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We are a month away from graduation!  As the semester winds down, here are some important issues to note:





Due to the snow day, classes will be held on Thursday, April 21 (replaces Tuesday 2/22). Students are responsible for attendance and in-class work on that day.  The University will be closed on Friday, April 22; classes are not in session that day. 





The official advising period for the fall 2011 semester started March 30 and ended on April 13, although students can still contact their advisor to get their PINs to register for classes.  Registration opened on April 11, with those students who are closest to graduation having the earliest registration times.   If your student met with his/her advisor, he/she should have an alternate PIN which he/she can use to register via RAIL at the access time provided.  We recommend that students register as soon as possible after their access time.  Please note that although some advisors will contact advisees who so not meet with them, many leave it up to the students in get in touch first. If your student does not know his/her advisor’s name, he/she can go to and log on to RAIL to find out!


In addition, now’s a great time to ask your student about his/her classes for next semester. 


Sophomores still will be taking General Studies/Core Curriculum courses and, depending on their chosen field of study, may start taking upper level courses in their major.  If your rising sophomore seems to be questioning his/her choice of study, encourage him/her to meet with someone in the Career Center and/or speak with faculty members in the field.  If your sophomore is considering a change in major, now is a great time to make the switch as they still most likely will be able to graduate on time. 


Juniors and seniors will be taking mostly courses in their major and should be exploring opportunities of internships, field placements, and/or cooperative learning situations.   Again, advisors can be a great resource as students explore these possibilities.  The summer is also a great time to scout around for volunteer positions and/or agencies willing to take on an intern in the upcoming year.


Graduating seniors should be sure to do a final degree audit—either by themselves or with the assistance of their advisor—to make sure there are no surprises when they go to file for graduation.  In fact, all students are encouraged to do degree audits at the start of every new semester to measure their progress toward graduation.





Registration for Shepherd’s summer school classes began on Monday, March 30, and continues up until the first day of classes for each session.   For general information about summer registration, see  Financial aid may be available for summer terms. A Shepherd University Financial Aid Application is required in addition to the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA); however, students must register for classes prior to submitting the application.   The application is available in the Office of Financial Aid, Gardiner Hall or at 


Remember that current students wishing to take classes at another institution must get approval through the Office of the Registrar prior to enrolling in the classes.   Stop by the Office of the Registrar for the necessary paperwork and for further information.





Now is the time of year where students begin to ask questions about their current academic standing and whether they will be able to return in the fall.  Here are some basic academic standing guidelines to help your student navigate the process:


Good standing:   A student whose Shepherd and cumulative GPAs are both at a 2.0 or greater is considered to be in good academic standing.   Students whose GPAs are close to a 2.0 may be in jeopardy of being placed on probation if either GPA falls below a 2.0 after spring grades are calculated.   A student in the 2.0 to 2.5 range after this semester should consider visiting the Academic Support Center in the fall to assure continual success and progress towards graduation.


Probation: A student whose Shepherd or cumulative GPA falls below a 2.0 is placed on probation.  Students who are currently on probation for the spring 2011 semester must achieve a 2.0 semester GPA or higher this semester or they will be suspended for the fall 2011 semester.  Students who are placed on probation at the conclusion of the spring 2011 semester must obtain a 2.0 or higher GPA based on their fall 2011 and spring 2012 grades to be able to return in the fall 2012 semester.   Suspension is temporarily waived for students who are suspended after the spring semester and want to take summer classes to try to improve their GPAs.  For details see;


Suspension:  If a student on probation fails to achieve a 2.0 or higher for the semesters/summer sessions in question, he/she is suspended for the following semester and will need to reapply to return to Shepherd when eligible.  Note that while students are on suspension, they may not take classes elsewhere and have those classes transfer back to Shepherd for credit.  For information/details on students suspended for a second or third time, please see the Catalog,


Academic Recovery Contract:   First-time in college freshmen suspended after their first year will be given the opportunity to return for the fall 2012 semester if they sign an Academic Recovery Contract.  Details on the conditions and stipulations of this contract will be provided to eligible students with their notification of suspension letter.


The Office of Retention is happy to meet with students who are concerned about their academic standing and progress to help navigate the “what-ifs” of the current or future semesters.   Please have your student contact the office at or 304-876-5482.





April 11             First Day of Fall 2011 RAIL Registration


April 12-24        Priority Registration for Currently Enrolled (Spring 2011) Students


April 15-16        Relay for Life


April 17             ShepFest


April 20             Last Day to Withdraw from Second 8-weeks Class, See Advisor by Noon


April 25             Registration Opens for Degree-Seeking Students Last Enrolled in                                      Spring 2010, Summer 2010 or Fall 2010 semesters (all other students                              need to reapply for Admissions at


                          Commuter Outreach Program


April 22             University Closed; No Classes in Session

                           Deadline to Apply for Extended Stay May Housing


April 29             Last Day of Classes

                           Last Day for a Complete Semester Withdrawal

                           McMurran Scholars Reception


April 30             Summer Employment Applications Due


May 1                 Midnight Breakfast


May 2-6             Final Exams


May 2                 Good Morning Commuters

                            Deadline to Apply for Off-Campus Housing Eligibility for 2011-2012

                            Deadline to Submit Housing Withdrawal Form


May 6                  Residence Halls Close to all Non-Graduating Seniors at 6 p.m.


May 10                Grades Available on RAIL (tentative)


May 14                Commencement                         

                             Residence Halls Close to All Students at 6 p.m.




Thanks for reading and remember,


FASTPASS is now on Facebook.  Please go to  to become a fan!   We will use the site to communicate with you on a more regular basis.   And you can then join in the conversation as well!


Shepherd University | P.O. Box 5000 | Shepherdstown, WV | 25443-5000 | 304-876-5000 | 800-344-5231 | FAX 304-876-3101