Simmons School of Education and Human Development
(2010 Graduate Catalog)
Policies and Procedures
The standards herein are applicable to all students at the University and constitute the basic authority and reference for matters pertaining to University academic regulations and records management. Enrollment in the University is a declaration of acceptance of all University rules and regulations.
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 is a federal law that grants students the right to inspect, obtain copies of, challenge, and, to a degree, control the release of information contained in their records. The act and regulations are very lengthy, and for that reason SMU has issued guidelines that are available on the Registrar's Office FERPA website (www.smu.edu/ferpa
). Policy 1.18 of the University Policy Manual,
accessible at www.smu.edu/policy, also discusses this law.
In general, no personally identifiable information from a student’s education record will be disclosed to any third party without written consent from the student. Several exceptions exist, including these selected examples: 1) Information defined by SMU as directory information may be released unless the student requests through Access.SMU Self Service that it be withheld; 2) Information authorized by the student through Access.SMU Self Service may be released to those individuals designated by the student; and 3) Information may be released to a parent or guardian if the student is declared financially dependent upon the parent or guardian as set forth in the Internal Revenue Code. For more information, visit www.smu.edu/ferpa.
When students enter their school of record and into a specific degree program, they are assigned an academic adviser. Students should consult with the adviser for course scheduling, schedule changes, petitions, degree requirements and other such academic concerns. Advisers normally will have established office hours. The offices of the academic deans monitor progress and maintain official degree plans for all students in their schools. Students should schedule conferences with staff in the dean’s office upon admission to the school and prior to their final term to ensure that they are meeting all general education and graduation requirements.
Each fall, spring and summer term has an enrollment period during which the formal process of enrollment in the University is completed. Prior to each enrollment period, the Office of the Registrar will publish enrollment instructions.
To assist new and readmitted students in making a comfortable, satisfying transition to University academic life, programs of academic advising, enrollment and orientation are conducted in May or June, July, August, and January. Information concerning the programs is distributed by the Office of New Student Orientation and Student Support.
Each student is personally responsible for complying with enrollment procedures and for ensuring the accuracy of his or her enrollment. Students are expected to confirm the accuracy of their enrollment each term.
Students who discover a discrepancy in their enrollment records after the close of enrollment for the term should immediately complete an Enrollment Discrepancy Petition. Petition instructions are available at www.smu.edu/registrar. Petitions are to be submitted to the record offices of the appropriate academic deans within six months of the term in which the discrepancy appeared. Petitions submitted later than six months after the discrepancy may not be considered.
Student File Number
The University assigns each student an eight-digit SMU identification number. The student should furnish the SMU ID number on all forms when requested, because it is the primary means the University has to identify the student’s academic records and transactions related to the records.
Stop Enrollment/Administrative Withdrawal
Insufficient or improper information given by the student on any admission or enrollment form – or academic deficiencies, disciplinary actions and financial obligations to the University – can constitute cause for the student to be determined ineligible to enroll or to be administratively withdrawn.
A student who has a change in name must provide to the Office of the Registrar his or her Social Security card or the form issued by the Social Security Administration. Enrollment or records services for the student under a name different from the last enrollment cannot be accomplished without the above documents. All grade reports, transcripts and diplomas are issued only under a person’s legal name as recorded by the Registrar’s Office.
Mailing Addresses, Telephone, E-mail Address and Emergency Contact
Each student must provide the Registrar’s Office with a current home address, telephone number, a local mailing address as well as the name, address and telephone number of a designated emergency contact. Students enrolling at SMU authorize the University to notify their emergency contacts in the event of a situation affecting their health, safety, or physical or mental well being, and to provide these contacts with information related to the situation.
Students are expected to keep current all their addresses and telephone numbers, including emergency contact details, through Access.SMU, the University’s Web-based self-service system. Changes should be reported on the Web form found at www.smu.edu/registrar.
Students may be prevented from enrolling if their information is insufficient or outdated.
The University issues all students an e-mail address. Students may have other e-mail addresses, but the University-assigned e-mail address is the official address for University electronic correspondence, including related communications with faculty members and academic units (except for distance education students).
Official University correspondence may be sent to students' mailing addresses or SMU e-mail addresses on file. It is the responsibility of students to keep all their addresses current and to regularly check communications sent to them as they are responsible for complying with requests, deadlines and other requirements sent to any of their mailing addresses on file or to their SMU e-mail.
The University requests that students provide cellular telephone numbers as they are one means of communicating with students during an emergency. Cellular telephone numbers may also be used by University officials conducting routine business. Students who do not have cellular telephones or do not wish to report the numbers may declare this information in lieu of providing cellular telephone numbers. However, students may be prevented from enrolling if their cellular telephone numbers are not on file or if they have not declared “no cellular telephone” or “do not wish to report cellular number.”
Loss of Personal Property
The University is not responsible for the loss of personal property belonging to students in any building or on any grounds owned by the University, whether the loss results from theft, fire or unknown cause.
A transcript is an official document of the permanent academic record maintained by the University’s Office of the Registrar. The permanent academic record includes all SMU courses attempted, all grades assigned, degrees received and a summary of transfer hours accepted. Official transcripts and certifications of student academic records are issued by the Office of the Registrar for all students of the University. Copies of high school records and transfer transcripts from other schools must be requested from the institutions where the coursework was taken.
Transcripts are $12.25 per copy. Additional copies in the same request mailed to the same address are $3.50. Additional copies mailed to different addresses are $12.25 a copy. Requests may be delayed due to outstanding financial or other obligations, or for posting of a grade change, an earned degree or term grades.
To request a transcript, visit www.smu.edu/registrar, click on "Transcript Requests" and follow the instructions. Requests will be processed through the National Student Clearing House. Telephone and e-mail requests are not accepted. Students or their specified third party can pick up their transcripts at the service counter in the Registrar’s Office, 101 Blanton Building. (See www.smu.edu/registrar
and “Transcript Requests”
for more information.) No incomplete or partial transcripts, including only certain courses or grades, are issued. Transcripts cannot be released unless the student has satisfied all financial and other obligations to the University. Transcripts may be delayed pending a change of grade, degree awarded or term grades.
SMU is permitted, but not required, to disclose to parents of a student, information contained in the education records of the student if the student is a dependent as defined in the Internal Revenue Code.
Transcripts may be released to a third party as specified by the student on the Student's Consent for SMU to Release Information to Student's Specified Third Party form. The consent form is available online at www.smu.edu/registrar/ferpa/forms.asp.
The deadline for adding courses, dropping courses without grade record and changing sections for each enrollment period is listed in the Official University Calendar. Students are encouraged to seek assistance from their advisers when considering whether to add or drop a course. A student may drop a course with a grade of W
(Withdrew) through approximately midterm by using the student Access.SMU Self Service. The specific deadline is listed in the Official University Calendar (www.smu.edu/registrar
After the deadline date in the Official University Calendar, the student may not drop a class. All schedule changes must be processed by the deadline date specified in the Official University Calendar. Schedule changes are not complete for official University record purposes unless finalized in the Office of the University Registrar.
* Chapter 675, S.B. 302. Acts of the 61st Texas Legislature, 1969 Regular Session, provides: Section I. No person may buy, sell, create, duplicate, alter, give or obtain; or attempt to buy, sell, create, duplicate, alter, give or obtain a diploma, certificate, academic record, certificate of enrollment or other instrument which purports to signify merit or achievement conferred by an institution of education in this state with the intent to use fraudulently such document or to allow the fraudulent use of such document. Section II. A person who violates this act or who aids another in violating this act is guilty of a misdemeanor and upon conviction is punishable by a fine of not more than $1,000 and/or confinement in the county jail for a period not to exceed one year.
Withdrawal From the University
Note: Students receiving financial aid also should refer to the Financial Information section of this catalog.
A student who wishes to withdraw (resign) from the University before the end of a term or session must initiate a Student Petition for Withdrawal form, obtain approval from his/her academic dean and submit the form to the Division of Enrollment Services, University Registrar. The effective date of the withdrawal is the date on which the Student Petition for Withdrawal is processed in the Registrar’s Office. Discontinuance of class attendance or notification to the instructors of intention to withdraw does not constitute an official withdrawal.
The enrollment of students who withdraw on or before the fifth day of regular classes as listed in the Official University Calendar will be canceled. Courses and grades are not recorded for canceled enrollments. A student who withdraws after the fifth class day will receive the grade of W
in each course in which enrolled.
Reduction of tuition and fees is based on the schedule listed in the publication Bursar’s Financial Information: Southern Methodist University
supplement and is determined by the effective date of the withdrawal. This information is also available at www.smu.edu/registrar.
The schedule can be found at www.smu.edu/bursar,
or call 214-768-3417.
Medical withdrawals provide a daily pro rata refund of tuition and fees, and have conditions that must be met prior to re-enrollment at SMU. Medical withdrawals must be authorized by the medical director, psychiatric director, counseling and testing director, or vice president for Student Affairs. Authorization must be obtained no later than the University’s withdrawal date for the term.
Withdrawing students living in SMU housing must check out of residence halls with Residence Life and Student Housing per established procedures.
Audit Enrollment (Course Visitor)
Students desiring to audit (visit) a class, whether or not concurrently enrolled for regular coursework, are required to process an Audit Enrollment Request Form. Forms are available at www.smu.edu/registrar
under Forms Library. Space must be available in the class. The following regulations are applicable:
- Classroom recitation and participation are restricted; availability of course handouts, tests and other materials is restricted; no grade is assigned and no credit is recorded; and no laboratory privileges are included.
- If credit is desired, the course must be enrolled for and repeated as a regular course, and the regular tuition must be paid.
- The student’s name does not appear on class rosters or grade rosters.
- Regular admission and enrollment procedures are not conducted for auditors.
- The audit fee is nonrefundable.
Enrollment for “no credit” is accomplished in the conventional manner of enrollment, with regular admission and enrollment procedures being required. The student pays the regular tuition and fees, participates in class activities, is listed on class rolls, and receives the grade of NC
upon completion of the coursework. The student must indicate in writing no later than the 12th day of classes (the fourth day during summer sessions) that he or she wishes to take a course for no credit. Permission of the instructor or department is required for this type of enrollment. This enrollment is different from audit enrollments, for which no enrollment or grade is recorded.
* Grades not included in GPA
Grade of Incomplete
A student may receive a grade of Incomplete (I)
if at least 50 percent of the course requirements have been completed with passing grades, but for some justifiable reason, acceptable to the instructor, the student has been unable to complete the full requirements of the course. At the time a grade of I
is given, the instructor must stipulate in writing to the student and to the Office of the Registrar the requirements and completion date that are to be met and the grade that will be given if the requirements are not met by the completion date. The maximum period of time allowed to clear the Incomplete grade normally is 12 months. If the Incomplete grade is not cleared by the date set by the instructor or by the end of the 12-month deadline, the grade of I
will be changed to the grade provided by the instructor at the time the Incomplete was assigned or to a grade of F
if no alternate grade was provided. The grade of I
is not given in lieu of a grade of F
or other grade, each of which is prescribed for other specific circumstances.
If the student’s work is incomplete, poor quality and not acceptable, a grade of F
will be given. The grade of I
does not authorize a student to attend the course during a later term. Graduation candidates must clear all Incompletes prior to the deadline in the Official University Calendar, which may allow less time than 12 months. Failure to do so can result in removal from the degree candidacy list and/or conversion of the grade of I
to the grade indicated by the instructor at the time the grade of I
Failing is graded F.
After such a grade, credit may be obtained only by repeating the course.
The grade of D
represents performance below average expectations. Students receiving a D
in a course that is a prerequisite to another course should consult with their adviser about repeating the course so that they will be adequately prepared for work in the following course.
The grade of W
cannot be recorded unless completion of the official drop or withdrawal process has occurred by the applicable deadline during the term of enrollment. Only the grade of W
may be recorded if the student has officially dropped courses from the schedule or withdrawn (resigned) from the University. The grade of W
may not be revoked or changed to another grade because the act of officially dropping/withdrawing is irrevocable.
For graduate students, a maximum of two (six hours) concurrently held grades of Incomplete in courses other than thesis is allowed. If this maximum is reached, the student will be allowed to take only one three-hour course per term until the Incomplete total is reduced. Students who accumulate a total of three grades of Incomplete in courses other than thesis will be put on probation and not allowed to enroll further until the total is reduced.
The student’s grades are available to the student through Access.SMU, Student Center.
Taking courses pass/fail is an allowable option in some but not all Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education and Human Development programs.
Grade Point Average
A student’s GPA is computed by multiplying the term hours of each course attempted by the grade points earned in the particular course and then dividing the total number of grade points by the total number of hours attempted, excluding those hours for which grades are shown with an asterisk on the grade chart. The GPA is truncated at three decimal places.
Changes of Grades
Changes of grades, including change of the grade of I,
are initiated by the course instructor and authorized by the academic chair and by the academic dean of the school in which the course was offered. If a student requests a grade change, the instructor may ask the student to provide a written petition requesting the change of grade which may become an official part of any further process at the instructor’s discretion. Changes of grades may be made only for the following authorized reasons: to clear a grade of I, to correct a processing error or to reflect a reevaluation of the student’s original work. A change of grade will not be based on additional work options beyond those originally made available to the entire class.
Changes of grades of I
should be processed within a calendar year of the original grade assignment. Other changes in grade must be processed by the end of the next regular term. No grade will be changed after 12 months or after a student’s graduation except a grade successfully appealed, provided that written notice of appeal is given within six months following graduation, and in extenuating circumstances authorized by the academic dean and approved by the registrar.
Appeal of Grades
A student who feels that an assigned grade is other than the grade earned must first discuss the matter with the course instructor to determine if the discrepancy is caused by error or misunderstanding. At the time of the initial discussion, the student may be asked to provide a written petition requesting the change of grade.
A student who is not satisfied by the instructor’s denial of a request for a grade change, and who maintains that the original grade was capriciously or unfairly determined, may appeal to the chair of the department in which the course was offered (or, in the case of a nondepartmental course, to a faculty agent designated by the dean of the school offering the course). After discussing the matter with the student, and bearing in mind that the final authority in matters of academic judgment in the determination of a grade rests with the course instructor, the chair (or faculty agent) will consult with the course instructor, who will subsequently report to the student the disposition of the appeal.
A student who is not satisfied by the disposition of the appeal may appeal the decision to the dean of the school offering the course. The dean will take action as he or she deems appropriate. A student may appeal the dean’s decision to the provost. In their actions, the dean and the provost must respect the principle that the determination of a grade rests with the course instructor.
Academic Grievance and Appeals Procedures for Students With Disabilities
The University policy for academic grievance and appeals procedures for students with disabilities is available in the offices of Disability Accommodations and Success Strategies and of the University Registrar.
Students should be aware of the difference between a drop
and a withdrawal
and remember that they have different deadlines and separate financial policies. The deadlines are posted each term on the Official University Calendar at www.smu.edu/registrar.
occurs when a student removes one or more courses from his or her schedule and remains enrolled in at least one credit hour for the term. A withdrawal
occurs when removing the course or courses will result in the student being enrolled in zero
hours for the term. If a student removes all courses from his or her schedule prior to the payment due date, the transaction is considered a cancellation
and does not result in financial penalty or impact the student’s transcript. Reduction of tuition and fees is based on the schedule listed in the publication Bursar's Financial Information: Southern Methodist University
and is determined by the effective date of the withdrawal. Students receiving financial aid should refer to the Financial Information section of this catalog.
Failure to meet established minimum acceptable standards of academic or disciplinary performance can result in probation, suspension or dismissal.
Graduate students must maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.0. If in any term the student falls below this GPA, the student will be placed on probation for one term. If at the end of the term of probation the cumulative GPA is not up to 3.0, the student may be removed from the program at the discretion of the program director and/or dean.
The Honor Code of Southern Methodist University
Intellectual integrity and academic honesty are fundamental to the processes of learning and of evaluating academic performance, and maintaining them is the responsibility of all members of an educational institution. The inculcation of personal standards of honesty and integrity is a goal of education in all the disciplines of the University.
The faculty has the responsibility of encouraging and maintaining an atmosphere of academic honesty by being certain that students are aware of the value of it, that they understand the regulations defining it, and that they know the penalties for departing from it. The faculty should, as far as is reasonably possible, assist students in avoiding the temptation to cheat. Faculty members must be aware that permitting dishonesty is not open to personal choice. A professor or instructor who is unwilling to act upon offenses is an accessory with the student offender in deteriorating the integrity of the University.
Students must share the responsibility for creating and maintaining an atmosphere of honesty and integrity. Students should be aware that personal experience in completing assigned work is essential to learning. Permitting others to prepare their work, using published or unpublished summaries as a substitute for studying required material, or giving or receiving unauthorized assistance in the preparation of work to be submitted are directly contrary to the honest process of learning. Students who are aware that others in a course are cheating or otherwise acting dishonestly have the responsibility to inform the professor and/or bring an accusation to the Honor Council.
Students and faculty members must share the knowledge that any dishonest practices permitted will make it more difficult for the honest students to be evaluated and graded fairly and will damage the integrity of the whole University. Students should recognize that both their own interest, and their integrity as individuals, will suffer if they condone dishonesty in others.
The Honor System
All students attending the Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education and Human Development are subject to the jurisdiction of the Honor Code and as such will be required to sign a pledge to uphold the Honor Code (www.smu.edu/studentlife). In support of the Honor Code, the Honor Council has the responsibility to maintain and promote academic integrity. The Honor Council is composed of a minimum of 27 members selected through an application and interview process organized by the Honor Council Executive Board. Five faculty members, nominated by the Faculty Senate, also serve on the Honor Council.
Academic dishonesty includes plagiarism, cheating, academic sabotage, facilitating academic dishonesty and fabrication. Plagiarism is prohibited in all papers, projects, take-home exams or any other assignments in which the student submits another’s work as being his or her own. Cheating is defined as intentionally using or attempting to use unauthorized materials, information or study aids in any academic exercise. Academic sabotage is defined as intentionally taking any action that negatively affects the academic work of another student. Facilitating academic dishonesty is defined as intentionally or knowingly helping or attempting to help another to violate any provision of the Honor Code. Fabrication is defined as intentional and unauthorized falsification or invention of any information or citation in an academic exercise.
Suspected cases of academic dishonesty may be handled administratively by the appropriate faculty member in whose class the alleged infraction occurred or referred to the Honor Council for resolution. Suspected violations reported to the Honor Council by a student or by an instructor will be investigated and, if the evidence warrants, a hearing will be held by a board composed of a quorum of four members of the Honor Council.
Any appeal of an action taken by the Honor Council shall be submitted to the University Conduct Council in writing no later than four calendar days (excluding school holidays) after notification of the Honor Council’s decision.
Code of Conduct
The following are University procedures and standards with which every student must become familiar. The University considers matriculation at SMU an implicit covenant and a declaration of acceptance on the part of the student of all University regulations. The Student Conduct and Community Standards Office (www.smu.edu/studentconduct
), part of the Office of the Dean of Student Life, assists students in their personal development by providing a fair conduct process that issues consistent sanctions for behavior that is incongruent with the University’s expectations for students.
Standards of conduct are established through faculty, student and administrative efforts and are under continuous evaluation by the entire University community in order to assure reasonable and fair limits. At SMU, the student is assumed to have a high degree of loyalty and responsibility to the University and its well-being, as well as to himself or herself in personal, social and intellectual pursuits; the student’s behavior both on and off campus is evidence of this.
Students at SMU will discover that they are encouraged to exercise a great amount of personal freedom as well as accompanying responsibilities. Through their personal capacities for intelligent thought and action, mature students understand that there are situations in which certain behavior must be modified for the benefit of others. The University stands firm in its commitments to the rights and freedoms of students, expecting in return the same respect and concern.
The University expects all students to be responsible citizens and to abide by all federal, state and local laws. Personal irresponsibility – including, but not limited to, that evidenced by dishonesty, gambling, hazing, irresponsible conduct, and the misuse of drugs and alcohol – renders a student subject to disciplinary action. Although most specific regulations pertain to a student’s behavior while on campus, a lack of personal responsibility and integrity is always considered grounds for discipline no matter where it occurs. Due respect for the entire University community, faculty, staff and one’s fellow students is always expected.
Students are required to identify themselves when asked by a properly identified faculty or staff member, or by another student serving as a University staff member. Persons who are not members of the University community and without business on campus may be asked to leave.
Clear disciplinary procedures are an important part of the mission of SMU as an educational institution. The intent of the system of due process at SMU is to be educational and not merely punitive for students. The goal continues to be to produce quality citizens. It is pertinent to the purpose of discipline to remember that self-discipline is part of the entire educational process, whereby students become more fully aware of the importance of responsibility for themselves and others. Anytime a student displays irresponsible behavior, that student will be subject to discipline.
Depending on the degree of misconduct, a student may be subject to sanctions ranging from a conduct reprimand to expulsion from the University. Should a student be asked to leave the University, he or she should do so in an expeditious and peaceful manner. The student should remain off campus until he or she receives written permission from the Dean of Student Life Office to return to campus. In the event of such separation, a student is still responsible for University financial obligations.
The University believes in student representation on all disciplinary bodies. To ensure fairness and due process for all students in the conduct process, the student is granted an impartial hearing and the right to appeal to the University Conduct Council. A student who is appealing a sanction may remain in school until the decision and penalty are reviewed, unless considered harmful to the University, to any individual or to himself or herself. All actions by the council are subject to presidential review.
Having voluntarily enrolled as students at Southern Methodist University and assumed a place in the University community, all students are presumed to be knowledgeable of, and have agreed to abide by, the rules and regulations set forth in the Student Code of Conduct, as outlined in the SMU Student Handbook.
This book is available from the Dean of Student Life Office, third floor, Hughes-Trigg Student Center, or online at www.smu.edu/studentlife.