May 18, 2024  
2010-2011 Undergraduate Catalog 
2010-2011 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Policies and Procedures

Classification of Courses by Level

All courses in the 1000 series are freshman courses, all in the 2000 series are sophomore courses, all in the 3000 series are junior courses, and all in the 4000 series are senior courses. All 4xx7 courses are for undergraduate credit, but may include students who are taking the class for graduate credit under a 5xx7 number. Graduate students shall be required to do specified work over and above that required of undergraduate students in these courses. All in the 5000, 6000, and 7000 series are graduate courses.

Undergraduate students may not enroll in courses numbered higher than one year above their current classification. For example, a sophomore may enroll for junior courses, but may not enroll for senior courses. This policy does not apply in the College of Business and Technology, where 3000 and 4000 level courses are open only to juniors and seniors who have completed the appropriate course prerequisites. Enrollment in the 5000, 6000, and 7000 series is limited to graduate students. At least 70 percent of all courses taken in a master’s program must be in the 5000 series; at least one-half of all courses taken on the doctoral level must be in the 6000 and 7000 series.

Courses numbered below 1000 are offered through the Division of Developmental Studies and are not credited toward the degree.

Major, Area Concentration, and Minor

A “major” is the curriculum for a particular field of study a student wishes to pursue in earning a degree. The minimum number of credits for a major is 24, but the total varies according to the area. An “area” concentration” is a specialized area of study within a major. Most majors require a “minor.” A minor is a secondary area of study outside of the major program of study with a structured curriculum composed of at least 18 semester credit hours of which at least 9 hours must be at the 3000-level or above. Students should consult this catalog to determine the major and minor requirements for specific areas of study. They should meet regularly with an academic advisor in the major to select courses needed to complete a degree. Students should also meet with an advisor in their chosen minor department to ensure that the correct courses are chosen to complete the minor.

Declaring a Major

Undergraduate students must declare a major no later than the first term after they complete 60 semester credit hours. Transfer students who transfer more than 60 semester credit hours must declare a major by the end of their first semester at ETSU. This policy also applies to students in preprofessional programs. Students seeking a second bachelor’s degree must declare a major at the time of application.


ETSU assigns numerical values to letter grades to permit calculation of grade point averages. A four-point system is used, which includes plus/minus grading.

  Grade Grade Points

FN (failure for non-attendance)


* Developmental Studies, freshman English composition courses, and Graduate Studies do not assign these grades.

How to Compute a Grade Point Average

The grade point average (GPA) is computed as follows:

Step 1. Grade Points earned in a course x Course credit hours = Grade points for course
Step 2. Sum of grade points for all graded courses = Total grade points
Step 3. Total grade points divided by all credit hours attempted = GPA


Course Grade Credit
  Grade Points
for Course
ENGL 1010   B 3 x 3 = 9
CHEM 1030   A 4 x 4 = 16
HIST 2010   C 3 x 2 = 6
MATH 1530   C 3 x 2 = 6
CSCI 1100   A 3 x 4 = 12
Total   16       49
49 divided by 16 = 3.06    


Grades that do not influence Grade Point Average:

P - Pass: Grade points are not assigned; credit hours are earned.
Cr - Credit: Grade points are not assigned; credit hours are earned. (Used to record credit established by nontraditional means.)
I - Incomplete: Indicates a passing grade at the end of a semester, but an important part of course was not completed (e.g., term paper, exam).
Au - Audit: Credit hours are not earned.
W - Withdrawal: (See Adding and Dropping Courses and Withdrawing from the university.)
WF - Withdrawal Failing: (see Adding and Dropping Courses and Withdrawing from the university.)

Grade Appeal Process

A student may appeal a course grade if the student has evidence that the grade was assigned in a malicious, capricious, erroneous, or arbitrary manner. Students may obtain grade appeal forms from the school or college deans, the Vice President for Academic Affairs, or the Vice President for Health Affairs. The grade appeal process is outlined in Spectrum (the ETSU student handbook), which is available online at Students wishing to appeal a grade must begin the process within 21 days after the beginning of the next term, excluding summer school.

Grade Reports

ETSU provides grades to registered students online via GoldLink. Academic departments retain grade documentation for a period of one year. Student concerns regarding academic records will only be addressed within one academic year from the date when the grades in question were posted.

Dean’s List

To qualify for the Dean’s List an undergraduate student must meet the following criteria for the term:

  • Earn no grade below ‘C’ in any course taken that term.
  • Pass a minimum of 12 credits (excluding audits, incompletes, repeats, pass/fail, and Developmental Studies courses)
  • Achieve a minimum GPA of 3.7000 for the term in applicable courses.

Pass/Fail Exploration Grading

The pass/fail (P/F) grading option allows qualified undergraduate students to explore, in a limited manner, their interests and abilities by receiving a pass or fail grade instead of a regular letter grade in a course. This section describes the P/F grading option available to individual students. The regulations cited here do not apply to the use of non-letter grades in entire courses.

Student Qualifications: Undergraduate students pursuing degrees must have a minimum GPA of 2.5 to take a course on a P/F basis. All ETSU credits plus any credits earned elsewhere and accepted by ETSU for transfer are counted when calculating the GPA for this purpose. There is no GPA requirement for undergraduate students not pursuing degrees. However, if a student later decides to pursue a degree, the GPA requirement then applies.

Courses Excluded and Included: Undergraduate students pursuing degrees may not take general education core courses or courses in the major or minor on a P/F basis. If a student changes majors or minors and a completed P/F course is then in the new major or minor, the student may petition the dean of the college or school offering the newly declared major or minor to have the original letter grade earned substituted for the previously earned P/F grade.

Undergraduate students not pursuing degrees may take any course P/F, to a maximum of 12 semester credit hours. However, courses taken at ETSU and graded P/F which are then brought into a degree program at ETSU are subject to the regulations governing students pursuing a degree.

Registration Process: Undergraduate students pursuing degrees or not pursuing degrees must request the P/F grading option at the time of registration. Students may register for no more than one P/F course in a semester. Registration for the P/F option in a course must be approved by the student’s department or college advisor, who must sign the drop/add form to certify review of qualifications and other applicable limitations.

Students may not request the P/F option for a course that is added after the first week of classes. The regular letter option cannot be changed to P/F, nor can the P/F grading be changed to regular grading after the first five days of the semester.

The instructor will not know the identity of students enrolled on a P/F basis and will record letter grades for all students, which the Office of the Registrar will convert to P/F. P/F courses may be repeated for regular letter grades.

Credit Hour Regulations: Undergraduate students pursuing degrees may count no more than 12 credit hours earned on a P/F basis at ETSU toward graduation. Courses with P/F grades cannot be applied toward a major or minor.

P/F graded courses will be counted as degree credit hours earned. Failing grades (F) are computed in the student’s GPA. Pass grades (P) are not computed in the GPA. P/F grades awarded for departmental challenge exams or other advanced standing examinations are not counted as credit hours earned.

Plagiarism Policy

Henry Campbell Black defines plagiarism as “The act of appropriating the literary composition of another, or parts of passages of his writing, or the ideas or language of the same, and passing them off as the product of one’s own mind” (Black’s Law Dictionary, West Publishing Company, St. Paul, Minnesota, 1968, p. 1308). In other words, plagiarism involves using someone else’s words or ideas without giving proper credit to the original author. Even if one does not copy the words exactly or even if one copies only a small part of someone else’s work, one must cite the name of the original author and provide a reference to that person’s work (e.g., title of work, year of publication, and name of publisher) using a format based on the publication manual of a nationally recognized scholarly association, such as the American Psychological Association or the Modern Language Association. One should enclose an exact quotation in quotation marks or indent the quotation, depending upon the style manual used. A page number or numbers must be cited for each quoted passage. Even if one does not use an author’s exact words, if one uses an author’s ideas one must provide documentation to give credit to the author. These standards apply to print and nonprint media and include the Internet.

Credit by Correspondence or Extension

Credit earned by correspondence or extension from a regionally accredited institution may be accepted toward the completion of a degree at ETSU, provided that the total hours earned by correspondence or extension or a combination of the two does not exceed one-fourth of the hours required for the degree.

Student Classification

  Freshman (FR) 0 - 29.9 semester hours earned
  Sophomore (SO) 30.0 - 59.9 semester hours earned
  Junior (JR) 60.0 - 89.9 semester hours earned
  Senior (SR) 90.0 and up semester hours earned


Master’s Candidate (MS): A student who has been formally accepted to graduate school for the purpose of pursuing a master’s degree.

Specialist in Education Candidate (SED): A student who has been formally admitted to graduate school and the college of education for the purpose of pursing a specialist degree.

Doctoral Student, Early Stage (DE): A student formally admitted to a doctoral graduate program of study whose major academic endeavor consists of formal coursework directed toward fulfilling requirements for a doctorate.

Doctoral Candidate, Late Stage (DL): A doctoral graduate student who has passed the doctoral qualifying examination and whose principal academic endeavor consists of work toward completion of the doctoral dissertation.

Postdoctoral Student (PD): A student who has an awarded doctoral degree and is engaged in advanced academic study or specialty training beyond the doctoral degree.

Visiting Graduate Student (SPG): A formally enrolled graduate student, from another institution, whose coursework will be transferred back to the student’s home institution.

Graduate Non-Degree: A post-baccalaureate student who is not pursuing a graduate degree, is not a post-doctoral student, and is enrolled in graduate courses.

Undergraduate Special Student (SPU): A student who is not working toward a degree and is enrolled in undergraduate courses.

Visiting Undergraduate Student (SPU): An undergraduate student who is taking work to transfer to another school.

Class Load

Fall and Spring Semesters

Standard Load - To be able to graduate in the traditional four-year time frame, students should plan to take a course load of 15-17 hours per semester. The minimum course load for full-time enrollment is 12 semester hours. The maximum course load is 19 semester hours, unless permission for an overload is approved.

Overload - The academic advisor and the dean of the student’s college or school must approve registration for an overload. Following completion of 45 semester hours, students with a cumulative 3.0 GPA may be approved for a load of up to 21 semester hours. Graduating seniors who do not have grade point average deficiencies may be approved to enroll for up to 21 semester hours in order to complete graduation requirements during that semester.

Audit enrollment is used in determining class loads

Probationary Load - Any student on academic probation at the time of registration may not enroll for more than 13 hours, including audits, except by approval of the student’s advisor and college/school dean.

Summer Term

The maximum course load for the entire summer term is 17 hours, which is apportioned to each summer session as follows:

Pre-Summer: Three (3) credit hours
First five-week session (Term 1): Seven (7) credit hours
Second five-week session (Term 2): Seven (7) credit hours

Overloads in summer term, up to a maximum of 21 semester hours, must be approved by the academic advisor and the college/school dean.


Exceptions to the class load policy require approval of the academic advisor, the college/school dean, and the Vice President for Academic Affairs (or designee).

Class Attendance Policy

It is expected that students will attend class regularly and provide the faculty with a reason for any absence. Failure to attend class regularly can affect students’ grades and financial aid. East Tennessee State University does not specify a fixed number of class absences as university-wide policy, but each department within the university has the right to set a maximum number of absences (including absences due to university activities and illnesses) permitted during an academic term. Departmental class absence policy is subject to approval by the dean of the school/college. At the beginning of the course each faculty member must provide a written statement governing attendance policy (including laboratory/clinical sessions where applicable) for the course so that all students may be fully informed of their attendance responsibilities, including penalties that may be imposed for failing to meet these responsibilities. If a student is not in attendance during the class meeting in which the class attendance policy is discussed it is the student’s responsibility to ascertain the policy in that class.

Absences Occasioned by University-Sponsored Activities: University-sponsored activities include those sponsored by a university department or by a student organization officially recognized by the university. Course instructors must excuse absences occasioned by university-sponsored activities as long as the number of absences does not exceed the number prescribed in an established and previously announced departmental policy and the instructor has been informed in advance of the intended absence. An excused absence means only that students must be allowed a reasonable opportunity to complete all assignments and tests missed because of the excused absence. It is the responsibility of the student and of the faculty or staff sponsor of the activity to inform the course instructor of the upcoming absence. This information should be provided by giving a Class Absence Authorization Form to the instructor. Class Absence Authorization Forms can be obtained from the Office of Student Affairs. However, it is not necessary to obtain permission for absences from the Office of Student Affairs, nor does the office inform instructors of expected absences.

Absences Due to Emergency, Special Circumstances, or Illness: In case of an emergency (e.g., death in the family or illness) absence from class may be excused, and the student allowed reasonable opportunity to complete all assignments and tests missed. In such cases it is the responsibility of the student to explain the situation to the faculty member as soon as possible. The faculty member may require verification of the emergency situation or illness from the student. Students confined at home or in a hospital for an extended period of time should notify instructors from whose classes they will be absent so that arrangements can be made for completion of assignments, if feasible. The number of such absences may not exceed stated policy for the class, and the student must make arrangements to complete missed assignments.

Appeal of the Faculty Member’s Decision: If a student has evidence that an instructor has not excused an absence that should have been excused within the guidelines stated here, the student may appeal the instructor’s decision to the chairperson of the department and/or dean of the college or school in which the course is offered.

Repeating a Course

The following regulations apply to repeating courses:

  1. A course in which an undergraduate student has an ‘A’ , ‘A-‘, ‘B+’, ‘B’, ‘B-‘, or “I” grade may not be repeated.
  2. If a course in which the student has a ‘C+’, ‘C’, ‘C-‘, ‘D+’, ‘D’, ‘D-’ or ‘F’ grade is repeated, only the most recent attempt (excluding ‘I’, ‘W’, or ‘WF’ grades) will be used in calculating the grade point average. However, all grades earned in the third and subsequent attempts will be used in calculating the summary line (grade point average).

Note: All courses attempted count in hours attempted and all attempts will continue to show on the record.

Incomplete Grades

The incomplete grade indicates that a student was passing the course at the end of the semester, but due to circumstances beyond the student’s control, was unable to complete a courses requirement such as a term paper, outside reading assignment, projects, or an examination. It also indicates that the student received consent from the instructor to complete the work for which an ‘I’ grade was given. The ‘I’ grade is not to be used to allow a student to do additional work to raise a deficient grade and the student may not repeat a course in which they have an ‘I’ grade.

Following consultation with the student, the instructor will determine the date by which the incomplete shall be removed, but in no case will the date exceed one calendar year or the time of graduation, whichever is earlier. After this period, the incomplete grade becomes an ‘F’ and is recorded on the student’s academic record. Incomplete grades are not removed until the new grade is recorded in the Office of the Registrar.

Auditing a Course

Students are permitted to enroll in regular university courses as auditors. Registration fees are the same for audit as for credit. Audit enrollment will not be considered part of the 12-hour minimum required for a full-time load but will be counted in determining overloads. Regular attendance is required. Unsatisfactory class attendance may result in being administratively dropped from the course.

After the published “Last Day to Add a Course” students may not change their enrollment status in a course from credit to audit or from audit to credit.

Adding and Dropping Courses

Adding a Course: A course(s) may be added during the late registration/late add period without special permission, unless the course has reached the established maximum enrollment. To add any class that has reached the enrollment limit requires permission of the instructor and department chair. After the late registration/late add period, special permission must be obtained from the instructor, the department chair, the dean, and the registrar.

Dropping a Course: A course(s) may be dropped during the first eight calendar weeks of a regular semester. Courses dropped during the first two weeks will not appear on the student’s permanent record. Students who drop a course after the second full week of classes through the eighth calendar week will receive the grade of ‘W.’ (During the summer session, or when courses do not conform to established term dates, this schedule is adjusted appropriately to fit the condensed time frames.)

Developmental Studies courses cannot be dropped without written permission from the University Advisement Center located on the second level of the D. P. Culp Center.

After the eighth week, a student may not drop a course except where verifiable, extenuating circumstances can be demonstrated. Verifiable extenuating circumstances are reasons beyond the control of the student, such as illness or accidental injury. Poor performance in a class is not an extenuating circumstance.

Students seeking permission for late drops must present a petition to the dean of the college or school in which they are majoring as of the beginning of the semester. Students whose majors are undecided must apply to the Director of the University Advisement Center who is located in the D.P. Culp University Center. If a late drop is approved, the student will receive a grade of ‘W’ (Withdrawn) or ‘WF’ (Withdrawn-Failing), as assigned by the instructor of the course.

When doing any scheduling transaction using GoldLink (example: dropping, adding, withdrawing) it is the student’s responsibility to verify that transaction by checking the status on the student detail schedule on GoldLink-Online. This will ensure that the action has been completed successfully. The student is responsible for confirming that the drop or withdrawal was received and correctly processed using GoldLink. Students stating they “attempted” to drop or withdraw by GoldLink but the transaction was not completed will not be permitted consideration of a late drop or withdrawal. Students are responsible for verifying all scheduling transactions whether completed on Goldlink, in person or those approved by dean or designees.

Withdrawing from the University

Students may withdraw from all classes through the published last day to withdraw for a term. Students withdrawing from the university during the first two weeks of classes will not have those courses appear on their permanent record. Withdrawals from the university from the beginning of the third week through the end of the eighth week will be recorded with a grade of “W.” Withdrawals from the university after the eighth week will be recorded with ‘W’ or ‘WF’ at the discretion of the instructor. (During the summer session or other shortened terms, this schedule is adjusted appropriately to fit the condensed time frame.) All requests for withdrawal from the university must be received in the Office of the Registrar no later than the close of business hours two days before the last day of classes of any academic term. Under no circumstances will a student be permitted to withdraw from the university after that date.

Students who do not withdraw by the official procedure will receive an ‘F’ for each course.

Student Proficiency in English

By the end of the freshman year, every student enrolled at ETSU is expected to have a command of the English language that is commensurate with the quality of speech and writing of educated adults.

Academic Probation and Suspension Policies

Baccalaureate degree students who do not maintain the cumulative grade point average indicated on the following table, based on credit hours attempted, will be placed on academic probation after grades are posted for the term that the credit hours were earned (including summer sessions) during the next term (including summer session) in which they are enrolled at ETSU. Developmental Studies courses are included in calculating the GPA for this purpose.

GPA Hours Attempted Semester Credit
Standard Cumulative GPA
  0 - 29 1.4
29.1 - 45 1.7
   45.1 - 59.9 1.9
60+ 2.0

Students seeking a second baccalaureate degree must maintain a 2.0 GPA each semester, regardless of the number of semester hours attempted.

Students may enroll in up to 13 credit hours of classes during a term in which they are on academic probation. If, at the end of the term of academic probation, a student has not attained the cumulative GPA standard or a 2.0 GPA for the term, the student will be suspended. A student who attains a 2.0 GPA for the term but does not meet the cumulative GPA standard will remain on probation during the next term of enrollment.

Period of Suspension: A student on probation who does not meet minimum GPA standards will be suspended from the university for one semester. The summer session does not count as a term of suspension. Re-enrolling at ETSU after being suspended one major term will require the completion of an application for readmission (  Enrolling at another institution during a period of academic suspension will result in being required to meet the transfer admission requirements for readmission to ETSU. If a student is suspended for a second time for failure to meet minimum GPA standards, the suspension will be for two semesters or longer, and the student must follow the appeal procedure for reinstatement.

Appeal Procedure for Reinstatement following Suspension: Where extenuating circumstances are established as primary factors relating to low grades, a student may petition to waive or end the period of suspension. This petition must describe verifiable, extenuating circumstances, which may include illness as evidenced by medical documentation; personal problems, such as divorce or serious domestic problems; accidental injury; or other circumstances beyond the student’s control.

Upon the receipt of the written petition, a current academic transcript, and any supporting documents, a preliminary decision will be made as to whether there are satisfactory extenuating circumstances to warrant a formal appeal hearing. If a hearing is granted, the student will be notified of the time and place of the appeal hearing before the Academic Status Appeals Committee, which includes representatives of the Office of Student Affairs and the dean’s office of the college or school in which the student is majoring. If the request for a hearing is not granted, the student may contact the dean for a review of the decision.

Work in Other Institutions

If credits earned at other regionally accredited institutions during a period of academic suspension from ETSU are found to be acceptable for transfer and if such credits are sufficient to remove a student from academic probation, the student may be readmitted as a transfer student by the Director of Admission.

The ETSU Honor Code

East Tennessee State University is committed to developing the intellect and moral character of its students. To that end, all instances of plagiarism, cheating, and other forms of academic misconduct shall be punished in accord with Tennessee Board of Regents policy. Any knowledge of conduct of this nature should be reported to the proper authorities. Not reporting instances of academic misconduct represents a fundamental break with honor code policy, and although this offense is not punishable, reflects a callous disregard for yourself, your classmates, and your professors.

Student Conduct, Rights, and Responsibilities

University students are citizens of the state, local, and national governments and of the academic community, and are, therefore, expected to conduct themselves as law-abiding members of each community at all times. Admission to an institution of higher education carries with it special privileges and imposes special responsibilities apart from those rights and duties enjoyed by nonstudents. In recognition of the special relationship that exists between the action as may be necessary to maintain campus conditions and preserve the integrity of the institution and its educational environment.

Pursuant to this authorization, the Tennessee Board of Regents has developed regulations which are intended to govern student conduct on the campus. In addition, students are subject to all national, state, and local laws and ordinances. If a student’s violation of such laws or ordinances also adversely affects the institution’s pursuit of its educational objectives, the institution may enforce its own regulations regardless of any proceedings instituted by other authorities. Conversely, violation of any section of the Tennessee Board of Regents regulations or university rules may subject a student to disciplinary measures by the institution whether or not such conduct is simultaneously violative of state, local, or national laws.

A complete statement on institutional student disciplinary rules and procedures can found in the student handbook located in the ETSU telephone directory.

Smoking Policy, ETSU

Effective August 22, 2008, ETSU is a Tobacco-Free Campus, with smoking and all other tobacco usage permitted only in private vehicles. This policy applies to all university buildings/grounds; ETSU-affiliated off-campus locations, and clinics; any buildings owned, leased or rented by ETSU in all other areas; and ETSU facilities located on the campus of the James H. Quillen Veterans Affairs Medical Center at Mountain Home. Tobacco use is also prohibited in all state vehicles. This tobacco-free policy is in effect 24 hours a day year round.

Background: The university promotes a healthy, sanitary environment free from tobacco smoke and tobacco-related debris. The ETSU community acknowledges that long-term health hazards may accrue to people who use tobacco products or who are subjected to second-hand smoke. The failure to address the use of tobacco products on campus would constitute a violation of the American with Disabilities Act, the Vocational Rehabilitation Act and Tennessee law.

Support: Understanding the addictive nature of tobacco products, ETSU will make every effort to assist those who may wish to stop using tobacco. The university offers current information about available resources via

Compliance: It is the responsibility of all members of the ETSU community to comply with this Tobacco-Free Campus Policy. Violations of the policy will be dealt with in a manner that is consistent with university procedures. There shall be no reprisals against anyone reporting violations of this policy.

Misrepresentation of Academic Credentials

It is a Class A misdemeanor to misrepresent academic credentials. A person commits the offense of misrepresentation of academic credentials who, knowing that the statement is false and with the intent to secure employment at or admission to an institution of higher education in Tennessee, represents, orally or in writing that such person:

  1. Has successfully completed the required coursework for and has been awarded one (1) or more degrees or diplomas from an accredited institution of higher education;
  2. Has successfully completed the required coursework for and has been awarded one (1) or more degrees for diplomas from a particular institution of higher education; or
  3. Has successfully completed the required coursework for and has been awarded one (1) or more degrees or diplomas in a particular field or specialty from an accredited institution of higher education.

Student’s Bill of Rights

Students along with faculty, staff, and administrators are all members of the East Tennessee State University community. Inherent with such membership is the responsibility to conduct oneself reasonably to maintain a civil community which respects the rights of all individuals.

The student has certain rights guaranteed by the Federal and State Constitutions or statutorily created legislation including:

  1. Freedom of inquiry, freedom of speech, and freedom of expression that is respectful or sensitive to the rights of individuals.
  2. The right to peaceably assemble, in accordance with federal, state, local, and ETSU regulations.
  3. Religious freedom and a clear division of church and state.
  4. Freedom from unreasonable search and/or seizure of person, or personal property.
  5. Freedom from discrimination or harassment on the basis of gender, age, race, color, religion, national origin, or other protected status.
  6. The right to privacy, including the maintenance of confidential records in accordance with provisions of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 and 1975, qualified by the Tennessee Open Records Law.
  7. The right to due process.

The Tennessee Board of Regents grants additional rights including:

  1. The right to due process in disciplinary procedures of the university, including written notification of charges, an explanation of procedures, and a hearing before an appropriate administrator or committee.
  2. The right to expeditious review of disciplinary sanctions upon appeal.
  3. The right to participate in the decision-making process of the university through the Student Government Association (SGA), other student governance organizations, and membership on university standing and advisory committees.
  4. The right to affiliate with officially registered student organizations if the membership requirements of those organizations have been met, and the right to seek to establish, through official procedures, additional student organizations of one’s choosing.

East Tennessee State University acknowledges that students have a legitimate expectation that:

  1. Classes meet as scheduled, and begin and adjourn on time.
  2. Course requirements are clearly specified.
  3. The instructor is prepared for class and possesses both oral and written communications skills.
  4. Paper project grades and test results are received in a timely manner.
  5. Information about progress in coursework is provided.
  6. The instructor is qualified to teach the subject matter.

Additionally, students have the right to expect:

  1. Accurate information concerning institutional services, regulations, policies, and procedures, in published form.
  2. Representation in the university governance system.
  3. Sound and accurate academic advice, information regarding courses required for graduation, and their schedule sequence.
  4. Reasonable notice of any changes in academic requirements or programs and assurance that such changes will not be made in a way that unduly impedes the academic progress of the student already enrolled.
  5. Flexibility in course scheduling (by dropping and adding) or withdrawing within university guidelines.
  6. Information about the various types of financial assistance available.
  7. Freedom to evaluate courses, programs, and services, and provide input to appropriate segments of the campus administration.

Student Complaint Policy and Procedure

Policy - This complaint policy and procedure is an electronic process. Selected complaint/appeal policies and forms can be accessed at

East Tennessee State University is committed to respecting all members of the university community and providing fair treatment regarding complaints by students. The objective of the Student Complaint Policy and Procedure is to ensure that concerns and complaints of undergraduate or graduate students are addressed fairly and are resolved promptly. Complaints usually involve actions affecting students that are alleged to be unjust, inequitable, or create unnecessary hardship. A student may pursue this complaint procedure if he or she believes a problem is not governed by other complaint or appeal procedures at the university (refer to Selected Appeal Policies for other examples). The Colleges of Medicine and Pharmacy have their own student complaint policies; complaints should be directed to appropriate personnel as identified by those colleges.

East Tennessee State University seeks to provide students, staff and faculty members with a safe and secure learning environment, free of crime and/ or violations motivated by discrimination, sexual and other bias-related harassment. There are two important complaint policies not governed by the Student Complaint Policy and Procedure: Sexual, Racial, and Other Harassment and Hate Crimes and Bias-Related Incidents. These types of complaints should be filed with the Special Assistant to the President for Equity and Diversity/Affirmative Action Director or, when a charge is by one student against another student, with the Dean of Students according to the procedures described in those policies.


When a concern occurs, the student is encouraged to discuss it with the appropriate faculty member or administrator. Often a resolution or an answer can be attained informally. If an informal approach is neither successful nor advisable, the student should use the Student Complaint Policy and Procedure. The procedure for filing student complaints governed by this policy is as follows:

Step 1: To submit a complaint a student must complete the official Student Complaint Form and send it via email attachment, within ten working days of the date of the initiating event, to the chair or director most directly involved (if the complaint is directed against the chair or director, it should be referred to the dean of the college or next level administrator). The chair or director will attempt to determine the validity of the complaint, and in the case of a valid complaint, seek resolution, including administrative action. He or she will communicate his or her decision on the Student Complaint Form and make every effort to do so within ten working days from the conclusion of this process.

Step 2: If a student wishes to appeal the decision made in Step 1, he or she must submit the Student Complaint Appeal Form A and the completed Student Complaint Form via email attachments to the appropriate dean or administrator within ten working days from the date of the decision. Undergraduate students submit the materials to the dean of the college where the issue(s) arose and graduate students submit to the Dean of the School of Graduate Studies. In the case of a complaint involving a director, the student submits materials to the next level administrator.

The student will be invited to discuss the complaint with that individual, who will attempt to determine the validity of the complaint and, in the case of a valid complaint, seek resolution, including possible administrative action. He or she will communicate his or her decision on Student Complaint Appeal Form A and make every effort to inform the student within ten working days of the conclusion of the appeal.

Step 3: If the student believes that he or she has not been afforded due process, the student must submit Student Complaint Appeal Form B together with Student Complaint Appeal Form A and the Student Complaint Form via email attachments to the vice president of the university division in which the complaint occurred within ten working days from the date of the decision. The vice president will make the final determination about the matter and communicate his or her decision on Student Complaint Appeal Form B and make every reasonable effort to submit his or her decision to the student within ten working days from the conclusion of this appeal. The determination will include reasons for the decision and direct a remedy, if any, to the student complaint.


A record of all complaints and their resolution will be documented at each level of the review process by the appropriate administrator.

Electronic Mail Policy

This policy was adopted by the Information Technology Governance Committee on February 17, 2009.

As email has become an integral part of the academic process, confidential information about ETSU students is being transmitted, including evaluations, grades, and financial information. Faculty, staff, and students must recognize that although there is an expectation of privacy, unencrypted email is not a secure means of transmitting information. While this policy does not prohibit student information from being transmitted by email, caution must be exercised regarding the content of messages.

ETSU provides each student, faculty, and staff member with an official university-assigned email account. All official university communications will be sent to the university email address. Faculty, staff, and students may assume that official ETSU email is a valid communication mechanism. Therefore, the university has the right to send communications to students, faculty, and staff via email and the right to expect that those communications are received and read in a timely fashion. Since this is our primary method of communication, email should be checked at least daily. Although students may choose to forward university email to an external email account, he or she is responsible for all information, including attachments.

Revised 1/2009

Academic Credits

Advanced Standing Credit

ETSU will review for possible credit courses earned from all institutions of higher education previously attended, advanced placement or other examinations, training provided by non-collegiate institutions, or experiential learning. Credit toward a degree will be directly accepted only from college-level institutions for courses that are substantially equivalent in nature, content, and level of credit offered by ETSU. Consideration will be given to the appropriateness and applicability of the credit earned to the programs offered by ETSU, in light of the student’s educational goals.

Transfer credit earned from colleges accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools (or corresponding agencies for other states and regions of the United States) will be considered for direct application toward a degree. The Office of Admissions will evaluate undergraduate credits for university-wide use. This evaluation will be made using historical precedent, current articulated program information, and/ or review by the appropriate ETSU college dean and faculty.

Credit from courses completed at institutions not regionally accredited as described above, advanced placement or other examinations, training provided by non-collegiate institutions, or experiential learning will be reviewed according to the following.

Credit for Service in the Armed Services

ETSU will award credit for military training courses in the Armed Services of the United States as recommended by the American Council on Education in the publication Guide to the Evaluation of Educational Experiences in the Armed Services. Veterans may submit the following transcripts for consideration.

Army - Army/American Council on Education Registry Transcript (AARTS)

Navy/Marine - Sailors-Marine Corps American Council on Education Registry Transcript (SMART)

Air Force - Community College of the Air Force Transcript

Coast Guard - Coast Guard Institute Education Transcript

In addition to the forms mentioned above, an individual may submit a DD214, Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty, a DD295, or an official transcript from Defense Activity for Non-Traditional Education Support (DANTES) subject standardized tests administered by Education Testing Service or other official documentation of completion of military training. No credit is awarded for MOS, rates, and ratings. Military credit will not satisfy writing, oral communication, and using information technology proficiency requirements. Questions regarding military training credit should be referred to the Admissions Office.

Advanced Placement Credit

ETSU participates in the Advanced Placement Program of the College Entrance Examination Board (CEEB). Advanced Placement course participants who score 3, 4, or 5 on the CEEB Advanced Placement Tests will be awarded credit. A grade of ‘P’ for passed hours will be awarded in appropriate degree courses. A list of Advanced Placement examinations, minimum score requirements, ETSU courses fulfilled and semester hours of credit is available in the Nontraditional Credit Guide available from the Office of Admissions. An official transcript of AP credit must be provided from the CEEB.

ACT/SAT Credit for Freshman English

  1. Entering freshmen whose standard score on the English section of the ACT is 28 or better may request 3 hours credit for ENGL 1010  and may then enroll in ENGL 1020 .
  2. Entering freshmen whose standard score on the Verbal section of the SAT is 630 or better may request 3 hours credit for ENGL 1010  and may then enroll in ENGL 1020 .

Note: The highest English score will determine the student’s eligibility for this credit.

University Credit for Experiential Learning

(Bachelor of General Studies [B.G.S.], Bachelor of Professional Studies [B.S.P.S.], or Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies [B.S.I.S.])

Students seeking one of the degrees listed above may provide for review a detailed and documented portfolio of experiential learning for possible credit. Experiential learning is typically learning that has taken place outside of traditional college settings but does not include credit based upon advanced placement or other examinations (i.e., CLEP) or training provided by noncollegiate institutions such as the Armed Forces that is reviewed for credit by the American Council on Education. Credit for experiential learning will only be awarded after the appropriate ETSU academic department and college dean have determined that end of course competencies have been evidenced for specific ETSU courses. A grade of “P” for passed hours will be awarded for credit in the B.G.S. degree program. Credit for specific courses will not exceed the credit hour(s) awarded by ETSU for the equivalent course. Students must file the Application for Academic Credit Earned through Experiential Learning. Credit may be obtained for applicable courses completed through noncollegiate-sponsored instruction or training as recommended in the American Council on Education National Guide to Educational Credit for Training Programs. Additional information is available from the Office of Admissions or the School of Continuing Studies and Academic Outreach.

Milligan College/Emmanual/ETSU Agreement

Full-time students (12 credits or more) may take courses at Milligan College and Emmanual School of Religion. Courses taken through this agreement may be used for elective credit only. Students who wish to cross enroll under this plan may obtain additional information from the Office of the Registrar, Burgin E. Dossett Hall, Room 101.

Enrollment of Disabled Persons and Persons Over 60 Years of Age

Audit Enrollment - Disabled persons suffering from a permanent disability which totally incapacitates them from employment, and persons 60 years of age or older may audit courses without the payment of regular course fees.

Credit Enrollment - Disabled persons described above and persons 65 years of age or older may enroll for credit by payment of a service fee required to defray the cost of record keeping. Other fees and special course fees may be required.

Enrollment of such disabled persons and persons 60 years of age or over is restricted to those who are domiciled in Tennessee and may be further limited or denied on an individual classroom basis according to space availability. Acceptable documentation of disability and age is required. Enrollment in classes offered through the James H. Quillen College of Medicine and the Bill Gatton College of Pharmacy is not included.

Academic Fresh Start

Academic Fresh Start is a plan of academic forgiveness provided for students who have a record of poor academic performance. This program is designed to assist students by allowing calculation of grade point average and credit hours toward graduation to be based only on work completed after returning to college under the Academic Fresh Start policy. A period of no less than four years must have elapsed since the candidate was last enrolled in a higher education institution. A student may be granted an Academic Fresh Start only once.


  1. Candidates must be undergraduate lower division students and may have attempted no more than 60 hours including remedial and developmental courses.
  2. A period of no less than four years (48) months must have elapsed since the candidate last attended a higher education institution.
  3. Candidates may apply for Academic Fresh Start prior to re-enrollment or any time prior to the completion of 15 semester hours of credit after re-enrollment.
  4. The candidate may never have been granted academic forgiveness according to this or a similar provision at any institution of higher education.

Application Procedure

Those meeting the above criteria must complete and file the Academic Fresh Start Contract form and the appropriate application for admission.

Policy Provisions

  1. Candidates must meet all conditions for eligibility.
  2. All prior coursework from ETSU or other institutions will be forfeited with the exception of previously satisfied COMPASS requirements.
  3. The COMPASS examination must be completed by those who have not previously done so.
  4. Placement will be determined in the University Advisement Center.
  5. The permanent academic record will retain all prior coursework, and the record will include “Granted Academic Fresh Start” and the date.
  6. Summary statistics will reflect only the coursework completed after the “fresh start.”
  7. Fresh Start students will be classified as first-time freshmen.
  8. Students in Fresh Start will be subject to Academic Retention Standards in effect at ETSU.
  9. Once begun, the Academic Fresh Start is irrevocable.
  10. All decisions of the Vice Provost for Enrollment Services are final.

Additional information is available from the Undergraduate Admissions Office at 423/439-4213

Computer Resources Code of Ethics

All users of any institutionally maintained electronic data, data files, software, and networks are expected to handle  the resource in a responsible and ethical manner. A user’s interest ceases when it invades the right of personal and/or institutional privacy; results in the destruction of personal and/or institutional property; demonstrates a potential for loss, embarrassment, litigation to the individual and/or institution; or causes a limited resource to be used in a wasteful or careless manner.

All information processed through Computer Services is considered sensitive and/or confidential. The responsibility for the release or discussion of data is assigned to the official custodian of the data file(s). Access to information is based on a legitimate “need to know” and directly related to assigned duties.

University electronically maintained data, data files, software, and networks will be used for authorized purposes only. Users are responsible for the security of the resources.

Any use of the resource deemed irresponsible or unethical (as defined in the Faculty Handbook section 1.10.1) will result in the immediate denial of use of the resource. The violation will be referred to the proper authorities for disciplinary and/or legal action including, but not limited to, restitution, restriction, reprimand, suspension, probation, expulsion, termination, and, if necessary, legal action.

Appeals will be handled through due process channels (APA) already established for students and/or staff. Student violations will be referred to the Vice President for Student Affairs and/or Vice President for Health Affairs; faculty violations will be referred to the Vice President for Academic Affairs and/or the Vice President for Health Affairs; and staff violations will be referred to the Vice President for Finance and Administration.

The following examples attempt to convey the intent of irresponsible and/or unethical use: violation of Federal/State copyright laws; violation of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974; use of the resource for obscene material; deliberate wasteful use of the resource, unauthorized altering of hardware, software, or data; piracy of data or software belonging to another person; or careless use of the resource which may result in the release of restricted information.

Computer Network and Internet Access: Privileges & Responsibilities

East Tennessee State University (ETSU) operates a wide-area network that interconnects local area networks in academic and administrative offices, student computer labs, and in the future dormitory rooms. The university maintains connections into the Tennessee Education Cooperative Network (TECnet), the Internet and the World Wide Web. Thus, the university’s network is a part of the global network that provides access to information and information processing technologies. By having access to the university’s network and its resources, students, faculty, and staff can communicate and collaborate among themselves and their counterparts throughout the world. This privilege carries with it responsibilities with which all users must comply.

Everyone within the ETSU community who uses networked computing and communications facilities has the responsibility to use them in an ethical, professional and legal manner, and to abide by TECnet policies. Users should respect the privacy rights of others. ETSU’s facilities and network access capabilities should never be used for purposes intended to incite crime. Communications which violate Tennessee, federal, or international law are not acceptable. For example, the use of ETSU’s computer and network resources to threaten or harass others or the misrepresentation of one’s identity in electronic communications for the purpose of illegal or unauthorized actions or activities will not be tolerated.

These statements concerning responsibility are not meant to be exhaustive. Any questionable use should be considered “not acceptable.” Serious or repeated instances of abuse will be referred to the proper authority for disciplinary or legal action.

**WARNING** Any person who knowingly brings on campus, has in their possession or distributes any virus without the authorization and written permission of the Division of Information Resources, will be considered to be in violation of the above and will be vigorously prosecuted. **Campus** is defined to include any property owned, leased, maintained or controlled by ETSU and includes any site or area where any system owned, leased, operated and/or maintained by ETSU is housed.

NOTICE TO USERS: It is the policy of East Tennessee State University to protect all institutional computing resources including, but not limited to,  hardware and software, consisting of the actual equipment being supplied by the university as well as the programs and related materials used in conjunction therewith. In accordance with local, state, and federal law, indiscriminate examination of individual user’s files is not permitted, nonetheless as a means of maintaining the integrity and security of those aforementioned resources.

East Tennessee State University retains the right to inspect individual accounts and files stored on any system owned, maintained and/or leased by said university. While no prior authorization by individual users is required to inspect those files and accounts, the user is, by virtue of accepting the account offered by ETSU and “logging” on to its computing equipment, granting to the university prior unrestricted permission, subject to university policy, to review,examine and/or otherwise view, by any method at the sole discretion of the university and without any additional advance notice to said user, any account and/or file stored on university computer resources.

Should such a review take place, the user will be given notice, as a courtesy only, of the results of said review within a reasonable time after the review is completed. While use of university computing resources for personal use is strictly forbidden, should the user have materials for which he/she has any reasonable expectation of privacy or which the user considers to be confidential for any reason, the user should retain those materials on a disk which can be secured as would any other personal items or materials which one consider private in nature.

For such a policy to work, it is essential that users observe responsible and ethical behavior in the use of the resources. In an effort to assist the user community in effective use of the limited computer resources, it seems reasonable to highlight some specific responsibilities and types of behavior that represent abuse of a user’s privilege. The examples do not constitute a complete list but are intended to convey the intent of the code.

Users should not damage or attempt to damage computer equipment or to modify or attempt to modify equipment so that it does not function as originally intended. It is equally wrong to damage or modify or attempt to damage or modify the software components: operating systems, compilers, utility routines, etc.

Users should not use or attempt to use an account without authorization from the owner of that account. Users have the responsibility of  protecting their accounts through the proper use of passwords, but the fact that an account is unprotected does not imply permission for an unauthorized person to use it. Further, accounts are to be used only for the purposes for which they have been established. [Only the individual owner of an account is authorized to use that account. Providing passwords or in any way permitting or making it possible for anyone other than the authorized owner of the account to use computer resources is not authorized and may be a violation of Tennessee Law. Under this condition both the owner and the unauthorized user may be subject to legal action if determined to be appropriate by ETSU legal counsel.] Additionally, it is wrong to use a university-sponsored account for funded research, personal business, or consulting activities. There are special accounts for such purposes.

Users should not use private files without authorization. Owners of such files should take precautions and use the security mechanisms available. However, the fact that a file is not protected does not make it right for anyone to access it, unless it is specifically designed as a public access file. It is equally wrong for anyone to change or delete a file that belongs to anyone else without authorization. Violation of property rights and copyrights covering data, computer programs, and documentation is also wrong. In the event of accidental access of private files, confidentiality of those files must be maintained.

Any deliberate wasteful use of resources is irresponsible; it encroaches on others’ use of facilities and deprives them of resources. Printing of large unnecessary listings and the playing of games solely for entertainment are examples of such abuse. Users are expected to be aware of the resources they are using and to make reasonable efforts to use these resources efficiently.

All state and federal copyright laws will be abided by at all times. Users must not copy any part of a copyrighted program or its documentation which would be in violation of the law or the licensing agreement without written and specific permissions of the copyright holder.

Serious or repeated instances of abuse of computer facilities and resources will be referred to the proper authorities for disciplinary or legal action including, but not limited to, restitution, restrictions, reprimand, suspension, probation, expulsion, or termination.

Computer Services

ETSU provides a wide range of computer resources in support of instruction, research, administration, and public service. The administrative systems utilize a VAX 6520 under the VMS operating system. The academic mainframe is an IBM ES/ 9000 model 190 with a VM operating system and utilizing the Conversational Monitoring System (CMS). A vector processor and a number of compilers and software packages are available, including SPSS, SAS, FORTRAN, and PASCAL. Student access to the academic system in support of classroom assignments is available in the microcomputer labs.