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Academic Policies &
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|Academic Policies and Procedures: A-E||Academic Policies and Procedures: P-W|
|Final Examinations||Graduation||Major Information|
|Final Examinations Missed Due to Inclement Weather or Emergency||Grievance Procedure for Students||Makeup Days for Classes Missed Due to Inclement Weather or Emergency|
|Grade Appeal Procedure||Honor System||Misconduct in Research and Other Scholarly Work|
|Nonreturning Students and Leave of Absence|
|Students are expected to attend final examinations during the times scheduled for those examinations. Extenuating circumstances, however, might prompt faculty members to approve a student’s request for an exception to attending the final examination. Students whose request for exceptions are disapproved by the relevant faculty members have the right to appeal to the relevant academic unit head or academic dean. No appeal will be favorably considered without prior consultation with the faculty member.|
|Final Examinations Missed Due to Inclement Weather or Emergency|
|In response to inclement weather and other emergencies, the university may be forced to cancel final exams. When the university closes due to weather or other types of emergencies, faculty will administer regularly scheduled final examinations at an official make-up time designated by the university unless otherwise announced in the course syllabus. The official make- up time will be designated as part of the closing announcement. Unless otherwise notified, make-up examination locations will be the same as locations for regularly scheduled exams. If it is determined that exams cannot be given because of inclement weather or other emergency, faculty will assign final grades to students based on the exams, tests and projects completed prior to the regularly scheduled exam dates.|
|Grade Appeal Procedure|
|Maintaining standards of excellence and the integrity of the teaching/learning process are important values to JMU faculty. The university and its faculty members also recognize that grades may sometimes be inappropriately assigned. If such disagreements occur, students have a right to voice their opinion concerning a particular course grade. Evaluation of student work and assignment of grades on the basis of academic criteria are the responsibilities and prerogative exercised by the professor.|
|Grade Change Procedure|
|If a student (graduate, undergraduate or post-baccalaureate) believes that a grade was assigned in error, because of a mistake in calculation or an error in recording a grade, the student should consult the professor (or professors, in the case of a jointly taught course) before the Friday of the second full week of classes in the regular semester following the semester of the contested grade to resolve the discrepancy. Requests for review of spring semester or summer session grades must be initiated no later than the Monday of the third full week of classes in the subsequent fall semester. If the professor agrees that a change should be made, the professor should submit a Grade Change Form, available from the Office of the Registrar or on the Web at http://www.jmu.edu/registrar/forms.shtml, and forward it to the relevant academic unit head or cluster coordinator for signature. A copy of the Grade Change Form will be forwarded to the dean. The only basis for this type of change is an error in grade assignment or calculation.|
|Grade Review Process|
|If a student (graduate, undergraduate or post-baccalaureate) believes that a final course grade was unfairly awarded, that student may initiate the grade review process. Students should be aware that, as a result of review, a grade may be raised, lowered or left the same. Evaluation of student work and assignment of grades on the basis of academic criteria are the responsibilities of and prerogative exercised by the professor teaching that particular course. Grounds for grade review are limited to two categories.|
|Activating the Grade Review Process|
|To activate the grade review process, the student should follow these four steps.
|Students who spend a semester abroad should submit the Grade Review Form to the relevant professor by the Monday of the third full week of classes in the semester following the semester during which the grade was given. These students must also notify the professor of their semester absence from campus. Students can complete a written explanation of the reasons for the dispute and can submit relevant documentation upon their return to campus, but that student cannot submit the request after the end of that semester. If a faculty member is not on campus when a student wants to initiate a grade review, the student should contact the academic unit head to begin the process. Grades for block courses are officially recorded at the end of the semester; therefore, a grade review process for a block grade should follow the same procedure as for a semester course.|
|The faculty adviser and the academic unit head make the official check on major and minor course requirements for graduation. The Office of the Registrar makes the final check on courses required for the final term, total credit earned, the General Education program, degree requirements and the cumulative GPA earned at the university, as well as other university-wide requirements.
To receive a degree from JMU, a student must:|
|Graduation with Honors|
|Before becoming eligible for graduation with honors, a student must have been enrolled at JMU for a minimum of four regular semesters and have completed a minimum of 60 credit hours at JMU during that period of enrollment with a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.50 on all course work completed at James Madison University. Graduation honors will then be determined as specified in the table below based on all course work, including course work taken at other colleges. All grades received in all courses attempted will be used to calculate the grade point average in consideration for graduation with honors. Grades and credits completed at other colleges will be converted to the JMU grading system.
Graduation honors will be noted in the printed commencement program. The graduation honors printed in the program will be based on the grade point average at the end of the semester preceding the semester in which final graduation requirements are met. However, for students who participate in the May ceremony but complete requirements in summer session, the honors noted in the commencement program will be based on the grade point average earned at the end of the preceding fall semester. Final graduation honors recorded on the diploma and transcript will be determined by the grade point average at the end of the semester in which all graduation requirements are met.
|Requirements for graduation with honors for students who entered JMU prior to 1996 are regulated by the catalog in effect at the time they enrolled.|
|The title of Valedictorian is an honor bestowed by the Faculty Senate on behalf of the JMU faculty. Criteria were established by the Faculty Senate. It is given to the May graduate with the highest grade point average who has also earned at least 100 credit hours at James Madison University as of the fall semester prior to the student’s May graduation. The student must have completed an average of at least 14 credit hours per fall and spring semester during his or her career at JMU. The grade point average will be calculated using grades recorded on the official transcript through the fall semester of the student’s last year of undergraduate enrollment. The Academic Excellence Award is an honor bestowed by the JMU Faculty Senate on behalf of the JMU faculty. Criteria were established by the Faculty Senate. It is for the student graduating in August or December who holds a grade point average that equals or exceeds that of the valedictorian and who has earned at least 100 credit hours at James Madison University. The student must have completed an average of at least 14 credit hours per fall and spring semester during his or her career at JMU. The grade point average will be calculated using grades recorded on the official transcript through the spring semester of the student’s last year of undergraduate enrollment. When more than one student qualifies for the Valedictorian or Academic Excellence Awards, each qualified student will be recognized.|
|Graduation with Second Baccalaureate Degree|
|A student may earn two different baccalaureate degrees concurrently or consecutively at James Madison University if he or she meets the following requirements:
|Grievance Procedure for Students|
|This policy applies to student grievances against faculty that do not concern grades, discrimination or harassment. Policies for grievances concerning these matters are outlined elsewhere.
|It is the established policy of JMU to provide a work and study environment for faculty and staff members and students free from all forms of harassment, intimidation and exploitation. Prohibited harassment is offensive verbal or physical conduct when:
|The academic program at JMU operates under an Honor System that dates back to the 1909-10 academic session. Students adopted the present Honor System in order to uphold individual and community integrity. Each student is expected to observe complete honesty in all academic matters and to report instances where another student has violated the Honor System. A student Honor Council administers the Honor System, and every student who matriculates at the university, whether graduate or undergraduate, becomes a member of the Honor System. The university expects the cooperation of faculty members and administrators in upholding this Honor System. The Student Handbook provides full information on the Honor System, and the Honor Council office provides students with assistance in understanding Honor System policy. The Honor Council encourages all members of the JMU community to familiarize themselves with the Honor Code and Honor System procedures. The Honor Council office is located in Chandler Hall Rooms 133 and 133A, and the Web site at is http://www.jmu.edu/honor.|
|Students entering JMU should confer with their advisers in order to determine a major program of study. If entering students have not decided on a specific major, they may register as undeclared. JMU encourages undeclared students to discuss their interests with representatives from the office of Academic Advising and Career Development, professors, academic unit heads and fellow students to find a major program best suited to each student’s goals and interests. Failure to do so could extend the time that students will need to fulfill graduation requirements. Students who would like assistance in identifying career options related to their specific majors can participate in the Major and Career Decisions Program through Academic Advising and Career Development. The program helps students decide on career direction by assessing their career interests, skills and abilities as well as providing information about career options.|
|Declaration of Major|
|All students must declare their major by the beginning of their sophomore year. To declare a major, students should obtain a Change or Declaration of Major Form from the Office of the Registrar. Students must take this form to the head of the academic unit they wish to enter. Academic units accept students on the basis of their academic records and on the satisfaction of other criteria the academic units might establish. Academic units assign advisers for students who are beyond the level of a first year student. The Change or Declaration of Major Form is due in the Office of the Registrar by the third Friday of the first semester of sophomore year. Declaration by the deadline will ensure eligibility for continued enrollment at the university. Transfer students who enter JMU with 30 or more credit hours must declare a major upon acceptance to the university.|
|Change of Major|
|Students who would like to change their major should obtain a Change or Declaration of Major Form from the Office of the Registrar. Students must take this form to the head of the academic unit they wish to enter. Academic units accept students on the basis of their academic records and on the satisfaction of other criteria the academic units might establish. Academic units assign advisers for students who are accepted as majors.|
|Makeup Days for Classes Missed Due to Inclement Weather or Emergency|
|When it is necessary to cancel classes due to weather or other emergencies, faculty have several options for making up the missed instructional time.
|Misconduct in Research and Other Scholarly Work|
|Policy 2205, concerning Misconduct in Research and Other Scholarly Work, applies to all individuals involved in the performance of scholarly and creative activity and research conducted at JMU, whether performed under external or internal funding. It applies to all scientists, trainees, technicians and other staff members, students, fellows, guest researchers or collaborators. Misconduct as defined under this policy means fabrication, falsification, plagiarism or other practices that seriously deviate from those that are commonly accepted within the scientific and academic community for proposing, conducting or reporting research. Misconduct by a student under this policy may result in disciplinary action up to and including expulsion from the university, loss of fellowship or scholarship and potential criminal prosecution.|
|Nonreturning Students and Leave of Absence|
|Students who plan to complete their current semester but who will not return to JMU for the subsequent semester (excluding summer term) must notify the Office of the Registrar in writing to ensure cancellation of housing assignments, courses for which they have pre-registered and tuition charges. Students who are planning a temporary interruption in their studies at JMU should formally request a leave of absence by completing a Cancellation/Non-Returning Notice found at http://www.jmu.edu/registrar/forms or in the Office of the Registrar, 300 Warren Hall. Questions concerning the status of non-returning or leave of absence should be directed to the Office of the Registrar or to http://www.jmu.edu/registrar.|