2014-2015 Graduate Catalog

Academic Policies

Student Responsibility

It is the responsibility of each student to take the initiative to plan his or her own program and to meet graduation requirements in accordance with the University’s policies described in the catalog. As changes occur, it is the student’s responsibility to remain current. Advisers will assist the student in the task.

Student Access to Records

Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, as amended, (FERPA, also known as the Buckley Amendment) is a federal law which allows students the right to inspect their education records and provides that colleges and universities will maintain the confidentiality of those records.

The law basically says that no one outside the institution shall have access to the student’s education records nor will the institution disclose other than Directory Information from those records without the student’s written consent, except in an emergency.

A copy of the full text of the law is available at the Registrar’s Office. The only non-directory information California Lutheran University releases to a third party is academic standing, released only to parents of dependent students placed on academic probation or suspension.

Campus personnel who are allowed access to educational records are those who are acting in the student’s educational interest. This group is defined by the University to include personnel in the Registrar’s Office, Enrollment and Student Life, Financial Aid, Institutional Research and university officials with a legitimate educational interest as determined by the registrar. Faculty advisers are included under the latter category.

California Lutheran University’s FERPA policy allows university employees to release Directory Information to anyone, but we will not release information on students in bulk for commercial purposes (credit card agencies, etc.). The items defined as Directory Information at California Lutheran University are the following:

  • name
  • address
  • email address
  • campus residence hall
  • campus box number
  • campus telephone number
  • date/place of birth
  • dates of attendance
  • degree date
  • degrees awarded or anticipated
  • honors
  • major
  • previous institution most recently attended
  • participation in recognized campus activities or sports
  • height and weight of members of athletic teams

Students have the right to have Directory Information withheld completely. This means we will not release any information from the education record, including the items listed above, without prior written consent. If a student withholds Directory Information, his or her name will not appear in the student directory. To request Directory Information be withheld, the student must complete a “Disclosure of Directory Information” form and file it with the Registrar’s Office. The form remains in effect through the end of the academic year and must be resubmitted annually.

Statement on Academic Freedom

It is fundamental to the health of an academic institution and ultimately to the health of a society at large that individual persons and groups of persons exercise their responsibility and freedom to search for the truth and to speak the truth as it is discovered.

In a collegial community, the corporate person of the university institution and the persons of the faculty, administration and the student body bear mutual responsibility to exercise professional competence and to extend to one another the trust and respect which foster an environment for the exercise of academic freedom.

California Lutheran University endorses the principles of academic freedom. CLU’s complete policy on academic freedom is contained in the Faculty Handbook.

Statement on Academic Honesty

The educational programs of California Lutheran University are designed and dedicated to achieve academic excellence, honesty and integrity at every level of student life. Part of the University’s dedication to academic excellence is its commitment to academic honesty.

Students, faculty, staff and administration share the responsibility for maintaining high levels of scholarship. Any behavior or act which might be defined as “deceitful” or “dishonest” will meet with appropriate disciplinary sanctions. Due to the serious nature of such an offense and the resulting questions regarding student ethics, graduate programs may assign sanctions including academic probation, suspension from the university or dismissal from the university after a first offense with the approval of the department chair/program director, the Dean and the Vice President for Academic Affairs. Sanctions will be determined by reviewing each specific breach of academic honesty, the context of the breach and the nature of the breach. Any form of academic dishonesty may result in dismissal from the program.

Plagiarism, cheating, unethical computer use and facilitation of academic dishonesty are examples of behavior which will result in disciplinary sanctions as determined appropriate by the Provost.

Attendance at Classes

Regular attendance at all classes is essential. Students are expected to be punctual, do the work assigned and not be absent without good cause.

Registration Information

Course Load

Requirements for graduation are measured in terms of semester credit hours. Normally, each credit hour earned will require one hour of class time per week for 15 weeks during the semester (or its equivalent).

The class hours per week are appropriately adjusted for the 11-week and 8-week online programs. The student spends two or three hours in preparation for one hour of class time.

Most courses are assigned three credits. Six or more credits is considered full time in all graduate degree programs. Four to five credits are considered ¾ time. Three credits is considered half time. Less than three credits is considered less than half time.

PLTS: Twelve credits is considered full time.  Six credits is considered half time.  Less than six credits is considered less than half time.

Registration Procedures

Registration procedures are outlined on the Registrar’s Office website at http://www.callutheran.edu/registrar. Students who are enrolled in an online program should also refer to instructions on the website at https://www.callutheran.edu/cif. To be officially enrolled in class, students must have their financial standing cleared by the Business Office and admission requirements cleared by the Graduate and Adult Admissions Office. Student registration is contingent upon remaining in good academic standing.

PLTS registration procedures are subject to revision as program management migrates to WebAdvisor. Please refer to the PLTS web site for current registration procedures: http://www.plts.edu/

Course Additions

Students may not add courses after the second class meeting of the semester. To add a course after initial registration, students should submit an Add/Drop form to the Registrar’s Office or use WebAdvisor which can be found at http://www.callutheran.edu

Withdrawal from Courses

Withdrawal means withdrawing from one or more courses or separation from the University for the remainder of the semester. The Registrar provides the proper withdrawal forms which incorporate all the necessary procedures to clear the records at the time of withdrawal. Proper withdrawal protects the student’s record, which remains on file in the Registrar’s Office.

  1. Students may drop courses or withdraw from the University through approximately the 10th week of the semester or equivalent percentage of an 8 or 11 week term (specific date listed in Academic Calendar) with a grade of W.
  2. After the last date to withdraw, students may not officially withdraw from classes or from the University, except for medical reasons. Medical withdrawal forms are available through the office of the Vice President for Student Affairs.
  3. With the privilege of admission to California Lutheran University, students accept the responsibility of clarifying the records (including financial records) if they withdraw from a course or from the University before the end of the semester.
  4. Students who do not complete a course and do not officially withdraw from the University will receive a grade of UW for the semester (counted equivalent to a grade of F in the GPA). The university does not automatically drop students who register for a course and then choose not to attend.

Note: Academic withdrawal deadlines do not correspond to tuition reduction deadlines. Tuition reduction policies are outlined in the section on University Costs. The financial obligation for withdrawing from the University is usually severe.

Audit

A student may audit a course with the approval of the instructor. The student will earn no credit and receive no grade and will not be required to complete assignments or take examinations. The student may not claim credit or challenge the course for credit at a later date. Adequate attendance for recording of “AU” on the student’s transcript must be verified by the instructor. The charges for auditing are listed in the section of this catalog titled University Costs. Auditing a class does not grant access to a course's Blackboard page.

Grading Policies

Grades and Grade Points

The cumulative grade point average (CUM GPA) is computed by dividing the total number of grade points earned by the total number of credits attempted, based on CLU and transferable course work. The CLU grade point average (CLU GPA) is computed by dividing the total number of grade points earned by the total number of credits attempted, based on CLU course work. CLU policy does not allow for rounding up decimals when computing the GPA. When the GPA is recorded, it is truncated at the third decimal.

Only courses with grades of “C” (2.0) or better will be counted toward the total number of credits required for the degree. Courses resulting in a grade of C- or below must be repeated. A “B” (3.0) average is required for continued enrollment in the graduate program and for receiving the master’s degree.

Students in the PsyD Program: Grades of B- or better are considered passing.

Graduate grades and grade points are assigned according to the following grading scale:

Grade   Grade points per attempted credit hour earned
A4.0
A-3.7
B+3.3
B3.0
B-2.7
C+2.3
C2.0
C-1.7
D+1.3
D1.0
D-0.7
F0.0
WF0.0
UW0.0

The following grades are not used in computing the GPA:

Grade   Grade points per attempted credit hour earned
INIncompleteNo grade points, no credit given
IPIn ProgressNo grade points, no credit given
PPassingNo grade points, credit given
NCNo CreditNo grade points, no credit given
WWithdrawalNo grade points, no credit given
AUAuditNo grade points, no credit given
NRNo ReportNo grade points, no grade report submitted by faculty

A grade of “IN” (Incomplete) may be assigned only in the case of a student who, for illness or other circumstances beyond his or her control, has missed a final examination or major piece of work. A student may not make up the Incomplete by repeating the course. Make-up work must be evaluated by the instructor who assigned the original grade of Incomplete. If not made up within one year’s time, an “IN” automatically becomes an “NC.” A student may petition in writing to extend an “IN” beyond one year if there are extenuating circumstances.

“IP” (In Progress) is given for theses, practica, internships and courses wherein the work has been evaluated and found to be satisfactory to date, but the assignment of a grade must await its completion. “IP” carries no credit until replaced by a permanent grade. The “IP” grade may be replaced by the appropriate final letter grade within one calendar year from the start of the class. “IP” grades which have not been resolved will be changed to “F” (undergraduate) or “NC” (graduate) at the time the student’s degree is posted.

Academic Probation and Disqualification

A minimum 3.0 CLU GPA and cumulative GPA are required of all students enrolled in a graduate program or enrolled in the teacher preparation program. Students whose CLU or cumulative GPA falls below 3.0 will be placed on academic probation. Students on academic probation must bring their CLU GPA and cumulative GPA up to 3.0 in the following semester. Students who fail to maintain a 3.0 CLU and cumulative GPA are subject to academic disqualification from the University.

Students in the PsyD Program: Any grade below a B- in any course will result in academic probation and the convening of a faculty academic review committee meeting. A second course grade below a B- may result in academic disqualification from the program. Satisfactory Standing 3.0 or better with no failed classes (any grade below a B- in any course).

Students in the MBA Program: Students in the MBA Program: A grade below a B- in any foundation course is considered failing.  This will result in academic probation or academic disqualification.  Students may not repeat a foundation course more than once.

Students in a PLTS Program: Students in a PLTS Program: A grade below a C is considered failing.  This will result in academic warning, probation, or disqualification.  Students may not repeat a core course more than once.

Repeated Courses

Students may repeat a course, unless otherwise specified, regardless of the grade received. Grades of C- or lower, however, cannot be used to meet degree program requirements and must be repeated. In calculating the GPA, grades for the initial attempt and all subsequent repeats will remain on the student’s academic record; however the higher grade will replace the lower grade in calculating the GPA. Credit for the course will be given only once and all repeated courses must be completed at CLU.

Students in the PsyD Program:Grades of C+ or below must be repeated.

Students in the MBA Program: A grade below B- in any foundation course must be repeated.  Foundation courses may only be repeated once.

Students in a PLTS Program: Grades of C- or below must be repeated.

Grade Reports and Transcripts

Grades for all courses, including those that may have ended prior to the last day of the semester, are processed at the semester’s closing date. Grades are available online through WebAdvisor at www.callutheran.edu. Grade reports will not automatically be mailed to students.

    Official transcripts of a student’s complete record must be requested on-line through http://iwantmytranscripts.com. The transcript charge is $5 per copy for an official transcript. Students who attended the University since Fall 1989 may request either paper or digital copies. Procedures for requesting a transcript may be found on the Registrar’s Office website at www.callutheran.edu/Registrar.

The University reserves the right to withhold grade reports or transcripts if the student has unmet financial obligations to the University.

Grade Challenges and Changes

The normal presumption in the administration of grades at California Lutheran University is that the instructor alone is qualified to evaluate the academic work of students in his or her courses and to assign grades to that work.

If a student believes that a grade was assigned in error, he or she should approach the instructor immediately. If the instructor believes that the grade was assigned in error, he or she will submit a grade change form identifying the reason for the change. Grade Changes must be submitted within one semester following the term in which the initial grade was earned.

If a student believes that a particular grade was assigned in a manner that was arbitrary or unjust or that crucial evidence was not taken into account, the student may file a grade challenge. The challenge must be presented in writing to the instructor by the end of the semester in which the disputed grade was given. If an agreement cannot be reached, then the student may present a written appeal to the department chair or program director who is the instructor’s immediate supervisor. If the conflict cannot be resolved at the departmental level, then the student may appeal in writing to the appropriate dean, who will follow the process described in the Faculty Handbook.

Transfer of Credit

Students may petition to transfer up to six semester credits of graduate course work taken at other regionally accredited colleges or universities to their program at CLU. Nine units may be transferred if the student has completed a previous master’s degree. Transfer work must be:

  1. graduate level (applicable to a graduate degree at the institution granting credit)
  2. completed within the seven-year time limit
  3. completed with a grade of at least “B”
  4. documented by official transcripts from the institution
  5. listed on a “Petition for the Transfer of Credit”
  6. approved by the appropriate program director and dean. Transfer of credit from CLU to another institution requires approval of the receiving institution.

Students in the PsyD Program: PsyD students may transfer 9 units of acceptable coursework and may waive an additional 15 units.

Student in a PLTS Program: Please visit the PLTS website for a complete listing at: http://www.plts.edu/

Second Master’s Degree

A person seeking to earn a graduate degree at CLU who has already earned a graduate degree may petition to transfer up to nine credits of equivalent course work into the second degree program. The candidate must present satisfactory official evidence of course work completed in the first graduate program that would equate to the courses exempted in the CLU program. The final determination of degree requirements will be made by the program director and the appropriate dean.

Modification of Academic Requirements

Students who wish to modify courses or program academic requirements may submit a “Graduate Petition Form,” available on the CLU website at www.callutheran.edu/registrar/forms, to the appropriate graduate office. All requests are reviewed by the appropriate program director and dean. Waiving a course does not grant credit. It simply means the student does not have to enroll in the course and may substitute an elective course, if necessary.

Independent Study

Independent study is research in an area not covered by course work listed in the CLU catalog and is always listed with the appropriate department number as “Independent Study.” Approval of independent study must be obtained by completing the appropriate request form available from the Registrar’s Office. The form must be signed by the student, instructor and appropriate program director and submitted to the Registrar’s Office by the last day to add a class. Standards and work requirements for independent study are the same as those for a course which is part of the regularly scheduled curriculum.

Academic Limits

A student’s program is limited to a maximum combination of 12 credits of course waivers, transfer of credit, credit by examination, tutorial work and independent study.

Students have seven years to complete a master’s degree program after initial registration for courses. Under special circumstances, prior to the end of the seven-year period, students may petition for an extension of time. A student is considered to not have been continuously enrolled if she or he does not register for classes for one calendar year. Continuous enrollment or re-entry into a program requires normal progress toward a degree. Students who do not enroll continuously must meet with a university adviser prior to subsequent enrollments to determine if changes in the program have occurred. These students must also complete, with their adviser, a new program advisement form and admission application. Such students are subject to new program requirements and a review of course recency and transfer credit.

Student in a PLTS Program: Please see Transfer of Credits for more information regarding limits on the PLTS webpage.

Comprehensive Examinations

Comprehensive exams are part of the degree requirements of some master’s programs. In addition, several programs include a comprehensive exam as an optional degree requirement. Given several times each year, these exams permit students to demonstrate their mastery of the knowledge and skills presented throughout their degree programs.

Students should see their program advisers for additional information about test schedules, formats, and preparation.

Thesis or Project

Students in the graduate programs in Computer Science, Education, Psychology, and Public Policy and Administration may be required or may elect to do a thesis or project as part of their degree program. Students registering for 599, 599A or 599B have one year to complete all thesis work. If more than one year is required, a student must re-register for the 599 Thesis course.

To be eligible for graduation in a given semester, a student must submit a minimum of three signed copies of the thesis or project for binding at least 15 days prior to the end of that semester.

Students in the PsyD Program: PsyD students are required to complete a thesis. PsyD students must also complete a Dissertation

Completion of a Degree Program

Students may graduate at various times during the year, depending on the program in which they are enrolled. MBA, MPPA, and MSCS students may graduate any one of four times during the year: May, August, November or February. Students in the Education or Psychology programs may graduate in May, August or December. The commencement ceremony is held once each year in May. Candidates for August graduation may participate in the May ceremony if they are within six credits of degree completion. Upon completion of all degree requirements, students are mailed an official copy of their transcript listing the degree earned. This is normally sent eight weeks after the semester ends. Diplomas are usually available within eight to 12 weeks of the end of the semester.

Prior to the semester in which candidates plan to complete the master’s degree program, they should complete the following:

  1. Make arrangements to take the comprehensive examination, if their program requires one
  2. Submit the “Application for Degree” to the Registrar’s Office. Refer to the Registrar’s Office website at www.callutheran.edu/registrar for application deadlines.
  3. Meet with an adviser to ensure all requirements are met (optional).
  4. Education students must complete an exit interview with the appropriate program director.