2020-2021 Undergraduate Academic Catalog

Academic Procedures

Credit Hour

Lesley University follows federal guidelines in the definition of a credit hour. One credit is awarded for an amount of work represented in intended learning outcomes and verified by student achievement attained in the equivalent of approximately fifteen (15) contact hours of class time and two hours of out-of-class engaged academic time over a semester or the equivalent over a different period. Thus, a three-credit semester or term course has approximately 37.5 to 45 hours of class time scheduled with approximately two additional hours of coursework expected outside the classroom for each in-class hour.

Course Load

CLAS: The prescribed four-year course load is five to six courses per semester (15–18 credits). To meet the minimum academic requirements of 120 credits, a student must average 30 credits each year, which is 15 credits per semester. It is the student's responsibility to monitor the number of credits completed each year as they relate to progress towards graduation.

LA+D: Students must complete 123 credits to earn the BFA. Visual art students should take an average of 15 – 18 credits per semester. LA+D students may elect to take the minimum number of credits per semester (12) with the understanding it will take longer than four years to earn the BFA.

LCAL: Adult learners often find that part-time study is the best fit. Depending therefore on the number of credits transferred, the number of credits needed to complete, and the number of credits taken each semester, completion times for part-time adult learners vary significantly and depend on each student’s unique situation.

Additional Tuition Charge

Students desiring to register for more than 18 credits per semester must obtain the signature of their academic advisor before registration. A student who receives permission to carry a course overload will be charged on a per semester credit hour basis for all course credits over the normal course load (18 credits per academic semester.) Courses taken during the January term are considered part of the Spring semester. Students registering for only one semester during the academic year and carrying a course overload will also be charged on a per semester credit hour basis for all course credits over the 18-credit per semester course load.

Double Counting

CLAS: Students are allowed to double count up to nine credits of coursework to satisfy program requirements in more than one area. This policy does not reduce the number of credits a student must take to complete the baccalaureate program. Rather, it provides additional elective credit opportunities within the present curriculum offerings. Exceptions to this policy are so noted in the academic program section of this catalog. Students are advised to discuss their options with their faculty advisors.

LA+D: Due to the large number of required courses within the BFA programs, LA+D will allow students to double count up to twelve credits of coursework to satisfy minor and/or elective credit opportunities in more than one area. This policy does not reduce the number of credits a student must take to complete the baccalaureate program. Exceptions to this policy are so noted in the academic program section of this catalog. Students are advised to discuss their options with their faculty advisors.

Cross-College Registration Policy

All students may take advantage of the resources available in the other schools of the University. Students may enroll in appropriate courses in the other schools of the university, and in selected graduate-level courses.

These credits will count toward the baccalaureate degree. Graduate courses taken towards the baccalaureate degree cannot be counted again for graduate credit should the student wish to pursue an advanced degree.

Provision of Waiver

Under extenuating circumstances, specific academic regulations may be waived by the appropriate division director. Students requesting a waiver of academic requirements should petition the division director and provide a typewritten request that gives full particulars and justification for the request.

Class Standing Definition

  • First year students at Lesley are those students who have earned fewer than 30 credits that count toward the baccalaureate degree.
  • Sophomores must have earned between 30 and 59.5 credits.
  • Juniors must have earned between 60 and 89.5 credits.
  • Seniors must have earned 90 or more credits.

Access to Records — Lesley University Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) Policy

Lesley University is required to notify students annually of their rights with respect to the treatment of their education records under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA, also known as the Buckley Amendment). In accordance with FERPA, students are notified of the following rights:

1. The right to inspect and review the student's education records within 45 days of the day Lesley University receives a request for access.

The student should submit to the Registrar, Dean, head of the academic department, or other appropriate official, written requests that identify the record(s) requested. Within 10 business days of receipt of the request the Lesley University official will make arrangements for access and notify the student of the time and place where the records may be inspected. If the records are not maintained by the University official to whom the request was submitted, that official shall advise the student of the current official to whom the request was submitted or an appropriate designee will be present when the student examines his/her records.

Lesley University may deny a student access to certain information set forth in FERPA, including, without limitation, confidential letters and confidential statements of recommendation placed in the student's education records before January 1, 1975, and such letters and statements placed in the file after January 1, 1975, if the student has waived the right to inspect and review those letters and statements.

The written request for access and the date and hour of the student review will be recorded in the student file. A student may request and receive photocopies of information and documents contained in the education record. Students may not request copies of college transcripts submitted for admissions.

2. The right to request the amendment of the student's education records that the student believes is inaccurate or misleading.

The student may ask the University to amend a record that is believed to be inaccurate or misleading. The student should write to the University official responsible for the record, clearly identify the part of the record for which a change is requested, and specify why the record is inaccurate or misleading.

If the University decides not to amend the record as requested by the student, the University will notify the student of the decision and advise the student of the right to a hearing regarding the request for amendment. Additional information regarding the hearing procedures will be provided to the student when notified of the right to a hearing.

3. The right to consent to disclosure of personally identifiable information contained in the student's education records, except to the extent the FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent.

One exception which permits disclosure without consent is disclosure to school officials with legitimate educational interests. A school official is a person employed by the University in an administrative, supervisory, academic or research, or support staff position (including law enforcement unit personnel and health staff); a person or company with whom the University has contracted (such as an attorney, auditory, or collection agent); a person serving on the Board of Trustees; or a student serving on an official committee, such as a disciplinary or grievance committee, or assisting another school official in performing his/her tasks. A school official has a legitimate education interest if the official needs to review an education record in order to fulfill his/her professional responsibility.

In addition, Lesley University may, at times, disclose directory information without a student's consent. Directory information includes: student name, major field of study, and degrees or awards received. If a student does not want some or all of those items designated directory information to be released to the public, the student must notify the Dean of Students in writing prior to October 1.

4. The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by Lesley University to comply with the requirements of FERPA.

If a student believes that his/her rights under FERPA have been violated, the student may file a complaint with the executive assistant to the President of Lesley University or with the U.S. Department of Education. The name and address of the office that administers FERPA is:

Family Policy Compliance Office

U.S. Department of Education

400 Maryland Avenue SW

Washington, DC 20202-4605

Note: Students should be aware that the definition of directory information differs between FERPA and the Solomon Amendment as described below:

Under the Solomon Amendment, Lesley University may not in policy or practice prohibit or prevent the Secretary of Defense from obtaining, for military recruiting purposes, entry to campus, access to students on campus, access to directory information on students, or have an anti-ROTC policy. According to the Solomon Amendment, Lesley University must provide the military with access to directory information (including name, address, telephone listing, date and place of birth, level of education, academic major, degrees received, and the educational institution in which the student was most recently enrolled) unless a student has formally requested that such information be withheld from third parties.

Parents may have access to information pertaining to their child's educational records and academic standing without prior written consent of the student if they are a dependent as defined under section 152 of the IRS Code of 1954. If the student is not a dependent, as defined by the IRS Code, then the University must receive prior written consent from the student in order to release such information to the parents.

Use of Email

All students are assigned an official Lesley University email address and the University views correspondence through this account as official communication between the student and the University. Students will be sent official Lesley University communications, including information related to academics and student financial accounts, to that address. Students are responsible for knowing of and complying with official communications sent to their official email address. Lesley University is not responsible for a student’s failure to read or respond to emails in a timely manner, including messages that contain a deadline for a response or action. Consequently, students should frequently check their Lesley email account, even during times when classes are not in session, to ensure that they do not miss critical and time-sensitive messages. Students should also regularly check their Clutter and Spam folders in the event that official messages were inadvertently misfiled. Students who opt to forward email from their Lesley account to a non-Lesley account do so at their own risk, as Lesley University is not responsible for any such forwarded messages.