Regular class attendance is required. Instructors shall have the right to stipulate attendance requirements within the first two weeks of the semester and to indicate the penalties that may result from failure to comply with these requirements.
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The ideals and practices of Conservative Judaism are an integral part of the lifestyle and program of The Rabbinical School. All students in The Rabbinical School are expected to be committed to and live an observant Jewish Life as described in the document, "Norms of Religious Identity and Practice." Standards of personal and professional conduct and interpersonal relations are a significant part of the tradition to which the school is committed. Accordingly, the dean of the Rabbinical School reserves the right to deny admission, registration, readmission or ordination to any student who in the judgment of The Rabbinical School faculty committee is determined to be unsuitable to the profession of the rabbinate.
Letter grades indicate the following: A, excellent; B, good; C, fair; D, poor; F, failure; R, auditor. No credit will be given for grades of D+ or lower.
A letter grade is assigned for each course unless: (a) it is indicated at registration that a course will be graded only on a Pass-D-Fail basis, or (b) a request for Pass-D-Fail grading is submitted in accordance with the procedure outlined below.
Fourth- and fifth-year students may register for a maximum of two Pass-D-Fail grades for elective courses per semester.
Students electing to take courses on a Pass-D-Fail basis must indicate their preference at registration or on the appropriate form, which must be submitted to the Office of the Registrar no later than two weeks after the first day of classes, the exact date to be indicated on the academic calendar. After this date, students may not alter the basis on which they have registered for their courses that semester.
Instructors will not be informed which students have elected to take their courses on a Pass-D-Fail basis. At the end of the semester, the instructor will submit letter grades for each student; the registrar will transcribe letter grades for students who requested a Pass-D-Fail option as follows:
The grade of R will indicate that a student has registered for the course as an auditor and agreed to do all course work except a written paper and/or final examination. Such a course will neither yield academic credits nor meet departmental requirements in The Rabbinical School.
Once a grade has been received in the Registrar's Office, it may be changed by the course instructor only upon written application by the instructor to the dean. The dean's approval is required.
A process of evaluation has been established for the purpose of supporting students in their quest for the rabbinate, as well as for determining who may no longer be appropriate for the program. This evaluation takes place at the end of year two and at the beginning of year four of the program. At the end of year two, a small committee consisting of one member of the Rabbinical School administration and one faculty member will meet with students individually to assess each student's academic progress, religious growth, and general response to his or her rabbinical studies. A more extensive review, consisting of written and/or oral examinations and a meeting with representatives of the faculty and administration, takes place at the beginning of year four.
The intent of these reviews is to highlight the progress of the individual student, direct the student toward areas where further growth is advised, and offer the student professional and academic guidance. Upon completion of the evaluation process for each student, a report with recommendations will be submitted by the review committee to the dean.
Any one of the following situations will result in academic probation:
The period of probation extends through the student's next semester of full-time status; however, the student can become subject to dismissal by receiving a grade lower than C- during a probationary semester even if only enrolled part-time. Courses may not be taken on a Pass-D-Fail basis during a probationary semester.
Students who receive grades of incomplete (I) should be aware that they may be placed on probation in the following semester depending on the resolution of the I.
A student on academic probation shall be restored to good standing if:
Semester grade point averages for purposes of academic probation shall be calculated according to the following numerical equivalents:
When calculating semester grade point averages for purposes of academic probation and restoration to good standing, all courses shall be given equal weight, irrespective of the number of credits assigned. As stated above, courses may not be taken on a Pass-D-Fail basis during the probationary semester. If, however, probation occurs retroactively, and courses have already been taken on a Pass-D-Fail basis, the dean shall determine whether the student should be restored to good standing on the basis of work done in the probationary semester. In the case of probationary semesters coinciding with the required year of study in Israel, the same rules shall generally apply, but in cases where grading policies result in any ambiguity, the dean's discretion shall be applied in the determination of whether good standing has been achieved.
A student who receives a grade of D+ or F in a probationary semester shall be subject to dismissal from the school. If a grade of I granted during the probationary semester becomes either D+ or F, the student is subject to immediate dismissal.
Under normal circumstances, no student can be on academic probation for more than two (even nonconsecutive) semesters during his or her career at The Rabbinical School. A student who is to go on academic probation for the third time faces dismissal. In addition, a student who goes on academic probation a second time loses eligibility for financial aid in the probationary semester.
The permanent transcript of a student will list each semester of academic probation.
Disciplinary procedures, including appeal procedures, are detailed in the Student Disciplinary Procedures Guide available in the Office of the Registrar.
A student who, for compelling reasons, finds it necessary to postpone submitting required course work may petition for the grade of incomplete (I). The student must obtain a Request for Incomplete form from the Office of the Registrar. This form must contain all information requested, including a description of the work to be completed and the due date. The form must be signed by the student, the instructor, and either a dean or adviser of students. The form should be returned to the Registrar's Office. The last day to request an incomplete and submit the form is indicated in the academic calendar.
All outstanding course work must be submitted to the Office of the Registrar no later than the date specified in the academic calendar. Generally, this date is six weeks from the end of the final examination period.
The registrar shall record that the work has been submitted and provide the student with a written receipt for the work received. A copy of the receipt should be brought to The Rabbinical School office. The registrar will transmit the completed work to the instructor. The student is advised to retain a copy of all work submitted to the Registrar's Office.
The grade of I shall remain on the student's transcript until a different grade has been submitted by the instructor.
If a student fails to submit the outstanding work to the Registrar's Office by the specified due date, the grade of I will be converted to the alternate letter grade previously submitted by the instructor. This alternate grade reflects the instructor's assessment of a student's performance, taking into account the fact that work is missing. Students should be aware that the missing work may have been counted as an F (or 0) in the computation of the final grade for the course.
In special circumstances, the dean has the authority to grant an extension for the submission of overdue work, as long as it is agreeable to the instructor. This extension must be sent in writing by the dean to the Registrar's Office.
Students may carry no more than one I on their transcript at any one time. Students carrying more than one I may not be permitted to register for subsequent semesters. Students may not request an I for any course during the semester of their ordination.
A student who, because of illness or personal emergency, cannot be present for a scheduled final examination must inform the Registrar's Office as soon as possible and indicate the reasons for the absence. The Registrar's Office will inform the instructor and the dean of the student's absence. The student must arrange with the instructor for a makeup examination if the student still cannot be present for the regularly scheduled makeup-examination day. The instructor will inform the Registrar's Office of the arrangement and provide the office with the exam so that it can be given to the student.
No student may make an advance request for an Incomplete for an in-class final examination. The student must take the makeup examination as soon as possible, but no later than the deadline—indicated on the academic calendar—for the completion of outstanding work.
With the permission of an adviser or dean, students may withdraw from a course by the date listed on the academic calendar. Students who discontinue attendance in a course but who fail to formally withdraw within the designated period will receive the letter grade earned, usually an F, for having completed only a portion of the class.
Students who wish to discontinue their studies temporarily may request a leave of absence. The dean may approve such requests for a period of two semesters and a possible extension for a maximum of two additional semesters. Students must register for a leave of absence each semester for which it applies and pay the appropriate fee until studies are resumed.