Academic Information

Academic Advising
Academic advising at Simpson is integral to the total academic program. Each new student is assigned to a member of the faculty who acts as the academic advisor. For the purpose of proper guidance, this relationship typically exists until the student selects a major field of concentration. At that time, the student chooses or is assigned to an advisor in that field.

The Academic Plan
In consultation with an academic advisor, students project an academic plan that reflects their personal and academic goals. Depending on how clearly objectives are defined at the time students enter the College, the academic plan is projected for as little as one or for as much as four years.  The academic plan requires the approval of the faculty advisor and is subject to review by the Dean for Academic Affairs.

Orientation
New students are expected to attend Simpson College’s orientation program. Orientation sessions include educational assessments and topics relating to liberal arts education, the basic programs and regulations of the College, student government, co-curricular life, and contemporary issues pertinent to the academic community. Social activities are also held during this time.

Registration
The process of registration begins with a conference between the student and the academic advisor. The act of registration is complete when the student makes proper financial arrangements with the Business Office, completes all other instructions, and completes online registration.  The individual student is responsible for fulfillment of graduation requirements.

The Dean’s List
The Dean’s List is announced after each fall and spring semester of the regular academic year. The Dean’s List includes the names of all students who, regularly enrolled in the College, complete at least 12 semester hours with a grade point average of 3.70 or better. In the event one of the courses is taken on the Honors/Pass/Non-Pass basis, an Honors grade must be achieved.

Matriculated part-time undergraduate students who complete at least 12 credits in a calendar year and achieve a grade point average of 3.70 or better in that calendar year are named to the annual Dean’s list for part-time students.

Special recognition is accorded those with similar qualifications who have achieved a grade point average of 4.00 by their being named to the President’s List.

Class Attendance
Students are expected to be present at regularly scheduled meetings of classes and laboratories. The privilege of being excused from class or making up work missed because of absence from the class is granted wholly at the discretion of the instructor.

The instructor has the obligation of explaining to his/her class at the first meeting of the group his/her particular requirements as far as class attendance is concerned.  Instructors report to the office of the registrar the names of students who have excessive absences for no apparent reason.  That office likewise will report to the faculty appropriate information available concerning student absences.

NORMAL COURSE LOAD AND OVERLOAD (revised 7/14/11)
The normal course load for student in a semester is four 4-credit courses.  Students are allowed to take an additional three credits of coursework for a maximum of 19 credits per semester without incurring an overload charge.  Students wishing to take a fifth 4-credit course would be charged the full tuition for the four credits as overload.  A small number of courses, mostly music lessons are overload exempt, as these courses carry an additional fee for the lesson.  Request for Overload Fee Waiver form (click here).

Withdrawal from Institution

Students who wish to withdraw from the college, either during or at the end of any semester or term, should contact the office of the dean of students to initiate the process. Students are also urged to keep their records with the college active by filing a withdrawal in the registrar’s office. When the withdrawal process has been completed, the registrar notifies the student’s instructors, academic counselor, and appropriate administrative offices.

Students withdrawing from college prior to the completion of any final examinations receive the designation of “W” for each course in which they were enrolled. The “W” carries no credit or quality points.

Upon enrollment at Simpson, each student pays a deposit which is kept on file until the student leaves Simpson. The deposit is refundable under the following conditions: first, that the student has no outstanding financial obligations to the college; second, that timely notice of withdrawal from the institution is provided by the student who plans not to re-enroll at Simpson. Notification should be provided by July 1 for a change in fall semester plans and December 31 for a change in spring semester plans. Notification of plans to withdraw should be directed to the Student Development Office.

Requests for Transcripts and Grade Reports
Copies of transcripts will be mailed to whatever address is indicated by the person making the request. Requests must be made in writing to the Office of the Registrar and must include the signature of the person whose transcript or grade report is being requested.
 
Study Abroad
Simpson College offers both May Term travel courses and semester-long study abroad programs in French-, German-, and Spanish-speaking areas of the world. Language students at all levels are strongly encouraged to take advantage of Simpson’s immersion opportunities, particularly the Simpson Experience Abroad programs in Tahiti, French Polynesia; Schorndorf, Germany; and Rosario, Argentina. More information about study abroad can be obtained from World Language faculty, as well as from the Office of International Education.

Summer Session
A variety of courses are conducted on the Inianola campus and on campuses in West Des Moines and Ankeny as well as on-line throughout the summer. Courses range from two to eight weeks in duration and are offered days, evenings, and Saturdays. Students may enroll in those courses approved either by their academic advisors or by the Director, Continuing and Graduate Programs. Through these offerings students are provided an opportunity to accelerate progress toward degree objectives, make up deficiencies, or distribute their course work over a longer period of time. Many elementary and secondary teachers take summer courses for certification purposes or to increase competence in their specialties.

Dunn Library
Dunn Library, at the center of campus, offers a collection of more than 120,000 books; over 600 periodical subscriptions; and access to almost 15,000 online journals; and a variety of CDs, videos, DVDs, and other research materials. The library staff provides reference assistance and coordinates campus media services. Dunn also houses a computer lab, curriculum workroom, and the college archives. The library’s web site provides access to the online catalog, including items at the Indianola Public Library, as well as many full-text databases, e-books, and links to other resources.

Hawley Academic Resource Center
The Hawley Academic Resource Center, located on the third floor of Dunn Library, is designed to provide students with individualized help to meet the requirements for competencies and courses.The Center provides guidance at any point in the writing process (including the revising and editing of portfolios), gives assistance for any math or foreign language course, and assigns tutors for most classes. Students can learn academic strategies for test taking, note taking, reading college textbooks, and time and stress management. All tutoring services available at Hawley are free to Simpson students. In addition, the College Level Examination Program (CLEP) test is available upon request, and graduate school test registration and study materials are also available.

STANDARDS OF CLASSROOM BEHAVIOR The primary responsibility for managing the classroom environment rests with the faculty.  Students who engage in any prohibited or unlawful acts that result in disruption of a class may be directed by the faculty member to leave the class for the remainder of the class period.  Longer suspensions from a class, or dismissal on disciplinary grounds, must be proceeded by a disciplinary conference or hearing similar to the procedures for academic dishonesty as outlined earlier.

The term “prohibited acts” would include behavior prohibited by the instructor (e.g., persistent speaking out without being called upon, refusing to be seated, disrupting the class by leaving and entering the room without authorization, etc.).  It must be emphasized that this provision is not designed to be used as a means to punish classroom dissent.  The lawful expression of disagreement with the instructor is not in itself disruptive behavior.

WITHDRAWAL FROM A COURSE OR FROM THE COLLEGE Students who wish to drop a class after the Add/Drop period may withdraw from the class up and until the stated last day to withdraw.  If a student withdraws within that period, a “W” will appear on the student’s transcript beside that course.  It will not adversely affect the student’s GPA.  If a student wishes to withdraw from a course after the withdrawal date, please see the policy above regarding late withdrawal.

If the student wishes to withdraw from the college, the student must contact the Dean of Students and make the request to withdraw from the college.  At that time, the Dean of Students will arrange an exit interview for the student.

READMISSION Students who withdraw from the College or who are suspended may apply for readmission to the College through the Office of the Registrar.  Students who have been suspended must wait one full semester, excluding summer, before applying for readmission.  If a full-time student seeks readmission within one year of having withdrawn or having been suspended, they will readmit under the catalog in which they had declared their major.  If a part-time student seeks readmission within two years of having withdrawn or suspended, they may readmit under the catalog in which they had declared their major.

ORDERING TRANSCRIPTS Students, who wish to order a transcript, whether official or unofficial, must submit a written and signed request to the Registrar’s Office.

CONTINUOUS ATTENDANCE AND REQUIREMENTS FOR GRADUATION In the event a student does not remain in continuous attendance at Simpson, the requirements for graduation at the time of initial registration shall remain in force, provided that the non-attendance period does not exceed one full calendar year for full-time students and two calendar years for Continuing & Graduate Program students.  In the event that the non-attendance period exceeds the amount of time allowed for full-time or for Continuing & Graduate Program students, the student will be required to complete the catalog requirements in force at the time of readmission.

The requirements for the major are to be those in effect at the time of the declaration of the major program.  The time of declaration of the major is determined by the date of its receipt in the Office of the Registrar.  The student should declare a major on a Declaration of Major form submitted to the Office of the Registrar by the time he/she has completed 40 semester hours of credit.