The Committee on Standing, made up of faculty and administrators on the Academic Affairs Committee (AAC), meets at the end of each semester and at other times as necessary to consider the standing of students whose academic work or progress is less than satisfactory or otherwise deemed deficient, or who is suspected of violating the academic integrity policy.
The Committee on Standing (CoS) is chaired by the Academic Dean and is made up of faculty members, the Assistant Dean for Academic Administration, the Dean of Students, and the Registrar. The Dean and faculty members have voice and vote. Other members of the committee have voice and no vote. The Dean of Academic Affairs, the Assistant Dean for Academic Administration, the Dean of Students and the Registrar are permanent members of the committee. Faculty members normally serve for one year. The CoS may wish to consult and inform as needed the Vice President of Admissions and Financial Aid, the Director of Housing and Campus Services, the Senior Director of Integrative and Field-Based Education, and the academic advisor of a student under discussion.
The minimum Title IV requirement for a student in their second academic year is a “Credit” (CR) average or standing consistent with graduation. The records of students who have received “No Credit” (NC) or “Marginal Credit” (MC) in a course are subject to review. In the case of students who receive one MC, the CoS may issue letters of warning; however, if a student receives two or more MCs within a semester, or if a student receives an MC in two subsequent semesters, the student is placed on academic probation for the following semester, or such longer period as the CoS may deem appropriate (the “probationary period”). If within the probationary period, the student receives another MC, it is within the power of the CoS to propose additional sanctions or remedial measures, up to and including academic dismissal for the student.
In the case of students who receive NC for a course, the CoS places that student on academic probation for which the probationary period is a minimum of one semester. Students have until the end of the next semester or other probationary period following receipt of the probation letter in which to meet the criteria set by the CoS. At the end of the probationary period, the CoS shall recommend in writing, one of the following: removal of probation, continued probation, or dismissal from the Seminary.
The CoS may dismiss students for situations other than those specified above, and nothing herein shall limit the Committee’s discretion in this regard. When dismissal from the Seminary is proposed or considered, the COS must notify the student in writing of the possibility of dismissal. If the COS concludes that the situation is remediable, the student must be clearly informed of the remedial action expected, the time frame in which such action is to be taken and completed by the student, and any other conditions deemed appropriate by the COS. If the student does not complete the remedial action in the specified time frame, or otherwise fulfill the conditions specified by the CoS, they may be dismissed from the Seminary. The CoS may also determine, in its sole discretion that the situation is not remediable, and that immediate dismissal from the Seminary is warranted. Circumstances that may be not remediable may include, but are not limited to:
- academic deficiencies that are deemed not to be susceptible to reasonable remedial activity
- situations involving threats of violence or imminent harm
- moral turpitude
- occurrences or conduct reflecting or potentially reflecting negatively on the Seminary’s reputation or community
- and other situations where remedial action will, in the judgment of the CoS, not be appropriate or available
Students who are placed on academic probation are placed on on-campus housing probation (if applicable). This means students maintain their on-campus housing during one semester of academic probation. Students who remain on academic probation a consecutive semester are no longer able to maintain on-campus housing unless an extenuating circumstance affected the student’s ability to maintain satisfactory academic progress, such as an illness, or personal or family crisis.
Students who are placed on academic probation may find that they have also failed to make Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP). Federal Title IV regulations require Union to monitor SAP for the purpose of determining eligibility for financial aid. Students who fail to make SAP for two or more consecutive semesters may lose their eligibility for financial aid and have their aid suspended. Following the CoS, students should contact the Director of Financial Aid if they are unsure of their eligibility for aid based on their academic probation status. All students have the right to appeal the suspension of their financial aid. Students whose appeals are approved are placed on financial aid probation for one semester and will continue to receive aid. Generally, aid eligibility appeals are requested on the basis of injury or illness, the death of a relative, or other special circumstances that adversely impacted academic performance.
Students who are placed on academic probation are ineligible to serve in Student Senate and Caucus leadership positions and on governance committees within the seminary, such as Faculty and Board of Trustees committees.
A student may be required to take a leave of absence or withdraw from the Seminary for other than academic reasons, since the personal behavior and emotional health of students is within the scope of the CoS. While an individual situation is being assessed, a student may be required by administrative referral to have an evaluation by the Seminary’s mental health consultants.
A Committee on Doctoral Studies consults with the Academic Dean annually, or as necessary, on the progress of doctoral students in such matters as language examinations, comprehensive examinations, dissertation proposals and examinations, and other requirements of the PhD program of study at the Seminary.