Academic Policies and Regulations
Semester Credit System
The school operates on a traditional semester calendar. There are two semesters in the academic year that occur from August to May. The Fall Semester usually starts the last week of August and ends in December. The Spring Semester usually starts the last week of January and ends in May. During the academic year each semester is 16 weeks in length. The Summer and Winter sessions are one-week intensive courses.
VU operates on the semester system (15 weeks of class work plus a week for examinations). Credit for work completed is expressed in semester hours. One credit hour requires 15 class contact hours per semester.
For Undergraduate students: must be enrolled for a minimum of 12 semester credits.
For Graduate students: must be enrolled for a minimum of 9 semester credits in order to be classified as full-time students.
Students must be approved in writing from the Chief Academic Officer before registration if wished to take more than 18 credits per semester for Undergraduate students and 15 credits per semester for Graduate students. Forms can be obtained in the main office.
Vine University utilizes letter grades. Grades are reported to students in writing from the Registrar’s Office. The following standards/criteria are assigned to the letter grades given by the university:
|F||59 or less||
Vine University policy does not allow for rounding up decimals when computing the GPA. When GPA is recorded, it is truncated at the second decimal.
If a student receives a failing grade, that grade will remain on the student’s permanent record. However, the course may be repeated. All grades become a permanent part of the student’s academic history. Both grades remain (or are shown) on the permanent record. If the course is retaken, the new grade will be calculated into the student’s grade point average (G.P.A). The credits are counted only once. The student must notify the Office of the Registrar when repeating a course and must submit a petition to repeat the course. The student must pay the current tuition to retake the course.
Sometimes, a student discovers that they are unable to finish their requirements for a course or courses during a semester. Life can present us with problems that we have no way of foreseeing or planning for. In these situations, a student may need extra time to complete their course requirements. If a student needs extra time to complete their course work, Vine University has devised a way to help individual students work through these problems. Please be sure to follow the procedures correctly:
First, students need to obtain permission for an incomplete from the Dean of Academic Affairs. Then, students must obtain approval from the instructor. A student should not assume that he/she will be given an incomplete for a course just because he/she chooses not to complete the assignments, tests or quizzes. Instructors will assign grades based on submitted work if students have not been granted an official incomplete from the Dean of Academic Affairs office. Students who have been given an incomplete will not receive credit for the course until work is completed.
Class attendance is required for residence students and international students. If a student has an excessive number of unexcused absences in a class, the instructor may lower their grade accordingly. A student who misses more than 30% of class sessions for any reason may be dropped from a course without credit and a grade of “F” recorded.
Regularly matriculated students as well as those not enrolled in the school may audit a course upon the written permission of the Dean of Academic Affairs. An application to audit must be submitted and tuition must be paid before auditing. Credit is not given for audited courses. There are no scholarships available for auditing students. The fee for auditing a course is ⅓ of the regular tuition. For Vine University alumni, the audit fee is $100 per course.
Full/Part Time Status
Undergraduate students who register for 12 or more semester credits are considered full time students. Graduate students must register for 9 or more semester credits to be considered full time students. However, in order to graduate on-time, undergraduate students should register for at least 15 credits and graduate students at least 12 credits each semester. Any student whose GPA in a previous semester is 3.5 or above can register for up to 21 semester credits with the Chief Academic Officer’s approval.
Time Limits for Completion of Degree
All courses and examination requirements must be completed within nine years for the B.A., nine years for the M.Div., and nine years for the M.A., seven years for the Doctorate beginning from the date of the student’s first registration at Vine University. An extension may be granted for special circumstances.
Requirements for Graduation
In addition to the regulations outlined under the sections dealing with degree requirements in this catalog, a grade point average of 2.0 or above is required for graduation with the bachelor’s degree, 2.5 or above for the master’s degrees, and 3.0 for the Doctorate. Students must fulfill all financial obligations to Vine University and file a petition to graduate before the middle of February in order to be eligible to receive a degree in June. A graduate thesis for all master’s degree levels is required.
M.A. students must write a thesis for graduation.
B.A. students may write a senior thesis as an elective and can earn 3 credits.
Students need to follow three steps for the approval of the thesis:
- the approval of the subject by the advisor,
- the approval of the outline and prospectus by the advisor, and
- the approval of the first draft and following drafts by the Thesis Committee.
Two readers will be assigned to read each thesis for evaluation.
Application for Graduation
Students must file their applications and pay their graduation fee at the time of enrollment for their last semester of study. All financial accounts must be in satisfactory order before a student is permitted to graduate. Students are expected to be present for graduation. Graduation in absentia will be permitted only by special approval of the Chief Academic Officer in response to a written request that cites acceptable reasons.
To remain in acceptable academic standing, an undergraduate student must maintain a cumulative GPA of 2.0 for their course work taken at Vine University. Vine University graduate students must maintain a cumulative GPA of 2.5 or higher. The school will notify the student in writing when their cumulative GPA is below 2.0 (2.5 for graduate students) and place the student on academic probation for two semesters. Academic probation will be recorded on the student’s permanent academic record.
Students on academic probation are limited to a course load of 12 credits (9 credits for graduate students) or fewer.
A student failing to attain the minimum GPA during the probationary period may be dismissed. If the student remains on probation for two consecutive semesters the student may be dismissed from Vine University.
Incoming students may be admitted on academic probation for several reasons:
- The student’s High School or undergraduate GPA was below the admission standard.
- The student’s baccalaureate degree was granted from a non-accredited institution. In such cases, the probationary status maybe removed after the completion of 12 credit hours of satisfactory work as compared to the required GPA for acceptable academic standing.
If the student raises their cumulative GPA above the minimum requirement during the probation period, he/she will be removed from probation and it will be recorded on student’s academic record.
The institution reserves the right to dismiss any student failing to make satisfactory academic progress towards his/her program, who violates academic honesty standards or the school’s lifestyle policy, and /or fails to meet his/her financial obligations.
If a student is dismissed for failure to meet academic standards, the student may appeal to the Academic Committee for readmission. The student must show that there were exceptional circumstances involved and provide evidence indicating that he or she can remove the GPA deficiency within one semester.
Academic Integrity Commitment
The maintenance of academic integrity and quality education is the responsibility of each student at Vine University. Cheating or plagiarism in connection with an academic program is an offense for which a student may be expelled, suspended, or given a less-severe disciplinary action. Academic dishonesty is a serious offense which diminishes the quality of scholarship and defrauds those who depend upon the integrity of the educational system. Academic dishonesty includes:
- Cheating: Intentionally using or attempting to use unauthorized materials, information, or study aids in any academic exercise.
(a) Students completing any examination should assume that external assistance (e.g., Books, notes, calculators, conversations with others) is prohibited unless specifically authorized by the instructor.
(b) Students may not allow others to conduct research or prepare any work for them without advance authorization from the instructor.
(c) Substantial portions of the same academic work may not be submitted for credit in more than one course without authorization.
- Fabrication: Intentional falsification or invention of any information or citation in an academic exercise.
- Facilitation of academic dishonesty: Intentionally or knowingly helping or attempting to help another to commit an act of academic dishonesty.
- Plagiarism: Intentionally or knowingly representing the words, ideas, or work of another as one’s own in any academic exercise.