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    Rivier University
   
 
  Sep 24, 2017
 
 
    
2015-2016 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Academic Policies


 This page contains information about the following topics:

 

Academic Grievance Procedure

All efforts should be made to observe the Code of Professional Conduct, as described in this section of the catalog. Grievances may nonetheless occur. In such cases, they are often best resolved informally by the individuals directly involved. If informal resolution cannot occur, formal procedures may be followed.

Procedure

The aggrieved student should approach and attempt to resolve the matter informally with the faculty member or other official involved. If this attempt does not resolve the matter, or if the student has sufficient reason to believe that the faculty member cannot resolve it, the student should contact the dean of the division. This must be done within ten calendar days following the time of the alleged violation or grievance. Nursing students see Nursing Student Handbook.

The dean will attempt to resolve the matter to the satisfaction of both the student and faculty, which may involve contacting the Department Coordinator/Program Director. Written statements may be requested from both parties by the dean, who will attempt to resolve the issue as soon as is reasonably feasible. The decision of the dean shall be forwarded in writing to all parties, including the Associate Vice President for Student Success.

If the student remains unsatisfied, a formal grievance may be filed within ten calendar days of this written communication. The grievance, with all relevant data attached, is submitted in writing to the Associate Vice President for Student Success, who will appoint a chair for a review committee consisting of two faculty or staff from outside the department involved.

A meeting will be scheduled as soon as possible and the decision communicated in writing to the parties involved within three days of the meeting. Formal representation by legal counsel is not permitted. The meeting is academic in nature, and the student represents him or herself at this meeting. Within ten days of this communication, a final appeal in writing may be made to the Vice President of Academic Affairs, who will review all the pertinent data and make the final decision on the matter.

Academic Honesty

Plagiarism and cheating are serious breaches of academic honesty. In general, plagiarism is defined as the presentation of someone else’s work in whatever form: copyrighted material, notes, film, art work, reports, statistics, bibliographies, and the like, as one’s own, and failing to acknowledge the true source. Quoting word-for-word, or almost so, or using the argumentation of another source without acknowledging this dependence also constitutes plagiarism. Cheating is defined as the giving or attempting to give or to receive unauthorized information or assistance during an examination or in completing an assigned project. Submission of a single work for two separate courses without the permission of the instructors involved is also a form of cheating.

If students are unsure whether a specific course of action would constitute plagiarism or cheating, they should consult with their instructor in advance.

Penalties for plagiarism and cheating vary with the degree of the offense and may take the form of the following academic sanctions:

  • the grade of F for the work in question;
  • the grade of F for the course;
  • notification of the division dean and/or the Associate Vice President for Student Success of the misconduct of the student;
  • recommendations that the student be suspended or dismissed from the University.

Academic Standing

(See Nursing Student Handbook for academic information pertinent to the nursing program.)

A graduate student whose cumulative grade average falls below B (3.0) is grade deficient and is placed on academic probation. The student has one additional semester to regain satisfactory standing. A student demonstrating an inability to perform at the graduate level will be subject to dismissal. Any extension of this time will be subject to the recommendation of the dean of the division and the Associate Vice President for Student Success.

If a student earns two failing grades, the student may be dismissed from graduate study. A failed course may be repeated once. Only the second grade earned affects the grade point average, but the failure remains on the transcript. Courses in which a student receives a grade of C or better cannot be repeated for credit.

Internships and practicums are not regarded as regular courses and normally cannot be repeated when a failing grade is incurred. Individual programs may have additional requirements.

Academic Suspension or Dismissal

Rivier University reserves the right to suspend or dismiss any student for failure to maintain a satisfactory academic record or demonstrate acceptable behavior in keeping with the University mission and/or the Code of Professional Conduct.

Auditing

The auditing of courses is permitted only with an official registration. A student who audits courses receives no credit and is exempt from all assignments and examinations.

The nature of some courses does not allow them to be taken on an audit basis. Audit status is authorized on a space-available basis. A change of status from Credit to Audit or vice versa can be made only within the Add/Drop period.

A record of attendance is kept as with any other student. When a student attends at least 80 percent of class meetings, audit status is recorded on the academic record; otherwise the student receives a W.

Change of Name or Address

Changes in a student’s home address, or phone number can be updated through MyRiv Student portal. Name changes are made by the Office of the Registrar when accompanied by appropriate supporting documentation.

Class Attendance

  1. Students are expected to attend all class sessions.
  2. In the event of prolonged illness or other emergency, graduate students should notify the instructor in writing as well as the dean of the division.
  3. If absent from three or more classes, the student’s continuation in the course will be determined by the instructor and the dean of the division. If a student is absent from the first two classes of a course, the student cannot continue in the course without approval of the dean/program director.

Confidentiality of Student Records

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) affords students certain rights with respect to their education records. These rights are:

(1) The right to inspect and review the student’s education records within 45 days of the day the University receives a request for access.
Students should submit to the Registrar written requests that identify the record(s) they wish to inspect. The Registrar will make arrangements for access and notify the student of the time and place where the records may be inspected. If the records are not maintained by the University official to whom the request was submitted, that official shall advise the student of the correct official to whom the request should be addressed.

(2) The right to request the amendment of the student’s education records that the student believes is inaccurate or misleading.
Students may ask the University to amend a record that they believe is inaccurate or misleading. They should write the University official responsible for the record, clearly identify the part of the record they want changed, and specify why it is inaccurate or misleading.
If the University decides not to amend the record as requested by the student, the University will notify the student of the decision and advise the student of his or her right to a hearing regarding the request for amendment. Additional information regarding the hearing procedures will be provided to the student when notified of the right to a hearing.

(3)The right to consent to disclosures of personally identifiable information contained in the student’s education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent.
One exception, which permits disclosure without consent, is disclosure to school officials with legitimate educational interests. A school official is defined as a person employed by the University in an administrative, supervisory, academic, or support staff position (including law enforcement unit and health staff); a person or company with whom the University has contracted (such as an attorney, auditor, or collection agent); a person serving on the Board of Trustees; or assisting another school official in performing his or her tasks. A school official has a legitimate educational interest if the official needs to review an education record in order to fulfill his or her professional responsibility.
Upon request, the University discloses education records without consent to officials of another school in which a student seeks or intends to enroll.

(4) The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by the University to comply with the requirements of FERPA. The name and address of the Office that administers FERPA is:

Family Policy Compliance Office
U.S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Avenue, SW
Washington, DC 20202-4605

Code of Professional Conduct

All students who enter the graduate program at Rivier are bound by a Code of Professional Conduct. The Code contemplates that professional, ethical and mature behavior is expected of each student at all times. Every student must conduct himself or herself from the moment of matriculation with maturity and professionalism. Every graduate student is expected to read the code and be responsible for its contents.

Purpose

Rivier University recognizes the need for a Code of Professional Conduct (CPC) to govern the behavior of graduate students in all fields of academic endeavors. The components of this code are designed to prevent occurrences that would bring discredit either to the School of Graduate Studies or to individual graduate students.

Scope

The scope of the CPC is limited to actions by students which occur as a result of their association with the School of Graduate Studies in either on or off campus settings. This code governs activity in the classroom and in any professional setting where the student is identified with Rivier University.

Violations

  • It shall be a violation of the CPC to plagiarize. Plagiarism is defined as the presentation of someone else’s work in whatever form: copyrighted material, notes, film, art work, reports, statistics, bibliographies, and the like, as one’s own, and failing to acknowledge the true source. Quoting word-for-word, or almost so, or using the argumentation of another source without acknowledging this dependence also constitutes plagiarism.
  • It shall be a violation of the CPC to cheat during the conducting of an examination. Cheating is defined as giving, receiving, or using unauthorized materials during the conducting of an examination. Disclosing examination questions by a student who has taken an examination or receiving examination questions by a student who has not taken an examination, is cheating under the CPC.
  • It shall be a violation of the CPC to hand in the work of another student as your own work.
  • It shall be a violation of the CPC to participate in any unauthorized cooperation between two or more students in the preparation of material to be turned in for a grade when collaborative work is expressly prohibited by the instructor.
  • It shall be a violation of the CPC to intentionally keep a copy of examination questions after the testing period has elapsed if the instructor expressly specifies that the examination questions are to be returned.
  • It shall be a violation of the CPC to take another student’s book or personal property from Rivier University premises without authorization. Students’ papers (including examinations) are the property of the individual student. Reading such material without the consent of a student to whom the material belongs is a violation of the CPC.
  • It shall be a violation of the CPC to fail to check out or return library materials to their proper location within the appointed time or to deface any library materials.
  • It shall be a violation of the CPC to alter or deface any official documents or records of Rivier University.
  • It shall be a violation of the CPC to intentionally make false or misleading statements either to the administration, the faculty or other persons associated with the University.
  • It shall be a violation of the CPC to present a resume containing false or misleading information to prospective employers or to other individuals associated with Rivier University
  • It shall be a violation of the CPC to conduct oneself in a nonprofessional manner during an internship or any other professional activity while representing Rivier University
  • It shall be a violation of the CPC to conduct oneself in a manner inconsistent with the mission of Rivier University or with expected professional and ethical behavior.

Infraction of the Code of Professional Conduct

Penalties for plagiarism and cheating vary with the degree of the offense and may take the form of the following academic sanctions:

  • The grade of F for the work in question;
  • The grade of F for the course;
  • Notification of the divisional dean and/or the Associate Vice President for Student Success of the misconduct of the student;
  • Recommendations that the student be suspended or dismissed from the University.

All efforts should be made to observe the Code of Professional Conduct. Grievances may nonetheless occur. In all cases where a violation of the Code of Professional Conduct has been alleged, informal redress by the persons involved is the first step. If informal resolution cannot occur, formal procedures may be followed.

Degree Requirements

For degree requirements of each program, consult the appropriate section of this catalog.

  1. A cumulative B (3.0) average in all courses taken at Rivier University.
  2. Completion of departmental requirements for the degree program, which may include the following:

Comprehensive Exams

Comprehensive examinations for some Master’s degree programs are administered in March, July, and November, or at a time arranged between the student and the divisional dean. The student is allowed to take the comprehensive written examination upon completion of the total number of courses for the degree, or during the semester in which course work is completed. The student must notify the dean of an intention to take the comprehensive examination. Any student who fails the examination is allowed to retake it once. Check the department for alternatives to the comprehensive examination.

Examinations for Education Programs

Students enrolled in education programs leading to certification are required to successfully complete all elements of Praxis I Academic Skills Assessments and/or Praxis II Subject Assessments outlined in their program of study. Contact the Education Department for details.

Portfolios

Portfolios required in some degree programs are submitted at the end of a student’s course work and represent a profile of work completed at Rivier University.

Thesis

A master’s thesis is applicable in some programs. The thesis topic, together with a tentative outline and bibliography, must be presented for approval to the thesis advisor of the major department.

Degree Program Completion Requirements

All work for a master’s degree and for the Certificate of Advanced Study must be completed within six years of matriculation. All work for the doctoral degree must be completed within seven years of matriculation. Any extension time and time limitation must be reported in writing. Approval is given by the Associate Vice President for Student Success and the dean of the division.

Directory Information

Rivier University, in compliance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), may, without the student’s approval, release the following directory information: Student’s name, ID card picture, address, telephone number, date of birth, major field of study, class year, dates of attendance, enrollment status, degrees and awards received (if any), place of employment, most recent previous educational agency or institution attended, and e-mail address. Students are given the opportunity to restrict the release of any or all directory information at the time of registration.

Drop/Add Policy

Graduate students should refer to their program department for procedures regarding dropping and/or adding a course. The Registrar’s Office provides specific dates each semester for the drop/add period. A student is responsible for following current registration policy.

Earning Two Degrees or a Second Certificate, Certification 

Under some circumstances, students enrolled in a Master’s degree program at the University, or graduates of the University, may seek recognition of additional study in the C.A.G.S program or by earning a certificate or certification in a different area. For example:

  1. Students who have completed requirements for a M.Ed. degree without Special Education certification may wish to return to complete the Special Education Certification.
  2. Graduates of a Master’s degree program may wish to return to the University to earn a second degree of the same rank in a different field. (earned a M.Ed-want to pursue an M.A. or M.S)
    The requirements and restrictions for continuing studies are explained below.

Process for Continuing to a 2nd program of Studies
Students enrolled in, or graduates of, a Master’s degree or other Graduate level program at Rivier University are encouraged to continue their studies to further their professional expertise in another or related field of study. The following guidelines are to be applied.

  1. Students who continue their studies without interruption in their studies may do so without formally reapplying to the University.
    • Students need to obtain the authorization of the Program Director or Dean in their new area of specialization.
    • If the request is approved, students complete the Degree/Program Change Form which the Program Director or Dean signs and forwards directly to the Registrar’s Office.
    • They are subject to the program requirements in effect at the time of the change.
  2. Students or Graduates of a Master’s degree program who continue their studies without interruption but in a different Master’s level program may do so without formally reapplying to the University.
    • Students need to obtain the authorization of the Program Director or Dean in their new area of specialization.
    • If the request is approved, students complete the Degree/Program Change Form which the Program or Dean signs and forwards directly to the Registrar’s Office.
    • They are subject to the degree/program requirements then in effect.
  3. Students or graduates of any Master’s level program or the Doctoral program who interrupt their studies for more than one year, and then wish to continue in the same or other Master’s level program
    • Must seek readmission to the University through the Graduate Admissions Office.
    • They are subject to the degree requirements then in effect.

Enrollment Status

Full and Part-time Status

Full-time and part-time enrollment status for each fall and spring semester, and summer terms, is determined according to the following table:

Graduate

 
Credits Status
9 Full-time
5-8 Half-time
1-4 Less than half-time
   

Doctorate

 
Credits Status
8 Full-time
4-7 Half-time

Leave of Absence

A leave of absence is a period during which students defer their studies but maintain their matriculated status. During this time, they are not entitled to any of the services of the University provided by the payment of tuition or fees. An application for a leave of absence may be filed at any time during the academic year for the following semester (s). The total leave allowed a student during his/her graduate program is two semesters (one year). A student who desires a leave of absence must complete a Leave of Absence form available from the appropriate program coordinator in order to complete arrangements for a leave. A date of return will be agreed upon in advance and stated on the Leave of Absence form. A copy of this form is forwarded to the Registrar’s Office. A student who does not return on the agreed date will be considered to have withdrawn from the university. A leave of absence may be granted to any student in good academic standing and in compliance with the code of professional conduct. A leave of absence does not waive the mandatory six-year requirement; that is, any student requesting a leave of absence must complete the program within six years of date of acceptance. In the case of a doctoral student, any student requesting a leave of absence must complete the program within seven years of the date of acceptance. Students who return to the University after an approved leave of absence will not be required to submit an application for readmission to the Office of Graduate Admission. If a student does not officially apply for a leave of absence, he/she must reapply to the University to finish his or her degree.  (See the Admissions section of the catalog for details.) Students are further advised that lending agencies do not consider a leave of absence a substitute for registered status.

 Examination Attendance

A graduate student who is absent from an announced test, a mid-term examination, or a final examination and wishes a makeup examination must obtain the approval of the instructor.

Goals of the Graduate School

Through its curriculum, the Rivier University School of Graduate Studies enables students to:

  • Further develop creative approaches to problem solving, promote intellectual curiosity, and engender a lifelong commitment to learning;
  • Engage in ethical personal and professional conduct, as well as pursue a strong commitment to social justice, in order to serve the disciplines and communities which students will participate;
  • Develop a sense of the sacred and of the dignity of the human person, particularly as expressed through the Catholic tradition;
  • Develop the ability to place one’s discipline in an historical, cultural, and global perspective;
  • Apply advanced critical and creative reasoning, both qualitatively and quantitatively, and demonstrate advanced communication ability in a variety of modalities;
  • Function as skilled professionals in their chosen careers, or consolidate an advanced understanding of their disciplines.

Grade Report

At the end of the term , faculty post final grades to the student portal, MyRiv for each student. To protect the confidentiality of student records, grades or GPA are never reported by telephone or faxed. Presentation of a valid photo ID must be made to receive a copy of transcripts or grades in person. “Unofficial copies” of the grade report can be obtained from the student portal, MyRiv.

Grade Review

When a student finds cause to question a grade, the request for review is first made in writing to the course instructor no later than 30 days after the issuance of the final grade. A copy of this request must be submitted to the Office of the Associate Vice President for Student Success and to the dean of the division. All such requests must address the process followed in arriving at the final grade and not the professional evaluation of student work.

Grading System

A student’s rating in each course is determined by the combined results of tests, examinations, class and laboratory work, written and oral presentations, projects, and other requirements made by the instructor of the course. This rating is reported by the instructor in accordance with the grading system shown below. Grade reports are issued by the Office of the Registrar.

Course grades represent the instructor’s assessment that a student has demonstrated the following skills at an appropriate level of achievement for that course:

  1. an understanding of course material and discipline-specific concepts;
  2. the ability to apply one’s understanding and knowledge;
  3. the ability to communicate in writing, orally, visually, and/or quantitatively;
  4. the ability to think critically about course concepts;
  5. the ability to make and support value judgments about course material;
  6. the ability to amalgamate concepts and ideas and shape observations, broadening the scope the course.

A (4.0)
Indicates a level of excellence in completing the goals of the course, understanding the concepts of the discipline, and in demonstrating skills of applying, valuing, judging, synthesizing, and communicating. (Numerical equivalent: 94-100)

AB (3.5)
Indicates a high level of achievement in completing the goals of the course, understanding the concepts of the discipline, and in demonstrating skills of applying, valuing, judging, synthesizing, and communicating. (Numerical equivalent: 90-93)

B (3.0)
Indicates a satisfactory level of achievement in completing the goals of the course, understanding the concepts of the discipline, and in demonstrating skills of applying, valuing, judging, synthesizing, and communicating. (Numerical equivalent: 84-89)

BC (2.5)
Indicates a low level of achievement in completing the goals of the course, understanding the concepts of the discipline, and in demonstrating skills of applying, valuing, judging, synthesizing, and communicating. (Numerical equivalent: 80-83)

C (2.0)
Indicates that a student has taken the course but that the student’s knowledge of the subject matter reflects an unsatisfactory level of achievement. (Numerical equivalent: 74-79)

F (0)
Indicates that the student has insufficient understanding of the course material and insufficient achievement in applying, communicating, or evaluating and synthesizing course material. No credit is given. (Numerical equivalent: 0-73)

P (0)
Indicates that the student has passed a course or sufficiently completed a non-graded course that has been designated by the program faculty and has been approved by the Academic Council for P/F grading. The accumulation of grades of pass (P) in proposal and dissertation research does not imply completion of the research; such grades indicate satisfactory progress. (Numerical Equivalent: 84-89)

W
Indicates withdrawal from a course, which can be done no later than the tenth week of a regular semester or by the end of the fourth week of a summer session.

I
A student is expected to complete the requirements of each course by the end of the semester or term in which the course is offered. If for some major reason beyond her/his control the student is prevented from taking the final as scheduled or does not complete some part of the course requirements, the student may ask the instructor to assign the temporary grade of Incomplete “I”. This request must be made before the scheduled final examination. It is the student’s responsibility to remove this temporary grade before the end of the fourth week of the following semester or term. (See the University Calendar). Otherwise, the student automatically incurs an F for the course. In unusual cases, the student may request in writing an extension of this period. The extension may not exceed a three month period and must have the approval of the Associate Vice President for Student Success.

AU (0)
Indicates that the student has merely audited the course without credit.

Graduate Assistantships

Graduate assistantships are, at times, available in some academic departments. Students interested in graduate assistantships should contact the Vice President of Academic Affair’s office.

Graduation

Application to Graduate

Students submit a formal notification of intent to graduate, The Application to Graduate form, to the Office of the Registrar. This form is available from the Office of the Registrar or on the the University’s website. Deadlines for returning the forms are August 1 for the September 2 graduation; December 1 for the January 2 graduation; and February 1 for the May graduation. All official transcripts, CLEP scores and Challenge Exam scores must be submitted to the Office of the Registrar by the application deadline dates. Students should not assume that filing the Application to Graduate assures that the degree will be received that year. Students are advised to check with their program director/faculty advisor in their department to be certain that all requirements for graduation have been met. Students who complete degree requirements before May graduation are eligible to participate in the Commencement ceremony. Students are responsible to make sure that all financial accounts are settled in full before diplomas are issued.

Conferring of Degrees

Degrees are conferred by the University in September, January, and May. However, the University holds only one Commencement exercise each year in May.

When the student completes all degree requirements, the Registrar’s Office will, upon request, provide a letter attesting to this fact prior to receiving the diploma. An Application to Graduate must be received in the Office of the Registrar in order for a diploma to be ordered. (See Application to Graduate.)

Registration

An officially registered student is one who has submitted course selections with the necessary approvals and has made the necessary financial arrangements with the Business Office.

The Student must have financial clearance from the Business Office at the time of registration for each session. The University website also has registration information at www.rivier.edu.

A student may not attend class until financial clearance is received and the student is officially registered. 

Students who have obtained twelve credits and who have not officially applied for admission into a graduate degree program are not allowed to register until they complete the application process or file their non-degree status with the Office of the Registrar.

Repeat Policy

(See Nursing Department section for information pertinent to Nursing students.) Students who receive a grade of F (0.0) in a course may repeat it once for credit. All grades, including F remain on a student’s transcript, but only the last grade earned is used in computing the cumulative grade-point average. A repeated course is counted only once in fulfilling degree requirements.

Senior Citizens

Persons 60 years old or over may enroll in a number of courses for half the tuition cost plus fees, on a space-available basis, if courses are taken for credit. If courses are taken for noncredit, they are charged only fees.

Transcripts

Official transcripts may be requested in writing via mail, fax, or in person. Requests for official transcripts must include the student’s name, social security number, approximate dates of attendance, the address where the transcript is to be sent, and the student’s signature. No transcripts will be released until all financial obligations to the University are met. Official transcripts carry the University Seal along with the registrar’s signature. The envelopes will be sealed with the registrar’s stamp, and the official transcript enclosed stamp. All official transcripts being issued to student directly will be stamped “issued to student”. Unofficial transcripts may be accessed via the student portal, MyRiv, on the Rivier home page. The unofficial transcript may be printed out.

Transcript request forms are available from the Registrar’s Office at www.rivier.edu/registrar. The completed form is to be returned to the Registrar’s Office. (Fax (603) 897-8811)

At this time, Rivier University determines that the use of facsimile equipment is not a secured means of transmitting educational records. Because the University cannot safeguard the privacy of the student’s records, the University will not fax transcripts, grade reports or other academic information.

Transfer Credits

Candidates for a master’s degree at Rivier University may transfer a maximum of nine graduate credits, provided that: (1) these credits were earned at an accredited college or university, (2) these credits are of a B grade or better, (3) the course (s) were completed within the past six years (4) these credits have been approved by the dean/program director of the division.

Withdrawal from a Course

A student who wishes to withdraw from a course must notify the Office of the Registrar. Students may contact the Office of the Registrar by telephone, e-mail, or fax. Due to multiple start times within each semester, please contact the Business Office for refund information. To receive a grade of “W”, the student should check the academic calendar for official withdrawal dates; otherwise the student incurs a failing grade (F). A student who does not notify the Office of the Registrar will automatically receive a grade of F.

Withdrawal from the University

A student who wishes to withdraw from the university must notify the divisional dean or program director of the department in writing.