Academic Policies and Procedures
These academic policies and procedures apply across all programs and guide instruction at Antioch University Los Angeles. Information about additional policies specific to each individual academic program is found in that program's section of this Catalog. Policies and procedures for the quarter-based programs (Bachelors, MANM, MAP, and EDUCATION) often differ substantially from the semester-based programs (MFA in Creative Writing and USMA). Students are advised to familiarize themselves with the information in this section and in the section specific to their program.
AULA LEARNING OBJECTIVES AND ACADEMIC STANDARDS
The University's mission stresses preparing students for the complexities of today's diverse societies. AULA's educational programs foster personal and collective agency, socially conscious leadership, and global citizenship through experiential learning and reflective practice combined with dynamic scholarship. In keeping with this mission, the Antioch University Los Angeles community has adopted the following learning objectives as a yardstick of success.
The AULA student will be able to:
- Engage in creative, critical thinking and problem solving.
- Integrate theory and practice.
- Exhibit an awareness of self and others.
- Demonstrate competencies core to one’s field of study.
- Use knowledge and skills as an effective participant in civic and professional life.
- Recognize oneself as a global citizen with a responsibility to effect social change.
Program Learning Objectives
In addition to the above educational objectives, each academic program has its own learning objectives listed in the individual programs' sections in this Catalog. Every course, workshop, independent study, and internship also centers on learning objectives established by the instructor and stated in the syllabus and on the final Student Learning Evaluation form. The instructor designs course standards and expectations in accordance with the AULA mission and purpose and educational objectives as well as the academic program's learning objectives and degree requirements. The classroom instructor has authority and responsibility for the content and expectations of the course or other learning activity. The Curriculum Committee and the Provost are responsible for oversight of the curriculum. To earn credit, the student must demonstrate that she or he has met the learning objectives and other requirements spelled out in the syllabus for that learning activity, including attendance requirements.
Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Policy
In order to maintain satisfactory academic progress (SAP) at Antioch University, students must meet minimum standards of academic success. These standards are intended to insure that students demonstrate the ability to be successful in their program, progress at a reasonable rate, and graduate within the maximum allowable time. Antioch University’s SAP guidelines and procedures are in compliance with all associated federal regulations. In addition to the Registrar’s assessment of student academic achievement and standing through SAP, the Financial Aid Office uses the results of Satisfactory Academic Progress reviews to determine student eligibility for Title IV Federal aid. Per federal regulations, failure to maintain satisfactory academic progress will result in disqualification from federal student aid. Scholarships and other student aid based on academic progress may also be affected if a student fails to achieve satisfactory academic progress.
To access the full text of the SAP Policy, click here.
AULA's campus-based programs follow a quarter-unit credit system. For these programs each unit of credit is anticipated to require approximately 33 hours of academic effort over the span of a 10 week term. As a general rule this translates into 1 hour of class time and 2 hours of outside preparation each week for each unit. Thus, a 3 unit class would typically require 99 (33 x 3) hours of academic effort that would be divided between approximately 2.5-3 hours of class time and 6-7 hours of academic preparation each week of the 10-week term. This ratio is a general guideline and may vary, particularly if other delivery models are used (for example, in a mixed traditional and online course, online interactions may replace some face-to-face class meetings, etc.).
If a student is doing an independent study, traineeship or internship, the same 33:1 ratio is used to calculate number of hours to number of units.
Likewise, the semester-based USMA program requires approximately 50 hours of academic effort for one semester unit of credit
Some AULA programs utilize a distributed learning format that follows a semester-unit credit system. For example, the non-traditional low-residency MFA in Creative Writing Program offers 12 units of credit that includes a ten-day on-campus Residency followed by a five-month online Project Period. One semester unit of credit is anticipated to require approximately 50 hours of academic effort. Thus 12 units of credit in the MFA Program would typically require 600 (50 X 12) hours of academic effort, including an average of approximately 25 hours of academic effort each week of the 24 week term.
With distributed learning programs this effort is generally divided between independent study, synchronous and asynchronous online learning, one-on-one mentoring, and short-term campus residences. This is a general guideline and may vary from program to program and course to course.
Students are expected to attend all class sessions and, for online courses, participate in online discussions as required in the syllabus. Instructors stipulate their attendance requirements in the course syllabus. The student must abide by the attendance policy in the syllabus. If a student anticipates an absence for religious observance, work obligations, or any other reason, the student consults with the instructor before or during the first week of class to request an accommodation in the form of makeup assignments. In some cases, however, accommodation may not be possible if in the instructor's judgment the absence would be disruptive to the learning process. In these cases the judgment of the instructor is final.
Academic Honesty and Integrity
AULA expects all students to adhere to the highest standards of academic honesty. In all learning activities -- including papers, oral presentations, and reports -- students submit their own original work accompanied by citations acknowledging words, facts, or ideas borrowed from any other source, including electronic sources. A student may not submit the same work in two courses. AU Policy on Student Academic Integrity.
Institutional Review Board (IRB)
The Antioch University Institutional Review Board (IRB) is required by federal regulations to review all human subjects research activities conducted for which: 1) the conduct or recruitment of the research involves Antioch University resources (property, facility or funding, including extramural funds administered by Antioch University); 2) the research is conducted by or under the direction of any employee, student or agent of Antioch University in connection with her or his institutional responsibilities; 3) the research is conducted by or under the direction of any employee, student, or agent of Antioch University using any property or facility of Antioch University; or 4) the research involves the use of Antioch University’s non-public information to identify or contact human research subjects or prospective students.
Under its Federal-wide Assurance (FWA) with the Department of Health and Human Services/Office of Human Research Protections (DHHS/OHRP), Antioch University assures the government and the public that it will comply with federal regulations for the protection of human research subjects. The function of the IRB is to ensure adherence to all federal, state, local, and institutional regulations concerning the protection of human subjects in research. Antioch University IRB review is required for both funded and non-funded human subjects research.
Students and faculty interested in conducting research with human subjects must consult with the Antioch University Los Angeles Human Subjects Protection Committee prior to initiating any research with human subjects.
ACADEMIC ADVISING AND DEGREE PLANNING
Upon enrollment, each student is assigned an academic advisor from her or his program’s Core or Affiliate Faculty to assist with such issues as program planning, internship placements, graduate and post-graduate study options, academic progress, career paths, and, when necessary, problem-solving. Advisors assist students in meeting University academic requirements and understanding University and program procedures, although students are responsible as individuals for reading and following procedures and policies published in this Catalog and in additional publications referred to in this Catalog. Students are encouraged to seek out their advisors and to utilize them as resources to maximize the learning experience. Faculty advisors post their office hours and also communicate with advisees by phone, e-mail, and electronic conferencing.
In the quarter-based programs, weeks seven and eight of each term are designated as Advisement Week in advance of registration during week nine. Advisors may extend their office hours during this period in order to meet with students to plan their courses and other learning activities for the next term and to make sure that the student is on track for graduation.
Change of Advisor
After the first term of enrollment, a student may request a change of advisor if s/he has found a faculty member who seems a more appropriate mentor. Faculty members do not object to these requests to change to a different advisor, but the new advisor must have availability (check with the preferred advisor before initiating this process). A Change of Advisor Request Form is available in the Integrated Student Services (ISS) office . It needs to be signed by the present and preferred advisors and then turned in to the ISS Office.
Independent Studies, Internships, and other Non-Classroom Learning
The AULA curriculum in all programs supplements classroom learning with a rich mix of learning formats, including independent studies, internships, field studies, prior learning (Bachelors Program), among others. The advisor works with the student to build non-classroom studies into the student's degree plan in a way that furthers the student's educational goals and career aspirations. Students in all course-based programs may pursue specialized studies in subjects that are not offered in the schedule of courses by developing a proposal for independent study. All non-classroom learning activities require the permission of the student's advisor and the participation of an appropriately qualified evaluator who must be approved by the advisor. Independent studies are most often evaluated by core faculty members. Students are strictly prohibited from providing remuneration to their evaluators under any circumstances. Independent study is not available for MFA students. Internships are another type of non-classroom learning, which provides opportunities for hands-on learning in field-based sites throughout the city. Further program-specific policies for Independent Studies, Internships, and other non-classroom learning activities appear in the Program section of this Catalog.
Petition for Waiver of Academic Requirements
Petition for Waiver of Academic Requirement forms are available in the ISS office and must be completed and submitted to the appropriate Department/Division Chair. Any exception from the standard requirements of the program in which the student is enrolled require this form be completed
Review of Student Progress
Faculty advisors review their advisees’ student learning evaluations and progress toward meeting degree requirements on a regular basis, noting strengths and weaknesses of student academic performance.
If a student appears to be having difficulty with writing, critical thinking skills, classroom participation, attendance, Incompletes, or other recurring problems, the advisor may make specific recommendations for remediation. In some cases the advisor may determine that the student needs to follow a specific course of learning or register for a limited study load. In this case, the advisor meets with the student and communicates the concerns and actions to be taken. Depending on the seriousness of the issues or the repetitiveness of the problem, the advisor may put the student on academic probation. In this case, a written plan of Remediation must be created by the student with his/her advisor. This plan must be followed by the student or more serious academic consequences may follow. See Plan of Remediation and Academic Probation.
Letter of Concern
An advisor, instructor, or staff member may issue a Letter of Concern at any time when a student is not meeting the academic, conduct, or ethical standards of the University. The Letter of Concern is sent to the student and the advisor, and a copy is sent to the ISS office to be placed in the student’s file.
THE ANTIOCH UNIVERSITY EVALUATION SYSTEM
Student Learning Evaluations
Faculty written evaluation of student work is at the core of Antioch University's historic educational philosophy and is a foundation of its pedagogy. All AULA undergraduate and graduate courses and other learning activities that take place outside of the classroom, such as clinical training, field-based work, and prior learning, are evaluated in the Student Learning Evaluation (SLE) written by instructors and submitted electronically at the end of the academic term. The SLE summarizes the student’s achievement of the learning objectives of the course and the degree program as they are listed on the SLE form. The instructor will indicate Credit Awarded, No Credit, or Incomplete for the learning activity on the SLE.
The AULA system of evaluating student performance is non-graded. A graduate-level SLE with Credit Awarded checked indicates that the student would have earned a minimum of a “B”, if grades were given. An undergraduate SLE with Credit Awarded checked indicates that the student would have earned a minimum of a “C”, if grades were given.
SLEs are part of a student’s official academic record maintained by the Office of the University Registrar. A student may specify that the Registrar attach a copy of these evaluations to the student’s official transcript when the student requests a transcript be sent to parties outside of the University.
Students must complete all course work by the deadlines stated in the course syllabus. If a student anticipates not being able to complete required work by the end of the term, the student may request an Incomplete from the instructor. Incompletes are awarded at the discretion of the instructor. Faculty members are neither obligated nor encouraged to award Incompletes.
When a student receives an Incomplete, all outstanding course or project work must be submitted by a specific deadline. For quarter-based programs this deadline is before the end of the sixth week of the subsequent quarter. For the USMA Program, this deadline is before the end of the twentieth week of the subsequent semester. If outstanding course or project work is not completed by this deadline, a student will receive No Credit for the course or project units. An Incomplete in a course or project will automatically turn to a No Credit if the Registrar does not receive a Student Learning Evaluation marked Credit Awarded by the default date set in the Student System.
Incompletes and No Credits on a student’s credit history can jeopardize the student’s academic standing. (See the above Section on Satisfactory Academic Progress.)
Instructors’ Use of the Letter of Concern
An instructor may choose to write a Letter of Concern when a problem with a student's performance in a course arises. The Letter of Concern is the product of a formal process in which the instructor states her or his concerns and specifies what a student must do to receive credit for the course. In more serious cases, the instructor may use the Letter of Concern to inform the student that credit is not going to be awarded (however, it is important to note that it is possible to receive a no-credit evaluation without having received a Letter of Concern). The Letter of Concern is sent to the student, the advisor, and is placed in the student's file in the ISS office.
Appeals of Student Learning Evaluations
The faculty is vested with the authority to establish requirements and standards of performance for a course or project or other learning activity. The completed student learning evaluation that an instructor submits to the Registrar is presumed to be accurate and final. A student who believes an evaluation is unfair or inaccurate can appeal the evaluation if the student believes one or more of the following has occurred:
- Failure of the instructor to notify students of the criteria and standards being used in the evaluation
- An evaluation based on reasons other than the criteria and standards stated in the course syllabus
- An evaluation based on factors other than student performance, e.g., prejudice or discrimination
- Inconsistent or inequitably applied standards
- Factual or technical inaccuracies (e.g. wrong name, wrong gender pronouns)
A student who believes that she or he has grounds for appealing an evaluation should first speak with the instructor, stating specific concerns. The faculty member is expected to discuss the matter with the student in a timely manner, providing a clarifying response to the student’s inquiry, and, if appropriate, adjust the disputed academic decision or evaluation, according to established campus practices. Faculty should strive to respond to the student’s inquiry within 10 business days after it is received.
If the student is not satisfied with the faculty member’s response, or if a timely response is not received, the student may present a written complaint to the Department/Division Chair, describing the rationale for the appeal on one or more of the grounds described above. The complaint should include all supporting and documentary evidence (e.g., syllabus, narrative evaluations, emails, etc.) specific examples of incidents, and a list of any individuals involved. The complaint must be filed within 30 calendar days of the action being appealed. Extensions of the 30 calendar day deadline may be granted by the Provost or VCAA for justifiable reasons, such as disability or unavailability. However, in no event may an appeal be filed more than 6 months after the contested action occurred.
The complaint and investigation process for appeals of student learning evaluations is covered by the University Academic Appeals Policy. Click here for the complete transcription of the policy.
Students may request grade equivalents for courses and learning activities. AULA instructors and evaluators are required by the University to provide grade equivalents for students who request them, except for the exempted learning activities as described below. Students interested in applying to particular graduate programs are advised to inquire whether that institution requires grade equivalents. Similarly, students should determine whether employers or financial institutions require grade equivalent information.
Students on quarter system must approach each instructor individually to request a grade equivalent. The request must be made no later than the final course meeting. A student who does not request a grade equivalent before the deadline will not have a grade equivalent submitted for that learning activity. MFA in Creative Writing students who wish to request a grade equivalent must approach their faculty mentor during the time when the Project Period Contract is being prepared. Students in the USMA program who wish to request a grade equivalent for core or elective coursework must approach the course instructor during the first residency of the semester. Grade equivalents for the capstone project must be requested as part of the capstone proposal to the faculty mentor.
When an instructor provides a grade equivalent, she or he adds it to the Student Learning Evaluation. Once a grade equivalent has been submitted for a credit-earning activity, it is included in the student's permanent file and is available for the Registrar to use in the calculation of a GPA (Grade Point average) equivalent. Instructors cannot add a grade equivalent to a Student Learning Evaluation form retroactively after the instructor has submitted the form and the student has earned credit for the learning activity. University-wide policy currently prohibits grade or grade equivalents from appearing on the student's transcript.
Learning Activities Exempted from Grade Equivalents
Each AULA academic program may designate certain exempted learning activities for which grade equivalents are not available. These include, but are not limited to the following:
- In the BA Program grade equivalents are not available for internships, prior learning, 0-unit courses, or 1-day workshops
- In the MAP Program grade equivalents are not available for zero unit courses, Applied Psychotherapeutic Techniques of Marriage and Family Therapy (Clinical Traineeship), Workshops, and Personal Psychotherapy
- In the MANM Program grade equivalents are not available for the Capstone or for internships
- In the MAE Program grade equivalents are not available for student teaching
- In the MFA Program grade equivalents are available only for the Project Period of each semester
- In the USMA Program grade equivalents are not available for fieldwork
Overall Grade Point Average (GPA) Equivalents
Students may request the calculation of an overall Grade Point Average (GPA) equivalent at any time. The GPA equivalent is calculated by the Registrar, using information from all learning activities listed on the AULA transcript as well as transferred units. If a grade equivalent was requested at the time an AULA course was taken and appears on the Student Learning Evaluation form, that grade equivalent is used in the GPA equivalent calculation. For credit-earning activities that have not been exempted, and for which the student was not given a grade equivalent on the Student Learning Evaluation, the Registrar obtains a grade equivalent retroactively from the instructor of the course, Department/Division Chair, or a designated program faculty member. Information about program-specific guidelines for generating GPA equivalents is available from the Department/Division Chair.
The GPA equivalent is based on performance in all non-exempt activities that a student engaged in as part of her or his degree. It does not include learning activities that were recorded as an Incomplete or Administrative Withdrawal. The GPA equivalent calculation does include No Credit coursework and learning activities for which Incomplete was awarded and later converted to a No Credit. If a student repeats a course for which he or she earned No Credit and if the student earns credit during this subsequent enrollment, only the Credit Awarded grade equivalent is used in the calculation of the GPA equivalent.
Prior to Spring Quarter 2006, GPA equivalents were calculated by other methods. GPA equivalents generated and recorded prior to Spring Quarter 2006 are honored as recorded. GPA equivalents calculated by the designated ISS Advisor in Spring Quarter 2006 and later are based on combining new grade equivalent data with data from any GPA equivalents calculated earlier, following detailed guidelines available in the ISS office.
For unofficial grade calculations a letter grade of B = 3.0, B+ = 3.3, A- = 3.7 and A = 4.0. There is no additional value to an A+.
Student Evaluation of Courses and Faculty
Students at AULA contribute to the maintenance of academic quality through the evaluation of their courses and the teaching performance of their instructors. Students in quarter-based programs complete an evaluation form anonymously during the last session of each class or at the conclusion of a workshop. Course evaluations are processed by the program coordinator and overseen by the Enrollment Retention Associate after which instructors receive the aggregated results and typed comments from the students’ evaluations of their courses. Results are also reviewed by the Department/Division Chair and/or Provost. The evaluations are read carefully and are influential in decisions about revising courses and retaining instructors.
A written midterm feedback procedure is also used in many courses, providing a way for students to communicate with the instructor about the course while it is still in progress. The purpose of this procedure is primarily to provide an opportunity for dialogue about the learning experience.
Semester-system MFA students evaluate each residency at its close as well as provide an evaluation of their mentor faculty at the end of each Project Period. Results are reviewed by the Department Chair. The Education Department students evaluate the effectiveness of their University Supervisor and their Master or Mentor Teachers. USMA students evaluate each residency at its close and each course at the end of the semester.
If students have concerns about the content or methods of instruction in a course, they should discuss the concerns directly with the course instructor as they arise. Instructors are often able to make changes to meet student needs. AULA instructors generally welcome feedback on their work, and the Department/Division Chairs and the faculty strongly support students’ expression of concerns. Students may also consult their advisors and the Department/Division Chair if problems arise with particular classes or instructors.