Graduate Catalog • 2012-2013

Registration and Class Procedures

Class Attendance

Regular attendance at classes is expected of all students, regardless of whether attendance is a factor in a student’s grade for a course. If attendance is used to compute the final grades for the course, that fact must be reflected in the course syllabus.

When an academic or extracurricular activity is scheduled in conflict with a pre-existing class time, the class takes precedence; arrangements with the instructor must be made in advance to enable students to attend the conflicting activity.

Students who are aware of potential conflicts due to College sanctioned activities should report and discuss these conflicts with course instructors as soon as they are known. The College encourages students to participate in sanctioned activities and encourages faculty to make arrangements to facilitate these experiences where possible.

Class Cancellation because of Inclement Weather

In every situation, both individual and institutional, the decision to cancel classes should be taken very seriously. The reputation of the institution and the integrity of the academic program rely on every class being conducted according to the schedule; as well, there are financial ramifications for students and their employers whenever a class is not held.

When predictions of severe weather warrant closing the College or delaying the opening of the College, every attempt will be made to announce this decision at least two hours in advance, to accommodate those faculty and students who come to campus from a distance. This information may be obtained from any of the following sources:

  • Inclement Weather Hotline (610-606-4629)
  • Television stations: WFMZ TV 69, WNEP TV 16
  • Radio stations: WODE FM 99.9, WCTO FM 96.1, WLEV FM 100.7, WAEB FM 104.1, WAEB AM 790, WEST AM 1400

Classroom Protocol

Cedar Crest College maintains a classroom and learning environment dedicated to scholarly, artistic, and professional inquiry. The College’s community of learning is founded upon the intellectual freedom of students and faculty in pursuit of knowledge and understanding. Such an environment depends upon the insights of scholarly disciplines, as well as a respect for the global diversity of viewpoints and cultural backgrounds.

The college expects students to conduct themselves in a manner that best realizes their own and other students’ education. Appropriate classroom behavior includes, but is not limited to, the expectations for students: to attend and be prepared for all classes, to arrive and leave on time, to treat the faculty members and other students with respect, to refrain from any activities within the classroom that do not directly pertain to the business of the class, to use language that is respectful and non-abusive, and to otherwise refrain from any behavior that disrupts or jeopardizes the learning environment as determined by a reasonable faculty member. Academic programs or individual faculty members may establish additional behavioral policies for their courses, including those which take classroom behavior into account for a student’s academic evaluation.

If a student would like to bring a guest to class, permission must be secured from the instructor prior to that class time.

Faculty members are entitled to respond to disruptive student behavior. Responses can range from a verbal warning to requiring the student to leave class. Faculty may further choose to treat dismissal from class as an absence, for the purposes of attendance policies. If a student refuses to leave when requested, the faculty member is to call Campus Security and have the student removed. Unless it should be necessary to protect oneself, the faculty member should not make any effort or threat to remove the student physically. If the faculty member desires that the expulsion extend beyond the class period or that it be permanent, the faculty member must first notify the chair of his or her department, and then make such a request to the Provost prior to the beginning of the next meeting of that class. If the Provost concurs, the student is to be notified of procedures by which she may appeal. Under some circumstances, some disruptive classroom behavior may warrant dismissal from the College.

Course Registration

Course registration is available to graduate students in good financial standing with the College. If a student is not financially eligible to register, the student may not register online or with a completed registration form in the Registrar’s Office until that hold is removed. A copy of the registration will be kept in the Registrar’s Office until notification of a change in the student’s status is received from Student Financial Services. Policies pertaining to online course registration vary across programs. Please consult each Graduate Student Handbook for specific details.

Drop/Add Period

A student may add a course only during the first week of the course, space permitting. A student may drop a class during the drop/add period, or prior to the start of the class without the drop appearing on the student’s transcript. Dropping one or more classes may affect a student’s satisfactory academic progress requirement for receipt of financial aid; the student should contact the Student Financial Services Office for information.

Policies pertaining to course withdrawals after the end of official drop/add period vary across graduate programs. Please consult each program’s Graduate Student Handbook for specific details.


A temporary grade of Incomplete (I) is only given to a student who is doing passing work in a course but who, for reasons beyond the student’s control, is not able to complete the course requirements by the deadline for submitting grades. At least 75% of the assigned work for the class must have been completed before a grade of “I” can be requested.

An Incomplete must be requested by the student, who will provide proper documentation of the reason for the request. The Incomplete must be approved both by the instructor and by the Director of the graduate program in question. The “Request for Incomplete” form is available in the Registrar’s office. The deadline for requesting an Incomplete grade is ordinarily the last day of classes for the semester in which the course is taken. However, in cases involving unusual circumstances, such as sickness or injury, a member of Academic Services Staff or the instructor may request an Incomplete on the student’s behalf.

A grade of “I” is not entered on a student’s permanent record. Ordinarily, coursework must be completed within the first six weeks after the last day of final examinations. The instructor may choose to indicate on the “Request for Incomplete” form the grade the student should receive if no additional work is completed by the deadline specified. If the instructor does not turn in a grade within the six week period and has not indicated a grade on the incomplete form, a grade of “F” will be recorded for the course.

Independent Study

The purpose of an independent study is to enable a student to investigate a topic not covered in depth in regularly scheduled classes. It is generally assumed that the student has the necessary academic background and skills to pursue intensive scholarly work on the topic independently. Such work requires initiative, commitment to scholarship, excellent academic and study skills, and familiarity with the subject under study. The role of the instructor in such a course is primarily for consultation, advisement, and possible collaboration. Before proposing an independent study, the student should have explored other avenues for receiving instruction or course credit, including a course substitution chosen in consultation with the student’s advisor and/or the Director of the graduate program in question.

The student should discuss the following aspects of the course organization with the faculty member:

  • Learning objectives
  • Reasons for pursuing the independent study
  • Relevance to the student’s academic program
  • Schedule of meetings with the instructor
  • Assignments and other work to be submitted
  • Assessment and grading procedures

A student must prepare a proposal explaining these aspects of the learning experience and any other relevant information. The student must submit the proposal and an independent study form to the Graduate Program Director. The student also must receive approval from the Department Chair of the faculty member who will be supervising the independent study. The proposal and the independent study form bearing all required signatures must then be submitted to the Dean of Adult and Graduate Education who will forward the independent study form to the Provost. Upon approval, the form will be sent to the Registrar’s Office.

Independent studies are charged at the current day per-credit rate, unless otherwise noted. A faculty member who agrees to supervise an independent study receives compensation at the per-credit rate established for independent studies. Policies pertaining to the total number of independent study credits a student may receive vary across graduate programs. Please consult each program’s Graduate Student Handbook for specific details.

Pass/Fail and Audit Options

Matriculated students are not permitted to enroll in graduate courses on a pass/fail basis. Neither are they permitted to audit graduate courses.

Repeating a Course

Policies pertaining to the issue of whether a student may repeat a graduate course, and under what conditions, vary across graduate programs. Please consult each program’s Graduate Student Handbook for specific details.

If a course is repeated, the higher grade earned is computed into the student’s grade point average. However, both grades appear on the permanent record. Repeating courses may affect a student’s satisfactory academic progress requirement for receipt of financial aid; the student should consult the Student Financial Services Office for information.

Student Due Process – Academic Matters

A student who has a disagreement with a faculty member about an academic matter should first attempt to resolve the matter through discussion with the instructor. If the issue is not resolved satisfactorily between the student and the instructor, the student may elect to contest the decision through the Student Complaints - Appeals Process (see below). If the issue is a dispute of a final grade received in a course, the appeal must be submitted within thirty days of the date that term grades are issued by the Registrar.

Student Complaints – Appeal Process

A student who wishes to appeal the decision of an academic matter (academic matters include disputes over grades, allegations of academic misconduct, and program dismissals) or has a specific complaint regarding a non-academic matter should address the issue in writing to the Program Director of the academic program. If the complaint or appeal involves the Program Director, the student should address the issue in writing to the Department Chair. The original complaint or appeal will be kept on file with the Program Director. The Program Director in consultation with the Department Chair and any faculty named in the complaint or appeal or the Department Chair (if the complaint or appeal involves the Program Director) will make a decision on the adjudication of the complaint or appeal to the student in writing within thirty days. This decision will be kept on file with the Program Director. If the student is dissatisfied with the decision of the Program Director or Department Chair, the student has seven days to appeal in writing to the Dean of the School of Adult and Graduate Education. The student should submit all correspondences along with the appeal. The Dean will respond in writing to the student and Program Director within thirty days regarding the Dean’s decision of the appeal. The decision of the Dean will be kept on file with the Provost. If the student is not satisfied with the decision of the Dean, the student has seven days to address the issue in writing to the Provost. The Program Director also has the option of appealing the Dean’s decision to the Provost. Upon receipt of the appeal and all correspondences, the Provost will consult with the Dean and will have thirty days to respond in writing to the student, Dean, and Program Director regarding the decision of the Provost. The appeal to the Provost and the written response will be kept on file with the Provost. Decisions of the Provost are final.

Allegations of Student Academic Misconduct

Faculty who suspect academic misconduct on the part of a student, should first discuss the issue with the student. If, after discussion with the student, the faculty member believes that academic misconduct occurred the faculty member must report the incident to the Provost’s Office in a timely manner using the “Report of Academic Misconduct” and attach relevant evidentiary documentation as appropriate. Contemporaneous with the submission of the report to the Provost’s Office, the faculty member must report the incident in writing to the Program Director. This report will be kept with the Program Director. Within fourteen days of receiving the report, the Program Director in consultation with the faculty member issuing the report and the Department Chair will make a written notification to the Provost regarding the extent (if any) of the disciplinary action toward the student. The student will also receive written notification from the Program Director regarding this decision. Both the written notification to the Provost and to the student will be kept with the Program Director. Students disagreeing with the decision of the Program Director should follow the Student Complaint – Appeals Process.