Graduate Academic Policies and Services

Culminating Graduate Experience
Each graduate level program requires a culminating experience, e.g., a thesis, research study, final project, internship, and provides its own guidelines.

Transfer Credits
Students may transfer a maximum number of six semester graduate credits appropriate to the program, earned from a regionally accredited college or university, toward completion of their St. Scholastica degree. Exceptions to this policy for individual students may be made by individual departments. The transfer credit must have been completed no more than seven years prior to the date the St. Scholastica degree is completed. Forms to request transfer of credits can be obtained from the Office of Graduate and Extended Campus Admissions. The College of St. Scholastica will consider transfer credits from students who:

  • Submit a Graduate Credit Transfer Application form.
  • Submit an official transcript sent directly from the regionally accredited institution.
  • Submit the course syllabus, catalog, or other pertinent descriptive information to determine equivalency of course content.
  • Have earned a course grade of 3.0 or better.
  • Completed the course not more than seven years prior to graduating from the St. Scholastica program.

Degree-seeking students planning to enroll in courses at another institution with the intent to transfer the credits to The College of St. Scholastica will need to send a written request and supporting course documentation to the program director prior to enrolling in the course. Written approval will be provided if the course is acceptable for transfer.

Withdrawal from the College
Any student who withdraws from the College during the course of the academic year must fill out an Official Withdrawal from College form.

A student is legally registered until he/she files an official withdrawal or completes the course. Enrollment verification and refunds are based upon two documents:

  • the official registration form and
  • official withdrawal form.

A student who has left The College while in good standing may reenter at any time, depending upon program availability, by following the designated readmission and registration procedures.

Graduate Stop-Out Policy
A stop-out occurs when a graduate student decides not to enroll due to extenuating circumstances and does not wish to forfeit their spot in the program. The student will need to contact their Graduate Program Director (or program designee) or program advisor who will advise the student regarding the projected completion date. Students may go to https://www2.css.edu/app/depts/registrar/withdraw/index.cfm to initiate an official Withdrawal from College form and be coded as a stop-out. Once the student completes the form, the person designated point of contact will login at https://www2.css.edu/app/depts/registrar/withdraw/adminlogin.cfm to complete the form with an electronic signature. Graduate program advisors will forward a withdrawel email to the Administrative Support for Graduate, Extended and Online programs at geoadmin@css.edu. A graduate student, who has been granted admission into a program, enrolls in the program and then stops-out for more than 12 months must re-apply to the program by the program application deadline date and meet all admission requirements.

Grade Definitions
Graduate students must maintain an average GPA of 3.0 and no grade lower than a C. A student's performance is recorded in grades as follows: 

A

4.0 grade points

C+

2.3 grade points

A-

3.7 grade points

C

2.0 grade points

B+

3.3 grade points

F

 0 grade points

B

3.0 grade points

 

 

B-

2.7 grade points

 

 

 
A = Evidence of exceptional and outstanding work.

B = Evidence of acceptable work.

C = Minimally acceptable if the required overall GPA is maintained for that program.

F = Failing work.

P = The P (pass) may be used if agreed upon ahead of time by the faculty and student. The P grade indicates successful completion of course requirements.

N = The N (no credit) grade is used when Pass/No Pass has been agreed upon and when course requirements have not been successfully completed.

I = The I (incomplete) grade is given to students who have requested an I grade because they are unable to complete the course requirements by the end of the course/semester due to extraordinary circumstances. The request must be made to the faculty on the Graduate Course Incomplete Contract form. The I grade must be converted to a letter grade (A through F) or P or N within the contract time frame. Alternatively, the faculty may assign a grade of W (withdraw).

IP = The IP (in progress) grade is used to signify courses that are usually not completed within the term due to the nature of the course. The IP grade must be converted to a letter grade (A through F) or P or N within 12 months from the time the course was ended. Alternatively, the faculty may assign a grade of W (withdraw).

W = If a student receives a W grade because of failure to complete an I or IP and then later decides to retake or complete the course, he or she must register and pay tuition at the rate in effect at that time. No tuition refunds will be given in connection with withdrawals under this policy.

Graduate Incomplete Policy

  1. An incomplete may be assigned by the instructor at his/her discretion at the end of a term.
  2. Faculty and student must complete an  Incomplete Contract Form. This form is available at http://resources.css.edu/Registrar/forms/incomplete_grade_contract.pdf
  3. A limit will be placed on the length of time that "I" may stand on the student's record: that limit, unless extended by the instructor, will be the fifth week of the subsequent term. "Incompletes" must be resolved before the student can officially graduate.
  4. Procedure
    1. Faculty and student must complete the Incomplete Contract Form with the student outlining specific requirements to complete the "I" the required completion date and default grade. Both student and faculty member sign the form and submit to the campus site director.
    2. Campuses will keep a copy of the form in the student's file.
    3. The Registrar will notify the instructor of oustanding "I" prior to week five of the subsequent term. Advisors will be copied.
    4. The instructor responds in one of two ways
      1. Requests an extension of the incomplete for the student.
      2. Enters a default grade (A-F) on the student's transcript.

Completion of the Graduate Degree

Time Limits for Completion of the Graduate Degree
The credits required for obtaining a graduate degree, including transfer credits, must have been earned within seven years. Transfer credits approved early in the program may not apply toward the degree if they become older than seven years before all of the degree requirements are completed.

Commencement
In order to be awarded the graduate degree or certificate, students must complete the Application to Graduate. This form can be completed online at https://www2.css.edu/app/depts/registrar/appToGraduate/graduate and should be submitted to the department along with the graduation fee by October 1st for Fall commencement and February 1st for Spring commencement, according to department policy. The Application to Graduate from must be signed by the Graduate Academic Advisor and the Graduate Program Director, and then submitted to the School Dean who signs it and forwards the document to the Registrar.

Graduate students generally participate in commencement at the Fall or Spring ceremony following completion of all degree requirements. In those programs (or tracks) where the final requirement is an off-site iunternship/field placement, e.g. occupational therapy, students who are making normal progress toward their degree may participate in the ceremony prior to completing the final requirement.

Students in other programs or tracks who have special circumstances may participate in commencement with the permission of the Graduate Program Director and the School Dean. Participation in the ceremony does not confer the degree. The degree is conferred when all requirements have been completed and appear on the official transcript.

Disciplinary Policies
Students may be placed on probation, or dismissed, for academic and behavioral reasons. Most lapses in ethical or academic standards will be addressed with probation, but some may be severe enough to warrant dismissal.

A student may be placed on probation only once during the timeframe of a given program. Exceptions to this policy for individual students may be made with approval of the program department and the School Dean.

Academic Probation
Students must maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.0. If the cumulative GPA falls below 3.0, the student is placed on academic probation. The student must then achieve a 3.0 after completion of a minimum of six subsequent credits, or the designated subsequent semester course load for full time, traditional programs.

Academic dishonesty such as plagiarism, falsification of data, or cheating will result, at a minimum, in failure of the assignment involved, and may result in failure of the course. Course failure will result in academic probation. More than one instance of academic dishonesty will result in dismissal. However, in cases of serious dishonesty, dismissal may result after the first instance. Any instance of academic dishonesty and the resultant disciplinary actions must be reported to the School Dean.

Behavioral Probation
Students are expected to conform to professional standards of behavior. Some examples of reasons for behavioral probation are minor infractions in the following areas:

  1. Lying, stealing, or breach of confidentiality when dealing with a patient/client or related health-record data.
  2. Behavioral or emotional problems that are incompatible with competent and/or ethical performance as a graduate student.
  3. Failure to abide by the code of ethics governing the discipline.
  4. Impeding the learning of other students in the program through disruptive behavior, lack of cooperation, or other actions or lapses.
  5. Unprofessional behavior while in clinical/practicum/internship settings.

The student and the faculty of the department will create a set of expectations to address the problems (i.e. a contract), and a specified period of time will be set in which to correct them. Failure to conform to the terms of the probationary contract will result in dismissal from the program.

Students will normally be put on probation before being dismissed unless the student has committed acts of gross or irreparable unethical nature.

During a probationary period:

  1. Standards must not be higher than those of other students in the program; however, students on probation may be monitored more frequently or more intensively than other students.
  2. Clear descriptions of the reasons for probation, and expectations for the future, will be laid out in a written communication; copies to the student, the faculty advisor, any other faculty member involved in coursework, and the Program Director.
  3. Faculty involved must follow up with the student and with the Program Director at regular intervals and give factual evidence of progress (example; weekly or bi-weekly grade reports or clinical evaluations).

At the end of the probationary period:

  • If the student has completed the probationary period satisfactorily, and has corrected all problems laid out in the probation agreement, the student is returned to regular status.

Dismissal
Students will be subject to dismissal for severe and/or repeated academic or behavioral issues whereby expected academic or behavioral standards are not met.
Examples include:

Academic Dismissal

  1. Failure to maintain an overall 3.0 GPA.
  2. Incursion of a second probationary status for either academic or behavioral cause.
  3. Repeated or serious plagarism or other infractions of academic dishonesty.
  4. Failure to meet stipulations of an academic probationary contract.
  5. Failure to meet the conditions of a provisional/probationary admittance contract.

Behavioral Dismissal

  1. Failure to meet expectations outlined in a probationary contract designed to correct any behavioral infractions.
  2. Comission of acts of a gross or irreparable unethical nature.
  3. Incursion of a second probationary status for either academic or behavioral cause.

Dismissal Procedure
In cases of continued violations during the probationary period, unsatisfactory progress during the probationary period, or in cases of single but severe violations, the department may proceed with dismissal according to specific procedures outlined in their department policies and procedures handbook.

Academic Appeal Procedure

Grounds for Appeal
The academic appeal procedure is a process designed to address an academic situation the student perceives as unfair or unjust. It is not a process to be used when there is dissatisfaction with a grade or to obtain a grade change. For information on non-academic grievances, refer to the relevant sections of the Student Handbook.

Administrative Appeal
The student should try to resolve the situation by discussing it with the following people in the order listed below. The procedure would halt at any point that satisfaction has been reached. If the administrative path for the appeal is unclear, the student should consult with the VPAA for clarification.

  1. Course Faculty
  2. Program coordinator or director if applicable
  3. Department chair 
  4. Dean of the school in which the department or program resides
  5. Vice President for Academic Affairs

Formal Appeal
If, after discussion with the people listed above, the issue has not been resolved, the student may file a written appeal with the Vice President for Academic Affairs.

Upon receipt of the written appeal, the Vice President for Academic Affairs will contact the chair of the Faculty Assembly (for undergraduate appeals) or the Graduate Council (for graduate appeals) to select three faculty members, and the Vice President of Student Affairs to select two students to serve on an appeal panel; for undergraduate appeals the students will be undergraduates and for graduate appeals the student will be graduate students. One student and two faculty members will be from the academic school concerned; the other student and faculty member will be from other schools. The Vice President for Academic Affairs will set up the first meeting of the panel and notify the involved student and the faculty member(s).

Time Limits
An administrative appeal must be initiated by the student within one month of the end of the semester in which the incident occurred. The formal appeal must be initiated within one month of completion of the administrative appeal process. Upon receipt of the written formal appeal, the appeal panel shall be formed within one week. The appeal panel shall meet within two weeks of being formed to be presented with the appeal. A hearing that includes the student and faculty member will be scheduled as soon as practicable thereafter.

Student Responsibility
The student should clearly and concisely describe the incident and state the reason for the appeal. Any supporting materials should be given to the panel members and to the faculty member(s) through the Vice President of Academic Affairs prior to the first meeting of the panel.

Faculty
Any written documentation that the faculty member(s) wish to present to the panel should be given to the panel and the student through the Vice President for Academic Affairs prior to the first meeting of the panel.

Panel

  1. At the first meeting of the panel, the Vice President for Academic Affairs will review the responsibilities and limits of the appeal panel and distribute any written materials from the student and the faculty member(s). The panel should then choose a chair and secretary. A hearing will take place at a subsequent meeting.
  2. At the hearing, the student will present the concern. The student may ask to have a student advocate or another person present as a supporter/advisor. This request should be made prior to the meeting. Because this is a student initiated process within the College, it is not usual to have legal counsel present. If an exception is to be made, it should be arranged with the Vice President for Academic Affairs prior to the panel meeting.
  3. At the hearing, the panel will give the faculty member(s) an opportunity to respond to the accusation of unfairness or injustice. The faculty member(s) may invite the department chair or dean of the school to be present for this panel meeting. If the student has arranged for legal counsel, the faculty member(s) may also have legal counsel present. Legal counsel shall not be permitted to examine or to cross-examine anyone present. The Vice President for Academic Affairs will also be present as a resource for procedural questions.
  4. At the hearing, the panel will ask questions and receive clarification of the issue from the student and faculty member(s), all of whom are present for presentation and clarification.
  5. Following the hearing, the panel will meet alone to discuss the issue. The primary responsibility of the panel is to determine whether an injustice was done. 
  6. To maintain confidentiality the panel will seek any additional information needed to arrive at a decision through the Vice President of Academic Affairs.
  7. The decision will be communicated to the Vice President of Academic Affairs who will relay the final decision to the student and faculty member(s). If and only if the panel members decide there was an injustice, they may suggest options for follow-up action to the Vice President for Academic Affairs.
  8. Detailed minutes of the panel proceedings should be kept by the secretary and filed in the office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs.
  9. All deliberations of the panel are held in confidence. Panel members and anyone present at the meeting(s) should respect this confidentiality.
  10. Decisions of the panel are binding.

Catalog Authority
The St. Scholastica catalog in effect at the time a student first enrolls is the matriculation plan for the student while attending St. Scholastica; the student should refer to the appropriate catalog when needed. Should the student re-enroll after an absence of two years, the new catalog is in effect.