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Western Carolina University    
 
    
 
  Jul 22, 2017
 
ARCHIVED 2012-2013 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Academic Regulations


Click on a link to be taken to the entry below.

 

 

Each annual undergraduate catalog issue of The Record becomes effective at the opening of the fall term. To receive a degree, a student must satisfactorily complete all requirements of the catalog in effect when a major is declared. A student who leaves the university for a period of one calendar year or longer and then returns is required to meet the major requirements in effect at the time of return. A student who changes to another major is required to meet the requirements in effect at the time of the change. A student who takes longer than seven years to graduate may become subject to current catalog requirements. Exceptions to these policies may be necessitated by changes in course offerings, degree programs, or by action of authorities higher than the university; but every effort will be made to avoid penalizing the student.

By exercising a written option, a student may choose to graduate under the terms of a catalog in effect at a time of graduation. Students should discuss this option with their academic advisor, who will notify the Registrar’s Office of the desired change.

Courses listed in the catalog are offered at times appropriate for maximum availability to students; listings for each term are prepared well in advance. The university reserves the right to withdraw a course if enrollment is insufficient to justify offering it at the time planned.

Every effort has been made to assure the accuracy of this catalog to the extent possible at press time. Changes in or elimination of provisions contained herein on any and all matters may be made and applied before the next published catalog. However, the latest information is maintained on line under the Office of the Provost and the Registrar’s Office.

Scholastic Status Check. Each student is expected to know the information in the catalog and to verify that qualitative and quantitative requirements for a particular class rank and for proper progress toward graduation are being met. All students should check official records, degree audit and transcript periodically to confirm their status. The university does not assume responsibility for the student’s unexpected failure at the last minute to meet all requirements for graduation, whether failure is due to misunderstanding or negligence concerning those requirements or to an inability to meet them.

Registration

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Registration occurs prior to the beginning of each semester at dates/times announced by the University Registrar. As a general rule, registration will be permitted at the same level and classification provided:

  • academic standing permits registration,
  • the student’s graduation (or intended term of graduation) does not precede the term for which the student is attempting to register,
  • the student is currently enrolled or has been enrolled in one or more of the last three semesters including summer (see Interruptions in Enrollment below), and
  • the student has been advised and given a registration PIN if this is required for the student’s program or status.

Late Registration. Except under special conditions, no student is permitted to register or add courses after the last day of late registration as announced in the academic calendar. A late registration fee will be charged.

Post-Graduation Registration. Students who complete a degree and graduate must contact the Admissions Office to apply for non-degree seeking status in order to continue their r enrollment at the undergraduate level.

Interruptions in Enrollment. Interruption of enrollment of one or more terms may: (1) jeopardize a student’s ability to return to or complete a specific program of study, (2) disrupt course sequence toward program completion, (3) necessitate submission of additional documentation prior to registration, (4) delay graduation, or (5) negatively impact scholarship or financial aid eligibility. Some programs require or recommend continuous enrollment. Performance at another institution during a student’s absence has bearing upon a student’s ability to continue enrollment at WCU. Before interrupting enrollments, students should become familiar with potential ramifications that an absence in enrollment may have in terms of their ability to return or to complete a specific program.

 

 

Class Description Information

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All courses offered by the university are listed in the Course Descriptions section of this catalog. For the full description of graduate courses, refer to the graduate catalog. If the entry for an undergraduate course does not carry the full description, refer to the listing for the field of study designated by the parenthetical course prefix and number.

Numbering System. Each course is identified by means of a course prefix and a three-digit number. The first digit of the number designates the level of the course and indicates the minimum class rank a student should have achieved to enroll in the course.

  

01-100   Noncredit courses which are not applicable to degrees
101-199   Courses for freshmen
190-199   First-Year Seminar courses
200-299   Courses for sophomores
300-399   Courses for juniors
400-499   Courses for seniors
500-799   Masters-level courses
800-999  

Doctoral-level courses

Students should not enroll in courses numbered above their class rank without the permission of the department offering the course. Undergraduate students may not enroll in graduatelevel courses for either undergraduate or graduate credit except under the conditions specified in the graduate catalog. In such cases, the student must meet graduate-level requirements to receive credit.

Courses numbered 293, 294, 393, 394, 493, 494, 593, 594, 693 or 694 are for special topics that reflect a student’s or faculty member’s special interest not covered by regular departmental curriculum offerings. Credit in these courses varies from one to four credit hours, to be determined by the department for each offering. Students may take up to 12 hours of special topic credit in a single department/program. A particular topic course can be taught at most two times in a five-year period. If a department/program wishes to teach a particular topic course more than twice in a five-year period, it must propose the course as a regular course, subject to the curriculum review process.

The category of liberal studies to which each course applies may be found in the liberal studies requirements section. The applicable category also is indicated by the parenthetical code at the end of each course description.

  

Core   Perspectives
C1   Writing   P1   Social Sciences
C2   Mathematics   P2   Physical and Biological Sciences
C3   Oral Communication   P3   History
C4   Wellness   P4   Humanities
        P5   Fine and Performing Arts
        P6   World Cultures

The number 389 is reserved for cooperative education undergraduate courses, and the number 589 is reserved for cooperative education graduate courses.

Within the sequences 480-499, 580-599, 680-699, and 780-799, the second and third digits of the numbers are assigned to special types of courses:

  

80-82   Independent study and directed-readings courses
83-89   Internships, practicum, and special applied field projects
90-92   Student teaching
93-94   Special topics courses
95-98   Seminars
699   Thesis
779   Continuing Research - Non-Thesis Option
799   Continuing Research - Thesis Option
999   Continuing Research - Dissertation

Course Prefixes. The prefixes used to designate courses, except in the case of very short names such as art, are abbreviations of the names of departments or of fields of study within the departments.

Credits and Class Meetings. Unless otherwise indicated at the end of the course description, the number of hours a class meets each week is the same as the credit-hour value of the course. The credit-hour value of each course is indicated in parentheses immediately following its title. For example, if 3 hours of credit may be earned, the credit is indicated as follows: (3). In variable credit courses, the minimum and maximum hours are shown as follows: (1-3). Unless repeat credit is specified in the course description, a course may be applied only once toward the hours required for graduation. The availability of a course for repeat credit and the maximum hours that may be earned are indicated within the parentheses and immediately following the credit-hour value of the course as follows: (3, R6). In this example, the course carries 3 hours of credit and may be repeated once for a total maximum of 6 hours applicable toward a degree.

Prerequisites and Corequisites. A prerequisite (PREQ) is any special requirement, usually one or more background courses or requirements other than class rank, that must be met before enrolling in a course specifying the prerequisite. A corequisite (COREQ) is any course which must be taken during the same term as the course that specifies the corequisite. Experiential Courses. The maximum credit in experiential courses that may be applied toward a degree within the minimum of 120 or 128 hours required in all bachelor’s programs is 26 semester hours (20 percent). The maximum credit that may be earned in cooperative education or applied field project courses/internships or in any combination of the two is 15 hours.

Credit is awarded in experiential courses on the basis of a minimum of three contact hours per credit hour.

Cooperative Education Courses. Students participating in a cooperative education work term are registered for a 389 course in the major department, or the department most closely related to the work experience. To be eligible, a student must be at least a sophomore and have a GPA of 2.0 or above. Exceptions must be approved by the departmental co-op placement adviser. A full statement of the requirements for academic credit is available from the Cooperative Education Office in the Career Services Office. Academic assignments and work performance are used to evaluate the student on an S/U basis.

Special Topics Course Policy. Courses numbered 293, 294, 393, 394, 493, 494, 593, 594, 693 or 694 are for special topics that reflect a student’s or faculty member’s special interest not covered by regular departmental curriculum offerings. Credit in these courses varies from one to four credit hours, to be determined by the department for each offering. Students may take up to 12 hours of special topic credit in a single department/program. A particular topic course can be taught at most two times in a five-year period. If a department/program wishes to teach a particular topic course more than twice in a five year period, it must propose the course as a regular course, subject to the curriculum review process.

 

Guide to Course Prefixes

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Prefix   Field of Study   Department/College
ACCT   Accounting   Accountancy, Finance, and Economics
ANTH   Anthropology   Anthropology and Sociology
ART   Art   School of Art and Design
ASI   Arts and Sciences Interdisciplinary   College of Arts and Sciences
AST   Astronomy   Chemistry and Physics
ATTR   Athletic Training Sports Medicine   School of Health Sciences
BCST   Broadcasting   Communication
BA   Business Administration   Business Administration and Law, and Sport Management
BIOL   Biology   Biology
BK   Birth-Kindergarten   Human Services
CHEM   Chemistry   Chemistry and Physics
CHER   Cherokee   Modern Foreign Languages
CHIN   Chinese   Modern Foreign Languages
CIS   Computer Information Systems   Business Computer Information Systems and Quantitative Analysis
CJ   Criminal Justice   Criminology and Criminal Justice
CLS   Clinical Laboratory Sciences   School of Health Sciences
CMCR   Communication   Communication
CM   Construction Management   Construction Management
COUN   Counseling   Human Services
CS   Computer Science   Mathematics and Computer Science
CSD   Communication Sciences and Disorders   College of Health and Human Sciences
CSP   College Student Personnel   Human Services
DA   Dance   Stage and Screen
ECET   Electrical and Computer Engineering Technology   Engineering and Technology
ECON   Economics   Accounting, Finance, and Economics
EDCI   Curriculum and Instruction   Human Services
EDEL   Elementary Education   School of Teaching and Learning
EDHE   Higher Education   Human Services
EDL   Educational Leadership   Human Services
EDM   Emergency and Disaster Management   Criminology and Criminal Justice
EDMG   Middle Grades Education   School of Teaching and Learning
EDPY   Education and Psychology   School of Teaching and Learning
EDRD   Reading   School of Teaching and Learning
EDSE   Secondary Education and Special Subject Teaching   School of Teaching and Learning
EDSU   Educational Supervision   Human Services
EE   Electrical Engineering   Engineering and Technology
ELMG   Elementary and Middle Grades Education   School of Teaching and Learning
EMC   Emergency Medical Care   School of Health Sciences
ENGL   English   English
ENGR   Engineering   Engineering and Technology
ENT   Entrepreneurship   Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation
ENVH   Environmental Health   School of Health Sciences
ES   Environmental Sciences   Chemistry and Physics
ESI   Earth Sciences   Geosciences and Natural Resources
ET   Engineering Technology   Engineering and Technology
FIN   Finance   Accounting, Finance, and Economics
FS   Forensic Science   Chemistry and Physics
FOR   Forestry   Geosciences and Natural Resources
FREN   French   Modern Foreign Languages
GEOG   Geography   Geosciences and Natural Resources
GEOL   Geology   Geosciences and Natural Resources
GER   German   Modern Foreign Languages
GERN   Gerontology   College of Health and Human Sciences
HEAL   Health Education   School of Teaching and Learning
HIA   Health Information Administration   School of Health Sciences
HIST   History   History
HPE   Health and Physical Education   School of Teaching and Learning
HR   Human Resources   Human Services
HT   Hospitality and Tourism   Sales, Marketing, and Hospitality and Tourism
HSCC   Health Sciences   School of Health Sciences
IBUS   International Business   Global Management and Strategy
ID   Industrial Distribution   Engineering and Technology
IDES   Interior Design   School of Art and Design
JPN   Japan   Modern Foreign Languages
LAT   Latin   Modern Foreign Languages
LAW   Business Law   Business Administration and Law and Sport Management
LEAD   Leadership   Human Services
MATH   Mathematics   Mathematics and Computer Science
MBA   Master of Business Administration   College of Business
MET   Manufacturing Engineering Technology   Engineering and Technology
MGT   Management   Global Management and Strategy
MKT   Marketing   Sales, Marketing, and Hospitality and Tourism
MPTP   Motion Picture and Television Production   Stage and Screen
MUS   Music   School of Music
ND   Nutrition and Dietetics   College of Health Sciences
NRM   Natural Resources Management   Geosciences and Natural Resources
NSG   Nursing   School of Nursing
PA   Public Affairs   Political Science and Public Affairs
PAR   Philosophy and Religion   Philosophy and Religion
PE   Physical Education   School of Teaching and Learning
PHYS   Physics   Chemistry and Physics
PM   Project Management   Global Management and Strategy
PRM   Parks and Recreation Management   Human Services
PSC   Political Science   Political Science and Public Affairs
PSY   Psychology   Psychology
PT   Physical Therapy   Physical Therapy
RTH   Recreational Therapy   School of Health Sciences
SAE   Science and Entrepreneurship   Chemistry and Physics
SCI   Science Education   Biology; Chemistry and Physics; Geosciences; Natural Resources
SM   Sport Management   Business Administration and Law, and Sport Management
SOC   Sociology   Anthropology and Sociology
SOCW   Social Work   Social Work
SPAN   Spanish   Modern Foreign Languages
SPED   Special Education   School of Teaching and Learning
TEL   Telecommunications Engineering Technology   Engineering and Technology
THEA   Theatre Arts   Stage and Screen
USI   University Studies, Interdisciplinary   Academic Affairs
WLL   World Languages and Literatures   Modern Foreign Languages

 

 

Credits, Grades, and Quality Points

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The basic unit of credit is the semester hour. A semester hour represents one lecture recitation hour or a minimum of one, two, or three laboratory hours a week for a semester. In experiential courses, a minimum of three hours is required per hour of credit.

Course Load for Undergraduates. The minimum full-time course load during a fall or spring semester is twelve hours. A normal load is sixteen hours; however, a student may take up to nineteen hours. Any schedule that exceeds nineteen hours constitutes an overload and must be approved by the student’s adviser and the appropriate administrators as indicated on the request and approval form. Twelve hours is the maximum that may be earned in experiential courses during a semester. Course load regulations for the mini or summer session are published on the Registrar’s website at www.wcu.edu/registrar.

Classification. Regular degree-seeking undergraduates are classified based upon cumulative hours earned:

Freshman   0-29 hours   Junior   60-89 hours
Sophomore   30-59 hours   Senior   90 or more hours

Grading and Quality Point System*

Grade   Interpretation   Quality Points per
Semester Hour
  Grade   Interpretation   Quality Points per
Semester Hour
A+   Excellent   4.0   I   Incomplete  
A   Excellent  

4.0

  IP   In Progress  

A-      

3.67

  S   Satisfactory  

B+      

3.33

  U   Unsatisfactory  

B   Good  

3.0

  W   Withdrawal  

B-      

2.67

  AU   Audit  

C+      

2.33

  NC   No Credit  

C   Satisfactory  

2.0

         

 

C-      

1.67

           
D+      

1.33

           
D   Poor  

1.0

           
D-      

.67

           
F   Failure  

0

           

*See Graduate Catalog for the graduate level grading system.

The grades of A+, A, A-, B+, B, B-, C+, C, C-, D+, D, D- and F indicate gradations in quality from Excellent to Failure. Please note that a C- grade is less than satisfactory and may not meet particular program and/or course requirements.

Students must be familiar with the class attendance, withdrawal, and drop-add policies and procedures.

Composition-Condition Marks. A student whose written work in any course fails to meet acceptable standards will be assigned a composition-condition (CC) mark by the instructor on the final grade report. All undergraduates who receive two CC grades prior to the semester in which they complete 110 hours at Western Carolina University are required to pass English 300 or English 401 before they will be eligible for graduation. This course must be taken within two semesters of receiving the second CC and must be passed with a grade of C (2.0) or better.

Incomplete. The instructor may grant a student an I grade for work not completed if there is a reasonable prospect that the student can pass the course by making up the work missed if the incompletion is unavoidable and not caused by the student’s negligence. All incomplete grades must be removed and a grade of A+, A, A-, B+, B, B-, C+, C, C-, D+, D, D-, F, S, or U must be submitted to the registrar. The work must be made up and a grade received by the registrar by the last day of classes of the next regular semester (excluding summer), or the grade will become an F. A student may not re-register for the course until the I is removed or changed to an F. The instructor is required to list the conditions to remove the I and send them to the department head. If the instructor is no longer employed by the university, the department head will remove the I upon completion of the stated requirements. In extenuating circumstances, students should refer to the “Academic Appeals Procedure” section in The Record.

In Progress. An IP (In-Progress) is assigned only in courses that have been approved for IP grading. An IP grade indicates that a grade is pending until the sequence of courses is completed. A grade of IP is appropriate as long as work remains in-progress. Once work is complete the IP grade will be replaced with an evaluative grade appropriate for the course. If a student changes programs, or changes options within a program such that credit is no longer need to complete program requirements; or if the student ceases enrollment and the work is not completed within a year an evaluative grade will not be issued and the IP grade will be administratively replaced with NG (No-Grade) to indicate that work is no longer in-progress.  

Satisfactory-Unsatisfactory. S/U grading is limited to courses in which standard or traditional grading is rendered difficult by the nature and purpose of the courses. There is no limit on the credit hours a student may earn in S/U grades except that imposed by the types of courses approved for such grading. S/U grades may not be awarded in courses unless specified in the course descriptions in this catalog and in the master class schedule. S and U are the only grades assigned in these courses. Neither grade is used in calculating the GPA, but an S allows hours of credit while a U does not.

Audit. When space is available, a registered student may audit a course with the approval of the adviser, the instructor, and the head of the department offering the course. A completed course audit form must be submitted in order to enroll. Change from audit to credit, or the reverse, is permitted only during the regular schedule adjustment period. No credit is earned for auditing, but the audited course must not add hours in excess of the student’s maximum load. An audited class will be noted on the student’s transcript. Audit courses do not count toward the twelve hours required for full-time enrollment. Participation in class activities is optional with the instructor. Tuition and fees for audited courses are determined by the hour value of the courses.

Final Grade Changes. When a grade other than incomplete is reported officially by an instructor at the end of a term, the grade is recorded and can be changed only if an error was made in estimating or reporting it. The instructor will, with the approval of the department head, report the error in writing to the dean with a recommendation about the action to be taken. Only the instructor can change the grade in a course except as provided in the incomplete grade policy. In case of student appeal, or academic integrity violation the final grade may be determined by the appropriate appeal body as part of sanctions (see Academic Integrity Policy). Any request by a student for a change in a final grade must be submitted to the instructor within thirty-five days after the end of final exams.

Transcripts. Transcripts are furnished, either to the student or by mail, only after accounts are cleared and only upon the student’s written request, which must include the student’s signature and student identification number. There is no charge for transcripts issued.

The forgery of transcripts and diplomas or the use of such documents with intent to defraud is illegal under North Carolina law. Appropriate action will be taken.

Withdrawal Policies and Procedures

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A student may find it necessary or advisable to withdraw from one or more courses during a term. In some cases, he/she may find it necessary to withdraw from the university.

Course Withdrawal. After consultation with the academic adviser and the instructor of the course, a student may withdraw from any course prior to the expiration of one-half of the term and receive a W. A completed withdrawal form must be presented to the One Stop Student Service Center prior to the withdrawal deadline for posting. Course withdrawals do not count toward the twelve hours required for full-time enrollment and no refund is given.

After one-half of a term, but prior to the fourteenth week of the semester (or before the last two class days of summer sessions), a “W” will be assigned only for written verifiable mental health, medical, legal, or administrative reasons. In order to obtain a “W”, the student must first consult with the course instructor, who may elect to support or withhold support for the student’s request. If the instructor supports in writing the student’s request, the student must receive written verifiable support from Western Carolina University Health Services’ staff, Counseling and Psychological Services’ staff, an official court of law, or a college dean, as appropriate. If a withdrawal is granted by the course instructor, the head of the department offering the course, and the student’s adviser, the withdrawal form must be submitted to the One Stop Student Service Center no later than the last day of the thirteenth week of the semester. No Ws will be assigned after the last day of the thirteenth week of a semester, or during the last two class days of a summer session. In extenuating circumstances, or if the student’s request is not approved by any university party involved, the student can appeal through the Academic Appeal Procedure within thirty five days after the end of final exams.

University Withdrawal. To withdraw from the university (i.e. cease to attend all courses), a student must complete a withdrawal form from the Advising Center.

If an emergency prevents a student from completing the withdrawal process before leaving the campus, the student should call, write, or arrange for a relative to contact the Advising Center at 828-227-7753.

Any time a student is forced to withdraw from the university during a term for mental health, medical, legal, or administrative reasons which are verified in writing, a grade of W will be assigned in all courses in which the student is registered. If a student withdraws from the university for other than mental health, medical, legal, or administrative reasons after one-half of the total class time has elapsed, an F, W, or I grade will be assigned by the instructor according to the following guidelines:

  1. A W grade will be assigned if the student is passing or if the student’s progress has not been evaluated.
  2. An I grade will be assigned if the instructor agrees that there is a reasonable prospect that the work can be made up and agrees to allow the student to do so.
  3. An F grade will be assigned if the student is failing.

Current policies and procedures pertaining to grades, indebtedness, and refunds are applicable upon withdrawal from the university. A student who withdraws from the university either during or at the end of a term for any reason is responsible for clearing any indebtedness to Residential Living, bookstore, financial aid office, controller’s office, library, university police department, academic departments, and health services.

Psychological/Mental Health University Withdrawal and Readmittance. If a student obtains a psychological or mental health withdrawal, readmittance to Western Carolina University is contingent upon review by Counseling and Psychological Services to ensure that recommended services can be obtained. These students will not be allowed to preregister or register for future classes until they have met the criteria outlined at the time of withdrawal.

Return to Residential Hall after Psychiatric Hospitalization. Students hospitalized for psychiatric reasons, while living in the residence halls, must meet the Guidelines for Conditional Return to Residence Hall before returning to live in the residence hall. This includes meeting with Residential Living and Counseling and Psychological Services Center staff to address personal safety and related concerns.

Withdrawal for Deployment or Other Military Contingency. Students who must withdraw from a course or from the university for reasons of deployment or other military contingency will be allowed to so without penalty and with full refund during any part of the academic term. The Advising Center will with the Office of Military Education, as needed, to substantiate the validity of the withdrawal request. Requests to withdraw based on attendance of non-emergency or routine training courses will not automatically be approved, but will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

 

Class Attendance Policy

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I. General Attendance Policy:
All students are expected to attend and participate in all meetings of the courses in which they are enrolled; any absence is incurred at the student’s own risk.

Each instructor will establish the attendance requirements, make-up procedures, and guidelines for absences in each course and the effect that irregular attendance, lack of participation, and inadequate preparation will have upon a student’s grade. Attendance requirements and their relationships to grades shall reflect the norms of the department and college and should not conflict with university policy herein. The instructor will distribute written attendance policies to students at the beginning of each term. An instructor may establish special and more demanding attendance requirements for students who are performing less than satisfactorily. Each student is responsible for complying with the announced procedures for making up missed work.

Students with more unexcused absences than the semester hours given for a course can expect the instructor to lower their final grade, especially in a 100-(freshman) or 200-(sophomore) level course. Missing approximately 10% of class meeting times (e.g. 4-5 MWF classes, 3 TR classes, or 1 laboratory or night class) or more constitutes a significant amount of class materials and experience and is very difficult, if not impossible, to make up. Class attendance may be required of undergraduate students as a condition of admission or readmission to the university or of eligibility to continue enrollment.

II. University Excused Absences:
In addition to a documented and bona fide medical emergency , the death of an immediate family member, or pre-arranged absence for religious observance, excused absences are granted for university events that include performances and events sanctioned by the Chancellor to promote the image of the university, regularly scheduled university team competitions (athletic and otherwise) including postseason play (practices and training sessions are excluded) and, in addition, student engagement sponsored by the institution and approved by the Provost (e.g. research presentations and performances at national conferences or events).

According to North Carolina General Statue 116-11(3a) a student may request absences for required religious observances required by faith. To obtain permission to be absent for religious reasons, a student must complete the Absent Due to Required Religious Observance Form, obtain all necessary signatures, submit it to each instructor for review and approval, and submit to the Senior Academic Vice Chancellor for  Academic Affairs for final approval at least two weeks prior to the proposed absence. Students are encouraged to discuss these absences with the faculty member prior to the end of drop/add in case the absence will unavoidably keep the student from completing the requirements of the course. However, if the student completes the form and submits it to the instructor prior to the two-week time frame, he/she shall be given the opportunity to make up any tests or other work missed due to an excused absence for a required religious activity.

Individual class requirements such as field trips, field research or service learning activities are not considered institutional events. Faculty who schedule outside activities may request other faculty to excuse students from their classes so they may attend the outside event. However, individual faculty will determine whether the absence is excused or not. Should students be unable to attend the outside class event because of required attendance in other classes, they will not be penalized by the professor offering the outside activity.

An instructor is expected to honor a valid university excuse for an absence and to provide reasonable make-up work if the student notifies him or her of the approved absence at least one class period prior to the date of absence. A student who misses class work because of a university excused absence is responsible for contacting the instructor within one class meeting after returning to make satisfactory arrangements that the instructor deems appropriate for a make-up. Excused absences should not lower a course grade if the student is maintaining satisfactory progress in the class and has followed the instructor’s make-up procedures. Class experiences that are impossible to make up should be discussed during the first week of classes when there is sufficient time for a student to drop the course.

A student who anticipates missing a high number of classes (i.e. 10% or more of class time) for excused absences is required to discuss this issue with the instructor during the first week of classes to determine the possible solutions or consequences. Courses in professional programs with accreditation or licensure requirements should not be taken in a semester where a student anticipates a high number of absences.

The trip or activity sponsor must obtain written permission to travel as soon as possible and give each student a copy of the approved request. Each student must give the request to the instructor as soon as possible but ideally at least one week prior to the day of the absence. The request should contain the name of the sponsor and group, the purpose, date(s), location of the event, and time and the names of the participating students.

The forms for University Sponsored Absence and Class Absence due to Required Religious Observance are found on the Registrar’s webpage at http://www.wcu.edu/24089.asp..

III. Drop For Non-Attendance:
An instructor will have the discretion to cancel a student’s registration for a course if the previously registered student fails to attend the first class meeting and fails to notify the instructor prior to the end of the first day of class. Students may re-register for the course on a seats-available basis up through the end of drop/add (5th day of semester).

Although instructors may drop students for non-attendance, students should not assume that this will occur. Students are responsible for dropping a course, if that is their intent, to avoid a grade of W or F.

Student appeals resulting from emergencies or other extenuating circumstances will be considered on a case-by-case basis by the department head or in the appropriate dean’s office. Re-registration will not be permitted for any reason after census day (10th day of semester).

IV. Religious-Holiday Observance Policy:
WCU allows two days of absence each academic year for religious observances required by faith. To obtain permission to be absent for religious reasons, a student must complete the Absent due to Required Religious Observance form, obtain all necessary signatures, submit it to each instructor for review and approval, and submit it to the Senior Associate Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs for final approval at least two weeks prior to the proposed absence. Students are encouraged to discuss these absences with the faculty member prior to the end of the drop/add in case the absence will unavoidably keep the student from completing the requirements of the course. However, if the student completes the form and submits it to the instructor prior to the two week time frame, he/she shall be given the opportunity to make up any tests or other work missed due to an excused absence for a required religious observance.

 

Final Examination Schedules

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An end-of-course evaluation of student work is required in every credit course. End-of-course evaluation may take the form of final exams, reports, projects, performances, portfolios, research papers, conferences, etc.

Many end-of-course evaluations are written final exams. In order to reduce conflicts and final evaluation overloads for both students and faculty, a final examination schedule is developed by the registrar for the entire university. All final exams are to be administered at their designated times and places during final exam week. Change in time of an examination for an entire class for any reason must be approved by the head of the department, by the dean of the college, the vice chancellor for academic affairs, and the chancellor.

No student is required to take more than two final exams on any one day. Any student who has three final exams scheduled on one day has the option of taking all three or submitting to the professors a written request for rescheduling. However, a request to have an examination rescheduled must be made in writing at least five days before the examination is scheduled.

To reschedule, the following steps should be taken:

  1. The student should request in writing a change in date from the instructors of the courses that present the conflict.
  2. If the conflict is not resolved, the student should work with his/her academic adviser to have one of the exams rescheduled.
  3. If the conflict still cannot be resolved, the student should work with the Office for Academic Affairs to have one of the exams rescheduled.

Other end-of-course evaluations, whatever form they take, must also be administered and completed during final exam week.

 

Graduation and Certification

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Application for Graduation. Students must apply to graduate to have a degree conferred. The application for graduation can be found online in MyCat. Students should apply to graduate during the semester prior to the semester in which they will complete degree requirements. Students should pre-register for their final courses and review their degree audit to verify all requirements have been met before they apply to graduate. A graduation fee ($60) will be charged. Students who wait until their final semester to apply to graduate may be assessed a late fee. 

Specific deadlines for filing degree applications are listed in the Academic Calendar.

Certification and Licensure. Completion of a bachelor’s degree in teacher education, nursing, or health sciences qualifies a student to seek the appropriate certification or licensure. Information about the policies and procedures is available from the dean of the appropriate college. Procedures for teacher licensure are found in the College of Education and Allied Professions section of the catalog.

 

Academic Integrity Policy

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 This policy addresses academic integrity violations of undergraduate and graduate students. Graduate students should read inside the parenthesis below to identify the appropriate entities in charge of that step of the process.

Students, faculty, staff, and administrators of Western Carolina University (WCU) strive to achieve the highest standards of scholarship and integrity. Any violation of the Academic Integrity Policy is a serious offense because it threatens the quality of scholarship and undermines the integrity of the community. While academic in scope, any violation of this policy is by nature, a violation of the Code of Student Conduct and will follow the same conduct process (see ArticleVII.B.1.a.). If the charge occurs close to the end of an academic semester or term or in the event of the reasonable need of either party for additional time to gather information timelines may be extended at the discretion of the Department of Student Community Ethics (DSCE).

 Violations of the Academic Integrity Policy include:

Cheating - Using or attempting to use unauthorized materials, information, or study aids in any academic exercise.

Fabrication – Creating and/or falsifying information or citation in any academ­ic exercise.

Plagiarism - Representing the words or ideas of someone else as one’s own in any academic exercise.

Facilitation - Helping or attempting to help someone to commit a violation of the Academic Integrity Policy in any academic exercise (e.g. allowing another to copy information during an examination)

 The procedures for cases involving allegations of academic dishonesty are:

 Undergraduate (Graduate) Process

Graduate students should read inside the parenthesis to identify the appropriate entities in charge of that step of the process.

1. Faculty members have the right to determine the appropriate sanction(s) for violations of the Academic Integrity Policy within their courses, up to and including a final grade of “F” in the course. Within five (5) days of the instructor’s knowledge of the alleged violation of the Academic Integrity Policy, the instructor will inform his/her department head (Associate Dean of the Graduate School) in writing of the allegation and proposed sanction(s).

2. The Faculty member will meet with the student to inform him/her orally and in writing of the allegation and the sanction(s) imposed within ten (10) days of knowledge of the alleged violation. If the student is part of a distance learning program and does not have face-to-face interaction with the faculty member, the meeting may take place over the phone. Should either the student or faculty member feel uncomfortable about this meeting, either party may bring an advisor to this meeting. Prior to this meeting, the faculty member will contact the DSCE (227-7234) to establish if the student has any record of previous academic integrity violations. If a previous academic integrity violation exists, the matter must be referred directly to the DSCE.

3. If the case is a first offense, the student can choose to accept the allegation and proposed sanction(s) from the faculty member by signing a Mutual Resolution or can choose to have a hearing with the Academic Integrity Board (Graduate Academic Integrity Board). Prior to the meeting with the student, the faculty member will complete the Academic Integrity Violation Form (dsce.wcu.edu). Once complete, the faculty member will present it to the student, who must choose to either accept the proposal or go to a hearing. After the student has made a decision the faculty member is responsible for submitting copies to the student, the faculty member’s department head, and the DSCE. The DSCE should also receive any supporting documentation such as the assignment in question, the course syllabus, etc. Mutual Resolutions are final and are not subject to further review or appeal. The DSCE will maintain these files and provide the faculty member and department head confirmation of receipt.

4. In instances of second offenses, or when the student chooses a hearing, the DSCE and student will schedule a hearing orientation meeting to discuss the hearing process and schedule a hearing. The date of the hearing will not be fewer than ten (10) days after receipt of written notice. The student can waive minimum notice of a hearing; however, extensions are at the sole discretion of the DSCE. Should the student choose not to attend his/her hearing orientation meeting, the DSCE will assign a hearing date.

5. Hearings shall be conducted by the Academic Integrity Board (Graduate Academic Integrity Board) according to the following guidelines:

(a) Hearings shall be conducted in private.
(b) Admission of any person to the hearing shall be at the discretion of the chair of the Academic Integrity Board (Graduate Academic Integrity Board) and/or the DSCE.
(c) Charges against multiple students involved in the same incident may be heard in a single hearing only if the accused student(s), complainant(s), and the DSCE consent to such a proceeding.
(d) The complainant (faculty member) and the accused each have the right to be assisted by any adviser they choose, at their own expense. The complainant and the accused are both responsible for presenting their own cases. Advisers are not permitted to speak or to participate directly in any hearing before the Academic Integrity Board (Graduate Academic Integrity Board)
(e) The DSCE and the Academic Integrity Board (Graduate Academic Integrity Board) must assure that the accused student has the capability to present his/her information and defense at the hearing. The method for assuring this capability may vary depending on the nature of the case. Upon a determination of incapability, the DSCE must advise the accused to seek assistance or may assign an adviser to the accused.
(f) Prior to the hearing, the complainant, and the accused have the right to review any written information that will be used at the hearing and to obtain a list of witnesses intended to be called.
(g) Pertinent records, exhibits, and written statements may be accepted as information for consideration by a hearing body to the extent that the information is relevant, credible, not prejudicial to the fairness of the proceedings, and does not otherwise infringe upon the rights of other students.
(h) All procedural questions are subject to the final decision of the chair of the Academic Integrity Board (Graduate Academic Integrity Board).
(i) During the closed deliberations of the hearing, the Academic Integrity Board (Graduate Academic Integrity Board) shall determine by majority vote whether the student has violated each section of the code with which the student has been charged.
(j) The Academic Integrity Board’s (Graduate Academic Integrity Board’s) determination shall be made on the basis of whether it is more likely than not (a preponderance of the information) that the accused student violated the code.
(k) The following order of presentation is recommended for use in formal hearings. The order may be changed at the discretion of the chair of the Academic Integrity Board (Graduate Academic Integrity Board).

1. Presentation of formal charges.
2. Opening statements by the complainant and by the accused.
3. Presentation of information and witnesses, and cross-examination by the complainant and by the accused.
4. Closing statements by the complainant and then by the accused.
5. The Academic Integrity Board (Graduate Academic Integrity Board) will then go into closed deliberations. The accused student, complainant, and all witnesses, unless released by the chair, are required to remain in close proximity to the hearing, should the Academic Integrity Board (Graduate Academic Integrity Board) need to recall.
6. When deliberations are complete, the accused student and complainant are recalled and the chairperson verbally delivers the finding of the hearing body. If the student is found not-responsible the hearing is then complete. If the student is found responsible for the violation(s) the board will once again go into closed deliberations to determine sanctioning.

6. There shall be a single verbatim record, such as a recording, of all hearings before the Academic Integrity Board (Graduate Academic Integrity Board). The record shall be the property of the university.

7. In all cases, the information in support of the charges shall be presented and considered. Thus, if the accused student chooses not to be present at his/her hearing, the hearing will continue in absentia. A student’s absence at his/her hearing is not a violation of the code; however it prevents that student’s voice from being heard. 

8. During the closed deliberations of the hearing, the Academic Integrity Board (Graduate Academic Integrity Board) shall deliberate to determine if the accused is responsible for violations of the code. If responsibility for a violation is found, the hearing body will impose appropriate sanction(s) as outlined in Article VIII of the Code of Student Conduct. After a finding of responsibility and before determination of sanction(s), the hearing body may review the disciplinary history of the accused student and/or victim-impact statements. If the hearing body determines that expulsion is an appropriate sanction, that finding must be in the form of a recommendation to the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs, who makes the final administrative decision in all expulsion cases. Final administrative decision must be reached within forty-five (45) days and transmitted in writing to the student within ten (10) days of the decision.

9. In cases other than those which result in a recommendation of expulsion, the final administrative decision must be transmitted to the student in writing within ten (10) days of the date the decision is made, and it must contain a brief summary of the information upon which the decision is based and appeal rights must be specified by the DSCE.

10. The Academic Integrity Board (Graduate Academic Integrity Board) will consist of two (2) students from the DSCE Student Hearing Board (Graduate Student Representatives) and three (3) faculty members (Graduate Faculty Representatives). The DSCE faculty fellow may be one of the faculty members and may serve as the chair. The other two (2) faculty members will be chosen by the DSCE from a pool of twelve (12) faculty hearing officers. Each academic year, each college dean will appoint two (2) faculty members from his/her college to comprise the pool of twelve (12) faculty hearing officers. In the event that there is no DSCE faculty fellow the third faculty member on any Academic Integrity Board (Graduate Academic Integrity Board) will be chosen from the pool. The Academic Integrity Board (Graduate Academic Integrity Board) may impose any sanction(s) as outlined in Article VIII in the Code of Student Conduct. Students given a sanction of probation for a violation of the Academic Integrity Policy will remain on probation at WCU until graduation. In the event the Academic Integrity Board (Graduate Academic Integrity Board) assigns a sanction which requires review, the faculty member bringing the charges and the chair of the Academic Integrity Board (Graduate Academic Integrity Board) will determine if the sanction is satisfactory. These educational sanctions are independent from course work and do not have any bearing on a student’s evaluative grade.

11. Following a decision from the Academic Integrity Board (Graduate Academic Integrity Board), the DSCE will inform the student of the outcome of the hearing in writing. If a student is found responsible, the DSCE will inform him/her of the sanction(s) to be imposed and of his/her right to file an appeal with the University College Academic Action Committee If the student does not file an appeal within five (5) days of the hearing, the sanction(s) from the hearing body will be imposed. The appeal is limited to the following rules, procedures, and existing verbatim record.

12. Upon final resolution of a case involving suspension or expulsion, the DSCE will inform the appropriate dean, department head (Graduate Program Director), and the administrator in the One Stop Office who is responsible for University Withdrawals of the sanction(s).

Any violation of the Academic Integrity policy, including a first offense, may place the student in jeopardy of suspension from the university. A repeated violation or more serious first offense may result in expulsion. Disciplinary records for any act of academic dishonesty are retained by the DSCE for at least eight (8) years from the date of final adjudication. These records are available to prospective employers and other educational institutions in accordance with federal regulations. Students may inspect their conduct files in accordance with University Policy #72 – Student Records.

Grounds for Appeal:

An appeal shall be limited to review of the verbatim record of the initial hearing and supporting documents for one or more of the following purposes to be included in the letter of appeal:

  •  A violation of due process
  • A material deviation from Substantive and Procedural standards adopted by the Board of Governors.

 Process for Appeal:

  • Based on the grounds listed above, any decision reached or sanction(s) imposed by the Academic Integrity Board (Graduate Academic Integrity Board) shall be afforded at least one level of appeal. In cases that do not result in University suspension/expulsion the decision made by the College Academic Action Committee is final and there will be no further appeals.
  • Cases that result in a sanction(s) of university suspension/expulsion can be appealed to the College Academic Action Committee, and then to the Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs, and then to the Chancellor.
  • Cases can be appealed by the accused student or the complainant.
  • A formal notice of appeal shall be in writing and shall be delivered to the appellate body within five (5) calendar days of the decision.

 Timeline for Appeal:

  • A formal written appeal is due to the College Academic Action Committee within five (5) days of the hearing, or receipt of the hearing findings letter, whichever is first.
  • Upon receipt of the appeal, the College Academic Action Committee must render a decision within five (5) days, and notice of the appellate decision must be communicated within ten (10) days of the decision.
  • Should the student have the ability and wish to appeal that decision, a formal written appeal is due to the Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs within five (5) days of the receipt of the hearing findings letter.
  • Should the student have the ability and wish to appeal to appeal that decision, a formal written appeal is due to the Chancellor within five (5) days of the receipt of the hearing findings letter.
  • At all times the DSCE reserves the authority to make exceptions to timelines on a case-by-case basis (e.g. university closures, holidays, ends of semester, etc.) 

Outcomes for Appeal:

  • If an appellate body upholds the findings of the hearing body, the review of the case may result in reduced or adjusted sanctions, but may not increase the sanction(s) imposed by the original hearing body.
  • Procedures for appeals are determined by the appellate body and shall be communicated to the appealing student in advance of the appeal.
  • If the appeal is denied, the student must comply with the original sanction(s).
  • Students are not expected to complete any assigned sanctions during this process until they have exhausted their appellate process and the case is completed.

Note: Resolution of academic honesty complaints will be handled according to the provisions of the Academic Honesty Policy. Records of academic dishonesty cases are maintained in the Office of Student Judicial Affairs.

For specific information on procedures for cases involving allegations of academic dishonesty, see relevant sections in the Student Handbook.

 

 

 

 

Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act

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The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) affords students certain rights with respect to their education records. These rights include:

  1. The right to inspect and review the student’s education records within 45 days of the day the University receives a request for access. Students should submit to the registrar’s office written requests that identify the record(s) they wish to inspect. The registrar’s office will make arrangements for access and notify the student of the time and place where the records may be inspected.
  2. The right to request the amendment of the student’s education records that the student believes are inaccurate or misleading. Students who believe that their education records contain information that is inaccurate or misleading, or is otherwise in violation of their privacy or other rights, may discuss their problems informally with the university director of Equal Opportunity Programs. If the decision is in agreement with the students’ requests, the appropriate records will be amended. If not, the students will be notified within a reasonable period of time that the records will not be amended, and they will be informed by the director of Equal Opportunity Programs of their right to a formal hearing.
  3. The right to consent to disclosures of personally-identifiable information contained in the student’s education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent. One exception that permits disclosure without consent is disclosure to school officials with legitimate educational interests. A school official is a person employed by the University in an administrative, supervisory, academic or research, or support staff position (including law enforcement unit personnel and health staff); a person or company with whom the university has contracted (such as an attorney, auditor, or collection agent); a person serving on the Board of Trustees; or a student serving on an official committee, such as a disciplinary or grievance committee, or assisting another school official in performing his or her tasks.
  4. The right to file a complaint with the Family Policy Compliance Office, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue, SW, Washington, D.C. 20202-4605 concerning alleged failures by Western Carolina University to comply with the requirements of FERPA.

Western Carolina University hereby designates the following categories of student information as public or “Directory Information.” Such information may be disclosed by the institution for any purpose, at its discretion.

 

  • Student name
  • Local and home address
  • Telephone numbers
  • Classification
  • Parent/guardian
  • County
  • Major field of study
  • Photograph
 
  • Dates of attendance
  • Degrees
  • Honors and awards received
  • The most recent previous educational agency or institution attended by the student
  • Participation in officially recognized activities and sports
  • Weight and height of members of athletic teams
  • Electronic mail (E-mail) address.

Students may withhold directory information by notifying the One Stop Student Service Center in writing within five working days from the first day of classes for the fall term, or by the first day of classes for subsequent terms. Students are warned, however, prior to making a decision to withhold personally-identifiable data, that undesirable consequences frequently occur, such as names of students on the Deans’ List are not published, names are not listed in commencement bulletins, and requests from prospective employers are denied. Forms are available at the One Stop Student Service Center and on the Web at registrar.wcu.edu/forms.

Western Carolina University’s complete FERPA policy may be obtained from the One Stop Student Service Center.

Students’ Education Records At General Administration of The University of North Carolina: Annual Notification of Rights

Certain personally-identifiable information about students (education records) may be maintained at The University of North Carolina General Administration, which serves the Board of Governors of The University system. This student information may be the same as, or derivative of, information maintained by a constituent institution of The University, or it may be additional information. Whatever their origins, education records maintained at General Administration are subject to the federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA).

FERPA provides that a student may inspect his or her education records. If the student finds the records to be inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise in violation of the student’s privacy rights, the student may request amendment to the record. FERPA also provides that a student’s personally-identifiable information may not be released to someone else unless (1) the student has given a proper consent for disclosure or (2) provisions of FERPA or federal regulations issued pursuant to FERPA permit the information to be released without the student’s consent.

A student may file with the U.S. Department of Education a complaint concerning failure of General Administration or an institution to comply with FERPA.

The policies of the University of North Carolina General Administration concerning FERPA may be inspected in the office at each constituent institution designated to maintain the FERPA policies of the institution. Policies of General Administration may also be accessed in the Office of the Secretary, General Administration, The University of North Carolina, 910 Raleigh Road, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, 27515.

Further details about FERPA and its procedures at General Administration are to be found in the referenced policies. Questions about the policies may be directed to Legal Section, Office of the President, The University of North Carolina, General Administration, Annex Building, 910 Raleigh Road, Chapel Hill, North Carolina (mailing address P.O. Box 2688, Chapel Hill, North Carolina 27515-2688; telephone 919-962-4588).

Student Health Insurance Requirement

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In 2009, the UNC Board of Governors approved the implementation of a hard waiver student health insurance plans on all sixteen 4-year campuses beginning in the Fall of 2010. Students must show evidence of an existing creditable coverage health insurance policy or enroll in the UNC system-wide plan.

Additional information about student health insurance can be found on the university’s website at studenthealthins.wcu.edu.

Academic Standing

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A student’s academic standing during any term is determined by the cumulative grade point average (GPA) earned on the total quality hours. To be in good academic standing, a GPA of 2.0 must be maintained. A student who is not in good academic standing is not eligible for graduation.

Students on academic warning or academic probation are eligible to attend the university under specified provisions but are not in good standing.

Quality Points and Grade Point Average. A quality point is the numerical value assigned to a letter grade. The quality points earned in a course are determined by multiplying the quality point value of the grade earned by the credit-hour value of the course. The GPA is determined by dividing the total number of quality points by the total number of semester quality hours.

The credit hours earned in all of the university’s off-campus, degree-credit courses are awarded quality points on the same basis as courses on the Cullowhee campus.

Quality Hours. “Quality hours” refers to the total credit-hour value of all Western Carolina University courses in which a student has regularly enrolled and earned grades from A to F.

Transfer Hours. “Transfer hours” refers to the total credit-hour value of courses accepted toward a degree not earned by regular enrollment in Western Carolina University courses. This includes hours earned through (1) transfer of credit from other institutions, (2) military service courses, and (3) credit for experiential learning.

 

Academic Honors

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The GPA for honors is computed only on work completed at Western Carolina University.

The Dean’s List. To be on the deans’ list each semester, a student must have a GPA of 3.50 or higher on a regular semester’s work of not less than twelve hours, excluding remedial courses, with no grade of D+, D, D-, F, or an I.

Graduation with Honors. To graduate summa cum laude, a student must have earned a minimum GPA of 3.90 on quality hours attempted at Western Carolina University for the degree; to graduate magna cum laude, a GPA of 3.70; and to graduate cum laude, a GPA of 3.50. In case of transfer hours from other institutions, a student must earn the appropriate GPA in all courses taken at Western Carolina University in order to graduate with honors.

To be designated University Scholars, students must have enrolled as freshmen and completed their entire undergraduate careers at Western Carolina University with a GPA of 4.00. Students who meet this requirement, except for courses taken with permission at other institutions as transients, are eligible for designation as University Scholars. Students who wish to be part of the Honors College Scholar Program should contact the Honors College at 828-227-7383.

To be awarded an honors degree, a student must have successfully completed the Honors Program. With the appropriate GPA, a student receiving an honors degree will also receive the designation cum laude, magna cum laude, or summa cum laude.

The names of students graduating with honors must be jointly passed upon by the provost, senior vice chancellor for academic affairs and the registrar. 


 

Academic Probation Policies

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Academic Probation for Continuing Students. Continuing students are placed on academic probation when their cumulative WCU grade point average (GPA) falls below 2.0. At the end of the term of academic probation, students must achieve one of the following:

  1. Raise the cumulative GPA to good standing (2.0), or
  2. Earn a minimum 2.30 GPA during the probationary term.

Failure to achieve one of the above academic criteria will result in academic suspension.

Academic Probation for First Semester Freshmen and New Transfers. In addition to the above criteria, first semester freshmen and new transfer students who are placed on academic probation must meet specific guidelines in order to continue enrollment in the University.

First semester freshmen and new transfers who earn a cumulative GPA within the range of 1.0 to 1.999 at the end of their first semester may return to the University for their second semester only if they choose to participate in the Learning Contract program.

Learning Contract Program. First semester freshmen and new transfers will be placed on academic probation if their GPA falls within the range of 1.0 to 1.999 at the end of their first semester. Students placed on academic probation with a cumulative GPA in this range at the end of their first semester must participate in the Learning Contract program during their second semester. Students who do not choose this option are not eligible to continue enrollment in the University for one term. If readmitted after a lapse in enrollment, students are reminded that they will return to WCU under the general guidelines for academic probation.

The Learning Contract Program specifies that these students work closely with an academic advisor. The student and advisor will discuss academic performance issues, set realistic goals, and make the necessary plans to reach those goals. Students will be linked with the campus resources that can help them succeed. Follow-up contacts will occur throughout the semester.

When appropriate, students should use the University’s grade replacement policy to improve their academic standing (excluding the First Year Seminar).

Additionally, these students must make at least a 2.30 GPA during their second semester or bring their cumulative grade point average to good standing (2.0). Failure to achieve these guidelines will result in academic suspension.


 

Academic Suspension Policies

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Academic Suspension for Continuing Students. Academic Suspension from the University will occur as a result of failing to meet the criteria specified while on academic probation.

Students placed on academic suspension are not eligible to enroll in the University for one semester. After a one-semester suspension, students may apply for readmission to the University. If readmitted, students will return on academic probation.

The semester of suspension is intended to provide students with time to carefully consider the reasons for academic difficulty, resolve problems, clarify educational goals, and improve academic skills. If a student attends another institution while on suspension, the student must have a minimum 2.0 GPA on all work attempted since their last enrollment at Western Carolina University. Students are reminded that grades made in transferred courses are not computed in the GPA calculation at Western Carolina University.

Academic Suspension for First Semester Freshmen and New Transfers. First semester freshmen and new transfers who earn a cumulative GPA below a 1.0 at the end of their first semester will be placed on academic suspension and will not be eligible to enroll in the University for one semester. After a one-semester suspension, students may apply for readmission to the University. If readmitted, students will return on academic probation.

The semester of suspension is intended to provide students with time to carefully consider the reasons for academic difficulty, resolve problems, clarify educational goals, and improve academic skills. If a student attends another institution while on suspension, the student must have a minimum 2.0 GPA on all work attempted since their last enrollment at Western Carolina University. Students are reminded that grades made in transferred courses are not computed in the GPA calculation at Western Carolina University.

Appeal Process of Academic Suspension

Appeals for reinstatement without having to serve a specified period of suspension are approved or denied by the Academic and Admission Appeals Board (referred to as “Board”). The Board’s decision is final. The Board’s decision is based upon the student’s letter of appeal which includes the reason for poor academic performance, documentation of extenuating circumstances, and a plan for rectifying the academic performance and raising the GPA to acceptable standards, as well as the student’s previous academic history. Requests for reinstatement must be submitted to the Advising Center by the deadline stated in the academic suspension notification letter. Instructions for completing the request for reinstatement are included in the suspension notification letter. A student whose appeal for reinstatement is approved will be designated as “Suspended/Reinstated” on his or her academic record.

Readmission After Suspension. Students who have been out the required amount of time may apply for readmission in the same manner as other former students. See the “Admission of Former Students” in this catalog.

  

Academic Action Appeal Policy

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A student (undergraduate or graduate) has the right to appeal a final assigned grade or dismissal from a program level. A student may only appeal a final grade or program dismissal if he/she can show the grade or program dismissal was assigned arbitrarily or impermissibly.  A student who wishes to appeal a grade on a particular assignment or exam can do so if it affects their final assigned grade or dismissal from a program.

 A final grade or program dismissal is deemed to have been assigned arbitrarily or impermissibly if, by a preponderance of the evidence, a student establishes that:

 1. The final grade or dismissal was impermissible based in whole or in part upon the student’s race, color, religion, national origin, age, sex, disability, sexual orientation, or for some other arbitrary or personal reason unrelated to the instructor’s reasonable exercise of his or her professional academic judgment in the evaluation of the academic performance of the student; or
2. The final grade or program dismissal was assigned in a manner not consistent with the standards and procedures for evaluation established by the instructor, the program, or the University in the Catalog, in the course syllabus, or during the class/program in written or oral communications directed to the class/program as a whole; or
3. The final grade or program dismissal was the result of a clear and material mistake in calculating or recording grades or other evaluation.
4. Individual elements (e.g., assignments, tests, activities, projects) which contribute to a final grade are generally NOT subject to appeal or subsequent review during a final grade appeals procedure. However, individual elements may be appealed under these procedures providing all of the following conditions are met:
a)           The student presents compelling evidence that one or more individual elements were graded on arbitrary or impermissible grounds; b)           Grounds can be established for determining a professionally sound grade for the appealed element(s); and c)           The ensuing grade for each appealed element would have resulted in a different course grade than that assigned by the faculty member.

If dismissal from the Graduate School is a result of grades (3 C’s or an F), the student may appeal the grade causing the dismissal. If the appeal is unsuccessful, the dismissal stands; the student cannot appeal the dismissal as well as the grade because dismissal is based upon the grades. If the appeal is successful, the dismissal will be rescinded.

 If a student is appealing dismissal from a program, or a final assigned grade that results in dismissal, the student shall be allowed  to continue taking courses until the appeal is resolved (with the approval of the program in which the classes are taken), with the exception of clinical placements or internships, or when the students’ continued participation is deemed by the program director or department head to be harmful or disruptive to other students and/or the program. 

 If the appeal is unsuccessful and the dismissal stands, the student will be removed from any classes in which he or she is registered and will be responsible for any tuition and fees accrued as a result of registration during the appeals process.

 Academic Action Appeal Procedure Overview: 

Students who wish to appeal a final assigned grade or dismissal from an academic program for any reason other than academic dishonesty should follow, in order, the academic appeal procedure outlined below. (n.b. For these procedures, a “working day” = a day classes are held on campus)

 Appeals of a final assigned grade and appeals of dismissals from an academic program follow similar procedures: 1)      Appeal to Instructor; 2)      Appeal to Department Head (The term “Department Head” in these procedures refers both to Department Heads and School Directors); 3)      Appeal to Academic College – Associate Dean – may dismiss appeal or send to: 4)      College Academic Action Committee Review; or 5)      Academic Dean Review.

An Appeal to Provost is only allowed for (1) alleged violations of procedures, (2) discrimination based on a protected class, or (3) the student’s exercise of rights guaranteed by the United States Constitutional. No right of appeal is available beyond the Provost.

Final Grade Appeal Procedures

The following procedures detail the steps for appealing a final assigned grade (whether or not that grade results in dismissal from the Graduate School).  The student is encouraged to meet/talk with the instructor prior to filing a formal appeal.

 The student must demonstrate that the grade was impermissibly or arbitrarily assigned (see Academic Action Policy). That the student simply disagrees with the assigned grade does not constitute a basis for a review.

 (Step 1) Appeal to Instructor: Within 35 calendar days after the student receives notification of the academic action (grade) the student should submit a formal written appeal to the instructor.  This appeal must include: a)      a statement of the reason(s)  why the student believes the grade was impermissibly or arbitrarily assigned (see policy Academic Action Appeal Policy) b)      the resolution sought.

If the grade being appealed is leading to dismissal from the Graduate School, the Dean of the Graduate School should be copied on the student’s initial appeal. All correspondence should include contact information.

 The instructor must respond to the student’s request in writing as soon as possible (no later than ten working days after receiving the student’s written appeal).  This response should detail whether or not the instructor is approving or denying the appeal.

 (Step 2) Appeal to Department Head: If the student is unable to resolve the grievance through the appeal to the instructor, the student should submit a written appeal to the department head within 10 working days of receiving the instructor’s written response (from Step 1). If the department head is the instructor for the grade assigned, the associate dean of the department’s college will serve this function.  Students appealing to the department head assume the burden of proof. Therefore, the appeal must include: a)      A statement of the reason(s) the student believes the grade was impermissibly or arbitrarily assigned; b)  The steps taken to resolve the disagreement over the assigned course grade; and c)   The resolution sought.

The appeal must be accompanied by evidence the student believes supports the conclusion that the grade was impermissibly or arbitrarily assigned. Evidence might include papers, tests, syllabi, or written documentation.  

Within ten working days of receiving this appeal, the department head will attempt to resolve the appeal. If the department head is unable to resolve the appeal within ten working days, the department head will notify the student of the decision, and the student has 10 days to appeal to the associate dean of the academic college. 

 (Step 3) Appeal to the Academic College (Associate Dean Review):  If appealing to the academic college, the student should forward (to the associate dean of the academic college) his/her initial Appeal to the Instructor and response from the instructor (from Step 1), the subsequent Appeal to the Department Head, and the department head’s written notification (from Step 2). Upon receipt of the appeal and aforementioned materials the associate dean may request further information from the student, the instructor, and/or the department head.

If the associate dean concludes that the facts alleged by the student do not constitute permissible grounds for appeal as set forth in this Academic Action Appeal Policy or Procedures, the associate dean may, in consultation with the Dean and Graduate Dean if applicable, dismiss the review. The student will not be allowed any further appeal.

If the associate dean determines that the facts alleged in the student’s written appeals could, if true, constitute a violation of the Academic Action Appeal Policy or Procedures, the associate dean, within ten working days of receiving all information, shall refer the case to the College’s Academic Action Committee.

(Step 4) Academic Action Committee Review: The College Academic Action Committee (CAAC) will consist of faculty members (who do not teach in the program from which the appeal originated) and students as designated by the academic college (graduate or undergraduate based upon appeal) appointed by the appropriate Academic Dean or Associate Dean. At least two of the faculty members shall be selected from “allied” disciplines or programs. The Associate Dean will serve as ex officio (non-voting) chair of this committee. The purpose of the CAAC is to determine whether the facts support the student’s contention that the grade was impermissibly or arbitrarily assigned, or there was material procedural deviation,  as defined in the policy. It is not the function of the Committee to re-evaluate the student’s work to determine whether the CAAC agrees with the professional judgment of the faculty member who assigned the grade.

 The CAAC Chair shall convene the Committee not later than ten working days from the request by the associate dean to examine the student’s appeals to the instructor and department head.  The CAAC will also take into consideration any written statements received by the associate dean from either the student or the instructor, and any additional relevant documentation. Additionally, the CAAC may request oral presentations from both parties. Other relevant parties may be questioned.

Neither the student nor the faculty member may be accompanied or represented in the hearing by legal counsel or other advisor. The CAAC may consider only such evidence as is offered by the parties and at the hearing(s) and need consider only the evidence offered that it considers fair and reliable. The burden of proof shall be on the student to satisfy the Committee that a preponderance of the evidence supports a conclusion that the grade was awarded arbitrarily or impermissibly as defined. All recommendations of the CAAC shall be made by a simple majority vote.

Within ten working days from the conclusion of its hearing(s) on the matter, the CAAC Chair will provide a written report to the academic dean and to the graduate dean (for graduate-level grade appeals). The Committee report must include the Committee’s finding as to whether or not the grade assigned was awarded arbitrarily or impermissibly as defined in the policy. If such a determination is made, the CAAC shall recommend a course of action which could include recommending assignment of a specific grade to replace the one originally assigned or implementation of some process to re-evaluate the student’s work.

 (Step 5) Review by the Dean: Within ten working days after receiving the CAAC’s report, recommendations and other documentation assembled in the review, the academic Dean will, in consultation with the faculty member and department head, determine a final course of action. S/he will then communicate the final action in writing to the student, faculty member, department head, and (for graduate-level grade appeals) the dean of the Graduate School.

Appeal to the Provost: An appeal to the Provost is only allowed if the student can establish a reasonable basis that the appeal procedures were not followed, discrimination of a protected class has occurred, and/or a student’s exercise of rights guaranteed by the First Amendment has been violated. If the student feels one of these conditions applies, s/he must file a written appeal to the Provost explaining the situation that warrants this level of appeal. The Provost shall provide his/her written decision to the student within ten calendar days of receipt of the appeal. No appeal is available beyond the Provost.

Substitution Provisions: In the event that the faculty member whose grade is being reviewed is also a department head/school director, the associate dean shall do those things required by the head or director. In the event that the faculty member whose grade is being reviewed is also an associate dean, the academic dean or Provost can name an appropriate substitute to perform the functions of the associate dean as required by this policy.

Program Dismissal Appeal Procedures 

The following procedures detail the steps for appealing a dismissal from a program for any reason other than final assigned grade(s), including failure to adhere to technical standards.

Dismissal from the Graduate School (and therefore dismissal from the program) based on bad grades may not be appealed. In this case, the affected student must appeal the final grade(s) resulting in the dismissal from the Graduate School. The student is encouraged to meet/talk with the program director prior to filing a formal appeal.

 The student must demonstrate that dismissal was impermissibly or arbitrarily assigned (see Academic Action Policy). That the student simply disagrees with the dismissal does not constitute a basis for a review.

(Step 1) Appeal to Program Director: Within 35 calendar days after the student receives notification of the academic action (cause for program dismissal) the student should submit a formal written appeal to the instructor.  This appeal must include: a) a statement of the reason(s) why the student believes the dismissal was impermissibly or arbitrarily assigned (see policy Academic Action Appeal Policy); b) the resolution sought.

When appealing a dismissal from a graduate program, the student must copy the Dean of the Graduate School on this initial appeal. All correspondence should include contact information.

 The program director must respond to the student’s request in writing as soon as possible (no later than ten working days after receiving the student’s written appeal).  This response should detail whether or not the program is approving or denying the appeal.

 (Step 2) Appeal to Department Head: If the student is unable to resolve the grievance through the appeal to the program director, the student should submit a written appeal to the department head within 10 working days of receiving the program director’s written response (from Step 1). If the department head is the instructor for the grade assigned, the associate dean of the department’s college will serve this function.  Students appealing to the department head assume the burden of proof. Therefore, the appeal must include: a) A statement of the reason(s) the student believes the dismissal was impermissibly or arbitrarily assigned;
b) The steps taken to resolve the disagreement over the dismissal; and c) The resolution sought.  The appeal must be accompanied by evidence the student believes supports the conclusion that the dismissal was impermissibly or arbitrarily assigned. Evidence might include papers, tests, syllabi, or written documentation.

 Within ten working days of receiving this appeal, the department head will attempt to resolve the appeal. If the department head is unable to resolve the appeal within ten working days, the department head will notify the student of the decision and copy the dean of the Graduate School, and the student has 10 days to appeal to the associate dean of the academic college. 

 (Step 3) Appeal to the Academic College (Associate Dean Review):If appealing to the academic college, the student should forward (to the associate dean of the academic college) his/her initial Appeal to the Program Director and the program director’s response (from Step 1), the subsequent Appeal to the Department Head, and the department head’s written notification (from Step 2). Upon receipt of the appeal and these materials the associate dean may request further information from the student, the program director, and/or the department head.  

If the associate dean concludes that the facts alleged by the student do not constitute permissible grounds for appeal as set forth in this  Academic Action Appeal Policy or Procedures, the associate dean may, in consultation with the academic Dean and Graduate Dean if applicable, dismiss the review. The student will not be allowed any further appeal. 

If the associate dean determines that the facts alleged in the student’s written appeals could, if true, constitute a violation of the Academic Action Appeal Policy or Procedures, the associate dean, within ten working days of receiving all information, shall refer the case to the College’s Academic Action Committee.

 (Step 4) Academic Action Committee Review: The College Academic Action Committee (CAAC)will consist of faculty members (who do not teach in the program from which the appeal originated) and students as designated by the academic college (graduate or undergraduate based upon appeal) appointed by the appropriate Academic Dean or Associate Dean. At least two of the faculty members shall be selected from “allied” disciplines or programs. The Associate Dean will serve as ex officio (non-voting) chair of this committee. The purpose of this Committee is to determine whether the facts support the student’s contention that the dismissal was impermissibly or arbitrarily assigned, or there was a material procedural deviation, as defined in the policy. It is not the function of the CAAC to re-evaluate the student’s work to determine whether the Committee agrees with the professional judgment of the program director or faculty member(s).  

The CAAC Chair shall convene the Committee not later than ten working days from the request by the associate dean to examine the student’s appeals to the program director and department head.  The committee will also take into consideration any written statements received by the associate dean from either the student or the program director, and any additional relevant documentation. Additionally, the Committee may request oral presentations from both parties. Other relevant parties may be questioned.

Neither the student nor the program director may be accompanied or represented in the hearing by legal counsel or other advisor. The CAAC may consider only such evidence as is offered by the parties and at the hearing(s) and need consider only the evidence offered that it considers fair and reliable. The burden of proof shall be on the student to satisfy the Committee that a preponderance of the evidence supports a conclusion that the dismissal was awarded arbitrarily or impermissibly as defined. All recommendations of the CAAC shall be made by a simple majority vote.  

Within ten working days from the conclusion of its hearing(s) on the matter, the CAAC Chair will provide a written report to the academic dean and to the graduate dean (for graduate-level grade appeals). The Committee report must include the Committee’s finding as to whether or not the dismissal assigned was awarded arbitrarily or impermissibly as defined in the policy. If such a determination is made, the CAAC shall recommend a course of action which could include recommending readmission or implementation of some process to re-evaluate the student’s actions/work that lead to the program dismissal.

 (Step 5) Review by the Dean: Within ten working days after receiving the CAAC’s report, recommendations, and other documentation assembled in the review, the academic Dean will, in consultation with the program director and department head, determine a final course of action. S/he will then communicate the final action in writing to the student, faculty member, department head, and the dean of the Graduate School.

 Appeal to the Provost: An appeal to the Provost is only allowed if the student can establish a reasonable basis that the appeal procedures were not followed, discrimination of a protected class has occurred, and/or a student’s exercise of rights guaranteed by the First Amendment has been violated. If the student feels one of these conditions applies, s/he must file a written appeal to the Provost explaining the situation that warrants this level of appeal. The Provost shall provide his/her written decision to the student within ten calendar days of receipt of the appeal.  No right of appeal is available beyond the Provost.

Substitution Provisions: In the event that the faculty member whose grade is being reviewed is also a department head/school director, the associate dean shall do those things required by the head or director. In the event that the faculty member whose grade is being reviewed is also an associate dean, the academic dean or Provost can name an appropriate substitute to perform the functions of the associate dean as required by this policy. 

 

Grade Replacement and Course Repeat Policy

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A maximum of 15 credit hours may be repeated. When a student repeats a course, only the most recent grade will be used in calculation of the student’s grade point average and counted in the hours toward graduation. However, all grades shall remain on the student’s transcript.

Exceptions:

1. The First Year Seminar may not be repeated.

2. Courses available for re-enrollment for additional credit are not counted as repeats unless the student declares a repeat or exceeds the number of times for which credit can be earned in the course.

3. Some academic programs may have policies that further regulate the number of repeats. Check with your advisor.

The 15 credit hour limit of the repeat/grade replacement policy may be appealed by the student in writing to the student’s adviser, department head or program director, and Dean.

Note:

  1. All course repeats, except courses available for re-enrollment for additional credit, require a permit for enrollment. If a faculty advisor approves the repeat permit, he/she can call or email the department head to have the permit entered in Banner so the student can enroll. DO NOT SEND STUDENTS TO THE ONESTOP FOR REPEAT PERMITS. ONESTOP PERSONNEL DO NOT HAVE THE AUTHORITY TO GRANT REPEAT PERMITS.
  2. All repeats, except for re-enrollment for additional credit courses, result in a mandatory grade replacement. (The last course taken replaces the grade of the previous course.)

Note: Pursuant to actions of the North Carolina General Assembly and policy adopted by the Board of Governors of the University of North Carolina, a fifty percent tuition surcharge applies to students who take more than 140 semester hours and more than eight regular semesters (i.e., fall and spring) to complete a baccalaureate degree. The semester hours used to calculate the total of 140 hours include repeated, failed, and transferred credit courses.

Academic Re-evaluation Policy

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To be eligible to elect an academic re-evaluation, a student must have a cumulative GPA below 2.0 and must have made a GPA of 2.30 or better on twelve or more hours of work for each of two successive semesters, one of which may be summer school. At least eighteen hours of the work taken in the two semesters must apply to liberal studies requirements or the requirements in the major, if these have not been met already. A written request for re-evaluation is required.

To be eligible to graduate after re-evaluation, a student must complete at least two semesters in residence. No course passed with a C- or less prior to these two semesters will count toward the 120, 122, or 128 hours required for a degree. Such courses may be used to waive liberal studies requirements but not to fulfill major requirements.

The student’s GPA for retention and graduation will be computed only on work taken during and after the two semesters on which re-evaluation is based. However, the number of hours previously passed with a grade of C (2.0) or higher will be counted as earned hours.

This policy does not alter the administration of the two-year rule policy.

Two-Year Rule Policy. An undergraduate with a GPA below 2.0 who has not attended the university for two or more calendar years and who is eligible for readmission is given the option of having the two-year rule applied or not applied.

If the two-year rule is applied, all courses completed before the interruption are treated as if they were transferred from another institution. No hours of credit will be allowed for courses in which C- or less grades were earned, although, at the discretion of the student’s major department, they may be used to waive appropriate course requirements. The student’s cumulative GPA will be based on courses attempted after readmission. The earned hours will include all credits (1) transferred from other institutions, (2) completed with a grade of C (2.0) or higher before the two-year rule was applied, and (3) earned after the last two-year rule was applied.

If the two-year rule is not applied, the student will return with a cumulative GPA, credit hours, and grades as if the interruption had not occurred. The quality point deficit of some students may be of such a magnitude that the application for readmission from a student who has chosen not to apply the two-year rule may be rejected.

A student, having elected to have the two-year rule applied or not applied, may not reverse the option later. Applications for the two-year rule may be obtained from the Advising Center and submitted to that office prior to the initial term of re-enrollment.

Credit and Placement Policy

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Evaluation of transfer, CLEP, and advanced placement credits are coordinated through the Office of the Registrar. The university will accept or transfer appropriate undergraduate credits earned through credit by examination, advanced placement, CLEP, correspondence courses, extension courses, armed forces service schools, and college-level courses completed prior to graduation from high school. With the approval of the appropriate academic departments, the amount of such credit which may be applied toward a degree is subject to limitation only by the university’s general residence requirement and the prescribed courses in the major field of study; the degree program may not exceed 45 semester hours of CLEP credit. Credit toward a degree is not awarded for Continuing Education Units or for General Education Development tests (GED).

Transfer of Credit. An evaluation of credits offered in transfer is completed after admission and after all official records are received directly from each institution previously attended. The applicability of transferred credits toward degree requirements is determined by the registrar’s office and the department head of the student’s major. In some cases, due to accreditation standards, validation of a course by successful completion of more advanced work in the same discipline or by examination may be required.

Only work passed with a grade of C (2.0) or better may be transferred. Courses with other grading systems that are equivalent to a C or better may be transferred. Except for consortium agreements, no credit will be allowed toward graduation or toward fulfillment of major requirements for a course passed with a C- or less at another institution. Credit will not be awarded for courses determined to be below the collegiate level at Western Carolina University nor from an institution not accredited by a nationally recognized regional accrediting agency. Undergraduate credit will not be awarded for graduate-level courses.

A Comprehensive Articulation Agreement (CAA) has been developed by the North Carolina Community College (NCCC) system and the University of North Carolina (UNC) General Administration providing for the transferability of a student’s first two years of collegiate work to a senior UNC institution. This agreement provides that a student who enrolls at a NCCC institution fall 1997 or later, and completes his/her home institution’s 44 semester hours of general education requirements with a grade of C or better in each course, is guaranteed that those hours will be applied toward a baccalaureate degree at any UNC institution. These 44 hours must be used to satisfy the receiving institution’s liberal studies requirements. In addition, the CAA also guarantees that upon completion of the Associate of Arts or Associate of Science degree, 20-21 hours of pre major work with a grade of C or better will be transferred and applied toward the student’s baccalaureate degree at a UNC institution provided that the student remains within his/her major.

Credit may be transferred from a technical program of a two-year institution and applied toward an appropriate bachelor’s degree if the institution is regionally accredited. A minimum of twenty-five percent of semester hours applied toward a bachelor’s degree must be earned through regular enrollment in Western Carolina University junior-senior level courses, including a minimum of twelve hours in junior-senior courses in the major field.

In addition to those credits accepted as equivalents of the university’s freshman and sophomore courses, a maximum of thirty hours of credit may be allowed toward graduation for freshman and sophomore courses completed at other institutions which are normally offered above the sophomore level at Western Carolina University.

There is no time limit on the course work accepted for undergraduate transfer credit. However, students who plan to schedule courses with stated prerequisites should consider auditing the prerequisite courses if no work has been attempted in the field within the past five years.

Regularly enrolled students who desire to take any course at another institution on a transient basis for transfer to WCU must secure the appropriate department head’s and the registrar’s approval before enrollment at the other institution. Transient Permission Forms are available from the One Stop Student Service Center and the departments. Students must be in good standing and eligible to re-enroll at Western Carolina University to secure transient permission. Course work taken at an institution which has a consortium agreement with Western Carolina University will be given credit on the same basis as course work taken at WCU.

Grades made in transferred courses are not considered in computing the GPA at Western Carolina University, but transferred hours are added to earned hours and will affect the student’s overall academic standing. A student may not expect to have the repeat course policy applied on the basis of courses completed at other institutions. Currently enrolled and former students (those not enrolled for one or more of the immediately preceding semesters, excluding summer terms) who attempt courses at other institutions must earn a cumulative 2.0 GPA and submit official transcripts of all work attempted to the Office of Admissions in order to be eligible to return to Western Carolina University.

Transfer Students With Two or More Years Away From Their Previous Academic Institution

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Transfer Students. Applicants must have official transcripts with statements of honorable dismissal by all institutions formally attended. The applicant must meet freshman admission requirements and submit an official high school transcript with SAT or ACT test results. Transfer applications should be submitted by July 1 for all fall admissions and at least thirty days prior to the beginning of spring semester.

Generally, transfer students must have earned a minimum GPA of 2.0 (C average) on all work attempted. Applicants who are ineligible to return to the last institution attended for any reason may be ineligible for admission to Western Carolina University. However, transfer students who have not attended any institution for a period of two or more years prior to the intended semester of enrollment will be considered for admission subject to review of specific circumstances by the director of admissions.

The academic records of transfer students will be evaluated by the Office of the Registrar and the department head/program director of the student’s major. University policies on transfer of undergraduate credit are explained in the section of this catalog on academic regulations.

Placement in First-Year Composition. Students with Advanced Placement credit or high school credit for English 101 and/or English 102 will be given credit for these courses. All other students will be placed in English 101. Members of the Honors College may be placed in English 101-H, and enrollment in these honors sections will be reserved for members of the Honors College. Students placed in English 101 or 101-H must complete the six-hour First-Year Composition sequence of English 101 or 101-H, followed by English 102 or 102-H.

Mathematics Placement Policy. A mathematics skills assessment is administered to students who wish to take Math 140 (Introductory Calculus), Math 145 (Trigonometry), Math 146 (Algebra and Analytic Geometry), or Math 153 (Calculus I) without first completing the prerequisite course(s). Students planning to major in mathematics, computer science, chemistry, biology, electronics engineering technology, industrial technology, and manufacturing engineering technology should plan to take this skills assessment. Students who have a strong mathematics background and would like to take the highest level course for which they are qualified should take the skills assessment. The skills assessment will be administered to entering freshmen in the fall when classes begin and to continuing students during early registration when they plan to register for one of the courses listed above in the next semester. Transfer students may take the skills assessment by arrangement with the director of mathematics placement. The assessment does not generate course credit for course requirements that are waived as a result of placement. A scientific or graphics calculator is recommended for taking the assessment. Transfer credit for college-equivalent courses can be used to meet prerequisites. Any student may take the liberal studies math course, Math 101 (Mathematical Concepts). There is no placement requirement for this course, but it does not satisfy the prerequisites for college algebra or any other algebra-based course.

Advanced Placement. Students may become eligible to enter intermediate or advanced courses in a field, bypassing one or more lower-level courses, if they qualify on the basis of their performance on advanced placement tests.

Placement in Modern Foreign Languages. Students will be placed at the appropriate level in a language based on the number of years of high school and/or college-level language study. Any student placed in the second or higher course in French, German, or Spanish who passes that course with a grade of C (2.0) or better will receive three or six hours of credit for the courses bypassed. This may include the liberal studies course 101. Additional information can be obtained from the department or from the Advising Center.

Chemistry. Freshmen with above-average ability in chemistry are encouraged to take a chemistry placement examination. Satisfactory performance allows a student credit in either CHEM 132 or 140. Additional tests may be taken for a maximum of eight hours of credit.

Advanced Placement Program. Students who earn a grade of three or above on the College Board advanced placement courses are eligible to receive credit based upon the evaluations of the appropriate department heads. Currently, credit may be earned in American and European history, art history, biology, calculus, chemistry, computer science, economics, English, environmental science, French language and literature, German language, Latin, music, Physics, political science, psychology, and Spanish language and literature and statistics.

Assessment Program. As part of Western Carolina University’s continuing effort to maintain the quality of academic programs and university services, the university conducts student learning outcomes assessment. Measuring student intellectual growth, attitudes, perceptions, and skills provides the university with essential information in evaluating its effectiveness. Students are required to participate in these assessments throughout their enrollment at the university. The assessment information is not part of the student’s official record, and individual scores may be reported only to the student. Other uses of assessment data include reporting data only in aggregate form to the university community and required external sources.

Noncredit Courses. Credit earned in MATH 100 will not count toward the 120-128 hours required for graduation.

Credit by Examination

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A student may apply to be examined in any course identified by a department head as available for credit by examination. The student must present an approved permission form after the examination has been completed. Students making an A (4.0) or B (3.0) will receive credit. Those making C (2.0) do not receive credit, but are eligible for a waiver of a course requirement. With a D or F, credit may be earned only by regular enrollment during a subsequent semester. The GPA will not be affected by the grade made on the examination. All credit by examination attempts must be completed prior to the semester of graduation.

The examination procedure may be attempted only once for any one course. Students who have completed more than two collegiate courses in the field of study concerned may earn credit by examination only after securing written approval of the head of the department in which the course is offered. However, they may take the examination and secure a waiver of a curricular requirement by scoring a C (2.0) or higher.

The fee for scheduling a course on a credit by examination basis is $15. No fee will be assessed if the examination is being used to validate transfer credits or when the student is enrolled full-time during a fall or spring semester.

The College Level Examination Program. The university cooperates with the College Board in this program, through which credit may be awarded for the CLEP subject examinations that have been approved by the academic departments as appropriate measures of academic achievement in their courses. Elective credit may be granted for examinations covering material which is not the substantial equivalent of any specific Western Carolina University course. These elective credits may be applied toward graduation requirements if the student fulfills certain liberal studies requirements or complies with other conditions prescribed by the appropriate deans and department heads. The subject examinations also may be used to validate credits earned at unaccredited institutions and to earn credit for courses failed at the university or other institutions. A current list of approved examinations and the credit that may be awarded is available via the Registrar’s Office website (registrar.wcu.edu).

The American Council on Education has endorsed a uniform credit granting score of 50 for all 34 exams. Percentile scores are no longer used as a basis for granting credit. Departments also may require demonstration of achievement by satisfactory completion of an essay or by provision of other evidence of the competencies to be mastered in a course or course sequence. The general examinations of CLEP are not accepted for credit. Subject examinations that are repeated within less than one year from the date of previous testing will not be considered for credit.

Credits earned through CLEP will be posted on the transcript, but no grades are recorded. The student’s GPA will not be affected. Duplicate credit is not awarded in any case. CLEP credits earned at other institutions will be evaluated in the same manner as the equivalent courses at those institutions. The same policies and procedures used in evaluating the applicability of other advanced-standing and transfer credits toward a degree will be applied.

 

Credit for Experiential Learning

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Western Carolina University endorses the concept of undergraduate credit for experiential learning in recognition of valid learning experiences. Departments awarding credit for experiential learning do so on the basis of detailed departmental guidelines and procedures as approved by the Council on Instruction and Curriculum. However, credit is awarded by a department only for those competencies which are related to areas of instruction in that department and which are applicable to the degree program being completed. Credit is not extended automatically or in blanket fashion.

To receive credit for experiential learning, a student must submit a request to the appropriate department head. A faculty committee named by the department head will review the request. If the request seems appropriate, the student will be provided with guidelines for preparing a portfolio which the committee will review to determine the conditions and amount of credit to be awarded.

Credit for all or part of a course(s) may be awarded. If partial credit is awarded, the student will pay the full cost of the course, but will be required to attend only those classes and do additional work as designated. There is no charge for courses for which full credit is awarded. Committee actions, when endorsed by the department head and dean, must be reported to the registrar. The credit awarded is not applicable to the university’s residency requirement.

Credit for Military Personnel and Veterans of Military Service

To the greatest extent possible, the university will grant credit for military service schools and occupational experience that have been evaluated by the Office of Military Programs of the American Council on Education (ACE) and for which ACE has recommended the granting of college credit. Students will not be awarded credit for formal schools or occupational experience that carry only one hour of recommended credit. Applicants to, or current students in, the university who have served in the military in any capacity (active duty, National Guard, or Reserve) should have official military ACE transcripts sent from one or more of the sources listed below to the Office of Undergraduate Admissions or to the Graduate School.

Army: https://aartstranscript.army.mil/

Navy and Marine Corps: https://smart.navy.mil/smart/welcome.do

Air Force: http://www.au.af.mil/au/ccaf/transcripts.asp.
NOTE: The Community College of the Air Force (CCAF) is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS).

Coast Guard: http://www.uscg.mil/hq/cgi/ve/official_transcript.asp

In addition, university policy states that students who have served on the active duty for at least one continuous year are eligible to be granted seven (7) hours of general electives credit. In order to receive this credit, the student must have received an honorable discharge for the year of continual active service. Proof of eligibility for this credit will be the student’s DD Form 214 (Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty) or similar official document.

 

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