Academic procedures and policies are subject to change at any time. Changes may involve course content, credit hours, program requirements, and program admission requirements among others. It is the students’ responsibility to review their Degree Audit Report (DARS) and confer with their academic advisers, the appropriate academic department, and the Office of Academic Records regarding current academic procedures and policies.
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Procedures and Policies
The Student Health Center will provide written verification when it confines students to their residences or the Health Center for 24 hours or longer. Written verification will be provided when a student is hospitalized if the Health Center is aware of the situation. The Health Center does not routinely issue statements verifying a brief student visit to the Health Center. Phone verification of Health Center visits may be provided to an instructor at the student’s request. No confidential information about the student’s health status can be released without the student’s permission. The Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs will be notified by the Health Center when a student is expected to be out of classes for an extended period of time. Faculty members will be notified through their deans’ offices.
Academic advisers are assigned in the freshman year by the students’ major department or the Academic Advisement Center. Some departments may reassign their students to different academic advisers during the students’ sophomore year. Secondary education students are assigned academic advisers by the department of secondary education/foundations of education in consultation with the content area department. Exploratory program students are assigned academic advisers by the Academic Advisement Center.
It is the academic advisers’ responsibility to aid their advisees with their academic and educational plans. The advisers are not responsible for making certain that their advisees graduation requirements have been met. This is the sole responsibility of the students.
Students who want to file an appeal concerning any academic matter should first contact their instructor. Barring resolution there, students should contact the appropriate departmental chairperson, then the appropriate dean. Further appeal is to be directed to the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs. Please refer to the university’s Grade Appeal Policy.
The Academic Deans determine the academic standing of all students at the end of each semester. Academic standing is based on:
- The student’s cumulative grade point average (CGPA).
- The total number of credits for which the student has attempted prior to the review. The review credits also include transfer credits, “Credit by Exam” credits, and credits for repeated courses. It does not include credits for audited courses.
Students with a cumulative quality point average CQPA of 2.00 or higher are in satisfactory academic standing. Students with less than satisfactory academic standing are subject to academic warning, probation, suspension or dismissal.
The following procedure applies to all students who do not meet the required minimum CQPA as specified:
Review Credits Cumulative GPA Procedure
0.5 – 16.0 Below 2.000 Warning Letter
16.1 – 32.0 1.750-1.999 Warning Letter
16.1– 32.0 Below 1.750 Probation Letter
32.1 or more Below 2.000 Probation Letter
32.1 or more Below 2.000 Suspension or Dismissal while on probation letter
A student cannot be suspended/ dismissed a the end of any fall or spring semester in which he/she has earned a 2.000 or greater semester GPA, even if the CQPA remains less than 2.000.
When subject to academic probation, the student will be placed on probation for one semester.. Students who are placed on probation at the end of summer or winter session will be continued on probation for the following semester and will not be suspended/dismissed. A student on probation will return to satisfactory academic standing at the end of the semester in which he/she earns a 2.000 cumulative quality point average (CQPA).
First Time Suspension:
Student(s) on academic suspension for the first time will not be able to register for or attend classes at the University for one semester. Summer Term and Winter Intersession do not count as a semester for suspension purposes
Second Time Suspension:
Student (s) on academic suspension for the second time will not be able to register for or attend classes for two semesters.
Summer Term and Winter Intersession do not count as a semester for suspension purposes
Students who are placed on academic suspension for the first or second time and have an interest in returning to the university after sitting out for the one or two semester period will request readmission through the director of retention services.
Third Time Dismissal:
Student (s) on academic suspension for the third time will be dismissed from the University. The student will be dismissed for at least three years, and after that time only special cases will be considered by the Academic Standards Committee (Assistants to the Deans of each college and the Assistant to the Associate Provost for Enrollment Services).
Students who have been suspended/dismissed may not register for courses offered any semester, session, or term. A student will not be suspended/dismissed for academic reasons in any semester that he/she has:
been in good academic standing (i.e., not on probation), OR earned a 2.000 or higher semester GPA, OR
complied with his/her Retention Services contract.
Post-Baccalaureate Students – The records of post-baccalaureate students with less than a 2.0 semester quality point average will be reviewed by their dean for determination of an academic action of probation, suspension, or dismissal.
The value of a Slippery Rock University education is determined by the quality and character of Slippery Rock University students and graduates. Therefore, students and student organizations are expected to uphold academic integrity.
- All academic work, including, but not limited to, papers, computer programs, assignments, and tests, must consist of the students’ own work.
- Students are expected to learn and practice proper techniques for accurately citing resource material.
- Students are expected to be honest in all academic work, refraining from all forms of cheating.
- Students are expected to function as students, including, but not limited to, attending class regularly and completing all assignments and examinations.
Students charged with academic dishonesty will deal with either the coordinator of Judicial Programs or the course instructor or both. If the instructor handles the matter, the instructor is to inform the departmental chairperson of the problem and its resolution. The department chairperson is to forward the information to the appropriate dean who will then inform the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs. If the instructor decides to refer the matter to the Office of Judicial Programs, the coordinator of Judicial Programs will begin institutional action through an investigation into the matter. If there is sufficient cause, students will be notified of the charges brought against them under the Code of Conduct. The student may then face judicial action, in addition to the instructor’s action, which may include a university hearing board that could lead to suspension or dismissal from the university.
Academic dishonesty may take many forms. Examples of academic dishonesty include, but are not limited to, the following:
- buying, selling, or trading papers, projects, or other assignments;
- using or attempting to use any unauthorized book, notes, or assistance from any person during a quiz or examination;
- plagiarizing and/or submitting the work of another as your own;
- fabricating information or citations;
- facilitating dishonest acts of others pertaining to academic work
- possessing unauthorized examinations;
- submitting, without instructor permission, work previously used;
- tampering with the academic work of another person;
- ghosting-taking a quiz or exam in place of a student or having any person take a quiz or exam in your place;
- any attempt to falsify an assigned grade or an examination, quiz, report, or program or in a grade book, document, or other record;
- any attempt, or actual, computer program theft; illegal use of software; inappropriate use of the Internet, such as, but not limited to, illegal or unauthorized transmissions; or improper access to any computer system or account;
- any attempt, or actual, collusion willfully giving or receiving unauthorized or unacknowledged assistance on any assignment (both parties to the collusion are considered responsible.)
- forging a faculty member’s or administrator’s signature on any card, form or document.
An undergraduate student who has been academically dismissed may apply for reinstatement to the institution and have a new academic record created. Students must apply for Academic Restart through their College Dean’s office or the Director of Retention Services (FYRST and Exploratory students). After applying, their previous academic record will receive a full review by the College Dean or the Director of Retention Services and the Provost/Vice President for Academic Affairs. Students can be re-admitted only once under the Academic Restart program.
- A student must sit out at least five years before being eligible for Academic Restart.
- A student will be placed on provisional status for one semester of full time study, or until he/she has attempted 15 semester hours if attending part time. A student must achieve a minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.00 by the end of the period of provisional status. Failure to achieve the 2.00 minimum cumulative grade point average will result in permanent dismissal from Slippery Rock University.
- All grades for courses taken prior to the point at which Academic Restart is granted will remain on the academic transcript and academic history. The grades prior to the Academic Restart action will not be applied to quality point average calculations.
- A student may be reinstated only once under the provisions of the Academic Restart program.
- If the student has attended another institution since their dismissal, transfer credits and credits by exam may be considered for graduation.
- A student who is reinstated under the provisions of the Academic Restart program retains the right to utilize course repeat options as specified by University policy.
- An Academic Restart Appeal is submitted for consideration to the dean of the college or the director of retention services if the student was enrolled in the FYRST Program at the time of dismissal.At the discretion of the College Dean, the appeal may be referred to the director of retention services. The dean of the college or the director of retention services forwards a recommendation to the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs. Any exception to these procedures must be approved by the provost and vice president for academic affairs.
Slippery Rock University does not have a university-wide class attendance policy. Traditionally, attendance policies for individual classes have been determined by the instructor and communicated to the class at the first meeting and through the syllabus. The university believes, however, that class attendance, preparation, and participation are integral components of student success. It is unusual for a student to be successful in a class without attending, preparing, and participating regularly. Therefore, the faculty and administration strongly encourage students to attend every class session, to spend at least two hours in review and preparation for each hour in class, and to participate fully in all aspects of the class.
Attendance may be required for class meetings or field trips outside the regular schedule if such activities are listed as required in a course description in the catalog or in course syllabi. Instructors are asked to consider making allowances for absences occasioned by illness and by authorized activities for the benefit of the university. Arrangements to make up work because of class absences are the students’ responsibility.
Students desiring to audit courses (no credit awarded) must receive approval of their advisor. Normal registration procedures must be completed. The cost of auditing courses and taking courses for credit are the same. Students may not change from an audit status to a graded status (A-F and P/NC) or vice versa after the second week of the semester.
Change of Major
Forms for changing majors may be obtained in the offices of the deans, Academic Records and Summer School, academic departments or the Academic Advisement Center. Students are reminded that they must meet the major academic requirements that are in effect at the time they declare a new major.
Classification of Students
Undergraduate students are classified according to the number of semester credits completed.
90-120 semester credits or more
60-89 semester credits
30-59 semester credits
0-29 semester credits or less
Classification questions are to be directed to the Office of Academic Records and Summer School.
The following Basic Requirement courses within the liberal studies program are subject to the university’s continuous registration policy:
- Connecting Reading and Writing
- College Writing I
- College Writing II
- Public Speaking
- Developmental Mathematics
- Beginning Algebra
These courses will be graded as A, B, C, or NC (no credit) the first time taken. If an “NC” is earned, students must repeat the course during their next semester of enrollment if seats are available and must continue taking the course until it is passed with a grade of “C” or better. When these basic requirement courses are repeated, they will be graded as A, B, C, or F.
Once classes begin, students are not permitted to drop or withdraw from one of the basic requirement courses listed above.
The following course numbering system is used: 100-199 are freshman level courses; 200-299 are sophomore level courses; 300-399 are junior level courses; 400-499 are senior level courses. Graduate courses are numbered 500-800. With approval of the dean, juniors and seniors having a 2.500 cumulative quality point average may enroll in 500 numbered courses for undergraduate credit. Only seniors with their dean’s permission are permitted to register for graduate credit in courses numbered 500 and above. Post-baccalaureate students may take 500 level courses for undergraduate credit, and, with the permission of the dean of their college, 500 or 600 level courses for graduate credit. 600 - 800 level courses may not be taken for undergraduate credit.
Credit by Examination
Under certain conditions it is possible for students to take credit courses by examination in a subject field. A grade of “P” or “NC” must be awarded but only passing grades will be recorded on students’ records for coursework taken through Credit by Examination. Students may take Credit by Examination only once per course. Further information is available in the offices of the deans and in the Office of Academic Records and Summer School. See Testing for Advanced Placement in this catalog.
Credit for Military Service
Slippery Rock University awards credit for military service and military schooling. Credit is not awarded solely for the completion of basic training or for Military Occupational Specialties (MOS).
To receive credit for military service, a student must submit a DD214 or other official military record documenting a minimum of one year of continuous active duty. Students meeting this requirement will be awarded three credits of basic military science.
Students may receive credit for military schooling, regardless of the length of active or inactive duty, by submitting a DD214, Army/ACE Registry Transcript (AARTS), Sailor/Marine/ACE Registry Transcript (SMART) or other official military record documenting completion of military coursework.
All evaluations are based upon the recommendations found in the American Council on Education’s “Guidebook to the Evaluation of Educational Experiences in the Armed Services.”
Students should submit their DD214 and all applicable military educational records to the Executive Director of Academic Records, Summer School, and Graduate Studies - Room 107, Old Main.
Undergraduate students who earn an adjusted semester quality point average of 3.500 or higher on a schedule of at least 12 newly earned credits will achieve the Deans’ List as long as their cumulative GPA is at least 2.000. Student teachers may achieve Dean’s List status if they have earned 90 or more credits and have a cumulative GPA of 3.50 or higher at the end of the semester in which they student taught. P/NC courses will not be computed into the 12 credit-hour minimum. The Office of University Public Relations will submit names of these students to their hometown newspapers for publication. During the Academic Honors Convocation, these students will be formally presented to the university community. There is no Deans’ List during the summer or winter sessions. Post-baccalaureate and graduate students are not eligible for the Dean’s List.
1. Programs may ensure that their graduates attain the outcomes for writing ability determined for their disciplines through any of the following methods:
a. The outcomes could be demonstrated through work completed in a number of courses. Faculty in a program would identify the courses and the number of courses that could ensure graduates would attain the designated writing outcomes.
b. Each program could designate course(s) either within the major or outside the major that students would need to complete in order to attain the writing outcomes for their major program.
c. The program’s faculty could be charged with incorporating writing outcome in all courses within a program. Writing outcomes for the program would be accomplished through the practice of writing within the discipline throughout the program and demonstrated through production of a graduation portfolio during the senior year. The portfolio could be graded anew, or consist of already graded completed writing.
d. A program could use a combination of any of the above methods to ensure its graduates’ attainment of the writing outomes designated for the program.
2. Writing outcomes required of graduates of a major program should always be determined by the faculty teaching within the program; those same faculty should always determine whether the writing outcomes are being met.
3. The university assessment core committee will evaluate and approve each major program’s plan to implement and assess writing outcomes for the program’s graduates. Each plan should include the following as appropriate:
a. A rationale for the method used to determine the graduation writing outcomes that would include accreditation standards and/or best practices in the discipline.
b. A description of the graduation learning outcomes for the program.
c. The curriculum for the program.
d. A rubric that will assess the plan’s coherence with the university’s, accreditation agency’s, and/or discipline’s stated writing outcomes for graduates.
e. If a course or set of courses is chosen, course outline(s) highlighting graduation writing outcomes should be submitted.
f. If a graduation portfolio is chosen, the rationale should specify the writing outcomes targeted and an explanation of how they will be demonstrated by the student in the portfolio presentation.
4. The university will provide for support to assist programs in the development of implementation and assessment plans, and in faculty development regarding writing instruction within a discipline. This support may come from the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Educational Technology, the university’s assessment core committee, or some other entity developed for the purpose of enhancing writing outcomes among SRU graduates. The Writing Center will continue to provide support for students as they develop their writing abilities.
Application for Graduation
Students must make formal application to the Office of Academic Records and Summer School by October 1 (Fall), March 1 (Spring), or June 15 (Summer). Beginning in Fall 2011, no diploma fee is required. Students who are eligible for a Pennsylvania teaching certificate should apply to the College of Education at the time they apply for graduation. A certification fee is payable at the time of application. (Students who expect to teach in Pennsylvania must take a physical examination and a chest X-ray or a tuberculin skin test during their senior year. Arrangements must be made with the university health center at the beginning of the last semester of the senior year.) Students who apply for Pennsylvania certification must also submit a criminal record and FBI clearance form. The certification fee may be refunded.
Students who meet all graduation requirements in a given term but fail to apply for graduation until after the semester ends will be graduated at the end of the semester in which their application is received in the Office of Academic Records and Summer School, not the term they completed their coursework.
Completion of Degree/Certificate Requirements
It is the students’ responsibility to complete all degree/certificate requirements and to know the university’s requirements for graduation. This is not the responsibility of the students’ advisers.
Students must meet all graduation requirements by the official end of the semester in which they have applied to graduate. Failure to do so (Incomplete grades in any course or “X” grades in required courses, no application, etc.) will result in the updating of the students’ graduation date to the end of the term/year the work is eventually completed.
Effective with undergraduate students entering January 2010 and thereafter, at least 50% of their MAJOR credits must be earned at SRU. Students originally admitted before January 2010, even if they leave the university and are readmitted after January 2010, will not be affected by this new policy.
Collaborative programs will be identified such that residency can be met consistent with the collaborative agreement.
The goal of the computer competency requirement is to ensure that students can effectively use computers and technology to succeed in an information based society. The purpose of the competency test is to determine if new SRU students have already acquired the faculty-designated minimum level of computer competence. The topics on which students will be tested are computer hardware, system software, application software, social impact, technology and the web, networks and security and privacy. We believe that students need to have a minimum level of competence to achieve the greatest success during their academic career. Students can demonstrate computer competency by either passing the computer competency exam or passing a one credit CPSC100, Introduction to Computing for Liberal Arts or any of the following three-credit courses: CPSC110 (Computer Concepts), CPSC130 (Introduction to Information Systems) or CPSC210 (Productivity Software).Upon the successful completion of the exam or one of the courses, Slippery Rock University will certify graduates as having achieved a minimum level of computer competency. Some departments may require students to take additional courses to achieve computer competency for a specific academic major.
Some students are required to take specific standardized examinations in liberal studies and/or their major area of study before their degrees will be conferred.
- All undergraduate degree programs require a minimum of 120 credits.
- Students must complete their last 30 credits in residence at SRU. In addition, individual departments may establish residency requirements for their majors and minors. Students should check with their academic adviser to determine the requirements for their academic program
- Students must complete a minimum of 48 credits of Liberal Studies coursework.
- Students must complete 48 credits of upper-division coursework. Thirty-nine of the 48 credits must be at the 300-level or higher, the additional 9 credits may include courses requiring a 3 credit prerequisite. At least 24 of the 48 credits must be completed at SRU.
- Students must complete at least half their major (15 credit minimum) in 300 or higher level courses. Students must also complete at least 50% of their major at SRU.
- Bachelor of Arts degrees require language proficiency at the 103 class level. Exemption by placement or examination is possible. Language courses used to satisfy the BA requirement may not be used in the Goal or Enrichment section of the Global Community block of the liberal studies program.
- Students must complete at least 60 credits at SRU to be considered for Latin Honors at the time of graduation.
Minimum Credit Hour and Quality Point Requirements
All degree programs require a minimum of 120 credits. At least 30 credits must be completed to earn a major and at least 18 credits must be completed to earn a minor. The majority of programs require minimum cumulative and major quality point averages of 2.000; some programs require a higher average. This information is available from the department adviser or chairperson. To be eligible for teacher certification, students entering fall 2003 or thereafter, must have a 3.000 cumulative average in all university coursework.
Modern Language Requirement for BA Degree
Proficiency at the 103 class level of a modern language, or the equivalent, is required for all Bachelor of Arts degree candidates. Exemption by placement or examination is possible. The modern language courses used to satisfy the BA requirement may not be used in the goal or enrichment section of the global community block of the liberal studies program.
To qualify for graduation, all students must complete at least 30 of their last 45 credits in residence at Slippery Rock University. In addition, at least 24 credits of upper division course work, 12 credits within the student’s major and 6 credits within a minor must be earned in residence at Slippery Rock University. Students should check with their academic adviser to determine the residency requirement for their specific academic program.
Effective with undergraduate students entering January 2010 and thereafter, at least 50% of all major credits must be earned at SRU. Students originally admitted before January 2010, even if they leave the university and are readmitted after January 2010, will not be affected by this new policy.
Collaborative programs will be identified such that residency can be met consistent with the collaborative agreement.
Effective May, 2009, the Board of Governors of the PA State System of Higher Education set minimum standards for students wishing to earn 2 different undergraduate degrees at a single commencement ceremony. Prior to May, 2009, Slippery Rock University permitted students to earn only two majors, not two degrees.
To earn two different Baccalaureate degrees at the same commencement ceremony students must complete a minimum of 150 credits and all the academic requirements of both degrees.
- Students may not earn two of the same degree (BS and BS) regardless the number of credits earned.
- Students wishing to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree, whether it is associated with their first or second major, must complete the university’s modern language proficiency requirement at or above the 103 level.
- Students earning two different degrees (BA and BS) will be awarded two diplomas. Students earning two degrees will only have to pay one graduation and diploma fee.
- Students may still earn two majors and one degree. To earn two majors, students must complete at least 120 credits and all the academic requirements of both majors. This means students selecting a second major that is offered in association with a Bachelor of Arts degree will not have to complete the university’s modern language requirement. See “Second Baccalaureate Degree” section of the undergraduate catalog.
- Students wishing to earn a second Baccalaureate degree after graduating should also refer to the “Second Baccalaureate Degree” section of the undergraduate catalog.
Second Baccalaureate Degree
If students desire to earn a second baccalaureate degree at Slippery Rock University, they may do so by:
- enrolling as a post-baccalaureate student and,
- taking a minimum of 30 new credits at SRU after the first baccalaureate degree,
- meeting departmental requirements for the degree in respect to the required credits and courses for a major in that department, and
- meeting degree requirements in respect to courses required for the requested degree.
Latin Honors at graduation will not be awarded to second-degree candidates, nor are post-baccalaureate students eligible for the dean’s list.
Drop, Add, Withdrawal
Full semester courses may be added during the first two weeks of the semester, but permission by the professor is required after the first week of classes. Students desiring to add closed sections of courses for which they have the required pre/co-requisite must always receive the professor’s approval. Courses dropped during the first week of the semester will not be recorded on the students’ permanent records unless students withdraw from all their classes, in which case grades of “W” will be awarded. Students may withdraw from full semester classes with a grade of “W” between the second and tenth weeks of the semester. Students will not be permitted to withdraw from classes after the tenth week and will be held accountable and awarded a final grade for all coursework, exams and other work assigned during the final five weeks of the semester. For courses meeting fewer than 15 weeks, the withdrawal deadline is two thirds of the way through the course’s beginning and ending dates. Students may not drop or withdraw from Basic Requirement courses, with the exception of Interpreting Literature, once the semester has started.
Yellow drop/add cards may be used to add classes until the end of the second week of the semester, and until the end of the first week of the term to drop classes. After the first week of the semester, student may no longer drop classes, but may withdraw from classes with a grade of “W” by using a blue withdrawal card.
Students who for exceptional reasons are permitted to drop, add, or withdraw from classes after the university’s stated deadlines must receive their respective dean’s/Director of Retention Services’ approval and will be charged $15 for each late transaction.
At the end of each semester, all final examinations are to be administered during the time stipulated in the examination schedule, which is printed in the master schedule of course offerings. The decision to give a final examination is the prerogative of faculty members; but if a final examination is given, it is to be administered according to the time as indicated in the examination schedule. The appropriate dean must approve any exceptions to this policy. Classes will meet during the scheduled examination time if no examinations are given.
Freshman Cohort and Student Athlete Graduation Rate
In accordance with the Students Right to Know and Campus Security Act (PL 101-542) as amended by the Higher Education Technical Amendments of 1991 (PL 102-26), Slippery Rock University will publish the graduation rate of its first time, full-time degree seeking undergraduates in each of its Master Class schedules. This information is also available in a more detailed format from the Office of Academic Records and Summer School and at the university’s Student Consumer website.
Procedure for Filing Grade Appeal
Academic Due Process Procedures
The purpose of the following procedure is to provide students with a system by which to grieve complaints of alleged academic injustice(s) relating to a final grade and/or professional responsibilities.
Students who believe that their final course grade reflect unsubstantiated academic evaluation may initiate and pursue a grade change appeal in accordance with provisions of this document. At the same time, all academic rights and privileges of faculty members are to be honored in this process, which includes careful review of the course syllabus. Changes in final course grades will occur only when, as a result of this grade appeal process, there is clear evidence of unsubstantiated academic evaluation. Because the grade process involves the instructor’s judgment of the academic performance of a student the only issue under consideration in the grade appeal process is whether or not the student can present clear evidence that the assignment of the grade was based on factors other than the academic judgment of the instructor.
Some examples of the basis for a legitimate disagreement could include, but not be limited to prejudiced, capricious, or unsubstantiated academic evaluation by the instructor:
- The instructor did not inform the student of the basis for calculation of grades.
- The instructor did not calculate the student’s grade in accordance with the instructor’s stated policy for calculating grades.
- Significant and unwarranted deviation from grading procedures and course outlines set at the beginning of the course (ordinarily during the first week of the course) or a grade assigned arbitrarily and capriciously on the basis of whim, impulse or caprice.
- There is an error in the computation of the grade that was not corrected.
- The student, through no fault of his or her own, was not provided with the same opportunity to complete the requirements for the course in terms, for example, of time, access to materials, or access to the instructor as the other students.
A student may not claim arbitrariness and capriciousness if he/she disagrees with the subjective professional evaluation of the instructor.
Informal Appeal Procedure:
- The student must discuss the final course grade, grading practices and assignments with the instructor who gave the final grade. This discussion may eliminate any misunderstandings over the assignment of the grade as relates to the course syllabus. This discussion must occur before the student may file a formal appeal.
- If the faculty member finds in the student’s favor, a grade change card is submitted with signatures and the appeal process is resolved.
If a student and instructor fail to resolve the grade dispute through informal means the student may request a formal grade appeal process by completing a “Final Grade Appeal Form.”
Formal Appeal Procedure:
The student must complete and submit the “student” portion of the Final Grade Appeal Form to the course instructor no later than 15 days after the beginning of the semester following the issuance of the final grade. The summer term does not constitute a semester.
The student must retain a copy of the Final Grade Appeal Form for his/her records and send a copy to the department chairperson (or substitute) of the department in which the course is housed. The chairperson of the department evaluation committee shall substitute for the department chairperson IF the department chairperson was the instructor of the course in which the grade is being appealed.
The department chairperson (or substitute) notifies the instructor in writing that chairperson is aware that the instructor has received a grade appeal.
If the instructor decides that the final grade is correct, he/she must complete the “instructor” portion of the Final Grade Appeal Form, and return it to the student and send a copy to the chairperson (or substitute) within 10 working days of receipt of the student’s appeal.
If an instructor fails to respond within the allotted time, the appeal shall move to step 3 below.
If a faculty member whose grade(s) are being appealed is no longer employed by the university or is unavailable due to a sabbatical, sick leave, or other reasons during the time period allotted for the appeal process, the appeal should be directed to the chair of the department (or substitute) for review.
If the student wishes to appeal further, he/she must submit the original Final Grade Appeal Form (or copy if the instructor fails to respond as described in step 2 above) to the department chairperson (or substitute) and the college dean. This appeal must be submitted within 10 working days of the dated instructor’s response, or if the instructor does not respond, within 15 working days after the appeal was originally filed with the instructor.
The department chairperson (or substitute) will review the appeal within 10 working days.
Before the department chairperson (or substitute) determines if the student’s complaint provides evidence that the instructor’s assignment of the grade was based on factors other than the academic judgment of the instructor he/she will review the appeal with the instructor. The chairperson (or substitute) may also conduct whatever informal investigation seems necessary and should attempt to achieve a negotiated settlement.
A. When Chair Agrees Grade Is Correct
If the department chairperson (or substitute) determines the student’s evidence does not meet the criteria for a grade appeal, the chairperson (or substitute) will forward his/her decision on the grade appeal to the instructor, student and college dean.
B. When Chair Disagrees that Grade is Correct
If the department chairperson (or substitute) determines the student’s evidence does meet the criteria for a grade appeal, he/she will offer an explanation on the Final Grade Appeal Form and provide a copy to the instructor.
The instructor must then indicate on the Final Grade Appeal Form whether he/she agrees or disagrees with the chairperson’s recommendation, signs and returns the Final Grade Appeal Form to the chairperson within 5 working days.
- If the instructor amends the grade, a signed grade change card is submitted and the grade appeal is ended.
- If the instructor does not agree to amend the grade or fails to respond in the allotted time, the chairperson (or substitute) submits the Final Grade Appeal Form to the college dean, student, and instructor with his/her recommendation within 5 working days.
If the dean, upon review of the chairperson’s recommendation, also determines the student’s evidence does not meet the criteria for a grade appeal, the dean will complete and return the Grade Appeal Form to the student with a copy to the instructor and chairperson (or substitute) within 5 working days. The grade appeal process ends.
If the dean, upon review of the chairperson’s recommendation, determines that the evidence is unclear or the student’s evidence does meet the criteria for a grade appeal, the dean shall initiate a meeting with the faculty member. The dean shall review the appeal, can hear evidence by each side, and may collect further evidence as needed.
If agreement cannot be reached, the dean will forward the Final Grade Appeal Form to the Provost within 20 working days, with his/her recommendation that the grade appeal be referred to a Grade Appeal Board. The dean also forwards a copy of the Final Grade Appeal Form to the student, instructor, and chairperson.
In each of the above statements, the chairperson of the department evaluation committee shall substitute for the department chairperson IF the department chairperson was the instructor of the course in which the grade is being appealed. Should the chair of the evaluation committee not be available, APSCUF will be consulted in the process of choosing a substitute.
A. Composition of the Grade Appeal Board
- Three faculty selected by APSCUF. One from the academic department in which the course is taught. Not the instructor.
- Two managers selected by the provost. One to be the dean of the college in which the course was taught.
- One student selected by Student Government Association. A senior outside the department in which the course is taught.
Normally, each Grade Appeal Board will be appointed to hear one appeal.
Those responsible for recommending board members should be sensitive to race and gender composition.
The Provost will appoint each board and chairperson within the parameters above.
B. Grade Appeal Board Procedures
Once the appeal board has been established, the appointed chairperson of the committee will contact board members, the faculty member, and the student bringing forth the appeal to determine a date to convene the board (within 20 working days) and send them a letter confirming the date and place of the meeting.
At this point, all paperwork and collected evidence will be copied and provided to the members of the appeal board committee in sealed, confidential envelopes. This paperwork and evidence will be assembled by the dean of the college involved in the appeal, reviewed and brought by appeal board members to the appeal meeting. The chair will collect the copies at the end of the meeting.
The procedure for the appeal meeting is as follows:
- The chairperson of the Grade Appeal Board will call the meeting to order and review procedure.
- The student will have 10 minutes to present his/her reason for the appeal.
- The faculty member will then have 10 minutes to explain why he/she feels there is no basis for the appeal.
- The committee member can then ask questions of the student and/or faculty member to clarify any points.
- The faculty member and the student are excused and told they will be notified of the decision by letter.
- The committee discusses and reaches a recommendation by majority vote.
- The chairperson will notify the President of the University of the recommendation of the committee by memo. The chairperson will notify the student and faculty member of the president’s decision by letter. The letter wil be copied to the Department Chair and Dean.
Students who appeal a grade to a Grade Appeal Board are responsible for maintaining ALL written materials relevant to the appeal, such as papers, examinations, and completed assignments. Further, the appeals board must have access to appropriate documentation and academic records pertaining to the course grade in question. After the appeals process is complete, the only record to be maintained will be the student’s final grade.
Each appeals board will make its recommendation to the university president, who may accept or reject the recommendation. Since the university has the power and duty to direct the activities of the institution, nothing in this policy should be construed as to diminish that authority in any way.
Once a grade has been posted, it can only be changed by the professor who originally awarded the grade. If the professor is no longer employed by the university or is not available for some other reason, the request for a grade change should be discussed with the department chairperson. Grade changes must be processed on a grade change card and must be approved by the professor and the chairperson of the department in which the course was offered.
A memorandum of explanation from both instructor and departmental chairperson must accompany any grade change submitted after more than a year has passed since the student received the original grade. This information is submitted to the Office of Academic Records and Summer School. Students who attended a full semester class beyond the 10th week may not have their grades changed to a withdrawal “W” without their dean’s approval.
Grade Release Policy
Students’ midterm grades and final grades are available on the university’s ROCK TALK web-based system.
In accordance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) grades will not be released to a third party (including parents) without the written permission of the students.
Grading Symbols and Quality Point Conversion System
A - Excellent
4 quality points
B - Good
3 quality points
C - Satisfactory
2 quality points
D - Poor
1 quality point
F - Failure
0 quality points
I - Incomplete
0 quality points
P - Pass
0 quality points
NC - No Credit
0 quality points
AU - Audit
0 quality points
W - Withdrawal
0 quality points
X - No grade given
0 quality points
Grading System and Policies
Instructors are to inform their students in writing during the first week of classes of their grading procedures and policies, especially explaining how final grades are calculated.
The assignment of an incomplete grade is the prerogative of the faculty and is granted only when extenuating circumstances prevent students from completing the course requirements within the regular time period. Faculty also reserve the right to set any deadline for the completion of the incomplete work; however, students not receiving an earlier deadline will have a maximum of 12 months after receiving the incomplete to finish all coursework and receive a change of grade. If a faculty member does not submit a grade change card within 12 months, regardless of whether or not the student attends the university, the grade will automatically convert to an “F”. Requests for extensions of incomplete grades, beyond 12 months, must be submitted by the faculty member and approved by the dean of the college in which the course was offered. Students will not be permitted to graduate with an incomplete grade on their record.
Pass-No Credit Grades
Students may schedule a maximum of 12 credits of pass-no credit grading in the sophomore, junior and senior years combined. Students must select these courses at registration and cannot change the pass-no credit designations after the second week of the semester. For these 12 credits, only free elective courses may be taken on a pass-no credit basis. Pass-no credit courses may not be used to satisfy major, minor, the BA modern language, and the university’s liberal studies program requirements. Some selected courses are not included in the 12-credit limitation. Students may not take more than one pass-no credit course during a semester.
Courses taken under the pass-no credit system are not used in computing the student’s GPA. Credit for such courses is recorded toward meeting the total credit requirements if the course is passed. A grade of NC (no credit) will be recorded if the course is failed.
Pass-no credit is not synonymous with audit. In pass-no credit, all course requirements must be met.
Quality Point Average
Quality points for a single course are calculated by multiplying the points assigned the letter grade (A = 4, B = 3, C = 2, D = 1, F = 0) by the number of credits of the course. Total quality points are calculated by adding the quality points earned in each course. The quality point average (QPA) is computed by dividing the total quality points earned by the total number of credits attempted, (repeated courses are counted only once). Grades earned in courses taken at other colleges for transfer are not computed in the quality point average at Slippery Rock University unless the courses were taken with Slippery Rock University’s approval as a “Visiting Student” or “Distance Education Student” at another PA State System of Higher Education university. Further explanation concerning the calculation of the GPA may be directed to the student’s academic adviser, the Advisement Center or the Office of Academic Records and Summer School.
The symbol “X” means “no grade given.” This symbol will be used only in those rare situations when professors cannot assign students a letter grade or incomplete.
The “X” symbol will not affect the students’ semester or cumulative GPA at the time it is given. However, the “X” symbol must be removed from the students’ record prior to the end of the students’ next semester of enrollment. Otherwise, it will be converted automatically to an “F” and will then be used in the students’ semester and cumulative GPA calculations. The “X” symbol cannot be extended beyond the students’ next semester of enrollment.
If graduating students receive an “X” during their final semester of enrollment, they will be permitted to graduate as long as the course in question is not required for graduation.
Students may have their names changed on official university records only after submitting an official document (marriage certificate, court record, etc.) or a notarized statement that a name change has occurred and the new name is not being used for any deceptive or fraudulent purpose. Copies of the university’s policy and a sample affidavit are available from the Office of Academic Records and Summer School.
Notice of Consumer Information Web Site and Annual Security Report
In accordance with the provisions of the Student Right to Know and Clery Acts, students are urged to access SRU’s Consumer Information Website (Including campus crime statistics, graduation rates, and Students Rights to Privacy.)
Notice Designating Directory Information
Slippery Rock University hereby designates the following student information as public or “Directory Information.” Such information may be disclosed without a student’s previous consent by the institution for any purpose, at its discretion.
- Addresses (local, permanent, and e-mail)
- Telephone number (local and permanent)
- Date and place of birth
- Program and concentration(s) and minor(s)
- Student activities, including athletics
- Weight and height (athletic teams)
- Dates of attendance
- Degrees and awards received
- Date of graduation
- All educational institutions previously attended
- Academic Awards/Scholarships
- Title of Master Thesis
- Number of credits (full- or part-time) for which a student is registered
- Pictures of students (for university use in publications, press releases, and advertisements)
- Class level
- Anticipated graduation date
Currently enrolled students have the opportunity to withhold disclosure of all 17 categories of information under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974. The University will not partially withhold this information, so students are advised to think carefully before requesting non-disclosure. To withhold disclosure, written notification must be received in the Office of Academic Records and Summer School, Slippery Rock University, Slippery Rock, PA 16057 prior to the end of the second week of each semester/summer session. Forms requesting the withholding of “Directory Information” are available in the Office of Academic Records and Summer School, Room 107, Old Main.
Slippery Rock University assumes that failure on the part of any student to specifically request the withholding of “Directory Information” indicates individual approval for disclosures. Former students and alumni are not covered under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974. As such, the University is not obligated to honor requests for non-disclosure from former students.
Note: Students requesting that “Directory Information” not be disclosed during their final semester of enrollment will have this information withheld indefinitely after leaving the University. Students are cautioned that making such a request may adversely impact future requests from potential employers, and other important individuals/organizations.
Prerequisites and Co-requisites
Students should not register for courses until they have completed all the appropriate prerequisites or are registered for the appropriate co-requisites as noted in the university catalog. The university’s computer has been programmed to check for pre/co-requisites. Professors reserve the right to withdraw students who have not completed/registered for the appropriate pre/co-requisites for their classes.
Students who have interrupted their attendance at SRU for any reason may resume studies at Slippery Rock University by applying for readmission to the dean in whose college they previously studied, or the Director of Retention Services (even if they will change their major after entering the university). This must be done at least one month prior to the beginning of the semester/term in which they wish to enter. Students must submit official transcripts from all schools attended after leaving SRU before a readmission decision will be made. Credits earned at another college or university while they are not attending SRU may not be eligible for transfer to Slippery Rock University. Using a transient clearance form, students must obtain approval from their department and at times, their dean before taking the courses to ensure the transferability of credits to Slippery Rock University. Grades earned, as a transient student, will not be computed into the student’s SRU grade point average. Readmitted students are responsible for meeting all academic requirements in effect at the time they are readmitted, not at the time they were originally admitted to the university.
(PL 93-380 & Right to Know Law: PA PL 390)
The Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) affords students certain rights with respect to their education records. They are:
1. The right to inspect and review the student’s education records within 45 days of the day the university receives a request for access.
Students should submit to the Executive Director of Academic Records and Summer School, Dean, Department Chairperson, or other appropriate official, written requests that identify the record(s) they wish to inspect. The University official will make arrangements for access and notify the student of the time and place where the records may be inspected. If the records are not maintained by the University official to whom the request was submitted, that official shall advise the student of the correct official to whom the request should be addressed.
2. The right to request the amendment of the student’s education records that the student believes are inaccurate or misleading.
Students may ask the University to amend a record that they believe is inaccurate or misleading. They should write the University official responsible for the record, clearly identify the part of the record they want changed, and specify why it is inaccurate or misleading.
If the University decides not to amend the record as requested by the student, the University will notify the student of the decision and advise the student of his or her right to a hearing regarding to the request for amendment. Additional information regarding the hearing procedures will be provided to the student when notified of the right to a hearing.
3. The right to consent to disclosures of personally identifiable information contained in the student’s education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent.
One exception which permits disclosure without consent is disclosure to school officials with legitimate educational interests. A school official is a person employed by the University in an administrative, supervisory, academic or research, or support staff position (including law enforcement unit personnel and health staff); a person or company with whom the university has contracted (such as an attorney, auditor, or collection agent); a person serving on the Council of Trustees; or a student serving on an official committee, such as a disciplinary or grievance committee, or assisting another school official in performing his or her tasks.
A school official has a legitimate educational interest if the official needs to review an education record in order to fulfill his or her professional responsibility.
Upon request, the University may disclose education records without consent to officials of another school in which a student seeks or intends to enroll.
4. As of January 3, 2012, the U.S. Department of Education’s FERPA regulations expand the circumstances under which your education records and personally identifiable information (PII) contained in such records—including your Social Security Number, grades, or other private information—may be accessed without your consent. First, the U.S. Comptroller General, the U.S. Attorney General, the U.S. Secretary of Education, or state and local education authorities (“Federal and State Authorities”) may allow access to your records and PII without your consent to any third party designated by a Federal or State Authority to evaluate a federal- or state-supported education program. The evaluation may relate to any program that is “principally engaged in the provision of education,” such as early childhood education and job training, as well as any program that is administered by an education agency or institution. Second, Federal and State Authorities may allow access to your education records and PII without your consent to researchers performing certain types of studies, in certain cases even when we object to or do not request such research. Federal and State Authorities must obtain certain use-restriction and data security promises from the entities that they authorize to receive your PII, but the Authorities need not maintain direct control over such entities. In addition, in connection with Statewide Longitudinal Data Systems, State Authorities may collect, compile, permanently retain, and share without your consent PII from your education records, and they may track your participation in education and other programs by linking such PII to other personal information about you that they obtain from other Federal or State data sources, including workforce development, unemployment insurance, child welfare, juvenile justice, military service, and migrant student records systems.
5. The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by Slippery Rock University to comply with the requirements of FERPA. The name and address of the office that administers FERPA is:
Family Policy Compliance Office
U.S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Avenue, SW
Washington, DC 20202-4605
Copies of the University’s policy governing the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act are available in the Office of Academic Records and Summer School, Room 107, Old Main. Questions concerning FERPA should be referred to the Executive Director of Academic Records and Summer School.
For more information see SRU’s Policies and Procedures Governing FERPA & PA’s Right to Know Law Document.
Students may attempt to improve their quality point average by repeating courses. The most recent grade earned is used in calculating the GPA even if the earlier grade was higher. If a passed course is repeated and failed (or NC), the student will lose both the quality points and credits previously earned. However, all grades will appear on the transcript. Courses in which grades of D, F, and NC were earned at Slippery Rock University may not be repeated at any institution other than as a Visiting Student at another PA State System of Higher Education university for transfer to Slippery Rock University.
Students who repeat a course must do so using the same grading system under which they originally took the course. For example, a student who originally took a course graded A-F may not repeat the course on a P/NC or audit basis. Students may not repeat a course by using any Credit by Examination program if they originally took the course on a graded (A-F), P/NC or audit basis.
Effective January 2010 undergraduate students will be limited to a maximum total of six repeats during their entire SRU academic career.
In addition, repeats of a single course will be limited to a maximum of two. This means, no single course may be taken more than three times.
The course repeat policy for post-baccalaureate students will be the same as the current graduate student policy. (See Graduate Catalog.)
Semester Credit Load
The number of credits an undergraduate student may carry is determined by the cumulative grade point average as follows:
- If the cumulative GPA is less than 2.000, students are limited to a maximum of 16 credits, inclusive of any repeat courses that are scheduled.
- If the cumulative GPA is 2.000 to 2.499, a maximum load of 18 credits is permitted.
- If the cumulative GPA is 2.500 or above, a maximum of 21 credits is permitted. An additional fee is charged for each credit in excess of 18.
Studnets wishing to register for more than the maximum number of credits noted above must complete a “Request to Register for Excess Hours” form, have it approved, and returned to the Office of Academic Rcords and Summer School for processing.
Senior citizens (persons 62 or older, who are receiving social security or equivalent retirement benefits) may audit courses at no cost at Slippery Rock University on a space available basis. Senior citizens must provide proof of age, retirement benefits, name, address, and social security number to the Office of Academic Records and Summer School in order to complete registration. Individuals 62 or older who are not working and are not receiving social security or retirement benefits may also qualify for this program. Senior citizens may register for classes no earlier than one week prior to the start of the semester/term. Senior citizens taking courses for credit are responsible for paying all applicable fees with the exception of tuition.
Summer sessions at Slippery Rock University are scheduled over a fifteen week period as follows: Pre-session (two and one-half weeks), Session I (four weeks), Session II (four weeks) and Summer Term (four weeks). Information on the summer sessions is made available through an online summer schedule/bulletin, which may be accessed from SRU website in mid-March prior to the summer sessions.
Testing for Advanced Placement
Students may qualify to earn a maximum of 45 credits by making satisfactory scores on tests administered through special examination programs, and thereby earn credit or be exempt from certain college courses. Students may not repeat a course by using Credit by Examination if they originally took the course on a graded (A-F), P/NC or audit basis. Credits earned by examination may not be used as part of the students’ final 30 credits to be earned at the university.
- The Advanced Placement Program (AP) of the College Entrance Examination Board permits high school students to earn college credits at their schools while attending high school. Students must first take an advanced placement course prior to the advanced placement exam. Scores of three or higher will normally be awarded college credit. High school counselors may assist in this procedure.
- Departments at the university offer credit by examination for some courses. Approval for these tests should be secured from the faculty adviser, instructor, and appropriate departmental chairperson.
- The College Level Examination Program (CLEP) is administered by The College Board. This program is open to all students who meet the eligibility criteria. Under the program, students who feel their knowledge of certain subjects is extensive may elect to take the CLEP exams, which are of two types: general and subject. The general examinations are designed to reflect the learning that ordinarily takes place in the students’ first two years of college. The subject examinations are designed to reflect the more specific knowledge which students may have acquired. General examinations each carry 6 credits. Subject examinations each carry 3-4 credits. Upon successfully passing an examination with a score at or above the American Council on Education’s recommended minimum score, students will receive credit for the corresponding course(s), which permits registration in more advanced courses. Information on CLEP is available from the Office of Academic Records and Summer School and at the following website: www.collegeboard.com/clep
- The university also awards credit for a limited number of Excelsior College, ACT (PEP) exams and DSST exams offered by the Armed Services. Students may contact the Office of Academic Records and Summer School for a list of acceptable PEP and DSST exams.
Students may obtain official transcripts of their academic records from the Office of Academic Records and Summer School by written request. Transcripts may be mailed, faxed or sent electronically. Each mailed or electronic copy costs $3.00, and written requests should include a check or money order made payable to Slippery Rock University. Students requesting that a transcript be faxed are assessed an additional $2.00 faxed transcript fee (for a total of $5.00). Transcripts are typically processed in 24-48 hours. Students requesting “same day” service will be charged $10 per transcript ($12 per transcript if faxed). A complimentary copy of the transcript is sent to all students upon graduation. Transcripts are not released to students who have outstanding financial obligations to the university. The University only issues OFFICIAL transcripts. Unofficial transcripts do not exist.
A student’s academic transcript will indicate any disciplinary action taken that leads to separation from the institution. That is, should a student be suspended or dismissed from the university under the provisions of the Code of Conduct, a notation will be placed on the student’s transcript for the duration of the sanction. The notation will be removed upon expiration or by action of the vice president for student life.
Transient Student Status
Slippery Rock University students who are in good academic standing, or who are under academic probation/suspension and plan to take courses at another institution for transfer back to Slippery Rock University must complete and have approved by their adviser, chairperson and dean (if suspended) a transient student clearance form and comply with all regulations cited on that form. Students will not be permitted to take any of their final 30 credits as a transient student. Credit will not be awarded for transient courses determined by the Executive Director of Academic Records, Summer School and Graduate Studies to duplicate coursework already posted on students’ SRU records. Transient credit will be awarded for courses in which grades of “C-” or better have been earned. Grades earned as a transient student will not be computed in a student’s SRU cumulative GPA. Copies of the transient student form are available in the department chairpersons’ offices, the Office of Academic Records and Summer School and online.Transient students may not take correspondence courses and credit earned by examination. Other policies governing transient status are available from the Office of Academic Records and Summer School.
Upper Division Course Work
All degrees require the completion of a minimum of 48 credit hours of upper division course work. Thirty-nine of the 48 credits must be at the 300 level or higher, the additional 9 credits may include any course requiring a 3 credit hour prerequisite. At least 24 of the 48 credits must be completed at Slippery Rock University.
At least half a student’s major must consist of upper division course work (only 300-level and above). At least 9 credit hours of a student’s minor must be taken at the upper division level (300-level and above or courses requiring a 3-credit prerequisite).
Students with fewer than 45 credits (Sophomore II) must have the permission of the instructor to enroll in 300 and 400 level courses.
Students desiring to transfer credit and grades earned at other universities in the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education back to Slippery Rock University may do so as “visiting students.” Courses taken under this program are treated the same as courses taken at Slippery Rock University in computing the students’ GPA. A special form, with a list of program requirements, is available in the Office of Academic Records and Summer School and must be approved by the students’ adviser or chairperson, academic dean, and the Executive Director of Academic Records, Summer School and Graduate Studies.
Withdrawal from the University
Students who withdraw from the university must either complete an official withdrawal form obtainable at the offices of Academic Records and Summer School or Retention Services, or notify the Director of Retention Services via a signed and dated letter of their intention to withdraw.
Students will be officially withdrawn from the university on the date the offices of Academic Records and Summer School or Retention Services receive notification in writing of their intent to withdraw, not the last day of class attendance.
It is expected that students living on-campus will move out of their residence hall and cease eating in the university’s cafeterias immediately after withdrawing from school.
Students withdrawing from the university up to the last day of classes will be awarded withdrawal grades of “W” in all classes. Students waiting to withdraw from the university after the last day of classes (final exam week) will be withdrawn on the last day of the semester/term and will not be awarded a withdrawal grade in any class.