The Semester System
Students receive course credit toward graduation on the basis of semester hours. Semester hour credit for each course is shown in the Required Courses section. All students are required to have 124 semester hours to receive a baccalaureate degree.
Grades and Quality Points
The meaning of the course grade is as follows: A, Superior; B, Good; C, Average; D, Passing; F, Failing; I, Incomplete; AU, Audit; NA, No Audit; W, Withdrew Before Grades; WC, Withdrew Course; WP, Withdrew Passing; WF, Withdrew Failing; AW, Administratively Withdrawn; S, Satisfactory; U, Unsatisfactory; ES, Examination Satisfactory; CR, Credit; NC, No Credit.
The grades S (Satisfactory) and U (Unsatisfactory) are used for courses completed on the Pass-Fail option. The grade ES (Examination Satisfactory) is used for credit given by examination in foreign languages and mathematics. The grade CR (Credit) is given for nonacademic courses to indicate that credit has been earned. The grade NC (No Credit) is given for nonacademic courses to indicate that no credit has been earned.
A plus/minus system of grading was implemented in the fall semester of 1985. The plus/minus changed the quality points associated with the letter grades; therefore, the letter grade A now carries 4.00 quality points; A- 3.66; B+ 3.34; B 3.00; B- 2.66; C+ 2.34; C 2.00; C- 1.66; D+ 1.34; D 1.00; D- 0.66; F 0.00. A grade point average is calculated at the end of each semester by dividing the number of quality points earned by the number of semester hours attempted, grades of F being counted as hours attempted. Only the grades listed immediately above carry quality points. Cumulative totals are also computed following each completed grade period.
Transfer work does not affect the Belhaven cumulative grade point average (GPA). The Belhaven cumulative GPA is based entirely upon work done at Belhaven University.
Academic standing describes a student’s performance in their academic program. Belhaven assesses academic standing using a quality point index. A quality point index is calculated at the end of each semester and a student will be assigned an academic standing in accordance with the chart below which indicates quality point deficiencies allowed.
Academic Standing Status
Quality Point Index Deficiency
Good Standing – Clear
No deficiency (positive Quality Point Index Score)
Good Standing – Notice
(-1) – (-10)
(-10.01) – (-23)
(-23.01) – (-35.99)
The formula for calculation of quality point index is (GPA and Quality Point Index are calculated on Belhaven GPA credits only.):
Belhaven earned quality points - (Belhaven GPA hours times two) = quality point index.
3. A student whose quality point index shows a deficiency of 3.01 to 9 quality points will be placed on academic probation.
4. A student whose quality point index shows a deficiency of 9.01 to 15 quality points will be academically suspended for one semester. This student will be eligible to reenroll after remaining out of school for one semester. 9. A student whose quality point index shows a deficiency of 15.01 or more quality points will be academically dismissed. This student will not be eligible for readmission to Belhaven University.
Extracurricular Activities, Good Academic Standing, and Satisfactory Academic Progress
In general, a student who is eligible to enroll for classes is considered to be in good standing for extracurricular activities. Additional and more stringent requirements may be established by supervisors of those activities, groups, organizations, or societies.
For participation in intercollegiate athletics, a student must demonstrate good academic standing and satisfactory progress toward a degree. In order to demonstrate good academic standing, a freshman (0-23 hours) or sophomore (24-53 hours) must earn and maintain Good Standing – Clear or Good Standing – Notice. A junior (54-89 hours) or senior (90+ hours) must earn and maintain Good Standing – Clear. In order to demonstrate satisfactory academic progress, a student-athlete must be enrolled full-time (a minimum of 12 semester hours) unless fewer hours are required for graduation and meet academic standing requirements.
Freshmen students may participate in intercollegiate athletics during their first semester upon admission to Belhaven University and full-time (a minimum of 12 semester hours) enrollment. Transfer students meeting NCAA exceptions may participate during their first semester upon admission to Belhaven University and full-time (a minimum of 12 semester hours) enrollment. After their first semester at Belhaven, freshmen and transfer students (who met NCAA exceptions) are considered returning students and will be required to meet the academic standing requirement and the satisfactory academic progress requirement for intercollegiate athletics. If a transfer student doesn’t meet NCAA exceptions for participation, he/she must meet NCAA guidelines for residency requirements.
Financial aid requirements for satisfactory progress and other regulations are explained separately in this catalog and elsewhere.
The grade I is given at the discretion of the instructor with prior approval of the Director of Student Services and only in case of a prolonged illness or other emergency and indicates that all requirements in a course have not been met. In order for students to receive the grade I, they must have made satisfactory progress in the course up to the point of illness or emergency. The grade I cannot be given prior to the last day to drop a course without an F. Students receiving the grade I should make the following arrangements with their professors and the Director of Student Services before the end of the course.
The student (or one representing the student) must obtain the incomplete request form from the Registrar's office or the Director of Student Services. In filling out this form, students and their professors agree upon the dates of completion for all work. Should a student fail to complete the required work within 30 days following the date of the last class meeting of the course for which the grade of I was given, the grade I will automatically be changed to a grade of F by the Office of the Registrar.
Failure: Repeated Courses
An F cannot be removed from a student’s record. However, if a student enrolls again in a course which he/she failed, the second grade is recorded on the permanent record for the semester in which the course was repeated.
Although both courses and the respective grades and quality points are shown on the permanent record, the semester hour’s credit is only earned once and the second course is shown as repeated.
Forgiveness Policy on Repeated Courses
An undergraduate student may request in writing to repeat up to four courses, or 12 hours for forgiveness. A graduate student may request in writing to repeat up to two courses, or six hours for forgiveness. The grade for both courses will appear on the permanent record. The forgiveness policy can be used one time per course. Repeating a course may influence a student’s financial aid or sports eligibility.
The following stipulations apply to this policy:
1. Undergraduate students cannot use this option to repeat a course in which a grade of A, B, or C was earned. This can only be used to replace a grade of C- or below. Graduate students can use this option to repeat a course in which a grade of B- or below was earned. A grade of an F will not forgive a grade of an F; both F’s will be calculated in the GPA.
2. The highest grade earned will be the one used to recalculate the GPA.
3. The student cannot use the forgiveness policy to replace a grade that was earned at another school, nor may grades earned at Belhaven be replaced by grades earned at another school. This policy will only affect the Belhaven grades and quality point index.
4. A course intended to be used for the forgiveness policy cannot be taken as independent study and must be taken at Belhaven University.
Students may be administratively withdrawn for nonpayment of tuition, misconduct, noncompliance with academic policy, and/or nonattendance.
An undergraduate student’s classification is determined by the number of semester hours he/she has to his/her credit. For sophomore standing a student is required to have earned 24 semester hours of credit, for junior standing 54 semester hours, for senior standing 90 semester hours, and for graduation 124 semester hours and 240 quality points.
In the adult studies program, a normal course load in a four-month period should not exceed 12 semester hours. Any exceptions to this policy will be approved by the Academic Dean. Approval will be on the basis of the student’s previous record of achievement and the course in which he/she wishes to enroll. No student may receive credit for more than 18 hours in a four-month period.
In the graduate teacher education program, the maximum course load is six semester hours per session. Requests to exceed the maximum of six hours must be made to the Director of Graduate Teacher Education and will be reviewed primarily on the basis of the student’s previous record of achievement and the courses in which he/she wishes to enroll. No students may receive credit for more than nine hours in a session under any circumstances.
At the conclusion of an Adult Studies course, final grade reports will be available on
http://bcblazenet.belhaven.edu . In the graduate teacher education program, final grade reports are available on
http://bcblazenet.belhaven.edu at the end of each term or session. The Office of the Registrar will not show students their grades. Grades will not be discussed or given out by phone or e-mail. Course grade reports will indicate course completed, credit received, and grades assigned.
A student who desires a transcript must fill out a request form available online or in the Business Office at least two weeks before the time he/she needs to have the transcript sent. The Registrar is not permitted to issue transcripts for a student who is in debt to the University. The request for a transcript must be signed by the person whose record is to be released. The cost of each transcript is $10.00 for the first two copies and $2 for each additional copy in the same request, and must be paid in advance by cash, credit card, or money order. Personal checks are accepted; however, the transcript request will be held for two weeks to allow time for the check to clear.
Family Education Rights and Privacy Act of 1974
Belhaven University informs students of the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, as amended. The act, with which the institution intends to comply fully, was designated to protect the privacy of educational records and to provide guidelines for the correction of inaccurate or misleading data through informal and formal hearings. Students also have the right to file complaints with Family Education Rights and Privacy Act Office (FERPA) concerning alleged failures by the institution to comply with the act.
Belhaven University accords all the rights under law to students who are declared independent. No one outside the institution shall have access to nor will the institution disclose any information from students' education records without the written consent of students except to personnel within the institution, to accrediting agencies carrying out their accreditation function, to persons in compliance with a judicial order, and to persons in an emergency in order to protect the health or safety of students or other persons. All these exceptions are permitted under the act.
Within the Belhaven community, only those members individually or collectively acting in the student’s educational interest are allowed access to student education records. These members include personnel in the office of the registrar, provost’s office, admission office, student services office, financial aid office, business office, and office of institutional improvement.
Students may not inspect and review the following as outlined by the act: confidential letters and recommendations associated with admission, employment or job placement, or honors to which they have waived their rights of inspection and review, or education records containing information about more than one student, in which case the institution will permit access only to that part of the record which pertains to the inquiring student.
Class Attendance Standards
Belhaven University believes that learning can be demonstrated through typical assessments such as tests, quizzes, papers, and class participation. However, we also believe that learning occurs beyond engaging in these assessments and that class attendance enhances learning in immeasurable ways. No more than 20 percent of a course’s classes should be missed in any term.
Class attendance is important for undergraduate courses and missing two nights will result in a student's final grade being lowered by one letter grade. Missing three nights or more will result in a letter grade of F for the course. Persistently arriving late or leaving early may impact a student's final grade.
Class attendance is important for graduate courses and missing three nights will result in a student's final grade being lowered by one letter grade. Missing four nights or more will result in a letter grade of F for the course. Persistently arriving late or leaving early may impact a student's final grade.
All reasons for absences (for example: illness, representation for University activities, emergencies, and late registration) are included in these standards. When determining final grades, the faculty should consider whether or not other
academic performance factors might counter excessive absences or the student may have earned an F.
In order for the University to comply with federal regulations, during the first two weeks of any course, faculty must post attendance and absences. During subsequent weeks, only absences must be posted.
Faculty are required to mark student attendance for the first two weeks of any course they are teaching and then mark the Roster Verification using the process described in the Adult Studies Faculty Handbook. After the second week of the course Faculty will only mark student absences in Blazenet so that Student Services can assist in working with the student to insure their success.
A student’s academic plan is available upon entering an educational program.
Students must keep their own records of their academic progress;
ULTIMATELY , IT IS THE RESPONSIBILITY OF THE STUDENT TO SEE THAT HE/SHE IS COMPLETING THE CORRECT COURSES FOR THE DEGREE HE/SHE IS PURSUING.
Registration at Other Institutions
A student who is enrolled at Belhaven University may not register for courses at any other institution without approval of the Registrar. This policy refers to classes taken elsewhere at any time when a student is pursuing a degree at Belhaven. A student may not be concurrently enrolled at Belhaven and another institution except in the situation of a senior needing a course for imminent graduation and said course is not currently offered at Belhaven University.
At the end of each semester, the following academic lists are published:
Graduation with Honors
To graduate cum laude, magna cum laude, or summa cum laude, a baccalaureate degree seeking student must have earned a minimum of 60 academic hours carrying quality points at Belhaven University. At the time of graduation the student must have established a cumulative grade point average on the Belhaven University record and meet the minimum below to be eligible:cum laude, 3.4; magna cum laude, 3.7; summa cum laude, 3.9.
To graduate "with honors," a student must have earned a minimum of 45 academic hours carrying quality points at Belhaven University and a 3.4 cumulative grade point average at Belhaven University. Honors are not given at the associate degree or master degree level.
Belhaven University baccalaureate degree-seeking students who graduate with academic honors will wear Belhaven University honor cords for the graduation commencement ceremonies. Students are not allowed to wear any other regalia from societies, sororities, or organizations not affiliated directly with Belhaven University.
Independent study courses will be available only for degree-seeking seniors facing imminent graduation who are unable to get a needed course at the regularly scheduled time.
Students must complete a Change of Academic Plan Form and obtain permission from the Academic Dean and Student Services in order to register for the course. The professor is not authorized to grant final approval for an independent study course. The request should be made as soon as possible, but must be submitted to the Academic Dean no later than the last day to enter a course or change enrollment status.
No course intended to be used for the forgiveness policy can be taken as independent study; furthermore, all forgiveness policy courses must be taken at Belhaven University.
The term “tutorial” is applied to final coursework being completed by a nonresident Belhaven student.
Each recipient of VA benefits enrolled at Belhaven University is expected to become familiar with, and to adhere to, all academic policies stated in the current issue of the Belhaven University catalogue.
Alternative Credit (For undergraduate degrees only)
(Alternative credit for all sources may not exceed 45 credit hours toward the undergraduate degree.)
Belhaven University will review and accept up to 45 credit hours for courses comparable to those offered by Belhaven from schools accredited by agencies recognized by the Council for Higher Education and Accreditation (CHEA) or the Secretary of the Department of Education. Courses accepted must have a ‘C‘ grade or better. No comparable courses are allowed to substitute for WVC301 or WVC401. The Registrar will make the final decision on credit awarded.
Belhaven University recognizes the CLEP, Dantes, AP and ACT PEP standardized tests for credit and accepts the recommended score scale. Alternative credit, including CLEP, AP, and ACT PEP may not exceed 30 hours. Students may not CLEP core courses in their major. CLEP courses, when allowed, become Gen Eds or electives and a part of the alternative credit limit.
Foreign students may not register for credit in their native language. Students may earn college credit for Spanish, French, or German only by taking the CLEP examination at the elementary or intermediate levels. Students may earn up to the required number of credit hours in the general education core for their major in a single language through completion of the CLEP examination with the CLEP examination with a minimum score of 50 or above or through proficiency credit. The CLEP standardized examination will preclude the use of departmental examinations except in those areas where CLEP examinations are not available.
The method of testing and the level of proficiency to be awarded for languages other than Spanish, French, or German will be determined by the chair of the foreign language department or their designee. For testing other than CLEP, a $100 fee is charged for administering a proficiency exam; an additional fee of $100 is charged if the exam is completed, but no semester hours, grades or quality points will be awarded.
A student may apply a maximum of six semester hours of correspondence credit to satisfy degree requirements. The Registrar must approve correspondence work in advance. Credit in major courses or core courses for degrees may not be earned by correspondence.
Credit for military service may be awarded as four credit hours of physical education if credit has not already been achieved in this area. These credits are awarded as non-academic hours. Other military training courses are individually assessed by the American Council on Education (ACE) recommendations.
Belhaven University is among more than 600 colleges and universities involved in assessing documented learning for academic credit toward an undergraduate degree. The Council for Adult and Experiential Learning (CAEL), an educational association founded in 1974 to promote the acceptance of the awarding of college credit for documented and experiential learning, has led the way in developing and implementing assessment techniques. Belhaven University uses the guidelines developed by CAEL.
In order for the credit to be granted officially and recorded on the transcript, the applicant must have completed successfully a minimum of 12 semester hours of academic course work at Belhaven University. This type of credit is not necessarily transferable into or out of Belhaven University. A $150.00 assessment fee is paid at the time the portfolio is turned in for assessment. Upon awarding of credit, the student is charged $75.00 per semester hour of credit and must pay the full amount before the credits are recorded on the student’s permanent record.
Students wishing to earn academic credit must submit the required portfolio information for assessment upon completion of EDU 290. A maximum of 15 hours may be earned through portfolio assessment. Credit is awarded and applied only as elective credit. The process for experiential credit should be completed prior to the beginning of the last semester required for degree completion. An additional fee must be paid prior to the beginning of the course for additional software usage required for the course.
Credit for professional or technical courses, licenses, certifications, workshops, etc., can be awarded if documented thoroughly. Faculty members assess the validity of substantial documentation based on completion, clock hours, and content. The Portfolio I must include a resume, an autobiographical sketch, and a value of learning statement for each topic area. One semester hour of credit may be awarded for 20 hours of instruction that is determined by faculty to be college level.
Experiential learning credit assessments, in the form of portfolios, are methods by which students may earn academic credit for college-level learning completed outside of the traditional classroom setting. It is designed to assist adult learners in attaining their academic and career goals by validating their professional competencies acquired through experiential learning. Those interested in PLA credit should make an appointment with Student Services at their local campus.
NOTE: Any appeals by students in regard to the number of semester hours of credit awarded through the portfolio process may be made to the campus Dean.
Credit from alternative credit programs may be given in a specific area in which a student wishes to major or minor, dependent upon departmental policy. The maximum total of such credit listed above, in any combination, is 45 semester hours, not to include more than 15 hours of experiential credit. Hours earned through alternative credit programs do not carry quality points and therefore are not considered as residential hours for honors calculations.
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