Academic Program Policies


Academic Integrity Policy

Elizabethtown College Pledge of Integrity

Elizabethtown College and the School for Continuing and Professional Studies assumes that all learners will act honorably. Learners are expected to adhere to the following Pledge of Integrity: 

“I pledge to respect all members of the Elizabethtown College community, and to act as a responsible member of the College community. I pledge to respect the free exchange of ideas both inside and outside the classroom. I pledge to represent as my work only that which is indeed my own, refraining from all forms of lying, plagiarizing, cheating, and academic dishonesty. As a member of the Elizabethtown College community, I am responsible to represent and uphold these values.” 

Standards of Academic Integrity:

Academic work is expected unequivocally to be the honest product of the learner’s own endeavor. Academic dishonesty – including, but not limited to, the examples below – constitutes a serious breach of academic integrity:

  • Breach of confidentiality. Integral components of courses are based on learner and facilitator self-disclosure (the use of personal experiences) for the purpose of facilitating learning. The School expects learners to honor confidentiality as it relates to learner disclosure. No one should ever use information, comments, or opinions expressed by the learners or the facilitator during classroom discussion in a manner intended to humiliate, embarrass, harass, damage, or injure others in their personal, public, or business lives. Confidentiality requires that no information be disclosed which would identify any particular individual. The learner has a right to choose how much information to disclose and a responsibility to respect the limits of disclosure set by other learners and facilitators. 
  • Fabrication, falsification, or invention of information, data, or citations in any assignment. To knowingly help or attempt to help another learner to commit an act of academic dishonesty is considered to be an equivalent breach of academic integrity and is treated as such. 
  • Cheating, defined as using, giving, or receiving unauthorized information as part of an examination or other academic exercise. This includes handing in any work that was originally undertaken to satisfy requirements of the same course by another learner. 
  • Plagiarism through the failure to acknowledge, appropriately and accurately, the extent of the learner’s reliance on or use of someone else's words, ideas, data, or arguments, even when such material has been paraphrased, summarized, or rearranged. Conscious intent is not necessary for plagiarism to take place; committing plagiarism from ignorance still constitutes a serious violation of academic integrity. 
  • Multiple submission of work by handing in any work that was originally undertaken to satisfy the requirements of another course. 

Violations of academic integrity are reviewed individually and according to the circumstances of the violation. 

Procedures for Dealing with Violations of Academic Integrity involving course work:  

Learner Meeting: When a facilitator discovers evidence of academic dishonesty in any form, a meeting is scheduled promptly with the learner. This meeting can take place via e-mail, telephone or in person.  The facilitator will explain the breach of academic integrity found and discuss the situation with the learner.  If this discussion resolves the issue and the facilitator determines that there was no breach of academic integrity, the process is complete.  If, after the meeting, the facilitator determines there is sufficient evidence of an academic integrity violation, the Written Notification step is initiated. If the facilitator is unable to reach the learner to discuss the situation or the learner does not respond to the facilitator within three business days, the notification process to the School will proceed to Written Notification without a meeting.  

Written Notification:  The facilitator will inform the learner in writing via email using the Academic Integrity Violation Form. Facilitators exercise discretion in determining the recommended penalty; this discretion includes re-submission of work, assignment failure, and/or course failure.  The Form is then reviewed to determine whether a Review Committee is required and signed by the Director of Student Services, the Assistant Dean of Academic Affairs, and the Dean. In addition, Recommended Actions will be made to facilitate learner development so that a future violation is less likely to occur. This formal documentation will be sent to the learner and academic advisor, who will place a copy in the learner’s advising file.  

Review Committee: If the violation is of sufficient seriousness, or forms a pattern of abuse by the learner, the Dean of the School may appoint a Review Committee to evaluate the violation and/or history of violations.  Recommendations from the Review Committee may include failure of an assignment or course up to expulsion or dismissal from the School and College. The Dean will notify the learner in writing of the decision and the factors that influence that decision. 

The learner may appeal the decision of the Review Committee to the Dean. The appeal must be presented in writing to the Dean within 5 days of receipt of the decision.  A meeting will be held with the learner, the Assistant Dean of Academic Affairs, and the Dean.  The Dean will review the matter and will inform the learner in writing of the final outcome. The Dean’s decision is final. 

Academic Advising

One of the unique features of the School's programs for adults is its emphasis on individualized academic advising. Admissions Coordinators and Academic Advising Coordinators are available to assist the learner with his or her decision on pursuing a degree. They will discuss basic program requirements and review previous course work for possible credit. After formal application has been made, the learner will be assigned to an academic advising coordinator who will process the application and work with the learner to provide academic advising throughout his or her time at the college. They will provide assistance and guidance regarding:

  • Course prerequisites
  • Registration procedures
  • Approved Program Checksheet
  • Directed studies
  • Course Equivalency Proposals
  • CLEP/DANTES Testing
  • Graduation requirements

Admissions and academic advising coordinators are available by phone, fax, email and in person.

Approved Program Checksheets can be completed only when the School has received the following documents:

  • Application
  • Official transcripts from high school (where appropriate) and every college attended
  • Admissions essay
  • Current resume

Note: Diploma applicants are not required to submit the essay.

The academic advising coordinator will mail the learner his or her approved Program Checksheet and a letter offering admission into the program. Once the learner returns a signed acceptance form, the learner is matriculated. The learner will then be given access to JayWeb, the student portal and web registration system; the academic advising coordinator will notify you when available.

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Academic Records/Transcripts

Permanent record: As a learner matriculated in one of these programs, the permanent record is maintained in the Office of Registration and Records on campus. All credits and grades are recorded there, as well as in an advising file in the School of Continuing and Professional Studies. All courses completed are noted in the advising file so that questions related to course selection, remaining requirements, etc., may be answered by the academic advising coordinator.

Quality points: A 4.0 quality point system is used and plus/minus grading is permitted.
Quality points are assigned as follows: 

Letter grade   Quality Points per Semester Credit
A   4.0
A-   3.7
B+   3.3
B   3.0
B-   2.7
C+   2.3
C   2.0
C-   1.7
D+   1.3
D   1.0
D-   0.7
F    0.0

Grade point average: Learners in certificate programs must complete all courses for credit on a graded basis and have an overall average of 2.0 for all courses in the program. Learners in degree programs must have a grade point average of 2.0 overall and 2.0 in the major. In calculating the average for the major all courses that could be used to fulfill a major requirement are included (even if they are used as general electives). Diploma learners are in a post-baccalaureate program. Therefore, all courses must be completed with a "C-" or better, with an overall 2.0 average.

Repeating courses: Courses which may be repeated are as follows:

1. Any course in which an F or NP is received.
2. A course in which a C- or lower is earned which is in the major/minor, required by the major/ minor, or serves as a prerequisite to a Core Program requirement. The request must be made to the academic advising coordinator and approved by the Dean of the School of Continuing and Professional Studies.

When repeating a course, learners must inform the person taking the registration. An appropriate card must be filed in the Office of Registration and Records if repeating a C- or D. No cards are required for an F. Courses must be repeated through Elizabethtown College in order to have the earlier grade removed.

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Academic Standing

Class standing: Class standing is determined by the total number of credits earned here plus those accepted by us in transfer. After earning 30 credits, a learner is considered a sophomore; after 60 credits, a junior; after 90 credits a senior.

Good academic standing: Undergraduate students in academic good standing maintain a minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.0 overall and a 2.0 in their major.  

Academic probation:Students falling into the following categories at the end of each academic semester are placed on academic probation:  

Credits Attempted (Local)    Cumulative GPA Below
1-18   1.7
19-34   1.9
35+   2.0

Students on academic probation will be notified by the School in writing. Students should work closely with their academic advisor to review their degree requirements, develop a course plan for upcoming semesters, and identify resources that can aid in their success.  Students should refer to the School’s policy on repeating courses.

The status of Academic Probation does not prevent a student from registering for courses in upcoming sessions. However, financial aid eligibility may be impacted, in accordance with the Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) standards Eligibility for use of VA education benefits may also be impacted, as the School is required to report a change in academic status for any student using such benefits.

Academic dismissal: The College, upon recommendation of the Council on Academic Management and the Dean of the School of Continuing and Professional Studies, may dismiss a learner who is experiencing academic difficulty.

Readmission for students not in good academic standing: A student who leaves the College while in academic difficulty must petition the Director of Student Services for readmission. A student who is readmitted to the College after an absence of five successive years may, upon completion of 15 consecutive credits at Elizabethtown and earning a grade of C or better in each class, have previous grades of F removed from the cumulative grade point average. For more information contact your academic advising coordinator.

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Courses at Other Colleges

Once Elizabethtown College has accepted an adult learner into a degree program, that learner may request approval to take courses at another accredited institution and transfer credits to Elizabethtown College. A Transfer Course Approval form must be submitted to an academic advising coordinator at least 30 days prior to the beginning of the course. Approval of the request only guarantees that the course requested meets the School's transfer guidelines and will satisfy a specific requirement in the learner's program. The learner is responsible for not duplicating any credit already earned. Credit(s) will be granted upon receipt of an "official" transcript verifying completion of the course(s) with a grade of C- or higher. A maximum of 64 credits total may be transferred in from two year institutions. This rule does not apply to four year institutions.

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Credit for Prior Learning

Elizabethtown College recognizes that learning takes place outside as well as inside the classroom and that adult learners bring a wide variety of valid learning experiences with them when they enter a college program. The School is eager to help the adult learner transform outside-the-classroom, college-level learning into college credit. There are several ways the School can help learners to do this and to accelerate their academic programs. 


Total credits required: All Elizabethtown College programs require minimum numbers of academic credit for completion.

  • Associate Degrees (64 credits)
  • Baccalaureate Degrees (125 credits)
  • Post-baccalaureate Diplomas (24-27 credits; a minimum of 18 must be outside the baccalaureate degree) 

Distribution of credits: The credits stipulated above must be distributed in such a way that all curriculum requirements for the program/major are met. This means that a particular learner might be required to take credits beyond the minimum required in order to meet the requirements of her/his major curriculum and/or the core curriculum. 

Residency requirements: Residency means courses/credits completed through Elizabethtown College. The minimum number of Elizabethtown College courses needed to satisfy the requirements varies depending on the program.

  • Associates: Students must have at least 9 credits in their major and a minimum of 15 of the last 30 credits in the program overall from Elizabethtown College.
  • Baccalaureate degrees: A minimum of 30 of the last 60 credits must be taken from Elizabethtown College. Elizabethtown College credits must include 15 credits in the major, 9 of these must be upper division. The Senior Research Project must be taken at Elizabethtown.
  • Diplomas: Up to two courses may be transferred. They may not be part of the baccalaureate degree.

These are the general requirements, but they may vary slightly by major. Learners should refer to the policies on the back of their approved program checksheet for their particular major and check with their academic advising coordinator to be sure. Baccalaureate degree students should see the section on Graduating with Honors.

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Directed Study

The adult learner may undertake directed study of a regular Elizabethtown course that is not being offered in a given session or semester. The learner works independently with a facilitator to achieve the learning outcomes of the selected course based on a learning contract between them. Directed studies must be completed within the semester or session for which they are scheduled.

Directed studies are dependent on the availability and approval of an appropriate facilitator; all requests for directed studies must be approved by the Assistant Dean of Student Services. A per credit directed study fee is charged in addition to regular tuition. 

Directed study requests should be made only for extraordinary circumstances, such as accommodating a learner nearing degree completion or the inability of a learner to take regularly scheduled classes due to sudden changes in work or travel schedules. An adult learner must have 30 credits in his or her academic plan and must have taken nine credits through Elizabethtown College in order to request directed study. The learner must also be in good academic standing (a 3.00 or higher GPA in the major and overall GPA). Adult learners should request a directed study, in writing, through an academic advising coordinator at least 30 days prior to the start of a semester or session. Please remember that all Elizabethtown courses may not lend themselves to this learning option.

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Learner Responsibilities

  • By enrolling in any course or program offered by the School of Continuing and Professional Studies, the adult learner acknowledges responsibility for understanding guidelines and policies in the SCPS course catalog and other appropriate documents. In particular, it is the learner's responsibility to ensure that all requirements for Elizabethtown courses or programs are completed. Successful completion of all requirements is determined by Elizabethtown College.
  • It is the adult learner's responsibility to ensure that all course prerequisites have been met prior to registering for a course unless the Dean of the School has granted a waiver.
  • Since classes are in an accelerated format, registration for courses should take place no later than two weeks prior to the first class meeting in any session since learners will be responsible for obtaining their materials of instruction and must complete an assignment prior to the first class meeting. The required material and course assignments can be found in the learning modules which will be emailed to everyone two weeks prior to the start of a session.
  • Registration, on-ground or online, carries with it academic and financial responsibilities as detailed in the School's drop, withdrawal, refund, and subsequent registration policies.
  • All adult learners are responsible for reading and understanding the information found on the approved program Checksheet mailed with the admission offer. It outlines the specific requirements for each individual learner's program. Courses accepted in transfer from other institutions or already completed at Elizabethtown are entered appropriately. On the back there are several items concerning residency requirements, grade point averages, etc., as well as the time limit established for completion of the program under the requirements given. This sheet should be used as the guide in selecting courses. The curriculum is continually updated and different learners may be operating under different sets of requirements, depending on when they entered the program. Any questions about the program should be referred to the academic advising coordinator, rather than other learners.
  • FS 1500, Foundations for Accelerated Learning should be taken within the first three five-week sessions of a new learner's academic program. Learners may petition the Dean of the School to have this requirement waived due to mitigating factors such as previous experience with the accelerated learning format, recent successful completion of substantial college level academic work, etc.
  • All adult learners are expected to possess and/or develop the high level of commitment and dedication necessary to succeed in the School's challenging academic programs.
  • All adult learners are expected to attend all scheduled accelerated classes for their entire duration. Facilitators have full authority and discretion to evaluate punctuality and attendance and their impact upon course grades as a reflection of the achievement of course learning outcomes. Learners should avoid scheduling courses if they know they will not be able to attend all class meetings. If absence or lateness is unavoidable, the learner should notify the facilitator ahead of the scheduled class meeting time. (Please see attendance policy)
  • All adult learners in accelerated courses are expected to complete 15 to 20 hours of self-directed learning activities outside of the classroom each week (Learning Outside the Classroom).
  • This is an accelerated course with reduced classroom contact hours.  This course meets for five weeks and students are awarded three credits for completing this course requiring a minimum of 45 hours of interactive instruction or equivalent activities. In addition to instruction and equivalencies, student preparatory activities and other work necessary for continued progress will also be expected requirements for each course.  Because of its accelerated pace, students have a great deal of individual responsibility for achieving the course learning outcomes.  Through the use of strong, clearly articulated student learning outcomes, supported by appropriate learning activities, and through the use of appropriate, equivalencies of classroom interactive instruction that engage both faculty and student in the learning process, this award of credit hours complies with the federal definition of a credit hour under 34 CFR 600.2 which utilizes student work and learning as the credit hour metric.  This award of credit hours also complies with credit hour regulations set forth by the Pennsylvania Department of Education, PA Code 31.21b through the same process including equivalencies; the state's definition utilizes instructional hours as the credit hour metric.  Equivalencies to comply with both federal and state regulations may include activities like research, internet activities (discussion boards; responding to postings, real time chat, etc.), internet quizzes, written assignments, case studies, field-trips or other activities deemed appropriate by the SCPS and its faculty.  In all instructional activities, work, and the achievement of student learning outcomes, the students are expected to participate actively and thoughtfully.
  • Please Note: The School of Continuing and Professional Studies expects adult learners in its courses to possess basic computer skills and to have reliable access to the Internet. Both Learning Outside the Classroom (LOC) and Learning Inside the Classroom (LIC) may be computer/internet assisted and/or directed. Adult learners challenged by these expectations should notify and consult with their academic advising coordinator as soon as possible. It is also required to have a valid email address for both administrative and course-related communication. If there is a change in the email address the learner should notify his or her academic advising coordinator immediately. 

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Transfer Credits

The staff of the School will work with adult learners to maximize the number of credits from previous college work that they can transfer into their Elizabethtown programs while still meeting residency requirements. Adult learners may be requested to obtain and furnish appropriate information to admissions counselors or academic advising coordinators in order to evaluate previous work.

Credits taken at another institution of higher education must carry a grade of at least C- to transfer. Such institutions should normally be accredited by one of the regional accrediting agencies like the Middle States Association. However, credits from non-regionally accredited institutions will be evaluated on an individual basis; such credits, when combined with relevant work experience or other factors may transfer.

Credits considered for transfer are not normally "aged," i.e., rejected because the learner completed them too long ago. However, the School may request that the learner retake certain major credits rather than transfer them due to recent, major changes in the field.

Credit for non-collegiate and/or corporate courses and training will be considered for transfer if such courses or training have received credit recommendation by the American Council on Education (ACE) or the Program on Non-Collegiate Sponsored Instruction (PONSI). The adult learner should request that an ACE registry transcript, verifying such recommendation, be sent to the School. ACE registry transcripts may be obtained by contacting:

Center for Adult Learning and Education Credentials
American Council on Education
Attn: Registries
One Dupont Circle
Suite 250
Washington, DC 20036-1193

The School will consider the transfer of credit for military education and experience upon receipt of notarized appropriate documentation such as DD Form 295 (Application for the Evaluation of Education Experience During Military Service) and/or Form DD-214 (Service Separation Certificate). Such military education and experience should have received ACE credit recommendation; transcripts should be obtained from the ACE registry.

By standard academic practice, quarter credit hour courses are evaluated at a reduced number of full semester credit hours.

The School cannot accept Continuing Education Units (C.E.U.s) in transfer. Adult learners may normally transfer up to sixty-four (64) credits from two-year institutions (community colleges, junior colleges, etc.). Otherwise, there is no limit to the number of transfer credits as long as the learner meets all residency requirements.

All transfer credit appears as such on the learner's Elizabethtown College transcript and has no effect on the learner's cumulative GPA, nor does it fulfill any of the College's residency requirements. When considering transfer courses, please keep in mind that in order to graduate with Latin honors learners must complete a minimum of 60 credits at Elizabethtown College and earn a grade point average for those credits of 3.60 or better for cum laude, 3.75 or better for magna cum laude, or 3.90 or better for summa cum laude.

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