Academic Standards and Academic Advising FAQ for Faculty Advisers
Q. What can students petition?
A. Collegewide graduation requirements, college deadlines (including late registration, drops, withdrawals, and leaves), and late fees.
Q. How do they petition?
A. Students can download a petition from the Academic Standards website. Students should completely - and legibly – fill out the petition and support supporting documentation for their background statement. The length of time required to get a response varies based on how many people need to be involved in the decision-making process (through referrals) and if the petition needs to go to the monthly Academic Appeals Committee. Generally, petitions take 2 – 4 weeks to review.
Q. What are grounds for petitioning?
A. A student must document that an extenuating circumstance exists to support the approval of their request. Such circumstances include misadvisement by a college official, serious medical issue for the student or an immediate family member, death of an immediate family member, serious emotional stress, other serious/unusual circumstances.
Q. What is the faculty's role in the petition process?
A. Faculty members have multiple roles in the petition process. Their proactive role is to give current and accurate guidance to students about college policy and graduation requirements; this helps reduce the number of petitions submitted and supports timely graduation. Other roles include responding to petition referrals from the Academic Standards Office (on topics such as a student’s last day of attendance in a course or if the instructor supports the student’s request) and furnishing letters of support, where appropriate, for students to attach to their petitions (thereby eliminating the need for a referral and speeding the decision making process for the petition).
Q. How do academics impact financial aid?
A. A student must successfully complete two-thirds of all the courses they’ve taken at Buffalo State (alternately, they can’t fail, get incompletes, or withdraw from any more than a third of their courses) in order to be academically eligible to receive their federal aid (including loans). State aid (TAP) is dependent on semester specific guidelines of credit hours and cumulative grade point average. The TAP eligibility guidelines can be found on the Financial Aid Office’s website.
Q. What’s an academic adviser’s responsibility in regard to financial aid advisement?
A. You should simply be aware that a student’s registration and completion of courses may impact their aid for both the current and upcoming semesters. Advisers should have the following tag line on all of their advisement conversations: “And, you should check with the Financial Aid and Student Account Offices before you register (or change your registration).”
Q. What should I be checking as I advise students to ensure they don’t get a graduation deficiency letter?
A. You should be verifying that students have fulfilled all of their GEC, GE2K, or IF core requirements (with special attention to fulfilling List A and List B requirements, and/or the different prefix rule), the foreign language requirement, required hours of upper-division coursework, the minimum GPA needed to graduate, their residency credits, and – of course – all of their major requirements.
Q. Who should I call if I have questions about Academic Standards or advising?
A. You can call Heather Maldonado at x5222 with questions related to Academic Standards. Ask your department chair or Ron Smith (x6326) about advising.