Academic Policies and Regulations
Students are expected to familiarize themselves with the academic policies contained in this Catalog. Failure to do so does not excuse students from the requirements and regulations described herein.
The Unit Course System
Most courses at Lycoming College are unit courses, meaning that each course taken is considered to be equivalent to four credits. Exceptions occur in applied music and theatre practicum courses, which are offered for either one-half or one credit and in departments that have elected to offer certain courses for the equivalent of one, two, or three credits. Lycoming Scholars and IMS Scholars Seminars are awarded one credit per semester. Furthermore, independent studies and internships may be awarded anywhere from one to 16 credits.
The normal student course load is four unit courses (16 credits) during the fall and spring semesters. Students who elect to attend the special sessions may enroll in one unit course (four credits) during the May term and one or two unit courses (four to eight credits) in each of the Summer terms. A student is considered full time when enrolled for a minimum of three unit courses or the equivalent (12 credits) during the fall or spring semesters, one unit course or the equivalent (four credits) for May term, and two unit courses or the equivalent (eight credits) for each of the Summer terms.
Students may enroll in five unit courses (up to 20 credits) during the fall and spring semesters if they are Lycoming Scholars or were admitted to the Dean’s List at the end of the previous semester. Exceptions may be granted by the Provost and Dean of the College. There will be an additional charge, see Financial Matters.
Overloads are not permitted during the May and Summer terms.
Each fall semester consists of 15 calendar weeks of instruction with 4 holidays (Friday of Long Weekend and Wednesday through Friday of Thanksgiving) plus a week for final exams. Each spring semester consists of 15 calendar weeks of instruction with 6 holidays (spring break week and Good Friday) plus a week for final exams. Each May Term consists of 4 weeks, 4 days per week of instruction with 1 holiday (Memorial Day). Summer Sessions I and II consist of 5 weeks of instruction.
Recommended Instructional Time
For fall and spring semesters, 4-credit courses are held in various forms. Sessions lasting more than 65 minutes are lengthened to allow for short breaks. Standard times:
- Most courses are offered as three 65-minute lecture sessions or two 110-minute lecture sessions
- Art studio courses meet for two 140-minute sessions.
- Natural science and psychology lab courses meet for three 50-minute lecture sessions and one laboratory session of 110 to 170 minutes. Some include an additional 50-minute recitation session.
- Some mathematics courses include an additional 110-minute laboratory or recitation.
During fall and spring semesters, the College also offers 2-credit courses that meet for varying amounts of time, depending on the nature of the course and in-class/outside-of-class demands. Examples include basic algebra, history of dance, and microcomputer file management. Also, many departments offer non-credit colloquia where students, faculty, and outside speakers give presentations on research and other independent work, and music lessons as well as choir and band are offered in both one-credit and half-credit options, depending on time commitment. Lycoming Scholars and Institute for Management Studies weekly seminars also carry one credit and meet for 50 minutes a week.
The credits earned for each course is clearly documented in the College Catalog. All courses are unit courses (4 credit) unless specified otherwise, e.g. 1 credit or 2 credits.
For May Term courses, 4-credit courses meet for 180-minute sessions, four days per week. Summer Term course offerings are generally limited to practica, internships, and field experiences (e.g. archaeological digs).
Recommended Out-of-Class Time Requirements
Students will typically average at least 2 hours a week of outside course work for each credit in the classroom, except in cases where a portion of that time is allocated to additional in-class time that is structured for faculty-supervised self-paced work, e.g. studio art classes and courses with recitation sections. Students taking independent studies, internships, practica, or honors projects are expected to average 3 hours of work (e.g. working on-site, meeting with faculty/internship advisors, researching, and writing) for every credit earned.
Alternative Academic Credit Sources
Matriculated students who wish to study at other campuses must obtain prior written approval to do so from their advisor, the chair of the department in which the credit will be awarded, and the Lycoming College Registrar. Course work counting toward a major or minor must also be approved in advance by the chairperson of the department in which the major or minor is offered. Once a course is approved, the credit and grades for the course will be transferred to Lycoming and calculated in the student’s grade point average as if the courses were taken here. This means that “D” and “F” grades will be transferred as well as all other grades. Unapproved courses will not transfer. A maximum of 6 credits of online courses from a regionally accredited school will be considered for transfer. Students who transferred into Lycoming College with online courses are not eligible to take additional online courses through this process if doing so increases their online course total to more than 6 credits. As with all courses, requests for transfer of online courses are subject to individual departmental review. Final determination of transfer credit will be made by the Registrar based on official transcripts only.
Lycoming College does not have a statute of limitations but it reserves the right to refuse to accept some courses for transfer in which the content is out of date. The Registrar will consult the academic department(s) involved.
Students must complete 32 of their last 40 credits and 16 of the last 20 credits in their major at Lycoming.
Credit By Examination
Students may earn credit or advanced placement through the standardized examinations listed below. A maximum of 50 percent of the course requirements for the Baccalaureate degree may be earned through these examinations. The appropriate academic department will determine which tests they will accept and course equivalencies. A list of approved examinations is available in the Office of the Registrar. Although these examinations may be taken after matriculation, new students who are competent in a given area are encouraged to take the examination of their choice before entering Lycoming so that the college will have the test scores available for registration advising for the first semester of enrollment. Students applying to the college for the first time should inform the Admissions Office that they have completed these tests and provide the official scores as part of their application packet. Continuing students must send official test scores to the Office of the Registrar and inform their academic advisors when examinations have been taken.
The College Entrance Examination Board Advanced Placement (CEEB AP) - In most cases, a score of four is required for credit.
The International Baccalaureate - Students who have completed the full diploma and have scores of five or above on all of the higher level examinations will be granted 32 credits; specific courses will be based on the examinations taken. Students who complete the full diploma but earn less than a score of five on all of the higher level examinations will be granted eight credits for each higher level examination completed with a grade of five or higher and four credits for a satisfactory or higher completion of the Theory of Knowledge requirement. Students who have completed the certificate will be granted credit based on the examinations taken. Standard level examinations will not be considered.
Exelsior College Examinations - A score equivalent to a grade of “B” or above is required.
College Level Examination Program (CLEP) - A score equivalent to a grade of “B” or above is required.
DSST (formerly DANTES) - A score equivalent to a grade of “B” or above is required.
The policy regarding student educational records is designed to protect the privacy of students against unwarranted intrusions and is consistent with Section 43B of the General Education Provision Act (commonly known as the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, as amended). The details of the College policy on student records and the procedures for gaining access to student records are contained in the current issue of the Student Handbook which is available in Snowden library, online (http://www.lycoming.edu/studentLife/studentHandbook/), and in the Office of the Vice President for Student Life.
During the registration period, students select their courses for the next semester and register their course selections in the Office of the Registrar. Course selection is made in consultation with the student’s faculty advisor in order to ensure that the course schedule is consistent with College requirements and student goals. After the registration period, any change in the student’s course schedule must be approved by both the faculty advisor and Office of the Registrar. Students may not receive credit for courses in which they are not formally registered.
During the first five days of classes, students may drop any course without any record of such enrollment appearing on their permanent record, and they may add any course that is not closed. The permanent record will reflect the student’s registration as of the conclusion of the drop/add period. Students wishing to withdraw from a course between the fifth day and the ninth week of classes must process a course withdrawal form in the Office of the Registrar. Withdrawal grades are not computed in the grade point average. Students may not withdraw from courses after the ninth week of a semester and the comparable period during the May and Summer terms. Students who stop attending a course (or courses) but do not withdraw will receive a grade(s) of “F.”
In zero- or 2-credit courses that meet only during the last half of any semester, students may drop/add for a period of five days, effective with the mid-term date shown on the academic calendar. Withdrawal from zero-credit and half-semester courses with a withdrawal grade may occur within 4 1/2 weeks of the beginning of the course.
A special opportunity exists in the Williamsport area for students to take courses at the Pennsylvania College of Technology. Students may enroll for less than a full-time course load at the Pennsylvania College of Technology while remaining enrolled in courses at Lycoming.
Students must be enrolled full-time in a degree program and have earned no more than 93 semester hours. Cross registration is available for the Fall and Spring Semesters and Summer I and II. It is not available for May Term.
Students who do not wish to pursue a degree at Lycoming College may, if space permits, register for credit or audit courses on either a part-time or full-time basis. Students who register for less than 12 credits are considered to be enrolled part time; students who register for 12 or more credits are considered to be enrolled full time and must pay the $300 confirmation/contingency fee. All full-time students are required to pay an activity fee, technology fee, and student health insurance.
Anyone wishing to register as a non-degree student must fill out an application form in the Admissions Office and pay the tuition rate in effect at the time of each enrollment. After a non-degree student has attempted 16 credits, the student must either matriculate or obtain permission from the Provost and Dean of the College to continue study on a non-degree basis.
All non-degree students are subject to the general rules and regulations of the College as stated in the College Catalog and the Student Handbook. The College reserves the right to deny permission to register for individuals who do not meet the standards of the College.
Students who wish to change from a non-degree to a degree status must apply for admission as a degree candidate and satisfy all conditions for admission and registration in effect at that time.
Any person may audit courses at Lycoming at one-fourth tuition per course. Members of the Lycoming College Scholars Program may audit a fifth course per semester at no additional charge. Laboratory and other special fees must be paid in full. Examinations, papers, and other evaluation devices are not required of auditors, but individual arrangements may be made to complete such exercises with consent of the instructor. The option to audit a course must be declared by the end of the drop/add period. Forms are available in the Registrar's Office.
The academic program at Lycoming is based upon the assumption that there is value in class attendance for all students. Individual instructors have the prerogative of establishing reasonable absence regulations in any course. The student is responsible for learning and observing these regulations.
Withdrawal from the College
A student who wishes to withdraw from the College during the semester should contact the Dean of First-Year Students or the Assistant Dean of Academic Services. College personnel will explain the procedure to ensure that the student’s financial and academic records are properly closed.
A student who decides to discontinue study at the College at the end of a semester must provide the Registrar with written notification of such plans in order to receive a refund of the contingency deposit. See Lycoming College Withdrawal Refund Policy for details.
Leave of Absence
Students who find it necessary to leave the College either during a semester or who choose not to return for one or two semesters are eligible to request a Leave of Absence (LOA).
A Leave of Absence occurs when a student leaves the College due to medical or personal/experiential reasons and, at the time of departure, fully intends to return within one or two semesters. A Leave of Absence can occur either during the semester or in advance of an upcoming semester.
Benefits of a Leave of Absence: The student retains college e-mail, is eligible to register for classes during the registration period, may participate in the housing lottery, and remains in an ongoing relationship with the College. The College maintains connection with a student who has every intention of returning.
The following conditions apply to all Leaves of Absence:
- The LOA/Withdrawal Form must be completed with a Dean in Academic Services and signed by all appropriate offices.
- The College retains the matriculation deposit and the advance registration deposit.
- The standard Refund Policy applies, if applicable.
- A student on a Leave must meet the normal deadlines for applying for financial aid in order to be considered for funding for the semester in which the student plans to return.
- Commencing with the last day of enrollment before the Leave takes effect, a student who has taken out an educational loan has a six-month grace period before repayment of the loan must begin, as per federal policy.
- During the LOA, the student must follow the College’s Guest Policy when visiting campus.
- If a student is unable to return from a Leave within the agreed upon time, a request to extend the Leave may be granted by writing to the Office of the Registrar.
- If a student is unable or chooses not to return to the College within the agreed upon time of the Leave, the student’s status code will change from Leave to Withdraw. No action on the part of the student will result in the change of status.
- For students requesting a Leave who are not in good standing, a request to return to the College must be submitted to the Office of the Registrar. The Registrar will then forward the request to the Academic Standards Committee (academic standing) or the Vice President for Student Life (disciplinary standing).
Leave of Absence for Medical Reasons
- A Leave of Absence for medical reasons occurs when a student experiences a medical issue that requires time away from the College to address it.
- To request a Leave of Absence for medical reasons, the student must provide documentation to a Dean in Academic Services from Health Services, Counseling Services, or a recognized medical professional.
- As with any Leave of Absence, a medical LOA is granted for a specified length of time (usually one or two semesters) depending upon the nature of the reason for the LOA.
- When a student is granted a medical LOA during a given semester, the student will receive a grade of “W” or “I” as determined by the course instructor. The determination is made based on the nature of the course and the amount of work yet to be completed. The student should discuss this with a Dean in Academic Services and each course instructor. In the case of an “I,” if the student has not completed the requirements within six months of the start of the Leave, the grade will become a “W.”
Leave of Absence for Personal / Experiential Reasons
- A Leave of Absence for personal or experiential reasons occurs when a student wishes to work, travel, or participate in other meaningful opportunities. In certain circumstances a Leave may be granted if time away from the College is needed to consider future academic plans and goals. As with any Leave of Absence, a personal or experiential LOA is granted for a specified period of time— usually one or two semesters.
- A request for a Leave of Absence for personal reasons may be made to a Dean in Academic Services, and in some cases, in consultation with a faculty member.
- A Leave of Absence for personal reasons is approved by a Dean in Academic Services in consultation with the Provost or Vice President for Student Life depending on the circumstance of the Leave e.g., academic or social.
- A Leave of Absence for experiential reasons is approved by a faculty member in consultation with the appropriate academic departmental chair. If the experiential LOA is for a reason other than an academic pursuit, it will be approved by the Vice President for Student Life.
The evaluation of student performance in courses is indicated by the use of traditional letter symbols. These symbols and their definitions are as follows:
A EXCELLENT — Signifies superior achievement through mastery of content or skills and
demonstration of creative and independent thinking.
B GOOD — Signifies better-than-average achievement wherein the student reveals insight and understanding.
C SATISFACTORY — Signifies satisfactory achievement wherein the student’s work has been of average quality and quantity. The student has demonstrated basic competence in the subject area and may enroll in additional course work.
D PASSING — Signifies unsatisfactory achievement wherein the student met only the minimum requirements for passing the course and should not continue in the subject area without departmental advice.
F FAILING — Signifies that the student has not met the minimum requirements for passing the course.
I INCOMPLETE WORK — Assigned in accordance with the restrictions of established academic policy.
P PASSING WORK, NO GRADE ASSIGNED — Converted from traditional grade of A through D-.
R A REPEATED COURSE — Students shall have the option of repeating courses for which
they have already received a passing grade in addition to those they have failed. Credit is received only once for the course. The most recent course grade—unless it is a W—will count toward the GPA.
W WITHDRAWAL — Signifies withdrawal from the course from the sixth day through the
ninth week of the semester. Students may not exceed 24 credits of unsuccessful course attempts (grade of F and W) except in the case of withdrawal for documented medical or psychological reasons.
X AUDIT — Work as an auditor for which no credit is earned.
Pluses and minuses may be awarded (except for A+, F+, or F-) at the discretion of the instructor.
No other grades carry quality point values.
Semester GPA is calculated by dividing the total number of quality points obtained in any given semester by the number of graded credits from that semester. The total number of quality points is determined by multiplying the quality points for each class by the number of graded credits. Cumulative GPA is calculated in the same way, using all quality points and graded credits completed at or transferred to the college. The cumulative GPA is not determined by averaging semester GPA’s.
The grade point average for credits achieved in the major and minor is calculated in the same way as the cumulative grade point average. A minimum of 2.00 is required for both the cumulative grade point average and the grade point average in the major(s) (and minor(s), if applicable) to meet the requirements for graduation.
Use of the pass/fail grading option is limited as follows:
- Students may enroll on a P/F basis in no more than one 4-credit course per semester and in no more than four 4-credit courses during their undergraduate careers.
- P/F courses completed after declaration of a major or minor may not be used to satisfy a requirement of that major or minor, including courses required by the major or minor department which are offered by other departments. (Instructor-designated P/F courses are excepted from this limitation.)
- Courses for which a grade of P is recorded may not be used toward fulfillment of any General Education requirement.
- A course selected on a P/F basis from which a student subsequently withdraws will not count toward the 4-course limit.
- Instructor-designated P/F courses may be offered during the May term with the approval of the Provost and Dean of the College. Such courses are not counted toward the four-course limit.
- P grades are not computed in the grade point average.
- Students electing the P/F option may designate a minimum acceptance letter grade from A to B-. If the student earns the designated grade or better, the grade will be recorded on the permanent record and computed in the grade point average. If a passing grade lower than the designated grade is earned, a grade of P will be recorded in the permanent record but will not be computed in the grade point average. If a student selects P/F (with no designated minimum acceptance grade) and earns a grade of A to D-, a P will be recorded on the permanent record but not computed in the grade point average. In all cases, if a student earns a grade of F, this grade will be recorded on the permanent record and computed in the student’s grade point average.
- Students must declare the P/F option before the drop/add deadline.
- Instructors are not notified which of their students are enrolled on a P/F basis.
- Students electing the P/F option are expected to perform the same work as those enrolled on a regular basis.
Incomplete grades may be given if, for absolutely unavoidable reasons (usually medical in nature), the student has not been able to complete the work required in the course. An incomplete grade must be removed within six weeks of the next regular semester, otherwise the incomplete is converted to an “F.”
Repetition of Course
Students shall have the option of repeating courses for which they have already received a passing grade in addition to those which they have failed. Recording of grades for all repeated courses shall be governed by the following conditions:
- A course may be repeated only one time. Both attempts will be recorded on the student’s transcript.
- Credit for the course will be given only once.
- The most recent grade will count toward the GPA with this exception: A “W” grade cannot replace another grade.
Final Course Grade Appeal Process
Assigning final course grades is a responsibility that falls within the professional judgment and expertise of each faculty member. Grades assess as accurately as possible a student’s performance according to clear criteria provided in the course such as academic performance, class attendance, and punctuality in submitting assignments. Student appeals of the final course grade must follow the three-step procedure outlined below.
(1) At any time after final grade reports are issued but no later than two weeks into the beginning of the semester following the conclusion of the course, the student must request an informal conference with the instructor to discuss the grade and attempt to resolve the concern.
(2) If the outcome of the informal conference is not satisfactory to the student or if the instructor is not available, the student may submit a written request to meet with the department chairperson (or another faculty member in the department in instances involving the chairperson) within two weeks of meeting with the instructor. The student’s request must include a written statement outlining the basis for the appeal and documenting the date(s) when the student met with the course instructor. It is the function of the chairperson to determine the relevant facts and to attempt to resolve the disagreement. The decision regarding the course grade in question will be made by the instructor in consultation with the chairperson (or his/her stand-in). The student will receive from the department chairperson written notification of the decision within one week of the meeting with the chairperson.
(3) If resolution has not been achieved at step two, the student or the instructor may make a written appeal to the Provost and Dean of the College within two weeks of the department chairperson’s written notification. In order to resolve the disagreement, the Provost and Dean will confer with the student and the instructor in private sessions. If the Provost and Dean is unable to accomplish a resolution, she/he will forward the case to the Committee on Academic Standards.
(4) Appeal to the Committee on Academic Standards is the most serious level a final course grade appeal can reach. Both the student and the instructor must submit brief written statements (with accompanying documentation) to the Committee, describing the matter as they understand it. The Committee may decide not to hear the appeal on the basis of the written statements. If it does hear the appeal, the Committee will make a final decision in the matter, which could include changing the original grade. Cases involving grade appeals to the Committee on Academic Standards will be heard by the entire committee but will be voted on only by the four faculty members serving on the committee. The Provost and Dean of the College will communicate in writing to the student and the instructor the final decision of the Committee within three weeks of receiving the appeal. This is the final step in the appeal process.
The following table is used to determine the academic grade level of degree candidates. See Financial Aid for more information.
Good Academic Standing
Students will be considered in good academic standing if they meet the following standard:
Students who do not meet the standards for good academic standing and/or who have earned two or more failing grades at the end of any given semester will be placed on academic probation for the next semester.
Students on academic probation are required to pass ARC 100, Success Skills Workshop, if they have not already done so and are encouraged to attend programs developed by the Dean for First-Year Students or the Assistant Dean of Academic Services.
Students are eligible for suspension from the College when:
- their cumulative grade point average is below good standing for any two semesters, or
- they earn a grade point average of 1.50 or under in any one semester.
The period of suspension will be for a minimum of one full semester, not including May term or the summer sessions.
- After this time students may apply for readmission to the College. The decision for readmission will be made by the Committee on Academic Standards. Readmission is not guaranteed.
- Students readmitted after suspension will be on academic probation.
- Students readmitted after suspension who fail to meet the required standards may be dismissed.
- Students may request permission to take courses at another institution. Courses not receiving prior approval will not be accepted for transfer.
Students will be subject to dismissal from the College when:
- they exceed 24 credits of unsuccessful course attempts (grades of F and W) except in the case of withdrawal for documented medical or psychological reasons, or
- they cannot reasonably complete all requirements for a degree.
The standard length of dismissal will be for a period of two years.
- After this time, students may apply for readmission to the College. The decision for readmission will be made by the Committee on Academic Standards. Readmission is not guaranteed.
- Students readmitted after dismissal will be on academic probation.
- Students may request permission to take courses at another institution. Courses not receiving prior approval will not be accepted for transfer.
Probation, suspension, and dismissal become effective at the end of the semester in which the student fails to meet the academic standards listed above. The student will be notified of such action via U.S. mail. Receipt of such notice is not a prerequisite to the student’s being placed on probation, suspension, or dismissal.
The integrity of the academic process of the College requires honesty in all phases of the instructional program. The College assumes that students are committed to the principle of academic honesty. Students who fail to honor this commitment are subject to dismissal. Procedural guidelines and rules for the adjudication of cases of academic dishonesty are found in The Student Handbook.
Students are admitted to the Dean's List at the end of the fall and spring semesters if they meet all of the following conditions:
- complete at least 12 credits for the semester at Lycoming or an approved affiliate,
- cooperative, or exchange program (see section of catalog dealing with Study Abroad,
- Cooperative programs, The Philadelphia Center, Washington Semester, United Nations
- Semester, and Capitol Semester)
- earn a minimum grade point average of 3.50 for the semester
- do not incur grades of F
- do not incur grades of P (except in choir, band, and in those courses graded only as P/F)
- do not repeat any courses (except those which may be repeated for credit)
Students are awarded the Bachelor of Arts degree or the Bachelor of Science degree with honors when they have earned the following grade point averages based on all courses attempted at Lycoming, with a minimum of 64 credits required for a student to be eligible for honor:
Academic Honor Awards, Prizes, and Societies - Superior academic achievement is recognized through the conferring of awards and prizes at the annual Honors Convocation and Commencement and through election to membership in honor societies.
Lycoming College reserves the right to amend or change the policies and procedures stated in this handbook without prior notice to those who may be affected by them. The provisions of this publication are not to be regarded as an irrevocable contract between the applicant and/or the student and Lycoming College.