Satisfactory Academic Progress
In order to become an ABTU graduate, a student must meet certain academic standards. There are two standards of measurement used to evaluate satisfactory academic progress (SAP): “qualitative,” which means overall GPA—the quality of one’s grades, and “quantitative,”—the quantity of courses completed, which means successfully completing at least 67% of the attempted courses, within an acceptable time period.
Students will have these two aspects of their academic progress evaluated at least at the end of every academic term. An academic term consists of two eight-week modules, over a period of 16 weeks. This academic term is also referred to as a semester on the Academic Calendar or “payment period” for students who are eligible to receive Federal Student Aid funds. Regardless of the number of courses taken during a 16-week academic term, academic progress is evaluated at least at the end of every academic term (semester). With the traditional academic calendar followed by ABTU, academic terms are the same for all students regardless of which semester (Fall, Spring, or Summer) a student begins their academic program.
Qualitative Standard (Cumulative Grade Point Average)
In order to meet this standard, a student must earn a cumulative grade point average (cGPA) of 2.0 in all program required courses, for undergraduate programs. Graduate level programs require a cGPA in all program required courses of 3.0 or higher. This is a graduation requirement and can never be waived under any circumstances. The student’s compliance with this requirement is formally evaluated at the end of every academic period/semester of 16 weeks as described above. However, academic advisers and Success Coordinators are regularly reviewing the academic performance of students, in the interest of providing needed support services. If a new student has not progressed academically by the mid-point of his/her first course (end of the fourth week of an eight-week course), the student’s enrollment at the University may be cancelled. Our goal is to work proactively and collaboratively with students who are facing challenges relating to the successful completion of their academic work. While ABTU reserves the right to dismiss students who fall below the qualitative standard, the overall goal is to ensure that the student is making a wise investment in their educational program, and to prepare for success in the workplace.
Quantitative Standard (Completion Rate and Maximum Time Frame)
Students must successfully complete 67% of all courses attempted in order to remain in good academic standing (to maintain satisfactory academic progress). If a student falls below the 67% completion rate, they are not making satisfactory academic progress. The student’s compliance with this requirement is evaluated at the end of every academic period of 16 weeks as described above. However, academic advisers are regularly reviewing the academic performance of students, in the interest of providing needed support services.
The student must also complete their academic program within 150% of the published length of the program; a program that takes 80 weeks to complete on a full-time basis must be completed within 120 weeks on a full-time basis. The completion rate is calculated by dividing the cumulative number of hours the student has attempted by the cumulative number of hours the student has successfully completed. Likewise, the maximum time frame (150%) serves as a second measure. Students facing extenuating circumstances may appeal the maximum time frame, but ordinarily not the 67% completion requirement.
Academic Warning and Financial Aid Warning
Students who progress beyond their first course to complete a 16 week academic term, and who fall below the required minimums at their evaluation point, will be placed on Academic Warning and, if eligible for Federal Student Aid funds, on Financial Aid Warning. Students will be notified electronically via their student email account of this status. This status will also be reflected on their student web portal. A student may be on Academic Warning and/or Financial Aid Warning for a maximum of one academic term of 16 weeks. ABTU may dismiss a student on Academic Warning and/or Financial Aid Warning who is not improving their academic record, prior to the completion of the next full academic term (semester). This dismissal can occur at any point in time once the student is placed on a warning status. In light of the fact that the mission of ABTU is to assist students to achieve their academic and career goals, ABTU provides regular academic support through Academic Advisers. Students in a warning status are required to have regular contact with their Academic Adviser to ensure that they are making satisfactory academic progress.
Academic Probation, Financial Aid Probation, and Academic Plans
If a student fails to improve their academic record during their warning period, they are ordinarily dismissed from ABTU. The University does not view this as a punitive action. Since the mission of ABTU is to assist students to achieve their academic and career goals, it does not make sense for the student to continue to invest their resources in the University if they are not meeting their academic and career goals. If the student successfully appeals this dismissal and is allowed to return to ABTU, they will be placed on Academic Probation and, if eligible for Federal Student Aid funds, on Financial Aid Probation. This period of probation cannot exceed one academic term of 16 weeks, unless the school develops an Academic Plan for the student that covers a longer period of time. This takes place when it will be mathematically impossible or highly unlikely that the student will be able to make the required improvement within a 16-week academic term. Students should be aware that the nature of our educational training program is such that it is unlikely that an appeal will be approved, resulting in Academic Probation, Financial Aid Probation. With most courses building upon the foundation of earlier courses, students who are not making appropriate progress will be advised regarding their long-term academic and career plans. In some cases the best option for the student may be to have a fresh start at a new academic institution. On the other hand, ABTU is more than willing to develop an Academic Plan when the circumstances dictate the appropriateness of this action. Academic Probation and Financial Aid Probation are always an option based on a formal appeal. At the same time, ABTU does not want to mislead students about the likelihood of success in a profession if the student is not making academic progress in their chosen program.
Statuses which impact GPA, Completion Rate and Maximum Time Frame
Incomplete: An incomplete course must be completed within eight weeks of the published end of the course. Failure to do so will result in failing the course. This impacts completion rate, GPA, and maximum time frame.
Withdrawal: A student withdrawing before the midpoint of a course (end of the fourth week of an eight-week course) will receive a W for the course. This impacts maximum time frame and completion rate but does not impact GPA. If a student withdraws after the midpoint of the course he/she will receive a grade of F for the course. This impacts maximum time frame, GPA, and completion rate. Please see the Withdrawal Policy for more details.
Repeated Course: A student who repeats a failed course will have the F grade super ceded by the new grade. The original grade of F will be replaced by an R, which means that a grade was replaced by a more recent attempt. This impacts maximum time frame, GPA, and completion rate.
Transfer Credits: Transfer credits are counted as both attempted and completed hours, and impact maximum time frame as appropriate. ABTU does not award transfer credits for transitional/remedial courses. Only two D’s will be accepted from a student’s prior transcript, otherwise only grades of a C or above will be accepted. Transfer credits may impact financial aid awards and eligibility.
Unsatisfactory Progress in first Academic Term: If a student has a GPA of 1.0 or less, the college has the option to dismiss the students without allowing for any warning. However, the academic advising and student support efforts offered by ABTU allow for numerous opportunities for conversation about academic performance prior to dismissal.
SAP and Title IV Federal Student Aid
Federal regulations require that a student maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress in order to maintain eligibility for Federal Student Aid (Title IV), often referred to as “financial aid.” If a student is not meeting satisfactory academic progress requirements, as determined at the end of a 16-week academic term (semester), they will be placed on Academic Warning and Financial Aid Warning. They will maintain eligibility for Federal Student Aid during the warning period. If the student fails to meet satisfactory academic requirements at the end of the next 16-week academic period, they will lose eligibility for Federal Student Aid. Ordinarily, due to the academic advising and student support efforts offered by ABTU, students are rarely summarily dismissed. The student is subject to dismissal during this academic period while on probation, if there is no improvement in performance. At the same time, it would be unusual for a student to continue through a full 16 weeks of Financial Aid Probation and Academic Probation, because of the collaborative efforts made by ABTU during this period of time. Dismissal typically only occurs when the student ignores all communications made by the school, and rejects the opportunity to work in a collaborative effort to improve their academic record. All dismissals may be appealed. Please see the Appeals Policy for details.
Updated 12/28/2018: Updated all semester / academic term lengths to 16 weeks. Updated course lengths to 8 weeks. Updated Transfer Credit policy reference.