View VFMC’s Academic Policies listed below.
Grading System Policy
In order to establish and maintain standards of academic excellence, the following grading scale is used at VFMC for all classes and by all instructors.
*Grades of P (Pass) and NP (No Pass) are only earned in ESL. The P/NP grade is calculated into the credits attempted and earned (for financial aid purposes), but not into the term or cumulative GPA calculations. The credits earned in ESL courses do not count towards graduation requirements.
I = Incomplete: An “incomplete” is an administrative mark that is given only by recommendation of the individual instructor and approved by the Office of the Dean. Incompeletes are only given in the case of an illness or emergencies beyond the students’ control. An “incomplete” will not be reflected on a student’s transcript as a permanent entry. If an incomplete grade is recorded for a term, the incomplete must be resolved no later than 15 days after the end of the semester. If no grade is entered by the 15th day, the incomplete grade will convert to an “F”. Exceptions may be made by the Office of the Dean.
W = Withdrawal: Beginning with the day after the add/drop period up to the week prior to mid-term exams, a student following prescribed procedures may withdraw from a course without penalty, and the notation of “W” will be made on the permanent record.
WP = Withdrawn Passing: Beginning with the day after mid-term exams to two weeks prior to the last day of class, a student following prescribed procedures may withdraw while passing from a course and the notation of “WP” will be made on the permanent record.
WF = Withdrawn Failing: Beginning the day after mid-term exams to two weeks prior to the last day of class, a student following prescribed procedures may withdraw while failing a course and the notation of “WF” will be made on the permanent record.
AU = Audit: The status of a student who registers for and participates in a credit course on a non-credit basis. A request for and approval for an Audit status is rare and will only be granted by the Office of the Dean.
TR = Transfer Credit: Signifies a course taken at another institution, which received a minimum grade of “C” (2.0) and is transferred into the student’s degree program.
Students may repeat a course if their original grade was 1.0, (D) or lower. A student may not repeat a course, if they have already completed the next course in a sequence, e.g., a student may not repeat EN 101 after completing EN 102. When a course is repeated, the quality point average will be recomputed based on the new grade assigned. Both the original and new grade will be recorded on the transcript, with an annotation that the course has been repeated.
Students may not take a course lower in sequence, in any field, after having completed a higher course in that sequence, i.e. a student may not take EN 101, if they have completed EN 102. A course progression sequence must progress from the lower difficulty course, to the higher difficulty course.
Gold Star (Dean’s list) is awarded to students who earn a grade point average of 3.5 or higher for the semester. Star leave for Gold Star students is one additional long weekend leave (after last duty Friday until 1845 hours Sunday), to be taken during the semester immediately following the award. Leave dates must be coordinated with the Company Tactical Officer. Walkout leave for Gold Star students is extended until 2130 hours.
Silver Star (Honor Roll) is awarded to students who earn a grade point average of 3.0 to 3.4 for the semester. Silver Star students receive one additional short weekend leave (after last duty Saturday until 1845 Sunday), to be taken during the semester immediately following the award. Leave dates must be coordinated with Company Tactical Officer. Walkout leave on Wednesday is extended to 2100 hours.
Red Star (Merit List) is awarded to students who earn a grade point average of 2.7-2.9 for the semester. Walkout leave on Wednesday for Red Star students is extended until 2030 hours.
Grade Appeal Policy
Cadets may not appeal grades assigned by faculty during the academic semester, but may speak with the instructor, and the Chief Academic Officer if necessary, about their concerns regarding grading and faculty academic conduct. The instructor (and CAO if involved) will work with cadets to find solutions during the semester. If a cadet believes their concerns were not addressed, once a final grade has been assigned for a class by the Office of the Registrar, cadets have the right to appeal. A cadet may appeal final grades which they can clearly demonstrate were assigned arbitrarily, capriciously and/or because of prejudice or clerical error by the instructor of the course. No other reason for a grade change will be accepted. The process for appealing a grade is as follows:
- The cadet contacts the instructor and attempts to settle any disputes within one (1) week after the beginning of the following semester (summer excluded). If the instructor agrees, he/she must submit a Grade Change Form to the Chief Academic Officer.
- If the instructor does not agree, the cadet may submit a Grade Appeal Request Form directly to the CAO within one (1) week of the meeting with the instructor. The written letter of appeal must contain the following information:
- Reason for grade change request:
- Any information regarding an arbitrary grade awarded inconsistently with the published grading scale in the course syllabus
- Any information regarding a capricious grade awarded with no basis on actual work performance or submission in the course
- Any information regarding a prejudicial grade awarded based on race, religion, nationality or gender
- Any information regarding a clerical error found in grade computation; for example, mathematical errors, processing paperwork, etc.
- Evidence to support the claim of an error by the instructor
- The instructor must submit a detailed explanation of the criteria and calculation for the cadet’s grade on the Grade Appeal Response Form
- The CAO will make a determination after reviewing the cadet’s claim and the instructor’s response. The CAO will sanction the grade change if evidence is shown to support one of the four reasons listed above. If evidence is not submitted or another reason is presented, the request will be denied. A written response of the decision will be sent to the cadet and the instructor. This correspondence will be forwarded via the Appeal Decision Form.
- A grade appeal must be resolved by the end of the following semester, summer session excluded.
- In the event that an appeal is submitted regarding a grade assigned by an instructor no longer employed at VFMC, the appeal should be made directly to the CAO. The CAO will gather as much grade evidence as possible to make a determination if an appeal should be approved or rejected and make the determination on that evidence.
- If the appeal results in a grade change, the instructor will then need to complete a Grade Change Form and forward to the Registrar for processing.
- Grade appeal decisions made by the CAO may only be challenged if the cadet can clearly demonstrate that the appeal was denied arbitrarily, capriciously, or with prejudice by the CAO. In such cases, the student may request the Dean of College Services to review the file as part of a formal grievance process.
- Upon review of the appeal, the Dean of College Services can either dismiss the grievance, follow the grievance policy, or take the matter directly to the President for review.
Program for Academic Student Success (PASS) Policy
This program is designed to allow for the early identification of cadets who may be at risk for successful academic completion of the term and to create a plan of action to support students to achieve academic success. The PASS plan is a four part process that spans the course of each academic term. The process includes early detection of struggling students, updates on grades throughout the semester, and intervention with cadets for the creation of a plan of action.
Information is compiled by the Enrollment Manager based on placement scores, high school preparation, and information from the admissions process. Those students identified as in need of academic support or those readmitted under Academic Probation or those placed on Academic Warning will be directed to meet with the Director of Academic Success to develop a plan including, but not limited to, tutoring, academic coaching, developmental coursework, and supplemental instruction.
Quarter Grade Updates
At the 1st and 3rd quarter of each term, cadets who have earned below a C in a course, or who are recognized as struggling by their professor, should be reported to the Registrar, who will keep a list of those cadets in need of support. The Registrar will report struggling cadets to the Director of Academic Success who will contact those students and develop a plan of action.
At mid-term, grades are posted for each course resulting in a mid-term GPA. A mid-term PASS report will be generated by the Registrar and passed to the Director of Academic Success for follow up. The Registrar will also notify cadets on the PASS List of their status and direct them to the Director of Academic Success.
Final Grade Reporting
At the end of each semester, grades are posted for each course resulting in a final GPA for the semester. The final PASS List will be generated by the Registrar and passed to the Director of Academic Success for follow up. The Registrar will also notify cadets of their status as part of the Academic Warning and Academic Probation process. The Director of Academic Success will engage students as discussed above in the Early Detection section of this policy.
PASS reporting dates should be established by the Registrar and communicated to faculty prior to the beginning of each semester.
For purposes of this program, faculty have discretion for determining the parameters of a student struggling in their courses. For example, faculty may use actual grades from submitted work, a lack of attendance, a lack of participation in class, the failure to submit work, a clear lack of understanding of material in class discussions, or any other determining factor that is appropriate to their area of study. However, in all grading and reporting situations, faculty must communicate their definitions of concern clearly to cadets and apply that definition uniformly throughout their courses. This element of the PASS policy applies specifically to Quarter Reporting, but is also relevant to the PASS Program generally. If a faculty member believes that a cadet may struggle moving forward at mid-term or finals, despite a sufficient student grade, faculty are encouraged to speak with cadets and provide their names to the Registrar for inclusion on the PASS List. This program is meant for the support of cadets and is not to be limited by the specifics of policy requirements.
Cadets placed into the PASS program are required to meet with the Director of Academic Success within one week of notification of their placement, or within one week of the beginning of the semester. The Director is required to contact cadets within one week of notification of their placement into the program and schedule a meeting with the cadet at a time that is convenient. The cadet/director meeting should be used to determine areas of cadet academic concern, what resources will be of best use to the individual cadet, and what an academic success plan would look like for an individual cadet. The director should then present the plan in writing to the cadet and retain a copy for their files. The director should monitor cadet progress on the plan and communicate with them regularly. It is the director’s responsibility to provide the plan and check in periodically during the semester in question with the cadet. It is the cadet’s responsibility to engage and carry out the plan developed between themselves and the director. The director should provide a report of academic success plans and cadet progress at the end of each semester.
Academic Progress Policy
In order to earn an Associate in Arts, Associate in Business, or an Associate in Science degree, students are required to attain a cumulative grade point average of 2.0 and a minimum of 60 credits in Core, program, concentration, and elective courses. Developmental course work in Math and English does not fulfill graduation credit requirements.
At the end of the first semester, any student who does not achieve a minimum 1.75 grade point average will be placed on Academic Probation. The following conditions apply:
- Weekly tutorial sessions with subject area instructors.
- Peer tutoring, as needed, for all courses falling within the probationary status (1.74 GPA or lower).
- Restriction on course load for the following semester to 12 credit hours or 4 academic courses exclusive of military science course.
- No participation in athletic competitions or extra curricular activities; students may participate in practice sessions.
At the end of the second semester, any student who does not achieve a cumulative GPA of 2.0 and complete 28 semester hours (including MSL courses), will be places on Academic Probation. The following conditions apply:
- No participation in athletics or extracurricular activities; no participation in practice sessions.
- Restriction on course load to 12 credit hours or 4 academic courses exclusive of Military Science courses.
- Weekly tutoring sessions with subject area instructors and peer tutors.
- Twice monthly meetings with Academic Advisor.
Transfer Credits Policy
At Valley Forge Military College, students can transfer in up to 30 credits.
1.) A 70% content match with an earned grade of C or higher.
2.) A match core competencies, program requirements and restrictive electives.
3.) Course description and course syllabus may be required.
Credits transferring from schools outside a consortium agreement are noted on the transcript as credits only with a “TR” notation. Credits transferring from schools within a consortium agreement are entered with both letter grade and credits transferred. Valley Forge currently has consortium agreements with Rosemont College, Cabrini University and Eastern University. A periodic review of policies with consortia assures maintenance of agreement standards. The Registrar’s Office is responsible for the final decision on course transfer credit.
Students may add or drop courses during the first two weeks of the semester. Any courses dropped from a student’s schedule during this period are not recorded on a student’s transcript. Any courses dropped after the official end of the add/drop period will be treated as withdrawal from the course.
Students have the opportunity to drop courses from their schedule after the official end of the add/drop period, prior to mid-terms. Any courses dropped from a student’s schedule during this period will be considered a withdrawal from the course, and will be recorded on a student’s transcript as a “W”. All withdrawals must be approved by the course instructor and the Office of the Dean. Students may not withdrawal from a course if the withdrawal causes the enrolled credit hours to fall below the minimum credits required (12 credits) for a full-time student.
Official records of students who withdrawal from a course after mid-term exams until two weeks prior to final exams, will reflect not only the withdrawal, but also the student’s current standing in the course, either passing or failing. This will be annotated as either “WP” for withdrawal passing, or “WF” for withdrawal failing.
Students are required to attend the course until the withdrawal is approved through Office of the Dean.
Valley Forge Military College maintains that consistent attendance is critical to academic success and enforces a policy of mandatory class attendance; class attendance is a duty. A student is required to attend all scheduled class periods unless authorized by an appropriate member of the Office of the Dean. Failure to meet VFMC guidelines will result in a failing grade for the course.
If a student earns two unexcused absences within one course, the student’s final grade will be automatically reduced by one letter grade. If a student earns three unexcused absences for one course, he/she will automatically receive a grade of “F” (failure) for the course. Failure due to attendance, will affect any Federal funding, scholarship monies, and full-time status.
In certain instances, a student may be authorized to miss class. These instances have been defined by the office of the Dean. A student will only be authorized to miss class for one of the following reasons:
- Medical Emergencies: Absences as a result of medical emergency are authorized absences. Scheduled appointments are not considered a medical emergency and do not meet the criteria for authorized absences. A student must schedule appointments for times that do not conflict with their class schedules.
- Emergency Leave: Approved by the Office of the Dean and the Commandant’s Office.
- Special Leave: As approved, in advance, by the Office of the Dean. Authorization for Special leave is approved for reasons such as College visitation for sophomores.
- Approved VFMC functions: These functions include such events as sports competitions, performing group commitments, and academic trips pertaining to instruction. All requests must be approved, in advance, by the Office of the Dean.
It is the student’s responsibility to manage their absence status and to provide evidence that the absence is authorized. A student MUST INFORM THEIR INSTRUCTOR PRIOR TO THE ABSENCE. For example, if a student is traveling with the band, and knows that they will be missing classes, it is the student’s responsibility to inform the appropriate instructors that they will be missing class. The student must provide evidence at the time that the absence is authorized. IF A STUDENT FAILS TO INFORM THE APPROPRIATE INSTRUCTORS PRIOR TO THE ABSENCE, THE ABSENCE IS CONSIDERED UNEXCUSED.
It is the student’s responsibility to inquire, from their instructor the specifics of missed course work and deadlines for submission of missed homework, projects, quizzes, or exams.
Students arriving ten or more minutes late will automatically be marked with an unexcused absence for that class period.
All late minutes are cumulatively totaled. When late minutes total 10 or more, the unexcused absence is invoked.
Section marchers will report absences to the faculty member at the beginning of each class and late arrivals at the end of class. Faculty will post attendance to CAMS on a daily basis.
A letter will be sent, from the Office of the Dean, to any student who has acquired three unexcused absences, informing them they have failed the course.
Academic Accommodations for Cadets with Special Needs
It is the policy of Valley Forge Military College to provide equal opportunity for academic success to all cadets. In accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act (ADAAA) of 2008, Valley Forge Military College seeks to provide equal access to its programs and services for people with disabilities.
To accomplish this, the Director of Academic Success identifies the education-related needs of cadets with diagnosed and documented disabilities and determines services and accommodations to be provided to those cadets to ensure optimal participation in their academic curriculum. The Director of Academic Success is the coordinator at the college for cadets with disabilities.
At the college level, the adult cadet is not required to disclose his/her disability; however, if a cadet wants to receive reasonable accommodations, he/she must disclose that he/she has a disability, provide documentation of the disability and the need for accommodation, and specifically request the provision of such accommodations.
Cadets with documented learning disabilities, based on testing within the past two years, who are requesting accommodations, are encouraged to contact the Director of Academic Success in Baker Library or by phone at 610-989-1354 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org prior to the start of the academic year or as early in the semester as possible, preferably within the first week, in order to allow for reasonable prior notice to determine eligibility and to make arrangements for accommodations, if warranted. All discussions will remain confidential.