Misc Policies

Academic Load

A student’s academic load is determined by the number of credits that he or she takes, as displayed on the table below. A student has 150 percent of the time requirements in the catalog to finish a program.

Credit Hours Academic Load
6-8 hours Half-time
9-11 hours Part-time
12+ hours Full-time
2-5 hours Less than half-time
6-8 hours Half-time
9+ hours Full-time
3 hours Half-time
6+ hours Full-time

Program Terminology and Definitions

Type Credit Hours
Major A primary field of study Varies by program
Minor An optional secondary field of study 15-27 credit hours
Concentration A prescribed plan of study within a major 9-12 credit hours
Track A prescribed set of core courses that must be selected within a major 15+ credit hours

Records of Progress

Records of progress are kept by this institution on all students, veteran and non-veteran alike. Progress records are furnished for all students, at the end of the scheduled school term.

Dean’s List

Names of full-time undergraduate students are placed on the dean’s list when their semester grade point averages are 3.3 or higher.

Academic Advising

Each student is assigned an academic advisor upon enrolling. The advisor provides holistic guidance at regular intervals, which supplies further stimulation for advancement. Advising sessions are required at pre-registration.

Student Success Center

The services of the Student Success Center are provided for students in need of help with basic study skills, reading, writing, and mathematics. The Student Success Center offers study skills, test-taking strategies, motivational skills, improved reading skills and comprehension, time and stress management, computer-assisted instruction, referrals to counseling, one-on-one tutoring, and learning style discovery and assistance.

Grade Appeals Policy and Procedure

Assessment and grading are conducted by faculty pursuant to relevant university guidelines and course-specific rules published in the course syllabus. The grade awarded by a faculty member in a course represents their academic judgment about a student's academic performance in that course. As such, it is only reviewable in very limited circumstances including the following:

  • occurrence of calculation errors or mistakes;
  • use of impermissible considerations in grading;
  • breach of grading rules published in the syllabus;
  • breach of department, school, or university rules or standards;
  • arbitrariness and/or manifest bias.

A student may file an appeal if they believe any of the above circumstances have occurred. The burden of proof is on the student to establish that the grade awarded is erroneous. Grade penalties awarded pursuant to academic integrity violations are not subject to grade appeals under this policy.

The following process must be followed in case of an academic appeal.

1. The student should communicate with the faculty member no later than 5 days after the grade or status has been awarded and seek to resolve any questions or concerns.

2. If the student is dissatisfied with the explanation provided by the faculty member, or the faculty member is unresponsive or no longer employed at the university, the student may request an appeal. In such circumstances, the student must complete and submit the Appeal Form available online within 7 days of the grade or status being awarded.

3. The student must submit supporting evidence including the grading policy in the syllabus, copy of the exam, and any other rules or standards alleged to have been breached by the faculty member.

4. The student must provide a written statement by email to the Registrar’s Office containing the following:

  • reasons for the appeal with supporting evidence;
  • why the student believes rules and standards were violated by the faculty member;
  • a description of the response of the faculty member to the communication initiated by the student about the grade being appealed;
  • any other facts and evidence relevant to the appeal.

5. Unsupported allegations and claims without evidence will not constitute a sufficient basis for an appeal and may be summarily dismissed.

6. Late submissions will also be summarily dismissed unless there are compelling circumstances that warrant the condoning of delays.

7. Upon the filing of an appeal, the Registrar will conduct an initial review of the form to determine that it has been properly submitted and that supporting evidence has been provided.

8. If the Registrar determines that the grade appeal form was not submitted in a timely manner or that the appeal does not demonstrate a prima facie case, the Registrar may dismiss the appeal summarily. In such circumstances, the Registrar shall communicate this decision to the student no later than 7 days after the receipt of the form.

9. If the appeal form and evidence have been submitted correctly, in the first instance, the Registrar shall present all the materials to the faculty member and seek a response no later than 15 days after receipt of the materials. If the faculty member assesses the appeal grounds submitted and wishes to make a change to the grade, the Registrar shall make the correction and communicate the decision to the student.

10. If the faculty member does not agree to make any change, the Registrar shall request the Provost or delegate to constitute an appeal committee to consider the appeal. The appeal committee shall have at least three members, only one of whom is a faculty member in the same discipline as the course in which the grade is being appealed. The other members may be faculty members from other disciplines. The chair shall be a faculty member from a discipline other than the one in which the grade is being appealed. The committee shall make decisions by majority vote.

11. The appeal committee shall review the grade appeal form and the supporting evidence no later than 30 days after it has been constituted and issue a decision. The committee may decide to conduct an oral hearing with the student and the faculty member present or issue a decision based on the evidence alone. The student and faculty member may each bring a support person to the hearing. However, the support person is not allowed to speak or present any submission at the hearing. The committee’s review is restricted to the grounds specified above and extraneous factors shall not form part of the deliberations.

After assessing the appeal, the committee may reject the appeal or accept the appeal. In the latter case, the committee may:

  • decide to change the grade;
  • request the faculty member to re-evaluate the student’s grade based on specific criteria;
  • request a re-evaluation of the final grade by a different faculty member.

12. The appeal committee shall communicate its recommendation rejecting the appeal or accepting the appeal with a grade change to the Provost and the Registrar. The Provost may accept the recommendation or modify it for justifiable reasons, which shall be communicated in writing.

After the Provost has made a decision about the grade to be awarded, the Registrar shall communicate that decision to the student no later than 15 days after the receipt of the report from the appeal committee.

13. The decision of the Provost is final and binding.

CU Academic Appeal Form

Classification of Students

  • Freshmen: Those who have earned up to and including 30 credit hours.
  • Sophomores: Those who have earned 31 to 60 credit hours.
  • Juniors: Those who have earned 61 or more credit hours.
  • Seniors: Those who have 95+ credit hours or who are planning to graduate during the academic year in progress. Seniors will receive a letter from the faculty inviting them to enter the senior class.
  • Auditors: Those who do not wish academic credit but do receive a transcript.
  • Full-time Students: Undergraduate students who are taking 12 or more credit hours; graduate students who are taking 9 or more credit hours.
  • Part-time Students: Undergraduate students who are taking 11 or fewer credit hours; graduate students who are taking 8 or fewer credit hours.
  • Enrichment Students: Those who attend for personal growth and do not receive a transcript.

Dropping a Course

Changes in courses made after the student has attended the class or accessed the appropriate eLearning course site require permission from the Registrar and consultation with the Advisor, the Financial Aid Director, and the Student Accounts Representative. No course may be dropped after the tenth week of a semester class, after the fourth week of an online class, after the second week of the month-long modules, and after the third day of the week-long modules. Courses dropped without permission will be recorded as failures.

Withdrawal from the University

Any student withdrawing from the university for any reason must communicate in person, by phone, or by email with his/her Advisor. In addition, main campus students must communicate with the Dean of Student Development before an acceptable withdrawal can be processed. Students must complete the Withdrawal from the University Form found in their student portal. Appropriate communication with all aforementioned offices will ensure accurate academic and financial records.

If a student’s attitude or conduct does not conform to the Student Handbook, the university reserves the right to request withdrawal. The same holds true if the student demonstrates that he/she is unsuited to the work of the university because of inability to maintain a satisfactory academic progress standard. The university reserves the right to administratively withdraw a student from the university in situations that the university deems necessary.

Grades and financial obligations are computed as of the day of withdrawal (e.g. withdrawn during withdrawal without academic penalty period, withdrawal during drop/add, withdrawal with academic penalty). A complete refund schedule is included on the Schedule of Fees, which is available in the Student Accounts Office or on the Carolina University website, carolinau.edu/financial-services/tuition-fees.

Withdrawal from all courses in a term will result in a student being marked as withdrawn from the university. A request to withdraw from the university after the last day to withdraw with academic penalty will result in the student receiving a failing grade for the courses in which he/she is enrolled. The withdrawal also may result in the return of Title IV funding.

Withdrawal from a semester or lack of enrollment for a semester does not invalidate a student’s status as a continuing student as long as he/she notifies the Registrar or Advisor of his/her intent to continue and/or register for the next available session/semester. Please note that withdrawing from one semester and not attending the subsequent semester constitutes an absence of two consecutive semesters, which triggers the need for a Returning Student’s Readmission Process.

Medical Withdrawal

In the case a student must withdraw from the university due to medical reasons, with appropriate documentation provided from a board-certified physician, a student may be medically withdrawn from the university. A medical withdrawal will only apply for students who are withdrawing from the university, not withdrawing from a course. If the student were to medically withdraw after the add/drop period, the grade for the course would be a “W.” The withdrawal also may result in the return of Title IV funding.

Military Withdrawal

In the case a student must withdraw from the university due to military deployment, a call to active duty, required specialized training, or natural disaster response deployment, a student may be granted a military withdrawal. The student or a family member must submit the request to the Office of Academic Services within one week of the student’s official notification from the government with appropriate documentation to be considered. A student is entitled to a complete (100%) refund of tuition and fees for the term of a granted military withdrawal and all courses will be dropped from the transcript as a result of the military withdrawal. The student will be charged for all housing and meal plan expenses that have occurred. Additionally, due to the potential of the return of Title IV funding for a withdrawal, it is important for the student to consult with the Financial Services Office. In the case a student desires to complete courses that are already in progress instead of withdrawing, special accommodations may be extended.

Potential completion of coursework may be discussed with instructors. Online completion may be an option. In addition, the student who has completed over 70 percent of the semester or session may receive credit and a grade by requesting to receive a final grade based upon the student’s work in the course up to the date of deployment or activation. A student may receive a final grade by requesting to take an early final exam or submitting a final paper/project in order to determine a final course grade for the student.

Readmission after Military Deployment

When a student’s deployment is complete, a student may request readmission to his/her prior academic program. To do this, he/she must submit the Readmission after Military Activation/Deployment form along with a copy of his/her deployment papers or his/her most recent DD214 Form. Carolina University will provide priority readmission in this scenario. Re-entry into the student’s program will be effective the next available semester or session. If a student requests admission to a new program of study, the student must submit a change of program request.

Returning Students

Previously enrolled students desiring to re-enter the university should submit an application online at carolinau.edu/apply. The applicant should request that all official transcripts from institutions attended since withdrawing from Carolina University be submitted by mail to the Admissions Office. Those returning with a GPA of less than 2.0 will be required to submit a written statement supporting their plans for academic improvement and success. Submission of additional documentation will be the discretion of the Admissions Committee.


Official transcripts may be obtained through the Registrar’s Office of the university or at carolinau.edu/transcripts. A minimal fee is charged for every transcript. Unofficial transcripts are available for current students on the student portal.

Directed Studies

Students desiring credit for a directed study should submit a formal request to their dean and to the Registrar's Office. The policy and form may be obtained from the Registrar’s Office. The request should include a valid, detailed rationale for needing the directed study. Faculty may also offer Directed Studies courses based on need.

John Wesley School of Leadership Leave of Absence

In the event of extenuating circumstances, a student may request in writing one Leave of Absence (LOA) from the School of Leadership. Students must consult with their academic advisor to review the effects an LOA will have on their academic plan and create a post-LOA academic plan to maintain continuous enrollment, which will also be submitted to the Dean. Contingent upon Dean approval, the student will be allowed a maximum leave of absence of two consecutive semesters (summer semester included). A student who remains inactive for longer than two semesters must reapply to the program. Special accommodations will be extended for military deployments (please see information on military withdrawal in the Academic Information section of the catalog).

F1 Students

F1 students are not eligible for a LOA during any semester wherein they are required to be a fulltime student. Because continuous enrollment is a requirement of PhD programs, F1 students eligible for annual vacation may take an approved vacation and maintain continuous enrollment in the program by opting to complete courses online without requesting an LOA.

An LOA does not “stop the clock” on the 7-year time limit for earning the degree.