General Degree Requirements
To earn a bachelor's degree, a student must complete a minimum of 120 semester hours with a cumulative grade-point average of 2.0 on all hours undertaken at Berry College and on all hours in her or his major coursework at Berry. Some majors require a C or a C- in all courses in the major as noted in the requirements for each major. See the school's description of majors for details. When a course must be repeated at Berry, the Repeating Courses policy shall govern the calculation of the student grade-point average. A detailed description of all the degree requirements is listed at the beginning of the Academic Requirements Section.
For purposes of determining the extent to which the college is reaching its goals, students are expected to participate in the assessment process required of institutions of higher education. Assessment activities may include, but not be restricted to, exit examinations in the area of one's major (see requirement 16, under Requirements for Undergraduate Degrees ), opinion surveys, focus-group interviews and other forms of evaluation. The dean of academic services, in coordination with the deans of the schools, will notify students when these evaluations are to be completed.
Students are expected to attend classes regularly. Each student is responsible to the instructor in matters pertaining to class attendance. The student should explain the cause of each absence; if the absence is deemed justifiable, the instructor may grant the student an opportunity to make up the work. Because the college is concerned about the academic success of the student, instructors are encouraged to keep records of class attendance and to report those with attendance issues. Instructors should explain to each of their classes at the beginning of every semester what constitutes "excessive absences." A student with excessive absences may be withdrawn from the class at the request of the professor, in accordance with the policies explained on the course syllabus. Students who fail to attend all courses regularly may be withdrawn from the college.
Eligibility for Honors
Eligibility for graduation with honors requires a combined grade-point average of 3.5 on all work undertaken, including both transfer and Berry credits (excluding credit by CLEP and similar examinations and credit graded satisfactory/unsatisfactory). Repeated courses are included. A student who transferred to Berry must also have a minimum 3.5 average on all work undertaken at Berry for such eligibility.
Students whose combined cumulative average is at least 3.5 but less than 3.7 will be graduated cum laude; 3.7 but less than 3.9, magna cum laude; and 3.9 and above, summa cum laude.
Students who achieve a grade-point average of at least 3.5 on a minimum of 12 graded semester hours are placed on the Dean's List for that semester. In determining a student's eligibility for honors, the Registrar's Office calculates all grade point averages to two decimal places.
Second Undergraduate Degree
Berry College may grant a second bachelor's degree to an individual who holds a prior bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited institution. A candidate for a second bachelor's degree must complete a minimum of 62 semester hours in residence at Berry beyond those hours earned for a prior degree. Of these, at least 15 hours must be completed in the major courses numbered 300 or above. All major, general-education and specific degree requirements (e.g., foreign-language hours for the B.A.) must be fulfilled.
Academic Integrity, Violations and Appeals
The Berry College community affirms its support of academic integrity as reflecting founder Martha Berry's commitment to educating the head, heart and hands, and as the foundation of college life and experience. We believe that mutual trust among Berry's students, faculty and staff is essential to the operation of the college and that all members of the Berry College community are responsible for working together to establish and uphold an environment conducive to honorable academic endeavor.
Academic dishonesty iincludes, but is not limited to, the following: cheating, unauthorized collaboration, plagiarism, fabrication, multiple submissions, and aiding and abetting;
- Cheating: using or providing unauthorized information or aids on any examination or other graded assignment; altering a graded work prior to its return to a faculty member; doing another's work or allowing another person to do one's work, and submitting it for grading;
- Unauthorized Collaboration: working with another person on a project, assignment, examination, test or quiz, unless collaborative work has been stipulated by the instructor;
- Plagiarism: submitting material that in part or whole is not one's own work without properly attributing the source(s) of its content;
- Fabrication: inventing or falsifying information, data or citations; altering or creating any document or record affecting the grade or academic standing of oneself or others;
- Multiple Submissions: submitting identical or substantially similar papers or coursework for credit in more than one course without prior permission of the instructor(s);
- Aiding and Abetting: providing material, information or other assistance which violates any of the above standards for academic integrity; providing false information in connection with any inquiry regarding "academic integrity."
Where an academic integrity violation is suspected, the concerned faculty member should:
- discuss the suspected infraction directly with the student(s) involved. At the faculty member's or the student's discretion, the school dean, department chair or faculty colleague may be present during this discussion as a witness;
- make copies of relevant materials before returning them to the students(s) for any approved amendment or revision;
- discuss the suspected infraction and the documented evidence with the department chair, dean or a colleague for collegial advice. In all such cases, the privacy of the student(s) involved must be protected;
- make a decision based on the evidence and determine appropriate sanctions. Sanctions may include warning the student, or reducing the assignment, exam or course grade. If sanctions are imposed, discuss these and the appeals process with the student;
- if a student is found to have violated academic integrity policy, notify the provost (or assistant provost) in writing. This document should include information about the course, the faculty and the student(s) involved, the time and date of the incident, and a description of the incident and any evidence that indicates an infraction of academic integrity; any sanctions imposed by the faculty member in response to this incident; and
- a confirmation that the faculty member has discussed with the student the incident, any sanctions imposed and the student's right to appeal the faculty member's decision.
If the suspected academic integrity violation is detected at the end of the semester when the student is not available to discuss the situation with the instructor, the student will be assigned an Incomplete grade and invited to discuss the suspected infraction with the instructor as soon as it is reasonable which may be the beginning of the next academic semester.
Students seeking to appeal the academic integrity charge or sanction may appeal to a subcommittee consisting of equal numbers of faculty and students of Academic Council that will be convened by the provost or assistant provost. Students will be informed of their right to appeal by the Provost once the instructor has rendered a decision and imposed a penalty. Appeals must be made in writing to the Provost within 10 days of the notification of the sanction by the Provost.
Students who are sanctioned for violating academic integrity policy forfeit the right to withdraw from the class with a W grade.
Students who are found to have violated the College's academic integrity policy more than once may have a sanction imposed by the Provost in addition to the sanction levied by the course instructor. The additional sanction imposed by the Provost may include (but is not limited to) academic probation, academic suspension, or academic dismissal. Should the Provost impose an additional sanction, students have the right to appeal the sanction to an appeal committee comprised of the College's Academic Deans, the Dean of Students, and the chair of the Faculty Assembly. Students will be informed of their right to appeal a sanction imposed by the Provost. Appeals must be made in writing to the Provost within 10 days of the imposition of the sanction by the Provost.
Good Academic Standing
A student is in good academic standing at Berry College if his or her Berry cumulative grade-point average is at or above 2.0.
Academic probation results when a student's record calls into question her or his long-range chances for academic success and eventual graduation. At the end of any semester in which her or his Berry cumulative grade-point average is below 2.0, a student is placed on academic probation for the succeeding semester. Students on academic probation must limit their enrollment to 16 hours. (See section on Classification, Grade Points and Semester Hours for additional information.) A student may be removed from probational status only by achieving a 2.0 Berry cumulative average. Multiple infractions of the Academic Integrity Policy may also result in the imposition of this penalty.
A student is subject to suspension from the college if he or she meets any of the three criteria listed below. Students will be notified of their suspension immediately after the end of the term and will be given the opportunity to appeal their suspension before the beginning of the next term.
- Any student with multiple infractions of the Academic Integrity Policy may be suspended.
- Any student in his or her first semester at Berry who has attempted a minimum of 12 hours and earns less than a 1.0 grade-point average for the term may be suspended.
- Any time a student who has attempted a minimum of 20 hours earns less than a 1.0 grade-point average for a term and his/her cumulative grade-point average on all hours undertaken at Berry College is less than the minimum cumulative average contained in the standards listed below, the student may be suspended
- While on academic probation, a student is subject to suspension from the college if his or her cumulative average on all hours undertaken at Berry College is below that required for the designated number of total hours attempted. Students will not be subject to suspension for academic reasons if they meet the standards listed below after one semester on academic probation or if during each successive semester of probation they complete a minimum of 12 graded semester hours and earn a minimum semester average of 2.3.
|Total Hours Attempted
||Min. Cumulative Average
"Total Hours Attempted" means the total of (a) credit hours of courses taken at Berry for which any grade other than I, W, or WS, has been recorded; (b) the number of hours accepted as transfer credit from another institution, if any; and (c) the number of hours of CLEP and/or CBE credit earned by the student, if any. A student will be considered enrolled for any semester in which he or she has received a grade or grades affecting the grade-point average. A student will not be subject to suspension for academic reasons if he or she meets the standards listed above at the end of two semesters of academic probation or if during the second semester, or successive semesters, of probation he or she completes a minimum load of 12 semester hours and earns a minimum semester average of 2.3.
After the required period of absence from Berry, a student may request readmission through the Office of Admission. Following an original suspension, a student may request readmission after a period of one semester; after a second suspension, the student is eligible to apply for readmission only after the lapse of one calendar year. In either case, readmission is based on the college's judgment that such an action would be in the best academic and other interests of both the student and Berry College. Before applying for readmission, the student should be certain that the conditions that led to the original academic problems have been or can be corrected.
Dismissal for academic reasons represents a permanent separation from the institution and is a step of such seriousness that it is taken only after the most deliberate consultation. Dismissal may result when a readmitted student does not attain good academic standing for her or his classification after two semesters of re-enrollment following a second suspension. Multiple infractions of the Academic Integrity Policy may also result in the imposition of this penalty.
The Office of the Provost reviews student academic progress at the end of each semester. Regardless of academic classification, a student may be subject to suspension or dismissal if the student's only marginal academic progress makes her or his continuance at Berry unwise. The Dean's Council will consider appeals of those who claim extenuating circumstances in relation to their academic situation.
To withdraw, a student must obtain and complete withdrawal forms from the Office of the Associate Provost or the Dean of Students, obtain the signature of the advisor and participate in a brief exit interview. Completed forms should be taken to the Dean of Academic Services. These forms must be completed in order for withdrawing students to leave the college with a clear record. Students initiating the withdrawal process after the final date of the official preregistration period for the subsequent semester will forfeit the enrollment deposit and the housing deposit. A student who has a Perkins Loan must complete an Exit Interview form in the business office. A student who has a Guaranteed Student Loan / Stafford Loan must complete an Exit Interview form in the financial aid office.
Students who will be absent from campus for at least one full semester but are not classified as full-time transient students or who have not been granted a leave of absence will be considered withdrawn and must complete the withdrawal form.
Involuntary Withdrawal from College
Berry College may require at any time the withdrawal of any student whose conduct or academic standing it regards as undesirable, either for the student's sake or for the college's.
If the undesirable conduct is unintentional but suggests that the student may be harmful to self or others or is incompatible with the good order and operation of the college, the matter will be referred to the Dean of Students. The Dean of Students will consult with health-care providers, professors, counselors and other individuals as appropriate. The Dean of Students may require interim, temporary or permanent withdrawal of the student.
If the undesirable conduct is deliberate, the student will be subject to the rules and procedures provided in the "Code of Student Conduct" and "Judicial Board of Student Conduct Bylaws" in the Viking Code.
Students who leave the campus under the above conditions, either voluntarily or involuntarily, may be readmitted to the college only after being cleared by the director of admissions with the concurrence of the Dean of Students. Permission for readmission may take into account the student's demonstrating a period of stable behavior outside the college and may require a statement from a physician, psychologist or other qualified professionals that the student is ready to return and cope successfully with college life. Follow-up services or special conditions may be required as part of the readmission decision.
Leave of Absence
There are situations such as medical or family emergencies when a student must withdraw from classes for a semester with every intention of returning the next semester. The student may, in these cases, request approval of a Leave of Absence that, if granted, would mean that he or she would not have to complete the withdrawal-from-the-institution process and then reapply for admission. In applying, the student will be asked to indicate the term of absence, the reason for the absence and to provide documentation of the reason stated so that the provost and/or associate provost may consider the request.
While students are encouraged to apply for the Leave of Absence prior to the beginning of a term or during the drop/add period, students must complete the Leave of Absence form and turn it in to the office of the Dean of Academic Services no later than the end of the automatic W withdrawal period, typically the fifth week of the regular fall or spring terms, for approval to be considered for the current term. Students who have begun coursework during the term and who receive permission for the leave after the drop/add period may be granted a W for all courses for which they are registered; these hours count, however, as hours attempted.
In cases where a student needs to withdraw temporarily for medical reasons but anticipates returning in the next semester, the student may be granted a Medical Leave of Absence. The leave must be requested no later than the last day of the semester to withdraw from classes, typically the twelfth week of the regular fall or spring semester. Upon receipt of appropriate medical documentation, students will be granted a WS for all courses for which they are registered; these hours count, however, as hours attempted. Students who withdraw for medical reasons will be asked to provide documentation from the appropriate medical professionals regarding the student's readiness to return to a residential academic community.
A student approved for a Leave of Absence or Medical Leave of Absence will be eligible to preregister at the same time he or she would if enrolled at Berry and will, upon returning to the college, be coded as a current student. The student is responsible for meeting all fee deadlines, housing-application deadlines, etc., as is a student in residence.
A Leave of Absence will be granted for no more than one term in duration. If students must be gone from the institution longer than one term, they must formally withdraw and then reapply for admission.
Students should be advised that an approved Leave of Absence may affect the student's eligibility for financial aid and grants. Students seeking approval of a Leave should consult with the Office of Financial Aid.
Grading and Credit Hours
Grades and Examinations
At the end of each semester, examinations are administered according to a schedule posted on the Registrar's page of VikingWeb. Semester grade reports are posted on VikingWeb at the end of each semester.
Grades are recorded on the permanent record as follows:
||superior 4 grade points per hour of credit
||3.7 grade points per hour of credit
||3.3 grade points per hour of credit
||above average 3 grade points per hour of credit
||2.7 grade points per hour of credit
||2.3 grade points per hour of credit
||average 2 grade points per hour of credit
||1.7 grade points per hour of credit
||passing, but below average 1.3 grade points per hour of credit
||1 grade point per hour of credit
||failure no grade points
||Satisfactory; not averaged in grade points
||Unsatisfactory; not averaged in grade points
||Pass; not averaged in grade points
||No Pass; no grade points
||honors not averaged in grade points
||(Honors, Satisfactory and Unsatisfactory grades are limited to student teaching, internships and other approved offerings.)
||Audit, no credit
||incomplete work resulting from illness or emergency (see below)
||withdrew without penalty no effect on grade points
||withdrew from school or course resulting from illness no effect on grade points
||not reported no effect on grade points (an administrative notation in the absence of a grade)
Official withdrawal from a course requires a student to meet with their academic advisor and submit the appropriate form to the Registrar's office. Students may withdraw any time prior to the last date to withdraw with a W, as established in the Academic Calendar . Only in unusual circumstances, however, will a student be permitted to withdraw from a course past this withdrawal date, even if the grade in the course is passing. Failure to withdraw properly will result in the F grade.
Should a student officially withdraw or be suspended from the college during a semester, the grade for each course will be recorded as a W. If the withdrawal is for medical reasons, as approved by the provost's office, the student will be assigned the WS grade. Final grades recorded prior to the student's
withdrawal from school will remain on the record.
Students may not withdraw from a course to avoid a sanction for academic dishonesty.
The date of dropping a class in no way implies a tuition refund. In cases affecting a student's receipt of financial aid, federal and state regulations specify that the last date of class attendance be used as the date of withdrawal. See Refund of Charges .
Pass/No Pass Grade Option
After completing 45 hours of academic credit in residence as a full-time student at Berry College, Berry students may enroll in courses with a Pass/No Pass grading option. Credit hours with a grade of Pass are not included in the determination of the grade point average although those hours with a grade of No Pass are included in the grade point average as an F.
Use of the Pass/No Pass option is subject to the following constraints:
1) No more than one course each semester/term may be taken on the Pass/No Pass grading option (up to a maximum of 4 courses in the student's career);
2) Students may not use the Pass/No Pass option to fulfill any currently declared major(s) requirements; (no more than one Pass/No Pass course may be applied to the major should a student change majors after the course has been taken); students may take as many as two courses in their minor Pass/No Pass;
3) Only Berry College classroom courses (not online courses) may be taken on this option;
4) No course taken with the Pass/No Pass option may fulfill a Foundations degree requirement;
5) Students on academic probation may not exercise this option, nor may any student who has ever been suspended for academic reasons;
6) For B.A. students only, no world language courses are available for this option until the student has completed the competency requirement for the BA;
7) Students must declare with the registrar their use of the Pass/No Pass grading option no later than the last day to withdraw from a class; after this date undeclared students are locked into the regular grading practice and no changes in the grading practice may be made, regardless of the student's final performance in the class.
8) Courses taken Pass/No Pass may not be repeated on the grading option (and courses taken on the regular grading option may not be repeated on the Pass/No Pass grading option.)
9) Students must have the approval of their academic advisor before registering for the Pass/No Pass option.
10) Instructors will not be informed by the registrar which students in their classes may be exercising the Pass/No Pass option before the period for entering final grades.
All requests for Pass/No Pass grading must be made by the student to the Registrar's Office.
When a student has completed a substantial portion of the course requirements but is unable to complete the course, an Incomplete "I" grade may be assigned. The request for this grade should include a rationale for the request, a list of the work remaining to be completed, deadlines for completion of the work, and the grade the student should be assigned if the work is not completed. The instructor and the student must sign the Request for an Incomplete Grade form; in the event of an emergency or hospitalization where the student cannot personally request an Incomplete, the provost's office may initiate the request on behalf of the student and forward the request to the instructor.
Completed requests for Incomplete Grades must be submitted to the Registrar's office no later than the last day of the Final Exam period. Instructors must submit a Change of Grade form once the coursework is completed but no later than the end of the 12th week of the subsequent semester following submission of the "I" grade. Incompletes earned in the spring semester do not need to be completed in the summer unless required by the instructor. Failure to complete the necessary work by the deadline will result in the "I" grade automatically being changed to the grade listed on the Request for Incomplete Grade form. If no grade is listed on the form, an "F" grade will be assigned.
The Registrar will not accept incomplete grades that cannot be completed within the guidelines listed above.
Time Limit for Grade Changes
Non-incomplete grades may not be challenged or changed after the end of the next semester in which the grade in question was earned; grades of students who have graduated may not be changed after the end of the term in which the student graduated.
A student who has a concern about a grade should first discuss the matter with the professor of the class. If an understanding is not reached through this discussion, the student should make an appointment to discuss the matter with the department chair and/or the chair and the professor together. If there is still a concern about the fairness in the matter under discussion, it may be taken to the school dean and then, if necessary, to the provost, at which level a resolution of the issue will be determined.
Academic Appeals Process
Undergraduate students who wish to appeal an academic-related decision other than a grade should first consult with the professor of the course in which the issue has been raised. If the issue is not resolved at that consultation, the student may then appeal to the department chair and then, if the issue is not resolved, in writing to the dean of the appropriate school and then to the associate provost and/or provost. If the issue continues to be at question, the student may next appeal to a subcommittee consisting of equal numbers of faculty and students of Academic Council that will be convened by the provost, and then to the president.
If the issue is program related, the student should consult first with the director of the department or office in which the issue has been raised. If the issue is not resolved at that consultation, the student may then appeal in writing to the appropriate school dean. If the issue is not then resolved, then the student may appeal to the provost. If the issue continues to be at question, the student may then appeal to a subcommittee consisting of equal numbers of faculty and students of Academic Council that will be convened by the provost or assistant provost, and then to the president.
Student Complaint Policy
As an institution committed to students and to open dialogue on issues of concern to students, the college has implemented several policies to ensure that student concerns are responded to quickly and fairly.
In addition to these policies, Berry College has a formal Student Complaint Policy. That policy is used in cases where there is no published policy/appeals process or in cases where a student has exhausted the published policy/ appeals process. This policy is designed:
- to ensure consistency in the handling of complaints,
- to provide a process for students to appeal when they believe the college did not follow a written process/policy,
- to provide a process for the resolution of complaints where no written process/policy exists,
- to track formal complaints and their resolution as required by federal regulation, and
- to help students learn how to advocate for themselves through formal processes.
Procedures for Submitting a Written Formal Student Complaint
Before filing a Student Complaint:
Berry College has several written appeals processes delineated in the Berry College Catalog, The VikingCode, and on the college website. In all cases, students should complete these processes prior to lodging a written complaint. Among the policies in place:
- The Berry College Catalog contains policies to address/appeal academic integrity violations, grade appeals, and general academic/course-related concerns or appeals.
- The Berry College Catalog contains policies regarding tuition charges and the payment of tuition, eligibility for and awarding of financial aid, and the refund of tuition and fees.
- The Viking Code contains policies to address/appeal student conduct violations and sanctions imposed through the judicial process.
- Berry College has a Title IX: Sexual Misconduct Policy to address concerns related to sexual assault and sexual harassment. The policy is located on the Student Life website.
In most cases where there is not a written policy, concerns/complaints may be resolved by first meeting directly with the office, faculty, staff or student. If that is not possible or if that meeting does not resolve the complaint, students should meet directly with the supervisor of the office, faculty, or staff. Students should speak with the appropriate person(s) to seek resolution prior to lodging a written complaint.
Filing a Student Complaint
All formal written complaints must be filed using the online Student Complaint Form, which may be accessed on VikingWeb, Student tab, under Forms and Reports. The Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs or the Dean of Academic Services is available to assist any student needing help submitting a complaint.
- All Student Complaint Forms and supporting documentation submitted through the online system will be routed to the appropriate vice president for review and investigation. Complaints not designated for a specific vice president will be sent to the chief of staff who will review the complaint and respond or forward it as necessary to the appropriate vice president for review and investigation. The vice president investigating the complaint may request additional documentation and personal meetings with students, faculty, staff, and administrators.
- The appropriate vice president will respond to the complainant and strive to resolve the complaint within ten business days. The student will receive written communication of the resolution of the complaint.
- A student may appeal the decision of a vice president or Chief of Staff directly to the President by letter delivered to the office. The President will respond to the student in writing, normally within ten business days of receipt of the complaint. The decision of the President is final.
- All student complaints will be kept on file for four years.
Classification, Grade Points and Semester Hours
Students are classified according to number of hours of credit earned. With fewer than 30 hours the student is classified as a freshman; with as many as 30 hours but fewer than 60, a sophomore; with as many as 60 hours but fewer than 90, a junior; and with 90 or more hours, a senior.
A student's grade-point average is determined by dividing the number of grade points earned by the number of hours attempted, including any on which the student earned a grade of F. Grade-point averages at Berry College will be rounded off to two decimal points for all reporting purposes, including transcripts, academic standards and graduation. In all cases where a grade point average is used to make a determination about a student, two decimal places are retained.
Berry College will use the following terminology for grade-point averages: Berry cumulative; transfer; and combined, which includes the Berry cumulative and the transfer cumulative.
A student normally will enroll in 12 to 18 credit hours a semester. To register for more than 18 hours, a student must have an average of 3.0 (B) for the semester preceding that in which the overload is intended. In extreme cases, however, the provost may make exceptions. For consideration by the provost, requests must be filed on the forms available in that office. Students with a 3.0 semester average for the preceding semester need not file a request. No student on academic probation may take more than 16 credit hours, or 15 credit hours plus one hour of credit for a physical-education activity course. Regardless of the grade-point average earned for the preceding semester, a student will not be allowed to take more than 21 semester hours.
A student will not be permitted to earn credit for a basic course in any area in which acceptable college credit for a more advanced course has been earned or awarded.
A currently enrolled student who desires to enroll for a course without receiving academic credit may audit the course. The student must receive the approval of the instructor prior to registering.
Students will not be permitted to change to credit status after the add/drop period ends. Additionally, students may not change from credit status to audit status after the add/drop period ends.
Beginning with the 2013 Berry College Catalog, the policy on repeating courses was changed to allow students the opportunity to replace the earlier course grade with the grade from the second attempt as described below. This change in policy applies to all students who repeat courses after June 1, 2013.
Students may repeat courses if no credit was earned for the course or if the grade earned on the first attempt is lower than a C. In all cases where courses are repeated, the hours of credit will be counted only once toward the total credit hours required for graduation except where otherwise noted as repeatable in the course description.
A student may repeat a course only once. Only the most recent grade will count toward the Berry College grade-point average; no more than 15 credit hours of grades can be replaced in the Berry College grade-point average during a student's baccalaureate career.
Grades and credits earned at other institutions are used in the calculation of the cumulative grade-point average but are not used in the calculation of the Berry College grade-point average required to remain in good academic standing and meet financial aid Satisfactory Academic Progress requirements.
Therefore, work repeated at another institution cannot be used to improve the Berry College grade-point average.
Students should refer to the Financial Aid section of the college catalog for details regarding a student's ability to use financial aid to pay for repeated coursework.
Credit for Prior Educational Experience
The Registrar's Office manages the evaluation of all credit transferred into Berry College, including traditional college course credits, Joint Services Transcript credit, Advanced Placement (AP), International Baccalaureate (IB), Cambridge Advanced International Certificate of Education (AICE), and any other similar credit. Decisions made by the Registrar's Office, department chairs and/or deans may be appealed to the Deans Council.
Transfer of College Course Credit
Only official transcripts sent directly from the colleges attended will be evaluated. Official paper transcripts must be received at Berry unopened with the official institutional stamp or seal. Official electronic transcripts must be received through an official transcript ordering service. Transcripts forwarded from students or others by email or paper transcripts that have been opened are not considered official and will not be evaluated.
Transfer credit will not be granted by Berry College for coursework from non-accredited institutions or for prior experiential learning. Students who wish to demonstrate proficiency in an area covered by specific Berry courses may do so by applying for course challenge. See the section on Course Challenge for further details.
Developmental, orientation, student-assembly and cultural-events credits are not transferable. Credit is not given for coursework unrelated to Berry's offerings (e.g., auto mechanics and other terminal vocational, technical and occupational courses).
Evaluation of Transfer Credit
All determinations of credit equivalencies of courses transferred from other postsecondary institutions are made in consultation with appropriate academic department chairs and/or school deans. Students may be required to submit additional documentation such as course syllabi. Previously determined equivalencies are sent periodically to department chairs to be reevaluated, either due to changes in the transfer course description, changes in the Berry equivalent, or when five years have passed since the initial evaluation.
If there is no direct equivalent course at Berry, a department chair or dean may determine that a course may transfer as elective credit within that department. The course would be given the appropriate department code (such as "BIO") followed by "ELE" indicating elective status. A school dean may determine that a course does not match offerings available in any of the Berry departments but still warrants credit. In this case elective-only credit may be awarded. In either case, the course will retain the title indicated on the original official transcript submitted to Berry. Only transfer coursework that is accepted for credit will appear on the Berry transcript.
Transfer of Military Credit (Joint Services Transcript)
Berry College generally follows the recommendations of the American Council on Education in the evaluation of educational experiences in the Armed Services. Submission of an official Joint Services Transcript is required for evaluation. Though few credits are typically determined to be equivalent to Berry courses, final determination is made by department chairs and/or school deans in the same manner as other transfer work.
Transfer of AP, IB, AICE Credit
For credit to be awarded for Advanced Placement (AP), International Baccalaureate (IB), Cambridge Advanced International Certificate of Education (AICE), an official score report, sent directly from the respective organization, must be received and evaluated by the Registrar's office.
The determination of credit to be awarded is made by department chairs, as approved by the appropriate school dean and Academic Council. Approved award criteria are established on a yearly basis and credit is awarded to students entering Berry during that academic year. Students may elect to have credit removed upon request.
Credit hours, Grades, and GPA calculations of transfer credit
In the computation of a student's grade-point average (GPA) for coursework completed at another institution, all coursework except developmental or other remedial-type courses enters into the computation. Pluses and minuses are calculated using the Berry grading system. Berry does not accept D grades in transfer. Once a student is enrolled at Berry, her or his Berry GPA reflects Berry work only, except for determining Phi Kappa Phi membership eligibility, class rank and graduation with honors. In those cases, the combined GPA is used.
For students transferring to Berry, 3.33 semester hours will be granted for a five-quarter-hour course; 2.66 semester hours for a four-quarter-hour course; 2.00 semester hours for a three quarter-hour course; 1.33 semester hours for a two-quarter-hour course; and 0.67 semester hours will be granted for a one-quarter-hour course. Credit earned at some international institutions will be rounded to the nearest credit hour.
Credit by Examination & Earning Credit at Another Institution
Credit by Examination (Course Challenge)
With the approval of the instructor who will administer the exam, the chair of the department in which the course is offered and the dean of the school in which the department is housed, a student at Berry College may earn credit for a course by demonstrating mastery by examination. Students may not challenge an independent study, research course, a course in which participation or activity is essential to the objectives of the course or any Foreign Language course. Students are not allowed to challenge any course for which they previously enrolled either for credit or as an auditor without the approval of the provost.
Students should consult with the instructor to determine examination requirements and standards before registering for the course challenge. The student should expect no more assistance than being informed of the material to be covered on the exam. Under no circumstances will a student be permitted to attend class meetings of the course being challenged. Based upon the results of the examination, the grade earned will be reported as "Pass" (for grades of C- or better) or "Fail" (for grades below C-). Credit earned by course challenge will count as hours earned toward graduation, but will not count toward determining full-time status for the semester.
Course challenges should be registered through the Registrar's office during the normal registration period for the term, no later than the end of the add/drop period. Prior to registering for the course challenge, students will be required to pay a $500 fee for each course challenged. The examination must be completed and grade assigned before the end of the 12th week of the term in which it is registered.
Credit from Service School Courses
Berry College generally follows the recommendations of the American Council on Education in the evaluation of educational experiences in the Armed Services. Veterans should contact the registrar about such evaluations and equivalent college credits.
Continuing Education Unit
Continuing Education Units (CEU) may be earned by participating in appropriately planned activities not otherwise offered for credit. One CEU is earned through 10 contact hours of participation in an organized continuing-education experience such as a symposium or conference sponsored or cosponsored by Berry College.
While these units do not accumulate toward a degree, they are recommended by the College Delegate Assembly of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) as a means of recognizing the individual's participation in noncredit activities meeting the appropriate criteria. These criteria are established by the association and Berry; participants are made aware at the time of enrollment of the availability of and requirements for earning the CEU. A decision that the CEU will be awarded cannot be made after the program or activity has been offered. Certificates designating the CEU credit are awarded after successful completion of the program. The college makes announcements of and fees of activities meeting the criteria.
Correspondence work from other accredited institutions to a maximum of nine semester hours may be allowed in satisfaction of degree requirements, subject to the approval of the registrar, provided no more than three hours of the correspondence work are taken after the student becomes a senior. Correspondence work cannot be used in lieu of an upper-level course required in the student's major.
Study at Another Institution
Any student desiring to take coursework on a transient basis at another accredited institution must obtain prior written permission from the advisor, the appropriate department chair and dean, and the registrar at Berry. Failure to obtain this permission may result in the denial of credit. Forms for this purpose are on the registrar's page of VikingWeb.
A department and/or school have discretion over which transient courses are accepted for credit toward a Berry degree. No credit shall be allowed for course work completed at a two-year institution after the Berry student has completed 62 total hours of college course work.
Students who apply through the registrar in advance for full-time transient status at another institution and who receive such approval for the subsequent semester do not withdraw from the college or reapply for admission for the following semester. They will keep their deposits on file at Berry and are still considered to be Berry students.
Students wishing to continue their study elsewhere for a second semester must seek and receive transient permission from the registrar in advance. This extension, if approved, is good for only one semester. If such students do not seek approval or cease to attend that institution, they need to apply for readmission to Berry. A student who while on academic suspension from Berry studies at another institution must apply for readmission to Berry. See statements on readmission in the Admission & Financial Aid and the Academic Community sections of the catalog.
In accordance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, as amended, transcripts are issued only at the written request of the student. Telephone requests cannot be accepted. A minimum of 24 hours' advance request time is required. Every attempt is made to honor requests within 48 hours. As this timing is not always possible, students should request transcripts well in advance of their need for them in order to allow time for mailed transcripts to reach their destination. Official transcripts bear the seal of the college. A $7 fee is charged for each official copy. Currently enrolled students may print unofficial copies from Viking Web for their own use. Official transcripts will not be issued for those who are delinquent in their financial obligations to the college.
Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act
Access to Student Information
Under provisions of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, as amended, students have the right of access to official records maintained on them by Berry College. A student may inspect and review her or his educational records by filing a written request with the registrar. Although access normally may be obtained without undue delay, officials are permitted a 45-day period within which to respond to any request. For further information, please refer to the student handbook, The Viking Code.
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, as amended, also provides that the following categories of information may be released by the college as public unless the student chooses to have the information withheld. Such information may be released routinely to certain inquirers and the news media unless the student requests in writing the fall semester of each year that this list be withheld. Directory information includes name, address (including home, residence hall and room number, and local off-campus address), current telephone listing, place of birth, major field of study, participation in officially recognized activities and sports, weight and height (if a member of an athletic team), dates of attendance (including current classification and year, matriculation and withdrawal dates), degrees, awards and honors received, including dates granted, the most recent previous educational agency or institution attended, Berry e-mail address, status (full-time/part-time), and identification photograph.
Release of Information
Without the student's written consent, Berry College does not release confidential information to anyone other than Berry College personnel requiring information for the proper performance of their duties; organizations conducting studies for educational and governmental agencies; accrediting agencies; appropriate persons in case of health or safety emergencies; agencies or offices in connection with the student's application for or receipt of financial aid; governmental officials, as identified in Public Law 93-380; parents of dependent children, as defined in the Internal Revenue Code of 1954; and an appropriate official in response to a court order. Students who wish to release to parents routine grade reports or other official correspondence must complete a signed authorization form with the Office of the Registrar.
Other College Privacy Policies
Berry College protects the privacy of all students, including those using the college's online educational resources, through adherence to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA). In addition, the college ensures privacy of students enrolled in distance education courses through the following means:
- Every faculty, staff and student is assigned both an individual email account and a login to VikingWeb, Berry's portal which includes access to the learning management system (LMS). Both accounts require a password for access, which should never be shared. Students, faculty, and staff should never allow others access to their login ID and password since these systems contain confidential data.
- Grades for assignments that are part of online courses should be posted to VikingWeb, so that they are viewable only by the student and the instructor.
- A student's coursework submitted electronically is private and viewable only by the course instructor unless the student gives permission for specific information to be shared with others. Within the course, the faculty member may assign online forum posts, blogs or other collaborative assignments, which are considered part of class participation. Students should not have the expectation of privacy for collaborative assignments; for example, posts available to the entire class should be considered the same as if stated publicly in a traditional classroom.
- While faculty may use other electronic resources as part of the course, it is the responsibility of the faculty to ensure that these resources protect the confidentiality of student work and submissions unless the work is collaborative where the presumption of privacy would not be expected.
- A student's emails or other forms of written communication to the faculty member are considered private and should not be made available to other students. Faculty may share student communications with appropriate campus personnel if a message causes concern about the health or welfare of the student, or if it triggers mandatory reporting under Title IX.
- Students who believe their privacy has been violated should contact the faculty member first. If the student is not satisfied with the result, the student may appeal to the appropriate department chair and school dean in accordance with the academic appeal policy located in the Berry College catalog.
Librarians' professional ethics require that personally identifiable information about library users be kept confidential. This confidentiality applies to information sought or received; materials consulted, borrowed or acquired; and borrower-registration information.
Confidential records shall not be made available to any agency of state, federal or local government or any other person unless a court order requiring disclosure has been entered by a court of competent jurisdiction.
Berry College students are frequently featured in news releases, photographs, audiotapes and videotapes that may be distributed to the media or used in Berry publications, including Web sites. Students may be photographed or videotaped on campus or at college-related functions. The college has exclusive rights to these photographs/videotapes and may use them to promote the institution. Accomplishments of students may also be used to promote Berry College.