Feb 27, 2024  
2004-2005 Human Services Undergraduate Catalog 
2004-2005 Human Services Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Academic Policies and Procedures

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.

The following pages contain information about these topics:

Academic Credit

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The unit of measure for student progress at Springfield College is thesemester 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. 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 do 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 is 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 Grievance Policy

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If a student believes that he/she has been treated unfairly in his/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. 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 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. 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.

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 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 Office of the Dean within 14 calendar days of the chairperson or campus director’s response.

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

Academic Honors

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Undergraduate students whose final cumulative grade point average (GPA) is 3.500 or above and who have completed at least 45 graded semester hours (exclusive of pass/fail grades) at Springfield College are awarded their degrees with honor according to the following criteria:

Summa Cum Laude-3.900 to 4.000
Magna Cum Laude-3.700 to 3.899
Cum Laude-3.500 to 3.699

The qualifying cumulative GPA shall be determined at the close of the spring semester for May commencement and shall only include students who have completed all degree requirements. Students eligible for academic honors will be announced prior to and recognized at the May commencement ceremony with honor cords. Academic honors shall be noted on diplomas and transcripts.

Dean’s List

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The Dean’s List is published two times a year; in January, following completion of the fall term, and in June, following completion of the spring term.

The criteria for selection to the Dean’s List are as follows:

  1. The student must have completed a minimum of 12 credit hours of graded coursework for the term, exclusive of “P” grades.
  2. The student must not have any incompletes or missing grades in the designated term.
  3. The student must have a minimum semester grade average of 3.500 for the term.
  4. The student must not have been barred from the Dean’s List due to disciplinary action.
  5. If subsequent grade changes qualify a student for Dean’s List honors for a previous term, that designation will be reflected on the student’s transcript.

Notwithstanding the foregoing, even if all academic requirements for the Dean’s List have been met, a student may be sanctioned pursuant to the student disciplinary policy, which may prevent the awarding of Dean’s List credentials.

Grades and Grading

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Students work will be evaluated by faculty members and course grades assigned. Examinations, written papers, oral assignments, fieldwork, performance in class and/or class attendance 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.

Courses are graded on a letter basis on the following scale:

A exceptional
B good
C fair
C- (lowest passing grade)
D passing
F failure
  4.0 quality points
Unsatisfactory (No pass)
Grade not submitted by instructor
Course in progress

Faculty have sole responsibility for awarding all grades except IP, W and X. Grades are submitted within two weeks after the end of each term. Grade reports are mailed to students each term. Grades are also available online at www.getgrades.com

Pass/Fail Grading

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Independent Study, Internship, Practicum, Senior Seminar, Fitness/Wellness and the one- and two-credit workshops are all graded on a pass/fail (P/F) basis. These courses must be completed satisfactorily as part of the progress within the program. They are not included in the grade point average, but count toward the graduation credits.

Calculation of GPA

The GPA (grade point average) is determined by dividing the sum of the quality points by the sum of the credits. An example is shown below:

Course:   Earned Credits:   Grade:   Earned QP’s


A (4.0)
C (2.0)


22.0 divided by 7 credits is equal to a GPA of 3.15. The cumulative GPA is shown on the grade reports from the Registrars Office.


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Undergraduate students may audit one undergraduate course per term on a space-available basis. Audited courses are billed at prevailing tuition rates. Students are required to attend classes but are not required to complete course assignments or take exams. At the time of registration, students must designate audit status on their registration form for the audited course.

An audit carries no credit, has no grade point equivalent and is recorded as an X on the transcript. Although the course is entered onto a transcript, it does not affect a students full- or part-time status. Audited courses are not eligible for credit earned through proficiency examinations, nor can the audited course be repeated for credit in subsequent terms.

Incomplete (I) Grade

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An instructor may give a grade of incomplete (I) following a students request in situations when incapacitating illness or exceptional circumstances beyond the control of the student prevent the student from completing course requirements as determined at the sole discretion of the instructor. A student will have a specified period of time, not to exceed one year, to complete incomplete work. All work must be completed prior to graduation.

A contract for incomplete grades must be completed. A copy of this contract will remain with the student, the instructor, the registrar and the SHS campus offering the course.

If the student does not meet the conditions of the contract for the completion of the incomplete by the time specified or prior to graduation, the registrar will automatically change the I grade to an F grade or an alternate grade designated by the instructor that is based on work completed. This policy applies to all students enrolled at Springfield College, effective fall 1999. It does not affect I grades given prior to this date.

Grade Changes

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Faculty may not submit grade changes later than one calendar year following the term in which the course was originally graded. This policy is not intended to supersede the academic grievance policy or the policy governing incompletes.

Repeating a Course

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Students may repeat a course in which they have received an unsatisfactory grade. To do so, they must register again for the course at their own expense. Both grade entries will appear on the record card, but only the credit hours and grade resulting from the repeated courses will be used in computing hours and honor credits for graduation. This is true whether the grade for the repeat is higher or lower than the original grade. Students may not receive financial aid for repeated courses.

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.

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 Schools 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 students 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.

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 students grade for the course.

Course Cancellation

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If registration for any course is under ten students, the course is cancelled unless it serves as a required course and is then offered as a full course or provided as an independent study.

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 spring semester. Students who complete degree requirements during the prior December or are scheduled to complete in the spring semester or by the following August are eligible to participate in the commencement ceremony. All students must complete a degree application with the registrar in order to be eligible to participate in the May commencement ceremony. Degree applications for the May ceremony are generally due to the registrar by the beginning of February.

Notwithstanding the foregoing and the successful completion of all academic requirements, a student may not be entitled to participate in commencement exercises and/or receive a diploma if he/she is involved in any disciplinary proceedings, and is sanctioned as such.

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