Academic advising is an important part of Plymouth State University’s commitment to the process of educating the student. “Advising assists students to realize the maximum educational benefits available to them by helping them to better understand themselves and to learn to use the resources of the institution to meet their special educational needs.” Crockett The foundation of the advising process is the relationship between the advisor and the student. In this process, the advisor helps students to review, select, and reach their educational objectives in a professional, helpful, and mutually respectful atmosphere that allows students to:
- become well informed about policies and procedures, curricular options and academic program requirements;
- clearly define their educational objectives;
- plan programs which incorporate their interests, abilities and careers goals; and
- make full use of the facilities and resources available at Plymouth State.
Plymouth State University is committed to providing quality advising services to students in all academic programs. However, attaining this goal requires that both advisors and students understand their respective roles in the advising process. Plymouth State University believes in the developmental approach to academic advising. This means that our faculty and staff go beyond outlining courses you need to take and registration. We adhere to a person-centered approach that integrates these activities, while also clarifying values, providing information about educational options and monitoring your educational progress. The main goal is to establish a personal and caring relationship between you and your advisor, providing the personal touch that you need in order to adjust and succeed. Academic advising is the best source for accomplishing the task of focusing on services that enable you to clarify your educational and career goals and relate those goals to academic offerings. Your advisor is key to this process.
What is the purpose of my Success Coach and/or academic advisor? You will be assigned a Success Coach and/or an academic advisor when you are accepted to Plymouth State University. You can find out who your advisor is by logging into your myPlymouth under academic information. You and your advisor should get to know each other. Call, e-mail and/or stop by your advisor’s office frequently. Your advisor will assist you in mapping out your semester schedule as well as creating your “Four-year plan.” In addition, you and your advisor will discuss your major, career and life goals.
Student Advising Responsibilities
- Recognize personal responsibility for continuous evaluation of progress toward the objectives set by the University and the ultimate responsibility for all academic choices.
- Formulate social and academic goals in order to optimize life and career choices.
- Become acquainted with the resources at PSU that can increase the likelihood of academic success and help with definition of long-term goals. These include The Bagley Center, Plymouth Academic Support Services (PASS), Office of Undergraduate Studies, the Undergraduate Advising Center, the Writing Center, the Math Activities Center, and the academic advisor.
- Become familiar with academic policies, procedures, and requirements by studying the Academic Catalog and the Student Handbook .
- Know the graduation requirements for the chosen program in order to monitor progress toward completion of the degree.
- Maintain accurate and current academic records, such as add/drop transactions, transfer credit evaluations, student request copies, and correspondence from beginning to completion of the degree program.
- Initiate regular contact with the advisor.
- Prepare in advance for every meeting with the academic advisor and bring to each meeting the necessary supporting materials such as tentative schedules.
- Follow through on the evaluation of transfer credit from other colleges and universities to assure that transfer credit is applied correctly to PSU degree requirements and on the students’ PSU transcript.
When do I have to declare my major?
Students are required to declare an academic major no later than the semester they are completing 60 credits. Students who fail to declare a major after completing 60 credits are not eligible to register for any subsequent semester until a major is declared. Transfer students with 60 or more credits must declare a major by the end of their first full-time semester.
How many credits do I have to be enrolled in to be full-time?
You must be enrolled in a minimum of 12 credits to qualify as a full-time student for insurance, some financial aid, and athletic purposes. Discuss this with your advisor, Bursar and Financial Aid Offices if you want to drop coursework that will then bring your credit load below full-time status. Keep in mind that you need to complete 15 credits each semester to graduate in 4 years.
Is there a time frame in which I should complete my General Education requirements?
You should try to complete your lower-level General Education requirements within your first two years at PSU.
What is the lowest grade I may receive in a course to repeat it at PSU?
Students are allowed to retake any course in which they earned a grade of C- or below. Credits and grade points for the first grade will be deleted from the cumulative record, while the grade itself will remain on the transcript and the repeat noted. The most recent grade counts even if lower than an earlier grade.
Can I retake a PSU course at another school and transfer it back to Plymouth?
With prior approval, you may retake courses you have failed at PSU through transfer credit. Those are the only courses you may retake via transfer that will impact on your cumulative GPA. You may not retake, through transfer, courses in which you have earned credit with grades above F (i.e., a grade of D- earned at PSU may not transfer back to Plymouth to improve your grade point average).
Will my instructor drop me from class if I do not attend the first class of the semester?
If you do not attend the first class of the semester, you MAY be dropped from the course. This is not automatic and many faculty instructors do not drop students. You should always recheck your schedule to be sure you are attending the courses in which you are actually registered. This includes making sure you are attending the right section of the course.
How do I change my advisor?
Ask the advisor you would like to change to, and contact the Center for Student Success/Advising so they can change your advisor in the computer system.
How do I declare or change my major?
Students submit the electronic form Academic Major Declaration or Change through the Registrar’s office to declare or change their major. Typically, a new advisor from the new major department is either chosen by the student or assigned.
How do I declare a minor?
Declaration of Academic Minor forms are available at the Registrar’s Office or online. This form requires the signature of your advisor and the appropriate representative of the department or council offering the minor. Completed forms are returned to the Registrar’s Office.
Can I earn a PE credit if I play on a varsity athletic team?
A student may earn one PE credit by playing on a varsity team. Athletes must register for PE1970 during the semester in which they are in season.
Making a Four-Year Plan
You should make a four-year plan of how you are going to satisfy your degree program requirements. Look at your DegreeWorks in myplymouth to see what courses are needed and plot out each semester’s coursework. You can also reference your Academic Catalog, for more major information and a recommended course sequence. Remember that you will need to register for 15 credits each semester to graduate in four years. Some majors require more than 120 credits so it may not be feasible to accomplish all this in four years. That is why it is necessary to plan carefully so you can determine whether you may need to take Winterim or Summer courses in order to meet the minimum credits required within the four years.
As part of your plan, remember to include your general education courses. Each degree program requires you to complete courses that satisfy general education requirements in addition to your major course requirements. Some general education courses may be specified in your major. When choosing courses to satisfy general education requirements, look carefully at your major requirements to see which ones, if any, may be specified.
Academic Support Services
During your time here, we suggest you use the resources available to you. Some of these may include the Math Activity Center for help in any math course, the PASS Office (Plymouth Academic Support Services) for tutoring, study skills or exam preparation assistance, or the Writing and Reading Center for assistance in writing papers. You need to remember that we are all here to help you achieve your goal…to earn a Plymouth State University degree.
There are a variety of forms that you may need to file at some point during your time at Plymouth. For example, if you want to declare an academic minor, you need to file an Academic Minor Declaration form. To change your major, you need to file an Academic Major and/or Option Declaration or Change form. Forms may be obtained at the Registrar’s Office in Speare Building or online.
You may pursue two Bachelor of Arts or two Bachelor of Science majors, but they must be in different disciplines. For example, you may not declare a Bachelor of Science in Marketing and a Bachelor of Science in Management because they are both in the Business discipline. However, you may choose a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and a Bachelor of Arts in History because they are in two different disciplines. You must fulfill the requirements of both majors, including general education requirements. The major requirements of one program will satisfy the upper-division, outside the major requirement for the second program.
You may pursue two different degrees, such as a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Science. To do so, you must complete a minimum of 30 credits of coursework beyond what is required for the first degree. The degrees must be from different disciplines. For example, you may not declare a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and a Bachelor of Science in Psychology.
There are a variety of ways that you may earn a maximum of 30 credits by examination. Some examinations are prepared, administered and graded at Plymouth, and others are nationally standardized examinations such as Advanced Placement, CLEP and DANTES.
Advanced Placement Exams
Students who have performed well on Advanced Placement examinations may receive appropriate credit and/or be allowed to enroll in advanced courses. An official transcript is submitted to Plymouth State University, at which time an evaluation by the Registrar’s Office will determine both credit to be awarded and placement (if appropriate). Information on the Advanced Placement Tests is located in the back section of the Academic Catalog, including the minimum score required, credits awarded, and whether the course satisfies a General Education perspective or equivalent Plymouth State course. For more information regarding the Advanced Placement tests, contact the Registrar’s Office in Speare Building at (603) 535-2235.
CLEP Exams (College Level Examination Program) and DANTES Exams
Credit for CLEP and DANTES exams is granted in accordance with the recommendations of the Council on College Level Examinations of the College Entrance Examinations Board and the American Council on Education. Information on the CLEP and DANTES exams is located in the back section of the Academic Catalog, including the minimum score required, credits awarded if you meet the minimum score, and whether the course satisfies a General Education perspective or equivalent PSU course. CLEP and DANTES exams are offered through the Center for Student Success in the garden-level of Mary Lyon. For more information, call (603) 535-3065.
If you believe you have adequate background in a particular subject area, you may seek to obtain credit by taking an exam offered within the appropriate department. The faculty in the academic department determines whether a course is open to credit-by-examination. They are also responsible for administering, assessing, and reporting the results to the Registrar’s Office. Grades are not awarded, only competencies and/or credits. A credit-by examination fee is required.
All matriculated undergraduate students (full-time and part-time) attending Plymouth State University are expected to make satisfactory progress toward their educational objectives. They must meet or exceed the academic continuance requirements established by the University faculty. These requirements are based upon the cumulative grade point average (cumGPA) for the cumulative credits attempted (CCAT). Cumulative credits attempted include all graded, pass/no pass and transfer credits as well as credit-by-examination. Students who do not meet these requirements will be placed in one of three categories: Academic WARNING, PROBATION or SEVERANCE. Student academic status is revised only at the end of each regular semester (Fall and Spring). Grades earned in Early Spring and Summer Sessions do not alter academic status, nor do changes in grades processed after the last day of the ADD period for the following semester.
|Credits Attempted||if cumulative GPA is below||if cumulative GPA is below||if cumulative GPA is below|
|1st semester First-year*||2.00||1.60||.50|
|less than 30||2.00||1.75||1.50|
|30 – 45.5||2.00||1.60|
|46 – 59.5||2.00||1.75|
|60 – 74.5||2.00||1.85|
|75 – 89.5||2.00||1.95|
|90 – 115.5||2.00||1.96|
|116 and above||2.00||1.98|
*first full-time semester in University
Students with fewer than 30 cumulative credits attempted and with a cumulative grade point average as noted above will receive a letter of Academic Warning. Since a minimum grade point average of 2.00 is required for all students to graduate (some majors have higher requirements), students whose average is below that level are in danger of accumulating a record that will become increasingly difficult to correct as time goes on. We recommend that students who receive Academic Warning notices discuss their progress carefully with their advisor and take full advantage of all services on campus for academic assistance. Students should seriously consider retaking any course they have failed, as this is the fastest way to improve their grade point average.
Student Account Services Information for Students on Academic Warning
Student Account Services assumes students on academic warning will be attending Plymouth State University in the coming semester; should they decide otherwise, however, they must make sure they officially withdraw from Plymouth State University by contacting the Student Academic Advocate Office (603) 535-2206 on or before the first day of classes to ensure charges for the coming semester are reversed 100%. No later than 30 days from the date Student Account Services is notified of the student’s official withdrawal, an audit will be performed on their tuition account and a refund check or bill, if applicable, will be processed and mailed.
Financial Aid Information for Students on Academic Warning
If students are receiving any federal student aid, they need to be aware of the requirements for Standards of Academic Progress (SAP). Their academic progress will affect their continued eligibility for any financial assistance. Visit the Financial Aid Team with any questions regarding this federal requirement.
Students will not be allowed to take more than seventeen credits during the semester(s) in which their academic status is one of Academic Warning.
Students whose cumulative grade point average is below the limit indicated above for the cumulative credits attempted will be placed on Academic Probation. The period of Academic Probation will be the next full semester of attendance, not including Early Spring and Summer Session. The warning, probation, severance system at Plymouth is cumulative and progressive. If their cumulative grade point average falls within the probationary category and they do not regain good academic standing within two semesters of probation, they will receive an Academic Severance.
Academic Probation Guidelines
Students on Academic Probation will receive Strategies for Academic Success which will, among other things, restrict the number of credits they may, suggest repeating specific courses, specify a semester grade point average to be attained and suggest the use of tutors or other academic support services. Students must sign their Strategies for Academic Success and return it by the day stated in their academic probation letter. Students must attend Support Recovery Sessions throughout the semester. Failure to do so could result in holds on their account. Plymouth has a policy of allowing a grade in a repeated course completely replace a lower grade in the same course. This is the fastest way to raise their GPA out of probationary range. The guidelines are written by academic advisors and success coaches. It represents their best advice for how students can attain good academic standing as quickly as possible. The idea is for students to redesign their schedule for the upcoming semester in a way that maximizes their chances for success. The probation guidelines limit students to a maximum of 13 credits. This is because it is much harder to do well in 5 or 6 courses than it is to do well in 4 or 5 courses. Students on Academic Probation need to be realistic about this and not overextend themselves. Now is the time to consider the extent of their extracurricular activities and employment demands as well.
Adjusting the Semester Schedule
If pre-registered, students need to decide which courses they will drop from their current schedule to carry a maximum credit load of 13 credits and to also make room in their schedule for repeating courses. Enrollment in full courses cannot be guaranteed.
The student’s advisor and/or success coach is sent a copy of their Strategies for Academic Success. Students should contact both their advisor and/or success coach and the Center for Student Success/ Advising for any and all assistance they may need to get off probation and back into good academic standing. The University has many people and services to help students in academic difficulty such as the Math Activity Center in Hyde Hall, The Writing Center in Lamson Library, tutoring, time management and study skill help through Plymouth Academic Support Services (PASS) in Speare, and Plymouth State University Counseling Center. Students should take advantage of all that Plymouth offers.
Student Account Services Information for Students on Academic Probation
Student Account Services assumes students on academic probation will be attending Plymouth in the coming semester; should they decide otherwise, however, they must make sure they officially withdraw from Plymouth State University by contacting the Student Academic Advocate Office in Frost House (603) 535-2206 on or before the first day of classes to ensure charges for the coming semester are reversed 100%. No later than 30 days from the date Student Account Services is notified of the student’s official withdrawal, an audit will be performed on their tuition account and a refund check or bill, if applicable, will be processed and mailed.
Financial Aid Information for Students on Academic Probation
If students are receiving any federal student aid, they need to be aware of the requirements for Standards of Academic Progress (SAP). Their academic progress will affect their continued eligibility for any financial assistance. Visit the Financial Aid Team with any questions regarding this federal requirement.
Academic Probation after an Academic Severance
Students who have been readmitted on probation after having been severed may do well enough during the upcoming semester to reestablish good academic standing. Alternately, they need to earn a minimum semester GPA of 2.00 during their first semester back in order to be granted a second semester of probation. During that second semester of probation, they will need to raise their cumulative GPA out of severance range if it is their first severance, or to 2.00 or above if it is their second severance to avoid being severed again.
Students on Academic Probation may not take more credits than their guidelines allow, except through an appeal to the Academic Student Advocate in Frost.
First Academic Severance
There are two situations that will result in a first academic severance.
- The cumulative grade point average (cumGPA) is below the standard required for the cumulative credits attempted (CCAT) or
- the cumulative grade point average is in the academic probation range for the third consecutive semester.
Students who have been academically severed for the first time are not eligible to be a matriculated student at PSU for one (fall or spring) semester.
Students who have been academically severed for the first time may be granted an opportunity, through reinstatement, to demonstrate their ability and intention to succeed academically and to earn a degree from Plymouth State University. Students severed following their first semester at Plymouth are not eligible to appeal. If students are eligible and wish to appeal for immediate reinstatement, they must submit an Appeal for Reinstatement form to the Center for Student Success/Advising. The form may be mailed, e-mailed, faxed, or hand-delivered to the Center for Student Success/Advising in Speare 108 (address, e-mail and fax information are included on the letter they receive). Please understand that appeals are not automatically granted and requests for them should be carefully considered. The required one semester of non-matriculated status from Plymouth State University is intended to provide an opportunity for them to reassess their personal and career goals. It is recommended that they return to the university only if they can do so with renewed energy and commitment to their academic success. The Academic Affairs Committee will meet to review the appeal. They will be reviewing the student’s appeal for reinstatement form, their academic transcript, and also any judicial or residential life issues that may have occurred during the past semester. The student will be sent a letter once a decision has been made. They may also call the office after the Committee has met to find out the decision of their appeal. Please note that only the student may call for the decision. The decision of the Academic Affairs Committee is final. If their appeal is successful, they will be placed on Academic Probation for the next upcoming semester and be required to abide by the terms outlined in the guidelines that would be written for them. More information on the terms of probation is sent if their appeal is granted. If their appeal is successful, but they choose to withdraw from the University, they may return only through the readmission process described below.
Readmission to Plymouth State University
How do students raise their cumulative GPA for readmission eligibility by taking classes at PSU?
If students are ineligible to appeal, choose not to appeal or if their appeal is denied, during the mandatory semester (fall or spring) of non-matriculated status, they may enroll for a maximum of eight credits through the Registrar’s Office. Their office is located in Speare Building and their telephone number is (603) 535-2345. They may also enroll in a maximum of four credits during an Early Spring or summer session. Any time following the mandatory one semester of non-matriculated status, they may apply to the Office of Admission for readmission. Students severed after one semester of attendance may apply for readmission without having repaired their GPA after they have spent at least one semester as a non-matriculated student. Readmission, in this circumstance, is contingent on presenting a convincing argument (in a cover letter to accompany their application for readmission) that they have a plan to solve whatever problems resulted in their lack of success in their first semester. Students severed after having attended Plymouth State University for two or more semesters, must first raise their cumulative GPA out of the severance range.
How do students raise their cumulative GPA for readmission eligibility by taking courses at another school?
Students may repeat a course in which they earned a grade of “F” at Plymouth by taking it at another college or university. They may not retake a course in which they earned any other grade, as they already have earned credit for the course. Repeating “F” graded courses will help improve their GPA, as the credits will transfer and the “F” will be deleted from the GPA calculation. (Students must earn a minimum C grade for the course to be accepted back at Plymouth.) Students must be sure to get approval prior to registering for the course to be sure that the course they are going to take is equivalent to the course failed here at Plymouth. They should contact the Registrar’s Office (603) 535-2345 for assistance in transferring coursework to Plymouth. A Transfer Course Database is available through the Registrar’s Office. This database contains a listing of all courses that have been accepted by Plymouth State, and will assist students in locating schools where the course failed at Plymouth may be taken. A Transfer Credit Approval Form must be completed, and an official transcript sent to the Registrar’s Office once the course is completed.
When should students reapply?
To be readmitted for the fall semester, they should file a readmission application by April 1. To be readmitted for the spring semester, they should file a readmission application by December 1. The readmission application is available through the Admission Office by calling (603) 535-2237.
What happens when students are reinstated or readmitted?
Students will be placed on Academic Probation for the next regular semester. Ideally, they will do well enough during their probationary semester to reestablish good academic standing. If they earn a 2.00 semester GPA for that semester, but fail to raise their cumulative GPA out of the Severance range, they will be given a second probationary semester in which to do so. If they do not earn a 2.00 semester GPA and their cumulative GPA falls into the severance range, they will earn a Second Academic Severance. At the end of the second probationary semester, their cumulative GPA must be a minimum 2.0, or it will result in a Second Academic Severance, a status that carries more severe consequences.
Second Academic Severance
Students who are academically severed a second time will be assigned to non-matriculated, part-time status. Students may not appeal for reinstatement during the next regular fall or spring semester following a second severance action. Students who have incurred a second severance and who had registered for courses during registration the previous semester, will be dropped from those courses for which they registered. If students decide to return as continuing education students (see below), they must re-register. Students who have been severed a second time have three educational options at Plymouth State University: 1. They may take courses as non-matriculated, part-time students through the Office of Continuing Education/Registrar for the purpose of lifelong education. 2. They may take courses as non-matriculated, part-time students through the Office of Continuing Education/Registrar in order to repair their cumulative GPA and to demonstrate their commitment to earning an undergraduate degree from Plymouth State University. Students, who, through self-advised selective repeating of courses and taking of new courses, raise their cumulative GPA to 2.00 or above, may appeal, in writing, to the Academic Student Advocate in Frost for readmission to a degree program. The Academic Student Advocate will make a final ruling on the appeal. Readmitted students will be placed on academic probation for the next regular semester. If the appeal is denied, students may continue to work on repairing their GPA and may apply for readmission to a degree program no sooner than two academic years following the second severance. 3. Without having raised the GPA to 2.00, they may apply for readmission no sooner than seven academic years following the second severance. If readmitted, these students may choose (a) to declare academic bankruptcy or (b) to repair their existing cumulative GPA. If the cumulative GPA of any student readmitted following a second severance falls below 2.00, that student will incur a third, and final, Severance.
Third Academic Severance
Students who are academically severed a third time cannot earn an undergraduate degree from Plymouth State University. They are not eligible for reinstatement or readmission at any time in the future. Grades earned in Early or Summer Session will not be used to reverse such an action. These students may, for purposes of life-long education, take courses as part-time non-matriculated students.
Student Account Services Information for Academically Severed Students
Please note that a final audit of the student’s tuition bill account will be performed by Student Account Services no later than 30 days from the date of their academic severance letter and any refund check or bill, if applicable, will be processed and mailed to them.
Residential Life Information for Students Living On Campus and Not Returning to Plymouth State University
Students who live on campus and are not planning to return to Plymouth, or students who live on campus and earn an academic severance, need to contact Residential Life immediately at (603) 535-2260, to make arrangements to remove their belongings.
If parents wish to speak with us regarding their student’s academic situation, they will need to submit a letter in writing to the Center for Student Success/Advising giving permission for us to do so.
To graduate with a Plymouth State University degree, you must have the following requirements fulfilled:
- Complete all course requirements as outlined in the University Catalog for your program, including major courses, minor courses (if applicable), and general education coursework.
- Be sure you have met the total number of credits required for your degree program. The minimum number of credits to graduate is 120; however, some programs have a higher credit requirement.
- Be sure you have met the major average, discipline average (if applicable), minor average (if applicable), and cumulative grade point average for your degree program. Every major, discipline, and minor requires a minimum 2.00 average, but some require a higher average.
- Be sure you have filed all appropriate paperwork.
- Are you completing a major and/or option in your major, but not filed the Academic Major and/or Option Declaration or Change form?
- Is the Academic Catalog you are following the one in which you are actually declared? For instance, are you listed with the Registrar’s Office as following the 2015-2016 Catalog, but actually following the 2016-2017 Catalog? If so, submit a Request to Change Catalog form to the Registrar’s Office in Speare Building.
- Are you completing an academic minor, but not filed the Academic Minor form?
- Did you file an Academic Minor form, but now are not going to complete the minor? If this is the case, submit a Request to Remove An Academic Minor or Option form with the Registrar’s Office in Speare Building.
- If you are substituting a different course for a course required in your major or minor, have you filed a Student Request form?
- Have you taken a course at another institution, but haven’t filled out a Transfer Credit Approval form, or had an official transcript sent to Plymouth so the course appears on your Plymouth State University transcript?
- Be sure to take care of any financial obligations. Do you have an outstanding library book or fine? Do you have any unpaid parking tickets?
- File your Graduation Application with the Registrar’s Office