Determination of Class Level in the BFA

All students achieve class levels solely based on the accumulation of credits.

First Year: 0–30 credits
Sophomore: 31–60 credits

Junior: 61–90 credits
Senior: 91 credits and above

Class level designation is used to determine financial aid award eligibility. Failure to complete a course with credit or enrollment in less than the optimum number of credits per semester could result in less aid in the future. Transfer credits are included in the calculation of class level. Students receiving financial aid who are making decisions about dropping classes or not registering for a full load should speak to a staff member of the Financial Aid Office.

Grading System

Letter grades are assigned based on the chart below, and record the level of student performance. Plus and minus grades are computed into grade point averages. Grades are permanent after one year.

4.0 A Excellent
3.7 A-
3.5 B+
3.0 B Above Average
2.7 B-

2.5 C+
2.0 C Average
1.7 C-
1.5 D+

1.0 D Below Average
0.7 D-
0.0 F Failed
0.00 I Incomplete

(The student must make up an “I” incomplete grade within 30 days*; otherwise, it becomes a grade of “F”)

Incomplete Grades

Incomplete grades Incomplete grades are granted only for mitigating circumstances and are given at the course instructor’s discretion only. The student must make up an “I” incomplete grade within 30 days; otherwise, it becomes an F. Incomplete grades, (“I”) do not affect satisfactory academic progress until a grade is submitted. At that time the student’s standing is re-evaluated.

Withdrawal

Withdrawals for a single class A “W” grade indicates that the student withdrew from the course after the add/drop period. A withdrawal (W) receives no credit and is not figured into the grade point average (GPA).

A student who withdraws from a course after the Drop Period but during the Withdrawal Period (the third through the eight weeks of a semester) will receive an automatic grade of “W”. The instructor’s signature is not required to withdraw from a course during the Withdrawal Period. After the eighth week of the semester, a student withdrawing from a class will receive a letter grade designated to be determined be the instructor. Exceptions for cause (e.g. illness) may be made by the course instructor, on a case-by-case basis. Doctor’s certification may be required. Withdrawals do not affect the student’s grade point average (GPA).

Failed & Repeated

A student may repeat a failed course, and the original “F” grade will be replaced with a “FR” failed & repeated) grade. The “FR” grade will remain on the transcript, along with the new grade earned during the second attempt. Students must notify the Registrar that they are repeating a course to improve their grade. (see Evaluation of Satisfactory Academic Progress for further details)

Grade Appeals

To appeal a grade, a student must contact, in writing, the course instructor who issued the original grade. The appeal must include a detailed explanation for the reason of the appeal. If the student is not satisfied with the instructor’s response, he/she may appeal in writing to the Dean of the College. A copy of the original written appeal and the instructor’s response to the appeal must be included with the written appeal to the Dean. The Dean will call a meeting of an Appeal Committee, which shall consist of one faculty member selected by the student, one faculty member selected by the instructor, and one faculty member selected by the Dean of the College. The committee shall make a recommendation to the Dean of the College. Every reasonable effort will be made to convene this committee; however, if circumstances are such that the committee cannot be organized in a reasonable amount of time, the Dean has the authority to make a final decision independently, after review of relevant materials.

Audit policy

Current matriculated MECA students may audit MECA classes within their program of matriculation by permission of the instructor. They will be allowed to do so on a space-available basis, and will be accommodated after all credit-seeking students are registered. They will register through the Registrar’s Office, and will be charged full tuition and fees.

Individuals who are not currently matriculated MECA students may take classes at MECA — either for credit or as an audit — only after they have applied and been admitted to the program offering the class. They may apply for either “special or non-degree” student status or as degree candidates. Once admitted, they may audit MECA classes within their program of matriculation by permission of the instructor. They will be allowed to do so on a space-available basis, and will be accommodated after all credit-seeking student are registered. They will register through the Registrar’s Office, and will be charged full tuition and fees.

Mid-term Grades

Midterm grades reflect a student’s academic progress at about the sixth to eighth weeks into the semester. Although midterm grades are not part of a student’s permanent record and will not be reflected in the semester grade point average (GPA), they are important indicators of academic performance. Midterm grades are meant to encourage students to get in touch with their instructors and to request academic assistance if it is needed. Student who are achieving a gpa of <2.0 “C” at mid-term are required to:

  1. Meet with your faculty mentor to develop an action plan, this includes identifying areas of support/ need for your classes
  2. Meet with your individual faculty in the courses you are struggling in and confirm a plan to get back on track in these classes
  3. Meet with Dominique Bartels, Director of Tutorial Services for academic support
  4. Meet with the Registrar Anne Dennison and update her on your plan

Dean’s List and Honors

The Dean’s list is for students earning a semester grade point average (GPA) of 3.5 or better. The BFA degree is awarded “with honors” to those who have a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.5 or better for their years of study at Maine College of Art.

Semester Grade Reports

Grades are available on-line using MyMECA.

Attendance Policy

Students are expected to attend all class sessions and course-related activities. Regular class attendance is an important obligation and an essential condition for successful progress in the BFA program. Absence from class is a serious matter, will significantly impact the learning process and will substantially impact grading.

A 3-credit studio course meets each week for six hours and assumes a minimum of another three hours will be spent outside of class to complete assignments. A 3-credit liberal arts or art history course meets each week for three hours and assumes a minimum of another six hours will be spent outside of class to complete assignments. Attendance and participation in all foundation-transition and major reviews are mandatory. Students are also expected to participate in visiting artist programs and College meetings.

All instructors will include in their course syllabus their course-specific attendance policy, and any penalties for not adhering to this policy. Instructors will take class attendance into account when evaluating student performance and assigning final grades, and have the right to lower a student’s grade for excessive absences.

It is the student’s responsibility to consult each course syllabus and to know the attendance requirements for each course. All requests for absences must be made directly to the instructor. Students are responsible for informing the instructor of the reason for an absence and for doing so in a timely fashion (before the absence occurs). In the event of a major medical emergency or other extenuating circumstances wherein a student is unable to contact his/her instructors, the student may have a friend or relative call the Director of Student Activities , Director of Housing or Registrar and request that his/her instructors be notified of the reason and anticipated duration of his/her absence. This notification is only informational and does not excuse a student from class. It remains the student’s responsibility to contact course instructors as soon as he/she is able to make arrangements to complete missed assignments.

Students, whether present or absent, are responsible for obtaining all material presented and completing all course assignments. Absence from a course does not relieve the student from the obligation of course work, exams, critiques, or discussions. When protracted absence has been caused by illness or other extenuating circumstance, students may be given the privilege of making up lost work by arrangement with and at the discretion of the instructor. The burden of making up missed work rests with the student. If too much class time has been missed for successful completion of the course, a “W” grade may be granted by the instructor for legitimate medical or qualifying personal reasons; the instructor may choose to consult with the Registrar in such situations.

MECA Alert

Whenever an instructor observes that a student’s absences are adversely affecting performance and may ultimately result in the lowering of a grade or failure, or if for any reason a student seems to be experiencing serious difficulties in the class, the instructor should use the MECA Alert system to report concerns.

The MECA Alert system is a centralized student referral system for faculty, staff, students and parents to use. Every legitimate referral will be carefully reviewed, responded to, and forwarded to the appropriate staff or faculty member. All information will be held in appropriate confidence.

Statement on Religious Observance for MECA Students

Absence for Religious Holy Days: MECA respects the religious beliefs of all members of the community, affirms their rights to observe significant religious holy days, and will make reasonable accommodations, upon request, for such observances. If one’s religious observance is in conflict with the academic experience, the student should inform his/her instructor(s) of the class or other school functions that will be affected. It is the student’s responsibility to make the necessary arrangements mutually agreed upon with the instructor(s).

Types of instances/absences that the policy supports: Class absence: excused absence from a scheduled academic class/classes due to a religious conflict that falls on the same day as the class itself. Missing a class due to travel associated with a particular holiday does not constitute an excused absence and faculty do not have to consider such requests for accommodations.

Missed exam: Excused absence from an exam scheduled on a date/time in conflict with a religious holy day. Reasonable accommodations can be made to take the exam earlier or later than the date/time in conflict. If an instructor requires a make-up exam, the instructor retains the right to determine the content of the exam and the conditions of its administration, with considerations given to equitable treatment. Missing an exam due to travel associated with a particular holiday does not constitute an excused absence and faculty do not have to consider such requests for accommodations.

Deadline conflict: Reasonable accommodations may be made for academic work that is due on a date/time in conflict with a religious holy day. In such cases work may be submitted earlier or later than the date in conflict. Missing a deadline due to travel associated with a particular holiday does not constitute an excused absence and faculty do not have to consider such requests for accommodations.

Plagiarism

Plagiarism, the use without attribute of language, images, ideas, or the organization of ideas not one’s own is a fundamental breach of basic academic principles and is prohibited in all courses. The development of original thinking and intellectual honesty is regarded as central to MECA’s pedagogy. Although in pursuit of these goals student will continually consult existing works, it is expected that they will acknowledge the debt owed by citing all sources. Unless group work is assigned, coursework is normally completed independently. If books, journals, magazines or any other sources are reviewed and the ideas or language therein used they must be cited. Students should consult a reference source on proper notation. Evidence of plagiarism will result in a grade of “F” for the assignment and may, at the discretion of the faculty, lead to a grade of “F” in the course. In addition the Dean may impose further sanctions (such as probation or dismissal).

Credit Hour Policy

BFA Credit Policy
In BFA Academic Studies courses, one semester hour of credit equals one hour of class instruction and at least two hours of work outside of class for fifteen weeks. In BFA studio courses one semester hour of credit equals two hours of class instruction and at least one hour of work outside of class for fifteen weeks. In a small number of studio seminars one semester hour of credit equals one-and-a-half hours of class instruction and at least one-and-a-half-hours of work outside of class for fifteen weeks. These are approved on a case-by-case basis by the Curriculum Committee and are restricted to courses that combine an academic seminar with studio practice. Additionally, a small number of students doing advanced independent work can receive studio credit based on one semester hour of credit equaling one hour of class instruction and at least two hours of work outside of class. This requires a GPA of at least 3.5 and the approval of the Program Chair and Dean of the College. In the case of an Internship or Independent Study the contact time is articulated in the student contract, but is not to be less than 45 hours of work for 1 credit. For all undergraduate credit-bearing courses, one credit equals a minimum of forty-five hours of combined contact and independent work.

MFA Credit Policy
In graduate studio courses, students are engaged in an in-depth independent body of work that is evaluated by graduate faculty and non-resident studio advisors (NRSAs). In summer term studio courses, one semester hour of credit equals one hour of critique/instruction/discussion and at least five hours of work outside of class for eight weeks. The amount of faculty/advisor contact time may increase contingent upon the individual progress of the student, but is not to be less than stated. In Fall and Winter Studio courses, one semester hour of credit equals one hour of critique/instruction/discussion and at least three hours of work outside of class for twelve weeks. The amount of faculty/advisor contact time may increase contingent upon the individual progress of the student, but is not to be less than stated.

MAT Credit Policy
The MAT uses the 15-hour per course credit as a backbone structure, but the requirements of career preparation make a one-to-one correspondence of class time to outside work difficult to calculate. Two courses in the summer are taught as a summer institute, integrating the course objectives into a 35-hour per week, including a three and one-half week session with field experiences. Teacher candidates spend another three hours per evening reading and planning lessons, with substantial additional work over the weekend. In the fall, classes meet on a regular schedule; however, faculty and teacher candidates typically spend an additional 100 hours working in the field. In spring, candidates teach in PK-12 schools for 35-40 hours per week for 15 weeks, plan lessons after school and on weekends, attend a weekly seminar for two hours each week, and then spend one week after student teaching in individualized study. The program culminates with a one-week, five-hour-per-week course, Professional Practices Seminar.

Transfer Credit Policy

Prior to your arrival on campus the Admissions Office in conjunction with the program chairs will determine transfer credit evaluation and placement. Please note that transfer placement is studio driven and determined on a case-by-case, individual basis.

MECA will award up to 60 credits in transfer for courses matching our curriculum and completed with a grade of C or better. Only credits completed at regionally accredited colleges, universities or post-secondary professional schools will be considered.No more than 30 credits will be awarded for humanities coursework, 15 for art history course work, and 36 in studio coursework. Official college transcripts and course descriptions for all such coursework are required. Visual documentation must be submitted in slide or digital format, from all courses for which studio credit is sought. Please make sure that all work submitted is clearly labeled with your first and last name.

If you are a current MECA student who is planning to take a summer course and you would like to receive transfer credits for this work please refer to the following:

  • Make sure the school you would like to attend is regionally accredited.
  • Find the course(s) you are interested in taking and print the course description(s).
  • Bring the course descriptions to the Office of Registration & Academic Advising to determine whether the course or courses are transferable.
  • Once the course or courses are complete you will need to submit an official transcript to the Office of Registration & Academic Advising.
  • Courses completed with a grade of C or better.
  • Once the transcript is received you will need to follow-up with the Registration & Academic Advising Office to see if any further information is needed. Please note that the above transfer Credit Policy will apply.
Enrollment Rules

Students are not permitted to attend classes until all outstanding College bills are paid. Students may not register for courses until adequate proof of immunization is filed with the Registration & Academic Advising Office. A student will not receive a grade for a course unless he or she is properly registered for it. A student may receive a failing grade for a course he or she stops attending unless a drop form or exit form has been completed and submitted.

It is the student’s responsibility to submit the necessary forms and to be aware of credit-load status and refund period deadlines. Students who are not achieving satisfactory academic progress will not be allowed to continue their enrollment at Maine College of Art. Any student who creates a disruption or interferes with instruction of a class may be removed from that course. Any student who causes harm to another student, or to faculty or staff, may be asked to leave the College. Students receiving financial aid are governed by the policies outlined in the catalog.

The Registrar may revoke full or partial registration at any time for lack of proper immunization records, non-payment of financial obligations to the school, or failure to complete academic prerequisites, including failure to participate in required reviews. The College reserves the right at any time to change the course offerings, fees, calendar, rules and regulations governing admission and registration.

If a student decides not to continue at Maine College of Art, he/she may either withdraw or take a leave of absence. Students who are in good academic standing may take a leave of absence for up to four semesters and then return to MECA without reapplying for admission.

A student who does not plan to return to the college must formally withdraw. In either case, you must complete the proper paperwork (Exit-LOA form) Non-attendance does not constitute notification of intent to exit. Your exit date is the date the College is formally notified and the exit is completed.

A student withdrawing during the first eight weeks of a semester will have a permanent record of registration with all courses carrying a grade of “W.” A student withdrawing after the eighth week of classes will have a grade issued by the professor. A student withdrawing before the start of a semester will have their registration completely removed from their academic record. Tuition refunds will be issued according to the enrollment agreement each student signs. Students who are receiving financial aid may need to follow additional procedures and guidelines pertaining to credit loads and financial aid exit interviews. For further information, contact the Financial Aid Office directly (telephone 207.699.5074 or 5073).