2019-2020 Student Handbook 
    
    Sep 17, 2019  
2019-2020 Student Handbook

Academic Information


The information below does not supersede or replace information contained in the official College Catalog. The following information is included in the Student Handbook for ease of access by students.



The Catalog

The ABAC Catalog [https://catalog.abac.edu] provides descriptions of academic departments and undergraduate programs and courses, as well as information about Admissions, Student Affairs, Financial Aid, and Academic Support services. Students are evaluated and graduated based on the requirements in the Catalog.

Attendance Policy

Students need to attend class every scheduled session, especially during the drop/add period (see the Academic Calendar [http://apps.abac.edu/Registrar/Academic_Calendar]). There is no official college-wide attendance policy, but in each course, the attendance policy is under the instructor’s discretion. Since classes and faculty differ greatly, students should be certain they understand the attendance requirements, outlined in the syllabus, for each course in which they are enrolled. A professor may lower students’ grades for excessive absences.

Semesters and Credit Hours

To graduate in four (4) years with a baccalaureate degree, a full-time student should take 15 credit hours per fall and spring semester or 30 hours per academic year (Fall/Spring/Summer). Taking 12 credit hours in a semester is considered full-time, but will increase students’ time and cost to earn a degree. Students should plan to study a minimum of two (2) hours per week for each one-hour credit taken. Enrolling in 15 credit hours would require a minimum of 30 hours of study-time each week.

Academic Advising

New students are assigned to an academic advisor following Orientation. Students work closely with their academic advisor to develop an academic program map and plan classes accordingly for each semester.

Students who declare a major upon admission to the college are advised by faculty in the department of the declared major. Those students who have not declared a major are advised by Academic Support Counselors. Students must see their academic advisor prior to registration each semester. During a student’s advising appointment, the academic advisor will enable the student to register in Banner Web. See Academic Support Counselors for more information.

Registration

A special advisement and early registration period occurs each semester. During this time, all academic advisors post schedules for advising. Students are encouraged to make an appointment to meet with their academic advisor to assure ample time to plan the next semester’s course schedule. After meeting with their academic advisor, students may register by logging into Banner Web, the student information system. Registration is available according to priority based on number of credit hours earned. Further, students may view holds, if any, blocking registration in Banner Web. Students who experience difficulties registering or have questions should visit the Academic Support counselors or site coordinator for more information.

Change of Schedule (Drop/Add)

Students are discouraged from changing schedules after classes begin. However, consideration is given to every request for a change in students’ programs, and recommendations are made in accordance with the educational goals and the individual needs of the students. If a change in schedule becomes necessary, all changes should be made at the beginning of the semester during the official drop/add period as a result of communication with an academic advisor. The official drop/add period is published in the official Academic Calendar. No refund will be made for a dropped course after the official drop/add period. During the drop/add period, students may change their schedule through Banner Web.

Withdrawals

Dropping Classes: The start of each term has a “drop/add” period. Drop/add is the only time during which students may “drop” a course completely without either academic or financial penalties. After this period, students will need to officially “withdraw” from their courses, with academic or financial penalties as stated in the following.

Single Course Withdrawal: If students need to reduce their course load during a semester, they may officially withdraw from a class with a grade of W, provided they complete this action before the mid- point in the semester or session (see the academic calendar - last day to withdraw with a W). After midterm, students withdrawing from a class will receive a grade of WF. Students withdrawing from a course must first see their instructor for permission to withdraw. After the instructor completes a drop form, the students should submit the signed form to the Academic Support Center. See the “Change of Schedule” section below for further information. Although a grade of W has no impact on the GPA, the student should be aware that negative effects on Financial Aid result when withdrawing from any class. A grade of WF has an impact on the GPA and may also have negative effects on Financial Aid.

Total Withdrawal from the College: Students who voluntarily withdraw from the College must first consult with the Academic Support Center and complete a “Student Withdrawal Form.” Students who withdraw from the College prior to midterm will receive a grade of W in all classes in which they are enrolled. Students who withdraw from the College after midterm will receive a grade of WF.

Withdrawal from Learning Support Courses: Students who wish to withdraw from a co-requisite Learning Support course must also withdraw from the college-level course for which the Learning Support course is a co-requisite.

Medical Withdrawal: Prior to mid-term, medical withdrawals are the same as any other official withdrawal from the College. Students will receive a “W” in all classes. However, students are encouraged to complete the medical withdrawal process if appropriate, even if the withdrawal is before mid-term. After mid-term, students seeking a medical withdrawal must submit the appropriate medical documentation on medical doctor’s letterhead, signed and dated by the treating physician who is not a family member, to the Student Development Center. A student must also submit a signed and dated statement requesting a medical withdrawal. If it is determined that a student must withdraw from classes for a given term for medical reasons, the Student Development Center will notify the student’s instructors, the Registrar’s Office, Office of Financial Aid and the Housing Office. Students will be given the grade of “W” in classes if they had passing grades in the class at the time of withdrawal. If students were not passing at the time of withdrawal, the grade of “WF” will be assigned. In all cases, students should make every effort to keep instructors informed of any situation which affects class attendance. A medical withdrawal is for the student’s illness or medical issue only. A medical withdrawal is from all classes for that term. The deadline for submitting complete appropriate medical documentation is one hour before the College closes on the last day of classes for the term. After the last day of class, students must follow the Grade Appeal process.

Medical Withdrawals for Prior Semesters: Medical withdrawals for prior semesters will be granted only if students can provide adequate documentation that the medical condition for which the student withdrew was such that the students or family members could not contact the College before the semester ended.

eCore Classes

eCore offers students the opportunity to complete undergraduate requirements in Core Areas A-E completely online via public colleges and universities within the University System. eCore courses are taught by instructors from SACSCOC accredited institutions within the system and are transferable within the USG as well as to most regionally accredited schools. Visit ABAC’s eCore website [http://www.abac.edu/academics/ecore], for more information.

Appeal of Grades

Students wishing to contest a grade must initiate the appeal in writing to the instructor within 30 calendar days from the last day of class of the term in which the grade was recorded. Students must first appeal the matter in writing to the instructor(s) who taught the course. The appeal must specify reasons the assigned grade is incorrect or inappropriate. The instructor(s) will respond to the student in writing within ten (10) working days of the date of the appeal.

Should this response not satisfy the appeal, the student can appeal in writing to the department head (or dean, if there is no department head), of the academic school in which the course was taught. If the student does not appeal within ten days, the grade is final. The department head/dean may conduct a conference including the dean, the department head, the student, and the instructor. The department head/dean may convene an impartial committee in the discipline to review pertinent documents and will respond to the student in writing.

Should this procedure fail to resolve the appeal, the student must provide a written appeal to the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs within ten (10) working days from the date of the department head/dean’s response. The Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs will take the appeal to the Academic Review Committee where further hearings may be conducted. The judgment of the Provost and Vice President will be considered the final and binding decision on the matter.

The appeals process is intended to provide a venue whereby students may voice a claim of discrimination, capricious or unfair dealings, or denial of due process.

Academic Standing

The College recognizes five (5) categories of academic standing: Good, Academic Probation, Academic Suspension 1, Academic Suspension 2, and Learning Support Suspension.

Good. Students are required to maintain a minimum Overall Grade Point Average (OGPA) of to obtain and maintain good standing.

Academic Probation. Students are required to maintain a minimum Overall Grade Point Average (OGPA) of 2.0. When students’ OGPA falls below 2.0, they will be placed on probation. Freshmen who are placed on probation for the first time will be required to attend an Academic Success Workshop before the start of the following semester. All students who are on academic probation will be restricted to taking no more than 12 semester credit hours and are encouraged to seek assistance through the Academic Support Center. Students on academic probation may be in jeopardy of losing Federal Financial Aid.

Students earning a semester (term) Institutional GPA (SIGPA) of 2.0 or greater the semester immediately following a probation will be removed from probation if their OGPA is 2.0 or greater. If the OGPA remains below 2.0, they will remain on probation. Any student whose semester (term) Institutional GPA (SIGPA) is less than 2.0 during the semester following probation will be suspended in accordance with ABAC’s academic standing policy.

Academic Suspension. Students not attaining minimum academic standards subsequent to being placed on academic probation will be suspended from the College. The minimum standard for avoiding academic suspension subsequent to being placed on academic probation is a SIGPA of 2.0. Consecutive terms of probation in which students continue to earn a SIGPA of 2.0 or greater will prevent suspension. However, failure to earn a SIGPA of 2.0 while on academic probation will result in a suspension. The first suspension will be for the first 16-week semester (fall or spring, not summer) immediately following the suspension; subsequent suspensions will be for one full academic year (3 terms).

Appeal of Academic Suspension. Students may appeal an academic suspension, due to a mitigating circumstance*, by notifying in writing the Registrar’s Office. This appeal will be heard by the Academic Review Committee. An additional appeal may be submitted to the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs. The judgment of the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs will be considered the final and binding decision on the matter.

The appeals process is intended to provide a venue whereby students may voice a claim of discrimination, capricious or unfair dealings, or denial of due process. Students returning to ABAC after suspension will be placed on post-suspension probation and be subject to probation requirements as noted above unless they have a minimum OGPA of 2.0. Students returning on post-suspension probation status who earn a minimum SIGPA of 2.0 will be allowed to continue in the probationary status until the minimum OGPA of 2.0 for good academic standing is reached.

Learning Support Suspension. ABAC adheres to the Learning Support Policy [http://www.usg.edu/academic_affairs_handbook/section2/C769] set forth by the University System of Georgia.

Academic Honors and Awards

President’s Honor List. Superior achievement in academics is recognized each semester by the publication of a President’s Honor List, which includes those students who complete 12 or more non- Learning Support (LS) credit hours with a semester institutional grade point average (SIGPA) of 4.0. Excluded from the selection criteria:

  • I grades and credit hours
  • LS grades and credit hours
  • Repeated courses with excluded grades and credit hours
  • Grade changes processed after grades are posted in Banner

Dean’s Honor List. Excellence in scholastic achievement is recognized each semester by the publication of a Dean’s Honor List, which includes those students who complete 12 or more non- Learning Support (LS) credit hours with a minimum semester institutional grade point average (SIGPA) of 3.5. Excluded from the selection criteria:

  • I grades and credit hours
  • LS grades and credit hours
  • Repeated courses with excluded grades and credit hours
  • Grade changes processed after grades are posted in Banner

Distinguished Achievement List. Excellence in scholastic achievement among part-time students is recognized each semester by the publication of a Distinguished Achievement List. To be included on the Distinguished Achievement List, students must complete between 6 and 11 semester hours of non- Learning Support course work with a minimum semester institutional grade point average (SIGPA) of 3.5. Excluded from the selection criteria:

  • I grades and credit hours
  • LS grades and credit hours
  • Repeated courses with excluded grades and credit hours
  • Grade changes processed after grades are posted in Banner

Honors Day. Honors Day was introduced to give public recognition to students who achieve high scholastic marks. Students are selected for honors on the basis of the following criteria:

  1. Completing 45 or more non-Learning Support semester hours at ABAC with a minimum 3.25 overall grade point average (OGPA) recognizes a student as an Honor Student.
  2. Completing 45 or more non-Learning Support semester hours at ABAC with a minimum 3.5 overall grade point average (OGPA) recognizes a student as a Superior Honor Student.
  3. Completing 45 or more non-Learning Support semester hours at ABAC with a minimum 3.75 overall grade point average (OGPA) recognizes a student as a Distinguished Honor Student.

Academic Recognition Day Scholar/J. G. Woodroof Scholar. All units of the University System select a top student to represent their institution. These students are recognized statewide with resolutions from the State Senate and the House of Representatives. ABAC’s Academic Recognition Day student is chosen by the school deans based on the following: outstanding scholastic achievement, must have a GPA of 4.0 GPA (or close to it), and be a Georgia resident. This student is also designated as the J.G. Woodroof Scholar and presented an award at Honors Day each spring. This award is named in honor of the first President of ABAC, Dr. J. G. Woodroof.

Alumni Association Award. The ABAC Alumni Association Award is presented by the ABAC Alumni Association to the most outstanding bachelor-degree graduate at both fall and spring graduation to recognize a student who has distinguished themselves through scholarship, leadership and citizenship. This award is open to students with an IGPA of 3.0 or higher.

Donaldson Award. The George P. Donaldson Award is presented by the ABAC Alumni Association to the most outstanding associate-degree graduate in both the fall and spring graduation, recognizing a student who has distinguished themselves through scholarship, leadership and citizenship. Named in honor of former ABAC President Dr. George P. “Pete” Donaldson, this award is open to students with an IGPA of 3.0 or higher.