2019-2020 University Catalog 
    
    Aug 24, 2019  
2019-2020 University Catalog

Academic Policies



Academic Credit Load

At Seton Hill University, the definition of full-time status for graduate students is 9 or more graduate credits in a semester; half-time is 4.5 up to 8.9 credits in the semester. For undergraduate students, full-time is 12 or more credits in the semester; half-time is 6 up to 11.9 credits in the semester. If any student takes a combination of undergraduate and graduate credits, to determine full-time/half-time/three-quarter-time thresholds, one uses the number of graduate credits times 1/9 plus the number of undergraduate credits times 1/12 to arrive at the percentage.

For the student to be classified as full-time, the calculation must give a result of 100% or higher; to be three-quarter-time status, the result must be 75% to 99%; to establish half-time status, the result must be 50% to 74%; and any result less than 50% gives less-than-half-time status.

Credit Load - Undergraduate

Registration for a minimum of 12 credits in a semester is required for full-time status at the undergraduate level. Students wishing to take more than 17 credits in a semester must have the permission of the Registrar. There is an additional charge if the total number of credits for the semester exceeds 17. Students may not register for more than 21 credits in any semester without permission from the Registrar.

Credit Load - Graduate

A full-time student at the graduate level is enrolled in a minimum of 9 credits per semester.

Academic Engagement and Class Attendance

Students must fully engage in the learning process, are expected to attend all class meetings and/or fully participate in online classes, and are held responsible for the full content of each course of study.

A responsible academic life implies systematic preparation in all course work. Students must devote sufficient time for adequate class preparation. A minimum of two hours outside of class for every hour a course meets is a common guideline.

Each course instructor articulates in the course syllabus a course outline and required readings and/or assignments which must be completed prior to attendance. The syllabus also describes the teaching/learning environment required in the class (laboratory, studios, experiential exercises, teamwork, discussion, and lecture). Overall course assessment commonly includes participation and attendance.

The University faculty and administration support participation in intercollegiate sports, theatre productions, music recitals, conferences, workshops, and other co-curricular activities; however, it is always the student’s responsibility to negotiate a way to receive information and/or materials distributed in class. Students must understand that, depending on the course design and requirements, it may not be possible to make up a missed class session. Any absence from a class for participation in such events must be negotiated by the student with the instructor prior to the absence from class.

Students who miss a class or who have been unable to participate in their online course because of illness or personal emergency must contact the instructor. Depending on the course design and requirements, it may not be possible for a student to make up a missed class session.

Academic Honors and Awards

Baccalaureate graduation honors are awarded in three grades: cum laude, magna cum laude, and summa cum laude. These are based on minimum cumulative grade point averages of 3.70, 3.80, and 3.90 respectively.

To be eligible for these graduation honors an undergraduate student must have pursued at least 70 percent of the credits in the traditional grading system.

Academic honors and awards are given at the fall and spring Honors Convocations, and to graduating students in May and December.

Academic Integrity

Academic dishonesty is any act that violates the University’s Academic Policy. One found guilty of academic dishonesty is subject to academic and/or disciplinary sanctions. Academic dishonesty includes, but is not limited to:

  1. Cheating: Acquiring or attempting to copy, buy, sell, or trade from another person the work or answers to academic assignments such as homework, quizzes, papers, reports, computer programs, or exams, and presenting the information as one’s own. Other forms of cheating involve someone else supplying academic work for a student, such as writing another student’s paper, report, or computer program, or taking another student’s quiz or exam. Cheating may also involve the use of unauthorized information - provided by notes, papers, books, online documents, mobile devices, wearable devices, and so forth - for exams, quizzes, or other academic work where such information is not permitted.
  2. Fabrication of information to support one’s work: The misrepresentation of data or information to intentionally mislead the reader that the assumptions or claims are correct.
  3. Acting as an accomplice for academic dishonesty: Assisting or attempting to assist someone else with committing an act of academic dishonesty.
  4. Falsifying grades: Changing or attempting to change a grade or graded academic material.
  5. Unauthorized possession or distribution of academic material: Possessing, attempting to possess, distributing, or attempting to distribute academic related material - such as quizzes, exams or answers to academic materials - without proper authorization.
  6. Plagiarism: The act of taking someone’s thoughts or words and attempting to present these thoughts or words as one’s own. In its simplest form, plagiarism may be copying text from a book, newspaper, magazine, website, and so on, into one’s work. With the widespread use of the Internet to research materials, “copy and paste” techniques become more common every day. However, to “copy and paste” material from a website or other document and present it as one’s own is a form of plagiarism.

    Often one can avoid plagiarism by paraphrasing and citing resource material. Notice, however, that by paraphrasing work and not citing the work, one still may be considered to be plagiarizing someone else’s work. Plagiarism may also involve reuse of one’s own materials (please ask your instructor for details). Plagiarism is unethical and often illegal.

    Students have resources for help on plagiarism questions or concerns about proper citations or use of information. Students who are unsure whether they are correctly paraphrasing, stating, or citing source material should ask their instructor for insight or clarification. Students should also be aware that the Writing Center provides assistance with various writing needs, including proper use of source materials, and may be able to answer plagiarism-related questions, and the Academic Achievement Center can assist with academic counseling, tutoring and study skills.

Academic Integrity Policy

To address the problem of academic dishonesty, Seton Hill University has an Academic Integrity Policy that utilizes a reporting system to identify and handle students with a history of academic dishonesty.

This policy does not imply that the faculty mistrusts students. Rather, the intent of this policy is to educate students regarding proper academic behavior and to provide a means by which we can uphold University academic standards. Students who fail to follow proper academic behavior will bear the consequences of appropriate sanctions.

Resolution Procedure for Academic Dishonesty

If a faculty member believes a student has been intentionally academically dishonest - for example, by cheating, plagiarizing, or assisting others with dishonesty - the faculty member is obligated to file an Academic Dishonesty Report Form with the Office of Academic Affairs. To file an Academic Dishonesty Report Form, the faculty member collects and retains pertinent evidence to the case. The faculty member decides what sanctions to impose through an Informal Resolution between the faculty member and student. If the infraction is considered severe enough to affect the academic community, the faculty member also has the option to request a Formal Academic Dishonesty Review. The student is alerted electronically when an academic dishonesty report is filed. The Provost will meet with the student and his/her academic advisor if there is a second academic grievance. If there is a third academic integrity offense, a request for a Formal Academic Dishonesty Review is automatic. The Provost has the option to request a formal review earlier if the Provost believes it is warranted.

Informal Resolution

An Informal Resolution involves only the faculty member and the student. Here, the faculty member shall decide the sanction(s), file electronically an Academic Dishonesty Report Form that specifies the sanction(s), and enforce the sanction(s).

The faculty member informs the student of the Academic Dishonesty Report Form and sanction. The student will receive an electronic copy of the report through her/his campus e-mail account. The student then has the option of adding their understanding of the incident on the form. The student acknowledges the sanction(s) by reviewing the received copy of the report and signing the Academic Dishonesty Report Form. If the student disputes the accusation of academic dishonesty, it is also indicated on the form, and in such a case a Formal Academic Dishonesty Review occurs as described below.

The faculty member will have access to, and the student will receive, an electronic copy of the report for her/his records. The faculty member submits the Academic Dishonesty Report Form to the Office of Academic Affairs and enforces sanction(s).

The Office of Academic Affairs maintains all filed Academic Dishonesty Report Forms. This central collection of Academic Dishonesty Report Forms provides a means of detecting repeat offenses by a student, even if the offenses span different faculty members or different academic programs. A Formal Academic Dishonesty Review occurs on any student with more than two offenses. Students on whom Academic Dishonesty Reports were filed have their academic progress assessed by the Academic Status Committee during the end-of-semester review.

Formal Academic Dishonesty Review

A case of academic dishonesty shall be resolved through Formal Academic Dishonesty Review if any of the following is true:

  • The student has more than two offenses.
  • The offense extends beyond the classroom community.
  • An informal resolution is not achieved or achievable.
  • The student challenges the legitimacy of the academic dishonesty report by indicating such on the report filed.

During a Formal Academic Dishonesty Review, the Provost hands the case over to the Academic Judicial Board. This Board judges the case and decides what sanction(s) to enforce.

At the point of determining the need for a Formal Academic Dishonesty Review, the Provost will communicate with the student. The Provost presents to the student the reasons for the formal academic review and offers the student a hearing by the Academic Judicial Board. At this time, the student can waive their right to hearing and simply be given designated academic sanctions.

If the student does not accept responsibility for the violations and/or chooses a formal hearing, the Chair of the Academic Judicial Board schedules a hearing and the student is notified by the Chair of the Academic Judicial Board, via campus email and campus mail, of the time and place of the hearing with a minimum of 48 hours notice. Should an accused student fail to attend the hearing, the hearing will be conducted in the student’s absence. Any student who fails to appear at her/his scheduled hearing forfeits the right to an appeal.

The University provides each student with a fair and impartial hearing. The hearing is held in private, and all involved in the hearing regard all information relevant to the case as confidential. All persons involved in the hearing are to maintain confidentiality and to uphold the standards of honesty, fairness, and respect for all parties involved. The hearing is voice-recorded.

The Chair of the Academic Judicial Board reviews the academic offenses filed against the student. The accused student is asked if they accept responsibility for the violation(s). The student presents their information and answers questions about the violation(s). The faculty member(s) who filed the violations describes the academic violation if the faculty member(s) choose to offer verbal statement(s). The room is then cleared of everyone except the members of the Academic Judicial Board. The members of the Board, through discussion, shall reach a decision and recommend sanctions. This decision is a result of the majority vote of the members of the Board who are present. The student will be sent a written notification of the outcome of the hearing within two (2) business days of the conclusion of the hearing.

Academic Judicial Board

The Academic Judicial Board consists of three students from the Campus Life Resolution Board (for undergraduate hearings) or three graduate assistants (for graduate hearings), and three faculty members from the Academic Standards Committee. In the event that an undergraduate hearing cannot include three students from the Campus Life and Resolution Board (for example, when classes are not in session, graduate assistants may sit in their place). Each member votes and the majority prevails. In the event of a tie vote, the Provost and Dean of the Faculty breaks the tie.

Sanctions

With an Informal Resolution, the faculty member determines the sanction(s), states the sanction(s) on the filed Academic Dishonesty Report Form, and enforces said sanction(s). Such sanctions may include, but are not limited to, the following: the student may be required to repeat the original work or a modification thereof; the work may obtain only a certain percentage of the given grade for certain work; the student’s overall course grade may be lowered; the student may be required to perform extra work; or the student may fail the course.

More severe sanctions, such as academic probation, suspension, or dismissal may be imposed only through a Formal Academic Dishonesty Review or during the Semester Review by the Academic Status Committee. Sanctions imposed by the Academic Judicial Board or the Academic Status Committee do not replace sanctions issued by the faculty member.

Appeals

Should the student disagree with either the case and/or the sanction(s) imposed by an Informal Resolution, the student has the right to file an appeal by following the Academic Grievance process as defined in the University Catalog. The appeal must be filed with the Office of Academic Affairs within five (5) workdays after the Academic Dishonesty Report Form is filed, excluding holidays when the University is closed.

If the Formal Dishonesty Review has taken place and if the accused student can demonstrate that there has been a major due process procedural error and/or if the accused student can introduce substantive new evidence, an appeal may be initiated by written request. If a student wishes to appeal a decision, she/he must do so in writing within five (5) business days. Decisions of the Academic Judicial Review Board are subject to review by appeal to the Provost. The decision of the Provost is final in these matters.

Should a case of academic dishonesty occur at the end of a semester, the faculty member must submit the student’s grade by the Registrar’s original due date and time. Whether a case is being appealed or is in the period for appeal does not preclude the standard grade submission requirements, and an incomplete grade may not be given as a result. Should an appeal be made in accordance with the above guidelines and granted, the grade may be changed as a result of the process.

Duration of Filed Academic Dishonesty Report Forms

The Office of Academic Affairs maintains all filed Academic Dishonesty Report Forms for a particular student until the student graduates from or leaves the University. Upon graduation or separation from the University, all academic reports filed against the student will be purged.

Academic Standing

Academic Standing - Undergraduate

Semester grade reports are issued online to students by the Registrar. Students who wish to have an official grade document must request an official transcript.

For classification as a sophomore a student shall have completed at least 30 credits; as a junior, at least 60 credits; as a senior, at least 90 credits.

A student has “good academic standing” if the student is not on institutional probation. Any student whose cumulative grade point average falls below 2.0 incurs probationary status. In addition, any student with unsatisfactory performance in any semester or in the major course work may incur probationary status and may be required to enroll in specific courses as a condition of continuation. Failure to raise the cumulative grade point average above 2.0 or significantly improve after one semester on probation may result in suspension or dismissal from the University. A student may challenge suspension or dismissal by petitioning the Provost in writing. The appeal must be received in the Provost’s office within fourteen calendar days following the date of the letter informing the student that she/he has been suspended or dismissed. The Provost will review the petition, and the decision of the Provost is final.

Students who have been academically dismissed must submit an application and petition for readmission. For traditional students the Office of Undergraduate Admissions or for adult degree program students, the Graduate and Adult Studies Office, in consultation with the appropriate school dean and Provost review the readmission petition. Students who are readmitted following academic dismissal may be subject to special requirements and academic probation. Students readmitted after academic dismissal must develop an academic plan for each semester in consultation with the Student Success Department or for the adult degree student in consultation with the ADP advisor.

Academic Standing - Graduate

Semester grade reports are issued online to students by the Registrar. Students who wish to have an official grade document must request an official transcript.

Regular status is assigned to a student of high scholarship and academic work who meets the general and program admission requirements. Special status is a temporary classification granted to a student who wishes to pursue personal and/or professional goals through advanced study. Special status students are limited to a maximum of 9 semester hours of graduate course work while in that status. Certification status is granted to a student already holding a bachelor’s, master’s, or professional degree who is taking graduate courses to obtain a certificate or to use toward registration/licensure from an outside accrediting agency.

In order to remain in good academic standing, a graduate student must not be on institutional probation. Any student whose cumulative grade point average falls below 3.0 will be placed on probation, sanctioned, suspended, or dismissed. A student is allowed one probationary semester while matriculating for the degree. In addition, any student with unsatisfactory performance, as outlined in the program handbook, in any semester or in the program of study may incur probationary status. Failure to raise the cumulative grade point average to 3.0 or significantly improve the level of performance may result in suspension or dismissal from the program. The progress of a student on probation is reviewed by the Graduate Academic Status Committee. A student may be dismissed from a graduate program when she/he has failed to maintain the program’s technical standards or has violated the profession’s ethical standards. All students shall have an opportunity to correct deficiencies during an appropriate period before dismissal is instituted, except in the case when the violation justifies immediate dismissal.

A student may challenge a suspension or dismissal by petitioning, in writing, the Provost. The appeal must be received in the Provost’s Office within fourteen (14) calendar days following the date of the letter informing the student that she or he has been suspended or dismissed. The Provost will review the petition. The decision of the Provost is final.

Academic Standing: Certifying Grades and Determining Student Status

Seton Hill University certifies grades and determines student status (good standing, probationary, dismissed, or suspended) in mid-December (for students enrolled in the fall term), mid-May (for students enrolled in the spring term), and in mid-August (for students enrolled in the summer term). This is done by the Academic Status Committee or a designated subcommittee. Students are notified of any change in their status, along with academic advisors and other appropriate administrators.

After the Academic Status Committee or designated subcommittee renders decisions, any change in grade(s) that results in a significant change in the student’s academic profile will be reviewed by the Provost, and, if warranted, a change in the student’s status may result. Students are notified of any change in their status, along with academic advisors and other appropriate administrators.

Advisement

To be admitted to classes, students must discuss their proposed class schedule and have it approved by their faculty advisor or advisors. Students register in person or online. Prior to each registration period, the student and faculty advisor meet to discuss academic progress. Failure of the student to meet for advising prior to course registration is noted in the student’s advising file.

Course Cancellation

Seton Hill University reserves the right to cancel courses for which there is insufficient enrollment.

Course Delivery - Definitions

Definition of a Hybrid Course

A HYBRID course is a course that meets face-to-face in which online course activity replaces at least 30 percent of required in-person meetings.

Definition of an Online Course

A SYNCHRONOUS ONLINE course is a course in which some or all course activities are completed online in a synchronous format, requiring all learners to participate in online activities at the same time. These online activities may include chat sessions, webinars, or virtual meetings, etc. There is no requirement for on-campus activity.

An ASYNCHRONOUS ONLINE course is a course in which all course activities are completed online in an asynchronous format. Learners are not required to participate in online activities at the same time. Such activities may include discussion board posts, VoiceThread posts, etc. There are no required in-person or face-to-face sessions within the course and no requirements for on-campus activity.

Definition of a Traditional Course

A TRADITIONAL course is a course that meets for in-person sessions and course activities for more than 70 percent of required class meetings.

Disability Statement

Students who have a disability that requires instructor consideration should contact the Director of Disability Services. It is recommended that this be accomplished by the second week of class. If a student needs accommodations for successful participation in class activities prior to the appointment at the Disability Services Office, information must be submitted in writing that includes suggestions for assistance in participating in and completing class assignments. It is not necessary to disclose the nature of the disability.

Drop/Add Period Definition

Classroom-Based Courses

The drop/add period for semester-long courses (15 week semester) is the first week of the semester. Exact dates are noted on the academic calendar.

For short-term courses (spanning less than the full semester, 15 weeks) the drop/add period is in effect until the start of the second class meeting of the course. All summer courses, all Saturday courses, all J-term courses, and all other courses that meet for less than the 15-week duration follow this rule.

Online Courses

The drop/add period for online courses that are a full semester in duration during fall or spring is the first week of the semester. Exact dates are noted on the academic calendar. For online classes designated in session S1, S2, S3, S4, S5, M1, M2, M3, M4, M5, or M6, dates are listed on the academic calendar.

For any online course that is short-term (less than the full 15-week semester and not in one of the S or M sessions) the drop/add period ends 48 hours after the calendar start date of the class.

Process and Responsibility for Dropping or Adding a Course

All drops and adds for courses must be done on (1) GriffinGate (when it is active and before the first day of classes for any term) or (2) by submitting the drop/add forms to the Office of Financial Services and the Registrar (this method is required starting on the first day of classes for any term). It is the student’s responsibility to deliver the drop/add slip and to check on GriffinGate to make sure that the student’s schedule is accurate and complete.

Courses dropped during the drop/add period do not show up on a schedule or transcript, nor is the student billed for those courses. Courses added during the drop/add period are reflected on the student’s schedule and on the student’s bill.

Any change to a student’s schedule after the drop/add period has ended will be considered only in extraordinary circumstances and requires a $50 late registration fee for each course that is added or dropped or changed. Courses dropped after the drop/add will be graded (W, WP, WF, or F - see academic calendar) and will remain on the student’s transcript and on the student’s bill.

Dual Degree Program (Graduate Programs)

The Dual Degree Program enables a student to earn two graduate degrees simultaneously when the student is accepted by both programs and is approved by the Provost.

To assure the integrity of each degree, students must master the core knowledge and skills in each field and choose electives that integrate an understanding of each. Seton Hill allows for six (6) credits to be counted as common to both programs. The University will award dual master’s degrees provided the core material for each degree has been mastered and there is a separate capstone product for each degree.

General Requirements.

  1. Dual degree students must be admitted to both programs following the admissions procedures in each.
  2. Prior to beginning the programs (if starting both simultaneously) or the second program (if already enrolled in one program), the applicant must complete and submit the form entitled “Permission for Enrollment in Two Graduate Degree Programs,” available from the Office of Graduate and Adult Studies requiring the signatures of both program directors involved and the Provost.
  3. Applicants must complete an application to the Office of Graduate and Adult Studies and must be admitted to each academic program separately, meeting all of the admission requirements for each program.
  4. Students may apply for admission to both programs before enrolling in either, or they may apply after first being admitted to and enrolling in one.
  5. A maximum of six semester hours of the minimum total hours needed for the completion of both degrees shall be counted as common to both programs of study and must be approved by the program director of each of the programs of study.
  6. The course work common to both degrees must constitute a well-planned and meaningful part of each program.
  7. The common course work may not include thesis/culminating project/capstone credits in either program. Thesis credits shall function for individual degrees only; if both programs require a thesis, the student must write a separate thesis for each.
  8. Graduate credit transferred from another institution, limited to a maximum of six (6) semester hours, may be applied to only one degree program.
  9. A single, integrated graduate transcript with a cumulative grade point average will be generated for both degrees. If a transcript is requested for admission to a doctoral program, the Registrar will, upon request, provide a list of requirements for a specified program of study.
  10. All course work for each degree must reflect a minimum grade point average of 3.0 (or higher, if the program requires a higher grade point average) for graduation, as well as a minimum grade point average of 3.0 overall (or higher, if the program requires a higher grade point average); failure to achieve the minimum required grade point average in one program, while maintaining a 3.0 overall, shall disqualify the student from that degree.
  11. Students who withdraw from one degree program still are required to maintain a minimum grade point average of 3.0 overall and 3.0 for the remaining degree program (or higher, if the program requires a higher grade point average) on the integrated transcript.
  12. All grades earned in dual degree status are used for purposes of determining academic good standing, academic probation, and graduation requirements.

Students must be in good standing in both programs to continue in a dual degree program. Students who are dismissed from either program are no longer considered to be in a dual degree program. These students may enroll in and use courses for credit toward the degree program in which they are in good standing only. Students may not take courses in the program from which they have been dismissed and may not use such courses for credit.

Examinations

Final examinations or their equivalent will be given in all subjects on the days scheduled at the end of each semester or session. A student who is not present for any examination will be deemed to have failed that examination. No exception will be granted to accommodate student travel.

Exceptions to Policies and Requirements - Graduate Programs

Exceptions to policies and requirements are rarely made. A student who believes an exception is justified may petition the Graduate Council and should state exactly what exception is being requested and the reasons for it. The student’s advisor must countersign the petition indicating her/his knowledge of the request. Petitions should be submitted well in advance of the time the student wishes the exception to go into place. The Graduate Council makes a recommendation to the Provost. The decision of the Provost is final.

Final Project/Thesis - Graduate Program

No later than a candidate’s final semester of study for the Master’s degree, the Program Director will appoint a major advisor for the research paper or thesis project. The student, in consultation with the major advisor, is responsible for initiating the work and for securing one additional faculty member to serve on the reading committee. The reading committee is responsible for approving the subject of the research paper or thesis project and for arranging and conducting the oral examination. The major advisor has the primary responsibility for guiding the research paper or thesis project, but the student should consult with the reading committee to draw upon their expertise in relevant areas.

The completed final project or thesis must be submitted to the reading committee at least two weeks before the final oral examination. The student must be registered for course work in the term during which the final oral examination is scheduled. This examination is devoted primarily to the final project or thesis. An affirmative vote of the members of the reading committee is required to pass the final examination. The advisor-approved abstract and the form indicating that the final examination has been passed must be submitted to the Program Director no later than the last day of the term during which the student expects to graduate. Exceptions to this requirement must be approved by the Provost.

Prior to graduation the following must be delivered to the library: two CD-R or DVD-R disks containing the completed thesis, one copy of the Advisor Approval page signed by the advisor, available from the advisor (it is recommended that the student obtain an additional copy for personal records), and a completed copy of the Permission to Loan form which can be found under library documents in Griffin’s Lair. Official transcripts and the diploma will not be released until this process is completed.

Grading System

Grading - Undergraduate

Grade Scale Quality Points Description
A 93-100% 4.00 Indicates the student has demonstrated superior aptitude and initiative in the course and produced work of excellence and distinction characterized by practical application, originality, creativity, insight, and understanding.
A- 90-92% 3.67
       
B+ 87-89% 3.33 Indicates the student has demonstrated very good aptitude and given evidence of marked achievement in accuracy, practical application, originality, creativity, insight, and understanding.
B 83-86% 3.00
B- 80-82% 2.67
       
C+ 77-79% 2.33 Indicates the student has demonstrated minimal aptitude and achievement toward accuracy, practical application, originality, creativity, insight, and understanding.
C 73-76% 2.00
C- 70-72% 1.67
       
D+ 67-69% 1.33 Indicates work which, while unsatisfactory in some respects, is acceptable enough on an overall basis to receive university credits.
D 63-66% 1.00
D- 60-62% 0.67
       
F 0-59% 0.00 Indicates failure in the course. No credit is awarded.
       
W     Indicates the student withdrew officially and before mid-semester.
WF     Indicates the student withdrew officially after mid-semester with failing grade.
WP     Indicates the student withdrew officially after mid-semester with a passing grade.
       
I     Incomplete. Indicates that certain work remains to be completed before the student can receive credit for the course. See “Incomplete Grades” for conditions and restrictions.
       
P     Indicates the student has done the equivalent of D work or higher (for the course taken Pass/Fail). Credit is awarded, but the grade is not computed in the student’s grade point average.
       
U     Failure (for a course taken Pass/Fail). Indicates that no credit is awarded. This grade is not computed in the student’s grade point average.
       
AU     Audited course. No credits are granted, nor is the grade used in calculating the student’s grade point average.
       
NG     Indicates the course was taken for zero credit and as a continuing education course. Included in this category are travel courses in J-Term and M-term when taken for zero credit and SCE 001 - Workshop (Continuing Education) . No grade is awarded.

A student’s grade point average is calculated by dividing the total number of credits attempted at Seton Hill University (exclusive of pass-fail credits into the total number of quality points earned at Seton Hill University. Courses graded with W, WP, and WF will appear as “hours attempted” on the student’s transcript but are not used in calculating the student’s grade point average.

In circumstances where a change to a student’s grade is necessary, this must be done by the faculty member in consultation with the Registrar, who’s approval is required. For fall semester courses, this must be done no later than the following February 28; for spring semester courses, by June 30; and for summer term courses, by September 30. In no case is a student’s grade to be changed after the student’s degree has been conferred.

Grading - Graduate

Grade Quality Points Description
A 4.00 Indicates the student has demonstrated superior aptitude and initiative in the course and produced work of excellence and distinction characterized by accuracy, practical application, originality, creativity, insight, and understanding.
A- 3.67
     
B+ 3.33 Indicates the student has demonstrated very good aptitude and given evidence of marked achievement in accuracy, practical application, originality, creativity, insight, and understanding.
B 3.00
B- 2.67
     
C+ 2.33 Indicates the student has demonstrated minimal aptitude and achievement toward accuracy, practical application, originality, creativity, insight, and understanding.
C 2.00
     
F 0.00 Indicates failure in the course. No credit is awarded.
     
P   Indicates the student has done the equivalent of B work or higher (for the course taken Pass/Fail). Credit is awarded, but the grade is not computed in the student’s grade point average.
     
U   Failure (for the course taken Pass/Fail). Indicates that no credit is awarded. This grade is not computed in the student’s grade point average
     
AU   Audited course. No credits are granted, nor is the grade used in calculating the student’s grade point average.
     
I   Incomplete. Indicates that certain work remains to be completed before the student can receive credit for the course. See “Incomplete Grades” section for conditions and restrictions.
     
W   Indicates the student withdrew officially and before mid-semester.
WF   Indicates the student withdrew officially after mid-semester with a failing grade.
WP   Indicates the student withdrew officially after mid-semester with a passing grade.
     
NG   Indicates the course was taken for zero credit and as a continuing education course. Included in this category are travel courses in J-Term and M-Term when taken for zero credit and SCE 001 - Workshop (Continuing Education) . No grade is awarded.

A student’s grade point average is calculated by dividing the total number of credits attempted at Seton Hill University (exclusive of pass-fail credits) into the total number of quality points earned at Seton Hill University. Courses graded with W, WP, and WF will appear as “hours attempted” on the student’s transcript but are not used in calculating the student’s grade point average.

In circumstances where a change to a student’s grade is necessary, this must be done by the faculty member in consultation with the Registrar, whose approval is required. For fall semester courses, this must be done no later than the following February 28; for spring semester courses, by June 30; and for summer term courses, by September 30. In no case is a student’s grade to be changed after the student’s degree has been conferred.

Incomplete Grades

The student must request and receive permission from the instructor and the Program Director for graduate courses and from the instructor and Dean for undergraduate courses to be granted an Incomplete in a course. This must be done during the last month of class and before the last day of classes for the course. 80% of the coursework must be completed for a student to be eligible for an Incomplete. (Instructor’s discretion may be used to determine eligibility.) The due date for making up the Incomplete grade is no later than February 28 for fall classes, June 30 for spring classes, and September 30 for summer classes. If the “I” grade is not removed by that date, the default grade specified on the Incomplete Request Form is assigned, or a grade of “F” is assigned if no default grade is specified. Students on academic probation may not request or be granted an Incomplete.

Auditing

Any course in the University may be audited. Students must notify the Registrar in writing if they wish to audit any course. The credits for the audited course are included in the total count of credits for which the student is billed, but no credits are earned for any audited course.

Pass-Fail Option

Students may choose to take as many elective courses as they wish on a pass/fail basis. Courses which will be counted toward their major or minor requirements, teacher certification, or the Liberal Arts Curriculum may not be taken as pass-fail.

“P” is equivalent to a grade of A, B, C, or D for undergraduate courses, or a grade of A or B for graduate courses in the traditional grading system. “U” indicates a pass/fail failure. Students who elect the pass/fail option must designate this when registering for the course to which it applies. The pass/fail designation may not be changed after one week beyond the date of submission of mid-semester grades. Students on academic probation may not elect to take courses on a pass/fail basis. Freshmen may not use the pass/fail option during their first semester of study. The pass/fail option may not be used to gain credit for a course that is being repeated. No letter grade (A, B, C, D) will be available for reporting if the pass/fail option is used.

Mid-Semester Grades

Mid-semester grades for traditional semester-long undergraduate courses will be submitted to the Registrar by mid-October in the fall semester, and mid-March in the spring semester, for all students. These grades are used for counseling purposes and are not recorded on the student’s permanent record. The student and the advisor are informed of these grades online.

Dean’s List

Recognition of undergraduate students by the Provost for outstanding achievement occurs at the end of each semester. Those full-time undergraduate matriculated students who earn a semester grade point average of 3.7 or above will be named to the Dean’s List. Students will be informed of this achievement by email. To be eligible for the Dean’s List a student must be registered at Seton Hill University for at least 12 credits in the semester under the traditional grading system. Averages will be computed before the end of the period for removal of Incompletes, so students who request “Incompletes” waive their right to be named to the Dean’s List for that semester.

Graduation

Graduation Application

A formal application for degree or certificate must be submitted to the Registrar before the beginning of the last semester of study and not later than March 15 or the Friday before if March 15 falls on a weekend (for expected May or June graduation), June 15 or the Friday before if June 15 falls on a weekend (for expected August graduation), or October 15 or the Friday before if October 15 falls on a weekend (for expected December or January graduation). A student may apply for graduation if:

  1. the necessary credit hours for the degree are completed or registered for during the semester of graduation,
  2. a minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.0 in all undergraduate courses or 3.0 in all graduate courses has been achieved,
  3. all final examinations are completed one week prior to the end of the semester of graduation, and
  4. all capstone, thesis work, and final projects are completed at least three weeks prior to the end of the semester of graduation. To be awarded the diploma or certificate at the graduation ceremony, any student whose program of study requires a thesis must submit the thesis to Reeves Library by the end of the workday on the day on which graduating students’ grades are due in any semester. Diplomas for students who submit the thesis after that day will be mailed within two weeks of the day on which they submit the thesis to the library.
  5. Each student will, in the semester in which she/he expects to graduate, (1) be enrolled at Seton Hill University for that semester or (2) be officially on an approved leave of absence from Seton Hill for the semester.

Conferring Degrees

Seton Hill University observes three dates for graduation each year: May, August, and December. In addition, special commencement ceremonies are held in January and June for Writing Popular Fiction graduates. The appropriate date of completion of all course requirements is shown on the student’s transcript. Degrees and certificates are formally conferred only at the commencement exercises in May and December, or in January and June for the Writing Popular Fiction graduate.

Awarding of Posthumous Degrees Eligibility

  1. The student was enrolled at the time of his or her death or at the time when attendance ceased due to circumstances that were connected with or led to death.
  2. The student was classified as a senior, or, if a graduate student, was within nine credits of completion.
  3. The successful completion of classes in the remainder of the program of study (by the end of the next session or term) would have satisfied all course requirements for the bachelor’s degree. In the case of a graduate student, the successful completion of nine or fewer credits would have satisfied the requirements for the master’s degree.
  4. The student had already met or was expected to meet all other graduation requirements including those of grade point average, Liberal Arts Curriculum, standards related to the major, and residency.

Procedure

The student should be formally recommended for this award by the faculty in the academic program(s) in which the student was majoring and must be certified by the Registrar and the Provost. The student’s name, noted as posthumous, will be added to those who are recommended by the Registrar to the faculty and to the Board of Trustees for graduation prior to the next commencement exercises.

Grievances

Grievances - Undergraduate

Informal Resolution

 The following procedure should be followed for those instances in which a student has a concern about a faculty member:

  • The student should make an appointment with the faculty member to discuss the problem and/or concern. This step must take place before any further action can occur. The only exception to a direct meeting with the faculty member is if the student feels she/he is in physical danger.
  • If the student has met with the faculty member and is still not satisfied, she/he should meet with the Dean of that School or the Coordinator of the Liberal Arts Curriculum. In the Visual and Performing Arts School, students should first meet with the Program Director of Art, Music, or Theatre and Dance. If appropriate, the Dean or Program Director may schedule a three-way meeting to discuss the issue(s) being raised. If the concern is not resolved at the Program Director level in the Visual and Performing Arts Division, the student should make an appointment with the Dean.
  • If the concern is not resolved at the school level, the student should make an appointment with the Provost. Prior to the meeting, the Provost will consult with the Dean to determine how the issue has been handled to this point. Depending on the student complaint, if the issue is not resolved, the Provost may recommend that the student consider filing a formal academic grievance.
  • If the concern is not resolved after meeting with the Provost and the student has decided not to file a formal academic grievance, the decision of the Provost in these matters is final.

The procedure described above is different from a formal academic grievance. A formal academic grievance is filed when the student believes that she/he has been dealt with unfairly in an academic matter, commonly related to unfair grading practice.

Grievances - Graduate

Informal Resolution

The following procedure should be followed for those instances in which a student has a concern about a faculty member:

  • The student should make an appointment with the faculty member to discuss the problem and/or concern. This step must take place before any further action can occur. The only exception to a direct meeting with the faculty member is if the student feels she/he is in physical danger.
  • If the student has met with the faculty member and is still not satisfied, she/he should meet with the Program Director of the graduate program in which the student is enrolled. If appropriate, the Program Director may schedule a meeting with the student and the faculty member present to discuss the issue(s) being raised. If the faculty member involved is supervised by another Program Director, that Program Director should be invited and have the prerogative to attend this meeting as well.
  • If the concern is not resolved at the Program Director level, the student should make an appointment with the Dean. If the instructor is the Dean, the student should make an appointment with the Provost.
  • If the concern is not resolved at the school level, the student should make an appointment with the Provost. Prior to the meeting, the student will be informed that the Provost will consult with the Dean to determine how the issue has been handled to this point. Depending on the student complaint, if the issue is not resolved, the Provost may recommend that the student consider filing a formal academic grievance.
  • If the concern is not resolved after meeting with the Provost and the student has decided not to file a formal academic grievance, the decision of the Provost in these matters is final.

The procedure described above is different from a formal academic grievance. A formal academic grievance is filed when the student believes that she/he has been dealt with unfairly in an academic matter, commonly related to unfair grading practice.

Formal Academic Grievance

If any student feels she/he has cause for grievance in academic matters (commonly related to grading practices), the student may request in writing that the Provost initiate the student grievance procedure. The student must explain her/his grounds for grievance, and this request must be made no later than ten working days after grades are posted for the course. The Provost will discuss the matter with the involved faculty and the student. The Provost facilitates the creation of an ad hoc Grievance Board, convening this Board no later than the second week of the semester following the complaint. This board will consist of two faculty members and two students, agreed upon by both parties, and a fifth member from the University community, chosen by the previously mentioned four. If the faculty involved has not named two faculty members for this board within two weeks, the Provost will appoint them. The Grievance Board will act in an advisory capacity to the Provost. The Grievance Board must make a recommendation within two weeks of their initial meeting. The decision of the Provost is final in these matters.

Health and Safety in Facilities

In order to facilitate a safe environment for all members of the community, equipment (athletic, large instruments, educational materials) should remain stowed in appropriate storage bags, cases, or lockers, and/or should be placed in areas that will not interfere with or obstruct safe movement in the classroom, studio, or laboratory. The placement of equipment must not obstruct access to and from the room or corridor.

Information Fluency

Seton Hill University defines information fluent students as those who upon graduation will possess the ability to combine all forms of literacy in order to master a chosen topic. Students who develop information fluency skills will successfully:

  • Critically analyze appropriate topics
  • Conceptualize the parameters of the topic
  • Locate and access relevant information in all forms
  • Competently evaluate information
  • Understand practical, legal, and social issues related to the information
  • Interact with faculty and staff in a manner evident of the development of superior research skills
  • Synthesize diverse types of information into a comprehensive and coherent work

Knowledge of Requirements

Although advisors will assist the student about matters such as course and program selection, the ultimate responsibility for knowledge of requirements, course prerequisites, and verification of the accuracy of records maintained by the Registrar remains with the student. Consequently, students should be familiar with the contents of the Catalog and monitor their own progress toward graduation.

Learning Options

At least 50% of the credits required for a student’s major, minor, certificate, or teaching certification must be earned in residency at Seton Hill University and with the traditional grading system.

Students may earn a maximum of 30 of the 120 credits required for the Bachelor’s degree in the various options described in this section. Credits earned under these options are placed on the Seton Hill transcript only for matriculated students. These options may not be used in the semester in which the student plans to graduate.

Advanced Placement - The University honors the Advanced Placement tests of the College Entrance Examination Board. Credit and advanced standing will be given for scores 3, 4, and 5 where the Advanced Placement course is parallel to one offered at Seton Hill. Some credits may be applied to the Liberal Arts Curriculum requirements. The student must arrange to have copies of the examination scores sent to the Seton Hill Registrar, and questions about the AP credits may be directed to the Registrar.

CLEP - The University grants credits for the general as well as the subject examinations of the College Level Examination Program. Evaluation and advisement will take place on an individual basis with the Registrar. Students are permitted to repeat a general examination one time after six months have elapsed. Any student interested in taking the test should first consult with the Registrar and then visit https://clep.collegeboard.org/exam.

PLA - The Prior Learning Assessment program is a way for qualified students to obtain college credits for experience-based learning, such as volunteer work or paid work experience, by producing a portfolio which documents that learning. PLA credits are graded as “Pass” and may not be counted as resident credits for the major, minor, certificate, or teaching certification. Upon request, the Office of Graduate and Adult Studies will provide current information and official guidelines on the program.

DANTES - The University grants credits for the general as well as the subject examinations of the DSST Program. Evaluation and advisement will take place on an individual basis with the Registrar. Students are permitted to repeat a general examination one time after six months have elapsed. Any student interested in taking the test should first consult with the Registrar and then visit http://getcollegecredit.com/.

NONCOLLEGIATE SPONSORED INSTRUCTION - Students may translate training received in a non-collegiate setting such as the military or business into college credits. Questions about noncollegiate sponsored instruction may be directed to the Registrar.

CHALLENGE EXAM - This allows a student with a significant theory base to sit for a specifically prepared test designed to assess knowledge that would normally be acquired over a semester of classroom instruction. Any student interested in challenge exams should consult the Office of Graduate and Adult Studies.

Leave of Absence/Withdrawal

Leave of Absence - Undergraduate

Students who wish to interrupt their education must contact the Office of Financial Services and the Registrar in person or by written communication. the leave of absence is approved and the student fails to return to study for the term immediately following the approved leave of absence, or if the student does not obtain approval for a leave of absence, the student will be administratively withdrawn and must reapply for admission to the University. No leave of absence may extend beyond two calendar years for undergraduate students. Any student who takes a leave of absence may be required to adjust the expected date of graduation to complete all requirements for the degree.

The official date for taking a leave of absence is the date on which the written notification is received in the Office of Financial Services and the Registrar.

Leave of Absence - Graduate

Students who wish to interrupt their education must petition the appropriate Program Director using the “Leave of Absence from Graduate Program Request Form.” If the leave of absence is approved and the student fails to return to study for the session or term immediately following the approved leave of absence, or if the student does not obtain approval for a leave of absence, the student will be administratively withdrawn and must reapply for admission to the program. No leave of absence for graduate students may extend beyond one calendar year. Any student who is granted a leave of absence may be required to repeat certain courses as determined by the program director and may be required to adjust the expected graduation date to complete all requirements for the degree.

The official date for taking a leave of absence is the date on which the written notification is received in the Office of Financial Services and the Registrar. (See “Time Limit for Completion of Work”.)

Withdrawal

A student who wishes to withdraw from a course at any time must consult with the major advisor for the undergraduate student or with the Program Director for the graduate student and submit a form with proper signatures to the Registrar. When a student withdraws from all courses at the University, the Registrar must be consulted and an exit procedure must be followed. A total withdrawal is indicated by the student who does not wish to continue to study at Seton Hill in the foreseeable future.

Withdrawal from a course prior to mid-semester shows on the student’s academic record as “W.” After mid-semester, until 80% of the course schedule has been completed, the course professor will assign either a “WP” (withdraw passing) or “WF” (withdraw failing). This will be recorded on the transcript but is not used in grade point computation. After 80% of the course schedule is completed, no withdrawal is permitted. Failure to attend class or merely giving notice to an instructor will not be regarded as the official notice of withdrawal.

The official date of withdrawal from a course or from the University is the date on which written notification from the student is received in the Office of Financial Services and the Registrar. Only by official notification does the withdrawal get recorded.

Military Call-up

Seton Hill University will enforce its withdrawal and refund policies as described in the University Catalog to the full extent possible and practical in every situation. In the case of the issuance of a call-up of reservists to military duty which takes place after the Drop/Add period has ended in a given semester, the following options are available:

  1. If the course content allows for completion through independent study, a grade of Incomplete (“I”) is assigned, and the student may complete the course work to receive a grade (and credits if the course is passed) in a time frame not to exceed one semester after the release from active military duty.
  2. If the course’s structure does not permit completion by the method described in #1, the student may receive a grade of “W” in the course and receive a voucher for the cost of the course (tuition and course-specific fees), provided that the student enrolls in the same course within two years after the release from active military duty, and provided that the student has fully met the financial obligation to Seton Hill prior to that enrollment. If either of these conditions is not met, the voucher will be invalid, and the student will be required to pay for any courses taken in the following semesters.

No credit will be issued for courses that are partially complete, nor will refunds be issued except as the University’s policy states. Students who withdraw from Seton Hill University to serve in any branch of the United States Armed Forces will be readmitted, upon application, under the same standing as when they withdrew from Seton Hill, providing the student left under good standing with the University.

Non-Native English Speakers

Non-native English speaking students will be given a placement test during orientation week. The Associate Dean for Campus Life, Director of Multicultural and International Services will assess proper placement in ESL courses. ESL courses will be required in the first and second semesters of study at Seton Hill University.

Program Changes - Undergraduate

A student may change the program of courses for which she/he is registered only by consent of the faculty advisor and the Registrar. It is the student’s responsibility to notify the Registrar in writing of the intention to change the registration for courses and/or the intention to change the program of study (major, minor, or certificate).

Repetition of Courses

A student may repeat a course, in which case only the higher grade shall be used in computing the grade point average. However, the previous grade received is not removed from the transcript. Only the credits earned in the repeated course count toward graduation. Exceptions to this are courses which are noted as “repeatable for credit.” Undergraduate students may take a single course no more than three times, including attempts that end in a recorded grade of WP/WF to achieve the minimum grade required in the undergraduate program. Any exceptions to this policy must be approved by the Dean. In the graduate program, a student is permitted to take a course no more than two times, including attempts that end in a recorded grade of WP/WF, to achieve the minimum grade required in the graduate program. Any exceptions to this policy must be approved by the Graduate Program Director.

Semester/Term Definitions

Seton Hill University offers classes in three terms each year:

  1. Fall - includes courses that begin in late August or later and end no later than mid to late December. ADP sessions 1 and 2 and Master’s program sessions 1 and 2 are included in the fall term.
  2. Spring - includes courses that begin in late December, in January, or later, and end by the end of May or early in June. J-term, M-term, ADP sessions 3 and 4, and Master’s program sessions 3 and 4 are included in the spring term.
  3. Summer - includes courses that begin in late April or later and end in June, July, or August. ADP session 5 and Master’s program sessions 5 and 6 are included in the summer term.

Student Clearances and Criminal Background Checks

If any student wishes to donate time and effort (volunteering services) or wishes to work for any campus sponsored event or program which involves minors (individuals under the age of 18 years), the student must obtain security clearance. In addition, if the student’s academic major, program, or course work requires observation or work with minors in pre-kindergarten, elementary, or secondary schools or in human service facilities, the student must obtain security clearance. Similarly, a student-athlete participating in special camps or training sessions that involve minors must also obtain security clearance. In all cases, the student is responsible for applying and paying the fees for such clearances.

Current laws generally permit a state/national licensing/certification board or agency to deny a license/certificate to practice if the applicant has been convicted of a felony or other specified crime.

It is the student’s responsibility to know whether he or she is eligible for licensure/certification. If you have been convicted of a crime, it is your responsibility to find out if your background will prohibit you from being licensed/certified and to be employed in your specific field. Seton Hill University and the Graduate Programs’ faculty and staff are NOT able to provide legal advice. If you have any questions about your existing criminal background you may wish to discuss this with legal counsel before applying to the program.

Specific programs may require placement at one or more off-campus training sites, and these sites frequently require a student to pass a criminal background check before the student can be placed for training. If, based upon the results of a criminal background check, the site determines that a student’s participation in its training program would not be in the best interest of the site, the site may deny that student admission to the training program. Student placement in a training site/agency assumes that the applicant possesses good moral character and the ability to successfully pass the rigors of a background investigation and criminal background check. Even if the student has already begun the placement when the results are received, the site may elect to dismiss the student, regardless of the student’s performance while in the training program.

In addition to criminal background checks, students must remember that while in the off-campus training sites they must comply with all policies established by the training site. This may include drug testing, immunization requirements, and other required health information.

Once the student receives the clearance documents, the student must bring those original documents to the Registrar’s Office. The staff there will scan the documents, store the images in a database, and note the date of submission as well as any expiration dates. The original documents will be returned to the student at that time. When the student enters a class or volunteers for an activity that requires the clearances, the instructor, sponsor, or coach will seek verification of the participant’s clearances from the Registrar. For instructions on obtaining clearances click here.

Student Records and FERPA

  1. STUDENT RIGHT TO INSPECT AND DISCLOSE

Seton Hill University has adopted a policy consistent with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) which allows each student to inspect and to review her/his educational records and limits the circumstances in which information contained in a student’s education records might be disclosed. The policy is maintained in the Office of Financial Services and the Registrar.

Student Educational Records Privacy Policy (FERPA Policy)

Section 1. Scope

This policy applies to all faculty, staff, and students of the Seton Hill University (SHU or University) community. As well, the policy applies to any person or entity that is affiliated with the University and seeks to gain access to Student Educational records.

Section 2. Purpose

The University is committed to providing an academically vigorous, safe, and secure environment for all individuals, which includes protecting the rights and the privacy of all students. The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA), 20 U.S.C. § 1232g is a federal law that sets forth the rights and protections that every student is entitled to. SHU is devoted to fully complying with FERPA.

This policy has been implemented in accordance with FERPA in order to mitigate risks to the University and to Students potentially affected by the Disclosure of Educational Records. This policy is also meant to serve as a guideline for members of the SHU community to follow and to notify SHU students of their rights in accordance with FERPA and its regulations.

Section 3. Definitions

(1) “Personally Identifiable Information” means any information that contains items such as:

  1. The Student’s name;
  2. The name of the Student’s Parents or other family members;
  3. The address of the Student or Student’s family;
  4. A personal identifier, such as the Student’s social security number, Student number, or biometric record.
  5. Other indirect identifiers, such as the Student’s date of birth, place of birth, and mother’s maiden name;
  6. Other information that alone or in combination, is linked or linkable to a specific Student that would allow a reasonable person in the school community, who does not have personal knowledge of the relevant circumstances, to identify the Student with reasonable certainty; or Information requested by a person who the University reasonably believes knows the identity of the Student to whom the Educational Record relates.

(2) “Student(s)” means any individual who is or has been in attendance at the University and regarding whom the University maintains Educational Records.

(3) “Parent(s)” means a parent of a Student and includes a natural parent, a guardian, or an individual acting as a parent in the absence of a parent or a guardian.

(4) “Disclose or Disclosure” means to permit access to or the release, transfer, or other communication of personally identifiable information contained in an Educational Record by any means, including oral, written, or electronic means, to any party except the party identified as the party that provided or created the record.

(5) “Educational Record(s)” means any record stored in any medium directly related to a Student maintained by the University or by a party acting for the University.

i. Examples of Educational Records, include but are not limited to the following:

       (1) Official transcripts

       (2) Financial Aid records

(3) Academic files

(4) Student Conduct files

(5) “Unofficial” files

(6) Letters of Recommendation (non-confidential)

(7) Electronic records (including email)

ii. There are six categories that could be maintained by the University and that are excluded from the definition of an Educational Record:

(1) Directory Information. Information that would not generally be considered harmful or an invasion of privacy if Disclosed is considered Directory Information. As defined by SHU policy, the following 14 categories of information have been designated as Directory Information and can therefore be Disclosed without consent of the Student:

i. Name

ii. Mailing and permanent address

iii. Telephone numbers

iv. E-mail addresses

v. Date of birth

vi. Major field of study

vii. Classification (e.g., Freshman, Sophomore, Junior, Senior)

viii.Participation in officially recognized Student activities and sports

ix. Weight and height of members of athletic teams

x. Dates of attendance and anticipated date of graduation

xi. Degrees and awards received

xii. The most recent previous educational institution and attended by the Student xiii.Honors information

xiv.Student ID Card/MySHU Directory Photo

NOTE: Students may opt to have Directory Information kept confidential by submitting a SHU FERPA Directory Information Opt-Out Form for Students to the Registrar. The Student may not choose which one of the 14 categories can and cannot be Disclosed. If the Student opts-out, none of the Directory Information will be Disclosed. In accordance with this policy, the failure by any Student to request specifically the withholding of Directory Information indicates approval for Disclosure of such information.

   (2) Law Enforcement Records. Records created and maintained by SHU Police for law enforcement purposes are not Educational Records under FERPA and therefore may be Disclosed without Student consent.

(3) Sole Possession Records. Records created by SHU faculty and/or staff while the Student is not present, are not shared with others, and are only for the personal use of the creator of the record are not Educational Records under FERPA.

(4) Post-enrollment Records. Records of information obtained about the Student only after the Student has left SHU are not educational records under FERPA. Notwithstanding, if the information relates back to the time the Student was enrolled at the University, it will still be considered an Educational Record and cannot be released without the written consent of the Student.

(5) Treatment Records. Treatment records made or maintained by a SHU health care professional are not Educational Records under FERPA. While Students have no right to personally review treatment records under FERPA, upon receipt of an appropriate executed release, the SHU Wellness Center shall release the Student’s treatment records to a physician or other health care professional who may share them with the Student.

(6) Employment Records. Records pertaining to the employment of Students when the employment is not related to the status of being a Student (i.e., regular SHU position that anyone can hold such as operational or professional non-faculty positions) are not Educational Records under FERPA. However, records pertaining to student employment (e.g., work-study, graduate assistants) will qualify as Educational Records and will be protected under FERPA.

Section 4. Policy

SHU cannot Disclose student “Educational Records” OR “information from educational records” to anyone other than the student UNLESS SHU either: (1) first redacts all “Personally Identifiable Information” concerning the student(s) from the records; OR (2) obtains a signed and dated SHU FERPA Student Consent Form from the affected student(s).

Section 5. Students’ Rights

In accordance with FERPA, Students are given the following four (4) basic rights that the University must respect and protect:

a) The right to consent to the Disclosure of their Educational Records and the information contained in those records.

i) Pursuant to FERPA and SHU policy, the consent of the Student must be provided by submitting a fully executed SHU FERPA Student Consent Form to the Registrar. The form may be obtained from the Office of Financial Services and the Registrar or online on the MySHU page under Forms, Registrar.

ii) In accordance with FERPA, NCAA, and SHU policy, Student-Athletes are required to execute a Buckley Amendment Consent Form online (MySHU) as part of the annual NCAA Compliance Forms. Pursuant to this form, all Student-Athletes give consent to Disclose only to authorized representatives of the institution, its athletics conference (PSAC), and the NCAA, the following documents:

1) The consent form itself;

2) Results of NCAA drug tests and related information and correspondence;

3) Results of positive drug tests administered by a non-NCAA national or international sports governing body;

4) Any high school, University, or any junior college or other four-year institution attended;

5) Precollege test scores, appropriately related information and correspondence (e.g. testing sites, dates, and letters of test-score certification or appeal) and, where applicable, information relating to eligibility for or conduct of nonstandard testing;

6) Graduation status;

7) Race and gender identification;

8) Diagnosis of any education-impacting disabilities;

9) Accommodations provided or approved and other information related to any education-impacting disabilities in all secondary and postsecondary schools;

10) Records concerning financial aid; and

11) Any other papers or information pertaining to NCAA eligibility.

NOTE: The NCAA Buckley Amendment Consent Form does not address the Disclosure of Student-Athlete Educational records to third parties, including other Students and Parents. The general rules of FERPA (and its exemptions) still apply.

b) The right to inspect and review their Educational Records.

i) In accordance with FERPA, Students have the right to inspect and review their own Educational Records. Upon receipt of a properly executed SHU FERPA Student Consent Form, SHU shall give Students access to their Educational Records within 45 days (absent extenuating circumstances). Additionally, the appropriate SHU designee shall respond to reasonable requests from Students for explanations and interpretations of the Educational Records.

        ii) While FERPA gives Students the right to inspect and review, these rights have certain limitations:

(1) The right to inspect and review does not include copies of Educational Records. FERPA provides that copies of the Educational Records need only be given when the failure to do so would effectively prevent the Student from exercising the right to examine the records, e.g., where the student is too far away to commute to campus. SHU policy defines this distance as 50 miles, and reasonable charges for copies may be assessed. (See Registrar’s Fee Schedule posted on MySHU page under Documents, Registrar). NOTE: SHU may lawfully deny copies if the student has an unpaid financial obligation, or unmet procedural obligation, or if there is an unresolved disciplinary or academic action against the student.

(2) If the Educational Record the Student is requesting includes information on another Student, the Student making the request can only have access to the information pertaining to himself or herself.

    (3) Students do not have the right to inspect the following:

a. The financial records of their Parents. Regardless of whether the document that includes the Parents’ financial record is considered a Student’s Educational Record, the Parents’ financial information shall not be given to the Student and the document must be redacted before granting the Student access to it.

b. Confidential letters and statements of recommendations. If the Student has waived the right to review and inspect those documents and they are related to the Student’s admission process or an award recognition, the Student shall not be permitted to have access to these documents. The Student may revoke the waiver in writing. Nonetheless, the revocation will only apply to the documents that are received after the revocation.

c) The right to amend their Educational Records.

i) If a Student believes that his or her Educational Record contains inaccurate or misleading information or information that violates the Student’s right to privacy, the Student may request that the University amend the Educational Record.

ii) The Student must request an amendment from the custodian of the record in question. If the custodian declines, a hearing will be scheduled. If the hearing officer agrees with the Student, the University shall amend the record and notify the Student in writing. In the case that the hearing officer declines to grant the amendment, the Student has the right to place a statement in the record explaining his or her disagreement with the challenged information.

d) The right to file a complaint about any FERPA violation. If a Student believes that a FERPA violation has occurred, the Student should contact the Registrar. Once the complaint is received, the Registrar will investigate the complaint, and in consultation with the Office of the General Counsel, ensure that if there has been a violation it is addressed promptly and notify the Student of its findings.

University Registrar

Administration Building 104

724-830-1010

helpfinreg@setonhill.edu

If the Student disagrees with the findings of the Registrar, the Student may submit in writing a formal complaint to the Family Policy Compliance Office, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW, Washington, D.C. 20202.

Section 7. Parents’ Rights

a) FERPA expressly states that when a Student reaches the age of 18 or is attending an institution of post-secondary education, the rights of access to Student Educational Records “transfer from the Parents to the Students.” Parental rights are terminated unless the Parent(s) either provides an executed SHU FERPA Student Consent Form from the child or submits proof that they claimed the Student as dependent in their most recent tax return.

 b) Disclosure, while not mandatory, is permitted to Parents regarding the Student’s violation of any federal,   state, or local law, or SHU rule or policy governing the use or possession of alcohol or a controlled substance.   If Parents are divorced or separated, both Parents will be given access unless SHU has been provided with evidence that there is a court order or other legally binding document (such as a divorce decree or separation agreement) that specifically revokes these rights.

 

Section 8. Disclosure of Educational Records Without Consent

In general, the University may Disclose Educational Records without the Student’s consent only if it first redacts all Personally Identifiable Information or if one of the following FERPA exemptions apply:

  1. Qualified SHU Officials. Means a person employed by SHU in an administrative, supervisory, academic, research, or support staff position, or a person under contract with SHU to perform a specific task or service in relation to Student. The Qualified SHU Official must have a Legitimate Educational Interest in order to gain access to the Educational Record. When determining whether a Legitimate Educational Interest exists we look at whether the official is:
  1. Performing a task that is specified in the official’s position description or by a contract;
  2. Performing a task that is related to a Student’s education; or
  3. Performing a task related to the processing of a disciplinary charge involving the Student.

NOTE: SHU will use reasonable methods to ensure that officials will only be able to obtain access to those Educational Records in which they have a Legitimate Educational Interest.

b) Other School Officials. SHU is permitted under FERPA to Disclose Educational Records to officials of another school or university where the Student seeks or intends to enroll, is already enrolled, or has been enrolled. The Disclosure must be related to the Student’s enrollment or transfer.

c) Other Circumstances. While most Disclosure will involve some type of Legitimate Educational Interest, SHU may Disclose Educational Records or information from Educational Records in the following circumstances:

​​​​i. In response to a health or safety emergency: The Disclosure must be necessary and limited to only the information needed to address the health or safety emergency. SHU will at its discretion determine what situations constitute emergencies and will also determine what parties need access to the information and which information from the Educational Record is necessary.

 

ii. In response to a judicial order or lawfully issued subpoena: The University’s Office of the General Counsel will make a reasonable effort to notify the Student of the order or subpoena in advance of compliance. However, SHU obligations are limited to notifying the Student. SHU is not required to defend against the order or subpoena on the Student’s behalf. There are two occasions where SHU may not give notice to the Student:

1. In the case of a grand jury: if the court or issuing agency has ordered that the existence or contents of the subpoena or information furnished in response not be Disclosed, SHU will not give notice to the Student.

2.  Ex parte court order: SHU will not give notice to the Student if the order is obtained by the United States Attorney General (or designee not lower than an Assistant Attorney General) concerning investigation or prosecution of an offense listed in 18 U.S.C. 2332b(g)(5)(B) or an act of or intentional terrorism as defined in 18 U.S.C. 2331.

 

 iii. The Disclosure is to a court in the context of a lawsuit between the Student and SHU. The Disclosure will be limited to that information which is relevant to the lawsuit.

  1. The Disclosure is to a victim of an alleged perpetrator of a crime of violence or non-forcible sex offense and consists only of the final results of a SHU disciplinary proceeding in connection with the alleged crime or offense. Under FERPA, SHU can make such Disclosure regardless of the outcome of the proceedings.

NOTE: The term final results is limited to the name of the Student, the basic nature of the violation the Student was found to have committed, and a description and the duration of any sanction SHU has imposed against the Student.

  1. The Disclosure concerns sex offenders and other individuals who are required to register under the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1996, 42 U.S.C. 14071, and the information was provided to SHU under 42 U.S.C. 14071 and applicable federal guidelines.

Section 9. FERPA Notice and Publication SHU Students will be notified every semester of their FERPA rights via email. This FERPA Policy will also be published with University Policies.

Section 10. Confidentiality Agreements

In accordance with FERPA, all SHU employees with potential access to Educational Records shall be required to execute a SHU FERPA Employee Confidentiality Agreement which shall become part of the employee’s personnel file. The Agreement is an online form that can be accessed from MySHU via the following link: http://grif.ly/FERPA. NOTE: This is a MANDATORY Agreement that must be submitted online within five (5) days of completing the FERPA training. Failure to comply may result in the loss of access to MySHU.

Section 11. Resources

For additional information about FERPA or to have a specific question about FERPA or this policy answered, please refer to any of the following resources:

 

University Registrar

Administration Building 104

helpfinreg@setonhill.edu

 

Office of the General Counsel

FERPA FAQ’s Document (MySHU page under Documents, Compliance)

 

Department of Education FERPA FAQ’s

http://familypolicy.ed.gov/faq-page

 

  1. TRANSCRIPTS

An official copy of the student’s transcript will be prepared for any student or for an individual or organization whom the student designates, provided that the student submits the request in writing, with signature, current address, telephone number, and payment of $10 per copy, and provided the student is financially cleared by the Student Accounts Office. “Unofficial” transcripts will be provided only to personnel employed by the University who have a legitimate educational interest in the student (e.g., advisor.)

  1. NAME CHANGE

Students who have a name change after their last enrollment at Seton Hill University or a change from the name submitted on their application for admission must provide a copy of the Social Security card, driver’s license, or other official document showing the new name. No enrollment or records services can be accomplished for a student with a name that differs from that on her/his Seton Hill records. All grade reports, transcripts, and diplomas are issued only under the person’s legal name as recorded by the University Registrar.

  1. REPORTING INFORMATION

If a student knowingly makes a false statement or conceals material information on an application for admission, registration document, or any other university document, the registration of that student may be canceled. If the falsification is discovered after the student has established an academic record at Seton Hill University, the student may be subject to dismissal from the University. Such a student will be ineligible, except by special action of the University, for subsequent enrollment at the University. Depending on the severity of the falsification, legal action may be taken.

  1. RETENTION OF RECORDS

Seton Hill University retains all student records for a period of at least five years after the student leaves Seton Hill University and destroys all but the academic record (transcript) at that time. A longer retention period may be required in some cases, but five years is the minimum period of retention.

Time Limit for Completion of Work - Graduate Programs

All requirements for the master’s degree or graduate certificate must be completed within five (5) years from the initial date of acceptance or date of matriculation into the program, whichever is later. Additional program-specific requirements may apply. A student may request an extension of this time limit for valid reasons from the Provost, whose decision on this matter will be final.

Tobacco-Free Environment

All Seton Hill University facilities are tobacco-free environments. Use of tobacco products is prohibited.

Transfer of Coursework

Transferring Coursework to Seton Hill University, Current Undergraduate Students

Students who are matriculated undergraduate students at Seton Hill University and who wish to take courses at other institutions and have those courses count toward their Bachelor’s degree at Seton Hill University must use the following guidelines and procedure.

Students who are not matriculated, degree-seeking students and who wish to take courses at another institution for professional purposes should determine whether the courses will satisfy the requirements through their professional associations and must understand that such courses will not be posted to the Seton Hill transcript.

Guidelines

  • The other institution where courses are to be taken must be an accredited college, university, or proprietary school.
  • Courses to be considered for transfer credit must be appropriate to apply to the curriculum at Seton Hill University. (For example, courses in fire safety, cosmetology, and machine repair will not generally be considered.)
  • The course, if approved, will be posted to the Seton Hill University transcript only after an official transcript showing the course, grade, and credit earned is received in the Seton Hill University Registrar’s Office.
  • A grade of “C-” or better must be earned in the undergraduate course. Courses taken as pass/fail or for other alternate grades will not be considered for transfer.
  • The Seton Hill grade point average will be based only on credits earned at Seton Hill. Courses transferred in will show on the Seton Hill University transcript with the grade earned, but that grade will not be used in calculating the grade point average for the student.
  • Courses taken at institutions using credit assignments based on a system other than the semester system will be converted to semester credits for the Seton Hill University transcript.

All transcripts submitted to Seton Hill University for evaluation of credits become the permanent property of Seton Hill University and cannot be taken from the files or photocopied.

Procedure

  • The student must present a course number and title, the name of the institution where the course is offered, and a catalog description of the course This must be done prior to enrolling in the course.
  • If the course to be taken at the other institution is required for the student’s major or for teaching certification, the “Course Substitution Form” must be submitted, with all signatures on it, before the course will be considered.
  • If the desired course is to be used for the Liberal Arts Curriculum or as an elective, the Registrar or Associate Registrar will determine for what element, if any, the course will count.
  • Upon petition from the student to enroll in any course at another institution, the Registrar or Associate Registrar will determine whether or not the course will be allowed for transfer credits. This determination is made not only on the basis of the course itself, but also based on Seton Hill University degree requirements as stated in the catalog. (For example, at least one-half of the credits required for any major or minor or teaching certification must be taken at Seton Hill.)
  • The “Enrollment at Another Institution” form will be used to indicate which courses will be acceptable for transfer.
  • If the Registrar receives a transcript from another institution for courses that have not been approved using this procedure, these courses will be evaluated on an individual basis. Without following the procedure as detailed above, the student may or may not receive credits for the courses, based on Seton Hill policies and procedures.

Transferring Coursework to Seton Hill University, Graduate Students

Transfer of credits to a graduate program at Seton Hill University may occur with the following limitations:

  1. A maximum of six (6) credits may be accepted for transfer provided they were earned at the graduate level at an accredited institution, are deemed equivalent to courses in the plan of study, and carry a grade of B or better.

  2. No credit will be accepted for courses completed more than five (5) years prior to the student’s admission to the graduate program.

  3. An official transcript must be submitted along with a catalog description of the course in question.

  4. Transferred grades will be reflected on the student’s plan of study and transcript but will not be computed into the Seton Hill University grade point average.

Under appropriate academic circumstances, students matriculating at Seton Hill University may take courses at other accredited graduate schools. The credits from these courses will be accepted only after prior approval of the Program Director, and after permission has been granted by the Provost, an after an official transcript for these credits is presented to the Registrar.

Undergraduate Students Enrolled in Graduate Courses

Seton Hill University seniors may enroll in graduate courses if those courses are appropriate to their academic program of study. The student must have the Graduate Program Director’s written permission, upon the recommendation of the student’s academic advisor, to enroll in graduate course work.

When enrolling in graduate courses, the student should understand that she/he is expected to complete work at the graduate level, with all academic requirements being the same for graduate and undergraduate students. When a student enrolls in a graduate course prior to receiving her/his baccalaureate degree she/he will designate in writing to the Registrar whether the course is to be counted as undergraduate credit or as graduate credit.

If the course is designated as graduate credit, the student must have successfully completed a minimum of 120 credits in addition to the graduate course(s) to receive the Bachelor’s degree. In order for the graduate course work to be credited towards completion of a graduate degree, the student must have achieved a grade of “B-” or better in the course.

Withdrawal

A student who wishes to withdraw from a course at any time must consult with the major advisor for the undergraduate student or with the Program Director for the graduate student and submit a form with proper signatures to the Registrar. When a student withdraws from all courses at the University, the Registrar must be consulted and an exit procedure must be followed.

Withdrawal from a course prior to mid-semester shows on the student’s academic record as “W.” After mid-semester, until 80% of the course schedule has been completed, the course professor will assign either a “WP” (withdraw passing) or “WF” (withdraw failing). This will be recorded on the transcript, but is not used in grade point computation. After 80% of the course schedule is completed, no withdrawal is permitted. Failure to attend class or merely giving notice to an instructor will not be regarded as an official notice of withdrawal.

The official date of withdrawal from a course or from the University is the date on which written notification from the student is received in the Office of Financial Services and the Registrar.