Jun 24, 2024  
2024-2025 Undergraduate Catalog 
    
2024-2025 Undergraduate Catalog

Academic Standards


Academic Policies:

Credit Hour and Grading:

Academic Standing:

Academic Integrity Policy

Philosophy

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.

ARTICLE I: DEFINITIONS

The following definitions apply to each use of the terms defined within the academic integrity policies.

  1. The term “College” means York College of Pennsylvania.
  2. The term “student” includes:
    1. All persons taking courses at the College full-time, part-time, undergraduate, graduate, guest, or professional studies.
  3. The term “faculty member” means any person hired by the College to conduct classroom or teaching activities or who is otherwise considered by the College to be a member of its faculty.
  4. The term “College official” includes any person employed by the College, performing assigned administrative or professional responsibilities. 
  5. The term “member of the College community” includes any person who is a student, faculty member, College official or any other person employed by the College.
  6. The term “hearing” means a part of Academic Integrity Hearings that entails the presentation of pertinent information, evaluation and assignment of credibility and weight of that information, and determination whether the preponderance of the information leads to a finding of responsibility for an academic integrity violation and/or a finding of agreement with the assigned level of the violation. Fundamental fairness affords the opportunity for the accused student to appear (or not) and present pertinent information (or not).
  7. The term “Academic Integrity Hearing” means the proceeding convened to review charges and information to ascertain whether a violation has occurred and/or to review the assigned level of the violation.
  8. The term “Academic Integrity Hearing Board” or “hearing board” means the group of individuals assigned by the Chair of the Student Welfare Committee to review charges and information to ascertain whether a violation has occurred and/or to review the assigned level of the violation.  
  9. The term “may” is used in the permissive sense.
  10. The term “preponderance of the information” is the standard by which a finding of responsibility for charge(s) of violation(s) of academic integrity is ascertained Academic Integrity Hearing Board. “The preponderance of the information” means that the information presented makes it appear that it is more likely than not that the charged violation occurred.
  11. The term “adviser” is defined as support person to a student involved in academic integrity proceedings.
    1. Only the responding student is permitted to have an adviser related to allegations of violations of this policy, and the adviser must be a College official.
  12. The term “Proceeding” is defined as a scheduled Academic Integrity Hearing.
  13. The term “academic integrity violation” or “violation” refers to an instance of academic dishonesty. 
  14. The term “sanction” refers to a consequence to the student for academic integrity violations that is assigned by the charging faculty member and/or as a result of accruing points as described in Article III. 
    1. Sanctions issued for violations of the Academic Integrity Policy are considered academic sanctions.
  15. The term “academic dishonesty” includes, but is not limited to:
    1. Cheating on Assignments or Exams/Quizzes
      1. Getting assistance from any person besides the Instructor or the Academic Support Center/Writing Center (unless explicitly approved by the Instructor).
      2. Copying from another student’s exam, quiz, or assignment.
      3. Using unapproved aids (e.g., cheat sheets, notes, books, calculators, or electronic devices such as smart watches, computers, smart phones, or other technologies).
      4. Accessing and taking exams or quizzes using unapproved modalities.
      5. Using test banks, answer keys, problem solutions, artwork, music, code, or any other materials not produced by the student.
      6. Purchasing test banks, answer keys, problem solutions, essays, artwork, music, code, or any other materials not produced by the student.
      7. Requesting (or hiring) another person to complete an exam, quiz, or assignment.
    2. Plagiarism (i.e. passing someone else’s words or ideas off as one’s own without proper attribution)
      1. Improper paraphrasing (i.e. patchwriting).
      2. Failure to use quotation marks to indicate use of another’s words.
      3. Failure to attribute quotations, ideas, images, artwork, music, code, or other media.
      4. Failure to include references.  
    3. Fabricating Research
      1. Inventing citations/references.
      2. Providing citations/references that do not contain the ideas/quotes in the assignment.
      3. Generating fictitious lab results.
      4. Inventing data for a research project, paper, or other assignment.
    4. Falsifying Academic Documents
      1. Forging a faculty member’s or other college official’s signature, whether on paper or digitally.
      2. Impersonating a faculty member or other college official, whether in person or digitally.
      3. Falsifying reports pertaining to internship, coop, clinical, or volunteer experiences.
      4. Inaccurately reporting or recording internship, coop, clinical, or volunteer hours.
    5. Self-Plagiarism: handing in material completed previously by the student for another course (unless the Instructors of both courses are aware and explicitly approve).
    6. Unauthorized Collaboration: submitting work not completed independently (unless part of an explicitly collaborative project).
    7. Facilitating Academic Dishonesty
      1. Providing unauthorized assistance.
      2. Allowing another student to copy from an exam, quiz, or assignment.
      3. Sharing assignments or exams with other students.
      4. Taking an exam or quiz for another student.
      5. Completing an assignment or paper for another student.
      6. Sharing test banks, answer keys, problem solutions, essays, artwork, music, code, or any other materials.
      7. Academic integrity violations may be reported for students who facilitate academic dishonesty but are not in the course in which the primary violation occurred.

ARTICLE II: ACADEMIC INTEGRITY AUTHORITY

  1. The Associate Provost for Student Success is designated by the College to be responsible for the administration of the Academic Integrity Policy. Records of violations and appeal outcomes are maintained by the office of the Associate Provost for Student Success.  The Student Welfare Committee of the Academic Senate (SWC) is charged with holding Academic Integrity Hearings.
  2. Academic Integrity Hearing Board
    1. Composition
      1. The hearing board will consist of a non-voting Chair (typically the Chair of the SWC), who will run the hearing, four (4) faculty members of the SWC and one (1) student member of the SWC. 
      2. The Chair of the SWC will appoint the members of the hearing board, accounting for the students’ reasonable objections (if any) to SWC members serving on the board (as described in Article IV.B.7).
  3. Outcomes
    1. Absent an appeal pursuant to the process described in Article IV, decisions made by the Academic Integrity Hearing Board will be final.

ARTICLE III: ACADEMIC INTEGRITY VIOLATION LEVELS AND SUGGESTED SANCTIONS

  1. Violations vary in severity.  Faculty have full discretion to assign the level of violation and any sanction up to and including a course grade of 0.  Faculty are required to identify the level of violation and sanction when reporting a violation to the Associate Provost for Student Success.  When determining the level of violation and sanction, faculty members are encouraged to use the table below, which defines 4 levels of violations, with examples and suggested sanctions. 

 Level

Characteristics

Examples
(Non-exhaustive)

Suggested Sanctions
(Non-exhaustive)

Minor

A violation that occurs due to inexperience or lack of knowledge about academic integrity.

A minor violation on an assignment or quiz.

A violation that impacts a minor portion of the course grade.

 

Minor instances of plagiarism within a larger assignment.

Significant plagiarism in a minor assignment.

Cheating, self-plagiarism, unauthorized collaboration, or facilitating academic dishonesty on a minor assignment.

Written warning.

Redo the assignment.

Completion of alternative assignment.

Referral to the Writing Center.

Reduction in assignment grade.

Zero on assignment.

Moderate

A violation that is intentional and/or negligent.

A moderate violation on an assignment, quiz, or exam.

A violation that affects a moderate portion of the course grade.

Moderate instances of plagiarism within a larger assignment.

Significant plagiarism in a moderate assignment.

Cheating, self-plagiarism, unauthorized collaboration, or facilitating academic dishonesty on a moderate assignment.

Reduction in assignment grade.

Zero on assignment.

Reduction in course grade.

Major

A repeat violation in a course after being previously warned.

A major violation on an assignment, quiz, or exam.

A violation that affects a major portion of the course grade.

A violation that impacts a thesis or capstone project. 

Fabricating research.

Major instances of plagiarism within a larger assignment.

Plagiarism, cheating, self-plagiarism, unauthorized collaboration, or facilitating academic dishonesty on a major assignment, thesis, or capstone project.

Zero on assignment.

Zero in the course.

Egregious

A violation that may potentially harm the college.

A violation that violates laws.

A violation that also violates the student code of conduct.

Falsifying academic documents.

Having someone else complete a course or thesis. 

Theft of exams, quizzes, or assignments (and/or answer keys).

Zero in the course.

Dismissal from the program (in consultation with Department Chair & Dean).

 

  1. Each level of violation is assigned a number of points that are added to the student’s point total:
    1. Minor = 1
    2. Moderate = 2
    3. Major = 4
    4. Egregious = 8
  2. Students accrue points over the course of their YCP education – points do not expire until a degree is conferred (e.g., students who graduate with an undergraduate degree and return for a graduate degree have their points reset to 0).  As students reach certain point levels, additional sanctions (in addition to course sanctions) are assessed.  If one violation results in a student earning sufficient points to achieve multiple additional sanctions, the most severe is applied (for instance, if a student’s first violation is egregious, they are suspended for two semesters).
    1. 2 Points = Required to Complete the Online Academic Integrity Module
    2. 4 Points = Academic Integrity Probation for One Semester
    3. 6 Points = Suspension for One Semester
    4. 8 Points = Suspension for Two Semesters
    5. 10 Points = Dismissal
  3. Students are notified of additional sanctions by the Chair of the SWC (or designee) via a letter sent to the student’s official College email address, copying the Associate Provost of Student Success and the Registrar’s Office (for sanctions of probation, suspension, or dismissal).  The letter will include due dates for completion of the online Academic Integrity Module or the requirements for Academic Integrity Probation.  Failure to complete requirements by the due date(s) will result in the next most severe sanction being levied for the following semester. 
  4. Academic Integrity Probation is administered by the SWC and typically involves completing the online Academic Integrity Module, writing and submitting a paper reflecting on the importance of integrity, and meeting with an academic coach two to three times before and during the semester of probation.  The Chair of the SWC (or designee) may, at their sole discretion, alter the required activities.  For instance, a student who has issues with paraphrasing may be assigned to visit a writing center tutor in lieu of an academic coach. 
  5. A one-semester suspension is applied to either the fall or spring semester, while a two-semester suspension applies to both the fall and spring semesters.  A fall semester suspension levied prior to the beginning of the summer term also applies to the summer.  A spring semester suspension levied prior to the beginning of the intersession also includes the intersession.
  6. Students cannot withdraw from a course in which they have been reported for an academic integrity violation, unless the report is withdrawn by the faculty member, or is overturned by the Student Welfare Committee or the Associate Provost of Student Success.
  7. Students whose initial violations occurred prior to the 2023-2024 academic year will be given the choice of whether to proceed under this policy or the previous policy.

ARTICLE IV: ACADEMIC INTEGRITY PROCEDURES

  1. Overview
    1. All students participating in academic integrity proceedings can expect honest communication, equitable application of all processes and procedures, and to be treated with respect as a member of the College community.
    2. A student may expect the following:
      1. To be provided written notice of all charges.
      2. To be provided an opportunity to review all information that supports charges prior to the academic integrity proceedings.
      3. To be provided an opportunity to contest all charges of alleged violations of academic integrity in a hearing.
      4. To be provided an opportunity to request an appeal of outcomes determined through academic integrity proceedings.
  2. Academic Integrity Procedures: Reporting
    1. Any faculty member or College official may file a complaint alleging a student violated the academic integrity policy.
      1. Faculty are required to report, via the process outlined here, all violations for which they impose sanctions.
      2. The faculty member must make initial contact with the student (to request a meeting) within five (5) business days after the discovery of the violation. 
      3. Students may be charged with violations that occurred in past semesters so long as they remain a student at the College and have not been conferred a degree.  Students who have been conferred a degree cannot be charged with violations that occurred during studies towards that degree. 
    2. When a faculty member believes a student has violated the Academic Integrity Policy, the faculty member must attempt to meet with the student involved, whether in-person or via videoconference. Faculty may request a meeting by speaking to the student privately or sending an email to the student’s official College email account. During the meeting, the faculty member should explain the violation and the sanction to the student, providing the student a chance to share their perspective. Faculty must show the supporting evidence to the student.  If the student fails to respond within three (3) business days to a request to meet, the faculty member may proceed with the next steps in the process.   
    3. After meeting (or attempting to meet) with the student, faculty must send an email to the student’s official College email address reiterating the violation, describing the evidence, and explaining the sanction. A copy (digital or physical) of the evidence should be provided to the student.  If faculty members are concerned about FERPA violations, related regulations, or the security of the exam or assignment, they may require that all evidence be reviewed in person.
    4. The faculty member has three (3) business days from the post-meeting email notification to the student to report the incident using the official online reporting tool. The faculty member must submit as part of the report:  1) a detailed description of the incident and subsequent meeting, 2) a course syllabus, 3) an assignment sheet or assignment instructions, 4) the assignment in question, and 5) supporting documentation, such as copied material.  Upon submitting the report to the online reporting tool, an email will automatically be sent to the student’s official College email account, explaining the violation and the appeal process.
    5. Students who a) believe they have been unjustly charged with an academic integrity violation or b) believe the level assigned to the violation is unjust have five (5) business days after the report was submitted via the official online reporting tool to contest the charges to the Student Welfare Committee by submitting a formal letter via email to the Associate Provost of Student Success.
    6. If a student decides to contest the charges, they must specify whether they are a) contesting the violation or b) requesting a reduction in the level of the violation without contesting the violation.  In the first case, contesting the violation, the letter should explain why the student believes that they did not violate the academic integrity policy.  In the second case, when a student is contesting the level of the violation without contesting the violation, the letter should explain why the student believes they deserve a reduction in the level of violation. 
    7. Upon receiving notification of a contested violation or violation level, the Chair of the SWC (or designee) will offer via official College email to meet or talk with the student in person, via Zoom, or via phone call.  During that meeting, the Chair (or designee) will explain the hearing process and inform the student of the names of the members of the SWC committee and ask whether the student objects to any of the members.  The student must provide a reason for the objection.  If the Chair of the SWC (or designee) deems the explanation reasonable, that member will not serve on the hearing board.  There is no appeal process for this judgment and the constitution of the hearing board cannot be used as a basis of a future appeal of the decision reached by the hearing board.  The Chair will also review the evidence with the student, determine whether the student intends to have an adviser and/or request any witnesses, ask the student about their availability for a hearing, and entertain any other questions. If the student fails to respond within three (3) business days to a request to meet, the Chair of the SWC (or designee) may proceed with scheduling the hearing. 
    8. The Chair of the SWC (or designee) will also contact the charging instructor via official College email to notify them of the contested action.  The Chair of the SWC (or designee) will inform the instructor of the basis for the action, ask about their availability for a hearing, determine whether they intend to request any witnesses, and offer to answer any questions.
      1. In the event that the charging instructor cannot attend the hearing, they will be represented by the Department Chair or their designee.
    9. The Chair of the SWC (or designee) will contact via official College email any witnesses and request that they either 1) attend the hearing or 2) provide written or video testimony prior to the hearing.  The Chair of the SWC (or designee) may directly request relevant evidence from other parties, including but not limited to Library & Technology Services.  When possible, written testimony and additional evidence will be shared with the charging instructor and the student via official College email at least 24 hours prior to the hearing.  
    10. The Chair of the SWC (or designee) will convene the hearing board and share all information and evidence with the members of the board. 
    11. The Chair of the SWC (or designee) will make a reasonable effort to schedule the hearing for a time that is convenient to all parties.  Notice of the hearing date, time, and video conferencing link or location will be sent via official College email to the charging instructor, the student, witnesses (if any), the student’s selected adviser (if any), and the hearing board members at least two (2) business days prior to the hearing. Any requests for a delay in proceedings will be granted only upon a showing of good cause by the party requesting the delay. 
  3. Academic Integrity Procedures: Hearings
    1. During the hearing, the SWC hearing board will hear from the charging instructor and the student, then determine whether to a) uphold or overturn the charge and/or b) uphold or reduce the assigned level of violation. 
    2. The hearing board will consist of a non-voting Chair (typically the Chair of the SWC), who will run the hearing, four (4) faculty members of the SWC and one (1) student member of the SWC. 
    3. Academic Integrity Hearings will be conducted according to the following guidelines:
      1. Academic Integrity Hearings must be conducted in private. The events of a hearing are to remain confidential.  All members of the hearing board are charged with maintaining confidentiality. Failure to maintain confidentiality may subject the members of the SWC to disciplinary action.
      2. The student has the right to have the hearing recorded. All participants in the hearing, however, must agree to the recording of the hearing. The recording will be deleted if the student is not found to have committed an academic integrity violation. If the charge and/or level of violation is upheld, the recording will be saved in accordance with the relevant records retention policies of the College.
      3. In a case involving more than one student alleged of violating College policy in the same incident, the SWC, in its discretion, may permit the hearings to be conducted either separately or jointly.  Students have the right to attend the entire joint hearing, except for hearing board deliberations, including those portions that pertain only to the other charged student(s).
      4. Students may have an adviser as defined in Article I in of this policy. The adviser must be a current faculty, staff, or administrator of the College. Consistent with the philosophy of the academic integrity process being educational and not a legal process, attorneys are not permitted to serve as an adviser or attend an Academic Integrity Hearing. Similarly, parents or guardians of a student are not permitted to attend a hearing. The student is responsible for presenting his or her own information, and therefore, advisers are not permitted to speak for or to actively participate in any hearing proceedings. An adviser may only consult and advise their advisee and cannot speak directly to the SWC.
      5. A student should select an adviser whose schedule allows attendance at the scheduled date and time for the hearing because delays will not normally be allowed due to the scheduling conflicts of an adviser. An adviser is expected to respect the integrity of the conduct hearing process and act in a professional and ethical manner at all times. During the hearing process, an adviser may have access to sensitive information regarding a student record and/or incident. It is required that an adviser maintain the privacy of all students and not discuss the incident or student information outlined in the hearing outside of the necessary parties involved. The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 prohibits the unauthorized re-disclosure of student records.
      6. The student and charging faculty member may request witnesses if those individuals have information that is directly pertinent to the charge.  Witnesses are those individuals who have first-hand knowledge and are not considered individuals who serve only as character references. The Chair of the SWC (or designee) has final discretion over whether a witness is deemed to have information that is directly pertinent.  The Chair of the SWC (or designee) will try to arrange the attendance of possible witnesses who are members of the College community, if reasonably possible.  Witnesses may provide testimony in writing via email or video to the Chair of the SWC (or designee) in lieu of attending the hearing.
      7. The Chair of the hearing board has the right to remove anyone from the hearing who is disrupting the proceedings.  The hearing board may then choose to continue the hearing without that person, or to stop the hearing and reschedule it.
      8. Pertinent records, exhibits, videos, and written statements may be accepted as information for consideration in a hearing at the discretion of the hearing Chair.
      9. All procedural questions that arise during the hearing are subject to the final decision of the Chair of the hearing board.  Otherwise, any question of interpretation or application of these policies and procedures will be resolved by the Associate Provost for Student Success.
      10. The Chair of the hearing board will conduct introductions and provide a brief review of the hearing procedures. The charging faculty member will explain what occurred, presenting all available evidence and witness testimony. If the student is contesting the charge, the faculty member will explain why the occurrence is a violation of the academic integrity policy. If the student is contesting the level of violation, the faculty member will explain how they arrived at the level and why it is appropriate given the circumstances. The hearing board members and the student may ask the faculty member questions. The student will explain what occurred, presenting all available evidence and witness testimony. If the student is contesting the charge, the student will explain why the occurrence is not a violation of the academic integrity policy. If the student is contesting the level of violation, the student will explain why it is not appropriate given the circumstances. The hearing board members and the faculty member may ask the student questions. The charging faculty member and student may each make brief closing remarks before being dismissed from the hearing.
      11. The hearing board’s determination will be made on the basis of whether by a preponderance of the information a) it is more likely than not that the student violated the academic integrity policy and/or b) a different violation level is more appropriate than that assigned by the instructor. 
      12. Circumstantial evidence is admissible while evidence of prior misconduct violations by the student is not, unless the prior misconduct occurred in the same course and is the basis for assigning the level of violation. 
      13. The hearing board will deliberate and determine by majority vote (1) whether to uphold or overturn the charge of an academic integrity violation (if the student appealed the charge of a violation) and/or (2) whether to uphold or change the level of violation assigned by the instructor (if the student appealed the level of the violation).
      14. Within 24 hours of the end of the hearing, the Chair of the hearing board will send a letter to the student’s official College email account outlining the hearing board’s decision.  The Chair of the hearing board will copy the Associate Provost of Student Success and the charging instructor. 
      15. Formal rules of process, procedure, and technical rules of evidence, such as are applied in criminal or civil court, are not used in proceedings regarding alleged academic integrity violations.
      16. If a student with notice, does not appear before an Academic Integrity Hearing, the information in support of the charges, and any information that tends to dispute the charges, if known, will be presented and considered in the absence of the student.
      17. The Hearing Board will reasonably accommodate students with disabilities.
      18. The College reserves the right to conduct student conduct proceedings through remote technology, such as Zoom or a similar platform.  Any technology that the College utilizes to conduct hearings will enable the student, charging instructor, witnesses (if any), adviser (if any), and hearing board members to simultaneously see and hear each person speaking or answering questions.
      19. A student may request that his/her academic integrity record be expunged during the final semester of enrollment or after graduation. Expungement will be considered at the discretion of the Office of the Associate Provost of Student Success. Minimum criteria include the following: 1) at least one calendar year with no violations, 2) all sanction requirements have been completed. Individuals interested in having their record expunged can do so by submitting in writing a request to the Associate Provost of Student Success. Expungement Requests must meet the criteria listed above, and contain a description of why the individual wishes to have their record expunged. They should also indicate how the expungement would help the individual reach their goals and what the individual has learned from their experience through the academic integrity process. Expungement requests are granted at the discretion of the Associate Provost of Student Success.  There is no appeal process for this decision.   
  4. Academic Integrity Procedures: Appealing the Hearing Board’s Decision 
    1. Students have the right to appeal the hearing board’s decision to the Associate Provost for Student Success, whose decision on the appeal is final. The student must submit this written appeal via email within three (3) business days from the date of the resolution letter. The written notice of appeal must state what is being appealed — whether the finding of academic dishonesty or the level of the violation — and must describe in detail the grounds for the appeal.
    2. Determination of appeal will be made on the following grounds and by a preponderance of the information. The justification for all appeal grounds must be clearly outlined in the letter of appeal.
      1. Prejudicial departure from the procedures outlined.
      2. Substantial new evidence or testimony not heard.
      3. The level of violation deviates significantly from the guidelines provided and is unduly harsh or inappropriate.
    3. The entire appeal process will be completed within 60 business days from the day the charge is reported via the official online reporting tool. Records of violations and appeal outcomes are maintained by the office of the Associate Provost for Student Success in accordance with the relevant records retention policies of the College.

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.

Examinations

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

Students 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” or “INF” 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 the part of term 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 part of term including summer session. All grades are posted online and appear directly on the student’s transcript on YCPWeb. All final grades or grade changes must be completed within 60 days from the last day of the part of term.

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.