Academic Policies

Academic Status
Academic Status · Academic Probation · Class Standing · Eligibility

Changes in Registration
Adds/Drops · Withdrawal from Courses

Credits & Grades
Academic Honors · Credit Load · Credit System · Grades & Grade Points · Changing Grades · Incompletes · Academic Progress Reports · Repeating Courses

In the Classroom
Academic Ethics · Academic Grievance · Class Attendance · Assessment of Academic Outcomes · Examinations and Tests · Professor's Absence · Vacation Periods

Leaving College
Commencement Participation · Graduation Application · Transcripts · Withdrawal From College

Your Policies
Effective Catalog

Academic Status

A student's academic status is determined by the minimum standards which are defined as follows:

Total Credits Earned Required Cumulative Grade Point Average
0 - 31 1.75
32 or more 2.00

Class Standing

Your class standing is determined by the number of earned credits according to the table below. These definitions are also used for finanical aid purposes.

Class Standing
Freshman Sophomore Junior Senior
Total earned credits 0-23 24-59 60-91 92 or more

Academic Probation

A student whose cumulative grade point average is below the minimum standard is normally placed on an academic status of probation. A student also may be placed on probation for any of the following reasons:

  1. A transfer student will be placed on probation at the time of admission if his or her previous college work does not meet the minimum standard.
  2. A student who is readmitted after an academic suspension will be placed on probation.

A student placed on probation must normally reduce his or her semester academic load to a maximum 13 credits and hours of employment to a maximum of 13 hours per week. A student on probation must attain an academic status of good standing by the end of his or her semester on probation. Normally, if a student fails to attain this status, he will be academically suspended. A student whose academic performance for the semester of probation is considerably above the minimum GPA requirements but whose cumulative GPA remains below the minimum requirement may appeal to the academic dean to be restored to good standing.


Because the college views the academic program and the development of Christian character and responsibility as priorities deserving first attention, eligibility for participation in college-sponsored cocurricular activities requires that a student maintain an academic status of good standing. Participation in interscholastic activities also may be negated by disciplinary probation. Eligibility policies are applied individually with the opportunity for student and counselor to work toward positive results.

Repeating Courses

Students may repeat for credit any course in which a grade was received. If a grade of F (failing) is received in a course needed to satisfy degree requirements, the course must be repeated.

In repeated courses only the highest grade is used in computing the grade point average. Students should be aware, however, that all grades are included on transcripts sent to other colleges, universities, and graduate schools, and these institutions may, according to their transfer and admission policies, compute grade point averages based on all grades.

Academic Progress Reports

Aside from official grade reports issued at the end of each semester, the college provides numerous informal reports of academic progress to students and their advisors. In the fourth and twelfth weeks of each semester, an academic progress report form is submitted by faculty to the academic dean's office identifying students who are experiencing lack of success or exhibiting behaviors which have the potential to impede satisfactory progress. At the mid-term of each semester, an unofficial grade report is issued to students and their advisors which demonstrates the student's grade status after seven weeks of study. These various reports are intended to provide opportunities for students to work with their advisors to improve their chances for success.

Academic Ethics

Faculty members will notify their students of their individual standards and expectations regarding classroom conduct, attendance, testing, and grading. The guide of God's law in maintaining ethical standards of honesty and integrity applies to students, faculty, and staff.

Violation of the Code of Ethics

The following are considered violations of the academic ethics code:

  1. Plagiarizing.
  2. Possessing, obtaining, or sharing unauthorized information prior to, or during, an examination.
  3. Resubmitting work for more than one course without the instructor's approval.
  4. All deceitful or dishonest activity.

Penalties for violation of the ethics code will include a minimum of failure on the academic project involved and a written reprimand. Copies of the reprimand will be given to the student's advisor and the academic dean. Extra course work, reduction of the course grade, failure of the course, and expulsion from the college are potential penalties for code violation.

Examinations and Tests

Examinations and tests at Wisconsin Lutheran serve the following purposes:

  1. to ascertain whether the college's objectives and achievement standards are being met;
  2. to determine individual achievement and effort;
  3. to evaluate abilities for continuance in college work.

Class Attendance

The college expects students to attend all class sessions. Early departures and late returns at vacation times are not to be requested. College policy permits each instructor to establish the specific details of class attendance for each particular class.

Students involved in athletics or other off-campus activity sponsored by the college are required to make arrangements in advance with the instructor for each class missed.

Assessment of Academic Outcomes

Admission to Wisconsin Lutheran College implies each student's willingness to participate in the various efforts of the college to assess the effectiveness of its academic programs. Such efforts include entry-level tests and assessments for beginning freshmen, the comprehensive assessment day held in March of each year, as well as other formal and informal assessments conducted by academic departments. Conducting regular assessment of the academic outcomes of its students allows the college to continuously monitor its effectiveness and implement changes for improvement.

Professor's Absence

If a professor is unable to hold a scheduled class, an announcement will be made prior to class. Absence due to illness or emergency will be posted in the administration building, the library, and on the classroom door. If a professor has not appeared in his/her classroom within twenty (20) minutes after the scheduled beginning of class, students may assume that class period is canceled. The academic dean should be notified.


Students must complete class requirements before a vacation period begins. Transportation arrangements, especially for Christmas and spring breaks, should be made at least one month in advance. The residence halls will be locked and the dining area closed for Christmas and spring vacations.

Academic Grievance

In a caring Christian community, mutual respect between teachers and students as fellow redeemed children of God dictates an orderly and God-pleasing approach to resolving any grievance. Grievances of an academic nature should, whenever possible, be handled between the principals involved. This initial step is in line with the guide given us by Christ in Matthew 18. Grievances that cannot be settled at the first level may, after consultation with the advisor, be appealed in writing to the academic dean. If this second step still does not resolve the grievance, the student may appeal in writing to the academic affairs committee of the faculty, and through it to the full-time faculty. The faculty shall act as the final appeals committee. The above grievance procedure shall also apply in the case of a student's concern with a faculty member's alleged violation of professional ethics.

Withdrawal From College

A student who voluntarily wishes to withdraw from the college must contact the dean of enrollment services to discuss procedures. Students are granted an honorable withdrawal from the college provided they have an academic status of good standing and have cleared all obligations to the college according to the established procedures for withdrawal. Students who honorably withdraw before the end of the semester will be assigned a grade of W for each course in which they are enrolled. Students who voluntarily leave the college before the end of the semester without completing the prescribed withdrawal procedures will be considered as still registered and will receive a grade of F (failing) for each course in which they are enrolled.


An official transcript is a certified copy of a student's academic performance. It shows all courses which a student has attempted, credit values of those courses, grades assigned, degrees earned, and any academic probation or suspension actions.

A current student may order a transcript by sending a written request to the registrar. Current students receive their first transcript free, and pay $2 for each additional transcript. Transcripts requested by a graduating student during his or her final semester of attendance are free. Former students request transcripts in the same way at a cost of $2 per transcript. Transcripts are released only when a student has cleared all obligations to the College.

Requests for information concerning activities and scholastic records of students or former students of Wisconsin Lutheran College will be honored only with a written authorization for release of information by the individual whose record is involved. Exceptions are made only in accordance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 and its amendments.

Students who complete the teacher certification program may elect to establish a placement file. These files are maintained in the teacher education office and require a separate fee and request form in order to duplicate contents of the file. Contact the teacher education office for this service and the policy guidelines.

Graduation Application

Seniors should apply for graduation at the beginning of their last semester in residence The graduation fee must be paid at the time of application. Application forms are available in the registrar's office.

Commencement Participation

General Statement

A formal commencement exercise is held once a year at the end of the spring semester in May. A student is eligible to participate in commencement only once. All students are strongly encouraged to participate in the formal commencement exercise when they have earned a degree from Wisconsin Lutheran College.


In order to be eligible to participate in the annual May commencement exercises, a student must have met at least one of the following requirements:

  1. Be registered in all the courses necessary to complete the degree requirements by the end of the spring semester in which he/she desires to commence.
  2. Begin the spring semester as a full-time, second-semester senior, having earned at lest 116 credits, and having filed with his/her advisor and the registrar a plan for completing the degree requirements in the following summer session or the following fall semester. Such a student will not be permitted to commence in May unless the spring semester is at least the eighth semester as a full-time student.

All students who complete their requirements at the end of summer school may choose to participate the following May. All students who complete their requirements during the second semester of the year are eligible to participate in the commencement exercises held in May of that year or May of the following year only if they return the following year to do additional course work.

Effective Catalog

The college catalog is published as an academic resource for students. Students should contact their advisor, the academic dean, or a faculty member if the catalog does not answer their questions.

Students are bound by the policies, regulations, and requirements of the catalog in effect at their first registration at Wisconsin Lutheran College unless they choose to adhere to a subsequent catalog. Students who interrupt their progress toward a degree by withdrawing from the college and then re-enrolling at a later date must abide by the catalog in effect at the time of readmission if that absence has been more than two consecutive semesters.

All statements contained in the catalog reflect the approved policies of Wisconsin Lutheran College that were in effect as of July 1, 1999. However, for the best possible educational experience of its students, or for unexpected financial reasons, the college reserves its right to change at any time any of the provisions, statements, policies, curricula, procedures, regulations, and fees.

Credit System

Generally, one credit is awarded for each semester hour. A semester hour is defined as 750 instructional minutes per semester. Exceptions include applied music lessons and rehearsals, science laboratory periods, and physical education courses. Most courses carry three semester hours of credit.

Credit Load

The academic load necessary to meet graduation requirements in eight semesters is 16 credits per semester. A student who wishes to carry more than 18 credits in academic courses per semester must have special permission from the academic dean.


The college calendar specifies registration dates. A student may make a change in course registration after the official period of course registration and through the first two weeks of the new semester with the approval of his or her advisor, the academic dean, and the registrar. The last day for changes in course registration is the Friday of the second week of the semester.

Withdrawal from Courses

After the second week and before the end of the seventh week of the semester, withdrawal from a course will be permitted with the approval of a student's advisor and the academic dean. For such courses his or her record will show a W (withdrawal). The W will not be counted in computing his or her grade point average.

Grades and Grade Points

The following letter grades, their equivalents in achievement, and grade points per semester hour of credit are used by instructors to evaluate a student's performance in a course.

Grade Achievement Grade Points
A Superior 4.0
AB   3.5
B Good 3.0
BC   2.5
C Satisfactory 2.0
CD   1.5
D Minimum Passing 1.0
F Failing 0.0
W Withdrawal  
I Incomplete  
AU Audit  

The grade points are used to compute the cumulative grade point average (GPA), a measure of the student's overall performance. The GPA is computed by dividing the sum of all grade points by the total credits attempted. Thus, a grade point average of two (2.00) indicates the equivalent of an average of C in all courses. The grades W, I, and the grades for transfer credits are not used in computing the cumulative GPA.

Changing Grades

A student may, at any time, consult the instructor about the grades received for work done. However, when the final grade assigned in a course is contested, the following course of action must be followed. This action must be initiated no later than the calendar date fixed for the removal of the I (Incomplete) grades of the semester or summer session in which the grade was assigned.

  1. A student will first consult with the instructor to determine the reasons for the grade. If there are circumstances that make this step impossible, then he or she should consult with the instructor's division chair. If the instructor is the division chair, the student should consult with the academic dean.
  2. When a student is not satisfied with the reasons given by the instructor, then he or she must present his or her case, in writing, to the instructor's division chair. Supporting documentation should include individual grades, course syllabus, grading policy, originals of any graded work, and a copy of his or her final exam. These should be obtained from the faculty member by the division chair if not in the student's possession.
  3. If, after examining the student's request and consulting with the instructor, the division chair finds no grounds for a change in grade, he or she will, within 30 days, inform the student in writing that no further investigation or action will be taken. At this point the student may appeal to the academic dean who will decide if there is sufficient cause for an appeal. If the division chair determines that the request for changing the final course grade has sufficient justification, the division chair shall request that the instructor change the grade. If the instructor refuses, the division chair shall refer the matter to the academic dean.
  4. If the academic dean determines that there is sufficient cause for an appeal, he will instruct the academic affairs committee of the faculty to review the case. Consistent with college grievance procedures (Faculty Handbook, p. 58), the student has the right to appeal decisions to the academic affairs committee of the faculty. Every effort will be made to maintain strict confidentiality.
  5. The academic affairs committee may proceed from written evidence. It may also consult the student and/or instructor in its review. Both the student and instructor have the right to provide input to the committee for review. The committee also has the right to inquire about grading practices from other students who took the course at the same time. The student and/or instructor may bring their own witnesses in support of their case.
  6. After completing its review, the academic affairs committee will decide either:
    1. the grade will stand, or
    2. the grade will be changed to reflect the conclusion the committee has arrived at in its investigation
  7. If the academic affairs committee recommends a change in grade, the instructor will be asked to make the change. If the instructor refuses, the academic dean shall make the change with the provision that the instructor can provide a dissenting opinion as part of the permanent record of the academic affairs committee. Decisions of the academic affairs committee are final.


A grade of I (incomplete) indicates that the student's work in a course is incomplete and that the student has obtained the instructor's permission to complete the course. An incomplete normally is assigned only when illness or other extenuating circumstances have prevented the student from fulfilling the requirements of the course.

A course marked incomplete must be completed within 90 days of the end of the semester in which the incomplete was assigned. If the course is not completed, the grade automatically becomes an F. A student does not remove an incomplete by registering for the same course in a subsequent semester. If a student receives an incomplete in a course that is a prerequisite for a following course, approval to register for the course must be obtained from the instructor.

In order to remove an I (incomplete), the student must make arrangements with the instructor for the satisfactory completion of the work remaining to be done in the course. When the work is completed, the instructor will report the removal of the incomplete to the registrar. It is the responsibility of the student to make these arrangements.

Academic Honors

Honors for academic achievement are awarded to full-time students at the end of each semester through publication of the dean's list. Honors achievement is determined by the attained grade point average according to the following scale:

Highest Honors 3.90 - 4.00
High Honors 3.75 - 3.89
Honors 3.60 - 3.74

Honors will be verbally bestowed upon graduating students who qualify for the appropriate honor based on the cumulative grade point average. A minimum of 60 credits in residence are required in order to be considered for graduation honors. Such students will be honored as follows:

Summa Cum Laude 3.90 - 4.00
Magna Cum Laude 3.75 - 3.89
Cum Laude 3.60 - 3.74