Undergraduate Academic Regulations & Procedures
Attendance at Lebanon Valley College is a privilege, not a right. To provide the necessary atmosphere in which teaching and learning can occur, the College expects that the conduct of all campus citizens will conform to accepted standards. The College has the right to require the withdrawal of any student whose actions are inimical to the purposes of the institution. The following academic regulations are announcements and do not constitute a contract between the student and the College. The College reserves the right to change these regulations and procedures as it deems necessary for the accomplishment of its purposes, but wherever possible, a student will proceed to graduation under the regulations in effect at the time of his or her entrance at the College.
Privacy of Student Records
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA), also known as the Buckley Amendment, helps protect the privacy of student records. The Act provides for the right to inspect and review educational records, to seek to amend those records, and to limit disclosure of information from the records. The Act applies to all institutions that are the recipients of federal funding.
Annually, Lebanon Valley College informs students of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, as amended. This Act, with which the institution intends to comply fully, was designated to protect the privacy of education records, to establish the right of students to inspect and review their education records, and to provide guidelines for the correction of inaccurate or misleading data through informal and formal hearings.
Students also have the right to file complaints with the FERPA office concerning alleged failures by the institution to comply with the act.
The complete policy can be found on the Registrar's Office web site. Questions concerning the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act may be referred to the Registrar’s Office.
A credit hour is the unit to measure academic progress. Lebanon Valley College follows the credit hour requirements established by the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE), which are in compliance with policies set forth by the federal government and Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
LVC follows a semester system with the fall and spring semesters consisting of approximately 15 weeks, which includes one week for final exams. Some courses, particularly in the summer term and at the graduate-level, follow a different calendar while adhering to the same instructional time requirements as semester fall and spring semester-courses. Regardless of the course calendar followed, all courses must hold the required instructional time according to the following instructional methods:
General Courses: These include traditional lecture, seminar, studio, and other instructional methods, not described below, conducted in a face-to-face format. Such courses must include at least 14 hours of instructional time plus at least 28 hours of out-of-class assignments (homework) per course credit. Typical semester meeting patterns for a three-credit course involve three 50 minute class periods, two 80 minute class periods, or one 180 minute class period per week.
Laboratories: These include at least 28 instructional hours per credit. During the semester, laboratories typically meet once a week for at least 110 hours total.
Music Instruction: Consistent with guidelines provided by the National Association of Schools of Music, each Music Instruction (MUI) course requires half an hour of direct instruction per week over 14 weeks for each credit, with students expected to practice for an additional three hours per week.
Independent Activities: Required hours for independent studies, internships, and tutorial studies are specified on in a separate section of the catalog.
Online Courses: Online courses are conducted entirely online and have no requirements to meet face-to-face. Instruction can be synchronous, asynchronous, or a combination of the two. Courses must meet the same hours as equivalent face-to-face courses, described above. Typical instructional activities for this format and approximate equivalent instructional hours are available on the Registrar's Office website.
Hybrid Courses: Hybrid courses use a combination of online and face-to-face meetings and must meet the same hours as equivalent full face-to-face courses, described above. Online portions must follow requirements for online courses, specified above.
Accelerated Courses: These courses meet fully face-to-face but in fewer weeks than the traditional semester format. They must meet the same hours as equivalent full semester courses, described above. Because of the reduced number of weeks, accelerated courses will have more frequent meeting patterns and/or longer class hours than semester courses.
Application for Graduation
As a student nears completion of the degree requirements, the student must file an application for the degree and a graduation plan with the Registrar’s Office. Graduation application deadlines and the semester Course List and Registration Schedule are available in that office. This application process provides the student with a timely opportunity to review their degree requirements and to plan or change the student’s course schedule to ensure completion of all requirements.
The student must complete an Application for the Degree and a Graduation Plan, meet with their advisor, obtain all required signatures for graduation, including major and minor requirements, and deliver the forms to the Registrar’s Office in the Administration Building/Humanities Center.
Candidates for a baccalaureate degree shall complete successfully 120 credit hours, including the requirements for the Constellation LVC Common Learning Experience and the requirements for majors and minors as appropriate. Credit hours are accumulated in three separate categories: Constellation LVC requirements, major requirements, and electives.
The Constellation LVC Program is that part of the curriculum shared by all students in all majors. The required courses reflect 40 credit hours. The major programs each require at least 30 credit hours of course work. Electives are those courses selected by the student that reflect neither major nor Constellation LVC requirements.
Candidates for the bachelor’s degree must also take in residence 30 credit hours of the 36 taken immediately prior to graduation. Course work taken in all of the College’s programs, including its sponsored study abroad or away programs, qualifies as work done in residence.
For first Bachelor degrees, no more than twelve credits from student teaching (ECE 440, ECE 441, MED 441, MED 442, SED 440, and SPE 441) and internships combined may be counted.
Candidates for a degree must obtain a cumulative grade point average of at least 2.0 and a major grade point average of at least 2.0. Additional majors and any minors also require a 2.0 grade point average.
Students who have 11 or fewer credits remaining to complete the degree may participate in the graduation ceremony.
Each student has a faculty advisor whose role is to counsel regarding registration procedures, course selections, academic requirements, and regulations. The student is expected to obtain the advisor’s counsel and approval before registration, withdrawal, election of pass/fail option, and/or change in credit/audit status.
Arrangement of Schedules
Each student arranges a semester program of courses in consultation with their faculty advisor. Students already in attendance do this during registration periods. New students accomplish this on orientation days.
Limit of Hours
To be classified as full time, a student must take at least 12 credit hours in a semester. Seventeen credit hours is the maximum permitted without approval from the student’s advisor and permission of the registrar. To be permitted to take more than 17 credits, the student should have a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or higher, or be a senior. Audited courses are counted in determining the course load, but music organizations are not. Students shall pay the prevailing tuition rate for each credit hour beyond 17 (not counting music organizations).
Students are classified academically at the beginning of each year. Membership in the sophomore, junior or senior classes is granted to students who have earned a minimum of 28, 56 or 84 credit hours respectively.
A student applying for advanced standing after having attended another accredited institution shall send an official transcript to the Admission Office. If requested, the student must provide copies of course descriptions and/or syllabi.
Credits are accepted for transfer provided the grades are C– (1.67) or better and the coursework, including expected learning outcomes, is equivalent to or consistent with Lebanon Valley College curricula and standards. Transferred Grades count for credit hours only, not for quality points.
Transfer institutions within the United States must be regionally accredited or hold accreditation from other, non-regional accreditors recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. Coursework from non-regionally accredited institutions will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis subject to the above requirements and, if applicable, may be accepted as elective credit. Coursework may satisfy Constellation LVC or major requirements with approval of the director of curriculum and the appropriate department chair, respectively. Institutions outside of the United States must be recognized as degree granting institutions by their home country or approved as a study abroad partnership by the Center for Global Education. A course-by-course evaluation of all foreign university transcripts by an independent service based in the United States is required for international transfer students.
A candidate for admission holding an associate degree from a regionally accredited college can be admitted with full acceptance of course work at the previously attended institution. However, course work in the major field for which the applicant has received a D shall not be counted toward fulfilling the major requirement.
Because Lebanon Valley College is a liberal arts institution, consideration of full acceptance of the associate degree will be granted with the understanding that the candidate has followed a basic course of study compatible with the curriculum and academic programs of the College and has been enrolled in a transfer program. A total of 60 credits will be accepted for an associate degree. A maximum of 90 credit hours will be accepted toward a baccalaureate degree.
Students transferring to Lebanon Valley College in order to complete work on a baccalaureate degree will normally be expected to pass at least one 3-credit course in their intended major for each semester they spend at the college. “Semester” shall normally be defined as 15 credit hours. Beyond this minimum requirement, departments may require additional courses if they so desire.
Lebanon Valley College students enrolled for a degree may not carry courses concurrently at any other institution without prior consent of their advisors and the registrar. Students who desire to study away from campus for summer study must obtain prior approval from their advisors and the registrar.
Discontinuance of Courses
The College reserves the right to withdraw or discontinue any course.
Registration and Preregistration
Students are required to register for courses on designated days of each semester. Preference is given to upper-class students in the preregistration process to ensure registration in courses required for their major fields of study. Students desiring to register later than one week after the opening of the semester will be admitted only by special permission of the instructor and the registrar.
On entering Lebanon Valley College, students indicate that they are open or declare a desired major with approval of the department chair. Open majors must make a formal declaration by the time they have completed 60 credit hours.
Change of Registration
Change of registration, including pass/fail elections, changes of course hours credit, changes from credit to audit and vice versa, must be approved by signature of the advisor. In most instances, registration for a course shall not be permitted after the course has been in session for one full week. With the permission of the advisor, a student may withdraw from a course during the first 10 weeks of the semester. However, first-time, first- semester freshmen may withdraw from a course at any time through the last day of semester classes with permission of the advisor. A fee is charged for every course added at the student’s request after the publicized Add/Drop Period (the first full week of classes).
Students who drop below full-time status (below 12 credits) during the publicized Add/Drop Period (the first full week of classes) will be re-billed as part-time students. Resident students who drop to part-time must have the permission of the associate dean of student affairs. Other considerations regarding financial aid, academic progress, and health insurance must be made before dropping to part-time status.
Students who drop courses after the publicized Add/Drop Period will not have their status changed to part-time. However, consideration must be given to academic progress and future eligibility for financial aid and scholarship monies.
Students enrolled in courses meeting during the summer or for an abbreviated period during fall and spring semesters may drop a course before the second class meeting. Thereafter, students may withdraw from a course up to the first two-thirds of the course.
Students may register to audit courses with the approval of their academic advisor. Audited courses are counted in considering the course load relative to the limit of hours and may result in an overload charge. No grade or credit is given for an audited course, but the registrar will record the audit on the transcript if the student attends regularly. If the student does not attend regularly, they will be withdrawn from the course with a grade of "W". A change of registration from credit to audit or from audit to credit, with the approval of the instructor, must be accomplished by the end of the 10th week of semester classes.
A student may elect to take up to two courses per semester and one per summer session on a pass/fail basis; however, only six such courses can be counted toward graduation requirements. In addition to courses elected to be pass/fail, students are permitted to count courses designated as pass/fail, which are required within a major or minor. With the exception of courses that are designated pass/fail, no courses elected by students to be taken pass/fail may be used to meet the requirements of the Constellation LVC Program or other programs, the major(s), the minor(s) or secondary education certification. A student may select or cancel a pass/fail registration any time during the first 10 weeks of a semester, or up to the first two-thirds of a course meeting during the summer or for an abbreviated period during fall and spring semesters. First-semester freshmen may change to or from a pass/fail registration through the last day of class.
Passing with honors will be designated by the grade PH indicating that a grade of B+ or higher was earned. If a student does not pass the course, the student will receive an F on the transcript.
Repetition of Courses
A student may repeat as often as desired, for a higher grade, a previously taken course, subject to the following provisions: the course must have been taken in courses staffed by the College, the course has to be retaken at Lebanon Valley College, and the semester credit hours are given only one time. The higher grade received each time taken is computed in the cumulative grade point average. Each semester grade report will show hours credit each time passed, but the total hours toward a degree will be equal only to the semester hours credit for the course. For a course previously passed P/F, the grade received in the subsequent registration for regular grade is the “higher grade.” Each grade received remains on the permanent record and a notation is made thereon that the course has been repeated.
Retroactive Withdrawal Policy
A student may petition to the associate dean of academic affairs for a retroactive withdrawal from a course or from the College (all courses taken during that semester) if and only if circumstances of a severe and compelling nature prevented them from withdrawing by the established deadline. A decision to grant a retroactive withdrawal is independent from a tuition refund decision, which is made according to a separate policy. Students may be considered for a retroactive withdrawal under the following conditions:
- They have documentation of a serious illness that affected their ability to complete coursework after the withdrawal date.
- They encountered extreme and unusual circumstances that were beyond their control, occurred after the withdrawal date, and could not have been addressed during the term in which the course(s) was taken.
Retroactive withdrawals will not be approved under the following conditions:
- The student is dissatisfied with the course grade.
- The student neglected or fogot to withdraw from the course(s) or assumed the instructor or Registrar's Office would complete the withdrawal.
- The student claimed they were unaware of withdrawal deadlines.
- The student changed their major and is working toward a degree that does not require this course.
- The student experiences illness or a crisis early enough in the semester to have withdrawn during the semester.
- The student is attempting to receive a retroactive accommodation for a disability.
Students petitioning for a retroactive withdrawal must provide the appropriate documentation that supports their request.
A student enrolled for a degree at Lebanon Valley College may not carry courses concurrently at any other institution without prior consent of their advisor and the registrar.
External Summer Courses
A student registered at Lebanon Valley College may not obtain credit for the courses taken during the summer at another college unless such courses have prior approval of their advisor and the registrar.
At Lebanon Valley College, the academic program is the centerpiece of the student’s experience. Commitments to one’s academic program take priority over other obligations, college-sponsored or otherwise. Regular attendance at all courses is essential to academic success. It is the student’s responsibility to attend class and to be accountable for all work missed in the event of being absent from class. Faculty are not obligated in any way whatsoever to make special arrangements for any student who is absent from class.
Specific class attendance policies are determined by individual faculty members. These may include regulations regarding tardiness. Faculty members have the right to reduce a student’s final course grade based on their attendance. Each individual faculty member’s attendance policy—and the consequences students face when exceeding the allotted number of absences—must be clearly stated in the course syllabus and explained to students on the first day of class. Academic departments may also have an attendance policy, particularly one regarding practicums, student teaching or clinical experiences.
An excused absence is defined as an absence for which a student is not penalized. It is possible, but not guaranteed, for a student to be excused from class when participating in an authorized college activity, such as field trips, athletic competitions, performances, and departmental or College events. The faculty member of the academic class from which the student will be absent has discretionary authority to grant or not grant the excusal. In general, student attendance at academic classes has priority over other college functions.
When faculty require attendance at class sessions or events outside of students’ regularly scheduled academic classes, the faculty member must provide alternative methods of fulfilling the assignment for students who are legitimately unable to participate.
Faculty planning class trips or other activities resulting in student absences from classes in other courses must provide each participating student, as far in advance as possible, with a written request for excusal, which students are then expected to present to their other instructors. The request must detail the nature of the event, date(s), times, names of participating students, and the signatures of instructor(s). The instructor must also notify the registrar. Sponsors of co-curricular events (aside from semester-long sports events), must follow this process as well.
Sports rosters are issued team by team at the beginning of each semester, with the names of participating students, the dates of the athletic contests, and requested excusal times listed on each roster. Unscheduled games will be announced through the Athletic Department. Students are responsible for requesting class excusals for any athletic events. Athletic practices do not warrant a request for class excusal.
In all cases, when a student is absent from class—whether the absence is excused or not—the student remains responsible for all and any work missed. When requests for excused absences are granted, the faculty member may stipulate when and in what manner the missed work must be completed by the student.
If attendance requirements conflict, the Vice President of Academic Affairs/Dean of the Faculty will mediate.
A long-term absence from a class may severely impact a student’s ability to complete a course successfully.
Notifications. In the event that a student will be absent for more than one calendar week during the 15-week semester or two class days during accelerated courses, they should notify the assistant dean for academic success, who will facilitate communication among key personnel at the College. The student should also contact their faculty. Assuming it is possible, the student should indicate to the faculty and the assistant dean of academic success the dates they will be absent.
Administrative Withdrawal. A long-term absence from a class or classes may result in administrative withdrawal from the course or the College. In a traditional, 15-week semester, a student will be administratively withdrawn with a grade of “W” after three calendar weeks or three class days during accelerated courses. This is assuming the deadline to withdraw has not passed.
Departmental policies, particularly those pertaining to a clinical or practicum experience, take precedence over the College’s generalized policy on long-term absences. Students should consult the Student Handbooks for their academic programs in order to familiarize themselves with the department’s attendance policy.
Concussion Return-to-Learn Policy
The College currently offers "provisional or temporary" accommodations for individuals who have been diagnosed with a concussion. Such accommodations are accessed by the Center for Disability Resources in collaboration with medical professionals (i.e. athletic trainers, physical therapists, and physicians) and are based upon supporting documentation and recommendations.
The College's Attendance policy holds that regular attendance at all courses is essential to academic success, and it is the student's responsibility to attend class and to be accountable for all work missed in the event of being absent from class. Specific class attendance policies are determined by individual faculty members.
When deemed necessary, adjustments and accommodations are outlined in a letter from the Center for Disability Resources as "Temporary Academic Accommodations" and students are responsible to communicate the necessary accommodations to individual professors. Temporary accommodations may be provided for both physical and cognitive rest. The student is responsible for any work missed and arrangements for make-up work must be made in cooperation with course professors. During this process, students are encouraged to speak with each professor to determine course specific requirements that may be postponed or excused (i.e. postponed exams, extra time for project/assignment completion, reduced reading assignments). Students are also responsible for meeting with the Director of Disability Resources on a weekly basis during the usage of temporary accommodations.
When the concussed student experiences prolonged cognitive difficulties and symptoms beyond the second week post-injury, the student should consider implications that may hinder the successful completion of coursework. Students are encouraged to meet with his or her academic advisor and the Assistant Dean of Academic Success to consider options if coursework missed becomes to onerous to make up.
The College treats students in domestic or foreign study programs as students-in-absentia. Any student who studies for a semester or academic year at another institution with the intent of returning to the College is considered a matriculated student. A student desiring in-absentia status should complete the form in the Registrar’s Office and secure the approval of the advisor, the registrar and the director of global education. Students will receive information regarding registration and room sign-up after they notify the registrar of their address abroad or in the United States.
Leave of Absence
For reasons of health or other compelling circumstances, students may request a voluntary leave from the College for the duration of one or two semesters. The option to take a leave of absence is usually available to students who have attended classes past the add/drop period of their first semester. Prior to the end of the drop/add period, new students should contact the Admission Office to learn what their options are for re-enrollment.
A student desiring a leave of absence should complete the form available from the Registrar’s Office, indicate their anticipated date of return, and secure the approval of the associate dean of academic affairs. This form must be returned to the Registrar’s Office by 4:30 p.m. on the last day of classes in order for the leave of absence to take effect that term. Students who have stopped attending classes but failed to complete the leave of absence application and secure the official approval for the leave will be administratively withdrawn from the College.
Students on leave are regarded as continuing students and retain their status for registration, residency, assuming rooms are available, and merit scholarships. For all other forms of financial aid, the student should contact the Financial Aid Office directly.
Part-time students are not required to take a leave of absence if they do not take classes each semester. However, they must enroll in a course at least once in a two-year period. If they do not, they must file for a leave of absence in order to maintain active status, or be administratively withdrawn, as described below.
When they are ready to return to the College, students should contact their academic advisor to register, as well as other offices needed to facilitate their return. Students who do not provide due notice (60 days) of a change in the date of expected return will be administratively withdrawn from the College and must petition the associate dean of academic affairs for formal readmission.
Withdrawal from College and Readmission
To withdraw from the College, a student must complete an official withdrawal form obtained from the Registrar’s Office. Submission of this form to the Registrar’s Office means that the student has authorized the Registrar’s Office to drop their classes for any upcoming terms. If a student withdraws during the semester, classes will be dropped after the withdrawal form has been submitted.
The withdrawal form must be returned to the Registrar’s Office by 4:30 p.m. on the last day of classes in order for the withdrawal to take effect during the semester. A decision to withdraw must be made before any final grades are recorded. Final grades submitted by the faculty will not be converted. Oral notification of a withdrawal does not constitute a formal withdrawal.
Students who officially withdraw from the College after the add/drop period will receive grades of W on their transcripts.
Full-time students who do not register each fall and spring term or secure approval for a leave of absence will be administratively withdrawn from the College. The administrative withdrawal will occur after the add/drop period of the semester in which they did not register. Part-time students who do not register for classes for a period of two (2) years and do not secure approval for a leave of absence will be administratively withdrawn from the College.
Students who withdraw or were administratively withdrawn and later return to the College have forfeited their merit scholarships. Readmission of a student requires written permission from the associate dean for academic affairs. All admission requirements and degree requirements will be re-evaluated at the time of the request for readmission.
Emergency Withdrawal or Medical Leave of Absence
Depending on the circumstances, the College reserves the right to immediately withdraw a student from the College. Such action will be taken only when a student demonstrates the inability to continue as a student or presents an immediate danger to self or others. Such action will be the responsibility of the vice president of student affairs and dean of students, or their designee, in consultation with other members of the College professional staff. After an emergency withdrawal or medical leave of absence, an evaluation supporting return is required and must be submitted to the vice president of student affairs and dean of students, or their designee. Such clearance includes full written documentation from the attending psychologist or psychiatrist to the vice president of student affairs and dean of students substantiating competency to return to the demands of the College environment, and documentation setting forth what follow up treatment is required, if any. The student may not return to campus without this documentation. Additionally, the student is required to meet with the vice president of student affairs and dean of students, or their designee, prior to finalizing re-enrollment responsibilities.
Second Bachelor’s Degrees
A person who has earned a bachelor’s degree from Lebanon Valley College or another accredited college or university may earn a second bachelor’s degree by meeting the following requirements:
- A minimum of 30 additional undergraduate credits must be completed successfully at Lebanon Valley.
- All graduation requirements for the major of the second degree must be met satisfactorily.
- Course work completed successfully as part of the first degree program may be used to satisfy the graduation requirements of the second major
- No course already taken in the first degree program may be repeated in the second degree program.
- No more than three credits from student teaching (ECE 440, ECE 441, MED 441, MED 442, SED 440, SPE 441) and internships combined may be counted toward a second degree. To ensure maximum flexibility, if both degrees are completed at LVC, a maximum of 15 credits internships/student teaching may be counted between the two degrees.
- Graduates from other accredited colleges or universities shall not be required to meet any Constellation LVC requirements of Lebanon Valley College.
- No courses in the second degree program may be met satisfactorily through credit for prior learning, such as challenge examinations, CLEP, or credit for life experience.
- No courses in the second degree program may be taken pass/fail.
NOTE: Students carrying a second major do not automatically receive a second degree. Student carrying a second major will not receive a second degree without having met all the requirements listed above for a second bachelor’s degree.
Undergraduate Credit for Prior Learning
Lebanon Valley College recognizes the ability of highly motivated students to master specific areas of study on their own initiative and provides programs to allow these students the opportunity to gain credit. Except for those seeking a second bachelor’s degree, any matriculated student may earn a maximum of 30 credits toward a bachelor’s degree through prior learning assessments (challenge exams, advanced placement, CLEP, and credit for life experience). Credit for prior learning will be recorded with a satisfactory (S) grade.
Challenge Exam Policy
Many LVC courses can be challenged for credit by examination. Students should request challenge examinations through their academic advisors. All requests must be approved by the registrar and department chair in which the course is listed.
Challenge exams are considered comprehensive examinations in the subject area. The grading criteria for challenge exams will be determined by each department. The exact nature of the examination will be determined by the faculty member and department chair of the department involved and may include any means of evaluation normally employed by the department. There is a fee for preparation and grading of each challenge exam, and it is charged without regard to the test results.
Challenge exams may not be taken by students who have received any grade in a course equivalent to or more advanced than the course for which the student is requesting credit by examination. Challenge exams may not be used for the purpose of acquiring credit for a course previously failed. Practicums, internships, seminars, research courses, independent study, writing-intensive courses, and courses with laboratory components are normally not subject to credit by examination. Individual departments may have additional criteria regarding challenge exams. Consult the department chair in which the course is listed for specific information.
Advanced Placement Policy
Advanced placement with credit in appropriate courses will be granted to entering students who make scores of 4 or 5 on College Board Advanced Placement examinations. The official Advanced Placement College Grade Report must be submitted by the student for evaluation by the registrar.
Advanced Placement without credit may be granted on the basis of the Achievement Tests of the College Board examinations or such other proficiency tests as may be determined appropriate by the registrar and department chair.
CLEP (College Level Examination Program) Policy
Credit shall be granted to those students who score well on CLEP examinations that are approved by the College. To receive credit, a student must score above the 50th percentile on the objective section and above a C, as determined by the appropriate academic department for general and subject examinations. The English composition essay is required to receive credit for English Communications with a minimum score of 64 and at the 80th percentile for this CLEP examination. Credit for foreign language at the intermediate level requires a minimum score of 62 (for French), 63 (for German), and 66 (for Spanish) on Level 2 tests.
A maximum of six credits shall be awarded for each examination; of these credits, only three may be applied to the Constellation LVC requirements in the appropriate area. Credit shall be granted only to students who have matriculated at Lebanon Valley College. Normally, requests for CLEP credit must be approved by the registrar before the student has completed 30 credits.
Credit for Life Experience Policy
Lebanon Valley College provides for the awarding of undergraduate academic credit for knowledge acquired through nonacademic experience in subjects in the College curriculum. The experience should have a direct relation to the material taught in a course in the College curriculum and should extend over a sufficient period to provide substantive knowledge in the relevant area. Matriculated students who believe they qualify for such credit may petition the appropriate department through their academic advisors. This petition must be outlined on the Experiential Learning Application and:
- detail the relevant experience in question
- provide appropriate supporting evidence
- note the equivalent College course by department and number
- state the number of credit hours sought.
The appropriate department will consult with the academic advisor to determine the best means (interview, examination, portfolio, etc.) for evaluating the experience.
Approval of experiential credit for full-time students must be made in writing over the signatures of the academic advisor, the appropriate department chair, and the associate dean for academic affairs.
Experiential credit cannot exceed 6 credit hours in one academic year and cannot exceed a maximum of 12 credit hours in the degree program.
International Baccalaureate Program
Lebanon Valley College values the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Program and its curriculum that develops sophisticated, critical thinking, intercultural competence, and respect for diversity. We welcome applications from IB students.
Credit for appropriate courses will be granted to entering students who achieve scores of 5, 6, or 7 on International Baccalaureate individual subject examinations. For each Higher Level subject, 6-8 credits will be granted; for each Standard Level subject, 3-4 credits will be granted. Three elective credits will also be granted for grades of C or better on either the Theory of Knowledge and Extended Essay components.
Students who complete the IB Diploma Program and achieve an overall score of 30 or better will automatically be granted 30 credits. Credit for equivalent courses will only be given for individual subject scores of 5 or better, otherwise only elective credit will be granted.
Grading Systems and Grade Point Averages
Student work is graded A (excellent), B (good), C (satisfactory), D (requirements and standards met a minimum level), F (course requirements not met). For each credit hour in a course, students receive the following quality points:
F carries no credit or quality points, but grades of F are used in calculating the grade point averages.
The cumulative grade point average is calculated by dividing the quality points by the credit hours completed. Candidates for a degree must obtain a cumulative grade point average of 2.0 and a major grade point average of 2.0. Additional majors and any minors also require a 2.0 grade point average. A student may not take a course that has a prerequisite course he or she has failed.
Students may elect to take courses pass/fail, subject to the pass/fail policy (see page 15) and receive grades of P (pass), PH (pass with honors, equivalent to a B+ or higher), or F (fail). Some courses are graded solely on a pass/fail basis, with an option for PH for superior work in the judgment of the instructor. Zero credit courses are graded on an S (satisfactory)/U (unsatisfactory) basis. Grades of P, PH, S, or U do not carry quality points and do not impact grade point averages.
In addition to the above grades, the symbols I, IP, and W are used. I indicates that the work is incomplete (certain required work postponed by the student for substantial reason with the prior consent of the instructor) but otherwise satisfactory. This work must be completed within the first four weeks of the end of the course or the I will be converted to an F. Instructors may set an earlier deadline. Appeals for an extension of the incomplete grade past the four-week period must be approved by the instructor and presented to the registrar prior to the incomplete due date. IP (in progress) is a temporary grade for certain courses that have not concluded by the end of the semester. W indicates withdrawal from a course through the tenth week of semester classes (or up to the first two-thirds of course meeting during the summer or for an abbreviated period during fall and spring semesters), except for first-semester freshmen who may withdraw through the last day of the semester.
Once a grade has been recorded it may not be changed without the approval of the instructor and the registrar. Students who feel the grade may be inaccurate must contact the instructor within 30 days from the end date of the course in question.
Grievances Filed by Students against Faculty Members Concerning Final Grades
A student may file a grievance against a faculty member if the student has sufficient reason to dispute a final grade earned in a course.
- The student must first contact their instructor to question the disputed grade. This must be done in writing and must take place as soon as possible, but no later than 30 days after the end of the course in which the concern originated. The student may seek the support of their academic advisor, or other faculty person, in preparing this written communication.
- If the matter is not resolved, the student should arrange a meeting with the instructor to review the grade. If agreement is reached, the matter is settled. Otherwise, the student may proceed to Mediation.
- Within 10 days of completing the initial steps, the student shall send a written request to the faculty member's chair, outlining the basis of the grade appeal and requesting a meeting. A copy of this communication must be provided to the instructor by the chair. The department chair will schedule a meeting with the student, chair, and instructor. If an agreement is reached at this level, the problem is resolved and no further action needs to be taken. If no agreement is reached, the student may elect to proceed to an appeal. In the event that the grade appeal is directed against the chair, the process proceeds without mediation directly to an appeal.
- Within 10 days of completing mediation, the student will send to the associate dean of academic affairs (ADAA) a written request to have the case heard by an Appeals Board. The ADAA will, within 14 calendar days of receiving the written request, convene an Appeals Board that will serve for the term of the appeal in question. The board will be made up of two faculty members and one member of the student body. The ADAA will serve as chair of the Appeals Board and as a non-voting member, and is responsible for documenting the events of the hearing and appointing the two faculty members. The student will be selected by the associate dean of student affairs (ADSA). The student and instructor involved in the appeal must be present during the entire hearing, excluding deliberations. Each may be assisted during the hearing by an advisor from among current students, faculty, administration or staff. This individual serves in an advisory capacity only. They may not actively participate in the hearing.
- The Appeals Board shall have 72 hours from the time it is convened to make a decision. The student and faculty member are to be notified in writing of the board’s decision. The decision of the Appeals Board is final.
The Appeals Board is the final source of appeal and will also serve as repository of records that are kept of the grievance. After the dissolution of the board a repository of grievance records will be kept in the Registrar’s Office.
Grievances Filed by Students Against Faculty Members Concerning Other Matters
A student file a grievance against a faculty member unrelated to grades or Title IX violations. Such grievances typically address violations of the College's, department's, or program's standards regarding professional conduct, safety, and fairness. In the event that a student wishes to file a grievance against a faculty member, the following procedures should be followed:
- The student must inform the faculty member of the problem before proceeding to the next step. This may be done in person or in writing and must take place as soon as possible, but no later than 30 days after the end of the course in which the concern originated. The student may seek the support of his/her academic advisor, or other faculty member, in any communication with the faculty member, and either the faculty member or the student may request that a mutually agreed-on third party be present at any meeting.
- If agreement is reached, the matter is resolved. Otherwise, the student may proceed to Mediation.
- Within 10 days of completing the initial step, the student shall send a written request to the faculty member's department chair, outlining the basis for the grievance and requesting a meeting. A copy of this communication must be provided to the faculty member by the chair. A meeting will then be held with the student, chair, and faculty member. In the event that the grievance is directed against the chair, that chair must select another faculty member who will receive a copy of the communication and be present at the meeting. If an agreement is reached at this level, the problem is resolved and no further action needs to be taken. If no agreement is reached, either the student or the faculty member may elect to proceed to Grievance.
- Within 10 days of completing mediation, the student may send to the associate dean of academic affairs (ADAA) a written request to have the case heard by a Grievance Hearing Board. The associate dean will, within 14 calendar days of receiving the written request, convene a Grievance Hearing Board that will serve for the term of the grievance in question. Voting members of the board will consist of two faculty members and one member of the student body. The student representative will be selected by the associate dean of student affairs. The ADAA will serve as chair of the Grievance Hearing Board and is responsible for documenting the events of the hearing. The process of forming the Grievance Hearing Board conforms to the Faculty Policies Manual.
- The student and faculty member must be present during the entire hearing, excluding deliberations. Each may be assisted during the hearing by an advisor from among current students, faculty, administration or staff. This individual serves in an advisory capacity only. They may not actively participate in the hearing.
- The hearing board shall have 72 hours from the time it is convened to make a decision. The student, faculty member and department chair are to be notified in writing regarding the board's decision.
- The Grievance Hearing Board is the final source of appeal. The ADAA serves as a repository of all records that are kept of the grievance. After the dissolution of the board, a repository of grievance records will be kept for a period of seven years in the Registrar's Office.
Academic and Graduation Honors
The Dean’s List
The Dean's List recognizes undergraduate students for outstanding academic achievement during each semester. Students achieving a 3.400 or higher grade point average while carrying at least 12 credit hours for grade (excluding courses taken pass/fail) shall be named to the Dean’s List at the end of each semester. Students with any incomplete grades will not be awarded Dean’s List. If, when all incompletes are resolved, the student meets the Dean’s List criteria, he/she may submit a request to be added to the Dean’s List through the Registrar’s Office.
After completing a minimum of 60 calculated credit hours of residence work, a student may qualify for graduation honors. The honors to be conferred are summa cum laude for grade point averages of 3.75–4.0, magna cum laude for grade point averages of 3.6–3.74, and cum laude for grade point averages of 3.4–3.59.
All major programs provide the opportunity for departmental honors work during the junior and senior years. For specific information, interested students should contact the appropriate department chair. The minimal requirements for departmental honors are a cumulative GPA of at least 3.000, both at the time of application and at the time of graduation; a written thesis; an oral presentation; and approval by a majority vote of the full-time members of the department. This project is undertaken on a subject of the student’s own choosing under the supervision of a faculty advisor. Opportunity also exists to do creative work. A maximum of 9 hours credit may be earned in departmental honors.
Lebanon Valley College expects its students to uphold the principles of academic honesty. Violations of these principles will not be tolerated. Students shall neither hinder nor unfairly assist the efforts of other students to complete their work. All individual work that a student produces and submits as a course assignment must be the student’s own.
Cheating and plagiarism are acts of academic dishonesty. Cheating is an act that deceives or defrauds. It includes, but is not limited to, looking at another’s exam or quiz, using unauthorized materials during an exam or quiz, colluding on assignments without the permission or knowledge of the instructor, and furnishing false information for the purpose of receiving special consideration, such as postponement of an exam, essay, quiz, or deadline of an oral presentation.
Plagiarism is the act of submitting as one’s own the work (the words, ideas, images, or compositions) of another person or persons without accurate attribution. Plagiarism can manifest itself in various ways: it can arise from sloppy, inaccurate note-taking; it can emerge as the incomplete or incompetent citation of resources; it can take the form of the wholesale submission of another person’s work as one’s own, whether from an online, oral or printed source. The seriousness of an instance of plagiarism—its moral character as an act of academic dishonesty—normally depends upon the extent to which a student intends to deceive and mislead the reader as to the authorship of the work in question. Initially, the instructor will make this determination.
In the unfortunate event of an alleged breach of academic honesty, a student will be assured due process as follows:
- No later than three weeks after the instructor's observation of academic dishonesty, the instructor will present to the student (orally or in writing) the specific charge with all supporting documentation. Documentation should include the nature of alleged academic dishonesty, a description of the incident, and the evidence supporting the charge. At the moment the work has been submitted, the student involved forfeits the right to withdraw from the course or to change his or her course status in any way.
- Following this notification, the instructor will meet with the student and permit the student to respond to the charge with factual information and mitigating circumstances related to the charge. If circumstances prohibit a face-to-face meeting (as might be the case if the incident occurs at the end of the semester), the student may respond to the charges via email.
- If the instructor concludes that the student is culpable of academic dishonesty, the instructor shall report the suspected incident to the associate dean of academic affairs (ADAA).
- Information related to the offenses of academic dishonesty must be passed by the faculty member to the ADAA who shall retain the information for as long as the student involved is enrolled at the College. Information and evidence concerning academic dishonesty are the property of the College.
- The ADAA and student charged with academic dishonesty will meet in a closed session to review the charges and the supporting evidence. Following this meeting, the ADAA shall send the student a formal correspondence describing the consequences of this offense and any further offenses.
- For the first offense of academic dishonesty, the instructor has the option of implementing whatever grade-related penalty he or she deems appropriate, up to and including failure in the course.
- For the second formally established offense of academic dishonesty, failure in the course is warranted; the ADAA shall so notify the faculty member(s) involved. Additionally, the ADAA has the authority to take further action against the student, up to and including suspension or permanent dismissal from the College.
- For the third formally established offense of academic dishonesty, failure in the course and removal from the College are warranted. Removal may take the form of either suspension for one or two semesters or permanent dismissal. Permanent dismissals are recorded on a student's academic transcript.
- The ADAA has the authority to determine whether actions by a student constitute "offenses of academic dishonesty" as described previously.
- The student may appeal the determination of academic dishonesty within 10 business days following the date of the decision sent to the student from the ADAA. Failure by the student to appeal within the limited time period constitutes a waiver of the student's right to appeal.
- The appeal must be made in writing and forwarded to the vice president of academic affairs/dean of the faculty (VPAA/dean of faculty). An appeal will be awarded given either of the following conditions:
- The college's policies and procedures were not followed by the instructor;
- Significant and new evidence supporting the student's defense was discovered after the hearing.
- The VPAA/dean of the faculty will assemble an Appeals Committee, consisting of two members of the teaching faculty and one member of the student body. The VPAA/dean of the faculty will appoint one of the two faculty members to serve as chair of the Appeals Committee. The Appeals Committee has the authority to: (a) affirm or reverse the findings and actions of the instructor and the ADAA, and; (b) reduce or moderate the ADAA's decision on suspension or expulsion. The Appeals Committee does not have the authority to change a grade decision. Findings will be communicated in writing to the student, instructor, ADAA and VPAA/dean of the faculty.
- The chair of the Appeals Committee will consult with the student and instructor to schedule an appeals hearing. The student and instructor will be given at least two days' notice of the date, time, and place of the hearing. The student and instructor must be present during the hearing, excluding deliberations. The student may be assisted during the appeals hearing by an advisor of choice from among the current full-time students, faculty, administration or staff, but may not be assisted during the appeal hearing by anyone else. The selected individual may function in an advisory capacity only. They may not actively participate in the appeals hearing.
- The student will be informed in writing of the committee's decision within 24 hours following the appeals hearing.
- Records related to academic dishonesty will be kept for five years following the student's last date of attendance at the College, with the exception of records of actions resulting in permanent dismissal, which will be kept permanently.
Academic Standing Requirements
At the conclusion of each semester, members of the Academic Affairs Council meet to review the academic performance of all undergraduate students.
To maintain themselves in good academic standing at the College, students must achieve minimum cumulative grade point averages appropriate to progress toward their degree, and they must complete coursework at a regular and sustained pace. Minimum cumulative GPAs are as follows:
Semester Hours Completed Required Cumulative
|Semester Hours Completed||Required Cumulative GPA|
|84 or more||1.900|
At the conclusion of each semester, the College examines students’ academic records. Students who have not achieved the above minimum grade point averages will be given an Academic Warning, placed on Probation, or Academically Suspended from the College.
Academic Warning: The first time students fall below the required cumulative GPA as listed above, they will be given Academic Warning. Academic Warning constitutes a formal notification that a student’s academic performance is weak and that they need to devote increased attention to academic work. Students receiving Academic Warning are cautioned that unless they achieve an acceptable cumulative grade point average, they will be placed on Probation and thereby lose the privilege of participating in extracurricular activities (including such activities as intercollegiate sports, student government, campus media, student clubs, and Greek and service organizations).
Probation: Students who fall a second time below the required cumulative GPA (whether in consecutive or nonconsecutive semesters) will be placed on Probation. A student on Probation will not be permitted to take part in extracurricular activities.
Final Probation: Students who fall a third time below the required cumulative GPA (whether in consecutive or nonconsecutive semesters) will be placed on Final Probation. A student on Final Probation will not be permitted to take part in extra-curricular activities, and the student will be informed that unless the student restores himself or herself to good academic standing and maintains that status, the student will be suspended from the College.
Academic Suspension: Students will be suspended academically from the College when (1) they fall a fourth time below the required cumulative GPA (whether in consecutive or nonconsecutive semesters); (2) they fail to achieve a cumulative GPA of at least 0.750 at the conclusion of any semester; (3) they have not earned by the conclusion of the second and subsequent semesters of full-time enrollment a total of at least 6 credit hours of coursework for each semester completed. Students suspended for academic reasons will not be permitted to return for at least the full subsequent semester (fall or spring).
In the event of an academic suspension, a student may appeal the decision and will be assured due process as follows:
- No later than ten (10) business days following the date of the letter informing the student that he/she has been suspended, the student may appeal the decision. Failure to appeal within the limited time period constitutes a waiver of the student’s right to appeal.
- The appeal must be made in writing to the associate dean of academic affairs. An appeal will be awarded given the following conditions:
- a change was made to a student’s grade in a course, and this change occurred prior to the start of the semester for which the student was suspended;
- severe mitigating circumstances sufficiently documented by an authority contributed to the student’s poor academic performance.
- The associate dean of academic affairs will assemble an Appeals Committee, consisting of at least two members of the Academic Affairs Council and one member of the faculty. The associate dean of academic affairs will serve as the chair of the Appeals Committee. The Appeals Committee has the authority to affirm or reverse the decision to suspend the student.
- The chair of the Appeals Committee will consult with the student and members of the assembled committee to schedule a hearing. All persons will be given at least two business days’ notice of the date, time and place of the hearing. The student must be present at the hearing to present their case to the committee.
- The student may be assisted during the hearing by an advisor of choice from among current full-time students, faculty, administration or staff, but may not be assisted during the hearing by anyone else. The selected individual may function in an advisory capacity only. They may not actively participate in the appeals hearing. If the student has documentation from an authoritative source, the committee will review that material as well.
- Within 24 hours following the appeals hearing, the committee’s decision will be communicated in writing to the student, student’s advisor, registrar, the vice president of academic affairs/dean of the faculty and the vice president of student affairs. The decision of the Appeals Committee is permanent and final.
To request reinstatement following a suspension, students must submit a written an application for re-enrollment to the associate dean of academic affairs. In order to be considered for re-enrollment following an academic suspension, a student must provide evidence that he/she is prepared for the rigors of post-secondary education and has addressed whatever difficulties contributed to a poor academic performance. This may include letters of recommendation from employers, counselors, or medical professionals. Suspended students are highly encouraged to complete and earn grades of C or better in at least 6 credits of college-level work at another college.
On reinstatement to the College following a suspension, a student will have two semesters to bring up their cumulative GPA to the minimum required for good academic standing at the College. Until the student achieves good academic standing, they will remain on probationary status and are not eligible to participate in extracurricular activities. A suspended student who returns to the College and who is suspended again for academic reasons will be permanently dismissed from the College. A permanent academic dismissal is recorded on a student's academic transcript.
Satisfactory Academic Progress
In addition to meeting academic standing requirements, described above, students must also maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) toward a degree to maintain eligibility for federal, state and institutional financial aid. SAP for a full-time student is defined as earning 24 credits between two semesters; a student enrolled half-time (6-8 credits) must complete at least 6 credits per semester; a student enrolled at three-quarter time (9-11 credits) must earn at least 9 credits per semester. In addition, all students must maintain a cumulative grade point average of 1.600 (1-27 credits), 1.700 (28-55 credits), 1.800 (56-83 credits), 1.900 (84 or more credits). A 2.000 grade point average is required for completion of the baccalaureate degree. The full SAP policy is available at https://lvc-www.s3.amazonaws.com/financial-aid/academic-progress.aspx.
Students found in violation of the student conduct code are subject to disciplinary action, as stipulated in the Student Handbook. When sanctions result in suspension or dismissal from the College, a student is dropped or withdrawn from courses in accordance with registration policies. A permanent disciplinary dismissal is recorded on a student's academic transcript.