Academic Policies

Academic Policies

Graduation Requirements

Ferrum maintains a tradition of a comprehensive academic program built on a liberal arts base.  The college strives to provide education in a Christian context and to maximize students’ chances for success through a system of individual attention and positive reinforcement.  The curriculum includes opportunities for career preparation as well as self-development and the fulfillment of personal educational goals.

General Academic Policies

Regulations Governing Catalog

The catalog for the year in which a student enters Ferrum College is the governing document for requirements for graduation.  However, if the application of regulations in a later catalog would be to the student’s advantage, such regulations may be applied as long as all regulations are applicable to the same year's catalog.  Students must submit a new degree plan indicating the catalog change.

If a student leaves Ferrum College and enrolls as a full-time student in another institution or is dropped for academic or disciplinary deficiency and subsequently re-enrolls at Ferrum College, the governing catalog for the student will be that for the year of re-enrollment if a six year period has been exceeded. (Refer to the Admissions section of this catalog under “Admission for Former Ferrum Students” for additional clarification.)

Academic Advising

Academic advising is a cooperative effort by the advisor and the student to clarify the student’s educational and life goals and to develop plans to reach those goals.  Advising is an ongoing process that is the responsibility of both the student and the advisor.  While the student is ultimately responsible for setting and meeting goals and published requirements, the advisor provides assistance by helping the student work through the decision-making process and keeping track of the student’s academic progress.

Each new student is assigned a faculty advisor.  During the first semester, each new student interacts with this advisor in a series of meetings designed to help students become familiar with college policies and with various college resources, as well as helping them understand their own responsibility for academic planning and personal success.  Students are free to change their academic advisors at any time after the first semester and are encouraged to do so if their majors change.  The change of advisor form is available in the Academic Resource Center.

Pre-Law Advisor

Students considering the legal profession choose from a variety of appropriate majors. To supplement individual academic advising, the Pre-Law advisor coordinates the planning and implementation of a Pre-Law course of study and career options.

Campus-wide Assessment Program

Ferrum College maintains a continuing assessment effort to achieve high quality and to determine how well is realizes its institutional mission.  As a part of a comprehensive assessment program, the College also regularly evaluates each academic major.

Campus-wide assessment at Ferrum involves everyone – faculty, students, administrators, and staff.  A variety of instruments are used to gather evaluative information: course evaluations, standardized as well as campus-generated questionnaires, interviews, written essays and written performance evaluations are all used as components in a scheduled cycle of assessment activity.  Students and employees are expected to participate promptly and seriously in assessment activities as requested.

Class Attendance

College policy dictates that attendance is required at a minimum of three-fourths of all class meetings in order to receive credit in a course.  The instructor, in consultation with the School Dean or the Provost, may determine that unusual circumstances and the student’s work in the course justify the assignment of a grade other than “F.”  Unusual circumstances include extended illness or other emergencies, the student’s participation in college-sponsored activities, or some combination thereof.  The policy governing the remaining one quarter of class meetings is established by the individual professor and is recorded on the course syllabus.

The college expects consistent, punctual attendance in regularly scheduled classes.  There should, therefore, be no absences except those due to sickness or other emergencies, or those incurred in representing the college in an organized activity, such as athletic events or choir performances.  In these cases students must obtain written explanation of an absence from an appropriate source (sponsor, nurse, etc.), acceptable to the individual professor, in order to be excused for the absence.  Students assume the full responsibility for advising professors of their absences and for initiating the procedure for making up work missed.

In the case of absences in excess of the limit established in the class syllabus, instructors may adjust the course grade (in accordance with stated course policy) according to the number of absences, or the student may be advised to drop the course within the guidelines outlined in the current drop-add policy.

Course Loads

To be classified as “full-time” and to be eligible to occupy college housing and participate in intercollegiate athletics as well as other college-related activities, a student must register for a minimum of 12 hours of course work per semester.  The average course load is 16 hours per semester, and the maximum recommended course load is 19 hours per semester.  Students carrying more than 19 hours per semester must obtain the approval from the office of the Provost of the College.  Students who carry in excess of 19 semester hours will be assessed $500 per excess semester hour.
Students are considered “part-time” if they register for fewer than 12 semester hours of work.  Part-time students who are degree candidates should contact the Admissions Office and follow the regular admissions procedure.

Drop-Add Procedure

Students are allowed to add a course to their schedules or change sections of a course online with their academic advisor during the first week of each semester.  They may drop a course, without penalty, within four weeks (two weeks for half semester courses) of the beginning of each semester.  Courses dropped during the adjustment period are not entered on students’ academic records and may be dropped by the academic advisor online.  Between the fourth and tenth week (or the second and fifth week for half semester courses) courses dropped from a student’s schedule will be reflected by a WP or WF grade.  After the tenth week (fifth week for half semester courses), a student may not drop a class.  Failure to complete a class will result in a grade of “F”.  In cases of extenuating circumstances a student may appeal to the Academic Standards Committee to drop a single class after the tenth week.  All such appeals should be in writing and must satisfy one of the following criteria: (i) prolonged illness; (ii) family emergency; or (iii) documented unforeseen circumstances.  Appeals to the Academic Standards Committee must be made before the end of classes.  A student whose appeal is granted will receive a grade of “W”.

In adding or dropping courses, students should:

  1. Determine the schedule adjustment through consultation with the faculty advisor.  Advisors can add or drop classes online using I-Assistant.
  2. If a WP or WF grade is required, students should promptly discuss the grade and explain any extenuating circumstances with the professor prior to requesting that their Academic Advisor initiate the drop. The professor of the course will receive an email request to enter the appropriate grade.  The student, advisor, and professor will receive email confirmation of the grade that was recorded.
  3. Students should verify the accuracy of their schedule on I-Assistant when any adjustments are made.

Unless a course change has been made in this manner it does not have official standing and will not be recognized as valid by the college.  In such a case where the proper drop procedure is not followed, a grade of “F” will be recorded at the end of the semester.  A student whose status changes from full- to part-time as a result of classes dropped after the first week will not be eligible for any refund of tuition except as required by federal regulations for Title IV aid recipients.

Independent Study

Students may sometimes arrange to take a course by independent study when they need a course that is not being offered.  A student wishing to take a course by independent study must petition the appropriate School Dean and the Provost of the College for course approval by submitting the required independent study form available in the Provost’s Office.  Once all signatures are collected, forms and required documentation are to be submitted to the office of the Provost for approval.  Formal approval for any independent study course must be granted by the end of the add period of the semester in which the course is taken.  No more than twelve credit hours of independent study courses may apply toward a bachelor’s degree.  An independent study should normally be completed in the semester in which it is approved.  After an independent study has been approved, the student will be charged $500 per credit hour in addition to tuition.


Many majors offer an internship, normally worth three to nine semester hours of credit.  The internship usually consists of a carefully supervised work experience in an area related to the student’s major field of study.  Typically, this experience takes place over the period of a summer or one semester in the student’s junior or senior year.  Internships may be offered on a pass/fail basis at the discretion of each appropriate School Dean.  This decision will be made and posted well in advance of class registration.

All students participating in an internship are expected to provide their own transportation as well as assume responsibility for other expenses incurred while in the field. Students interested in establishing an internship should consult department guidelines and the Internship Program Handbook published by the Office of the Vice President and Provost of the College, and should consult the faculty coordinator in their major.

Eligibility for internships, as stated in the Internship Program Handbook includes:

  1. Successful completion of at least 24 semester hours of 300-400 level credits.
  2. Achievement of a minimum grade point average of 2.0 on all course work attempted at Ferrum and a 2.0 on all course work in the major.
  3. Written approval of the student’s internship contract by the Program Coordinator and the appropriate School Dean.
  4. Internship Request Form must be signed and submitted to the Registrar’s Office.
  5. An internship may not be added after the last day to add classes each semester.
  6. The complete list of procedures and requirements can be viewed in the Internship Handbook.


Student Classification by Credit Hours

Freshman – A student who has been admitted to the college and has earned fewer than 24 semester credit hours.
Sophomore – A student who has earned at least 24 semester credit hours but fewer than 56 credit hours.
Junior - A student who has earned at least 56 semester credit hours but fewer than 88 credit hours.
Senior - A student who has earned at least 88 semester credit hours but who has not earned a bachelor’s degree.

Transfer Credit

Ferrum College will accept transfer credit (including distance education classes) from other regionally accredited institutions; however, degree recipients must complete at least 32 of their last 64 credit hours at Ferrum College.  All degree candidates must complete at least 121 hours of coursework, of which 30 hours must be at the 300-level, with at least a 2.0 cumulative grade-point average within their academic major.  At least 50 percent of the hours required for a major and minor(s) must be completed at Ferrum. This requirement may be waived at the discretion of the program coordinator in association with the School Dean.  Transfer students are required to meet the Liberal Arts Core requirements, including writing intensive, speaking intensive, experiential component requirements, and experiential term (E-Term) requirements, as outlined in the catalog.

Grading System

Grade-point averages are determined by dividing the total quality points earned by the number of semester hours of attempted course work.  A semester hour is the value of one class hour per week throughout a semester.  Ferrum uses the following grading scale:

  • A – Excellent, 90-100 – 4.0 quality points per semester hour.
  • B – Good, 80-89 – 3.0 quality points per semester hour.
  • C – Average, 70-79 – 2.0 quality points per semester hour.
  • D – Passing, 60-69 – 1.0 quality points per semester hour.
  • F – Failing, below 60 – 0 quality points. 
  • FF-A Penalty F may be given only by the Honor Board as a result of conviction of an Honor Code violation.  While the course may be repeated, the F will always be computed in the G.P.A.  This F will be recorded on the transcript as FF.  The Honor Board is responsible for notifying the Registrar’s Office if there is a violation that warrants a penalty of FF.
  • I – In special cases, such as a lengthy illness, the student (with the permission of the instructor) may petition the Academic Standards Committee before the end of the seven weeks to extend the period of completion.  The “I” will convert to an “F” unless a petition to extend the completion time is granted by the Academic Standards Committee.
  • W – Withdrawn when passing or failing without penalty (assigned only by the Academic Standards Committee).  Appeals to Academic Standards must be made prior to the end of classes.
  • WF – Withdrawn when failing; computed into the grade point average as an “F”.
  • WP – Withdrawn when passing; not computed into the grade point average.
  • R – Repeat; a non-credit, no penalty grade which may be awarded only in English 101 and Math 100.  The grade is intended for students with weak backgrounds in English or mathematics who work diligently and show potential but do not attain sufficient skill to proceed in the sequence.  To do so, students must first repeat the course.
  • P/F – Pass/Fail; the courses in which students may earn a “pass/fail” grade must be designated by the offering department.  Such courses are included in the computation of the student’s course load and total hours earned; however, no quality points are assigned for “P” grades.  A failure of a “pass/fail” is considered as an “F” and does affect the student’s grade point average.
  • AU – Audit; a non-credit course grade designation elected by the student within the first week’s add period.  The audited credits count as hours carried and are subject to fee assessment.  Approval to audit a class must be granted by the instructor.


An incomplete (“I”) for a course will be granted only in cases of prolonged illness, family emergency, or some other documented unforeseen circumstance that prevents the student from completing the course requirement on time.  A student who wishes to receive an “I” may make a request with the instructor of the course to initiate the process.  This must be done before final grades are due in the Registrar’s Office. 

The instructor will determine the appropriate amount of time necessary for completion of the work.  However, the incomplete work must be made up within seven weeks after the end of the semester in which the “I” is given.  In special cases, such as a lengthy illness, the student, with the consent of the instructor, may petition the Academic Standards Committee before the end of the seven weeks to extend the period of completion.

Upon completion of the course work, the “I” will be replaced with a final grade.  If the course is not completed by the end of the seven weeks, the “I” will be converted into an “F” grade unless a petition to extend the completion time is granted by the Academic Standards Committee.  A student may not be permitted to enroll for credit in any course that has the course as a stated prerequisite without permission of the instructor.

Grade Reporting

Grades may be viewed on the student’s I-Assistant immediately after the grades are entered by the professor and transcripts may be requested by using the “Transcript Request” link on i-Assistant.

Grade Review Process

Reviews involving evaluation or credit in a course should be directed to the faculty member who taught the course.  In cases where the student feels the problem has not been resolved, he or she may speak to the appropriate School Dean and, finally, to the Provost of the College.  Except in unusual circumstances, a student must seek review in writing within six (6) weeks after the grade is given.  However, after consultation with the appropriate School Dean and the Provost, the final authority for establishing a grade and awarding credit lies with the faculty member.

Graduating with Honors

To graduate with honors, a student must achieve the following grade point averages based on all credit work attempted:

  • Summa Cum Laude – 3.8
  • Magna Cum Laude – 3.6
  • Cum Laude – 3.4

Dean’s List

The Dean’s List of students whose grade-point average is at least 3.4 out of a possible 4.0 is confirmed at the end of the fall and spring semesters.  A student must be full-time to qualify for the Dean’s List.

Withdrawal from College

Students with extenuating circumstances that meet the following criteria: (i) prolonged illness; (ii) family emergency; or (iii) documented unforeseen circumstances; finding it necessary to withdraw from the college should do so officially to maintain good standing.  They should obtain an official withdrawal form from the Registrar’s Office to initiate withdrawal procedures.  It is the responsibility of the student to complete the Withdrawal Form and acquire signatures from staff in the following offices:  Student Affairs, Student Accounts, Financial Aid, Academic Advisor, Student Employment, Post Office, Residence Education, and Food Services.  The student should officially drop their classes with their academic advisor if withdrawing before the tenth week of classes.  Withdrawing students must turn in their identification cards, residence hall or apartment keys, post office box key, and clear any charges on their student account, at the time of the exit interview.  Failure to complete formal withdrawal procedures will result in grades of “F” for courses in which students were registered that term and in general, cannot be appealed to Academic Standards.  The form with all acquired signatures must be submitted to the Registrar’s Office.

  • Official withdrawals within the first four weeks of the semester will result in the deletion of courses from a student’s permanent record.
  • Official withdrawals between the fourth and tenth week will result in grades of “WP” or “WF” as granted by each faculty member.
  • Withdrawals after the tenth week will result in grades of “F” regardless of academic performance.
  • A student with extenuating circumstances may appeal to the Academic Standards Committee for grades of “W” prior to the last day of classes.

Involuntary withdrawals will be administered by the Office of Student Affairs. (Refer to the Student Handbook for guidelines and processes related to involuntary medical withdrawals.)  In order for the College to consider granting a voluntary medical withdrawal, the student must provide evidence, supported and documented by a physician, of a serious, personal medical issue.  Any refund for which withdrawing students are eligible will be based upon the date of the official withdrawal.  Students who withdraw early may be subject to a refund of Title IV aid programs (Stafford loan, PLUS loan, Pell grant, SEOG, and Perkins loans).  All withdrawals (except those for which the Academic Standards Committee has granted grades of “W” following an appeal) will be subject to the Standards of Satisfactory Academic Progress and Financial Aid Eligibility chart. Students that withdraw from Ferrum may seek readmission by writing the Director of Admissions.

Standards of Satisfactory Academic Progress and Financial Aid Eligibility

All students at Ferrum College are expected to achieve regular progress toward a baccalaureate degree.  Exhibiting such progress is necessary to remain in good standing and to remain eligible to receive financial aid.  In order to be making satisfactory progress, a full-time student must meet the following standards which are designed to set minimum guidelines for advancement to the baccalaureate degree within a period of up to five years.  For purposes of this policy, students will be considered full-time for the semester if their class load is at least twelve credit hours at the end of the add period.

The status of transfer students will be determined based on the number of transferable hours they bring to Ferrum College upon entry.  For example, a student who enters Ferrum with 30-41 transferable hours will be considered to have completed three semesters; consequently, his or her first Ferrum semester will be considered the fourth, and he or she must meet the appropriate G.P.A. based only on course work at Ferrum.

Readmitted students who have taken courses at other institutions after leaving Ferrum College will not be treated as transfer students for the purpose of determining satisfactory academic progress; rather, readmitted students will be evaluated individually by the Office of the Registrar in consultation with the Director of Admissions to determine their readmission status (good standing, academic warning, or academic probation).  Transfer grades and hours completed will be taken into consideration, as will the student’s prior Ferrum College academic and citizenship record, in making this determination.

In order to be making satisfactory progress, a part-time degree-seeking student must complete 75% of all hours attempted and maintain the minimum cumulative grade point average specified on the following chart based on cumulative hours earned.  A student who is part-time during any regular semester will be evaluated by this standard in all subsequent semesters.  In addition, a part-time student who does not pass at least half of the hours attempted in any single semester will be placed on academic suspension.
Students meeting these standards will be considered in good standing.  Academic penalties for not meeting these standards are presented in the following sections on academic warning, academic probation, and academic suspension.  Students listed on consecutive semesters of academic probation will need to submit a letter of appeal to the Financial Aid office for review of financial aid eligibility.

Official student records are maintained in the Office of the Registrar.  The student should contact this office for any question regarding academic status.

After this many semesters 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
A student must have earned this many semester hours 9 19 30 42 55 68 81 94 107 121
With at least this cumulative G.P.A. 1.40 1.60 1.80 1.90 2.00 2.00 2.00 2.00 2.00 2.00


Academic Warning

At the end of any semester, the first time a student fails to meet the published standards (See chart) and has passed at least six hours, he or she will be placed on academic warning.

A student on academic warning must comply with the program of study for students on warning coordinated by the Academic Resources Center.  This program requires students on academic warning to register and attend a required College Skills course and use the ARC and other appropriate campus resources.  Students on warning who fail to meet these requirements will have their name submitted to Provost’s Office.  If a student does not meet the published standards for hours but does meet them for GPA they may be placed on a second academic warning for one and only one additional semester.  Furthermore, a student who has been on Academic Warning and again the subsequent semester fails to meet the guidelines for satisfactory academic progress, but has at least a 2.0 semester grade-point average on at least 12 earned hours of completed coursework during the semester, will be placed on academic warning for one and only one additional semester.

Academic Probation

Once a student has been on academic warning, if a student fails to meet the standards of satisfactory academic progress (see chart) of any semester in the future, he or she will be placed on academic probation.

A student on academic probation will meet with an Academic Support Counselor each week of the semester in which they are on academic probation to review progress, assess problems, and plan their return to good academic standing through enrollment in the required College Skills course.

The Academic Resources Center will maintain records of academic alerts and use of services in the ARC.  Eligibility for participation in co-curricular activities is determined annually, at the beginning of each fall semester.  Students on academic probation are ineligible to participate in the following co-curricular activities:

  • - Intercollegiate and club sports
  • - Touring performance groups
  • - Student Government Association (officers)
  • - Clubs and class organizations (officers)
  • - Art shows and major drama (productions unless required for satisfaction of course requirement)
  • - Student media organizations (editors and managers) (unless required for satisfaction of course requirement)

Students on academic probation the fall semester may participate in these activities during the spring semester provided they have returned to good academic standing by that time. In addition, individual teams, clubs, and organizations may enforce stricter eligibility standards than these minimum standards.

Students may continue on probation for a subsequent semester only if they have earned at least a 2.0 semester grade-point average on at least 12 earned hours of completed coursework, even though they do not meet the guidelines of satisfactory academic progress.

Academic Suspension

At the end of a semester on academic probation or any semester in the future following probation, if a student fails to meet the standards (see chart) of satisfactory academic progress, he or she will be placed on academic suspension.  However, if the student has at least a 2.000 semester grade point average on at least 12 earned hours of completed course work during the most recent semester, he or she will not be suspended, but will remain on academic probation until he or she meets the published standards.  Regardless, any full-time student who does not earn at least six-credit-hours (this includes all institutional credit hours and hours to which the “R” grade has been assigned) in a semester will be placed on academic suspension at the end of that semester.

A student on academic suspension may not be enrolled during the next regular semester, although he or she may enroll in any summer courses.  Students seeking readmission following academic suspension should show evidence of currently being able to do acceptable college work.  This is normally accomplished by successful course work earned at another accredited institution.  A student suspended at the end of the spring semester may seek readmission on the basis of work completed during the summer at Ferrum or at another institution.  Students are strongly advised to access the "Improve Academic Standing" link available on i-Assistant for important guidance.  Approval of transferability must be obtained prior to enrolling in a course at another institution from the Office of the Registrar at Ferrum College if there is not a community college equivalent on the computer generated pre-approval form.  An official transcript must be sent to the Office of the Registrar.

Enrollment at Ferrum College obligates the student to pursue actively the earning of College credit.  Students who are absent excessively or refuse to complete assigned course work may be subject to suspension at any time.
All appeals of academic suspension must be made in writing to the Academic Standards Committee.  No student may return to the college either part-time or full-time without following the appeals procedure outlined in his or her suspension letter.

Eligibility for Financial Aid

Students who are not making satisfactory academic progress are not eligible to receive financial aid.  Satisfactory academic progress guidelines for full-time students are listed in this section of the Ferrum College catalog.  Financial aid recipients’ files are reviewed prior to the beginning of each academic year.  Full-time students who are on academic suspension for the fall semester may not be eligible to receive financial aid during that academic year.  Students found to be making satisfactory academic progress prior to the beginning of the subsequent academic year will automatically regain their financial aid eligibility.  Part-time students should contact the Financial Aid Office for information concerning progress requirements for less than full-time students.  Appeals for financial aid eligibility based on such extraordinary or extenuating circumstances as severe illness or the death of an immediate family member should be submitted in writing to the Director of Financial Aid.  Any suspended student who has been readmitted must write an appeal to the Director of Financial Aid to have their eligibility for financial aid renewed.  This applies to all readmitted students who were previously suspended.  A complete policy description of financial aid eligibility is available in the Financial Aid Office.

Repeating Courses

For the purpose of improving their overall academic average, students are permitted and encouraged to repeat courses in which they have grades of “D” or “F.”  Students are encouraged to use the “Improve Academic Standing” link on i-Assistant.  Although only the better grade obtained in a repeated course is included in a student’s grade-point average, it should be noted for transfer purposes that other institutions may consider total hours attempted in calculating the G.P.A.  A Penalty “F” (See Grading System) may be repeated, but the “F” is still computed in the grade-point average.

Academic Alerts

Faculty members are encouraged to notify the Academic Resources Center of students who are not performing satisfactorily (e.g., poor attendance, assignments not turned in, daily grades).  Such notification is accomplished through an online form known as an Academic Alert notice.  Students are expected to review their progress and to seek help through instructors, advisors, or the ARC, as soon as they experience problems in class.  The student and academic advisor, ARC and coach (if student is involved with the athletic program) receive an email copy of the Academic Alert.

Graduation Requirements

Students must utilize the assistance of their faculty advisors in the formulation of an acceptable course of study leading to a degree and should review their progress frequently to be sure they are in compliance with all degree requirements.  Prior to registration all students with Junior or higher status are required to complete a graduation check with their advisor.  Utilizing a Graduation Checklist Form, student and advisor will review the student’s academic record and complete the plan for meeting graduation requirements.  Both student and advisor will sign the plan.  Completed forms must be submitted to the Registrar’s Office for approval.

To graduate, a student must:

  • - have completed a diploma order form with the Registrar the September of the Fall Semester prior to May graduation.
  • - successfully complete 121 semester hours, with 30 of these hours at the 300-400 level, maintaining a grade-point average of at least 2.0 for hours earned at Ferrum.  Students must also maintain a 2.0 grade point average within their academic major.
  • - meet the appropriate Liberal Arts Core requirements and major/minor requirements (including Degree Specific Requirements, Experiential Component, and pass one Experiential Term (E-Term)).
  • - satisfy the Speaking Intensive requirement in order to demonstrate the ability to access, analyze, synthesize, and share ideas and information through oral presentation. This requirement can be fulfilled by completion of COM 201 (Public Speaking), THA 222 (Voice and Diction), ENG 433 (Small Group Communication), HUM 333 (Intercultural Conflict Mediation), EPD 498 (Senior Project) or any two courses identified as Speaking Intensive with a grade of C or higher such as NSM 307 (Junior Seminar) and NSM 498 (Senior Presentation).
  • - satisfy the Writing Intensive requirement in order to demonstrate the ability to access, analyze, synthesize, and share ideas and information by writing.  This requirement can be met by completing six hours of courses identified as Writing Intensive with a grade of C or higher. Completing English 102 with a grade of C or higher is a prerequisite for any Writing Intensive course. Students who have completed one sophomore literature course to meet the distribution requirement (English 201-211, excluding ENG 208) may take a second sophomore literature course at Ferrum College to meet three hours of Writing Intensive requirement. At least three hours of Writing Intensive courses must be at the 300-400 level.  All courses used to satisfy the Writing Intensive requirement must be taken at Ferrum College.  Students who wish to transfer in courses specifically designated writing-intensive at other institutions may appeal to the Dean of the School of Arts and Humanities.
  • - be enrolled for at least one academic year or its equivalent at Ferrum.
  • - have completed at least 50 percent of total hours required for a major at Ferrum.  This requirement may be waived at the discretion of the Program Coordinator in association with the School Dean.
  • - have completed at least 50 percent of total hours required for a minor at Ferrum.  This requirement may be waived at the discretion of the Program Coordinator in association with the School Dean.
  • - complete the last semester of academic work at Ferrum College.  A student may transfer a maximum of nine semester hours of work to Ferrum to complete the requirements for graduation.  More than nine hours must have the approval of the Academic Standards Committee.
  • - clear all financial obligations to the college.
  • - be approved for graduation by formal vote of the faculty.

To participate in graduation exercises as a summer candidate, a student may not fall short of the required minimum of 121 credit hours by more than one course or an internship, must have attained at least a 2.0 cumulative and major grade point averages, and must have submitted proof of summer registration with the Registrar to complete the work prior to the beginning of the next fall term.  Unless excused by the Provost of the College, all degree candidates must participate in graduation exercises.  Students requesting to be excused must submit a letter to the Provost.

Academic Support Services

Academic Resources Center

The Academic Resources Center provides academic assistance for the entire student body.  It is located on the ground level of Stanley Library.  The various components of the ARC include the academic success curriculum; August Term, College Skills courses (CSK), and the Peer Assisted Learning Program, individual tutoring and special study sessions.  Tutoring services are available Sunday-Thursday between 5 p.m. and 10 p.m. providing free tutoring for all students in content courses.

Peer Assisted Learning (PAL)

Peer tutors are assigned to primarily, but not limited to, introductory level courses.  The PAL facilitator attends each class and establishes a schedule for study sessions twice a week, as well as extra sessions prior to major tests.  Students may also schedule one-on-one sessions with the PAL assigned to their class.  A schedule of classes and study sessions can be found on the ARC website, posted around campus and in the ARC.

Writing Center

Staffed by English faculty, the Writing Center is available to all students who seek to improve their writing skills in connection with any course on campus. Students at all levels of ability are encouraged to visit the Writing Center for individual assistance at any stage of a writing project, from brainstorming and planning to researching, drafting, and revising.  Located on the main floor of the Stanley Library, the Writing Center is open for drop-in visits on a regular schedule of both day and evening hours during the academic semesters.  There is no charge to the student for this tutorial service.

Mathematics Center

The Mathematics Center provides assistance to students for any level of math and math related courses offered at Ferrum College, including homework, test preparation and projects in upper level math or math related courses.  Math faculty are available to provide tutoring and help during the week and some evening hours.  The center is located on the main floor of the Stanley Library near the Franklin Hall entrance for easy access. 

Information Services Help Desk and Computer Labs

The Information Services Help Desk in the lower level of Stanley Library is open 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m., Monday-Friday when the College is in session.  Information Services staff and student assistants can provide assistance with basic hardware and software questions and troubleshooting.  These services are available at no charge to students.

There are Computer Labs in Beckham Hall, Garber Hall, and the Stanley Library Learning Annex.  When not used for scheduled classes, the Beckham and Stanley Library computer labs are open to students. The labs are staffed by student assistants Sunday through Thursday evenings when the College is in session.  Additionally, a limited number of laptop computers are available for short-term checkout to students from the Stanley Library.

Office of Disability Services (Academic)

Students who seek academic accommodations must submit current disability documentation to the Director of Disability Services (Academic) and request the desired accommodations.  The director’s office is located in the ARC, and the telephone extension is 4273.  Academic services are available during the fall and spring academic semesters.

August Term

The Academic Resources Center offers a two-week summer program in which incoming freshmen can earn two elective credits.  This program is designed to facilitate academic, social, and personal growth as well as to ease the transition from high school to college.  During this term, students devote class time to intensive work in math, composition, computer use, and active learning all of which are designed to help prepare the student for the first semester of college.  Students participate in curricular and co-curricular activities which help them better understand the college environment, adjust to living on a college campus, and develop critical thinking skills and a sense of community.

Gateway – First Year Experience

The Gateway – First Year Experience Program addresses issues and concerns shared by new Ferrum students and introduces them to the responsibilities and privileges of living and learning in an academic community.  The program is designed to help students adjust to Ferrum College, develop a better understanding of learning processes, acquire academic and social skills crucial to personal and professional success, and take advantage of the campus resources available to them.

New students, both freshmen and transfers, and their parents or guardians are introduced to the campus during a Panther PAWS (Pre-Registration Assessment Workshop in the Summer).  When students come to campus in August, they participate in Connection Weekend, a three-day orientation to college life.

Freshmen take GWS 101, a two-hour, two-credit course that helps students begin their college experience with an integrating, grounding academic experience and to achieve familiarity with campus resources and college policies.

Boone Honors Program

The Boone Honors Program has both curricular and co-curricular components.  The curricular components enhance experiences in a student’s major and minor(s), while stimulating the student’s general education experience at Ferrum.  The co-curricular components help to create a community within the program that builds friendships while supporting curricular initiatives and enhancing the honors student’s undergraduate experience.  The Honors Committee will consider for acceptance into the honors program any student who enters college with a 3.4 high school G.P.A. and 1000 SAT scores or who is on the Dean’s List at Ferrum College.  The program awards a scholarship to any student who enters college with a 3.4 high school G.P.A and 1100 SAT scores.  Such students should contact the honors director or the admissions office for a more complete description of the honors program and procedures for entering it.

Briefly, students who complete the honors program graduate with a special honors designation on the diploma and are awarded the Boone Honors Medallion at Commencement Ceremonies.  They will have completed four special honors designated seminars in lieu of 12 hours of general education courses as well as a three credit capstone course; students must earn a grade of C or higher and an overall 3.2 G.P.A. for these courses.  Additionally, honors students complete six hours of foreign language study and take 12 hours of honors-enriched courses.  These honors-enriched courses will be regularly taught courses enrolling honors students and other students taking the course for existing credit.  The point of honors-enriched coursework is to extend a topic, approach, or project so that honors students gain a deeper understanding of the area of study.  Students have the option of undertaking an honors thesis project to satisfy up to six hours of the honors enrichment requirement, depending on the scope of the project.  Students will also be required to complete a capstone course taken during the junior or senior year, currently listed as HON 435: Values and Vocation.  They will have the opportunity to participate in a number of social and cultural activities for honors students only.  They will have maintained a cumulative G.P.A. of 3.4.  Please refer to Course Descriptions under the Honors (HON) course designation for a current list of special honors courses and descriptions.  Contact Dr. Lana Whited, Director of the Boone Honors Program, for more information.

Writing Program

Ferrum College considers writing a vital academic process, a special mode of learning, and one of the best available reflections of a student’s ability to think.  The faculty, therefore, expects students to show increasing skill in stating logical, unified ideas, developing concepts, organizing appropriate formats, and using language both correctly and effectively.  To attain this goal, the faculty expects that the regular instructional program of the college will teach writing skills throughout the student’s four-year program of study.

  1. The faculty at Ferrum College realizes its responsibility for helping students to become competent writers.  All faculty members are encouraged to require at least one significant and appropriate writing assignment in each of their classes.  These assignments may vary greatly depending on the nature of the discipline and the structure of the course.  These written assignments will be evaluated for the elements of good writing as well as content.
  2. All students must complete one full year of freshman composition, one course in sophomore literature, and the college Writing Intensive requirement.  The faculty expects that these courses will develop the fundamentals by which all students’ writing skills will improve during the junior and senior years.
  3. The college provides the Writing Center as a tutorial service for students.  Faculty may refer students to the center, or students may go on their own.  The Writing Center provides individual tutoring in writing and assistance with individual papers.
  4. The college also offers a Fundamentals of Writing course for students who need additional preparation before entering the traditional freshman composition courses.
  5. Individual departments may establish additional writing elements for their classes.

International and Intercultural Learning Opportunities

Ferrum students are provided multiple opportunities to learn about various domestic and international cultures.  A few examples are provided below:

- The Appalachian Cluster: The Appalachian Cluster examines modernization in Appalachia from several different points of view – English, sociology, and science.  All participants take three classes together so that students and faculty form a unique learning community.  Classes involved are SOC 101 (Introduction to Sociology), ESC 110 (Introduction to Environmental Issues), and ENG 102 (Composition and Research II).  Students who have already received credit for ENG 102 may obtain credit for ENG 207 instead.  Any one of these courses can be honors-enriched by students in the Boone Honors Program.  While participants learn a great deal about Appalachia, the focus of instruction is general education, teaching basic concepts of science, sociology, and English, using Appalachia as a tool for getting there.  The region is close at hand and rich in opportunity.  So participants do site visits to locations under study, learning fundamentals of critical thinking through original research.

- Study Abroad:  Students may participate in a variety of international study opportunities.  A semester of full-time study in London, England may be arranged for students making satisfactory academic progress.  Courses are taught by American and British faculty at Imperial College of the University of London.  This program is available to students at a cost that is comparable to fees charged for full-time study on campus.  This affordable international study experience is possible through Ferrum’s participation in The Private College Consortium for International Studies.  The program is designed so that students take classes that, in most instances, will satisfy general education and major requirements in addition to earning credit hours toward graduation.  Students of Russian may qualify for internship or study opportunities in Pskov, Russia through an ongoing exchange program established by the Roanoke, Virginia/Pskov, Russia Sister City Organization. In addition to these programs, students at Ferrum College may work with the college’s Office of International Programs to find study abroad and internship opportunities in many other areas, ranging from Asia to Europe to South America. Finally, short-term study/travel tours to a variety of destinations are frequently organized and led by members of the Ferrum College faculty.