The following digest of guidelines is intended as a quick reference to policies found in the Academic Bulletin, Academic Handbook (for faculty) and/or the Student Handbook. Additional information on each policy can be found in these sources or by calling the Dean of Academic Advising. The organization of the topics covered is roughly sequential.

1. Classroom Assignments/Class Meeting Times - Changes in classrooms can be made if the enrollment of mobility-impaired students warrants relocation. Please contact the Registrar's Office.

2. First Class Meeting - During the first couple of class meetings (no later than second meeting), class enrollment should be verified, syllabi passed out, regular office hours and attendance policy announced. It is a tolerated practice to permit students to sit in on a class for a few meetings without formally selecting the class. Generally, these students are either "testing the water" or keeping up with the course while waiting for an enrollment vacancy to occur. Such students should let the instructors know who they are in order to keep them apprised of the true enrollment situation.

3. Add/Drop Period and Change To or From Pass/Fail – The official Add/Drop period begins the first day of classes. Adds and Drops are completed using Banner and ends on midnight on the Sunday after the first week of classes. During the Add/Drop period, students may change to or from Pass/Fail in a course. They must complete the Pass/Fail form available in the Registrar’s Office.

4. Course Enrollments – Course enrollments are not finalized until the last day of Add/Drop period. Any discrepancies between your course enrollment list and the students actually attending class should be directed to the Registrar’s Office.

5. Change in Level - (For language courses with different required levels of student preparation) Students who believe that they are not performing at the appropriate level in these courses may, with the instructor's permission, drop back or be advanced in level until Friday, February 13, 2015.

6. Early Alert – (Monday, September 9, 2013 until Friday, September 13, 2013) During the third week of classes, all First-Year Seminar instructors will be contacted by Associate Provost Shalom Staub inquiring about potential concerns for students in the seminar. Instructors will be asked to evaluate each student’s progress in a) graded work; b) participation in class; and c) class attendance.

7. Roll Call - (Wednesday, October 22, 2014 and Monday, March 16, 2015) This is both an opportunity to make sure enrollment records agree with ours and an important grading period. At mid-semester one of the following grades should be reported for all students:

  • "S" indicating a satisfactory achievement to date
  • "U" indicating unsatisfactory achievement
  • "I"  indicating incomplete work outstanding
  • "NE" indicating no evaluation made by the faculty member (applicable to an entire course or section)

8. Reading Period and Final Exam Schedule - Classes end December 12, 2014 for the fall semester and May 1, 2015 for the spring semester. Final examinations may not be scheduled during the reading period. It is expected that final exams will be given according to the Final Exam Schedule found on the Registrar’s Office web page. If a course meeting time is not indicated, a separate exam time must be arranged by the instructor. (More detailed information regarding examination policies is available in the Academic Handbook 6-3.)

9. Grading Practices

   A. The grading system of the college may be found in the Academic Bulletin. Please note that credit/no credit courses need special approval by the Academic Standards Committee before they can be offered. All students enrolled in such a course are enrolled on this basis. Pass/Fail grading is the student's option if no official departmental objection exists and the instructor agrees. Courses that cannot be taken pass/fail are identified in the Academic Bulletin. Note that "C-" is a failing grade under the normal pass/fail system and first semester first-year students are ineligible to enroll for this option.

   B. Final grades are due for all students in the fall semester by NOON, Tuesday, January 6, 2015. In the spring semester for seniors - NOON, Wednesday, May 13; for all others by NOON, Wednesday, May 20, 2015. Please note that our policy on late grades is to not have any.

Incomplete grades may be given ONLY for reasons of documented illness and/or emergency, and must be thoroughly documented. (Refer to the Academic Bulletin.) Forms are available in the Registrar's Office or on their web site.

Grade changes. Once a grade has been reported to the Registrar's Office it may not be changed unless the change has been approved by both the instructor and the Provost and Dean of the College. Traditionally, grade changes are approved only when a miscalculation has been made by the professor. Appropriate forms are available in the Registrar's Office.

10. Miscellaneous Information

   A. Student Advising – In their first year at Dickinson, faculty are not expected to become academic advisors. Every student who is enrolled for a degree must have an academic advisor. Entering first-year students will generally have their seminar professor as their advisor. Students stay with these advisors until they declare a major or until the professor leaves campus. In this situation, undeclared students are reassigned to another faculty advisor until they are ready to declare a major and request a new advisor in their major field. Use CLIQ to identify faculty advisors for individual students.

To be an effective advisor for majors in your department, you must be thoroughly familiar with all requirements for the degree and not just those of the academic department of the major. The Advising Handbook is available to all faculty on-line. The Academic Bulletin can also be found on-line through the Registrar’s or Advising web sites. Additional faculty resources are also available on the Advising web site.

   B. Class Absences - Each professor determines the attendance policy for a course following his/her departmental guidelines. Absences resulting from serious illness requiring hospitalization, or departure from the campus, and/or family emergencies are normally reported to you by email from the Class Dean. This notification is for informational purposes only and does not require the instructor to excuse the absence. Absences for participation in a sport or cultural activity may be considered permissible if the student's academic performance is satisfactory. The course professor has complete discretion in these situations.

   C. Withdrawals

Course Withdrawals -- A student may withdraw from a specific course until the final day of class for the semester at 4:00 p.m. The option to withdraw from a course and the use of "W" grades without prior review and approval by the Academic Standards Committee is limited to two courses during a student's Dickinson career. The Advisor’s signature is required on Course Withdrawal forms.

Voluntary Withdrawals -- A student may also voluntarily withdraw from ALL courses at the college with "W" grades being recorded for all selected courses if the withdrawal is made before the first day of final examinations. Once final examinations have begun, the earned grades will be recorded for all courses that term. Students wanting to pursue a Voluntary Withdrawal from the College should meet with the Dean of Academic Advising.

Leaves of Absence -- Students wishing (or needing) to take some time away from the College may request a Leave of Absence through the Dean of Students’ Office.  The student should meet with Associate Dean of Students Tim Poirier to request a leave for one or two semesters. (For more information, see the Academic Bulletin and/or consult with the appropriate Class Dean.)

   D. Academic Violations - The rules on plagiarism and cheating are strictly enforced. Please become familiar with them and emphasize them to your advisees. Students charged with academic violations should contact the Discipline System Administrator.

   E. Access to Student Records - An official of the college has the privilege of being able to inspect a student's records and file for specific information and for a specific legitimate educational purpose. Students' official files are maintained in strict accordance with the Federal Family Education Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA aka the Buckley Amendment).

For more information or clarification of these policies, please contact the Dean of Academic Advising.