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The following guidelines are used in creating the Academic Calendar, University Calendar, or Campus Calendar each year.


Academic Calendar Guidelines – Final 2018.04.20 

Overall Guidelines

  1. The Valparaiso University academic calendar is comprised of fall, spring, and summer terms.
  2. The fall and spring terms shall be 17 calendar weeks in length, including a week break and the final exam period. This allows for 42 MWF instruction periods, plus a 2 hour (100 minute) final exam period for each three-credit course.
  3. The fall, spring, and summer terms shall span at least 16 instructional weeks. An instructional week is one containing at least one day of classes or exams.
  4. The first day of class in the fall and spring terms (a Wednesday) will be treated as if it were a Monday.
  5. Each term shall contain two mini-terms. During the fall and spring, the mini-terms will contain 21 MWF instructional days, and during the summer they will be six calendar weeks long. The final exam for any mini-term course will be scheduled during the last regular period of the term.  (i.e. there will be no dedicated final exam sessions.)
  6. Final exams will be scheduled over four days, Monday through Thursday.


Fall Term Guidelines

  1. The fall term shall generally begin the Wednesday a week and a half before Labor Day.
  2. The Opening Convocation will be held on the Tuesday afternoon before classes begin.
  3. Classes shall not meet on Labor Day, which will also be a university holiday.
  4. There shall be a two-day fall break, typically a Thursday and Friday, immediately after the end of the Fall 1 mini-term (which will end on a Wednesday.)
  5. There shall be a one-week Thanksgiving break, Monday through Friday of Thanksgiving week.
  6. The last day for the fall final examination period shall be no later than December 18th.
  7. Fall commencement shall be held the Saturday or Sunday after the final examination period.


Spring Term Guidelines

  1. The spring term shall begin on a Wednesday no earlier than January 8th, ensuring a minimum three-week break after the fall term ends.
  2. Classes shall not meet on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. Although attendance at events may be required of students, it is not counted as an academic day.  This day is not a university holiday.
  3. There shall be a two-week spring break, beginning the Monday immediately after the end of the Spring 1 mini-term (which ends on a Wednesday).
  4. Classes shall not meet on Good Friday, which is currently a university holiday.
  5. The last day of the spring final examination period shall be no later than May 10th.
  6. Spring commencement shall be held the Saturday or Sunday after the final examination period.


Summer Term Guidelines

  1. The summer term shall generally begin on or before the Thursday after Spring Commencement.
  2. Classes shall not meet on Memorial Day, which is currently a university holiday.
  3. There shall be a two-day academic break during the week containing Independence Day; there is no full week academic break during the summer term. July 4 will continue to be a university holiday.
  4. If desired, summer commencement may be held the Saturday or Sunday after the end of classes.

Academic Calendar Approval Process

Process for adopting/modifying existing calendaring guidelines*

  1. Suggestions for modifying calendaring guidelines can be submitted at any time to the Registrar.
  2. The Registrar reports these suggestions to the Provost’s Council which determines whether they warrant a full review. This review will be conducted by a group identified or selected by the Provost.
  3. If a set of recommendations to change the guidelines is returned to the Provost, said recommendations are circulated to EPC, GEPC, Student Senate, CCPC, and Provost’s Council for feedback.
  4. A revised set of recommendations are then sent to the Faculty Senate for further review. Its recommendation for or against the set of recommendations is sent to the Provost.
  5. Final recommendations are then made by the Provost to the President’s Council for approval.

Annual Calendar Approval Process

  1. Annually, the Registrar constructs a calendar for the academic year three years out, consistent with the approved guidelines.
  2. This calendar is circulated to EPC, GEPC, CCPC, and Provost’s Council for feedback.
  3. The Registrar makes any modifications s/he feels appropriate in response.
  4. The calendar goes to the University Council for approval.

*Guidelines include the structure of mini-terms, start-stop dates, etc.

Both of these processes would go under the description of the Registrar’s duties in the faculty handbook (Section 2.2.4).


Holidays published by Human Resources

Effective Fall 2021, add Labor Day and re-check the holiday list.

2021-2022 Holiday Schedule

DateHoliday
7/5/2021Independence Day
9/6/2021

Labor Day

11/24/2021 

Thanksgiving
11/25/2021Thanksgiving
11/26/2021Thanksgiving
12/24/2021 - 12/31/2021

Christmas

1/3/2022New Year's Day
4/15/2022Good Friday
5/30/2022Memorial Day


2020-2021 Holiday Schedule

DateHoliday
7/3/2020Independence Day
9/7/2020

Labor Day

Note from HR: Due to the change in the academic calendar this year Labor Day will be a regular work day.

11/25/2020 

Thanksgiving
11/26/2020Thanksgiving
11/27/2020Thanksgiving
12/21/2020 - 12/31/2020

Christmas

Note from HR: Due to the change in the academic calendar this year, Christmas break will begin on 12/21/2020.

1/1/2021New Year's Day
4/2/2021Good Friday
5/31/2021Memorial Day



From the Faculty Handbook

3.2.3 Reporting Grades

Midterm grades are required for all freshmen and athletes (athletes regardless of class level). These students are noted in the online grading module found through the faculty portal in DataVU. These midterm grades are due approximately one week before mid-semester. Mid-semester is also the end of the first 7-week period as noted in the Academic Calendar.

Final grades are due within 48 hours after the finals are given for a course.

It is very important to meet the grade deadline since many offices are waiting for that information to start additional processing. Late grades can also delay a student’s graduation from the University. Final Grades should be considered to be final and should only be changed in extreme circumstances. 

3.4.1.2 Examination During Final Week of Classes

In order to give students adequate opportunity to prepare for final examinations, no tests may be given in courses of three (3) credits or more within seven (7) days before the beginning of the final examination period.

3.4.1.3 Final Examinations

A final examination is required in all courses of three (3) credits or more. Exceptions may be made for such courses as independent studies, practica and internships, performance, studio, and activity courses. Final examinations are held at the close of each semester and, for courses of three (3)  credits or more, must be given according to the Final Examination Schedule published by the Office of the Registrar. In courses of less than three (3) credits, final examinations are conducted during the regularly scheduled class periods. Any deviation from this policy must be approved by the dean of the college in which the course is offered.

3.4.2.1 The Grade of “Incomplete”

The grade of incomplete (I) may, at the discretion of the instructor, be given to a student whose completed work in a course, at the course withdrawal deadline, would merit a passing grade and circumstances for not completing the course are beyond the student’s control. A faculty member must supply the list of students to whom they gave an incomplete grade to their dean or department chair, as appropriate, by the grading deadline.

An ‘I’ received in one semester or summer session must be removed by the beginning of the official examination period of the next semester or it will automatically become an ‘F’. The student’s deadline for submitting the outstanding work to the instructor shall be one (1) week prior to that date.


3.4.2.2 The Grade of “Withdraw”

The grade of Withdraw (W) is given either when a student withdraws from the University or when permission is granted to withdraw from a course. Course changes and additions for regular courses may be transacted during the first six (6) class days of a semester. After this period, no additions may be made to a student’s schedule, but a grade of W can be authorized until the end of the ninth week. A student wishing to drop a course with a W after the ninth week must submit a petition, signed by the instructor concerned and the student’s advisor, to the office of the dean. The Committee on Academic and Professional Standards thereupon may authorize a grade of W. Only in exceptional cases, such as prolonged or serious illness, will a student be permitted to withdraw from a course without a grade of F after the end of the ninth week of the semester.


From the General Catalog

Registration - Change of Schedule

Deadlines for course addition, course withdrawal, requesting the S/U grading option, and withdrawal from the University are published in the University Calendar. Once these deadlines have passed, students are held responsible for completion of courses under the terms of the registration they have selected. Changes in registration after these deadlines are allowed only in exceptional cases where students demonstrate that extreme contributory circumstances have rendered their registration in a course invalid. Serious physical disability, prolonged illness, or the death of a loved one: documented occurrences of this kind can be considered reasonable grounds for requesting an exception to the regular calendar deadlines. A petition for exception to a deadline must be accompanied by supporting reasons for its presentation. Forms are available online through the Office of the Registrar: valpo.edu/registrar. The integrity of the Valparaiso University transcript and ultimately of the University itself demand that special exceptions be permitted only when special circumstances prevail. Neither unsatisfactory academic performance, whether caused by inability or lack of application, nor lack of adequate evaluation of a student’s performance in a course before the deadline are, in and of themselves, sufficient reason for petition.

Students may officially cancel enrollment in a course during the add/drop period noted on the Academic Calendar (see page 5) without reflection on their permanent record. All requests for adding a course during that timeframe remain at the discretion of the appropriate academic dean or department chair, if the course is full. From the end of the add/drop period until the published deadline, a student may officially withdraw from a course with a grade of W (withdrawal) on the student’s permanent record. Students are not permitted, without an approved petition, to cancel enrollment in courses after the end of the ninth week of a semester. Not attending class does not constitute formal withdrawal from a course.

After the drop/add period and until the tenth week of a semester, the tuition fee is prorated for students withdrawing from the University. The refund schedule can be viewed online through the Student Financial Services: valpo.edu/student-financial-services. Courses dropped before the conclusion of the drop/add period will receive a 100% refund.

Academic Policies - Grading System and Quality Points

The grade I (incomplete) may, at the discretion of the instructor, be given to a student under the following conditions:
1. The work completed in the course so far is passing.
2. The student has been unable to complete the remaining work in the course because of circumstances beyond his or her control.
An I (incomplete) grade received in one semester or summer session must be removed by noon on the last day of the classes of the next succeeding semester, or it automatically becomes a grade of F. The student’s deadline for submitting the outstanding work to the instructor shall be one week before that date. No Semester Honors will be given if the student received a grade of Incomplete at the official end of the semester concerned. Students who are not registered in the next term (Fall or Spring) who are finalizing work from an Incomplete grade will need to complete a Campus Affiliation request.

To withdraw from a course students should submit the withdraw request on DataVU using the “Course Withdrawal after Add/Drop” link. After the withdraw deadline, students may submit the appropriate appeal to the Committee on Academic and Professional Standards. To withdrawal from the University (all classes), students should submit the withdraw request on DataVU using the Change of Enrollment Status / Withdraw from All Classes link.

Academic Policies - Admission to Courses on a Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory Basis

Undergraduate students are encouraged to venture outside the areas of their concentration, investigate new disciplines, and discover new, perhaps unsuspected, interests. If a student chooses, the Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory grading option may reduce the anxiety about electing a course in an area in which the student has had little or no prior experience. Students who are interested in conveying maximum information on their transcripts to professional and graduate school should speak to their advisors and the dean of their college prior to electing this option.

Certain courses normally result in the S/U grade, as noted in the catalog course descriptions. In addition to any of these courses, the student may take one course, normally letter graded (i.e., A to F), each semester on a satisfactory/unsatisfactory basis subject to the following conditions:
1. Such courses must not be selected from:
a. The student’s major or minor field or fields;
b. A repeated course, if not originally taken on the S/U basis;
2. Students in the professional colleges may choose the S/U basis for free electives (if not taken in the major or minor fields) and for courses which fulfill their general education requirements in Core, Humanities, Social Science, Theology, World Language, Diversity, or Kinesiology. For further regulations regarding the S/U option for business students, please see page 283.
3. Students must submit the electronic Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory Grading form by the deadline specified in the University Calendar.
4. A decision to elect a course on the S/U basis must be made by the deadline specified by the Office of the Registrar in the Important Dates document for the applicable term. After this deadline, the S/U grading basis may not be changed.

Academic Policies - Admission to the Course Intensification Plan

Students may propose a special project for earning one extra credit in one liberal arts course in which they are enrolled in a given semester. In addition, students enrolled in the College of Business (see page 283) and the College of Nursing and Health Professions (see page 347) have specific criteria for course intensification of their courses. This opportunity is part of the University’s course intensification plan. The following regulations pertain to this option for all students regardless of their college:
1. The course must be offered for three or more credits. Variable credit courses cannot be intensified.
2. The initiative and responsibility for developing a satisfactory proposal lie with the student.
3. Student must submit the Intensify a Course form, available online through the Office of the Registrar by the deadline specified in the University Calendar. The form will be sent to the student's advisor, the instructor of the course, the chair of the department, and the dean of the student's college for approval.
The course intensification plan is a type of honors work, and under no circumstances should be considered a substitute for regular course work.

Academic Policies - Admission to Courses as an Auditor

A regularly classified student may register in a course as an auditor only with the permission of his or her advisor and the chair of the department which offers the course. Deadlines to submit the Audit a Course form online are published in the calendar at the front of this catalog. An auditor may not be admitted to the final examination and is never granted credit for the course audited. No additional fee is charged when the student pays full tuition up to 19 credit hours. Any credit hour over 19 will be subject to the overload fee as published. Once in a course as an auditor, the student cannot change the status of his or her enrollment to receive a regular grade in the course.

Academic Policies - Examinations

Written tests and quizzes are given from time to time during the semester at the discretion of the instructor.
A final examination is required in all courses of 3 credit hours or more. Exceptions may be made for such courses as independent study, practica and internships, performance, studio, and activity courses. Final examinations are held at the close of each semester and, for courses of 3 credit hours or more, must be conducted according to a schedule published by the Office of the Registrar.
Final examinations in courses of less than three credits are conducted during regularly scheduled class periods.
In order to give students adequate opportunity to prepare for final examinations, no tests may be given in courses of 3 credit hours or more within seven days before the beginning of the examination period.
Exceptions to these policies require the written approval of the dean of the college in which the course is offered.

Academic Policies  - Withdrawal from the University

A student who wishes to withdraw from the University for the remainder of a semester or session must apply using the “Change in Enrollment Status - Withdrawal From All Classes “ link on the Students menu in DataVU by the deadline in the University Calendar. Upon approval, tuition and fee adjustments will be in accordance with the published refund schedule (see page 412). If students withdraw after the seventh week of the semester, they are ordinarily not granted readmission for the following semester, unless extreme contributory circumstances such as severe illness caused the withdrawal.
The term “honorable dismissal” refers to conduct and character only, not to class standing and grades. It is not granted unless the students’ conduct and character are such as would entitle them to continue in the University.
A student who stops attending the University without completing the appropriate paperwork is not entitled to refunds of any kind, and the instructor of each course in which the student is enrolled is required to report a final grade of F to the Office of the Registrar.

Academic Policies - Graduation

Valparaiso University has three graduation periods per academic year: May, August, and December. These graduation periods begin on the last day of each academic term and continue for 30 days. Any student with unmet requirements at the close of the graduation period must defer to the next graduation period, regardless of the circumstances. In order to graduate, students must complete the Graduation Application, available through DataVU, for each degree or certificate separately by the deadlines published in the University Calendar.

Academic Policies - Application for a Degree

Students initiate the graduation process by discussing their plan of study with their advisor and completing a Graduation Application online through DataVU. A student who wishes to receive a degree at the end of a Fall Semester must formally apply no later than the preceding April 1st. A student who wishes to receive a degree at the end of a Spring Semester or a Summer Session must formally apply no later than the preceding October 1st.
Once this application has been processed, the students’ degrees will be audited by the Office of the Registrar, and students will be notified of any requirements they have yet to fulfill after registering for their last semester. Each student will be placed on a mailing list to receive all communications regarding commencement and Grad Finale, an event at which candidates can complete tasks in preparation for graduation related to their cap and gown, verifying their diploma details, and gathering important information from several departments. Being on the mailing list will also allow the student to receive tickets for guests to attend commencement.
Candidates who expect to complete requirements in absentia, must be sure that all course work is completed by the deadline date set for candidates who are registered on campus. Official transcripts for transfer work must be on file in the Office of the Registrar no later than ten days after the close of a semester or session. Further information will be furnished upon request from those candidates completing degree requirements in absentia.


From University Forms

REG - Audit a Course

This petition is to take a course for no credit and no grade. See the University Catalog for full description. Graduate Students may not audit a course.

The deadline for this petition is the same as the deadline to add or drop a course and is published in the University Calendar in the General Catalog.

REG - Intensify a Course

Students may propose a special project for earning one extra credit in one course in which they are enrolled in a given semester. See the University Catalog for the full intensification policy.

The deadline for this petition is published in the University Calendar in the General Catalog. valpo.edu/registrar/catalog

REG - Sat/Unsat Grade Petition

This petition is to change the grading for a course from a letter grade assignment to a Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory grade.

See the University Catalog for full description.

The deadline for this petition is the 4th week of the semester in fall and spring. The deadline is prorated for 7 week courses and shorter semesters.

Please refer to the academic calendar for specific dates.


Recommendation from CELT regarding Extra Thursday

Faculty Senate document from April 2019

Charge to CELT: The Faculty Senate requested that CELT evaluate how to use the extra Thursday in the spring semester of the revised academic calendar.

Recommendation: CELT recommends that the extra Thursday during the spring semester is an Academic Showcase for students and faculty, celebrating their work and accomplishments for that year.

Possibilities Considered:

  • Just a regular Thursday: this would be the default, if no other option were chosen
  • Teach-In Day: faculty were concerned about the additional work this would entail
  • Just another day without classes: anticipated little support from campus leadership
  • Academic Showcase (with no classes meeting): research presentations and performances

Proposed Schedule for Academic Showcase: This is one possibility for a proposed Academic Showcase schedule that includes many events that currently occur near the end of the spring semester. Some events could be omitted or additional events added depending on the interest of the sponsoring organization. This proposed schedule does not indicate any commitment from these organizations.

TimeEvent
8:30 - 10:30UGR/GRAD Poster Presentations
10:00 - 1:00COE Design Expo: Senior Design
10:30 - 11:30Gallery Talk with Student Artists
11:30 - 12:00Student Art Purchase Award
12:00 - 1:30Luncheon with Keynote Speaker
1:30 - 3:30UGR Oral Presentations
3:30 - 4:30Grad School Oral Presentations
4:30 - 6:00Faculty Excellence in Teaching and Scholarship & Creative Work with Reception
3:00 - 8:00COE Design Expo: Civil Engineering
5:00 - 7:00Student Solo & Chamber Recitals
8:00Student Showcase Production
8:00 - 3:30Doc of Nursing Presentations
10:00 - 5:00Juried Student Art Exhibit

Note that many events that include food (e.g., Awards lunches or dinners) cannot all happen on this day.

Advantages

  • Multiple celebratory events already occur on campus near the end of the spring semester; this would gather many of them on a single day.
  • Reading Day will no longer be a business day, so some events that occur on that day (such as the reception for the Teaching Award winners) will need to be moved to another day.
  • By not having classes, students and faculty would be available to attend activities (e.g., present and/or attend presentations).

Disadvantage or cautionary words: the day could become saturated with too many events.