Evaluation of Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)

The academic records of degree-seeking students are regularly reviewed by the Registrar to ensure that each student is making satisfactory academic progress. Each measure is reviewed at the conclusion of each semester, and is used to determine whether or not a student is in good academic standing. Three measures are used in evaluating a student’s standing:

Qualitative Measure of Satisfactory Academic Progress

Every student must achieve a semester grade point average (GPA) of 2.0 (C ) or above to remain in good academic standing. This measure is reviewed at the conclusion of each semester, and is used to determine whether or not a student is in good academic standing. A student with a semester GPA below 2.0 is put on an Academic Probation Status in which they continue to be eligible for financial aid. Any student who has earned a semester grade point average below 2.0 for two consecutive semesters will be dismissed from the College and may not be eligible for financial aid. This measure is not affected by full-time or part-time enrollment status.
* See also student admitted on probation.

Quantitative Measure of Satisfactory Academic Progress

Students must complete at least 67% of cumulative attempted credit hours. The completion rate is defined as the percentage of the total number of credits earned divided by the total number of credits attempted over the entirety of a student’s academic record. Any transfer credits and remedial credits on the student’s record are included when computing the student’s completion rate. This measure is reviewed at the conclusion of each semester, and is used to determine whether or not a student is in good academic standing. A student who has earned less than 67% during a semester is put on an Academic Probation Status in which they continue to be eligible for financial aid. A student who has not successfully completed at least 67% of coursework attempted for two consecutive semesters will be dismissed from the College and may not be eligible for financial aid.

(Credits Completed / Credits Attempted) x 100 = Completion Rate

Maximum Time Frame

Federal regulations allow financial aid recipients to receive financial aid for a maximum number of attempted credits. Students attempting credits in excess of 150% of the required number of credits to complete their program of study will be ineligible for financial aid. MECA’s formula for maximum time to complete the program is based on the total number of credit hours required for the degree: 120 credits x 150% = 180 maximum credits that can be attempted.

The following are included in the calculation of allowable maximum time frame:

Changes in major
Adding a minor degree
Incomplete grades

Repeated courses
Second degrees
Transfer credits

Advanced Placement (AP) Credits: are not included in the qualitative measure of satisfactory academic progress but are included in the quantitative measure.

Incomplete grades (I grades): If at the time satisfactory academic progress is reviewed, the student has an incomplete on his/her record and is not meeting satisfactory academic progress, no exception is made. If the student completes the incomplete within the 30-day time frame, they can request a re-review of satisfactory academic progress. Failure to complete automatically changes the grade to “F”. The “F” grade will be included in the quantitative and qualitative measures.

Transfer Credits: Are not included in the qualitative measure of satisfactory academic progress but are included in the quantitative measure.

Failed Repeat Courses (FR grades): When a student repeats a course that was previously failed, only the new grade and credit earned are included in the qualitative measure of academic progress. However, both the subsequent credits earned and the original credits unsuccessfully attempted are included in the quantitative measure. In other words, a repeated course may improve a student’s grade point average, but it does not extend the allowable attempted credits toward degree completion. Both courses must be taken at Maine College of Art.

AICAD Mobility and Student Exchange Grades: Grades earned through the AICAD (Association of Independent Colleges of Art and Design) mobility program are included in both the qualitative and quantitative measures of satisfactory academic progress. Due to the time needed to transfer academic records, these evaluations may be delayed beyond the usual evaluation timetable. Grades earned in other student exchange programs are not included in the qualitative measure of satisfactory progress but are included in the quantitative measure.

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 how they are doing academically. Midterm grades are meant to encourage students to get in touch with their instructors and to request academic assistance if it is needed.

Academic Sanctions

The following actions are taken when a student fails to achieve satisfactory academic progress in the BFA program as ascertained by either of the College’s measures.

Students Admitted to MECA on Academic Probation: The Director of Admissions will determine if a student is to be admitted to the college on Academic Probation and will notify that student in writing. A student who achieves a 2.0 or better in his/her first semester will be removed from Academic Probation. If a student’s GPA falls below a 1.7 (C-) during their first semester, s/he will be academically dismissed.

In order to ensure academic success, every student who enters MECA on Academic Probation is required to meet with the academic tutor within the first two weeks of the semester. The tutor will develop a contract of goals and expectations that the student must follow. This contract will be on record. Students who fail to comply will be subject to dismissal

Academic Probation: Students who earn a semester grade point average below 2.0 and/or they have earned less than 67% of their attempted credit hours, are placed on Academic Probation for the following semester. Students remain Title IV Financial Aid eligible while on academic probation. See Satisfactory Academic Progress.

Academic Dismissal: A student who is not making Satisfactory Academic Progress, as ascertained by qualitative, quantitative, or maximum time-frame measurements will be academically dismissed. See Satisfactory Academic Progress.

Appeal of Dismissal: Students may appeal to the Dean of the College for a reversal of an academic dismissal and a one-time exception to the qualitative, quantitative measures and/or maximum time-frame of satisfactory academic progress. The appeal must be in writing and submitted within 30 days of official notification of dismissal. The formal appeal letter must be accompanied by third party documentation detailing the circumstances as to why SAP was not maintained and what has changed that will permit you to make SAP by the end of the upcoming semester. Both the appeal and the documentation should also address the possibility of the circumstances recurring within 30 days of official notification of dismissal. Appeals will be considered from students who have been laboring under adverse circumstances beyond their control, including illness or injury (student or a close relative), death of a relative, or family emergency. Customarily the Dean will convene an appeal committee of at least three employees to review the appeal. The committee typically consists of the students’ mentor or program chair, an employee of the college selected by the student, and another employee selected by the Dean. The committee will interview the student, review his/her work from all courses, and, if necessary, speak with other faculty and staff who have worked with the student. The appeal committee will submit its findings to the Dean in the form of a recommendation, and the Dean will decide whether to uphold the dismissal or permit the student to be readmitted on a probationary basis. The Dean of the College also reserves the right to forgo the committee process and review the appeal him/herself. The student will be notified of the appeal decision within 30 days of the Dean’s receipt of the appeal or before the start of the next enrollment period, whichever comes first.