Catholic Distance University expects all students to conduct themselves in accord with the Christian principles of justice and charity. Likewise, CDU will strive to treat students with the same principles of justice and charity based on the Gospel of Jesus Christ, from which it derives its mission and to which it bears witness.

CDU defines academic misconduct to include the following actions:

Any violation of the academic regulations.

Cheating: the use of books, notes, the internet or assistance from other students or the giving of such assistance to fulfill requirements—tests, exams, or other course related work—unless specifically authorized by the professor.

Plagiarism:  according to the MLA Handbook, “Plagiarism is the act of using another person’s ideas or expressions in your writing without acknowledging the source…In short, to plagiarize is to give the impression that you have written or thought something that you have in fact borrowed from someone else…The most blatant form of plagiarism is to repeat as your own someone else’s sentences, more or less verbatim…Other forms of plagiarism include repeating someone else’s particularly apt phrase without appropriate acknowledgment, paraphrasing another person’s argument as your own, and presenting another’s line of thinking in the development of an idea as though it were your own.”  (Joseph Gibaldi and Walter S. Acthlert, MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers, New York:  Modern Language Association of America, 1984).

Obstruction: engagement in activities that interfere with the educational mission and programs of CDU.

Falsification: the modification of academic records, information, or documents without proper authorization.

Procedures for reporting and processing academic misconduct

1. The instructor, administrator, or student identifying the academic misconduct must report the complaint in writing to the appropriate dean:

If a hearing is warranted, the student will appear before the Academic Review Committee.

2. If the Academic Review Committee finds that the student did indeed commit an act of academic misconduct, it may impose one of the following penalties:

  • Dismissal, whereby the student’s enrollment is immediately and permanently terminated.
  • Suspension, whereby the student is asked to leave the university for a specified period of time,
    ordinarily not less than six months. After this period of suspension, the student may reapply for admission to the university.
  • Disciplinary Probation, whereby a severe warning is issued to the student indicating that any further instances of academic misconduct will warrant suspension or dismissal. Normally, this penalty is rendered for a student’s first major violation of the academic misconduct policy. These penalties are noted upon the student’s permanent record

3. The dean will inform the student in writing of the decision and clearly explain any penalty imposed.

4. The student will have one week to appeal the decision to the president, who in turn will have one week to make a final decision.

Student Complaint Against A Faculty Member

The occasion may arise where a student has a complaint against an instructor or staff member. In Christian charity, the student should attempt to resolve the problem privately and in an informal manner as follows:

  • The student should confer first with the instructor or staff member to discuss the issue of concern.
  • If the student still does not think his concern has been resolved, the student should contact the respective staff member for assistance in contacting the appropriate administrator. Graduate students and undergraduate students should contact the Registrar. Continuing education students should contact the Continuing education support person.
  • If these initiatives are not successful, then the student should contact in writing the president who will investigate the student’s complaint and render a final course of action.
  • The West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission encourages students to seek first informal resolution of any concern or issue. If the issue cannot be resolved informally, the student should follow the institution’s formal complaint or grievance procedure. If, after exhausting the institution’s internal grievance procedures, the institution has not responded to the student’s satisfaction or a satisfactory remedy has not been found, the student may contact the Commission for further investigation into the issue. Upon receipt of a complaint, the Commission may conduct an investigation or refer the issue to another agency that is authorized to address the issue. The Commission may contact institution officials to discuss a possible resolution. Instructions for filing a complaint with the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission can be found at http://www.wvhepc.edu/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/Student-Complaint-Process-revised-3.pdf. Students will not be subject to adverse actions by the university as a result of filing a complaint. Maryland students may have recourse to the MD Attorney General’s Office Consumer Protection Division 200 St. Paul St. Baltimore, MD 21202, 410-528-8662/888-743-0823, or to the Maryland Higher Education Commission. Students may also choose to file a complaint with our accrediting body Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC) 1601 18th Street, N.W., Suite 2 Washington, D.C. 20009, 202-234-5100.

Faculty and Course Evaluations

When a course is completed, each student is strongly encouraged to complete a course evaluation with a candid and honest evaluation of the course and the instructor. This information is a vital part of the formal assessment process carried out by the university and helps to improve course materials and instructor teaching skills, and to reward excellence.

Academic Probation:
Students dropping below the program GPA requirement will be placed on academic probation, referred to the dean, and will be required to follow steps to restore their GPAs to the required levels as specified below.

Undergraduate students are required to maintain a minimum overall cumulative GPA of 2.0 to continue in the undergraduate programs (AA and BA) and to be awarded either the AA of Arts in Liberal Arts or the BA in Theology Completion Degree or the Catechetical Diploma certificate.

Graduate students are required to maintain a minimum overall cumulative GPA of 3.0 to continue in the graduate program and to be awarded the MA in Theology.

Students whose cumulative GPA drops below the required minimums will be placed on academic probation, referred to the academic dean. However, any student, graduate or undergraduate, who earns less than a 1.0 GPA in any given term may be subject to dismissal.  Students placed on academic probation will receive a Notice of Academic Probation that must be signed and returned to the registrar.  If the notice is not returned within a week with a signature, the student will be prevented from registering for future courses.  Students will be given one academic term to bring up their cumulative GPA to the minimum.

At the conclusion of the one academic term, should the cumulative GPA be at or above the minimum required, the student will be removed from academic probation.

The student will remain on academic probation until the student restores the GPA to the minimum, or the academic committee determines that the student is making the necessary progress to achieve the minimum GPA by graduation.  Should the cumulative GPA and the term GPA not be at the minimum at the conclusion of the one academic term, the student will be subject to dismissal.

Students may appeal the academic probation by submitting a letter to the academic committee requesting further consideration.

Reinstatement: Students who have been dismissed from the University must wait two academic terms before reapplying to the University.  Students must submit a letter of appeal for readmission to the academic dean for review.  If reinstated, the student will be placed on academic probation.  If the student fails to meet the minimum term GPA, he or she will be subject to dismissal at the end of the academic term.  Students dismissed a second time may not apply for readmission.

Failing Grade: To receive college credit at the undergraduate level, a grade point average (GPA) of 2.0 or higher must be achieved for each course.  Undergraduate and graduate degree students who earn a grade of D or F in a core course will be required to retake the course. Students who re-enroll in the course and receive a passing grade, will have the F or D forgiven and only the passing grade will appear on the transcript.

We believe you will be completely satisfied with your course. However, if for any reason you discontinue your studies during the enrollment period, Catholic Distance University has established the following cancellation and refund policy. To request a refund, please contact the Bursar at bursar@cdu.edu or by phone at 304-724-5000 ext. 708. Refunds will be processed within 30 days of request.

Enrollment Termination: A student may terminate an enrollment at any time during the enrollment period by notifying CDU, preferably in writing.

Cooling-off period: If CDU is notified of cancellation within five (5) calendar days, (a minimum of three (3) business days), after midnight of the day on which the enrollment agreement is accepted, an applicant requesting cancellation in whatever manner within this time will be given a refund of all money paid to CDU. Please note: the Application Fee is non-refundable.

Definition of refundable tuition: The refundable tuition is the total course cost including tuition and associated course fees (technology, proctor and shipping).

Non-Refundable Fees: The following fees are non-refundable after the cooling-off period.

  • Payment Plan Fees
  • All non-course related fees

Virginia Students: refunds are calculated in compliance with Virginia Administrative Code 8 VAC 40-31-160 (N).

If a student is registered for a course for more than 6 months, there is no tuition refund.

Once the course begins, the following schedules will be used to calculate refunds:

I. Online for credit, Practicum, or any fixed-length academic degree course of 16 weeks or less:

Length of Course Portion of the refundable Tuition returned to the student
1-6 weeks 1st week=70%
2nd week=40%
3rd week=20%
4th week=0%
7-10 weeks 1st week=80%
2nd week=60%
3rd week=40%
4th week=20%
5th week=0%
11-16 weeks 1st week=80%
2nd week=70%
3rd week=60%
4th week=50%
5th week=40%
6th week=30%
7th week=20%
8th week=10%
9th week=0%

** Note:  Week 1 starts on the first day of class and continues 7 days.  If classes start on Monday, week 1 starts  Monday and ends the following Sunday.  Week 2 starts the next Monday.

Sample Refund Calculation:
Student registered for a 3 credit undergraduate course in a 12 week term with a final exam and drops the course in week 3 of the term.  The refund calculation is as follows:

Course Charges:

Tuition (3 credits undergraduate) $915.00
Technology Fee (3 credits) $90.00
Proctor Fee $25.00
Total Course Cost $1030.00

Per the table above, dropping during week 3, for a 12 week course the student is entitled to a 60% refund after registration fee.

Refundable Tuition ($1030) $1030.00
Tuition refunded to student (60% of $1030) $618.00

 

II. Paper courses, and courses longer than 16 weeks:

When a student cancels after completing at least one graded assignment but less than 50% of the graded assignments, the institution may retain a one-time registration fee plus a percentage of all costs paid by the student in accordance with the following schedule:

Percentage completed by the student
Percentage of the refundable Tuition returned to the student
Up to 10% 90%
>10% – 25% 75%
>25% – 50% 50%
>50% – 100% 0%

Sample Refund Calculation:
Student registered for a 3 credit undergraduate paper course. The student drops the course after completing 3 of the 12 lessons  The refund calculation is as follows:

Course Charges:

Tuition (3 credits undergraduate)
$915.00
Technology Fee (3 credits) $90.00
Total Course Cost $1005.00

Per the table above, dropping after completing 3 of 12 assignments, the course is 25% complete and the student is entitled to a 75% refund after registration fee.

Refundable Tuition ($1005) $1005.00
Tuition refunded to student (75% of $1005) $753.75

CDU will issue a full refund, minus the cost of any completed coursework, to any students who cancel their continuing education registrations within 72 hours of receiving access to their program, course, or seminar. After that point, CDU will not issue refunds.  Students receive automatic access to independent study courses at the time of registration and payment.  Students receive access to seminars on the first day of the seminar. To obtain a refund for a dropped course, the student must email the Continuing Education Registrar within three days of receiving access to the course. Refunds will be processed within 30 days of request.

BA, MA, and Catechetical Diploma alumni of CDU are eligible to audit courses (excluding THEO 503. The Catholic Theological Tradition)  for a nonrefundable fee of $300 per course according to the following guidelines:

  • The auditing option is subject to space availability.
  • Students must notify the course instructor of their status and abide by the course instructor’s auditing policies.
  • Assignments and exams will not be graded.
  • Students auditing a course may change to a for-credit status up to the course add date in the term in which they are enrolled. For-credit status requires payment of the full course tuition and fees.
  • Students who successfully complete the course receive the designation AU on their transcripts, which confers no academic credit, does not affect class or program standing, and does not enter into overall GPA calculations.
  • Students must email the registrar if they wish to audit a course.

Credit Awards for Prior Learning

CDU participates in the computer-based College Level Examination Program (CLEP) and the Defense Activity for Non-Traditional Education Support (DANTES) and therefore will give credit by examination for the following courses to any student who successfully completes any of the below examinations.

 

CLEP Exam Minimum Score Required CDU Equivalent Credits
College Mathematics 50 Math 105 General Mathematics for Liberal Studies 3
Western Civilization I 50 HUM 251 Ancient Civilization 3
Western Civilization II 50 HUM 253 Global Civilization 3
Macroeconomics or Microeconomics 50 ECON 105 Elements of Economics 3

 

DSST Exam Required Score CDU Equivalent Credits
Math for Liberal Arts 400 or above Math 105 General Mathematics for Liberal Studies 3

Following the recommendation of the American Council on Education (ACE), CDU will award credit for Advanced Placement grades of 3 or higher on any Advanced Placement Exam. A score of 3 or higher on the following exams will constitute academic credit for any of the below courses otherwise needed to fulfill program requirements.

AP Exam Score CDU Equivalent Credits
Biology 3 or above BIO 150: Nutrition 3
Calculus AB
Calculus BC
Statistics
3 or above MATH 105 General Mathematics for Liberal Studies 3
Microeconomics
Macroeconomics
3 or above ECON 105: Elements of Economics 3
European History
World History
3 or above HUM 253: A Global Civilization 3

Though all theology majors are urged to study Latin or Greek, CDU students are also able to pass an examination in lieu of the BA program’s language requirement, either by a score of 62 or above in the Level II CLEP exam or an AP score of 4 or above in any foreign language.

CDU will accept a maximum combination of CLEP, Advanced Placement, DANTES and/or International Baccalaureate totaling 30 credits toward the BA degree or 15 credits toward the AA degree. These credits by examination count against the maximum total number of allowable transfer credits a student is bringing to CDU from other institutions.

  • Any member of the student body or the faculty and staff may bring an allegation of serious or continued abusive behavior to the attention of the disciplinary committee. Such allegations must be made in writing.
  • The disciplinary committee will determine whether the alleged conduct is appropriate for investigation. If the committee members consider it to be serious enough to warrant examination, they will gather evidence and take testimony from both the person reporting the misconduct and the student accused of misconduct.
  • Both sides will have two weeks in which to present evidence about the case. The disciplinary committee will render a decision within one week of having received all evidence, and will send written notification of its decision to all concerned parties. It will also determine appropriate penalties, which may range from a period of probation to expulsion from the university.
  • A final appeal may be made to the university president within one week of the disciplinary committee’s decision. The determination of the president will be final and binding.
  • The West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission encourages students to seek first informal resolution of any concern or issue. If the issue cannot be resolved informally, the student should follow the institution’s formal complaint or grievance procedure. If, after exhausting the institution’s internal grievance procedures, the institution has not responded to the student’s satisfaction or a satisfactory remedy has not been found, the student may contact the Commission for further investigation into the issue. Upon receipt of a complaint, the Commission may conduct an investigation or refer the issue to another agency that is authorized to address the issue. The Commission may contact institution officials to discuss a possible resolution. Instructions for filing a complaint with the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission can be found at http://www.wvhepc.edu/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/Student-Complaint-Process-revised-3.pdf. Students will not be subject to adverse actions by the university as a result of filing a complaint. Maryland students may have recourse to the MD Attorney General’s Office Consumer Protection Division 200 St. Paul St. Baltimore, MD 21202, 410-528-8662/888-743-0823, or to the Maryland Higher Education Commission. Students may also choose to file a complaint with our accrediting body Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC) 1601 18th Street, N.W., Suite 2 Washington, D.C. 20009, 202-234-5100.

In accordance with the spirit and vision of Catholic Distance University as well as the Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act (34 CFR Part 85), the Catholic Distance University administrative buildings are considered a drug-free and alcohol-free University and workplace. Catholic Distance University is a completely online institution, and there is no physical campus. Students and employees are prohibited from the unlawful manufacture, distribution, dispensing, possession or use of a controlled substance or alcohol anywhere on the property belonging to the University including but not limited to grounds, parking areas, or anywhere within the building. Students or employees who violate this policy will be subject to disciplinary action including termination of enrollment and/or employment. For more information visit The U. S. Department of Education’s Higher Education Center for Alcohol and Other Drug Prevention website at www.edc.org.Catholic Distance University will impose sanctions on students or employees consistent with federal and state law and the guidelines in this policy. Details of federal sanctions can be found at https://www.dea.gov/druginfo/ftp3.shtml. Details of the state of West Virginia sanctions can be found at http://www.legis.state.wv.us/WVCODE/Code.cfm?chap=60a&art=4.

Students and employees must abide by the terms of this policy or Catholic Distance University will take one or more of the following actions within 30 days of violation of this policy by:

  1. Reporting the violation to law enforcement officials.
  2. Taking appropriate disciplinary action against the student or employee including termination of enrollment and/or employment.
  3. Requiring the student to participate in an approved substance abuse rehabilitation program.

Catholic Distance University will make its best effort to maintain a drug and alcohol-free University through implementation of the policy and will establish and maintain a drug-free and alcohol awareness program.

This policy is readily available to students and employees at all times through the catalog located on the website, the student handbook available on the online campus and in the employee handbook. New students/employees will receive a copy of the Catholic Distance University Drug Free Schools and Workplace policy as part of acceptance/orientation process.

 

Resources:

Because we are a completely online institution, we are unable to provide onsite counseling or treatment. We provide the following information as a resource for those who need assistance with avoiding or recovering from alcohol or drug abuse.

We encourage any student, staff, or faculty member who needs information related to alcohol or drug abuse to use directory information, online searches, the telephone book, or referrals from friends and/or professionals.

The following is a list of national organizations dedicated to providing information and suggestions:

  • Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)– An agency of the US Department of Health & Human Services providing information online regarding alcohol, drugs, and treatment programs.
    General Address: www.samhsa.gov
    Specific Address for Treatment Programs: findtreatment.samhsa.gov
    1-800-729-6686
  • The National Clearinghouse for Alcohol and Drug Information – Part of US Department of Health and Human Services & SAMSHA’s Clearinghouse http://www.samhsa.gov/
    1-800-729-6686
  • About.com Substance Abuse – Explore the complicated disease of addiction. Information on basic questions concerning drugs and addiction.
  • National Institute on Drug Abuse – General Link/Address: www.nida.nih.gov
    Specific Link/Address on Club Drugs: www.clubdrugs.org
    1-310-443-1124

 

Drug Violations and Federal Financial Aid

The Higher Education Act states that students convicted for a drug offense that occurred during a period of enrollment while they were receiving federal financial aid may lose eligibility for federal aid. Federal Financial Aid at Catholic Distance University includes Federal Pell, Federal Direct Loans, Federal PLUS Loans, and Graduate PLUS Loans. Students could also be denied other federal benefits, disability, retirement, health, welfare, and Social Security.

Drugs and alcohol are highly addictive and can cause harmful effects to virtually every aspect of a person’s life, e.g., relationships, family, job, school, physical, and emotional health. More details on these harmful effects can be found at the following link https://www.drugabuse.gov/.

There are danger signals that could indicate when someone is in trouble with drugs or alcohol:

  • inability to get along with family or friends
  • uncharacteristic temper flare-ups
  • increased “secret” type behavior
  • abrupt changes in mood or attitude
  • resistance to discipline at home or school
  • getting into a “slump” at work or school
  • increased borrowing of money
  • a complete set of new friends

We recommend that any person observing any of the above changes utilize the resources listed above and notify the Director of Student Life.

CDU uses a numerical system of grading, with pluses or minuses. Course grades are determined as follows:

Numerical Grade Letter Grade Quality Point
98 – 100 A+
4.25
93 – 97 A
4.0
90 – 92 A-
3.75
87 – 89 B+
3.5
83 – 86 B
3.0
80 – 82 B-
2.75
77 – 79 C+
2.5
73 – 76 C
2.0
70 – 72 C-
1.75
65-69 D
1.0
Below 65 F
0

 

Other Grading Terms

W Withdrawn after the 5 day period initiated by student: some assignments turned in
P Pass
P* Pass and noncredit final seminar paper received
NP Not Pass
Au Audit

CDU’s policy on intellectual property rights is as follows: While CDU uses a learning platform as an open source licensee, the content of the courses and classroom pedagogy are proprietary. Each faculty contract requires an agreement to respect and maintain the terms of the licensed software as well as the confidentiality of classroom design, and pedagogy specific to CDU. Faculty agrees not to share or copy such proprietary knowledge for use with other persons or entities outside of CDU. CDU’s copyright includes all its courses and programs as well as their design. Faculty may use their own content in other venues, such as publishing a book, but may not present their content in CDU’s format or design. Staff members are required to sign an Intellectual Property and Confidentiality Agreement at the time of employment. Board members are also required to sign a similar agreement. Outside contractors who work for CDU are also required to sign a similar document.

CDU has trade-marked its name, the initials, “CDU,” and its university seal with the US Patent Office. CDU has a disclaimer on its website stating that it is not a part of The Catholic University of America.

CDU recognizes that learning styles vary, and learning differences exist among students capable of doing college work.  Any student who requests specific accommodations should submit documentation verifying the need for eligibility under the American Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990 and Section 504 of the Federal Rehabilitation Act of 1973. This documentation should be sent to Admissions 30 days prior to the beginning of a course or program.

Documentation must include:

  • The credentials of a qualified professional, such as a physician or licensed psychologist, who can attest to the need for accommodation based on a clinical diagnosis.
  • A qualified professional’s description of the following:
    • the nature of the disability and the accommodation requested;
    • the diagnostic method used to determine the nature of the disability;
    • the applicant’s current functional limitations; and
    • the expected progression or stability of the disability.
  • Recommendations for accommodations.

CDU will review all requests for accommodation and will determine if the accommodations can be met reasonably and feasibly.  CDU Admissions will discuss a plan for accommodations with the student if accommodations are possible. The student is then responsible for informing the instructor at the beginning of each course of any need for accommodation according to the plan.  While CDU strives to assist all students, certain services are not feasible.  For example, CDU is not able to provide personal tutors, coaches, or assistive technology, and cannot compromise its academic standards or course components.

Students may appeal any ruling regarding accommodations by writing to the academic dean.

CDU follows the letter and spirit of pertinent federal and state laws. CDU adheres to guidelines published by the Accrediting Commission of the DEAC and takes seriously the responsibility to provide high-quality education. In turn, students are expected to demonstrate personal and intellectual honesty and to conform to all university rules and regulations.

CDU complies with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974. No one outside the university shall have access to, nor will the university disclose any information from student records without the written consent of the student except to appropriate personnel within the university, to officials of other institutions at the student’s request, to accrediting agencies carrying out accrediting functions, or to persons in an emergency in order to protect the health or safety of students or others. Only members of the university staff acting in the student’s educational interest are allowed access to student records.

At its discretion the university may provide directory information in accordance with the provisions of the Act to include:  student name, address, telephone, date and place of birth, major field of study, dates of attendance, degrees and awards received, the most recent educational institutions attended by the student, and participation in officially recognized activities. Students may withhold directory information by notifying the university in writing.

Click here to download the Consent for Release of Information form.

Title IX, Sexual Harassment, Sexual Assault, and Sexual Violence

Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 prohibits sex discrimination in education programs and activities at universities that receive federal financial assistance. In accordance with the requirements set forth in Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (Title IX), CDU does not discriminate on the basis of sex in its education programs and activities, nor does CDU tolerate sexual harassment, sexual assault, or violence. Questions concerning Title IX may be directed to CDU’s Title IX Coordinator, whose contact information is below, or to the Office for Civil Rights at the United States Department of Education.

CDU Title IX Coordinator Contact Information
Catholic Distance University
Attn: Title IX Coordinator
115 West Congress Street
Charles Town, WV
Phone: 304-724-5000
Email: TitleIX@cdu.edu