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General Academic Policies
i. Academic Appeals Committee
Responsibility of the Committee
The Academic Review Committee’s responsibilities are to investigate and decide upon the following:
1. Appeal of Academic Standing
Students who believe they received an unfair academic probation, academic suspension, or academic dismissal may appeal in writing to the Academic Review Committee. In these cases, the burden of proof rests with the student, and the student must provide a clear and convincing argument to support the contention that the decision was unfair. Students are encouraged to append to their petition any additional documentation that they believe to be pertinent, e.g. if extenuating circumstance affected their performance. In rare cases where a student is granted a second consecutive academic probation or an academic suspension for one or more semesters (in lieu of academic dismissal), all federal financial aid is automatically cancelled and the student is placed on financial aid suspension. Students may appeal their financial aid suspension in writing to the Corcoran Financial Aid Committee. Please contact the director of financial aid for specific instructions.
Note: Appeals for non-academic probations, suspensions, or dismissals are not considered by the Academic Review Committee. Non-academic appeals should be submitted to the Student Conduct Committee.
2. Appeal of Grade
Students who receive grades that they feel are inappropriate may petition for an academic grade review with the instructor and the chair or program director by the following procedure:
- The student should talk with the instructor. Whenever possible, conflicts over grades should be resolved informally between the instructor and student.
- If not resolved, the student should submit a letter that outlines his or her objections to the instructor and chair or program director. The letter should be submitted no later than the end of the first week of the following semester.
- If the problem is still not resolved, the student should meet with the chair or program director under which the class is taught.
- A final appeal may be made in writing to the Academic Review Committee, whose decision is considered final.
3. Request for a Formal Hearing to Challenge the Contents of Education Records
See section on the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).
Composition of the Committee
The Academic Review Committee is independent of the Honor Committee and the Student Conduct Committee. Members include the dean of students, the dean of enrollment, the director of student support and retention, and the registrar. In addition, a department chair or program head will participate on an annual rotating basis. The dean of students also serves as the chair of the Academic Review Committee. Participating chairs or program heads will provide feedback, but will not participate in the final decision in the event that students from their own department are being reviewed.
Conflict of Interest
A member of the Academic Review Committee who has a conflict of interest in the case, such as being a close friend or relative of the student being assessed, or for whatever reason would not be able to render an impartial judgment, must withdraw from a specific hearing. For more information, please contact the dean of students.
Within 10 working days after receiving a written request from a student, the Academic Review Committee will begin an investigation. A letter indicating approval or denial will be mailed to the student’s current mailing address listed with the Office of the Registrar (unless otherwise indicated in the written request). The decisions of the Academic Review Committee are determined by a majority vote. If there is no majority, the Chair of the Academic Review Committee determines the verdict. The decisions of the Academic Review Committee are final and there is no further appeals process.
ii. Attendance Policy
Students are expected to attend all class sessions and course-related activities of each course for which they register. Students may not attend any class for which they are not officially registered. Three absences (two during the summer term) within a given class, or 20 percent of the semester, are grounds for automatic failure of the course. If students stop attending a course without properly dropping it, they will receive an F. Dropping a course is the student’s responsibility. Additionally, any student who is late three times in a course will receive a full mark of absent.
iii. Excused Absences
In exceptional circumstances, the dean of students, in coordination with the chair or program director, may approve emergency absences for medical or other legitimate reasons. In such cases, students are required to provide medical or other supporting documentation. Students should first notify their faculty and then turn in documentation to the dean of students immediately upon their return. Once proper documentation is received the Office of Student Affairs will notify his or her instructors of the approved excused absence.
Although students may miss up to two class sessions, they are not relieved of the obligation to fulfill all course assignments, including those that can only be fulfilled in class.
Absences due to religious holidays must be pre-approved by the instructor five working days in advance of the absence, (see section in Student Accommodations and Resources for further instructions). Students should fill out the Request for Accommodation form and give the form to their faculty. Faculty will sign approve or deny and send the form to the Office of Student Affairs.
iv. Course and Faculty Evaluations
At the conclusion of each semester, all students are asked to complete class and faculty evaluation forms. The evaluation is a method of obtaining constructive feedback from students, and it is important that students be honest and thoughtful with their evaluations of course content and teaching methodology. This information is reviewed by the chair or program director of each department, the associate provost, and the dean of students approximately three weeks after the end of each semester. Copies of these evaluations are mailed to each faculty member so that they can make adjustments accordingly for the new semester. Evaluations are anonymous.
v. E-mail Policy
Corcoran officials will use e-mail as the most expeditious means of communicating. Examples include class materials, assignments, questions, instructor feedback, and important communications from the college. Students are responsible for the content of college communication sent to them by e-mail, and are required to activate their Corcoran e-mail accounts and check them regularly. Please use your Corcoran account to communicate with your instructors and other college officials.
vi. Immunization Requirements
The District of Columbia Law 3-20 mandates that all students under the age of 26 must provide an accurate vaccination history and remain up-to-date on required immunizations in order to attend college. Immunization forms are available in the Office of the Registrar and online at www.corcoran.edu. Students who do not comply with the law two weeks prior to the beginning of a semester may be granted a one-month extension, if warranted, at the discretion of the registrar. Failure to comply by the end of the extension will result in administrative removal from classes and termination of enrollment. Students who have had their immunization compliance lapse during the semester cannot register for future semesters until they provide proof of receiving appropriate immunizations, and a hold will be placed on their academic record that prohibits the release of transcripts.
Note: Graduate students in Art Education should be prepared for an extension of immunization requirements beyond age 26 in order to be compliant with the practices of the sites or jurisdictions where these students may be working with children off-site. Please contact the Art Education program director for more information.
vii. Criminal Background Checks for Art Education Students
Graduate students in Art Education seeking internship placements in educational institutions should be aware that they will be subjected to any criminal background checks required by the site of its workers or by local or state law. Please contact the program director for more information.
viii. Ownership and Retention of Student Work
The Corcoran reserves the right to photograph, exhibit, or publish a student’s artwork, and has the right to retain student work. All original work is available for return. Pickup must be made in a timely manner by the student. The Corcoran requests that students label all pieces with names, addresses, e-mail addresses, and phone numbers. Although the College will take caution in the care and handling of student work, students must release the College from any liability for the loss, theft or damage of any work in its possession or control. Work produced for a job or activity independent from the educational processes of Corcoran study may be an exception to this policy.
The Corcoran complies with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 as amended. Official transcripts will be released only at the written request of the student for a $5 fee per transcript. Transcript request forms are available at the Office of the Registrar, the Georgetown campus, and online at www.corcoran.edu. Transcripts will not be released if the student has any outstanding bills, charges, library accounts and health/immunization requirements, or if equipment belonging to the College has not been returned. This includes overdue payments of Perkins and Kurtz loans.
X. International Students
The Student and Exchange Visitor Information System
SEVIS is the United States government’s information system for international students and exchange visitors and is monitored by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. The Corcoran College of Art + Design is a SEVIS-authorized school.
Responsibilities of International Students
Applicants will work with the Office of Admissions and Financial Aid to establish their F-1 visa issues during the admissions process. After matriculation, F-1 international students will work with the director of academic advising in order to maintain correct contact and academic information and I-20 forms. All SEVIS records must be kept up to date and it is the responsibility of the students to maintain a valid immigration status for the duration of their stay in the United States.
International students and exchange visitors report to the director of student support and retention for initial registration in SEVIS within 30 days of the first day of class.
Any change of information listed on the I-20, such date of graduation, change of major, or other information must be reported to the director of academic advising. Students must make the notification within 10 days of a change of address.
Every semester undergraduate students must maintain a minimum of 12 credits per semester and nine credits per semester for graduate students. International students may be eligible to reduce their course load to a minimum of six credits per semester if they have a medical condition, are in their final semester of study, or are encountering academic problems. Students who wish to apply for a reduced course load should notify the director of student support and retention.
International students who do not finish their program by the end date listed on their I-20, must notify the director of academic advising before the end date. They must maintain their status and make acceptable academic progress in order to extend their program.
International students, intending to travel abroad before completing their degree, must have their I-20 forms signed by the director of student support and retention within six months for admittance back into the United States. They are required to keep their passport valid at all times.
Employment is restricted by federal regulations and must be authorized by the Corcoran’s Office of Students Affairs. F-1 students may work on-campus with a maximum of 20 hours per week during the fall and spring semesters and are paid on an hourly basis. Full-time on campus employment is possible during breaks. Off-campus employment is generally prohibited for F-1 visa holders. Social Security numbers will be issued by the Social Security Administration to international students on an F-1 or J-1 visa only if they are authorized for employment and after a job offer has been extended.
The Office of Student Affairs administers F-1 student records, helps students comply with federal regulations, provides assistance to students who are on other types of visas, as well as students who are considering a change of status. Please contact Jon Youngs, director of student support and retention, (email@example.com) with any questions or to schedule an appointment.
Curricular Practical Training (CPT)
CPT is authorization for students on an F-1 visa for internships that grant academic credit. Undergraduate students may apply for CPT in their junior year after completing one full-time, academic year in F-1 student status at the Corcoran with a 3.0 GPA. Graduate students may apply for CPT after completing at least one full-time academic year at the Corcoran with a 3.0 GPA. The application for CPT must be processed and approved by the Office of Student Affairs.
Optional Practical Training (OPT)
OPT is employment authorization that allows students on an F-1 visa or status to gain up to 12 months of professional work experience in their field of study. Eligible students may apply for this authorization for employment during their studies at the Corcoran or after the completion of studies. The application for OPT must be reviewed and approved by the Office of Student Affairs before being submitted to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. All students seeking employment must provide original documents verifying their right to work in the United States. For more information please see the “Students and Employment” section of the USCIS website: http://www.uscis.gov/portal/site/uscis.
F-1 holders who have completed their program of study may remain in the U.S. for up to 60 days after the program end date listed on the I-20 form. Students may also be eligible to apply for a 12 month OPT that allows them to work after completing their studies. Students must contact the director of student support and retention to obtain authorization before they take a leave of absence or withdraw from the Corcoran. Federal regulations give students 15 days to depart from the U.S. if they have authorization to withdraw from their program. Failure to depart from the U.S. will result in a violation of status. Federal regulations require students to leave the U.S. immediately if they violate their status in any way.