In This Section
GPS Academic Policies
Each term, students may add or drop courses anytime prior to the beginning of classes or during the add/drop period with no financial or academic penalty. The add/drop period is generally the first two weeks of classes in any given term; students should contact the Graduate and Professional Studies Office for exact dates. Students must make a written request to the Graduate and Professional Studies Office. Students who fail to follow the proper procedure risk academic and financial penalties.
After the add/drop period, students may withdraw from classes; however, they are responsible for all charges and a “W” will be posted on the student’s official transcript. A course withdrawal form or written notification must be submitted to the Graduate and Professional Studies Office; course withdrawals cannot be accepted in verbal form (phone calls, voice messages, etc.).
No student will be allowed to register after the add/drop period.
The staff in the Graduate and Professional Studies Office is available to assist students with developing their overall program and course of study each term. Any course substitutions or transfers must be pre-approved by the Senior Director.
Students enrolled for credit are expected to attend all classes, take examinations, and complete all other required coursework. If a student is absent from a class for any reason, including registering late within the add/drop period, it is the student’s responsibility to make up all work from that class.
Thomas College Graduate and Professional Studies courses are rarely cancelled. To find out if classes have been cancelled due to inclement weather please check the Thomas College website, Facebook, and or Instagram feeds. The Graduate and Professional studies office will also send an email out to your Thomas and personal email to notify you of the cancellation. If an individual instructor cancels class, the College will contact you via email.
Full-time graduate study is defined as being enrolled in 18 credits per academic year (six credits over three terms). Students enrolled for three credits during a term are considered half-time.
Students may take Professional Studies or Graduate Evening Division classes for professional development without matriculating into a degree program. Students selecting this option are designated as non-degree students. Non-degree students are billed at the regular Graduate or Professional Studies rate in place at the time. Students enrolled with a non-degree status are not eligible to receive financial assistance. Students generally should only be designated as a “non-degree student” if they have already earned an undergraduate or graduate degree, if they are taking a course(s) to transfer to another institution, or are taking courses required for industry or State certifications and are certain they do not plan to matriculate into a degree program.
Many Graduate courses have prerequisites. The purpose of a prerequisite is to ensure that students entering an advanced class have an understanding of the foundation concepts related to the course. Students who have not completed prerequisites may experience difficulty understanding and completing assignments. Many adult learners have acquired sufficient prerequisite knowledge through work experience. Requests to waive a prerequisite will be considered by the Senior Director of Business Development and the appropriate instructor and should be made in writing to the Graduate and Professional Studies Office.
Graduate students in a 36 credit program must complete a minimum of 30 credits of their academic program at Thomas College. Students in a 30 credit program must complete 24 credits at Thomas College. MBA students must complete MG698 – Strategic Planning in residence at a Thomas College site.
Students who wish to enroll simultaneously in courses at Thomas College and any other educational institution must have the prior approval.
Grades are recorded as follows:
P – Pass
AU – Audit
AW – Withdrew
L – Stopped Attending
Students are expected to do assigned work themselves, to write papers in their own words (extensive quoting suggests a failure to master the material), and to cite sources appropriately and accurately.
Taking credit for work not one’s own is a serious offense. It can take several forms:
- Plagiarizing. According to the 1999 MLA Handbook, “To use another person’s ideas or expression in your writing without acknowledging the source is to plagiarize” (30). The Handbook continues, “Forms of plagiarism include the failure to give appropriate acknowledgment when repeating another’s wording or particularly apt phrase, when paraphrasing another’s argument, or when presenting another’s line of reasoning” (30). A student’s failure to properly cite and document sources may constitute plagiarism, even if there is no deliberate attempt or intent to misrepresent the work in question.
- Aiding and abetting plagiarism. Permitting others to use your work.
- Recycling your own work. Submitting, without permission, in one course work originally done for another.
- Cheating. Copying from another student’s exam paper; permitting others to copy one’s work; bringing unauthorized material to exams; accepting or giving unauthorized assistance on coursework and/or assignments.
- Subbing. Replacing another student, or asking another student to replace you, for the purpose of taking a quiz or exam.
- Altering. Changing grades or marks on papers or exams; unauthorized use or alteration of college add/drop or other forms.
- Falsifying. Falsification or fabrication of research results, quotations, facts, and/or references.
First offenses of academic misconduct in the context of a course will be dealt with by the course’s instructor. Instructors are expected to inform the Academic Affairs Office of any instance of alleged academic misconduct.
Once a faculty member has made a determination of academic misconduct, students will be informed as soon as reasonably possible of the offense and penalty in writing and may appeal in writing to the instructor within 72 hours. Penalties for the first offense may range from failing the particular assignment at issue to failing the course.
Should the student wish to appeal the instructor’s finding of academic misconduct, he or she may file a written appeal with the department chair within one calendar week of the decision of the instructor. After consultation with the instructor and the student, the department chair may deny the appeal (in which case the decision of the faculty member stands) or accept the appeal and recommend an appropriate course of action. (If the faculty member in question is the department chair, the other department chair will function in his or her capacity during the appeals process. Should the alleged misconduct be reported in a Graduate course, appeals would be referred to the Director for Graduate and Professional Studies.)
Should the faculty member or the student wish to appeal the decision of the department chair (or that of the Senior Director of Business Development), that appeal should be made in writing to the Chief Academic Officer within one calendar week of the department chair’s decision. The decision of the Chief Academic Officer is final.
Students who are reported to the Academic Affairs Office for an alleged second offense (or any alleged subsequent offense) will have their cases automatically referred to the Academic Affairs committee for review. In cases where the Chief Academic Officer has been involved in a formal appeal of the incident in question, he or she will be replaced on the committee by the Chief Student Affairs Officer. The Academic Affairs committee may choose to recommend an additional penalty to include academic disciplinary probation or dismissal.
Decisions of the Academic Affairs committee may be appealed to the Appeals Board within one calendar week of the decision of the Academic Affairs committee. Appeals must be based on the basis of new evidence or when there is the reason to believe that proper procedure has been violated, but may not be appealed solely on the basis of dissatisfaction with the sanction. There is no further appeal beyond the Appeals Board.
Gibaldi, Joseph, ed. MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers. 5th ed. NY: Modern
Language Association of America, 1999.
The responsibility for meeting the various prerequisite, degree, and graduation requirements rests with the student. It is the student’s responsibility to submit an Application for Graduation to the Registrar’s Office no later than January of the year in which he or she expects to graduate.
Each candidate for graduation must:
- Successfully complete a minimum of 120 academic credits in a bachelor’s degree program (30 credits for the second bachelor’s in Information Technology), 60 academic credits in an associate’s degree program, 30 to 36 academic credits in all other master’s degree programs;
- Meet all of the course requirements for the specific degree program in which he or she is enrolled; and
- Achieve a cumulative grade point average of at least 2.00 for all undergraduate courses and a cumulative grade point average of at least 2.00 in major courses. Additionally, a graduate student must achieve a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.00 for graduate courses taken at Thomas College. Credits earned for Foundations for Success may not be counted toward the 60 credits needed for an associate’s degree or the 120 credits needed for a bachelor’s degree.
A student who is substantially certain to complete his or her degree requirements during that calendar year will be permitted to participate in commencement exercises in May. Substantial certainty exists when, at the time the degree candidate list is published, the Registrar certifies that in his or her opinion the student will satisfactorily complete the required course work by the end of that calendar year. If the student fails to do so, the degree cannot be awarded. In such cases, the date when the degree requirements are met will be indicated on the student’s transcript, and the degree will be awarded the following year.
A graduation fee is charged to the degree candidate during the semester or term prior to the intended graduation date and is payable whether or not the student participates in the graduation ceremony.
Grade reports are issued to students at the end of each academic term. Thomas College assumes its transcripts and grade reports to be correct; if a student believes that there is an error on his or her transcript or grade report, it must be reported to the Registrar’s Office within 30 days. Except upon request by students or parents of students who have given the college permission to do so, grades are not normally sent to parents. A written copy of the College’s policy on access to college records is available through the Registrar’s Office.
Directed Studies are offered for one of two reasons: (1) logistical—the student needs to take a course in the regular curriculum but cannot do so at a regularly scheduled time because of irreconcilable hardship or course-conflict instances not contributed to by the student or (2) pedagogical—the subject of the course is not found in the regular curriculum and is one in which the student has considerable interest and the faculty member considerable expertise.
Directed Studies must be approved in advance by the Senior Director of Graduate and Professional Studies. All proposals must include data found in regular course syllabi, including (but not limited to) learning objectives, meeting schedule, texts, and grading/evaluation methods.
Students need to complete a Directed Study Request Form (obtained from the Grad Office) and submit it during the pre-registration period prior to the semester the directed study is being offered. Under no circumstances will a Directed Study be approved to accommodate a student’s work schedule. Directed Studies are limited to matriculated, degree candidates.
A regularly enrolled student may audit a course on a space-available basis. A request to audit must be made with the Registrar within the official add/drop period of that semester. Under no circumstances can credit be given an auditor, nor can an audited course later be converted into an accredited course. The instructor’s sole responsibility will be to certify the student’s attendance; failure to meet attendance requirements will result in a grade of L (non-attendance). The student will receive a grade of AU (Audit), which will appear on and become part of the student’s permanent record. However, the student will receive no credit for the course, and it will not count toward degree requirements. Please refer to the section on Tuition and Fees for the tuition for audit. Senior citizens (age 65 or above) may audit any course—on a space-available basis—free of charge (one per semester or trimester).
Students may, at their option, retake a class to attempt to improve their grade. Upon successful completion of the class, the Registrar’s Office will record the awarded grade and compute the cumulative GPA using the more recent of the two grades. In doing so, students forfeit any credit they may have received in the previous class; that is, they will receive credit for the class only once. The student must complete a retake form, retake the course and pay any additional expenses incurred. Generally, no course substitutions are allowed; the retake must be the same as the original course. The original grade for the class will be crossed off of the transcript, and an asterisk will be put next to the new grade to indicate the course was retaken.
Students may declare academic bankruptcy. In doing so, students forfeit any credit they may have received. Any future courses undertaken by the student are recorded on a new transcript. The application for academic bankruptcy may occur only after a minimum one-year separation from Thomas College. A student may declare academic bankruptcy only once.
Academic Policy Waivers
Students are expected to comply with all College policies and regulations. In the event of unusual or extenuating circumstances, however, a petition for an exception may be filed with the Academic Affairs Committee.
A student who feels that an exception to a specific policy is warranted may submit a written petition to the Academic Affairs Committee of the College. Exceptions to policy are rarely granted, and then only for compelling reasons. Only petitions for the current term are considered. Students are informed in writing of the Committee’s decision.