Jul 15, 2024  
2009-2010 Catalog 
2009-2010 Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Academic Policies and Programs


Academic Policies and Programs


Academic Integrity

Students at Shawnee State University are required to do their own work on all tests and assignments. Any form of cheating may result in your being withdrawn from a particular course or courses and a failing course grade, as well as possible dismissal from the University.

Grading / Awarding of Credit

Final grades are available via MySSU at the end of each semester. Grades will not be issued over the phone.
Grade Description Quality Points
A Excellent 4.00
A-   3.67
B+   3.33
B Good 3.00
B-   2.67
C+   2.33
C Average 2.00
C-   1.67
D+   1.33
D Poor 1.00
D-   0.67
F Failing 0.00
TC Transfer credit with a grade of C or higher 0.00
TP Transfer credit with a grade of D- through C- 0.00
KE Credit by Exam 0.00
NC No Credit 0.00
WD Withdrawal 0.00
I Incomplete 0.00
P Pass 0.00
AP Advanced Placement 0.00
AU Audit 0.00


No Report 0.00


Course Repeated 0.00


A grade of “F” receives no credit. Students earning this grade must repeat the course if credit is to be received.

Catalog Rights

The academic requirements and policies that a student must follow are determined by the course catalog in place at the time of initial registration at Shawnee State University. If a student fails to enroll for three consecutive semesters, he or she must follow requirements and policies in the course catalog in place at the time of return to SSU. A student has the right to petition the academic department that offers his or her major for a change in catalog. A student also has the right to request course substitutions and waivers of requirements.

Waiver and/or substitution of a required course or courses must comply with SSU “Guidelines Regarding Waivers and Substitutions of Required Courses.” Copies of these guidelines are available from the College of Professional Studies Dean’s Office, the College of Arts and Sciences Dean’s Office, or the Office of the Registrar.

Finally, it is important to note the following statement on the home page of this catalog:

“These requirements are subject to change prior to graduation in order to comply with federal, state, and accreditation requirements. Shawnee State University reserves the right to make changes in its programs, policies, and procedures prior to your graduation, which you will be required to meet unless specifically exempted from the changes.”

Class Ranking

Student class ranking is determined by your cumulative credit hours earned (please note the following chart). Non-degree seeking students do not possess class rank.

Class Rank Cumulative Hrs. Earned
Freshman 0 - 29
Sophomore 30 - 59
Junior 60 - 89
Senior 90 - no upper limit

Incomplete Grades

If you are unable to attend class for an extended period of time, you may contact the faculty member responsible for the class to request an incomplete grade. Incompletes must be converted to a grade within 30 calendar days after the semester or they are converted to “Fs.” This 30-day period begins the day after the last day of the semester.

Administrative Hold

With the approval of the registrar, an administrative hold may be placed on the records or accounts of any student who fails to comply in a reasonable period of time with an obligation imposed under university rules or who has an overdue debt or fine. An administrative hold will cause certain services to be withheld, including, but not limited to: registering or enrolling, being certified as eligible to obtain a degree or certificate, receiving a transcript, borrowing books or equipment, or being certified to be eligible to participate in athletics.

The unit originating an administrative hold on your records or accounts will notify you in writing of the obligation that is overdue by providing another itemized bill or list of action requested, specifying when the administrative hold will become effective, whom you should contact for additional information, and how you should contact this person.

Any disputes concerning the legitimacy of the hold or its processing will be resolved by the Registrar.

Academic Assessment

The value of an educational degree is directly related to the reputation of the university that awards it. For this reason, students on our campus are given the unique opportunity to actively participate in academic assessment. The feedback provided through assessment leads to changes that assure and maintain the quality and value of the academic programs at Shawnee State University.

Formal assessment testing, portfolio review, surveys, and exit interviews allow the University to assess the strengths and weaknesses of our programs. And, for all its benefits, the process actually requires a minimal amount of your time.

By measuring what you’ve learned as well as what you can do with what you’ve learned, assessment helps you monitor your own progress, and it leads to changes that benefit future Shawnee State students and the University as a whole.

Dean’s List/President’s List

Full-time students (enrolled in 12 or more hours for the semester) who achieve a 3.5 to 3.99 grade point average are placed on the Dean’s List for that semester. Full-time students who achieve a 4.00 grade point average are placed on the President’s List for that semester.

Pass/No-Credit Policy


The pass/no-credit option is designed to permit you to take a select number of courses for which no traditional letter grade (of “A” through “F”) is recorded on your grade report and transcript. If you wish to take a course on a pass/no-credit basis, you must complete the proper forms at the Registrar’s Office (see Important Dates for deadlines).  Your decision to take a class on a pass/no-credit basis is not subject to change.

To be eligible for the pass/no-credit option, you must have earned a cumulative G.P.A. of 2.0 or better. First semester freshmen are considered as having met the above requirement.

The pass/no-credit option is subject to the following restrictions:

  • You may complete up to 6 semester hours to be counted toward an associate degree or 12 semester hours to be counted toward a baccalaureate degree under this option.
  • You may take only one (1) course pass/no-credit per semester.
  • Applicability of courses taken pass/no-credit toward your major program of study is subject to departmental approval.
  • To receive a grade of “P” (pass), you must earn a grade of “C-” or better in the course. If you do not receive a grade of “C-” or better, a grade of NC (no credit) is awarded.
  • A grade will be turned in at the regular grade processing time and will be converted to a “P” or “NC” on the transcript by the Office of the Registrar.

Credit by Examination

Students have the opportunity to earn credit for selected courses offered at Shawnee State University via proficiency examinations. If you have prior training, innate skills, extensive preparation, or experience, you may qualify to attempt the examination. You should first secure the advice of your advisor or program director as to its appropriateness for your program of study. Then, final approval must be obtained from the appropriate chairperson, program director, or dean. Please note that only selected courses are available ‘‘by examination.’’

A fee is charged for course credit by examination and must be submitted prior to attempting the examination. A ‘‘KE’’ symbol, indicating ‘‘credit by exam,’’ is recorded on the academic transcript of those students who demonstrate proficiency by passing the exam. Credit earned by examination is not included in the calculation of your cumulative grade point average. You are not eligible to attempt a proficiency examination for a course in which you have been enrolled for 20 class days or more.

Credit hours awarded by examination do not apply toward the residency requirement for graduation.

College Level Examination Program (CLEP)

Students may be awarded credit for College Level Examinations taken under the College Entrance Examination Board. If you take the general examinations in English composition, mathematics, natural sciences, humanities, social sciences, and history and achieve the recommended scores of the Commission on Educational Credit and Credentials of the American Council on Education (ACE), you are given KE (credit by exam) credit for the first sequential course in the above areas.  Many other subject examinations may be used to earn KE credit, but you must achieve recommended ACE scores to receive credit.

Credit given through the College Level Examination Program does not apply toward the residency requirement for graduation.

For more information regarding taking a CLEP exam, contact the Student Success Center.

Credit for Military Educational Experiences

Credit may be awarded for military educational experiences. The Guide to the Evaluation of Educational Experiences in the Armed Forces, published by the American Council on Education, is used to determine possible college credit eligibility. Credit awarded for military educational experiences does not apply toward the residency requirement for graduation. Please contact the Office of the Registrar for more information.


Most learning beyond basic skills is dependent upon the mastery of some prior skill or subject content. As a result, many courses at the University require the satisfaction of prerequisites prior to course enrollment. Prerequisites may be met by successful completion of the prior courses listed or by placement, via testing, into the course.

A student may be withdrawn from a course for which prerequisites have not been satisfied.

Repeating Coursework

Courses may be repeated for credit if so identified in the course description. Courses may also be repeated for other purposes (e.g., attempt to raise grade), but only the highest grade earned and the associated credit will be reflected in your GPA (grade point average). The lower course grade will be replaced by the symbol R, indicating the course was repeated.

While most courses are eligible for repetition, the following transcript symbols cannot be removed by subsequent course repetition: WD, AP, P, KE, NC, AU, TC.

Grade Appeals

If you question a grade in a particular course, you must contact the faculty member or the academic department responsible for the class for information on the grade appeal process.

Grade Point Average

Quality points for a course are determined by multiplying the total credit hours by the numerical equivalent of the letter grade received in the course. To calculate grade point average, divide Total Quality Points by Total Quality Hours:

        Grade Point Average = (Total Quality Points) / (Total Quality Hours)

Academic Probation

A student achieving a grade point average of 1.5 or less for any semester is placed on academic probation for the following semester provided the cumulative grade average does not fall below that required to remain enrolled.

Academic Suspension/Dismissal


Students are academically suspended when their cumulative grade point average falls below that listed for each category of credit hours attempted:

Credit Hrs. Attempted <27 28-36 37-43 44-50 51-57 58+
GPA 1.00 1.30 1.55 1.80 1.90 2.00

An academically suspended student must wait two semesters before re-enrolling at SSU.  Upon re-enrollment, a second suspension will result in academic dismissal. “Academic dismissal” is the permanent withdrawal of the privilege of enrollment and attendance.  A student may appeal a suspension or dismissal by submitting a written appeal to the Academic Appeals Committee (contact the Registrar’s office for details).  The decision of the Academic Appeals Committee is final.  An academically dismissed student must wait a minimum of two years before being eligible to re-appeal to the Academic Appeals Committee. 

Fresh Start

The Fresh Start policy at Shawnee State University does not alter a student’s academic records, but does allow previously dismissed students who have been away from the University for some time to re-enroll with the approval of the Academic Appeals Committee.  For details, please contact the Office of the Registrar.

Audit (Non-Credit)

You may elect to take a course for audit (non-credit) by completing the proper forms in the Office of the Registrar (see Important Dates for deadlines). Election of this option may affect federal financial aid eligibility.

Course Credit by Arrangement

Students have the opportunity to fulfill requirements for selected courses offered at Shawnee State University via independent study or specially arranged instruction. If you are interested in pursuing this educational option, you should first secure the advice of your faculty advisor as to its appropriateness for your program of study. You should then contact the appropriate dean, director, or chairperson. This individual, after consultation with appropriate faculty, makes a determination as to the feasibility of your request. You may earn up to 12 credit hours toward graduation in this manner, with all credit being considered resident credit, but you are limited to 6 hours of credit by arrangement per semester. Students enrolling in a course by arrangement have until the end of the semester to have all work completed in the course.

Credit hours attempted/earned via this option count toward full-time student status for the computation of federal financial aid eligibility. See the fee schedule for course by arrangement fees.

Internship Guidelines

Guidelines for internship have been established by faculty for those programs which require internship as part of their graduation requirements. If internship is a part of the program in which you are enrolled, you are urged to request a copy of the guidelines from your faculty advisor.

Faculty Advising

Academic advising is intended to help you with your immediate academic concerns. Toward that end, advising is provided to degree-seeking students by faculty advisors.

Faculty members will meet with you by appointment, and each faculty member has available hours posted near his or her office. All students with fewer than 30 credit hours are required to have advisor approval prior to registration.

Undecided students, students who place into two or more developmental courses (math and/or English), and students awaiting selective program admission are guided by Student Success Center advisors.

Many departments have mandatory advising for their majors. Also, all freshmen, sophomores becoming juniors, and juniors becoming seniors must contact their advisor prior to registration.

Faculty Expectations and Responsibilities

Faculty expect regular and punctual attendance at all classes. Attendance policy for individual classes is made by the faculty member responsible for the class. Grades are also controlled by the faculty member responsible for the class.

In the event that a faculty member is not present at the normal time class begins, you are to remain in the classroom an additional 15 minutes. If the class meets once a week for 3 to 5 hours, you must remain in the classroom for 45 minutes. If the faculty member has not arrived or no special instructions have been received within that time, you may leave class without penalty.

All faculty members post office hours during which they are available to discuss individual problems relating to your academic progress. You are encouraged to take full advantage of interacting with your faculty members and academic advisors. They want to see you succeed.

Visitors to Class

Students planning to bring a visitor to a class with them are asked to obtain the permission of the faculty member responsible for the class in advance of the visit.

Bringing Children to or Leaving Children at the University

Children are welcome at the university, accompanied by you, at any family event. However, please do not bring children to the university and leave them unattended while you are in class or at another university-related event. The university cannot be responsible for children who are left unattended.

Adding a Class

You may add a class to your schedule online via MySSU or by completing a registration form in the Office of the Registrar (see Important Dates for deadlines).

Dropping a Class


You may drop a class online via MySSU or by completing the proper form in the Office of the Registrar (see Important Dates for deadlines). During the first seven calendar days, if class withdrawal affects fees, a refund is possible. Any withdrawal after the seventh calendar day results in a WD being placed on your academic record. Withdrawing from courses may affect Title IV student financial aid funds. Please read the Financial Aid Satisfactory Progress section on pages 35 and 36 of this catalog.

You may withdraw from a class through Wednesday of the tenth week of the semester by obtaining the signature of the instructor on a form obtained from the Office of the Registrar. The form must be returned to the Office of the Registrar.

In case of emergency, as determined by the college dean, you may withdraw from a class after the above deadline, but no later than 5:00 p.m. on the final day of class, by obtaining permission from the college dean and completing appropriate forms. Faculty members are notified by the college dean of these emergency withdrawals.

Withdrawing Completely

Should your circumstances warrant a complete withdrawal from the University, you must contact the Office of the Registrar to complete the proper forms. The staff will direct you to the Student Success Center where proper information is given regarding the possible academic and financial aid ramifications of complete withdrawal. Many times staff in the Success Center can provide alternatives so that departure can be avoided. It is never advisable to withdraw from the University without first speaking to a representative from the Success Center. Additionally, reentry into the University is made more convenient for you by the Center’s staff.

Grades for scheduled classes are recorded as withdrawals (WD). See the fee schedule for our refund policy.

If you do not follow the withdrawal procedure, you are considered enrolled in the class and are graded accordingly.

Transcripts/Grade Reports

Each semester you may view your grade report —including grades achieved that semester—via MySSU. Please contact the registrar within 30 days of receiving the grade report if you discover an error.

You may request transcripts from the Office of the Registrar. Requests for official transcripts must be in writing and addressed to the Office of the Registrar. Refer to the “Fees and Expenses” section of this catalog for the transcript fee.

Shawnee State University is not required to furnish a transcript to any student whose financial obligation to the University has not been satisfied.

Graduation Requirements

In addition to the specific requirements listed by the individual divisions, the following are general graduation requirements for all students at Shawnee State University:

  • Master’s Degree—A minimum of 77 credit hours, over 6 semesters.
    Baccalaureate Degrees—A minimum of 124 credit hours, including the 34 credit hours of the General Education Program.
    Associate Degrees—A minimum of 60 credit hours.
  • A minimum of a 2.0 cumulative grade point average for all courses taken at Shawnee State University and in your major field of study.
  • A minimum of 40 credit hours in the major field of study (baccalaureate’s degrees).
  • Petition for graduation in accordance with the rules prescribed by the University.
  • Receive recommendations of faculty in academic major.
  • Complete a minimum of 20 hours of credit for the associate degree or 30 hours of credit for the baccalaureate in residence at Shawnee State University.

Students having outstanding institutional bills or notes are not issued a degree. You must petition to graduate by the deadline published in the calendar. Petitions are available in the Office of the Registrar.

Graduation with Honors

Students who achieve a cumulative grade point average of 3.5-3.74 prior to the semester of graduation are graduated cum laude. Students who have achieved a cumulative grade point average of 3.75-3.89 prior to the semester of graduation are graduated magna cum laude. Students who achieve a cumulative grade point average of 3.9 or above prior to the semester of graduation are graduated summa cum laude.

Honors Program


Shawnee State University has designed its Honors Program for students with exceptional academic ability and curiosity. The courses designated as fulfilling the Honors Program give these students unique opportunities for reflection, discussion, and investigation while also fulfilling certain standard graduation requirements. The program brings these students together in a challenging but supportive environment which nourishes their intellectual, social, and creative growth.

  • Honors Classes. Honors classes are specially designated sections of the General Education Program (GEP). Honors classes emphasize writing as well as critical and analytical thinking, and other skills relevant to the course. In addition, students are encouraged to think independently and creatively. Honors students graduating with a four-year degree are required to take six specially designated GEP classes (18 semester hours) for Honors. One of these must be Senior Seminar for Honors. Honors students graduating with a two-year degree must take three (9 semester hours) specially designated GEP courses for Honors.

Any SSU student with a minimum GPA of 3.3 or higher may register for an Honors course without officially joining the Honors Program, at the discretion of the instructor, provided there are sufficient places in the course for Honors students.

  • Honors Activities. The Honors Program offers several events, specifically designed for Honors students, each academic year. These events may focus on a theme or topic of interest or special significance or may be designed to provide an opportunity for enhancing the community of Honors students. Honors students are expected to participate in one Honors activity per year.

Honors Program Admission Requirements

  • Admission as a Freshman. Admission into the Honors Program is selective and attempts to build a community that has the characteristics of a selective admission college or university within the larger population of Shawnee State. Incoming freshmen who have taken advanced placement courses or courses for college credit as a high school student may be eligible to have credit of up to nine semester hours approved toward Honors graduation requirements at the discretion of the Honors Program director or the provost. At least nine semester hours of Honors courses must be completed at Shawnee State University. Incoming freshmen students who have applied for or accepted admission at SSU may be offered admission in the Honors Program under the following criteria:
    • Evidence of significant scholarly achievement in high school (generally in the upper 10 percent of their graduating class or a high school GPA above 3.5);
    • Or a score above 27 on the ACT or combined 1,100 on the SAT;
    • Or other demonstrated potential for academic success (e.g. significant leadership abilities, extracurricular activities, student awards)
  • Transfer Admission. Transfer students may qualify for admission into the Honors Program based on their high school record or prior academic achievement. Students who have maintained a minimum GPA of 3.3 at another institution of higher education may be offered admission into the Honors Program. Transfer students who have taken relevant courses at other institutions may request that up to nine semester hours of appropriate classes be applied to the Honors Program at the discretion of the program director or the provost. At least nine hours of Honors coursework must be completed at Shawnee State.
  • Admission of Current SSU Students. Any Shawnee State student with a minimum GPA of 3.3 may be admitted into the Honors Program.

Honors Graduation Requirements

  • Honors Program Certificate for Bachelor’s Degrees. Students are required to maintain a minimum GPA of 3.3 and satisfactorily complete 18 credit hours of specially designated Honors sections of the GEP. Nine hours, which include Honors Senior Seminar, must be completed at Shawnee State University.
  • Honors Program Certificate for Associate Degrees. Students are required to satisfactorily complete any nine semester hours of specially designated Honors sections of the GEP and maintain a minimum GPA of 3.3 at Shawnee State.

    For further information about the Honors Program, contact Shannon Lawson, director, Honors Program, Massie Hall, room 422, phone 740.351.3295, or email slawson@shawnee.edu or Susan Montavon, secretary, Massie Hall, room 124, phone 740.351.3177.

Graduate Center


Shawnee State University’s Graduate Center provides busy professionals and community residents with a means of achieving their educational goals within close proximity to their homes and places of employment. In partnership with other universities, graduate classes leading to master’s degrees are offered on the Shawnee State University campus. Most courses are taught by these universities in the evenings or on weekends, using various modes of delivery, including interactive video and in-person instruction.

For more information or to inquire about the status of these new programs or about graduate studies in general, please call the Graduate Center at 740.351.3177.

Center for International Programs and Activities


Shawnee State University welcomes students from many cultures. The Center for International Programs and Activities (CIPA) is designed to help our international students fully participate in their college experience. The CIPA director coordinates campus services and programming which enhance our international students’ social and academic success. Working in conjunction with various campus offices, CIPA assures that our international students find individual attention specific to their concerns and to their own life, educational, and career goals.

Now housed in its own building on campus, the staff of the Rose L. & Augusta Jacobs Center for International Programs is dedicated to providing Shawnee State University’s students and the campus community with opportunities to appreciate different values and cultures around the world. These experiences prepare our students for the increasingly global nature of society, encourage their understanding of other people, and enable them to contribute to the well being of our world community. Central also to its mission, CIPA fosters and promotes international understanding and global perspective to the university community and to the region served by Shawnee State.

For More Information

Rita Haider, Interim Director
Center for International Programs and Activities
Shawnee State University
940 Second Street
Portsmouth, Ohio 45662-4344
Phone: 740.351.3127
Fax: 740.351.3501
E-mail: rhaider@shawnee.edu

Web: www.shawnee.edu/off/cipa/


International Study Programs

Providing the opportunity to broaden perspectives, the University sponsors international awareness and exchange programs, including a number of long-term and short-term foreign study experiences. Shawnee State also takes great pride in the international faculty who teach at the University. These faculty, and the students we welcome from other countries, share their international perspectives every day and enrich the lives of everyone in the Shawnee State academic community. International programs at Shawnee State take many forms: courses taught by university faculty, courses at foreign educational institutions, field studies, internships, and student exchange programs. As a part of creating greater international awareness, CIPA sponsors a variety of programs, such as an International Meal Day, International Film Festival, and the International Forum, and also hosts visiting foreign scholars and lecturers. In order for its students to benefit from a variety of international study options, Shawnee State University has established sister-university agreements with South China Normal University in Guangzhou and the Zhejiang University of Technology in Hangzhou, China, with James I University in Spain, with Al-Akhawayn University in Morocco, and with the University of Applied Science in Zittau, Germany. If you are interested in an international exchange opportunity, you should plan early, consulting with your faculty advisor and with the director of the Center for International Programs and Activities.

Clark Memorial Library


Opened in 1991 and a charter member of OhioLINK, Clark Memorial Library is home to high tech library options in relaxed, friendly surroundings. Comfortable seating for reading and study, conference rooms for group work, seminar rooms with satellite and Web technology for teleconferencing and distance learning activities, a 350-seat lecture hall, a Curriculum Materials Center and Graphics Lab, a wireless network, a profusion of loaded public computers, and the Jazzman Café provide for a diverse range of needs and allow students to accomplish many different activities within the Library.

Reference and information counter staff are always present and ready to personally assist any student who wants help locating information or using the Library’s resources. Library staff promote information literacy and are committed to helping students gain “the ability to access, evaluate, and use information from a variety of sources” (Doyle, 1992). Whether a student is in the library doing research for a class assignment or logging into the library website to link to an online resource, service is a high priority and is advanced in the electronic environment by online “Ask-A-Librarian” assistance.

Clark Memorial Library’s online resources can be used anytime, anywhere on campus or from homes, schools, and businesses. The library catalog and over 170 research databases provide online access to more than 25,500 electronic books; nearly 1,000 online reference resources; more than a million online videos, audiofiles, and graphics; and well over 15,000 online magazines, journals, and newspapers that augment the Library’s in-house collections.

To supplement local cataloged resources, students can order, electronically and at no cost, virtually any of the more than 49 million items available in the OhioLINK system. An inter-campus delivery service assures that items requested from other campuses will be available for checkout at the desired location within three working days. As a member of the U.S. Government Depository program, the Clark Memorial Library also provides access to government documents and other resources in print and on the Web.

The mission of Clark Memorial Library is to “bring people and information together” to foster excellence in learning, teaching, and research.

The Library also shares the University’s mission statement and recognizes the importance of knowledge, values, and cultural enrichment. The library program is committed to collaborating with faculty to provide undergraduates an education that fosters competence in oral and written communication, scientific and quantitative reasoning, and critical analysis/logical thinking.

Doyle, C. S. (1992) Outcome Measures for Information Literacy Within the National Educational Goals of 1990. Final Report to National Forum on Information Literacy. Summary of Findings. Flagstaff, AZ: Northern Arizona University (ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. ED351003)