Parents' Guide

The following information is designed to provide answers to some of the frequently asked questions posed by parents of York College students. Parents may refer to the‌ 2011-2013 Undergraduate Catalog for further information on college policies, procedure and resources.

While parents are invited to view this important information, it is critical to note that parents should maintain an open dialogue with their children to obtain specific information concerning their academic status. Faculty and staff of York College cannot communicate any information regarding a student to anyone without the student’s expressed consent. This policy is in adherence to the guidelines of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).

Academic Policy

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What is the student’s responsibility regarding absence from class?

While all instructors should clearly state their attendance policy in writing in the course syllabus, college policy states that students are expected to attend all scheduled class meetings. Most educators agree that regular and punctual class attendance is vital to the successful completion of any course. Therefore, when extenuating circumstances arise and a student must be absent, it is the student’s responsibility to contact the course instructor as soon as possible for completion of all work missed during the absence.

The Office of Academic Affairs does not provide notes for students who have an extended absence due to illness or unexpected emergencies. The College does not have a centralized location for tracking attendance. Attendance records are maintained by individual instructors.

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What are academic honors? When is a student eligible for such honors?

Academic honors are the college’s response to and recognition of outstanding student academic achievement. The Dean of Academic Affairs publishes the Dean’s List at the end of each semester for students who are taking a minimum of 12 credits that semester (excluding optional Pass-Fail courses) and whose semester grade point average is 3.5 or higher.

For honors at graduation, the student’s entire academic college record is considered including all course work completed at York College and at any other colleges. Transfer students must have completed a minimum of 60 credit hours of academic work at York College to be considered for honors at graduation. The following honors are awarded on the basis of the cumulative grade point average.

  • SUMMA CUM LAUDE: Cumulative GPA of 3.90 or above
  • MAGNA CUM LAUDE: Cumulative GPA of 3.70-3.89
  • CUM LAUDE: Cumulative GPA of 3.50-3.69

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What summer school sessions are available to students?

At York College, summer sessions are offered for thirteen weeks throughout the summer beginning with a three-week “mini-mester” session, followed by two five-week sessions of both day and evening classes (Summer I and Summer II). There is also a Special Session that spans the entire thirteen weeks of the summer and accommodates internships, co-ops and other special studies.

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How does a student officially withdraw from a course?

The college withdrawal policy states that a student who wishes to withdraw from a course must do so BY THE WITHDRAWAL DEADLINE (the ninth Friday of each semester) in order to avoid a grade penalty. Students must complete a “Records and Registrar’s Office Change Form” and return it to the Records by the withdrawal date. Failure to attend class or merely giving notice to the course instructor does not constitute an official course withdrawal. The student must meet all college financial obligations.

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How does a student officially withdraw from the College?

When circumstances arise that a full-time student must withdraw from the College, he/she must contact the Student Affairs Office to request complete withdrawal from all courses. Students who are part-time should consult the Registrar’s Office for a complete withdrawal.

A student who officially withdraws from the College receives grades of “W” for all registered courses on their transcript and a notation of “Official Withdrawal” for the semester. A student who stops attending class without completing an official withdrawal will receive “0’s” in all registered courses. A student who withdraws must still meet all financial obligations.

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Under what circumstances can a student request a grade of “Incomplete” in a course?

When extended illness and extenuating circumstances delay completion of course requirements within the published semester time frame, a student enrolled in the course may request a grade of “Incomplete” from the professor for that course. The student must be in good standing in the course and it must be reasonable that the work can be completed within 60 days. IT IS THE STUDENT’S RESPONSIBILITY TO CONTACT THE INSTRUCTOR AND MAKE ALL ARRANGEMENTS FOR COMPLETION OF THE COURSE WITHIN 60 DAYS FROM THE LAST DAY OF THE SEMESTER. It is the instructor’s responsibility to provide correct contact information and be available for the student when the work is ready for submission. The instructor will submit the “Incomplete” grade with the official online grade report at the end of the course with the other students’ grades. If the course work is not completed and the instructor has not changed the grade within 60 days from the last day of the semester, the incomplete grade will automatically be changed to a “0” for the course by the Records Office. There are no extensions beyond the Incomplete deadline.

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Are there any restrictions for part-time students?

Any student registered for fewer than 12 credits (whether day or evening classes) is considered a part-time student. (Part-time status for MBA students is 8 credits or fewer.) A matriculated part-time student is assigned an academic advisor and has access to the same array of campus activities, facilities, services, and course offerings as full-time students. Part-time non-matriculated students do not receive an academic advisor. An important consideration for part-time students is that financial aid is limited. Any full-time student who moves from full-time to part-time status will find that his/her financial aid is often substantially reduced.

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How can a student gain readmission to the college?

Students who have lost matriculation status must complete an application for readmission form available through the Admissions office.

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What is the residency policy of York College?

The residency policy requires that the final 30 credit hours of a student’s degree requirements be completed as course work at York College. Therefore, no CLEP exams or transfer courses should be taken in the final 30 credit hours unless extenuating circumstances make it impossible to meet the residency requirement (in which case the student must make a written petition to the dean of Academic Affairs).

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What are the eligibility requirements for student athletes at York College?

Eligibility in any intercollegiate sport at YCP requires registration in at least 12 credit hours each semester with a minimum of 24 credit hours completed each year. Athletes who fall below a 12-credit course load are ineligible to participate in a sport. In addition, all student athletes must maintain a minimum 2.0 cumulative grade point average on an annual basis for athletic eligibility.

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When should a student visit the Registrar’s Office?

The Registrar’s Office oversees the scheduling of classes and registration of students for all classes. During the advising period, students should make an appointment with their academic advisor to discuss course selection. The student then registers on-line for courses at his/her designated time through My YCP or in the Registrar’s Office. Students should contact the Registrar’s Office to obtain worksheets for academic majors, course overload forms, approval forms to take courses at other institutions, and any matter pertaining to scheduling. Worksheets are also available in the Academic Advising Center and on the Registrar’s Office website.

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How does a student drop or add a course?

During the first week of classes each semester, a student may either drop or add a course without penalty. No faculty signature is necessary for dropping or adding a course. There is no fee involved. First semester students must complete a “Records and Registrar’s Office Change Form” in the Registrar’s Office, while students in their second semester or beyond may complete the aforementioned form or modify their schedule online through YCPweb. Courses dropped during this period will not show on the transcript. No courses may be added after the first week.

A student may withdraw from a course after the Drop/Add period and until the ninth Friday of the semester without a grade penalty by completing the same form and submitting it to the Records Office. In this case, the course WILL be listed on the transcript as notation of W (for withdrawal). When eligible, tuition refunds are contingent upon the time at which a student officially withdraws from the course(s). Giving notice to the professor or failing to attend class does NOT constitute a course withdrawal. Students are encouraged to withdraw from a course when they are in academic difficulty and at risk of earning a low grade point average for the semester. After the final withdrawal date, students may NOT withdraw from a course.

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When and how can a grievance be filed by a student?

A student grievance is a formal complaint concerning an academic matter that the student believes to be unfair. Grievances should be addressed first with the course professor and, if not resolved, should be addressed in writing to the department chair, and finally to the Dean of Academic Affairs. Faculty members typically communicate course policy clearly in their syllabi, and students should adhere to those policies. Students have the right to ask for clarification and explanation of course procedures; faculty members have the right to expect students to abide by these policies.

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What are the procedures for taking course work at other institutions?

For new students, the Registrar’s Office evaluates previously completed course work taken at other institutions that may transfer to York College.

Current students who wish to take course work at another institution must submit a “Request for Off-Campus Study Approval” form (available in each academic departmental and administrative office) PRIOR to beginning the course work. This form must be signed by the student’s academic advisor or department chair and approved by the Registrar. Students should be reminded that a course taken at YCP cannot be repeated at another institution for transfer. Course work at other colleges with a “C” or higher is transferred to York College as credit only; grades do not transfer. Although grades for transfer courses are not calculated into the GPA, they are considered for graduation honors. In addition, the college residency policy requires that the final 30 credit hours of the degree requirements be completed as course work at York College. Therefore, no courses can be transferred in the final 30 credits.

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When and how should a student appeal an academic action?

The 2011-2013 Undergraduate Catalog (not in use) clearly states the academic policies and procedures approved by the faculty and administration of York College under the Middle States Accreditation Association. It is the student’s responsibility to be familiar with and to abide by these policies. A student has the right to appeal college policy when rare and extenuating circumstances occur. Such appeals must be made in writing to the Student Welfare Committee through the Office of Academic Affairs. The student’s letter should provide clear and specific reasons for the appeal.

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What constitutes a violation of the academic integrity policy?

A violation of the academic integrity policy refers to actions such as, but not limited to, cheating, fabricating research, falsifying academic documents, plagiarism or other activities where intentional OR unintentional borrowing of material beyond a body of common knowledge occurs without acknowledgment of the source. The college considers such dishonesty a serious offense in the academic community and will not tolerate it. Should a student breech this expectation of academic integrity, they will receive written notification from the faculty member. Within 10 days of the written notification, the faculty member must forward copies of the documentation to the Dean of Academic Affairs and the department chair. If the incident is the first offense, the faculty member may determine the sanction up to and including a grade of “0” for the course. Students are not permitted to withdraw from a course in which they have been accused of academic dishonesty.

In a first offense, students who believe they have been unjustly charged or sanctioned must discuss the situation with the faculty member and have 10 days thereafter to submit an appeal to the Student Welfare Committee through the Dean of Academic Affairs. In a first offense, the faculty member may request the Student Welfare Committee to conduct a hearing.

If the Dean of Academic Affairs determines that it is not the student’s first offense, the Dean will provide written notification to the student, the faculty member, and the department chair. The Student Welfare Committee will automatically review the charge and decide on the appropriate sanction, which will involve academic suspension or dismissal from the College. Students who believe the committee has unjustly sanctioned them may submit a written appeal to the Dean of Academic Affairs within 72 hours of the written notification of the Student Welfare Committee’s sanction.

Students are personally accountable at all times for academic integrity and must master documentation and apply it accurately and conscientiously when using borrowed material. Students should consult their professors and/or the Writing Specialists of the Center for Teaching and Learning for proper documentation procedures to avoid plagiarism.

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What are academic probation, suspension, and dismissal?

Academic probation and suspension are academic actions enacted by the Dean of Academic Affairs in response to a student’s unsatisfactory academic performance.  The academic performance of all students is subject to review at the end of each semester to determine if students in academic difficulty should be permitted to continue on probation, or be suspended from full-time study.          

Students’ academic work will be considered unsatisfactory whenever their cumulative GPA is less than 2.0; as a result, they will be placed on academic probation.  The academic performance of all students, full-and part-time, will be reviewed against this standard at the conclusion of each semester to determine whether students in academic difficulty should be allowed to continue on probation, be suspended for one year, or be dismissed from the College.

For students whose cumulative GPA is less than 2.0, the following actions will occur:

  1. A student who has attempted a total of at least 12 credit hours at York College and whose cumulative GPA is less than 2.0 will be placed on academic probation.
  2. A student placed on academic probation will have two semesters to raise the cumulative GPA to meet the academic standard.
  3. A student placed on academic probation who earns a cumulative 2.0 GPA will be placed on good academic standing.
  4. Any student who does not achieve a 2.0 cumulative GPA following two semesters on probation will be placed on academic suspension for one year.

Academic Probation:  Students placed on academic probation may continue their enrollment at the College, but will be limited to a maximum of 13 credit hours while on probation and will be required to participate in an academic support program.  If the student attains a cumulative GPA of 2.0, the student will be returned to good academic standing.  Students who fail to meet the standard within two semesters will be placed on academic suspension.

Academic Suspension:  Students placed on academic suspension are prohibited from enrolling in any course at York College for one full year.  In order to resume enrollment at York College, academically suspended students must apply for readmission to the College.  Students who are readmitted will be on academic probation with a maximum of 13 credits and will be required to participate in an academic support program.  Readmitted students will have two semesters to attain a 2.0 GPA.  Students who do not attain a cumulative 2.0 GPA within two semesters will be dismissed from the College.

Academic Dismissal:  A student who is academically suspended for a second time is considered academically dismissed.  Students dismissed from the College are eligible to transfer their credits to another college or university to complete a degree, but they are no longer permitted to enroll in courses at York College. A student subject to academic action may initiate the academic appeal process by written petition to the Student Welfare Committee.  The student may also appear before the Committee to present his/her case in person.  Appeal hearings are held for one day at the end of each semester; the decision of the Student Welfare Committee is final.  See the college catalog for further details.

STUDENTS IN ACADEMIC RISK SHOULD BE WELL INFORMED OF COLLEGE POLICY RELATED TO THE PROCESS AND PROCEDURES FOR ACADEMIC PROBATION AND SUSPENSION AS OUTLINED IN THE COLLEGE CATALOG.  ALL ACADEMIC ACTIONS REMAIN ON THE STUDENT’S PERMANENT RECORD.

 

Advising and Related Services

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What is the function of the Academic Advising Center? Where is it? When should a student contact this office?

The Academic Advising Center, which is located in Campbell Hall, Room 200, acts as a clearinghouse for students with general advising questions, handles accommodation requests for students with disabilities, and helps support academic advisors with advising issues, records students’ change of major and minor, advises students in academic difficulty, refers students to campus resources, and assists the Dean of Academic Services when needed. While all matriculated students are assigned an academic advisor and are encouraged to see their specific advisor, the advisors in the Academic Advising Center are available to assist students during drop-in visits or by appointment. They also mentor students placed on academic probation in a program called Back on Track.

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What is the Career Development Center (CDC) and how and when should students use it?

The Career Development Center helps students understand, through a career-related lens, who they are, what they want, and how they can develop a plan to obtain it. This process includes self-assessment and career guidance, experiential learning (study abroad, internships and engineering co-ops) and skill development (resume writing, cover letter writing, and interviewing). The CDC plans events for students to:

  1. explore opportunities (job & internship fairs)
  2. learn from experts about career fields
  3. prepare for the transition from student to professional
  4. begin to build their own professional network

Given the comprehensive and developmental nature of this career exploration and development process, it is important for students to begin early. A successful college experience requires much more than completing specific coursework for a degree; therefore, integrated planning and goal setting is essential. students' needs will change as they progress through their academic experience, and each individual's path is unique, but here is a general overview of topics/themes by academic year:

Freshman/First Year: Engage

  • Learn more about one’s major or begin to explore possible majors if Undeclared.
  • Assess and evaluate aptitudes, skills, interests and values to determine ‘fit’ with one's major/minor.

Sophomore/Second Year: Explore

  • Solidify major/minor choice and actively plan for experiential learning oppotunities.
  • Draft a resume to understand how one looks on paper; consider what one wants the resume to contain by graduation and then expand the academic plan to include these items.
  • Get involved in campus and community opportunities through student organizations and volunteer service.

Junior/Third Year: Experience

  • Participate in internships and/or study abroad, reflect upon the experiences, and consider how they impact goals and priorities.
  • Research potential career fields through internship fairs, events, informational interviews, and networking.
  • Determine if and when graduate school is appropriate for one's chosen career field.

Senior/Fourth Year: Emerge

  • Participate in additional experiential education (internship) and leadership opportunities.
  • Develop and follow a detailed and targeted job search/graduate school application plan.
  • Practice and polish interviewing, job search, and communication skills.
  • Attend job fairs, networking receptions, Success After College Series, and all opportunities to learn and network for a successful transition.

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May students change academic advisors even if they do not change their major?

The Academic Advising Center honors requests by students to select a new academic advisor if the chosen advisor can accommodate additional advisees. In some cases, the student must obtain a signature of approval from the advisor.

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How does a student declare a major?

Many students enter York College as an “Undeclared major,” taking time to explore the curricular options available before officially declaring a major. Valuable resources are available to assist the undecided student in identifying a major, including their academic advisor and/or career counselor, workshops and computer programs in the Career Development Center, and the student's own Personal Strategic Plan. Each fall, the College hosts a Majors Fair that welcomes representatives from each academic department to discuss majors and minors in each academic discipline. College policy requires students to declare a major before they have accumulated 60 credit hours. When the student has made a decision about choosing a major, he/she should contact the Academic Advising Center to complete a “Change in Student Record” form.

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How does a student change majors?

Changing a major involves completing a “Change in Student Record” form in the Academic Advising Center. Once the form is completed, the student will be assigned an academic advisor in his or her new major and provided with the current worksheet for the new major. While this change is a simple step unless a restricted major is chosen, students are advised that choosing a major is a significant decision and should be made only after careful exploration of one’s personal and professional goals. Additionally, students are encouraged to carefully reflect upon their abilities, skills and values. This self-assessment should include research, career exploration workshops in the Career Development Center, talking with professors, shadowing professionals in the field, and investigation of externships or internships. Students should also complete the FOCUS program, which is available free of charge on the Career Development Center website.

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What tutoring services are available for students seeking academic assistance in a course?

Students who are experiencing academic difficulty in a specific course should first talk with the course professor to pinpoint exactly where and what the academic difficulty is. Many times the student does not need to study harder; he or she needs to study smarter, and the professor can help a student identify strategic areas where work is needed. However, professors cannot be expected to tutor students on an ongoing basis. The Center for Teaching and Learning coordinates tutoring in many areas of study, including accounting, biology, chemistry, nursing, statistics, writing, and math.

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What guidance is available for undecided/undeclared students?

Matriculated students who are not certain of their major (which usually includes over 20% of the freshman class) should feel that being undecided about a major is a normal process of exploring and evaluating their educational goals. In the first semesters, careful decision-making about a major is strongly supported and encouraged, and students should take time to evaluate their goals, interests, abilities, skills, and values. All Undeclared students are assigned an academic advisor who will assist them during this exploration process. Students are also encouraged to meet with a career counselor in Career Development Center and or an academic advisor the Academic Advising Center for more assistance.

All newly matriculated students at York College receive from their academic advisor a Personal Strategic Plan. This resource serves as a guide to help students identify and articulate their personal, professional and career goals, and create an academic and co-curricular plan to successfully achieve them.

For self-assessment, the Career Development Center website offers all York College student’s free access to an on-line program called FOCUS. This evaluation will provide the Undeclared student with a comprehensive overview of their personal interests, values and skills that can be used to effectively explore career and professional avenues.

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What are warning grades and when are they given?

Students receive a warning grade from a faculty member when their course grade at mid-semester is unsatisfactory (below a “2.0”). Warning grades are usually issued by the seventh Friday of the semester. A warning grade serves to inform the student of deficient academic work which may result in serious academic action at the end of the semester unless performance is improved. In addition to notifying the student of his/her unsatisfactory work, the faculty member is required to report warning grades online by the deadline published each semester. Students with warning grades should talk with the course instructor and set specific goals for working to improve the grade. Parents of financially dependent students will receive notification of the warning grades.

All academic advisors receive a list of their advisees who have received warning grades at mid-semester and the specific course for which a warning grade has been issued. Academic advisors are strongly encouraged to contact these students to discuss the urgency of improving their academic work in the final weeks of the semester and the option of withdrawal to avoid a grade penalty. Students should seek the counsel of their academic advisor in deciding a course of action after receiving a warning grade.

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What is the Center for Teacher and Learning? Where is it located and what services does it offer?

The Center for Teaching and Learning, located in the Humanities Center, Room 1, offers academic support services for all York College students. These services include assistance with any written assignment, math tutoring (individual and small group), and tutoring in other subject areas. Also, the Center offers academic support seminars and workshops that provide assistance with study skills and time management; it also houses a resource library for academic support materials. The Center for Teaching and Learning provides proctoring services for students with a disability who require a supervised testing atmosphere for extended time and/or private, quiet space for test taking. The Center is open over 60 hours a week, and hours are posted at the beginning of each semester. Students are able to schedule appointments with tutors on-line through myYCP.

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What accommodations does York College provide for the student with a disability?

A student at York College who submits valid professional documentation to the coordinator of Disability Support Services regarding a physical, mental, cognitive and/or learning disability will qualify as a student with a disability. The College is pleased to support students with a documented disability by providing reasonable accommodations that comply with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and the 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and its amendments. Students with disabilities must complete the defined academic requirements of the College and meet the academic standards required for all students for graduation.

To qualify for accommodations, the student must provide professional documentation that assesses and evaluates the nature of his/her disability. The specific requirements vary depending on the disability, but generally this documentation must be based on an evaluation completed within three years of admission into York College and should be submitted to the coordinator of Disability Support Services. In addition to submitting documentation, the student must have an interview with the coordinator of Disability Support Services to establish the accommodations. The coordinator will work with the student to plan an appropriate strategy for successfully completing his/her academic requirements.

The student will then be provided with an “accommodation memo” that outlines the accommodation(s) for which he/she is eligible. It is the student’s responsibility to show this memo to his/her professors each semester in order to access the accommodations. It is also the student’s responsibility to maintain this memo, as it is designed to be used until the student leaves the college.

Academic Advising Center, Campbell Hall 200

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How can a student improve study skills?

Students often find that the academic demands of college are quite different from high school and that studying for college coursework may differ significantly from the approach they used in high school. Daily homework, frequent quizzes and exams are not usually given in college, and the student must study large amounts of content over a longer period of time with exams given or papers assigned less frequently than high school. Furthermore, the student is expected to be self-disciplined and independent in their quest to effectively manage their study time. To make this transition to a different style of studying and time management, students should attend the Study Skills and Time Management workshops offered regularly through the Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL). The CTL offers individual and small-group tutoring in writing, math, and other subject areas and the CTL website provides the most up-to-date information about workshops and tutoring schedules.

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When should a student repeat courses?

Students are permitted to repeat a course at York College and are strongly encouraged to do so when a grade is low enough to affect their cumulative GPA and place them on academic probation or suspension. When a course is repeated at York College, the quality points earned in the higher grade will be calculated into the cumulative GPA. Students must be aware that both grades appear on their permanent transcript even though the higher grade is calculated into the GPA. In addition, any course repeated at another institution will NOT transfer to York College.

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What counseling services are available on campus?

The Counseling Services office, located in Room 121 on the lower floor of the Student Union, offers private, confidential assistance to students who wish to discuss personal matters and situations that have become too difficult for them to handle alone. Recognizing that college is often a challenging transition for students in their journey to responsible independence, the professional staff members listen to students’ issues and provide assistance in taking charge of their lives as young adults. When necessary, the counselor makes referrals to outside counseling professionals. Students are encouraged to seek the services of the Counseling Center as soon as problems arise and before they become more difficult to handle.