Aug 19, 2022  
2016-2017 South University Academic Catalog Version I 
    
2016-2017 South University Academic Catalog Version I [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

The Art Institute Campuses - Academic Affairs



Policies applying to The Art Institute Campuses may differ from those pertaining to South University campuses and South University, Online Programs.

The student is responsible at all times for knowing his or her scholastic standing and for fulfilling all requirements of The Art Institute Campuses by referring to published academic policies, regulations and standards and by consulting with the appropriate Academic Department Director. It is the student's responsibility to ascertain and meet course requirements, prerequisite requirements, graduation requirements, appropriate course sequencing, and any other requirements of The Art Institute Campuses.

Revised Programs

Each of The Art Institute Campus programs in this catalog is current but may have been revised from previous versions.  However, students remain in the previous versions of the programs unless they elect to move to the current version.  The previous versions of programs are included in prior year catalogs (accessible through the campus website).

Academic Advising Services

Academic advising is provided by Academic Advisors, Faculty, Program Coordinators, Academic Department Directors, and the Dean of Academic Affairs. Campus personnel are available to advise students in personal and other nonacademic areas. Advising services are provided on an individual and small group basis to help students deal with concerns or problems so that they may maximize their experiences at The Art Institute Campuses.

Academic Performance Measurements

Student academic performance is recorded, reported and monitored each quarter by the following measurements:

  • Grade Point Average (GPA): The grade point average for all courses taken or completed during any quarter of study.
  • Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA): The grade point average for all courses taken or completed for all quarters of study.
  • Grade Point Computations: The grade for a four credit hour course has greater value than the grade for a three credit hour course in computing the grade point average. Grade points in a course are determined by multiplying the letter grade equivalent grade points times the credit hours. The total grade points earned are divided by the total credit hours earned to determine the grade point average. Credit hours are a different measure of academic achievement than contact hours of class attendance.

Requirements for Undergraduate Graduation

To be qualified to graduate from The Art Institute Campuses, a student must:

  • Receive a passing grade or credit for all required coursework.
  • Earn the minimum required credits for the program.
  • Achieve a minimum CGPA of 2.0.
  • Meet portfolio or other requirements as outlined by the student's degree program.
  • Satisfy all financial obligations to The Art Institute Campuses.

Student Course Load Policy

To complete program requirements in a timely manner, most on-campus students choose to attend classes full-time and enroll in 4 quarters per year. Course load designations for on-campus students are as follows:

Undergraduate

Half-time: 6-8 credit hours.

Three-quarter time: 9-11 credit hours.

Full-time: 12 or more credit hours.

Graduate

Half-time: 4 credit hours.

Three-quarter time: 6 credit hours.

Full-time: 8 or more credit hours.

Students in online programs participate in a minimum of 30 weeks of instructional time, with a full-time status of 36 (undergraduate) or 32 (graduate) earned credits. All non-term students in online programs who remain continuously enrolled, including breaks of 29 consecutive calendar days or less, are classified as full-time.

Credit Hour Definitions

Definition of a Credit Hour

A quarter credit hour is an amount of work represented in intended learning outcomes and verified by evidence of student achievement that is an institutionally established equivalency that reasonably approximates not less than:

  1. One hour of classroom or direct faculty instruction and a minimum of two hours of out-of-class student work each week for 10-12 weeks, or the equivalent amount of work over a different amount of time; or
  2. At least an equivalent amount of work as required in paragraph (1) of this definition for other academic activities as established by the institution including laboratory work, internships, practica, studio work, and other academic work leading to the award of credit hours.

Credit Hour and Outside Classwork Expectations

South University and The Art Institute Campuses operate on a quarter system with each quarter having approximately 10 to 12 weeks.

Students can expect ten (10) hours of instructional engagement for every one quarter credit hour of a course. Instructional engagement activities include lectures, presentations, discussions, group-work, and other activities that would normally occur during class time. Instructional engagement activities may occur in a face- to-face meeting or in the e-classroom.

In addition to instructional engagement, students can expect to complete at least twenty (20) hours of outside work for every one quarter credit hour of a course. Outside work includes preparing for and completing readings and assignments. Such outside work also includes, but is not limited to all research associated with completing assignments, work with others to complete a group project, participation in tutorials, labs, simulations, and other electronic activities that are not a part of the instructional engagement, as well as any activities related to preparation for instructional engagement.

Other academic work leading to the awarding of credit hours requires at least an equivalent amount of work as listed in the paragraph above and shall be applied to other academic activities as established by the institution, including laboratory work, internships, practica, guided research, and studio work. For example, one quarter credit hour is also equivalent to at least 20 hours of lab work, 30 hours of externship, clinical practicum, or guided research, or a combination of the equivalencies.

Credit Hour Conversions

Semester credit hours are converted to quarter credit hours by multiplying the number of semester credits by 3 and then dividing the result by 2. For example, a 3 semester credit hour course equals a 4.5 quarter credit hour course (3 semester hours multiplied by 3, with the result divided by 2) while a 2 semester credit hour course equals a 3 quarter credit hour course (2 semester hours multiplied by 3, with the result divided by 2). Credits will be rounded up or down as appropriate (i.e., 2.0 to 2.49 will be rounded down to 2 credit hours, 2.50 to 2.99 will be rounded up to 3 credit hours).

Program Length

The Master of Arts degree program is four (4) quarters if the student successfully completes a minimum of eight (12) credit hours per quarter.

The Bachelor of Arts (BA), Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA), and Bachelor of Science (BS) degree programs are twelve (12) quarters in length. Completion of a BA, BFA, or BS degree program in twelve (12) quarters occurs if the student successfully completes fifteen (15) credit hours per quarter.

The Associate of Applied Arts (AAA) and Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degree programs are six (6) quarters in length. Completion of an AAA or AAS degree program in six (6) quarters occurs if the student successfully completes fifteen (15) credit hours per quarter.

The Certificate programs are four (4) to six (6) quarters in length. Completion of a Certificate program in the amount of quarters prescribed in this catalog occurs if the student successfully completes twelve (12) credit hours per quarter.

Late Start Policy

The Art Institute Campuses do not allow new students to start late.  A late start is defined as someone who would enter on or after the first day of the scheduled start, including the drop/add or schedule adjustment period.   

In order to begin at the next scheduled start, a student must:

  1. Have completed and submitted an application by 5 p.m. one week before the start day (Monday - Main Start, Friday - Mid-Session Start)
  2. Have been accepted, as defined in the ADCOM policy, planned at a 4 or 5 financial status, registered, by the Wednesday preceding the start date. (Main Start) and Monday for a mid-session start.
  3. Meet attendance and confirmation policies for the first week of class.

All placement tests must also be completed if the student is to be entered into a class that requires it; for instance, English or online.  If a student is transferring credits in lieu of a placement test, transcripts (either official or unofficial) must be in the admission packet in order to place a student into the appropriate classes.

New student orientation is mandatory component for new students.  Students are required to attend the scheduled new student orientation for the campus location. Campuses can also hold additional or make-up orientation sessions to accommodate students who aren't able to attend the regularly scheduled orientation.

Schedule Adjustment Period

During the Schedule Adjustment Period students may add or drop courses, or change sections. The Schedule Adjustment Period begins on Monday of the first (1st) week of the quarter and concludes at the end of the first (1st) class day of the second (2nd) week. Tuition is charged based on registered credits at the end of this period. Students are responsible for all charges regardless of attendance. Students who fail to attend any classes or notify the Academic Affairs Department during the Schedule Adjustment Period will be withdrawn. If a continuing student attends a class and withdraws from The Art Institute Campuses during the Schedule Adjustment Period, the student is financially responsible for all registered courses based on the Refund Policy.

Attendance Policy

COURSE ATTENDANCE (GROUND)

The Art Institute Campuses maintain an institutional attendance policy to support the academic achievement of its students.  Students are expected to attend all scheduled class, laboratory, or examination periods each week.  Students, whether present or absent from class, are responsible for knowing all that is announced, discussed, and/or lectured upon in class or laboratory, as well as mastering all assigned reading.  In addition, students are responsible for submitting on time all assignments and examinations as required in class.  Although some absences are unavoidable because of illness or emergency, due to the nature of the program, there are no excused absences.

Students will not be penalized for pregnancy or related conditions, including recovery from childbirth.  Students who are absent due to pregnancy or related conditions may receive an exception to the attendance policy and/or be permitted to make up missed work for as long as the student's absence is medically necessary.  To avoid being administratively withdrawn, students must contact their academic advisor or registrar about the need for a pregnancy-related exception. As with other students seeking exceptions for medical-related reasons, students seeking a pregnancy-related exception to the attendance policy must provide a doctor's note indicating that the absences were medically necessary. Failure to provide evidence of medical necessity for any absence may result in the student being administratively withdrawn from school, and the student may not be allowed to make up any missed assignments.  Please note that a pregnancy exception to the attendance policy is only applicable to the current course and cannot be carried over into any subsequent courses.

A student who is absent for three cumulative weeks (three classes for those that meet once a week or six classes for those that meet twice a week)_in an 11-week term * will be withdrawn from the course and will receive a Withdrawal (W) grade during weeks 1 through 9 of an 11 week term and a Withdrawal/Fail (W/F) grade after week 9 of an 11 week term for that course (after week 4 of a 5.5 week Mid quarter ground term**) unless the student submits an appeal to remain in class that is accepted by the instructor and department director/dean.  A student is allowed only one appeal per class.  In other words, if a student submits an appeal and it is approved, the next absence will initiate a non-appealable withdrawal from the course.  The Attendance Appeal Request Form may be found in the registrar office. 

Appeal Process - Withdrawn from Course (Ground)

Students who are administratively withdrawn from a single course for violating the attendance policy may submit a one-time appeal per course per term to the Dean of Academic Affairs for reinstatement into their course(s) in the active term.  Students who appeal must do so in writing prior to the next class meeting for each course being requested for reinstatement.  The instructor must determine that the student still has the potential of successfully completing the course(s) to earn a successful appeal.  A copy of this appeal must be put into the student's file.

CONSECUTIVE DAYS ABSENCE GRADING POLICY (GROUND)

Students who are not marked present in any of their scheduled classes for fourteen (14) consecutive calendar days before the end of the ninth week of the 11 week term (week 4 of a 5.5 week mid-quarter ground term), will be withdrawn from the Art Institute Campuses and will receive W's (withdrawals, with no grade penalty), or if the withdrawal occurs after the end of the ninth week of an 11 week term (after week 4 of a 5.5 week mid-quarter ground term) students will be withdrawn from The Art Institute Campuses and will receive WF's (Failures due to late withdrawal). Calendar days include days that the student does not have any scheduled class. All calendar days that the school is not in session (e.g., school closings and holidays) do not count in the fourteen (14) calendar days as well during the active term. Students who have been withdrawn due to violation of the consecutive absence policy, but are still in good academic standing, if otherwise eligible, will be able to return the following term through the normal readmissions process. Students who have been withdrawn and the withdrawal results in a violation of the satisfactory academic progress policy (SAPP) must follow the procedure for appealing the academic dismissal.

Appeal Process - Consecutive Days Absent (GROUND)

Students who are administratively withdrawn from school for violating the consecutive days absence attendance policy may submit an appeal to the Dean of Academic Affairs for reinstatement into their course(s) in the active term based on mitigating circumstances. Students, who appeal, must do so in writing and must include documentation of mitigating circumstances. 

Mitigating circumstances may include one of the following reasons on the day of the recorded absence. The following is a comprehensive list of events that may indicate a mitigating circumstance:

  1. Death of an immediate family member
  2. Student illness requiring hospitalization (this includes mental health issues)
  3. Illness of an immediate family member where the student is the primary caretaker
  4. Illness of an immediate family member where the family member is the primary financial support
  5. Abusive relationships
  6. Divorce proceedings
  7. Previously undocumented disability
  8. Natural disaster
  9. Family emergency
  10. Financial hardship such as foreclosure or eviction
  11. Documentation from a Professional Counselor
  12. A doctor documented illness of the student for a significant period of time
  13. Military deployment
  14. Military Permanent Change of Station (PCS)
  15. Special Circumstances

New students at on-ground campuses who attend the first week of a course and fail to attend the second week of classes will be cancelled for the term start.

Continuing students at on-ground campuses who do not attend any of their classes through close of business Wednesday of the second week of classes may be withdrawn from the Institute. They must contact the campus registrar to indicate their intent to return.  Additionally, the cumulative week policy (above) will still apply to any classes not attended in week 1 and beyond.

Students who receive Veteran Affairs (VA) educational benefits must understand VA benefits, including tuition and fees, the monthly housing allowance, book stipend, and Yellow Ribbon benefits are based in whole or in part on the number of credit hours certified.   The school is required to monitor and report enrollment status to the VA.  Accordingly, any violation of the school attendance policy will result in the adjustment or termination of VA benefits.  Adjustments in enrollment will likely affect payment of VA benefits, and reductions in enrollment may result in a debt to the VA for any education benefits already received. The school will report enrollment as follows: 

  • VA Students who officially withdraw, the actual last date of attendance (LDA) must be determined and reported. 
  • VA students who are administratively withdrawn or stops attending without officially withdrawing, the actual last date of attendance (LDA) must be determined and reported. 
  • VA students who complete the term with all non-punitive "F" and/or non-punitive grades, the school will determine and report the actual last date of attendance for each course.

*Reports will be available in SIS for this information; please see Course Attendance Process. 

**Students in mid-quarter ground courses that meet for 5.5 weeks who miss two cumulative weeks will be withdrawn from the course and will receive a Withdrawal (W) grade before week 4 or Withdrawal/Fail (W/F) grade after week 4.

**There may be additional conditions placed on veterans for pursuing their education. VA students should see their VA Student Certification Officer (VASCO).

ATTENDANCE VERIFICATION

Students may verify their attendance at any time during the term by speaking with their instructor.  In addition, they may go to the campus academic advisors. Students who need information regarding their attendance will need to request it in person. Any discrepancies should be discussed with the individual instructors.

QUALIFYING MILITARY SERVICE, DISASTERS, NATIONAL EMERGENCIES

To assist individuals who are performing qualifying military service and individuals who are affected by disaster, war or other military operation or national emergency, an attendance exception may be granted. A student is declared as military deployed upon receipt of official activation orders documentation by the school. Similarly, appropriate documentation for students residing in an area declared as a disaster area must be submitted to the school. The school's registrar office will record the student's actual last date of attendance and then provide an attendance exception. If the documentation shows that the student knew she/he was going to be deployed prior to the term or course start date and still decided to start, the school will not provide this military attendance exception. For these reasons, it is required that the school personnel request deployment paperwork/orders to verify deployment status or to document evidence of a disaster area declaration prior to applying the attendance exception. The school must record the student's actual last date of attendance regardless of the exception granted.

ONLINE ATTENDANCE POLICY AND SUBSTANTIVE PARTICIPATION CRITERIA (PLUS & AIPOD)

Students taking online classes (including students taking PLUS courses) must submit at least one academically-related posting in the learning management system each full attendance week. For online classes beginning on a Monday, the full attendance week is defined as beginning on Monday at 12:00 a.m. Mountain Standard Time (MST) to 11:59 p.m. MST the following Sunday. For online classes beginning on Thursday, the full attendance week is defined as beginning on Thursday at 12:00 a.m. MST to 11:59 p.m. MST the following Wednesday.

  1. For attendance purposes, an academically-related posting can include, but may not be limited to, posting a drop box submission, posting to a threaded discussion forum, and taking a test/quiz. If a third-party system such as MyLabs is required, usage of that system may also count for student attendance if also recorded within an approved learning management system. For attendance purposes, simply logging into an online class does not count toward attendance. It does not include orientation, reading the courses or programs syllabus or activity prior to the start date of the course.
  2. Examples of acceptable evidence of academic attendance and attendance at an academically-related activity in a distance education program include:
  1. Student submission of an academic assignment
  2. Student submission of an exam
  3. Documented student participation in an interactive tutorial or computer assisted instruction.
  4. A posting by the student showing the students participation in an online study group that is assigned by the institution.
  5. Posting by the student in a discussion forum showing the students participation in an online discussion about academic matters, and
  6. An email from the student or other documentation showing that the student initiated contact with a faculty member to ask a faculty member about the subject studied in the course.

Online students are required to meet the first week's attendance in order to be confirmed as an active student. Failure to do this could negatively impact a student's financial aid.

During the last half week of a 5.5 week class, students taking online classes must submit at least one academically-related posting in the classroom on at least one day. For online classes that end on a Wednesday, the half week is defined as beginning on Monday at 12:00 a.m. Mountain Standard Time (MST) to 11:59 p.m. MST the following Wednesday.  For online classes that end on a Saturday, the half week is defined as beginning on Thursday at 12:00 a.m. Mountain Standard Time (MST) to 11:59 p.m. MST the following Saturday.

Students who fail to meet the attendance requirements for a week will be given an absence for that attendance week. AiPOD students who fail to meet the attendance requirements for two consecutive attendance weeks (cumulative for PLUS students) during a course will be administratively withdrawn from the course. If the student is administratively withdrawn from all current courses, the student will be withdrawn from the institution. 

If the student is administratively withdrawn due to attendance on or before the last day of week 4 in a 5.5 week course (week 9 in an 11 week course), the student will receive a W grade for the course. If the student is administratively withdrawn due to attendance after the last day of week 4 in a 5.5 week course (week 9 in an 11 week course), the student will receive a grade of WF for the course. The last date of attendance will be the last day where the student met the attendance requirements.

In the specific case where a student has a current course grade of F but did not complete the final assignment of the course and failed the course, the final course grade of F will be considered an unearned F as it pertains to Title IV financial aid purposes.

BLENDED ENVIRONMENT ATTENDANCE POLICY FOR DESIGN & MEDIA  MANAGEMENT (DMM) M.A. GRADUATE DEGREE PROGRAM

Students who are part of a degree program that has both synchronous and asynchronous learning attend asynchronously by signing in and posting in the online discussion area. Be aware that just submitting a paper for grading does not count as participation. The last date of attendance is defined as the last date that a student signs in and posts work asynchronously or attends a synchronous class meeting (whichever is later).  Attendance for asynchronous participation is recorded on the basis of meeting participation requirements throughout the week (Sunday-Saturday). Attendance for synchronous class meetings is recorded based on roll call during the class meeting.

Students are required to sign in and post work a minimum of two different days per week.  This contact is essential for providing a quality learning experience where the sharing of ideas and the offering of critical feedback are paramount in the development of both the student's work and the individual as a professional. Students are required to post every assignment on time and participate in all classroom discussions and critiques as indicated in the curriculum. Failure to do so will adversely affect student's grades and may jeopardize their completing the program. Grading for late work is deducted at 25% per day. It is the students' responsibility to contact their instructor if, for any reason, they are not able to complete an assignment or post it to the "Discussion Area" by an established deadline.

Students must attend a minimum of 20 hours of synchronous classes and participate in a minimum of ten weeks of online discussion per course in order to receive a passing grade. The only exceptions to this policy are university imposed cancelling of classes. Attending fewer than three synchronous classes or 20 hours of on-ground course instruction, or fewer than nine weeks of online discussion will result in course failure unless the Department Chair determines that there are acceptable mitigating circumstances. Students should be prepared to provide written documentation of mitigating circumstances that contributed to any absence for consideration by the Chair. If the student is allowed to remain in the class and receive a grade, there will need to be a description of appropriate make-up work from the respective Instructor. Please note that a student can withdraw from any class through the ninth week without receiving an "F."  Course withdrawal forms must be submitted to the Registrar's Office by the close of business on Friday of week nine in order to receive a "W" grade. Withdrawals from courses or from school after the ninth week will receive a grade of "WF" (Failures due to late withdrawal.)   

It is the student's responsibility to immediately contact his or her instructor regarding absences due to prolonged serious illness or personal emergency. For absence due to technical problems, the student is expected to contact the facilitator immediately, after notifying the appropriate technical support. Failure to notify the facilitator will be considered a missed deadline. All assigned work must be ultimately completed regardless of the reason for absence.

Retaking Coursework

Effective July 1, 2011, the Department of Education amended the full-time enrollment status definition for programs at term-based institutions. In a standard term-based program, students who retake previously completed coursework are considered eligible for additional Title IV assistance, even if the students will not receive credit for that coursework in addition to credits already received. To comply with this provision and to assist students with managing appropriate FSA loan balances, South University has implemented the following policy on retaking coursework for standard term and non-term based programs.

Standard Term-based Undergraduate Programs

Students enrolled in standard term-based undergraduate programs will receive Title IV funds for unlimited retakes of failed courses and withdrawn courses with no credits earned as long as the student is meeting the satisfactory academic progress (SAP) standards.  Although there is no limit on how many times students can repeat failed or withdrawn courses for FSA purposes, South University has limitations on how many times students can retake failed courses before they are dismissed from the institution. Please refer to the school's SAP Policy.

For standard term-based undergraduate programs, South University's policy will allow financial aid to cover a single repetition of a previously successfully passed course subject to certain conditions.  Students who earned credit(s) may receive Title IV funds for one retake of any previously passed course only if they meet one of the following conditions:

  • Specific State or Accreditation regulations require a student to retake a course which was previously successfully passed.
  • Required as part of an academic plan if a student has successfully appealed a Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) termination, as defined under Progress or Professional Requirements.
  • For students who need a specific grade or G.P.A. to practice upon graduation or progress in a program, as defined under Progress or Professional Requirements.

The student must have completed the course for it to be considered a repetition under this policy.  Because only one repetition of a previously passed course may be included in the a student's enrollment status for purposes of Title IV aid, if the student failed the repeated course, the student is not eligible for an additional retake because the student is considered to have completed the course.  A student enrolled in developmental courses (ENG0099 and MAT0099) must successfully complete the course after three attempts or the student will be academically dismissed from the University.

Non-term Based Undergraduate Programs

Student's coursework is divided into payment periods based the credit hours and weeks of instructional time in the program or the academic year, whichever is less. A student must successfully complete the credit hours and instructional weeks in a payment period, or withdrawal, in order to advance to the next payment period and academic year.  Students who fail or withdrawal from a course will not earn credits for the payment period and academic year.  Students who successfully completed a course (earned credits) and wish to repeat the course to earn a better grade or G.P.A., the course attempted and earned credits will not be included in the payment period and academic year credits requirement.  Students may only use FSA funds to cover such repeated courses to the extent excess funds are available in the academic year.  A student enrolled in developmental courses (ENG0099 and MAT0099) must successfully complete the course after three attempts or the student will be academically dismissed from the University.

Undergraduate Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Policy

Policy Guidance

A student must demonstrate Satisfactory Academic Progress by successfully completing courses attempted. Completing courses with C or better grades indicates academic progress. Receiving D or lower grades and/or withdrawing from classes may put students at risk. Poor academic performance may lead to Academic/Financial Warning and/or Academic/Financial Aid Dismissal. It is very important that students attend all registered courses and complete them successfully. Should a compelling reason arise that requires a student to cease attendance, it is the student's responsibility to immediately contact the Dean of Academic Affairs or Registrar's Office.

The following criteria are used to determine whether or not a student is making Satisfactory Academic Progress. A student must be able to:

  • Maintain a minimum cumulative grade point average (CGPA);
  • Achieve the minimum incremental completion rate (ICR); and
  • Complete the program within a maximum allowable timeframe (MTF).

Students who fail to meet the minimum standards of any of the above criteria will be notified by letter by the Dean of Academic Affairs or Campus Registrar within four (4) business days of determination.  Administrative actions will be taken when a student fails to meet the minimum standards of any of the above criteria. If the resulting action results in Academic/Financial Aid Dismissal, a student may appeal the Academic/Financial Aid Dismissal. If the appeal is denied, the student will remain dismissed and can no longer attend or receive Title IV aid at The Art Institute Campuses.

The Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy contains the following information:

  • Criteria for Honors Designations
  • Milestones and Evaluation Points for Satisfactory Academic Progress
  • Academic/Financial Aid Warning
  • Procedure for Appealing Academic/Financial Aid Dismissal
  • Procedure to Apply for Re-Entry after Academic/Financial Aid Dismissal
  • Academic/Financial Aid Probation and an Academic Plan
  • Explanations of Related Issues

Failure to complete courses successfully for any reason may negatively affect a student's Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) and are considered to be punitive grades. Failing courses, being suspended or terminated from courses, or withdrawing from courses could result in the loss of financial aid and/or veterans education benefits and academic dismissal. In order for a student to graduate, the minimum requirements are a CGPA of 2.0, 66.67% ICR, and completion of the program without attempting more than 150% of the credits in the program. Refer to the Metrics of SAP section below for additional information regarding the calculation of CGPA, ICR and MTF.

While the terms Academic/Financial Aid Warning, Academic/Financial Aid Dismissal, and Academic/Financial Aid Probation are used, the status applies to all students whether receiving aid or not.

The Art Institute Campuses have the right to modify the Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy at any time.

Criteria for Honors Designations

To promote academic excellence and to recognize exemplary academic achievement, the following system is recommended for honor designations on a quarter basis and upon graduation.

Quarter Honors Designations (at the completion of a quarter)

Any student who enrolls for and completes 12 credits or more is eligible for the following designations:

Quarter GPA Honors Designation
4.0 President's Honor List
3.7-3.99 Dean's Honor List
3.5-3.69 Honor Roll

Honors Designation at Graduation

Students who achieve a CGPA of 3.5 or better are designated as Honor Graduates.  Transitional studies courses are not considered when evaluating honors designations.

Milestones and Evaluation Points for Satisfactory Academic Progress

Compliance with Standards of Academic Progress is reviewed every quarter for all Certificate and Diploma programs.

Certificate and Diploma Programs:

  1. At the end of the first quarter, students must attain a minimum CGPA of 1.00 and an ICR of 33.33%.  Anything below these milestones will result in Academic/Financial Aid Warning for one quarter.  Students who are only participating in Transitional Studies courses are considered to be maintaining Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP).
  2. At the end of the second quarter, students must attain a minimum CGPA of 1.50 and an ICR of 50.00%. Anything below these milestones will result in Academic/Financial Aid Warning for one quarter unless the student was on Academic/Financial Aid Warning in his or her previous quarter.  If the student was on Academic/Financial Aid Warning in the previous quarter, failure to meet these standards will result in Academic/Financial Aid Dismissal. Students who are only participating in Transitional studies courses are considered to be maintaining SAP. 
  3. At the end of the third quarter, and every quarter thereafter, students must attain a minimum CGPA of 2.00 and an ICR of 66.67%. Anything below these milestones will result in Academic/Financial Aid Warning for one quarter unless the student was on Academic/Financial Aid Warning in his or her previous quarter. If the student was on Academic/Financial Aid Warning in the previous quarter, failure to meet these standards will result in Academic/Financial Aid Dismissal.
  4. Students may not attempt more than 150% of the credits in their programs; anything in excess of 150% of the credits will result in Academic/Financial Aid Dismissal. Dismissal for violating the maximum timeframe (MTF) can happen at any time.
  5. Reentries: To ensure an evaluation is completed for all students in the last 12 months, an evaluation will be completed upon reentry processing using the criteria for the next applicable evaluation point (See Certificate/Diploma Evaluation Point Milestones (CGPA/ICR) requirements) noted in this policy. For example, if a student enrolled in October 2015 and completed the fall quarter, dropped in the winter 2016 quarter and returned in the spring 2017 quarter of the following year, the student would have an evaluation prior to the start of the spring 2017 quarter against the next applicable evaluation point for the student.   Students reviewed upon reentry will be advised based on their SAP status at the time of reentry and provided with a projection of what they will need to accomplish in order to be in compliance with SAP requirements at the next official evaluation point (See Certificate/Diploma Evaluation Point Milestones (CGPA/ICR) requirements).  Reentries whose evaluation does not indicate the ability to meet the next evaluation point during reentry processing will not be allowed to reenter into the program of enrollment.
  6. Students should note that if they are on Academic/Financial Aid Warning, it will be very difficult to meet the minimum requirements of the next evaluation point. Students should consult with their academic advisor concerning their exact requirements.
  7. Transitional Studies courses are based on the result of the academic assessment tool. Like any course, students must successfully complete such courses in order to progress in the program.  Transitional Studies course credits do not count towards the total number of credits for graduation nor do they count in the CGPA. Additionally, the courses do not count in determining the maximum time frame allowable to earn the certificate or diploma or in the incremental completion rate as attempted credits and, if successful, earned credits.
  8. Transitional Studies courses do have credit hours assigned to them for enrollment and tuition charging purposes. While Transitional Studies courses are not included in the CGPA, a student who attempts but does not pass or withdraws from the same Transitional Studies course three times is dismissed and there is no right to appeal the termination. 
  9. Students on Academic/Financial Aid Warning are considered to be making progress toward meeting Standards of Satisfactory Academic Progress and, if otherwise eligible may receive financial aid. 
  10. The grades, grade point average, cumulative data for all courses a student attempted at The Art Institute Campuses, as well as courses successfully transferred in from prior postsecondary education, are available on the student portal for review. There is also an indication if a student is on Academic/Financial Aid Warning, on Academic/Financial Aid Probation, or on academic/Financial Aid Dismissal. 
  11. Compliance with SAP is reviewed every quarter for Certificate and Diploma programs. A student who starts or re-enters at a MID session will have that session count as an entire quarter for SAP purposes.
Certificate/Diploma Evaluation Point Milestones (CGPA and ICR) Required Action
  End of First Quarter < 1.00 and/or 33.33% Academic/Financial Aid Warning
  End of Second Quarter < 1.50 and/or 50.00% Academic/Financial Aid Warning (if 1st time)/ Academic/Financial Aid Dismissal (if on Academic/Financial Aid Warning)
  End of Third Quarter And every quarter thereafter < 2.00 and 66.67% Academic/Financial Aid Warning (if 1st time)/ Academic/Financial Aid Dismissal (if on warning)
At Any Time Anything in excess of 150% MTF   Academic/Financial Aid Dismissal


Please note that if you do not pass the same Transitional Studies course after three attempts, the result will be Academic / Financial Aid Dismissal with no right to appeal the dismissal.

Unless otherwise noted, Academic/Financial Aid Dismissals can be appealed. Please see the Appeal Process below.

Degree Programs:

Degree programs are evaluated after a student has attempted three quarters and sixth quarters including portions of a quarter) during the first six quarters. After the sixth quarter, the student is evaluated at the end of each quarter. While grades, GPAs, and Incremental Completion Rates are made available at the end of a student's quarter, they are informational only except at evaluation points. Please note students may be alerted of their progress at any time and may be required to take specific action.

  1. At the end of the first academic year (an academic year is three (3) quarters in which courses are attempted in each quarter); students must achieve a minimum CGPA of 1.00 and an ICR of 33.33%.  Anything below these milestones will result in Academic/Financial Aid Dismissal.
  2. At the end of the second academic year, students must attain a minimum CGPA of 2.00 and an ICR of 66.67%. Anything below these milestones will result in Academic/Financial Aid Dismissal.
  3. Starting the quarter after the sixth attempted quarter, and every quarter thereafter, students are evaluated at the end of each quarter and must attain a minimum CGPA of 2.00 and an ICR of 66.67%. Failure to meet these standards will result in Academic/Financial Aid Warning unless the student was on Financial Aid Warning the previous quarter. If the student was on Academic/Financial Aid Warning in the previous quarter, failure to meet these standards will result in Academic/Financial Aid Dismissal.
  4. Students may not attempt more than 150% of the credits in their programs; anything in excess of 150% of the credits will result in Academic/Financial Aid Dismissal. Dismissal for violating the maximum timeframe (MTF) can happen at any time.
  5. Placement into Transitional Studies courses are based on the result of the academic assessment tool. Like any course, students must successfully complete such courses in order to progress in the program. Transitional studies course credits do not count towards the total number of credits for graduation nor do they count in the CGPA. Additionally, the transitional study course(s) do not count in determining the maximum time frame allowable to earn the degree and do not count in the incremental completion rate as attempted credits and, if successful, earned credits. Please note that the student will be dismissed immediately if the student does not successfully complete the same Transitional Study upon a third attempt.
  6. Transitional Studies courses do have credit hours assigned to them for enrollment and tuition charging purposes. While Transitional Studies courses are not included in the CGPA, a student who attempts but does not pass or withdraws from the same Transitional Studies course three times is dismissed and there is no right to appeal the dismissal.
  7. The grades, grade point average, cumulative data for all courses a student attempted at the Institution, as well as courses successfully transferred in from prior postsecondary education, are available on the student portal for review. There is also an indication if a student is on Academic/Financial Aid Warning, on Academic/Financial Aid Probation or on Academic/Financial Aid Dismissal. 
  8. For Degree programs, compliance with SAP is reviewed every academic year during a student's first two years and then quarterly thereafter. A student who starts or re-enters at a MID session will have that session count as an entire quarter for SAP purposes.
  9. Students on Academic/Financial Aid Warning are considered to be making progress toward meeting Standards of Satisfactory Academic Progress and, if otherwise eligible may receive financial aid.
  10. Reentries: To ensure an evaluation is completed for all students in the last 12 months, an evaluation will be completed upon reentry processing using the criteria for the next applicable evaluation point (See Degree Programs Evaluation Point Milestones (CGPA/ICR) requirements) noted in this policy. For example, if a student enrolled in October 2015 and completed the fall quarter, dropped in the Winter 2016 quarter and returned in the spring 2017 quarter of the following year, the student would have an evaluation prior to the start of the spring 2017 quarter against the next applicable evaluation point for the student .  Students reviewed upon reentry will be advised based on their SAP status at the time of reentry and provided with a projection of what they will need to accomplish in order to be in compliance with SAP requirements at the next official evaluation point (See Degree Programs Evaluation Point Milestones (CGPA/ICR) and requirements).  Reentries whose evaluation does not indicate the ability to meet the next evaluation point during reentry processing will not be allowed to reenter into the program of enrollment.
Degree Programs Evaluation Point Both Milestones (CGPA and ICR) Must be Met Required Action
  End of First Academic Year < 1.00 and/or 33.33% Academic/ Financial Aid Dismissal
  End of Second Academic Year < 2.00 and/or 66.67% Academic / Financial Aid Dismissal
  End of Seventh Quarter and Thereafter < 2.00 and/or 66.67% Academic/Financial Aid Warning (if 1st time)/ Academic/Financial Aid Dismissal (if on Academic/Financial Aid Warning)
At Any Time Anything in excess of 150% MTF   Academic/Financial Aid Dismissal

Please note that if you do not pass the same Transitional Studies course after three attempts, the result will be Academic / Financial Aid Dismissal with no right to appeal the dismissal.

Unless otherwise noted, Academic/Financial Aid Dismissals may be appealed. Please see the Appeal Process below.

A student enrolled in Transitional Studies courses must be able to pass the same Transitional Studies course after three attempts or that student will be placed on Academic/Financial Aid Dismissal.

If the review of a student's Satisfactory Academic Progress performed at any time indicates that it is mathematically impossible to meet the minimum requirements of the Standards of Satisfactory Academic Progress policy at the next mandatory check point, the student will result in Academic/Financial Aid Dismissal from The Art Institute Campuses.

To be removed from Academic/Financial Aid Warning or Academic/Financial Aid Probation, a student must meet the Satisfactory Academic Progress requirements at the next applicable measuring point.

Procedure for Appealing Academic/Financial Aid Dismissal

A student who is dismissed for violating Satisfactory Academic Progress must appeal in writing to the Dean of Academic Affairs for re-entry before the start of the quarter in which he/she wishes to return.  The written appeal must state the mitigating circumstances that contributed to the dismissal. The written appeal must be supported with appropriate documentation of the mitigating circumstances with an explanation on how the circumstances have been remedied or changed to ensure that he or she will be able to meet satisfactory academic progress if re-admitted.

The Dean of Academic Affairs or an Appeals Committee will review the student's appeal and will determine within 14 business days of the date of the receipt of the appeal whether the circumstances and academic status warrant consideration for re-admission. The student may be asked to appear in person during the review process when deemed necessary by the Dean of Academic Affairs or the Appeals Committee. Upon the Appeals Committee decision, the student will be notified by the Dean of Academic Affairs both verbally and in writing. The Appeals Committee decision will be final.  Following is a comprehensive list of events that indicate there may be a mitigating circumstance which has negatively impacted academic progress:

  • Death of an immediate family member
  • Student illness requiring hospitalization (this includes mental health issues)
  • Illness of an immediate family member where the student is the primary caretaker
  • Illness of an immediate family member where the family member is the primary financial support
  • Abusive relationships
  • Divorce proceedings
  • Previously undocumented disability
  • Natural disaster
  • Family emergency
  • Financial hardship such as foreclosure or eviction
  • Documentation from a Professional Counselor
  • A doctor documented illness of the student for a significant period of time
  • Military deployment
  • Military Permanent Change of Station (PCS)
  • Special Circumstances

Students should understand that having a mitigating circumstance does not automatically mean the appeal will be approved. The Appeal Committee will review that the student sufficiently providing  documentation of the mitigating circumstance (as outlined above) and that the student has resolved the mitigating circumstance.

A student who is successful in his or her appeal is able to apply for re-entry and if otherwise eligible, receive financial aid for one quarter; however, the student will be placed on Academic/Financial Aid Probation at the start of the academic quarter. A student on Academic/Financial Aid Probation may receive financial aid (if otherwise eligible) for one quarter. If the appeal is denied, aid cannot be paid and the student is dismissed.

Students who have an appeal denied can reapply however the passage of time by itself does not impact the Appeal Committee's decision.

The Dean of Academic Affairs is responsible for determining the appropriateness of the mitigating Circumstance in regards to severity, timing and duration of the mitigating circumstance, and for determining whether the student's situation has changed that would allow the student to demonstrate satisfactory academic progress at the end of the Academic/Financial Aid Probation or the end of the period of the Academic Plan. Any consideration of the conditions outside of the list provided should be discussed with theVice Chancellor for Academic Affairs. Student life issues and making the transition to college are not considered mitigating circumstances under this policy.

Documentation from a professional counselor should not breach the student/counselor relationship and should remain confidential. A memorandum or letter on school or organizational letterhead indicating a counselor's opinion that the student issues may be accommodated to ensure that the student will be able to meet Satisfactory Academic Progress will suffice as proof of mitigating circumstances as well as documentation that the student's circumstances have been remedied or changed to ensure that the student will be able to meet Satisfactory Academic Progress with the accommodations from the institution.

If a student's appeal is successful, the student will be placed on Academic/Financial Aid Probation for one quarter (or two if eligible) following readmittance. The student will be eligible for financial aid during the Academic/Financial Aid Probation period.  Academic Advisors, Registrars, and/or Academic Department Chairs/Program Directors must develop, document and maintain as part of the appeals process a concrete Academic Plan for how a student will complete his remaining coursework and meet the minimum requirements of Satisfactory Academic Progress by end of either the Academic/Financial Aid Probation period or by the end of the quarter included in the Academic Plan. The Academic Plan must detail specific time frames and student success measures and cannot be greater than one (1) quarter for certificate or diploma programs but for degree programs may be up to two (2) quarters if necessary for the student to meet the minimum requirements of Satisfactory Academic Progress. The Academic Plan must be reviewed with the student so that designated Academic Plan is being met and the student will remain on track to achieve the success measures within the approved timeframe. For students in degree programs that may have an Academic Plan for more than one quarter, the student must meet the academic targets of the Academic Plan at the end the first quarter when the student is on Academic/Financial Aid Probation and by the end of the Academic Plan, the student must meet the minimum requirements of Satisfactory Academic Progress.  If the student meets the academic goals and requirements under the Academic Plan for the first quarter while on Academic/Financial Aid Probation, he or she may complete the second quarter under the Academic Plan and be eligible to receive financial aid.   Failure to meet the established goals included in the Academic Plan will result in Academic/Financial Aid Dismissal

Registrars will ensure that Academic Advisors or Academic Department Directors have notified students in writing that they are in Academic Warning/Financial Aid Warning, Academic Probation/Financial Aid Probation, or Academic/Financial Aid Dismissal with a student signed Satisfactory Academic Progress Prediction Calculation Form.

Any student who ceased attendance or withdrew from the institution will be evaluated against the minimum standards of the Satisfactory Academic Progress for grades and credits attempted as of the time of withdrawal in his or her last quarter of attendance.   Any student who did not meet the minimum standards of Satisfactory Academic Progress at the SAP evaluation point must go through the same appeal process should the student want to be readmitted. The appeal procedure described in the preceding section applies.

Upon the Appeals Committee decision, the student is notified by the Dean of Academic Affairs both verbally and in writing. The Appeals Committee decision will be final.

Any student who is on Academic/Financial Aid Dismissal can no longer attend school nor get Title IV at The Art Institute Campuses.

Academic/Financial Aid Dismissal Appeals not Allowed

A student who attempts but does not pass the same Transitional Studies course three times is dismissed and there is not a right to appeal the dismissal.

Additional Appeal Procedures:

While an appeal can be made for Maximum Time Frame, The Art Institute Campuses and the Dean of Academic Affairs at the appropriate campus must review the appeal.

If a student who has successfully appealed an Academic/Financial Aid Dismissal is later again dismissed, the student can file one additional appeal as long as the appeal is based on different mitigating circumstances from any previous appeal, the new mitigating circumstance occurred after the previous successful appeal, the student is showing significant Satisfactory Academic Progress and mathematically the student can meet the next SAP evaluation points requirements.

In addition to the Institution's Review of the Appeal, it must also be reviewed by the South University Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs.

Explanations of Related Issues

Calculation of CGPA

A student's cumulative grade point average is calculated by a) Multiplying credits for each course by grade points associated with the grade earned; b) Totaling the grade points earned for all the courses, and c) Dividing total grade points earned by the total number of quality credits. The Art Institute Campuses use a 4.0 scale in assigning grade points.  Note: that if there is a change of programs, only courses applicable to the new program will be considered in the CGPA.

Transitional Studies Courses

Many Art Institute Campuses require academic assessments. Depending on assessment scores, students may be required to take Transitional Studies courses. Students must successfully complete such courses in order to progress in the program. Transitional Studies course credits do not count towards the total number of credits for graduation nor do they count in the CGPA. Additionally, they do not count in determining the maximum timeframe and the incremental completion rate.

While Transitional Studies course(s) are not included in the CGPA, each individual Transitional Studies course may be attempted no more than three times. Failure to pass the courses within the attempts permitted will result in dismissal from the Institution and there is no right to appeal the dismissal.

Repeated Courses and Grades

As courses are retaken, only the highest grade will count in the GPA/CGPA. All attempts are included in the credit hours attempted for the purposes of calculating the incremental completion rate (ICR).  Withdrawn and failing grades are included in the maximum allowable timeframe and incremental completion rate as credit hours attempted but not earned. The grade Incomplete (I) is calculated as if it is an F for CGPA and ICR purposes until it is changed to another grade and the course will be included as credits attempted but not credits earned until it is changed to another grade.

Remediation of Academic Deficiencies

It is strongly recommended that any student with withdrawn or failing grades enroll in the same course(s) in the subsequent quarter to improve academic performance.

Transfer Credits from another Postsecondary Institution

Credits from transfer courses are calculated in the maximum allowable credits and incremental completion rate requirements as credits attempted and credits earned.  Grades for credits transferred from any other postsecondary institution will be recorded as Transfer Credit (TR) and will not be calculated in the student's CGPA

Change of Program

Students will be allowed one change of program. Changing from a day program to an evening program of the same major is not considered a change of major. Changing from an associate's program to a bachelor's program in the same major is not considered a change of major. Courses that apply to the second major will be recorded as earned credit and will affect the student's CGPA and will be included as credits attempted and credits earned. Students who change programs must sign a new program enrollment agreement which must be filed in the student's academic file. Note: If a student is at the point of dismissal for Satisfactory Academic Progress in the first major, that student must be put on Academic/Financial Aid Dismissal, appeal the dismissal, have the appeal granted based on mitigating circumstances before transferring to the new major. Under no circumstances can a request to change majors circumvent a dismissal of Satisfactory Academic Progress.

In cases in which a student has graduated from one program in The Art Institute Campuses then subsequently begins work in a different program, grades earned in the first program, if applicable to the new program, will be recorded with the letter grades and thus will be included in the Cumulative Grade Point Average and will be included in the Incremental Completion Rate as credits attempted and credits earned.

Transfers from another Art Institute

A student must be maintaining Satisfactory Academic Progress in order to be allowed the opportunity of transferring from one program to another or from one school or campus to another. A student who is on Academic/Financial Aid Dismissal and wishes to transfer to another affiliated Art Institute must appeal his/her Academic/Financial Aid Dismissal at the originating school and receive reinstatement prior to the transfer.  An affiliated Art Institute is any campus that shares the same leading six-digit OPE-ID number with the originating school.  Campuses that share the same leading six-digit OPE-ID number are the same institution.

Please note that course credits and applicability of those credits at each Art Institute for a program can vary from location to location. Please carefully discuss any possible transfer with the Art Institute you wish to attend.

Grading System

At the conclusion of each course in the program, the student receives a report of his or her grade(s) for the course(s) just completed. These grades are entered also in the student's academic transcript, which is updated each quarter. The criteria for determining a student's grade shall be as follows (on a percentage of total point basis):

The Metrics of SAP Academic Grading System

The grading system incorporates letter grades, equivalent numeric values and letter codes as

follows:

Letter Grade Quality Points
A 4.0
A- 3.7
B+ 3.4
B 3.0
B- 2.7
C+ 2.4
C 2.0
C- 1.7
D+ 1.4
D 1.0
F 0.0*


*F does compute in GPA and CGPA and does count as credit attempted.

Other Grade Codes worth Zero Quality Points:

CR = Credit through examination Credits Earned/TR grade. This does not affect CGPA. They do impact ICR and MTF.
I = Incomplete Affects ICR/MTF/CGPA (Computes as an F)
IPA = Incomplete Pass This grade is assigned only when some portion of a course has not been completed for good and sufficient reason.  Courses in which "IPA" grades are assigned must be completed no later than the end of the next regular term in which the student is enrolled or the grade will be recorded as "F" on the permanent record in the term in which the grade is granted to replace the IPA.  IPA does not affect CGPA/ICR/MTF.
S = Suspension

Affects ICR/MTF/CGPA (Computes as an F)

NC = No Credit This grade is reserved for zero-credit courses only.  Non- credit courses are not computed in the CGPA/ ICR/ MTF.
NP = Not passing/Fail Does not affect ICR/CGPA This grade designation is utilized to indicate that a student did not acceptably complete a non credited course
P or PR= Proficiency Credit by Exam or Portfolio This does not affect CGPA. They do impact ICR and MTF.
PA = Pass This grade designation is utilized to indicate that a student acceptably completed a non credited course. Does not affect ICR/MTF/CGPA.
SP or SA = Satisfactory/Pass This grade designation is utilized to indicate that a student acceptably completed a non credited course. Does not affect ICR/MTF/CGPA.
T = Termination from course Affects ICR/MTF/CGPA (Computes as an F)
TR = External Transfer Credit Grade designation utilize for transfer credits. This does not affect CGPA. They do impact ICR and MTF.
U = Unsatisfactory Indicates that a student unsuccessfully completed a noncredited course. Does not affect ICR/MTF/CGPA.
EF = Earned F Students who met the course requirements by completing the final assignments in the course.  Final assignments include a final exam, final project, final paper, portfolio presentation, or capstone project.  If a student completed all assignments including the final assignment of the course, but did not pass the course, the F grade will be considered earned.  The course's instructor will award this grade when appropriate. Does compute in GPA and CGPA and does count as credit attempted.
UF = Unearned F Students who failed the course AND did not complete the final assignments in the course.  Final assignments include, but are not limited to a final exam, final project, final paper, portfolio presentation, capstone project or any other assignment due in the last week of the course.  If a student completed some or all of the other requirements in the course but did not complete the final assignment of the course and failed the course, the F grade will be considered unearned.  An unearned F grade will be reflected as a "UF" grade on the transcript.  The course's instructor will award this grade when appropriate.  Does compute in GPA and CGPA and does count as credit attempted.
W = Withdrawal When a student withdraws from the total program of study by the end of the ninth week of the quarter or from individual classes after drop/add but before the end of the ninth week of the quarter. The "W" is not used in the calculation of the GPA or CGPA but is considered attempted credits but not earned credits.
WF = Withdrawal Fail When a student withdraws from individual classes or a total academic program of study after the ninth week of classes.  The "WF" is calculated as an "F" in the GPA and CGPA. The "WF" also counts as attempted credits and not earned credits.
WV = Waiver Commonly used when waiving a Transitional courses and does not affect ICR/MTF/CGPA
WX = Course was registered for but never attended Self-explanatory and does not affect ICR/MTF/CGPA

Students receive grades at the end of each quarter including midquarter. The grade report contains both the grade point average for the quarter (GPA) and cumulative grade point average (CGPA) for the program. When a course is repeated after failure, the grade earned upon repeating the class replaces the original grade in determining the grade point average, though the failing grade will still appear on the transcript.

Repeating Courses

Grades earned in repeated courses will replace grades of 'F', "UF", 'W', or 'WF'. Course credits with grades of 'F', 'UF','W', or 'WF' are included in the maximum time frame (MTF) and incremental completion rate (ICR) requirements as credits attempted but not earned. Students with incomplete grades will receive an 'F' if a grade change is not submitted by the end of the second week of the following term. The grade 'I' indicates Incomplete and is calculated as if it is an 'F' until it is changed to another grade and the course will be included as course credits attempted, but not earned. Only if it is part of an Academic Plan may students retake courses in which they received a passing grade in order to improve their CGPA but can retake a course passed only one additional time. Credits from all repeated courses are included as credits attempted. The highest grade earned will be used in the CGPA calculations.

Changed Grade

When a final course grade has been established and recorded in the student record, the grade may not be changed without approval by both the Academic Department Director and the Dean of Academic Affairs. Only the final grade (not the original grade/code) will be computed in the grade point average.  The final grade is the one that counts in the calculation.

Calculations

The Art Institute Campuses measure and record academic performance by computing the Grade Point Average (GPA) and Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA) for each student, using the letter grades, four-point scale and credit-hour values. GPA is the average of grade points a student earns during one quarter.  CGPA is the cumulative average of all grade points a student has earned over all quarters at The Art Institute Campuses. Transitional study courses do not count in this calculation. 

Here is an example of how GPA and CGPA are computed: Imagine that a student is taking a total of two courses during one quarter. One course has a four credit hours value and the student earns an A. The second course has a three credit hour value and the student earns a B. Remember, each letter grade carries a grade point value. Grade point values are multiplied by credit hours.

In this example:

A = 4 grade points x 4 credit hours = 16 grade points earned

B = 3 grade points x 3 credit hours = 9 grade points earned

To compute the GPA, divide the total number of grade points earned for the quarter by the total number of credit hours earned for the quarter.

16 grade points + 9 grade points = 25 total grade points

25 grade points earned divided by 7 total hours earned = student's GPA for the quarter, 3.571 which is rounded to 3.57.  Rounding occurs after the 4 digit of a CGPA is calculated and if the fourth digit is 5 or over, it is rounded up. If the fourth digit is 4 or lower it is rounded down.

A student's CGPA is computed in the same way by dividing the student's total grade points earned from all quarters/semester at The Art Institute by the student's total credit hours earned from all quarters at The Art Institute Campuses.

Incremental completion rate is determined as follows (transitional study credits do not count in this calculation):

(EARNED CREDITS at the institution + TRANSFER CREDITS Accepted) divided by (ATTEMPTED CREDITS at the institution + TRANSFER CREDITS Accepted)

The 150% MTF: Only the attempted courses required in the program for which the student is currently enrolled are used in determining the number of MTF credits remaining. Transitional study courses do not count in this calculation.

The 150% MTF is determined as follows:

TOTAL CREDITS NEEDED TO GRADUATE FROM THE PROGRAM x 1.5 = TOTAL NUMBER OF CREDITS ALLOWED TO BE ATTEMPTED.

Student Status Changes and Sap

Transfer Students

Transfer credits from other post-secondary institutions are calculated in the maximum time frame allowable credits and incremental completed rate requirements. Therefore, the maximum number of attempted credits for a student with transfer credit is still one and one-half times the number of credits required to complete a program for graduation.

Example: if a student transfers in 36 credits to a program consisting of 180 credits, the calculation would be 180 X 1.5 = 270 credits. Therefore, the 36 transfer credits would be considered attempted and earned so only 234 more credits could be attempted.

Grades for credits transferred in from any post-secondary institution (including an Art Institute) will be recorded as "TR" in the Student Information System and will not affect the student's CGPA.

Students wishing to transfer from one Art Institute to another may do so only if they are in good standing at the sending school. If the student is transferring to a different institution (as defined by the Department of Education as a campus that does not share the same leading six-digit OPE-ID number), then he or she is treated as a student transferring in from an unaffiliated institution.  Any student dismissed for violation satisfactory academic progress cannot transfer or be considered a New student (if they had a break in enrollment) at another affiliated Art Institute until he or she has been granted an appeal at the original school and is deemed to be making satisfactory academic progress.

Changes in Program

Unless a second change is specifically approved for the specific student by the Dean, students are allowed only one change of program and must be making satisfactory academic progress at the time a request is made to change programs.

Courses taken in one program that is applicable to the second program will be transferred with the applicable grade. If the student has taken a course more than once, only the grades transferred to that new program will apply to the second program. All grades earned in the original program that apply to the new program will count towards the SAP CGPA (SGPA). For ICR and 150% purposes only, those courses transferred will apply to the second program will be considered.

In the formulas below, the "CHANGE OF MAJOR" adjustment factor would be those credits from the previous major that we will NOT count in the student's current major.

Incremental completion rate is determined as follows (Transitional credits do not count in this calculation):

(EARNED CREDITS in the New Program + TRANSFER CREDIT ACCEPTED) minus CHANGE OF MAJOR ADJUSTMENT FACTOR FOR EARNED CREDITS divided by (ATTEMPTED CREDITS in the New Program + TRANSFER CREDITS Accepted) minus CHANGE OF MAJOR ADJUSTMENT FACTOR FOR EARNED CREDITS 

The 150% MTF Only the attempted courses required in the program for which the student is currently enrolled are used in determining the number of MTF credits remaining.

The 150% MTF is determined as follows:

TOTAL CREDITS NEEDED in the PROGRAM TO GRADUATE times 1.5 = TOTAL NUMBER OF CREDITS ALLOWED TO BE ATTEMPTED.

Second Degree

When a student has graduated from The Art Institute Campuses in one program, then subsequently begins work in a different program, grades used in the CGPA of the previous program will be applied to the student's new program CGPA calculation.

Satisfactory Academic Progress for Educational Benefits which are not Title IV Funds

Please note that in order to receive and/or retain certain education benefits from a source other than the Department of Education, it may require a higher cumulative grade point average and/or a higher incremental completion rate. Examples of these education benefits are State Grants, Veterans' Benefits, Department of Defense (TA) benefits or employee reimbursements. Please check with the Student Financial Service Office for details.

Graduate Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Policy

The Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy ensures that all students are maintaining satisfactory academic progress towards successful completion of their academic programs. Completing courses with C or better grades indicates academic progress. Receiving D or lower grades and/or withdrawing from classes may put students at risk. The evaluation points and milestones contained in the policy are meant to identify problems for which actions of early intervention and/or remediation can be taken.  Most critical to this policy is a student's ability to enroll in and complete courses on a consistent and successful manner.  This ability is measured in three ways:

  • cumulative grade-point-average (CGPA);
  • incremental completion rate (ICR); and
  • Within a maximum time frame (MTF). 

Failure to complete courses successfully for any reason may negatively affect a student's satisfactory academic progress (SAP) and are considered to be punitive grades. Failing courses, being suspended or terminated from courses, or withdrawing from courses could result in the loss of financial aid and/or veterans education benefits and academic dismissal.  In order for a student to graduate, the minimum requirements are a CGPA of 3.00, ICR of 66.67%, pass the Thesis Committee review, meet portfolio or other requirements as outlined by the student's degree program, and completion of the program in no more than 150% of total program credits and 5 years beginning with the first day of class. Refer to the Metrics of SAP section below for additional information regarding the calculation of CGPA, ICR and MTF.

Periods of attendance when a student does not receive Title IV aid are included in determining Satisfactory Academic Progress. Periods of Non Attendance are not included in determining SAP. While the terms Academic Warning/Financial Aid Warning and Academic Probation/Financial Aid Probation are used, the statuses apply to all students whether receiving financial aid or not.

Satisfactory Academic Progress Policies in the Pre-Thesis/Capstone stage

  1. For all quarter evaluations a student must achieve a minimum cumulative grade point average (CGPA) of 3.00 and an incremental completion rate (ICR) of 66.67%. A student not achieving these minimum standards (and has not reached the thesis/capstone stage of his or her program) is placed on academic warning/financial aid warning for the next quarter.  If a student who is already on academic warning/financial aid warning fails to achieve these milestones the following term, s/he will be academically dismissed from the graduate program.
  2. The student has one quarter to improve his or her CGPA or ICR to the mandatory level of at least 3.00 CGPA or ICR 66.67%.  If a student fails to do so, the result is dismissal from the graduate program. 

Note:  If a student is on academic/financial aid warning for failing to meet the CGPA and ICR requirements, it will be very difficult for him/her to meet the CGPA and ICR milestones of 3.00 and 66.67%.  In some cases the student may have to successfully complete all the courses attempted.  A student should consult with his/her academic advisor or academic counselor on the exact requirements.

Passing the Mid-program Assessment/Approval to Thesis/Capstone Stage.

  1. A mid-program assessment (typically, within the first three quarters of the program) of each student takes place to determine whether they will be accepted into the Thesis/Capstone stage of the program.  This assessment occurs separately from a particular class and involves faculty from throughout the department.  Students must successfully complete their mid-program assessments (as determined by the program director) prior to being accepted into the thesis/capstone stage of their programs.  Unacceptable assessments will result in academic warning/financial aid warning for the following quarter.  
  2. The student has one quarter to resubmit and successfully complete the mid-program assessment.  If at the second attempt, the student's assessment is still unacceptable, the result is an immediate dismissal from the graduate program.

Allowable Academic/Financial Aid Probation

Students may be on an academic warning/financial aid warning status once and academic probation/financial aid probation only once, after successful appeal during their enrollment.    Students not meeting the minimum SAP requirements will be notified in writing by the campus registrar and a meeting with the Dean of Academic Affairs. Students on academic warning/financial aid warning or academic/financial aid probation status are eligible for financial aid.

Thesis/Capstone Stage

Thesis/Capstone stage of any graduate program refers to the point at which a graduate student has assembled and is working with an approved thesis committee on the written and/or project portion of his or her thesis.  This stage usually commences after the mid-program review but may vary per program.

  1. For all quarter evaluations a student must achieve a minimum cumulative grade point average (CGPA) of 3.00 and an incremental completion rate (ICR) of 66.67%. A student not achieving these minimum standards (and has not reached the thesis/capstone stage of his or her program) is placed on academic warning/financial aid warning for the next quarter.  If a student who is already on academic warning/financial aid warning fails to achieve these milestones the following term, s/he will be academically dismissed from the graduate program.
  2. There are no academic appeals for dismissals allowed during the thesis stage.
  3. If a student is in the thesis/capstone stage of the program, the student may not receive a grade less than a "B." The result of a grade lower than a "B" will be the requirement to retake the course.
  4. At the end of the program, each student is required to make a thesis presentation to his or her thesis committee. 
  5. Students have a maximum time limit of five years to complete their programs from the first day of attendance and 150% of the program length in credit hours whichever is less, to complete their programs.

Appeal Process for Academic Probation/Financial Aid Probation.

A student who is dismissed for violating Satisfactory Academic Progress must appeal in writing to the Dean of Academic Affairs for re-entry before the start of the quarter in which he/she wishes to return. The written appeal must state the mitigating circumstances that contributed to the dismissal. The written appeal must be supported with appropriate documentation of the mitigating circumstances with an explanation on how the circumstances have been remedied or changed to ensure that he or she will be able to meet satisfactory academic progress if re-admitted.

The result of the appeal (appeal granted or appeal denied) must be provided to the student and catalogued in the Student Information System as well as the student's academic file. As part of the appeal the student must document in writing why he or she did not meet SAP and what in the student's situation has changed that will allow he or she to meet SAP according to a written academic plan.  

If the student's appeal is granted, he or she will be placed on Academic Probation/Financial Aid Probation for one quarter due to the shorter length of the program.  Students are eligible to receive Title IV aid while on Academic Probation/Financial Aid Probation if he or she is otherwise eligible.  Failure to meet the minimum CGPA and ICR milestones following the Academic Probation/Financial Aid Probation period will result in a permanent dismissal

If a student appeals and is denied the appeal, he or she must remain out of school until one year after the quarter in which the appeal was denied.  The appeal procedure described in this section will apply. The student must demonstrate resolution to the mitigating circumstance(s) and demonstrate that he or she will be able to meet satisfactory academic progress if re-admitted. The applicants will have to include describing why they failed to meet satisfactory academic progress before and what has changed to ensure that he or she will be able to meet satisfactory academic progress if re-admitted. Should the student have his or her appeal denied a second time, the student will be permanently dismissed from the institute.  Students cannot be on academic probation/financial probation more than once during their enrollment.

The result of the appeal (whether granted or denied) will be provided in writing to the student and recorded in the student's academic file by the school.

Any student who is on Academic/Financial Aid Dismissal can no longer attend school nor get Title IV at the Institution.

Mitigating Circumstances for Appeal

Following is a comprehensive list of events that indicate there may be a Mitigating Circumstance which has negatively impacted academic progress:

  • Death of an immediate family member
  • Student illness requiring hospitalization (this includes mental health issues)
  • Severe Illness of an immediate family member where the student is a primary caretaker
  • Illness of an immediate family member where the family member is the primary financial support
  • Abusive relationships
  • Divorce proceedings
  • Previously undocumented disability
  • Natural disaster
  • Family emergency
  • Financial hardship such as foreclosure or eviction
  • Documentation from the School Counselor and/or a Professional Counselor
  • A doctor documented illness of the student for a significant period of time.
  • Military Deployment
  • Military Permanent Change of Station (PCS)
  • Special Circumstances

Students should understand that by having a mitigating circumstance it does not automatically mean the appeal will be approved. The Appeal Committee will review that the student sufficiently provided documentation the mitigating circumstance (as outlined above) and that the student has resolved the mitigating circumstance.

Students who have an appeal denied can reapply; however, the passage of time by itself does not impact the Appeal Committee's decision.

Deans of Academic Affairs are responsible for determining the appropriateness of the mitigating circumstance in regards to severity, timeliness, and the student's ability to avoid the circumstance.  Any consideration of conditions outside of the list provided should be discussed with The Ai VPAA.  Student life issues and making the transition to college are not considered mitigating circumstances under this policy. For purposes of SAP, a family member means the student's spouse, father, mother, sibling or child.

Documentation from a professional counselor should not breach the student/counselor relationship and should remain confidential.  A memorandum or letter on school or organizational letterhead indicating a counselor's opinion that student issues may be accommodated to ensure that the student will be able to meet satisfactory academic progress will suffice as proof of mitigating circumstances as well as a student's ability to meet satisfactory academic progress with accommodations from the institution.

Students are NOT allowed to appeal dismissals for violating the 150% completion rate.

Other Reasons for Dismissal

Students may be dismissed from The Art Institutes for other reasons than those stated above if the institution determines that the student cannot satisfactorily meet the academic, professional, or ethical expectations, or other expectations of the program. Dismissal normally occurs when the Chief Conduct Officer or his/her delegate makes a decision for dismissal and communicates that decision to the student.

It is the responsibility of all students to be familiar with The Art Institute Student Conduct Policy in the student handbook (see Section Three, Reach and Section V, Disciplinary Offenses).

Any student who ceased attendance or withdrew from the institution will be evaluated against the minimum standards of the Satisfactory Academic Progress for grades and credits attempted as of the time of withdrawal in his or her last quarter of attendance.   Any student who did not meet the minimum standards of Satisfactory Academic Progress at the SAP evaluation point must go through the same appeal process should the student want to be readmitted. The appeal procedure described in the preceding section applies.

The Metrics of SAP

Academic Grading System

The grading system incorporates letter grades, equivalent numeric values and letter codes as follows:

Letter Grade Quality Points
A 4.0
A- 3.7
B+ 3.4
B 3.0
B- 2.7
C+ 2.4
C 2.0
C- 1.7
D+ 1.3
D 1.0
F 0.0*

*F does compute in GPA and CGPA and does count as credit attempted.

Other Grade Codes worth Zero Quality Points:

CR = Credit through examination Credits Earned/TR grade. This does not affect CGPA. They do impact ICR and MTF.
S = Suspension

Affects ICR/MTF/CGPA (Computes as an F)

NP = Not passing/Fail Does not affect ICR/CGPA This grade designation is utilized to indicate that a student did not acceptably complete a non-credited course
P = Proficiency Credit by Exam or Portfolio This does not affect CGPA. They do impact ICR and MTF.
PA = Pass This grade designation is utilized to indicate that a student acceptably completed a non credited course. Does not affect ICR/MTF/CGPA.
SP or SA = Satisfactory/Pass This grade designation is utilized to indicate that a student acceptably completed a non credited course. Does not affect ICR/MTF/CGPA.
T = Termination from course Affects ICR/MTF/CGPA (Computes as an F)
TR = External Transfer Credit Grade designation utilize for transfer credits. This does not affect CGPA. They do impact ICR and MTF.
EF = Earned F Students who met the course requirements by completing the final assignments in the course.  Final assignment includes a final exam, final project, final paper, portfolio presentation, or capstone project.  If a student completed all assignments including the final assignment of the course, but did not pass the course, the F grade will be considered earned.  The course's instructor will award this grade when appropriate. Does compute in GPA and CGPA and does count as credit attempted.
U = Unsatisfactory
Indicates that a student unsuccessfully completed a noncredited course. Does not affect ICR/MTF/CGPA
UF = Unearned F Students who failed the course AND did not complete the final assignments in the course.  Final assignments include, but are not limited to a final exam, final project, final paper, portfolio presentation, capstone project or any other assignment due in the last week of the course.  If a student completed some or all of the other requirements in the course but did not complete the final assignment of the course and failed the course, the F grade will be considered unearned.  An unearned F grade will be reflected as a "UF" grade on the transcript.  The course's instructor will award this grade when appropriate. Does compute in GPA and CGPA and does count as credit attempted.
W = Withdrawal When a student withdraws from the total program of study by the end of the ninth week of the quarter or from individual classes after drop/add but before the end of the ninth week of the quarter. The "W" is not used in the calculation of the GPA or CGPA but is considered attempted credits but not earned credits.
WF = Withdrawal Fail When a student withdraws from individual classes or a total academic program of study after the ninth week of classes.  The "WF" is calculated as an "F" in the GPA and CGPA. The "WF" also counts as attempted credits and not earned credits.
WV = Waiver Commonly used when waiving a Transitional courses and does not affect ICR/MTF/CGPA
WX = Course was registered for but never attended Self-explanatory and does not affect ICR/MTF/CGPA

Students receive grades at the end of each quarter.  The grade report contains both the grade point average for the quarter (GPA) and cumulative grade point average (CGPA) for the program. When a course is repeated after failure, the grade earned upon repeating the class replaces the original grade in determining the grade point average, though the failing grade will still appear on the transcript.

Repeating Courses, Withdrawals, and Transfer Credits

Grades earned in repeated courses will replace grades of 'F', 'UF', 'W', or 'WF'. Course credits with grades of 'F', 'UF', 'W', or 'WF' are included in the maximum time frame (MTF) and incremental completion rate (ICR) requirements as credits attempted but not earned. Credits from all repeated courses are included as credits attempted.  Transfer credits count in the ICR, MTF but not in the CGPA, and count as attempted and earned credits.

Changed Grade

When a final course grade has been established and recorded in the student record, the grade may not be changed without approval by both the Academic Department Director and the Dean of Academic Affairs.  Only the final grade (not the original grade/code) will be computed in the grade point average. The final grade is the one that counts in the calculation.

Calculations

The Art Institute measures and records academic performance by computing the Grade Point Average (GPA) and Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA) for each student, using the letter grades, four-point scale and credit-hour values. GPA is the average of grade points a student earns during one quarter. CGPA is the cumulative average of all grade points a student has earned over all quarters at The Art Institute.

Here is an example of how GPA and CGPA are computed: Imagine that a student is taking a total of two courses during one quarter. One course has a four credit hours value and the student earns an A. The second course has a three credit hour value and the student earns a B. Remember, each letter grade carries a grade point value. Grade point values are multiplied by credit hours.

In this example:

A = 4 grade points x 4 credit hours = 16 grade points earned

B = 3 grade points x 3 credit hours = 9 grade points earned

To compute the GPA, divide the total number of grade points earned for the quarter by the total number of credit hours earned for the quarter.

In this example:

16 grade points + 9 grade points = 25 total grade points

25 grade points earned divided by 7 total hours earned = student's GPA for the quarter, 3.57.  Rounding occurs after the 4 digit of a CGPA is calculated and if the fourth digit is 5 or over, it is rounded up.  If the fourth digit is 4 or less, it is rounded down.

A student's CGPA is computed in the same way by dividing the student's total grade points earned from all quarters/semester at The Art Institute by the student's total credit hours earned from all quarters at The Art Institute.

Incremental completion rate is determined as follows (remedial credits do not count in this calculation):

(EARNED CREDITS at the institution + TRANSFER CREDITS Accepted)
(ATTEMPTED CREDITS at the institution + TRANSFER CREDITS Accepted)

The 150% MTF: Only the attempted courses required in the program for which the student is currently enrolled are used in determining the number of MTF credits remaining

The 150% MTF is determined as follows:

TOTAL CREDITS NEEDED TO GRADUATE FROM THE PROGRAM x 1.5 = TOTAL NUMBER OF CREDITS ALLOWED TO ATTEMPT.

Milestones and Evaluation Points for Satisfactory Academic Progress Grid

Evaluation Point Both Milestones (CGPA and ICR) must be met Required Action
Pre-Thesis/Capstone Stage End of Each Quarter must be < 3.00 and 66.67%

Warning (if 1st time)/

Dismissal (if on Warning Before)
Mid Program Assessment

Depending on Program:

Failure to Provide an acceptable mid program assessment.

Warning (if first time)

Dismissed, if second unsuccessful submission
Thesis/Capstone Stage

End of every quarter during Thesis/Camstone Stage:

< 3.00 and 66.67%

Warning (if 1st time) / Dismissal (if on Warning Before)

  Earns a Grade lower than a 'B' Required to repeat the course.
Throughout the entire Program 

Exceeds the 5 year time limit to complete the program including Thesis:

Anything in excess of 150% MTF

Dismissal

Note:  Graduate students can only be on Academic Affairs Warning/Financial Aid Warning and Academic Affairs Probation/Financial Aid Probation once during their enrollment.

Satisfactory Academic Progress for Educational Benefits which are not Title IV Funds

Please note that in order to receive and/or retain certain education benefits from a source other than the Department of Education, it may require a higher cumulative grade point average and/or a higher incremental completion rate. Examples of these education benefits are State Grants, Veterans' Benefits, Department of Defense (TA) benefits or employee reimbursements. Please check with the Student Financial Service Office for details.

Minimum Academic Achievement Standards for Students Receiving Department of Defense Tuition Assistance

In addition to The Art Institute Campuses' Standards of Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy, in order for a Service member student to continue to receive Tuition Assistance (TA) military education benefits for TA-funded courses, the following minimum academic standards must be achieved.

The Department of Defense requires reimbursement from the Service member if a successful course completion is not obtained. For the purpose of reimbursement, a successful course completion is defined as a grade of ''C'' or higher for undergraduate courses, a ''B'' or higher for graduate courses and a ''Pass'' for ''Pass/Fail'' grades. Reimbursement will also be required from the Service member if he or she fails to make up a grade of ''I'' for incomplete within the time limits stipulated by the educational institution or 6 months after the completion of the class, whichever comes first.

Students using TA must maintain a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 2.0 or higher after completing 15 semester hours/23 quarter hours, or equivalent, in undergraduate studies, or a GPA of 3.0 or higher after completing 6 semester hours/9 quarter hours, or equivalent, in graduate studies, on a 4.0 grading scale. If the GPA for TA funded courses falls below these minimum GPA limits, TA will not be authorized and Service members will use alternative funding (such as financial aid or personal funds) to enroll in courses to raise the cumulative GPA to 2.0 for undergraduate studies or 3.0 for graduate studies.

The Secretary of the Military Department will establish recoupment processes with the Service member directly for unsuccessful completion of courses.

Retention of Student Records

Transcripts and other student records are retained in paper and/or electronic form on each campus. In the event that a campus has changed locations or ceased operations in a geographical area, students should contact the South University central office, 912-201-8134 at the Savannah campus for access to their records.

[return to top of page]

Intellectual Property Policy

As a creative community of teachers, artists and scholars, The Art Institute Campuses are committed to encouraging the creation of new works, new ideas, and new forms of creative and scholarly expression. This Policy on Intellectual Property is provided to protect the interests of those who create as well as the interests of The Art Institute Campuses themselves, which supports this creative and scholarly work.

I. Purpose and Scope

The unauthorized distribution of copyrighted material, including unauthorized peer-to-peer file sharing, may subject students and individuals to civil and criminal liabilities.  Almost all of the music, movies, television shows, software, games and images found on the Internet are protected by federal copyright law.  The owner of the copyright in these works has the right to control their distribution, modification, reproduction, public display and public performance.  It is therefore generally illegal to use file sharing networks to download and share copyrighted works without the copyright owner's permission unless "fair use" or another exemption under copyright law applies.

Fair use under the federal Copyright Act allows the use without permission of copyrighted material for the purpose of criticism, comment, news reporting or teaching under certain limited circumstances.  There is no blanket exception from liability for students or employees of educational university, however, and whether the use of copyrighted material without permission falls with "fair use" or one of the other exceptions in the Act depends on a very detailed, case-by-case analysis of various factors.  Students should be aware that sharing music, videos, software and other copyrighted materials is very likely not to be considered a "fair use" and therefore may be a violation of the law.  A violation of The Art Institute Campuses' policy for use of its information technology system can result in termination of network access for the student and/or other disciplinary action including removal of the student from The Art Institute Campuses.

Summary of Civil and Criminal Penalties for Violation of Federal Copyright Laws

Copyright infringement is the act of exercising, without permission or legal authority, one or more of the exclusive rights granted to the copyright owner under section 106 of the Copyright Act (Title 17 of the United States Code). These rights include the right to reproduce or distribute a copyrighted work. In the file-sharing context, downloading or uploading substantial parts of a copyrighted work without authority constitutes an infringement. Penalties for copyright infringement include civil and criminal penalties. In general, anyone found liable for civil copyright infringement may be ordered to pay either actual damages or "statutory" damages affixed at not less than $750 and not more than $30,000 per work infringed. For "willful" infringement, a court may award up to $150,000 per work infringed. A court can, in its discretion, also assess costs and attorneys' fees. For details, see Title 17, United States Code, Sections 504, 505. Willful copyright infringement can also result in criminal penalties, including imprisonment of up to five years and fines of up to $250,000 per offense. For more information, please see the website of the U.S. Copyright Office at www.copyright.gov.

The Art Institute Campuses' policies in regard to copyright infringement via the Internet prohibit the illegal downloading or unauthorized distribution of copyrighted materials using The Art Institute Campuses' information technology system.  The Art Institute Campuses' policies prohibit use of The Art Institute Campuses' computer network to engage in illegal copying or distribution of copyrighted works such as by unauthorized peer-to-peer file sharing (i.e., the sharing of copyrighted works, typically in digital or electronic files) without permission.

As a creative community of teachers, artists and scholars, The Art Institute Campuses are committed to encouraging the creation of new works, new ideas, and new forms of creative and scholarly expression. This Policy on Intellectual Property is provided to protect the interests of those who create as well as the interests of The Art Institute Campuses themselves, which supports this creative and scholarly work.

This document expresses The Art Institute Campuses' policy regarding ownership and usage rights with respect to Intellectual Property (as hereinafter defined). It covers all those who are a part of The Art Institute Campuses - faculty, staff, students, visiting artists, visiting scholars, or other participants enrolled, employed or affiliated with The Art Institute Campuses, and this Policy governs in all circumstances, unless The Art Institute Campuses have modified it through a written agreement connected to a sponsored or commissioned work or as part of work under a grant or contract. Should there be any conflict between the provisions of this Policy and the terms of a separate written agreement between The Art Institute Campuses and any party, the terms of that separate written agreement will govern.  This Policy is not intended to limit "fair use" as defined by U.S. laws.

II. Definitions (if applicable)

The following terms are used throughout the Policy and are defined as follows:

  1. Copyright - Copyright is the intangible property right granted for a limited period of time by federal statute (Title 17 of the U.S. Code) for an original work of authorship fixed in any tangible form of expression. Copyright provides the owner with five exclusive rights, including the exclusive right to reproduce the work, to prepare derivative works based on the work, to distribute copies of the work to the public by sale or other transfer of ownership (or by rental, lease, license or lending), to display the work publicly and to perform the work publicly (if relevant).
  2. Commissioned Work - A Commissioned Work is defined as a Work (as defined in paragraph K) that is produced or created pursuant to a written agreement with the Institution and for Institution purposes by (a) individuals not under the employ of the Institution or (b) Institutional Employees (as defined in paragraph D) acting outside the scope of their regular Institution employment, as determined by their existing Institution employment arrangement or contract.
  3. Independent Academic Effort or Creative Activity - Independent Academic Effort or Creative Activity is defined as the inquiry, investigation, research, or creative activity that is carried out by faculty, staff and Students of the Institution working on their own, that advances knowledge or the development of the arts, sciences, humanities, or technology where the specific direction, methodology, and content of the pursuit is determined by the faculty, staff member(s), or Student(s) without the direct assignment, supervision, or involvement of the Institution.
  4. Institutional Employee - An Institutional Employee is a full-time or part-time faculty member, visiting faculty, adjunct faculty, artist, scholar, or fellow (as defined in the Faculty Handbook), or a full-time or part-time staff member (as defined in the Staff Handbook), or Student, who is employed by the Institution or who is working under an Institution contract, either expressed or implied.
  5. Intellectual Property - Means: (i) trademarks, service marks, brand names, trade dress, assumed names, trade names, slogans, URLs, domain names, logos and other indications of source, sponsorship or affiliation, together with all associated goodwill (whether the foregoing are registered, unregistered or the subject of a pending application for registration); (ii) inventions, developments, improvements, discoveries, know how, concepts and ideas, whether patentable or not, in any jurisdiction; (iii) patents, patent applications and patent disclosures; (iv) trade secrets and proprietary or confidential information; (v) writings and other works of authorship, whether subject to copyright protection or not, in any jurisdiction, including but not limited to literary works (such as books, scholarly articles, journal articles and other articles, theses, research, course syllabi, curricula, exams, instructional and evaluation materials for classes, courses, labs or seminars, study guides, student rosters and attendance forms, grade reports, assessment of student work and projects, course or program proposals, software, data and databases, lecture and presentation materials); musical works (including any accompanying words); dramatic works (including any accompanying music); pantomimes and choreographic works; pictorial, graphic, and sculpture works (including graphic designs; illustrations, photographs, paintings, sculptures and other works of art); motion pictures and other audiovisual works (including films, audio and video recordings and multimedia projects); sound recordings; architectural works; and compilations; and (vi) copyrights, copyright registrations and applications for registration of copyrights in any jurisdiction.
  6. Patent - A United States patent is a grant which gives the owner of the patent the right to exclude all others from making, using, or selling the claimed invention in the United States for a set period of time. Similar rights are granted in other countries, but the discussion of Patents in this Policy will focus specifically on United States patent rights.
  7. Sponsored Work - Sponsored Work is a Work (as defined in paragraph K) that is produced or created under an agreement between the Institution and a sponsor which provides the Institution with ownership and/or usage rights to the Work and Intellectual Property produced under the agreement. Sponsored works do not include works created through independent academic effort or creative activity, even when based on the findings of the sponsored project, so long as an agreement does not state otherwise.
  8. Student - A Student is a regularly registered, full- or part-time, undergraduate or graduate at the Institution, including students attending the Institution as "special status students": e.g., as participants in Professional Institute for Educators (PIE), Continuing Education (CE), the Pre-College or Saturday programs, or in exchange programs or through special grants or fellowships.
  9. Substantial Institutional Resources - Any substantial use of Institution equipment, facilities, time, personnel, or funds, and use of Institution resources that are not "commonly provided", is considered a use of "Substantial Institutional Resources." This use does not include resources commonly provided to Institution faculty and staff, such as offices, library facilities, basic artistic facilities, and everyday telephone, computer, and computer network support. However, substantial time spent in the use of these latter resources may constitute the use of "Substantial Institutional Resources." Resources not considered "commonly provided" include specially procured equipment or space, additional staffing or personnel, utilization beyond normal work hours of Institution personnel, and monetary expenditures that require a budget. Faculty may use the basic artistic facilities unless use infringes on student use of those facilities for coursework.
  10. Trademark and Service Mark - A trademark or service mark is any word, phrase, name, symbol, logo, slogan, device, or any combination thereof that is used in trade to identify and distinguish one party's goods or services from those of others.
  11. Work - The term "Work" as used in this Policy shall be defined to include all of the items identified in Sections (i), (ii), (iv) and (v) of the definition of Intellectual Property in paragraph E.
  12. Work Made for Hire - A "Work Made for Hire" is defined as a Work (as defined in paragraph K) prepared by an employee within the scope of his or her employment.

Consistent with the Copyright Act of 1976, as amended, a Work Made for Hire under this Policy also includes a work specially ordered or commissioned for use as a contribution to a collective work, as a part of a motion picture or other audiovisual work, as a translation, as a supplementary work, as a compilation, as an instructional text, as a test, as answer material for a test, or as an atlas, if the parties expressly agree in a written instrument signed by them that the work shall be considered a work made for hire. 

Examples of works made for hire include software programs created within the scope of an employee's duties by a staff programmer, a newspaper article written by a staff journalist for the newspaper that employs him/her, and a musical arrangement or ditty written for a music company by a salaried arranger on its staff.

III. Policy Provisions

The Rights of the Creator of Intellectual Property  

A.  Faculty, Staff and Student Works

  1. General Rule

Subject to the exceptions noted in this Policy, as a general rule, The Art Institute Campuses do not claim ownership of Intellectual Property developed through Independent Academic Effort or Creative Activity and that is intended to disseminate the results of academic research and scholarship, and/or to exhibit forms of artistic expression on the part of faculty, staff, and Students.

  1. Exceptions to the General Rule.

Exceptions to the general rule set forth in III.A.1 above include Intellectual Property developed by faculty, staff, Students and Institutional Employees under any of the following circumstances:

  1. The Intellectual Property is developed as a Sponsored Work.
  2. The Intellectual Property is developed as a Commissioned Work.
  3. The Intellectual Property is developed using Substantial Institutional Resources.
  4. The Intellectual Property is developed by the creator within the scope of his or her employment with The Art Institute Campuses and constitutes a Work Made for Hire.
  5. The Intellectual Property is developed by a creator who is assigned, directed or funded by The Art Institute Campuses to create the Intellectual Property.
  6. The Intellectual Property is developed under a grant, program or agreement which provides The Art Institute Campuses with ownership rights, in whole or in part, to the Intellectual Property.

Under the circumstances described in Section III.A.2 (a) through (f) above, the Intellectual Property shall be owned by The Art Institute Campuses (or by The Art Institute Campuses and any other party as specified in any written grant, program or agreement).

The creator of any Intellectual Property that is or might be owned by The Art Institute Campuses under this Policy is required to make reasonable prompt written disclosure of the Work to an officer designated by The Art Institute Campuses President, and to execute any document deemed necessary by The Art Institute Campuses to perfect legal rights in The Art Institute Campuses and enable The Art Institute Campuses to file applications for registration when desired.

  1. Ownership Rights in Specific Types of Works.

For purposes of clarification and without limiting the general rule and exceptions set forth in Sections III.A.1 and 2 above, ownership rights in the following types of Works are allocated as set forth below:

  1. Curricular materials including course outlines, curricula, lesson plans, course handouts, PowerPoint and other presentation materials (in all forms and media), course content and syllabi are deemed to be Works Made for Hire and therefore all Intellectual Property associated therewith is owned by The Art Institute Campuses. Likewise, student rosters, attendance forms, interim grade reports, and assessments of student projects, including all Intellectual Property associated therewith, belong solely to The Art Institute Campuses.
  2. Unless developed under the circumstances set forth in Section III.A.2 (a) through (f), or a written agreement provides otherwise, scholarly articles and papers written for publication in journals, presentations and scholarly papers prepared for seminars and conferences, and personal lecture or teaching notes are typically not considered to be owned by The Art Institute Campuses as Works Made for Hire or otherwise.
  3. If any Intellectual Property to be owned by The Art Institute Campuses under Section III.A.2 (a) through (f) above is developed jointly with a non-Institution party, the parties respective ownership and usage rights in the resulting Intellectual Property shall be set forth in a written agreement.
  4. Where Intellectual Property is to be developed using Substantial Institutional Resources, authorized representatives of The Art Institute Campuses will develop a written agreement with the user of those resources, which must be executed by the parties before use of the resources, to identify the nature and terms of the use, including possible reimbursements or other systems of compensation back to The Art Institute Campuses.
  5. Unless a Work is developed under the circumstances set forth in Section III.A.2 (a) through (f), or a written agreement provides otherwise, all Intellectual Property created by faculty during sabbatical are owned by the faculty.
  6. Unless the Work is developed under the circumstances set forth in Section III.A.2 (a) through (f), or a written agreement provides otherwise, Intellectual Property created by a Student working on his or her own, or developed in the context of a course, is owned by the Student and The Art Institute Campuses will not use the Student's Work without the Student's permission to do so.
  7. Students working on a project governed by an existing written agreement to which The Art Institute Campuses are a party are bound by all terms of that agreement.
  8. Students hired to carry out specific tasks that contribute to Intellectual Property of The Art Institute Campuses retain no rights of ownership in whole or in part to that Intellectual Property or to the Student's contribution to that work.
  9. Students who wish to work collaboratively with Institutional Employees on projects which involve the creation of Works and Intellectual Property are required to sign and deliver an acceptable written agreement to The Art Institute Campuses outlining their rights before commencing work on such projects. Either party has the right to initiate such agreement.
  10. The rights of The Art Institute Campuses to a perpetual, worldwide license (exclusive or non-exclusive, as The Art Institute Campuses deems necessary), to use and reproduce copyrighted materials for educational, research, and promotional purposes must be included in any agreement with a non- Institution sponsor. 

B.  Independent Contractor Works

As a general rule, The Art Institute Campuses will own Intellectual Property created by an independent contractor if a written agreement signed by the parties so provides, or The Art Institute Campuses have specially ordered or commissioned the work and such work is designated as a Work Made for Hire in a signed written agreement between the parties. If The Art Institute Campuses do not own the Intellectual Property created by an independent contractor, it shall have a right or license to use any Work produced by the independent contractor in the course of performance of the contract, in accordance with the parties' agreement.

IV. Institution's Usage Rights

To the extent that faculty, staff or Institutional Employees retain ownership of Work and Intellectual Property according to this Policy, The Art Institute Campuses shall have a permanent, non-exclusive, worldwide, royalty free right and license to make educational use of such Work and Intellectual Property, including the right to use, reproduce, distribute, display, perform and modify (i.e. create derivative works) such Work and Intellectual Property in all forms and media now  known or hereafter existing in connection with its curriculum, courses of instruction and educational programs, and any related accreditation or promotion of The Art Institute Campuses.  Where practicable, The Art Institute Campuses will use best efforts to cite the creator of the Work if The Art Institute Campuses exercise such usage rights.

V. Institution's Marks

Intellectual Property comprised of or associated with The Art Institute Campuses' Trademarks and Service Marks, including but not limited to its name, logos, slogans, insignia, and other symbols of identity (collectively the "Marks") belongs exclusively to South University and/or its affiliates.  This Policy is designed to protect the reputation of The Art Institute Campuses and its affiliates, and to prevent the illegal or unapproved use of The Art Institute Campuses' Marks.

No Institution Mark may be used without the prior, written authorization of the appropriate authorities of The Art Institute Campuses. However, faculty, staff, and Students may identify their status or professional affiliation with The Art Institute Campuses as appropriate, but any use of The Art Institute Campuses' Marks in this regard must avoid any confusing, misleading or false impression of affiliation with, or sponsorship or endorsement by, South University.  No products or services may be marked, offered, sold, promoted or distributed with or under The Art Institute Campuses' Marks without The Art Institute Campuses' prior written permission and compliance with the licensing policies of The Art Institute Campuses.  All requests for use of Institution Marks must be submitted in writing to an officer designated by the President. The designated Institution officer retains information concerning what marks, names, logos, symbols, insignias, and related words, phrases, and images currently comprise The Art Institute Campuses' Marks.

VI. Substantial Use of Institution Resources

Although "Substantial Institutional Resources" is defined (see Section II. Terminology), it is acknowledged that such resources and their use may change over time, with changes in technology, physical infrastructure of The Art Institute Campuses, modes of employment, etc. Therefore, this Policy allows the Academic Policy Advisory Committee to review the definition of "substantial use" from time to time and implement any changes or clarification to the definitions which The Art Institute Campuses deem necessary in order to establish an appropriate standard.

VII. Review Scheme

Questions concerning this Intellectual Property Policy should be addressed to the Dean of Academic Affairs on each of The Art Institute Campuses.

VIII. Reservation of Rights

The Art Institute Campuses reserve the right at any time in its sole discretion to modify and/or make changes to the Policy as advisable or appropriate. The Art Institute Campuses agree, however, that it will endeavor to notify the entire Institution community through both print and electronic means of its intention to make modifications and/or changes to the Policy at least 30 working days before their enactment.

IX. Effective Date

This Policy supersedes any preexisting Intellectual Property policy of The Art Institute Campuses and will remain in effect until modified or revoked by The Art Institute Campuses. This Policy will be binding on all parties who create Intellectual Property after the effective date, and this Policy and other agreements that represent modifications to this Policy shall remain binding on such creators even after their relationship with The Art Institute Campuses changes or terminates.

X. Governing Law

This Policy shall be governed by and interpreted under applicable federal laws pertaining to intellectual property and applicable state law, without regard to choice of law provisions.