Five Towns College 2023-2024 Catalog 
    Jun 22, 2024  
Five Towns College 2023-2024 Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Academic Information

Students are expected to achieve appropriate levels of academic performance, to be knowledgeable about prerequisites for admission to specific courses, and to be aware of graduation requirements and College codes, policies, procedures and regulations in the College’s official publications.

The Registrar’s Office is responsible for the registration of students and the maintenance of all academic records and credentials. Students should address all requests and/or petitions about matters of academic standing to the Academic Standards Committee.

Assignment of Credit Hour/Unit of Credit

The semester hour is the unit of credit used by Five Towns College. A credit hour is defined as requiring at least 15 hours (of 50 minutes each) of instruction and at least 30 hours of supplementary assignments over a 15-week semester. The manner in which the College defines a credit hour is consistent with the Regulations of the New York State Commissioner of Education and with standards promulgated by the United States Department of Education. See, 8 CRR – NY 50.1 (o).[1] See also, 34 CFR 600.2[2]

The College uses the following grading systems:

Undergraduate Grading System 
Grade Quality of Achievement Grade Points Quality Points
A Excellent 95 - 100 4.0
A-   90 - 94 3.7
B+   87 - 89 3.3
B Good 84 - 86 3.0
B-   80 - 83 2.7
C+   77 - 79 2.3
C Average 74 - 76 2.0
C-   70 - 73 1.7
D+   65 - 69 1.3
D Passing 60 - 64 1.0
F Failure 0 - 59 0.0
FF Failure in a Pass/Fail Course - 0.0
WU Unofficial Withdrawal - 0.0
I Incomplete - -
W Official Withdrawal - -
W(C-19) Withdrawal due to COVID-19 (Spring 2020 Only) - -
P Passing - -
AU Audit (Not for Credit) - -
T Transfer Credit - -


Graduate Grading System
Grade Quality of Achievement Grade Points Quality Points
A Excellent 95 - 100 4.0
A- Good 90-94 3.7
B+   87- 89 3.3
B Good 84-86 3.0
B-   80-83 2.7
C+   77-79 2.3
C Passing 74-76 2.0
F Failing 0-73 0.0
WU Unofficial Withdrawal   0.0
I Incomplete    
W Official Withdrawal    
W(C19) Withdrawal due to COVID-19 (Spring 2020 Only)    
AU Audit (Not for Credit)    
T Transfer Credit    

Explanation of Withdrawal grades:

  • W - Issued when a student withdraws from a course with the permission of their Advisor on or before the last date of classes in the semester.
  • WU - Assigned by an Instructor if a student misses a final exam or is excessively absent. (impacts GPA and may affect SAP for Financial Aid).
  • W(C19) - Withdrawal due to COVID-19. Issued only during Spring 2020. (Does not impact Credits Attempted or GPA).

Quality Point System (or Grade Point Average)

Academic standing is based on the cumulative quality point index or grade point average (G.P.A.) determined by assigning a numerical value for each letter grade earned. For each semester, grades of A through F yield the quality points listed above. No other grades carry quality point values.

The G.P.A. for the semester is determined by dividing the number of quality points earned during the semester by the number of credit hours carried during the semester for all courses in which grades were received. The following example illustrates how the G.P.A. is determined for one semester.

Course Semester Hours Carried Grade Quality Points Semester Hours Earned Total Quality Points
AUD 101 3 B+ 3.34 3 10.02
ENG 101 3 A 4.0 3 12.00
PSY 101 3 C 2.0 3 6.00
CHE 111 3 C- 1.67 3 5.01
HIS 101 3 B 3.0 3 9.0
Total 15       42.03


GPA =  Quality Points Earned 42.03 = 2.80
  Semester Hours Carried 15  

In the example, 42.03 quality points divided by 15 credits attempted yields a semester G.P.A. of 2.80.

The cumulative G.P.A. is determined by dividing the total number of quality points earned by the total number of credit hours carried for all courses in which weighted grades were received.

Cumulative GPA =  Total Quality Points Earned
  Total Semester Hours Carried

Passing (P), failing (F), incomplete (I), and withdrawal (W and WA) grades are not computed in the G.P.A. When “I” grades are replaced by a permanent grade, the semester and cumulative G.P.A.’s are recomputed. Only grades earned for course work completed at Five Towns College are included in the computation of the G.P.A. G.P.A.’s are truncated, not rounded. For example, a 2.64666 mathematical computation means the student’s G.P.A. is 2.64.

In Progress (IP)

Students enrolled in MUS800 or MUS801 receive a Temporary Grade of IP-In Progress until completion of EDU653, at which time all previously issued instances of IP are changed to P-Pass by the Registrar.

Incomplete Grades (I)

An Incomplete “I” is a Temporary Grade, which may be given to a student when illness, necessary absence from the final exam, or other reason(s) beyond the control of the student prevent completion of course requirements by the end of the academic term. Incomplete grades must have the approval of the Instructor, Chairperson, and Provost.

Students with incomplete courses at the end of the semester must complete the course work prior to the start of the following semester. Failure to resolve the Incomplete grade will result in a failing grade. Responsibility for removing an “I” within this time limit rests with the student.

Incomplete grades may be given only in the following circumstances:

  • Attendance has been satisfactory through at least 60% of the semester;
  • An illness or other extenuating circumstance legitimately prevents completion of required work by the due date;
  • Required work may reasonably be completed in an agreed upon time frame;
  • The Incomplete is not being given as a substitute for a failing grade;
  • The Incomplete is not based solely on a student’s failure to complete work or as a means of raising his or her grade by doing additional work after the grade report time;
  • The student initiates the request for an Incomplete grade before the end of the academic term;
  • The instructor and student complete and submit the Incomplete Request Form before the end of the academic term;
  • In certain circumstances, the Instructor or another College Official may make the request on a student’s behalf; and

If the Instructor does not approve the Incomplete, the student may submit the request to the Provost who will render a final decision.

Grade Appeal Policy

For final grade appeals, the student must initiate the process no later than thirty (30) calendar days from the time student grades are posted by the Registrar’s Office at the end of each semester. Students are encouraged to meet with the instructor first. In the event that the student and the instructor do not confer, or the matter cannot be resolved through discussion, the student will next speak to the Chairperson. 

The Department/Division Chairperson will review the matter with the faculty member.  If the Chairperson and the faculty member agree about the appropriate grade, the faculty member will either change or retain the grade, and the student will be contacted. If satisfaction is not achieved at that level, then the student can appeal the grade in writing to the Academic Standards Committee.  The Committee, in cooperation with the Registrar, will secure all tests, papers, attendance records, grade breakdowns, and outlines before an outcome is decided.  The Committee will render a decision in writing, usually within ten (10) school days after the appeal is submitted. A Grade Change will only be accepted through the end of the following semester from when the class was taken.  After that time period, grades cannot be changed.

Official Email Notices

All Five Towns College students are provided with an official email address when they initially register for courses. Students are expected to check their official email box regularly for official notices and other important information from the College. Once the College has transmitted notifications to their email address, students are deemed to have been notified.

Make-Up Final Examinations

All requests for make-up of final examinations must be submitted in writing to the instructor for written approval. Should the instructor not be available, the Program Chairperson or the Provost may give their written approval. Such requests for make-up of final examinations should be submitted no later than one week after the date of the regular final examination. Permission to take a make-up examination is given only for compelling reasons, such as illness, a death in the family, or a breakdown in transportation.

Repeating Courses

Courses in which a grade of F, WU, W, D+, or D have been given may be repeated once without permission.  In such cases, the highest grade will be computed in the G.P.A. and the lower grades will remain on the transcript without credit or being computed in the cumulative G.P.A. Students who fail to earn a passing grade in a required course after two attempts or who withdraw from a required course twice may be required to withdraw from a program of study. (See Financial Aid section for additional information.)


Beginning with Spring 2017 semester, matriculated undergraduate students who wish to take a course outside of their degree programs must register for the course as an Audit. This includes all ensemble and performance courses taken above the amount allowed in the student’s degree program.

Courses taken as an Audit do not earn academic credit and appear on the transcript with a grade of AU, which has no impact on the G.P.A.

In order to receive financial aid based on full-time status undergraduate students must register for at least 12 credits in addition to courses taken as an Audit.

Audit course registration is subject to the same policies and processes as all other course registrations. Students taking a course as an Audit are required to abide by all College, departmental, and course guidelines.

Audit courses are billed at the same tuition rate as all other courses and are subject to the same billing schedules for all other courses.

Independent Study

Students desirous of undertaking an independent study arrangement must receive the approval of the Chairperson and the Provost. A regular instructor at the College must be willing to enter into such an arrangement with the student in accordance with the guidelines in the Faculty Handbook. The fee for an Independent Study is $575.00 per course plus tuition.

Credit by Assessment

Credit by Assessment (CBA) is a method by which academic credit is awarded to recognize prior college-level learning. To be awarded CBA you must complete a comprehensive examination or other assessment(s) that encompass the stated objectives of the course.

CBA must be requested before you have completed 30 credits at the College and you must be able to demonstrate a significant record of accomplishment and competence in the subject matter. In addition, you must hold a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or better; be registered for a full-time credit load; and be approved by the Chair of the Division offering the course. Your Academic Advisor will work with you to determine your eligibility and arrange for the Chair to review your request.

Credit by Assessment may only be awarded with the permission of the Provost. In addition, if approved, the student must successfully complete one of the following examinations, with a minimum score as shall be determined by the Provost:

  • Credit by Assessment 

The student must be able to demonstrate competence by successfully completing, with a grade of B or better, a comprehensive examination administered by the faculty, which encompasses the stated objectives of the subject course. There is a $75 + 1/3 credit fee for the administrative cost of these comprehensive examinations. Students who pass such an examination shall be charged one-third of the regular tuition for credits earned in this manner.

  • Excelsior College Examination

Successfully complete an Excelsior College Examination (ECE). Excelsior College Examinations are available in business, education, health, liberal arts and sciences, and nursing. Learn more about Excelsior College Examinations at

  • College-Level Examination Program (CLEP)

CLEP offers five general examinations in English Composition, Humanities, Mathematics, Natural Sciences, and Social Sciences and History, which validate non-traditional learning equal to what is usually taught during the first year of college. Five Towns College may award transfer credit for CLEP scores of 50 or higher, when such an award is appropriate to the degree program being pursued at Five Towns College. Learn more about CLEP at

Advanced Placement (AP) Examinations

Students may be eligible for credit for Advanced Placement (AP) examinations for which a grade of three (3) or better has been achieved. Examinations are administered to high school students in more than a dozen different college subjects. Prospective students who have taken AP examinations must provide the College with official score reports sent from the College Board to the Admissions Office during the admissions process. The College will consider requests for AP credit only when made by new students for examinations taken prior to matriculation. AP credit is not awarded to students after they have matriculated.

Substitution/Waiver Policy

Students may request permission to substitute a degree program requirement. Approval of such a request is generally limited to situations where the substitute course contains the same or similar learning objectives as that offered by the required course, or where the application of a specific policy causes an unreasonable hardship with limited educational benefit. Course substitutions of other degree program requirements may also be requested in order to accommodate a documented learning disability. In order to process a substitution or waiver request, the student must complete an Academic Waiver/Course Substitution Request form, have it signed by his/her Academic Advisor, reviewed and approved by the Chair, and then returned to the Registrar’s Office together with supporting documentation. Requests of this nature may be approved solely at the discretion of the College, in the exercise of its educational judgment.

Academic Probation and Dismissal Policy

A student is placed on academic probation and may be dismissed if the student fails to maintain a Cumulative Grade Point average (CGPA) of 2.0 or does not earn the proper percent of attempted credits in the term. (See the section of Financial Aid in this College Catalog regarding the criteria that must be met in connection with the Federal regulations for Satisfactory Academic Progress.)

If a student is placed on academic probation, they may not hold appointed or elected offices in any student organization, may not participate in intercollegiate athletic competition, and may not carry an overload of credits during the probationary term.

If a student is placed on academic probation, they must follow the academic plan during the probationary term to bring the CGPA to the minimum standards stated.


A dismissal may occur at the end of one probationary term. Dismissals may be imposed on a student for the following situations:

  • Fails to follow the academic plan and attain a satisfactory GPA.
  • Chronically withdrawing from courses and does not make academic progress. (See the Financial Aid section in this College Catalog for information about the College’s Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress policy.)

An academically dismissed student may be reviewed for readmission to Five Towns College after the absence of one Fall/Spring semester.

Academic Dismissal Appeal

A student may appeal the academic dismissal decision or opt to resign from the College. To appeal an academic dismissal, a student must submit a completed Student Appeal Form to the Academic Standards Committee. The student’s record is reviewed and a decision is made regarding eligibility and conditions of return. Returning to the College is not automatic and does not establish student eligibility for financial aid.

Final Dismissal

A student will be dismissed a second and final time if they are granted readmittance after the first dismissal and fails to achieve a satisfactory Cumulative Grade Point average (CGPA) after the next term (semester). If dismissed a second time the student may not reapply.

Withdrawal from Courses

Students who find it necessary to withdraw from a course or courses are required to notify their academic advisors, secure their approval, and complete all necessary forms to the Registrar’s Office. Students may withdraw from courses without academic penalty up until the last day of regular class, not including the final examination period. During this time period, they will receive a “W,” which is not computed in the grade point average.

A student who has not filed an official Withdrawal Form and who has been excessively absent will be assigned a grade of “WU” (Unofficial Withdrawal), which is equivalent to an “F” grade.

Academic Resignation

Students who are subject to academic dismissal are so notified by the Academic Standards Committee and may elect to resign from the College in advance of an appeal. A student choosing this option will waive his or her right to appeal their academic standing and/or any course grade not already under appeal by the end of the semester in which they become subject to academic dismissal. Upon resignation, the College will remove all indication of academic dismissal or academic dismissal pending from its transcript records. Any resigned student who later seeks readmission to Five Towns College may be subject to additional conditions when they return (see, Readmission). Complete information on the process for dismissal, appeal, and resignation is available from the Registrar’s Office.

Students who choose neither to resign nor appeal their dismissals, students whose appeals are denied, and students who fail to meet the conditions for reinstatement following appeals that are granted are formally dismissed from the College. Such students are required to complete all exit procedures as specified by the College Registrar, in order to avoid being refused readmission at a later date or having a hold placed on their academic records.

Time Limitation

Students whose cumulative Grade Point Average falls below 2.0 and/or who do not earn 67% of the credits and equated credits they attempt in any semester will be placed on probation and may be limited to no more than 12 credits per semester, or academically dismissed from the College. Students will be removed from probation upon attaining the required G.P.A. and/or the required completion rate.

Students who do not attain the minimum 2.0 G.P.A. are not making satisfactory academic progress. Such students are subject to dismissal unless an appeal is granted.

A minimum cumulative G.P.A. of 2.0 is required for graduation. The College reserves the right to require the withdrawal of any student who, in the opinion of faculty, is not working to their full academic potential. Probation and/or Dismissed Status is noted on Official College Transcripts.


Five Towns College operates as a single-session institution and schedules classes accordingly. Classes may be scheduled to meet at any time between 7:30 a.m. and 9 p.m., and on any day or days Monday – Friday as the Registrar shall determine. It is the expectation of the College that students shall be available for courses at any such time, and that all students will be required to attend classes in order to meet the degree program and financial aid eligibility requirements of full-time students. Students who attend part-time do so with the understanding that class schedules are prepared by the Registrar to meet the needs of full-time students only. Part-time students are expected to adjust their personal schedules to conform to the class schedules offered by the College. When necessary, Five Towns College reserves the right to schedule or reschedule any class session out of this block; at night, on weekends, or over a holiday; when such action is necessary to make-up seat time due to the unexpected cancellation of classes due to a weather or other emergency.

When at least one section of a required class is scheduled during the normal block as defined herein, additional sections of the same required class may be scheduled out of block, such as on weekends.

Full-time students have no expectation that they will be able to pursue a degree program on a schedule that is less than four days per week, even if the schedule of classes may have afforded them that opportunity in any one or more semesters. Students seeking the most convenient schedules that meet their personal circumstances are encouraged to register and re-register for classes as early as possible.

Attendance Policy

Each student is expected to attend classes regularly to achieve the maximum benefit from the educational program. He or she is responsible for all class work missed regardless of the reason(s) for absence. Excessive, unexplained absence will result in a lowered grade, especially when it affects participation in class activities. Absence from more than twenty percent (20%) of class meetings in a course may result in a failing grade.

All students are required to post attendance in each class for which they are registered during the first two weeks of classes. Students will be dropped from the official roster of any class in which they fail to meet this requirement.

Thereafter, students are expected to regularly attend all classes. Students may be administratively withdrawn from any class that they fail to attend more than two consecutive weeks (not including holidays or other standard periods of non-enrollment), unless they have informed the College in writing of the circumstances that require their absence for a longer period.  To be considered for reinstatement, the student must present the required information to the Dean of Students.

Online Education Attendance Policy

Asynchronous Courses: For online courses that do not require specific meeting times, weekly attendance is determined based upon the weekly completion and submission of a required course assignment or discussion post or exam/quiz in the LMS. Submissions made in a specific week will earn attendance for that week.

Synchronous Courses: For online courses that require specified synchronous meeting times, attendance is determined based on real-time attendance during those times listed on semester course schedule. Assignment submissions or exams/quizzes will not earn a student attendance. ​

Hybrid Courses: For courses that require both on-campus and online participation, weekly attendance is determined by student attendance at on-campus class sessions. Assignment submission or attending a virtual meeting will not earn a student attendance. Only in instances where on-campus meetings are paused or cancelled, attendance will be based upon the weekly completion and submission of a required course assignment in the LMS.

Last Day of Attendance

The Last Day of Attendance (LDA) is the last date of documented class attendance by a student. Students who fail to return to the College following an approved Leave of Absence or are withdrawn for failure to attend classes, will be withdrawn as of their LDA.

Date of Determination

Five Towns College monitors student attendance. Students who have not attended classes for a period of ten consecutive days without having notified the College of the reasons for an extended absence in accordance with the Attendance Policy are deemed to have unofficially withdrawn from the College. This is the Date of Determination. The College will then adjust the student’s tuition account in accordance with its published Refund Schedule and, in appropriate circumstances, make appropriate refunds and returns of government funds within 45 days thereafter.

Leave of Absence

Students who find themselves in an unforeseen situation and can no longer attend after the Drop/Add Period has ended may request a Financial Leave of Absence (FLOA). If approved, payments made on the FLOA semester will be accepted as payment for the return semester, which may be no more than 180 days following the last day of the FLOA semester.

The situations for which an FLOA will be approved are:

  • Student becomes medically incapacitated.
  • An original statement from a medical professional on letterhead or prescription paper is required and will be retained for the file.
  • If the student is not physically able to make the request, a member of his/her family or a medical professional can make the request on his/her behalf.
  • Student is called to active military duty.
  • Original orders should be brought to the Registrar’s Office – they will make a copy for the file and return the original to the student.
  • Student is called to extended Jury Duty.
  • An original statement from the court must be brought to the Registrar’s Office and will be retained for the file.

The Registrar will collect supporting documentation and review the student’s situation with the Academic Standards Committee. The decision of the Committee is final.

In order to be considered for an FLOA a student must:

  • Have successfully completed at least one full-time semester at the College;
  • hold a cumulative GPA of at least a 2.0 (Good Academic Standing);
  • be in good financial standing with the Bursar’s Office; and be able to return to the College within 180 days of the end of the FLOA semester.

Students electing an FLOA must register for the same courses in the next semester.

If the courses are not offered; if the student no longer wishes to take those courses; or if the student does not return in the next semester, the agreement will be voided and the student may be financially liable and/or may have forfeited any loan deferment period as the courses will be withdrawn using the student’s last date of attendance. The Financial Aid Office can counsel students on the potential impacts.

Grievance Procedure

Generally, as pertains to students/employees, and the Five Towns College Code of Conduct, a grievance is defined as a charge that a student/employee believes they have been adversely affected in a direct, personal, and material way by a decision or action of another individual. Such a dispute may involve another student, faculty, or a staff member. There are two ways to resolve a grievance-informally and formally.


A student/employee who believes he or she has been personally aggrieved by a staff or faculty member in a matter dealing with his/her coursework or the carrying out of a College regulation should first seek to resolve the problem through discussion or email with the individual involved. If speaking with the individual, i.e. staff or faculty, does not bring a resolution, students/employees are encouraged to contact the Department/Division Chair. Should further assistance be needed, the Dean of Students Office should be consulted.


Failing a resolution of the matter informally, the student/employee may then file a formal complaint with the Dean of Students Office. The Dean of Students, Associate Dean of Students/Director of Residence Life, or appropriate designee will investigate this complaint. The student/employee may be asked to provide additional information and/or the results of such investigation will be forwarded to the complainant.

Students/employees are assured that no adverse action will be taken as a result of filing a complaint. If the student/employee remains dissatisfied with the decision reached at this level, they may appeal within three (3) days to the Provost or their designee for redress. In some instances, depending on the nature of the grievance, the Provost or their designee has the discretion to assemble a panel of three members, including staff, faculty or students to review the facts, informal decision, and may request additional investigation, hearing, or supplemental documentation. In any event, the decision of the Provost or their designee, including panel, is final.

If there is a vacancy in any of these positions, the grievance shall be filed with the next level institutional official. Grievances against the President shall be filed in writing directly with the Provost or designee, who shall forward such grievances to the FTC Board of Trustees to avoid any conflict of interest.

All other formal complaints in the form of Incident Reports should be filed through the Public Safety Office. Depending on the nature of the grievance, the above procedures will be followed. If the alleged complaint potentially falls under the ambit of Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 or the N. Y. S. Education Law, Article 129-B, or the N.Y.S. Sexual Harassment Prevention law, the particular policies and procedures adopted and promulgated thereunder by the College will take precedence and be followed. In such instance, the matter will be forwarded to the attention of the Five Towns College Title IX Coordinator. The FTC Sexual Misconduct Policies and Procedures are located here: and

Further information about informal/formal procedures are stated in the Five Towns College Student Handbook, page 29.

Student Complaint Policy

A Student Complaint relates to an incident, concern, or institutional process at the College that does not necessarily fall under the definition of a grievance as stated above but is a matter of fact that a student would like to present for administrative attention. Should a student have a particular concern related to their enrollment at the college, they should complete a “Student Complaint Form” in the Dean of Students Office and/or complete the form online and submit to [email protected]. The online form is available here:

Within a reasonable time-frame, college personnel will explore the concern and attempt a resolution; any modifications and/or improvements made as a result of information obtained in handling such complaint(s) will be noted. Upon resolution, the Dean of Students Office will complete the complaint procedure by noting what action was taken and that it was resolved on the Student Complaint Form. Further, the Dean of Students Office maintains the Student Complaint log and is charged with enforcing this process.

Student Conduct

I.D. Cards

Five Towns College seeks to provide a safe and secure campus. All members of the College community are required to display a valid Five Towns College identification card while on campus, and to present it to College officials upon request. While in residence halls, students are merely required to have an I.D. card in their possession. If the most recently issued ID card becomes unusable due to normal wear and tear, it will be replaced at no charge. If for any other reason an ID card needs to be replaced, there is a $25.00 non-refundable ID card replacement fee.

Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972

In compliance with Title VI and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Age Discrimination Act of 1975 and other federal, state and local laws, and in accordance with institutional values, Five Towns College does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, creed, national or ethnic origin, sexual orientation, age or disability in the administration of any of its educational programs and activities or in its employment practices. Five Towns College does not discriminate on the basis of alienage or citizenship status, gender (including gender identity), marital partnership status, military status, predisposing genetic characteristics or domestic violence victim status in its employment practices. Further, in accordance with Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Five Towns College does not discriminate on the basis of sex in its educational programs, activities or employment practices.

Five Towns College students and community are required to adhere to the provisions, policies and procedures adopted by the College under this statute. Please refer to the College’s website for the full policies adopted by the College related to Title IX located here:

NYS Education Law Article 129-B: Sexual Assault, Dating Violence, Domestic Violence and Stalking Prevention and Response Policy

Five Towns College has adopted and implemented the regulations under Article 129-B of the N.Y.S. Education Law. The full policy statement is published by the College in its Student Handbook and on its website. Students are responsible for knowing and abiding by this policy statement. Go to and for the Sexual Misconduct Grievance policies and procedures. Also, this information is available in the Student Handbook and should be reviewed.

N.Y.S. Sexual Harassment Prevention Policy Pursuant to Section 201-G of the Labor Law

Five Towns College is committed to maintaining a workplace free from sexual harassment. Sexual harassment is a form of workplace discrimination. Five Towns College has a zero-tolerance policy for any form of sexual harassment, and all employees are required to work in a manner that prevents sexual harassment in the workplace. This Policy is one component of Five Towns College’s commitment to a discrimination-free work environment. This entire policy is located online here:


Official transcripts are released only at the written permission of the student. Official transcripts may be mailed to outside parties only and cannot be faxed or emailed. The student’s signature must be included on the request, which may be delivered, faxed, emailed, or mailed to the Office of the Registrar.

Unofficial transcripts, ones that do not bear the signature of the Registrar, are available at no cost. Official Transcripts, bearing the seal of the College and the signature of the Registrar, cost a nominal fee of $10.00 per transcript. Payment is due at time of request.

Transcript Notation Policy

Pursuant to New York State Education Law Article 129B, §644, for crimes of violence, including, but not limited to sexual violence (defined as crimes that meet the reporting requirements pursuant to the federal Clery Act established in 20 U.S.C. 109 et seq.), it is the policy of Five Towns College to make a notation on the official transcripts of students found responsible, after a conduct process, that they were “suspended after a finding of responsibility for a code of conduct violation” or were “expelled after a finding of responsibility for a code of conduct violation.” For a student-respondent who withdraws from the institution while such conduct charges are pending, and declines to complete the disciplinary process, Five Towns College will make a notation on the transcript of such students that they “withdrew with conduct charges pending.”

Students and former students seeking a review of a Transcript Notation decision or seeking to appeal therefrom, must adhere to the process for disciplinary appeals, as set forth in the Five Towns College Student Handbook. Unless such transcript notation decision is vacated, applications to have notations of “suspension” removed rest with the discretion of the College Provost or her designee; but, shall not be granted prior to one year following the conclusion of the suspension. Unless the decision is vacated, applications to have notation of “expulsion” removed shall not be granted.

Further, it is the policy of Five Towns College to publish this Transcript Notation Policy in both the College Catalog and Student Handbook.

Replacement Diploma

A lost or damaged diploma will be replaced for a $50.00 fee when you submit a request for a replacement diploma. If possible, please enclose the damaged diploma along with your application.

A replacement diploma is not the same as an original. A replacement diploma is printed with the original graduation date, but with the current Dean’s and President’s signatures.

Student Records and Rights under the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)

Five Towns College fully complies with the federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). The purpose of the Act is to protect the rights of students and to insure the privacy and accuracy of education records. Generally, students have the right to inspect and review certain of their education records within 45 days of the day the College receives a request for access. A student has the right to request amendment of education records that they believe are inaccurate or misleading. Also, FERPA gives a student the right to consent to disclosures of personally identifiable information contained in his/her education records, except to the extent that the law authorizes disclosure without consent.

FERPA permits the release of directory-type information without the written consent of the student, provided that the student has been given the opportunity to withhold such disclosure. Five Towns College considers the following to be directory-type information: name, email address, address and telephone number (both local and permanent), and date and place of birth, major field of study, participation in officially recognized activities, dates of attendance; degrees and awards received, the most recent previous educational institution attended by a student, student level, and full/part-time status. Students who do not want this information released must give written notification to the Office of the Registrar’s Office.

The United States Department of Education permits students the right to file a complaint if they believe a college has failed to comply with FERPA. The College provides annual notification to students of their rights under FERPA each year in the College’s catalog and on the College website. In addition, more information about FERPA is available in the Office of the Registrar.

Full-Time Status and Course Load

Unless otherwise specified in writing in the offer of admission to the College, all students are admitted as full-time students. Students are required to maintain their full-time status and make progress towards graduation in accordance with the Standards of Satisfactory Academic Progress, as set forth in this Catalog. Students who wish to register for more than the number of credits contained in the Recommended Sequence of Courses must obtain permission in advance, unless they have a cumulative G.P.A. of 3.0 or are registering for their final semester. This regulation does not apply to one (1) credit Performance Ensembles. Full-time students will not be permitted to reduce their course load to part-time without the prior permission of the College Provost, except in their last semester.

Students who need to interrupt their studies or reduce their course loads for any length of time may only do so pursuant to an approved Leave of Absence. Students who interrupt their studies without having first obtained a Leave of Absence may forfeit their matriculated status with the College. Resident students are required to maintain full-time status, except in their last semester.

Transfer of Credit Policy

Generally, the Registrar evaluates credit earned at other institutions soon after admission. To be eligible, official transcripts from all post-secondary institutions previously attended must be received before students have completed their first semester. For credit earned through traditional classroom work, evaluation is conducted on a course-by-course basis for all work in which grades of C or above have been earned. Generally, the College does not accept credits which are older than ten years, except when they are the basis of an earned degree and the prospective student is transferring up to a higher level, or were earned by a prospective student seeking admission through the ACE pathway and were evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

Five Towns College routinely accepts credit from regionally accredited institutions of higher education. The College will also accept credits earned at institutions which are not regionally accredited on a case-by-case basis. In these instances, students must also furnish the College with a copy of the course description for each course they seek to transfer, a copy of the transferring institution’s catalog, and such other information as may be reasonably necessary to determine course equivalency.

Once matriculated at Five Towns College, students do not have the right to transfer credits to the institution, except as set forth herein. An undergraduate student who seeks to transfer credit from another institution after matriculation at Five Towns College must request approval in advance. Students should file a written request for permission to take courses at another institution with the Registrar at least six (6) weeks in advance. Such a request should contain the rationale for taking courses at another institution, as well as the course descriptions as published by the school the student wishes to attend. No credit will be transferred without prior approval, nor will credit be transferred for coursework with a grade below a C.

Credit may be available for courses sponsored by organizations that are recommended in the Guide to Educational Programs in Non-Collegiate Organizations of the State University of New York. The decision to award credit in such cases may be determined by the Dean of Academic Affairs or the Registrar.

The decision to award transfer credit by any college or university is done solely in the discretion of the receiving institution. Five Towns College makes no representation or warranty that transfer credit for any work completed at this institution will be accepted by another college or university in fulfillment of their degree program requirements.

Graduate Credits for Bachelor’s Degree

Qualified seniors (those with a 3.25 or higher cumulative G.P.A.) may take graduate courses at the undergraduate tuition rate to complete the requirements for a bachelor’s degree. A qualified student must have his/her advisor’s and Division Chair’s approval at the time of registration. The credits earned in these courses may not subsequently be applied toward graduate study. 

Graduate courses require a significant increase in student effort hours. They include, but are not limited to, more rigorous, expansive and demanding research projects and papers than courses taken for undergraduate credit.

Articulation Agreements

The College has several Articulation Agreements with other institutions. These agreements facilitate the acknowledgement of credits that align with programmatic academic offerings of the College. To learn more about this, go to and read about Transfer of Credit Policies and Articulation Agreements.

Residency Requirement

Students must complete their last 30 credits in residence in order to be eligible for an Associate’s Degree or 60 credits for a Baccalaureate Degree.

Freshman Standing

A student who has earned 0 to 29 credits toward the degree program in which they are matriculated has Freshman standing.

Sophomore Standing 

A student who has earned 30 to 59 credits toward the degree program in which they are matriculated has Sophomore standing.

Junior Standing

A student who has earned 60 to 89 credits towards the degree program in which they are matriculated has Junior standing.

Senior Standing

A student who has earned 90 or more credits towards the degree program in which they are matriculated has Senior standing.

Graduate Student

A master’s degree candidate who has already earned a baccalaureate degree and is enrolled in classes at the 500 level or higher is a graduate student.

Doctoral Student

A student who has earned a master’s degree and has been accepted for matriculation into a program of study leading to the Doctor of Musical Arts (D.M.A.) degree is a Doctoral student. A Doctoral Candidate is a doctoral student who has completed all of their coursework and has moved into the candidacy phase with an accepted dissertation proposal. Students will pay a Doctoral Advisement Fee of $500.00 per semester.

First-Time Freshman

A student who begins his or her college education at Five Towns College having never attended another institution of higher education, regardless of whether or not they may have advanced standing due to AP or similar credits earned prior to high school graduation, is a First-Time Freshman. Used primarily for statistical analysis.

Transfer Student

Five Towns College welcomes transfer students, who come to the College after attending or graduating from two-year colleges, or after they have had a change of heart or change of interest from a four-year school. Transfer students who have encountered academic obstacles or other challenges are encouraged to apply, provided that they are now ready to resume their education with seriousness and purpose.

Approximately 37% of new students who entered the College for the Fall 2019 were transfer students. Of these students, the mean cumulative grade point average earned at prior schools was 2.7. 42% of transfer students presented a mean cumulative G.P.A. between 3.0 and 4.0. 41% presented a mean cumulative G.P.A. between 2.0 and 2.9.  Just 15% presented a G.P.A. below 2.0, indicating they may have struggled academically at their former institutions. 

For the Fall 2019 semester, students transferred to Five Towns College from more than 50 colleges across the nation, including large public and private universities and small liberal arts institutions.  The former institutions represented by the entering transfer students of 2019 include Nassau and Suffolk County Community Colleges, New York Institute of Technology, LIU – C.W. Post, Albright College, Molloy College, St. John’s University, SUNY Albany, Full Sail University, and CUNY, among others.

Maximum Timeframe

Five Towns College has established that the maximum time for program completion by any undergraduate student is 150% of the normally allotted time. Thus, the maximum time for a full-time student’s seeking to complete an associate degree is six semesters, and twelve semesters for a bachelor degree.

Despite this maximum timeframe, the College encourages students to complete programs of study in the normal (100%) timeframe. This is typically four semesters for an associate degree and eight for a bachelor’s degree. To do this, the College offers all classes needed by students to adhere to the Recommended Sequence of Courses each semester, and guarantees that when a student adheres to that that Sequence and re-registers on-time, that such courses will be available. Typically, this requires that students carry not less than 15 credits every semester.

In addition, the College adopts policies that encourage on-time graduation. These include the offering of winter (J-Term) and summer terms; time limits on scholarships, grants, and the renewal thereof; loss of eligibility for financial support to those who delay on-time completion without permission; and a close alignment between the number of credits required to advance in class standing and the pace necessary for on-time completion. Students are advised to confer with their advisor and the financial aid office prior to reducing their course loads below those listed in the recommended Sequence of Content which in nearly all cases is not less than 15 credits per semester.

Student Learning Assessment

The College recognizes that grades earned by students for completing coursework are composite scores that reflect student efforts in a wide range of course-based initiatives assigned by faculty members each semester.

As it fulfills its mission, goals and objectives, the College also seeks to specifically assess student proficiencies (e.g., Written and Oral Communication) in a narrower range of course-based activities. The proficiencies that the College seeks to assess in this manner are more fully described in the Five Towns College Student Learning Assessment Plan, which is linked directly to the program-level mission and goals.

Before entering into any program of study, students should familiarize themselves with the Mission and Goals of the College, as well as the Mission and Goals of each program of study they plan to pursue. The Five Towns College Student Learning Assessment Plan is available in the College Library.

Instructional Technology

The College utilizes a variety of instructional technology applications in the delivery of its educational programs and services. Nearly all courses utilize a hybrid instructional approach that blends traditional teaching methods with online technologies. Not only does this hybrid approach improve the quality of the academic program, but it helps develop in students the knowledge, skills, and dispositions necessary to engage in lifelong learning. To meet this through the end of the Spring 2021 semester, the College couples the Schoology Learning Management System with Smart Board Technologies in its classrooms, while electronic portfolios are maintained in PASS-PORT by Innovative Learning Assessment Technologies. Beginning with the Summer 2021 semester, the College will transition its Learning Management system to Campus Café/Canvas with electronic portfolio by Portfolium.

Graduation Requirements

Students seeking to graduate from the College are required to file a Graduation Application prior to registration for their last semester of study. Upon the filing of a completed Application, the Registrar will undertake an audit of the student’s academic records to ensure that:

  • The prospective graduate is matriculated in the subject degree program, and that all required documentation necessary to establish matriculation is on file. This includes official high school, college and or transfer college transcripts, as required in each case.
  • All required coursework and other degree program requirements have been satisfied or can be satisfied in the final semester. This includes a credit analysis for distribution and residency requirements, senior projects, music juries and recitals, student teaching experiences, and such other degree program requirements established by the faculty from time-to-time.
  • The minimum required cumulative Grade Point Average has been achieved, which in all cases will be not less than 2.0 and, in the case of education and graduate degree candidates, 3.0.

A Degree Audit Fee of $75.00 will be applied to your student account when the application is submitted to the Registrar’s Office. An additional $25.00 fee will be charged to students who submit a late Graduation Application.

Graduation Ceremony

The College holds commencement exercises once each year, typically near the end of May or early June. Students are not required to participate in the ceremony to be certified as graduates. Similarly, participation in the graduation ceremony does not imply that a student has fulfilled all degree program requirements.

In order to participate in the ceremony, prospective graduates must have had their Application for Graduation approved by the College Registrar. This includes completion of all courses in-progress prior to the ceremony. Students who have not completed the required number of credits for their degree program by the end of the spring semester will not be approved for graduation.  Those students will be invited to participate in the next ceremony following completion of all requirements.

Honors and Awards

Dean’s Honor List

Matriculated students merit placement on the Dean’s Honor List if they achieve a 3.5 G.P.A. or higher for a semester without failures or incomplete grades, and have carried a minimum of 12 credits. This list is compiled after the close of each semester and the achievement is noted on the student’s record.

Academic Awards

Special awards are presented at Commencement to graduating students who have demonstrated academic excellence in the following areas:

  • Audio Recording Technology
  • Business
  • Film and Television
  • Interactive Media Arts
  • Mass Communication
  • Music
  • Music Entertainment Industry Studies
  • Music Education
  • Theatre Arts

Graduation with Honors

College Honors are conferred on seniors graduating with Baccalaureate degrees who meet the following standards:

  • Cumulative G.P.A. of 3.9 - summa cum laude
  • Cumulative G.P.A. of 3.7 - magna cum laude
  • Cumulative G.P.A. of 3.5 - cum laude

Phi Sigma Eta Honor Society

Students who have earned a Cumulative Grade Point Average of 3.5 after earning a minimum of 54 credits towards a baccalaureate degree will be considered for membership in the Five Towns College Phi Sigma Eta Society. Membership invitations are made by a faculty committee chaired by the Provost, who serves as advisor to the Honor Society. Candidates for membership are required to participate in an induction ceremony and to then fulfill the requirements of membership as established by the Phi Sigma Eta Honor Society. Students who complete the requirements of membership receive an Honor Society Medallion to be worn at commencement and have their membership in the Phi Sigma Eta Honor Society noted on their official transcripts.

Organization of the Academic Year

The Academic Year (AY) is organized into two standard 15-week semesters, a single Winter/J-term of approximately three weeks duration in which runs in January, and two summer terms of approximately four to five weeks duration which runs from June to August (Summer Sessions).

Winter Intersession/J-Term

The Winter/J Term is a standard period of non- enrollment when matriculated students are not required to register for classes in order to maintain their status as degree candidates. During this break between traditional semesters, students typically travel, work, pursue independent projects, and spend time with their families. Students may also choose to advance their degree progress during J-Term.

The College offers a limited range of classes during the J Term. Courses offered are typically designed to help students accelerate or catch-up in their studies. The maximum course load for students during the January Intersession is typically three (3) credits. Generally, student financial assistance is not available for January Intersession study. Students considering registering for classes during this period should consult with the Financial Aid Office prior to entering into a financial obligation with the College.

Summer Term

The Summer Term is a standard period of non-enrollment when matriculated students are not required to register for classes in order to maintain their status as degree candidates.

The College offers a limited range of classes during the Summer Term, which is organized into two 4–5 week sessions. Courses offered are typically designed to help students accelerate or catch-up in their studies. New first-time full-time HEOP students are required to attend classes during the second summer session prior to the start of their freshman year. The maximum course load for students during any one summer session is typically six (6) credits. Generally, student financial assistance is limited during the summer session, although the College typically offers reduced tuition rates for summer study. Students considering registering for classes during this period should consult with the Financial Aid Office prior to entering into a financial obligation with the College.

Public Relations, Marketing and Branding Guide Policy

In compliance with institutional policies, federal, state and local laws and guidelines, Five Towns College is committed to honesty and truthfulness in public relations announcements, advertisements, recruiting and admissions materials and practices, as well as in internal communications. To this end, it has created a branding guide so that all institutional materials produced comply with this and present a consistent message in terms of approved artwork, logos, fonts, and colors.

Consistent with this policy, all materials-whether for internal or external use- must first be designed to incorporate the elements in these guidelines and, then, should be submitted to the Office of Compliance and/or Strategic Initiatives for approval. As a matter of practice, approvals are granted unless the branding is missing or the messaging requires modification to align with the institution’s mission and goals and/or federal or state guidelines.

Further, in compliance with governmental policy, public relations, marketing and advertising are designed to promote the College generally. In such cases, incorporation of the following statement as to accreditation is used:

Five Towns College is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, 3624 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104. (267-284-5000) The Middle States Commission on Higher Education is an institutional accrediting agency recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation. Learn more about MSCHE accreditation by visiting them online.

For instances when the College promotes individual academic programs, it follows the Gainful Employment (GE) disclosure guidelines and includes the URL of the academic program from the institutional website that contains the GE disclosure template. Here is an example that would be used for the Film and Television Division disclosure:

Publicity Rights

By performing and/or participating in the programs, showcases, and events of any kind, live and/or recorded, Five Towns College students consent to the inclusion of their name, photograph, likeness and/or biographical information in all promotion or advertising for these events and for the commercial release of any recordings, films or programs created by the College.

Ownership of Student Work

All work presented or submitted in fulfillment of or in conjunction with a course or degree program requirement shall be the property of the College. The underlying intellectual property rights shall remain with the owner or creator as the case may be, in accordance with U.S. copyright laws and regulations.