Fei Tian College - Student Handbook

1. Code of Student Conduct

1.1 Purpose, Authority, Application

1. Purpose

As members of the College community and greater society, students have basic rights and responsibilities. These regulations set forth the College’s expectations for student conduct and procedures governing student discipline. The College intends that this Code of Student Conduct help students to proactively build relationships and community on the foundation of virtue and traditional culture, in accordance with the College’s mission and values.

2. Authority

These regulations are established pursuant to the authority delegated to the President by the Board of Trustees for the establishment of a Code of Student Conduct. Ultimate authority over student conduct and discipline is vested in the President, who has discretion to take immediate and final action for any violation of College policies. Such authority may be delegated as set forth in this Code or in other appropriate policies adopted by the President.

As members of an academic community and the greater society, students may be accountable both to the College and to civil and criminal authorities for acts that constitute violations of both this Code and the law. Conduct proceedings at the College may proceed independently of and during the pendency of external proceedings.

3. Application and Scope

These regulations apply to all students and student groups at the College, unless in special circumstances the President directs otherwise. They apply to conduct that occurs on College property, at College sponsored activities, and to off-campus conduct that adversely affects the College community and/or the pursuit of its objectives. The President shall decide on a case-by-case basis whether the Code shall be applied to conduct that occurs off campus.

The adoption of this Code does not prohibit individual campuses from developing campus-wide policies when unique campus factors necessitate modification of this Code and the campus policies would not be inconsistent with or less restrictive than this Code.

Any case involving an allegation of sexual misconduct shall proceed according to the specific requirements set forth in the Article 129-B Policies in addition to the general requirements of this Code.

4. Amendments

Any amendments to this Code shall remain in effect until rescinded or modified by the President. Amendments may be proposed at any time by faculty, staff, or the Board of Trustees. The President shall conduct a review of this Code every two years for the purpose of identifying any necessary updates resulting from changes in applicable law or College policy.

5. Definitions

“Campus” shall mean all College grounds, structures, and other property owned, controlled, supervised, used, or occupied by the College, and adjacent streets and sidewalks.

“Code of Student Conduct” shall mean the Honor Code, the standards for student conduct, and the student disciplinary process.

“College” shall mean Fei Tian College and includes all campuses.

“Informal action” shall mean an action designed to educate students about the behavioral standards expected of them as members of the College community and to hold them accountable for inappropriate conduct.

“Members of the College community” shall mean faculty and staff, students, trustees, and officers of the College.

“Student” shall mean an individual for whom the College maintains student records and who: (a) is taking courses at the College or enrolled in a College program; (b) is participating as a student in College activities prior to the start of classes; (c) is on an approved leave; (d) is not otherwise presently enrolled or registered for a particular session but has a continuing relationship with the College; (e) withdraws, transfers, or graduates after an alleged violation of the Code; or (f) already graduated when the conduct at issue implicates the student’s College degree.

1.2 Student Conduct

1. Honor Code

The Honor Code is a principle-based code that reflects the moral ideals and standards of the institution. By being admitted or continuing enrollment, each student personally commits to observe these Honor Code standards:

  • Act honestly.
  • Cherish virtue.
  • Respect others.
  • Obey the law and comply with College policies and campus regulations.
  • Cultivate a noble and responsible character.
  • Encourage others in their commitment to abide by the Honor Code.
2. General

Students and, to the extent applicable, student groups are expected and required to obey the law, to comply with College policies, with campus rules and regulations, with directives issued by College officials, and to observe the standards of conduct appropriate for an institution of higher learning. Students are expected to make choices that preserve a safe environment, to respect the rights of others, to practice responsible citizenship, and to be accountable for their own actions and the conduct of their guests. A student who violates these general standards of conduct may be subject to disciplinary action.

3. Dress and Grooming Standards

The dress and grooming of students should be modest, neat, and clean. Clothing is inappropriate when it is revealing, sleeveless, strapless, short (skirt and pants length should be knee-length or longer), excessively form-fitting, or unnaturally ripped or faded. In addition, logos or symbols that promote inappropriate messages should not be worn. Footwear should not have excessively high heels or expose the toes (unless in the residences). Heavy and dramatic makeup and unnatural-looking hair dyes should be avoided. Exposed tattoos and piercings or jewelry affixed to the nose, tongue, cheek, lip, or eyebrow are inappropriate.

4. Academic Integrity Policy

Integrity is a core value of the Fei Tian experience. Academic misconduct undermines the educational process and the sense of integrity that characterizes the College community. It is expected that all academic goals be achieved through honorable means. Specifically, students are expected to support and abide by the provisions of this Academic Integrity Policy, which prohibits: plagiarism; cheating on assignments or examinations; engaging in unauthorized collaboration on academic work; taking, acquiring, or using course materials without faculty permission; submitting falsified records of academic achievement; obtaining dishonestly grades, honors, or awards; altering, forging, or misusing a College academic record; or fabricating or falsifying data or data analysis. Suspected academic misconduct may be reported through the procedures set forth in this Code.

5. Prohibited Conduct

The following types of actions constitute misconduct that may result in disciplinary action. Where appropriate, failure to prevent one’s guests from committing these acts may be treated as violations of this Code:

  • Abuse of the Code of Student Conduct. Includes but is not limited to: making, or causing to be made, a false report of an alleged Code violation; failing to comply with a notice to appear for a disciplinary meeting; falsifying or misrepresenting information in the disciplinary process; disrupting or interfering with the disciplinary process; and failing to comply with the disciplinary sanction(s) imposed under this Code.
  • Academic Misconduct. Any conduct that violates academic integrity, including but not limited to: plagiarism; cheating on assignments or examinations; engaging in unauthorized collaboration on academic work; taking, acquiring, or using course materials without faculty permission; submitting falsified records of academic achievement; obtaining dishonestly grades, honors, or awards; altering, forging, or misusing a College academic record; or fabricating or falsifying data or data analysis.
  • Aiding, Abetting, Assisting, or Facilitating Misconduct. Any conduct that indicates active association with or that actively encourages another person or persons whose conduct is in violation of this Code.
  • Attempt to Injure or Defraud. Conduct involving making, forging, printing, reproducing, copying, or altering any record, document, writing, or identification used or maintained by the College when done with intent to injure, defraud, or misinform.
  • Attempting to Engage in an Act Prohibited by the Code. An “attempt” is defined as conduct that, if successful, would constitute or result in the prohibited conduct. Any student who abandons an attempt or prevents the prohibited conduct from occurring under circumstances that demonstrate a complete and voluntary renunciation of the prohibited conduct will not be subject to disciplinary action.
  • Damage or Misuse of Property. Any conduct that damages, destroys, tampers with, or misuses College property or property of others, including but not limited to: misusing, altering, or damaging fire safety equipment, safety devices, or other emergency equipment or interfering with the performance of those specifically charged to carry out emergency services; or acting to obtain fraudulently—through deceit, unauthorized procedures, or misrepresentation—goods, services, or funds from College units, student groups, or individuals acting on their behalf.
  • Discrimination. Any conduct that is violative of the College’s Non-discrimination Policy.
  • Disorderly Conduct or Hooliganism. Conduct intended and likely to incite a breach of the peace.
  • Dress and Grooming Standards Violation.
  • Falsification. Any conduct involving falsification, including but not limited to: willfully providing College offices or officials with false, misleading, or incomplete information; forging or altering without proper authorization official College records or documents or conspiring with or inducing others to forge or alter without proper authorization College records or documents; misusing, altering, forging, falsifying, or transferring to another person College-issued identification; or intentionally making a false report of an emergency to a College official or an emergency service agency.
  • Firearms, Dangerous Materials, or Prohibited Items. Conduct including the use, possession, or display of: firearms; other weapons and items that could be used as weapons; fireworks; or any other items prohibited by the College, such as drugs, tobacco, alcohol, associated paraphernalia, or media and games that are vulgar, immoral, violent, or pornographic.
  • Harassment, Hazing, Intimidation, or Aggression: Any intentional or careless conduct that endangers or threatens to endanger the physical and/or mental health, safety, or welfare of another person, including, but not limited to: threatening, harassing, intimidating, bullying, or assaulting behavior.
  • Intimacy and Romantic Behavior. Conduct inappropriately displaying physical intimacy or romance.
  • Negative Influence. Conduct at odds with the College’s mission and values and that exerts a negative influence on other(s), the campus environment, or a College activity.
  • Obstruction or Disruption. Any conduct that unreasonably obstructs, disrupts, or interferes with a teaching, educational, research, administrative, disciplinary, or other activity or service authorized to be conducted or offered on or off campus, including but not limited to: misconduct in the classroom or other College setting; any act that damages or interferes with a utility service or equipment, such as College computers, computer programs, computer records, or computer networks accessible through the College’s computer resources; or any action of a student that fails to comply with lawful directions of College officials acting in the performance of their duties.
  • Prohibited Computer or Electronic Activity. Conduct that includes: unauthorized entry into a file to use, read, change the contents, or other purpose; unauthorized transfer of a file; unauthorized use of another individual’s identification and password; use of a computer or other electronic device to unreasonably interfere with the work of another student, faculty member, or College official; use of a computer or other electronic device to send obscene messages; use of a computer or other electronic device to unreasonably interfere with the normal operation of the College’s network; or use of a computer or other electronic device in violation of copyright laws.
  • Sexual Misconduct. All forms of sexual misconduct, including but not limited to: sexual harassment, sexual violence, domestic violence, dating violence, stalking, sexual exploitation, indecent exposure, and all non-consensual sexual contact or behavior.
  • Solicitation. Conduct that involves unauthorized solicitation, sale, or promotion of any goods or services on College property or at College-sponsored activities.
  • Theft or Unauthorized Possession. Conduct including theft, unauthorized possession of, or wrongful sale or gift of property.
  • Unauthorized Access or Use. Conduct involving accessing or using without authorization College property, services, or information systems, or obtaining or providing to another person the means of such unauthorized access or use, including, but not limited to, using or providing without authorization keys or access codes.
  • Violation of College Policies, Campus Rules and Regulations, or Official Directives.
  • Violation of Federal, State, or Local Law.
6. Sanctions

While the College intends that this Code be administered collegially to educate students, it also recognizes that there may be instances in which the nature and severity of the student’s behavior may warrant disciplinary sanctions up to and including expulsion. Types of sanctions that may be imposed in accordance with this Code of Student Conduct are as follows:

  • Warning. An oral warning to bring to the student’s attention a new or ongoing deficiency in conduct.
  • Probation. A status that puts the student on formal notice and may carry special terms to regain good standing. Requires a conduct proceeding and a review after the probationary period.
  • Suspension. A sanction that imposes an involuntary absence on the part of the student, and carries special terms to regain good standing. Requires a conduct proceeding and a review after the suspension period. Revocation of financial aid awards.
  • Dismissal. A sanction that completely removes the student from his or her program and separates the student from the College.
  • Expulsion. A sanction that results in permanent termination of student status, generally without grades.
  • Discretionary Sanctions. Other sanctions that bear reasonable relation to the violation for which the student has been sanctioned may be imposed instead of or in addition to other sanctions. E.g., restriction of student privileges, restitution, fines.

1.3 Procedures Governing Student Discipline

1. General

The student disciplinary process aims to assist the College and its students to preserve and enhance a learning environment conducive to achieving the aims of an FTC education and fulfilling the College’s mission. Where possible, the College intends that this process be administered to help educate students as to their moral responsibilities and aid them in developing their character. The College, at its discretion, may choose to investigate reported or suspected Code violations. Generally, the College shall follow the prescribed procedures. However, the institution reserves to each campus the right to, at its discretion, vary from them according to the circumstances of individual matters, so long as the student receives prior to the imposition of any sanctions, notice of the nature of the alleged or suspected violation(s) and an opportunity to respond.

No attempt will be made to apply formal or technical rules of evidence. In general, any information that is considered relevant will be received and reviewed, subject to the reasonable discretion of the Code administrator.

Any case involving an allegation of sexual misconduct shall proceed according to the requirements set forth in the Article 129-B Policies in addition to the general requirements of this Code.

2. Code Administrators/Disciplinary Managers

The student disciplinary process is under the direction of each campus’s chief academic officer (for academic matters) and Director of Student Affairs (for non-academic matters) (“Code administrators” or “Disciplinary managers”). If one incident involves both academic and non-academic issues, involves both undergraduate and graduate issues, involves more than one campus, and/or directly involves the Code administrator, the President or designee will decide which administrator(s) are to handle the matter.

3. Reporting Misconduct

Any person may report a suspected violation of this Code of Student Conduct to the Code administrator or other assigned appropriate personnel, who will review the reported allegation to determine the appropriate action to be taken from the following: Investigation. Begin an investigation into the matter if he or she determines that the allegation(s), if proven, could be considered a violation of the Code; Referral back for informal action. Refer the matter back to the Director of Student Affairs for the matter to be dealt with informally if the allegations do not constitute a violation of student conduct; or No action. Decide to take no further action with a written explanation of this decision. Reports should be made using the student incident report form, within a reasonable time of the alleged violation. Disciplinary action may be pursued if there is enough information available to substantiate the reported conduct. If information is discovered alleging that a past student of the College committed a Code violation at the time he or she was a student, a report shall be made to the responsible administrator, who shall determine the procedures to follow and the appropriate sanction.

4. Interim Actions

The President or designee shall have authority to take immediate and appropriate interim protective action when the alleged actions of a student jeopardize the well-being of that student or others or threaten the operations or safety of the College.

5. Investigations

Reports may be investigated if there is sufficient, reasonable, and credible information that a Code violation has occurred. The investigation may include interviewing the student and any witnesses or other persons having relevant information as the Code administrator deems appropriate. Following each investigation, the Code administrator will analyze the report and evidence. If it appears that the alleged violation(s) have not occurred, the Code administrator will drop the case and notify the student and, where appropriate, the reporting individual.

6. Notice

If it appears that the alleged violation(s) occurred, the Code administrator or designee will notify the student as to the nature of the alleged or suspected violation(s) and of the student’s opportunity to respond. Where appropriate, an attempt should be made to review the notice together with the student, discuss possible sanctions, and work with the student.

7. Conduct Proceeding

A student facing potential disciplinary sanctions other than an oral warning will be given a conduct proceeding in the form of a disciplinary meeting* with the Code administrator or a designated school agent. *Campuses may offer an alternative conduct proceeding in the form of a disciplinary hearing for complex cases. The purpose of the disciplinary meeting is to present the student with the evidence gathered and to provide him or her an opportunity to make representations. In limited circumstances (e.g., a risk of harm to the witness) a witness’s identity may be kept confidential unless to do so would prejudice the fairness of the proceedings. The following procedural guidelines apply to conduct proceedings: The student shall have an opportunity to respond to the information related to the alleged violation and may submit additional relevant information. If the student fails to appear at a disciplinary meeting, the matter may be adjudicated in absentia. The College participants will decide, on the basis of the evidence and the student’s representations, whether the allegation is proven. When there are significant discrepancies between the supporting information and the student’s response, the College will attempt to ascertain the truth and exercise reasonable discretion in assessing the credibility of the witnesses and strength of the evidence. If the allegation is considered to be proven, depending on the nature of the disciplinary offense, the Code administrator will ask the student to submit any additional evidence to decide on the appropriate sanction. The outcome of a conduct proceeding is to be determined based solely on the reasonable conclusion of the designated trier, and shall depend on the totality of all relevant factors, including but not limited to: the nature and severity of the transgression, the student’s attitude, and previous history. The Code administrator will prepare a decision and the outcome of the conduct proceeding shall be conveyed to the student. It is expected that most disciplinary cases will be resolved at this stage. The outcome of a conduct proceeding cannot serve as the basis for a grievance.

8. Appeal

Generally, the outcome of a conduct proceeding is a final decision. At least in proceedings that result in suspension, dismissal, expulsion, or revocation of financial aid, however, a case may be appealed to the appropriate reviewer (either the President or the Judicial Committee) under the following guidelines. Within five calendar days of the outcome of the conduct proceeding, the student must submit a letter of appeal to the reviewer. The appeal must specify grounds that would justify reconsideration. E.g. a significant procedural irregularity that changes the findings of fact of the proceeding; or new evidence that significantly alters the findings of fact. This appeal may not be made on the basis of general dissatisfaction with the decision of the trier. The reviewer will review the record and letter of appeal, and any other relevant information arising in the context of the appeal. The reviewer may also make independent inquiries to clarify statements in the record. After reviewing this information, the reviewer shall render a decision within no more than 45 calendar days of the filing of the appeal. The reviewer may, at the reviewer’s sole discretion, modify the sanction applied to the student based upon the appeal. Further, the reviewer may refer the matter back to the Code administrator for further evaluation with accompanying instructions if it is determined that the procedures followed were not appropriate or relevant information was not appropriately considered. The reviewer will deliver a decision to the student and to the Code administrator. Except in the case of a remand, the reviewer’s decision is final with no provision for further review. The decision on appeal cannot serve as the basis for a complaint.

9. Disciplinary Records

The College normally maintains a record of each proceeding that results in a sanction. Disciplinary records shall be maintained under the authority of the Code administrator, in accordance with the College’s record retention policy.


2. Student Rights and Responsibilities

With the responsibilities for acceptable conduct that the Code of Student Conduct places on students of the College, come attendant basic rights and institutional obligations.

The College recognizes its obligation to support and uphold the basic freedoms and citizenship rights of all students and to provide conditions conducive to learning and reflective of the institution’s founding values of Truthfulness, Compassion, and Tolerance. Within this context, students have the following basic rights.

2.1 Rights in the Pursuit of Education

The classrooms, laboratories, libraries, and studios constitute the essential learning environments of the College, and the freedom to learn in these environments should be promoted and encouraged by instructors. In support of a student’s rights in the classroom or other learning environments, the College grants students the right to:

  • Have access to faculty, technology, classrooms, libraries, presentations, and other resources necessary for the learning process;
  • Have access to academic advising and clear expectations for degree and graduation requirements;
  • Participate in an exchange of ideas that is free of conduct that impedes either an instructor’s ability to teach or a student’s ability to learn;
  • Receive a class syllabus in a timely manner;
  • Expect to interact with faculty who act professionally, provide clearly stated course goals, provide clear expectations for class performance and evaluation, hold classes as scheduled, are accessible for consultation, and maintain a clear connection between course content and the most recently approved course description; and
  • Have the freedom to raise relevant issues pertaining to classroom discussion, offer reasonable doubts about information presented, and express alternative opinions without concern for any academic penalty.

2.2 Right to Freedom from Harassment

Fei Tian College is committed to maintaining an environment of learning and working that is free of prejudice and harassment—an environment that supports, nurtures, and rewards career and educational advancement on the basis of ability and performance.

Harassment based upon race, sex, color, religion, age, national origin, ethnicity, disability, veteran or military status, marital status, citizenship status, or any other legally protected basis is prohibited by law and undermines the character and purpose of the College. Such harassment is illegal and against College policy and will not be tolerated. This policy covers all members of the College community and those who affect the College community, such as vendors and visitors.

2.3 Right to Freedom from Discrimination

Fei Tian College admits students of any race, color, national origin, and ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the College. In the letter and spirit of applicable laws, it does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, sex, national origin, ethnic origin, or any other applicable legally protected status in the administration of its educational programs. In accordance with this policy and as delineated by federal and state law, the College is committed to basing judgments concerning the admission and education of individuals upon their qualifications and abilities.

2.4 Rights to Access Records and Facilities and of Privacy

Students can expect to have access to policies and procedures that affect them and have access to College offices that may be able to assist them.

Students can expect that their education records will be maintained confidentially and they will have access to their records in a manner consistent with College policies and applicable state and federal laws. Students can expect to have reasonable access to College facilities and resources.

2.5 Right to Contribute to College Governance

Students have the right to contribute to the making of institutional policies generally affecting their social or academic affairs.

2.6 Right to Accommodation for Individuals with Disabilities

Students may request special accommodations for disabilities, including for temporary disabilities due to injury, through the Office of Student Affairs.

2.7 Rights to Pursue Grievances and to Just Processes in Cases of Discipline

Students who believe that any of their rights have been violated by a member of the College community have the right to file a report of misconduct under the Code of Student Conduct or a grievance petition under the student academic complaint process.

Students involved should expect that they will be given notice and an opportunity to respond and that the College will make a good-faith review of the allegation(s) in order to bring about a fair and reasonable resolution of the matter.


3. Student Grievance Resolution

The College maintains a process for the good faith review and resolution of student complaints that is intended to: encourage informal resolution of alleged violations at the lowest unit level; allow for a formal resolution mechanism if not resolved informally; and provide for appeal to a final decision maker. The final decision following appeal is not appealable further within the College.

Scope

Student complaints are brought by students regarding the College’s provision of education and academic services affecting their role as students and must be based on a claimed violation of a College rule, policy, or established practice.

Complaints Not Covered

Complaints not covered by this policy include those regarding: disciplinary action under the Code of Student Conduct; or College admission decisions.

Exhaustion of Remedies

Exhaustion of all informal and formal internal processes at the College is a prerequisite to filing a complaint with an external agency pursuant to this policy. Discussion of the matter through informal means is the preferred starting point. Should that fail, the complainant should use the formal grievance resolution mechanisms provided at each campus. No retaliatory action shall be taken against a student for utilizing these processes.

Procedural Guidelines

There may be occasions when a student has a concern or a complaint about a course or an instructor, e.g., about a course requirement, class procedure, or grades. A concern about a course or instructor should be expressed no later than 30 days into the start of the next semester. The student should, whenever possible, first approach the instructor for clarification and resolution. Addressing a challenging situation at this level provides an opportunity for both the student and instructor to work together to find a mutual resolution in the spirit of understanding and patience. If, after contacting the instructor the student still has concerns, the student should address them to the appropriate department Chair who will work to help the student and instructor resolve the matter. Individual academic departments may establish their own internal procedures for handling student concerns. The informal complaint resolution process is expected to be completed within one month.

If the informal resolution process is not able to resolve the concern, the student may file a formal grievance by the end of the semester following the semester in which the alleged grievance occurred, or as soon as is reasonably possible.

A student files a grievance by submitting a complaint in writing to the campus Provost (for a grievance of an academic nature) or the Director of Student Affairs or designee (for a grievance of a non-academic nature). The statement should include: (1) a complete narrative of the circumstances giving rise to the grievance; (2) identification of the parties involved; (3) a statement of the desired remedy; and (4) any supporting documentation.

The Provost or the Director of Student Affairs will determine whether the complaint has sufficient substance to be deemed a grievance. If so, the student will be notified and the grievance will be routed to the appropriate committee for a preliminary investigation and hearing with the aggrieved student. An academic grievance will be routed to the Academic Standards and Student Services Committee, whereas a non-academic grievance will be routed to the Judicial Committee.

Information from any source and in any manner determined to be useful in reaching a recommendation may be used. The committee will present a final report and recommendation to the Provost or the Director of Student Affairs. The student shall also be notified of the recommendation.

Should the recommendation not be acceptable to the student, the case may be appealed to the College President. The President’s decision is final within the College appeal process and cannot serve as the basis for a new complaint.

Since students are encouraged to use the College grievance procedures when they believe that they have been unfairly treated, there must be no retaliation taken against any employee who gives information or appears before the Academic Standards and Student Services or Judicial Committees. Retaliation will not be tolerated and will subject an individual to College disciplinary procedures.


4. Academic Policies

4.1 General Course Policies

4.1.1 Course Prerequisites

Certain courses have course or other requirements that must be satisfied prior to registration. Prerequisites are intended to ensure that a student has sufficient preparation for a course.

4.1.2 Class Attendance

Students are expected to attend all classes for each of their courses.

An absence from class may be excused at the instructor’s discretion for reason of personal or family emergency, injury, jury duty, participation in a College-sponsored activity (which is any activity on or off campus, which is initiated, approved, or supervised by the College), or any other reason for good cause.

Students may request an excused absence from class by submitting a completed excused absence form to the Office of Student Affairs in advance of any absence or, if doing so in advance is infeasible, immediately upon their return to class. The form requires the signature of each instructor whose class will be missed. If informed, the Office of Student Affairs will notify faculty of student absence when students are unable to contact their instructors due to an unexpected emergency.

Whether an absence is excused or unexcused, students are responsible for obtaining information and assignments covered during the class periods missed. Instructors will make reasonable arrangements to accommodate excused absences with an opportunity to make up the work missed.

After two unexcused absences in a course, each additional unexcused absence, at the discretion of the instructor, normally results in a reduction of 5 points (on a 100-point scale) of the student’s final grade. Instructors are permitted to issue a grade of “IA” (Insufficient Attendance) if a student has exceeded a threshold of unexcused absences.

4.1.3 Tardiness to Class

Students are expected to arrive on time for each class period. Habitual tardiness to class could result in a reduction of the student’s final grade, as follows:

  • Arriving to class up to 15 minutes late counts as one late occurrence;
  • Arriving to class more than 15 minutes late counts as one absence;
  • Three late occurrences count as one absence.

4.1.4 Late Assignment Penalty

Conscientious completion and on-time submission of all required assignments is expected in all courses. In fairness to the course instructor and the students who complete their work on time, any assignment submitted late will be assessed a penalty (e.g., a reduction of the assignment grade by 30 percent for every 24 hours it is late) unless stipulated otherwise by the instructor.

4.1.5 Final Exams

Students are expected to be present for exams and should plan their schedules to accommodate the scheduled exam times. Whether an examination will be rescheduled to accommodate travel or other plans is up to the discretion of each department.

4.1.6 Auditing a Course

Subject to approvals by the course instructor and the department offering the course, certain courses may be audited. (Studio, applied music, and intership/practicum courses may not be audited.)

The privileges of an auditor are limited to registering in, paying tuition and fees for, and attending classes. The auditor does not complete assignments or take examinations. The auditor will receive no credit for the course, and it will not fulfill any academic requirements, but the course will appear on the student’s transcript with the grade “AUD” (Audit).

Students wishing to audit a course should check with their academic advisor. Auditors must notify the Office of the Registrar of their special registration status in the course before the end of the Course Selection Period. All students who register for six credits or more are eligible to audit courses of up to one half of the total paid credits.

4.1.7 Repeating a Course

Most courses can be completed only once for credit (non-repeatable-for-credit courses), whereas some courses have been designed to be repeated a specific number of times for additional credit (repeatable-for-credit courses).

Courses generally may be attempted once more than their limit. In this case, the student cannot earn credit for the last attempt, but GPA calculation will omit the student’s lowest grade in the course.

Example 1: LAS100 may be completed only once for credit. Alice completes this course once, earning a “C.” She then takes the course a second time, earning an “A.” She earns no additional credit from the second attempt, but GPA calculation uses only her “A” and disregards the “C.”

Example 2: CCD101R may be completed only twice for credit. Ben attempts this course twice, earning a “B” and an “F.” He then takes the course a third time, earning an “A.” The first and third attempts yield credit. GPA calculation uses only his “A” and “B” and disregards the “F.”

The transcript will include each course attempt. An attempt resulting in a grade of “W” (Withdrawal) represents an uncompleted attempt and does not count toward the course’s repeat limit.

When a student attempts a course that is nominally the same as one the student previously attempted, but where the course content is substantially different, the new attempt does not count as a repeat. Examples include a second independent study on a different topic and repeating a major instrument course on a different instrument.

Students may not register for a course for which they received transfer credit.

4.1.8 Course Numbering System

The course identification code at FTC consists of a three-letter prefix, a three-digit number, and, in some cases, a one-letter suffix.

Examples:

BMS101 Introduction to Bio-medical Science

BMS101L Introduction to Bio-medical Science Lab

DAN101R Fundamental Dance, with repeating requirements

Course Prefixes

Course prefixes identify the subject area for their courses, such as general courses and courses uniquely offered under a major, a concentration, or a specialty.

Examples:

HUM Humanities

CHM Chemistry subjects

ACC Accountancy subjects

ART General Art courses for multiple disciplines/ programs

The department offering a course may change the third letter in the course prefix to further specify the type of course.

Examples:

ARH Art History

ARF Art Fundamentals and Skills

First Digit

As a general rule, the first digit reflects the level of difficulty of the course content or the year in which it is commonly taken.

Undergraduate Course Leveling Convention

Number Level
0xx Developmental and remedial No degree credit
1xx Introductory level (freshman year) Survey, foundation, and introductory courses, normally with no prerequisites and designed primarily for students with no prior background
2xx Intermediate level (sophomore/junior year) Normally designed for sophomores and above but in some cases open to freshman majors in the department
3xx Upper-intermediate level (junior year) Designed primarily as courses for juniors; prerequisites are normally required, and these courses are prerequisites for advanced courses
4xx Advanced level (senior year) Designed primarily for juniors and seniors; also includes specialized courses such as research, capstone, and thesis

Graduate Course Leveling Convention

Number Level
0xx Orientation and basic No degree credit
5xx First-level graduate Courses primarily for graduate students and qualified undergraduate students with permission
6xx Second-level graduate Generally for master’s and clinical doctorate only
7xx Third-level graduate Master’s- and doctoral-level courses; includes master’s thesis
800–899 Clinical/research/readings Includes comprehensive exam preparation
900–999 Doctoral research and dissertation
2nd Digits (x2x)

Conventionally further identifies course topics and depth, at the discretion of departments

Course Topic Convention (for all program levels)

Number Topics
x0x, x1x Introductory, fundamentals, principles or theories
x2x, x3x Prominent skills or tools, and important fields or subfields of specialization
x4x Broad background, knowledge, application, emerging fields, seminar courses
x48 ~ x49 Seminar courses
x5x Independent studies, directed studies, projects, thesis, capstones
x6x Internships, practicum, co-ops, capstones
x7x Breath: related fields
x8x, x9x Dissertation & Research
3rd Digits (xx3)

Sequence number of the courses, usually from 1 to 9, with 0 reserved for foundational courses.

Suffix Convention

A single letter suffix is used to give additional information about the course.

Suffix Letters
Letters Conventions
A, B, C Different parts of course sequence, where A usually stands for courses offered in the spring semester and B for courses in the fall semester
G General Education version of a course
L Lab courses
R Courses that must be repeated in order to satisfy graduation requirements
Suffix Digits

Conventionally placed at the end of the course code separated by a hyphen to identify Course Section Number when student enrollment requires different course sections (class times), e.g. -1, -2.

4.2 General Academic Policies

4.2.1 Unit of Academic Credit

FTC apportions academic credit for undergraduate and graduate coursework based on the semester credit hour. Semester credit hour means that a credit is granted for the satisfactory completion of a course that normally requires 15 hours (of 50 minutes each) of instruction and at least 30 hours of supplementary assignments and work.

Lecture and seminar courses assign one credit for every 1 hour of class time and 2 hours of preparation required per week over 15 instructional weeks.

Studio and lab courses assign one credit for every 2 to 3 hours of practice or lab work required per week over 15 instructional weeks.

For an instructional session having a length other than 15 weeks, the number of weekly hours that correspond to one credit is scaled accordingly.

4.2.2 Credit for Prior Learning

Fei Tian offers matriculated students the opportunity to receive academic credit for documented prior college-level learning acquired through previous study or through non-classroom experiences.

Prior learning may include, but is not limited to, the following:

  • Credit transfer from another institution
  • Credit by examination
  • Credit by portfolio evaluation

The awarding of prior learning credit is conditioned on the following:

  • The student must be matriculated at Fei Tian College.
  • Prior learning must not duplicate or overlap previous coursework, or diminish the rigor of the program.
  • Credit from prior learning is not included in calculating grade point average.
  • The total number of credits awarded for prior learning may not exceed 50 percent of the credits required for graduation.

The determination of credit for prior learning is ultimately made by the Registrar in consultation with the department Chairs.

Credit Transfer

Students may apply for transfer of credit earned at other institutions, including institutions accredited by U.S. Department of Education-recognized accrediting bodies, degree-granting institutions authorized by the NYS Board of Regents, and colleges and universities outside of the U.S. that are recognized by Fei Tian College.

Transfer of credit is subject to the following conditions:

  • The credit must carry a grade of at least C+ for general education courses and at least B for courses in the student’s area of study. Pass/no pass credit is not transferable unless a pass/no pass option also exists at Fei Tian for the equivalent course.
  • The other institution offering the course allows it to be taken for credit toward the equivalent degree.
  • The course offered at the other institution is substantially similar in content and rigor to the course at Fei Tian: i.e., (1) covers at least 75 percent of the same course material; (2) yields at least the same number of credits as does the equivalent course at Fei Tian; (3) includes requirements for comparable graded assignments/exams; and (4) uses a comparable textbook (if applicable).
  • In computing transfer credits, quarter credits shall be converted to semester credits. Unless specified otherwise, one quarter credit equals two-thirds of a semester credit (e.g., 3 quarter credits equal 2 semester credits).
  • For the BFA degree programs, a student may transfer up to 30 general education credits toward the degree.
  • For the BM degree program, a student may transfer a maximum of 30 general education credits and 30 music credits, up to a total of 60 credits, toward the degree.

Students may request a transfer of credit from another institution by submitting a Transfer Credit Form to the Office of the Registrar, together with an official transcript, course descriptions and syllabi of the courses for which transfer credit is sought, and any other information FTC requires to conduct a proper evaluation.

Approved transfer credits will appear on FTC transcripts within approximately four weeks of official receipt of the request.

Credit by Examination
Standardized Exams

FTC recognizes standardized exams, including Advanced Placement (AP), College-Level Examination Program (CLEP) Examinations, and International Baccalaureate (IB). To request credit by standardized exam, the student must submit a written request to the Registrar and order an official score report to be sent to the Office of the Registrar. A student may earn credit from a maximum of five standardized exams. Approved credit(s) by standardized exam will appear on the student’s transcript within approximately four weeks of receipt of the official score report(s).

FTC Comprehensive Exams

Students who have acquired the knowledge and skills taught in a particular course can opt to demonstrate that they can pass the course without taking it. To do so, the student must submit a written request to the Chair of the department offering the course, explaining how the student has already met the goals and objectives of the course. The Chair will determine whether the course is available for credit by examination and whether the student is eligible to sit for the exam. If the Chair is satisfied with the student’s performance on the exam, the Chair can recommend to the Registrar that the student receive credit for the course. Normally, a student may earn credit by exam for at most one course per semester.

Credit by Portfolio Evaluation

Students may develop a portfolio for credit to document experiential learning acquired through professional, creative, volunteer, or other experiences, to be assessed by faculty or equivalent subject area experts.

4.2.3 Double-Counting Credit

Under certain circumstances where doing so would not diminish the requirements of any program, a single course may be used to fulfill more than one requirement, either across the curriculum or toward two degrees.

4.2.4 Class Standing for Undergraduates

Class standing represents an undergraduate student’s progress toward graduation. It is based on the number of credits earned toward the degree, including credits for prior learning. The following table shows the number of credits required at each classification.

Undergraduate Class Standing Classifications

Classification Credits required
Freshman Less than 32.5
Sophomore At least 32.5 but less than 68.5
Junior At least 68.5 but less than 100.5
Senior 100.5 or more

4.2.5 Course Load

At FTC, students typically study on a full-time basis. Full-time status is defined as registering each required semester for a minimum of 12 credits for undergraduate students, or 9 credits for graduate students. Exceptions to the rule exist for students in their final semester who need less than a full load of credits to complete their programs, for students who register for a course load that yields the requisite load credits but numerically fewer academic credits, and for graduate students who have been certified by the institution for full-time student status.

Part-time status is defined as registering in a minimum of one course per semester but less than full-time status. Students interested in switching to part-time status should check with their academic advisor for information on how their academic standing, financial aid awards, student privileges, and, for international students, U.S. legal status, could be affected.

Students may not take over 20 credits of courses per semester unless expressively permitted by their Departments and the Office of Academic Services.

4.2.6 Academic Integrity

Truthfulness is a core value of the Fei Tian experience. Academic misconduct undermines the educational process and the sense of integrity that characterizes the College community. It is expected that all academic goals be achieved through honorable means. Specifically, students are expected to support and abide by the provisions of the College’s Academic Integrity Policy, which prohibits cheating, falsification, plagiarism, unauthorized collaboration, engaging in prohibited behavior, and any other conduct that violates academic integrity. Suspected academic misconduct may be reported through the procedures set forth in the Code of Student Conduct.

4.2.7 Participation in Assessment

Students at the College are expected to spend several hours during their programs participating in College-wide outcomes assessment activities, such as tests, surveys, and interviews.

4.2.8 President’s Honor List

Full-time, matriculated undergraduate students who earn a semester GPA of 3.7 or higher receive the “President’s Honor List” distinction for that semester, provided that the student has no “W” (Withdrawal) or “I” (Incomplete) grade during that semester.

4.2.9 Program Variance

Students may petition for an academic program variance from a particular College policy or course requirement if the request is adequately supported through a written statement describing the rationale for the variance and information as requested. Petitions may be submitted to the Office of the Provost (for undergraduate students) or the Director of Graduate Studies (for graduate students). Final decisions are at the discretion of the program of study’s chief academic officer.

4.2.10 Time Limits for Degree Completion

Baccalaureate degrees must be completed within seven years of initial enrollment, and master’s degrees must be completed within five years of initial enrollment.

Periods of official leave of absence are excluded from the time limits set for completion of degrees. Any extension of a time limit must be initiated by the student through a formal petition for a program variance.

4.2.11 Special Accommodations

Fei Tian coordinates reasonable special accommodations for qualifying individuals with disabilities, including temporary disabilities due to injury. Students must request special accommodations through the Office of Student Affairs and should notify their course instructors promptly thereafter of accommodations made for their courses.

4.2.12 Leaves of Absence

A matriculated student in good standing who desires to take a temporary leave from the College with the intent to return must consult the Office of Student Affairs and submit a completed and signed Leave Form to the Office of the Registrar for review and acceptance. The student bears ultimate responsibility for completing the official leave-taking process and notifying all relevant administrative offices in a timely fashion. For academic and financial purposes, the effective date of a leave of absence is the date indicated on the Leave Form or the date of receipt, whichever is appropriate.

4.2.13 Withdrawal from the College

A student’s withdrawal from the College is a permanent separation. Reasons why a student may withdraw from the College include to transfer to another institution or to leave the College without a definite plan to return.

A student who seeks to withdraw from the College in good standing must ordinarily complete an exit interview at the Office of Student Affairs and complete the exit procedures, which include submitting a completed Withdrawal Form to the Office of the Registrar for processing and promptly notifying all student services offices. For a withdrawal from the College that occurs before the fifth week of the semester, no courses or grades for that semester will appear on the student’s transcript. For a withdrawal that occurs in the fifth week of the semester or later, a final grade of “W” (Withdrawal) will be entered for all registered courses.

Administrative withdrawal is a College-initiated withdrawal that occurs when students, by the middle of a semester, have failed to attend class or have not registered for any courses, and have not been granted a leave of absence. In this case, a final grade of “F,” “NP,” or “IA” will be entered for all registered courses.

See Tuition Refund Policy for details on the tuition refund policy.

See Return and Refund of Financial Aid for details on financial aid adjustment.

4.3 Grading Policies

4.3.1 Grading System

Fei Tian College uses two grading scales: letter grade and pass/no pass.

The basic letter grades are “A,” “B,” “C,” “D,” and “F.” The College gives instructors the option to add a plus or minus to letter grades (except “F”), yielding grades such as “A+” and “C–.”

The pass/no pass grades are “P” and “NP.”

The following table details the letter grades, the pass/no pass grades, and the various other grading codes that may appear on a student’s transcript.

Grades and Grading Codes

Grade Percent Grade Points Allows Credit Description
A+ 97–100 4.3 Yes
A 93–96 4.0 Yes
A- 90–92 3.7 Yes
B+ 87–89 3.3 Yes
B 83–86 3.0 Yes
B- 80–82 2.7 Yes
C+ 77–79 2.3 Yes
C 73–76 2.0 Yes
C- 70–72 1.7 Yes Lowest passing grade for graduate students
D+ 67–69 1.3 Depends*
D 63–66 1.0 Depends*
D- 60–62 0.7 Depends* Lowest passing grade for undergraduate students
F 0–59 0.0 No
P Depends* N/A Yes Pass. Passing grade in a P/NP course or in a course for which the student elected the P/NP option.
NP Depends* N/A No No pass. Failing grade in a P/NP course or in a course for which the student elected the P/NP option.
AFE 0.0 No Absent from final examination. For unexcused absences.
AUD N/A No Audit.
CR N/A Yes Credit is awarded or requirement is met.
FIN 0.0 No Failed incomplete. Assigned when the time to resolve an “I” grade expires.
I N/A No Incomplete. Approved extension of time to complete course requirements.
IA 0.0 No Insufficient attendance. Includes stopping attending a course without withdrawing.
IP N/A No Course is in progress. No grade is assigned at this time.
MX N/A Yes Medical excuse. By petition to the department Chair. Grants a waiver of credit. Can be used in one semester only.
NGR N/A No No grade reported. Decision pending.
PX N/A Yes Professional excuse. Performance courses only. By petition to the department Chair.
W N/A No Course withdrawal.
  • For undergraduate students, the minimum passing letter grade is “D–” and the “P” grade corresponds to a percentage range of 60–100. For graduate students, the minimum passing grade is “C–” and the “P” grade corresponds to a percentage range of 70–100.

4.3.2 Pass/No Pass Option

The Pass/No Pass option was designed to encourage students to explore a new academic area or take a particularly challenging course without undue concern about their academic performance in the course.

By electing the Pass/No Pass option for a certain course, the student will be graded by the instructor as usual throughout the course, but the final grade that appears on the student’s transcript will be a “P” (Pass) if the instructor assigns a passing letter grade, or an “NP” (No Pass) if the instructor assigns a failing letter grade or an “IA” or “AFE” grade, or if the grade is “FIN.” All other grades, including “I,” “W,” and “PX,” are not converted and appear on the student’s transcript unchanged. Courses taken on a Pass/No Pass basis do not affect the GPA.

Students may earn a maximum of eight credits per degree with the Pass/No Pass option. Each use of the Pass/No Pass option must be approved by the student’s academic advisor. Credits earned by taking a course on a Pass/No Pass basis do not fulfill any General Education, major core, or electives requirement.

4.3.3 Incomplete Grades

The “I” grade (Incomplete) may be assigned at the discretion of the instructor when a student’s work in a course is of passing quality but is incomplete and the student formally requests an “I” grade by the last class session. In requesting an “I” grade, the student should discuss with the instructor the reason the work is incomplete and exactly what coursework remains to be completed.

The course instructor has discretion to grant or deny the request and to determine the conditions under which the incomplete grade is made up, including setting a deadline within a one-year timeframe. Under no circumstance should a student re-register for a class to complete an “I.” Registering for a course a second time invokes the “Course Repetition” rules.

An “I” is a temporary notation that must be changed to a permanent grade on the student’s transcript within a maximum of one year. To confirm the student’s completion of the assigned work and replace the “I” grade, the instructor must submit a Change of Grade Form to the Office of the Registrar. Otherwise, the student’s grade will automatically change to a “FIN” (Failed Incomplete).

In order to drop a course after the second week but before the thirteenth week of classes, the student must consult the academic advisor to request the withdrawal. The student must also submit a completed Add/Drop Form, including the signatures of the instructor and academic advisor, to the Office of the Registrar for processing. Dropping a course after the fourth week of classes results in a “W” (Withdrawal) grade. “W” grades do not factor into a student’s grade point average.

4.3.4 Grade Change

Once final grades have been posted by the Office of the Registrar, they will be changed only in exceptional circumstances and only with the approval of the instructor and the Chair of the department offering the course.

To request a grade change, instructors must submit a completed Change of Grade Form to the Chair of the department offering the course for consideration. If the request is granted, the instructor must forward the Change of Grade Form to the Office of the Registrar for processing.

4.3.5 Grade Point Average

A grade point average (GPA) summarizes a student’s academic performance.

A GPA is a weighted average. It is calculated as the total number of grade points earned divided by the total credit weight of courses attempted. For each grade, the number of grade points is the grade’s assigned grade points multiplied by the course’s credit weight. This calculation excludes grades that do not affect GPA, such as certain grades earned when repeating a course (see the Repeating a Course section).

Useful types of GPA include semester GPA (calculated from a student’s grades within a single semester), cumulative GPA (calculated from all of a student’s grades), and major GPA (calculated from all grades a student received in courses that his/her major requires).

4.4 Academic Progress

4.4.1 Satisfactory Academic Progress

Students are expected to remain in good standing at the College and be making satisfactory academic progress in their programs.

Generally, satisfactory academic progress is determined on the basis of:

  1. Registering for the minimum required course load each semester for enrollment;
  2. Satisfactorily completing at least 75 percent of the courses attempted each semester. All grades except “AUD,” including “I” and “W” grades, contribute towards this measure. For the purposes of this standard, repeating a course counts towards credits attempted.
  3. Achieving and maintaining the required grade point average. Undergraduate students: Each student must have a cumulative GPA of at least 2.0 at the end of freshman class standing, and for the remainder of the student’s undergraduate studies thereafter. This GPA is calculated from all of the student’s undergraduate-level credits attempted at the College. Graduate students: Each student must have a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0 at the end of the student’s first semester of graduate studies, and for the remainder of the student’s graduate studies thereafter. This GPA is calculated from all of the student’s graduate-level credits attempted at the College and (if applicable) all of the student’s undergraduate-level credits attempted while enrolled in a graduate program at the College.
  4. Attempting at most 150% of the minimum number of credits that the student’s program requires. For example, a student enrolled in a program that requires a minimum of 130 credits may attempt at most 195 credits.
  5. Making satisfactory progress in the student’s program, in the determination of the department.

Failure to make satisfactory academic progress can result in sanctions including, but not limited to, the revocation of financial aid.

4.4.2 Good Standing

Students who are making satisfactory academic progress in their programs are deemed to be in good standing at the College if they additionally:

  • Have paid any and all College bills in a timely manner;
  • Are not on academic or disciplinary probation or academic suspension; and
  • Are abiding by the laws of the United States.

4.4.3 Academic Sanctions

Failure to maintain satisfactory academic progress can result in a variety of academic sanctions for students, as detailed below:

Academic Warning: A student who is making only marginal academic progress in the determination of the instructor may receive an oral warning.

Academic Probation: A student demonstrating unsatisfactory academic progress may be placed on academic probation for the next semester. During the probationary period, financial aid will still be available. But if the student fails to demonstrate satisfactory academic progress the next semester, the financial aid will be revoked. Students on academic probation are subject to course load requirements and must earn a minimum semester GPA of 2.5 (for undergraduate students) or 3.0 (for graduate students) to be returned to good standing. Those who do not achieve good standing during the probationary period will move to academic suspension, dismissal, or a second semester on academic probation, to be determined by the College.

Academic Suspension: A student may face immediate academic suspension for a particularly severe case of unsatisfactory academic progress. During the suspension, the student shall be excluded from classes and other College privileges or activities, including access to the College campus and College-sponsored activities off campus. The duration and conditions of academic suspension are to be determined by the College on a case-by-case basis. A student may reestablish standing in the College by requesting reinstatement to probationary or good standing after completing the suspension period.

Academic Dismissal: A student may face academic dismissal from the College if (1) (s)he has spent at least one semester on academic probation and has not regained good standing; (2) (s)he has spent at least one semester on academic suspension and has not fulfilled the conditions of the suspension; or (3) the severity of the case otherwise warrants dismissal from the College. Decisions on academic dismissal are made by the College on a case-by-case basis. Academic dismissal generally results in a student’s permanent separation from the College.

4.5 Change of Academic Programs

4.5.1 Change of Concentration or Major Instrument

Currently enrolled students who are considering changing their concentration or their major instrument within the same degree program should consult with their department chair and academic advisor prior to requesting a change. Students in the baccalaureate dance program are eligible to request a change in concentration before the end of their third year. Students in the baccalaureate music program are eligible to request a change in major instrument if they are equally competent on a second instrument.

Students who wish to change their concentration or major instrument within the same degree program must submit a completed Change of Concentration or Major Instrument Form to the Office of the Registrar to request the change. A change of concentration or major instrument requires approval by the department Chair and the major advisor for the changed concentration or major instrument. An audition is required for a change in major instrument.

Students will be notified of the decision by the Office of the Registrar. Students whose requests have been approved will thereupon be subject to the graduation requirements of the new concentration or major instrument.

4.5.2 Change of Degree Program

Currently enrolled students who are considering changing to another degree program should consult with their current major advisor as well as the current and prospective departments' Chairs prior to requesting a change. Students who have completed less than 50 percent of their current major’s degree requirements may be eligible to change programs.

To be considered for admission to another degree program, students are required to submit a completed short-form application for admission to the Office of the Registrar. Applications must be reviewed and approved by the admissions committee before students can be granted registration privileges for their new program. Note that F-1 international students who have recently changed their programs of study will need to promptly request a new I-20 from the Office of International Services.

4.6 Graduation

4.6.1 Graduation Requirements for Baccalaureate Degrees

To graduate, students must meet all College and departmental requirements as described in this catalog. Where applicable, students must also meet certain specific academic requirements as posted by academic departments.

Graduation is contingent on the following:

  1. Satisfactory completion of the required credits for the program.
  2. A cumulative grade point average (GPA) of at least 2.0 and a major GPA of at least 2.5.
  3. A minimum of 50% of the required course credits for a major must be earned at Fei Tian College.

Graduation with a second baccalaureate degree requires completion of a minimum of 30 semester credits in addition to those required for the first degree and completion of all requirements for the second degree.

4.6.2 Graduation Honors for Baccalaureate Degrees

Seniors who have maintained a record of exceptional achievement during the duration of their degree program may be recognized with an honors designation upon graduation. The three levels of recognition are distinction, high distinction, and highest distinction. Specific criteria to graduate with honors are established by each department, which will rank its graduating students accordingly.

4.6.3 Application to Graduate

Fulfilling graduation requirements and formally applying to graduate is each student’s responsibility. Candidates for graduation must file an application to graduate with the Office of the Registrar in their penultimate semester of study. To ensure that all program requirements will be met, students should review their degree audit and make an appointment with their academic advisor at the Office of Academic Services.

4.6.4 Participation in Commencement Exercises

Commencement exercises are normally held once a year for each campus. Participation in commencement exercises is limited to students in good standing who either (1) have completed all graduation requirements since the previous commencement or (2) are within no more than 2 courses or 6 credits of the total required for graduation and are registered to complete these the following semester.

4.7 Second Degree

4.7.1 Second Degree vs. Double Major

Fei Tian College permits qualified individuals to pursue an additional baccalaureate degree (second degree). A second degree applicant is an individual who previously earned a baccalaureate degree, and now seeks to enroll in a baccalaureate degree program in an essentially different area of study.

The College currently does not offer any double program or double major.

4.7.2 Policies for Second Degree

Application in this category is via the standard process for transfer applicants.

Graduation with an additional degree is contingent on the following:

  • Earning, in residence, a minimum of 30 credits of courses that are core courses within the additional degree program. Credits that the student has previously used to fulfill the requirements of a previous degree do not count.
  • Meeting all requirements for the additional degree program in effect at the date of matriculation.
  • Meeting any and all financial obligations to the College and any or all of its supporting agencies.
  • Following all College and academic policies, including course sequencing rules in the additional degree program.

Advising policies and guidelines:

  • For their free electives, students are encouraged to take courses they have not previously taken.
  • Students may, however, opt to retake courses they previously took, in order to, for example, improve their skills or earn a higher grade.

5. Academic Services and Support

5.1 Undergraduate Academic Advising

Academic advising is critical to student success. At Fei Tian College, we consider advising to be an integral part of teaching and believe an effective advisor will help their advisees become better students.

Scope of Advising

An advisor and the student shall meet at least once per term prior to registration. The advisor will receive copies of all official correspondence concerning the student’s academic standing from the Office of the Registrar. The academic advisor must approve the courses for which the student registers.

In general, advisors are responsible for providing the following advising services:

General Academic Advising
  • General education requirements
  • Class registration
  • Class add/drop/withdrawal
  • Major exploration (when feasible, help students select the major that suits their background and interests)
  • College transfer
  • Graduation requirements and planning
  • General academic policies and procedures
  • Probation and suspension
  • Academic petitions

The Office of Academic Services provides additional materials on advising procedures and policies to help advisors.   

Academic Advising for “At-Risk” Students

The Office of Academic Services works closely with instructors and monitors the performance of each student. When observing signs of a student being “at-risk,” the instructor should fill out the “Academic At-Risk” form and discuss with the office the appropriate action to take, be it giving a warning, recommending proper support services, or counseling.   

Advisor Assignment

Each newly-enrolled student is assigned an academic advisor who is a faculty member at the College, either from LAS or his or her own department before registration. The academic advisor and the Office of Academic Services serve as the primary channel for academic advising and student support.

Specifically, the Office of Academic Services coordinates with faculty from LAS and academic departments to provide advising services for the first two years of a student’s education at the College. Starting in the student’s junior year, he/she will be assigned an advisor in the Department. The Office of Academic Services will work with the Department Chairs to select appropriate advisors and assist in transferring the student to his/her new advisor.

Students are assigned alphabetically and based on their major unless the student or advisor requests a change. Typically, each faculty advisor is assigned no more than 10 students at a time.

Advisor Change

Any student wishing to change advisors may do so. Students can speak with the Office of Academic Services directly alerting the Office of their preference. Reassignments may also be made due to faculty leave or shifts in duties.

5.2 Graduate Academic Advising

Each graduate student is expected to select a faculty advisor by the end of the first semester of graduate studies. The faculty advisor provides advising on graduate course selection and projects.

Students in the Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Classical Chinese Dance program must select faculty advisors who specialize in subjects they wish to explore for their MFA Master’s Project. The MFA faculty advisor serves as the chair of the project committee and meets with the student regularly to ensure the student is making appropriate progress toward completion of the Master’s Project and Oral Defense.

Students in the Master of Music (MM) in Performance program with work with their faculty advisor on their Graduate Recital, including comprehensive program notes.

Faculty advisors have the right to decline an advisee request. The advisor may be changed upon the request of either the student or faculty. A change of faculty advisor may delay the student’s progress toward degree completion. If a student cannot secure a faculty advisor by the end of the first semester, a staff member from the Office of Graduate Studies will provide advising on course selection. If a student has still not secured a major advisor by the second year of studies, the Program Director in the student’s department will, by default, serve as the student’s faculty advisor.

5.3 Entrance and Placement Tests

The College offers to incoming students placement tests for two purposes: (1) to determine students' level of proficiency in specific subject areas in order to place them into the appropriate levels of courses; and (2) to determine what kind of remedial instruction, if any, a student may need in order to make the scheduled academic progress. The College’s placement tests are not used to award credit by examination.

Currently, the College offers placement tests in English, math, and Chinese.

English Testing

All incoming students must take an English placement test. The College uses LEXILE or Accuplacer Reading to determine reading comprehension skills and the WritePlacer to determine writing competency. Students are placed into remedial courses as follows:

Remedial Course LEXILE Accuplacer Reading Score WritePlacer Score
Not Required 1250+ 90+ 5+
Introduction to College English 1100+ 51–89 4
ESL Below 1100 Below 51 1–3

If a student’s Accuplacer Reading score and WritePlacer score correspond to different remedial course placements (e.g., WritePlacer score of 3 and Accuplacer score of 90), the student will be asked to do a retest on one or both tests. After the retest, the Office of Academic Services, in discussion with remedial course instructors, will compare the student’s scores from the original test and the retest and place the student into the appropriate English course.

Math Testing

Students who are required or interested in taking MAT105 Calculus I are required to take a math placement test to demonstrate their mathematical readiness for studying Calculus. The College uses the Accuplacer College Level Math test to determine students' mathematics proficiency. Students who score below 103 on the Accuplacer College Level Math are placed into a remedial course: Pre-Calculus.

Chinese Testing

Students who wish to register for Chinese language courses to fulfil general education world language requirements must take the Chinese Placement Test in order to determine the appropriate course level to take.

Students are given one of four Chinese placement tests based on a survey of their language backgrounds. The exams are graded by a committee of Chinese language faculty, and placement results are sent to the Office of Academic Services. The following table shows the course placement of students based on their test score results:

Chinese Test ScoringExam 0–40% 41%–60% 61%–74% 75% and above
Beginning Chinese Chinese Language and Cultural Studies I: Level 1 Chinese Language and Cultural Studies I: Level 1 Chinese Language and Cultural Studies II: Level 1 Retest in Elementary Chinese
Elementary Chinese Retest in Beginning Chinese Chinese Language and Cultural Studies I: Level 2 Chinese Language and Cultural Studies II: Level 2 Retest in Intermediate Chinese
Intermediate Chinese Retest in Elementary Chinese Chinese Language and Cultural Studies I: Level 3 Chinese Language and Cultural Studies II: Level 3 Retest in Advanced Chinese
Advanced Chinese Retest in Intermediate Chinese Chinese Language and Cultural Studies I: Level 4 Chinese Language and Cultural Studies II: Level 4 Interview with Chinese Instructor for further evaluation

5.4 Student Support Services

Students who are identified as needing assistance in writing, critical reading, study skills, computing, or quantitative reasoning are given appropriate assistance through services offered by the Office of Academic Services. Depending on student needs and preferences and office availability, students are given support in these areas through one or more of the following ways:

  • One-on-one assistance with Academic Services staff
  • One-on-one tutoring with a faculty or student tutor
  • Small workshop seminars organized through the Office of Academic Services
  • Self-study with appropriate resources
Workshops

The Office of Academic Services organizes regular workshops on the following topics:

  • Study skills
  • Subject-level tutoring classes in math, computing, chemistry, and statistics
  • Student-led study groups, in collaboration with registered academic student clubs, or the Office of Academic Services
  • Other workshops will be offered based on demand
Transfer Information

The Office of Academic Services provides assistance for students who wish to transfer to other colleges and/or universities. It is the students' responsibility to follow through on all necessary steps to confirm that the receiving institution is willing to transfer credit for courses taken at the College.

5.5 Career and Internship Services

The Office of Academic Services is the College’s central resource for information on career pathways, including graduate school and employment opportunities. Individual career counseling and programs on various career possibilities are offered to assist students with career information gathering, exploration, and decision-making processes. Career interest assessments are also available to identify specific career options.

The staff of Academic Services strives to ensure that all graduates will achieve or have access to broader potential career and professional development opportunities, a greater understanding of the world of work, and a fuller awareness of their personal attributes, values, interests, and skills and how they relate to career options.

Academic Services currently offers the following career services to enrolled students:

  • Job information services
  • Individual career consultations: to help students with job search, resume writing, making connections, and preparing for job interviews
  • Career mentor: for students who might benefit from having someone guide them through their career decisions
  • Career seminars and workshops
  • Internship and potential employer information
  • Advisement for practicum opportunities
  • Information related to career opportunities, job training, job trends, and so on
  • Alumni databases

5.6 Directed and Independent Study

Fei Tian College offers students the opportunity to study individually under the guidance of a supervising instructor through directed and independent study.

Directed study is designed to be a substitute for an established course that is not offered in the semester for which the student wishes to register. In directed study, an instructor closely supervises the student to achieve the same course objectives and cover essentially the same material as that of the regularly scheduled course. Courses taken for directed study will be notated as such on the student’s transcript, e.g., “LAS220A Calculus A (Directed Study)”.

Independent study is an extension of an established course. It allows the student to design and carry out an independent project or study on a topic that is not fully treated in the curriculum. Independent study will be recorded as such on the student’s transcript, e.g., “DAN350 Independent Study in Dance”.

In directed and independent study, the supervising instructor assumes responsibility for coordination of the course, evaluation of student work, and determination of a final grade for the course. All such courses must be taken for a letter grade, and cannot be taken on a Pass/No Pass basis.

Students interested in directed or independent study should consult early with the Office of Academic Services, well in advance of registration. Directed and independent study require substantial planning as well as approvals and availability of appropriate instructors for the intended subject of study. For these reasons, they may not be available to students every semester.

Eligibility for Directed Study

Eligibility for directed study is dependent on having completed any and all prerequisites for the course and, in the case of an elective course, having maintained the requisite cumulative GPA for the degree (at least 2.0 for undergraduate degrees, at least 3.0 for graduate degrees); the GPA requirement is waived if the course is required for the degree (e.g., DAN453 Independent Study in Dance Production).

Course Proposals for Independent Study

Independent study requires a course outline developed by the student in consultation with an appropriate instructor who is willing to supervise the student’s work. Completed course proposals must be submitted to the Office of Academic Services for review in the semester before the intended study takes place. Approval by the appropriate department Chair and the academic advisor is required. Approved outlines will serve as the official course description.

Credit Award Guidelines
  • A directed or independent study course ordinarily carries one to four credits, with a maximum of six credits. One credit requires approximately 30–40 hours of study.
  • No more than two independent study courses and one directed study course can be taken in a single semester.
  • A maximum of 18 credits in directed and/or independent study may be counted toward a student’s requirements for graduation.

6. Student Life & Services

6.1 New Student Orientation

Welcome to Fei Tian College!

To prepare for a successful start at Fei Tian College, all new students are required to attend the New Student Orientation. During orientation, students will become familiar with campus resources and facilities, meet faculty and staff, and register for courses.

To register for orientation, please contact the Office of Student Affairs at osa [@] feitian.edu.

6.2 Housing & Residential Services

The Office of Student Affairs provides assistance to students searching for on-campus or nearby off-campus residences. Staff are available to give students general information on residential services and the rental process, and can direct students to community postings that list available housing in the area. Students seeking on-campus housing must make a request to Student Affairs, and allocations will be made on a first-come first-served basis.

6.3 Student Dining

Students who select a campus meal plan will find a daily menu that offers a delicious variety of Asian and Western cuisines. The cafeteria prides itself on bringing fresh, healthy, and delicious food to our students, faculty, and staff through:

  • Hiring of our own staff and managing the entire process from procurement, storage, and preparing and cooking of the food;
  • Minimal use of processed foods;
  • Welcoming feedback to improve its services.
Cafeteria Dining Hours:
Day Breakfast Lunch Dinner
Mondays to Fridays 7:10am to 7:40am 11:30am to 1:05pm 5:45pm to 6:25pm
Saturdays No Breakfast 11:30am to 12:20pm 5:10pm to 5:35pm
Sundays and Holidays No Breakfast 11:00am to 12:20pm 5:10pm to 5:35pm

6.4 Safety and Well-being

Public Safety Programs

A suite of public safety programs is provided by the Office of Facility Operations in collaboration with the Office of Student Affairs. These programs include security patrol, escort, transportation, and identification and access services to maintain a safe and secure campus environment that is conducive to learning, working, living, and visiting. A trained staff focuses on crime prevention and investigation, safety education, emergency preparedness, and response and recovery. Safety education awareness programs are conducted for students throughout the academic year.

Student Insurance and Accident Reports

The Office of Student Affairs provides consultations for students in need of insurance and can assist students in purchasing a student insurance plan. Dance students are required to have health insurance.

Accident insurance is provided for all students while involved in College-related activities. Injuries that result from College-related activities must be reported to the faculty or staff member in charge and to the Office of Facility Operations within 24 hours of the time of injury.

Immunization and Health Services

The College requires all students to provide proof of immunity against measles, mumps, and rubella in order to enroll. Students who provide (1) a certificate from a physician stating that in the opinion of the physician such immunization is medically contraindicated; (2) a written statement that such immunization would be contrary to the student’s religious or spiritual beliefs; or (3) a laboratory or medical report documenting immunity will be deemed to have satisfied this requirement.

The Office of Student Affairs provides health education to students, staff, and faculty through publications, information sessions, and counseling.

Student Affairs also maintains information on the nearest hospitals and other medical facilities. In the event of a medical emergency, students are directed to the nearest hospital emergency room or to call 9–1–1 for an ambulance.

Disability Support Services

In the spirit of the federal and state disabilities laws, Fei Tian College provides disability consultation and coordinates reasonable special accommodations for qualified individuals with disabilities, including temporary disabilities due to injury. Disability support services are requested through the Office of Student Affairs and determined individually based on the disability condition, and may include academic, programmatic, and other special accommodations as well as counseling.

Disability support services may include:

  • academic accommodations, including: providing taped classes; converting documents to accessible formats (e.g., scanned books); providing temporary online courses where feasible; providing extended time on assignments and tests;
  • programmatic accommodations, including: priority registration for courses; reduced course load; and providing recommendations and facilitating access to the campus; and
  • other accommodations, including: dietary accommodations for meals or meal plans.
Wellness and Support Services

College students may encounter a variety of challenges including separation from family and friends, the transition to adulthood, developing new relationships, and defining and committing themselves to a career path. At the same time, they continue to deepen their understanding of themselves and of life.

The Office of Student Affairs offers services to support students' emotional and spiritual well-being. Staff help students talk through their life situations through individual counseling and small group sharing sessions. They can offer advice with the goals of helping students develop a positive mindset, think of the big picture, learn and grow from life lessons and let go of past shortcomings. They can also help develop coping activities that students can perform to handle stress and develop resilience to improve their situation and make their goals attainable.

Staff can also make off-campus referrals for students to community providers of specialized health and wellness services when they believe a student needs additional support.

6.5 Student Activities

A college education means more than earning degree credits. It represents the total experience of the student, both inside and outside the classroom. Student organizations and activities enrich that experience by providing students a means to sample and explore different interests and opportunities, often leading to greater personal and professional growth.

College-sponsored activities are offered free of charge and are open to the campus community. Involvement in campus activities can supplement and strengthen the educational experience, aid in skills development, and help forge lifelong friendships.

Students have numerous opportunities to engage in extracurricular activities and student clubs, which complement their programs. Ample campus spaces are dedicated to athletic, recreational, and leisure activities.

All student organizations are responsible for knowing and abiding by College policies and the law.

6.6 International Students

Fei Tian College is authorized under U.S. Federal law to enroll eligible nonimmigrant students under the F-1 nonimmigrant visa classification for its undergraduate and graduate degree programs. The Office of International Services is the primary resource for F-1 international students seeking advice on matters related to their F-1 status, including visas, passports, I-20s, and more. Each F-1 student is responsible for complying with F-1 regulations and consulting the Office of International Services when matters that may affect the student’s status arise.

6.6.1 Maintaining Status

Maintaining F-1 status means maintaining compliance with the law. Each F-1 international student bears ultimate responsibility for maintaining status, from initial entry to the United States in F-1 status until final departure. The Office of International Services can advise and assist students, but only if students follow the regulations and request assistance in a timely manner. For detailed information about studying in the United States as an F-1 international student, visit StudyInTheStates.dhs.gov. F-1 students must comply with the following requirements in order to maintain lawful status:

  • Report to the Office of International Services within 30 days of the program start date that appears on the I-20 Form.
  • Be registered full-time for at least two semesters each year (except in cases of authorized Reduced Course Loads). Failure to maintain the requisite course load could result in severe consequences.
  • Follow transfer procedures if applicable.
  • Obtain a new I-20 Form for a change in educational level of study.
  • Abide by the F-1 grace period regulations (see below).
  • Report any change of personal or employment information to the Office of International Services within 10 days of the change.
  • Maintain a valid passport.
  • Refrain from engaging in unauthorized employment.
  • Make satisfactory progress in a program of study.
  • Apply for a timely extension of studies if applicable.
  • Depart the United States, transfer programs, or change status in a timely manner.
Grace Period

A student who has completed a program and any authorized post-completion optional practical training has 60 days to depart the United States, transfer programs, or file for a change of status. A student who has been authorized for withdrawal from the College by the Office of International Services has 15 days to depart the United States. A student who is terminated or who withdraws from a program without authorization by the Office of International Services is not granted a grace period and must immediately depart the United States.

Dropping Below Full-Time Studies

F-1 students must obtain prior authorization from the Office of International Services before undertaking to drop below a full-time course load. Failure to obtain such authorization is a violation of the Federal F-1 regulations and will result in the immediate loss of F-1 status and possibly other sanctions.

6.6.2 Leave-Taking and Travel

Any F-1 student who intends to take a temporary leave of absence or travel abroad during a semester in which he or she is registered must notify and consult the Office of International Services ahead of time.

If the leave will be longer than five months, the student should consult staff at the Office of International Services at least 15 days prior to departure. The student’s SEVIS record will be terminated and the I-20 Form rendered invalid. Two months prior to returning to the College, the student must contact the Office of International Services and complete the procedures to return for studies in F-1 status.

Before traveling abroad, F-1 students should check the expiration dates on their passport and visa and obtain a new travel endorsement on the I-20 Form from the International Student Advisor or Designated School Official (DSO), if needed. If the visa is expired or will expire while the student is abroad, he or she may need to renew it while abroad in order to re-enter the U.S. in F-1 status.

Coursework Outside the United States

Students who wish to remain outside the United States for an extended period of time for activities related to their programs may qualify to retain F-1 status but must maintain full-time registration during two semesters of the year. Consult the Office of International Services for details.

6.6.3 Failure to Maintain Status

Examples of failure to maintain status include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Dropping below full-time studies without proper authorization.
  • Attending a school other than the one a student is authorized to attend.
  • Failure to apply for a timely I-20 extension, SEVIS record transfer, or change in level of education.
  • Engaging in unauthorized employment.
  • Failure to notify the DSO before travel abroad, leave of absence, or withdrawal.
  • Failure to report within 10 days a change to any of the following: official name, mailing address in the U.S., permanent address in the home country, email address, phone number, program, legal status.

The College is required to manage all F-1 student records in SEVIS each semester. Students who fail to maintain lawful status will lose the privileges of their student status and become subject to deportation and possibly other sanctions.

6.6.4 International Student Employment

Employment eligibility and options for F-1 students are limited by Federal F-1 regulations and are available only to students who have maintained lawful status and are in good standing.

Prior to beginning employment, such students are required to obtain the prior written authorization of the Office of International Services and/or the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Failure to obtain proper authorization constitutes a serious violation of U.S. immigration regulations.


7. General College Policies

7.1 Use of College Information Technology Resources

The College provides information technology (IT) resources to support its goals of teaching and learning, scholarship and creative activities, and service. Only College faculty and staff, students, and other persons who have received permission under the appropriate College authority are authorized users of the College’s IT resources.

Use of College IT resources is limited to work and learning that is related to the College. However, incidental and occasional personal use of the resources may occur when such use is not in violation of any College policies or laws.

7.2 Non-tolerance of Violence on Campus

Fei Tian College will not tolerate violence or threats of violence on the College premises. Employees and students who violate this policy may be subject to disciplinary action up to and including termination or expulsion. Employees and students who intentionally bring false charges of violence will also be subject to disciplinary action up to and including termination or expulsion. Non-employee violations of this policy will be handled in accordance with applicable laws.

Acts of violence include any physical action, whether intentional or reckless, that harms or threatens the safety of another individual in the workplace. A threat of violence includes any behavior that by its very nature could be interpreted by a reasonable person as an intent to cause physical harm to another individual.

7.3 Smoking, Alcohol, Drugs, & Weapons Policies

Smoking anywhere on the College premises is prohibited. Alcohol is not permitted anywhere on the College premises.

It is the policy of the College to maintain a drug-free workplace and campus. The unlawful manufacture, distribution, dispensation, possession, and/or use of controlled substances are prohibited on the College premises, in the workplace, or as part of any of the College’s activities.

No person, whether a student, personnel, or visitor, shall possess or carry a weapon while on the College premises, except with special approval of the President.

7.4 Anti-Harassment

Fei Tian College is committed to maintaining an environment of learning and working that is free of prejudice and harassment—an environment that supports, nurtures, and rewards career and educational advancement on the basis of ability and performance.

Harassment based upon race, sex, color, religion, age, national origin, ethnicity, disability, veteran or military status, marital status, citizenship status, or any other legally protected basis is prohibited by law and undermines the character and purpose of the College. Such harassment is illegal and against College policy and will not be tolerated. This policy covers all members of the College community and those who affect the College community, such as vendors and visitors.

7.5 Non-discrimination and Equal Opportunity

Fei Tian College admits students of any race, color, national origin, and ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the College. In the letter and spirit of applicable laws, it does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, sex, national origin, ethnic origin, or any other applicable legally protected status in the administration of its educational programs. In accordance with this policy and as delineated by federal and state law, the College is committed to basing judgments concerning the admission and education of individuals upon their qualifications and abilities.

Fei Tian College - Student Handbook