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Fielding Graduate University    
 
    
 
  Nov 19, 2017
 
Academic Catalog 2017-2018

Progress to Degree Policies


Return to: Academic Policies and Procedures  


 

Degree and Certificate Conferrals

Final authority for the awarding of a degree, concentration or academic credit certificate lies with the Registrar. Students do not need to initiate the process. Degrees and academic credit certificates are awarded automatically as the final requirement is completed; degree concentrations are awarded in conjunction with the terminal degree. Conferral dates are based on the last day of class or the date the final requirement is completed. Participation in a graduation ceremony is not required for degree, concentration or academic credit completion.

Once a degree, concentration or academic credit certificate has been awarded, the student/new graduate will be notified and provided with information about diplomas and diploma frames.

In the doctoral programs, the degree is not awarded until the student has completed all degree requirements, including the final filing of the dissertation with ProQuest Dissertation Publishing. Students may not call themselves “Dr.” or refer to themselves as having earned a PhD or EdD, until they receive written or verbal confirmation from the Registrar that their degree has been awarded and the official degree date.

Policy Revised 10/01/2013


 

Degree Audit Adjustments

Degree audit is a tool for students and advisors to see which requirements have been completed and which requirements are still incomplete. In addition to coursework completed at Fielding, the degree audit takes into account:

  • Approved transfer credit from other institutions
  • Approved course substitutions
  • Approved course/credit/requirement waivers

Adjustments may occur throughout a student’s tenure at the university. Students may appeal for adjustments to specific degree requirements due to special circumstances, such as prior equivalent experience. Programs may also require that a student complete a remediation plan that involves additional academic requirements which will be accounted for in the audit. The Clinical PhD and Respecialization certificate programs will also consider specific adjustments of the following reasons:

  • In order to remain competitive for internships, a student whose minimum degree requirement is 1,000 practicum hours may need to complete as many as 500 additional practicum hours.
  • In order to obtain licensure in their state, a student whose minimum degree requirement is 1,000 practicum hours may need to complete as many as 500 additional practicum hours.
  • Students who have failed their clinical practicum site and are/or in remediation plans may need to repeat coursework and/or accrue 200-500 practicum hours beyond the minimum in order to pass the clinical practicum requirement.

In some cases, students may appeal for exemption from specific degree requirements due to special circumstances, such as prior equivalent experience or updated policies that are applied to graduation requirements.

Student requests for degree audit adjustments are reviewed and decided by the program director for the student’s program (or their designee), and in consultation with the student’s cluster faculty, if applicable. An adjustment form must be signed by the program director for the student’s program, and forwarded to the Registrar’s Office for processing in the audit. Degree audit adjustments are not noted on the official transcript.

Policy Revised 10/15/2015


 

Graduation Ceremony Participation

Students who wish to walk in a graduation ceremony must register their intent to do so by registering for the session at which the ceremony is to be held, and by the published registration deadline in the University Master Calendar. Graduation ceremonies for doctoral programs are held in conjunction with National Sessions.

If a doctoral student has completed all other graduation requirements by the published degree audit deadline in the University Master Calendar, and assuming there are no major problems which arise at the Final Oral Review, the student will be permitted to participate in the graduation ceremony which is part of the same National Session in which the Final Oral Review was successfully completed. Clinical Psychology doctoral students may also be permitted to walk who have completed all other graduation requirements excluding an in-progress internship that is scheduled to be completed within 60 days from the ceremony. A student whose internship will be completed 61-120 days after the graduation ceremony can request an exception to be permitted to walk. For an exception to be granted, the Director of Clinical Training must confirm with the placement’s training director or student’s primary supervisor that the internship is expected to be completed successfully.

All doctoral students must have successfully completed the Final Oral Review in order to participate in the graduation ceremony.

If the master’s student has completed all graduation requirements prior to the graduation ceremony, the student may participate in the master’s graduation ceremony.

Requirements are considered complete when the student’s submitted work has been reviewed by faculty as satisfactory, and grades received and recorded at Fielding’s administrative offices.

A student must be current in all financial obligations to Fielding in order to walk in the graduation ceremony.

The Registrar is the final authority on who may be permitted to walk.

Policy Revised 11/01/2017


 

Satisfactory Academic Progress

The Financial Aid Office uses the results of Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) reviews to determine student eligibility for Federal Unsubsidized and Graduate PLUS loans. Per federal regulations, failure to maintain satisfactory academic progress will result in disqualification from federal student aid. Scholarships and other student aid based on academic progress may also be affected if a student fails to maintain satisfactory academic progress.

The Registrar’s Office uses the results of SAP reviews to determine student eligibility for veteran’s benefits for otherwise qualifying students. Per federal guidance, failure to maintain satisfactory academic progress will result in an inability to be certified for veteran’s benefits.

Doctoral Programs*

SAP Requirements

Students enrolled in doctoral programs* must have their academic progress reviewed annually. Satisfactory Academic Progress is defined as having registered for and completed a minimum of 18 credits with either a passing grade of ‘CR’ or a letter grade of ‘B’ or better within the annual progress review period.

Students who have completed all degree requirements with the exception of dissertation (ABD), or dissertation and internship (ABD/I), and have completed a registered dissertation research course with a passing grade of ‘CR’ and have maintained continuous enrollment (i.e. registered for all three terms in the review period) are considered to have met satisfactory academic progress. Continuous enrollment is defined as meeting one of the following conditions each term of the review period: (1) the registration and successful completion of at least 2 units, (2) an approved full-term leave of absence, or (3) registration in at least 2 units with a ‘W’ or ‘I’ grade prior to an approved emergency leave of absence for the remainder of the term.

In addition, students must meet the Time to Degree policy requirements to maintain satisfactory academic progress.

New doctoral students matriculating in January or between June and August in a given year, will have an academic progress review at the end of their first term with satisfactory academic progress defined as completion at minimum of the 4 credit Foundations of Doctoral Study course. Subsequent academic progress reviews will be according to the annual doctoral requirements.

Courses with the following grades issued will count toward the number of credits attempted, but not toward the number of credits completed: ‘I’ (Incomplete), ‘W’ (Withdrawn), ‘C’ (Average, Not Acceptable for Doctoral Work), ‘R’ (Replaced), ‘F’ (Failing) or ‘NC’ (No Credit). Courses repeated due to a prior non-passing grade count toward the number of credits attempted, and if passed, toward the number of credits completed. Transfer courses count toward the number of credits attempted and completed overall, but they do not reduce the number of credits required for satisfactory progress at each review period.

*ICDL transfer students on catalog 2014 (those charged per credit) will follow the Master’s and Graduate Certificate Programs SAP policy.

Failure to Maintain SAP - Doctoral Programs

If a student enrolled in a doctoral program is determined to have not met satisfactory academic progress in any annual review, they are disqualified from receipt of federal financial aid and any remaining disbursements will be cancelled. Email notification of disqualification and information about reestablishing eligibility to receive assistance under the Title IV, HEA federal student aid programs will be sent.

Students who have been disqualified may reestablish eligibility for federal student aid either by regaining satisfactory academic progress at the next satisfactory academic progress review or through a successful appeal of disqualification.

A student may appeal disqualification on the basis of special circumstances, such as death of a relative, injury or illness, or other unusual event which prevented the student from achieving satisfactory progress. The appeal must be submitted according to the disqualification process outlined below.

If a student is placed on financial aid probation following an appeal, the terms of probation are specified and the student must maintain progress according to their approved progress improvement plan and any other conditions of probation as specified in the official notification in order to remain on probation.

Students on probation will have their academic record reviewed each term during the probation period to determine if progress is being made toward stated expectations.

If a student is determined to have not met the stated expectations at any point during the probation period, the student will be disqualified from receiving further financial aid and current or future loans/disbursements will be cancelled.

Postdoctoral Certificate Programs

SAP Requirements

Students enrolled in postdoctoral certificate programs must have their academic progress reviewed annually. Satisfactory Academic Progress is defined as having registered for and completed a minimum of 12 credits with either a passing grade of ‘CR’ or a letter grade of ‘B’ or better within the annual progress review period.

Courses with the following grades issued will count toward the number of credits attempted, but not toward the number of credits completed: ‘I’ (Incomplete), ‘W’ (Withdrawn), ‘C’ (Average, Not Acceptable for Doctoral Work), ‘R’ (Replaced), ‘F’ (Failing) or ‘NC’ (No Credit). Courses repeated due to a prior non-passing grade count toward the number of credits attempted, and if passed, toward the number of credits completed. Transfer courses count toward the number of credits attempted and completed overall, but they do not reduce the number of credits required for satisfactory progress at each review period.

In addition, students must meet the Time to Degree policy requirements to maintain satisfactory academic progress.

Failure to Maintain SAP - Postdoctoral Certificate Programs

If a student enrolled in a postdoctoral certificate program is determined to have not met satisfactory academic progress in any annual review, they are disqualified from receipt of federal financial aid and any remaining disbursements will be cancelled. Email notification of disqualification and information about reestablishing eligibility to receive assistance under the Title IV, HEA federal student aid programs will be sent.

Students who have been disqualified may reestablish eligibility for federal student aid either by regaining satisfactory academic progress at the next satisfactory academic progress review or through a successful appeal of disqualification.

A student may appeal disqualification on the basis of special circumstances, such as death of a relative, injury or illness, or other unusual event which prevented the student from achieving satisfactory progress. The appeal must be submitted according to the disqualification process outlined below.

If a student is placed on financial aid probation following an appeal, the terms of probation are specified and the student must maintain progress according to their approved progress improvement plan and any other conditions of probation as specified in the official notification in order to remain on probation.

Students on probation will have their academic record reviewed each term during the probation period to determine if progress is being made toward stated expectations.

If a student is determined to have not met the stated expectations at any point during the probation period, the student will be disqualified from receiving further financial aid and any remaining disbursements will be cancelled.

Master’s and Graduate Certificate Programs

SAP Requirements

Students enrolled in master’s and graduate certificate programs must have their academic progress reviewed each term by maintaining a satisfactory grade point average and completion rate as defined below:

  • The grade point average calculated for purposes of satisfactory academic progress must be 3.0 or higher, and will include all grades for all courses that satisfy the current degree objective, including the original grade earned even when a grade was replaced through a successful grade replacement petition. For the purposes of this policy, ‘CR’ grades will be considered to have earned the grade point equivalent of a ‘B’ grade (3.0).
  • A minimum completion rate of 67% for all attempted coursework, which is calculated by dividing the total number of completed credits including transfer credits by the total number of attempted credits on a cumulative basis. ‘I’ (Incomplete), ‘R’ (Replaced), ‘NC’ (No Credit), and ‘W’ (Withdrew) grades count toward the total attempted credits, but do not count toward the total completed credits.

In addition, students must meet the Time to Degree policy requirements to maintain satisfactory academic progress.

Failure to Maintain SAP - Master’s and Graduate Certificate Programs

When a student enrolled in a master’s or graduate certificate program is determined to have not met satisfactory academic progress for the first time and it is mathematically possible for the student to regain satisfactory academic progress within one term, the student will be placed automatically on financial aid warning for the subsequent term of enrollment. Financial aid warning is a one term period which allows a student to regain satisfactory academic progress while retaining their federal student aid eligibility for that one term.

A student enrolled in a master’s or graduate certificate program who has not made satisfactory academic progress in more than one successive review, or who has not made satisfactory academic progress for a single review but will not mathematically be able to regain satisfactory academic progress within a one term warning period will be disqualified. The student may reestablish eligibility for federal student aid either by regaining satisfactory academic progress in their next satisfactory academic progress review or through a successful appeal to their disqualification.

A student may appeal disqualification on the basis of special circumstances, such as death of a relative, injury or illness, or other unusual event which prevented the student from achieving satisfactory progress. The appeal must be submitted according to the disqualification process outlined below.

If a student is placed on financial aid probation following an appeal, the terms of probation are specified and the student must maintain progress according to their approved progress improvement plan and any other conditions of probation as specified in the official notification in order to remain on probation.

Students on probation will have their academic record reviewed each term during the probation period to determine if progress is being made toward stated expectations.

If a student is determined to have not met the stated expectations at any point during the probation period, the student will be disqualified from receiving further financial aid and any remaining disbursements will be cancelled.

Appeal of SAP Decision - Administrative Error - All Programs

Students may appeal satisfactory academic progress decisions based on administrative error by submitting an appeal statement to appeal@fielding.edu. Appeal statements must be submitted no later than one month from the date indicated on the progress review decision official notification. Appeal decisions are final and may not be challenged.

Process to Appeal Financial Aid/Benefits Disqualification - All Programs

Per federal regulations, students may appeal disqualification from financial aid and/or VA benefits only on the basis of special circumstances, such as death of a relative, injury or illness, or other unusual event which prevented the student from achieving satisfactory progress.

The disqualification appeal must be submitted by the student in writing to appeal@fielding.edu prior to the Disqualification Appeal Deadline as published on the University Master Calendar. The appeal request must include an explanation of the special circumstances, an explanation of what has changed to allow forward progress in the future, and a term-by-term course registration and completion plan to regain satisfactory academic progress within the specified time frame. The student must have a current, detailed academic plan on file with the Advising Office that has been approved by the required program faculty and/or administrators. Academic plan forms are available from the Office of Advising for this purpose. Disqualification appeals submitted without a current approved academic plan on record will not be considered.

Disqualification appeals will be considered by the Financial Aid Appeal Committee and a written response will be sent to the student within two weeks of receipt.

An approved disqualification appeal does not alter the outcome of the satisfactory academic progress review.

If the disqualification appeal is unsuccessful or not submitted within the required time frame, the student may appeal again during a subsequent term prior to the Disqualification Appeal Deadline for that term as published in the University Master Calendar.

Policy Revised 09/01/2017


 

Time to Degree

Students should consult suggested curriculum sequences available from their program for detailed length of study plans.

Doctoral Programs and Respecialization in Clinical Psychology Postdoctoral Certificate Length of Study

All students in doctoral programs, except those who began the Clinical Psychology and the postdoctoral Respecialization in Clinical Psychology certificate program in May 2012 or later, must complete their program in no more than ten years from the date of matriculation, excluding any time periods in which the student is withdrawn. Students entering into the Clinical PhD or Respecialization in Clinical Psychology postdoctoral certificate program in May 2012 or later must complete the program in no more than 8 years from the date of matriculation, excluding any time periods in which the student is withdrawn.

Neuropsychology Postdoctoral Certificate

Neuropsychology certificate students are expected to take no more than three years to complete their program, excluding any time periods in which the student is withdrawn. The third year is at a discounted rate of tuition, and would be used for the purpose of completing supervision hours the student was unable to complete in the first two years.

Master’s Programs

All students in the master’s programs are expected to complete their program in no more than 4 years from the date of matriculation, excluding any time periods in which the student is withdrawn.

Graduate Certificate Programs

All students in the postbaccalaureate graduate certificate programs are expected to complete their program in no more than two years from the date of matriculation, excluding any time periods in which the student is withdrawn.

Policy Revised 07/01/2014