Policy of Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)

All students, enrolled in a degree program, undergraduate or graduate, part-time or full-time, regular or conditional, must meet minimum standards of academic achievement and successful course completion while enrolled at Lincoln University. The University requires that all courses be successfully completed in a specified time period in order to allow students' graduation from its program.

Students' results are reviewed by the Registrar's Office at the end of each semester, in order to determine if adequate progress has been made to complete the desired degree in the time frame allowed by the University. Adequate progress (AP) is defined as the total number of credit units required for graduation in the designated program divided by maximum number of years for the student classification. If cumulative AP indicates that sufficient progress has not occurred (number of total earned credit units is less than AP multiplied by the number of years of study), the student may continue enrollment under academic probation for one term. If the deficiency is not corrected by the end of the term, the student will be suspended, dismissed, or placed in an extended enrollment status.

A student's academic performance is evaluated at certain predetermined points in time, based on the percentage of semester credit hours attempted. These evaluation points occur at least once in each academic year, and at the one-quarter point and midpoint of the maximum time periods of education. The periods for completion of parts of programs are expressed in terms of 1.5 times the number of credit units required for their completion. For the BS degree, the maximum number of attempted units permitted is 184; for the BA degree it is 185 units, for the MBA and MS degrees it is 54 units, and for the DBA degree it is 140 units. These figures represent the maximum number of credit hours that can be attempted before being disqualified as a degree-seeking student.

If a student fails, at the one-quarter-evaluation point, to meet the minimum academic achievement or successful credit completion standards, he/she may continue at Lincoln University as a probationary student. If a student fails to meet the minimum academic achievement or successful credit completion standards at the mid-point evaluation, he/she is not eligible for the university scholarship funds or financial aid, may not be placed on probation, and must be dismissed unless he/she is placed in an extended enrollment status. If approved by the Provost, the student may continue as a conditional one in an extended enrollment status in order to retake courses in which he/she was previously unsuccessful. If a student demonstrates, after retaking the courses, that he/she is academically and motivationally prepared to continue in the program, so that the recalculated GPA and successful semester-credit completion rate meets or exceed the minimum requirements, the student may be reinstated as a probationary student until the following evaluation. The Registrar must approve the reinstatement. Grades earned as a probationary student previously or during the extended enrollment period as a conditional student may substitute for the previous failures in the calculation of the resulting student's GPA. Detailed criteria for SAP are specified with a chart in each program's description.

Prior to the mid-point evaluation, a student in the BS and BA programs who falls below the required minimum cumulative GPA for the first time may be allowed to continue his/her enrollment under academic probation for up to two terms. If the grade point average does not improve during the probationary period, the student will be suspended for one term, after which he/she may apply for readmission following the normal re-enrollment procedures, or the student may be dismissed. Students maintaining the minimum overall standards for academic achievement and successful credit completion in these programs must also complete the required units designated by the major area, with a minimum GPA of 2.0 or higher. See the SAP charts on pages 38 for BA and 66 for BS programs.

Continuing graduate enrollment requires the progressive maintenance of a minimum cumulative GPA starting with 2.7 (MBA and MS) or 3.0 (DBA) and following the SAP charts for each degree programs. Prior to the mid-point evaluation, should the grade point average fall below 2.9 (MBA and MS) or 3.1 (DBA), the student will be placed on academic probation for one term. Failure to attain a grade point average of 3.0 (MBA and MS) or 3.2 (DBA) at the end of that term will result in suspension for one term, after which the student may apply for readmission according to the normal re-enrollment procedures, or the student may be dismissed.

Units of credit accepted on transfers are recorded, but quality points from other institutions are not included in the GPA and SAP calculations. Transferred credit units influence SAP by redefining the required minimum credit units earned (course completion percentage) at each point of evaluation; transfer credit units are added to minimum credit units must be earned in the SAP charts stated above.

The estimated time for a degree completion (ETDC) is influenced by the transferred credit units and the supplemental/foundation courses units, calculated during registration, and is determined by the formulas:

for BS and BA degrees: MTDC (in semesters) = 8 – (the number of transferred credit units)/12,
for MBA and MS degrees: MTDC (in semesters) = 4 – (the number of transferred credit units)/9,
for DBA degree: MTDC (in semesters) = 11 – (the number of transferred credit units)/9.

Students who seek to earn an additional degree and wish to use part of credit units received earlier are treated in the same way as students transferring credit units from other schools.

The impact of the non-punitive grade on satisfactory progress is as follows: credit is given for the non-punitive Credit (CR) grade and is included in the calculation of a student's maximum program length and credit limits but excluded from the grade point average. No credit is given for the following grade or symbols: no credit (NC), withdrawal (W), incomplete (I), no basis for grade (Y), or in progress (IP), which are included in the calculation of a student's maximum program length and credit limits, but excluded from calculations of the grade point average. When a course is repeated (R), the last grade and credit units earned replace the previous grade and credit units. Duplicate credit units are not given for two or more passing efforts. Only the last grade and credit are included in the calculation of a student's GPA, but all courses are included in maximum program length and credit limits. The "F" grade (failure) is included in the calculation of the student's GPA, maximum program length, and credit limits.

Satisfactory attendance history is required for continued enrollment. Unsatisfactory attendance may result in dismissal from classes during the currently enrolled term.

The student seeking a leave of absence or temporary waiver from the standards of satisfactory academic progress due to poor health, family crisis, or other significant circumstances beyond his/her control should first get an approval from the Provost. The student should submit a written application and provide documentation to demonstrate that these circumstances had an adverse impact on the his/her satisfactory progress. Based on the Provost's recommendation, the Director of Admissions and Records may grant the request. Time for the approved leave of absence will not be included in the calculation of a student's maximum program length.