The academic guidelines contained in this section represent a general set of rules for students. Each program in the School of Graduate and Continuing Studies may have additional requirements that are listed along with the program’s curriculum.
General Graduation Requirements - SGCS
Candidates for graduation are expected to meet the requirements for graduation of the catalog in force at the time of entry. Students may also elect to follow a later catalog for all degree requirements. If a student leaves the institution for two or more consecutive semesters (six or more calendar months for non-traditional students) they will be required to follow the catalog in force at the time of reentry.
Some programs with external accreditation may require students to follow new or changed requirements. Every attempt will be made to allow reasonable substitutions; however, in some cases the university must comply with mandates by accrediting agencies within a set time frame that will require students to adjust their educational plan.
For all academic programs, the University reserves the right to change degree or program requirements as it deems necessary. In cases of hardship caused by curricular changes, an appeal may be made to the Academic Standards Committee.
Degree candidates are personally responsible for meeting all requirements for graduation, including payment of all tuition and fees.
Degrees are conferred in January, March, May, June, July, August, September, and November, but Commencement exercises are held only in May. Graduating students are encouraged to participate in the Commencement activities. All requirements must be successfully completed, with grades, transcripts, and credits received by the Dean of the SCGS by established deadlines in order to participate in graduation ceremonies and/or for degree conferral.
Degree candidates are required to file an “Intent to Graduate” form, which is provided to prospective graduates. This form must be received at least one month prior to the expected date of graduation for January, March, May, June, July, September, and November conferrals, and six months before August conferral.
Students who completed an “Intent to Graduate” form for a specific graduation date, but did not graduate on that date, must complete a new “Intent to Graduate” form prior to the anticipated graduation date.
Additional requirements for graduation that are program-specific are discussed in the program descriptions.
Graduation Requirements, Undergraduate Programs - SGCS
All bachelor’s degree candidates are required to complete at least 120 hours, 30 of which are Upper Division (300 or 400 level) hours, in addition to completion of General Education Requirements (see Undergraduate Programs section), and completion of specific courses required for the major.
Undergraduate students may participate in Commencement as August graduates only if they are within 9 credit hours of graduation before the May ceremony and have filed a plan of studies with the Dean by April 1.
Graduation Honors (Bachelor’s programs only)
Baccalaureate degree candidates with outstanding scholarship qualify for honors recognized at Commencement. Students who qualify for honors receive honor cords at Commencement, are noted in the Commencement program, and are recognized during the ceremony.
Students with a cumulative grade point average of 3.50 or higher are eligible for graduation with honors. To qualify, graduates of continuing studies programs must complete all required courses within the major at Olivet. The honor ranks are as follows:
- Cum Laude (with honors) requires a grade point average of 3.50-3.69.
- Magna Cum Laude (with high honors) requires a grade point average of 3.70-3.89.
- Summa Cum Laude (with highest honors) requires a grade point average of 3.90 or higher.
Graduation Requirements, Graduate Programs - SGCS
Additional specific program requirements for graduation can be found in the section relating to that program.
Grade Point Requirements: All master’s degree candidates must have a grade point average of 3.0 or higher. All doctoral candidates must have a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or higher.
Graduate candidates (masters-level only) may participate in Commencement as August graduates only if they are within 6 hours of graduation before the May ceremony, and have filed a plan of studies with the Dean of SGCS by April 1.
Transfer of Credit Policy, Undergraduate Programs - SGCS
Residency Requirements: A candidate for a bachelor’s degree must take either the last year (30 semester hours) at Olivet Nazarene University, or must take 15 of the last 30 semester hours in residence and offer no less than 45 semester hours of residence credit from Olivet Nazarene University. For online programs, “in residence” means courses taken online from ONU and not from another university.
A maximum of 82 credit hours may be accepted from community/junior colleges. Minimum 30 credit hours must be earned from ONU (for BAS, not more than 64 hours of applied credits accepted).
Olivet is a receiving institution under the Illinois Articulation Initiative (IAI), a statewide agreement that allows transfer of completed Illinois-transferable general education core curriculum between participating institutions. Students who enter bachelor’s degree-completion programs at Olivet with Associate of Arts or Associate of Science degrees from regionally accredited colleges and universities will have met all general education requirements for graduation from Olivet, except for the two religion courses and, in some cases, intercultural understanding.
Students who enter bachelor’s degree-completion programs with associate degrees other than Associate of Arts or Associate of Science (for example, A.A.S., A.L.S. or A.G.S.) from regionally accredited colleges or universities will likely have to complete additional courses to satisfy Olivet’s general education requirements and take additional elective courses beyond the required core courses in their programs to satisfy the graduation requirement.
A student with an AA or AS degree would typically be advised to transfer these credits into a BS degree not the BAS degree program. A student who has an AAS degree would be advised to transfer credits into the BAS program since these credits are more vocational in nature. These students receive block credit for their AAS credits, allowing them to move along faster toward that bachelor’s degree. Beside the block credit, credits transferred will be evaluated for any Gen Ed’s or program core course requirements, as well.
Students who enter bachelor’s degree programs at Olivet with a previously-completed bachelor’s degree from regionally accredited colleges and universities will have met all general education requirements for graduation from Olivet, except for the two religion courses and intercultural understanding. Students whose previous bachelor’s degree is from Olivet, however, are not required to complete the additional religion courses.
Transcripts of students without Associate of Arts or Associate of Science degrees will be evaluated on a course-by-course basis to determine transferable credits. Advisors will assist and advise students in preparing plans of study to meet program, general education, and graduation requirements.
Transfer of Credit, Graduate Programs - SGCS
Transfer work is normally not considered for graduate and certificate programs. With the exception of the M.Div. program (a 72-credit hour program), up to two courses (6 credit hours) of graduate credit with a grade of B or higher may be accepted as substitute for comparable core courses in programs that permit transfer credit if work was completed within five years of a student’s Olivet matriculation. The M.Div. program allows up to 36 credit hours to be transferred from another institution, and up to 36 credit hours (no more than half) from certain M.A. degrees in the School of Theology and Christian Ministry at Olivet may be transferred toward this program. All students must submit a “Request to Transfer Credit” form, the course description(s), and a copy of the catalog cover, and the course syllabus to the Dean at the SGCS prior to beginning a graduate program. To determine transferability of credit, please contact the appropriate program director to receive a recommendation for transfer.
Prior Learning Credits
Students in Olivet Nazarene University’s School of Graduate and Continuing Studies degree completion programs may be eligible to earn credit for prior learning through multiple forms of prior learning assessment, including through military and professional training, licenses, and certifications, through certain proficiency exams, and through the analysis of life experience by portfolio development and submission. A maximum of 48 hours may be earned through the combination of proficiency credit via CLEP, AP, and departmental proficiency exams; credit awarded through prior learning assessment; and/or credit earned on the basis of recommendations made by the American Council on Education.
Military or Professional Training, Licenses, and Certifications
Students who have military or other professional experience that involved non-college sponsored training, licensing, certification or other learning experiences may be awarded college credit for those experiences when applicable to their degree programs. Students interested in submitting professional experiences for review should be aware of the following guidelines:
- While the university may use American Council on Education (ACE) recommendations as a guide where applicable, ONU academic departments determine whether the certifications/licenses in question are equivalent to college learning. A maximum of six ACE recommended credit hours are accepted, excluding military credit.
- Official documentation of the learning experiences will need to be provided as evidence of completion.
Students may also earn credit for courses through standardized exams, including both CLEP (College Level Examination Program) and AP (Advanced Placement) exams. These typically apply to general education courses. The ONU Catalog provides a listing of the CLEP and AP exams ONU currently accepts along with relevant guidelines. The College Level Examination Program (CLEP) may be used to establish credit for students on approved CLEP general and/or subject tests. CLEP tests are available at open test centers throughout the country. Scores required for credit on CLEP tests are available through the Olivet Registrar’s Office. Students who receive credits in these areas should not take equivalent courses at Olivet Nazarene University or elsewhere, since credit cannot be given twice for the same course. Questions about the CLEP program should be directed to an Advisor at 877.4.OLIVET or email@example.com.
Prior Learning Guidelines
- Prior learning assessment (PLA) can only be applied to a transcript after that student has completed 12 credit hours at ONU for an undergraduate program, and 6 credit hours at ONU for graduate and certificate programs.
- It is recommended that an initial review of PLA be conducted during the enrollment/transcript evaluation process prior to admittance to the university or within the first 12 weeks of the student’s course work at ONU.
- A maximum of 36 hours of undergraduate credit may be earned at ONU through PLA. For graduate programs, a maximum of 9 hours may be earned at ONU through PLA. For certificate programs, a maximum of 3 hours may be earned at ONU through PLA.
- Students may not earn PLA for credit they have already received either through transfer or through ONU course credit.
- PLA credits are posted on the ONU transcript as credit, but they are not graded and do not impact the student’s grade point average (GPA).
- PLA credits that replace upper division courses do not count toward the university’s upper division course hour requirement.
- All PLA credits must be posted on the student’s transcript prior to the last semester or course. No PLA may be added after the last scheduled semester/course in the program sequence. An exception is made for nine-hour certificate programs, when the three hours of eligible PLA credit is awarded after the completion of the first six hours.
One form of prior learning at Olivet Nazarene University is Mapped Assessment. Mapped Assessment credits are earned for completion of an Olivet Nazarene University Professional Development program along with evidence of learning based on predetermined outcomes. The student then documents learning through the following: a summary of concepts; identifying key learning; application; observations and reflection.
- Student must successfully complete approved ONU Professional Development learning.
- The required evidence of learning documentation is submitted along with a review fee for each course. A faculty member will then review the document. The faculty member will then grade the document utilizing a rubric with learning outcomes on a “has met requirements” or “has not met requirements” basis.
- If the document is submitted to the faculty and the faculty determines the student has not successfully completed any portion of the Mapped Assessment Process, the faculty notify the student and the student will have an opportunity to respond to the faculty’s concerns and submit one additional time.
- Once the evidence of learning documentation has met requirements, credit hours will be added to the student’s official transcript with the earned letter grade of K. (NOTE: For Salvation Army partnership students, the faculty will provide a letter grade using the appropriate academic grading scale of A, B, C, or F).
Attendance Policy - SGCS
It is the responsibility of the student to attend all scheduled class sessions in all on ground, hybrid, and online classes. In emergency circumstances, a student may be permitted to miss a class session under the following terms:
- The student must seek approval from the faculty prior to the missed class. Failure to contact the faculty prior to the missed class will result in zero points for all assignments due that week.
- The student must make arrangements with the faculty to complete all assignments and make up work if assigned by faculty.
Failure to follow this policy may result in an F for the course.
Faculty will address tardiness on an individual basis. Students are expected to arrive for class on time and remain for the entire class period.
To be considered present in online classes, the student must log in and post at least one substantive forum post or assignment during the week.
Student Load - SGCS
For SGCS term-based programs, except ABSN and graduate religion programs, full-time enrollment is defined as 6 credit hours or more within a term. Full-time enrollment in the ABSN program is defined as 12 or more credit hours in a term. Full-time enrollment in graduate religion programs is defined as 9 or more credit hours in a term. For all other, non-term based programs, a student is considered full-time if he or she carries the number of hours called for in a packaged program during a given term.
Student Withdrawal/Change in Status and Readmission - SGCS
Withdrawals from the School of Graduate and Continuing Studies may be one of the following: a leave of absence, a program withdrawal, a course withdrawal, or an administrative withdrawal. See program specific guidelines for academic withdrawals.
Leave of Absence Policy
A leave of absence may be processed if, for example, a student is required to travel for his or her company for an extended period, in the case of illness, or other unexpected emergencies that would cause the student to miss several classes in succession. A leave of absence would allow the student to re-enter the program at a later date. If financial aid is involved, the maximum leave of absence from the program is 180 days without having to return loan monies to the lender. Any additional break in attendance is considered a program withdrawal, and unused loan monies are returned to the lender, and re-application for additional monies is necessary upon re-entering.
In order for a leave of absence to qualify as an approved leave of absence:
- All requests for leaves of absence must be submitted on a leave of absence form and include the reason for the student’s request.
- The student must be enrolled and attending class at the time the request for a leave of absence is made.
- There must be a reasonable expectation that the student will return from the leave of absence to continue his or her education.
- The institution may not assess the student any additional institutional charges, the student’s financial need may not increase, and the student is not eligible for any additional federal or state financial assistance.
To process a leave of absence, students should contact their advisor or the Advising Team at firstname.lastname@example.org or 877.4.OLIVET to request the necessary form. The form must be returned promptly, because the balance on the student’s account is determined according to when the signed request form is received. Informing a course faculty of intentions to take a leave of absence does not mean a student has officially been granted a leave. The School of Graduate and Continuing Studies must receive official documentation from the student.
NOTE: Please consult program directors for all programs in the School of Theology and Christian Ministry for applicable leave of absence policy.
A program withdrawal is to withdraw completely from the program. Should it be necessary to withdraw from a program, students should request a withdrawal from their advisor or the Advising Team at email@example.com or 877.4.OLIVET. A program withdrawal must be filed to initiate a tuition refund, and the balance on the student’s account is determined according to when the withdrawal request is received in the School of Graduate and Continuing Studies. The refund is processed according to the refund policy of the School of Graduate and Continuing Studies.
A student may change registrations for individual courses before the first night of class without charge. A course may be dropped without grade or notation on the transcript when official changes are processed prior to the second night of class. If a student attends more than one session, a grade of W is issued.
Once a student has attended 50% of the course or more, the grade posting will be either WP (withdrawn passing) or WF (withdrawn failing).
NOTE: In matters relating to withdrawing from graduate courses and programs, students must notify their advisor or the Advising Team at firstname.lastname@example.org or 877.4.OLIVET. Failure to notify of course withdrawal may result in an “F” for that course.
If a student is absent more than 29 days in either an online or on-ground course without contacting their advisor or the Advising Team at email@example.com or 877.4.OLIVET, he or she may be withdrawn by the administrative staff of the School of Graduate and Continuing Studies. This is considered an administrative withdrawal, with a grade of W. If an administrative withdrawal occurs, the date of withdrawal is the date the withdrawal notification is received.
Note: In the case of a withdrawal for any reason, the Office of Financial Aid is notified immediately upon withdrawal.
A student who has been withdrawn from a program may file a petition for readmission with the School of Graduate and Continuing Studies. Readmission is allowed or disallowed on the merits of the petition and may require a personal interview with the Dean at the SGCS and the Program Director/Coordinator. A non-refundable charge of $50 will be required for each readmission petition. Readmission does not guarantee a place in the student’s previous group and is contingent upon an available group. See program-specific guidelines for academic withdrawals.
Repeating a Course - SGCS
Courses taken at ONU may be repeated for credit if the original grade is C- or lower. The highest grade is used in grade point average calculations. Courses may only be repeated one time (withdrawn and audit grades are excluded from this requirement). Courses taken at ONU may also be repeated elsewhere; however, both the original grade and the repeat grade count within grade point average calculations. (Nursing students should refer to program-specific policies regarding repeating a course.)
Auditing a Course - SGCS
To audit a course means to take it for neither grade nor credit. An audit, satisfactorily completed, is recorded as such on the transcript. No record is made if the audit is not satisfactorily completed. o request an audit, contact an advisor or the Advising Team at firstname.lastname@example.org or 877.4.OLIVET. Auditing of courses is charged at $50/credit hour.
For the student, the only requirements in an audited course are proper registration and attendance. Students who audit online courses must meet attendance requirements for online courses in order to successfully complete the audit. For the faculty, the only responsibility is validating attendance.
Nursing students should refer to program-specific policies regarding auditing a course as outlined in the nursing handbooks.
Directed/Independent Study - SGCS
Directed Study - SGCS
Directed Study is the study of a course listed in the catalog on a tutorial basis. With the approval of the program director/area dean and the Registrar, students may apply for a directed study under the following circumstances:
- A course required for a program has no reasonable substitute and is not scheduled before a student plans to graduate.
- A student is unable to take a course required for a program requirement at its regularly scheduled time because it conflicts with another required course
- A course is rarely offered due to insufficient demand.
Students must have a minimum of 60 credit hours completed prior of the beginning of the term in which the directed study is proposed.
Independent Study - SGCS
An independent study is a one-on-one instruction directly supervised by an ONU faculty member and not a part of a regular course listed in the catalog. Independent study is intended to be a unique academic project for advanced students created for several possible functions - to give students a chance to design the study of an area not offered at ONU or to allow study of a highly specialized area in which the student has developed a curiosity.
An independent study course requires the same amount of work and carries the same amount of credit as a regular course. Grading standards established for regular courses are applied to independent study courses.
- While independent study is valuable and sometimes necessary, no more than six semester hours of independent study are permitted for the entire degree program.
- An independent study is considered only if all previous coursework is complete, as demonstrated by the student’s Olivet transcript.
- Upon receipt of the registration form from the student, the Associate Dean at the SGCS contacts the Program Director/Coordinator to secure a faculty member to supervise the independent study.
- In order to receive credit for an independent study, the student, in consultation with the course faculty, must submit appropriate documentation of the plan of the study to the Associate Dean or Program Director. The independent study form should provide a thorough description of the project or coursework to be undertaken, including an indication of papers, assignments, test dates, conferences, and completion date. The proposal must be approved by the course faculty, the Program Director, and the Associate Dean.
- Independent study forms are to be completed and the independent study approved before the student begins working on the project.
- An independent study course must be completed within the term length of the regular course (e.g. 6 weeks for a 6-week course). Weekly attendance (as defined by the independent study agreement) will be required.
- While independent studies may begin at any time, financial aid covering independent study costs will only be available to students who are enrolled in a program that is eligible for financial aid, and that start and end the independent study within the program term structure. Independent studies may be completed outside of the program schedule/term structure, but all associated costs would be the responsibility of the student.
Academic Integrity - SGCS
Statement of Academic Integrity
Seeking after truth is at the heart of an education at a Christian university like Olivet. ONU expects students to be truthful in all areas of life, including the academic arena. Those who engage in any form of academic dishonesty value their own gain more than their desire to seek truth; consequently, their behavior is incompatible with the goals and objectives of the University. Such dishonesty takes the form of cheating, plagiarism, or falsification. Specific examples include, but are not limited to:
- Submitting another’s work as one’s own or allowing others to submit one’s work as though it were theirs.
- Failing to properly acknowledge authorities quoted, cited, or consulted in the preparation of oral or written work. All work submitted by students must represent their original work. Outside sources used as references should reveal the name and source and the extent to which the source is used.
- Tampering with experimental data to obtain a “desired” result or creating results for experiments not conducted.
- Lying or otherwise deceiving university personnel about academic matters.
- Falsifying college records, forms, or other documents.
- Students who knowingly assist another in dishonest behavior are held equally responsible.
A course faculty who has a more detailed definition of academic dishonesty than the policy above has the responsibility and obligation to so inform students, in writing, at the beginning of the course.
Sanctions for violations of the academic integrity policy
Consistent with the University’s mission, the sanctions are progressive in nature. In every case, the incident is first reported to the program director, area dean, and the University Registrar. The University Registrar will indicate if the student has a prior history of academic integrity violations in any other class, even a minor infraction, so an appropriate sanction can be issued. The seriousness of the offense is also taken into consideration when determining an appropriate sanction. A minor infraction is defined as an obvious and unintentional mistake.
Any student engaging in academic dishonesty is subject to the following consequences:
- For the first infraction at the university, the professor may choose one of the following:
- Send a written reprimand to the student (only suitable for a minor infraction); or
- Require the student to resubmit the test, project, or assignment, which may include a loss of points at the faculty’s discretion; or
- Require the student to take a new test or turn in a different project or assignment, which may include a loss of points at the faculty’s discretion; or
- Assign a lower grade or grade of zero on the test, project, or assignment.
- For the second and third infraction at the university, the professor may choose to:
- Assign a lower grade or grade of zero on the test, project, or assignment, or
- Lower the final course grade by one full letter grade (e.g., B+ to C+), or
- Submit a grade of “F” for the course (when the infraction is of major proportion).
- Upon any further infractions of the academic integrity policy OR if any infraction represents an egregious, flagrant violation of the policy, the area dean and University Registrar will issue one of the following administrative sanctions at their discretion:
- An administrative grade of “F” in the course,
- Suspension from the university, or
- Permanent expulsion from the university.
- Any charge of academic dishonesty should be quickly investigated (typically within five business days of discovering the incident) by the faculty in consultation with the program director in such way that the student’s confidentiality is protected. The faculty will copy the director, the area dean, and the University Registrar so they may determine if the student has a prior history of violations.
- Faculty will notify students in writing of the facts and evidence, and should provide a clear statement regarding how the student’s action violated academic integrity and offer a determination and explanation of any planned sanction.
- Students have five business days to respond to the faculty.
- Failure to respond within five business days indicates acceptance of the faculty’s determination and sanction.
- If the student responds to the faculty, the faculty will review the response and make a final decision in consultation with the director within an additional five business days.
- The final decision will be communicated in writing to the student, the director, the area dean, and the University Registrar.
- Students may appeal a faculty’s sanction imposed under this policy:
- Student must write to the dean of the school or college for the specific discipline within five business days of the faculty’s final decision. The area dean will collaborate with the graduate and continuing studies dean. All relevant documentation must be provided by the student.
- The dean may request to meet with the student and/or faculty to resolve the issue. Both parties may bring a third party as witness, but as these are not legal proceedings, legal representation is not permitted.
- The dean will communicate the final decision, regardless of the outcome, to the student and the faculty, within five business days. The director and the University Registrar will be copied, so the decision can be recorded.
- The dean’s decision is final and may not be appealed.
- Note: In rare instances, the dean may be the faculty. In such cases, the Vice President for Academic Affairs will appoint a dean from another school or college to oversee the appeal process through the regular channels as established by the grade appeal process.
- In cases where an administrative sanction is issued, the area dean and University Registrar will communicate the final decision. Such sanctions may not be appealed, because they are issued only when there are multiple prior violations of the academic integrity policy or when a violation is egregious and flagrant.
Special cases: For students who engage in academic dishonesty outside of instructional activity (e.g., lying or otherwise deceiving university personnel about academic matters, or falsifying college records, forms, or other documents) the University Registrar will investigate and determine the appropriate sanction. Sanctions include, but are not limited to, written reprimand, academic probation, suspension, or permanent expulsion. The university reserves the right to invalidate and remove all academic credit earned at ONU for students who provide falsified documents to gain admission or obtain credit. These sanctions are made in consultation with the Vice President for Academic Affairs and may not be appealed.
Note: Minor infractions are recorded, but the first two are not taken into consideration when responding to external questions regarding any academic disciplinary action.
Grading - SGCS
Program curricula and courses offered by the School of Graduate and Continuing Studies are subject to modification without advance notice to students. In the event curricula or courses are modified, those currently enrolled in affected programs will complete the modified curricula or courses.
All coursework, including authorized rework of assignments, must be completed by the last night of a course unless defined otherwise in the syllabus. No rework is permitted once the faculty has submitted the course grades. If an emergency occurs that requires an extension of time to complete coursework, the student may receive a grade of Incomplete at the discretion of the faculty. (See section on ‘Incompletes.’)
The following alphabetical system of grading, with + or - added where applicable, is used to denote the quality of work done in a course. Some programs may have more stringent standards than noted below (refer to program requirements).
||Audit (no credit earned)
||Satisfactory Work (credit toward graduation, but not computed in GPA)
||Satisfactory Work (credit toward graduation, but not computed in GPA)
||Unsatisfactory Work (no credit toward graduation)
||Work in Progress (e.g., continuing thesis)
||Withdrawn with Failure
||Incomplete (calculated as an F until work is completed)
Incompletes - SGCS
Students who fail to complete all course requirements on a timely basis due to crisis circumstances may receive the grade of Incomplete (I) at the discretion of the course faculty. A grade of “I” is given as a result of illness or other emergencies and not for unsatisfactory work or failure to submit work. Students may receive an “I” provided they have demonstrated effort toward meeting the course requirements.
A student receiving an “Incomplete” will have a specified length of time from the final meeting date of the course to complete course requirements and remove the grade of “I” from the record. Keep in mind, however, that late work generally does not receive full credit. Length of time is specified by the course faculty and does not exceed 60 days. If, at the end of the 60-day extension, the student fails to remove the “I,” the grade becomes an “F” (see graduate programs for specific project guidelines). A Supplemental Grade Report must be prepared and submitted to SGCS to process the final grade.
Students who do not complete course requirements during the extension period are required to repeat the course at the current tuition rate and purchase the necessary textbooks for the course (if the textbooks have changed). The original course with the grade of “F” remains permanently on the official transcript. The repeated course is added with the new grade. While both grades remain on the transcript, only the new grade is figured into the grade point average.
In the event of an extreme situation, a written request for an extension may be submitted to the Program Director/Coordinator and must include the anticipated date of completion. A student with more than one incomplete on his or her record is subject to academic suspension.
Grade Appeal - SGCS
An appeal of a grade occurs at the conclusion of a course and is based on a student’s belief that their final grade is incorrect. Students may not appeal grades for individual assignments while a course is in progress, but should contact the faculty if they believe a grade for any assignment is incorrect. Grades will not be changed on the basis of a reevaluation of the quality of a student’s work or completing additional work after the semester is over.
Grade appeal process
- Students who believe their final grade is incorrect must contact the faculty in writing within seven calendar days of the official posting of the grade to the transcript. Students must provide a written rationale and provide any appropriate documentation.
- The faculty will review the student’s concern and determine if the grade was correct as originally reported within five business days upon receipt.
- If the grade was incorrect due to a simple error in calculation, the faculty will submit a grade change request.
- If the grade was incorrect due to any other error on the part of the faculty, the grade change must be approved by the relevant program director/dean. The program director’s responsibility is twofold: to ensure that all students in the class are evaluated consistently and to protect the faculty from undue pressure or outside influence. The director will submit a grade change request signed by both the faculty and director.
- If the faculty determines the original grade is correct, he or she will provide the student’s written rationale and documentation to the program director, along with a brief explanation of the decision to maintain the original grade. If the director has any concerns about the decision, he or she will notify the faculty within one business day. The faculty will then make a final decision and notify the student.
- Students may appeal the faculty’s decision by writing to the Dean of the College of Professional Studies or associate dean for the specific program within five business days of the decision. The Dean of the College of Professional Studies or appropriate associate dean will collaborate with the Dean of the School of Graduate and Continuing Studies. All relevant documentation must be provided by the student.
- The dean may request to meet with the student and/or faculty to resolve the issue. Both parties may bring a third party as witness, but as these are not legal proceedings, legal representation is not permitted.
- The dean will communicate the final decision to the Registrar within five business days, regardless of the outcome, so the decision can be recorded.
- The dean’s decision is final, and may not be appealed to the Vice President for Academic Affairs, the President, or the Board of Trustees.
- Note: In rare instances, the dean may be the faculty. In such cases, the Vice President for Academic Affairs will appoint a dean from another school or college to oversee the appeal process.
Academic Probation and Student Retention Planning - SGCS
A student is placed on academic probation if the GPA for credits earned at Olivet after taking two or more courses falls below 2.00 for undergraduates, 2.75 for the Bachelor of Science in Nursing programs or 3.00 for graduate programs. Once on academic probation, the student is given up to two consecutive courses to satisfactorily raise his or her GPA. A student who does not satisfactorily raise his or her GPA after the two consecutive courses will be required to meet with the program director to be placed on a personalized Academic Improvement Plan (AIP). Failure to adhere to the AIP may result in program dismissal.
Grievance Procedure - SGCS
Students may file a grievance when they believe their student rights, as outlined in written university policy, were violated or there was a lack of due process as defined by university policy. Students must file their written grievance within 30 calendar days of the alleged incident. If the concern is regarding a final grade, the student should follow the grade appeal process. If the student is requesting an exception, they should follow the process for exceptions to departmental policy. If the student is alleging sexual discrimination or harassment, they should file an incident report with the Title IX coordinator.
- Often a student’s concern is based on a simple miscommunication or misperception. Students should contact the faculty member and seek to resolve the issue informally within 10 business days of the alleged issue.
- If the issue is not resolved, the student should contact the program director within seven days to attempt to resolve the issue informally.
- If the issue remains unresolved, the student may file a formal written grievance with the dean of the school or college for the specific discipline. The area dean will collaborate with the Dean of the School of Graduate and Continuing Studies on all non-traditional programs.
- Upon receipt, the dean will respond to the student within two business days to acknowledge the grievance has been received.
- Within five business days the dean will appoint an ad hoc committee, to include at least two members of the department (excluding the named faculty) and three faculty from outside the department.
- The University’s HLC Ombudsman or other designated individual will provide oversight and counsel to ensure due process is followed.
- The members of the committee will collectively elect a chair from among the three outside members.
- Within five business days of their initial appointment the committee will convene and will call witnesses as needed on behalf of the student or the university. Any member of the campus community called as a witness is expected to respond openly and candidly, either in person or in writing.
- Both student and the faculty member have the right, but are not obligated, to meet the committee individually. Since this a non-judicial process, legal representation is not permitted.
- The committee is responsible to maintain minutes of their meetings and all supporting documentation.
- The committee will review all the evidence, including witness testimony, and make a decision within 10 business days of being appointed. That decision is communicated to the dean, along with copies of all minutes and supporting documentation with 48 hours of the decision.
- The dean will notify the student and faculty member of the final decision (and possible remedies as appropriate) along with the program director within 48 hours of receiving the decision.
- This decision is final. If either party believes that due process was not followed, they may appeal, in writing, to the dean of the school or college for the specific discipline within seven business days.
- The dean will review all relevant documentation, including the committee’s minutes, to determine if both parties were provided due process within five business days.
- If the dean determines that due process was not violated, the committee’s decision stands. The decision may not be appealed to the Vice President for Academic Affairs, the President, or the Board of Trustees.
- If the dean determines that due process was violated, a new committee will be appointed within 48 hours of the determination.
- Note: In rare instances, the dean may be the faculty member involved. In such cases, the Vice President for Academic Affairs will appoint a dean from another school or college to oversee the appeal process.
Program Time Limits - SGCS
Most programs at Olivet are planned for a two- to three-year sequence. A student is allowed 1 ½ times the expected timeframe for completion of the core program. For example, if a student’s core program is expected to take 24 months, they will be allowed 36 months in which to complete it. Coursework beyond 1 ½ times the expected program timeframe will be evaluated by the program director. In addition, students may be expected to meet current program requirements, which may mean retaking one or more courses.
Transcripts - SGCS
See university policy on transcripts.