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Academic Policies & Procedures

BBS Policies & Procedures

Definition of an Academic Year

The standard Academic Year at Baptist Bible Seminary is based on academic program length measured in credit hours, and can be further confirmed to comprise:

  • A minimum of 30 weeks of instructional time per year
  • Including 24 credit hours per year
  • With each year consisting of 2 terms/semesters

The definition of an Academic Year above assumes the following key details:

  • A week is a consecutive seven-day period
  • A week of instructional time is any week in which at least one day of regularly scheduled instruction or examinations occurs or, after the last scheduled day of classes for a term or payment period, at least one day of study for final examinations occurs; and
  • Instructional time does not include any vacation periods, homework, or periods of orientation or counseling

Class Attendance Policy

Online Classes

Course attendance for online classes is to be reported in Portal weekly. If a student does not participate in an online course for two consecutive weeks the student will be marked absent and given a FN grade (failure for non-attendance). An online student is considered present in a course when they submit a gradable activity for that course.

Residential Classes

Student attendance for residential classes is recorded in Portal for each class period. Attendance is recorded daily for the first full week of class and then at least weekly thereafter. If a student does not participate in a course for two consecutive weeks, the student will be marked absent and given an FN grade (failure for non-attendance). Residential seminary students who exceed the allowable limit may appeal their absences, at the end of the semester, to the Absence Appeals Committee.

In-class interaction with professors and classmates maximizes the benefits of the educational program of Baptist Bible Seminary. We expect you to attend all scheduled classes regularly and punctually. We want you to appreciate your learning opportunities while developing personal responsibility, self-discipline, and decision-making skills.

The Seminary faculty is encouraged to assist you in developing these important qualities through class attendance requirements. Faculty members use various approaches to encourage attendance, and they are explained in the course syllabi. Academic bonuses or penalties related to attendance will not exceed five percent of the final grade. Instructors will work with individual students on the submission and grading of any assignments or assessments that are missed due to absences.

Generally, it is understood that absences should be reserved for emergencies, sickness, or school-sponsored activities. As questions arise in this area, please speak to your professor. The following standards have been established to allow reasonable absences as you develop personal discipline.

Maximum Absences
Multiply the number of class meetings per week by two (except modified schedules) to find the maximum number of allowable absences per semester for any reason.

You determine when and why you take an absence. Absences beyond the maximum number allowed are considered excessive and will lower your course grade as follows:

  • For classes meeting two days per week, a 3% reduction in the final grade per absence over the limit will be assessed.
  • For classes meeting one day per week, a 6% reduction in the final grade per absence over the limit will be assessed.

Three tardy arrivals to class will result in one absence. On the third tardy, the student will be marked absent in Portal. A student is considered tardy if he/she arrives after the class has started and attendance has been recorded.

Automatic Failure

Automatic failure will result if your absences exceed one quarter of the scheduled sessions for a course, even if some of your absences are for university-approved and university-sponsored activities. In extraordinary circumstances, the Academic Office will consider an appeal for this failure.

Failure will occur when your absences reach the following levels:

Class Sessions Per Week Absences:

  • 5 day-a-week full semester class: 19 absences
  • 4 day-a-week class: 16 absences
  • 3 day-a-week class: 12 absences
  • 2 day-a-week class: 8 absences
  • 1 day-a-week class: 4 absences

Adjustments for Extracurricular Activities

Students are encouraged to be involved in extracurricular activities such as field trips, athletic contests, musical events, special ministries, etc., sponsored by the University. Sometimes participation in such an activity may force the student to be absent from class, and he or she will need to use cuts for such extra-curricular events. In addition, upon appeal, students may be granted up to the following additional absences:

  • One additional absence for classes meeting 1-2 days/week

In unusual cases, a student may be permitted to take exams and quizzes late without penalty for university-sponsored absences, illness, or a death in the family.

Interim Grade Reports

Periodically, during each semester, faculty submit a list of those students whose class achievement at that time is below a C average, have excessive absences, or are otherwise in danger of not completing the class. This is for the purpose of helping the student by monitoring progress and does not appear on a student’s permanent record.

Course Grades

Final course grades are usually entered in Portal within three business days after the end of the course. Students may access their grades through the Student Portal. Instructions for Portal are available from the Registrar’s Office.

Written Work Standards

All course papers must be submitted in Microsoft Word. Unless otherwise indicated in the course syllabus, they should conform to the standards outlined in the latest edition of A Manual for Writers of Research Papers, Theses and Dissertations, by Kate L. Turabian.

Academic Probation and Dismissal

Academic Probation

  • Serious academic deficiency will result in a student being placed on academic probation. Normally, probation means that the student’s cumulative grade point average has fallen below 2.0. The student will be eligible for academic dismissal unless the average is lifted to 2.0 by the end of the next semester.
  • Special academic probation may be imposed in certain cases by the faculty committee. In such cases, the specific details of the probation will be given to the student.

Academic Dismissal

At the conclusion of each semester, the Seminary Dean reviews the achievement of all students with semester or cumulative grade point averages below 2.0, and he may administer academic dismissal if a student:

  • Has been on academic probation for that semester and has failed to raise the grade point average sufficiently to remove the probation.
  • Has failed to meet the requirements of special academic probation which may have been imposed.
  • Has experienced extreme academic deficiency during that semester even though he or she was not under academic probation and the prospect for significant improvement seems remote.

Students who receive academic dismissal may appeal this decision under the following conditions:

  • First-year students who have been dismissed may not be readmitted for one academic year.
  • Appeal to the Seminary faculty stating the reason(s) why the student feels consideration for readmission should be taken.

The Seminary faculty will consider the merits of each student’s case and inform whether the appeal is granted or denied.

Student Appeals and Grievance Policy

Academic decisions are intended to be final and binding. All students, however, have the privilege of making appeals and addressing grievances related to exams, assignment grades, course grades, plagiarism, academic integrity issues, or any other issues relating to academic standards or performance. Students with such concerns should follow this process.

  • Present your grievance or argument in a one-page document, specifying your concerns, grievance, or issue in dispute
  • First, to the faculty member in charge of the course
  • If there is no resolution, the student may appeal to the Dean of the school under which the course falls
  • If there is still no resolution, the student may appeal to the Vice President for Academics
  • If there is still no resolution, the student may appeal to the Academic Affairs Committee, who decision will be final and binding
  • Timing: All complaints must be filed within 30 calendar days after the incident occurs. The student has 15 calendar days from notification of a decision to appeal that decision.

At each stage of this process, if matters are not resolved to the student’s satisfaction, then both the student and the University’s representative in that stage should document the issues in writing for submission of the matter to the next stage of appeal.

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