Dec 15, 2018  
ACE Catalog - Volume 20 
  
ACE Catalog - Volume 20

Academic Policies



Academic Course Load & Multiple Course Requests

To complete a degree or certificate program, students are enrolled in classes in the method associated with their degree level:

Bachelor Level Students
Students are enrolled in one academic course per term. This equates to a maximum of three credit hours in an academic course.

Master Level Students
Students are enrolled in one academic course per term. This equates to a maximum of three credit hours in an academic course. This can be coupled with a non-academic course, capstone or independent study.

Certificate/Doctoral Level Students
Students are enrolled in a maximum of seven credit hours per term.

ACE recognizes circumstances may exist when a student determines he or she would benefit from taking several courses during a single term. ACE will consider student requests to take multiple courses simultaneously.

Students seeking to take a course load exceeding the amount listed above complete the Multiple Course Request Form for consideration. The request will be reviewed, and decisions will be based on the following:

  • GPA: Must be in good academic standing.
  • Course Completion: Must have completed at least one course at ACE prior to approval.

 

If a course is available for the term in which the student has been approved, they will be registered in the additional course(s) requested. Due to course availability, not all classes are scheduled each term; meaning that requests may not be able to be honored. 

Please realize taking more than one course at a time does not guarantee early graduation. Students taking multiple courses are no longer on the prescribed course map and future terms may not have required courses available.

Academic Integrity

American College of Education expects students to exhibit academic integrity throughout their educational experience and to avoid all forms of academic dishonesty.

Academic dishonesty, which includes but is not limited to plagiarism, self-plagiarism, collusion, abuse of resource materials, fabrication, conspiracy to plagiarize, or cheating on an examination or other academic work, is subject to disciplinary action. Student work created for a specific assignment in a course will be subject to plagiarism sanctions if reused for any other purpose. 

Exception: Students are responsible for meeting all course requirements, including current discussion board postings, when retaking a course. The student may resubmit assignments from the same course. All coursework in the retaken course will be reevaluated. The student is responsible for communicating with the instructor about the re-submission of assignments.

For questions regarding self-plagiarism, students should visit the College’s Writing Center for assistance. 

Students are allowed to reference course materials while taking quizzes and tests due to their emphasis on application; however, exams must be taken independently.

Course Addition Request

ACE recognizes circumstances may exist when a student determines he or she would benefit from taking an additional course(s) that are not a part of his or her program. Students can be approved to take course(s) outside of his or her program if the following conditions are true:

  • Student is in good academic standing (2.0 GPA for Bachelors and 3.0 GPA for Masters or Doctoral).
  • Student has completed at least one course successfully at ACE prior to approval.
  • The additional course(s) are at the same or lower degree level than the student’s program of enrollment (i.e. Masters level students can be approved to take masters level or bachelors level courses but cannot be approved to take doctoral level courses).
  • The requested course(s) are available during a term prior to the student’s expected graduation date.

The student will be assessed tuition and fees associated with the added course(s). Furthermore, the additional courses will be factored in the student’s GPA and extend program completion time. 

Course Numbering

Course numbers are set by a defined, consistent system for course identification aligned with higher education standards and readily understood on transcripts. The course numbering system uses a prefix, unique course number identifier and credit hour value.

  • The prefix consists of 2-4 alphabetic characters for the subject area designation. It may include a 2-letter state code for courses specific to a particular state. Course numbers begin with the course level designation as follows:
    • 3000-4000 level courses designate baccalaureate level courses.
    • 5000 level courses designate Master’s level courses.
    • 6000 level courses designate Educational Specialist (Ed.S.) or Doctoral level (Ed.D.).
  • Course numbers end with the number of semester credits the student earns by successfully completing the course.
    • A course that ends in a “1” (i.e. LEAD6001) signifies a one (1) credit hour course.
    • A course that ends in a “3” (i.e. LEAD6003) signifies a three (3) credit hour course.

Course Registration Policy

It is the practice of ACE’s registration office to schedule new enrollments for their first class immediately upon enrollment. This first class, in all degree programs, is a dedicated first class and is listed as such in the College’s catalog.

After a new student matriculates past the first week of class, future classes are scheduled by the registration office. The goal is to provide students the most optimal progression to complete their program in the shortest amount of time possible. For bachelor’s and master’s level students, a schedule for the remainder of the program will be produced for the student. For doctorate students, a schedule for the next term will be provided.

If a student wishes to make a change to this schedule, they are required to seek approval through the registration office. If the change can be made without impact to prerequisites, time to completion, or benchmark requirements, the change will be made for master’s and bachelor’s level students.

If a doctoral student wishes to either add or drop a course, they can do so by completing the Doctoral Schedule Change Request form. If a student wishes to take a course other than the one scheduled, they must utilize the appeal process to seek the approval of academic leadership in the applicable department. 

Credit Hour Policy

American College of Education (ACE) assigns and awards credit hours in accordance with accepted practices in higher education. The College employs the federal definition of the credit hour in the assignment and awarding of credit hours as stated in the following policy:

At ACE a credit hour is an amount of work represented in intended learning outcomes and verified by evidence of student achievement, an institutionally-established equivalency that reasonably approximates not less than: 

  1. One (1) hour of classroom or direct faculty instruction and a minimum of two (2) hours of out-of-class student work each week for approximately fifteen weeks for one semester.
  2.  At least an equivalent amount of work as required in paragraph (1) of this definition for other activities as established by an institution, including laboratory work, internships, practicum, studio work, and other academic work leading toward to the award of credit hours. [Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), Title 34, Part 600.2]

One credit hour consists of at least 15 hours of lecture, discussion, seminar, or colloquium as well as 30 hours of student preparation, homework, studying, and application.

All of the coursework at American College of Education is completed asynchronously over the Internet, facilitated by qualified faculty. Some programs may also include a face-to-face internship, student teaching, or other field experience.

Lecture/Seminar Courses
Credit hour policy is consistent with the standards of courses offered through face-to-face instruction, although some or all of content and faculty-student interaction occurs through one or more forms of distance education.

Student Teaching, Internships, and Field Experiences
Require at least 45 hours of professional practice for one credit hour, or the combination of such with required coursework.

Independent Study Courses
Credit hour policy is consistent with the standards of courses offered through face-to-face instruction, although some or all of content and faculty-student interaction occurs through one or more forms of distance education.

Capstone Courses
Credit hour policy is consistent with the standards of courses offered through face-to-face instruction, although some or all of content and faculty-student interaction occurs through one or more forms of distance education.

General Education Competency (Undergraduate)

General education competencies are assessed within the first two terms of all bachelor’s programs. Students will receive results of the assessments.  If proficiency, defined by ACE as minimum score of 70%, is not demonstrated on the assessments within the first two terms, students will be required to complete assessments in or before their Capstone course to ensure proficiency prior to degree completion.  

General Education Requirements (Undergraduate) 

American College of Education requires students enrolled in programs where a bachelor’s degree is conferred to complete thirty general education credits aligned with Indiana’s Statewide Transfer General Education Core (STGEC). The established framework for the Indiana Statewide Transfer General Education Core includes two categories: “Foundational Intellectual Skills” and “Ways of Knowing.” Each category includes three competency areas as depicted in the chart below. Indiana STGEC requires for students to earn a minimum of 3 credits in each of the competency areas (18 credits) and complete a minimum of 30 credits in the defined competencies. ACE has defined the additional credit hours needed to fulfill general education requirements as listed below:

General Education Requirements

Indiana STGEC Category

Indiana STGEC Skills/Competencies

Indiana STGEC Required Credits

ACE Additional Credits

Total Semester Credits

Foundational Intellectual Skills

Written Communications (English, Writing, Literature)

3

3

6

Speaking and Listening (Speech, Communications)

3

 

3

Quantitative Reasoning (Mathematics)

3

3

6

Ways of Knowing

Scientific Ways of Knowing (Life and Physical Sciences)

3

3

6

Humanistic and Artistic Ways of Knowing (Humanities and Fine Arts)

3

0

3

Social and Behavioral Ways of Knowing (Psychology, History, Political Science, Government, Politics)

3

3

6

Total Credits

18

12

30

ACE students can complete general education credits prior to enrolling at ACE or while attending ACE. All credits are required to be fulfilled prior to degree conferral unless required as a prerequisite in a course as listed in the College Catalog.

Inclement Weather Policy

American College of Education will make reasonable accommodations for students who are not able to access their courses due to extreme weather conditions that prevent internet access in their respective cities, states, or regions.  ACE considers any weather situation that would cause an individual to evacuate from their home or lose internet access for more than 24 hours as inclement.

Examples include hurricanes, typhoons, tropical storms, blizzards, tornadoes, etc.  When a student is impacted by such a situation, ACE faculty members will work with the student, without prior notification, by accepting late assignments.

  1. College faculty will accommodate students through late submissions because of the known event.
  2. Students are responsible, once they have access to communication channels again, for communicating the situation with their faculty members. Students will provide some sort of reasonable documentation (this can be as simple as an address to verify it is in the impacted area).
  3. If the situation cannot be appropriately and reasonably handled through late submissions alone, ACE administration will work on a plan to assist students to include the use of the Incomplete Policy

Maximum Number of Registrations in Specified Courses

Students completing work as prescribed throughout their programs at ACE, should be prepared to successfully complete their RN to MSN courses and internship, student teaching and/or capstone courses after the first attempt.  If a student is not successful after the first attempt, they can only repeat the course a specific number of times. 

The Registration office will schedule students for their first registration in their RN to MSN courses, internship, student teaching, and/or capstone courses according to program progression. If a student does not receive a passing grade during this first registration, they will be required to retake the course in the following term. This process will continue until one of the following occurs:

  • Student receives passing grade and matriculates in program accordingly.
  • Maximum number of registrations is reached:

Internship: If a student is not successful after taking the Internship course for the third time, they will be administratively withdrawn from the college and notified accordingly.

Student Teaching: If a student is not successful after taking the Student Teaching course(s) for the third time, they will be administratively withdrawn from the college and notified accordingly.

RN to MSN Courses: If a student is not successful after taking any course in the RN to MSN program, including RN to MSN Capstone courses, for a third time, they will be administratively withdrawn from the college and notified accordingly.

Capstone Courses (non-RN to MSN): If a student is not successful after taking the Capstone course for the fifth time, they will be administratively withdrawn from the College and notified accordingly.

  • If a student is administratively withdrawn, they will be subject to the Re-Entry policy.
  • A student has the right to appeal this decision per the appeal process.

Maximum Time to Completion - with Stop Outs

A stop out is defined as a break in enrollment with the College. These occur when a student takes a leave of absence or is withdrawn from the College. Students at American College of Education may request time away from their coursework through taking a leave of absence and/or withdrawing from the College. The purpose of this policy is to define the maximum time allowed to complete a program, with coursework breaks, under the same program of study. 

To ensure that the certificates and degrees completed at American College of Education are representative of students’ current work, the College limits the length of time allowed to complete a program of study.  

American College of Education requires its students to complete all program requirements within a specific time limit in order to be eligible to graduate. This limit is known as maximum time to completion. Students who do not complete these requirements within this time frame will be dismissed from the College. These time limits do not supersede those outlined in the Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy. The maximum time to completion time limit is outside dates for completion and takes into consideration time spent away from coursework. The table below lists the maximum time to completion with stop-outs by program types:  

Program Type/Level Maximum Time to Completion (years)
Bachelor’s Completion  5 years
Certificate (Master’s)  2.5 years
Certificate (Doctoral)  3.5 years
Masters   5 years
RN to MSN  7 years
Specialist  7 years
Doctoral  10 years

Repeating a Course

If a student repeats a course, both grades will appear on the student’s transcript. However, only the highest grade will be reflected in the student’s cumulative GPA.

Satisfactory Academic Progress

Academic Achievement Standards & Satisfactory Academic Progress

To graduate from American College of Education, each student must achieve a standard of academic achievement as defined by their cumulative grade point average (GPA). This standard is determined based on the degree level of the student. Undergraduate students must earn a minimum 2.0 cumulative GPA; graduate students and RN to MSN students must earn a minimum 3.0 cumulative GPA. Students must also complete their program within1.5 times the length of the program (without stop outs).

A course in which a grade below a “C” is earned will not be counted toward graduation requirements and must be retaken. When the course is retaken, each course and grade will appear on the transcript, but only the highest grade will be reflected in the student’s cumulative grade point average.

To ensure students are tracking towards successful degree completion, students are required to maintain the academic achievement GPA.

If a student’s GPA does not meet the academic achievement level or if the student has been provisionally admitted, the following statuses and rules will apply:

Provisional Admission
If the applicant’s overall GPA (grade-point average) does not meet the minimum requirements for full admission outlined in the admissions policy, the applicant might be allowed to enroll as a provisionally admitted student. Provisional Admission could also be the result of an admissions appeal. In either of these cases, the student will be placed on Academic Probation for their first two terms at the College.

Graduate and RN to MSN students cannot earn a grade below a “B” in either of the first two courses at the Master’s and Doctoral Level. Undergraduate students cannot earn below a “C” in either of their first two courses. Undergraduate students must have earned a cumulative GPA of 2.0 and graduate and RN to MSN students must have earned a 3.0 cumulative GPA by the end of their second course in order to be removed from Academic Probation status and be considered in good standing with the college.

Academic Warning
Academic Warning is assigned when a student’s cumulative grade point average falls below a 2.0 for undergraduate and 3.0 for graduate and RN to MSN students. The status is assigned for two terms to provide students the opportunity to raise their GPA. If the GPA is not raised to the academic achievement level at this time, they will be placed on Academic Probation. While placed on this status, graduate and RN to MSN students are required to earn a grade of “B” or better in each course; undergraduate students are required to earn a grade of “C” or better in each course. If these grades are not received, the student will be dismissed. 

Academic Probation
Academic Probation is assigned to a provisionally admitted student or when a student on Academic Warning status is not successful in raising his or her cumulative GPA to the appropriate GPA (2.0 for undergraduate and 3.0 for graduate and RN to MSN) within two terms. While placed on this status, graduate and RN to MSN students are required to earn a grade of “B” or better in each course; undergraduate students are required to earn a grade of “C” or better in each course. If these grades are not received, the student will be dismissed. 

Dismissal
A graduate or RN to MSN student on any student on a SAP status, may be dismissed if they receive a grade of “C” or worse in their courses. An undergraduate student on a SAP status may be dismissed if they receive a grade of “D” or worse in their courses. The one exception is if a student on Academic Warning receives a “C” and this grade results in raising his/her GPA to a 3.0 cumulative GPA, he/she will not be dismissed.

Students who have been academically dismissed are restricted to one petition for Re-Entry or Readmission to the College. The dismissed student is required to wait four terms prior to being allowed to re-enter (See Re-Entry or Readmission procedures).

Re-Entry after Dismissal or Withdrawal 
A student who leaves ACE for any reason while on an Academic Warning or Academic Probation status will return under this same status if he or she is granted Re-Entry or Readmission.

Standards of Student Behavior

A College is a marketplace of ideas, and in the course of the search for truth, it is essential that freedom exists for contrary ideas to be expressed. American College of Education students are expected to conduct themselves as responsible members of the College’s academic community. This requires the demonstration of mutual respect and civility in academic and professional discourse. As such, it is mandatory students interact with other students and all College faculty, administrators, and staff with respect and in a professional manner.

Conduct that is determined to impair the opportunities of others to learn or that disrupts the orderly functions of the College will be deemed misconduct and will be subject to appropriate disciplinary action.

Misconduct for which students are subject to disciplinary action includes, but is not limited to:

  1. Actions, verbal statements, written statements and/or online statements which may be construed as cyber bullying and/or written statements which may be used to intimidate, threaten or violate the personal safety of any member of the faculty, staff, or other students, or any conduct which interferes with the educational process or institutional functions.
  2.  Harassment - sexual, racial, ethnic or otherwise - that has the effect of creating a hostile or offensive educational environment for any student, faculty, or staff member.
  3. Disruptive behavior, such as but not limited to harassment, verbal insults, ethnic and/or racial slurs, that hinders or interferes with the educational process.
  4. Violation of any applicable professional codes of ethics or conduct and College and program dispositions, where applicable.
  5. Failure to comply promptly with any reasonable directive from faculty or College officials.
  6. Failure to cooperate in a College investigation.
  7. Carrying of weapons on campus, at campus sanctioned events, or when meeting with campus personnel.
  8. Using or being under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs while in class, at College-sanctioned events, or when meeting with College personnel.
  9. Cheating - using or attempting to conspire to use unauthorized materials, information, copying another student’s work, or study aids in any academic exercise.
  10. Fabrication - falsification or invention of any information, citation, or document, or lying during a College investigation.
  11. Hazing (any action which recklessly or intentionally endangers the mental health or physical health or safety of a student for the purpose of initiation or admission into or affiliation with any College sanctioned organization).
  12. Violation of the academic integrity policy, information technology policy, College regulations and policies, and any violation of federal, state, or local laws or regulations that impacts the College’s educational environment.

Disciplinary Action for Student Conduct Behavior
While an alleged violation of the Standards of Student Behavior is being investigated, a student may be removed from class, College-sanctioned events, or other College functions. If a violation is found, disciplinary action will be based on the seriousness of the situation and may include, but not be limited to, documented counseling by a College staff member, loss of credit, suspension and/or dismissal. In all cases, College officials will take action in accordance with College policies and procedures. Please see the procedures outlined in the Student Handbook.

A student has the right to appeal this decision.

State Specific Course Policy 

It is the American College of Education’s policy to schedule students solely in courses listed in the course list for the program that corresponds to their student information. Specifically, some ACE programs list specific courses to be taken based on the state of residence for the student. ACE does this to ensure that key state components for potential licensure are covered during the student’s time at ACE. To meet this practice, the ACE registration team schedules students based on the state entered in the student’s record.

ACE recognizes there may be circumstances where students may live in one state or country; however, will be seeking licensure in a different state. To accommodate this scenario, students can be approved to be registered in state specific courses that differ from their state/country of residence if any of the following conditions are true:

  • Student has a valid teaching certificate in the state for the request (i.e. Student lives in Iowa but has an Illinois teaching certificate).
  • Student has current proof of employment in the state for the request (i.e. student lives in Indiana but is presently teaching in Ohio).
  • Student lives overseas presently but will be returning to the United States and has proof of teaching certificate in a specific state.

Student Complaint Policy

American College of Education provides fair, consistent, and equitable procedures for addressing student complaints. This policy addresses formal procedures for resolving problems related to violations of legally prohibited actions, College policies, academic status, records, and disciplinary actions, including the following:

  • Criteria and procedures for the decision were not published.
  • Inconsistent published criteria and procedures.
  • Published criteria and procedures were not followed.
  • The decision was substantially influenced by factors other than the published criteria; i.e., the decision was discriminatory on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, gender, sexual orientation, age, or handicap in admissions, employment, or the provision of services.
  • Ethical behavior standards were violated.
  • An illegal act was committed.

 

Students are expected and advised to first pursue resolution to problems informally by discussing the concern with a faculty or staff member within the department. If resolution is not accomplished, students may file a written complaint using the appropriate form available on the ACE website, Student/Doctoral Commons, and/or follow the Appeal Process.

If, after following the Appeal Process, the student is not satisfied with the resolution, he has the right to appeal the decision to the regulatory agency in his home state.

Complaints of a serious nature requiring mandatory reporting, include:

  • Discrimination based on race, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, age, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, disability, citizenship status, marital status, military status, or other any characteristic protected by law.
  • Harassment/bullying/hazing.
  • Sexual harassment/sexual misconduct.
  • False or misleading statements made about the College or its programs (including, but not limited to, accreditation, authorization to operate, cost of attendance, transferability of credits, and the legitimacy of an awarded degree).
  • Criminal misconduct.
  • Violations of federal, state, and local laws.
  • Violation of the Standards of Student Behavior including, but not limited to violation of College policies, plagiarism, cheating, and falsifying information.

 

All formal complaints are recorded for reporting purposes. The Student and Faculty Handbooks have additional specific information.

Transferability of ACE Credits

American College of Education is regionally accredited, but it does not guarantee or allege coursework taken at the College will be accepted for transfer to other institutions. The acceptance of transfer credit is entirely at the discretion of the receiving institution according to its policies. Students are responsible for contacting the receiving institution about their transfer credit policies related to coursework taken at American College of Education.