for Academic Affairs) who will decide the grade. The decision may be to raise the grade, let the original grade stand, or to lower the grade.
  5. A department chair who receives a grade appeal shall notify the vice president for Academic Affairs of the dispute and of the chair’s decision.
  6. If the dispute involves work done within a course, the decision of the chair is final. If the dispute involves a grade for an entire course, the student may further appeal to the vice president for Academic Affairs within 30 days. In this case, the decision of the vice president for Academic Affairs is final.
  7. In all cases, the vice president for Academic Affairs will be responsible for notifying the Registrar of any changes in course grades resulting from a grade appeal.

Incompletes

A student with a valid reason for not finishing course requirements on schedule may be granted  additional time by the instructor to complete the course. The student must have completed at least 50% of the course work and no more than 50% of a student’s courses may be extended at one time.  During the extension, the student receives the grade of “I”, denoting an incomplete course.  If the course is not completed during the time of the extension, the student will receive the grade of “F.”   A request by a distance education student for extensions of one to three months must include the instructor’s approval and be emailed or sent in writing to the office of the Registrar by the last day of the semester.  A fee for extensions is required; see fee schedule

Plagiarism and Cheating

College work requires students to study and build upon the ideas of others. Students may derive information from such sources as books, periodicals, lectures, electronic media, artistic performances, or even informal conversation. Submitting someone else’s work as your own, using the language or ideas found in a source without proper documentation, or the improper use of another’s artistic, musical, or other creative work constitutes plagiarism.

Whether accidental or intentional, plagiarism is always a serious violation of academic integrity and may result in negative sanctions such as receiving a failing grade on the assignment or in the course, or suspension/dismissal from the College. In written work, students must clearly distinguish their own ideas from those of their sources by accurately documenting any borrowed ideas, whether the ideas are quoted (copied word-for-word and enclosed in quotation marks) or summarized (restated by the student in her own words).

All students are expected to follow the academic conventions (MLA/APA) for citing sources. Handbooks are available in the College Library and the College Bookstore. The convention used is determined by the discipline and/or instructor.

A student who needs help in using sources should consult her instructors before submitting assignments or submitting work for publication.

Cheating in any form is also a serious violation of academic integrity and may result in negative sanctions such as receiving a failing grade on the specific learning activity (e.g., assignment or examination) or for the course, or suspension/dismissal from the College. Cheating includes but is not limited to: copying the work of another student or allowing another to copy your work; submitting work done by another as your own or knowingly providing information or a learning product to another person who submits it as her own; and using or helping another student to use restricted aids to enhance performance in completion of an examination or other learning activity.

Graduation Requirements

Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College offers courses of study leading to one of the following undergraduate degrees: bachelor of arts, bachelor of science, associate in arts and associate in science. Each degree requires a basic group of prescribed courses (general studies) and a specialization in one or more areas (major). Students must successfully complete 125 credit hours and achieve a cumulative GPA of at least 2.0 on a 4.0 scale in order to earn a bachelor’s degree. They must also achieve a minimum GPA of 2.0 in their major and minor area(s) of concentration, unless the specific concentration requires a higher ratio. To be eligible for an associate degree, students must complete a minimum of 62 credit hours and have a cumulative GPA of 2.0 on a 4.0 scale, as well as a 2.0 in their major area of study.

To earn a degree from Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College, a minimum of 30 hours for the bachelor degree and 18 hours for the associate degree must be earned at the College. No more than 9 of the last 18 credit hours toward graduation may be taken at another institution.

Full-time students seeking the bachelor’s degree must complete the work within six years of the date of enrollment; for the associate degree, within three years. Part-time students seeking the bachelor’s degree must complete the work within 12 years of enrollment; for the associate degree, within six years.

Commencement

Undergraduate degrees are awarded in December/January, May and August. The Commencement ceremony is held only in May. Candidates for a degree in August may participate in the commencement ceremony in May, although they are not eligible to be recognized for graduation honors at that time.