Jul 14, 2024  
2022-2023 Westminster College Catalog 
2022-2023 Westminster College Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Academic Policies

Student Regulations - The College reserves the right to change the regulations governing admission, tuition, the granting of degrees, or any regulation affecting the student body.

Confidentiality Of Student Records - Westminster College abides by the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) as amended. Students are given three primary rights under FERPA. They have the right to:

  • Inspect and review their education records;
  • Seek to amend incorrect education records; and,
  • Have some control over the disclosure of information from their educa­tion records.

Westminster College will not disclose information contained in education records without the student’s written consent, except under conditions specified by The Act. Further information about the confidentiality of student records is available in the Student Handbook and from the Office of Student Affairs.

Westminster College is committed to following FERPA guidelines for protecting student privacy while providing strong educational experiences for all students. The purpose of Westminster College recording class sessions is only to make it available for other students enrolled in those classes who may have missed that particular class or wish to re-visit a particular class. The recordings will not be maintained beyond the semester in which the class was recorded. In accordance with guidance from the United States Department of Education Student Privacy Policy Office, FERPA does not limit or prevent the use of such recordings or require obtaining written consent so long as access to those recordings is limited to other students enrolled in the course. By remaining enrolled in a course that includes recording of a student’s image, voice, electronic comments (i.e., “chat”), and/or likeness, the student agrees that those recordings may be available to other enrolled students in the course and to the faculty member teaching the course through the College’s learning manage­ment system.


Academic Grievance of a Final Course Grade

Westminster College defines an academic grievance as a student’s complaint about the manner in which a final course grade is determined. Through a formal, written grievance, a student makes an argument that a final course grade was based on (1) factors unrelated to performance in the course; or (2) standards for evaluating performance that differed from those that the same faculty member used to evaluate the performance of other students in the same course; or (3) a significant, unreasonable and unannounced change in the performance standards that were published in the syllabus or pertinent materials.

If a student determines that a formal grievance is warranted for one of these three reasons, then the following steps should be taken:

  1. Within 10 business days of the posting of the final grade, the student should contact the course faculty member to discuss concerns about how the final grade was determined.
  2. The faculty member has 5 business days to respond to the student.
  3. The student and faculty member may be able to reach an informal resolution to the student’s concern. In such cases, no further action is required.
  4. If the faculty member does not respond to the student within 5 business days, or if an informal resolution cannot be reached, the student may file a formal grievance with the chair of the department/school in which the course was taught.
  5. A formal grievance to the chair must be made in writing and include the following information:
  • Name of the course and name of the faculty member.
  • The reason for which a final grade is being questioned (must be one of the three reasons described in this policy).
  • Evidence to support the student’s claim that the final grade was not correctly assigned (e.g., published standards in syllabus, rubrics used to evaluate performance).
  • Efforts that the student took to resolve the concern informally and the outcomes of those efforts (e.g., “I met with the faculty member during office hours, and we discussed the standards for grading…”)
  1. The department/school chair has 10 business days to investigate the grievance with the student and faculty member and to respond formally to the student.
  2. If the department/school chair does not respond to the student within 10 business days, or if a resolution cannot be reached, the student may forward the written grievance to the Dean of the College. The grievance must be updated to include a description of efforts the student took to resolve the concern with the department/school chair.
  3. The Dean of the College has 10 business days to investigate the grievance with the student, faculty member, and department/school chair and to respond formally to the student.
  4. The decision of the Dean of the College is final.


Semester (Credit) Hour Definitions

Federal Regulation 34 CFR 600.2 provides the following definitions for clock and credit hours:

Clock hour - a period of time consisting of:

  1. A 50- to 60-minute class, lecture, or recitation in a 60-minute period;
  2. A 50- to 60-minute faculty-supervised laboratory, shop training, or internship in a 60-minute period; or
  3. Sixty minutes of preparation in a correspondence course.

Credit hour - Except as provided in 34 CFR 668.8(k) and (l), a credit hour is an amount of work represented in intended learning outcomes and verified by evidence of student achievement that is an institutionally established equivalency that reason­ably approximates not less than:

  1. One hour of classroom or direct faculty instruction and a minimum of two hours of out of class student work each week for approximately fifteen weeks for one semester or trimester hour of credit, or ten to twelve weeks for one quarter hour of credit, or the equivalent amount of work over a different amount of time; or
  2. At least an equivalent amount of work as required in paragraph (1) of this defi­nition for other academic activities as established by the institution including laboratory work, internships, practica, studio work, and other academic work leading to the award of credit hours.

At Westminster College, the standard unit of credit is a semester hour. The College meets these requirements using a 16-week semester calendar in which each class period meets at least 14 days each semester.

The standard course at Westminster is worth four semester hours. In every four semester hour course, students receive a minimum of 180 minutes of instruction per week, except for the final week of the semester during which each standard course has one 150-minute examination period. This means every standard course includes a minimum of 2,670 minutes of instruction. Additionally, a minimum of two hours of out of class student work is expected for every hour of instruction. Academic pro­grams that offer courses bearing less than four semester hours of credit are responsi­ble for ensuring that those courses conform to the federal guideline outlined above.

This semester hour policy applies to all courses, both undergraduate and graduate, that award academic credit (i.e., any course that appears on an official transcript issued by the College). Instruction time is the same regardless of whether the course is delivered face-to-face or online. Courses that have less structured classroom schedules, such as independent studies, internships, studio work, research seminars, or any other academic work that is awarded academic credit must also meet or exceed the federal guidelines.

Grades and Grading

Quantity of course work is expressed in semester hours. Quality of course work is expressed in letter grades and grade points. Grades are defined and given by the instructor of each course. The assignment of plus and minus to the letter grade is an option open to the individual instructor.

A: 4.00 Outstanding quality
A-: 3.70  
B+: 3.30  
B: 3.00 Superior quality
B-: 2.70  
C+: 2.30  
C: 2.00 Satisfactory
C-: 1.70  
D+: 1.30  
D: 1.00 Passing, but inferior
D-: 0.70  
F: 0.00 Failure to demonstrate even minimal mastery of course content and/or failure to meet the course requirements for a passing grade

I: INCOMPLETE. This is a temporary grade given when a student is unavoidably delayed in completing a course. Students must be passing and attending the class in which they request an Incomplete. The student is responsible for providing evidence for the extenuating circumstances to the satisfaction of the faculty member, who has sole authority to grant the Incomplete. Such work must be completed, submitted, and graded by a date established by the faculty member not to exceed the end of the following Fall/Spring semester. After this period, whether or not the student attends the College, the Incomplete grade automatically converts to an F or U. Students may not register for the same class in which they have an Incomplete. A student’s financial aid status may be affected by an Incomplete. Given that financial aid requires successful completion of courses to maintain satisfactory progress, and an Incomplete is not successful completion, students should check with the Financial Aid Office prior to requesting an Incomplete. Students may not graduate with an Incomplete on the transcript. It is the student’s responsibility to ensure that all Incomplete grades are removed prior to graduation.

M: MILITARY. Students who take a leave of absence for service-related reasons will be readmitted with the same academic status as he or she had when last attending or being admitted to Westminster College. The grade transcript for all classes shall show an “M” or “Military” to indicate that the military member or his/her spouse was unable to complete courses because of military service. A grade of “M” is not counted in a student’s GPA.

S/U: SATISFACTORY/UNSATISFACTORY. The S grade represents work of at least C- quality; the U represents work of D+ or lower quality. Students in good standing who have attained junior or senior classification may choose to have one course per academic year graded on an S/U basis, provided that it is outside their major or minor field. This option must be declared either at the time of registration or during the add/drop period. Courses in which a student chooses to be graded on an S/U basis may not be used to satisfy any stated requirement. However, courses that are designated S/U for the entire class may be used to satisfy such require­ments. Courses in which a grade of S is attained will be counted towards graduation, but a student will earn no credit for a course if the final grade is a U. Neither an S grade nor a U grade is counted in a student’s GPA and may not be changed to a letter grade.

T: TEMPORARY. Grade recorded for an Honors Project or a capstone course pending completion. A grade of T may not remain on a student’s transcript as a permanent final grade.

W: WITHDRAWN. This grade will be recorded for withdrawal from a course between the third and tenth weeks of the semester if withdrawal is necessitated by illness or other good reason. Granting of the W grade requires approval by the in­structor. A grade of W is not counted in a student’s GPA and associated credit hours are calculated as attempted but not earned.

Note: Credits earned through Advanced Placement, CLEP, or International Baccalaureate opportunities are not calculated into a student’s career or major grade point average.

Dean’s List

Full-time undergraduate students who achieve a grade point average of 3.60 in a minimum of 12 semester hours (not S/U) during the fall or spring semesters are recognized by being placed on the Dean’s List. This list is announced twice each year.

Latin Honors

An undergraduate student who has completed all of the requirements for graduation may be grad­uated with honors, provided that the student earns a GPA of 3.600 or higher in all academic work completed at Westminster College. The three levels of honors and the minimum grade point average for each level are:

  Cum laude (with honor) 3.60
  Magna cum laude (with high honor) 3.75
  Summa cum laude (with highest honor) 3.90

In computing eligibility for honors, the grade point average is obtained by dividing the total grade points earned by the total semester hours carried, exclusive of courses graded on the basis of satisfactory/unsatisfactory. For all students participating in Commencement exercises, the Latin honors printed in the graduation program will be based upon the student’s GPA at the end of the fall semester preceding gradua­tion; however, the diploma and final transcript will reflect the accomplishments for the student’s entire academic career.

Academic Classification

Students are classified as first year, sophomore, junior, or senior on the basis of career earned semester hours.

Students are classified as First Year students until they have earned 28 semester hours. The earned career semester hours for each subsequent classification are:

  Classification Earned semester Hours
  Sophomore 28-61
  Junior 62-95
  Senior 96+

Academic Status

Good Standing - Undergraduate students must attain the following minimum career grade point averages (GPA) to remain in academic Good Standing:

  Career Attempted Semester Hours Minimum Career GPA
  12-27 1.70
  28-61 1.90
  62+ 2.00

Failure to maintain these grade point averages can change academic status and im­pact eligibility for financial aid and intercollegiate athletics. It can also affect choice of major, impede progress toward earning a degree, or render a student ineligible to remain enrolled at Westminster College.

Academic Warning - Beginning with a student’s second semester, if the career GPA meets the required GPA for good academic standing, but the semester GPA falls below the standard, an Academic Warning Notice is sent to the student. Students receiving an academic warning are strongly encouraged to arrange an appointment with their academic adviser. The Academic Warning is not noted on the academic transcript. Students with an Academic Warning are considered to be in academic Good Standing.

Academic Probation shall be assigned to students and noted on the academic transcript at the conclusion of the semester during which the student falls below the minimum career grade point average for attempted hours. A student will receive written notification if they are placed on academic probation. The student will remain on academic probation for the next full semester (fall or spring). However, if students who have been placed on academic probation attend summer session and raise their GPA to the point where they have achieved the minimum level needed for good academic standing (as defined above), probation will automatically be rescind­ed and will be removed from the academic transcript. Students will again receive written notification of this change.

Students on academic probation should curtail their involvement in the Westminster community to focus on their academic classes. Recommended actions include:

  • limiting their participation in any co-curricular activities that do not carry academic credit;
  • meeting with their adviser during the first week of classes to discuss the value of a curtailed schedule of classes, improvement of individual study skills, participa­tion in co-curricular activities, and related problems; and
  • using support resources in the Academic Success Center, the TRIO program (for eligible students), and the Wellness Center.

Continued Academic Probation may be assigned to students who, after a semes­ter on Academic Probation, have made significant improvements in their academic standing (>2.00 term GPA), but whose career GPA is still below the level required for academic Good Standing. Students who appeal an Academic Suspension may also be put on continued probation. Cases of continued academic probation are decided by the Academic Standards Committee. Continued academic probation is noted on the student’s Academic Transcript.

Academic Suspension - Students who have two consecutive semesters below the minimum required GPA (as defined above), or those who earn a semester grade point average below 1.00, may be subject to Academic Suspension. All such decisions will be made by the Academic Standards Committee. Students who have been placed on academic suspension shall remain separated from the College for a minimum of one academic semester.

Any student who earns below a 1.00 grade point average for any semester shall be placed on Academic Probation and may be subject to Academic Suspension at the discretion of the Academic Standards Committee. Such students will be notified that he or she is required to meet with the Dean of the College in order to return to the College. Students who do not follow through with this meeting will be dropped from their next semester’s classes. Students who have not yet registered will have a registration hold that will prevent them from registering until the associate dean of academic affairs indicates such a meeting has taken place and the student is allowed to register.

If a student takes one or two summer courses at Westminster and raises the GPA above suspension level, then status is changed to probation for the fall semester. If a student earns grades in summer courses that raise GPA, but not above suspension level, then status can be reviewed to determine if fall semester suspension should be converted to probation. If a student does not take summer course(s) at Westminster or does not raise the above suspension level after taking summer courses at Westminster, then the student is suspended for the fall semester.

Academic Dismissal - Students who are readmitted after having been placed on academic suspension, but who fail to make acceptable progress towards achieving the minimum GPA needed to regain good academic standing (as defined above), are subject to permanent Academic Dismissal. Students who fail to make reasonable progress toward the degree are also subject to dismissal. These decisions shall be made by the Academic Standards Committee.


Appeal of decisions on suspension and dismissal must be made in writing to the Dean of the College. Appeals must be received by the deadline established by the Dean of the College. The student will then meet with the Dean of the College to explain basis for requesting an appeal. The decision of the Dean of the College is final.

Readmission Following Academic Suspension

Students who have been placed on academic suspension may apply for readmission after being separated from the College for a minimum of one semester. This form is available on the Registrar’s Office web page or in the Registrar’s Office, where the completed form must be returned along with a $200.00 registration deposit. This deposit is non-refundable even if the applicant cancels. Students who are readmitted after being formally separated from the College as the result of being placed on academic suspension must satisfy the graduation and program require­ments as specified in the catalog which is in effect at the time of their readmission.

Satisfactory Academic Progress

Federal legislation mandates that institutions of higher education establish minimum standards of satisfactory academic progress (SAP) for students receiving federal financial aid. These standards apply to all Federal Title IV financial aid programs. To remain eligible for most types of financial aid, particularly federal and state assis­tance, students must meet minimum academic requirements at the conclusion of each academic year. The annual review of a student’s SAP is conducted after spring Term grades have been posted. PLEASE NOTE: SAP standards are the minimum criteria for maintaining federal financial aid eligibility. Certain forms of financial aid may carry other requirements for renewal.

The financial aid satisfactory academic progress policy includes a qualitative measure (accumulative grade point average) and a quantitative measure (maximum time frame for completion of the education program). All periods of enrollment includ­ing summer sessions, at Westminster College or elsewhere are considered whether or not a student received financial aid. If students who transfer to Westminster College meet the satisfactory academic progress for all previous periods of enroll­ments, satisfactory academic progress reviews at Westminster College will take into consideration only those credits that apply toward the student’s current program. These credits will be counted as both hours attempted and hours completed. Grades for courses transferred to Westminster College are not included in the student’s accumulative grade point average (GPA).

Qualitative Progress (Minimum GPA)

At the end of the fourth and all subsequent semesters: 2.00 GPA. semesters in college shall include transfer semesters as well as semesters at Westminster College.

Quantitative Progress (Maximum time frame)

Students are expected to complete all academic requirements for their degree within 150% of the published length of the educational program in which they are enrolled.

Required Hours to Complete Degree / Maximum Attempted Hours

Undergraduate Degrees: 125/188
Bachelor of Music Degree: 133/200
Graduate Degrees: 30/45

Students are required to earn 75% of the credits hours attempted. For the purposes of calculating the percentage of credits completed standard, and the maximum time frame standard, credits attempted includes any class for which a grade is assigned. Grades include (besides A,B,C,D,F), “I” (incomplete), “W” (withdrawn),”WF” (withdrawn failing), and “S” (satisfactory) or “U” (unsatisfactory ) in a Pass/Fail course, and “P”(pass), “C”(credit) or “NC”(no credit) in semesters when an alternative grading policy is active due to a disrupted learning environment.

Failure to Meet Satisfactory Academic Progress

If at the conclusion of an academic year a student fails to meet the GPA or credit hours standard a student will be placed on financial aid suspension. The student will be notified of the financial aid suspension status by mail (both regular and college email) as soon as possible after all final grades have been submitted to the Westmin­ster College Registrar’s Office.

Appeal of Financial Aid Suspension

Students have the right to appeal financial aid suspension if they feel that the academic deficiency is a result of extenuating circumstances (illness, injury, etc). A detailed explanation of why the student failed to make SAP and what has changed that will allow the student to make SAP at the next evaluation, along with relevant supporting documentation should be submitted to the Financial Aid Office. Appeals submitted without appropriate documentation will be denied.

Once the appeal has been submitted, the Satisfactory Academic Progress Committee will review the documentation. Approval of the appeal will change the student’s sta­tus to financial aid probation for one semester. An approval of an appeal may also in­clude certain conditions that a student must fulfill. At the conclusion of the financial aid probation semester the student must be making SAP, or successfully following an academic plan if one was included as part of the appeal approval. Students will be notified of appeal decisions by mail (both regular and college email).

If the appeal of financial aid suspension is denied, students have the option of en­rolling at Westminster College without eligibility to receive financial aid. If a student enrolls at Westminster College without the benefit of financial aid and subsequently meets satisfactory academic progress standards, they can then regain financial aid eligibility.

Please note: Students are limited to 1 (one) financial aid suspension appeal while en­rolled at Westminster College.

Unsatisfactory Progress Policy for Students Using Veterans Ed­ucational Benefits

Students who receive Veterans Education Benefits and who earn below a 1.00 grade point average for any semester will be placed on Academic Probation and will be subject to Academic Suspension at the discretion of the Academic Standards Committee. These students will be notified that they are required to meet with the associate dean of academic affairs in order to return to the College. Students who do not follow through with this meeting will be dropped from their next semester’s classes. Students who have not yet registered will have a registration hold which will prevent them from registering until the associate dean of academic affairs indicates such a meeting has taken place and the student is allowed to register.

The law requires that educational assistance benefits to Veterans and other eligible persons be discontinued when those students do not make satisfactory progress toward completion of their educational training objective. Based upon this re­quirement, any students using Veterans Education Benefits will be suspended from Westminster College when they have two consecutive semesters below the minimum required GPA (as defined above), or those who earn a semester grade point average below 1.00. All such decisions will be made by the Academic Standards Commit­tee. Students receiving Veterans Education Benefits and who have been placed on academic suspension shall remain separated from the College for a minimum of one academic semester.

Veteran Education Benefits can be resumed if the student reenrolls in the same educational institution and in the same program. When a student has failed to maintain prescribed standards of progress, VA will be informed promptly so that benefit payments can be discontinued in accordance with the law. The termination date assigned by Westminster College will be the last day of the term or other evaluation period in which the student’s progress became unsatisfactory. Upon recertification to VA, Westminster’s certifying official should maintain in the student’s file a state­ment that describes the conditions for the student’s continued certification to VA. These conditions will prescribe the minimum performance standards to be achieved by the student during the next enrollment/evaluation period.

Course Registration Policies

The Registrar’s Offices publishes the undergraduate schedules of classes and course registration schedule in advance of each semester. Students register in the manner prescribed by the Registrar’s Office. All changes in registration must be approved by the student’s adviser. In certain cases, the approval of the Dean of the College may be required.

Add/Drop - Students may Add or Drop courses from their fall or spring semester schedules through the end of the sixth day of the semester. First-year students may drop one course during weeks 1-10 of classes in the fall semester with no fee, but there is no tuition adjustment for a course dropped in weeks 2-10 of classes.

Withdrawal - A student may withdraw from a course after the add/drop period ends and receive a grade of W (Withdrawal). Students are not permitted to with­draw from a course after week 10 of the fall or spring semesters. Students may not withdraw after week 5 of a seven-week course. Students also may not withdraw from a course in which they have been charged with violating the College’s Academ­ic Integrity Policy, unless they successfully appeal the finding that a violation has occurred. Students must follow instructions from the Registrar’s Office in order to officially withdraw from a course before the deadlines posted each semester.

Academic Overload Policy

The full-time tuition charge for one semester allows students to enroll in 12-19 se­mester hours of course work. Any student wishing to carry an academic load above 19 hours must appeal to the Dean of the College for approval. Eligible students may petition to take up to 21 hours in one semester. To be eligible to apply for an academic overload, a student must have second semester status or higher and a grade point average of 3.00 or higher in the previous semester. A student carrying an academic overload may incur additional tuition charges. A number of courses are tuition-exempt in overload situations only. These include: physical education activity classes and Westminster 101, music ensembles, music lessons, and certain other courses. Such tuition-exempt courses are marked in the official course schedule published each semester. However, if the approved course load includes more than 19 semester hours of tuition-incurring courses, each semester hour beyond 19 will be billed at the semester-hour rate. See section on tuition and fees for more details on comprehensive charges. Students who withdraw from the All-College Honors Program during an academic semester in which an overload has been approved will be responsible for paying applicable overload fees, on a prorated basis at the time the program withdrawal is processed by the Registrar.

Auditing a Course

A person who desires to attend a class without receiving credit or a grade may do so by petitioning to and paying the audit fee. The fee is waived for full-time students. A form, available in the Registrar’s Office, must be used to secure the consent of the instructor and the department chair. Students must declare their intentions to audit a course by the end of the add/drop period. Any student who audits a course must satisfy minimum attendance and participation requirements as set forth by the instructor. The instructor must certify completion of these minimum requirements in order for a record of the audit to appear on the student’s transcript. An auditor may not, at a later date, request conversion of an audited course to a regular course, nor may an auditor test out of the course.

Repetition of Courses

If a student elects to repeat a course at Westminster College, the grade and credit for the most recent effort are counted and the previous grade and credit are removed from the GPA calculation. However, each effort is recorded on the student’s permanent record; the earlier efforts are notated as having been repeated. Students may take a course three times (i.e., repeat twice). A student’s undergraduate GPA at the time of his or her graduation cannot be changed by grades received in courses retaken thereafter.

Students will not be permitted to attempt a course more than three times.

If a student elects to repeat a course at another college or university, the credit for the most recent effort is counted and the grade earned at Westminster is no longer calculated in the student’s GPA. As with courses repeated at Westminster, each effort is recorded on the student’s permanent record; the earlier efforts are notated as having been repeated. The transient credit policy and procedure apply. The approval of the student’s adviser, department chair, and the registrar are required before registering at another institution.

Repetition of First-Year Program Courses

Inquiry. Students must obtain a passing grade in either INQ 111  or INQ 211  in order to graduate from Westminster College. Students who fail Inquiry in their first attempt must take INQ 211 . In this case, INQ 211  will be treated as a repeat for INQ 111  and the INQ 211  grade will replace the INQ 111  grade for GPA calculations.

Writing and Speech. Students who do not earn a grades of C- or better in WRI 111 and/or SPE 111 must repeat the course(s) before the end of their sophomore year.

INQ 111  or INQ 211WRI 111, SPE 111, and WST 101 must be completed by the end of the sophomore year.

Cancellation of Registration

Westminster’s faculty and administration reserve the right to cancel at any time the registration of any student whose academic performance is unsatisfactory. The administration also may cancel the registration of any student who has not taken care of any financial obligation to the College.

Attendance and Excused Absences in Undergraduate and Graduate Courses

Regular attendance in class and associated labs, field or clinical experiences, and creative performances or exhibits is essential if students are to realize the full benefits of a Westminster education.

Students are expected to attend all classes and associated activities, unless specifically excused for a valid reason. The requirements for attendance for each course will be stated by the instructor in each syllabus at the College. Instructors may define attendance differently depending on the type of course and whether it is offered in a traditional classroom or online. Instructors may penalize absences in various ways, including lowering of students’ grades, or entering failing grades for the course. Westminster College will enforce the policy each instructor sets for each course. It is a student’s responsibility to read each course syllabus and take note of the policy regarding attendance for that class.

In general, excused absences are allowed only for the following reasons:

  • Course-related field trips.
  • Illness that requires confinement to bed on physician’s orders, confinement in a hospital, or a visit to the College’s Wellness Center.
  • Death or serious illness in a student’s immediate family. Immediate family includes a student’s: spouse, children (including foster or step), grandchildren, parents or primary caregivers, grandparents, siblings, or a legal dependent.
  • Appearance in court.

Students are encouraged to participate in extracurricular activities; these functions are often closely tied in to their professional preparation. Students who are involved in extracurricular or co-curricular activities at Westminster College must communicate to their instructors in advance when participation is anticipated to require them to be off campus at specific times, and such conflicts should be minimized. Excused absences do not excuse a student from completing the work that is missed. When possible, students should complete the assigned work in advance, or at such time as the instructor specifies. Instructors will keep track of all students’ academic activity, including but not limited to class attendance, to be able to document such activity and determine the last date of attendance in accordance with federal Title IV regulations. If students withdraw themselves or are administratively withdrawn from classes up to the last date of withdrawal, they will receive a grade of “W” that will appear on the student’s transcript.

Students who have missed a quarter of instructional time with unexcused absences may be recommended by the course instructor to be withdrawn from a course. The recommendation must be made to and approved by the Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of the College prior to the deadline for withdrawal each semester. The Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of the College may also initiate an administrative withdrawal for excessive unexcused absences without an instructor’s recommendation. Voluntarily withdrawing from a class or being administratively withdrawn can affect students’ financial aid and housing status.

For students who receive military benefits, a withdrawal or non-passing grade (U/F) can alter their rate of pursuing their educational program. This may change their eligibility for benefits.


Last Date of Attendance Policy

Westminster College will determine a current/enrolled student’s date of last attendance when:

  • The student communicates to the Student Affairs Office either in person, in writing, by email or fax to Westminster College that he/she/they withdraws or intends to withdraw from any or all courses currently registered for or withdraws from Westminster College. The date that this communication is communicated to the Registrar, Financial Aid, and Business Offices and will be the official date of last attendance.

In cases where the student has taken no official action to withdraw from his/her/their course(s), Westminster College will determine a student’s last date of attendance when:

  • An instructor reports that a student is absent during the first two weeks of a semester.
  • If an instructor reports a student has never attended in person or logged into the College’s learning management system, the Registrar’s Office then drops the student from the class.
  • If an instructor reports a student has attended one or more class meetings, but has stopped attending in-person classes or logging into the learning management system, the instructor will indicate the last date of attendance. The student remains enrolled in the course unless they formally withdraw.
  • If the College determines that a student never attended a class or logged into the learning management system during a semester, the registration and financial charges will be deleted and the full amount of the Title IV funds will be returned to the U.S. Department of Education.

Attendance registers are provided in D2L, the College’s learning management system, to help instructors track attendance. Instructors submit attendance information again when submitting mid-term grades for all students in all classes. If a currently enrolled student has stopped attending, the instructor will indicate the last date of attendance and will enter the student’s earned midterm grade. The student remains enrolled in the course unless he/she/they formally withdraws.

  • A student wishing to withdraw from a course must complete a withdrawal form through the Registrar’s Office. The Registrar will then assign a grade of “W” if the student last attended prior to the withdrawal deadline. The “W” grade does not affect the student’s GPA.
  • When entering midterm or final grades, instructors will indicate the last date of attendance for any enrolled students who earn an F (failing) or U (unsatisfactory) grade in the course. The purpose of doing so is to help distinguish between students who fail and have not attended the course and those who fail but have attended regularly. This distinction is important for determining the amount of Title IV refunds.

If an instructor is unable to indicate the last date of attendance, Westminster College will determine the midpoint of the period of enrollment as the withdrawal date.

Westminster College Policy on Faculty Recording Class Sessions

Any faculty member recording a class will provide written and verbal notice to students that a class is being recorded and the purpose for which the recording will be used, for example through a course syllabus and additional verbal notice provided at the outset of each recorded class. Those notices will include that the class sessions will all be audio-visually recorded for students in the class to refer back and only for enrolled students who are unable to attend live. Students who participate with their own camera engaged or utilize a profile image are agreeing to have their video or image recorded. If you are unwilling to consent to have your profile or video image recorded, be sure to keep your camera off and do not use a profile image. Like­wise, students who un-mute during class and participate orally are agreeing to have their voices recorded. If you are not willing to consent to have your voice recorded during class, you will need to keep your microphone muted and communicate ex­clusively using the written chat feature, which allows students to type questions and comments live.

If recordings that include students asking questions, making required presentations, leading a class, etc., the faculty member will password-protect recordings on the College’s learning management system and then delete the recording at the end of the semester during which it was made. To protect student privacy and faculty in­tellectual property, the faculty member must ensure that virtual meeting settings do not permit others to record a class session. Students who record or share recordings of class sessions with non-enrolled students are in violation of College policy.

When recordings are available only to students enrolled in the class and to the faculty member teaching the class and will not be maintained at the conclusion of the semester, student consent to record the class is not required beyond the general written and verbal notification. In the event that a recording will be made available to people who are not enrolled in the course, the faculty member must obtain writ­ten consent from each student whose voice or image was recorded or who can be personally identified in the recording, indicating that the student understands that the recording will be shared with others; with whom it will be shared; how the re­cording will be shared and for what purpose(s). The “FERPA- Consent to Release Student Information” form can be found on my.Westminster. Recordings made available to individuals not enrolled in the course must be edited by the faculty member to either omit any student who has not consented to the use of their voice or image, or be edited to de-identify the student in the recording (which can include avoiding or removing any mention of the student’s name, blurring the student’s image, altering voice recordings, etc.). Faculty members can also plan recordings so that students (such as those asking questions during a class) are not recorded in any way.

Summer Session

Westminster’s summer session begins in late May and ends by early August and includes undergraduate and graduate courses. The summer session course schedule is generally published in March, and registration for current Westminster students opens concurrently with registration for the following fall. High school students in the Westminster Early College Program seeking dual enrollment credit and students from other colleges and universities may apply for the summer session at Westminster College. Contact the Office of Admissions for more information.

Transient Credit

Current students may take classes at other colleges or universities. An ap­proved Transient Credit Permission form, available in the Registrar’s Office and on my.Westminster, must be on file prior to registration for transient coursework. Ac­ceptance of credits submitted without having had prior approval is not guaranteed. After completion of approved transient coursework, students must submit an official transcript from the other institution directly to the Registrar’s Office to receive cred­it. Transient credit approvals are valid for one academic year only.

The following policies apply to transfer/transient credit:

  • Credit for approved and successfully completed transient coursework is awarded according to the original semester or credit hour values on the official transcript from the institution of record; e.g., a 3-credit course will be credited as 3 semester hours on the Westminster transcript.
  • Courses earning credit other than semester hours (quarter hours, units, etc). will be converted to semester hours.
  • If a 3 semester/credit hour course is approved to meet a 4-semester hour re­quirement, total hours for graduation must be monitored. If additional hours are needed, physical education courses cannot count for the extra semester hour(s).
  • No grade lower than C- will be accepted.
  • Courses that are graded on a pass/fail or satisfactory/unsatisfactory basis will not be accepted
  • Grades earned for transient credit will not be included in the Westminster College GPA.

School of Business Policy on Transient Credit

For academic programs offered in the School of Business, a maximum of two major or minor course requirements may be transferred in after a student has matriculated full time to Westminster. With permission of the School of Business chair, courses taken during a semester abroad while a student is still a Westminster student can be con­sidered courses taken at Westminster.


Official transcripts of a student’s academic record may be requested online or through the Registrar’s Office. Financial holds or other obligations to the Col­lege must be resolved prior to the release of a transcript. Transcript requests are processed within 3-5 business days unless submitted during peak request periods, during which additional time may be required. Westminster College partners with Credentials, Inc. to provide online official transcript requests and delivery through a secure website. Credentials, Inc. charges a processing fee for each recipient (tran­script addressee). Currently enrolled students may order transcripts online by going through my.westminster and paying the processing fee using a credit card.

Participation in Commencement Exercises

The College hosts Commencement exercises every May at the conclusion of the spring semester. Participation in these exercises is a graduation requirement. Eligi­bility for participation in Commencement exercises is determined during the spring semester, based on all work completed at the end of the fall semester. Students can participate in the Commencement exercises as graduates if at the conclusion of the fall semester they will meet all graduation requirements at the end of the spring semester, assuming the successful completion of all in-progress semester hours taken in the final spring semester.

Provisional Graduation. Students can participate in the Commencement exercises as provisional graduates if they lack no more than 12 semester hours beyond their in-progress spring courses, OR, lack student teaching and no more than 4 semes­ter hours beyond their in-progress spring courses. Students who participate in the Commencement exercises as provisional graduates must sign a provisional gradua­tion contract indicating that these additional requirements will be accomplished in no more than one year from the Commencement exercises.

Medical Leave of Absence or Withdrawal

When illness, injury, or a psychiatric disability occurs, a student or guardian may re­quest, or the College may require, a medical withdrawal or medical leave of absence (MLOA) from the College. All medical withdrawals or leaves must be approved by the vice president for student affairs. Specific conditions to receive an MLOA or Medical Withdrawal, including the conditions for future re-admittance, are stipulat­ed at the time of the withdrawal or granting of a leave of absence. These conditions may specify what professional medical documentation is required for the withdraw­al to be granted, and/or a period of time for a leave. Before the student will be permitted to return to campus, the College may require a professional evaluation or assessment (at the student’s expense) stating the professional expert’s opinion that the student is now capable of meeting the academic and the social standards of the College (which are stated in the Westminster Student Code of Conduct). Students who are granted an MLOA or Medical Withdrawal will be given a “W” (withdraw­al) for all courses in which the student was enrolled at the time of the MLOA or Medical Withdrawal.

Grievance Procedures for Involuntary Withdrawal

Refer to the information on “Involuntary Administrative Withdrawal” in the Student Handbook for additional information and grievance procedures related to a withdrawal that is not voluntarily initiated or accepted by the student.

Return to Campus Procedures

Students who have taken a leave of absence and desire to return to campus must complete a Return from Leave of Absence form, providing all required documenta­tion. The form is available on the Student Affairs web page or in the Student Affairs office. Students who wish to apply for readmission after Withdrawal or Suspension from the College must complete an Application for Readmission form. This form is available on the Office of the Registrar web page or in the Office of the Registrar, where the completed form must be returned along with a $200 registration deposit.

Readmission for US Armed Forces Members

Students who take a leave of absence for service-related reasons will be readmit­ted with the same academic status as he or she had when last attending or being admitted to Westminster College. State law requires colleges or universities to grant a member of the Pennsylvania National Guard or other reserve component of the armed forces or the member’s spouse a military leave of absence from their education if he or she is called to active duty (other than active duty for training). The grade transcript for all classes shall show an “M” or “Military” to indicate that the military member or his/her spouse was unable to complete courses because of military service. A grade of “M” is not counted in a student’s GPA.