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Academic Policies

 

Scholarship policy at Clarion University is formulated by the Subcommittee on Academic Standards, which is a subcommittee of Faculty Senate.

 

Academic Honesty

Students at Clarion University shall maintain a high standard of honesty in scholastic work. As members of the university community, students have a responsibility to be familiar with the conduct regulations found in the university catalogs, Residence Hall Handbook; Student Rights, Regulations, and Procedures Online Handbook, and other university documents. Among the conduct regulations addressed are acts of academic dishonesty, including plagiarism or cheating on assignments, examinations, or other
academic work, or without prior approval of the instructor, submitting work already done for another course.

Students shall avoid all forms of academic dishonesty, including but not limited to:

  1. Plagiarism—
    the use of another’s words without attribution and without enclosing the words in quotation marks. Plagiarism may also be defined as the act of taking the ideas or expression of ideas of another person and representing them as one’s own—even if the original paper has been paraphrased or otherwise modified. A close or extended paraphrase may also be considered plagiarism even if the source is named.

  2. Collusion—
    collaborating with another person in the preparation of notes, themes, reports, or other written work offered for credit, unless specifically permitted by the instructor.

  3. Cheating on an examination or quiz—
    giving or receiving information or using prepared material on an examination or quiz.

  4. Falsification of data—
    manufacturing data, falsification of information, including providing false or misleading information, or selective use of data to support a particular conclusion or to avoid conducting actual research.

Complaints of academic dishonesty may be brought against a student by any member of the academic community. Sanctions for academic dishonesty can range from a failing grade on a particular assignment or examination to dismissal from the university, based on the seriousness of the action and whether it is part of a pattern of academic dishonesty.

Sanctions extending beyond a particular course, such as suspension or dismissal from an academic program or from the university, can only be imposed as a result of complaints filed under the Disciplinary Procedures Code and addressed through a formal hearing before the Conduct Board.

Instructors imposing a lowered or failing grade on an assignment or course as a result of a charge of academic dishonesty must inform the student in writing of the charge, as well as provide a copy to the Office of Judicial and Mediation Services. Students ave the right to appeal instructor decisions related to charges of academic dishonesty either

(1) through the grade appeal process outlined above (see Student Rights, Regulations, and Procedures Online Handbook), or

(2) directly to the university Conduct Board by contacting the Office of Judicial & Mediation Services.

A student may not appeal through both procedures. Should a student appeal through the second option, the board will schedule a hearing at which the faculty member will explain the charge and resultant academic action; the student shall then have an  opportunity to address the allegation. The decision of the Conduct Board shall be final.

Rather than imposing a lowered or failing grade on an assignment or for a course, an instructor may choose to report an allegation of academic dishonesty directly to the Office of Judicial & Mediation Services. This process automatically results in a formal hearing before the university Conduct Board. Should the board find the student in violation of the academic honesty policy, the student may appeal the decision and/or penalty to the university president. The decision of the president shall be final.

 

Good Academic Standing

To be in good academic standing at Clarion, undergraduate students must maintain a minimum QPA of 2.00 for both semester and cumulative averages. Individual programs may have higher requirements.

 

Grading System

A     excellent AU audit
B     good I indicates incomplete work
C     satisfactory P passing
D     poor W indicates withdrawal from a course
E     failure WX indicates withdrawal from the
CR  credit university
CX  credit by Z grade not submitted (temporary) examination

Incomplete grades are not given unless a student has been in attendance throughout a semester or session. It indicates the work of a student is incomplete and the final grade is being withheld until the student fulfills all the requirements of the course. Incomplete grades are used only when conditions and circumstances warrant and when evidence is presented to justify its being given.

Students receiving incomplete grades are required to make arrangements with the instructor who submitted the incomplete grade to fulfill the requirements of the course by the end of the following semester, or the incomplete becomes a failing grade. Incompletes are not removed by repeating the course.

 

Calculation of Quality-Point Average (QPA)

Scholastic standing of students is determined on the basis of a quality-point system in which a grade of A equals four quality points per semester hour; B equals three; C equals two; D equals one; and E equals zero. The number of quality points earned in a single course for one semester is determined by multiplying the quality-point value of the course grade by the number of semester hours in the course; thus, a grade of A in a three-semester-hour course has a quality-point value of 12. A student’s QPA at any specific time is determined by dividing the total number of quality points earned in all courses by the total number of quality hours. For example, if a student earned 30 quality points for 15 quality hours of course work in a single semester, his or her QPA for the semester would be 2.00.

At the end of each semester, a student’s QPA is calculated for that semester and also for all the course work he or she has taken up to and including the semester just completed. The latter is known as the cumulative QPA.

Scholarship policy for two-year programs requires students earn a minimum QPA of 1.75 their first semester and a 2.00 their second semester and thereafter in order to be in satisfactory academic standing. The cumulative QPA should be 2.00 by the end of the second semester.

 

Academic Probation

To be in good academic standing, undergraduate students must maintain a minimum QPA of 2.00 for both semester and cumulative averages. Students, who have earned 12 quality hours, falling below the 2.00 standard in either the semester or cumulative average will be placed on academic probation effective the next semester of attendance. Students placed on probation will be notified by mail at the end of the Fall or Spring semester. Students on academic probation may not attempt more than 12 to 15 credit hours per semester.

 

Academic Suspension

Undergraduate students who are not in good academic standing, despite probationary measures, will be placed on suspension. Second-semester freshmen on probation with less than a 1.75 cumulative and less than a 2.00 semester average will be suspended. Students, who have earned 12 quality hours or more, on probation with less than a 2.00 cumulative and less than a 2.00 semester average will be suspended. Students who are suspended will be notified by mail at the end of the Fall or Spring semester.

Students notified of academic suspension may attempt readmission in the following ways:

  1. The student may attend winter intersession and summer sessions at Clarion. If the student earns the required cumulative average by the end of the summer and provided it was the student’s first suspension, the student will be readmitted. Students who have been suspended two or more times, must appeal in a typed letter to the Academic Standards Committee.

  2. The student may appeal the suspension by submitting a typed letter to the Academic Standards Committee. Students may be readmitted if the poor academic performance was caused by unusual circumstances beyond the student’s control or if for other reasons it is not indicative of future performance. Petitions must be filed with the committee through the Office of Academic Affairs by the date specified in the notification of academic suspension.

    Use the following guidelines when appealing a suspension to the Academic Standards Committee. If possible, include independent documentation and/or references in the petition. Statements should address:

    a. why academic performance was poor;
    b. how the student expects to improve his or her academic performance and how he or she intends tocorrect the problem identified in item 2a;
    c. the projected course of study if a change of major is planned;
    d. what the student has done since last attending Clarion, including course work completed at other institutions; and/or
    e. other evidence believed to be helpful to the committee.

  3. The student may apply for readmission by writing to the Office of the Registrar after an absence of one or more semesters, provided the suspension was the student’s first.

  4. Students who have been suspended two or more times must appeal in a typed letter to the Academic Standards Committee using the guidelines detailed above. Please contact the Office of the Registrar or the Office of Academic Affairs to obtain appeal deadlines.

  5. Suspended students who have been absent from the university for a period of at least four years do not need to file a written appeal to the Academic Standards Committee. Such students may be readmitted through the Office of the Registrar (see “Academic Renewal”).

Students on academic probation may not attempt more than 12 to 15 credit hours per semester. Suspended students who wish to take credits at another accredited institution should first consult with their dean to ensure the credits will transfer. Clarion accepts credits from accredited institutions, but grades and quality points do not transfer. Clarion permits transfer of these credits provided the credits are applicable to the student’s program and a grade of C or better is earned. Courses in which grades were previously earned at Clarion may not be repeated at another university.


Academic Honors

Academic honors are recognized with a dean’s list every semester and with the traditional honors designations of cum laude, magna cum laude, and summa cum laude at graduation. To be included on the semester dean’s list, students must be enrolled for a minimum of 12 graded credits; not including credits by proficiency examinations, incomplete grades, or pass/fail; and achieve a semester QPA of at least a 3.50. In order to earn graduation honors, students must have earned at least 32 credits at Clarion.

Students who graduate with the following cumulative QPAs will be recognized as honors graduates:

Cum laude: 3.40 – 3.59
Magna cum laude: 3.60 – 3.79
Summa cum laude: 3.80 – 4.00


For the purposes of the commencement ceremony, graduation honors are based on the last graded term prior to commencement. Designation of graduation honors on the academic transcript are determined after submission of final grades and degrees are posted. For information concerning honorary kinds of recognition that may be accorded by various colleges and departments, students should inquire at the office of their major department and/or the office of the dean of the college in which they are enrolled.

 

Class Attendance Policy

Clarion University of Pennsylvania regards student participation in class as essential to the learning process. Therefore, regular classroom attendance is required of all students. Faculty members determine the absence policies for their own classes, except that participation in university sanctioned activities or active military service will be excused and the student will be given reasonable assistance when class work is missed.

It is understood that absence does not excuse the student from course work and the responsibility to complete assignments on time. If a student knows a class must be missed, the instructor should be notified in advance and arrangements made to complete the work. The instructor is not required to give make-up examinations or accept class work missed as a result of an unexcused absence.

In the event of an unexpected prolonged absence such as a serious illness or military deployment, the Office of the Registrar should be notified as soon as possible so instructors can be informed of the reason for a student’s absence. This information is provided to faculty as a courtesy and does not, in and of itself, constitute a valid excuse for the student’s absence from class. A valid excuse will be granted to a student for military deployment following receipt of a copy of the military orders from the student’s military command.

 

Senior Citizens

People on Social Security or equivalent retirement benefits are given remission of fees for classes where space is available. Courses are recorded as audits with no grades or credits earned. Contact the Office of Admissions at 814-393-2306 to complete the process.

 

Auditing of Courses

With the permission of the instructor, interested persons may audit courses if there is space available in the course from the first day of class and up until the end of the drop/add period. Students must declare their intentions in writing to the Office of the Registrar prior to the end of the drop/add period. Laboratory courses may not be taken as an audit.

Students who enroll in a course for credit may change to an audit grade only during the drop/add period. Likewise, students who enroll in a course to audit may only change to credit during this same period.

 

Credit-No Record Courses

After students have earned a minimum of 30 semester hours of credit and are in good academic standing, they may schedule a maximum of six courses or 18 semester hours for credit-no record. One such course may be taken each semester or Summer Session. This regulation does not apply to internships in the cooperative education program. All such internships are automatically credit-no record. Courses in one’s major and minor fields may not be taken for credit-no record. Business students are not permitted to take any business courses, MATH 131, or MATH 132 for credit-no record.

The option for taking a course for credit-no record is limited to the first five weeks of each semester and the first two weeks of any five-week Summer Session. Satisfactory work in a credit-no record course shall be shown on the transcript as CR, with no record and no credit for less than satisfactory work. Satisfactory work is defined as the equivalent of C grade or better under the letter grading system in use by the university.

Students who desire to have a credit-no record course changed from CR to a letter grade must retake the course. Credit-no record courses are counted in determining the course load for a semester.

 

Individualized Instruction/Independent Study

A student seeking individualized instruction/independent study must initiate the request by completing the Petition for Individual Instruction and Independent Study form obtained from the dean of the college in which the course is offered, after preliminary discussions with both the advisor and possible instructor. Justification is required.

Independent Study
Independent study provides the opportunity to a student for a unique academic experience otherwise not available through regular curricular offerings. Independent study should not be confused with cooperative or internship courses which provide job experiences. A project description must be composed by the student and submitted along with the petition form.

Individualized Instruction
Individualized instruction allows a student to take an unscheduled course required for completion of a program of study. The course must not be offered currently, and it should be shown as not scheduled for offering prior to the student’s intended graduation.

 

Class Standings

Class standings (freshman, sophomore, etc.) are determined by credits earned rather than by semesters of residence:
freshmen, 1-29 credits; sophomores, 30-59 credits; juniors, 60-89 credits; seniors, 90-120 or more credits.

 

Course Numbering

Courses numbered 100 to 299 inclusive are primarily for freshmen and sophomores; 300 to 499 are primarily for juniors and seniors. Some courses numbered between 400 and 499 are acceptable for graduate credit. Courses numbered above 500 carry graduate credit. The university reserves the right to change the sequence and number of courses.

 

Second Major

A student at Clarion University may earn a second major within the same college of the university and within the same degree category (B.S., B.A., or B.F.A.) by completing all requirements of both major programs. In this case, it is not necessary to meet the requirements for the baccalaureate degree, nor is a second baccalaureate degree granted.

 

Maximum Credit Hour Load

The normal credit-hour load for undergraduate students in good academic standing is 15 to 18 credit hours per semester, three to five credits per three-week Summer Session, six to seven credit hours per five-week Summer Session, and one class during winter intersession. Students on academic probation may not attempt more than 12 to 15 credit hours per semester.

Students wishing to register for 19 to 21 credit hours during any one semester, or more than five credit hours for a three-week Summer Session or seven credit hours for a five-week Summer Session or more than one class during Winter Intersession
must have a cumulative QPA of 3.00 or better and the written permission of the appropriate college dean. Students are required to pay for each additional credit over the semester or session limit.

All scholastic standards noted above are subject to change by the university.


Readmission

Students who are absent for one or more semesters and students who are returning after an absence following their first academic suspension must apply for readmission in writing to the Office of the Registrar. The deadline is one week before the beginning of classes. Students seeking readmission following an academic suspension should read the section on Academic Suspension (page 32). Students readmitted after an absence of two or more years must meet all requirements of their respective degree program as of the date of readmission.

 

Repeat Grade Policy

Effective with the Fall 2009 semester, undergraduate students will be limited to a maximum of six repeats. Within the six-repeat rule, single course repeat for grade improvement will be limited to three times. Therefore, a single course can only appear in a transcript a total of three times. This policy will not take into account course repeats taken prior to the Fall 2009 semester.

Once a student has graduated from the university, a course cannot be repeated for the purpose of improving one’s cumulative undergraduate or graduate QPA. The latest repeat grade shall be the counting grade in the QPA prior to graduation. The quality points, quality hours, and earned hours of the original grade received will be subtracted from the student’s cumulative statistics. Grades earned at another institution cannot be used to replace grades previously earned at Clarion.

 

Withdrawals

Individual Course Withdrawal Policy
An undergraduate student is permitted five individual course withdrawals at Clarion University, which are recorded with a grade of W. Exceptions may be made for withdrawals due to documented extenuating circumstances with approval of the instructor, advisor, and dean of the student’s program.

All class withdrawals must be initiated by completing a class withdrawal form, which is signed by the student’s advisor. If a withdrawal is not made through the Office of the Registrar, a failing grade will be recorded for the affected course(s). Classes a student drops during the period of drop/add will not appear on the student’s record. Course withdrawals may be made between the second and tenth weeks of a regular semester or by the dates listed on the Registrar’s calendar page for winter and summer sessions. Students are limited to 5 class withdrawals within their career.

Appeals for a late course withdrawal may be made by students to the Registrar for withdrawals due to documented extenuating circumstances such as illness or some other unavoidable occurrence. These appeals must be submitted in writing prior to the last day of classes and require approval of the instructor, advisor, and dean of the student’s program.

Withdrawal From the University
Students may withdraw from the university (all courses) through the last day of classes by notifying the Office of the Registrar in writing of his or her intention to withdraw and the reason for withdrawal. University withdrawals, which are recorded with grades of WX, are not included in the limit of five individual course withdrawals. If a withdrawal is not made by the deadline, a failing grade may be recorded for the affected course(s).

Appeals to this procedure must be submitted by the student in writing to the Registrar no later than 30 days following the end of the semester for which the student is submitting the withdrawal. Appeals require review and approval by the Office of Academic Affairs. See section on refunds under financial information for financial implications of withdrawal.

 

Graduation and Degree Conferral Policy

Students must initiate an Application for Graduation to be considered a candidate for graduation. Applications are available on the Registrar’s Office website. Applications must be approved by the academic advisor, department chair and dean. Deadlines for submitting applications are available on the Registrar website. Details regarding the commencement ceremony can be found on the Commencement web page.

Formal commencement exercises are held in December and May of each year. Participation in the December ceremony is limited to those degree candidates who will complete their degree requirements in fall or winter intersession. Participation in the May ceremony is limited to those degree candidates who will complete their degree requirements in the spring or summer.

Degrees are conferred six times annually – the last day of final exams for the fall semester, winter intersession, spring semester, first summer session, second summer session, and third summer session.

Students who have not successfully completed all degree requirements within 30 days after the last day of final exams will not have their degree awarded until the degree conferral date for the term their requirements have been completed. Students who do not successfully complete their degree requirements for the term are responsible for reactivating their application for graduation by notifying the Registrar’s Office of their next anticipated date of graduation.


Graduation Requirements

Graduation from Clarion University with a baccalaureate or associate degree requires successful completion of all specified major, degree, and university requirements outlined by the College of Arts and Sciences, the College of Business Administration, the College of Education and Human Services, the School of Nursing and Allied Health, or Venango College.

Undergraduate students must successfully complete a minimum of 120 credits with both a major and cumulative QPA of at least 2.00 except where the requirements of a particular program or college are higher. All credits, including transfer credits, must be approved by the appropriate college dean or director and the department chair of the academic area in which the degree is to be granted. Unless exempt, candidates for baccalaureate and associate degrees must successfully complete ENG 111 with a passing grade (education and nursing majors must earn a grade of C or better).

All students are responsible for knowing the major, degree, and university requirements of their respective programs. Students are advised to meet with their academic advisor on a regular basis throughout their undergraduate career.

 

Residence Requirements

A minimum of 30 of the last 45 credits required for graduation with a baccalaureate degree must be taken at Clarion University. At least 50 percent of major credits must be taken through Clarion University. Candidates for graduation with an associate degree must complete a minimum of 30 credit hours in residence at Venango College in Oil City, Pa. or online for students in a completely on-line program. Waivers are available through Academic Affairs.

 

Second Baccalaureate Degree

Students who have earned their first baccalaureate degree from Clarion University may earn a second baccalaureate degree from a different college of the university or different degree (B.S., B.A., or B.F.A.) within the same college. This can be accomplished by completing a minimum of 30 credits, excluding physical education activities, beyond the requirements of the first degree and by completing all of the requirements of the second degree. In this case, the student will receive two diplomas.

Students may also pursue two baccalaureate degrees concurrently by completing a minimum of 30 credits, excluding physical education activities, beyond the requirements of the first degree and by completing all of the requirements of the second degree. Students who have earned their first baccalaureate degree from another institution are responsible for satisfying Clarion University’s residence requirement.

 

Academic Renewal

The academic renewal policy permits undergraduate students who return to Clarion University after a minimum four-year absence the one-time option of having D and E coursework excluded from their quality-point average (QPA) calculation. Students enrolled in a bachelor’s degree program may have up to 18 semester hours excluded from their QPA calculation. Students enrolled in an associate’s degree program may have up to nine semester hours excluded from their QPA calculation. These semester hours must have been completed at Clarion University prior to readmission. The courses, grades, and probationary actions will remain on the transcript with an appropriate notation of academic renewal approved.

Students who have been suspended more than one time and absent from the university for a period of at least four years do not need to file a written appeal to the Academic Standards Committee. These students may be readmitted through the Office of the Registrar. Students must successfully complete a minimum of 30 hours before receiving a baccalaureate degree. Students must successfully complete a minimum of 15 hours before receiving an associate degree.

Students may complete a Request for Academic Renewal form which is available at the Office of the Registrar, 122 Carrier Administration, upon completion of 12 semester hours after readmission. Students must complete a minimum of 12 semester hours with a grade point average of 2.00 in their first 12 semester hours of study after readmission while on provisional status. Students, who do not achieve a minimum of 2.00 while on provisional status in their first 12 semester hours of study, are not eligible for academic renewal.

Removal of up to 18 credits for bachelor’s degrees (up to nine credits for associate degrees) of D and E grades may achieve the required 2.00 QPA for financial aid requirements. All other current financial aid requirements are in effect each semester that the student enrolls at Clarion University.


Special Program Requirements

Special Program Requirements—Medical Technology
To remain in the Medical Technology Program, students must maintain the following QPA: first-semester freshmen, 2.0; second-semester freshmen and first-semester sophomores, 2.5; thereafter 2.5 with a 2.5 in the natural sciences. Exceptions to these requirements must be approved by the coordinator of medical technology.

Admission to the Medical Technology Program at the university does not guarantee admission to the year in the hospital laboratory. Hospital spaces are limited, are under the control of the individual hospitals.

Special Program Requirements—College of Business Administration
Business students pursuing the B.S.B.A. must meet the requirements for admission to the college’s upper division. In addition, business administration students must meet graduation standards beyond general university requirements. The academic standards are fully described under the College of Business Administration page.

Students readmitted to the College of Business Administration after an absence of two years or more must meet all requirements of the college as of the date of readmission. Students who transfer from other regionally accredited universities or colleges must have a minimum cumulative QPA of 2.50 in all previous course work to enter the College of Business Administration. This applies to all course work taken at all universities prior to attending Clarion University.

Clarion students transferring from majors outside the COBA must have earned a minimum cumulative QPA of 2.50 to enter the COBA. Clarion students who do not have a cumulative QPA of 2.50 at the time of the request for transfer into the COBA must have achieved a 2.50 QPA in their most recent 12 credits completed at Clarion University.

Students transferring to Clarion University must take more than 50 percent of their business credits at Clarion. In addition, transfer students must complete a minimum of 15 credits (out of 24) in their specific business major in residence at Clarion University. For additional information, please see the college’s policy on QPA and Residency Requirements for Transfer Students.

Credits for courses completed at other universities or colleges are transferable to Clarion University, but the grades and quality points are not. Therefore, grades earned in courses accepted by the COBA to satisfy requirements of the lower- or upper-division core will not be used in the computation of the QPAs required by the academic standards of the College of Business Administration.

Clarion University students whose major is outside of the College of Business Administration may take no more than 25 percent of their total credits in courses offered by the College of Business Administration. This would amount to a maximum of 32 credits in a 128-credit hour program or 30 credits in a 120-credit hour program. Students who are enrolled in the business minor may be permitted to exceed this limit, dependent upon individual situations, with the approval of the dean of the College of Business Administration. Economics courses taken by majors in the Bachelor of Arts in Economics degree are excluded from this restriction.

College of Education and Human Services Selection, Retention, and Graduation Standards: PDF