Admissions The Loop Academics Grad Student Resources Grad Student News and Updates



2014-2015 Graduate Catalog

 


<< Catalog Home

 

 

 

 

Registration

Credit by Examination

Withdrawal

Leave of Absence

Registration Petitions

Final Exams

Grading

Academic Appeals Policy

Graduation and Honors

Transcripts

Class Status

Academic Load
Enrollment status for graduate degree and certificate students is determined by the following:

 

6 or more credits Full time
4–5 credits Three-quarter time
3 credits Half time
1–2 credits Quarter time

 

As a graduate student, you may, with prior permission, take courses concurrently elsewhere, provided your combined load does not total more than the number of credits permitted as a normal graduate load for the registration period.

No more than 15 credits of 6000-level work may be taken in one quarter without permission of the program coordinator. During the Summer Sessions, master's students should take no more than 6 credits in any four-week period.

Students employed full time should take no more than 8 credits per quarter. Financial-aid recipients must carry a minimum of 3 regular on-campus credits to receive financial aid.

REGISTRATION


Class Registration
Dates for registration are published in the University Calendar. Matriculated graduate and doctoral students may register until 4:30 p.m. on the fifth day of the quarter.

Four registration options are available to you (procedures for registration vary from program to program):

  1. In person in Student Academic Services (SAS).
  2. Via fax at 206-281-2669.
  3. Via mail to Student Academic Services, 3307 Third Avenue West, Suite 113, Seattle, Washington 98119.
  4. Online via the Banner Information System.

Check with your program's graduate coordinator regarding procedures for registration.

Registration on the Web
SPU offers undergraduate, post-baccalaureate, graduate, and doctoral students the opportunity to register for classes through Banner.

Online registration for the quarter begins around the ninth week of the previous quarter and ends on the fifth day of the quarter at 4:30 p.m. Once web registration has ended, you must come to SAS, mail, or fax a request to withdraw from classes. The refund, if there is one, will be determined by the date the withdrawal statement is received.

Changes in Registration
Though choices made during the registration period are considered permanent, changes are permitted through the first week of each quarter.

The deadline for adding courses is the fifth day of the quarter. The deadline for withdrawing from courses is the sixth week of the quarter. Specific dates for these registration deadlines are listed in the University Calendar. Withdrawals must be submitted to SAS in writing after web registration ends on the fifth day of the quarter at 4:30 p.m.

Auditing
A person who wishes to attend class but who does not desire credit is an auditor. With approval from the instructor concerned, auditors may register for audit in all undergraduate courses and most 6000-level courses.

Students may change from audit to credit or vice versa during the quarterly add period published in the University Calendar. Auditors may neither participate in class discussions nor take examinations. If they do daily assignments, the instructor is under no obligation to read or correct them.

Students who are unable to remain at the University because of low grades and new applicants who do not qualify for admission may not register as auditors. A student may receive credit for an audited course only by enrolling in it as a regular student in a subsequent quarter. Tuition rates for auditors will be equal to the tuition credit rate.

Adding Classes
Students are permitted to change their registration as long as the change is submitted by the fifth day of the quarter (refer to the University Calendar for specific dates). Students may not attend or sit in classes unless officially registered by the fifth day of the quarter. Graduate day and evening classes (classes beginning after 4 p.m.) must adhere to this deadline.

Any class addition after this date will be considered a change of registration and will be subject to a $50 fee; these are handled via a registration petition (PDF).

Waitlisting Closed Classes
As a graduate student, you have the option of waitlisting any graduate classes that are closed via Banner. As space becomes available in closed classes, waitlisted students will be registered on a first-come basis. If the waitlisted class creates a time conflict or exceeds the maximum credit load for you, it will not be added to your student schedule, and you will be dropped from the waitlist.

You will be notified by email when you are entered into a class via the waitlist.

You may choose to withdraw from the waitlist for a course by notifying SAS in writing or by dropping the waitlisted course via Banner.

The waitlist program will continue to be in effect from the first day of registration and ends before the quarter begins. Refer to the University Calendar for these dates. The waitlist process is the best way for faculty to know the demand for their classes.

When the quarter begins, and the waitlist is no longer in effect, there is no preference given to students who were previously on a class waitlist. Therefore, if a student withdraws from a course after the quarter begins, the class is available for anyone to register until 4:30 p.m. on the fifth day of the quarter.

Independent Study
Independent study agreements are courses in which you do specific work independently with the instructor, as outlined in the official independent study agreement. Work for an independent study occurs outside the classroom setting.

An independent study should be created only when a needed class is not available for a particular quarter, or when you cannot accommodate a class into your schedule.

Independent studies can be created in situations when you wish to study a topic not covered in an actual course in the SPU Graduate Catalog. A student should not attend a class being offered and use that as part of independent study credits.

Only matriculated students at SPU may register for "independent study." You must complete the form and have it signed by your instructor, and the dean or department chair. You and your instructor then must meet on a regular basis for the number of consultations noted in the agreement.

Registration for an independent study must be submitted to SAS no later than the 10th day of the quarter (see the University Calendar for specific dates). SAS will create the course as noted on the agreement. Copies of the agreement will be forwarded to you and the instructor.

Information for Non-Matriculated Students:

Students who are not seeking a degree at Seattle Pacific, but wish to take courses can do so as a non-matriculated student. Below are some policy issues surrounding this type of student status that you should be aware of:

  • There is no application fee to become non-matriculated.
  • The maximum credit load per quarter is 20 credits.
  • No more than 9 credits taken as a non-matriculated student may be applied to a graduate degree — although some graduate degrees differ in maximum credit amount.
  • If you decide to pursue a degree or certificate program at SPU, you will be required to go through the normal Admissions process.

Registration for Non-Matriculated Students

Registering as a non-matriculated student is simple. You would complete the registration form and submit it to Student Academic Services (SAS) to be processed. This form asks for directory information, your social security number, birth date, requested courses, and your signature. It is important to indicate all current contact information so that you may receive information from our university departments.

Course selection can be found online in the Time Schedule. Students should note that some courses may not be offered to non-matriculated students to take and/or that some courses may have registration restrictions attached. In either case, the student would need to request special permissions from that appropriate department.

One disadvantage to this student type is that registration does not begin until all matriculated students have had a chance to register. See the Academic Calendar for specific dates each quarter. For Autumn Quarter, non-matriculated students can begin registering on September 1 or the first business day in September.

Other things to consider:

  • Applicants whose first language is other than English must submit an official TOEFL score.
  • Non-matriculated students are not eligible to receive financial aid and will pay for courses on a per-credit basis.
  • If you are a veteran student, you may not be able to receive benefits through the G.I. Bill.

<< Back to top

 

CREDIT BY EXAMINATION
Currently enrolled matriculated students may take special examinations in approved academic subject matter offered by Seattle Pacific University to gain credit without being enrolled in specific courses. The procedures for obtaining permission and filling the request are to be obtained in SAS. The following limitations pertain to credit by examination:

  • You must be admitted to SPU and enrolled for the current quarter. 
  • You may receive credit by examination for any coursework that has been completed following high school graduation for which you have no formal record.
  • You may be tutored by a private instructor and challenge a course for credit by examination.
  • You may not take credit by examination for a course in which you have been registered for credit at SPU and received a "D," "E," "NC," "Audit," or "Incomplete."
  • Within a given program, no student may receive credit by examination in subject matter more elementary, as determined by the dean of the school, than that for which credit has been received previously.
  • You may not repeat an examination for credit.
  • You are entitled to only one consultation with the professor administering the test.
  • You must pay for all special exam fees prior to scheduling and taking the exam.

 

<< Back to top

 

WITHDRAWAL

Withdrawal From Courses
Withdrawal with official approval during the first week of the quarter will not result in any record of the class on the transcript.

Withdrawal with official approval during weeks two through six will result in a "W" appearing on the transcript. If you do not provide proper written notification to Student Academic Services, financial obligations will remain binding, regardless of whether classes were attended or whether any of the contracted services were utilized.

Whatever the situation, you should communicate your intent to your advisor and instructor. Before dropping a course, consider what percentage of refund for which you eligible and any impacts on your financial aid package, if applicable. If you fail to withdraw through SAS by the end of the withdrawal period (see the University Calendar for specific dates), the instructor will issue the grade you earned.

Withdrawals or course drop requests may be mailed, faxed to 206-281-2669, or delivered in person to SAS.

Complete Withdrawal From School
If you desire to withdraw from school, you must submit a written request for a complete withdrawal or withdraw via the web by 4:30 p.m. on the fifth day of the quarter.

Refunds and adjustments to your student account are governed by the financial policies in Costs and Financial Aid. Students who register but do not attend classes must notify SAS in writing to cancel their registration and related charges. The date this notice is received will determine the amount of refund where applicable.

If you fail to withdraw through SAS by the end of the sixth week of the quarter, you will receive the grade earned.

Administrative Withdrawals Requested by Instructors
If the instructor or advisor receives notification that you will not be attending, the instructor may contact SAS and request that you be administratively withdrawn from the course.

Also, if you do not attend class within the first two days of the quarter, an instructor may ask SAS to administratively withdraw you from the class. If you know that you will miss the first class, notify the instructor to avoid being withdrawn from the class.

Administrative Withdrawals Requested by Student Financial Services (SFS)
SFS has the right to have a student completely withdrawn from classes due to an unpaid balance.

Parking Refunds

To be eligible for a refund of parking fees, you must inform the Office of Safety and Security. Parking refunds are calculated in accordance with the tuition refund policy. 

<< Back to top

LEAVE OF ABSENCE

We understand that students may need to take a leave of absence from the University for financial reasons, or for personal considerations such as illness within families, or medical reasons.

Term-based, credit-hour institutions such as Seattle Pacific University as a rule do not meet the conditions of a federally approved leave of absence; therefore if the student is receiving federal aid and withdraws or takes a leave of absence from the University, the student may be subject to the federal Return of Title IV and state financial aid return policies and to the terms of his or her student loan(s).

International students are bound by particular federal laws with regard to leave of absence; therefore this policy does not apply to them.

NOTE: Student must notify Student Financial Services about any change in planned period of enrollment, whether due to withdrawal from a class, a leave of absence, or withdrawal from the University.  The specific requirements by which the student agreed to abide at the time any finanical aid was accepted will remain in effect.

A student will be required to re-apply to SPU if away from the university for more than four quarters.  Students do not apply for readmission to SPU if they take a leave of four or fewer quarters. Students gone for four or fewer quarters will be responsible to complete the same degree requirements as expected upon his or her first quarter of matriculation at the University.

Notification to the department's graduate coordinator is required prior to the start of the quarter that the leave of absence is being requested.

While a student is on leave of absence, the University will report the student's enrollment status to lenders and loan service entitites as "not attending," and a student loan borrower's grace period will begin.

Students on an SPU leave of absence who do not attend school elsewhere for two consecutive quarters (including summer), or who attend another instiution less than half time for two or more consecutive quarters (including summer) will be expected to begin repayment on some or all of their loans. Students are advised to contact their lender(s) regarding their enrollment plans and for repayment information and grace period expiration.

Additional leave of absence requirements:

  • Students must keep the University apprised of their current contact information, including mailing address and phone number while on leave of absence.
  • Students must meet all regular University deadlines for registration, financial aid applications, and similar matters. Financial aid/scholarship awards do not automatically carry over.

REGISTRATION PETITIONS
It is expected that all students adhere to registration deadlines. However, registration petitions are requests for exceptions to regular policies and procedures. The petition process provides students and faculty with the possibility of a response outside the normal bounds of policy when extenuating circumstances are judged to warrant such a response. Extenuating circumstances include illness, injury, death in the family, or problems with immigration.

Unresolved holds by the deadline or poor performance in a class does not constitute an extenuating circumstance, and is not grounds for petition. The petition must not only voice the request, but it must also substantiate the validity of the request. Petition forms are available on the forms rack in the Demaray Hall lobby (first floor) or at sasforms.

Instructions for completing this process are listed on the petition. A student seeking late registration must obtain permission from the instructor to sit in the class while the petition is pending. In all cases, the final decision to approve or deny a petition will be made by SAS. SAS reserves the right to deny any petition for any reason. Each approved petition will incur a $50 change of registration fee.

 

<< Back to top

 

FINAL EXAMS
The final exam period is considered an instructional period. Classes are expected to meet during the scheduled time whether or not a final exam is given.

An instructor may refuse a student's request to reschedule a final examination. However, instructors may schedule an early final exam for you under the following conditions:

  • You are able to demonstrate appropriate mitigating circumstances that, in the judgment of the instructor, warrant rescheduling the final exam.
  • A rescheduled final exam is given no earlier than four working days prior to the last day of the final examination period.
  • Your request to reschedule a final exam is made at least two weeks before the regularly scheduled final exam period.

<< Back to top

 

GRADING


Grade Point Average


Your grade point average (GPA) is determined by dividing the total number of grade points earned during a given period by the number of credits for which you were enrolled and for which you received a regular grade during the same period.

For example, if you earn 45 grade points during a quarter in which you are enrolled for 15 credits, your GPA for the quarter will be 3.0.

 

Grade Points Explanation
A 4.0  
A- 3.7  
B+ 3.3  

B

3.0  
B- 2.7  
C+ 2.3  
C 2.0  
C- 1.7  
D+ 1.3  
D 1.0  
E 0.0  
Au  

Audit

P  

Pass (used only with the Pass/No Credit option)

NC  

No Credit (used only with the Pass/No Credit option)

I  

Incomplete

N, G  

In Progress

W  

Withdrawal with official approval

 

  • Except in cases of clerical error, no instructor may change a grade that he or she has submitted to SAS.
  • Students are not able to add additional work to improve a grade after it has been submitted to SAS.
  • Grade changes may be made in only the quarter following the course.

Use of I, G, N, W Grades
"I" grade (incomplete): Indicates the student did not complete the work assigned for a course because of absence from school during the quarter due to illness or an acceptable emergency. The student must initiate the request for the "I" grade no earlier than two weeks prior to the final examination or last class session.  Unless the student is incapacitated, this request should be made in writing. Documentation verifying the illness or acceptable emergency (e.g., a note from a medical doctor) may be required by the instructor.  A student cannot carry more than 20 credits of incomplete grades without prior approval from the registrar.

The instructor is under no obligation to grant the request for an "I" grade. However, if the instructor chooses to issue an "I" grade, the instructor and student must formulate a plan for the student's completion of the course requirements. The student may not attend a future class in which she or he is not registered as a means of working toward completion of an "I" grade.

A timeline for course completion will be determined by the instructor. However, the student must submit final coursework within one calendar year or the "I" becomes an "E." The student must initiate the removal of the "I" grade once coursework has been completed.

"G" grade: Used in only specified courses in which a "final" grade is dependent upon additional work and applies only to approved 6000–7000 level courses, including internships, theses, dissertation, and projects at the discretion of the graduate program. Work must be completed within three calendar years or the "G" becomes permanent.

"N" grade: Used in only specified courses in which a "final" grade is dependent upon additional work.

  • The "N" grade indicates that work is satisfactory to date, but carries with it no credit or final grade until all work is completed.
  • Work must be completed within one calendar year or the "N" becomes permanent.

A student's degree will be awarded effective the quarter in which the final grade is assigned.

"W": Withdrawal with official approval during weeks two through six will result in a "W" appearing on the transcript. (See Withdrawal From Courses.)

Pass/No Credit Option

  • A "P" grade in this option must be at least equivalent to a "C" grade (2.0).
  • 6000-level courses may not be taken for P/NC, with the exception of thesis, dissertation, research, and projects, to be determined at the discretion of the schools.

Equivalent Courses

Courses noted as being "equivalent" may be substituted for each other. You may not receive duplicate credit for two courses considered equivalent to each other. If you take an SPU course equivalent to a course previously completed at SPU, the rules outlined below in the section regarding "Repeating Courses" will be employed.

If you take an SPU course equivalent to a course previously transferred from another school, credit for the transfer course will be rescinded and the SPU credits and course grade will apply. Courses taken at another institution cannot replace an equivalent SPU course for which credit has been received. 

Repeating Classes

You may repeat any course previously taken at SPU (or enroll in an SPU course noted as being "equivalent") for the purpose of earning a higher grade, unless the course is designed to be repeated for additional credit.

Effective Autumn 2011, the highest grade received in a course or its equivalent will apply to both the GPA for graduation and for honors at graduation. 

The original and repeated course will still appear on the transcript, but the lower grade and credits will be excluded from the overall GPA and credit total. Only courses taken at SPU will be used to change course grades. A course may be repeated only once.

If you believe you have unusual circumstances, you may petition to repeat a course more than once by submitting a registration petition, accompanied by a statement from the course instructor, to Student Academic Services. Courses taken at another institution cannot replace an equivalent SPU course for which credit has been received.

Academic Probation
Any graduate student whose cumulative GPA falls below 3.0 shall be placed on academic probation.

  • Students placed on academic probation must contact their program advisor to create a plan to raise the student's GPA.
  • Students on probation may take up to 9 additional credits in the graduate program in which they have been admitted following program advising.
  • Failure to bring the cumulative GPA to 3.0 or higher by the completion of the additional 9 credits will result in dismissal from the program and from SPU at the discretion of the program chair or the governing body of faculty within the student's department.
  • Students on probation must review their program handbook regarding specific program policies regarding academic probation, dismissal, and reinstatement.
  • A graduate student cannot graduate with a cumulative GPA below 3.0.

 

<< Back to top

 

ACADEMIC APPEALS POLICY
If you decide to appeal an academic decision, contact the advisor for more detailed information and assistance. The University provides a process whereby a student may appeal an academic decision, including, but not limited to, grades on course activities, evaluations, course grades, decisions on program admissions, and decisions on fulfillment of program and graduation requirements.

Academic appeals can be made only on grounds of unfair treatment against the stated standards, not against the professional judgment of the faculty member(s). The intent is always to resolve the appeal at the most immediate level. Only in extraordinary circumstances, when a resolution cannot be obtained at the first level, is the process moved to the next level.

In each case, the student shall bring the appeal in writing to the person or committee who made the original decision. If a resolution is not obtained at that level, the student may appeal to the next level in the school or University administrative structure.

Guidelines

Appeals on final grades must be submitted within one quarter of the grade being awarded. For appeals on academic decisions such as grades on course activities, evaluations, course grades, and decisions on program admissions, the levels to be followed, in order, are as follows:

  • Faculty member at the course level
  • Graduate program director
  • Dean
  • Provost
  • President

Academic petitions regarding general University matters such as decisions on registration policies, graduation requirements, or other Graduate Catalog academic regulations must be made in the following order:

  • Graduate program director or SAS (Check with advisor for the appropriate venue for petition.)
  • Graduate Policy and Evaluation Committee
  • Dean
  • Provost
  • President

The decision of the SPU president in any student appeal shall be final.

  • An appeal must be made in writing within five calendar days of receiving the decision from the faculty member or committee.
  • Every attempt shall be made at each level to resolve the issue according to ethical practices, accreditation standards and University policy.
  • The person making the appeal should provide the necessary supportive information to substantiate the appeal.
  • If, for any reason, a case is appealed beyond the faculty member or faculty committee, an appeal file shall be created. This file will contain written documentation related to the case including, but not limited to, the student's written appeal and the faculty response. The appeal file shall be open to all principals in the case, including the student appellant.

Academic Integrity
A breach of academic integrity occurs when students receive academic benefits they did not earn through their own work. In its more blatant forms, academic dishonesty includes:

  • Copying another's work on an exam
  • Preparing for an exam by using test questions from a stolen exam
  • Bringing concealed answers to an exam
  • Turning in another person's work as his or her own
  • Committing plagiarism (i.e., copying portions of another's words from a published or electronic source without acknowledging that source).

It is not dishonest to discuss possible answers to an exam question as part of a study group, to discuss ideas for a paper with other members of the class, or to ask a friend to read a draft of a paper for suggestions to improve it, unless the professor has prohibited these activities. It is not dishonest to summarize, paraphrase, or quote the words of others in a paper so long as the student acknowledges the sources with appropriate citations.

Guidelines for Penalties Against Academic Dishonesty
The penalties for breaches of academic integrity shall be clearly spelled out in a course syllabus. They may range from no credit for the work in question to no credit for the course. Both the students and the instructor have obligations to report and to prevent cheating, plagiarism, or other academic misconduct.

If the instructor suspects academic dishonesty, the following guidelines apply:

  • The instructor arranges a conference with the student to discuss the incident.
  • If following the conference, the instructor is convinced that the student violated academic integrity, the instructor may propose appropriate action. If the student accepts such action as appropriate, both student and instructor will verify this in writing and no further penalty will be necessary.
  • If agreement is not reached between the instructor and the student, the instructor may propose a grade penalty against the student by notifying the appropriate graduate director (or the school dean, if the graduate director is the instructor) in writing with supporting evidence. The penalty imposed will be commensurate with the degree of offense, from loss of credit for the work involved in the infraction to loss of credit for the entire course, such penalty to be determined in consultation with the graduate director (or school dean as appropriate). The student may appeal this action by following the process and procedures previously outlined.
  • In the case of repeated offenses, or of flagrant dishonesty that warrant probation or dismissal from the University, charges will be made in writing by the instructor to the appropriate school dean. The student may appeal this action through the dean to the provost and then to the president of the University.
  • If the act of dishonesty is associated with a criminal act (e.g., breaking into a faculty office) or with concerted group effort (all or part of a class), such cases will be immediately referred to the provost.

 

<< Back to top

 

GRADUATION AND HONORS
Graduation
All master's and doctoral degree students who wish to participate in Commencement must apply to graduate by February 1. The application is available from the graduate advisor. The form will be forwarded to SAS so that mailings regarding Commencement can be sent out during Spring Quarter.

To participate in the Commencement ceremony, you must have completed all courses necessary to fulfill graduation requirements during Autumn or Winter Quarter — or be registered during Spring Quarter and/or summer session for the last of the courses you need to complete your degree.

Some departments may not allow you to participate in Commencement ceremonies if you will not complete all degree requirements after Spring Quarter. Please check with your program coordinator for specifics.

  • If you can't register for outstanding requirements for your degree during Spring Quarter and/or Summer Session, you are not allowed to "walk" in the Commencement ceremony.
  • Students who complete their degree requirements Autumn and Winter quarters may participate in Commencement ceremonies at the end of the academic year in which they finish their coursework. 
  • Your degree will be awarded effective the quarter in which your final grade is assigned.

Diplomas are not distributed during Commencement. During the ceremony, you will receive a diploma cover. Degrees are awarded when the department notifies SAS that all requirements are complete.

Diplomas will be mailed approximately six weeks after the degree is posted, as long as all financial obligations to the University are met.

  • Spring Quarter graduates should receive diplomas by mid-September.
  • Summer Session graduates should receive diplomas by mid-December.

Honors
The graduate faculty elect a number of master's and doctoral students for recognition by Who's Who Among Graduate Students in American Colleges and Universities each year. This honor is awarded to candidates who will graduate from Seattle Pacific by the end of Summer Session, have a cumulative GPA of 3.5 or above, and demonstrate outstanding scholarship, service to the community, leadership, and future potential.

Additionally, the President’s Citation is awarded each year to a graduate student or students who have adhered to the ideals of Seattle Pacific University and demonstrated the highest academic achievement in this context.

 

<< Back to top

 

TRANSCRIPTS
Official transcripts are released only on written authorization of the student whose records are requested. The University reserves the right to deny official transcript services for indebtedness to the institution.

Official transcripts may be released to students. You may view unofficial copies of your transcript via Banner. Each official transcript costs $5. Payment is due at the time of the request. Payment can be made in person with cash (in-person only), or by check, Visa, or MasterCard. 

If you have an account, official transcripts are released only if the account is paid in full. You may request one unofficial copy of your transcript at a time at no charge.  Unofficial transcripts may also be viewed and printed through Banner.

Transcripts contain the student's entire academic history while at SPU:

  • Undergraduate work (0001-4999 courses)
  • Professional advancement courses (5000-5999)
  • Graduate work (6000-7999)
  • Continuing education units (CEU, or non-degree work)

Undergraduate, graduate, and CEUs are segregated on separate pages of the Seattle Pacific University transcript. Although a copy of the transcript may be requested at any time, updated transcripts will be available after final grades have been submitted and recorded.

To receive a copy of the transcript, either place your order online through Banner or visit the Ordering Transcripts SAS web page. The letter needs to include your name that you attended under; social security number or SPU ID number; the last quarter and year you attended; if you are enrolled in a current quarter of instruction, the number of classes enrolled in for that quarter; transcript destination address; your signature, and the number of official copies required.

Seattle Pacific will resend a transcript to the originally requested destination provided the University made an error in processing. The University must, however, be contacted within three months of the original request. After the three-month grace period, a separate written request must be submitted. The University reserves the right to approve or deny any request for resending a transcript for any reason other than University error. Payment is due at the time the transcript is requested. Payment can be made by cash (in-person only), check, Visa, or MasterCard.

Student Records: FERPA Policy
The SPU Family Educational Rights and Privacy statement can be found at spu.edu/depts/sas/ferpa.html. This University policy is also available in the Office of Student Life and SAS.

Student Records and Confidentiality
Certain items of information about individual students are fundamental to the educational process and must be recorded. This recorded data concerning students is used only for clearly defined purposes and is safeguarded and controlled to avoid violations of personal privacy.

Seattle Pacific University has the responsibility to effectively supervise any access to and/or release of official information about its students. In this regard, the University is committed to protecting the right of privacy of all individuals about whom it holds information, records, and files. Access to such records is restricted to the student concerned, to parents of a dependent student, to others with the student's written consent, to officials within the University, and to a court of competent legal jurisdiction.

The following policies have been established to comply with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (hereafter referred to as the "Act"):

Public Information. The Act provides that public "directory information" about a student may be made available to third parties without permission of the student. However, public notices must be given of intent to publish the information, so that if you wish to withhold information from public access (such as an unlisted telephone number) you may do so.

Release of Information. With the exception of directory information, no information in any student file may be released to any individual or organization without prior written consent of the student.

When disclosure of information is mandated by court order or subpoena, the staff member receiving such orders must immediately notify in writing the student concerned, prior to compliance with the legal order.

Information from University records about students is released for approved research purposes only if the identity of the student involved is fully protected.

Student Access. With certain exceptions, official student information collected and maintained by the University is available for inspection and review at the written request of the student. Clarification of exceptions may be obtained by contacting the University registrar.

A request for general access to all official records maintained by the University must be made in writing to the University registrar. A request for access to information maintained by a particular office may be addressed to the administrative head of that office.

When making such a request, you must provide proper identification. The designated staff person must supervise the review of the contents of the record with you. You are free to make notes concerning the contents, but no material may be removed from the record. Student requests for access to appropriate information must be granted within 45 days of the written request.

If health reasons or extreme distance from the University prevent you from inspecting the education record, then copies of specific education records will be made. You must pay all copying expenses in advance of release of the record.

Confidentiality. The University allows any enrolled student the option of becoming confidential in the computer system in order to protect his or her identity from outside sources. A request for confidentiality must be submitted in person to Student Academic Services.

When a student requests his or her records and identity to be flagged as confidential, the following ramifications may apply:

  • The University will respond to inquiries about the confidential student as though the student is not known at the University.
  • The confidential student may not obtain any information about records over the telephone, but must appear in person with proper identification to make any inquiry.
  • The confidential student will not appear in any student publications or listings, including, but not limited to, the Commencement Brochure and the online directory.
  • Student-loan agencies may have difficulties accessing information necessary to carry out their functions. Since the University will not be able to confirm attendance, the confidential student's loans could possibly be placed into repayment status.
  • Students who are graduating from Seattle Pacific should remove their confidentiality status at the time of graduation or at the time they leave the University. If the confidentiality status is not removed, the student may have difficulty obtaining his or her information, and university staff may not be able to identify the student quickly or easily. Also, keeping this confidential status could prevent future employers from verifying a student's academic credentials.

If you wish to remove your confidential status, you must come in person to Student Academic Services with proper identification.

Student Correction of Education Records
Students who believe that information contained in their education records is inaccurate, misleading, or violates privacy or other rights, may request that the University amend the records. The first step is to contact the University registrar or records custodian.

The University will decide within a reasonable period of time whether or not to do so. If the University declines to amend the student's records, it will inform him or her of the right to a hearing. Upon written request, the University will provide an opportunity for a hearing to deliberate the student's case. However, a hearing may not be requested by a student to contest the assignment of a grade.

If the hearing panel determines that the student's challenge is without merit, the student may place in his or her record a statement commenting upon the information and setting forth reasons for disagreeing with the University's decision. A complete copy of the University's FERPA policy may be obtained here or by contacting the dean of student life or SAS.

Students have the right to file complaints concerning alleged failures by the University to comply with the requirements of the Act. Such complaints should be addressed to:

Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act Office (FERPA)

Department of Education

300 Independent Avenue SW

Washington, D.C. 20201

Change of Personal Information
It is your responsibility to notify the University of any changes to your permanent or mailing addresses. This will enable the University to forward important quarterly information to you. Change-of-address forms (PDF) are available in Student Academic Services, Student Financial Services, and Residence Life.

You can also change your directory information through Banner. Students who wish to change their names (e.g., due to change in marital status) need to provide SAS with the official documentation for the change (e.g., copy of marriage license).

Veterans' Benefits
Seattle Pacific University's undergraduate and graduate academic programs of study are approved by the Washington State Approving Agency (SAA) for enrollment for those eligible to receive educational benefits under Title 38 and Title 10, U.S. Code.

For information on education benefits, contact the veterans' coordinator in SAS by calling 206-281-2031. Professional advancement courses (5000–5999) are not approved by the Washington state approving agency (SAA).

 

<< Back to top

 

CLASS STATUS
Visiting Graduate Students
Students who have been admitted to a master's degree program in another accredited institution may enroll for up to 9 credits at SPU, with the approval of the program from which courses are to be taken.

To gain admission to Seattle Pacific as a visiting graduate student, the applicant must submit the standard graduate application form and a letter from the dean's office of their home institution stating that the applicant is a student in good standing at that institution.

Non-Matriculated Students
In certain programs, qualified individuals who desire to take a particular 6000-level course but not planning to work toward a graduate degree or certificate may register for the course only with the advance approval of the director of graduate studies of the program from which the course is to be taken. Such students will be classified as graduate non-matriculated students.

Permission to register as a non-matriculated graduate student is always on a space-available basis. If a non-matriculated graduate student later applies and is accepted for admission to a graduate program, the credits earned in a course as a non-matriculated graduate student may be used in meeting master's degree requirements only if

  • A grade of B or better was achieved in the course.
  • And the course was taken within the three-year period prior to admission to the program.

Up to 12 credits, at the discretion of the program, taken before admission to a program may be applied toward master's degree requirements. It is vital to check with the program director to learn how many credits taken as a non-matriculated student apply to each particular degree.

Student Transportation Policy
Academic courses usually do not require the transportation of SPU students from campus to another location unless so stated in the course syllabus. If you have a course or event to be convened at a remote location, you will be required to provide your own transportation to the site.

Unless specifically stated, the University assumes no responsibility for determining transportation of students to the site of a course or nonacademic activities, whether such activities occur on or off campus. Students will be responsible for their own transportation to such activities.

If transportation of SPU students is in University-owned or sponsored vehicles, drivers must have passed a defensive-driving course, possess a current driver's license and have authorized a check of their driving records. The Office of Safety and Security need not be notified of all officially sponsored travel. Any exception to this policy must be approved in advance and in writing by the vice president for business and planning.

 

<< Back to top



<< Back to 2014-15 Graduate Catalog Home

 

Footer