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South Dakota State University    
 
    
 
  Dec 12, 2017
 
2009-2010 Undergraduate Catalog [Archived Catalog]

Academic Evaluation


Click on a link to be taken to the entry below.

 


Introduction

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Each student is responsible for satisfying requirements for graduation as listed under overall university, college, and major field requirements. If a student has questions concerning the proper satisfaction of specific requirements, he/she should consult with the dean, major adviser, or the Registrar. To the extent possible, the following sections are arranged alphabetically.

Academic Amnesty

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Philosophy
Some students attempted college work previously and were not successful in their efforts. They now wish to resume their college careers but are held back by poor academic records. The goal of academic amnesty is to respond to the academic needs of matured individuals as they develop newly identified potential. Through the application of academic amnesty, the student’s prior academic record can be excluded from current work under certain conditions.

Eligibility
The student must:

  1. Be an undergraduate, full-time or part-time, degree-seeking student at one of the universities in the South Dakota Regental system.
  2. Not have been enrolled in any Regental university for a minimum of three calendar years (9 consecutive terms including Fall, Spring, and Summer) prior to the most recent admission to the home institution. Exceptions may be granted in rare cases only by the Board of Regents Senior Administrator upon recommendation of the Vice President for Academic Affairs.
  3. Have completed a minimum of 24 graded credit hours taken at any Regental university with a minimum grade point average of 2.0 for the 24 credit hours after the most recent admission to the home institution.
  4. Not have earned a baccalaureate degree from any university.
  5. Not have been granted any prior academic amnesty at any Regental university.
  6. Submit a formal Academic Amnesty Petition to his/her home university following the procedures established by that university.

Conditions/Procedure

  1. Academic amnesty does not apply to individual courses. Academic amnesty may be requested for either (a) all previous postsecondary education courses, or (b) all previous postsecondary education courses at a specific institution, or (c) a specified time period not to exceed one academic year (Fall/Spring).
  2. Academic amnesty, if granted, shall not be rescinded.
  3. Courses for which academic amnesty is granted will:
    1. remain on the student’s permanent record.
    2. be recorded on the student’s undergraduate transcript with the original grade followed by an asterisk(*).
    3. not be included in the calculation of the student’s grade point average because no credit is given.
    4. not be used to satisfy any of the graduation requirements of the current degree program.
  4. Academic amnesty decisions will be made by the student’s home institution, will be honored by all programs within the home institution, and will be honored by all other institutions within the South Dakota Regental system.
  5. Universities outside of the South Dakota Regental system are not bound by the academic amnesty decisions made by the South Dakota Regental system.
  6. Regental graduate programs and graduate professional schools may consider all previous undergraduate course work when making admission decisions.

Assessment Program

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SDSU has a comprehensive Assessment Program to evaluate its educational programs and services. This program is designed to measure the effectiveness of the general education core curriculum, the cognitive knowledge and skills acquired in the major program of study, and students’ perceptions of their education.

To effectively evaluate programs the University must assess students at various stages of their educational program. Therefore, you are required to participate in assessment activities when requested. Assessment information is collected when you enter SDSU and additional assessments occur throughout your academic career. As a senior, you will participate in an assessment for each of your majors as part of your graduation requirements. For further information contact the Director of Academic Evaluation and Assessment at 605-688-4217.

Proficiency Examinations

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The South Dakota Board of Regents has selected the Collegiate Assessment of Academic Proficiency (CAAP) examination to be administered at all Regental universities. The CAAP assesses knowledge, skills, and abilities in four areas: writing, mathematics, reading, and science reasoning. The proficiency examination will be offered each spring and fall. All degree-seeking students are required to take the proficiency examination during the first semester in which they become eligible. Baccalaureate degree-seeking students will sit for the exam on completion of 48 passed credits at the 100 level or above, and associate degree-seeking students will sit for the exam on completion of 32 passed credits at the 100 level or above. Enrolled students who have already earned a baccalaureate degree are exempt from this requirement if the following conditions are met: 1) the institution awarding the degree is accredited by a United States Department of Education recognized accrediting organization; and 2) the degree required the completion of a minimum of 18 credit hours of general education requirements including the requirements specified in Board Policy 2:7.3 (Lower Division Credit Hour and Course Requirements/Student Proficiencies). A student who chooses not to take the examination will not be allowed to register for two academic terms (fall, spring, or summer) at any Regental institution.

Students failing to achieve the minimum scores established by the South Dakota Board of Regents in one or more areas will be required to develop a remedial plan in conjunction with their advisers and when enrolled, will be allowed two opportunities to retest the failed part(s) during the spring and fall testing periods. For further information contact the Director of Academic Evaluation and Assessment at 605- 688-4217.

Credits

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Semester credit hours (“credits”) are the numerical values assigned to hours of academic work, according to the amount of time required for lecture or laboratory. One credit is equivalent to 50 minutes of class (lecture, discussion) and two hours of outside preparation per week for one semester.

Typically, two to four hours of laboratory work is assigned one credit hour, depending on the amount of outside work.

Independent courses vary in credit according to the nature of the work involved.

Examination for University Credit

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If you have studied a subject independently or have done college level coursework for which you are unable to get a transcript acceptable to this institution, you may receive credit through a variety of evaluation programs.

Credits obtained through validation methods other than nationally recognized examinations are limited to 32 hours of credit for baccalaureate degrees and 16 hours of credit for associate degrees. There is no limit on the number of credits earned through nationally recognized examinations.

If credit by examination is accepted, the permanent record will show the course name and a grade of EX for the specified number of credits. If credit is accepted by another form of validation, the grade will be CR for the specified number of credits. No entry will be made on the record if the examination is failed. The examination results will not be included in calculation of either the semester or the cumulative grade point averages.

NOTE: A grade given at, or transferred to, this university may not be raised by examination for university credit. If you have taken an upper level course in a given subject, you cannot receive credit by examination for a lower level course dealing with the same content.

Students and former students who were previously in good standing may acquire credit by examination providing they meet the conditions outlined below.

Nationally Recognized Examinations

Credit may be received in certain subjects through the College Level Examination Program (CLEP), the Excelsior College Examinations, the International Baccalaureate (IB) program, Defense Activity for Non- Traditional Education Support (DANTES), DANTES Standardized Subject Tests (DSST), and the Advanced Placement Program (AP). Participants may be charged a testing fee for each of the testing programs.

In order to have credit earned by examination recorded on your academic transcript, you must complete an “Application for Placement Credit” form at the Academic Evaluation and Assessment Office and pay a recording fee.

University CLEP Policies

A CLEP examination may not be taken for a lower level course if a student has completed or is currently enrolled in an upper-level course in the same subject. A CLEP examination may not be taken if a student is receiving a failing grade or has received a failing grade in the same subject. A CLEP examination may not replace a failed grade. Not all courses (credits) earned through CLEP and Advanced Placement (AP) exams may meet the System General Education Requirement and Institutional Graduation Requirements. CLEP and AP exams do not meet the globalization or writing intensive requirements.

Local Challenge Exams

If a nationally recognized examination is not available for a course for which you wish credit, a special examination may be established. This process is initiated by obtaining a “Challenge By Examination” form at the Academic Evaluation and Assessment Office and completing the prescribed steps:

  1. Consult the head of the department in which the course is offered. This person will conduct a preliminary evaluation of your background in the subject area to determine if an examination is warranted.
  2. Consult the dean of the college in which you expect to receive a degree to determine whether credits earned by examination in the proposed subject will be accepted toward the degree.
  3. Pay the examination fee before taking the examination. Specific details are enumerated on the application form which is available at the Academic Evaluation and Assessment Office, 688-4217.

Policy for Repeating Local Challenge Examinations

If a student does not pass the local challenge examination, he or she may use the SDSU petition procedure to request one more opportunity to take a challenge examination for the same course. The guidelines for the retesting process are as follows:

  1. Only one retest is allowed.
  2. There will be a waiting period of one academic term before retesting may be done.
  3. The department will administer a test that is completely different from the examination used in the original challenge attempt.
  4. The petition must be approved by the department head, dean, and Director of Academic Evaluation and Assessment.
  5. If the petition is approved, the student must complete a new “Challenge by Examination” form and pay the examination fee before retesting may be done.

Challenge By Portfolio

A “portfolio” may be used to document competencies learned through non-transferable courses at Technical Institutes or other institutions if a grade of C or better was earned. A portfolio may also be used to verify skills learned through prior work experiences. A portfolio is a detailed, written document prepared by a student to demonstrate knowledge and skills. A portfolio may contain both prior coursework and employment experiences relevant to the course being challenged. A Challenge by Portfolio application can be obtained through the Academic Evaluation and Assessment Office (605-688-4217). Students will need to receive departmental approval and pay a fee prior to portfolio review.

For information about credit through any of these programs contact the Academic Evaluation and Assessment Office (605-688-4217). South Dakota State University cannot guarantee that credit earned via exam at SDSU will transfer to other institutions. Even though SDSU has made an effort to set cut off scores at appropriate levels, each institution develops its own procedures for accepting credit by exam. In some cases, a certain test or score level acceptable at SDSU may not qualify a student for credit at another institution.

Course Exemption

You may be awarded an exemption from taking a course but not receive college credit. This may result from the SDSU policy related to a specific test or credit received by examination from another institution.

Dean’s List and Honors Designation

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Dean’s List Designation

Undergraduate, full-time students may be designated for the Dean’s List at the end of the fall and spring terms. The Dean’s List designation is determined by the home university and is based on a student’s total course registrations for academic credit for the term from any Regental university. The Dean’s List designation does not appear on the transcript.

To be awarded Dean’s List designation, students must meet the following guidelines.

  1. Students must have earned a minimum of 12 credit hours in courses numbered 100-699 during the term.
  2. Students must achieve a System Term GPA of at least 3.5.
  3. Students with F, I, U, RI, or RU grades are not eligible regardless of System Term GPA attained.

Honors Designation at Graduation

Baccalaureate Degree. The institution granting the degree determines the Honors Designation for its graduates. To earn an Honors Designation at graduation, the undergraduate student must meet both the following cumulative and institutional grade point averages:

Summa Cum Laude (equal to or greater than 3.9)
Magna Cum Laude (equal to or greater than 3.7 and less than 3.9)
Cum Laude (equal to or greater than 3.5 and less than 3.7)

The undergraduate student must have completed a minimum of 64 credit hours at the institution granting the degree. Courses that are part of a formal collaborative agreement among Regental universities are considered to be earned from the institution granting the degree. (Also refer to Board of Regents policy 2:29.)

Associate Degree. The institution granting the degree determines the Honors Designation for its associate-level graduates. To earn an Honors Designation at graduation, an associate-level graduate must meet both the following cumulative and institutional grade point averages: With highest honor equal to or greater than 3.9; With high honor equal to or greater than 3.7 and less than 3.9; With honor equal to or greater than 3.5 and less than 3.7 An associate-level graduate must have completed a minimum of 32 credit hours at the institution granting the degree. Courses that are part of a formal collaborative agreement among Regental universities are considered to be earned from the institution granting the degree. (Also refer to BOR Policy 2:29.)

Academic Recognition for Undergraduate, Part-Time Students

Undergraduate, part-time students taking fewer than 12 credits per term may be designated for Academic Recognition for Part-Time Students at the end of the fall and spring terms. The Academic Recognition for Part-Time Students designation is determined by the home university. The Academic Recognition for Part-Time Students designation does not appear on the transcript.

To be awarded the Academic Recognition for Part-Time Students designation, students must meet the following guidelines:

  1. Students must have completed at least 12 credit hours prior to the current semester at one or more Regental institutions.
  2. The student must have earned at least 3 and up to 11 credit hours of 100-699 level courses during the term.
  3. Students must achieve a System Term GPA of at least 3.5.
  4. Students with F, I, U, RI, or RU grades are not eligible regardless of System Term GPA attained.

Modern Language Credit

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Students with prior knowledge of a modern language shall take courses commensurate with their abilities. To determine this, the Department of Modern Languages administers a free placement test in French, German and Spanish. Upon completion of any modern language course except Spanish 211 and 212, students with a grade of “C” or higher may receive credit for lower level courses up to 202. Only 14 credits (16 credits in French) may be received in this fashion. Students must apply for this credit at the Academic Evaluation and Assessment Office. A recording fee is charged for each lower level credit hour.

Students who have studied a modern language other than those offered by the Department of Modern Languages may petition to have that study satisfy the modern language requirement for the B. A. degree.

Students who plan to study abroad with the intent of transferring the credits earned to SDSU must receive written permission to do so from the Department of Modern Languages and/or the Office of International Affairs before undertaking such study. Language courses transferred from foreign institutions will be accepted as credits without a grade, unless it is otherwise agreed with the student prior to departure.The University does not accept credit from all foreign institutes. Students who take courses abroad without prior permission from the Department of Modern Languages and/or the Office of International Programs may not receive SDSU credit for these courses.

Credits for modern language for international and non-international native speakers of languages other than English.

Enrollment/Credits not allowed:

  1. for native language courses at the 100 and 200 levels (at SDSU or from other institution as transfer credits)

  2. for Challenge by Exam* in the native language

  3. for CLEP in the native language

Enrollment/Credits allowed:

  1. Enrollment/credit may be allowed at the 300 level and above.

Determination of native language skills is typically based on the language of instruction in the secondary school from which a student graduated. (In other words, was the high school education in English or another language?) The Department of Modern Languages will determine the appropriate faculty member/s who will have the sole discretion to determine whether or not a student is considered to be a native speaker based on the student’s background, experience and level of linguistic competency. Ultimately, the Department has the responsibility to place the student at the appropriate level.

Arts and Sciences Majors - International students whose native language is not English may substitute 14 credits of “American Culture” courses for the modern language requirement. The courses in the social science (SGE goal 3) and humanities (SGE goal 4) are in addition to the standard B.A. requirements. Students must visit with the Assistant Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences for permission to pursue this option.

*Challenge by Exam in a language not offered by SDSU - If a student wants to Challenge by Exam in a language not offered by SDSU, the challenge can not be in the student’s native language.

Advanced Placement (AP) Credit - An official College Board AP score at the approved South Dakota Board of Regents level is accepted as verification of advanced education in the native language.

Please contact the Department of Modern Languages (SNF 121, 605- 688-5101) for additional information.

Grading

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The grading system is based on achievement of expectations in a class.

A grade report is available for each registered student on WebAdvisor at https://wa-sdsu.prod.sdbor.edu/webadvisor or by requesting an unofficial transcript from the Registrar’s Office.

Types of Grades

Undergraduate Grades will be assigned to the undergraduate academic level and to all courses and sections with course numbers ranging from 001 to 499. Plus and minus grades are not used.

A
B
C
D
F
S
U
RI
RS
RU
W
AU
I
IP
EX
CR
TR
LR
NG
NR
Grade*
Exceptional
Above Average
Average
Lowest Passing Grade
Failure
Satisfactory
Unsatisfactory
Incomplete (Remedial)
Satisfactory (Remedial )
Unsatisfactory (Remedial)
Withdrawal
Audit
Incomplete
In Progress
Credit by Exam
Credit
Note for NSE/MEDT
Lab grade linked to Recitation Grade
No Grade
Grade not Reported by Instructor
Academic Amnesty

4.00 grade points per semester hour
3.00 grade points per semester hour
2.00 grade points per semester hour
1.00 grade points per semester hour
0.00 grade points per semester hour
Does not calculate into any GPA
Does not calculate into any GPA
Does not calculate into any GPA
Does not calculate into any GPA
Does not calculate into any GPA
Does not calculate into any GPA, no credit granted
Does not calculate into any GPA, no credit granted
Does not calculate into any GPA
Does not calculate into any GPA
Does not calculate into any GPA
Does not calculate into any GPA
Does not calculate into any GPA, no credit granted
0 credit course
0 credit tracking course
Does not calculate into any GPA
Does not calculate into any GPA, no credit given

An Incomplete (I) grade may be granted at the undergraduate level only when all of the following conditions apply:

  1. A student has encountered extenuating circumstances that do not permit him/her to complete the course.
  2. The student must be earning a passing grade at the time the Incomplete is necessitated. Anticipated course failure is not a justification for an Incomplete.
  3. The student does not have to repeat the course to meet the requirements.
  4. The instructor must agree to grant an Incomplete grade.
  5. The instructor and student must agree on a plan to complete the coursework.
  6. The coursework must be completed within one semester; extensions may be granted by the Vice President for Academic Affairs.
  7. If the student completes the course within the specified time, the grades that may be assigned are A, B, C, D, F, S, RS, RU, or U.
  8. If the student does not complete the course within the specified time, the grade assigned will be F (Failure) or U (Unsatisfactory) or RU (Remedial Unsatisfactory) if the student had requested S/U within the time specified in BOR policy 2:6.9.

An In Progress (IP) grade may be granted only when all of the following conditions apply:

  1. The requirements for the course (for every student enrolled in the course) extend beyond the current term.
  2. The extension beyond the current term must be defined before the class begins.
  3. The instructor must request permission to award IP grades for a course from his/her Department Head and Dean, and then approval must be obtained from the Vice President for Academic Affairs.
  4. A definite date for completion of the course must be established in the course syllabus.

Graduate Grades will be assigned to the Graduate Academic Level and to all courses and sections with course numbers of 500 or greater. Plus and minus grades are not used.

A
B
C
D
F
S
U
W
AU
I
IP
NG
NP
NR
EX
CR
TR
LR
Exceptional
Above Average
Average
Lowest Passing Grade
Failure
Satisfactory
Unsatisfactory
Withdrawal
Audit
Incomplete
In Progress
No Grade
Normal Progress
Grade not Reported by Instructor
Credit by Exam
Credit
Note for NSE/MEDT
Lab grade linked to Recitation Grade

4.00 grade points per semester hour
3.00 grade points per semester hour
2.00 grade points per semester hour
1.00 grade points per semester hour
0.00 grade points per semester hour
Does not calculate into any GPA
Does not calculate into any GPA
Does not calculate into any GPA, no credit granted
Does not calculate into any GPA, no credit granted
Does not calculate into any GPA
Does not calculate into any GPA
0 credit tracking course
Does not calculate into any GPA
Does not calculate into any GPA
Does not calculate into any GPA
Does not calculate into any GPA
Does not calculate into any GPA, no credit granted
0 credit course

An Incomplete (I) grade may be granted at the graduate level only when all of the following conditions apply:

  1. A student has encountered extenuating circumstances that do not permit him/her to complete the course.
  2. The student must be earning a passing grade at the time the Incomplete is necessitated. Anticipated course failure is not a justification for an Incomplete.
  3. The student does not have to repeat the course to meet the requirements.
  4. The instructor must agree to grant an Incomplete grade.
  5. The instructor and student must agree on a plan to complete the coursework.
  6. The coursework must be completed within one calendar year; extensions may be granted by the Graduate Dean.
  7. If the student completes the course within the specified time, the grades that may be assigned are A, B, C, D, F, S, or U.
  8. If the student does not complete the course within the specified time, the Incomplete grade remains on the transcript.

An In Progress (IP) grade may be granted only when all of the following conditions apply:

  1. The requirements for the course (for every student enrolled in the course) extend beyond the current term.
  2. The extension beyond the current term must be defined before the class begins.
  3. The instructor must request permission to award IP grades for a course from his/her Department Head and Dean, and then approval must be obtained from the Vice President for Academic Affairs.
  4. A definite date for completion of the course must be established in the course syllabus.

A Normal Progress (NP) grade may be granted by an instructor when the instructor determines that a graduate student is making normal progress in a graduate Thesis/Dissertation course. If a graduate student does not enroll for a period of one calendar year, the NP grade may change to I (Incomplete) upon approval by the Graduate Dean. The NP grade calculates into attempted credits but does not calculate into completed credits or grade point averages.

With the exception of an “I” that has not been completed within the specified time, any grade reported to the Registrar may be changed by recommendation of the instructor and college dean with approval of the Vice President for Academic Affairs.

Any graduating senior or graduating graduate student who receives an Incomplete or In Progress grade in the final semester in a course required for graduation, or who has not removed an outstanding incomplete or in progress from a previous semester in a course required for graduation by the date grades are due for the semester, will not be permitted to graduate that semester. He or she will be required to apply for graduation for a subsequent semester. Emergency situations require the filing of a petition by the student to his/her Academic Dean for approval prior to the final grading deadline for the final semester.

When the student has graduated and the degree has been recorded, the record is considered officially closed, and an instructor can no longer change a grade, including the “I” and “IP” grades.

Grade Points and GPA. Grade points are related to grades as illustrated in this example:

Course
MIL 101
MATH 115
CHEM 112
FREN 101
ENGL 101

Credits
1
5
4
4
3

Grade
A (4)
B (3)
C (2)
C (2)
D (1)

Grade Points
4
15
8
8
3

Total

17

 

38

GPA - 38 divided by 17 = 2.23

The cumulative grade point average (CGPA) is obtained by dividing grade points by the number of all hours attempted. In computing grade point averages all hours attempted (graded A, B, C, D, F) are included.

Repeating a Course to Raise the Grade. All courses taken appear on the student’s academic record, but when a course is repeated, only the most recent grade is calculated into the cumulative GPA.

You should notify the Registrar’s Office, SAD 310, when a course, whether failed or passed, is repeated.

Satisfactory-Unsatisfactory System. The primary objective of the Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory System is to encourage students to attempt courses in areas they would normally avoid because of lack of background.

  1. You may enroll in up to 20 credits.
  2. These credits must be outside your major and may not serve to satisfy university, college or departmental specific requirements, unless program exceptions exist.
  3. Colleges may further restrict the Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory credit option.
  4. A “D” letter grade or better is considered to be a passing grade in a satisfactory/unsatisfactory elective.
  5. Registration for satisfactory/unsatisfactory electives will be accomplished only after registration day by Audit/Satisfactory/ Unsatisfactory Form to the Registrar’s Office. The satisfactory/ unsatisfactory option should be known only to the academic adviser, instructor, the student and the registrar.
  6. You may change from satisfactory/unsatisfactory elective to graded credit or vice versa only during the two week add period.
  7. The grade (S or U) will be recorded on your permanent record. A grade of S or U will not count in the computation of the semester or the cumulative grade point average. If the course is passed (grade of “D” or better), the credits will be counted towards graduation.

NOTE: Some courses are taught only on a Satisfactory/ Unsatisfactory basis. Consult the department if you have a question.