Course Policies and Grades

Accommodations Policy

Disability-related accommodations are determined by the Office of Accessibility Resources and Services (OARS). Students are responsible to contact the OARS. Once OARS determines that accommodations are to be made, it will notify the student and the instructor via e-mail. Students choosing to use the disability-related accommodations must contact the instructor no later than five business days before accommodations are needed. The instructor will provide accommodations, but the student is required to initiate the process for the accommodations.

Adding a Course

During any term (full term, half term, interim), students may add courses prior to the deadline listed in the academic calendar published in the academic catalog. Though not required, it is recommended that students consult their advisor before adding a course. Course adds are official on the date students make the change online or written notice is received by the Office of the Registrar.

Attending Classes

Students are accountable for all required work in each of their courses. They must assume full responsibility for class attendance and for work missed because of absence. Since class sessions function not merely for individual learning but also for group interaction, absences can become a serious problem for both the individual and for the group.

For information on dropping a course see "Dropping a Course" below. For information on withdrawing from a course, including Administrative Academic Withdrawal, see "Withdrawing From a Course" and "Withdrawal (Academic Administrative)" below.  

Auditing a Course

Students wishing to audit a course must secure the consent of the instructor. A student may change to or from audit status with the instructor’s approval only during the first four weeks of the fall and spring semester and two weeks in Interim term. Auditing at Bethel is defined as observation in the classroom setting. Auditors are required to meet the attendance requirements set by the instructor. Participation beyond attendance in class activities is at the instructor’s discretion. The grade AU is given when a student audits the course. Students who do not meet the attendance requirements will be graded WZ. PSEO students are not eligible to audit courses. 

Course by Arrangement 

In special circumstances (e.g., a course has not been offered the terms indicated in the catalog or on academic plans) students may request to take a course by arrangement. To be eligible to take a course by arrangement, a student must have a cumulative GPA of 3.25 or higher and have junior or senior standing. Only courses that are requirements for a major or minor can be taken by arrangement. Students may take only one course by arrangement while completing their undergraduate degree in the College of Arts and Sciences. A course by arrangement is graded on an A/F or S/U basis.

A completed course by arrangement form must be submitted to the Office of the Registrar by the add/drop day of the term in which the course is taken. The form must be approved by the Faculty Supervisor, Academic Advisor, the Department Chair of the department offering the course, and by the Registrar. If the course by arrangement is at an international site, the student must complete required activities in the Office of International Studies and Off Campus Programs and obtain approval from the Associate Dean of International and Off Campus Programs. The Associate Dean of International and Off Campus Program's signature on the course by arrangement form indicates approval. For an international summer or fall course by arrangement, the deadline date for the submission of the completed form to the Office of the Registrar is March 1. For an international interim or spring course by arrangement, the deadline date for the submission of the completed form to the Office of the Registrar is November 1. 

Course Time/Conflict 

A course time conflict is a partial overlap of two academic courses. The partial overlap needs to be less than half the scheduled time of either course. If the time conflict is greater than 50% for either course, students must pursue a Course by Arrangement. Both courses must be requirements in the student's major(s) or minor(s) or for the Honors Program, with the exception of music ensembles and performance groups. Both instructors must sign off on the course time conflict form. This form needs to be returned to the Registrar's Office by the add/drop date for the term. 

Disenrollment from a Course

Students who do not meet requirements may be administratively dropped from future course(s) in a program at the request of the department chair. 

Dropping a Course

There are two ways for a student to drop a course.

Administrative Drop 

Any student with no documented academic activity in a course (according to the course requirements) by the semester's drop date may be dropped from the course at the request or approvel of the course instructor by email to cas-registrar@bethel.edu.

Student Initiated Drop

During any term (full term, half term, interim), students may drop courses prior to the deadline listed in the academic calendar published in the academic catalog. Though not required, it is recommended that students consult their advisor before dropping a course. Dropped courses do not appear on the transcript. Course drops are official on the date students make the change online or written notice is received by the Office of the Registrar.

Dual Enrollment

Dual enrollment provides an opportunity for students enrolled in one Bethel school (CAS, CAPS, Seminary, or GS) to take specific courses in another Bethel school with a guest status. Students must consult their Academic Advisors in CAS or Student Success Advisors in CAPS, Seminary, or GS before undertaking the dual enrollment process. Requests are subject to approval by advisors, department chairs or program directors, and deans. Limitations may include prerequisites, available space, and program restrictions. Students are also limited to the number of courses for which they may dual enroll.

Grades and Grading

The scale below is used to define letter grades as well as the grade points assigned. The scores or points required in a course to earn a particular letter grade are determined by the instructor. All grades are considered final and are not subject to change except for errors in calculation, or as a result of a formal grade appeal process (see the Academic Appeals section of this catalog):

Grade Definition Grade Points
A Exceptional 4.0
A- 3.7
B+ 3.3
B Good 3.0
B- 2.7
C+ 2.3
C Satisfactory 2.0
C- 1.7
D+ 1.3
D Minimally Acceptable 1.0
F Failing 0.0
I Incomplete (courses with letter grades)
IN Incomplete (courses graded S/U)
S Satisfactory
U Unsatisfactory
W Withdrawal
WZ Withdrawal from an audited course
AU Audit

Grades for Music Components

For the sake of consistency among instructors, the grading of private lessons, performance groups, and artistic experiences (in all departments) will be graded as follows: credits will be assigned letter grades, non-credits are assigned grades on an S/U basis. 

Grade Replacement

When a student repeats a course the grade and credits for the earlier course are excluded from the student's GPA. If the repeated course is taken at Bethel, the new grade and credits are included in the GPA. If the repeated course is taken at a different institution, the new grade and credits are not included in the GPA. Grades for all courses remain on the student's transcript. 

Incompletes

If a student has been regular in class attendance and submission of assignments, but is unable to complete requirements for a course in the regular time due to causes that are beyond the student’s control, the student may petition to receive a grade of Incomplete. A petition for a grade of Incomplete is only considered after the last day to withdraw and the student must be involved in developing a plan to complete the course. All remaining work must be of a kind that can be done largely through the independent efforts of the student. The student must submit the Petition for Incomplete form to the course instructor for approval. If approved, the instructor indicates on the petition the work that must be completed and also the grade to be assigned if the work is not completed by the deadline set by the instructor. This deadline can be no later than the end of the eighth week of classes of the next full semester (fall or spring). Any extensions past the maximum require approval by the Office of Academic Affairs. Both the student and the instructor sign and keep a copy of a petition. The instructor then enters the incomplete when submitting course grades. For courses with letter grades, the instructor submits a grade of I. For courses graded on an S/U basis, the instructor submits a grade of IN. The deadline and default grade must also be entered at the time the Incomplete is submitted. If the student completes all requirements specified on the petition before the deadline, the newly earned grade replaces the grade of I or IN. Otherwise, the grade on the petition replaces the grade of I or IN. (See https://www.bethel.edu/registrar/ for petition forms.)

NOTE for Active Military Duty Students: Students who accept a grade of incomplete in a course must complete the course within six months of the date they are released from active duty. Payment during an enrollment period in which an incomplete is elected as a result of call to duty may be delayed until course completion at no additional cost.

Prerequisites

Many courses have prerequisites in order to ensure that students have the appropriate academic preparation and experience for the course. Course prerequisites are listed with each course description. In some instances, the prerequisite may be waived by consent of the instructor.

Registration Changes

Full Term Course
Students may not add courses after the 8th calendar day of the term without the consent of the registrar. Courses dropped after the 8th day and through the end of the 12th week will be graded “W.” No full term course may be dropped after the 12th week of class.
 
Half Term Course
Students may not add a new course after the 8th calendar day of the start of the half-term without the consent of the registrar. Courses dropped after the first and through the end of the 6th week of a half-term class will be graded “W.” No half term course may be dropped after the 6th week of classes. Course registrations, drops and adds are official on the date written notice is received by the Office of the Registrar.

S/U Grading

The S/U grading option is used in student teaching and internships as well as music performance organizations and private lessons taken without credit. Other courses are graded on an A-F basis unless the S/U option is indicated in this catalog. The S grade indicates at least level achievement.

Transferring S/U Courses to Bethel

With the exception of satisfactory or passing grades awarded during the COVID-19 pandemic of Spring and Summer of 2020, satisfactory or passing grades must be defined as equivalent to a C or higher in order to receive transfer credit. For credits taken during Spring and Summer 2020 only, all Satisfactory or Passing grades awarded will be awarded transfer credit, even if the other institution does not define satisfactory or passing grades as equivalent to a C or higher.

Withdrawing from a Course

Students may withdraw from a full-term course after the drop deadline and before the end of the 12th week of class. A grade of “W” is assigned for course withdrawals. Course withdrawals are official on the date students withdraw from the course online or written notice is received by the Office of the Registrar.

Students may withdraw from a half-term course after the drop deadline and before the end of the 6th week of class. A grade of “W” is assigned for course withdrawals. Course withdrawals are official on the date students withdraw from the course online or written notice is received by the Office of the Registrar.

Students may withdraw from an interim course or other course less than five weeks in length after the drop deadline and before the end of the 17th day of the term. A grade of “W” is assigned for course withdrawals. Course withdrawals are official on the date students withdraw from the course online or written notice is received by the Office of the Registrar.

Note: Special Education Courses

With the exception of interim, the add, drop, and withdrawal deadlines follow the College of Adult and Professional Studies calendar published in the catalog.

Note: Active Military Duty Students

If the student drops all courses during the Add/Drop period he/she will have their net tuition bill reduced to zero (additional gift aid from Bethel will be added to the school bill so the total gift aid from Bethel covers 100% of tuition and fees for the dropped course(s)). Non-Bethel sources of financial aid are subject to federal and state refund policies and may be used to cover non-tuition educational expenses (e.g. room and board). 

If the student withdraws after the end of the Add/Drop period, a grade of “W” and a notation that the student was called to active duty will be recorded on the transcript and other pertinent academic records. Students who choose to withdraw may be readmitted and re enrolled, without penalty or redetermination of admission eligibility, within two years following release from the state or federal active military service.

Withdrawal (Academic Administrative)

Any student with no documented activity in a course (according to the course requirements) for a period of three weeks during fall or spring or one week during interim, where the last date of documented activity is prior to the course withdrawal deadline date, may be administratively withdrawn from the course at the request or approval of the course instructor by email to cas-registrar@bethel.edu.

Non-Z Companion Course 

With approval of an instructor, students may fulfill the Cross-cultural (Z) Experience requirement through an independent cross-cultural experience connected to a non-Z companion course. This may be done during the academic year or during summer school. In addition to registering for the non-Z companion course students must also register for, and successfully complete, two half-credit courses designed to help them gain the most benefit from the experience as well as future cross-cultural experiences (GES 101 and GES 102Z). (See the chart below for terms when courses should be taken.)

A non-Z companion class is an already existing course that has not been approved as a Z course, but which includes some cross-cultural interaction as part of a required or optional assignment. (These courses do not have a Z as part of their course number.) The faculty member teaching the course must approve a student’s request to use the course as a non-Z companion class, but will not be responsible for overseeing or evaluating Z-related activities and assignments beyond any assignments and activities already required for the class.

The chart below illustrates when to enroll in GES 101 and GES 102Z based on when a student participates in an independent cross-cultural experience in conjunction with a non-Z companion course.

Experience GES 101 GES 102Z
Summer Preceding spring Fall after
Fall Fall or preceding spring Spring after
Interim Preceding fall Spring after
Spring Spring or preceding fall Fall after

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