Jul 13, 2024  
2018 - 2019 Graduate Catalog 
2018 - 2019 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

SOE: Academic Policies


Students in the School of Education are subject to the academic policies of the School and of the individual programs in which they enroll as well as the rules and regulations of the College.

Policies for individual programs are included in the description for that program. In accordance with The College of William & Mary’s academic policies, it is your responsibility for

knowing and meeting the academic requirements of your program.


Academic Standards

A degree is awarded only when a student has completed a program of studies with a grade-point average of at least a B (3.0 on a 4.0 scale).

Degree credit is granted only for coursework in which the student earns a grade of C-  or above. A graduate student may repeat one course in which a grade of C-  or lower is received.

The grade earned initially remains a part of the student’s record and is included in computations of quality-point requirements. Any student receiving more than one D or F in an approved program of studies will not be permitted to continue in that program.

 All papers/projects/dissertations/thesis submitted must be original to each course unless the student has explicit prior permission from the instructor(s) involved.

Academic Dismissal

A student will be dismissed from a program if he or she:

  1. Receives two or more grades of “D” or “F” in any course in an approved program of studies;
  2. Fails to achieve a cumulative GPA of at least a 3.0 upon completion of 30 credit hours;
  3. Fails to pass the EPPL doctoral written comprehensive examination two times;
  4. Fails to pass any section of the Counselor Education doctoral comprehensive examination (exam, paper, and oral) two times.

Under extraordinary circumstances, a dismissed student may be reinstated upon appeal to the Academic Affairs Committee. All appeals must but be submitted in writing to the School of Education

Registrar no later than 7-calendar days after receipt of the notification.

Grade Appeal

Students have the right to appeal a final course grade. All appeals must be submitted to the Associate Dean for Academic Programs within three weeks after the start of the next regular academic semester.

Grade Appeal Procedure

  1. The student shall meet first with his or her instructor to discuss the grade. Upon request, he or she should be informed of the evaluative criteria used in determining the grade.
  2. If the dispute is not resolved by meeting with the instructor, the student may present a written statement of his or her appeal, with available documentation to support the complaint, to the
  3. Associate Dean for Academic Programs. This statement must be presented no later than three weeks after the beginning of the next regular academic semester. The Associate Dean shall
  4. then appoint a member of the faculty other than him or herself, agreed upon by both parties, who shall seek to mediate the dispute.
  5. If the dispute is not settled by mediation within two weeks of the presentation of this statement to the Associate Dean, the student may request in writing that the Associate Dean appoint a
  6. committee of the School (typically three members) to review and resolve the case. (If the Associate Dean is the instructor involved, the student’s request shall be directed to the Dean, who
  7. will appoint the review committee.)
  8. The disputed evaluation shall stand or be modified in accord with the committee’s decision, which shall be delivered in writing to the instructor, to the student, and to the Associate Dean
  9. (or to the Dean, if the Associate Dean is the instructor involved). The purpose of alteration is to redress the appeal. The committee may substitute another grade or, if it lacks a basis for
  10. doing so, it may substitute a Pass, with a waiver of use of the course in any computation which would require a quality grade and a corresponding readjustment of the standard involved
  11. (e.g., the requirement of a 3.0 quality point average for all courses in the field of concentration for which the student receives an official grade).
  12. The decision of the committee shall be final, except that, upon receipt of a written appeal about procedure from either party within two weeks of notice of the committee’s decision,
  13. the Associate Dean may ask the committee to review its action.

Evaluation System

The Faculty of the School of Education uses the following grading system including plus and minus designations as appropriate to evaluate student performance in graduate courses:



Performance considerably above the level expected for a student in a given program.



Performance equal to expectation for acceptable performance at the student’s level of study.



Performance below expectation but of sufficient quality to justify degree credit.



Performance unacceptable for graduate degree credit but sufficient to warrant a “passing” grade for non-degree purposes (such as teacher certification renewal).



Unacceptable level of performance for any purpose.



Passing level of performance (used for selected courses and practica).



Notation used when a student withdraws after the add/drop period ends.



Notation used on all courses for a verified medical withdrawal from the College.



Used at the discretion of the professor when a student has not completed all requirements due to illness or extenuating circumstances. An ‘I’ grade automatically converts to an ‘F’ if the work is not completed by the end of the regular semester following the course, or at the end of an additional semester if an extension is granted.



Deferred grade only used for dissertation credit.


Students graded A receive 4 quality points; A-, 3.7; B+, 3.3; B, 3.0; B-, 2.7; C+, 2.3; C, 2.0; C-, 1.7; D+, 1.3; D, 1.0; D-, .7; and an F carries no credit and no quality points.

Definition of Graduate Credit/Courses

Only those courses numbered in the 500’s and above in the School of Education are acceptable for credit toward a graduate degree. Some courses at the master’s level have alphabetic

characters rather than 5’s in the hundreds place. When courses are cross-listed at the 400/500 levels, graduate students are expected to enroll at the master’s level. Courses offered by

other graduate schools and departments of the College are acceptable for graduate credit upon the approval of a student’s program advisor, irrespective of course number.

Transfer Credit, Course Substitution, and Course Exemption

Students who wish to request credit for graduate work taken at another institution of higher education, a course substitution in an approved program of study for a course taken at the

College of William & Mary, or a program course exemption should consult with their program advisor and obtain approval. If approval is given, the advisor will complete an approved

Transfer of Graduate Credit, Course Substitution, and Course Exemption Form and forward the request to the Office of Academic Programs for approval by the Associate Dean for

Academic Programs on behalf of the Academic Affairs Committee. If the request involves a course that is part of a licensure or endorsement program approval from the

Associate Dean for Teacher Education and Community Engagement is required. 

Transfer Credit - Prior graduate coursework can be considered for transfer credit only if it was completed within four years of the date of admission to the student’s current graduate program.

Also, in order for a course to be considered for transfer credit from another institution, the student must have received a grade of B or better. Only courses which were not part of a graduate degree

program may be eligible for transfer (providing the maximum number of transfer hours and the course age requirements are met). Request for transfer can be considered formally only following admission

to graduate study and upon receipt of an official transcript from the institution where the work was completed.

A maximum of 12 hours of credit earned at other accredited institutions of higher education and/or credit for coursework completed at The College of William & Mary prior to admission may be applied to a

master’s degree or  Ed.D. A maximum of  15 credit hours can be applied toward the Ed.S. or Ph.D.

Ed.D. students must earn a minimum of 36 hours and Ph.D. students must earn a minimum of 45 hours beyond the master’s level at the College of William & Mary. Courses taken prior to matriculation will

be counted as transfer credit.

Course Substitution - Graduate students who wish to substitute a course in an approved program of studies may request a course substitution via the Transfer of Graduate Credit, Course Substitution,

and Course Exemption Form. The advisor will assess the appropriateness of the course substitution. An independent study cannot be substituted for a required course unless the student petitions the

Academic Affairs Committee and receives approval prior to registering for the course.

Course Exemption - Graduate students who believe they have previously met the objectives of a graduate course offered by the School of Education may request a program course exemption via the

Transfer of Graduate Credit, Course Substitution, and Course Exemption Form The advisor will assess the previous course(s) for objective coverage and, when necessary, make the arrangements for an

oral and/or written assessment. Semester hours of credit are not awarded for exempted courses, and the total number of required hours in an EPPL or SPACE degree program will not be reduced.

Students enrolled in Master of Arts in Education (M.A.Ed.) programs in Curriculum & Instruction who have previously met the objectives of a graduate course offered by the School of Education may request

a course exemption from their program. Although semester hours of credit will not be awarded for exempted courses, the total number of required credit hours in the degree program will be reduced by the

number of credit hours exempted. Students who exempt one or more courses must complete a minimum of 30 graduate credit hours to be eligible M.A.Ed. recipients. Students must earn a minimum of 24 graduate

credit hours at William & Mary post admission to their current graduate program.

Independent Study

The main purpose of an independent study course is to give the student the opportunity to learn information not taught in regular courses. Independent study must follow departmental processes for approval.

Add/Drop and Withdrawal

Regulations regarding dropping of courses and withdrawal from the College apply to both unclassified post-baccalaureate students and graduate students who have been formally admitted to a program in the

School of Education. Failure to complete official procedures for withdrawal will result in a grade of “F.”

Academic Holds

The institution reserves the right to place an administrative hold on a student’s record when students have not provided requested paperwork, or have not complied with the rules and regulations of the institution.

Such holds typically prevent registration and/or receipt of grades or transcripts. Questions regarding the Dean of Education hold should be referred to the Office of Academic Programs.

Continuous Enrollment

Doctoral students must be continually enrolled during the academic year for a minimum of one semester credit hour from the time of matriculation until they have successfully completed and defended the dissertation. 

During academic semesters in which you are not enrolled in academic coursework or dissertation credits, you must enroll in one-credit of continuous enrollment to maintain active status.  Upon successful defense of a

dissertation proposal, you should enroll in dissertation credit hours for a minimum of three-credits per semester.  You may formally request a leave of absence from the program by following the appropriate

School of Education protocol.  Failure to maintain continuous enrollment will result in withdrawal from a program and require a petition to request reinstatement.

Leave of Absence

The Associate Dean of Academic Programs may grant leaves of absence to graduate students in the School of Education. Leaves of absence shall be granted for a specific period of time. A student who requests an

extension of a current leave of absence shall have the request considered as a new request. Students approved for a leave of absence will have their time limit for degree completion requirement stopped for the

duration of the approved leave period. Upon return from approved leave, the student’s time limit to degree completion count will resume. To request a leave of absence, students are required to complete and


submit the School of Education Application for Leave of Absence Form to the Associate Dean of Academic Programs at least 30 days prior to the leave request date.

Candidacy for Graduation

Students who have completed a planned program of studies and satisfied all of the academic standards of the School of Education are eligible to receive their degrees at the next regularly scheduled commencement

exercise of the College. Exercises are scheduled only in May following the spring semester, but degrees are also awarded in August and December. Students completing degrees in summer sessions or in the

fall semester may participate in the exercises the following May.

Graduate students anticipating completion of the requirements for the master’s, educational specialist, or doctorate degree must file a Notice of Candidacy (on-line form) and follow the School’s established deadlines

(announced on the School of Education’s web site calendar) with the School of Education Registrar located in the Office of Academic Programs. Additionally, some students may be asked to complete an exit evaluation

questionnaire or survey.


Each student is assigned a program faculty advisor upon admission to the School of Education. Students are responsible for planning a course of study with their advisors. Each graduate student and

his or her advisor should work closely together to develop a program of studies that is consistent with the student’s personal and professional goals; that builds effectively on previous educational

experiences; that fulfills degree requirements in foundational, specialty, and emphasis areas; and that satisfies relevant requirements for certification or licensure.

Transfer Between Departments and Within Departments

The three departments are defined as (1) Curriculum and Instruction, (2) Educational Policy, Planning and Leadership and (3) School Psychology and Counselor Education. Matriculated students

who wish to transfer between departments to a program at the same degree level will be required to complete an abbreviated re-application process. The student will be considered and treated as a


new applicant. The following information should be provided:

a. A new or revised application form to include a new essay that explains the reason for change;

b. updated transcripts, if applicable;

c. updated test scores, if applicable;

d. updated letters of recommendation, if applicant chooses to do so; and

e. any additional materials or documentation required by specific programs. After a student submits the new application, the review process will follow regular admission procedures.

Students who wish to change degree level must apply through the regular admissions cycle.

Changing between PhD and EdD will require a new application. For students who wish to change a concentration within a department, the student must receive the approval of his or her current faculty

advisor, the new advisor (if applicable), the program coordinator, and the department chair. Forms for a change of concentration are available on the School of Education’s website at education.wm.edu.

Requests for Exceptions to Academic Policies

To request exceptions to academic policies, students should direct their appeals to the School of Education Academic Affairs Committee, through the Associate Dean for Academic Programs of the School of Education.

Petition forms for this purpose are available on the School of Education web site.