The academic policies and information in this section of the College Catalog are of general interest to new students. Additional policies and information are stated in the Simpson College Student Handbook. All students are responsible for the material contained in both the Catalog and the Handbook.
Academic Integrity Policy
Credit Earned Abroad
Normal Course Load and Overload
Change of Registration
Final Grade Appeal
Standards of Classroom Behavior
Special Topics 190, 290, 390
Incompletes Requested by Students
Incompletes By Faculty Who Leave the College
Minimum Credits a Transfer Needs to Take at Simpson College to Complete a Simpson Major and/or Minor
Graduation Requirement Waiver Policy
Participation in Commencement Ceremony
Academic Probation, Suspension and Dismissal
Grading – Final Grades and Withdrawals
Honors at Graduation
Withdrawal from a Course or the College
Continuous Attendance and Requirements for Graduation
Academic Petitions Subcommittee
Academic Appeals Committee
ACADEMIC INTEGRITY POLICY (revised 05/23/11 faculty meeting)
In all endeavors, Simpson College expects its students to adhere to the strictest standards of honesty and integrity. In keeping with the College’s mission to develop the student’s critical intellectual skills, while fostering personal integrity and moral responsibility, each student is expected to abide by the Simpson College rules for academic integrity. Academic dishonesty includes (but is not limited to) any form of cheating, plagiarism, unauthorized collaboration, fraud (falsifying documents, forging signatures, altering records, etc.), misreporting any absence as college-sponsored or college-sanctioned, submitting a paper written in whole or in part by someone else, or submitting a paper that was previously submitted in whole or in substantial part for another class without prior permission. If the student has any questions about whether any action would constitute academic dishonesty, it is imperative that he/she consult the instructor before taking the action.
All cases of substantiated academic dishonesty must be reported to the student’s academic advisor and the Dean for Academic Affairs .
Penalties for Dishonesty:
Academic Dishonesty within the Context of a Course
The penalty for academic dishonesty that occurs within the context of a specific course and is substantiated by firm evidence is:
- Failure of the course;
- Failure of the assignment; OR
- the requirement that the work be redone with a substituted assignment.
The instructor may choose from the above options to reflect how knowing, intentional, or serious he or she judges the incident to be. If the instructor determines that the student shall fail the course, and even if that decision is made within the withdrawal period, the student may not withdraw, and the faculty member will immediately enter a grade of “F” for the course. If the instructor determines that the student will not automatically fail the course, but must redo the assignment, and it is within the withdrawal period, the student may withdraw from the course.
Academic Dishonesty outside the Context of a Course
If a student is suspected of committing academic dishonesty outside the context of a course (e.g., fraud involving college documents and/or records that do not involve a course), and it has been substantiated with evidence, the Academic Dean shall then decide whether to place the student on academic probation, academic suspension, or academic dismissal depending upon the severity of the case. Records of the cae and the subsequent punishment will be kept in the student’s file as a permanent record.
Upon the second report of substantiated academic dishonesty, the Academic Dean will convene the Academic Appeals Committee to recommend appropriate punishment, which may include academic probation, suspension, or dismissal. The decision of the Academic Dean is final.
Suspected Academic Dishonesty
In cases of suspected academic dishonesty that cannot be substantiated by evidence, the instructor may give the student a warning and may require the student to redo the assignment. In a case where academic dishonesty is strongly suspected but cannot be substantiated, the instructor will issue a formal warning, along with a report to the academic advisor and the Academic Dean. Repeated instances of suspected academic dishonesty may lead to appropriate disciplinary action, including academic probation, suspension, or dismissal, at the discretion of the Academic Dean. In addition to the above sanctions, the college reserves the right to take additional action as it deems appropriate.
If a student wishes to appeal a charge of substantiated academic dishonesty, he or she may request a hearing before the Academic Appeals Committee. The student(s) shall present to the Registrar of the College a written appeal stating clearly what is being appealed and the rationale. The instructor shall present the evidence to the committee. The committee’s decision shall be final.
HONORS PROGRAMS (revised 5/23/11 faculty meeting)
Departments may offer “Honors in the Major” upon graduation to students who complete specific requirements. Students who have completed 64 credits and have at least a 3.0 or better overall cumulative GPA and a cumulative GPA of 3.5 in the major may apply to the department chair for admission to its honors track. The department faculty must approve the selection of honors students.
Although the requirements my vary by department, all students must complete at least eight (8) credits of research and writing over two (2) semesters, produce a thesis and defend that thesis before a committee of faculty. The thesis work may be completed under the course numbers 391-392 or in a set of other courses as determined by each department. To receive “Honors in the Major”, a student must earn an A or A- for the research courses.
COURSE RE-TAKE POLICY (revised 12/02/08)
Courses taken at Simpson College and graded D- or better must be repeated at Simpson College if the student wishes to improve their GPA at Simpson College. Each time the course is retaken, it must be on a letter-grade basis. Grades for each time a course is taken remain on the permanent academic record; however, credit will be given only once and only the last grade (for Simpson College coursework) will be computed into the grade point average.
Courses taken at Simpson College which have been failed may be repeated at Simpson College or at another institution. If they are repeated at Simpson College, the original grade will stay on the transcript but only the last grade will be calculated into the Simpson College grade point average. If failed courses are repeated elsewhere, the original grade will stay in the Simpson College GPA and the new grade will not be calculated into it, but the student will receive the credit for the repeated course that is transferred in.
If a student who has received a D- or better in a course at Simpson College wishes to retake the course elsewhere and transfer it in, the student’s Simpson College GPA will not be affected, because the grade of the course transferred in will not replace the grade of the course taken at Simpson College. The repeated course transferred in is not added to the Simpson College record, but it is noted in the student’s degree audit that the “spirit of the requirement” has been fulfilled by the transferred in course. The outside transcript is a part of the student’s file, but the course is not added to the record since the student has already passed the course at Simpson College and cannot get credit for the same course twice.
All courses to be transferred in from another institution must have at least a C-.
CREDIT EARNED ABROAD (revised 5/23/11 faculty meeting)
Any student who takes courses at a Simpson College approved institution of higher education in another country will be able to transfer in the courses based upon individual course evaluation made by the chair of the appropriate academic department and the Registrar. Credits will be transferred in according to standards already established through Educational Credential Evaluators (http://www.ece.org).
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).
REGISTRATION (revised 5/23/11 faculty meeting)
No credit is allowed for a course unless the student is officially registered for the course. To be considered full time, a student must enroll in a minimum of 12 credits. Terms 1 and 2 count toward full time fall enrollment, Terms 3 and 4 and May Term count toward full time spring enrollment.
COURSE DROP/ADD POLICY (revised 5/23/11 faculty meeting)
Once a student has registered in a course, he/she is considered a member of that class unless he/she drops or withdraws from it as described below. Before the first day of class, students can change their registration using the online registration system. It is recommended that students consult with their advisor before making any change in registration.
Course Drop Policy: (revised 8/26/11 faculty meeting)
Within the first five (5) school days of the fall or spring semester, the first two (2) days of May Term or comparable period for other terms, courses may be dropped using the online system and without any record on the transcript. The days a student may drop a course is called the “drop period.” It is recommended that the student consult the academic advisor and the instructor of the course to be dropped.
Course Add Policy: (revised 8/26/11 faculty meeting)
Within the first five (5) school days of the fall or spring semester, the first two (2) days of May Term or comparable period for other terms, students may add open courses using the online registration system. During this “add period,” students may add a closed course only by obtaining the instructor’s signature on an Add Course form and submitting that form in person to the Registrar’s Office.
Independent study applications (180, 280, 380) and course by arrangement forms must be received by the Registrar’s office before the end of the add period.
Courses that require auditions, such as theatre and music production courses, may be added after the add period with the instructor’s permission.
Applications for 319 internships may be submitted after the add period, but must be processed before the work for the internship begins.
In all other cases, if circumstances require a student to add a course after the add period, the student must submit an academic petition, available online, with a rationale and signature of the instructor.
It is recommended that the student consult the academic advisor and instructor of the course before adding any course.
LATE WITHDRAWAL POLICY (revised 5/23/11 faculty meeting)
Students who wish to withdraw from a course after the official withdrawal deadline must submit an academic petition with rationale and signatures of instructor and academic advisor. Normally, only reasons beyond the control of the student; e.g.: medical, personal, family, military, etc. will be approved.
FINAL GRADE APPEAL POLICY
If a student receives a final grade for a course that they do not believe was computed correctly the student shall go to the faculty member who gave the grade, and provide a rationale for why they believe the final grade was not computed correctly. If the instructor disagrees with the student’s position, then the next course of action for the student is to contact the Dean for Academic Affairs to file an appeal. A student considering filing an academic appeal regarding a final grade awarded by a faculty member in a course shall request and receive access to the criteria used by the faculty member in determining the student’s final grade, including the rational and criteria for all grades that were used in the calculation of the final course grade. The student shall have 30 days from the end of the term to file the appeal with the office of the academic dean. In the appeal, the student must provide a written explanation as to how the grade was computed incorrectly. It should be noted that the Dean for Academic Affairs will not substitute his/her judgment on the quality of the student’s work for that of the instructor. The inquiry by the Dean must focus on the alleged mathematical error made by the instructor in formulating the final grade. The Dean shall then render a decision based on the information provided by the student and the faculty member. The Dean may request the advice of a committee of faculty members and hold a hearing before making a decision. The decision of the Dean shall be the final resolution of this matter.
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.
SPECIAL TOPICS: 190, 290, 390 (revised 5/23/11 faculty meeting)
Each department may set up a course or courses in selected special topics. Special topics courses examine content not covered by the current curriculum. The course numbers are 190, 290, and 390. These courses are not to be confused with Independent Study 380, which is planned for study by a single student. Submit the title (limited to 21 characters counting spaces) and course description of the special topic to the Registrar and report the course to EPCC. The basis for course designation is as follows:
190 – This designation will be for any special topics for which there are no prerequisites and the content would be suitable for an entry level of study.
290 – This designation will be for any special topic for which there might be prerequisites and the level of the content would be appropriate for a student with a suitable background in the subject matter.
390 – This designation will refer to courses that are advanced in nature with prerequisites or permission of instructor.
Note: It is recommended that departments use special topics courses as a way to offer a new course, but it is expected that courses that have been offered as special topics for 2 semesters be proposed as catalog courses if the course will be taught on a regular basis.
POSTHUMOUS DEGREE (revised 12/02/08)
To award a degree or certificate from Simpson College posthumously, a request to do so should be made to the EPCC. The request should state the reasons that the degree should be granted. The student to be awarded the degree must have completed at least 75% of the credits required for graduation.
If the EPCC approves the request, it will be forwarded to the full faculty at its next regularly scheduled meeting. If the faculty approves the degree, the proposal will be sent to the president of the college, the secretary of the board, and the Academic Dean. If all three approve, the degree will be granted.
INCOMPLETES REQUESTED BY STUDENTS (revised 10/18/11 faculty meeting)
When unable to complete required assignments in an individual course due to circumstances beyond their control, students may apply for the interim grade of “incomplete.” Students must submit completed applications to the Office of the Registrar on or before the day final grades are due for the course in question.
Each application must include:
- A description of work to be completed
- The deadline for the completion of the work
- The student’s final grade if no additional work is completed
- The approval by the instructor of the course
- The approval by the student
If the work is not completed by the deadline listed on the application, the Office of the Registrar shall replace the grade of incomplete with the grade listed on the application. (Students are allowed a maximum of 60 days after the beginning of the next regular semester to complete their work.) Students may request an extension (of up to 60 additional days) by submitting a second completed application to the Office of the Registrar before the first deadline expires.
In special circumstances (e.g. severe illness), the instructor of the course may file an application with the Office of the Registrar without the student’s signature. The Office of the Registrar shall inform students if an incomplete has been entered on their behalf.
INCOMPLETES LEFT BY FACULTY WHO LEAVE THE COLLEGE (revised 12/02/08)
Faculty who leave the college need to make certain that they give the chair of their department the information regarding what student has an incomplete, and in what class, and what will be required by the student to complete the course. Department Chairs need to make certain that the faculty leaving the College meets with them in an exit interview, at which time any information concerning an incomplete would be shared. In the absence of the instructor, the chair of the department shall determine whether or not the student has completed the course successfully and will enter an appropriate grade for the course. A pass/non-pass may be given unless the course is required for such things as teacher licensure, CPA credit, or other requirements. If the course is needed for partial completion of a major or minor, the department chair of the department sponsoring the major or minor may allow the P or H to count as partial fulfillment of the major or minor. In the case of fulfilling a Cornerstone, the Cornerstone Director will make that determination, and in the case of a Competency, the department responsible for the competency shall make that determination.
MINIMUM CREDITS A TRANSFER NEEDS TO TAKE AT SIMPSON TO COMPLETE A SIMPSON MAJOR AND/OR MINOR
At least 4 four-credit classes must be completed in the major at Simpson in order for the student to earn a major. At least, 2 four-credit classes must be completed in the minor at Simpson in order for the student to earn a minor.
GRADUATION REQUIREMENT WAIVER POLICY
Alterations to Major Requirements: Alterations in the departmental prerequisites and course requirements for a student pursuing a major in that department may be approved by the department head. A course substitution or waiver form for major requirements is available online.
General Education/Graduation Waiver Policy: Should a waiver or substitution of required classes or other academic requirements be determined to be necessary as to the courses required for graduation, the student should fill out a form requesting the substitution or waiver of the General Education requirement, and submit it to the General Education Committee Chair.
LATE WITHDRAWAL (revised 5/23/11 faculty meeting)
Students who wish to withdraw late, after the official withdrawal deadline, must petition giving the reasons for the late withdrawal. The petition will be reviewed by the Academic Petitions Committee and the Registrar for approval or denial. Normally, only reasons beyond the control of the student; e.g.: medical, personal, family, military, etc. will be approved.
PARTICIPATION IN COMMENCEMENT CEREMONY (revised 5/23/11 faculty meeting)
Participation in the annual spring or December graduation ceremony will be limited to students who:
1) have completed all degree requirements by the date of the ceremony and are in good academic standing, or
2) are within two courses (8 credits maximum) and in good academic standing.
Note: Participation in the commencement ceremony does not mean the student has actually graduated. Students will not be graduated and will not receive a diploma until they have completed all graduation requirements. If degree requirements are completed within the calendar year of the student’s participation in the ceremony, the student will be a member of that year’s graduating class.
ACADEMIC PROBATION, SUSPENSION, AND DISMISSAL (revised 12/02/08)
Probation: Simpson requires as a minimum a 2.00 cumulative grade point average for graduation. To remain in good academic standing, a student must achieve the following cumulative grade point averages at the end of the respective year: Freshman 1.80; Sophomore 1.90; Junior 2.00; and Senior 2.00.
If a student’s cumulative grade point average falls below the minimum expectations for good academic standing, that student will be placed on academic probation by the Dean for Academic Affairs. Academic probation is a proving period during which a student’s continuance at Simpson College is in jeopardy. During this period, the student must give evidence of significant progress toward satisfying the graduation requirements as outlined as follows:
The student is expected to earn at least a 2.00 GPA in their first semester of probation. If the student does not earn at least a 2.00 GPA in that first semester of probation, but shows improvement, the student may be granted a continuation of probation. If the student shows no improvement after their first semester of probation, the student will be academically suspended.
If the student shows improvement and academic probation is continued, then in the second semester of probation, the student must earn at least a 2.00 GPA or be academically suspended. If the student does complete at least a 2.00 GPA in the second semester on probation, and therefore is still not off probation, the student will have one more semester to raise their cumulative GPA high enough to get off probation. If after the third semester the student is still not off academic probation, the student will be academically suspended.
Suspension: Students on academic probation, who do not demonstrate adequate progress toward good standing during the semester immediately following being placed on probation, may be suspended from the college. If a student is suspended, he/she may make, after one full semester (excluding summer), application to the Dean for Academic Affairs for readmission.
Students who have been academically suspended have a right to appeal the suspension by contacting the Office of the Dean for Academic Affairs. The appeal must be in writing, and the Dean will present the case to the academic appeals committee for a final decision.
Dismissal: If a student is suspended, the suspension lasts one regular semester (fall or spring) at which time the student may apply for readmission. If after readmission the student still fails to get off probation, the student will be academically dismissed. Dismissed students may not apply for readmission.
GRADING (revised 12/02/08)
Except as noted below, final grades may not be entered prior to the end of the term in which the course was taken. Final grades must be entered by the deadline for grades which is determined to be two business days after the final exam day. Final grades may be entered late with specific permission from the College Registrar. (The end of the term is determined by the last day the class being graded meets.)
Exception: In the case in which the student has intentionally committed academic dishonesty and the instructor has determined that the student will fail the course, the instructor will immediately enter a grade of “F” as the final grade.
Withdrawal From A Course In Cases of Academic Dishonesty (revised 12/02/08)
If the instructor determines that an act of plagiarizing or cheating is such that the student will fail the course, the student will NOT be allowed to withdraw even if the date of such determination is still within the withdrawal period. A grade of “F” will be entered immediately for that student. In all cases of intentional academic dishonesty, the instructor will report it to the Academic Dean and the student’s advisor and a record will be entered into the student’s file.
If the instructor determines that the academic dishonesty is such that just the assignment or test will be failed, but not the whole course, then the student will be allowed to withdraw from the class if the withdrawal is processed within the withdrawal period. In all cases of intentional academic dishonesty, the instructor will report it to the Academic Dean and the student’s advisor and a record will be entered into the student’s file.
A student may appeal the outcome of this policy by filing an appropriate and timely appeal with the Academic Appeals Committee, as set forth in these academic policies.
SECOND DEGREE (revised 4/17/12 faculty meeting)
A student who wishes to secure a second degree must successfully complete earn at least 32 credits beyond the requirements of the first undergraduate degree. He/she must fulfill the requirements of a second major and meet all specific requirements for each of the two degrees desired.
HONORS AT GRADUATION (revised 5/23/11 faculty meeting)
Currently the distinction Summa Cum Laude is given to those graduates who earn a cumulative grade point average of 3.90-4.00; Magna Cum Laude, 3.75 through 3.89, and Cum Laude, 3.60-3.74. To be eligible for honors at graduation, a student must have attended Simpson for six semesters of full-time enrollment and/or have earned at least 64 credits. The cumulative grade point average is computed only on the total credits earned in residence.
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.
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.
RESIDENCE REQUIREMENTS (revised 5/23/11)
A candidate for a degree is required to earn the final 32 credits of the degree through Simpson College. Requests for exception to this rule may be made by academic petition. Other exemptions are described in Policy 5.4.1 of the Faculty Handbook.
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 EWG students. In the event that the non-attendance period exceeds the amount of time allowed for full-time or for EWG 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.
Students who initiate their studies at Simpson College through the Evening, Weekend and Graduate program and become degree-seeking students will retain their status of duly admitted student if they interrupt their studies for no more than two consecutive calendar years.
ACADEMIC PETITIONS SUBCOMMITTEE OF EPCC (revised 5/23/11 faculty meeting)
The Academic Petitions Committee shall consist of three members of the Educational Policies and Curriculum Committee (EPCC), including the current chair of the EPCC and two volunteers from EPCC. The Academic Petitions Committee will provide an avenue for students to petition for exemption from the academic policies established by the faculty of the college.
This committee shall meet once a month, dates to be announced, and review all appropriate academic petitions making the decision to either approve or deny the petition.
ACADEMIC APPEALS COMMITTEE (revised 12/02/08)
The Academic Appeals Committee shall consist of three tenured faculty members each elected to a two year term, one of whom shall be the chair of the committee. The purpose of the committee is to meet monthly to hear appeals made by students regarding: final grades, academic probation, suspension, academic dismissal, and decisions of the academic petitions committee, or actions of the Registrar.
By the end of the semester following the semester, in which the decision was made, the student(s) shall present to the Registrar of the College (or directly to the chair of the committee if the appeal involves the Registrar) a written appeal stating clearly what is being appealed, and the rationale for the appeal. If the appeal directly involves a faculty member on the committee, that person will excuse themselves and the remaining members of the committee shall appoint a faculty member to sit temporarily on the Academic Appeals Committee as a full member of the committee for the case in question.
Upon receiving an appeal, the committee will first decide whether or not they have jurisdiction to hear the appeal. If they decide they do have jurisdiction, they will determine a process to hear the appeal. In some cases, the committee may decide to use only the materials submitted for the appeal. In other cases, the committee may wish to interview the person making the appeal, and/or others named in the appeal. The committee will make their decision on the information received during the appeal process and communicate their decision to the person making the appeal and all other named parties. The decision of the academic appeal committee may be appealed to the Academic Dean.