Wells College is fully accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Higher Education, and by the New York State Department of Education. Current documents concerning the College's accreditation are available for review upon request to the Office of the President.
Wells College organizes its academic year on the semester system, with two semesters. Each semester has 14 weeks of classes, plus a week of finals.
Most Wells College courses are three or four semester hours; students must earn a minimum of 120 semester hours to graduate. Each semester hour represents one 50-minute class period, or one period of two to three hours each week, for a semester. Some courses carry fewer than three semester hours; these include courses in physical education, theatre, dance, music, research, and tutorials.
The normal course load is 15 hours per semester; 12 semester hours will be considered full-time. Students holding state or federal loans, scholarships, or grants are required to carry a minimum of 12 semester hours each semester.
Students who wish to take 18-20 semester hours in one semester must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.8, advisor approval, and registrar approval. First year, first semester students who wish to take more than 16 credits, students wishing to take more than 20 credits, and students with a cumulative GPA below a 2.8 must file a petition.
It is the general policy of the College that class attendance is expected, but instructors have the right and the obligation to set their own policies regarding absences.
Each student, whether first-year or transfer student, is expected to satisfy College requirements, the requirements of her or his major, and the requirements of her or his minor (if applicable) as stated in the catalog in effect at the time they first matriculate at Wells College. If, however, a student ceases to attend the College for two years or more, they will be expected to meet major, minor, and College requirements as stated in the catalog in effect at the time they return.
Each student is expected to complete the requirements for the degree within seven years of matriculation at Wells.
Wells College prefers students experience a four year residency but may allow students to advance as their ability and preparation permit. Students who have completed advanced work in secondary school or by private study, or who have satisfactorily completed courses of an acceptable nature at other institutions, can apply for advanced standing for academic credit under the rules for credit for prior experience.
The traditional Latin honors, cum laude, magna cum laude, and summa cum laude, are awarded at graduation for excellence in course work throughout a student's Wells College career. The degree of Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science are awarded cum laude to those who have a Wells grade point average of 3.50 to 3.749; magna cum laude to those who have a Wells grade point average of 3.75 to 3.899; and summa cum laude to those who have a Wells grade point average of 3.90 or above.
The degree will be awarded With Distinction in the major field to any student who 1) has shown outstanding ability (GPA of 3.50 or above) in course work in the major field in the sophomore, junior, and senior years; 2) has shown the capacity to do independent work with a high degree of initiative, genuine intellectual curiosity, and a sense of responsibility; 3) is recommended by faculty in the major field.
The College's academic advising system strikes the balance between making advisors easily accessible and encouraging student initiative in seeking advice. Upon entering Wells, each student is assigned an academic advisor. It is the special responsibility of these advisors to encourage each student to choose a program of study within the liberal arts that is varied and broad. Upon declaration of major, each student selects or is assigned an advisor from the major field who will help guide her or his studies. Although a student is assigned to one particular advisor, students are encouraged to consult with anyone or with several advisors to gain opinions, expertise, and perspectives.
All students register for classes on-line through the Globe. New students will have the opportunity to become acquainted with the College community, consult with a faculty advisor regarding a degree program, and register for classes at Wells Warm-up or during orientation sessions. Continuing students register for fall classes during the designated registration period in the spring semester, and register for spring classes during the designated registration period in the fall semester. During the period of academic advising just prior to registration, the student's schedule for the semester shall be planned with, and approved by, the student's faculty advisor.
Each student is responsible for registering on-line on or before the deadline set by the registrar.
A late registration fee of $150 will be incurred by any student who does not register before the first day of classes, unless exempted by the dean of the college or the registrar, who must receive a written request from the student stating the reasons for late registration. The fee does not apply to revisions of previously submitted programs that are made during the drop/add period.
A student may add a class through the first ten days of classes (the instructor's signature is required after the fifth class day), and drop a class (with no record) through the 10th class day. A student may withdraw from any course after the end of the established drop period and before the end of the ninth week of classes with the signature of the instructor and the academic advisor. The withdrawal will appear on the student's transcript with a grade of "W." After the ninth week of classes, and before the end of classes, a student who wishes to withdraw from a class must petition the dean of the college. If the petition is approved, the student will receive a grade of "W" or "WF" (withdraw or withdraw failing) based on work to date except in cases by which — in the judgment of the dean of the college — the withdrawal was required for medical or other grave personal reasons. In such cases the student will receive a grade of "W" (see also Withdrawal from the College below).
Students may choose to take courses pass/fail. The following regulations apply:
In determining eligibility to return for another year, or candidacy for the degree, courses with a grade of Pass are included in the total hours of satisfactory work.
A student is expected to have the prerequisites and corequisites stated in a course description in order to enroll in a course unless she or he obtains written permission from the instructor to waive the pre- or corequisite. A student may not move backward in a prerequisite sequence; in other words, a student may not receive credit for a course that is listed as a prerequisite for a course that has already been taken or for which credit has been granted.
Students may only repeat courses for which they have previously earned a grade of “U” or a grade of “D+” or lower, or courses that are designated “repeatable.”
In the case of a course designated “repeatable,” every grade earned shall be posted on the transcript and be calculated into the semester, cumulative, and major grade point averages. This is true even when a grade of “U” or “F” is received.
In the case of a course not designated “repeatable,” and for which the student received a grade of “U” or a grade of “D+” or lower, the following regulations apply:
Note: Because repeating courses may have financial aid implications, students are not be able to use the GLOBE to self-register to repeat courses. Instead, students must consult with the Registrar in order to register for a repeated course.
A student may visit a course on mutual agreement between her- or himself and the instructor. If they register for an "audit," they must participate actively in the course and must complete all work specified by the instructor at the beginning of the course. A student desiring to audit a course shall get permission of both the faculty advisor and the instructor of the course no later than the 10th class day.
Under either of the following circumstances, students must petition the dean of the college: if they wish to audit more than one course in a semester or if the request to audit a course is made after the 10th class day. Approval is not automatic, and normally petitions to change the status of a course to an audit will not be approved after the sixth week of classes, unless there are medical reasons.
Students at Wells have rich opportunities to conduct independent study and research. Students pursue independent work through research courses in the sciences, independent study courses, advanced creative work, tutorials, and through the senior comprehensive requirement. Independent work may involve laboratory or library research, creative projects, or other appropriate study.
Independent study courses are available for those students who have demonstrated an ability to work without close supervision. The purpose of independent study is to supplement the more structured methods of regular courses with the opportunity for the student of high initiative and responsibility to apply her or his abilities to new material with a minimum of guidance. While there are not formal course prerequisites for such work, it is the normal expectation that independent projects will involve explorations in-depth of some specific topic within a general area in which the student has done extensive prior work.
Exceptions may be made in cases where a student of generally demonstrated capability wishes to do exploratory work in a field in which she or he has little or no background, in a manner not provided for by the regular curriculum. Independent study normally is conducted at the 300 level as [Topic of Study] 399. Under exceptional circumstances and at the discretion of the instructor, students may undertake independent study with the designation [Topic of Study] 199 or 299, to indicate that the work is not at a level sufficiently advanced to warrant a 300-level designation. In cases of utterly irreconcilable schedule conflicts, a course from the regular curriculum can be taken as an independent study with the regular course number, but only at the discretion of the instructor and with approval from the Curriculum Committee.
First year students in their second semester, sophomores, juniors or seniors may pursue one Independent Study Project during any semester. Students who have a plan for Independent Study should consult with the instructor under whose guidance the work is proposed. If the instructor approves the project, a brief description of the project and the amount of credit proposed for it, approved by the instructor and advisor, must be submitted on the Independent Study Form available through the Registrar's Office. Final approval of all projects rests with the Curriculum Committee; copies of the proposal shall be distributed to the instructor and student upon approval or disapproval. Students should not assume approval until formally so notified.
There is a $1,175 per semester hour charge for a Wells independent study course taken in the summer.
Students who have completed advanced work in secondary school or by private study, or who have satisfactorily completed courses of an acceptable nature at other institutions may receive advanced standing or academic credit toward the Wells degree in the following ways:
In all cases, placement in advanced courses and applications to the requirements for the major will be at the discretion of the major field chair. No grades will be entered on a student's Wells College record for semester hours earned through these means.
Entering students may indicate a single intended major from those listed in the Catalog. Upon meeting with a faculty member in the major during or after their first semester on campus, enrolled students may officially declare their major. Students must declare a major by the end of the seventh week of the semester in which they expect to have earned 60 credit hours. Failure to declare a major by this deadline will result in a registration hold. Students transferring in with 60 or more credit hours must declare a major on entry.
Students may propose a self-designed individualized major if they have an educational objective that would be better served than by pursuing one of the established majors at Wells College or by pursuing an established major and minor. Each individualized major is expected to meet the philosophical and educational goals of Wells College and to afford the student maximum exposure to the breadth and depth of a liberal education as well as an opportunity to undertake advanced work in an area of special interest. The individualized major must have a clear focus, and at least two disciplines must be substantially represented. The Curriculum Committee will approve or reject these programs.
The proposed individualized major must have a minimum of 36 semester hours, a maximum of 45 semester hours on one discipline, and a maximum of 65 semester hours overall, including the senior essay/project, IM 401 (4 semester hours). It must include a minimum of 18 semester hours of work at the 300-level or above. The minimum required cumulative GPA at the time of application is 2.7.
Grades at Wells College are recorded in terms of the letters A, B, C, D, F with additional gradation for the letters "A" through "D," indicated by plus or minus signs. The grade of "A+" is the highest possible grade; the grade of "D-" is the lowest passing grade; and the grade of "F" indicates failure. The numerical equivalents of these letter grades are as follows: A+ = 97-100; A = 93-96; A- = 90-92; B+ = 87-89; B = 83-86; B- = 80-82; C+ = 77-79; C = 73-76; C- = 70-72; D+ = 67-69; D = 63-66; D- = 60-62; F = 59 and below.
Any grade in the "A" range indicates work of the highest quality; such work will generally be characterized not only by accuracy, but also by excellence in such qualities as comprehensiveness, insight, and originality. Any grade in the "B" range indicates work of good quality; such work will often show some of the qualities that characterize "A" work. Any grade in the "C" range indicates work of satisfactory quality; such work will generally be reasonably accurate, but may show only limited comprehensiveness, insight, and originality. Any grade in the "D" range indicates work that is below average in quality but acceptable; such work may be unsatisfactory in certain aspects, but will be satisfactory in others. Grades of "F" or "U" indicate work that is unsatisfactory.
In case of a conspicuous failure in a final examination, when the student, in the opinion of the instructor, fails to show anything like a satisfactory comprehension of the subject, the student may be marked as failing the course even though the numerical value of the classwork would yield a grade of D-.
At the close of each semester, grades will be available for students to view on the Globe. Students who have not returned library books or have an outstanding financial obligation to the College will not be issued a transcript until the block is cleared, but they can view their grades online. The financially responsible parent may also request grade reports providing that he/she certifies to the registrar that the student is carried as a dependent on the most current federal income tax return.
Instructors may designate courses to be graded Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory. A grade of "S" shall be the equivalent of the letter grades "A" through "D" (and associated pluses and minuses). A grade of "U" shall be the equivalent of an "F" in letter-graded courses. It is a course instructor's right and duty to determine course grades.
No more than six semester hours of courses graded S/U may be used for a major. No more than four semester hours of courses graded S/U may be used for a minor. Grades of "S" are not included in computation of the GPA.
Students may choose to take courses pass/fail. The following regulations apply:
If a student feels that there is a mistake in the grade earned, he or she must meet with the instructor before the end of the second full week of the subsequent semester. If a course instructor is no longer at the College, the student shall meet with the chair of the major involved. If an instructor wishes to change a recorded grade, he or she will submit to the dean of the college a request for the change.
Grades will be changed only because of the instructor's corrected calculation of the grade or because of the instructor's decision to consider lost work submitted by the student. Upon approval by the dean, the change will be recorded by the registrar.
1) Under extraordinary circumstances an instructor may request a grade of I (Incomplete) be assigned if a student is unable to complete the work of a course on schedule but will be able to complete it at a later date without further class attendance. The extraordinary circumstances must be beyond the student's control (e.g., reasons of health or severe personal contingencies), and they must be documentable. The need for the Incomplete must have become apparent after the withdrawal period, and the student must have been passing the course at that time.
2) The student must file the incomplete grade request and contract form with the Registrar by the last day of the final exam period. Both the student and the instructor must sign the contract. The incomplete grade request and contract form shall specify the requirements yet to be completed and the deadline for completion (no later than the end of the eighth week of the subsequent semester). The form shall also specify what the grade shall be if the work is not completed. If a contract is not submitted, the instructor may not assign an incomplete but shall assign the grade that the student would earn without completing the remaining work for the course. In order for the incomplete grade request to be granted, it must be approved by the Registrar and Director of Academic Advising and Success.
3) When faculty do not submit a grade, or an Incomplete Grade and Contract Form in lieu of a grade, or in cases where they indicate the student has dropped or withdrawn, but the registrar has no record of this, the registrar shall assign a grade of F* or U* (administrative assignment of a failing or unsatisfactory grade), which has the same effect on the GPA as a grade of F or U.
For the computation of academic standing, a grade point system is used. In this system A+ = 4.3; A = 4.0; A- = 3.7; B+ = 3.3; B = 3.0; B- = 2.7; C+ = 2.3; C = 2.0; C- = 1.7; D+ = 1.3; D = 1.0; D- = 0.7; F = 0; and U = 0. Unless designated otherwise, courses are graded in terms of the letters, A, B, C, D, F, with additional gradation for the letters "A" through "D" indicated by plus or minus signs. Certain courses are graded as: "S" (satisfactory), "U" (unsatisfactory); these courses are so designated in the Courses of Instruction section. All internships are graded "S/U".
The calculation of a student's GPA is based on grades earned in all Wells courses, courses taken at Cornell University, Ithaca College, and Cayuga Community College through the cross-registration agreements, and courses taken through Wells approved programs. Grades of "I" (incomplete), "NR" (not reported), "P" (pass), "S" (satisfactory), "W" (withdraw), "WF" (withdraw failing), and "Z" (successful audit) are not included in the GPA calculation.
For courses that a student elects as Pass-Fail courses, grades of "A+" through "D-" shall be converted to a grade of "P." In the computation of the GPA the registrar shall disregard any grades of "P" (after conversion); a grade of "F" shall be given the numerical equivalent of 0 in the calculation of the GPA. See also "Repeating a Course."
Classification for academic purposes shall be based solely on progress toward the degree as shown by the official records in the Office of the Registrar. Sophomore, junior and senior classification will be granted to students who have successfully passed 30, 60, and 90 semester hours respectively.
At the end of each semester, full-time students who have earned a GPA of 3.5 or above for that semester are honored by being placed on the dean's list, provided the student has completed at least 12 hours of graded work (pass/fail and S/U-graded courses are not included). Students with "I" grades are not eligible for the dean's list, regardless of date of completion. All graded courses taken at Wells and in Wells affiliated programs (including Cornell University, Ithaca College, and Cayuga Community College cross-registration) will be used in determining eligibility for the dean's list.
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA) (20 U.S.C. § 1232g; 34 CFR Part 99) is a law that pertains to the privacy of student education records and gives parents certain rights with respect to their children's education records. The law applies to all schools that receive funds under an applicable program of the U.S. Department of Education. FERPA grants students access to their academic and educational records, an opportunity to seek to have any information (thought by the student to be inaccurate or misleading) amended, and some control over disclosure of information from the record.
The information below describes generally the provisions of FERPA, a law that is enforced solely by the U.S. Department of Education through specified procedures. The complete text of that Act is available at www.ed.gov/policy/gen/guid/fpco/ferpa/index.html. By providing the following description, the College is not in any sense undertaking contractual or other obligations, or acceding to any enforcement methods or forum(s), beyond the Department of Education procedures and obligations imposed by law.
Wells College releases information regarding a student's academic record/performance to a student's parents/guardians in accordance with FERPA. That means that academic information can be released only if the College has written authorization from the student or if the student is listed as a dependent for tax purposes. Academic information includes copies of grade reports, attendance reports and any other information pertinent to an individual student's academic record. Members of the faculty and administrative officers have access to the above records on a need-to-know basis for the purpose of evaluation of student achievement and determining special needs of individual students for educational purposes.
Records of a Non-Academic Nature
Two sets of records for each currently enrolled student are maintained in the Dean of Students Office. One record tracks a student's non-academic accomplishments and records, such as College housing information, campus achievements and appropriate correspondence. Records are maintained for currently enrolled students. Records are then transferred to the Office of Alumnae and Alumni Relations upon graduation. A second record is maintained for disciplinary proceedings and incidents that violate the Wells College Student Conduct Code. These records are maintained in the Dean of Students Office for seven years in compliance with the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act. At the discretion of the dean of students, a disciplinary record for severe violations of the Student Conduct Code or violations of local, state and federal laws may be maintained by the College indefinitely.
Members of the faculty and administrative officers have access to non-academic records on a need-to-know basis as determined by the dean of students for the purpose of evaluation of student achievement and determining special needs of individual students for purposes related to the enrollment of the student at the College.
With certain exceptions, an education record is any record (1) from which a student can be personally identified and (2) maintained by the College. Education records include any records in whatever medium (handwriting, computer media, print, e-mail, magnetic tape, film, diskette, microfilm and microfiche, video or audio tape, etc.) in the possession of any school official.
Education records excluded from student access and this definition include, for example:
Release of Records:
Exceptions Not Requiring the Student's Written Consent
FERPA states that education records may not be released without the written consent of the student to any individual, agency or organization except, for example, in circumstances including the following:
Directory Information May Be Released Without Written Consent
The College may, without prior written consent from the student, release the following directory information at the discretion of the College:
Parents' names and addresses; student's name, address(es), including e-mail address and telephone number(s); date and place of birth; participation in officially recognized activities and sports; enrollment status (i.e., full-time or part-time); dates of attendance; major field(s) of study; anticipated year of graduation; degrees, honors and awards received; most recent previous school attended; athletic team members: height, weight and position played; photographs (non-captioned); sex.
Process for Withholding Directory Information
The previous information may be released for any purpose at the discretion of Wells College. However, FERPA states that each student has the right to withhold any or all of the information. Wells College will honor the student's request to restrict the release of directory information. Once restricted, that information cannot be released without the written consent of the student. A student may make such a request in the Registrar's Office. Requesting the withholding of directory information does not prevent the College from releasing educational records and information to a parent or guardian or to a College official with a need to know as outlined under the other provisions of FERPA.
To prevent disclosure of any or all categories of directory information, the student must submit a written request to Prevent Disclosure of Directory Information in writing to the registrar. A new form for non-disclosure must be completed for each academic year.
Student Access to Academic Records
Present as well as former students must submit a request in writing to the registrar for access to their individual academic records. These requests, with signed acknowledgment of compliance, will become part of the student's record.
The registrar or designated agent will inform the student within seven business days when the requested record will be available. However, every effort will be made to make the records available within a few days of the request.
Student Access to Non-Academic Records
Present as well as former students must submit a request in writing to the dean of students for access to their individual records. These requests, with signed acknowledgment of compliance, will become part of the student's record.
The dean of students or designated agent will inform the student within seven business days when the requested record will be available. However, every effort will be made to make the records available within a few days of the request.
Challenges to Student Records
A student has the right to request an amendment of her or his educational records if the student believes that inaccurate or misleading information is contained therein. A student may request, in writing, an opportunity to review the official educational records maintained by the College. The student should write the College official responsible for the record, clearly identify the part of the record they want changed and specify why it is inaccurate or misleading. The College has five business days to respond to the student request. If the College decides not to amend the record as requested by the student, the College will notify the student of the decision and advise the student of his or her right to a meeting regarding the request for amendment. Additional information regarding the meeting procedures will be provided to the student when notified of the right to a meeting.
Student's Right to Waiver of Access
A student may waive his or her right of access to confidential academic statements (i.e., recommendations) by signing the appropriate waiver form.
The waiver shall be valid only if:
A student may also waive his or her right to privacy of the academic or disciplinary record by signing a Release of Information form (available in the Office of Student Life) indicating the nature and type of information to be released and to whom it may be released, or by other forms that may be used in connection with College athletics or other programs.
A student may file a written complaint regarding an alleged FERPA violation by Wells College with the Family Policy Compliance Office, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue, S.W., Washington, DC 20202-4605.
Official transcripts of the academic record will be available for a fee to each student or alum. Requests for transcripts must be submitted in writing to the registrar, and must include the student's signature or via www.getmytranscript.com. Transcripts will not be issued to students who are indebted to the College. Unofficial transcripts are available on the Globe.
The College makes notations on the transcript in the case of some academic prizes, Dean's List, academic standing, and some suspensions/expulsions for code of conduct violations. In accordance with New York State Law, Wells College includes notations on the official transcripts for students found responsible through the institution's conduct process for crimes of violence, including, but not limited to, sexual violence, as set forth in 20 U.S.C. 1092(f)(1)(F)(i)(I)-(VIII) of the Clery Act. For information on how to appeal a transcript notation, contact the Registrar's office.
After the close of each semester, the registrar will prepare the Registrar's List for the use of the Committee on Academic Standing, Advising, and Admissions. The Registrar's List will consist of the names of students whose cumulative and/or major grade point averages are below 2.0.
The Committee on Academic Standing, Advising, and Admissions shall review student records after each semester to ascertain if students are achieving a cumulative grade point average of at least 2.0. Students whose cumulative and/or major grade point average is below 2.0 shall be notified.
The Committee on Academic Standing, Advising, and Admissions will normally issue an Academic Warning to any student whose cumulative and/or major grade point average falls below 2.0 for the first time. The Committee will normally issue an Academic Probation to any student whose cumulative grade point average falls below 2.0 for the second time, and a second Academic Probation to any student whose cumulative grade point average falls below 2.0 for the third time. The Committee shall evaluate students who have a major GPA below a 2.0 for a second time on a case-by-case basis.
For a student whose cumulative grade point average falls below 2.0 for a fourth time, the Committee on Academic Standing, Advising, and Admissions will normally issue an Academic Suspension for a minimum period of two semesters. In addition, the Committee on Academic Standing, Advising, and Admissions will consider for suspension at any time any student who is deemed to have failed to make satisfactory progress toward the degree. Suspended students must apply for readmission to the dean of the college. Readmission is at the discretion of the dean of the college. The dean of the college may set expectations that the student must satisfy upon return, based on the student's academic progress thus far.
The dean of the college or the Committee on Academic Standing, Advising, and Admissions shall dismiss a student permanently from the College for academic reasons if that student returns from an academic suspension and then fails to earn a cumulative grade point average of 2.0 any semester after return, or who fails to meet other expectations as outlined by the dean of the college for that students' readmission from suspension.
The Academic Standing, Advising and Admissions Committee may place on academic conduct probation any student who has been found responsible of a conduct offense and for whom such probation has been recommended by Community Court. Length of probation will be determined by the committee upon recommendation of Community Court.
The continuation of each student on the rolls of Wells College, the issuing of grades or other academic reports, and the conferring of any degree or the granting of any diploma, are subject to the discretionary powers of the College. The College expressly reserves the right, and the student expressly concedes to the College the right, to require the withdrawal of or impose the suspension of any student at any time for any reason deemed sufficient by the College. No reason for requiring such withdrawal need be given. Unless a student is financially independent, her or his parents will be notified of the dismissal.
In addition, a student whose behavior indicates to the dean of the college or the dean of students a need for professional consultation, may at any time be required to obtain psychiatric evaluation and clearance as a condition of continued enrollment.
A leave of absence is granted to a student who must be absent during the semester but anticipates returning to complete course work. A leave of absence for medical or other personal reasons may be granted by the dean of students for a maximum of 15 days; only one such leave may be granted during a 12-month period.
Students studying off-campus are participating in one of the following options.
A student withdraws when s/he is not planning to return to Wells College or when s/he needs an extended leave of absence (beyond 15 days).
When a student withdraws from the College, the transcript will read as follows:
A student who is not intending to return to Wells College needs to complete the withdrawal form and Exit Interview Questionnaire indicating the reasons for leaving the College. The student will also meet with the dean of students to review the withdrawal form and Exit Interview Questionnaire.
A student who withdraws from Wells College and wishes to return must submit an application of readmission available in the Dean of Students Office. Applications for readmission will be reviewed by the dean of students and other appropriate staff.
A student who is suspended from college for academic reasons may be readmitted by the dean of the College.
A student who is suspended from the College for non-academic reasons may be readmitted by the dean of students.