Appendix D

4/24/18

SENATE COMMITTEE ON ADMISSIONS, RECORDS, SCHEDULING, AND STUDENT AID
SENATE COMMITTEE ON UNDERGRADUATE EDUCATION

CORRECTED COPY
(Shaded areas in [square brackets] reflect revisions made during the Senate meeting. )

Aligning Policies to Promote Student Academic Recovery and Success: Changes to Policies 47-80 Repeating Courses; 51-50 Cumulative Grade Point Average; 54-00 Academic Progress; 54-20 Academic Warning; 54-40 Academic Suspension; 54-50 Academic Dismissal; 54-90 Academic Renewal; 58-20 Persons to Whom Policy is Applicable; 58-50 Conditions for Re-enrollment as a Degree Candidate. New Policies: 51-70 Recovery Points; 58-80 Re-enrollment From Warning, Suspension, and Dismissal

 (Legislative)

Implementation: Upon Approval by the Senate and development of procedures when applicable

This joint report and legislative recommendations from our committees is written with the goal of reducing the numbers of students in academic difficulty who reach the suspension stage, by aligning and unifying our policies and putting into place interventions and support for academic recovery. Our philosophy is that we want all of our students to learn and to be successful.

The academic warning and suspension policies that have been implemented in the last year represent Senate’s desire to intervene when students are experiencing academic difficulties, and to prevent these students from deepening their financial and academic difficulties.  Our committees have examined how the academic warning and suspension policies are working as well as how they relate to several other policies aimed at student success. The recommendations below therefore represent a holistic look at how better alignment of several Senate policies would shape and inform intentional interventions aimed at student recovery and success.

Academic warning and suspension are interventions, intended to prompt students to identify and address the factor(s) that led to their significant academic difficulty.  Through meaningful interventions when a student is placed on academic warning, the ideal outcome is for the student to improve their academic performance and move forward in a positive fashion. For those students reaching the level of academic suspension, there is a continuing critical need to focus on helping them identify and address the factor(s) impeding their academic progress with the overarching goal being the successful completion of their Penn State degree.  Through early intervention and coordinated efforts, academic recovery and success should be the outcome and is the driving force behind the recommendations in this report.

As academic recovery and success are the intended goals, interventions need to occur early so as to better align support with individual student needs.  In its current state, our policies on academic warning and suspension provide too much time where students are in academic difficulty without required interventions.  The goal should be to actively engage students when indicators of academic difficulty become evident, particularly in terms of cumulative grade point average.  Helping students to identify the causes of academic difficulty and ensuring that they are accessing appropriate support for academic recovery will ideally minimize the number of students who reach academic suspension.  If students are not able to achieve academic recovery and reach a point of academic suspension, the University needs to remain engaged so that these students understand that we have a vested interested in their academic success.  Helping students, whether in academic warning or suspension, to identify and resolve barriers and to develop realistic plans for academic recovery stands at the core of how we envision the redesign of these policies.

Rationale

To better ensure academic success, our Committees recommend developing systematic interventions aimed at helping students to identify and overcome barriers that impede degree completion.  Working with dedicated academic advisers at the local level, students facing academic difficulties should develop specific academic plans that are not only viable, but that also enable the student to identify the barriers to their academic success.  While students must be open and honest in acknowledging their unique barriers to academic success, the institution must also invest in the capacity to provide meaningful interventions and support systems to ensure that our students can achieve viable academic degree programs.

Recovery points: An important measure of the level of academic difficulty a student has experiences is the number of grade points below the minimum average 2.0. Penn State has previously referred to this as grade point deficits or deficiency points, but in the context of this report we refer to them as recovery points – that is, a quantitative measure of credits a student needs to complete with a B or better to return to good academic standing.  Recovery points are a useful numerical value for determining the appropriate academic plans for recovery, and for individual conversations between advisers and students.  Recovery points are calculated when the cumulative gpa is below 2.0, using this formula:

Recovery points = credits attempted x [2 – gpa]

A visual representation of the number of recovery points based on the cumulative gpa and total attempted credits is shown in Figure 1 below. The green box indicates students who have 16 or fewer recovery points, that is, students who could return to good standing in a single, full-time semester with a B (3.0) average.

With academic recovery the intended outcome of our policy, we need to recognize that interventions need to start early in a student’s academic career.  The goal needs to be to prevent students from accumulating significant deficiency in their grade points.  In order to help students recover, we need to develop interventions that use the amount of recovery required to determine the appropriate form of intervention.  Recovery points (in Policy 51-70) help to determine the extent/depth of academic difficulty and therefore help guide recovery plans as well as eligibility for and consideration of a successful appeal.

Early intervention: Our current policy (54-00) is to exclude students who have taken fewer than 18 credits from the warning and suspension actions, since early difficulties with the adjustment to college expectations are not uncommon.  None of our peer institutions (Table 2) exempt first year students from warning and suspension interventions.  We examined the outcomes for students who begin in the summer or fall semester and experience academic difficulty (cumulative/semester gpa < 2.0) but who were not eligible to be placed on warning until the spring semester, by which time potentially as many as 40 total credits may have been attempted.

We observe a significant number of students who struggle in their first year, but for whom the academic warning and suspension policies are not applied and thus interventions are not evenly enacted.  With academic success as the core factor of our approach, interventions need to happen as soon as students show indicators of academic difficulty.  If we are able to help students recover before they enter serious academic difficulty, we will be better positioned to ensure student success.  Under our existing policy 54-40, students have the potential to emerge from their first year on academic warning with 80 or more recovery points. In 2016, there were nearly 500 first year students who completed the fall semester with a semester gpa below 2.0 and as many as 38 recovery points. These students were not put on academic warning, following our current policy.  The next semester a third of these students continued to experience difficulty (semester and cumulative gpa < 2.0), more than half did not enroll at Penn State, and only about 10% academically recovered (cumulative gpa > 2.0).  Our goal is to adjust our policies so that interventions can be brought into action earlier for students in serious academic difficulty, before they reach the suspension stage.

Our committees also recognize that the depth of students’ academic difficulty differs; for example a student with a 1.90 gpa is in a different position than a student with a 0.25 gpa. Therefore, in policy 54-40 we also recommend that there be a petition process for students to appeal an academic suspension, specifically for those students who have recovery points that could be mitigated within a single semester of successful work.

All students, including first-year students who begin in the summer, who experience academic difficulty should be placed on academic warning when their cumulative gpa initially falls below 2.0 (54-00) and be subject to suspension if they do not meet the standards for continuing.  Students with 16 or fewer recovery points are eligible to petition an academic suspension action (54-40).

In the current policy, students returning from suspension who again experience academic difficulty (semester and cumulative gpa < 2) are able to repeat this cycle of suspension/re-enrollment three times.  This essentially equates to at least four semesters of work with a cumulative grade point average and semester grade point average below 2.0, and at least four semesters of tuition. Because of the potential accumulation of a large number of recovery points and student debt, our committees recommend adjusting the policy so as to minimize the use of suspension as an effective intervention. The overarching goal should be academic recovery through the shared efforts of students and effective university-developed interventions, and to also bring a petition process by which students with a small number of recovery points can be considered for a stay of dismissal.

A suspended student who re-enrolls in the University and is unable to achieve a semester gpa of at least 2.0 will be dismissed (58-50); students with 18 or fewer recovery points can appeal dismissal.

Repeating Courses.  Per Senate policy, students can repeat a course only if they have previously earned less than a C, unless an exception is granted by the college/unit of enrollment; and may repeat a course a maximum of three times. In policy 47-80, we clean up language and permit exceptions to both of these rules in unusual/rare circumstances by academic deans.

In addition, with an underlying goal of supporting students’ learning and success, we view learning as a process in which failure often occurs.  When students are able to academically recover, their past difficulties in earlier courses can be detrimental to their success and to attaining their goals within the determination of the cumulative grade point average.   We recommend allowing students to use only the most recent grade of a repeated course in their grade point average to aid in their academic recovery by eliminating recovery points and encouraging continued learning. All grades will appear on the transcript. This practice is consistent with what is done at our peer institutions (see Table 1).

We recommend reducing the number of course repeats from 3 to 2 and enforcing the C or better rule in policy 47-80; both of these can be appealed to the college/unit.  For 12 credits that are repeated, the most recent grade will also only be included only once in the calculation of the cumulative grade point average (47-80).

Appealing warning and suspension actions. Under current policy students who have been academically warned, suspended or dismissed from the University, under certain circumstances, may request academic renewal and re-enrollment after sitting out of the University for 4 calendar years (policy 54-90). We recommend adding a petition process for exceptions to this policy. We recognize that extraordinary circumstances may exist which could convince academic units to support the return of a student before the 4 calendar year window opens. In fact, this is already occurring, and students are successfully petitioning this policy and re-entering the University before the 4 calendar year window opens. We add this language in policy both to make it a more transparent process for all students and academic units and to recognize the individualized nature of student academic recovery.

Recommendation: Based on the above rationale, our committees recommend alignment of our policies to promote student academic recovery and success by making changes to the policies shown below.

Figure 1.

April 24, 2018 Senate Agenda, Appendix D, Figure 1Plot of the number of recovery points that a student would have after 12, 16, 46, or 60 attempted credits, if the earned cumulative grade point average is below 2.0.


Table 1. Course Repeat Benchmarking

InstitutionCourse Repeat Permitted?Grades in Repeated Courses
MinnesotaYes (once)• Both appear on transcript
• New grade used in gpa calculation
IowaYes• Students apply to “restart” program; permitted for 3 courses,
once per course. Both grades appear on transcript
• new grade used in calculation of gpa
MichiganYes (when < C- was earned )• All grades on transcript
• New grade used in gpa calculation
IllinoisYes• All grades on transcript
• Grade replacement in gpa calculation (limited cases)
Michigan StateYes (when D or below was earned), up to 20 credits• All grades on transcript
• Last grade earned is used in gpa calculation
NorthwesternYes (when D or below was earned)• Both grades appear on transcript
MarylandYes (once), up to 18 repeated credits• Both grades appear on transcript
• When course from first semester/first 24 credits is repeated, the
higher grade is used in the gpa calculation
NebraskaYes (when C- or below was earned))• All grades appear on transcript.
• Most recent grade is used to calculate the gpa
Ohio StateYes• All grades appear on transcript
• Grades in up to 3 courses may be used to replace grades in the gpa
calculation (petition required, most recent grade is used, even if lower)
PurdueYes• All grades appear on transcript
• Grades in up to 3 courses may be used to replace grades in the
gpa calculation (petition required, most recent grade is used, even if lower)
WisconsinYes• All grades used in gpa calculation
IndianaYes (when less than A was earned)• All grades on transcript
• Students may petition to replace a grade in gpa calculation
for up to 3 courses/10 credits
RutgersYes• All grades on transcript
• For up to 16 credits, most recent grade can be used to replace
a D or F in the gpa calculation

 Table 2. Summary of Warning and Suspension Policies in Peer Institutions

InstitutionAcademic Probation/WarningAcademic Suspension/Dismissal
MinnesotaGpa < 2.0 = probationSuspended if, while on probation, both the semester and cumulative gpa < 2.0
Iowa

Gpa < 1.85 (< 30 credits)
gpa < 2.0 (40+ credits)
Dismissal if, while on probation, semester gpa < 2.0

MichiganGpa < 2.0 = probationSuspension and dismissal determined by review of grades by board; can occur after a single semester
IllinoisGpa < 2.0 = probationDrop if gpa < 1.0 (any semester, other than summer)
Michigan StateGpa < 2.0 = probationOne-year recess if, while on probation, student semester gpa and cumulative gpa < 2.0
NorthwesternGpa < 2.0 = probationDismissal if academic deficiency is not corrected in one term
MarylandGpa < 2.0 = probationSuspended if semester gpa and cumulative gpa < 2.0 while on probation
Nebraska__
Ohio StateGpa < 2.0 = probationStudents on probation are reviewed on case-by-case basis; dismissal when prolonged academic difficulty is evident
PurdueGpa < 2.0 = probationAcademic drop when a student on probation semester and cumulative gpa < 2.0
WisconsinGpa < 2.0 = probation (not in summer)Suspension after two semesters probation and gpa < 2.0
IndianaGpa < 2.0 = probation
Gpa < 1.33 = critical probation (< 16 credits,
scaled higher for larger # of credits)
Dismissal if gpa falls in critical probation range a second semester.
RutgersGpa < 2.0 (fall or spring) – warning Probation if gpa < 2 for a second semester
Suspension in spring if gpa < 1.5, 1.7, 1.9, 2.0 after 2nd, 4th, 6th, or 8th+ semester

Revisions to Senate Policies are as follows:

Please note that the following contains bold text for additions and strikeouts indicating deleted text. Deleted text is notated with [Delete] [End Delete]. Added text is notated with [Add] [End Add].

54-00 Academic [Add] Difficulty and Recovery [End Add] [Delete] Progress [End Delete]

To graduate, a degree candidate must complete the requirements for the candidate’s major and earn at least a C (2.00) average for all courses taken at this University as stated in 82-40, subject to the conditions of 51-00.

When a student [Delete] fails to [End Delete] [Add] does not [Add] make adequate progress towards meeting and maintaining this 2.00 grade-point average, various academic progress statuses are used to serve as notification [Delete]  of such failure [End Delete] and to assist the student in correcting [Delete] his/her [end Delete] academic difficulties.  These statuses include academic warning (54-20) and academic suspension (54-40) and are summarized in the table below.

STATUS AT BEGINNING
OF SEMESTER*
CUMULATIVE GPA
AT END OF
SEMESTER
SEMESTER GPASTATUS AT END
OF SEMESTER
Good Standing2.00 or higher 2.00 or higherGood Standing
Good Standing2.00 or higher Less than 2.00 ±Good Standing
Good StandingLess than 2.00Less than 2.00Academic Warning
Academic Warning2.00 or higher2.00 or higherGood Standing
Academic WarningLess than 2.002.00 or higherAcademic Warning
Academic WarningLess than 2.00Less than 2.00Academic Suspension

[Delete] *First semester Students are exempted for the first 12 attempted credits. (Summer semester credits are excluded) since their semester GPA is the same as their cumulative GPA. [End Delete]

± Students will receive a notification when their semester grade-point average drops below a 2.00.


54-20 Academic Warning

Academic warning serves as official notification that the student has [Add] not [End Add] [Delete] failed to earn [End Delete] [Add] earned [End Add] a 2.00 cumulative grade-point average. A student placed on academic warning will have a hold placed on registration and will be required to meet with an academic adviser [Delete] in order [End Delete] for this registration hold to be removed. [Add] Through this meeting, students will be encouraged to identify issues that have impeded their academic success and work with an adviser to develop a meaningful plan for academic recovery. [End Add]

A student in academic warning status may continue to enroll for classes as long as the semester grade-point average continues at a 2.00 or higher.  To remove academic warning, the cumulative grade-point average must be 2.00 or higher.  A student in academic warning who [Add] does not [End Add] [Delete] fails to [End Delete] maintain a semester grade-point average of 2.00 or higher will be academically suspended (54-40).


54-40 Academic Suspension

Academic suspension is [Delete] an official notification that [End Delete] [Add] a university-level intervention used when [End Add] a student has earned a semester grade-point average of less than 2.00 while on academic warning. [Add] Suspension will be deferred at the end of the student’s second semester at Penn State if they completed seven or fewer credits in at least one of the semesters. [End Add]

A student who has been academically suspended may not [Delete] schedule courses [End Delete] [Add] enroll [End Add] at the University [Add] or attend classes [End Add] for two consecutive semesters (Note: Summer session is equal to one semester and includes all courses offered after Spring semester and before Fall semester). [Add] Students with 15 or fewer recovery points may petition the Faculty Senate for a reduction in or stay of the suspension. Petitions will not be automatically granted. [End Add]

A student returning from academic suspension must apply for re-enrollment as defined in policy 58-00 (or admission, if [Delete] he/she is [End Delete] a degree-seeking student conditionally enrolled in DUS) and returns to the University in [Add] academic [End Add] warning status, with [Delete] his/her [End Delete] [Add] the [End Add] former cumulative grade-point average, and with a hold placed on the registration. [Delete]  The student must receive written support obtained in the college/major (or DUS) the student intends to pursue. [End Delete] [Add] Students must meet with an academic adviser to develop a plan for academic recovery prior to the hold being lifted. [End Add]

[Delete]A student can be academically suspended from the University two times.  If, after two suspensions the student [End Delete] [Add] Students [End Add] [Delete] fails to [End Delete] [Add] who have returned from academic suspension and do not [End Add] achieve at least a 2.00 semester GPA, [Add] are [End Add] [Delete] the student is [End Delete] subject to academic dismissal (54-50).

A student may apply for academic renewal four years after academic dismissal.


54-50 Academic Dismissal

A student who [Delete] has been placed on [End Delete] [Add] returns from [End Add] academic suspension[Delete] two times [End Delete] [Add] and [End Add] [Delete] fails to [End Delete] [Add] does not [End Add] achieve at least a 2.00 semester GPA is subject to academic dismissal and is no longer permitted to take courses at the University. [Add] Students with 18 or fewer recovery points may petition the dismissal through the Faculty Senate. Petitions will not be automatically granted. [End Add]

After a period of four calendar years, a student who has been academically dismissed from the University may seek re-enrollment to the University by requesting academic renewal (54-90).


54-90 Academic Renewal

Students, including those who have been academically warned, suspended, or dismissed, may request approval for Academic Renewal and Re-enrollment if:

  • They have a cumulative grade-point average less than 2.00 and
  • They have been absent from Penn State for at least four calendar years during which they have not been enrolled in any Penn State credit courses. [Add] Students may petition the Faculty Senate for early consideration of academic renewal. [End Add]

If Academic Renewal is granted:

  • The student’s cumulative average will start over at 0.00 [Add] in academic good standing. [End Add]
  • All prior courses and grades remain unchanged on the student’s academic record.
  • The notation of Academic Renewal will be recorded on the student’s transcript.
  • Courses passed with a grade of “C” or better during the earlier enrollment and approved by the dean of the college may be used to fulfill graduation requirements.
  • Courses taken prior to Academic Renewal will not count towards the repeated courses limit as specified in Policy 47-80.

    47-80 Repeating Courses

    A student is limited to [Delete] attempt any given course [End Delete] [Add] repeat a course only when a grade of less than C was obtained, for [End Add] a maximum of [Delete] three (3) times [End Delete] [Add] two (2) attempts [End Add]. Attempts are defined as earning a grade in a class or late-dropping the class. Any exceptions [Add] to these rules [End Add] [Delete] to the three-attempt limit [End Delete] must be approved by the appropriate academic official within a student’s college of enrollment.

    In situations where a student withdraws from the university (Policy 56-30) these courses will not be counted as one of the [Delete] three [End Delete] [Add] two [End Add] allowed attempts on given courses.

    [Delete] A course in which a grade of C or better was obtained may only be repeated if written evidence of consultation is obtained from the student’s adviser and a copy is submitted to the Office of the University Registrar. [End Delete]

    [Add] The grades earned during all attempts in a course appear on the transcript. [End Add] Any course repeated under this policy [Add] will [End Add] [Delete] may [End Delete] be counted no more than once [Delete] as a [End Delete] [Add] for entrance to major and [End Add] graduation [Delete] requirement [End Delete] [Add] requirements [End Add]. [Delete] Under this policy both grades are included [End Delete] [Add] For up to 12 repeated credits, the most recent grade is used [End Add] in the computation of the [Add] cumulative [End Add] grade-point average.

    This policy does not apply to courses designated as “repeatable.”


    51-50 Cumulative Grade-Point Average

    A student’s cumulative grade-point average is the weighted mean value of all grade points (see Section 51-30) earned either by enrollment or examinations in courses at the University. The cumulative GPA for a student who is completing more than one undergraduate major program, either a sequential or concurrent degree, will be computed using the grades earned in all courses taken at the University, except for the following: (Note: the words student and undergraduate student are used to designate a baccalaureate or associate degree candidate, or a nondegree student.)

    1. [Delete]a baccalaureate degree candidate who has completed associate degree 800-level courses– cumulative grade-point average will be based on all courses completed, other than associate degree 800-level; [End Delete]
    1. a student who has been approved for academic renewal–cumulative grade-point average will be computed in accordance with Senate Policy 58-60.
    2. [Add] a student repeating a course, in accordance with Senate Policy 47-80. [End Add]

51-70 Recovery Points (New Policy)

Recovery points are calculated by:

Recovery points = credits attempted x [2 – cumulative gpa]

Courses for which “no grade” and “deferred grade” symbols have been recorded are not included in the computation of recovery points.


58-20 Persons to Whom Policy is Applicable

The University recognizes that a student’s progress toward an undergraduate degree may be interrupted for a variety of reasons. [Delete] This policy applies only to former degree candidates and allows individuals in the following situations to request permission for the resumption of status as a degree candidate: [End Delete]

  1. [Add] Students who left the university in good standing: [End Add]

    • A student who has withdrawn [Delete] as a degree candidate [End Delete] from the University in accordance with the policies and procedures for withdrawal in Section 56-30;
    • [Add] student [End Add] [Delete] degree candidate [End Delete] who has interrupted continuous enrollment by not enrolling in credit courses for one semester, except:
      • [Add] student [End Add] [Delete] degree candidate [End Delete] who is not enrolled in courses during the summer session;
      • A [Add] student [End Add] [Delete] degree candidate [End Delete] who is on academic leave of absence and returns to the University under Section 56-70;
      • A student degree candidate who is identified as an adult learner and is enrolled in a program that permits a break in otherwise continuous fall/spring enrollments for adult learners.
    • [Delete] A degree candidate who voluntarily changed to a non-degree student; [End Delete]
    • A student who wishes to return for a semester other than the one approved for a leave of absence in accordance with Section 56-70;
    • [Delete] A student who has been dismissed or suspended from the University for nonacademic reasons and who has been cleared for re-enrollment by the director of the Office of Student Conduct; [End Delete]
    • A student who has received a baccalaureate or an associate degree from the University and wishes to pursue a second undergraduate degree

[Add]

  1. Students who left the university not in good standing:
    • A student who has been placed on academic warning, suspension, or dismissal.
    • A student who has been dismissed or suspended from the University for nonacademic reasons and who has been cleared for re-enrollment by the director of the Office of Student Conduct.

[End Add]

Note: Under certain circumstances, it may not be possible for a person who requests re-enrollment as a degree candidate to be re-enrolled into the degree program in which the person was previously enrolled. These circumstances include, but are not limited to, changes in the candidate’s academic credentials and the candidate’s previous degree program, including termination of that degree program.


58-50 [Delete] Conditions for [Delete] Re-enrollment [Add] from Good Standing [End Add] [Delete] as a Degree Candidate

Re-enrollment is a two-step process. The University approves re-enrollment; the college approves enrollment into an academic program. [End Delete]

[Add] Students who left the University in good standing, with a cumulative grade point average of 2.0 or higher, may request re-enrollment to the University. [End Add] Action for approval or denial of a request for re-enrollment is covered under one of the following cases:

  1. If the student is requesting re-enrollment:
    1. into the same program in which the student was previously enrolled, and;
    2. the student was not last enrolled in the Division of Undergraduate Studies [Delete] or in a common year designation, [End Delete] and;
    3. that program is not approved for administrative enrollment control [Delete], and;
    4. when last enrolled the student’s cumulative grade point average was 2.00 or higher, depending on program requirements* [End Delete]

then the re-enrollment request is immediately approved. The Registrar will inform the student and the dean of the college of the re-enrollment decision.

[Delete] Colleges may request the Registrar’s Office to automatically place a registration hold after the re-enrollment request has been approved to insure that proper advising occurs. A registration hold will prevent the student from registering for courses but will not impede the re-enrollment process.

If the student has enrolled at another college or university since last enrolling at Penn State, the Registrar will approve the re-enrollment request, but will automatically place a registration hold for a review by the dean of the college if so requested by the college. [End Delete]

  1. If the student is requesting re-enrollment:
    1. into a different program than the one in which the student was previously enrolled, or;
    2. the student was last enrolled in the Division of Undergraduate Studies [Delete] or in a common year designation, [End Delete] or;
    3. that program is approved for administrative enrollment control [Delete], or;
    4. when last enrolled the student’s cumulative grade point average was less than 2.00 or higher, depending on program requirements* [End Delete]

then the re-enrollment request requires review of the dean of the college or director of the Division of Undergraduate Studies. After final determination by the dean or director, the Registrar is notified of the re-enrollment decision and the Registrar notifies the student.

If a student is not approved to re-enroll into the requested program, the student may apply for re-enrollment into a different program. This subsequent request is considered under condition (2) above.

[Delete] * For example, the Pennsylvania Department of Education and Penn State require a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.00 for all Teacher Certification Programs offered at the University. [End Delete]


58-80 Re-enrollment from Warning, Suspension, and Dismissal (New Policy)

Students who withdrew or left the University who were not in good standing, as a result of either academic or nonacademic warning, suspension, or dismissal, may request re-enrollment to the University. Action for approval or denial of a request for re-enrollment is covered under one of the following cases:

1. If the student is requesting re-enrollment:

when last enrolled the student’s cumulative grade point average was less than 2.00 or higher, depending on program requirements*

then to be considered for re-enrollment, students must submit an academic recovery plan and a statement from an academic adviser.

If re-enrollment is approved, the student will remain in academic warning status. Colleges may request the Registrar’s Office to place a registration hold after the re-enrollment request has been approved to ensure that proper advising occurs. A registration hold will prevent the student from registering for courses but will not impede the re-enrollment process.

If a student is not approved to re-enroll into the requested program, the student may apply for re-enrollment into a different program.

2.  If the student is requesting re-enrollment following dismissal or suspension from the University for nonacademic reasons, the student must cleared for re-enrollment by the director of the Office of Student Conduct.


Clean copy

54-00 Academic Difficulty and Recovery

To graduate, a degree candidate must complete the requirements for the candidate’s major and earn at least a C (2.00) average for all courses taken at this University as stated in 82-40, subject to the conditions of 51-00.

When a student does not make adequate progress towards meeting and maintaining this 2.00 grade-point average, various academic progress statuses are used to serve as notification and to assist the student in correcting academic difficulties.  These statuses include academic warning (54-20) and academic suspension (54-40) and are summarized in the table below.

STATUS AT BEGINNING
OF SEMESTER*
CUMULATIVE GPA
AT END OF
SEMESTER
SEMESTER GPASTATUS AT END
OF SEMESTER
Good Standing2.00 or higher 2.00 or higherGood Standing
Good Standing2.00 or higher Less than 2.00 ±Good Standing
Good StandingLess than 2.00Less than 2.00Academic Warning
Academic Warning2.00 or higher2.00 or higherGood Standing
Academic WarningLess than 2.002.00 or higherAcademic Warning
Academic WarningLess than 2.00Less than 2.00Academic Suspension

± Students will receive a notification when their semester grade-point average drops below a 2.00.


54-20 Academic Warning

Academic warning serves as official notification that the student has not earned a 2.00 cumulative grade-point average. A student placed on academic warning will have a hold placed on registration and will be required to meet with an academic adviser for this registration hold to be removed. Through this meeting, students will be encouraged to identify issues that have impeded their academic success and work with an adviser to develop a meaningful plan for academic recovery.

A student in academic warning status may continue to enroll for classes as long as the semester grade-point average continues at a 2.00 or higher.  To remove academic warning, the cumulative grade-point average must be 2.00 or higher.  A student in academic warning who does not maintain a semester grade-point average of 2.00 or higher will be academically suspended (54-40).


54-40 Academic Suspension

Academic suspension is a university-level intervention used when a student has earned a semester grade-point average of less than 2.00 while on academic warning.

A student who has been academically suspended may not enroll at the University or attend classes for two consecutive semesters (Note: Summer session is equal to one semester and includes all courses offered after Spring semester and before Fall semester).  Students with 15 or fewer recovery points may petition the Faculty Senate for a reduction in or stay of the suspension. Petitions will not be automatically granted.

A student returning from academic suspension must apply for re-enrollment as defined in policy 58-00 (or admission, if a degree-seeking student conditionally enrolled in DUS) and returns to the University in academic warning status, with the former cumulative grade-point average, and with a hold placed on the registration.  Students must meet with an academic adviser to develop a plan for academic recovery prior to the hold being lifted.

Students who have returned from academic suspension and do not achieve at least a 2.00 semester GPA are subject to academic dismissal (54-50).

A student may apply for academic renewal four years after academic dismissal.


54-50 Academic Dismissal

A student who returns from academic suspension and does not achieve at least a 2.00 semester GPA is subject to academic dismissal and is no longer permitted to take courses at the University. Students with 18 or fewer recovery points may petition the dismissal. Petitions will not be automatically granted.

After a period of four calendar years, a student who has been academically dismissed from the University may seek re-enrollment to the University by requesting academic renewal (54-90).


54-90 Academic Renewal

Students, including those who have been academically warned, suspended, or dismissed, may request approval for Academic Renewal and Re-enrollment if:

  • They have a cumulative grade-point average less than 2.00 and
  • They have been absent from Penn State for at least four calendar years during which they have not been enrolled in any Penn State credit courses. Students may petition the Faculty Senate for early consideration of academic renewal.

If Academic Renewal is granted:

  • The student’s cumulative average will start over at 0.00 in academic good standing.
  • All prior courses and grades remain unchanged on the student’s academic record.
  • The notation of Academic Renewal will be recorded on the student’s transcript.
  • Courses passed with a grade of “C” or better during the earlier enrollment and approved by the dean of the college may be used to fulfill graduation requirements.
  • Courses taken prior to Academic Renewal will not count towards the repeated courses limit as specified in Policy 47-80.

47-80 Repeating Courses

A student is limited to repeat a course only when a grade of less than C was obtained, for a maximum of two (2) attempts. Attempts are defined as earning a grade in a class or late-dropping the class. Any exceptions to these rules must be approved by the appropriate academic official within a student’s college of enrollment.

In situations where a student withdraws from the university (Policy 56-30) these courses will not be counted as one of the two allowed attempts on given courses.

The grades earned during all attempts in a course appear on the transcript. Any course repeated under this policy will be counted no more than once for entrance to major and graduation requirements. For up to 12 repeated credits, the most recent grade is used in the computation of the cumulative grade-point average.

This policy does not apply to courses designated as “repeatable.”


51-50 Cumulative Grade-Point Average

A student’s cumulative grade-point average is the weighted mean value of all grade points (see Section 51-30) earned either by enrollment or examinations in courses at the University. The cumulative GPA for a student who is completing more than one undergraduate major program, either a sequential or concurrent degree, will be computed using the grades earned in all courses taken at the University, except for the following: (Note: the words student and undergraduate student are used to designate a baccalaureate or associate degree candidate, or a nondegree student.)

  1. a student who has been approved for academic renewal–cumulative grade-point average will be computed in accordance with Senate Policy 58-60.
  2. a student repeating a course, in accordance with Senate Policy 47-80.

51-70 Recovery Points

Recovery points are calculated by:

Recovery points = credits attempted x [2 – cumulative gpa]

Courses for which “no grade” and “deferred grade” symbols have been recorded are not included in the computation of recovery points.


58-20 Persons to Whom Policy is Applicable

The University recognizes that a student’s progress toward an undergraduate degree may be interrupted for a variety of reasons.

  1. Students who left the university in good standing:
    • A student who has withdrawn from the University in accordance with the policies and procedures for withdrawal in Section 56-30;
    • A [Add] student [End Add] [Delete] degree candidate [End Delete] who has interrupted continuous enrollment by not enrolling in credit courses for one semester, except:
      • A student who is not enrolled in courses during the summer session;
      • A student who is on academic leave of absence and returns to the University under Section 56-70;
      • A student who is identified as an adult learner and is enrolled in a program that permits a break in otherwise continuous fall/spring enrollments for adult learners.
    • A student who wishes to return for a semester other than the one approved for a leave of absence in accordance with Section 56-70;
    • A student who has received a baccalaureate or an associate degree from the University and wishes to pursue a second undergraduate degree
  1. Students who left the university not in good standing:
    • A student who has been placed on academic warning, suspension, or dismissal.
    • A student who has been dismissed or suspended from the University for nonacademic reasons and who has been cleared for re-enrollment by the director of the Office of Student Conduct.

Note: Under certain circumstances, it may not be possible for a person who requests re-enrollment as a degree candidate to be re-enrolled into the degree program in which the person was previously enrolled. These circumstances include, but are not limited to, changes in the candidate’s academic credentials and the candidate’s previous degree program, including termination of that degree program.


58-50 Re-enrollment from Good Standing

Students who left the University in good standing, with a cumulative grade point average of 2.0 or higher, may request re-enrollment to the University. Action for approval or denial of a request for re-enrollment is covered under one of the following cases:

  1. If the student is requesting re-enrollment:
    1. into the same program in which the student was previously enrolled, and;
    2. the student was not last enrolled in the Division of Undergraduate and;
    3. that program is not approved for administrative enrollment control;

then the re-enrollment request is immediately approved. The Registrar will inform the student and the dean of the college of the re-enrollment decision.

  1. If the student is requesting re-enrollment:
    1. into a different program than the one in which the student was previously enrolled, or;
    2. the student was last enrolled in the Division of Undergraduate or;
    3. that program is approved for administrative enrollment control;

then the re-enrollment request requires review of the dean of the college or director of the Division of Undergraduate Studies. After final determination by the dean or director, the Registrar is notified of the re-enrollment decision and the Registrar notifies the student.

If a student is not approved to re-enroll into the requested program, the student may apply for re-enrollment into a different program. This subsequent request is considered under condition (2) above.


58-80 Re-enrollment from Warning, Suspension, and Dismissal

Students who withdrew or left the University who were not in good standing, as a result of either academic or nonacademic warning, suspension, or dismissal, may request re-enrollment to the University. Action for approval or denial of a request for re-enrollment is covered under one of the following cases:

1. If the student is requesting re-enrollment when last enrolled the student’s cumulative grade point average was less than 2.00 or higher, depending on program requirements*, then to be considered for re-enrollment, students must submit an academic recovery plan and a statement from an academic adviser.

If re-enrollment is approved, the student will remain in academic warning status. Colleges may request the Registrar’s Office to place a registration hold after the re-enrollment request has been approved to ensure that proper advising occurs. A registration hold will prevent the student from registering for courses but will not impede the re-enrollment process.

If a student is not approved to re-enroll into the requested program, the student may apply for re-enrollment into a different program.

2.  If the student is requesting re-enrollment following dismissal or suspension from the University for nonacademic reasons, the student must cleared for re-enrollment by the director of the Office of Student Conduct.


Senate Committee on Admissions, Records, Scheduling, and Student Aid

  • Steven Andelin
  • Victoria Braithwaite
  • Clark Brigger
  • Wei-fan Chen
  • Harold Hayford, Vice Chair
  • James Jaap
  • Robert Kubat
  • Melissa Kunes
  • Maura Shea
  • Shuang Shen
  • Jake Springer
  • Darryl Thomas
  • Mary Beth Williams, Chair
  • Douglas Wolfe

Senate Committee on Undergraduate Education

  • Andrew Ahr
  • Jonna Belanger
  • Joseph Bauman
  • Gretchen Casper
  • Theodore Cios
  • Delia Conti
  • Joyce Furfaro, Vice Chair
  • Yvonne Gaudelius
  • David Han
  • Peter Heaney
  • Karen Henninger
  • Vicki Hewitt
  • Peggy Johnson
  • Peter Linehan
  • Karen Pollack
  • Vansh Prabhu
  • Janina Safran
  • George Samuel
  • Elizabeth Seymour, Chair
  • David Smith
  • Michele Stine
  • Samia Suliman