May 22, 2024  
2012-2013 School of Human Services Graduate Catalog 
2012-2013 School of Human Services Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Policies and Procedures

The following information will provide details about a wide number of policies and procedures important to students in the School of Human Services.



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Transfer Credit Policy

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Normally, all work for a master’s 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 master’s degree in programs requiring less than forty-eight semester hours of graduate credit. However, students who are enrolled in a master’s degree program requiring a minimum of forty-eight semester hours of graduate credit may transfer nine semester hours of graduate credit toward the master’s 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 individual’s 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. No credit is granted for prior experiential learning.

Note: The transfer of credits from the College is at the discretion of the receiving institution.

Graduate Courses Taken by Undergraduate Students

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Students who wish to begin graduate work as an undergraduate must file a written request and secure the approval of the Associate Vice President for Graduate Education and Research at the main campus in Springfield before registering for such study. Students interested in this option should contact their academic advisor for appropriate procedures. No request will be approved unless the student’s cumulative grade point average is 3.00 or better at the start of the semester during which the course or courses are to be taken. Students will be charged the undergraduate tuition rate for these courses.

Undergraduate Courses Taken by Graduate Students

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Graduate students who wish to take undergraduate coursework may do so, but will be charged the graduate tuition rate. These courses will not apply toward the student’s graduate degree.

Cross-Registration with Other Springfield College Graduate Programs

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Upon meeting the following conditions, School of Human Services students are eligible to register for a class offered by any other school of the College through the course cross-registration process.

  1. Prior approval of course cross-registration must be secured using the Springfield College Cross-Registration Form.
  2. Students must fulfill course prerequisites, if any, prior to course cross registration.
  3. Graduate foundation requirements may not be met through course cross registration.
  4. Graduate students are eligible to cross-register for graduate courses or undergraduate prerequisites only.
  5. Course cross-registration is limited to one course per term, 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 traditional college Intersession and Summer Sessions (May Term for the School of Human Services).
  8. Tuition charge for a cross-registration course is based on the rate applicable to the individual’s degree program.

Cross-Registration Between School of Human Services Campuses

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Students enrolled at one SHS campus may register for classes at another campus by completing the “Temporary Student Assignment to Another Campus Form” in consultation with their advisor and the admissions person at their home campus.

Students who wish to permanently transfer from one SHS campus to another should complete the “Permanent Campus Transfer Form” in consultation with their advisor, and signed by the Campus Director at their “home” campus.

Students cannot cross-register or permanently transfer during a term for which courses have already begun.

Please note that although all campuses offer programs leading to a Bachelor of Science degree with a major in Human Services and a Master of Science degree with a major in Human Services, campuses may have different course schedules and registration deadlines, and may offer different concentrations.

Registration and Change of Schedule Requests

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Students who attend a course for which they are not officially registered will not receive credit or grades for their work. The registration of all students is conducted under the direction of the Registrar, according to the schedule of classes for the College year. The official registration records are compiled and administered in the Office of the Registrar. All full-time undergraduate and graduate students are registered at specific times and dates as listed in the official calendars. The Registrar publishes, in advance of each registration, specific instructions regarding procedures. Students who fail to register by the registration deadline may be required to pay a late-registration fee. Courses with low enrollments are subject to cancellation. Not all courses listed in the course description section of the catalog are offered each semester.

Students are only permitted to add courses prior to the first class of each term. No class can be added after the first class has met. Students may not drop a course after the last day of the second month (October 31, February 28, June 30) of the term.

To add or drop a course(s), a Change of Schedule Form is used in consultation with the student’s academic advisor. If dropping all classes for a particular term, the student must consult with his/her advisor and complete a Leave of Absence Form. Contact the campus Student Services Office with questions and/or problems. Failure to attend classes does not constitute withdrawing or dropping a class.

Course Withdrawal

Students who withdraw from a course after the Drop-Add Deadline (the last day of the second month of the term) receive a grade of “W.” This grade appears on the students’ transcripts for the course.

Once registered for classes, students are responsible for the tuition incurred. To voluntarily withdraw from a course(s), students must report to the campus to begin the withdrawal process. In circumstances where in-person withdrawal is not feasible, the student may initiate withdrawal action by writing or telephoning the campus. Absence from classes does not constitute withdrawal from a course; students must submit official withdrawal forms.

The withdrawal process involves completing a withdrawal form, having it signed by the academic advisor, and submitting the form to the records coordinator at the local campus. If the student has benefited from federal financial aid, he/she must meet with the financial aid coordinator at the local campus. The student must also contact the business services coordinator to clear any outstanding charges or holds that may prevent continuation of the program at a later date or prevent the release of academic records.

Leave of Absence Policy

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A leave of absence may be granted to a student who has completed graded courses for at least one term. Students wishing to drop all classes and take a leave of absence for a term need the approval of their academic advisor and must complete a multi-part Leave of Absence Form. The Office of Financial Aid will notify all lenders that the student is not currently enrolled and repayment of all outstanding financial loans may commence.

If after one year a student has not re-enrolled, the student will be withdrawn from the College as of the date he/she terminated academic study. During this period, any outstanding balance on the student’s account will be pursued until collected. Students wishing to be readmitted must retake and pay for courses with incomplete grades.

Program Withdrawal

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Students who do not plan to continue their academic studies with the School of Human Services must meet with the campus director or designee for an exit interview, at which time the various steps of the withdrawal process will be reviewed. The purpose of the interview is for the student to have an opportunity to review options and bring closure to the experience at the school. At that time, an effective date will be determined. This date will be used in processing any possible refunds.

Students who are withdrawing from the school must return the Student Identification Card that was issued to them. Withdrawals will not be processed unless the Student Identification Card is returned. Withdrawing students must complete a multi-part Complete Withdrawal Form. Please be sure to mail it by Certified Mail, return receipt requested to the instructional campus, or obtain a receipt if the Complete Withdrawal Form is hand-delivered.

Student Records

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Springfield College will maintain student confidentiality rights and protect access to information as provided by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, also known as the Buckley Amendment. Except as provided by law, information from a student’s records will not be released without the prior written consent of the student. This legislation also provides numerous exceptions whereby the College may release information without prior notice and/or consent of the student, including, but not limited to, the following:

  1. Directory information may be provided unless a student has filed a written request to withhold this information. Students, whether they reside on or off campus, must advise the Office of the Registrar in writing no later than September 15 of each academic year if they wish to restrict the release of this information.

Springfield College considers the following information as “directory information”: name; campus mailbox; campus phone number; enrollment status; dates of attendance at the College; major; semester hours earned; degrees earned; honors received.

  1. Information may be shared with and by Springfield College faculty and staff who have a legitimate educational interest in the student.

In addition, any requests that come from officials of other institutions to which the student might be applying for transfer; government agencies and officials who provide proper identification; officers of the court; financial aid personnel to support a student’s application for aid; as well as appropriate parties in health or safety emergencies will have access to information in the student’s records. Students may also be asked to sign a written waiver granting permission for the release of information from the school records.

Students retain the right to review the contents of their educational records. In order to do so, a formal written request must be made through the Office of the Registrar. In such cases, a meeting will be established within 45 days of the request to permit the student to review materials. A photocopy charge may be assessed if the student wishes to have copies made of materials in his/her file. Springfield College will comply with a written request initiated by the student to supply information in his/her behalf. Such requests must be signed and dated and include the specific records or information to be disclosed, the purpose for the disclosure, and the individual(s) to whom the information should be released.

Details concerning the Buckley Amendment are available at the Office of the Dean of Students and the Office of the Registrar and at each instructional campus.

Transcript of Academic Work

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Students may obtain unofficial copies of their academic transcripts for the duration of study at Springfield College. Applications for these transcripts are made in writing to the Office of the Registrar.

A $5 fee is charged for transcripts requested to be officially sent to a third party. Official transcript requests must include the name and address of the official to whom the information is to be mailed, along with a student’s signature as permission to release a record.

Official transcripts, bearing the College seal, are sent by the Office of the Registrar directly to the receiver and may not be transmitted by the applicant. Ordinarily, transcript requests will be processed and mailed within ten days of the written request.

Currently enrolled students; non-enrolled students; students who have been separated, dismissed, suspended, expelled, disciplined, withdrawn, or were on a leave of absence may not obtain an official transcript, access to registration for courses, and/or a diploma if their accounts are not paid in full, as and when due.

Student Services

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Academic Advising

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 Academic advisors are assigned to every student who enrolls in the SHS program.  Academic advisors and students work in partnership to achieve the student’s educationalrequirements and goals.  An academic advisor

  • assists the student in understanding and meeting all requirements for graduation.
  • monitors incomplete grades and progress toward completing coursework.
  • assists in clarifying learning objectives and career plans.
  • addresses problems regarding work, instructors, and expectations.
  • counsels or refers student to appropriate source for assistance.

The academic progress of a student enrolled in the SHS program is monitored by the students academic advisor and the Academic Standards Committee.


Academic Support

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The School of Human Services offers accessible academic support services in an Academic Success Center located on site at each of its ten campuses.  Services include writing support, study skills counseling, resource support services, and assistance for students with documented disabilities.  All services are coordinated by the campus’s Academic Resource Specialists and focus on the development of sistainable skills.  The Academic Resource Specialists are available during designated campus hours and by appointment.

Policy Statement Regarding Students with Disabilities

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Springfield College School of Human Services is committed to providing an equal educational opportunity and full participation in College programs for persons with disabilities in accordance with state and federal laws. The College fully supports the anti-discrimination policies expressed in state and federal legislation for persons with disabilities. It is the College’s intent that no person be subject to discrimination with regard to any College program or activity.

Springfield College School of Human Services recognizes the unique needs of students with disabilities and encourages these students to use the support services offered by the College to assist them in attaining their educational goals. The policy of Springfield College School of Human Services regarding admission and access to programs and activities prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability. Disabled students are invited to contact the Campus Director at their instructional campus.

Reasonable accommodations are provided for students with disabilities on the basis of need if the disabilities are documented with appropriate evaluations administered by qualified professionals such as psychologists, medical doctors, or agencies specializing in the diagnosis of such disabilities.

Career Services

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The Career Center assists students and alumni in making career and life-planning decisions. A career development specialist serves as a liaison for SHS campuses. The specialist is responsible for coordinating services and programs focused on helping individuals become well-informed job applicants who are skilled and confident in presenting their credentials to employers. Resources and networking opportunities are available to assist students to identify and secure full-time professional employment. Job search skills can be sharpened by scheduling videotaped practice interviews, having resumes and cover letters critiqued via fax or e-mail and by using the Career Center library resources and the Internet. Students who register with the Career Center can establish a permanent reference file and easy access to the weekly job-listing bulletin and Job Hotline. The Career Center is open some Saturdays and evenings to more easily accommodate calls from SHS students at remote campuses. The center also accepts telephone appointments.  While the Center will assist students and alumni with career services, it does not guarantee placement. The Career Center is located at the main campus in Springfield, Massachusetts. Students can contact the office at 413-748-3222.  In addition, support from Career Services is available online at

Library Services

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Babson Library is Springfield College’s library, serving the students, faculty, and staff of Springfield College and all of its campuses. The library collection mirrors the curriculum and is especially strong in the areas of social services, education, psychology, health, physical education, recreation and sports. The library is staffed by professionals who assist in the use of library resources as well as provide library instruction and interlibrary loan and electronic reserve services. The library is a member of the Cooperating Libraries of Greater Springfield, the Western Massachusetts Regional Library System, NELINET, and the Massachusetts Library and Information Network, all of which provide greater access to resources for students.

The collection is housed in the Babson Library building on the main campus in Springfield, Massachusetts, which also includes spacious reading areas, lounges, and individual and group study areas. Students can make use of various library services, such as the Reference Desk and the Circulation/Reserves Desk. The building also houses an open computer lab and several electronic classrooms run by the Information and Technology Services Department. All campuses have terminals through which students can connect to the College network and the library network.

Babson Library’s home page is at From here students can access the library’s catalog and its many databases. The catalog and databases are available on all campuses and most are also available from off-campus. Other Web pages provide information about library services and policies and allow students to request help from the reference librarians or to submit interlibrary loan requests. There is a special section, Distance Services, written specifically for students who take classes at campuses other than the main campus.

Academic Honesty and Integrity

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The School of Human Services 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 communications 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, prepractica, 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. Such acts are violations of the College’s Academic Honesty and Integrity Policy, hereafter referred to as the Policy.

Basic Policy

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A student’s name on any “exercise(s),” which term shall include, but not be limited to, a theme, oral report, notebook, report, computer program, course paper, project, portfolio, quiz, examination or any other assignment related to a course or internship thereto, is regarded as assurance that the exercise is the result of the student’s own thoughts and study, stated in his/her own words, and produced without assistance, except as quotation marks, references and footnotes acknowledge the use of printed sources or other outside help. In some instances, an instructor, program or campus may authorize students to work jointly in solving problems or completing projects. Such efforts must be clearly marked as the results of collaboration. Where collaboration is authorized, students should make sure that they understand which parts of any assignment must be performed independently. Students are not allowed to present the same exercise previously or concurrently completed for another course without the permission of the instructor(s) of the course(s) in question. Students who perceive the possibility of an overlapping assignment should consult with their instructors before presuming that a single effort will meet the requirements of both courses.


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Plagiarism is defined as the appropriation, and use as one’s own, of 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.

Offenses Against the Policy

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Use of Sources

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In preparing assignments, a student often needs or is required to employ outside sources of information or opinion. All such sources should be listed in the bibliography/reference section.

For citations, references in text are required for all specific facts which are not common knowledge and which do not obtain general agreement. New discoveries or debatable opinions must be credited to the source with specific references to edition, page or web page even when the student relates the matter in his/her own words. Word-for-word, including any part, even if only a phrase or sentence, from the written or oral statement of someone else (including the Internet) requires citation in quotation marks and use of the appropriate conventions for attribution. Paraphrasing or summarizing the contents of another’s work is not dishonest if the source or sources are clearly identified (author, title, edition, page), but such paraphrasing does not constitute independent work and may be rejected by the instructor.

Laboratory Work and Assignments

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Notebooks, homework and reports of investigations or experiments must meet the same standards as all other written work. If any of the work is done jointly or if any part of the experiment or analysis is made by anyone other than the writer, acknowledgment of this fact must be made in the report submitted. It is dishonest for a student to falsify or invent data.

Creative Work

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A piece of work presented as the individual creation of the student is assumed to involve no assistance other than incidental criticism from another person. A student may not knowingly employ artwork, story material, wording or dialogue taken from published work, motion pictures, lectures, Internet or similar media, without full acknowledgment.

Examinations, Quizzes, and Tests

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In writing examinations and quizzes, the student is required to respond entirely on the basis of his/her own memory and capacity without any assistance whatsoever except as specifically authorized by the instructor. Cheating on examinations and quizzes can take many forms, including, but not limited to, using another individual to take an examination in one’s place, bringing into the exam room unauthorized materials from which one gains assistance, appropriating an exam or exam materials without authorization, purposely missing an exam in order to gain an advantage, copying during an examination, improper collaboration or unauthorized assistance on take-home examinations, or other actions that undermine equity and reduce the objectivity of evaluation of student work.


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Students involved in community projects, practica, independent studies or fieldwork experiences related to their academic program should be aware that their behavior is a reflection on themselves and the College. Their behavior related to such experiences should be appropriate and professional and is subject to this Policy. Violations of this Policy in such circumstances include, but are not limited to, misrepresenting oneself, misrepresenting the College, misusing a position of authority or failure to honestly report the results of their experience or research.

College Documents

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Any misuse of official College documents connected with the academic process constitutes a violation of the Policy. Such documents include, but are not limited to, registration cards, change of schedule forms, applications to change majors, grade report forms, applications for internships or fieldwork, and transcripts. Misuse of such documents includes, but is not limited to, unauthorized alteration of a form, forging of signatures or misrepresentation of personal or academic information requested.

Other Offenses Against the Policy

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In addition to fraudulent uses of sources as described above, dishonesty includes a number of offenses that circumvent procedures set up to produce a fair grade. The use of services of commercial “research” companies is cheating and a punishable offense. Any falsification of records or routines for grading is dishonest, whether before or after graduation. Gaining access to a recommendation (without permission) once rights have been waived is a violation of the Policy. Withholding, removing, or destroying materials needed by other students for class exercises is as much an offense against the Policy as is plagiarism. Lying in the course of an investigation or a hearing pursuant to the Policy shall be deemed a violation of this Policy.

Students should be scrupulous in learning the principles that govern each new area of computer operations to which they are introduced. Unauthorized collaboration, unauthorized borrowing of someone else’s data or programs and use of a Springfield College computer for unethical purposes and/or other purposes that violate any of the terms of this Policy are a violation of this Policy and are subject to disciplinary and/or legal action.


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All cases of suspected academic dishonesty shall be referred to or made by the instructor of the course in which the offense occurred. The person alleging a violation of the Policy shall provide or have copies of the work in question and indicate clearly the nature of the alleged violation in an accompanying narrative. In cases of plagiarism, the person making the charge shall provide or have copies of original sources, if available, marking plagiarized phrases, sentences and/or paragraphs, and shall indicate borrowings in the accused student’s text and in original sources. In the case of an examination, the person making the charge shall provide or have copies of the examination in question, indicate specifically the grounds for the charge and explain his/her process of discovery. Other alleged offenses of the Policy should be documented with equal thoroughness and in equal detail.

The instructor is expected to meet with the student and, if applicable, sanction the student with respect to the coursework for which the instructor is responsible, as provided in I, II, or III below. If assistance with the investigation is needed, the instructor may consult with or refer the matter to the campus director or his/her designee. If the instructor determines that the student has violated the Policy, the sanction (I, II or III) shall be assessed to the offender, and that decision will be conveyed to the student in a letter written by the instructor. The student will be informed in the letter that he/she has the right to appeal any decisions to the Academic Standards Committee (ASC) of the campus wherein the Policy violation occurred. The appeal must be in writing and include all materials the accused considers relevant, including a narrative clearly outlining the grounds of the appeal. The student will be informed in writing of the decision of the ASC. The student will be informed in the letter that he/she has the right to appeal the decision to the dean of the School of Human Services. The appeal must be in writing and include all materials the accused considers relevant, including a narrative clearly outlining the grounds of the appeal. The student will be informed in writing of the decision of the dean. The decision of the dean in response to this appeal will prevail.

In addition to sanctions I, II or III, the faculty member or the ASC of the campus has the option of referring the matter to the dean of the School of Human Services or his/her designee to investigate whether further disciplinary action is warranted. If the dean believes that a violation exists, he/she shall have the right to sanction a student, which may include, but not be limited to, suspension, dismissal, expulsion, revocation of degree or legal action.

Course-Related Sanctions

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No student may withdraw from a course following an accusation of a violation of this Policy, unless it is determined that no such violation occurred. An instructor is authorized to enact any sanction under I, II or III that he/she judges to be appropriate with respect to the course in which the violation occurred.

1. Reprimand

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In some cases in which a first offense has been judged to merit a minor penalty, the student will be allowed to repeat the exercise or complete an alternative assignment, as determined by the instructor of the course. Responsibility for evaluation of the student’s work in the course continues to belong to the instructor of the course. The instructor should keep documentation of the offense and the reprimand.

2. Loss of Credit in the Exercise

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For most offenses, the least severe penalty will be loss of credit in the exercise. The student may be required to repeat the exercise or complete an alternative assignment, although credit will not be given. The student will be allowed to continue in the course. The instructor should keep documentation of the offense and the resulting sanction.

3. A Grade of “F” in the Course

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When the offense is sufficiently serious to merit failure in the course, the student will be removed from the course immediately, and the instructor will give a grade of “F.” The instructor must write a letter notifying the student of his/her status. A copy of the letter should be sent to the campus director for inclusion in the student’s permanent file.

Academic Policies and Procedures

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Academic life at Springfield College is governed by a series of policies and regulations that insure consistency and permit fairness to all students.  These policies are under the auspices of the Office of Academic Affairs and can be found in the Springfield College School of Human Services undergraduate and graduate catalogs.

Academic Credit

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The unit of measure for student progress at Springfield College is the “semester hour.” Springfield College adheres to the equation of one semester unit with 15 hours of classroom instruction and a reasonable period of time for preparation. The basic course structure is built around four weekend classes, with a pre-assignment, which includes both readings and a written assignment, that must be completed for the first class.  In addition, all courses include an online component called Pride Online.  Pride Online allows instructors and class members to remain in contact between class sessions by continuing class discussions and providing additional resources.  The faculty work plan requires faculty to be available for a nine-hour, flexible instructional period each weekend class with no more than one hour for lunch and breaks.

For most classes, the eight hours of instruction are offered in a seven-hour period of classroom instruction and one hour for tutorial and course-specific advising, but some faculty choose to conduct a seven-and-a-half to eight-hour classroom session. Springfield College equates the flexible nine-hour instructional period with seven-and-a-half hours of classroom instruction. It also equates the pre-assignment with a seven-and-a-half hour class, since students are required to complete a reading and written assignment in preparation for the first class, and usually must interact with the faculty in order to complete the assignment. The pre-assignment and Pride Online are designed to be the equivalent of preparing for and attending a full class session, with an emphasis on establishing a frame of reference for class discussion on the first day. These 37.5 hours of instruction equate with the actual instruction that occurs in the 45 “50-minute hours” of instruction that are traditionally equated with three credits.

Academic Load

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

Class Attendance Policy

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Because of the accelerated schedule of all courses within the School of Human Services of Springfield College, missing any class session means missing a significant portion of an entire course. Absences are therefore detrimental to academic achievement. Regular attendance is expected of all students and is necessary for optimizing the School of Human Services’ learning experience and the overall value of classroom instruction. Furthermore, it is essential for the School of Human Services to keep accurate attendance records in order to comply with federal and state financial assistance programs, Veterans Administration benefits, scholarships requirements, and accreditation standards.

Once a course begins, students are expected to attend all class sessions and workshops for courses in which they are enrolled. However, it is recognized that class absences are sometimes necessary for extenuating professional or personal reasons. It is for these reasons that the following policy and procedures are established.


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An absence is defined as cumulatively missing one-tenth of a class session (e.g. approximately 45 minutes of a seven hour class at any time during the class).


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Students cannot be absent for more than 25% of the number of class sessions within a course (e.g. one absence in a course that meets four times). All absences must involve legitimate reasons, such as health problems, family emergencies, or unexpected employment-related duties. Exceeding the number of absences during a course results in an “F” for the course if the student has not submitted a written request for a course withdrawal or a leave of absence for the term. Eligibility for a course withdrawal or a leave of absence is possible only within the time limitations established by the School’s Leave of Absence Policy and Withdrawal Policy. Requests for withdrawals or leaves of absence beyond the time limitations must be submitted in writing to the Dean of the School.

The student should inform the instructor in advance of an anticipated absence. In the event that this is not possible, it is the student’s responsibility to communicate with the course instructor no later than three days after the absence has occurred.

In order to make-up for the absence, the instructor is to assign the student a substantial course related make-up assignment, normally a research paper. The make-up assignment for the missed class and other assignments for the class must be fulfilled within the time frame determined by the instructor. If the student does not contact the instructor within the time designated and/or neglects to complete the additional assignment, the final grade for the course will be lowered as defined in the course syllabus.

Note: The above policy relates exclusively to all courses taken on ground within any of the ten campuses of SHS. Attendance Policy for online courses is consistent in principle with the above policy but differs in application to an asynchronous learning environment.  Please check the School of Human Services Guidebook for Online Students for further information.

Class Lateness

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Because of the accelerated schedule of all courses within the School of Human Services of Springfield College, it is important that classes begin and end on time making full use of all available class time. Therefore, students are required to arrive prior to the time class begins and remain in the classroom until class time is over. Failure to fulfill any of these attendance requirements will affect the student’s grade for the course.

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, a formal 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.


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 (September, January, or May).

  • 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 students 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 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

Course Cancellation

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If registration for any course is under six students, the course is cancelled unless it serves as a required course and is then offered as a full course or provided as  a course by arrangement.

Inclement Weather

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Policies for cancellation of classes due to inclement weather vary from campus to campus. See the Student Handbook or contact the campus for specific information.


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Degrees are conferred once each year at the annual commencement ceremony following the January Term. Students who complete degree requirements during the prior January Term 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.

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 May term. 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 at each campus and must be signed by the student, the student’s academic advisor, and Campus Director before returning the form to the Registrar. 

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.

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 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 permission of their academic advisor.

Exception to Policies

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 Exceptions to graduate policies may only be made in the sole discretion of the Office of Academic Affairs, through the office of the Assistant Vice President for Academic Affairs.


Course Numbering System

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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.

Grades and Grading

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Students’ work will be evaluated by faculty members, and course grades will be assigned. Written papers, 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 term’s work or cumulative average. The grades and point values are:

General Numeric System

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  Grade Points   Grade Equivalencies

C-(lowest passing grade)
F (failure)
I (incomplete)
X (audit) N
W (withdrawal)



Not included in computation
Not included in computation
Not included in computation
Grade not reported by faculty
Course in progress



less than 70






Faculty have sole responsibility for awarding all grades except IP, W and X.

Credit Hour Definitions

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

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

Graded credit hours (used for calculation of GPAs) - include credits for courses graded “A” through “F”.

Calculation of GPA

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The GPA (Grade Point Average) is determined by dividing the sum of the grade points by the sum of the semester hours. For example:



  Semester Hours   Grade Points  

Total Grade Points
(for each course)






= 8.00
= 6.00
= 4.00
= 0.00
18 (total for all courses)

Total grade points divided by total semester hours equals GPA 18 divided by 8 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.

Incomplete (I) Grade

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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.

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


Permanent Incomplete Policy

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For a student who withdraws from the College or a graduate student whose 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 supersede 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 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.

Repeating a Course

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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 at their own expense. 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.

Grade Appeal Policy

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A student may file an appeal for a grade received only in cases when:

  • There is a discrepancy between the criteria, expectations, or standards outlined in the syllabus and a professor’s actions and practices.
  • There is some inconsistency in treatment across the student body enrolled in a course. 

A student must follow the following process to get fair and timely resolution of his/her appeal:

  1. The student communicates directly with the instructor within 30 days of receiving the disputed grade. The instructor must respond within 14 days.
  2. If not resolved in (1), the student appeals in writing to the Assistant Dean/Campus Director or his/her designee within 14 days of the instructor’s response. The Assistant Dean/Campus Director or designee must respond to the student within 14 days and also notify the faculty of the continuation of the appeals process.
  3. If not resolved in (2), the student appeals to the Dean of the School in writing within 14 days of response from the Assistant Dean/Campus Director or designee. The Dean will notify all parties of his/her decision. The decision of the Dean is final. 

Grievance Policy

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If a student believes that he/she has been treated unfairly, 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. 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, or other party, do not agree to a resolution, the student has 14 calendar days from the response to raise the concern with the campus director. The campus director should respond to the student regarding this concern within 14 calendar days and must notify the instructor, or other party, of the continuation of the grievance process. 

Step 3 (formal process):

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 Office of the Dean within 14 days following the chairperson or campus director’s response to the student. Upon receipt of the form, the dean will conduct whatever review is needed to arrive at a resolution, including, if necessary, a meeting with the student and instructor, or other party. The Dean will notify all parties involved in writing of his/her decision and any subsequent actions. The decision of the Dean regarding the grievance is final. 

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