The School of Professional and Continuing Studies determines the academic standing of students in terms of two benchmarks:
- Academic performance;
- Academic progress.
Academic performance refers to a student's maintenance of a given cumulative grade point average and is primarily applicable to the grades earned during a student's enrollment degree program. Academic performance is monitored at specific periods during a student's enrollment, generally at the end of each academic term.
Minimum satisfactory academic performance in a graduate program is defined as having a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.000 in the courses required for the completion of the master's program.
Any student receiving PCS funding in the form of grants or tuition scholarships must also maintain a cumulative average as defined in their offer letters, as a minimal requirement for continuation of aid. Students who fall below the required grade point average must consult with the program director regarding the status of their funding.
Academic progress refers to a student's continued matriculation and timely completion of degree requirements. Academic progress also measures the progress of students following their satisfactory completion of program coursework. Essentially, the number of credits earned by students as they progress through the program.
In order to be eligible for funding, students must meet both the PCS academic performance and academic progress standards as well as the U.S. Department of Education's Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) criteria, which identify strict guidelines to assess student eligibility for assistance. Generally, students who fail to meet PCS satisfactory academic performance and/or progress goals will, in most cases, fail to qualify for federal loans.
Students who do not meet the standards for satisfactory academic performance and/or satisfactory academic progress will be reviewed and may be placed on academic probation. If the deficiency is not corrected, or at the discretion of the dean, in consultation with the Associate Dean or program director, students may be dismissed from the University.
Markers of satisfactory academic progress include the successful completion of all enrolled classes each term and consistent progress toward completion of all degree requirements within the stipulated five year time period.
Markers of unsatisfactory progress may include an excessive number of failed courses, withdrawals, incomplete grades, semesters on maintenance, leaves of absence, or other delays in meeting the requirements for the degree.
Students who do not make satisfactory academic progress toward a degree may be dropped from the rolls of the university, even if they continue to meet satisfactory academic performance requirements and/or have not exhausted their time limit toward the degree.