Admission to Graduate College
Individuals who meet the admission requirements listed below may apply to Arkansas Tech University. The University reserves the right to reject the application of any individual. Every student must file an application for admission. An application for admission to graduate study may be obtained at the Graduate College.
Priority deadline date for fall admission is March 1 and spring admission is October 1. This will ensure consideration for admissions and assistantships. Students who do not meet this deadline, may submit necessary credentials for admission up to two (2) weeks in advance of the initial date of enrollment. Applicants for admission must submit a completed application form and request from the college or university granting their bachelor's degree an official transcript be sent directly to the Graduate College.
Detailed information regarding graduate student admissions may be obtained by contacting:
1507 North Boulder Avenue
Russellville, AR 72801
Phone (479) 968-0398
Fax (479) 964-0542
Applicants must meet the admission requirements established for a particular degree program. Approved applicants will be notified in writing of their eligibility for admission to graduate study. Application for admission will be valid for one (1) semester; applicants who do not enroll during the semester in which they applied will be required to reapply for admission. Admission to graduate study does not imply admission to a specific program or to candidacy for a degree.
Tech will provide equal opportunity in admission to all persons. This applies to all phases of the admission process. Any demographic information collected through the Admission Application is on a voluntary basis and is to be used in a nondiscriminatory manner consistent with applicable civil rights laws for reporting and statistical purposes only and cannot affect eligibility for admission.
Any student requiring special accommodations in order to complete a course or program of study should contact Disability Services, Doc Bryan, Room 141, or call (479) 968-0302. Disability Services administers programs and services associated with the Americans with Disabilities Act and serves as a liaison for students with disabilities.
Beginning June 1, 2007, all students at Arkansas Tech University will be assigned a permanent, randomly generated, student identification number. Student's social security numbers will be used only on applications for admission and solely for the purposes of State and Federal reporting requirements and determination of eligibility for Federal financial aid.
Persons born after January 1, 1957 must furnish proof of immunity against measles, mumps, and rubella by sending proof of one (1) MMR immunization shot to the Tech Health and Wellness Center prior to enrollment in classes. For more information, contact the Health and Wellness Center at (479) 968-0329.
Unconditional Admission for Entering Graduate Students
Admission applicants must:
- Applicants must pay a $40.00 nonrefundable application fee directly to the Graduate College.*
- Applicants must hold a bachelor's degree from an accredited college verified by an official transcript.
- Applicants must have a cumulative grade point average of 2.5 or a 3.00 on the last 30 hours of undergraduate work or hold a graduate degree from a regionally accredited institution.
- Applicants must request a complete undergraduate official transcript from their bachelor's awarding institution sent directly to the Graduate College. Mail all materials to: Graduate College, 1507 North Boulder Avenue Tomlinson 113, Russellville, AR 72801.
- Applicants must meet additional admission requirements specified by programs in the graduate catalog (GRE, writing samples, etc.).
*The application fee may be applied to defer an application for admission in the same program for up to one (1) calendar year from the original application date. If an applicant does not complete the admission process within one (1) calendar year from the original application date, or if the applicant applies to a new program, the applicant is responsible for submitting a new application fee.
Conditional Admission for Entering Graduate Students
Applicants may be admitted conditionally if they:
- Do not meet the grade point requirements.
- Hold a bachelor's degree from an unaccredited institution.
- Have not met additional requirements of particular programs.
- Have not submitted all necessary documentation prior to initial enrollment.
Applicants who fail to meet the grade point requirement specified for admission may be admitted conditionally to enroll for a maximum of twelve (12) semester hours. If a student was admitted conditionally based on grade point average, the condition will be met if upon completion of twelve (12) semester hours, a cumulative grade point average of 3.00 or better is achieved.
An applicant who satisfies the grade point requirement at an unaccredited college may also be granted conditional admission. In some instances, transcripts may be judged to be deficient and the student may be required to complete up to thirty (30) undergraduate hours in addition to graduate credits required for the degree. If a cumulative 3.00 grade point average is achieved at the completion of twelve (12) graduate hours, the student will be granted unconditional admission.
Former Graduate Students
Students who have interrupted their attendance at Arkansas Tech University for at least one semester (summer excluded), but who are academically eligible to continue in a graduate degree program must reapply for admission. Students who are seeking readmission after suspension or dismissal will be formally reviewed by the Graduate Dean, who will determine admission eligibility.
Transfer Graduate Students
Transfer students seeking admission to Arkansas Tech University’s Graduate College must submit official transcripts from all colleges/universities where they have been officially registered in graduate coursework. Transfer students must meet unconditional admission standards, and be in good academic standing at their previous graduate institution(s). Please see the Transfer of Graduate Credit section regarding transferring credit into an Arkansas Tech graduate program.
Applicants not pursuing a graduate degree may be admitted as non-degree seeking graduate students, upon submitting a completed application for admission to graduate study and an official transcript from an accredited college or university showing a baccalaureate or higher degree has been earned at that institution. Applicants requesting non-degree admission must meet the same grade point admission criteria as outlined for degree admission. A maximum of twelve (12) graduate hours earned while in non-degree status may apply to a degree program. Students desiring to change from a non-degree admission status to a degree admission status must apply for degree admission.
Please note that academic performance is not the sole criterion for admission to the university. The university may evaluate a person's behavior and background to determine their ability to maintain the standards of academic and professional conduct expected at the university. An evaluation may take into consideration current behavior and performance as well as past experiences and actions. Simply qualifying for admission does not guarantee admission.
Applicants who are pursuing a graduate degree at another institution may be admitted as transient graduate students upon submission of a completed application for admission to graduate study and an official statement from their institution verifying they have been admitted to its graduate program and are in good standing.
International Graduate Student Admissions
The International Admissions Office is pleased to assist international students who wish to study at Arkansas Tech University (Tech). Any student who is not a United States citizen or a permanent resident of the United States is considered an international student. International students are subject to out-of-state tuition rates and an international student services fee, as well as, additional admission requirements. International students interested in applying for admission to Tech must submit the following documents:
- Application - An application for international admission, properly completed.
- Application Fee - A nonrefundable application fee of $50 USD (separate payment if possible).
- Graduate College Fee - A nonrefundable application fee of $40 USD (separate payment if possible).
- Academic Records - All transcripts must be originals or school-certified copies of originals with official English translations. Notarized copies are not accepted. All applicants should submit evidence of the completion of a 4-year bachelor's degree program. Documents submitted should include detailed grade/mark sheets, as well as, a certificate/diploma providing evidence the degree was awarded. If a consolidated mark sheet is available, please send this documentation as well. Official transcripts should be submitted from all colleges/universities where a student has been officially registered.
- Entrance Exam - Each individual degree program has varying requirements for admission. Not all programs require GRE or MAT scores. However, if such scores are available, please request original copies of these examinations are sent directly to Arkansas Tech University. The school code for Arkansas Tech University is 6010.
- English Proficiency - Students who wish to apply for admission to the English Language
Institute (ELI) are not required to demonstrate English proficiency. All other applicants
should submit official documentation of meeting one of the following standards:
- A minimum score of 550 on the written TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language), 213 on the computerized TOEFL or 79 on the Internet-based TOEFL. Scores must be received directly from the Educational Testing Service (ETS). The school code for Arkansas Tech University is 6010.
- A minimum score of 6.5 on the International English Language Testing System (IELTS). An official score card must be sent directly to Arkansas Tech University.
- An EIKEN score of Grade Pre-1. Scores must be sent directly from STEP, Inc. (Society for Testing English Proficiency).
- A minimum score of 58 on the PTE (Pearson Test of English).
NOTE: Test scores are only valid for two years. Please submit only those scores taken within two years from the time of application.
- Evidence of Sufficient Financial Support - Graduate costs are estimated at $21,723 USD for nine (9) months of study including tuition and fees, housing, meals, books, and other living expenses. Applicants must provide certified evidence of the source and amount of funding used to support educational expenses. Documents must be issued within the six (6) months previous to the time of application. Please add an additional $3,000 per each dependent.
- Passport - Please provide a photocopy of your current passport as well as any previous visas to the US, I-20's and an I-94 card if available.
- Program Requirements - Please check the catalog pages for the degree program of interest for the possibility of additional requirements needed to complete the application for admission.
The application for international admission and all supporting documents should be submitted by May 1 for the fall semester and October 1 for the spring semester for priority consideration. Applications are still accepted after the priority dates. Admission will not be granted until all supporting documentation as listed above has been received and evaluated. Upon acceptance, notification will be sent to the student along with an I-20 (Certificate of Eligibility).
Any deferral of admission requires updated evidence of financial support. The application fee may be applied to defer an application for admission in the same program for up to one (1) calendar year from the original application date. However, the applicant is responsible for paying a $25 USD fee for each deferral within the calendar year. If an applicant does not complete the admission process within one (1) calendar year from the original application date, or if the applicant applies to a new program, the applicant is responsible for submitting new application and Graduate College fees. Please send a written request for deferral to IMSSO (firstname.lastname@example.org) along with the fee and updated financial support documentation within 60 days of the start date of your last admission.
Full payment of tuition and fees must be paid at registration each semester. International students are required to purchase a health insurance policy provided by the university. Tech receives no remuneration as a result of international student enrollment in the health insurance plan.
More detailed information regarding international student admissions may be obtained by contacting the Office of International Admissions, Tomlinson 29, Arkansas Tech University, Russellville, Arkansas, 72801-2222, USA; telephone (479) 356-2217; fax (479) 880-2039; https://www.atu.edu/imsso.
Undergraduate Senior Admission
An undergraduate senior, registering the semester prior to graduation in a baccalaureate degree program at Arkansas Tech University, who does not need a full load of undergraduate courses to complete requirements for graduation, may request special permission from the Dean of Graduate College to enroll in no more than six (6) hours of graduate course work. The student's course load is not to exceed a total of fifteen (15) semester hours of graduate and undergraduate work combined during a fall or spring semester. The combined course load for a summer term is six (6) semester hours. The student must have a 3.00 cumulative grade point average to be eligible for admission as an undergraduate senior. Graduate work taken while classified as an undergraduate senior appears on the undergraduate transcript. Failure of a student to complete the bachelor's degree during the semester/term in which the graduate courses are taken will preclude the student from enrolling in additional graduate classes in subsequent semesters until the bachelor's degree is awarded. The form requesting approval to enroll as an undergraduate senior can be obtained at the Graduate College online at Request by Undergraduate Senior to Enroll in Graduate Classes.
Graduate courses do not count toward retention of undergraduate scholarship requirements. Prior to taking a mixed course load, students are encouraged to investigate the effects that graduate courses may make on institutional and/or state funded scholarship awards.
Second Master's Degree
Subject to the approval of the advisor, program director, and Dean of Graduate College a graduate student may be allowed to apply six (6) or nine (9) semester hours toward a second master's degree. If the second master's degree requires 30 hours, a maximum of six (6) hours may be applied to the second degree. If the second master's degree requires 36 hours or more, a maximum of nine (9) hours may be applied to the second master's degree.
Any courses applied to the second master's degree must meet the requirements for the degree and must not be more than six (6) years old at the time of completion of the second master's degree. All remaining courses applied to meet the requirements for the second master's degree must be taken in residence at Arkansas Tech University. Approval for applying these courses must be received at the beginning of the second master's degree program.
Transfer of Graduate Credit
Graduate Credit Taken Prior to Admission to Arkansas Tech University
A maximum of six (6) semester hours of graduate credit in a 30-hour program and nine (9) semester hours of graduate credit in a 36-hour program with a grade point average of "B" or better may be transferred from an accredited graduate school if deemed appropriate to the graduate program by the head of the student's major department and the Graduate College Dean. Students must send a written request to the head of their major department to petition an acceptance of the transfer credit prior to requesting admission to candidacy to the graduate program. Graduate credit earned six (6) years prior to the completion date of all degree requirements may not be applied toward the degree without the approval of the appropriate program director and the Graduate College Dean. Credits earned by correspondence courses or for remedial purposes will not apply toward the graduate degree. No undergraduate course may be repeated for graduate credit.
Graduate Credit Taken After Admission to Arkansas Tech University
If after admission to graduate study, a student wishes to take a course at another institution to count toward degree requirements at Arkansas Tech University, the student must (in advance of enrollment) obtain written approval from the program director and the Dean of Graduate College.
Candidates for a master's degree may choose to complete requirements under the regulations published in the Tech graduate catalog for the year of initial enrollment in the graduate program at Arkansas Tech University or a subsequent year, provided they were enrolled in the graduate program at the University during the year the catalog was in effect. The catalog chosen must not be over six (6) years old when requirements for the degree are completed.
Upon entering the graduate program, the student should develop a planned program of studies (including determined prerequisites) under the supervision of their designated faculty advisor. Subsequent modifications must be approved by the advisor and program director.
Graduate Student Enrollment Status
The minimum credit hour load for classification as a full-time graduate student in any term is 9 graduate credit hours. Classification as a three quarter time is 7-8 graduate hours; half time is 5-6 graduate hours; and less than half time is 1-4 graduate hours.
Graduate Student Load
Graduate students may enroll for a maximum of twelve (12) hours of credit during each of the three semesters (Fall, Spring, and Summer) during the academic year. A one-credit-hour overload may be authorized by the program director of the student's major department. A graduate student will be considered full-time if enrolled for nine (9) or more hours of credit during each of the three semesters. Graduate Assistants will be considered full-time if carrying six (6) or more hours. Students receiving financial aid should check with the Financial Aid office for requirements necessary to be considered a full time student. Permission to take more than the maximum loads stated above requires the written approval of the student's advisor, program director, and Graduate College Dean.
Adding and Dropping Courses
Changes in the class schedule must be made on official forms available at the Registrar's Office, Suite 307, Brown Hall. Failure to follow the correct procedure for making changes in the class schedule may result in the grade of "F" being recorded for the courses involved. Deadlines for adding courses, dropping courses, or changing sections are listed in the graduate calendar in this catalog. Please note: A student accumulating an excessive number of unjustifiable absences in a course may be dropped from the course by the instructor with a grade of “WN.”
The letters A, B, C, D, F are used in grading to indicate the quality of a student's work: A - Excellent, B - Good, C - Fair, D - Unsatisfactory, and F - Failure. The letters AU, W, WN, R, CR, and I are also used: "AU" indicates that the student was enrolled in the course as an "auditor"; "W" is used to indicate that a course was dropped without penalty; "WN" is used to indicate withdrawn for unjustifiable absences/non-participation. The letter "R" indicates that the student registered for the master's thesis. The mark "R" gives neither credit nor grade points toward a graduate degree. The mark "CR" gives credit for hours only.
A final grade of “I” may be recorded for a student who has not completed all the requirements of a course only in situations where the student has an illness or other circumstances beyond the student’s control, and has completed seventy-five percent of the course requirements provided work already completed is of passing quality. If a grade of “I” is assigned, the instructor will set a reasonable time limit within the following semester in which the work must be completed. Beginning the first summer term, 1990, and thereafter, a grade of “I” will not be computed in the grade point average for the semester recorded; however, the “I” will be automatically changed to a grade of “F” for grade and grade point purposes at the end of the next regular semester (fall or spring) unless course requirements are completed and the final grade is reported before the end of the semester. A grade of “I” recorded prior to the first summer term, 1990, will be computed as an “F” for grade point purposes. No grade other than “I” may be changed after it is recorded except if an instructor finds that a grade has been erroneously recorded. The instructor may correct the grade by submitting a written request and explanation of the error to the Vice President for Academic Affairs.
If a student needs to repeat a course or a significant portion of a course, a "W" or "F" will be assigned according to regulations governing the assignments of such grades.
Repeating a Course
No graduate student may repeat a course for graduate credit except with the written permission of the advisor. The grade from such a repetition as well as the original grade will be counted in computing the grade point average.
To withdraw officially, the student must report to the Graduate College and the Office of the Registrar to complete a "Withdrawal Application." Failure to follow this procedure may result in a grade of "F" being recorded.
The deadline for officially withdrawing from the University with grades of "W" is the same as the last day for dropping courses. Withdrawing after this date, which is listed in the graduate calendar in this catalog, will result in grades of "F" being recorded for the semester/term. If circumstances justify special consideration, appeals should be directed to the Graduate College Dean.
Courses for Audit
Enrollment in courses for audit requires admission to graduate study at the University, approval of the Vice President for Academic Affairs and the instructor involved, and payment of the regular fee for the course. Audit will be on a "space-available" basis. Students auditing courses are subject to the same regulations as other students with regard to registration, but they do not take examinations nor receive credit for the course. Students may change from taking a course for credit to audit by following the procedure for adding and dropping courses.
Independent Study Courses
Independent study courses are intended for graduate students who have the interest and the ability to investigate a topic not covered in the graduate courses available in their major field of study. The topic, format, and specific requirements of each independent study project must be approved in writing by the supervising instructor, graduate advisor, program director, and Graduate College Dean prior to enrollment for independent study credit. The original copy of the independent study approval form will be kept in the student's file in the Registrar's Office as part of the student's official graduate record. A student may not enroll in an independent study course before completing twelve (12) hours of graduate credit.
Limit on Workshop and Independent Study Credit
No more than six (6) semester hours of graduate course work completed in workshops and/or independent study may be applied to the master's degree.
Incompletion of Capstone Projects
Students enrolling in capstone projects such as the project in educational research, the liberal arts project, or thesis research maybe given a grade of "R" if requirements are not completed by the end of the semester. The grades of "R" or "CR" do not affect hours or grade point. Students receiving the grade of "R" will be required to enroll in the course the following semester(s) until the requirements are completed. The grade of "CR" gives credit only for the hours enrolled.
Academic Probation and Dismissal
A student admitted unconditionally or a student who has been admitted to candidacy will be placed on probation for the following semester if the cumulative grade point average drops below 3.0. If the semester grade point average for the following semester is 3.0 or greater and results in a cumulative grade point average greater than 3.0, the student will be removed from probation. If the cumulative grade point average remains below 3.0, the student will continue on probation. A student on probation having a semester grade point average below 3.0 for the following semester will be subject to suspension from Graduate College.
A student who is admitted conditionally or on a non-degree basis will be subject to suspension from Graduate College after attempting twelve (12) semester hours with less than a 3.0 grade point average.
All students who receive one letter grade of “C” will be cautioned by the Graduate College. A student who receives a second “C” in their graduate curriculum must meet with their advisor and have their advisor/program director submit an approved academic plan to the Graduate College prior to registering for the subsequent semester. A student who has a semester grade point average below 3.0 must meet with their advisor and have their advisor/program director submit and approved academic plan to the Graduate college prior to registering for the following semester. Students who have received their second “C” or have a cumulative grade point average below 3.0 will not be eligible to participate in early registration.
Students with a grade point average below 3.0 may not be admitted into candidacy. A student who has been admitted to candidacy but does not have a 3.0 grade point average at the time of completing the minimum number of hours required by the degree program may submit no more than six (6) additional hours in an attempt to attain a grade point average of 3.0. A maximum of six (6) hours of courses with grades of “C” may be applied to degree requirements. Grades below “C” will not be counted toward meeting degree requirements. A student may not submit more than six (6) hours above the total number of hours required for the program to reach the 3.0 grade point average. All graduate courses taken will be considered in the computation of the grade point average.
Academic suspension means the student may not attend Arkansas Tech for one academic year. A student suspended from Graduate College may reapply for admission after one year. Reinstatement to Graduate College will not necessarily mean reinstatement to a particular graduate program. Readmission does not reestablish financial aid eligibility.
A students' lack of Academic Progress may result in dismissal with no option to be reinstated.
Academic Dishonesty/Academic Misconduct
A university exists for the purpose of educating students and granting degrees to all students who complete graduation requirements. Therefore, Arkansas Tech University requires certain standards of academic integrity and conduct from all students. Arkansas Tech University expects an academic atmosphere to be maintained in all classes regardless of their format and delivery, such as in-person classrooms or online classroom settings. This atmosphere is created by both the professor and the students in order to enable all students enrolled in a class to reach their academic potential. All students, regardless of the format and delivery of their classes, are expected to: attend class (attendance policy is defined by the professor); conduct themselves in a non-disruptive manner; and refrain from cheating, plagiarism, or other unfair and dishonest practices. Students should also realize the class is under the control of the professor who will give students a statement of his or her class policies in a syllabus at the beginning of the semester.
Academic offenses involving dishonesty and misconduct are defined in the Definitions section below. These definitions are not all inclusive, and conduct not expressly set forth in the definitions may also be considered academic dishonesty or academic misconduct.
Academic Dishonesty. Academic dishonesty refers to the various categories of cheating and plagiarism in a class, regardless of the class format and delivery.
- Cheating on an examination, quiz, or homework assignment involves any of several categories of dishonest activity. Examples include but are not limited to: a) copying from an examination, quiz, or any other assignment of another student; b) utilizing notes, messages, or crib sheets in any format which gives the student extra help on an exam or quiz, and which were not approved by the professor of the class; c) obtaining advance copies of exams or quizzes by any means; d) hiring a substitute to take an exam or bribing any other individual to obtain exam or quiz questions; e) buying term papers or other assignments from the Internet or any other source; and f) using the same paper to fulfill requirements in several classes without the consent of the professors teaching those classes.
- Plagiarism is stealing the ideas or writing of another person and using them as one's own. This includes not only passages, but also sentences and phrases that are incorporated in the student's written work without acknowledgement to the true author. Any paper written by cutting and pasting from the Internet or any other source is plagiarized. Slight modifications in wording do not change the fact the sentence or phrase is plagiarized. Acknowledgment of the source of ideas must be made through a recognized footnoting or citation format. Plagiarism includes recasting the phrase or passage in the student's own words of another's ideas that are not considered common knowledge. Acknowledgement of source must be made in this case as well.
Academic Misconduct. Academic misconduct concerns a student's inappropriate behavior in a class regardless of the class format and delivery. Such behavior includes interacting with the professor and other students in a manner that disrupts the learning environment of a class. Examples include but are not limited to: a) engaging in a discussion with other students that is not beneficial to the class or acceptable to the professor; b) interrupting class unnecessarily; c) attempting to monopolize the professor's time and attention; d) being chronically late to the class; and e) failing to engage in a class in a manner that is required by the professor, such as chronically late submission of assignments. Misconduct also covers verbal or nonverbal harassment and threats in relation to classes. Student behavior must not infringe on the rights of other students or faculty during a class.
B. Composition of Committee
- The Graduate Academic Appeals Committee is an official committee of Arkansas Tech University and will be formed each academic year as a pool of qualified faculty and students to hear graduate student academic dishonesty and academic misconduct appeals. At the beginning of the fall term, the Graduate Dean will appoint two (2) graduate faculty members from each college; and the Associate Dean will appoint one (1) graduate student from each college. The faculty on the committee will elect a Chair.
- These faculty and students will form a pool of 18, from which a subset can be drawn to serve on a Sub-Committee, hearing a specific case.
- When a graduate student appeals a decision concerning academic dishonesty or academic misconduct, the appeal is filed with the Chair of the Graduate Academic Appeals Committee. However, if the Chair is involved in the matter of the appeal, the Appeals Committee will elect an alternate member who is not involved in the matter. The Chair or alternate member of the Appeals Committee shall select a three-person Sub-Committee from the pool of 18 composed in the following manner: one (1) graduate faculty member from the college in which the department involved in the appeal is located, one (1) graduate faculty member from the college in which the student is enrolled as a major, and one (1) student. However, if either faculty member or the student selected for the Sub-Committee is involved in the matter of the appeal, the Chair or alternate member of the Appeals Committee will select a different faculty member and/or student who is not involved in the matter to serve on the Sub-Committee.
C. Procedure for Charges of Academic Dishonesty
Since charges of academic dishonesty may have serious consequences, a professor who suspects a student of any category of academic dishonesty must have facts and/or evidence to support the charge.
- The professor will meet with the student and present him or her with a written outline of the alleged academic dishonesty, the evidence supporting the charge, and the penalty. In circumstances that require a student to attend a meeting and the student cannot meet in person, such as with online distance courses, the meeting may take place via telephone or a technology-based format. Penalties for various levels of academic dishonesty vary from giving an F on a particular assignment, quiz or exam, to giving an F on a term paper or other written work, or giving the student an F or W for the course. The professor may also have different penalties for particular cases of academic dishonesty.
- The professor will notify his or her Department Head and graduate program director (or Graduate Dean if the professor is the Department Head or the graduate program director) of the charge, evidence, and penalty.
- If the student accused of academic dishonesty denies the charge or disagrees with the evidence presented by the professor, the student should make an appointment with the relevant Department Head and graduate program director (or the Graduate Dean if the professor is the Department Head or the graduate program director; in which case, skip step 4). The student may remain in the class during the appeal process.
- If the student is still dissatisfied after meeting with the Department Head and graduate program director, he or she should make an appointment to meet with the Graduate Dean who will seek resolution of the problem.
- If a resolution is not found, the Graduate Dean will refer the student to the Graduate Academic Appeals Committee (“Appeals Committee”), whose composition is described in the Appeals Procedures section below.
- The student should then submit a written appeal to the Chair of the Appeals Committee, or to an alternate member of the Appeals Committee who is not involved in the matter (“alternate member”) as described in the Appeals Procedures section below; and the Chair or an alternate member will select a Sub-Committee as described in the Appeals Procedures section below.
- If the Sub-Committee determines academic dishonesty has occurred, it will confirm the recommendation of the professor concerning the penalty. Such a decision will be given both to the Chair of the Appeals Committee or an alternate member and to the Graduate Dean. The student will be notified of the Sub-Committee's decision by the Chair of the Sub-Committee that sat for the appeal. The Chair of the Sub-Committee shall also notify the Vice President for Academic Affairs of the decision. The Vice President will review the case and forward the outcome to the Registrar after the appeal period described below in this section.
- The student shall have the right to appeal the decision of the Academic Appeals Sub-Committee by filing a Notice of Appeal. The only basis for appeal shall be: 1) Alleged failure of the Academic Appeals Sub-Committee to follow the procedures set forth in the Academic Dishonesty/Academic Misconduct policy, or 2) Consideration of new evidence that was not available at the time of the hearing before the Academic Appeals Sub-Committee. The appeal should be in writing and submitted to the Office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs within five (5) working/business days of receiving notification of the Sub-Committee's decision. The decision of the Vice President for Academic Affairs will be final.
- If the Sub-Committee determines academic dishonesty has not occurred or that the evidence is insufficient, the Chair of the Sub-Committee will forward all pertinent information to the Vice President for Academic Affairs. The Vice President will confer with the Graduate Dean, and the relevant Department Head, graduate program director, and professor to facilitate the return of the student to class without penalty. The Department Head or graduate program director will notify the student of the decision.
D. Procedure for Charges of Academic Misconduct
Please note that the procedures listed in this section do not apply to extreme incidents of academic misconduct, such as verbal or physical abuse or threats, which will be dealt with immediately by asking the student to leave the classroom. If the student refuses to leave the classroom, Public Safety personnel will be called to remove the student, and the Dean of Students will also be informed of the behavior. For such extreme incidents of academic misconduct in an online course, the student may be temporarily or permanently removed from the Blackboard course and the Dean of Students will also be informed of the behavior.
- The professor of a class being disrupted by academic misconduct will speak with the disruptive student. Proper behavior and possible consequences for not modifying the behavior will be discussed with the student.
- If the student ignores the professor's requests to discuss the behavior, it will be considered that the student received an official warning that his or her classroom conduct is inappropriate. If the student continues the disruptive behavior, the professor will warn the student a second time to cease the behavior.
- If the student has refused to respond or has ignored the professor's first and second warning, the student will be suspended on an interim basis, and notified of the suspension from the professor of the class in which the warnings were given. Within two (2) working/business days after the date of the interim suspension, a notification will be sent by the professor to the Department Head, the graduate program director, and Graduate College, who will notify the Chair of the Appeals Committee or an alternate member who is not involved in the matter.
- An Appeals Sub-Committee will be appointed and a hearing will be conducted by the Sub-Committee within three (3) working/business days after the date of the notification to the Appeals Committee of the interim suspension.
- On the same date the notification of the interim suspension is sent to the Chair, or an alternate member of the Appeals Committee, the student will be advised by the Department Head or the graduate program director that he or she has the right to submit a written statement to the Sub-Committee addressing the alleged incident of academic misconduct. The student's written statement as well as the professor's written statement shall be submitted to the Chair of the Sub-Committee at least 24 hours prior to the hearing.
- The Sub-Committee will consider the written statements of the professor and the student involved in the alleged incident of academic misconduct. The Department Head or graduate program director will also provide a statement that the warning procedure has been followed and the student has been suspended on an interim basis from attending the particular class, pending the decision of the Sub-Committee. The Sub-Committee has the right to pursue further information from the professor, Department Head, program director, and student.
- If the Sub-Committee determines academic misconduct has occurred, it will confirm the recommendation of the professor concerning the penalty. Such a decision will be given both to the Chair of the Appeals Committee or an alternate member of the Appeals Committee and to the Graduate Dean. The student will be notified of the Sub-Committee's decision by the Chair of the Sub-Committee that sat for the appeal. The Chair of the Sub-Committee shall also notify the Vice President for Academic Affairs of the decision. The Vice President will review the case and forward the outcome to the Registrar after the appeal period described below in this section.
- The student shall have the right to appeal the decision of the Academic Appeals Sub-Committee by filing a Notice of Appeal. The only basis for appeal shall be: 1) Alleged failure of the Academic Appeals Sub-Committee to follow the procedures set forth in the Academic Dishonesty/Academic Misconduct policy, or 2) Consideration of new evidence that was not available at the time of the hearing before the Academic Appeals Sub-Committee. The appeal should be in writing and submitted to the Office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs within three (3) working/business days of receiving notification of the Sub-Committee's decision. The decision of the Vice President for Academic Affairs will be final.
- If the Sub-Committee determines academic misconduct has not occurred or the evidence is insufficient, the Sub-Committee will forward all pertinent information to the Vice President for Academic Affairs. The Vice President will confer with the Graduate Dean, Department Head, graduate program director, and professor to determine the course of action to be followed and the status of the student in regard to the class in question. The Department Head or graduate program director will notify the student of the decision.
Academic Grievance Procedure
Appeal of an Academic Course Grade
The assessment of the quality of a student’s academic performance is solely and properly one of the major responsibilities of university faculty members. A grade appeal is not appropriate when a student simply disagrees with the faculty member’s judgment about the quality of the student’s work. Grade appeals should be based on problems of process and not on differences in opinion concerning academic performance. A student who is uncertain about whether or not a grade should be appealed or who needs additional information about the grade appeal process can contact the department head’s office (or dean’s office should the instructor be the department head). This policy is implemented within the college that administratively houses the department through which the course was offered, irrespective of a student’s major or class standing.
The grade appeal process is designed to give the student an opportunity to correct an injustice. Disagreement or dissatisfaction with a faculty member's professional evaluation of coursework is not the basis for a grade appeal. It should only be utilized when the student contends that the final grade assigned for the course by the instructor is a result of procedural/calculation error, a result of prejudice, or is arbitrary and/or capricious. Arbitrary and/or capricious here implies that,
1. The student has been assigned a grade on the basis of something other than their performance in the course; or
2. Standards utilized in determining final course grade were not evenly applied to all students in the course; or
3. The grade is based on standards that are unannounced, substantially different and unreasonable departures from those articulated in the course syllabus at the beginning of the course.
The burden of proof is always on the student appellant to prove that a change of grade is an appropriate action in their case.
In all cases, the student must begin a grade appeal process informally with the instructor involved to attempt to resolve the disagreement in a cooperative atmosphere. The student must explain their position to the instructor and attempt to understand the justification for the grade assigned by the instructor. The purpose of the meeting is to reach a mutual understanding of the student’s situation and the instructor’s actions and to resolve differences in an informal and cooperative manner. If the student and instructor cannot, after consultation, reach a satisfactory resolution, the student may begin a formal grade appeal process based on procedural/calculation error, prejudice, or an arbitrary and/or capricious assertion.
The following apply to the formal appeal process for an academic final course grade assigned by an instructor and challenged by a student that has failed to reach a resolution during the informal process.
- Appeal of a final course grade must be made by the student directly affected and must be made immediately following the conclusion of the course. Immediately, here, means before the beginning of another semester or summer term.
- All appeals of a grade must begin with the student making a written appeal to the instructor involved and explaining the nature of the problem and the student’s desired resolution. In the case of an instructor who has terminated his/her association with the University, the appeal would begin with the department head or to the dean of the college if the department head should be the instructor involved. Discussion based upon the written appeal and evidence of attempted informal resolution in this direct manner must precede any further step. Appeals must be presented in writing and contain the following information:
(a) A listing of the student name, course prefix, number, section, semester term/year
and instructor of course;
(b) It is very important that the basis of the appeal is clearly understood. A clear concise statement describing the specific supporting evidence of arbitrary and/or capricious grading as defined above must be provided;
(c) A brief summary of the prior informal attempts to resolve the matter and the results of those previous discussions;
(d) A specific statement of the action or resolution sought.
- If the appeal is not resolved in the previous step, the student wishing further consideration would take the issue and documents to the head of the department in which the course is taught, or to the dean of the college if the department head should be the instructor involved. The department head (or dean) will review the case and make a judgment on the appeal.
- If the student wishes further consideration after the previous step, the student may appeal to the dean of the college only if the student has new evidence pertaining directly to their case that was not reasonably available at the time of the initial appeal or contends that the procedures outlined here were not followed. The student would ask the dean for a formal hearing. At the time the student asks for a formal hearing, they must submit a written formal presentation of the case, with all related supporting documents, to the dean. An ad hoc hearing committee will be formed to be appointed by dean of the college and department involved in offering the course. The committee will be composed of three graduate faculty members from that college. The committee will select its own chairperson. The committee will review the documents and can then either reject the appeal on the basis of its content or proceed to investigate further. The committee will have full cooperation of all parties in gathering information and conducting interviews for the hearing. Once an issue is before the committee, the committee shall have the authority to recommend a lower grade, recommend a higher grade, or recommend no change of a grade.
- The committee recommendation will be conveyed to the dean of the college in which the course is offered and to the student. The dean would inform the registrar of any grade change for the course if applicable.
- In the case of an instructor who has terminated his/her association with the University, the college dean shall carry out the recommendation of the committee.
Appeal of an Academic Graduate Program Dismissal
The following apply for a graduate student appeal of program dismissal having been made by an academic department.
- Appeal of a program dismissal must be made by the student directly affected and must be made immediately following the departmental decision to the department head. Immediately, here, means within 10 calendar days.
- It is very important that the basis of the appeal is clearly understood.
(a) A clear concise statement about the student’s desire and motivation for
reinstatement must be provided;
(b) A brief summary of any prior informal attempts to resolve the matter and the results of those previous discussions;
(c) A specific statement of the action or resolution sought.
- The student may appeal to the dean of the college only if the student has new evidence pertaining directly to their case that was not reasonably available at the time of the initial appeal or contends that the procedures outlined here were not followed. A written appeal of the decision must be made to the dean of the college in which the academic program department is housed. The student would ask the dean for a formal hearing. At the time the student asks for a formal hearing, they must submit a written formal presentation of the case, with all related supporting documents, to the dean. An ad hoc hearing committee will be formed to be appointed by dean of the college and department involved in offering the program. The committee will be composed of three graduate faculty members from that college. The committee will select its own chairperson. The committee will review the documents and can then either reject the appeal on the basis of its content or proceed to investigate further. The committee will have full cooperation of all parties in gathering information and conducting interviews for the hearing. The committee shall have the authority to recommend that the student be retained in the program or confirm the original dismissal decision of the department.
- The committee recommendation will be conveyed to the dean of the college and the dean of the graduate college.
Assessment is conducted university-wide to measure student progress toward educational goals, to improve teaching and learning, and to evaluate institutional effectiveness. A number of instruments and techniques are used in the assessment process. In addition to the normal procedures for grading, graduate students may be asked to complete surveys, participate in focus groups, or participate in other assessment activities designed to ensure the continued improvement of the quality of learning. Additional details concerning the University's assessment efforts can be obtained by contacting the Director of Institutional Research and Assessment.
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) afford eligible students certain rights with respect to their education records. (An "eligible student" under FERPA is a student who is 18 years of age or older or who attends a postsecondary institution.) These rights include:
- The right to inspect and review the student's education records within 45 days after the day Arkansas Tech University receives a request for access. A student should submit to the registrar, dean, head of the academic department, or other appropriate official, a written request that identifies the record(s) the student wishes to inspect. The school official will make arrangements for access and notify the student of the time and place where the records may be inspected. If the records are not maintained by the school official to whom the request was submitted, that official shall advise the student of the correct official to whom the request should be addressed.
- The right to request the amendment of the student's education records that the student believes is inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise in violation of the student's privacy rights under FERPA. A student who wishes to ask the school to amend a record should write the school official responsible for the record, clearly identify the part of the record the student wants changed, and specify why it should be changed. If the school decides not to amend the record as requested, the school will notify the student in writing of the decision and the student's right to a hearing regarding the request for amendment. Additional information regarding the hearing procedures will be provided to the student when notified of the right to a hearing.
- The right to provide written consent before the university discloses personally identifiable information (PII) from the student's education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent. The school discloses education records without a student's prior written consent under the FERPA exception for disclosure to school officials with legitimate educational interests. A school official is a person employed by Arkansas Tech University in an administrative, supervisory, academic, research, or support staff position (including law enforcement unit personnel and health staff); a person serving on the board of trustees; or a student serving on an official committee, such as a disciplinary or grievance committee. A school official also may include a volunteer or contractor outside of Arkansas Tech University who performs an institutional service of function for which the school would otherwise use its own employees and who is under the direct control of the school with respect to the use and maintenance of PII from education records, such as an attorney, auditor, or collection agent or a student volunteering to assist another school official in performing his or her tasks. A school official has a legitimate educational interest if the official needs to review an education record in order to fulfill his or her professional responsibilities for Arkansas Tech University. Upon request, the school also discloses education records without consent to officials of another school in which a student seeks or intends to enroll.
- The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged
failures by Arkansas Tech University to comply with the requirements of FERPA. The
name and address of the Office that administers FERPA is:
Family Policy Compliance Office
U.S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Avenue, SW Washington, DC 20202
See the list below of the disclosures that Arkansas Tech University may make, without consent, under this federal law.
FERPA permits the disclosure of PII from student's education records, without consent of the student, if the disclosure meets certain conditions found in §99.31 of the FERPA regulations. Except for disclosures to school officials, disclosures related to some judicial orders or lawfully issued subpoenas, disclosures of directory information, and disclosures to the student, §99.32 of FERPA regulations requires the institution to record the disclosure. Eligible students have a right to inspect and review the record of disclosures. A postsecondary institution may disclose PII from the education records without obtaining prior written consent of the student -
- To other school officials, including teachers, within Arkansas Tech University whom the school has determined to have legitimate educational interests. This includes contractors, consultants, volunteers, or other parties to whom the school has outsourced institutional services or functions, provided that the conditions listed in §99.31(a)(1)(i)(B)(1) - (a)(1)(i)(B)(2) are met. (§99.31(a)(1))
- To officials of another school where the student seeks or intends to enroll, or where the student is already enrolled if the disclosure is for purposes related to the student's enrollment or transfer, subject to the requirements of §99.34. (§99.31(a)(2))
- To authorized representatives of the U. S. Comptroller General, the U. S. Attorney General, the U.S. Secretary of Education, or State and local educational authorities, such as a State postsecondary authority that is responsible for supervising the university's State-supported education programs. Disclosures under this provision may be made, subject to the requirements of §99.35, in connection with an audit or evaluation of Federal- or State-supported education programs, or for the enforcement of or compliance with Federal legal requirements that relate to those programs. These entities may make further disclosures of PII to outside entities that are designated by them as their authorized representatives to conduct any audit, evaluation, or enforcement or compliance activity on their behalf. (§§99.31(a)(3) and 99.35)
- In connection with financial aid for which the student has applied or which the student has received, if the information is necessary to determine eligibility for the aid, determine the amount of the aid, determine the conditions of the aid, or enforce the terms and conditions of the aid. (§99.31(a)(4))
- To organizations conducting studies for, or on behalf of, the school, in order to: (a) develop, validate, or administer predictive tests; (b) administer student aid programs; or (c) improve instruction. (§99.31(a)(6))
- To accrediting organizations to carry out their accrediting functions. §99.31(a)(7))
- To parents of an eligible student if the student is a dependent for IRS tax purposes. (§99.31(a)(8))
- To comply with a judicial order or lawfully issued subpoena. (§99.31(a)(9))
- To appropriate officials in connection with a health or safety emergency, subject to §99.36. (§99.31(a)(10))
- Information the school has designated as "directory information" under §99.37. (§99.31(a)(11)).
- "Directory information" at Arkansas Tech University consists of the student's name, electronic mail address, dates of attendance, major field of study, enrollment status (e.g. undergraduate or graduate), participation in officially recognized activities and sports, weight and height of members of athletic teams, degrees, honors and awards received, and the most recent educational agency or institution attended.
- "Dates of attendance" as used above means the period of time during which a student attends or attended an educational agency or institution. Examples of dates of attendance include an academic year, a spring semester or a first quarter. The term does not include specific daily records of a student's attendance at an educational agency or institution.
- This information may be made available upon request to members of the general public.
- If a student on the Russellville campus wishes for this information to be regarded as confidential, according to the provisions of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, she/he should notify the Chief Student Officer at (479) 508-3310.
- If a student on the Ozark campus wishes for this information to be regarded as confidential, according to the provisions of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, she/he should notify the Chief Student Officer at 479-667-3433.
- To a victim of an alleged perpetrator of a crime of violence or a non-forcible sex offense, subject to the requirements of §99.39. The disclosure may only include the final results of the disciplinary proceeding with respect to that alleged crime or offense, regardless of the finding. (§99.31(a)(13))
- To the general public, the final results of a disciplinary proceeding, subject to the requirements of §99.39, if the school determines the student is an alleged perpetrator of a crime of violence or non-forcible sex offense and the student has committed a violation of the school's rules or policies with respect to the allegation made against him or her. (§99.31(a)(14))
- To parents of a student regarding the student's violation of any Federal, State, or local law, or of any rule or policy of the school, governing the use or possession of alcohol or a controlled substance if the school determines the student committed a disciplinary violation and the student is under the age of 21. (§99.31(a)(15))
While every effort will be made to conform to catalog announcements, the University reserves the right to adapt its program as may be necessary.
Please refer to the section entitled Graduation Requirements for information pertaining to candidacy, application for graduation, payment of graduation fees, and other graduation requirements.