Academic Policies

Governing Policies for Satisfying Academic Requirements

Policies which apply to all Degree Completion Programs (DCP) are set forth in this section. Additional requirements applicable to specific DCP programs are stated in the curricular outlines that appear in the academic programs requirements section of the catalog. DCP observes the general academic policies of the university, except as indicated below.

The ultimate responsibility for understanding university policies and meeting all degree requirements rests with the student.

Students Subject to the Catalog Provisions

All students are subject to the provisions of the catalog which was in effect at the time of their first enrollment at John Brown University, with the exception of charges for tuition, etc., which apply only for a specified period of time. If a student leaves JBU and later returns, that student is subject to the catalog in effect at the time of re-enrollment.

Changes in Requirements and Regulations

The university reserves the right to make modifications in policies, procedures, and regulations: e.g., grading system, transfer of credit, guidelines for degree requirements, housing regulations and charges, tuition and fees, and admission standards, and to make such modifications applicable to any or all currently-enrolled students. When modifications occur, sensitivity to reasonable dates of implementation and appropriate categories of currently-enrolled students affected will be exercised. Students will be notified of such changes through their Advisor, written notices, and campus publications.

Course Credits

The basic unit of course credit is the semester hour.

Prerequisites and Corequisites

Students are not permitted to enroll in courses for which they have not completed all prerequisites. A prerequisite course must have been completed with an acceptable passing grade before enrollment in the given course is permitted. A corequisite is a course in which a student must be enrolled and satisfactorily participating simultaneously to the given course.

Transfer of Credit

Credit which has been earned at another institution will be reviewed by both the Registrar and the Department Head, and the applicability to courses in the chosen degree program will be determined. Each course accepted for transfer must have a minimum grade of 'C'. All work completed at previous institutions will be posted as 'CR' on the student's JBU transcript. Thus, only JBU course work will apply toward the student's grade point average. Credits from institutions which are not regionally accredited may be accepted on a case-by-case basis.

Currently enrolled students planning to take course work at other institutions must receive prior written approval of their Advisor and the Registrar. Official course descriptions of proposed work may be required.

Transfer of Credit into the Major

Some students may previously have completed courses which are deemed equivalent to certain JBU courses. Applicability of credit is determined by the Registrar's Office, who may establish a maximum number of outside credits to be transferred, depending upon the type of curriculum and the awarding institution.

Credit Options

The credit applying toward a degree may include as many as 62 semester hours earned by means of alternative activities, such as credit by exam (30 hours maximum) and credit for prior learning (16 hours maximum) or credit for military training. In addition to taking elective courses, there are several non-traditional credit options available for students to earn credit toward a JBU Degree Completion Program degree, including:

Credit by Examination

Students may earn credit through selected nationally recognized standardized tests. Such tests include the College Level Examination Program (CLEP), the DANTES Subject Standardized Tests (DSST) and certain other tests approved by the American Council on Education (ACE). A maximum of 30 credit hours may be earned by examination.

Credit for Prior Learning (CPL)

The university recognizes that collegiate-level learning may occur outside the college/university classroom and has established specific procedures and policies for evaluating and granting credits for such learning. CPL may be earned only for documented and currently held learning, and is not granted simply for experience. This learning may have resulted from personal study, travel, work experience, workshops and seminars, military training, or other professional or vocational experiences. The guidelines recommended by the Council for Adult and Experiential Learning will generally be followed, except where they might conflict with existing policies of the university.

Some classroom-based corporate or military learning experiences have been evaluated for college credit equivalency by the American Council on EducationProgram on Non-collegiate Sponsored Instruction (PONSI), or other nationally recognized organizations. In these cases, official transcripts or other direct documentation must be provided.

To request credit for other types of prior learning, students are required to complete a Petition for Academic Credit and prepare a portfolio which documents the learning. Such a portfolio typically involves one or more of the following:

a.   Submission of a Technical and Professional Training (TPT) worksheet which demonstrates learning attained through workshops or other training experiences that have not been evaluated by ACE, PONSI, or other nationally recognized evaluation organizations.

b.   A life-learning essay, at least eight pages in length, developed according to the Kolb model and based on experiential learning which may or may not have resulted from formal instruction and is determined to be consistent with the John Brown University curriculum.

In the life-learning essay, the student is to demonstrate how the outcomes of the experiential learning are similar to those of a particular course, or are appropriate to be considered as a topic within a particular subject area. Completed materials are submitted to the Associate Registrar for Degree Completion who then forwards them to a faculty evaluator in the appropriate discipline.

Evaluation of TPT worksheets and life-learning essays is done by the faculty of the university. Faculty evaluators may request additional documentation or restructuring of the student's petition before awarding credit.

CPL based on faculty evaluation (TPTs or life-learning essays) is limited to 16 semester hours total per student. The posting of CPL on a student transcript will be in a category labeled as such. If credit is awarded, a designated course number will be used across the curriculum, with the distinct prefix of a department to indicate the area of learning. The course title will be chosen by the faculty evaluator and the student.

Students will be charged a fee for the portfolio evaluation. Payment of the fee in no way guarantees that credit will be awarded.

Visit with your admissions counselor about non-traditional credit options, or review our class schedules for online and face-to-face elective options at http://www.jbu.edu/dcp/admissions/credit_options/.

Maximum Experiential Credits

The maximum total credit allowed for vocal and instrumental ensembles toward the requirements of a bachelor's degree is four hours.

Traditional Courses Taken at JBU

Students who enroll in any JBU classes that are not part of the Degree Completion Program will be subject to the policies of the traditional university program (parking privileges, drop/add schedules, registration deadlines, fees, etc.) as appropriate. These policies are found in the JBU online catalog.

Enrollment Status

Degree Completion students are considered full-time if they enroll in twelve hours per term.

Students enrolled in the online degree completion majors are full-time if enrolled in a total of twelve hours per 16-week semester (online semesters are comprised of two eight-week terms).

Maximum Course Load

To be considered a full time student, Degree Completion Online students must complete 12 hours during a reporting term. However, students are allowed to complete up to 18 hours during one reporting term (nine hours in Term 1 classes and nine hours in Term 2 classes). Students who have been placed on academic probation will be limited to 15 hours during one reporting term.

Late Enrollment

Any student who enrolls after the close of the regular registration period may be subject to limitations in the course load and a late registration fee.

Attendance Requirements

Because of the intensive nature of the curriculum and the participatory structure of course work in these programs, it is imperative that students attend every scheduled class and participate in each week’s activity for courses delivered online.

Hybrid Delivered Programs

Hybrid courses require online and face-to-face activities weekly. In the hybrid programs, missing three sessions, excused or unexcused, will result in a grade of 'F' (face-to-face or online).

For face-to-face classes, students who fail to attend any 15 minute consecutive period of a class session may be considered partially absent. Two partial absences for any one course are the equivalent of one absence of the respective course.

For the online classes, students are expected to login to the Blackboard module regularly (at least 3 days a week) to check the announcements and work schedule, and complete all assignments for the week. (The due date for assignments may not be extended for purposes of achieving attendance.) 

An “absence” for online class is defined in two ways (either of which will incur an absence):

1.  not submitting any assigned work for the week;

2. not demonstrating evidence of reading assigned chapters or viewing assigned videos, tutorials, or other media posted by the professor.

Evidence includes posting to discussion forums, responding to other students’ posts, and generally logging in to participate and engage in course materials.

Excused absences are defined as an absence that are unforeseen, emergency or life threatening (required documentation).

1. Death or serious illness in the immediate family.

2. Local emergencies requiring immediate attention (examples: tornado damage, flooding, etc.).

*Students are responsible for providing written evidence by email with any supporting documentation attached to substantiate "excused absences."

Unexcused Absences are defined as an absence that are cannot be documented or for personal reasons.

1. Non-emergency medical/work/personal reasons, which cannot be documented.

*Instructors are neither obligated, nor expected to permit a student to make up work missed because of unexcused absences. If a student is allowed to make up such work, full credit may not be allowed.

It is the responsibility of the student to notify the professor in advance of any activity that will interfere with class attendance. Such notification must be made in a manner consistent with the stated expectations in the professor's course syllabus (using JBU email).

Late Assignments

Students are required to submit all assignments when due.  Homework is designed to prepare students for class collaboration and learning. On a case-by-case basis, instructors may accept late work for partial credit at their own discretion. If late work is accepted it is subject to a 10% reduction per day late. Unless there is an extreme emergency or medical event (documentation is required), assignments will not be accepted for credit, if it is not submitted within seven days of the original due date.

Orientation to Online Learning

This eight week course serves to create an understanding of Christian higher education and orientation experience for incoming students preparing them for success in the program. A passing grade and completion is a mandatory requirement to continue in any DC program. Attendance is critical to overall success in the program.

Textbooks and Other Course Materials

Students have options for obtaining most books and materials for their courses. As part of the preregistration process, students are given the option to receive materials from the bookstore at JBU, which is operated by Follett Corporation, by purchasing new, used, or renting. Students may also choose to purchase materials from other sources, but are responsible to make sure they have the correct edition of texts. Students with adequate financial aid may be able to obtain their materials from the bookstore using that aid.

Inclement Weather Policy

During the winter season, inclement weather sometimes necessitates the cancellation of face-to-face classes. Rather than calling your Center, please take advantage of JBU's communication options.

There are a few ways to know if your class is canceled. The easiest is to register for Information Alerts via the Crisis Alert System on JBU's intranet, EagleNet. The CAS is location specific and is the most up-to-date information available about class cancellation. (Note: class cancellations are an information alert – not a crisis alert – so make sure to register for Information Alerts to hear when classes are cancelled.) Alerts are sent to your JBU email and via a phone call. You may also choose to receive information via text messaging or to an alternative email address. In most circumstances, the decision to cancel is made around 3:00 p.m. Keep in mind, if there is no notification, it's safe to assume that your class will meet.

In addition, we will post closing information on each Center's Facebook page (click the link for each location's page).

  • Fort Smith
  • Little Rock
  • Rogers

The information will also be posted to the JBU Degree Completion website, on the program's Twitter page and broadcast on local television and radio stations when possible.

Note: only face-to-face classes are cancelled due to inclement weather; online classes will continue as scheduled, regardless of weather.

Due to the accelerated nature of our curriculum, all face-to-face Degree Completion courses will require a makeup course session. If your class is cancelled, you can expect to hear from your office manager and/or instructor regarding meeting times for a makeup session.

Your safety is our utmost concern, so if classes are being held but road conditions make it too dangerous for you to attend, please contact your instructor as soon as possible to determine how to submit your missed assignment(s). Again, we ask that rather than calling your Center, you plan ahead by choosing one of the above options to access any inclement weather notifications.

Classroom Demeanor

Students are expected to display classroom and online behavior that is appropriate to a Christian university. A professor may remove a student from a class if, in the professor's judgment, the student displays behavior that is uncivil, defiant, or otherwise disruptive to the classroom learning environment. Students dismissed from a class may not return to the class without the permission of the professor. Online postings require polite behavior; evidenced in font, word use, and grammar that is indicative of college level communication. 

Academic Integrity

As a Christian institution of higher education, John Brown University seeks to maintain the highest standards of academic integrity. Violations of these standards will result in substantial penalties. Violations and their definitions are as follows:

a) Plagiarism: Submitting as part or all of one’s own work material that is copied or paraphrased from another source, including online sources, without the proper acknowledgment of that source. Examples include: failing to cite a reference, failing to use quotation marks where appropriate, misrepresenting another’s work as your own, etc.

b) Cheating: Using unauthorized material or study aids for assistance on examinations or other academic work. Examples include: looking at a peer’s exam, altering a graded exam, using notes without permission, etc.

c) Fabrication: Submitting altered or contrived information in any academic assignment. Examples include: falsifying data, text material, or sources.

d) Facilitating academic dishonesty: Helping another student violate this policy. Examples include: allowing one’s work to be copied, working together on an assignment where collaboration is not allowed, doing work for another student.

Faculty Action Regarding Violations of Academic Integrity

All violations of the academic integrity policy will be reported to the Dean, who will maintain a file on student offenses.

First offense: In the first case of dishonesty, the faculty member will normally give the student a zero for the assignment or test on which the student has been dishonest. Faculty members are free to impose more severe penalties if such penalties are announced in the course syllabus.

Second offense: A second violation of the integrity policy in the same course or in any other course will result in an F in the course.

Third offense: Any further violations of the integrity policy may result in suspension or dismissal from the university.

Appeal

A student who feels that he or she has been unfairly accused or unjustly treated may appeal to the Dean.

Grading System

Indication of each student's progress is reported regularly by instructors. Grades are issued following each term. The grading scale used as a basis for letter grades is established by the instructor of each course. Grade points per semester hour (effective Fall 1999) are determined as follows:

                  A      Superior Accomplishment                                                     4.0      
  A-   3.7
  B+   3.3
  B Commendable Accomplishment 3.0
  B-   2.7
  C+   2.3
  C Satisfactory Accomplishment 2.0
  C-   1.7
  D+   1.3
  D Minimal Accomplishment 1.0
  F Failure

0.0

 
The following are not included in grade point average:

                  I - Incomplete Work                              S - Satisfactory                              
  NC - No Credit Earned U - Unsatisfactory
  WP - Withdrew Passing WF - Withdrew, Failing
  W - Withdrew Earned Grade

Incomplete Grades

In extenuating circumstances, students may be allowed to receive an incomplete ('I') grade for a particular course only with prior approval of the instructor. The remaining work must be completed according to arrangements made with the instructor but no later than one month after the original due date. If the student does not complete the work by this deadline, the instructor will assign a grade based on work received, or the grade will convert to 'F' automatically by the Registrar.

Dropping Courses

If a student wishes to drop a course during a term, the student must notify their Advisor before the first class session. The Student Accounts Representative will credit the student's account for that course's tuition. The course will not appear on the transcript.

If the student withdraws after the beginning of the first class but prior to the third meeting, the student will receive a 'W' for the course. After this time, the student will not be eligible for a grade of 'W'; the student will receive the grade earned. Withdrawal from the university or dropping a course may have implications for student financial aid or veterans' benefits.

Tuition will be refunded to the student and a grade of 'W' or 'F' will be posted based on the following schedule:

Drop Notification/Refunds

Drop Notification/Refunds for Degree Completion OM Cohort Courses

Amount of Refund

       Grade Earned

 

Prior to the date of the 1st session of a course

100% refund

No Grade

 

On or after the date of the 1st session and before the date of the 2nd session

  75% refund

W

 

On or after the date of the 2nd session and before the date of the 3rd session

 50% refund

W

 

On or after the date of the 3rd session date

   No refund

Earned Grade

           

Drop Notification/Refunds for Degree Completion Courses (excluding OM Cohort Courses)

               Amount of Refund

    Grade Earned

 

During the first week of classes

             100% refund

No Grade

 

During the second week of classes

              80% refund

W

 

During the third week of classes

              40% refund

W

 

After the third week of classes

                No refund

Earned Grade

           

Students taking hybrid courses can only change from hybrid to online or vice versa during week 1. After week 1, changes in modality cannot be made. Please contact your advisor for more information.

Other non-tuition fees are not refundable. See refund policies for Traditional Undergraduate Studies and Graduate Studies if enrolling in courses from those programs.

Re-Enrolling in Courses

If a student drops, withdraws, or fails a course, the student will need to contact their Advisor to determine when the course is offered again and how to re-enroll in the course. The cost for repeated courses (those for which the student received a 'W' or 'F') is full tuition.

Auditing Courses

Degree Completion students may register for courses on a non-credit or audit basis provided the proper procedure is followed, either at initial registration for the term or by official change of registration prior to the stated deadlines. The names of such students will be entered on the class roll, and the class appears in the student's academic record, but without credit and with final grade of 'S' or 'U'. It is the responsibility of the student to obtain a statement of grading criteria for satisfactory participation from the instructor. Tuition is charged at one half of the rate of for-credit registration and subject to the same regulations.

Grade Renewal

A student may repeat any course on his or her academic record with prior approval of the Department Head and the Registrar, with the understanding that all courses and grades will remain on the permanent record. However, only one taking of the course may contribute hours to the total for graduation, and only the highest grade received will be included in the calculation of the student's grade point average. If the student receives permission and renews a grade by means of transferring an equivalent course from another institution, the completed course is posted with a grade of 'CR', and any prior attempts are excluded from graduation hours and the grade point average.

Grade Point Average

To receive a degree the grade point average of all degree work must be at least 2.0, and in the major at least 2.25. 

Residence Requirements

Fulfillment of the residence requirements for a Degree Completion bachelor's degree from John Brown University consists of completion by means of courses taken in residence of at least 36 hours of credit presented in fulfillment of degree requirements. Of those, at least 32 hours must be in the major field of study.

Scholastic Probation & Required Achievement for Continued Enrollment

  1. A student with a cumulative grade point average (CGPA) less than 2.0 will be placed on probation the following term.

  2. The maximum enrollment per term for any student on scholastic probation is 15 term hours. Students should understand that such limited enrollment may lengthen the time required to meet graduation requirements.

  3. A student whose CGPA is still below 2.0 after being on probation for two successive terms, or a student with less than a 1.0 term GPA, will be suspended unless a petition for re-enrollment is approved by the Associate Registrar.

  4. A student may enroll after one term of academic suspension if a petition is approved by the Associate Registrar.

  5. A student who is permitted to re-enroll after academic suspension may continue to re-enroll if satisfactory progress is being made toward a 2.0 CGPA as determined by the Registrar’s Office.

  6. A student on scholastic probation may remain eligible for some types of financial aid, if standards for Satisfactory Academic Progress are met.

Minimum Total Semester Hours

Completion of any bachelor's degree at John Brown University requires at least 124 hours of academic credit. Certain programs exceed the minimum.

Sufficient courses must be completed to offset any deficiency in total number of semester hours in addition to all other specific requirements, preferably in an area which will enrich and broaden the student's acquaintance with the major areas of knowledge.

Non-Degree Seeking Students

In most cases, a maximum of 15 hours may be completed under non-degree status. Permission to take more than 15 hours is subject to approval by the respective Program Director and the Dean. Students enrolled in degree programs have priority over non-degree students in class registrations and on waitlists. Non Degree seeking students must meet the admissions requirements required for the Degree Completion program in order to register.

Double Major

Students who wish to pursue a second major within the Degree Completion Program must complete all unique hours within the second major. Students are allowed to transfer in up to 25% of the second major from another university. Students who wish to complete a second major must do so prior to graduating. Once a student has graduated they cannot add a second major.

Additional Bachelor's Degrees

For two bachelor's degrees, a minimum of 154 semester hours must be completed incorporating all requirements for both degrees. A maximum of 36 credits by exam may be included. All other stipulations of the residence requirements apply to the second as well as to the first degree.

Fresh Start Policy

A student who re-enrolls in the university after an absence of seven or more years and completes one full-time semester or term with a 2.0 GPA or higher may request a "Fresh Start" by petitioning the Dean. If the petition is approved, none of the credits earned prior to the absence will be included in the GPA calculation and only those with a 'C' or higher may be used to fulfill graduation requirements. In effect, the Fresh Start treats early JBU work as transfer work. After the "Fresh Start" is applied to a student's transcript, those courses with a 'C' or higher will be designated by 'CR' and those with a 'C-' or lower will be designated by 'NC'.

Graduation

Application for Graduation

An Application for Graduation form, available on-line during the preregistration process, should be completed when registering for the final semester or term in residence before completion of degree requirements. This application provides information regarding the graduation fee, exit assessment requirements, and a final check of the student's name as it is to appear on the diploma and in the commencement program. A graduation application fee will be charged to the student's account at the time the application for graduation has been submitted.

Participation in Commencement Exercises

Degree candidates may participate in commencement exercises only upon completion of all degree requirements no later than the last day of the semester. Any course work in progress at other institutions must be completed during terms ending no later than one week following JBU commencement.

Students not enrolled at JBU during the semester in which they plan to graduate must contact the Registrar's Office in writing during the first two weeks of the term, declaring their intention to participate in commencement. Failure to do so may result in the student not being listed in the printed commencement program.

Eligibility to participate in commencement is limited to the commencement at the end of the student's final semester in attendance or the commencement at the end of the following semester. Furthermore, participation eligibility is dependent upon compliance with all of the deadlines posted on the commencement web site.

Scholastic Awards

Recognition of Superior Achievement

Full-time students attaining certain standards of scholastic achievement are placed on the President's or Dean's List of Distinguished Students at the end of each term. To qualify for the Dean's list, the student must have at least 3.4 term GPA on a minimum of 12 semester hours, and at least 3.8 term GPA for the President's list. A designation indicating this achievement will be added to the student's transcript for each applicable term.

Degree Honors

Upon completion of the bachelor's degree, each graduate who has attained a cumulative grade point average of 3.6 or above is recognized with an appropriate degree honor. Eligibility is contingent upon completion of at least 60 semester hours of graded course work at John Brown University. Graduation honors are indicated on the diploma and by the wearing of an appropriate medal on the gown during the commencement exercises.

Cum Laude-Grade point average at least 3.6
Magna Cum Laude-Grade point average at least 3.8
Summa Cum Laude-Grade point average at least 3.9

Students who have between 39 and 59 semester hours of graded course work at John Brown University and have a grade point average of 3.8 or higher will graduate "with distinction." With Distinction honors are indicated on the diploma and by wearing of an appropriate tassel on the cap during the commencement exercises.

Transcripts

An official transcript of a student's academic record may be obtained by submitting a transcript request form to the Registrar's Office, provided the student has made satisfactory arrangements with Student Account Services with respect to financial obligations. Transcripts are not released unless the student grants permission through a signed statement.

The first official transcript is issued without charge; a $5 fee is incurred for each official transcript thereafter. 

Official transcripts of academic credits are not released while the student's account is in arrears. The university engages professional collection agencies to deal with delinquent accounts, as necessary.

Withdrawal from the Program

Students wishing to withdraw from a Degree Completion Program must contact their Advisor.

Academic Grievance Process

To file a complaint about a faculty person—the way they conducts class, lack of objectivity in grading, etc., students should follow the process outlined below.

  1. Discuss the specific complaint and your desired resolution with the faculty person.

  2. If talking to the faculty person fails to bring resolution, you may meet with the Department Head and present a concise, well-thought-out, written statement of the problem and the desired resolution.

  3. The Department Head will offer to meet with you and the accused faculty person. If you are unwilling to attend such a meeting, your complaint will be considered dropped. If you consent to the meeting, then the Department Head will be responsible for documenting the proceedings and the outcome in writing.

  4. The accused faculty person or you may request a second meeting within seven days to which both the faculty person and you, within the limits set by the Department Head, may invite colleagues and students. The Department Head, at his/her discretion, may request the presence of the Dean of the Degree Completion Program.

  5. If the problem is not resolved to the satisfaction of either party, a written appeal may be made to the Vice President of Academic Affairs who is empowered to make the final decision. The Vice President of Academic Affairs will respond with a final decision in writing to those involved.

Appeal Procedure

Occasionally a student may wish to appeal an academic action such as a grade, a graduation requirement, or a withdrawal penalty. Such appeals should be made in writing to the Dean of the Degree Completion Program. In most cases the student should first request the support of their Department Head.

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