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Recommendation on Withdrawal/Incomplete Grade Policy for Probationary Students

The Student Affairs Committee would like to recommend that the University policy regarding course withdrawal and incomplete grades for students on academic probation be reviewed and amended.

The current policy, which has been in effect since 1983, is:

Grades of I or W are not permitted during probation. Failure to meet these conditions may result in suspension or dismissal. (1995-97 General and Graduate Information Catalog, p. 43)

The withdrawal policy for probationary students was changed in the 1983-85 General Information Catalog. Previous to 1983, there were no restrictions on withdrawal and incomplete grades for students on academic probation.

The current policy places students who are already at high risk for suspension and dismissal into an even higher risk category. There are valid reasons for all students to withdraw or receive an incomplete grade in a class (with instructor and college approval). Most students carefully consider their options and the decision to withdraw from a class is not made lightly. In fact, the decision to withdraw is often supported by the instructor. Incomplete grades are sometimes given without consultation or consideration of the student's probationary status, resulting in suspension or dismissal of the student.

The Student Affairs Committee feels that there should be one policy on course withdrawals and incomplete grades for all students, regardless of their academic standing. The current policy appears to be punitive in nature and does not serve the best interests of the student of the University. The Student Affairs Committee recommends that the probation policy be changed, eliminating the restriction on course withdrawals and incomplete grades for probationary students.


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