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    Providence College
   
 
  Feb 18, 2018
 
 
    
2015-2017 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Academic Policies and Procedures


All graduate programs are regulated by the general requirements of the graduate program catalog. Each student is responsible for knowing the content of this publication and for satisfying the specific requirements and standards of the graduate program in which he or she is enrolled.

Grading System

Providence College uses the following scale to determine grades and corresponding grade point averages for courses offered by the graduate programs:

A Superior 4.00 points per each credit hour completed
A-   3.67 points per each credit hour completed
B+ Very Good 3.33 points per each credit hour completed
B Good 3.00 points per each credit hour completed
B-   2.67 points per each credit hour completed
C+ Above Average 2.33 points per each credit hour completed
C Average 2.00 points per each credit hour completed
C-   1.67 points per each credit hour completed
F Failure 0.00 points per each credit hour completed
P Pass

Passing in Pass/Fail course; this grade is not computed in the GPA.

AU Audit Student attends class in non-credit capacity; this grade is not computed in the GPA.
I Incomplete

No quality points will be averaged into the GPA.

NC Not Completed

Course not finished within required time. No quality points will be averaged into the GPA.

NM No Mark Instructor has not submitted grade; becomes “NC” if not completed within one academic year.
WD Withdrawal Approved withdrawal from a course; this grade is not computed in the GPA.

Note: The College does not round grade point average; the official GPA is truncated to the hundredths digit.

Course Offerings

Course schedules are posted on the CyberFriar Web site (http://cyberfriar.providence.edu/). New students may register for courses either in person, by fax, or by mail. Students who have previously taken a course at Providence College are encouraged to register online via CyberFriar. In order to access CyberFriar, you will need your Banner ID and PIN. If you experience difficulty accessing this site, contact the Office of Enrollment Services at 401.865.1033 for assistance. 

NOTE: College policy states that payment or proof of payment must be made at the time of registration in order to secure enrollment. Failure to do so will result in being dropped from the course for non-payment and re-registration is subject to a $100 fee. The College reserves the right to cancel classes due to insufficient enrollment.

Repeating a Course

A student may repeat any course taken at Providence College. Various courses are defined as repeatable for credit such as performance-based courses or special topic courses where the content changes each semester. In all other cases, consultation with the program director is required prior to registration to repeat a course with an earned grade from a previous semester. Students considering repeating a course should be aware that only the most recent grade and credits will be counted in the student’s GPA or academic requirements, whether or not it is higher than the earlier attempt. A repeated course is noted on the transcript with an “I” (included in the GPA) or an “E” (excluded from the GPA) to designate the relationship of the course to the student’s academic record.

Satisfactory Progress

If a degree candidate does not maintain a “B” (3.00) average, his or her status will be reviewed immediately by the appropriate academic director in consultation with the appropriate faculty members of the department. Such review may result in the candidate being placed on probationary status or dismissed from the program. Students who are permitted to continue on probationary status must achieve a cumulative average of “B” (3.00) or better in graduate level coursework during the next semester. Students failing to achieve the necessary “B” (3.00) average will be subject to dismissal.

Incomplete grades that are incurred must be completed within one academic year. After that time, an incomplete will be converted to NC and the student will have to register for and successfully complete the course again if s/he wants to receive credit for it. A student who has two incompletes or NCs may not register for another course without written permission from the dean of undergraduate and graduate studies. Exceptions to this deadline may be given in cases of deployment of students who are on active duty in the United States Armed Forces, National Guard, or Reserve.

Petition for Reinstatement

A student dismissed from a graduate program has the right to file a petition for reinstatement. A petition for reinstatement, which should include the specific reasons why the petition has merit, must be filed in writing to the Office of the Dean of Undergraduate and Graduate Studies within the time frame noted in the letter of dismissal; otherwise, the petition will not be heard absent extraordinary circumstances. On a petition for reinstatement, the Exceptions Committee of the Graduate Council may, at its discretion, allow a student who has been dismissed to be reinstated either in a good or probationary status in the degree program. If the Committee denies the petition for reinstatement, the dismissal decision is final.

Length of Program

Students are permitted five calendar years from the date of acceptance into the program for completion of all requirements, with the exception of the programs in theology which allow 10 years for completion. Students who have not registered for a course in two years will be classified by the College as inactive in the program. Any inactive student can only be reactivated with permission of the Program Director who will meet with the student to design a completion plan. The time to complete the degree resumes at the time of reactivation.

Interrupted Program of Study

If a student engaged in graduate study leaves the College for a significant period before completing the degree, courses may be counted toward the program of study, with the approval of the program director, if the time period of interrupted study is less than 10 years. That is, the period between the last and present (or new) enrollment does not exceed 10 years.  

In special circumstances, courses completed more than 10 years previously may be counted toward a degree, if, in the judgment of the school dean in consultation with the program director, the College’s curricular requirements and the content of those courses have not undergone significant change during the period of interrupted study.

Courses completed 10 or more years previous to any current enrollment will not be counted in the student’s grade point average, unless the school dean has made specific course exemptions from this policy. The transcript will indicate separate sets of courses, those completed 10 or more years previous to a new or continued enrollment and those registered after the student’s return to the College.

Academic Amnesty

A student applying for readmission to Providence College after a leave of five or more years may present to the dean of undergraduate and graduate studies a petition for academic amnesty for academic work completed five or more years previous to the term of readmission.

Academic amnesty, if allowed, will remove from any calculation of the student’s grade point average and from any calculation of courses or credits needed for all work that was completed during the period for which academic amnesty has been granted. At the time of the application for readmission, the student must file an application for academic amnesty and must acknowledge in writing that, once academic amnesty has been granted, it will not be rescinded.

Academic amnesty will not be on a course-by-course basis and will apply to all terms and therefore all courses and credits completed at Providence College during the period for which amnesty is granted. Amnesty may not be granted on a selective term-by-term basis. The student must identify the term at which academic amnesty begins; the award of academic amnesty will then cover all coursework undertaken from the beginning of the amnesty period to the time of application for readmission.

Transfer Credits

Graduate courses which have not been applied toward another degree are evaluated for transfer by the individual program director for suitability to the requirements of their particular program. Additionally, the transfer of graduate courses is governed by the following College policies:

  1. A maximum of six graduate credits may be transferred;
  2. They must be from an accredited institution of higher learning;
  3. They must have been taken within five years of the date of transfer (unless an exception is made for a particular course by the program director); and
  4. A minimum grade of “B” is required.

For MBA courses, syllabi are reviewed to assist in determining equivalency with Providence College MBA courses. Distance learning courses from institutions not AACSB accredited are excluded.

CyberFriar

Continuing students who have already applied for admission or who have taken courses in previous semesters may access the CyberFriar Web site (http://cyberfriar.providence.edu/) to register for courses, view course schedules, and make schedule changes. Additional features will be made available throughout the semester including:

  • access to final grades
  • access to billing and financial aid information
  • access to individual transcripts and degree audits (curriculum advising tools)
  • ability to view personal information

While some information is available through CyberFriar’s “public” access views, many of its features are only available through the system’s secure password-protected log-on page for members of the Providence College community. Every Providence College student and faculty and staff member is assigned his or her own unique Banner ID and Personal Identification Number (PIN).

All new students will be sent their log-in information for CyberFriar. Log-in information for Sakai, the campus network, and e-mail will also be included. If a student has not yet received a Banner ID, they should contact the Office of Enrollment Services at 401.865.1033. The initial PIN is randomly generated. Users must change the PIN to something more unique for each system. Changing the PIN in one system does not automatically change it in the others. As with all personal information, it is vitally important that the utmost confidentiality is maintained with the Banner User ID and PIN, since those with access to a user’s personal Banner ID and PIN would have full access to view or alter personal information (addresses, registered courses, etc.).

Course Archive/Reactivation Policy

The College maintains an archive of courses that have not been offered in recent years and are not expected to be offered in the near future. Academic departments/programs may choose to reactivate courses from the archive within 10 years from when last offered upon review by the Executive Subcommittee of the Graduate Council. Please visit the Enrollment Services Web site for the current list of archived courses.

Student Identification Cards

All matriculating graduate students should obtain a photo PC ID card by applying in Harkins Hall, Room 404, between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. (a photo will be taken). The PC ID Card serves as on-campus identification and allows students to borrow books from the library and use other campus facilities. Graduate students may add money to their card for use on campus in dining areas, laser printers, and vending and copy machines.

Transcripts

The transcript is the student’s official academic record. Official transcripts are sent at the written request of the student to other colleges or universities, graduate schools, or prospective employers. The student’s written request must be received before a transcript will be released. The student can complete a Transcript Request through CyberFriar, via the Transcript Request Form available on the Office of Enrollment Services’ Web site (http://www.providence.edu/enrollment-services/students/Pages/request-transcript.aspx) or in person in the Office of Enrollment Services, Harkins Hall, Room 310. Transcripts will be withheld if the student has a financial obligation to the College. Allow two weeks for processing a transcript request.

Confidentiality of Student Educational Records

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) of 1974, as amended, is a federal law governing the privacy of personally identifiable information in student educational records that provides specific rights to students with respect to those records. A student is any person who attends or has attended the College. Education records are any records (in handwriting, print, tapes, film, computer, or other medium) maintained by the College or an agent of the College that are directly related to the student. Education records include financial aid, academic, disciplinary and health records, and other personally identifiable information.

A personal record kept by a faculty or staff member, if it is kept in the sole possession of the maker of the record, is not accessible or revealed to any other person except a temporary substitute for the maker of the record, is not used for purposes other than a memory or reference tool, and is not an educational record. Grades on peer-graded tests or assignments before they are collected and recorded by a faculty member are not educational records. A record created and maintained by the Office of Safety and Security for law enforcement purposes is not an educational record. An employment record of a person whose employment is not contingent on the fact that he or she is a student is not an educational record. A record made or maintained by a physician, psychiatrist, psychologist, or other recognized professional or paraprofessional, if the records are used only for treatment of a student and made available only to those persons providing the treatment, is not an educational record (other laws protect the confidentiality of medical or treatment records). An alumni record that contains information about a student after he or she is no longer in attendance at the College and that does not relate to the person as a student is not an educational record.  

A student has the following rights: to inspect and review his or her educational records; to request an amendment to a record that the student believes is inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise in violation of the student’s privacy rights under FERPA; to provide written consent before the College discloses personally identifiable information from the student’s education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent; and to file a complaint with the Family Policy Compliance Office of the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by the College to comply with the requirements of FERPA. In accordance with FERPA, the College provides annual notice to students regarding these rights.

The College’s policy is to release information from a student’s educational record directly, and only, to that student. There are a number of exceptions to this non-disclosure policy, including one for health or safety emergencies. The law permits the College to disclose otherwise private and confidential information from an education record to appropriate parties in an emergency situation if knowledge of the information is necessary to protect the health or safety of the student or other individuals. Appropriate parties may include school officials, parents, law enforcement authorities, emergency responders, public health officials, medical personnel, and other members of the community.

The College is permitted, with or without a student’s consent, to inform parents when their student has violated any law or College policy regarding the use or possession of alcohol or a controlled substance if the student is not yet 21 years of age. The College is permitted to disclose to anyone the final results of a disciplinary proceeding conducted against a student who is an alleged perpetrator of a crime of violence or a non-forcible sex offense if it is determined that the student committed a violation of the College’s own rules or policies with respect to such crime or offense. In any disciplinary proceeding alleging a crime of violence or non-forcible sex offense, both the accuser and the accused will be informed of the final results and any sanction imposed against the accused.

The College is permitted to disclose any and all education records, including disciplinary records, to another institution at which a student seeks or intends to enroll if that information is related to the student’s enrollment or transfer; this includes but is not limited to updated or corrected information.      

The College discloses education records without a student’s prior written consent under the FERPA exception for disclosure to school officials with a legitimate educational interest in the records.   A school official is a person employed by the College in an administrative, supervisory, academic or research, or support staff position (including Safety and Security staff and Student Health Center staff); a person or company with whom the College has contracted as its agent to provide a service instead of using College employees or officials (such as an attorney, auditor, or collection agent); a person serving on the Board of Trustees; or a student serving on an official committee, such as a disciplinary or grievance committee, or assisting another school official in performing his or her tasks. A school official has a legitimate educational interest in the educational record if the official needs to review the record in order to fulfill his or her job-related responsibilities.

Disclosure without consent is permitted when the College is returning records to the apparent creator (e.g., of a transcript or letter) to verify authenticity. Disclosure without consent is permitted to comply with a judicial order or lawfully issued subpoena, provided the College makes a reasonable effort to notify the student of the order or subpoena prior to release unless the subpoena specifies that notice is prohibited.

Disclosure without consent is permitted to lending institutions in connection with an application for or receipt of financial aid. Disclosure without consent is permitted to Veterans Administration officials.  

As of January 3, 2012, the U.S. Department of Education’s FERPA regulations expand the circumstances under which education records and personally identifiable information (PII) contained in such records - including Social Security Numbers, grades, or other private information - may be accessed without the student’s consent. First, the U.S. Comptroller General, the U.S. Attorney General, the U.S. Secretary of Education, or state and local education authorities (“Federal and State Authorities”) may allow access to student records and PII without the student’s consent to any third party designated by a Federal or State Authority to evaluate a federal- or state-supported education program. The evaluation may relate to any program that is “principally engaged in the provision of education,” such as early childhood education and job training, as well as any program that is administered by an education agency or institution. Second, Federal and State Authorities may allow access to education records and PII without the student’s consent to researchers performing certain types of studies, in certain cases even when we object to or do not request such research. Federal and State Authorities must obtain certain use-restriction and data security promises from the entities that they authorize to receive a student’s PII, but the Authorities need not maintain direct control over such entities. In addition, in connection with Statewide Longitudinal Data Systems, State Authorities may collect, compile, permanently retain, and share without student’s consent PII from education records, and they may track participation in education and other programs by linking such PII to other personal information about the student that they obtain from other Federal or State data sources, including workforce development, unemployment insurance, child welfare, juvenile justice, military service, and migrant student records systems.

A student has the right to block the release of directory information. Directory information is student data not generally considered harmful or an invasion of privacy if disclosed; the College, at its discretion, may release directory information. Currently, directory information is limited to the following: name; address (local and permanent); telephone listing (local and permanent); e-mail address; date and place of birth; major field of study; class year; participation in officially recognized activities and sports; height/weight of members of athletic teams; enrollment status (e.g., full-time or part-time); dates of attendance; degrees and awards received; and previous education institutions attended. A student may, to the extent permitted by FERPA, block the release of directory information by filing timely, written notice with the Office of Enrollment Services.

All personally identifiable information not included as directory information is confidential. That information includes, but is not limited to, the following: name of a student’s parent(s) or other family members; address of a student’s family; a personal identifier such as a Social Security number or student number; race/ethnicity; gender; a list of personal characteristics; academic evaluations and grades; transcripts and other academic records; scores on tests required for a new student; and a student’s class schedule.

If a student wishes to authorize disclosure of confidential information to parents/guardians or any other designated individual, institution, or entity, a Release of Information Authorization Form must be filed with the Office of Enrollment Services, Harkins Hall, Room 310. Once the appropriate written authorization by the student is received in this office, designated individuals may be informed of the student’s status at Providence College with respect to grades, academic standing, and financial obligations; this authorization remains in effect for as long as the student is enrolled at the College. If at any time after submission of the form the student wishes to revoke consent or modify the list of individuals, institutions, or entities authorized to receive confidential information, a new authorization form must be completed and submitted to the Office of Enrollment Services.

Students may obtain more detailed information about FERPA, including the procedures for exercising their rights, in the Office of Enrollment Services, Harkins Hall, Room 310.​

Policy on Drug-Free Campus

Providence College, in compliance with the Drug Free Schools and Communities Act Amendment of 1989, has adopted and implemented a program to prevent the illicit use of drugs and the abuse of alcohol by students and employees of the College, which includes enforcement of policies and standards of conduct with respect to behavior on College property and behavior at any College-sponsored events.

Discipline

Refer to the Providence College Student Handbook for a detailed description of College policies, student responsibilities, rights of and grounds for appeals, and disciplinary procedures.

Academic Integrity

Our Judaeo-Christian heritage and our commitment to the intellectual and moral growth of our students are central to the Mission of Providence College. We are committed to developing the habits of living a productive life that includes the conscious and public practice of integrity. Our Mission inspires us to pursue Truth, and to identify God as Truth, and thus we are committed to cultivating the virtue of honesty in all aspects of campus life, especially in our pursuit of Truth in the classroom. We recognize that violations of integrity are harmful not only to our own pursuit of Truth, but are detrimental to the entire learning community of our College in that they dishonor our efforts and compromise our dedication to a spirited pursuit of learning. To such an end, we expect our faculty, students, and administrators to support this culture of honesty, integrity, and respect for the Truth. We believe that the best way to assure that our community embraces a lifelong commitment to integrity is through the full participation of students in the process of development and implementation of a policy that allows for practice of integrity among our entire College community.

I. Definitions and Responsibilities

A. Definitions

The principal violations of academic integrity include, but are not limited to, plagiarism, cheating, forgery, lying, and collusion. Types of academic activities governed by this policy include, but are not limited to, exams, quizzes, papers, graded homework, group assignments, online assignments, lab projects, lab reports, or any other assignments given by an instructor.

1. Plagiarism: copying or stealing the thoughts, ideas, descriptions, or arguments of another person and presenting them as one’s own or attributing them to oneself.

2. Cheating: practicing deception or fraud by obtaining information in ways contrary to rules or instructions.

3. Forgery: creating a false document or altering a real one to be used as if genuine. This practice includes signing another’s name without permission.

4. Lying: knowingly telling an untruth verbally or in writing, including knowingly telling instructors, deans, or other officials untruths.

5. Collusion: assisting or attempting to assist another student in an act of academic misconduct; working together on an assignment meant to be completed independently.

6. Fabrication: submitting contrived or altered information in any academic exercise, such as making up data, citing nonexistent articles, contriving events and sources of information.

7. Duplicate Submissions of the same work: submitting any work for the purpose of fulfilling a subsequent assignment without appropriate revision to meet the instructional goals of the current course. In cases of uncertainty or ambiguity, a student should consult with the instructor.

B. Responsibilities

1. Students: Students are expected to understand this policy and to exercise diligence in following it. They are to take credit only for work that they have completed through their own efforts within the guidelines established by the instructor. When aware of an instance of academic misconduct, students are expected to notify the instructor, department chair, or dean of undergraduate and graduate studies, with or without revealing the name of the person committing the violation.

2. Faculty: In each course, the instructor is expected to address students on academic integrity and how it applies to the assignments for that course; the academic integrity policy should be included among the other policies of the course that are articulated or referenced in the syllabus. Faculty members are expected to take appropriate measures to prevent the occasion for collusion, such as using different exams for separate testing periods. Instructors are expected to treat students in a fair and uniform fashion and to report each act of academic misconduct in accord with this policy. 

II. Adjudication of Acts of Academic Misconduct

A. Initial Determination of Infraction

The instructor who observes or suspects an act of academic misconduct first must discuss the incident with the student(s). The instructor may request that his or her department chair be present at that discussion. The instructor is expected to treat the student(s) respectfully and fairly, and the student(s) are expected to respond honestly to the questions posed. If the instructor is convinced that an act of academic misconduct has occurred, he or she shall impose an appropriate sanction in the form of compensatory course work, a grade reduction, or a failing grade, consistent with the academic integrity policy of the course. The sanction should reflect the gravity of the infraction and the instructor’s assessment of the student’s intent.

In all cases where the instructor has determined that there has been a violation of academic integrity in which a penalty has been imposed, he or she is required to report, in writing, the infraction to the student(s), to the chair or program director(s) related to that course, and to the dean of undergraduate and graduate studies, within 7 days of the determination that an act of academic misconduct has occurred. A form for this purpose is available online: http://www.providence.edu/dean-office/undergraduate-students/Pages/forms.aspx .  Once the report is filed, the dean of undergraduate and graduate studies shall notify the student(s) in writing.

B. Review Process

1. Determination of Review

If the dean of undergraduate and graduate studies, in consultation with the involved parties (the student and the instructor), determines that the infraction is very grave, or if the student’s file includes documentation of a prior finding of “responsible for violating the academic integrity policy,” then she or he shall require that the case be reviewed by the Academic Integrity Review Board. In all other circumstances, the student is not obligated to proceed with a hearing before the Academic Integrity Review Board if he or she accepts the sanctions imposed by the instructor.

If a student feels that he or she has been wrongly accused of an infraction of the Academic Integrity Policy, or believes that he or she has been unjustly penalized for the same, he or she has the right to appeal to the Academic Integrity Review Board. If two or more students are jointly accused of the same infraction, their cases will normally be considered individually, except in extraordinary cases as determined by the dean of undergraduate and graduate studies.

A student who wishes to appeal the instructor’s conclusion that the policy has been violated and/or the specific sanction imposed by the instructor must appeal in writing to the dean of undergraduate and graduate studies. The student must submit his/her appeal within one month of receiving the instructor’s sanction, unless the dean determines that extraordinary circumstances warrant an appeal filed later than one month after the student is notified. An appeal of an instructor’s sanction can be initiated by the respondent only.

2. Academic Integrity Review Board

The Academic Integrity Review Board shall consist of seven regular members:

a) two faculty members appointed by the president of the College, (one of whom will be designated by the president as the chair of the board), and one faculty member appointed by the Faculty Senate;

b) three students selected by the dean of undergraduate and graduate studies from a list of five nominees chosen by Student Congress. To be eligible for nomination by Student Congress, a student must not have been previously cited for an infraction of this Code and must not be currently under any individual disciplinary sanction from Student Affairs; and

c) the dean of undergraduate and graduate studies, ex officio.

The president of the College will also appoint two faculty members as alternates, the Faculty Senate will appoint one faculty member as an alternate, and the Student Congress will nominate three student alternates. The dean shall exercise the right to vote only in the case of a tie. The term of each (non-ex officio) member shall be two years, commencing July 1 and ending June 30. The terms of office shall be staggered to allow for continuity on the Board. The members of the Board shall be appointed or elected in the spring semester for the following academic year.

If a student member of the Board is accused of a violation of the academic integrity policy, he or she shall not participate in the adjudication of the case. If the Academic Integrity Review Board issues sanctions against a student member, then that student member shall be removed from the Board. Student members of the Board have the responsibility to excuse themselves from deliberations if they have a familiarity with the respondent that creates a conflict of interest in fact or appearance. Faculty members of the Board have the responsibility to excuse themselves if they have been involved with the case prior to its coming to the Board. In such cases, the chair of the Academic Integrity Review Board shall select replacements on a case-by-case basis from the designated lists of alternate members.

The Board shall conduct its business following the current version of Robert’s Rules of Order. A quorum that includes both faculty and student representation is necessary for the Board to conduct business.

The chair of the Board shall keep a summary record of the number, type, and outcome of hearings, excluding any details that may identify the parties involved, and shall file an annual summary report with the dean of undergraduate and graduate studies and to the provost and senior vice president for academic affairs.

3. Processing of Cases by Review Board

Within 10 business days of a written appeal by a student or a referral by the dean of undergraduate and graduate studies (whichever date is the sooner of the two), the chair of the Academic Integrity Review Board must convene the Board to review a referred case. Time frames may be adjusted for compelling reasons, with notification and an explanation provided to the student and the instructor. The Review Board shall consist of the members of the Academic Integrity Board plus one additional faculty member from the department or program of the instructor who reported the incident. That faculty member will be appointed by the chair of the Academic Integrity Board.

The chair of the Academic Integrity Review Board (or his/her faculty member of the Board designee) shall chair the hearing. During the review, 1) the instructor will have the opportunity to explain why he or she has judged that there has been an infraction of the academic integrity policy and, where the student has appealed the sanction, to explain the rationale, and 2) the student will have the opportunity to defend himself or herself against the charge of academic misconduct and/or to explain why he or she believes the instructor’s sanction is not appropriate.

Both the instructor and the student have the right to have advisors who are members of the College community. The advisor’s role is limited to providing support and consultation; the advisor may not actively participate in the hearing. Instructors and students may call witnesses or submit evidence, and each must submit his or her evidence of written documentation in writing and may appear before the Review Board. To help prepare for the hearing, the respondent has the right to review all evidence in advance of the hearing. The Review Board may, at its discretion, meet separately with the instructor and the student involved. The hearing will be closed to persons other than those who are directly involved.

When the Review Board is satisfied that all relevant information has been presented, the chair will excuse the involved persons if they are in attendance. The Review Board will then deliberate on the evidence and make a decision on the case. A simple majority vote is required in all decisions. Within 48 hours, the chair will notify, in writing, both the student and the instructor of the outcome of the hearing. A copy of all outcomes will be filed with the dean of undergraduate and graduate studies. The dean will implement all decisions.

4. Sanctions Assigned by the Review Board

If a student is found, by simple majority vote of the Review Board, in violation of the College’s policy on academic integrity and that the sanctions imposed by the instructor are consistent with stated course policy, then sanctions previously assigned by the instructor will be upheld and the instructor’s initial report will be placed in the student’s file until three years after the conferral of the degree for graduation, at which point it shall be destroyed. The Review Board, after consultation with the instructor, may impose additional sanctions which may include, but are not limited to, suspension and dismissal.

If by majority vote the Review Board determines that the charge of academic misconduct is not supported, then the instructor’s initial report will be destroyed, and the instructor will be informed that he or she should grade the assignment(s) in question on their merits. If a student wishes to appeal a final course grade, he or she should follow the College’s policy on academic grievances.

C. Subsequent Offenses

If a report of academic misconduct submitted to the dean of undergraduate and graduate studies turns out to be a second offense for that student, the report will be submitted to the Review Board for a hearing. During the hearing, the student may challenge the academic misconduct charge, or the student may admit sufficient facts to constitute a second offense. If the Review Board upholds the instructor’s finding of misconduct, the Review Board will determine an appropriate sanction, taking into consideration all relevant factors, including the arguments presented by the student and instructor.

If a student is found responsible for a second offense of misconduct, the student shall be suspended from the College for one semester; however, the Review Board has authority to evaluate relevant factors such as intent, severity, and other circumstances, and to impose a sanction that does not include suspension. If the Review Board decides to impose a sanction other than suspension, it shall articulate in writing its reasons for doing so.

If a student is found responsible for a third offense of misconduct, the student shall be dismissed from the College; however, the Review Board has authority to evaluate relevant factors such as intent, severity, and other circumstances, and to impose a sanction that does not include dismissal. If the Review Board decides to impose a sanction other than dismissal, it shall articulate in writing its reasons for doing so. According to the determination of the dean of undergraduate and graduate studies, suspension and dismissal shall be effective either immediately or at the conclusion of the semester in which the determination of the violation of policy occurred.

D. Final Appeals

1. Appeals of sanctions of suspensions or dismissals: A student may appeal a suspension or dismissal from the College for reasons of academic misconduct to the provost and senior vice president for academic affairs of Providence College. Such an appeal must be submitted in writing within 5 business days of the chair of the Review Board’s notification to the student. Possible appellate grounds are: i) alleged procedural errors that could have affected the determination of the Review Board; ii) newly discovered facts not previously available or known that could have had a significant impact on the determination of the Review Board; and/or iii) a request for review of the sanction and the rationale for such a review, including any mitigating circumstances. The provost and senior vice president for academic affairs will decide the appeal based on a meeting with the student and/or written submissions. The provost and senior vice president for academic affairs will issue an appellate decision within 10 business days of the appeal. The provost and senior vice president for academic affairs may affirm the Review Board’s decision, remand the matter to the Review Board with instructions for further review, or dismiss the charges.

2. Appeals of sanctions of dismissal: A sanction of dismissal for academic misconduct that is affirmed by the provost and senior vice president for academic affairs may be appealed by the student to the executive vice president. The appeal must be filed in writing by the student within 5 business days of the Review Board’s notification to the student. The executive vice president will decide the appeal based on a meeting with the student and/or written submissions. The executive vice president will issue an appellate decision within 10 business days of the date of the appeal. The executive vice president may affirm or amend the decision of the provost and senior vice president for academic affairs. Decisions made by the executive vice president are final.

E. Maintenance of Records

Records of offenses and sanctions will be maintained in the student’s file in the office of the dean of undergraduate and graduate studies for a period of 3 years after the conferral of the degree for graduation.

Copyright Policy

The federal Copyright Law (Title 17, United State Code, Section 101 and following) requires all members of the Providence College community to respect the proprietary rights of owners of copyrights and to refrain from actions that constitute an infringement of copyright or other proprietary rights. Copyright Guidelines have been developed to assist members of the community to comply with federal copyright law. Members of the Providence College community are expected to become familiar with these Copyright Guidelines, to act with careful consideration of their requirements, and to seek assistance whenever necessary and as directed.

Willful disregard of Providence College’s Copyright Policy by members of the community may result in personal liability in the event that legal action is taken against them. Further, the College may refuse to defend employees named in a court suit and employees may be personally liable for any damages incurred as a result of the copyright violation.

Please refer to the Phillips Memorial Library’s Web site for the Guidelines and other resources focused on copyright law and higher education: http://www.providence.edu/library/research/Pages/Copyright.aspx.

Academic Grievance

The purpose of this policy is to provide students with a fair and timely resolution process at the most proximate level, as close to the source of concern, as possible. The following procedures should be used by a student who wishes to appeal a final course grade or to file an academic grievance. In some cases, a student’s grievance may be more appropriately addressed by another College grievance procedure; for example, a student who believes that he or she has experienced discriminatory harassment may be advised to follow the grievance procedures provided in the College’s anti-harassment policy.  

Other than the appeal of a final course grade, circumstances in which a student may have cause to file an academic grievance include the following: the student claims that an instructor has failed to follow applicable College policies to the detriment of the student or the student claims that an instructor has habitually treated the student in an arbitrary or capricious manner to the student’s detriment. These procedural steps do not preclude the student and instructor from attempting to resolve the matter at any time during the grievance process. The time frames provided for resolving the grievance may be adjusted for compelling reasons with an explanation and notice to the student and instructor. Once a student contacts an instructor, all academic records that may be relevant to the grievance should be retained until the matter is resolved.  

Clarification Regarding Academic Grievances

A student bears the responsibility for proving that a final course grade is incorrect. Instructors exercise professional judgment regarding academic matters, consistent with applicable College policies, and the College will not normally intervene or overrule the instructor at the request of a student who, for example, claims that an instructor’s standards are too high, that assignments are unreasonable, or that other course-related practices or expectations applied to the class as a whole (e.g., an instructor’s policy regarding attendance or missed deadlines) are unfair.    

Informal Attempts to Resolve the Grievance

1. The College encourages reciprocal and respectful dialogue between the student and an instructor when there is a disagreement about a final grade or other academic decision. Accordingly, prior to filing a formal grievance and as soon as possible after the final grade is posted or the decision is made, a student must make a reasonable attempt to resolve the issue by communicating his/her concerns directly to the instructor (preferably in a meeting) and seeking clarification for the final grade or decision. Whenever possible, the instructor should respond to the student within ten (10) business days of receipt of the student’s inquiry. 

2. If the student is not satisfied with the instructor’s response, if the student does not receive a timely response, or if the student is unable to contact the instructor owing to retirement, sabbatical, or other compelling reason, the student may attempt to resolve the grievance by discussing it (preferably in a meeting) with the graduate program director in which the course was taught in a timely manner, normally within the first two weeks of the semester subsequent to the semester in which the aggrieved decision occurred. The program director should respond to the student within ten (10) business days of receipt of the student’s inquiry. 

3. If the student is not satisfied with the program director’s response, or if the student does not receive a timely response, the student may attempt to resolve the grievance by discussing it with the dean (or dean’s designee) of the school administering the course within the next ten (10) business days. Whenever possible, the dean (or dean’s designee) should respond to the student within ten (10) business days of receipt of the student’s inquiry.

Formal Attempt to Resolve the Grievance: Academic Appeals Committee

The College has established an Academic Appeals Committee to resolve formal academic grievances.  The committee consists of two faculty members, plus an alternate, selected by the president of the Faculty Senate; two student members, plus an alternate, appointed by the Student Congress; and two faculty members, plus an alternate, appointed by the president of the College. The chairperson is elected by the committee from among its appointed faculty members.

A faculty or student member of the committee shall recuse himself or herself from service in situations where there is a conflict of interest in fact or the appearance of a conflict of interest; this member will be replaced by the committee’s alternate faculty or student alternates, respectively. 

The committee, when appropriate, shall seek the aid of qualified personnel, either from within or outside the Providence College academic community.

1. If a satisfactory resolution is not reached after the informal attempts are made, the student may file a formal, written complaint with the chairperson of the College’s Academic Appeals Committee prior to the mid-semester date of the semester subsequent to the semester in which the aggrieved decision occurred. The written complaint should be as complete and factual as possible, with details regarding the specific nature of the grievance and the specific steps taken by the student to attempt resolution; a copy of all correspondence and other related material should be submitted with the complaint. Every reasonable effort will be made to preserve confidentiality.

2. Immediately upon receipt of the formal complaint, the chairperson of the Academic Appeals Committee will notify the instructor and provide him/her with an opportunity to submit a written account of the disputed matter.  

3. Whenever possible, the committee will convene, investigate, and deliberate within fifteen (15) business days of receipt of the formal complaint. After it reviews written submissions, the committee will provide the student with an opportunity to present his/her complaint. The committee will also interview the instructor against whom the complaint is made, and other members of the College community as deemed necessary. Members of the College community asked to provide information are mandated to cooperate with the committee. The committee’s deliberations and the hearing will be closed to persons other than those who are directly involved. 

4. Within five (5) business days of the final hearing, the committee will communicate in writing its findings and recommendation(s) to the student and the instructor, with a copy to the school dean (or dean’s designee). If the committee determines that the student’s grievance should be denied, the decision is final and the matter will be considered closed. If the committee determines that the student’s grievance has merit and the instructor adopts and implements the committee’s findings and recommendation(s), the matter will be considered closed.

5. If the committee determines that the student’s grievance has merit and the instructor declines to adopt and implement the committee’s findings and recommendation(s), the committee will submit the grievance file, with its findings and recommendation(s), to the provost and senior vice president for academic affairs for consideration. The provost and senior vice president for academic affairs, who may consider the matter on written submission alone, will communicate his/her decision in writing to the student and the instructor, with a copy to the school dean (or dean’s designee) within ten (10) business days of receipt of the grievance file. The decision of the provost and senior vice president for academic affairs will either uphold the recommendation(s) of the committee in total or in part, or reverse the recommendation of the committee, or return the case to the committee for reconsideration.  The decision of the provost and senior vice president for academic affairs shall be final.

General Degree Requirements

All students must meet the following criteria to be eligible for the master’s degree:

  1. A minimum of 30 earned credit hours. Some programs may have higher credit-hour requirements.
  2. A minimum 3.00 (4.0 scale) cumulative quality point average. The College does not round grade point average; the official GPA is truncated to the hundredths digit.
  3. A limit of five calendar years is the maximum time allotted for the completion of all requirements for the master’s degree, with the exception of the programs in theology (which allow ten years for completion).
  4. Students are responsible for meeting the graduation requirements of their program. Modification of any departmental rule can be made only with written approval of the program director in consultation with the Office of the Dean of Undergraduate & Graduate Studies.

The value of each course is stated in terms of credit hours. A credit hour requires the equivalent of at least one classroom period of 50 minutes or a laboratory period of from one to four hours per week throughout the term, plus out-of-classroom work of 2 hours for each hour of instruction. Graduate degrees include a significant component of coursework in addition to any supervised research or practice.

Honor Societies

Providence College has established a local chapter of the following national honor societies. Students accepted into national honor societies will have their membership noted on an official transcript.

Theta Alpha Kappa
            National Honor Society for Religious Studies & Theology
 
Phi Alpha Theta
            National History Honor Society
 
Beta Gamma Sigma
            International Academic Honor Society Recognizing Business Excellence Accredited by AACSB International