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Answers to Frequently Asked Academic Questions

What system is used to determine my academic standing (or what are "honor points")?

Western utilizes a plus/minus grading system.

Grade point values per semester hour of credit are as follows:

A = 4.00 points B- = 2.67 points D+ = 1.33 points
A- = 3.67 points C+ = 2.33 points D = 1.00 point
B+ = 3.33 points C = 2.00 points D- = 0.67 points
B = 3.00 points C- = 1.67 points F = 0.00 points

Honor points are determined by multiplying the number of semester hours attempted for a class with the grade point value you received for the class.

How is my grade point average (GPA) determined each semester?

The grade point average (GPA) is determined by dividing the total number of honor points earned by the total number of semester hours attempted that semester.

Example:

Course Grade Points Attempted Hours Honor Points
English 180 B+ 3.33 x 3 = 9.99
Biology 101 B 3.00 x 4 = 12.00
History 105 A- 3.67 x 3 = 11.01
Math 128 C 2.00 x 3 = 6.00
Psych 100 B- 2.67 x 3 = 8.01
      16 47.01

47.01 ÷ 16 = 2.938 grade point average

How is my cumulative GPA determined for all semesters combined?

A cumulative grade point average is determined by dividing the total number of points earned (honor points) by the total number of graded (not pass, satisfactory, or audit, etc.) semester hours attempted in all semesters (attempted hours must be from WIU).

Example:

  Attempted Hours Honor Points
First Semester 15 45
Second Semester 12 32
Third Semester 18 43
Fourth Semester 15 50
Total 60 170

170 ÷ 60 = 2.833 cumulative GPA

What is "academic probation?"

Academic Warning: If, at the end of a grading period (fall, spring, summer), a student’s term grade point average (GPA) is 1.000 or above and the cumulative grade point average falls below a 2.000, that student will be placed on academic warning. Students placed on academic warning may not enroll for more than 16 semester hours in a regular semester and no more than six semester hours in a summer term. Students may not enroll exclusively in S/U graded courses while on academic warning status.

Academic Probation: If, at the end of a grading period (fall, spring, summer), a student’s term GPA is less than 1.000 and the cumulative GPA falls below a 2.000, the student will be placed on academic probation. OR if, at the end of a grading period (fall, spring, summer) on academic warning, a student’s term GPA is 1.000 or above but the cumulative GPA is less than 2.000, a student will be placed on academic probation. Students on academic probation may not enroll for more than 16 semester hours in a regular semester and no more than six semester hours in a summer term. Students may not enroll exclusively in S/U graded courses while on academic probation status. A student on academic probation must achieve at least the following GPA each grading period until good academic standing is reached or he or she may be academically suspended or dismissed:

  • Freshmen and sophomores (59 or less semester hours earned) MUST earn a minimum GPA of 2.100.
  • Juniors and seniors (60 or more semester hours earned) MUST earn a minimum GPA of 2.250.

Academic Suspension: A student will be academically suspended if:

  • At the end of the grading period (fall, spring, summer) on academic warning, the student’s term GPA is less than 1.000 and the cumulative GPA is less than 2.000.

(Or)

  • At the end of any grading period (fall, spring, summer) on academic probation, the student fails to make satisfactory progress toward good academic standing as defined under "academic probation."

What is "academic dismissal?"

After a student has received an academic suspension and has been readmitted to the University, he or she must meet the conditions defined under "academic probation” or else the student will receive an "academic dismissal” and will not be eligible to return to Western except for summer terms only until cumulative GPA is raised to 2.000 or higher.

Can I be suspended if I have a 2.000 GPA now and drop below 1.000 at the end of this semester?

No. If your semester GPA is less than 1.000 and your resulting cumulative GPA is less than 2.000, you will be placed on academic probation.

Can I appeal my academic suspension?

No. In most instances, a student who has been academically suspended from the University must sit out one regular semester before seeking readmission.

Can I ever return to WIU if I am academically suspended?

Students suspended for poor scholarship must remain out of the University for at least one regular semester. After the inactive semester, students suspended for the first time will automatically be eligible for reinstatement and may re-enter the University at the beginning of a fall or spring semester or summer term provided they indicate their intentions to do so by filing a re-entry application prior to established deadlines. The readmission application can be obtained and filed with the Office of the Registrar. If the student has attended another school, an official transcript from that school must be on file in the Office of the Registrar at the time of registration. Reinstated students re-enter the University with the same cumulative GPA they had upon suspension and are placed on academic probation. This probationary status will continue as long as the student satisfies the conditions specified in the section on "academic probation." Students failing to make satisfactory progress are dismissed and may attend summer terms only until their cumulative GPA is raised to 2.000 or higher.

What privileges would I lose if I went on academic warning or academic probation?

A student must be in good standing with the University and must be enrolled for a minimum of six hours each academic semester or three hours during the summer to be eligible to apply for student employment in the Office of Financial Aid, Sherman Hall 127, (309) 298-1996. The pass-fail option is open only to those students in good standing. Good academic standing is usually required in most representative leadership roles such as participation in activities and performing groups, leadership positions, intercollegiate athletics, and student employment.

How do I drop a course?

When can I drop a course?

A student may withdraw from a course or courses without academic penalty during the first 10 weeks of a regular school term, except when found guilty of academic dishonesty with the penalty being an "F" grade. After the 10th week of the term, no individual course withdrawals will be permitted (unless the Council on Admissions, Graduation, and Academic Standards [CAGAS] deems a case to have documented extenuating circumstances).

How do I go about it?

Students may drop a class through STARS anytime before the start of a term or through the 10th week of the semester. Regularly scheduled courses dropped on or before the 10th day of class will be deleted from the student’s schedule. Courses dropped on the 11th class day through the 10th week receive a "W" withdrawn designation on the academic record.

Can I be dropped from a course involuntarily?

Maybe. Only the student can drop a course (except in some disciplinary cases or departmental placement by WIU English, foreign language, and mathematics departments). Also see the prerequisite/corequisite policy.

Definitions

Prerequisite:

A course that must be completed prior to enrollment in a particular course. Prerequisites may also refer to acceptable class standing, prior academic standing, permission of instructor, departmentally determined competencies, or other departmental requirements.

Co-Requisite:

A course that must be taken simultaneously with another course.

Policy:

It is the responsibility of the student to comply with the prerequisites/co-requisites for a course that he or she plans to take. Instructors who place the appropriate information on the syllabus and emphasize it during the first three class periods may exclude a student from the class who does not meet the prerequisite/co-requisite by sending a note to the student with a copy to the registrar within the first two weeks of the term. In addition, some courses may be designated as having enforced prerequisites. During registration, these courses will be identified on STARS and students who do not meet the requirements will be deleted prior to the first day of class.

How can I add a class?

Any student who wishes to enter a class may do so through STARS by the conclusion of restricted program changes. Students must have special permission to enter a closed class or other appropriate permission forms if necessary. During restricted program changes, all courses require special permission.

How do I withdraw from the University?

Under what circumstances can I withdraw from the University?

Total withdrawal from the University may be done at any time through the 10th week of the semester (or .6 of the length of the course).
* After the 10th week of the semester, no one can withdraw from the University, unless they have exceptional and documented circumstances.
* Summer term University withdrawals must be processed by the day when .6 of the length of the appropriate summer session has been completed.

How do I go about it?

Prior to the first day of the semester, a student may completely withdraw from the University through STARS. On or after the first day of the semester, in order to completely withdraw from the University, students who are classified as full-time must contact Student Development and Orientation (SDO), (309) 298-1884, to withdraw from the University. Please note that SDO is not open during the weekend. Students contemplating a total withdrawal should contact SDO by 4:30 p.m. on the Friday before the withdrawal deadline.

How will it affect my grades?

During the first 10 weeks of a semester, a student withdrawing will receive all W grades. If a student withdraws during a semester when an "I" (incomplete) grade is to be made up, the withdrawal must take place during the first nine weeks of that semester, or the "I" will become an "F." If a student withdraws during the first nine weeks of that semester, the "I" will carry over until the next semester the student is enrolled at WIU providing it is within one year after the incomplete was awarded.

If I am preregistered and never attend classes, will the University automatically withdraw me?

NO! Any student who preregisters must officially withdraw from the University, even if tuition/fees have not been paid and the individual did not attend classes. Do not assume you will be automatically withdrawn.

How do I preregister?

Halfway through an academic semester, preregistration will be held for the following semester. Students must make appointments with their advisors to plan their programs and have their advisor hold removed. After seeing their advisors and clearing any registration holds, students should register at their prearranged time. Registration can take place through STARS on the web. It is important to consult with academic advisors, as they are the authorities on what is needed to complete degree requirements in their department.

Where can I go to discuss my academic difficulties?

Student Development and Orientation, Seal Hall 301, serves as the primary contact where students may go to discuss their individual academic concerns. Students may be referred to the source most suitable to address their needs (e.g., course instructors, University Advising and Academic Services Center [UAASC], University Counseling Center).

Where can I go for academic advisement?

Students who have not declared a major (University Advising) are advised by the University Advising and Academic Services Center. All other regularly admitted students receive their advisement through individual academic departments. If a student does not know the name of his or her advisor, it is important to check with the department in which the major is located. Students planning to teach need to check with both their advisor and the certification officer in the College of Education and Human Services.

What if I just don't know what I want to do with my future?

Career Services, the University Counseling Center, and the UAASC have the personnel and materials available to help students explore their career options.

With whom can I talk if I'm not sure what to major in?

The University Counseling Center and the UAASC can help students decide what they are most interested in and best qualified for in terms of choosing a major field of study.

How do I change my major?

A Declaration of Major Form may be obtained from the Office of the Registrar, Sherman Hall 110, and must first be signed by the new advisor and then the student's present advisor. When receiving the present advisor's signature, the student should ask for his/her personal file or grades so he/ she can present it to the new department. Your initial declaration of a major is made on your admissions application.

Who can help me improve my study habits?

The University Counseling Center, Memorial Hall 103, offers both informal discussion and programmed instruction for aid in improving study habits, motivation, reading comprehension, etc. Students are encouraged to communicate with their instructors for specific coursework improvement and to check with individual departments and the UAASC Academic Services Program for tutorial assistance. The residence halls offer study aids through academic resource rooms, on-duty staff in the evenings, test files, and tutorial assistance. Check with the residence hall directors and resident assistants for information on available services within each hall.

Where can I go for tutoring?

Information about tutors can be obtained through the individual academic department in which assistance is being sought. The UAASC Academic Services Program offers tutorial services to all students.