Sep 26, 2022  
2022-2023 Southeastern University - Graduate Catalog 
    
2022-2023 Southeastern University - Graduate Catalog

Academic Policies


Southeastern University is a Christ-centered institution of higher learning. The educational programs of Southeastern University are designed to foster successful academic achievement in order to equip students to discover and develop their divine design, to serve Christ and the world through Spirit-empowered life, learning, and leadership. We are committed to equipping the next generation of leaders so that they can go into the world as influential servants in their careers and their communities.

This catalog gives general information on the academic regulations and degree requirements. In upgrading all areas of the university, Southeastern University reserves the right to change the rules regulating admission, instruction, graduation and any other activity affecting the student body, including prospective students and currently enrolled students.

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General Academic Policies and Procedures

Academic Policies

Southeastern University is a Christ-centered institution of higher learning. The educational programs of Southeastern University are designed to foster successful academic achievement in order to equip students to discover and develop their divine design, to serve Christ and the world through Spirit-empowered life, learning, and leadership. We are committed to equipping the next generation of leaders so that they can go into the world as influential servants in their careers and their communities.

This catalog gives general information on the academic regulations and degree requirements for master’s and doctoral programs. In upgrading all areas of the university, Southeastern University reserves the right to change the rules regulating admission, instruction, graduation, and any other activity affecting the student body, including prospective students and currently enrolled students.

Academic Advising

Upon acceptance into a graduate program, each student will be assigned an individual with expertise in the chosen field to serve as the student’s academic advisor. The student is responsible for corresponding with the academic advisor based on program protocol during enrollment in the program. The academic advisor’s role is to assist the student in academic program planning.

Declaration of Degree and Changing Programs

Every student who is accepted for enrollment as a degree-seeking graduate student must declare their degree on the admission application specific to that program. Any changes in graduate degree following initial enrollment must be arranged and approved by the student’s academic advisor and the chair, director, or coordinator of any new degree program in advance of any semester being considered for this change. Descriptions of specific enrollment requirements for any graduate program are available in the Programs of Study on the website. Any approved changes in degree may then be officially entered by completing a Doctoral Program Declaration form with the Office of the Registrar. 

The forms can be obtained through the chair, director, or coordinator of the program. Change of program may place a student under different catalog requirements.

Academic Integrity

Southeastern University seeks to foster a spirit of honesty and integrity in students. The University expects graduate students at SEU to embody the same spirit of commitment to high ethical standards and academic integrity in all aspects of their participation within the program.

Therefore, any work submitted by a student must represent original work produced by that student. Any source used by a student must be documented using program-appropriate scholarly references and citations.

“Academic dishonesty” refers to plagiarism or cheating (regardless of intention) (see definitions below). Should a professor suspect academic dishonesty of any kind, the professor will follow the guidelines below and will refer the student to the Academic Center for Enrichment (ACE) by submitting an Early Alert (the Early Alert link is available through JICS). The intervention will be noted in the student’s file. University personnel will follow up assuring that all consequences dictated by the professor and university policy have been completed. To effectively counter academic dishonesty, professors must follow these guidelines in all instances of plagiarism and cheating. 

The processes stated in the Student Appeal and Complaint Policy (see “Appeals”) are to be utilized should a student seek an appeal of any decision rendered under the Academic Integrity policy.

Doctoral - Procedure for Dealing with Violations of Academic Integrity

When students attain the level of doctoral studies, the expectation is that they understand academic integrity and plagiarism. Doctoral students are expected to maintain the highest level of academic integrity in all their academic work. 

This policy applies to all doctoral coursework and comprehensive exams, as well as drafts and final versions of the dissertation/capstone and/or sections of the dissertation/capstone submitted to professors and to graduate writing support.

Academic Dishonesty Report

In each instance of academic dishonesty, the professor will (a) determine the level of the offense and the appropriate consequences according to the guidelines listed below; (b) communicate with the offending student to discuss the nature of his or her academic dishonesty, the academic integrity policy, and the consequences to be assigned; and (c) submit an academic dishonesty report to the Office of Academic Success and to the department chair, director, or coordinator.

The academic dishonesty report should include:

  • Name and ID number of the offending student

  • Professor, course, and term

  • Description of the academic dishonesty (plagiarism or cheating), indicating the level of offense (Level 2 or 3 as outlined below)

  • Documentation of each step of the academic integrity procedure that has been followed

  • Copy of the plagiarism report (for example, from Turnitin.com), if available

  • A copy of the plagiarized work, if applicable

  • Any other supporting documentation

  • An indication of the consequences already assigned

Early Alert Program Appeal Process

When there is an instance of academic dishonesty, students will be referred to the Academic Center for Enrichment for plagiarism avoidance counseling, and the student will be required to complete the Academic Integrity course in My Fire (if the plagiarism was a level 2 or higher).  In the event a student desires to be removed from the course, or to appeal the outcome of the course, the following must be completed:

1.         The student must write a letter of appeal to the Academic Intervention Committee stating reasons as to why they want to be removed from the Academic Integrity course and/or not incur a Z grade on their transcript.  Students will deliver or e-mail the letter of appeal to the program coordinator.

2.        The appeal will be reviewed by the Academic Intervention Committee.

3.        The student will be notified of the committee’s decision. All decisions of the committee are final.

Doctoral - Consequences and Levels of Offense

The consequences for plagiarism vary according to the extent of the plagiarism and according to whether the instance is a student’s first or subsequent offense. Three levels of offenses and corresponding consequences are outlined below.

The Office of Academic Success and the department chair, director, or coordinator will keep records of plagiarism offenses. The professor should check with the academic success coordinator with ACE to find out whether a given instance of plagiarism is a first or subsequent offense. The professor is responsible for determining the extent of the plagiarism. Plagiarism detection tools (such as Turnitin.com) may be used as an aid in this process.

Students may not withdraw from a course in order to avoid consequences for academic dishonesty.

Level 1 

Level one is used only for undergraduate students.

Level 2 

Academic Dishonesty will be considered a Level 2 offense when it is:

  • The first instance of plagiarism in a submission for a doctoral student; OR

  • The first instance of cheating in a submission for a doctoral student.

Consequences for a Level 2 offense are assigned at the programs chair’s, director’s, or coordinator’s discretion with input from the professor, considering factors such as the extent of the academic dishonesty and the nature of the assignment. When students are allowed to correct plagiarism for a graded submission, the course professor will determine the due date for resubmission. 

Consequences for the student for a Level 2 offense must include:

  • Completing a Graduate Academic Integrity (GAI) course. The student must successfully complete the course prior to registering for additional doctoral courses or continuing the dissertation/capstone process. Failing the GAI course will result in dismissal from the program. A copy of the complete record must be submitted to the professor and the department chair before a student may continue in the doctoral program; AND 

  • Receiving a grade penalty in the course (for non-dissertation submissions); AND

  • Receiving a Z grade annotation (may only be removed by successful completion of the GAI course). (Students may not withdraw from a course in order to avoid consequences for academic dishonesty)

Additionally, the consequences may include any or all of the following:

  • Correcting the plagiarism in the assignment for a grade reduction; AND/OR

  • Receiving a failing grade for the submission with no option for resubmission; AND/OR

  • Failing the course; AND/OR

  • Being placed on academic probation. 

Additional consequences for dissertation or capstone students may include any or all of the following:

  • Suspension of up to one subsequent semester. The student will not be allowed to communicate with members of the dissertation or capstone committee or enroll for dissertation or capstone credits until the suspension is completed.

  • Re-assignment of dissertation or capstone committee;

  • Suspension of the Graduate Writing Support services until reinstated.

Level 3 

Academic Dishonesty will be considered a Level 3 offense when:

  • The offense is the second instance of plagiarism or cheating in the student’s doctoral program; OR

  • The offense is an instance of plagiarism or cheating deemed egregious by the professor and department chair, director, or coordinator; OR

  • Cheating occurs on the comprehensive exam; OR

  • The offense consists of most of the assignment or dissertation/capstone section; OR

  • The student becomes defensive or belligerent when any level of academic dishonesty is addressed.

Consequences for the student for a Level 3 offense are determined according to the program chair’s, director’s, or coordinator’s discretion with input from the professor, considering factors such as the extent of the plagiarism, the nature of the assignment, and the number and levels of any prior offenses. 

Consequences for Level 3 offenses must include the following: 

  • Completing a Graduate Academic Integrity (GAI) course (if not taken previously). The student must successfully complete the course prior to registering for additional doctoral courses or continuing the dissertation/capstone process. A copy of the complete record must be submitted to the professor and the department chair before a student may continue in the doctoral program; AND

  • Receive a zero for the submission (the student will have no option to rewrite course submissions and the student will receive no credit for the assignment); AND

  • Receiving a Z grade annotation (required, see below); (Students may not withdraw from a course in order to avoid consequences for academic dishonesty).

Additional consequences for dissertation or capstone students may include any or all of the following:

  • Suspension of up to one subsequent semester. The student will not be allowed to communicate with members of the dissertation or capstone committee or enroll for a dissertation or capstone credits until the suspension is completed

  • Re-assignment of dissertation or capstone committee

  • Suspension of the Graduate Writing Support services until reinstated

Additionally, consequences for any student may include any or all of the following:

  • Failing the course; AND/OR

  • Expulsion from the University

Doctoral - Definitions

For the purpose of this policy, 

  • “professor” is defined as any person providing academic support or assessment of a student’s work. These persons include course instructors, mentors, writing support professors, and members of the dissertation/capstone committee (chair, methodologist, content specialist, and third reader);

  • “submission” is defined as all doctoral coursework, GAI assignments, comprehensive exams, as well as drafts and final versions of the dissertation/capstone projects and/or sections of the dissertation/capstone project submitted to professors and to graduate writing support. 

Plagiarism

Plagiarism is considered a serious academic offense at Southeastern University. Plagiarism undermines the educational process, and when done intentionally, violates the integrity of the community.

Plagiarism occurs when a writer (regardless of intent) uses someone else’s language, ideas, or other original material without acknowledging its source. 

Plagiarism includes unattributed use of any source, in any medium, published or unpublished. 

The policy also applies to incidents of self-plagiarism, resubmission, or multiple submissions (the use of a single project in two or more academic settings either at Southeastern University or another academic institution). Work submitted in another course may not be resubmitted unless both professors specifically state otherwise.

Some examples of plagiarism include, but are not limited to:

  • Quoting or paraphrasing material without attributing it to its source

  • Copying segments from the work of others without giving proper credit

  • Submitting work written by someone else

  • Allowing another student to submit their work to use as his or her own when that individual had not done the work

Widely known facts do not require citation and do not count as plagiarism if the facts are communicated in the writer’s own words. Ideas and observations original to the writer also do not require citation.

Avoiding Plagiarism

Professors at Southeastern University work diligently to help students understand and avoid plagiarism. However, the responsibility ultimately rests on students to make sure that their work does not contain plagiarism. Students can avoid plagiarism by properly citing and quoting, paraphrasing, and summarizing all material they use from sources.

Common forms of citation include parenthetical citations, footnotes/endnotes, and attributive statements such as “According to Smith and Rodriguez…”

Quotations include entire sentence(s), key phrase(s), or specific term(s) that match a source word for word. All quotations must be cited using the appropriate quotation format.

Paraphrases and summaries include material (usually information or ideas) taken from a source and put into a writer’s own words. All paraphrased and summarized materials must completely rephrase the original source and be properly cited.

The bottom line in avoiding plagiarism is that students must clearly indicate the material in their writing that is original to them and the material taken from sources.

Cheating

Cheating is attempting to present, as one’s own, work that one has not performed, or using improper means to pass an examination. Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • The sharing of unauthorized information regarding specific content of assignment/examinations or using books, notes, or other material without the instructor’s permission.

  • The discussion of any aspect of the assignment/examination before all students have completed it.

  • Speaking or otherwise communicating with one another in English or any other language or manner during an examination.

  • Submitting work the student has not done him- or herself. This includes papers, projects, homework assignments, computer programs, etc.

  • Submitting of the same paper or assignment, or material portions thereof, for more than one course (except by both instructors’ approval and in accordance with criteria established by each of them).

  • Falsifying of research data.

  • Preventing student or faculty access to course material. This includes mutilating or stealing materials provided by the university for the examination, and/or disabling and interfering with required equipment (i.e. computer equipment or databases.

  • Using electronic devices such as cell phones or calculators to store information or materials that are not authorized by the instructor.

Other violations may include:

  • Failing to follow any other explicit regulation or expectation announced by the instructor, and/or circulated to each student. This includes failure to use surveillance equipment or software as required by the professor. It is the responsibility of the student to confer with an instructor when procedures are unclear.

  • Falsifying a signature on any official university document.

  • Altering the contents and/or intent of any official university document.

  • Intentionally or knowingly helping or attempting to help another to violate any provision of this policy. 

Invalid Attempt

The program coordinator and department chair or college dean reserve the right to differentiate between cases of cheating and invalid exam attempts. If an invalid attempt incident is determined, the student is not required to take the academic integrity course, nor given a “Z” grade. Re-attempting the submission or assignment is permitted at the professor’s discretion.

Doctoral - Z Grade Annotation 

When a professor, program chair, director, coordinator, or college dean concludes that cheating has occurred students must comply with the following policies:

  • Complete an assigned Graduate Academic Integrity course (if not taken previously). 

    • The student must successfully complete the course prior to registering for additional courses or continuing the dissertation/capstone process. 

    • The Z grade annotation may be placed on the student’s transcript if the Academic Integrity Course is not completed successfully.

  • Students may not withdraw from a course in order to avoid consequences for academic dishonesty. 

  • Complete any plagiarism and ethics education/tutoring assigned by the university. 

  • Complete all requirements prescribed by the university according to the level assigned to the individual case.

    • A case may be escalated to a Level 3 at any time if the student becomes defensive or belligerent when any level of academic dishonesty is addressed.

Please refer to the Doctoral Consequences and Levels of Offense for additional details.

Master’s - Consequences and Levels of Offense 

Level 1

Level 1 is only used for undergraduate students.

Level 2

Academic Dishonesty will be considered a Level 2 offense when it is:

  • The first instance of plagiarism of up to 50% for a master’s student; OR

  • The first instance of cheating on a test or assignment.

Consequences for the student for a Level 2 offense must include:

  • Completing a Graduate Academic Integrity (GAI) course that includes strategies for avoiding plagiarism and cheating (required if not already taken); AND

  • Receiving a grade penalty in the course; AND

  • Receiving a Z grade annotation (may only be removed by successful completion of the GAI course).

Additionally, the consequences may include any or all the following:

  • Correcting the plagiarism in the assignment for a grade; AND/OR

  • Failing the course; AND/OR

  • Losing eligibility to take certain types of courses for the remainder of their careers at Southeastern.

Level 3

Academic Dishonesty will be considered a Level 3 offense when it is:

  • The second (or higher) instance of plagiarism in a master’s level student’s career at Southeastern; OR

  • Is the second instance of cheating on a test or assignment

Consequences for Level 3 offenses must include the following:

  • Receiving a grade penalty in the course; AND

  • Completing a GAI course that includes strategies for avoiding plagiarism and cheating (required if not taken previously); AND

  • Receiving a Z grade annotation (required, see below)

  • Note: Students with a level 3 offense may not withdraw from a course or will be added back to the roster

Additionally, consequences may include any or all the following:

  • Failing the course; AND/OR

  • Losing eligibility to take certain types of courses for the remainder of their careers at Southeastern; AND/OR

  • Expulsion from the University at the discretion of the Provost

Master’s - Definitions 

Plagiarism

Plagiarism occurs when a writer uses someone else’s language, ideas, or other original material without acknowledging its source.

Plagiarism includes unattributed use of any source, in any medium, published or unpublished. Work already submitted for a grade in another course may not be resubmitted unless the professor specifically states otherwise.

Some examples of plagiarism include but are not limited to:

  • Quoting or paraphrasing material without attributing it to its source

  • Copying segments from the work of others without giving proper credit

  • Submitting as original work written entirely by someone else

Cheating

Cheating is attempting to present, as one’s own, work that one has not performed, or using improper means to pass an examination. Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • The sharing of unauthorized information regarding specific content of assignment/examinations or using books, notes or other material without the instructor’s permission.

  • The discussion of any aspect of the assignment/examination before all students have completed it.

  • Speaking or otherwise communicating with one another in English or any other language or manner during an examination.

  • Submitting work the student has not done him- or herself. This includes papers, projects, homework assignments, computer programs, etc.

  • Submitting of the same paper or assignment, or material portions thereof, for more than one course (except by both instructors’ approval and in accordance with criteria established by each of them).

  • Falsifying of research data.

  • Preventing student or faculty access to course material. This includes mutilating or stealing materials provided by the university for the examination, and/or disabling and interfering with required equipment (i.e. computer equipment or databases.

  • Using electronic devices such as cell phones or calculators to store information or materials that are not authorized by the instructor.

Other violations may include:

  • Failing to follow any other explicit regulation or expectation announced by the instructor, and/or circulated to each student. This includes failure to use surveillance equipment or software as required by the professor. It is the responsibility of the student to confer with an instructor when procedures are unclear.

  • Falsifying a signature on any official university document.

  • Altering the contents and/or intent of any official university document.

  • Intentionally or knowingly helping or attempting to help another to violate any provision of this policy. 

Invalid Attempt

The program coordinator and department chair or college dean reserve the right to differentiate between cases of cheating and invalid exam attempts. If an invalid attempt incident is determined, the student is not required to take the academic integrity course, nor given a “Z” grade. Re-attempting the submission or assignment is permitted at the professor’s discretion.

Master’s - Z Grade Annotation 

When a professor, program chair, director, coordinator, or college dean concludes that cheating has occurred students must comply with the following policies:

  • Complete an assigned Graduate Academic Integrity course (if not taken previously). 

    • The student must successfully complete the course prior to registering for additional courses or continuing the dissertation/capstone process. 

    • The Z grade annotation may be placed on the student’s transcript if the Academic Integrity Course is not completed successfully.

  • Students may not withdraw from a course in order to avoid consequences for academic dishonesty. 

  • Complete any plagiarism and ethics education/tutoring assigned by the university. 

  • Complete all requirements prescribed by the university according to the level assigned to the individual case.

    • A case may be escalated to a Level 3 at any time if the student becomes defensive or belligerent when any level of academic dishonesty is addressed.

Please refer to the Master’s Consequences and Levels of Offense for additional details.

Violation of Federal Copyright Laws 

“102. The subject matter of copyright: In general

(a) Copyright protection subsists, in accordance with this title, in original works of authorship fixed in any tangible medium of expression, now known or later developed, from which they can be perceived, reproduced, or otherwise communicated, either directly or with the aid of a machine or device.” (https://www.copyright.gov/title17/92chap1.html).

“506. Criminal offenses

(a) Criminal Infringement. —

(1) In general.—Any person who willfully infringes a copyright shall be punished as provided under section 2319 of title 18…” (https://www.copyright.gov/title17/92chap5.html).

For detailed information, please see the website of the U.S. Copyright Office at www.copyright.gov.

Academic Progress Standards

The term “academic progress standards” refers to the minimum standard of progress that Southeastern University expects graduate students to achieve as they work toward their educational goals. Students who maintain the minimum academic progress standards will ensure they graduate with the required cumulative grade point average (GPA). A satisfactory level of academic progress is determined based on the student’s cumulative GPA calculated based on all graduate work attempted. A student meets academic progress standards only if his or her cumulative grade point average is 3.0 or higher. To be eligible for continued enrollment in good standing, a student must maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher. Students who fall below the minimum GPA will be placed on academic probation and may be suspended.
 
If a student earns a grade of D-, D, D+ or F in a course, the student will be placed on probation or suspension depending on the circumstances. Courses in which a student receives a grade of less than C- will not be counted toward degree completion. If the course is required for degree completion, the course must be retaken with a minimal grade of C-. A course may be repeated only once.
 
A student must meet academic progress standards to be eligible for federal financial aid programs at Southeastern University. Refer to the Financial Aid Information section for additional criteria that may apply.

Appeals Process

Appeal for Course Registration Decisions

Changes to course registration after the drop/add deadline are not permitted without a written appeal from the student to the Registrar. The appeal must contain reasons that justify such an exception to the deadline. The outcome of a student appeal request will be based on the student’s attendance in the course, financial aid award, the point in time during the semester, and other contributing factors. A class that has been attempted cannot be dropped without an approved written appeal.

The Appeal of Final Grade

Section A: Graduate students have a right to appeal only a final grade. The grade assigned by the instructor is assumed to be correct. An instructor’s professional judgment in assigning a specific grade will not be considered during an appeals process. 

Graduate students may appeal a final grade under the following circumstances:

  1. Course work was assessed according to a grading policy that differed from the announced and established course grading policy.

  2. Grading procedures were applied inaccurately or with error.

  3. An alleged deviation from the University syllabus policy that could have impacted the final grade occurred.

Section B: Students must initiate an appeal of a final grade within thirty (30) business days of the final grade posting and must follow the steps of appeal enumerated as follows:

  1. Step 1. The student must contact, in writing, the instructor who issued the final grade to appeal the final grade. The instructor has ten (10) business days to respond to the student’s appeal and render a decision. If the student wishes to appeal the instructor’s decision, or if the instructor is not available, the student will proceed to Step 2. However, there are the following two exceptions.

  1. If the course instructor is also the department chair, the student will skip Step 2 and proceed to Step 3. The dean of the college will render the final decision for the appeal.

  2. If the course instructor is also the dean of the college in which the course is housed, the student will skip Step 2 and follow the exception clause in Step 3. In only this case, the final appeal level is the provost (see Step 3 exception).

  1. Step 2. If the student wishes to appeal the instructor’s decision and the instructor is not the department chair or the dean of the college in which the course is housed, the student must contact the department chair in writing within five (5) business days of receiving the instructor’s final grade appeal decision. The written appeal sent to the department chair must identify which of the enumerated circumstances in Section A form the basis of the final grade’s appeal. The student must provide all relevant information to support the case for appeal when contacting the department chair. The department chair will make reasonable efforts to work with the instructor and the student to understand the issue before rendering a decision on the final grade’s appeal. The written decision of the department chair will be forwarded to the student and the instructor within twenty-one (21) business days from the date of receiving the student’s initial written appeal. If the student is dissatisfied with the outcome, the student may proceed to Step 3 of the process, which is the final level of appeal. 

  2. Step 3. This final level of appeal must be initiated by the student within five (5) business days of receiving the department chair’s decision. The student must contact, in writing, the dean of the college in which the relevant course is housed to appeal the department chair’s decision. The dean will review all documentation and consider the student’s concerns. The dean may request additional documentation from the instructor, the department chair, and the student. The dean will issue a written decision, including a concise and explicit written statement that explains the basis for the decision, within twenty-one (21) business days of receiving the student’s written appeal or any additional relevant documentation requested by the dean. The dean’s decision is final, and no additional level of appeal is available to the student. 

Step 3 exception: If the dean is also the course instructor, the final appeal will be addressed by the provost. The provost will review all documentation and consider the student’s concerns. The provost will issue a written decision, including a concise and explicit written statement that explains the basis for the decision, within twenty-one (21) business days of receiving the student’s written appeal or any additional relevant documentation requested by the provost. The provost’s decision is final, and no additional level of appeal is available to the student. 

Appeal for Readmission under Academic Suspension

The University recognizes that extenuating circumstances may occur which are beyond the student’s control and which contribute to the student’s poor academic performance. A graduate student may appeal an academic suspension in writing, addressed to the program coordinator. The student must submit a written appeal with supporting documentation for review within 5 days of the suspension notice. A readmitted student must agree to a set of conditions that must be met for continued enrollment. If the student fails to meet one or more of the conditions, a dismissal notice will be issued. The program coordinator will inform the student and the registrar of the decision within five workdays of receipt of the appeal.

Appeal for Transfer Credit Decisions

A student may appeal a transfer credit decision to the dean of the college in which the program is offered. The student must submit a written appeal with supporting documentation for review. The student must submit an appeal within five working days of receiving notice of the transfer credit decision. The dean of the college in which the program is offered will inform the student of the decision of the appeal.

Student Appeal and Complaint Policy 

A student who has an unresolved issue in a course or program after communicating with the professor directly and has not received satisfactory answers related to degree completion, transfer of credit, advising questions, or non-response may appeal to the program chair regarding the matter. If the issue is still unresolved following the meeting with the program coordinator, the student may appeal to the dean of the college for a resolution. The decision of the dean is final.

Career Services

Southeastern University’s career exploration office, COMPASS, The Center for Calling & Career, exists to serve the University community – students, alumni, faculty, and staff – by providing professional recommendations and guidance related to continuing education and employment. We provide career assessments, career coaching, resume preparation, internship and job boards, professional networking and career workshops, church and career expos, and recruiting events. These services are provided through career-focused courses, employability seminars, and group and individual sessions. Career assessment services are provided using the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator® (MBTI®), Strong Interest Inventory®, along with an online job service, College Central Network. Additional career guidance and advocacy may be provided through the student’s department and/or college.

Classifications of Students

Advanced Standing Student 

Advanced standing may be available for graduate programs. See Program Descriptions for your program for availability and details. 

Audit Student 

An applicant applying for admission to audit courses must submit a Non-Degree Seeking Graduate Application.  An audit student will earn no University credit, nor will academic work be graded. Enrollment will be subject to the availability of space. Auditing a class requires approval from the instructor and the program coordinator.  Students may audit in-person courses, but not online courses.

Degree Seeking Student 

A degree-seeking student is one who has applied for admission to a graduate program and is systematically pursuing a degree. Degree-seeking students are admitted with advanced standing, regular standing, or provisional standing.

Students Seeking a Certificate

Certificates are offered at the graduate division as standalone credentials, or, when available, integrated into a master’s or doctoral degree program.  

Certificates Integrated into Degree Program

Courses required for a certificate may double count toward a full degree program.  Students enrolled in both a certificate and full degree program will have both conferred at the same time even if the coursework for the certificate is completed prior to the full degree.  A graduation application* must be submitted by the deadline for timely conferral of the certificate and degree.

Standalone Certificates

Courses earned in a standalone certificate may apply on a course-by-course basis toward a full degree program should the student choose to advance into a full degree program in the same division as the certificate.  Courses earned in a standalone certificate may also apply on a course-by-course basis toward another certificate, should course requirements overlap.  A graduation application* must be submitted by the deadline for timely conferral of the certificate.  Currently, SEU does not offer financial aid, including Title IV funding, toward a standalone certificate program.  Any cost incurred as a result of taking courses for a standalone certificate must be paid in full or may be paid via an approved SEU payment plan.  

 

*A graduation application fee is generated at the time of processing and payment is required prior to the release of the certificate, diploma, and official transcript.

Doctoral Candidate 

A student in any doctoral program at Southeastern University becomes a doctoral candidate after the following criteria are met:

  1. All doctoral-level course work, except dissertation/project, is completed AND

  2. All sections of the comprehensive exam (if a comprehensive exam is required by the program) have been successfully completed with a “P” (Pass) grade.

Comprehensive Exam Policy

During the last semester of program coursework, doctoral students will take a written comprehensive examination according to their program requirements (if a written comprehensive exam is required by their program). Students may take the comprehensive exam once (no repeats are allowed). However, if a student fails any portion of the written comprehensive exam, he or she may complete an oral defense of each failed portion of the comprehensive exam.

Oral Defense of Comprehensive Exam Time Limit

If a student wishes to complete an oral defense, the student is responsible to make arrangements with the program chair, director, or coordinator to schedule the oral defense of the failed portions of the comprehensive exam. A student will be required to complete an oral defense of each failed portion of the comprehensive examination within 30 business days of being notified of the written comprehensive exam results. A business day is defined according to the official university calendar. Specifically, weekends and university holidays are not considered business days. All failed sections of the written comprehensive exam must be defended during a single oral defense. A student is allowed only one attempt to defend any failed section of the comprehensive exam. A student who is unsuccessful in the oral defense of any portion of the comprehensive exam, or who does not complete an oral defense within 30 business days of notification of failure, will not be allowed to proceed to doctoral candidacy. A student who is unable to proceed to doctoral candidacy will be dismissed from the program. 

International Student 

International students applying for admission to any Southeastern University graduate program must meet all normal requirements for admission to those programs.

Additional requirements are as follows:

  1. Course-by-course transcript evaluation completed through a third-party such as www.jsilny.com or www.wes.org. This is required in order to confirm the completion of your undergraduate degree outside the United States.

  2. Copy of passport

  3. Copy of most updated visa is applicable

  4. If you live in a country where English is not the primary language, we would then require either the TOEFL exam with an IBT: 76 or higher, or the IELTS with a band score of 6.0 or higher.

  5. Affidavit of Support Letter

  6. Supporting Financial documents (bank statements, proof of income, etc.)

An international student must have completed a program equivalent to the baccalaureate degree (for master’s programs) or master’s degree (for doctoral programs) in the United States. International credentials must be evaluated by an independent evaluation service. Certified translation of all documents must also be provided, if necessary. The cost for these services must be paid by the applicant. For a list of qualified evaluators go to http://www.naces.org/members.htm or contact the Admission Office. 

An I-20 for non-resident aliens will not be issued until all documents for admission have been received and approved. International applicants are expected to make applications well in advance of their projected enrollment date. In accordance with immigration regulations, international students must carry a full academic load each semester. Any changes in schedule must be approved by the International Student Coordinator.

Non-degree Seeking Student 

A non-degree seeking student at the graduate level has earned at least a baccalaureate degree (for master’s level courses) or a master’s degree (for doctoral level courses), has completed a Non-Degree Seeking Graduate Application and has been accepted to take classes. The typical non-degree seeking student is a visiting student or is taking a course primarily for special interest. The student must submit a Non-Degree Seeking Graduate Application along with the application fee and official transcripts. Non-degree seeking students must demonstrate the same quality standards as degree seeking students and must be approved by the chair, director, or coordinator of the program in which the course they are seeking is located. A non-degree seeking student is limited to a cumulative total of nine credit hours, unless otherwise stipulated herein by a college, without being admitted to a degree program. 

Degree seeking students have priority over non-degree seeking students if space is limited in any course. Non-degree seeking students may be excluded from certain courses in specific programs.

After taking courses as a non-degree student, a non-degree seeking student may apply for admission to a graduate degree program by completing the Graduate Application and meeting all requirements for admission. However, the University is not obligated to accept a non-degree seeking student as a degree seeking student, and there is no guarantee that coursework completed as a non-degree seeking student will fulfill degree requirements.

Provisional Standing Student 

Students who do not meet all the admission requirements may be accepted in a program with the classification of provisional standing student. To obtain provisional standing, the applicant must demonstrate to the faculty of the selected program that he or she is capable of graduate work by

  • meeting most of the requirements for admission while providing an acceptable plan for completing any requirement(s) that is/are deficient AND 

  • demonstrating the ability to do graduate-level work by completing twelve (12) credit hours of graduate study with a B (3.0) or better in each course AND

  • satisfying other provisional requirements set at the time of admission (see specific program requirements).

If during the provisional period the student complies with all admission requirements and is ready to move from provisional standing to regular standing, the appropriate graduate faculty will notify the office of the Registrar. A Change of Standing Form will be forwarded to the Office of the Registrar.

The provisional student must comply with all general academic requirements expected of students with regular standing such as prerequisites, and amount and quality of work. Failure to meet any of the provisional requirements will result in the student being dismissed from the graduate program. If there are extenuating circumstances, the student may appeal (see “Appeals”).

The appropriate graduate faculty will review the grades of the provisional student at the end of each term until the student completes twelve (12) credit hours or according to other terms consistent with the provisional admission requirements. A student may remain on provisional standing for only twelve (12) credit hours unless special circumstances exist and permission for an extension is given by the appropriate program chair, director, or coordinator.

Regular Standing Student 

Students who intend to obtain a master’s or doctoral degree, and who have met all admission requirements without reservation, are classified as regular standing. Only those students who have regular standing are eligible for institutional or federal financial aid and may become candidates for a master’s or doctoral degree.

Students Seeking a Second Graduate Degree  

Each degree (applies to master’s or doctoral level) must be a minimum of 30 unique hours, subject to the following conditions:

  • Both degrees are completed within the time allowed.

  • Written approval from the second graduate program, or in the case of concurrent degrees, from both graduate programs.

Confidentiality of Student Records (FERPA)

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) (20 U.S.C. § 1232g; 34 CFR Part 99) is a Federal law that protects the privacy of student education records. The law applies to all schools that receive funds under an applicable program of the U.S. Department of Education.

FERPA gives parents certain rights with respect to their children’s education records. These rights transfer to the student when he or she reaches the age of 18 or attends a school beyond the high school level. Students to whom the rights have transferred are “eligible students.”

  • Eligible students have the right to inspect and review their education records maintained by Southeastern University. SEU is not required to provide copies of records unless, for reasons such as great distance, it is impossible for parents or eligible students to review the records.

  • Eligible students have the right to request that SEU correct records which they believe to be inaccurate or misleading.

  • Generally, SEU must have written permission from the student in order to release any information from a student’s education record. However, FERPA allows schools to disclose those records, without consent, to the following parties or under the following conditions (34 CFR § 99.31):

    • School officials with legitimate educational interest;

    • Other schools to which a student is transferring;

    • Specified officials for audit or evaluation purposes;

    • Appropriate parties in connection with financial aid to a student;

    • Organizations conducting certain studies for or on behalf of the school;

    • Accrediting organizations;

    • To comply with a judicial order or lawfully issued subpoena;

    • Appropriate officials in cases of health and safety emergencies; and

    • State and local authorities, within a juvenile justice system, pursuant to specific State law.

Schools may disclose, without consent, “directory” information such as a student’s name, address, telephone number, date and place of birth, honors and awards, and dates of attendance. SEU notifies students annually of their rights under FERPA.

Credit Hours

Definition of Credit Hour 

One credit hour will be awarded for a minimum of 750 minutes (50-minute class x 15 weeks) of formalized instruction that typically requires students to work on out-of-class assignments for an average of twice the amount of time as the amount of formalized instruction (1,500 minutes). It is acknowledged that formalized instruction may take place in a variety of modes.

While awarding of credit hours typically occurs for instruction delivered in accordance with an institution’s standard calendar, it may also occur for instruction that may not follow the typical pattern, if the criteria for awarding such credit is met. The expectation of contact time inside the classroom and student effort outside the classroom is the same in all formats of a course whether it be fully online, a hybrid, face-to-face contact with some content delivered by electronic means, or one delivered in lecture or seminar format. Courses that have less structured classroom schedules, such as research seminars, independent studies, internships, practicums, or any other academic work leading to the award of credit hours, should clearly state learning objectives, expected outcomes, and workload expectations that meet the standards set forth above.

This credit hour policy applies to all courses at all levels (graduate, professional, and undergraduate) that award academic credit (i.e. any course that appears on an official transcript issued by the University) regardless of the mode of delivery including, but not limited to, self-paced, online, hybrid, lecture, seminar, and laboratory. Academic units are responsible for ensuring that credit hours are awarded only for work that meets the requirements outlined in this policy.

Degree Requirements (See Programs of Study)

See Programs of Study for specific degree requirements in this catalog for each graduate degree program.

Enrollment Information

Active Status

Students must maintain active status in a degree program. A student is considered active when registered for one or more courses each semester. If a student neglects to maintain active status for a full semester (fall or spring), the student will automatically be exited from the program. If a student who has been exited from the program for not maintaining an active status desires to resume coursework, the student will be required to reapply through Admission and gain approval from the program coordinator prior to re-enrollment.

Active Status during the Dissertation/Capstone Phase

Once a student enters the dissertation/capstone phase, the student must maintain continuous enrollment as defined by the program of study.

Course Load

Course Load: Master’s Level

The normal academic load is 6-9 hours per semester. Students must not register for more than 12 hours per semester except with the graduate coordinator’s approval. This exception is typically granted only for intensive scheduled courses that do not conflict with the schedule of other courses. This restriction includes any coursework taken at other institutions.

Course Load: Doctoral Level

The normal academic load is 6 hours per semester prior to the dissertation/capstone phase. Upon entering the dissertation/capstone phase, students must take the minimum number of credits required to maintain continuous enrollment as defined by the program of study. Students must not register for more than 6 hours per semester except with the program coordinator’s approval.

Directed Study 

In extenuating, qualifying circumstances, a student may apply to take a course as a Directed Study through the Office of the Registrar. Directed Study must be approved by the student’s academic advisor, the instructor for the course, the program coordinator and dean, and the provost prior to registration. Directed Study forms must be submitted by the add/drop deadline for the term in which is being requested in order to be considered for enrollment.

The following policies apply to Directed Study registration:

  1. Registration for Directed Study must be completed during the regular registration period as stated in the University calendar.

  2. Directed Study courses must be completed within one semester or term. 

  3. The regular grading scale applies to courses completed by Directed Study.

  4. The following additional conditions must be met for a Directed Study requested in a fall or spring semester.

    1. The student has an unavoidable scheduling conflict with another course.   

    2. The course is required to complete the degree program and there is no available course substitution. 

    3. The course cannot be taken in a later semester.

  5. Directed Study is restricted by faculty availability and approval is not guaranteed.

  6. Directed Study may be utilized to pursue an area of study that can be individually designed by the professor in collaboration with the student.

  7. The professor and the student should not proceed with the course of study until the registration is approved, entered, and reflected on the student’s official course schedule.

Drop/Add Procedure

The drop/add period is the first week of every academic term. Drop/add deadlines are published in the academic calendar and in the course syllabus.  Students may add, drop, or make changes to their class schedule during this period. Students should contact their program chair, director, coordinator, or academic advisor prior to making a scheduling change; however, the student is ultimately responsible for his or her educational choices. 

The web registration permission will be inactivated at 11:59 p.m. EST on the last day of the drop/add period. Failure to attend class or to drop the course via your web access may result in the removal from the course or recording of F or WF grades. Students are required to complete the SEU Student Acknowledgement to access the content within the course by the drop/add deadline. Students who do not complete the SEU Student Acknowledgement may be removed from the course. This does not absolve the student from the responsibility to drop from the class. The student will be financially responsible for every class on their schedule after the drop/add period closes. Technical difficulties on the final day of the drop/add period do not absolve the student from responsibility.

Dropped course(s) will not appear on any permanent academic record and a full tuition refund is granted within this period. Once the drop/add period ends, no additional course changes are permitted other than official withdrawal.

Course Registration Appeals

See “Appeals” section

Registration

Open registration dates for each term are identified on the academic calendar, and are communicated with students via university email. Students must complete course registration for the semester before the end of the drop/add period. Late registration and changes of classes are permitted through the drop/add period of each semester. Students considering late registration should contact their program coordinator for program-specific details. 

All tuition and fees for the semester must be paid by the drop/add deadline unless other arrangements have been made. Financial arrangements are complete only when the student has reached an agreement with Accounts Receivables of the Business Office via method of payment. This is in regards but not limited to payment plan, payment in full or an agreed arrangement of total cost owed.  In the event that a student does not comply with financial obligations owed, a financial hold is placed on the student account.  This hold prevents registration for continued enrollment until the account balance is paid.

 

Semester Continuance Policy

A student may occasionally have an issue or life event that prohibits him/her from finishing a semester successfully within the 16 week semester or 8 week term. This Semester Continuance Policy is designed to assist a student in completing a semester of courses successfully by extending the deadline for a specified time in order to complete required coursework.

In order to be granted a semester continuance, a student must have successfully completed 60% of the course or courses, which is 9 weeks of a 16 week semester or 5 weeks of an 8 week term, with satisfactory progress in each course under consideration for an extension of the coursework deadline. Further, the request to receive a semester continuance must be made by the student no later than one week after the end of a semester/term.

Requests for semester continuances are submitted to the Director of Academic and Auxiliary Services at 863-667-5041 or at lcbrown@seu.edu. Submission of medical or other appropriate documentation will be required. If the student has not yet completed 60% of the course work, it will be recommended that the student withdraw from the course. Depending on the situation and the amount of time that has been spent so far in the course or courses, a written appeal to drop the course or courses and financial charges or proration of charges will be considered. The written appeal must be from the student rather than the parent. The appeal will be reviewed by the Registrar. Southeastern University is under no obligation to drop charges for any course that has been attempted past the drop/add deadline.  

Professors of each course under consideration for an extension of the deadline will be consulted. The extension will be determined and documented in writing with a definitive list of expectations and the new deadline for all assignments to be submitted. Failure to finish the course work by the new deadline will result in the grade earned by the student.  Again, if satisfactory progress has not been made in a course at the point of the need for continuance, the professor and the Director of Academic and Auxiliary Services will recommend the student withdraw from the course. A grade of W will be posted, which does not impact the GPA. The student may appeal to have a late withdrawal granted after the 60% mark has passed.  Arrangements and notifications to Housing, Financial Aid and other pertinent departments of the university must be made by the student.

Communication with parents or family members may take place as needed while guarding specific student academic records, based on the FERPA authorization that the student has made or not made. Protected information may include the courses in which the student is enrolled.

The coursework to be completed by the student will be determined by each professor based on the number of weeks that have passed and the progress made in each course. Every consideration should be given in order to assist the student to finish the course successfully within the guidelines described in the policy. The requirements for completion of the course will not be reduced or waived.

After the Director of Academic and Auxiliary Services has determined a course of action based on the feedback from professors or the Registrar, the Semester Continuance Policy will be forwarded to the student. Professors will be notified that the semester/term has been extended for the student with a definitive deadline for all work to be submitted.

The following points should be understood and communicated to the student:

  • A shorter extension will result in better outcomes. Financial aid for future semesters is impacted by having Incompletes in courses when a new semester begins. If the work can be completed within 30 days, agree to that time frame; however, the student may be given up to one full semester to complete all course work.

  • The student must be advised that if the deadline is not met for all coursework, the grade earned will be issued.

  • Professors may not be accessible in the summer because it is not a recognized semester. An agreement should be made in advance as to when the professor will be available.

The Director of Academic and Auxiliary Services will set a reminder to follow up on the student’s progress in courses by contacting the student and the professors, as needed. Follow-up attempts and outcomes will be documented in the student’s record.

.

Medical Reasons

Semester continuation may be necessary because of medical reasons.  Reasons can be varied and unexpected. Various triggers for continuation may be identified as medical, such as an accident resulting in an injury or hospitalization due to an unexpected illness or emotional and psychological issues due to personal trauma or criminal attack.  A requested semester continuation for any of the above listed reasons will be coordinated by the Director of Academic and Auxiliary Services in collaboration with the department chair, director, or coordinator.

 

Non-Medical Reasons

Semester continuation may be necessary because of non-medical reasons, such as the death or serious illness of an immediate family member.

Procedure to Obtain Semester Continuance

The coursework to be completed by the student will be determined by each professor based on the number of weeks that have passed and the progress made so far in each course. Every consideration should be given to assist the student to finish each course successfully within the guidelines described in the policy. The requirements for completion of the course will not be reduced or waived.

Once the Director of Academic and Auxiliary Services has determined a course of action based on the feedback from professors or the Registrar, Semester Continuance forms will be signed by the student. Professors will be notified that the semester or term has been extended for the student with a definitive submission deadline for all work.

The following points should be understood and communicated to the student:

  1. A shorter extension will result in better outcomes. Financial aid for future semesters is impacted by having Incomplete (“I”) grades in courses when a new semester or term begins. If the work can be completed within 30 days, agree to that time frame; however, the student may be given up to one full semester (for 16-week courses) or term (for 8-week courses) to complete all course work.

  2. The student must be advised that if the deadline is not met for all coursework, the grade earned will be issued. The grade for non-completion will be F.

  3. The agreement should be made in advance as to when the professor will be available.

The Director of Academic and Auxiliary Services will set a reminder to follow up on the student’s progress in courses by contacting the student and the professors, as needed. Follow-up attempts and outcomes will be documented in the student’s record.

For further details on withdrawal procedures, please refer to the Withdrawals section.

Transient Credit

Transient Enrollments – General Policy (Master’s Degree Only)

Transient enrollment assumes that a degree seeking student (master’s degree level only) is enrolled at a second school with the intention of transferring credits to Southeastern University. A request for a transient letter from Southeastern University to the second school is required for credits to be considered for transfer.

Students enrolled at Southeastern University must submit the transient letter to the program coordinator for approval 30 days prior to the enrollment at the other institution. Transient letters are issued by the Office of the Registrar. Transient and transfer hours combined are typically limited to 25% of the credit hours required for degree completion in master’s degree programs. However, upon evaluation of special circumstances, a program coordinator, in collaboration with the registrar, may approve transfer credits in any amount up to 50% of the total credits required for completion of the degree in that program. 

Southeastern University places a maximum on the number of course hours for which students may enroll during any term to discourage students from overextending themselves. Students should pursue coursework outside of Southeastern University only with notice and approval by the graduate coordinator for their SEU program. This provision is only meant to limit students to the maximum number of credit hours allowed at SEU in all concurrent coursework regardless of institution and does not increase the residency requirement at SEU. Students found to have enrolled beyond the maximum permitted at all institutions may be suspended for the remainder of the semester or until coursework at other institutions has concluded, and the student has requested re-enrollment and agreed to refrain from enrolling in more than the maximum number of hours permitted by the SEU graduate degree program. 

Some programs do not allow transient credit. Refer to program-specific policies.

Transient credit – Master’s Level

Transient approval is required prior to enrolling in coursework elsewhere to be transferred to SEU. The student should project his/her own timeframe to complete the program of choice based on the pace at which the student chooses to advance in the program. Students employed full-time are encouraged to carefully consider limiting their course load during any semester or term. (Pro-rated financial aid may be available for part-time students. Contact Student Financial Services for details).

Transient credit - Doctoral level

No transient credit is accepted at the doctoral level.

General Policies

Academic Year

Each graduate program follows the general SEU Academic Calendar, but exact delivery methods, dates, and times vary by program. 

The general academic policies and procedures presented below are applicable to all Southeastern University graduate students. Please refer to the information in the Programs of Study section for the program of choice or supplemental program manuals to view program-specific guidelines and requirements.

Each student is responsible to follow the program schedule for his or her graduate program, as advised by the Program Coordinator. The University reserves the right to regulate the number of students in a class and to cancel any class with insufficient enrollment to justify its continuance. In registering for specific courses, students are expected to abide by prerequisites.

Class Attendance 

When enrolled in on-campus classes, please be aware that attendance and participation are mandatory. Students must make preparation in their schedules and travel arrangements (if applicable) to regularly attend classes. 

In an online environment, classroom attendance is reflected through regular log-ins, participation in discussion forums, and timely submission of course assignments.

Prolonged and/or unusual absences are covered by the Semester Continuance Policy. Any extended absences not covered by the Semester Continuance Policy may be appealed to the Provost by either the professor or the student.

Legal Name Changes 

Students, employees, and former students/alumni may request a name or address change by completing the required Name and Address Change Request Form located on JICS. Once there, click on “Forms” and then “General Forms.”  A color copy of your Social Security Card, Driver’s License, Federal ID Card, or Passport indicating the new name will be required.

Veterans Education Benefits 

Southeastern University is approved by the State Approving Agency of the State of Florida and California for the education and training of veterans and eligible dependents under public laws in effect. Students who are eligible for educational benefits under any Veterans Administration program should first apply for a Certificate of Eligibility on evabenefits.va.gov and provide a copy of the form to the Student Financial Services Office.   All information, instructions, and procedures are provided on the website.

Students must complete a VA Invoicing Request each year for Southeastern University to provide enrollment certification to the Veterans Administration. Students must be enrolled for 6 or more semester hours (per 16 week semester) to be eligible for full-time benefits. Educational Benefits are paid based on the enrollment dates of each session or semester. For example: Eight Week courses are paid at the start of each term. These semester hours do vary and differ for our non-traditional student population. ​A student cannot receive educational benefits for audit courses. VA regulations require that students take courses that are applicable to their degree program, make satisfactory progress toward their degree, and maintain satisfactory attendance for the degree program as stated in the Standard of Progress. Students using VA educational benefits are required to submit all transcripts from prior higher ed institutions for evaluation of course credit. Veterans’ benefits will be terminated for students who fail to make satisfactory progress or receive dismissal for academic or disciplinary reasons.

Veterans’ benefits will be terminated for students who fail to make satisfactory progress, or who receive dismissal for academic or disciplinary reasons.

Enrollment certification is completed after the drop/add period of each term or semester, whichever is applicable to a student’s delivery.  The student is responsible for notifying the certifying official at Southeastern University of any enrollment changes such as withdrawal and/or dropped courses or termination of enrollment. The VA student is responsible for any overpayment of benefits resulting from a change in enrollment. The VA toll-free number is 1-888-GIBILL1 (888-442-4551). 

Southeastern University VA Representative(s):

Natalie Wolfe, VA Certifying Official/Associate Director of SFS (nlwolfe@seu.edu)

Joshua Breed, VA Certifying Official/Associate Director of SFS (jabreed@seu.edu)

Academic Policies: Syllabi

Grading Scale

Grade Letter Grade Percentage
A 94 to 100%
A- (minus) 90% to 93%
B+ 87% to 89%
B 84% to 86%
B- (minus) 80% to 83%
C+ 77% to 79%
C 74% to 76%
C- (minus) 70% to 73%
D+ 67% to 69%
D 64% to 66%
D- (minus) 60% to 63%
F 0% to 59%

 

Title IX Statement

Southeastern University is committed to creating an environment for every student to thrive academically spiritually and socially. An aspect of creating this culture is providing avenues for students to discuss and report any activity that may compromise this commitment.

 

Under a federal law known as Title IX, “no person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving federal financial assistance” (Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972).

While students should feel comfortable approaching faculty with issues they may be struggling with or concerns they may be having, students should know that all faculty and staff are required to report certain information about Sexual Misconduct and certain crimes to the University’s administration, in order to help keep the University community safe and to connect students to all of the resources and reporting options that are available.

 

For example, if you inform faculty or staff (in private or during class discussions) of an incident of Sexual Misconduct, that individual will keep the information as private as possible but is required to bring it to the attention of the institution’s Title IX Office. If a student would like to talk to the Title IX office directly, they can do so by e-mail at smpowell@seu.edu, by phone at 863-667-5236, or in person at Pansler U210. For more information about Title IX reporting options at Southeastern, please go to https://www.seu.edu/about-southeastern- university/title-ix/.

If you are struggling with an issue that is traumatic, unusually stressful, or results in disruptive behavior, faculty and staff will likely inform the Care Team. If students would like to reach out directly to the Care Team for assistance, they can do so at the Campus Counseling Center (https://my.seu.edu/services/counseling-health-

wellness-services/campus-counseling-services/) located in Esperanza 303, by phone at 863-667-5205, or by e-mail at care@seu.edu.

 

Student Services

Student Conduct:

The office of Student Conduct believes that every student has a journey. That journey is either taken alone or with others. When you enter the disciplinary process, we assess your individual situation and connect you with resources through our campus and outside the community so that they too, may journey alongside you. 

P: (863)667-5486 E: studentconduct@seu.edu

 

Safety & Security:

Campus security officers are available at the office 24 hours a day, seven days a week. You can obtain a parking permit, report suspicious behavior or request an escort across campus after dark. Questions about parking violations should be directed to this office.

P: (863)667-5190 E: security@seu.edu

 

Retention:

The Office of Student Success and Retention is committed to guiding and supporting students who may be navigating a variety of life transitions impacting their ability to continue their studies at Southeastern University.

P: (863)667-5668 E:  retention@seu.edu

 

ADA:

Academic and Auxiliary Services (ADA) offers a variety of support services to increase students’ academic success

P: (863)667-5286 E: adaservices@seu.edu

 

ACE:

The goal of ACE is to help you succeed academically and to enrich your learning experience. ACE personally invites you to come receive encouragement and acquire the tools you need to maximize your ability as a student at Southeastern.

P: (863)667-5137 E: ace@seu.edu

 

Class Participation

Students are required to log in regularly to the course. The instructor will monitor student activity and participation through MyFIRE. Students are also required to participate in all class activities such as discussion board posts and responses, chat, or conference sessions, and group projects.

 

Official Email

You are expected to check your SEU webmail account daily during the course term. All written correspondence between instructor and student must be handled through the SEU email system.

 

MyFIRE Use

Please, make it a habit to always check your MyFIRE account as messages; assignments, grades, and other important related materials may be posted. It is the student’s responsibility to check grades and notify your instructor

if you have questions.

 

Technical Difficulties

Southeastern University is committed to providing a reliable online course system to all users. However, in the event of an unexpected server outage or any unusual technical difficulty that prevents students from completing a time-sensitive activity or assessment, students should report any problems to the instructor and also contact SEU’s 24x7 Support Center via the various links provided on every homepage (available options: chat, email, phone). Be sure your computer system complies with all SEU Technical Requirements. These requirements are listed within MyFIRE and a Browser Checker is provided under the Need Help? drop-down to ensure the browser you are using is compatible with MyFIRE.

 

Technical Support

If you have questions or need assistance, you can reach out to our 24/7 Support Center at 1-888-889-6599 or click here to submit a support ticket via email.

Note: Email response is within 24 hours.

 

If immediate assistance is required, please contact support via phone/chat. To chat LIVE! with a Support Representative, click here.

 

Disability Statement

Southeastern University is committed to the provision of reasonable accommodations for all students with learning and/or physical disabilities, as defined in Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and with the American with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990. This legislation guarantees educational rights for the physically and learning disabled.

Students with medical diagnoses that qualify them for accommodations must contact ADA services at (863) 667-5283, or e-mail ADAservices@seu.edu. Once medical documentation is provided and confidential consultation is completed, the student will then be responsible to provide the director of academic and auxiliary services with a list of his or her current professors and their e-mails.

Contact with the Office of Academic and Auxiliary Services is mandatory for each new semester. For more information, visit the SEU students with disabilities page on our website.

 

Course Evaluation

In order to help us to assess the effectiveness of our courses and instructors, please complete the course evaluation. If you receive a course evaluation for this course, you are required to complete it.

 

Official Withdrawal

To officially withdraw from this course please contact the registrar’s office. 

 

Netiquette

General Rules of Netiquette:

• Make your messages easier to read by making your paragraphs short and to the point.

• DO NOT SHOUT BY TYPING IN ALL CAPS.

• Utilize humor inappropriate forms. Avoid hostile, abusive, libelous, or rude comments. No vulgar, sexist, racist, biased, or other objectionable languages will be tolerated.

• Reinforce others in the course (e.g., “Good presentation!” or “Thanks for the feedback.”). Valid criticism is acceptably expressed in the form of thoughtful alternatives. Do not insult or “flame” others.

• Think twice and send once. The old carpenter adage to measure twice and cut once holds great value here. Once you send something not well-thought-out you will find it difficult and time-consuming to recover. Think about what you want the group and the professor to think about you.

• Use spell-check and grammar-check. The little errors commonly accepted in email or text messaging with friends and family are distracting and inappropriate in a college discussion forum.

• In an online discussion forum, a debate is welcome, but be tactful in responding to others. Remember that there’s a person (or a whole class) at the receiving end of your post.

• If you quote a previous post (by using the reply function for example), quote only enough to make your own point

• If you want to get in touch with only one person in the class, send a message to that individual’s e-mail address, not to the entire discussion list.

 

Grades and Quality Points

The following scale of letter grades is used in recording a student’s academic progress:

Explanation

Grade

Explanation

Quality Points

Outstanding

(90-100)

A

Superior performance in all aspects of the course with work exemplifying the highest quality-Unquestionably prepared for subsequent courses in field.

4.00

A-

Superior performance in most aspects of the course; high-quality work in the remainder-Unquestionably prepared for subsequent courses in field.

3.67

Above average

(80-89)

B+

High-quality performance in all or most aspects of the course-Very good chance of success in subsequent courses in field.

3.33

B

High-quality performance in some of the courses; satisfactory performance in the remainder-Good chance of success in subsequent courses in field.

3.00

B-

Satisfactory performance in the course-Evidence of sufficient learning to succeed in subsequent courses in field.

2.67

Average

(70-79)

C+

Satisfactory performance in most of the course, with the remainder being somewhat substandard-Evidence of sufficient learning to succeed in subsequent courses in field with effort.

2.33

C

Evidence of some learning but the generally marginal performance-Marginal chance of success in subsequent courses in field.

2.00

C-

Minimal learning and substandard performance throughout the course-Doubtful chance of success in subsequent courses

1.67

Below Average

(60-69)

D+

Minimal learning and low-quality performance throughout the course-Doubtful chance of success in subsequent courses

1.33

D

Very minimal learning and very low-quality performance in all aspects of the course-Highly doubtful chance of success in subsequent courses in field.

1.00

D-

Little evidence of learning-Poor performance in all aspects of the course-Almost totally unprepared for subsequent courses in field.

0.67

No credit

(0-59)

F

Failure to meet requirements of the course-Unprepared for subsequent courses in field.

0.00

No credit

W

Course Withdrawal

N/A

No credit

WD

College Withdrawal

N/A

No credit

WF

Administrative Withdrawal

N/A

No credit

I

Incomplete

N/A

No credit

P

Pass

N/A

No credit

S

Satisfactory

N/A

Credit

CR

Credit

N/A

No credit

NC

No Credit

N/A

No credit

IP

In Progress

N/A

 

Calculating Grand Point Averages

Quality points

Quality points are the numerical equivalent of the letter grades and are assigned for each credit hour earned as indicated by the above scale. For example, a three-credit hour course with an earned “A” grade equals 12 quality points. In determining a grade point average (GPA): total number of quality points earned divided by total number of semester hours attempted for which quality point values are assigned = GPA.

Grades for all attempted courses will remain on the student’s permanent record. If a course is repeated, the highest of the grades will be computed in the student’s GPA. Courses (excluding dissertation/capstone courses) may be repeated only once. The comprehensive exam at the doctoral level may not be repeated. Students who wish to appeal a grade must do so within the immediate succeeding semester. Otherwise, the recorded grade is permanent and can be changed only by repeating the course. No grades, GPA, or test scores may be changed or added after the degree and diploma are awarded.

Grade Forgiveness Policy 

Graduate students must repeat courses in which they do not obtain at least a “C-” letter grade. If a student receives more than two “C” grades (C+, C, or C-) during their program, they must repeat those courses over the allowable two. The higher-grade will be the grade that contributes toward the cumulative grade point average. The original grade for the repeated course will remain on the student’s transcript, even after the course has been repeated. A course may be repeated only once (the comprehensive exam in doctoral programs may not be repeated).

Incomplete Grades 

An “I” grade indicates incomplete course work and may be recorded when a student is passing but cannot complete the course due to illness or a serious personal emergency. In order to be granted an incomplete grade, a student must have successfully completed 60% of the course, which is 9 weeks of a 15 week term or 5 weeks of an 8 week term, with satisfactory progress.  The student is required to initiate consultation with the professor and the Program Coordinator or Dean of the college by filing a written request for an “I” grade. Supporting documentation must accompany the written request. An “I” may be recorded for a maximum of one semester and is not computed in the student’s GPA. If an “I” is not changed by the end of the immediately succeeding semester, the grade automatically converts to an “F” and is recorded on the student’s permanent record. An “F” grade is computed in the GPA. Students should be aware that an incomplete course may hinder the award of financial aid in a subsequent semester.

Repeating Courses Policy 

In order to maintain the minimum GPA to graduate, students may repeat a course. A graduate course in which a grade of C-, C, or C+ was earned may be repeated one time; a student must repeat any graduate course taken for which a grade of D-, D, D+ or F was earned. A course may be repeated only once. While a course may only be repeated once for a grade, if a student withdraws from a repeated course, the course may be taken again. In situations where the course needing to be repeated is no longer available or offered, a similar course may be substituted with the approval of the dean of the college and the registrar. However, the student’s ability to retake a course may be limited by curricular changes or academic policy changes. Regardless of the GPA, a student will not be allowed to graduate with a final grade of less than a C- in any course. The student must understand that courses are usually offered in a specific sequence; therefore, any repetition of a course may result in a significant delay in the completion of the student’s degree program. Directed Study may not be used to repeat a course. 

See Dissertation Progression Policy in your program of study for courses related to dissertations and capstone projects.

Graduation

Policy

Students in select graduate programs with six or fewer credit hours of course work remaining towards a degree program may apply to participate in the graduation ceremony. Participation in the commencement ceremony with remaining academic degree requirements outstanding will inhibit the diploma from being released. All academic requirements must be met before the diploma is issued. If requirements are not met within one semester following participation in the commencement ceremony, the student must reapply for admission under the current degree catalog requirements. This may alter the remaining requirements needed to graduate.

Students have up to one year from graduation to complete a certification test, as applicable. Please contact the Office of the Registrar when all outstanding requirements are completed so the degree can be conferred with the certification noted, and the diploma awarded.

An important note about certification: the degree, once awarded, cannot be changed, added to, or altered in any way.  Students who want the degree conferred prior to completing certification requirements will not be eligible to add the certification to the academic transcript at a later date.

The graduating student’s account balance must be paid in full prior to receiving a diploma or official transcript.  The diploma or transcript will not be released until the student account balance is paid in full, including all tuition and fees. 

Students must meet all academic and institutional requirements to graduate. Graduation Advisors in the Office of Academic Advising confirm that all requirements are met prior to degree conferral and diploma release.

Application for Graduation

Degree requirements are based on the catalog in effect at the time the student first enrolls as a degree-seeking student. Students may elect to complete the requirements in effect at the time of first enrollment as a degree-seeking student, or they may elect to complete the requirements of the current catalog. The degree requirements of the current catalog will be applied to all students who are readmitted to degree-seeking status after an absence.

A degree candidate must file an application for graduation through the online student portal by the deadline provided by the Office of the Registrar. A graduation application fee will be incurred and must be paid prior to graduation. Applications for graduation are available in the Office of the Registrar.

If a student applies for graduation and pays the graduation fee, but subsequently fails to meet degree requirements, a new application must be submitted by the deadline for the semester or term in which the degree requirements are completed. The original graduation fee will be applied to the new application.

Candidates must clear all incomplete grades in courses required for graduation and provide transcripts of all transferred coursework needed for graduation at least eight weeks prior to the end of the semester or term of graduation.

A satisfactory program audit and exit and/or comprehensive exam scores must be on file with the Office of the Registrar, all financial obligations with the University must be satisfied, and all degree program requirements must be met prior to degree conferral. A student on academic probation or otherwise academically deficient will not be eligible to apply for the graduation until the condition of probation or deficiency is resolved and the student is in good standing.

Application for Graduation Process

  1. Submit an Application for Graduation form in the online student portal (JICS) prior to the deadlines listed in JICS.
  2. After the add/drop period of the semester the student applies to graduate, they will be reviewed by the Office of Academic Advising.  A second review will be completed by the program coordinator or department chair to confirm the student is eligible for graduation. 
  3. The student’s graduation status will be indicated in JICS on the Graduation Tab once the 2nd review is complete.  

NOTE: A student is not classified as a candidate for graduation until the graduation application has been received, and an official audit is completed and approved by the Office of Academic Advising and the Program Coordinator/ Department Chair.

Graduation Degree Audit Policy 

Students who have earned the appropriate number of credit hours and are within one semester of graduation must file an Application for Graduation form with the Office of the Registrar. An approved Graduation Degree Audit signed by the student’s advisor, program chair, director, or coordinator, or college dean (per department policy) must be completed and filed with the Registrar prior to the deadline published by the Registrar.

A degree audit is an outline of degree requirements based on a specific catalog year that enables the student and his/her advisor to assess the student’s academic progress and additional coursework needed to fulfill the graduation requirements. An audit is a valuable tool in guiding students in the right direction towards academic planning, course selection, and degree completion.

Graduation Requirements

To receive a graduate degree from Southeastern University, students must meet the minimum graduation requirements set forth by the University along with specific requirements established by the degree program. Each individual degree may specify additional requirements; the University Catalog lists these requirements under the respective degree programs.

The student is responsible to know and comply with the regulations and requirements contained in the catalog(s). Graduate academic advisors are helpful in preparing degree plans and assisting students in their degree progress, but the primary responsibility is the student’s. The following are the minimum requirements for all programs:

1.        Completion of an approved program of study (programs are described in Programs of Study)

2.        For master’s degree: completion of all undergraduate prerequisites or corequisites as applicable to the program of study with a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.0.

3.        Successful completion of required hours for the chosen graduate program with a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.00 on a 4.00 scale computed on all graduate work taken at Southeastern University or transferred. 

1.        No course with a grade of less than B (3.0) will be accepted as transfer credit. 

2.        Any course in which a grade of C- or less was received may be repeated no more than one time for grade forgiveness.

4.        Completion of all degree requirements, which were in effect at the time of the student’s initial entrance into the program or which are currently in effect – within a period of seven years for master’s programs and six years for doctoral programs.

5.        Approval by the graduate faculty for graduation as certified by the dean of the college in which the program is offered by completion of an approved Graduation Degree Audit and filing the audit report with the Registrar.

6.        Discharge of all financial obligations to the University. All financial holds must be cleared.

7.        The filing of all necessary forms including the Application for Graduation in accordance with the timetable provided in the program schedule.

8.        For master’s degrees: successful completion of the graduate program’s comprehensive examination(s), if any. These examinations are taken in the final semester or term of the program.

9.        Successful completion of the graduate program’s specific thesis, dissertation, or capstone project requirements, if any, including the successful completion of the oral defense of the thesis, dissertation, or project, if required.

  1. 10. Successful completion of the residency requirement, if required.

Hooding and Commencement

Graduates will be hooded at the Commencement service, which is held at the end of the fall and spring semesters of each academic year. Each degree program has its own policies about whether a student may participate in the commencement ceremony with any outstanding course requirements remaining.

Adornment

The graduate hood is the only graduation adornment that graduates will be permitted to wear at official graduation ceremonies of Southeastern University. There are no honor cords or medallions for students in graduate programs. Graduation stoles, decorations, or other adornment are not permitted other than appropriate graduation hoods presented by the student’s college at commencement. 

Institutional Review Board

Purpose 

The Southeastern University Institutional Review Board (SEU IRB) was established to safeguard human subjects in research by protecting their rights and promoting the ethical and responsible treatment of research subjects. SEU IRB policy requires that all research involving human subjects conducted under the auspices of SEU must be reviewed and approved by the IRB before the data-gathering phase may commence. The SEU IRB upholds and applies the ethical principles of The Belmont Report and operates in compliance with federal law outlined in the Code of Federal Regulations Title 45 Part 46 (45 CFR 46) in compliance with state laws and college policies.

All research involving human subjects that is conducted at or sponsored by Southeastern University (SEU), whether funded or unfunded and whether conducted by SEU faculty or others, must comply with applicable policies for the protection of human subjects. Under a formal assurance made by SEU and approved by the federal Office for Human Research Protections (OHRP), and per federal regulations, the Institutional Review Board (IRB) is given broad authority and wide-ranging responsibilities for ensuring the ethical and legal conduct of human subjects research at SEU. The IRB follows widely accepted ethical principles, legally binding federal regulations, campus policies, procedures, and practices, and other guidelines in carrying out this important responsibility. 

The SEU IRB, while performing administrative functions of the IRB, also serves as the official oversight office for human subjects research. The chair of the IRB is the central point of contact for investigators, research subjects, and regulatory agencies. The IRB Office is responsible for organizing and documenting the IRB review process, monitoring research regulations, producing educational programs and materials for faculty and staff, and providing assurance that SEU is in compliance with federal, state, and campus policies. The IRB Chair is appointed by the office of the university Provost. The Chair of the IRB is the federally authorized institutional official charged with overseeing human subjects research and IRB functions at SEU. 

This IRB policy applies to any human subjects research activity that is conducted by any SEU employee or agent, or otherwise conducted at or sponsored by SEU, irrespective of the risks, scope, funding, or location of the research. The policy is applicable to research involving living human beings whose physical, emotional, or behavioral conditions, responses, speech, tissues, or fluids are investigated for research purposes. It is applicable to the use of interviews, tests, observations, and inquiries designed to elicit or obtain nonpublic information about individuals or groups. It also applies to the study of existing records where the identity of individuals is known or could be readily ascertained – if the information was provided by the individual(s) under the reasonable expectation that it would not be made public (e.g., a medical record). 

The IRB policy is applicable to research undertaken on either a large or small scale, whether it is externally funded, internally funded, or not funded, regardless of where it occurs. Pilot projects, student research projects, student theses, and independent study projects must follow this policy if they involve human subjects. 

Southeastern University recognizes its basic responsibility to ensure the protection of human subjects. To this end, it has adopted the following statement of policy applicable to all research involving human subjects that is conducted at or sponsored by the SEU or conducted by any SEU employee or agent: 

1.        Anyone responsible for such research must: 

  1. adhere to the principles of respect for persons, beneficence, and justice embodied in the Belmont Report, a statement of basic ethical principles governing research involving human subjects issued by the National Commission for the Protection of Human Subjects in 1978; 
  2. adhere to all SEU policies and procedures related to human subjects research; the policy and IRB Submissions can be downloaded from https://www.seu.edu/irb/ 
  3. adhere to the policies, principles, and procedures set forth in the SEU’s Federalwide Assurance, on file with the Chair of the IRB at SEU; and 
  4. adhere to all applicable federal, state, and local requirements for the conduct of human subjects research. 

2. The decision of human subjects to participate in research governed by this policy must meet the standards of informed consent. If children are involved as subjects and are capable of assent, their assent to participate must be solicited in addition to the consent of their parents. The decision to participate must be: 

  1. voluntary—it must occur as the result of free choice, without compulsion or obligation; 
  2.  based on full disclosure of the information needed to make an informed decision about whether to participate; and 
  3. based on the subject’s comprehension of the information provided. 

3.        The selection of research subjects must be fair. Subjects should not be selected for potentially beneficial research based on favoritism, nor should risky research be targeted to subjects who are less powerful. 

4. The procedures for recruiting subjects must protect their privacy and be reasonable in terms of their conditions or circumstances. No coercion, explicit or implicit, should be used to obtain or maintain cooperation. 

  1. Any payment made to subjects should not be so large as to constitute excessive inducement for participation. 
  2. When access to subjects is gained through cooperating institutions or individuals, prior commitments made to the subjects about confidentiality or other terms of the primary relationship should not be abridged. 

5. Risks to subjects must be minimized and should be justified by the anticipated benefits to the subject or society. 

6. Adequate provision must be made to protect the privacy of subjects and to maintain the confidentiality of identifiable information. 

7. Proposed research involving human subjects must be reviewed by the SEU Institutional Review Board (IRB). 

8. Researchers must submit the Request for IRB Review of Research Involving Human Subjects form to the IRB for review and approval. 

9. Prior to submitting a proposal to the IRB, the Responsible Principal Investigator [RPI] and all investigators must complete the tutorial on research with human subjects located at https://www.seu.edu/irb/citi-training. A copy of the completion certificate must be included with the IRB 1 for non-exempt research or the IRB E for exempt research. 

10. Approval for conducting research with human subjects must be obtained prior to any involvement of subjects. All approved projects must be periodically re-evaluated. 

11. If the researcher is a student, his or her department chair or research advisor will be responsible for reviewing the exempt proposal and submitting it as an electronic copy and hard copy to the Chair of the IRB for Human Participants. The proposal should be submitted at least 2 weeks prior to the proposed beginning of the study. Researchers are not authorized to proceed with the proposed study until they receive notification from the IRB Chair. 

12. This policy does not generally apply to the routine course, workshop, or curriculum development using accepted educational practices sponsored by the Southeastern University or services provided by professionals to their clients.

Composition Policy

The Institutional Review Board (IRB) at Southeastern University (SEU) will consist of a minimum of five primary voting members sufficiently qualified through experience to promote respect for its advice and counsel in safeguarding the rights and welfare of human subjects. The University will make every effort to have a diverse IRB through consideration of profession/discipline, race, ethnicity, cultural background, and gender.

Exempt Policy

Southeastern University’s policy for the Protection of Human Subjects in Research, requires that, prior to initiation of any human subjects research related activities (i.e. prior to recruitment of subjects and data collection), all research involving human beings as subjects of research, including research with human material (e.g., pathological and diagnostic specimens) obtained from living individuals, be reviewed and approved by the IRB. 

Research activities in which the only involvement of human subjects will be in one or more specific categories, which are listed in section 1.1 of the Exempt Policy, may qualify for exempt status review. Determination of exempt status must be based upon regulatory and institutional criteria and the exemption decision must be documented. Determination of exempt status must be conducted by one or more of the Permanent Members (PMs), or their designee. No investigator or department shall have the authority to make this decision. 

Exempt research must be of minimal risk to the subjects, have a sound research design, and be conducted ethically, meaning that at a minimum the principles outlined in the Belmont Report must be met. The IRB members making the exemption determination may require protections to meet these principles, including informed consent appropriate to the research, or review at a convened meeting of the IRB. No research involving, or potentially involving, prisoners as subjects may be classified as exempt under the categories listed in the Exempt policy. Refer to the Exempt policy on the SEU IRB webpage.

Expedited Policy

An expedited review procedure consists of a review of research involving human subjects by one or more of the Permanent Members (PMs) of the IRB and one or more reviewers designated by the Chair from among members of the IRB without convening a meeting of the full IRB. The IRB Chair or Co-Chair will disseminate the applications based on the experience and expertise of the respective IRB members. The categories of research that may be reviewed by the IRB through an expedited review procedure include research activities that (1) present no more than minimal risk to human subjects, and (2) involve only procedures listed in one or more of the categories authorized by 45 CFR 46.110 and listed in section 1.1 of the Expedited Policy. For more information, refer to the Expedited Policy on the SEU IRB webpage.

Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative

Completion of the appropriate training course via the Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI) Program is a prerequisite for IRB review. Students are encouraged to complete training immediately. The entire application process will be much easier if students complete the training course before working on the request for review.

Guiding Principles and Applications from The Belmont Report

Southeastern University is committed to the ethical conduct of research and has adopted the ethical standards of The Belmont Report. The principles and applications found in The Belmont Report excerpted below to provide context for understanding the need for review. The report articulates ethical principles to be applied in the human subjects research setting and explains in a general way how the principles apply.

Principle: Respect for Persons

Incorporates at least two ethical convictions: first, that individuals should be treated as autonomous agents and, second, that persons with diminished autonomy are entitled to protection. The principle of respect for persons thus divided into two separate moral requirements: the requirement to acknowledge autonomy and the requirement to protect those with diminished autonomy.

Application: Informed Consent

Respect for persons requires that subjects, to the degree, that they are capable, be given the opportunity to choose what shall or shall not happen to them. This opportunity is provided when adequate standards for informed consent are satisfied.

Principle: Beneficence

Persons are treated in an ethical manner not only by respecting their decisions and protecting them from harm but also by making efforts to secure their well-being. Such treatment falls under the principle of beneficence. The term “beneficence” is often understood to cover acts of kindness or charity that go beyond strict obligation. In this document, beneficence is understood in a stronger sense, as an obligation. Two general rules have been formulated as complementary expressions of beneficent actions in this sense: (1) do not harm and (2) maximize possible benefits and minimize possible harms.

Application: Assessment of Risks and Benefits

The assessment of risks and benefits requires a careful arrayal of relevant data, including, in some cases, alternative ways of obtaining the benefits sought in the research. Thus, the assessment presents both an opportunity and a responsibility to gather systematic and comprehensive information about the proposed research. For the investigator, it is a means to examine whether the proposed research is properly designed. For a review committee, it is a method for determining whether the risks that will be presented to subjects are justified. For prospective subjects, the assessment will assist in the determination of whether to participate. Furthermore, this benefit must outweigh the risks.

Principle: Justice Requires That People Be Treated Fairly 

Researchers should not take from research participants without giving back.

Application: Selection of Subjects

Just as the principle of respect for persons finds expression in the requirements for consent and the principle of beneficence in risk/benefit assessment, the principle of justice gives rise to moral requirements that there be fair procedures and outcomes in the selection of research subjects.

Important Factors 

Based on the principles and applications of The Belmont Report and 45 CFR 46, a wide array of factors is considered by the SEU IRB during a review of proposed research. Students will be asked to provide documentation regarding informed consent and the selection of subjects. One of the most important factors, related to the principle of beneficence, is the design or protocol of the research project. A key factor in the approval/disapproval decision by the SEU IRB is based on weighing the benefits of the research (as defined above) against the risks to participants. All research projects pose some risk of harm to participants, so the weight assigned to risk in any review is never zero. However, if the design of the research project is flawed, then hypotheses cannot be tested, research questions cannot be answered and no contribution to generalizable knowledge is possible. The benefit side of the benefit-to-reward ratio is given a weight of zero. In this circumstance, even though the risk to subjects is minimal, the proposed research will not be approved.

It is important that research proposals submitted for review clearly articulate the potential benefits of the research and provide sufficient information regarding the design of the research so that the capacity of the research to provide the benefit is established as well as that risks to subjects are clearly identified and addressed.

IRB Reviews 

The IRB reviews proposals that constitute research, as defined by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Code of Federal Regulations and The Belmont Report. Research, according to The Belmont Report, “designates an activity designed to test a hypothesis, permit conclusions to be drawn and thereby to develop or contribute to generalizable knowledge (expressed, for example, in theories, principles and statements of relationships). Research is usually described in a formal protocol that sets forth an objective and a set of procedures designed to reach that objective.” In the Code of Federal Regulations (45 CFR 46.102), research means a systematic investigation, including research development, testing, and evaluation, designed to develop or contribute to generalizable knowledge.

Human subjects, sometimes referred to as participants, are living individuals about whom an investigator or investigators (whether professional or student) in the course of research obtain (1) data through intervention or interaction with the individual or (2) identifiable private information.

Use the decision tree located on the SEU IRB website to help you determine whether your project requires an IRB review.

Levels of Review

The levels of review are exempt, expedited and full.

Level 1:

Exempt Review

Certain research projects may be exempt from review. An experienced member of the IRB will conduct a review of the Request for Exempt Review and determine if the proposed research qualifies. There are two criteria the proposed research must satisfy in order to qualify for review via exempt procedures.

  1. The research must not pose greater than a minimal risk of harm defined as the probability and magnitude of physical or psychological harm that is normally encountered in daily life or in the routine medical, dental or psychological examination of healthy persons.
  2. The research must be classified into at least one of the exempt categories defined by federal regulations and listed below.    
  • Education research
  • Surveys, interviews, educational tests, public observations (that do not involve children)
  • Studies of public officials
  • Analysis of previously collected anonymous data
  • Public benefit or service program
  • Consumer acceptance, taste, and food-quality studies

If you believe your research satisfies one of the exempt categories above, you may indicate “exempt” for the type of review requested on the application form. The IRB will review requests for exemption and decide if an exemption is warranted. If the exemption is not granted, it will be necessary to apply for an expedited or full review.

Level 2:

Expedited Review

Expedited review as defined by federal regulations allows the IRB chairperson (or an experienced member or a subcommittee of the IRB designated by the chairperson) to evaluate and approve specific types of research. Reviewers conducting an expedited review may exercise all the authority of the IRB, except that they may not disapprove a study. When a board member or subcommittee cannot approve the research under expedited review, the study is referred to the full committee for review.

In order to qualify for review via expedited procedures, two criteria must be met: (1) The research must not pose greater than minimal risk to participants, and (2) it must fall into at least one of the expedited categories defined by the federal regulations. An expedited review procedure is not applicable for research projects where identification of the subjects and/or their responses is reasonably construed to place them at risk of criminal or civil liability or be damaging to the subjects’ financial standing, employability, insurability or reputation, or be stigmatizing unless reasonable and appropriate protections will be implemented so that risks related to invasion of privacy and breach of confidentiality are no greater than minimal risk.

Federally defined expedited categories:

  • Clinical studies of drugs and medical devices only when certain conditions are met

  • Collection of blood samples by finger stick, heel stick, ear stick, or venipuncture in certain populations and within certain amounts

  • Prospective collection of biological specimens for research purposes by noninvasive means

  • Collection of data through noninvasive procedures (not involving general anesthesia or sedation) routinely employed in clinical practice, excluding procedures involving X-rays or microwaves

  • Research involving materials (data, documents, records or specimens) that have been collected or will be collected solely for non-research purposes

  • Collection of data from voice, video, digital or image recordings made for research purposes

  • Research on individual or group characteristics or behavior or research employing survey, interview, oral history, focus group, program evaluation, human factors evaluation or quality assurance methodologies

  • Continuing review of research previously approved by the SEU IRB

If you believe your research satisfies one of the expedited categories above, you may indicate “expedited” for type of review requested on the application form.

Level 3:

Full Committee Review

Proposed human subject research which does not fall into either the exempt or expedited review categories must be submitted for full committee review.

Submission Deadlines

Application submission deadlines are as follows:

  • Full board review: 15th of every month

  • Expedited or exempt review: 1st OR 15th of every month

See the SEU IRB website to access the application for requesting an IRB review.

Violations

IRB approval is required before any recruitment or data collection can occur. If a violation of this policy occurs, the IRB reserves the right to suspend the study and prevent the use of any data collected prior to approval.

Vulnerable Populations

Different rules apply to research with the general population versus research that may involve vulnerable populations, including children, pregnant women, prisoners, and the cognitively impaired. Contact the SEU IRB at irb@seu.edu if your research involves a vulnerable population.

Data Collection Without IRB Approval

1. PURPOSE  

1.1. Federal regulations require that research involving human subjects has been reviewed and approved by an IRB. Research that falls under expedited or full board review procedures will be subject to continuing review by the IRB.  

1.2. Data collected without prior IRB review and approval may be subject to review and discussion by the IRB at a convened meeting.  

2. POLICY and PROCEDURE 

2.1. Data obtained for non-exempt human subjects research activities in which the Southeastern University IRB has not reviewed is considered to have been collected without IRB approval under the following circumstances: 

  • With no prior review or approval by SEU IRB

  • With no prior letter of determination confirming IRB oversight is not required

  • With no documentation informed of consent from the subjects or their legally authorized  representatives (and when the IRB has not approved a waiver of consent or  documentation) 

  • Using procedures that were not previously described and approved in the SEU IRB-approved consent document (unless it has been determined by the Provost to be in the best interest of the subjects enrolled in the study to continue in the research in consultation with the IRB Chair.

  • After the expiration of the SEU IRB approval 

  • After suspension or termination of IRB approval 

2.2. The IRB cannot grant retroactive approval for use of data that was previously collected without IRB approval. Federal regulations allow for IRB approval only when it is prior to the initiation of the research activities. 

2.3. The IRB cannot require the investigator to destroy data or prevent the investigator from analyzing or publishing the data collected without prior IRB approval. Federal regulations do not state how data collected without IRB approval may be used.  

2.4. Actions Following Data Collected without IRB Approval 

Any investigator who discovers they have conducted research involving human subjects without prior SEU IRB review and approval must report their project promptly to the SEU IRB.  Investigators should also contact their faculty advisors if they are student researchers, or notify their department chair if they are faculty members.  

2.4.1. The investigator must immediately cease all activities involving human subjects.  2.4.2. The investigator must submit in writing to the IRB a summary of the project to the IRB and why the appropriate approvals were not initially sought and how they will ensure there are no future recurrences.  

2.4.3. Depending on the circumstances leading to the lack of approval, the IRB may  require the following corrective actions or any other action as appropriate:

  • Issue a letter of warning to the investigator.

  • If the data are intended for publication, the investigator must disclose to the publication editor that the data was previously collected without prior IRB  approval. 

  • If the study is ongoing, interactions with the human subjects must cease until the IRB has reviewed and approved all the study procedures. 

  • If the study is federally funded, then the IRB staff must notify Sponsored  Projects to report that the research was conducted without prior IRB approval to determine whether the sponsor is required to be notified.  

  • In some instances, the IRB may require the investigators to notify all participants of the investigator’s lack of compliance with the IRB procedures and solicit permission from the participants to use the data collected. 

  • Require retraining of the investigator and researchers conducting the project.  

  • If there was any risk of harm to the participants, the IRB will report the incident to the Office of Human Research Protection (OHRP) and appropriate officials as required by the Federal Wide Assurance. In addition, the Provost may forbid the publication of the results from the research study.  

  • If, after the IRB has intervened to take corrective action and the investigator initiates a second study without IRB approval, procedures for suspension and termination may be applied.  

2.4.4. The IRB staff, after reviewing by the IRB, will send a letter of determination to the investigator detailing any corrective actions. 

3. SCOPE 

These policies and procedures apply to all research submitted to the SEU IRB or under the jurisdiction of the institution.  

4. RESPONSIBILITY 

The investigator is responsible for ensuring they obtain SEU IRB approval prior to the initiation of activities involving human subjects. The investigator is also responsible for notifying the IRB  of when a violation occurs and ceasing all activities until the IRB has reviewed a summary of the incident.  

The IRB staff, IRB Chair, and/or Provost are responsible for receiving and reviewing reports of investigators collecting data without prior IRB approval. The IRB  staff will facilitate the initial review of the report and will notify investigators of the IRB  decision and any corrective action(s) in writing. The IRB Chair is responsible for notifying the Provost, as appropriate.  

The IRB is responsible for reviewing reports of noncompliance with this SOP and federal regulations. 
 

5. PROCESS OVERVIEW 

The IRB staff and IRB Chair will initially receive the reported data collection without IRB approval. The IRB staff will determine whether an approved protocol was in place during the time period in question. If an approved protocol does not/did not exist, then the IRB will review the summary of the information provided to the IRB staff. 

5.1. The IRB will make a formal determination as to whether the data collected required IRB  approval. The IRB will assess: 

  • Whether the activity constituted research involving human subjects, as defined by federal regulations; 
  • Whether the project was eligible for an exempt determination, expedited review procedures, or full board review. This determination will also include the category of exemption or expedited review, if applicable; 
  • A risk/benefit analysis of the research to the participants and whether the project posed any risks of harm to the subjects and how those risks (if any) were mitigated  by the researcher; 
  • Whether there was any coercion or undue influence to the participants.

5.2. Following review and assessment, the IRB may require corrective actions (as described in  2.4) and issue a letter of determination to the investigator. 

5.3. The IRB staff will coordinate with the IRB Chair and/or Provost to follow up on any corrective actions required by the IRB.  

 

References: 

Adapted from the University of California Santa Barbara IRB

45 CFR 46 Regulations

Submission Deadlines 

Application submission deadlines are as follows:

  • Full board review: 15th of every month

  • Expedited or exempt review: 1st OR 15th of every month

See the SEU IRB website to access the application for requesting an IRB review.

Violations

IRB approval is required before any recruitment or data collection can occur. If a violation of this policy occurs, the IRB reserves the right to suspend the study and prevent the use of any data collected prior to approval.

Vulnerable Populations

Different rules apply to research with the general population versus research that may involve vulnerable populations, including children, pregnant women, prisoners, and the cognitively impaired. Contact the SEU IRB at irb@seu.edu if your research involves a vulnerable population.

Probation, Academic

Academic probation is imposed for one semester or term. The student will remain on academic probation until he or she attains a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or higher. Probationary status permits the student to continue in the program while working with his or her academic advisor to address deficiencies and take corrective action for improvement. The student will participate in an Academic Recovery Plan or a similar process as defined by the academic program. 

Academic Probation may be imposed when:

1.        A student fails to attain a cumulative 3.0 average at any point, OR

2.        A student earns a D-, D or D+ in any course regardless of cumulative GPA, OR

3.        A doctoral student violates the academic integrity policy during course work, but before the dissertation/capstone phase (see Academic Integrity, Doctoral – Consequences and Levels of Offense).

A master’s level student placed on academic probation may not enroll for more than 6 semester hours. 

Other remediations may be imposed at the discretion of the program chair, director, or coordinator.

Suspension, Academic 

A student may be suspended from the program for one semester or term for failing to maintain academic progress standards. In this event, a letter of notification is issued to the student, and a permanent entry is recorded on the student’s transcript.

While suspended from the degree program on academic grounds, a student may reapply as a non-degree seeking student to attempt to improve his or her cumulative grade point average (GPA) by repeating courses in which a grade of less than B- has been earned. If the student’s cumulative GPA reaches 2.5 or higher, and any courses with an F have been repeated with a grade of at least C- earned, the student may apply for readmission to the degree program. Readmission is not guaranteed; students who reapply with 2.5-2.9 cumulative GPA will be readmitted on probation status.

Academic Suspension may be imposed in the following circumstances: 

1.        A student earns an F, OR 

2.        A doctoral student violates the academic integrity policy during the dissertation/capstone phase (see Academic Integrity, Doctoral – Consequences and Levels of Offense). OR

 if a student is on probation:

3.        the student fails to attain a semester GPA of 3.0 by the end of a semester or term, OR

4.        the student fails to attain a 3.0 in any course while on probation, OR

5.        the student’s cumulative GPA falls below 2.5.

Appeal for Academic Suspension

A student may appeal an academic suspension to the Program Coordinator and Registrar if there are valid extenuating circumstances that contributed to the poor academic performance. The student must submit a written appeal with supporting documentation in care of the Registrar within one week of notice of pending suspension. If the appeal is granted, the student will be permitted to continue enrollment without a period of suspension or will be readmitted after the student has completed a period of suspension. The student must agree to a set of conditions that must be met until the student has successfully raised the G.P.A. to the minimum of 3.0. If the student fails to meet one or more of the conditions, a dismissal notice will be issued.

Time Limits for Degree Completion

Doctoral degree

Doctoral degree students have six years from the time of matriculation (first enrollment) to complete their doctoral degree program.

Dissertation/Project Phase Time Limits

Some university doctoral programs require a culminating project, thesis, or dissertation. These culminating efforts will be taken in a sequence of courses with the intent that the student completes the sequence in a timely manner. Standards for time for completion of specific degree programs are included in Programs of Study or program supplement guides.

Students may enroll in dissertation/capstone courses for no more than eight semesters (maximum of 16 credits of dissertation credits). If a student is unable to defend the dissertation/capstone project before the end of the eighth semester in the dissertation/capstone phase, he or she may petition for a one-semester extension.

Master’s degree 

Master’s degree students have seven years from the time of matriculation (first enrollment) to complete their master’s degree program.

Master’s Degree Culminating Activities Time Limits

Some Southeastern University master’s programs require or give the option for a culminating project, thesis, directed reading, or specific field experience hours for graduation. These culminating efforts will be taken as a regular course with the intent that the student completes the culminating effort in that term. In the event a student is unable to complete that culminating effort in the designated semester, the student must enroll in a zero-credit continuation course with an associated fee for each semester until the completion of the culminating project, thesis, directed research, or field experience. After three semesters of continuance (one year), the original course grade(s) will revert to an F.

Transcripts

The official academic record for each student is maintained by the Office of the Registrar. Signed authorization from the student must be received before an official transcript can be released as is required by law. Students should request a transcript through the seu.edu website by clicking on the link at the bottom of the page, under Academics, Transcript/Verification, which leads to our transcript ordering service through Parchment. Transcripts are normally processed within three business days upon receipt of the request. A transcript cannot be released if the student has financial obligations to the university or other account holds. This includes past due payments on financial aid.  

To order a transcript from Southeastern University’s site follow these steps from any computer:

1.        Go to www.seu.edu.

2.        Go to the bottom of the page.

3.        Under “Academics”, click on “Transcripts/Verification”.

4.        Click on “Transcript Requests”.

5.        Click the link to begin your order.

6.        At the end of the order process, make sure you remain on the page until it gives a transcript order number after clicking the “Submit” button.

7.        Check your email for updates on your transcript request, as you may be sent an authorization form to sign and return.

 

Parchment requires the following information:

1.        Full name including maiden if married; student’s current mailing address

2.        The last 4 digits of the Social security number and date of birth

3.        Name and complete address of recipient of the transcript

4.        Number of copies requested

5.        Make sure you get a transcript order number after clicking the “submit” button

6.        Check your email for updates on your transcript request, as you may be sent an authorization form to sign and return to us

7.        Payment for transcripts ($10.00 per copy — no personal checks accepted)

To make sure all grades are included for a semester, check your Student Information account to see if the grades have been posted, or select “Hold for grades to be posted” when submitting the request. Current semester grades are posted approximately one week after the semester ends.

Transfer of Credit from Other Institutions

General Conditions for All Credit Transfer

For most graduate programs, up to 25% of the graduate credits required for the degree which are earned at regionally accredited universities may be transferred only for courses for which the student earned a grade of “B” (3.0) or better. Upon evaluation of special circumstances, a program chair, director, or coordinator, in collaboration with the Registrar, may approve transfer credits of any number less than 50% of the total credits required for completion of the degree in that program. Only those credits earned in the seven years prior to admission will be eligible to be applied in transfer to a graduate program. Master’s degree level courses will be not be considered for transfer credits at the doctoral level. Applicants with transfer credits must complete the total number of hours required in his or her program to meet graduation requirements. The Registrar, in conjunction with the appropriate program chair, director, or coordinator, will prepare a tentative evaluation of credit for each transfer applicant. An official evaluation will be issued after the applicant selects and registers in a degree program. 

Southeastern University requires all university-level work to be represented on an officially approved transcript from the originating institution with the transcript sent directly from the originating institution to the Office of the Registrar at Southeastern University.

1.        New transferring students must submit an official transcript from all previous institutions by the end of the student’s first semester in order to have credits transferred. An official transcript is submitted in a sealed envelope from the college or university. Southeastern University will not accept an opened transcript as official.

2.        Once accepted into a master’s degree program at Southeastern University, a student must obtain a transient letter to have credits accepted from another institution. No doctoral program accepts transient credits once coursework at SEU has been started. 

3.        All transfer credits must be approved by the end of the first semester in which the student is enrolled at Southeastern University. 

4.        No master’s level courses will be considered for transfer credits for doctoral programs.

5.        Credits accepted in transfer must be graded with a “B” (3.0) or higher.

6.        Grades for courses accepted in transfer are calculated into the student’s GPA at the master’s and doctoral levels.

7.        Southeastern University requires all college-level work to be represented on an officially approved and sealed transcript from the originating institution.

Transfer Practices

1.        The Transfer Credit Practices of Designated Educational Institutions published by the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admission Officers is referenced.

2.        The University reserves the right to deny credit for specific courses from any college or university, regardless of accreditation.

3.        Credits earned at an institution accredited by a regional accrediting association are transferred on an unconditional basis except for developmental, vocational, technical, or occupational courses.

4.        Southeastern University will normally only accept in transfer those credits earned at an institution that is regionally accredited or complies with Article One of this transfer policy.

5.       International credits must come from a college or university recognized by the issuing country’s Department of Education or Ministry. Credits will only be reviewed after an official transcript has been submitted to the Office of the Registrar, and an evaluation has been performed by an approved independent evaluation service. Contact the Office of the Registrar for a list of approved service providers. The student is responsible for the cost of the independent evaluation service.

6.        Southeastern University does not generally accept credit given by one institution for another institution’s transferred credits.

7.        Credits eligible for transfer will not be removed at a student’s request.

8.        Some programs have specific requirements; please see the Program of Study for program-specific policies. 

Transfer Credit Appeals

See “Appeals” section.

Withdrawals

Withdrawal from a Course 

Students may withdraw from a course without academic penalty through the withdrawal deadline, which is notated on the academic calendar and occurs at the 60% point of the course. The official course withdrawal date will be the date the Course Withdrawal form is filed with the Office of the Registrar. A grade of “W” will be recorded on the student’s record. Complete withdrawal from the university is not part of this policy. Forms for course withdrawal are available on the Southeastern University website, in the JICS Student Information System. There is no refund for a course withdrawal. Too many “W” grades will hinder academic progress and financial aid coverage. Withdrawn courses are not covered by Veteran’s benefits.  Students are encouraged to contact Student Financial Services prior to withdrawing from a course to determine the financial impact.

Withdrawal from the University 

A University Withdrawal occurs when a student officially communicates with the Office of Student Success and Retention that he/she wishes to withdraw from all courses and exit the institution. University Withdrawals happen after the add/drop period through the withdrawal period (60% mark of the term/semester). Upon completion of the University Withdrawal process, a grade of “WD” will be recorded for each current course as a final grade. The “WD” has no impact on a student’s cumulative or term GPA.

Withdrawing from the University may impact financial aid and could result in a balance owed, as students will remain financially responsible for all tuition and fees incurred. Any refunds for which the student is eligible will be processed in accordance with the refund policy described in the Financial Information section of the catalog. 

The Offices of Student Success and Retention, as well as Student Financial Services, will guide students throughout the process to ensure informed decision-making.  Students who wish to pursue a University Withdrawal will initiate the process by completing a Student Departure form on the University website in JICS Student Information System. Communication will be directed to the student’s official @seu.edu email account. It will be the student’s responsibility to check this account for information and/or documentation regarding the University Withdrawal process.

Departure After the Course Withdrawal Deadline, or in Between Semesters

Students seeking to exit the University between semesters/terms or during the semester after the course withdrawal deadline has passed will initiate the process by completing a Student Departure form on the University website in JICS Student Information System.  Follow-up communication will be directed to the student’s official @seu.edu email account. It will be the student’s responsibility to check this account for information and/or documentation regarding the departure process after submitting the form.

Readmission after Withdrawal 

Students who have not been in attendance more than one semester at Southeastern University, or who withdrew from the program during a semester for any reason, must submit a formal application for readmission to the program.

Students who either withdrew or were withdrawn from a graduate program (not just a course) for any reason must submit a formal application for readmission to the program.