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University Catalog

Academic Policies and Procedures

The academic year at the University of Maine at Fort Kent consists of two regular semesters (fall and spring), a 12-week summer term containing several shorter sessions, a 3-week Winter Term (between the fall and spring semesters) and 8-week sessions offered within the spring and fall terms.  Information about course offerings is found on the University website.


Semester Credit Hour

Credit for passing a course results in the award and posting to a student’s record a specified number of semester credit hours.  One semester credit hour, also termed the credit hour, represents an amount of academic work engaged in by a student while achieving a set of learning outcomes for which there is evidence.  In accord with Federal regulation one semester credit hour is assigned to academic work involving:

  1. One hour per week of classroom or direct faculty instruction and a minimum of two hours of out-of-class student work for approximately fifteen weeks for one semester; or
  2. An equivalent amount of work as defined in (1) performed over a different amount time; or
  3. Academic activities such as internships, laboratory experiments, practica, studio projects, and other academic work involving at least 37.5 clock hours for one semester.

Academic Honesty

Honesty and integrity are vital to the functioning of the academic process.  Students are expected to follow the procedures established in each class, in each assignment.  Each student will submit only his or her own work with inclusion of proper attributions where appropriate.  Faculty must be clear about their expectations for individual and collaborative assignments.  Students who work collaboratively with other students must acknowledge the work of all students to a project.  Students who plagiarize work from any source are subject to serious consequences ranging from failing an assignment to being dismissed from the University depending on the circumstances.  Normally, students will not fail an entire course because of one incident, but repeated incidents will result in more serious consequences.


Plagiarism

The spectrum of plagiarism is a wide one.  At one end of the spectrum is word-for-word copying of another's writing without enclosing the copied passage in quotation marks and identifying it in a footnote or reference.  More often, plagiarism results from patching together passages from various sources, the writer's major contribution being the cement to hold the pieces together.  Another example is the paraphrasing or abbreviation of someone else's ideas or the restatement of someone else's analysis or conclusion without acknowledgment that another person's text has been the basis.  Weaving these "borrowed" ideas into the text without referencing the original source is plagiarism.  Today's electronic sources make it easier to download material and present it as one's own without making any or only minor changes.  It is the responsibility of each student to become familiar with the definition of plagiarism and not commit this error out of ignorance.


Attendance

The University and its faculty are firmly committed to both regular classroom attendance and participation in University-sponsored extra-curricular activities. Each professor will specify the attendance and absence policy as part of the written syllabus distributed at the beginning of the course. Students seeking an excused absence from class must obtain excused status -- in advance whenever possible -- from the professor of the class, find out their obligations, and schedule makeup work as necessary.

If it is not possible to speak to the professors prior to an absence, the student must, within a day or two of return to campus, consult with the professor(s) of the course(s) involved. It is the student’s responsibility to set up consultations and to meet the obligations and deadlines established by the professor.


Academic Recognition

The University formally recognizes students who achieve academic excellence through publication of the Dean’s List at the conclusion of each semester. There are two separate lists, one for fulltime students (Dean's List) and one for part-time students (Academic Recognition List for Part-Time Students). Students with any Incomplete grades (“I” or “DG”) for the semester one month after grades are posted is not eligible for the Dean’s List or Academic Recognition List for Part Time Students.

  1. Dean's List

A full-time matriculating undergraduate student who achieves a semester grade point average of 3.20 and higher with no grades below “C” qualifies for the Dean’s List.

  1. Academic Recognition List for Part-Time Students

A part-time (6-11 credits) matriculating undergraduate student who achieves a semester grade point average of 3.20 and higher, with no grades below "C", qualifies for the Academic Recognition List for Part-Time Students.


Alpha Chi

Alpha Chi is an honor society whose purpose is to promote academic excellence and exemplary character among college and university students and to honor those who achieve such distinction. Its name derives from the initial letters of the Greek words, ALETHEIA, meaning truth, and XARAKTER, meaning character. As a general honor society, Alpha Chi admits to its membership students from all academic disciplines.

Invitation to membership is extended, after completion of 60 credit hours at UMFK, to the top 10% of each of the junior and senior classes.  The number of inductees and the GPA requirement depends on (1) the size of the class, and (2) the number of previously-inducted members in each class. Membership recognizes previous accomplishments and provides opportunity for continued growth and service. Alpha Chi works to assist students in making “scholarship effective for good,” as its constitution states.


Academic Standing/Probation

To maintain full academic standing and matriculant status, a student (full-time or part-time) must achieve the following minimum Cumulative Point Averages:

Attempted Credits GPA
Up to 29 Attempted Semester Credit Hours 1.67
30–59 Attempted Semester Credit Hours 1.75
60 or more Attempted Semester Credit Hours 2.00

A student (full- or part-time) who fails to achieve the required Cumulative Point Average (CPA) to maintain full academic standing is placed on academic probation for the next semester of full- or part-time enrollment. If, at the end of the probationary semester, the CPA still is below the required minimum, the student’s academic status is reviewed by the Vice President for Academic Affairs. For the student who has demonstrated substantial academic improvement, although the CPA remains below the required minimum, academic probation (full- or part-time enrollment) may be extended by the Vice President. For the student who does not show substantial academic improvement during the semester of probation, academic suspension from the University will follow. Readmission into a degree program will not be permitted for one year following academic suspension. Readmission is through the Admissions Office.


Grading Policy

The University of Maine at Fort Kent uses a system of letter grades to measure student achievement. The grades are reported to the Registrar’s Office by the faculty at the end of each semester. Grades reports are not mailed to students, unless requested by the student. Students may obtain grades in their MaineStreet Student Center. Transcripts of grades are withheld for students who have unpaid balances on their accounts or overdue library books. It also is the University policy to withhold grades for students who have defaulted on their university-based student financial loans.

The grades that are reported to the Registrar are used to compute the Cumulative Grade Point Average. Each grade is assigned a numeric value of quality points:

Grade Quality Points Per Credit
A (Highest Honors) 4.00
A– (Highest Honors) 3.67
B+ (Honors) 3.33
B (Honors) 3.00
B– (Honors) 2.67
C+ (Satisfactory) 2.33
C (Satisfactory) 2.00
C– (Satisfactory) 1.67
D+ (Low Passing) 1.33
D (Low Passing) 1.00
D– (Low Passing) 0.67
F (Failing) 0.00
P (Pass/Fail) (grade of “C” or better) 0.00
F* (Pass/Fail) 0.00
DG (Deferred) 0.00
I (Incomplete) 0.00
W (Withdrew) 0.00

The number of credits in each course is multiplied by the numeric value of each grade received. The product is the total of quality points earned in each course. The Cumulative Point Average (CPA) is obtained by dividing the number of credit hours attempted at UMFK into the total number of quality points earned (18 credit hours attempted divided into 54 quality points gives a CPA of 3.0).

Courses which are assigned pass/fail grades are not used in the computation of grade point averages. Grades of “W” withdrew, “F*” failure in a pass/fail course, “I” incomplete, or “DG” deferred, do not have a numeric quality point average and are not used to compute grade averages.


Incomplete Grades

In rare instances a student may be unable to complete the semester’s course work for reasons beyond the student’s control. In such cases the instructor will assign the temporary grade of “I” (Incomplete). An “I” grade must be removed within two weeks after the close of the semester or Summer Session in which the student enrolled for the course. “I” grades not changed during the two weeks after the close of the semester will be converted to a grade of “F”. Grades of “F” are computed in grade point averages.


Deferred Grades

Due to the nature of some courses, which may continue into the following semester or other circumstances, instructors may assign grades of “DG” (Deferred). Grades of “DG” must be removed before the close of the semester or summer session following the semester in which the student enrolled in the course. Grades of “DG” left unchanged after that period of time will be converted to grades of “F.” Grades of “F” are computed in grade point averages.


Grade Changes and Appeals

A student that believes he or she has been assigned an incorrect grade for a course should immediately contact the instructor of the course. If the instructor determines that a change of grade is warranted, he or she will submit a grade change. Grade changes must be approved by the Division Chair and/or the Vice-President of Academic Affairs, and are then routed to the Registrar’s Office for correction in the student’s official academic record. If the instructor determines that a grade change is not warranted and the student believes he/she has evidence to support the change, the student may appeal directly to the Division Chair. If the student is not satisfied with the decision of the Division Chair he/she may appeal to the Vice President for Academic Affairs.  The decision by the Vice President for Academic Affairs is final.  Appeals made to the Division Chair and to the Vice President for Academic Affairs must be in writing and the student making the appeal should be certain to cite evidence supporting the student’s contention. The appeal for a grade change to the Division Chair and to the Vice President for Academic affairs must be presented within 60 days after the day of registration for the semester or summer session following the semester in which the grade was earned.


Repeated Courses

A student may repeat a course only once.  Further repetitions will be allowed only with approval of the faculty member teaching the course. Students will retain the right to appeal this faculty decision to the Division Chair, and ultimately to the Vice President for Academic Affairs. Repeated courses must be taken at the earliest opportunity (normally the next semester the course is offered). Credits are awarded only once for a course unless it is a course that may be taken more than once.  Only courses and quality points for the attempt in which the highest grade is earned are computed in the grade point averages.


Academic Forgiveness

Students may petition to have one complete semester of UMFK coursework removed from calculation on their academic transcript. This includes courses, grades, and quality points. Removal of partial or selective coursework is not permitted under this policy. The following are the conditions to request academic forgiveness:

  1. Only one semester will be forgiven.
  2. A period of three years of separation from higher education must have elapsed after the semester to be forgiven.
  3. The student has since completed 45 credits in good standing.
  4. Student must petition the Academic Council for the request.

The Academic Council will recommend approval or denial of the request to the Vice President for Academic Affairs. Academic Forgiveness does not apply to financial aid satisfactory academic progress.


Course Loads and Waivers 

For all students who are in good academic standing, the total credit hour course load will not exceed 19 credits without special approval (see Overload Approval).

Fall and Spring 15 week semesters:
A student may enroll for a maximum of 19 credits.

Winter Term 3 weeks:
A student may enroll for a maximum of 2 courses.

Summer semester:
A student may enroll for a maximum of 19 credits in a 12-week summer session, but no more than 2 classes in a single 3-week session.

Exceptions:

  1. A first semester degree student, admitted as a Conditional Student, will be allowed to enroll for a maximum of 13 credits during the first semester.
  2. All degree students on Academic Probation will be allowed to enroll for a maximum of 13 credits during their semesters on probation.
  3. Credits in approved Internships or Environmental Studies Field Experience are excluded from the semester’s Course Load.

Overload Approval

Success in coursework is one important goal for the UMFK student. The course credit limits have been developed to assist the student to reach that goal. For the accomplished student who has given sufficient evidence of academic proficiency, permission to take a course overload during any given semester must be obtained in writing prior to registration. Students submit a written request to the Vice President for Academic Affairs. The request must include a recommendation from the student’s academic advisor and meet the following two conditions.

  1. Students with cumulative grade point averages between 2.00 and 3.00 may be considered for an academic overload not to exceed 20 credit hours.
  2. Students with cumulative grade point averages between 3.00 and 4.00 may be considered for an academic overload not to exceed 22 credit hours.

Course Waivers or Substitutions

Students may petition to have a course, condition to a course, or a specific degree requirement waived from their program of studies. Students also may petition to have a course substituted for another course in their degree requirements. To request either change, the students must follow procedures, depending on requirements:

For a change in Major/Minor Requirements

  1. Submit a written petition requesting the change to the Chair of the Division responsible for the major or minor.
  2. The Chair, in consultation with appropriate faculty, will recommend to the Vice President for Academic Affairs approval or denial of the request.

For a change in General Education/Other Degree Requirements

  1. Submit a written petition requesting the change to the Chair of the Academic Council.
  2. The Academic Council, in consultation with appropriate faculty, department, division, or other unit, will recommend to the Vice President for Academic Affairs approval or denial of the request.

Graduation

Candidates for degrees must file application for graduation with the Registrar’s Office before the end of the third week of classes of the semester in which they expect to complete graduation requirements. The online graduation application can be found in the Registrar’s webpage.

Applications for degrees to be awarded at the end of a summer session should be completed and filed in the Registrar’s Office before the end of the previous spring semester. No applications will be accepted for summer session degrees or credentials after the end of the second week of instruction of the regular summer session.

Students are permitted to participate in graduation exercises provided they have completed or are enrolled in all degree requirements in the semester prior to graduation. Graduation credentials will only be recorded on the transcript, and the diploma issued, when all degree requirements have been completed. The diploma will be dated the same as the transcript. The graduate will be considered as an alumnus/alumnae of the year he/she completed degree requirements. A student may not participate in two separate graduation exercises for the same degree.


Graduation Honors

Students who maintained a high level of academic achievement during their undergraduate careers at the University of Maine at Fort Kent are graduated with honors. Graduation with honors is based on the student’s GPA at the University of Maine at Fort Kent. Students must complete at least 50 percent of the total degree credits required in the student’s program at UMFK. Coursework taken during the semester prior to graduation will not be used in the calculation of honors. Students with the following total cumulative honors GPAs graduate with honors, accordingly:

  • 3.20 to 3.49 cum laude,
  • 3.50 to 3.79 magna cum laude, and
  • 3.80 to 4.00 summa cum laude.

Residency Requirements

To be eligible to receive the first baccalaureate or associate degree from the University of Maine at Fort Kent, the candidate shall have earned a minimum of thirty (30) semester hours of degree credit at the University of Maine at Fort Kent or through UMFK programs. This, and other degree requirements, shall have been met prior to conferral of the degrees. Challenge exams, CLEPs, and experiential learning credits may not be applied toward the 30 credit residency requirements.  In the certificate programs, a student must complete at least 51% of their credit requirements at the University of Maine at Fort Kent or through UMFK programs.


Dual Degrees

Associate Degree to Baccalaureate - A student who has been awarded an Associate degree may elect to apply for admittance into a program leading to a bachelor degree.

  1. A student with no elapsed time since being awarded the Associate degree may submit a Change of Major form to the Registrar’s Office. The requirement term and advisor’s signature are required on the form. If the student is continuing into the BSN program, the director of nursing signature is required. Forms are available in the Registrar’s Office or online.
  2. A student with one or more semesters (not including summer semesters) elapsed since being awarded the Associate degree, must apply through the Admissions Office for admittance into the Bachelor degree program.  A new requirement term will be assigned. Students may use the Adult application form and submit the form to the Admissions Office. 

Additional Associates or additional Baccalaureate degrees - In order to receive the additional degree, the following conditions must be met:

  1. The first degree has been awarded.
  2. The student has applied through Admissions for the subsequent degree.
  3. A minimum number of credits will have to be completed beyond the total hours earned for the previous degree: 15 for each additional Associate; and 30 for each additional Baccalaureate.

Double Majors

A student who has declared one major, can complete a second major, listed under the same or another degree.  The “Double Major” student will earn one degree, which will include the two majors. In cases where the majors are associated with different degrees, the student must select a primary degree and will graduate with only that degree. Both majors will be recorded on the student’s transcript and diploma at graduation. The second major may be declared at the time of admissions or later at the Registrar’s Office. No more than 6 credits may overlap between the two majors.


Academic Review Policy For Student Concerns

Occasionally, a student may have reason to question an academic process or result. In such cases, the following procedure will apply:

  1. The student must discuss the concern with the appropriate faculty member. If the concern persists,
  2. The student must consult with the division chair, who will attempt to resolve the complaint. Failing this,
  3. The student may request a review of the situation to be made by the Vice President for Academic Affairs. If there is lingering dissatisfaction on the part of the student,
  4. The student may request a review of the situation to be made by the President. All parties are expected to adhere to the final decision.

The foregoing steps should be made in order of progression and all information, recommendations, and decisions must be made IN WRITING and made available to the next level of review. Maximum efforts and attempts should be exerted toward resolution of concerns without the necessity of review.