Warning, Probation, Severance

Introduction

All matriculated undergraduate students (full-time and part-time) attending Plymouth State University are expected to make satisfactory progress toward their educational objectives. They must meet or exceed the academic continuance requirements established by the University faculty. These requirements are based upon the cumulative grade point average (cumGPA) for the cumulative credits attempted (CCAT). Cumulative credits attempted include all graded, pass/no pass and transfer credits as well as credit-by-examination. Students who do not meet these requirements will be placed in one of three categories: Academic WARNING, PROBATION or SEVERANCE. Student academic status is revised only at the end of each regular semester (Fall and Spring). Grades earned in Winterim and Summer Sessions do not alter academic status, nor do changes in grades processed after the last day of the ADD period for the following semester.

Criteria

Cumulative Warning Probation Severance
Credits Attempted if cumulative GPA is below if cumulative GPA is below if cumulative GPA is below
1st semester First-year* 2.00 1.60 .50
less than 30 2.00 1.75 1.50
30 – 45.5 2.00 1.60
46 – 59.5 2.00 1.75
60 – 74.5 2.00 1.85
75 – 89.5 2.00 1.95
90 – 115.5 2.00 1.96
116 and above 2.00 1.98

*first full-time semester in University

Academic Warning

Students with fewer than 30 cumulative credits attempted and with a cumulative grade point average as noted above will receive a letter of Academic Warning. Since a minimum grade point average of 2.00 is required for all students to graduate (some majors have higher requirements), students whose average is below that level are in danger of accumulating a record that will become increasingly difficult to correct as time goes on. We recommend that students who receive Academic Warning notices discuss their progress carefully with their advisor and take full advantage of all services on campus for academic assistance. Students should seriously consider retaking any course they have failed, as this is the fastest way to improve their grade point average.

Student Account Services Information for Students on Academic Warning

Student Account Services assumes students on academic warning will be attending Plymouth State University in the coming semester; should they decide otherwise, however, they must make sure they officially withdraw from Plymouth State University by contacting the Vice President for Student Affairs’ Office at (603) 535-2240 on or before the first day of classes to ensure charges for the coming semester are reversed 100%. No later than 30 days from the date Student Account Services is notified of the student’s official withdrawal, an audit will be performed on their tuition account and a refund check or bill, if applicable, will be processed and mailed.

Financial Aid Information for Students on Academic Warning

If students are receiving any federal student aid, they need to be aware of the requirements for Standards of Academic Progress (SAP). Their academic progress will affect their continued eligibility for any financial assistance. Visit the Financial Aid Team with any questions regarding this federal requirement.

Restrictions

Students will not be allowed to take more than seventeen credits during the semester(s) in which their academic status is one of Academic Warning.

Academic Probation

Students whose cumulative grade point average is below the limit indicated above for the cumulative credits attempted will be placed on Academic Probation. The period of Academic Probation will be the next full semester of attendance, not including Winterim and Summer Session. The warning, probation, severance system at Plymouth is cumulative and progressive. If their cumulative grade point average falls within the probationary category and they do not regain good academic standing within two semesters of probation, they will receive an Academic Severance.

Academic Probation Guidelines

Students on Academic Probation will receive probation guidelines which will, among other things, restrict the number of credits they may take, suggest repeating specific courses, specify a semester grade point average to be attained and suggest the use of tutors or other academic support services. Plymouth has a policy of allowing a grade in a repeated course completely replace a lower grade in the same course. This is the fastest way to raise their GPA out of probationary range.

The guidelines are written by a group a faculty members and administrators (Academic Affairs Committee); it represents their best advice for how students can attain good academic standing as quickly as possible. The idea is for students to redesign their schedule for the upcoming semester in a way that maximizes their chances for success.

The probation guidelines limit students to a maximum of 13 credits. This is because it is much harder to do well in 5 or 6 courses than it is to do well in 4 or 5 courses. Students on Academic Probation need to be realistic about this and not overextend themselves. Now is the time to consider the extent of their extracurricular activities and employment demands as well.

Adjusting the Semester Schedule

If pre-registered, students need to decide which courses they will drop from their current schedule to carry a maximum credit load of 13 credits and to also make room in their schedule for repeating courses. To get into courses that are full they may need to pick up a voucher at the Undergraduate Advising Center in Mary Lyon 034. This voucher conveys their need to retake the course to the instructor involved. Enrollment in full courses cannot be guaranteed.

Help Available

The student’s advisor is sent a copy of their probation guidelines. Students should contact both their advisor and the Undergraduate Advising Center for any and all assistance they may need to get off probation and back into good academic standing. The University has many people and services to help students in academic difficulty such as the Math Activity Center in Hyde Hall, The Writing Center in Lamson Library, tutoring, time management and study skill help through Plymouth Academic Support Services (PASS) in Lamson Library, and Counseling and Human Relations Center. Students should take advantage of all that Plymouth offers.

Student Account Services Information for Students on Academic Probation

Student Account Services assumes students on academic probation will be attending Plymouth in the coming semester; should they decide otherwise, however, they must make sure they officially withdraw from Plymouth State University by contacting the Vice President for Student Affairs’ Office at (603) 535-2240 on or before the first day of classes to ensure charges for the coming semester are reversed 100%. No later than 30 days from the date Student Account Services is notified of the student’s official withdrawal, an audit will be performed on their tuition account and a refund check or bill, if applicable, will be processed and mailed.

Financial Aid Information for Students on Academic Probation

If students are receiving any federal student aid, they need to be aware of the requirements for Standards of Academic Progress (SAP). Their academic progress will affect their continued eligibility for any financial assistance. Visit the Financial Aid Team with any questions regarding this federal requirement.

Academic Probation after an Academic Severance

Students who have been readmitted on probation after having been severed may do well enough during the upcoming semester to reestablish good academic standing. Alternately, they need to earn a minimum semester GPA of 2.00 during their first semester back in order to be granted a second semester of probation. During that second semester of probation, they will need to raise their cumulative GPA out of severance range if it is their first severance, or to 2.00 or above if it is their second severance to avoid being severed again.

Restrictions

Students on Academic Probation may not take more credits than their guidelines allow, except through an appeal to the Associate Vice President for Undergraduate Studies or Undergraduate Advising Center.

First Academic Severance

There are two situations that will result in a first academic severance.

  1. The cumulative grade point average (cumGPA) is below the standard required for the cumulative credits attempted (CCAT) or
  2. the cumulative grade point average is in the academic probation range for the third consecutive semester.

Students who have been academically severed for the first time are not eligible to be a matriculated student at PSU for one (fall or spring) semester.

Appeal Process

Students who have been academically severed for the first time may be granted an opportunity, through reinstatement, to demonstrate their ability and intention to succeed academically and to earn a degree from Plymouth State University. Students severed following their first semester at Plymouth are not eligible to appeal.

If students are eligible and wish to appeal for immediate reinstatement, they must submit a letter to the Undergraduate Advising Center. In the letter, which should be addressed to the Academic Affairs Committee, they should explain any special circumstances that have contributed to their poor academic performance. They should also discuss the strategies they will use to improve their academic status if their appeal is granted (i.e., what courses they will include in their schedule, what resources they will utilize, etc.). The letter may be mailed, faxed, or hand-delivered to the Undergraduate Advising Center in Mary Lyon 034 (address and fax information are included on the letter they receive).

Please understand that appeals are not automatically granted and requests for them should be carefully considered. The required one semester of non-matriculated status from Plymouth State University is intended to provide an opportunity for them to reassess their personal and career goals. It is recommended that they return to the university only if they can do so with renewed energy and commitment to their academic success.

The Academic Affairs Committee will meet to review the appeal. They will be reviewing the student’s appeal letter, their academic transcript, and also any judicial or residential life issues that may have occurred during the past semester. The student will be sent a letter once a decision has been made. They may also call the office after the Committee has met to find out the decision of their appeal. Please note that only the student may call for the decision. The decision of the Academic Affairs Committee is final.

If their appeal is successful, they will be placed on Academic Probation for the next upcoming semester and be required to abide by the terms outlined in the guidelines that would be written for them. More information on the terms of probation is sent if their appeal is granted. If their appeal is successful, but they choose to withdraw from the University, they may return only through the readmission process described below.

Readmission to Plymouth State University

How do students raise their cumulative GPA for readmission eligibility by taking classes at PSU?

If students are ineligible to appeal, choose not to appeal or if their appeal is denied, during the mandatory semester (fall or spring) of non-matriculated status, they may enroll for a maximum of eight credits through the Division of Online and Continuing Studies.  Their office is located in Speare 116 and their telephone number is (603) 535-2822.  They may also enroll in a maximum of four credits during a winterim or summer session.

Any time following the mandatory one semester of non-matriculated status, they may apply to the Office of Admission for readmission. Students severed after one semester of attendance may apply for readmission without having repaired their GPA after they have spent at least one semester as a non-matriculated student. Readmission, in this circumstance, is contingent on presenting a convincing argument (in a cover letter to accompany their application for readmission) that they have a plan to solve whatever problems resulted in their lack of success in their first semester. Students severed after having attended Plymouth State University for two or more semesters, must first raise their cumulative GPA out of the severance range.

How do students raise their cumulative GPA for readmission eligibility by taking courses at another school?

Students may repeat a course in which they earned a grade of “F” at Plymouth by taking it at another college or university. They may not retake a course in which they earned any other grade, as they already have earned credit for the course. Repeating “F” graded courses will help improve their GPA, as the credits will transfer and the “F” will be deleted from the GPA calculation. (Students must earn a minimum C grade for the course to be accepted back at Plymouth.) Students must be sure to get approval prior to registering for the course to be sure that the course they are going to take is equivalent to the course failed here at Plymouth. They should contact the Office of Undergraduate Studies at (603) 535-2235 for assistance in transferring coursework to Plymouth.

A Transfer Course Database is available through the Undergraduate Studies Office webpage. This database contains a listing of all courses that have been accepted by Plymouth State, and will assist students in locating schools where the course failed at Plymouth may be taken. A Transfer Credit Approval Form must be completed, and an official transcript sent to the Undergraduate Studies Office once the course is completed.

When should students reapply?

To be readmitted for the fall semester, they should file a readmission application by April 1. To be readmitted for the spring semester, they should file a readmission application by December 1. The readmission application is available through the Admission Office webpage or by calling (603) 535-2237.

What happens when students are reinstated or readmitted?

Students will be placed on Academic Probation for the next regular semester. Ideally, they will do well enough during their probationary semester to reestablish good academic standing. If they earn a 2.00 semester GPA for that semester, but fail to raise their cumulative GPA out of the Severance range, they will be given a second probationary semester in which to do so. If they do not earn a 2.00 semester GPA and their cumulative GPA falls into the severance range, they will earn a Second Academic Severance. At the end of the second probationary semester, their cumulative GPA must be a minimum 2.0, or it will result in a Second Academic Severance, a status that carries more severe consequences.

Second Academic Severance

Students who are academically severed a second time will be
assigned to non-matriculated, part-time status. Students may not
appeal for reinstatement during the next regular fall or spring
semester following a second severance action. Students who have
incurred a second severance and who had registered for courses during
registration the previous semester, will be dropped from those
courses for which they registered. If students decide to return as
continuing education students (see below), they must re-register.
Students who have been severed a second time have three educational
options at Plymouth State University:
1. They may take courses as non-matriculated, part-time students
through the Division of Online and Continuing Studies for the
purpose of lifelong education.
2. They may take courses as non-matriculated, part-time students
through the Division of Online and Continuing Studies in order
to repair their cumulative GPA and to demonstrate their commitment
to earning an undergraduate degree from Plymouth State
University. Students, who, through self-advised selective repeating
of courses and taking of new courses, raise their cumulative
GPA to 2.00 or above, may appeal, in writing, to the associate vice
president for undergraduate studies for readmission to a degree
program. The associate vice president for undergraduate studies,
in consultation with the Director of Undergraduate Advising and
a voting member of the Academic Affairs Committee, will make
a final ruling on the appeal. Readmitted students will be placed
on academic probation for the next regular semester. If the appeal
is denied, students may continue to work on repairing their GPA
and may apply for readmission to a degree program no sooner
than two academic years following the second severance.
3. Without having raised the GPA to 2.00, they may apply for
readmission no sooner than seven academic years following the
second severance. If readmitted, these students may choose (a) to
declare academic bankruptcy or (b) to repair their existing cumulative
GPA.
If the cumulative GPA of any student readmitted following a second
severance falls below 2.00, that student will incur a third, and final,
Severance.

Third Academic Severance

Students who are academically severed a third time cannot earn an undergraduate degree from Plymouth State University. They are not eligible for reinstatement or readmission at any time in the future. Grades earned in Winterim or Summer Session will not be used to reverse such an action. These students may, for purposes of life-long education, take courses as part-time non-matriculated students.

Student Account Services Information for Academically Severed Students

Please note that a final audit of the student’s tuition bill account will be performed by Student Account Services no later than 30 days from the date of their academic severance letter and any refund check or bill, if applicable, will be processed and mailed to them.

Residential Life Information for Students Living On Campus and Not Returning to Plymouth State University

Students who live on campus and are not planning to return to Plymouth, or students who live on campus and earn an academic severance, need to contact Residential Life immediately at (603) 535-2260, to make arrangements to remove their belongings.

Parental Release

If parents wish to speak with us regarding their student’s academic situation, they will need to submit a letter in writing to the Undergraduate Advising Center giving permission for us to do so.

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