General Undergraduate Academic Policies

Academic Integrity

All faculty, administration, and students of Colorado Mesa University have a responsibility for establishing and fostering an understanding of the importance of academic integrity. Academic dishonesty includes but is not limited to representing work of others as your own without proper acknowledgment, giving or receiving assistance on exams, papers, projects, or assignments unless authorized to do so; and misrepresenting your identity or allowing others to do so. Incidents should be reported to the instructor of the course if possible, or contact the Academic Department Head. Actions may be taken as a result of academic dishonesty. For more details, see the Maverick Guide.

Academic Probation and Suspension

Good Standing

Signifies that the student is making satisfactory academic progress (see Academic Standards section) and is eligible to continue studies at Colorado Mesa University.

Academic Probation

Indicates a student is not in good standing and constitutes a warning to the student that the student’s scholastic achievement needs improvement or suspension will result. Students will be placed on academic probation if their cumulative grade point average at Colorado Mesa University falls below the minimums listed under GPA minimum.

Upon being placed on academic probation, students are permitted to continue studies for one semester, during which time they are expected to improve their cumulative grade point average to the minimum required levels. Those who succeed will be removed from academic probation.

Students on academic probation will remain on academic probation until they raise their cumulative grade point average to the required level. Once on probation, a student must maintain a minimum semester grade point average of 2.00 to avoid being placed on academic suspension. Additionally, students with a cumulative Colorado Mesa University grade point average of 2.00 or lower will be limited to 15 credit hours per semester.

Academic Suspension

Indicates the student is not in good standing and represents a temporary, involuntary separation of the student from the University for a minimum of one semester for failure to meet minimum academic standards.

Following an academic suspension, a student must apply for readmission to Colorado Mesa University. For degree programs that do not have separate admission policies, the readmission to Colorado Mesa University is also readmission to the degree program as long as the degree still exists. For degree programs having admission policies over and above admission to Colorado Mesa University, the student must also reapply to the degree program.

A student may be suspended from and readmitted to Colorado Mesa University a maximum of two times. Academic suspension, when imposed, becomes effective immediately upon the recording of grades at the end of the semester or summer term.

The first suspension shall be for a period of one semester; i.e., a student suspended at the end of fall semester may not attend the following spring semester; a student suspended at the end of spring semester may not attend the following summer and fall semesters. A student suspended at the end of summer term may not attend the following fall semester.

The second suspension shall be for a period of two semesters (i.e., a student suspended at the end of fall semester may not attend the next spring or fall semester; a student suspended at the end of spring semester may not attend the following fall or spring semester). A student suspended at the end of summer term may not attend the following fall or spring semester.

If the suspension is due to substantial non-academic circumstances outside the student’s control (i.e., major medical issues, serious car accident, etc.), the student may submit a letter of appeal with documentation to the Suspension Appeal Committee in the Registrar’s Office. Deadlines and appeal instructions are outlined in the Registrar’s Office website. Filing an appeal does not guarantee approval and the committee’s decision is final.

Students may not enroll in any credit classes whatsoever (including summer term) during the period of suspension.

Academic Renewal

A student who re-enrolls at Colorado Mesa University following an absence of at least five years may be eligible for academic renewal. If academic renewal is approved, none of the course credits and grades earned at Colorado Mesa University prior to the five-year minimum absence will be used for meeting graduation requirements or in determining the student’s grade point average.

Among the requirements to be eligible to apply/petition for “academic renewal” is that the student must have completed 24 academic course credits at Colorado Mesa University, excluding kinesiology courses and remedial courses below the 100 level, with a minimum grade point average of 3.00. The student must apply/petition in the Registrar’s Office no later than the semester following the completion of these 24 semester credit hours. Matriculation and/or course completion at other institutions during the five-year period of absence has no bearing on the application/petition.

Academic Standards

The scholastic standing of a student at Colorado Mesa University is computed on the basis of all courses attempted at Colorado Mesa University (unless academic renewal has been approved; see next page). Grades awarded from any other institution will not be utilized in the grade point average (GPA) calculation.

Colorado Mesa University uses the four point system in computing the grade point average of its students. Under this system, a student receives four quality points for each semester hour of A; three points for each semester hour of B; two points for each semester hour of C; one point for each semester hour of D; and no quality points for an F. An example follows:

Hours Completed Points Awarded
3 Semester Hours of A 12
3 Semester Hours of B 9
3 Semester Hours of C 6
3 Semester Hours of D 3
3 Semester Hours of F 0
15 Semester Hours 30

Thirty (30) points divided by 15 semester hours = 2.00 GPA

Calculation of Grade Point Average for Graduation

Only the grades and credits awarded at Colorado Mesa University will be used in calculating the student’s grade point average for graduation. Grades awarded from any other institution will not be utilized in the grade point average calculation.

The specific discipline area program requirements must be completed as required by the appropriate academic department with a cumulative grade point average of 2.00 or higher.

Classification Status

A student is classified based on the number of semester hours successfully completed as follows:

Semester Hours Completed Student Status
0 - 30 Freshman
31-60 Sophomore
61-90 Junior
91+ Senior

Course Repeat/Grade Improvement

Any course which is taken more than once for academic credit at Colorado Mesa University is done so only for “grade improvement” wherein academic credit is awarded only once and the best grade received is the one used to compute the student’s cumulative grade point average and to fulfill requirements for the degree.

The lower grade will be excluded from the earned hours for the term taken and will be excluded from the GPA calculations. This may cause a negative effect on financial aid, Veteran benefits, athletic eligibility, scholarships, and other areas that use earned hours to determine student benefits. It is the student’s responsibility to work with the appropriate departments to consider options and potential consequences prior to repeating the course.

Exceptions to this policy are DANC (performing dance), MUSL (music lessons) and MUSP (performing music) classes, each of which may be taken twice for academic credit; Independent Studies (a maximum of six semester credit hours may be taken for credit – see the Independent Study section in this catalog); and in some cases Topics, Practica, Seminars, Internships, Structured Research, and Cooperative Education. See program sheets and the appropriate department head or director for these exceptions.

Additionally, program-specific exceptions to retaking courses for grade improvement may exist regarding courses in the major and may supersede the University’s general policy. Students should check with the head of the academic department for their major to determine if there are any restrictions for repeating a course.

The option of repeating a course for grade improvement is available to a student only if the course s/he wishes to repeat is still offered at Colorado Mesa University and is scheduled to be offered in the semester in which the student wishes to take it.

Courses taken at Colorado Mesa University may not be repeated at another university for improvement of the original grade and courses taken at another university may not be repeated at Colorado Mesa University for improvement of the original grade.

English and Mathematics Requirements

Colorado Mesa University students are required to complete the Essential Learning Core English and Mathematics requirements prior to exceeding 60 semester credit hours. Students should take the courses as freshmen. Those who need developmental courses before they are ready to enroll in the required courses should enroll in the developmental courses their first semester at Colorado Mesa University. Any required English and mathematics developmental courses must be completed with a “C” or higher. Students who are completing 60 hours of course work will have a registration hold placed on their account blocking them from enrolling in any additional courses until they have passed the required courses. Students are encouraged to work with the Registrar’s office staff to enroll in courses. Exceptions to this policy require the written permission of the appropriate department head (Language, Literature and Mass Communication or Computer Science, Mathematics and Statistics) or their designee.

GPA Minimum

Students are considered to be making “satisfactory progress” toward a degree if they attain a cumulative GPA consistent with the table listed below. Incomplete (“I”) and In Progress (“IP”) grades are tentative grades and until changed are not considered in computing either the cumulative grade point average or the grade point average for the particular semester concerned. “W” hours do not count as hours attempted or in the GPA. (See section on Withdrawal Procedures)

Cumulative Credit Hours Cumulative GPA
0 – 15 1.70
16 - 30 1.80
31 - 45 1.90
46 and above 2.00

Students failing to achieve the minimum GPAs listed above will be placed on academic probation. The student will remain on probation until the minimum GPA is achieved, providing the student earns a minimum semester GPA of 2.00. If a student already on academic probation fails to earn a semester GPA of 2.00, the student will be placed on academic suspension. The student will be prohibited from further attendance at Colorado Mesa University for a minimum of one semester (see Academic Probation and Suspension section.)

A student must achieve a cumulative grade point average of 2.00 or higher to graduate at the certificate, associate, or baccalaureate level. Some programs have additional GPA requirements to remain in and graduate from that program. See Programs of Study section and subject program sheet for specifics.

Grading System

Grades at Colorado Mesa University are as follows:

Grade Description
A Excellent to superior
B Good to excellent
C Satisfactory
D Passing but not satisfactory
F Fail
I Incomplete
IP In progress
W Withdraw
NC No credit
P Pass

Incomplete (“I”) grades are temporary grades given to a student only in an emergency case and at the discretion of the instructor.

At the end of the semester following the one in which an “I” is given, the “I” becomes the grade that is submitted by the instructor to the Registrar’s Office. If the instructor does not submit a grade by the deadline for that semester, the grade becomes an “F.” A grade of “I” given spring semester must be addressed by the end of the following fall term.

Extension of the time to complete work may be made in exceptional circumstances at the discretion of

the instructor. A student with an “I” grade, however, may not change the “I” by enrolling in the same course another semester.

Grades of “P” are passing grades and are not included in the GPA. “P” grades at the undergraduate level are only used for zero credit hour courses, sub-100 level labs or non-traditional credits such as CLEP, AP, military credits, etc., and may be applicable toward graduation.

Honor Lists

President’s List

Made up of those students who earn a GPA of 4.00 while enrolled in a minimum of 12 semester hours for a particular semester.

Dean’s List

Includes students who achieve a grade point average of between 3.50 and 3.99 while enrolled in a minimum of 12 semester hours for a particular semester.

The lists are based on semester grades, not cumulative grade point averages. Regardless of grade point average, a student who receives a failing grade (“F”) in any course is not eligible for the Dean’s List.

To graduate with Honors or Distinction, the student’s cumulative grade point average will be used in the determination of inclusion in the Honors/Distinction categories listed below. Each year during formal commencement ceremonies Colorado Mesa University recognizes the following categories of academic achievement:

  • For Associate Degrees:
    • With Distinction—Associate degree graduates with cumulative grade point averages of 3.50 to 3.74.
    • With High Distinction—Associate degree graduates with cumulative grade point averages of 3.75 to 4.00.
  • For Baccalaureate Degrees:
    • Cum Laude—Baccalaureate degree graduates with cumulative grade point averages of 3.50 to 3.74.
    • Magna Cum Laude—Baccalaureate degree graduates with cumulative grade point averages of 3.75 to 3.89.
    • Summa Cum Laude—Baccalaureate degree graduates with cumulative grade point averages of 3.90 to 4.00.

The grade point average for honors/distinction at commencement does not include final-term, in-progress courses. The ultimate honors/distinction recognition to appear on the permanent record/transcript will reflect the appropriate category based on the inclusion of the final-term course grades required for the completion of degree requirements.

Honor Societies

Alpha Chi

Membership in Alpha Chi is the highest academic honor which Colorado Mesa University can bestow upon its scholars. To be eligible for election, students must have completed at least 75 semester hours toward the baccalaureate degree with a GPA of 3.75 or better and be fully recognized by their faculty and department heads as having the qualities of character pertaining to the true scholar. Alpha Chi is the second oldest and second largest of those national scholastic honoraries which elect members from all academic fields.

Alpha Phi Sigma

Alpha Phi Sigma is the national honor society in criminal justice. For membership in Alpha Phi Sigma, a political science major or other student who has completed at least four classes in criminal justice must maintain an overall GPA of 3.20.

Beta Beta Beta

Beta Beta Beta is the National Honor Society in Biology at Colorado Mesa University. For full membership in Beta Beta Beta, a biology major must have completed at least three classes in biology and have a minimum GPA of 3.00. With these qualifications, a student may be nominated for membership.

Kappa Mu Epsilon

Kappa Mu Epsilon is an honor society for students of mathematics. Its chapters are located in colleges and universities of recognized standing which offer a strong mathematics major. The nominated and inducted members are selected from students of mathematics and other closely related fields who have maintained high standards of scholarship, have professional merit, and have attained academic distinction. The local chapter, Colorado Delta, is a working organization throughout the academic year. It functions as an integral part of the Computer Science, Mathematics, and Statistics Department of Colorado Mesa University.

Lamba Nu

Lamba Nu is the National Honor Society for the radiologic and imaging sciences. Its objectives are to: foster academic success at the highest academic levels, promote research and investigation in the radiologic and imaging sciences, and recognize exemplary scholarship. Membership requires students complete one semester in the BSRS program and maintenance of a 3.0 GPA in program coursework.

Nu Kappa Chapter, Sigma Theta Tau International

Nu Kappa Chapter, Sigma Theta Tau International, recognizes achievement in nursing. The purposes of the society are to recognize superior achievement and leadership qualities, foster high professional standards, encourage creative work and strengthen commitment to the ideals and purposes of the profession. Students must have a minimum GPA of 3.00 and rank in the upper 35 percent of their class to be eligible for membership. Nurses from the community may also be nominated for membership if they have demonstrated marked achievement in nursing education, practice, research or publication.

Phi Alpha Theta

Phi Alpha Theta is the international honor society in history. The objective of this professional honor society is the promotion of the study of history through the encouragement of research, good teaching, publication, and the exchange of learning and thought among historians. To be eligible for membership, a student must have completed twelve or more hours of history with a minimum GPA in history of 3.10 and a minimum overall GPA of 3.00.

Pi Sigma Alpha

Pi Sigma Alpha is the national honor society in political science. For membership in Pi Sigma Alpha, a political science major or other student who has completed at least four classes in political science (three at the 300 or 400 level) must maintain an overall GPA of 3.00 and a 3.2 GPA in political science.

Psi Chi

Psi Chi, the national honor society in psychology, is open for membership to students with either a major or minor in psychology. Minimum qualifications for membership are as follows: rank in the top 35% of one’s class with a minimum 3.00 overall GPA; 3.25 psychology GPA; completion of 9 semester hours in psychology; and completion of at least three semesters of university coursework. The purpose of Psi Chi is to promote and maintain excellence in scholarship in the field of psychology and to advance the science of psychology.

Sigma Gamma Epsilon

Sigma Gamma Epsilon, a national honor society for the earth sciences, has for its objectives the scholastic and scientific advancement of its members and the extension of friendship and assistance among colleges, universities, and scientific schools for the advancement of the Earth Sciences. Membership in Zeta Nu Chapter of Sigma Gamma Epsilon is open to continuing Earth Science majors with at least twelve credit hours of Earth Science coursework completed with a minimum GPA of 3.00. Qualified students are reviewed and may be nominated each semester.

Sigma Pi Sigma

Sigma Pi Sigma is the national honor society in physics. For membership in Sigma Pi Sigma, a physics major or other student who has completed at least three classes in physics must maintain an overall GPA of 3.00 and a 3.25 GPA in physics. A qualifying student may then be nominated for membership by the combined physics faculty.

Sigma Tau Delta

Sigma Tau Delta, the national English honor society, endeavors to encourage, promote, and recognize scholarship and achievement in English language and literature. Membership is open to sophomore, junior, and senior English majors with a minimum GPA of 3.00 in English.

Upsilon Pi Epsilon

Upsilon Pi Epsilon is the national honor society for computer science.

Independent Study

Independent study permits the motivated student an opportunity to expand his or her body of knowledge beyond the scope of the standard curriculum. It endeavors to foster qualities of self-initiative, organizational skills, self-discipline and independent thinking. It is expected that the student will engage in intensive study and research of the topic.

Independent study does not satisfy essential learning requirements or specific course requirements. Independent study hours may be taken for elective credit. Independent study is available primarily to students at the junior and senior levels with a minimum GPA of 2.75 except in certain certificate and AAS programs.

The work is to be completed within one semester from the initiation date and is limited to a total of six or fewer semester credit hours taken at Colorado Mesa University.

The department head or director of the academic department issuing credit must approve any exceptions.

An Individualized Learning Contract, available from the academic department head, is to be initiated by the student desiring independent study in consultation with a supervising instructor. The contract must include justification, description, monitoring, and evaluating procedures, and the approval by the instructor and department head.

Further restrictions apply in some disciplines. Students wishing to take an independent study should check with the appropriate instructor and/or department head or director well in advance.

With permission of the instructor, students may register for regular classes but do the work independently, or on their own. This is not the same as “Independent Study.” Students who have made prior arrangement with the instructor will still register for the regular course, and not for Independent Study.

Laboratories

Many courses at Colorado Mesa University have both lecture and laboratory components to a single course. The class and laboratory portions are technically treated as different courses with distinctive numbers and individual grades. A student is usually required to be concurrently enrolled in both class and laboratory. Credit applied toward graduation cannot be earned for the class or laboratory unless credit is earned in both.

Learning Progress Evaluation

The evaluation of a student’s learning progress in a course is considered to be a planned and continuous process and consists of a variety of activities including judgment, observation, testing, etc. Final examinations are a part of the evaluation process.

Article 13 of House Bill 1187, enacted in July of 1985 by the Colorado General Assembly, established that institutions of higher education in Colorado are to be held accountable for demonstrable improvements in student knowledge, capacities, and skills between entrance and graduation.

Students are required by Colorado Mesa University to take part in testing and other programs deemed necessary for compliance with this legislation. Students who do not abide by these requirements may be denied registration and/or graduation privileges. Portions of the assessment process may require time outside the normal class periods.

Maverick Milestone

The Maverick Milestone (ESSL 290) and Essential Speech (ESSL 200) courses will be taken concurrently on a student’s first attempt unless special permission is granted by the Assistant Vice President of Academic Affairs to do otherwise. A student may take the courses separately only for purposes of grade improvement or when the student wishes to take ESSL 290 for elective credit after the successful completion of the EL Capstone requirement (ESSL 290 and ESSL 200). ESSL 290 and ESSL 200 are technically treated as distinct courses with distinct grades. However, credit applied toward graduation requirements cannot be earned for either ESSL 290 or ESSL 200 until satisfactory credit (passing) is earned in both.

Students who are completing 75 hours of course work will not be permitted to enroll in any additional courses until they have passed both ESSL 290 and ESSL 200. Exceptions to the policy require the written permission of the Assistant Vice President of Academic Affairs or designee.

Non-Traditional Credit

Non-traditional credit can be earned from sources such as the following:

Military Credit

Qualified veterans and service members with a discharge under conditions other than dishonorable are eligible to receive credit. The credit for learning gained in the U.S. Military is based on the American Council on Education (ACE) Military Guide credit recommendations found on a Joint Services Transcript (JST) or a Community College of the Air Force Transcript (CCAF). Military credit is evaluated by the Registrar’s Office when official copies of transcripts are received directly from JST or CCAF. Course equivalencies are based on the ACE recommendations, and current courses offered at Colorado Mesa University, with academic department input on specialization courses within the major. A maximum of 30 semester credit hours to be used toward lower and upper division courses may be accepted. Students with military credit should meet with the Veteran Services Office to discuss selecting a program of study that optimizes use of military credit for graduation. Contact the Registrar’s Office for more information.

Advanced Placement Program

Students wishing academic credit or advanced placement for college level work done while enrolled in high school should take the appropriate College Board Advanced Placement examination. These exams are administered several times each year at numerous locations throughout the United States. College Board Advanced Placement examination scores currently accepted by Colorado Mesa University are: Studio Art-General; Studio Art-Drawing; Art History; Biology; Chemistry; Computer Science A; Computer Science AB; Macroeconomics; Microeconomics; English Literature & Composition; English Language & Composition; French Language; French Literature; German Language; German Literature; Latin-Virgil; Latin Literature; Spanish Language; Spanish Literature; Government & Politics-United States; Government & Politics-Comparative; US History; European History; World History; Human Geography; Mathematics-Calculus AB; Mathematics-Calculus BC; Music Theory; Physics B; Physics C;-Mechanics; Physics C-Electricity & Magnetism; Psychology; and Statistics.

The Registrar’s Office will supply information concerning the scores required for earning academic credit in the various subject areas.

Credit by Examination and Department Challenge Exams

Students attending Colorado Mesa University and Western Colorado Community College may earn college credit by examination in certain subject areas through the College Level Examination Program (CLEP) and DANTES Examination Program. The Registrar’s Office will supply information concerning the scores required for earning academic credit in the various subject areas.

Credit may also be earned by subject matter tests offered through various departments at Colorado Mesa University and Western Colorado Community College through departmental challenge exams. See the specific department for more information on possible challenge exam options. Students must be accepted to Colorado Mesa University before the approved CLEP and challenge exam credits will be recorded as transferable credit.

International Baccalaureate Program

Colorado Mesa University recognizes the International Baccalaureate Diploma Program and awards credit to qualifying high school students based on their examination scores. For policy details contact the Registrar’s Office or check the CMU website.

Credit for Prior Learning

The practice of awarding credit for college-level prior learning is based upon the belief that education which builds on, interprets, and incorporates past and present knowledge is the education that is most meaningful to the student. Colorado Mesa University and Western Colorado Community College recognize that students may have gained college-level knowledge and competencies through their work and life experiences which can be incorporated into their academic programs.

The development of a portfolio to demonstrate competency acquired through work or other life experience can be pursued for many technical or applications-based areas. Students wanting to pursue this option must enroll in UNIV 105 Competency Portfolio Development. The portfolio will be produced in collaboration with faculty from the desired department. Students must obtain course syllabi and complete the application for prior learning credit to participate in the Portfolio Development Workshop. For policy details see the Registrar’s Office or check the CMU website.

Cooperative Education, Internships, Practica

Cooperative education is a working partnership in which an educational institution such as Colorado Mesa University or Western Colorado Community College joins with an employer in a structure relationship. The basic purpose is that of providing a means whereby a student can combine college study with a work experience which is under employer supervision to fulfill the total requirements of a particular educational program.

Cooperative education is a three-way partnership involving the student, the employer and the university. There is a great deal of difference between cooperative education and simply holding a job. Cooperative education is based on learning objectives which are related to the student’s academic discipline and are established in cooperation with student, the employer, the faculty advisor, and others at Colorado Mesa University.

Typically, cooperative education is open to junior and senior students. Interested students should consult with their faculty advisor and academic department head or director. There are limits on the number of credits which will apply towards a degree. Graduate students should consult the Graduate Policies and Procedures section of this catalog.

Non-traditional Credit Guidelines

The faculty and department head of each department determine if and under what conditions non-traditional credit is allowed. If allowed, the following limits apply:

  1. Military credits – maximum of 30 semester credit hours to be used toward lower and upper division courses as deemed appropriate.
  2. CLEP, DANTES & Credit by Examination/Department Challenge Exams – maximum of 30 semester credit hours for a baccalaureate degree, 20 semester credit hours for an Associate of Applied Science degree, 12 semester credit hours for an Associate of Arts or an Associate of Science degree, and 6 semester credit hours for a technical certificate. Students may not earn CLEP or DANTES credit in a class in which they have previously been enrolled including a class from which the student withdrew, so that the transcript shows a W, WP or WF. Students must receive approval and follow the procedure to challenge a course, including enrolling in that course. See the Registrar’s Office for a copy of the procedure.
  3. Advanced Placement – maximum of 30 semester credit hours for a baccalaureate degree, 15 semester credit hours for an associate degree, or six semester credit hours for a technical certificate.
  4. International Baccalaureate – The subject exams and score shown on each student’s transcript will determine the number of semester credit hours allowed. Maximum of 30 semester credit hours for a baccalaureate degree or 15 semester credit hours for an associate degree.
  5. Competency Credit/Credit for Prior Learning – maximum of 30 semester credit hours toward a baccalaureate degree or 25 percent of the total semester credit hours required for an associate degree at the prerogative of the department head. A student may earn the maximum of 25 percent of the total semester credit hours required toward the degree or certificate through portfolio assessment. Other restrictions may apply. See the Registrar’s Office for details and guidelines or the Credit for Prior Learning web page.
  6. Cooperative education, Internships, Practica, etc. – maximum of 15 semester credit hours may be used to satisfy the required academic semester credits for a baccalaureate degree and 6 semester credit hours may apply toward an Associate of Arts or Associate of Science degree. A maximum of 15 semester credit hours may apply toward the 40 upper division hour requirement. No restriction on the maximum number of semester credit hours above and beyond any degree requirement is intended. These restrictions do not apply to the Associate of Applied Science degree or technical certificate programs.

The total combination of non-traditional credit cannot exceed:

  1. 30 semester credit hours for a baccalaureate degree;
  2. 15 semester credit hours for an Associate of Arts or Associate of Science degree;
  3. 20 semester credit hours for an Associate of Applied Science degree;
  4. Twenty-five percent of the semester credit hours required for a technical certificate.

Student Appeals

Students have the right to appeal actions or sanctions (such as those relating to grades or academic dishonesty) and should begin the process by meeting with the course instructor. The Maverick Guide provides a detailed explanation of Academic Integrity, Academic Dishonesty, Student Appeals, Grade Appeals and related processes. The University provides that all student concerns, grievances, and appeals that are not covered under a specific policy may be directed either to the Office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs or to the Office of the Vice President for Student Services.

Student Complaint Policy

An official complaint is when a student alleges:

  1. the institution has violated local, state, and/or federal law;
  2. a breach of contract e.g. failure to meet institutional obligations as presented in a recruiting material document, application for enrollment or student housing, course syllabus, etc.; or,
  3. a passive response by the institution to a complaint by a student that resulted in material damages to the student.

Disagreement with an administrative decision, or the outcome of an appeal of that decision, is not a complaint unless it alleges improper, unfair, or arbitrary treatment. The complaint must be in writing with an identifiable signature and is not already covered by another existing policy or process (see attached table).

A student wishing to file a complaint should do so as promptly as possible following the alleged violation, but by no later than February 15 for a concern occurring during the prior fall semester, June 15 for the prior spring semester, and September 15 for the prior summer term. Timely initiation of a complaint rests with the student. The complaint should be in writing and signed by the complainant or submitted electronically from a Colorado Mesa University student email address. The complaint should

  1. describe the issue that is the basis for the complaint, including the steps have been taken to informally resolve the problem, and
  2. include any relevant documents the student would like to be reviewed as part of the complaint process.

Depending on the nature of the violation, the complaint should be sent to the Office of the -

  • Vice President for Academic Affairs or the Vice President for Community College Affairs if the concern is academic-related;
  • Vice President for Finance and Administration if service-related;
  • Vice President for Student Services if behavior or conduct related; or
  • Director of Human Resources if an alleged violation of discrimination in employment or education opportunity.

For the full complaint policy and links, go to the Student Complaint Policy on the Academic Affairs policies website.

Student Conduct

Colorado Mesa University is a community consisting of students, faculty, support staff, and administrators. The University does not attempt to define all “student conduct.” It relies on students to assume the responsibility and obligation of conducting themselves in a manner compatible with the purpose of the University as an educational institution and the community as a place of residence. In addition to University rules and regulations, all students are subject to the same local, state, and federal laws as non-students and are beneficiaries of the same safeguards of rights as non-students.

The Student Code of Conduct can be found in its entirety published in the Maverick Guide. Questions relating to student conduct may be referred to the Office of the Vice President for Student Services, located in Lowell Heiny Hall 107.

Student Load and Limitations

The normal student load is 15 semester hours (some disciplines require a higher number). The minimum load required for a student to be recognized as a full-time student is 12 semester hours. If students register for fewer than 12 semester hours, they are classified as part-time students.

Students receiving scholarships and/or financial aid are generally expected to complete 12 hours of credit courses each semester. In order to receive full Veteran’s Administration financial benefits, veterans must be enrolled in 12 or more semester hours each semester of attendance, for the entire semester.

It is recommended that students in good academic standing limit their academic load to 18 semester hours or fewer. Students must obtain a signature from their advisor before attempting an overload between 19-21 semester hours in a regular semester or between 10-12 semester hours in a summer term. Students interested in enrolling for more than 21 hours in a regular term or more than 12 in a summer term must submit, in writing, their plan for success during the overload and obtain signature approval from their faculty advisor. Students must then obtain signature approval from the department head with oversight over their degree program and the Vice President of Academic Affairs (or designee). Students earning a cumulative Colorado Mesa University grade point average of 2.00 or lower will be limited to 15 credit hours in the fall/spring semesters.

Student Preparation/Academic Engagement for Class Meetings

In compliance with the requirements of the U.S. Department of Education and consistent with the expectations of the Colorado Commission on Higher Education, Colorado Mesa University defines a contact hour as 50 minutes. Thus a one credit hour, 15-week course equates to 750 minutes (15 contact hours) of academic engagement plus a minimum of 1500 minutes (30 hours) of student preparation.

An undergraduate student should expect to spend on an individual course a minimum of two hours outside the classroom for every hour in the classroom. The outside hours may vary depending on the number of credit hours or type of course. This expectation applies to all courses, regardless of wherever or however the instruction is delivered. More details are available from the faculty member or department office and in CMU’s Curriculum Policies and Procedures Manual.

“Academic engagement” may include, but is not limited to, submitting an academic assignment, listening to class lectures or webinars (synchronously or asynchronously), listening to a guest speaker, taking an exam or quiz, completing a writing assignment, an interactive tutorial or computer-assisted instruction, attending a study group that is assigned by the institution, conducting research (e.g., for a project, play production, etc.), contributing to an academic on-line discussion, initiating contact with a faculty member to ask a question about the academic subject studied in the class, conducting laboratory work, completing an externship or internship.

“Student preparation” may include, but is not limited to, homework such as reading and study time, completing outside assignments and projects, practice for performance, writing lab reports, attending mandatory theatre and music performances, observing professional meetings (e.g., school board meetings for education courses), and attending faculty seminars and colloquia.