Academic Standing

The faculty recognizes that the adjustment to university life may have a negative effect on the early academic performance of some students. To allow for this adjustment period, the 2.000 cumulative grade-point average requirement (ultimately necessary for graduation with a bachelor’s degree) is not immediately imposed on beginning students, though all students should strive to achieve at least the minimum level of a 2.000 GPA every semester.

A sliding scale of categories of “academic deficiency” is applied to students who fall below this minimum. Students who are notified that they fall into any of these categories should re-examine their academic goals and their study habits and should avail themselves of the services provided by Western to help them to succeed academically. Students who perform at less than a 2.000 level, even if they are not technically “academically deficient,” should take steps to improve their academic performance.

Academic Dean’s List

Students who have attained a grade-point average of 3.70 during a semester, while carrying a full course load, will be placed on the Academic Dean’s List. A full course load is 12 or more credits of letter-graded courses in a 16-week semester or six or more credits of letter-graded courses in a summer session.

Good Standing

Students whose cumulative grade-point average exceeds that which would place them on probation are considered to be in good standing. This minimum grade-point average is defined in the section below titled “Academic Probation.” Fourth-year students in 3+2 programs must meet graduate program requirements for GPA and course grades. Refer to the Western Graduate Catalog for further details.

Academic Alert

Students who have cumulative grade-point averages of 2.000 or higher are sent notices at the end of any semester in which they receive a semester grade-point average lower than 1.500, alerting them that corrective action should be taken to improve their performance.

Academic Probation

Students are placed on academic probation when their cumulative grade-point average falls below the minimum required (see below). It is an early warning that students should take steps to improve academic performance. Students are placed on academic probation if they:

  • are in the first semester of enrollment at Western (regardless of the number of credits enrolled) and receive a semester GPA below 1.500;
  • have attempted fewer than 10 credits and have  less  than  a  1.750  cumulative GPA at the end of a non-probationary semester;
  • have attempted between 10 and 44 credits and have less than a 1.880 cumulative GPA at the end of a non-probationary semester; or
  • have attempted 45 or more credits and have less than a 2.000 cumulative GPA at the end of a non-probationary semester.

Students are expected to raise their cumulative grade-point average to the required level during the probationary semester. Academic probation ends when the student achieves the required cumulative grade-point average. Students on probation achieving at least a 2.000 semester grade-point average (even though the cumulative grade-point average has not reached the specified level) may be permitted to continue for an additional probationary semester.  

Academic Suspension

Academic suspension notices are issued at the end of fall, spring and summer semesters to all students who, during a probationary semester, fail to achieve at least a 2.000 semester grade-point average and do not have the cumulative grade-point average required to be in good standing.

  • Students who have attempted fewer than 10 credits and have less than a 1.750 cumulative GPA at the end of a probationary semester are placed on academic suspension.
  • Students who have attempted between 10 and 44 credits and have less than a 1.880 cumulative grade-point average at the end of a probationary semester are placed on academic suspension.
  • Students who have attempted 45 or more credits and have less than a 2.000 cumulative grade-point average at the end of a probationary semester are placed on academic suspension.

In addition, any student who earns less than a 1.000 GPA in any semester may be placed on academic suspension.

The period of suspension is for one calendar year. A student to whom such a suspension notice is issued at the end of a fall semester is eligible to return a year later, at the beginning of spring semester. A student suspended at the end of the spring semester is eligible to return a year later, at the beginning of the summer session. A student suspended at the end of the summer semester is eligible to return a year later, at the beginning of the fall session. In order to return to Western after serving the specified academic suspension period, the suspended student must apply for readmission through the Office of the Registrar.

Credits earned at another institution during a period of academic suspension are evaluated by the criteria explained in the Admissions Policies and Procedures section of this Catalog.

Students who believe that exceptional circumstances contributed to their suspension may submit a written petition, through the Registrar, to the Academic Appeals Committee (a sub-committee of the Faculty Academic Policies Committee). The petition form and instructions for appeal are available on the website of the Office of the Registrar and must be submitted no later than five working days before the start of any semester during which that student wishes to re- enroll at Western. Each petition is reviewed by the Academic Appeals Committee to determine whether the appeal is granted.

The Academic Appeals Committee is authorized to specify conditions, beyond those described in these general policies, which reinstated students must meet in order to continue at Western.

Academic Dismissal

If a student returns from a period of academic suspension, the student’s academic standing will be “probation after suspension.” If she/he does not earn a 2.000 or higher semester grade-point average during any semester prior to earning or exceeding the cumulative grade-point average required at that point in his/her academic career, no further probationary semester is allowed, and the student is issued an immediate notice of academic dismissal.

Readmission from an academic dismissal is possible only by action of the Academic Appeals Committee, according to the established procedures of that committee. The committee will not accept for review any dismissal appeal petition before two calendar years have transpired since the dismissal. If a student is granted readmission following academic dismissal, credits earned at another institution are evaluated by the criteria explained in the Admissions Policies and Procedures section of this Catalog.

Errors in Determining Academic Suspension/Dismissal

Students whose suspension or dismissal resulted from an error in grading or recording will be readmitted (the suspension or dismissal will be removed from their academic records) upon receipt by the Registrar of written notification from the appropriate faculty member. Such errors in grading or recording should be resolved before the Add Deadline of the semester the student is to be readmitted.

Academic Amnesty

Students who have not attended Western Colorado University for six years or more may, upon returning to Western, petition for academic amnesty. Academic amnesty allows students to count prior credits earned at Western of “C-” and above in meeting total graduation requirements. It also allows students to have a fresh start in their overall grade-point average, as the previous credits attempted at Western will not be used in calculating the overall grade-point average. Petitions by students may be submitted, through the Registrar, to the Faculty Academic Policies Committee. Students must submit petitions for academic amnesty before the end of their first term of re-entry. Academic amnesty will be granted to a student only once.