Academic Procedures

Course Load
A full-time student is defined as any student carrying at least 12 credits during a semester. Normally a student enrolls for 15 to 18 credits each semester. A course load exceeding 18 credits is always considered an overload. Permission to enroll for additional credits must be obtained from the Vice President for Academic Affairs. Applications for excess credits are available in the Office of the Registrar.

Students enrolled for more than 18 credit hours in the Fall or Spring Semester will be charged $600 for each credit hour beyond 18 in addition to the regular full-time tuition.

Course Offerings
Most courses listed among departmental offerings are offered annually. Some, however, are offered every other year and a few are offered in three-year cycles. Students should see their advisors or respective department chairs for a long-range course plan.

Activity Courses
Some courses which emphasize practice and performance are considered activity courses. Of the 128 semester credits required for a Bethany College degree, no more than eight credits may be earned in activity courses and no more than four of these eight credits may be earned in activity courses offered by a single department. However, a student may enroll in additional activity courses which will be listed on official transcripts and become part of the student’s cumulative record.

Independent Study
Each department offers independent study for those students who have demonstrated the ability to work individually in some area of special interest. The student selects an area of study, subject to the approval of the chair of the department. Upon approval, the student then completes an Application for Independent Study in the Office of the Registrar before the start of the semester. First-Year students may not register for independent study courses. Independent study courses are not offered in courses that are being offered in the current semester.

Cross-Listed Courses
When a course which is part of a department’s requirements for its major may be taken for credit in more than one department, a student majoring in that field may register for the course in any department in which it is listed, but the course will count as part of the maximum credit which may be earned by the student within the major department.

Special Examinations
A student justifiably absent from a final examination or a test given in connection with regular class work is permitted to take a special test without payment of fees with the consent of the instructor and approval of the Vice President for Academic Affairs. For any other special examination a fee must be paid at the Business Office before the examination is taken, and the proper receipt must be presented to the instructor at the time of the examination.

Change of Schedule
During the first five class days of each semester, a student, with the approval of the advisor, may drop or add any course. No courses may be added after this time. To withdraw from a course the student must follow the procedures established by the Office of the Registrar.

Graduation Audit
All students must inform the Registrar of their anticipated degree completion date by registering for the appropriate graduation audit section (course number 495 in each curriculum offering a major) in the semester prior to the semester in which they expect to have completed all graduation requirements.  Registration for this course initiates a graduation audit process to verify that all requirements for graduation are scheduled to be met by the anticipated degree completion date.

Degree Completion
As prescribed by the Charter and Bylaws of the institution, granting a degree from Bethany College is a three-step process involving the Registrar, the Faculty, and the Board of Trustees. The Registrar conducts a graduation audit on the date final grades are due at three points in the academic calendar: 1) at the end of the Fall Term; 2) at the end of the January Term; and, 3) and at the end of Spring Term. These dates are listed in the College Calendar.

Only the names of those students who have completed all the requirements for the degree by one of the dates noted above will be submitted to the Faculty at its next regularly scheduled meeting, at which time the Faculty nominates the members of the list for degree. The President then presents the list to the Board of Trustees which then confers the degree.

Commencement exercises are held once each year, in May, at which time all degree recipients for that academic year receive their diplomas. All students who are candidates for graduation must resolve their financial obligations to the institution prior to their nomination for a degree, and transcripts will be withheld until the financial obligation is satisfied.

Class Attendance Policy
A student is expected to attend all class meetings and laboratory, discussion, and practice sessions of courses and to participate in outside activities that are part of the courses. Upon enrolling for any course at Bethany College, a student accepts the requirements of that course as binding, including the instructor’s attendance policy as stated in the syllabus.

The number of absences that are acceptable and the manner in which they are handled are the prerogative of the instructor. An absence, for whatever reason, does not excuse a student from meeting the full requirements of the course. Students recognize that many class activities can neither be replicated nor made up and that absences are likely to be detrimental to the student’s performance.

A student who misses a class session may choose to verify the reason for that absence by submitting to the instructor a completed Explanation of Absence Form. Forms are available in the Office of the Registrar.

Academic Honesty
Academic honesty is essential to a college community’s purpose and pursuits. Thus, academic integrity is expected of all Bethany College students. A student’s academic work and conduct should always represent the student’s personal effort and thus be above reproach. Examples of breaches in honesty include such acts as cheating, plagiarism via traditional or electronic means, collusion, and fabrication or falsification of either records or research data.

All students are expected to have a general understanding of plagiarism. They are also responsible for knowing the established departmental definitions of plagiarism, and in particular those stated in course syllabi. Plagiarism is the presentation of borrowed material without a citation of its source.

Depending on the circumstances and the severity of the infraction, incidents of academic dishonesty may result in consequences ranging from a failing grade for an assignment through dismissal from the College in accordance with policies governing violations of the Student Code of Conduct.

An instructor who believes that academic dishonesty has occurred should notify and discipline the student as detailed in the class syllabus or College documents.

A student may appeal within a two-week period of the notification by submitting a written appeal to the Academic Standards Committee. Upon receipt of this written appeal, the chair of the Academic Standards Committee will arrange a conference. Conference participants will include the student, the faculty member, and a member of the Academic Standards Committee. A report of this conference will be submitted to the full Academic Standards Committee. The Committee may choose to interview any or all parties involved in the appeal.

The Committee serves as a review panel to assure that academic integrity and appropriate appellate processes have been maintained. The Academic Standards Committee will notify the faculty member, the student, and the Vice President of Academic Affairs of its recommendation. The Vice President of Academic Affairs will render a decision on the matter.

Grading System
Letter grades given for Mid-term(reported at the 8th week of each semester) and Final grades and their equivalents in quality points are:

A    4.00 B    3.00 C    2.00 D    1.00
A-    3.75 B-     2.75 C-    1.75 D-    0.75
B+    3.25 C+    2.25 D+    1.25 F    0.00

Students are required to take at least 100 credits of letter-graded work.

Grades mean: A, Superior; B, Excellent; C, Average; D, Below Average; F, Failure.

Other report abbreviations and their meanings are:

INC Incomplete. No quality points or credits will be awarded or counted toward the calculation of a student’s grade point average for incompletes unless the student is already on probation* Poor academic performance is not, in and of itself, a reason for an INC. An incomplete must be removed by the end of the fourth week of class of the following semester, unless an extension of time is granted by the instructor and the registrar is notified. It is the student’s responsibility to submit an application for an extension of time signed by the instructor of the course and submitted to the registrar in a timely manner. Four weeks after the beginning of the following semester, an INC will be recorded as an “F” and averaged into the student’s grade point average. The grade can be changed within one year from the date the incomplete was submitted to the registrar’s office if the instructor accepts the work in question. After one year, an INC will be permanently recorded as an “F”.

*If a student is already on academic probation, an incomplete will be averaged into the calculation of the grade point average as an “F”. These students must complete all work before the beginning of the next semester.

Students with an INC will not be eligible for the Dean’s List or the President’s List or consideration for honors until the INC is removed.

CR Credit. No quality points.   
NCR No-Credit. No quality points or academic penalty.
W Withdrawal. Indicates withdrawal from a course before the end of the ninth week of a full-semester course or before the fifth week of a half-semester course. Carries no quality points or credits.
WP Withdrawal while passing. Indicates withdrawal while passing from a course after the ninth week of a full-semester course or after the fifth week of a half-semester course. Carries no quality points or credits.
WF Withdrawal while failing. Indicates withdrawal while failing from a course after the ninth week of a full-semester course or after the fifth week of a half-semester course. Carries no quality points or credits.
SP Satisfactory Progress on Senior Project. No quality points.   
UP Unsatisfactory Progress on Senior Project. No quality points.
AUD Audit.   
NG No grade. Used at mid-term only.
Any upper-class student who carries 12 credits of letter-graded academic work may elect to take additional work on a Credit-No Credit basis in courses which are not used for the major, a minor, or any graduation requirement. First-Year students may not take academic courses on a Credit-No Credit basis, with the exception of FSEM 112 Transitions.

Grade Discrepancies
Any grade that has been submitted to the Registrar by an instructor is considered final. Grades may not be changed by allowing the student to do additional work (e.g., retaking exams, rewriting papers or other assignments); by any change in course requirements that did not apply to all students enrolled in that particular class; or for any purpose other than (1) to correct a demonstrated error in calculation or recording; (2) pursuant to a confirmed finding of academic integrity violation (see Academic Honesty Policy); or (3) pursuant to a decision in a student academic grievance.

If a student wishes to appeal a grade that the student believes has been erroneously or unjustly determined, the student must first try to resolve the issue through informal discussions with the instructor. If no mutually satisfactory resolution is reached, and the student wishes to pursue the appeal, the student must adhere to the following procedure:

  • No later than 30 days into the semester immediately following the semester for which the grade report in question was sent out, the student must send to the course instructor a written request for a specific change in the grade. The written communication must include specific details about the graded work (such as grades received on exams and papers) and must describe the nature and magnitude of the apparent grade discrepancy. The course instructor (if still on the faculty and not on sabbatical or other leave) must respond within 30 days of receiving the letter to questions raised by the student and undertake to correct any grade found to be erroneous or unjust. If the instructor believes the grade should remain as recorded, the response to the student must be a written one. If the course instructor is the department chair, the appeal process continues with step 3.
  • Within 14 days of the date on which the response was mailed, the student may appeal the decision by notifying the instructor’s department chair. The department chair will promptly (within 14 days) confer with the student, the course instructor, and such others as may be helpful. The department chair will then consider all materials and conversations to determine whether the criteria designated in the syllabus or announced in the course were used for determining whether procedures specified were followed in the appeal stages. The department chair will then render a decision which will be transmitted in writing to the student and to the course instructor.
  • Within 14 days of the date on which the response was mailed, the student or the instructor may appeal the decision by notifying the Dean of the Faculty. The Dean of the Faculty will promptly (within 14 days) confer with the student, the course instructor, and such others as may be helpful, including (if desired by the student) a tenured Bethany College faculty member selected by the student. The Dean of the Faculty will then consider all materials and conversations to determine whether the criteria designated in the syllabus or announced in the course were used for determining the grade and whether procedures specified were followed in the appeal stages. The Dean of the Faculty will then render a decision which will be transmitted in writing to the student and to the course instructor.

If in any of the appeal stages, the course instructor or department chair does not respond to the formal request in the time specified, the student may immediately take the next step in the procedure. If at any point the student does not appeal within the time specified, the grade will remain as recorded.

Classification of Students
Students attain sophomore standing when they have earned 25 credits, junior standing when they have earned 60 credits, and senior standing when they have earned 94 credits.

Students are not considered candidates for the baccalaureate degree until they have earned senior classification, have filed an application to take the Senior Comprehensive Examination in the major, and have filed an application for a degree.

Withdrawal
An honorable dismissal is granted to students in good standing who may desire to withdraw from the College if they have satisfied their advisors and a responsible officer of the College that there is a good reason to justify such action. Students asking to withdraw should visit the Center for Enrollment to discuss the decision and to complete paperwork for the Dean of Students, the Executive Vice President and General Counsel, and the Registrar to review. No withdrawal is considered complete until this procedure has been carried out.

Academic Probation and Dismissal
A satisfactory scholastic record at Bethany requires a student to have a semester’s grade-point average of at least 1.70 during the freshman year, 1.80 during the sophomore year, and 2.00 during the junior and senior years. Students who have failed to meet the academic standards expected by the College are placed on academic probation.

Academic probation is a warning that academic performance is unsatisfactory and that unless significant improvement is made, continuation at Bethany will not be permitted. At the end of a semester on probation a student’s entire academic record is reviewed by the Academic Standards Committee. Continued enrollment depends on the trend in academic performance.

Students are subject to dismissal if they receive a grade-point average less than 0.50 in any semester or when their grades fall below requirements at any time during or after academic probation. Detailed academic policies and procedures may be obtained from the Registrar.

Academic Standards Committee
The Academic Standards Committee is composed of members of the Bethany faculty charged with the responsibility of developing policies and procedures for the equitable and efficient administration of the academic machinery in such areas as attendance, the grading system, and academic standards. The Committee reviews students’ academic records to apply College policies on such matters as academic standing, probation, eligibility, and dismissal. It evaluates and acts on student appeals for exemptions from established policies.

Transcript of Records
Students wishing transcripts of records in order to support applications for graduate or professional school, to transfer to other schools, or for other purposes should make application to the Office of the Registrar at least one week before the transcript is needed. Transcripts are issued only at the written and signed request of the student, and official transcripts are sent directly to the recipient specified by the student. A fee of $10.00 will be charged for each transcript provided. Fees must accompany the request. All financial obligations to the College must be paid before a transcript is issued.

Changes in Regulations
Bethany reserves the right to amend the regulations covering the granting of degrees, the courses of study, and the conduct of students. Attending Bethany College and receiving its degrees are privileges, not rights. The College reserves the right (and the student concedes to the College the right) to require the withdrawal of any student at any time.