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Point Loma Nazarene University    
 
    
 
  Oct 21, 2017
 
2017-2018 Undergraduate Academic Catalog

Academic and General Policies



Applicable Catalog

The student is ultimately responsible for the fulfillment of all requirements for graduation in the Catalog in effect at initial enrollment. Those who opt for a subsequent Catalog, however, must notify the Office of Records and meet all requirements in that Catalog. Students who have not been registered for two or more consecutive semesters come under the Catalog in effect at the time of re-entry. Only one Catalog can be selected, and all requirements from that Catalog must be met.

Course Load

Traditional Student Population:

The normal academic course load is 15-17 units per semester, including any concurrent units at another institution. Summer academic course load is 6 units per session and 12 units per summer, including concurrent units. Students in their first semester at PLNU are limited to 17 units per semester. Students on academic probation and academic probation alert status are limited to 13 units per semester (a total of 9 in the summer). If a student in good academic standing finds it necessary to carry a load greater than the normal load, the maximum number allowed is determined by the student’s grade-point average. Students may, in consultation with the Vice Provost for Academic Administration, assume a course overload according to the following table:




 
Minimum GPA   Maximum Load  
2.500   18 units  
2.750   19 units  
3.000   20 units  
       

LEAP Student Population:

The LEAP course load is a maximum of 14 units in the fall semester, 14-17 units in the spring semester, based on fall GPA.

  • LEAP students who earn a fall GPA between 1.800 and 2.799 will carry a maximum spring load of 14 units. 
  • LEAP students who earn a fall GPA of 2.800 or greater will carry a maximum spring load of 17 units. 

 

One semester unit represents an hour (minimum 50 minutes) of class per week for at least 15 weeks (Carnegie definition). Three hours of laboratory are equivalent to one hour of class (minimum 50 minutes). Two hours of preparation are normal for each hour of class. Transfer work on the quarter system converts as three units equal to two semester units.  Academic unit leadership will monitor the unit of credit policy through the course syllabus, schedule and faculty governance policies and processes. This information is below under Credit Hour Policy.

Transcripts

A complete and official transcript is available from the Office of Records. Official transcripts cost $5.00 each and can be ordered through the student/alumni portal or by going to the National Student Clearinghouse website (https://mystudentcenter.org/).  Requests not submitted through online ordering require an Official Transcript form  from the Records Office website and a student’s handwritten signature. Transcripts  marked for pick up will not be released to anyone other than the student except by a signed, written authorization submitted to the Records Office; photo i.d. is required for pick up.  Unofficial transcripts are free and available through the student portal as well as at the Office of Records. Expedited processing and mailing options may be available for an additional fee.

Academic Calendar

The academic year at PLNU is divided into fall and spring semesters of 15 weeks, followed by two summer sessions. A complete listing of important dates is found in the Catalog as well as on the website. In addition, the university posts on its website class schedules that contain information about course offerings, fees, and other details pertinent to these terms of study.

Course Schedules

All schedules are posted on the website. Current students, staff, and faculty should refer to the course schedule in the portal for the most up-to-date information.The schedule of course offerings, complete with final examination times, are available each spring for the following year’s classes. Also, early in the spring semester a schedule of summer session classes is posted. The university reserves the right to cancel any class with fewer than ten students and make necessary changes in its schedule and programs.

Credit Hour Policy

According to the United States Department of Education with regard to the credit hour definition, one semester unit represents an hour (minimum fifty minutes) of class time per week for at least 15 weeks (Carnegie definition). 

  • Face-to-face instructional hours are equivalent to the following:
    • 1 credit hour = 750 minutes instructional time
    • 2 credit hours = 1500 minutes
    • 3 credit hours = 2250 minutes
    • 4 credit hours = 3000 minutes
  • Two hours of preparation are normal for each hour of class.  Three hours of laboratory are equivalent to one hour of class (minimum 50 minutes).  Transfer work on the quarter system converts as three units equal to two semester units. 
  • Web-Facilitated courses use web based technology to facilitate what is essentially a face to face course. These offerings can be up to 25% online/web based work.
  • Hybrid or Blended courses use online and face to face delivery.  A substantial proportion of the content (between 26% and 79%) is delivered online, and it typically uses online discussion and has a reduced number of face to face meetings.
  • Online courses have the majority of content online and typically do not have face to face meetings. 

Academic unit leadership will monitor the unit of credit policy through the course syllabus, schedule, and faculty governance policies and procedures.

Academic Honesty

The Point Loma Nazarene University community holds the highest standards of honesty and integrity in all aspects of university life. Any violation of the university’s commitment is a serious affront to the very nature of Point Loma’s mission and purpose.

Violations of academic honesty include cheating, plagiarism, falsification, identity fraud, aiding academic dishonesty, and malicious interference.

Cheating is the use of unauthorized assistance that results in an unfair advantage over other students. It includes but is not limited to: Bringing and/or using unauthorized notes, technology or other study aids during an examination; looking at other students’ work during an exam or in an assignment where collaboration is not allowed; attempting to communicate with other students in order to get help during an exam or in an assignment where collaboration is not allowed; obtaining an examination prior to its administration; allowing another person to do one’s work and submitting it as one’s own; submitting work done in one class for credit in another without the instructor’s permission.

Plagiarism is the use of an idea, phrase or other materials from a source without proper acknowledgment of that source. It includes but is not limited to: The use of an idea, phrase, or other materials from a source without proper acknowledgment of that specific source in a work for which the student claims authorship; the misrepresentation and/or use of sources used in a work for which the student claims authorship; the use of papers purchased online as all or part of an assignment for which the student claims authorship; submitting written work, such as laboratory reports, computer programs, or papers, which have been copied from the work of other students, with or without their knowledge and consent.

Falsification is the alteration of information or forging of signatures on academic forms or documents. It includes but is not limited to: using improper methods of collecting or generating data and presenting them as legitimate; altering graded work and submitting it for re-grading; falsifying information on official academic documents such as drop/add forms, incomplete forms, petitions, recommendations, letters of permission, transcripts or any other university document; misrepresenting oneself or one’s status in the university.

Academic identity fraud is the act of allowing a person to impersonate the registered student, by doing the academic work and by submitting it as if it were the work of the registered person. This encompasses both face to face and online environments. It includes, but is not limited to: having another person complete a course assignment, take an examination, respond to discussion board questions, or complete any kind of academic exercise on behalf of the registered student. In such cases, it may be considered collusion to commit fraud on the part of both parties.

Aiding academic dishonesty is assisting another person in violating the standards of academic honesty. It includes but is not limited to: Allowing other students to look at one’s own work during an exam or in an assignment where collaboration is not allowed; providing information, material, or assistance to another person knowing that it may be used in violation of academic honesty policies; providing false information in connection with any academic honesty inquiry.

Malicious intent is misuse of academic resources or interference with the legitimate academic work of other students. It includes but is not limited to: removing books, journals or pages of these from the library without formal checkout; hiding library materials; refusing to return reserve readings to the library; damaging or destroying the projects, lab or studio work or other academic product of fellow students.

A student remains responsible for the academic honesty of work submitted in PLNU courses and the consequences of academic dishonesty beyond receipt of the final grade in the class and beyond the awarding of the diploma. Ignorance of these catalog policies will not be considered a valid excuse or defense. Students may not withdraw from a course as a response to a consequence.

Response Procedure

The following response procedure is recommended to faculty who discover a violation of academic honesty:

  1. Fact-finding:  The faculty member should attempt to speak or otherwise communicate informally with the student as a first step.
  2. Communication of Consequence:  Once the violation is discovered, the instructor should send a written communication to the student regarding the incident and the consequences.  Instructors can give students an “F” on a specific assignment or an “F” in the course as a consequence of violations of academic honesty. In cases of academic identity fraud, the act or acts could be interpreted as a criminal offense and could mean administrative withdrawal from Point Loma Nazarene University.
  3. Internal Communication:  The instructor should send a report of the incident to the department chair or school dean, the college dean, the Vice President for Student Development and the Vice Provost for Academic Administration.  The report should include a description of the violation, the action taken, and evidence of the violation.  The official record of the incident is maintained by the Office of the Vice President for Student Development.
  4. Further action:  Prior instances of misconduct under this or other student conduct policies should be considered in determining disciplinary action for a present violation.  As the Vice President for Student Development and the appropriate college dean consult, if additional action seems necessary it would be taken after consultation with the reporting instructor and communicated in writing to the student.  Depending upon the seriousness of the incident or pattern of incidents, further actions can include probation, suspension or expulsion.

Appeal Procedure

The following appeal procedure should be used by a student who wishes to appeal consequences associated with a finding of academic dishonesty:

  1. Instructor:  The student should present a written appeal of the penalty to the instructor involved.  The instructor should respond in writing, with a copy of the response also sent to the department chair.
  2. Department Chair or School Dean:  In the event that satisfactory resolution to the appeal is not achieved between the student and the instructor, the student may submit the appeal in writing to the department chair or school dean, who will review the appeal and send a written ruling to the student and instructor.
  3. College Dean:  Student appeals not resolved at the departmental or school level should be taken to the appropriate college dean for review.  The college dean will review the appeal and send a written ruling to the student, instructor and department chair or school dean.
  4. Administrative Committee:  Student appeals not resolved at the college dean level can be submitted to an administrative committee including an academic administrator of the student’s choice, the Provost or a designee, the Vice Provost for Academic Administration, and the Vice-President for Student Development or a designee.  The appeal decision reached by this committee is final.

Revision based on review academic honesty policies at Purdue University, University of Notre Dame, Wheaton College, Azusa Pacific University and The University of Rochester. Definitions based on those at The University of Rochester and used by permission.

Class Attendance

Regular and punctual attendance at all classes in which a student is registered is considered essential to optimum academic achievement. Therefore, regular attendance and participation in each course are minimal requirements to be met. There are no allowed or excused absences except as approved in writing by the Provost for specific students participating in certain university-sanctioned activities.

Excused absences still count toward the 10%-20% limits, but allow students to make up work, quizzes, or tests missed as a result of a university-sanctioned activity.  Activities of a unique nature, such as labs or other activities identified clearly on the syllabus, cannot be made up except in rare instances when instructors have given advanced, written approval for doing so.

Whenever the number of accumulated absences in a class, for any cause, exceeds ten (10) percent of the total number of class meetings, the faculty member should send an e-mail to the student and the Vice Provost for Academic Administration (VPAA) warning of attendance jeopardy.

If more than twenty (20) percent of the total number of class meetings is reported as missed, the faculty member or VPAA may initiate the student’s de-enrollment from the course without further advanced notice to the student.

If the requirements of a university-sanctioned activity extend beyond the normal annual demands, the procedure approved by faculty and outlined in the Student Athletic Handbook will be followed.

If the date of de-enrollment is past the last date to withdraw from a class, the student will be assigned a grade of W or WF consistent with university policy in the Grading section of the catalog. There are no refunds for courses where a de-enrollment was processed.

Absences are counted from the first official meeting of the class regardless of the date of the student’s enrollment. Consequently, a student who registers late must monitor carefully regular attendance during the remainder of the semester. Registered students who neither attend the first class session nor inform the faculty of their desire to remain in the class may, at the request of the instructor, be dropped from the class.

Exceptions to the foregoing attendance regulations due to extenuating circumstances may be granted only by appeal to the Vice Provost for Academic Administration. Students are responsible to consult the syllabus of each course for specific applications of and elaborations on the above attendance policy.

NOTE: Ultimately, students are solely responsible for their registrations and any financial implications. Inaccurate course registrations can lead to a grade of “F” for failure to complete a course and not dropping by the last day to drop, or no credit allowed if the course is not registered for by the last date to add. Please see the academic calendar for appropriate dates.

Academic Behavior Policy

Both faculty and students at Point Loma Nazarene University have the right to expect a safe and ordered environment for learning. Any student behavior that is disruptive or threatening is a serious affront to Point Loma Nazarene University as a learning community. Students who fail to adhere to appropriate academic behavioral standards may be subject to discipline. Although faculty members communicate general student expectations in their syllabi and disruptive student conduct is already addressed in the Undergraduate Student Handbook, the purpose of this policy is to clarify what constitutes disruptive behavior in the academic setting and what actions faculty and relevant administrative offices may take in response to such disruptive student behavior.

“Disruption,” as applied to the academic setting, means classroom, instructor or classmate-related student behavior that a reasonable faculty member would view as interfering with or deviating from normal classroom, class-related, or other faculty-student activity (advising, co-curricular involvement, etc.). Faculty members are encouraged to communicate positive behavior expectations at the first class session and to include them in course syllabi. Examples of disruptive classroom behavior include, but are not limited to:

  • persistent speaking without being recognized or interrupting the instructor or other speakers;
  • overt inattentiveness (sleeping or reading the newspaper in class);
  • inordinate or inappropriate demands for instructor or classroom time or attention;
  • unauthorized use of cell phone or computer;
  • behavior that distracts the class from the subject matter or discussion;
  • unwanted contact with a classmate in person, via social media or other means;
  • inappropriate public displays of affection;
  • refusal to comply with reasonable instructor direction; and/or
  • invasion of personal space, physical threats, harassing behavior or personal insults.

The policy applies if the behavior is reported by a faculty member or academic administrator and occurs exclusively or primarily in a student-faculty member interaction. Incidents which involve both academic and non-academic behavior may result in responses coordinated by the Vice Provost for Academic Administration and the Dean of Students.

Civil and polite expression of disagreement with the course instructor, during times when the instructor permits discussion, is not in itself disruptive behavior and is not prohibited.

Some students possess medical or psychological conditions that may affect functioning within the standards of the university. Although such students may be considered disabled and are protected under the Rehabilitation Act/ADA, they are required to meet the fundamental university academic and behavioral policy as described in the Student Handbook, Undergraduate Catalog and/or faculty syllabi.

Response Procedure

The following response procedure is recommended to faculty who witness or experience disruptive behavior, either in the classroom or in contact with an enrolled student outside the classroom. Depending on its severity, disruptive behavior would result in responses from an escalated use of the strategies below:

  1. Verbal and/or written request to stop behavior and warning of potential consequences.
  2. Exclusion from the current class period/activity.
  3. E-mailed report to dean, Vice Provost for Academic Administration and Vice President for Student Development (in cases of a severe instance, or multiple instances) using Classroom Behavior Report Form (to be developed) which, depending on faculty wish and severity, may result in:
  • Filing of report and no further action.
  • Student meeting with VPAA and Dean of Students to develop and sign classroom behavior and growth plan detailing appropriate behaviors and consequences for failure to comply.
  1. Depending on the frequency and severity of the student behavior, consequences may include permanent exclusion from a specific class up to and including administrative withdrawal from the university.

Note: Faculty should immediately report by phone students in an academic context who express either intent to harm themselves or to harm others to the Office of the VPAA or the Dean of Students, in that order. (Staff are instructed to report non-academic incidents to the Dean of Students.) If events occur in classes after university business hours, faculty should call Department of Public Safety and ask to speak to the highest ranking officer who will notify administrative personnel. Students who report tendency to self-harm will not be subject to disciplinary action for making PLNU officials aware of that tendency.

Developed in consultation with Student Development and the Disability Resource Center (DRC) after review of similar policies at other institutions including University of Arizona and Colorado State University.

Academic Accommodations

While all students are expected to meet the minimum academic standards for completion of their courses as established by the instructors, students with special needs may require academic accommodations. At Point Loma Nazarene University, students requesting academic accommodations must file documentation with the Disability Resource Center (DRC), located in the Bond Academic Center. Once the student files documentation, the Disability Resource Center contacts the student’s instructors and provides written recommendations for reasonable and appropriate accommodations to meet the individual needs of the student. This policy assists the university in its commitment to full compliance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Americans with Disabilities (ADA) Act of 1990, and ADA Amendments Act of 2008, all of which prohibit discrimination against students with special needs and guarantees all qualified students equal access to the benefits of PLNU programs and activities.

Students have the right to appeal decisions regarding academic accommodations. In order to provide prompt and equitable resolution, the student must submit a written or verbal statement to the Director of Academic Advising who will conduct the appeal process in consultation with the Vice President for Student Development.

Examinations and Reports

Examinations may be deferred due only to illness or because of other equally valid conditions over which the student has no control. Faculty report to administration as early as possible any student who, for any reason, is in danger of failing a course. Those students whose work is falling below a “C” average are referred to the Academic Support Center. Faculty are asked to make mid-semester grades available to students.  Grades of “D” and “F” are reported to the Vice Provost for Academic Administration and the Director of Academic Advising for follow-up interventions.

Grading

Letter grades (A, B, C, D, F) including plus and minus grades are used to indicate the level of scholarship earned for each course. Once the degree has been posted on the student’s official transcript, no change of grade action is allowed.

[CR] Credit

The grade utilized for designated courses which are graded only on a Credit/No Credit basis. Courses graded by this designation are counted toward a student’s total number of units but have no grade-point value and no effect on the grade-point average. The “CR” grade is also assigned to units earned through Pass/No Credit courses as well as Advanced Placement (AP). This grade cannot be used for on-line courses completed after matriculation at Point Loma.

[NC] No Credit

The grade recorded for all non-passing work in those courses graded on a Credit/No Credit basis and for those courses taken on a Pass/No Credit basis.  The NC grade has no grade-point value, has no effect on the grade-point average and yields no earned credits.  This grade cannot be used for on-line courses completed after matriculation at Point Loma.

[F] Failure

This grade is given for unsatisfactory performance in a course where an NC is not applicable. If the course taken at this university is repeated here, the F remains on the permanent record, but only the higher grade earned for the course is computed in determining the grade-point average. See “Repeated Courses.”

[H] Audit

Students may register for some courses at the university on an audit basis (indicated on the transcript by the letter H). The following conditions apply:

  • An audit is taken by students for personal enrichment or review.
  • No academic unit credit can be earned for an audited course.
  • There is no expectation of interaction on the part of student or faculty member.
  • Students may not incur excessive absences, as defined in this Catalog.
  • Audits are available on a space-available basis only.
  • An audit grading type cannot apply to a physical education activity course, studio art classes, performance classes, skill courses, beginning and intermediate foreign languages, laboratory sciences, fieldwork, internships, practicum experiences, study abroad, research, or private music lessons.
  • Courses taken by audit may not revert to a credit course or vice versa after the first two weeks of the semester (or one week of a Quad course); and
  • The student must indicate the audit election by the last day to add classes, with the approval of the student’s academic advisor, and may not change the basis of registration for this course thereafter.

[I] Incomplete

A grade of Incomplete is given for work which has been completed partially in a satisfactory manner, but which, for valid reasons such as illness or death in the family, is not finished. The grade of “I” is to be given only on the basis of extraordinary circumstances clearly beyond the student’s control.

The grade of “I” is regarded as a deficiency grade and may be removed by the assignment of additional work to make up the deficiency; or, in cases where the “incomplete” is assigned because of inability to take a final examination, by a special examination. A grade of “I” must be made up, if at all, by the end of the next regular semester. Until made up, a grade of “I” is considered as “F” in determining the student’s grade-point average, and eligibility for financial assistance and intercollegiate competition.

Note: Federal fair use policy requires ending access to Canvas resources after three weeks. Instructors should  keep this in mind when establishing incomplete grade resolution requirements and deadlines.

[IP] In Progress

A provisional grade used in certain courses which may extend longer than a semester (for a complete list of courses approved for the IP grade, students should contact the Office of Records). The grade of IP carries no grade points, and is replaced by the grade earned when the requirements for the course are properly completed. A grade of IP must be changed at the end of the next regular semester (summer is not a regular semester). If the course is not completed, the IP will be changed to an F.

[W] Withdrawn

This grade is recorded when a student doing passing work is given permission by the Vice Provost for Academic Administration to drop a course after the deadline to drop classes. Withdrawal from a course past the deadline is only possible due to personal and/or family emergencies beyond the student’s control.

[WF] Withdrawn under failing conditions

This grade is recorded when a student officially withdraws from a course after the last date to drop and when the work is below passing at the time. A grade of WF is considered the same as an F in calculating the grade-point average.

Grade Points

Letter grades are converted to numerical equivalents for computation according to the following scale:

Superior Failing  

The grade-point average is computed for each student, and a satisfactory grade-point average is necessary for continuance and for graduation.

Major and Minor Requirements

The Major. Point Loma Nazarene University offers four baccalaureate degrees: the Bachelor of Arts (B.A.), the Bachelor of Music (B.Mus.), the Bachelor of Science (B.S.), and the Bachelor of Science in Nursing (B.S.N.). Many of the 50+ major programs also offer in-depth concentrations. If a second major area of study is desired, all requirements for both majors must be met with a minimum of 24 units distinguishing the two areas of study. While working on a single baccalaureate degree, the maximum number of pursuits is two majors and two minors. Students should review the majors and minors list in the catalog.


The Minor. Optional minors are offered in several schools and departments. The requirements governing minors are as follows:

  • Only minors that appear in the student’s catalog of record may be earned at the point of graduation;
  • A minor is at least 16 units and is under the direct auspices of the respective school/department;
  • Students must earn a 2.000 cumulative GPA in the minor for it to be granted;
  • The minor must show a minimum of nine (9) units in residence;
  • Of the 16+ units in the minor, nine (9) must be distinct from and not counted in the major;
  • Of the 16+ units in the minor, 12 must be at the upper-division level;
  • The pass/no credit option is not available for courses within the minor; and
  • A second minor, when feasible, requires a minimum of nine (9) units distinct from and not counted either in the major or in the first minor.

Non-Traditional Delivery Credits

Point Loma Nazarene University recognizes the place of non-traditional delivery systems in education and has developed policies and procedures to guide students in this regard. Online and/or hybrid courses utilizing technology-mediated instruction are also strictly controlled by the university’s regional accrediting body. Consequently, the following guidelines both define the boundaries for distance learning modalities and protect the integrity of Point Loma’s deeply held commitments to the learning environment.

Policies:

  1. The approval of online courses must always be on a case-by-case basis.
  2. As academic units with a non-traditional delivery, online courses must be approved prior to enrollment in those courses and are limited to 12 semester units over the student’s total degree program.
  3. Online credits submitted to PLNU for approval must be offered by a regionally accredited institution of higher learning (the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities, the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools, New England Association of Schools and Colleges).
  4. The course must apply to comparable degree programs at the home institution in which it resides.
  5. Students requesting consideration of an online course in transfer must submit an Academic Policy Petition, together with a hard-copy print-out of the course description and syllabus.
    1. If the course is to satisfy a major/minor requirement, then approval must be obtained from the department chair/school dean in which the course is required.
    2. If the course is to satisfy general education requirements, approval must be obtained from the department chair/school dean in which the content resides.
  6. Following action from the appropriate department chair/school dean, the petition is submitted to the Vice Provost for Academic Administration for final evaluation.
  7. All online courses must be graded by traditional methods (letter grades). Courses graded credit/nocredit will not be accepted.
  8. Proctoring of examinations must be arranged and paid for by the student, as PLNU faculty/staff are not obligated to perform such tasks.
  9. Online course approved by PLNU must be completed within twelve months of approval.

Procedures: 

  1. Students interested in taking an online course should pick up an Academic Policy Petition at the Office of Records.
  2. Students should check with the appropriate department chair/school dean for program specific guidelines for an online course.
  3. Students should take the completed petition along with a course description and syllabus to the appropriate department chair/school dean as stated in the policy.
  4. If approval is given, the completed petition should be taken to the Vice Provost for Academic Administration for final evaluation.
  5. If final approval is given the student may enroll in the course.
  6. The transcripted course grade must be submitted to the PLNU Office of Records within twelve months of approval of the course.

Pass/No-Credit Option

An undergraduate student may elect to take a course on a Pass/No-Credit basis under the following circumstances:

  • Completion of at least 24 semester units;
  • Not more than one such course per semester;
  • A maximum of 12 units toward graduation to be elected for such courses;
  • The course selected must be an elective-not applied toward a requirement, or a required professional course (for credential); and
  • The student must indicate the “Pass/No-Credit” election by the last day to add classes, with the approval of the student’s academic advisor, and may not change the basis of registration for this course thereafter.

This option is not available for courses taken by on-line delivery, after matriculation at Point Loma.

Course Grade Appeal

It is the responsibility of the faculty to evaluate student performance and assign grades. The university has established a course grade appeal policy, however, that may be used when a student believes the syllabus was not followed in the grade calculation or if it is thought that grading was done in a capricious and arbitrary manner. The appeal policy does not include student dissatisfaction with a grade based on the faculty member’s professional judgment. A Course Grade Appeal Form is available from the Vice Provost for Academic Administration and must be filed within one year from the end of the course in which the grade was given.

Freshman Forgiveness

A non-transfer student who does non-passing work (a failing grade) in a class during the first semester of the freshman year may receive a “NC” for one course of up to 5 units and be placed on probation alert.  Transfer students who have earned more than 12 units at another college or university, and LEAP students entering with conditional status, are not eligible for the provision of the NC grade.

Transfer from Non-Accredited Institutions

Normally, units presented in transfer from an institution that is not accredited by one of the major regional agencies (the Western Association of Schools and Colleges; the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities; the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools;  Southern Association of Colleges and Schools; Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools; New England Association of Schools and Colleges) are not accepted, including Bible colleges and proprietary schools. Students may petition a limited number of such courses, not to exceed 12 semester units, by the established petition process to the appropriate academic department and schools, through the Vice Provost for Academic Administration. Petitions are accepted for consideration only after satisfactory completion (2.000 or higher) of at least 12 units at PLNU.

Repeated Courses

Courses passed with a C or above may not be repeated (unless the course is noted as repeatable in the course description). However, students desiring to raise an unsatisfactory grade (any grade lower than C) in a course taken at this university may repeat the course. If this is done, each grade will appear on the transcript but the lower grade (only one) will not be used for grade-point calculations.

If a PLNU course graded with a C- or lower is repeated successfully at another institution (higher than a grade of F), the grade points from both courses are averaged into the cumulative GPA. A notation on the transcript of record states that the repeated units are not applied to graduation totals.

Students receiving veterans benefits may not be eligible for benefits when repeating courses. Further information regarding authorization of benefits for repeated courses may be obtained in the Office of Student Financial Services.

Classification of Students

Regular undergraduate students are those who pursue, or are entitled to pursue, one of the established programs leading to graduation with the bachelor’s degree. Part-time undergraduates are those who, for adequate reasons, are permitted to register for fewer than 12 units per semester. Special students are those who take elective courses not leading to a degree.

The classification for undergraduate students is as follows:

  • FRESHMAN     0-24 units
  • SOPHOMORE     25-56 units
  • JUNIOR     57-88 units
  • SENIOR     89+ units

Academic Standing

Point Loma takes seriously a student’s ability to make satisfactory progress toward the goal of a degree. At the conclusion of the fall and spring semesters, the academic progress of all undergraduate students is reviewed by the Vice Provost for Academic Administration either to confirm satisfactory standing or to make changes based on student cumulative or semester GPA. In addition to the category of Satisfactory Standing, student performance can result in classification at any one of four levels of academic concern.

Satisfactory Standing

To maintain satisfactory standing and remain free of academic alert or probation, students must achieve a minimum cumulative 2.000 grade-point average. Those who maintain the minimum required grade-point average are in satisfactory scholastic standing and as such are making progress toward a degree. During their first semester of academic work, first-time freshmen must earn at least a 1.800 GPA, regardless of the number of units taken, to remain in good standing.

Levels of Academic Concern

Academic Probation Alert

Students whose cumulative GPA meets the minimum standard for academic good standing, but whose session GPA for any one semester falls below 2.000, are placed on alert status and limited to 13 units maximum during the probation alert period (a total of nine (9) during the summer). While not technically on academic probation, these students are under the supervision of the Office of the Vice Provost for Academic Administration.

Academic Probation

Students whose cumulative GPA falls below 2.000 are placed on Academic Probation and limited to 13 units maximum during the probation period (a total of nine (9) during the summer). Probationary students who fail to earn a 2.000 session GPA the following semester may be disqualified from continuing at the university.  A first semester GPA below minimum standard for a non-transfer student would count toward calculation of probation but would not count toward calculation of disqualification.

Students being readmitted to the university after a disqualification or a voluntary withdrawal while on probation or probation alert will be readmitted under probation regardless of their cumulative GPA in order to allow for monitoring of the student’s progress.

Note: Students who receive federal, state, or veterans aid must meet certain qualitative and quantitative standards of academic progress. As a result, it may be possible for a student to be on academic probation at the university but be ineligible for federal, state and veterans aid. Additional information on PLNU’s financial aid satisfactory progress policy is available in the PLNU Student Financial Services Office. The university works with students placed on academic probation to create links between them, faculty advisors, the Office of Student Development, and other support programs. Policies concerning students on academic probation are administered by the Vice Provost for Academic Administration.

Continuance on Academic Probation

Students who are on probation and earn at least a 2.000 during the current session, but whose cumulative GPA is below 2.000, may be continued on academic probation. These students are under the supervision of the Office of the Vice Provost for Academic Administration.

Academic Disqualification

Students whose cumulative GPA falls below 2.000 for two consecutive regular semesters and whose semester GPA is also below 2.000 will be disqualified from continuing at the university at the end of that second semester.

To be considered for readmission, students who are disqualified must:

  • spend at least one regular semester away from the university (summer is not considered a regular semester);
  • take 12 pre-approved units at another institution;
  • present official transcripts that demonstrate a university cumulative GPA of 2.000 or above;
  • meet with the Vice Provost for Academic Administration; and
  • complete an application for readmission.

If readmitted, such students would be placed on Academic Probation and limited to 13 units in their first semester back to allow deep concentration on a lighter class schedule.

Veterans and Progress Toward a Degree

Any students receiving veterans benefits who fail to maintain normal progress because of attendance, poor grades, or by reduction of course load are responsible for notifying the Student Financial Services Office so that it may notify the Veterans Administration. If withdrawal from the university occurs, veterans’ benefits will be terminated as of the date of termination of enrollment. Grades of NC and F are reported to the Veterans Administration, and the student may be liable for repayment of benefits received.

Athletic Eligibility

Academic performance must be adequate in order for athletes to participate in intercollegiate athletics. A faculty athletic representative certifies the eligibility of each player, and coaches ensure that only eligible students participate. Athletic eligibility conforms to policies of the National Collegiate Athletic Association Division II (NCAA).

LEAP Academic Disqualification or Administrative Withdrawal

LEAP students who fail to meet certain academic standards may be subject either to disqualification or administrative withdrawal.

Disqualification. LEAP students may be disqualified during either fall or spring semesters.

  • In fall semester, LEAP participants who receive grades of C- or better in FST 100 and WRI 101 but whose cumulative GPA falls below 1.800 will be disqualified.
  • In spring semester, LEAP students who receive a grade of C- or better in FST 101, but whose cumulative GPA falls below 2.000 will be disqualified.

LEAP students who are disqualified will receive a letter from the Vice Provost of Academic Administration indicating they have been disqualified from continuing at the university. To be considered for readmission, LEAP students who are disqualified must:

  • spend at least one regular semester away from the university (summer is not considered a regular semester);
  • take 12 pre-approved units at another institution;
  • present official transcripts that demonstrate a university cumulative GPA of 2.000 or above;
  • meet with the Vice Provost for Academic Administration; and
  • complete an application for readmission.

If readmitted, such students would sign a proposed Academic Improvement Plan, return on Academic Probation and enroll in a maximum of 13 units in their first semester back to allow deep concentration on a lighter class schedule.

Administrative Withdrawal. LEAP students may be disqualified at the end of either fall or spring semester.

  • In fall semester, LEAP participants who receive grades of lower than C- in FST 100 or WRI 101 and whose cumulative GPA falls below 1.800 will be administratively withdrawn.
  • In spring semester, LEAP participants who receive a grade of lower than C- in FST 101 and whose cumulative GPA falls below 2.000 will be administratively withdrawn.

LEAP students who are administratively withdrawn will receive a letter from the Vice Provost of Academic Administration indicating they have been administratively withdrawn from continuing at the university. Although this withdrawal action offers no opportunity for appeal or readmission to LEAP, administratively withdrawn LEAP students who wish to do so can reapply directly through the Office of Admissions once they have completed 24 or more transferable units at another institution with a 2.800 or higher cumulative GPA.

Withdrawal from the University

Any student who has no unpaid accounts or charges of misconduct is entitled to an honorable withdrawal. The student must contact the Office of Records to begin the formal withdrawal process for any break in registration prior to graduation. In extreme cases where the student must withdraw during the semester and after the last day to drop courses, permission must be granted by the Vice Provost for Academic Administration (see “Grading”).

Registration Limitations

Concurrent Enrollment

A registered student may not transfer credit for a course taken concurrently at another institution if a similar course is offered at the university at any time during the academic year except by prior approval of the Vice Provost for Academic Administration. Forms for such transfer of credit are available in the Office of Records. Course approvals are required for work taken during the summer while the student is not in attendance at this university. In computing a student’s maximum load, all courses being taken are considered.

Transfer Limitations

A combined maximum of 70 units may be transferred to PLNU from the following sources: community colleges, AP, CLEP, and IB. All such courses are, by definition, lower-division level. In no case will a lower division course transfer to meet an upper-division course requirement.

Curricular Exceptions

Any petitions for academic exceptions to stated Catalog requirements and policies must be presented to the Vice Provost for Academic Administration. A petition which is denied may be appealed in writing to the Academic Policies Committee, whose ruling is final.

Transferring Units while Enrolled at the University

After matriculation at PLNU, students who wish to augment their experience with coursework from another accredited institution must obtain written approval from the Office of Records prior to registering. In this process, coursework designed to meet PLNU requirements in the academic major requires additional approval of the respective department chair or school dean.

Academic Honors

Dean’s List

Each semester the Office of the President recognizes honor students who have achieved a grade-point average of 3.500 or higher in at least 12 units of work during the previous semester. The Dean’s List is posted on the university website.

Honors Scholars

During the senior year, a student who has demonstrated exceptional scholarship and capacity for serious and creative study or research may propose to graduate as an honors scholar. With the guidance of a major professor, the student submits the results of an approved proposal to a committee and, if accepted and when the project is completed satisfactorily, earns the Honors Scholar classification.

Education Records (FERPA) and Directory Information

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) of 1974 as amended affords students certain rights with respect to their education records. These 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, 2) the right to request the amendment of the student’s education records that the student believes are inaccurate or misleading, 3) the right to consent to disclosures of personally identifiable information contained in the student’s education records, and 4) the right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by Point Loma to comply with the requirements of FERPA.

FERPA has specifically identified certain information called directory information that may be disclosed without student consent. Although directory information may be disclosed without student consent, PLNU is not required to release directory information.

The university has defined directory information as name, address (including electronic mail), telephone number, date and place of birth, major field of study, dates of attendance, enrollment status, degrees, honors and awards received, participation in officially recognized activities and sports, weight and height of members of athletic teams, degree candidacy, and the most recent previous educational agency or institution attended. This information may be provided, upon review by the Vice Provost for Academic Administration, as public information or to individuals who demonstrate a valid need to contact students.

Periodically, PLNU conducts formal and informal photo and video shoots (around the campus and at off-campus events and activities) for use in university publications, social media, promotional videos/commercials, and the PLNU Web site. Students who require that no identifiable image be used by the university must notify Marketing and Creative Services in writing prior to the second Monday of each semester. Students should email their request to photo-optout@pointloma.edu and include their full name and student ID number. In addition, PLNU may submit information about students’ participation in school activities to media outlets. Students who require that their names be excluded from such stories must notify Marketing and Creative Services in writing prior to the second Monday of each semester.

The university may disclose education records to college officials with legitimate educational interests. A college official is a person employed by the university; a member of the Board of Trustees; or an individual serving on a committee, such as disciplinary or grievance committees. A college official has a legitimate educational interest if the information aids the official in fulfilling professional functions. PLNU also includes among college officials a student appointed to an official committee or assisting another official in performing tasks and outside service providers who perform an institutional service of function such as attorneys, auditors, and the National Student Clearinghouse. The university may also disclose education records to post-secondary institutions in which a student is seeking or intending to enroll, or is already attending if the disclosure is for purposes related to the student’s enrollment or transfer.

Questions relative to FERPA policies should be referred to the Office of the Vice Provost for Academic Administration or may be referenced at FERPA.

Leave of Absence

Full-time students in good academic standing may apply for a one semester leave of absence from their program of study. The maximum leave of absence allowed is one academic term (Fall or Spring), not to exceed 180 days in any 12 month period and can only be granted once during a student’s undergraduate academic experience.  Students receiving financial aid will continue to be considered “in-school status” only for institutional aid. Students receiving federal or state financial aid may have those funds prorated and adjusted or returned under Title IV federal guidelines.

Students who wish to apply for a leave of absence form should obtain an application from either Student Development or the Office of Records. The application must be signed by the university officers called for on the form, a length of leave proposed, and the application returned as indicated. Any courses taken for credit during an approved leave of absence must have prior approval. Upon return, students with junior or senior classification must schedule an appointment for a graduation check in the Office of Records.

The completed leave of absence form is filed in the Office of Records. Failure to return following the approved leave of absence period initiates an administrative withdrawal from the university as of the initiating date of the leave of absence. This withdrawal may also have financial aid implications, such as the expiration of a loan’s grace period and may cause a student loan to immediately be in repayment.

Global Studies Policy

To maintain a high academic standard, Global Studies programs require a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.75 or higher. Students who are on academic or disciplinary probation are not eligible to participate in study abroad programs. Global Studies students will be limited to a maximum of 16 semester units in sessions of 15 weeks or more and to corresponding unit maximum ratios in sessions of other lengths. On a case by case basis as part of their Global Studies application process, students may seek approval to include one PLNU online class of 4 units of fewer within the 16 semester unit maximum. Effective Spring 2017.

Grades earned through OGS-designated affiliate or non-OGS programs are neutral and, as such, not included in PLNU GPA calculation. Grades earned through OGS-designated partner programs are included in PLNU GPA calculation (students should confirm affiliate and partner school designations with the Office of Global Studies).

Official Catalog

As the on-line catalog is considered to be the official document relative to academic program offerings and charges, any print-outs of pages taken from the on-line version are, by definition, unofficial.