CURRENT 2018-2019 Undergraduate Catalog 
    
    Jul 21, 2018  
CURRENT 2018-2019 Undergraduate Catalog

Academic Regulations & Policies


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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 for such curricular changes.

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. Students are expected to know the information in the catalog and to verify that they are meeting qualitative and quantitative requirements for a particular class rank and for proper progress toward graduation. All students should check official records, degree audits, and transcripts 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

Registration occurs before the beginning of each semester at dates/times announced by the University Registrar. As a general rule, students can register as long as the following conditions are met:

  • 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)
  • The student has been advised and given a registration PIN (if the student type requires advising and registration PIN to register for classes).

Late Registration. Except under special conditions, no student is permitted to register or add courses after the schedule adjustment period (add/drop) ends. There is a per-course late fee for all registration performed after add/drop ends. No late registration is permitted after the tenth day of the term, which coincides with when the institution submits census enrollment to the State. Late Registration dates are announced in the academic calendar and conditions are strictly enforced for those students permitted to drop or add courses during Late Registration, a late registration fee will be charged.

Post-Graduation Registration. Students who complete an undergraduate degree and graduate and who wish to continue their enrollment at the undergraduate level following graduation will be permitted to do so provided their resumed enrollment takes place less than three consecutive semesters after they graduate. See Stop-outs below. Students seeking to continue must notify the Registrar’s Office. Students who wish to take graduate level classes after completing their baccalaureate degree must apply for admission to the Graduate School. Graduate students who wish to continue their enrollment upon graduation must reapply. 

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. Stop-Outs. Students whose enrollment is interrupted for three consecutive semesters (any combination of fall, spring summer) are required to seek readmission.

Course Information

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.

Guide to Course Numbers

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 students should have achieved to enroll in the course. Some course numbers within the numbering system are reserved for special use. 

  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 graduate-level courses for either undergraduate or graduate credit.

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   C5   Physical and Biological Sciences
C3   Oral Communication   P3   History
C4   Wellness   P4   Humanities
        P5   Fine and Performing Arts
        P6   World Cultures

Reserved Course Numbers. Numbers 293, 294, 393, 394, 493, 494, 593, 594, 693 or 694 are reserved for special topics. 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

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 immediately following its title. 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 immediately following the credit-hour value of the course as follows: 3, R3. In this example, the course carries 3 hours of credit and may be repeated 3 times for a total maximum of 9 hours applicable toward a degree.

Prerequisites and Co-requisites. A prerequisite 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 co-requisite is any course which must be taken during the same term as the course that specifies the co-requisite.

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 in 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 advisor. A full statement of the requirements for academic credit is available from the Center for Career and Professional Development. 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 can be taught as a special-topic course 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 topic as a regular course, subject to the curriculum review process.

Guide to Course Prefixes

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.

Prefix       Field of Study         Department/College
ACCT   Accounting   School of Accounting, Finance, Information Systems and Business Law
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   School of Health Sciences
BA   Business Administration   School of Economics, Management and Project Management
BIOL   Biology   College of Arts and Sciences
BK   Birth-Kindergarten   Human Services
BKSE   Birth-Kindergarten / Special Ed   Human Services
CHEM   Chemistry   Chemistry and Physics
CHER   Cherokee   World Languages
CHIN   Chinese   World Languages
CIS   Computer Information Systems   School of Accounting, Finance, Information Systems and Business Law
CJ   Criminal Justice   Criminology and Criminal Justice
CLS   Clinical Laboratory Sciences   School of Health Sciences
CM   Construction Management   Kimmel School of Construction Management and Technology
COMM   Communication   College of Arts and Sciences
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   School of Stage and Screen
ECET   Electrical and Computer Engineering Technology   Engineering and Technology
ECON   Economics   School of Economics, Management and Project Management
EDAD   Educational Administration   Human Services
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
EDRS   Educational Research   Psychology
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   College of Arts and Sciences
ENGR   Engineering   Engineering and Technology
ENT   Entrepreneurship   School of Entrepreneurship, Hospitality & Tourism, Marketing and Sport Mgt
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   School of Accounting, Finance, Information Systems and Business Law
FOR   Forestry   Geosciences and Natural Resources
FREN   French   World Languages
FS   Forensic Science   Chemistry and Physics
FTP   Film and Television Production   School of Stage and Screen
FPA   Fine and Performing Arts   School of Stage and Screen
GEOG   Geography   Geosciences and Natural Resources
GEOL   Geology   Geosciences and Natural Resources
GER   German   World Languages
GERN   Gerontology   College of Health and Human Sciences
HEAL   Health Education   School of Teaching and Learning
HESA   Higher Education in Student Affairs   Human Services
HIA   Health Information Administration   School of Health Sciences
HIST   History   College of Arts and Sciences
HPE   Health and Physical Education   School of Teaching and Learning
HR   Human Resources   Human Services
HSCC   Health Sciences   School of Health Sciences
HT   Hospitality and Tourism   School of Entrepreneurship, Hospitality & Tourism, Marketing and Sport Mgt
IBUS   International Business  
School of Economics, Management and Project Management
ID   Industrial Distribution   Engineering and Technology
IDES   Interior Design   School of Art and Design
INST   International Studies   Political Science and Public Affairs
JPN   Japanese   World Languages
LAT   Latin   World 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   MBA Program
ME   Mechanical Engineering   Engineering and Technology
MGT   Management   School of Economics, Management and Project Management
MKT   Marketing   School of Entrepreneurship, Hospitality & Tourism, Marketing and Sport Mgt
MUS   Music   School of Music
NAS   Native American Studies   College of Health and Human Sciences
ND   Nutrition and Dietetics   School 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   College of Arts and Sciences
PE   Physical Education   School of Teaching and Learning
PHYS   Physics   Chemistry and Physics
PM   Project Management   School of Economics, Management and Project Management
PMC   Project Management Certificate   School of Economics, Management and Project Management
PRM   Parks and Recreation Management   Human Services
PSC   Political Science   Political Science and Public Affairs
PSY   Psychology   Psychology
PT   Physical Therapy   Physical Therapy
QA   Quantitative Analysis   School of Economics, Management and Project Management
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   School of Entrepreneurship, Hospitality & Tourism, Marketing and Sport Mgt
SOC   Sociology   Anthropology and Sociology
SOCW   Social Work   College of Health and Human Sciences
SPAN   Spanish   World Languages
SPED   Special Education   School of Teaching and Learning
THEA   Theatre Arts   School of Stage and Screen
USI   University Studies, Interdisciplinary   Academic Affairs
WLL   World Languages and Literatures   World Languages

Credits, Grades, and Quality Points

The basic unit of credit is the semester hour. A semester hour represents one lecture recitation hour and a minimum of two hours of out-of-class student work or an equivalent amount of work in courses designated as a laboratory, internship, practicum, clinical, or studio, etc.

Course Load for Undergraduates

The minimum full-time course load during a fall or spring semester is 12 hours. A normal load is 16 hours; however, a student may take up to 18 hours. Any schedule that exceeds 18 hours constitutes an overload and must be approved by the student’s advisor 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. The maximum summer session course load for any student is 16 hours. Any schedule that exceeds 12 hours (or 6 hours during any one session or 4 hours during the mini-mester) constitutes an overload and must be approved by the student’s advisor or department head and the appropriate administrators as indicated on the request and approval form. Undeclared students must obtain approval from the Advising Center and the Office of the Provost.

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

  WF   Withdrew/Failing  

0

C+      

2.33

  AU   Audit  

C   Satisfactory  

2.0

   NC    No Credit  

 

C-      

1.67

           
D+      

1.33

           
D   Poor  

1.0

           
D-      

.67

           
F   Failure  

0

           
WF   Withdrew/Failing   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.

Incomplete. The instructor may grant a student an I grade for work not completed if the student has a reasonable prospect of passing the course by making up the work missed and 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 needed 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 material. There is no limit on the credit hours a student may earn in S/U grades, but not all courses are approved for S/U 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 that can be assigned in these courses. Neither S nor U 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 advisor, the instructor, and the head of the department offering the course. To enroll, the student much sumit a completed course audit form. 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; students should negotiate such conditions with the instructor before seeking permission to audit. Tuition and fees for audited courses are determined by the courses’ hour value.

Graduate-Level Courses. Approved grades for graduate-level courses (500 and above) are: A., B, C, F, I, W, AU, IP, S and U. There is no passing grade below a C. Plus/Minus grades are not used. *See Graduate Catalog for additional details regarding the graduate level grading system.

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. Grade changes must be submitted by the instructor and approved by the instructor’s department head and dean. Only the instructor can change the grade in a course except as provided in the incomplete grade policy. Grade changes are initiated from the instructor menu within MyWCU.  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 35 days after the end of final exams.

Transcripts. Transcripts may be ordered online at http://transcript.wcu.edu for a nominal fee. Current students who request a transcript through their student portal account (myWCU) will not be charged the transcript fee.  Additional fee may be assessed depending on format and handling options selected. Transcripts are available on paper or in electronic (PDF) format. Transcripts are furnished only after accounts are cleared.

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

Sometimes, students may find it necessary or advisable to withdraw from one or more courses during a term. In some cases, students may find it necessary to withdraw from the university.

Course Withdrawals

After consultation with their academic advisor and the instructor of the course, students may withdraw from any course before one half of the term has expired. Course withdrawals must be completed in the student portal (MyWCU). Students are not permitted to withdraw from courses after the withdrawal deadline published by the Registrar’s Office. Course withdrawals affect satisfactory academic progress, which also affects academic standing. (See academic standing.) Courses from which students withdraw do not count toward the 12 hours required for full-time enrollment, and no refund is given for courses from which students withdraw.

Students may withdraw from a maximum of 16 hours of courses during their career at Western Carolina University and receive a grade of W. Any withdrawal beyond the limit will result in a Withdrew-Failing (WF) which will affect the semester and cumulative GPA as if it were an F.

Term and University Withdrawal

During the fall and spring semesters, a student may find it necessary to withdraw from all enrolled courses during that semester. Term and University withdrawals are permitted up through the last withdrawal date as indicated by the Registrar’s Office. During summer sessions, a University withdrawal occurs only if the student withdraws from all summer sessions. Term and University withdrawals will affect satisfactory academic progress and course completion rates, but will not count towards the student’s 16-hour course withdrawal limit. Students who withdraw from the university must reapply for admission before being allowed to re-enroll. Students who withdraw from the term may continue their enrollment the next semester providing their academic standing permits registration.

Term and University withdrawals are initiated in the Advising Center, located in 214 Killian Annex. Students who withdraw from the university will receive a grade of “W” (“Withdrawn”) for all courses in which they were enrolled. The “Fees, Expenses and Financial Aid” section of this catalog provides information regarding the effects of University withdrawal upon tuition and fee payments and financial aid.

After the Withdrawal Deadline. Three exceptions to the University withdrawal policy will allow a student to withdraw from all courses. The exceptions are medical withdrawals, withdrawals for deployment or other military contingency, and withdrawals for extenuating circumstances.

Medical Withdrawals

Withdrawal for Medical Reasons:
Western Carolina University is under no obligation to grant a medical withdrawal after the withdrawal deadline if a grade has been issued or if final examinations have been taken. W’s entered on the permanent record as a result of a withdrawal from all classes for medical reasons will affect satisfactory academic progress and course completion rates but will not count toward student’s 16-hour course withdrawal limit. Physicians or their designees at Western Carolina University Student Health Services review all medical withdrawals and evaluate the medical documentation. Medical withdrawals are of two types:

Regular medical withdrawal (withdrawal for current semester) may be granted under these conditions:

  • Requires medical documentation from a private physician, psychiatrist, psychologist, or therapist.Students who have not been seen at Western Carolina University Student Health Services or Western Carolina University Counseling and Psychological Services, must obtain appropriate medical records from an outside provider.
  • Requires documentation from outside providers to a designated Western Carolina University physician or counselor. Documentation may be delivered by mail, by fax, or hand-delivered, but it must be in writing. This documentation must specifically recommend withdrawal, and it must give a specific date of withdrawal.
  • Will not be granted if any final examinations for the current semester have been taken.

Retroactive medical withdrawal (withdrawal for a previous semester) may be granted under these conditions:

  • Requires medical documentation from a private physician, psychiatrist, psychologist, or therapist. Students who have not been seen at Western Carolina University Student Health Services or Western Carolina University Counseling and Psychological Services must obtain appropirate medical records from an equivalent outside provider.
  • Requires documentation from outside providers to a designated Western Carolina University physician or counselor. Documentation may be delivered by mail, by fax, or hand-delivered, but it must be in writing. This documentation must specifically recommend withdrawal and it must give a specific date.
  • Students who attempt the final exam in a class will not be allowed to medically withdraw.
  • Retroactive withdrawals must be completed by the end of the next regular semester (fall or spring).

Medical Withdrawal from One Course:

  • A student may not typically withdraw for medical reasons from individual courses, including courses in which penalty grades were assigned as a result of academic misconduct. A request to withdraw from a course or to reduce a student’s academic load is not a university medical withdrawal.
  • Students who wish to withdraw from fewer than all their current classes for medical reasons may appeal to the dean of the division in which the course or courses are being offered. In these cases, the student must provide documentation to the dean from Western Carolina University Student Health Services or Western Carolina University Counseling and Psychological Services regarding the medical problem treated at Western Carolina University Student Health Services or Counseling and Psychological Services. Students who have not been seen at Western Carolina University Student Health Services or Western Carolina University Counseling and Psychological Services must obtain appropirate medical records from an equivalent outside provider.

Western Carolina University is under no obligation to grant a medical withdrawal if final examinations have been taken. Such situations must be handled as grade replacements.
A notation of “W” is entered on the permanent record of the student for all withdrawals from the University for Medical Reasons and will affect satisfactory academic progress and course completion rates but will not count towards the student’s 16-hour course withdrawal limit.

Military Deployment or Other Withdrawals

Contingency: Students called to active military service during an academic term may choose one of the following two options:

  • The student may request retroactive withdrawal to the beginning of the semester, with a full refund of tuition and fees.
  • If at least 75 percent of the term has been completed, the student may request that the faculty member assign a grade for the course based on the work completed. The final decision about grading is left to the faculty member.

If the faculty member assigns a grade of “I,” the student must complete course requirements within one semester or make alternative arrangements with the faculty member (see “Incompletes” under “Credits, Grades and Quality Points”).

Students who enlist in the military will be subject to the regular withdrawal process.

Extenuating Circumstance Withdrawals

Withdrawals from the University for Extenuating Circumstances:

Students can petition the Office of the Provost to withdraw from the University for extenuating circumstances. Extenuating circumstances may include death or serious illness within the immediate family, major life event in the family (e.g. loss of home, incarceration), financial hardship, pregnancy, and others as deemed appropriate by a member of the Office of the Provost. Withdrawal for extenuating circumstances will affect satisfactory academic progress and course completion rates but will not count towards the student’s 16-hour withdrawal limit. 

Class Attendance Policy

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 students’ 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.  The instructor will distribute written attendance policies to students at the beginning of each term as part of the course syllabus.  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.

Institutional funding is based in part on enrollment; therefore, instructors must report first-week and second-week attendance through MyWCU on all students before to census day. The Registrar’s Office will distribute deadlines and instructions for reporting first- and second-week attendance in a timely manner. Instructors who submit non-passing grades are required to report ‘last day of attendance” on the final grade roster.

Students with more unexcused absences than the credit hours given for a cours (for example, three absences in a three-hour course) can expect the instructor to lower their final grade, especially in a 100-(first year) or 200-(sophomore) level course.  Missing approximately 10 percent or more of class meeting times (for example, four to five MWF classes, three TR classes, or one laboratory or a class that meets once per week) means losing a significant amount of class work and experience that are very difficult, or 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 Sponsored 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 such as the following:

  • 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)
  • Student engagement sponsored by the institution and approved by the Provost (for example, research presentations and performances at national conferences or events).

Instructors are expected to honor valid university-sponsored absences if students notify them of the approved absence at least one week before the date of absence, or as far in advance as is feasible. A student who misses class work because of a university-sponsored absence is responsible for contacting the instructor within one class meeting after returning to make instructor-approved arrangements for a make-up.  University 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 students have sufficient time to drop the course.

Students who anticipate missing many classes (that is, 10 percent or more of class time) are required to discuss this issue with the instructor during the first week of classes to determine the possible mitigation or consequences.  Courses in professional programs with accreditation or licensure requirements should not be taken during a semester when a student anticipates frequent absences.

Trip or activity sponsors must obtain written permission to travel from the appropriate entity as soon as possible and must give each student a copy of the approved request. Students must provide the request to instructors of their other courses as soon as possible, but ideally at least one week before the day of the absence(s).  The request should contain the name of the sponsor and group, the purpose, date(s), time and location of the event, and the names of participating students.

Forms for University Sponsored Absence and Class Absence due to Required Religious Observance are available on the Registrar’s webpage at http://registrar.wcu.edu (select Forms & Resources).  

III. Absences Related to Individual Courses

Individual class requirements such as field trips, field research, or service learning activities are not considered institutional events, but may be integral components of the curriculum.  Faculty who sponsor outside activities may request other faculty to excuse students from their classes so they may attend the outside event.  Faculty of the other courses are encouraged to support the requests when it is reasonable to do so; however, individual faculty of the other courses will determine whether to excuse the absence.  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.

IV. 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 before 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 (fifth class day of semester). For courses in sessions other than the full semester (for example, eight-week, and summer session courses), instructors may request a drop for non-attendance before the fifth class day of the session.

Although instructors may drop students for non-attendance, students should not assume that this will occur.  Students, not faculty, are responsible for dropping courses, 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 by the appropriate dean or designee.  Re-registration will not be permitted for any reason after census day (10th day of semester).

IV. Religious-Holiday Observance Policy

According to North Carolina General Statute 116-11 (3a), a student may request absences for required religious observances.  WCU allows two absences each academic year for religious observances required by faith.  To obtain permission to be absent for religious reasons, students must complete the Absence Due to Required Religious Observance form (available at: http://registrar.wcu.edu (select Forms & Resources)), obtain all necessary signatures, submit it to each instructor for review and approval, and submit it to the Assistant Vice Chancellor for Student Success for final approval at least two weeks prior to the proposed absence.  Students are encouraged to discuss these absences with the faculty member before the end of the drop/add period in case the absence will unavoidably keep the student from completing the course’s requirements.  However, students who complete the form and submit it to the instructor two-weeks before the date of the religious observance, shall be given the opportunity to make up any tests or other work missed during the period of the religious observance.

VI. Military Excused Absences

Instructors are encouraged to accommodate students who are required to participate in weekly or monthly meetings, weekend drills, annual trainings, military schooling, or other training or official military events as members of the National Guard or Reserves.

Students are responsible for informing their course instructors that they are members of the National Guard or Reserves and for avoiding registering for courses in which frequent military-excused absences will significantly and substantially impact their academic learning.

Students who seek to be excused from class for Guard or Reserve duty, are encouraged to provide a copy of orders or a letter from the unit command to the course instructor and to ask the instructor about making up missed course work. The course instructor is encouraged to permit the student a reasonable amount of time to make up missed assignments. Whether students are allowed to make up missed assignments or tests depends upon faculty discretion.

If called to active military service during an academic term, students may request Military Deployment Withdrawal initiated through Military Student Services.

Final Examination Schedules

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. 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, the dean of the college, the Assistant or Associate Provost, 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, requests to have reschedule examinations must be made in writing at least five days before the examination is scheduled.

To reschedule, the following steps should be taken:

  1. Student should request in writing a change in date from the instructor(s) of the courses that present the conflict.
  2. If the conflict is not resolved, students should work with their academic advisor to have one of the exams rescheduled.
  3. If the conflict still cannot be resolved, students should work with the Office of the Provost to have one of the exams rescheduled.

Graduation and Certification

Application for Graduation. Students must apply to graduate to have a degree conferred. The application for graduation can be found online in the student portal (MyWCU). Students should apply to graduate during the semester before 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 the semester of graduation 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 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 and Reporting Process

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

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 (Code) 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 if any part has a reasonable need for additional time to gather information, timelines may be extended at the discretion of the appropriate academic Dean.                           

  1. General:

    Instructors have the right to determine appropriate academic sanctions for violations of the Academic Integrity Policy within their courses, up to an including a final grade of “F” in the course in which the violation occurs.
  2. Definitions:
    1. Cheating - Using, or attempting to use, unauthorized materials, information, or study aids in any academic exercise                           
    2. Fabrication - Creating and/or falsifying information or citation in any academic exercise                             
    3. Plagiarism - Representing the words or ideas of someone else as one’s own in any academic exercise                            
    4. Facilitation - Helping or attempting to help someone to commit a violation of the Academic Integrity Policy in any academic exercise (for example, allowing another person to copy information during an examination)                        
  3. Undergraduate and Graduate Academic Integrity Process: 
    1. Within five (5) business days of the instructor’s knowledge of the alleged violation of the Academic Integrity Policy, instructors will inform their department head (or associate Dean of the graduate school when applicable) in writing of the allegation and sanction(s).           

    2. Within ten (10) business days of the instructor’s knowledge of the alleged violation of the Academic Integrity Policy, the instructor will inform the student of the allegation, including the proposed sanction(s), in writing.  In the written notification,instructors will inform students of their right to request a meeting with the instructor.  During the meeting, the instructor shall complete the Academic Integrity Violation Faculty Resolution Form. Students who do not submit a written request for a  meeting with the instructor within five (5) business days of receipt of the written allegation(s), shall be deemed to have mutually resolved the matter and shall be bound to the sanction(s) outlined by the instructor in the written allegation.  If the student does not request a meeting, the alleged violation of the Academic Integrity Policy shall not be subject to further review and/or appeal.                              

    3. Within five (5) business days of meeting with the instructor, the student shall either appeal the decision in writing to the department head or mutually resolve the matter by accepting the allegation and proposed sanction(s).  No action by the student within five (5) business days of the meeting with the instructor shall constitute a mutual resolution and waiver of the student’s rights to appeal pursuant to the Academic Integrity Policy.  If the student does not respond within five (5) business days of meeting with the instructor, the alleged violation of the Academic Integrity Policy shall not be subject to further review and/or appeal.

    4. Within five (5) business days of receiving a student’s written appeal, the department head must schedule a meeting with the student.  The instructor may be present during the meeting.  During the meeting, the department head shall complete the Academic Integrity Violation Department Head Resolution Form.  Only information submitted during the meeting with the student, or in the meeting between the instructor and the student, may be considered by the department head.  The evidentiary standard for making a decision shall be preponderance of the evidence.  The department head may agree or disagree with the allegation(s) of the instructor.  The department head may also approve, overturn, or modify the sanction(s) proposed by the instructor.  If the student does not attend the scheduled meeting with the department head, the matter will be heard in absentia and shall not be subject to further review and/or appeal.       

    5. Within five (5) business days of meeting with the department head, the student shall either submit a written appeal regarding the decision or mutually resolve the matter by accepting the allegation and proposed sanction(s).  The student must submit a written appeal to the academic Dean listed on the Academic Integrity Violation Department Head Resolution Form.  No action by the student within five (5) business days of the meeting with the department head shall constitute a mutual resolution and waiver of the student’s rights to appeal pursuant to the Academic Integrity Policy.  If the student does not respond within five (5) business days of meeting with the department head, the alleged violation of the Academic Integrity Policy shall not be subject to further review and/or appeal.          

    6. Within seven (7) business days of receiving a student’s written appeal, the appropriate academic Dean must schedule an Academic Integrity Board hearing with the student.  The Academic Integrity Board shall consist of a minimum of two (2) currently enrolled students and/or faculty members (with a minimum of one faculty member).  A faculty member will serve as chair of the board.  The instructor may be present during the hearing.  Only information submitted during the hearing, or in the meetings between the instructor/department head and the student, may be considered by the hearing board.  The evidentiary standard for making a decision shall be preponderance of the evidence.  The hearing board may agree or disagree with the allegation(s) of the instructor.  The hearing board may also approve, overturn, or modify the sanction(s) proposed by the instructor and/or department head.  If the student does not attend the scheduled hearing, the matter will be heard in absentia and shall not be subject to further review and/or appeal.  Within ten (10) business days of the hearing, the appropriate academic Dean shall review pertinent records and send the student written notification of the decision of the Academic Integrity Board.                              

    7. Within five (5) business days of receiving written notification of the decision of the Academic Integrity Board the student may accept the findings and sanctions of the board or submit an appeal to the designated academic Dean.  No action by the student within five (5) business days of the meeting with the department head shall constitute a mutual resolution and waiver of the student’s rights to appeal pursuant to the Academic Integrity Policy.  If the student does not respond within five (5) business days of meeting with the Academic Integrity Board, the alleged violation of the Academic Integrity Policy shall not be subject to further review and/or appeal.             

    8. Students who elect to file an appeal of the decision of the Academic Integrity Board, must submit a written appeal within five (5) business days of receiving written notification of the decision of the Academic Integrity Board to the designated academic Dean.  An appeal to an academic Dean must be limited to the following grounds; 1) a violation or due process or 2) a material deviation from Substantive and Procedural Standards by the UNC Board of Governors (as set forth in the UNC Manual 700.4.1).                              

    9. If an appeal is heard by an academic Dean, that Dean shall review pertinent records within ten (10) business days of receiving a valid appeal.  The academic Dean may agree or disagree with the allegation(s) of the instructor.  The academic Dean may also approve, overturn, or modify the sanction(s) proposed by the instructor, department head, and/or Academic Integrity Board.  Within five (5) days of making a decision, the academic Dean shall provide the student with a written decision.  The decision of the academic Dean shall be final.                              

    10. The student must remain enrolled in the course related to the case, and may not be permitted to withdraw from the course related to the case, until all hearing timelines, notifications, and/or appeals have been completed.                              

    11. Upon resolution of each level of the case (no matter the outcome), the instructor, department head, and academic Dean must provide the Associate Vice Chancellor/Dean of Students with all materials and documents related to the case (i.e. course syllabus, materials in violation of the Academic Integrity Policy, Instructor Resolution Form, Department Head Resolution Form, Academic Integrity Board decision letter, academic Dean decision letter, etc…).  The Division of Student Affairs shall serve as the repository for all records associated with allegations and violations associated with the Academic Integrity Policy.  

  4. Academic Integrity Board:

    The Academic Integrity Board shall consist of a minimum of two (2) currently enrolled students and/or faculty members (with a minimum of one faculty member).  A faculty member will serve as chair of the board.  Students and faculty members serving on boards for each college will be selected by each college Dean.  The Department of Student Community Ethics and Academic Affairs will train all board members before their service on a hearing board.  Each academic Dean will convene hearing boards as necessary, and will determine a faculty member to serve as chair prior to a hearing.
  5. Sanctions:

    The instructor, department head, Academic Integrity Board, and/or academic Dean may impose academic sanctions permitted by the institution (not to exceed receiving a grade of “F” for the course).  The instructor, department head, Academic Integrity Board, and/or academic Dean may not permanently remove the student from the course or suspend/expel the student from a program or the University.  Student behavior of the magnitude to warrant consideration for permanently removal from the course or suspension/expulsion from a program or the University must be referred to the Associate Vice Chancellor/Dean of Students.           
  6. Habitual Violations of the Academic Integrity Policy:

    Upon receipt of materials associated with violations of the Academic Integrity Policy, the Associate Vice Chancellor/Dean of Students will determine if a student has previous violations of University policies.  Students with a prior record of violations, or who commits a gross and/or egregious violation of the Academic Integrity Policy, will be referred to the Department of Student Community Ethics for consideration of being subject to hearing proceedings for a serious academic violation as defined by the Code of Student Conduct.  Students in this category are subject to course-related sanctions imposed by the instructor, department head, Academic Integrity Board, and/or academic Dean and university-level sanctions imposed by the Department of Student Community Ethics for multiple violations of University policies.
  7. Forms:

    Forms related to the Academic Integrity Policy are not maintained in the printed catalog, but can be accessed at this address on the web: https://www.wcu.edu/experience/dean-of-students/academic-integrity.aspx

Revised - July 1, 2018

Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act

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 arrange 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 director’s is in agreement with the students’ requests, the appropriate records will be amended. If not, the students will be notified within a reasonable 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 other school officials in performing their 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.

Directory Information

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, before deciding to withhold personally-identifiable data, that undesirable consequences sometimes result from withholding personal data, such as names of students on the Deans’ List not being published, names not being listed in commencement bulletins, and requests from prospective employers being 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

In 2009, the UNC Board of Governors approved the implementation of a hard waiver student health insurance plans on all sixteen four-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 Honors

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 12 hours, excluding remedial courses, with no grade of D+, D, D-, F, or I.

The Chancellor’s List

To be on the Chancellor’s’ List each semester, a student must have a GPA of 3.80 or higher on a regular semester’s work of not less than 12 hours, excluding remedial courses, with no grade of D+, D, D-, F, or I.

Honors at Graduation

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 to graduate with honors. Students who complete an undergraduate degree at Western Carolina University and return to complete an additional degree after at least two years of non-enrollment may petition the Registrar’s Office during their final semester to determine their honors graduation eligibility based solely on the work completed to earn the additional degree.

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, which excludes courses taken with permission as transients at other institutions, 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. If they maintain the appropriate GPA, students 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 Standing

Student Academic Standing consists of the following categories: Good Academic Standing, Academic Warning, Academic Suspension, or Academic Dismissal. Academic Standing considers both qualitative (GPA) and quantitative (percent completion) measures.

Good Academic Standing

Good Academic Standing and Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP). All students are expected to earn and maintain a grade-point average (GPA) of at least 2.0 each semester and to successfully complete (earn) at least 67% of their attempted hours. Successful completion of a course means that a student must have credit pending (i.e. incomplete) or must earn credit for the course with a grade other than F, U, NC or W. Students in Good Standing will receive a notification if their semester completion rate falls below 67%.

Academic Warning

Academic Warning for Continuing Students. Continuing students are placed on academic warning if their cumulative Western Carolina University grade point average (GPA) falls below 2.0 or if they fail to complete 67% of their attempted hours in their two most recently completed terms of enrollment or if they fail to complete 67% of their overall WCU attempted hours. Cumulative GPA and, semester and overall completion rate are checked at the end of each semester and students who fail to complete 67% of their attempted hours in their two most recently completed terms of enrollment or fail to complete 67% of their overall WCU attempted hours regardless of cumulative GPA will be placed on academic warning.

At the end of the term of academic warning, students must achieve all the following to regain good academic standing:

  • Earn a 67% completion rate on the hours attempted for the semester
  • Earn an overall 67% completion rate on all WCU hours attempted
  • Raise the cumulative GPA to good standing (2.0)

Or achieve all of the following:

  • Earn a 67% completion rate on the hours attempted for the semester
  • Earn an overall 67% completion rate on all WCU hours attempted
  • Earn a minimum 2.30 term GPA during the warning term.

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

Academic Warning for First-Semester Freshmen and New Transfers. See “Academic Suspension” below.

Academic Suspension

Academic Suspension for Continuing Students.  Students who are on Academic Warning and who fail to meet the criteria necessary for continued enrollment will be suspended. All students have the right to appeal prior to the published appeals deadline. (See appeals below.) Students granted an appeal will be required to participate in an Academic Action Plan. Students who are suspended are not eligible to enroll at the university during the next regular (fall or spring) semester but may apply for readmission after they have served one semester of suspension.

When students return from suspension, they are placed on academic warning and must have an Academic Action Plan. Failure to meet the terms of the Academic Action Plan will result in Dismissal from the University (see “Academic Dismissal” below).

Academic Suspension and Learning Contract Option for First-Semester Freshmen and New Transfers. 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 will be suspended unless they choose to participate in a Learning Contract. Students will receive information about the Learning Contract option with their notice of suspension and must respond by the contract’s deadline to continue for a second semester. This option is not available to first-semester freshmen and new transfer students who earn a cumulative GPA below a 1.0. 

Learning Contract Program. Students who are given a Learning Contract option and who choose not to participate in the Learning Contract program are barred for one term from continuing enrollment in the University. If readmitted after a lapse in enrollment, students are reminded that they will return to Western Carolina University under the general guidelines for academic warning.

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 plans to reach those goals, including linking students 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 (the grade-replacement policy does not apply to the First-Year Seminar). Additionally, these students must successfully complete all the conditions of their Learning Contract Failure to meet these criteria will result in academic suspension.

Temporary Summer Status. Students who were suspended at the end spring term may be granted temporary status and allowed to continue their enrollment during the summer.  Temporary Summer Status is not Good Standing, and students who choose this option to continue their enrollment during the summer are not eligible for any federal, state, or institutional financial assistance. If at the end of summer a student fails to regain Good Standing, then the Suspension remains in effect and enrollment will cease except as might be allowed through the appeals process. 

Academic Dismissal

Students who have served a semester of suspension and who, upon return, fail to meet the terms of their Academic Action Plan, or who fail to meet the 2.00 cumulative GPA and 67% successful completion rate, will be dismissed from the university. Students who are dismissed must sit out for two years before they will be eligible to reapply for future enrollment at Western Carolina University.

Appeal Process for Academic Suspension and Academic Dismissal

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 here as “Board”). The Board’s decision is final and is based upon the student’s letter of appeal, which should include the following:

  • The reason for the student’s poor academic performance
  • Documentation of extenuating circumstances
  • A plan for rectifying the academic performance and raising the GPA to acceptable standards

Requests for reinstatement must be submitted to the Advising Center by the deadline stated in the academic suspension notification letter, which also includes instructions for completing the request for reinstatement. Students whose appeal for reinstatement is approved will be designated as “Suspended/Reinstated” on their academic record and allowed to continue their enrollment under an Academic Action Plan.

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

Students (undergraduate or graduate) has the right to appeal a final assigned grade or dismissal from a program level. A students who can show the grade or program dismissal was assigned arbitrarily or impermissinly may appeal a final grade or program dismissal. Students who wish to appeal a grade on a particular assignment or exam can do so if it affects their final assigned grade or if it results in 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 any of the following:

  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 professional academic judgment in the evaluation of the academic performance of the student

  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

  3. The final grade or program dismissal was the result of a clear and material mistake in calculating or recording grades or other evaluation.

Individual elements (for example, 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 the following conditions are met:

  1.  The student presents compelling evidence that one or more individual elements were graded on arbitrary or impermissible grounds

  2. Grounds can be established for determining a professionally sound grade for the appealed element(s)

  3. 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 (with the approval of the program in which the classes are taken) to continue taking courses until the appeal is resolved, 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: (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 (ACAD). The ACAD 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 on of the following:

  1. Alleged violations of procedures
  2. Discrimination based on a protected class
  3. The student’s exercise of rights guaranteed by the United States Constitution. 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 befor 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 all of the following:

  1. A statement of the reason(s) why the student believes the grade was impermissibly or arbitrarily assigned (see policy “Academic Action Appeal Policy”)
  2. 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 10 working days after receiving the student’s written appeal).  This response should detail whether 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 all of the following:

  1. A statement of the reason(s) the student believes the grade was impermissibly or arbitrarily assigned;
  2. The steps taken to resolve the disagreement over the assigned course grade; and
  3. The resolution sought.
  4. 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 10 working days of receiving this appeal, the department head will attempt to resolve the appeal. If the department head denies the appeal, 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, students should forward (to the associate dean of the academic college) their 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 required materials (above) 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 10 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 that 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 10 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 consider 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 10 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 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 implementing a process to re-evaluate the student’s work.

(Step 5) Review by the Dean:

Within 10 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. The academic Dean 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.

(Step 6) 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 against a protected class occurred, and/or a student’s exercise of rights guaranteed by the First Amendment was violated. Students who feel one of these conditions applies, can must file a written appeal to the Provost explaining the situation that warrants this level of appeal. The Provost shall provide a written decision to the student within 10 calendar days of receipt of the appeal. No appeal is available beyond the Provost.

Substitution Provisions: If 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. If 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 low 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 before 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 all of the following:

  1. A statement of the reason(s) why the student believes the dismissal was impermissibly or arbitrarily assigned (see policy Academic Action Appeal Policy)
  2. 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 10 working days after receiving the student’s written appeal).  This response should detail whether 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 all of the following:

  1. A statement of the reason(s) the student believes the dismissal was impermissibly or arbitrarily assigned
  2. The steps taken to resolve the disagreement over the dismissal
  3. The resolution sought. 
  4. 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 10 working days of receiving this appeal, the department head will attempt to resolve the appeal. If the department head denies the appeal, 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):

Students who appeal to the academic college should forward (to the associate dean of the academic college) their 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 10 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 that 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 10 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 10 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 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 10 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. The academic Dean will then communicate the final action in writing to the student, faculty member, department head, and the dean of the Graduate School.

(Step 6) 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 occurred, and/or a student’s exercise of rights guaranteed by the First Amendment was violated. Students who feel one of these conditions applies must file a written appeal to the Provost explaining the situation that warrants this level of appeal. The Provost shall provide a written decision to the student within 10 calendar days of receipt of the appeal.  No right of appeal is available beyond the Provost.

Substitution Provisions: If 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. If 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

Students may repeat a maximum of 16 credit hours. 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. Students should check with their advisor about additional regulations.

The 16-credit-hour limit of the repeat/grade replacement policy may be appealed by the student in writing to the student’s advisor, department head or program director, and Dean.

Note:

  • Any courses elected for repeat must be taken and repeated at WCU. Grades earned elsewhere cannot be used to replace grades earned at WCU.
  • Students may not repeat courses for which they have already earned credit without permission from their advisor. A permit is required to enable registration. If a faculty advisor approves the repeat permit, the faculty advisor can call or email the department head to have the permit processed so the student can enroll.
  • All repeats, except for re-enrollment for additional credit courses, result in a mandatory grade replacement. (Regardless of the grade earned, the grade earned in the last course taken will replace the grade of the previous course.)
  • After degree conferral, grades may not be replaced or forgiven.

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 50 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

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 12 or more hours of work for each of two successive semesters, one of which may be summer school. At least 18 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
  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.

Once electing to have the two-year rule applied or not applied, students may not reverse the option. Applications for the two-year rule may be obtained from the Advising Center and submitted to that office before the initial term of re-enrollment.

Transfer Credit and Placement Policy

Evaluation of transfer, College-Level Exam Program CLEP, and advanced placement (AP) 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 that 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 for a course passed with a C- or less at another institution will be allowed toward graduation or toward fulfillment of major requirements. 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 students who enroll at a NCCC institution fall 1997 or later, and what completes their 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 when students complete 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 those students’ baccalaureate degree at a UNC institution provided that they remain within their major.

Credit may be transferred from a technical program of a two-year institution if the institution is regionally accredited and applied toward an appropriate bachelor’s degree. A minimum of 25 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 12 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 30 hours of credit may be allowed toward graduation for freshman and sophomore courses completed at other institutions that 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 and who have not attempted work in the field within the past five years should consider auditing the prerequisite courses.

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 from the departments. To secure transient permission, students must be in good standing and eligible to re-enroll at Western Carolina University. Course work taken at an institution that 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 based on 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 to be eligible to return to Western Carolina University.

Transfer Students with Two or More Years Away from their Previous Academic Institution

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 30 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 (AP) credit or high school credit for English 101 and/or English 202 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 202 or 202-H.

Advanced Placement (AP). Students may become eligible to enter intermediate or advanced courses in a field, bypassing one or more lower-level courses, if they qualify based on of their performance on advanced placement tests. Students who earn a grade of three or above on College Bard advanced placement courses are eligible to receive credit based upon the evaluartion 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.

Placement in World 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.

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.

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

Credit by Examination

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 before 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 (CLEP). 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 CLEP 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

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 Academic Policy and Review Council. 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 not covered by experiential learning and to 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.

The Army, Coast Guard, Marine Corps and Navy issue a joint services transcript (JST). Information on the JST can be found at https://jst.doded.mil/smart/welcome.do.

The Community College of the Air Force (Air University) is a regionally accredited institution. Information about Community College of the Air Force transcripts can be found at http://www.au.af.mil/au/barnes/ccaf/index.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. 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.