Jul 13, 2024  
2012-2013 Springfield College Graduate Catalog 
2012-2013 Springfield College Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Academic Policies and Procedures

The following pages contain information on these topics:


For more information, read about Registration  .

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 Success Center

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The Academic Success Center is Springfield College’s core resource for a wide array of student academic services with the goal of supporting all Springfield College students pursuit of academic excellence. These free services include the following:

  • Writing Support Services provides help with all aspects of the writing process.
  • Math Support Services offers assistance in courses offered by the Mathematics, Physics and Computer Science.
  • Learning Support Services coordinates academic accommodations and support services to students who have documented disabilities.

In addition to its core services, the Academic Success Center has several Individualized Academic Programs.

  • The Content Tutorial Program makes available tutoring support for student coursework outside of the areas covered by Writing Support Services and Math Support Services.
  • The Academic Coaching Program offers individualized assistance to students who want to maximize their academic potential by improving their study skills, time management and other academic abilities.
  • The Assistive Technology Program utilizes computing equipment and software to assist learners of all backgrounds and abilities with their academic endeavors.

The Academic Success Center is located in 109 Hickory Hall, phone: 413-748-3747 or email ASC@springfieldcollege.edu.

For more information, you may also click here to visit the Academic Success Center home page.

Academic Credit

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The unit of measure for student progress at Springfield College is the “credit hour.” One credit 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 credit hours
Half-time graduate/post-graduate student—enrolled for four and one-half to eight and one-half credit hours
Less-than-half-time graduate/post-graduate student—enrolled for less than four and one-half credit 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, and the Dean of the School, 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 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.

  • For the purpose of determining academic progress, attempted hours are defined as:
    Credits for courses graded “A” through “C-“, and “F”, “P”, and accepted transfer credits. 
  • (Attempted credits for determination of financial aid eligibility are defined by Financial Aid regulations as credits for courses graded “A” through “C-“, “F”, “P”, “W”, “NR”, “I”, “CP” and accepted transfer credits.) 

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 or a Certificate of Advanced Graduate Study. 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 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, an academic 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 CGPA is below 3.00 and the student has attempted the completion of fewer than 18 credits at Springfield College or the student’s CGPA is above 2.8 but below 3.00 following the completion of 18 credits at Springfield College. If continued on academic probation, the graduate student will be subject to the conditions specified under Academic Probation.

  • Academic Dismissal

A graduate student on academic probation will be dismissed from candidacy for the graduate degree if his/her CGPA is below 2.8 at the end of the semester in which he/she has attempted 18 s.h. of graduate credit at Springfield College. Additionally, a student whose CGPA is below 3.00 following the completion of the required number of semester hours in his/her program plus six credits is subject to dismissal.

The Office of Academic Affairs will send the student notification letters of all decisions concerning probation and 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 Assistant Vice President for Academic Affairs.

A student who is dismissed may not take courses at Springfield College for one academic year following dismissal, but may reapply for admission thereafter. When the student is readmitted to the College, his or her academic standing will be reviewed. The appropriate academic standing category will be determined at that time.

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 Assistant Vice President for Academic Affairs 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.

  • 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 Springfield College graduate program and the final readmission is approved by the School Dean.

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
A student who has not been admitted to a graduate program but who wishes to take graduate courses is required to file a non-matriculated student data form along with submitting 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 Assistant Vice President for Academic Affairs authorization. Since 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 graduate standing as soon as possible. Non-matriculated students who seek financial assistance for the term in which they are enrolled, must apply for and be accepted into a degree program by the following deadlines:

  • October 1 for the Fall Semester
  • February 15 for the Spring Semester
  • June 1 for the Summer Semester

Non-matriculated students who are accepted to a degree program after these deadlines will not be considered a degree student or qualify for financial assistance until the start of the next semester. 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.)

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 at Springfield College.

Pass/Fail Policy

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Students wishing to take a course for pass/fail credit must complete a petition prior to registration and obtain the approval of the program director of their major. 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 annual 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 cumulative 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 the Registrar and must be signed by the student, the student’s academic advisor, and program director/department chair, and approved by the Assistant Vice President for Academic Affairs. 

Posthumous Degree Policy 

Pending approval of the Vice President of Academic Affairs and the Vice President of Student Affairs, Springfield College may award a graduate degree posthumously. The deceased student must have been in good academic standing and should have begun the capstone experience as determined by his/her School Dean.  The posthumous nature of the degree will be indicated on the student’s official transcript.

Course Numbering System

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Course levels:

Undergraduate Course Numbers
100-level:   These courses are broad surveys or an introduction to a discipline. They do not have prerequisites, unless it is a sequential course.
200-level:   These courses are introductions to, or principles of, areas of study within a discipline. They may or may not have prerequisites.
300-level:   These are advanced courses, providing depth of study in a specialized topic, or pre-practicums. They often have prerequisites, or assume readiness for advanced level study.
400-level:   These are highly specialized undergraduate courses, capstone seminars, or capstone practicums. Prerequisites, a level of readiness, or advancement within the major may be required for this advanced level of work.
500-level:   These courses are generally introductory or entry level graduate courses. Undergraduates ready for graduate level work may take these courses for undergraduate credit. Undergraduates seeking graduate credit must petition to do so. The course may apply to only one degree.

Graduate Course Numbers
500-level:   These courses are generally introductory or entry level graduate courses. Undergraduates ready for graduate level work may take these courses for undergraduate credit. Undergraduates seeking graduate credit must petition to do so. The course may apply to only one degree.
600-level:   These courses are more advanced, in-depth and specialized graduate study associated with a profession or discipline. Undergraduates who qualify may petition to take these courses and must specify whether the credits will be undergraduate or graduate. The course may apply to only one degree.

Doctoral Course Numbers
700-level:   These courses are highly specialized doctoral study associated with a profession or discipline.

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 the Registrar.

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, 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.

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) 
NR 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 NR.


Credit Hour Definitions

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Attempted credit hours - include credits for courses graded “A” though “F”, “P”, accepted transfer credits.

Earned credit hours - include credits for courses graded “A” through “C-“, “P”, and accepted transfer credits.

Graded credit hours (used for calculation of GPAs) - include credits for 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 credit 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 credit hours equals GPA.
27 divided by 12 equals 2.25 GPA

Grades obtained through course work 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 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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A student may request from the instructor a grade of incomplete (I) in situations where exceptional circumstances beyond his or her control (such as incapacitating illness or a death in the family) prevent him or her from completing course requirements. In order to be eligible for an incomplete, the student must have completed the majority of the coursework (e.g., 75 percent or more) with passing grades. The decision to grant an incomplete is at the discretion of the instructor. If he or she agrees, a Contract for Incomplete Grade must be completed and submitted to the Registrar. The contract will specify what the student must complete and by when (no later than the conclusion of the next term - see deadline for grade submission below).

The faculty must submit a final grade to the Registrar’s Office by the last day of classes in the term following the term in which the I was received. If no grade is submitted by that date, the Registrar will automatically change the I grade to the alternate final grade designated by the instructor on the contract, or an “F,” if an alternate grade is not designated. Of course, all incompletes must be completed, or alternate grades assigned, prior to a student’s graduation.

Permanent Incomplete Policy

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If a student withdraws from the College or a graduate student’s candidacy period expires with a grade of I on his or her record, the grade will be converted by the Registrar’s office to a ‘PI’ (permanent incomplete). This grade is permanent and cannot be changed in the future. Students who withdraw and subsequently apply for readmission to the College must re-register for, and complete, the course in order to earn credit for it.

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.

Repeated Courses

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A graduate course for which a student receives a grade of F must be repeated if it is a required course. Other courses may be repeated by a student. To repeat a course, the student must re-register for the course. Both grade entries will appear on the transcript, but only the credit hours and the grade resulting from the repeated course will be used in computing hours and grade points for graduation. This will be true whether the grade for the repeated course is higher or lower than the original grade. A course taken for graduate credit may not be repeated more than once.

Students who repeat a course because they have received a grade of F may choose to register for an approved equivalent course at another institution. In accordance with the graduate transfer policy and following petition to do so, students may transfer the credit for the equivalent course to their graduate program if they have earned a grade of B or better. The original grade of F will appear on the transcript but will be removed from the calculation of the CGPA. A grade of P for the transfer course will appear on the transcript and will be used in computing hours but not grade points for graduation.

Transfer Credit

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Normally, all work for a masters degree is done at Springfield College. No more than six semester hours of graduate credit may be transferred from one or more other institutions toward the masters degree in programs requiring less than forty-eight semester hours of credit. However, students who are enrolled in a masters degree program requiring a minimum of forty-eight semester hours of graduate credit may transfer nine semester hours of graduate credit toward the masters degree. Courses accepted for transfer credit must be completed during the five-year period of candidacy, have a grade of B or better, and be applicable to the individuals program of study pursued at Springfield College. Additionally, such courses must carry graduate credit at an accredited institution with a notation to that effect on the official transcript. In exceptional cases, the time limit (the five year period of candidacy) may be extended by the Assistant Vice President for Academic Affairs following a petition by the graduate student and with the recommendation of the dean of the student’s program, prior to the end of the five year period.

Extension credit from another accredited institution will be acceptable for transfer only where such extension work is accepted toward a masters degree at that other institution.

Correspondence courses will not be accepted for graduate credit.

For transfer credit policies in the School of Social Work, see the Social Work program section of the catalog.


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.