Academic Progress

Satisfactory Academic Progress

Whether or not a student is making satisfactory progress towards the completion of their program is evaluated based on the following criteria:

  • Maintaining a satisfactory GPA
  • Keeping pace towards completion in the allowed timeframe
  • Maintaining a minimum course completion pace

Student records are evaluated against these criteria at the conclusion of each trimester. Negative evaluation results may result in a student being placed on Academic Probation.

For students receiving Federal Student Aid, the results of each evaluation will impact if the student remains eligible to receive aid funds. Negative evaluation results will be communicated to the student and the student will be placed on Financial Aid Warning status (more information below).

Minimum Grade Point Average

The C, or 2.00 average, is the mark of acceptable work and good standing for undergraduate programs. The B, or 3.00 average, is the mark of acceptable work and good standing for graduate and doctoral programs. If a student’s GPA falls below the standard for the program in which the student is enrolled, he or she will be placed on academic probation (more information below).

Maximum Timeframe for Completion

The University has established the following maximum time frames based on full-time and part-time enrollment status:

ProgramFull-time statusPart-time status
Associate of Arts (61 units)3 years5 years
Bachelor of Arts in Biblical and Pastoral Studies (120 units)6 years10 years
Bachelor of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies (120 units)6 years10 years
Bachelor of Arts in New Testament Studies (120 units)6 years10 years
Master of Arts in Theological Studies (36 units)3 years5 years
Master of Divinity (74 units)6 years10 years
Doctor of Ministry (36 units)5 yearsFull-time only
Certificate Programs (16-18 units, Undergrad and Grad)3 years

Undergraduate full-time status is defined as a minimum of 24 semester hours (units) attempted in an academic year or 8 semester hours (units) attempted each trimester.

Undergraduate part-time status is defined as a minimum of 12 semester hours (units) attempted in an academic year or 4 semester hours (units) attempted each trimester. Less-than-part-time status is defined as anything less than part-time.

Graduate and Doctoral full-time status is defined as a minimum of 18 semester hours (units) attempted in an academic year or 6 semester hours (units) attempted each trimester.

Graduate part-time status is defined as a minimum of 9 semester hours (units) attempted in an academic year or 3 semester hours (units) attempted each trimester. Less-than-part-time status is defined as anything less than part-time.

Any extension beyond the time limit for a program requires the submission of a completion plan and approval by the appropriate Academic Dean. Such extensions are not automatic. The completion plan must give a schedule for the completion of remaining courses within a reasonable time.

Minimum Course Completion Pace

Students (Undergraduate and Graduate) must maintain a satisfactory course completion pace of at least 67%. Course completion pace is calculated by dividing the number of semester hours (units) completed by the number attempted. Courses where a student earns a final grade of A, B, C, or D are considered completed. Courses where a student earns a final grade of F, W, WF, or I are considered attempted but incomplete.

Example:
A student who enrolls in 8 three-unit courses in an academic year completes 6 courses, fails (F) 1 course, and withdraws (W) from 1 course. The student completed 18 units of the 24 units attempted which yields a course completion pace of 75% (18 / 24 = .75)

Students who fail to maintain the required minimum course completion will be placed on Academic Probation (see below).

Transfer credit accepted from other institutions will count towards units attempted and units completed.

Academic Probation

Academic probation is meant to be an early warning that a student is not making satisfactory progress toward graduation, and may be (but is not automatically) subject to dismissal at a future date.

A notice of academic probation is placed on the student’s grade report for each applicable enrollment period. The notice is removed when a student is no longer on probation. Since academic probation is a remedial action, individuals placed on academic probation may receive academic counseling from a Shiloh University academic advisor to explore possible reasons and/or solutions to the student’s academic performance. If necessary, a student’s course sequence plan will be revised.

Undergraduate
After 9 credits (semester hours), if an undergraduate student’s cumulative grade point average falls below the minimum acceptable standard (2.0), the student will be warned and placed on academic probation for the next 18 credits of study. Courses completed, courses withdrawn from, and courses dropped will all be considered part of the 18 attempted credits. Students may repeat a course one time only to improve a grade of C (2.0) or below. When the student’s cumulative grade point average reaches the minimum acceptable level or above, he/she will be removed from academic probation.

Graduate
When a graduate student’s cumulative grade point average falls below the minimum acceptable standard (3.0), the student will be warned and placed on academic probation for the next 9 credits of study. Courses completed, courses withdrawn from, and courses dropped will all be considered part of the 9 attempted credits. Students may repeat a course one time only to improve a grade of C (2.0) or below. In order for a graduate student to be removed from academic probation, the student’s cumulative grade point average must be raised to 3.0 or higher.

Doctoral
When a doctoral participant’s cumulative grade point average falls below the minimum acceptable (3.0), the participant will be warned and placed on academic probation until the participant has successfully raised their GPA to at least 3.0. A seminar may be repeated to earn a higher grade if necessary.

Financial Aid Progress Policy

Financial Aid Warning

If a student receiving financial aid does not maintain satisfactory academic progress (SAP) at the time of evaluation, they will be placed on financial aid warning. Students given this status may continue to receive financial aid funds for one trimester. During this trimester, the student must reestablish SAP in order to continue receiving aid funds. If a student does not accomplish this, they may submit an SAP Appeal form. If an appeal is accepted, the student will be placed on Financial Aid Probation status (see below). If an appeal is not accepted, the student will no longer be financial aid eligible until they meet reestablish minimum SAP.

Financial Aid Probation

If a student placed on Financial Aid Warning status does not improve their satisfactory academic progress (SAP) during the subsequent trimester, they may submit an SAP Appeal to continue receiving funds. If this appeal is approved the student will be placed on Financial Aid Probation status for one trimester.

As part of the appeal approval process the University may require that the student takes an adjusted course load or prescribed course schedule. If the student does not reestablish SAP during that trimester, or meet the alternate requirements set by the University during the appeal process, they will no longer be eligible to receive aid funds. The student may regain aid eligibility if they are able to reestablish SAP.

Late Assignment Policy

Assignments and discussions are considered late if not received by Sunday 11:59 p.m. of the week they are due. However, specific due dates within a class week may apply to individual assignments. A 20% grade penalty will be applied for the first week an assignment is late. An additional 20% penalty (40% total) will be applied for the second week an assignment is late. Assignments submitted more than two weeks after the due date will not be accepted. Note: Late penalties are not assigned to tests and assignments that are computer scored. Instructors may choose to adopt a stricter late assignment policy. This will be noted in the course syllabus.

If a student experiences extraordinary circumstances such as illness, emergency, or disaster that prevents him/her from completing an assignment(s) on time, the student may request an assignment extension. Approvals of such will only be given for legitimate reasons and documentation may be required. Neglect, typical work responsibilities, or events planned in advance are not considered legitimate reasons.

Extension requests are to be submitted at least one day before the assignment due date; retroactive extension requests will not be accepted. Extension requests must be submitted to the instructor via an Assignment Extension Request Form. Informal email requests are not accepted.

Course Policies

Course Extension Policy

If a student experiences extraordinary circumstances such as illness, emergency, or disaster that prevents him/her from completing coursework before the trimester end date, the student may request a course extension. Approvals of such will only be given for legitimate reasons and documentation may be required. Neglect, typical work responsibilities, or events planned in advance are not considered legitimate reasons.

Course extension requests are to be submitted at least one week before the end of the trimester; retroactive extension requests will not be accepted. Extension requests must be submitted to the instructor via a Course Extension Request Form. Informal email requests are not accepted.

If granted, an incomplete (I) grade will be assigned. After the established due date, which cannot extend beyond the end of the following trimester, the student’s final grade will be calculated. The earned final grade will be counted in the computation of the GPA.

Course Retake Policy

Undergraduate and graduate students may repeat a course one time only to improve a grade of C (2.0) or below. Doctoral students may repeat a course one time only to improve a grade of B (3.0) or below.

Repeated courses will count toward the calculation of full-time or part-time enrollment status. Repeat courses that were previously incomplete will count towards units attempted and completed. Repeat courses that were previously completed and are being taken for grade improvement will count towards units attempted but not towards units completed. Credit hours earned for the course will be assigned only once. Failure of a repeated course may affect the student’s ability to maintain satisfactory academic progress.

Remedial Course Policy

Students may be required to improve specific skills by taking remedial coursework. Remedial courses are not included in GPA calculations, and they do not count towards units attempted or units completed.

Non-Scheduled Course Policy

In rare cases, when a student’s progress towards graduation is significantly impeded by a lack of required course options in a given trimester, he/she may request a non-scheduled course offering. A non-scheduled course is not a directed study course: an instructor will be substantially involved on a regular basis, it will be administered through the online classroom, and it must be completed in 15 weeks. Only current courses (those listed in the current Academic Catalog) are eligible. Non-scheduled courses may not be requested in order to bypass portions of the curriculum or for the convenience of the student alone.

In order to be eligible to request a non-scheduled course, students must:

  • Be degree-seeking with Junior or Senior standing (Undergraduate) or 2nd or 3rd year status (Graduate)
  • Be meeting Satisfactory Academic Progress requirements
  • Need the course to satisfy his/her graduation requirements

Students may only take one non-scheduled course in a given term, and no more than two non-schedule courses in a given program. Course contact hours typically completed via discussions or any other student-to-student course components must be adequately replaced so the amended course meets required credit hour rules.

Non-Scheduled Course Request Process

To apply for a non-scheduled course offering, the student must:

  1. Discuss his/her options with his/her Advisor and receive approval from an Academic Dean before submitting a Non-Scheduled Course Agreement. If approved, the Academic Dean will select a supervising instructor for the course.
  2. Complete a Non-Scheduled Course Agreement – and all required enclosures – with the supervising instructor.
  3. Submit the signed, completed agreement to the Registrar’s Office during the trimester registration period.
  4. After receipt of registration confirmation, pay the standard course tuition as well as a $55 non-scheduled course fee.

Students may only take one non-scheduled course in a given term, and no more than two non-schedule courses in a given program. Course contact hours typically completed via discussions or any other student-to-student course components must be adequately replaced so the amended course meets required credit hour rules.

Leave of Absence Policy

Leave of Absence

If a degree student feels that they need to interrupt their academic progress by taking a trimester off, they may request a leave of absence. A leave of absence (LOA) must be communicated in writing to the Registrar’s Office via a Leave of Absence form. Note that if a student requires a short leave of absence during a trimester but still wishes to complete their course(s), they should refer to the Course Extension Policy.

A degree student may not typically request a LOA for more than one trimester in any given 12-month period. Any Leave of Absence of that exceeds one trimester will be considered a program withdrawal unless the extended leave was preapproved via appeal. Students wishing to appeal for an extended leave may do so using a new Leave of Absence form.

Financial Aid Recipients
Students receiving Federal Student Aid cannot appeal to extend a Leave of Absence. If a student fails to return after an approved one trimester absence, it will be considered a program withdrawal. The program withdrawal date will be considered the first date of the approved absence (the first day of the absent trimester) and that time will count as part of the student’s 6 month loan repayment grace period.

Military Leave of Absence

In accordance with Iowa State law any member (or spouse of a member if the member has a dependent child) of the Iowa National Guard or reserve forces of the United States who is ordered to national guard duty or federal active duty will receive the following Military Leave of Absence (MLOA) accommodations. Students from other states will receive similar accommodations in accordance with applicable State and Federal laws.

First, since all of the classes are taken online, students have multiple unique options for completing their coursework. They may work with their instructor to finish course work early, continue with their course(s) while deployed, or (if deployment is less than one month long) they may request a course extension (see Course Extension policy). If such arrangements are made, since you are attempting to complete the course in a timely manner, tuition and fees will not be refunded.

However, if students are not able to complete their course work via the methods described above, they may receive an Incomplete (I) grade for the course. For any course for which an incomplete grade is assigned, it is understood that students intend to complete the course at a later time and therefore tuition and fees will still be collected.

Alternately students may withdraw their trimester registration and receive a full refund of tuition and fees for that trimester’s course(s). In this case, a pre-Withdrawal-Deadline grade will be assigned regardless of the actual withdrawal date.

A Military Leave of Absence (MLOA) may be granted for a period of not more than five cumulative years. Students returning from an MLOA need not apply for readmission. They will be readmitted into the same program they were originally enrolled or an up-to-date equivalent if a program update is advantageous for them.

In order for an MLOA to be granted, students must be in good standing in their program, must have met participation requirements, and must be receiving a passing grade at the time of deployment.

Note: When students are taking multiple courses in a trimester, any combination of the above options may be applied to each course.

Military Leave of Absence Request Process

Students must inform the Registrar’s office in writing (email is preferred) as soon as possible after receiving notification of deployment or movement due to military necessity. Communication must include a copy of applicable military orders.

Any withdrawal from courses related to deployment must be explicitly communicated to the Registrar’s Office to ensure that a full refund of tuition and fees will be made. If payment for courses has already been made, refunds may first be applied to any outstanding obligations and to any applicable scholarship, grant, or loan the University has directly received on behalf of students.

Reinstatement after a Military Leave of Absence

If an MLOA was not requested prior to the start of the deployment, it will be necessary to send a copy of your military orders to the Registrar’s Office along with a letter explaining your circumstances in order to ensure that you will not be required to re-apply for admission to the University. If the MLOA was submitted prior to deployment, it is only necessary for the individual to notify the Registrar of intention to return to studies.

Academic Dismissal

Undergraduate

If after completing the additional 18 credits of study the undergraduate student on academic probation does not have the required cumulative GPA for his/her program, he/she will be subject to dismissal. The Academic Dean or Dean’s designee will notify the student, in writing, of the dismissal.

Graduate

If after the additional 9 credits of study the graduate student on academic probation does not have the required cumulative GPA for his/her program, he/she will be subject to dismissal. The Academic Dean or Dean’s designee will notify the student, in writing, of the dismissal.

Petition for Reinstatement

After one academic year, students who have been dismissed may petition for reinstatement through the University unless other criteria for possible reinstatement were included in the dismissal notice. All petitions for reinstatement will be considered on an individual basis. Reinstatement will be granted only on a petition demonstrating that there is a strong likelihood that the student possesses motivation and capacity to successfully complete the academic requirements.

The Academic Dean or Dean’s designee will notify the student in writing of the University’s decision regarding reinstatement. Students who are reinstated will be required to comply with any conditions set forth in the letter of reinstatement. The University reserved the right to either reinstate the student in their original program or in the version currently available at that time. A copy of all reinstatement forms and letters regarding academic status will be sent to the Registrar’s Office to be placed in the student’s University file.

Unofficial Withdrawal

Per federal regulations, schools are required to review students who received federal financial aid and did not pass any classes. An assessment must be made to determine whether the student earned the non-passing grades while continuing to substantively participate in classes or stopped participating in classes but did not officially withdraw. Students who stopped participating in classes may be required to repay a portion of the federal financial aid for that trimester. If it is determined that a student never began participating in some or all classes, aid may be cancelled completely.

Federal financial aid recipients who are identified as not attending one or more courses, they will receive an email from the Financial Aid Office outlining the University’s policy on official and unofficial withdrawals. Students no longer attending class are encouraged to officially drop individual semester-length courses or withdraw entirely through the Office of the Registrar.

If a student follows University procedures and withdraws, they will have an official withdrawal date and their financial aid refund calculation will be completed according to the Federal Return of Title IV Funds Refund Policy.

At the end of each trimester, all federal financial aid recipients who receive no passing grades (any combination of F, I, IP, NP, WF) will be reviewed to determine if the non-passing grade was earned while participating or due to no longer participating class. The Financial Aid Office will consult course participation records to determine the last date of substantive participation.

Substantive participation is defined as significant discussion forum interaction, submission of an assignment, completion of quiz or examination, or significant correspondence with an instructor. Logging into the classroom site does not constitute substantive participation, nor does cursory posts in discussion forums such as “good job” or “I agree”.

The midpoint of the trimester is used to calculate the amount of federal financial aid refund the student owes unless a later date of substantive participation can be verified. If no participation can be verified, it will be assumed that they did not ever attend the class. If half-time participation cannot be verified, all aid may be cancelled.

If substantive participation beyond the midpoint of the trimester can be verified in even a single class by the student or an instructor and the student began participation in all classes, the amount of financial aid the student is required to repay may be reduced. If academic activity beyond the 60% point of the trimester can be verified in even a single class and the student began participating in all classes, the student may not need to repay any financial aid.

If a student unofficially withdraws, they will not receive a downward adjustment in contracted University charges. Therefore, any refund owed to a federal financial aid program is the student’s responsibility and will appear as a charge on the student’s next University bill. Students with outstanding balances on their account statement cannot register for classes, and cannot receive official transcripts.

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