Section 3: Policies and Procedures
Always refer to the current Colorado College Catalog for the most recent (authoritative) articulation of policies and procedures. The Catalog contains information not included in this Advisor's Handbook.
Please note that more recent versions of the Advisors Handbook as well as expansions and clarifications of specific sections may exist in hardcopy. Registrar Phil Apodaca, Associate Dean of the College Victor Nelson-Cisneros, and the Dean's Office can provide current information. Always check the most recent edition of the Colorado College Catalog for information about policies and courses. Do not assume that this is the most recent articulation of the College's policies or procedures.
The Colorado College Advising Handbook, Section 3:
Policies and Procedures
Always refer to the current Colorado College Catalog for the most recent (authoritative) articulation of policies and procedures. The Catalog contains information not included in this Advisor's Handbook.
Freshmen and transfer students register for their first two courses (Blocks 1 and 2) by mail during the summer (or fall for January transfers). During New Student Orientation Week the students meet with their academic advisor to review their choices. Then, during block 2, first-year and transfer students register for the remainder of the academic year.
Although most students have selected their courses prior to the beginning of the fall and spring terms, All students must register at the beginning of each semester in Blocks 1 and 5. If the student will not be on campus during that time, it is the student's responsibility to notify the Registrar's Office or the Dean's Office so that the course registration will not be cancelled. Failure to register or to notify the Registrar of late arrival will result in a late registration fee.
In March, two weeks are set aside for preregistration for the coming academic year. During this period students meet with their advisors to plan their academic programs for the next year. Also at this time they may discuss a choice of major and vocational possibilities and review the student's academic progress. The student must declare a major by the beginning of the junior year.
Students pre-register for the following year's courses during the Spring semester. Each student receives 10 points per block and a total of 80 points to bid on their courses during pre-registration. Every student has the same number of points to work with. This allows every student to have the same chance to bid on a course. If the number of points bid on a course does not lead to the enrollment of the student in the class, the student will be placed on the waiting list for the class. Things to remember about the point system and pre-registration:
- There are over 10,000 course changes at Colorado College every academic year. This means that there is a lot of change in class enrollments. Students will sign up for multiple waiting lists over eight blocks. As students add and drop courses, students on waiting lists are called by the Registrar and asked to come in and add a course, usually within 48 hours.
- Courses offered in the second semester are usually easier to get into than courses offered during the first semester.
- Be sure that students have the appropriate prerequisite for the desired course. More importantly, courses with prerequisites have fewer students competing for available places.
- The best advise about the assigning of points to a particular course selection is available from a student's peers. Encourage your advisees to talk to other students and the resident advisor in the dorm. Students should also consult with the instructor.
- Beginning science courses are high demand courses; they require a lot of points.
- All-College requirements such as AP:A and AP:B courses are usually in high demand.
- Some professors are in high demand; again, lots of points will be needed.
- Multiple block courses will allow students to put points on fewer courses over the eight blocks; this allows the student to gain an advantage in course distribution over eight blocks. Example: a student uses 80 points on 6 courses instead of 80 points for 8 block courses.
- Advanced courses in a major usually require fewer points. The courses are aimed at majors (a finite number), usually require prerequisites, and have less students competing for a spot.
- Note how many times the course is taught during the academic year. A student's opportunity to get in a class is enhanced if the course is offered many times during the year.
- Students need to set priorities. If they really want a course in high demand, they must decide whether or not they should use most of their points for the course and take their chances on the other blocks. Ask students to prioritize the courses which they have selected, identifying the courses they "absolutely" have to take versus those which are less important for their course schedule. The allocation of points for the proposed schedule would then follow this priority list.
- The Registrar's office is willing to answer questions about courses and a student's schedule if any arise after they have met with their advisors.
Ten to fifteen percent of first-year students begin their studies at Colorado College under the Winter Matriculation Program, also known as the Winter Start Program. Under this program students begin their studies in the winter (in block 5) and are free during the fall semester for work, travel or off-campus study. They are strongly encouraged to continue their first year at the College in the summer months following their first (winter/spring) semester by participating in the Summer Session. Since 1960, the College has been able to admit additional men and women each year by staggering admission offers in this fashion. Orientation programs, faculty-student evenings, discussion groups, social events and hikes are planned specifically for winter-start students.
Transfer students are admitted at the beginning of both the fall and spring semesters. Senior transfers are accepted only under very unusual circumstances. Transfer applicants for the fall should apply by April 1; those wishing to enter in January, by November 1. A transfer applicant must file an application and present official transcripts from all colleges and universities attended. If at the time of application the candidate has not completed a full year of undergraduate work, the high school record should also be submitted. One letter of recommendation from a professor or former teacher is required, as well as a dean's form. Other recommendations are considered but not required.
Colorado College seeks students who demonstrate academic excellence, uncommon talents and interests, and a commitment to the idea of a liberal arts and sciences education. Ethnic, economic and geographic diversity and the potential for making significant contributions to the College community are also factors considered in admission.
The College enrolls about 530 first-year students each year, of whom approximately 60 enter under the Winter-Start Matriculation Program. Anywhere from 40 to 100 students enroll each year as transfers from other colleges and universities.
Course Attendance Policy
Students are expected to attend courses regularly and are responsible for course work whether present or not. The College believes in giving students as much freedom as is consistent with their academic progress. However, excessive absence, excluding illness or emergency, may result in a special probation or dismissal from the course with "No Credit."
Reporting of Excessive Absences
Frequent absence from class should be reported to the Dean of Students or the Assistant Dean of the College. Students who are ill or are having personal difficulties may be eligible to receive an Excused Grade. Excused grade forms are available in the Registrar's Office. The form must be filled out by the student and the faculty member and returned to the Registrar's Office. The decision to award an excused grade or a no credit rests with the Registrar and the Associate Registrar.
Attendance Policy Before and After Holidays
The policy of Colorado College is to require attendance in scheduled classes in the week of all-college holidays and block breaks. Faculty members should explain any specific applications of this policy, such as grade penalties for unauthorized absences, at the beginning of all blocks.
Advance Placement and the International Baccalaureate
Each May, the College Entrance Examination Board administers examinations for high school seniors who have been enrolled in college-level courses under the Advanced Placement Program. Colorado College reviews both the scores and the test materials and may grant units of credit toward graduation requirements. Two Colorado College units of credit are granted by most departments for scores of four or five and one unit for a score of three. The College may also require a student to bypass certain introductory-level courses. Students who have not participated in Advanced Placement courses but who have superior preparation and records in particular subjects may also be permitted to bypass certain kinds of first year-level work. Approximately one third of first-year students submit AP scores for consideration.
The College recognizes the International Baccalaureate (I.B.) courses for possible credit. Students who hold an I.B. diploma are usually granted sophomore status. Actual credits are determined by scores in both higher-level and lower-level courses. The College also considers college credits earned elsewhere above and beyond the requirements for high school graduation.
Transfer Credit Evaluation
A transfer student may apply for admission in the Fall or Spring semester. A transfer applicant must file an application and present official transcripts from all colleges and universities attended. The transfer of credit is based on the following equivalencies:
- 4 semester hour = 1 Colorado College unit
- 6 quarter hours = 1 Colorado College unit
Many courses offered at other colleges and universities are 3 semester hours long and receive .75 unit of Colorado College credit. For example, students who take three courses in the natural sciences elsewhere may not have met the Colorado College science requirement because of a lack of credit (e.g., 3 semester hour course being accepted as .75 unit of CC credit).
Students can add or drop courses to be taken in future blocks at any time prior to the beginning of those courses. In addition, students can add a course in progress during the first two days of the course; but they must first drop the course in which they were previously enrolled for that block. Exceptions to the procedure must be authorized by a dean and the affected professors. Dropping a course without authorization or proper notification of the instructor automatically results in a grade of No Credit. Students may drop a course before the second Tuesday of the block at 5:00 p.m. After that the student will receive a No Credit unless an Excused grade is allowed.
Academic Honor System
Administered by the students since 1948, the Academic Honor System is an essential part of the College program. Under the Honor System, students take examinations without proctors. The system also covers rules regarding research papers and other assignments. It is based on trust and maturity and it reflects the academic attitude of the Colorado College community. The purposes of the Honor System are to instill academic integrity and confidence and to promote individual responsibility. Before entering the College, students commit themselves to uphold the Honor System. Violations are handled by the Student Honor Council, a group of 13 students elected by the student body specifically to supervise the Honor System.
A student may initiate an Independent Study to pursue in depth certain aspects of a subject previously studied or to investigate an area of academic interest not covered in a regular course. The following guidelines should be observed:
- Courses should have specific prior expectations established, clear to both the faculty supervisor and student.
- Courses should have as a prerequisite sufficient prior course work in the area of the project to give the student a good basis for working independently, i.e., they should involve advanced, not introductory, work.
- Independent study should normally be for juniors and seniors who are likely to have sufficient academic maturity to succeed in it.
- Courses should require the equivalent student workload of a regular course carrying the same credit.
- Courses should be planned well ahead of time.
- Courses should have the approval of the department or interdisciplinary program chair.
- Consent of instructor is required.
Credits and Grades
The unit represents the academic work of a single block of three and one-half weeks. There are eight blocks in the academic year, and under normal circumstances a student can earn 8 units of credit per year and 32 units in four years. Each unit is equal to four semester hours or six quarter hours. Adjunct courses provide 1/4 unit credit each, and extended-format courses provide up to 1/2 unit per semester. The January half-block allows students to earn 1/2 unit of credit.
Any first-year student who enrolls for fewer than eight blocks, and any other student who enrolls for fewer than seven blocks, must have the prior approval of the Registrar's Office within the first two weeks of the semester of reduced enrollment.
The college provides a two-track system for all students. In a given course, students may choose to be graded by either the designation of A, A-, B+, B, B-, C+, C, C-, D+,D and No Credit (G Track) or the optional system S/CR/NC (P Track). S = A through C-; CR = D+ or D; NC = No Credit. For purposes of computing the Grade Point Average, the following schedule will be used: A=4.0; A-=3.7; B+=3.3; B=3.0; B-=2.7; C+=2.3; C=2.0; C-=1.7; D+=1.3; D=1.0; and NC=0.0
P Track passing grades are not calculated in the GPA; however, a grade of NC under either grade track option is calculated in the GPA. D+ and D grades under both G and P Track options do fulfill graduation requirements. They do not fulfill major or prerequisite requirements. There are no restrictions placed on the number of courses a student may choose under each option. However, students are expected to choose the option by which they wish to be graded at the time they register for courses. No change in the grading option is permitted after the fourth day of class without extenuating circumstances. Students who do not choose a grading track for a course are automatically assigned to the G Track by the Registrar's Office. A student may, with permission of the course professor, audit (Z Track) a course. No credit toward graduation will be awarded, but the audit, if completed successfully, will be recorded on the student's transcript.
The college believes its grading system options offer a desirable versatility because they provide a commonly understood set of grades for consideration beyond the campus while preserving a simpler option for students who wish to be free of certain kinds of grading pressures. This 'optional system' encourages students to take courses they might otherwise shun out of fear of poor grades, and in general makes students much less 'grade conscious.' On the other hand, the college avoids the risk that some of its students could be disadvantaged by the grading policy in the competition for jobs or graduate and professional school admissions.
In the interest of a more uniform grading policy that accords with our commitment to high academic standards, the college endorses the following revised statement of the meaning of grades at Colorado College:
- A = Excellent work that reflects superior understanding and insight, creativity, or skill.
- B = Good work that reflects a high level of understanding and insight, creativity, or skill.
- C = Adequate work that indicates readiness to continue study in the field.
- D = Marginal work, only minimally adequate, raising serious question about readiness to continue in the field.
- S = Work that falls in the range of A to C-.
- CR = Work equivalent to a D+ or D.
- NC = Failing work, clearly inadequate and unworthy of credit.
Incompletes and Excused Grades
If a student is unable, for a satisfactory reason such as illness, to complete the work in a given course, the student will receive either a grade of "Incomplete" or "Excused" for that course."Incomplete" grades must be made up within three blocks of the completion of the course, unless the instructor sets a shorter time limit for completion of the prescribed work. If an "Incomplete" is not made up within the prescribed time, the Registrar will automatically convert it to a grade of "No Credit."
After the first two days of the course, students who want to drop a course must petition for a grade of "Excused" by submitting a form to the instructor and the Registrar. Normally, a grade of "Excused" will not be approved unless the student is passing and there are extenuating circumstances, such as illness or injury, which have affected the student's progress in the course. The student must state a specific reason for requesting an "Excused," and the instructor's recommendation must be recorded. The Registrar will make the final decision and notify the Dean of the College.
If a student does not complete the work in a course, and has no satisfactory excuse, or does not meet the minimum standards set by the instructor, the instructor will give the student a grade of "No Credit."
Grade Point Average
The Grade Point Average (G.P.A.) is only calculated for Honors at graduation (See "Distinction and Honors" for more information on Honors at graduation). The G.P.A. is calculated using semester hours. Units earned before August 31, 1988 are evaluated at 3.50 semester hours; units earned since are evaluated at 4.00 semester hours. Total Units listed here represent all grades, not units earned (passed).
All students must complete 32 units of credit to qualify for a Colorado College B.A. degree. As described below, a specified number of the 32 units must be taken in residence, here at Colorado College, or through Colorado College-sponsored programs, including those affiliated off-campus and ACM programs detailed in the Colorado College Catalog.
The following rules apply to the academic residence requirement:
- Students who enter Colorado College as first-semester first-year students must complete 24 units at Colorado College or Colorado College-affiliated off-campus or ACM programs. Transfer students are required to complete a minimum of 16 units at Colorado College or Colorado College-affiliated off-campus or ACM programs.
- All Colorado College students are required to complete their last 8 units at Colorado College, except for students participating in Colorado College-affiliated off-campus or ACM programs. Students who have completed 16 units at Colorado College may petition the Dean's Advisory Committee to waive up to 4 units of the 8-unit rule.
Because different departments have their own residence requirements for their major, students should consult their major department before conducting any off-camps study in their major.
These policies should not be confused with Residential Life policies regarding campus housing.
A student will be placed on the Dean’s List if she or he attains a Grade Point Average for the academic year of 3.75 or higher and no NC's or Incompletes at the time the list is calculated. To qualify for the Dean’s List, a student must complete seven units, excluding adjuncts, in the academic year (six for graduating seniors), all seven of which (or, in the case of seniors, six) must be taken for a letter grade. Only credits completed at Colorado College or within an affiliated study abroad program will be used in determining eligibility.
Distinction and Honors
Certain departments in the College grant a special award of distinction at graduation to majors who have done especially outstanding work in their major field and who also have superior records in all their college work. The departments may offer special courses of independent work for students admitted to these programs.
The bachelor's degree with honors - cum laude, magna cum laude and summa cum laude - may be conferred upon those students who receive the recommendation of the Committee on Instruction. The degree summa cum laude is conferred only by a special vote of the faculty after individual consideration of each case.
Honors at graduation will be determined on the basis of grade point average computed from the last 22 units taken under the "G" or grade track at Colorado College, including credit earned in ACM Programs or the College's approved programs at the American University and the Kansai Gaidai program in Japan. Any transfer student who completes a minimum of 18 units for graduation at Colorado College, and at least 16 units on the "G" track option, will be automatically considered for honors.
Courses taken for less than one-half unit credit shall be excluded from the 22. The Committee on Instruction may consider individually the cases of students with fewer than the required units at Colorado College. The Registrar's Office will notify departments about students who have the required Grade Point Average to be considered for honors, but would not automatically be considered using the above criteria, and these students will be considered if recommended by three faculty members. The Committee on Instruction will recommend to the faculty students who should be awarded their degree summa cum laude, magna cum laude, or cum laude. The total number recommended by the Committee on Instruction will normally be equal to approximately 20 percent of the graduating class. Faculty approval is not required except for the granting of the degree summa cum laude.
The Registrar will notify departments about students who have the required grade average to be considered for honors, but would not automatically be considered using the above criteria, and these students will be considered by a department.
A minimum of three faculty members may also recommend students for honors to the Committee on Instruction even if they do not qualify for honors based on the above criteria. The Committee on Instruction will recommend to the faculty students who should be awarded their degree summa cum laude, magna cum laude or cum laude. The total number recommended by the Committee on Instruction will normally be equal to approximately 20 percent of the graduating class. Faculty approval is not required except for the granting of the degree summa cum laude.
The Colorado College chapter of Phi Beta Kappa, chartered in 1904, was one of the first established in the West. Other honorary and professional organizations include: Alpha Lambda Delta, the national honor society for first-year students; Blue Key, the honor and service society for juniors and seniors; Tau Kappa Alpha, the honor society for forensics; Delta Epsilon, the honor society for scientific achievement, and Pi Gamma Mu, the honor society for achievement in the social sciences.
- the study of the same non-English language for four full years in high school;
- an acceptable score (at least 5) on the International Baccalaureate language examination or an acceptable score on the Advanced Placement language examination (3, 4, or 5 depending on departmental policies in different languages at CC);
- the placement examination administered by the language departments, with a score allowing placement at, or above, the 201 level, or a special proficiency examination administered by a certified proficiency examiner;
- a beginning course in any of the languages offered at Colorado College, ordinarily a course numbered 101 (2 units), unless the student presents acceptable evidence of a learning disability making language study impossible;
- an acceptable language program at any accredited college or university, in any non-English language, equivalent to the 101 level at Colorado College, if approved by the Registrar's Office;
- substantial use of a non-English language either in course work or in the living situation (programs abroad will be assessed and certified by the Registrar's Office independently to determine which programs fulfill the requirement.
- students who are native speakers of a language other than English are considered to have satisfied the requirement.
Master of Arts in Teaching Program
For information on the requirements for the Master of Arts in Teaching degree please refer to the Catalog. If you have questions please call the Department of Education.
Declaring a Major
Colorado College seeks to provide a broad education. The College therefore requires students to gain some knowledge and experience in a variety of areas outside their major disciplines.
In addition, the College recognizes the student's need for a concentration in depth and for pre-professional education. During the Spring of the second year at the college, the student chooses a major field in which to take concentrated work. Many majors allow special concentrations within broad disciplinary study. Interdisciplinary majors are also available. All majors are listed in the current print edition of the Colorado College Catalogue.
The College offers several combined or distributed majors for students whose interests require concentrated work in more than one department. Such major fields are Classics-History-Politics, History-Philosophy, History-Political Science, and Political Economy. Self designed majors are possible under the heading of Liberal Arts and Sciences.
Requirements for graduation in each major field are listed under the appropriate titles in the Departmental Course section of the Catalog.
- The two majors may be from traditional departmental majors or an interdisciplinary major and a departmental major as long as the latter is not a discipline making up part of the interdisciplinary major.
- Both departments must approve the option.
- In no case may more than three courses within the majors overlap.
- The student must have an advisor in each major.
- The student must complete all college requirements.
- The number of units required to complete a major ranges from 8 to 16.
The specific requirements for each major may be found in the Departmental Courses section of the Catalog.
Students who wish a major other than those provided by the departments may choose to major in liberal arts and sciences. This option permits students with the help of three faculty advisers to design special concentrations according to particular interests and needs. It is assumed that the liberal arts and sciences major is at least as rigorous as any departmental major, and requires considerable initiative and self-discipline from students who elect it.
- Students selecting the liberal arts and sciences major must fulfill the appropriate College degree requirements as listed in this bulletin. A minimum of nine units or a maximum of fourteen units may be counted toward this major.
- At least six of the units, designated as constituting this major, must be above the 100-course number level. One or two of these units may be General Studies 400 (Senior Thesis I) and General Studies 401 (Senior Thesis II).
- Courses which constitute the major in liberal arts and sciences are designated on the transcript by an asterisk. The Registrar designates on the transcript in an appropriate way a description of the program.
- A student must submit the application for a liberal arts and sciences major to the Dean's Advisory Committee during the second semester of the sophomore year. A student wishing to apply for this major after the sophomore year, or to change from another major to the major in liberal arts and sciences, must present persuasive evidence that such a proposal is educationally advisable and that circumstances make it possible to achieve a satisfactory major.
- In order to be accepted as a major in liberal arts and sciences, a student must obtain the approval of three faculty advisers for a tentative program of courses for the final two years. Each faculty adviser is expected to write a letter of support for the student's proposed program. Faculty advisers should also indicate in their letters their evaluation of the student's past academic performance and comment on the student's ability to carry out a program with an unusual amount of independence and responsibility.
- The program of courses should be accompanied by a typewritten description of the concentration proposed in the major--that is, a rationale demonstrating the cohesiveness of the proposed program of courses. Each course in the proposed program should be listed by course number and title, along with a statement as to how it relates to the written description of the major. The student must also submit a written statement explaining why the proposed goals of the major cannot be achieved through a departmental major or through outside courses taken in addition to the requirements of a departmental major.
- The description and explanation of the major and the listed courses must be accompanied by an application form for declaring the major, available in the Registrar's Office. The completed application is presented to the Advisory Committee to the Dean of the College for its approval.
- Among the three faculty advisers, one should be designated as the principal adviser, but all three will be responsible for approving any later changes in the major. It is expected that the students will meet periodically with all three advisers, during the junior and senior years, to discuss progress of the major.
- Each Liberal Arts and Sciences major will be required, near the end of the senior year, to submit a substantial thesis or project. Administration and evaluation rests with the three faculty advisers. The application for the major should contain some indication of what this final project or thesis will be.
- A student wishing to change from a major in Liberal Arts and Sciences to another major program may do so with the consent of the new major department.
For information on Southwest Studies as Liberal Arts and Sciences majors see the Colorado College Catalog.
A sample of a second year student's Degree Progress Report can be reviewed in the section on using a computer to access your advisee's records. In contrast, the Degree Progress Report shown below is for a graduating senior majoring in Political Economy with Thematic Minor in North American Studies. The sample is the final Degree Progress Report and records all the requirements completed by the student, both all-college and major requirements as well as the requirements for a Minor.
Leave of Absence
The deadlines for requesting a leave of absence are November 1 for a leave which begins in the spring semester and March 1 for a leave which begins in the fall semester. Students are encouraged to apply for a leave even if they are awaiting word of their acceptance to a specific program. Students who are granted a leave are expected to reconfirm their return date by writing to the Dean of Students (non-academic) or the Registrar (academic) no later than November 1 for a return in the spring and March 1 for a return in the fall. Students who fail to reconfirm will have their preregistration canceled, and they will be withdrawn formally from the College. Finally, students who are granted leaves which include the spring semester have the option of pre-registering by mail.
On formal application to one of the deans, a non-academic leave of absence will be considered for one of the following reasons:
- Financial or personal emergency. Students who find it necessary to interrupt their education because of financial considerations are expected to contact the Dean of Students and to present evidence in support of their request for a financial leave. In the case of personal emergencies such as illness or family crisis, the Dean of Students should be consulted.
On formal application to the Registrar, an academic leave of absence will be considered for one of the following programs:
- ACM programs, Washington Semester, Kansai Gaidai, and The Manchester Program as these are an official part of the Colorado College curriculum. Students who apply must request a leave of absence from the Registrar prior to the deadlines for requesting a leave. The College cannot guarantee a leave to those students who apply late or are accepted late by these programs.
Permission to Study at Another College While on Leave of Absence
Students who wish to study at another college must withdraw from the College and reapply as a transfer student with the Admissions Office. Students may petition the Dean's Advisory Committee for permission to study at another institution while on a leave of absence. Usually, the petition must demonstrate a special academic opportunity, not available at Colorado College. Students should speak with the Assistant Dean of the College prior to making their petition to the Committee. Very few requests receive the permission of the committee.
Withdrawal from the College
All students who decide to interrupt their education at Colorado College, and who do not qualify for a leave of absence, or who wish to transfer to another institution, are expected to withdraw formally from the College. A notice of formal withdrawal is available in the Dean of Student's Office. In order to withdraw from the College for the spring semester, a student must submit a formal notice of withdrawal by November 1 of the preceding year or forfeit the general obligation deposit. In order to withdraw from the College for the fall semester, a student must submit an intention to withdraw by March 1 of the preceding academic year or forfeit the general obligation deposit. A student who has submitted an intention to withdraw for the fall semester must complete the formal notice of withdrawal by May 1.
Students who withdraw to transfer to another institution, and who later wish to reapply to Colorado College, must do so through the Admission Office as transfer candidates. Those students who withdraw for other reasons, such as time off to travel or simply to take a break from the educational environment, have the option of reapplying to Colorado College by writing directly to the Vice President for Student Life or the Dean of Students. This option remains open for two semesters, that is, one academic year, following withdrawal.
The deadlines for reapplying through the Dean of Students for a given semester are November 1 for reinstatement in the spring semester and March 1 for reinstatement in the fall semester. After a lapsed time of two semesters or longer, students in this category who still wish to reapply to Colorado College must do so through the Admission Office. Students who withdraw formally from the College do not have the option of pre-registering in the spring.
Why Students Withdraw?
Most students leave the College for personal or financial reasons. In addition, anywhere from10-15 students are placed on Academic Suspension every year.
Students who withdraw from the College are asked to fill out an exit interview form and then to meet with the Dean of Students to discuss their reasons for leaving the College. All Students who withdraw are encouraged to meet with their advisors as well. Students should be encouraged to complete the exit interview and meet with the Dean of Students.
Role of the Academic Advisor. The Advisor should try to meet with an advisee who is intending to withdraw from the College. The reasons for leaving should be explored with each student and notes on the conversation placed in the student's advising file. Sometimes, students can change their mind after a good conversation with an advisor. This is usually the result of questions being answered which result in the elimination of the problem facing a student.
Other times, students simply do not know all the options available to them under the Block Plan. Provide the student with alternatives and let them make a choice. And lastly, in many cases the Block Plan does not meet the needs of a student and they want to pursue their education under a different calendar. Listen and be supportive.
Dean's Advisory Committee
The Dean's Advisory Committee is composed of two faculty members, the Assistant Dean of the College, a representative of the Registrar's office, and two students. The Assistant Dean chairs the Committee. The Committee reports to the Dean of the College.
The Committee reviews student and faculty requests for waivers or interpretations of the College's academic rules and regulations; reviews Venture Grant proposals and awards Venture Grant funds; reviews students' academic records at the end of each semester to determine academic suspensions and warnings; reviews applications for leaves of absence for off-campus study when the program in questions is not sanctioned by the College; approves applications for the major in Liberal Arts and Sciences; and upon consultation with the Director of General Studies, reviews proposals for individually tailored thematic minors.
- Petition for waiver of an academic rule: Students can petition the Dean's Advisory Committee to waive a particular academic rule or regulation by writing to the Assistant Dean of the College. The petition should be submitted no later than the Friday of the second week of any block. The Committee meets during the third week of the block during the academic year. Student petitions typically concern the rules and topics listed below:
- Waiving of an All-College requirement. This includes total number of units; units outside the department of the major (18); Alternative Perspectives: A & B; Distribution requirements; Natural Science requirements, etc. The Committee is very reluctant to grant exceptions to all-college requirements, but reviews each petition on its merits. Waivers of all-college requirements will be reviewed and voted on by the Faculty when the graduation list is approved in May. The granting of a waiver requires a 2/3 vote in favor of the petition by the faculty at the last meeting of the year.
- Permission to study while on a Leave of Absence. Students can petition to study at another institution while on a leave of absence. The Committee only grants permission when the petition represents a "Special Academic Opportunity," one which is not available at Colorado College. An example would be the student who wants to pursue Buddhist Studies at the Naropa Institute in Boulder. The permission is difficult to obtain. The rule states that a student must withdraw from the College if he or she wants to study at another institution. The student withdraws and reapplies as a transfer student through the Admissions Office.
- Request for a Grade-track change beyond deadline: This request is not granted readily and depends on the individual circumstances.
- Request for an Excused grade: College policy states that, during the first two days of any course, students may drop their registration in a course by notifying the instructor and submitting an official Add/Drop Card to the Registrar. Neither a grade nor a course listing will be recorded on the transcript. In addition, students may withdraw from a course as late as the Tuesday of the second week of a block. This option results in the student not being able to enroll in another class for that particular block as well as not being eligible for a refund unless the withdrawal reduces the total number of courses taken in an academic year to less than six. Students should be encouraged to stick with the course. If a student insists, the advisor should consult with the instructor as to the students' progress and whether there is hope that a student could finish the course with a passing grade.
After the first two days of the course, students can withdraw as stated above or they can petition for a grade of Excused by submitting the "Petition for a Grade of Excused" form to the instructor and the Registrar. Normally a grade of Excused will not be approved unless the student is passing and there are extenuating circumstances, such as illness or injury, which have affected the student's progress in the course. The student must state a specific reason for requesting an Excused grade, and the instructor's recommendations must be recorded. The Registrar of the College or the Associate will make a final decision.
Students can petition the Dean's Advisory Committee to appeal the decision of the Registrar of the College.
- Academic Warning: Any student who fails two units in a semester is placed on academic warning. The warning informs the student about the Committee's concern about his or her academic performance and progress toward the degree. The letter also tells the student the number of units that he or she is expected to pass the following semester; failure to meet this expectation can result in academic suspension for a year.
- Academic Suspension: First year students have to pass a minimum of 1 unit during the first semester and a total of five units for the academic year. After the first year, students must pass a total of six units over any two contiguous semesters in order to remain in good academic standing. Failure to meet these minimum requirements may result in the student being placed on academic suspension for a year. The Assistant Dean of the College meets or speaks with each student who is in danger of academic suspension. Each case is reviewed by the Assistant Dean of the College.
- Reinstatement from Academic Suspension: Academic suspension is usually for one year. A student can petition the Assistant Dean of the College for reinstatement before the full year has been completed. The request is only granted in exceptional cases. Most students who are suspended stay out for the full year. Students are typically reinstated after a year on suspension. To be reinstated, the student writes the Assistant Dean requesting reinstatement and provides a description of what the student has accomplished during the year away from the college. The latter includes a statement pertaining to the successful completion of any conditions set forth in the student's suspension letter.
- Liberal Arts and Science Major (See the Colorado College Catalogue for the Guidelines for the LAS major)
Students can create their own Liberal Arts and Science (LAS) major by making a formal application to the Dean's Advisory Committee. The application forms and guidelines are available in the Registrar's Office. An LAS major must have three advisors; the principle advisor and a second and third advisor (readers). The principle advisor acts as the student's faculty advisor in the LAS major. All three advisors help the student design the major, review the application, read the student's thesis, and certify the completion of the LAS major. In addition, all three advisors must approve any changes to an approved LAS major and report the requested change and their approval to the Chair of the Dean's Advisory Committee and the Registrar. Graduation with Distinction in the LAS major requires letters of nomination and support from all three advisors.
The Assistant Dean of the College is available to answer student and faculty questions about the Liberal Arts and Sciences major. He will also review drafts of the student's LAS application prior to its inclusion in the Dean's Advisory Committee's agenda.
- Independently designed Thematic Minors. Students can create their own Independent Minor by submitting a petition to the Dean's Advisory Committee. The Independent Minor forms are available in the Registrar's office. The form must be signed by an Advisor willing to supervise the student's proposed integrative experience. Successful completion of an Independent Minor will be recorded on the official transcript.
Thematic minors focus a student's education on significant themes examined from several disciplinary perspectives. They reflect the belief of Colorado College that, in addition to the more specialized major, a student needs to gain experience in comparing and connecting ideas and approaches across the disciplines.
The Independent Minor option consists of a minimum of five courses from at least two departments outside of your major department. Only one of the five units in the minor may be a course in the department of your major, and it must be directly related to the theme or issue of the minor. In addition, the minor must end with an integrative experience in which the student brings together much of what has been learned in the minor. The integrative experience may consist of a paper, a creative project, or a block of independent study, planned in advance with a willing advisor.
End Notes (for entire Handbook)
- Dean Brenda Tooley would like to thank Victor Nelson-Cisneros and Richard Storey for their strong commitment to the on-line Advisors Handbook project. She would like to thank reviewers and contributors to the third, on-line edition -- Matthew Birnbaum, Susanne Felber, Sarah Kawano among them.
- Dean Victor Nelson-Cisneros would like to acknowledge the encouragement and commitment of David Finley to this project. He thanks Tim Fuller for his support and the contribution of the Preface in the first edition, and Richard Storey for his support and for revisions to the Preface in the second edition. He would also like to thank the faculty who reviewed an early draft of the handbook and forwarded their comments and suggestions. These include Keith Kester, Judith Laux, Thomas Cronin, Marcia Dobson, Cathy Weir, and Mario Montaño. He would also like to acknowledge the support and suggestions of administrators who helped him clarify some points as well as provide accurate information; he is in their debt. They include Mike Edmonds, Margaret Van Horn, Phillip Apodaca, Rick Roberts, and Tiggy Shields.
- Calhoon, John, Doug Casson, Tina Eyre, David Carlson and Orlando Martinez. Colorado College Campus Association Faculty Advising Review Project. Colorado Springs: CCCA, November 18, 1991.2.2
- Adapted from "Strategies of Advisement," Houston Baptist University, as found in Crockett, David S., ed. Advising Skills, Techniques, and Resources. Iowa City, Iowa: The American College Testing Program, 1986. pp. 765-766.
- Adapted from "Referral Skills," as found in Crockett, D.S. (Ed.). Advising Skills, Techniques, and Resources. Iowa City, Iowa: The American College Testing Program, 1986. pp. 759-760.
- Adapted from "Thirty Reminders for Effective Advising," as found in Crockett, D.S. (Ed.). Advising Skills, Techniques, and Resources. Iowa City, Iowa: The American College Testing Program, 1986. pp. 737-738.
- Adapted from "Skills, Knowledge, and Attitudes Required for Developmental Advising," in O'Banion, Terry. "An Academic Advising Model," AAJC Journal, March, 1972 as found in Crockett, D.S. (Ed.).Advising Skills, Techniques, and Resources. Iowa City, Iowa: The American College Testing Program, 1986. pp. 131-132.