2018-2019 Academic Catalog (August 2018 - July 2019) 
    Jul 22, 2024  
2018-2019 Academic Catalog (August 2018 - July 2019) [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Academics - Policies and Procedures

Academic regulations exist to assure that the University maintains recognized standards as an institution of higher learning. The University accepts its obligation to offer programs of quality which are recognized nationally and internationally.

Admission to Concord University provides the student the opportunity to achieve a higher education that includes the development of skills, ideas, and attitudes.

The facilities and activities of the institution are dedicated to the task of providing the climate for learning. Regulations, goals, and practices must be observed to provide equal educational opportunities for all students.

Some of the University regulations are established by State legislation, by the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission, or by national agencies that accredit the University. Concord regulations are designed to augment the degree as a meaningful acknowledgment of a graduate's educational achievement.


Academic Dishonesty

Academic dishonesty is morally unacceptable as well as destructive to the learning and teaching atmosphere. Academic dishonesty includes the giving or receiving of improper help on examinations or assignments, falsifying documents, and plagiarism (the act of stealing and using, as ones own, the ideas or the expression of the ideas of another). Such dishonesty can lead to a variety of penalties — including but not limited to failure of assignment, failure of course, loss of institutional privileges, or dismissal from the University.

A failing course grade as a result of academic dishonesty will be recorded as an F on the final grade report, and the instructor will inform, in writing, the department chair and the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs who notifies, in writing, the Registrar's Office and the student. Course grades affected by academic dishonesty are not subject to the D/F forgiveness rule described below, and a student who is to receive a failing grade due to proven academic dishonesty may not drop the failed course with a grade of W. (See Grade Change Procedure)

Any recommendation by the instructor beyond an F in the course must be submitted, in writing, to the student, to the department chair, and to the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs for transmittal to the Judicial Steering Committee which will then initiate a judicial procedure.

Any failing course grade or dismissal that results solely from academic dishonesty will be identified as such on the student transcript.

Academic Exceptions

Any exception to the academic regulations that apply to students at Concord University, including the requirements of the course of study for a particular degree, must be requested in writing. Deviation from established academic guidelines is considered to weaken the force of the regulations, is unfair to the students who are held to that particular requirement, and detracts from the academic reputation of the University and its degrees. Thus, substantial evidence from the student must be submitted. Exceptions will not be approved without significant, convincing evidence that a variance is justified.

The Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs reviews these requests for academic exception with input from the student's academic adviser and department chairs.

The President of the University or a committee of the faculty occasionally may grant a hearing in appeal of a decision made by the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, if requested in writing by the student.

Students will not be allowed to withdraw from a class with an exception in order to avoid earning a poor grade.

Amending Information

While every effort is made to assure accuracy at the time of printing, Concord University reserves the right to delete, change, or amend the information in this Catalog as necessary.

It is the student's responsibility to realize and comply with current University policies.

Licensure and accreditation regulations may require additional non-published admission requirements in some certificate programs. Candidates in these programs must familiarize themselves with the current admission requirements of the Department which administers these programs.

Class Attendance

Regular class attendance is part of a student's academic obligation at Concord.  Irregular attendance may affect academic performance adversely and is detrimental to the atmosphere of a class.

Illness or other compelling reasons occasionally may make it necessary for a student to be absent from class.  When a student cannot attend a class or laboratory, the student is obliged to notify each instructor involved as soon as possible and provide  an appropriate explanation.  The student must take the initiative both in providing adequate explanation and in satisfying the class attendance policy.

Note:  Extended absence, as the result of illness or other compelling reasons, should be reported to the Office of Student Affairs.

The instructor has considerable discretion with regard to attendance policy.  It is imperative that students attend the first class meeting.  If an instructor has a waiting list and any student does not attend the first class meeting, the student may be dropped from the roll to provide room for students waiting to add the course.  Instructors typically use the first day to establish class policies and orient students to the course.

Absence from class for University approved functions poses a special problem.  Any absence means that a learning situation has been missed.  The lost learning experience may result in reduced performance on exams or in other testing situations.  In choosing to participate in University activities, a student should carefully consider the possible impact of the absence on grades and academic standing in the class.  However, the University does not wish to prohibit student participation in approved activities.  Therefore, instructors are required to excuse the physical absence if the student has notified the instructor and arranged for any compensation work prior to the absence.  The student is responsible for contact instructor(s) to determine how far in advance of the absence such notification and arrangements must be made.

Note:  The activity leader must distribute printed lists of participants.  These lists are for the instructor's information only.  Such a list does not alter the student's responsibility as explained in the previous paragraph.

After appropriate warning and notification to the Office of Student Affairs, an instructor may drop a student with irregular or non-attendance if the instructor has not received a satisfactory explanation from the student.  A written notification to the department chairperson and the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs is also required.  The grade recorded in cases of dismissal for irregular and for non-attendance is a W.

When a student is withdrawn in this manner from all of his or her courses, he or she is no longer classified as a student, and therefore, is not eligible to reside in the residence has or to receive financial aid.

A student who stopped attending classes in a previous semester and consequently received grades of F may request an academic exception to have the Fs changed to Ws.  For instructions on completing an academic exception, please see the policy on Academic Exceptions  .

Classroom Conduct

In classrooms, laboratories, and during any activities that are part of course requirements, students are expected to observe reasonable rules of conduct. Questions and discussions in class on the subject matter of a course will be accepted by any Concord instructor as a proper part of a university course, limited only by allotted time.

Students also are encouraged to consult instructors individually when necessary, either about the subject matter of the course or about their work in the course.

Disruptive behavior in the classroom will not be tolerated. If student conduct makes it difficult to continue the class satisfactorily, the instructor may warn the student of this fact. If objectionable conduct continues, the instructor may dismiss the student from the course with written notification of this action to the department chairperson and the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs. Any appeal from such decision must be made to these, beginning with the classroom instructor. The grade recorded in cases of dismissal for conduct is an F.

A student suspended or expelled from the University for unacceptable conduct outside of the classroom shall have a grade of W recorded permanently for all course work during the semester of the suspension or expulsion.

D and F Forgiveness Rule (Academic Forgiveness Policy)

Any undergraduate student who earns a grade of "D" or "F" for a course taken prior to the receipt of a baccalaureate degree, may repeat the course prior to the receipt of the baccalaureate degree and the original (first attempt) grade will be disregarded in GPA calculation.  Only the grade earned when repeated will be used in determining GPA.  However, the original grade will not be deleted from the student's academic record.  Additionally, eight (8) credit hours of original (first attempt) "C" grade upper division coursework (300-400 level) may be repeated with written permission of the Department Chair and College Dean (for the student's declared major) and the Provost.   Forms to request permission to repeat a course with a "C" grade are available in the Registrar's Office.  All repeatable "D," "F," or upper division "C" coursework is capped at 21 credit hours.  The 21 credit hour calculation for academic forgiveness begins fall semester 2018 and applies to all undergraduate students.  Note:  Any failing grade issued as a result of academic dishonesty will not be subject to repeat under the Academic Forgiveness Policy.

Grade Change Procedure (Academic)

A student has a right to complain if convinced that an academic matter or faculty action is unfair or inappropriate to the generally recognized standards of academic freedom and license. When such a complaint is made, the obligation of proving the validity of the case falls upon the person making the complaint. Note that complaints regarding grades received on other than academic grounds must follow the Grade Change Procedure (Non-Academic).

Initially, a student should discuss the complaint with the academic adviser for purposes of guidance and counseling. Whenever possible and appropriate, the student complaining should then work with the faculty member to whom the complaining is addressed. If the issue is not resolved in a satisfactory manner at this level, a written complaint may be brought to the department chairperson with whatever argumentation and evidence is available. If the student is dissatisfied with the disposition of the problem on this level, the written complaint, with whatever argumentation and evidence is available, may be taken to the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs. Following appropriate investigation of the complaint, the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs will notify all directly involved parties of the decision for final resolution of the matter.

Grade Change Procedure (Non-Academic)

A student has a right to complain if convinced that a grade was unfairly assigned because it was given on other than academic grounds which were not legitimate and pertinent to an academic situation. For example, if a student is convinced that a grade was given because of prejudice (sexual, racial, political, cultural, etc.), this may constitute grounds for a complaint. If such a complaint is made, the obligation of proving the validity of the case falls upon the person making the complaint. The faculty member, as academic decision maker, is assumed to be innocent unless a case is made to prove that the grade was improperly assigned.

A student complaint of this nature should be made first to the faculty member to whom the complaint is addressed. If the issue is not resolved in a satisfactory manner, a written complaint may be brought to the department chairperson with whatever argumentation and evidence is available. The complaint must be registered soon enough to allow completion of the appeal procedure; that is, no later than one regular semester after the grade was given. The student should allow two weeks at each level for the adjudicator's study of the situation. If the chairperson deems the complaint merits consideration, the chairperson may further investigate the situation, consult with the faculty member and with any other appropriate sources. If the chairperson feels a persuasive case has been made, a recommendation will be made to the faculty member concerning the grade. If the case is not persuasive, the chairperson will reject the student appeal.

If the student is not satisfied by the disposition of the appeal on this level, a written appeal may be made to the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs. On receipt, the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs will send the appeal to a Faculty Committee consisting of one faculty member elected from each department and the Chief Justice of the Student Hearing Board. It should be clearly understood that the purpose of this committee is to evaluate the validity of the student's claim that the grade was not given on academic grounds. It is not the purpose of this committee to evaluate academic standards, or in any way intrude on the autonomy of the instructor in defining the academic content or procedures of his or her course. This committee will receive the complaint and hold an initial meeting to determine if there appears to be sufficient merit in the accusation to warrant holding full hearings. If the decision is negative, the appeal is rejected. If the decision is affirmative, the student is then invited to present the case to the Committee, using argumentation, evidence, witnesses, etc. in a reasonable procedure, such as used by the Faculty Grievance and Hearing Committees. The burden of making the case falls upon the student. The Committee will, as a matter of course, consult with and question the faculty member who has a right to attend the proceedings and respond to the accusation(s). Colleagues in the discipline should be consulted concerning academic questions should they arise.

The Committee shall pursue any additional evidence or information it regards as necessary and pertinent. After evaluation of the case, the Committee shall come to a finding by a majority vote. Should the Committee find that a majority has not been persuaded of the impropriety of the grade, the student appeal is rejected and the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs is so notified. The Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs will then inform the student. Should a majority of the Committee be persuaded that the student has shown the grade to be improperly given (not on the basis of legitimate academic factors) then the Committee will, after consultation with the appropriate faculty members, make a recommendation to the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs as to the appropriate grade. If the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs concurs with the Committee's recommendations for a grade change, the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs will transmit the new grade to the Office of the Registrar and will notify all parties concerned.

Inadequate Proficiency in English

In all academic work, students are expected to use standard English in written and oral communication. An instructor from any department who finds the work of a student seriously deficient in English skills may refer the student to the Chairperson of the Department of Humanities. The Chairperson, after evaluation of the referred student, may require additional work of that student without credit.

Inclement Weather Schedule 

  Monday/Wednesday/Friday Classes   Tuesday/Thursday Classes  
  Regular Inclement   Regular Inclement  
  8:00-8:50 10:00-10:40   8:00-9:15 10:00-11:00  
  9:00-9:50 10:45-11:25   9:30-10:45 11:05-12:05  
  10:00-10:50 11:30-12:10   11:00-12:15 12:10-1:10  
  11:00-11:50 12:15-12:55   12:30-1:45 1:15-2:15  
  12:00-12:50 1:00-1:40   2:00-3:15 2:20-3:20  
  1:00-1:50 1:45-2:25   3:30-4:45 3:25-4:25  
  2:00-2:50 2:30-3:10        
  3:00-3:50 3:15-3:55        

Residence Credit

A candidate for a degree from Concord University must have earned a minimum of 36 semester hours of credit while in residence. Sixteen of the last 32 semester hours of study previous to graduation must be done in residence at this University. For students completing three years in the pre-medical, pre-dental, or pre-law curricula, 16 of the last 32 semester hours of study previous to entering professional training must be done in residence. At least nine semester hours credit for courses required for a major, minor, concentration, or teaching field (or specialization) must be earned in residence here. These courses are to be upper division courses, or in some instances, for elementary education specializations, courses designated by the appropriate department chairperson.

Residency Status and Out-of-State Academic Programs

The one exception to residency status for in-state fee purposes is that of individuals approved for enrollment through the Academic Common Market. Currently, the only Academic Common Market program on the Concord campus involves Recreation and Tourism Management majors from the state of Arkansas.

West Virginia residents seeking designated majors not available within West Virginia may be able to attend participating colleges or universities outside the state and pay in-state student fees through the Academic Common Market or other contract programs. Further information is obtainable through the Registrar's Office or the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission.

Transfer Credit

The determination of acceptable transfer credit is made by the University after review of the courses offered for transfer and consideration of which of these are equivalent to Concord courses and which may be counted only for elective credit. Grades for all work transferred are recorded as earned. Transfer students should submit other institutions' transcripts at the earliest possible date so that the Concord evaluation of the transfer can be made. Although all credits from regionally accredited junior colleges in college parallel courses are accepted (provided none of the credit was acquired after the student gained junior standing at a four-year college), a maximum of seventy-two semester hours is applicable toward the 120 semester hours required for graduation. Thus, a minimum of 56 semester hours must be completed at a baccalaureate institution. Credit from one of the three following sources is acceptable for transfer to Concord University: a regionally accredited institution; the Army American Council on Education Registry Transcript Systems (AARTS); and, the Sailor/Marine American Council on Education Registry Transcript (SMART). Credit from other sources must receive special permission to be transferred to Concord University. Students transferring from two-year institutions must complete, at Concord, a minimum of fifteen semester hours in the major or teaching field. After transferring, a student must maintain a 2.00 grade average in all courses taken at Concord. Once a student has been admitted to Concord as a transfer student, transfer credit will be accepted only for courses for which prior permission is obtained.

Transfer of Academic Credit Policy

The initial evaluation of transfer credit will be completed on a course-by-course basis referencing the course title, course level, grade received, and/or supporting course descriptions.  Courses required for the major, teaching field, area of emphasis, etc. may be initially accepted as elective credit by the Registrar's Office but will be modified once written approval is granted by the appropriate department chair.  It is the responsibility of the student to provide the necessary evaluation forms and documentation (syllabus for each course in question) to the department chair for the petition review. 

Credit transferred to Concord University from an in-state institution will have an additional level of evaluation based upon the Core Coursework Transfer Agreement (CCTA) - see Registrar's website for agreement details:  http://www.concord.edu/academics/registrar 

Students transferring credit from an out-of-state institution of higher education will be evaluated in a similar manner and the CCTA will serve as a reference document.

Any student denied specific course credit at the department level may petition the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs of Concord University to request a final review at the institutional level.  If the appeal for course credit from an in-state institution is not granted by the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, the student then has the right to appeal to the Joint Recommending Committee for Transfer and Articulation at the state level.  Any in-state student wishing to utilize the final appeal process at the state level may contact the Registrar's Office for additional information and forms (registrar@concord.edu or phone 304-384-5236 or 5237).

Transient Credit

Once enrolled, it is expected that a Concord student will do most of his or her course work at Concord. However, students may apply for permission to take work at another regionally-accredited institution. Application must be made in writing to the Registrar, stating the institution, the reason for requesting the work there, and whether the work will be on its campus, on-line, by extension, or by correspondence. The request must include the departmental designation of the course, its number, descriptive title, and credit designation, as listed in the catalog of that institution.

Transient forms are available through the Registrar's Office.

Credit will not be granted for courses taken elsewhere unless permission is granted in advance. Good academic standing (2.0 grade point average) is required for permission to study at another institution.

Permission to take courses elsewhere is not given for any course already taken at Concord, or for certain basic courses required in the student's program of study, without prior approval by the student's major department. Once a student has attained junior standing at Concord, courses may not be taken at a community college for transfer to Concord University.

Concord University cannot assume any responsibility for the transmittal of official notice of completion of courses at other institutions. Students depending upon correspondence credits to complete their graduation requirements are cautioned that Concord has no control over delays which may occur in the grading of correspondence assignments and in the sending of another institution's official transcripts of final grades to the Concord Registrar's Office.

The Registrar and the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs review transient requests.

Weather Policy

As a general policy the University will remain in normal operation during adverse weather conditions. In the event of severe weather conditions, the President may

  1. place classes on inclement weather schedule;
  2. cancel classes before the end of the class day;
  3. cancel classes for an entire day or days;
  4. close the University with notification to the Chancellor of the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission.

Individual instructors will establish inclement weather meeting times if a class does not meet at one of the regular times noted above.

The Director of the Beckley Center will determine the status of off-campus classes in Raleigh County. If a decision to cancel classes is made, the media, faculty, and appropriate University offices will be notified.

The late schedule affects classes only. Other University operations are expected to follow normal routines, although the University encourages its employees to use discretion to ensure safety in traveling on weather-affected roadways. The University urges individuals to use their own best judgment in making a decision to commute or not to the campus in adverse or severe weather conditions.

Concord faculty are urged to make attendance policy considerations for the difficulties some commuting students may encounter due to weather conditions and provide opportunities to make up missed work. Students have an obligation to make every safe effort to attend classes, to initiate arrangements for making up missed work, and to understand the occasional commuting difficulties of faculty.

Announcements invoking the late schedule or other options referenced above are aired on area radio and television stations and are sent as text and email messages to those enrolled for this service.

Take note that unless a cancellation announcement is made, classes will be held.