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
Student advising offers an opportunity for faculty to help students determine a suitable
academic path and realize their educational and professional goals. In this partnership,
the faculty members have responsibilities to foster the understanding of critical
academic decision-making and choices. Students are expected to be proactively, cooperatively,
and responsibly engaged in charting their academic paths. Ultimately the student
is responsible for setting and meeting goals and published requirements. By emphasizing
the importance of student responsibility and planning, student advising will encourage
the exploration, discovery, acknowledgment and pursuits of academic options designed
to advance the total college experience of students.
Each new student is assigned a faculty advisor; for first-time students the advisor
is also the freshman seminar instructor. During the first semester, each new student
interacts with this advisor in 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 directed to do so if they change majors.
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 process to achieve quality and to
determine how well it realizes its institutional mission. As a part of a comprehensive
assessment program, the College also regularly evaluates each academic major and program.
Campus-wide assessment at Ferrum involves everyone – faculty, students, administrators,
and staff. Instruments and tools 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.
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.
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 $545 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.
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 via an online process
by the academic advisor. 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
via e-mail to: email@example.com. A student whose appeal is granted will
receive a grade of “W.”
In adding or dropping courses, students should:
- Determine the schedule adjustment through consultation with the faculty advisor.
Advisors can add or drop classes online using i-Assistant.
- 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.
- Students should verify the accuracy of their schedule on i-Assistant when any adjustments
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 financial aid recipients.
Students may 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 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 $545 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 Provost's Office and should consult
the Program Coordinator in their major.
Eligibility for internships, as stated in the Internship Program Handbook, includes:
- Successful completion of at least 24-semester hours of 300-400 level credits.
- 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.
- Written approval of the student’s internship contract by the Program Coordinator and
the appropriate School Dean.
- Internship Request Form must be signed and submitted to the Registrar’s Office.
- An internship may not be added after the last day to add classes each semester.
- 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
Senior - A student who has earned at least 88-semester credit hours but who has not
earned a bachelor’s degree.
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
of the major 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.
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
- 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 being found responsible
for 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
- W – Withdrawn when passing or failing without penalty (assigned only by the Academic
Standards Committee). Appeals to the Academic Standards Committee 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 under-prepared students 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 and
email notification sent to the Registrar's Office.
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 completed 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. The extension, if granted, will extend no longer than
the subsequent semester (work must be completed by the end of the spring semester
for fall incompletes and no later than the beginning of the fall semester for spring
incompletes). Summer incomplete extensions, if granted, will be completed no later
than the end of the fall semester. A student may not be permitted to enroll for credit
in any course that has the incomplete course as a stated prerequisite without permission
of the instructor.
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
Grade 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. 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
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 make it necessary to withdraw from the
college should do so officially to maintain good standing. The following are considered
extenuating circumstances: (i) prolonged illness; (ii) family emergency; or (iii)
documented unforeseen circumstances. 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 his or her 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
- 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 Dean of Admissions.
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 higher 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.
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 from instructors, advisors, or the ARC as soon as they experience problems
in class. The student and academic advisor, ARC and athletic coach (if student is
involved with the athletic program) receive an email copy of the Academic Alert.
Students must utilize the assistance of 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, the student and the advisor
will review the student’s academic record and complete the plan for meeting graduation
requirements. Both the student and the 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
- 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), ENG
433 (Small Group Communication), EPD 498 (Senior Project), HUM 333 (Intercultural
Conflict Mediation), SPA 302 (Advanced Speaking and Comprehension), THA 222 (Voice
and Diction), THA 346 (Readers Theatre), or any two courses identified as Speaking
Intensive with a grade of C or higher such as ENG 398 (Junior Seminar) and 498 (Senior
Seminar) or 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 201-212) 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 courses specifically designated as 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
- 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.
Standards of Satisfactory Academic Progress and Financial Aid Eligibility
All students at Ferrum College are expected to achieve satisfactory progress toward
a baccalaureate degree. Exhibiting such progress is necessary to remain in good standing
and to remain eligible to receive financial aid. For satisfactory progress to be
demonstrated, a full-time student must meet the following standards designed to set
minimum guidelines for advancement to the baccalaureate degree within a period of
time, 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 Grade Point Average (in chart below) based only
on course work at Ferrum.
Readmitted students who have taken courses at other institutions after leaving Ferrum
College will not be considered 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 Dean 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 students’
prior Ferrum College academic and citizenship records, in making this determination.
In order for satisfactory progress to be demonstrated, 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
at the end of all subsequent semesters. In addition, a part-time student who has
not passed 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 academic warning, academic probation, and academic
suspension (see next section). Students listed on consecutive semesters of academic
warning or any academic probation status will be considered on Financial Aid Probation
(see Financial Aid Policy) and will need to submit a letter of appeal to the Financial
Aid Appeals Committee 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 completing a total number of semesters
A student must have earned a total of ___ semester hours
With at least this cumulative G.P.A.
At the end of any semester, the first time a student fails to meet the published standards
(See chart above) and has passed at least six hours, he or she will be placed on academic
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, CSK 092,
and use the ARC and other appropriate campus resources. Students on warning who fail
to meet these requirements will have their names submitted to the Provost’s Office.
If a student does not meet the published standards for hours but does meet them for
GPA he/she 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. Placement on a second semester of academic warning will
also impact a student’s financial aid eligibility. See “Financial Aid Policies” in
the next section.”
Once a student has been on academic warning, if the student fails to meet the standards
of satisfactory academic progress (see chart) during any semester in the future, he
or she will be placed on academic probation.
A student on academic probation must comply with the program of study for students
on probation coordinated by the Academic Resources Center. This program requires students
on academic probation to register and attend a required College Skills course, CSK
096, and use the ARC and other appropriate campus resources. Students on academic
probation will review progress, assess problems, and plan their return to good standing
through enrollment in the required College Skills course. Placement on academic probation
will impact a student’s financial aid eligibility. See “Financial Aid Policies” in
the next section.
The Academic Resources Center will maintain records of Academic Alerts and students’
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 during the fall semester may participate in these activities
during the spring semester provided they have returned to good academic standing.
In addition, individual teams, clubs, and organizations may enforce stricter eligibility
standards than these minimum standards.
Students may continue on academic 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. Continuing on academic probation will impact a student’s financial
aid eligibility. See “Financial Aid Policies” in the next section.
At the end of a semester on academic probation or any semester in the future following
academic 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 2.0 semester grade point average on at least 12 earned hours
of 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
at Ferrum College, although he or she may enroll in any summer courses. Students seeking
readmission following academic suspension should show evidence of 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 mustbe 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 following directions provided in the student's letter of suspension. 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. Students who submit
an appeal to the Academic Standards Committee should also submit an appeal for review
of Financial Aid eligibility to the Financial Aid Appeals Committee (See Appeals Process
under Financial Aid Policies). Readmission to the College does not guarantee approval
of Financial Aid.
Financial Aid Policies
New Federal guidelines limit the use of federal financial aid when repeating courses.
The first time that a student repeats a passed course with a grade of “D” or higher
to improve Grade Point Average (GPA), it is permissible to use federal financial aid.
However, if the same course is repeated a second time, the course will not be counted
in the student’s total credit hours for the semester, possibly making the student
part-time and therefore losing full-time federal financial aid. Students may retake
failed courses with no reduction in federal financial aid.
Federal regulations prohibit the Financial Aid Office from awarding aid to any student
who is not making satisfactory academic progress. The satisfactory academic progress
policy applies to all sources of Title IV financial aid programs (including student
and PLUS loans) with the exception of the Virginia TAG grant and selected Ferrum
College entitlement grants which do not have an academic requirement for renewal.
Satisfactory Academic Progress will be reviewed at the end of each semester.
Financial Aid Warning: Financial Aid Warning occurs when a student is listed on academic
warning for the first time. The student is only eligible for one semester of Financial
Aid Warning. Students who are placed on their first semester of academic and financial
aid warning will retain their eligibility for financial aid for the next semester.
Financial Aid Probation: Financial Aid Probation occurs when a student is placed on
a 2nd semester of academic warning, academic probation or continuing academic probation,
or is readmitted to the College on academic probation. Students on financial aid probation
are considered ineligible for financial aid. Students may appeal their financial aid
probation status (see Appeals Process).
Student folders are reviewed each semester when final grades and academic standing
lists become available. For those students attending E-Term, those folders will be
reviewed after completion of E-Term coursework. The student’s name is checked against
the second warning, probation lists provided by the Office of the Registrar. If the
student is on second academic warning and academic probation, continuing academic
probation, or suspension, he/she is determined to be ineligible to receive financial
aid for the subsequent semester. A notification letter is sent to the student by the
Financial Aid Office regarding their financial aid status and right to appeal. If
the student later notifies us that he/she has been able to make up the deficiency
during the summer for the next fall semester, the reviewer will obtain updated academic
progress confirmation from the Office of the Registrar and mark the folder accordingly.
The student will then be reviewed for financial aid for the next semester.
Academic semesters are defined by the college’s Calendar Committee each year. Traditionally,
the fall semester begins in August/September and ends in December. The spring semester
begins in January and ends in April/May. The semester is comprised of 15 weeks as
required by law to award Title IV funds. Ferrum College is currently a credit hour
based institution with two traditional terms and one experiential term (E-Term) in
May that is at no additional tuition cost to the student for their first required
course. Payment periods are determined on a per year basis, unless the student has
notified the Financial Aid Office that his/her enrollment plans will be on a per semester
In order to demonstrate satisfactory academic progress, a student must earn a minimum
number of hours, earn a minimum GPA, and must complete a bachelor’s degree within
a maximum 150% of full-time study. The 150% requirement requires that a student may
not earn more credit hours than 150% of what is required for the degree program (i.e.,
if the student’s degree program requires 120 credit hours then 150% of 120 equals
180). This time frame may be appealed. Please review the Appeals Process under Financial
Aid Policies for additional information.
Students who do not meet satisfactory progress at the end of the spring semester may
be able to meet standards by attending summer school. The student should utilize the
Improve Academic Standing link on i-Assistant before registering for classes to receive
assistance with appropriate course selection. Students must abide by the recommendations
provided in the Improve Academic Standing Link in order to return to good academic
Students will be reviewed for compliance at the end of each semester. The Financial
Aid Policies apply to all students regardless of enrollment status.
Students not making Satisfactory Academic Progress and have lost their financial aid
eligibility have the right to appeal their financial aid status based on extraordinary
or extenuating circumstances. These appeals should be completed online through i-Assistant.
Extenuating circumstances include: death in the family, injury or illness of the
student or family member, documented disability, or other extenuating circumstances
not mentioned above. Students may also appeal the 150% requirement as discussed
above. The student will have met the 150% requirement if they have accumulated 180+
credit hours. The 150% limitation may be appealed due to extenuating circumstances.
To appeal, the 150% limitation, the student must submit a letter of appeal to the
Financial Aid Appeals Committee, C/O Financial Aid Office, P.O. Box 1000, Ferrum,
VA 24088 detailing why additional time is necessary to complete the degree and when
the student expects to complete his/her program of study.
Appeals MUST contain: Why the student failed to make Satisfactory Academic Progress;
and what the student will do, or what has changed in the student’s situation that
will allow him/her to demonstrate Satisfactory Academic Progress at the next evaluation.
Students will be notified by letter when a determination has been made by the Financial
Aid Appeals Committee.
Students are not guaranteed eligibility for financial aid through the appeals process.
Students who have failed to meet Satisfactory Academic Progress requirements and who
will require more than one semester to return to good standing may be eligible to
regain eligibility for financial aid by completing an academic plan. The student should
work closely with his/her advisor to develop an academic plan that will have the student
back in good academic standing within a specific time frame as designated in the approved
academic plan. Students will be required to utilize the “Improve Academic Standing”
link on i-Assistant. This tool will list the courses necessary to repeat, and project
the student's G.P.A. and hours needed to meet the Satisfactory Academic Progress standards.
Students may continue on academic probation with an approved plan only if they have
earned at least a 2.0 semester grade-point average on at least 12 earned hours of
completed coursework. The Financial Aid Office will receive electronic notification
of all approved academic plans.
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, FOCUS (a two-week pre-college
academic session), College Skills courses (CSK), 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 student 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.
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
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
according to scheduled hours to provide tutoring and help during the week and during
evening hours. The Center is located on the main floor of the Stanley Library near
the entrance off the Library/Schoolfield Patio.
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
Office of Academic Accessibility Services (OAAS)
Students who seek academic accommodations must submit current disability documentation
to the Director of Academic Accessibility Services (OAAS) to request the desired
accommodations. The Director’s office is located in the lower level of Stanley Library,
Office #110. The telephone number is 540-365-4262. Academic services are available
during the fall and spring academic semesters.
FOCUS: First Opportunity for College Undergraduate Success
FOCUS is a pre-college experience, that is held for two weeks in the summer during
which incoming freshmen can earn college credit. Students register for FER 105, Introduction
to College Living and Learning. Experiences are designed to facilitate academic
growth as students transition from high school to college. Students participate in
curricular and co-curricular activities that help develop skills and readiness for
college. FOCUS also helps students develop critical thinking skills, a sense of community,
and connection to the Ferrum College campus.
Connection Gateway – First Year Experience
The Connection 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.
The Connection Gateway includes: PAWS, Connection Weekend, and GWS 101, all explained
below. 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 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 are designed to enhance the honors student’s overall undergraduate experience,
including the general education program and study in the major and minor(s). The co-curricular
components help create a community within the program that builds friendships while
supporting curricular initiatives. Any student entering with a cumulative high school
G.P.A. of 3.5 or higher and a combined math/verbal SAT score of 1200 or higher is
eligible for honors program membership, and members are awarded scholarship at the
highest level of the Admissions/Financial Aid matrix. Students who do not meet eligibility
criteria upon entry but make the Dean’s List at Ferrum may apply for membership; 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.
Students who complete the Honors Program graduate with a special honors designation
on the diploma and are awarded the Boone Honors Medallion at Commencement. They will
have completed four special honors designated seminars in lieu of 12-hours of applicable
general education requirements and a capstone course taken during the junior or senior
year, currently listed as HON 435: Values and Vocation. Students must earn a grade
of “C” or higher and an overall G.P.A. of 3.2 or higher for these seminars, and must
also maintain a cumulative G.P.A. of 3.4 or higher throughout their program. Please
refer to Course Descriptions under the Honors (HON) course designation for a current
list of special honors courses and descriptions.
Additionally, honors students take 12 hours of honors-enriched courses. These honors-enriched
courses will be regularly taught courses, generally in the student’s major or minor,
in which honors students undertake individualized enrichment projects. The point of
honors-enriched coursework is to extend a topic, approach, or project so that honors
students gain an enhanced understanding of the area of study and have greater opportunity
for individualized research. 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.
Honors students also complete foreign language study through the intermediate level
and are required to undertake a Study Abroad experience; most students fulfill this
requirement through an e-term course (thus completing another general education requirement).
Scholarship funding of up to $3,000 is available for the honors student for the Study
Honors students get priority pre-registration, and resident honors students are offered
special housing options. Finally, Honors students also are regularly invited to participate
in a number of social and cultural outings to museums, lectures, and entertainment
venues, at no cost to them. Contact Dr. Lana Whited, Director of the Boone Honors
Program, for more information.
Ferrum College considers writing a vital academic process, a special mode of learning,
and one of the best available indicators 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.
- The faculty at Ferrum College realizes its responsibility for helping students 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
- 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.
- 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.
- The college also offers a Fundamentals of Writing course for students who need additional
preparation before entering the traditional freshman composition courses.
- 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/Study Away: Ferrum College students may elect to participate in a number
of study abroad opportunities, ranging from several weeks to a summer, a semester
or a full academic year. International study/travel short term programs are offered
regularly by members of the Ferrum faculty each May as part of our E-Term courses,
as well as at other times of the year. These programs have included, but have not
been limited to such destinations as Austria, Belize, England, Honduras, Ireland,
New Zealand, the Russian Federation and South Africa. We also have on-going exchange
programs with China Three Gorges University in Yichang City, China, Sejong University
in Seoul, South, Korea and the Pskov Pedagogical University in Pskov, Russia. In
addition, numerous approved study abroad providers, such as The Center for Cross Cultural
Study: Spanish Studies, have been popular with Ferrum students, offering additional
opportunities for long-term study in areas ranging from Asia to Europe to Central
and South America. Finally, a new initiative of the Methodist Church will support
international academic opportunities among Methodist Institutions world-wide, offering
exciting new study abroad possibilities. Students are invited to visit the Ferrum
College Office of International Programs for guidance in exploring study abroad.