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 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 our Moodle site (requires a MacMurray College account). These policies should be followed in the event of illness, funerals, adverse weather conditions, etc. which could cause the student to be absent.
Student are responsible for knowing the following.
- Students who are going to miss class should notify their professors of absences in advance. Students should then show each faculty member written statements from physicians, lawyers, 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. Students should communicate directly with each professor about whether absences are excused and about making up work.
- There are no automatically "excused" absences caused by participation in events sponsored by the College, such as athletic events, choir concerts, field trips, workshops, etc. These absences may be excused based on the following.
- Students have the responsibility for arranging in advance to make up missed work.
- Students should notify their instructors of scheduled absences at the beginning of the semester or as soon as that information is available to them.
- Faculty and staff who are responsible for coaching or coordinating College-sponsored activities should provide students with the dates of scheduled absences as early as possible in the semester and provide faculty with verified rosters and dates of scheduled absences at the earliest point possible.
- If exact dates are unavailable, the number of scheduled absences and their approximate dates should be provided.
- To the extent that coaches and coordinators have control of the number of scheduled absences, they should be prudent in the number of absences they require of students.
- The relevant organization (class, coach, etc.) should verify the roster and time-schedule or itinerary by sending it to the Provost's Office at least 24 hours prior to the event.
- In all instances, students are expected to conform to the requirements published in the syllabus of each course.
- In some courses, even excused absences can result in course failure due to the number of classes missed, the nature of the course, and division-specific policies.
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.
Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy
Federal regulations require that MacMurray College establish and implement a policy to measure if a financial aid recipient is making satisfactory academic progress (SAP) towards a degree. The same policy will be applied to measure all students' academic progress. Satisfactory academic progress is measured by evaluating three criteria: quantitative progress, qualitative progress, and progress toward degree completion. These criteria evaluate the quantity of academic work students complete, the quality of academic work completed, and overall progress towards earned the intended degree.
This policy indicates the standards that are used to measure SAP at MacMurray College for purposes of determining academic standing and financial aid eligibility. This policy applies to all students who are enrolled at the College (full time and part time).
SAP evaluations will be completed at the end of each academic term (i.e., fall, spring, or summer semester) after final grades have been recorded. Timely submission of grades is essential. The review will determine academic standing and eligibility for the next upcoming term. Any financial aid offered for the year in advance is conditional upon satisfactory academic progress and is subject to cancellation. Each student's record will be reviewed under the direction of the One-Stop Student Services office. Students will be notified of their failure to meet SAP guidelines via letter and college email.
Criteria for Satisfactory Academic Progress
Maximum Degree Completion Timeframe
Federal regulations specify that a student must complete his/her degree within 150% of the published length of the program. The maximum time frame for which a student may receive federal financial aid may not exceed 150% of the published length of the program measured in credit hours. For instance, if the published length of an academic program is 120 credit hours, the maximum time frame during which a student will be considered in good standing and eligible for financial aid must not exceed 180 total attempted credit hours. Attempted credits include earned credits, repeated courses (both attempts), withdrawn credits, failures, incompletes, and accepted transfer and advanced placement credit. Federal regulations do not allow for the exclusion of courses in which a student has remained past the drop period and earned a grade of W from its calculation of the maximum time frame. Students completing a second bachelor's degree must complete their program within a total of 180 attempted credit hours.
Required Completion Rate
A student should make steady progress towards earning their degree by completing a minimum number of credits each semester. Students must successfully complete at least 67% of all credits attempted. Attempted credit hours are defined as any course that the student is enrolled in after the add/drop period expires at the beginning of each term. Successfully completed credits are defined as the number of credits in which the student receives a grade of A, B, C, D, P, or CR. Transfer credits accepted by MacMurray will be counted as successfully completed credits.
Withdrawn credits will be counted as credits attempted if they occur after registration or the add/drop period has ended. F grades and incomplete grades are counted as credits attempted but not completed. Repeated classes are counted in credits attempted each time a course is taken.
The 67% completion rate is monitored at the end of each academic term and is always cumulative. Developmental, or remedial, coursework will be counted as hours attempted and earned for the purposes of determining cumulative completion rate.
Required Grade Point Average (GPA)
A student must maintain a successful cumulative grade point average (GPA). The below chart illustrates minimum GPA requirements. Transferred courses will not count in the GPA. Developmental, or remedial, coursework will be counted in the cumulative GPA for the purposes of determining satisfactory academic progress. Repeated coursework will count in the cumulative GPA; whichever grade is highest is used.
|# of semesters at MacMurray College||Required Cumulative GPA|
|3 or more||2.00|
Academic Good Standing and Financial Aid Good Standing Status
Students meeting all of the SAP minimum requirements will be considered in Good Standing.
Academic Probation and Financial Aid Warning Status
A student who does not meet any of the SAP minimum requirements will be placed on Academic Probation and on Financial Aid Warning status. Warning status is only for one term during which the student may continue to receive financial aid funding and attempt to regain Good Standing by meeting minimum SAP requirements.
Academic Dismissal and Loss of Financial Aid
A student who does not meet the SAP minimum requirements for a second consecutive semester will be academically dismissed and lose financial aid eligibility. Students may appeal to be readmitted to the College and to regain financial aid eligibility.
Students may appeal dismissal and loss of financial aid by describing extenuating and/or unusual circumstances, explaining why the student failed SAP and how the student plans to meet SAP during the next term if the appeal is approved. Appeals are submitted to the Academic Standards committee, via the One-Stop Student Services office. Students with approved appeals will be placed on SAP probation, described in the next section. An appeal may be submitted; however, MacMurray College reserves the right to deny students' appeals. Failure to meet SAP in any subsequent term will result in academic dismissal and loss of financial aid eligibility.
Students with successful appeals will be placed on SAP Probation. SAP Probation students will be required to complete an academic plan for one or more terms, which must be followed to ensure continued eligibility to remain enrolled at MacMurray and eligibility of financial aid. SAP Probation students have one term to regain good standing unless the academic plan allows otherwise, depending on the student situation. Students who meet the goals outlined in their academic plan after one semester will be automatically placed on another semester of SAP Probation without having to appeal, even if minimum SAP is not yet met.
Reinstatement of Academic Good Standing and Financial Aid Eligibility
Students who earn unsatisfactory academic progress may regain eligibility by raising the cumulative GPA to the minimum standard and/or making up the credit deficiency. Completing a semester at another institution may allow the student to achieve the SAP standards or in many cases, demonstrate the ability to achieve SAP requirements. Keep in mind that credits taken elsewhere will not resolve the required GPA component of SAP but may be used to resolve the Completion Rate requirement. Simply sitting out of school for a semester or two will not restore eligibility for a student who has lost eligibility to receive financial aid funding due to not meeting SAP standards. It is necessary to make changes to the GPA or Completion Rate that achieve the SAP standards to reestablish aid eligibility.
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 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.