General Academic Policies

Matriculation Status: A matriculated student is one who is officially enrolled in a certificate or degree program. Students who wish to take only a single course or a combination of courses (except for courses in the School of Health Studies) are welcome as non-matriculated students.

Early Transition to Bachelor's Degree: Students pursuing an Associate’s degree may begin pursuit of the appropriate Bachelor’s degree in their final term of study in the A.A.S. program. The student must meet the following requirements:

  1. Be in good academic standing
  2. Have 6-9 credits remaining in their Associate’s program
  3. Have the approval of the appropriate Department Chair to begin courses in the Bachelor’s program of study.
  4. Register for courses required in the requested Bachelor’s program of study. Free electives or courses which do not apply to the Bachelor’s degree program may not be chosen.

All students should consult with an Academic Advisor when registering for courses to ensure a) requirements for the Associate’s degree are completed within the final term and b) the appropriate credits are registered in the Bachelor’s program.

NOTE: There are financial aid implications with the transition program. Students should contact the Financial Aid Department to understand their options when registered for courses under this policy.

College Skills (Developmental Education) Courses: All new, matriculated, degree-seeking students, including transfer students and those entering Berkeley College for the first time, are assessed to determine their college readiness. When a need is indicated, students may be required to complete College Skills courses or practicums designed to promote their successful transition to college life.

Students enrolled in College Skills courses must receive a grade of C or better in each College Skills course in order to complete their programs and graduate from the College. College Skills courses are not counted toward graduation requirements. These courses are included in the determination of the full- or part-time enrollment status for a term, and financial aid disbursements are made based on this status. Under certain circumstances the need to take College Skills courses may lengthen the time required to complete the student’s program, thereby resulting in increased costs to a student.

Attendance/Participation: Students are expected to attend and participate in all their courses throughout each term. Those who fail to do so may be administratively withdrawn from individual courses or the College. Online students in 15-week courses have one week to complete their weekly assignments. A student is considered absent if he or she does not submit work for a full week. Students are generally encouraged to log-in to online courses as often as possible throughout the week, rather than trying to complete all of their class assignments on a single day. It is expected that students will spend significant time in each online course on substantive academic activities, including posting to discussion forums, reviewing digital content, uploading assignments, and taking assessments.

Seven-week online courses: Typically students in an accelerated seven-week online course will need to log in at least three separate times during each week to be successful. Specific guidelines for each course are available through the course syllabi, but it is expected that these log-ins will occur on separate days throughout the week rather than on a single day, and that students will spend significant time in the online course on substantive academic activities, including posting to discussion forums, reviewing digital content, uploading assignments, and taking assessments.

Students enrolled in the LPN to B.S.N.Medical AssistantPatient Care TechnicianPractical NurseSurgical Processing Technician, and Surgical Technology programs should refer to their respective Student Handbook Supplements for program-specific attendance requirements.

Faculty members will include their course-specific policies and procedures in each course syllabus. If illness, accident, or similar circumstances require absence for three or more consecutive days, students must notify the Academic Advisement Department and the faculty member to discuss their status in their class(es). Students whose absence is required by law (such as military students called to active duty) will be given a reasonable opportunity to complete all coursework (including, but not limited to, offering alternative assignments and extended deadlines).

Students who are withdrawn for a failure to attend and participate will receive a grade of W, WP or WF for the course(s), depending on whether the student was passing or failing at the time of withdrawal. This may affect the student's financial aid eligibility.

Academic Time Commitment: Coursework performed outside of the classroom (such as reading, studying, writing papers, doing projects, or receiving tutoring) is critical to academic success. While the time requirements for individual students may vary somewhat, a general rule of thumb is that students should spend about two hours outside the classroom for every hour required in it. For more information, please see the Berkeley College Semester Credit Hour Assignment Policy.

Course Grade Appeal: 

Policy, Scope and Intent

The assessment of the quality of a student’s academic performance is one of the major responsibilities of college faculty members. This assessment is solely and properly their responsibility. It is essential for the standards of the academic programs at Berkeley College and the integrity of the degrees conferred by this institution that the professional judgments of faculty members not be subjected to pressures or other interference from any source.

It is presumed that the grade assigned by a faculty member is correct. Thus, the burden of proof that it is not correct or was improperly awarded rests on the student who files the appeal.

This appeals process provides an opportunity for the student to initiate a review of a perceived injustice in the final determination of a course grade. Appeal is available only for review of alleged arbitrary or capricious grading. “Arbitrary or capricious grading”, as used herein, is limited to one or more of the following:

  • The instructor failed to notify students in a clear and timely manner as to the basis for grade determination;
  • The assignment of a final grade deviates substantially from the instructor’s previously announced standards;
  • The grade is assigned on some basis other than the student’s performance in the course;
  • There is demonstrable evidence of discrimination or prejudice in the final grade assignment;
  • There was a demonstrable error in calculating the grade.

A grade appeal is not appropriate when a student simply disagrees with the faculty member’s judgment about the quality of the student’s work. Appeals are for grades received in a course, not for those received for individual assignments (though individual assignments may nonetheless be the basis of disputing the course grade). Appeals are for course grades after the end of the term. Appeals are not accepted in anticipation of course grades or because of final scheduling. A student who is uncertain about whether or not a grade should be appealed or needs additional information about the grade appeal process should contact the Academic Advisor.

A course grade must be based on evidence of the student’s academic performance. The student must have access to the evidence; the instructor must explain and interpret the evidence to the student. A single evaluative standard must be applied to all students in a course section. It is also expected that grades be determined in accordance with written guidelines provided by the instructor.

The Appeals Process

Professor

  • The first appeal is made to the professor of the course. This should be submitted by the end of the Add/Drop period of the following term. The student should gather all evidence of academic work, the course syllabus, and well-thought out reasoning why this grade was incorrect. The student will then submit all information through the Grade Appeal eform. If the professor agrees that the grade assigned for the course is incorrect, he or she will approve the grade appeal request and submit a Change of Grade form to the Registrar within five class days.
  • In the event that the faculty member is not available, either because he or she is on leave, sabbatical, or no longer employed by the College, the student may appeal to the Department Chair/Division Director by the end of the Add/Drop period of the following term. If the faculty member is no longer employed by the College, then the Chair/Director will serve as the instructor of record.
  • If concerns remain after appeal with the faculty member, the student may elect for the Department Chair/Division Director to review.

Second Appeal: Department Chair/Division Director

  • The formal appeal is initiated within two weeks of the faculty member’s decision. This appeal is initiated with the Chair/Director of the department/division which offers the course. The student will complete and submit the Grade Appeal Form, available online.
  • The Chair/Director will consult, separately, with the student and with the faculty member. The Chair/Director will make a written decision to support the faculty member or a recommendation to the faculty member in support of the student’s position within one week of meeting with both parties. If Chair/Director agrees that the grade assigned for the course is incorrect, he or she will approve the grade appeal request and submit a Change of Grade form to the Registrar within five class days.
  • If concerns remain after meeting with the Chair/Director and the faculty member, the student may initiate a final appeal with the Dean of the School/Division.

Final Appeal: Dean of the School/Division

  • The student must initiate the final appeal within one week of receiving the Chair’s/Director’s decision. The appropriate Dean is the school/division in which the course was taught, not necessarily the student’s major Dean.
  • The Dean, in consultation with the Chair/Director, the faculty member, and the student, will make a final written decision to support the faculty member or a recommendation to the faculty member in support of the student’s position on the grade appeal within five class days. If the Dean agrees that the grade assigned for the course is incorrect, he or she will approve the grade appeal request and submit a Change of Grade form to the Registrar.

Timing

  • All parties involved in the appeals process must adhere to the timeline delineated in this policy.
  • While this policy is designed to resolve any disputes in as short a time as possible, there may be a time when a student wishes to have the process completed prior to the start of the following term. The process can be accelerated in this case, provided that the student initiates the appeal as soon as possible.
  • In extreme circumstances, the Dean may extend the timeline, at his/her discretion.

College Closing: The College seldom closes due to inclement weather. In cases of extreme weather or emergencies, however, the closing of each College campus will be made available over the Internet at closings.BerkeleyCollege.edu and by phone as an option on the automated phone menu at each campus.

Closings only apply to on-site students. Work will continue in the online platform for both online and many on-site students. On-site students will be contacted by their instructors regarding the week’s requirements.

Schedules for closures and delayed openings are distributed through BerkAlert and posted at closings.BerkeleyCollege.edu.

Add/Drop Policy: Students enrolled in non-clinical 15-week courses may add a course or courses to their schedules prior to the start of the second week of the term. Clinical and accelerated courses cannot be added after the start of the term. Fifteen-week courses dropped during the first two weeks of classes do not appear on the student’s transcript. Accelerated courses dropped during the first week of classes do not appear on the student’s transcript. Students who drop a course or courses (including College Skills courses) and reduce their total term credit hours to fewer than 12 prior to the enrollment status determination should notify the Financial Aid Department. This action may adversely affect eligibility for financial aid.

Seven-Week Sessions: Students who were enrolled in the prior semester must register for session A or session B by the start of the term. New students taking session B without taking session A may register for session B and add credits up to the start of the session. If a student is granted an exception, which requires approval by the Dean of the School, to add credits to session B after the add/drop period of the semester those credits will not count toward financial aid eligibility.

Canceled Classes: The College reserves the right to cancel courses or scheduled sections of courses at its discretion.

Voluntary Withdrawal and Academic Leave of Absence 

Voluntary Withdrawal

A voluntary withdrawal is the status of a student who has chosen of his/her own accord to separate from the College. A student who voluntarily withdraws from the College must notify their Academic Advisor.

Academic Leave of Absence

An Academic Leave of Absence is a temporary hiatus from all course work for an approved period of time, granted upon written request.

Full-time degree seeking undergraduate students who have been registered during the semester immediately prior to the beginning of the proposed semester(s) of absence are eligible to apply for an approved Academic Leave of Absence (LOA). Approved students remain as active, non-enrolled students in college systems. International students who wish to obtain an LOA must obtain additional advisement from the Office of International Students. New students who wish to defer enrolling in their first semester are not eligible for a LOA and instead must arrange through the Office of Undergraduate Admissions to defer the semester they begin their studies.

Policy

Students may apply for an LOA through the end of the add/drop period of any given semester to apply to that semester. After the end of add/drop, students may apply for an LOA only for the subsequent term. They may, however, withdraw from courses at the College.

An LOA is normally granted for one semester – but two consecutive semesters may be requested. There is normally no extension beyond this second term date.

Students granted an LOA retain their admitted student status and retain the catalog of their term of entry as well as email and library access.

Students on LOA are not considered enrolled students and are not eligible for:

  • financial aid disbursements during the semesters while on LOA. Students on an LOA are reported to lenders as not enrolled and need to contact lenders for information on possible deferment or repayment options.
  • Enrollment verifications from the Registrar will read “Not Enrolled” for that term which may prevent certain insurance benefits.
  • The tuition freeze policy shall apply only to one term of leave. Should a student require two terms, the semester of re-entry will be under the current tuition rate. Students who are on a LOA may return earlier than the original agreed return date by notifying their advisor; keeping in mind applicable deadlines for registration (add/drop), financial aid, and billing.

Students who do not return from an approved LOA and do not file a request for an extension must apply for re-admission to the College.

Students must fill out an Undergraduate Leave of Absence Petition and file with the appropriate office. In all cases, the student transcript will be noted: “Leave of Absence” for each term approved under this policy.

Withdrawing from College: Any student who wishes to withdraw from the College should contact the student’s Academic Advisor immediately and complete the College withdrawal eForm. Failure to notify the College of a student’s withdrawal on a timely basis may have significant financial consequences. 

Seven-Week Sessions - “Intent to Return”: A student registered for both sessions A and B who chooses to withdraw from session A but intends to return for session B should complete the Intent to Return statement on the Course Withdrawal eForm and submit to the Academic Advisement Department. See the Return of Federal Funds section for more details.

Credits per Semester: Full-time students typically take a course load of 15 semester credits. Students on probation or academic plan will be advised to take a course load of 12 semester credits or less until they are restored to good academic standing. In some cases, students taking a reduced load may require longer to complete their academic programs, leading to significant additional charges.

Students enrolled in some School of Health Studies programs will be scheduled according to programmatic requirements. Students should refer to their respective Student Handbook Supplements for program-specific requirements, where available.

Additional Credits per Term: A per credit tuition rate is charged for each credit in excess of 18 semester credits. Students must have permission from an Academic Advisor to enroll in more than 15 semester credits. Consideration will be offered to students who have demonstrated academic success. Students may not enroll in more than 18 semester credits in any one term.

Online: An introductory online course to familiarize the student with online learning is a prerequisite to enrolling for online courses. Additional information is available in the Academic Advisement Department.

Please Note: Berkeley College reserves the right to revise course offerings, cancel scheduled courses, or make any other curriculum changes that the College, in its sole discretion, deems appropriate. The College may limit an individual student’s course load as needed to facilitate the student’s academic success. Such changes may affect the estimated duration and cost of the student’s program. For more information, students should consult with an Academic Advisor.