Academic Appeals Process

In case of any dispute involving a grade or other academic policy, students should first attempt resolution by discussing the issue with the faculty/staff member involved.

Initial Appeal: If the student is unable to resolve the issue to her/his satisfaction by conversing with the faculty/staff member, the student should address her/his appeal in writing to the director of the office enacting the policy or decision (Registrar, Director of Admissions, Program Director, etc.), who will attempt to resolve the appeal in consultation with the Dean or Associate Dean of the Graduate School. In the Division of Education, initial appeals are considered by the Teacher Education Council, which is chaired by the Director of the Division of Education.

Secondary Appeal: If a student is dissatisfied with the outcome of the initial appeal, the student should appeal the decision in writing, to the Trinity Graduate School Council, following the procedure detailed in the TGS Academic Handbook. This formal, written appeal to the Graduate School Council must be initiated within sixty days of receipt of the grade or interpretation/implementation of academic policy that is in question.The Graduate School Council will act on the appeal.

Final Appeal: If still dissatisfied, the student has the right of final appeal to the Dean of the Graduate School. This appeal must be initiated in writing no later than ten days after the communication of the TGS Council's decision.

Academic Probation and Dismissal

A student may be admitted to Trinity on academic probation for either of the following reasons:

  • A weak academic background as reflected in the undergraduate grade point average (GPA) and/or standardized admissions test scores
  • A bachelor’s degree from a non-accredited institution accompanied by marginal standardized admissions test scores

In such cases, the probationary status will be removed after successful academic performance in 12 hours of academic coursework at Trinity.

A student will be placed on academic probation at the conclusion of any semester in which that student’s cumulative GPA in their current degree program falls below graduation requirements in the respective degree program. The student will remain on probation as long as the cumulative average remains below the required level. It is expected that, if on academic probation, all activities outside of regular studies would be curtailed until such time as the probationary status is removed.

The minimum cumulative GPA for all Trinity Graduate School MA degree programs is 3.0. Students whose cumulative GPA falls below 3.0 but remains above 2.3 after 12 hours of academic coursework in their current degree program will be placed on academic probation. Probationary status will be maintained until the cumulative GPA is raised to a 3.0 or above. The probationary period cannot exceed the six-year statute of limitations for the MA degree. Following completion of 12 hours of academic coursework, a student will be dismissed from Trinity Graduate School if the cumulative GPA falls below 2.3.

Students who have either been placed on academic probation or have been dismissed have the right to appeal to the TGS Academic Standing Appeals Committee. They must do so in writing within fourteen calendar days of the postmarked notice of their academic standing. Letters of appeal may be sent to the Office of the Dean of the Graduate School.

Following a student’s academic dismissal from the university, the Admissions Committee will consider applications for readmission only if warranted by exceptional circumstances. Such applications are considered on a case-by-case basis. Upon dismissal, a student must wait at least one semester before reapplying.

Candidacy Requirements

Admission into any master’s program is not automatic acceptance into candidacy for the master’s degree. A student will be recognized as a candidate in the program only after completion of a minimum of 20 semester hours of graduate study with a minimum program grade point average of 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale) and removal of any entrance deficiencies for the program. A candidate must have demonstrated proficiency in the area of concentration and supporting fields and must give adequate proof of ability to complete successfully all degree requirements. Candidacy must be approved by a vote of the faculty. Failure to achieve candidacy results in dismissal from the program.

Individual programs may have additional candidacy requirements. For example, in the MA/CP program, students are required to participate in and successfully complete the requirements of a group counseling experience. MA/T students must be accepted into the Division of Education. The student should consult with the academic advisor or program director as to the specific requirements for his or her program.

For students enrolled in any of the dual degree options, candidacy in the MA is not awarded until the BA degree is complete.

Capstone Experience

TGS programs all require a capstone experience: professional project, major or integrative paper, internship, comprehensive exam, thesis, or a combination of these. Students should note carefully the requirement in their program curricula and consult with a program advisor as to the precise guidelines for that experience.

Capstone event writers (papers, theses) should note carefully the University writing requirements outlined in the TIU Style and Format Manual and avail themselves of the counsel of the Research Document Assistant or assigned Capstone Reader in their writing.

Capstone Extensions and Fees

Some capstone events are regularly completed during the semester of enrollment; however, others often extend one or more semesters beyond the original semester of enrollment. These Capstones also have a Capstone Extension course (— 7476, — 7478, — 7480, — 7485) in which students must enroll in order to maintain their active student status (see “Active and Inactive Student Status” elsewhere in this Catalog). If a student is enrolled in a capstone extension course and in no other courses, a minimal capstone extension course fee is charged for the student to maintain his or her active status and Trinity services. Students who fail to register for a Capstone Extension course to maintain their active status are charged the extension course fee plus late registration fees for each semester in which they failed to register and may be rendered inactive in their program, requiring readmission and payment of the reactivation fee (see “Active and Inactive Student Status”).

Changes in Registration and Course Withdrawals

Changes in Registration

For all Add/Drop changes in registration, the student must make the changes on the myTIU dashboard. In traditional courses, changes made during the first week of a semester (summers excepted) are free. After the first week of class a Change-in-Registration fee is charged (see “Registration Fees” in the Finances section of this catalog). Courses may not be added after the second week of classes.

Grade accountability for courses dropped after the second week of classes is as follows: courses dropped at any time during the third through eighth weeks (second through fifth weeks for quad courses) of classes must be recorded with a grade of “W” (see “Grading”) as indicated by the course instructor. A student may change from a letter-grade or credit/no credit class to an Audit through the eighth week of the semester. Courses dropped after the eighth week (the fifth week for quad courses) are automatically recorded with an “F.”

For modular courses, Adds/Drops must be completed by the first meeting day of the class. For the MA/T, students wishing to add a course must do so within seven calendar days prior to the first day of class. No course may be added after the first day of class. Students wishing to drop a course are urged to do so as early as possible to maximize any refund due. Withdrawal is not permitted after the last class session. At that point, students will receive the grade earned.

Class Attendance

The development of good habits confirming Christian character and a sense of Christian stewardship implies that TGS students are responsible to attend class lectures, participate in class discussions, and complete course requirements.

At the beginning of the semester each faculty member will notify class members in writing of the attendance policy for each class. Since class attendance is important, students are urged to attend classes regularly regardless of stated attendance policies in order to participate in discussion and receive benefit from lectures and reports given in class. Because of reduced class time in modular classes, attendance at all sessions is required. Students who miss a session will be requested to withdraw from the course.

Because of the accelerated and collaborative nature of the MA/T and MEd/DL programs, students are required to attend every class session. Missing a single class means a significant portion of the contact with the learning community has been lost. For this reason, in MA/T and MEd/DL courses, students missing one class session will have their course grade reduced between one-half and one full letter grade. Students missing more than one class period will receive no credit for the class, and a grade of “F” will be recorded. The course must then be retaken in order to receive credit.

If an MA/T or MEd/DL student misses more than two class sessions for all courses during a given semester, the student will be required to meet in person with the program director to discuss continuance in the program. Students are responsible to monitor their own attendance and to make sure they do not exceed two absences per semester. Any student missing more than thirty minutes of a course session will be considered absent for the full session. Participation points are earned and calculated in the final grade of a course based in part upon on-time attendance at each session.

Completion of a Second Degree at TIU

After completing work for one graduate degree at the university, a minimum of 16 semester hours must be taken in the new program before obtaining a second degree; however, the actual number of hours necessary to complete that degree may be higher, depending on the length of the degree. A student must also meet all specific requirements for the second degree. No hours can be applied from a first or second degree to a third. Students may be allowed to do advanced substitutions for required courses already taken.

Students accepted in BA/MA Dual Degree programs are allowed to take coursework toward an MA simultaneously with their undergraduate coursework; however, they are considered undergraduate students until all requirements are met for the BA. If the coursework for the MA is finished simultaneously with BA coursework, the MA will be awarded in the semester following the awarding of the BA. Even if the MA coursework is finished first, in no case will the MA be awarded until the BA is completed.

Course Extensions

During any given semester faculty may change due dates for an entire class for a given assignment or exceptionally grant individual emergencies; however, any extensions beyond the last day of final exam week are granted only by the Dean of Students (or by the Director of Academic Operations at the Florida Regional Center). Course extensions must be requested by Friday of exam week.

Coursework is due no later than the scheduled time of the final examination for each course (including Reading, Guided Research, Field Education, and Internship). Extensions for unforeseen emergencies (illness, death) may be requested from the Dean of Students. Vacations, ministry or work responsibilities, and travel plans are not considered emergencies, and such requests will generally be denied.

Note that only the Dean of Students (or the Director of Academic Operations at the Florida Regional Center), not faculty members, grants course extensions. The Dean of Students or Director of Academic Operations (FRC) will notify the students and faculty member of the disposal of the request and may recommend that

  1. no grade penalty be given provided the extension deadline is met or
  2. a grade reduction of one full letter grade be given for each week the extension is effective.

Grading and the duration of the extension will depend on the severity of the emergency. Course extensions will not exceed four weeks from the end of Final Exam Week or from the last session of a course. All work must be submitted by the assigned deadline, or a failing grade (F) will be permanently recorded.

Course extensions beyond four weeks occur only in the event of the most serious extenuating circumstances. A written request accompanied by the support of the faculty member should be filed with the Dean of Students or Director of Academic Operations (FRC).

Course Registration: Trinity College Undergraduates into TGS

Trinity College students may register for one TGS course each fall or spring semester at no additional charge (summers not included). Such coursework may be counted for either undergraduate or graduate credit (not both) and may not be used to fulfill General Education requirements.

Registrants must be a full-time undergraduate student with junior or senior status with a minimum GPA of 3.0. The requisite form, which must be accompanied by the College Dean’s signature in the case for juniors, is available from the Records Office. Undergraduate students registering for graduate classes are subject to all deadlines, grading policies, and late fees of TGS.

General Graduation Requirements

The following graduation requirements apply to all master’s candidates at Trinity Graduate School:

  • Completion of all prescribed coursework for the program
  • A residence requirement of one academic year (or its program equivalent) in Trinity Graduate School coursework
  • A minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 in program coursework with no grade below “C” applied to the program
  • Successful completion of the program’s comprehensive examination, project, practicum, or thesis
  • Completion of the program within six years of matriculation
  • All financial obligations to the university settled with the Accounting Office
  • Approval of the faculty

Grade Changes

Faculty members may not change a student’s grade for a given course unless an error was made in computing or recording the grade originally. Students who wish to contest an assigned grade may petition via the Academic Appeals process but should be aware that a faculty member’s decision in assigning grades is rarely overturned. Such cases would only be reviewed seriously in the case of a faculty member (normally visiting) who was not aware of general standards expected in grading at Trinity.

Graduation and Participation in Commencement Ceremonies

A student may graduate in May, August, or December of any academic year; commencement ceremonies are held in May and December. Degree completion requires the filing of an Application for Graduation.

Fall applications are due by July 15, preceding the intended graduation semester. Spring and summer applications are due by December 15, preceding the intended graduation semester.

For each academic year, there are three completion semesters: fall, spring, and summer. Students who complete their program at any session are eligible to participate in the May or December commencement ceremony. Participation includes both walking in the ceremony and being listed in the program. Participation in commencement ceremonies does not imply graduation. Graduands should note the following special requirements for participation in commencement:

  • Program requirements of 6 or less hours remaining, student has registered for those requirements to be completed in the subsequent semester (spring for December participants, summer or fall for May participants)
  • The capstone experience, internship, and/or clinical practice, are completed and passed during the regular semester deadlines.
  • No other program requirements remain outstanding.
  • Completion of the online Commencement Participation Form between August 1 and November 15 for December ceremony; and between January 1 and April 1 for the spring ceremony.

Graduation with Honors

The following criteria are established for the determination of graduation honors for students in the Master of Arts programs of the graduate school:

cum laudeminimum cumulative average of 3.50
magna cum laudeminimum cumulative average of 3.80
summa cum laudeminimum cumulative average of 3.90

Leave of Absence or Withdrawal from the University

Leave of Absence

A student who desires not to register for classes for a period of one to three semesters (a maximum of twelve months) should request a Leave of Absence (LOA) via the Academic Withdrawal/Leave of Absence form available from the Graduate Student Life Office (studentservices@tiu.edu). The student should schedule an appointment with the Dean of Students at the time of submission of the form to ensure that all matters are in proper order. An LOA may be granted for personal, financial, or other reasons, but the expectation is that students will return to their program within a twelve-month period.

During the LOA, the student is considered “Active” but “On Leave” and should maintain contact with TGS, ensuring that address information and other relevant data are kept current through the Records Office. At the end of the leave, arrangements for course registration and returning to school should be made directly with the Records Office. During the LOA, the program Statute of Limitation clock keeps ticking; however, the students remain in their program of admission, and no continuation fees are assessed. (Exception: MA/T students on LOA may be placed in a new cohort and are subject to any changes in the educational program’s requirements for licensure.) LOA status is not intended to merely delay program deadlines or other program responsibilities but is rather a genuine absence from the TGS community.

If during the LOA students find that they must withdraw from the University or needs further extended leave beyond what was originally filed, they must communicate their intentions with the Student Services Office. LOA beyond twelve months is considered withdrawal from the university, and the student must reapply with no guarantee of readmission. If readmitted, students will be subject to the catalog current to their readmission date and may face programmatic or course requirement changes.

Withdrawal from the University

Complete a Withdrawal from the University form available from the Graduate Student Life Office (studentservices@tiu.edu). The student should schedule an appointment with the Dean of Students at the time of submission of the form to ensure that all matters are in proper order. Withdrawal is not complete until final settlements have been made with the Office of Student Financial Services and Records Office. Grade accountability, if students withdraw from Trinity after the start of a semester, is the same as that of dropping a class. Withdrawal from the University deactivates the students’ file, and if they desire to return at a future date, the students must reapply with no guarantee of readmission

All students who have withdrawn from Trinity and desire to return for study must apply for readmission through the Admissions Office. The readmitted student will then be subject to the catalog requirements in effect at the time of reenrollment, rather than the catalog in effect at the time of the student’s previous enrollment.

MA/T students who withdraw and apply for readmission will be reassigned to a new cohort upon readmission and will be subject to the academic requirements, as well as to the tuition rates, that apply at the time of their reentry.

Withdrawal for Students Called to Active Military Duty

Trinity students called to active military duty have the following options:

  1. Receive course grades for the current semester, or extensions for all courses, if approved by your professors.
  2. Receive administrative drops with a refund for some courses and grades/extensions in other courses, if approved by your professors.
  3. Withdraw from all current semester courses with a full refund of tuition and fees.

Contact the University Records Office for information on the procedures to follow and departments to inform in the event of call to active military duty.

Statute of Limitation for Program Completion, Program Extension, and Program Readmission

Program Completion

The Statute of Limitation, which is the maximum length of time permitted for completion of a program, is six years from the date of admission for all MA programs in the Trinity Graduate School. When the statute of limitation is reached, the student is administratively withdrawn from the program and a hold is placed on further registration unless a program extension request is granted and is on file with the Records Office.

Program Extension

A program extension request is considered by petition to the TGS Council and generally does not add more than two years to a program’s statute of limitation. Petitions should be filed at least one semester before the statute of limitation ends and show consistent evidence of program progress and a definitive plan for program completion. Students granted program extension will be required to pay continuation fees (see “Continuation Fees” elsewhere in this catalog).

Program Readmission

Students who withdraw from Trinity without completing their program and desire to reapply may make application for readmission under the current catalog. Readmission is not guaranteed. A written statement outlining plans for program completion must accompany application materials. Readmission is solely for the program to which the applicant is making application.

Students who are readmitted to a program two years or more beyond their original statute of limitation date can expect to complete additional program hours and may have to retake a significant portion of the coursework for the program. The conditions for readmission and program requirements will be determined on a case-by-case basis by the department or program director as applicable. These conditions will be outlined in the letter of readmission.

Transcripts and Records Retention

Admissions documents are retained for accepted students who do not enroll for two years and for those who enroll for a period of five years beyond the date of last attendance.

Academic records are retained permanently. Official student transcripts bear the seal of the school and are distributed in a sealed envelope. Students may request their academic transcript by presenting or mailing a Transcript Request Form to the Records Office or submitting a signed letter requesting the transcript. Official transcripts will be sent directly to an institution upon request or may be picked up in the Records Office. Downloadable forms and complete instructions for these options are available at www.tiu.edu/tiu/records/transcriptinfo. Unofficial transcripts are also available and may be faxed.

Allow ten business days for completion of transcript requests. Transcripts are not issued for students who have outstanding accounts unless payment arrangements have been made. Consult the Catalog or the Records Office for fees for transcripts.

Formal Student Complaint Policy

Trinity Graduate School, as part of Trinity International University, in accordance with the Federal Compliance Policy, keeps a record of formal student complaints. Formal complaints should be addressed in writing (dated and signed) to the dean’s office. If unresolved, the student may choose to submit the formal complaint to the Academic Council of Divisions, the provost, or the president. Upon first receipt of the formal complaint, the person to whom it is addressed will initiate the Student Complaint Tracking Form, which records the nature of the complaint, the steps taken by the institution to resolve the complaint, the institution's final decision regarding the complaint, and any other (external) action initiated by the student to resolve the complaint. Information regarding student complaints is accessible to members of the Higher Learning Commission evaluation team. The university will protect students’ privacy by removing their names from files before submission to an outside team (unless they have given express permission for use of their names).