ACADEMIC STANDARDS AND INTEGRITY

Class Attendance

Regular class attendance is an obligation implicit in the agreement between the students who apply for admission and the college which admits them. Anyone enrolled in a course is responsible for the work done in all class meetings. Therefore, the University expects students to attend all class meetings of the courses for which they are enrolled. A student who is absent for 25% of the total time allocated for classes and/or labs may be administratively withdrawn. Students who expect to be absent for a week or more must notify the Office of Student Success in advance. Any student who misses 25% of the total time allocated for classes and/or labs may be in danger of losing his/her Title IV funds. For more information, see the section on Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy for Financial Aid Eligibility.

No right or privilege exists which justifies absence from any number of class meetings. There is no official distinction between an excused and unexcused absence. It is the student’s responsibility to notify his/her instructors if he/she will be absent from a class because of an official university representation, such as concerts, intercollegiate athletic events, equestrian events, or field trips. This notification is to inform only and is not an excuse for the absence. The student is responsible for the work done in the class meetings that are missed because of events stated above. The student should determine with each instructor whether that absence will affect the grade in that course.

Specific attendance requirements for each course are included in the syllabus provided by the instructor of the course. Both the student and the instructor are expected to be concerned and responsible in the matter of class attendance and to keep records of any necessary absences. When absences endanger a student's academic standing or indicate serious lack of commitment to the work of the course, appropriate action should be taken to remedy the situation.

If a student does not attend the first two class meetings at the beginning of the semester, the instructor may notify the Registrar’s Office to drop the student from the course in order to allow students on a waiting list to add the course. Once a student has attended a class, failure to continue to attend class does not constitute a withdrawal from the course. Students who stop attending classes without formally withdrawing from the course will receive a grade of F for the semester.

The Honor Code

One mark of an educated individual is personal integrity. The members of the Averett University community are committed to a code of behavior which may be found in the Student Handbook. A student is thus pledged to academic honesty. As academic honesty is considered to be the foundation of the educational enterprise, any form of cheating or plagiarism is considered to be an affront to the entire University community and may result in suspension from the University. Students should carefully study the honor code, and should be especially familiar with the definitions of cheating and plagiarism.

Cheating includes the following behaviors:

Plagiarism - Submitting a paper in which the language, ideas, or thoughts are identical to published or unpublished material from another source without correctly giving credit to that source.

Evaluation of Academic Work

Academic work is evaluated and grades are assigned at the end of each academic term in order to indicate a student's level of performance. Grades are assigned by the faculty member responsible for each course.

A student earns quality points as well as semester hours if the grade in a course is not less than "D.” The letter grades awarded by Averett, their interpretations, and the quality points per hour of credit are shown in the following table.

Letter Grade Interpretation Quality Points
A Excellent Work 4 4
B Good/Above Average Work 3 3
C Average/Satisfactory Work 2 2
D Passing/Below Average Work 1 1
F Failure/Unsatisfactory Work 0 0
I Incomplete - -
P Pass (not counted in cumulative average) - -
@R Course must be repeated - -
W Withdrawal (extenuating circumstances) - -
*WP Withdrawal Passing - -
*WF Withdrawal Failing (counted in cumulative average) 0 0
NC No credit or Audit - -
NP Not Passing (not counted in cumulative average) - -
@A, @B, or @C Passing grade for MTH100 - -

*To receive a withdrawal grade (WP or WF), the student must officially withdraw from the University or from the course. Courses with the grade WP are not calculated as hours attempted and do not affect the cumulative grade point average. Courses for which the grade WF is recorded are included in hours attempted and receive no quality points; thus, they affect the GPA in the same manner as a grade of F.

The grade of Incomplete (I) may be given to a student who is unable to complete scheduled course requirements. It is a privilege that may be granted by the instructor under extraordinary circumstances and may be awarded only when the student has completed a significant portion of the coursework and has made specific arrangements with the instructor for the completion of the work. If the student has not completed the coursework by the end of the agreed upon time period, the grade will be changed to an F. The maximum amount of time that the instructor may allow for completion is until the last day of classes the following semester. Emergency extensions may be considered with the approval of the faculty member and the Vice President for Academic Affairs.

The grade point average (GPA) of a student's academic work is determined by means of quality points. The grade point average is calculated by dividing the total number of quality points earned by the total number of GPA credit hours. (GPA credits are attempted credits exclusive of those for which a grade of P or WP is recorded.)

Grade Appeal

In the absence of compelling reasons, such as error or bad faith, the grade determined by the instructor of record is to be considered final. A student who believes an appropriate grade has not been assigned should follow the procedures described below to appeal the grade.

Discuss the matter with the instructor involved.

If the student does not receive satisfaction in dealing with the instructor or feels too uncomfortable in dealing with the instructor directly, he/she should discuss the issue with the department chair.

If, after consulting with the chair, the student still feels that he/she has been dealt with unsatisfactorily or inequitably, he/she may submit a written appeal to the Vice President for Academic Affairs. The written appeal must be submitted no later than 30 days into the semester following the receipt of the grade in question. Grade appeals from the spring or summer terms must be initiated by 30 days into the fall semester.

At his/her discretion, the Vice President for Academic Affairs may establish a review committee to study the issue and make recommendations for action, or the Vice President for Academic Affairs may rule on the issue without such advice.

If the Vice President for Academic Affairs decides to rule on the issue without benefit of committee, the investigation and resolution shall take place within 30 days after the written complaint has been received. The student will be notified of the Vice President for Academic Affairs’ decision in writing.

If the Vice President for Academic Affairs decides to establish a review committee, he/she shall appoint three faculty members who have not taught the student and who are not members of the same department as the faculty member who issued the grade in question. The committee will investigate the matter and notify the student in writing of the decision within 30 days after the complaint is forwarded to the committee.

The student, instructor, department chairperson, and committee (if appropriate) shall be instructed that all information and procedures regarding the investigation of the appeal shall be kept confidential.

The written appeal by the student and all information regarding the investigation and resolution of the appeal shall be maintained in the Office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs for five years following the incident.

This procedure will be followed for grade appeals initiated by both undergraduate and graduate students. The Associate Vice President of Graduate and Professional Studies will handle appeals requested by students in the Graduate and Professional Studies Program.

Academic Honors

In an effort to reinforce its commitment to the intellectual development of students, Averett recognizes those students whose academic performance has been outstanding. These recognitions are described below.

Honors Lists

At the conclusion of each regular semester, the University recognizes students who have demonstrated academic excellence by publishing their names on one of two honor rolls. To be included on one of the honor rolls a student must have completed at least l2 semester hours of coursework for which quality points are awarded and have achieved at least the minimum grade point average listed below:

President's List 4.0
Dean's List 3.4

Honors at Graduation

To be eligible for Latinate honors at graduation, a student must have completed at least 30 semester hours at Averett for which quality points are earned and have the appropriate cumulative grade point average on work taken at Averett. In addition, all prior academic work of students transferring from another institution will be considered in computing the final grade point average, but no overall average may exceed the one earned by a student at Averett.

Below are the minimum cumulative grade point averages which must be earned for Latinate honors.

Summa cum laude - a grade point average of 3.8
Magna cum laude - a grade point average of 3.6
Cum laude - a grade point average of 3.4

Honor Societies

I. Alpha Chi

Alpha Chi is a national coeducational society whose purpose is to produce academic excellence and exemplary character among college students and to honor those achieving such distinction. The Virginia Beta Chapter of Alpha Chi was established at Averett in the spring of 1973. The chapter seeks to stimulate a spirit of sound scholarship and devotion to truth in an atmosphere free of intellectual narrowness and personal discrimination. The faculty elects to membership junior and senior candidates of good character who meet the following qualifications:

  1. Students must have completed at least 30 semester hours of academic work at Averett University.
  2. Juniors must have attained a cumulative grade point average of 3.50 and be in the top 5 percent of their class.
  3. Seniors must have attained a cumulative grade point average of 3.40 and be in the top 10 percent of their class.

The total combined grade point average is considered (grade point average at Averett University combined with the grade point average on all previous college work); however, the total combined grade point average may not be above the grade point average earned at Averett University.

II. Alpha Kappa Delta

Alpha Kappa Delta is an international honor society based on superior academic achievement in sociology. Membership is by invitation. The purpose of the society is to promote an interest in the study of sociology, in research of social problems and in other intellectual activities that will lead to improvement of the human condition.

III. Alpha Psi Omega

Alpha Psi Omega is a national college dramatic fraternity, in which membership is granted to advanced students in speech and dramatics.

IV. Beta Beta Beta

Beta Beta Beta is an honor society for students who have superior academic achievement in biology. The society aims to cultivate a keen interest in the natural sciences, to stimulate an appreciation for biological research, and to promote scholarship. Membership is by invitation.

V. Kappa Delta Pi

Kappa Delta Pi is an International honor society for students involved in the field of education. Selection for membership is based on outstanding performance both in and out of the classroom. It is designed to recognize accomplishments and provide professional growth for its members.

VI. Lambda Pi Eta

Lambda Pi Eta is a national communication studies/journalism honor society. Its purpose is to recognize outstanding scholastic achievement in the field of communication, to stimulate interest in the field, to promote and encourage professional development among communication majors and to provide an opportunity to discuss and exchange ideas in the field of communication.

Academic Warning, Probation and Suspension

In order to meet degree requirements, a student must attain a grade point average of 2.0 or C average. The grade point average is determined by dividing the total quality points earned at Averett University by the number of GPA credits. The University maintains a graded policy on academic probation in order to indicate to students at different levels of their work that, unless significant improvement occurs, they will not be able to satisfy graduation requirements. The college determines a student's academic standing as indicated in the following table.

Minimum Standards for Continuance

Attempted Hours
or Total Hours*
(whichever is higher)
Academic
Warning
Academic
Probation
Considered for
Academic Suspension
       
0 – 15 1.60 – 1.99 1.00 – 1.59 Less than 1.00
16 – 30 1.80 – 1.99 1.40 – 1.79 Less than 1.40
31 – 59 1.90 – 1.99 1.60 – 1.89 Less than 1.60
60 – 120+ -- -- Less than 2.00

*Includes hours transferred to Averett University

Students placed on academic warning, probation, and suspension should realize that their financial aid and scholarships may be in jeopardy.

Students who are placed on warning, probation, or considered for suspension will be placed on an academic success contract, and the student must make an appointment with the Dean of Student Success in the Student Success Center at that time.

Together the dean and the student will develop the academic success contract, which may entail setting up a semester-long tutoring schedule in Writing Support and/or Academic Support offices. The contract will entail the student meeting with the dean on a regular basis. Further, students will be monitored on their class attendance and achievement. Information on the student will be kept through the semester for review and consideration by Averett University’s Academic Policies Committee.

Students may contact the Dean of Student Success at 434-791-5754, or by e-mail: mvanderl@averett.edu. The Office of Student Success is located in the Student Success Center.

Academic Warning

Any student whose cumulative grade point average at the end of any given semester falls within the stipulated range will receive a letter from the Vice President for Academic Affairs regarding Academic Warning. Academic Warning means that the student's grade point average is below 2.0, but the deficiency is not severe enough to warrant Academic Probation. A notation is not placed on the student’s permanent record for Academic Warning.

Students placed on Academic Warning must contact the Dean of Student Success as noted above.

Academic Probation

Any student whose cumulative grade point average at the end of any given semester falls within the stipulated range will be placed on Academic Probation and will receive a letter from the Vice President for Academic Affairs. A notation stating Academic Probation will be placed on the student’s permanent record.

Any student on academic probation may enroll in no more than 14 semester hours in a regular semester (fall or spring) and may be required to participate in an intervention program. Students on Academic Probation may not participate in intercollegiate athletics, drama productions, or serve as an officer in university- recognized student organizations. Only those events which are components of credit courses or which are requirements for majors as noted in the catalog may be exempt.

Students placed on Academic Probation must contact the Dean of Student Success as noted above.

Considered for Academic Suspension

A student who fails to meet the minimum standards for continuance will be considered for Academic Suspension by the Academic Policies Council. If the Council imposes suspension, the Vice President for Academic Affairs will notify the student of the decision. A notation will appear on the student’s permanent record.

Any student who is considered for academic suspension but is continued is governed by the same requirements and/or restrictions described under Academic Probation.

A student who earns at least a 2.30 semester grade point average after completing all attempted coursework for which he or she is registered at the end of the semester shall not be subject to suspension.

Students placed on Considered for Suspension must contact the Dean of Student Success as noted above.

Suspension

Ordinarily, decisions regarding academic suspension are made by the Academic Policies Council at the end of the fall and spring semesters. Suspension begins immediately upon the vote of the Council. Students who received an Incomplete in one or more courses may finish the work, but the outcome of that work will not affect their suspension. Students who have been suspended may not take courses at Averett for at least one regular semester and one summer. Therefore, a student suspended at the end of the fall semester may not be considered for readmission until the following fall semester; a student suspended at the end of the spring semester may not be considered for readmission until the following spring. Averett will consider accepting credits from another regionally accredited higher education institution during the period of academic suspension if the student earns a 2.5 GPA or higher in the coursework. The existing Readmission of Students on Suspension policy will apply, and official transcripts from courses taken should be submitted with the request for readmission.

Probation and Suspension Policy for Transfer Students

Probation and suspension standards for transfer students will be based upon the sum of their transfer credits plus the hours attempted at Averett. The grade point average is based only on credit hours attempted and quality points earned at Averett University. Coursework completed at another college may not be used to improve the grade point average at Averett.

Readmission of Students on Academic Suspension

After one semester of suspension, a student may apply to the University for readmission. This request should be made in writing to the Academic Policies Council in care of the Vice President for Academic Affairs and should include a rationale for being considered for readmission. This letter should reach the University at least six weeks prior to the date sought for readmission. Before making a final decision, the Council may request a personal interview with the student. It should be noted that readmission is neither automatic nor certain. If the student is granted readmission, he/she will be governed by the regulations and degree requirements of the catalog that are current at the time of readmission. If a student is suspended for a second time for academic reasons, he/she will be academically ineligible to return to Averett.

Academic Renewal

Academic renewal is the concept that a student may be relieved from some of the effects of past academic failures. The renewal process is designed to allow the individual to renew confidence and hope regarding his or her academic performance. Averett University offers two areas of academic renewal.

  1. Course Repeat Option: A student may repeat a maximum of five courses, substituting the new grade and canceling the previous hours attempted. The student must accept the grade on the repeated course even if the grade is lower than the prior grade. After repeating five courses, no other course may be repeated unless the student earned a grade of F in a course required for his or her degree. In that case, the course may be repeated, but the previous grade and hours attempted will not be cancelled. Courses from other institutions will not be counted as repeats for courses at Averett.
  2. Academic Forgiveness: A student may apply to the Academic Policies Council to have the entire past post-secondary record forgiven (or the record prior to an agreed upon date). The record of such courses remains a part of the student's transcript whether courses were taken at Averett University or at another institution. However, the current Averett permanent record will carry the notation that prior courses have been forgiven. Courses completed during the period of time for which forgiveness is granted (regardless of grade) may not be used to fulfill any academic requirements nor will they be computed in the student's grade point average for graduation or for consideration for honors. The following guidelines govern the academic forgiveness policy:

Withdrawal

Students may be administratively withdrawn from the university in accordance with the Class Attendance policy.

Students may request to withdraw from the University at any time during the semester. Students withdrawing from Averett University must first meet with the Dean of Student Success to fill out a withdrawal survey and obtain a withdrawal application form.

Students may contact the Dean of Student Success at 434-791-5754, or by e-mail at mvanderl@averett.edu. The Office of Student Success is located in the Student Success Center.

Students withdrawing during the semester with no documented extenuating circumstances will have grades of WP or WF posted to their records based on grades assigned by the faculty. In addition, faculty will verify the student’s last date of class attendance, and it will be recorded in the Registrar’s Office.

Students withdrawing during the semester for documented medical reasons may have grades of W posted to their records. The Vice President for Academic Affairs will review and verify submitted documentation to determine if a medical withdrawal is warranted. The student’s last date of class attendance will be verified and recorded by the Registrar’s Office. Students withdrawing due to extenuating circumstances (e.g., documented medical reasons) may request to remain under the catalog requirements in effect when they first entered Averett. All other students must complete requirements in the catalog that is current when they re-enter Averett.

All students returning after a withdrawal must complete an application for readmission through the Admissions Office.

Leave of Absence

Students may apply for a leave of absence through the office of the Dean of Student Success. The following guidelines govern a leave of absence:

  1. A leave of absence may only be granted before the beginning of the semester;
  2. A leave of absence may be granted for up to one calendar year;
  3. A leave of absence is for a complete semester, meaning that a student cannot be granted a leave for a specified semester and then return to take classes within that semester;
  4. A leave of absence will not be granted to students suspended, being considered for suspension, or on probation;
  5. A student who has been approved for a leave of absence may remain under the catalog requirements in effect when they first entered Averett;

All students returning after a leave of absence must complete an application for readmission through the Admissions Office.

Readmission Process after Withdrawal or Leave of Absence

All students who have withdrawn or been granted a leave of absence must complete an application for readmission through the Admissions Office. Students who left in good standing, or with an academic status of “warning” may be automatically readmitted and allowed to register for classes.

Students whose academic status was “probation,” “considered for suspension,” or “suspension” will have their application submitted to the Academic Policies Council for review. The Council will make a readmission decision before students are allowed to register for classes.