Academic Policies

Faculty Adviser

The administrative director will be the student's academic adviser throughout the length of the MAHRC program.

Academic Probation/Dismissal

Any time a student's cumulative grade-point average falls below 3.00, the student is automatically placed on academic probation and is subject to dismissal. Probationary students have three semesters in which to raise the grade-point average to at least 3.00. Failure to meet this requirement may result in academic dismissal. Probationary students should be aware of several factors:

  1.  If, at the completion of six semester hours, a student's GPA is below 2.00, he or she will be dismissed from the MAHRC program.
  2. When a student has more than three C's that are not offset by the same number of A's, this provides the administrative director a basis for academic evaluation and possible dismissal.
  3. If a student is placed on probation, he or she is asked to register for only one course per semester until the 3.00 grade-point average is attained.

If probation occurs or continues during a student's last semester in the MAHRC program, the probation committee will determine what additional work, if any, the student must complete to continue and graduate. However, the probation committee may recommend that the student be involuntarily withdrawn. The MAHRC academic probation committee and Ashland University reserve the right to dismiss any student at any time for good cause.

Appeal Process

Students who have questions about instructional faculty performance or conduct should follow the procedure listed below. Any appeals must be initiated no later than the end of the following semester.

Student Appeal Policy

  1. The student should consult the faculty member in question. It is only after this approach has been attempted that further recourse is appropriate. No appeal will be heard until this initial step has been taken, unless the complaint involved conduct that the student does not feel comfortable raising with the faculty member. In this case, the student may initiate the complaint by writing directly to the academic head of the graduate program as described in step 2 of this process.
  2. If consultation with the faculty member in question does not produce satisfactory results, the student should submit his or her appeal in writing to the academic head of the graduate program. The written appeal should specify the details and circumstances that justify the appeal and state the action or decision sought by the student.
  3. If the academic head of the graduate program, after having consulted with the individual who is the subject of the complaint, denies the student’s appeal or complaint, the student may submit a copy of the appeal to the dean of the academic college in which the graduate program is housed.
  4. The academic dean will review the information presented, make such inquiries as necessary, and render a judgment. If the student is dissatisfied with the dean’s decision, the student may make final appeal to the provost.
  5. If a written appeal is made to the provost, the provost will schedule a meeting including the student, the faculty member in question, and a Review Committee, consisting of the academic graduate program head and the academic dean. The provost, in consultation with the Review Committee, will make a final decision on the appeal or complaint and will specify what action, if any, is required by the student, the faculty member, and/or the University.

Course Repeat Policy

Any student receiving a B- or lower grade in a course may choose to retake that course in an attempt to raise his or her grade-point average. Both grades appear on the student's transcript. However, only the second grade will be used in calculating the GPA.

Credit Hour Limitations

A graduate student with full-time employment should register for no more than seven hours per semester. A student wishing to deviate from the normal credit-hour limitation must secure permission from the program director of the MAHRC program. 

Full-Time Students

A MAHRC student is considered full time when registered for at least six credit hours in a given semester and is considered part time when registered for less than six credit hours.

Time Limits

Students must complete all requirements for the MAHRC degree within five years. This period begins with the date of the earliest MAHRC course and ends with the last hours applied toward the degree. In extraordinary circumstances, a time extension may be granted through approval of the program director of the MAHRC. Students must contact the MAHRC program director to initiate a time-extension appeal. A student's file will be removed from the active program file if he or she fails to take courses for a period of two semesters. The student will then be required to apply for reactivation of the records (readmittance forms are available from the MAHRC office). Although the five-year time limit should be observed, no loss of credit results.

Graduation Eligibility and Application

To be awarded the Master of Arts in Health & Risk Communication degree, a student must complete a total of 30 semester hours of course work with a minimum cumulative 3.00 grade-point average. Periodic review and final approval by the MAHRC committee is also required for graduation. Students are invited to attend the graduate student commencement ceremonies held once a year in May at the Ashland campus. For more information on graduation application deadlines or to apply for MAHRC graduation, visit the MyMAHRC page. Students are responsible for complying with annual time-line schedules maintained by the MAHRC program committee and Ashland University. If degree requirements are not completed at the specified time, a new application, which voids any previously submitted application, must be filed.

Grading System

The following system of grading and point values applies to all graduate courses:

A . . . . . . . . . . 4.00 quality points

A-. . . . . . . . . . 3.67 quality points

B+ . . . . . . . . . 3.33 quality points

B . . . . . . . . . . 3.00 quality points

B-. . . . . . . . . . 2.67 quality points

C+ . . . . . . . . . 2.33 quality points

C . . . . . . . . . . 2.00 quality points

C-. . . . . . . . . . 1.67 quality points

F . . . . . . . . . . 0.00 quality points

I - Incomplete. May be given when a student is not able to complete the course work due to illness, accident, or other emergencies. This grade applies to work of acceptable quality when the full amount is not completed. It is never applied to unsatisfactory work. The required work must be completed during the next academic semester. The “I” grade becomes “F” if not removed by the date specified. It is the student’s responsibility to follow up with professors regarding courses given a grade of incomplete.

IP*—In-Progress: Given for dissertation studies, theses, capstones, research projects, and directed study courses that are in progress. The required work must be completed within one year of the posting of the IP grade. The “IP” grade becomes an “F” if not removed after the one-year time frame for completing work.

K—Transfer: Credits accepted in transfer. Courses are recorded on the student’s permanent academic record but not included in the grade point average computation. No more than six credit hours of graduate health or risk communication classes can be transferred into the program.

W - Withdrawn. Policies vary by program. Please consult your graduate program representative for further information.

*NOTE: Any student who receives an “I” or “IP” grade, needs access to the Angel Learning System for course completion, and is not registered for another course while working to complete course requirements will be  registered for a non-credit “continuing studies” course that will allow the student access to the Angel Learning System. Registration in this course may be subject to a technology fee.

Auditing Courses

Persons who do not wish to receive college credit or who do not meet minimal admission requirements may register as auditors upon payment of the audit fee. Official records and grades are maintained for auditors and audit classes cannot later be changed to a credit standing. Students will receive a grade report reflecting audit status.

Academic Integrity

The Ashland University community strives to model leadership which is based upon Judeo-Christian beliefs and virtues that will encourage, develop, and sustain men and women of character to serve their professions, their communities, and the world. As members of Ashland University, students hold themselves to the highest standards of academic, personal, and social integrity. Students are expected to abide by the academic integrity standards outlined in the Graduate School Catalog.

Plagiarism
The student who presents as his or her work, ideas or writings of another person for full or partial academic credit will be subject to disciplinary action. This action may include dismissal from the Master of Arts in Health & Risk Communication program. MAHRC term papers may not be used for more than one MAHRC class.