Academic Policies and Regulations
The following policies govern academic activities at MacMurray. Other policies are published in The Maggie (PDF), the student handbook. Students are expected to be aware of and follow these policies and regulations. Exceptions to any of the scholastic regulations of the College require the approval of the Academic Standards Committee. Petitions for exceptions are filed with the Registrar.
Classification of Students
Students are classified according to the number of career semester hours earned, including transfer, Advanced Placement, and CLEP credits as well as credits earned at MacMurray.
- Freshmen: fewer than 28 hours.
- Sophomores: 28 to 59 hours.
- Juniors: 60 hours to 89 hours.
- Seniors: 90 hours or more.
Part-time students are students who register for not more than 11 semester hours during a regular semester. Part-time students pay tuition at the current hourly rate in day or evening classes.
Part-time students should consult the Office of Financial Aid for information concerning financial aid. Any residential student changing status from regular full time to part time must seek permission to remain in the residence halls from the Coordinator of Residence Life.
In order to live in a residence hall, a student must be registered for a full course load in each term. Under special circumstances the Academic Standards Committee may permit a resident student to register for fewer than 12 academic hours in a semester. Such a student will be classified as a part-time student and must secure permission from the Office of Student Life to live on campus during the semester.
A full-time resident student who is given permission to drop below 12 hours during a given semester remains classified as a regular full-time student and pays full tuition.
Semester Course Load
Five courses (15 hours) represent a normal schedule. Students wishing to take more than 18 academic hours must get the approval of the Registrar.
Assignment of Credit
Federal Credit Hour Definition: A credit hour is an amount of work represented in intended learning outcomes and verified by evidence of student achievement that is an institutionally-established equivalency that reasonably approximates not less than:
- one hour of classroom or direct faculty instruction and a minimum of two hours of out-of-class student work each week for approximately fifteen weeks for one semester or trimester hour of credit, or ten to twelve weeks for one quarter hour of credit, or the equivalent amount of work over a different amount of time;
- at least an equivalent amount of work as required in paragraph (1) of this definition for other activities as established by an institution, including laboratory work, internships, practica, studio work, and other academic work leading toward to the award of credit hours. 34CFR 600.2 (11/1/2010).
MacMurray adheres to the definition in paragraph (1) for lecture courses on campus. An hour of direct instruction is 50 minutes for a MWF class period, which makes a 3-credit course meet for 150 minutes over the course of a week for the fall or spring term, regardless of whether that's three 50-minute periods a week, two 75-minute periods a week, or one 150-minute period a week. Summer and other accelerated terms on campus have the same time requirement over the term but have additional meetings or longer meetings each instance to come up to the same overall time.
Laboratory and studio work have one credit hour as 2 to 3 hours in the lab/studio with the instructor weekly over the course of the term.
Similar to lab and studio work at three hours/week for 1 credit, internships, practica, and other forms of experiential learning earn one credit for about 45 hours of work in the field or on site over the course of the term.
Auditing a Course
A student wishing to audit a course first secures the approval of the faculty member teaching the course and then the approval of the Registrar. The student auditing a course prepares assignments at the option of the teacher and has the option of taking the hour examinations but is not permitted to take the final examination in the course. No grade is reported for an audit, and no credit is given. The audit is noted on the transcript if completed. There is an audit fee for part-time students, but there is no fee for a full-time student wishing to audit a course. The decision to audit a course must be made at the time of registration.
Visiting a Course
A student wishing to visit a course secures the approval of the faculty member teaching the course. The number of hours of visitation is not included in the student's total course load. The visitor may participate in class discussion at the option of the teacher but does not prepare assignments or take examinations. The visitor's status is not noted on the transcript.
Registration is defined as the acceptance of the completed official registration by the Registrar. Late registration requires the permission of the Registrar or the Dean of the College. A late registration fee is charged after three class days if the student has not completed the registration procedure.
Changes in schedule following registration day should be initiated in the Office of Records and Registration and require approval of the faculty members involved and the student's advisor. Students continue in each course for which they are registered until formal approval for a change is granted.
Courses may be added to students' programs during the first five days of the semester. Students obtain the signature of the course instructor and the faculty advisor on the Add/Drop form, available from the Office of Records and Registration. After the first five days, courses may be added only with the special approval of the Academic Standards Committee.
Courses may be dropped from students' schedules without leaving a record on the official transcript until the ninth day of the semester. Students obtain the signature of the course instructor and the faculty advisor on the Add/Drop form, available from the Office of Records and Registration.
Withdrawing from Courses
After the tenth day of the semester, students have until the week after midterm to withdraw from a course, using a form available in the Office of Records and Registration. The student must obtain the signature of the course instructor and the faculty advisor on the form.
The instructor will indicate one of three grades on the form: W for withdrawal, WP for withdrawal while passing, or WF for withdrawal while failing. The grade and the course will be listed on the student's permanent transcript. The grade will have no effect on the student's grade point average, but it may affect a student's future financial aid. If the withdrawal leaves a resident student with fewer than 12 credit hours, the student must obtain permission from the Office of Student Life to continue to live on campus.
Withdrawing from the College
A student wishing to withdraw from the College must initiate the withdrawal procedure in the Office of Student Life. The student must file official withdrawal forms in order that housing and financial aid records may be brought up to date and the academic record cleared. A student withdrawing without notification is not in good standing.
The College also reserves the right to enforce the withdrawal of any student if, in the judgment of the appropriate administrator or disciplinary body or the Academic Standards Committee, it is in the best interest of the College. The College may take such action without making any charges of misconduct. A student may be dismissed for poor academic work or for conduct that is contrary to College standards. The judgment of the officers of the College is final in such cases.
Pass/Fail Grading Option
Students may register for courses on a Pass/Fail grading basis if the courses are outside the general education requirements (including courses used to satisfy the Applied Arts, Sciences, and Humanities and Diversity and Global Awareness requirements), if the courses are not required by the student's major or minor program for the area of concentration, and if the courses are outside the foreign language requirement for students seeking the Bachelor of Arts degree. Courses offered only on a Pass/Fail grading basis may be used to meet requirements.
A maximum of 12 hours may be completed on the Pass/Fail grading basis. The student may register for a course on the Pass/Fail grading basis only after consulting with the faculty advisor. Permission of the teacher of the course is not a requirement for registration in a course on the Pass/Fail basis.
Grades of A, B, C, and D in a course taken on the Pass/Fail grading basis will be interpreted as Pass and will be entered on the student's permanent record as the grade P. The grade of P will not be computed in the student's semester or cumulative quality point averages, but a grade of P will count as part of the hours successfully completed in any semester. Grades of F, interpreted as Fail, will be entered on the permanent record and will enter into the computation of the grade point average.
The student registered in a course on the Pass/Fail grading basis is required to do all the work in the course. Such a registration is not interpreted as an audit or a visit. The decision to enroll in a course Pass/Fail must be made at the time of registration. The final date for changing registration in a course from the Pass/Fail basis to the conventional grading basis, or from the conventional basis to the Pass/Fail basis, is the last day to drop a course.
Class Attendance/Absence Policy
The Faculty of MacMurray College requires the student to be responsible for understanding and learning the material in a course. Students are expected to attend all classes. The Illinois State Assistance Commission also requires attendance as a "demonstration of academic progress toward a degree."
Specific policies regarding attendance are set by each individual faculty member and are explained in writing in the syllabus for each course. Each syllabus is on file in the Registrar's Office and is available online via the My Mac.edu portal. These policies should be followed in the event of illness, funerals, adverse weather conditions, etc., which could cause the student to be absent.
Students who are going to miss class should notify their professors of absences in advance. Students should then show to each faculty member written statements from physicians, lawyer, etc., where such documentation exists.
For some emergency or privacy-sensitive situations, absence notices are sent out by the Registrar's Office or other relevant offices. Examples of these incidents include the hospitalization of a student; the death of a parent, grandparent, sibling, spouse, or child; and a required court appearance. Subsequently documentation should be provided.
The decision of whether to excuse absences due to non-emergency situations is left to each professor.
Absences caused by participation in events sponsored by the College, such as athletic events, choir concerts, field trips, workshops, etc., may be excused. Students have the responsibility for arranging in advance to make up missed work. The relevant organization (class, coach, etc.) should provide documentation in the form of a roster and time-schedule or itinerary.
In all instances students are expected to conform to the requirements published in the syllabus of each course. Students should communicate directly with each professor about whether absences are excused and about making up work.
Nothing in the class attendance policy shall be construed as relieving the student from responsibility for the total course content. Students who fail to follow this procedure, and who have not received prior approval from the instructor for absences, may receive a failing grade.
All students are sent reports of mid-semester and final grades. Reports will also be sent to parents or guardians if students give written permission.
Students who have three final examinations in one day may be relieved of the middle examination at the scheduled time. The arrangement for an alternate time is made by the Registrar. Permission to be absent from the final examination of a regular course must be secured from the Academic Standards Committee and is given only for cause beyond the student's control.
Scholastic standing is indicated by the following system of grades and quality points.
- A — excellent work; four quality points for each semester hour.
- B — good work; three quality points for each semester hour.
- C — average work; two quality points for each semester hour.
- D — poor work but passing; one quality point for each semester hour.
- F — failure in the course; no quality points earned.
- P — pass; no quality points earned. Used for Pass/Fail courses.
- AC — audit completed; no quality points earned.
- I — incomplete; represents work that, through no fault of the student, is not completed by the close of the semester. This grade is assigned in case of illness and emergencies of similar urgency beyond the control of the student. The instructor in the course must obtain permission of the Registrar in order to award an Incomplete. The Incomplete may become any grade upon satisfactory completion of the work within the time allowed. Work not completed within the stipulated time will be assigned a grade of F.
- W — official withdrawal from the College or from a course without grade assessed; no quality points earned. The drop date for formal withdrawal from a course is the second Friday after midterm.
- WP — withdrawal from a course while passing the course; no quality points earned.
- WF — withdrawal from a course while failing the course; no quality points earned.
- Repeat courses — both the original and the repeat course with their grades remain on the permanent record. Whichever grade is highest is used in computing the cumulative grade point average; the other grade is disregarded.
The Academic Standards Committee, which determines the academic standing of students, has the right to treat each student's case on its merits. The primary consideration is the probability that the student can meet the academic standards of the College and achieve graduation in not more than 12 full time semesters or their equivalent. The committee may consider courses attempted, credits and grades earned, and the trend of performance. Students will be placed on academic probation if they have a cumulative grade point average below:
- 1.50 at the end of the first semester of freshman year;
- 1.75 at the end of the second semester of freshman year;
- 2.00 at the end of any later semester.
Any student who is on academic probation, and any student who has a grade point average of 1.00 or less for the preceding semester, is ineligible to represent the College in any campus musical organization, intercollegiate athletics, and other programs where the student is representing the College to the public.
Exception: A student on academic probation whose grade point average for the preceding semester is at least 2.00 will be allowed to participate in all College activities, including athletics. During the preceding semester the student must have completed at least 12 credit hours of courses with letter grades.
Only grades earned at MacMurray are included in calculating the grade point average for probation or dismissal.
Any student whose cumulative grade point average is less than 1.00 after the second semester will be dismissed. Any student who has been on academic probation for the first two semesters at MacMurray, who remains on academic probation after the next semester, will be dismissed. Any student with three semesters on academic probation will be dismissed. A student who has been dismissed twice for unsatisfactory scholarship will not be readmitted.
Within thirty days from the date of the dismissal notice, a student who has been dismissed for academic reasons may appeal the dismissal to the Vice President for Academic Affairs and Student Life, citing extenuating circumstances.
Students are responsible for observing the requirements for the chosen degree and major and the proper sequence of courses and other requirements.
Students whose enrollments are interrupted for at least four consecutive semesters will forfeit the automatic right to use the requirements in effect at the time of original matriculation. The Registrar, in consultation with faculty in the student's major, will review these cases on an individual basis.
Assessment: In addition to fulfilling all requirements for a degree — general education requirements, major requirements, total hours, minimum grade point average — various methods of assessing student learning are prominent on campus and participation is expected as part of general education. Each major and academic program has assessment of student learning built into it. In addition, there are college-wide assessments of college-wide outcomes such as the Junior Writing Proficiency Examination and Assessment Day testing.
Application for Graduation: In addition to fulfilling all requirements for a degree — general education requirements, major requirements, total hours, minimum grade point average — a student must file with the Registrar's office an Application for Graduation, specifying when the student wants the degree. The degree will be awarded at the end of any term after the student has completed all requirements. Ordinarily this will be as soon as the student is eligible, but the date of graduation may be postponed if the student wishes.
Incomplete Grades: Completing Requirements Between Terms: If a student finishes all requirements for graduation after the end of one term but before the end of the next, for example completing an Incomplete grade, the student's degree may be dated at the end of the earlier term, if the student so specifies on the Application for Graduation. But no matter how long an Incomplete grade has been pending, the date of the degree cannot be earlier than the end of the term immediately preceding completion.
Participating in Commencement: Commencement exercises are held once a year, after the end of the Spring Term and before the May Term. All students who have completed graduation requirements during the preceding academic year and filed an Application for Graduation may participate and receive their diplomas. Students who have not completed all requirements for graduation but anticipate doing so by the end of the MacMurray summer session may also participate in Commencement. They will be in a separate group at the end of the student procession and will receive their diplomas when they fulfill all requirements.
An official transcript of credits may be ordered electronically through Parchment (see information on the MacMurray College Academics page. In accordance with the Federal Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, telephone or email requests cannot be accepted. Further information can be obtained by calling the Registrar's Office at 217-479-7014.
A statement concerning the status of the student is part of the transcript. Any student not in good standing academically is so reported. Official transcripts will not be issued for students whose bills are unpaid or whose student loans are in default.
Language Policy for International Students
If an international student in the first semester at MacMurray has serious difficulty with the English language to the extent that he or she fails a course, the failure is not recorded on the transcript. The College interprets the class work as orientation in the English language. The student may repeat that course and, upon its satisfactory completion, the grade and credit hours will be entered for the semester in which the student satisfactorily completes the work.
A student whose native language is not English and whose primary preparation has been in a language other than English, may designate English as a second language. He or she will then be considered to have met the college standards for proficiency in a second language upon successful completion of RHET 131 and 132.