Academic Policies


1. Academic Policies and Standards
1.1 Course Policies

Unit of Credit

The unit of credit the College uses is the semester-hour. In lecture-discussion courses, one semester-hour of credit is allowed for one 50-minute period of lecture per week. A three-credit course may also be offered in two sessions of one hour and 15 minutes each per week. It is expected that students normally spend an additional two to three times the lecture time on outside coursework.

In laboratory and studio courses (such as dance techniques and chamber music), normally one semester-hour of credit is given for two to three 50-minute practice/recitation periods per week.

When a regular-semester course (15 weeks) is offered in the summer term (10 weeks) the weekly course load will be proportionally greater so that the summer term course can cover the same course content and carry the same number of credits as the regular semester course.

Credit is not earned unless the final examination or the equivalent is satisfactorily passed.

Academic Load

Full-time students at Fei Tian College must take at least 12 credits per semester and are required to attend all lectures during regular college hours. The tuition schedule is designed in such a way that students taking more than 12 credits per semester do not need to pay extra fees for any additional credit up to the limit of 20 credits per semester or 40 credits per academic year, including the summer term. Any student who wishes to take more than 20 credits in a given semester must show evidence that he or she has the ability to complete these credits and must obtain approval from the department-designated faculty advisor prior to registration. Freshman students must also receive approval from the Office of Academic Services. There is a $1,080 tuition fee charge for each additional semester credit beyond the 20-credit limit.

Students taking fewer than 12 credits of courses in a given semester are considered part-time students for that semester. When necessary, the following status distinction may also be used:

Student Status Classification

6-8 credits – Half Time
9-11 credits – 3/4 Time
12+ credits – Full Time

Students who reduce their course credit load to part-time status should be aware of the implications of this change. Changing to part-time status can affect on-campus housing, financial aid, or participation in student organizations. If you have questions regarding these issues, please contact the individual academic departments or the Office of Admissions and Records directly.

Class Attendance

Students are responsible for satisfactory attendance in each course for which they are registered. Regular class attendance is necessary for a student to derive the maximum benefit from the learning experience and the overall value of classroom instruction. Absence from laboratory or studio sessions shall be by agreement with the instructor. Professors may penalize the student for failure to meet specific attendance requirements. For absences due to extenuating circumstances, it is the responsibility of the student to contact the Office of Student Affairs.

The instructor, within the context of this policy statement, shall determine satisfactory attendance and announce specific attendance and grading policies in the syllabus for each class. The approval of excused absences and the assignment of makeup work are the prerogative of the course instructor and are usually specified in the course syllabus. Refer to the course syllabi for specific attendance requirements. Students should always aim at arriving to class on time.

In general, absence because of illness, participation in official events, personal emergencies, and religious holidays will not incur any penalty. Students should contact the instructors in advance of any absence whenever feasible, or upon their return to classes, to determine the impact of the absence on academic requirements. If a student has a concern with regard to the attendance policies or a faculty member has a concern about a student’s excessive absences, he or she should bring the concern to the Office of the Provost.

Official Absence

Official absences are those that occur when a student is involved in an official activity of the College (e.g., field trips and performances) and he or she presents an official absence excuse form. Absences for such events shall not count against the number of absences allowed by an instructor or department.

Under this policy, faculty have the responsibility to excuse a student from attending class or other formal instruction during the official absence, to not penalize a student for such an absence, to allow a student to make up any work missed during his or her official absence, and to preserve the same privileges as other students have in the class.

Whenever possible, students who must miss a class for an official reason should obtain an official absence excuse from the Office of Academic Affairs and present it to the appropriate instructor(s) at least one day before the absence. Otherwise, official absence status can be jeopardized. A College official or employee who acts as the activity sponsor for a student for an official absence should notify both the instructors and the Office of Academic Affairs of official absences or anticipated absences by students as well as approximate departure and return times for official absences at least three days in advance of the absence.

Official absence excuses the student only from attending class or other formal instruction during the absence. Students have both the right and the responsibility to make up any work missed during their official absence, to make up examinations given during their official absence, and to have the same privileges as other students in the class. Students should make prior arrangements with each instructor for make-up work.

Times for make-up examinations and similar work are to be determined at the time the official notice of absence is provided, or as soon thereafter as the examination is scheduled. Make-up work or examinations will be scheduled at times mutually convenient for the student and the instructor.

Auditing Courses

To “audit” a course at Fei Tian College at Middletown is to attend class regularly, without the obligation of participating in class discussions, laboratory work, examinations, performances or any class activity other than listening. A course may be audited under the following conditions:

    • Audited courses do not carry academic credit.

    • The College’s attendance policy applies to audited courses.

    • Students auditing a course must establish eligibility for admission, register, and pay the required tuition and fees.

    • A course may be audited only if the instructor permits, and if there is space in the class.

    • An “audit” may not be changed to “credit” nor a “credit” to “audit” after the first three weeks of the semester.

    • The student’s record will show a grade of “AU” for the course if the instructor certifies by such a grade that the prescribed conditions, including required attendance, have been met.


Any student electing the audit option must complete a Course Registration Form to obtain the approval signature of the instructor, and return it to the Office of the Registrar prior to the end of the third week of classes for regularly scheduled Fall and Spring semester courses or its equivalent for short-term courses, other courses that meet less than full term, and Summer courses.

1.2 Grading System

Fei Tian College adopts three grading scales: Letter Grade, Percent Grade, and Pass-Fail Grade. In addition, a Grade Point Average (GPA) is maintained to indicate a student’s overall academic performance. The following tables list the relationships among different grading scales and the grade point.


Additional Grading Codes

After the Office of Admissions and Records has recorded final grades, instructors may request a change of a grade by submitting a change-of-grade form to the Department Chair for approval. Changes to final grades may be submitted only if a) the professor has made a calculation error or b) student work previously considered missing is located by the professor, and it is clear that the student turned the work in on time. If approval of the grade change is granted, the Chair notifies the Office of Admissions and Records of the change.


In registering for courses, students may choose between normal grading status (receiving a letter grade) and pass/fail. The pass/fail option is meant to allow students to explore unfamiliar disciplines or take a genuinely challenging course. Students planning to apply to graduate or professional school should use the pass/fail option sparingly.

In courses taken on a pass/fail basis, any grade above a D assigned by the instructor is converted to P by the Admissions Office and entered on the student’s transcript. P is not calculated into the cumulative average, but an F is entered as a 0.0 and does affect the grade point average. Instructors are not informed by the Admissions Office as to who is enrolled on a pass/fail basis.

Courses taken to fulfill any college-wide requirement and degree program core requirement and electives requirement cannot be taken as pass/fail. College students may take no more than eight credits of coursework pass/fail, though advisors will generally recommend against taking this many. Freshmen are strongly advised against taking courses on a pass/fail basis.

The N Grade (Incomplete)

An incomplete grade (N) used on the final grade reports indicates that the work is satisfactory as of the end of the semester but has not been completed. The N grade may be given only when the completed portion of a student’s work in the course is of passing quality.

Students needing an extension must request an N by the last class session. The course instructor may determine whether to grant the request or not; he or she is also free to determine the conditions under which the incomplete grade is made up, including setting a deadline within a one year timeframe. Under no circumstances should a student re-enroll in a class to complete an N. Enrolling in the class a second time invokes the “Repeating a Course” rules below.

An N grade must be changed to a permanent notation or grade within a maximum of one year. If an N is not cleared at the end of one year, it is changed automatically to an F (fail) or NC (no credit) as appropriate for the grading method of the course.

Make-up Work

Academic work missed during class absences should be discussed with the individual instructor immediately upon the student’s return to class. It is the student’s responsibility to contact the instructor in this case during office hours or at a mutually convenient time. Specific make-up policies are at the discretion of the instructor. However, no make-up work may be required nor allowed after the final grade has been submitted.

Repeating a Course

A student may retake a course that he or she has completed at Fei Tian College once for credit, but it must be a course in which the student earned a D or F. This does not apply to those courses that are designed to be repeated for additional credit, which have their own individual retake limits. Students may not enroll in courses for credit for which they received either Advanced Placement or transfer credit. Because W represents an uncompleted course, it is not counted toward the second retake limit.

When a student repeats a course, he or she must enroll in it for the same number of units originally taken. The highest grade received will be used in the calculation of the cumulative grade point average and the second course will be marked with “RP.” The transcript will include each course as an attempted course.

Grades for Credit earned by examination

Credits earned by taking a course exam will not receive a grade.

Grades Given upon Withdrawal from Courses

The permanent record will not show withdrawals made before the end of the course withdrawal period. The W designation, however, will be given to a course that is with- drawn after this period during any semester. The designation is assigned on the date of withdrawal.

Absence during Last Weeks of Semester

If a student is not in attendance during the last several weeks of a semester without going through the proper withdrawal process, the instructor may report a grade of N (incomplete) if there is reason to believe the absence was beyond the student’s control; otherwise, the instructor shall record a grade based on the student’s course performance up to that time.

Calculation of Grade Point Average

The grade point average (GPA) is determined by multiplying the semester hours of a particular course with the credit points equivalent to the grade of the course, then by dividing the sum of the credit points by the total number of semester hours completed.

The GPA is calculated as follows:

Sum of all (grade point values x credits)


Sum of credits for all courses graded

Grades for courses taken at an institution other than Fei Tian College or based on experiential learning do not contribute to a student’s grade point average.

1.3 General Academic Policies

Registering for a Course

The Admissions Office will announce the time and location of class registration and all related information for each semester. Newly admitted students will be notified of the specified date and time for registration. Continuing students and readmitted students may register during any given semester for course work beginning in the following semester.

Adding or Dropping a Course

During the “Course Selection Period,” i.e., the first two weeks of the academic semester, students may add or drop classes or, if applicable, change grading status of a course from normal to pass/fail (or vice versa). Such changes, under normal circumstances, will not incur fees or any penalty on tuition, but are on a space-available basis and subject to the limitations of a full-time student load. Students wishing to make such changes need to obtain the approval of the faculty advisor.

During the “Course Withdrawal Period,” i.e., from the third week through the end of the fourth week of the academic semester, students may still drop classes with the approval of the faculty advisor. Students who drop classes during this period of time are eligible for a prorated tuition refund if applicable.

A student who needs to drop a course after the Course Withdrawal Period must file a “Course Withdrawal Form” with the Offices of Admissions. For each course a “W” appearing on the student’s record will be disregarded in determining a student’s grade point average and will not be considered as courses attempted in assessing whether the student has satisfied the requirements for graduation. Students who do not file a Course Withdrawal Form will be deemed to have attended the course.

The same rules apply to the summer term.

Satisfactory Academic Progress

In order to be making satisfactory academic progress toward a degree, a student must both maintain a GPA that meets specified requirements and proceed through satisfying his or her degree requirements at a sufficient pace. Extenuating circumstances that may affect a student’s performance will be evaluated by his or her faculty advisor and/or the Admissions Office. Audits and non-credit work do not count toward minimum credit requirements.

Full-time students must:

    • Be registered for 12 credits or more.

    • Satisfactorily complete 75 percent of the credits attempted each semester;

    • Obtain grades that will enable them to maintain an average GPA of 2.5 or above per semester;

    • Pay all tuition, dues, and fees in a timely manner; and

    • Obey all relevant laws and regulations, including local, state, and federal laws.​

Part-time students must:

    • Satisfactorily complete 75 percent of the credits attempted each semester;

    • Obtain grades that will enable them to maintain an average GPA of 2.5 or above;

    • Pay all tuition, dues, and fees in a timely manner; and

    • Obey all relevant laws and regulations, including local, state, and federal laws.

Class standing and requirements

Fei Tian College structures the class standing of baccalaureate students into freshman, sophomore, junior, and senior. Class standing is determined by the number of credits completed, including transfer credits, and by the completion of the level-specific courses in a student’s degree program. Table 1.6 shows the number of credits required of each of the four levels.

The level-specific courses in the programs of BFA in Classical Chinese dance and BM in Performance are respectively listed in the section on Academic Departments and Programs of the College Catalog. In addition, every junior in the program of BFA in Classical Chinese dance is required to complete at least eight credits of courses specific to his or her emphasis.

Academic Probation and Suspension

A student who falls below the standards of satisfactory academic progress will receive a written notice that he or she is being placed on academic probation. Students on academic probation will have a restricted credit load. The credit restriction is at the discretion of the Office of Academic Affairs. A student who, after being placed on academic probation for one semester, fails to attain the required GPA of 2.5 will be notified in writing that he or she is suspended for one semester. After a period of suspension, the student may be reinstated, either as a regular or a probationary student, upon application to the College. Specifically, when a student whose failure to maintain the required progress was due to circumstances proven to be beyond his or her control is able to prove that those circumstances have ceased to exist, he or she will be reinstated as a regular student. Otherwise, a student will be placed on a probationary status.

1.4 Change of Emphasis or Major 

A student  may request to change his or her emphasis or major at any time before the end of the third year. The student should complete an application form obtained from the Office of Admissions. The application must be accompanied by letters of recommendation from a Fei Tian College faculty member who is familiar with the student’s academic performance; it will be submitted to the Department of the major program for review. After the application has been approved, the student will be subject to the graduation requirements of his or her new area of emphasis or major.

1.5 Graduation

College Graduation Requirements

To receive a baccalaureate degree from Fei Tian College, a student must fulfill the requirements of at least one of the degree programs listed in the College Catalog. Each of the degree programs has its core courses and required number of electives.

In addition, students must fulfill a set of general requirements established by the College regarding number of credits, liberal arts and sciences courses, Chinese language, and grade point average. The College maintains some of these requirements in concordance with nationally recognized expectations of academic performance and achievement.

    • Specific requirements of the student’s degree program (dance or music);

    • Liberal arts and sciences distribution requirements;

    • A cumulative grade point average (GPA) of at least 2.5 overall and 2.5 in all the courses pertaining to the specialization of the student’s degree program;

    • Students must earn at least 50 percent of the total credits from Fei Tian College;

    • In addition, students generally must complete their final year in residence—residence in this sense meaning continuous enrollment and regular attendance in classes conducted on the Fei Tian College campus.

It is the student’s responsibility to ensure that all requirements for graduation are fulfilled in a timely manner. The Office of Academic Affairs and the student’s advisor will offer the student advice on a regular basis. The Office of Admissions and Records certifies completion of College requirements and clears students for graduation.

All baccalaureate programs at the College are designed for completion in four years, extendable to seven years with permission. Once admitted, a student is required to complete his or her programs of study within a maximum of seven years. Any extension beyond seven years requires pre-approval by the department of the student’s degree program and the Department of Liberal Arts and Sciences. The same applies to BFA students who change their emphasis during their junior and senior years and BM students who change their major instrument in the course of the program.

Graduation Honors

Fei Tian College generally holds commencement exercises in December and/or May. Each department will rank its students who receive the same type of degree to determine which students are eligible for graduation with academic distinction. Each department shall determine the appropriate GPA requirements and other achievements of the students for the three levels of recognition: distinction, high distinction, and highest distinction. Generally, the total number of students granted these distinctions is around 20 percent of the student body receiving the same type of degree.

Students with a final cumulative grade point average of 3.5 at the time of graduation shall receive Fei Tian College Achievement Recognition. The September grade point average will be considered for honors recognition for the December commencement.

Participation in Commencement exercises

A student who has not completed all graduation requirements may take part in the December Commencement Exercise on condition that he or she is in good standing to fulfill the requirements in the winter term immediately following the Commencement Exercise by taking no more than two courses or earning six credits.

If the cumulative grade point average changes when the grades for winter term courses are recorded and honors status is affected, the official College transcript will reflect that change.

2. Academic Services

The Office of Academic Affairs (OAA) helps enrolled students reach their fullest potential through personalized academic services and a variety of programs, resources, and activities in support of their education. It strives to foster student growth and promote academic and artistic excellence of the highest caliber. The Office is responsible for developing appropriate services and maintaining the quality of such services.

Specifically, OAA offers the following services:

·         Placement Tests

·         Remedial Courses

·         Academic Advising, including at-risk student advising and support

·         Student Support Services

·         Practicum and Career Services

2.1    Placement Tests

The Office of Academic Affairs offers incoming students placement tests for two purposes: (1) to determine a student’s level of proficiency in a particular subject so the student can be placed into the appropriate course level; and (2) to determine, if applicable, what kind of remedial instruction a student may need in order to follow the scheduled academic progress. The placement tests are not used for awarding credits.

Currently, the College offers placement tests in English, Chinese, and math.

English Testing

All students whose native language is not English must take an ESL placement test. All first-time and transfer students are assessed using the Accuplacer to determine reading comprehension skills and by WritePlacer to determine writing competency. Students who score below 90 on Accuplacer Reading and below 5 on WritePlacer are placed into remedial courses.

If a student’s Accuplacer Reading score and WritePlacer score correspond to different remedial course placements (e.g. WritePlacer score of 3 and Accuplacer score of 90), the student will be asked to do a retest on one or both tests. After the retest, OAA, in discussion with remedial course instructors, will compare the student’s scores from the original test and the retest and place the student into the appropriate English course.

To exit remedial coursework, students must retake both placement tests and pass reading and writing benchmarks.

Chinese Testing

Although no Chinese proficiency is required for admissions, all enrolled students take Chinese language courses to fulfill general education world languages requirements. Chinese placement tests are given to determine the appropriate course level for students.

Non-native and heritage Chinese students are given one of four Chinese placement tests based on a survey of their language backgrounds. The exams are graded by a committee of Chinese language faculty, and placement results are sent to OAA.

International students from Chinese speaking regions will be interviewed by a faculty member of the Chinese department for course placement.

Math Testing

Students who are required or interested in taking MAT105 Calculus I are required to take a math placement test to demonstrate their mathematical readiness for studying Calculus. The College uses the Accuplacer College Level Math test to determine students’ mathematics proficiency. Students who score below 103 on the Accuplacer College Level Math are placed into a remedial course: Pre-Calculus.

2.2  Remedial Courses

OAA currently offers the following remedial courses to prepare students with the necessary skills to enter college-level English and math. All remedial courses are non-credit bearing.


ESL is designed to help non-native English speaking students develop the listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills essential to functioning in a college environment in the United States. It is offered in two levels, each one semester long. It is a Pass/Fail course.

Introduction to College English

This course is for high-functioning ESL students and students who need additional assistance in grammar and writing. The class also teaches students college-readiness skills such as note-taking and active reading. It is designed to help students in college composition and reading. The course also reviews grammar. It is a Pass/Fail course. It may be taken concurrently with the freshman English course ENG103 Effective English to give students extra support.

Introduction to College Math

This course is offered as a Pass/Fail course designed to give students the skills necessary to enter MAT101 Applied Math.

2.3 Academic Advising

Academic advising is critical to student success. At Fei Tian College, we consider advising to be an integral part of teaching and believe a successful advisor will help advisees become better students.

Scope of Advising

An advisor and the student shall meet at least once per term prior to registration. The advisor will receive copies of all official correspondence concerning the student’s academic standing from the Office of Academic Affairs. The academic advisor must approve the courses for which the student registers.

In general, advisors are responsible for providing the following advising services:

General Academic Advising

·         General Education Requirements

·         Class registration

·         Class add/drop/withdrawal

·         Major exploration (when feasible, help students select the major that suits their background and interests)

·         College Transfer

·        Graduation requirements and planning

·         General academic policies and procedures

·         Probation and Suspension

·         Academic petitions

The Office of Academic Affairs provides additional materials on advising procedures and policies to help advisors.

Academic Advising for “At-Risk” Students

OAA works closely with instructors and monitors the performance of each student. When observing signs of a student being “at-risk,” the instructor should fill out the “Academic At-Risk” form and discuss with OAA the appropriate action to take, be it giving a warning, recommending proper support services, or counseling.

Advisor Assigning

Each new student is assigned an academic advisor who is a faculty member at the College, either from LAS or his or her own department before registration. The academic advisor and the Office of Academic Affairs serve as the primary channel for academic advising and student support.

Specifically, the Office of Academic Affairs coordinates with faculty from LAS and academic departments to provide advising services for the first two years of a student’s education with Fei Tian College. Starting in the student’s junior year, he/she will be assigned an advisor in the Department. The Office of Academic Affairs will work with the Department Chairs to select appropriate advisors and assist in transferring the student to his/her new advisor.

Transfer students who come to FTC in their junior year receive advisor services for the first semester of their education directly through the Office of Academic Affairs; thereafter, they will also be assigned to a faculty advisor in the Academic Department.

Students are assigned alphabetically and based on their major, unless the student or advisor requests a change. Typically, each faculty advisor is assigned no more than 10 students at a time.

Advisor Change

Any student wishing to change advisors may do so. Students can speak with the Office of Academic Affairs directly alerting the Office of their preference. Reassignments may also be made due to faculty leave or shifts in duties.

2.4 Student Support Services

Any incoming student identified by The Office of Admissions as potentially needing academic support services is reported to OAA. Students are typically identified through standardized test scores, grade point average, and other identifiers on the student’s application.

Academic Support Services

Students who are identified as needing assistance in writing, critical reading, study skills, computing, or quantitative reasoning are given appropriate assistance. Depending on student needs and preferences and office availability, students are given support in these areas through one or more of the ways below:

·         One-on-one assistance with Academic Services staff

·         One-on-one tutoring with a faculty or student tutor

·         Small workshop seminars organized through the Office of Academic Services

·         Self-study with appropriate resources


The College holds regular workshops on the following topics:

·         Study Skills

·         Critical reading

·         Other workshops will be offered based on demand

Writing Center

The College establishes the Writing Center to assist students with writing assignments for LAS courses and certain major courses that involve writing assignments.

Dance Student Support

The Dance Departments identify and work with students who demonstrate a need for support in these areas. Support typically includes:

·         Teacher tutoring with students after class.

·         Peer tutoring where struggling students are paired with peers who have mastered those skills and they are asked to practice the skills together.

·         Dance teachers offer a tutorial period every evening where students may ask for assistance from teachers or faculty or work together to hone specific skills.

Transfer Information

The Office of Academic Affairs provides assistance for students who wish to transfer to other colleges and/or universities. It is the students’ responsibility to follow through on all necessary steps to confirm that the receiving institution is willing to transfer credit for courses taken at Fei Tian College.

2.5 Career Services


Through the practicum, students can earn credits toward their degree and gain invaluable experience with a professional company. The practicum is primarily arranged through the Department with a practicum advisor within Fei Tian College.

OAA also works with the Department Chairs to ensure that all Practicum Preceptors evaluate students’ performance and conduct.

Career Services

OAA currently offers the following career services to enrolled students:

    • Individual Career Consultations: to help students with job search, resume writing, making connections, and preparing for job interviews

    • Career Mentor: for students who might benefit from having someone guide them through their career decisions

    • Career Seminars and Workshops

    • Job Information Services:

Internship and potential employer information

Information related to career opportunities, job training, job trends, and so on

Alumni databases

2.6 Student Assessment

Students at Fei Tian College are expected to spend time during their college careers participating in college-wide outcomes assessment activities, such as surveys, interviews, and tests.