Termination of Studies
Students may be required to terminate their graduate studies and withdraw from the Graduate School of Education if they fail to maintain satisfactory academic or professional standards in any phase of their graduate programs. A student is deemed to not be making satisfactory progress when she or he:
has not satisfied any condition imposed at the time of admission;
receives 6 credits graded C, F, or NC;
does not adhere to the schedule of time limits for degrees (see the Degree Requirements chapter); or
violates the professional standards of her or his field (e.g., New Jersey Professional Teaching Standards Interstate School Leaders Licensure Consortium Standards, American School Counselor Association, or American Counseling Association).
Violation of the university's academic integrity policy is another reason for being terminated from graduate studies, however, the disposition of such violations is covered by the university's academic integrity policy.
Programs are expected to conduct annual reviews of student performance. When a student is judged not to be making satisfactory progress, the program notifies the student in writing of its concern about the student's performance. Such a warning specifies the source of the concern, the applicable program or Graduate School of Education rules, and the proposed action. Warnings specify when and on what basis a recommendation for academic dismissal will be considered by the faculty. A probationary period of one semester is normal. (In cases of extremely poor performance, the program faculty may determine that a probationary period is not justified and may move directly to a recommendation for dismissal.)
Following the probationary period, a student who fails to meet the provisions of the warning is considered for dismissal by the faculty. A program faculty vote is recorded on any motion to recommend dismissal, and a letter is written to the student stating the faculty action and its rationale.
When termination is recommended, the department chair or, for doctor of education (Ed.D.) students, the director of the Ed.D. program communicates to the dean of the Graduate School of Education in writing the specific reasons involved, all warnings communicated to the student, the faculty procedures and actions leading to the recommendation, the recorded faculty vote for dismissal, and the mailing address of the student. The dean of the Graduate School of Education will write the actual letter of termination to the student.
International students are required to make normal progress toward their degree in order to maintain their legal status. International students facing serious academic problems that could lead to probation and/or termination are urged to consult with the International Student and Scholar Services as soon as they are aware of such problems.
Students are entitled to fairness in the way their academic performances are assessed. Each program has a statement that spells out how a student's academic progress is monitored and how comprehensive, qualifying, and final examinations are graded. Each program also has a procedure for academic appeals. The Graduate School of Education provides further opportunity for appeal for students who wish to proceed beyond the program level (see the Student Academic Appeals section below).
All students in the Graduate School of Education are entitled to expect that regularly scheduled examinations will be graded, and grades will be announced within two weeks of completion of those examinations. If a student fails an examination, he or she is entitled to an explanation of the reasons for that decision.
Student Academic Appeals
Whenever possible, student academic appeals are handled within the program. The student should take the issue to the department chair or program director for review and mediation. The chair or director consults with all parties and proposes a resolution. If this is unsuccessful, the matter is referred to the appropriate Graduate School of Education Committee on Admissions and Scholastic Standing as designated in Graduate School of Education bylaws.
The Committee on Admissions and Scholastic Standing hears appeals that have not been resolved by the department chair or program director. The student must make his or her case in writing. A written response to the student's statement will be solicited from the chair or director of the department or program whose action is being appealed. The committee normally bases its judgment on written submissions only. Should the committee deem it necessary, it may call upon the student and/or a faculty member (or members) for written or oral responses to questions raised by the committee.
A student may request an appearance before the committee. If they believe an appearance is warranted by unusual circumstances, the committee members may allow the student to appear before them. They may, however, limit the amount of time granted, which normally will not exceed 30 minutes. The committee reports its recommendations to the dean of the Graduate School of Education, whose decision is final.
Should the student decide to appeal to the dean, such a request must be made in writing within 30 days of notification of the decision of the Committee on Admissions and Scholastic Standing. Each case will be reviewed by a representative of the dean of the Graduate School of Education whose decision is final.
Student Complaints about Grades
Students who wish to file a complaint about a course grade or a grade received for a particular piece of work in a course should first attempt to resolve the matter through discussion with the instructor. If the issue cannot be resolved satisfactorily between the student and instructor, the student may specify in writing the basis for the complaint and request a review by the chair of the department offering the course or, for Ed.D. students, the director of the Ed.D. program, as appropriate. A written complaint about a grade for work completed while the course is in progress must be submitted to the chair or director no later than two weeks after notification of the grade. A student must submit a written complaint about a final course grade no later than four weeks after the postmarked date of the official notification of grades.
A student who wishes to appeal the decision of the department or program must do so in writing to the Office of the Dean. Written notification of the action taken by the chair, the Ed.D. program director, or the dean is sent to the student within six weeks of filing an appeal, excluding weeks in which classes are not in regular session.