Title
Ashford University Catalog

University Program Offerings

Associate’s, Bachelor’s and Master’s online programs are administered by the Forbes School of Business & Technology at Ashford University and three colleges: the College of Education, the College of Health, Human Services and Science and the College of Liberal Arts. For more information about on-time completion rates, the medial loan debt of students who complete each program listed below, and other important information, please visit www.ashford.edu/pd.

General Education Curriculum

Philosophy and Purpose

The higher education offered by the University and other colleges and universities differs from other forms of postsecondary education in the belief that education involves preparation for living life as a whole rather than simply training a student for a specific job. Typically, colleges and universities have sought to provide such preparation by requiring that students devote a substantial portion—often about one-third—of their coursework to General Education programs that provide sufficient breadth of education and mastery of essential learning skills to enable them to understand and to adapt to a changing world as well as to contribute to its betterment. While virtually all institutions of higher education have some sort of General Education requirements, there is much variety, and the pattern that a college's General Education program takes says a great deal about its values, its view of the world, and its personality.

The University's General Education requirements are grounded firmly in the University's mission statement, which places the University squarely within the liberal arts tradition of higher education. It speaks of intellectual growth and of a shared search for truth within a community that values diversity in ways of learning and forms of knowledge as well as in terms of the people the University seeks to serve.

In crafting a General Education program that reflects the mission statement, the faculty believed that students graduating from the University should first of all possess certain competencies that define a college-educated person. In curricular terms, this takes the form of a competency block in which students must demonstrate proficiency in applied ethics, information technology, critical thinking, mathematics, and written and oral communication.

These learning skills are valuable in and of themselves and, doubly so, when used as means to realize the intellectual growth and shared search for truth of the mission statement. They are also skills much in demand by employers.

A liberal arts education is rooted in the idea of preparing a person for life as a citizen in a free society and, so, demands breadth. In structuring this part of the General Education program, the faculty formulated eight general goals in the areas of cultural and aesthetic awareness, literature, science, history, diversity awareness, social and personal awareness, political science, and humanities. These goals were then defined in greater detail as learning outcomes within each subject area. Courses appropriate to the desired outcomes were identified and incorporated into the General Education curriculum. Certain subject areas relate directly to elements of the mission statement. More generally, the distribution of coursework across eight subject areas requires students to take courses in many disciplines. By experiencing a diversity of subject matter and ways of knowing, students will emerge with a broadly based education that equips them, in conjunction with studies in their major and elective coursework, not only to pursue successful careers but also to lead meaningful lives.

General Education Requirements

The General Education program incorporates a framework of specified competencies. Students must complete 21 credit of course work in the Core and 22 credits in the remaining competencies and General Education Capstone Requirement.

General Education requirements for all Ashford University Associate- and Bachelor-level programs are outlined in this section; however, specific General Education courses may be required for some programs and majors. Every Ashford University General Education course is not available in every degree program. Please refer to the program requirements section of this Catalog for information on specific degree program requirements.

General Education Total 43 credits
Core Competencies (21 credits)  
Ethical Reasoning 3 credits
Written Communication I & II 6 credits
Oral & Interpersonal Communication 3 credits
Critical Thinking 3 credits
Information Literacy 3 credits
Quantitative Reasoning 3 credits
Competencies (19 credits)  
Aesthetic Awareness & Reasoning 3 credits
Intercultural & Global Awareness 3 credits
Civic Responsibility 3 credits
Scientific Reasoning 4 credits
Foundations & Skills for Lifelong Learning 3 credits
Digital Literacy   3 credits
Capstone Requirement (3 credits) 3 credits
General Education Capstone 3 credits

Core Competencies (21 credits)

Competencies are skills deemed necessary by the faculty to demonstrate a quality college education. The following general policies apply to the competencies:

  • Prerequisite courses, if needed, must be completed before taking the competency course. However, required courses listed can be waived by means of high school advanced placement (AP) coursework and/or placement/competency testing. Students should consult their Academic Advisors for additional information regarding a waiver of competency requirements;
  • A minimum grade of “C–” will be required to satisfy competencies and competency prerequisites; and
  • Competency courses may not simultaneously be used to satisfy subject area requirements.

Demonstration of the competencies subsequently listed is required for the AA, BA, and BS degrees. Courses offered by Ashford University to satisfy these competency requirements are listed in each area.

Ethical Reasoning Competency (3 credits)

The Ethical Reasoning competency is the examination of principles of normative and non-normative ethical theories and the application of these principles in decision-making activities including case studies and contemporary social issues. Students will explore moral character: virtues and vices, commitments and attitudes, personal relationships, and community involvement, in addition to right and wrong conduct.

Learning Outcomes

Students meeting this competency will be able to do the following:

  1. Identify ethical issues within current events, society or one or more fields of study.
  2. Present one’s own ethical position in relation to problems, issues, norms or values.
  3. Compare different ethical positions in relation to problems, issues, norms or values.
  4. Apply ethical theory or appropriate professional ethical codes to social and moral issues in the field of study.
  5. Evaluate the application of ethical theories and codes in relation to problems, issues, norms or values.

One ethical reasoning course, 3 credits, is required. Ashford University offers the following courses to satisfy this requirement:

  • ABS 415 Leadership & Ethics in a Changing World (3 credits)
  • BUS 250 Corporate & Social Responsibility (3 credits)
  • HIM 252 Legal Aspects of Health Information (3 credits) 
  • LEA 316 Ethics in Law Enforcement (3 credits)
  • MIL 275 Military Ethics (3 credits)
  • PHI 208 Ethics & Moral Reasoning (3 credits)
  • PHI 445 Personal & Organizational Ethics (3 credits)
  • SOC 120 Introduction to Ethics & Social Responsibility (3 credits)

Typically, courses that deal with ethics or morality, usually with a PHI or REL prefix, may be applied in transfer to satisfy this competency.

Written Communication Competency (6 credits)

Written communication is the use of texts to create and transmit meaning. Students will examine, analyze, and utilize different types of communication appropriate in professional and academic settings. They will also develop and assess communication strategies appropriate for certain audiences as well as determine and evaluate ethical issues that arise from communicating with others.

Learning Outcomes

In writing, students meeting this competency will be able to do the following:

  1. Interpret information from various sources.
  2. Integrate information to effectively communicate a central message
  3. Employ successful processes for producing effective communication.
  4. Use conventions of spelling, grammar, genre and style appropriate to a specific purpose or context.
  5. Practice principles of academic integrity in written communication.
  6. Create cohesive and effective written work for a specific purpose.

Ashford University offers the following courses to satisfy the Communication I and II requirement:

  • ENG 121 Composition I (3 credits)
  • ENG 122 Composition II (3 credits)
  • ENG 325 Intermediate Composition (3 credits)
  • ENG 328 Scientific and Technical Writing (3 credits)

Students have the option of using a passing score on a CLEP examination to fulfill the Communication I and II requirement.

Oral and Interpersonal Communication Competency (3 credits)

Oral and interpersonal communication is the use of language, speech, and affect to transmit messages. Students will examine the encoding of messages for different audiences and decoding of messages to reconstruct meaning. Students will assess appropriate communication strategies for various audiences and evaluate ethical issues that arise from communicating with others as well as utilize effective oral and interpersonal presentation strategies and methods.

Learning Outcomes

In Oral and Interpersonal Communication, students meeting this competency will be able to do the following:

  1. Integrate a variety of message encoding techniques based on information about audiences
  2. Integrate a variety of message decoding techniques to reconstruct meaning of an incoming message
  3. Utilize communication strategies appropriate for different rhetorical purposes.
  4. Apply principles of ethical communication.
  5. Examine the impact of communication in personal and professional contexts.  

Ashford University offers the following courses to satisfy the Oral and Interpersonal Communication area:

  • BUS 340 Business Communications (3 credits)
  • CGD 240 Media Writing & Editing (3 credits)
  • COM 200 Interpersonal Communication (3 credits)
  • COM 223 Persuasion in Communication (3 credits)
  • COM 325 Communication & Conflict (3 credits)
  • COM 345 Media Writing for Communications (3 credits)
  • COM 370 Intercultural Communication (3 credits)
  • COM 425 Communication in Organizations (3 credits)
  • HHS 207 Communication Skills for Health and Human Service Personnel (3 credits)
  • SPE 103 Oral Communication (3 credits)

Students have the option of using a passing score on a DSST examination to fulfill the Communication III requirement.

Critical Thinking Competency (3 credits)

Critical Thinking is a set of skills and strategies for making decisions about what people ought to do and believe. Students will analyze thought processes and language, identify logically fallacious thinking, and use the essential skills of deductive and inductive argument in analysis and evaluation. Students will also learn to objectively identify problems, gather information from varied and appropriate sources, and utilize methods of decision-making to provide solutions to those problems.

Learning Outcomes

Students meeting this competency will be able to do the following:

  1. Describe the issues or problems in a manner appropriate to the academic field of study
  2. Interpret evidence that is used to support positions in relation to a specific topic
  3. Evaluate evidence based on specific criteria
  4. Compare and contrast various positions, arguments, or theses related to the examined issues.
  5. Create arguments to support positions on issues or in relation to theses.

One critical thinking course, 3 credits, is required. Ashford University offers the following courses to satisfy this requirement:

  • COM 223 Persuasion in Communication (3 credits)
  • PHI 103 Informal Logic (3 credits)

Typically, logic courses or courses stressing critical thinking may be applied in transfer to satisfy the critical thinking competency. Most applicable courses will have a PHI or LOG prefix.

Information Literacy Competency (3 credits)

Information literacy is the set of research skills that allow individuals to recognize when information is needed, to locate it, evaluate it, and effectively use it to communicate a message or support a claim. Students will develop the skills necessary to critically evaluate sources and communicate information appropriately, effectively, and ethically. 

Learning Outcomes

Students meeting this competency will be able to do the following:

  1. Identify nature and extent of information needed to support a specific purpose.
  2. Use relevant and credible information sources that are appropriate to the field and purpose.
  3. Evaluate information and its sources critically.
  4. Communicate information using appropriate tools and technology to accomplish a specific purpose.
  5. Use information legally and ethically.

One information literacy course, 3 credits, is required. Ashford University offers the following courses to satisfy this requirement:

  • GEN 103 Information Literacy (3 credits)
  • LNG 330 Language and Power (3 credits)

Typically, research methods courses or courses about the gathering, evaluation, and use of information may be applied in transfer to satisfy the information literacy competency.

Quantitative Reasoning Competency (3 credits)

Quantitative Reasoning is the ability to efficiently process data, interpret it, represent it using mathematical forms, and solve numerical and applied mathematical problems. Students will use mathematical forms, logical reasoning, and valid techniques to solve problems related to their fields of study as well as their personal lives.

Learning Outcomes

Students meeting this competency will be able to do the following:

  1. Represent the given information using mathematical models and forms.
  2. Interpret quantitative data.  
  3. Perform calculations that relate to specific topics and fields of study.
  4. Evaluate quantitative evidence used to support a claim.
  5. Support a position using quantitative evidence.

One course, 3 credits, is required. Ashford University offers the following courses to satisfy this requirement:

  • MAT 222 Intermediate Algebra (3 credits)
  • MAT 232 Statistical Literacy (3 credits)

A comparable course with a grade of “C-” or better may be applied in transfer to satisfy the quantitative reasoning competency.

Competencies (19 credits)

A course may be applied only once to meet a General Education competency requirement. Whether a course may be applied simultaneously to a General Education competency requirement and to a major requirement depends on the requirements specified for each major. Courses offered to satisfy the Competency requirements are subsequently listed:

Aesthetic Awareness and Reasoning (3 credits)

Aesthetic Awareness & Reasoning is the ability to creatively examine life and objects through the lens of beauty and artistic taste. Students will interpret creative works, articulate how creative works influence and respond to society and culture, determine the key contexts of creative works, and substantiate aesthetic judgments with appropriate evidence.

Learning Outcomes

Students meeting this competency will be able to do the following:

  1. Interpret creative works using a theoretical approach.
  2. Articulate the ways in which creative works influence and/or respond to society and culture.
  3. Determine key contexts of creative works.
  4. Substantiate aesthetic judgments using appropriate evidence.

One aesthetic awareness and reasoning course, 3 credits, is required. Ashford University offers the following courses to satisfy this requirement:

  • ART 101 Art Appreciation (3 credits)
  • ENG 125 Introduction to Literature (3 credits)
  • ENG 201 American Literature to 1865 (3 credits)
  • ENG 202 American Literature after 1865 (3 credits)
  • ENG 225 Introduction to Film (3 credits)
  • ENG 438 Literary Theory (3 credits)
  • HIS 103 World Civilizations I (3 credits)
  • HIS 104 World Civilizations II (3 credits)
  • LIB 202 Women, Culture & Society (3 credits)
  • LIB 316 Historical Contexts & Literature

Typically, a course in one of the following subject areas may be applied in transfer to satisfy the cultural and aesthetic awareness requirement: art, film, photography, dance (non-PE activity), and music.

Intercultural and Global Awareness (3 credits)

Intercultural and global awareness is a recognition and understanding of knowledge and issues through the lens of various cultural perspectives. Students will examine identities, influences, and practices that shape and contribute to the diversity of culture. They will develop awareness of contemporary issues in the global community and examine multiple perspectives and responses to those issues from diverse viewpoints.

Learning Outcomes

Students meeting this competency will be able to do the following:

  1. Analyze diverse modes of cultural expression and experience.
  2. Interpret current global issues through multiple perspectives.
  3. Evaluate the cultural biases that influence interactions.
  4. Examine how social and cultural systems develop.
  5. Compare modes of creative expression using intercultural and global perspectives.

One intercultural and global awareness course, 3 credits, is required. Ashford University offers the following courses to satisfy this requirement:

  • ANT 101 Introduction to Cultural Anthropology (3 credits)
  • ANT 348 Native American Anthropology (3 credits)
  • ANT 351 Anthropology of Religion, Magic, and Ritual (3 credits)
  • ART 101 Art Appreciation (3 credits)
  • BUS 357 International Business (3 credits)
  • ELL 240 Linguistically & Culturally Diverse Learners (3 credits)
  • ELL 361 Language Learning in a Global Context (3 credits)
  • ENG 125 Introduction to Literature (3 credits)
  • ENG 345 British Literature I (3 credits)
  • ENG 346 British Literature II (3 credits)
  • HHS 320 Cultural Awareness in the Human Services (3 credits)
  • HIS 103 World Civilizations I (3 credits)
  • HIS 104 World Civilizations II (3 credits)
  • HIS 205 United States History I (3 credits)
  • HIS 206 United States History II (3 credits)
  • LIB 101 The Art of Being Human (3 credits)
  • LIB 102 Human Questions (3 credits)
  • LIB 318 Peacemaking: A Study of Conflict Resolution (3 credits)
  • LIB 320 Global Socioeconomic Perspectives (3 credits)
  • LNG 360 Language & Society (3 credits)
  • POL 255 Introduction to International Relations (3 credits)
  • SOC 101 Introduction to Sociology (3 credits)
  • SOC 203 Social Problems (3 credits)
  • SOC 301 Identity and Social Inequality (3 credits)
  • SOC 304 Social Gerontology (3 credits)
  • SOC 307 Gender and Sexuality (3 credits)
  • SOC 308 Racial and Ethnic Groups (3 credits)
  • SOC 401 Engaging in Sociology (3 credits)
  • SPA 103 Beginning Spanish I (3 credits)
  • SPA 104 Beginning Spanish II (3 credits)
  • SSC 101 Introduction to Social Science (3 credits)
  • SSC 340 Human Health and Global Environmental Change (3 credits)

Typically, a course with a cross-cultural, global context, or a context other than the United States, may be applied in transfer to satisfy the diversity awareness requirement.

Civic Responsibility (3 credits)

Civic Responsibility is the demand on a citizen to responsibly act and participate in the political and social community. Students will examine what it means to be a responsible and caring member of society. They will engage in intellectual, civic, political, and community action related to the positive development of themselves and their social environments.

Learning Outcomes

Students meeting this competency will be able to do the following:

  1. Assess the civic identities of different cultures, communities, and societies, including one’s own.
  2. Evaluate the impacts of various forms of civic engagement.
  3. Articulate the intellectual foundations and governance processes of political systems.
  4. Analyze political biases in messages in various forms of print, social and digital media.
  5. Explain how government policies or political discourse impact students’ personal, academic and professional lives.

One civic responsibility course, 3 credits, is required. Ashford University offers the following courses to satisfy this requirement:

  • ANT 348 Native American Anthropology (3 credits)
  • CRJ 303 Corrections (3 credits)
  • HIS 104 World Civilizations II (3 credits)
  • HIS 205 United States History I (3 credits)
  • HIS 206 United States History II (3 credits)
  • POL 111 Introduction to Political Science (3 credits)
  • POL 201 American National Government (3 credits)
  • SOC 301 Identity and Social Inequality (3 credits)
  • SOC 401 Engaging in Sociology (3 credits)
     

Typically, courses related to understanding the political structure and/or courses that related to the responsibilities of a citizen may be applied in transfer to satisfy the civic responsibility requirement.

Scientific Reasoning (4 credits)

Scientific reasoning is a perspective used to study and explore the natural world. Students will learn the scientific method, apply it, interpret data gathered through research, and propose solutions to problems grounded in scientific theory.

Learning Outcomes

Students meeting this competency will be able to do the following:

  1. Apply the scientific method to solve problems.
  2. Evaluate issues using scientific literature.
  3. Interpret scientific topics using reductionist.
  4. Communicate scientific information using multiple formats.
  5. Analyze the intersection of scientific information.

One scientific reasoning course, 4 credits (with lab), is required. Students with transfer credits in science may substitute 6 semester credits of science without lab. Ashford University offers the following courses to satisfy this requirement:

  • ANT 202 Human Origins & Prehistory (4 credits)
  • HIM 205 Anatomy & Physiology for HIM I (4 credits)
  • HPR 205 The Human Body, Health & Disease (4 credits)
  • SCI 207 Our Dependence upon the Environment (4 credits)

Typically, introductory courses with lab, in the following areas may be applied in transfer to meet the science requirement: natural sciences including chemistry, biology, astronomy, and physics.

Foundations and Skills for Lifelong Learning (3 credits)

Foundations and Skills for Lifelong learning are the ongoing methods by which one can enhance knowledge and competence. Students will develop the fundamental skills necessary to be successful in academic pursuits through reflection about the learning process and an understanding of how prior knowledge and experiences integrate with newly acquired knowledge.

Learning Outcomes

Students meeting this competency will be able to do the following:

  1. Evaluate learning processes.
  2. Analyze metacognitive strategies.
  3. Integrate prior knowledge and experiences with newly acquired knowledge.
  4. Develop a plan for learning.

One foundation and skills for lifelong learning course, 3 credits, is required. Ashford University offers the following courses to satisfy this requirement:

  • EXP 105 Personal Dimensions of Education (3 credits)

A minimum grade of C- is required to successfully complete the course. EXP 105 cannot be replaced or waived by credit in transfer, unless a student meets one of the requirements as outlined in the Bachelor’s Program Course Sequencing.

Digital Literacy (3 credits)

Digital Literacy is the ability to effectively utilize and protect oneself and others in a society dominated by new technologies and digital devices.  Students will develop skills in the use of digital tools related to research, decision-making, problem-solving, and virtual identity communication and protection.

Learning Outcomes

Students meeting this competency will be able to do the following:

  1. Utilize digital tools to perform specific tasks.
  2. Examine the ethical and social issues relevant in a digital society.
  3. Assess the impact of digital technology.
  4. Evaluate the importance of digital literacy.
  5. Critique digital resources

One digital literacy course, 3 credits, is required. Ashford University offers the following courses to satisfy this requirement:

  • GEN 102 Digital Literacy for Life and the Workplace (3 credits)
  • GEO 308 GIS Software Application (3 credits)
  • INF 103 Computer Literacy (3 credits)
  • INF 220 IS Principles (3 credits)
  • INF 231 Programming Concepts (3 credits)
  • INF 325 Telecommunication & Networking Concepts (3 credits)
  • JRN 101 Digital and Media Literacy (3 credits)

Typically, introductory computer courses or courses stressing the application of computers to a specific industry may be applied in transfer to satisfy the digital literacy competency requirement, if completed within the last 10 years. Most applicable courses will have a BPC, CIS, INF, or COMP prefix. 

Capstone Requirement (3 credits)

The General Education Capstone provides students with a cumulative and integrated learning experience. Through the study of selected interdisciplinary topics and course-embedded assessments students will demonstrate development of the general education core competencies. Students will apply general education principles informed by ethical and critical sensibility and provide evidence of growth in acquiring the habits of active citizenship. Prior to beginning their capstone course for their major, students must successfully complete the General Education capstone, unless they previously completed a Bachelor’s degree. Refer to Completion of Additional Undergraduate Degrees in this section of the Catalog. A minimum grade of "C–" is required to meet course requirements. Pre-requisite: 75 credits or permission of the student’s college or school dean.

Learning Outcomes

Students meeting this requirement will be able to do the following:

  1. Demonstrate the application of ethics and moral reasoning with regard to academic knowledge and societal concerns.
  2. Utilize principles of critical thinking in problem-solving.
  3. Communicate through investigative research and writing.
  4. Utilize information literacy or digital skills appropriate to interdisciplinary studies.
  5. Articulate the responsibility of global citizenship and multicultural understanding with regard to academic and professional pursuits.

One general education capstone course, 3 credits, is required. Ashford University offers the following course to satisfy this requirement:

  • GEN 499 General Education Capstone (3 credits)

General Academic Information and Policies

General Academic Policies

Technology Requirements

It is our intent to assist students and to prepare them for their coursework at Ashford University. Therefore, technology competencies and requirements have been established. These requirements are in effect for all Ashford University applicants and existing students and may be updated at any time.

Competencies

Students must meet the following competencies:

  • Ability to access course and program material on the Internet;
  • Ability to correspond with University staff, students, and faculty using email and the Internet; and
  • Ability to use appropriate antivirus utilities so that files transmitted and received are virus free.

System Requirements

The following minimum system configuration and software are required:

  • Operating System: Mac OS X 10.6 or higher or Windows 7 or higher (users on Windows 10 need to download the Windows 10 Anniversary Update to submit Canvas assignments) or Linux – chromeOS;
  • Hardware: 1GB RAM, 2GHz processor, and CD-ROM;
  • Productivity Software: Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, and Excel (provided); Adobe Reader 8.0 or higher; Adobe Flash 10 or higher (Constellation users);
  • Web Browser: Firefox, Internet Explorer, Safari, Chrome, Flash, or Respondus Lockdown Browser, check your compatibility, https://guides.instructure.com/m/67952/l/720329-which-browsers-does-canvas-support;
  • Networking: 56k dialup modem, DSL, or cable modem;
  • Email: use of an email account for communication with the University.

Additional System Requirements for Use of Ebooks

The following additional platform and hardware requirement apply when using ebooks:

  • Operating System: Mac OS X 10.6 or higher, Windows XP with service pack 2 or higher, or Vista;
  • Hardware: 512 Mb RAM, CD-ROM, 1gHz processor, and 1Gb free disk space; 1024x768 screen resolution or larger.

Mobile Operating System Requirements

The following additional operating system and hardware requirements apply when using the mobile app:

  • Operating System: iOS 7 and newer (versions vary by device) or Android 4.2 and newer.

Please note certain courses may require the use of additional internet connectivity requirements, software, and/or hardware, such as a microphone and/or webcam to record sound or video files. Additionally certain courses may require use of third party websites. The University is not responsible for the practices of any third party websites. If a student has serious objections to using a third party website, he or she can request an alternative method of completing an assignment from the instructor of the course. If a student chooses to withhold the disclosure of Directory Information, no Directory Information will be released by Ashford University to non-university personnel, unless the disclosure meets exception criteria as outlined in the Student Rights and Responsibilities section of this Catalog. However, a student may still be required to make certain disclosures as part of coursework.

English Proficiency

All students enrolled in an undergraduate degree program must satisfy English Proficiency within the first 15 successfully completed credits through one of the following options:

  • A passing score on the Ashford University English Proficiency exam (credit not awarded). Students are allowed two attempts and are only allotted one week (a total of 7 days) to submit both attempts from the time the exam is first made available to the student. Students who make no attempts in the initial allotted 7 day period must satisfy the proficiency through an alternative option; 
  • A grade of “C-” or better in a designated Ashford University English course (ENG 121 or ENG 122);
  • A passing score on a designated National Testing Program exam completed within five (5) years from date of application; or
  • A grade of “C-” or better in a comparable course from a regionally accredited or approved nationally accredited institution completed within five (5) years prior to the date of application.

Note: Due to the nature of the Ashford University curriculum, ENG 121 and ENG 122 are not considered duplicative of transfer courses. Students who have completed comparable or more advanced English courses but who have not satisfied English Proficiency through one of the previous options will have the credits applied toward Communication I, II, or Electives credit deficiencies. Students who have successfully completed an Ashford upper division course in their major that demonstrates advanced writing skills (as determined by the Academic Program Chair) may request that the course satisfy their English Proficiency requirement.

Course Delivery Method

Ashford University offers programs using the following course structure and delivery modality. Please note that all course instruction will occur in the English language only.

Online Course Delivery

Generally, undergraduate students complete three credits in accelerated online delivery in five weeks. An accelerated online graduate course typically lasts six weeks. Specific log-in requirements are built into the design of each course and monitored over the Internet through the online learning instructional platform. The course structure allows students to take the initiative to learn content on their own time and provides carefully developed learning activities that allow students to optimize their knowledge processing/application efforts. Course objectives are clearly stated and measured through multiple measures.  Instructors are expected to provide feedback and grades on assignments within 6 days of the assignment due date.

Clinton Campus Course Delivery

Limited program and course offerings are available at the Ashford University Clinton campus. Generally, classes meet on the Clinton Campus on evenings and/or weekends.

Schedule Changes, Program Changes, and Course Cancellation

Ashford University reserves the right to make adjustments to student schedules including, but not limited to course dates, sequence and modality as deemed necessary by University administration. Registration in a particular course section or with a specific instructor is not guaranteed.

Ashford University may cancel or postpone courses or programs as deemed necessary by the University. In such situations the University will notify impacted students and return applicable tuition and fees to the appropriate entity. In addition, the University will work with students in an effort to provide them with the opportunity to reschedule or to transfer to a comparable University course or program, if available. Any payments made for canceled courses will be refunded or will be applied to another University course or program.

The University will make a reasonable attempt to notify affected students through various communication methods.

Prerequisite Courses

Students are required to fulfill any prerequisites for registered courses, even if those prerequisites are not a requirement within their selected majors. Any prerequisite courses that are not included in the student’s major may be applied to his or her elective requirements.

Plans to Improve an Academic Program

Ashford University continuously looks for ways to improve our academic programs. In the event we plan to make a significant improvement to a program, as deemed so by the University, we will post that information on our Student Consumer Information page, located at www.ashford.edu/about/consumer-information.htm. Once an effective date for a significant improvement to an academic program is determined, information about the change will be posted on the website. Please note that significant improvements to academic programs generally only impact new students enrolling after the effective date. In the event that a significant improvement impacts current students in the program, students will be notified directly.

Program Enrollment and Cancellation

Initial enrollment at Ashford University is arranged through a University Enrollment Services Advisor. New students should contact an Enrollment Services Advisor to register. It is the student’s responsibility to officially register for the program course of study. To ensure that students are successful at navigating inside of the classroom and to become familiar with all of the resources available to them at Ashford University, newly enrolled students may participate in a live webinar of a guided tour of the online classroom. After initial enrollment, students will work with their Academic Advisors to register, add courses, or change their course schedule. Any change in the original registration must be communicated to the student’s Academic Advisor. Major changes in a student’s schedule may necessitate completion of a new Admissions Application and Enrollment Agreement.

Students have the right to cancel the Enrollment Agreement and obtain a full refund of charges through attendance in week 3 (day 21 of the first course). Applicants who want to cancel an enrollment agreement must contact their Enrollment Services Advisor prior to attending in Week 4 of their first online or face-to-face course. Applicants who cancel enrollment will be allowed one more period of conditional admission at Ashford University. Individuals who cancel their enrollment two times while in conditional standing may re-apply to Ashford University no earlier than six months from their last date of attendance.

Ashford University reserves the right to cancel or terminate the agreement if the applicant fails to meet basic academic requirements during conditional admission, violate the Student Community Standards, fail to make satisfactory academic progress, fail to make payment in accordance with the terms of his or her student finance agreement, and/or fail to meet attendance requirements as outlined in this Catalog. Applicants who are denied admission may be allowed one more period of conditional admission at Ashford University. Individuals who are denied admission two times while in conditional standing may re-apply to Ashford University no earlier than six months from their last date of attendance.

Students who receive federal student financial aid funds are entitled to a refund of money not paid from federal student financial aid program funds.

Students who obtain loan(s) to pay for an educational program will have the responsibility to repay the full amount of the loan plus interest, less the amount of any refund.

Registration and Academic Placement

Initial registration and student scheduling is a one-time process based upon the information provided to Ashford University in the admission application. The student’s initial schedule is based upon the student’s desired start date and program of study in conjunction with previous education. Initial registration occurs in consultation with an Enrollment Services Advisor. Upon completion of initial registration, students have access to their individual course schedules and the dates of each course for which they are registered via the Student Portal.

Student schedules are adjusted by the student’s Academic Advisor, in consultation with the student, to accommodate courses applied in transfer once the admission file is completed and the student receives full admission to the University. It is the student’s responsibility to review his or her schedule regularly through the Student Portal and to notify their Academic Advisor to initiate any schedule changes.

Employment Services

Ashford University does not guarantee employment to any applicant as a condition of his or her application, acceptance, or attendance in any program. Ashford University does not provide employment services or make student referrals to prospective employers based on direct contact with the employer regarding current job openings to any student attending Ashford University.

Classification of Students

Degree-Seeking Students

A degree-seeking student is one who has been accepted into a degree program by the University as a degree candidate and is currently enrolled. A student who remains continuously enrolled is classified as a less than half-time, half-time, three-quarter time, or full-time student according to enrollment requirements for the degree program. Undergraduate students are further classified as a freshman, sophomore, junior or senior, according to the number of undergraduate credits earned. Students enrolled in graduate programs are classified as graduate-level students.

Non-Degree Seeking Students

Students who wish to take a limited number of courses and do not wish to be enrolled in a degree program at Ashford University may enroll as non-degree seeking students (non-degree students or non-matriculated students) by completing an application for admission. Non-degree seeking students pay the standard tuition rate and are ineligible for financial aid or in-school Title IV loan deferment. Credit is granted when courses are successfully completed and all earned grades are recorded.

Applicants seeking to enroll in one or more courses as a non-degree seeking student are generally expected to meet the full admissions requirements for the degree program through which the course(s) are offered* and any prerequisite coursework required for an individual course. Non-degree seeking students are not eligible to take EXP 105 or Capstone coursework. Admission requirements for enrolling in coursework as a non-degree seeking student are outlined specifically in each degree-level section of this Catalog.

Registering as a non-degree seeking student in no way guarantees or implies admission to an Ashford University degree program. Non-degree seeking students planning to formally apply for admission to a degree program should have their intended course selections reviewed by their Academic Advisors to determine relevance and potential applicability to the intended program. Students who wish to apply non-degree seeking coursework to an undergraduate program at Ashford University may apply up to 30 credits. Students who wish to apply non-degree seeking coursework to a graduate-level degree program at Ashford University may apply up to 15 credits. Students who wish to attempt more than these credit maximums must seek approval from the Office of the Registrar. 

Individuals who previously have been denied regular admission, or those who have been dismissed or disqualified from Ashford University must petition the Registrar’s Office and receive permission to register as a non-degree seeking student. Graduates of Ashford University are generally permitted to register for continued coursework as non-degree seeking students.

The number of non-degree seeking students in any class may be limited. Ashford encourages students to select a degree program no later than one calendar year from the date of enrollment.  Ashford University reserves the right to assess the suitability of a non-degree seeking student for any course.

*Note: Applicants under the age of 22 cannot be enrolled in an Ashford University degree program unless they meet specific exceptions. Please refer to undergraduate admission requirements for full admission requirements into a degree-seeking program.

All applicants applying under the age of 18 must have all legal documents signed by a parent or legal guardian.

Student Grade Levels

Undergraduate Class Level:

Freshman:

0–24 credits earned

Sophomore:

25–48 credits earned

Junior:

49–72 credits earned

Senior:

73+ credits earned

Once a student has earned 24 credits and registers for his or her 25th credit, he or she will be classified as a Sophomore.

Once a student has earned 48 credits and registers for his or her 49th credit, he or she will be classified as a Junior.

Once a student has earned 72 credits and registers for his or her 73rd credit, he or she will be classified as a Senior.

Graduate Class Level:

Students enrolled in graduate programs are classified as graduate-level students.

Enrollment Status

Students who remain continuously enrolled in non-term-based programs are classified as full-time. Students who are on a break of up to 14 consecutive days or on an approved Academic Leave are still classified as full-time. Students who fail to return from a break or approved Academic Leave as scheduled should refer to the Withdrawal from the University policies for information regarding determination of withdrawal date. The University may schedule breaks during which no courses are scheduled. When this occurs, such as during the annual winter break, the student's break will extend the 14 day limit to include the scheduled break. The annual winter break does not extend the 45 day limit for approved Academic Leaves that are greater than 14 days.

Auditing of Courses

The online modality does not allow for course auditing due to the accelerated nature of course offerings and the unique nature of the online classroom environment.

Transfer Concentration Guidelines for Bachelor's Programs

Transfer concentrations are intended for Bachelor’s students in the BABA, BAOM, BAHCS, BASS, who have experience and/or extensive transfer credit coursework in a field of study at the time of admission.

Students must petition for a transfer concentration in a defined subject area and submit a minimum of twelve (12) credits of coursework before approval is granted. In rare cases, a student with some transfer coursework completed in a given subject area may petition to the University Registrar’s Office, after admission, to complete part of a concentration through Ashford University coursework.

Transfer concentrations generally will not be approved in fields of study that lead to licensure or certification.

Transfer credits will only be applied toward the required coursework in applicable majors if the student has maximized all other transfer credit possibilities within the Bachelor’s degree and has otherwise earned enough upper-division credits to meet program requirements. Otherwise, transfer concentration coursework will be applied toward elective credit.

A student can earn more than one transfer concentration as long as each transfer concentration has at least six credits that do not apply to another concentration or major.

Students earning transfer concentrations with substitutions against major coursework are not exempt from the minimum requirement for earning thirty (30) upper-division credits.

SMART Track Program

SMART Track Program Requirements for Bachelor's Programs

Students enrolled in an Ashford University Bachelor’s degree program may be eligible to enroll in up to six (6) credits (nine (9) applicable credits for the MACC, MBA, MISM, MPA or MSCJ programs) of graduate-level coursework toward their Bachelor’s degree and accelerate completion of a Master’s degree with Ashford University.

Bachelor’s Program Stipulations and Requirements for Enrolling and Applying Master’s-Level Coursework

  • Students in a Bachelor’s-level program offered at Ashford University may attempt up to six (6) Master’s-level credits* offered at Ashford University to satisfy elective requirements in their Bachelor’s program.
  • Bachelor’s-level tuition applies to any AU Master’s-level coursework attempted as part of the Bachelor’s program. Students are limited to six (6) attempted credits* at the Bachelor’s-level tuition rate (AU Military Grant rates are applicable for students who qualify). Financial aid is also awarded at the Bachelor’s-level.
  • Students are not permitted to retake Master’s-level courses attempted while enrolled in a Bachelor’s program. Only one attempt per Master’s course is permitted at the undergraduate-level (W and WF grades included).
  • Master’s-level coursework attempted as part of a Bachelor’s program is applied toward the Bachelor’s-level cumulative grade point average (CGPA).
  • Enrollment in the Master’s degree program begins after an applicant has been formally admitted to the program by submitting an application indicating an earned Bachelor’s degree. Students are subject to the academic requirements that are in effect at the time of enrollment in the Master’s degree program. Any Master’s degree requirements that have been satisfied by coursework taken as part of the SMART Track will be considered fulfilled.
  • Unless otherwise stipulated by program, the graduate-level coursework will apply toward elective credit requirements.
  • Master’s-level courses taken while enrolled in a Bachelor’s program will count toward the upper division credit requirement.
  • Graduate-level courses are normally six (6) weeks in length; therefore enrollment may extend graduation dates and may delay financial aid disbursement timing.
  • Graduate-level courses are graded as follows: A, B, C, F, W, WF, or I. Plus, Minus, and D grades are not awarded in graduate-level coursework.
  • Students may not apply more than 9 credits of graduate coursework to their Bachelor’s degree program. 

SMART Track Courses

Specific graduate-level courses for which Bachelor’s students are eligible to enroll may be stipulated by each Master’s degree program. The following courses have been designated by program for SMART Track student enrollment. Enrollment in any courses other than those subsequently designated must be approved by the appropriate Dean, Vice President for Academic Affairs or designee.

Master of Accountancy*

  • BUS 600 Management Communications with Technology Tools (3 credits)
  • ECO 610 Global Economics (3 credits)
  • *BUS 591 Financial Accounting & Analysis (3 credits)

Master of Arts in Education

  • EDU 650 Teaching, Learning & Leading in the 21st Century (3 credits)
  • EDU 692 Creativity, Culture, & Global Contexts in Education Decision Making (3 credits)

Master of Arts in Health Care Administration

  • MHA 601 Principles of Health Care Administration (3 credits)
  • MHA 622 Health Care Ethics & Law (3 credits)

Master of Arts in Organizational Management

  • BUS 600 Management Communications with Technology Tools (3 credits)
  • BUS 610 Organizational Behavior (3 credits)

Master of Arts in Psychology

  • PSY 600 Introduction to Graduate Study in Psychology (3 credits)
  • PSY 605 Developmental Psychology (3 credits)

Master of Arts in Special Education

  • ESE 601 Introduction to Students with Exceptionalities in the School Setting (3 credits)
  • ESE 603 Law & Ethics in Special Education (3 credits)

Master of Arts in Teaching and Learning with Technology

  • EDU 648 Teaching & Learning with Technology (3 credits)
  • EDU 652 Instructional Design & Delivery (3 credits)

Master of Business Administration*

  • BUS 600 Management Communications with Technology Tools (3 credits)
  • BUS 610 Organizational Behavior (3 credits)
  • BUS 591 Financial Accounting & Analysis (3 credits)

Master of Information Systems Management **

  • ISM 500 Introduction into Management Information Systems (3 credits)
  • ISM 510 Introduction into Computer Programming for Business Applications (3credits)
  • BUS 600 Management Communications with Technology Tools (3 credits)
  • INF 630 Systems Analysis and Design (3 credits)

Master of Public Administration***

  • BUS 600 Management Communications with Technology Tools (3 credits)
  • BUS 610 Organizational Behavior (3 credits)
  • *BUS 599 Introduction to Quantitative Principles (3 credits)

Master of Science in Criminal Justice+

  • CRJ 501 Criminal Justice, Criminal Law & the Constitution (3 credits)
  • CRJ 510 Criminal Justice Policy & Theory (3 credits)
  • CRJ 512 Criminological Theory (3 credits)

*Otherwise eligible students enrolled in a Bachelor’s degree program who plan to apply to the Ashford University MACC or MBA program may take BUS 591 for an additional three (3) elective credits for a total of nine (9) Master’s level credits to satisfy appropriate Bachelor’s degree requirements and this prerequisite course to the MACC or MBA program.

** Students who plan to apply to the Ashford University MISM program may take ISM 500 and/or ISM 510 for up to an additional six (6) elective credits to satisfy appropriate Bachelor’s degree requirements and these prerequisite courses for the MISM program. Students who are required to take one or both of the prerequisite courses may enroll in a maximum of nine (9) credits from the MISM program as an undergraduate student.

***Students who plan to apply to the Ashford University MPA program may take BUS 599 for an additional three (3) elective credits for a total of nine (9) Master’s level credits to satisfy appropriate Bachelor’s degree requirements and this prerequisite course to the MPA program.

+Students who plan to apply to the Ashford University MSCJ program may take CRJ 501 for an additional three (3) elective credits for a total of nine (9) Master’s level credits to satisfy appropriate Bachelor’s degree requirements and this prerequisite course to the MSCJ program.

SMART Track Student Eligibility

Students must meet the following criteria in order to take Master’s-level coursework in a Bachelor’s program:

  • Must be a senior-level student with 108+ credits earned toward a Bachelor’s degree at Ashford University. Students may be pre-qualified and enrolled in SMART Track courses when 105 credits are earned in anticipation of 108 credits completed prior to beginning SMART Track coursework.
  • Must have a 2.75 or higher cumulative GPA to begin a Master’s-level course.
  • Must meet any prerequisite coursework requirements for each course.
  • Must indicate to their Academic Advisor that they plan to apply for admission to a specific Master’s degree program at Ashford University upon completion of the Bachelor’s degree, and request the courses through their Academic Advisor.
  • Must be in good financial standing at Ashford University.
  • Students must complete a SMART Track Request form.

Applying Coursework Taken at Bachelor’s Level to Ashford University Master’s Programs

Students who graduate from an Ashford University Bachelor’s program may apply up to six (6) applicable Master’s level credits (or nine (9) applicable credits for the MACC, MBA, MPA, or MSCJ programs) earned as part of their Bachelor’s program to an Ashford University Master’s program. In order to be applied toward completion of an Ashford University Master’s program, courses taken at the Bachelor’s level must be:

  • Applicable to the specific Ashford University Master’s program in which the student enrolls.
  • Students are encouraged to complete the graduate level course with a “B” or higher. Grades earned in Master’s level courses completed as part of an undergraduate program will be calculated into the graduate-level cumulative grade point average (CGPA).

Students who have successfully completed BUS 591 as part of their Bachelor’s degree program with a grade of “C” or higher have also satisfied this prerequisite in the MBA.

Students who have successfully completed BUS 599 as part of their Bachelor’s degree program with a grade of “C” or higher have also satisfied this prerequisite in the MPA.

Undergraduate Area of Study Course Overlap Policy

Students who wish to pursue a major, minor, specialization, and/or concentration in addition to their primary major may do so as long as the following unique credit requirements are met. This policy does not apply to any overlap with general education requirements.

Transfer coursework that is accepted as a direct transfer to an Ashford University course is not exempted from this policy. Specializations must be approved for the major the student is enrolled in. 

 Area of Study Type

 Minimum Unique Credits

Major

24 credits

Minor

9 credits

Specialization

6 credits

Transfer Concentration

6 credits

Major/Minor Overlap Exceptions

The following major/minors combinations are approved exceptions to the Undergraduate Area of Study Course Overlap Policy.

Major

Minor

Business Administration

Information Systems

Sports & Recreation Management

Sociology

Social and Criminal Justice

Sports & Recreation Management

Business Administration

Completion of Additional Undergraduate Degrees

A student who has previously earned an Associate’s degree from Ashford University cannot earn an additional Associate’s degree from Ashford University, as Associate’s degrees do not contain a sufficient number of unique credits as outlined in the Undergraduate Area of Study Course Overlap Policy.

A student who has previously earned a Bachelor's degree at Ashford University or from a regionally or approved nationally accredited institution, and wishes to earn an additional Bachelor's degree must complete an additional 30 upper-division credits at the University and fulfill all graduation requirements applicable to the additional degree. Students should have a minimum of 24 unique credits in their major coursework in order to receive an additional Bachelor’s degree. Students who completed a Bachelor’s degree from countries other than the United States must have their degree evaluated by an approved evaluation service, and accepted by Ashford University, as equivalent to a Bachelor’s degree in the United States. Unless the additional degree requires coursework that also fulfills General Education requirements, an appropriately accredited Bachelor’s degree will meet all General Education requirements.

Completion of Additional Master’s Degrees

A student who has previously earned a Master’s degree at Ashford University, or from a regionally or approved nationally accredited institution, and wishes to earn an additional Master’s degree must fulfill all degree and graduation requirements applicable to the additional degree. Students who completed a Master’s degree from countries other than the United States must have their degree evaluated by an approved evaluation service, and accepted by Ashford University, as equivalent to a Master’s degree in the United States. Any credits applied to a previously awarded degree cannot be applied to a subsequent degree. If a student has completed coursework that fulfills content requirements for the second Master’s degree, the student must complete additional courses to fulfill total credit requirements for the additional degree. Completion of an additional area of specialization within the same degree does not qualify for a second degree. For Ashford University graduates, a Forbes School of Business additional Master’s degree cannot duplicate specializations with the prior Master’s degree. The additional Master’s degree must be taken with a new advanced sequence or a new specialization.

Graduate Restrictions for Degree Pairings

The following graduate degree program and specialization pairings are restricted. Students who wish to complete an additional Master's degree that is restricted must choose a new specialization or degree program. Due to the nature of the graduate degree programs, students are not permitted to concurrently enroll in more than one Master’s degree program.

Restricted Program Pairings

MBA, Public Administration Specialization

Master of Public Administration

MA in Organizational Management, Public Administration Specialization

Master of Public Administration

Degree Regression

Degree regression may occur if a student enrolls in a lower level degree than one previously earned. Students may experience regression when course content completed at a higher level is repeated for fulfillment of lower level degree requirements. Since students applying for lower level degrees risk regression, degree-seeking students must petition to the Vice President of Academic Affairs to enroll in a lower level degree, prior to being admitted to the program, in order to ensure credit requirements for the additional degree will not be considered regression.

Sequence of Courses

In most cases, students are not permitted to take a course for credit after they have completed a more advanced course in the same subject with a grade of “C-” or higher. Course sequencing requirements may be outlined for each degree program, major, minor, and/or specialization.

Capstone Courses

Most Bachelor’s and graduate degree programs require students to successfully complete a capstone course. Capstone courses are designed as a comprehensive method for students to demonstrate achievement and understanding of their program learning outcomes. Students will be scheduled for their capstone course as the final course requirement to complete their degree with the exception of those pursuing an undergraduate specialization. Students may not take capstone courses for elective credit, or as a non-degree seeking student.

Academic Credit

Academic credit at Ashford University is granted using the semester credit hour system.

Grade Point Average

The grade point average is determined by dividing the total number of quality points earned by the total number of credits attempted for which quality points are given. The grades of “Incomplete” and “Passing” do not alter the grade point average. If a student repeats a course, only the most recent grade earned affects the grade point average; the grade point value of the first grade is no longer included in calculating the cumulative average. “W” grades are counted as credits attempted when calculating completion-rate requirements for satisfactory academic progress. “WF” grades are counted as credits attempted and equal the same grade points as “F” grades. No grades are awarded for transferred credits, and transfer credit hours are not reflected in the Ashford University grade point average.

Grading System and Grade Points

Credits are awarded in semester credit hours.
Note: Plus and Minus grades and/or "D" grades are not applicable to graduate programs.

Grades/Quality Points:

A

=

4.0

C-

=

1.7

A-

=

3.7

D+

=

1.3

B+

=

3.3

D

=

1.0

B

=

3.0

D-

=

0.7

B-

=

2.7

F

=

0

C+

=

2.3

WF

=

0

C

=

2.0

     

 

Other Grading Designations 

T

=

Transfer Credit

I

=

Incomplete Course
(replaced when final grade is awarded)

P

=

Designates Pass/Fail credit earned for courses specifically designated as Pass/Fail. Credits earned count toward the degree requirements, although grade points will not be earned.

E

=

Enrolled in Course

W

=

Withdrew from Course, grade points will not be earned.

WF

=

Withdrawn Fail, issued when a student drops or is administratively dropped from a course after the deadline for dropping a course with a grade of W has passed, based on the last date of attendance. Credits are marked as attempted and grade points are equivalent to an "F" grade.

OF

=

Override Fail, issued when a student is withdrawn from a course due to academic misconduct.

OW

=

Override Withdraw, grade points will not be earned.

CE

=

Competency by Exam

**

=

Repeated Course*

NC

=

No Credit

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

*A student may repeat a course previously taken only if the initial grade earned was a "C" or lower. Unless otherwise designated, credit is earned for a course only once. The previous grades for all repeated courses are retained on the transcript and count as credits attempted. Only the most recent grades and points are used in calculating the grade point average (GPA). Transfer credit from other institutions is noted on the transcript in semester credit hours.

Repeated Courses

A course may be repeated at the University if the initial grade in the course was a “C” or lower. The most recent grade earned in the course is used in computing the cumulative grade point average. Limits on the number of courses or times a course may be repeated may be set at the degree and/or major level. Introductory undergraduate course, EXP 105, may only be retaken within 9 attempted credits of the original attempt. Additionally, a student may not retake a course in an area in which he or she has already completed coursework that is more advanced in content level. Degree-seeking students should work with their Academic Advisor to determine if coursework will fit into their academic plan and not be considered regression from previous credit awarded. Students choosing to repeat coursework must do so prior to the completion of program requirements. Repeating coursework may affect eligibility for Title IV financial aid.

Incomplete Grades

Eligibility Criteria

For students experiencing temporary hardships, Incomplete “I” grades may be issued at the discretion of the instructor. To issue a grade of “I” for a course, the following conditions must be met:

  • The student must have completed at least 2/3 of the assignments in the course.
  • With the exception of assignments due during the final week of the course, the student’s Course Weighted Average to Date must be at least 59.50 (undergraduate students) or 69.50 (graduate students).
  • The student must submit an Incomplete Grade Request to his or her instructor prior to the submission of final grades.

Students who are unable to submit an Incomplete Grade Request prior to the submission of final grades should refer to the Student Rights and Responsibilities section in this Catalog for complete details on Ashford University’s Grade Appeals policy to review other options.

Attendance Requirements
Regardless of a request for an incomplete grade, students must meet weekly attendance requirements through the end of the course or term. Students who are dropped from a course or term due to not meeting attendance requirements are not eligible to receive an “I” grade.

Approved Incompletes
The instructor must approve the plan presented by the student for satisfying the requirements of the course.

The student has up to 30 days, based on instructor discretion, from the last day of the course to finish his or her coursework. If the student does not complete the work, his or her grade automatically defaults to the grade earned as of the conclusion of the course. Students who have an outstanding incomplete grade at the time of SAP review may not be allowed to continue to the next term until the “I” grade is successfully completed. The “I” grade appears on grade reports and/or official transcripts until a final grade is determined and recorded.

Appeal Procedure
Students requesting an extension for an incomplete grade and students who have been denied an incomplete grade may appeal the decision to the Vice President for Academic Affairs, or designee. The outcome of the request will be communicated in writing to the student. A maximum of an additional 30 days may be granted to a student with an approved appeal.

Course Drop

To drop from a course(s), a student must contact his or her assigned Enrollment Services Advisor, Academic Advisor, or other advisor within the Enrollment Services or Student Services Departments. Students who officially drop from a course or courses during the add/drop period, which is before the conclusion of the first instructional week, will have that course removed from their academic transcripts.

Drop Deadlines:

5-week course = Week 1

6-week course = Week 1

10-Week course = Week 1

 

For 5-week courses, students who officially drop or are administratively dropped from a course after Week 1 and have a Last Date of Attendance (LDA) in Weeks 2 through 4 will receive a grade of “W” in the course. Students who officially drop or are administratively dropped from a course prior to the course end date and have an LDA in Week 5 will receive a grade of “WF” in the course.

For 6-week courses, students who officially drop or are administratively dropped from a course after Week 1 and have a Last Date of Attendance (LDA) in Weeks 2 through 5 will receive a grade of “W” in the course. Students who officially drop or are administratively dropped from a course prior to the course end date and have an LDA in Week 6 will receive a grade of “WF” in the course

For 10-week courses, students who officially drop or are administratively dropped from a course after Week 1 and have a Last Date of Attendance (LDA) in Weeks 2 through 8 will receive a grade of “W” in the course. Students who officially drop or are administratively dropped from a course prior to the course end date and have an LDA in Weeks 9 or 10 will receive a grade of “WF” in the course.

Deadlines to Drop with a Grade of W:

5-week course = Week 4

6-week course = Week 5

10-week course = Week 8

Students who officially drop or are administratively dropped from a course after the deadline to drop with a grade of “W” will receive a grade of “WF” in the course.

Please note that course drop dates are based on a student’s last date of attendance in the course.

Consecutive Course Drops

Degree-seeking students only meeting attendance requirements in the first week of a course for four consecutively enrolled courses at Ashford University without earning credit will be administratively withdrawn for a period of no less than six months from the student’s last date of attendance. Students who have been withdrawn may appeal this policy by contacting their Academic Advisor. Students who have an approved appeal and do not successfully complete their next scheduled course will be withdrawn for a period of no less than six months.

Consecutive Unsuccessful Grades

Students who earn three consecutive unsuccessful grades at Ashford University will be academically dismissed. Unsuccessful final grades include the following:

  • F, W, WF, or
  • In an Introductory, General Education Competency, or General Education Capstone course, D+, D, or D-.

Dismissed students should refer to the Appeal of Academic Dismissal policy outlined in this Catalog. Appeals are evaluated by an Appeals Committee made up of the University Registrar or designee, and representative from Academic Affairs. Students who are denied re-admission after an appeal will not be eligible to submit another appeal for a period of less than six months since their last appeal was received by the University. Students who have an approved appeal and do not successfully complete their next scheduled course will be dismissed and may not submit another appeal for a period of less than six months.

Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy (SAP)

We are dedicated to the academic success of our students. As such, the following policies outline the academic requirements for Ashford University’s programs and describe how they are measured to ensure that students are making satisfactory academic progress toward successful degree completion. This policy applies to all undergraduate and graduate-level coursework attempted at Ashford University, regardless of date attempted.

Academic and Financial Aid Warning, and Academic and Financial Aid Probation statuses provide an opportunity for students to improve academic performance and meet overall requirements for degree completion. Students placed on one of these statuses should meet with their Academic Advisor to discuss course scheduling and to plan for remediation.

Please contact the Ashford University Registrar with any questions concerning the requirements outlined in this policy. This policy applies to all coursework accepted and applied in transfer as well as attempted at Ashford University, as outlined in this policy, regardless of date attempted.

Undergraduate Non-Term Based Program Measures

  • Week = 7 calendar days
  • Full Academic Year Definition = a minimum of 40 weeks of instructional time and 24 successfully earned credits that apply toward the student’s program of study. Please note: courses are offered 50 weeks in each calendar year. Therefore, students can complete five academic years in four calendar years.
  • A full Academic Year consists of 2 increments also referred to in this Catalog as payment periods, financial aid payment periods and Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) increments. 
    • The first payment period in the Academic Year ends when half of the credits and weeks required for a completed Academic Year have been successfully met.
    • The second payment period in the Academic Year ends when the requirements for a completed Academic Year have been successfully met.

Graduate Non-Term Based Program Measures

  • Week = 7 calendar days
  • Full Academic Year Definition = a minimum of 36 weeks of instructional time and 18 successfully earned credits that apply toward the student’s program of study.
  • A full Academic Year consists of 2 increments also referred to in this Academic Catalog as payment periods, financial aid payment periods and Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) increments.
    • The first payment period in the Academic Year ends when half of the credits and weeks required for a completed Academic Year have been successfully met.
    • The second payment period in the Academic Year ends when the requirements for a completed Academic Year have been successfully met.

Final Academic Year Exceptions:

  • For any remaining portion of a program that is half of an Academic Year or less, the remaining portion is treated as a single payment period.
  • For any remaining portion of a program that is more than half of an Academic Year but less than a full Academic Year, the remaining portion is divided into two payment periods and the first payment period is the period in which the student successfully completes half of the credits and half of the weeks of instructional time in the remaining portion.

Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) is evaluated at the end of each payment period.

Full-Time Enrollment = Students who remain continuously enrolled, including breaks of 14 days or less, in non-term-based programs are classified as full-time. The University may schedule periods of non-enrollment during which no courses are scheduled. When this occurs, such as during the annual winter break, the non-enrollment period may extend the 14 day limit to include the break.

Undergraduate Satisfactory Academic Progress Standards

Undergraduate students must meet the following minimum qualitative and quantitative standards to make satisfactory academic progress:

  • Minimum cumulative GPA in Ashford University coursework for all undergraduate students = 2.00.
  • Cumulative GPA includes all undergraduate-level coursework attempted at Ashford University, excluding grades of Pass, I, or W. Only the later grade is counted in the cumulative GPA when a course is repeated.
  • Grade points earned at another college are not used in the computation of the grade point average at Ashford University.
  • Successful Completion Rate = 67% or 2/3 of all attempted credits. Attempted undergraduate credits are all Ashford University course attempts recorded on the academic transcript, including repeated courses, withdrawals, and incompletes, as well as transfer credits that apply toward the student’s current degree program. Grades that count negatively against successful completion rates include I, W, WF, and F.
  • Grades of D+, D, or D- that do not count toward successful completion of required competency courses and thus must be repeated, also do not count toward successfully completed courses.
  • Successful completion of all program requirements must be accomplished within 150% of the normal length of the program as measured in credits attempted toward the program. Credits accepted in transfer toward the program are included as attempted and earned credits in determining the maximum timeframe.
  • Repeated courses count negatively against successful completion rates.

If at any point during the program, the institution determines that the student will not be able to successfully complete all program requirements at the conclusion of 150% of the normal length of a program as measured in credits, he or she will be dismissed from the University.

Graduate Satisfactory Academic Progress Standards

Graduate students must meet the following minimum qualitative and quantitative requirements to make satisfactory academic progress:

  • Cumulative GPA in Ashford University coursework for all graduate students = 3.00
  • Cumulative GPA includes all graduate-level coursework attempted at Ashford University, excluding grades of Pass, I, or W. Only the later grade is counted in the cumulative GPA when a course is repeated.
  • Successful Completion Rate = 67% or 2/3 of all attempted credits. Attempted graduate-level credits are all Ashford University course attempts recorded on the academic transcript, including repeated courses, withdrawals, and incompletes as well as transfer credits that apply toward the student’s current degree program. Grades that count negatively against successful completion rates include I, W, WF, and F.
  • Successful completion of all program requirements must be accomplished within 150% of the normal length of the program as measured in credits attempted toward the program. Credits accepted in transfer toward the program are included as attempted and earned credits in determining the maximum timeframe.
  • Repeated courses count negatively against successful completion rates.

If at any point during the program, the institution determines that the student will not be able to successfully complete all program requirements at the conclusion of 150% of the normal length of a program as measured in credits, he or she will be dismissed from the University.

Satisfactory Academic Progress Review and Evaluation

Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) is reviewed at regular SAP increments. Students are evaluated against both qualitative and quantitative standards at the conclusion of a SAP increment. After each evaluation, students who do not meet SAP standards will be notified in writing. Students who have an outstanding incomplete grade at the time of SAP review may not be allowed to continue until the incomplete grade is successfully completed.

SAP increments will be adjusted to coincide with the payment period. Please note any of the following activities may have an impact on the student’s payment period which will result in a SAP review that may not be congruent with the standard SAP increment:

  • Changing program of study;
  • Returning to the University after being officially or unofficially withdrawn;
  • Earning letter grades in competency courses that are considered unsuccessful for fulfillment of competency requirements;
  • Repeating coursework in which a passing grade was earned;
  • Returning after being out of attendance over 180 days;
  • Completing courses which do not apply to the student’s program of study; and/or
  • Taking courses concurrently.

Additionally, if it is determined that the SAP review did not align with the Financial Aid Payment Period, SAP will be reevaluated to coincide with the Financial Aid Payment Period and could affect the outcome of a previous SAP review.

Academic and Financial Aid Warning

Students who do not meet the minimum requirements for making satisfactory academic progress at the time of evaluation are initially placed on Academic and Financial Aid Warning for the following SAP increment.

Students are given up to one SAP increment to meet the requirements for satisfactory academic progress. All coursework earned after the period during which the student did not meet satisfactory academic progress is counted as a part of the Academic and Financial Aid Warning period. Students who are otherwise eligible to receive Title IV financial aid are eligible to receive Title IV financial aid while on Academic and Financial Aid Warning. Students may be required to re-take coursework previously completed in order to increase the likelihood of successfully meeting satisfactory academic progress and/or graduation requirements. These requirements may affect the student’s eligibility for financial aid funds.

At the conclusion of the Academic and Financial Aid Warning period, students who do not meet the requirements for satisfactory academic progress will be dismissed from the University. Dismissed students are not eligible to receive Title IV financial aid. Dismissed students should refer to the Appeal of Academic Dismissal policy in this section of this Catalog.

Academic and Financial Aid Probation

Students who have been granted an appeal for readmission after dismissal following a period of Academic and Financial Aid Warning, are placed on Academic and Financial Aid Probation for the following payment period.

Students who are otherwise eligible to receive Title IV financial aid are eligible to receive Title IV financial aid while on Academic and Financial Aid Probation. Students may be required to re-take coursework previously completed in order to increase the likelihood of successfully meeting satisfactory academic progress and/or graduation requirements. These requirements may affect the student’s eligibility for financial aid funds.

At the conclusion of the Academic and Financial Aid Probation period, students who do not meet the requirements for satisfactory academic progress will be dismissed from the University. Dismissed students are not eligible to receive Title IV financial aid. Dismissed students should refer to the Appeal of Academic Dismissal policy in this section of this Catalog.

Probation-Academic Plan

Students who are approved by the Appeals Committee for re-admission after dismissal following a period of Academic and Financial Aid Probation, after a period on Probation-Academic Plan or after dismissal due to exceeding the maximum time frame are placed on Probation-Academic Plan, and are required to meet specific academic requirements outlined in writing in an academic plan from the Registrar’s Office. Students are provided with an academic plan to assist the student in meeting regular SAP requirements within a specific period of time. Students may be limited in the number of courses for which they are scheduled while on Probation-Academic Plan. It is the student’s responsibility to adhere to the academic plan.

Students who are otherwise eligible to receive Title IV financial aid are eligible to receive Title IV financial aid while on Probation-Academic Plan. Students may be required to re-take coursework previously completed in order to increase the likelihood of successfully meeting satisfactory academic progress and/or graduation requirements. These requirements may affect the student’s eligibility for financial aid funds.

Students will be placed on Probation–Academic Plan for the first payment period/SAP increment while on the academic plan. Students on Probation-Academic Plan are reviewed against the progression requirements outlined in the academic plan. Students who are not meeting plan requirements at the time of review will be dismissed from the University and will no longer be are not eligible to receive Title IV financial aid or VA education benefits. Dismissed students should refer to the Appeal of Academic Dismissal policy in this section of this Catalog.

Appeal of Academic Dismissal

Students who have been dismissed from the University for failure to meet satisfactory academic progress requirements or the consecutive unsuccessful grades policy may appeal to be re-admitted to the University. Students must appeal in writing to the University Registrar. The appeal must be submitted to [email protected] or electronically via the online SAP Appeal form or the Unsuccessful Grades Dismissal Appeal form and approved prior to enrollment in any future courses. Additionally, the student’s appeal letter must include:

  • a reasonable explanation for the student’s academic performance to date, which includes mitigating circumstances such as student injury/illness, death of a student’s family member, or other reasons resulting in undue hardship to the student;
  • compelling evidence that they have the ability to demonstrate satisfactory academic progress and to succeed in an academic program due to changed circumstances, experience, and/or successful completion of college level credits during the period of absence; and
  • a plan for completion of the coursework required to meet satisfactory academic progress during the following payment period.

Appeals are evaluated by an Appeals Committee made up of the University Registrar or designee, and representative from Academic Affairs. The decision of the Committee will be communicated in writing to the student by the Registrar’s Office.

The passage of time does not substantiate eligibility for readmission or appeal for readmission, however, students who have experienced mitigating circumstances and have been dismissed from the University for failure to meet satisfactory academic progress requirements or the consecutive unsuccessful grades policy, and have been denied re-admission after an appeal, may submit another appeal to be readmitted after six months have elapsed since their last appeal was received by the University. The appeal must meet the criteria outlined previously and the student must present compelling evidence that they have the ability to demonstrate satisfactory academic progress and to succeed in an academic program due to changed circumstances, experience, and/or successful completion of college level credits since the last appeal was submitted.

Undergraduate General Transfer Credit Provisions and Limitations

Students are responsible for reviewing their scheduled courses with their Academic Advisor and informing him or her of any courses that they believe are duplicative or equivalent in content to previously completed coursework or nontraditional learning. Students may submit official transcripts to Ashford University for review of transfer credits at any time. However, transfer credit and/or nontraditional credit is not retroactive. Credits submitted and evaluated will not be accepted if they are duplicative of course work already earned at Ashford University, through transfer of credit, or nontraditional credit. Students are fully responsible for any charges for duplicative coursework taken at Ashford University.

Ashford University’s Registrar’s Office maintains records of all previous education and training obtained from students as part of the initial transfer credit evaluation at enrollment. Any additional evaluation requested by students following enrollment is also maintained. The outcomes of all transfer credit evaluations completed are communicated to students along with the resulting shortened program of study where applicable, as shown in their Student Portal.

Ashford University will provide an unofficial pre-evaluation of transfer credit upon request of the student and submission of unofficial transcripts. This service is intended to assist the student in determining how many transfer credits are likely to apply to an Ashford University degree and if transfer credit is equivalent to Ashford University courses prior to submission and evaluation of official transcripts. Pre-evaluation of transfer credit prior to the submission of official transcripts is NEVER a guarantee that a certain number of transfer credits will officially apply toward the student’s specific degree program.

Once official transfer credit evaluation is completed, students are responsible for reviewing their degree progress reports and notifying their Academic Advisors of any perceived discrepancies between credits completed and credits applied in transfer.

Duplication: It is the student’s responsibility to ensure that transfer credits, nontraditional learning, and/or Ashford University coursework do not duplicate previous credit earned. A student may not earn credit by examination, nontraditional learning or transfer credits in an area in which he or she has completed an equivalent course/exam or a course of a similar level. Degree-seeking students should work with their Academic Advisor to determine if coursework will fit into their academic plan and not duplicate previous credit awarded.

Regression: It is the student’s responsibility to ensure that transfer credits, nontraditional learning, and/or Ashford University coursework is not considered regression from previous credit earned. A student may not earn credit by examination, nontraditional learning or transfer credits in an area in which would be considered regression from previous courses/exams he or she completed. A student may not take Ashford University coursework in an area in which he or she has already completed a course that is more advanced in content level. Degree-seeking students should work with their Academic Advisor to determine if coursework will fit into their academic plan and not be considered regression from previous credit awarded.

Applicants and/or students who have questions concerning their transfer credit evaluation and/or official degree progress report should contact their Academic Advisor to discuss their concerns. Students requesting re-evaluation of specific transfer credits will be directed to the Transfer Credit Appeal form in the Student Portal at www.ashford.edu and are required to submit course descriptions and/or syllabi for the previous courses to be reviewed by the Office of the Registrar.

Transfer credits will be officially evaluated, based on review of official transcripts by the Office of the Registrar, in terms of curriculum. Courses similar in content and level will be accepted as equivalents to University courses based on the following criteria along with any program specific criteria:

  • Transfer credits must carry college level academic credit (generally, 100-level or higher). Remedial or developmental course credit is not transferable into a program of study.
  • Credits must have been earned with grade of “C-” or better from regionally accredited and approved nationally accredited colleges or universities. Transfer credits will generally be evaluated from each college or university independently.
  • Credits from international institutions will be accepted based on a detailed evaluation from an approved evaluation service.
  • Transfer credit may not be granted when it duplicates college credit previously earned. Credit will not be given for the same learning twice.
  • Unless special conditions exist, upper-division courses will not be considered equivalent or duplicative of lower-division courses.
  • No general age limit on transfer credit from regionally accredited and approved nationally accredited institutions, with possible exceptions in subject areas where there has been significant change. Requirements are noted in specific degree/major requirements.
  • Graduate-level credits cannot be applied to undergraduate degrees.
  • A quarter credit hour taken in transfer will be equated to two-thirds of a semester hour. When quarter credits are used as equivalencies to General Education requirements, the difference in required credits must be earned through completion of coursework necessary to achieve the total required credits for graduation. For example: A 3-quarter-credit course may be accepted as meeting General Education core or competency requirements but will equate to 2.00 credits applied towards that requirement. Therefore, one additional credit of coursework will be needed to meet General Education graduation requirements. A minimum of 5 quarter credits in Natural Science is required to meet the General Education Science requirement, if a laboratory component is included. If not, the equivalent of 6 semester credits, without a laboratory component, is required.
  • Limitations on the number and type of transfer credits accepted are set by each Ashford University degree program.
  • Capstone courses must be taken at Ashford University. Students may not use transfer credits or nontraditional credits to waive capstone course requirements, with the exception of GEN 499 General Education Capstone, in certain circumstances. Refer to General Education Capstone in the General Academic Information and Policies section of this Catalog.

Nationally accredited institutions granted accreditation by the following accrediting agencies will be considered in transfer:

  • Association of Advanced Rabbinical and Talmudic Schools, Accreditation Commission (AARTS);
  • Association of Biblical Higher Education (ABHE, formerly known as AABC);
  • Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES);
  • Accrediting Council for Continuing Education and Training (ACCET);
  • Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC);
  • Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS, formerly known as AICS or CCAACICS);
  • Association of Institutions of Jewish Studies (AIJS);
  • Association of Theological Schools in the United States and Canada, Commission on Accrediting (ATS);
  • Council on Occupational Education (COE, formerly known as SACS-COEI);
  • Distance Education and Training Council, Accrediting Commission (DEAC, formerly known as DETC and NHSC); 
  • National Accrediting Commission of Career Arts and Sciences (NACCAS); and
  • Transnational Association of Christian Colleges and Schools, Accreditation Commission (TRACS).

Credits from any institutions with whom Ashford University has current articulation agreements will be considered for transfer.

Associate of Arts Transfer Credit, Prior Learning Credit, and Nontraditional Credit Provisions and Limitations

  • Students in an Associate of Arts program may apply a maximum of 49 credits of combined nontraditional learning and/or transfer credits toward the 67 credits required for an Associate of Arts degree. Students in a 64 credit Associate of Arts program may apply a maximum of 46 credits of combined nontraditional learning and/or transfer credits toward the degree.
  • A maximum of 30 nontraditional credits of which a maximum of 15 PLA credits may be applied toward degree completion on a course match basis.
  • PLA credit cannot be awarded for a course previously taken with the University when a failing grade was received.
  • A maximum of 9 credits with a "D" grade are transferrable into a program of study as long as the student's cumulative overall GPA is 2.0 or above. If students sign an Authorization to Close File form, their CGPA cannot be determined therefore, "D" grades cannot be applied. "D" credits cannot be applied toward the major or toward General Education competencies at any time.
  • Students who transfer in General Education courses or transfer from an Ashford Bachelor’s program will be required to complete all of the course requirements for an Associate of Arts program, even if the student transfers in 64 credits or more.
  • Washington residents may apply a maximum of 16 credits toward an Associate's degree from a combination of prior learning assessment or other nontraditional learning, including national testing programs, or credit recommendation services.
  • Georgia residents may apply a maximum of 16 credits toward an Associate's degree from credit by examination and prior learning assessment.

Bachelor's Degree Transfer Credit, Prior Learning Credit, and Nontraditional Credit Provisions and Limitations

  • A maximum of 90 credits of combined nontraditional learning, prior learning, and transfer credits may be accepted and applied toward the 120 credits required for a Bachelor’s degree.
  • Within the 90 credit maximum, a maximum of 75 credits of nontraditional credit, including a maximum of 30 credits of prior learning may be applied toward degree completion. These 75 credits can be any combination of acceptable types of nontraditional credit.
  • Within the 75 credit nontraditional maximum, a maximum of nine (9) nontraditional credits may be applied toward the major requirements (including additional majors). Nontraditional credits may also apply up to a maximum of 50% of the requirements for a minor or specialization or 100% of the requirements for a transfer concentration. The content of nontraditional credits must be comparable to the content of the replaced course.
  • Nontraditional credit may not be counted toward the residency requirement in a degree program.
  • Nontraditional credit may not be granted when it duplicates college credit previously earned. Credit will not be given for the same learning twice.
  • Nontraditional credit is posted to the transcript as credit earned (i.e., without a grade), and does not affect a student’s grade point average.
  • PLA credit cannot be awarded for a course previously taken with the University when a failing grade was received.
  • A maximum of 9 credits with a “D” grade are transferable into a program of study as long as the student’s cumulative overall GPA is 2.0 or above. If students sign an Authorization to Close File form, their CGPA cannot be determined therefore, “D” grades cannot be applied. “D” credits cannot be applied toward the major or toward General Education competencies at any time.
  • Maximum allowance of six (6) credits may be accepted from Physical Education type activity courses (unless student was a prior PE major). Physical Education type credits are generally applied towards the elective credit requirement.
  • Maximum allowance of six (6) credits may be accepted for software applications courses.
  • Unless special conditions exist, upper-division courses will not be considered equivalent or duplicative of lower-division courses.
  • Credits earned from a regionally or approved nationally accredited institution as part of an Associate degree where a student earned a 2.0 cumulative GPA or higher are accepted as fulfilling all General Education and competency requirements of a Bachelor’s program*, with the exception of EXP 105 (introductory course) and the General Education Capstone, if one of the two subsequent conditions is satisfied:
  • The student meets the General Education requirements for Bachelor degrees offered through state universities in which the college granting the Associate degree resides; OR
  • The transfer credits have been evaluated and deemed acceptable by the University Registrar’s Office.
    • *This does not constitute a waiver of any course required to earn a particular major.
  • Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degrees will not be accepted as fulfilling the General Education or competency requirements. Credits earned in an AAS degree or a certificate program will be evaluated on an individual basis for application toward the Bachelor's degree. Courses taken that are similar to those taken in an Associate of Arts or Associate of Science degree program will be accepted in transfer.
  • Washington residents may apply a maximum of 30 credits toward a Bachelor's degree from any combination of prior learning assessment or other nontraditional learning, including national testing programs, or credit recommendation services.
  • Georgia residents may apply a maximum of 30 credits toward a Bachelor's degree from credit by examination and prior learning assessment.

Nontraditional Credits

Ashford University recognizes the uniqueness of each student’s experience and realizes that learning takes place in a variety of environments. Nontraditional credits can be awarded in three ways: through national testing programs, through national credit recommendations, and through prior learning assessment. National testing programs include AP: Advanced Placement, Berlitz, CLEP: College Level Examination Program, DSST: DANTES Subject Standardized Tests, Excelsior: UExcel, IB: International Baccalaureate, and TECEP: Thomas Edison College Examination Program. National credit recommendations include ACE: American Council on Education, and National CCRS: National College Credit Recommendation Service. Prior learning assessment includes Sponsored Professional Training and Experiential Essays. National testing programs and national credit recommendations should be transferred in through the Registrar's Office. All Prior Learning submissions should be processed by the Prior Learning Assessment Department. Please review the Nontraditional Credit Provisions and Limitations sections for additional information regarding nontraditional credits.

Prior Learning Assessment (PLA)

The Ashford University Prior Learning Assessment program allows students pursuing an Associate’s or a Bachelor’s degree the opportunity to earn credit for college-level learning that occurs outside a traditional classroom setting. The program complies fully with the Council for Adult and Experiential Learning (CAEL) standards for excellence. Credit will only be awarded in areas that fall within the regular curricular offerings at Ashford University.

Students may earn credit through the Prior Learning Assessment program in two ways:

Through Sponsored Professional Training: Students may participate in the Sponsored Professional Training component of PLA by providing the following documentation:

  • Evidence of successful completion (i.e., official certificate or letter)
  • Evidence of length of course (number of contact hours)
  • Evidence of course content (i.e., syllabus or handouts)
  • Contact information for course instructor/work supervisor (current phone/email)
  • Credit Rationale Paper for each submission/topic

Ashford University faculty will evaluate the submission of Sponsored Professional Training for evidence of college-level learning. Applicable fees for evaluation of Sponsored Professional Training are listed in the Financial Information section of this Catalog. Payment for evaluation is charged per credit submitted for evaluation and does not guarantee that credit will be awarded. PLA credit cannot be awarded for a course previously taken with the University when a failing grade was received.

Through Experiential Learning: Students may participate in the experiential learning component by first enrolling in the experiential learning course, EXP 200 Fundamentals of Adult Learning. EXP 200 is a 3-credit elective course, and per-credit tuition is charged at the regular rate outlined in the current tuition and fee schedule in the Financial Information section of this Catalog. Upon successful completion of EXP 200, students may submit one or more experiential essays for review. Ashford University faculty will evaluate the experiential essay submission for evidence of college-level learning applicable to the student’s Ashford University degree program. Additional charges apply per evaluation submitted, as outlined in the tuition and fee schedule in the Financial Information section of this Catalog. Payment for evaluation is charged per essay submitted for evaluation and does not guarantee that credit will be awarded.

Students may participate in one or both PLA components depending on their experience, background, and need.

Prior Learning Assessment credit awarded at another regionally or approved nationally accredited institution may be transferred to Ashford University with the approval of the Ashford University Registrar and the Department of Prior Learning Assessment, if the content area falls within the regular curricular offerings of Ashford University. In order to be applied toward an Ashford University degree, transcript records must include PLA subject area and/or content information. Students may also be required to submit the original PLA documentation. Such transfer credit counts toward the nontraditional credit maximum applicable in a degree program.

Prior Learning Assessment applies to students pursuing Associate’s or Bachelor’s degrees. It does not apply to students pursuing a graduate degree or non-degree seeking students. To be eligible for PLA, undergraduate students must be fully admitted, satisfy the English Proficiency requirement, and successfully complete their first course at Ashford. Additionally,

  • Prior Learning Assessment credit may be applied to an Associate of Arts program on a course match basis only;
  • PLA cannot be used to waive EXP 105, or a Capstone course; and,
  • Prior learning assessment credit may or may not be transferable. It is the student’s responsibility to find out if credits will transfer to an institution that the student may plan to attend in the future.

Students who have formally completed the PLA process but disagree with the final credit decision may be eligible to appeal. Please contact the Department of Prior Learning Assessment to discuss the appeal process. Please read the Nontraditional Credit Provisions and Limitations for more information in this section of the Catalog.

Articulation Agreements

Ashford University enters into articulation agreements with other schools in the spirit of cooperation and to mutually recognize each other as quality institutions of higher learning. The purpose of an articulation agreement is to enable students transferring to Ashford University to carry with them the credit they have already earned for as much relevant study as possible. Students who transfer under the terms and conditions of a valid articulation agreement are subject to the requirements outlined by the articulation agreement and Ashford University Academic Catalog at the time the student is enrolled into his or her Ashford University program. A list of schools with which Ashford University has established articulation agreements, terms of articulation and transfer guides outlining all articulated courses by degree program can be found on Ashford University’s website at www.ashford.edu/admissions/community_colleges.htm.

Graduate Transfer Credit Policy

Students who have earned graduate-level course credits prior to matriculation at Ashford University may be eligible to transfer up to nine (9) credits toward an Ashford University graduate-level degree. Additional credits may be accepted when offered under an agreement approved by Ashford University up to a maximum of 15 credits. Once admitted and/or matriculated into an Ashford University Master’s program, students are not permitted to take coursework at other institutions and transfer it into Ashford University, unless offered in an approved program or agreement.

Ashford University’s Registrar’s Office maintains records of all previous education and training obtained from students as part of the initial transfer credit evaluation at enrollment. Any additional evaluation requested by students following enrollment is also maintained. The outcomes of all transfer credit evaluations completed are communicated to students along with the resulting shortened program of study, where applicable, as shown in their Student Portal.

Graduate-level college credits completed are acceptable for transfer under the following conditions, unless offered in an approved program or under an agreement approved by Ashford University:

·      Credits should have been earned no more than ten (10) years before the date of admission to the degree program to which the credit is to be applied.

·      Graduate courses cannot have been used to satisfy the requirements for a previous graduate degree, including Ashford University courses.

·      The course must have been equivalent in content and level to the Ashford University course against which it is to be applied.

o  The course must have been a graduate-level course, taken for equivalent graduate-level credit at a regionally accredited college or university or Ashford University approved nationally accredited college.

o  Credits earned outside the United States must be evaluated by an approved Foreign Evaluation Agency for equivalency to both content and degree level of the Ashford University course.

o  Ashford University does not accept for graduate credit any credits earned as military credit, credit by examination, credit by correspondence, credit for life experience, or graduate credit from non-accredited schools.

·      Students must have earned a grade of “B” or better for any transfer course.

·      All capstone courses must be taken at Ashford University. Degree programs may determine that certain courses are not eligible for transfer of credit.

·      Official transcripts are required for transfer credit to be considered. In addition, students may be required to provide a copy of the catalog description and/or the course syllabus from the institution where the credit was awarded to validate that the course satisfies the transfer credit criteria.

·      California residents who have earned graduate-level course credits prior to matriculation at Ashford University may be eligible to transfer up to six (6) credits awarded by another institution toward an Ashford University graduate-level degree.

Requests for Program Change

Students who are requesting a program change must submit a new application required for the new program of study. Students must meet admission requirements and complete all degree requirements in effect for the program of study at the time of admission to the new program. Admission is not guaranteed. The University will determine the conditions under which the student may enroll and will convey those conditions to the student. Any changes to a program may result in removal of an approved transfer concentration, specialization, or minor.

Students using Military Tuition Assistance to fund their education must obtain permission from the Education Services Officer to change their program. When permission is obtained and the request is processed, an updated military degree plan will be reissued by the Office of the Registrar within 60 days.

Associate’s to Bachelor’s Program Change Requirements

Matriculated students seeking approval to change from an Associate’s to a Bachelor’s degree program must have earned a minimum of 18 credits at Ashford University and be in good academic standing. Matriculated students who have earned fewer than 18 credits at Ashford University are exempt from this requirement if all General Education and Introductory coursework has been successfully completed.

Withdrawal and Readmission Policies

Withdrawal from the University

Students wishing to officially withdraw from Ashford University must notify their assigned Enrollment Services Advisor, Academic Advisor, or other advisor within the Enrollment Services or Student Services Departments. Students choosing to notify their Academic Advisors verbally of their intent to withdraw may be asked to fill out a written request to withdraw.

Please refer to drop policies for grade implications when not meeting attendance requirements. Students who drop a course or are dropped for not meeting attendance requirements and do not attend within 14 days of their last date of attendance will be administratively withdrawn. Students who attend on the first day following 14 consecutive days of non-attendance will not be dropped from their course or administratively withdrawn. The University may schedule periods of non-enrollment during which no courses are scheduled. When this occurs, such as during the annual winter break, the break may extend the 14 day limit to include the break. No approved Academic Leave can exceed 45 days including University scheduled periods of non-enrollment.

The student must resolve any financial obligations to Ashford University before receiving an official transcript from the Office of the Registrar.

Official Withdrawal

Ashford University determines that a student is officially withdrawn when a student requests to officially withdraw from the University. Students wishing to officially withdraw from Ashford University must notify their assigned Enrollment Services Advisor, Academic Advisor, or other advisor within the Enrollment Services or Student Services Department. For official withdrawals, a student’s withdrawal date is:

  • The last documented date of academically related activity by the student 

Unofficial Withdrawal

Ashford University determines that a student is unofficially withdrawn when he or she falls into one of the following categories:

  • Students who do not register for and attend the current semester, term, or course sequence;
  • Students who fail to follow the proper procedures for requesting an Academic Leave or who do not return from an approved Academic Leave as scheduled; or
  • Students who do not meet the minimum attendance requirements for the program as outlined in the current Catalog or Catalog Supplement.

For unofficial withdrawals, a student’s withdrawal date is:

  • The last documented date of academically related activity by the student

Reinstatement Process after Withdrawal (Less Than One Year)

Students who withdraw or are withdrawn from Ashford University may request reinstatement to the same degree/program in which they were enrolled at the time of withdrawal. Students seeking reinstatement to a different degree/program must submit a new application required for the new program of study. Students must meet admission requirements and complete all degree requirements in effect for the program of study corresponding with the catalog year in which the student changed his or her program. Students seeking reinstatement to Ashford University should contact their Academic Advisor. Reinstatement is not guaranteed. If reinstatement is granted, Ashford University will determine any conditions under which the student may be reinstated and will convey those conditions to the student.

Military service members should review the Readmission of Students after Military Service under the Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008 policy located in this section of the Catalog.

Readmission Process after Withdrawal (One Year or More)

Students who withdraw or are withdrawn from Ashford University and are seeking readmission to the same or a different degree/program must submit a new application. This process is to ensure that the University has current demographic information for each student. If the student has continued his or her education at another school since leaving the University, official transcript(s) from any other college attended should be submitted by the student to the Registrar's Office for review.

Students must meet admission requirements and complete all degree requirements in effect for the program of study at the time of readmission. Readmission is not guaranteed. If readmission is granted, the University will determine the conditions under which the student may re-enroll and will convey those conditions to the student.

Military service members should review the Readmission of Students after Military Service under the Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008 policy located in this section of the Catalog.

Military Deployment Provisions

Any member of the United States armed forces, spouse of an Active Duty, National Guard or Reservist, a Department of Defense employee or a civilian employee of the US Coast Guard who is ordered to state or federal service or duty is entitled to the following provisions for each course the student is attending:

  • Students may withdraw from any current course(s) and receive a tuition credit, or refund where applicable,* to be applied in the amount of tuition accrued in the current course(s). Students will be assigned a withdrawal grade that does not count negatively against Satisfactory Academic Progress.
  • Students may make arrangements with instructors for course grades or administratively request a grade of incomplete by submitting any of the subsequent request forms. If such arrangements are made, tuition shall be assessed for the course(s) in full.
  • Students who withdraw from the institution due to military service are allotted a one-year grace period for collection of any institutional balances owed. This grace period does not apply to repayment of federal student loans which are subject to Title IV repayment regulations.

Students who request to drop any current course(s) due to military necessity and do not need to request an Academic Leave should submit a Military Course Drop/Incomplete Request.

Students who request a break in attendance of 45 days or greater due to military necessity may do so by submitting a Military Withdrawal Request. This request form also facilitates withdrawal from any current course(s), if necessary.

Both of these request forms are available in the Student Portal.

*Residents of Iowa shall receive a full refund of tuition and mandatory fees. Military Tuition Assistance is refunded to the branch of service from which it originated.

Readmission of Students after Military Service under the Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008

Ashford University does not deny readmission to a service member of the uniformed services for reasons relating to that service. Students who meet the criteria subsequently outlined will be readmitted with the same academic status as the student had when he or she last attended Ashford University. An affected service member is any individual who is a member of, applies to be a member of, or performs, has performed, applies to perform, or has the obligation to perform, service in the uniformed services. Service in the uniformed services means service, whether voluntary or involuntary, in the Armed Forces, including service as a member of the National Guard or Reserve, on active duty, active duty for training, or full-time National Guard duty under Federal authority for a period of more than 30 consecutive days under a call or order to active duty of more than 30 consecutive days.

Any student whose absence from Ashford University is necessitated by reason of service in the uniformed services is entitled to readmission if the following apply:

  • The student (or an appropriate officer of the Armed Forces or official of the Department of Defense) gives advance written or verbal notice of such service to Ashford University and provides such notice as far in advance as is reasonable under the circumstances;
  • The cumulative length of the absence and of all previous absences from Ashford University by reason of service in the uniformed services, including only the time the student spends actually performing service in the uniformed services, does not exceed five years; and
  • Except as otherwise provided in this section, the student submits a verbal or written notification of intent to re-enroll at Ashford University by informing an Academic Advisor, an Enrollment Services Advisor, or the Office of the Registrar or by submitting a new application for admission.

However, no advance notice by the student is required if the giving of such notice is precluded by military necessity, such as a mission, operation, exercise, or requirement that is classified; or a pending or ongoing mission, operation, exercise, or requirement that may be compromised or otherwise adversely affected by public knowledge.

In addition, any student (or an appropriate officer of the Armed Forces or official of the Department of Defense) who did not give advance written or verbal notice of service to an Academic Advisor, an Enrollment Services Advisor, or the Office of the Registrar may meet the notice requirement by submitting, at the time the student seeks readmission, an attestation to Ashford University that the student performed service in the uniformed services that necessitated the student’s absence from Ashford University.

When determining the cumulative length of the student’s absence for service, the period of service does not include any service:

  • That is required, beyond five years, to complete an initial period of obligated service;
  • During which the student was unable to obtain orders releasing the student from a period of service in the uniformed services before the expiration of the five-year period and the inability to obtain those orders was through no fault of the student; or
  • Performed by a member of the Armed Forces (including the National Guard and Reserves) who is:
  • Ordered to or retained on active duty under sections 688, 12301(a), 12301(g), 12302, 12304, or 12305 of Title 10, U.S.C., or under sections 331, 332, 359, 360, 367, or 712 of Title 14, U.S.C.;
  • Ordered to or retained on active duty (other than for training) under any provision of law because of a war or national emergency declared by the President or the Congress as determined by the Secretary concerned;
  • Ordered to active duty (other than for training) in support, as determined by the Secretary concerned, of an operational mission for which personnel have been ordered to active duty under section 12304 of Title 10, U.S.C.;
  • Ordered to active duty in support, as determined by the Secretary concerned, of a critical mission or requirement of the Armed Forces (including the National Guard or Reserve); or
  • Called into Federal service as a member of the National Guard under chapter 15 of Title 10, U.S.C., or section 12406 of Title 10, U.S.C (i.e., called to respond to an invasion, danger of invasion, rebellion, danger of rebellion, insurrection, or the inability of the President with regular forces to execute the laws of the United States).

An affected service member must, upon the completion of a period of service in the uniformed services, notify Ashford University of his or her intent to return to Ashford University not later than three years after the completion of the period of service. However, a student who is hospitalized for or convalescing from an illness or injury incurred in or aggravated during the performance of service in the uniformed services must notify an Academic Advisor, , an Enrollment Services Advisor, or the Office of the Registrar of his or her intent to return to Ashford University not later than two years after the end of the period that is necessary for recovery from such illness or injury. A student who fails to apply for readmission within the required period does not automatically forfeit eligibility for readmission to Ashford University, but is subject to Ashford University’s established general policies and practices.

A student who submits an application for readmission to Ashford University must provide to Ashford University documentation to establish that:

  • The student has not exceeded the specified service limitations; and
  • The student’s eligibility for readmission has not been terminated due to the occurrence of:
  • A separation from the Armed Forces (including the National Guard and Reserves) with a dishonorable or bad conduct discharge.
  • A dismissal of a commissioned officer permitted under section 1161(a) of Title 10, USC by sentence of a general court-martial; in commutation of a sentence of a general court-martial; or, in time of war, by order of the President.
  • A dropping of a commissioned officer from the rolls pursuant to section 1161(b) of Title 10, USC due to absence without authority for at least three months; separation by reason of a sentence to confinement adjudged by a court-martial; or, a sentence to confinement in a Federal or State penitentiary or correctional institution.

In order for a service member to qualify for these benefits by reason of service, a student must submit appropriate documentation to the University. Documents that might establish service member eligibility include, but are not limited to:

  • DD214—Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty;
  • Copy of duty orders prepared by the facility where the orders were fulfilled with a service completion endorsement;
  • Letter from the Commanding Officer of a Personnel Support Activity (or someone of comparable authority);
  • Certificate of completion from military training school;
  • Discharge certificate showing character of service;
  • Copy of extracts from payroll documents showing periods of service; or
  • Letter from National Disaster Medical System (NDMS) Team Leader or Administrative Officer verifying dates and times of NDMS training or Federal activation.

Ashford University may not delay or attempt to avoid a readmission of a student under this section by demanding documentation that does not exist, or is not readily available, at the time of readmission.

Students who meet the criteria for readmission after military service outlined previously will be promptly readmitted with the same academic status as when they last attended or were last admitted to the institution, but did not begin attendance because of that membership, application for membership, performance of service, application for service, or obligation to permit service. “Same academic status” means that Ashford University shall admit the student:

  • To the same program to which he or she was last admitted, or, if that exact program is no longer offered, the program that is most similar to that program, unless the student requests or agrees to admission to a different program;
  • At the same enrollment status last held at Ashford University, unless the student requests or agrees to admission at a different enrollment status;
  • With the same number of credit hours completed previously, unless the student is readmitted to a different program to which the completed credit hours are not transferable; and
  • With the same academic standing previously held.

If the student is readmitted to the same program, for the first academic year in which the student returns, the student will be assessed the same tuition and fee charges that the student was or would have been assessed for the academic year during which the student left the institution.

If the student is admitted to a different program, and for subsequent academic years for a student admitted to the same program, the student will be assessed no more than the tuition and fee charges that other students in the program are assessed for that academic year.

If Ashford University determines that the student is not prepared to resume the program, or will not be able to complete the program, the University will make reasonable efforts at no extra cost to the student to help the student become prepared or to enable the student to complete the program, including but not limited to providing refresher courses at no extra cost to the student.

Ashford University is not required to readmit the student on his or her return if:

  • After reasonable efforts by the University, the University determines that the student is not prepared to resume the program at the point where he or she left off;
  • After reasonable efforts by the University, the University determines that the student is unable to complete the program; or
  • The University determines that there are no reasonable efforts it can take to prepare the student to resume the program at the point where he or she left off or to enable the student to complete the program.

Servicemembers Opportunity College

Ashford University is a Servicemembers Opportunity College (SOC) Degree Network School. As a SOC member, students who apply for admission to a Bachelor of Arts degree at Ashford University and are members of one of the following Armed Forces are eligible to receive a Servicemembers Opportunity College SOC Student Agreement:

·      Military Branch: Army, Navy, Marines, or Coast Guard; or

·      Military Status: Active Duty, Active National Guard, Active Reserves servicemember, or Spouses/Adult Dependents.  

Ashford University may also issue SOC agreements to servicemembers of other branches of service based on SOC policies and requirements.

Ashford University must receive all previous college transcripts and military credit recommendations prior to the end of the second attempted course. Upon full admission, the student will receive a SOC Student Agreement outlining their degree requirements.

SOC Student Agreement degree requirements are valid for 8 years from the time the agreement is issued or the student voluntarily changes the degree program at which time a new agreement will be issued for the new program. Students who leave Ashford University and return after one year under a valid SOC Student Agreement will be given the program requirements under the last contract for degree. When degree or course requirements change, students have the opportunity to voluntarily choose the new program to be more in-line with industry standards. Students that return to a degree program that is no longer offered through Ashford University will be given the opportunity to be admitted into the most current program or under the contract version without loss toward academic progress.

Department of Defense (DoD) Voluntary Education Partnership

Ashford University is a participating institution in the Voluntary Education Partnership with the DoD. In accordance with this partnership, any Active Duty, National Guard, or Reservist student who attends the University will receive a military degree plan within 60 days after admission to the educational institution in which the individual has selected a degree program and all required official transcripts have been received.

The student will receive a Military Degree Plan with the evaluation of previous coursework received and the requirements for the degree program selected.

The Military Degree Plan affords the student the opportunity to complete the degree requirements within the enrolled degree program within five (5) years of the issued date without the loss of academic progress. Students who choose to change their degree program will forfeit the issued degree plan and be issued a new Military Degree Plan for the new program.

Transfer of Ashford University Credits to Other Institutions

Since Ashford University is a regionally accredited institution, other institutions may elect to accept Ashford University credits. However, students should be aware that the transfer of credit is controlled by the receiving institution, and therefore cannot be guaranteed by Ashford University unless part of a valid articulation agreement or included in an articulation numbering system.

Outside any formal partnership or agreement, students considering transferring to another institution have the responsibility to determine whether that institution will accept Ashford University credits. Ashford University does not imply, promise, or guarantee transferability of its credits to any other institution. Please visit www.ashford.edu/admissions/transferability.htm to find information about transfer guidelines and a current list of articulation agreements.

NOTICE CONCERNING TRANSFERABILITY OF CREDITS AND CREDENTIALS EARNED AT OUR INSTITUTION

The transferability of credits you earn at Ashford University is at the complete discretion of an institution to which you may seek to transfer. Acceptance of the degree you earn in the educational program is also at the complete discretion of the institution to which you may seek to transfer. If the credits or degree that you earn at this institution are not accepted at the institution to which you seek to transfer, you may be required to repeat some or all of your coursework at that institution. For this reason you should make certain that your attendance at this institution will meet your educational goals. This may include contacting an institution to which you may seek to transfer after attending Ashford University to determine if your credits or degree will transfer.

Learning Resources

Appropriate Use of Database Content

Researchers are permitted to access the databases only for the purposes of providing or pursuing an education through Ashford University. They may not use the materials for any other purpose. Neither database access nor materials retrieved from the databases may be shared inside or outside of the University.

Violations may result in disciplinary action and/or legal liability to the database providers. Ashford University requires its students, faculty and staff to respect intellectual property rights, and will take action against anyone who abuses access to the database content made available by the library.

Library

The Ashford University Library coordinates access for online students and faculty to electronic academic and business research databases and collections. These resources provide hundreds of thousands of full-text periodicals and academic journal articles, e-books, videos and other materials. These electronic research resources are available to students on a 24/7 basis. The library provides all students with tip sheets and video tutorials that show users how to navigate the Ashford University Library and help them better understand the research process.

Students can interact with librarians via phone, chat and email. These resources, as well as librarian contact information, instructional aids, and tutorials are available on the library website, which can be accessed through the Student Portal or through your online courses.

The library is also a full cataloging and interlibrary loan member of the Online Computer Library Center (OCLC). With this national network, all students can access more than 72,000 collections, large and small, through interlibrary loan. Ashford librarians can obtain articles and other documents for students if these items are not available through the Ashford University Library’s collections.

Assistance in Developing Writing Proficiency

A number of self-help resources are available on the Ashford University website for students preparing to meet the writing proficiency standards in degree programs offered online. In addition, fee-based tutorial services are available to students who need personal assistance in writing skill improvement.

Course Digital Materials (CDM)

Course digital materials (CDM) refers to all course-specific educational materials and resources provided directly to the student via the online classroom. Course materials include essential readings, audio and video assets, interactive exercises, and other digital supplements. CDMs offer a more dynamic, interactive, and robust set of resources for student learning in the online modality. For courses in which course digital materials are provided in lieu of textbooks, a fee (CDM fee) is applied directly to the student’s account concurrent with the charge for tuition. Students are not charged the CDM fee for repeated coursework if previously charged. CDM fees are fully refundable if a student does not attend beyond Week 1 of a course (Week 3 if covered under the Ashford Promise Refund Schedule).

Constellation™

Constellation™ course digital materials are designed to help students master the instructional goals of Ashford University degree programs. Constellation™ digital materials are created specifically to support Ashford University’s curriculum. These materials may be displayed on a browser-based Constellation™ Reader or on a number of devices, such as the iPhone, Kindle, and Blackberry. Once students have access to their Constellation™ digital materials through the online classroom, they can read their materials online, download and save them to their hard drive, print without restriction, keep materials for future reference, or share with friends.

Constellation™ does not include restrictions on file storage or print functions. Full functionality of Constellation™ is best experienced with the included reader. The Constellation™ Reader will allow students to highlight material in a variety of colors, create notes and make bookmarks. While the reader offers robust functionality, students will be able to access, download and print their learning materials in accordance with their preferences. Students will lose access to any course digital materials approximately 60 days after the end of their course or their withdrawal date, unless they have downloaded the material to an external device or hard drive.

Honors College

Description

The Ashford University Honors College serves to enhance the experience and opportunities available to Ashford’s highest achieving students. Acceptance into Honors College is merit based and Honors College students are expected to continually demonstrate a high level of achievement and leadership within the Ashford Community.

Mission Statement

The Ashford University Honors College engages a community of exceptional students in educational opportunities that promote leadership, innovation, global perspective, and civic responsibility.

Honors College Learning Outcomes

Students who successfully complete the sequence of Honors courses will be able to:

  1. Display leadership and interdisciplinary teamwork skills. 
  2. Utilize innovative approaches and informed decision-making when solving problems. 
  3. Interpret current global issues through multiple perspectives. 
  4. Evaluate the impact of various forms of civic engagement.

Benefits and Opportunities

Honors College students will have access to Honors College exclusive curriculum designed to enhance the chosen program of study. Students will have an opportunity to learn amongst the highest achieving students at Ashford. Honors College Courses are small discussion-based classes with special topics.

Additionally, Honors College students will have access to exclusive benefits and opportunities to help foster their continued success and achievement. Below are the opportunities currently available:

  • Special Honors College notation on degree transcript and Ashford University diploma
  • Mentorship from an Ashford faculty mentor who will be listed within the Student Portal
  • Support from a collaborative and holistic support team
  • A dedicated phone line to contact Honors advisors
  • Access to members only Honors College social platform
  • Supportive community of like-minded, high-achieving peers
  • An invitation to join an exclusive group within AU Connect, Ashford’s online alumni community
  • Recognition at commencement ceremonies

Eligibility

To be eligible for acceptance into the Honors College, you must meet one of the following criteria:

  • Completed 15 or more credits at Ashford University with a cumulative GPA of 3.75 or higher OR
  • Completed 30 or more transferrable credits with a cumulative college GPA of 3.75 or higher*.

*Military students that have met the credit requirement for transferrable credit, however, do not have credits with a cumulative GPA are still eligible to apply. Additionally, students who apply to the Honors College utilizing transfer credits must still be meeting the 3.75 Ashford Cumulative GPA at the time the application is reviewed.

Once accepted into Honors College, the student is expected to maintain a minimum 3.5 cumulative GPA at all times. If an Honors College student’s cumulative GPA ever drops below a 3.0, that student will be removed immediately from the Honors College and all Honors College benefits. Students who are removed from Honors College are welcome to submit an Honors College Reapplication form (available in the Student Portal) once they are again meeting the 3.75 GPA required for acceptance.

How to Apply

Applications are accepted year round. Once a student meets eligibility requirements, they can begin the application process.

Students who wish to apply will need to complete an application for acceptance into the Honors College. Students are encouraged to speak with their advisor or an admissions representative to see if they meet the acceptance criteria. Applications will be reviewed weekly by the Honors College Review Committee. Decisions will be communicated via email.

Materials

Applicants are required to submit the materials listed below. These materials will be used to determine whether or not an applicant is accepted into the Honors College and are evaluated based on prior experience, creativity, substance, and the applicant’s overall attitude towards achievement and education.

  • Honors College application
  • Two letters of recommendation that demonstrate your professional and academic experience**
  • A current resume
  • An honors essay (between 500 – 700 words)***
  • Unofficial or official transcripts (only required if the applicant is utilizing transfer credits to meet eligibility requirements and transcripts are not currently on file with Ashford University)

** By applying for the honors college you are giving us permission to contact the writer.

*** Essays will be reviewed for originality. Students should be aware that Ashford University utilizes Turnitin, an educational tool that helps prevent and identify plagiarism from Internet resources. This tool compares students’ work with texts available in Ashford University’s internal database as well as any written work submitted to Turnitin.

Honors College Distinctions

Students who are accepted into the Honors College, complete their honors curriculum, and who meet the 3.5 cumulative GPA graduation requirement will graduation with Honors College Distinctions as defined below:

Honors College Fellow

Students who choose this sequence will take all six Honors College courses listed below in addition to their chosen program of study. Upon graduation, they will receive the distinction of being an Honors College Fellow on their diploma and transcript.

  • HON 270: Thinking Critically about Global Issues
  • HON 280: Society, Power, and Responsibility
  • HON 290: Studies in Culture and Society: Exploring Diverse Perspectives
  • HON 470: Leadership in the 21st Century
  • HON 480: Envisioning Innovation and Creativity in the 21st Century
  • HON 490: Honors College Seminar

Honors College Scholar

Students who choose this sequence will take the three upper division Honors College courses listed below in addition to their chosen program of study. Upon graduation, they will receive the distinction of being an Honors College Scholar on their diploma and transcript.

  • HON 470: Leadership in the 21st Century
  • HON 480: Envisioning Innovation and Creativity in the 21st Century
  • HON 490: Honors College Seminar

Changing the Honors College Course Sequence or Dropping from the Honors College

Students who wish to change their Honors College course sequence or who wish to remove themselves from Honors College may do so by submitting an Honors College – Change of Sequence form available in the Student Portal.

Reapplying to the Honors College

Students who were previously accepted into the Honors College and are now interested in re-joining the Honors college may do so by submitting an Honors College Reapplication form (available in the Student Portal) providing that they meet all eligibility requirements including the 3.75 cumulative GPA.

Honor Societies

Alpha Sigma Lambda

Alpha Sigma Lambda is an honor society devoted to the advancement of scholarship and leadership of nontraditional/adult students in higher education. To be eligible for membership in the Ashford University Alpha Lambda chapter of the Alpha Sigma Lambda Honor Society, students must be seeking their first Bachelor’s degree, be in the highest twenty (20) percent of eligible baccalaureate students based upon cumulative GPA, and meet the following criteria as of January 1 or July 1, and completion of a minimum of:

·      24 credits at Ashford University; and

·      12 credits of liberal arts coursework.

Students who meet the eligibility criteria will be sent an invitation via email to become a member. There are no membership fees or dues. Once a student has participated in an online induction ceremony, the student becomes a lifetime member of the Alpha Lambda chapter of the Alpha Sigma Lambda honor society. Names of inductees will be published on the Alpha Sigma Lambda webpage on the Ashford University website once the induction process for eligible students is complete. Students who are inducted into the honor society will be mailed a certificate.

Any Alpha Sigma Lambda member who participates in the Ashford University Commencement Ceremony will be distinguished with Alpha Sigma Lambda regalia provided by the University.

Phi Theta Kappa

Phi Theta Kappa is the International Honor Society of the two-year college/Associate’s degree-granting institution. Phi Theta Kappa’s mission is two-fold: to recognize and encourage the academic achievement of two-year college students and provide opportunities for individual growth and development through participation in honors, leadership, service, and fellowship programs.

Membership is by invitation only. In order to receive an invitation for membership, students must meet the criteria listed subsequently as of January 1 and July 1:

·      Be an active student seeking an Associate’s degree;

·      Have completed at least 12 credit hours of coursework that may be applied to an Associate’s degree;

·      Have a grade point average of 3.7 (a cumulative grade point average of 3.5 must be maintained to remain in good standing); and,

·      Be willing to adhere to the moral standards of the Society.

There is a one-time membership fee of $60.

Students who meet the eligibility criteria will be sent an invitation to become a member. Names of inductees will be published on the Phi Theta Kappa webpage on the Ashford University website once the induction process for eligible students is complete. Students who are inducted into the honor society will be mailed a certificate.

Any Phi Theta Kappa member who participates in the on-campus commencement ceremony will be distinguished with Phi Theta Kappa regalia provided by the University.

Delta Alpha Pi International

Delta Alpha Pi International is an academic honor society for students with disabilities. Delta Alpha Pi Honor Society presents an opportunity to change negative stereotypes associated with disability by recognizing students with disabilities for their academic accomplishments. In addition, this honor society facilitates development of skills in leadership, advocacy, and education for participating students. Members of Delta Alpha Pi Honor Society participate in activities designed to educate the community and society regarding disability issues and the need for universal design in learning.

Membership in Delta Alpha Pi International Honor society is by invitation only and open to all eligible Ashford University students. To attain membership into DAPi, the following criteria must be met as of January 1 and July 1:

·      Be a student with a documented disability through the Office of Student Access and Wellness.

·      Demonstrate an interest in disability issues.

·      Be an undergraduate student currently enrolled and have completed a minimum of 24 credits with a minimum GPA of 3.10, OR

·      Be a graduate student currently enrolled and have completed 18 credits of graduate coursework with a minimum GPA of 3.30.

Students who meet the eligibility criteria will be sent an invitation via email to become a member. There are no membership fees or dues. Names of inductees will be published on the Alpha Sigma Lambda webpage on the Ashford University website once the induction process for eligible students is complete. Students who are inducted into the honor society will be mailed a certificate.

Any Delta Alpha Pi member who participates in the Ashford University Commencement Ceremony will be distinguished with Delta Alpha Pi regalia provided by the University.

Golden Key International Honour Society

Golden Key International Honour Society is the world’s premier collegiate honor society connecting members locally, regionally and globally with lifetime opportunity, reward and success. Membership in Golden Key is by invitation only.

To qualify for membership in Golden Key International Honour Society, active students must meet the following criteria as of January 1 or July 1:

·      Be in the top 15% of your undergraduate class (Bachelor’s degree seeking Sophomores, Juniors and Seniors), based on GPA; or

·      Be a top-performing graduate student, based on GPA.

Membership in Golden Key consists of one-time lifetime membership fee of $95 paid at the time of induction.

Students who meet the eligibility criteria will be sent notice of their eligibility via email and be told to expect an exclusive invitation via email to join the honor society directly from Golden Key International Honour Society headquarters.

Names of inductees will be published on the Golden Key webpage on the Ashford University website. Students who are inducted into the honor society will be mailed a certificate.

Any Golden Key member who participates in the Ashford University Commencement Ceremony will be distinguished with Golden Key regalia provided by the University.

SALUTE National Veterans Honor Society

SALUTE is the first national veteran's honor society. SALUTE stands for Service, Academics, Leadership, Unity, Tribute, and Excellence. In 2009, Colorado State University was awarded the ACE/Wal-Mart Success for Veterans Grant, and from that SALUTE Veterans National Honor Society was created. SALUTE is the first honor society created for student veterans and military at two- and four-year higher education institutions nationwide. 

To attain membership into SALUTE as an undergraduate student, the following criteria must be met as of January 1 and July 1:

·      Be currently enrolled as an undergraduate student;

·      Qualify as military or veteran student under locally-derived and maintained definitions, or submit a DD-214 Member 4 copy that displays the character of service (honorable discharge);

·      Have a minimum GPA of a 3.0;

·      Have served or currently be serving in the military, National Guard, or reserves or, if no longer serving, submit a DD-214 Member 4 copy that displays the character of service (honorable discharge); and

·      Maintain the highest ethical standards.

·      A unique element for undergraduate students is the GPA-ranking tier. This system was designed to encourage student veterans to strive for academic success at their university. Undergraduate members of SALUTE advance to higher tiers of the GPA ranking system during their tenure at their university.

To attain membership into SALUTE as a graduate student, the following criteria must be met as of January 1 and July 1:

·      Be currently enrolled as a graduate student;

·      Qualify as a military or veteran student under locally-derived and maintained definitions;

·      Have a minimum GPA of a 3.5;

·      Have completed at least 12 credits of graduate coursework;

·      Have served or currently be serving in the military, National Guard, or reserves or, if no longer serving, submit a DD-214 Member 4 copy that displays the character of service (honorable discharge); and

·      Maintain the highest ethical standards.

Membership in SALUTE consists of one-time lifetime membership fee of $20 paid at the time of induction.

Students who meet the eligibility criteria will be sent notice of their eligibility via email and be provided with information on the necessary application materials to be reviewed by a committee. Following committee review, students who meet all eligibility requirements will be sent an invitation via email to formally induct into SALUTE. Names of inductees will be published on the SALUTE webpage on the Ashford University website once the induction process for eligible students is complete.

Students who are inducted into the honor society will be mailed a certificate and a military style challenge coin by the SALUTE Headquarters.

Any SALUTE member who participates in the Ashford University Commencement Ceremony will be distinguished with SALUTE regalia provided by the University.

Program Completion and Honors

Dean’s List

Associate and Bachelor degree-seeking students will be evaluated three times per calendar year for academic recognition, in December, May, and August. Students who meet the following criteria will be recognized for their scholarship through the Academic Dean’s List.

  • Have a 3.50 Ashford University cumulative grade point average;
  • Have completed a minimum of 12 credit hours in an online program;
  • Have enrolled in and completed at least one course since the time the previous Dean’s List was determined;
  • Are in good academic standing at the time of review; and
  • Are currently attending or are on an approved Academic Leave at the time of review.

Graduation Process

Students should petition to graduate when they are within six (6) months of program completion.  The completed Petition to Graduate form, including required fees, must be submitted to release all transcripts, diplomas and verifications for degrees awarded. The Petition to Graduate is available online in the Student Portal at www.ashford.edu.

The date of degree conferral recorded on the student’s transcript and diploma reflects the date the student completes all academic degree requirements. Degree completion is generally recorded on a student’s official transcript within 30 days after completion of ALL program requirements. Diplomas are generally ordered within 30 days after completion of all program requirements and payment of all related tuition and fees. Diplomas and transcripts will be withheld until all accounts at the University are paid in full.

Graduation Honors and Awards

Candidates for an undergraduate degree who have exhibited outstanding achievement may be awarded the following honors at graduation by earning the corresponding grade point average:

  • Cum laude 3.50–3.69
  • Magna cum laude 3.70–3.89
  • Summa cum laude 3.90 or above

Recognition also is given to Scholars Institute graduates and to students who are members of honor societies: Junior/Senior Honor Society, Alpha Sigma Lambda, Golden Key International Honour Society, and Mu Sigma Eta. Also recognized are students who were selected for “Who’s Who Among Students in American Colleges and Universities.”

Posthumous Degree Policy

The University may grant undergraduate and graduate degrees posthumously. When the University determines that a deceased student was in good standing and had completed enough credits toward a degree, the Vice President for Academic Affairs or designee has the authority to grant the degree posthumously.

Generally, students should have completed a majority of their coursework for the program of study in order to qualify for a posthumous degree. Additionally, students must have been meeting Satisfactory Academic Progress and all Student Community Standards.

Formal requests may be submitted in writing to the Office of the Registrar for consideration by emailing [email protected].

Degree Rescindment Policy

An Ashford University degree may be rescinded when there is clear and convincing evidence that one of the following has occurred:

  • A degree has been conferred in error;
  • All University-defined requirements were not satisfied at the time the degree was granted; or
  • A previously awarded passing grade is reversed, resulting in unmet degree requirements.

Commencement Ceremony

Ashford University commencement ceremonies are held in the fall and spring each year. In order to participate, students must meet the following requirements:

Fall Ceremony - October 2017

    Expect to graduate between July 1 and December 31; and

    Purchase appropriate* cap and gown by August 15.

Spring Ceremony - May 2018

  •     Expect to graduate between January 1 and June 30; and
  •     Purchase appropriate* cap and gown by March 15.

*Cap and gown must be purchased from Ashford University’s authorized vendor.

Specific graduation dates and locations are available on the Graduation Information webpage located at www.ashford.edu/student_services/graduation.htm.

Students who wish to attend a ceremony different from that assigned by his or her expected graduation date may request to attend a future ceremony by emailing [email protected].