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Federal Requirement 4.3

Federal Requirement 4.3

Federal Requirement 4.3

The institution makes available to students and the public current academic calendars, grading policies, and refund policies.

_X_ Compliance                     ___ Non-Compliance

Narrative
McNeese State University is compliance with Federal Requirement 4.3.

McNeese State University publishes the academic calendars, grading policies, and refund policies annually in the McNeese State University Catalog. The Catalog is available electronically on the University's website. Students, potential students, and the general public can access the Catalog through the University's website. Incoming students and their parents receive information regarding accessing Catalogs, course registration, viewing bills, and so on during orientation activities that occur before start of academic terms. Returning students receive instructions on how to access the Catalog, register for classes, view bills, and so on during advising each semester. Additionally, the University has created videos to guide students through registration, scheduling, and bill payment. These videos are available from the General and Basic Studies Department web page and serve both on-campus and distance education students.

The academic calendar published in the Catalog provides a schedule of the University's semester time-table. It includes class beginning and ending dates, orientation dates, student holidays, and important deadline dates such as "last date to resign," "deadline to file for degree completion," and "deadline for receipt of thesis." The calendar also provides dates significant to faculty and administration such as official reporting day and deadlines for the submission of grades.

The McNeese State University Class Schedule, published each semester in electronic format, also contains the academic calendar and refund policies as outlined in the Catalog. While the refund policy published in the Class Schedule is in an abbreviated format, the policy clearly refers the individual to the University Catalog for further information. The Title IV Refund Policy is referenced in the Class Schedule in the section "How Withdrawal from the University Affects Financial Aid," which can be found in the term specific documentation, under the "Fee Payment" link. The Schedule is only available in electronic format.

Grading Policies
The Catalog delineates the University's policies regarding letter grade assignation, grade point average computation, grade changes, the method of reporting grades, and academic standing. Policies specifically defined include the following:
  • System of Grading
  • Quality Points and Grade-Point Average
  • Removal of "I" Grades
  • Repeating Courses
  • Final Grades
  • Grade Appeal Procedures
  • Transcript of Academic Record

These policies outline the student's responsibilities and the University's expectations in grading matters. Also provided in this policy is notification of deadlines and of time-frames dealing with grading issues, such as appeals, transcript availability, and the removal of "Incomplete" grades. The Grade Appeals Procedure is clearly defined, and specific instructions are indicated.

Grading policies and instructor expectations in relation to these policies are also outlined in the McNeese State University Faculty/Staff Handbook policy "Grading System". For example, the policy outlines the materials used to compute students' grades, retention of these materials, and the students' right to view the materials:

Materials Used in the Computation of Grades
Students have the right to see all graded materials or other items used in the computation of their grade. The course syllabus must clearly indicate how the student's grade will be determined. Points may not be subtracted from a student's final total as a punitive action for missing class; nor should points be added for attendance with lack of participation. 
 
Course syllabi for courses that require application of learning such as clinicals, student teaching, practica, labs, internships, or otherwise require specific contact hours should indicate how the student will meet the contact hour requirement of the course. The course grade for clinicals, student teaching, practica, labs, internships, or courses with specific contact hours may require attendance as a participation component in the computation of the grade. The course syllabus must state clearly the implication of attendance for the computation of the grade. Absences excused in accordance with University policy may not result in punitive grades or deduction from the final grade. 
 
All records and materials which were used in the computation of the student's grade and which were not returned to the student after grading should be retained for a period of at least one semester following the student's completion of the course.

University policy on required syllabi also specify obligations of faculty to make course materials, grading scale, and assessment information available to students through the course syllabus.

Refund Policies
Policies dealing with refunds of registration fees, room and board fees, and insurance are clearly stated in the University Catalog. Each policy clearly assigns definitions to terms as they pertain to these policies. For example, the "Refund Schedule for Registration Fees" clearly states, "The date that a student officially resigns from the University determines whether fees are refunded. The schedule refers to calendar days including weekends, beginning with the first day of classes as designated in the official University calendar. The refund policy and drop dates apply to off-campus courses as well as on-campus courses."

The refund policy also indicates the manner in which institutional refunds will be credited prior to funds being returned to the student.

The Title IV Refund Policy applies to all students receiving Federal Title IV funding and complies with all federal rules and regulations. The complete policy is provided in the University Catalog and is referenced on various documents supplied to student recipients by the Office of Financial Aid, as well as outlined on their web page under the "Withdrawing from School" link.


Supporting Evidence
MSU Academic Calendar in Catalog
MSU Academic Class Schedule
MSU Faculty/Staff Handbook
Grading System
University Syllabus Template
MSU Grading Policy in Catalog
Dropping Courses and Resignation from the University Refund Policies in Catalog
Return of Title IV Funds Policy in Catalog
Department of General and Basic Studies videos