Academic Standards Committee
The Academic Standards Committee is composed of members of the Bethany faculty charged with the responsibility of developing policies and procedures for the equitable and efficient administration of the academic machinery in such areas as attendance, the grading system, and academic standards. The Committee reviews students’ academic records to apply College policies on such matters as academic standing, probation, eligibility, and dismissal. It evaluates and acts on student appeals for exemptions from established policies.
Academic Standards and Expectations of Educational Integrity
Honesty and academic integrity are essential to Bethany College’s purpose and vital intellectual pursuits. Therefore, academic integrity is expected, required, and demanded of all Bethany College students. A student’s academic work and conduct should always represent the student’s private and personal best efforts and thus be above reproach. Breaches of academic honesty at Bethany College constitute a violation of the Student Code of Conduct and include acts such as:
Cheating: using unauthorized materials, taking another’s work and using it as one’s own, providing work to another student to copy or adapt, allowing another to do one’s work and submitting it as one’s own, obtaining inappropriate assistance from another or from other sources during a quiz or test, sharing work via technological means with others without authorized permission, unauthorized collaboration on an assignment, or doing anything that would allow anyone to gain an unfair advantage over another’s academic success;
Collusion: an agreement or cooperation between two or more people for a fraudulent or deceitful purpose, or the approval or knowledge of another’s fraudulent or deceitful purpose;
Plagiarism: taking another’s work and presenting it as one’s own without citing or failing to document appropriate sources;
Falsification: misrepresenting, altering, or lying to gain unfair advantage.
Procedure for Dealing with Violations of Academic Integrity
Consequences resulting from violations of academic integrity in a class may range from failure for the particular assignment to failure for the course in accordance with the policies articulated in the course syllabus. Additionally, all breaches of academic integrity must be reported to the Office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of Faculty. Instructors must:
- Fill out and turn in the “Violation of Academic Integrity Form” to the Office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs. See below for description.
- Provide clear documentation that a violation of academic integrity has occurred. In cases where a group of students or an entire class is accused, the instructor must provide documentation that clearly incriminates each student he or she turns in.
- Agree, along with his or her student, to follow through with the penalty prescribed or, in cases where student and instructor disagree on either the violation or prescribed penalty, agree to follow through with the decision of the Academic Standards Committee. The penalty must be in line with the range of disciplinary actions set out in the instructor’s syllabus.
- Inform the student of his or her intentions to turn in the form.
- Request, in cases where the instructor believes a particular violation of academic integrity merits a penalty more severe than failure of the course, a hearing with the Academic Standards Committee. In cases such as these the instructor writes a letter detailing the case, attaches appropriate copies of evidence, and requests a hearing (see section 7.6.3 of the Bethany College Policy Manual, Vol. VII, Student Life and Development Policies). The Academic Standards Committee reviews the merits of the case and decides whether or not it will hold a formal hearing.
Violation of Academic Integrity Form
If there is no appeal by the student, no additional action will be taken, unless this specific accusation is proven true and represents the student’s second or a compounded instance of academic dishonesty.Further penalties may result from actions of the Academic Standards Committee. Appeals of the Academic Standards Committee decisions must be directed to the Vice President on Academic Affairs or his/her designee.
If the student refuses or is unavailable to meet with the instructor, the instructor fills out the form on his or her own and documents attempts at written contact with the student concerning the violation. The student is required to sign the form within five working days from the date this form was sent to the student. The five working days will be calculated from the email- sending date or the US Postal Service postmark (in which case the student must provide the postmarked envelope), whichever date is later. If the requirement is not met, it will be understood the student admits to the violation as described on the form.
In all cases, the instructor delivers the Violation of Academic Integrity Form to the Office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of Faculty. The form is copied for the student’s file and forwarded to the Academic Standards Committee (see section 7.6.3 of the Bethany College Policy Manual VII, Student Life and Development Policies for procedures).
Compounded Violations of Academic Integrity
Second-time violations of academic integrity are noted when a second form is filed. Second-time violations result in both instructor-mandated penalties and a mandatory meeting with the Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of Faculty. Failures to attend such meetings are referred to the Academic Standards Committee.
Third-time violations of academic integrity are noted when a third form is filed. Third-time violations are referred by the Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of Faculty to the Academic Standards Committee and may result in a recommendation of expulsion, suspension, or other appropriate action.
Some courses which emphasize practice and performance are considered activity courses. Of the 128 semester credits required for a Bethany College degree, no more than eight credits may be earned in activity courses and no more than four of these eight credits may be earned in activity courses offered by a single department. However, a student may enroll in additional activity courses which will be listed on official transcripts and become part of the student’s cumulative record.
Change of Schedule
During the first five class days of each semester, a student, with the approval of the advisor, may drop or add any course. No courses may be added after this time. To withdraw from a course the student must follow the procedures established by the Office of the Registrar.
Class Attendance Policy
A student is expected to attend all class meetings and laboratory, discussion, and practice sessions of courses and to participate in outside activities that are part of the courses. Upon enrolling for any course at Bethany College, a student accepts the requirements of that course as binding, including the instructor’s attendance policy as stated in the syllabus.
The number of absences that are acceptable and the manner in which they are handled are the prerogative of the instructor. An absence, for whatever reason, does not excuse a student from meeting the full requirements of the course. Students recognize that many class activities can neither be replicated nor made up and that absences are likely to be detrimental to the student’s performance.
A student who misses a class session may choose to verify the reason for that absence by submitting to the instructor a completed Explanation of Absence Form. Forms are available in the Office of the Registrar.
A full-time student is defined as any student carrying at least 12 credits during a semester. Normally a student enrolls for 15 to 18 credits each semester. A course load exceeding 18 credits is always considered an overload. Permission to enroll for additional credits must be obtained from the Vice President for Academic Affairs. Applications for excess credits are available in the Office of the Registrar.
Students enrolled for more than 18 credit hours in the Fall or Spring Semester will be charged $600 for each credit hour beyond 18 in addition to the regular full-time tuition.
Most courses listed among departmental offerings are offered annually. Some, however, are offered every other year and a few are offered in three-year cycles. Students should see their advisors or respective department chairs for a long-range course plan.
Each department offers independent study for those students who have demonstrated the ability to work individually in some area of special interest. The student selects an area of study, subject to the approval of the chair of the department. Upon approval, the student then completes an Application for Independent Study in the Office of the Registrar before the start of the semester. First-Year students may not register for independent study courses. Independent study courses are not offered in courses that are being offered in the current semester.
When a course which is part of a department’s requirements for its major may be taken for credit in more than one department, a student majoring in that field may register for the course in any department in which it is listed, but the course will count as part of the maximum credit which may be earned by the student within the major department.
A student justifiably absent from a final examination or a test given in connection with regular class work is permitted to take a special test without payment of fees with the consent of the instructor and approval of the Vice President for Academic Affairs. For any other special examination a fee must be paid at the Business Office before the examination is taken, and the proper receipt must be presented to the instructor at the time of the examination.
All students must inform the Registrar of their anticipated degree completion date by registering for the appropriate graduation audit section (course number 495 in each curriculum offering a major) in the semester prior to the semester in which they expect to have completed all graduation requirements. Registration for this course initiates a graduation audit process to verify that all requirements for graduation are scheduled to be met by the anticipated degree completion date.
As prescribed by the Charter and Bylaws of the institution, granting a degree from Bethany College is a three-step process involving the Registrar, the Faculty, and the Board of Trustees. The Registrar conducts a graduation audit on the date final grades are due at three points in the academic calendar: 1) at the end of the Fall Term; 2) at the end of the January Term; and, 3) and at the end of Spring Term. These dates are listed in the College Calendar.
Only the names of those students who have completed all the requirements for the degree by one of the dates noted above will be submitted to the Faculty at its next regularly scheduled meeting, at which time the Faculty nominates the members of the list for degree. The President then presents the list to the Board of Trustees which then confers the degree.
Commencement exercises are held once each year, in May, at which time all degree recipients for that academic year receive their diplomas. All students who are candidates for graduation must resolve their financial obligations to the institution prior to their nomination for a degree, and transcripts will be withheld until the financial obligation is satisfied.
Letter grades given for Mid-term(reported at the 8th week of each semester) and Final grades and their equivalents in quality points are:
|A 4.00||B 3.00||C 2.00||D 1.00|
|A- 3.75||B- 2.75||C- 1.75||D- 0.75|
|B+ 3.25||C+ 2.25||D+ 1.25||F 0.00|
Students are required to take at least 100 credits of letter-graded work.
Grades mean: A, Superior; B, Excellent; C, Average; D, Below Average; F, Failure.
Other report abbreviations and their meanings are:
INC Incomplete. No quality points or credits will be awarded or counted toward the calculation of a student’s grade point average for incompletes unless the student is already on probation* Poor academic performance is not, in and of itself, a reason for an INC. An incomplete must be removed by the end of the fourth week of class of the following semester, unless an extension of time is granted by the instructor and the registrar is notified. It is the student’s responsibility to submit an application for an extension of time signed by the instructor of the course and submitted to the registrar in a timely manner. Four weeks after the beginning of the following semester, an INC will be recorded as an “F” and averaged into the student’s grade point average. The grade can be changed within one year from the date the incomplete was submitted to the registrar’s office if the instructor accepts the work in question. After one year, an INC will be permanently recorded as an “F”.
*If a student is already on academic probation, an incomplete will be averaged into the calculation of the grade point average as an “F”. These students must complete all work before the beginning of the next semester.
Students with an INC will not be eligible for the Dean’s List or the President’s List or consideration for honors until the INC is removed.
CR Credit. No quality points.
NCR No-Credit. No quality points or academic penalty.
W Withdrawal. Indicates withdrawal from a course before the end of the ninth week of a full-semester course or before the fifth week of a half-semester course. Carries no quality points or credits.
WP Withdrawal while passing. Indicates withdrawal while passing from a course after the ninth week of a full-semester course or after the fifth week of a half-semester course. Carries no quality points or credits.
WF Withdrawal while failing. Indicates withdrawal while failing from a course after the ninth week of a full-semester course or after the fifth week of a half-semester course. Carries no quality points or credits.
SP Satisfactory Progress on Senior Project. No quality points.
UP Unsatisfactory Progress on Senior Project. No quality points.
NG No grade. Used at mid-term only.
Any upper-class student who carries 12 credits of letter-graded academic work may elect to take additional work on a Credit-No Credit basis in courses which are not used for the major, a minor, or any graduation requirement. First-Year students may not take academic courses on a Credit-No Credit basis, with the exception of FSEM 112 Transitions.
Any grade that has been submitted to the Registrar by an instructor is considered final. Grades may not be changed by allowing the student to do additional work (e.g., retaking exams, rewriting papers or other assignments); by any change in course requirements that did not apply to all students enrolled in that particular class; or for any purpose other than (1) to correct a demonstrated error in calculation or recording; (2) pursuant to a confirmed finding of academic integrity violation (see Academic Honesty Policy); or (3) pursuant to a decision in a student academic grievance.
If a student wishes to appeal a grade that the student believes has been erroneously or unjustly determined, the student must first try to resolve the issue through informal discussions with the instructor. If no mutually satisfactory resolution is reached, and the student wishes to pursue the appeal, the student must adhere to the following procedure:
- No later than 14 days into the semester immediately following the semester for which the grade report in question was sent out, the student must send to the course instructor a written request for a specific change in the grade. The written communication must include specific details about the graded work (such as grades received on exams and papers) and must describe the nature and magnitude of the apparent grade discrepancy. The course instructor (if still on the faculty and not on sabbatical or other leave) must respond within 30 days of receiving the letter to questions raised by the student and undertake to correct any grade found to be erroneous or unjust. If the instructor believes the grade should remain as recorded, the response to the student must be a written one. If the course instructor is the department chair, the appeal process continues with Step 3.
- Within 14 days of the date on which the response was mailed, the student may appeal the decision by notifying the instructor’s department chair. The department chair will promptly (within 14 days) confer with the student, the course instructor, and such others as may be helpful. The department chair will then consider all materials and conversations to determine whether the criteria designated in the syllabus or announced in the course were used for determining whether procedures specified were followed in the appeal stages. The department chair will then render a decision which will be transmitted in writing to the student and to the course instructor.
- Within 14 days of the date on which the response was mailed, the student or the instructor may appeal the decision by notifying the Dean of the Faculty. The Dean of the Faculty will promptly (within 14 days) confer with the student, the course instructor, and such others as may be helpful, including (if desired by the student) a tenured Bethany College faculty member selected by the student. The Dean of the Faculty will then consider all materials and conversations to determine whether the criteria designated in the syllabus or announced in the course were used for determining the grade and whether procedures specified were followed in the appeal stages. The Dean of the Faculty will then render a decision which will be transmitted in writing to the student and to the course instructor.
- The student may (within 14 days of the decision by the ASC) make a final appeal of a grade to the Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of Faculty.
If in any of the appeal stages, the course instructor or department chair does not respond to the formal request in the time specified, the student may immediately take the next step in the procedure. If at any point the student does not appeal within the time specified, the grade will remain as recorded.
Classification of Students
Students attain sophomore standing when they have earned 25 credits, junior standing when they have earned 60 credits, and senior standing when they have earned 94 credits.
Students are not considered candidates for the baccalaureate degree until they have earned senior classification, have filed an application to take the Senior Comprehensive Examination in the major, and have filed an application for a degree.
An honorable dismissal is granted to students in good standing who may desire to withdraw from the College if they have satisfied their advisors and a responsible officer of the College that there is a good reason to justify such action. Students asking to withdraw should visit the Center for Enrollment to discuss the decision and to complete paperwork for the Dean of Students, the Executive Vice President and General Counsel, and the Registrar to review. No withdrawal is considered complete until this procedure has been carried out.
Academic Probation and Dismissal
A satisfactory scholastic record at Bethany requires a student to have a semester’s grade-point average of at least 1.70 during the freshman year, 1.80 during the sophomore year, and 2.00 during the junior and senior years. For the purposes of determining this average, the fall semester and the following January Term will be considered together, and the spring semester and May Term will be considered together. January Term and May Term are not considered “semesters” for the purposes of this policy. Students who have an unsatisfactory scholastic record at Bethany are placed on academic probation or dismissed from the College as described below.
Academic probation is a warning that academic performance is unsatisfactory and that unless significant improvement is made, continuation at Bethany will not be permitted and the student will be dismissed. Academic dismissal is a result of a semester on academic probation directly followed by an unsatisfactory scholastic record in the next semester, unsatisfactory scholastic records in three semesters, or a grade point average of less than a 0.500 in any one semester. Students who believe their grades are a result of unusual or extenuating circumstances may appeal their dismissal to the Academic Standards Committee (ASC) for its review and an exception to college standards. The ASC’s decision may be appealed to the Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of Faculty for a final decision. The procedure and deadlines for appeal are attached to the probation and dismissal letters. Specific policies regarding multiple scenarios may be found in Appendix 188.8.131.52 of Volume VI: Academic Policies posted on the Bethany employment page.
Transcript of Records
Students wishing transcripts of records in order to support applications for graduate or professional school, to transfer to other schools, or for other purposes should make application to the Office of the Registrar at least one week before the transcript is needed. Transcripts are issued only at the written and signed request of the student, and official transcripts are sent directly to the recipient specified by the student. A fee of $10.00 will be charged for each transcript provided. Fees must accompany the request. All financial obligations to the College must be paid before a transcript is issued.
Changes in Regulations
Bethany reserves the right to amend the regulations covering the granting of degrees, the courses of study, and the conduct of students. Attending Bethany College and receiving its degrees are privileges, not rights. The College reserves the right (and the student concedes to the College the right) to require the withdrawal of any student at any time.