Jul 21, 2024  
2021-2022 Undergraduate Catalog 
2021-2022 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Academic Standards

Academic Policies:

Credit Hour and Grading:

Academic Standing:

Academic Integrity

Academic Integrity Policy (Philosophy Statement)

York College of Pennsylvania, as an institution of higher education, serves to promote and sustain the creation, acquisition, and dissemination of knowledge.  In order to fulfill this purpose, an environment of integrity, dependability and honesty must be maintained by all members of the York College community.  Without a foundation based on intellectual honesty and integrity, the very ability to uphold the academic endeavors that York College strives to pursue is inhibited.  

The Spartan Oath embodies the expectation that all members of the York College community foster an environment of integrity and responsibility.  Recognize that adhering to an ethical standard of honesty leads to professional, mature and responsible citizens, and enables society at large to trust our scholarship, research, and conferred degrees. Thus, each member of the York College community must be truthful, honest, personally and professionally responsible, and respect the intellectual contributions of others.

Definition of Academic Dishonesty

Engaging in academic dishonesty is a violation of the school’s academic integrity policy and is not tolerated at York College.  Examples of academic dishonesty include, but are not limited to, cheating on assignments or examinations, plagiarism (i.e. passing someone else’s words or ideas off as one’s own without proper attribution), improper paraphrasing, fabricating research, falsifying academic documents, handing in material completed for another course, and submitting work not done independently (unless part of an explicitly collaborative project).

Academic Integrity Procedure - Reporting

  • When a faculty member believes a student has violated the Academic Integrity Policy, the faculty member is encouraged to discuss the incident in person with the student promptly, identifying the sanction he or she is going to apply.  The faculty member should then reiterate the charge and sanction in writing to the student.
  • The faculty member has full discretion to determine a suitable sanction, such as a “0” on the assignment in question, up to a course grade of “0”.  In the case of an egregious first offense, the faculty member may request that the Student Welfare Committee conduct a hearing and determine a sanction, which may involve academic probation, suspension, or dismissal from the College.
  • The faculty member has ten days from the written notification to the student to report the incident to the Department Chair and Associate Provost of Student Success. The faculty member must submit as part of the report:  1) a detailed description of the incident, 2) a course syllabus, 3) an assignment sheet or assignment instructions, 4) the assignment in question, and 5) supporting documentation, such as copied material.  The documentation will be kept on file in the student’s permanent record.
  • Students cannot withdraw from a course in which they have been accused of academic dishonesty, until the accusation is withdrawn by the faculty member, or is overturned by the Student Welfare Committee or the Associate Provost of Student Success.

Academic Integrity Procedure - Appeals

  • Students who believe they have been unjustly charged or sanctioned have ten days after receiving written notification from their instructor regarding the incident to file an appeal with the Student Welfare Committee by submitting a formal letter to the Associate Provost of Student Success.
  • If an appeal is filed, the Student Welfare Committee will schedule a hearing which includes inviting the student and faculty member to attend to provide additional information or clarity regarding the incident.  The Student Welfare Committee will then review the charge and/or sanction.
  • If the Associate Provost of Student Success determines that the incident of academic dishonesty is the student’s second or subsequent offense, he or she will provide written documentation to the student, faculty member, and Department Chair.  The Student Welfare Committee will automatically conduct a hearing to review the charge and decide on an appropriate sanction:  academic probation, suspension or dismissal from the College.
  • After the hearing, the student, faculty member, Department Chair, and Associate Provost of Student Success will receive written notification of the Student Welfare Committee’s decision.  Students who are unsatisfied with the decision may submit a second and final written appeal to the Associate Provost of Student Success within 72 hours of receiving notification of the Student Welfare Committee’s decision.  All decisions made by the Associate Provost of Student Success will be final.

Communication Standards

York College recognizes the importance of effective communication in all disciplines and careers. Therefore students are expected to competently analyze, synthesize, organize, and articulate course material in papers, examinations, and presentations. In addition, students should know and use communication skills current to their field of study, recognize the need for revision as part of their writing process, and employ standard conventions of English usage in both writing and speaking. Students may be asked to further revise assignments that do not demonstrate effective use of these communication skills.

Attendance Policy

Students are expected to attend all scheduled classes. Class attendance policy, and the impact of class absences on the course grade, will be determined by each course instructor. The class will be informed in writing within the syllabus whether attendance is used as a criterion in evaluating student performance. The student is responsible for all work of the course unless specifically exempted by the instructor. It is recognized that some absences may be necessary or unavoidable. The student should inform the instructor of the reason for the absence and make up any work that is missed. The responsibility for initiating action to make up work missed in the classroom rests with the student.


The course instructor determines how students will be evaluated in individual courses and informs the students at the beginning of the semester in the course syllabus. Final examinations, held during the final examination week, are generally designed to cover the materials discussed during the semester’s coursework. Final exams are generally two hours in length for each course and are administered through a special final exam schedule published each semester. If a student has three or more final exams scheduled on a given day, he or she should contact one of the course instructors to schedule another time during final examination week to take the exam.

Credit Hour Definition

Students enroll in courses, but requirements for degrees are typically stated in terms of credits.  Credits for each course are stated in the course description portion of the Catalog and the Schedule of Classes.  The prototypical lecture course is worth 3 credits, but courses vary widely in their credit values.  Bachelor’s degrees require at least 120 credits and Associates require at least 60.

The amount of work a student should expect to spend studying for a particular course depends on numerous factors including his or her prior preparation, but the expectation is that the typical student will need to spend at least 45 hours of work per credit assigned to the course.  The actual requirements of a course are stated in terms of “learning outcomes” (knowledge or skills that must be learned to pass the course), and the outcomes for any given course are set by faculty of the College based on their knowledge of the discipline and their experience with how much work the typical student will have to put in to acquire those outcomes.  Learning outcomes are specified in the paperwork used to certify a course for instruction at the College and should be stated on the syllabus for each section of each course.

Typically 3-credit courses are scheduled for three class periods of 50 minutes or two periods of 75 minutes, but other combinations are not uncommon (for example, one class period per week of 165 minutes).  Some types of courses typically require more scheduled class time per credit, for example laboratory, clinical, physical education, or fine arts courses.   Thus, courses are most often scheduled so that students have direct contact with faculty for approximately a third of the time that students are expected to spend acquiring the course outcomes, though this will vary depending on faculty expectations for the best use of student time for learning.

Academic Calendar:  The academic calendar at YCP is divided into three semesters:  fall, spring, and summer.  While the location of holidays may require slight differences from semester to semester, the fall and spring semesters are scheduled for 15 weeks (excluding exams) and there are multiple schedules for classes offered during summer terms, with the most common lasting 5 or 3 weeks.  Since the amount of work required for a course is determined by the learning outcomes and not the length of the term, students can expect to spend correspondingly more time studying (in and out of class) per week than they would when taking the same course during a 15-week semester.  Thus, a course schedule for 3 hours a week during a 15-week term will likely be scheduled for 9 hours per week during a 5-week term or for 15 hours per week during a 3-week term, and expected homework time should be multiplied by the same factor.

Grade Scale

Grade Description
4 Superior: This grade denotes accomplishment that is truly distinctive and decidedly outstanding. It represents a high degree of attainment and is a grade that demands evidence of originality, independent work, an open and discriminating mind, and completeness and accuracy of knowledge, as well as an effective use of the knowledge.
3.5 Excellent: This grade denotes mastery of the subject matter. It represents excellence in many aspects of the work, such as initiative, serious and determined industry, the ability to organize work, the ability to comprehend and retain subject matter and to apply it to new problems and contexts.
3 Good: This grade denotes considerable understanding of the subject matter. It represents a strong grasp and clear understanding of the subject matter and the ability to comprehend and retain course content, but inconsistently applies it to new problems and contexts.
2.5 Above Average: This grade denotes above average understanding of the subject matter. It represents a limited ability to comprehend and retain course content and apply it to new problems and contexts.
2 Average: This grade denotes average understanding of the subject matter. It represents the grade that may be expected of a student of normal ability who gives the work a reasonable amount of time and effort.
1 Below Average: This grade denotes below average understanding of the subject matter. It represents work that falls below the acceptable standard.
0 Failure: This grade denotes inadequate understanding of the subject matter. It signifies an absence of meaningful engagement with the subject matter and that the student is not capable of doing or understanding the work or has made little or no effort to do so.
INC Incomplete: This grade denotes that the coursework has not been completed and an extension has been granted by the instructor.
W Withdrawal: This grade denotes that the student withdrew from the course by the deadline.
P Pass: This grade denotes passing in special Pass/Fail courses.
F Fail: This grade denotes failure in special Pass/Fail courses.
AU Audit: This grade indicates that a student is registered for a course but receives no credit.

Grade Point Average

The grade point average (GPA) is computed by multiplying the credit hours of each course by the respective grade earned; this equals “quality points.” The total number of “quality points” is then divided by the total number of “GPA hours” as shown on the transcript.

Example: A student carrying 16 credit hours and receiving for his/her first term’s work the following grades would have a GPA of 2.69.

  Course Credits/Grade   Quality Points  
  1st course   3 × 2 = 6  
  2nd course   3 × 3.5 = 10.5  
  3rd course   3 × 2 = 6  
  4th course   3 × 2.5 = 7.5  
  5th course   3 × 3 = 9  
  Physical Education   1 × 4 = 4  
      16 credits   43 Quality Points  
  Grade Point Average (GPA) = 43/16 = 2.69     

Incomplete Work

A student may request an incomplete grade for a course when illness, family tragedy, or similar extenuating circumstances make it impossible for the student to complete the remaining requirements of the course by the end of the semester. The student should contact the course instructor with this request. At the instructor’s discretion, a grade of “INC” may be granted if the student has completed a substantial portion of all course requirements, is in good academic standing in the course when the incomplete is granted, and if the instructor believes the remaining coursework can be completed during the defined period. All incomplete work must be completed within 60 days from the last day of finals in the semester in which the coursework is taken or the student will automatically receive a grade of “0.” It is the student’s responsibility to contact the instructor and make all the arrangements to complete the coursework within the given time frame.

Pass/Fail Option

York College students may take designated courses on a pass/fail basis. Those courses offered with the pass/fail option will be indicated on line through the YCPWeb.

Students matriculated prior to Fall 2015 may register for a maximum of two pass/fail courses per academic year with a maximum of eight such courses in a student’s undergraduate program. Students may not take courses required in their major or minor field on a pass/fail basis and may not use pass/fail courses to complete General Education requirements (that is, Common Core and Area Distribution Requirements) even if courses are offered in that manner.

Students matriculated beginning Fall 2015, can not take any of the General Education elements (First Year Seminar, Foundations, Disciplinary Perspectives, Constellation) on a pass fail basis.

In addition, a student registered for a 12-credit course load with three credits of pass/fail coursework will not be eligible for Dean’s List recognition.

Auditing a Course

Students or members of the community who wish to audit a course will be accommodated after full-time students have registered for courses. Regulations affecting auditors are: no attendance record is maintained; no assignments are made or papers corrected; no examinations are taken; no course credits are received; and a nominal tuition charge will be made (See Financial Information  section). Students cannot audit lab courses, studio courses, language courses, non-credit courses, Independent Study, or internships.

Repeating a Course

Any student who has taken a course at York College will be permitted to repeat this course. While both grades will appear on the student’s permanent record, the quality points earned on the basis of the higher grade will be used in the  computation of the cumulative grade point average. Since grades and quality points are not transferred from other institutions, a course may only be repeated at York College.

Warning Grades

Between the seventh and eighth weeks of the fall and spring semesters, students will receive feedback from their professors about their current class performance.  Using Spartan Success Network (SSN), instructors will complete the Student Performance Progress Survey to identify students who should get a Warning Grade (flag) or recognition for Outstanding Academic Performance (kudos).  This information is recorded in SSN and sent directly to the students’ YCP email addresses; each warning grade flag is also documented on students’ academic transcripts as a “U.”  At YCP, a warning grade indicates that a student’s current class grade is less than 2.0 and students who receive them should meet with the instructor of the course and their academic advisor for guidance in improving the grade.

Final Grades

York College issues final grades at the end of each semester and summer session and these grades are posted on line and appear directly on the student’s transcript on MyYCP.

Grade Appeal

A student contemplating filing a grade appeal understands that consistent with the practice of academic freedom, professors bear responsibility for assigning course grades in accordance with professionally acceptable standards that have been communicated to students verbally or in writing. Students who believe that their final grade in a course does not accurately reflect their performance should appeal their grade directly to the course instructor. A student can appeal a grade until the end of the following semester. Following discussion with the instructor, the student may request a review of his or her grade by the Department Chair if the student believes his or her concern has not been adequately addressed.

Dean’s List Honors

At the end of every fall and spring semester, the Provost will publish a list of students for Dean’s List recognition. To be eligible for this honor, a student must be registered for at least 12 academic credit hours and earn a semester GPA of 3.50 or higher. Pass/fail courses will not be counted as part of the 12-credit course load required for this recognition.

Good Academic Standing

To be in good academic standing, a student must maintain a minimum of a 2.0 cumulative GPA. Students whose cumulative GPA is less than 2.0 are subject to academic probation, academic suspension, or dismissal from the College.

Unsatisfactory Academic Work

Students’ academic work will be considered unsatisfactory whenever their cumulative GPA is less than 2.0; as a result, they will be placed on academic probation. The academic performance of all students, full and part-time, will be reviewed against this standard at the conclusion of each semester to determine whether students in academic difficulty should be allowed to continue on probation, be suspended for one year, or be dismissed from the College.

For students whose cumulative GPA is less than 2.0, the following academic actions will occur:

  1. A student who has attempted a total of at least 12 credit hours at York College and whose cumulative GPA is less than 2.0 will be placed on academic probation.
  2. A student placed on academic probation will have two semesters to raise the cumulative GPA to meet the academic standard.
  3. A student placed on academic probation who earns a cumulative 2.0 GPA will be placed on good academic standing.
  4. Any student who does not achieve a 2.0 cumulative GPA following two semesters on probation will be placed on academic suspension for one year.

Academic Probation

Students placed on academic probation may continue their enrollment at the College, but will be limited to a maximum of 15 credit hours while on probation and will be required to participate in an academic support program. If the student attains a cumulative GPA of 2.0, the student will be returned to good academic standing. Students who fail to meet the standard within two semesters will be placed on academic suspension.

Academic Suspension

Students placed on academic suspension are prohibited from enrolling in any course at York College for one full year. In order to resume enrollment at York College, academically suspended students must apply for readmission to the College. Students who are readmitted will be on academic probation with a maximum limit of 15 credits and will be required to participate in an academic support program. Readmitted students will have two semesters to attain a 2.0 GPA. Students who do not attain a cumulative 2.0 GPA within two semesters will be dismissed from the College.

Academic Dismissal

A student who is academically suspended for a second time is considered academically dismissed. Students dismissed from the College are eligible to transfer their credits to another college or university to complete a degree, but they are no longer permitted to enroll in courses at York College.

Appeals of Academic Action

The Student Welfare Committee of the Academic Senate is responsible for making recommendations regarding matters of an academic nature, including criteria for admission, probation and suspension of students, and a review of cases that cannot be properly handled by fixed rules. The Committee may also make recommendations concerning disciplinary action when academic matters are involved, if requested to do so by the Provost. The Student Welfare Committee will review probation and suspension appeals following the fall and spring semesters. Students must submit their appeal in writing to the Committee following the schedule described in the notice of probation or suspension. Students submitting written appeals may also schedule an appointment to appear at their hearing and present their petition to the Student Welfare Committee in person. The Student Welfare Committee will also consider written student petitions regarding other academic matters at their regular meetings during the academic year. Students should address their petitions to: Chair, Student Welfare Committee; c/o Office of Academic Affairs.