Students who are earning below the 2.0 necessary for graduation or are not completing half or more of the courses they attempt in a single term will be provided with one-on-one assistance to turn around their academic performance through our Academic Recovery Program.
Julia M. Berkowitz
Director of Academic Support Services
Center for Academic Success
Academic Support Specialist
Hotchkiss Hall - 011
Highlights of policy below. For full policy, click here.
Students may choose the option of receiving a notation of P (Pass) to indicate a grade of D– or better in any course they take or a NP (No Pass) for failing grades.
No more than four credits with grades of P or NP based on this policy may appear on a student’s transcript at any one time.
Students may choose to change a grade of P on their transcript back to a regular letter grade at any time before the final degree audit for graduation by submitting the appropriate form.
When to use this option:
The best time to use this option is when you are taking a course that is a bit outside of your usual "comfort zone" but is not required for your major(s) or minor. Using this option can free you from the stress of worrying about your GPA while you learn and grow a new set of skills or interests.
Three courses at Lake Forest College is full-time. You will be encouraged to register for four courses per term. Why? To graduate in 4 years (8 terms), a student needs to take a full course load of four courses and complete all of these credits to reach the magic number of 32 credits to graduate. So, if you need to withdraw from a course, you are still a full-time student by NCAA standards, federal financial aid standards, and for visa requirements.
Many students opt out or withdraw from a course for many different reasons. When deciding to do so, a student needs the permission of the advisor so that a graduation plan can be adjusted. Most students make up these credits in a variety of ways—from completing reduced-tuition summer terms (see Forester Finish tuition reduction plans) to adding on partial credit courses at no extra charges to getting on the Dean's List and earning a free extra course. An occasional course withdrawal is not of concern as long as you have a plan!
Academic Probation and Suspension: Why?
Students must earn a 2.0 or above GPA at the time of graduation. We place students on probation if their GPA dips below this as a "wake up" call to students and their families that something(s) need to change. These students are assigned an Academic Support Specialist to help them identify and make these changes. They then have two semesters to achieve a 2.0 before they are considered for suspension. This gives students time and support to get where they need to be to graduate from the College.
We suspend students who earn under a 1.0 GPA for a term so that they can take the time necessary to recommit to their educational journey with us. When a student is suspended, they must reapply. In doing so, they have to reflect and share the changes they have gone through to be ready—this time—for the Forester experience.
We give first-term first year students who are struggling academically a bit more time. Those who have achieved less than a 1.00 GPA in their first semester at the College will have their academic record reviewed by the Dean of Faculty (or representative), in consultation with others, including the Dean of Students, Academic Advisor, Academic Support Specialists, etc. After the review is complete, a decision may be made to not suspend the student, but to instead place the student on academic probation. Students who are assigned this status are required to meet with the Associate Dean of Faculty for Student Success before the start of their second semester to create a plan which will outline a set of expectations designed to keep the student accountable and create a blueprint for improved academic success.
Students who have completed their second semester and beyond are suspended when their GPA in any term is less than 1.0, even if they have not previously been on academic probation. In addition, students on academic probation are suspended when their GPA for any probationary term is less than 2.0. No student may remain on academic probation for more than two consecutive semesters without being suspended.
We rarely academically dismiss a student. A dismissal is a permanent separation from the College. We do this if a student is suspended twice. This tells us and the student that the potential of completing a degree with us in a reasonable amount of time is not possible.
Sometimes a student experiences a medical event near the end of term, after the course withdrawal deadline has passed. Students in this situation can use medical documentation to appeal to withdraw from a course or from all of their courses after the term is over. This is done through the Vice President of Student Affairs working with the Associate Dean and Director of the Health and Wellness Center.
Accelerate is a program designed for students who have fallen behind on credits and have experienced a recent change in their academic journey. To provide a "jump start," students selected for this program receive an Accelerate Scholarship for free tuition for certain courses, including our signature May term course, Liberal Arts and the Workplace, to help make the necessary career connections to a chosen field of study. They also are provided with personalized academic and career counseling from members of the Center for Academic Success and Career Advancement Center.
The Academic Appeals Board is a part of the College’s governance system. It considers and acts on cases of academic probation, suspension, or dismissal; on cases in which students appeal the interpretation of faculty rules by a dean; and on cases in which faculty rules are unclear.
The Board, comprised of faculty, and the Vice President of Student Affairs meet to consider appeals of students about academic matters. A student who feels as if a policy did not apply to them or to their circumstances has the right to appeal that policy. The appeal process never hurts the student. In fact, it can help clear the air and help faculty and students alike create better communication and maybe even encourage the redrafting or emergence of new policies as a response to student input.
The appeal must clearly describe the decision being appealed or the policy from which the student wishes to be exempted and must state the substantive reasons for the appeal.
Appeals may be submitted to the Vice President of Student Affairs or the chairperson of the Academic Appeals Board by email. Contact the Dean of the Faculty Office to learn who the chairperson is as this can change annually.