List of Academic Policies: F - I

FERPA - Privacy and Release of Student Information

I. Purpose and scope of the statement:

  1. Purpose—This statement establishes updated guidelines for the University on the matter of confidentiality of student records. It has been developed in the light of legislation concerning access to and release of information maintained in student records in institutions of higher learning (the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974). Any questions on these policies should be referred to the University Registrar.
  2. Scope—These policies encompass all student records maintained by the University. They apply to all students, current or former, at Appalachian State University.

II. University policy regarding confidentiality of student information:

  1. In response to inquiries from the general public, such as prospective employers, credit investigators, etc., only the following directory information is released without the student's permission: "the student's name; local and permanent telephone listing; permanent address; University post office box number; E-mail address; academic classification; enrollment status during a particular academic term (i.e., full-time or part-time); field(s) of study; dates of attendance; degrees, honors and awards received; participation in officially recognized activities and sports; weight, height, athletic statistics and photographic representations of members of athletic teams."
  2. Transcripts are released only upon the written request of the student. Transcripts will not be released if the student is financially indebted to the University.
  3. A student has the right to inspect the contents of her/his educational records with the exception of documents submitted to the University in confidence prior to January 1, 1975. Transcripts on file from other institutions are property of Appalachian and will not be returned to the student or sent elsewhere at her/his request.
  4. If parents or guardians request academic or personal information other than that specified in statement II.A., the request will not be honored without the student's written permission unless the parent can present evidence of the student's being dependent upon the parent for support as defined by the Federal Internal Revenue code.
  5. As of January 3, 2012, the U.S. Department of Education's FERPA regulations expand the circumstances under which a student's education records and personally identifiable information (PII) contained in such records — including a student's Social Security Number, grades, or other private information — may be accessed without the student's consent. First, the U.S. Comptroller General, the U.S. Attorney General, the U.S. Secretary of Education, or state and local education authorities ("Federal and State Authorities") may allow access to a student's records and PII without the student's consent to any third party designated by a Federal or State Authority to evaluate a federal- or state-supported education program. The evaluation may relate to any program that is "principally engaged in the provision of education," such as early childhood education and job training, as well as any program that is administered by an education agency or institution. Second, Federal and State Authorities may allow access to a student's education records and PII without the student's consent to researchers performing certain types of studies, in certain cases even when the University objects to or does not request such research. Federal and State Authorities must obtain certain use-restriction and data security promises from the entities that they authorize to receive a student's PII, but the Authorities need not maintain direct control over such entities. In addition, in connection with Statewide Longitudinal Data Systems, State Authorities may collect, compile, permanently retain, and share without a student's consent PII from the student's education records, and they may track a student's participation in education and other programs by linking such PII to other personal information about the student that they obtain from other Federal or State data sources, including workforce development, unemployment insurance, child welfare, juvenile justice, military service, and migrant student records systems.

Students' Education Records at The University of North Carolina General Administration

Certain personally identifiable information about students ("education records") may be maintained at The University of North Carolina General Administration, which serves the Board of Governors of the University system. This student information may be the same as, or derivative of, information maintained by a constituent institution of the University; or it may be additional information. Whatever their origins, education records maintained at The University of North Carolina General Administration are subject to the federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA).

FERPA provides that a student may inspect her or his education records. If the student finds the records to be inaccurate, mislead¬ing, or otherwise in violation of the student's privacy rights, the student may request amendment to the record. FERPA also provides that a student's personally identifiable information may not be released to someone else unless (1) the student has given a proper consent for disclosure or (2) provisions of FERPA or federal regulations issued pursuant to FERPA permit the information to be re¬leased without the student's consent. A student may file with the U.S. Department of Education a complaint concerning failure of The University of North Carolina General Administration or an institution to comply with FERPA. The policies of The University of North Carolina General Administration concerning FERPA may be inspected in the office at each constituent institution designated to maintain the FERPA policies of the institution. Policies of The UNC General Administration may also be accessed in the Office of the Secretary of The University of North Carolina, General Administration, 910 Raleigh Road, Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Further details about FERPA and FERPA procedures are to be found at The UNC General Administration in the referenced policies. Questions about the policies may be directed to the Legal Affairs Division, The University of North Carolina, General Administration, 910 Raleigh Road, Chapel Hill, North Carolina. (Mailing address: P.O. Box 2688, Chapel Hill, NC 27515-2688; Tel: 919-962-4588).

Field-Based Programs

Designed specifically for part-time students, selected master's and specialist's degree programs, the doctoral program, and several certificate programs provide the opportunity for students to complete the program in a location other than Boone. The admissions process is the same, as are the requirements for completing the degree or certificate.

Most of the programs offered off campus are managed in a cohort format: Students are admitted to a cohort and that cohort completes all classes together on a schedule set at the start of the cohort. The Office of Distance Education works with the graduate program directors to plan, advertise, and coordinate the off-campus cohort. Contact the Office of Distance Education for information on programs offered in this manner ( See also the specific program section in this Bulletin for information on the location of instruction.

GPA Requirements – Good Standing

Grades on coursework may not average lower than 3.0 at any time in the program. No student may include more than 3 C-level grades in a program of study. No graduate course with a grade of "F" or "U" will be credited toward the degree.

Grade Appeals

Students wishing to appeal a grade must follow the procedure detailed in the "Final Grade Appeal Procedure" page available from the Office of Academic Affairs ( Below is a summary of the steps involved. Students should obtain and follow the detailed steps in the appeal procedure document as soon as possible after the grade is assigned.

  1. The student should first attempt to resolve the issue with the course instructor.
  2. If the student is unable to reach an agreement with the instructor, the student must file the written appeal with the department chair within 14 calendar days after consulting with the instructor.
  3. If there is failure to reach an agreement through consultation with the chair, the student may file the written appeal with the Grade Appeals Committee through the Dean of the academic college or school in which the grade was awarded. The student must file this written appeal within 30 calendar days after the beginning of classes in the next semester after the contested grade was awarded.

Grades and GPA

At the end of an academic term, grades are given in each course by letters that indicate the quality of work done by the student. At the graduate level, the final grade-point average (GPA) is calculated only on grades assigned to courses within the approved Program of Study. However, all courses taken at the graduate level are included in the cumulative grade-point average until the Program of Study is approved by the Graduate School. Graduate grades and grade points are given as follows:

ASuperior graduate accomplishment; 4.0 grade points per semester hour
A-3.7 grade points per semester hour
B+3.3 grade points per semester hour
BAdequate graduate accomplishment; 3.0 grade points per semester hour (3.0 is the overall GPA needed to remain in good standing)
B-2.7 grade points per semester hour
C+2.3 grade points per semester hour
CInadequate but passing; 2.0 grade points per semester hour
C-1.7 grade points per semester hour
FFailing grade; 0.0 grade points per semester hour
AUAudit, no credit
IIncomplete, assigned because of illness or some other unavoidable cause. An "I" becomes an "F" or "U" if not removed within the time designated by the instructor, not to exceed one semester. An Incomplete is not given solely because assignments were not completed during the semester.
IPIn Progress grade assigned for dissertation, product of learning or continuation courses.
NRGrade Not Reported (hours not counted in computing GPA).
WWithdrawal, either from a course or from the University
WFWithdrew Failing, course dropped with failing grades after the last drop date in a term
WPWithdrew Passing
WUWithdrew Unsatisfactory
SSatisfactory, given for a practicum other designated courses. Also assigned to thesis hours upon final approval.
SPSatisfactory Progress, given for thesis hours until final approval by the Dean of Research and Graduate Studies.
UUnsatisfactory, given for a practicum and other designated courses.
UPUnsatisfactory Progress, given for thesis hours; students assigned a grade of UP must seek permission to continue to enroll in thesis hours

There are no grades of "D" at the graduate level; any grade of "D" assigned by a faculty member will be changed to an "F." All grades of "F", "I", "IP", "NR", "U", "WF" and "WU" in courses on the approved graduate Program of Study must be removed at the time of graduation.


Degree-seeking graduate students must apply for graduation; this application initiates the ordering of diplomas and the official review of the student's transcript to verify completion of all degree requirements. The deadlines for applying are the last working day of February (for Spring), June (for Summer), and September (for Fall). The application form is online and may be accessed via the student Appalnet account, for more information on the in the online application process visit: (

If qualified to apply for North Carolina Teacher Licensure, the candidate must also file an application for a teaching license. This form may be obtained from the Licensure Office in the Reich College of Education, and must be submitted with the appropriate fee to the Dean's Office in the Reich College of Education for submission to the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction.

Graduate students cannot graduate at the end of the academic term in which they were admitted nor at the end of a term in which they have not been registered. All graduate students must be enrolled in at least one hour of graduate credit during the academic term in which they graduate.

Students who apply to graduate and are not registered will be automatically enrolled in one hour of the appropriate graduate enrollment continuation course, GRD 5989/6989/7989. Other students who do not need access to Department or University resources other than the Library may seek permission from the Graduate School to enroll provided they have no program of study coursework remaining.

Graduation Requirements

A degree will be conferred upon a student who has successfully completed all program of study and exit requirements. All graduating students must adhere to all requirements and regulations, such as time limit, academic standing, transfer, and non-degree course limitations. Persons who wish to graduate in a certain term must:

  1. be registered for at least one semester hour for that term;
  2. apply for graduation by the deadline for that term; and
  3. have completed all graduation requirements or be able to complete all graduation requirements by the end of that term.

Note: Students must apply for graduation and pay the diploma fee regardless of whether they intend to participate in the commencement ceremony.

Harassment And Discrimination Policies

Appalachian State University is committed to providing working, learning, and living environments free from harassment and discrimination. Harassment based upon race, color, religion, creed, sex, national origin, age, veteran status, political affiliation, genetic information or disability is a form of discrimination in violation of federal and/or state law and Appalachian State University policy, and will not be tolerated. It is the internal policy of Appalachian State University to prohibit harassment on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity and expression. Retaliation against any person opposing or complaining of harassment is in violation of federal and state law and Appalachian State University policy, and will not be tolerated.

Sexual harassment is a form of discrimination based on sex and falls within the scope of institutional policies and procedures regarding discrimination. As with other forms of discrimination, the University is committed to maintaining an environment free of sexual harassment. In accordance with Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, the University defines sexual harassment as unwelcome and unsolicited sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other conduct of a sexual nature when:

  1. submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual's employment or academic decisions;
  2. submission to or rejection of such conduct may be used as a basis for an individual's employment or academic decisions; or
  3. such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual's work performance or creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive working, learning, and living environment.

Applicable grievance procedures for students, faculty, and staff are established and are outlined in the Appalachian State University Policy Manual and the Code of Student Conduct. Violations of the harassment and discrimination policies may lead to disciplinary action, including reprimands, suspension or dismissal of offenders. For more information, please visit:


Faculty may assign a grade of "I"—incomplete—when a student is unable to complete coursework at the end of the term because of illness or some other unavoidable cause. An "I" becomes an "F" or "U" if not removed within the time designated by the instructor, not to exceed one semester. An incomplete is not given solely because assignments were not completed during the semester.

Students intending to graduate must clear all incomplete work prior to the first day of the next academic term or they will not be able to graduate until the next term.

Independent Study

With the approval of the instructor, the department chair, the dean of the college, and the Graduate School, graduate students may register for independent study in their major field. Students registered for independent study must be scheduled for regular conference periods at least weekly. To register for an independent study, a "Special Course Form" must be completed with departmental signatures before obtaining the Dean's signature.

No more than six (6) semester hours of independent study may be applied toward a graduate degree, and no more than 25% of the student's degree program may be taken in a combination of selected topics and independent studies.

Individual Study

With the approval of the instructor, the department chair, the dean of the college or school housing the department, and the Graduate School, a graduate student may arrange to take graduate courses listed in this Bulletin and Course Catalog on an individual basis. Appropriate forms for requesting permission to take a course by individual study are furnished by departmental chairs.

Individual studies are required to cover the material normally addressed in a regular section of the course.

To register for an individual study, a "Special Course Form" must be completed with departmental signatures before obtaining the Dean's signature.

Internship, Practicum and Other Courses involving Field Experiences

Internships and practicums provide students with opportunities to gain experience with professional practice in their disciplines by offering realistic on-the-job experiences and personal contacts with employers.

The following administrative standards govern internships, practicums, and other field experiences for graduate credit at Appalachian:

Eligibility: Students seeking to pursue an internship, practicum or other field experience must be degree-seeking, certificate-seeking or working toward teacher licensure. Other students must have special permission from the dean of the college or school housing the department and from the Graduate School.

Registration: Students must contact the appropriate academic department advisor for instructions on approval and registration procedures. The academic department will make the final determination as to whether the student's proposed internship/practicum experience is appropriate for the academic program requirements; whether the proposed internship adheres to all University, state, and federal guidelines; and whether the internship/practicum supervisor is adequately qualified.

To register for an internship or practicum, student information must be entered into the internship inventory; please refer to the department office for further information. Students must register in internship/practicum credit for the entire length of the experience. Internship credit will not be awarded retroactively.

Contract: An internship/practicum contract will be completed and entered into the internship inventory outlining the responsibilities of the University, of the student, and of the participating agency or internship host.

Liability Coverage: Appalachian requires professional liability insurance coverage for all students enrolled in internship or practicum courses. When a student registers for the course, a fee is applied to the student's account to purchase professional liability insurance coverage.

International Internships: A student seeking an international internship or practicum experience must ensure that the office of International Education and Development has certified that the student has completed all required pre-departure paperwork and procedures.