Academic policies and requirements

Academic calendar

The traditional school year at Goshen College consists of two semesters and a May term. There is no charge for on-campus May term classes if students are full-time in both fall and spring semesters. Commencement is scheduled between spring semester and May term. Summer SST units leave at the beginning of May term.

The adult degree completion program school year has two six-month terms: late August-February and March-mid-August.

Degrees offered

The Bachelor of Arts is the primary degree awarded by Goshen College. The program that leads to this degree includes Goshen Core requirements, a major, and electives that can also be used for a second major, one or more minors or to complete professional programs in elementary or secondary education and social work.

The Bachelor of Science in Nursing is a professional degree which includes Goshen Core requirements, supporting courses, and professional nursing study. Graduates must successfully complete the National Council Licensure Examination – RN (NCLEX-RN) to become a registered nurse. Graduates of associate degree programs in nursing are welcome to enter and pursue a modified program to earn a B.S.N. at Goshen College.

Bachelor of Science degrees in Organizational Leadership or Social Work are degree completion programs designed for adult students who have completed two or more years of college. Classes are held in the evening and online and accommodate adult needs in both content and learning style. See more details in the Office of Graduate and Continuing Studies section of this catalog and also online.

Three graduate degrees are offered:

  • Master of Science in Nursing, Family Practitioner
  • Master of Arts in Environmental Education
  • Master of Business Administration

The M.B.A. program is offered in collaboration with Bluffton University and Eastern Mennonite University.

A graduate level sustainability leadership semester at Merry Lea Environmental Learning Center is also offered in conjunction with Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary in Elkhart, Indiana.

A separate graduate course catalog is available online and also from the Office of Graduate and Continuing Studies. See goshen.edu/catalog/

Majors and minors

The major is a specified concentration of courses in a department, in addition to designated courses in related departments, which develop expertise in the concepts and skills of a discipline. Many majors offer specialized concentrations, which allow students to tailor a program to their personal interests. Each major includes a departmental or interdisciplinary seminar at the senior level and most include an internship. Majors range in size from 35 credit hours to 61 or more in professional programs. Minors supplement the major, often emphasizing an interdisciplinary approach or vocational skill. Typical minors require 18-20 credit hours of study.

Details on required courses and sequences for each major and minor appear in alphabetical order in the academic programs section of the catalog. Handbooks on professional programs such as nursing, education or social work are available online and in the appropriate departmental offices. These three professional programs all require a separate application and admission process. See Academic Programs and Requirements for a list of 38 majors and 48 minors available in the traditional program. See Office of Graduate and Continuing Studies for descriptions of four undergraduate programs for adult students.

Declaring a major or minor

Students who wish to declare a major or minor should meet first with their academic advisor, then notify the registrar’s office of their intent.

Graduation requirements

1. Total credit hours

The minimum total credit hours for each bachelor of arts and bachelor of science degree is 120 credit hours, with the exception of the elementary education, elementary/special education and elementary/English learners education majors, which require 124 credit hours.

2. Goshen Core

Goshen Core requirements must be completed as listed in the catalog that is current at the date of matriculation. New students may use IB, AP, dual credit and transfer courses to meet Goshen Core requirements. However, after initial enrollment, students who wish to use courses from another institution to meet Core requirements must petition the Goshen Core Curriculum Committee and have their transfer course approved before taking such a course. Petition forms are available on the registrar’s web site. Students who transfer to Goshen College with a completed associate degree have a reduced Core requirement (see the Goshen Core section of this catalog). Students who are earning a second bachelor’s degree have their Core general education requirements waived.

CORE courses that meet multiple requirements:

Perspectives courses in the Goshen Core may also count toward a student’s major or minor, with the exception of Goshen Seminar courses, which may not be counted toward a major or minor.

3. Major

A defined major or interdisciplinary major must be completed. At least 12 upper-level credit hours (300-499) are required in the major. At least six upper-level credit hours in the major must be completed at Goshen College.

Internship credit expectations: From 40 to 60 clock hours of experience will be expected for one hour of credit earned in departmental internships completed during the academic year. See credit by experience information for policies governing credit earned outside the semester calendar.

Double major policy for senior seminars and internships: Students with a double major are required to complete only one senior seminar and one internship. However, since seminar and internship credit counts toward the total number of credit hours required for a major, other courses must be substituted in order to reach the total required number of credit hours for the second major. NOTE: students with a double major in a combination of biological sciences, chemistry, or physics need to take only one senior seminar and are not required to substitute another course for the senior seminar in the other major.

4. Minor (optional)

A minor supplements the major, often emphasizing a special interest, an interdisciplinary approach or vocational skill. Minors consist of 18-20 credit hours, with at least eight credit hours of upper-level study (300 and above). At least three credits in the minor must be completed at Goshen College.

Double-counting courses in more than one major or minor:
Some double major or major-minor combinations are not possible because of significant overlap in program requirements. See details in individual program descriptions.
Two majors, two minors, or a major and minor
A course may be counted in two different programs if it is

  • Specifically required in both programs
  • Approved by academic advisors for both programs

Double-counting is limited to no more than two courses per program. Note: double-counting courses is not possible for interdisciplinary majors.

5. Grade point average

A minimum 2.00 grade point average (GPA) for all work at Goshen College is required for graduation. Some specific majors require a GPA of 2.50 or 2.70.

6. Minimum credits of coursework at Goshen College

At least 30 credit hours of course work must be completed at Goshen College.

7. Senior credit requirement

Of the minimum 30 credit hours taken at Goshen College, at least 24 must be completed in the senior year (after achieving 90 credit hours). Exceptions are made for certain professional curricula where the fourth year is spent at another institution and for students in degree completion programs through the Office of Graduate and Continuing Studies.

8. Limit of credit hours in one department

No more than 45 credit hours in one department can count toward the minimum hours required for the degree. In other words, at least 75 credit hours must be completed outside the department of the major. All interpretations of requirements should be checked with the registrar.

9. Convocation/chapel attendance

Posted attendance requirements must be met. Current attendance policies are distributed to students annually and available at the chapel website.

10. Full financial settlement

Diplomas and transcripts are released only after the student’s financial obligations to Goshen College have been met.

Special degree conditions

Credit limitations

  • Technical education – A maximum of 12 hours of credit may be accepted for technical or skills-oriented courses from vocational training programs in technical schools, community colleges, or Bible institutes.
  • Credit for internships – A maximum of 12 credit hours of experience-based internship credit can be counted for the bachelor degree.

Seven-year window to complete graduation requirements

Students have seven years to meet the graduation requirements outlined in the catalog for the year of matriculation at Goshen College (or Hesston College) unless those requirements have been changed later by faculty actions that are to be applied retroactively. The time period is adjusted proportionally for transfer students. Students who do not finish their degree program within seven years will be subject to the graduation requirements currently in force. However, a student who, in spite of a period of absence, can graduate not more than seven years after first matriculation(or an appropriate share of this time, in the case of a transfer student), may elect the requirements in force on the date either of the first matriculation or of readmission.

Application for graduation required

All students who are planning to graduate within the academic year must apply online for graduation, upon which time a graduation fee will be added to the student account. So that proper course planning can be achieved, it is recommended that all grad candidates within an academic year apply by October 1 but no later than the start of the semester in which the degree is to be conferred.  Late applications are subject to a $25 late fee or degree conferral will be moved to the next conferral date.

One commencement ceremony is held each year in spring. Students whose degrees are conferred within the year may participate in the commencement ceremony and will wear the regalia provided by the college through the bookstore. Students who plan to participate in commencement and do not apply for graduation by March 1 will be assessed a $25 late fee.

Advising and registration

Following admission for study in a particular semester, all new students participate in course registration as described below.

Registration procedures

Registration for each semester begins with course selection, which involves consultation with a faculty advisor, followed by online course selection. Registration must be confirmed at the final check in just before classes begin at the start of fall semester. Fall check-in includes housing confirmation, meal plans, financial aid processing, ID cards, iPad distribution, and other items. Spring check-in is done online. Fees must be paid prior to check-in by the published due date. Part-time students and late applicants may complete both course selection and check-in on the day before classes begin.

Fall semester

Continuing students select courses in March and April. New students participate in special orientation/registration days scheduled in May and June or register via telephone or email. In-person Final Check-in is required for continuing students the Monday after New Student Days. Classes begin the next day on the first Tuesday of fall semester.

Spring semester/May term

Students on campus select courses in November. New students complete course selection in December or on the first day of the spring semester. Final check-in for all students is online and classes begin on the first Wednesday of spring semester.

Academic advising

First-semester first-year students are assigned to Core 100 Identity, Culture and Community (ICC) professors as their academic advisors. Those who are ready to declare a major at the mid-point of the first semester are then assigned to advisors in their academic departments. All others will remain with their ICC professor as advisor until they declare majors.

During academic advising periods near the end of fall and spring semesters, all students are asked to consult with their academic advisors, but contact is not limited to these days. Faculty advisors are prepared to assist with a range of questions– career goals, graduate school, choice of major, course selection and general adjustment to college. Some departments and professional programs also conduct group information or advising sessions for interested students. Students share responsibility with the faculty advisor for planning their college program, including course selection, and for becoming acquainted with requirements through reading printed and online materials and attending departmental meetings. Questions about the advising program should be addressed to the registrar.

Competency and placement testing

New students may establish competency for a Goshen Core requirement in foreign language by taking a competency test on campus, offered during summer pre-registration and at the beginning of each semester. Spanish, French, German and Chinese languages are available. Students entering without an ACT or SAT score in mathematics may establish competence in Quantitative Literacy by taking a test offered during New Student Days each semester. See the registrar’s office webpage for complete information on competency and placement testing.

Changes in registration (Drop and Add)

Students may make online changes to their course schedules during designated “open registration” times. Students may add new courses and change grading plans only during the first seven days of classes in the fall and spring semesters, the first two days of the May term, and first five days of summer sessions. Courses formally dropped before the end of the drop/add period do not appear on a student’s permanent record. Courses dropped from the end of drop/add through 60 percent of term length will appear on the permanent record with a W grade (withdrawal). Courses dropped after 60 percent of the term length are recorded with F (failing) or NC (no credit) grades. Course changes after the times specified above are permitted for health reasons only and must be approved by the dean of students.

Hours and course load

A full-time academic load during the fall and spring semester is 12-16 credit hours.  An overload of additional credits may be possible with approval from the registrar. Extra tuition is charged for credit hours beyond 16.

Depth credits

Depth credit is possible in some courses to encourage individual advanced study. Sophomore, junior and senior students may register during the first 12 weeks of the semester for an extra credit hour in one or two such courses each semester. Registration for depth credit requires approval from the professor and must be conducted in person in the registrar’s office.

Auditing courses

Students are invited to enrich their education by auditing courses, with the exception of studio art courses, on a space-available basis. Auditors may participate in a class but are normally not required to complete assignments and tests. Classes that emphasize knowledge expansion rather than skill-building are most appropriate for auditing. To register, obtain an audit form in the registrar’s office and secure the instructor’s signature. A per-hour fee is charged for community members and part-time students. The fee is waived for full-time or fifth-year students. No attendance or achievement records are kept for auditors. Audited courses are not available for later credit by examination or examination to establish competency.

Northern Indiana Consortium for Education (NICE)

Goshen College is a member of the Northern Indiana Consortium for Education, along with Bethel College, Indiana University South Bend, Purdue University South Bend, Holy Cross College, Saint Mary’s College, and Ivy Tech Community College in Elkhart and South Bend. Through this consortium, Goshen College students may cross-register for courses offered at another member institution. Registration is on a space-available basis. The home school records the registration, and home-school fees are charged. Summer and online courses are not eligible for cross-registration. See the registrar for registration procedures.

College credits earned during high school

For all college-credit programs based in high schools, credit may be counted toward Goshen Core or major and minor requirements. Individual academic departments will determine the exact placement or equivalent in departmental courses.

Advanced Placement

Goshen College awards credit for Advanced Placement exam scores of three or higher; however, to meet a Goshen Core requirement, the score must be four or five. See the registrar’s website for course equivalencies and faculty member contacts.

International Baccalaureate

Goshen College recognizes International Baccalaureate courses and grants credit for scores of five or higher in both the Higher Level and Standard Level courses. IB credits may be counted toward Goshen Core requirements, major or minor requirements, or electives. A maximum of 30 credit hours is granted. See the registrar’s web page for equivalencies in Goshen College courses.

A-level Exams

International students who completed A-level exams through Cambridge University may be granted college-level credit for test results if original score reports are sent to Goshen College. A chart of credit equivalents is available in the registrar’s office.

Dual Credit and Early College

College credits earned through courses taught at a high school site are posted upon receipt of official transcripts from the credit-granting college or university, provided that grades are “B-” or higher. Other Goshen College policies governing transfer credit also apply. See the Admission section of the course catalog.

Special courses by request

Directed study

On rare occasions and in order to accommodate student need, professors may allow a student to take a regular course during a term when the course is not publicly offered. The consenting professor must make a request to the registrar for course creation and student registration. The course is added to the student’s semester course load. The professor and student work out the details of how the course will be conducted.

One-time course

A special course may be offered to students who propose and agree to enroll in it, provided a faculty member agrees to teach it. Off-campus courses and all courses not listed in the catalog need approval by the academic affairs committee. In some cases, courses may be offered during the summer or during the May term. The course title and description will be kept as a permanent record by the college. An advance deposit will be required from all students agreeing to enroll.

Special registration options

Courses and special credits are available by independent study, credit by experience, and credit by examination. Since these options are not part of registration for any semester, students may register for them at any time in the registrar’s office. A special fee is always charged, payable at the time of registration, and financial aid does not apply.

Independent study

To develop more curricular flexibility, Goshen College invites students to register for independent study. Students have one year from the date of registration to complete independent study courses. For special circumstances, the professor may request one extension with a specific completion date, generally not to exceed three months. There are two primary reasons why students may wish to take independent study:

Regular courses at special time

An academic program may require that a student take a course not offered during a given semester. In some cases, it is possible to take such a course by independent study, under the direction of a faculty member. To register for such a course, the student obtains a special registration form from the registrar. The instructor indicates approval on the form, which the student then returns to the registrar’s office. Students may register for independent study at any time during the year. All independent study is charged at one of two special rates: (1) Tutorial, which assumes equal amount of professor contact hours as when the course is normally offered, or (2) Readings, which assumes about one-fifth the normal contact hours. Payment must be made at the time of registration.

Special independent courses

A student may wish to engage in an independent-study project in an area not covered by the regular curriculum, especially during the summer, when full time can be devoted to the project. The study may occur at the Goshen campus or at any appropriate location. To take a special independent course, the student makes an initial proposal to the faculty member under whom the project would be conducted. If the faculty member approves, the student submits a more detailed proposal in writing. Next, the registrar must approve this proposal, then the student registers for the course and pays the usual fee for independent study at the point of registration.

Credit for learning based on work and/or experience

Students may seek college credit for learning acquired through significant experiences in work, travel and service assignments, provided that the area of study is educationally valid and is compatible with college academic programs. The learning experience should involve both thorough preparation and systematic reflection on the importance of what has been learned. Contact with a faculty member before, during and after the experience is crucial for planning and evaluating readings, journals, portfolios, and other materials. Registration must precede the actual experience, and payment in full is required to validate the contract. From 80-to-120 hours of experience will be expected for one hour of credit. A maximum of 12 hours of experience-based credit can be counted for a bachelor’s degree. Students have two years from the date of registration to complete credit by experience contracts. For special circumstances, the professor may request one extension with a specific completion date, generally not to exceed three months.

Credit by examination

Credit is granted for acceptable test results under three programs – College Level Examination Program (CLEP) and DANTES Program, both administered by Educational Testing Services, Princeton, N.J., and examinations created and administered by Goshen College instructors. Any student may take these examinations and credit may be earned unless it duplicates previous college credit. CLEP and DANTES tests are administered at least monthly at several hundred centers in the United States, including Goshen College. In all cases, special registration and payment are required prior to the testing. Credit policies for CLEP examinations are posted at www.goshen.edu/registrar. Credit earned through testing that is intended to meet major and minor requirements is subject to the normal credit by examination fee, in addition to normal CLEP or DANTES fees. Contact the registrar for details.

Grading and evaluation

Goshen’s system of evaluation offers a standard (letter) grading system and a limited option system (CR/NC). The student chooses at registration whether courses will be selected for the option system.

Standard system

A Excellent
A 4.0 quality points
A- 3.7 quality points
B Very Good
B+ 3.3 quality points
B 3.0 quality points
B- 2.7 quality points
C Satisfactory
C+ 2.3 quality points
C 2.0 quality points
C- 1.7 quality points
D Unsatisfactory, but Passing
D+ 1.3 quality points
D 1.0 quality points
F Failing
F 0 quality points
FW 0 quality points, issued for non-attendance
NR Grade not reported (temporary grade)
I Incomplete (temporary grade)
W Withdrew during 2nd -9th week, no evaluation made

Option system

Selected by the student for a maximum of 12 credit hours in the entire college program (prorated for transfer students) or by the instructor/department for certain courses. Students may not select the Credit/No Credit option for courses in the Goshen Core curriculum, including International Education, nor for courses in a student’s major or minor unless courses are designated with this grading option by the academic department. The student chooses at registration whether courses will be selected for the Credit/No Credit option system.

CR Passing work of C level or better; no grade point value
NC No credit: equivalent to C- level or lower; no grade point value

Changes in grade plan

Changes in the grading plan are possible only in the first week of each semester(two days in May term). Under a CR/NC plan, letter grades cannot be granted later.

Incomplete grades

A grade of I (incomplete) may be given for illness, accident, or other unusual hardship beyond the student’s control. For undergraduate students, a contract available from the registrar’s office is normally initiated by the student and includes rationale, completion plan, professor’s and student’s signatures of approval, letter grade to be given if the contract is not completed, and the signature of the academic dean. The completed contract must be submitted to the registrar’s office by the last day of class in that term. Deadlines for incomplete work and reporting of the new grade are:

  • For fall semester “I” grades – End of following spring semester
  • For spring semester or May term “I” grades – Beginning of following fall semester

If a new grade is not submitted by these deadlines, the registrar’s office will enter the letter grade on the contract.

NR (not reported) grades

A grade of NR is entered by the registrar’s office if no grade is submitted by the instructor. This is a temporary grade; credit is not granted to the student until a grade is reported.

Grade reporting

An examination period is scheduled at the close of each course. Grade reports are available online to the student within one week of the close of each semester. Grade reports will also be sent to the parents at the request of the student.

Grade point average

A cumulative grade point average (GPA) for standard system courses is posted on the student’s record at the end of each semester. Only courses completed at Goshen College (and Hesston College) are factored into the cumulative grade point average. For graduation, a minimum 2.00 GPA is required. Some majors require a cumulative GPA of 2.50 or 2.70. Courses may be repeated multiple times in an attempt to earn a higher grade. The previous attempt(s) will be specially marked on the transcript and only the final attempt will count in the grade point average (GPA) and in the total credit calculation. If the grade on the final attempt is W, then the previous grade will be used in these calculations. Federal financial aid will cover only one repeat of a course previously passed. See the student financial aid office for details.

Latin honors

Academic honors are awarded to baccalaureate degree graduates who have earned a cumulative grade point average of 3.6 or above (A = 4.0) and with no grade lower than a C at Goshen College. To qualify for graduation honors, students must have completed at least 48 graded semester hours in a traditional program or at least 40 graded semester hours in a degree completion program at Goshen College.  Academic Honors indicated in the commencement program are reflective of fall semester grades and are subject to change with the addition of spring, May term, and summer grades.

  • Summa Cum Laude 3.90-4.00 GPA (with highest honor)
  • Magna Cum Laude 3.80-3.89 GPA (with great honor)
  • Cum Laude 3.60-3.79 GPA (with honor)

Dean’s list

The Dean’s list is published after the fall and spring semesters. Students who have earned a semester GPA of 3.75 or higher on at least 12 credit hours of course work for a letter grade and who have no grades of incomplete (I) will be named to the list.

Standards for academic progress

Students must show Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) toward completing degree objectives within a reasonable time period. Exceptions may be granted for remedial work or other unusual circumstances. Students who fail to make satisfactory progress will become ineligible for federal, state and Goshen College financial aid and may be suspended from the college. The academic appeals committee hears appeals from those failing to meet minimum SAP. To continue receiving financial aid and enrolling at Goshen College, a student must meet the GPA and pace requirements in the table below.

Total hours earned at Goshen or recognized for degree consideration from all institutions 1-29 30-44 45 and up
Minimum cumulative grade point average (GPA) required for academic good standing 1.75 1.90 2.00
Minimum pace: percentage of total credit hours passed compared to total attempted (including “W” courses) 67%
Maximum total credit hours of aid eligibility to complete first academic major requirements 180 credit hours
(186 for elementary education)

Athletic eligibility

Student-athletes must pass at least 24 credit hours in an academic year to maintain eligibility. Determination of athletic eligibility is a separate process from SAP review.

SAP review process

Student records are reviewed at the end of fall and spring semesters and at the end of the summer session. Any student not meeting SAP for GPA or pace is placed on warning for one semester. While on warning, students must increase GPA to the required level and ensure their cumulative pace is 67 percent or higher. If these conditions are not met by the end of the semester, suspension is activated. Suspension is activated without a warning semester if fewer than 6 credit hours are passed in a full-time semester.

Appeal process

A short appeal period is provided during which a suspended students can file a written appeal with the academic appeals committee, which takes final action at meetings in January, May, and August. An appeal letter should address why the student failed to make Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) and why another chance is justified.

  • Include documentation describing unusual or mitigating circumstances that contributed to academic failure, such as injury, illness, death of a relative, or other special circumstances.
  • Describe what has changed that would now allow the student to succeed.
  • Contain an academic plan prepared with the Academic Resource and Writing Center, showing how the student will meet SAP standards by a specific time.

Successful appeals

If the appeal is approved, the student’s suspension is changed to probation with an academic plan. It is possible that the student would be asked to complete testing or counseling to diagnose and address academic or mental health difficulties.

Academic suspension

For students who do not appeal or for whom the appeal is not granted, suspension will ensue. Suspension lasts two semesters. The student may apply for readmission after that time. The first 12 credit hours of attendance at any college after suspension will be at the student’s expense, with no financial aid. Further eligibility for financial aid is dependent on SAP.

May term and summer session

Students whose financial aid has been suspended may enroll in May term and summer session classes without financial aid. Students suspended at the end of spring semester may, if they wish, drop their May term class within three business days after notification of suspension, with full refund if separate May term tuition had been paid.

Transfer credits and SAP

Transfer credits accepted by Goshen toward a student’s degree program will be included when calculating the credit hour completion ratio, but not the GPA.

Repeated courses

Students may repeat a course with W or F grade as many times as needed until passed. However, a previously passed course may be repeated only once if the student wishes to receive financial aid for that course.

Withdrawal from courses (W grade)

If students withdraw from a course and receive a W grade, those course credits are included in the total credit hours attempted when calculating the pace percentage of credits completed.

Incomplete grades (I grade)

If students receive an Incomplete (I) grade, those course credits are included in the total credit hours attempted when calculating the pace percentage of credits completed. When the (I) is replaced with a final grade, the student may request another SAP review.

Additional earned credits

Credit hours earned by testing, special registration or other non-standard means are counted in the SAP calculations as both credits attempted and credits earned.

Leave of absence policy

Students whose enrollment is interrupted by one or two consecutive semesters may apply for a leave of absence at the time of their withdrawal. Formal requests for leaves should be made by completing a Leave of Absence Form, available from the registrar’s office or online. Justifiable reasons for a leave may include medical or financial difficulties or church-related service assignments. Students enrolled at the Chicago Center, Oregon Extension, Washington Community Scholars Center or in BCA study programs are considered to be currently enrolled students at Goshen College. Students on official leave shall enjoy all the catalog privileges of continuous enrollment. The offices of the registrar, student financial aid, SST and residence life will communicate with students on leave in a timely manner to ensure student services commensurate with continuing students. Students who interrupt enrollment for more than one academic year must apply for readmission through the admission office. All students who take courses elsewhere during their leave also must apply for readmission.

Other academic policies

Official transcripts

Official transcripts of a student’s academic record can be released only at the request of the student. Goshen College partners with the Parchment organization to ensure security for all transactions. Transcripts can be sent in either electronic or hardcopy format. Transcripts are issued only if all financial obligations have been settled with Goshen College. See the registrar’s webpage for instructions and fees.

Classification

Students enrolled for 12 to 16 credit hours are considered full-time; those enrolled for one to 11 credit hours are considered part-time. All students are classified each semester as freshman, sophomore, junior or senior according to the following scale, based on total hours at the beginning of the semester:

Freshman Sophomore Junior Senior
0-29 30-59 60-89 90 or more

Attendance regulations

Regular attendance at class is expected; the instructor will announce specific requirements for each course. Absences and completion of missed class work are issues for the instructor and student to resolve. When a class field trip results in absence, the professor is responsible for notifying other instructors via the online Faculty-Staff Bulletin.

Final exams out of schedule

Changing a final examination time is only possible with permission from the professor and is subject to a fee (see Financial Information for current fee). The Dean’s Office determines whether the student is charged or the Dean’s Office is charged, according to the criteria below.
Instructions: The student secures the faculty member’s assent for a special examination time on a form available only from the Academic Dean’s Office, returns the signed form to the Dean’s Office and is given a different form of payment of the special exam fee. The student then takes this form to the cashier for payment and signature and returns the form to the instructor at the specially arranged time of the exam. The faculty member should not give the exam unless the student presents the form signed by the Dean’s Office and the cashier.
There are four situations in which the fee for a special examination time is not charged to the student for personal reasons, but is charged to the Dean’s Office:

  • When there is a conflict on the final examination schedule
  • When the student has three or more scheduled exams in one day and wishes to take one of them at another time
  • When the student was verifiably ill or hospitalized, or absent because of a death in the immediate family
  • If there is a school-sponsored event scheduled at the same time (i.e. athletics, music)

Academic integrity

Goshen College expects all students and faculty members to practice academic integrity. Honesty, trust, fairness, respect and responsibility are essential building blocks in creating a vital learning community. They are also the foundation for lifelong integrity. Academic dishonesty at Goshen College is considered a serious breach of the “Goshen College Commitment to Community Standards.” Academic dishonesty is any act that misrepresents academic work or interferes with the academic work of others. It includes:

  • Plagiarism (giving the impression that another person’s work is your own)
  • Cheating on assignments or exams
  • Falsification of data
  • Submission of the same (or substantially the same) paper in more than one course without the prior consent of all instructors concerned
  • Depriving others of necessary academic sources
  • Sabotaging another student’s work

First offense

Faculty members will report incidents of academic dishonesty to the associate academic dean. The associate dean will maintain a record of all first offenses. The faculty member has the right to determine the outcome of a first offense. Responses range from requesting that a student re-do an assignment or exam to failure of the course, depending on the severity of the offense.

Second offense

If more than one incident of academic dishonesty occurs, the associate academic dean will convene an Academic Response Team. This group will include two teaching faculty members and two students. The Academic Response Team will determine the appropriate response for repeated violations of academic integrity. Responses could include suspension from the college for one or more semesters or dismissal from the college. The professor who reported the incident will continue to have the right to determine the academic outcome.

Academic grievance policy

The academic grievance policy seeks to provide a fair and expeditious process that allows for both informal and formal resolution of conflicts. Students of Goshen College who believe that policy has not been followed with respect to academic matters may initiate the academic grievance procedure. Academic matters are those concerned with instructional activities, grading procedures or other incidents related to academic affairs. Students should be aware that clear evidence is needed to contest a grade. Belief that a subject or test was too difficult is not grounds for a complaint. A student must have evidence that specific policy was violated or that he or she was treated in a prejudicial or capricious manner. This policy does not limit Goshen College’s right to change rules, policies, or practices.

Informal resolution

  1. A Goshen College student must first contact the faculty member who allegedly violated his/her rights to determine if there can be an informal resolution. The contact should be made by the student within ten business days (Monday-Friday, excluding observed holidays) of when the alleged violation occurred. The student must provide written documentation to the faculty member which includes:
    • A statement concerning the nature of the complaint
    • Any evidence on which the complaint is based
    • The outcome that the student seeks.
  2. The faculty member will respond in writing within ten business days to the student’s written document. The student and faculty member will then meet to determine if an informal resolution can be reached.

Formal resolution

  1. If the student is not satisfied with the outcome of the meeting in #2 above, the student may contact, within five business days, the Department Chair in which the alleged violation of the student’s right has occurred to appeal the outcome. If the faculty member is the Department Chair, the student may proceed to the designated Associate Academic Dean (Step 4).
  2. The student must present a written appeal to the Department Chair. The Department Chair and student will meet within five business days after the student’s written appeal has been received by the Department Chair. The Department Chair will respond in writing to the student’s written appeal within five business days after the meeting. This response will go to both the student and the faculty member.
  3. If the outcome of this meeting is not satisfactory to the student, he/she may appeal to the designated Associate Academic Dean within five business days after receiving the Department Chair’s response in writing. All written documentation up to this point will be sent to the Associate Academic Dean.
  4. Within five business days of receiving the documentation, the Associate Academic Dean will meet with the student and the faculty member to attempt to arrive at a mutually satisfactory settlement of the disagreement. If the dispute is not resolved to the student’s satisfaction, the student may initiate an academic grievance hearing in writing to the Associate Academic Dean.
  5. Within five business days of receiving a written request for an academic grievance hearing, the Associate Academic Dean will lead an Academic Response Team composed of three neutral faculty members and one student. The Associate Academic Dean will appoint one faculty member from the teaching faculty at large and one faculty member each from lists of three faculty submitted by the student and the faculty member who is involved in the grievance, none of whom shall be members of the academic department of the faculty member who is being disputed. The student will be appointed by the Student Senate.
  6. The Academic Response Team will review written statements and information supplied by the student and faculty member. Both the student and the faculty member have the right to make a personal appearance before the Academic Response Team. The team may make such further investigation as is deemed appropriate and may seek assistance or information from other personnel. All discussions and submitted written documents will be treated as strictly confidential.
  7. After this review, the Academic Response Team will make a decision regarding the complaint within five business days. This is considered to be the final step in the academic grievance procedure. The Academic Response Team will issue their decision to the grievant, the faculty member and the Department Chair in writing that will include the relevant findings of fact, conclusions, and reasons for the decision.

 Academic bankruptcy

Academic bankruptcy is designed to assist the once-disqualified student to return to school under reduced handicap. Only selected students may be considered for bankruptcy status; to qualify the student will: a) have earlier been academically disqualified from Goshen, b) not be enrolled in any college study for at least two years, c) submit a written appeal to the Appeals Committee. Academic bankruptcy can be granted only once for a student and results in the entire Goshen College record up to that time being re-evaluated as a transfer record. This means that: a) only courses with grades of C or better will be retained for credit at Goshen; b) the grade point average will be restarted with no computation for former work at Goshen; c) academic bankruptcy will be clearly marked on the academic record. Clear conditions of probation will be stated to fit the individual situation. Fully meeting these conditions and the maintenance of a minimum 2.00 GPA will be required to continue after academic bankruptcy.

Credit definition

A unit of academic credit is awarded to a student after successfully completing an approved academic course, or by demonstrating competency or proficiency, or by fulfilling learning outcomes equivalent to those provided by an approved academic course.

Historically, a unit of academic credit is the measure of the total time commitment an average student is expected to devote to learning per week of study. Generally, one unit of credit represents a total of three hours per week of in-class and out-of-class work (a Carnegie Unit of Credit). In this context, an hour is defined as 50 minutes. Goshen College guidelines for the academic calendar require a 3-credit lecture class to meet for a minimum of 2,100 minutes, including the final examination period. Non-traditional delivery methods require determining a unit of undergraduate credit with alternate means not based on time. Courses with non-traditional delivery methods shall assess students’ demonstration of competency or proficiency or fulfillment of learning outcomes to insure that learning outcomes are equivalent to traditionally delivered courses.

Regardless of the method of determining a unit of academic credit, the quality of student learning must be the primary concern of all Goshen College faculty members. Quality of learning requires continuous evaluation and assessment of student learning outcomes.

Quality of learning also requires regular student attendance and/or participation to justify awarding a unit of academic credit. Students are expected to attend all planned class sessions and/or participate fully in the various components of online courses. Faculty members are required to report students that cease to attend a face-to-face class and/or cease to participate in an online course via the campus Alerts system or directly to the Registrar’s office, noting the date of last attendance/participation. This reporting is necessary for the appropriate administration of federal, state and institutional financial aid. The following standards for a unit of academic credit may only be modified by an academic department when necessary to fulfill requirements of an accreditation agency. These standards should be treated as a minimum requirement for a unit of academic credit:

The following standards for a unit of academic credit may only be modified by an academic department when necessary to fulfill requirements of an accreditation agency. These standards should be treated as a minimum requirement for a unit of academic credit:

  1. For traditional delivery methods (fall or spring semester of 14 weeks), one unit of academic credit equals one of the following:
    1 hour of lecture or seminar and two hours of study per week
    2 hours of laboratory, studio, or similar activities and one hour of study per week
    3 hours of laboratory, studio, or similar activities per week
    3 hours of supervised independent study per week
    40 or more total hours of supervised clinical or fieldwork experiences.
    For traditional delivery methods other than fall or spring semesters, such as May term and 7-week sessions, total hours shall equal the above guidelines.
  2. For synchronous delivery methods in 5-week cohort-based adult degree-completion courses, one unit of academic credit equals 1.5 hours of lecture or student/faculty interaction and 3 hours of study per week.
  3. For asynchronous delivery methods, such as online courses, one unit of academic credit shall be determined by demonstration of competency, demonstration of proficiency, or fulfillment of learning outcomes as judged by the appropriate faculty to be equivalent to a traditionally defined unit of credit.
  4. For internships, student teaching, clinical practice, community-based learning and similar educational activities which are not under the direct supervision by a Goshen College faculty member, one unit of academic credit is commensurate with the hours involved and quality of the learning experience. Academic credit is awarded when the student fulfills the objectives and/or obtains the required competencies as set by the academic department.
  5. For supervised research, communication and theater practice, private music lessons, and similar activities, the amount of effort required for one unit of academic credit is determined by the supervising faculty and/or department.
  6. For the study-service term and travel courses, instruction and student work for the purposes of credit hour computation include some or all of the following:
    • Course meetings before, during and after the dates of travel
    • Language instruction and testing
    • Viewing and reading assigned texts
    • Lectures and discussion led by the instructor and guest speakers
    • Museum, clinic, business, government, church, natural world and other site visits
    • Cultural excursions, performances, and lessons
    • Service-learning projects
    • Home-stays with significant intercultural learning
    • Student journaling for recording observations, reflection, and synthesis
    • Collaborative and independent projects
    • Oral presentations
    • Electronic portfolio postings of selected work

    Consistent with on-campus class expectations in #1 above, a 3-credit travel course requires a total of 105 hours of learning activities and a 14-credit study-service term requires a total of 490 hours of learning activities.

  7. Special credit may be awarded to degree-seeking Goshen College students who possess, by previous education or experience, a background in a discipline represented by a Goshen College program. The categories under which students are awarded credit are (1) credit by experience, (2) credit by examination, and (3) credit for prior learning.

Privacy rights of students

In accordance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA), post-secondary students enrolled at Goshen College are hereby notified of their rights with respect to their education records. They are:

  1. The right to inspect and review the student’s education records within 45 days of the day the college receives a request for access. Students should submit to the registrar, vice president for student life or other appropriate official, written requests that identify the record(s) they wish to inspect. The college official will make arrangements for access and notify the student of the time and place where the records may be inspected.
  2. The right to request the amendment of the student’s education records that the student believes is inaccurate or misleading. Students may ask the college to amend a record that they believe is inaccurate or misleading. They should write to the college official responsible for the record, clearly identify the part of the record they want to change and specify why it is inaccurate or misleading. If the college decides not to amend the record as requested by the student, the college will notify the student of the decision and advise the student of his or her right to a hearing regarding the request for amendment. Additional information regarding the hearing procedures will be provided to the student when notified of the right to a hearing.
  3. The right to prohibit disclosure of personally identifiable information contained in the student’s education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent. One exception that permits disclosure without consent is disclosure to school officials with legitimate educational interests. A school official is a person employed by the college in an administrative, supervisory, academic, research or support staff position (including security personnel); a person or company with whom the college has contracted (such as an attorney, auditor or collection agent); a person serving on the board of directors; or a student serving on an official committee, such as a disciplinary or grievance committee, or assisting another school official in performing his/her tasks. A school official has legitimate educational interest if the official needs to review an education record in order to fulfill his or her professional responsibility.
  4. The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by Goshen College to comply with the requirements of FERPA.

The name and address of the office that administers FERPA is: Family Policy Compliance Office, U.S. Department of Education, 600 Independence Ave., SW, Washington, DC 20202-4605. FERPA further provides that certain information concerning the student, designated as “directory information,” may be released by the College unless the student has informed the college that such information should not be released. “Directory information” includes:

  • Student’s Name
  • Permanent address
  • Local address*
  • Telephone number*
  • E-mail address*
  • ID photo*
  • Verification of birth date supplied by inquirer
  • Dates of attendance
  • Classification and enrollment status (full- or part-time)
  • Date of graduation and degree received
  • Major field(s) of study
  • Awards and  honors received
  • Most recent previous educational institution attended by the student
  • Participation in officially recognized activities and sports
  • Height and weight of athlete

*Local address, phone number, e-mail address and student ID photo are available on Goshen College’s Web site, but only to people using a computer connected to Goshen College’s on-campus network (physically connected to the network or remotely connected with a valid Goshen College username and password.) Goshen College does not provide student e-mail lists to public or private entities. Any student who desires that any or all of the above-listed information not be released may contact the registrar’s office or complete the form found at https://www.goshen.edu/registrar/privacy. Questions about this policy may be directed to the registrar or the vice president for student life.

Privacy rights of deceased students

FERPA rights of an individual expire with that individual’s death. However, it is Goshen College’s policy not to release educational records of deceased individuals, unless required to do so by law or authorized to do so by either the executor of the deceased’s estate or the deceased’s spouse, parents or children. Goshen College may request proof of death.

Withdrawal and refund policy for reservists called to active duty

Any student called to active duty may withdraw from courses up until the last day of the semester. If the withdrawal comes during the first nine weeks of the semester, normal withdrawal and refund policies take effect. If departure comes after the ninth week, the student has the option of withdrawal “W” or incomplete “I”. Options should be discussed with and approved by the course instructor(s). If course withdrawal “W” is pursued, tuition and fees will be refunded on a prorated basis. The official date of withdrawal will be used to calculate the refund. Students receiving financial aid will be subject to refund policies as provided for by the agencies sponsoring the aid. Reservists called to active duty who wish to withdraw from courses must provide the registrar with a copy of their orders.