Undergraduate Academic Policies

For detailed information on any of the undergraduate academic policies listed below, please refer to the Undergraduate Student Handbook or contact the Academic Affairs Office at academicaffairs@goddard.edu.

Assessment Of Prior Learning (APL)

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 Study

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.

College-Level Examination Program Tests

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.

Narrative 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 for full-time students (16 credits if the student received permission to pursue an additional credit) or the relevant number of credits for part-time students. Credits are also 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 to have been unsatisfactorily 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.

For further information, contact the Office of the Registrar.

Progress Reviews

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.

Satisfactory Completion Of A Semester

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 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 and the following items have been fulfilled:

  • The student has attended and participated fully in the residency that begins each enrolled semester;
  • Studies have been “full-time,” defined as involving at least 26 hours a week of documented study throughout the semester;
  • For programs offering a 9 credit semester, the semester studies have been “three-quarters time,” defined as involving at least 20 hours a week of study throughout the semester (individual programs may require more time);
  • For programs offering a 6 credit semester, the semester studies have been “half-time,” defined as involving at least 13 hours a week of study throughout the semester (individual programs may require more time);
  • Significant and demonstrable progress has been made toward fulfilling the Undergraduate Degree Requirements;
  • Significant and demonstrable progress has been made during the semester toward fulfilling the program-specific Degree Requirements;
  • Study materials were received by the advisor or mentors in a timely manner consistent with the schedule agreed upon at the residency by the student, advisor and/or mentor.
  • The student has evaluated the semester’s learning and has submitted, via the Student Information System (SIS), an end-of-semester evaluation to the advisor and Office of the Registrar.

Semester Credit

A full-time 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. Less than full-time study options earn the credit associated with the option.  

Statute Of Limitations

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.

Transfer Credit

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. The full undergraduate transfer credit policy is available in the Undergraduate Student Handbook and on the College web page.

It is important to note that credit earned at Goddard is transferable only at the discretion of the receiving school.