Student Handbook: Undergraduate Academic Policies

A. Undergraduate Grading Policy

GRADES AND COURSE STATUS

For undergraduate students, Wheelock College uses a system of letter grades that are equivalent to the following numerical quality points.

Letter Grade/Quality Point Equivalent
A/4.00
A-/3.67
B+/3.33
B/3.00
B-/2.67
C+/2.33
C/2.00
C-/1.67
D+/1.33
D/1.00
D-/0.67 Minimum passing
F/0.00 Failing
P/0.00 Passing

In addition, a transcript may show the following statuses in the grade column

I/0.00 Incomplete
WD/0.00 Withdrawal
AU/0.00 Auditing

An "Incomplete" (I) may be submitted by the instructor only when a student fails to complete the requirements of a course by the date grades are due, as a result of documented medical emergency or illness or other extraordinary circumstances, such as a death in the family. (See full description of the policy on Incompletes below.)
"Withdrawal" is the status recorded by the Registrar's Office when a student officially leaves a course before the withdrawal deadline published in the academic calendar and fills out a withdrawal form that is submitted to the Registrar's Office. Only a student can submit a request for withdrawal; a faculty member does not submit such a request.

PASS/FAIL OPTION

Each semester, an undergraduate student may elect a total of four credit hours to be taken under the Pass/Fail option. During a four-year course of study, no more than thirty-two credit hours may be taken under this option, though the restriction does not apply to courses offered only on a Pass/Fail basis, such as some practica and fieldwork.

A grade of "P" (Pass) does not affect a student's cumulative grade-point average, but a failing grade of "F" (Fail), whether it is awarded under the letter grade system or the Pass/Fail option, is computed in the cumulative grade-point average.

The following restrictions apply to the election of the Pass/Fail option:

  • Students must receive letter grades in courses that they select to fulfill General Education requirements or in their majors and professional concentrations, excluding practica.
  • Only one course in a student's minor may be taken under the Pass/Fail option.
  • Students on probation must take all courses (except courses offered only on a Pass/Fail basis) for letter grades.

For full-semester courses, students must declare their choices of the Pass/Fail option before the fourth class meeting. For seven-week courses, the Pass/Fail option must be declared before the second class meeting. After these deadlines, neither students nor instructors may change the grading election.

INCOMPLETE GRADES

It is the student's responsibility to request an incomplete or "I" by submitting to the instructor a completed Request for Incomplete form. If a student makes such a request for more than one course, he or she must complete and submit a separate form for each course (available in the Office of Records and Registration). The instructor, at his or her sole discretion, may grant the student's request. The instructor will submit the completed form to the office of Academic Records and Registration at the same time that he or she submits final grades.

All incomplete work must be submitted by the student to the instructor so that the instructor may submit a change of grade to the Office of Records and Registration before the deadline for submitting changes of grades. Students who plan to enter a practicum in the semester following the granting of an Incomplete must finish all work prior to beginning the practicum. If a grade has not been submitted by the deadline for submitting changes of grades, the grade of "I" will be administratively changed to a failing grade of "F."

DEADLINE TO CHANGE A FINAL GRADE

A faculty member may change a grade he or she has assigned no later than 12 months after the original grade submission deadline. After this time the students and instructor must petition the appropriate academic review board for an exception to the grade change policy. Once a student's degree is conferred, the student's academic statistics are considered final and no grade changes are permitted. This policy is effective as of fall 2009.

DEAN' S LIST

The Dean's List is a recognition of academic achievement for undergraduate students during the academic term. A student is eligible when he or she meets the following academic standards at the time the Dean's List is compiled:

  • Earns a minimum semester grade-point average of 3.8 (on a 4.0 scale);
  • Successfully completes a minimum of twelve credit hours during the semester which are graded on a ‘letter grade' basis; and
  • Does not carry any Incomplete grades (‘I') or Failing grades (‘F') for the semester at the time the Dean's List is determined.

Notes: A student enrolled in 20 credits where 19 credits earn grades of ‘A' and 1 credit earns a grade of ‘F' will have a term GPA of 3.8.

B. DECLARATION OF ACADEMIC PROGRAM

By the end of the fall semester of sophomore year, every undergraduate student must declare an academic program, by submitting a completed Declaration of Program form to the Office of Academic Advising and Assistance. Students wishing to enter the Child Life major must submit an application to the coordinator of the program and be admitted to the program.

DECLARE A MINOR

Students wishing to declare a minor should contact their academic advisor and then complete the Declaration of Minor form and submit the completed form to the Office of the Registrar for final approval. The deadline for declaring a minor is the end of junior year.

C. WHEELOCK LITERACY AND COMMUNICATION POLICY 

WHEELOCK LITERACY AND COMMUNICATION EXAM (WLCE)

The Wheelock Literacy and Communication Exam (WLCE) is a part of a College-wide commitment to help every student write clearly, effectively, and correctly. Every undergraduate must take and pass the WLCE before entering practice courses specified by each professional program.

The WLCE consists of five sections: spelling, reading comprehension, essay, summary and mechanics. Students who pass the WLCE will not need to take the exam again. Once a student has passed a section of the WLCE, he or she does not have to take that section again. Successful passage of the MTEL Communication and Literacy Skills Test is an accepted equivalency for the WLCE for undergraduate education students in licensure based programs.

READING AND WRITING SEMINAR POLICY

The College has developed a system of writing courses and resources to support students as they prepare for and pass the WLCE. These courses include reading and writing seminars, grouped by professional interests that are taken in the sophomore year by students who must satisfy the WLCE requirement. A student who has not passed the WLCE by the beginning of his or her second year at Wheelock must take and pass at least one semester of a reading and writing seminar and pass all five sections of the WLCE before entering practice courses specified by each professional program. Students who complete the WLCE during their first year are not required to take these seminars.

D. ACADEMIC STATUS

To complete degree requirements in four years, full-time undergraduates normally carry a course load of between sixteen to eighteen credit hours per semester. For the purposes of financial aid, on-campus housing, and eligibility for the Dean's List, a course load of twelve credit hours per semester is considered full-time. During his or her first semester at Wheelock College, a student may enroll in courses totaling no more than eighteen credit hours. Thereafter, except during a semester when he or she is enrolled in a practicum, a student may enroll in courses totaling no more than twenty credit hours. During a semester in which a student is enrolled in a practicum, he or she may enroll in courses totaling no more than sixteen credit hours unless he or she has received prior approval from the Scholastic Review Board. To obtain such approval, a student must complete and submit to the Scholastic Review Board a Request to Overload form, which is available at the Office of Records and Registration.

E. ACADEMIC STANDARDS

UNDERGRADUATE STUDENTS

A 2.0 (C) cumulative grade-point average is the minimum acceptable standard for all undergraduate students. An undergraduate student must maintain this standard to graduate from the College and to enter a practicum. Also, all undergraduates must attain a grade of C or higher in the professional studies courses and the preprofessional courses required for the professional program in which they are enrolled. (This policy does not apply to foundation courses in Arts and Sciences.) In addition, a student must demonstrate during pre-practicum courses a strong likelihood that he or she will be able to complete successfully the requirements of an Arts and Science major and/or professional major. The Scholastic Review Board monitors an undergraduate student's academic progress.

HONORS PROGRAM MINIMUM GPA

Students in the Honors program must maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.3. Students falling below this average will receive a warning from the Honors Committee immediately after the semester during which the GPA average appears on the transcript. Students have two semesters subsequent to the warning to raise their GPA to the required minimum. Students will be removed from the program if their GPA should fall below 3.3 again in any subsequent semester.

UNDERGRADUATE STUDENT ENROLLMENT IN GRADUATE COURSES

Only undergraduate students who are seniors may enroll in graduate program courses. To avoid additional charges for taking graduate program courses, seniors must enroll in a minimum of twelve credit hours of undergraduate level courses in the semester in which they enroll in graduate program courses. Seniors may take a maximum of six credit hours of graduate program courses. If a senior enrolls in more than six credit hours of graduate program courses, or less than twelve credit hours of undergraduate level courses, the student's financial obligations to the College and his or her financial aid may be affected.

To enroll in a graduate program course, a senior must:

  • Obtain and complete the ‘Request to enroll in graduate course form from the Office of the Associate Vice-president for Academic Services;
  • The Associate Vice-president for Student Services will certify eligibility for the student to register in the graduate course;
  • Obtain written approval from the student's academic advisor and appropriate Academic Dean (who will consult with course instructor whenever possible);
  • Submit to the Office of Academic Records and Registration.

The above policy regarding undergraduate enrollment in graduate program courses does not apply to BS/MS degree program candidates.

CREDIT FOR PRIOR LEARNING

An entering undergraduate student is eligible to receive credit for prior learning if he or she:

  • is at least twenty-five years of age;
  • has not attended an institution of higher education for at least three years; and
  • applies for such credit after he or she has earned at least twelve credit hours at the College.
  • The Scholastic Review Board will review requests for credit for prior learning made by eligible undergraduate students.

The following standards apply to the assessment of prior learning:

  • a maximum of thirty-two credit hours may be granted;
  • a fee equal to the tuition charge for a two-credit course will be charged to the student;
  • to support the request, the student must submit detailed information regarding the prior learning in the form of a portfolio to the Scholastic Review Board; and
  • the student's portfolio must be submitted to the Scholastic Review Board before the middle of the second semester in which the student is enrolled at the College.

Additional guidelines and procedures regarding credit for prior learning are available from the Dean of Arts and Sciences.
Credit for prior field experiences is not usually given, due to accreditation standards. For more information about a specific program, the student must contact the Dean of the program's School.

TRANSFER CREDIT

Undergraduate students may transfer credit hours for courses successfully completed at other accredited institutions of higher education by:

  • obtaining and completing the Transfer of Credit Application form available on MyWheelock or from Academic Records; 
  • submitting course description(s) of the course(s) at the other institution for review and approval by Academic Records or Academic Advising; 
  • submitting to the Registrar an official transcript issued by the other institution.

Transfer credits will not be awarded for classes that are taken pass/fail. No credits will be transferred unless the undergraduate student received a grade of C or higher in the course. If an undergraduate student seeks to transfer credit to fulfill a requirement in the student's professional major, additional requirements may apply. Contact the Office of the Registrar to obtain additional information.

RESIDENCY REQUIREMENT FOR UNDERGRADUATE STUDENTS

An undergraduate student must complete a minimum of 67 credits at Wheelock College to receive a Bachelor's degree. A student's final semester must be completed at Wheelock. Under special circumstances a student may request an exception to this policy. However, students cannot complete more than 8 final credits outside Wheelock. The undergraduate residency requirement is effective as of fall 2009.

UNDERGRADUATE ACADEMIC STANDING

The faculty at Wheelock College expects every student to succeed academically. One of the measures of academic success is the student's overall semester academic performance, including grades and grade point average. We make every effort to support each student academically. However, it is the student's responsibility to take charge of his or her own academic performance. Each student is required to meet certain academic standards. The records of students who do not achieve satisfactory academic progress will be reviewed at the end of every semester by the Scholastic Review Board. Failure to maintain minimum academic standards will result in one of the following: academic warning, academic probation, academic suspension, or academic dismissal.

A. Academic Warning
An undergraduate student will be placed on academic warning under any of the following circumstances:

  • Receiving a failing grade (F) in any course;
  • Failing to achieve a semester GPA of 2.0 or higher;
  • Failing to achieve a cumulative GPA of 2.15 or higher;
  • Failing to achieve a minimum grade of C in any professional course (including HGD).

Conditions of academic warning:

  • Students on academic warning must fulfill all requirements stipulated by the SRB or will be subject to academic probation. These requirements may include attending study sessions, meetings with an Academic Skills Coach, or completing an academic success plan.
  • After two consecutive semesters on academic warning, the SRB has the discretion to place a student on academic probation.

Removal from academic warning:
The Board may remove the student from academic warning if the student has:

  • Earned a cumulative GPA of 2.15 or higher

The SRB decides, in its sole discretion, whether to remove an undergraduate student from academic warning. The decision of the SRB regarding academic warning is final.

B. Academic Probation
An undergraduate student will be placed on academic probation under any of the following circumstances:

  • Receiving a failing grade (F) in any field experience;
  • Receiving two or more failing grades (F) in one semester;
  • Failing to achieve a semester GPA of 1.5 or higher;
  • Failing to achieve a cumulative GPA of 2.00 or higher;
  • Violating the Academic Honesty Policy.

Conditions of academic probation:

  • Students on academic probation must fulfill all requirements stipulated by the SRB or will be subject to academic suspension or dismissal. These requirements may include attending study sessions, meetings with an Academic Skills Coach, or completing an academic success plan;
  • Must take a reduced course load, as determined by the Scholastic Review Board, with the maximum being sixteen credit hours;
  • Must take all courses for letter grades except courses especially designated as pass/fail courses;
  • May not enter a practicum or internship;
  • After two semesters on academic probation, not necessarily consecutive, a student may be subject to academic suspension or dismissal.

Removal from academic probation:
The Board may remove the student from academic probation if the student has:

  • demonstrated sufficient academic progress as determined by the SRB;
  • achieved a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0 or higher;

The SRB decides, in its sole discretion, whether to remove an undergraduate student from academic probation. The decision of the SRB regarding academic probation is final.

C. Academic Suspension
An undergraduate student may be subject to academic suspension under any of the following circumstances:
After the first semester of matriculation:

  • Failing to achieve a .67 GPA or higher

After the second semester and each semester following:

  • Failing to achieve a semester GPA of 1.0 or higher;
  • Failing to achieve a cumulative GPA of 1.50 or higher;
  • Failing to meet all stipulations of academic probation;
  • Being placed on academic probation for two semesters (which need not be consecutive);
  • Repeat violations of the Academic Honesty Policy.

The SRB decides, in its sole discretion, whether or not to place a student on academic suspension.

Conditions of academic suspension:

  • May not participate in College academic or extracurricular activities or remain in the residence halls during the period of academic suspension (typically defined as one semester).
  • Two academic suspensions may result in academic dismissal
  • Failure to meet the stipulations, as determined by the SRB, upon reinstatement from academic suspension may result in academic dismissal
  • Appealing Academic Suspension

A Wheelock College student has a right to appeal academic suspension. Students are responsible to know the steps and the associated time limits that are involved in the appeal of academic suspension that are described below. The failure of a student to file a written notice of intent to appeal academic suspension within thirty (30) days from the date the notice of academic suspension was postmarked to the student will result in the dismissal of his or her appeal.

1. To appeal academic suspension, an undergraduate student must first meet and attempt to resolve the matter with the Scholastic Review Board. It is the sole responsibility of the student to make an appointment with the SRB during the designated appeal period.
2. If a student inquires about academic suspension to anyone other than the Scholastic Review Board, the student should be informed that it is his or her sole obligation to meet and attempt to resolve the matter with the Scholastic Review Board.
3. If the matter remains unresolved after the meeting with the SRB, the student may contact the Chair of the Academic Appeals Board. The Chair will explain to the student the steps and associated time limits that are involved in the appeal of academic suspension.

To continue an appeal of academic suspension to the Academic Appeals Board, the student should consult the Academic Appeals Policy.

Reinstatement after Academic Suspension:

Reinstatement after academic suspension is not automatic and must be by application to the SRB. The student must complete the Request for Reinstatement form and participate in a reinstatement interview at least one month prior to the start of the semester of reinstatement. Deadlines for reinstatement are strictly enforced. The student will also be required to provide supporting documents such as college transcripts, letters of recommendation from employers, or letters of support for reinstatement. The SRB will review the supporting documents and make the final decision regarding reinstatement.

Students reinstated after Academic Suspension must sign an Academic Success Contract and follow all requirements stipulated by the SRB. Failure to follow these requirements may result in academic dismissal.

D. Academic Dismissal

The Scholastic Review Board may academically dismiss a student from the college under any of the following circumstances:

  • Failing to achieve a .67 GPA or higher after the first semester of matriculation;
  • Failing to maintain a 1.0 cumulative GPA;
  • Being placed on academic probation or suspension for two semesters (which need not be consecutive);
  • Failing to show promise in working with people in the human service professions and those served by those professions;
  • Repeat violations of the Academic Honesty Policy

The SRB will send a letter to a student notifying him or her of the academic dismissal from the College.

The SRB decides, in its sole discretion, whether to dismiss or not dismiss a student for academic reasons.

Students who have been academically dismissed are no longer Wheelock College students and as such may not participate in College academic or extracurricular activities or remain in the residence halls.

Appealing Academic Dismissal:

A Wheelock College student has a right to appeal academic dismissal. Students are responsible to know the steps and the associated time limits that are involved in the appeal of academic dismissal that are described below. The failure of a student to file a written notice of intent to appeal academic dismissal within thirty (30) days from the date the notice of academic dismissal was postmarked to the student will result in the dismissal of his or her appeal.

1. To appeal academic dismissal, an undergraduate student must first meet and attempt to resolve the matter with the Scholastic Review Board. It is the sole obligation of the student to make an appointment with the Scholastic Review Board during the designated appeal period.
2. If a student inquires about academic dismissal to anyone other than the Chair of the Scholastic Review Board, the student should be informed that it is his or her sole obligation to meet and attempt to resolve the matter with the Scholastic Review Board.
3. If the matter remains unresolved after the meeting between the student and the Scholastic Review Board, the student may contact the Chair of the Academic Appeals Board. The Chair will explain to the student the steps and associated time limits that are involved in the appeal of academic dismissal.

To continue an appeal of academic dismissal to the Academic Appeals Board, the student should consult the Academic Appeals Policy.

Reinstatement after Academic Dismissal:

A student who has been academically dismissed may request to be reinstated after a year's absence from the College. The student must complete the Request for Reinstatement form at least one month prior to the start of the semester of reinstatement. Deadlines for reinstatement are strictly enforced. The student will also be required to provide supporting documents such as college transcripts, letters of recommendation from employers, or letters of support for reinstatement. The SRB will review the supporting documents and make the final decision regarding reinstatement.

F. MINIMUM ACADEMIC REQUIREMENTS FOR STUDENTS RECEIVING FINANCIAL AID

Federal and state regulations require that students receiving financial aid maintain satisfactory academic progress. Once a year, following the spring semester the cumulative grade-point average and number of credit hours attempted and earned by each financial aid recipient will be reviewed. Students who apply for financial aid by May 1 will be notified in writing by the Office of Financial Aid during the month of June if they have lost eligibility for aid due to failure to meet these standards. Late applicants will be notified when they submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or a Federal PLUS Loan application.

Incompletes, failures, or withdrawals are not considered earned credit hours and repeated courses are not counted as either attempted or earned credit hours. Transfer credits and Colleges of the Fenway credits are counted as earned credit hours.

A student must successfully complete the number of credit hours and maintain the minimum cumulative grade-point average listed on the chart below by the end of each successive academic year. This chart differentiates among full-time, three-quarter-time and half-time students, and is based on the maximum attempted credits federal policy which states that a student may only receive federal aid for up to 150% of the standard length of time that it takes a student to complete their program of study. For instance, if a student degree requires 120 credit hours, a student may not attempt more than 180 credit hours to achieve this degree.

FINANCIAL AID SUSPENSION

Undergraduate students who have not met the standards for satisfactory academic progress are placed on Financial Aid Suspension and are not eligible to receive aid, students will be notified of their status at their permanent address. The student is responsible for paying his/her own expenses, such as tuition, fees, books, supplies, etc. and will not be reimbursed for period(s) of financial aid suspension. Students on suspension status who improve their academic performance to the required completion rate and cumulative GPA without exceeding maximum attempted credits will return to good standing and are eligible for financial aid consideration. Students who enroll for fall without the benefit of aid who regain eligibility for the spring should contact the office to be reviewed. Students exceeding the maximum attempted credits for their program immediately enter Financial Aid Suspension status and may no longer receive financial aid for the declared program of study.

FINANCIAL AID SUSPENSION APPEALS

Students with significant and documented extenuating circumstances may submit the SAP Appeal Form (available from the Financial Aid Office), along with the supporting documentation to regain aid eligibility within thirty days of receipt of the aid decision. The appeal must explain, and documentation must support, the unusual circumstances that prevented the student from meeting required academic standards. Unusual circumstances may include: death of a close family member, extended illness, personal injury or other extraordinary circumstances. Supporting documentation may include: death certificate, physician's/counseling psychologist statement, police report, etc. During the appeal process the student must be prepared to pay his/her own expenses, such as tuition, fees, books, supplies, etc., without expectation of financial aid reimbursement. Students whose appeals are approved are granted one additional semester of aid, and in general, a student will be granted only one waiver during their academic career. Students are expected to meet the standards of academic progress upon completion of the semester for which they were granted a waiver.

G. WITHDRAWAL FROM THE COLLEGE

VOLUNTARY WITHDRAWAL

If a student wants to withdraw from the College, he or she must complete an Official Withdrawal form (available at the Office of Academic Records and Registration) and meet with the Registrar or his or her designee. Failure to complete this form in a timely manner may affect the student's financial aid status. A student will not be removed from the College billing list until the withdrawal procedure has been completed.

NON-VOLUNTARY WITHDRAWAL

When a student is required to withdraw from the College for academic reasons, a non-voluntary withdrawal occurs.
An undergraduate student who does not register for courses within the first two weeks of a semester, and who has not requested a leave of absence, will be deemed to have withdrawn from the College.

LEAVE OF ABSENCE

An undergraduate student who wishes to request a leave of absence for a semester must complete a Leave of Absence form which is available in the Office of Academic Records and Registration. To maintain degree candidate status, the Leave of Absence form must be submitted to the Registrar or his or her designee. Failure to complete this form in a timely manner may affect the student's financial aid status. A $200 deposit must remain in the student's account with the College for any student requesting a leave of absence. If the student does not return to the College at the end of the specified leave of absence period, the deposit will be forfeited.

If, at the end of an approved leave of absence, a student does not submit a Request for Reinstatement form in order to resume his or her studies, the student will then automatically be considered withdrawn from the college. All withdrawn students are automatically placed on academic hold and are not permitted to register for additional courses without submitting a Request for Reinstatement form to the Office of Academic Records and Registration.

Undergraduate students may not retroactively request a leave of absence but must receive permission before the beginning of the first semester of leave of absence.

H. READMISSION TO THE COLLEGE

An undergraduate student in good academic standing who has withdrawn and wishes to seek reinstatement should complete the Request for Readmission (form available at the Office of Student Success) and meet with the Associate Vice President for Student Success. The Request for Readmission is then forwarded to the Scholastic Review Board which will make the decision regarding reinstatement.

A student who has been required to withdraw by the Scholastic Review Board for academic reasons may request to be readmitted after a year's absence from the College. The student must complete the Request for Readmission form. The student will also be required to provide supporting documents such as college transcripts, letters of recommendation from employers, or letters of support for readmission. The Scholastic Review Board will review the supporting documents and make the final decision regarding reinstatement.

I. PRACTICA

STANDARDS FOR ENTERING A PRACTICUM

Wheelock College has set high standards for students entering the undergraduate professional preparation programs in teaching, child life, and social work. Before students may take a practicum, the total record of a student will be reviewed.

To enter a practicum, a student must:

  • successfully complete pre-practicum fieldwork courses by earning a grade of "C" or higher or a grade of "P" in pass/fail fieldwork courses;
  • successfully complete sixty-seven credit hours of course work;
  • pass the Wheelock Literacy and Communication Exam (WLCE);
  • successfully complete the Human Growth and Development I and Human Growth and Development II courses by earning a grade of "C" or higher:
  • demonstrate the ability to interact positively with children and adults in general education fieldwork; and
  • maintain a 2.0 cumulative grade-point average or higher (i.e., students on academic probation may not enter a practicum).

In addition, students in the Massachusetts Department of Education Licensure Programs must adhere to Wheelock's MTEL policies, including passing the MTEL Literacy and Communication test prior to registering for a pre-practicum field course(for elementary education students) or a practicum (for early childhood education students selecting the inclusive classroom teacher option; and for Special Education students).

Transfer students may not enter a practicum until they have successfully completed one sixteen credit hour semester and have earned sixty-seven credit hours of course work. A student usually may not register for more than sixteen credit hours during a practicum semester. An undergraduate student must petition the Scholastic Review Board for permission to register for more than sixteen credit hours during a practicum semester.

Each practicum has specific entrance criteria. Students should refer to the Course Offerings Brochure for entrance criteria for specific practica. Unless approved in advance by the appropriate Academic Dean, there are no exceptions to these criteria. To apply to enter a pre-practicum or a practicum or internship in Education, Child Life, Juvenile Justice, or Community Based Human Services, students must meet with the staff of the Office of Field Experiences before course selection (Deadlines are published in the academic calendar)

To enter a social work practicum, students must meet with the Social Work Field Coordinator and follow the procedures explained by the Social Work Field Coordinator.

CRITERIA FOR ENTERING FIELD PRACTICUM FOR UNDERGRADUATE SOCIAL WORK MAJORS

To enter the practicum, a student must have:

  • Completed 66 credit hours of course work successfully
  • Passed the WLCE (Wheelock Literacy and Communication Exam).
  • Completed the courses Understanding Communities and Human Growth and Development, with a grade of "C" or better. Transfer students must have successfully completed these courses or equivalent courses as determined by the Registrar.
  • Demonstrated the ability to interact positively with children and adults in Understanding Communities and Human Growth and Development in the fieldwork experience, or for transfers, the equivalent courses as determined by the Registrar.
  • Attained a minimum of 2.0 cumulative grade point average (students on probation may not enter a practicum).
  • Attained a minimum of a "C" grade in SWK 205, SWK 225, SWK 355, and SWK 440.
  • Removed any "Incomplete" grades left from the semester preceding the practicum.

Before entrance into a practicum is permitted, the total record of a student is reviewed. Transfer students may not enter a practicum until they have successfully completed one 16-credit semester and have earned at least 66 academic credits. A student may not register for more than 16 credits during a student teaching/practicum semester. Any exceptions to this last standard must be approved by the Dean of Social Work.

INCOMPLETE GRADES FOR STUDENTS ENTERING PRACTICUM

Students may not receive incomplete grades in any courses the semester prior to entering or continuing on a practicum. Any exception to this policy must be approved by the Scholastic Review Board or the Graduate Review Board.

REINSTATEMENT IN A PRACTICUM

An undergraduate student who has failed a practicum must request permission to repeat a practicum by:

  • completing a Request for Continuance form available in the Office of the Registrar; and
  • submitting the completed form and all supporting documentation to the Scholastic Review Board by October 1, if the student wishes to enter a practicum in the spring semester, and by March 15, if the student wishes to enter a practicum in the succeeding fall semester.

The Scholastic Review Board will notify the student of its decision in writing.

An undergraduate student who voluntarily withdraws from a practicum for health considerations must complete the above steps and also submit documentation that the health considerations have been resolved or that the student may fulfill the requirements of the practicum with reasonable accommodations.

WITHDRAWING FROM A PRACTICUM OR INTERNSHIP

A student who withdraws from a practicum for any reason, other than health or extraordinary considerations, at any time during the semester will automatically receive a failing grade of "F."

A student may withdraw from a practicum or internship for health considerations or extraordinary circumstances if, and only if, the student was performing satisfactorily at the time of the withdrawal and obtains the approval of the Scholastic Review Board (for undergraduate students) or of the Graduate Review Board (for graduate students).

To request withdrawal from a practicum or internship for health considerations, a student must submit:

  • a written petition describing the health considerations;
  • a written statement from the student's College supervisor stating that the student was performing satisfactorily at the time of withdrawal; and
  • written statement from a medical or mental health professional describing the student's health considerations and explaining the reason(s) for the student's inability to satisfy all the requirements of the practicum.

If a student is not able to satisfy the requirements of an internship, the following procedures must be followed:

  • the student and the student's College supervisor must meet and discuss the student's performance;
  • the student's College supervisor will prepare and deliver to the student a written evaluation of the student's performance and summarize all areas needing improvement and establish goals;
  • if the student does not satisfy the established goals, the student's College supervisor will inform the Department Chair, Academic Dean and the Director of Field Experience or Social Work Field Coordinator;
  • the Academic Dean will meet with the student's College supervisor and any other interested parties to discuss alternative courses of action; and
  • the Academic Dean will inform the student of the prescribed course of action.

If the prescribed course of action is the student's withdrawal from the internship, the student will receive a failing grade of "F".
If the student is placed on academic probation or is dismissed from the College for academic reasons, the student must immediately withdraw from the internship.

GRIEVOUS BEHAVIOR AT PLACEMENT

Some behavior is so egregious that it will result in immediate termination from a placement. Such behavior includes, but is not limited to, inflicting or threatening to inflict injury to a client, agency staff member, or other person related to the performance of professional duties; abusing controlled substances or alcohol so that it affects performance; becoming sexually involved with clients or site personnel; or engaging in illegal activities that reflect upon the student's ability to perform professionally or that reflect negatively upon the profession.

UNDERGRADUATE LOCATION WAIVERS

All students are strongly encouraged to do practica in the settings established by Wheelock's Field Experience Office in collaboration with the Faculty. In order to request permission to do a practicum at a setting that has not been examined by the College and thus is not yet an approved site a student must get permission from their Academic Advisor, Chair of their department, the Dean of their program and the Director of Field Experience to approve the site for this purpose. Please note that approval of such requests is contingent upon a number of factors such as documented medical conditions, the academic appropriateness of the setting and staffing considerations. It is the responsibility of the requesting student to complete a Location Waiver Form by April 1st for the upcoming Fall semester and November 1 for the following spring semester.

All appropriate signatures must be obtained before submitting this form to the appropriate Dean. These waiver forms are available in the Field Experience Office.

STUDENT EMPLOYMENT AT PLACEMENT SITE

Wheelock College believes that field training is an integral part of a student's professional preparation and development. To this end, the College conducts its practicum, internship, field placement, and other off-campus learning programs. The College endeavors to place students in educationally suitable positions at various public and private institutions and at other locations. On occasion, placement sites hire students to perform work outside of an academically-approved placement and beyond the College's oversight or control.

The College expresses no opinion and makes no representations that a placement site is a safe and adequately supervised work environment for employment or that a student is qualified to perform work at a placement site, outside of an academically-approved placement. The College assumes no responsibility for providing insurance for students against harm suffered or for liability incurred as a result of employment outside of an academically-approved placement. Such insurance and any liability resulting from such employment are the responsibility of the student and the employer. The College reserves the right to change a student's placement if, in the College's sole discretion, it determines that a student's outside employment at a placement site interferes with or compromises the educational goals of the academically-approved placement.

The College provides a copy of this policy and a Student Employer Acknowledgment and Release form to each placement site. Students seeking employment outside an academically-approved placement at a placement site are responsible for obtaining a signed Acknowledgement and Release from the placement site. In addition, students registering for academically-approved placements are required to sign an Acknowledgment and Release agreeing to this policy. Students under the age of eighteen must provide the College with an Acknowledgment and Release signed by their parents or legal guardians. These Acknowledgments and Releases will be maintained in students' permanent records in the Office of the Registrar.

CORI (CRIMINAL OFFENDER RECORD INQUIRY) AND OTHER BACKGROUND CHECKS

Massachusetts requires certain agencies serving children and the elderly to conduct a Criminal Offender Record Inquiry (CORI) background check on all volunteers and staff. Students should be aware that schools, hospitals, community service agencies and other placement sites will most likely run a CORI, Department of Social Services (DSS) and sometimes a Sex Offender Record Inquiry (SORI) background check on everyone working and volunteering at their site. Due to the nature of Wheelock's curriculum and its requirements for placements at such sites, students should expect to go through the CORI process.

J. ACADEMIC BOARDS

The Academic Appeals Boards and academic appeals process are discussed in section C.

SCHOLASTIC REVIEW BOARD 

The members of the Scholastic Review Board are:

  • Dean of Arts and Sciences, or his or her designee;
  • Dean of Professional and Graduate Studies, or his or her designee;
  • A faculty member from each of the academic schools of the College appointed by Faculty Senate;
  • Registrar;
  • Vice President for Academic Affairs or his or her designee;
  • Associate Vice President for Student Services;
  • Coordinator of Disability and Student Support Services; and
  • Dean of Student Life, ex officio.

Among the functions of the Scholastic Review Board are the following:

  • to implement academic policy;
  • to place students on and remove students from academic probation;
  • to review applications for readmission to the College;
  • to dismiss students from the College for academic reasons; and
  • to consider students' special academic requests.

Any request by an undergraduate student for the Scholastic Review Board to consider a matter must be submitted in writing, together with all supporting materials, at least forty-eight hours before the next scheduled meeting of the Board.

K. ACADEMIC RECORDS

The Office of Academic Records and Registration maintains the academic transcript of each student. Academic transcripts are available to a student upon written request. An official transcript bears the seal of the College and the signature of the Registrar. A transcript issued directly to a student is designated "Issued to Student." To obtain a copy of his or her transcript, a student must complete the Transcript Request form available on the Registrar's page of the Wheelock College website and pay a fee for each transcript requested. To obtain an official transcript or receive his or her degree, a student must also have satisfied his or her financial obligations to the College.

A file for every student is maintained in the Office of Academic Records and Registration and in the Office of Academic Advising and Academic Assistance. Students may inspect these files upon request.

L. DEGREE, DIPLOMA AND GRADUATION CEREMONY PARTICIPATION

Wheelock College confers undergraduate and graduate degrees three times each year in May, August, and December. Students must successfully complete all degree requirements to receive their degree and diploma from Wheelock College. Wheelock conducts a Boston-based graduation ceremony each May to celebrate as a community the achievements of its degree recipients and program completers.

Students who are not degree recipients or program completers are eligible to participate in the Boston graduation ceremony if they are within eight credit hours of the total course credits required for the degree program. Other graduation ceremonies take place at selected national and international program delivery sites to honor the achievements of off-campus Wheelock College students. The President of Wheelock College will consult with administration, faculty, and students to decide when and where to host these off-campus graduation ceremonies.

Complete information regarding diplomas, the process of degree completion, and academic eligibility to participate in the commencement ceremony is available from the Office of Academic Records and Registration.

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