Academic Credit for Demonstrated Competency
Wilkes University encourages students to work to their full capacity and to advance in their academic work as rapidly as is appropriate. A number of opportunities to demonstrate competencies beyond those normally associated with graduation from high school are open to qualified high school juniors and seniors, as well as to adults returning to school after an interval of work or military experience. Academic credit may be granted for such demonstrated competencies through a variety of channels including Advanced Placement (AP) tests, military educational and training programs, challenge examinations, the College-Level Examination Program (CLEP), Excelsior Exams, DANTES Subject Standardized Tests (DSST), and experiential learning portfolios. Each of these opportunities to earn academic credit for demonstrated competencies is described in detail in the sections that follow. (Nursing students are referred to the Nursing section of this bulletin for detailed information on accelerated programs for LPN and RN students.)
The Office of Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) has been established to advise students and faculty about the policies pertaining to the award of academic credit for demonstrated competency and works with a team of departmental faculty transfer liaisons to guide students through the various associated processes. The Office of Prior Learning Assessment is housed in University College.
Advanced Placement Program
Students who have passed one or more of the Advanced Placement (AP) Tests administered by the College Entrance Examination Board may request advanced placement in the University, the awarding of academic credit for AP course work, or both. Advanced Placement means that the student may enroll in a course at a level more advanced than the introductory level; a decision regarding advanced placement is made after review of the examination and applicant’s scores by the academic department concerned. The award of credit by virtue of qualifying AP test scores means that the student receives academic credit toward the hours required for graduation. Generally, academic credit will be granted for scores of 3, 4, or 5 on the Advanced Placement examination. Occasionally, a personal interview may be required before advanced placement or academic credit is awarded. No grades are assigned to the courses for which the student receives advanced placement credit. Information about specific course examinations and credit may be found by going to www.wilkes.edu and searching under “Advanced Placement.” Additional information is available from the advisors in the Office of Prior Learning Assessment.
After admission to Wilkes University, a student may request permission to take an examination demonstrating competence in a particular course. The interested student should apply to the appropriate department chairperson for permission to take a challenge examination. The chairperson will approve the student’s application in writing only if there is clear evidence that the student has adequate background in the field to attempt the examination. If denied a challenge examination, the student may appeal to the appropriate academic dean. The student may not challenge a course that he or she has previously failed.
A fee of $90 per credit will be assessed by the Financial Management Office for each approved challenge examination (see “Student Expenses”). The student must present to the chairperson of the department in which the examination is to be administered a receipt from the Financial Management Office; the receipt must be presented at least thirty days prior to the examination date. If the student successfully completes the challenge examination, credit for the course is awarded and posted to the student’s transcript. No grade or credit is recorded if the student does not pass the examination.
Credit for Military Experience
Students who have completed the special education and training programs offered by branches of the American armed services may be awarded academic credit for these programs. Students requesting academic credit for completion of such special programs should submit an official transcript of their work as part of the admissions process. Transcripts will be evaluated according to the guidelines provided by the American Council on Education (ACE), and credits awarded will be applied to the degree program as appropriate. For more information about the awarding of credit for military experience, contact the Office of Admissions at (570)408-4400.
Experiential learning is defined as knowledge and skills acquired and developed outside the traditional collegiate setting by means of experiences including, but not limited to, study abroad programs, internships, undergraduate research, service learning, scholarly and creative activities for which the student has not received academic credit, as well as professional work experiences and professional development self-study programs.
A maximum of 12 credits may be granted for demonstrated and documented college-level learning acquired and developed experientially, not for the experiences themselves. Credit will be awarded for existing courses in the, General Education, Major, and Elective (including “general electives”) components of the Wilkes curriculum and only on the basis of critical evaluation by appropriate faculty of the demonstrated learning presented in the petition and upon approval of the appropriate dean.
As soon after admission to the University as is practical, students who wish to petition for experiential learning credit must notify the Prior Learning Assessment Coordinator, the appropriate academic advisor, and the dean of the college and chair of the department or division in which the course is delivered for which credit is to be requested. Notification must be presented to all aforementioned parties in writing. Experiential Learning “Intent to Petition” forms are available on line and in the Office of Prior Learning Assessment; a copy of the completed form must be filed with the Prior Learning Assessment Coordinator, the student’s academic advisor, and with the dean of the college and the chair of the department or division in which the course is delivered for which credit is to be requested.
Specific guidelines and procedures for the petitioning and awarding of experiential learning credits are listed below. The Academic Standards Committee of the Faculty maintains the guidelines and procedures of the Policy on Experiential Learning, and makes the final decision on the awarding of credit.
The student must be admitted to Wilkes University and enrolled in a degree program of the University.
All other means of securing credit for demonstrated competencies must have been exhausted before applying for experiential learning credit. The student must have applied for academic credit and demonstrated competence by such means as
- departmental challenge exams;
- CLEP subject area (not general) exams;
- Credit for military experience;
- RN validation of prior learning; and
- Advanced Placement (AP) exams.
Experiential learning credit will not be awarded for
- courses taken or credit awarded at another institution and accepted for transfer to Wilkes;
- courses taken at another institution but not accepted for transfer to Wilkes; and
- credit for life experience awarded by another college or university.
Academic policies pertaining to residency requirements, transfer, and level of course work are maintained for all students. Students who are awarded experiential learning credit must still
- complete 60 credits at a baccalaureate degree-granting institution (including experiential learning credits awarded by Wilkes);
- complete a minimum of 30 credits at Wilkes;
- complete at least one-half of the major field credits at Wilkes; and
- meet all graduation requirements approved by the Faculty of the University.
Credits awarded for experiential learning may not exceed 12 credit hours.
Students should expect a time frame of one semester from the time the petition is received by the appropriate dean until a final decision is rendered by the Academic Standards Committee.
Students who wish to petition for experiential learning credit must
meet with their assigned academic advisor and an advisor in the Office of Prior Learning Assessment (in University College) to discuss their intent to petition for experiential learning credit;
complete the “Experiential Learning Intent to Petition” form and submit one copy to each of the following:
- the Prior Learning Assessment Coordinator;
- the academic advisor;
- the dean of the college in which the course is delivered for which credit is requested; and
- the chair of the department or division in which the course is delivered for which credit is requested
obtain from the appropriate department or division chair a copy of the syllabus of the course for which credit is requested;
The “Petition for Experiential Learning Credit” (hereinafter referred to as the “Petition”) must be completed within one calendar year from the date of filing the “Intent to Petition” form. Students who do not complete the “Petition” within the stated time period may reapply by submitting another “Intent to Petition” form.
A separate “Petition” must be submitted for each course for which credit is requested.
prepare, in consultation with the academic advisor, the “Petition,” which includes the following:
- General Information (Cover Page)
- Name and date of birth
- Wilkes Identification Number
- Course for which credit is requested (including Course Number and Course Title)
- Number of credits sought
- High school and year of graduation
- Degree sought at Wilkes and major area of study
- A copy of the student’s Wilkes University transcript, along with copies of transcripts from any other external institutions attended, showing degrees awarded (if any)
- Relevant formal training courses attended which were conducted by business, industry or military organizations (include dates, titles and topics)
- Occupational experience (include name of organization, dates of employment, duties and responsibilities)
- Evaluation and Signature Page
- Specific Requests and Justification (Narrative)
- A coherent and comprehensive narrative of not more than five typewritten pages forms the basis for the request and must include a detailed and substantive discussion of the experiences to be considered and the specific learning acquired and developed by means of these experiences. The student must demonstrate that the knowledge, skills, and values acquired experientially addresses the student learning outcomes of the course for which credit is sought;
- documentation of learning acquired and developed experientially must accompany the narrative (examples may include letters or performance reports from supervisors, copies of papers written, reviews of scholarly work, performances, or artistic exhibitions, programs, samples of work, and the like);
NOTE: At the discretion of the appropriate college dean and department or division chair, students petitioning for experiential learning credit may be required to provide additional information, attend an interview, and give a demonstration of knowledge or skills associated with the specific course for which credit is requested.
Students must submit the “Petition” to the Registrar not later than the first week of the fall or spring semester. The Registrar will acknowledge receipt of the “Petition” and forward the completed “Petition” to the dean of the college in which the course is delivered for which credit is being requested.
The college dean, in consultation with the appropriate department or division chair, will evaluate the “Petition” for merit. The unit dean will complete the applicable section of the Evaluation and Signature Page and forward, with recommendation, to the Academic Standards Committee for consideration and final approval.
The Academic Standards Committee may accept, modify, or reject the evaluation and recommendations of the dean. The chairperson of the Academic Standards Committee will complete the Evaluation and Signature Page, which shall constitute written notification of the Committee’s decision. The “Petition,” including the written notification of the Committee’s decision, will be returned to the unit dean, who will present the decision to the student. The “Petition” will be kept on file in the Office of the Dean for a period of seven years.
The chairperson of the Academic Standards Committee will forward a signed photocopy of the Evaluation and Signature Page to the University Registrar for posting of credit, if awarded.
Standardized Examinations of College-Level Learning: CLEP, DANTES, and Excelsior
Wilkes University awards academic credit on the basis of satisfactory performance on the Subject Examinations, not the General Examinations, of the College-Level Examination Program (CLEP) administered by the College Entrance Examination Board. CLEP scores are evaluated according to the guidelines provided by the American Council on Education (ACE), and credits awarded will be applied to the degree program as appropriate. Although the program is designed primarily for adults, exceptionally well-qualified high school seniors may find it advantageous to seek academic credit through the College-Level Examination Program. Inquiries about CLEP should be directed to the Office of Admissions by calling (570) 408-4400. Official scores on CLEP Subject Examination scores should be forwarded directly to the Office of Admissions.
Scores earned on other standardized examinations, specifically DANTES and Excelsior, are evaluated on a case-by-case basis.
Additional information about CLEP, DANTES, and Excelsior examinations is available in the Office of Prior Learning Assessment.
Academic honesty requires that students refrain from all forms of cheating and provide clear and accurate citations for assertions of fact, as well as for the language, ideas, and interpretations of others that have contributed to the student’s written work. Failure to acknowledge indebtedness to the work of others constitutes plagiarism, a serious academic offense that cannot be tolerated in a community of scholars. All instances of academic fraud will be addressed in accordance with the policies of the faculty and student handbooks of the University.
Statement on Intellectual Responsibility and Plagiarism
(adapted from the Wilkes University Student Handbook)
At Wilkes, the faculty and the entire University community share a deep commitment to academic honesty and integrity. Plagiarism, collusion, and cheating are considered to be serious violations of academic and intellectual integrity and will not be tolerated at the University. Each of these violations of academic and intellectual integrity is defined as follows.
Plagiarism: the use of another’s ideas, programs, or words without proper acknowledgment.
According to the Little, Brown Handbook (seventh ed.), plagiarism “is the presentation of someone else’s ideas or words as your own” (578). Similarly, the MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers (seventh ed.) states, “using another person’s ideas, information, or expressions without acknowledgement of that person’s work constitutes intellectual theft. Passing off another person’s ideas, information, or expressions as your own to gain an advantage constitutes fraud” (26).
Students assume the responsibility for providing original work in their courses and for refraining from all acts of plagiarism. The University considers the following to be three separate forms of plagiarism:
- Deliberate plagiarism, which centers on the issue of intent. If students deliberately claim another’s language, ideas, or other intellectual or creative work as their own, they are engaged in a form of intellectual theft. Similarly, submitting the work of another person, in whole or in part, or submitting a paper purchased from another person or agency is a clear case of intentional plagiarism for which student will be subject to the severest penalties. Acts of intellectual theft are not tolerated in academic, business, or professional communities, and confirmed instances of plagiarism usually result in serious consequences.
- Unintentional plagiarism often results from a misunderstanding of conventional documentation, oversight, or inattentive scholarship. Instances of unintentional plagiarism may include forgetting to give authors credit for their ideas, transcription from inaccurate and poorly written notes, failure to use appropriate forms of citation, and omission of relevant punctuation.
- Self-plagiarism occurs when students submit papers prepared and presented for another course, whether for the English Department or another department or school. Students may submit the same paper for more than one course only if all instructors involved grant permission for such simultaneous or “recycled” submissions.
Penalties for plagiarism may range from failure for the particular assignment to failure for the course. In accordance with the academic grievance procedures of Wilkes University, cases of plagiarism will be addressed first by the instructor. Any appeal by the student should be directed to the department chairperson.
Collusion: improper collaboration with another in preparing assignments, computer programs, or in the completion of quizzes, tests, and examinations.
Cheating: giving improper or unauthorized aid to another in the completion of academic tasks or receiving such aid from another person or other source.
Falsifying: the fabrication, misrepresentation, or alteration of citations, experimental data, laboratory data, or data derived from other empirical methods.
Instructors are expected to report violations to both the Dean of Students and the Provost. Penalties for violations may range from failure in the particular assignment, program, or test, to failure for the course. The instructor may also refer the case for disposition to the Student Affairs Cabinet. The academic sanctions imposed are the purview of the Faculty; the Student Affairs Cabinet determines disciplinary sanctions. The appeal of a failing grade for academic dishonesty will follow the academic grievance policy. The appeal of a disciplinary sanction will follow the disciplinary action policy.
The University “Statement on Intellectual Responsibility and Plagiarism” may be found in full in the Wilkes University Student Handbook. Students are responsible for being fully cognizant of the content of this statement. Questions pertaining to Intellectual Responsibility and Plagiarism or any facet of Academic Honesty should be directed to the student’s professors, academic advisor, the Dean of Students, and the University Writing Center.
Statement on Academic Honesty, Intellectual Responsibility and Plagiarism
At Wilkes, the faculty and the entire University community share a deep commitment to academic honesty and integrity. Students assume the responsibility for providing original work in their courses without plagiarizing. The following are considered to be serious violations and will not be tolerated. These are meant to be examples and are not an exhaustive list.
Academic Misconduct: any behavior that attempts to garner an unfair advantage or give another student an unfair advantage
- submitting work purchased from another (including another student or commercial paper writing services)
- completing an assignment for another student
- use of unauthorized electronics during an exam (i.e. cell phone, calculator, wireless two-way communicators)
- leaving a room during an exam, with the exam
- possession of unauthorized copies of an exam (either current or past exams)
- submitting false information or documentation that requests special accommodations from a professor
Cheating: giving improper aid to another, or receiving such aid from another, or from some other source
- to copy from another student
- to allow another student to copy from you
- to use unauthorized notes or formula sheets during an exam
- Collusion: improper collaboration with another in preparing assignments, computer programs, or in taking examinations
- to discuss an exam with a student who is scheduled to take the same exam at another later section
- to take an extra copy of an exam to share with another outside of your own section
- unless an instructor indicates that collaboration is allowed, students should work individually on assignments
- a clear notation should be made if you have collaborated with someone on an assignment
Falsifying: the fabrication, misrepresentation, or alteration of citations, experimental data, laboratory data, or data derived from other empirical methods or giving false information
- to create false data for lab reports or other research
- to cite materials not used in your assignment
- to misrepresent work done outside the classroom (i.e. as it relates to field work or internship hours)
- to ask for special consideration under false pretenses
Plagiarism: the use of another’s ideas, programs, or words without proper acknowledgment
- to use an idea, illustration, diagram or other detail from a source without making a reference in the bibliography
- to submit another person’s paper, program or other assignment as one’s own
- to paraphrase without citing a source
- to use a partial phrase from a source without putting it in quotations, or otherwise citing it
- to use information found on the internet without citing the source
- self-plagiarism-reusing your own work for another assignment in another class
The University considers the following as three separate forms of plagiarism:
- Deliberate plagiarism centers on the issue of intent. If students deliberately claim another’s language, ideas, or other intellectual or creative work as their own, they are engaged in a form of intellectual theft. This is not tolerated in academic, business, and professional communities, and confirmed instances of plagiarism usually result in serious consequences. Similarly, submitting the work of another person or submitting a paper purchased from another person or agency is a clear case of intentional plagiarism for which students will be subject to the severest penalties..
- Unintentional plagiarism often results from misunderstanding conventional documentation, oversight, or inattentive scholarship. Unintentional plagiarism can include forgetting to give authors credit for their ideas, transcribing from poor notes, and even omitting relevant punctuation marks.
- Self-plagiarism occurs when students submit papers presented for another course, whether for the English department or another department or school. Students may submit papers for more than one course only if all instructors involved grant permission for such simultaneous or recycled submissions.
Students should follow these general principles when incorporating the ideas and words of others into their writing:
- The exact language of another person (whether a single distinctive word, phrase, sentence, or paragraph) must be identified as a direct quotation and must be provided with a specific acknowledgment of the source of the quoted matter.
- Paraphrases and summaries of the language and ideas of another person must be clearly restated in the author’s own words, not those of the original source, and must be provided with a specific acknowledgment of the source of the paraphrased or summarized matter.
- All visual media, including graphs, tables, illustrations, raw data, audio and digital material, are covered by the notion of intellectual property and, like print sources, must be provided with a specific acknowledgment of the source.
- Sources must be acknowledged using the systematic documentation method required by the instructor for specific assignments and courses.
- As a general rule, when in doubt, provide acknowledgment for all borrowed material. Different disciplines use different documentation methods; therefore, students should consult instructors about the correct use of the appropriate documentation style. Style manuals detailing correct forms for acknowledging sources are available in the Farley Library, at the Writing Center, and at the college bookstore. Additional resources and guidance in the correct use of sources can be obtained at the Writing Center and from individual instructors.
Procedures for Reporting Cases of Academic Dishonesty
Instructors are expected to report violations to both the Dean of Students Affairs and the Provost. Penalties for violations may range from failure in the particular assignment, program, or test, to failure for the course. The instructor may also refer the case for disposition to the Student Affairs Committee. The academic sanctions imposed are the purview of the Faculty; the Student Affairs Committee determines disciplinary sanctions. The appeal of a failing grade for academic dishonesty will follow the academic grievance policy. The appeal of a disciplinary sanction will follow the disciplinary action policy. The faculty who suspects a case of academic dishonesty should:
Academic Honors and Awards
The Deans’ List
The faculty of Wilkes University grants recognition for work of the highest quality. Students who earn a semester GPA of 3.50 or higher for all courses taken are accorded special recognition by being named to the Dean’s List in the School or College of their major degree program. The Dean’s List is published at the end of each fall and spring term. Students who attempt fewer than 12 credit hours in any semester are not eligible for nomination to the Dean’s List.
Many national and international honor societies have established chapters at Wilkes University. Students are invited to join these societies on the basis of their academic achievement, service to the University, service to the community, or a combination of such activities and accomplishments. Honor societies at Wilkes University include
ALPHA CHI (Upper division students) PI KAPPA DELTA (Forensics)
ALPHA KAPPA DELTA (Sociology) PI SIGMA ALPHA (Political Science)
ALPHA SIGMA LAMBDA (Part-time Students) PHI ALPHA THETA (History)
BETA BETA BETA (Biology) PSI CHI (Psychology)
CHI ALPHA EPSILON (Act 101 Students) RHO CHI (Pharmacy)
DELTA MU DELTA (Business and Accounting) SIGMA PI SIGMA (Physics)
ETA KAPPA NU (Electrical Engineering) SIGMA TAU DELTA (English)
KAPPA DELTA PI (Education) SIGMA THETA TAU (Nursing)
LAMBDA PI ETA (Communications) SIGMA XI (Scientific Research)
OMICRON DELTA EPSILON (Economics)
Academic Standing, Probation, and Ineligibility
It is expected that students at Wilkes University will work to their full capacity and potential in all courses. Academic standing reflects progress toward degree completion and is determined according to minimum semester grade point averages achieved.
For the purposes of determining academic standing, freshmen are defined as students who have attempted up to 36 credits; freshmen must maintain a minimum cumulative grade point average of 1.70 in order to be considered “in good standing” at the University. Sophomores, juniors, and seniors must maintain a minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.00 overall and a minimum grade point average in their major course work to be considered “in good standing” at the University. (Sophomores are defined as students who have completed 30 - 59 credits, juniors as students who have completed 60 - 89 credits, and seniors as students who have completed 90 credits or more.)
A student who fails to achieve the required minimum grade point average(s) will automatically be placed on academic probation or declared “academically ineligible.” Academic probation serves as a warning to the student that he or she is not making satisfactory progress toward degree completion. Students placed on academic probation may, based upon the recommendation of the student’s academic advisor and action by the Academic Standards Committee, be restricted in the number of credits that he or she may attempt in the following semester. The Academic Standards Committee may impose additional restrictions and requirements in individual cases, if it is determined that such restrictions and requirements are in the best interest of the student. These restrictions may affect the student’s participation in extra-curricular and co-curricular activities.
Students who remain on academic probation for two consecutive semesters are subject to declaration as “academically ineligible” to continue at the University. Students who are declared academically ineligible are not permitted to enroll in any course work at Wilkes for a period of one semester and must, following the semester of mandated leave, apply in writing to the Academic Standards Committee for readmission to the University. The application for readmission must include evidence of the student’s prospects for academic success in subsequent semesters. If readmission to the University is approved by the Academic Standards Committee, the student will be readmitted on a probationary basis.
A decision of the Academic Standards Committee may be appealed by the student at the designated meeting for appeals at the conclusion of the fall and spring semesters. Appeals must be presented to the Committee, either in person or by letter, at the appropriate appeals meeting, and should include good and sufficient reasons for the appeal.
Course Credit and Grade Point Averages
Each course at the University is assigned a specific number of credits. For example, History HST 101 is a three-credit course, and Mathematics MTH 111 is a four-credit course. In most cases, credits assigned to a particular course are determined according to the number of hours per week that the class meets; credits may also be defined by the number of hours that the class meets per semester. During the course of the semester, a credit hour is equivalent to
Each course at the University is assigned a specific number of credits. For example, History HST 101 is a three-credit course, and Mathematics MTH 111 is a four-credit course. In most cases, credits assigned to a particular course are determined according to the number of hours per week that the class meets; credits may also be defined by the number of hours that the class meets per semester. During the course of the semester, a credit hour is equivalent to
15 hours of classroom contact, plus appropriate outside preparation (30 hours); OR
30 hours of supervised laboratory work, plus appropriate outside preparation; OR
45 hours of internship or clinical experience; OR
a combination of the foregoing.
Length of Semester:
- 14 weeks of classes, excluding final examination periods and vacations.
- 1 credit hour = 50 minutes of lecture or recitation per week (along with two hours of out of class activities) or 2 or more hours of laboratory per week throughout the semester.
Laboratory: Courses with a focus on experimental/experiential learning where in the student performs substantive work in a laboratory or studio setting. The minimum contact time per credit is 1680 minutes or 2 hours per week for the length of a regular semester.
Independent study/research: Courses offered as directed studies with approval and supervision of faculty member. Student(s)meet periodically as agreed upon during the duration of the course. Semester hour credit awarded must be comparable in scope, content, academic rigor and student study time as courses offered in lecture format.
Internships, practicum, clinical, field/cooperative experience, externships: Courses developed for experiential and hands-on learning involving off-site placement. Employers work collaboratively with the appropriate university staff or faculty to develop outcomes, learning experiences, and expectations in order for students to meet credit level requirements. Such credit is awarded at the rate of 45 hours per credit.
Accelerated Courses: Courses offered in sessions less than a traditional 15 week semester. These courses offer the same semester credit hours as traditional semester-length classes. Within the shortened time frame, accelerated courses must meet the minimum contact hour requirements of the lecture format. In the event that courses do not meet the expected contact hour requirements, credit can be awarded for equivalent instructional activities, which can include but are not limited to online videos, online discussions or chats, quizzes and/or exams, article summaries, case analyses, online group activities, etc.
Online: Courses offered entirely online without regard to face-to-face meetings. Students are expected to be academically engaged with comparable learning outcomes of a standard lecture course with alternate delivery methods. Contact time is satisfied through several means, which can include but is not limited to the following: a) web-based synchronous meetings using tele- and/or video-conferencing software at times scheduled in advance by the faculty member; b) academic engagement through interactive tutorials, video lectures, online chats, group discussions moderated by faculty, virtual study/group projects, engaging with class peers and computer tutorials graded and reviewed by faculty.
Hybrid: Courses offered in a blended format with one or more required face-to-face class sessions and with one or more required online sessions. These courses offer the same semester credit hours as traditional semester-length classes. Hybrid courses may also be in an accelerated format with the course length spanning less than the traditional semester. Contact time may be satisfied through several means, which can include but is not limited to the following, web-based synchronous meetings using tele- and/or video-conferencing software at times scheduled in advance by the faculty member, academic engagement through interactive tutorials, video lectures, online chats, group discussions moderated by faculty, virtual study/group projects, engaging with class peers, and computer tutorials graded and reviewed by faculty. Low residency courses and programs also fall into this category.
Graduation Requirements by Level
Requirements for Bachelor’s Degree:
Requirements for graduate level degree (master’s or doctoral):
Grade Point Averages
The grade point average (GPA) is calculated according to a formula by which the total number of quality points earned is divided bythe total number of credit hours attempted. Quality points are calculated by multiplying the course credit by the grade earned in thecourse. Below is an example illustrating the method used to compute grade point averages:
COM 101 3.0 x 4.0 = 12.0
FR 101 3.0 x 3.0 = 9.0
HST 101 3.0 x 1.5 = 4.5
MUS 101 3.0 x 2.5 = 7.5
PSY 101 3.0 x 0.0 = 0.0
Total credit hours attempted 15.0
Total credit hours passed 12.0
Total quality points earned 33.0
GPA(33qp/15 hrs. attempted) = 2.20
Note that the student has accumulated 12 credits toward graduation. The “0.00” grade in Psychology (PSY) means that the student must repeat that course in order to earn credit for the course. Students may repeat any course. If the course is completed a second time with a higher grade, the higher grade, if earned at Wilkes, will be “included” in the calculation of the cumulative grade point average; and the lower grade will be “excluded.” The student may repeat the course at Wilkes University or at another accredited institution.
IMPORTANT: Grades from courses transferred to Wilkes University are not included in the calculation of grade point averages at Wilkes. If a course is repeated and successfully completed at an accredited institution other than Wilkes University, the credit for that course may transfer to Wilkes in fulfillment of graduation requirements; the course grade earned at another institution, however, will not transfer, and the “0.0” earned at Wilkes will remain in effect for the calculation of the student’s GPA. Grades earned at another institution will not be included as factors in the calculation of a student’s grade point average, even in the event that the course credit is transferred to Wilkes. In order to exclude a low grade (1.5. or 1.0) or a failing grade (0.0) and substitute a higher earned grade to be used in the calculation of the grade point average, the student must repeat and successfully complete the course at Wilkes University.
Degree seeking students enrolled at Wilkes University who wish to take or repeat courses at another accredited institution must complete a “Request for Transfer of Credit” form and submit this form to the University Registrar for approval before enrolling in the course. “Request for Transfer of Credit” forms are available at the Registrar’s Office.
Grade point averages are cumulative; the work of each semester is added to the total. In order to graduate from Wilkes University, a student must have achieved, at the end of the senior year, a minimum overall grade point average of 2.00 and a minimum major field grade point average (mfa) of 2.00.
NOTE: Some degree programs including, but not limited to, Nursing and Education, require grade point averages and major field averages of greater than 2.00. See the grade point average requirements for specific degree programs described in this bulletin, and consult with your academic advisor concerning grade point average requirements for your specific degree program.
The granting of honors at Commencement is based upon the entire academic record achieved by the student at Wilkes University. Transfer students must have completed a minimum of 60 credits at Wilkes in order to be eligible to be considered for honors.
The minimum requirements for Degree Honors are
Summa cum laude (with highest honors) 3.900
Magna cum laude (with high honors) 3.700
Cum laude (with honors) 3.500
Grade point averages are not rounded for Degree Honors.
GPA Adjustment Policy
The GPA Adjustment Policy is a policy and procedure for a student to request removal of substandard grades in majors for which they are clearly not suited. Removing grades of less than 2.0 may help the student gain confidence in his/her academic ability, choose another academic career path, increase their GPA to be removed from Academic Probation or Ineligibility, and, possibly, reinstate financial aid. This action will only be permitted if the student agrees to the specific conditions detailed below. The complete Policy and Procedure and the Form are available from the Registrar in the Registrar’s Office.
The student MUST change majors. This can include changing between declared majors, changing from declared majors to “undeclared”, or changing from “undeclared” to declared majors.
The student MUST receive permission from the Department Chair of the new major to invoke this policy or the Director of University College if switching to undeclared. The Chairperson of the Department into which the student desires to transfer has the decision-making authority to accept the new change of major. If the Chairperson of the Department refuses to accept the student, or if the student decides upon “undeclared,” the student may contact University College personnel and request a change to “undeclared” status.
The student may initiate the GPA Adjustment Policy anytime during his/her current academic career. A returning student may apply the Policy to previously completed courses with no time limit.
The student may only apply a maximum of 18 credit hours of courses to the GPA Adjustment Policy during his/her academic career at Wilkes. The student must follow the Director of Financial Aid’s Federal Guidelines regarding the maximum number of acceptable credits earned each academic year and minimum GPA. This implies that the Policy may be applied more than once during his/her academic career at Wilkes as long as the student follows the Federal Guidelines and change majors a second time.
If the student decides to return to a major for which the courses were excluded, the original course grades will be reinstated. The courses must be repeated (if needed) to satisfy the requirements of the major.
Courses to which the policy may be applied:
- Courses specific for majors in which grades of less than 2.0 were recorded on the transcript.
- “Variable” General Education (GE) courses in which grades of less than 2.0 were recorded on the transcript.
Courses to which the policy CANNOT be applied:
- “Specific” General Education Courses that include FYF 101, ENG 101, HST 101 or ENG 120, even if grades of less than 2.0 were recorded on the transcript. These courses must be repeated at Wilkes to replace the grade.
- Courses in which a student received grades of less than 2.0 due to academic dishonesty (cheating, plagiarism, etc.). Faculty must indicate on the GPA Adjustment Form whether the student was accused of academic dishonesty.
- Courses in which a student received grades of less than 2.0 due to lack of attendance, as defined in the Wilkes University Bulletin or the specific syllabus. Faculty must indicate on the GPA Adjustment Form whether the student received the substandard grade for lack of attendance.
The GPA adjusted course(s) will remain on the transcript and will receive an “E” notation, meaning the grades and the credit hours will be “E”xcluded from GPA calculations. Also, the courses invoked in the policy will be noted in the “comments” section of the transcript. The Registrar will recalculate both the semester and overall GPA.
A student who changed majors prior to the policy being adopted at Wilkes University would not be permitted to eliminate courses, unless s/he changes majors again after the policy was implemented.
The student will follow the following procedure when invoking the GPA Adjustment Policy:
- The current advisor and the student must work together regarding substandard performance in current major, discuss changing majors/programs and initiate the GPA Adjustment Policy.
- The student must contact the Student Affairs Office regarding the implication of substandard grades on probation/eligibility status. The student must also consult with the Financial Aid Office regarding the effect of substandard grades on continued financial aid.
- If the advisor, the director of Student Affairs, and the Financial Aid Director feel the student may gain relief by invoking the GPA Adjustment Policy, the student will initiate the process by obtaining the GPA Adjustment Form from the Registrar’s Office.
- See Form for specific details.
- The required signatures on the form include: 1) the Chairperson of the new major or Director of University College (Undeclared) and 2) the Faculty of the course(s) involved. The faculty MUST verify on the GPA Adjustment Policy whether the grades were issued for academic dishonesty or lack of attendance. If a faculty member is no longer at Wilkes, the Chairperson may sign-off on this line. If the Chairperson, Dean and University Student Affairs are not familiar with the faculty or student, the student may appear before the Academic Standards Committee and petition for the Policy.
- The form must be completed and returned to the Registrar’s Office. The Registrar and Director of Financial Aid will make all necessary adjustments to the student’s transcript and financial aid document.
- The Registrar will notify the Academic Standards Committee during regularly scheduled meetings of students invoking this policy.
- The student must also provide the completed Change of Major Form with the GPA Adjustment Policy Form.
The primary purpose of any grading system is to inform the student of his or her academic progress in a specific course and within a specific academic program. Final grade reports are posted online on the Wilkes Student Portal at the end of each term. Mid-term grades reflecting attendance and academic performance are recorded by course instructors at the end of the seventh week of the semester and prior to pre-registration advising for the following term. Mid-term grades of “unsatisfactory” in attendance or performance or both are sent electronically to students and to their academic advisors.
Wilkes recognizes eight numerical grades for academic achievement as follows:
4.00 Academic achievement of outstanding quality
3.50 Academic achievement above high quality
3.00 Academic achievement of high quality
2.50 Academic achievement above acceptable quality in meeting requirements for graduation
2.00 Academic achievement of acceptable quality in meeting requirements for graduation
1.50 Academic achievement above the minimum quality required for course credit
1.00 Academic achievement of minimum quality for course credit
The following letter grades may be assigned, as appropriate:
P Passing, no credit
N Audit, no credit
A grade of “X” indicates that the student has not completed the course requirements as specified by the course instructor. Grades of incomplete (“X”) will be granted to students who, because of illness or reasons beyond their control, have been unable to satisfy all course requirements, including the final examination, by the end of the term. When such a grade is recorded, all work must be completed and all course requirements satisfied by or before the end of the fourth week following the last day of the examination period; failure to complete course work and meet course requirements within this four-week period will result in a grade of “0.00” for the course, unless a special extension has been filed by the course instructor and approved by the Registrar.
It is the student’s responsibility to meet all graduation requirements. Students are expected to be fully familiar with all academic requirements published in the Wilkes University Undergraduate Bulletin and to ensure that they are meeting the degree requirements of the University (as specified in the General Education Requirements) and of their major program. Students may elect to follow the degree requirements as stated in the Undergraduate Bulletin published when they entered the University or were admitted to their specific degree program, or they may elect to follow the degree requirements published in any subsequent Bulletin.
The Faculty of Wilkes University has approved the following requirements that all students must satisfy in order to earn a baccalaureate degree and be eligible for graduation. All students must
- complete a minimum of 120 credit hours;
- satisfy all requirements in the major(s); (Requirements for graduation vary among degree programs; see the appropriate section(s) of this bulletin for the number of credit hours and other requirements for specific majors);
- complete all subjects required for the degree as stated in the bulletin in force at the time of admission to the program or in any subsequent bulletin;
- achieve a minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.00 for all courses;*
- achieve a minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.00 for all subjects in the major(s); *
- achieve a minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.00 for all subjects within the chosen minor(s); *
- demonstrate competence in written and spoken English; and
- satisfy mathematics and computer literacy and other curricular skills and knowledge requirements by participation in assessment procedures.
*NOTE: Some degree programs require minimum cumulative grade point averages above 2.00 in general course work and in coursework in the major. See the appropriate sections of this Bulletin for specific grade point average requirements for each degree.
All students must apply for Graduation by registering for GRD 000 (Graduation Audit) in their final semester at the University. Completed electronic diploma order and degree audit must be initiated and sent to the Registrar in order for a student to graduate. These forms are available on the Registrar Forms page: https://www.wilkes.edu/academics/office-of-the-registrar-recorder/forms/index.aspx.
No student shall receive a diploma until financial obligations to the University have been fulfilled.
No student shall be allowed to participate in a Commencement ceremony unless all of the above-mentioned graduation requirements have been met.
All candidates for degrees are expected to be present at Commencement. If circumstances prevent their attendance, students must apply to the Vice President for Student Affairs for permission to take the degree or certificate in absentia.
The Wilkes University Honors Program provides an opportunity for talented and highly motivated undergraduate students to participate in challenging learning experiences focused on the development of leadership, integrity, and self-awareness while pursuing academic excellence. First-year students already accepted to Wilkes with a minimum SAT score of 1190 or a minimum ACT score of 26 and who rank in the top 20 percent of their high school class are invited to apply. Transfer students already accepted to Wilkes with a minimum SAT score of 1190 or a minimum ACT score of 26, a minimum cumulative collegiate GPA of 3.5, and a minimum of six remaining undergraduate terms are also invited to apply. New Wilkes students accepted into the program are notified during the spring prior to their first semester in the fall. Current Wilkes students with a minimum cumulative collegiate GPA of 3.5 and a minimum of six remaining undergraduate terms can also apply.
Honors Program Requirements
Students admitted to the program are required in their first fall semester to take a cohort-based, three-credit Honors class that counts towards University core requirements. They are required to take 18 additional Honors credits - six at or above the 300 level- in addition to their major and other University graduation credit requirements. All must also participate in a one-credit Honors capstone seminar.
Minimum Cumulative GPA Requirements
- 3.0 after two terms at Wilkes
- 3.2 after four terms at Wilkes
- 3.3 after six terms at Wilkes
- 3.4 after eight terms at Wilkes/to meet Honors Program completion requirements
A student is allowed only one grade of 2.5 in an Honors course to receive Honors credit. All other Honors course grades must be a minimum of 3.0. Students falling below the required cumulative GPA threshold will be given one full term to return their cumulative GPA to the minimum required. Students are always encouraged to draw on the expertise of all Wilkes University community resources, such as academic support and health and wellness services, when encountering academic, personal, or other challenges.
First-Year Honors Living-Learning Community
All first-year Honors students living on campus reside together in Honors housing. This enables students to begin connecting with each other in an environment conducive to their shared values and aspirations. While they may live in the hall of their choice during their remaining years at Wilkes, many choose to continue living in community with other Honors students.
Good Standing: Honors Program Community
Participating in Honors Program-sponsored activities, including meetings on campus with prominent guest speakers and engaging with prospective Honors students, helps to cultivate knowledge and skills that advance intellectual, personal, and professional development, contributions to the Wilkes campus community, and post-graduate success, whether through employment or continued education. Our weekly newsletter, The Honors Buzz, announces these opportunities throughout the academic year.
All Honors students must participate in at least one Honors-sponsored activity per term. This commitment is waived during a study abroad term.
Good Standing: Student Conduct
Honors students must remain in good standing with regard to student conduct. Any student found guilty of violating University policies is subject to review by the Honors Program Advisory Council.
Honors Program Course Offerings
Generally, Honors course components enable students to pursue breadth, depth, complexity and/or interdisciplinarity within their undergraduate education, helping to cultivate knowledge and skills that advance students’ intellectual, personal and professional development; their contributions to the Wilkes campus community; and their preparation for post-graduate success, whether through employment or continued education.
Honors components should constitute approximately 15-20% of a student’s work in a class. This could be quantified by proportion of final grade and/or by proportion of total assignments.
&H (“And H”)
An &H section is added to an existing course in which both Honors and non-Honors students are enrolled to signal that the Honors students have the opportunity to earn Honors course credit. To earn this credit, Honors students must be enrolled specifically in the &H section and they must satisfactorily complete work complementary to the existing syllabus. An Honors student is allowed only one grade of 2.5 in an Honors course to receive Honors credit. All other Honors course grades must be a minimum of 3.0.
H (“standalone Honors course”)
An H section signals that all students enrolled in the course complete work that would yield Honors credit for that course. Non-Honors students could enroll in such a course, but while they would need to complete all of the same work as the Honors students, they would receive only non-Honors credit. An Honors student is allowed only one grade of 2.5 in an Honors course to receive Honors credit. All other Honors course grades must be a minimum of 3.0.
Options: Potential Modes of Learning:
- independent work, such as a research, case study or creative project within the student’s discipline (in-depth learning)
- exploration of broad themes and/or enduring questions across disciplines (breadth of learning)
- experiential learning, such as internships, field work and study abroad
- service-learning (conscious and purposeful integration of service and learning elements)
- residential learning community (conscious and purposeful integration of living and learning elements)
- intercollegiate undergraduate academic competitions, presentations/conferences, and/or publications
- experimental or innovative pedagogy
Options: Potential Topics
- trends, issues and/or best practices within the student’s discipline
- communities, ideas, practices, methodologies and/or values unfamiliar to the student
Options: Potential Skill Outcomes
- problem solving
- project management
- critical reading (ability to evaluate evidence-based arguments and judgments)
- critical thinking (ability to make evidence-based arguments and judgments)
- clear and persuasive writing
- clear and persuasive oral presentation
- artistic literacy
- metacognition (analysis of not just what is known, but also of how it comes to be known)
- comfort with ambiguity, uncertainty and the unfamiliar The Wilkes University Honors Program endorses the core values of academic rigor (beyond academic expectations of regular section offerings), leadership, integrity (demonstrated learning of ethics and values), self-awareness (emphasis on self-reflection), importance of building community and appreciating diversity. Honors course components should reflect one or more of these core values.
- A full semester abroad yields a waiver of six Honors credits at the 300 level
- A summer term abroad yields a waiver of three Honors credits at the 300 level
- Related independent study project (advised by instructor in relevant discipline) upon return earns three Honors credits at the 300 level (through either fall HNR 395 or spring HNR 396)
- one internship, either during a full semester or over a summer term, yields a waiver of three Honors credits at the 300 level
- independent study project (advised by instructor in relevant discipline) connected to internship earns three Honors credits at the 300 level (through either fall HNR 395 or spring HNR 396)
Study abroad, internships, or a combination of both can yield a maximum of six Honors credits at or above the 300 level.
First-Year Foundations (FYF) Requirement - 3.0 Credits
Honors students take an Honors FYF class that develops collaborative community while cultivating skills in writing, speaking, problem-solving, and critical thinking as well as a comfort with encountering the ambiguous, uncertain and/or unfamiliar.
Honors Capstone Seminar - 1.0 Credit
HNR 390 This one-credit interdisciplinary capstone research seminar serves as a culminating experience for all prospective Honors Program graduates. The course is intended to explicitly engage students in reflection on what they have learned at Wilkes and how they can advance those skills and insights along their future personal and professional trajectories. Consequently, the course depends on students’ consistent investment in critically assessing what they have learned during their undergraduate education, how that can be communicated to others, and what that makes possible for future endeavors. Students’ learning outcomes include:
- Communicating characteristic topics, methodologies, and professional concerns associated with their respective disciplines to non-expert audiences
- Collaborating with others, both within and outside of their respective disciplines, to accomplish shared goals
- Planning and managing long-term projects, balancing personal responsibility with coordination with team colleagues
- Organizing and delivering coherent presentation of work - from proposing prospective tasks to articulating evidence-based outcomes
- Specifying and critically assessing continuities as well as discontinuities across personal Wilkes educational trajectory and future endeavors