Responsibilities of Faculty, Staff, and Students
A primary responsibility of the faculty and staff at Baylor University is to provide the opportunity for students to achieve academic success in pursuit of a bachelor's degree. Students are responsible for mastering the prescribed knowledge, methodologies, technologies, and skills necessary to attain their degrees. The University encourages all students to take a proactive approach to their education by interacting with faculty members and fellow students, by seeking academic advisors and vocational mentors, by monitoring their own progress, and by making use of extensive campus resources. Substandard academic progress may result in the issuance of an academic progress report, academic notice, academic suspension, or academic dismissal.
Academic Progress Reports
At any point during the semester, professors may issue academic progress reports to alert those in the student's care network that there are academic concerns that need to be addressed. Beginning the sixth week of the fall and spring semesters, professors will be prompted by the Paul L. Foster Success Center to submit academic progress reports for any student with substandard academic performance. Academic progress reports are submitted by professors to alert the student about their academic concerns so that the student can seek out the resources needed to succeed. Indicators of substandard performance include low grades, missing assignments or exams, and/or irregular class attendance. Resources and academic support are available in the Paul L. Foster Success Center as well as the various colleges. In some cases, a student may elect to drop a course in which a progress report has been issued, but he or she needs to meet with his or her academic advisor before doing so. Academic progress reports are not a part of the student's transcript; their purpose is to help students develop the academic resiliency to be successful in the classroom.
Any time a student’s term and/or cumulative grade point average (GPA) is below 2.0 (4.0 scale), the dean of the student's academic unit will notify the student that he or she will be placed on academic notice during the next term. Any student with 30 or fewer hours who is placed on notice is required to develop and implement an Academic Improvement Plan with the help of the Center for Academic Success & Engagement. The academic notice letter from the student's academic dean will specify the details of this plan. Students on academic notice must be advised before registering for classes in the next term. If at the end of the academic notice term both the student's term GPA and cumulative GPA are 2.0 or above, he or she will be removed from academic notice. However, if at the end of an academic notice term the student's term GPA is 2.0 or above, but the cumulative GPA is still below 2.0, the student will continue on academic notice until he or she raises his or her cumulative GPA to at least a 2.0.
If a student has at any time been placed on academic notice, he or she will be placed on academic suspension if his or her term GPA ever falls below a 2.0 again.
Students subject to an academic suspension (as described above) will be informed in writing by their academic dean of the academic unit in which the student is enrolled that suspension is possible. The dean's letter will indicate that the student has five (5) calendar days from the date of the letter to appeal the possible suspension. Students must appeal in writing. Student's written appeals of possible suspension may provide the dean relevant information (change of grade, verifiable medical condition, or other circumstances) that might affect his or her decision. After reviewing the student's academic records and written appeal, the dean will decide whether to place the student on academic suspension or to extend the student's period of academic notice. The dean will notify the student in writing of his or her decision. The period of suspension for a student placed on academic suspension for the first time is two enrollment terms (summer and fall or spring and summer). If a student is suspended at the end of the summer term, the suspension is fall only. The period of suspension for a student placed on academic suspension for a second time is three (3) subsequent enrollment terms (summer counts as one enrollment term). A student who is reinstated following his or her academic suspension is on academic notice and must meet the terms of academic notice to avoid another academic suspension or a dismissal.
Reinstatement Following Academic Suspension
In order to return to Baylor following a suspension, a student must apply for reinstatement. As part of this application, the student must explain in writing to the dean their assessment of reasons for the past academic difficulties and how, if reinstated, the student plans to change his or her academic performance to raise his or her term and cumulative GPA to the required level. The dean may elect to grant the student's appeal or extend the academic suspension for an additional term.
If after being reinstated following a second suspension a student fails to achieve a 2.0 or higher term GPA, he or she will be considered for permanent dismissal from Baylor University. A student subject to dismissal will be informed in writing by his or her academic dean that dismissal appears possible. The dean's letter will indicate that the student has five (5) calendar days from the date of the letter to appeal the dismissal. Dismissal appeals require that the student meet with the dean. It is the student's responsibility to schedule an appointment for this meeting. The dean will notify the student in writing of the decision following the appeal.
Issuances of notice, suspension, and dismissal are based on grades and grade point averages available at the time of the final decision. These academic actions are noted on the student's academic transcript.
Honor Code Policy and Procedures
Baylor University students, staff, and faculty shall act in academic matters with the utmost honesty and integrity. A Baylor University student violates the Honor Code if the student engages in dishonorable conduct in connection with an academic matter. Details regarding the Honor Code can be found online in the University Student Policies and Procedures, at http://www.baylor.edu/honorcode.
Baylor University Career Center
The Baylor University Career Center provides support and direction for all Baylor students as they follow their calling into a successful career. The Career Center offers the highest quality career coaching and resources available, while continually researching best practices nationwide to position our students for success. Each one of the Career Success Professionals specializes in an academic area with specific majors. They assist students in career discovery, resume development, internship and job searches, applications, interview preparation, networking, negotiations and more. Students should plan to meet each semester during their Baylor career with a Career Success Professional.
Paul L. Foster Success Center
The Paul L. Foster Success Center (PLFSC) provides a challenging, invigorating, enriching, and supportive environment for all students by fostering deep engagement in the academic community as well as fulfillment of personal goals and aspirations.
Office of Major Exploration and Success Advising (MESA)
Major Exploration and Success Advising (MESA) partners with students guiding them on their journey to find not only a major that is best suited for them but also to help discern God's callings at this point in their life. Along with other offices in the Paul L. Foster Success Center, MESA strives to provide success guidance for all students needing help to successfully finish their academic program at Baylor.
Office of Access and Learning Accommodation (OALA)
OALA provides services and accommodations for students with disabilities in order to support them in their academic success.
Student Opportunity & Accessibility Resources (SOAR)
SOAR offers resources and programming to support Baylor students, including McNair Scholars and Student Financial Wellness. The McNair Scholars program prepares eligible undergraduate students for the rigors of graduate school through immersion in research and a variety of scholarly activities as early as their sophomore year. Student Financial Wellness helps Baylor students understand personal money management to develop the financial knowledge and skills necessary for current and future financial wellness. SOAR also provides many additional services, including an on-campus free food pantry and resources for students from special populations. SOAR is dedicated to offering the support systems necessary for students to ensure their educational success at all levels.
McNair Scholars Program
The McNair Scholars Program aims to prepare low-income, first generation and other underrepresented students in acquiring the knowledge, skills and capacities necessary to successfully navigate a path to a Ph.D. program following graduation from Baylor. The program, funded by the U.S. Department of Education, prepares students for the rigors of Ph.D. studies through immersion in research and a variety of scholarly activities.
Academic Excellence Opportunities
The PLFSC encourages and recognizes academic excellence by sponsoring events such as the Deans’ Reception and the annual Celebration of First Year Excellence. Students are challenged to combine interests across disciplines and to connect their academic path to the world beyond the classroom.
New Student Experience
Recognizing that the first semester at Baylor is a time of tremendous transition for all students (transfers and first-year students alike), all new students are required to take a New Student Experience course. The goals of the NSE are for students to grow in:
- Academic Rigor
- Cultural Humility
- Faith Formation
- Personal Growth
NSE courses include Freshman Academic Seminars, First Year Seminars, introductory courses within the major, general electives, courses associated with Living-Learning Centers, and others. For a complete list of NSE courses, see https://www.baylor.edu/nse/index.php?id=868862.
Center for Academic Success and Engagement (CASE)
The Center for Academic Success & Engagement (CASE) offers all students multiple opportunities to build academic skills, including topical workshops, academic mentoring and counseling, tutoring, and Supplemental Instruction sessions. In addition, the purpose of CASE is to positively impact the success of Baylor's students by addressing their social, emotional, transitional and academic concerns. CASE provides programs and supports for first-generation college students, student veterans, pre-law students, transfer students, and students referred by their faculty members.