All students must meet established minimum standards of achievement with regard to cumulative grade point average (CGPA) and successful course completion while enrolled at Potomac College.
The following Standards are effective beginning session 2011-05 (August 22,2011).
A student’s academic progress is evaluated at the end of each payment period (semester). Potomac College’s Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) consists of two measurements:
- A quantitative measurement which determines if students are completing the courses they attempt (pace) at a rate that will ensure completion of the program within a maximum time frame of 150% of the program length in credit hours; and
- A qualitative measurement which determines if students have a satisfactory cumulative grade average in their program of study.
(1) Quantitative progress or Pace of Completion (POC)
Students must complete their educational program in a period no longer than one and half times the standard program length based on number of credits in a program.
- For example, if a program requires 60 credits to graduate, the standard program length is 60 credits. The maximum time frame (MTF) is 1.5 times or 90 credits attempted.
- Evaluation of progress is conducted at the end of every semester (two sessions).
- Students must successfully complete at least 67% of all credits attempted. Successful completion of a course means earning a grade of “A” through “D-“.
- Students who are below the successful completion rate are placed on Financial Aid Warning for the next semester.
- Students remain eligible for financial aid for one semester.
If, at the end of one semester, students have achieved the required completion rate they are removed from Warning and are eligible for financial aid.
Transfer credits are included in the calculation as completed and attempted credits. Incomplete grades (I), Withdrawals (W), course repetitions (R) and audited courses (AU) are all considered as attempted but not satisfactorily completed in the Pace of Completion calculation. Transitional courses are not included in this calculation.
- If, at any time during a student’s enrollment, the student can no longer graduate within the defined maximum time frame, the student is dismissed from the College.
(2) Qualitative progress.
Students must maintain a 2.0 cumulative grade point average throughout their academic program.
- At the end of each payment period ( semester), grade averages are computed and verified. Students whose overall grade average is below a 2.0 are placed on Financial Aid Warning for the next semester.
- Students remain eligible for financial aid during one Warning semester.
- If, at the end of a semester, students have achieved a minimum overall grade average of 2.0 for the semester, they are removed from Warning.
- At the end of the second academic year a student’s progress is computed. An overall GPA of at least 2.0 is required regardless of the number of credits the student has attempted or completed.
Students placed on Financial Aid Warning and who do not meet Standards of Academic Progress requirements may submit a written appeal of that determination based on documented mitigating circumstances such as serious illness. Students should appeal at least two weeks ahead of losing eligibility. If enrollment continues after loss of eligibility, students may be liable for tuition costs. Students whose appeal is successful are placed on probation for one semester . An academic plan is drawn up which ensures that the students meet these requirements at a designated point in time. This plan is drawn up by the Academic Dean or his designate and must be approved by the VP of Academic Affairs and by the Director of Financial Aid. Probationary semester students continue to be eligible for financial aid. If the student does not meet the requirements of the academic plan the student will be deemed ineligible for financial aid.
Satisfactory academic progress is initially determined when a student has attempted at least 12 credit hours and each semester (payment period) thereafter. Students are notified in writing of their probationary status, their dismissal or their having been removed from probation.
Academic Appeals Process and Mitigating Circumstances
Students who fail to meet Potomac College Standards of Academic Progress (SAP) and are dismissed from the College have an opportunity to appeal the action. Appeals must be made in writing to the Vice president of Academic Affairs within ten days of notification of any SAP determination. Each appeal judgment is based on that student’s record and personal circumstances. A decision is made within 5 business days of submission of the written petition.
Some examples of mitigating circumstances for which an appeal may be made are illness, death of a family member, employment responsibilities, or program change. Appropriate written documentation must accompany an appeal.
Academic Reinstatement Policy
Students who have been academically dismissed who wish to return may petition the College for reinstatement. All reinstatement petitions must be submitted in writing to a reinstatement committee designated by the Vice President of Academic Affairs. This committee includes, but is not necessarily limited to, Registrar, faculty members and/or academic advisors. Appeal of a reinstatement committee decision may be made in writing to the Vice President of Academic Affairs. Dismissed students are allowed to resume their program only after the following conditions have been met:
- A minimum of one semester (two sessions) has passed since the dismissal;
- Incomplete course work, if any, has been satisfactorily completed;
- A revised degree map has been developed with an Academic Advisor;
- Student has signed a written understanding of academic requirements; and
- Financial obligations to the College have been met.
Students normally return to the College on probation, unless completed course work has changed their status. Re-entering students must see Financial Aid for a determination of Title IV eligibility.