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Academic Policies

These are your academic rights and responsibilities as part of the Whitworth community.

Academic Honesty

Basic Policy (See Whitworth’s e-catalog for full details on academic honesty.)

Just as the faculty, staff and administration at Whitworth strive to be forthright, direct and honest, and to value integrity in all their dealings, the university expects all students to function in like manner. Students are expected to adhere to the highest standards of academic honesty and to refrain from any dishonest or unethical action.

In all academic exercises, examinations, papers and reports, students are expected to submit their own work. The use of the words or ideas of others is always to be indicated through an acceptable form of citation. This policy will be specified in the syllabus for each course.

  1. Violations of the Policy on Academic Honesty
    1. Definition of Plagiarism
      Plagiarism occurs whenever a person attempts to pass off as his or her own work, either verbally or in writing, the words and ideas of others. Plagiarism most often occurs in projects that require independent preparation (outside of class); although it can occur in essay examinations, this is not generally the case. Plagiarism can be either inadvertent (a failure to understand the responsibility for acknowledgment or the means by which acknowledgment should be made) or willful (with a conscious intent to deceive).
    2. Definition of Cheating and Dry-Labbing
      Cheating is any academic activity in which the student submits for a grade or credit work that is not their own and/or that has not been done within the structure and context established by the assignment. Students may plagiarize in a variety of ways: copying another student’s test, bringing unauthorized notes or materials to an exam, copying another student’s lab notes, or making up fictitious lab results (also known as “dry- labbing”). All cheating is regarded as willful deception.
  2. Consequences of Violations of the Policy on Academic Honesty
    1. The faculty member will confront the student(s) in cases of suspected violations of the policy on academic honesty and will keep a written record of the incident.
    2. The faculty member will assess the gravity of the violation and will determine the consequences, which may range from a failing grade on the specific assignment to a failing grade in the course.
    3. The faculty member will submit a written report of policy violations, with their consequences, to the academic affairs office.
    4. The student has a right to appeal any faculty member’s decision by submitting a written appeal to the associate provost.
    5. The associate provost may then review the appeal in consultation with the Academic Policies & Appeal Committee, if such review is deemed necessary. All decisions of the associate provost and the Academic Policies & Appeals Committee will be final.
    6. All violations of the academic honesty policy become part of a student's educational record. More than one violation may result in suspension for the remainder of the current term, or for a longer period, depending on the nature of the violations.

Academic Grievances

Grade Challenges

Grade challenges must be initiated by the student in writing within 30 days after a grade is posted. Challenges on grades go to the professor first, but in cases where resolution is not easily achieved, the procedures are as follows:

  1. The student must first seek resolution of the conflict in consultation with the professor.
  2. If a satisfactory resolution is not possible in the first phase, the student may contact the department chair. 
  3. If a satisfactory resolution is not possible in the first and second phases, the student may appeal for adjudication by submitting a written appeal to the appropriate area dean or her/his designee, who will issue a final decision.

Academic Grievances

A student wishing to file a grievance regarding their experience in the classroom should begin with a conversation with their professor or within the department involved. In cases where resolution is not easily achieved, the procedures are as follows: The student must first seek resolution of the conflict in consultation with the professor. If a satisfactory resolution is not possible in the first phase, the student may appeal for further adjudication by submitting a written appeal to the associate provost for instruction. This appeal will be the final step in the grievance process. The associate provost's decision is final.

Academic Probation/Suspension Policy

(See Whitworth e-catalog.)

Attendance Guidelines for Classes

Class attendance is expected and may be included in the calculation of the grade for the class. Students who register for courses they do not attend are responsible for dropping the courses officially through the registrar’s office. The consequence of not officially dropping a course is a “WW” (withdrew without permission) grade, which calculates as an “F” in the GPA. Students should contact the professor of a class if they plan to be absent any day during the first week of the semester/term. No person other than a faculty member attending informally with the approval of the professor may attend a Whitworth course in which that person is not enrolled. A professor may allow a student to attend his or her class only if the student’s name appears on the official class roster.

Classroom Behavior Policy

Students and faculty are expected to demonstrate civility, understanding and mutual respect. The faculty handbook states that faculty should “demonstrate respect for students as individuals and adhere to their proper role as intellectual guides and counselors.” By the same token, students should demonstrate respect for faculty and student peers in all academic settings, and should contribute positively to the learning environment.

Disruptive classroom behavior will not be tolerated. Disruptive behavior may include, but is not limited to, threatening or abusive language or behavior, making unreasonable demands on faculty for time and attention, erratic and/or irrational behavior, continually speaking without being recognized, other verbal or behavioral expressions that interfere with the classroom environment, bringing unregistered persons to class without the permission of the instructor, and persistent disruptions including inappropriate computer use, ringing electronic devices, etc. If a student exhibits disruptive classroom behavior, the faculty member should confront the student, clearly identify the disruptive behavior, and require that the behavior cease. A faculty member may at any time remove a student from the classroom for disruptive behavior. A faculty member, in consultation with the department chair or program director, may develop a classroom behavioral contract outlining classroom expectations and consequences for a student who does not meet expectations, or may refer a disruptive student to the associate provost for instruction. The associate provost will meet with any student who is referred, or who continues to disrupt the learning environment. Students may be placed on behavioral probation or suspension based on the nature of the disruption. Behavioral suspension may include suspension from one or more classes for the duration of the current term, or for a longer period.

Missing Classes Due to School-Sponsored Activities

Students who are unsure about the ways in which school-sponsored activities (athletics, theatre, choir, etc.) will affect their progress in certain courses should discuss the implications with an academic advisor and with the instructor(s) of the course(s) before registering.

Registration Information

During the first two weeks of the fall and spring semesters, students receive notification to verify their course registrations. The notice provides a link to WhitNet, where each student is able to view a list of all the courses for which s/he is currently registered.

Credit cannot be granted for courses in which a student did not officially register. It is the student’s responsibility to check registration information and to discuss any needed corrections with the registrar’s office. It is the university’s policy to deny requests for registration in any course after the close of the term in which registration was required. Each fall and spring, students register online for their next-semester courses. Registration time slots are assigned based on the total number of credits completed.

Whitworth University students register for classes through Self-Service. Students register for their next classes during their assigned registration period each semester. The registrar's office will assist students who are away from campus on study abroad programs with registration for their next semester's or term's classes.

Students can adjust their class schedules via Self-Service through the first week of classes. Beginning with the second week of classes, students must complete an add/drop form, including the instructor and advisor's signature, and submit it to the registrar’s office for processing. It is the university’s policy to deny requests for registration in any course after the close of the term in which registration was required.

Registration for teaching assistantships, research assistantships, field studies, readings, independent studies and internships are processed in the registrar’s office. Continuing studies students and graduate students should check with their programs for registration dates. Registration for study abroad is coordinated by the Whitworth International Education Center.

Deadlines for adding or withdrawing from classes are published in the academic calendar each semester. It is the student's responsibility to check his or her registration information and to discuss any needed corrections with the registrar’s office.

No person other than a faculty member attending informally with the approval of the professor may attend a Whitworth class in which that person has not been officially registered. A professor may allow students to attend his or her class only if the students' names appear on the official class roster.

In order for the university to provide the best classroom learning environment for all students, children may not attend any Whitworth class. No child may, under any circumstances, be left unattended in a university building while a parent is attending class. Safety is our main concern; we cannot ensure children's safety when they are left unattended.

Rescheduling Exams

Students are expected to take all midterm and final exams at the scheduled times. The final-exam schedule is posted online at the beginning of each semester; instructors schedule midterm exams and will disseminate information about those exams to their classes. Permission to take a final exam at a time other than the one listed on the schedule will be granted only in exceptional circumstances. Petitions to reschedule a final exam must be made a month in advance during fall or spring; deadlines are shorter in Jan Term and summer. The online petition form can be obtained through the registrar's office.