ACADEMIC POLICIES


Academic policy information for Bachelor (undergradute) and Master (graduate) degree programs. Please select the relevant link below.

BACHELOR/UNDERGRADUATE DEGREES

REQUIREMENTS FOR DEGREES

To earn the Bachelor’s degree, the student must:

  • Complete 120 semester hours of coursework, with an overall grade point average (G.P.A.) of 2.0.
  • Complete a minimum of 25% of the credit hours required for the degree through instruction offered at the College.
  • Complete a Major program of study, with a G.P.A. of 2.25 in the Major (some majors may require a higher G.P.A., please see major information for specifics)
  • Satisfactorily complete all coursework in the General Education core curriculum.
  • Submit all official postsecondary transcripts.
  • Participate in all outcomes assessment activities as required.
  • Make payment of all tuition and fees.

Although advisors are available to guide students in planning, it is the student’s ultimate responsibility to see that all requirements for graduation are met, including General Education core requirements, requirements within a chosen major program of study and any other degree requirements applicable to individual students.
Students who have completed all graduation requirements and are in good standing with the institution are eligible to participate in graduation exercises. All graduates are expected to participate in the winter or spring commencement exercises of the College.
Those who have completed program requirements but have not yet graduated may request a letter of completion. All academic and financial obligations must be met prior to the College releasing a completion statement. Students may contact the Registrar’s Office for information.

DOUBLE MAJORS

A double major is the simultaneous completion of two or more baccalaureate-level majors leading to the same degree designation. A student may qualify for multiple majors by meeting the total requirements of each major.

SECOND BACHELORS DEGREE

Tusculum College will confer a second bachelor’s degree when students meet the following requirements:

  1. Completion of a first bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited collegiate institution. Note: Duplicate degrees will not be awarded for any reason.
  2. Acceptance and enrollment at Tusculum College as a degree-seeking student.
  3. Submission and approval of a declaration of major form.
  4. Successful completion of the minimum number of hours for the major as stated in the college catalog.
  5. Satisfaction of any additional general education/elective hours for the major.
  6. Satisfaction of the residency requirement.
  7. Adherence to any additional academic/financial obligations. A student pursuing a second bachelor’s degree is subject to all departmental admissions requirements and to all departmental and college graduation requirements

COURSEWORK

The Bachelor degree requires satisfactory completion of college work that must include the General Education courses as well as a major program of study. Elective courses constitute the remainder of the student’s academic program. Many students also choose to earn a minor or concentration, although this is not a graduation requirement. Students may complete their program of study under the catalog under which they entered or subsequent catalogs if they choose to do so.

In general, the student who successfully completes a course will earn the equivalent of three semester hours of credit; 40 courses or one hundred and twenty semester hours are required for graduation.

Satisfactory completion of work for graduation requires that the student earns a minimum G.P.A. of 2.00, or an overall “C” for all courses taken. The student must earn a minimum G.P.A. of 2.25 in the major program of study. All students are required to complete a minimum of 25 percent of credit hours required for the degree through instruction offered at Tusculum College.

SERVICE-LEARNING/CIVIC ARTS

Traditional

At Tusculum College, service-learning is an integral part of the curriculum. All students have the opportunity to get practi- cal experience outside the classroom and a chance to serve the community through coursework required in the major. Students acquire valuable skills in areas such as leadership, collective de- cision-making, communication, working in groups and public problem-solving. Most importantly students gain knowledge of their ability to work with others to make a difference.

Graduate and Professional Studies

The concept of service is integral to the civic arts tradition at Tusculum College. In the Graduate and Professional Studies program, this is evidenced through the inclusion of community service in both undergraduate and graduate levels through proj- ects and events shared by students, faculty and staff. Because most adult students have already established interests in civic activities, this base provides a building block for increased em- phasis on the importance of the citizen’s role in our democracy.

DEGREES WITH DISTINCTION

Degrees with distinction are granted to undergraduate stu- dents for outstanding academic performance. All collegiate level work, including work taken at other accredited colleges, will be used to determine the required average. The grade point averag- es required for these degrees are as follows:

Cum Laude                     3.50 – 3.74
Magna Cum Laude        3.75 – 3.95
Summa Cum Laude        3.95 – 4.00

BRUCE G. BATTS MEDAL

Bruce G. Batts was the founding director of the Warren W. Hobbie Center for the Civic Arts. His vision, creativity, careful thinking, determination and concern for others were crucial factors in launching the major changes that continue to shape Tusculum College today. It was Mr. Batts who first suggested the name “Commons” for the newly developed core curriculum. It was Mr. Batts who worked diligently to assist in finding sources of funding for the important innovations taking shape here. It was from his frequent essays and thoughtful conversations that members of the community learned to think more deeply about goals and methods in transforming the College.

With the Bruce G. Batts Medal, Tusculum College perpetuates the memory of this outstanding pioneer and honors a graduating student who has demonstrated to a high degree the qualities that characterized Mr. Batts and, in fact, qualities which well represent the Civic Arts: consistent civility in dealing with others, a high level of scholarship and careful thinking and a strong pattern of service to others.

INDEPENDENT PROGRAM OF STUDY

If a Traditional (Residential) student wishes to declare a program of study not officially offered by this institution, an “Independent Program of Study” may be declared. Applicants must have at least a 2.75 G.P.A. and have second semester sophomore standing. Students must solicit independent program of study approval from their advisor, the department chair and the Ad- missions and Standards Committee. An Independent Program of Study requires a minimum of 18 hours of coursework at the 300 or 400 level.

Independent Program of Study with Two Areas

  • A minimum of 30 hours in the primary area.* A minimum of 21 hours in the secondary area.

Total of 51 semester hours.

Independent Program of Study with Three Areas

  • A minimum of 24 hours in the primary area.* A minimum of 18 hours in the secondary area. A minimum of 12 hours in the tertiary area.

Total of 54 semester hours.

*Primary area must be an existing major.

COURSE FORMATS

Tusculum College students have the opportunity to experience a variety of course formats. The majority of course offerings are technology enhanced in that students and instructors meet face-to-face for most of the instruction but utilize a variety of complementary technologies. Some coursework, however, may be either hybrid or completely online as described below.

Technology Enhanced – Courses that utilize various technologies for complementary communicative/interactive purposes are considered to be technology enhanced. Examples can include a course management system and its associated features, on- line homework system, email services, computer software or programs and other available, appropriate technical resources. Courses are designed to integrate technologies that facilitates the fulfillment of course learning objectives.

Hybrid – Hybrid courses may involve a mixture of face-to- face, online and independent learning approaches. The learning objectives of the course remain the same as in a traditional course format; however, students are expected to spend some time fulfilling learning requirements outside of the traditional classroom setting. The purpose of integrating face-to-face and online instruction is to utilize the best aspects of both environments to meet course learning objectives. Any course taught at Tusculum College that has 25% but less than 100% of its instructional contact time in a non-traditional format is designated as a hybrid course.

Online – In the absence of routine face-to-face instruction and 100% use of online instructional delivery, a course is designated as an online course. Instruction is not constrained by geography or time; instead instruction and student fulfillment of course responsibilities is accomplished through the use of online technologies. Course learning objectives are explored utilizing virtual classrooms via the Internet. In some cases, course examinations may be proctored at approved facilities.

COURSE LOAD

Traditional and Graduate and Professional Studies

A student may enroll in a maximum of 19 semester hours of academic credit per fall, spring or summer term without prior approval by the Registrar and without extra tuition charges. Students must register for a minimum of 6 semester hours per Eight Week Session. Registrations exceeding 19 semester hours require approval from the Admissions and Standards Commit- tee. Students in the Traditional program will be allowed to take only 1-online course per eight week session and no more than 2-online courses in a semester without prior approval from Ad- missions and Standards.

UNDERGRADUATE TERM HONORS

  • President’s List:  The President’s List includes students who have completed 12 semester hours in a fall or spring term earning a 4.0 G.P.A.
  • Dean’s List:  The Dean’s List includes students who have com- pleted 12 semester hours in a fall or spring term earning a 3.50 G.P.A. and above.
  • Charles Oliver Gray Scholars List:  The Charles Oliver Gray Scholars List includes students who have maintained President’s or Dean’s List standing for two consecutive terms.

REPEATING COURSES

Students may repeat courses. All attempts will be recorded on the permanent record along with the grades received. For all repeated courses, only the last attempt will be used to determine G.P.A. and hours earned for graduation. An “R” will be placed on the transcript by all courses that have been repeated. To avoid repeating grades with courses at another institution, by CLEP/ DSST exams or other sources, the student MUST seek prior approval from the Tusculum College Registrar.

COURSES AT ANOTHER INSTITUTION

All courses taken at another institution must be approved by the Tusculum College Registrar. Unauthorized coursework may result in duplication of previously earned credit or denial of credit. Official transcripts are required upon completion of coursework at another school.

TRANSFER CREDITS FOR UNDERGRADUATE DEGREES

Tusculum College will consider applicants for admission by way of transfer from colleges and universities accredited by regional accrediting agencies. Applicants seeking transfer of coursework from postsecondary institutions with national or specialized accreditation may request that the Registrar’s Office review such credit with the pertinent academic department, provided the transcript and course syllabi are official and remitted directly from the applicant’s previous institution. A transfer applicant must have a transcript sent from each previous institution denoting all college work taken. Only those transcripts sent by the credit granting institution will be deemed as official. An evaluation of transfer credit will be completed by the Registrar to determine which courses apply toward the student’s degree program.

Transfer grades of “D” and “F” are treated in the same way as those earned in Tusculum College courses. Therefore, all trans- fer “D” grades are used as hours toward graduation; and all “D” and “F” grades are used to compute the grade point average. Grades of “D” cannot be counted in the total number of hours required in the major.

The College accepts Associate of Arts or Associate of Science degrees from any accredited junior/community college. Students interested in transferring to Tusculum should be aware that upon receiving official transcripts from all institutions previously at- tended, the College will evaluate completed courses and will ad- vise the student of the courses still needed to fulfill Tusculum’s general requirements. Transfer students, excluding Teacher Education students, who hold an Associate of Art or Associate of Science degree will not be required to take additional General Education coursework other than an approved Religious Studies course and any pre-requisite coursework required in their specific program of study. Teacher Education students who hold an Associate of Science in Teaching (A.S.T.) will not be required to take additional General Education coursework other than an approved Religious Studies course and any program pre-requisite coursework.

Tusculum College has articulation agreements with several institutions awarding associate degrees. If any section of the articulation agreement differs from the Tusculum College catalog, the articulation agreement will be used in determining transfer credit. Additional information regarding articulation agreements is available in the Registrar’s Office or online at http://web.tusculum.edu/apply/transfer-students/.

Veterans seeking college credit must submit a certified Veterans’ Form DD214 showing an honorable discharge with at least six months service. Up to seven semester hours of physical edu- cation elective credit may be awarded. Those still serving in the military may be awarded up to seven semester hours of physical education elective credit by submitting basic training documentation. Tusculum College participates in the Yellow Ribbon G.I. Education Enhancement Program (Yellow Ribbon Program), which is a provision of the Post-9/11 Veterans Educational Assistance Act of 2008. Additional information regarding the Yellow Ribbon Program is available in the Registrar’s Office.

COURSE LEVELS

All courses at Tusculum College are identified by numbers composed of three digits with the first number designating the level of instruction.

Pre-College  division:  Courses number  000  to  099,  ENGL 100 and MATH 100 are pre-collegiate developmental/remedial courses offering no college credit.

Lower-division: Courses numbered 101 to 199 are primarily freshman exploratory discipline or introductory General Education courses open to all students without restriction, if no other prerequisite is listed. Courses numbered 200-299 are primarily second-level discipline or General Education courses intended for students with sophomore standing or students who have met the prerequisite.

Upper-division: Courses numbered 300-399 are primarily junior-level discipline courses carrying a wider range of prerequisites and are designed to build on foundations learned in low- er-division courses. Courses numbering 400-499 are primarily senior-level advanced discipline and capstone courses which depend heavily on prerequisite foundations and are designed to lead to post-baccalaureate employment, graduate study or professional school.

ADVANCED PLACEMENT PROGRAMS

Tusculum College participates in the AP, CLEP and the DSST Programs. These programs allow a student to receive course credit without participating in the course by successfully completing a standardized examination. Only official scores coming from an authorized testing center will be evaluated. Credit for exams appearing on transcripts from other colleges will not be evaluated. A maximum of 18 semester hours of credit earned through these examinations may be applied by undergraduate students to the total number of semester hours required for grad- uation.

Tusculum College grants credit for satisfactory scores made on AP, CLEP and DSST exams providing the following have been met:

  1. The student has received permission to take the exam from the Registrar (CLEP and DSST only).
  2. The student must pass with the minimum score determined by the Tusculum College faculty for the AP and the American Council on Education (ACE) for CLEP and DSST.
  3. Credit will be received as “pass,” that is, no hours attempted or quality points will be computed in the examinee’s quality point average.
  4. Unsatisfactory scores will not become a part of the student’s record.
  5. The number of semester hours granted will be determined by the scope of the material measured, as recommended by the Council on College-Level Examination (CLEP and DSST).
  6. AP, CLEP and DSST credit may not be acceptable for Pre-Professional and Education majors.

ACADEMIC TIME

Traditional

Classes may be scheduled from 8:00 a.m. until 3:30 p.m., while science course laboratories sessions may extend until 4:00 p.m. The typical morning class is scheduled between 8:30 and 11:30. The typical afternoon class is scheduled between 12:30 and 3:30. Naturally, when field trips are scheduled, the trip may extend beyond these hours. Course syllabi will identify any additional class meeting times.

Graduate and Professional Studies

Classes in the Graduate and Professional Studies program are held at times convenient to students such as in the evening or online and provide the flexibility for students to customize their schedule to a pace that fits their lifestyle needs.

ACADEMIC YEAR

Traditional

The academic year at Tusculum is divided into two semesters comprised of two eight-week blocks and a semester block. In addition to the six sessions offered during the regular academic year, two summer school sessions are offered. The standard academic year is 30 weeks, during which the student completes 30 credit hours.

Graduate and Professional Studies

Academic programs in GPS may be offered on an eight-week, 16-week or 12-week (fall, spring, summer semesters) format.

ADDING AND DROPPING CLASSES

Traditional

Students may add or drop classes for which they have registered. For courses already in progress (that is, the class has met at least one time), students may add or drop through the end of the first week of classes. All students are required to meet with advisors during the advising period to handle schedule adjust- ments and other academic matters. The Registrar cannot accept drop/add forms without the signature of the advisor and instructor. Exceptions to this procedure must be authorized by the Admissions and Standards Committee and affected instructors. Dropping a course without authorization automatically results in a grade of “F” if any course meeting is attended or a grade of “NR” if no course meeting is attended. (Please refer to the Tuition and Fees” section located in the appropriate section of the catalog for adjustment in charges).

Graduate and Professional Studies

Students are required to contact their professional advisor each time they drop or add a course. This allows the advisor time to review the degree requirements and advise the student accordingly. When adding a course, students must complete and sign the Drop/Add Form and submit the required payment for the course. Students must register for courses at least seven days prior to the starting date of the course. Students are responsible for obtain- ing the course syllabus from the Tusculum Website (Please refer to the “Tuition and Fees” section for adjustment in charges).

WITHDRAWAL FROM CLASS

Traditional

Prior to the midpoint of a course, a student may drop (with a “W” on the transcript) that course by (1) obtaining a Course Withdrawal Form in the Registrar’s Office, (2) securing the signatures of the instructor and the academic advisor and (3) returning the form to the Registrar’s Office before the midpoint of the particular course/lab. Students withdrawing from a course should be aware that it may affect financial aid, eligibility for athletics and graduation date. Withdrawing from a course with- out authorization automatically results in a grade of “F”.

Graduate and Professional Studies

Students who withdraw from Graduate or Undergraduate pro- grams may not return to their original cohort group for subsequent courses without written permission from their program chair/coordinator since the curriculum is sequenced to be completed in the prescribed order. In most cases, students will be advised to re-enter their program with the next available cohort group. Interdisciplinary Studies and Special Education majors must complete an interview with the Teacher Education Committee before being placed in a new cohort group.

A student who must withdraw from any undergraduate pro- gram must complete the College withdrawal procedure. The student must notify a representative of the GPS academic advising staff at their cohort site and complete a College withdrawal form. The form may be obtained via telephone or email request from a member of the academic advising staff, and may be faxed to the student and returned in person or by fax. Official withdrawal is effective upon the College’s receipt of the written request to withdraw and upon approval by appropriate administrative offices. Failure to complete the withdrawal procedure before the first night of the course will result in a charge for the course and a grade of “F” or “NR.” Students are advised to retain a copy of the returned email response from their academic advisor, the completed withdrawal form and the fax receipt for their records. (Please refer to the “Tuition and Fees” section located in the Tusculum College Catalog for adjustment in charges.) For reporting purposes, the last day of the academic activity will be determined by the College.

Undergraduate (GPS and Residential) withdrawal dates for the 2016-17 academic year are as follows:

Block 1: August 15 – October 8

   Withdraw Date: September 12

Block 2: October 10 – December 10

   Withdraw Date: November 14

Block 3: August 15 – December 10

   Withdraw Date: October 10

Block 4: January 9 – March 4

   Withdraw Date: February

Block 5: March 13 – May 6

   Withdraw Date: April 10

Block 6: January 9 – May 6

   Withdraw Date: March 13

Block A: May 8 – June 17

Withdraw Date: May 30

Block B: June 19 – August 5

   Withdraw Date: July 17

Block C: May 29 – July 29

   Withdraw Date: June 26

WITHDRAWAL FROM COLLEGE

Traditional

A student who wishes to withdraw from the College should apply directly to the Director of Academic Advising for the proper withdrawal procedure. Formal withdrawal from the College must be initiated by a written request to withdraw from Tusculum College signed and dated by the student. Official withdrawal is effective upon the College’s receipt of the written request to withdraw and upon approval by appropriate administrative offices. Dropping out of class without official withdrawal earns a grade of “F” or “NR” in each course. A grade of “W” will be posted for the student who properly withdraws. Unless the withdrawal is initiated before classes begin or during the official College refund period, the student will be responsible for all charges for the semester. For reporting purposes, the last day of the academic activity will be determined by the College.

Graduate and Professional Studies

A student who must withdraw from any undergraduate pro- gram must complete the College withdrawal procedure. The student must notify a representative of the GPS academic advising staff at their cohort site and complete a College withdrawal form. The form may be obtained via telephone or email request from a member of the academic advising staff, and may be faxed to the student and returned in person or by fax. Official withdrawal is effective upon the College’s receipt of the written request to withdraw and upon approval by appropriate administrative offices. Failure to complete the withdrawal procedure before the first night of the course will result in a charge for the course and a grade of “F” or “NR.” Students are advised to retain a copy of the returned e-mail response from their academic advisor, the completed withdrawal form and the fax receipt for their records. (Please refer to the “Tuition and Fees” section of the Tusculum College Catalog for adjustment in charges.) For reporting purposes, the last day of the academic activity will be determined by the College.

STUDENT LEAVE OF ABSENCE

Students who are in good standing with the College may be granted a leave of absence for specific vocational, military, educational or personal circumstances (financial, medical, mental health, etc.) of up to two semesters (maximum of 180 days in a 12 month period). Undergraduate and graduate students who wish to apply for such a leave must apply in writing to their academic advisor and program dean by submitting the request and supporting documentation to the advisor and dean as soon as possible. The dean is responsible for notifying the Registrar’s Office and Director of Advising of the exact dates for which a student Leave of Absence has been approved. Graduate students who wish to apply for a leave of absence must apply in writing to their academic advisor and program dean by submitting the request and supporting documentation to the academic advisor and program dean as soon as possible.

An approved leave of absence guarantees a student’s readmission at the end of the specified leave term. All requests to study at another institution during the leave must be approved in ad- vance by the faculty advisor and Registrar.

Financial aid recipients should check with the Financial Aid Office as federal guidelines do not allow for more than an 180- day leave of absence without impacting aid.

All students should check on their student account with the Business Office prior to taking a leave of absence and before registering upon return. Students may not be able to register de- pending on their balance.

USING VETERANS AFFAIRS BENEFITS

Once accepted to the college, it is the responsibility of the student to insure all needed information is provided to the School Certifying Official (SCO). This includes, but is not limited to, copy of application for VA Benefits to be used at Tusculum College or copy of the letter of eligibility, copy of DD-214 if student is the service member, and VA Certification Request form.

A new VA Certification Request Form must be submitted to the SCO when a student submits or amends registration, de- clares or changes major/catalog or changes VA benefits. No certifications or amendments to previous certifications will be submitted to the VA without a VA Certification Request Form. It is also the responsibility of the student to inform the SCO when a grade of F or NR is earned in a course. Failure to notify the SCO in writing of any changes or failing grades may result in a balance owed to the Department of Veteran’s Affairs and/or Tusculum College. Please the Financial Aid section of the Tusculum College Catalog for details on how to inquire and apply.

MILITARY DEPLOYMENT POLICY

Members of the United States military, including reserve forces, may be eligible for a military leave of absence. This policy follows the guidelines established in the HEROES Act of 2003 in determining appropriate accommodations for military service members who are responding to a war, national emergency or other military operation.

In accordance with the HEROES Act, students who experiences a disruption in their program due to active military service may be granted the following accommodations by Tusculum College:

  1. Students who are granted a military leave of absence will be given the option of withdrawing from all their courses or re-

questing an Incomplete (“I”) grade for any courses in which they were registered when granted the leave. Students who withdraw from their courses as a result of active military service will be given the option of a tuition credit or appropriate refund for the courses they were unable to complete. Students who request an “I” grade must get approval from all their course instructors and be able to complete the required assignments independently, outside of the classroom. Students who request an “I” grade are not issued a tuition credit.

  1. Students who are granted a military leave of absence are not required to meet financial obligations to Tusculum while on leave.
  2. Time spent on a military leave of absence does not count toward the student’s maximum time to degree completion.
  3. Tusculum will provide flexibility and accommodations for administrative deadlines for students on a military leave of absence.
  4. Withdrawing does not impact a student’s G.P.A. or course completion ration.

Students must coordinate the military leave of absence process through the Registrar.

REQUESTING A MILITARY LEAVE OF ABSENCE

To request a formal military leave of absence, students must complete and submit the Military Leave of Absence Request Form (obtained from the Registrar) and the required documentation prior to the start of their military leave. Students must indicate the beginning date of the leave of absence and the anticipated date of return. Students can also request a military leave by emailing the Registrar.

Students must also submit one of the following pieces of documentation to the Registrar at their earliest convenience:

  1. Deployment or mobilization orders, including the dates the student will be affected.
  2. An official letter from a commanding officer, including the dates the student will be affected.

Upon receipt of the request, the Registrar will review the request, issue a decision and notify the student via email. If the student is granted a military leave of absence, Tusculum will report the student’s leave status to the National Student Clearinghouse.

RETURNING FROM A MILITARY LEAVE OF ABSENCES

The Registrar will track students’ anticipated dates of return and contact them before they resume the program.

Upon returning from a military leave of absence, students are responsible for completing and submitting the Returning from a Military Leave of Absence Form from the Registrar. Students can also request their return from a military leave of absence by calling and/or emailing the Registrar.

The Registrar will work with students to determine the next steps for resuming their program. Students returning from a military leave of absence may resume courses at the beginning of a block.

MILITARY SPOUSE LEAVE OF ABSENCE

Spouses of members of the United States military, including reserve forces, may be eligible for a military spouse leave of absence. To qualify for a military spouse leave of absence a student must be legally married to the military service member.

Tusculum College provides the following accommodations to students who experience a disruption in their program due to the active military service of a spouse:

  1. Students who are granted a military spouse leave of absence will be given the option of withdrawing from all their courses or requesting an Incomplete (“I”) grade for all courses in which they were registered when granted the leave. Students who with- draw from their courses as a result of a military spouse leave of absence will be given the option of a tuition credit or appropriate refund for the courses they were unable to complete. Students who request an “I” grade must get approval from their course instructor and be able to complete the required assignments in- dependently, outside of the classroom. Students who request an “I” grade are not issued a tuition credit.
  2. Students who are granted a military spouse leave of absence are not required to meet financial obligations to Tusculum while on leave.
  3. Time spent during a military spouse leave of absence does not count toward the student’s maximum time to degree com- pletion.

Students must coordinate the military leave of absence process through the Registrar.

REQUESTING A MILITARY SPOUSE LEAVE OF ABSENCE

To request a military spouse leave of absence, students must complete and submit the Military Spouse Leave of Absence Re- quest Form from the Registrar. Students must indicate the reason for their request, the beginning date of the leave of absence and the anticipated date of return. Students may also submit the re- quest by emailing the Registrar.

Students must also submit one of the following pieces of documentation to the Registrar at their earliest convenience:

  1. Deployment or mobilization orders for the service member, including the dates the student will be affected.
  2. An official letter from the service member’s commanding officer, including dates the student will be affected.
  3. Additional documentation upon request.

Upon receipt of the request, the Registrar will review the re- quest, issue a decision and notify the student via email. If the student is granted a military spouse leave of absence, Tusculum will report their leave status to the National Student Clearinghouse.

A military spouse leave of absence is normally for no more than  two  consecutive  semesters,  or  180  total  days,  in  any 12-month period with an option to extend the leave.

RETURNING FORM A MILITARY SPOUSE LEAVE OF ABSENCE

The Registrar will track students’ anticipated dates of return and contact them before they resume their program.

Upon returning from a military spouse leave of absence, students are responsible for completing and submitting the Returning from a Military Spouse Leave of Absence Form (obtained from the Registrar). Students can also request their return by calling and/or emailing the Registrar.

The Registrar will work with students to determine the next steps for resuming their program. Students returning from a military spouse leave of absence may resume courses only at the beginning of a block.

CLASS ATTENDANCE

Traditional and Graduate and Professional Studies

Students are responsible for all work from the first day of class and are expected to attend all meetings of the class for which they are registered. Students who miss more than three classes, without instructor approval, will fail the course. This is an institutional policy and is not left to the discretion of the faculty member. Academic departments may adopt additional attendance policies as detailed in course syllabi and may require completion of any missed work. Students should refer to their course syllabi or program specific sections in this catalog to review those class attendance policies. Absences may also impact financial aid and/or a student’s account. Refer to sections on “Financial Aid” and “Tuition and Fees” for additional policy information.

DECLARATION AND CHANGING OF MAJORS

When students know what major program of study they wish to pursue, an official declaration of major form should be completed with the advisor and forwarded to the Registrar or the Director of Academic Advising.

Students may change majors while at the College. When this happens, a new declaration of major form must be completed with the advisor and forwarded to the Registrar or the Director of Advising. A change of major may entail a change of academic advisor as well.

Changing majors, particularly as an upperclassman, may require additional time in order to complete all graduation requirements.

ACADEMIC MISCONDUCT

Cheating and plagiarism are violations of Ethics of Social Responsibility—one of the outcomes that has been identified as essential to the Civic Arts. Plagiarism is a form of academic dishonesty. It consists of knowingly presenting in writing or in speech the intellectual or creative work of others as if it were one’s own. This includes:

  1. Failing to identify direct or word-for-word quotations by use of appropriate symbols and reference to the source.
  2. Restating in your own words the work (ideas, conclusions, words) of another without reference to the source.
  3. Presenting as your own the creative work (for instance, music or photographs) of another without proper acknowledgment. Besides plagiarism, other forms of academic dishonesty include the following:
  4. Submitting the same work in two or more courses without significant modifications or expansion and without the approval of the instructors involved.
  5. Submitting purchased, borrowed, copied or specially commissioned work as if it were one’s own.
  6. Knowingly permitting others to submit your work under their names.
  7. Copying the work of others during an examination or other academic exercise.
  8. Knowingly allowing others to copy your work during an examination or other academic exercise.
  9. Using “cheat sheets” or any other unauthorized form of assistance during an exam, quiz or other academic exercise.
  10. Manipulating or fabricating data to support erroneous conclusions.

NOTE: AUTHORIZED HELP is encouraged and includes:

  • attendance at help sessions.
  • tutoring received with your instructor’s knowledge (responsible tutoring does not provide answers to specific assignments but focuses on general principles, concepts, rules and information, as well as on skills development).
  • work with Academic Resource Center or Student Support Services staff done with the knowledge of your instructor.

The effect of cheating within a community is to destroy the environment of honesty and trust on which the community depends. A dishonest performance diminishes the achievement of those who have worked hard and demonstrated real mastery of a subject. For this reason you are encouraged to confront peers who violate the standard of honesty by any form of cheating or plagiarism and, if necessary, to report their behavior to an appropriate authority (instructor, director or authorized college agency or body). No one but you can know if you should take the kind of action just described.

SANCTIONS:

Stage 1 – In a case of unintentional or doubtful plagiarism, the student receives a written warning from the faculty member. Whether the student receives an “F” for the assignment is up to the faculty member.

Stage 2 – This stage is for an offense after warning or for a first offense in which the student knowingly and willfully engages in academic misconduct. The penalty is automatically an “F” in the course. The action is reported to the Admissions and Standards Committee for undergraduate students and to the Graduate Committee for graduate students. The student is warned in writing of the consequences of a future Stage 3 offense.

Stage 3 – Depending on where the student started (with unintentional or intentional violation), Stage 3 is for a second offense in cheating or a second or third offense in plagiarism. The penalty is an “F” in the course and suspension or dismissal from the College – a matter that is recorded on the student’s transcript. Final decisions on suspension or dismissal are made by the Ad- missions and Standards Committee in the case of undergraduate students and the Graduate Committee for graduate students. Most students suspended for academic misconduct may not be readmitted until one calendar year from the date of their suspension. Most accredited institutions will deny admission to a student currently on suspension.

GRADING PROCEDURES

Coursework is evaluated in the following terms:

Grade Quality Points Assigned Interpretation
A 4.0 per semester hour
A – 3.7 per semester hour
B + 3.5 per semester hour
B 3.0 per semester hour
B – 2.7 per semester hour
C + 2.5 per semester hour
C 2.0 per semester hour
C – 1.7 per semester hour
D + 1.5 per semester hour
D 1.0 per semester hour
F 0.0 per semester hour
NR No Grade Reported Calculated as an “F”
E No Points Applied Excused
I No Points Applied Incomplete
IP No Points Applied In Progress
GP No Points Applied Grade Pending
P No Points Applied Passing
W No Points Applied Administrative Withdraw
WP No Points Applied Withdraw-Passing
WF No Points Applied Withdraw-Failing
AU No Points Applied Audit
X No Points Applied Drop, No Penalty
  1. Grades below “C-” earned in the student’s major and minor will satisfy the course prerequisites requirement; however, grades below “C-” cannot be counted in the total number of hours required in the major and minor. The student must either 1) retake the course and earn a grade of “C-” or better or 2) take an elective approved by the appropriate School Dean and the Admissions and Standards Committee and earn a grade of “C-” or better, which may be substituted for the grade below “C-”.
  2. When a faculty member assigns a grade of “F,” the instructor must record the student’s last date of attendance.
  3. Faculty members will assign “NR” grades to students listed on the final grade roster who never attend the course.
  4. Incomplete and Excused Grade. If a student is unable, for a satisfactory reason such as illness, to complete the work in a given course, the student will receive either a grade of “Incomplete” or “Excused” for that course. In cases where there is a disputed grade, the instructor may assign a grade of “Incomplete” pending resolution of the case. See Grade Appeals.
  5. “Incomplete” grades must be made up according to the agreement between the instructor and the student. In order to extend an “Incomplete” beyond 30 days, the student must have the approval of both the instructor and the Admissions and Standards Committee for undergraduate courses or the Graduate Committee for graduate courses. If an “Incomplete” is not made up within the prescribed time, the Registrar will automatically convert it to a grade of “F.”
  6. In order to receive a grade of “Excused,” students with extenuating circumstances must petition the instructor and the Ad- missions and Standards Committee for undergraduate students or the Graduate Committee for graduate students by submitting a form within two 8-week blocks from the time of the course for which the grade is being sought. A grade of “Excused” will not be approved unless there are documented extenuating circumstances, such as illness, injury or personal tragedy, that have affected the student’s progress in the course. The student must state a specific reason for requesting an “Excused,” and the instructor’s recommendation must be recorded. The Admissions and Standards Committee or Graduate Committee will make the final decision and notify the Registrar.
  7. If a student does not complete the work in a course and has no satisfactory excuse or does not meet the minimum standards set by the instructor, the instructor will give the student a grade of “F.”
  8. In Progress. An “IP” grade may be given in an undergraduate course where a major project or extended research is required and work on that project cannot be completed by the end of the regular grading period. The “IP” must be completed with- in a year of the time it is assigned. An “IP” may also be given in the undergraduate basic skills courses, MATH 098, MATH 099, MATH 100 and ENGL 100. It is given to a student who has put forth serious effort but has not yet attained a level of competence sufficient to be given a letter grade. The student must again register for the class within the next semester in order to receive credit. All “IP” grades not made up within the prescribed time automatically convert to the grade of “F.”
  9. Pass/Fail. Courses that are so designated in the catalog are graded on a pass/fail basis. The “Pass” grade is counted in hours toward graduation but does not affect the G.P.A., whereas a “Fail” is figured in the hours completed and does affect the G.P.A.
  10. Audit. Students who desire to explore their interests and abilities in courses of study that are unfamiliar to them, with- out affecting their G.P.A., may choose to audit courses. Students who audit courses are not held responsible for the work. Audited courses receive no credit, no points applied to the grade point average and a final grade of AU. A course that is audited cannot change to a credit course, nor can a credit course be changed to an audit course after the drop/add period. Students enrolled full- time may audit courses without charge. Those enrolled less than full-time may audit courses for a $100 fee.

GRADE CHANGES

In order to maintain consistent college-wide standards, grade changes are permitted only under special circumstances. Once a student’s final course grade has been officially recorded by the Registrar, the grade may be changed only under the following conditions:

  1. If a new grade is determined through the official grade ap- peal process and is submitted by the instructor or by the Admis- sions and Standards Committee for undergraduate students or the Graduate Committee for graduate students.
  2. If a grade of “Incomplete” or “In Progress” is replaced in accordance with existing procedures specified in the College Catalog.
  3. If an error in computing or recording the grade has been verified by the instructor. It is the student’s responsibility to call the instructor’s attention to a possible grading error in a timely manner, typically during the semester following that in which the questioned grade was received. If twelve months have elapsed since the grade was issued, no grade change will be made.

Under special circumstances, if the faculty member is absent for an extended period or is no longer employed by the College, a Grade Change Form may be submitted by the appropriate School Dean for consideration by the Admissions and Standards Committee for undergraduate students and by the Graduate Committee for graduate students. Once a grade of “A” through “F” is recorded by the Registrar, it may not be changed based on work submitted or exams retaken after the completion of the course. In extreme cases of extenuating circumstances, the instructor may petition the Admissions and Standards Committee for undergraduate students or Graduate Committee for graduate students to change a grade of “A” through “F” to an “Incomplete.” Such petitions must include documentation of the specific extenuating circumstances that apply. All grade changes (including incomplete grade to final grade) submitted to the Registrar’s Office must bear the signature of the appropriate School Dean.

GRADE AND ACADEMIC MISCONDUCT APPEALS

A student who believes a course grade is not a fair reflection of his or her performance in a given class has the right to appeal that grade. The following procedures are also used when the student wishes to appeal an academic misconduct charge. She/he must, however, present this concern within one 8-week block after the grade was assigned or the academic misconduct was cited. (If the grade/academic misconduct is assigned during the last 8-block of the spring semester, then the process will begin in the first 8-week block of the following year.)  Students are strongly encouraged to begin the appeal process as quickly as possible.

Whenever possible, appeals should be made in person. If a meeting is not possible, then the concerns/questions should be listed clearly in a dated letter or memo addressed to the professor and signed by the student. The student is responsible for contacting the professor to make an appointment. If an appointment is not possible, then the student is responsible for ensuring that the professor receives the letter. If the appeal is submitted in writing, then the professor must respond in writing within five class days after receiving the letter. If the professor’s explanation of the grade or academic misconduct citation—either oral or written— is satisfactory to the student, then the matter is resolved.

If the student is still not satisfied, then he/she must file a formal written appeal (including relevant documentation) to the chair of the department in which the class was offered. This appeal must be dated and signed by the student, and given to the Department Chair within the block immediately after the grade/academic misconduct citation is assigned. If the professor who assigned the grade/academic misconduct citation is the Department Chair, then the student will appeal directly to the School Dean.

The Department Chair must meet with the professor within five class days of receiving the appeal from the student. After discussing the appeal with the professor, the Department Chair has five class days to communicate a recommendation in writing to the student, the professor and the School Dean.

If the student is not satisfied with this recommendation, or if the professor does not follow the recommendation of the Department Chair, then the student may at this point forward the appeal, with accompanying documentation and additional commentary, if any, to the School Dean. This appeal must be submitted within the first five class days of the third block after the grade or academic misconduct citation was assigned. If the professor who assigned the grade/academic misconduct citation is the School Dean, then the student will forward the appeal to the Admissions and Standards Committee.

If the student is not satisfied with the recommendation from the School Dean, then the student may at this point forward the appeal, with accompanying documentation and additional commentary, if any, to the Admissions and Standards Committee, or Graduate Committee for graduate students.

The Admissions and Standards Committee, or Graduate Committee for graduate students, will render an opinion on such an appeal at the first scheduled meeting following receipt of the appeal. Petitions for late appeals may be submitted, but these appeals will be considered only if the Admissions and Standards Committee, or Graduate Committee for graduate students, deter- mines that extraordinary extenuating circumstances prevented the student from meeting the stated deadline(s).

Decisions made by the Admissions and Standards Committee and the Graduate Committee for graduate students, regarding appeals are final.

Students are strongly encouraged to consult with their advisors when preparing grade and academic misconduct appeals.

Example Timeline

The following example is provided as an illustration of the deadlines involved in the appeal process.

In Block 1, a student earns a grade or an academic misconduct charge that he/she wishes to appeal.

As soon as possible, but no later than by the last day of Block 2, the student must notify the professor, either in person or in writing, of the intent to appeal. If the appeal is in writing, the professor has five class days to respond to the student in writing.

By no later than the last day of Block 3, the student must submit an appeal to the Department Chair if the matter was not re- solved satisfactorily. The Chair has five class days to meet with the professor, and the Chair then has five class days to respond to the student, the professor and the School Dean in writing. By no later than the fifth class day of Block 4, the student must submit an appeal to the Dean if he/she is still not satisfied. If the student continues the appeal process, the Admissions and Standards Committee will render a final decision at its next scheduled meeting.

CLASSIFICATION OF STUDENTS

For administrative purposes, the following criteria are used in determining the class in which a student is placed:

Semester Hours Completed Class
0-30.99 Freshman
31-59.99 Sophomore
60-89.99 Junior
90 or more Senior

The criteria used to determine enrollment status for undergraduate students is as follows:

Full time: 12 or more credit hours

Three-fourths time: 9-11 credit hours

Half time: 6-8 credit hours

Less than half time: 3-5 credit hours

GRADE REPORTS AND TRANSCRIPTS

At the end of each course, the instructor submits grades for each student. Grades are available under an individual student’s academic profile on WebAdvisor. The student’s official transcript is prepared by Tusculum College. The transcript will show the courses, grades, credits and terms of instruction for each course. Requests for transcripts of coursework at Tusculum College must conform with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) of 1974. This requires that all transcript requests must be submitted in writing and be signed by the student. Transcripts and grade reports will not be faxed.

A transcript cannot be issued until all financial obligations have been met. One official transcript will be provided at no cost; however, a $5 fee will be charged for all subsequent requests. If a student account is on hold with either the Business Office or Financial Aid Office, grades and transcripts will be placed on hold and will not be accessible to the student until the hold is lifted.

UNDERGRADUATE RETENTION STANDARDS

To graduate from Tusculum College, a student must have a 2.25 G.P.A. in the major and a cumulative G.P.A. of 2.00 for all work attempted. A student is subject to academic probation or suspension if the total grade point at the end of the Fall or Spring term falls below a minimum standard which is dictated by the number of total credit hours the student has completed. The standards are as follows:

Credit Hours Completed Probation/Suspension
0 – 30.99 1.80
31 or more 2.00

Any student meeting the retention standards above is considered in good academic standing with the College.

ACADEMIC PROBATION

A student will be placed on academic probation for his/her next term of enrollment if he/she fails to meet any standard as outlined above for any term. In no case may a student remain on academic probation for more than two consecutive terms.

Those students placed on probation are required to work closely with an advisor in the Academic Resource Center. It is mandatory that the student meet with the Academic Resource Center staff the first week of the school to develop an academic improvement plan. The Center is located in the Annie Hogan Byrd building.

REMOVAL FROM PROBATION

A student will be removed from G.P.A.-related academic probation at the end of the semester if he/she meets retention standards.

ACADEMIC SUSPENSION

At the end of a term on academic probation, if a student fails to meet retention standards he or she will be placed on academic suspension. However, if the student has earned at least a 2.0 G.P.A. on at least 12 hours of completed coursework during the most current term, he or she will not be suspended, but will re- main on academic probation for a second term.

Any student who has been suspended due to academic performance will not be eligible to re-enter the college until one term of suspension has been completed. All students will be identified for potential suspension following the spring term. Final determination of suspension will be determined prior to the beginning of the fall term. Students may use the summer term on probation or suspension to raise their total cumulative G.P.A. to the level required for good standing. Students on probation or suspension are allowed to transfer hours to Tusculum from other accredited institutions to improve their G.P.A., provided they have received prior approval of this coursework from the Registrar’s Office.

All appeals must be made in writing to the Admissions and Standards Committee. No student may return to the college in a fall or spring term either part-time or full-time without following the appeals procedure outlined in his or her suspension letter. Undergraduate students placed on academic suspension from Tusculum College must meet the specified terms and conditions of that status prior to seeking readmission to the College.

ACADEMIC DISMISSAL

Dismissal occurs when a student has been unsuccessful during the probationary semester following an Academic Suspension in remedying the cause of the probation. Dismissal is ordinarily a final revocation of eligibility to return to the College.

ADMINISTRATIVE APPEALS

A student placed on academic suspension or academically dis- missed may appeal to the Admissions and Standards Committee for undergraduate students and to the Graduate Committee for graduate students. The appeal must be prepared in writing and be accompanied by appropriate support documents. Reasons that may be acceptable for appeal consideration are:

  1. A serious illness or an accident of the student. This will normally require a medical statement from a licensed physician.
  2. Death, serious illness or injury in the immediate family (parent, siblings, children or spouse). A licensed physician’s statement or appropriate death certificate will be required.
  3. Other extenuating circumstances may be acceptable and will be considered.

SPECIAL OFFERINGS

On occasion, a student, in consultation with the advisor, identifies a need to take a course listed in this catalog at a time other than its regularly scheduled offering. Since this action may place a substantial burden on the College faculty, the institution seeks to keep special offerings at a minimum and to limit them to students who have achieved junior or senior standing with course obligations needed to fulfill graduation requirements. The “Special Offering” form is available in the Registrar’s Office.

The student is responsible for getting the student, advisor, course information portions of the form, completed, gathering the signatures of the Dean, Department Chair and Instructor, and submitting the form with a graduation plan to the Registrar’s Office for Admissions and Standards or Graduate Committee review. The review will assess the student’s past, current and future schedule, the student’s drop/add history, the number of special offerings taken in the past, the number of offerings to which the proposed instructor is already committed and when the course will be offered next.

Upon recommendation from the review committee, the Admissions and Standards Committee or Graduate Committee will take final action, either approving or denying the special offering request. Students must submit completed special offering request forms by the first day of the block preceding that in which the special offering is desired. Students may not receive credit for work that has not been officially approved.

ATHLETIC ELIGIBILITY

For purposes of athletic eligibility, a student-athlete in good standing is one who is enrolled as a full-time student, meets the requirements to receive financial aid assistance and continues to earn hours toward a degree.

STUDENT RECORDS/RIGHT TO PRIVACY

Tusculum College complies with the Federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA) and the Tennessee Student Information in Higher Education Act. While the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (20 U.S.C. 1232) prohibits the release, to third parties (not inclusive of individuals with an educational need to know), of information contained in a student’s educational records (excepting the notification of parents or guardians of students under the age of 21 in cases of alcohol and drug related violations, and victims in violence related incidents), the College complies with the Tennessee Student Information in Higher Education Act of 2005 in seeking to make student information readily available to students and parents to promote an educational partnership. Nonetheless, students or parents requesting such release must complete a form available in the Registrar’s Office to allow the College to work with them while satisfying the federal regula- tions. Tusculum students have the right to inspect their records to challenge the accuracy of those records.

FERPA defines requirements that are designed to protect the privacy of the students concerning their records maintained by the College. The law requires that:

  1. The student must be provided access to official records directly related to the student. This does not include private re- cords maintained by instructional, supervisory or administrative personnel. A student who wishes to see his/her records must make an appointment through the Registrar’s Office. A student may not remove any materials but is entitled, at his/her own ex- pense, to one (1) copy of any material contained in this file.
  2. The student must be given the opportunity for a hearing to challenge such records on the grounds that they are inaccurate, misleading or otherwise inappropriate. The right to a hearing under the law does not include any right to challenge the appropriateness of a grade as determined by the instructor.
  3. The student’s written consent must be received prior to re- leasing identifiable data from the records to anyone other than those specified in paragraphs 4, 5 and 6 below.
  4. The College is authorized under FERPA to release public directory information concerning students. College personnel authorized to release such information are established through institutional policy and procedure. Students may opt out of having this information released. Data considered to be public directory information by the College which may be released on general request includes the student’s name, address, telephone listing, email, enrollment status (full or part-time), photo, date and place of birth, major field of study and anticipated graduation date, dates of attendance, site, degrees and awards received, most recent previous educational agency or institution attended by the student, participation in school activities and sports and any other information authorized in writing by the student. Di- rectory information is subject to release by the College unless the Registrar’s Office has received a prior written request from the student specifying that the information not be released.
  5. Tusculum College is authorized to provide access to students’ records to Tusculum College officials and employees who have legitimate interests in such access; these are persons who have responsibilities in the College’s academic, administrative or service functions. Tusculum College may disclose personal- ly identifiable information from a student’s education records, without consent, to another school in which the student seeks or intends to enroll.
  6. FERPA provides that educational records of a student who is a dependent of his/her parent(s) for Internal Revenue Services purposes may be disclosed to the parent(s) without first receiving the student’s consent provided documentation showing the student to be a dependent under the provisions of the Internal Revenue Code is presented by the parent(s).

An amendment to FERPA was made as part of the USA Patriot Act of 2001 that allows Tusculum College officials to provide, without consent or knowledge of a student or parent, personally identifiable information from a student’s education record in response to the U.S. Attorney General or his designee in response to an ex parte order in connection with the investigation or prosecution of terrorism crimes.