The following are policies on the academic calendar, credit hour definitions, maximum and minimum course loads, class attendance, final examinations, academic calendar, repeating a course, auditing a course, graduation, academic distinction, withdrawal from the University, and adding, dropping, and withdrawing from individual courses.
Academic Calendar Description
The University offers a 15-week fall semester, a 15-week spring semester, and two summer terms. Summer Term 1 lasts seven weeks. It begins in early May and ends mid-June. It includes a four and half week block that ends in early June. Summer Term 2 lasts four and a half weeks. It begins in later July and ends in later August. Classes taken during the summer terms carry regular credit hours and quality points.
The standard unit of credit at Southern Virginia University is the credit hour. Credit hours are calculated as follows:
- One lecture credit hour represents 1 hour per week of scheduled class time and 2 hours of student preparation time. Most lecture courses are awarded 3 credit hours. Over an entire semester, this formula represents at least 45 hours of class time and 90 hours of student preparation. These courses are scheduled in 3, 50 minute blocks or 2, 90 minute blocks per week.
- One laboratory credit hour represents 1 hour per week of lecture plus 1-2 hours per week of scheduled supervised laboratory work, and 2 hours of student preparation time. Laboratory courses at Southern Virginia are awarded 4 credit hours. This calculation represents at least 45 hours of class time, between 45-90 hours of laboratory time, and 90 hours of student preparation per semester.
- One practice credit hour (visual or performing art studio, physical activity and intercollegiate athletic training, etc.) represents 3-4 hours per week of supervised and/or independent practice. This in turn represents between 45 and 60 hours of work per semester.
- One independent study hour is calculated similarly to practice credit hours.
- Internship credit hours are determined by negotiated between the supervising faculty and the work supervisor, both of whom must judge and certify different aspects of the student’s work. The credit formula is similar to that for practice credit.
Minimum and Maximum Course Loads
The normal course load for students at the University is 15 credit hours per semester. A full-time student is one who is taking 12 or more credit hours during a semester. On-campus students must carry no fewer than 12 hours of credit in each semester. For a summer term, three hours is considered a full-time load. A maximum of nine credit hours is allowed in summer term 1. A maximum of six credit hours is allowed in the summer term 1 block if the student does not take courses over the full summer term 1. If a student takes a course over the full summer term 1, then he or she may take no more than three credit hours in the summer term 1 block. A maximum of six credit hours is allowed in summer term 2. A part-time student is one who is taking fewer than 12 credit hours during a semester or three credit hours during a summer term. A student who wishes to carry more than 18 credit hours in a semester must obtain the approval of his or her academic advisor and the chair of the appropriate division and submit an Overload Request Form to the registrar before registering for that semester’s courses. Students may not exceed a semester load of 21 credit hours.
Students are responsible for the full work of the course in which they are registered, including participation in class discussion and daily work; therefore, regular class attendance is important. The University recognizes diversity in teaching methods and does not impose a uniform class attendance policy. Instead, it directs faculty in each course to set the requirements for attendance and to communicate those requirements in the syllabus distributed at the beginning of each term. The faculty member is the judge of whether the student has met the stated attendance requirement for the course. The student alone assumes responsibility for all absences and for work missed for any reason. The responsibility for initiating the request to make up work is vested in the student. A student who knows in advance that a class will be missed should explain the absence in advance to the professor involved and secure approval and an understanding of missed work he or she is eligible to make up. For unforeseen absences, the student should, immediately upon returning to the class, explain the reason for the absence to the professor. Whether the student is eligible to make up the missed work is at the discretion of the professor involved. Faculty are under no obligation to make special arrangements for students who are absent.
Students must take their final examinations on the day and hour as specified on the Final Examination Schedule published by the Registrar’s Office. Due to evening courses, however, some students have found that their final examination schedule consists of three consecutive exams; for example, this could be morning, afternoon, and evening exams on the same day, or an afternoon and evening exam on one day and a morning exam on the next day. A student with such a schedule may request permission from one of the professors to reschedule the exam at the convenience of the professor. If none of the three professors will reschedule, the student should seek the assistance of his or her academic advisor or the Registrar’s Office. Travel plans are not an acceptable excuse to move an exam.
Monday Evening Policy
Southern Virginia University honors the teachings of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints regarding Monday evenings as a time for family. No university-sponsored events are to be held from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. on Monday evenings, year round, so that student wards can hold home evening group lessons and activities. Faculty and staff members are encouraged to utilize Monday evenings for family time. Students are strongly encouraged to participate in their ward home evening groups.
Repeating a Course
With the approval of their academic advisors, students may repeat any course in which they have received a grade of “C” or below. When a student repeats a course, all previous grades for that course remain on his permanent record, but only the highest grade is used in computing the grade point average. A student repeating a course must indicate at the time of registration that the course is being repeated. Failure to do so may result in all grades being used to compute the grade point average.
Taking a Course “Pass/Fail”
Students who have earned a minimum of 90 academic credit hours and who have a minimum 2.0 grade point average may elect to take one course of up to three credit hours during each remaining semester that the student is enrolled in Southern Virginia University prior to graduation on a pass/fail basis with the following provisions:
- Students must be enrolled in a minimum of 12 credit hours for a grade during a semester or 3 credit hours for a grade during May term.
- Courses that are taken on a pass/fail basis may not be used to satisfy major, minor, or general education requirements.
- The instructor must consent to offer a course to a student on a pass/fail basis.
- Students electing a course on a pass/fail basis may not displace a student taking the course for a grade, in the case of full enrollment.
- Individual faculty may determine what comprises a passing grade.
- Pass/fail grades will not be computed in a student’s grade point average.
- Students must declare pass/fail status in a course by the add/drop deadline.
Auditing a Course
With the approval of their academic advisors, and the consent of course instructors, students may audit classes at the University. Arrangements to audit courses must be completed by the add deadline. An auditing student is required to meet with the instructor to establish the attendance, reading, and participation requirements for the class. The student is exempt from papers, tests, examinations, and other written work. If the audit is completed to the satisfaction of the instructor, the course will appear on the official record with a notation of “NC.” Audits do not earn credits or quality points. A student may take an audited course for credit in a later term. If the credit hours taken by a student, including the audited work, exceeds 18 hours, then an audit fee of $100 per hour is assessed. Part-time students pay the audit fee per hour taken.
At the end of each semester, the calendar lists a graduation date. The graduation date for a student will be the date immediately following a semester in which a student successfully completes the requirements for a degree and is certified for graduation. Diplomas will be ordered for students at this time. At the end of spring semester there will be a formal commencement ceremony. This ceremony honors all students who have graduated at the end of the preceding summer, fall, or spring semesters. Students must apply for graduation through the Registrar’s Office, and are urged to do so a minimum of two semesters prior to graduation. The Registrar’s Office conducts an audit of each candidate for graduation upon receipt of the graduation application. Students and their advisors are informed of the results of this audit in a timely manner. The University charges a graduation fee which covers the cost of the diploma and the commencement cap and gown. Students who do not participate in commencement must still pay the fee.
The University recognizes the academic attainment of graduating seniors through the awards of Cum Laude, Magna Cum Laude, and Summa Cum Laude, based on a student’s grade point average (GPA). The requisite GPA for each award is as follows: Cum Laude, 3.7 to 3.849; Magna Cum Laude, 3.85 to 3.949; Summa Cum Laude, 3.95 and above. To graduate with Academic Distinction a bachelor’s degree student must earn at least 60 credits from Southern Virginia University.
Withdrawal from the University
Students who must withdraw from the University should consult with the registrar to complete the necessary withdrawal forms. Until such forms are completed by the student and submitted to the Registrar’s Office, withdrawal is not official. Refunds, if any, are given only after official withdrawal. No student may continue to live on campus after withdrawal from the University. Students who do not return by the end of the add/drop period for the fall or spring semester are withdrawn by the Registrar’s Office. The subsequent withdrawal date will be the last day of the preceding enrolled semester.
Adding, Dropping, and Withdrawing from Individual Courses
Students may add and drop classes, during the registration period noted on the academic calendar. Adding or dropping a course on or after the first day of classes requires the signature of the affected instructor and the academic adviser. Semester courses may be added or dropped during the first seven days of classes. Summer term courses may be added or dropped during the first three days of the term. Students who have not attended class by the end of the add/drop period are deregistered from the university by the registrar’s office. After the add-drop period and until the end of the sixth week of a semester or the fifth day of a term, students may withdraw from a course with a “W” appearing on their academic record. Students may petition the Office of the Provost to withdraw from a course after that time and prior to the conclusion of the semester or term after consulting with their instructor and academic advisor. These will only be granted in extraordinary circumstances, such as severe health problems or hospitalization. Students will receive a “W” on their academic record. No course fee refund will be made if a student withdraws from a course that has a special fee. No “W” will be granted after the conclusion of the semester or term.