Academic Status

Sterling strives to develop leaders

I. Satisfactory Progress

Students must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.00 in order to graduate. The College will notify students when their performance is not reaching that minimum level. Students who cannot reasonably expect to successfully finish their academic program will not be allowed to continue enrolling at Sterling College. The minimum academic standards used to determine satisfactory progress are listed in the academic catalog. The following standards are consistent with federal and state financial aid regulations and the NAIA athletic regulations and apply to academic standing, financial aid, and athletic eligibility.

Students must meet the following two minimum standards:

A. Students must complete at least 24 semester hours in a calendar year (two semesters and winter, summer, &/or May-terms) at an accredited institution.

B. Students must keep their GPAs above the limits that determine suspension as listed in the table on the following page.

The status of every student, whether full- or part-time, is determined after each semester grading period and is based on the following:

A. To avoid suspension, full-time, first-time freshmen MUST earn at least six credit hours in each of their first two semesters. Beyond that point, they must earn at least eight credit hours each semester. Transfer students must earn at least 8 credit hours beginning with their first Sterling College semester

B. Summer study may be used to make up deficiencies for athletic eligibility in either minimum hours or in GPA. However, students should seek the approval of the Registrar before they schedule summer work to be sure that the courses they take are appropriate and will be acceptable to the College.

C. Full-time students must complete the Chapel/Convocation requirement during every semester during which they are enrolled in the College.

Chapel/Convocation is a requirement for graduation.
See Chapel Attendance Probation and Disciplinary Action in the Academic Catalog

D. Additional rules apply to financial aid and athletic eligibility. For example, financial aid will NOT be continued after two semesters on Financial Aid Probation.

E. Students readmitted following academic suspension are not eligible for financial aid that semester. Even these minimal standards may not be sufficient for some varieties of financial aid or for students wishing to attend graduate or professional schools. Students should seek advice from their academic advisors about the level of academic performance that is appropriate.

Any student who is not making satisfactory progress may lose financial aid and athletic eligibility and/or the right to continue academic coursework.

Academic Warning
If the academic deficiency can be corrected with only slight improvement in grades in one semester, the student is placed on academic warning. There are no restrictions of activity but the student needs to be aware of the GPA requirements for graduation.

Academic Probation
When a deficiency is serious enough to require significant improvement in grades for more than one semester, in order to achieve the GPA requirements for graduation, students are placed on academic probation. During the first semester that students are placed on academic probation, they are required to participate in GD104 and a study skills group in order to obtain the skills needed to be successful in college. Students on academic probation should be aware that their academic careers are in serious jeopardy. Some programs and activities, financial aid, and athletic eligibility may not be available. Students on academic probation will not be allowed to enroll in more than 13 credit hours.

If at the end of the first probationary semester sufficient academic progress still has not occurred, the student will again be placed on academic probation for the following semester. At the end of the second consecutive probationary semester if the criteria for satisfactory academic progress has not been met, academic suspension will result.

Exception:
Any student who achieves a semester GPA of at least 2.0 for 8 or more completed hours will be allowed to remain at the institution for the subsequent semester regardless of the cumulative GPA.

Chapel/Convocation Attendance Probation and Disciplinary Action
Just like regular class attendance, chapel/convocation attendance is required for all students. Sterling College provides at least two chapel opportunities per week, and three to four convocation opportunities each semester. Students are expected to attend chapel at least once per week during each semester of attendance for a total of 14, and two convocations each semester of attendance. Students who have not met the chapel/convocation attendance requirements in the semester immediately prior to the current semester will be placed on Chapel/Convocation Attendance Probation. Students must meet with the Chaplain for Academic Life to make arrangements to attend additional chapel services or convocations during the current semester in order to remove prior semester attendance deficiencies. The current semester chapel/convocation attendance requirements must be met BEFORE additional chapel services or convocations can be used to remove a prior semester's attendance deficiency.

After meeting with the Vice President for Academic Affairs and the Chaplain for Academic Life, a student placed on chapel/convocation attendance probation for a second consecutive semester may have limitations placed on them concerning their participation in the following activities until chapel/convocation deficiencies are made up:

  • Student Government
  • Leadership training
  • Athletic competitions
  • Drama performances
  • Music performances
  • Student ministries
  • Praise band
  • Intramural activities
  • Debate/Forensics teams
  • Honors program

Students who do not meet chapel/convocation attendance requirements for three semesters, regardless of whether or not it is consecutive or cumulative, may be suspended from Sterling College for one semester. After one semester, students wishing to be readmitted to Sterling College must meet with the Vice President for Academic Affairs and the Chaplain for Academic Life prior to pre-enrollment. Some programs and activities, financial aid, and athletic eligibility may not be available. Further unsuccessful chapel/convocation attendance beyond this point will result in immediate and permanent suspension from Sterling College.

II. Academic Suspension

Students whose residential GPA falls below the specified standards, or who fail to meet the standards for satisfactory progress as defined above, will be suspended from the college for at least one semester. Readmission following suspension is NOT automatic. Readmission will be based upon evidence that the difficulties encountered have been resolved. Students readmitted following academic suspension will be placed on academic probation, with academic status reevaluated at the end of the term.

III. Academic Dismissal

Suspended students who are readmitted and who fail to raise their residential GPA, or any student who suffers from a deficiency which makes it unreasonable to anticipate eventual completion of degree requirements, will be permanently dismissed.

Minimal Academic Standards for Satisfactory Academic Progress
To avoid suspension, full-time, first-time freshmen MUST earn at least six credit hours in each of their first two semesters. Beyond that point, they must earn at least eight credit hours each semester. Transfer students must earn at least 8 credit hours beginning with their first Sterling College semester. For more information, see the Academic Catalog.