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Academic Policies

Academic Policies



Please see the appropriate student handbooks and programs for fuller explanations of these and other policies and their special application to individual programs.


Taking responsibility for one’s own learning means doing one’s own work and giving others credit for their contributions. Students are expected to be rigorously honest in their studies. Violations of academic integrity are taken seriously and may result in a range of responses including loss of credit, academic probation, and academic withdrawal. Plagiarism is a deliberate violation of academic honesty. Please refer to the appropriate College Student Handbook for Goddard’s academic policies and procedures, including those related to academic honesty.


To be enrolled for a semester, a student must have paid all fees for the semester or made arrangements for their payment acceptable to the college. Returning students must also be academically clear to enroll consistent with the academic progress and withdrawal policies of the College.


A semester begins with required attendance at the program-specific eight-day residency that begins each semester. A student who misses a residency without permission is withdrawn and must reapply to continue studies the following semester. Following a student’s final semester of enrollment, the student is also required to attend a three-day commencement residency


Goddard studies are planned one semester at a time, within the framework of an evolving long-range plan. The faculty advisor must approve the semester’s study plan in the Student Information System. Study plans may be amended, with the approval of the advisor. Completion of the work laid out in the semester study plan is one basic criterion for advancement and awarding of credit.


Intensive residency study is defined as independent, with the faculty advisor serving as study supervisor. Undergraduate students must send packets of material about their studies to their advisors every three weeks during the semester. Graduate students must maintain the mailing schedule developed at the residency and stated in their semester study plans. Failure to meet the packet schedule in a timely manner may result in withdrawal for nonparticipation and loss of credit for the semester. Electronic mail with attachments may be substituted for some or all of a packet, when appropriate and with the faculty member’s permission.


Most Goddard College students are enrolled for full-time study. There is a three-quarter-time option available in the Psychology and Education Programs for graduate study. See program descriptions for more details.


Study cannot consist solely of the student’s usual daily work and/or community activities. The job or job site may, however, serve as an important resource for designing learning experiences and conducting research. Community involvement may furnish similar opportunities for study.


An Education student working toward teacher licensure who is doing supervised practice teaching as all or part of a semester’s planned study is charged a fee to help pay the cooperating teacher and supervisor who evaluate and document the practice teaching. (This does not apply to Master of Fine Arts in Writing or Master of Fine Arts in Interdisciplinary Arts students doing their required practicum. The MFA practicum is a community-based project that may or may not involve teaching in a classroom setting. The MA in Psychology and Counseling charges an internship fee, which is not a licensure fee.)




Goddard does not accept transfer credit that substantively duplicates prior work at another school, nor does the college permit credit-bearing studies at other institutions to be carried on concurrently with Goddard credit-granting study, except when approved by the advisor as a supplementary resource for part of a Goddard semester’s planned study. Concurrent enrollment at Goddard and study toward a certificate or degree in another program is not permitted.


The college’s primary method of communicating with students, as well as distributing information, materials,
and forms, is electronic. All students are required to have web access sufficient for operations such as completing on-line forms and downloading documents from the college’s Intranet, as well as opening file attachments and receiving electronic mail. The college provides all students with a Goddard email address and College Intranet account upon registering for the first semester. Though there are few circumstances that would preclude Internet access, students who cannot comply with this policy may petition for special accommodation.


At the end of each semester, students and faculty advisors write evaluative reports. On the basis of these reports and, when necessary, in consultation with their program director, faculty advisors judge whether their students have completed the semester in such a way as to warrant credit or, in the case of graduate students, are making creditable progress toward meeting degree requirements.


Goddard does not make use of letter or number grades and cannot compute “grade point averages.” Undergraduate study is considered satisfactorily completed if the student’s faculty advisor judges: a) that the semester’s study plan

has been completed; b) that the student has made demonstrable progress in learning what they planned to learn; c) that the time spent in study activities during the semester as a whole was of a quality that would minimally merit a grade of “C” or above in a letter-grade system or “Pass” in a pass-fail system. Graduate study is considered to be satisfactory if it demonstrates significant progress toward completion of the plan for graduate study as a whole (where applicable), degree requirements, and if it is judged to be of a quality that would minimally merit a letter grade of “B” or above.

Note: For more information, consult the Program Handbooks.



Students who do not satisfactorily complete two consecutive or a total of three semesters are academically withdrawn. (Please refer to the appropriate Student Handbook).


Students preparing their undergraduate senior study or their graduate final products are assigned a faculty second reader, as well as a faculty advisor to assist with and evaluate their work. Granting of the degree requires the recommendation of both the advisor and the second reader.


Every graduating student (undergraduate or graduate) is required to make a presentation of a completed study to fellow students and others. The presentation is made during the commencement residency. MFA in Creative Writing graduates are required to offer a reading of their work. If students are unable to attend their commencement residency, they can petition their program director for permission to miss. If permission is granted, students must make a presentation of their work in their home community and send documentation to the program director before their degree will be awarded.


The work of a semester is defined as the work completed by the final day of that semester. Exceptions may be granted to provide work extension to students to complete a senior study or final product, to students with documented extenuating circumstances or to students with documented learning differences that qualify the student for additional time. Financial aid is not available for extensions.



If the faculty advisor and the second reader agree that a student’s undergraduate senior study or graduate final product has not been completed by the final day of the semester, they may authorize an extension to complete the study.

Students may contact the Student Accounts Office for the final product extension fee. The extension starts at the beginning of the packet/coursework portion of the following semester and is undertaken in four-week blocks. If, after two four-week extensions, the senior study or final product is not judged complete, the student can enroll for the balance of the semester (if eligible) or stop and return the following semester for a full semester (if eligible).


A student who encounters a medical, psychological, or family problem (certified by an appropriate specialist) that makes completion of the semester’s work impossible may apply to the program director for an extenuating circumstances extension. To be eligible, a student must complete the equivalent of three packets (nine weeks) of work by the end of the semester. If granted, the extension is for six weeks. The extension takes place during the semester following the unfinished semester.

A student need not attend the residency at the beginning of the semester during which the extended study is completed. If the advisor or program director judges that the previous semester’s planned study has not been fully and satisfactorily completed during the weeks granted for extended study, the previous semester is recorded as unsuccessful and the student receives no credit for it.

Extended time, which allows for extra time to complete a semester, is available to students with a documented disability as an approved accommodation. Generally, the extended time begins on the first day of the packet/course work portion of the semester following the one being extended and generally runs for six weeks. At the completion of the extended time, the student is generally considered to be on leave of absence for the remainder of the semester.

To be eligible to undertake extended time, a student must be in possession of an educational profile (EP) that has been prepared by the academic and disability support coordinator,

and the EP must list “reasonable extensions of time” as an accommodation. There is no fee for extended time.


Graduating students are awarded their degrees during commencement ceremonies held at the residency following their final semester. Students may not postpone their graduation by seeking a leave of absence subsequent to their final enrolled semester but prior to the awarding of the degree at the commencement residency. Students are expected to be on campus for the three-day commencement residency (typically over a weekend) during the regular program residency following their final semester. During this time, graduates meet with their advisors, turn in final paperwork to the Office of the Registrar, offer a graduating presentation/reading and attend commencement. Unless other arrangements have been made, they present their senior studies or final products during these days, through talks, discussions, exhibits, performances, and so on. Generally, commencement is on a Sunday, when graduates and their advisors speak briefly.

To receive a diploma students must have met all degree criteria, including completing and submitting a final draft of the senior study or final product report in Goddard’s required format, signed by the advisor and second reader, to the Office of the Registrar; submitting any outstanding academic reports or forms via SIS; and paying all bills or making arrangements approved by the college for their payment. A student whose academic work is done but whose account is not clear and/or has not submitted all the required paper work may participate in commencement but will not receive a diploma or transcripts until all obligations have been met.


Much of registration can be done ahead of time, through filling out and returning forms sent by financial aid, student accounts, and the Office of the Registrar, and getting financial questions (especially financial aid) settled beforehand. There are substantial fees for late registration and late payment of fees.56

Students academic records (which are maintained by the Office of the Registrar and available to students via the Student Information System) document their Goddard history: admission papers, transcripts of high school and college study prior to entering Goddard, student and faculty evaluations for each semester of Goddard study, and copies of correspondence with, or about, the student. In accordance with the law, students’ college records are open only to them, college officials, those who are granted permission by student to access them, and a few others, for example, U.S. Department of Education representatives, as the law requires. Transcripts are released only when accounts are paid in full.



Undergraduate Transcripts

The end-of-semester narrative faculty evaluation provides the qualitative assessment that is the basis of the undergraduate transcript. The cover sheet of the undergraduate transcript identifies the student, lists enrollment history, degree in-progress/earned, transfer credit accepted, credit earned at Goddard, areas of study, and the senior study title (for graduates). Credit may be expressed holistically in 15 semester-hour credit blocks (16 credits if the student received permission to pursue an additional credit) and related general areas of study or by course-equivalent specific areas of study and associated discreet increments of credit. Following the transcript cover sheet are faculty transcript statements from successfully completed semesters and second reader reports for graduated students. Course equivalents descriptions are included as appropriate. The transcript lists semesters judged not to have been satisfactorily completed. They are noted as “incomplete without prejudice.” Transcripts are sent out only at the written request of the student, and only when the student’s financial account with the college is clear. A fee is charged.

Graduate Transcripts

Like undergraduate transcripts, end-of-semester narrative faculty evaluations provide the qualitative assessment that forms the core of the transcript. The graduate transcript also has a cover sheet that identifies the student, lists enrollment history, degree in-progress/earned, transfer credit accepted, credit earned at Goddard, areas of study, and the final product title (for graduates). Credit may be expressed holistically in nine to 12 semester-hour credit blocks and related general areas of study or by course- equivalent specific areas of study and associated discreet increments of credit.

Transcripts of students in the Psychology and Counseling Program list courses with associated credits, semester by semester. In certain graduate programs, a student-authored and faculty-approved synopsis of graduate study is included on the transcript, which describes and comments upon the nature and scope of the completed degree program. Faculty assessments can be presented as summary reports written by the final semester advisor and a second reader’s report (Creative Writing, Interdisciplinary Arts, Individualized MA) or faculty transcript statements from all successful semesters and second reader’s report (Education, Health Arts, Psychology and Counseling). If a graduate student needs a transcript before completing requirements for the degree, it may include the student’s Plan for Graduate Work as a whole and advisors’ reports on each completed semester of graduate study.

Transcripts are sent out for a fee, only at the written request of the student and when the student’s financial account with the college is clear.





Undergraduate students and their faculty advisors review their work continuously throughout a semester, and evaluate that work at the end of each semester in the form of program- and level-specific narrative evaluations.

In addition there are two formal reviews of the student’s overall progress toward meeting degree requirements, during which the student submits a portfolio documenting the degree to which they have addressed undergraduate degree requirements. Portfolios are reviewed by Progress Review Groups (PRGs) made up of members of the undergraduate faculty.

Progress Review I occurs at Level 3 or 4. It offers an opportunity for the student and the PRG to reflect on their learning thus far and assess specific learning skills such as critical thinking and writing. Progress Review II occurs at Level 6. Successful completion of Progress Review II requires that the student has addressed all of the degree requirements except the senior study. A successful Progress Review II is required for enrollment in the final semester.


The Goddard undergraduate educational philosophy includes the belief that college-level learning can take place outside of a formal educational setting. The Assessment of Prior Learning (APL) process creates an opportunity to document this kind of undergraduate equivalent learning when it has occurred between completing high school and matriculation into Goddard’s undergraduate programs.

The APL process recognizes the importance and relevance of experience in learning, a key concept of progressive education. Examples include learning accounting by running a small business, learning educational theory through volunteer work at a local school, or counseling theory and skills through work with clients at a shelter. Learning by experience also includes intentional self-study. Students may earn a maximum of 45 semester-hour equivalents through the APL process. All students, including those who earn APL credits, must be enrolled for Goddard College studies a minimum of three semesters to earn the degree.

If a student requests credit that will advance them past a Progress Review semester, the appropriate progress review will be undertaken at the same time as the APL petition is reviewed. APL credit may not advance a student past Level 7; a student’s final semester must be taken as Goddard study. The granting of APL credit cannot result in an ongoing semester becoming a culminating semester.

Applying for APL credit involves developing a petition and, if it is approved, preparing a portfolio that documents the prior learning for which credit is sought. This learning cannot duplicate study for which transfer credit was granted, nor studies carried on at Goddard. Petition approval and portfolio evaluation fees are charged. Details about Assessment of Prior Learning are available from the Admissions office.


Between-semester studies must take place between official semester dates, that is, between the end of one semester and the start of the next residency, between the residency and the packet portion of the semester if there is a scheduled break. All studies must be concluded by the first day of the packet portion of the semester.

Students wishing to undertake between-semester study submit a petition to their program director detailing the courses they wish to take and their relevance to their overall study goals. The Program Director, in consultation with a student’s advisor approves the petition. The credit, once earned, is treated like transfer credit and is evaluated according to the policy listed under Transfer Credits.


At the undergraduate level, Goddard is a four-year, eight- semester college. Students who have not completed requirements for the granting of the Bachelor of Arts degree by the end of their 10th undergraduate semester or its equivalent (including study elsewhere) are withdrawn. Exceptions to this may be made in the case of a student with a disability for which a reduced schedule is necessary and is approved by College as a reasonable accommodation.

If withdrawn, the students must apply for readmission — after a hiatus of no less than two semesters — if they wish to continue undergraduate studies at Goddard.


An undergraduate student earns 15 semester hours of credit for each satisfactorily completed semester. No partial credit is granted if the semester is judged to have not been satisfactorily completed.


Under the provisions of the Student Right-To-Know Act, currently enrolled and prospective Goddard College students may request a copy of the College’s completion or graduation rate for full-time, degree-seeking undergraduates. To obtain a copy of this information, please contact the registrar.


Goddard may accept up to five semesters (75 credits) of undergraduate transfer credit from other accredited colleges and universities alone or in combination with credit earned from college level equivalency examinations (Advanced Placement, College-Level Examination Program (CLEP)). In rare circumstances, Goddard may accept up to six semesters (90 credits) of undergraduate transfer credit from other accredited colleges and universities, however, in these cases additional criteria apply. Official transcripts carrying possible transfer credit must be submitted to the College by the final day of a student’s first residency in order to be reviewed. It is important to note that credit earned at Goddard is transferable only at the discretion of the receiving school. The full undergraduate transfer credit policy is available in the Undergraduate Student Handbook and on the College web page.


A maximum of 15 semester-hour credits of CLEP credit can be applied to a student’s academic record. Please refer to the Goddard College CLEP policy in the Undergraduate Student Handbook for further information regarding 
CLEP credit.







At the graduate level and in programs that award credit in conjunction with the earned degree and not by semester, students who have not completed requirements for the graduate degree they seek by the end of their fifth semester of enrolled graduate study in a program that requires a minimum of three enrolled semesters to earn the degree may be withdrawn if the program director, in consultation with the advisor and the academic vice president (or designee), determines the student is not making good use of the College and/or not making sufficient progress toward fulfilling the degree requirements. This policy also applies to students at the end of their sixth enrolled semester in a program that requires a minimum of four enrolled semesters, or students in their seventh enrolled semester in a program that requires a minimum of five enrolled semesters.

If withdrawn, the students must apply for readmission — after a hiatus of no less than two semesters — if they wish to continue graduate studies at Goddard.


Credit for relevant prior graduate study at another institution may be accepted for students in all Goddard graduate programs. Transfer credit cannot reduce minimum enrollment to earn the degree by more than 12 semester- hour credits. The program director, in consultation with program faculty members and the registrar, decides which credits, if any, can be accepted. Official transcripts carrying possible transfer credit must be submitted to the College by the final day of a student’s first residency in order to be reviewed. See Policy on Transfer Credit in the Graduate Student Handbook.


Goddard’s MA and MFA degrees are unitary; credit is not granted per semester, but for the successful completion of the entire program. The total number of credits awarded and the minimum number of semesters required to earn a degree is determined by the particular program in which a student is enrolled. The only exception to this policy is in the MA in Psychology and Counseling Program, which awards earned credit for completed courses when less than a full semester’s allotment is successfully completed.

For students who request a transcript prior to the successful completion of their program, interim credit is available within certain limitations. Students enrolled in programs that require a minimum of three semesters of enrollment may receive a transcript indicating that up to 12 credits per satisfactorily completed semester may be understood to have been earned, totaling up to 24 credits. Students enrolled in programs that require a minimum of four semesters of enrollment (48-credit degree) can receive a transcript that indicates up to 12 credits per successfully completed semester, totaling up to 36 credits. Students enrolled in programs that require a minimum of five semesters of enrollment (60-credit degree) can receive a transcript that indicates up to 12 credits per successfully completed semester, totaling up to 48 credits. These are the maximum credits that may appear on interim transcripts, even if a student successfully complete additional semesters.