Student Success Guide
Welcome to Plymouth State University! This Student Success Guide designed by the Office of First Year Experience serves as a resource to address your questions, and concerns. Although this guide is aimed for first year students, feel free to bookmark, and refer back to it as needed throughout your college career.
Plymouth State University Mission
Plymouth State University serves the state of New Hampshire and New England by providing well-educated graduates; by offering ongoing opportunities for graduate education and professional development; and by extending to communities partnership opportunities for cultural enrichment and economic development. In each of these roles, Plymouth State University has a special commitment of service to the North Country and Lakes Region of New Hampshire.
Plymouth State University is a visionary institution at the hub of a growing creative community where students, faculty, staff, and alumni are actively transforming themselves and their region into global leaders in distinctive clusters of excellence through interdisciplinary and entrepreneurial experiential learning and innovative partnerships.
Learner Centered Cluster Concepts
Clusters are intersecting pillars of excellence that will allow PSU to frame within them adaptable programs of study that are coincident with a theme that is critical to the future. Together, the clusters form a university that becomes an open laboratory, a place where transdisciplinary ideas flourish across disciplines, community and business.
Plymouth State University students have a variety of opportunities to study abroad. International students are welcomed to our campus with a variety of resources and opportunities to help them grow and succeed as a PSU student.
Commuter Student Resources
Commuter students have access to all of the resources above, but here is some additional information that may make being a commuter student easier.
Parking on Campus
Contact: University Police Department (603-535-2330)
Every student can choose to park on campus. Through Permit Store, you can order a parking pass that allows you to park in lots:
- 107 (Behind Pemigewasset Hall)
- 214 (Across the street from the Hyde Parking Lot)
- 301 (Next to Hyde Hall)
Additionally, PSU has pay-to-park lots located:
- Beside Centre Lodge
- Below AllWell Center
- Lot 408 off of Merrill Street
- Green Street (overnight parking available)
These lots take credit and debit cards or quarters as payments. A slip gets printed and MUST BE DISPLAYED CLEARLY ON YOUR DASHBOARD!
You may also choose to park downtown at the meters, or at metered parking on the road opposite the library.
As a commuter student, you can choose to buy a meal plan to eat at a variety of locations across campus. A list of meal plans available can be found here.
Transfer Student Resources
Transfer students have access to all of the resources above. The Admissions page has additional information that may make the transition into Plymouth an easier one.
Transfer Query Database
Check this database to see how many of your credits will transfer.
In Person: Speare 218
The Veterans Service Center is here to assist you and your dependents with any concerns that may arise in regards educational benefits, entitlements, and any other needs.
The Financial Aid website has a lot of information on military grants and scholarships! Military students are welcome to utilize all of the resources outlined above.
What is FERPA?
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA), is a federal law that protects student educational records in addition to providing students with specific rights. These rights include the ability to:
- Inspect and review education records;
- Request the amendment of inaccurate or misleading records;
- Consent to disclosure of personally identifiable information contained in their education record; and
- File a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by an educational institution to comply with this law.
FERPA authorizes the release of “Directory Information” without a student’s prior consent, under certain conditions which are set forth in the Act.
PSU has specifically outlined Directory Information and provides the act clearly outlined on their .
What are education records?
Educational records is information that is directly related to a student and maintained by a Plymouth State University office.
What is personally identifiable information?
Personally identifiable information includes:
- The student’s name
- Names of any of the student’s family members
- Student’s address
- A personal identifier
- Or any information that could lead to the student being easily identified.
How is compliance monitored?
The U.S.Department of Education monitors schools for compliance. Students have the right to file complaints with the U.S. Department of Education if they feel that FERPA has not been upheld.
To file a complaint contact:
U.S. Department of Education – Office of Civil Rights
33 Arch Street
Boston, MA 02110
To whose records does FERPA apply?
FERPA applies to the education records of all people who have attended the University at any point.
To what records does FERPA apply?
FERPA applies to all educational records that are directly related to a student.
Is prior consent always necessary before releasing information from a student’s education record?
Directory Information about a student can be confirmed without the student’s prior consent.
Students can give parents or guardians the ability to access account information. In compliance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA), student financial and academic records may not be shared with a third party without the written consent of a student. Adding an authorized user is written consent that an individual may view account information and make payments on the student’s behalf.
In order to do this, log into myPlymouth. On the Welcome page, you will find a section called Family Access. Their will be a hyperlink to invite a family member to be able to access. They will then receive an email confirmation.
A faculty member who helps students plan their programs and select courses.
Dismissal from an academic major or the college as a consequence for not being able to maintain the required GPA. If a student is dismissed, they are no longer a member of the University.
PSU undergraduate students who have not earned a degree and have not attended the University for at least seven academic years, and have reapplied to the University, may apply for academic bankruptcy through the Undergraduate Studies Office. Students who are granted academic bankruptcy may have work still applicable to their program counted toward graduation requirements as long as the grade is a C or above, but grades will not be calculated in their grade point average. Academic bankruptcy cannot be claimed more than once in a student’s career at the University.
A violation of academic integrity includes any act which portrays a member of the academic community as having acquired knowledge through legitimate study or research which, in fact, has been stolen. Violation of academic integrity includes also any act which gains one member of the academic community an unfair advantage over another. This includes any act hindering the academic accomplishment of another.
The academic standing of a student is determined by the student’s GPA. Academic standing varies by credit amount and GPA for those amounts.
Credit granted for examination programs. For more information on what grade is needed on each test, check the back section of the Academic Catalog, or contact the Office of Undergraduate Studies in Speare Building 208 at 603-535-2235.
Registering for and attending class(es) regularly without doing all of the work required for credit. Students do not earned credit hours for this course, and the grade of “AU” appears on the transcript. A student who would like to audit a course has to go to the Registrar before the end of the add period.
A degree granted after completing a specified amount of undergraduate academic study by fulfilling all of the requirements to graduate.
A term used for the meal plan, typically seen as room and board.
Board of trustees
The Plymouth State University governing body.
Capstone course or experience
An experience organized to both review and gain a deeper understanding of major issues, theories, themes, and research findings within the student’s major.
Class or credit hour load
The total number of credit hours that a student has enrolled in each semester.The average amount of credits is 15 per semester, but students can take up to 17 credits without being charged overload fees. Students are still considered full time students if they are enrolled in 12 credits.
A concentration is a selection of courses that are more similar than others in the degree program.
A course that is required to be taken during the same term as another course.
Course numbering system
The course numbering system is four digits. Undergraduate courses are numbered from 1000 through 4999. Graduate courses are numbered 5000 through 6999.
- 1000-1999 Primarily for first year students. No prerequisites required.
- 2000-2999 Primarily for sophomores. May require a prerequisite.
- 3000-3999 Primarily for juniors. Usually require a prerequisite.
- 4000-4999 Primarily for seniors. Have at least one prerequisite.
- 5000-6999 Graduate level courses.
- 7000-7999 Certificate of Advanced Graduate Studies (CAGS) courses.
- 8000-8999 Doctoral level courses.
One credit hour represents one hour of class time per week.
An official procedure for withdrawing from a single course without withdrawing from all courses. Students who do not follow the official procedure when dropping a class will be charged a fee for a late drop.
A public web announcement following the end of fall and spring semesters, listing students who have achieved a grade point average of 3.50 to 3.69 in at least twelve semester hours of coursework during fall and spring semesters. If you would like your name to appear in your local newspaper, click the link and follow these instructions.
A student who has been accepted to a degree program at either the bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral level.
A course that counts as credit toward a degree but is not a program requirement or general education course.
Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)
This act limits information which can be disclosed about individual student’s’ records without their written permission to general Directory information (name, address, telephone number, and major field of study).
Field experience and internship
Field experience: Actual practice within a service situation. In a teacher education program, it is conducted in schools and requires reliable transportation and a background check.
Internship: A learning experience that can be in an occupational area for students in their senior year as a preparation for full-time employment, conducted in connection with a course of study, where the students spend a part of their time on a job in a school, business, or industry.
An undergraduate student who enrolls for at least twelve credit hours during Fall or Spring. The University does allow full-time status to some intern classes, when it is the only class allowed to a student during a semester.
University Housing has its own regulations on the definition of hours needed to be eligible for housing contracts. Students should contact Residential Life for this information.
Signifies that a student is eligible to continue getting their degree. This implies that the student is in good academic standing.
Grade point average (GPA)
A student’s average computed by dividing total grade points by total credit hours attempted.
A required evaluation of a student’s academic record in addition to their program of study used to determine the student’s eligibility for graduation. The audit determines whether all University degree, and program requirements have been met. Degree request deadlines are as follows:
- May- Submit request no later than December 1st
- August- Submit request no later than December 1st
- December- Submit request no later than October 1st
Degree Requests will be accepted up until one month beyond the deadline but at a $50 late fee. Unless specified, these requests will be assumed for graduation the following year.
Financial assistance awarded to a student which does not have to be repaid; usually based on a need
A block that is placed on a student’s ability to register for classes because of an unfulfilled action by the University.
Recognition shown on the college degree as well as the transcript to reflect outstanding achievement. Honors are confirmed upon graduating students who have displayed a high level of performance during their time at the university.
Students who obtain a high level of performance are awarded the following honors:
- Cum Laude: 3.25 – 3.49
- Magna Cum Laude: 3.50 – 3.74
- Summa Cum Laude: 3.75 – 4.0
During the commencement ceremony, those graduating with honors are acknowledged with a special tassel.
Special courses are designed to pose a challenge intellectually and give special attention to particularly able students. These courses vary by department so check with your advisor if you are interested.
Independent studies are courses in which a student does research for/with a faculty member regarding a specific topic.
This allows you to build your own major based on your interests. This program of study also requires you to take a course in which you outline the degree of study yourself. At the end of the course, your program is sent to a board that decides if you can pursue that field of study.
Less than half-time
A student who is enrolled in fewer than 6 credits.
A concentration of related courses that constitute a degree program.
A concentration of courses generally consisting of a minimum of fifteen semester hours of credit.
An undergraduate student who takes 6 – 11.5 credit hours during the Fall or Spring semesters.
A collection of work which might be used to demonstrate competency.
A requirement that has to be met before a student may register for a course.
PSU Alert Registration
The PSU website posts alerts, in addition to sending you an email. You can also sign up for text alerts that will text you when their is lot maintenance, and cancelations or delays.
An appeal process required for a student who was dismissed or suspended. Contact Admissions for more information about this process.
The process of enrolling in courses each semester.
You may apply for residence by consulting the Residency Officer in Speare 205 after reading the information on the website.
Fifteen weeks long in the academic calendar.
An average of your course grade earned at the six-week mark in the semester.
Student Code of Conduct
Describes the behavioral expectations of students approved by the Board of Trustees. The Student Code can be found online.
Student Success Coach
First-year academic advisor
A copy of a student’s permanent academic record.
Transfer credit evaluation
An official statement that indicates the amount and type of transfer credits that will be awarded.
The amount of money that must be paid for courses. This is based on the number of credits that the student registers for.
Classification of students with 24 or more semester hours. Typically those taking courses at the 3,000 – 4,999 level.
An official procedure for withdrawing from the University for the remainder of the current semester or longer. The deadline for the last day to withdraw from all courses without academic penalty (grade of “W” is on the transcript) is noted on each semester and can be found on the Registrar’s website.