Dec 03, 2020  
ARCHIVED 2019-2020 Graduate Catalog 
    
ARCHIVED 2019-2020 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Academic Regulations



Enrollment

Dates of Entry and Matriculation

Students accepted into a graduate program matriculate on the first day of the semester in which they enroll in a graduate course at the 500-level of higher. All course work and other requirements for each master's degree must be completed within five years after a student's date of matriculation (see Time Limit for Degree Completion). A student retains this date of entry, and follows the semesters of the catalog then in effect, as long as he or she does not drop out for more than one semester, not including summers, or receives approval for a Leave of Absence as described below. A student who is not in attendance for two or more consecutive semesters, not including summer, and who does not obtain a Leave of Absence ), must enroll under the semesters of the catalog in effect on the first day of the semester in which he or she is readmitted to the graduate program at North Central College.

Student Classifications

The following classifications apply to graduate students:

  1. Full-time graduate student: enrolled in six or more graduate credit hours per semester. Note: A student enrolled in three graduate credits for a given 8-week (half-semester) session will maintain full-time standing so long as they complete six or more graduate credit hours in total for the semester.
  2. Part-time graduate student: enrolled in less than six credit hours per semester.

Student Identity Verification

North Central College provides each student who applies to the College, including those enrolling in fully online academic programs, with a unique North Central College email account, username and password. Formal College communications are sent via this official North Central College email address and students use their unique ID and password to access a variety of North Central College resources and services via the student portal.  The portal provides student access to information including, but not limited to, course schedules, financial aid information, grades, billing records, and the BlackBoard learning management system.

Within the North Central College learning environments, a number of procedures are utilized to confirm the identity of students who participate in, complete, and receive credit for academic courses and to ensure protection of educational records. One or more of the following methods may be used to verify a student's identity and to appropriately manage access to information and course resources:

  • Secure Single Sign-On login to the portal using the assigned user name and password
  • Presentation of a valid North Central College photo ID
  • Verification of personally identifiable information previously collected by the College (e.g., last 4 digits of Social Security number, student's personal email address on file, date of birth, home address).
  • Examinations proctored in person require presentation of North Central College photo ID or other valid state or government issued photo ID. If the test administrator questions the first ID a second valid photo ID may be required.
  • New or other technologies and practices that are effective in verifying student identification will be used as they become available.

All methods of student identity verification comply with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and any other applicable laws regarding the protection of personally identifiable information.

Leave of Absence

It may be necessary from time to time for a student to interrupt his or her studies for two semesters in order to accommodate a heavy work schedule or other demands. Under such circumstances, a student may apply for a Leave of Absence. The main advantage of being granted a Leave of Absence is that the student retains the program requirements that were in effect at the date of entry with consideration to any additional licensure requirements that may apply. Without a Leave of Absence, a student who interrupts course work for two or more semesters, excluding summers, must be readmitted under the requirements of the catalog in effect at the time of readmission. The maximum Leave of Absence time period is one calendar year. For a degree candidate, the Leave of Absence is not counted as part of the five year program time limit. A student must apply for a Leave of Absence during the semester prior to the beginning of the Leave of Absence. Application is made through the School of Graduate and Professional Studies. A student on Leave of Absence must notify the School of Graduate and Professional Studies if his/her intention is to resume graduate study.

See the Master of Occupational Therapy Academic Regulations  for the Leave of Absence policy specific to the Master of Occupational Therapy.

Withdrawal from North Central

A student considering withdrawal from North Central must contact the School of Graduate and Professional Studies. The amount of refund due upon complete withdrawal is determined by the date that permission to withdraw is received from the School of Graduate and Professional Studies. See Refunds .

Credit and Credit Hour Policies

Credit Unit

The unit of credit at North Central is the credit hour, which is equivalent to one semester hour of credit or one and one half hours of credit under quarter plans. Previous academic work by transfer students is evaluated and translated into credit hours. Official evaluations are completed only in the Office of the Registrar.

Definition and Assignment of Credit Hours

In accordance with federal regulations, state guidelines and Higher Learning Commission standards, North Central College defines a credit hour as the amount of work that approximates one hour of classroom or direct faculty instruction and two hours of out-of-class work per week for a semester, or an equivalent amount of work for a shorter time period.

The course workload, represented by the assessment of intended learning outcomes and evidence of student achievement will be the same regardless of mode of instruction (traditional classroom, blended, online). At minimum, an equivalent amount of work will be expected for all other academic activities established by the institution including laboratory work, independent study, practica, internships, studio courses that result in the awarding of academic credit.

The assignment of credit hours for a course are determined during the course approval process and monitored by the Academic Programs and Policies Committee (APPC) or the College Graduate Studies Council (CGSC).

Transfer Credit

A maximum six credit hours of graduate courses from other schools may be transferred into a graduate program, with exception to the Master of Occupational Therapy. Such work must have course grades of B- or higher, be appropriate to the program and must have been completed within the five year period immediately preceding admission as a degree candidate. In addition, the work must have been completed for graduate credit or designated for possible graduate credit, and taken in excess of credit required for the student's undergraduate degree. Transfer credit is granted by the Office of the Registrar, in consultation with the Dean of Graduate and Professional Studies and/or the specific Program Coordinator. Graduate work taken elsewhere and accepted as transfer credit is included in the computation of cumulative grade point averages.

North Central College does not award transfer credit toward the fulfillment of graduate-level coursework required to complete the Master of Occupational Therapy degree. Academic credit will not be given for an applicant's work, experiential learning or volunteer experience.

Types of Individualized and Specialized Instruction

Directed Study is the study of a course listed in the catalog on a tutorial basis. With the approval of the department chair and the appropriate College or School dean, a directed study is limited to rare cases for juniors and seniors.

Independent Study is the study, on a tutorial basis, of a topic not covered in course offerings listed in the catalog. With the approval of the department chair, the student and the faculty member agree upon the subject, but the responsibility for developing and completing the independent study lies primarily with the student.

Independent study opportunities are listed as course numbers 699. They are normally available to graduate and require a 3.0 cumulative grade point average or a 3.0 grade point average in the program.

The first draft of the completed independent study form must be submitted to the supervising faculty member no later than the seventh week of the term prior to the term in which the independent study is to be completed. Application forms must be received in the Office of the Registrar no later than the first day of the term in which the student plans to do the independent study.

Internships give students an opportunity to apply knowledge gained through their studies to the professional work environment. The corporate and scientific communities in the area near North Central provide excellent opportunities for students to enrich their classroom experiences in this manner. Students may participate in an internship experience for academic credit.

Through credited department-based internships—courses typically numbered 697—the student, in conjunction with a faculty supervisor and an on-site supervisor, designs a course of study that explores a particular subject in the context of the work environment. Each credit hour of internship requires a minimum of 50 hours on-site field experience and 10 hours of academic research and writing. Students must complete and submit the Internship Agreement Form prior to beginning the on-site experience. The internship must be completed by the end of the term in which the student receives academic credit. Completion of the required field experience hours is necessary to earn a passing grade. If the required hours are not verified by the on-site supervisor, a failing grade is assigned.

Registration

Registration for graduate courses is normally completed prior to the beginning of a semester through the School of Graduate and Professional Studies. After a semester begins, all enrollments in courses and withdrawals from courses are governed by published deadline dates. Informal attendance in a class is not recognized as constituting registration in the course. Informal absence from class is not recognized as constituting withdrawal from the course. A student who wants to withdraw must contact the School of Graduate and Professional Studies. This responsibility falls on the student and the student alone. See the sections below, "Dropping Courses" and "Withdrawal from North Central." Please complete all registration online through Merlin at https://merlin.noctrl.edu or by submission of the proper form(s) to the Office of the Registrar within the prescribed timelines.

See the Master of Occupational Therapy Academic Regulations  for Registration policies specific to the Master of Occupational Therapy.

Adding Courses

Beginning the first day of the semester through the end of the add period, a student may only enroll in new courses with the approval of the instructor. See the detailed semester calendars for more information.

Dropping Courses

A student may drop or withdraw from a course(s) after the beginning of the semester. Please reference the detailed semester calendars for drop and withdrawal deadline dates as well as the refund schedule.

The effective date is the date that drop or withdrawal procedures are completed. Absence from class does not constitute withdrawal from a course.

Repeating Courses

A student who wishes to repeat any 500- or 600-level course where a grade of "C+" or lower was earned may do so. Both grades will appear on the student's transcript. However, only the most recent grade will be used in calculating the student's cumulative grade point average.

If a student repeats a course in which the original grade was a C+ or lower, and the subsequent grade is also a C+ or lower, the student is subject to academic probation and/or dismissal policies. For advice on repeating coursework, a student should consult the School of Graduate and Professional Studies.

See the Master of Occupational Therapy Academic Regulations  for the Repeating Courses policy specific to the Master of Occupational Therapy.

Auditing Courses

Some students, particularly non-degree seeking students, may wish to audit a class for the sake of learning. Auditors are expected to attend class regularly. The extent to which an auditor participates in graded exercises (e.g. papers, quizzes, examinations) and the extent to which an instructor grades an auditor's work are determined by mutual agreement between the instructor and the auditor.

Students may only register for an audit during the first two weeks of the semester or eight-week session. To register for an audit, a student must submit an Add a Course/Instructor Consent form with the instructor's signature to the Office of the Registrar. Some courses may be closed to auditors, such as online courses, master's thesis, master's project, capstone, etc. After the first two weeks of a semester or eight-week session, students may not change their registration from an audit to a graded format or from a graded format to an audit. Audit fees apply, see the Student Expenses  section of this catalog.

No credit or grade points are earned in an audited course, and such courses may not be used to meet graduation requirements, fulfill a prerequisite or any other requirement. Audited courses are noted with a grade of "AU" on the official transcript. 

See the Master of Occupational Therapy Academic Regulations  for the Auditing Courses policy specific to the Master of Occupational Therapy.

Undergraduate Students Enrolling in Graduate Coursework

A maximum of six credit hours of graduate coursework may be available to seniors with the approval of their faculty advisor and special permission from the Dean of Graduate and Professional Studies. An approval form, which must accompany the registration, is available in the School of Graduate and Professional Studies.

If an undergraduate course is not available, a parallel graduate course may apply toward an undergraduate degree. A maximum of six graduate credit hours counts toward the 128 credit hours required for an undergraduate degree. Graduate courses taken for credit toward an undergraduate degree will not later be applied toward a graduate degree at North Central College.

Alternatively, graduate coursework taken as an undergraduate may apply toward a graduate degree at North Central. This coursework will not be applied toward the 128 hours required for an undergraduate degree or any other undergraduate requirement.

Grades and Grade Point Averages

North Central uses the following letter grades:  A, A-, B+, B, B-, C+, C, C-, D and F. A grade of PR indicates a course in progress, but not completed by the end of the term. Grades of P (Pass) and NP (No Pass) may be used for the Master's Projects or Thesis. A grade of AU indicates the course was audited. A grade of WD inindicates a student withdrew from the course before the posted drop deadline and the course has no effect on the GPA.

An "I" grade is used to indicate incomplete work and is calculated as an "F." It may be given to a student who carries a course at a passing level until near the end of the term and then, because of circumstances beyond the student's control, is unable to complete it on schedule. A final grade must be reported by the middle of the following term or the grade lapses to an F. All remaining work for an incomplete course in Spring Term must be completed by the middle of the following Fall Term.

To compute grade-point averages, the College uses a 4.000 scale: A = 4.000, A- = 3.700, B+ = 3.300, B = 3.000, B- = 2.700, C+ = 2.300, C = 2.000, C- = 1.700, D = 1.000 and F = 0.000. Each course earns grade points by multiplying the points corresponding to the letter grade by the number of credit hours for the course. A student's grade-point average equals the number of grade points divided by the number of credit hours attempted. For example, if a student earns an A-, a B+ and a C in three 3-credit hour courses in one term, he or she would be credited with 27 grade points (11.1 + 9.9 + 6 = 27) and the grade-point average for the term would be a 3.000 (27 ÷ 9 = 3.000). If those grades were A, B and F, the grade-point average for the term would be 2.333.

Courses in which a student receives grades of D or F cannot be used to meet the course requirements of the graduate program and must be repeated.

Grade Appeals

College faculty enjoy academic freedom to craft courses and grade work in a manner consistent with their expertise and college policies. A faculty member's professional judgment is presumed to be accurate. Except for clerical errors or miscalculation, grades will be changed only in extremely rare instances.

A student who believes that the final grade received in a course does not reflect the quality of the work performed has the right to meet with the instructor of the course and be given a review of the manner in which the grade was determined. Either the student or the instructor or both may bring a peer or a third party to this meeting. If the student is not satisfied with the outcome of the meeting, the student may appeal the instructor's decision to the department chairperson who supervises the instructor concerned. The chairperson will consult with the instructor and determine whether a grade change is appropriate or a basis for appeal. Bases for appeal are 1) deviation from the course syllabus in a way that disadvantages the student, and 2) evidence of capricious assessment or implementation of class policy. The department chairperson may recommend a grade change to the academic dean. A student who disagrees with the chairperson that one of the two criteria have been met may subsequently appeal to the dean.

Appeal of a grade issued in a course taught by a department chairperson will be made directly to the dean. Appeal of a grade issued in a course taught by a dean will be made to Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs or their designee.

Grade appeals must be made within a ninety (90) day period following the last day of the semester in which the grade was received and include the following items:

  • A brief explanation of the circumstances, rooted in one of the two criteria for appeal noted above,
  • A copy of the course syllabus, and
  • Copies of relevant materials such as graded work or email correspondence with the instructor

Academic Probation and Dismissal

Students are expected to maintain good academic standing in the North Central College's graduate program currently enrolled. Good academic standing shall be defined as maintaining a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0 and not having more than two grades of C+ or lower on the transcript.

If a student's cumulative GPA drops below a 3.0 or the student earns a grade of C+ or below, the student will be placed on Academic Probation. Academic Probation is a status warning that the student is not in good academic standing and that serious academic performance problems exist, which must be diagnosed and remedied. In these cases, the School of Graduate and Professional Studies actively intervenes to work with students on probationary status to develop action plans and strategies to boost their GPA and succeed in the program.

Once the GPA falls below 3.0, the student has two courses (of either three or four credit hours) to raise the cumulative GPA to 3.0 or above. If, after two courses the cumulative GPA remains below 3.0, the student is subject to dismissal. Likewise, a student who has three or more unrepeated course grades of C+ or below on the transcript is subject to dismissal.

Probationary status affects a student in several ways:

  • A hold will be placed on the student's account and the student must meet with the academic advisor prior to beginning the next term.
  • At the end of any term where the student has raised the GPA to 3.0 or above, the student will be removed from probation, unless a grade of C+ or lower remains on the transcript.
  • No more than one course in which a C+, C or C- was earned may be applied toward a graduate degree. No grade below C- may be applied to a degree program.

Regardless of academic standing, if a student receives a grade of B-, the student will receive an Academic Warning letter from the School of Graduate and Professional Studies, reminding the student of the academic requirements of the program. The student will be expected to meet with his or her advisor and discuss a plan for improvement.

Programs may have criteria beyond the School of Graduate and Professional Studies' criteria for determining a student's academic standing. All programs must make clear reference in the materials (handbook/catalog) to the policies for academic standing should these policies differ from the School of Graduate and Professional Studies.

The Committee on Graduate Academic Standing will decide on cases of academic probation and dismissal, as well as on appeals. The student who is notified of dismissal may appeal the decision in writing to the chair of the Committe on Graduate Academic Standing. The Committee on Graduate Academic Standing will review the appeal and make the decision. A dismissed student may apply for readmission after one year, upon demonstrating an improvement in motivation or preparation for graduate work.

The Committee on Graduate Academic Standing shall consist of a representative from academic affairs, a representative from the registrar's office, a representative from the School of Graduate and Professional Studies and a faculty member who teaches or has taught in one of the graduate programs. 

See the Master of Occupational Therapy Academic Regulations  for the Academic Probation and Dismissal policy specific to the Master of Occupational Therapy.

Academic Honesty

Students are expected to maintain the highest standards of integrity with respect to their academic pursuits. Academic dishonesty typically falls into one of two categories: cheating and plagiarism. 

A. Cheating

All work submitted for evaluation must be the student's own. Attempts to obtain credit for work other than one's own constitutes cheating, as does aiding another student in such an attempt. Cheating includes, but is not limited to:

  • Copying another student's work and submitting it for evaluation
  • Submitting the same or similar work for more than one course without notifying the instructors
  • Communicating with anyone in any form during an in-class examination
  • Having notes, books, or electronic devices present during an in-class examination unless explicitly permitted by the instructor
  • Submitting online assignments that are not one's own work
  • Falsification of academic paperwork

B. Plagiarism

  1. Defining Plagiarism: Plagiarism means offering of someone else's words, ideas or conceptions as if they were one's own. Students are indeed encouraged to draw upon the information and wisdom of others, but in the spirit of scholarship they are always expected to state such indebtedness so that a) their own creativity can be justly appreciated and b) their use of sources, like a scientist's experiment, can be verified by others. Plagiarism differs from this productive use of sources in that the similarity of the original and the borrowings are very close; it is acknowledged inexactly or not at all; and it shows little or no creative application by the borrower. Plagiarism is a prime intellectual offense in that the borrower is faking the learning process. No learning community can thrive if its members counterfeit their achievements, deceive their teachers, and take unfair advantage of their fellow students. Since the integrity of the whole academic community is thus at stake, the penalties are high.
  2. Identifying Plagiarism: To establish the occurrence of plagiarism it is not necessary to prove intent. All students are responsible for knowing or learning what academic honesty is. At North Central College, plagiarism will be deemed to have occurred when one or more of the following external evidences is present:
    1. The writing of a student includes word-for-word passages taken without explicit and accurate acknowledgment from a source written by another, provided that the cumulative borrowing includes at least ten words. "Explicit and accurate acknowledgment" means the use of quotation marks and a verifiable citation of source, either in parentheses or by footnote, at the point of indebtedness. (The mere listing of the source in the bibliography is not sufficient acknowledgment by itself.)
    2. The writing of a student closely resembles another source in thought, order or diction (including synonyms) for a cumulative resemblance of three or more sentences, without explicit and accurate acknowledgment as defined in 1) above.
    3. Two or more papers or exams, submitted at the same time, contain resemblances in factual or stylistic detail which are decidedly outside normal probabilities of coincidence. The likelihood of plagiarism will be deemed even higher a) if the students were known to be in close physical proximity at the time of writing, and b) if the factual details involve unusual error. In the event of such resemblances, all parties involved will be judged responsible.
    4. A paper or exam contains terminology or information which the student, on questioning, cannot explain.
    5. A paper or exam contains unusually detailed data for which the student does not produce a verifiable source.
    6. These same principles hold for the inclusion of borrowed diagrams, mathematical statements, tables, and pictures.
  3. Citations: In citing any sources, the student implicitly guarantees the accuracy and fullness of acknowledgment.
    1. The instructor may properly request the student to bring in those sources so that such guarantee may be confirmed. Such a request, made routinely in many schools, carries no implied criticism.
    2. If students are unsure about whether their writing has sufficiently acknowledged outside sources, students should consult with either their course instructor or the Writing Center before submitting the final copy.

C. Sanctions

Determination of an infraction of the Academic Honesty policy is solely at the discretion of the instructor. Any instructor who has assembled evidence of academic dishonesty will first offer the student a chance to provide an alternate explanation of the evidence or to admit fault. If the inference of academic dishonesty remains, the instructor will consult with the academic dean and inform the student of the sanction. The sanction will be related to the student's previous record of academic honesty. Typically, a first offense will result in a zero for the assignment, a second offense will result in failure of the course and a third attempt can result in dismissal from the institution.

D. Records

Any sanction beyond reprimanding the student will be reported to the academic dean for notation in the student's file. Notation of the incident will not appear on a student's academic transcript, but will be included in a student's permanent file.

General Degree Program Guidelines and Graduation Requirements

  1. Satisfactory completion of a minimum of 30 credit hours at the graduate level (any course at the 500 or 600-level) in the discipline offering the degree program. The minimum credit hour requirement may be greater in some degree programs as each program has specific requirements for completing the individual degree.
  2. A cumulative grade average of B (3.00) or higher is required for graduation. No more than one course in which a C+, C, or C- was earned may be applied toward a graduate degree. No grade below C- may be applied to a degree program.
  3. Successful completion of a culminating experience is required for each student earning a graduate degree. The form of the experience (capstone course, master's project, master's thesis or other culminating experience) is determined by individual programs and must be approved by the College Graduate Studies Council. A student is only allowed to complete one such culminating experience per degree. A student earning multiple master's degrees must complete the required culminating experience for each respective degree.

See the Master of Occupational Therapy Academic Regulations  for the General Degree Program Guidelines and Graduation Requirements policy specific to the Master of Occupational Therapy. 

Time Limit for Degree Completion

Graduate degrees must be completed within five years from the date of matriculation. The requirement preserves the integrity of the degree, as the subject matter at the graduate level reflects ever-changing developments within the fields of study. The five years, includes any required prerequisite or foundational course work. The time limit also includes the time for the final project, internship, portfolio, capstone or thesis as required by the degree program. An approved leave of absence is not included in the five year completion timeline. Programs with external accreditation may have different policies. Students should consult with their academic advisor regarding the time limit for degree completion for their program.

The School of Graduate and Professional Studies will approve only one request for an extension of time to complete degree requirements.

Note: This policy will not apply to students who are unable to take courses due to institutional offering constraints.

See the Master of Occupational Therapy Academic Regulations  for the Time Limit for Degree Completion policy specific to the Master of Occupational Therapy.

Exceptions to Time Limit for Degree Completion

A. Extension Requests

In rare and unusual circumstances, the School of Graduate and Professional Studies may grant an exception to the time limit. An application for an extension of time to complete degree requirements may be requested by any student who has maintained steady progress toward degree completion and has not been absent from the program for more than one semester at a time (summer excluded) unless granted an approved leave of absence. The student must submit a written petition to the School of Graduate and Professional Studies and include the following:

  • A proposed plan of work, including a plan for completing all remaining degree requirements;

  • A timeline for completing the degree;

  • A letter of support from the director of the academic program, the advisor or a thesis/project/capstone primary professor;

  • A statement documenting the circumstances that justify the request for a time extension; and

  • A statement of the impact the proposed extension would have on the validity of the students' course work;

The extension, if granted, will be for no more than one academic year. It is the student's responsibility to inform the School of Graduate and Professional Studies of any further delays or changes to the anticipated graduation date. Any significant departures from the agreed upon date of completion may invalidate the outcome of the request.

B. Readmission to a Degree Program

Students who have been out of the program for two or more semesters, excluding summer, without an approved leave of absence must apply for an exception to the time limit requirements. The written request must include the following information:

  • A proposed plan of work that includes the proposed graduation date and the schedule for completing the remaining coursework;
  • A list of all coursework that either does or is expected to fall outside the time to degree limit at the date of the proposed graduation;
  • For all courses that will fall outside of the time limit, a detailed description of how the student has maintained currency in the field of study during the time that has elapsed since the course was completed. Currency may be demonstrated by work-related experience, professional development activities, etc.;
  • A letter of support from the director of the academic program, the advisor or the thesis/project/capstone primary professor; and
  • A statement documenting the circumstances that justify the request for readmission.

If the request for readmission is approved, the student will be readmitted under the catalog currently in effect. Based on the appeal and a review of the coursework, up to 12 hours of coursework outside the time-to-degree limit may be considered. The decision on the inclusion of previously completed coursework will be made by the program director/coordinator or the appropriate academic department. The readmitted student will be required to complete any requirements in place at the time of readmission and will be required to pay the readmission fee.

If the request is approved for the student seeking an extension of time after a non-approved leave of absence of two semesters or more, then the student must apply for readmission . Upon acceptance, the student is bound by the semesters for completion of the degree as outlined by the work plan and the degree requirements in place upon readmission.

If the Dean of the School of Graduate and Professional Studies denies the extension, the decision may be appealed to the Graduate Academic Standing Committee who will review the appeal in a meeting with the program director.

Writing and Speaking Proficiencies

Good writing and speaking skills are emphasized throughout all graduate degree programs. Each Master's Project or Thesis must be presented in both written and oral form. A Project or Thesis will not be judged acceptable until both the written content and oral presentation are evaluated as satisfactory.

The College has developed a support program to identify and remedy deficiencies that a student might have regarding written and oral communication skills. Based on evaluations, either at the time of admission, or in early course work, the Dean of Graduate and Professional Studies or a Program Coordinator may require a student to improve communication skills through the Writing Center, tutoring, additional undergraduate course work or other means.

Degrees and Commencement

An application for graduation must be submitted to the Office of the Registrar by the first day of the semester in which a student's degree program will be completed to avoid a late fee. See the Graduation Application Schedule (Graduate)  for current submission deadlines.

A student completing all degree requirements in any semester will receive a diploma on completion of that semester and will be recorded as a member of the graduating class of that academic year. All work for the degree must be completed and documentation received by the School of Graduate and Professional Studies by the last day of the examination period for that semester. All graduates of the master's programs are encouraged to participate in the May Commencement ceremony. 

In addition, students may be granted permission to participate in the commencement ceremony before completing all requirements if:

  1. they have a graduation application approved by the Office of the Registrar on file, and
  2. their current cumulative grade point average is 3.000 or higher, and
  3. they are registered for and will complete graduation requirements by the end of the Summer Session.

Students who qualify and wish to take advantage of this option must file both the Commencement Participation Form and the Application for Graduation form in the Office of the Registrar on or before the first day of Spring Semester indicating their intent to participate in the commencement ceremony. If either of these forms is submitted after the first day of Spring Semester, the late fee structure detailed here is in effect.

Exceptions to Academic Regulations

Students seeking exceptions to academic regulations must file a General Petition with the Office of the Registrar, explaining the reason for the request. General petitions must be signed by the student and their academic advisor, and all supporting documentation (e.g. from the instructor, a physician and/or the Dean of Graduate and Professional Studies) should be attached.

Learning Outcomes Assessment

In order to provide for continual improvement in the quality of a North Central education, the College has developed an Outcomes Assessment Program, not just to find out how much and how well students learn, but also how and where they learn. Information and data discovered through the assessment program are used to make decisions about everything the College does, from curriculum planning to student activities to support services.

While not all students participate in every aspect of the assessment program, each student at North Central is expected to participate as needed in this important effort. Student contributions provide a clearer picture of what it means to be a North Central College graduate. Consequently, the College can communicate to employers and others the qualities which they can expect in a North Central graduate.