Academic Procedures

Academic Advisors Withdrawal from the College Maintaining Good Academic Standing
Change of Registration Leave of Absence Student-Faculty Grievance Procedure
Withdrawal from a Course Bad Weather and Meeting of Classes Academic Recognition
Change of Major Grading System
Class Attendance Academic Dishonesty Policy  


Academic Advisors
Each student has a faculty advisor whose role is to counsel about 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.

Change of Registration
All changes of registration must be approved with the signature of the advisor. In most instances, registration for a course will 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. A fee is charged for every course change added at the student’s request after the publicized Add/Drop Period (the first full week of classes).

Withdrawal from a Course
When a student withdraws from a course after the first week and before the end of the 10th week of the semester, a “W” will appear on the grade report. “W” indicates withdrawal from a course through the 10th week of semester classes except for the first-semester freshman who may withdraw from a course through the last day of the semester.

Change of Major
Students wishing to transfer from one major to another must complete a change of major form available in the Registrar’s Office. It must be signed by the chair of the department of the student’s current registration and the chair of the department to which the student wishes to transfer.

Class Attendance
At Lebanon Valley College, the academic program is the centerpiece of the sutdent'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 ot make speical arrangements for any student who is absent from class.

Specific class attendance policies are determined by individual faculty member. These may include regulations regarding tardiness. Faculty members have the right to reduce a student's final grade based on his or her 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.

Long-Term Absences
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, he or she should notify the assistant dean of advising and student success, who will facilitate communication among key personnel at the College. The student should also contact his or her faculty. Assuming it is possible, the student should indicate to both the faculty and the assistant dean the dates he or she 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 Handbook for their academic programs in order to familiarize themselves with the department's attendance policy.

Practice, Activities, and Athletic Contests
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 legitmately 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), and times, the names of participating students, and include the signatures of the instructor(s) and the instructor must also notify registrar. Sponsors of the 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 is 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 and dean of the faculty will mediate.

Withdrawal from the College
Students wishing to withdraw from the College with all “W”s must submit the necessary paperwork to the Registrar’s Office by 4 p.m. on the last day of classes. Readmission of a student requires written permission from the associate dean of academic affairs. Students who withdraw and later return to the College have forfeited their merit scholarships. Students may apply for need-based institutional, federal, and state aid.

Leave of Absence
For reasons of health or in other compelling circumstances, students may request a voluntary leave from the College for one or two semesters. A student should complete the form available in the Registrar’s Office and secure approval from the associate dean for academic affairs. Students on leave are regarded as continuing students and retain their status for registration and merit scholarships. For all other forms of financial aid, the student should contact the Financial Aid Office directly. The College reserves the right to require a leave of absence for medical reasons at any time it is deemed necessary to protect the student or other members of the College community or the interests of the College. Before a student returns from a medical leave of absence, a clearance interview and receipt of additional documentation may be required.

Bad Weather and Meeting of Classes
The general policy is that regular day classes are held during bad weather conditions for those students and faculty members able to get to class without jeopardizing themselves. It is understood that when classes are held under bad weather conditions, neither commuting students nor faculty members are expected to take any personal risk to get to campus, nor will either be penalized in any way for missing class. Faculty members who cannot meet their classes are requested to notify the College.

However, the vice president for academic affairs and dean of the faculty may cancel all classes in the event of severe inclement weather or other emergency. The College will notify the news media and send messages via campus email of whatever action is being taken. Students may also call the College Center desk at 867-6233 for information.

Grading System
Student work is graded A, B, C, D, or F. Faculty members have the option of adding “plus” or “minus.” These grades have the following significance:
A—Excellent
B—Good
C—Satisfactory
D—Requirements and standards met at a minimum level
F–Requirements not met
Students may not take a course if they failed its prerequisite(s). Grades are available to students through Access LVC soon after final examinations have ended. Mid-term grades are available to students and advisors through Access LVC during the ninth week of classes. Students are issued a computer account and temporary password when they matriculate at the College. Access LVC allows students to review their academic transcript, Business Office account, course schedule, and financial aid package.

Grade reports will be issued to part-time students who are seeking employee tuition reimbursement. Grade reports will also be issued to the parents and/or guardians of full-time students who have signed a release (available in the Registrar’s Office) and who request them.

Academic Dishonesty Policy
What is it?

All individual work that a student produces and submits as a course assignment must be his or her 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 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.

What should you do if you have a student culpable of academic dishonesty?
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.
  • Once the instructor and student have met, if the instructor concludes that the student is culpable of academic dishonesty, the instructor shall report the suspected incidence to the associate dean of academic affairs.
  • Information related to the offenses of academic dishonesty must be passed by the faculty member to the associate dean of academic affairs 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 associate dean of academic affairs and the student charged with aca-demic dishonesty will meet in a closed session to review the charges and the supporting evidence. Following this meeting, the associate dean of academic affairs 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 faculty member 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 associate dean of academic affairs shall so notify the faculty member(s) involved. Additionally, the associate dean of academic affairs has the authority to take further action against the student, up to and including suspension or expulsion from the College.
    • For the third formally established offense of academic dishonesty, failure in the course and expulsion from the College are mandatory.
  • The associate dean of academic affairs 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 ten (10) academic days following the date of the decision sent to the student from the associate dean of academic affairs. 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 in writing and forwarded to the vice president of aca-demic affairs and dean of the faculty. An appeal will be awarded given the following condition:
    • 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 vice president of academic affairs and 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 vice president of academic affairs and 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 action of the instructor and the associate dean of academic affairs, and (b) reduce or moderate the associate dean of academic affairs’ 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, the instructor, the associate dean of academic affairs and the vice president of academic affairs and dean of the faculty.
  • The chair of the Appeals Committee will consult with both the student and the 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 at the hearing. The student may be assisted during the appeals hearing by an advisor of choice from among current full-time students, faculty, administration, or staff, but may not be assisted during the appeals hearing by anyone else. The selected individual may function in an advisory capacity only. He or she 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.
Maintaining Good Academic Standing
To maintain themselves in good academic standing at the College, students must achieve minimum cumulative grade point averages appropriate to their progress toward their degree, and they must complete coursework at a regular and sustained pace. Minimum cumulative GPAs are as follows:

Semester Credit Hours Required Cumulative GPA
1–27 credit hours 1.60 GPA
28–55 credit hours 1.70 GPA
56–83 credit hours 1.80 GPA
84 or more credit hours 1.90 GPA

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 a student falls 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 he/she needs 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 below the required cumulative GPA a second time (whether in consecutive or non-consecutive 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 below the required cumulative GPA a third time (whether in consecutive or non-consecutive semesters) will be placed on Final Probation. A student on Final Probation will not be permitted to take part in extracurricular activities, and the student will be informed that unless the student restores himself/herself to good academic standing and maintains that status, the student will be suspended from the College.

Academic Suspension. Students will be academically suspended from the College when (1) they fall below the required cumulative GPA a fourth time (whether in consecutive or non-consecutive semesters); (2) they fail to achieve a cumulative grade point average of at least 0.75 at the conclusion of any semester; (3) they have not earned a total of at least six credit hours of coursework for each semester completed by the conclusion of their second or subsequent semesters. Students suspended will not be permitted to return for at least the full subsequent semester (fall or spring). A suspended student who returns to the College and who is suspended again for academic reasons will be regarded as permanently separated from the College.

In the unfortunate event of an academic suspension, a student will be assured due process as follows:
  • No later than ten (10) 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 af-fairs. An appeal will be awarded given the following conditions: 1) 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; 2) severe mitigating circumstances sufficiently documented by an authority contributed to the student’s poor academic performance.
  • The associate dean of academic affairs will assemble the Appeals Commit-tee, consisting of at least two members of the dean’s Academic Advisory Council and one member of the faculty. The associate dean of academic af-fairs will serve as the chair of the Appeals Committee. The Appeals Com-mittee 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 days’ notice of the date, time, and place of the hearing. The student must be present at the hearing to present his or her case to the committee.
  • The student may be assisted during the hearing by an advisor of choice from among 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. He or she 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, the student’s advisor, the registrar office, the vice president of academic affairs and dean of the faculty, and the vice president of student affairs and dean of students. The decision of the Appeals Committee is permanent and final.
To request reinstatement following a suspension, students must submit a written petition to the associate dean of academic affairs. On reinstatement to the College, a student will have two semesters to bring up his/her cumulative GPA to the minimum required for good academic standing to the College. Reinstated students may participate in extracurricular activities. A suspended student who returns to the College and who is suspended again for academic reasons will be regarded as permanently separated from the College. 

Student-Faculty Grievance Procedure
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.
Step 1. Initial Steps The student must first contact his/her 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 his/her 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.

Step 2. 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 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, the chair, and the 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. 

Step 3. Grievance Hearing 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 which 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 the chair of the Appeals Board, who, as a non-voting member, 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). Both the student and the instructor involved in the appeal must be present at the entire hearing, excluding deliberations. Each may be assisted during the hearing by an advisor from current students, faculty, administration, or staff. This individual serves in an advisory capacity only. He or she may not actively participate in the hearing. The Appeals Board shall have 72 hours from the time it is convened to make a decision. Both the student and the faculty member are to be notified in writing of the board's decision. The decision of the Appeals Board is final.

Step 4. Records The Appeals Board is the final source of appeal and will also serve as repository of records which 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.



B. Grievances Filed by Faculty Members Against Students
The Faculty Policies Manual states, “The faculty member has complete authority over the conduct of affairs in his/her classroom. It is his/her responsibility, with the help of the appropriate staff as necessary, to deal with any situation that disturbs the instruction process” (1.5.2). Faculty members may file grievances against students whose conduct substantially interferes with the educational process and/or with whom ordinary disciplinary measures have failed. If the matter cannot be resolved, the faculty member may apply to the vice president of academic affairs and dean of the faculty to have the student temporarily or permanently removed from a course. The dean shall provide an opportunity for both parties to meet face to face and give their version of the situation. The dean’s decision will be final and binding on all parties.

Academic Recognition
Dean’s List
The Dean’s List recognizes undergraduate students for outstanding academic achievement during each semester. Students achieving a 3.40 or higher grade-point average while carrying at least 12 credit hours for a 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 incomplete grades 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. Information regarding the honor is sent to the students' hometown newspapers. 

Honor Societies
Alpha Kappa Delta—ΑΚΔ
Alpha Kappa Delta is the international sociology honor society. Students who maintain a 3.0 average in sociology and a 3.3 average overall are eligible to be inducted into the honor society at a ceremony during their senior year. Inducted students will be awarded a teal honor cord to be worn at Commencement.

Alpha Sigma Lambda—ΑΣΛ
Alpha Sigma Lambda is a national honor society whose aim is to recognize the special achievements of adults who accomplish academic excellence while facing competing interests of home and work. To become a member, students must be at least 24 years old, a matriculated student seeking an initial degree, completed 24 credits at LVC (12 credits in liberal arts/sciences), and have a minimum 3.4 overall GPA.  The highest 10 percent of the class who meet these requirements will be selected.

Beta Beta Beta
- ΒΒΒ
Beta Beta Beta, a national biological honor society, is open to majors in the biological sciences by invitation. To become a member, one must have completed three courses in biology with a GPA of 3.0 in biology and 3.0 overall.

Phi Alpha Epsilon - ΦΑΕ
Phi Alpha Epsilon (the Greek initial letters of the words, “lover of learning and finder of truth”) was established in 1935 and recognizes academic achievement and service to others. To be eligible for this award, students must achieve a cumulative GPA of at least 3.60, complete at least 24 credits of general education coursework at LVC, and achieve a “bronze” level of service hours (as determined by the Office of Spiritual Life) at the conclusion on the fall semester prior to graduation. Seniors are formally welcomed into the society at a spring banquet.

Phi Kappa Pi
- ΦΚΠ
Phi Kappa Pi, the department of business honor society, is open to business, accounting, and economics majors. Selection is made by business department faculty. Membership is open to those with junior or senior status and a department GPA of 3.40 or higher and a College GPA of 3.25 or higher. Candidates for membership must also exhibit participation in department, College, or community activities demonstrating leadership and non-academic involvement.

Kappa Delta Pi - KΔΠ
Kappa Delta Pi is an international honor society for education students dedicated to promoting excellence in the profession through the advancement of scholarship, leadership, and service. Membership is open to students who have completed at least 30 credit-hours with a minimum of 12 credits in professional education courses. Leadership abilities and a cumulative GPA of 3.6 are also required. 

Phi Sigma Iota - ΦΣΙ
Phi Sigma Iota, the honor society for the Department of Languages, is an organization that recognizes outstanding ability in the field of language studies, literature, and cultures. It promotes international communication and understanding and is the highest academic honor in the field of languages. Selection is made by languages faculty. Members are selected from language majors and minors with a department GPA of 3.00 or higher and a College GPA of 3.00 or higher.

Psi Chi - ΨΧ
Affiliated with the American Psychological Association, Psi Chi is the national honor society for students who are psychology or psychobiology majors or psychology minors. Students must have a College and departmental GPA of 3.20 or higher.

Sigma Pi Sigma - ΣΠΣ
The national physics honor society, Sigma Pi Sigma, recognizes outstanding scholarship in physics and promotes an attitude of service. Members must have completed 45 credit hours, 12 credits of physics coursework, and have at least a 3.5 GPA for physics courses and for cumulative course grades. All members must rank in the upper third of their college class. 

Sigma Tau Delta - ΣτΔ
Sigma Tau Delta, an international English honor society, is open to English majors with a cumulative GPA of 3.5 and faculty approval. 

Theta Alpha Kappa - ΘAK
Theta Alpha Kappa is the only national honor society in the fields of religious studies and theology. Members must have completed three full semesters with a minimum of 12 credits in religion. A GPA of at least a 3.5 in religion courses is also required, as is a 3.0 cumulative GPA. Inducted students must rank in the upper 35 percent of their class.

Who’s Who
One of the awards possible for an LVC student is to be listed in the annual publication of Who’s Who Among Students in American Colleges and Universities. The award is given to selected students on the basis of nominations submitted by faculty and administrative staff. It consists of a certificate, a biographical listing in the annual publication for the year of graduation, and the use of the placement service operated by the national organization. Selections are based on scholarship, participation and leadership in academic and co-curricular activities, citizenship, and service to the College.