University of Vermont

Understanding Academic Standing

Do I need to maintain a specific grade point average to be considered in good academic standing?

Students are required to earn a minimum grade point average of 2.0 for their semester and cumulative averages to be considered as a student in "good academic standing." However, students enrolled in the teacher education programs who maintain only this minimum grade point average will not be eligible for admission to the professional portion of their programs.

What is the CESS policy for Disciplinary Action related to academic performance?

Disciplinary actions, such as placement on trial, disenrollment, or dismissal are designed to encourage high level academic work from students. The CESS guidelines are more stringent than those for the University and students, including first-year students and new transfers, can be dismissed without first being placed on trial.

A student is subject to academic disciplinary action, including dismissal from the university, if (a) his or her semester or cumulative average falls below 2.0; or if (b) s/he has failed six or more credit hours of coursework in a given semester.

A student who has a cumulative grade point average too low to meet specific program requirements, will be warned of pending disenrollment. Also, students who do not follow the course requirements of their program will also be warned of pending disenrollment. If, at the end of two subsequent semesters, the student has failed to meet either the GPA or course requirements of his/her program, s/he will be disenrolled from the college.

Students who are placed on trial rather than being dismissed and who do not meet the conditions of trial will then be dismissed.

Students with "on trial" status will not be allowed to participate in their senior internship and they will not be eligible to graduate.

Is this policy the same as the University policy?

The CESS guidelines are more stringent than those for the University and students, including first year and new transfer students, can be dismissed without first being placed on trial.

When are academic records reviewed?

Early January and Late May

Can I be dismissed without first being placed on trial?

Yes, students are dismissed without first being placed on trial. This includes First Year students and new transfers. Members of the CESS Student Affairs Committee dismiss students and provide them with an opportunity to provide a "plan for success" as part of the appeal process. This sends a very clear message to students that they must have a plan in place to improve their academic record or they will not be permitted to continue in a degree program.

What is the dismissal appeal process?

The dismissal letter includes very specific dates, deadlines and guidelines for the appeal.

Contents of Appeal Letter

You will need to decide if you have information appropriate for an appeal. For example, you may have been experiencing emotional difficulties and have been meeting with a counselor at the Counseling Center for the past several weeks. This is important information for the committee to know. While every dismissed student has the right to appeal, keep in mind that the appeal needs to have more substance than simply a letter expressing that you know you can do better. Your appeal must include the following:

  1. Part 1 - Explain why you experienced academic difficulty. Also include the extenuating circumstances. (If you have questions concerning your grades, you will need to either contact the Registrar's Office or the professor. If you completed paperwork to withdraw, contact the Registrar. If you think you have earned a higher grade than you received, contact your professor. Issues concerning your grades should be resolved prior to submitting your appeal letter.)
  2. Part 2 - Submit a plan to bring about change to experience academic success. This should include resources you will use to improve your academic record during the next semester if permitted to return.
Dismissal Letters

Dismissal letters will be mailed to the dismissed student's permanent address which s/he has provided to the University. If you are dismissed and we are unable to reach you, you will forfeit the right to appeal to return for the next semester. Declaring that you "didn't know" doesn't negate the dismissal decision. Yes, we do realize that you may not be at your permanent address during winter break/summer break. We also know that some of you have your permanent address listed for the person who is paying the bill while you actually live elsewhere. And some of you may not have provided a permanent address to the University. However, you do have access to your grades. And if we need to reach you, we will be using your permanent address as listed.

What are the academic actions and what do they mean?

On Trial

Students who have not been dismissed, but have earned below a 2.0 for the semester and/or their overall average, will be placed on trial. Students who are placed on trial receive very explicit information on the conditions of trial (see example below). Students who are placed on trial based on their Fall semester grades will receive this information at their campus address when they return for Spring semester. Students who are placed on trial based on their Spring semester grades will receive this information at their permanent address during the summer months.

The conditions of being "on trial" include, but are not limited to:

  1. Have no failing grades
  2. Carry a course load of 12 or more semester hours (*)
  3. Resolve all grades of "Incomplete" (**)
  4. Elect no courses on the "pass/no pass" basis
  5. Attain a semester average of at least 2.0
  6. Attain a cumulative average of at least 2.0 (this may require that your semester GPA be considerably higher than 2.0)
  7. Additional conditions as determined by the CESS Student Affairs Committee

(*) If you need to carry less than 12 hours be certain to provide a typed rationale during the first week of classes which will be reviewed by the Student Affairs Committee. Bring your rationale to 528 Waterman.

(**) Only applies to students who have been assigned grades of incomplete.

Failure to meet any of these minimum trial conditions may result in your dismissal from the University by action of the College Student Affairs Committee.

Continued On Trial

Students who had "on trial" status and who considerably improved their academic record, but who are not yet in good academic standing, may be "continued on trial" and will be expected to meet the "conditions of trial." Students who are continued on trial are often "warned of pending disenrollment" as well.

Dismissed

Due to a semester and/or overall average below 2.0, the student is dismissed from the University of Vermont and may not enroll in coursework at UVM until s/he successfully appeals the dismissal decision. Students who successfully appeal will return with either "on trial" or "continued on trial" status. They may also be warned of pending disenrollment. Students who do not appeal or who are not successful in appealing the decision, will not be eligible to return for one semester. At the end of the semester away from UVM, the student may request to return.

The dismissal letter is mailed to the dismissed student's permanent address which s/he has provided to the University. If you are dismissed and we are unable to reach you, you will forfeit the right to appeal to return for the next semester. Declaring that you "didn't know" doesn't negate the dismissal decision. Yes, we do realize that you may not be at your permanent address during the semester break. We also know that some of you have your permanent address listed for the person who is paying the bill while you actually live elsewhere. Others of you may not have provided a permanent address to the University. However, you do have access to your grades and any average below 2.0 should alert you that dismissal is a possibility. And if we need to reach you, we will be using your permanent address as listed.

Warning of Pending Disenrollment

A student who has a cumulative grade point average too low to meet specific program requirements, will be warned of pending disenrollment. Also, students who do not follow the course requirements of their program will also be warned of pending disenrollment. If at the end of two subsequent semesters the student has failed to meet either the GPA or course requirements of his/her program, s/he will be disenrolled from the college.

If the issue is the grade point average, we encourage students to consider the Human Development and Family Studies program or the Social Work program in the CESS since they do not require an overall average of 3.0 or above as required by the licensure programs.

Students who are not following their program requirements, but who may be in good academic standing, will receive a letter warning them of pending disenrollment from the College. Students who are following their requirements, but who are not eligible for admission to the professional portion of the program because of their grade point average (below 2.5), will also receive a warning letter. Students who receive a warning letter have two semesters to meet the requirements or they will be disenrolled at the end of the second semester.

Disenrollment

Students who complete their second semester following a warning of pending disenrollment will be disenrolled unless they successfully appeal to the Student Affairs Committee. Disenrollment means that you will no longer be considered a degree student in the College of Education and Social Services. You may be eligible to enroll in course work as a Continuing Education student. Students who wish to appeal a disenrollment decision should follow the same guidelines and dates for appeal as stated in the Section Dismissal & Appeal Process.

Combination of Disciplinary Actions

Students who are placed on trial or who have been continued on trial are often warned of pending disenrollment.

When will I have access to my grades?

During the final exam period, the Registrar's Office enters the grades on the system as soon as they have been submitted by the faculty. Students can then easily access them online. Grade reports which include your semester and overall grade point averages are run after all grades have been recorded. So you may have access to your grades, but not your semester average when you leave at the end of the semester. You can do the numbers and determine your averages.

Students who have a "hold" on their account will not have access to their grades and will need to depend on your grades from exams and papers throughout the semester.

What should I do if I earn a very low semester grade point average?

Ideally, you should have this discussion with your academic advisor, but students often wait until all the grades are posted online and unfortunately, classes are not in session and faculty may not be available. So first try to reach your academic advisor and if s/he isn't available, contact the CESS Student Services Office (656-3468) for assistance.

In the future, remember that the drop and withdrawal periods along with the support services on campus (e.g. tutoring) should be discussed with your faculty advisor so that you can make an informed decision before you earn very low grades.

What is an Early Appeal letter?

Students who are dismissed in January always have a very short window of time to appeal, therefore, it's essential for students who know they have been having academic difficulty to consider the early appeal process.

Prepare a typed letter for the Student Affairs Committee (c/o DeMethra Bradley; 528 Waterman) and include the same information dismissed students must include in their dismissal appeal. Refer to dismissal appeal process above and do a four-part appeal based on the listed questions.

Due to the very short span of time between the Review of Academic Records (Early January) and the beginning of next semester, the committee members will consider your letter of explanation immediately following the Review of Academic Records. This requires you to check your grades online, determine if you might be eligible for dismissal and then be proactive by writing an early appeal letter before the committee even determines if you will be dismissed. Rather than waiting to hear from the committee that you have been dismissed and have a limited time to appeal, you will acknowledge your academic difficulties and provide your two part appeal. If you provide a plan, but you aren't dismissed, you will have developed a plan to improve your academic average during your next semester at UVM. It's better to write an early appeal and discover you achieved a higher level of success than you anticipated than to choose not to write it.

Students who are dismissed and who have not provided an early appeal letter to be reviewed at this meeting will receive a letter at their permanent address. These students may discover that they do not have enough time to appeal and possibly return for the next semester. It's important to note that an early appeal does not guarantee that you will be returning for the next semester. It simply provides you with an opportunity to have the response from the committee in a more timely way. All appeal letters must follow the guidelines specified in the above section titled "Contents of Appeal Letter."

Write your letter to the Assistant Dean (DeMethra Bradley) and it will be shared with the Student Affairs Committee. Send it to the CESS Student Services Office, 528 Waterman or FAX it to 802-656-0855.

Last modified April 04 2012 11:52 AM