Academic Standards

Part A. Full And Part-Time Students: Course Load, Outside Employment, Dropping And Adding Courses
I Full-Time Students
  II Part-Time Students
  III Change Of Status
  IV Other Academic Programs
  V Last Day Of Enrollment
  VI Dropping A Course
  VII Outside Employment
  VIII Authorized Variations
Part B. Academic & Residence Credit, Length Of Stay, Honors
  I Definitions
  II Residence Credits Required For Graduation
  III First Year Students
  IV Years Allowed For Completion Of Degree Requirements
  V Academic And Writing Credits Required For Graduation
  VI Honors
  VII Authorized Variations
Part C. Dismissal & Reinstatement Upon Academic Failure
  I Dismissal Of Students
  II Procedure Relating To Petition For Reinstatement After Academic Failure
  III Guidelines For Review By Academic Standards And Student Petitions Committee
  IV Effect Of Academic Dismissal
Part D. Visiting Status
  I Visiting Student Status
Part E. Examination And Grading
  I The Grading System
  II The Examination Process
  III Integration Of Non-Anonymous Grades With Anonymous Grades
  IV Anonymous Grading Policy
  V Faculty Requests For Change Of Course Grade
Part F. Attendance
  I General
  II Auditing Of Courses
Part G. Associate Dean For Academic Affairs
  I General
  II Relationship Between Associate Dean For Academic Affairs And Academic Standards And Student Petitions Committee
Part H. Miscellaneous
  I University Regulations And Procedure
  II Law School Regulations And Procedure
  III InterpretationProcedural Rules For The Academic Standards And Student Petitions Committee
Procedural Rules For The Academic Standards And Student Petitions Committee
  I Petitions To The Committee
  II Petitions For Reconsideration
  III Miscellaneous Rules
Appendix: Petition Form
Index

PART A.  FULL AND PART-TIME STUDENTS: COURSE LOAD; OUTSIDE EMPLOYMENT; DROPPING A COURSE; AND LAST DAY OF ENROLLMENT

I. FULL-TIME STUDENTS

Definition:  A full-time student is one who devotes substantially all of the student's working hours to the study of law and who is enrolled in 12 or more academic credit hours of course work.

1.  Normal Full-Time Program:  The normal academic course load for a full-time program is 16 academic credit hours per semester (or 32 academic credit hours per year) in the first year, and 14 academic credit hours per semester (or 28 semester hours per year) in the years other than the first year.

2.  Variation From Normal Course Load:  A full-time student is not permitted to enroll in fewer than 12 or more than 16 academic credit hours without special permission from the Dean or the Dean's delegate.  Normally a request for this permission shall not be considered unless the reasons for the request are stated in writing so that, if the request is granted, the reasons for that action can be included in the student's personal file.

II. PART-TIME STUDENTS

Definition: A part-time student is one who, as a general matter, is enrolled in fewer than 12 academic credit hours of course work.

1. Normal Part-Time Evening Program: The normal first year academic load is a total of 20 credits and 9 or 10 credits in the semesters that follow.

2.Variations From Normal Course Load For Part-Time Evening Students: A part-time evening student is not permitted to enroll in fewer than 9 or more than 10 academic credit hours without special permission from the Dean or the Dean's delegate. Normally, a request for this permission shall not be considered unless the reasons for the requestare stated in writing so that, if the request is granted, the reasons for that action can be included in the student's personal file.

3.  Normal Part-Time Day Program:  The normal first year academic load is 10.8 credits in the fall semester and 9.2 credits in the spring semester for a total of 20 credits for the year.  However, with the permission of the Dean or the Dean's delegate, part-time day students may request in writing permission to add Constitutional Law to their spring semester course load for a total of 13.2 credits.  This request must be made between October 1 and December 15.  Students who make such a request and have the request granted are permitted to withdraw from Constitutional Law at any time up until the tenth day of classes of the spring semester without consequence.  In subsequent years, part-time day students will take 9 or 10 credits per semester.

 4. Variations From Normal Course Load For Part-Time Day Students:Except as described in II.3. of these rules, a part-time day student is not permitted to enroll in fewer than 9 or more than 10 academic credit hours without special permission from the Dean or the Dean's delegate. Normally, a request for this permission shall not be considered unless the reasons for the requestare stated in writing so that, if the request is granted, the reasons for that action can be included in the student's personal file.

III.  CHANGE OF STATUS

Under the academic rules, students are permitted, with permission from the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, to change from part-time status to full-time status, or vice versa.  The minimum number of years in which a student who has changed status can graduate will depend upon how quickly the student can earn the required academic credits and residence credits.  Since the possible combinations of full-time, part-time, and summer sessions are numerous, any student who is contemplating a change of status should discuss such a change with the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs.

IV. OTHER ACADEMIC PROGRAMS

No student may earn academic credit in a program outside the Law School.

V. LAST DAY OF ENROLLMENT

No student may enroll for a course after the close of business on the tenth day of classes of a regular semester or, in the case of summer school, the close of business on the third day of classes of the summer school session.

VI. DROPPING A COURSE

A.  Required courses:  All students are expected to take all required courses in the years and semester to which these courses have been assigned.  Students are not permitted to drop required courses except as described in II.3. of these rules.

B.  Restricted withdrawal courses:  No student is permitted to drop restricted withdrawal courses subsequent to the second class of the semester.  A course is a restricted withdrawal course if the course instructor (with the approval of the Dean or the Dean's delegate) either designates the course as "restricted withdrawal" in the mail registration material or gives notice at least one week prior to the start of the course.

C.  Elective courses, fall and spring semesters, full-time program:  A student in the full-time program may drop an elective course, other than a restricted withdrawal course, prior to the close of business on the last day of regularly scheduled classes for the semester, provided that the withdrawal does not reduce the student's academic load to less than 12 academic credit hours that semester.

D.  Elective courses, fall and spring semesters, part-time program:  A student in the part-time program may drop an elective course, other than a restricted withdrawal course, prior to the close of business on the last day of regularly scheduled classes for the semester, provided that the withdrawal does not reduce the student's academic load to less than 9 academic credit hours for that semester.

E.  Elective courses, summer school:  A student in the summer program may drop an elective course, other than a restricted withdrawal course, prior to the close of business on the last day of regularly scheduled classes for summer school.

F.  Procedure:  A form for dropping courses is available from the Student Records Office.  A student who wishes to drop a course, other than a restricted withdrawal course, must complete and submit this form to the Student Records Office prior to the close of business on the last day of regularly scheduled classes for the semester.  A student who wishes to drop a restricted withdrawal course must complete and submit this form to the Student Records Office prior to the second class of the semester.

VII. OUTSIDE EMPLOYMENT

Statement of Policy:  The Law School has the responsibility to monitor the amount of a student's outside employment to assure itself that a proper balance exists between the amount of outside employment and the amount of academic obligation that a student has undertaken.

1.  Full-Time Students:  A full-time student cannot exceed 20 hours of outside employment a week and is advised not to exceed 10 hours of outside employment a week.
 
2.  Part-Time Students:  The Law School considers that a minimum of 3 hours of preparation time is necessary for each class hour taken (the number of class hours in a week being the same as the number of academic credit hours taken).  Part-time students should adjust their outside employment and course loads accordingly.

VIII. AUTHORIZED VARIATIONS

Except for Section VII, Outside Employment, the Dean or the Dean's delegate is authorized to grant variances from the Rules of this Part in cases of substantial hardship or exceptional merit.  All variances shall be within American Bar Association Standard 304.  An informational report of variances granted shall be made periodically by the Dean or the Dean's delegate to the Academic Standards and Student Petitions Committee.

Requests for variances from Section VII shall initially be addressed to the Academic Standards and Student Petitions Committee for a recommendation which shall be forwarded to the faculty for a final determination.  The faculty is authorized to grant variances from Section VI in cases of substantial hardship which is not foreseeable at the time of enrollment or in cases of exceptional merit.  All variances shall be within American Bar Association Standard 304.

PART B.  ACADEMIC AND RESIDENCE CREDIT; LENGTH OF STAY LIMITATIONS; HONORS

 I. DEFINITIONS

A.  An academic year consists of two consecutive semesters beginning with the fall semester.  A "semester" is the fall semester or the spring semester.  The summer session is not a semester.

B.  A "completed credit hour" is one which is passed with the grade of 60 or higher.

II. RESIDENCE CREDITS REQUIRED FOR GRADUATION

A student must earn at least six residence credits over the course of at least six semesters in order to graduate.  However, a student who has earned residence credits solely as a part-time student must earn residence credits in at least eight semesters in order to graduate.  Most part-time students wishing to complete the program in 4 years must also attend summer school twice.

A.  Full-Time Students:  To be considered a full-time student for the purpose of residence credit, a student must receive a passing grade in at least 12 academic  credit hours during a semester.  One residence credit is given for such a  semester.

B.  Part-Time Students:  Students who receives a passing grade in fewer than 12 academic credit hours in a semester are considered part-time students during that semester for the purpose of residence credit.  If a student completes 9 to 11 academic credit hours, 3/4 of a residence credit is given for the semester.  Upon completion of 8 academic credit hours, 2/3 of a residence credit is given for the semester.  Should a student fail to complete 8 semester hours, fractional residence credit shall be given in the ratio that the number of completed hours bears to 12 hours.

C.  Summer School:  The maximum residence credit which can be earned in one summer session is 5/12 of one credit which will be granted upon completion of 5 or more academic credit hours.  Lesser course loads will receive proportional credit upon completion.

III.  FIRST YEAR STUDENTS

Since the first-year curriculum is prescribed, it is necessary for an entering student to select either part-time or full-time status for the entire academic year. If entering in a full-time status, the student shall be enrolled for the whole first year in a section pursuing the full-time first-year curriculum.  A student entering in a part-time status will be enrolled for the whole first academic year in a section pursuing the part-time first-year curriculum.


IV. YEARS ALLOWED FOR COMPLETION OF DEGREE REQUIREMENTS

A student who has taken at least 12 academic credit hours for 1/2 or more of the semesters in which the student is enrolled in the Law School must complete the degree requirements within 4 years after matriculation. A student who has taken less than 12 academic credit hours for each semester in which the student is enrolled in the Law School must complete the degree requirements within 5 years after matriculation.  All other students must complete the degree requirements within 4 1/2 years after matriculation

V. ACADEMIC AND WRITING CREDITS REQUIRED FOR GRADUATION

A student must earn 88 academic credits, no fewer than 65 of which must be earned in courses that meet in regularly scheduled class sessions at the Law School,  and also satisfactorily complete all writing requirements, including Moot Court, in order to graduate.

VI.  HONORS

Degrees with honors are awarded at graduation for superior scholastic attainment.  Students will be recommended for honors if they have completed a minimum of 58 credit hours at Western New England University School of Law.  Academic honors will be granted upon graduation to those students whose cumulative grade point average is within the highest 15% of the graduating class, provided that no honors will be granted to any student whose cumulative grade point average is below 80.

A.  Summa Cum Laude:  Any student who would otherwise receive magna cum laude honors upon graduation may be graduated summa cum laude, if, in the opinion of the Academic Standards and Student Petitions Committee, the student has achieved unusually outstanding academic excellence as indicated by the student's cumulative grade point average.

B.  Magna Cum Laude:  Any student, other than a summa cum laude graduate, whose cumulative grade point average is included within the highest 3% of the cumulative grade point averages in any graduating class will receive magna cum laude  honors upon graduation.

C.  Cum Laude:  Any student, other than summa cum laude and magna cum laude  graduates, who is entitled to graduate with honors, will receive cum laude honors upon graduation.

VII. AUTHORIZED VARIATIONS

Except for Part B, Sections IV, V and VI, the Dean or the Dean's delegate is authorized to grant variances from the Rules of this Part in cases of substantial hardship or exceptional merit.  All variances shall be within American Bar Association Standard 304.  An information report of variances granted is to be made periodically by the Dean or the Dean's delegate to the Academic Standards and Student Petitions Committee.

PART C.  DISMISSAL AND REINSTATEMENT UPON ACADEMIC FAILURE

I. DISMISSAL OF STUDENTS

A.  Reporting of Grades:  Grades are reported by number and averages are calculated by number.  A cumulative average is calculated for a student at the end of the second semester in the law school, and at the end of each successive semester.

B.  Dismissal for Poor Scholarship:  A student will be dismissed for poor scholarship if the student's cumulative grade point average at the end of the spring semester of any academic year is less than 70.0  A student is not eligible to graduate if the student's cumulative average on all work completed is less than 70.0.

II. PROCEDURE RELATING TO PETITION FOR REINSTATEMENT AFTER ACADEMIC FAILURE

A.  Notice of Failure:  At the close of each spring semester, the Director of Student Records shall be notified of those students whose grade point averages are below the standards set forth in Part C, Section I.  The Director of Student Records shall send the list of students to be dismissed to the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, who shall then send a written notice of dismissal to each such student.  The notice shall be accompanied by a statement of the Academic Standards relating to dismissal and reinstatement, and an outline of the procedure for filing a petition for reinstatement.

B.  Petition Procedure:  The procedure for filing a petition for reinstatement is as follows:

1.  Time for Petition:  A petitioning student must file a petition for reinstatement within 15 days after the date of mailing of the notice of dismissal.  The petition shall be filed with the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs.

2.  Form and Style of Petition:  A petition for reinstatement shall be typewritten and submitted in quadruplicate.  It shall be headed "Petition for an Exception to the Rules for Academic Dismissal."

3.  Filing Fee:  A petitioning student shall submit to the Law School with the petition a $25.00 filing fee.

C.  Reference to Academic Standards and Student Petitions Committee:  The Associate Dean for Academic Affairs shall refer any petition filed under Part C, Section II.B to the Academic Standards and Student Petitions Committee for review.

III. GUIDELINES FOR REVIEW BY ACADEMIC STANDARDS AND STUDENT PETITIONS COMMITTEE

A.  General:  The Academic Standards and Student Petitions Committee sitting without student members, unless the petitioning student elects otherwise, shall review any petition for reinstatement filed under Part C, Section II.B.  In reaching its determination, it shall be guided by the considerations stated in subsections (B) and (C) below.

B.  Specifications of Reason for Academic Failure:  The petitioning student must allege and prove that the student possesses the requisite ability and that the prior disqualification does not indicate a lack of capacity to complete studies at the Law School.  The petitioning student must also state any extraordinary circumstances beyond the student's control, which rebut the presumption raised by the student's record, and which establish that the deficiency was not due to lack of ability or failure to apply himself or herself diligently to the study of law.  If the circumstances are related to physical or psychological incapacity in the course of a semester or before or during an examination, convincing medical proof must accompany the petition.

C.  Scope of Relief:  The Academic Standards and Student Petitions Committee is authorized to:

1.  deny the petition; or

2.  grant the petition, upon terms and conditions stated by the Committee.

D.  Guidelines for Readmitted Student:

1. In the case of students who are dismissed for academic insufficiency and are then readmitted to retake the entire first year by the Academic Standards and Student Petitions Committee, the grades received by the student in the year(s) prior to readmission being repeated shall not be computed in determining class rank or grade point average, but such grades shall be retained upon the student's transcript.  However, for purposes of advancement from year to year and graduation, the Law School shall, for internal use, average together all grades in order to establish a combined average which shall then be used in each subsequent averaging.  In the case of such a student, the following notation shall appear on the transcript:  "By faculty action this student was readmitted to the first year for good cause after being dismissed for academic deficiencies.  For purposes of computing the student's academic average and class rank on this transcript, only the grades received after readmission are included."

2. In all other cases of readmission the Academic Standards and Student Petitions Committee shall determine on an individual basis the terms and conditions of readmission including, but not limited to, the disposition of grades earned prior to readmission.  Such students shall have the option of accepting readmission as granted or of being readmitted to the first year in accordance with subsection (D)(1).

E.  Faculty Review of Decisions by Academic Standards and Student Petitions Committee:  The Academic Standards and Student Petitions Committee shall notify the petitioning student in writing of its decision and of the availability of full faculty review of an adverse decision.  The faculty, sitting without student members, unless the petitioning student elects otherwise, shall review the Committee's decision at the request of (1) any full-time faculty member in the case of petitions for reinstatement under Part C, sections II or IV, and (2) three full-time faculty members in the case of all other student petitions.  The petitioning student may appear before the faculty meeting only if the faculty so requests.  The faculty shall affirm the decision of the Academic Standards and Student Petitions Committee unless upon review of the available information the faculty is convinced that the decision is clearly erroneous.

IV. EFFECT OF ACADEMIC DISMISSAL

A.  Attendance and Refund:  If a student receives notice of dismissal for poor scholarship while the student is in attendance at the Law School during the next succeeding academic session, the student is eligible to take any final examination or submit any papers or projects for grades for that academic session.  However, the student may instead elect to withdraw in which event the Law School will recommend to the Associate Vice President for Business and Finance/Controller of Western New England University that a proportionate refund of tuition be made to any student who is dismissed for poor scholarship during the next succeeding academic session.

B.  Eligibility to Petition for Reconsideration:  Any former student dismissed for poor scholarship who is not reinstated immediately following dismissal may petition the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs according to the rules outlines in Part C, Sections II and III subject to the following limitations:

1. the petition must be filed not later than 90 days prior to the date upon which the former student wishes to return as a student;

2. the petition must request reentry at a date when at least two years have elapsed after dismissal;

3.  the petition must allege and substantiate that the nature of the former student's work, activity, or studies during the interim indicate a stronger potential for law study than that which existed upon dismissal;

4.  this provision applies both to students who filed a petition for reinstatement at the time of dismissal, and also to those students dismissed for poor scholarship who did not file such petition immediately after dismissal; and

5.  the petition shall be reviewed and acted upon by the Academic Standards and Student Petitions Committee.

PART D.  VISITING STATUS

I. VISITING STUDENT STATUS

A.  Permission to Visit:  A law student may attend another law school approved by the American Bar Association and the American Association of Law Schools while remaining a candidate for a degree at the Law School, subject to the prior approval of the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs.

B.  Grounds for Approval of Request to Visit During Summer School:  The Associate Dean for Academic Affairs may approve the petition of a student requesting visiting student privileges if the student's requested course load is no heavier than that offered by the Law School in its summer session and the courses offered by the law school to be visited are similar to those offered by the Law School.

C.  Grounds for Approval of Request to Visit During Academic Year:  The Associate Dean for Academic Affairs may approve the petition of a student requesting visiting student privileges if the visit would serve the best interests of both the student and the school and if either:

1. the petitioner has a special interest in taking a concentration of courses in a defined subject matter, and the Law School will not be able to offer that concentration of courses during the petitioner's period of attendance at the Law School, and the petitioner's cumulative grade point average in the Law School is 73.0 or higher; or

2. the petitioner shows that hardship will result if visiting status is not granted.

D.  Transfer of Credits:  The Law School will accept the transfer of credit received from another law school during an approved visitation as follows:

1. The Law School will transfer credit only for courses in which the grade received is equal to or higher than the grade point average required for graduation at the law school visited.

2. All grades for which credit is transferred will be reported as "Pass" for purposes of computing academic averages of students at the Law School.  The student's transcript will also include the course name and grade for all courses taken during the visit, including any reported course for which transfer credit is not received.  Courses for which transfer credit is not received will be accompanied by the notation "No Credit."

3. No more than 32 academic credits will be accepted for transfer for any student during the student's career at the Law School.

E.  Advanced Standing:  In the case of admittance with advanced standing, the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs will determine the residence and academic credit to be awarded towards the Law School's degree.

F.  Miscellaneous Provisions

1. Course Load During Visitation:  A student may not take a course load in another law school during visitation which exceeds the maximum authorized by the Law School's  Academic Standards.

2. Unapproved Visitation:  The Law School does not accept the transfer of credit taken as a visiting student at another law school unless the program of studies was approved in accordance with the provision of this Part D, Visiting Status.

PART E.  EXAMINATION AND GRADING

I. THE GRADING SYSTEM

A.  General:  The Law School records numerical grades in courses, except where the nature of the course makes a numerical grade impractical.  The numerical range of grades is 55 to 99.  Academic credit is granted for a final grade of 60 or higher.  If a student receives a failing final grade in a course, the grade is included in the calculation of grade point average, but the failed course is not included in calculating either the total credits completed for graduation or residence credit.

B.  Pass-Fail Courses:  In certain designated courses, a grade of P (Pass) is assigned if the course is satisfactorily completed.  A grade of F (Fail) is assigned if the course is not satisfactorily completed.  P or F does not have a grade point or letter grade equivalent.

C.  Required Courses in Which a Failing Grade is Received:  Any required course in which a failing grade has been received must be repeated in the next academic period in which the course is offered unless the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs approves an alternate schedule.  In the case of a failing final grade being received in a course which is a prerequisite to an advanced course, the prerequisite must be satisfied before the advanced course may be taken.

If a student is required to repeat a course because of a failing final grade, the  original grade is included in the calculation as "completed" work for purposes of grade average calculation, even though the failed course is not used in calculating the total credits required for graduation.

II. THE EXAMINATION PROCESS

A.  Materials Permitted at the Examination:  Each instructor shall state those materials which are to be permitted in the examination in the instructor's course.  It is the policy of the Law School that an item or material is not to be authorized unless its content is necessary to a proper analysis and solution of one or more problems on the examination, such as a statute on which the problem is based.

B.  Take-Home Examination: Requirements:

1. An instructor may give a take-home examination under such conditions as he or she deems appropriate in consultation with the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs.

2. The anonymous grading system shall apply to take-home examinations.

3. If an instructor decides to use a take-home examination, notice should be given to the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs as soon as possible.

C.  Rules for Examinations:

The Dean or the Dean's delegate shall be responsible for establishing rules to govern the examination process.  Those rules shall include, but not be limited to, the following:

1. Not more than one student at a time may leave the room:  Students must sign out on the pad on the proctor's desk and cross off their names upon returning.  Students are not allowed to take examinations from the room.

2. No conversation is allowed during the examination.  If a student has a question, the student shall come to the proctor's desk.

3. No smoking is allowed in the classroom.

4. When, at the end of the examination, the proctor announces that the time is up, all students shall stop writing immediately.  It is a violation of the Honor Code to continue writing after the examination is over.

5. When finished, students shall place their examination questions and scrap paper in their examination books and place the examination books face down in the box on the proctor's desk, cross their names off the roster; and leave the room quietly.

6. Students who type their examinations shall return them to the proctor from whom they secured the examinations.

7. Late arrivals do not get extra time.  Proctors shall ask them if they are willing to take the reduced time.  If they are unwilling, these students shall report to the Student Records Office.

D. Submission of Papers in Lieu of Final Examinations:  Restrictions and Requirements:

1. Standard 303 (b) of the American Bar Association states that scholastic achievement of students must be evaluated.  Interpretation 303-2 addresses the issue of evaluation by examination:

 The evaluation of scholastic achievement shall include a written examination of suitable length and complexity in every course for which credit is given, except:

 (1) Clinical and simulations courses; and
 (2) Courses involving extensive written work, such as moot court, legal writing and drafting, seminars, and individual research projects.  (August 1996)

2. The examination specified in D. 1, above, should be by either written examination or term paper.  The examination should not be an oral examination, nor should it be a progress report graded by fellow students.  The intent is to have a meaningful faculty assessment of the student's work product.

E.  Departure from Examination Schedules:  No instructor has the authority to grant to a student a departure from the examination schedule.  Any student who desires a departure from the examination schedule shall not make such a request to the instructor but shall instead make the request to the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs at the time or times designated.

1. A student shall be granted a departure from the examination schedule for a conflict.  In that event, the make up examinations must be taken in the next regularly scheduled examination period that does not constitute a conflict.  A conflict in the examination schedule is defined as:

a. two examinations simultaneously;

b. two examinations in successive examination periods (including night-morning but excluding Saturday-Monday);

c. two examinations on the same day;

d. three examinations on three successive evenings for part-time students employed full-time who certify that they cannot obtain time off during the examination period.

2. A student may be granted a departure from the examination schedule for an emergency at any time by the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs.

F.  Reporting Grades:  Unless otherwise announced by the Dean, the following procedure applies:

1. Instructors shall report all course grades to the Dean after the close of the final examination period.

2. In the case of graduating seniors, graduating seniors shall not mark "Graduating Senior" on their examination books.  Such books shall be graded and reported at the time specified by the Director of Student Records.  The Director of Student Records shall effect such procedures as necessary to permit grading to be finished on time.

3. The Dean shall review all course grades submitted.  After review, course grades shall be posted by the Director of Student Records by course and examination number.

4. Course grades shall be recorded as part of each student's academic record by the Director of Student Records at the same time course grades are released.

G.  Examination in First Year Courses:

1.  First year practice examinations:  First-year practice examinations may be scheduled during the first semester in each first year course.  Practice examinations should be  similar in content to actual examinations.  Practice examinations are preliminary introductions to the Law School examination process.

2.  First-year examinations:  Proctored examinations shall be given in both semesters of all year-long first year required courses.  First semester grades on such proctored examinations shall be counted as 20% of the final grade in the course, and second semester grades on such proctored examinations shall be counted as at least 60% of the grade. This rule does not apply to year-long courses in the second year of the part-time program.

H.  Illness Before Examination:  If a student becomes ill before commencing an examination, the student must attempt to notify the Dean or the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs prior to the commencement of the examination to obtain permission to reschedule the examination.  When the Dean and Associate Dean for Academic Affairs are unavailable, the ill student shall have the right to decide not to take the examination, but must notify the Dean or the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs of the illness as soon as possible following the examination.  If a student leaves an examination for illness or for any other reason, the examination will be graded.

III. INTEGRATION OF NON-ANONYMOUS GRADES WITH ANONYMOUS GRADES

A. Integration of Projects with Anonymous Examination Grades:  If an instructor uses projects or other like programs as part of the course grade, the instructor shall submit a list of students by name, showing their project or program grades at the same time as submission of anonymous examination grades by examination number.  The instructor shall also state the percent of course grade attributable to the project or program.  The Director of Student Records shall integrate the grades according to the instructor's formula.

B.  Integration of Points for Classroom Participation with Anonymous Examination Grades:  An instructor may choose to recognize superior classroom performance by individual students by adding from one to three points to the student's course grade.  The following procedures apply to granting points for classroom participation:

1.  No instructor may award points for classroom participation unless the instructor has announced the intention to do so in a regular meeting of the class within the first three weeks that the class meets.

2.  To make an addition to the grades of individual students, the instructor shall submit a list of the names of those students whose course grades are to be benefited by the practice at the same time that the instructor submits the list of final examination grades by student examination number.

3.  The Director of Student Records shall integrate the classroom participation points with examination grades and project scores, if any.

IV. ANONYMOUS GRADING POLICY

A.  Preference for Anonymous Grading:  The Law School uses an anonymous grading system for the determination of a student's grade on the final examination and for the course with the following exceptions:

1.  Clinical Work, Moot Court, Practice Court, Lawyering Process, Seminars, and Individual Research Projects:  Although it is impractical in these instances to employ an anonymous grading system, objective grading should be adhered to by the faculty.

2.  Individual Projects or Interim Examinations:  Individual projects or interim examinations may be used by instructors to be evaluated toward the course grade.  An individual project should not constitute more than one-third of the course grade in those courses in which American Bar Association Standard 303 and its interpretations requires a final examination.  If interim examinations will constitute more than one-third of the course grade (in a one semester course) or more than one- fourth of the course grade (in a two semester course), the instructor should make arrangements with the Student Records Office to guarantee that students' examinations will be graded anonymously.

B.  File of Examinations:  The Law School shall keep an official file of all examinations administered to students.  At least two copies of each examination that counts toward the final grade shall be given to the Student Records Office by each instructor.

C.  Preservation of Blue Books:  Each instructor shall deliver to the Student Records Office all examination books to be kept on file for one year after the examination has been graded.

V.  FACULTY REQUESTS FOR CHANGE OF COURSE GRADE

The Dean must receive all requests by faculty for grade changes.  The Dean may approve all such changes which are required solely to correct arithmetic error.  The Dean shall submit all other requests by the faculty to the Academic Standards and Student Petitions Committee where there shall be a presumption against approving that recommendation.  The faculty member shall bear the burden of overcoming that presumption.

PART F.  ATTENDANCE

I. GENERAL

A.  Standard:  It is the policy of the Law School to adhere to the standard on attendance adopted by the American Bar Association that regular and punctual class attendance is necessary to satisfy residence and class hours requirements.

B.  Implementation:  Implementation of this standard is up to individual faculty members subject to the following limitations:

1.  each faculty member shall announce the method of implementing the attendance policy before the third week of class in each semester;

2.  the sanction for violation of any faculty member's implementation by any student is administrative withdrawal from the course; and

3.  any student is entitled to at least one warning from any faculty member for excessive absence prior to imposing the sanction described in subsection B (2) above.

II. AUDITING OF COURSES

A.  Statement of Policy:  An auditing student is not obligated to prepare for class on a day-to-day basis, but in turn is not authorized to take up classroom time.  The student is expected to acquire the materials for the course, and shall be held to the same attendance regulations as all other students.

If the conditions of permission to audit, including regular attendance, are satisfied, the course is entered on the student's academic record and the word "Audit" is entered where academic credit and grade would normally be entered.
B.  Auditing Fees:  Students granted permission to audit a course must pay the regular tuition and fees which apply to the course if such students are not candidates for a Law School degree.  Degree candidates may audit a course, and the credits will not be counted in the normal full-time academic course load.

 

PART G.  ASSOCIATE DEAN FOR ACADEMIC AFFAIRS

I. GENERAL

The Associate Dean for Academic Affairs is appointed by the Dean for an indefinite term.  The Associate Dean for Academic Affair's responsibilities include, without limitation, the following duties:

A.  to develop and manage the curriculum;

B.  to administer academic standards as applied to individual students, including requests for exceptions to the Academic Standards; and

C.  to develop and manage an effective system of academic and career counseling.

II. RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN ASSOCIATE DEAN FOR ACADEMIC AFFAIRS AND ACADEMIC STANDARDS AND STUDENT PETITIONS COMMITTEE

A.  Petitions for Exceptions to Rules:  All petitions filed for exceptions to the Academic Standards must be filed with the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs.

B.  Reference to Academic Standards and Student Petitions Committee

1.  The Associate Dean for Academic Affairs shall refer to the Academic Standards and Student Petitions Committee any petition for:

a.  readmission; or

b.  reinstatement after suspension or dismissal from class for poor attendance.

2.  The Associate Dean for Academic Affairs shall refer any other petition for exception to the Academic Standards to the Academic Standards and Student Petitions Committee which should be determined by collective decision-making made by the Academic Standards and Student Petition Committee.

C.  Any student who is dissatisfied with the application of these Academic Standards may pursue the matter with the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs.  Thereafter, if the student is still dissatisfied, the student may pursue the matter further by petition to the Academic Standards and Student Petitions Committee.

PART H.  MISCELLANEOUS

I. UNIVERSITY REGULATIONS AND PROCEDURES

The following regulations apply to all physical facilities at Western New England University, including the Law School.

A.  Unless otherwise clearly marked, smoking is prohibited.

B.  Beverages and food in the classroom are prohibited.

C.  All persons shall avoid creating noise in hallways and areas designated for study.

D.  No one may enter buildings without footwear.

E.  All persons must maintain a standard of cleanliness on the premises.  This includes proper disposal of food and beverage containers inside and outside buildings.

F.  No animals are permitted in buildings, except as necessary to aid disabled persons.

G.  The use of all facilities and appropriate services for conferences, meeting rooms, dinners, and special functions shall be scheduled through the office of the Director of Student Activities.

H.  The use of audio-visual equipment shall be scheduled through the Director of Audio-Visual Services whose office is in Sleith Hall.

I.  Withdrawals and Refunds:  The University operates on an academic term basis by which commitments are made in advance to teaching staff and to others whose services are essential to the operation of the University.

Refunds are made to students based on the following schedule:

100 percent refund of the tuition charge, less the tuition deposit, when notice of withdrawal is received prior to the first day of classes.

75 percent will be refunded when notice of withdrawal is received during the first week of classes.

66 2/3 percent will be refunded when notice of withdrawal is received during the second week of classes.

33 1/3 percent will be refunded when notice of withdrawal is received during the third week of classes.

25 percent will be refunded when notice of withdrawal is received during the fourth week of classes.

No refund will be granted after the fourth week of classes.

Students who withdraw from a class or from the University must notify the Director of Student Records in writing at the time of withdrawal.  Approved refunds will be computed on the basis of the date appearing on the official withdrawal form. Absence from class does not constitute withdrawal from a course.

No refunds will be made on fees other than tuition.

Students who use the deferred tuition payment plan are obligated to pay in accordance with the above schedule.  If, at the end of a semester, a student has not paid the accrued charges for that semester, the student will be designated "not in good standing" until the charges are paid.

Students who withdraw with an unpaid balance will be financially liable for any amount remaining unpaid after a refund credit has been applied to the balance.

No student may withdraw in good standing from the University unless all financial obligations have been met.

II.  LAW SCHOOL REGULATIONS AND PROCEDURES

A.  Classroom Use:  Use of Law School classrooms is subject to administrative regulations.  Normally, upon completion of the night classes, the classrooms shall not be available for use.

B.  Use of Recording Devices in Class:  No person shall use a recording device in any instructional situation in the Law School without the prior consent of the instructor.

C.  Student Records:  Files and Information

1.  Student Information:  Each student is requested to complete a form at registration that provides the Law School with the student's local address, telephone number, emergency contact, and information concerning the student's employment while the student is enrolled.  Maintenance of the accuracy of the form is the responsibility of each student.

2.  Access to File:  Under the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, (the "Act"), a student may inspect and review any and all official records, files, and data directly related to the student in the student's status as a student.  The student is also offered an opportunity for a hearing to challenge the content of the records to insure that the records are not inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise in violation of the privacy or other rights of the student.

a.  The opportunity to inspect and review records under the Act shall be afforded only in the presence of and under the supervision of a member of the staff of the Law School.

b.  A student who desires to exercise the opportunity to inspect and review must file a written request to do so.

c.  Subsequent to the receipt of the request, but within the 45 day period specified in the Act, the Law School will designate a time and place for the inspection and review of the records and the member of the staff who will be present.

d.  The Law School will give notice of this information to the student on the basis of the address or telephone information provided on the request form.

e.  If, after the inspection and review, the student desires an opportunity for a hearing to challenge the contents of the records, the student must file a request for a hearing on a form that has been created for this purpose.

3. Confidentiality of Student Records:  The Privacy Act assures students the right to inspect and review all Law School records, files and data directly related to them with the exception of medical and psychiatric records, confidential recommendations submitted before January 1, 1974, records to which they have waived the right to access, and financial records of their parents or guardians.

The Privacy Act also prohibits the distribution of grades to parents or guardians without a student's prior written consent, or a statement of dependency from a parent or guardian when the student is a dependent as defined under the Internal Revenue Code.

However, the Law School may make public at its discretion, without prior approval, the following information: class year, home address, telephone number, University address and telephone number, major field, date and place of birth, photograph, dates of attendance at the Law School, degree honors, awards received, and previous educational institutions most recently attended.

A student may limit the release of the discretionary information by filing a special form with the Vice President for Academic Affairs of the University each year.

D.  Faculty evaluations:  Students shall be afforded the opportunity to evaluate each faculty member in each course in an effort to identify effective and ineffective teachers and to develop quality in the program of the Law School by providing constructive criticism.

E.  Description of faculty committees:  The Dean shall provide to the Student Bar Association a description of the charge and jurisdiction of each faculty committee for which students are eligible for membership.  A student may file with the Student Bar Association a request for appointment to one or more faculty committees, stating the student's preference, but a student is not eligible to serve on more than one faculty committee.  The Student Bar Association shall announce a deadline for the receipt of student requests for faculty committee appointments.  The Student Bar Association shall then certify the names of students to serve on each faculty committee to the Dean.  The Dean shall then announce the names of the faculty and the student members on each faculty committee.

F. Registration with State Bar:  Some states require that a student, shortly after beginning the study of law, register with the Board of Bar Examiners in the state in which the student plans to practice.  It is the student's responsibility to ascertain the rules of the state(s) in which he or she may wish to practice.

 III. INTERPRETATION

The headings used in these Academic Standards are for convenience only and are not to be considered a part of these Standards.

The information in this publication is not to be regarded as creating a binding contract between the student and the law school.  Western New England University reserves the right to change any of the requirements and regulations of the Law School at any time without prior notice.  This includes, but is not limited to, the right to modify requirements for admission or graduation; to change the arrangement or content of the courses, the instructional materials used, and tuition and other fees; to alter any regulation affecting the student body; to refuse admission or readmission of any student at any time; or to dismiss any student at any time should it be in the interest of the Law School or the student to do so.

PROCEDURAL RULES FOR THE ACADEMIC STANDARDS AND STUDENT PETITIONS COMMITTEE

I.  PETITIONS TO THE COMMITTEE

A.  Meetings with the Committee:

1. Initial Readmission Petitions:  An individual who petitions the Committee for readmission to the Law School shall have the right to a meeting with the Committee with respect to the initial petition. Only the student and the Committee may be present at such a meeting.

2.  Other Petitions:  The Committee may grant, in the Committee's discretion, personal meetings for all other petitions.

B.  Student Members:  The petitioner may elect to include or exclude student members of the Committee from consideration and/or decision of the petition.  Such  an election is to be made in writing.  If no election is made, student members will not participate in consideration or decision of the petition.

C.  Record of Meetings:  All personal meetings before the Committee shall be recorded on tape and retained by the Committee.

D.  Additional Information to the Committee:  The Committee may request such additional information as it deems necessary or helpful in order to act on a petition.  The petitioners shall present all relevant material and information in their written petitions.

II.  PETITIONS FOR RECONSIDERATION

A.  New or Additional Information:  The Committee shall review a petition for reconsideration of a prior petition only to determine if the reconsideration petition contains new or additional information which was not available or which could not reasonably have been available at the time of the original petition.  If the Committee determines that the reconsideration petition contains such new information, then the Committee will reconsider its prior determination in light of this new or additional information.   If the Committee determines that such reconsideration petition does not contain such new or additional information, the reconsideration will be denied.

B.  Action By Committee:  The Committee may, in the Committee's discretion, meet with the petitioner during the reconsideration process; however, the petitioner shall not be entitled to such a meeting as a matter of right.

III.  MISCELLANEOUS RULES

A.  Communications with the Committee:  Students or persons acting on the behalf of any student should communicate only with the Chair of the Committee with respect to any petition. 

B.  Notice of Decision:  All notices of decision shall be issued by the Chair of the Committee.   The decisions of the Committee shall be communicated in writing to the petitioner.  The notice of the decision shall be sent to the mailing address of the petitioner as listed on the petition.  The petitioner may request that the written notice be held for him/her in the Student Records Office of
the Law School


 

Index to Academic Standards

academic dismissal grades-combining exams, papers, etc.
access to student files grading system
animals prohibited graduation requirements
anonymous grading policy honors
associate dean illness before examination
attendance policy interpretation
audio-visual equipment late enrollment
auditing courses noise
classroom use outside employment
committees papers in lieu of exam
confidentiality part-time student
dismissal passing grade
dropping course petition for exception to academic rules
evaluation of faculty petition form
exam schedule-conflict rules petitions to the ASSP Committee
examination-first year privacy of student records
examination-illness readmission after two year absence
examination-official file recording devices
examination-materials permitted refunds
examination-rules for reinstatement after failure
examination-take home residence credit requirement
faculty evaluation restricted withdrawal courses
first year students smoking policy
food and drink in classrooms student records
full-time student summer school
grade reporting taping classes
grades-anonymous grading policy visiting student status
grades-change of course grades withdrawal from courses
grades-classroom participation points years for completion of degree
grades-clinical courses, seminars, etc.