Feb 28, 2024  
2003-2004 Springfield College Graduate Catalog 
2003-2004 Springfield College Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Academic Policies and Procedures

This page includes information on the following topics:


For more information, read about Registration and Degree Requirements .

Academic Advising

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Academic advisors, who are required to post office hours, are assigned to students during the first term of their graduate program. Academic advisors and students work in partnership to achieve the student’s educational requirements and goals. An academic advisor:

  • Assists the student in understanding and meeting all requirements for graduation.
  • Monitors incomplete grades and progress toward completing course work.
  • Assists in clarifying learning objectives and career plans.
  • Addresses problems regarding work, instructors, and expectations.
  • Counsels or refers student to appropriate source for assistance.
  • Serves as an advocate for the student.

Academic Credit

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The unit of measure for student progress at Springfield College is the “semester hour”. One semester hour is generally equated with one hour of lecture each week through the duration of one fifteen-week semester.

Academic Load

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Full-time graduate/post-graduate student—enrolled for nine or more semester hours
Half-time graduate/post-graduate student—enrolled for four and one-half to eight and one-half semester hours
Less-than-half-time graduate/post-graduate student—enrolled for less than four and one-half semester hours

Catalog Year Policy

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Graduate students are responsible to complete the requirements for their program and for graduation that were in place upon admittance to the College as a degree-seeking student. In certain circumstances, with the approval of the student’s advisor, department chair/program coordinator or SHS campus director, Dean of the School, and the Dean, School of Graduate Studies, a waiver or substitution for program requirements may be processed. All waivers or substitutions must be properly documented with the Registrar.

The College may approve changes to requirements that all students must fulfill, regardless of their date of entry. Students who change concentrations or programs will be responsible to complete the requirements in place upon their acceptance into the new concentration or program. If a student is readmitted to the College following withdrawal or dismissal, he or she is responsible to complete the requirements in place on the new matriculated date.

Academic Progress

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he academic progress policy applies to full time and part time matriculated graduate students enrolled in the School of Arts, Sciences, and Professional Studies; the School of Health, Physical Education, and Recreation; the School of Social Work; and the School of Human Services at Springfield College. A student is matriculated if he or she received official acceptance into Springfield College through the admissions process as a graduate degree-seeking student.

Matriculated candidates for the master’s degree, CAS, and doctoral degree are required to maintain at least a 3.00 cumulative grade point average (CGPA) in graduate level courses and must have a CGPA of at least 3.00 in all graduate work to earn a Master’s, CAS, or Doctor’s degree from Springfield College. While the 3.00 CGPA is the minimum standard for graduation and continuation in graduate programs at the College, academic departments may have higher standards for entrance into or continuation in their graduate programs. Students must verify program standards with their department chair/campus director.

All students are subject to academic progress review by the Office of Graduate Studies following the semester in which they complete 9 s.h. of graduate credit at Springfield College. A graduate student whose CGPA meets the minimum standard of 3.00 is considered to be in Good Academic Standing at the College. A student may need to meet a higher standard to be making satisfactory progress in a particular graduate program or concentration. A graduate student whose CGPA is below 3.00 following the completion of 9 s.h. of graduate credit at Springfield College is subject to placement on academic probation.

Grades obtained in coursework transferred from another institution or grades for undergraduate courses taken at Springfield College, whether as prerequisites or as supplements to a student’s total program, are not included in the calculation of the student’s GPA.

A graduate student will be placed on or continued on academic probation if the following condition is met:

  • Any student whose CGPA falls below a 3.00 following the completion of 9 s.h. of graduate credit at Springfield College.

A graduate student meeting this condition will be ineligible for financial aid, including Graduate Associateships. A student placed on probation or continued on probation may be required or advised to take certain courses, limit the number of courses taken, or fulfill other conditions specified by the advisor, department chair/campus director, and/or Dean of Graduate Studies. A student is removed from academic probation when his or her CGPA officially meets or exceeds 3.00.

A graduate student will be dismissed from candidacy for the graduate degree if the following conditions are met:

  1. Any student whose CGPA is below 2.80 at the end of the semester in which he or she has completed at least 18 semester hours of graduate work.
  2. Any student whose CGPA is below 3.0 after the completion of the required minimum number of semester hours in his or her program plus six credits.

A student who has been dismissed may appeal the dismissal in person or by letter to the Graduate Academic Appeal and Review Board. The time line for the letter will be specified in the letter of notification of dismissal. Such an appeal should contain information about circumstances affecting the student’s academic performance and the student’s plan to remedy the situation. If the appeal is granted the student will be readmitted, continued on academic probation and may be required to take certain courses, limit the number of courses taken, or fulfill other conditions specified by the department or campus site. The appeal will be noted on the student’s academic transcript.

If the student’s appeal is not granted and the student has reasonable grounds to file a grievance, the student should notify the VPAA of his or her desire to grieve the dismissal. The notification must be in writing and be postmarked or received within 7 business days of notification of the action to dismiss. Reasonable grounds for appeal include:

  1. Newly acquired information regarding the student’s academic standing, not made available during the appeal process;
  2. Procedural irregularities or improper application of the policy; or
  3. Imposition of an improper or excessive sanction.

If reasonable grounds exist, the Office of the VPAA will review the student’s appeal and take appropriate action or refer the appeal to the Academic Appeal and Review Board.

Audit Policy

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Students may register for one course for audit designation per semester. An audit carries no credit, has no grade-point equivalent, and is recorded as an X on the transcript. Students may change to audit in a course at any time in the semester up to the point at which twenty percent of the semester (three weeks in a fifteen-week course) is completed.

Cancellation of Classes

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Cancellation of classes because of inclement weather will be aired on radio stations WHYN, WAQY, WTTT, WNNZ, and WMAS and television stations WWLP/Channel 22 and WGGB/Channel 40. Students and faculty are advised to tune in to one of these stations on the morning in question. After 6:00 A.M. students may also call the school closing information line at 748-5999 or refer to the Springfield College Cable TV station, that is aired in campus academic buildings and throughout the residence halls. If no cancellation is indicated by the 7:00 A.M. media announcements, classes will be held as scheduled.

Classification of Graduate Students

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Nonmatriculated Graduate Students
Students who have not been admitted to a graduate program but who wish to take graduate courses are required to file a non-matriculated student data form along with transcripts demonstrating receipt of the bachelor’s degree. Non-matriculated students may be admitted to those courses for which they have the prerequisites, with the approval of the faculty members who teach the courses, and with authorization of the Dean of Graduate Studies. No more than twelve semester hours of credit taken as a non-matriculated student at Springfield College prior to admission to graduate study may be applied toward the master’s degree or to the certificate of advanced study. Students interested in working toward a degree should apply for admission to a graduate program as soon as possible. The major departments evaluate the work taken previously concerning its applicability within the degree program and specify how much, if any, will be accepted toward degree requirements. (This option is not available in social work.) Students enrolled at the College as “Non-matriculated Graduate Students” (not accepted into a degree program) are not eligible for financial assistance. Non-matriculated graduate students must make payment arrangements with the Business Office at the time of registration.

Matriculated Graduate Students
These are students who have completed a bachelor’s degree program and who have been accepted for admission to a particular program of graduate study leading to an appropriate degree, or certificate, at Springfield College.

Pass/Fail Policy

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Students wishing to take a course for pass/fail credit must complete a petition (available at the Graduate Office) prior to registration and obtain the approval of the program director of their major and the Dean of Graduate Studies. Once approved, the pass/fail election is irrevocable.


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Degrees are conferred once each year at the annual commencement ceremony following spring semester. Students who complete degree requirements during the spring semester or by the previous August or December are eligible to participate in the commencement ceremony. All students must complete a Degree Application with the registrar in order to be eligible to participate in the May commencement ceremony. Degree applications for the May ceremony are generally due to the registrar by the beginning of February.

Notwithstanding anything to the contrary contained herein, all students are advised that, even after completing all academic requirements for any degree, the College reserves the right to withhold the granting of the degree in the event that any disciplinary proceedings have been or are being commenced against the student.

Students may request permission to march in the Commencement ceremony in May if the only remaining requirement for the degree is the completion of a fieldwork, internship, or practicum course for which the student will enroll in the next summer session. Students must have a current academic index of 3.00 or better. While students may be granted permission to march in May, conferral of the degree will occur in August if all degree requirements are completed.

The petition to march is available in the office of Graduate Studies and must be signed by the student, the student’s academic advisor, and program director/department chair before returning the form to the Graduate Studies Office.

Course Numbering System

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Undergraduate Course Numbers
  generally lower division-first year courses
generally lower division-second year courses
generally upper division-third year courses
generally upper division-fourth year courses

Graduate Course Numbers
  generally prerequisite level graduate courses

Doctoral and Postgraduate Course Numbers

Course Overload Policy

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Graduate full-time enrollment is defined as nine credit hours. Students wishing to take an overload must have completed one full term, be in good academic standing with a B average, and have the permission of their academic advisor.

Cross-Registration Procedures

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Upon meeting the following conditions, Springfield College students are eligible to register for a class offered by the School of Human Services, the School of Graduate Studies, or the undergraduate schools through the course cross-registration process.

  1. Prior approval of course cross-registration must be secured using the Springfield College Cross-Registration/All-College Requirement Substitution Form.
  2. Students must fulfill course prerequisites, if any, prior to course cross-registration.
  3. Graduate CORE requirement (RSCH 610) may not be met through course cross-registration.
  4. Undergraduate students are eligible to cross-register for undergraduate courses only. Graduate students are eligible to cross-register for graduate courses or undergraduate prerequisites only.
  5. Course cross-registration is limited to one course per semester, with a maximum course limit of three.
  6. Course cross-registration is allowed only in those courses where space is available.
  7. Course cross-registration is not allowed during January and summer sessions.
  8. Tuition charge for a cross-registration course is based on the rate applicable to the individual’s degree program.

Exception to Policies

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Exceptions to graduate policies may only be made in the sole discretion of the Office of Graduate Studies, following petition. Appropriate forms, available in the Office of Graduate Studies, must be completed by the student, reviewed by the major advisor, approved by the department chair and cognate dean, and returned to the Office of Graduate Studies for action.

Academic Grievance Procedure

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If a student believes that she or he has been treated unfairly in his or her academic work (grade, departmental/program standards, etc.), the student has the right to seek resolution of the concern through informal and formal processes. At any step in the process, the student may consult with his or her academic advisor or any other faculty or staff member for advice.

Step 1 (informal process):
Within 30 calendar days of the disputed action, the student must raise the concern with the instructor or appropriate party. The instructor or other party should respond to the student regarding this concern within 14 calendar days. (If the 30 days are interrupted by the close of a term or semester break, the remaining days will extend into the beginning of the following term or semester. In situations in which the instructor is on leave or no longer employed by the College, the student should proceed to Step 2.)

Step 2 (informal process):
If the student and the instructor do not agree to a resolution, the student has 14 calendar days from the instructor’s response to raise the concern with the chairperson of the department in which the grievance occurred or the campus director. The chairperson or campus director should respond to the student regarding this concern within 14 calendar days and must notify the instructor of the continuation of the grievance process.

Step 3 (formal process, if needed):
If accord is not yet reached through the steps above, the student may file a written grievance using the Academic Grievance Form. The grievance form must be submitted to the dean of the school in which the grievance occurred within 14 days following the chairperson or campus director’s response to the student. Upon receipt of the form, the school dean will conduct whatever review is needed to arrive at a resolution, including, if necessary, a meeting with the student and instructor. The dean will notify all parties involved in writing of her or his decision and any subsequent actions. The decision of the school dean regarding the grievance is final.

Note: A student should also use this process to resolve a dispute with a department, program coordinator, department committee, etc. In such a case, the student should raise the concern with the relevant department chair or campus director within 30 calendar days of the disputed action (extending into the next semester or term if necessary). The chairperson should respond within 14 days. If accord is not reached, the student should proceed to Step 3, filing a written grievance with the appropriate dean within 14 calendar days of the chairperson or campus director’s response.

This policy is not intended to supercede the Academic Integrity and Honesty Policy or the Harassment/Discrimination Policy.

Grades and Grading

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Students’ work will be evaluated by faculty members and course grades assigned. Examinations, written papers, or oral assignments, and/or fieldwork may constitute the basis for the grade awarded in class. Faculty members generally outline the details for determining grades on the course syllabus. Often, any weighted factors for assignments will be outlined in the syllabus. Grade points are assigned to each grade and used in the calculation of the student’s grade point average for the semester’s work or cumulative average. The grades and point values are:

Grade   Grade Points
C-(Lowest passing grade)
F (Failure)
P (Pass C- or better)
I (Incomplete)
X (Audit)
W (Withdrawal)
* Grade not reported by faculty
IP Course in progress
CP Credit Pending
Not included in computation
Not included in computation
Not included in computation
Not included in computation

Faculty have sole responsibility of awarding all grades except W, X and *.

Calculation of Grade Point Average (GPA)

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GPA is computed by dividing the total grade points earned by the total semester hours attempted. For example:


Semester Hours


Grade Points


Total Grade Points
(for each course)




x 4.0
x 3.0
x 2.0


= 12.00
= 9.00
= 6.00
= 0.00
(total for all courses)

Total grade points divided by total semester hours equals GPA.
27 divided by 12 equals 2.25 GPA

Incomplete Grade Policy

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An instructor may give a grade of incomplete (I) following a student request in situations where incapacitating illness or exceptional circumstances beyond the control of the student prevent the student from completing course requirements. A student will have a specified period of time, not to exceed two semesters exclusive of summer or prior to graduation, to complete incomplete work.

A contract for incomplete grades must be completed. A copy of this contract will remain with the student, the instructor, the registrar, and the academic department offering the course. If the student does not meet the conditions of the contract for the completion of the incomplete by the time specified or prior to graduation, the registrar will automatically change the I grade to an F grade or an alternate grade designated by the instructor that is based on the work completed.

This policy applies to all students enrolled at Springfield College, effective fall 1999. It does not affect I grades given prior to this date.

Grade Changes

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If a grade was erroneously recorded or an incomplete grade needs to be changed, a form for grade changes is available in the Office of the Registrar. Only faculty may complete the form and submit it to the registrar. Students will receive notification of the grade change from the Office of the Registrar.

Class Attendance

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Students are expected to attend all classes for which they are registered. There are no all-College regulations governing class attendance, however, individual departments and/or classes may have attendance policies. Each instructor is given the freedom to handle attendance in his or her classes at his/her sole discretion. Students should make sure they know the instructor’s attendance policy for each class they attend. Students who do not attend a course or section for which they are officially registered and do not officially drop it will receive a grade of F, which is calculated into their cumulative average. If a student attends a course or section for which they are not officially registered, they will not receive credit for their work.

If a student misses a class meeting for any reason, he or she is still responsible for the material covered. If a student is aware that circumstances will prevent class attendance on a particular day, he or she should contact the faculty member directly in advance of the absence. If the faculty member is not available, the student should contact the appropriate department and leave a message either through voice mail for the faculty member or with the department chairperson or secretary. Students are responsible for explaining their absences to their professors. In case of excused absences for circumstances other than illness or unforeseen emergency, the student is required to make arrangements for make up of assignments (or exams) with the professor in advance of the absence.

Academic Integrity and Honesty

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Springfield College strongly believes in the importance of teaching students to honestly represent their work. The faculty will hold students accountable to do so. The possible situations when a student could violate these expectations range from not providing credit by appropriately footnoting resource material to cheating on an examination or assignment by unauthorized communication or collaboration with other students. Other examples include purchasing papers or projects; using crib sheets, aides, or unauthorized materials during an examination; or presenting the same written work as the requirement for more than one course without the permission of the instructors involved.

Academic dishonesty can also occur by misrepresenting or misusing College affiliation in assignments, projects, internships, pre-practica, practical or other field placements, or in projects and work outside of College assignments. Other examples include misrepresenting course requirements to other students; submission of fictitious materials in assignments; or misusing a position of authority in pre-practica, practical internships, or other field placements.


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Plagiarism is defined as the appropriation of, and use as one’s own, the writings and ideas of another. Intent to deceive does not have to be present for plagiarism to occur. Students should be cautious when “borrowing” material from other sources. Rewording (paraphrasing) of an author’s ideas does not absolve the student from giving credit and making the appropriate citation. Students who plagiarize are subject to dismissal from the graduate program.