The academic regulations of the University apply to all undergraduate students, regardless of student status, program, or University session. All students are required to be familiar with the catalog’s contents.
A student must conform to his or her chosen curricula, as set forth in the edition of the University catalog in effect at the time of the student’s matriculation and which applies to the class with which he or she normally will be graduating. Each student is responsible for successfully completing all required course work and credit hours within his/her curriculum before final clearance for graduation can be given by the Registrar’s Office.
Information on undergraduate degree programs and requirements can be found in the section on Undergraduate Programs.
Students may audit courses of their choice, provided permission of the instructor has been obtained. No credit is granted for an audited course, and these courses do not appear on the student’s official transcript.
Full-time students should enroll each semester for a minimum of 15 semester hours of credit and may enroll for a maximum of 18 semester hours of credit (excluding Sport and Movement Science activities courses or Music Performance courses that carry .5 or 1 credit). Exceptions to these limits, which can be made only during the Add/Drop period, must be approved by the student’s major department and by the Registrar’s Office. Students are reminded that to remain a full-time student, they may not drop below 12 semester hours of credit.
Students registered for fewer than 12 credits in any given semester will be considered part-time.
Part-time students who wish to attend university events such as theatre productions or athletic events which charge ticket fees shall be eligible for the student rate upon presentation of his/her valid ID card. Part time students may utilize the university Preschool Program, Food Services facilities, and Health Services at the regularly charged rates.
Financial Aid. Part time students may be eligible for financial aid. Contact the Financial Aid Office.
Academic Policies. In general, the academic policies and regulations which apply to full time students also apply to part time students, and most academic policies have been reviewed to take part time students into account.
Curriculum. In general, academic programs at the university are available to part time students. Please note that several programs require careful scheduling of courses by part time students. Please consult your academic advisor or the Chairperson of your major department.
Unit of Credit
The basic unit of credit is the semester hour, which is the equivalent of one fifty-minute lecture period per week for one semester.
A selected number of courses are offered on a quarterly (or half-semester) basis and are made available in order to meet special schedule or program arrangements. Unless otherwise indicated on the semester master schedule, quarter courses carry the normal semester hours of credit, with class meetings doubled throughout the weeks of the quarter.
Timely Completion of Courses That Can Be Taken by Students Who Have Earned More Than 30 Credits
Students must complete Foundation Courses in the general education curriculum within their first 30 credits taken at Salem State. Therefore, students who have earned more than 30 credits at Salem State will not have priority to register for the following courses:
- First Year Seminar
- Written Communication (Level I)
- Oral Communication
- Basic Algebra
Transfer students must complete their Foundation Course requirements within the first two semesters of enrollment at the University.
The student is expected to review his/her course registration via Navigator carefully, check it for completeness and accuracy, and make any necessary changes during the ADD/DROP period.
During the ADD/DROP period as listed in the Academic Calendar and Master Schedule each semester, a student’s program may be changed by adding and/or dropping courses to meet individual requirements. Students who wish to initiate drop actions after the initial drop period must go to the Registrar’s Office. Whenever possible, changes will be effected at the time they are requested. (See withdrawal from courses.)
Students are required to declare and be admitted to a major prior to registering for courses for the semester after they reach junior status (54 credits completed). Students who are undecided about a major and concentration should consult with the Academic Advising Office for assistance. Career planning services are also available through Career Services.
Forms for declaring a major are available on the Student Navigation Center website and at Academic Advising located on North campus in the Frederick E. Berry Library.
If a major is offered jointly by two or more departments, the Chairpersons of the sponsoring departments will select one of their number as coordinator for the major.
If a student is not admitted with a declared major, the choice of major must be approved first by the Chairperson of the department offering the major or by the coordinator of the major (or by the Bachelor of Liberal Studies, Interdisciplinary Studies Steering Committee for Interdisciplinary Studies requests). The student’s potential for success and interest in the major program and their past academic performance will be considered.
Students will be informed by mail of the approval or disapproval of their request for a particular major. If the request is disapproved, and the student still desires to be considered for that particular major in a subsequent semester, another form must be filed. In such cases, the student is advised to consult with the concerned academic department regarding the criteria for eventual approval.
Some programs require additional materials before admission. Art + Design requires a portfolio before admission to the BA program; Music requires an audition prior to admission to the BA program. Theatre requires an audition and/or portfolios before admission to the BFA program. Check the relevant department pages for specific admission requirements.
Change of Major
In order to change a major, a student must request such change on a Change of Major form available at Academic Advising. The process is the same as for declaring a major (see above).
A student may declare two majors in different subjects and have both listed on the transcript, provided that the student meets all official requirements of both major programs. Individual courses may be used simultaneously to meet the various requirements of the specific majors but may be counted only once for credit purpose.
A student may elect to use courses required in the second major program to fulfill general education requirements but such courses may be counted only once for credit purposes. However, courses used to satisfy the general education requirements must be taken from a minimum of six different academic disciplines.
In B.A. programs, a second major may stand in lieu of the requirements for a minor.
A student with a double major will receive only one degree. If the student completes one B.A. major and all other B.A. requirements and one B.S. major and B.S. requirements, the student may select which degree he or she wishes to receive. The process of approving a second major for a student is the same as that used in the change of major. However, a different form indicating first major and second major is used and may be obtained online or in the Center for Academic Excellence.
Each student in a B.A. program is required to complete a minor, typically consisting of 15-16 credit hours of course work in a subject area or in an interdisciplinary program. Programs that have been granted exemptions through the governance process, may exceed this range to meet certification or other requirements, or to provide a minor that is consistent within the discipline. Students should consult their academic advisors or the chairpersons of their major departments for recommendations on appropriate minors. A list of currently available academic minors appears in the Undergraduate Programs section.
If a minor is offered jointly by two or more departments, the chairpersons of the sponsoring departments will select one of their number as Coordinator for the minor.
Most B.S. programs do not require a minor, although many do require support courses in one or more related areas of study.
Courses used to fulfill general education requirements may be used as part of a minor if the department(s) offering the minor so stipulates. It should be emphasized, however, that this double function does not imply double credits (although a course may satisfy a general education requirement and also be applied to a minor), the credits are counted only once toward graduation. Please refer to the curriculum overview section of the catalog for restrictions on application of credit for general education requirements. A student may not choose a minor in the same discipline in which the student is majoring. Students enrolled in a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration program may not take a minor within the School of Business. In the case of a student who chooses both a major and a minor in Interdisciplinary Studies, courses may be used to fulfill the requirements of the major or the minor, but not both.
The content of a minor is determined by the department(s) offering the minor.
For additional information, consult the appropriate departmental section of the Catalog.
Request for Declaration/Change of Minor
A student must select a minor by the end of the sophomore year. (Transfer students at the junior level or beyond must select their minors before the end of their first semester at the university.)
To select a minor or minors, a student must obtain and fill out the appropriate form for selecting minors available in the major department and at Academic Advising. The student shall then discuss the selection of a minor with the major Department Chairperson or academic advisor and fill out the informational part of the form. The signature by the major Department Chairperson indicates the acceptance of the desired of the student into the minor. If a minor is not a requirement of a degree program, the signature of the major Department Chairperson is not required, but is desirable. Students are encouraged to consult with their department chair if a minor is required for their major program of study.
The content of the minor program is determined by the Chairperson of the department offering the minor and should be discussed with the student when admission to the minor is requested.
Once the appropriate form for selecting minors is completed, it must be turned in to the Registrar’s Office which will return signed copies of the form to the student, and to the minor and major departments.
Selection or Change of Concentration
A student may wish, or may be required, to select a concentration within the major. See Undergraduate Programs for a list of Academic Majors and available concentrations within each major. The concentration is selected in consultation with the student’s academic advisor. The chosen concentration is declared on a Selection of Concentration form available from the major department or Academic Advising. When the form has been filled out, the student must obtain the signature of the major department chairperson and then submit the form to the Registrar’s Office. This must be done no later than the end of the first semester of the Junior year. The concentration will be recorded on the student’s transcript. A student wishing to change a concentration should follow the same procedure and use the same form.
Selection of Options
A student may wish, or may be required, to select an option within the major. The option is selected in consultation with the student’s academic advisor. Selection of an option is an internal departmental matter. There is no form to be filed with the Registrar’s Office, and the option is not listed on the student’s transcript.
Individualized Study Program
The University offers an Individualized Study Program under which students majoring in participating areas may design their own major programs, leading either to a B.A. degree or to a B.S. degree.
An Individualized Study Program may be either departmental, or interdepartmental, or interdisciplinary in nature. An ISP is departmental if the student’s major program falls within one department (e.g., History or Chemistry). An ISP is interdepartmental if the student’s major program falls within two or three departments in the same academic division (e.g., a Biology Major with an ISP in Biochemistry with course work in Biology, Chemistry, and Mathematics, all within the division of Natural Sciences/Mathematics; an English Major with an ISP in Drama with course work in Theatre/Speech and English, both within the Division of Humanities). An ISP is interdisciplinary if the student’s major program cuts across the academic divisions (e.g., a Geography Major with an ISP in Urban Studies with course work in English, Geography, Biology, et cetera).
Each department may decide for itself whether or not it wishes to offer students the Individualized Study Program as an option for a departmental major.
To work for a B.A. degree, a student must include a minimum of 30 credits in the major department, or their equivalent in ISP. Students pursuing an ISP must meet all other degree requirements. For a B.S. degree a student must include a minimum of 42 credits in the major department.
To take part in the Individualized Study Program, a student, with the faculty advisor, should develop a prospectus of the proposed program. The prospectus should include:
- The purpose of the program.
- The nature of the program.
- The degree sought.
- Formal courses to be taken.
- Any other kinds of educational experiences for which course credit is sought, consistent with approved University policies.
The prospectus must then be submitted for approval to the major department. Once it approves a program, the department must assign a faculty advisor to oversee the program.
ISP Majors must receive approval before a student begins the Junior year. ISP Majors for students transferring in at the Junior level must receive approval before the end of the student’s first semester at the University.
Copies of all approved and accepted ISP Majors will be sent by each department to the Academic Affairs Office for informational purposes.
Substantial changes in an approved ISP Major (i.e., changes in degree sought, changes in more than three courses, changes in other kinds of educational experiences for which credit is sought) must be approved by the major department prior to the implementation of such changes.
Students who successfully complete an ISP will receive the B.A. or B.S. degree with a notation on their transcript such as the following:
MAJOR: POLITICAL SCIENCE (Individualized Study Program in International Studies.)
Combined Graduate - Undergraduate Programs
Salem State University offers opportunities for rigorous study at both the undergraduate and graduate levels, including various opportunities to pursue combined graduate and undergraduate level coursework. Combined graduate and undergraduate programs are intended to provide an opportunity for well-qualified students to accelerate their transition from undergraduate to graduate level coursework, enabling students to reach their academic goals through innovative and challenging academic programs.
Although each program determines its own standards for admission to and retention in combined graduate and undergraduate programs, at a minimum students are not eligible to apply to a combined graduate/undergraduate program until they have reached second semester sophomore status (45 credits) and must apply before they reach senior status (90 credits). Exceptions may be made for transfer students or native students who have accumulated significant numbers of credits but still have significant remaining undergraduate degree requirements (30 or more credits to complete beyond the student’s status at the point of application to the program). Students must have earned a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00 and may be required to meet a higher GPA standard depending on the program selected. Students applying to these programs will be required to submit three letters of recommendation, a statement of interest and a resume or curriculum vitae (CV). Other supporting materials may be required by the specific academic program to which the student is applying.
No combined graduate/undergraduate program will include more than 24 credits of graduate coursework used towards the undergraduate degree program, and individual programs may establish additional guidelines lowering the number of credits that may be shared.
Students wishing to pursue a combined program are encouraged to consult the specific information for the program in which they are interested. Admissions and program requirements vary from program to program.
Leave of Absence
- A leave of absence is a period during which a student having been formally admitted to the university maintains matriculated status, but is entitled to none of the services of the University provided by the payment of tuition or fees. An application for a leave of absence may be filed at anytime during the academic year for the following semester. A leave of absence may begin during a semester, provided the completed application for leave is filed with the Registrar before the withdrawal deadline; in this case the entire semester is counted toward the leave.
- No refund of tuition or fees will be given except as provided by other existing regulations.
- The total leave allowed a student during his or her career at the University is two semesters which need not be taken consecutively.
- A student desiring a leave of absence should complete a Leave of Absence form available in Academic Advising.
- A date of return will be agreed upon in advance and stated on the Leave of Absence form. A student who fails to return on the agreed date will be considered to have withdrawn from the University, in which case, a formal application for readmission must be filed.
- A leave of absence will be granted to any students complying with University regulations. However, such leave of absence will be revoked by the University if the student incurs an academic dismissal subsequent to the granting of the leave. Students on leave are fully responsible for notifying the Registrar’s Office of their intent to return on or before the specified notification dates. No reminders will be sent to the student.
Withdrawal from the University
A student may officially withdraw from the University at anytime by completing the special Withdrawal Form available at Academic Advising. Withdrawal from the University implies withdrawal from all courses, and the regulations concerning grades set forth in the paragraph on Withdrawal from Courses are applicable. Unauthorized withdrawal will result in a grade of F * in all courses.
Withdrawal from Courses
To withdraw from a course which the student does not intend to complete, the student must file an appropriate Student Action Form with the Registrar’s Office or complete the appropriate transaction via Navigator. If a student withdraws from a course after the ADD/DROP period and before the withdrawal deadline, as published in the Academic Calendar, a grade of W will be assigned by the Registrar’s Office. If a student withdraws after the withdrawal deadline, a grade of F* will be assigned by the Registrar’s Office unless extenuating circumstances warrant further consideration (See Administrative Grades).
In cases of unauthorized withdrawal, where a student ceases to fulfill the requirements of the course and yet does not withdraw according to the procedure just outlined, a grade of F* will be assigned.
Requests for withdrawal after the announced deadline must be reviewed by the Registrar’s Office.
|F* (See Administrative Grades)
|W (See Administrative Grades)
In addition to the academic grades listed previously, two grades may be assigned administratively: W (Withdrawal) and F* (Administrative F) grades are used in connection with withdrawal from courses (see Withdrawal from Courses). The W grade carries no grade-point value, whereas the F* grade carries a point value of 0 and is used in exactly the same way as an academic F grade in calculating the grade-point average.
Change of Grade
Once a course grade (other than Incomplete) has been assigned, it can be changed only by the instructor who originally assigned it. A change will be made only when the instructor considers it justified by the student’s performance in the appropriate course work.
If a student disagrees with a course grade assigned by the instructor, the student may request that the instructor re-evaluate the assigned course grade. However, a re-evaluation of a grade does not ensure a grade mark-up. This request must be made within 4 months of the final day of the semester in which the original course grade was issued. The student must make the request directly to the instructor, in the form of an email, letter, or other time-stamped and retrievable communication. The instructor will change the grade only if the instructor considers it justified by the student’s performance in the appropriate course work. In such a case, the instructor must submit a grade change no later than one year following the closing day of the semester in which the original grade was issued.
After contacting and communicating with the instructor the student may opt to pursue the following mediation process, but only under the following circumstances:
1) the student has evidence that the course grade resulted from an incorrect or improper application of the Course Information Policy as demonstrated by the course syllabus
2) the student has evidence that his or her resulting score on a graded, objective exercise contributing toward the calculation of the final grade (as outlined in the course syllabus) was incorrectly calculated or that the calculation of the final grade (as outlined in the course syllabus) was incorrectly done
3) the student has evidence that the instructor has evaluated his or her work with prejudice or in an arbitrary, capricious manner.
The student may pursue the mediation process only after first requesting (within four months of the final day of the semester in which the grade was issued) the instructor re-evaluate the assigned course grade and after receiving a reply from the instructor or if the instructor does not reply to the request within 4 weeks. After the student sends that request, after the instructor replies (or does not reply for 4 weeks or more), the student may request mediation if he or she believes that one or more of the above three circumstances apply. In order to request mediation, the student must make the request for mediation in the form of an email, letter, or other time-stamped and retrievable communication to the chairperson of the department in which the course was taught. The student must in the request for mediation invoke one or more of the three circumstances listed here and include a copy of the original written request to the instructor for re-evaluation of the assigned course grade. The student must make the request for mediation within 4 weeks of receiving a response from the instructor to the original request to re-evaluate or—in the event that the instructor did not reply to that original request to re-evaluate, within 8 weeks of the original request to re-evaluate. At the chairperson’s discretion, the mediation may occur or be referred back to the instructor. If mediation occurs, the outcome is not binding, because the original grade can only be changed by the instructor who originally assigned the grade.
Exceptions to the fore-mentioned timelines and procedures will be permitted only when there are clear and compelling extenuating circumstances, such as, but not limited to, military deployment of student or instructor; or, the death or sustained unavailability of the instructor. In such instances, the Department Chairperson and dean will collaborate on a means for resolution of the student request. Upon resolution of the grade change request, the Department Chairperson will file the correct forms with the Registrar’s Office.
For the time limit on students’ appeal of a course grade, see also “Appeals and Contesting of Grades” in the Policies Related to Student Rights section of this catalog.
F grades stand as part of a student’s permanent record. However, a course in which a failing grade has been received can be repeated (see repeat policy). Failed courses should be repeated and passed, especially in the case of course prerequisites. If prerequisite requirements are not satisfied, students are not permitted to take advanced work in that subject area.
The grade of incomplete (I) is a temporary grade, which may be assigned to a student only if
- A substantial portion (usually at least 80%) of the course work has been completed.
- The instructor is satisfied that circumstances beyond the student’s control prevented the student from completing the required course.
- The student has requested an I grade, and specific arrangements for completion of the course work have been made with the instructor prior to the assignment of final grades in the course.
A student will receive credit for a course graded I only if the course work is completed by the end of the sixth week of the following semester. If the student fails to make up the course work within this prescribed period of time, the I grade will automatically become an F grade. Exceptions to the prescribed deadline may be granted by the instructor only in cases where protracted illness or critical personal problems prevent the student from completing the work. Such extensions must be filed with the Registrar’s Office.
An I grade recorded on a grade report is a temporary grade and does not affect the student’s grade-point average until such time as it is converted to a permanent grade. The initiative for making up the incomplete work within the prescribed time period lies with the student. The instructor who assigned the I grade shall make available to the student suitable opportunities for completing the unfinished course work, and shall file an appropriate Grade Change form when the work has been done. A corrected grade report will be issued to the student at the appropriate time.
Students may elect to take one normally graded course for pass/fail credit during each of the junior and senior years under the following conditions:
- Such a course may not be undertaken to satisfy major, minor, support, competency, or general education requirements.
- A Pass grade will earn credit toward graduation but is not used in computing the GPA.
- A Fail grade, however, will not earn credit toward graduation but will be used in computing the GPA.
A student must obtain permission to undertake such course work from both his/her instructor and the Chairperson of the department in which the course is to be taken and the permission must be submitted in writing to the Registrar’s Office within the first two weeks of classes. Thereafter, it may not be rescinded and no letter grade that carries a quality-point value may be awarded for that course.
In addition, the supervised student teaching practicum requirement will be graded on a pass/fail basis and the grade will be accompanied by a detailed written description together with a profile of the accomplishments of each student. Certain additional field-bsed or internship courses offered in various departments will be graded on a Pass/Fail basis and may be used towards major or minor credit as specified in the relevant departmental policy and curriculum guidelines. A Pass grade, in this instance, earns credit toward graduation but is not used in computing the GPA. A Fail grade, however, will not earn credit toward graduation and will be used in computing the GPA.
A non-matriculated (non-degree seeking) student may repeat a course at his or her discretion. A matriculated (degree seeking) student may repeat a course no more than two times (for a total of 3 attempts), including “W”, “I” and “F” grades. A student may repeat a course one time without any approval required. A second repeat (third attempt) requires the approval of Academic Advising or the Registrar’s Office (forms are available in both offices). Repeats beyond that point are for extenuating circumstances only, on appeal to Enrollment Management.
Once a course is repeated, only the higher grade earned is used to calculate the GPA. All courses remain on the student’s transcript. Department policies may require a student to repeat a major course if a grade is obtained that is less than the required minimum. Individual departments may also have tighter restrictions regarding repeated courses. Please consult your major department student handbook or department chair for more details.
Requests for Outside Courses
Students wihing to receive credit at Salem State University for a course to be taken at another institution must obtain permission from the Transfer Services unit of the Registrar’s Office prior to enrolling in the outside course. All restrictions regarding transferability of credit will apply. No more than 68 credits may be granted from any combination of two year colleges, and all courses must have established equivalencies as determined by the chairperson of the department offering the course in question. Requests for outside courses without established equivalencies will be referred to the chairperson for final permission. An official transcript of all approved outside coursework must be submitted prior to the credit being applied to the student’s record.
Students who apply for course substitutions for general education requirements shall petition to the chairperson of the academic department that sponsors the discipline of that course and that chairperson shall make that decision. Students who wish to take outside courses that do not have equivalent Salem State courses in order to satisfy general education requirements shall petition to the University Rgistrar’s Office and shall provide the appropriate course description and course syllabus. The Registrar shall consult with the department chairperson(s) deemed most able to make this decision. Over time, a database of such transfer credit designation may be developed for application without consultation.
Note that neither the grade nor the credit earned in a course at another institution are used in developing the student’s grade point average at Salem State University. (See also NECCUM cross registration)
Students carrying 12 credits or more who attain a grade point average of 3.2 and receive no incomplete grades or missing grades in the given semester and who have met all requirements for good academic standing will be placed on the Dean’s List for that semester.
Dean’s List for Part-time Continuing Education Students
- Students must be matriculated into an undergraduate Continuing Education degree program.
- Students must have completed a minimum of twelve (12) credit hours at Salem State University.
- Students must be enrolled for a minimum of six (6) credit hours and a maximum of eleven (11) credit hours in the given fall or spring semester.
- Students must have met all requirements to remain in good academic standing.
- Students must attain a grade point average of 3.2 or higher in the given semester and must not receive any incomplete or missing grades in the given semester.
The term “departmental honors” signifies both a superior knowledge of the subject area and a substantial creative achievement outside of the normal pattern of courses. In order to be eligible for departmental honors a student must have a grade point average of at least 3.5 in the major field, and must successfully complete an honors project demonstrating creative achievement. Examples of honors projects might include research papers, lectures, essays, poetry, performances, compositions, or artwork. Each project proposal must be approved by a committee appointed by the major department. Each project must be supervised by a member of the faculty, and the completed project must be evaluated by a committee from the department. If the completed project is acceptable to the committee, the committee may recommend “honors,” “high honors,” “highest honors.” Where appropriate, academic credit for honors projects will be given through the regular procedure for directed study within the major department. Additional regulations concerning departmental honors may be formulated within each department. These honors do not appear on the student’s diploma but are recorded on the student’s transcript.
Students with excellent overall academic records will be awarded their degrees with honors. To qualify for honors, a student must have completed a minimum of 60 credit hours at Salem State University and must have attained a grade point average in the indicated range.
Summa Cum Laude (highest honors): Overall cumulative grade point average of 3.850 - 4.000.
Magna Cum Laude (high honors): Overall cumulative grade point average of 3.600 - 3.849.
Cum Laude (honors): Overall cumulative grade point average of 3.300 - 3.599.
These honors will appear on the student’s diploma and are recorded on the student’s transcript.
Grade-Point Average Requirement for Awarding of Degree
Candidates for a Bachelor’s Degree must attain a final cumulative grade-point average of at least 2.000 as well as a minimum grade point average of 2.000 in their major field of study, before the degree will be awarded. A cumulative grade-point average is calculated for each student at the end of each semester. It is based solely on credit earned and grade points received at Salem State University and at Northeast Consortium Colleges and Universities via the cross registration system.
The number of grade points which a student receives in a course is determined by multiplying the number of semester hours of credit in that course by the point value of the grade assigned (see chart above). For example, a three credit course with a grade of A has a value of 3 x 4.0 = 12.0 grade points. The cumulative grade-point average is then calculated by dividing the total number of grade points earned to date by the total number of accumulated grade point credits.
All curriculum requirements within the major must be met. Department Chairpersons will review all transfer credit applications and will have final approval of all transfer credit awarded.
Transfer Student Honors
A student who transfers to Salem State University must complete successfully a minimum of 30 credit hours at the University in order to receive the baccalaureate degree from the University.
The cumulative grade-point average for transfer students will be determined solely on the basis of courses completed at Salem or through NECCUM. Also, the cumulative grade-point average used to determine graduation with honors will be based on a minimum of 60 credits earned at the University. Transfer students who have had the equivalent of two or more years of full-time study elsewhere will be required to conform to the regular requirements of the University.
Students desiring to transfer from the full-time day program to the School of Continuing and Professional Studies may request such transfer in written form to the Registrar’s Office, indicating the desired entrance period for transfer. Such requests will not be considered unless the student has cleared all fiscal obligations to the day program. The Registrar’s office will inform the student in writing of approval or disapproval of the request for transfer.
Students matriculated in School of Continuing and Professional Studies may apply for consideration for Internal Transfer to the Day Program through the Registrar’s Office.
Readmitted Students and Changes in the General Education Requirements
Students who have been readmitted to the University will be required to complete all general education requirements effective as of the date of their reentry to the University. However, readmitted students may be allowed to use some individual courses that were taken to fulfill past requirements if they match current courses, or courses accepted for SSU students or transfer students at the time of the last change in general education requirements. An exception to this policy will be made for students who completed all general education or core requirements under their catalog of record, prior to their readmission to the University. Such students will not be required to complete new general education requirements.
Academic Status and Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy
At the end of each semester (including the summer semester), each student’s academic progress is reviewed to optimize that student’s chances for success. The university identifies students to be either in good standing or at academic risk depending upon each individual student’s grade point average (GPA) and satisfactory academic progress rate.
Student status is defined as follows:
Academic Good Standing: A student is in good standing if he or she maintains a 2.000 or higher cumulative and semester average and has successfully completed at least 66% of the credits he or she has attempted.
Academic Warning: A student in good standing whose semester or cumulative average falls below 2.000, or who fails to successfully complete at least 66% of the credits attempted either cumulatively or in that semester, receives a notice of Academic Warning. Students placed on Academic Warning are urged to meet with their faculty advisor to discuss their academic problems and to plan a course of corrective action. They are encouraged to meet with a member of the staff in the Academic Advising Office to obtain particular assistance in making use of the University’s many academic support services. These services include, but are not limited to, tutorial support, supplementary instruction, and instructional labs in Accounting, Mathematics, Writing, Reading and Study Skills Workshops. Students on Academic Warning remain eligible for financial aid. While on academic warning, a student shall not be eligible to hold executive office in any recognized student organization, except by appeal to the Dean of Students.
Academic Probation: Any student who was on Academic Warning for a semester and whose cumulative average after that semester does not meet the required minimum of 2.000 or who fails to successfully complete at least 66% of cumulative credits attempted is placed on probation. A letter is sent informing the student of his or her probationary status. Students on academic probation may not enroll for more than 13 credit hours and are required to meet with their faculty advisor. While on academic probation, a student shall not be eligible to hold office in any recognized student organization, to represent the University in any sense, or to participate on any intercollegiate athletic team. The student is required to participate in academic support activities as prescribed by the Academic Advising Office. Prescribed activities may include, but are not limited to, study skills workshops, tutorial support, and exploration of educational goals.
Students who are on Probation whose cumulative GPA does not meet the 2.000 minimum, but whose semester GPA is 2.000 or better shall remain on Probation. Likewise, students who are on Probation whose progress has not met the standard of successful completion of 66% of overall credits attempted but who successfully complete at least 66% of the credits attempted in that semester shall remain on Probation.
Students on Probation will not be eligible for financial aid. Financial aid eligibility appeals should be addressed to the Director of Financial Aid and will only be considered under exceptional circumstances. Appeals of financial aid eligibility will only be considered for one semester. Students who remain on Probation beyond two semesters will not be eligible for financial aid unless they are making adequate progress toward degree completion based on a formally agreed upon plan of study in the probation contract. (See Financial Aid Eligibility)
Students readmitted after an academic dismissal will be placed on Academic Probation (see Readmission After Academic Dismissal) and may not be eligible for financial aid. Students should contact the Financial Aid Office to discuss their specific situation.
Academic Probation will be noted on the student’s transcript.
Students on Academic Probation who fail to achieve a semester GPA of 2.000 in the semester in which they are on Probation or who fail to successfully complete 66% of the credits they have attempted in that semester will be dismissed from the University.
Academic Dismissal will be noted on the transcript. A letter is sent informing the student of his or her dismissal. Students who have been dismissed will be removed from any courses in which they are enrolled for future semesters.
Appeal of Academic Dismissal
All academically dismissed students have the right to appeal their dismissal to the Selective Retention Committee. Dismissed students are encouraged to make use of the appeals procedures if they believe their academic deficiencies are due to extenuating circumstances or computational errors in calculating their GPA or academic progress.
Letters of appeal supporting the student’s case for readmission the following semester should be sent to the Selective Retention Committee, in care of the Registrar’s Office, on or before the date specified in the student’s dismissal letter. The Selective Retention Committee will convene before the beginning of the following semester to consider student appeals. The Committee will recommend for each appeal that:
- The dismissal terms be upheld; or,
- The student be readmitted the following semester on Academic Probation; or,
- The student be reinstated if the dismissal was due to a non-debatable computational error in calculating the GPA or academic progress.
Students will be notified of the results of appeals in time to register for the following semester.
The Selective Retention Committee will provide information pertinent to the dismissed student’s case for readmission to the Academic Advising Office for subsequent use in advising the student.
Any student readmitted through Selective Retention under option 2 must meet with a member of the Academic Advising staff to make arrangements to register. Readmitted students may not be eligible for financial aid. Students should contact the Financial Aid Office to discuss their specific situation.
Financial Aid Eligibility
Students on Probation will not be eligible for financial aid. All students on probation have the right to file an appeal to maintain their eligibility for financial aid. All appeals must be submitted in writing to the Director of Financial Aid on or before the date specified in the student’s probation notification letter and will only be considered under exceptional circumstances. Appeals of financial aid eligibility for financial aid will only be considered for one semester. Students continuing on probation for two or more semesters will not be eligible for financial aid, unless the student had been making adequate progress toward degree completion based upon an agreed upon plan of study as laid out in the student’s probation contract. All cases for subsequent semesters on probation will be considered by committee and the student will be notified of the committee’s decision by the Director of Financial Aid. If at any time a student is not meeting the terms of their probation contract, they will lose future financial aid eligibility. Students who have received financial aid for more than 150% of the number of credits required for their degree are not eligible for financial aid. There is no appeal process for this federal financial aid regulation.
Students dismissed from the University for academic deficiencies (failure to maintain the minimum GPA or to make satisfactory academic progress) may appeal to the Selective Retention Committee (see Selective Retention Procedures). After academic dismissal, students readmitted will be placed on Academic Probation and will be required to attain a semester grade point average of at least 2.000 and to successfully complete at least 66% of the credits attempted at the end of their first semester following readmission. Readmitted students are required to meet with a staff member of the Academic Advising Office to discuss their academic problems and to plan for a course of corrective action. The regulations for minimum cumulative grade point average and satisfactory academic progress will apply in all subsequent semesters (see Academic Dismissal).
Readmitted students on Academic Probation may not participate in the University’s extracurricular activities (see Academic Probation).
Readmission after Academic Dismissal will be noted on the transcript.
Students who have been academically dismissed from the university twice may not appeal a subsequent academic dismissal (except on grounds of computational error), nor may they apply for readmission until 4 years have passed from the time of the most recent academic dismissal. Such students must meet with a staff member in the Academic Advising Office if they wish to take courses through Continuing Education as a non-matriculated student.
Fresh Start Policy
Students can re-apply to Salem State University through the Fresh Start program after a minimum of two academic years away from the university. Students who have been academically dismissed twice from the University may not re-apply through the Fresh Start program until four years have passed since the date of the most recent academic dismissal. Note that students would be able to take School of Continuing and Professional Studies courses as a non-matriculated student at the University during this time.
All previous grades that a student has earned at the University will remain on the transcript. Only grades that are C- or better will be counted as credit toward graduation. However, only those grades that are earned upon re-applying and entering the Fresh Start program will be calculated in the new GPA; in other words, the GPA starts anew upon admission to the Fresh Start Program.
Students must meet the academic requirements of the University at the time of re-admission into the Fresh Start Program, and must follow the flow sheet that is current at the time. Individual programs and departments at the University may place further restrictions on eligibility for re-admission, as indicated; some may not want to participate in the Fresh Start program at all.
Only one Fresh Start re-admission will be allowed. Once students opt into the Fresh Start program they cannot change their minds. Students must apply for re-admission to the University as a Fresh Start student. The application should include a personal statement which addresses why the student is re-applying, how life has changed since the student last attended Salem State, and why the student should be given this second chance. Also included in this statement should be a student action plan, and a list of resources and supports the student plans to use if needed. Applications will be reviewed by committee. Students re-admitted under Fresh Start would be eligible to graduate with honors, provided that they complete 60 credits after Fresh Start.
Special consideration will be given to currently matriculated students for whom Fresh Start was not available at the time of their readmission to the University.
Internships, Directed Study, & Other Field Experiences
Courses that fall into this category, including internships, directed studies and other field experiences, generally may not be used to satisfy general education requirements. Exceptions may be made for certain non-field or non-internship courses taught on an individual basis required ina student’s major curriculum. Such courses must be specifically approved through university governance to carry a Written Communication Level III designation. The exception will apply to every offering of the course in question, rather than to individual students.
While it is difficult to make a clear-cut distinction between the internship and the directed study, the following statements indicate the characteristics that each would possess:
The internship involves the student in activities of practical or vocational nature in which he or she is required to perform specified services for an off campus agency, company, etc., in exchange for the opportunity to gain relevant learning experience in a job environment. Although the supervision of the intern is the joint responsibility of a faculty member and of a representative of the facility where the student is working, the grade is determined by the faculty member.
- Academic credit for internships will be granted on the basis of three hours of work per week for each academic credit awarded.
- A student is limited to a maximum of 12 hours of credit for internships, during the undergraduate program. Departments may establish lower maximums for their courses.
- A written statement should be developed for each internship which specifies
- the responsibilities and duties of the student, the faculty supervisor, and the site supervisor;
- the activities which the participating agency will provide for the student; and
- the standards by which the student will be graded (reports, conferences, visitations, et. cetera).
It may be in the form of a departmentally standardized “contract”, or a more informal approach, but such statement should be worked out prior to the experience in order to prevent misunderstanding on the part of anyone involved in the internship.
The directed study involves a research or other type of project in which the emphasis is on knowledge as an end in itself with less consideration given to its practical application. The student works under the direction of a faculty member and while the student may use off-campus facilities (libraries, museums, government agencies, etc.) as sources of information, he or she does not provide any services to the facility.
- Academic credits for directed study will be granted on the basis of three hours of work per week for each academic credit awarded.
- A student is limited to a maximum of 6 hours of credit for directed study during their undergraduate program. Departments may establish lower maximums for their courses.
- A written statement should be developed for each directed study which specifies
a. the responsibilities and duties of the student, the faculty supervisor,
b. any activities that the student may be involved in; and
c. the standards by which the student will be graded (reports, conferences, visitations, et cetera).
It may be in the form of a departmentally standardized “contract”, or a more informal approach, but such statement should be worked out prior to the experience in order to prevent misunderstanding on the part of anyone involved in the directed study.
Other Field Experiences
It should be noted that the above policy statement applies only to Internships and Directed Study and not to Cooperative Educations or other specialized experiences, e.g. GLS 470 Field Geology. In addition, certain specialized programs such as Nursing, Social Work, Education and Occupational Therapy will have specific accreditation standards.
If a department, because of the unusual nature of a particular course feels it cannot conform to the above standards, it may petition the Curriculum Committee, to recommend that an exception be made.
Titles and Descriptions of Internships, Directed Studies, and Other Field Experiences
Students can earn credit for work at off-campus sites and receive credit through an internship, field experience, or directed study
course, but such courses will have flexible and generic titles and descriptions. Each course’s title and description will encompass
a range of possible placements, rather than promote one particular site. Individual students’ records may include a special topics
subtitle to denote specific placements.
School of Education Practicum Failure Policy
If a student fails practicum for a reason other than an emergency (family or medical) despite receiving appropriate intervention in a timely manner following the student-at-risk process, the student will meet with, at a minimum, the faculty supervisor to complete a memorandum of understanding outlining the deficits) identified and proposing a means of improving the student’s performance in the relevant areas.
This memorandum will address the following:
- Area(s) of deficit in as specific and objective terms as possible
- Amount of time anticipated to address the deficits) with a minimum of one year recommended
- Strategies for addressing the deficits) which may include but are not limited to: additional work experience, additional classroom based experiences, additional coursework, demonstrated improvement in specific professional aptitudes, etc.
- A signed statement confirming that the student understands that to re-enter practicum s/he must reapply to the practicum, must provide explicit and convincing evidence that the
- deficits) identified during the practicum and documented on the practicum evaluation have been remediated, that readmission to practicum is not guaranteed, that no hours previously completed will apply, and that a second attempt is final
The terms of this memo will be agreed upon and signed by the student, the coordinator, and the chair of the department.
If a student who fails practicum for a reason other than an emergency wishes to have a second attempt at completing practicum, the student will need to reapply for practicum and meet the following criteria and agree to the following understandings:
Provide explicit and convincing evidence that the deficits) identified during the practicum and documented on the practicum evaluation have been remediated
- Any new licensure requirements (additional courses or assessments) that have been implemented since the initial practicum are met prior to entering the placement
- The full number of hours required for a practicum will be completed; none of the hours from the initial attempt will apply
- Unless the student is working as a teacher of record, the student will be placed at our discretion
Transfer Opportunities and Agreements
Massachusetts Public Colleges and Universities
A student attending a Massachusetts state college/university or community college may be entitled to a variety of programs designated for transferability across the public college system. These may include MassTransfer, MassTransfer Block, Joint Admissions, and/or the Commonwealth Transfer Compact. Each of these programs is in effect for different academic time periods and each has specific requirements. Each of these programs seek to provide a broad population of students with straightforward and understandable options toward the completion of associate and baccalaureate degrees, clearing the way for student access and student success in Massachusetts’ public higher education system. The full policies are available at the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education website at mass.edu.
- MassTransfer. Students completing an Associate’s Degree in a designated program at a Massachusetts Community College may be eligible for MassTransfer. This program provides community college associate degree graduates who were enrolled in linked programs and meet the required GPA with the transfer of credit, guaranteed admission and a tuition discount. Students completing designated MassTransfer Associate Degree programs will not need to complete the general education/core requirements at Salem State University. Students will be required to complete all major, minor and support requirements.
- MassTransfer Block. Students who complete the MassTransfer Block at any Massachusetts community college, state college or university and meet the required GPA may transfer their courses and satisfy the general education/core at Salem State University. Completion of the block is certified by the sending institution’s Registrar’s Office.
- Joint Admissions. Student who enrolled at a Massachusetts Community College prior to fall 2009 and who plan to complete an Associate’s Degree in a designated program by August 2013 may be eligible for the Joint Admissions Program. Students who complete the designated degree with a grade point average of 2.5 are guaranteed admission into designated programs at Salem State University. Students who complete the designated degree with a grade point average of 3.0 and enroll as day students may be eligible for 1/3 off of in-state tuition.
- Commonwealth Transfer Compact Program. Students who complete an Associate’s Degree in a Commonwealth Transfer Compact Program will be have their transfer courses reviewed as a unit and construed as completion of 60 hours of work towards the Bachelor’s Degree and 35 hours towards fulfillment of the general education/core requirements. This agreement only pertains to the designated compact programs at the community colleges and is not in force for those programs considered terminal in nature. Students will be required to complete all major and support requirements.
Transfer of Credit Information
- A student transferring from a two-year college is entitled to transfer no more than 68 credits from any combination of two year colleges. Students transferring credits from four year institutions do not carry a limitation on transfer credits, but transfer students must complete a minimum of 30 credits in residence at Salem State University in order to graduate. Students must complete a minimum of 60 credits in residence if graduating with degree honors.
- Salem State University has established many Articulation Agreements with Massachusetts’ two-year colleges. These agreements are developed by faculty to help students move from the Associate’s Degree to the Bachelor’s Degree.
- In the following academic programs advanced standing credit may be awarded according to approved departmental curricula: RN-BSN, LPN-BSN, Fire Science Administration, Liberal Studies Health Professions Concentration and the Occupational Health Studies program. Please note that advanced standing credit is subject to restrictions and admission to these programs is contingent on specific program or license completion prior to attendance at Salem State University.
- Students who complete the General Education/core requirements at one Massachusetts State University or University of Massachusetts campus shall not be obliged to meet additional or general education/core requirements of the receiving university. The prior institution’s Registrar must submit a letter of confirmation to the Registrar’s Office at Salem State University.
- Students who complete a Bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university in the United States shall not be obliged to meet the Salem State University general education/core requirements unless specified by the major department. Courses should be comparable to those offered and taught by faculty with credentials similar to those at Salem State University.
- Students who wish to transfer courses that do not have equivalent Salem State courses in order to satisfy general education/core requirements shall petition to the University Registrar’s Office and shall provide the appropriate course description and course syllabus. The Registrar shall consult with the department chair(s) deemed most able to make this decision. Over time, a database of such transfer credit designations may be developed for application without consultation.
- Typically, transfer credits will be granted for courses from an accredited college with a grade of C- or better, provided that they are comparable to those offered and taught by faculty with credentials similar to those at Salem State University. Neither grade nor the credit earned in a course at another institution are used in developing the student’s grade point average at Salem State University.
- Advanced Placement, CLEP (College-Level Examination Program), DSST (DANTES Subject Standardized Tests), New York University Foreign Language Proficiency Examinations, and advanced standing credits will be accepted when applicable. See below for more information on institutional credit by examination policies.
- Salem State University will award appropriate credit for equivalent coursework taken at a non-US Institution of higher education that is equivalent to a regionally accredited institution in the United States. Applicants will be required to submit a credential evaluation from an established credential evaluating entity and may be required to submit English language course descriptions prior to credit evaluation. More information on professional credential evaluation services can be found at www.salemstate.edu/admissions.
- Among equally qualified applicants priority will be given to transfer students from other Massachusetts public institutions.
- Courses without Salem State University disciplinary equivalents may be considered for institutional free elective credit if they otherwise meet the standards as laid out above for college-level coursework but are taught in an academic discipline not offered at Salem State. This provision will not apply to credit by examination.
Valor Act Academic Credit Evaluation Policy
Salem State University recognizes the educational value of military education and experience and will award credit earned for military education and/or military service based on recommendations of the American Council on Education (ACE) and the comparability and applicability of the coursework to the student’s degree program. Institutional credit will be granted for military coursework without clear disciplinary equivalents if ACE guidelines for college credit exist. Students will be required to submit official military transcripts to Transfer Services prior to the evaluation and awarding of credit. Salem State recognizes the value of other prior learning experiences gained by military personnel, and students wishing to obtain credit by examination and/or life experience will follow the established policy of the institution for the granting of such credit.
Prior Learning Credit
Salem State University recognizes that prior learning outside the regular academic setting can be a valid part of one’s educational experience. Therefore, several ways have been developed through which a student can validate mastery of specific academic subjects and can use this knowledge to petition for academic credit. The following mechanisms to validate prior learning can result in academic credit:
Credit by Examination
Salem State University recognizes mastery of curriculum areas through Advanced Placement (AP), the College-Level Examination Program (CLEP), DSST (Dantes Subject Standardized Tests), New York University Foreign Language Proficiency Examinations, the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IB) and may consider other nationally-recognized examinations or departmentally mandated challenge exams of prior subject area knowledge subject to individual evaluation for course comparability and program applicability. A maximum of 30 semester hour credits earned through these programs may be applied towards the degree. A grade of P is awarded for credit earned through examination, and is not included in the calculation of a student’s grade point average. Additional information may appear in specific departmental or curricular sections of the catalog.
Additional standard options include:
- Exemption from English Requirements by SAT Score.
- Foreign Language Tests used with the CLEP Test.
- Challenge examinations for Anatomy and Physiology, Chemistry and Microbiology for Registered Nurses seeking credit in those areas.
International Baccalaureate (IB)
Salem State University recognizes the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme. IB Diploma course credit is open to students who have participated in accredited IB high school programs. Credits will be granted in Higher Level (HL) subject areas in which exam scores of 7, 6, 5, or 4 are attained, subject to academic departmental review and approval. Credits will not be granted for scores of 3, 2 or 1. Official IB scores must be submitted directly to Salem State University for college credit review and approval.
Advanced Placement Examinations (AP)
Salem State University subscribes to the Advanced Placement Program of the College Board. Advanced Placement (AP) examinations are open to students who have participated in Advanced Placement courses in high school. Credits will be granted, generally, in subject areas in which scores of 5, 4, or 3 are attained, subject to academic departmental review and approval. Credits will not be granted for scores of 2 or 1. Students interested in Advanced Placement status in the Freshman year must submit official Advanced Placement test scores during the admissions application process. Transfer students will be required to have official copies of their AP scores submitted within their first semester of enrollment in order to receive advanced placement credit. Information on specific AP credit awarded can be accessed at [PLACEHOLDER FOR CONTENT TO REPLACE LINK].
College Level Examination Program (CLEP)
CLEP is a national program, sponsored by the College Board, of credit-by-examination or Prior Learning Assessment credit that offers the opportunity to obtain recognition for college level achievement. This examination program is a means of measuring learning attained through formal or informal study. If the results of the examinations are acceptable to Salem State, academic credits may be awarded, subject to periodic academic review for course equivalency and program applicability. For information on specific CLEP credit that is currently accepted by Salem State University, please visit [PLACEHOLDER FOR CONTENT TO REPLACE LINK]
CLEP examinations can be taken at any authorized CLEP test center. Salem State University is not a test center but CLEP tests are administered at North Shore Community College and at several institutions in Greater Boston. Students who have previously received CLEP credit from a prior institution must have official copies of their CLEP score reports sent to Salem State University in order to receive credit. Please note that credit policies differ between institutions, and the credit awarded at Salem State University may differ from that granted by the prior institution.
Guidelines for CLEP Subject and General Examinations
Salem State University grants college credit for successful completion of CLEP (College-Level Examination Program) Examinations which, in the judgment of involved departments, correspond to courses offered at the University. The CLEP Subject Examinations which are acceptable for credit may be taken at any time during the student’s academic career. However, no credit will be granted for passing a CLEP examination in cases where the student also earns collegiate level credit through examination or course completion for the same subject matter as that covered by the CLEP examination.
The CLEP General Examinations are allowable under the following conditions:
- Any student desiring to apply CLEP General Examination credits to a Salem State degree must have completed all CLEP General Examinations no later than six months after the date of his/her matriculation at Salem.
- CLEP General Examinations may be taken only if the student has earned no college credit in specific subjects which relate to a general examination.
- CLEP General Examinations cannot be taken for credit in areas where a student has already received credit for CLEP subject exams.
DANTES Subject Standardized Tests (DSST)
DANTES (Defense Activity for Non-traditional Educational Support) sponsors a wide range of subject area examinations to assist service members in meeting their educational goals. All subject area examinations will be reviewed according to ACE (American Council on Education) recommended score guidelines and the credit to be awarded is subject to periodic review by the relevant academic department for program applicability and course equivalency. Students seeking DSST credit must have official score reports submitted to Salem State University.
Life Experience Credit
Life experience credits (up to 30 credits) may be granted to students who demonstrate prior knowledge of or competency in specific subject areas. This prior learning must be equivalent to the knowledge and content related to specific courses offered at the University. In order to be eligible for life experience credits, students must first verify that they will satisfy the requirement to complete a minimum of 30 graded course credits at Salem State University by the time they graduate. For further information, please contact Academic Advising.
General Policies Governing Life Experience Credits
- Credit may be granted once only for validated learning from a life experience.
- Directed studies and internships for which academic credit has been granted cannot be used as life experience credit.
- Learning acquired from life experience must be of college level quality that is verified.
- The award of credit and the amount awarded for validated learning for a prior life experience will be determined by appropriate academic department.
- Academic credit may be granted only for verified prior learning, not for experience alone.
- The maximum number of life experience credit a student may be awarded from Salem State University is 30.
- Credit granted for life experience learning may fulfill requirements for general education, major, minor, concentration, support or elective courses, as determined by the appropriate academic department(s).
Topics in Student Affairs
Student who participate in an approved educational experience offered through the Student Life area may be eligible to receive degree credit for IDS299, Topics in Student Affairs. All eligible experiences will have been reviewed and approved in advance by the Interdisciplinary Studies department and will be graded on a pass/fail basis. The credit so awarded will be usable for free elective credit only, and students may only earn a maximum of three degree credits for any combination of educational experiences offered under this policy. Information on educational opportunities available will be published each semester in Navigator.
The Washington Center Internship Program
The Washington Center for Internships and Academic Seminars is an independent, nonprofit organization serving hundreds of colleges and universities in the United States and other countries by providing selected students challenging opportunities to work and learn in Washington, D.C. for academic credit. The largest program of its kind, the Washington Center has 70 full-time staff and over 40,000 alumni, many of whom are in leadership positions in the public, private and nonprofit sectors in the United States and around the world. The Washington Center serves students in all majors and they intern in a wide variety of fields, including government, nonprofit, business and many others that partially overlap with them - the worlds of media and communications, science and technology, law and criminal justice and international affairs.
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts has entered into an agreement with the Washington Center to provide scholarship funding to students. The University of Massachusetts and the state universities have been provided with nine full tuition waivers per campus to MA resident students enrolled in the Washington Center Internship Program. In addition, the Washington Center and the Massachusetts Board of Higher Education provide scholarships that enable students to attend The Washington Center for costs comparable to a semester living on campus at Salem State University.
Students can receive 12-15 credit hours for their successful completion of a semester of attendance at the Washington Center. Each intern completes a portfolio. Components include a statement of learning objectives, résumé, internship defense letter, analysis of lectures, informational interviews and other writing or work assignments. Together, these components document, analyze and reflect on the internship experience. They are completed and reviewed week by week. The final product provides home institutions, prospective employers and graduate and professional schools impressive evidence of what interns have accomplished.
To be eligible to participate in this program you must be a resident of Massachusetts enrolled in a degree program at Salem State University and meet the following requirements:
- You must be enrolled in an eligible degree program as determined by Salem State University; and
- have obtained a minimum 3.0 cumulative grade point average; and
- meet other eligibility criteria as established by Salem State University and the Washington Center.
Additional information regarding the Washington Center and its programs is available from Career Services, see [PLACEHOLDER FOR CONTENT TO REPLACE LINK].
Academic Integrity Regulations1
Salem State University assumes that all students come to the University with serious educational intent and expects them to be mature, responsible individuals who will exhibit high standards of honesty and personal conduct in their academic life. All members of the Salem State University academic community have a responsibility to ensure that scholastic honesty and academic integrity are safeguarded and maintained. Cheating and plagiarism are unfair, demoralizing, and demeaning to all of us. Cheating, plagiarism, and collusion in dishonest activities are serious acts that erode the University’s educational role and cheapen and diminish the learning experience not only for the perpetrators, but also for the entire community. It is expected that Salem State University students will understand and subscribe to the ideal of academic integrity and that they will be willing to bear individual responsibility for their work. Materials (written or otherwise) submitted to fulfill academic requirements must represent a student’s own efforts.
ACADEMIC DISHONESTY POLICY
The fundamental purpose of this policy is to emphasize that any act of academic dishonesty attempted by any Salem State University student is unacceptable and will not be tolerated. Charges of academic dishonesty are reviewed through a process that allows for student learning and impartial review. Performing, aiding or inciting any of the actions listed below, in courses or other situations involving academic credit, constitutes an offense subject to disciplinary action.
TYPES OF ACADEMIC DISHONESTY
Cheating is the intentional use or attempted use of deceit, trickery, artifice, fraud, and/or violation of rules and/or misrepresentation of one’s academic work in any academic exercise, regardless of the delivery method of the course.
The methods of cheating are varied and well-known, and include but are not limited to the following:
- Copying from others during an examination.
- Sharing answers for a take-home examination.
- Using notes or other resources not authorized by the instructor.
- Taking an examination for another student.
- Tampering with an examination after it has been corrected, then returning it for more credit than deserved.
- Submitting substantial portions of the same academic work for credit in more than one course, without consulting the second instructor (and the first instructor if the courses are concurrent at Salem State University).
- Allowing others to do the research and writing of an assigned paper (for example, using the services of an online paper service).
- Falsifying data or results from research or fieldwork.
- Obtaining the answers to, or a copy of, an examination prior to its administration.
- Submitting a purchased or downloaded paper or other works written by another person, including those obtained through an online paper service.
Plagiarism is academic theft. It refers to the use of another’s ideas or words without proper attribution or credit. An author’s work is his/her property and should be respected by documentation. However, academic integrity requires that unsigned material must also be identified (for example, anonymous articles or web pages). Credit must be given in the following situations:
- For every direct quotation of any length.
- When a work is paraphrased or summarized in whole or in part in your own words.
- For any information which is not common knowledge. (“Common knowledge” is defined as information that appears substantially the same in several general sources such as textbooks or encyclopedias.)
- For any material borrowed from another source, whether in print or electronic form (for instance, graphs, images, videos, diagrams, tables, and datasets).
Plagiarism includes but is not limited to:
- Copying word for word from a source (printed, electronic, or oral) without properly citing or crediting the source.
- Paraphrasing without proper attribution.
- Failing to properly cite or credit sources, whether the material is a direct quotation, paraphrase, or summary.
- Failing to identify direct quotations through the use of quotation marks.
- Failing to acknowledge and properly cite information obtained through printed, electronic, or oral sources.
- Incorporating into one’s own work graphs, tables, drawings, photographs, diagrams, and other non-textual material from other sources without proper attribution.
Fabrication is the intentional and unauthorized falsification and/or invention of any information or citation in any academic exercise.
Fabrication includes but is not limited to:
- Falsifying data or results from research or fieldwork.
- Selectively omitting or altering data that do not support one’s conclusions.
Collusion refers to the agreement or cooperation between students to commit an act of academic dishonesty.
Any student who knowingly or intentionally helps another student to perform any act of cheating or plagiarism is subject to discipline for academic dishonesty. There is no distinction between those who cheat and plagiarize and those who willingly allow it to occur.
Collusion includes but is not limited to:
- Taking an examination for another person.
- Asking or allowing another person to take an examination for you.
- Allowing another person to copy one’s own work or exam.
- Collaborating with another person before a quiz or examination in order to develop methods of exchanging information during the quiz or examination.
- Distributing an examination from an unauthorized source prior to an examination.
- Distributing or selling a paper or other work to other students.
Discipline for academic dishonest behavior is exercised on two levels:
1) Informal Process, which results in a written “Report of Academic Misconduct”
2) Formal process, which results in a “Formal Charge of Academic Dishonesty”
1. Informal Process Resulting in “Report of Academic Misconduct”
Upon discovering an incident of student misconduct and a violation of the Academic Integrity Policy, the professor or other member of the university community must contact the Office of
Academic Affairs to determine if this is the student’s first documented offense.
If it is the first documented offense, the professor or other member of the university community will notify the student and the department chairperson, in writing within ten (10) working days
after discovery of the alleged offense, that a Report of Academic Misconduct will be submitted to the dean of the college for that department.
The dean will also notify the student and additionally, the Office of Academic Affairs, in writing, that a Report of Academic Misconduct has been filed and will be on file in the Office of Academic
Affairs. The notification to the student from the dean will include a copy of the Academic Integrity Regulations and reiterate the consequences of violating the Academic Integrity Policy.
A Formal Hearing is not required for the first documented offense; however, the student charged or the individual bringing the charge may elect to have a Formal Hearing (see the last paragraph in
The professor of the course or the member of the university community has the authority to handle an incident of student academic misconduct directly, by any of the following means:
- assignment of additional work,
- exclusion from the course, committee, or organization,
- reduction of the grade for the work and/or the course.
If the professor or member of the university community elects to impose any or all of these remedies s/he must submit a written report of the action decided upon that will serve to notify the student, the chairperson of the department housing the course, and the dean of the college housing the coursework or activity in which the alleged violation took place. No additional action will be taken unless there is a subsequent charge of academic misconduct filed. Should a second or subsequent charge of Academic Misconduct be filed at a later date, after the student has been notified of the first offense by the dean of the appropriate college and received a copy of the Academic Integrity Regulations, a Formal Charge of Academic Dishonesty is mandatory. The Formal Process is described below.
The student charged has the option to challenge the Informal Process - Report of Academic Misconduct with a request for a Formal Hearing, within 10 working days of receipt of a report of Academic Misconduct from the dean of the appropriate college. The Formal Hearing will follow the procedures listed below.
II. Formal Process Resulting in “Formal Charge of Academic Dishonesty”
If after discovering an incident of student misconduct and violation of the Academic Integrity Policy, and notifying the Office of Academic Affairs, the professor or other member of the university community learns that this is the second or subsequent offense of Academic Dishonesty, a Formal Charge of Academic Dishonesty is mandatory.
The professor or other member of the university community must follow the same notification procedures as for the “Informal Process” outlined above. The student, chairperson, dean, and provost will be notified in writing within ten (10) working days after the discovery of the alleged offense. Upon receipt of the Formal Charge,the provost shall inform the student charged and provide him or her with a second copy of the Policy on Academic Integrity, the alleged Charge of Academic Dishonesty, the Formal Hearing Procedure, and a preliminary date for the Formal Hearing.
- The student charged has a right to a pre-hearing conference with the provost or designee for the purpose of reviewing the Academic Integrity Regulations and the hearing procedures.
- An ad hoc Hearing Committee shall be formed and convened by the provost or designee. The Hearing Committee shall consist of three (3) faculty members appointed by the Salem Cahpter of the MSCA/MTA/NEA, two (2) students appointed by the Student Government Association, and one (1) administrator appointed by the President of the University.
- Students have ten (10) working days of receipt of the “Formal Charge of Academic Dishonesty” from the Office of Academic Affairs to waive their right, in writing, to a hearing and accept disciplinary action from the designated administrator. Students who choose to accept disciplinary action from the designated administrator waive their right to appeal the administrator’s decision.
When a Formal Hearing is Required
A formal hearing is required in the following cases:
a. In cases in which the violation of academic integrity is egregious.
b. In cases in which the student is a repeat offender (i.e., it is the student’s second or subsequent offense).
A formal hearing can be called by either party, the faculty or student.
Formal Hearing Procedures
- The Provost and Academic Vice President or designee shall convene the committee and designate a Chairperson. No member of the committee shall convene the meeting.
- All members of the Hearing Committee must be present for any proceedings.
- The members of the Hearing Committee will be required to convene in closed session immediately prior to the hearing to review the report of alleged misconduct, the specific charges to be considered, and all supporting papers and/or evidence.
- The Hearing will not be videotaped or audio taped. The Hearing will be recorded by a stenographer
- The student charged and his or her advisor, if any, will be called before the Hearling Committee, and the designated chairperson will restate the content of the alleged academic dishonesty. The person(s) who originally filed the formal charge of academic dishonesty may be present. Witnesses for either side are excluded from the hearing room at this time.
- Opening statements. The student charged and the person(s) bringing the charges are asked to outline briefly the facts they intend to present during the hearing.
- Presentation of witnesses and evidence by person(s) bringing charges. The person(s) bringing the charges present the evidence and, if applicable, call witnesses to support the charges. The student charged and the Hearing Committee may question the person(s) bringing the charges and the witnesses as each finishes his or her testimony.
- Presentation of witnesses and evidence by the student charged. The student charged presents his or her evidence and calls witnesses, when applicable, to respond to the charges against him or her. The person(s) bringing the charges and the Hearing Committee may question the student charged and the witnesses as each finishes his or her testimony. Witnesses may be asked to remain or leave the hearing room as required by the Hearing Committee.
- Closing statements. The student charged and the person(s) bringing the charges are asked to summarize their testimony and highlight any specific information they wish the Hearing Committee to consider in its deliberation.
- Deliberation by Hearing Committee. All persons other than the Hearing Committee will leave the hearing room, and the deliberations will begin. If the Hearing Committee needs more information, it may reconvene the hearing within ten days in order to seek necessary clarification.
- In those instances where more than one student is charged with academic dishonesty relating to the same instance of misconduct, the Hearing Committee may wish to consider the cases at the same time. This action will be taken only with the agreement of the students charged.
- Voting to uphold the charge of academic dishonesty will be by secret ballot and will require a two-thirds vote of the Hearing Committee.
- All Hearing Committee members and all individuals present will be bound by confidentiality restrictions.
The student shall receive written notice within five (5) working days following the hearing informing him/her of anyrecommendations made as a result of the hearing body’s deliberations, including recommended sanctions, if applicable. Student appeals must be made in writing and submitted within ten (10) working days after the notification of the imposition of sanctions.
Individuals found guilty of violating Salem State University’s Academic Integrity Regulations may receive the following sanctions:
Warning: Written notice to the student that continued or repeated violations of specified policies or regulations may be cause for further disciplinary action.
Suspension: Students will lose their status for a definite period of time, not to exceed one year.
Dismissal: Termination of student status for an indefinite time.
Expulsion: Permanent termination of the student status without possibility of readmission to the university.
Other sanctions: Students may receive other sanctions deemed appropriate by the Hearing Committee.
Violations of any of the conditions imposed under this section can be cause for further disciplinary action, usually in the form of loss of privileges and exclusion from activities, suspension, or dismissal.
Sanctions are assigned with the intent of maintaining consistency and fairness, and the degree of sanction is primarily correlated with the extent and severity of the violation.
- Students have access to the Formal Charge of Academic Dishonesty, name of accusers and witnesses, and any written evidence or other pertinent papers, which may be used against them. This information will be available in the Office of Academic Affairs.
- Students have the right to have their cases heard with all reasonable promptness. Under normal circumstances, hearings will be conducted within twenty-one (21) working days after the university receives written notification of the student’s desire to have a formal hearing.
- Students will receive written notification of the date, time and place of any hearing at least ten (10) working days before the hearing, in order to permit a reasonable amount of time to prepare for the hearing.
- At the time they receive written notice of a hearing, students also will receive a written statement of charges against them, the source of such charges, and the conduct regulations upon which the charges are based.
- Students have the right to an advisor of their choice. Such an advisor may be present at any hearing and may counsel the student charged. The advisor may not address the board on the student’s behalf.
- All hearings will be closed to the public and press, and all proceedings will be considered confidential.
- Students have the right to a Hearing Committee of impartial members, any member(s) of which may be challenged in writing and replaced at the discretion of the Provost and Academic Vice President or designee.
- Students have the right to make a written request for postponement of a hearing. Under normal circumstances such a request must be submitted to the Provost and Vice President no later than twenty-four hours prior to the date and time of the hearing.
- The burden of proof will rest with those bringing charges against any student, and students will be presumed innocent until proven guilty.
- The hearing will proceed, whether or not the accused student or students choose to participate.
- Written notification of the Hearing Committee’s decision will be mailed within five (5) working days after the conclusion of the hearing.
- Except where students have waived the right to a formal hearing, students have the right to appeal the decision of the Hearing Committee within ten (10) working days of the date of receipt of the written decision. Such appeals shall be made in writing and submitted to the Provost and Academic Vice President or designee for adjudication.
- All students have the right to continue in their student status until the conclusion of judicial proceedings. However, no degree will be awarded until the matter is resolved.
MAINTENANCE OF DISCIPLINARY RECORDS
Disciplinary records will be maintained in Academic Affairs for five (5) years and then destroyed unless it is determined there is good reason to retain the records beyond that date.
They will not be released to individuals outside the University except:
- by the written authorizations of both the student involved and the person(s) bringing the charge; or
- under the conditions specified in the Family Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 and its amendments, or
- if otherwise required by law.
In order to ensure that minor and non-recurring infractions do not negatively impact the student’s academic career beyond Salem State University, all disciplinary records will be reviewed by the Provost and Academic Vice President or designee in order to determine whether the student’s records should be expunged. A student may petition for such review two (2) years from the date the initial sanction was imposed, or upon graduation from the university, whichever comes first. It is fairly common for potential employers, governmental agencies, or other institutions of higher education to solicit information about a student’s conduct while attending Salem State University. If the student has signed a release form accompanying such a solicitation, the designee of the Provost and Academic Vice President will review the disciplinary records file to determine if the student has been found guilty of misconduct. In those cases where the student has such a record the information will be provided to the requesting party.
1The wording for the Academic Dishonesty Policy came from multiple sources, most especially from the policy on Academic Integrity at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and Rutgers University’s Policy on Academic Integrity
See also the Research Integrity Policy.
Research Integrity Policy
While rare in occurrence, research fraud and occurrences of noncompliance with institutional review board, animal care, and data policies and procedures raise concern in the public as well as among the federal, state and private funding agencies, which support much of the research now being conducted in academia. In 1981, the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services identified as a major management initiative the development of policies and procedures for dealing with misconduct in science. In 1985, the National Institute of Health (NIH) released a proposed set of detailed procedures dealing with misconduct in research funded by the Public Health Service, aspects of which have been incorporated into regulation. HHS then developed the Office of Research Integrity and eventually adopted the government wide Federal Research Misconduct Policy in 2000. These agencies, along with the Association of American Universities (AAU) and the Association of American Medical Colleges require universities to adopt specific policies for handling allegations of fraud or unethical behavior by researchers. Salem State University expects the highest standards of ethical behavior from all members of the academic community involved in the conduct of research.
This “Research Integrity Policy” describes procedures for dealing with suspected digressions from intellectual honesty and ethical treatment of human subjects, animals, and data in research by faculty, staff, and students at Salem State University. Procedures are defined which will foster the maintenance of high standards in research in the university and protect the rights and reputations of all parties involved in instances of alleged misconduct. The policy also covers charges involving students employed on research grants or contracts including those who fall under the National Science Foundation’s policy on Responsible Conduct in Research.
Allegations of academic dishonesty involving students engaged in research as part of their academic program will be dealt with in accordance with Salem State University’s “Policy on Academic Integrity” and the student disciplinary procedures included in the student handbook.
2.0 Guidelines for Identifying Academic Fraud and Misconduct
Fraud in research is defined as deliberate misrepresentation with intent to gain some advantage. Misconduct is defined as the violation of institutional research policies, relevant state and federal regulations governing such research, or generally accepted ethical standards for research. While there is no list of examples of academic fraud and misconduct which would be universally accepted, Salem State University recognizes four types of fraud and misconduct in academic research which will serve as broad guidelines in identifying research fraud. These guidelines are derived from policies forwarded by the AAU and the Department of Health and Human Services, and the National Institute of Health.
2.1 Falsification of Data undermines the basic principle on which the scientific process depends. Since scientific advances depend on accurate collection, analysis and reporting of information, dishonest reporting misleads others and results in the waste of resources, both human and monetary. If practiced in clinical research, falsification could even be directly dangerous to humans. Falsification of data ranges from sheer fabrication to selective reporting, including the omission of conflicting data.
Plagiarism is especially hurtful to individual researchers since it is an attempt by one individual to receive credit for the work of someone else. Plagiarism refers to the use of another’s ideas or words without proper attribution or credit. An author’s work is his/her property and should be acknowledged appropriately. However, academic integrity requires that unsigned material must also be identified (for example, anonymous articles or web pages).
2.2 Abuse of Confidentiality is a significant act of fraud given the privilege of acquiring information through research. According to the university’s Data Classification and Access Policy effective May 2009, confidential data should be protected to the highest possible degree as is prudent or as is required by law. Guidelines include, but are not limited to the following:
- Systems which store or process Confidential data in an electronic format, must be protected with strong passwords and stored on servers that have protection and encryption measures applied in order to protect against loss, theft, unauthorized access and unauthorized disclosure.
- Must not be disclosed to parties without explicit management authorization.
- Must be stored only in a locked drawer or room or an area where access is controlled by a guard, cipher lock, and/or card reader, or that otherwise has sufficient physical access control measures to afford adequate protection and prevent unauthorized access.
- When sent via fax must be sent only to a previously established and used address or one that has been verified as using a secured location.
- Must not be posted on any public website.
- Must be securely destroyed when no longer needed per Commonwealth Records Retention Policy.
- Exposure to an unauthorized 3rd party must be reported to the Information Security Office.
Confidential data are to be stored only on university file shares or within university databases. Confidential data in paper form are to be secured at the end of the work day. Confidential data in paper form are to be shredded at the end of use in SSU approved locked shred bins.
In the rare case when confidential data are used, the data must be encrypted at rest and in transit when used outside of IT systems. Standards of confidentiality of data must be upheld to ensure academic integrity.
2.3 Instances of violations of regulations applicable to research also present a problem. Serious violations of rules adopted by appropriate mechanisms to protect research participants, animals, and data, while not fraudulent in the traditional sense, undermine the integrity of the research process. Violations of regulations include but are not limited to the following:
- The conduct of human subjects research without approval of the IRB (even if technically IRB exempt)
- The conduct of research involving animals without approval of the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC)
- Altering IRB or IACUC approved research protocols or consent forms without IRB or IACUC approval
- Failure to maintain ongoing review on research that extends beyond the initial 12 month IRB or IACUC approval
- Failure to report adverse events
- Violation of the confidentiality or anonymity of research subject(s)
- Failure to obtain approval from external institutional review boards when required in addition to Salem State University’s IRB
- Violation of the provisions of the Salem State University Data Classification and Access Policy
3.0 Procedures For Handling Allegations of Misconduct In Research
3.1 All initial reports and/or charges of ethical misconduct or research fraud at Salem State University should first be directed in writing to the Dean of the school in which the alleged fraud occurred for a preliminary review. The Dean shall inform the department chair and the research supervisors(s) of the allegations. The Dean shall also inform the involved faculty member(s) of the nature of the allegations, the nature of the review and the rights of the parties involved, including contractual. Instances involving university staff should first be directed to the area Vice President to whom the staff member’s department reports. The area Vice President shall also inform the involved staff member(s) of the nature of the allegations, the nature of the review and the rights of the parties involved.
3.2 The school Dean or area Vice President, after consultation with the department chair or appropriate research supervisor(s), shall promptly (within five business days) conduct a preliminary review to determine if there is sufficient prima facie evidence to merit a formal investigation of the charges and shall inform the Provost/Academic Vice President that a preliminary review is underway. Confidentiality should be strictly maintained throughout the process of the review in order to protect the rights and reputations of all parties involved.
3.3 Since time is of the essence, the school Dean should conduct the preliminary review promptly (within five business days) and report the outcome to the Provost/Academic Vice President as quickly as possible.
3.4 If, after consideration of the review and recommendation of the school Dean or Vice President, the Provost/Academic Vice President then determines that there is not sufficient prima facie evidence to support the charges, no further action needs to be taken, the President and the party(ies) involved shall be so informed and no record shall be kept.
3.5 If, after consideration of the review and the recommendation of the school Dean, the Provost/Academic Vice President determines that sufficient prima facie evidence exists to support the charges, the Provost/Academic Vice President shall appoint an ad hoc committee charged with the responsibility of conducting a formal investigation. The membership of the committee shall consist of no fewer than four knowledgeable individuals including one representative from the department or unit of the involved faculty member(s) or non-faculty employee(s) and three other faculty members from related departments or areas. In instances where externally funded research is involved, the Provost/Academic Vice President may also appoint, in consultation with the Vice President of Administration and General Counsel and/or Vice President of Finance, staff to serve as an ex officio member of the committee to represent the interests and legal obligation of the University. In addition the Provost/Academic Vice President may also appoint an additional member(s) from outside the institution in order to broaden the expertise of the committee.
3.6 At the time the committee is requested to conduct a formal investigation, the Provost/Academic Vice President and the school Dean may determine that the research activities of the involved researcher(s) may be restricted or monitored during the course of the investigation. If so, then the Provost/Academic Vice President shall also notify the department chair, and in the case of funded research, the Vice President of Finance and Facilities.
3.7 The Provost/Academic Vice President shall convene the committee, appoint one of the faculty on the committee to serve as chair, present the charges and allegations and discuss University policies and procedures pertinent to the investigation. The committee shall investigate all charges and facts and may interview any and all parties appropriate to reaching a decision regarding the merit of the charges. The chair of the committee shall meet with the appropriate Human Resources officer as to existing procedures and safeguards to protect the rights and reputation of all parties involved before carrying out the investigation. The committee should begin its investigation promptly and should provide a written report of its findings and recommendations to the Provost/Academic Vice President no later than 60 days after the initiation of the formal investigation. The Provost/Academic Vice President may accept the report or return it to the committee for further information or clarification. The committee shall also forward the final copy of this report to the accused party(ies).
3.8 If, on the basis of the findings and recommendations of the committee, and Provost/Academic Vice President determines that no unethical or fraudulent acts have been committed, all parties shall be notified accordingly. The Provost/Academic Vice President and the school Dean shall undertake all necessary efforts to restore fully the reputation and credibility of the researcher(s) under investigation. All interim restrictions on research activity will be removed.
3.9 If, on the basis of the report and recommendation of the committee, the Provost/Academic Vice President determines that there is evidence of unethical or fraudulent acts, the Provost/Academic Vice President shall report this conclusion as well as recommendations regarding the imposition of sanctions and/or disciplinary action to the President. The President shall make the final determination regarding the appropriateness of the recommendation. Sanctions may include, but are not limited to, written reprimand, termination of current research activity, public disassociation of the university from any future unauthorized research activity, restriction from future research activities, and debarment from intramural funded research programs. The President may also determine if the matter warrants disciplinary action pursuant to pertinent articles of in the current contract.
3.10 The President shall determine if information about the charges, the investigation, or their disposition should be released to the public, the press, or specific parties, i.e., editors of journals in which papers or reports of research in question may have appeared. In cases involving externally funded research, the sponsoring agency will be notified of the findings of the investigation and the final disposition of any sanction and/or disciplinary action, or restitution to be made. Corrective actions may also include required research ethics training, mentoring by qualified research faculty, or other actions as stipulated by federal sponsoring agencies.
See also the Academic Integrity Policy.
Policies Related to Student Rights
Course Information Policy
Prior to the end of the second week of the semester, the instructor will distribute to each student in each course and section a written and dated course syllabus, which must contain at least the following information:
1. The course name and number, section number, semester, instructor’s name, office location, office hours, email address and telephone extension.
2. Official course description.
3. Course goals and learning objectives.
4. The course requirements for assessment such as papers, projects, and examinations (with due dates if possible). These assessments should be clearly tied to the course learning objectives listed in number 3 above.
5. The instructor’s attendance policy for the course (e.g. no attendance taken, number of absences allowed, any penalty for extensive absence, etc.).
6. A list of texts for the course, indicating which are required and which are optional.
7. A statement on whether or not a final examination will be given and, if given, whether it is required or optional.
8. The method by which the student’s final grade in the course will be determined.
9. The instructor’s policy on work handed in late, makeup examinations, and the like.
10. Any special rules, regulations, or procedures of the course.
11. A statement indicating that each student is responsible for completing all course requirements and for keeping up with all that goes on in the course (whether or not the student is present).
12. The statement “Salem State University is committed to providing equal access to the educational experience for all students in compliance with Section 504 of The Rehabilitation Act and The Americans with Disabilities Act and to providing all reasonable academic accommodations, aids and adjustments. Any student who has a documented disability requiring an accommodation, aid or adjustment should speak with the instructor immediately. Students with Disabilities who have not previously done so should provide documentation to and schedule an appointment with the Office for Students with Disabilities and obtain appropriate services.
13. In the event of a university declared critical emergency, Salem State University reserves the right to alter this course plan. Students should refer to [PLACEHOLDER FOR CONTENT TO REPLACE LINK] for further information and updates. The course attendance policy stays in effect until there is a university declared critical emergency. In the event of an emergency, please refer to the alternative educational plans for this course located at/in [faculty member determines this]. Students should review the plans and gather all required materials before an emergency is declared.”
Instructors who develop course requirements as the semester goes along will so indicate on the syllabus. Once requirements have been established, students will receive a written and dated copy of them and of the method by which the final grade will be computed. This statement will be distributed prior to the end of the twelfth week of the semester.
If in the professional judgment of the instructor it is necessary to modify course requirements during the semester, students will be given a written and dated copy of the modifications. Such modifications will be consistent with the nature and purpose of the course.
A student who believes that the Course Information Policy has not been followed should bring the matter first to the instructor; second, if necessary, to the Department Chairperson; third, to the School Dean; thereafter, to the Vice President, Academic Affairs; and, ultimately, to the President.
Final Examination Policy
Each course or section of a course offered for academic credit at Salem State University will include a final examination, unless such an examination is inappropriate to the nature of the course. Each department shall formulate specific policies on final examinations, covering at least one of the following:
- Specification of those courses or sections for which final examinations are to be given, and whether such examinations are to be written or oral.
- For each of those courses or sections not having a final examination, an explanation of why such an examination is not appropriate.
Each department’s final examination policies, updated for the current semester, will be placed on file in the department’s office no later than the end of the second week of the semester. A copy of the policy shall also be sent to the Academic Affairs Office.
All final examinations (with the exception of oral or take-home examinations) shall be scheduled by the Registrar’s Office, and shall take place during a specific final examination period announced as part of the University calendar. The final examination schedule shall be published by the Registrar’s Office and distributed to all faculty (and announced to the student body) no later than the end of the tenth week of the semester.
All final examinations shall be held at the scheduled times and places. A faculty member wishing to reschedule a final examination must have the permission of the department Chairperson and of the Registrar. All conflicts in the final examination schedule shall be resolved by the Registrar in consultation with the Chairpersons of the departments involved.
In no case may a written final examination be administered to a section before the beginning of the scheduled final examination period.
Possession of Final Examinations and Papers/Projects
Students have the right to inspect their own completed final examination papers in a course within one semester following the end of the course. However, the course instructor shall have the right to retain permanent possession of the original examination papers and each student’s submitted answers.
Students have the right to the return of the original of any written paper/project upon request, with the provision that a copy be provided to the instructor by the student if the instructor so requires. Under such circumstances, the instructor shall return to the student the written paper/project within one semester following the end of the course. Such request must be made by the student no later than the end of the following semester.
Appeals and Contesting of Grades
A student may contest/appeal a grade no later than four months after its official posting on Navigator/Polaris to the faculty who issued the grade in writing (see also the Change of Grade section above)..
Policy Against Sexual Harassment
Salem State University prohibits any member of the University Community, male or female, from sexually harassing another employee, student or other person having dealings with the University. The University is committed to providing a working, living and learning environment that is free from all forms of sexually abusive, violent, harassing or coercive conduct. This policy seeks to protect the rights of all members of the University Community (trustees, faculty, librarians, administrators, staff, and students) and other persons having dealings with the University, to be treated with respect and dignity.
Sexual harassment is a form of behavior that fundamentally undermines the integrity of academic and employment relationships. It is of particular concern within educational institutions where all members of the community, including students, trustees, faculty, librarians, administrators, and staff, are connected by strong bonds of intellectual interdependence and trust. Both the federal courts and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission have ruled that sexual harassment constitutes sex discrimination as defined by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Sexual harassment, including any form of sexual violence, has also been judged to be prohibited sex discrimination under Title IX of the Higher Education Amendments of 1972 as amended, and under Chapters 151B and 151C of the Massachusetts General Laws.
Salem State University, in response to the issue of sexual harassment, provides the following definition, which applies to any individual of either sex who participates in the University Community as a student, trustee, faculty member, librarian, teaching assistant, resident assistant, administrator, staff member, vendor, contractor, patron, visitor or other person having dealings with the institution:
Sexual harassment consists of unwelcome verbal, non-verbal and/or physical behavior of a sexual nature that has the effect of interfering with a person’s academic, employment or other status, or of creating a sexually intimidating, hostile or offensive environment. Sexual harassment incidents can involve a male harasser and a female victim, a female harasser and a male victim, and also same gender same sex harassment and harassment because of gender identity or orientation. Sexual violence is a form of sexual harassment.
Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature by any member of the campus community constitutes sexual harassment when:
submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual’s employment or education;
submission to, or rejection of, such conduct by an individual is used as a basis for academic or employment decisions affecting that individual;
such conduct has the purpose or effect of substantially interfering with an individual’s academic or work performance or creating a sexually intimidating, hostile or offensive employment, educational or living environment.
Examples of Sexual Harassment
Behaviors that, either alone or in combination, may constitute sexual harassment and/or the creation of a hostile work environment under this Policy include, but are not limited to, the following:
verbal harassment or abuse on the basis of sex;
direct or indirect propositions of a sexual nature;
repeated unsolicited propositions for dates and/or sexual advances/intercourse;
demands for sexual favors accompanied by implied or overt threats or that submission to sexual advances may favorably affect employment, work status, promotion, grades, or letters of recommendation, or that rejection of sexual advances may produce a negative effect;
subtle pressure for sexual activity, one element of which may be conduct such as repeated or unwanted staring;
sexual slurs, sexual innuendos, and other comments about an individual or group’s clothing, body, weight, body shape, size or figure;
continuous idle chatter of a sexual nature and graphic sexual descriptions;
discussing one’s sexual activities, practices or experiences;
asking another person about their sexual activities, practices or experiences;
offensive and persistent “risqué” jokes or jesting and kidding about sex or gender-specific traits;
suggestive or insulting sounds such as whistling, wolf-calls, or kissing sounds;
sexually provocative compliments about a person’s clothes or the way their clothes fit;
comments or questions about the sensuality, sexuality, gender identity or sexual orientation of a person, or his or her spouse or significant other;
pseudo-medical advice such as “you might be feeling bad because you didn’t get enough”;
telephone calls of a sexual nature;
“staged whispers” or mimicking of a sexual nature about the way a person walks, talks, sits, etc.;
distribution or display of objects, written or graphic materials that are of a sexual nature, such as cartoons, pictorial erotica, nude photographs or posters (such as a nude magazine centerfolds) for no legitimate academic purpose;
invading another’s “personal space”;
sexual looks such as leering and ogling with suggestive overtones;
lewd gestures, such as hand or sign language to denote sexual activity, licking lips or teeth, or holding or eating food provocatively;
continuous “pet” name calling, such as “baby,” “sweetie” or “honey”;
referring to men in general as “dogs” or “swine” or to women as “bitches” or “chicks”;
persistent and unwelcome flirting;
attempted or actual kissing or fondling;
unnecessary touching, patting, pinching or physical touching of any kind that is sexual in nature; and/or
physical sexual assault, coerced sexual intercourse, attempted rape or rape.
A pattern of any of the above-listed behaviors that would tend to bring discomfort or humiliation to a reasonable person at whom the behaviors are directed may constitute sexual harassment.
In the context of hostile environment sexual harassment, normal, less severe, sexual behaviors by themselves may become sexual harassment when they are repeated several times. As referenced above, these behaviors might include sexual innuendo or comments made in a joking manner but which, repeated over and over, day after day, have a cumulative effect. Other behaviors, however, are so offensive that the first time they occur they are considered sufficient to incur charges of sexual harassment or criminal liability. These would include such severe sexual behavior as forced fondling, attempted rape and other forms of sexual assault or violence. Members of the academic community should not assume that any of the forms of speech described above are protected by the principles of academic freedom or the First Amendment to the United States Constitution.
Under this Policy, consenting romantic and sexual relationships between faculty and student, librarian and student, administrator and student, classified staff member and student, or supervisor and employee are deemed unprofessional. Because such relationships interfere with or impair required professional responsibilities and relationships, and could possibly lead to the development of a hostile work environment, they are looked upon with disfavor and may lead to discipline up to and including termination.
Codes of Ethics for most professional associations forbid professional-client sexual relationships. In this context, and for purposes of this Policy, the professor-student relationship is properly regarded as one of professional and client. The respect and trust accorded a professor by a student, as well as the power exercised by the professor in giving praise or blame, grades, recommendations for further study and employment, and other benefits or opportunities diminish the student’s actual freedom of choice such that relationships thought to be consensual may in fact be the product of implicit coercion. A relationship between a professor and a student also has the possibility of leading to the creation of a hostile academic environment. Many elements of the administrator student, librarian student, classified staff member, and the supervisor employee relationship are similar to those of the professor student relationship because of a similar imbalance of power and a similar need for trust.
Faculty, librarians, administrators, classified staff members and supervisors are warned against the dangers of apparently consensual relationships. A faculty member, librarian, administrator, or classified staff member who enters into a romantic or sexual relationship with a student, or a supervisor who enters into such a relationship with an employee, where a power differential exists, must realize that, if a charge of sexual harassment (including one alleging a hostile work or academic environment) is subsequently lodged, it will be exceedingly difficult to disprove the claim on the grounds of mutual consent. Because that is so, it should be understood that relationships of this kind pose serious professional risks to any who enter into them.
Institutional Measures to Confront Sexual Harassment
Whenever it has been properly determined that sexual harassment has occurred, Salem State University will take prompt and corrective action, including appropriate disciplinary action. In determining whether the alleged conduct constitutes sexual harassment, the University will look at the entire record and the circumstances, such as the nature of the sexual conduct and the context in which the alleged incidents occurred, and will make a decision on a case-by-case basis.
The University is committed to promoting, to the greatest degree possible, an environment free from sexual harassment. To this end, the University will take the following steps:
- Distribute this Policy against sexual harassment to all segments of the University Community on an annual basis;
- Post this Policy against sexual harassment; and
- Conduct educational programs for the University Community regarding the causes, character and consequences of sexual harassment as well as the steps available to stop such practices on the campus.
Institutional Complaint Procedures
Salem State University has established specific internal complaint procedures to help resolve claims and complaints of discrimination on its campus and within the University Community. These procedures will also specifically address claims and complaints of sexual harassment. The Discrimination Complaint Procedures serve as a system of review and resolution for both informal claims and formal complaints of sexual harassment in hiring, employment and education. Any applicant for admission or employment, or any other member of the University Community who believes that he or she has been a victim of sexual harassment may initiate an informal claim or formal complaint as outlined in the Sexual Harassment Complaint Procedures. Further advice or information may be obtained by contacting the Assistant Vice President of Human Resources & Equal Opportunity and Title IX Coordinator, Beth Marshall, at (508) 542-6022.
Duty to Report
Federal and state laws and regulations place certain requirements on Salem State University regarding the reporting of sexual harassment. No member of the University Community who receives a complaint of sexual harassment may ignore it. To the contrary, he or she should provide the person making the complaint with as much assistance in bringing the complaint to the attention of the Assistant Vice President of Human Resources & Equal Opportunity as is reasonably appropriate given his or her position at the University and relationship with the person making the complaint. Any employee or trustee, that receives a complaint of sexual harassment from a student or other member of the University Community has an affirmative legal duty to report the complaint to the Assistant Vice President of Human Resources & Equal Opportunity and Title IX Coordinator, Beth Marshall, at (978) 542-6022, as soon as he or she becomes aware of it.
Similarly, all employees, and others having dealings with the institution must report to the Assistant Vice President of Human Resources & Equal Opportunity any conduct of which they have direct knowledge and which they in good faith believe constitutes sexual harassment in violation of this Policy.
If the person alleging committing the sexual harassment is the complainant’s supervisor, the complainant should report the supervisor’s conduct to the Assistant Vice President of Human Resources and Equal Opportunity. Should the person alleged to have committed harassment is the Assistant Vice President of Human Resources and Equal Opportunity, the complainant may make a report directly to the Executive Vice President.
Any member of the University Community who has a question about his or her rights and responsibilities under this Policy should contact the Assistant Vice President of Human Resources & Equal Opportunity and Title IX Coordinatorat (978) 542-6022 or the Executive Vice President at 978 542 6400.
Disruptive Student in Classroom Policy
The purpose of this judicial procedure is to provide the university with a method of due process to be used for relieving students in the classroom and their faculty from disruptive and/or potentially hazardous invasions of their time and learning.
Disruptive student behavior in the classroom includes and is not limited to the following definitions:
- Exhibiting excessive behavior, which through its constancy throws the classroom activity in disorder or does not permit others to hear, see or concentrate on classroom presentation and/or activity.
- Demonstrating an attitude or action which is threatening or hazardous to the safety and welfare of others and/or him/herself in the classroom. This includes aggressive and/or bizarre behavior.
- Disrupting the classroom with inappropriate verbal tone, volume or content which may be threatening and/or intimidating to the other members in the classroom.
Step I - Informal
- When a student engages in behavior which disrupts the class session, but poses no apparent hazard and/or danger to other students, faculty, or him/herself, the faculty member should ask the student to stop such behavior.
- If the type of disruptive behavior described in #1 continues, the faculty member should ask the student to leave the class and to meet with the faculty member at the next mutually convenient scheduled time to discuss the matter informally. The faculty member will submit a written report to the department chairperson, the appropriate Dean (of the School, Graduate or Continuing Studies) and the Associate Vice President of Student Life. This begins the formal procedures.
- If the student, after leaving a class upon request, fails to report at the mutually agreed office hour appointment to discuss the incident, the faculty member submits a written copy of the incident to the chairperson of that department with copies to the Dean and Associate Vice President of Student Life.
- If the student refuses to leave the class, or if the disruptive behavior is such that there is apparent hazard and/or danger to other students, to the faculty, and/or to the disruptive student, the faculty member should dismiss the class for the day. In this situation, the faculty member should not leave before the other students in the class. If appropriate, the faculty member should contact Campus Police to remove the student from the classroom. In no case if there is an apparent hazard and/or danger present should the faculty member leave ahead of the other students in the class. If the faculty member is forced to dismiss the class for the day, the faculty member should report the incident in writing to the Department Chairperson, with a copy to the Dean and Associate Vice President of Student Life.
- Upon receipt of such a report from a faculty member, the Department Chairperson should in writing arrange a meeting among the chairperson, the faculty and the student to attempt to resolve the matter. All parties must receive written notification of the meeting time and place. This meeting should be held as soon as possible after the incident and no later than ten (10) working days from the date of the incident. The student may request postponement in writing. This will be taken into advisement and denial of request of the new date will be issued to the student in writing.
- If the student refuses to attend the meeting, the Department Chairperson should immediately notify the student, in writing, that the incident has been referred to a Hearing Panel. A copy of this notification should be sent to the Dean and Associate Vice President of Student Life.
- The student will be allowed to attend class during the time between the incident and meeting and/or Hearing, unless there is further disturbance or disruption. If a further disruption is caused by this student, the faculty member will report the incident in writing to the Department Chairperson, with copies to the Dean and Associate Vice President of Student Life. The Department Chairperson will immediately notify the student in writing that he/she is suspended from that class pending a Hearing. Copies of this notification will be forwarded to the Dean and Associate Vice President of Student Life.
- The student has the right to appeal the decision of the Hearing Panel to the Vice President, Academic Affairs. Such an appeal must be requested in writing within ten (10) working days of the student’s receipt of the decision by the Hearing Panel. The Dean will act on the request for appeal and hear the appeal within ten (10) working days from receipt of the written request for appeal of the Hearing Panel’s decision.
- The student has the right to appeal the decision of the Vice President to the President. Such an appeal must be requested in writing within ten (10) days of the student’s receipt of the decision by the Vice President of the denial of appeal or the hearing. The President will hear the appeal within ten (10) days of the written request for appeal of the Vice President’s decision.
- Only in cases where a sanction affects the student’s immediate status at the University (e.g., the student has been dismissed from the University, or has lost financial aid because of dismissal from the course, or will be unable to graduate because of dismissal from the course), may the student appeal the decision of the Provost and Vice President, Academic Affairs to the President. Such an appeal must be requested in writing within ten (10) days of the student’s receipt of the decision by the Provost and Vice President Academic Affairs.
- Appeals, which will be heard only on the basis of the defendant’s request, are limited to:
- Procedural errors.
- Excessive sanctions for offense.
- New Evidence.
- Format and Regulations
The Hearing Panel will consist of the Department Chairperson, a faculty member (other than the complainant) from that department selected by the Dean or designee and a faculty member of any department selected by the student. In selecting the departmental faculty member, the Dean or designee should make a reasonable effort to reflect the student’s gender, race, and/or sexual orientation. The Department Chairperson will chair the Hearing Panel.
- The Defendant and the Complainant have the right to:
- Receive and review a copy of the written charge before the meeting.
- Present evidence and/or witnesses on their behalf.
- Cross-examine each other and all witnesses.
- Have an advisor or legal counsel present (such individuals, however, are there solely to advise their clients and not to address the Hearing Panel or to conduct a prosecution or a defense).
- Request a temporary recess for a period of not longer than two working days (such requests should be made in writing to the Hearing Panel and should specify the reason or reasons for the request — e.g. the need for additional preparation time, the need to locate witnesses, illness, and the like).
- The Hearing Panel may take the following actions:
- Dismiss the charge as unproved or unfounded and reinstate the student to the course.
- Find the student guilty of disruptive behavior, end the temporary suspension, and reinstate the student to the course.
- Recommend that the student be dismissed from the course with a grade of W.
- Recommend that the student be dismissed from the course with a grade of F*.
- Recommend that the student be dismissed from the University.
Note: Notification to the Student Life Area will enable the Associate Vice President, Student Life to review the charges or indictments, in order to be prepared and available to advise students of procedures/ processes and their responsibilities and actions. This does not preclude the right or need for legal counsel.
Student Grievance Procedure on Academic Matters
A student who believes that an academic or curriculum requirement, policy or regulation has not been appropriately applied or properly administered may bring the matter first to the instructor; second, if necessary, to the Department Chairperson; third, if necessary, to the Dean of the appropriate school. The Dean’s decision is final. Any further appeal of the decision i slimited to documentable lapses in procedure. Students may not seek an appeal of the Dean’s decision for a reconsideration of the facts. Procedural-based appeals will be heard by the Provost or designee. The Provost or designee’s findings are final.
Salem State Clipper Card
The Clipper Card is your official identification for the entire enrollment period and must be carried at all times while on campus or when representing Salem State University outside the campus. It must be presented when requested by a properly authorized and identified university representative. It is an essential key to campus life and a handy tool for managing services at Salem State University. As your official university identification card, the ClipperCard will give you access to campus food service operations, bookstore, vending machines, laundry services, residence halls, copy machines, computer printing services and library card for lending books out of the North Campus Library (and other NOBLE member libraries) and allows access to North Campus Library online databases from off campus. It may also be used to pay at several local businesses.
Clipper Card Replacement
The first ID card is issued free of charge. If a card is lost or stolen, a replacement may be obtained by bringing a payment of $25.00 to the Bursar’s Office located on the second floor of the Administration Building. Bring your receipt to the ClipperCard Office where a new card will be issued For further information and hours of operation, contact the Clipper Card Office at 978.542.2273 or our website [PLACEHOLDER FOR CONTENT TO REPLACE LINK]
Email Communication Policy
University use of Email
Email is an official means of communication at Salem State University. Therefore, the University has the right to send communications to students and employees via email and the right to expect that those communications will be received and read in a timely fashion.
Assignment of Email Addresses
The University will assign all students and employees and official Salem State University email address. It is to this official address that the University will send email communications; this official address will be the address listed in the University’s enterprise directories.
Redirecting of Email
Students and employees may choose to have an official Salem State University email electronically redirected to another email address (e.g., @aol.com, @hotmail.com or an address on a departmental server), but do so at their own risk. The University will not be responsible for the handling of email by outside vendors or by departmental servers. Having email redirected does not absolve students or employees from the responsibilities associated with communication sent to their official email address.
Expectations Regarding Use of Email
Students and employees are expected to check their official email address on a frequent and consistent basis in order to stay current with University communications. The administration recommends checking email on a daily basis in recognition that certain communications may be time-critical.
Educational Uses of Email
Faculty may determine how email will be used in their classes. It is highly recommended that if a faculty member has email requirements and expectations, that these requirements be specified in the course syllabus. Faculty may expect that students’ official SSU email addresses are being accessed, and faculty may use email for their courses accordingly.
Salem State University Email Requirements
Students and employees may be required to have a Salem State University email account in order to access certain University resources, such as Learning Management System or Navigator (the University web portal).
Appropriate Use of Email
In general, email is not appropriate for transmitting sensitive or confidential information unless an appropriate level of security matches its use for such purposes.
- All use of email, including use for sensitive or confidential information, will be consistent with Salem State Acceptable Use Policy.
- Confidentiality regarding students records is protected under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA). All use of email, including use for sensitive or confidential information, will be consistent with FERPA.
- Email shall not be the sole method for notification of any legal action or disciplinary action.
The Chief Information Office and the Vice President of Academic Affairs will review this policy as needed. Changes will be authorized by the approval of the All College Committee. Students/employees with questions or comments about this policy should contact the CIO and/or Vice President of Academic Affairs. Students/employees with technical concerns should direct their technical questions to the IT hotline.
Preferred Name Policy
It is Salem State’s policy that students within the university community may choose to use a preferred name different from their legal name to identify themselves, The preferred name policy applies to internal university documents such as class rosters, Clipper Card, canvas etc. A community member’s legal/ primary name may appear on many external university documents in addition to any documents that require a legal name such as financial aid, payroll records, transcripts, etc. Legal/ primary name will be used in cases where information is sent to a permanent address. A preferred name must not be used .for the purposes of misrepresentation at the university.
Students should be advised that Salem State University strives to use preferred names. However, in some instances a preferred name may not be used. The overarching goal of the policy is to create a consistent name experience for all community members across campus. Salem State community members may choose to use a different name for a variety of reasons to ensure an experience that best reflects them while at the University. The University does not guarantee that all internal systems will reflect preferred name, but will continue to expand the internal use of
preferred names across internal systems to support this goal.
In extraordinary circumstances, the university may choose to award a degree posthumously. The criteria and procedures for awarding of a degree posthumously maybe found here .