Jun 22, 2024  
2006-2007 Springfield College Graduate Catalog 
2006-2007 Springfield College Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Academic Policies and Procedures

The following pages contain information on these 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 students 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 students advisor, department chair/program coordinator or SHS campus director, Dean of the School, and the Associate Vice President for Graduate Education and Research, 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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This Institutional Academic Progress Policy applies to both full-time and part-time matriculated graduate students enrolled in the School of Arts, Sciences, and Professional Studies (ASPS); the School of Health, Physical Education, and Recreation (HPER); the School of Health Sciences and Rehabilitation Studies (HSRS); the School of Human Services (SHS); and the School of Social Work (SSW). A student is matriculated if he or she received official acceptance into Springfield College through the admissions process as a graduate degree-seeking student.

Academic Review

Following the close of each full semester/term, a systematic graduate academic records review is conducted by the Registrar to determine student institutional academic standing status classifications. Graduate students will not be subject to institutional review until they have attempted the completion of nine (9) graduate credits at Springfield College.

A graduate student’s institutional academic standing status is assessed according to the Good Academic Standing cumulative grade point average criterion (CGPA) of 3.00. As a result of academic standing review, graduate students are assigned the appropriate institutional academic standing status actions (listed below). Graduate students must have a CGPA of 3.00 or better to be eligible for graduation with master’s and doctoral degrees. Academic departments or schools may have higher standards for entrance into or continuation in their graduate programs and students are responsible for reviewing program standards and requirements that are found in the official department, school, or institutional publications.

Academic Standing Status Categories

Following determination of status by the graduate academic records review process, academic standing status actions (Good Academic Standing, Academic Probation, Continued Academic Probation, and Academic Dismissal) go into effect at the start of the successive semester (Fall, Spring, or Summer).

  • Good Academic Standing

A graduate student whose CGPA is at or above the minimum standard of 3.00 is classified as a graduate student in good academic standing at the College.

  • Academic Probation

The graduate student who at any academic review point fails to meet the 3.00 CGPA academic standing criterion on or after attempting the completion of nine (9) credit hours is placed on institutional academic probation. A graduate student who is placed on academic probation is not in good academic standing at the College. A graduate student on academic probation will maintain matriculation status but will not be eligible for financial aid, including teaching and research fellowships.

The graduate student who is placed on academic probation will be notified of this academic standing by letter. Following this notice from the Office of Academic Affairs, a prescriptive plan for the graduate student on academic probation will be designed by the academic advisor and the academic program or SHS campus. This plan may require the graduate student to take certain courses, limit the number of courses taken, or fulfill other conditions as specified.

A graduate student will be removed from academic probation when he or she meets or exceeds the criterion 3.00 CGPA.

  • Continued Academic Probation

A graduate student who was on academic probation during the semester of review will be continued on academic probation if his/her semester GPA is at 3.00 or above, his or her CGPA is at or above 2.80 but less than 3.0, and compliance with the prescriptive plan defined above has been met. If continued on academic probation, the graduate student will be subject to the conditions specified under Academic Probation.

Academic Dismissal

At any graduate academic standing review point on or after attempting the completion of 18 credits, a graduate student who is currently on institutional academic probation or continued academic probation will be academically dismissed when the criteria for continued academic probation are not met. The Office of Academic Affairs will send the student a notification letter of dismissal. The student may appeal the institutional academic dismissal and is required to submit the request for an appeal in writing to the Graduate Appeals Committee via the Associate Vice President for Graduate Education and Research.

Academic Dismissal Appeal Readmission

A graduate student whose academic dismissal appeal is supported by the Graduate Appeals Committee and the Vice President for Academic Affairs will be allowed to seek readmission for return on continued academic probation. In order to be readmitted, the graduate student must meet one of the following two conditions:

  • a) the program of matriculation officially readmits the student, contingent on all program standards being met; and the final readmission is approved by the School Dean.

  • b) the student is officially granted admission to another graduate program and the final readmission is approved by the School Dean.

Appeal Process for Academic Dismissal

A graduate student who has been academically dismissed from the College may appeal the academic dismissal to the Graduate Appeals Committee by submitting a letter to the Associate Vice President for Graduate Education and Research to request a hearing. The timeline for the appeal will be specified in the dismissal notification letter.

The student’s appeal should contain information about circumstances affecting his or her academic performance and the student’s plans to remedy the situation. Students may bring one Springfield College employee to the appeal meeting for emotional support or to present brief information on the student’s behalf. A lawyer may not be present at the appeal meeting, either as a legal representative or as one of the above college personnel. A College employee who is invited to attend is under no obligation to do so. Any College personnel speaking on behalf of the student will not be in the room during the student’s presentation but will be invited to speak following the student’s appeal presentation. The student may also bring letters of support written by any individual.

The Graduate Appeals Committee will review the appeal. If the committee recommends that the appeal be supported, and the Vice President for Academic Affairs concurs, the student will be allowed to seek readmission for return on continued probation. Readmission of the graduate student will be contingent upon his/her meeting one of the two conditions of Dismissal Appeal Readmission. The graduate student who is re-admitted will be required to follow the requirements stated in the section on Academic Probation and to adhere to all academic standing policies.

The Office of Academic Affairs will inform the student of the decision by letter. The dismissal, if upheld upon appeal, will be noted on the student’s academic transcript.

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 bachelors 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 Associate Vice President for Graduate Education and Research. 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. 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 bachelors degree program and who have been accepted for admission to a particular program of graduate study leading to an appropriate degree 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 Associate Vice President of Graduate Education and Research. 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 students academic advisor, and program director/department chair before returning the form to the Graduate Studies Office.


Posthumous Degree Policy

Upon request, Springfield College may award a degree (any level) posthumously in the following circumstances: when a student death occurs during a student’s final academic year, and the student was in good academic standing with the college and completed at least 90% of all required coursework for the degree. Graduate students must have begun the capstone experience. The school Dean will make the final determination in consultation with the Registrar.

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. More than 18 credits is considered an overload. The petition to take an overload is available in the Office of Graduate Studies.

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 Office 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 individuals 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 instructors 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 directors 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 directors 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 *.

Credit Hour Definitions

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Attempted credit hours - Credits attempted for completion include those courses graded “A” though “F”, “P”, “W”, “*”, “I”, “CP” and accepted transfer credits.

Earned credit hours - Credits earned included those courses graded “A” through “C-“, “P”, and accepted transfer credits.

Graded credit hours (used for calculation of GPAs) - Springfield College credits used in the calculation of the GPA include those courses graded “A” through “F”.

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
x 0.0


= 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

Credit Pending Grade

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The designation of “CP” (Credit Pending) is given only in courses in which work extends beyond the end of the semester; use of “CP” must be approved in advance by the Department Chair or Campus Director, and the Registrar. Courses eligible for “CP” include independent study, dissertation, thesis, research or courses designed to extend beyond the end of a typical semester. The designation of “CP” does not affect the GPA calculation. In order for a student to graduate a “CP” designation must be converted to a grade.

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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Instructors may not submit grade changes later than one calendar year following the semester or term in which a course was originally graded. This policy is not intended to supercede the academic grievance policy or the policy governing incompletes. Grades can be changed only if a grade was miscalculated or erroneously reported by the faculty member or if 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. Sanctions for academic dishonesty may include dismissal from the graduate program.


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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.