General Academic Info & Policies
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Our Academic Policies
Explanation of Terms Used Below
Credit Hours - refers to the number of hours accredited for each course toward the degree. A course that spans one term is worth 3 credit hours. Most courses at SSU are for 3 credit hours, though some courses may have two parts (e.g. language courses) so that the student will have 6 credit hours in that subject when they have completed the two semesters.
Core courses - refers to the three foundation courses that are required in any of our disciplines in which the student wants to Major or Minor.
Elective courses - are non-core courses that a student elects to take during their time of study. Required electives refers to courses that one must take in order to fulfill the requirements for a Major or a Minor. For example, at least one seminar course is a required elective for each Major.
Honours - a more demanding program of study for students who are normally considering graduate studies. Currently, SSU only offers an Honours for Interdisciplinary Studies.
Lower level courses - designate courses at the 100 or 200 level. These courses are introductory and/or prepare for more advanced upper level courses and are normally taken during the first two years of study.
Upper level courses - designate courses at the 300 or 400 level. These courses are more advanced than lower level courses and are normally taken during the last two years of study.
Major - refers to the subject area in which the student intends to focus his or her studies. A Major requires that the student take the three core courses in that subject area, plus 2 lower level courses, as well as a minimum of 21 credit hours (seven courses) of upper level courses in that subject. Students must have a grade of at least a “C” in order to count a course toward their major. If the mark is lower the course can still count toward their total credit hours, but not their major.
Minor - refers to a secondary subject area in which a student may take a higher number of courses. A minor requires that the student take the three core courses in that subject area, plus an additional 15 credit hours, of which 12 credit hours must be at the upper level. Students must have a grade of at least a “C” in order to count a course toward their minor. If the mark is lower the course can still count toward their total credit hours, but not their minor.
ACADEMIC GOOD STANDING
To remain in good standing, students must maintain a cumulative grade point average of 2.0. Transcripts in this case will include the note that the student is “in good standing” and has completed such and such a semester or year of the program.
Course changes are permitted only up to the end of the second full week of classes. Courses dropped within the first two weeks of classes will not appear on transcripts. Courses dropped after that time will appear on transcripts with the letter “W” (for Withdrawn) indicated in place of a grade. Course withdrawals without academic penalty, that is, which will not show a grade or count towards the grade point average for the semester, are permitted during the first seven weeks of classes. After that point courses may not be dropped without academic penalty, but will receive a failing grade (F) and will count in the grade point average.
COURSE EXTENSIONS AND INCOMPLETES
All written work for a given semester is normally due no later than the last day of final examinations for that term. Students who wish to seek extensions on course work must make arrangements with their instructor(s). By the semester end date, a final grade will be submitted for the student whether or not his/her coursework is complete. Incompletes (I) may only be given in special circumstances by the instructor in consultation with the Dean and Registrar to a maximum of four weeks after the semester end date. Any incompletes remaining after this time will automatically change to a final grade (typically an “F”). Students with extenuating circumstances may appeal to the Dean of Arts in writing for extensions beyond four weeks and individual cases will be reviewed by a faculty committee.
Any full time student who fails to earn a grade point average of 2.0 in any given semester will be placed on academic probation for the following semester. Should a student’s GPA remain below 2.0 over two consecutive semesters, he or she may be subject to academic dismissal. A student has the right to appeal the dismissal, which should be given in writing to the Registrar’s office. An appeal should include the reasons for the appeal and any supporting documents (medical or otherwise) that may help in the assessment of academic difficulties. The appeal will be reviewed by the Academic Committee.
REMOVAL FROM ACADEMIC PROBATION
A student will be removed from academic probation upon achieving a term GPA of at least 2.0.
Students who are required to withdraw from the university for academic reasons, or who voluntarily withdraw while failing, are required to wait for at least one term before applying for readmission. Application should then be made to the Registrar’s office, and will be forwarded to the Academic Committee after review by the Dean of their program and the Registrar.
Readmission after required withdrawal for non-academic reasons shall be decided by the Dean and Registrar in consultation with the Director of Student Life and others as appropriate.
Students who withdraw voluntarily may reapply for admission at any time by letter to the university office. Their applications will be considered in the normal manner.
CLASSIFICATION FOR STUDENTS: FULL OR PART TIME
Full-time students are degree or diploma students taking 9 or more credit hours per term.
NOTE: The normal course load for full-time students is currently 15 credit hours or five courses per term. Students may not register for more than 6 courses or 18 credit hours per term.
Part-time students are degree candidates taking fewer than 9 credit hours per term.
A special student is one who chooses such a status and is not a candidate for an SSU degree.
St. Stephen’s University expects all its members to conduct their work responsibly and with integrity. Honesty in academic matters is a major aspect of living by the academic principles and the spiritual principles on which our life is based. Accordingly, the University expects the following principles of behavior to be observed at all times:
- Work done in tests, examinations, reports and in any other assignments designed to evaluate the student’s progress or achievements must be the work of the student whose name appears on it
- That a work be submitted for credit in one course only
- That a work, words and opinions presented as one’s own be genuine and not “borrowed” without acknowledgement from someone else
- That any information obtained from a source be documented unless it is common knowledge.
Violation of this is plagiarism – defined as presenting another person’s words, work or opinions as one’s own. A person who commits plagiarism does so by submitting any of the following as his or her own work:
- Part or all of a written or spoken assignment copied from another person’s manuscript or notes
- Part or all of an assignment copied or paraphrased from a source such as a book, magazine, pamphlet, or web site
- Someone else’s line of thought, argument, arrangement, or supporting evidence without indicating such dependence
- A paper, project, report, or other assignment that is written by someone else – in short, submitting someone else’s work, in whatever form, without acknowledgment
NOTE: None of the above means that students may not help one another with homework or essays, or that instructors may not assign work to be done by groups. However, the final writing of essays, and the bulk of the work involved, must be that of the student who submits it.
ALLEGATIONS OF ACADEMIC DISHONESTY
An instructor who believes that a student has committed an act of academic dishonesty should first discuss the matter with the student individually. In any case where a student feels unjustly charged with plagiarism or some other form of dishonesty by and instructor or the invigilator at an examination, the student may appeal in writing to the Registrar or Dean, who may bring the matter to the faculty.
For the first offence of academic dishonesty the student may be required to submit a satisfactory and genuine replacement of the piece of work or be given a failing grade for the assignment at the discretion of the instructor.The infraction will be noted in the student’s file.
In the case of any subsequent charge of dishonesty, the instructor must give the assignment an “F,” submit the student’s name and provide evidence of the offence to the Academic Committee, and may recommend that an “F” be assigned for the entire course. The Academic Committee will review the circumstances surrounding the offence and may interview the student if further clarification is needed. The Academic Committee will make a decision regarding the penalty to be imposed, and will notify both the student and the instructor in writing. The minimum penalty is a grade of “F” on the assignment, and the maximum penalty is expulsion from the university.
- It is the student’s responsibility to ensure that all degree and course requirements for graduation have been successfully completed.
- Graduating students are required to earn a minimum of 120 credit hours.
- All financial obligations to St. Stephen’s University must be paid in full.
- Students are required to complete the last two years of their undergraduate program at St. Stephen’s University in order to graduate.