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Academic Policies for Undergraduate Students
i. Knowledge of Corcoran College of Art + Design Policies
Each student is responsible for knowing the academic and general policies of the Corcoran College of Art + Design. The student handbook is the normal repository of College policies, but corrections, changes, or interpretations can be announced by other means, including e-mail notifications at any time. When the College or one of its administrative departments makes changes in course requirements, grading procedures, or graduation requirements, the changes apply to all students enrolled at the College at the time of implementation and thereafter.
ii. Academic Progress
Academic progress is the standard by which progress toward a degree is measured in terms of quality (GPA) and quantity (number of credits earned towards graduation). Quantity is measured both in terms of total number of years needed to complete the program as well as required minimum annual and/or per semester credits completed.
Note: a passing grade of D- or higher is required in order for credits to be considered completed.
Students are responsible for keeping track of their academic progress at all times, monitoring the credits they have earned and still need to earn to meet graduation requirements. Students with questions about their academic progress should contact their academic advisor for clarification.
iii. Academic Load and standards for academic progress
Associate of Fine Arts Degree (AFA)
Sixty-six (66) credits are required to earn an AFA degree. Though students are free to pursue an Associate’s degree full-time (12–18 credits per term), the program caters primarily to part-time students. Students must complete at least 11 credits per year and the entire program in six years or less.
Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Fine Arts Degrees (BA/BFA)
One hundred–twenty (120) credits are required to earn a BA or BFA degree for students. Students following 2008-2009 academic plan or prior require 126 credits to earn their degree. BFA students are required to maintain full-time status (excluding summer). The minimum full-time load for bachelor’s students is 12 credits per semester and the completion of at least 21 credits per year.” Audited and non-credit classes do not count toward the minimum full-time academic load. The maximum full-time load is 18 credits per semester. Bachelor’s students must have written permission from the dean of enrollment to register for fewer than 12 credits or more than 18 credits per semester. Students exceeding 18 credits will incur additional tuition costs. Part-time enrollment may be permitted in a student’s final semester when nearly all required credits have been completed. BA students have the option to register part-time throughout their enrollment (excluding international students with an F-1 visa).
Students are encouraged to meet with the director of financial aid to discuss award adjustments resulting from a reduced academic load prior to schedule adjustments. For continuously enrolled bachelor’s students, the program should be completed within six years. In all cases, the maximum time limit for completing undergraduate degree requirements is 10 years from time of matriculation at the Corcoran. Students should request a leave of absence prior to the semester(s) of planned academic inaction.
Undergraduate students may petition the Academic Review Committee in cases where extenuating circumstances prevent completion of the program within the time limits and/or benchmark credits per annum as stated above.
iv. Academic Standing
There are four categories of undergraduate academic standing: good, probation, suspension, and dismissal.
Good Academic Standing: Associate’s Students
Associate’s students must maintain at least a 2.0 semester and cumulative GPA to maintain good academic standing.
Good Academic Standing: Bachelor’s Students
Bachelor’s students following a 2009-2010 academic plan or after must meet the following conditions to remain in good academic standing: maintain a minimum semester and cumulative GPA of 2.0, and make satisfactory academic progress towards their degree (see above). Students should note that a minimum cumulative GPA in the student’s major of 2.5 is required for graduation.
All other bachelor’s students must meet the following conditions to remain in good academic standing: maintain a minimum semester and cumulative GPA of 2.0 and must receive C or better in each required Core course.
v. Academic Probation
Failure to receive at least a 2.0 semester or cumulative GPA will result in a notation of academic probation on the student’s transcript. Students placed on academic probation have two semesters to resolve their academic deficiency. To go off academic probation, students must successfully complete at least six credits toward their degree with a 2.0 cumulative GPA, and receive a grade of C or better in each class. Failure to meet these requirements within two semesters will be considered unsatisfactory academic progress, and will result in academic dismissal from the Associate’s degree program. Academic dismissal will also occur if the cumulative GPA falls below 1.0.
For Bachelor’s students following a 2009-2010 academic plan or after, failure to achieve at least a 2.0 cumulative and semester GPA will result in academic probation. To be removed from academic probation, the student must attempt a minimum of 12 credits for the next fall or spring semester of enrollment (summer optional), and earn both a minimum 2.0 semester and cumulative GPA. Failure to meet these requirements within one semester for BFA students, or within two semesters for BA students, will be considered unsatisfactory academic progress, and will result in academic dismissal from the Bachelor’s degree program. Academic dismissal will also occur if the cumulative GPA falls below 1.0.
A minimum cumulative curriculum (or major) GPA of 2.5 is required for BFA graduation. Students who fall below this minimum will receive an Academic Warning. Students who receive an Academic Warning for major GPA are required to meet with their academic advisor to discuss strategies to improve their grades to a satisfactory level.
For all other bachelor’s students, failure to achieve at least a 2.0 cumulative and semester GPA, or failure to earn a grade of C or better in each required Core studio course will result in academic probation. Students placed on academic probation have one semester to resolve their academic deficiency. To be removed from academic probation, the student must attempt a minimum of 12 credits for the next fall or spring semester of enrollment (summer optional), earn at least a 2.0 for both semester and cumulative GPA’s, and earn a C or better in each required Core studio course. Failure to meet these requirements will be considered unsatisfactory academic progress, and will result in academic dismissal from the Bachelor’s degree program. Academic dismissal will also occur if the cumulative GPA falls below 1.0.
vi. Academic Suspension
Academic suspension may be applied for one or more terms as an alternative to dismissal. Typically this is considered for a student who has exhibited serious academic deficiencies, but who has also demonstrated the potential to eventually succeed. A student on suspension cannot take courses, but does not have to apply for re-admission to the Corcoran after the suspension is concluded. This decision is made by the Academic Review Committee in consultation with the student’s chair or program director. Course credits earned at other colleges and universities during the period of academic suspension from the Corcoran are not accepted for the Corcoran’s degree programs without expressed permission by the dean of undergraduate studies.
vii. Academic Dismissal
Students earning a cumulative GPA less than 1.0 or failure to remove oneself from academic probation within two semesters will result in academic dismissal from the Associate’s degree program.
For bachelor’s students following a 2009-2010 academic plan or after, failure to earn a 1.0 or higher cumulative GPA or earning two consecutive semesters of academic probation will result in academic dismissal from the BA or BFA degree program.
For all other bachelor’s students: Failure to earn a 1.0 higher cumulative GPA, earning two consecutive semesters of academic probation, or earning an F in a required Core studio course will result in academic dismissal from the BA or BFA degree program.
Chairs or program directors can also dismiss undergraduate students on academic probation if they believe it is highly unlikely that the student will achieve good academic standing in the following semester.
Re-admission After Dismissal
Dismissed students must wait two semesters before applying for readmission to a degree program. Dismissed undergraduate students pursuing readmission must earn grades of C or better in at least 12 credits in the Corcoran’s Continuing Education program or at another accredited institution. Courses taken at another institution during the wait-out period should be pre-approved by the chair or program director and the dean of undergraduate studies. Students who are readmitted after being dismissed will return on probation and must meet the requirements for returning to good academic standing in order to continue enrollment.
viii. Change of Academic Program
Undergraduate students considering a change of major (from design to fine art, for example) should discuss their intentions with their advisor and with their current chair. Students should consider their options carefully since changing majors can require additional coursework and may delay graduation due to the sequencing of required major studio requirements. Declaration/Change of Undergraduate Major forms are available online at www.corcoran.edu, or in the Office of the Registrar and should be signed by the student, the student’s advisor, and the chairs of both the student’s current major and prospective major. Forms must be submitted to the Office of the Registrar in order for the change to be finalized.
Any change of degree program (from AFA to BFA, or from BFA to BA, for example) requires readmission through the Office of Admissions, including a review of transcript, and a change of advisor. Students should contact their advisor for assistance in reapplying.
Students in the BFA/MAT combined program who decide not to complete the MAT degree may petition to receive the BFA degree once all requirements for the degree have been completed. The dean of enrollment and dean of undergraduate studies will receive and rule on such requests.
ix. Grading System for Undergraduate Students
Grade Point Average
Semester GPAs are computed at the close of each semester by multiplying the number of credits per course by the quality points associated with the student’s earned letter grade, adding the total quality points, and dividing that sum by the total number of credits attempted. Cumulative GPAs are computed by applying the above formula to all coursework for which the student has enrolled for credit at the Corcoran. Credits transferred from other colleges and universities are not included in the cumulative GPA unless they were earned through an approved course of study in the AICAD Mobility Program and/or the Consortium of Universities of the Washington Metropolitan Area. No credit above 4.0 is given.
|Undergraduate Letter Quality Grade Descriptions|
|A-||3.7||Very High Quality Work|
|B+||3.3||Significantly Above Average Achievement|
|B||3.0||Well Above Average Achievement|
|B-||2.7||Slightly Above Average Achievement|
|C+||2.3||Above Average Achievement|
|C-||1.7||Slightly Below Average Work*|
|D+||1.3||Well Below Average Work*|
|D||1.0||Significantly Below Average Work*|
|F||0.0||Failure, No credit*|
|GNR||N/A||Grade Not Reported|
|IP||N/A||In Progress, In Good Standing|
|P||N/A||Pass (Equivalent To C Or Higher For Undergraduates)|
*Failing grades are assigned when the student has not fulfilled the appropriate requirements for a course, (e.g. missing work, excessive absences, missed exams and critiques) and neglecting to withdraw or request an incomplete by the deadlines. Grading policies may differ for each instructor (see section on Attendance Policy), so students should review each course syllabus and make sure they understand the requirements for each class. Students who are following a 2008-2009 or prior academic plan and receive grades of C-, D+, D, or D- in required Core classes, may either have to repeat the course or complete an appropriate equivalent course as determined by the chair or program director regardless of their semester GPA. Due to the cycle of Core courses, students may have to wait up to one year before necessary Core courses will be offered again. Students who are following a 2009-2010 academic plan or after must maintain a minimum semester and cumulative GPA of at least 2.0.
Grade Not Reported
A notation of GNR on a transcript indicates that the instructor has failed to submit a grade by the deadline. After 30 days, if attempts to secure a grade from the instructor are unsuccessful, the GNR is replaced with an F. Grades that revert to F may have retroactive impact on a student’s academic standing. GNR grades are not calculated into student’s GPAs until replaced by a letter grade.
An incomplete grade is a temporary deferral of a final grade pending the make-up of a small amount of coursework. Incomplete grades may be requested only under extraordinary circumstances when coursework completion is unavoidably and justifiably delayed. Students can only request an Incomplete when 80 percent of their coursework has already been satisfied. Faculty can refuse requests for incomplete grades if the reasons provided are deemed insufficient. Instructors must hand in forms requesting incomplete grades to the Office of the Registrar when final grades are submitted. Incomplete grades are not calculated into students’ GPAs until replaced by a final letter grade.
Undergraduate students will have 30 days following the last day of class to complete the missing work. Faculty members may set a shorter deadline or extend the deadline on a case by case basis. Incomplete deadlines may be extended up to the last day of classes of the semester following the one in which the course was taught (including summer). Any extension beyond one semester requires approval of the dean of enrollment or dean of undergraduate studies.
An incomplete grade automatically becomes an F if the Office of the Registrar does not receive a signed change of grade form or notification of extension from the instructor within the pre-approved deadline. All change of grade forms must be signed by the dean of enrollment or associate dean of undergraduate studies.
In Progress, In Good Standing
An IP grade may be assigned as non-punitive for required courses that demand extended year-long or repeat enrollment such as Pro-Thesis, Thesis, FA7950/FA7951 MA/Art Education Studio Capstone, ED6900/ED6901 Art Education Studio Teaching, and ED6910/ED6911 Art Education Internship. In these cases, the IP will remain on the student’s record while the student is actively enrolled in courses or maintaining status at the Corcoran or until the IP is replaced by a grade or an incomplete.
Grading Scale by Percent
The Corcoran does not dictate a percent grading scale. Instructors may determine the grading criteria and structure for their course based on assignments, attendance, or other criteria at their own discretion. The grade scale and criteria for a course must be included in the course syllabus which is provided to students at the beginning of the semester.
Undergraduate students will receive mid-term grades in all courses taken for credit. Mid-term grades will not become part of the permanent academic record and will not be factored into semester nor cumulative GPAs. They are simply indications of performance at the mid-point of the term. Mid-term grades are not eligible for requests for Incomplete or Change of Grade requests since they are not part of the student’s permanent record.
Undergraduate students whose work falls below the C grade level at any point during a semester will receive academic warnings that indicate unsatisfactory academic progress. Warnings are intended to make students aware of their unsatisfactory progress and do not appear on permanent academic records. Students receiving academic warnings must meet with their instructors to discuss ways to improve their grades to a satisfactory level. Students and instructors should sign the academic warning form following their discussion. Completed forms should be submitted to the Office of the Registrar. Students receiving two or more academic warnings will receive a letter informing them of a required meeting with the dean of students. Bachelor’s students who are following a 2009-2010 academic plan or after will be issued an Academic Warning if their cumulative major GPA falls below a 2.5.
Change of Grade
Final course grades recorded by the Office of the Registrar can only be changed when computational or recording errors occur, or if the grades are successfully appealed (see section on Academic Review Committee). Instructors are responsible for submitting change-of-grade forms to the Office of the Registrar no later than the last day of classes in the semester following the one during which the course was taken. No additional work can be submitted to improve a grade after the final grade has been assigned. Grade changes will not be considered until the instructor submits a change-of-grade form to the Office of the Registrar. All change of grade forms must be signed by the dean of enrollment or dean of undergraduate studies.
Associate’s students carrying a minimum of six credit hours and achieving a 3.5 semester GPA or greater are placed on the Dean’s List. Bachelor’s students with a minimum of 12 credit hours and achieving a semester GPA of 3.5 or greater are placed on the Dean’s List. Dean’s List achievements are noted on the transcript and become part of the student’s permanent academic record.
X. UNDERGRADUATE REGISTRATION IN GRADUATE COURSES
Undergraduate juniors and seniors may request permission to enroll in graduate level courses with permission of the graduate department, and their advisor or director of academic advising. Undergraduate students in the BFA/MAT program may register for graduate level courses, that are part of their curriculum and do not need additional approval beyond their advisor or program head.
XI. Graduation Requirements for Undergraduate Students
For a degree to be conferred, students must be actively enrolled at the Corcoran with good academic and financial standing during their final semester of their degree programs. All coursework must be completed, even if the coursework is not applicable to a given degree. Undergraduate students with six credits or less needed to fulfill their degree requirements can petition their chair or program director and the provost for participation in the annual commencement ceremony in May. Students will not receive their diploma until all degree requirements are met. Students fulfilling degree requirements in August or December will receive diplomas the following June.
Graduation application forms are available online and in the Office of the Registrar and must be submitted no later than the term prior to the start of their final semester of enrollment, e.g. in the fall semester for spring or summer graduation, and in the spring semester for fall graduation. Forms should indicate the term in which the student anticipates completion of all academic requirements. A graduation fee of $150 is required. The application and fee will be valid for one year (three semesters, including summer). If academic requirements are not met within the allotted time, a graduation application must be resubmitted with fee. Upon receipt of the graduation application, a graduation audit is completed and a student’s status, including any missing coursework or required registration adjustments, is communicated via their academic advisors. As noted in the Academic Progress section, students are ultimately responsible for the completion of all requirements, so it is strongly encouraged that they familiarize themselves with their planning sheet or online academic plan early and often during their enrollment to be sure that they remain on track for timely graduation. If students have any questions about their progress they should contact their advisor or chair/program head.
If a student completes all academic requirements, but has not submitted an application for degree, they will be cleared for their degree, however, a hold will be placed on their record until the paperwork and fees are submitted.
Official academic transcripts and diplomas will not be released until all outstanding bills and charges are paid in full. Students with due balances can petition to walk at graduation, pending the provost’s approval.
Students retaining a balance post-graduation may be referred to an outside collections agency (see Outside Collections Agency policy). Collections fees are 25–35 percent of the principal balance and will be added to the principal amount due. Additionally, students would be responsible for any legal fees and/or court costs. Students and/or parent(s) will be reported to credit bureaus once a balance is placed with a collections agency.
Associate’s students must complete all academic degree requirements, earn at least 36 Corcoran credits after matriculation, satisfy all outstanding bills, charges, and accounts, and have a cumulative GPA of 2.0 or higher.
Bachelor’s students must complete all academic degree requirements, earn at least 48 Corcoran credits after matriculation, satisfy all outstanding bills, charges, and accounts, and have a cumulative GPA of 2.0 or higher. Students who follow a 2009-2010 academic plan or after must also have a 2.5 cumulative major GPA. Bachelor’s students with a cumulative GPA of 3.5 or greater upon the completion of their degree will earn a notation of honors on their transcript.
Bachelor of Fine Arts – Fine Art Concentrations
Students enrolled in the Bachelor of Fine Arts degree program in Fine Arts have the option of pursuing a concentration. Students may declare a concentration in Ceramics, Digital Media, Painting and Drawing, Printmaking, or Sculpture by submitting a Declaration of Academic Program form to the Office of the Registrar that has been signed by the fine art department chair. Forms should be submitted no later than the sophomore year, so that students may be advised appropriately. Concentrations cannot be retroactively applied upon completion of degree. Concentrations are noted on the student’s transcript but not on the diploma. All coursework applied to the concentration must be completed with a grade of C or higher.
Academic Records After Graduation
Students are issued complimentary copies of their official transcripts upon graduation. Students are strongly urged to review these documents for errors, as changes can be made to the academic record only in the two-month period following graduation (see Academic Review Committee for more information).