Academic Policies and Procedures

Undergraduate Weekday Students

Student Handbook

The Student Handbook is published annually and is part of the Alverno College Catalogue. The Catalogue contains five documents — this Alverno College Bulletin, Course Offerings, Academic Evaluation and Student Validation Report, Student Handbook, and Resident Hall Handbook for residents. Most of these documents are available online.

These documents describe the philosophy of our teaching and learning, the courses offered each semester, the resources, support services, information, and policies at Alverno College. Please read each of the catalogue documents carefully. The Student Handbook policies are applicable to all current students. All students are responsible for knowing and adhering to the policies stated in the current Student Handbook.

Student Records

Alverno College follows the guidelines set forth in the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 in maintaining the privacy of student records.

Transcripts for each Alverno student list the courses she has satisfactorily completed and the levels in which she has demonstrated her abilities. An explanation of the eight abilities and the levels within them accompanies each record.

Courses from which a student withdraws or that she does not complete satisfactorily are not listed.

A report of each student’s progress is available online approximately one week after the close of the semester. It lists the courses and validations she has completed.

Evaluation of Students

The College requires all students to meet the standards established by the faculty for ability in given disciplines. In all courses listed on the official transcript, the student has met these standards. Courses in which the student did not meet these standards or criteria are not recorded.

A student must successfully complete the courses and external assessments required for her major(s) and support area(s) of study as printed in this bulletin for the semester and year of her entry.

Class Attendance

Since classes at Alverno involve active participation through discussions and small-group or laboratory work, attendance is expected. See the Registrar’s Office webpage for additional comments regarding attendance.

Incompletes

An instructor may give a student an “incomplete” for a course if there is evidence that such action is in the best interests of the student. An incomplete deadline is stipulated by the instructor.

An incomplete in a prerequisite course must be satisfactorily removed and reported to the Registrar’s Office before the student can begin a subsequent course(s). If the incomplete is not removed, an “unsatisfactory” is awarded.

Prerequisites

If a student does not successfully complete the prerequisites for a course for which she is registered, that course is dropped from her schedule.

Academic Standing: Probation/Dismissal

At the close of every semester, each student’s academic progress is reviewed. In the event a student’s record shows that she is experiencing difficulty, the Status of Students Committee evaluates her complete record.

The Status of Students Committee may place a student on academic probation. The intent is to alert the student and her advisor to the student’s academic difficulty and to ensure that she takes action to improve her academic work. A student on probation is considered capable of making satisfactory progress toward a degree.

When, in the judgment of the committee, a student on probation demonstrates that she is no longer making satisfactory progress, she is subject to academic dismissal.

Leave of Absence

If a student wishes to withdraw temporarily, she may become a student-on-leave for one to four semesters. Forms are available in the Advising Office.

Withdrawal

A student may withdraw from any course for which she is registered by following procedures outlined on the Registrar’s Office webpage.

If a student chooses to withdraw from the college, she must make an appointment with her advisor. Refund of tuition is related to the date that she officially drops her classes with the Registrar’s Office. Procedures and refund policies are outlined more fully on the Business Office webpage and in the Financial Policies section of this bulletin.

Class Cancellation

Any cancellation of a class or classes due to inclement weather or other emergencies is officially announced over local radio stations.

Transcript requests

A fee of $5 for each transcript must accompany a transcript request. Transcript requests submitted on an ordinary working day are usually mailed or available for pickup within 48 hours. Send written requests for transcripts to:

Registrar’s Office
Alverno College
PO Box 343922
Milwaukee, WI 53234-3922

Graduate

Graduate Programs Bulletin, Course Offerings Information, and Student Handbook

The Graduate Programs Bulletin is the official source of information about the Master of Arts in Education, the Master of Business Administration, the Master of Science in Nursing, and the Master of Science in Community Psychology for Licensed Professional Counselors programs. It outlines course sequences and learning objectives, and is available from the Alverno College Graduate and Adult Admissions Office. The bulletin is updated and reprinted annually; a pdf version is available online at alverno.edu. The edition that is current for a student’s year of entry is the one that governs his/her academic program.

Course Offerings information is available online each term prior to registration. Student registration statements, which include billing information, are mailed prior to the start of each new semester. Alverno College reserves the right to make necessary changes to the course offerings at any time prior to the start of the term. Questions related to the student’s program should be directed to the student’s faculty advisor.

The Student Handbook is published annually online and is part of the Alverno College Catalogue. Each graduate program has its own graduate student handbook that is available online as well. The student is responsible for knowing and adhering to the policies stated in the current Student Handbook as well as in his/her program-specific handbook. The bulletin, Course Offerings information, and the Student Handbook describe Alverno’s philosophy of teaching and learning, courses offered each semester, resources and support services available, and policies in effect.

Degree

An Alverno master’s degree is awarded when a student has completed a program of study that includes accomplishment in the required areas of knowledge integrated with the demonstration of required levels of performance.

The degree is based upon the demonstration of ability both in coursework and assessments. Courses are recorded on official records by title and semester hours of credit.

Length of Time to Degree

The time limit for completion of a graduate degree at Alverno College is seven years.

Evaluation of Student Learning

As the final report of demonstrated achievement that defines the College’s Master of Arts in Education degree, Master of Business Administration degree, Master of Science in Nursing degree, and Master of Science in Community Psychology for Licensed Professional Counselors degree, the academic transcript reflects the importance the College attaches to the mastery of content and the ability to use knowledge effectively in professional settings.

Alverno’s method of evaluating student learning, called assessment, is integral to learning in the Alverno graduate programs. Unlike many forms of testing, assessment evaluates not just what students know, but how well they can apply what they know.

The system of student assessment at Alverno College does not include reference to letter grades. In fact, one tenet of the College’s educational philosophy is that the faculty do not evaluate students comparatively using letter grades. Instead, we establish criteria for effective performance in each course. In the graduate programs, these criteria reflect standards for achievement within the discipline and professional areas, which guide all courses in the specific program. As part of professional programs, graduate course assessments are designed to engage students within their disciplinary and professional contexts. Examples include writing business reports that address strategic and operating issues, preparing proposals for inquiry-based nursing projects, and developing mentoring handbooks for school districts. We then provide students with significant narrative feedback describing the quality of their performances relative to those standards. A student who does not meet these standards at the level defined in each course does not pass the course. As a continuous process in which the students themselves play an active role, assessment helps both the student and the faculty member judge the student’s progress toward meeting criteria for a given course.

Due to the rigor of our curriculum, we are able to confirm that a student who has successfully completed a course is held in “good standing.” This means that any student in good standing at the College has demonstrated the requisite understanding and practice of the disciplines/profession for the courses s/he has completed. Faculty distinguish quality of performance by providing a written evaluation of the student’s work that documents the specific way the student met or exceeded those standards. At the time of graduation, those evaluations are synthesized into a narrative statement that describes the quality of the student’s graduate work. This narrative statement is an objective evaluation of the quality of the graduate’s performance in her/his program of study and is an integral part of each student’s official final transcript.

The record of courses taken and a detailed profile of the student’s strengths and accomplishments become part of each student’s permanent records. Because this method provides much more information than a grade and fosters continuous learning, it is approved by accrediting bodies and accepted by graduate schools and employers. In fact, educators from across the country and around the world regularly visit Alverno to learn about this innovative and effective approach to helping students learn.

Progress Report

A student’s progress report is available on Interactive Online (IOL) approximately one week after the close of the semester. Contact the Registrar’s Office for access information. Progress in courses is reported as Satisfactory (S) when all requirements of the course — mastery of subject matter and development of abilities — have been met. An Unsatisfactory (U) indicates insufficient evidence for meeting the standards of the course.

An Incomplete (I) is reported when only a minimal amount of work remains to be completed. An Incomplete must be removed by the date stipulated by faculty. An Incomplete in a prerequisite course must be satisfactorily removed and reported to the Registrar’s Office before the student can begin the subsequent course(s). If the Incomplete is not removed, an Unsatisfactory is awarded.

Class Cancellation

Any cancellation of a class or classes due to inclement weather or other emergencies is officially announced over local radio stations.

If a faculty member is ill and a class session is canceled, a notice is placed on the classroom door and in the Student Programming Area in Founders Hall.

If a course is dropped from the official semester’s course offerings due to insufficient enrollment, the Registrar’s Office notifies each student registered in the course so that students have the opportunity to revise their registrations prior to the beginning of the semester.

Change in Faculty Assignment

The College reserves the right to change faculty course assignments.

Auditing Classes

A student may audit a course for no credit. Regular attendance at class is expected, but an auditor is not required to complete written assignments or to take the final assessments for the course. The tuition rate per credit to audit a course is 50% of regular tuition for special students and for part-time degree students. A student needs to contact the Registrar’s Office to audit a course.

Prerequisite Checking

A computer program checks prerequisites for courses. The program checks courses completed, courses in progress, transfer credits, courses waived due to completion of credit by assessment, and exceptions granted through the general permit process. Courses for which the student is not eligible are dropped from the student’s schedule. A student with questions about prerequisites should contact his/her faculty advisor.

Attendance Policy

Since classes at Alverno involve active participation through discussions and small-group or laboratory work, attendance is expected. Faculty expect a student to be responsible for coming to class on time. Consistent tardiness may be considered an absence. When a student enrolls in a course, s/he is accountable for all course requirements.

Schedule Changes after Semester Begins

A student may not add a course after the course has begun without the faculty member’s written permission. A student may not withdraw from a course after the deadline date published in the academic calendar. All schedule changes must be made with the student’s faculty advisor. The faculty advisor will contact the Registrar’s Office to, for example, officially drop a course.

Waiting List

If a course is filled when a student registers, the student can choose to be placed on a waiting list. If a vacancy occurs, the student is enrolled in that course by the Registrar’s Office.

Student-on-Leave Program

A student who finds it necessary to “stop out” of school for one to four semesters can become a student-on-leave. The student should contact his/her faculty advisor.

Benefits of the Student-on-Leave program include continued access to College resources, informational mailings, updated registration information, and the assurance that a student-on-leave who returns within four consecutive semesters may resume coursework without having to repeat the admissions process, provided the student is still within the seven-year degree completion time limit.

Withdrawal from a Course

To withdraw from a course, a student should discuss his/her intentions with the faculty member teaching the course and must notify his/her faculty advisor by telephone, in writing, or in person. A student who stops attending a course and does not officially withdraw is responsible for payment of all fees involved, and will receive an Unsatisfactory or Unofficial Withdrawal for the course. The deadline date for withdrawal from a course is published in the academic calendar. The withdrawal becomes effective on the date the faculty advisor notifies the Registrar’s Office. This date determines the amount of tuition adjustment. (See section on Financial Policies and Procedures.)

Withdrawal from the College

If a student intends to leave Alverno College and does not intend to return at a later date, the student should contact the director of his/her graduate program or his/her faculty advisor to complete an official withdrawal form. S/he must also consult with the Business Office. If a student is academically dismissed or does not return within four semesters from student-on-leave status, the student is considered officially withdrawn from the College.

Transcript Requests

A fee of $5 for each transcript must accompany a transcript request. Transcript requests submitted on an ordinary working day are usually mailed or are available for pickup within 24-48 hours. Students should send written transcript requests to:

Registrar’s Office
Alverno College
P.O. Box 343922
Milwaukee, WI 53234-3922

Courses Taken Elsewhere

Ordinarily, a student in the Master of Arts in Education, the Master of Business Administration, or the Master of Science in Community Psychology for Licensed Professional Counselors program is allowed to transfer into the degree program a maximum of 6 graduate credits taken elsewhere. A student in the Master of Science in Nursing program is allowed to transfer into the degree program up to 14 graduate credits taken elsewhere. These credits include those taken before enrollment in the degree program and those taken elsewhere during the program.

In the event that it is necessary for an enrolled master’s student to take a course elsewhere, permission must be granted by the director of his/her graduate program. A Permit to Take Courses Elsewhere is available on the Registrar’s Office webpage and must be approved before the course is taken. The student must earn a grade of B or better in the course in order to receive transfer equivalency. An official transcript should be sent to the Alverno College Registrar’s Office upon completion of the course.

Academic Standing: Probation/Dismissal

At the close of every semester, each student’s academic progress is reviewed. In the event a student’s record shows that s/he is experiencing difficulty, the Status of Students Committee evaluates her/his complete record.

The Status of Students Committee may place a student on academic probation. The intent is to alert the student and advisor to the student’s academic difficulty and to ensure that s/he takes action to improve her/his academic work. A student on probation is considered capable of making satisfactory progress toward a degree.

When, in the judgment of the Committee, a student on probation demonstrates that s/he is no longer making satisfactory progress, s/he is subject to academic dismissal.

Student Records

Alverno College follows the guidelines set forth in the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) of 1974 in maintaining the privacy of student records.