General Academic Regulations

Hope College is committed to the concept of equal rights, equal opportunities, and equal protection under the law. Hope College admits students of any race, color, national and ethnic origin, sex, creed or handicap to all the rights, privileges, programs and activities generally accorded or made available to students at Hope College. It does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national and ethnic origin, sex, creed or handicap in administration of its educational policies, admissions policies, and athletic and other school-administered programs. With regard to employment, the college complies with all legal requirements prohibiting discrimination in employment.


COURSE NUMBER GUIDE

The course offerings at Hope College can be classified into three main divisions: lower division (100-299); upper division (300-699); and graduate division (700-899).

Competency levels are reflected in the first digit and are established as follows:

000-099 – No credit courses

100-199 – Freshman competency level

200-299 – Sophomore competency level

300-399 – Junior competency level

400-699 – Senior competency level

700-899 – Graduate level

In most departments, the second digit is used as a subdiscipline grouping. In all departments, the middle digit "9" refers to honors, seminars or independent study courses.

GLOSSARY OF TERMS

COMPOSITE MAJOR – A combination of several major disciplines especially arranged for students possessing particular educational and vocational goals.

CREDITS – The Hope College policy on the definition of a credit hour requires a minimum of three hours of academic work or study per week for each hour of course credit in a sixteen-week semester. This policy is consistent with the federal definition of a credit hour and with the Higher Learning Commission's implementation of this definition.

Example of expected course work for traditional semester courses would be as follows:

Course Credit In-Class Work Per Week Out-of-Clas Work Per Week Total Expected Hours of Work Per Week
Four-credit course, traditional semester Three hours/week Nine hours/week 12 hours/week
Four-credit course, traditional semester Four hours/week Eight hours/week 12 hours/week
Three-credit course, traditional semester Three hours/week Six hours/week Nine hours/week
Four-credit course, online Zero hours/week Twelve hours/week 12 hours/week

For course lengths that are shorter than a semester (e.g., summer terms), the amount of work and study will be the same as that of a regular semester, condensed over a shorter period of time. Overall, Hope College students are expected to spend 192 hours of academic work in a term for each four-credit course. This credit hour definition applies to traditional, blended and online courses.

MAJOR – An area of concentration in one particular subject in which the students earn a fairly large number of required credits.

MINOR – The fulfillment of a specified number of credits in a particular subject not in the students’ major.

PREREQUISITE – The course(s) students must have passed before they may take the course in question.

SEMESTER – The college year is divided into two semesters: a fall semester beginning in August/September and a spring semester beginning in January.

SEMESTER HOURS – Semester hours are credits. A student must complete 126 credits at a grade point average of 2.00 to be eligible for a degree and the credits must be in the required and elective courses.

ZERO-CREDIT - Zero-credit courses are specifically listed as zero-credit courses. Courses not listed as zero-credit courses will not be offered for zero credits. Courses taken for zero credits will not be retroactively changed to credit-bearing courses at any time. All academic policies applicable to credit-bearing courses are also applicable to zero-credit courses. All zero-credit courses will be graded pass-fail. If a zero-credit course is required for a major (or minor), it is an exception to the rule that courses in the major (or minor) may not be taken pass-fail. Zero-credit course options are only available to full-time, degree-seeking students in Hope College fall and spring semesters. Zero-credit course options may be available in summer terms with approval from the Registrar

SYSTEM OF GRADING

Students receive grades in their courses at the middle and at the close of the semester. The mid‑semester grades, designed to give students an indication of their progress, do not appear on students’ transcripts.

The system of grades is as follows:

Grade Significance Quality Points
A Superior 4.0 per sem. credit
A- Superior 3.7 per sem. credit
B+ Good 3.3 per sem. credit
B Good 3.0 per sem. credit
B- Good 2.7 per sem. credit
C+ Adequate 2.3 per sem. credit
C Adequate 2.0 per sem. credit
C- Adequate 1.7 per sem. credit
D+ Weak but passing 1.3 per sem. credit
D Weak but passing 1.0 per sem. credit
D- Weak but passing 0.7 per sem. credit
F Failure 0.0 or nothing
P Pass (Pass/Fail Option) 0.0 or nothing
I Incomplete  
W Withdrawal  
IP In Progress  
NR No Report  

Quality points, the numerical equivalent of the letter grade, are used to determine the students’ academic honors, and academic warning, probation, or suspension. By way of example, a student receiving an A, B, C, D, or F in a four-credit semester course earns 16, 12, 8, 4, or 0 quality points respectively. The number of earned quality points divided by the number of semester credits attempted (excluding "Pass" credits and "W" grades) establishes the quality point average (GPA) of a student. A quality (or grade) point average of 2.0 is required for graduation from Hope College.

GRADE REPORTS

Grades are reported to students by the Registrar both at midterm and at the conclusion of the semester. Final grades become part of the official record of the student. Midterm grades and final grades are available to students online through KnowHope Plus.

INCOMPLETES

An incomplete (I) is given only when unusual circumstances beyond the control of the student prevent giving a specific grade. The "I" grade must be removed within six weeks after the close of the session in which the incomplete was given. If not removed within this time, the incomplete (I) becomes a failure (F). No Report (NR) grades are given when the professor has not submitted a grade. Like incomplete grades, no report grades become a failure (F) after six weeks. Degrees are not awarded to those students who have incomplete (I) or NR grades. Degree candidates whose record shows an incomplete (I) grade(s) or no report (NR) grades at the time of their requested degree date must apply for the next degree date.

CODE FOR ACADEMIC INTEGRITY

PREAMBLE

As it seeks to fulfill its mission, the Hope College community assumes that each of its members will operate with integrity and honesty, with a sense of personal responsibility, and with mutual trust and respect toward others in all facets of the life of the college. In order to apply this principle to academic life in a fair and consistent manner, the following policy has been adopted to clarify the expectations regarding conduct, and to establish a set of procedures for dealing with situations that violate these expectations.

  1. EXPECTATIONS

Academic Integrity is based on the principles of honesty and individual responsibility for actions. As these principles are applied to academic life at Hope College, it follows that a student will not:

  1. Give, offer, or receive aid on examination other than that specifically allowed by the professor.
  2. Do course work in a manner that is inconsistent with the standards of conduct set forth by the professor.
  3. Falsify or fabricate data. This has particular application to laboratory work and research.
  4. Engage in conduct that destroys another person's work or hinders another in her/his academic endeavors. This has particular application to computer files, library resources, and laboratory or studio work.
  5. Knowingly represent the work of others as his/her own. This includes plagiarism.

Plagiarism is the dishonest presentation of the work of others as if it were one's own. Writers, speakers, musicians, artists, or computer programmers – whether students or professionals – commit plagiarism when they present, without acknowledgement, all or part of another person's work as if it were their own. Because plagiarism violates the expectations of trust and honesty necessary for academic work in an ethical community, it is a serious offense. In addition, plagiarism undercuts the basic purposes of higher education by short-circuiting the process of inquiry, reflection and communication that leads to learning.

Plagiarism can take several forms, including but not limited to:

  • Using the exact words of another writer in part of a paper without both citation and quotation marks (or block indentation in the case of longer quotations).
  • Cutting and pasting material from internet or other electronic resources without proper citation of sources.
  • Including the paraphrased or summarized idea of another writer without acknowledging its source.
  • Accepting excessive assistance from another person in writing a paper without informing readers of the nature and extent of that collaboration.
  • Submitting for credit a complete paper or portion of a paper written by another person, no matter whether the paper was purchased, shared freely, stolen, found, or acquired by other means.
  • Submitting music, drawings, paintings, sculptures, or photographs that copy or rely closely on the work of other artists, without explicitly citing the original source.
  • Writing a computer program that is the same or closely similar to existing sources.
  • Accepting credit for a project, multimedia presentation, poster, or other assignment that draws dishonestly on the work of others.

Duplicate submission is also a violation of academic integrity, because every assignment presumes that a new inquiry and effort will produce new learning, and submitting a paper already written for another occasion subverts this learning. Submitting the same original paper for credit in more than one class in the same semester, without the expressed permission of both instructors involved, is not acceptable. Using the same paper or closely similar material from one semester to fulfill a requirement in another semester is normally not allowed without specific permission from the instructor. If students receive the same or similar assignments in a different course, they should consult with the professor about alternate assignments.

Penalties for Plagiarism

  • Recognizing that students may sometimes commit plagiarism unintentionally because they do not know the conventions of quotation, citation and acknowledgement, professors may deal with cases of plagiarism in different ways.
  • When in the professor's judgment the student intends to do honest work but does not yet understand the conventions of academic quotation and acknowledgement, the professor may require the student to rewrite the paper, may lower the grade on the paper, or may fail the paper.
  • However, when a case of plagiarism results not from ignorance of conventions but from actions by which the writer deceives the professor about sources of words or ideas, or by which the writer tries to fulfill an assignment without doing all the necessary work, the ordinary sanction will be failure in the course.
  • Cases of plagiarism that result in a failing grade for an assignment or for a course must be reported to the provost in order to prevent any individual from plagiarizing repeatedly and each time professing ignorance. (Provost's office records associated with plagiarism are destroyed when the affected student graduates.) If a student plagiarizes repeatedly, the provost may apply additional penalties, including dismissal from the college.

B. VIOLATIONS

With the aim of maintaining and promoting integrity in the community and in a spirit of helpful concern, every member of the community is encouraged to address any perceived violations of integrity directly by confronting the appropriate party. The following procedures have been defined to ensure that apparent violations are handled in a prompt and just manner.

  1. If a faculty member observes an apparent violation of academic integrity, the faculty member should within five class days of the observation arrange for a discussion to take place as soon as possible. During that conversation, the faculty member will discuss his/her suspicion with the student and inform the student of the options below, and of the student's right to appeal any action taken by the faculty member.

a) If the student has an explanation which is acceptable to the faculty member, the case may be closed with no written record or further action.

b) If the matter is not resolved, the instructor may impose a sanction. The penalty imposed should reflect the seriousness of the violation. In the case of major violations, the faculty member may assign a failing grade in the event (test, paper, performance, etc.) or for the course. Sanctions for minor violations may include downgrading the work or assigning additional work to replace the work in question. The faculty member may also recommend to the Provost that additional non‑grade sanctions be imposed. In the event that any sanction is imposed by the faculty member, the incident and action taken must be reported in writing to the Provost (with a copy to the student) within one week of the informal meeting.

c) If a sanction has been imposed, the student has the right to file a written appeal to the Provost (with a copy to the instructor). This appeal must be filed within one week after the student receives notification of the sanction. The Provost will then review the incident, resolve it to the satisfaction of both parties, or refer it to the Student Standing and Appeals Committee (SSAC).

d) If the incident is referred to the SSAC, the SSAC may act on the basis of the written record, or may invite the parties to submit additional information. If the student is found to be innocent, the faculty member will be notified and any academic sanction imposed against the student will be nullified.

e) If the student is not found innocent, the Provost will decide whether to impose a non‑grade sanction. The Provost will take into account the faculty's recommendations, any related record in the Provost's office, and recommendations from the SSAC or the office of the Dean for Student Development.

f) If additional non‑grade sanctions are imposed by the Provost, the student may appeal these sanctions to the SSAC.

g) If, after meeting with the student to discuss an apparent violation, the faculty member is unsure of what action to take, she/he may refer the matter to the SSAC through the Provost even if no sanction has been imposed. The faculty member may seek advice from the Provost and SSAC at any time.

2. All proceedings will be conducted with strict confidentiality by all those involved in the matter. Records of alleged violations resulting in innocent findings will be promptly destroyed. In cases where guilt is established, reports from the faculty member and the SSAC will be retained by the Office of the Provost for the duration of the student's academic career at Hope College. The record will also allow the recording of the student's defense. All related reports shall be destroyed upon graduation. The records of a student suspended or expelled for a violation will be retained for three years before being destroyed. All provisions of the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act shall apply regarding release of information from these records.

3. Specific reference to these procedures shall be made in the college Catalog. These procedures shall be presented in full in the STUDENT HANDBOOK and the FACULTY HANDBOOK. Course syllabi should contain a reference to these procedures and detail their applications for that particular course.

4. Faculty are encouraged to create environments conducive to fostering integrity by all. This means that proctoring examinations may be necessary in some instances, but it also calls for positive action on the part of the instructor to remove undue temptation.

5. The Administrative Affairs Board will maintain its charged oversight of the conduct of the SSAC and will also take overall responsibility for encouraging and maintaining an atmosphere supporting academic and social integrity.

Hope College Classroom Recording Policy

The classroom recording policy applies to audio, still photo, and video recording of classroom lecture, discussion, laboratory, studio, and other activities by analog, digital, or future recording technology. This policy strives to recognize current norms and practice, promote student learning, differentiate between public and private space, create a safe classroom environment, respect individual privacy, provide for informed consent, consider potential consequences from distribution of such materials, and be consistent with the institutional values of Hope College. In brief, (i) students must ask for and obtain permission to record from the instructor, (ii) students may not distribute such recordings, and (iii) instructors will inform the class if recording has been permitted. Violations of this policy will be subject to appropriate grade and/or non-grade sanctions. The full policy is contained in the STUDENT HANDBOOK.

ACADEMIC STANDING

Dean's List: Full‑time, degree‑seeking students who have earned a semester grade point average of 3.5 are placed on the Dean's List. This list is compiled at the end of each semester. Notice of this award is sent to the student, to the student's parents or guardian and the student's hometown newspaper. All courses must be graded. No report (NR) and Incomplete (I) grades prevent inclusion in the Dean’s List.

Academic Probation: A 2.0 cumulative grade point average (GPA) is required for earning a Hope College degree. A student whose cumulative GPA falls below this requirement is placed on academic probation according to the following schedule:

0-24 credits attempted – below 1.7 cumulative GPA

25-57 credits attempted – below 1.9 cumulative GPA

58-89 credits attempted – below 1.95 cumulative GPA

90+ credits attempted – below 2.0 cumulative GPA

Students may be placed on academic probation for successive semesters if there is evidence that they are making progress toward the 2.0 cumulative GPA degree requirement. Failure to make substantial progress toward the 2.0 cumulative GPA requirement may result in academic dismissal.

The student placed on academic probation is informed by letter. A copy of this letter is sent to the student’s parents or guardian and to the student’s academic advisor.

Any student whose semester GPA falls below 1.3 will be placed on academic probation and will be required to meet with the Registrar or Director of Academic Advising to discuss his/her academic performance for that semester.

ACADEMIC SUSPENSION/DISMISSAL

A student may be dismissed from the college for academic reasons if, in the judgment of the college, the student’s cumulative and/or semester GPA is below the standards for academic probation listed above and, therefore, jeopardizes the student’s ability to earn a degree from Hope College.

Conditions which may invoke academic dismissal:

  • For first-year students: any semester GPA below a 1.3 and/or a cumulative first-year GPA of less than 1.7.
  • For second-year students and beyond: a cumulative GPA below a 1.9 and/or an academic record which does not show progress toward reaching the college’s degree requirement of a 2.0 cumulative GPA.

A letter is sent to the student informing him/her of academic dismissal. A copy of this letter is sent to the student’s parents or guardian and the advisor is notified of the probation status.

A student may appeal the decision regarding his/her academic dismissal to the Student Standing and Appeals Committee. This appeal must be made within 10 calendar days of the receipt of the letter from the Registrar.

READMISSION AFTER ACADEMIC DISMISSAL

A student may apply for readmission to the degree program after one semester of absence. The application for readmission must demonstrate that the student has convincing evidence (usually through course work at another academic institution) that he/she is ready and able to return to Hope College.

Questions regarding academic standing may be addressed to the Registrar.

CERTIFICATION OF VETERANS

Students receiving benefits from the Veterans Administration should be aware of the following:

1) Benefits are discontinued if a student is on academic probation for more than two successive semesters. The schedule at the top of this page applies.

2) Benefits are paid only for courses which directly apply to the student's authorized program and for the degree requirements for that program.

3) Benefits are paid only for courses for which credit is earned. Withdrawing from a course may affect the student's benefits. Courses taken on an audit basis do not count toward benefit credits. Incomplete grades must be resolved within six weeks.

4) Any changes in a student's program must be authorized by the Veterans Administration.

5) Veterans need to follow standards of progress toward the degree for which they are enrolled.

A student who is on academic probation so defined above for two consecutive semesters and/or summer terms either as a full‑time or part‑time student will not be certified by the college for continuation of VA benefits. The Veterans Administration will be notified of such action. In order to be once again eligible for certification for VA benefits, a student must raise his/her grade point average to an acceptable level.

Students who receive veterans benefits should keep in close touch with the Office of the Registrar to make sure that all requirements are met so that benefits can continue without interruption.

WITHDRAWAL FROM COLLEGE

In order to assure himself/herself of an honorable dismissal from college, a student withdrawing from college any time during an academic term must obtain a withdrawal form from the Registrar's Office and have it signed by the Dean of Students, Financial Aid, Student Accounts Office Manager, and the Registrar. No refund will be given to a student until the above form is processed.

NON-RETURNING STUDENTS

Students who withdraw from the college after completing the semester in which they are currently enrolled must notify the college by the end of the second week of the succeeding semester. All financial refunds will be withheld until the student submits a Non‑Returning Student Form. Forms may be obtained at the Registrar's Office in the DeWitt Center.

REPEATING A COURSE

No grade may be removed from the students’ permanent record but if students wish to raise their mark in a course, they may repeat any course at Hope except the First Year Seminar. In computing the student's cumulative grade point average, the original course mark will be replaced by the grade in the repeated course and the record of the original attempt will remain part of the student's record for information purposes only. If the course to be repeated is required for graduation or for a major, it should be repeated the next time the course is offered. Grades in classes taken at other colleges do not transfer or affect students’ grade point average. For this reason, students may not take a class at another college to improve their grade point average.

Repeated Courses Policy for Financial Aid Eligibility – Federal regulations may limit the number of times a student may repeat a course and receive federal financial aid for that course. Click here for more information on financial aid.

CHANGE OF COURSES

Students are urged to study the course offerings carefully before registration so that their course program for a given semester need not be changed. The following limitations are placed on changing courses:

Adding And Dropping Of Courses – Students may add and drop courses without academic penalty during the first week of classes. Drop/Add forms can be obtained in the Registrar's Office in the DeWitt Center.

Withdrawal From Courses – Students may withdraw from a course after consultation with their instructor and advisor within the first ten (10) weeks of the semester. After the end of the first week in the semester, the notation "W" will appear on their record. Courses withdrawn from after the ten‑week period will ordinarily be recorded as failures.

PASS/FAIL OPTION

Sophomores, juniors and seniors, as a part of their regular quota of courses, are permitted to elect and designate in each semester one course for which they will be granted the usual academic credit but will have the grade of this course recorded on their permanent record as a "P" or an "F." This procedure has the following provisions:

  1. A student must be enrolled as a full‑time student (12 credits or more) in order to qualify for the pass‑fail option.
  2. The course designated must lie outside the student's major or minor field and may not be a course required to meet general education components. It may not be a required course, either by the department of the student's major or minor or by the college. Because of this requirement, students should have declared their major or minor prior to requesting that a course be designated pass/fail. Students seeking teacher certification may not take professional education courses on a pass/fail basis.
  3. Students should perform the work, and otherwise fulfill all the regular requirements of the course to the satisfaction of the instructor. Having done this, they will receive a "P" for pass; if not, an "F" for fail.
  4. Students wishing to elect a course under the pass‑fail plan should complete the normal registration procedures and, within ten weeks following the completion of registration, should obtain a pass‑fail form from the Registrar's Office. Students will indicate the course which they wish to elect on a pass‑fail plan and have it approved by their academic advisor, who will be responsible for seeing that the course is not an all‑college requirement. This form will then be returned to the Registrar's Office where change in designation of this single course from a grade to a pass‑fail plan will be made. Students may not change a course either to or from a pass‑fail designation at any time other than the period allowed for electing the pass‑fail option.
  5. During the semester the students will receive grades for their work in the course, but at the end, will receive on their record a "P" or an "F." Failures will be computed into the students’ cumulative grade point average.
  6. Students seeking admission to some graduate schools and some professional schools should ascertain the maximum number of P‑F courses which schools will accept.
AUDITING A COURSE

Students may register to take most Hope courses on an audit, non‑credit basis. Exceptions to this rule are courses requiring activity or performance in the Arts and Kinesiology departments. Students who desire to audit a course must indicate their intent to the Registrar within the first week of the semester. Changes from credit to audit and vice versa will not be allowed after the first week of the semester has ended. The fee for courses taken on an audit basis is the same as for those taken on a credit basis.

TRANSFER OF CREDIT

The standard for the acceptance of credit toward a Hope College degree from institutions of higher learning will be the accreditation of that college by its regional accrediting association. A maximum of 65 credits may be transferred from community or junior colleges. The credits for pre-approved courses with grades of “C” or better will automatically transfer. Credit in courses with grades of “C-” or below will transfer only if the student’s cumulative grade point average at the institution issuing the credit is 2.0 or above. Credits awarded are posted on the student’s permanent record. Only the credit is transferred; grades do not transfer. Students may not earn transfer credit for a course completed at Hope College. Responsibility for forwarding transcripts to the Hope College Registrar lies solely with the student.

Currently enrolled Hope students who wish to transfer credit from another accredited institution must confirm the course’s transferability prior to taking the course. Students should consult the online Transfer Equivalency System (TES) to review courses that have been pre-approved to transfer. Courses that are not already included in TES must be submitted for review using the online Credit Transfer Request. These courses are then forwarded by the Registrar’s Office to the appropriate department for review. If prior approval for courses taken at other institutions is not obtained, the college reserves the right to deny credit for any course taken at another institution.

Students intending to take a course at a school located outside of the United States (not including courses taken as part of an organized study abroad program) need to submit the international transcript to a foreign credential evaluation service. There are various organizations that provide this service. Contact the Registrar’s Office for further information.

Transfer students seeking a Hope College diploma must complete their last 30 credits on Hope College’s campus.

HONORS INDEPENDENT STUDY OR RESEARCH

Senior students with a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or better may apply to their major departments to do an independent study or research project of exceptionally high quality. The project, depending upon its nature, may culminate in a meritorious report, essay, thesis or public performance. Criteria for permission to pursue the project and criteria for the evaluation of the completed project will vary by department. If the department decides that the completed project warrants honors distinction, the course will be listed on the student's permanent record as independent study or research‑honors. Interested, qualified students should make application to their respective departments prior to registration for the project.

STUDENT LOAD

The normal student load is 16 credits per semester. Students must carry a minimum of 12 semester credits of course work each semester to maintain full‑time status. Veteran students under the G.I. Bill must carry a minimum of 12 credits to be considered full‑time students and to receive maximum benefits. In order to maintain their visa status, foreign students need to maintain a minimum load of 12 semester credits.

Permission to take more than a normal load is based upon the student's previous academic record. Eighteen credits may be granted by the advisor. Application for more than 18 credits must be made to the Registrar.

A student's normal summer load is three or four credits in a four‑week session. Overloads must be approved by the Registrar.

CLASSIFICATION OF CLASSES - Eligibility

FRESHMAN ‑‑ Fewer than 24 credits earned
SOPHOMORE ‑‑ Student must have 24‑57 credits earned
JUNIOR ‑‑ Student must have 58‑89 credits earned
SENIOR ‑‑ Student must have 90 credits earned

CLASS ATTENDANCE

Since class attendance is regarded as an essential part of the educational process at Hope College, students are expected to benefit by classroom discussions as well as by their daily text assignments. It is the students’ responsibility to present an excuse to their instructor and request make‑up privileges.

Classwork missed while students are ill or away on faculty‑approved business should be made up to the satisfaction of the instructor. Although make‑up work will not in all cases remove the full adverse effect of the absence, faculty members will cooperate with the students in their attempt to make up their loss when such absence is unavoidable. The degree of effect upon grades will vary with the nature and the amount of the work missed and must be measured according to the instructors’ best judgment. In case of excessive absences, instructors may refuse all credit for the course.

APPEALS AND REQUEST FOR ACADEMIC WAIVERS

Students may seek exemption from an academic regulation by appealing in writing to the Registrar. The student must secure the approval of their faculty advisor to waive an academic regulation. If the students’ request is denied, they may further appeal the decision to the Student Standing and Appeals Committee for final disposition. Appeals must be submitted to the Chairperson of the Student Standing and Appeals Committee within ten days after notification of the decision.

APPEAL OF FINAL GRADE

If students dispute a final course grade given by an instructor, the following procedure should be followed:

1) If the instructor is not a department chairperson, students may appeal to the department chairperson, who will act as mediator.

2) If a chairperson's final grade is in dispute, the senior member of his/her department shall act as the mediator.

The instructor whose grade has been questioned has the final decision in the matter. The grade appeal process must be initiated within 30 days of posting of the grade.

COLLEGE CREDIT BY EXAMINATION

The Hope College faculty believes that students should pursue their studies at their established level of competence. Tests are available to determine this level and Hope encourages its prospective students to investigate their use.

Credit earned by means of any credit‑bearing examination approved by the college may be used to satisfy specific general education or major requirements. If there is a Hope equivalent course indicated (applies to CLEP listing below) and if that course meets a requirement, so, too will the credit earned through an examination for credit. The following tests are available to Hope students:

ADVANCED PLACEMENT PROGRAM (AP) – A program sponsored by The College Board. Generally credit is granted to students who received grades of 4 or 5.

INTERNATIONAL BACCALAUREATE PROGRAM (IB)– A high school degree program sponsored by the International Baccalaureate Office in Geneva, Switzerland. Generally college credit is granted for higher-level examinations where students score from 5 to 7. Credit is not awarded for subsidiary-level examinations.

COLLEGE LEVEL EXAMINATION PROGRAM (CLEP) – Hope will generally grant credit for subject area examinations based on the guidelines as established by The College Board.

CLEP: Credit is awarded for most CLEP Subject Examinations; no credit is granted for the CLEP General Examinations. Credit is awarded for scores which meet the guidelines established by the College Entrance Examination Board in its national norming procedures (see table below). Where possible, the CLEP Subject Examinations are equated to existing Hope courses and the examinations can be used to partially fulfill general college requirements. The table below lists the available CLEP Subject Examinations, those acceptable for Hope credit, the minimum score needed for credit, the credit value of the examinations, and, where applicable, the Hope equivalent course.

Clep Exam Score for Credit Sem. Credits Hope Equivalent Course
Accounting, Introductory 50 6 Acct. 221, 222
American Government 50 4 Pol. Sci. 100
Am. History I; Early-1877 50 4 History 160
Am. History II; 1865-Present 50 4 History 161
American Literature 50 8 English 280, 281
Biology, General 50 4 None - Non-majors general biology credit awarded
Business Law, Introductory 50 3 Mgmt. 341
Calculus I 50 4 Math 131
Chemistry, General 50 6 None - Non-majors general chemistry credit awarded
College
Composition
60 4 English 113
*College French - First Year 50 8 French 101, 102
*College French - Second Year 62 8 French 201,250
*College German-First Year 50 8 German 101, 102
*College German - Second Year 63 8 German 201, 202
*College Spanish - First Year 50 8 Spanish 121, 122
*College Spanish - Second Year 66 8 Spanish 221, 222
English Literature 50 8 English 270, 271
Human Growth & Development 50 3 None–Elective Credit
Info Systems & Computer Apps 50 3 None–Elective Credit
Literature, Analysis & Interp. 50 4 English 248
Macroeconomics, Principles of 50 4 Econ. 211
Microeconomics, Principles of 50 4 Econ. 212
Management,
Principles of
50 4 Mgmt. 222
Marketing, Principles of 50 4 Mgmt. 331
Psychology, Introductory 50 3 Psychology 100
Sociology, Introductory 50 3 Sociology 101
Western Civilization I (Ancient) 50 4 History 130
Western Civilization II (Modern) 50 4 History 131

*The CLEP language exams have one exam for the first and second year. Credit is granted according to the score a person earns on the exam.

HOPE DEPARTMENTAL EXAMINATIONS – Where CLEP or other nationally normed tests are not available, departmentally prepared and administered examinations may be arranged. These are not to be confused with placement exams that some departments offer. Contact the Registrar to make such arrangements.

Credit by examination in the above programs has the following limitations:

  1. Examination credit will be awarded only if the student has not previously registered for the course in question at Hope or at another institution.
  2. None of the credit by examination programs approved by Hope may be used to make up failures or replace grades already earned.
  3. Credits earned by examination will be listed on the student's record with the note that the credit was earned by examination. Grades and honor points will not be recorded. The credits, while counting toward graduation, will not be used in the computation of cumulative grade point averages.
  4. Transfer students with examination credits will be required to submit test scores for all examination credit awarded at another institution. These scores will then be evaluated according to Hope College standards.
  5. In keeping with the senior residency requirement, the last entries on a student's permanent academic record must be credits earned in residence. Exam credit must be earned while a student is enrolled at Hope.
  6. The maximum amount of credit by examination which can be applied toward the 126 credits required for graduation is 32 credits, 8 of which can be in the major area of concentration.

For further information about the testing programs, contact the Registrar.

APPLICATION FOR DEGREE/AWARDING DEGREES

The college awards degrees in December (at the conclusion of the first semester), in May (at the conclusion of the second semester) and in July (at the conclusion of the final summer session). Degree candidates must inform the Registrar of their intention to graduate in the fall prior to their graduation. Students completing degree requirements in the May Term, June Term, or July Term will be considered to be July graduates. All degree candidates for degree dates above are expected and encouraged to participate in the May commencement. Degrees are not awarded to those students who have incomplete (I) or no record (NR) grades. Degree candidates whose record shows an incomplete (I) or no record (NR) grade(s) at the time of their requested degree date will be moved to the next degree date.

Diplomas may be withheld for students who have past due accounts.

ACADEMIC RECORDS OF TRANSFER STUDENTS

The record of a transfer student at the time of admission will be treated the same as that of a Hope College student for purposes of: a) Admittance and class standing (freshman‑senior), b) Determination of academic probation or good class standing, and c) Determination of the satisfactory completion of required courses.

The grade point earned at Hope College is that which is provided the student upon graduation. Grades for classes taken at other colleges do not affect students’ grade point average at Hope College. For all ensuing official purposes, the record of the students shall be that which they obtain at Hope College.

STUDENT RECORDS: STATEMENT OF POLICY
Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA, also known as the Buckley Amendment) was passed by Congress in 1974 to protect the confidentiality of students’ records and information.

Hope College’s policy on student records incorporates the rights guaranteed by FERPA. Students are notified of their FERPA rights annually through publication of the rights in the college catalog and the student handbook. Questions about the policy should be directed to the Office of the Registrar, 141 East 12th Street, Holland, MI 49423, registrar@hope.edu, or 616.395.7760.

What rights do students have through FERPA?

  • The right to inspect and review their education records.
  • The right to request to amend their education records.
  • The right to limit disclosure of personally identifiable information (information that would directly identify the student or make the student's identity easily traceable) known as directory information.
  • The right to file a complaint with the Department of Education concerning an alleged failure by the institution to comply with FERPA.

When do FERPA rights begin?

Students' FERPA rights begin at Hope College when admittance is accepted by payment of enrollment deposit.

What are "education records"?

Education records include any information directly related to the student whether stored on paper or in an electronic file, on a computer or other media (microfilm, CD, etc.).

What is "Directory Information"?

Public, or Directory Information, is information contained in students’ educational records which would not be considered harmful or an invasion of privacy if the information were disclosed. Public or directory information includes:

  • Name
  • Addresses: local, permanent, e-mail
  • Name of parent or guardian
  • Previous school(s) attended
  • Dates of attendance
  • Awards and honors received
  • Degree(s) awarded and dates of degree(s)
  • Majors and minors
  • (for athletes) Statistics (weight, height, etc.) included on team activity sheets
  • Photograph (official Hope College ID photo)
  • Class standing (freshman, sophomore, junior, senior)
  • Enrollment status (full-time or part-time)

Unless students request in writing that this public (directory) information be withheld, directory information is available to others. Hope College exercises restraint in the release of this information and keeps students’ welfare in the forefront as it determines whether to release directory information.

Can students withhold the release of Directory Information?

Yes. To withhold the release of directory information students must submit a request in writing; forms are available in the Registrar’s Office.

Hope College is required by law (the Solomon Amendment) to provide the name, address and other demographic information of all students to any legitimate military recruiter who makes such a request in writing to the Registrar's Office. According to the Solomon Amendment, this release must be honored even if a student has submitted a request to withhold directory information.

What information is considered confidential?

Except for directory information, other information collected and stored about students is considered confidential. The confidentiality of this information is guaranteed to students.

Under what circumstances can confidential information be released to others?

  • Confidential information can be disclosed to Hope College faculty and staff who have a legitimate educational interest.
  • Confidential information can be disclosed pursuant to a court order or subpoena.
  • Confidential information is disclosed to the National Student Clearinghouse (for financial aid purposes only).
  • Confidential information can be disclosed to protect the safety of the student or the safety of others.

In other circumstances, confidential information can be released to others only with the written consent of the student.

Students have the right to file complaints concerning alleged failures by the College to comply with the requirements of the Act. Such complaints should be addressed to:

Family Policy Compliance Office
Department of Education
400 Maryland Ave. SW
Washington, D.C. 20202-5901

NAME CHANGES ON ACADEMIC RECORDS

Name changes are processed only for currently registered students.

In order to process a name change, proof of the name change must be submitted before the request will be processed. Valid sources of proof are: marriage license, court papers, or a driver's license with the new name appearing.

This documentation should be brought to the Registrar's Office to request a name change.

TRANSCRIPT OF ACADEMIC RECORDS

Transcripts are available from the Registrar’s Office. There is no charge for official paper transcripts or unofficial transcripts. Official electronic transcripts incur an online convenience fee from the vendor who delivers the transcript.

In order to insure the confidentiality of our students’ records, transcripts will be released only upon the written request of the student. The transcript will normally be sent within two business days of the written request.

Official transcripts will be withheld if the student has a past due account with the college.

GRADUATION HONORS

Graduation honors will be conferred according to the following regulations:

Bachelor’s degrees, Summa Cum Laude, will be conferred upon those who have met all the requirements for the degree and attained a cumulative grade point average of 3.90 or higher.

Bachelor’s degrees, Magna Cum Laude, will be conferred upon those who have met all the requirements for the degree and attained a cumulative grade point average between 3.70 and 3.89.

Bachelor’s degrees, Cum Laude, will be conferred upon those who have met all the requirements for the degree and have attained a cumulative grade point average between 3.50 and 3.69.

ACCREDITATION

Hope College is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission, a commission of the North Central Association, 30 N. La Salle St., Suite 2400, Chicago, IL 60602, (800-621-7440). Hope has professional accreditation from the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology, the American Chemical Society,the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education, the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, the Council on Social Work Education, the National Association of Schools of Art and Design, the National Association of Schools of Dance, the National Association of Schools of Music and the National Association of Schools of Theatre.

Hope College’s teacher education programs are approved by the Michigan Department of Education. The Teacher Education Accreditation Council (TEAC) recognizes the Education Department at Hope College as a nationally accredited program. TEAC: One DuPont Circle, Suite 320, Washington, D.C. 20036. This accreditation covers all preparation programs. The college maintains membership in the Michigan Association of Colleges of Teacher Education.