Policies


Protecting our student's information is important and required by federal law. Read below about the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and Athletic Eligibility.

Academic Integrity Policies
Academic Integrity Policy (pdf)
University Grade Appeal Policy (pdf)

Other Registrar Policies
Academic Records Retention Policy
 (pdf)
Bee Finished in 4 Years Program
Chosen/Preferred Name Policy (pdf)
Tuition Refund Policy

Privacy Policy

Additional Policies

Athletic Eligibility


National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics
Students who plan to participate in NAIA sports must register with the NAIA Eligibility Center to have their eligibility determined.

St. Ambrose University Eligibility Policy
Below is the eligibility policy as set forth by the Athletic Board of St. Ambrose University.
For the purpose of insuring proper academic focus and success within the athletic program, the following participation parameter is placed upon all student athletes over and above the minimum standards of the national organization with which the University is affiliated.

1. Any athlete admitted with a high school or transfer GPA of less than 2.00 will not be allowed to participate until they have achieved a 2.00 GPA.
2. The student-athlete will maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.00 in order to participate in game competition.
3. Freshman athletes that achieve a 1.75 to 1.99 GPA at the completion of their first semester at St. Ambrose University must sign a learning contract with the Student Success Center. Such student will be allowed one semester to achieve a cumulative 2.00 GPA and may participate in sports during that semester.
4. The second semester that a student-athlete would fall below the minimum GPA required for participation would place that student in jeopardy of losing his/her athletic scholarship aid, if any is involved.
5. Failure to achieve a 2.00 GPA in consecutive semesters will result in a loss of eligibility unless an appeal is approved by a committee of the Athletic Board.
6. The Athletic Board will serve as a Board of Appeal for the exceptional cases that bear unusual circumstances or hardship. Such a case may be sponsored by the Athletic Director, Coach, or individual student.
12 Hour Course Load: Please also remember a student-athlete needs to be carrying at least 12 hours a semester in order to be eligible for play. If they drop below this course load, they are no longer eligible for play. Should they continue to participate in their sport, then their team is also no longer eligible for tournament play and they forfeit all games won while the player was ineligible.

Satisfactory Progress, Probation, and Dismissal
This section specifies Satisfactory Progress as set forth by the Board of Studies. The current St. Ambrose University catalog contains this material. Satisfactory Progress determines the ability of the student to receive institutional financial aid and to remain a student enrolled at St. Ambrose University. Satisfactory Progress does not necessarily allow a student to participate in intercollegiate athletics during their freshman and sophomore years.

All undergraduate students are expected to maintain satisfactory progress toward a degree. Satisfactory progress is defined by the following scale:

Students whose academic performance falls below these standards will be reviewed at the end of each semester by the Board of Studies, which may recommend probation or dismissal. Probation is a proving period during which a student's continuance at St. Ambrose is in jeopardy. While on probation, students are limited to 13 credits per semester, with allowances made to take as many as 15 credits with the support of the student's academic advisor. Generally, a full-time student will only be allowed to remain on probation for two consecutive semesters and will either have the designation removed ( if they have made satisfactory progress toward their degree ) or will be dismissed. Students who progress is notably poor may be dismissed without being placed on probation.

A student who has been academically dismissed may be considered for re-admission after one full semester has passed. A summer session does not constitute a full semester.

New students who are accepted in with "Provisional Admission" are considered to be on probation during their first semester at St. Ambrose.

Students may appeal an action by the Board of Studies. The student has the right to represent themselves and their petition though may choose to make their case through written petition only. In either case, a completed petition must be submitted.

Appeals must be initiated through consultation with the Registrar and follow the procedure outlined below:
Step 1. Obtain a petition from the Registrar or download the petition (pdf).
Step 2. Complete the petition.
Step 3. Submit petition to academic advisor for comments and signature. If an advisor is not known or may not be in a position to comment, the Registrar may authorize the petition.
Step 4. Submit petition to the Registrar for scheduling at the next meeting of the Board of Studies.

Change of Registration Policy

Students who wish to change their registration must do so officially on the Official Change of Registration form found online at the Office of the Registrar Portal website. Classes can be added/dropped on Student Planning prior to the start of the term. It is the student's responsibility to complete the Change of Registration form, obtain signatures of the instructors involved and the academic advisor, and return the form to the BeeCentral Office.

During a 16-week academic semester, if a course is dropped before the end of the second week of class, no grade is officially recorded.

If a course is dropped between the end of the second week and the end of the 10th week, the grade of W (Withdrawal) is officially recorded.

If a course is dropped after the 10th week, the change is officially recorded as WF (Withdrew Failing) or WP (Withdrew Passing) as determined by the instructor.

During accelerated and shorter summer academic sessions, which are fewer than 16 weeks, the time periods are pro-rated for withdrawal.

Conferring Degrees

St. Ambrose University confers degrees three times per year (winter, spring, summer). These dates can be found on the university's Academic Calendar.

All coursework and final exams must be completed by the end of the day on either winter/spring commencement or the summer conferring date. Any classwork not completed by those dates will result in the degree being posted in a later term.

Graduation candidates who have not completed all requirements will receive an email explaining why the degree could not be awarded.

Posting of Degrees
Posting of degrees begins on the Tuesday following the official date. Most degrees will be awarded by the third week following the official date with the exception of candidates who are transferring coursework from other college/universities. The date of the release of diplomas will be communicated with other graduation information.

Graduation FAQ
Q: I'm taking my final course at another school. How long do I have to get my transcript in and graduate on time?
A: It is recommended that you submit your transcript as soon as possible, preferably within one month of your graduation date. Your degree can not be awarded until your transcript from the other school is received.

Q: If I take a Winter Session course, can I still graduate in the December class?
A: No, not if the course is required for your degree. All requirements for a December graduation must be completed by the day of the graduation date.

Q: If I take a Summer Session course, can I still graduate in the May class?
A: No, not if the course is required for your degree. All requirements for a May graduation must be completed by the day of the graduation date.

Q: If I am graduating in July, may I walk in the May ceremony?
A: An undergraduate student can complete a petition to participate in the May ceremony with up to 6 credit hours pending prior to the graduation application deadline. Proof of summer registration of final requirements needed.

Q: My degree is posted, how do I order transcripts?
A: Students can request transcripts through the website on this link.

Updated: July 2017

Credit Hour Policy

The following credit hour policy was established by St. Ambrose University to guide the institution in its assignment and review of awarding credits as set forth by federal regulations. (Federal Register, Vol. 75, No. 209, p. 66486)

Federal Definition of the Credit Hour
For purposes of the application of this policy and in accordance with federal regulations, a credit hour is an amount of work represented in intended learning outcomes and verified by evidence of student achievement that is an institutionally established equivalency that reasonably approximates:

1. Not less than one hour of classroom or direct faculty instruction and a minimum of two hours out of class student work each week for approximately fifteen weeks for one semester or trimester hour of credit, or ten to twelve weeks for one quarter hour of credit, or the equivalent amount of work over a different amount of time, or

2. At least an equivalent amount of work as required outlined in item 1 above for other academic activities as established by the institution including laboratory work, internships, practica, studio work, and other academic work leading to the award of credit hours.

St. Ambrose University defines a semester credit (also known as a credit hour) as one 50-minute period per week for one semester (or its equivalent) with appropriate student work outside of the period. A semester at St. Ambrose University is defined as not less than 15 weeks. Courses offered in shorter timeframes or alternative formats must have an equivalent number of hours dedicated to instruction and student work as that spent in a semester-based class. An equivalent amount of work (a minimum of 37.5 hours per 1 credit hour) must be represented for credits assigned to experiential learning including 1) laboratory, 2) practica/field work/internships, 3) independent study, and 4) international travel. An equivalent amount of work (a minimum of three hours per week for a semester or its equivalent of combined direct instruction and outside of class student work) must be represented for a semester credit in other academic activities including accelerated format, distance education, and hybrid format courses.

Updated 8/27/2013

Double Degrees/Double Majors

Double Degrees Policy
A student can earn a double degree (e.g., BA vs. BS, BA vs. BED) only when the degrees are earned in different disciplines. A student whose first degree was earned from St. Ambrose University or another accredited college or university, must complete all requirements for the new degree with a minimum of 30 credits earned beyond those applied towards the previous degree (see residency rule).

Double Majors Policy
The purpose of a double major is to broaden a student's college education. When declaring more than one major, the student will designate one major as the primary major with the Office of the Registrar. This major determines the college within which the student is matriculating and the degree which will be conferred when all graduation requirements for the primary major have been met.

Additional criteria:

  • All admission and retention requirements for each of the declared majors must be met.
  • All graduation requirements for each major must be met when completing a double major. This includes pre-requisite courses specified by each major.
  • There must be at least 15 credits of unique and non-overlapping coursework in each major.
  • In departments that offer more than one degree option (i.e., BA vs BS, BA vs BED) in the same discipline, the student can complete only one of them.
  • A student may not pursue more than two majors concurrently without permission from the Registrar.

A Double Major differs from a Double Degree in that the student will only receive one diploma. The official transcript will note the degree with both majors listed.

Minor Policy
A Minor is defined as a coherent program of study which provides a student with knowledge of and competency in an area outside his/her major. Typically, a minor has less depth than a major, but it does expose the student to the foundational methods and areas of inquiry associated with a given discipline. Minors may be completed to complement, or as an addition to a major. A minor generally consists of 15 to 18 distinct credit hours. The curriculum and associated requirements for a minor are determined by the academic department offering the minor.

An interdisciplinary minor consists of coursework on a theme or issue that is particularly suited for investigation from a variety of disciplinary perspectives. (Examples include Environmental Studies, Justice and Peace, Pre-Law).

A major and a minor may not be taken in the same degree program (e.g., a student majoring in history may not complete a minor in history). A student must complete the requirements for the minor at the same time he/she is completing the bachelor's degree. Minor(s) will not be added retroactively to a student record after the major degree is conferred.

Concentration Policy
A Concentration is a coherent and specialized course of study within a student's major degree program. The academic department may determine if a given concentration is an optional or required component of the major. A concentration generally includes 12 to 15 credit hours of specialized coursework, and can only be earned as part of a major, not separate from one.

Certificate Policy
A Certificate is a course of study that provides specialty skills or competencies that lead to employment, post-employment credentialing, sustained employment, advancement or promotion in a recognized occupation. A Certificate can be earned separately from a major.

Updated 2/3/2016

FERPA

What is FERPA?

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA), also known as the Buckley Amendment, is a federal law that protects the confidentiality of student educational records. Under this act, the student has the right to access their educational records, the right to request corrections to these records, and the ability to limit disclosure of information from these records. A student's FERPA rights begin when they register at SAU, regardless of age. Finally, a student is eligible under FERPA to file a complaint with the Department of Education.

What is an Educational Record?

An educational record is just about any information provided by a student to the university for use in the educational process including:

  • Personal information
  • Enrollment records
  • Grades
  • Schedules

A student educational record may include but is not limited to a document in the Office of the Registrar, a computer printout in a faculty member's office, a computer display screen, or notes taken during an advisement session.  

What is Directory Information?  

St. Ambrose University may disclose "directory information" on a student without violating FERPA. This information can be released or published without student's written consent.

The following is classified as directory information:  

  • Name
  • Telephone number
  • Local Address
  • Hometown
  • Enrollment status
  • Dates of attendance at SAU
  • Expected date of graduation
  • Awards and academic honors
  • SAU degree(s) and date(s) awarded
  • Academic program
  • Name(s) of advisor(s)
  • Full- or part-time status
  • Previous educational institutions attended
  • Mailing address
  • Gender
  • Date and place of birth
  • Weight and height of members of athletic teams
  • Parents/Guardians names & addresses
  • Participation in officially recognized activities and sports
  • University email address
  • Photograph(s)

The student can request this information be restricted by completing the Privacy Request form (pdf).

Disclosure of Educational Records  

SAU will disclose information, outside of directory information, from a student's educational record only with the written consent of the student except in the following circumstances:   

SAU officials with a "legitimate educational interest"  

  • A school official is a person employed by the University in an administrative, clerical, supervisory, academic or research, or support staff position (including law enforcement unit personnel and health staff); a faculty member; a person or company with whom the University has contracted (such as an attorney, auditor, collection agent, or official of the National Student Clearinghouse); a person serving on the Board of Directors; or a student serving on an official committee, such as a disciplinary or grievance committee, or assisting another school official in performing his or her tasks. 
    A school official has a legitimate educational interest if the official needs to review an education record in order to fulfill his or her professional responsibility.   
  • Authorized representatives of the US Dept of Education or State educational authorities carrying out official duties
  • Persons in connection with the Financial Aid process
  • Accrediting agencies for accreditation purposes
  • Institutions MAY disclose educational records pursuant to lawfully issued subpoenas and court orders when a reasonable attempt is made to give the student prior notice. Prior notice is not required when the disclosure is made pursuant to a law enforcement subpoena or court order that specifies that the existence or contents of the subpoena or court order not be disclosed.
  • Appropriate individuals in connection with a serious health or safety emergency involving a student §  A court when the institution initiates legal action against a student (and gives the student prior notice of the intended disclosure) §  Institutions may disclose without consent information about certain disciplinary actions taken against students to other institutions
  • Solomon Amendment gives military service members assigned to recruiting branch of the DOD access to "student recruiting information"
  • Agencies needing information regarding F, J or M visas (non immigrant visa)
  • USA PATRIOT ACT of 2001  -- Section 507 of the USA PATRIOT ACT amends that an institution may disclose educational records related to an authorized investigation when the court has issued an ex parte order permitting the Attorney General (or designee) to collect, retain, disseminate, and use such information in connection with the investigation or prosecution.  The authorized investigation or prosecution must be an offense or act related to domestic or international terrorism.

Requests to disclose educational information will be handled with caution and approached on a case-by-case basis.

Procedure to Inspect Educational Records

Students may review their educational records upon request to the Registrar or Assistant Registrar. To assist us in better serving you, the student, please indicate the information you would like to inspect. Arrangements will be made to review these records within 45 days of the request.

If a record contains information about more than one student, the student may inspect only records that relate to himself/herself. The student has the right to inspect the record in question but the University does not routinely make copies of this information for students. Request for copies will be considered on an individual basis.

Re-Admit Policy

Students who have left St. Ambrose University in good academic standing may be considered for re-admittance to the university by completing the Returning Student Form on the Return to St. Ambrose website.

In addition, students are required to provide transcripts from all schools they have attended since leaving SAU. A student's cumulative GPA from all schools they have attended since SAU must be at least a 2.0. Students who have left SAU not in good academic standing may be re-admitted under the Satisfactory Progress, Probation and Dismissal guidelines.

Student reapplications may also be subject to review by the Dean of Students office. Therefore, all re-admittance applications will be viewed as a request for reinstatement and not a guarantee that the decision will be approved.

Updated 10/15/2013

Satisfactory Progress, Probation, and Dismissal

Satisfactory Progress, Probation and Dismissal  All undergraduate students are expected to maintain satisfactory progress toward a degree. 

Satisfactory progress is defined by the following scale:

Rank END OF FIRST SEMESTER END OF SECOND SEMESTER 
First-year students  1.70 (0-15 credits)  1.80 (16-30 credits) 
Second-year students  1.90 (31-45 credits)  2.00 (46-60 credits) 
Third-year students  2.00 (61-75 credits)  2.00 (76-90 credits) 
Fourth-year students  2.00 (91-105 credits)  2.00 (106-120 credits) 


Students whose academic performance falls below these standards will be reviewed at the end of each semester by the Board of Studies, which may recommend probation or dismissal. Probation is a proving period during which a student's continuance at St. Ambrose is in jeopardy. While on probation, students are limited to 13 credits per semester, with allowances made to take as many as 15 credits with the support of the student's academic advisor.

Generally, a full-time student will only be allowed to remain on probation for two consecutive semesters and will either have the designation removed (if they have made satisfactory progress toward their degree) or will be dismissed. Students whose progress is notably poor may be dismissed without being placed on probation.

A student who has been academically dismissed may be considered for readmission after one full semester has passed. A summer session does not constitute a full semester. New students who are accepted with "Provisional Admission" are considered to be on probation during their first semester at St. Ambrose.

Students may appeal an action taken by the Board of Studies. Students have the right to represent themselves and their petition, though may choose to make their case through the written petition only. In either case, a completed petition must be submitted.

Appeals must be initiated through consultation with the Registrar and follow the procedure outlined below:

  • Step 1: Obtain petition from the Registrar.
  • Step 2: Fill out the petition completely.
  • Step 3: Submit petition to an academic advisor for comments and signature. In cases where an advisor is not known or may not be in a position to comment, Registrar may authorize the petition.
  • Step 4: Submit petition to Registrar for scheduling at the next meeting of the Board of Studies.

Grades that you earned at other college and universities may be considered for admittance to the university and specific academic programs, but your SAU cumulative grade point average is based solely upon course work taken at St. Ambrose University. The SAU cumulative GPA will be reported on the transcript and will be used to determine academic sanctions, graduation honors, etc.

Updated 4/20/2016  

Second Grade Option or Retaking a Course

Retaking a Course
Courses which are retaken to demonstrate additional proficiency in a content area will not be counted toward the 120 semester credits required for graduation if prior credit has been awarded for the same course. The grades for both courses will be used in computing the cumulative grade-point average unless the student meets the criteria for the Second Grade Option (See below).

Second-Grade Option
A student may repeat a course taken at St. Ambrose University, unless obvious regression is involved, and have only the grade and credit of the second registration used in calculating total hours earned as well as SAU cumulative grade-point average.

Under the provisions of this option, the Office of the Registrar will mark the permanent record to show that a particular course has been repeated. Students who wish to use this option should register in the usual manner for the course. Once the course has been completed and a grade received, the initial course grade will remain on the permanent record, but only the most recent course will be used in calculating the grade-point average and hours earned.

Restrictions:
1. The second-grade option may be used only once per course.
2. If the course was taken for a grade the first time, it must be taken for a grade the second time.
3. If the course was taken pass/no pass the first time, it may be taken pass/no pass or for a grade the second time.
4. The second-grade option may not be used if the first grade was assigned as a result of disciplinary action.
5. The second-grade option may be used in no more than four courses or no more than 12 semester credits.
6. The second-grade option may be used only for courses taken and repeated at St. Ambrose.
7. The second-grade option may not be used for classes in which higher level classwork in that subject area has been completed. (Regression)

Last Updated: 2/3/2016

Transfer Work

If you already have completed some post-secondary studies, your credits will transfer to St. Ambrose University according to the following policies:

  • As long as you meet the residency requirements, you can earn up to 64 semester colleges. Quarter units will be converted into semester units. Students may take courses at a two year college regardless of academic standing, e.g., a senior could take a lower level course at a community college. Credit for college-level work is granted in all areas that correspond to courses offered at St. Ambrose University with a grade of a "C" or better. (*Pass grades are not accepted unless evidence can be provided that the grade would have been a C or better.) The individual departments at St. Ambrose University determine whether a transferred course may be substituted for a major requirement. Grades that you earned at other college and universities may be considered for admittance to the university and specific academic programs, but your SAU cumulative grade point average is based solely upon course work taken at St. Ambrose University. The SAU cumulative GPA will be reported on the transcript and will be used to determine graduation honors.
  • If you have graduated from a two-year regionally accredited college with a 2.00 grade average, your Associate in Arts Degree or Associate in Science Degree will be accepted at St. Ambrose University as fulfilling 64 semester credits of baccalaureate requirements, and you will be given Junior status. You are still required to meet degree and residency requirements. The residency requirement is "the last 30 hours or 45 out of the last 60 credits to be taken at SAU."
  • If you have earned 64 semester credits from a two-year college, you may still take additional courses to complete a lower level general education requirement, but the hours will not count toward your degree. Transfer credits to be applied toward General Education must meet the requirements listed in the catalog under General Education Degree Requirements.
  • Credits from other colleges may be transferable in whole or in part, and are evaluated on a course by course basis. Likewise, courses successfully completed through the United States Armed Forces may be transferable and applicable to a bachelor's degree at St. Ambrose University.
  • A maximum of 90 semester credits may be applied to degree requirements from a combination of 2-year institutions, 4-year institutions, credit by exams, military credit, and experiential learning credits.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What courses will be accepted as transfer credit?
A: Generally, college-level courses completed at regionally-accredited institutions will transfer, provided the course is similar in scope, content, and level to courses offered at SAU and a grade of "C" or higher is earned.

A maximum of 64 credits from 2-year institutions can be applied to degree requirements at SAU. No more than 90 credits can be applied to degree requirements from a combination of 2-year institutions, 4-year institutions, credit by exams, military credit, and experiential learning credits. Students are required to complete at least their final 30 credits or 45 of the last 60 semester hours to earn a degree from St. Ambrose University

Q: Do my grades transfer?
A: Although your grades from transfer courses are used in making decisions for admission to the University, entry into specific academic programs, and for satisfying degree requirements, grades from transfer courses are not used in the calculation of your SAU Cumulative GPA. The transfer courses SAU accepted and applied toward your degree requirements will appear on your official transcript, but the grades you received in these courses will not.

Q: Can I get credit for courses that were taken Pass/Fail status?
A: SAU will award credit when it can be determined that the grade earned is equivalent to at least a "C" grade or higher.

Q: What if the course at my previous institution(s) is more or fewer credits than the equivalent course at SAU?
A: The semester credit hours earned at your transfer institution are the number of credits you will receive at SAU. If you took a 4-credit sociology course that equates to our SOC 101 which is a 3-credit hour class here, you will receive 4 credits for this course. We do however convert quarter units into semester hour units.

Q: Can I repeat a class completed at SAU elsewhere to improve my GPA?
A: No. The transfer grade will not impact your SAU Cumulative GPA and no additional credit will be awarded as credit has already been earned for the class at SAU. A student does have the option of retaking a course at SAU utilizing the Second Grade Option as noted on the Office of the Registrar website.

Q: Can I take a course(s) back at my hometown community college over the summer?
A: SAU students should discuss the pros/cons of taking classes over the summer with their academic advisor. For additional information regarding equivalent coursework, visit the Transfer Course Equivalency page on the Office of the Registrar website.

Last Updated: 7/17/2017

Withdrawal (Official) from the University

Official withdrawal from the university during the semester is arranged with the appropriate college dean or the registrar with the student completing the Official Withdrawal form before leaving campus. Official withdrawal ensures that all records properly reflect such action.

Students officially withdrawing from the University will have "Officially Withdrew" appended to their permanent records in addition to the "W" grades in the courses from which they withdrew.

Students who leave unofficially will receive F grades in all classes listed on the official registration.

Additional information regarding financial aid impact and tuition refund policy can be found on the Financial Aid policies page.

Last Updated: 12/15/2014

General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) Privacy Notice

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is a privacy law that applies to citizens of the European Union countries (EU) and to institutions who have a presence in or target their business with individuals in the EU. The GDPR provides requirements for the protection of personal data which is defined as any information about an identified or identifiable natural person.

Under the GDPR, EU students may submit to the Data Protection Officers a request for confirmation as to whether or not personal data concerning them is being processed, where it is being processed, and for what purpose. EU students may request the Data Protection Officers to provide an electronic copy of personal data, free of charge; or may request personal data concerning them to be provided in a commonly used and machine-readable format; or may request personal data concerning them be transferred to another college or university. Students may also withdraw their consent for data gathered by the University and may submit to the Data Protection Officers a request the University erase their personal data, cease further dissemination of the data and request third parties halt processing of the data. Such requests will be analyzed pursuant to EU GDPR Article 17 for compliance with all necessary minimum requirements.

Data Protection Officers

Mary Heinzman, MLS, MBA
Executive Director of Information Resources
St. Ambrose Library
563-333-6241
heinzmanmaryb@sau.edu

Megan Levetzow, J.D.
Director of University Compliance
Ambrose Hall, First Floor
563-333-6070
levetzowmegan@sau.edu

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