Programs of Study, Courses and Credits

Each student is registered in a program of study such as Business Administration or Computer Science: such programs of study are also referred to as majors. Each program consists of courses which must be completed in order for a student to graduate. Each program of study leads to an academic qualification from the American College. In order to graduate from such a program a minimum number of European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System Credits (ECTS Credits) must be completed.

The value of each course is stated in terms of ECTS Credits. The number of ECTS credits each course carries is based on the expected student workload needed to successfully complete the requirements of the particular course. ECTS credits are awarded upon satisfactory completion of a course. Most courses at the American College carry 6 ECTS credits and consist of three 55-minute sessions per week during a semester. The courses of a program of study are usually separated in different groups such as Major courses (i.e. the specialized courses that constitute the backbone of a program), General Education courses etc. The credit requirements of a program of study specify how many ECTS credits must be earned from each group of courses in order for a student to graduate.

The courses each student must take in a semester are determined by the requirements of the student’s program of study and the courses’ prerequisites. A course with a prerequisite can only be taken once the course set as its prerequisite has been successfully completed by the student.

Enrolment

The enrollment procedure takes place every semester/session. It is the process by which students enroll into courses. A student is officially enrolled once he/she receives a fully completed Enrollment Form approved and signed by the student’s advisor or a College officer. The official enrollment period is indicated in the academic calendar.

Credit Load

The normal credit load for a full-time student is 30 ECTS credits during a semester and 12 ECTS credits during the Summer session. Students with a Cumulative Grade Point Average of 3.0 or higher may be permitted to enroll for a maximum of 42 ECTS credits during a semester and may continue to do so for as long as the 3.0 Cumulative Grade Point Average is maintained. Other students may be allowed to enroll for more than 36 ECTS credits in a semester if they are repeating at least one course or they require a few extra credits during their last semester in order to graduate.

The number of ECTS credits cannot exceed 42. Students who are residing in Cyprus on a student temporary resident permit are required to study on a full-time basis by enrolling for at least 30 ECTS credits in each semester if they are pursuing an undergraduate program or at least 24 ECTS credits if they are pursuing a postgraduate program. Such students can enroll for the number of ECTS credits they need to graduate, even if it is less than the relevant minimum number of credits, if they are graduating from a master’s degree, bachelor’s degree or a higher diploma program.

Local or European Union students or students who are not residing in Cyprus on a student temporary resident permit may elect to study on a part-time basis by enrolling for fewer than 30 undergraduate ECTS credits or fewer than 24 postgraduate ETCS credits in a semester.

Classification of Students

Student classification as freshman, sophomore, junior or senior depends upon the number of credits successfully completed. The ECTS credits for each classification are:

ECTS CompletedClassification
0 – 59Freshman
60 – 119Sophomore
120 – 179Junior
180 or moreSenior

On the basis of credit load, a student is classified as part-time or full-time during a semester. A full-time student is one who is enrolled for at least 30 undergraduate ECTS credits or 24 postgraduate ECTS credits during a semester.

A part-time student is one who is enrolled for less than 30 undergraduate ECTS credits or 24 postgraduate ECTS credits during a semester.

Adding / Dropping a Course

To add or drop a course, students must complete and submit an Application to Add/Drop a Course to their advisor or an enrollment officer and obtain his/her approval. While every effort will be made to meet the needs of students, the College staff reserve the right to refuse changes in courses. A student can add or drop a course within the first two weeks of classes in a semester or the first week of classes during the Summer session. A course dropped during the first two weeks of classes in a semester or the first week of classes during the Summer session will not appear on the student’s transcript.

A course may be offered in more than one section during a semester. Everything that applies for the add/drop a course also applies for changing a section (e.g. procedure, deadlines).

Students cannot drop a course merely by stopping attendance. Students who stop attending a course without filling in an Application to Add/Drop a Course within the appropriate time limits will continue to be enrolled in the particular course. In such cases, an “F” will be assigned to students who fail to complete the requirements of the course. Students are advised to consult their student advisor prior to adding/dropping a course.

Exceptions to any of the above will only be granted under the most extenuating circumstances and only if authorized by the Director of Administration. Unsatisfactory academic performance in itself is not an extenuating circumstance.

All the above adjustments are subject to the tuition refund policy of the College.

Withdrawal from a Course

After the end of the add/drop period students are entitled to withdraw from the course(s) they are enrolled in, provided they fill a Course Withdrawal Form and submit it, not later than the end of the eighth week for the Fall and Spring semesters and not later than the end of the third week for the Summer session, to the College reception.

The grade “W” will be assigned on the transcript of a student withdrawing from the College. Until the Course Withdrawal Form is approved, students are considered to be enrolled students. Students cannot withdraw merely by stopping attendance. Failure to comply with the appropriate procedure will result in “F” grades being assigned on the student’s transcript.

An instructor may request withdrawal of a student from a course because of non-attendance. The instructor must inform the Office of Administration for such withdrawal.

All withdrawals are subject to the tuition refund policy of the College.

Withdrawal from the College

Students wishing to withdraw from the College must fill in a Withdrawal Form with the Office of Administration by the deadlines described in the academic calendar.

Withdrawals are subject to the College’s financial policy. Students who withdraw from a course before the deadline listed below will receive a grade of ‘W’, which will not affect their GPA.

Students cannot withdraw from the College by merely not showing up to class. Students who do not file for withdrawal within the deadline will continue to be enrolled in the course. If they have not completed course requirements, they will be assigned an F as a final grade.

Change of Program

A student who wishes to change his/her program of study is advised to check, with the help of his/her advisor, the requirements for the completion of his/her new program because program requirements differ. Some or all credits earned in the first program of study can be transferred to the new program the student wishes to transfer to, but their distribution may vary.

Moreover, the student is required to complete the Change of Program form and submit it to the Director of Administration. Approval of the change of program rests with the Director of Administration.

Class Attendance

Class attendance is considered an important part of the educational process at the American College. Therefore, all students are expected to attend their classes punctually and regularly. Individual faculty members set the specific guidelines for attendance and penalties for excessive absences. Failure to attend classes may result in failure in a course.

In cases of personal or medical emergency, a student must receive permission for absence from classes from his/her instructor. Absence from classes does not excuse students from coursework or their obligation to complete an assignment on time. In any case, students are responsible for making up missed coursework.

A student who misses an announced examination (other than a final examination) because of illness or other good reason must immediately, upon returning to class, present to his/her instructor a report from a physician or other acceptable explanation for the absence.

Assessment

Grades for courses are based upon final examinations, mid-term examinations, tests, assignments, projects and class participation. Faculty members inform students of their grading policy at the beginning of each semester/session.

Grading System

Grades are calculated in percentages with letter equivalents as in the table below. Letter grades are further expressed in Grade Points per credit as follows:

% GradeGradeGrade MeaningGrade Points per Credit
90-100AExcellent4.00
85-89B+Very Good3.50
80-84BGood3.00
75-79C+Above Average2.50
70-74CAverage2.00
65-69D+Below Average1.50
60-64DPoor1.00
Below 60FFailure0.00
 WWithdrawal0.00
 IIncomplete0.00
 TRTransfer Credits0.00
 AUAudit0.00

The grade of “F” does not earn any grade points. This grade is given for a course failed. A student who receives this grade in a course must repeat the course in order to receive credit for it.

The grade of “W” indicates withdrawal from the course. Credit hours for a course for which a grade of “W” is awarded will not be included in the total number of credit hours attempted for the calculation of a student’s Cumulative Grade Point Average.

The grade of “I” means incomplete and is assigned by the instructor only when a student has maintained satisfactory performance in a course but was unable to complete a major portion of the assessment (e.g. mid-term examination, project, final examination) and the reasons given were acceptable by the instructor. It is the responsibility of the student to bring pertinent information to the instructor to justify the reasons for the incomplete work and to reach an agreement on the means by which the remaining course requirements will be satisfied.

When the “I” grade is awarded, the faculty member awarding the grade must file a written statement, using the Incomplete Grade Assignment Form, and include:

  1. A description of the extenuating circumstances which justify the “I” grade.
  2. The specific conditions that must be met in order to complete the course requirements and have the “I” grade replaced by a regular grade.
  3. The length of time the student is allowed in which to complete all requirements.

A student is responsible, after consulting with the instructor, for fulfilling the remaining course requirements before the agreed deadline. In cases where the student is near to graduation this must be taken into account when deciding the deadline. In very special cases, the instructor may extend the agreed deadline for fulfilling the incomplete work.

Failure of the student to complete work within the agreed time limit will result in a grade “F” which will be recorded as the final grade. Credit hours for a course for which a grade of “I” is awarded will not be included in the total number of credit hours attempted for the calculation of a student’s Cumulative Grade Point Average. The incomplete grade in a course will be converted automatically to an “F” if a student re-enrolls in that course prior to clearing the “I” grade. A student cannot graduate with an “I” on the transcript.

All the above regarding the grade of “I” are applicable to all courses except for the postgraduate thesis. If a postgraduate thesis is not completed by the end of a particular semester, then the grade of “I” is assigned by the thesis supervisor. The assigning of the grade of “I” for the thesis in a particular semester is permanent. A student who continues to work on his/her thesis after the grade of “I” is assigned, he/she needs to re-enroll for the thesis in a following semester.

The grade of “TR” refers to courses transferred (usually from other higher education institutions). The number of credits attempted for such courses does not enter into the computation of the Cumulative Grade Point Average.

 

The grade of “AU” refers to courses students registered for on an Audit basis. Students who wish to expose themselves to the material taught in a course without receiving credit or being assessed may choose to Audit a course. Regular fees and enrollment procedures are required but the student is not assessed in any way, so no grades or credits are assigned. Students must designate their intent to register on an Audit basis at the time of enrollment.

 

Current Grade Point Average

A student’s Current Grade Point Average (Current GPA) shows a student’s average performance for a particular semester/session. Performance in a course is expressed in letter grades and each letter grade corresponds to a number of grade points per credit as shown in the table above. The Current GPA is computed by multiplying the number of ECTS credits a course carries by the grade points per credit corresponding to the letter grade assigned in the particular course.

The products of such multiplications, for all courses taken in a semester/session, are added to get the total number of grade points. The total number of grade points is then divided by the total number of ECTS credits the student has attempted in the semester/session to obtain the Current GPA.

The Current GPA is calculated to the hundredth position and it is not rounded. Grades reported as “W”, “I”, “TR” or “AU” are not included in the computation of the Current GPA.

Cumulative Grade Point Average

The calculation of the Cumulative Grade Point Average (Cumulative GPA) is calculated in the same way as the Current GPA except that it is based on all the courses a student took since his/her first semester/session. The Cumulative GPA is one of the principal criteria for determining a student’s overall academic performance and is determined for each student at the end of each semester.

Student Grade Reports

At the end of each semester/session grade reports are given or mailed to students and grades are recorded on their permanent academic record. Grades are not given out by instructors or released over the telephone. Copies of grade reports are provided to students’ parents, legal guardians or financial sponsors when such requests are made.

Transcript of Academic Record
Students may request a transcript of their academic record by completing and submitting a Transcript Request form to the College reception. All transcripts are signed and bear the official College seal. Transcripts are issued as follows:
During teaching or holiday weeks of a semester/session All students enrolled in an ongoing semester/session are eligible to apply for a transcript.
Between the start of the final examinations of a semester/session and the date when grades are given out to students grades are being processed No Transcript Request forms are accepted and no transcripts are issued to students who are/were enrolled in the semester/session for which grades are being processed.
During periods other than the above Transcript Request forms are accepted and transcripts are issued to students with no outstanding financial obligations towards the College.
Partial transcripts are not issued under any circumstances.
Graduation Requirements

For a student to graduate he/she must have:

  1. Completed all credit requirements of the particular program of study;
  2. Completed at least 30, 60, 120, 60 ECTS credits at the American College for a Certificate, Diploma, Bachelor Degree or a Master Degree respectively;
  3. A CGPA of at least 2.00 in the case of a Bachelor or a Master degree;* and
  4. No financial or other obligations towards the College.
Issuance of a Qualification Certificate

Students who have met all graduation requirements following the end of a particular semester/session, must complete and submit to the College reception an Application to Receive a Qualification Certificate. Certificates, Diplomas and Degrees are issued following the end of each semester/session after grades for the particular semester/session were processed.

The College will not issue the qualification certificate of students who fail to submit an Application to Receive a Qualification Certificate.

Graduation Honors

Bachelor and Master degree graduates are awarded for high academic achievement as follows:

  • Summa Cum Laude: awarded to students whose CGPA is between 3.90 and 4.00.
  • Magna Cum Laude: awarded to students whose CGPA is between 3.70 and 3.89.
  • Cum Laude: awarded to students whose CGPA is between 3.50 and 3.69
Honors List

The Honors List is issued following the end of each semester/session and contains the names of students who have achieved a minimum GPA of 3.50 in the respective semester/session.

To be eligible, students must have been enrolled for a minimum of 24 ECTS credits during the particular semester or 12 ECTS credits during the particular Summer session.

Graduation Ceremony

The annual graduation ceremony takes place in June. Students who wish to attend the ceremony must complete the Graduation Ceremony Participation form and submit it to the College reception by the end of May, so that all necessary arrangements can be made. Students who expect to graduate by the end of the following Summer session or Fall semester are allowed to attend the ceremony.

Participation in the graduation ceremony does not necessarily imply that the student has completed his/her graduation requirements.

Make up Examinations

Students who

  1. fail a final examination or a course, or
  2. miss a final examination due to a medical reason or other emergency

can request a make-up examination (re-examination).

Such students have the opportunity for re-taking the final examination, during the resit period, which occurs one-week prior to the beginning of the new semester (there are 2 resit periods during an academic year).

To apply for a make-up examination, students need to complete and submit a Make-up Examination Request form to the Director of Administration. Provided their request is approved, they will be notified shortly on the resit date, time, and other details.

Students who have failed a final examination or a course have the possibility for taking 1 re-examination per course. If they do not succeed in receiving a passing grade, then they must retake the Course.

Students who missed a final examination due to a medical reason or other emergency have the possibility for taking 1 re-examination per course. If they do not succeed in receiving a passing grade, then they have the possibility for taking 1 more re-examination per course. If, following the second re-examination, they do not succeed in receiving a passing grade, then they must retake the Course.

Retaking Courses

If a student retakes a course, only the most recent grade will be included in the computation of a student’s Cumulative Grade Point Average. The grade previously received will however, be listed at all times on the student’s permanent academic record and transcript.

Change of Grade

Once final letter grades have been submitted to the Academic Committee for approval, no changes are allowed unless an instructor completes a Grade Change form in which he/she suggests that a change of grade must be made because:

  • a legitimate error has been made in the calculation of a student’s grade or
  • the originally assigned grade is a grade of “I” and should now be replaced by another grade.
Grade Appeal Procedure

If a student thinks that the final grade he/she received in a course does not represent a fair evaluation of his/her performance, he/she must try to resolve this matter with the particular instructor.

If this does not lead to a resolution, the student may appeal against the grade by completing and submitting to the College reception a Grade Appeal form within four weeks from the date student grades reports were issued. Following the submission of Grade Appeal form the Director of Administration will examine the appeal and reach a decision regarding the student’s appeal.

An appeal must be based on evidence that the instructor has been unfair in awarding a grade or a legitimate error has been made in the calculation of a student’s grade. Disagreement with a instructor’s judgment is not a basis for a grade appeal, nor is disagreement with an instructor’s grading standards, if such standards have been described in advance to the class and have been applied fairly to all students in the course.

This procedure is only intended to handle disputes that may arise regarding the final examination. When disputes arise regarding the grading of other examinations or assignments during the semester/session, the student should contact the instructor immediately rather than wait until the end of the semester/session and try to resolve the issue.

Each grade appeal submitted according to this procedure must be an individual action by an individual student. Grade appeals by one student on behalf of several students or an entire class are not permitted.

Students' Rights and Responsibilities

Students at the American College have the right to:

  1. Be treated with respect regardless of race, gender, age, religion, national origin, disability or sexual orientation.
  2. Set up their own union which the College is obliged to recognize.
  3. Be represented on several College Committees such as the College Council, the Academic Committee, the Administration Committee and the Disciplinary Committee.
  4. Speak and act freely, provided they do so within College regulations.
  5. Appeal against grades.
  6. Evaluate College faculty.
  7. Expect assistance from College staff on academic and/or other general matters.

Students at the American College have the responsibility to:

  1. Behave with academic and personal integrity.
  2. Be aware of all College rules and regulations and fulfill all their required obligations to the College.
  3. Be aware of the particular requirements of their program of study.
  4. Meet periodically with their advisor.
  5. Maintain high standards of academic honesty.
Academic Advising

Academic advising plays an important part in a student’s enrollment and academic performance. New students are advised by enrollment officers on their enrollment in courses, adds/drops and withdrawals. All returning students are advised by their advisor for the same.

Students are advised to meet with their advisor on a regular basis.

Special Education Needs Students

American College maintains a policy and specific procedures for students with Special Educational Needs (SEN) aiming at providing educational support and guidance to all of its students to ensure equality in all Academic matters.

The current policy provides a classification of Special Educational Needs, describes the procedure to acknowledge the Educational Needs and defines the possible measures that can be taken when a student is acknowledged as a Special Educational Needs Student.

Definition of Special Educational Needs

SEN describe any learning difficulties or disabilities that make it hard for students to learn as most of the same age, under the same conditions, unless they receive special educational provisions.

Some examples of SEN include:

  • Thinking, understanding and learning: difficulties with all or some learning activities such as reading and spelling,
  • Other Learning Difficulties: Dyslexia, Dyscalculia, Written Expression Disorder, Non-Identified Learning Disorder, Special Learning Disorder,
  • Emotional and behavioral difficulties: difficulties to follow rules or settle down and behave properly in school,
  • Speech, language and communication: difficulties in expressing oneself or understanding what others are saying, difficulties in making friends or relate to others,
  • Physical or sensory difficulties: a disability or a medical condition that has an impact upon learning, including visual, hearing impairments, and movement disabilities,
  • Attention Deficit and / or Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD),
  • Psycho-emotional disorders, and
  • Other Health problems qualifying as SEN.

Acknowledgment of SEN

The identification of students entitled of additional support due to SEN, is achieved by:

  • the Admissions Officer upon admissions of a student to American College,
  • the Academic Advisors upon enrolment of a student into courses,
  • a student at any time during her/his studies,
  • a referral by any Faculty member, or
  • a referral by any third party who have secured the students to inform the College.

All referrals are submitted in writing to the Director of Academic Affairs.

The Director of Academic Affairs collects all required official documentation and appropriate assurances from associated government agencies and/or other bodies, and taking into consideration current legislative provisions decides on the type(s) of arrangements to be offered. The student and all involved faculty and administration members will then be informed on the decision accordingly.

The decision includes academic adjustments the student is entitled in respect to teaching, written assignments and other coursework activities, attendance, and mid-term and final examinations. The decision also includes the eligibility period (if applicable) and any other details related to supporting the student. All possible measures to be taken for SEN students are found below. The decision is given in writing.

Measures to be taken for SEN students

Students with SEN may be eligible for a number of academic adjustments, during lectures and/or during examinations. The Director of Academic Affairs will notify in writing those affected or involved as to the measures SEN students are entitled to.

Examples of possible measures are the following:

During Lectures:

  • Provide students with additional study material
  • Provide students with academic material in advance
  • Have regular one-to-one meetings with students to discuss any difficulties, provide clarifications, respond to questions, etc.
  • Discuss inappropriate behavior of students in private
  • Allow students to sit in the class anywhere they feel comfortable
  • Allow students to take frequent breaks
  • Inform students of any matters concerning the course and classes well in advance
  • Speak loud and clear
  • Allow repetition of questions by students
  • Sow leniency in solving in-class exercises or in the practical part of the course

During Mid-Term and Final Examinations:

  • Allow students extra time (about 25% more)
  • Exempt students from spelling, punctuation and grammar
  • Simplify the wording and language of the examination paper
  • Orally explain some or all of the questions
  • Prepare separate examination question paper with simplified questions, larger fonts or spacing
  • Allow students to take rest breaks
  • Allow repetition of questions by students
  • Show leniency in the practical part of the examination
  • Allow students to sit in the class anywhere they feel comfortable
  • Arrange for an individual examination in a separate class
  • Arrange for an Oral Examination

Oral Examination:

In case a student is eligible for an Oral Examination, the following apply:

  • students and instructors are notified in writing on the day(s), time(s) and duration of the oral examination,
  • the exam covers the same areas as the written examination, although it might be worded differently,
  • in the case the students to be orally examined have a movement and/or sensory disability, additional measures apply as per the previous section,
  • the oral examination is conducted in a appropriate environment for the student to feel comfortable,
  • the oral examination is recorded for transparency,
  • the recording of the oral examination is kept in an archive,
  • during the oral examination, the examiner orally presents the examination instructions and questions to the student, repeating them as necessary,
  • further detailed explanations on the examination questions are given according to the decided measures as in the previous section,
  • in the case a student provides a wrong answer, this answer is recorded and examiners should indicate in any way that the given answer is wrong or incomplete,
  • Under no circumstances the examined student should gain an advantage over the other students taking the written examination. The examiner must make sure that all students are treated equally, removing any advantages from some students, and eliminating any disadvantages from others.
Change of Personal Details

It is the responsibility of every student to notify the College of any changes in his/her personal details (e.g. address, telephone, email).

Cancellation of Courses

The College reserves the right to cancel any course in the case of a low enrollment or other unforeseen events. In such an occasion, every effort will be made for students to enroll to another course so that their academic path and course requirements is not affected by the cancelation decision.

Academic Probation
Students of undergraduate academic programs whose Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA) falls below the minimum CGPA according to the following table are placed on academic probation:
ECTS Completed Minimum CGPA
Below 60 1.50
61 – 120 1.70
121 – 180 1.85
Over 180 2.00
Students of Master programs whose CGPA falls below 2.00 are placed on academic probation. Students who remain on academic probation for two consecutive semesters will be dismissed from the College. Students who wish to return to the College, after being dismissed for the above reason and after an absence of at least one semester, may petition to the Director Administration to be readmitted into the program based upon evidence that the student is prepared to do improved quality work.
Academic Dishonesty

Academic dishonesty involves acts which may affect the integrity of the College’s educational process. Academic dishonesty includes, but is not limited to, the following acts:

  1. Cheating – defined as giving or receiving unauthorized assistance of any form in any academic exercise or examination.
  2. Plagiarism – refers to presenting any work as one’s own when it has, in fact, been done by someone else or copied from printed material without clear citing of the source.
  3. Falsification – refers to inventing any information, dates or citations in an academic exercise.
  4. Multiple submissions – refers to submitting the same written work to more than one instructor without their knowledge and permission.
  5. Interference – refers to hindering the performance of another student.
  6. Complicity – refers to facilitating any of the above acts.

Students found guilty of any form of dishonesty will subject themselves to sanctions ranging from failure in the particular course in which the offense occurred to suspension or dismissal from the College.

Disciplinary Committee

The Disciplinary Committee considers any subject related to student discipline. Students who violate regulations of the College may be subject to expulsion, dismissal or suspension.

Expulsion is permanent severance from the College. Dismissal is severance from the College for a specific period after which the permission of the Director of Administration must be obtained for re-admission. Suspension is severance for a specific period with automatic re-admission.

Breach of Discipline

A student shall be deemed to have committed a breach of discipline if he/she:

  1. Engages in conduct which disrupts or is likely to disrupt teaching/learning activities or the administration of the College.
  2. Engages in conduct which obstructs or is likely to obstruct any employee of the College in the performance of his/her duties.
  3. Damages, defaces, occupies or uses College property without authorization.
  4. Fails to comply with any of the regulations of Conduct or any other rules and regulations which bear the same force.

Breach of discipline by a student may result in reprimand or fine, suspension or dismissal from the College.

Damage of College Property

Any student caught damaging the property of the College in any way will be required to meet the costs of the damage incurred. The College reserves the right to impose further penalties for such unruly actions.

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