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Frequently Asked Questions for the AAC

1. What is an Academic Change form?
2. Where can a student get academic help?
3. When is the ADD/DROP period?
4. Who is my advisor? How are advisors assigned? How do I change my advisor?
5. Is it possible for a student to challenge/or receive credit for a course by examination?
6. Where does a student go to change name/address and/or SS#?
7. What is a full-time student?
8. What is a part-time student?
9. What is the Academic Forgiveness Policy?
10. Is there a foreign language requirement at Shepherd University?
11. How does a student receive a grade of W (Withdraw)?
12. Under what circumstances would a student receive a grade of I (Incomplete)?
13. May a student take courses on a Pass/Fail basis and what is the process?

14. How does a student appeal a final grade?
15. When does a student apply for graduation?
16. What GPA is required to graduate?
17. How does a student change a major/minor or teaching field?
18. What is a CRN?
19. What is RAIL?
20. What is a PIN?
21. Can a student repeat a class (60-Hour Rule)?
22. Can a student take courses elsewhere after enrolling at Shepherd University?
23. Where does a student go to verify enrollment in university (for insurance, work, etc.)?
24. How is one class substituted for another one?

25. What is the difference between a Drop and a Withdrawal from a class?

1. What is an Academic Change form?
An Academic Change form is used to change and/or add the following: degree, major, teaching field, advisor, minor, or concentration. Back to the top

2. Where can a student get academic help?
The student should first go to the instructor. If additional help is needed, the student should go to the Academic Support Center located in the Howard N. Carper, Jr. Learning Commons in the Scarborough Library.  Students can request free tutoring services through the Academic Support Center at www.shepherd.edu/ascweb. Back to the top

3. When is the ADD/DROP period?
During the first five days of a regular semester or the first two days of each summer session, students are permitted to change their original schedule. The adding and dropping of classes will be permitted via RAIL during this time period. See posted signs for the designated area to process time conflicts and overrides.Back to the top

4. Who is my advisor? How are advisors assigned? How do I change my advisor?
You can find your advisor by checking in RAIL: Student, Student Records, View Student Information. Department Chairs are responsible for assigning all advisors. If a student wishes to change his/her advisor, the student should contact the Chair of the Department of his/her major. This change can take place anytime after the third week of a semester. The student must complete and return an Academic Change form available in the Office of the Registrar. Back to the top

5. Is it possible for a student to challenge/or receive credit for a course by examination?
The College Level Examination Program (CLEP) is a testing program for students who feel their experience and knowledge of a particular subject field are such that they could waive course credit through examination. Credit for a limited number of subjects is available through CLEP testing. For more information see the CLEP coordinator in the Career Development Center (located in Gardiner Hall). Individual departments may also have policies to allow students to receive credit for courses through an examination process. Contact the individual instructors or department chairs for more information. Back to the top

6. Where does a student go to change name/address and/or SS#?
A student wishing to change his/her name, address, and/or correct a SS# should complete a Personal Information Change form available in the Office of the Registrar, Ikenberry Hall. A sample of the Personal Information Change form can be found in Section VII (Beige pages) of this Handbook. Back to the top

7. What is a full-time student?
Shepherd University defines a full-time student as one taking 12 or more credit hours per fall/spring semester. A student taking 6 hours in one summer session is defined as full-time. Back to the top

8. What is a part-time student?
Shepherd University defines a part-time student as one taking 11 or fewer credit hours per fall/spring semester. A student taking fewer than 6 hours in one summer session is defined as part-time. Back to the top

9. What is the Academic Forgiveness Policy?
Any student who is returning to university with less than a 2.0 GPA and has not been enrolled as a full-time student during the past five years may apply for Academic Forgiveness after the student has earned 12 credit hours that apply toward graduation with a minimum GPA of 2.0. During the first semester of re-enrollment, a student desiring academic forgiveness must complete a written request form and submit it to the Office of the Registrar. Back to the top

10. Is there a foreign language requirement at Shepherd University?
Students in the B.A. program (not including education) are required to complete 12 hours in the same foreign language, except music students whose requirements must be approved by the chairs of the Music and English and Modern Language departments. Back to the top

11. How does a student receive a grade of W (Withdraw)?
A student receives a grade of W by withdrawing from any class after the first five days of class (Add/Drop period) through the Friday of the 12th week of classes. See the Academic Calendar for the specific date each semester. The form used to withdraw from a class is available from the Academic Advisor or Department Chair. The form must be signed by the Academic Advisor and the instructor of the dropped class and then turned into the Office of the Registrar by the deadline listed in the Academic Calendar. Back to the top

12. Under what circumstances would a student receive a grade of I (Incomplete)?
A grade of I may be given to a student who has completed the majority of requirements for the course but because of extenuating circumstances may be unable to complete all stated requirements of the course.  A student must communicate with the professor of the class for which the student wishes to request an Incomplete. If the professor is in agreement, the professor will submit the proper form to the Office of Registrar with the final grade roster containing the Incomplete grade. Students must submit work required to complete the course to the instructor at least ten days prior to the date that final grades are due for the following regular semester. (For example, fall semester incomplete work would be due prior to the end of the following spring semester.) When the work has been evaluated, the instructor must return all copies of the incomplete grade form to the Office of the Registrar with the new grade, no later than the date that final grades are due for the current semester. If the Incomplete grade is not made up according to schedule, it automatically becomes an F. When an incomplete grade is changed, the student’s grade point average is recomputed. Back to the top

13. May a student take courses on a Pass/Fail basis and what is the process?
Courses that are deemed general electives may be taken on a pass/fail basis. General Studies courses, required courses and electives in the major, or required courses and electives in the minor may NOT be taken for a pass/fail grade. Students must complete and return a Pass-Fail Option form to the Office of the Registrar by the dates listed in the Academic Calendar. A sample of the Pass Fail Option form can be found in Section VII (Beige pages) of this Handbook. Back to the top

14. How does a student appeal a final grade?
A student must offer convincing arguments that good cause exists for changing a grade. (See the Student Handbook for definitions of good cause.) As Step 1, the student should confer with the professor who gave the grade. If the professor decides the grade should not be changed, the student should proceed to Step 2, which is an appeal to the Department Chair. If necessary, the student should proceed to Step 3, which is an appeal to the appropriate Academic Dean, and finally to Step 4, an appeal to the Appeals Committee. See the Student Handbook for the procedures to follow in Steps 1-4. Back to the top

15. When does a student apply for graduation?
The student must apply for graduation at the beginning of his/her senior year. To do so, a student must pick up a graduation packet from the Registrar’s Office; this contains step-by-step procedures and deadlines.Back to the top

16. What GPA is required to graduate?
The GPA required for graduation is a 2.0 minimum in these areas: overall GPA (transfer work and Shepherd work), Shepherd University GPA, major field GPA, and minor field GPA. Higher minimums are required for some majors. Back to the top

17. How does a student change a major/minor or teaching field?
A student may change his/her major or teaching field(s) at any time he/she chooses, but the student should be aware that a change of major or teaching field may postpone the graduation date until all new requirements are met. The Academic Change form is available in the Office of the Registrar or the Chair of the Department in which the new major is located. Back to the top

18. What is a CRN?
CRN refers to course request number. This five-digit number is found at the far-left column of the Shepherd University Schedule of Classes. It is an identification number for each section of a course and required for RAIL or in-person registration. Back to the top

19. What is RAIL?
RAIL stands for Remote Access Information Line. RAIL provides web based services, enabling students to register online, add and drop classes during the Add/Drop period, access their class schedule, access final grades, access their financial aid information, and more. Back to the top

20. What is a PIN?
The login PIN stands for Personal Identification Number and is the student’s birthdate–unless previously changed. A student’s advisor during academic advisement provides an alternate pin after the student’s schedule has been approved. A student will not be able to register without a login PIN and an alternate PIN. Back to the top

21. Can a student repeat a class (60-Hour Rule)?
Yes. A student may repeat any Shepherd class in which he/she received a D, F or IF within the first 60 hours of coursework attempted prior to receiving a baccalaureate degree. The student’s grade point average shall be based on the subsequent grade, not the original grade of D or F. The original grade shall not be deleted from the student’s record. If the student repeats a course taken after 60 hours, both grades will remain on the transcript and count in the overall GPA. The original grade will not be deleted from the transcript. A student may not repeat a course or courses to improve a GPA where the original grade was a C or better. Back to the top

22. Can a student take courses elsewhere after enrolling at Shepherd University?
A student wishing to take course work at another institution after enrolling at Shepherd must obtain permission before enrolling at another institution for courses. The Permission/Approval To Take Courses At Another Institution form (more commonly known as the “Green form”) is available in the Office of the Registrar. When the appropriate signatures have been obtained, the form must be returned to the Office of the Registrar. Courses in a major or teaching field or courses failed or withdrawn from at Shepherd University may not be taken elsewhere. Please see the Shepherd University Catalog for more specific information regarding choice of courses. Current Shepherd University students enrolling at the Blue Ridge Community and Technical College in Martinsburg must also receive prior approval to register for courses at the Blue Ridge Community and Technical College in Martinsburg. For these students, the blue Consortium Registration form is used, rather than the “Green Form”. Note that consortium registration at the CTC will result in transfer hours on the student’s record. Those hours will be included in the 72-credit transfer limit from two-year colleges. Back to the top

23. Where does a student go to verify enrollment in university (for insurance, work, etc.)?
A student should go to the Office of the Registrar, Ikenberry Hall, and fill out an Enrollment Verification form (a printable certificate verifying official enrollment is available through RAIL beginning the third week of each semester). Back to the top

24. How is one class substituted for another one?
All substitutions required the completion of a Substitution/Waiver form signed by the Academic Advisor and Department Chair of the required course. Back to the top

25. What is the difference between a Drop and a Withdrawal from a class?
A Drop must be completed within the first five (5) days of classes and will not be reflected on the transcript.
A Withdrawal must be completed by the Friday of the 12th week of classes. See the Academic Calendar for specific dates. A grade of “W” will be reflected on the transcript. Back to the top

For additional FAQs, see http://www.shepherd.edu/advisement/faq.html