Academic Policies and Procedures Print Version

Academic Policies and Procedures

Seminole State College of Florida makes every reasonable effort to ensure the accuracy of the Catalog at time of publication. Occasionally changes must be made to carry on the purposes and objectives of the College. Any approved changes to the official catalog are provided in and published online at www.seminolestate.edu/catalog.

Academic Integrity

Plagiarism is unacceptable. Academic work that is submitted by students is assumed to be the result of their own thought, research or self-expression. When students borrow ideas, wording or organization from another source, they are expected to acknowledge that fact in an appropriate manner. Plagiarism is the deliberate use and appropriation of another's work without identifying the source and trying to pass off such work as the student's own. Any student who fails to give full credit for ideas or materials taken from another has plagiarized.

Students who share their work for the purpose of cheating on class assignments or tests are subject to the same penalties as the student who commits the act of cheating.

When cheating or plagiarism has occurred, instructors may take academic action that range from denial of credit for the assignment or a grade of "F" on a specific assignment, examination or project; to the assignment of a grade of "F" for the course. Students may also be subject to further sanctions imposed by the judicial officer, such as disciplinary probation, suspension or dismissal from the College.

Student Instructional Concerns and Grade Appeals

Purpose

College Procedure 4.0300 assists students and faculty in resolving student academic concerns, including, but not limited to, grade appeals. The purpose of this procedure is to outline the steps to be followed to address student academic concerns and grade appeals. Traditionally, a student's grades are considered permanent once they have been submitted by the professor to the Records and Registration Office. This process typically occurs on the final day of the term. Any student who asserts that there are grounds upon which to request a grade change may file a grade appeal according to the procedure specified herein.

Grade appeals must be filed by the student before the expiration of the successive term in which the grade was earned.

Procedure

  1. Informal Conference: The student shall request a conference with the professor involved. This initial conference is an informal meeting at which the student may present information regarding his/her academic concern/grade change request. Every effort should be made by the student and the professor to resolve the issue at this level.
  2. Written Appeal: If the issue has not been resolved within 10 college working days of the request for the initial conference, either because the student and professor have been unable to resolve the issue informally or because the professor is unavailable, the student may file a Written Statement of Student Academic Concern/Grade Appeal Form with the appropriate immediate supervisor(s) of the professor (program coordinator, or specialist, director, manager or associate dean).

    The form must document the initial conference or attempts to schedule an initial conference and will be given to the professor by his or her supervisor at least five college working days before any further meetings are convened. A professor will not be required to respond to any Written Statement of Student Academic Concern/Grade Appeal Form that does not have information regarding specific dates, times, materials involved or any other pertinent information necessary to clearly identify the basis for the academic concern or requested grade change.

    The immediate supervisor(s) shall review the form and may meet with the student and professor individually or together in an attempt to resolve the issue(s) identified within the appeal. 
  3. Review by Dean/Associate Vice President: If either party in the dispute wishes further appeal beyond the professor's immediate supervisor(s), the aggrieved party may request a hearing with the appropriate academic dean/associate vice president within 10 college working days of the decision of the immediate supervisor(s). At such time, the form shall be updated with an account of previous actions taken and sent to the appropriate dean/associate vice president. Upon receipt of the form, the dean/associate vice president will work with the parties in an attempt to resolve the conflict within 10 college working days of the receipt of the written appeal.
  4. Review by Vice President for Academic Affairs: If either party in the dispute wishes further appeal beyond the dean/associate vice president, the aggrieved party may request a hearing with the Vice President for Academic Affairs within 10 college working days of the dean's/associate vice president's decision. Documentation of actions taken at each prior level will be provided to the Vice President by the aggrieved party requesting the appeal. The Vice President for Academic Affairs will review the previous actions, confer with the dean/associate vice president, and meet, as appropriate, with the student, professor, immediate supervisor(s) and dean/associate vice president in an attempt to resolve the issue presented.
  5. Final Disposition: If the student's academic concern/grade appeal remains unresolved after compliance with the steps outlined above, the Vice President for Academic Affairs will conduct a timely final review of the student's academic concern/grade appeal and issue a final written determination. The determination of the Vice President for Academic Affairs shall constitute the final disposition of the student's academic concern/grade appeal.

The Petitions Committee

The Petitions Committee considers written appeals on such matters as suspensions, appeals for fourth-attempt, exemption from the full cost of instruction and administrative record changes which may result in a refund due to death in the immediate family or a call to active duty. To be heard by the Committee, students must submit a written petition to the College registrar prior to the end of the following semester.  The registrar will arrange for the Committee to review the case. Recommendations of the Committee for improvement and change will be made to the Vice President for Student Affairs.

Student Concerns and Complaints

Purpose

College Procedure 3.0800 outlines the steps to address student concerns (non-instructional) or complaints that a policy or procedure of the College has been incorrectly or unfairly applied in their particular case, or to bring a complaint or grievance against an employee's behavior. The following steps have been established to address complaints not covered by the following procedures:

  • Student instructional and faculty concerns and grade appeals are to be resolved according to Procedure 4.0300.
  • Discrimination complaints are to be addressed according to Procedure 2.1800.
  • Students may appeal for tuition refunds according to Procedure 5.0450 by using the College’s petitions process overseen by the Registrar’s Office.
  • Students may appeal decisions related to their access to courses and credit granted toward the degree, according to F.S. 1006.51, by appealing to the office of a College ombudsman. 

Procedure

  1. Informal Conference: The deans of students on each campus serve as the student conduct officer. They are resources to help resolve issues and concerns. Student concerns or complaints can be directed to the student conduct officer to assist in resolution and identification of individuals involved. Most student concerns or complaints can be resolved through direct communication between the student and employee involved. The student shall request an informal conference with the employee involved. This conference is an informal meeting at which the student may present information regarding his/her concern. Every effort should be made to resolve the issue at this level.
  2. Written Appeal: If the issue has not been resolved within 10 college working days of the request for the initial conference, either because the student and employee have been unable to resolve the issue informally, or the employee is unavailable, the student may file a Written Statement of Student Concern or Complaint and submit it to the dean of students at the campus where the incident occurred. The dean of students will inform  the immediate supervisor of the person against whom the complaint is being made. To accommodate the distance learning student, the written statement of student concern or complaint may be submitted electronically. The campus dean of students is responsible for keeping a record of all written student complaints submitted at their site and will be copied on all correspondence regarding the concern or complaint.

    The written statement must document the informal conference or attempts to schedule an informal conference. It should describe the complaint in the clearest possible terms, provide relevant facts upon which the allegation is based, and must be signed by the student.

    The immediate supervisor(s) shall review the written statement and may meet with the student or employee individually or together to try to resolve the issue(s) raised in the written statement. The immediate supervisor(s) will send the student and the employee against whom the complaint was brought, a written decision about the situation within five College working days.
  3. Review by the Next-level Supervisor: If either party wishes further appeal beyond the employee's immediate supervisor, the aggrieved party may request a hearing with the appropriate next-level supervisor within five College working days of the decision of the immediate supervisor. At such time, the written statement shall be updated with an account of previous actions taken and sent to the appropriate dean of students for referral to the next-level supervisor. Upon receipt of the written statement, the next-level supervisor will work with the involved parties in an attempt to resolve the conflict within five College working days of receipt of the written statement. The next-level supervisor will send a written decision to both parties within five College working days of having received the written statement.
  4. Review by The Vice President: If either party wishes further appeal beyond the next-level supervisor, the party may request a hearing with the vice president responsible for the program or employee at issue. The request for a hearing with the vice president must be made within 10 College working days from when the next-level supervisor sent the written decision. The vice president will review the previous actions and meet, as appropriate, with the student, immediate supervisor, and next-level supervisor to resolve the issue(s). The vice president will send a written summary to both parties within 10 College working days of having received the written statement. The determination of the vice president shall constitute the final disposition of the student concern or complaint.  The final disposition cannot be appealed.

Attendance Policy

Per Seminole State College Policy 3.060, the College recognizes the correlation between attendance and both student retention and achievement. Students must be enrolled before they can attend class. Students are expected to attend all class sessions and activities for which they are registered. Any class session or activity missed, regardless of the cause, reduces the opportunity for learning and may adversely affect a student's achievement in the course. A student who is absent from class 10 percent of the scheduled class time is subject to be withdrawn without warning by the instructor up to the published deadline date for the session. A student may not be re-admitted to the class once withdrawn.

A student who will be absent because of jury duty or a court-mandated appearance must contact the appropriate instructors in advance of the absence to establish a plan for making up missed lessons. When observance of a religious holiday of a student's own faith interferes with admission and registration, attendance in class, class activities and assignments, examinations or official ceremonies; the student is required to notify his instructors, counselors or other appropriate personnel in advance of such absences.

Students are held responsible for material covered during their absences, with reasonable time provided to complete make-up assignments. Instructors will create a plan for making up work missed. When practical, major class assignments, examinations and official ceremonies shall be scheduled on days other than those that coincide with major religious holidays. Students who believe they have been unreasonably denied educational benefits due to their religious beliefs or practices may seek redress through the student appeals procedures.

Distance Learning Attendance

The instructor will keep an accurate record of attendance at all class sessions and activities. In distance learning courses (online, video, media-based courses), professors define expected interaction within the course and/or with other students and expected use of the class website and/or media. Inconsistent interaction and/or inconsistent use of the website or media, regardless of cause, reduces the opportunity for learning.

The professor may withdraw from the course any student who is not interactive or responsive in a timely manner, as specified by the professor. Professors, who have mandatory orientations for distance learning courses, may withdraw students who do not attend the required orientation.

Simply logging in to an on-line class does NOT count as attendance. Students must engage in an academically-related activity.

    International Students' Attendance

    International students are expected to abide by the College attendance policy and meet the Standards of Academic Progress. Students who do not maintain appropriate status will be reported to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

    College Regulations on Computer Access

    Seminole State College provides computer access at various locations on its campuses. Access to online resources is available to support and enhance the teaching, learning and academic endeavors of the College.

    The same moral and ethical behaviors apply in computing and non-computing environments. Abuse or misuse of computing services may violate user responsibility, Seminole State policy or state and federal laws, and can result in the loss of access privileges or other disciplinary actions.

    For more information, consult the Acceptable Use of College Technology Policy (7.010).

    Program Closing and Conversion

    Program Closing and Conversion

    Per Seminole State College Policy 4.0800, when a college-credit or career (vocational) program is closing, provisions will be made for students at least halfway through the program to complete it within a reasonable period of time, not to exceed twice the total program length for full-time students. "Halfway through the program" shall include prerequisites and specified general education courses, in addition to major courses and support courses that are part of the official program list for the catalog year in effect when the student entered the college.

    Students who have not completed half of the program, using the definition above, will change their major with assistance from the program manager or associate dean and the College's counseling staff. Courses from the closing program will be reviewed and considered for transfer into the new major or program through the regular course substitution procedure.

    Program Conversion

    Per Seminole State College Policy 4.0800, when a career (vocational) program converts to a college-credit program, the following procedure will apply to students who are enrolled in the program during the academic year of the conversion and who have maintained continuous enrollment in the program:

    • A committee consisting of the program manager, associate dean and the director of curriculum will evaluate the course descriptions, objectives and student competencies of the career program courses against the descriptions, objectives and competencies of the college-credit courses.
    • When there is a match of at least 80 percent, college credit will be awarded for the career program courses already completed. When the match does not reach 80 percent, students will be encouraged to satisfy the course requirement via credit-by-examination, for which the fee shall be waived.
    • The director of curriculum will produce a list of the career program courses that meet the 80 percent criterion and will convert to college credit.
    • For those students in the career program who do not have scores for an approved entry-level test for college-credit programs (SAT, ACT or PERT), a special testing session for the PERT will be arranged by the Director of Assessment and Testing.

    Standards of Academic Progress

    Seminole State College's Standards of Academic Progress have been established to help students maintain a satisfactory grade point average (GPA), to be successful and to graduate.  A cumulative GPA of at least a 2.0 is required to graduate.

    To maintain satisfactory academic progress at the College, students seeking either a baccalaureate or an associate degree must achieve a minimum GPA of 2.0 each semester. Successful completion of a course is defined as a grade of "A," "B," "C" or "D" except for those courses which specifically require a grade of "C" or higher for successful completion. Limited-access programs may have additional standards that take precedence.

    A. Good Standing: Students who achieve at least a 2.0 GPA each semester and have at least a 2.0 cumulative GPA will be in Good Standing.

    B. Academic Warning: Students will be placed on Academic Warning when their semester GPA falls below a 2.0 in any given semester. Academic Warning provides students with notification that they are not maintaining satisfactory progress and encourages them to seek help for improvement. Students on Academic Warning are strongly encouraged to speak with an educational advisor/counselor to discuss their educational plan and to seek assistance from faculty, the program manager or associate dean.  To be removed from Academic Warning at the end of the next semester, these students must achieve a minimum semester and cumulative GPA of 2.0.

    C. Academic Probation: Students on Academic Warning whose semester GPA again falls below 2.0 will be placed on Academic Probation and the following apply:   

    1. Students on academic probation are required to meet with an educational advisor/counselor to discuss their educational plan and set up scheduled visits to the Academic Success Center and/or the Student Transition and Achievement Resources (STAR) Center.
    2. Students who have a cumulative GPA below a 2.0 after earning thirty (30) credits that count toward the GPA will be placed on Academic Probation and an enrollment restriction will be applied to their record. The enrollment restriction will occur after grades are posted and will be in effect immediately. It is required that students on Academic Probation meet with an educational advisor/counselor to discuss their educational plan.
    3. Students on Academic Probation must limit their enrollment to a maximum of 12 credit hours in Fall, Spring or Summer term(s) and will be advised to consider reducing their academic load.
    4. Students will only be allowed to register for the next semester with the help of an educational advisor/counselor.
    5. Students on Academic Probation are permitted to register for the next semester through an academic advisor. To be removed from Academic Probation, students must earn a minimum semester and cumulative GPA of 2.0  However, future term enrollment may be impacted once current grades post for students on Academic Probation.  
    6. To be removed from Academic Probation, students must achieve a minimum semester and cumulative GPA of at least 2.0.
    7. Students who have a cumulative GPA below a 2.0 after earning thirty (30) credit hours, including transfer coursework, will be placed on Academic Probation, even if they never earned a semester GPA below a 2.0 at Seminole State College.

    D. Academic Suspension: Students on Academic Probation will be placed on Academic Suspension if they have a third semester (not necessarily consecutive) in which they earn less than a 2.0 semester GPA. The following rules apply to students placed on Academic Suspension:

    1. Students will be notified by the Registrar's Office of Academic Suspension prohibiting enrollment for one semester at the College.
    2. Re-enrollment into college-credit courses is allowed with educational advisor/counselor approval after these students have not enrolled for one semester (fall, spring, summer).
    3. Students placed on Academic Suspension, who had previously registered for the upcoming semester, will be dropped from their classes.
    4. To be removed from Academic Suspension and placed on Academic Probation, students must achieve a minimum semester GPA of 2.0. If these students fail to earn a semester GPA greater than or equal to a 2.0 while on Academic Suspension, they remain on suspension and must sit out for an additional semester.
    5. Students may not register for any courses at the College while on Academic Suspension.

    E. Appeal of Academic Suspension: Students have the right to appeal an Academic Suspension. Appeals must be submitted on a petition form to the dean of students at their campus location by the specified date for the upcoming semester. If approved, a student under this status must meet with an educational advisor/counselor or other designated Student Affairs staff member to discuss strategies for success. Students must have the advisor's or Student Affairs staff member's signed approval for the proposed course schedule on the registration form. Good practice dictates that the course load be limited to part-time study to support success. Students will not be allowed to register for the next semester until grades are received and a new GPA is calculated in order to determine eligibility for future enrollment.

    F. Cumulative GPA Requirement to Graduate: A cumulative GPA and a Seminole State GPA higher than or equal to 2.0 is required for graduation. Transfer courses are factored into the cumulative Seminole State College GPA.

    Want more info? Contact us.

    Seminole State College
    100 Weldon Boulevard
    Sanford, Florida 32773-6199
    407.708.4722

    Seminole State General Contact Information