Academic Policies

Distance Learning students are expected to follow the same academic policies as campus students. It is the responsibility of every student to understand the academic policies of Western Carolina University.  The most common academic policies are outlined on this page.  We strongly encourage students to review the undergraduate college catalog to become familiar with all of the academic policies. 

ACADEMIC STANDING

Student Academic Standing is defined as either: Good Academic Standing, Academic Warning, Academic Suspension, or Academic Dismissal. Academic Standing considers both qualitative (GPA) and quantitative (percent completion) measures.

GOOD ACADEMIC STANDING

Good Academic Standing and Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP). All students are expected to earn and maintain a grade-point average (GPA) of at least 2.0 each semester and to successfully complete (earn) at least 67% of their attempted hours. Successful completion of a course means that a student must have credit pending (i.e. incomplete) or must earn credit for the course with a grade other than F, U, NC or W. Students in Good Standing will receive a notification if their semester completion rate falls below 67%.  

ACADEMIC WARNING

Academic Warning for Continuing Students. Continuing students are placed on academic warning if the student’s cumulative Western Carolina University grade point average (GPA) falls below 2.0 or if the student fails to complete 67% of their attempted hours in their two most recently completed terms of enrollment or if the student fails to complete 67% of their overall WCU attempted hours. Cumulative GPA, semester and overall completion rate is checked at the end of each semester and students who fail to complete 67% of their attempted hours in their two most recently completed terms of enrollment or fail to complete 67% of their overall WCU attempted hours regardless of cumulative GPA will be placed on academic warning.

At the end of the term of academic warning, students must achieve the following to regain good academic standing:

  • Earn a 67% completion rate on the hours attempted for the semester, and
  • Earn an overall 67% completion rate on all WCU hours attempted, and
  • Raise the cumulative GPA to good standing (2.0),

or

  • Earn a 67% completion rate on the hours attempted for the semester, and
  • Earn an overall 67% completion rate on all WCU hours attempted, and
  • Earn a minimum 2.30 term GPA during the warning term.

Failure to achieve one of the above academic criteria will result in academic suspension.

ACADEMIC SUSPENSION

Academic Suspension for Continuing Students:  Students who are on Academic Warning and who fail to meet the criteria necessary for continued enrollment will be suspended. All students have the right to appeal prior to the published appeals deadline. (See appeals below.) Students who are granted an appeal will be required to participate in an Academic Action Plan. Students who are suspended are not eligible to enroll at the University during the next regular (fall or spring) semester but may apply for readmission after they have served one semester of suspension.

When students return from suspension, they are placed on academic warning and must have an Academic Action Plan.

Failure to meet the terms of the Academic Action Plan will result in dismissal from the University

 

WITHDRAWAL POLICIES

 

Students may withdraw from a maximum of 16 hours of courses during their career at Western Carolina University. Any withdrawal beyond the limit will result in a Withdraw-Failing (WF) which will affect the semester and cumulative GPA as if it were an F.

Students may withdraw from any class for any reason using myWCU before 60% of the term has passed. If a student wishes to withdraw from all courses for a term, that is called a “university withdrawal” and must be initiated with the Advising Center.

University withdrawals will affect satisfactory academic progress and course completion rates but will not count towards the student's 16-hour course withdrawal limit.

After 60% of the term has passed, students are not allowed to withdraw from a class and the instructor must assign a grade.

For more details about the Withdrawal Policies, please see the WCU Undergraduate Catalog.

Academic Integrity

Students, faculty, staff, and administrators of Western Carolina University (WCU) strive to achieve the highest standards of scholarship and integrity. Any violation of the Academic Integrity Policy is a serious offense because it threatens the quality of scholarship and undermines the integrity of the community. Violations of academic integrity fall into the following categories.

  • Cheating – Using, or attempting to use, unauthorized materials, information, or study aids in any academic exercise.
  • Fabrication – Creating and/or falsifying information or citation in any academic exercise.
  • Plagiarism – Representing the words or ideas of someone else as one’s own in any academic exercise.
  • Facilitation – Helping or attempting to help someone to commit a violation of the Academic Integrity Policy in any academic exercise (e.g. allowing another person to copy information during an examination).

For more information about the Academic Integrity Policy, please see the WCU Undergraduate Catalog.

 

Complaints or Concerns

Addressing students’ issues fall into two general categories: complaints and concerns. Students with general ideas, thoughts, complaints, and/or concerns about university policies, issues with a class, or any other general issue should use the Student Complaint Report form. Students with a specific concern should use the Division of Student Affairs Reporting Form. Examples include, but are not limited to, information about a potential crime/policy violation, concerns about the behavior(s) of another person (i.e. alcohol, drugs, depression, harm to self, etc.), incidents involving alleged discrimination, etc.

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