Archive | STSS: Academic Policies

Academic Policies Overview

Our academic policies are in place to protect your rights and the rights of others attending Summit University Online. Please read them carefully:

Use the menu on the lower right-hand side of this page to access each policy.

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Absence from Program

Students in all certificate programs or taking individual courses for credit who do not complete any course credits in six semesters (three years) are required to submit an essay explaining their absence and why they are now ready to continue their SU program studies. They may also be asked to speak with an SU representative.

After an absence of 10 semesters (five years), students will be required to reapply if they wish to resume their certificate program. All credits earned within the past 10 years will be honored.

After 20 semesters (10 years) from date of the completion of a credit, the credit will expire if the student’s program has not been completed. Any course(s) taken 10 or more years ago would need to be retaken.

Audit students are not required to complete a certificate program and do not earn any credits that might expire. Therefore the above Absence from Program timelines and polices do not apply to audit students.

We reserve the right to change the curriculum and courses without prior notification. The above information is effective December 1, 2015.

 

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Academic Integrity Guidelines

Summit University asks its students to abide by guidelines of academic integrity when completing assigned work. Written work is a significant part of our assessment process. When submitting written work and forum responses, you must use your original words. Copying the words, ideas or images of others (from web sites, books, other students, etc.), and representing them as your own without citing the source is considered plagiarism. Plagiarism will not be tolerated and is subject to sanctions ranging from a warning to earning a zero for the assignment. Plagiarism can also result in dismissal from the program.

Citations are required for all quoted and paraphrased material that comes from an outside source. Citation guidelines and instructions are posted in Moodle for registered students.

 

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Billing and Payment Options

Summit University’s invoicing system provides credit and audit students with a complete breakdown of tuition and fees. Students are able to register for courses and pay their tuition and fees separately. Invoices will show tuition as separate from fees, such as tech support fees and textbook fees.  All students are required to pay the full tuition and fees amount for their classes prior to the first day of classes.  

Please see Registration for details about the registration cycle and process.

 

We reserve the right to change the curriculum and courses without prior notification. The above information is effective April 15, 2016.

 

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Changing Programs

Summit University allows students to request to transfer to another program in the same level (i.e. GSC, LSC and MSC-A or MSC-B) without re-applying to the School of Theology or paying another application fee or other processing fees.  However, there are a few exceptions to this policy.

Transferring to MSC-B Program Requires an Addendum Application and Acceptance

Students in General Studies, Leadership Studies or Ministering Servant Certificate Track A programs are welcome to apply to transfer into the Ministering Servant Certificate Track B program.  To do this, you will need to fill out an Addendum Application, which will be reviewed by the Review Committee as part of the next application cycle.  No additional application fee is needed.

Once you have been accepted into the program, the Registrar will inform you of your acceptance and you will be eligible to take MSC-B Program classes.

MTC Programs

Students who have successfully completed and graduated from a Ministering Servant Certificate Program will be invited to apply at no additional cost for the corresponding Ministerial Training Certificate Program (Track A or B).  Information on how to apply will be provided by the Registrar.

How do I change programs?

To change from one program to another, contact the Registrar for assistance.

Is beginning an MTC Program the same as changing programs?

No, beginning an MTC Program is not the same as changing programs.  The MTC Program is a higher-level program and can only be entered after successfully completing a lower-level MSC Program.

What happens to my credits and transcript when I transfer to a new program?

When transferring to a new program, students keep all of their previously earned credits.  These credits will appear on a student’s transcript.  If a student has completed courses that are required for the new program, then these courses will count towards the student’s new program and will not need to be re-taken. An exception to this rule is credits that may have expired due to the student’s absence from a program. See the Absence from Program policy for more information.

Often the motivation for transferring to a new program is to broaden one’s learning and experience in a new subject area.  As such, courses previously taken that are considered to be electives in the new program will not count towards the student’s new program, unless too few electives are offered to provide the student with a broadened experience.

What if I don’t want to change my program, but I want to get a certificate in two different programs?

While rare, this is possible to do at Summit University.  You can express your interest in your second program to the Registrar at any time during your program or after you finish the first program.  (If you would like to pursue MSC-B as your second program, you will need to complete the Addendum Application, which will be reviewed by the Review Committee as part of the next application cycle.)

We encourage students with the desire pursue two programs to focus on completing one program at a time, as this often helps a student move more quickly through the programs without losing motivation.  However, this is not a hard and fast rule.  Fortunately, many of a student’s credits will count towards both programs.  In the case that a course will only count towards one program, it is at the discretion of the student when to take this course.

We reserve the right to change the curriculum and courses without prior notification. The above information is effective April 10, 2017.
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Changing Course Status (Credit/Audit)

Change of Course Status Option

There may be occasions when an enrolled student wants to change a course status from for-credit to audit status or vice versa. The policy for change of course statuses is explained below.

Changing Status from For-Credit to Audit for Single Courses

For-credit students who have paid in full and who no longer want to submit assignments for grading, but want to receive all of the instructional materials and participate in small group forums may submit a request to the Registrar for a change of status to “audit.” Auditing students have full access to course material, forums and the instructor, but do not have to submit assignments or take exams.

If a student wishes to change to audit status:

  • “Change of Status to Audit” for the class will be noted on the student’s record.
  • A grade of “AUDIT” will appear as the grade for the class on the student’s transcript.
  • A tuition refund will not be issued.

If a student who shifts to audit status for a course wants to receive credit for the course at a later date, the course will need to be re-purchased and retaken for credit.

Changing Course Status from Audit to For-Credit

Students who are auditing a course may not switch to “for-credit” status during the audited course. To receive credit, students must pay the credit tuition and fees and retake the course.

Changing All Courses from For-Credit to Audit or Vice Versa

If a student wants to change all course statuses from for-credit to audit, or vice versa, for the current and future semesters, this constitutes a program change.  Please see the policy on Changing Programs for more information.

 

We reserve the right to change the curriculum and courses without prior notification. The above information is effective April 11, 2017.

 

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Credits and Course Load

Current certification programs require 18 credits of study. Courses are delivered based on a part-time study schedule; full-time options are not currently available.

Students who wish to complete their program in three semesters should take an average of six credits a semester. To maintain a balanced pace and course load, all students are encouraged to complete a minimum of two to four credits in their first semester and to maintain that minimum throughout their program. However, if students encounter personal circumstances that require them to slow their SU online pace, they may request in writing the option of taking just one or two credits or taking a semester sabbatical.


We reserve the right to change the curriculum and courses without prior notification. The above information is effective December 1, 2015.

 

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Deferring Courses

From time to time, students find it necessary to postpone the completion of a class or classes during a semester due to personal hardships.  Our deferring courses policy gives students different options depending on the week that the class is in.  The following table outlines the options available to students who would like to postpone a class before or during the semester.  Below the table you will find detailed information about each of these options.

Week of Class
Options Penalties
During Week 1 Drop classes No penalties for courses dropped during this period; Tuition/fees credited to student’s account

 

Weeks 2–4 Defer classes $50 deferral fee assessed (per course deferred); Tuition/fees credited to student’s account.

 

Weeks 5–8/17 Two Options:

Incomplete

Withdrawal

Students will be allowed to take an Incomplete under certain circumstances; otherwise they will need to formally withdraw from the course. If a student withdraws, he or she will forfeit course tuition/fees without additional penalties, but a “W” will permanently appear on the transcript.

 

 

Dropping Courses

Students will be able to drop courses from their semester schedule prior to and during the first week of each session without financial penalties.  Instead, they will have their tuition/fees credited to their account.  Dropped courses will not appear on a student’s transcript.  No refunds will be made for dropping courses except in cases where a credit student can demonstrate financial hardship. 

Students will not need to contact the Registrar to drop a course during the registration cycle. If a student would like to drop a course during the late registration period or the first week of class, he or she will need to contact the Registrar.

Deferring Courses

During Weeks 2–4 of the class, students may request to defer a course or courses for a semester due to personal circumstances, and their tuition and fees will be credited to their account. Requests for deferral must be submitted in writing to the Registrar and will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.  A $50 processing fee will be charged for each deferred course, which will be posted on the student’s invoice. This applies to all students—credit, audit and those auditing for Life Experience Credit (LEC).  No refunds will be made for deferring courses except in cases where a credit student can demonstrate financial hardship.  Deferred courses will not appear on a student’s transcript.

Incompletes and Withdrawals

After Week 4 of a session, students will no longer be able to drop or defer a class.  Students who determine after Week 4 that they are unable to complete a class within a given session or semester will now have two options: 1) take an Incomplete for the course and complete the work by the date determined by the instructor, or 2) withdraw from the course and retake and repurchase the course at a later date.

Incompletes

In order to petition for an Incomplete, a student must have completed at least 75 percent of his or her work for the class and demonstrate a hardship that prevents the completion of the course on time. Instructors will review petitions on a case-by-case basis. If an incomplete is granted, the student will receive an “I” as a temporary course grade and will have a new due date by which to complete his or her assignments.  If the student does not complete the necessary course work by this new due date, he or she can opt to receive a grade for the coursework already completed, or withdraw from the course and take it again in another semester (see below).

Withdrawals

If a student is not granted an Incomplete, or chooses not to complete his or her course work within the allotted time, he or she can withdraw from the course. A permanent “W” will appear on the transcript, which does not count towards the student’s GPA.  The student will have to repurchase and retake the course in a future semester in order to receive a grade and credit towards his or her program.  (This grade will not replace the “W” on the student’s transcript.)  All tuition/fees will be forfeited with no further financial penalty (no processing fee will be assessed) and no refund will be issued.

Withdrawing from a Program

Looking for information on withdrawing from a program completely and associated refunds?  Visit the Withdrawing from a Program page.

 

We reserve the right to change the curriculum and courses without prior notification. The above information is effective April 15, 2016.

 

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Graduation Requirements

For certificate programs, in order to graduate and receive a certificate for successful completion, students are required to:

  • Satisfactorily complete all course components
  • Have a C average at time of program completion
  • Satisfy all financial obligations
  • Receive final approvals by the Graduation Committee

 

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Grievance Procedure

Grievances may include, but are not limited to, complaints regarding fees, academic preparation, mentoring, grades and evaluations, dismissal procedures and instructors. If a disagreement occurs, students should first speak to their instructor and attempt to resolve the difference.

Grievances that cannot be resolved directly between student and teacher should be submitted in writing to the Registrar no later than fourteen days from the date of the grievance. Responses to grievances will be provided within thirty days of receipt of the grievance.

 

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