3.3 Academic Progress

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Chapter 3: Educational Policies

3.3 Satisfactory Academic Progress


Related MnSCU Board Policy: 2.9 Academic Standing and Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress
Related MnSCU Board Procedure: 2.9.1 Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress

Purpose: To establish standards for students’ academic progress.

Part 1: Introduction
 

Normandale Community College, the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities and Federal and State law require that a student make satisfactory academic progress towards a degree or certificate to attend the College and remain eligible for financial aid. The standards defined below are cumulative and include all periods of enrollment, whether or not a student received financial aid.

Students bear primary responsibility for their own academic progress and for seeking assistance when experiencing academic difficulty. Counseling, tutoring, mentoring, special programs and outside referrals are all available.

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Part 2: Qualitative Measure of Progress (Grade Point Average-GPA)
 

All students are required to meet or exceed a cumulative earned grade point average (GPA) of 2.00.

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Part 3: Quantitative Measure of Progress (Completion Percentage and Maximum Time Frame)
 

Completion Percentage: All students are required to earn a minimum of 67% of cumulative registered/attempted credits. Grades of F, FN, FW, I, N, NC, W, Z and IP (or blank/missing) are treated as registered credits but NOT earned credits and thus negatively impact the % of completion.

Formula: % earned = cumulative earned credits divided by cumulative registered credits.

Maximum Time Frame: All financial aid recipients are expected to complete their degree/certificate at Normandale within an acceptable period of time.  The maximum time frame for financial aid recipients is 150% of the published credit length of the program.  Financial aid recipients may continue to receive aid through their cumulative registered credits that equal 150% of the required number of credits needed to complete their degree/certificate at Normandale.

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Part 4: Evaluation Period
 

Normandale Community College will evaluate satisfactory academic progress after each term which includes fall, spring and summer. All students with registered credits during a term will be evaluated at the end of that term.

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Part 5: Failure to Meet Standards
 

Subpart A: Warning. If at the end of the evaluation period a student has not met either an institution’s GPA or completion percentage standard, the student will be placed on warning for one evaluation period.  Students on warning are eligible to register and receive financial aid.
If at the end of the warning period a student who has been on warning has met both the cumulative GPA and cumulative completion percentage standards, the warning status is ended and the student is returned to good standing.

 

Subpart B: Suspension of Students on Warning Status. If at the end of the warning period a student who has been on warning status has not met both the institution’s cumulative grade point average and completion percentage standards, the student shall be suspended. Students on suspension are not eligible to register or receive financial aid.

 

Subpart C: Suspension of Students Not on Warning Status.

  1. Suspension for Exceeding the Maximum Time-Frame. If at the end of the evaluation period a student has failed to meet the institution’s standard for measurement of maximum time-frame, the student shall be suspended from financial aid eligibility.

  2. Suspension for Inability to Meet Program Requirements within the Maximum Time Frame. If at the end of the evaluation period the institution determines it is not possible for a student to raise her or his GPA or course completion percentage to meet the institution’s standards before the student completes their program of study at Normandale, the student shall be suspended from financial aid.

  3. Suspension for Extraordinary Circumstances. Institutions may immediately suspend students in the event of extraordinary circumstances, including but not limited to previously suspended (and reinstated) students whose academic performance falls below acceptable standards during a subsequent term of enrollment; students who register for courses, receive financial aid, and do not attend any classes; and students whose attendance patterns appear to abuse the receipt of financial aid.

  4. Suspension at another MnSCU institution. Students who have been suspended from another MnSCU institution within the past academic year shall be denied admission at Normandale but may contact the Admissions Office for the appropriate appeal form.

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Part 6: Appeals and Probation
 

Subpart A: Appeals. A student who fails to make satisfactory academic progress and is suspended has the right to appeal based on special, unusual or extenuating circumstances causing undue hardship such as death in the family, student's injury or illness or other special circumstances as determined by the institution.

  1. Appeals must be submitted in writing on a form(s) available from the College.
  2. The appeal must include an explanation of the special, unusual or extenuating circumstances causing undue hardship that prevented the student from making satisfactory academic progress.
  3. The appeal must also include what has changed in the student’s situation that would allow the student to demonstrate satisfactory academic progress at the end of the next evaluation period.
  4. Supporting documentation beyond the written explanation is strongly encouraged.
  5. Initial consideration of appeals will be undertaken by the Director of Financial Aid, Registrar or designee.  If denied, it may be resubmitted for consideration by an Appeal Committee.
  6. Appeals that are approved must contain an academic plan that, if followed, ensures the student would be able to meet satisfactory academic progress standards by a specific point in time.
  7. All academic plans put in place for GPA deficiency will require a minimum term GPA of 2.50 during any probationary term.  All academic plans put in place for % completion deficiency, will require a term completion percentage of 100% during any probationary term.
 

Subpart B: Probationary Status. A student who has successfully appealed shall be placed on probation for one evaluation period. If, at the end of the next evaluation period, a student on probation status:

  1. Has met the institution’s cumulative grade point average and completion percentage standards, the student shall be returned to good standing.
  2. Has not met the institution’s cumulative grade point average and completion percentage standards but has met the conditions specified in his/her academic plan (2.50 term GPA and/or 100% term completion rate, depending upon the deficiency), the student shall retain his/her financial aid and registration eligibility under a probationary status for a subsequent evaluation period.
  3. Has not met the institution’s cumulative grade point average and completion percentage standards and has also not met the conditions specified in his/her academic plan, the student shall be re-suspended immediately upon completion of the evaluation.
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Part 7: Notification of Status and Appeal Results
 

Subpart A: Status Notification.  Students are notified in writing (letter or email) when the evaluation of satisfactory academic progress results in warning, suspension, or probation.  The notice includes the conditions of the current status and the conditions necessary to regain eligibility for registration and financial aid.  Notice of suspension also includes the right and process necessary to appeal suspension.

 

Subpart B: Appeal Result Notification. Students are notified in writing (letter or email) of the results of all appeals. Approved appeals include the conditions under which the appeal is approved and any conditions necessary to retain eligibility for registration and financial aid.  Denied appeals include the reason for denial and the process to appeal the denial.

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Part 8: Reinstatement
 

A student who has been suspended from financial aid eligibility may be reinstated after an appeal has been approved or the minimum cumulative GPA and completion percentage standards have been achieved. A student suspended from the College may be reinstated to enroll for classes after not attending Normandale for one year.

Neither paying for their own classes nor sitting out a period of time is sufficient in and of itself to re-establish a student’s financial aid eligibility.

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Part 9: Treatment of Grades and Credits
 

Subpart A: Credits. The unit by which academic work is measured.

 

Subpart B: Registered (Attempted) Credits. The total number of credits for which a student is officially enrolled in at the end of the registration drop period each term.

 

Subpart C: Cumulative Registered Credits.  Cumulative registered credits are the total number of credits registered for all terms of enrollment at the college, including summer terms and terms for which the student did not receive financial aid.

 

Subpart D: Earned Credits.  Earned credits include letter grades of A, B, C, D and P. They are successfully completed credits that count towards the required percentage of completion (67%) as defined by the quantitative measure.

 

Subpart E: Attempted, NOT earned. Letter grades of F, FN, FW, I, N, NC, W, Z and IP (or a blank/missing) will be treated as credits attempted but NOT successfully completed (earned).

 

Subpart F: Academic Renewal. Credits for which a student has been granted academic renewal WILL be included in all financial aid satisfactory academic progress measurements.

 

Subpart G: Audited Courses.  Audited courses are not aid eligible courses and are not included in any satisfactory academic progress measurements.

 

Subpart H: Consortium Credits.  Consortium credits are those credits for which a student is registered at another college, which are accepted in transfer by this college and are included for purposes of processing financial aid at this college. These credits are included in all financial aid satisfactory academic progress measurements.

 

Subpart I: Developmental Credits.  Developmental credits are those awarded for remedial course work (below 1000 level).  Students may receive financial aid for developmental credits up to a maximum of 30 credits hours (excluding ESL). These credits are included in all financial aid satisfactory academic progress measurements. However, up to 30 developmental credits are excluded from the maximum timeframe calculation.

 

Subpart J: Repeat Credits.  Repeat credits are credits awarded when a student repeats a course in order to improve a grade.  A student may repeat a class as allowed by the institution.   The institution will determine, based on its Repeated Courses policy, which grade will become the grade calculated in the GPA.  All repeated credits are included in the % of completion and maximum time frame calculations.

 

Subpart K: Transfer Credits. Transfer credits are credits earned at another college which are accepted by this college.  Transfer credits which are accepted by Normandale and are applicable to the student’s program of study shall be counted as credits attempted and completed for calculation of completion percentage and maximum time frame.  Grades associated with these credits are not included in calculating GPA.

 

Subpart L:  Withdraw. The mark of "W" (withdraw) is assigned when a student withdraws from a class after the drop period. It is not included when calculating grade point average or earned credits.  Thus, it does not impact GPA but will negatively impact earned credits and, therefore, negatively impact the student's percent of completion.

 

Subpart M: Incompletes. The mark of "I" (incomplete) is a temporary grade which is assigned only in exceptional   circumstances.  It will be given only to students who cannot complete the work of a course on schedule because of illness or other circumstances beyond their control.  An "I" grade will automatically become an "F" grade at the end of the next term (not including summer sessions) if requirements to complete course work have not been satisfactorily met.  Instructors have the option of setting an earlier completion date for the student.

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Part 10: Definitions
 

Subpart A: Academic Plan. A student who successfully appeals for reinstatement will be required by Normandale to complete, during their probationary period, specific requirements contained in an academic plan developed for that student by Normandale. At a minimum the academic plan will require a student to achieve a 2.50 GPA during their probationary term and/or a 100% completion rate during their probationary term, depending upon the deficiency.

 

Subpart B: Probationary Status. A student who has successfully appealed shall be placed on probation for one evaluation period. If, at the end of the next evaluation period, a student on probation status:

  1. Has met the institution’s cumulative grade point average and completion percentage standards, the student shall be returned to good standing.

  2. Has not met the institution’s cumulative grade point average and completion percentage standards but has met the conditions specified in his/her academic plan, the student shall retain his/her financial aid and registration eligibility under a probationary status for a subsequent evaluation period.

  3. Has not met the institution’s cumulative grade point average and completion percentage standards and has also not met the conditions specified in his/her academic plan, the student shall be re-suspended immediately upon completion of the evaluation.

 

Subpart C: Suspension Status. A student on suspension status is not eligible to register or receive financial aid. Students who have been suspended may regain their eligibility only through the institution’s appeal process or when they are again meeting the institution’s satisfactory academic progress cumulative grade point average and completion percentage standards.

 

Subpart D: Warning Status. Students on warning are eligible to register and receive financial aid for one evaluation period despite a determination that the student has not met either an institution’s grade point average standard, or completion percentage standard, or both.

  1. If at the end of the warning period a student who has been on warning status has met both the institution’s cumulative grade point average and completion percentage standards, the warning status is ended and the student is returned to good standing.

  2. If at the end of the warning period a student who has been on warning status has not met either the institution’s cumulative grade point average or completion percentage standards, the institution shall suspend the student.

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  Policy History:
Date of Original Creation: January 2011
Date of Adoption: March 30, 2011; April 24, 2014
Date of Implementation: Fall, 2011; Fall, 2014
Date and Subject of Revisions: April 2014; Change to qualitative measure from graduated GPA to minimum 2.00.
Next Review Date: 2018-19
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