Academic Policies

Class Attendance and Participation Policy

All on-campus courses are held at ITU, 3120 Scott Blvd., Santa Clara, CA 95054. Attendance is mandatory for all on-campus courses at ITU. The university requires all of its students to attend, fully participate, and be engaged in all of the courses in which they are enrolled each term.

Class Size Limit

Classes are limited to 48 students per weekday course, and 75 students per weekend course.

Credit Hour Policy

Updated 07/2017

Except as provided in Federal Regulation 34 CFR 668.8(k) and (l), a credit hour is an amount of work represented by intended learning outcomes and verified by evidence of student achievement that is an institutionally established equivalency that reasonably approximates not less than:

(1) One hour of classroom or direct faculty instruction and a minimum of two hours of out-of-class student work each week for approximately fifteen weeks for one semester or trimester hour of credit, or ten to twelve weeks for one quarter hour of credit, or the equivalent amount of work over a different amount of time; or

(2) At least an equivalent amount of work as required in paragraph (1) of this definition for other academic activities as established by the institution, including laboratory work, internships, practice, studio work, and other academic work leading to the award of credit hours.

ITU has adopted the United States Department of Education requirements for “courses offered entirely online and without any required face-to-face class meetings.”

Credit Measurements

Academic credit hours are measured in terms of credit hours. This is a listing of how Academic credit hours are measured:

1 credit hour = 1 trimester term hour

1 trimester credit hour = 15 hours of classroom lectures/30 laboratory hours/45 practicum hours

The student must enroll in 9 credit hours to be considered as a full-time student.

Final Examinations Policy

All classes conducted at the ITU main campus have a mandatory in-class final examination or presentation.

Grading System

The following grades are used:

A+, A, A- 4.0, 4.0, 3.7 Excellent

B+, B, B- 3.3, 3.0, 2.7 Good

C+, C, C- 2.3, 2.0, 1.7 Fair

D+, D, D- 1.3, 1.0, 0.7 Failed. Credit hours will be included in computing GPA, but will not be used toward satisfaction of unit requirements for the degree.

F 0.0 Failed. Credit hours will be included in computing GPA, but will not be used toward satisfaction of unit requirements for the degree.

P Pass. Equivalent to a C- or better; not included in computing GPA.

NP No pass. Equivalent to below a C-; not included in computing GPA.

AUD Audited the class. Credit hours will not be calculated in computing GPA.

I Incomplete coursework due to circumstances beyond the student’s control, but of passing quality; not included in computing GPA.

WIP Work in Progress; final grade to be assigned upon completion of entire course. Credit hours not included in computing GPA.

W Withdrawn. Credit hours not included in computing GPA.

Only courses in which a student has earned at least a grade of C- and P are counted towards the master’s degree. All registered credit hours are counted as attempted credit hours, and all grades except I, P, NP, WP, WF, AUD and NR are used in GPA computation. A student must earn a cumulative 3.0 GPA to be eligible for the master’s degree.

All courses require letter grades, except those specifically designated otherwise. For deficiency courses, a letter grade should be given, although not counted in the student’s overall GPA. A grade of C- or better constitutes a passing grade for a deficiency course. All deficiency courses can be completed at any accredited institution.

Master’s Degree Program Admissions Policy

Updated 7/2017

Students applying for admission into ITU master’s degree programs are expected to demonstrate the knowledge, skills, and experience necessary to succeed in a rigorous graduate educational environment. As such, successful applicants who are admitted to the University should have earned (the equivalent of) a US bachelor’s degree with a cumulative 2.75 GPA or above, or (the equivalent of) a US master’s degree with a cumulative 3.0 GPA or above. Degrees earned in the United States must be from a regionally accredited US institution. In some cases, ITU may also consider other evidence of readiness for academic studies at the graduate level, including: outstanding undergraduate work in the major, completion of graduate-level coursework at a 3.0 GPA or above, post-baccalaureate studies, and professional certifications.

Given the diversity of grading scales and accreditation standards worldwide, ITU requires that any foreign credentials (i.e., undergraduate/graduate diploma and transcript) be evaluated by an approved third-party evaluation service. The University will only accept foreign credentials that are deemed by the approved service provider as equivalent to a US bachelor’s or master’s degree. International applicants will also need to provide proof of English proficiency (see ITU’s English Proficiency policy).

Plagiarism Prevention Policy

Cheating, tampering, fabrication and plagiarism are unethical, unacceptable behaviors that are explained in ITU’s Academic Dishonesty Policy (which is part of the ITU Student Code of Conduct). It defines plagiarism as: “Representing someone else’s words, ideas, artistry, or data as one’s own, including copying another person’s work (including published and unpublished material, and material from the Internet) without appropriate referencing, presenting someone’s else’s opinions and theories as one’s own, or working jointly on a project, then submitting it as one’s own.” The consequences may include failing or lower assignment or course grades, suspension or expulsion and in other cases, loss of professional reputation, job or career.

Avoiding Plagiarism

  • Paraphrasing and referencing (citing) frequently
  • Using ITU’s preferred citation style (American Psychological Association APA)
  • Using ITU’s preferred plagiarism checking tool, turnitin
  • Referring to official Turnitin User Guides for students and faculty
  • Using the minimum borrowed content necessary to support or build ideas

Click here to read the full Plagiarism Prevention Policy.

Policy for Independent Study

Independent Study allows students to explore academic areas of special interest not provided in the existing curriculum. It is carried out under the guidance of a member of the faculty. Students are limited to 3.0 credit hours of Independent Study toward their Master’s program and 6.0 credit hours towards their Doctoral program and may not take more than one Independent Study in a single trimester.
Independent Study is available to students who have completed a minimum of 9.0 credit hours and with a minimum cumulative 3.0 GPA. It must be taken within the student’s degree program.
The Independent Study course is offered as variable credit within each degree program and area of study. It carries a maximum of 3 credit hours for students enrolled in a Master’s program and 6 credit hours for students enrolled in a Doctoral program per trimester. The course number 689 is used across all departments for Master’s and 891 for Doctoral and uses the appropriate area of study subject code.
Independent Study is graded based on the standard ITU letter grade scale (not P/NP).
For all Independent Study programs an Independent Study Contract Request Form must be completed and approved by the supervising faculty and the Department Chair. The approved contract is submitted to the Office of the University Registrar for processing. The student’s contract must:

  • Present an outline of proposed study, which indicates an amount of work equivalent to the lecture and study 147 time devoted to a standard course. This equates to a minimum of 15 hours per 1 trimester credit hour. The proposal must describe the educational value for the student’s total program of study, the specific objectives, and the justification for enrolling in Independent Study.
  • Provide a schedule for meeting with the instructor, for completing assignments/progress reports, for the submission of the final paper or project, and for the criteria used to assign a grade (including specific values if the grade will be based on more than the final paper or project). A minimum of weekly conferences with the supervising instructor is expected, normally on campus. Other arrangements may be made, provided the work may be appropriately supervised.
  • Show preparation and competence to do independent work and to address the proposed topic.

WASC Policy on Teach-Out Plans and Agreements

Updated 7/17

An institution accredited by the Commission must submit to the Commission for its prior approval a teach-out plan or agreement upon the occurrence of any of the following:

  1. The Secretary of Education notifies WASC that the Secretary has initiated an emergency action against an institution in accordance with section 487(c)(1)(G) of the HEA or an action to limit, suspend, or terminate an institution participating in any Title IV, HEA program, in accordance with section 487(c)(1)(F) HEA, and that a teach-out plan is required.
  2. WASC acts to withdraw, terminate, or suspend accreditation or candidacy of the institution.
  3. The institution notifies WASC that it intends to cease operations entirely or close a location that provides one hundred percent of at least one program.
  4. A state licensing or authorizing agency notifies WASC that an institution’s license or legal authority to provide an educational program has been or will be revoked.

A teach-out plan means a written plan developed by that institution that provides for the equitable treatment of its own students if an institution, or an institutional location that provides one hundred percent of at least one program, ceases to operate before all students have completed their program of study, and may include if required by the institution’s accrediting agency, a teach-out agreement between institutions. A teach-out agreement means a written agreement between two institutions that provides for equitable treatment of students under these circumstances. WASC may require an institution to enter into a teach-out agreement as part of its teach-out plan.

When an institution enters into a teach-out agreement with another institution, the initiating institution must submit the agreement to the Commission for approval prior to its implementation. The teach-out agreement may be approved only if the agreement is between institutions that are accredited by a nationally recognized accrediting agency; and

  1. Must be consistent with applicable standards of accreditation and Commission Policies;
  2. Must provide for the equitable treatment of students by ensuring that the teachout institution has the necessary experience, resources, and support services to provide an educational program that is of acceptable quality and reasonably similar in content, structure, and scheduling to that provided by the institution that is closing or discontinuing its program(s), to remain stable, carry out its mission, and to meet all obligations to its existing students;
  3. Must ensure that the teach-out institution can provide students access to the program and services without requiring them to move or travel substantial distances;
  4. Must provide for notification of another accrediting agency if the teach-out institution holds accreditation from that agency; and
  5. Must specify additional charges, if any, levied by the teach-out institution and provide for notification to the students of any additional charges

If an institution the Commission accredits or has granted candidacy to closes without a teach-out plan, the Commission must work with the Department of Education and the appropriate State agency, to the extent feasible, to assist students in finding reasonable opportunities to complete their education without additional charges.

The Commission has adopted Guidelines for Closing an Institution, available from the Commission office.

The University will provide all graduate students currently in the affected programs who have at least 3 hours in the major, an opportunity to complete degree requirements during a “teach out” period. Dean or designees will inform affected students of the program closure and the time within which they must complete the program. Students should work closely with the Office of the University Registrar or designee, who will be knowledgeable about the projected course offerings of the terminated program. New students will not be enrolled in the program. The university will follow all rules and regulations stated by WASC and BPPE.

For the fully online degree option to existing university Master’s programs, should it be necessary to teach out the online versions of these programs, the same WASC approved policies will serve as a guide, and apply to all students who have enrolled in these programs.

  1. Students in the online schedule of offerings will be informed of the teach-out of the fully online versions of the program and a teach-out schedule of online offerings in that program will be promulgated, which will permit students in continuous enrollment to complete the required coursework in the online delivery format.
  2. All degree students may complete all degree requirements through on-campus offerings, in either weekend or weeknight schedules or a combination thereof.
  3. For all students who cannot complete all course requirements in the teach-out period, a policy to permit students to transfer degree-relevant coursework from other WASC or regionally accredited institutions will be adopted to ensure students access to completing course requirements.
  4. If needed, and with prior WASC approval, an articulation agreement will be developed to allow smooth transfer of ITU students into another regionally accredited university’s graduate programs in that discipline.
  5. In exceptional cases, and where needed, individual teach-out plans will be developed for any students in the program for whom the above accommodations do not permit timely completion of their respective degree programs.