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Academic Policies and Procedures

Click here to download Academic Policies and Procedures - Certificate in Social and Human Service Assistance

The following policies and procedures are intended complement and clarify the Rhode Island College Student Handbook, which can be found on the Interest at All students are asked to read and comply with expectations set in the Student Handbook, as well as the following.

Class Participation and Class Attendance:

This program involves academically challenging and interactive curricula. Active and informed class participation is a requirement for successful completion (e.g. passing grade) of all courses and for the award of the Rhode Island College Certificate in Social and Human Service Assistance. By definition, students who regularly miss classes and/or are habitually late for classes run the risk of failing classes (or at best risk obtaining incomplete grades, requiring that course content be repeated). It is expected that a student who misses a class makes every effort to contact the class instructor to inform him/her about their absence prior to the missed class unless extenuating circumstances arise. It is the student’s responsibility to contact the instructor to catch up with content of the missed class. Students who do not notify the instructor of their absences from class run the risk of failing the course. A syllabus provided by your Instructor will provide more details about each Instructor’s grading policy regarding attendance and participation.

If a student is chronically absent from classes or late for classes, we reserve the right to withhold the student’s Certificate since dependability, reliability and trustworthiness are crucial qualities for practitioners..

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Class Cancellation Policy:

In order to provide timely information re: class cancellation, the Certificate in social and human service assistance will follow the RI College scheduling and closure protocol, as follows.

CLASS CANCELATION/COLLEGE CLOSING taken from Rhode Island College Student Handbook:
Classes will be held at Rhode Island College (Building #8), except in cases of extreme emergency as determined by the President. Confirmation of any decision to cancel classes and/or close the College can be had by calling a recorded message at (401) 456-9500 or 401.456.8698.

In the event that we must cancel a class within the program (not college-wide), your instructor will contact you via email with notification of class cancellation and make-up arrangements by Noon the day before class is scheduled to take place.Please check your email regularly to ensure the notification reaches you.If under unforeseeable circumstances a class must be cancelled after that timeframe, all students will be contacted via the most current phone numbers listed in the student files.

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The program intends to provide timely information to all students. It is the student’s responsibility to keep the coordinator informed of any contact or address changes in order to ensure delivery of program materials, notices and all other correspondence. Reasonable efforts will be made to contact students. However, multiple failed attempts to make contact may result in an “incomplete” status in the program.

Much of the communication from the office/coordinator is distributed via email. You must check your email regularly to be sure to receive correspondence including information regarding your classes, changes to the schedule, etc.As a student of RI College, you will receive a RIC email address.

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In order to maintain competitive academic standards in the field, the program requires that students maintain a minimum grade point average of 2.0 to stay in the program. Students must receive a grade of C or better in all Social and Human Service Assistance courses to receive their certificate.

Numerical Score = Corresponding Letter Grade

95 - 100 = A
90 - 94 = A-
87 - 89 = B+
84 - 86 = B
80 - 83 = B-
77 - 79 = C+
74 - 76 = C
70 - 73 = C-
67 - 69 = D+
64 - 66 = D
60 - 63 = D-
Below 60 = F

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Incomplete Grades:

At times, a student may be unable to complete all the work required in a class before the end of the semester. With the approval of the Chair a grade of “I” or “Incomplete” may be entered temporarily to allow the student an extended timeframe for submitting incomplete work. All incomplete grades must be accompanied by an incomplete agreement signed by both the student and instructor that clearly stipulates what work needs to be completed, when it will be completed and the grade that will be assigned if the work is not completed by the due date. All incomplete agreements must also be signed by the Coordinator of the program and placed in the student’s file. Except in unusual circumstances, students may not enter subsequent semesters with an incomplete grade from a previous semester. Certificates will not be awarded to any student with an incomplete or failure in any course. While we wish to be flexible, it is important that student’s meet reasonable deadlines in preparation for successful careers in Social and Human Service Assistance.

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Use of Computers on Campus:

The college computers in the student lounge, in the classroom and at the computer center are available for students to use for assignments and course work. Students are expected to use the college computers professionally. This means that web surfing, on-line shopping, playing computer games, etc. is not appropriate use of the college computers.

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Professional Behavior:

The Program strives to instill the qualities that will be expected of students in their professional work within our classrooms. Students are to exhibit professional behavior in class, in their field agencies and in their interactions with staff, faculty and other students. As stated in the college student handbook, “...all members of the campus community share a responsibility for maintaining and enhancing an environment where the actions of all are guided by mutual respect, high standards of integrity and reason” (RIC student handbook, p. 64). The use of inappropriate language (e.g. cursing, swearing, etc) is not acceptable professional behavior.

Students should show an awareness of their behaviors and the impact on others. Students should be receptive to feedback from others and show an ability to integrate feedback into behavioral change. Students must make appropriate use of "air time" in class, including a willingness both to use it and to limit one's use of it. Students must show a respect for difference and for others' feelings, including a nonjudgmental attitude, sensitivity to ethnic diversity and oppressed groups, respect for confidentiality, and respect for the needs of others. Students’ comments should show that assigned readings were completed, and that opinions are stated as such.

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Policy on Plagiarism:

Plagiarism is the copying of two or more sentences without citation or quotation marks. This includes copying from another student’s work. If a student commits plagiarism, they may be dismissed from the program.

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Criteria for Evaluating Academic Work:

Oral and written communication skills are essential for practice. All students must be able to demonstrate that they are able to communicate verbally and in writing, in a professional manner. Therefore grades take into consideration not only content but the degree of skill in presenting that content. Students must carefully proofread their papers for typographical, grammatical, sentence structure, and spelling errors. Papers should begin with an introductory statement of purpose and an overview of the ideas to be presented. The ideas must be discussed in a coherent, logical, well-organized manner and must be supported by one’s own arguments, by readings and by discussion from relevant literature, when appropriate. Each aspect of the assignment must be thoroughly addressed. Citations and a reference page in proper form must be included on most papers. In this program we use the APA 6th edition (American Psychological Association) Format for documenting and citing references and sources. The College Writing Center in Craig Lee 225 is available to help students compose papers that conform to academic standards. The Writing Center can also provide copies of APA style sheets that will give students specific examples of proper use of citations and references.

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Academic Counseling:

From time to time, an instructor will offer feedback to students regarding their progress and performance in class. As a next step in communication with a student, an Instructor may ask a student to schedule a meeting with the Coordinator of the program, or the Case Manager to discuss academic progress. At any time, a student may also request such a meeting.

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The Program reserves the right to dismiss or withhold the Certificate for any student who gives evidence, academically or behaviorally (as defined by the College Handbook and the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) Code of Ethics) of an inability to carry out their responsibilities as a Social and Human Service Assistance student.

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The program faculty recognizes the value and importance of free and open classroom discussion. Students are encouraged to express opinions and offer observations relevant to course content. In sharing information about others, students are expected to protect the confidentiality of those individuals. Other students in the classroom are expected to treat classmates' comments with respect and courtesy, and to protect the confidentiality of comments and observations offered in the classroom, to the extent possible under law and college/school policy. Students are expected to refrain from divulging information to others outside of the classroom. The confidentiality of classroom discussion cannot be guaranteed because of "duty to protect" and "mandatory reporting" laws and/or policies which may require disclosure. In writing papers and in class discussions it is important for students to disguise any potentially identifying information about others.

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In accordance with the NASW CODE OF ETHICS, the program faculty does not condone oppression or discrimination of individuals or groups on the basis of race, ethnicity, gender, religion, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, age or disabling condition.

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Policy Concerning Disabilities:

There are numerous examples of cultural diversity, disability being one. The overall goal of Rhode Island College and the Certificate in Social and Human Assistance Program is to foster the development of an integrative, accepting, and facilitating environment that is conducive to learning and professional growth for all students including those with disabilities. Students who have a disabling condition(s) are entitled to reasonable accommodation. Faculty are available to meet individually with students who require accommodations and will maintain confidentiality.

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Page last updated: July 05, 2017