A s the chief governing body of the University, the Board of Trustees delegates the powers of the President and faculty in accord with its policies. Subject to the review of the President and the Board of Trustees, the faculty retains legislative powers in all matters pertaining to the standards of admission, registration, instruction, research and extracurricular activities; the requirements for and granting of degrees earned; the courses; the curricula; the discipline of students; the educational policies and standards of the University; and all other matters affecting the conduct of academic affairs.
The University reserves the right to make changes in curricular degree requirements, course offerings and all academic regulations, at any time when in the judgment of the faculty, the President or the Board of Trustees such changes are for the best interest of the students and the University. Within these same guidelines, the University reserves the right to require testing for placement in academic courses.
Registration at the University assumes the studentís acceptance of all published academic regulations, including both those which appear in this bulletin and all others found in any official announcement.
Official policies of the University listed below are published in the USCA Student Handbook, which is available through the Division of Student Life and Services and the Office of the Student Government Association:
1. Student Judicial Process
A. Academic Code of Conduct
B. Student Discipline System
C. Student Grievance Procedure
2. University Policy of Use of Alcohol and Drugs by Students
3. University Policy on Campus Solicitation
An undergraduate student may choose to obtain a degree in accordance with the curricular requirements for the particular degree set forth in the USCA Bulletin in force at the time of the studentís initial enrollment, or any subsequent USCA Bulletin, provided the student has not been absent from active enrollment at USCA for a period exceeding three years (thirty-six months). However, a student is restricted in his/her choice of requirements to one specific USCA Bulletin. Undergraduate students have a period of eight years, inclusive and continuous, in which to claim the rights of a specific USCA Bulletin.
Within the eight-year limit, an undergraduate student who is absent from the University for no longer than three years and who returns to complete his or her program of study, shall have the right to continue under the USCA Bulletin in effect at the time of the original enrollment. Alternatively, the student may elect the degree requirements set forth in the USCA Bulletin in effect at the time of re-enrollment.
When a student has been absent from enrollment at USCA for a period in excess of three years, the student is restricted in his/her choice of program requirements to those set forth in the USCA Bulletin in force at the time of re-enrollment or any subsequent USCA Bulletin.
Under no circumstances will students be allowed to appeal to short-lived rules, regulations, and/or curricular requirements which were adopted and subsequently abandoned during the period of their absence.
If drastic revisions of curricula or program requirements have occurred during a studentís absence (even if for less than three years), or during the period between the studentís original enrollment and his or her eventual movement to a different degree program or campus within the University, a reasonable effort will be made by the Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs to permit the student to undertake transitional course work that is equivalent to the educational experience intended under the USCA Bulletin in force at the time of the studentís original enrollment.
Undergraduate students who consider that they are entitled to relief from or deviation in the academic regulations regarding admissions or academic progression at the University should apply to the USCA Scholastic Standing and Petitions Committee. A studentís petition for a modification of academic regulations must be submitted with an evaluation by the department chair/school head. A student shall be allowed only one appearance on the basis of a documented petition. Should a studentís appeal be denied by the committee, the studentís appeal should then be directed to the Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs. This final response may be reviewed by the Chancellor, who is the CEO of the campus and whose response shall be final.
Graduate students who consider that they are entitled to relief from or deviation in the academic regulations of the University should apply to the academic unit that directs the studentís program. After the internal process has been exhausted the student should apply to the USCA Graduate Council for approval. Should a studentís appeal be denied by the council, the studentís appeal should then be directed to the Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs.
Students enrolled in USCA off-campus programs, once a Change of School Form has been completed, shall be entitled to relief from any academic complaint or grievance through the student grievance procedure established in the applicable USC Regional Campus Student Handbook. After a judgment has been rendered on that campus, an appeal to the Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs at Aiken and a subsequent appeal to the USC Aiken Chancellor may be made.
The office of the Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs has for its mission to provide supervisory authority to two colleges and three professional schools and the units therein, to four academic centers, to the library and to academic support and academic assessment.
∑To assign instructional responsibilities through unit heads;
∑To recruit faculty;
∑To recommend promotions and tenure and post-tenure decisions and recommend salary increases for faculty and associated academic staff;
∑To oversee the academic budgets and recommend priority areas for increases;
∑To work with faculty governance committees;
∑To promote excellence in academic programs by recommending program and curriculum changes and guiding them through external review by board and commission;
∑To promote professional development of faculty;
To review faculty performance annually.
Information and policies regarding the Master of Education Degree in Educational Technology may be found on page 142, the Master of Education Degree in Elementary Education on page 137, and the Master of Science Degree in Applied Clinical Psychology on page 145.
General Education Requirements
The general education requirements provided below address the following goals of the USCA mission statement:
ē Thinking critically and analytically, questioning, searching out concepts;
ē Communicating effectively using numerical, notational, verbal, and other symbolic systems;
ē Appreciating cross-cultural perspectives;
ē Exploring values openly and critically;
ē Finding and examining relationships among disciplines, concepts, and areas of study.
ē Developing depth of knowledge within chosen fields of interest.
They are intended to provide a breadth of experience in the critical disciplines which are the foundation of a liberal arts education.
Although these requirements take the form of individual courses, integration of knowledge is critical to the learning experience. Students are encouraged to explore many disciplines to appreciate the common concepts and goals shared across the disciplines. Students should conduct all their inquiry in an ethical manner and work with honesty toward these goals.
1. General Education Requirements...................................... 50-52
A. Skills and Competencies1...........................................21-23
1. English 101 and 1022........................................................ 6
Composition/Composition and Literature
2. Math/Statistics/Logic........................................................ 6
3. Applied Speech Communication3....................................... 3
4. Foreign Language4......................................................... 6-8
B. Methods and History of Disciplines5.................................29
1. Natural Sciences.................................................................8
Biology, Chemistry, Physics,
Geology, Astronomy (2 labs)
2. Social and Behavioral Sciences (at least two areas).............6
Psychology, Sociology, Anthropology,
Economics, Political Science, Geography
3. Humanities (at least two areas)...........................................9
History, Literature, Fine Arts History,
Humanities (AHUM acronym), Religion,
Foreign Language (200 level and above),
Philosophy (not logic),
Communications (last two digits in 50s or 60s)
4. History of Civilization (AHST 101 or AHST 102)...............3
5. American Political Institutions............................................. 3
(APLS 201, AHST 201, or AHST 202)
1 For undergraduate writing proficiency, see Proficiency Portfolio in Writing described on page 45.
2 Students must complete English 101 with a grade of C or better in order to fulfill general education requirements. Students must also complete AEGL 102 with a grade of C or better in order to fulfill general education requirements and before taking other English courses.
3 The following are considered Applied Speech Communication courses: ACOM 201, ACOM 241, ACOM 342, and ACOM 440. Some majors may require a specific course so students should consult requirements for their major.
4 Two (2) semesters of the same language. See degree program requirements for Foreign Language study.
5 At least 3 hours must be in non-Western world studies, unless an approved non-Western world studies course has been completed elsewhere in the studentís degree program.
Humanities Course Definition: Study in the Humanities and fine arts develops an understanding of what it means to be human - the struggles and aspirations, achievements and failures, values and visions that help us make sense of our lives and our world. Situating the events, customs, and symbols of people throughout time in their appropriate cultural contexts, furthers the development of verbal, perceptual, and imaginative skills needed for organizing and understanding our world in communicable ways. Courses designed to fulfill the humanities requirement focus on cultural and intellectual expressions through historical, hermeneutic, cultural and aesthetic investigations. Courses in philosophy, religious studies, foreign language (both classical and modern), literature, history, history and appreciation of the visual and performing arts, and designated areas in communications, such as rhetoric and intercultural communication are included among those considered to be humanities.
By contrast, those that primarily focus on developing a skill, such as writing, performance or production courses in the arts, technique or professional skills courses in communications, and those foreign language courses that focus on learning to speak and write a different language at an elementary level, are not considered part of the humanities requirement.
The following courses meet the Humanities general education requirement:
Art History (AARH): 105, 106, 206, 250, 251, 312, 335, 397, 398
Communications (ACOM): 351, 353, 450, 462
English (AEGL): 280, 281, 282, 283, 284, 285, 288, 289, 290, 291, 389, 390, 391, 393, 394, 401, 407, 408, 409, 411, 412, 415, 416, 417, 419, 423, 424, 425, 426, 427, 428, 430, 431, 434, 435, 449, 474, 483, 484, 491, 494
Foreign Languages and Literatures:
Foreign Languages (AFOR): 395
French (AFRE): 201, 202, 388, 395, 398, 399
German (AGER): 201, 202, 395, 397, 398, 399
Italian (AITL): 201, 395, 398
Latin (ALAT): 395, 399
Spanish (ASPA): 209, 210, 216, 217, 301, 302, 304, 305, 309, 310, 325, 388, 397, 399, 426, 427, 488, 498
History: All History courses. Note: If AHST 101 or AHST 102 is used towards the History of Civilization requirement, the same course cannot count as the Humanities requirement. Also, if AHST 201 or AHST 202 is used towards the American Political Institutions requirement, the same course cannot count as the Humanities requirement.
Humanities (AHUM): 107, 201, 202, 211, 301
Music (AMUS): 173, 175, 371, 372, 373, 391, 393
Philosophy (APHL): 102, 108, 211, 302, 303, 304, 311, 390, 399
Religion (AREL): 101, 103, 301, 302, 390, 399
Theatre (ATHE): 161, 361, 362
Non-Western World Course Definition: A non-Western world studies course is any course which focuses substantially on the culture of the region of the world other than Europe or those areas in which the dominant culture is European, (e.g., the United States, Australia, New Zealand, Poland, Greece). Cultures of the indigenous peoples of these countries (e.g., Maori, Apache, Iroquois, Aborigines) may be acceptable, but this would not include the study of "assimilated" ethnic groups (e.g., African-American, Japanese-Americans). Courses focusing on US/European involvement in other regions of the world (e.g., the Vietnam War, the British colonization of Africa) would not satisfy the non-western world studies requirement.
The following courses have been approved as meeting the non-Western world studies general education requirement:
AARH 251 History of Oriental Architecture (3)
AARH 397 Topics in Non-Western Art History (3)
AANP 102 Understanding Other Cultures (3)
AANP 315 Peoples of the Indian Subcontinent (3)
AANP 352 Anthropology of Magic and Religion (3)
AANP 490 Topics in Anthropology (3)
ACOM 450 Intercultural Communication (3)
AEGL 291 Introduction to Non-Western Literature (3)
AEGL 435 African and African-American Literature (3)
AFRE 388 Selected Non-Western Topics in Translation (3)
ASPA 302 Survey of Latin American Literature (3)
ASPA 305 Latin American Culture (3)
ASPA 325 Hispanic Cultures and Identities (3)
ASPA 388 Selected Non-Western Topics in Translation (3)
ASPA 397 The Latin American Film Experience (3)
ASPA 426 Afro-Hispanic Literatures (3)
ASPA 427 Literature of Social Protest (3)
ASPA 488 Selected Non-Western Topics (3)
AGRY 102 Geography of the Developing World (3)
AGRY 427 Geography of East Asia (3)
AHST 361 Early Latin America (3)
AHST 362 Modern Latin America (3)
AHST 366 Modern East Asia (3)
AHST 423 History of Mexico (3)
AHST 492 Non-Western Topics (3)
AMUS 175 World Music (3)
APLS 101 Global Politics (3)
APLS 103 Non-Western Politics (3)
APLS 330 International Organization (3)
APLS 487 Politics and Governments of Africa (3)
APLS 488 Politics and Governments of Latin America (3)
APLS 492 Non-Western Topics (3)
AREL 103 Comparative Religion (3)
ASCY 310 Social Demography (4)
ASCY 315 World Population: Problems and Policies (3)
Note: Individual major degree programs may require specific courses within each grouping category and may add requirements, but may not be less restrictive in general education requirements.
Please also see the sections of the USCA Bulletin describing the major programs of study, including the professional programs.
Program of Study
Students are expected to follow the program outlined by their college for their major as closely as possible, particularly within the first two years. When special problems arise, the student may consult the department chair/school head before consulting the Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs.
Students must pursue required courses in the prescribed sequence. Failure to do so may lead to future scheduling difficulties. Students may find courses they wish to take either not available or closed to students without advance standing.
Under current regulations, students who failed to complete successfully all of the freshman requirements may not enroll in courses in their major field beyond the sophomore level. In this case, students may take electives until the deficiency is removed.
Students who do not test into AMTH 108 on the mathematics placement test, must meet this proficiency within their first 30 hours.
Students who enroll in classes for which prerequisites or other defined requirements have not been met may be removed from those classes.
Students are not required to select a major upon admission to the university. The college experience provides an opportunity for exploration of many disciplines and fields of study.
Students who have earned 30 semester hours and wish to continue their studies at the University should declare a major in a program in which they meet entrance or progression requirements. Undecided and change-of-major students should use the resources available in the Advisement Center and Career Services to help them choose a major.
Some programs require special admission prior to the junior year.
Degree Audit Reporting System (DARS)
The Degree Audit Reporting System (DARS) is an advising tool used to produce student degree audit evaluations and to assist with transfer evaluations. Beginning in the Fall of 2002, advisors may use DARS to review a studentís degree requirements. The individual degree audits will show the studentís progress by indicating what requirements have been fulfilled and what requirements are still needed. DARS is a new system with only the 2001-2002 and the 2002-2003 bulletin year degree requirements having been programmed; therefore, only the students using the above two bulletins can receive the full benefits of DARS.
Forms for changing a name are available in the Registrarís Office. After producing proof of name change, the student completes the form. A driverís license is not a valid document.
The Registrarís Office also has the forms necessary for updating a studentís address. Grades and other items such as tuition bills and registration information are sent to a studentís permanent address. General items are sent to the local address.
It is the obligation of every student to notify the Office of the Registrar of any change in name or address. Failure to do so can cause serious delay in the handling of student records and in notification of emergencies at home.
Each semester students are urged to become familiar with the Universityís Academic Calendar. This is always published in the USCA Schedule of Classes Booklet for that semester. It is each studentís responsibility to know the last day to add or drop a class, when exams are scheduled and other such important dates as published in the calendar.
The Registrarís Office also sends all currently enrolled students a newsletter each semester called From the Registrarís Desk. The newsletter is used as a reminder of dates on the academic calendar and to explain any new procedures that may be implemented in the Registrarís Office. Students are urged to read each newsletter.
It is expected that every student will discharge any indebtedness to the University as quickly as possible. No degree will be conferred on, nor any diploma, certificate, record or transcript issued to, a student who has not made satisfactory settlement with the Finance Office for all of his/her indebtedness to the University. A student may be prohibited from attending classes or taking final examinations after the due date of any unpaid obligation.
To be officially enrolled in the University, students must be academically eligible, complete the registration process with the Office of the Registrar, and possess a receipt issued by the Treasurer for payment of current academic fees. USC Aiken offers the Visual Information Processing (VIP) as a means of registration. The Visual Information Processing (VIP) can also be used to access grades, view your current class schedule, review fees, check for your registration appointment time, update your address, and change your PIN.
Certain academic advisors have been trained to register students via Faculty Desktop Registration (FDR).
Students are expected to complete registration (including the payment of all required fees) by the dates prescribed in the university calendar to avoid paying a late registration fee of $5.00 per day ($50.00 maximum). After late registration there will be a $40 reinstatement fee in addition to all other fees.
Enrollment by proxy is allowed provided the student has been advised and has supplied his/her proxy with the necessary tuition and fees.
Students are responsible for seeing that they complete all requirements for their degree. The department faculty in the major and advisors are responsible for evaluating progress toward the degree and interpreting and applying major requirements. Normally students will be able to progress by accepting the advice of their academic advisor, a faculty member in the field in which the student intends to major. Undecided students are advised by a special group of advisors; degree seeking students must have an advisor.
Transient and non-degree students will not be assigned advisors but may consult with the Director of the Advisement Services Office about courses. Non-degree students wishing to take a mathematics or English course must take a placement test. To register, non-degree students must have a signed waiver available from the Advisement Services Office. The Director of the Advisement Services Office will handle questions and problems with advisement.
Auditing a course consists of attending classes and listening without actively participating in the class. An auditor is not responsible for any assignments or examinations. No credit may be earned in an audited course by examination or otherwise. No audited course may be repeated for credit at a later date.
The request for the privilege of auditing a course should be made to the instructional department concerned and should be for a specified semester. The applicant must complete the prescribed procedure for enrollment through the Registration Center prior to the last day to add a class for that semester. A student must have been admitted to the University to be eligible for auditing a course. If a student decides to take the course for credit, he/she may change from audit to credit by the last day to change a schedule for that semester. Auditors who are not enrolled as full-time students will be charged the current hourly rate per credit hour.
Students may elect to take one or more courses (free electives) under the Pass/Fail option each semester. (See Grading System for all regulations pertaining to Pass/Fail on page 38.) A Pass/Fail Option form must be completed and returned to the Registrar by the last day to elect the Pass/Fail option for a particular semester. The student will receive the hours earned if the course is passed, but the grade point average is not affected by a course taken Pass/Fail.
Repetition of Course Work
Students may repeat courses they have failed or passed. All registrations will appear on the studentís permanent record and all grades will be computed in the studentís grade point average. Course credit for graduation will be given only once unless otherwise stipulated in the course description.
To graduate within a normal period of time, a student should earn a minimum of 15 credit hours per semester in academic studies. A normal full-time academic load usually is considered five (5) academic subjects carrying 14-17 credit hours.
To register for 18 hours or more, students must obtain course overload approval from the school head/department chair in which they are enrolled. This overload permission is required even if part of the course load is on an audit basis. A continuing student must also have earned at least a GPA of 3.0 for the preceding semesterís work (minimum of 12 semester hours). New students are eligible for 18 hours or more if they have a total score on the SAT of 1000 or higher. All students wishing overload permission must obtain approval from their advisor and school head/department chair on a "Course Authorization" form available from the advisor or school head/department chair. Students with low GPAís or SATís may be urged to take no more than four courses by their advisors.
Courses numbered from 101 to 599 are available at different levels for undergraduate credit. Courses numbered 600 and higher can be taken only for graduate credit.
Course descriptions are listed immediately following the various program outlines in this bulletin.
The elements of the course descriptions are as follows:
1. Academic discipline. Course descriptions are arranged alphabetically by discipline. The four-character abbreviation is the acronym used for course registration and all academic records.
2. Course number and title appear in bold type. If a course is either deleted or changed in such a manner that it becomes a different course, the departmental course number that it had may not be used for any other course for a period of eight years.
3. Crosslisting. In the case of courses which are offered in an identical form by two or more divisions or disciplines, all other listings by which they may be identified appear in parentheses between the course title and statement of hour credit. An equality sign [=] indicates such equivalencies.
4. Credit hours. The numeral in parentheses indicates the number of semester credit hours awarded for successful completion of a course. In the case of course sequences where two or more related courses are included in the same entry a statement such as (3 each) indicates that all courses in the sequence carry the same credit. If the courses do not all carry the same credit, the credits awarded for each course are individually itemized. Variable credit, indicated by an entry such as (3-6), is employed in the case of courses whose content and credit are to be individually determined.
5. Prerequisites. Any necessary prerequisites or corequisites, indicated by the abbreviations "prereq" and "coreq," are given in parentheses after the statement of credit hour.
Undergraduates may receive credit for only those correspondence courses taken through the Office of Independent Learning located on the Columbia campus. Students may request permission to enroll in such courses with the Request to Earn Credit Through Special Enrollment form available from the Registrarís Office. The student must get the advisor and department chair/school head to sign the form and return the bottom copy to the Office of Independent Learning with the application card. (Booklets describing all correspondence courses and how to enroll in them are available from the Registrarís Office). Since such courses are part of the USC system, they are calculated into the GPA; however, for purposes of graduation with honors, they are not used as part of the minimum number of hours in residence.
Advanced students may be afforded the opportunity to study independently a topic not covered in other courses, under the guidance and supervision of a professor, generally under a 399 course number. In unusual circumstances (such as inability to schedule a required course in a regularly scheduled offering), a student may be able to arrange with a professor to take other courses on an independent study basis. All independent study courses must involve work which is clearly of an academic nature. The student must complete a significant body of work which is evaluated and graded.
All students taking courses on an independent study basis must have an approved independent study contract on file with the department and the Records Office. This contract is completed by the instructor and the student; approved by the advisor, department chair/school head; students then present their approved copy when registering for the course. The contract must include a detailed specification of the work the student is expected to complete and an explanation of how the studentís grade will be determined. The usual deadlines and grading system apply to independent studies.
Independent study courses are intended primarily for juniors and seniors who desire advanced intensive work on a specific topic and therefore may not be counted toward general education requirements.
Each semester various courses are offered either as closed circuit courses to be viewed at the University or open circuit courses to be viewed in homes on local S.C. ETV channels and by audio/videocassettes. To enroll in a telecommunications course, the student must obtain permission from his/her advisor on an advisement form and have the information entered in the Registration Center. The same dates and grading system apply to these courses.
A brochure describing each semesterís offerings is available from the office of Continuing Education.
The University no longer offers courses deemed remedial in nature. Students who do not place into AMTH 108 or above will be contacted by the Director of the Advisement Services Office and be given information concerning their status and what the University can offer to improve those skills. Likewise, those students who previously attempted a remedial math class and did not pass or those students who already know they did not place into AMTH 108 or above should contact the Director for information concerning their status and what is available to them.
The Advisement Services Office is located in 108E of the Penland Administration Building.
Concurrent and Transient Enrollment
Concurrent enrollment means attending USCA and another USC campus or another college at the same time. Transient enrollment means leaving USCA for a semester or more to attend another USC campus or another college in-state or out-of state.
Permission for either concurrent or transient enrollment is obtained on a Request to Earn Credit Through Special Enrollment Form available from the Office of the Registrar. The studentís advisor and department chair/school head must sign the form after which the form is returned to the Office of the Registrar where the form is processed. Students enrolling in concurrent or transient work at another USC campus can usually register for those classes in Aiken.
Students wishing concurrent or transient enrollment at a college outside the USC system must remember the following:
a) Concurrent or transient enrollment outside the USC system within a studentís last thirty hours is possible only after approval has been given on an Academic Petition. Students should allow approximately four weeks for all approvals on such petitions.
b) Courses taken outside the USC system must be passed with a letter grade of "C" or better in order for USCA to award credit.
c) Courses taken outside the USC system transfer back to USCA as "hours earned" only; therefore, they are not calculated into the GPA and have no bearing on suspension or probation.
USCA students who obtain credits as transient/concurrent students at other institutions must have an official copy of their transcript from that college sent to the Office of the Registrar at USCA.
Transient/Concurrent Study at USCA
Students from another USC campus must obtain permission from their advisor or college dean/school head to take courses at Aiken by completing a Request to Earn Credit Through Special Enrollment. Many times, these students may register on their home campus for Aiken courses. Once the work is completed, the grades automatically transfer and calculate into the GPA since it is all within the same grading system.
Students from outside the USC system must first be admitted to USCA. The Office of Admissions will notify these students of their acceptance as concurrent or transient students. Registration procedures and deadlines must be observed by all transient students. Once the work is completed, students from outside the USC system must request an official transcript be sent to their home college.
Senior citizens must first complete all the necessary paperwork as required by the Admissions Office. They are allowed to take courses at the University free of charge provided there is a space available in the classroom. For this reason, they are usually asked to register after the general student population has completed registration. Senior citizens simply submit a request for the class(es) of their choice and will be contacted as to availability on the first day of classes. Changes in enrollment status (i.e. changing from credit to audit or audit to credit) must be completed by the last day to change course schedule or drop without a grade of W being recorded as published in the USCA Schedule of Classes Booklet.
This is a compressed term, usually two weeks in length and held between the close of a Spring semester and the beginning of first Summer term. Although Maymester offers students a more versatile schedule during the summer months, these types of courses can, however, present certain problems and complications, especially for financial aid recipients. It is therefore very important to refer to the USCA Schedule of Classes Booklet for special course information, tuition deadlines, final examination schedule and grade reporting information.
Students on suspension may not enroll in Maymester classes.
The summer session consists of two terms. A summer session typically meets five times per week (Monday through Friday). However, certain courses may have variable length and day-of-the-week schedules. Any student regularly enrolled in the University may take work applicable to the degree he/she seeks during the summer session. All regulations governing the regular academic year pertain as well to the summer session.
The University reserves the right to cancel any course in the case of inadequate enrollment. A minimum number of enrollees is usually the requirement. Registration in any course may be closed when the maximum enrollment for efficient work has been reached.
Students may make adjustments to their schedule during the times listed on the schedule of class offerings for that semester. They must obtain permission on an advisement form to drop or add a class, to change credits, to change from audit to credit or to change from credit to audit. No permission from the advisor is needed for changing sections. No student should present him/herself for registration without an advisement form signed by the appropriate advisor. Students may also make schedule adjustments via VIP once advisor approval has been given. Failure to drop a course through proper channels may result in the assignment of a grade of "F".
Dropping a Course
Students who drop a class or classes during the first week of a semester, the Schedule Adjustment Period, will have no record of the dropped courses on their permanent record. Courses dropped will not enter into the computation of hours attempted, the grade point average or any other total. Courses dropped after the Schedule Adjustment Period but prior to the last day to withdraw without academic penalty (as published in the Universityís academic calendar) will receive a grade of W which will be recorded on the studentís permanent record but will not be used in computing his/her grade point average.
A grade of WF will normally be recorded for any course dropped after the first six weeks (pro-rated for shortened and elongated semesters). (See Withdrawal from the University later in this section for more details.)
If a student drops a class or classes and is due a refund, the paperwork will be processed by the Records Office and the Finance Office and a check mailed to the student. (See "Fees and Refunds" section of this bulletin for more information.)
Again, failure to have the Records Office process the paperwork regarding schedule adjustments will result in an academic penalty. It is the responsibility of the student to complete his/her part of this transaction.
Changes in Programs of Study
Students desiring to change their program of study, whether it involves a change of major, advisor, or degree sought, must complete a USCA Program Change form available from the Advisement Center. When the necessary signatures (student and new advisor) have been obtained, the form is returned to the Director of the Advisement Center.
Only under unavoidable and exceptional circumstances will the faculty permit substitutions for or exemptions from the prescribed curricula. When it becomes necessary to request a deviation from the prescribed program of study, students should consult the chair/head of the department/school in which they are enrolled before proceeding.
Requests to deviate from the general education requirements after enrollment at USC Aiken must be presented on an Academic Petitions Form. These forms are available from the Registrarís Office, and the student should obtain the signature of the advisor and the school head/department chair before returning the Petition to the Registrar. The Registrar will submit the request to the Scholastic Standing and Petitions Committee for approval/disapproval. If the petition is approved, it will become part of the studentís permanent record. If the petition is denied, the student will have the right to make a personal appeal to the Scholastic Standings and Petitions Committee at their next meeting. Should a studentís appeal be denied by the Committee, the student may then appeal to the Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, and, if necessary, to the Chancellor, whose response shall be final. Students should allow a minimum of one month for such requests to be given the final determination.
Requests to deviate from the major requirements of a program of study can be approved by the school/department. This can be done via a memo describing the change and the rationale involved in such a substitution. The memo should be signed by the advisor, school head/department chair, and the Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs then returned to the Registrarís Office for filming as part of the studentís permanent record. Such substitutions typically occur at the time the student is preparing to graduate and is included with the studentís degree application.
Occasionally a class will be cancelled due to insufficient enrollment or some other reason. When this happens, the Records Office automatically takes the students out of the class and gives them the option of
a) seeing their advisor and adding another class before the deadline for adding classes, or
b) taking a 100% refund. The students are not responsible for any paperwork in this instance unless they want to add a substitute class.
After mid-terms, instructors are sent mid-term class rolls and asked to forward to the Registrarís Office any enrollment discrepancies in that class. The students are then notified that they must see the Registrar. Students may be enrolled in one section and attending another, or be enrolled in a course that they thought they had dropped. Students who receive notice of an enrollment discrepancy need to contact the Registrar immediately and bring all advisement forms pertaining to that semester.
A student desiring to withdraw from the University for a particular semester should obtain a withdrawal form from the Records Office. This form must be completed in the Records Office so it can be processed. Any refund the student may be due will be mailed to him/her by the Finance Office. A student withdrawing during the Schedule Adjustment Period will have no record of attendance for that semester on his/her permanent record. A student withdrawing during the second through the sixth week of classes will receive a W in all courses for that semester. After the first six weeks of class, students will receive a WF in all classes (pro-rated for shortened or elongated semesters).
During the WF period a student may need to withdraw because of extenuating circumstances such as illness or accident. The student must complete the regular university withdrawal form and an additional form for the withdrawal due to extenuating circumstances; both forms are available in the Records Office. When seeking withdrawal due to extenuating circumstances, the student must withdraw from all courses for that term. The student presents his/her case along with supporting documents and forms to the Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs for initial approval. The student then takes the documents to the instructors of the courses taken during the semester of the petition request. Each instructor must sign the form and assign the grade of W or WF. A W is assigned if the student was passing the class at the time of the extenuating circumstances, and that grade will not affect the studentís grade point average. The WF is assigned if the student was not passing the course at the time of the extenuating circumstances. The WF is recorded as a failing grade and calculated as such in the studentís grade point average and during the evaluation of suspension conditions. Once the instructor signatures have been obtained, the documents are returned to the Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs for final approval and then forwarded to the Records Office for processing.
Students have only one semester following the term for which they are seeking withdrawal for extenuating circumstances to complete the entire process including the paperwork. For example, a student who became ill during the spring semester would have until the end of the following fall semester to both request the withdrawal and process the paperwork. The Vice Chancellor will not consider requests for withdrawal due to extenuating circumstances in cases where the student completes the required work in a course and is assigned a letter grade or where the student is assigned some combination of passing and failing grades during the term for which the withdrawal is sought.
It is important for students to understand that even if they are taking only one course per semester and wish to drop it, the proper procedure is to complete the paperwork for withdrawal in the Registrarís Office. Failure to complete the withdrawal paper(s) may result in the loss of a possible refund and may result in the assignment of all Fís on a studentís permanent record for that semester.
When students enroll in a particular course, they obligate themselves for all the work which may be assigned. Punctual and regular attendance is vital to the discharge of this obligation. The faculty of the department or school will determine attendance policy for courses taught under its authority and for its faculty, full-time faculty as well as part-time instructors. The department or school may establish one uniform policy for all of its faculty, set unit policies for certain courses only, or it may leave it up to individual faculty members to determine attendance policy for their own classes. In the latter case the department or school will review the individual policies and modify them as the unit sees fit.
The unitís attendance policy must be made known in writing to all teaching faculty within the unit. Copies will be forwarded to the Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs. All instructors must include the policy they intend to follow in each course syllabus, which shall be distributed to all students in the course.
Each policy, whether departmental or individual, will clearly lay out the rules and limits regarding class attendance and absences. It may establish an allowable number of class absences which students may accumulate without penalty. If a policy limits the number of absences allowed, it should also list reasons for excused absences (for example, documented incapacitating illness, official representation of the University, death of a close relative, religious holidays, jury duty). Excused absences do not absolve a student of responsibility for the completion of all assigned work in the class. A student should inform the instructor of any anticipated absence. It is the responsibility of the student to complete any work missed during an absence.
In the event of an impasse between the student and instructor on whether an absence shall be excused or on any other issue related to attendance, the student may appeal the instructorís decision to the chair of the department or head of the school in which the course is taught. If the conflict cannot be resolved at that level, the student or the instructor may appeal the decision through the established University appeals procedure.
Student Deportment. It is the instructorís right to eject from the class any student who disrupts or disturbs the proceeding of the class. If the student who has been ejected causes similar disturbances in subsequent meetings of the class, he/she may be denied admittance to the class for the remainder of the semester and be assigned a grade of F.
Faculty should refer to the USCA Faculty Manual, 4.1-4 for further information regarding the Universityís class attendance policy.
Regular final examinations for spring and fall semesters are held over a five-day period at the close of each semester. Summer term examinations are held during a two-day period at the close of each session. Maymester final exams are held for only one day. Examination schedules are made available as they are published and can most often be found in the schedule of course offerings for that semester. (The results of these examinations plus other assigned work, combined with the grades for class performance, determine the grade reports given at the end of the term.) No intermediate or final examination may be held outside of the stated time without the special permission of the Vice Chancellor. Quizzes may not be given in any course during the last two regularly scheduled class meetings in any semester.
By consent of the instructor, a student may be transferred from one examination section to another if the instructor teaches more than one section of the same course.
Students who are absent from any final examination may be given the grade of F on the course if they have not offered an excuse acceptable to the instructor.
Re-examination for the purpose of removing an F or raising a grade is not permitted.
No early examinations are given for graduating seniors. Students who have submitted a degree application may attend the graduation ceremony. Diplomas are mailed after the Vice Chancellor has verified that all degree requirements have been met.
The number of class meetings per week for one semester usually determines the credit value of each course. Two or three laboratory hours (one period) are equivalent to one class meeting. The semester hour credit for each course is included in each course description.
Transfer students are given credit for their previous college work by means of a Transfer Credit Summary. This is prepared by the Admissions Office when a studentís official transcript from any previous college(s) has been received. The department chair/school head in which the student is enrolled must evaluate the transcript and, as appropriate, award credit towards the studentís major. The total number of hours transferred from any and all colleges will appear on the USCA transcript; however, students must refer to their Transfer Credit Summary to determine how many of those hours have been applied to their major at USCA. Transfer credits show up as hours earned only and do not compute into the USCA grade point average. See Graduation With Honors on page 41 for additional information.
Academic courses completed at regionally accredited institutions are normally transferable to the University of South Carolina. Please see the State policy regarding transfer credit from a two-year institution on this page. As a general rule, courses do not transfer that are:
1) strictly occupational or technical in nature; or
2) remedial in nature; or
3) from a two-year institution considered upper division or upper level at the University; or
4) from a two-year institution not listed as part of the institutionís college parallel program
A maximum of 30 semester hours earned in correspondence, military service school, off-campus extension class or while classified as a Ďspecial studentí may be accepted as partial fulfillment of the requirements for an undergraduate degree. USCA accepts only those correspondence courses offered through the Office of Independent Learning at the Columbia campus.
For additional information regarding transfer credit visit the following web site: www.usca.edu/admissions/transferstudents.html.
Transfer: State Policies and Procedures
Section 10-C of the South Carolina School-to-Work Transition Act (1994) stipulates that the Council of College and University Presidents and the State Board for Technical and Comprehensive Education, operating through the Commission on Higher Education, shall develop better articulation of associate and baccalaureate degree programs. To comply with this requirement, the Commission upon the advice of the Council of Presidents established a Transfer Articulation Policy Committee composed of four-year institutionsí vice presidents for academic affairs and the Associate Director for Instruction of the State Board for Technical and Comprehensive Education. The principal outcomes derived from the work of that committee and accepted by the Commission on Higher Education on July 6, 1995, were:
An expanded list of 74 courses which will transfer to four-year public institutions of South Carolina from the two-year public institutions;
A statewide policy document on good practices in transfer to be followed by all public institutions of higher education in the State of South Carolina, which was accepted in principle by the Advisory Committee on Academic Programs and the Commission;
Six task forces on statewide transfer agreements, each based in a discipline or broad area of the baccalaureate curriculum.
In 1995 the General Assembly passed Act 137 which stipulated further that the South Carolina Commission on Higher Education "notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary, shall have the following additional duties and functions with regard to the various public institutions of higher education." These duties and responsibilities include the Commissionís responsibility "to establish procedures for the transferability of courses at the undergraduate level between two-year and four-year institutions or schools." This same provision is repeated in the legislation developed from the Report of the Joint Legislative Study Committee, which is now moving through the General Assembly during the 1996 session.
Act 137 directs the Commission to adopt procedures for the transfer of courses from all two-year public to all four-year public institutions of higher education in South Carolina. Proposed procedures are listed below. Unless otherwise stated, these procedures shall become effective immediately upon approval by the Commission and shall be fully implemented, unless otherwise stated, by September 1, 1997.
Statewide Articulation of 74 Courses
1. The Statewide Articulation Agreement of 74 courses already approved by the South Carolina Commission on Higher Education for transfer from two- to four-year public institutions shall be applicable to all public institutions, including two-year institutions and institutions within the same system. In instances where an institution does not have synonymous courses to ones on this list, it shall identify comparable courses or course categories for acceptance of general education courses on the statewide list.
Admissions Criteria, Course Grades, GPAs, Validations
2. All four-year public institutions shall issue annually in August a transfer guide covering at least the following items:
A. The definition of a transfer student and requirements for admission both to the institution and, if more selective, requirements for admission to particular programs.
B. Limitations placed by the institution or its programs for acceptance of standardized examinations (e.g., SAT, ACT) taken more than a given time ago, for academic coursework taken elsewhere, for coursework repeated due to failure, for coursework taken at another institution while the student is academically suspended at his/her home institution, and so forth.
C. Institution and, if more selective, programmatic maximums of course credits allowable in transfer.
D. Institutional procedures used to calculate student applicantsí GPAs for transfer admission. Such procedures shall describe how nonstandard grades (withdrawal, withdrawal failing, repeated course, etc.) are evaluated; and they shall also describe whether all coursework taken prior to transfer or just coursework deemed appropriate to the studentís intended four-year program of study is calculated for purposes of admission to the institution and /or programmatic major.
E. Lists of all courses accepted from each technical college (including the 74 courses in the Statewide Articulation Agreement) and the course equivalencies (including "free elective" category) found on the home institution for the courses accepted.
F. Lists of all articulation agreements with any public South Carolina two-year or other institution of higher education, together with information about how interested parties can access these agreements.
G. Lists of the institutionís Transfer Officer(s) personnel together with telephone and FAX numbers and office address.
H. Institutional policies related to "academic bankruptcy" (i.e., removing an entire transcript or parts thereof from a failed or underachieving record after a period of years has passed) so that re-entry into the four-year institution with course credit earned in the interim elsewhere is done without regard to the studentís earlier record.
I. "Residency requirements" for the minimum number of hours required to be earned at the institution for the degree.
3. Coursework (individual courses, transfer blocks, statewide agreements) covered within these procedures shall be transferable if the student has completed the coursework with a "C" grade (2.0 on a 4.0 scale) or above, but transfer of grades does not relieve the student of the obligation to meet any G.P.A. requirements or other admissions requirements of the institution or program to which application has been made.
A. Any four-year institution which has institutional or programmatic admission requirements for transfer students with cumulative grade point averages (GPAs) higher than 2.0 on a 4.0 scale shall apply such entrance requirements equally to transfer students from regionally accredited South Carolina public institutions regardless of whether students are transferring from a four-year or two-year institution.
B. Any multi-campus institution or system shall certify by letter to the Commission that all coursework at all of its campuses applicable to a particular degree program of study is fully acceptable in transfer to meet degree requirements in the same degree program at any other of its campuses.
4. Any coursework (individual courses, transfer blocks, statewide agreements) covered within these procedures shall be transferable to any public institution without any additional fee and without any further encumbrance such as a "validation examination," "placement examination/instrument," "verification instrument," or any other stricture, notwithstanding any institutional or system policy, procedure, or regulation to the contrary.
Transfer Blocks, Statewide Agreements, Completion of the AA/AS Degree
5. The following Transfer Blocks/Statewide Agreements taken at any two-year public institution in South Carolina shall be accepted in their totality toward meeting baccalaureate degree requirements at all four-year public institutions in relevant four-year degree programs, as follows:
Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences: Established curriculum block of 46-48 semester hours
Business Administration: Established curriculum block of 46-51 semester hours
Science and Mathematics: Established curriculum block of 48-51 semester hours
Teacher Education: Established curriculum block of 38-39 semester hours for Early Childhood, Elementary, and Special Education students only. Secondary education majors and students seeking certification who are not majoring in teacher education should consult the Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences or the Math and Science transfer blocks, as relevant, to assure transferability of coursework.
Nursing: By statewide agreement, at least 60 semester hours shall be accepted by any public four-year institution toward the baccalaureate complete program (BSN) from graduates of any South Carolina public associate degree program in nursing (ADN), provided that the program is accredited by the National League of Nursing and that the graduate has successfully passed the National Licensure Examination (NCLEX) and is a currently licensed Registered Nurse.
6. Any "unique" academic program not specifically or by extension covered by one of the statewide transfer blocks/agreements listed in #4 above shall either create its own transfer block of 35 or more credit hours with the approval of CHE staff or shall adopt either the Arts/Social Sciences/Humanities or the Science/Mathematics block by September, 1996. The institution at which such program is located shall inform the staff of the CHE and every institutional president and vice president for academic affairs about this decision.
7. Any student who has completed either an Associate of Arts or Associate of Science degree program at any public two-year South Carolina institution which contains within it the total coursework found in either the Arts/Social Sciences/Humanities Transfer Block or the Math/Science Transfer Block shall automatically be entitled to Junior-level status or its equivalent at whatever public senior institution to which the student might have been admitted. (Junior status applies only to campus activities).
Related Reports and Statewide Documents
8. All applicable recommendations found in the Commissionís report to the General Assembly on the School-to-Work Act (approved by the Commission and transmitted to the General Assembly on July 6, 1995) are hereby incorporated into the procedures for transfer of coursework among two- and four-year institutions.
9. The policy paper entitled State Policy on Transfer and Articulation, as amended to reflect changes in the numbers of transfer blocks and other Commission action since July 6, 1995, is hereby adopted as the statewide policy for institutional good practice in the sending and receiving of all course credits to be transferred.
Assurance of Quality
10. All claims from any public two- or four-year institution challenging the effective preparation of any other public institutionís coursework for transfer purposes shall be evaluated and appropriate measures shall be taken to reassure that the quality of the coursework has been reviewed and approved on a timely basis by sending and receiving institutions alike. This process of formal review shall occur every four years through the staff of the Commission on Higher Education, beginning with the approval of these procedures.
Statewide Publication and Distribution of Information on Transfer
11. The staff of the Commission on Higher Education shall print and distribute copies of these Procedures upon their acceptance by the Commission. The staff shall also place this document and the Appendices on the Commissionís Home Page on the Internet under the title "Transfer Policies."
12. By September 1 of each year, all public four-year institutions shall on their own Home Page on the Internet under the title "Transfer Policies":
A. Print a copy of this entire document (without appendices).
B. Print a copy of their entire transfer guide.
C. Provide to the staff of the Commission in satisfactory format a copy of their entire transfer guide for placing on the Commissionís Home Page on the Internet.
13. By September 1 of each year, the staff of the State Board for Technical and Comprehensive Education shall on its Home Page on the Internet under the title "Transfer Policies":
A. Print a copy of this document (without appendices).
B. Provide to the Commission staff in format suitable for placing on the Commissionís Home Page on the Internet a list of all articulation agreements that each of the sixteen technical colleges has with public and other four-year institutions of higher education, together with information about how interested parties can access those agreements.
14. Each two-year and four-year public institutional catalog shall contain a section entitled "TRANSFER: STATE POLICIES AND PROCEDURES." Such section at a minimum shall:
A. Publish these procedures in their entirety (except Appendices).
B. Designate a chief Transfer Officer (Mr. Randy Duckett) at the institution who shall
--provide information and other appropriate support for students considering transfer and recent transfers
--serve as a clearinghouse for information on issues of transfer in the State of South Carolina
--provide definitive institutional rulings on transfer questions for the institutionís studentís under these procedures
--work closely with feeder institutions to assure ease in transfer for their students.
C. See the USCA Home Page on the Internet to view the Transfer Guide published by this institution.
Credits earned in one degree program may not be applicable toward other degrees. Verification of applicability should be sought in writing from the chair/head of the department/school in which the new degree or major is offered. Students should visit the Office of Academic Advisement to complete a change of major form.
Students who are currently enrolled or may obtain credit by examination in a course in which they have no class attendance or semester standing. A student may receive credit by examination in any of the following three ways:
In some instances, currently enrolled students may receive credit for a course by requesting and earning a B or better on a challenge exam. Credit will appear only as hours earned and will not affect the grade point average. Departments and schools determine which of their courses may be challenged and the number of challenge exams that may be applied to major course requirements. Department chairs/school heads should be consulted for individual unit guidelines.
Challenge exams are not permitted:
a) if the student is currently enrolled in the course,
b) if the student was previously officially enrolled in the course, either for credit or audit,
c) if the student has previously challenged the course unsuccessfully, or
d) in laboratory, activity or skill-acquiring courses.
Also, if appropriate faculty are not available to develop and/or administer the exam, the department chair/school head may decline or postpone the request. Challenge exams are not typically administered in the summer. The student who wishes to challenge a course is to follow the following steps:
1) Obtain a Credit by Examination form from the Registrarís Office.
2) Present the form to the chair/head of the department/school which offers the course to be challenged. The department chair is then responsible for recruiting a qualified instructor to develop and/or administer the exam.
3) Return to the department chair/school head within two weeks to obtain the form, which should be signed by the chair/head and the instructor who will administer the exam.
4) Present the form to the Vice Chancellor to be signed.
5) The student must then pay the Finance Office an examination fee of $15.00 per credit hour and obtain a fee receipt for this amount.
6) Return to the instructor and arrange when to take the exam (at the instructorís convenience). Challenge exams should be completed by the end of the current semester.
7) Present the form and the fee receipt to the instructor before taking the exam as previously scheduled. The instructor is to record on the form the letter grade earned on the exam, and forward the form with attached fee receipt to the Registrarís Office. Credit is granted for the course only if a grade of B or better is obtained.
Level Examination Program (CLEP)
The University awards credit by examination to CLEP subject examinations only. By attaining an acceptable score, a student may receive credit equal to that normally earned in the comparable University course. Applications for CLEP examinations may be obtained by calling 1-800-922-9755, ext. 2782. Once the exam is taken, CLEP will send the student a score report which should be forwarded to the Registrar. The department chair/school head will make the decision to award credit based on the score.
The grading system outlined below came into effect for all students at USCA with the Fall Semester of 1978. Grades in all courses are determined by class standing and examination, combined in such proportion as the professor may decide. Class standing is determined by the quality of a studentís work and the regularity of attendance in the lectures and the laboratory sessions.
Grade Explanation Points
B+ Very Good 3.5
B Good 3.0
C+ Above Average 2.5
C Average 2.0
D+ Below Average 1.5
D Poor 1.0
F Failure 0.0
T In Progress 0.0
No minuses are used in the Universityís grading system. S and U indicate, respectively, satisfactory (passing) and unsatisfactory (failing) performance in courses carried under Pass/Fail or non-credit options. The S/U designation is used also for research courses, workshops and seminars in which the regular academic grades are not used. The use of the Pass/Fail grading option in such courses is indicated in their bulletin descriptions. No course carried under the Pass/Fail option will affect a studentís grade point average or the evaluation of suspension conditions.
W may be assigned in exceptional cases, to indicate satisfactory progress performance in courses from which a student withdraws after the free drop date. The grade is used primarily in cases of withdrawal from the University or course withdrawal for medical reasons or other extenuating circumstances and requires the approval of the Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs as well as the instructor. A grade of W will be treated in the same manner as a passing grade in the evaluation of suspension conditions. It is not computed into the GPA.
WF is assigned for withdrawal from a course after the first six weeks of a semester and is treated as an F in the evaluation of suspension conditions and is computed as an F into the studentís GPA.
I, or incomplete, indicates satisfactory attendance and performance, but failure to complete some portion of the assigned work at the end of the semester. By permission of the instructor and the school head/department chair, the student will have a time not to exceed 12 months in which to complete the work before a permanent grade is assigned. A deadline of less than 12 months may be stipulated if agreed upon by both the instructor and the student. It is the responsibility of the student to insure that all required work is completed by the deadline stipulated in the incomplete contract. Students are not allowed to come back into the classroom to complete this work, nor should they be allowed to "sit in" on a subsequent section of the course.
An incomplete grade contract must be signed by the student, the instructor and the school head/department chair, and be on file in the Registrarís Office at the time the I grade is recorded. Incompletes are computed into the GPA as Fís until they are made up. If an incomplete has not been made up by the end of the 12 month period, the I grade will become an F on the permanent record. In situations where the student has missed a majority of the semester due to documentable reasons, it is more appropriate for the student to seek withdrawal due to extenuating circumstance from the Vice Chancellor.
AUD indicates a course was carried on an audit basis.
NR (No Report) is assigned by the Office of the Registrar only in situations where the normal Incomplete Contract and assignment of an I is not possible by the grade deadline. It is a temporary mark on the transcript and must be replaced by a grade. The instructor should notify the Registrar that a student has a problem that will prevent them from filling out an Incomplete Contract. The Office of the Registrar will then notify all students receiving the NR grade that they need to contact the instructor and make arrangements with them to fill out an Incomplete Contract or complete the work, normally within four weeks after the date of the letter. If replacement of the NR does not occur before the last week of the spring or fall semester immediately following the term for which an NR was recorded, a grade of F will be automatically assigned. The NR is ignored in computing grade point averages.
T (In Progress) Courses numbered 799 are restricted to thesis work (variable credit, 1-5 hours). Satisfactory progress in the thesis will be indicated by the grade of T. Unsatisfactory progress in the thesis will be indicated by the grade of U. Completion of the thesis will also be indicated by the grade of T. In addition, a Clearance Recommendation for Graduate Degree Applicants Form will be submitted to the Office of the Registrar to indicate successful completion (oral defense and final written paper) of the thesis.
The Pass/Fail program is designed to encourage students to investigate fields outside of their major curriculum in which they have a specific interest without affecting their grade point averages. The only grades assigned on courses taken under the Pass/Fail option are S for satisfactory and U for unsatisfactory. The student will be given the hour credit for courses in which an S is earned, but it will not be computed into the GPA. Specific provisions of the Pass/Fail program are as follows:
1. Students are permitted to exercise the Pass/Fail option only on free elective courses.
2. The Pass/Fail option is available to all undergraduate students except those whose semester or cumulative GPA is less than 2.0.
3. The Pass/Fail grading system is in effect for an indefinite period of time, subject to periodic review.
4. Students are permitted to take no more than eight courses on a Pass/Fail basis during their undergraduate careers.
5. A student wishing to exercise the option must have the permission of the department chair/school head and the advisor.
6. The option may be elected or revoked by the student no later than the last date for withdrawing from the course without a penalty.
7. Normal prerequisites may be waived for students taking a course on a Pass/Fail basis.
8. Courses taken under this option will be excluded from the calculation of the GPA.
9. A grade of S will be entered by the Registrarís Office from a regularly assigned passing grade; a failing grade will be registered as U.
10. No course carried on a Pass/Fail basis will be counted toward the 12 hours required for either the Presidentís or Deanís Honor List.
11. Graduate courses may not be taken on a Pass/Fail basis.
Grade Point Average
The grade point average is computed on the basis of all semester hours attempted for credit, except for credit hours carried under the Pass-Fail or audit options. Courses in which a grade of S, U, AUD, or W was earned are not considered in computing the GPA. See also the USCA Student Handbook for further information.
Following each semester a report of grades is sent to students at their permanent addresses. Grades are also available through the Visual Information Processing (VIP). These grade reports include a cumulative summary of all course work taken in the USC system, and students are encouraged to keep these grade reports since they are designed to also be used as unofficial transcripts.
In the event a student suspects a grade has been miscalculated or entered incorrectly, he/she should report the problem to the professor within thirty (30) days of receipt of the course grade. If an error has indeed been made, the professor should contact the Office of the Registrar for a course grade change form as soon as possible so the grade can be changed and the studentís records promptly amended. Should an impasse between professor and student occur, the student should refer the problem to the school head/department chair supervising the professor.
Certification of enrollment is based upon the total number of credit hours for which a student is registered at the time of certification request. Beginning and ending dates reported in enrollment certification conform to the official USCA academic calendar dates for the term requested. Undergraduate students who are enrolled in 12 semester hours or more for the fall and spring semester are considered full-time (disabled students may be eligible for modified full-time status; see Disability Services on page 13 for further information). During a regular summer session an undergraduate student must be enrolled in six semester hours or more to be considered a full-time student. Full-time fees are calculated on 12 semester hours or more. Full-time benefits for veterans are determined by the Veterans Affairs Office.
A transcript of a studentís record carries the following information: admission data; current status; a detailed statement of the scholastic record showing courses pursued with semester hours carried, semester hours earned, grades, grade points and system of grading. All failures, incomplete grades, and penalties such as probation, suspension or other restrictions are also indicated.
All requests for transcripts must be in written form and sent to: University Registrar; University of South Carolina; Columbia, South Carolina 29208. Transcripts are $8.00 each.
Forms for requesting transcripts are available in the Registrarís Office at USCA, but the actual transcript comes from the Records Office at USC Columbia. No transcript will be issued to a student who is indebted to any office on any University campus.
Classification is based on the total number of semester credit hours
earned. A student must have earned:
30 hours to be classified as a sophomore,
60 hours to be classified as a junior,
90 hours to be classified as a senior.
Students are classified at the beginning of each semester.
In accordance with the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, the University students have the right to review, inspect and challenge the accuracy of information kept in a cumulative file by the institution unless the student waives this right. It also ensures that records cannot be released in other than emergency situations without the written consent of the student, except in the following situations:
1. to other school officials, including faculty within the educational institution or local educational agency who have legitimate educational interests;
2. to officials of other schools or school systems in which the student intends to enroll, upon condition that the student be notified of the transfer, receive a copy of the record desired and have an opportunity for a hearing to challenge the contents of the record;
3. to authorized representatives of the Comptroller General of the United States; the Secretary of Education; and administrative head of an education agency or state educational authorities;
4. in connection with a studentís application for, and receipt of, financial aid;
5. to parents of an eligible student who claim the student as a dependent for income tax purposes. Upon receipt of the parentsí most recent federal income tax return listing the student as a dependent, access to the studentís records will be given. The student will be notified in writing sent certified mail that this access has been given.
6. where the information is classified as "directory information" the following categories of information have been designated by the University as directory information: name, address, telephone listing, date and place of birth, major field of study, dates of attendance, degrees and awards received, the most recent educational institution attended by the student, and other similar information. Students who do not wish such information released without their consent should notify the Registrarís Office prior to the first day of classes.
Questions concerning this law and the Universityís policy concerning release of academic information may be directed to the Registrarís Office.
Students enrolled at USCA are provided with a standardized, formal process for seeking a resolution when, in the studentís judgment, the student has been treated unfairly or improperly. This includes a situation in which a studentís academic progress has been adversely affected due to problems in the instructorís ability to write or speak English. Information regarding grievances and the grievance procedure is contained in the USCA Student Handbook.
Students enrolled in USCA off-campus programs, once a Change of School Form has been completed, shall be entitled to relief from any academic complaint or grievance through the student grievance procedure established in the applicable USC Regional Campus Student Handbook. After a judgment has been rendered on that campus, an appeal to the Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs at Aiken and a subsequent appeal to the USC Aiken Chancellor may be made.
Suspension and Probation
The suspension and probation policy described below went into effect in Fall 1991 and was revised in Spring 2001. It applies to all USCA students regardless of the year when they first started attendance at the University. Suspension and probation are based on the system cumulative GPA. The following chart shows the various levels of grade point hours and GPAís for both suspension and probation.
GPA Hours Probation
Levels Suspension Levels
0-14 Below 1.2 CGPA Not applicable
15-30 Below 1.4 CGPA Below 1.0 CGPA
31-45 Below 1.6 CGPA Below 1.4 CGPA
46-89 Below 1.8 CGPA Below 1.6 CGPA
90-105 Below 2.0 CGPA Below 1.8 CGPA
106 or more Not applicable Below 2.0 CGPA
Probation is a warning to the student that great effort should be taken to improve the cumulative system GPA in the next semester. It is quite likely that students on probation will eventually be placed on academic suspension unless they take their period of probation seriously. There is no separation from the University involved with probation, but students on probation may not take more than four classes (thirteen credit hours maximum) until the GPA rises above the probationary level. Students on probation should consult with their advisor and identify what changes need to be made in order to be successful. Students who fail to adjust their schedules to meet these guidelines will face cancellation of their schedules. Students placed on probation will be notified in writing by the Registrarís Office and will be reminded of this policy.
Suspension does mean that a student may not attend the University during the time of his/her suspension. For first suspension, this is one regular semester; for second suspension, two regular semesters; and for third suspension, the student may not return. The Registrarís Office sends both suspension and probation notices to the studentís permanent address. These notices include all the information students need concerning their ability to continue at the University and the petitioning procedure.
Students should be aware that once they are placed on suspension from the University they are no longer making satisfactory academic progress as required for the continued receipt of financial aid (see page 25). Students petitioning for reinstatement to the University under the procedure listed below must file a separate appeal through the Financial Aid Office in order to regain financial aid.
FIRST SUSPENSION: Students may attend summer school in the attempt to improve the cumulative system GPA. Only summer work taken at USCA or another USC campus can be used to calculate into this grade point average. Students on first suspension may also petition the Scholastic Standing and Petitions Committee (SS&P) to have the suspension lifted prior to serving it. The reinstatement petitions used for this are available in the Registrarís Office. Each semester a deadline for submitting these petitions is established and advertised in From the Registrarís Desk and the Schedule of Classes Booklet. It is also clearly stated in the individual letters sent to all suspended students by the Registrar. If the student is not successful in either summer school work or in petitioning SS&P and subsequently exhausts all means of appeal, he/she must sit out the semester of suspension. When the student wishes to return to USCA, all he/she needs to do is complete a readmit application in the Admissions Office.
SECOND SUSPENSION: Students may still attend summer school (only USCA or USC system campuses) in the attempt to improve the cumulative system GPA to the required level. Even if the GPA does improve to the necessary level, students on second suspension must still petition SS&P prior to their return. If a student on second suspension does not improve the GPA in summer school and fails to have a reinstatement petition approved and exhausts all means of appeals, he/she must leave the University for a period of two regular semesters. After this time has been served, the student must still petition SS&P for reinstatement when the student wishes to return.
THIRD SUSPENSION: Students may not return to USCA. Students on third suspension may attend summer school only if it can be mathematically proven that it is possible to improve the GPA to the required level during that time. This option is available only during the summer immediately after the indefinite suspension was issued.
The procedure for filing for reinstatement is the same for all students, regardless of their type of suspension and is shown below:
1. The student must first obtain a reinstatement petition from the Registrarís Office and complete the information requested. The Registrar then preps the petition and then presents it at the next meeting of SS&P.
2. There are set deadlines for the submission of these petitions. Reinstatement petitions for Fall semesters are due no later than August 1st. Spring reinstatement petitions are due the first day the University reopens after the New Year holiday.
3. Students who have Early Registered before the suspension list is run will have their registration cancelled unless the reinstatement petition is on file by the appropriate deadline.
4. SS&P may approve a petition and in doing so may attach certain stipulations. A student may be reinstated with the stipulation that he/she take only two courses, for example, or the student must obtain a certain GPA within that semester. SS&P may also disapprove a petition. The Registrar notifies students of all action taken. The Advisement Center is also notified, especially when students are reinstated with stipulations. Positive decisions made by SS&P cannot be appealed either to the Committee or the Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs.
5. Students whose petitions for reinstatement are disapproved may appear in person before the Committee at their next scheduled meeting.
6. If a reinstatement petition is denied after the personal appeal to the Committee, the student may request in writing a meeting with the Vice Chancellor.
7. Should the studentís petition be denied by the Vice Chancellor, the student may appeal to the Chancellor whose decision is final.
USCA honors the suspension and probation policies of other USC campuses and those campuses honor ours. If a student is placed on first suspension in Columbia, for example, and is later suspended from Aiken, the suspension for Aiken will be considered the studentís second one.
The Scholastic Standing and Petitions Committee also hears cases concerning suspension from the School of Nursing. Although these students are not suspended from the University, the paperwork and procedure is the same. Students who are suspended from the nursing program may still attend USCA during that period but are not allowed to take any nursing courses.
Standards for Students Under Academic Probation
Students who have been placed on academic probation and/or are attending classes by virtue of a suspension appeal approved by the Scholastic Standing and Petitions Committee may not participate in extracurricular activities, including but not limited to the following:
1. athletics, including intramural athletics;
2. cheerleading/dance team;
3. holding of any office, whether elected or appointed, in Student Government or any other group or organization sanctioned by USCA;
4. holding of any titled position on University-sanctioned publications; and/or
5. holding of any position and/or role in any dramatic production.
Academic Forgiveness for Former Students
Academic Forgiveness means that studentsí past failures are forgiven to allow them to resume their college careers with a realistic possibility of completing a degree. In essence, the program will allow the calculation of a grade point average (GPA) based on the studentís performance in courses taken after being granted forgiveness.
A student who meets all of the following conditions may apply for academic forgiveness:
1. The student was not enrolled at any academic institution for at least 48 months.
2. The student must be readmitted to a degree program at the University of South Carolina and must complete at least 24 hours of approved graded course work prior to applying for academic forgiveness.
3. After readmission to the university, the student must earn a cumulative GPA of at least 2.000 at the completion of the semester in which he/she becomes eligible for academic forgiveness and meets the progression requirements of his/her degree program.
4. The student has not previously been granted academic forgiveness.
A student who has met these conditions and desires to receive academic forgiveness must submit the application for Academic Forgiveness for the evaluation and signatures of the studentís advisor and school head/department chair. After obtaining these signatures and evaluation, the petition must be submitted to the Scholastic Standing and Petitions Committee. If the studentís written petition for academic forgiveness is denied, the student may request a personal appeal before the Scholastic Standing and Petitions Committee at their next regularly scheduled meeting. If the studentís appeal is denied, the student may appeal in writing to the Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs. If the petition is again denied, the student may appeal to the Chancellor, whose decision is final. After final action on the petition for academic forgiveness, the Chair of the Scholastic Standing and Petitions Committee shall inform the Registrar that academic forgiveness has been granted to the student.
Once academic forgiveness has been granted, the following apply to the studentís academic record:
1. All curriculum requirements will be in accordance with those in force subsequent to the studentís readmission.
2. THE STUDENT MAY NOT RECEIVE ACADEMIC HONORS UPON GRADUATION.
3. The studentís grade point average is recalculated beginning with the semester in which the student was readmitted to the university.
4. Courses in which the student received a passing grade prior to readmission and the granting of academic forgiveness may, at the discretion of the studentís school or department, be used for academic credit, but are not used in the calculation of the grade point average.
5. The following statement shall appear on the academic record of any student granted academic forgiveness: "This student was granted academic forgiveness under the University of South Carolina Academic Forgiveness Program. No courses taken prior to ________ are used in the calculation of the GPA, but those in which the student received a passing grade (C or better) may be applied to meeting degree requirements."
6. The permanent academic record will remain an unmodified record of all work attempted at the University of South Carolina. Non-USC credits and GPA are still shown for those students with transfer/transient work.
Each semester academic achievement is recognized by entering on the Presidentís Honor List or the Deanís Honor List the names of students who, in the previous semester, attained the following standards:
Presidentís Honor List: A grade point average of 4.0 earned on a minimum of 12 credited semester hours.
Deanís Honor List: A grade point average of 3.50 or higher (3.25 or higher for freshmen) earned on a minimum of 12 credited semester hours.
No course carried on a Pass/Fail basis nor correspondence courses will be counted toward the 12 hours required for the Presidentís or Deanís Honor List.
Graduation with honors will be based on a cumulative GPA calculated on the basis of all work in the studentís college career, including any transferred from other institutions. This calculation will include all courses attempted, not just those submitted to satisfy graduation requirements.
Transfer students must show, in courses taken within the USC System, a GPA which meets the level specified for honors being sought in order to qualify for this distinction. Transfer students must also have at least 60 hours in residence within the USC system to qualify for graduation with honors in a bachelorís program or 30 hours in residence for an associateís program. Courses taken by a transient student at another institution, by correspondence, by examination, or by exemption are not considered "in residence." Courses taken under the pass-fail option meet "in residence" requirements; however, courses taken under the "audit" option are not used since no credit is given. Finally, for transfer students the transfer GPA is averaged into the system GPA to determine the collegiate summary.
The following designations indicate a consistently high level of academic achievement throughout a studentís entire academic career.
Summa Cum Laude: A cumulative collegiate GPA of 4.0
Magna Cum Laude: A cumulative collegiate GPA of 3.75-3.99
Cum Laude: A cumulative collegiate GPA of 3.50-3.74
With Highest Honors: A cumulative collegiate GPA of 4.0
With High Honors: A cumulative collegiate GPA of 3.75-3.99
With Honors: A cumulative collegiate GPA of 3.50-3.74
Students who have specific questions concerning graduation
with honors should direct those questions to the Registrar.
Recognition of Honor Organizations at Commencement
Only academic honor organizations can be recognized at commencement. Recognition of the academic honor organization may include: the right of organization members to wear a designated honor symbol, such as a cord, and/or a brief description in the program of the honor organization with reference to its honor symbol. A one-time approval for recognition or for changes in the form of recognition must be obtained by the honor organization from the Campus Life Committee prior to March 1st of the academic year in which recognition is to be given.
Students wishing to receive a degree from the University must complete a degree application in the Office of the Registrar. This must be done by the deadline for that semester. When the form is complete, the Registrar will attach a printout of the studentís academic work so that the student can take the application and academic record to their advisor for the senior check. After the initial check by the advisor, the form is given to their respective department chair/school head for approval pending any course work to be completed that semester, then forwarded to the Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs.
The senior year of work (30 semester hours) must be completed in residence at the University and at least 12 hours of the studentís major courses must be earned at the University. At least 25 percent of semester credit hours applicable toward the degree must BE earned at USCA. One hundred twenty semester credit hours with a minimum system GPA of 2.0 are required for the baccalaureate degrees. Sixty credit hours (as outlined in the "Academic Programs" section of this bulletin) with a minimum system cumulative GPA of 2.0 and satisfaction of the residency requirement are required for the associate degrees.
Students who wish to participate in either the May Commencement or the December Convocation must have a minimum system GPA of 2.00 in addition to any GPA requirements of the major at the time of the ceremony.
Second Undergraduate Degree
At times the University confers a second baccalaureate degree upon candidates who have completed all requirements for a second degree, provided that the additional requirements for the second degree include a minimum of 24 semester hours beyond those required for the first degree and a minimum of 144 semester hours total. In all cases the student must fulfill the complete degree requirements for both degrees (this stipulation includes all general education and major requirements plus the rising junior writing proficiency portfolio). (It should be noted that a double major will not by itself lead to the conferral of a second degree.) Under this policy a student may apply for two degrees at one time or separately. The following options pertain: 1) the student receives two B.A. degrees; 2) the student receives two B.S. degrees; 3) the student receives a B.A. and a B.S. degree. A second degree can therefore be from another school/department within the University.
A double major consists of the complete fulfillment of all requirements for one degree and all of the major course requirements of a second. Be advised that a double major does not lead to a second degree. For double majors, if one or both of the studentís two major programs normally require a cognate or minor, that requirement is met with the second major. All requirements for the double major must be completed before graduation. The diploma and the baccalaureate degree will be awarded for the program for which all of the degree requirements have been met.
All students who wish to pursue a double major must come by the Advisement Services Office to complete a change of program form. Each student must complete this form so that he/she may be assigned an advisor in each major area.
The mission of the USCA Honors Program is to provide educational opportunities and support for the academically well qualified and highly motivated student. The student participant completes special assignments in one or more regular academic courses as approved by the Honors Program Steering committee. There are no separate honors courses. Each Honors experience results from the studentís quest for greater knowledge in a subject area and the desire to work more closely with a particular professor.
The Director of the Honors Program can provide students with all the details of this program. Eligibility for incoming students is based upon SAT scores and letters of recommendation; eligibility for continuing and transfer students is based upon hours earned and GPA standards, as well as letters of recommendation in certain cases. Students who are accepted into the program must request honors work in each specific class by means of an Honors Contract. The faculty member supervising the work as well as the Honors Program Steering Committee must approve each contract. Honors contracts must be submitted to and approved by the Honors Program Steering Committee by the end of the third week of each semester. Any contracts not approved by this committee can be appealed to the Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs.
The type of work done in an Honors Contract will be tailored to the skills, interests, and resources of the student as well as to the interests and abilities of the faculty member. This work will be negotiated in the contract. The additional requirements in the contract will be evaluated on a pass with Honors basis if the student has successfully passed the additional requirements to the satisfaction of the faculty member and has received a grade of at least a B or better in the course.
Students who successfully complete four Honors Contracts during their college career are honored at graduation for being in the Honors Program. Completion of at least one Honors Contract during the academic year will allow a student to be honored at the annual academic convocation each April. Additionally, the studentís transcript is noted with an "H" designation by each course undertaken for Honors.
Assessment, in a university or college setting, means several things. Assessment is the process of evaluating the success of a university in meeting its mission (institutional assessment), and it is the process associated with evaluating student learning outcomes in relation to stated program goals (program assessment). It is also a process that uses course-embedded assessment activities to evaluate student learning (classroom assessment). Assessment at USCA, then, is the ongoing process of self-improvement by analyzing and evaluating academic programs and university services through a variety of methods and measurements.
The Office of Institutional Research and Assessment assists faculty, staff and administrators in gathering data to evaluate the effectiveness of USCA programs and services. The mission of the Office is to coordinate and implement an overall academic assessment program for the University that reflects USCAís institutional mission statement, and includes the assessment of general education and the assessment of the academic disciplines. In the area of assessment, the Office seeks to:
ē Assess effectively the basic skills of entering students (with between 0-30 credit hours) and exiting students (with between 85-100 credit hours), and to assess other attitudes and skills during appropriate points of a studentís under- graduate experience.
ē Coordinate and monitor the assessment of academic programs.
ē Serve as the primary assessment consultant to the University administration, academic units, departments/schools, and faculty committees.
ē Serve as the primary academic assessment liaison to outside agencies and institutions.
ē Conduct and analyze survey research of academic programs, as needed.
ē Conduct workshops, as needed, on assessment-related issues.
Student participation in assessment activities is a university priority and obligation and is mandatory. All students wishing to receive a baccalaureate degree from USCA must complete procedures required for the assessment of general education, and by their major and/or their area of concentration and by other areas deemed important by the institution to measure its effectiveness. Primary responsibility for the assessment of academic programs within a major or area of concentration, including graduate programs, is with the faculty in each academic unit. Information pertinent to assessment of the major or area of concentration is provided to students by the department from which the degree will be granted.
Primary responsibility for assessing the effectiveness of our General Education curriculum and with other educational quality indicators lies with the Office of Institutional Research and Assessment and the University Assessment Committee. The Office administers the assessment of general education, other exams, interviews, focus groups, surveys, questionnaires, and/or other instruments as a part of the Universityís assessment process.
For USCAís General Education program assessment, the Office of Institutional Research and Assessment notifies students of times, dates and locations of required assessment procedures. Letters are sent to the studentís official home of record, and an attempt is made to telephone the student at the telephone number which the University has on file. Therefore it is important for all students to make the University Records Office aware of their current local address and phone number at all times. If a student fails to participate in a required assessment activity, a "hold" will be placed on that studentís record. The "hold" will indicate that the student will not be allowed to register for classes and/or that no diploma, certificate, grade report, or enrollment verification will be issued to or for the student. This "hold" will be removed after the student completes the required assessment(s). Generally, assessment tests are administered during March/April and October (around advisement but before pre-registration) and during July and August Orientations for new students. If a student does not take the required assessment during the regularly scheduled times of administration, and wishes to complete enrollment and registration or have a diploma, certificate, grade report or enrollment verification issued, that student must pay a $50 (fifty dollar) administrative charge and arrange for individual testing with the Office of Institutional Research and Assessment.
Although assessment is a required activity, the results of any individual, institutional assessment activity may not be used for the evaluation of any individual studentís academic progress. Assessment results are compiled and used in the aggregate form; all individual responses are kept confidential. All university assessment reports are the responsibility of the Office of Institutional Research and Assessment. For further information on assessment at USCA, the student should contact the Office of Institutional Research and Assessment at 803/641-3205.
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University of South Carolina Aiken
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