Academic Policies


Transfer Credit

John Witherspoon reserves the right to evaluate a student’s proficiency, knowledge, or skills gained from transfer courses prior to accepting them for transfer. Generally, credit will be accepted from other regionally accredited colleges if it parallels courses offered by John Witherspoon. The minimum grade for acceptance of any transfer credit is “C.” No more than 30 semester hours will be accepted from non-baccalaureate granting colleges toward a degree at John Witherspoon College. Grades of courses from other institutions do not transfer.

John Witherspoon will accept students from a Bible college accredited by The Association for Biblical Higher Education (ABHE), or from colleges accredited by the Transnational Association of Colleges and Schools (TRACS), provided that:
1. All regular policies pertaining to the admission of transfer students are fulfilled.
2. The student maintains an average of "C" on all work taken during the first semester at John Witherspoon College.

Upon admission of a transfer student to John Witherspoon, the Admissions Committee evaluates transcripts of all previous college-level coursework. The committee determines at that time the applicability of any transfer credits to the student’s program of study at John Witherspoon. All course equivalencies, transfer credits, and academic conditions are recorded on the student’s permanent record after matriculation. Transfer courses and credits are not used to determine a student’s academic standing or GPA at John Witherspoon.

Advanced Placement

John Witherspoon grants advanced placement only under rare circumstances. Those wishing consideration must petition the Registrar of the College for approval.

Residency Requirements for Degree Completion

No less than twenty-five percent (25%) of coursework required for the diploma or the associate’s degree must be completed in residence at John Witherspoon College.

Maximum Duration of Matriculation and Expiration of Credit:

Matriculating students must complete degree requirements within seven (7) years of initial matriculation. After seven years, such students may become subject to the degree/diploma requirements that are then current, and coursework completed more than seven (7) years earlier may not apply toward their degree or diploma requirements.

Limitation of Credits Earned Prior to Matriculation:

Matriculating students who had previously completed John Witherspoon coursework as a non-matriculating student may apply no more than sixteen (16) such credits toward their degree requirements.

Distance Education

John Witherspoon College is firmly committed to a model of classical and Christian education that cannot be delivered through media-based distance education programs. Teaching and learning at John Witherspoon is inextricably linked to close faculty-student relationships, local Christian culture, and the local community. Thus the College does not offer extension or distance learning programs. From time to time, JWC will offer media-based courses when there is a demonstrable need and when the integrity of the course can be maintained.

Student Registration and Enrollment Status

Students are considered enrolled in a course when they are registered in a course for credit. A student has full-time status at John Witherspoon when enrolled for at least twelve (12) hours in a long semester or three (3) hours in a Winter or Summer Term. Otherwise, a student has part-time status. Students are considered matriculating only if they have been admitted to full degree seeking status and are currently pursuing a diploma, associate’s degree, or bachelor's degree at the College. Credits will be applied only for students who are matriculating. Matriculating status is normally granted upon regular admission to the College. Students are considered non-matriculating if they have been admitted provisionally or are enrolled as a Non-Degree Seeking student.

Audit Courses

Students may audit courses for personal enrichment. Registration must occur during the published period. Auditing students are charged the College’s “Reduced Tuition” rate (see Financial Information), and any applicable materials fees. Full-time JWC students and spouses of full-time students may audit any course without charge, provided space is available.

Audited courses do not apply toward a degree but will appear on the transcript without assignment of grade. The auditor may participate in the course as minimally or as fully as he/she chooses. The instructor may elect not to grade exams and other work of the auditor.

A student auditing a course may process drop/add forms to earn credit in the class no later than the “Last Day to Add” for the semester/term. A student enrolled in a course for credit may change to audit during the period allowed to drop a class. Deadlines are noted in the academic calendars for each semester published in the Catalogue.

Change of Classes

After registration, a student may change his/her schedule by submitting proper forms to the Registrar. A fee of $10.00 will be charged for adding or dropping a course after the start of classes. Exceptions will be made by the Registrar in instances beyond a student’s control. See the College Calendar for the last date for changes in schedules.

A student may drop a course without academic penalty after the period allowed only under circumstances of extreme illness, in which case a physician’s certificate must be submitted and approved by the Registrar. Other circumstances beyond the student’s control may be approved by the Registrar. Students who discontinue class attendance without permission of the Registrar to drop will receive an “F” in those courses.

Regulations Concerning Quantity of Work

The maximum hours recommended for any student is eighteen (18) for a Fall or Spring Semester, and seven (7) for any Summer or Winter term. However, with consent of their advisor, a student who is highly motivated and has a 3.0 cumulative GPA may petition the Registrar to enroll for more than the recommended maximum.

Concurrent Enrollment

Enrollment in another college or university concurrent with John Witherspoon College enrollment must be approved in advance and in writing by the Registrar.

Class Attendance

Regular and successive attendance is expected of all students enrolled in all lecture, laboratory, and seminar courses. Faculty members will determine the specific details for administering the attendance policy for their courses. Each faculty member will clarify the requirements for the course in the syllabus. All course syllabi are filed in the Office of the Dean. Each faculty member is to counsel with any student whenever absences are affecting the student’s grade.

No faculty member is allowed to operate a system which penalizes a student for absences due solely to participation in an official College-sponsored activity which requires limited or occasional absences. However, the student must satisfy all testing, reporting, and required functions defined for the course.

Withdrawal from School

A student withdrawing from school, dropping all courses from a current semester or term, must complete a Withdrawal Form. Students will be allowed to withdraw through eleven (11) weeks, or its term equivalent, and will receive notation on their permanent record. Voluntary withdrawal does not guarantee readmission to the College, nor does it automatically exclude the student from enrollment at a future date. Students who have withdrawn must check with the Office of Admissions regarding reenrollment.

A former John Witherspoon College student having less than a 2.0 cumulative GPA from the College or less than a 2.0 cumulative GPA from all institutions attended will be considered for readmission by the Admission Committee. The student may be denied admission, readmitted with conditions, or readmitted under their prior academic standing at John Witherspoon College.

Scholastic Regulations

The only acceptable level of work for graduation at John Witherspoon College is 2.0 or above. Those who fail to achieve that level will be placed on Academic Probation. If the student achieves a cumulative GPA of at least 2.0, Academic Probation status will be immediately removed. If the student fails to achieve the 2.0 GPA, the status of Academic Probation lasts for two full semesters and the short term(s) that immediately follow. While the student is on Academic Probation:
1. An official notice will be sent to the student.
2. The academic advisor will monitor a program of studies containing repetition of courses in which D’s and F’s have been earned and will urge reduction of extracurricular activities and work.
3. The academic load will be limited to not more than fourteen (14) hours.
4. The Registrar will counsel students individually toward GPA improvement.

If by the end of the two probationary semesters a cumulative GPA of 2.0 has not been attained, the student will be suspended from the College for one full semester. There is no appeal permitted for this suspension. The suspension will be a full semester; no combination of short terms will substitute. Colleges typically will not admit a student suspended from another college; however, if credit is earned at another institution while the student is suspended, that credit is not applicable toward a degree at John Witherspoon.

After serving the period of suspension, the student is eligible to return upon application for readmission. The student re-enters on academic probation and is again given two semesters with the short term(s) that follow to achieve the required cumulative 2.0 GPA. If the satisfactory standing is not achieved, the student will again be suspended from the College. After a full semester suspension, the student desiring to return will be required to reapply to the Admissions Committee of the College.

Academic Integrity

John Witherspoon College upholds the highest standards of honesty. By their enrollment at John Witherspoon College, students agree to refrain from the use of unauthorized aids during testing (including, but not limited to, technology devices such as digital cameras, cell phone cameras, pen-based scanners, translation programs, and text-messaging devices), to refuse to give or receive information on examinations, and to submit only those assignments which are the result of their own efforts and research. Failure to provide correct documentation for material gleaned from any outside source, such as the Internet or any published/unpublished work, constitutes plagiarism, a form of cheating subject to strict disciplinary action. Breaches of these standards warrant academic and disciplinary consequences. Policies and procedures, including appeal procedures, are available from the Registrar’s Office.

Graduation Requirements

Students may be graduated under the course requirements specified in the Catalogue of the year of admission or those at the time of their application for graduation. If five (5) years have elapsed since a student’s latest enrollment in John Witherspoon College, he/she may graduate either under the course requirements of the Catalogue of his/her re-admission or those in force at the time of his/her application for graduation.

Readmission Policy

Students who have been expelled from John Witherspoon for academic reasons or Code of Ethics violations may apply for readmission within two years of the date of dismissal by petitioning the Admissions Committee in writing. A student seeking readmission after two years from the date of dismissal must complete the same full application process that prospective new students complete. For more information of the College’s Readmission Policy, contact the Registrar.

Lapsed Enrollment

Matriculating students who have not enrolled for credit for two consecutive terms are subject to automatic discontinuation from their diploma/degree program. Discontinued students must reapply for admission to the College.

Grades and Quality Points

A is reserved for performance that is definitely superior in quality.
B is for consistently good work that is above average.
C is for satisfactory performance.
D is for minimal passing.
F indicates failure.

Both Progress Reports and Final Grades are reported by letter which may be interpreted in percentage figures: A 95-100, B 85-94, C 75-84, D 65-74, F below 65. A, B, C, and D are passing grades; F is failure; N is audit. The grade of I, indicating incomplete work, must be made up within the first five weeks of the Fall/Spring semester following issuance; otherwise, the course is graded to reflect the incomplete work. The grade of IP (In Progress) will be issued for courses which by design extend into the following term or semester. Pass-fail courses are graded P for pass and FF for failure. W is reserved for withdrawal from a course beyond the period allowed for officially dropping a course. Withdrawal may be granted by the Registrar after this period if the student meets conditions as stated under regulations concerning dropping of classes. A temporary grade of X is inserted to indicate no grade has been reported.

The following are the grades with their corresponding quality credits:
A—4 quality points per hour of credit
B—3 quality points per hour of credit
C—2 quality points per hour of credit
D—1 quality points per hour of credit
F, FF, I, IP, N, X—0 quality points per hour

To determine the Grade Point Average (GPA), the quality points earned are divided by the semester hours attempted. The grade of P (Pass) will not be included in the GPA, but the credit will be included in the hours for graduation.

Academic Good Standing is defined as the minimum acceptable cumulative GPA for graduation, 2.00. Policies regarding students who fail to meet this standard are detailed above under “Scholastic Regulations.”

Students are allowed to repeat courses to improve the grade and cumulative GPA. Repeat of D and F grades is strongly encouraged. The most recent grade earned is the grade calculated in the cumulative GPA and in consideration for graduation.

Transfer credits and credit-by-testing do not apply quality points to the institutional GPA and are not factored into current academic standing or into the graduation GPA. (Note: These grades may be considered, however, in the admission process for specific programs at John Witherspoon College, or at Union University, or by other subsequent transfer institutions.)

Academic Honors

Students making an average of 3.5 or above earned in courses taken at John Witherspoon College are graduated with Latin Honors as follows: 3.50-3.66, cum laude; 3.67-3.83, magna cum laude; 3.84 and above, summa cum laude. To qualify for these honors, a student must complete at least thirty (30) hours at John Witherspoon College.

To honor academic achievement, the College publishes an Honors List at the close of each regular academic term. To qualify for the Honors List, students must be enrolled full-time in a degree program and earn a GPA of 3.50 or better for the term.

Recognition at Commencement

To be recognized at Commencement as a member of the graduating class, students must either (a) meet all graduation requirements, or (b) have no more than four credits remaining for graduation and be registered and paid for the remaining coursework prior to Commencement. Such payment is non-refundable.

Application to Graduate

Students who are nearing completion of their studies must submit the Application to Graduate form to the Registrar by the posted deadline in order to participate in the May commencement. A diploma fee of $50 must accompany the application. The Registrar will review that student’s record and certify that the student is indeed on course to satisfy all requirements for graduation.