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NIU Law Academic Standing Policies

Adopted by Faculty May 15, 2014

ACADEMIC GOOD STANDING AND ACADEMIC DEFICIENCY

To be in academic good standing, a student must maintain a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of at least 2.2 on a 4.00 scale, computed at the end of each academic year.  In addition, a student must

  • achieve a GPA of at least 1.8 in the first semester of first year; and
  • achieve a GPA of at least 2.2 in the student’s second year (calculated on the basis of third and fourth semester grades only) 

Any student whose cumulative GPA at the end of any academic year is below 2.2 or whose GPA does not meet the additional 2.2 GPA requirement in the second year will be dismissed for academic deficiency, unless the student petitions for and is granted reinstatement.  Any student whose GPA does not meet the minimum GPA requirement for the first semester of first year will be dismissed for academic deficiency and will not be eligible for reinstatement. 

REINSTATEMENT AND READMISSION

A student whose cumulative GPA at the end of any academic year is below 2.2 or whose GPA does not meet the additional 2.2 GPA requirement in the second year  may seek reinstatement by written petition to the Dean and the Academic Standing Committee. 

For students who fail to meet the 2.2 cumulative GPA requirement, the Academic Standing Committee will recommend to the Dean that petitions for reinstatement be granted only if it finds that (1) there were material events or circumstances of an unusual nature, beyond the student's control, that significantly affected his or her ability to perform; or, for students who have completed only one year, that there has been a significant improvement in academic performance during the second semester, and (2) there is a likelihood that the student will be able to raise his or her cumulative GPA to 2.2 by the end of the academic year of reinstatement and to maintain this standard for the remainder of his or her academic career.

For students who meet the cumulative GPA requirements but who fail to meet the additional 2.2 GPA requirement in the second year, the Academic Standing Committee will recommend to the Dean that petitions for reinstatement be granted only if it finds that (1) there were material events or circumstances of an unusual nature, beyond the student's control, that significantly affected his or her ability to perform during the second year; and (2) there is a likelihood that the student will be able to achieve a GPA of at least 2.2 in the semester following reinstatement and to maintain this standard for the remainder of his or her academic career.

In determining whether to recommend reinstatement, the Academic Standing Committee may take into consideration how close the petitioning student’s GPA is to the required minimums, whether the student is consistently performing at or below a C+ level or has shown the ability to do B- or better work in at least a few courses, whether the student has taken clear affirmative steps to improve performance, and such other factors as the committee deems appropriate in its discretion.  If a student petitioning for reinstatement was required to participate in the Academic Success Program (ASP), the student’s attendance record and level of participation in that program may be considered by the Academic Standing Committee in making recommendations.  This includes, but is not limited to, the degree of participation in weekly tutorials, the exam-writing seminar, and any other required activities that are applicable to the petitioning student.   Failure to meet the requirements of the program may be considered negatively in evaluating petitions for readmission.

Reinstatement is not a right. The Dean will consider the recommendations of the Academic Standing Committee, but the final determination whether to reinstate a student will be made in the discretion of, and subject to conditions imposed by, the Dean.  No student may be reinstated more than once.

A student who is dismissed for academic deficiency and is not reinstated may not apply for readmission earlier than one year after dismissal unless the Dean gives leave to reapply earlier.   A student who is readmitted after a dismissal and again fails to meet the requirements for academic good standing will not be eligible for reinstatement or readmission.

ACADEMIC PROBATION

Any student granted reinstatement upon dismissal after the first or second year will be placed on academic probation for a minimum of one year.

Any student

  • whose GPA at the end of the first semester  of the first year is at or above 1.8 but  below 2.2,
  • whose cumulative GPA falls below 2.2 at the end of the third semester,
  • whose cumulative GPA falls below 2.2 at the end of the fifth semester, or
  • in the case of part-time students, whose cumulative GPA falls below 2.2 at the end of  any fall semester following the first two years of law school

will be placed on academic probation for the remainder of the relevant academic year.

While on academic probation, a student

  • must obtain approval of course loads and class schedules from the Associate Dean for Student Affairs;
  • may not hold office in any College of Law organization without the permission of the Associate Dean for Student Affairs;
  • may not participate in any internal or external competitions without the approval of the Associate Dean for Student Affairs;
  • must obtain permission from the Associate Dean for Student Affairs to be employed;
  • must participate in the Academic Success Program;
  • must comply with all other terms and conditions set forth in the Dean’s letter granting reinstatement (where applicable); and
  • must comply with any other terms or conditions deemed appropriate by the Dean or the Associate Dean for Student Affairs.

STUDENTS MATRICULATING BEFORE AUGUST 2012

Students who matriculated before August 2012 will be subject to the minimum GPA requirements that were in effect at the time of their matriculation.  A copy of those requirements may be obtained from the Associate Dean or the Associate Dean for Student Affairs.

SUMMER SCHOOL

Summer school, including summer study abroad, normally starts before all grades from the spring semester are available.  Consequently, it is possible for a student to fall below the required cumulative GPA of 2.2 as of the end of the spring semester but not be aware of this fact at the time summer school begins.  If a student enrolls in summer school and is subsequently academically dismissed for failure to have the required 2.2 cumulative GPA as of the end of the first year and is not granted reinstatement, the grading basis for the summer course(s) will be changed, and the student will receive only a grade of pass or fail.   If a student is reinstated, the grade will be entered as a letter grade in accordance with regular practice.  Students on academic probation must have the approval of the Associate Dean for Student Affairs to enroll in summer school.

WITHDRAWAL AND READMISSION

A student with a cumulative grade point average of 2.2 or above may withdraw from the College of Law in good standing by notifying the Office of the Dean in person and the College of Law Registrar in writing.  A student will be considered registered until written notice of withdrawal is received by the Registrar.  In some cases, a student who withdraws may be eligible for a refund.  A student who has withdrawn shall apply for readmission by written request to the Dean.  Such request may then be referred to the Admissions Committee or the Academic Standing Committee.  A student seeking readmission must satisfy existing admission standards, and if readmitted, must satisfy the curriculum requirements and academic standing policies existing at the time of readmission.  Additional requirements may also be imposed by the Dean.

LEAVE OF ABSENCE

A student in good standing desiring a leave of absence must submit a written request to the Dean.  Approval will normally be granted for a period of not more than one year and may be made subject to conditions, in the discretion of the Dean.

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