Standards of Academic Progress
ACHS expects all students to maintain satisfactory academic progress (SAP) toward completion of their enrolled program regardless of program and enrollment status. This policy is in effect for all students including students who receive Title IV federal financial aid and non-Title IV students. This policy also applies across all categories of students at all rates of pursuit (full-time, part-time, etc) and all programs that award academic credit; students in all classifications and programs that award academic credit are treated the same.
At the end of each semester, grade-point averages and rate of completion are calculated to determine academic and financial aid standings. Students are notified of their academic and financial aid standing via the primary telephone number, email address, or mailing address provided by the student and recorded on the student record.
Students can view their current contact information in the student portal at portal.achs.edu. Requests to update contact information may be sent to the Registrar’s Office at firstname.lastname@example.org by phone to 800-487-8839, or submitted via the online portal. Students may also submit a change of address online at https://achs.edu/change-of-address/.
The Academic Standards Committee (ASC) is responsible for enforcement of the Satisfactory Academic Standing regulations and has discretionary authority to grant exceptions and to develop guidelines for administering these regulations.
ACHS students are expected to study continuously, i.e. take a course in each semester as applicable to their program, to remain in good academic standing. Students who need to interrupt their studies for personal or medical reasons may petition for an approved leave of absence using the Leave of Absence Request Form. Students who do not apply for and receive an approved leave of absence and do not earn credit after three semesters will be administratively withdrawn.
Add / Drop Policy
Students may add courses within the first 14 days of each semester. Students who add courses after the start of the semester are responsible for fulfilling all course requirements.
Students may drop courses through the mid-point of the semester, and a pro-rata refund will be applied in accordance with the institution’s refund policy. Courses dropped before the mid-point of a semester will receive a “W” grade; courses dropped after the mid-point will receive an “F” grade.
Requests to drop should be submitted via email to Student Services at email@example.com; phone or fax to 800.487.8839; or mail to ACHS, 5005 S. Macadam Ave, Portland, OR 97239. When dropping a course, the refund policy is applied based on the date the request is received at ACHS or the postmarked date if mailed, not the last date of attendance.
How Satisfactory Academic Progress is Reviewed
ACHS expects all students to maintain satisfactory academic progress (SAP) toward completion of their enrolled program. At the end of each semester, grade-point averages and rate of completion are calculated to determine academic standings.
SAP has two components all students must meet in order to remain in good academic standing:
- Grade Point Average – This qualitative standard requires all students to achieve and maintain a cumulative GPA (CGPA): 2.0 for undergraduate students and 3.0 for graduate students.
- Completion Rate (or Pace) – This quantitative standard requires students to complete at least 67% (minimum pace) of ALL attempted courses. Also called “pace”, this is a student’s earned (completed) hours divided by his/her total attempted hours. For example, 42 credits earned/48 attempted credits = 87.5%.
Students receiving Title IV federal financial aid must meet the above requirements in addition to the following in order to maintain satisfactory academic progress and remain eligible for federal financial aid:
- Participation: Students receiving federal financial aid are required to participate in substantive interaction with faculty. Students are required to establish participation within the first 14 days of the semester to be eligible to receive federal financial aid for the semester, and Title IV funds are then disbursed for a student under the assumption that the student will participate for the entire period for which the assistance is awarded.
- Maximum Timeframe – Students have 150% of the time it takes to complete their program and remain eligible for financial aid (if applicable). This is measured in credits and reviewed at the end of each payment period. For students with a financial aid appeal, the maximum timeframe is also reviewed for future semesters to ensure the student will be able to regain good standing within the maximum time frame allowed. For example, an Associates Degree requires 60 credit hours to complete, which means students would have a MAXIMUM of 90 attempted credit hours to complete their degree before they are no longer eligible to receive financial aid. Additional examples are provided below and a detailed chart is included in the ACHS Program Catalog:
- Associate of Applied Science Degree (60 credits): 90 credits
- Undergraduate Certificate (12-18 credits): 18-27 credits
- Undergraduate Diploma (27-42 credits): 41-63 credits
- Bachelors Degree (120 credits): 180 credits
- Graduate Certificate (12-15 credits): 18-23 credits
- Masters Degree (36 credits): 54 credits
- Doctorate Degree (60 credits): 90 credits
Participation and Maximum Timeframe are reviewed at the end of each semester. Note Participation is also reviewed during the census period following the first 14 days of class to ensure all students are eligible for federal financial aid as described above.
Academic standings are determined once SAP is calculated at the end of each semester. In all instances the length of academic standing, also referred to as the probationary period, shall be one semester unless notified otherwise.
Students will be notified of their academic standing status by telephone, email, or mail. They will then need to meet (in person or via telephone) with their student services advisor to discuss tools and strategies for future success. Students placed on academic probation may have their registration restricted and are required to have regular meetings (by phone or conferencing technology) with their student services advisor throughout the following semester.
NOTE: Any student who is not on Academic Warning, Academic Probation, or Academic Suspension is considered in good academic standing.
- Academic Warning: This occurs after the first semester the student does not meet SAP. Students who attain a cumulative GPA of 2.0 (undergraduate) or 3.0 (graduate) or better and a completion rate of at least 67% in the subsequent semester will be removed from Academic Warning. Students should meet with their student services advisor to discuss strategies to regain good standing. This might include weekly or bi-weekly meetings, for instance.
- Academic Probation: This occurs after the second consecutive semester that the student did not meet SAP. Students who attain a cumulative GPA of 2.0 (undergraduate) or 3.0 (graduate) or better and a completion rate of at least 67% in the subsequent semester will be removed from Academic Probation.
- Academic Suspension: This occurs after the third consecutive semester that the student did not meet SAP, and after a successful appeal. Student eligibility is reinstated for one semester (or more with an academic plan). An appeal requires an academic plan and submission of an appeal online at this page. Students are asked to be specific in their appeal and include all information they would like the Committee to consider.
Academic Suspension Appeal
Academic suspension appeals are individually reviewed by the ASC, and students are notified via email, phone, or letter of the Committee’s decision within 30 days of receipt of the appeal. The committee’s decision is final.
Students who do not successfully appeal or who do not meet the terms of their academic plan will be administratively withdrawn. Administrative withdrawal is recorded on the student’s academic record. Students who are administratively withdrawn are no longer enrolled students and must apply for reinstatement or readmission as applicable, subject to approval by the ASC.
Administratively withdrawn students can apply for reinstatement within one year of their withdrawal effective date. If accepted, reinstatement will be approved on a provisional basis and students will be required to successfully complete nine semester credits of individual courses with a 2.0 GPA for undergraduate and 3.0 GPA for graduate studies or better to demonstrate good academic standing prior to full reinstatement into an ACHS program.
Financial Aid Standings
If a review of a financial aid student’s record at the end of the semester indicates that they have not met SAP (qualitative, quantitative, participation, and maximum time frame requirements), the student may be placed on financial aid warning or probation and aid may be cancelled with continued failure to meet SAP according to the following schedule:
- Financial Aid Warning – This occurs after the first semester the student does not meet SAP. Students will need to meet with their academic advisor (in person or via Zoom meeting) to identify how ACHS can help. Recommendations might be weekly meetings, tutoring, or working with a peer tutor, for instance. Students will remain eligible for federal student aid for one additional semester, after which SAP will again be reviewed. If a student is still not meeting SAP after a second consecutive semester, they will be required to appeal in order to be considered for continued financial aid eligibility.
- Financial Aid Probation – This occurs after the second consecutive semester that the student did not meet SAP, and after a successful appeal. Student eligibility is reinstated for one payment period (or more with an academic plan).
- Cancellation of Aid – If a student’s cumulative grade point average and/or completion rate is less than the minimum standard after the Probation period and/or the student does not meet the terms of their academic plan, the student’s financial aid will be cancelled. Financial aid eligibility may only be reinstated once the student is again meeting SAP.
Students have the option to appeal the cancellation of their financial aid. An appeal requires an academic plan and submission of appeal online at this SAP Appeal Form. Students are asked to be specific in their appeal and include all information they would like the Financial Aid Committee (FAC) to consider.
In certain situations, an appeal may be warranted, including, but not limited to, the following:
- medical emergencies
- severe health issues
- severe personal or family problems
- financial or personal catastrophe
Financial aid appeals are individually reviewed by Program Deans, and students are notified in writing of the decision within 30 days of receipt of the appeal; these decisions are final.
If aid is cancelled, students may continue to take courses at their own expense with approval from the Academic Standards Committee, as students on financial aid cancellation are also on academic suspension, until they have regained good academic standing by achieving a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0 for undergraduate students or 3.0 for graduate students AND meeting the minimum pace by completing 67% of their total attempted credits.
GPA & Pace of Completion Calculations
Course Incompletes – “I” Grade
Students who are unable to complete a course due to circumstances beyond the student’s control may be eligible to apply for an Incomplete “I” grade.
- Student has completed at least 50% of all coursework two weeks prior to the end of a semester (or one week prior to the end of an accelerated term). For courses with a major project such as a research paper, or case study portfolio, the student must have submitted a first draft as part of their completed coursework to qualify for an incomplete. For capstone courses, students must have submitted at least one draft of all sections of their paper.
- Student requests an Incomplete by submitting an Incomplete Grade Request form by the semester end date (fees apply—view fee information at https://achs.edu/other-optional-fees/). The Incomplete Grade Request form requires students to provide a specific plan for completing all outstanding coursework within 30 days.
- Incomplete grade requests are reviewed and decided by the student’s advisor in collaboration with faculty teaching the incomplete course(s).
- Students will receive notification of the decision on their request via email and/or phone.
- During the 30 days provided for completion, students are required to meet with their assigned Student Success Advisor by phone or virtual conference or provide a written update to demonstrate progress and receive support and coaching as needed to complete outstanding coursework.
- Students will regularly communicate with their course Faculty regarding any questions or concerns and notify the instructor when work is submitted.
- Students will be given up to 30 days to complete outstanding coursework; additional time may be granted in special circumstances. If a student requires more than 30 days and has not submitted a satisfactory amount of work (at least 50% of all outstanding coursework needed for course completion) then the student must retake the course.
Incomplete grades not converted to a passing grade within one year will be assigned a failing or “F” grade, and the student will be required to retake the course. Students who have completed at least 50% of the course and have not applied for an Incomplete grade will receive an “F” grade, also called an “Earned F”, and the student will be required to retake the course.
An “I” grade does not impact the calculation of CGPA. Credits associated with courses in which an Incomplete grade is received are included in Total Semester Credits Attempted, and they count toward the maximum timeframe for completion. Please see Grading Scale for more information.
Course Withdrawals — “W” Grade
A “W” grade is not included in the calculation of CGPA. Credits associated with courses with a “W” grade count toward the Total Semester Credits Attempted and Maximum Time Frame for Completion.
Credits from all course attempts will be counted in Total Semester Credits Attempted and count towards the Maximum Time Frame for Completion. Only the highest grade received will be included in the calculation of CGPA. Upon completion of the repeated course, the grade earned will be included in the GPA. The grade in the original course will be changed to R to indicate it was repeated.
Generally, a course may be repeated one time. In exceptional circumstances, the Academic Standards Committee may approve additional repeat attempt(s). Students receiving Title IV Federal Financial Aid may repeat a course in accordance with ACHS’s academic policy and Department of Education guidelines.
Transfer Credits from Other Institutions, Readmitted Students, and Students Changing Majors
If a student transfers to ACHS from another institution, the transfer credits that have been accepted by ACHS will count as Total Semester Credits Attempted and Total Semester Credits Completed. The grades from such credits will not be included in the calculation of CGPA.
If a student changes majors, ACHS credits that have been applied to the new major will count as Total Semester Credits Attempted and towards the student’s Total Semester Credits Completed at ACHS. The grades from such credits will also be calculated into the CGPA.
GPA & Grading Scale