Maintenance of Academic Standards
Course of Study 2013-2014
Kenyon reserves the right to require any student to withdraw from the College if the student fails to meet the standards of scholarship expected, cannot remain without endangering his or her own health or that of other students, or has been found to have fallen seriously below the standards of behavior set forth in this catalog and the Student Handbook.
- Satisfactory Progress Toward the Degree
- Substandard Academic Performance
- Committee Actions
- Records of Committee Actions
- Progress Reports from Instructors
- Procedures for Withdrawing from the College
- Readmission to the College (after having withdrawn)
Satisfactory progress toward the degree is defined as the maintenance of at least a 2.0 cumulative average and earning credit at the normal rate of 4 units per year.
The Committee on Academic Standards is charged with reviewing cases of substandard academic performance by students. Normally, the Subcommittee on Academic Standing acts for the full committee.
At the end of each semester, this committee routinely reviews the records of all students who fail to meet the minimal requirements as defined above. Based on this review, the committee may take any of the actions outlined below. The committee examines deficiency reports from instructors and receives reports from such offices as that of the dean of students, dean for academic advising and support, the health center, and so on. The committee strives to find the causes for the deficiencies if at all possible.
In addition, the committee may ask for a report from the faculty advisor, as well as a written statement from the student. Tentative grades in year courses are considered by the committee.
The academic record of any student who cannot accomplish a 2.0 (C) average during any period of enrollment in the College raises serious questions about the student's will or capacity to graduate from Kenyon. Likewise, the academic record of any student who is more than .5 unit behind his or her class, or has multiple withdrawals and incompletes in any one semester, raises similar questions.
In its deliberations, the committee strives to weigh all pertinent factors before reaching a decision about the student's will or capacity to make satisfactory progress toward graduation. In addition to the reports mentioned above, positive or negative trends in the student's record are taken into account.
The following are the most common actions taken by the committee.
Letter of warning. This is a letter explaining the deficiency and possible consequences if improved performance is not forthcoming in the following semester or year.
Conditional enrollment.This letter sets forth conditions for continued enrollment at the College. Some of the more common conditions include prohibition from taking more than four courses, requiring regular class attendance, restrictions on extracurricular activities, requiring approval by the committee of subsequent course selections, and specification of minimal grade averages to be earned if the student is to continue at Kenyon. Students on conditional enrollment are not in good academic standing.
Advised withdrawal. It may be the judgment of the committee that it is advisable for a student to withdraw for some extended period of time. If the student declines this advice, some of the conditions stated above may be imposed.
Required withdrawal. When it becomes obvious that a student will have little or no chance to graduate, or when some time away from Kenyon is clearly indicated, the student's withdrawal will be required. The committee may require withdrawal for a specific period (usually one year), or in extreme cases the committee may require withdrawal indefinitely or permanently.
Copies of letters concerning actions taken by the Committee on Academic Standards are placed in the students' folders in the registrar's and dean of students' offices. Summary records of the committee's actions are maintained by the dean for academic advising and support.
A note of the committee's actions is kept as a part of the student's permanent academic record. The fact that a student has received a letter of warning or has been placed on conditional enrollment does not appear on copies of the student's transcript that are sent from the College. A student advised to withdraw or required to withdraw from Kenyon is given the opportunity to complete a Declaration of Withdrawal form. By so doing, the student will have voluntarily withdrawn from the College, and his or her transcript will so indicate. If a completed Declaration of Withdrawal form is not submitted by a student who is required to withdraw, the student's transcript will indicate "Required to withdraw: date."
College policy requires instructors to report academic deficiencies in the cases of first-year students, students on conditional enrollment, and others with deficient grades at the midpoint of each semester. A deficiency is defined as a C- level of performance or below. In addition, instructors are encouraged to report deficiencies for any student in case there is some cause for concern about the student's coursework.
Progress reports are sent to the student's advisor and to the dean for academic advising and support. The advisor and/or dean for academic advising and support use these reports to counsel the student. Ordinarily, no action is taken by the committee at the time these midterm reports are submitted. At the end of each semester, instructors are required to comment in cases where they report a grade of C- or below. Progress reports are read by committee members and considered in their deliberations at the end of each semester.
Withdrawal from the College. Students who plan to leave Kenyon for the remainder of a semester, or for a semester or more (except students studying under the auspices of the Center for Global Engagement), or permanently, must declare their intentions to the dean of students or the dean for academic advising and support by completing a Declaration of Withdrawal form.
Grades and credit. Grades and credit for students withdrawing from the College depend on the time of the withdrawal. Here is the policy:
- Before the end of the Thanksgiving vacation: W (no credit or grade) in all courses.
- Between Thanksgiving and the end of the first semester: W in all year courses*; F in all semester courses, unless the courses have been completed (in which case grade and credit are recorded), or unless the deans find that the withdrawal is justified (e.g., because of illness), in which case WI is recorded.
- Between the beginning of the second semester and the end of the spring vacation: W in all year courses* and all second-semester courses.
- After spring vacation but before the end of the second semester: F in all courses* unless the deans find that the withdrawal is justified.
* Students who complete the first semester of year courses may request credit for that work. Half credit is granted if approved by both the instructor and the student's advisor. The grade assigned is usually, but not necessarily, the tentative grade. Instructors may require a final exam. In the absence of such a request for half credit, W is recorded as above.
Students in good standing may request a personal leave of absence (withdrawal) from a dean and, if granted, take time off from the College. Such time away, often as a period of reassessment and self evaluation, can prove to be educationally beneficial. A leave may be granted for not less than one semester and not more than one year. Students who take personal leaves of absence are readmitted with the approval of the Dean of Students Office and are expected to complete the degree without further interruption.
Students in good standing may request a personal leave of absence (withdrawal) from a dean at any time. If a student is granted a personal leave of absence after the semester begins, but before the end of 10 class days, the transcript will list the date of withdrawal as the day before the term began. If a personal leave is allowed after the end of the 10th class day but before the end of the 12th week of the term, the transcript will list the date of withdrawal and the courses in progress, each with a "W". If a personal leave is granted after the 12th week of the term, the transcript will show grades received, unless the student petitions for WIs (withdrawal due to illness).
Students with medical and/or psychological conditions that warrant withdrawal from the College may request leaves of absence from a dean at any time and, if granted, withdraw from the College. Verification of the condition, along with a recommendation for the leave, must be provided from an appropriate healthcare professional.
If a student withdraws for medical and/or psychological reasons, the transcript will indicate the date of withdrawal and WIs for each course.
Readmission is contingent upon the medical condition being sufficiently resolved or managed successfully so as to enable the student to resume successful progress toward the degree. While on leave, students are expected to seek necessary or appropriate medical attention and to document the steps taken and progress made. This information will be requested and made part of the readmission process along with assessments from appropriate medical and/or psychological professionals. Additional information may be sought and might include a personal interview and input from family members, employers, or others who interacted with the student while on leave. In cases where there has been significant psychiatric or psychotherapeutic involvement, the student may be required to meet with a member of the College's psychological counseling staff in advance of readmission and/or as a condition of continued enrollment. Final decisions about readmission are made by the Dean of Students Office.
The College may require the withdrawal of a student who has any illness or condition or who exhibits any behavior that might endanger or be damaging to the health or welfare of the student or any other member of the College community, or whose illness, behavior or condition is such that it cannot be managed effectively while the student is enrolled. A student who leaves the College under such circumstances normally will be required to spend at least one academic year away before readmission is considered. Any student who is on conditional enrollment or any other sanction through the Committee on Academic Standards at the time of withdrawal must also have her or his readmission reviewed by CAS prior to return.
Kenyon College endeavors to provide a safe and orderly environment, insofar as possible, in which all students are able to pursue their academic and social development. In so doing, it reserves the right to require a mandatory withdrawal of any student whose behavior or lack of participation or contribution is incompatible with minimal standards of academic performance, social adjustment, or safety. Students for whom this policy applies include:
- Students who are deemed to be a danger to themselves or others. "Danger to self or to others" is here defined as any danger of suicide, self-mutilation, accident, or assault substantially above the norm for college students that necessitates extraordinary measures to monitor, supervise, treat, protect, or restrain the student to ensure his or her safety and/or the safety of those around him or her.
- Students whose behavior is severely disruptive. "Disruptive" is here defined to include but is not limited to behavior that causes significant property damage or directly and substantially impedes the rightful activity of others. It also includes behavior that causes emotional, psychological, or physical distress to fellow students and/or employees substantially above that normally experienced in daily life. Such disruption may be in the form of a single behavior incident or somewhat less severe but persistent disruption over a more extended period.
- Students (a) who refuse or are unable to comply with recommended or required assessment and/or treatment, or (b) whose behavior or physical condition is likely to deteriorate to the point of permanent disability, disfigurement, impairment, dysfunction, or death without such assessment and/or treatment. Where standard assessment is impossible, indirect behavioral observations will constitute the basis for such judgment.
- Students accused of violating Kenyon policies, procedures and regulations and who either: (a) lack the psychological capacity to respond to judicial charges, or (b) could not understand the wrongfulness of the behavior at the time of the offense.
Process for Mandatory Withdrawal
- Implementation of this policy shall be as timely and expeditious as possible, while careful to avoid undue haste. It should be noted, that in some situations-particularly those in which a mandatory withdrawal is involved-it is neither in the student's interests nor the College's to delay emergency action.
- The Dean of Students or his or her designee, may impose a mandatory withdrawal according to applicable criteria noted above.
- The Dean or designee shall be responsible for advising the student of the mandatory withdrawal, and the processes for an informal hearing to resolve the student's status. When feasible, the student shall be afforded the opportunity to review with the Dean or designee the rationale for the leave/withdrawal. The student may have support persons present. Such persons include parents or medical/mental health professionals familiar with the student's case. In no event may the student be accompanied by legal counsel at such informal hearing or related meeting to review the rationale for the leave/withdrawal.
- If a mandatory withdrawal is imposed, an informal hearing to determine the student's status will be scheduled by the Dean or designee. The time of this hearing shall be set to permit ample time for information gathering related to the student's illness, condition or behavior. This may necessitate and include an indefinite period of leave/withdrawal pending such information gathering.
Students subject to a mandatory withdrawal shall be accorded an informal hearing before the Dean of Students or the Dean's designee.
- The Dean, or designee, shall convene the meeting. Individuals deemed necessary to present a case for leave/withdrawal or to respond to questions by the student may be included.
- The student may be accompanied by advocates or support persons, such as a family member, faculty or staff, or a health and/or mental health professional.
- The informal hearing shall be non-adversarial and conversational. The Dean or designee will lead the meeting, and may exclude any person who disrupts the meeting. The hearing may be conducted in the absence of the student if the student has been given sufficient notice.
- The decision of the Dean or designee shall be rendered within a reasonable period of time, and if leave/withdrawal is indicated, the written decision shall include the rationale therefore and the process by which the student may request reinstatement. The decision will be final and not subject to appeal.
Return from a Mandatory Withdrawal
A student subject to a mandatory withdrawal must request an informal hearing when s/he desires to return to the College. Information will be provided at that time as to the requirements for reenrollment.
Financial arrangements. Students who withdraw during the academic year are subject to tuition charges as stated in the Fees and Charges booklet. The general fee, other fees, and book charges are not refundable. Rebates for board may be granted on a weekly prorated basis.
Students who have withdrawn from the College and wish to be readmitted must write a letter to Chris Kennerly, associate dean of students, requesting readmission to Kenyon. This letter should document how the student has spent his or her time away from the College and the resources he or she has in place to facilitate success. A student who withdrew during or at the end of a semester in which he or she had been warned of academic deficiencies, a student who withdrew while on conditional enrollment, or a student who was advised or required to withdraw from the College will have his or her letter of request referred to the Committee on Academic Standards. The committee will consider the request for readmission and make a recommendation to the dean of students. Students who have withdrawn for medical reasons will typically be expected to provide specific documentation from a physician or other medical provider regarding readiness to return to the full-time demands of the Kenyon experience. This documentation will be reviewed by the staff in the Health and Counseling Center, who will make a recommendation to the dean of students. If the student is readmitted, the committee or the dean may impose special conditions on the returning student's enrollment.
Students who were on conditional enrollment or who were advised or required to withdraw will typically be expected to spend up to one year away from the College. During the year, it is advisable that students complete at least one semester of full-time coursework at an accredited college or university and achieve grades of B or better in courses that will transfer back to Kenyon. Students are encouraged to consult their faculty advisors or the registrar to best understand the types of courses Kenyon will accept.
Transfer of credit. Students who enroll at other institutions during their absence from Kenyon must so note in their letter of application. Official transcripts of such work must be sent directly to Kenyon's registrar. The registrar may grant Kenyon transfer credit for work successfully completed (with grades of C-- or better) elsewhere during the student's absence in accordance with the regulations guiding the transfer of credit.
Certain study-abroad programs and courses are explicitly prohibited for transfer credit. Students who fail to follow College procedures regarding off-campus study, or who withdraw from Kenyon in order to circumvent existing College regulations regarding off-campus study, will not receive credit for work done off campus.
Readmission deadlines. Students applying for the fall semester should complete the process of submitting letters and supoorting information to the dean of students before March 1 (October 1). Students must be formally readmitted and pay the advance registration deposit (due March 15 or October 15) to participate in the housing selection process and in the enrollment for courses. Students who are filing appeals should submit letters and other supporting materials by Decomber 15 (in order to return in the spring) or May 15 (n order to return in the fall).
Financial Arrangements. Students who return to campus are subject to tuition charges as stated in the Fees and Charges booklet.