Academic Policies

Attendance

Students are expected to attend all regularly scheduled classes, labs and other course related activities. However, on some occasions students may need to be absent. Instructors are privileged to establish reasonable absence regulations which should be clearly stated at the first class meeting. The suggested norm is twice the number of classes per week. This means that a student would be permitted two absences in a class that meets once a week. When unavoidable absences occur, the student should explain the circumstances as soon as possible to the instructor who will judge the validity of the excuse.

The instructor is expected to determine when the number of absences has reached the level where any additional absences would prevent the student from attaining the objectives of the course. This judgment should be communicated to the student with the warning that any further absences will result in an automatic dismissal from the course and a grade of “F.”

Examinations

In their syllabi, instructors specify examinations of a kind and number that are, in their judgment, appropriate to the needs of the students and to the objectives and conditions of the course. Final examinations are required in every course and are administered during final-examination week at times and places scheduled by the registrar.

Separation from the College

Each student’s continued registration at the college, the awarding of academic credits and the granting of any certificate or degree are entirely subject to the disciplinary authority of the college. The college reserves the right, therefore, to enforce the regulations concerning satisfactory academic performance and, in consequence, to cancel a student’s registration, to refuse academic credits or to deny a certificate or degree. Separation from the college may also be imposed as a penalty for any conduct which conflicts with the ideals of the college or damages its reputation and that of its students.

Grades

Grades inform students of the level of performance they have achieved in a course. Grades are means whereby students may come to know and appreciate their capacities and abilities. Instructors are responsible for specifying the performances required in their courses; students are responsible for meeting the requirements specified.

Grades earned by students at Canisius College reflect:

  1. The extent to which the requirements specified in the course syllabus have been met.
  2. The degree to which the requirements completed exhibit mastery of the subject or skills which are the object of the course.
  3. Other criteria specified by the instructor at the beginning of the course, criteria such as, but not limited to, attendance at lectures or other course functions, projects voluntarily undertaken in excess of specified requirements, correct use of oral or written English and contribution to discussion or other course activities.

Quality Points

The quality-point average indicates the student’s general scholastic average and is a measure of the quality of his or her work, just as credit hours are the measure of its extent. Points are assigned as follows for each semester hour completed:

Grade Points
A 4.0
A- 3.7
B+ 3.3
B 3.0
B- 2.7
C+ 2.3
C 2.0
C- 1.7
F 0

A student’s GPA is obtained by dividing the total number of quality points by the total number of credit hours carried. Other grades authorized by the deans include the following:

  • W – Authorized withdrawal from a course.
    The description of withdrawal procedures is in a preceding section of this chapter.
  • I – Incomplete.

Final grades are available on the MyCanisius portal at the conclusion of each semester. If an official grade report is needed for any reason, contact the Student Records office to request a grade report.

Final course grades cannot in normal circumstances be altered after they have been recorded on the student academic record. Should an exceptional reason occur that would justify a late grade change, the faculty member can submit to the appropriate associate dean a request to change a student’s recorded grade within the following time frame:

  • The end of the spring semester following a course taken in the fall
  • The end of the fall semester following a course taken in the summer
  • The end of the fall semester following a course taken in the spring

Any request for a grade change after these deadlines must be submitted to the dean of the appropriate college with documentation as to why the grade should be changed.

Students who are dissatisfied with their grade in a course may repeat the course once (exceptions may be approved by the appropriate associate dean in consultation with the program director). In such cases both grades will be entered in the student’s record and will show on the student's transcript, but, for the purpose of computing grade point average, only the higher grade will be used for the GPA calculation.

Incomplete Grade

A student who, for serious and well defined reasons, has failed to fulfill all requirements of a course or has failed to take the final exam may petition the course instructor to request from the appropriate associate dean, a grade of “I”, indicating “Incomplete Performance.”

Only the appropriate associate dean or his or her designate may grant an incomplete grade request. It will not be granted to a student whose only reason is excessive absence during the semester or failure to complete the work of the course before the close of the semester without an exceptionally good reason. Examples of such good reasons might be prolonged illness or hospitalization during the semester, serious illness at the time of the final examination, or other unusual circumstances.

An incomplete grade, when granted, is merely temporary and will automatically be changed to an “F” grade if a final grade is not submitted by March 1 for the fall, August 1 for the spring and October 1 for the summer.

Probation and Academic Dismissal

The regulations regarding probation and academic dismissal vary from one program to another. Specific information may be obtained from the associate deans or program directors.

Academic Standing

Academic standing is determined by the cumulative grade point average from the beginning of the student's graduate program at Canisius.

The following terms are used to describe a student’s academic standing:

  1. Academic probation: When a student’s grade point average falls beneath the level indicated below, he/she is placed on academic probation — a serious warning that the student’s academic record at the college is unsatisfactory. It is generally not advisable for students on academic probation to take part in extracurricular activities. Varsity athletes, in addition, are governed by NCAA and regional conference regulations. Probation for two successive semesters will result in automatic academic dismissal from the college.
  2. Academic dismissal: When a student does not meet the academic requirements of the program, the student will be dismissed from the college (removed from the program).  Dismissed students may not enroll in any division of the college and must wait at least six months before applying for readmission.  Readmission is not guaranteed.
  3. Good academic standing: This is a term used to 1) indicate satisfactory progress toward a degree, and 2) determine a student’s eligibility for financial aid. A student who is on academic probation is generally considered to be in good academic standing for financial aid, but is in danger of being dismissed from the program. Further details may be found in the section on Financial Aid.

The grade point average levels for academic probation and academic dismissal are school and/or program specific as described below.

College of Arts and Sciences

Unless described differently on the individual program catalog page, the following guidelines apply to all graduate programs in the College of Arts and Sciences.

To receive a graduate degree in the College of Arts and Sciences, students must maintain a 3.00 QPA.

Graduate students must be in good academic standing with a 3.00 cumulative average to be eligible to take a capstone course, thesis course, or final internship.

Good Academic Standing

Students must maintain a 3.00 grade point average (a B average) to remain in good academic standing.  Students who do not meet this requirement are subject to the provisions below.

Academic Probation

A student is placed on academic probation if:

  • After completion of nine hours of course work, the student’s cumulative grade point average falls below a 2.70; or
  • Any time after completion of nine or more hours of course work, the cumulative grade point average is less than 3.00.

A student may not be placed on academic probation more than twice.

Academic Dismissal

A student may be dismissed from the program if:

  • Any student receiving less than a C+ grade in two or more courses will be dismissed from the program; or
  • After completion of six hours of course work subsequent to being placed on academic probation, the cumulative grade point average remains less than 3.00; or
  • After completion of a second semester on academic probation, the student fails to meet the minimum QPA of 3.00. Two semesters of academic probation include both consecutive and non-consecutive semesters.

School of Education and Human Services

Unless described differently on the individual program catalog page, the following guidelines apply to all graduate programs in the School of Education and Human Services.

Receipt of a grade of “F” will result in a student being placed on academic probation. A second grade of “F” will automatically disqualify a candidate from the master’s degree program. A candidate whose grade point average drops below a 3.00 will be placed on academic probation and will be dismissed from the master’s degree program if their overall grade point average is below a 3.00 in two consecutive terms.

Wehle School of Business

MBA – Flexible MBA (full or part time)

Students must have a cumulative GPA of 2.8 to graduate.

A student is placed on academic probation if:

  1. After completion of six hours of course work, the student’s cumulative grade point average is 2.00 or lower,
  2. Any time after completion of nine or more hours of course work, the cumulative grade point average is less than 2.80.
    A student may be dismissed from the program if:
  3. After completion of six hours of course work, subsequent to being placed on academic probation, the cumulative grade point average is less than 2.0,
  4. After completion of at least 18 hours of course work, the cumulative grade point  average is less than 2.80. A student may be dismissed without having been placed on probation first.

One Year MBA

Students must have a cumulative GPA of 2.8 to graduate.

  1. A student may be dismissed from the program if the student’s QPA is 2.3 or lower, or if they fail or withdraw from a course upon completion of the first semester.
  2. A student will be placed on academic probation if the student’s QPA is greater than 2.3 but less than 2.80 upon completion of the first semester.
  3. A student may be dismissed from the program if the student’s QPA is less than 2.80, or they fail a course upon completion of the second semester.

Students dismissed from the One Year MBA Program can request to be evaluated for the Flexible MBA Program.

MBA in Professional Accounting

Students must have cumulative GPA of 3.0 to graduate.

A student is placed on academic probation if:

1. After completion of six hours of course work, the student’s cumulative grade point average is 2.0 or lower,
2. Any time after completion of nine or more hours of course work, the cumulative grade point average is below a 3.0 or lower

A student may be dismissed from the program if:

1. After completion of six hours of course work, subsequent to being placed on academic probation, the cumulative grade point average is less than 2.0,   

2. After completion of at least 18 hours of course work, the cumulative grade point average is less than 3.0. A student may be dismissed without having been placed on probation first.

MBA in Accounting

Students must have cumulative GPA of 3.0 to graduate

For the undergraduate portion of the MBAA 150 hour program, students should review the probationary and dismissal policies in the undergraduate catalog for BS/BA candidates.

For the graduation portion a student is placed on academic probation if:

1. After completion of six hours of course work, the student’s cumulative grade point average is 2.0 or lower,

2. Any time after completion of nine or more hours of course work, the cumulative grade point average is below a 3.0 or lower.

A student may be dismissed from the program if:

1. After completion of six hours of course work, subsequent to being placed on academic probation, the cumulative grade point average  is less than 2.0,

2. After completion of at least 18 hours of course work, the cumulative grade point average is less than 3.0.  A student may be dismissed without having been placed on probation first.

Grade Review and Appeal Procedure

Rationale

In order to foster an environment of intellectual and ethical development, the procedures below have been developed in accordance with Canisius College’s mission and with the Jesuit principle of care for the whole person. Academic integrity is the foundation of intellectual growth. Students, faculty, and administration are expected to interact with honesty and respect for others and for the college when dealing with grade grievances.

Grounds for Grade Review

A student may initiate this process only if he or she believes the final grade has been assigned on an erroneous, or a capricious or arbitrary basis. Grounds include situations such as:

  • Computational error: The student alleges that the faculty member made a mistake in the mathematical computation of the class grade. If a student believes that a mistake has been made in the computation of his or her grade, the student must first speak with the faculty member. If the faculty member agrees, the faculty member will submit a "Change of Grade" form. If the faculty member does not agree, the student may then follow the procedures and deadlines outlined below.
  • Arbitrariness or capriciousness: The student alleges that the grade was based on something other than performance in a course (i.e. non-academic criteria); or the grade reflects standards different from those applied to other students in the course; or the grade departs from the standards of evaluation set forth in the syllabi or other written documents in a substantial, unreasonable, and unannounced way. In this case, the student must follow the procedures and deadlines outlined below.
  • Discrimination: The student alleges that the grade reflects a violation of the College's non-discrimination policy as stated in the College catalogs and student handbooks. In this case, the student should follow the "grievance procedures" for bringing a claim of unlawful discrimination as outlined in the College catalogs and student handbooks.

The burden of proving a claim of an incorrect or unfair grade rests completely with the student. A grade review/appeal case has to be based on specific graded items. The student must provide documentation (e.g., graded tests, assignments, etc.) as evidence to support their claim. Any grade review/appeal must be made by an individual student; a grade review/appeal cannot be brought jointly by multiple students.

The grade review/appeal policy cannot be used to review an instructor’s professional judgment in teaching a class section, or in assessing the quality of a student’s work.

The question of whether the grade should be reconsidered is addressed in two stages: a grade review and, if necessary, a grade appeal. The Assistant/Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs may serve as the academic resource officer, who can guide the student and/or the faculty member, by helping to explain the procedure and steps.

Grade Review

In a situation where a student believes his or her grade has been assigned on a capricious or arbitrary basis, the student must abide by the following procedure:

  1. The student must contact the class instructor, via Canisius email, to request a grade review. The appropriate Department Chair must also be copied on this email. The student must provide the instructor with a formal written statement (250 to 1000 words), which explains the grounds for a request for a grade review. In addition to the written statement, the student will supply any relevant documents to support the request. These documents could include copies of assignment instructions, tests, papers, rubrics, etc. This statement and any related documentation will be the official basis for all stages of the grade review process and the grade appeal process if the review advances to that level; the student may not add any additional material in later steps. The request must state the grounds upon which the review is sought, and must be sent no later than six (6) working days* from the start of the semester (regular academic session, fall or spring) immediately following that in which the grade was awarded.
    1. If the review results in a change of grade, a grade change is completed by the instructor.
    2. If the student and the instructor cannot resolve the issue, the instructor writes an email to the student and the Department Chair, via Canisius email, articulating the reason for the final grade, as well as including the student’s original request (and any related documentation) for the grade review. In some cases, a Program Director might be the more appropriate person to contact rather than a Chair.
    3. If the instructor does not respond to the student’s initial contact within six (6) working days, or six (6) working days from the start of the semester (whichever is later), the student may proceed to step 2.
  2. If the student chooses to continue the grade review process, he or she must contact the Department Chair by Canisius email to request further review. This review must be based on the same statement and documentation provided to the instructor; no additional statement or documentation can be added at this time. The instructor must also be copied on the email to the Chair. If the instructor is also the Chair, a student should contact the Assistant or an Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs. The Assistant or an Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs will assign a senior member of the Department to serve in the role of the Chair in this situation. The student must send this request within six (6) working days of receiving the instructor’s email or, if the instructor has failed to respond, within twelve (12) working days from the start of the semester. The role of the Chair is to facilitate a resolution between the student and instructor. The Chair will review the statement and documentation already supplied to the instructor. The instructor will supply, via Canisius email, a concise explanation of her/his denial of the request (250 to 1000 words), including appropriate documents supporting the instructor’s decision. These documents could include copies of assignment instructions, tests, papers, rubrics, etc. If the review results in a change of grade, a grade change is completed by the instructor. It is recommended that the Chair finalize the grade review within six (6) working days of receiving the request of grade review, as outlined in this step. Most grade reviews will end here.
*

A working day is defined as a day when regular classes (fall or spring semester) are in session at the college.

Grade Appeal

If the student does not accept the results of the grade review, he or she may initiate a formal grade appeal.

  1. The student may appeal the decision to the appropriate Assistant/Associate Dean’s office within six (6) working days after the grade review process by the Chair is complete. If the student chooses to continue the grade review process to level of a formal appeal, he or she must contact the Assistant/Associate Dean by Canisius email to request further review. This request for review must be based on the original statement and documentation first provided to the instructor in Step I. 1. The Chair and the instructor must also be copied on the email to the Assistant/Associate Dean. In turn, the Assistant/Associate Dean must collect the emails from the instructor and the Department Chair written during the grade review process (Steps I. 1. and I 2.) as well as any other information deemed relevant by the Chair, instructor, and/or Assistant/Associate Dean. At this stage, the Assistant/Associate Dean creates a file consisting of the student’s emails with evidence, the Chair’s email, the instructor’s email and other relevant information. No information other than the Assistant/Associate Dean’s decision letter can be added to the file after this point. In the event that the Assistant/Associate Dean needs to recuse himself/herself, the Dean of the appropriate school will fulfill the role. Should the Dean need to recuse himself/herself, then the Dean of one of the other schools will fulfill the role of the Assistant/Associate Dean, as outlined below.
  2. The Assistant/Associate Dean decides whether or not the grade should be reconsidered, writes a letter explaining his or her decision, and adds it to the file. It is recommended that the Assistant/Associate Dean finalize the grade appeal within six (6) working days of receiving the request of grade appeal, as outlined in Step II.1. The Assistant/Associate Dean’s decision is final and binding. If the decision is not to reconsider the grade, the original grade will not be changed and the grade grievance process is complete. If the decision is to reconsider the grade, the procedure in #3 below is followed.  

  3. If the Assistant/Associate Dean concludes that reconsideration of the grade is appropriate, the Assistant/Associate Dean, the instructor, and student will each select one tenured faculty member who has not been involved in the process described above. The panel is formed with members from the Department in question and must be formed within six (6) working days of the Assistant/Associate Dean’s decision. If the Department does not have a sufficient number of members, the panel will be expanded to include tenured members of the Departments in the division (Humanities, Natural Science, Social Science, Business, or Education) of which the Department is a part.

  4. The panel will review the file assembled by the Assistant/Associate Dean in #1 above. Based on their review of the file, the panel will assign a grade for the course in question. That grade may be the same as that assigned by the instructor, or a higher or lower grade, according to the panel’s judgment. The panel must reach a decision within sixteen (16) working days of its formation. The Assistant/Associate Dean, student, instructor and Department Chair will be informed of the panel’s decision via Canisius email. This decision will include a brief explanation of the outcome. When applicable, the authorized grade change will be submitted by the Assistant/Associate Dean to the registrar. The decision of the panel is final and binding.

Code of Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is the foundation of intellectual inquiry and growth. Demonstrating respect for intellectual work, whether one’s own or others’, fosters an atmosphere of trust and facilitates the free exchange of ideas, which is essential for learning. All members of the Canisius College community agree to exercise complete honesty in their academic work and accept responsibility for maintaining academic integrity.   

By accepting admission to Canisius College students acknowledge the importance of academic integrity and agree to abide by this Code of Academic Integrity. They demonstrate academic integrity by practicing honesty in all their academic pursuits. They do their own work, respect and acknowledge the work of others, and take responsibility for understanding and observing both the general standards of the academic community and the specific requirements established in individual programs, courses, and other academic activities.

Academic dishonesty harms the individual by impeding intellectual growth and damages the larger academic community at the college by undermining mutual trust and respect. Acts of academic dishonesty are therefore prohibited. They include, but are not restricted to, the following practices1.

Plagiarism

Cheating

Misrepresentation

Collusion

Canisius College is committed to administering the Code of Academic Integrity in a manner consistent with the college’s mission: to teach responsibility, to foster learning, and to care for the intellectual and ethical development of the whole person.

Violations of the Code of Academic Integrity shall be dealt with in a manner that is just to all parties and contributes to the learning process. Sanctions will not simply be occasions for punishment, but opportunities for learning and for improving the ethical standards of the individual and the community.

 

[1] Expanded descriptions and examples are appended below

Appendix: Further description of violations

The examples below are included for purposes of illustration and instruction and are not exhaustive. Any dishonest act within the academic context violates the Code of Academic Integrity.

Plagiarism: intentionally or unintentionally presenting someone else’s work, ideas, or words as one’s own. 

  • Quoting directly from any material, whether published or unpublished, without properly using quotation marks to mark the quoted material or without identifying and crediting the source
  • Paraphrasing another person’s ideas, opinions, or theories from books, articles, websites, etc., without identifying and crediting the source
  • Reproducing facts, statistics, graphs, diagrams, photographs, or other illustrative or visual materials without identifying and crediting the source
  • Substantially reproducing another person’s language, making only superficial or trivial changes such as substituting synonyms, omitting words or phrases, or altering grammatical forms; such inadequate “paraphrasing” conceals authorship, even when a citation is included, and can unintentionally alter meaning
  • Submitting (in whole or in part) material written by another person or persons, with or without the author’s consent

Cheating: using unauthorized assistance to gain advantage or credit on any academic work 

  • Copying another person’s work, in whole or in part
  • Using sources, technologies, or devices not authorized by the instructor
  • Cooperating or consulting on work with others when such cooperating or consulting is prohibited by the instructor for a particular assignment; (this should not discourage working with others when permitted or required by the instructor)
  • Obtaining and/or sharing materials such as tests and answer keys, except as permitted by the instructor
  • Stealing, destroying, or otherwise abusing academic property, whether institutional or individual
  • Fabricating or intentionally misreporting data, information, or sources

Misrepresentation: submitting or presenting false information in an academic matter

  • Submitting the same work in multiple courses (whether taken at Canisius or elsewhere), except as explicitly permitted by the course instructor
  • Lying in an effort to obtain exemption from course policies or to obtain special considerations or privileges such as extended deadlines or extra assistance
  • Falsifying or forging documentation related to any academic matter

Collusion: aiding another student’s act of academic dishonesty 

Procedures for Handling Academic Misconduct

A faculty member may charge a student in his or her course with academic misconduct. After the student has been informed of the charge and the evidence upon which it is based and has been given an opportunity to present a defense or explanation, the faculty member shall issue a finding and impose a penalty within the course.

The student may accept the penalty or choose to appeal. The student may appeal the finding or the penalty to the chair of the faculty member’s department within ten calendar days of the finding. Each party will present his case to the chair, who will then render a decision.

The student and the faculty member may accept the decision of the chair or either of them may appeal the matter to the appropriate associate academic dean or his or her designate within ten calendar days. Each party will present his case to the associate dean or his or her designate, who shall then render a decision.

At either stage of appeal, the chair, the associate dean or his or her designate may dismiss the charge, affirm the charge and penalty, or affirm the charge but change the penalty.

At any time after a student has been charged with academic misconduct, but before the associate dean or his or her designate has rendered a final decision, the student may request a college ombudsman to facilitate an informal resolution to the problem. The resolution may include a penalty. After a student has been charged with academic misconduct, he or she may request the assistance of another member of the college community in presenting an explanation or defense to the faculty member, chair, associate dean, or his or her designate.

Penalties

The penalties that may be imposed upon a student found responsible for academic misconduct include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • If consultation with the associate dean of the student’s school reveals no prior offense.
  • The student’s grade in the assignment or examination in question will be a “F.” At the discretion of the instructor, the assignment or examination may be repeated in a different form.
  • In addition, the student may receive a failing grade in the course.
  • The instructor may devise a penalty appropriate to the circumstances. If a prior offense is on record, the course grade should be an “F.” The student’s associate dean may impose a penalty outside the course, including the recommendation of suspension or expulsion. The Vice President for Academic Affairs makes all final decisions regarding suspension or expulsion for reasons of academic misconduct.

Record Keeping

In all instances of academic misconduct in which a final penalty has been imposed, the person imposing the penalty shall notify the associate dean of the student’s school for inclusion of the matter in the student’s confidential file. This file enables the associate dean to determine when a student has engaged in more than one act of academic misconduct. Academic misconduct files are maintained in the Student Records Office.

After a student graduates, the confidential file concerning the misconduct shall be destroyed. However, if the student is expelled for academic dishonesty, the file will be retained.

Earning a Second Graduate Degree

When an individual seeks to earn a second degree in a discipline closely related to a previous graduate degree or certificate, it is not uncommon for the individual to request that they be allowed to apply some of the credits earned in the first program toward the requirements in the second program. However, Canisius has an obligation to ensure that each degree reflects a significant immersion of the individual in a relevant, concentrated course of study. To this end, there shall be a minimum of 24 distinct credits earned in a subsequent master’s degree.

Furthermore, the individual must formally apply and be accepted for admission to the second graduate program and must obtain that program's approval for the course(s) to be "accepted" from the other degree. Finally, any specific requirements beyond coursework in the second program (e.g., comprehensive exams or a thesis) must be completed. 

For example, if a student completes a 30-credit graduate degree, and then comes to Canisius for a second 30-credit graduate program, s/he may apply up to 6 credits from the first program towards the second program, with the approval of the program’s director. 

Applying Graduate credits to an Advanced Certificate

When an individual seeks to earn an advanced certificate in a discipline closely related to that of a previous graduate degree or certificate, it is not uncommon for the individual to request that they be allowed to apply some of the credits earned in the first program toward the requirements in the second program. However, Canisius has an obligation to ensure that each of its certificates reflect a significant immersion of the individual in a relevant, concentrated course of study. To this end, a minimum of 9 distinct credits must be earned in an advanced certificate.

Furthermore, the individual must formally apply and be accepted for admission to the advanced certificate program and must obtain that program's approval for the course(s) to be "accepted" from the previously earned master’s degree/certificate.

For example, if a student completes a 30-credit graduate degree, and then comes to Canisius for a 15-credit graduate advanced certificate, only 6 credits from the first program can be used from the first program towards the second. This policy also applies to students pursuing certificate programs with or without simultaneous enrollment in a degree program.  

Should a student decide to pursue a third credential at Canisius, no course may be triple-counted.