Academic Catalog 2020-2021

Adding, Dropping, and Withdrawing from Courses

The student’s schedule may be adjusted by adding and dropping courses with the approval of the academic advisor during the schedule modification period. Check the Academic Calendar for dates. Courses that are officially dropped by a student do not appear on a student’s transcript. If a student does not officially drop a class but never attends the class, a grade of “@W” will appear on the student’s transcript.

After the schedule modification period, any official withdrawal from a class must be done by the student through Registrar Services. When a student officially withdraws from a course, a grade of “W’’ (withdrew) is recorded during the first 40% of the term. After this period, a “WP” (withdrew passing) or “WF” (withdrew failing) is assigned by the instructor based upon an assessment of the student’s work to date in the course. No hours attempted are recorded for “W’’ and “WP” grades. Check the Academic Calendar for dates.

The last day for withdrawing from an individual course is four weeks after mid-term or a date not to exceed 75% of the course. Check the Academic Calendar for dates. After this date only a complete withdrawal from school will be processed.

The directions for withdrawing are listed below.

  1. Log in to WebbConnect
  2. Select Registration
  3. Select Withdrawal Form for Graduate Students

Notification of the request is sent to the student upon the processing of the withdrawal.

Before withdrawing from a class or the University, students should refer to the “Charge Reduction Policy” in the Expenses section of this Catalog in order to understand the financial implication for their account.

Removal from Class

Students are expected to conduct themselves in a manner that does not distract from or disrupt the educational pursuits of others. Should an instructor determine that a student’s conduct is distracting or disruptive to the educational environment in the classroom or online environment, the instructor may request that the disruptive student leave the class immediately. Such students may not return to the classroom or online environment until they have met with the instructor and offered assurances that they can conduct themselves in an appropriate manner. The instructor should inform the Dean of the School of Graduate Studies as soon as possible. If the student is dismissed from the class permanently because of disruptive behavior or other violations of the Code of Graduate Student Conduct, the student’s final grade will be a “W” or a “WP/WF” if the date of dismissal is beyond the grading period for a “W.”

In the event a student refuses to remove him/herself upon request, the instructor should contact University Police immediately, or in the case of an offsite facility, local law enforcement.

Medical Withdrawal Policy

Any registered student who experiences medical trauma or a chronic illness that may prevent completion of the semester may apply for a medical withdrawal from the University. A medical withdrawal is a complete withdrawal from the University (i.e., not from a particular course). A request for a medical withdrawal must be submitted prior to the beginning of final exams for the semester in which the medical withdrawal is desired. A medical withdrawal request is initiated through the submission of the online Withdrawal Form for Graduate Students located in the Registration folder in WebbConnect prior to the beginning of final exams in the same manner as a general withdrawal from the University. In addition to the online request, the student must also provide a statement from a licensed medical or mental health professional trained in the diagnosis of the student’s medical condition. The statement should verify that the medical condition prevents the student from participating in classes or carrying out course requirements.

The statement from the medical or mental health professional must be submitted on official letterhead, addressed to the Gardner-Webb University Registrar, and include the practitioner’s name and title. The statement should indicate that the student is unable to continue in school and include the date at which the student became unable to continue (or the closest possible approximation to the date).

The student will be notified by the Registrar of the decision made by the Medical Withdrawal Committee. If the request is approved, the student will receive a final grade of “W” for each class (except in instances of academic dishonesty). Any adjustment in tuition will be made on a prorated basis. Once granted a withdrawal, students must apply for readmission to the University in order to continue their studies. All program admission requirements, programmatic and degree requirements, departmental student handbook, and accreditation requirements at the time of the student’s return will apply.

Any appeal for a retroactive medical withdrawal must be initiated by the end of the next Fall or Spring semester. Documentation for these appeals includes the same materials required for other medical withdrawal requests but must also include an explanation as to why the medical withdrawal request could not have been made by the normal deadline (i.e., by the beginning of final exams for the semester in which the medical withdrawal is desired).

As with any other readmission, stipulations may apply. The student must provide a statement from the same medical or mental health professional stating that the student is now able to continue studies at the University. This documentation should follow the same format as above. In addition, the specific program time limit policies with the beginning of the term in which students complete their first graduate course toward the degree continue to apply to students who are granted a medical withdrawal.

Military Deployment Policy

A currently enrolled student may request withdrawal from courses if called to active military duty. Non-punitive grades of “W” or “WP” will be issued for the course(s) for the student’s academic record for the semester, regardless of the student’s current grade(s) in the course(s). If a student is deployed toward the end of a semester but still wants to complete the course(s), the student must contact his/her instructor(s) to reach agreement on the terms of the completion, which may include requesting an “Incomplete.” The Student Accounts Office will give special consideration to student bills when there is a military-deployment-related withdrawal. A copy of the student’s military deployment orders is required.

Deceased Student Policy

Gardner-Webb University will process a Complete Withdrawal Form upon the death of a student who is currently enrolled. Non-punitive grades of “W” or “WP” will be issued for the course(s) for the student’s academic record for the semester.

The Student Accounts Office will review the student’s account and will give special consideration in terms of any remaining charges on the student’s account.

Academic Course Load

In the School of Graduate Studies, full-time status is typically defined as a minimum of six credit hours. Standard academic course load is defined by each program based on normal completion times. Specific information regarding academic course loads can be found with specific program information in the Catalog. Outside the Physician Assistant Studies, DNP, EDLS, EDCI, MBA, and MBA10 programs, the maximum academic course load for which students may register is nine credit hours during Fall and Spring semesters and 13 credit hours during Summer 10-week semesters. (The maximum academic course load includes coursework taken elsewhere for transfer into a student’s Gardner-Webb program.) Under extraordinary circumstances, exceptional students may request to exceed the maximum academic course load; such a request must be approved by the student’s advisor, the program director/coordinator, and the Dean of the School of Graduate Studies.

Auditing Courses

In a graduate program in which auditing courses is permitted, prior approval of the instructor and the graduate program director/coordinator is required on a completed Graduate Audit Request Form available in the Registration section of WebbConnect prior to the end of the schedule modification period for the course. A current Gardner-Webb student will be charged the current Audit Fee and any applicable course fees if the audit is approved. Individuals who are not current Gardner-Webb students must submit an application to the Office of Graduate Admissions and provide an official transcript of their highest degree earned in addition to submitting the Graduate Audit Request Form and paying the current Audit Fee, if approved. Auditors are eligible to participate in class activities and assessments, but faculty are not obligated to provide services, including, but not limited to, grading, advising, mentoring, or counseling. All auditors are subject to the regulations of the Graduate Student Code of Conduct and the attendance regulations of the University and the instructor. Courses audited earn no academic credit and are indicated by an AU on the transcript.

Credit by Exam Policy

In a program which permits credit by challenge examination, a student who has experience, training, and/or previous academic work comparable to that taught within a particular graduate course may request the option of taking a challenge examination to demonstrate mastery of the course content. The request will be made on the Graduate Challenge Exam Completion Form found in the Registration section of WebbConnect. This challenge examination will be an in-depth and comprehensive assessment of the student’s ability to answer questions on course content. An acceptable grade on the examination will permit the student to receive credit for the course. However, the student will be held responsible for all course material on the comprehensive examination or in the capstone experience, as applicable.

To request the opportunity to take a challenge examination, the student must present, in writing, justification for such an examination to the Dean/Chair of the School/Department in which the course is offered. The number of total hours challenged may not exceed a student’s graduate program guidelines. The request must be made after consultation with the advisor and within the first twelve credit hours or first calendar year of current enrollment, whichever comes first.

The request must be accompanied by payment at the current Credit by Exam Fee. The Dean/Chair of the School/Department will appoint a committee (including the student’s advisor) to review the request, and if it is approved, will appoint the examining instructor. If the examination results are acceptable, the examining instructor will report the results to the director/coordinator of the student’s graduate program, who will notify the Dean of the School of Graduate Studies who will notify the Registrar. Registrar Services will credit the student with the appropriate number of hours for the course. No grade will be assigned or averaged into the quality point average.