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Fall 2016 Finals and Key Policy Updates

November 16, 2016

To: Students on the Quarter System
From: N. John DiNardo, Ph.D., Senior Vice Provost for Academic Affairs
Date: November 15, 2016

  • Final exams will extend from Monday, December 5, 2016 to Saturday, December 10, 2016.
  • Winter Quarter classes commence on January 9, 2017.
  • Several policies were updated recently to promote student engagement and success, several policies have been updated. Note that all academic policies can be found at drexel.edu/provost/policies/overview. Below is a summary of key policy changes.

  • Course Enrollment
    Attendance in a class requires official enrollment for two primary reasons:

    • many courses use Drexel Learn (Blackboard Learn) which requires enrollment and students are precluded from access without official enrollment

    • students sitting in class with or without instructor knowledge leads to late add requests; enrollment must be linked to attendance in a class for compliance, data accuracy, and safety

    Course Add/Drop
    The add/drop period will now extend through the first week of the quarter. This change was made to promote student success and to avoid instances where up to 20% of introductory material for a class may be missed. Coupled to an increased focus on advising and the implementation of tools to audit and plan degree requirements, it is believed that limiting the add/drop period will improve student intentionality and student success.

    Course Withdrawal
    The withdrawal period begins the second week of the quarter to achieve consistency with the revised Add/Drop policy.

    Academic Integrity
    The title of the policy was revised (formerly Academic Dishonesty) and, in collaboration with the Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards, the policy is better aligned with the processes described in the Student Handbook. The rationale for the policy is clearly stated: “Drexel University expects all members of its community to uphold the highest values of academic integrity.” The lists of possible violations have been expanded due to the use of electronic media. Guidelines on self-plagiarism have also been added.

    Course Repeat - Undergraduate Students
    In conjunction with undergraduate student success initiatives and noting that several Drexel courses require a C grade in their prerequisite courses, this policy reduces the penalty incurred in students’ GPAs for a limited number of instances of sub-par performance. A Student, in coordination with their advisor, may submit a petition upon registering to retake a course that only the higher grade will be applied in calculation of cumulative GPA. This petition may be sought and used up to a maximum of four separate occurrences in the course of an undergraduate degree. However, exercising this option is limited to one occurrence for each specific course, for courses in which the prior grade was a C- or below. Advisor guidance is required in this process as the petition form can only be retrieved directly from undergraduate advisors. Notwithstanding, each time a course is taken appears on the transcript and credit toward degree counts only once per course. Students who do not petition the grade substitution option or have exceeded the allowed occurrences for grade substitution, will have all repeated grades averaged into their term and cumulative GPA’s.

    Academic Standing – Undergraduate Students
    This is an update to the current Undergraduate Academic Standing and Probation policy in which two changes were made to minimize time-to-degree and maximize student success:

    • While every effort is made to have first term students succeed with, for example, the Gateway Course Initiative and the Advising initiative, students with less than a 1.0 GPA in the first term will be dismissed. Upon dismissal, a student may be reinstated.

    • To ensure that Satisfactory Academic Progress is being achieved, students may be dismissed and reinstated to the University a maximum of two times. A third academic dismissal will result in final and permanent dismissal from the University without the right to return.

    Change of Academic Program - Undergraduate Students
    In an effort to streamline the change of major process which often delays students entering a new intended major the policy now specifies:

    • the responsibility of the outgoing program and incoming program in the change of major program process
    • the authority of the incoming college to specify student credentials for entry
    • the start date for a student accepted into a new major

    Accelerated Programs
    This policy defines accelerated BS or BA to Graduate programs in five types and refers to the billing and financial aid implications of each in terms of the designated level of a student as an undergraduate or a graduate student. The five types are:

    • 4 COP + Grad Accelerated Sequential Degree
    • 5-year + Grad Accelerated Program – Co-terminal Degree
    • 3-year 4 COP + Graduate Accelerated Sequential Degree
    • Accelerated Clinical Track Options (Physician Assistant and Physical Therapy)
    • Custom Designed Accelerated BSMS (New)

    A new consideration for the 5-year co-terminal program is that a student must be enrolled at least half-time in undergraduate courses calculated as a per-term average over the academic year.

    Statute of Limitations for Change of Grades or to the Academic Record
    This is a minor update describing the policy, in limited circumstances, for students who may seek changes to the academic record including course grades or course registration. This policy specifies a one-year timeframe under which appeals for such changes will be considered.

    Statute of Limitations on Earned Course Credit
    This is a minor policy update on the timeframe for acceptance of courses taken years prior.

    Class Cancellation Due to Unexpected Instructor Lateness or Absence
    This is a minor update to address instances where, on rare occasions, an instructor may be delayed or unable to attend a class due to unforeseen circumstances.

    University Catalog and Student Degree Requirements
    This policy establishes guidelines for the official University Catalog while providing guidance on how approved new programs may be incorporated into the web-viewable version of the catalog, properly annotated. The intent is always to adhere to new program approval guidelines in the faculty charter and the Office of the Provost. In addition, this policy stipulates the catalog year for student degree requirements as a function of their enrollment or re-enrollment year.