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, artificial intelligence tool, or assistance from other students or the giving of such assistance to fulfill requirements—tests, exams, essays, papers, 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 academic leadership:
- Graduate Students and Undergraduate Students Academic Leadership
- Continuing Education Students Catechetical Subject Specialist
If a hearing is warranted, the student will appear before the Faculty Governance Council.
2. If the Faculty Governance Council 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 academic leadership 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.
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.
Students dropping below the program GPA requirement will be placed on academic probation, referred to academic leadership, 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 good standing in the undergraduate programs and to be awarded either an undergraduate degree or certificate.
Graduate students are required to maintain a minimum overall cumulative GPA of 3.0 to continue in good standing in the graduate programs and to be awarded a graduate degree or certificate.
Students whose cumulative GPA drops below the required minimums will be placed on academic probation and referred to academic leadership. 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. CDU reserves the right to limit the number of courses that students placed on academic probation enroll in per term.
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 Faculty Governance Council 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 suspension.
Students may appeal the academic probation by submitting a letter to the Faculty Governance Council requesting further consideration.
Reinstatement: Students who have been suspended from the University must wait two academic terms before reapplying to the University. Students must submit a letter of appeal for readmission to academic leadership 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 may not apply for readmission.
Failing Grade: To receive college credit at the undergraduate level, a grade of a C (2.0) or higher must be achieved in each theology core course. Grades of a C- or below in any given theology core course, at either the undergraduate or graduate level, cannot be used to fulfill degree requirements. Students who re-enroll in a course they previously failed and receive a passing grade will have the cumulative grade point average (GPA) computed on the basis of the passing grade. The official transcript will show the complete record. To receive college credit at the undergraduate level for a general education course, a grade of a D (1.0) or higher must be achieved in each course.
Non Program Students:
Any non-program student, graduate or undergraduate, who earns less than a 1.0 in a term will be placed on probation and may be subject to a term suspension. Multiple suspensions may result in dismissal from the university.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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
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%
|7-10 weeks||1st week=80%
|11-16 weeks||1st week=80%
** 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:
|Tuition (3 credits undergraduate)||$960.00|
|Technology Fee (3 credits)||$150.00|
|Total Course Cost||$1110.00|
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 ($1110)||$1110.00|
|Tuition refunded to student (60% of $1110)||$666.00|
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 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:
|Tuition (3 credits undergraduate)
|Shipping Fee (per course)||$100.00|
|Total Course Cost||$1060.00|
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 ($1060)||$1060.00|
|Tuition refunded to student (75% of $1060)||$795.00|
All students will have a drop/add period. Students will be permitted to add courses through 11:59 pm Eastern Time on Friday of the first week of each term, and they will be permitted to drop courses (with no W on transcript) through 11:59 pm Eastern time on Friday of the second week of each term.
Asynchronous courses: CDU requires students to actively and substantially participate in enrolled courses each week. Participation in an academic course may take the form of posting to discussion forums, submitting assignments, or completing quizzes or exams. Students need to participate each week in some way to satisfy the substantive participation requirement. Merely viewing course pages does not qualify as active participation. Any student who cannot participate weekly should contact his or her faculty member immediately.
Synchronous courses: For any course with synchronous sessions at which students’ presence is required, meeting times will be clearly indicated in the syllabus. Students are advised to review all syllabi when they register for courses. Attendance will be taken at all mandatory synchronous sessions, and students will be permitted a maximum of number of absences (one or two, as determined by the instructor) per course per term. It is always the student’s responsibility to contact the instructor as soon as possible to make arrangements for completing any assignments he or she may have missed due to absences.
CDU can administratively drop students seven calendar days after the start of the course if they:
- Fail to meet the participation requirement (as defined above) during the first week of class, OR
- Fail to contact the faculty member during the first week of class regarding their inability to complete #1.
Students should closely follow the University Calendar posted on the CDU website and in the Student Life area of the online campus. It is ultimately the responsibility of the student to request an official drop/withdrawal of a course. Students who do not request a drop/withdrawal by the drop/withdrawal deadline will receive an “F” in the course. Students who stop participating in a class without officially dropping/withdrawing may receive an “F” in the course.
Federal Financial Aid Attendance
CDU is a non-attendance taking institution. However, for purposes of managing financial aid, the federal financial aid officer will check student participation at the following specified times during each semester:
- First two weeks of class start, prior to initial financial aid disbursements
- Prior to any additional financial aid disbursements
- Halfway point of each semester
- End of each semester
To report an accessibility barrier, students should contact email@example.com. The occasion may arise where a student has a complaint against a faculty member or administrator.
In Christian charity, the student should attempt to resolve the problem privately and in an informal manner by conferring first with the instructor or staff member to discuss the issue of concern.
If the student still does not think his/her concern has been resolved, graduate and undergraduate students should contact the Registrar. Continuing education students should contact the Continuing education support person.
If these initiatives are unsuccessful, then the student should contact, in writing, the President, who will investigate the student’s complaint and render a final course of action.
If the institution has not responded to the student’s satisfaction or a satisfactory remedy has not been found, the student may contact the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission for further investigation of the issue. For instructions for filing a complaint with the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission click here. Upon receipt of a complaint, the Commission may conduct an investigation or refer the issue to another agency that is authorized to address the complaint. The Commission may contact institution officials to discuss a possible resolution.
Students will not be subject to adverse actions by the university as a result of filing a complaint.
Students may also choose to file a complaint with CDU’s accrediting body, the Higher Learning Commission.
All degree seeking graduate students will take one comprehensive exam after all course work is complete and prior to graduation. Comprehensive exam questions are based on eight required courses in the MA in Theology program and eleven required courses in the MA in Theology for Educational Ministry program, as well as knowledge and comprehension gained from the student’s elective coursework in either program. Students are able to begin preparation for comprehensive exams once they have enrolled in their final course in the MA program.
Comprehensive exam questions are designed to require the student to synthesize and apply general concepts learned in multiple courses within the programs. In preparing for the comprehensive exams, a student should review the provided study guides, which will remind them of key Church documents, Church Fathers and doctors, theological concepts, important events in Church history, key Scripture passages and sections of the Catechism. Students may also wish to review course materials, papers, written assignments, quizzes, and books used in coursework. A student should think ahead and gauge the amount of time they will need to prepare for the comps. Other students can prepare for their comps while actively engaged in their current coursework.
Students register and pay the $150 fee for the comprehensive exam in Populi. Upon registration for the exam, students will have access to the study guide and question pool for his or her particular degree and will have sixteen (16) weeks to study and complete the exam.
Scheduling and Taking the Exam
When a student has decided on an exam date within the chosen academic term, the student must schedule the exam with the online proctoring service, Examity. The registrar can provide additional details and assistance about Examity.
The exam will consist of three (3) separate questions chosen at random from the question pool specific to his or her degree program. The student will have four hours to answer the three questions.
Responses will be graded for content rather than length, but in order to thoroughly answer an exam question, successful essay answers should each be at least 750 to 1,000 words in length, which equates to approximately 2 ½ to 3 pages.
Grading and Results
After the exam is graded by the CDU faculty, the student will be able to see the results of the exam in Canvas. For each of the three comprehensive questions, the student will receive a grade of “pass,” “pass with honors” or “fail.”
In the event of failure of all or part of the exam, the student will be able to retake the comprehensive exam up to two additional times by re-registering.
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.
Original “works of expression”, such as writings, graphics, photographs, and music, may be protected from unauthorized use by the federal copyright laws. Copyright laws govern whether – and to what extent – students are permitted to copy, upload, download, transmit, or distribute such works, or to create new works derived from them without first receiving permission from the holder of the copyright (often the author or publisher of the original). The copyright laws are complex. In the file-sharing context, downloading or uploading substantial parts of a copyrighted work without authority may constitute infringement. In the academic context, copying or paraphrasing parts of a copyrighted work as one’s own constitutes infringement. Unauthorized distribution of copyrighted material, including unauthorized peer-to-peer file sharing, unauthorized downloading and unattributed copying, is expressly forbidden, and may subject violators to civil and criminal liabilities.
Under some circumstances, copying information from websites, downloading music or video from or uploading it to a peer-to peer application, or even mere photocopying, faxing, or cutting and pasting substantial portions of copyrighted materials may constitute infringement. CDU students are expressly prohibited from using the CDU online campus or LMS to access peer-to-peer sites that permit unauthorized copying of copyrighted music, photographs, video, or other legally protected materials. Such activities will be treated as violations of the Student Electronic Information Policy.
Certain limited copying of published materials without permission may be allowed under the “Fair Use” doctrine. CDU students and associates are required to comply with the copyright laws. Failure to do so may be grounds for disciplinary action, up to and including dismissal, and may subject the infringer to significant legal consequences. As summarized by the United States Department of Education, penalties for copyright infringement may include civil and criminal penalties. In general, anyone found liable for civil copyright infringement may be ordered to pay either actual damages or “statutory” damages affixed at not less than $750 and not more than $30,000 per work infringed. For “willful” infringement, a court may award up to $150,000 per work infringed. A court can, in its discretion, also assess costs and attorney’s fees. For details, see Title 17 United States Code, Sections 504, 505. Willful copyright infringement can also result in criminal penalties, including imprisonment of up to five years and fines of up to $250,000 per offense.
For more information, please see the website of the U.S. Copyright Office at copyright.gov especially their FAQ section.
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 AUD 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.
Subject to the same policies above, non-alumni students may request to audit courses to which they are qualified to be admitted for credit, provided they pay full tuition; admittance will be granted at the discretion of university staff. Students may elect to change from audit to student status before the end of the add/drop period, but not afterwards. If after auditing a course a student wishes to pursue it for credit, they will be required to retake the course and complete all academic requirements.
Credit Awards for Prior Learning
College Level Examination Program (CLEP)
Following the recommendation of the American Council on Education (ACE), credit will be awarded for College Level Examination Program (CLEP) scores of 50 or above on any CLEP Exam that aligns with general education requirements. A score of 50 or above on any of the exams constitutes 3 academic credits to fulfill program requirements. CLEP score recipient code: 8086
Advanced Placement (AP)
Following the recommendation of the American Council on Education (ACE), credit will be awarded for Advanced Placement (AP) scores of 3 or above on any Advanced Placement Exam that aligns with general education requirements. A score of 3 or above on any AP exam constitutes 3 academic credits to fulfill program requirements. College Board number: 9188
While all theology majors are encouraged to study Latin or Greek, students may fulfill the undergraduate language requirement by obtaining either a score of 62 or above in the Level II CLEP exam or an AP exam score of 4 or above in any foreign language. Each exam will count as one 3-credit course.
DANTES Subject Standardized Tests (DSST)
Following the recommendation of the American Council on Education (ACE), credit will be awarded for DANTES Subject Standardized Test (DSST) scores of 400 or above on any DSST Exam that fulfills general education requirements. A score of 400 or above on any DSST exam constitutes 3 academic credits to fulfill program requirements.
A maximum combination of 30 credits from CLEP, Advanced Placement, DANTES and/or International Baccalaureate exams will be accepted toward the BA degree; 15 credits will be accepted toward the AA degree. These credits by examination count toward the maximum total number of allowable transfer credits a student brings from other institutions.
Academic Leadership will review transfer credits to determine their alignment with the undergraduate curriculum.
- 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 https://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. Students may also choose to file a complaint with CDU’s accrediting body, the Higher Learning Commission.
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.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/21cfr/21usc/. Details of the state of West Virginia sanctions can be found at https://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:
- Reporting the violation to law enforcement officials.
- Taking appropriate disciplinary action against the student or employee including termination of enrollment and/or employment.
- 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.
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
- The National Clearinghouse for Alcohol and Drug Information – Part of US Department of Health and Human Services & SAMSHA’s Clearinghouse https://www.samhsa.gov/
- 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
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.
From time to time issues of disclosure of personal information about students arise. CDU faculty are required to be aware of and follow the guidelines of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). FERPA affords students certain rights with respect to their education records. (An “eligible student” under FERPA is a student who is 18 years of age or older or who attends a postsecondary institution.) These rights include:
- The right to inspect and review the student’s education records within 45 days of the day the University receives a request for access. Students should submit to the Registrar, Academic Leadership, head of the academic department, or other appropriate official, written requests that identify the record(s) they wish to inspect. The University official will make arrangements for access and notify the student of the time and place where the records may be inspected. If the records are not maintained by the University official to whom the request was submitted, that official shall advise the student of the correct official to whom the request should be addressed.
- The right to request the amendment of the student’s education records that the student believes is inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise in violation of the student’s privacy rights under FERPA. Students may ask the University to amend a record that they believe is inaccurate. They should write the CDU official responsible for the record, clearly identify the part of the record they want changed, and specify why it is inaccurate. If the University decides not to amend the record as requested by the student, the University will notify the student of the decision and advise the student of his or her right to a hearing regarding the request for amendment. Additional information regarding the hearing procedures will be provided to the student when notified of the right to a hearing.
- The right to provide written consent to disclosures of personally identifiable information contained in the student’s education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent. One exception, which permits disclosure without consent, is disclosure to school officials with legitimate educational interests.
A school official is:
- A person employed by the University in an administrative, supervisory, academic or research, or support staff position.
- A person elected to the Board of Trustees.
- A person or entity employed by or under contract to the University to perform a special task, such as an attorney or auditor or an outside vendor.
A legitimate educational interest is defined as:
- Performing a task that is specified in his or her position description or contract agreement.
- Performing a task related to a student’s education.
- Performing a task related to the discipline of a student.
- Providing a service or benefit relating to the student or student’s family, such as health care, counseling, job placement or financial aid.
- Maintaining the safety and security of the online campus or physical administration of CDU.
FERPA permits the disclosure of personally identifiable information (PII) from students’ education records without consent of the student if the disclosure meets certain conditions found in § 99.31 of the FERPA regulations. Except for disclosures to school officials as described above, disclosures related to some judicial orders or lawfully issued subpoenas, disclosures of directory information (see below), and disclosures to the student, §99.32 of FERPA regulations requires the institution to record the disclosure. Eligible students have a right to inspect and review the record of disclosures.
A postsecondary institution may disclose PII from the education records without obtaining prior written consent of the student in the following situations (please note further limits on disclosures listed below are contained in 34 CFR § 99.1, et seq.):
- To officials of another school in which a student seeks or intends to enroll or is already enrolled if the disclosure relates to purposes of enrollment or transfer.
- To authorized representatives of the U.S. Comptroller General, the U.S. Attorney General, the U.S.Secretary of Education, or state and local educational authorities. Disclosures under this provision may be made in connection with an audit or evaluation of federal- or state-supported education programs or for the enforcement of or compliance with federal legal requirements related to those programs.
- In connection with financial aid for which the student has applied or received if the information is necessary to determine aid eligibility, amount, or conditions, or to enforce the terms and conditions of such aid.
- To organizations conducting studies for or on behalf of the school to: develop, validate, or administer predictive testing; administer student aid programs; or improve instruction.
- To accrediting organizations to carry out accrediting functions.
- To parents of an eligible student if the student is a dependent for IRS tax purposes.
- To comply with a judicial order or lawfully issued subpoena.
- To appropriate officials in connection with a health or safety emergency.
- To a victim of an alleged perpetrator of a crime of violence or non-forcible sex offense. The disclosure may only include the final results of the disciplinary proceeding with respect to that alleged crime or offense.
- To the general public, the final results of a disciplinary proceeding, if the school determines the student is an alleged perpetrator of a crime of violence or non-forcible sex offense and has committed a violation of the school’s rules or policies with respect to the allegation.
- To parents of a student regarding the student’s violation of any Federal, State, or local law, or of any rule or policy of the school, governing the use or possession of alcohol or a controlled substance if the school determines that the student committed a disciplinary violation and is under the age of 21.
- If the disclosure concerns sex offenders and other individuals required to register under section 17010 of the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994.
The following data is considered to be directory information and may be given to an inquirer, either in person, by mail or by telephone, and may be otherwise made public: name of student, address (both local, including e-mail address and permanent), photograph, dates of registered attendance, enrollment status (e.g. full-time or part-time), school or division of enrollment, major field of study, nature and dates of degrees and awards received, participation in officially recognized activities and sports, and weight and height of members of athletic teams.
An individual student currently enrolled may request that such directory information not be disclosed by completing the Request to Prevent Disclosure of Directory Information form and submitting it to the CDU registrar.
If you would like to complete a FERPA release form to allow staff to discuss your account or academic records with other individuals, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Required Grade Point Averages and Maintaining Good Academic Standing
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 the BA in Theology Degree, Associate of Arts in the Liberal Arts or Catechetical Diploma degrees. Students whose cumulative GPA drops below a 2.0 will be placed on academic probation and will be referred to Academic Leadership.
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 a 3.0 will be placed on academic probation and will be referred to Academic Leadership.
To receive college credit at the undergraduate level for a general education course, a GPA of 1.0 or higher must be achieved in each course. To receive college credit at the undergraduate level for a theology or philosophy course, a GPA of 2.0 or higher must be achieved for each course. Grades of a C– or below in any theology or philosophy course, at either the undergraduate or graduate level, cannot be used to fulfill degree requirements.
Occasionally disputes may arise with an instructor regarding assignment and course grades. In such cases, the student must attempt to resolve the dispute with the faculty member. If a resolution is impossible the student may appeal the issue to Academic Leadership. If the involvement of Academic Leadership fails to resolve the issue, the student may request a review of the grade by the Faculty Governance Council. The Faculty Governance Council is the court of final opinion regarding student grades.
Policy on Late Assignments
All course assignments are due on the dates specified unless permission is granted in advance by the faculty member. There may be grade penalties for work submitted after the due date.
Policy on Failed Courses
Students who re-enroll in this course and receive a passing grade, will have the failure forgiven and only the passing grade will appear on the transcript.
See Catalog & Student Handbook for additional information, including the Policy on Incomplete Coursework and Student Course Extension Request
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+||
|93 – 97||A||
|90 – 92||A-||
|87 – 89||B+||
|83 – 86||B||
|80 – 82||B-||
|77 – 79||C+||
|73 – 76||C||
|70 – 72||C-||
Other Grading Terms
|W||Withdrawn after the 5 day period initiated by student: some assignments turned in|
|FS||Failure due to stopped attending|
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 the ADA Coordinator 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’s ADA Coordinator 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 Academic Leadership.
For serious reasons, a student may apply for a leave of absence not to exceed 180 days. During this leave, elapsed time does not accrue toward the maximum completion time allowed for finishing the program. A letter requesting leave should be addressed to Academic Leadership. For Active Service Members, the LOA for a course or program can be extended beyond 180 days for Military Service operations. Appropriate documentation should be submitted to: email@example.com.
Each credit is comprised of 45 contact/engagement hours — 15 hours of engagement and 30 hours of preparation/study.
- A contact is defined using the Carnegie unit of measurement. Forty-five of these hours are contact hours, including participating in discussions, taking quizzes and examinations, looking at PowerPoint slides or videos, reading information from linked web sites, reviewing instructor lectures, or any other items that engage students with the course work according to the course modality.
- Course hour worksheets, documenting the distribution of these hours in 8-, 12-, or 16-week courses, are reviewed by instructors each term and shared with students within each course.
Catholic Distance University aims to provide students with sufficient resources for their classes. Therefore, CDU maintains a small print library to supplement TLELP and ebook library.
Staff or students may borrow books from the print library by requesting titles from the Librarian, Stephanie Garrett, firstname.lastname@example.org. The catalog is available at https://www.librarycat.org/lib/cduedu. Students may borrow up to four books at a time through interlibrary loan. The books will be mailed to students free of charge. Students are required to pay the return postage and return the books within four weeks. Books may be renewed once for an additional two weeks. Students who do not return books will be required to pay replacement costs based on current market value.
Interlibrary loan book checkouts will be recorded by the Librarian. Timely return will be noted, and students will receive a request to return overdue books. Cost of books not returned will be added to the student’s account.
“If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.” (1 Corinthians 13:1-2)
Speaking all things in charity is a fundamental principle of Christianity. This principle extends to interactions on social media.
Here are some additional principles to keep in mind:
- Post under your own name with an avatar on your account.
- Students are encouraged to form online Pronto groups dedicated to particular topics or themes. However, groups must be registered with Student Life and must include a student life coordinator as group “co-owner” with remote access passwords stored in a public place in the Student Life Center.
- Pronto is a closed social network that exists for the CDU community. However, think twice before posting: Privacy does not exist in the world of social media. Consider what could happen if a post becomes widely known and how that may reflect on the poster and the university. Search engines can turn up posts years after they are created, and comments can be forwarded or copied. If you wouldn’t say it at a conference or to a member of the media, consider whether you should post it online.
- Strive for accuracy: Get the facts straight before posting them on social media. Review content for grammatical and spelling errors.
- Practice respectful disagreement rather than personal attacks: Understand that content contributed to a social media site could encourage comments or discussion of opposing ideas. Remember at all times to observe CCC 2478 regarding the treatment of others who post ideas that differ from yours. Assume that others are acting in good faith and deserve the benefit of the doubt.
- Provide substantive feedback and not blanket or vague accusations.
- Be brief and stay on topic.
- Don’t write in ALL CAPS.
- Please familiarize yourself with the entire discussion before participating to avoid duplicating questions.
- Respect the Church, her hierarchy, and her teachings. Disagreement should be articulated thoughtfully, respectfully, and with due consideration for the sacred office that our shepherds hold and only after reasonable attempts to learn all relevant facts. Be wary of “facts” presented in headlines or writings on internet sources of dubious reliability. Disagreement should be issue-based and not personal. Catholics should strive to take the best interpretation possible of the thoughts, deeds, and words of others, all the more the Pope and the bishops who are the successors of the Apostles. (CCC 2478)
- Respecting the privacy and safety of all, do not publicly post any personal information about others they have not previously offered, including contact information, including personal addresses, phone numbers, or email, location, age, or family information including your own.
- Photography: Photographs posted on social media sites easily can be appropriated by visitors. Consider adding a watermark and/or posting images at 72 dpi and approximately 800×600 resolution to protect your intellectual property. Images at that size are sufficient for viewing on the Web, but not suitable for printing.
- Spamming, cyberbullying, flaming, sexual, racial or ethnic harassment and posting of obscene or pornographic content will not be tolerated. CDU staff actively monitors the chats and reserves at its discretion the right to remove posts and comments, to dissolve groups and to admonish, suspend or even ban given users from interacting on Pronto for violations of the above etiquette policies. 
- Obey the terms of service for Pronto.
- Address all concerns to the student life coordinators.
General standards for the acceptable use of CDU systems require responsible behavior with respect to the electronic information environment at all times.
All users will maintain compliance with all applicable local, state, federal, and international laws and regulations.
All users will maintain truthfulness and honesty in personal and computer identification.
All users shall respect the rights and property of others, including intellectual property rights and copyright laws.
All CDU usernames are the property of CDU and as such CDU retains exclusive rights to the creation, assignment, revocation, usage, and content management of all CDU usernames.
The following activities and behaviors are prohibited. Violations are grounds for disciplinary action up to and including dismissal from the university:
- Interference with or disruption of the computer or network accounts, services, or equipment of others, including but not limited to, the creation, installation, transmission, or propagation of computer “worms” and “viruses,” or activities that would result in a denial of service
- Revealing passwords (either one’s own or someone else’s) or otherwise permitting the use by others of one’s accounts for computer and/or network access
- Altering or attempting to alter files or systems without authorization
- Unauthorized scanning of the CDU websites, Learning Management System, or Online Campus network for security vulnerabilities
- Unauthorized network monitoring of other users’ activities
- Intentionally damaging or destroying the integrity of electronic information
- Intentionally disrupting the use of electronic networks or information systems
- Collecting user names and contact information and/or sending unsolicited commercial communications (spam)
- Attempting to decompile, decipher or reverse engineer any of the software used by CDU as part of the online services or interactive features
- Posting or transmitting any advertising or promotional materials or soliciting users to use particular goods or services, except as otherwise expressly permitted by CDU
- Posting any classified or sensitive information, which means that users, to the extent applicable, should also be mindful of Operational Security (OPSEC) when posting about units, organizations, and/or operations
- It is a violation to use an official CDU email address to impersonate a University office, faculty/staff member, or student.
All academic students currently enrolled at Catholic Distance University (CDU) are assigned a cdu.edu email address, which is the official means of email communication between Catholic Distance University and the student. Students are expected to check this email account regularly for announcements and email communication from the University, much of which may be time critical. Faculty should assume that students’ official email and Canvas messages are being monitored regularly and use the official email, Canvas chats, and discussion boards to communicate with their classes accordingly.
Failure to check for messages and to receive messages due to full mailboxes or auto-forwarded email are not acceptable excuses for missing official University communications. Students may auto-forward email to an outside email client at their own risk. The university IT staff and Help Desk do not support auto-forwarding of email and are unable to assist in troubleshooting problems with outside email clients or forwarded email.
Students must abide by the Student Electronic Information Policy.
CDU students may be expelled for repeated offenses or for a one-time flagrant violation of University policy such as cheating on an examination, falsifying application records, falsifying medical or other documentation submitted for appeals or accommodations, or using harassing and/or abusive language when interacting with other students, faculty or CDU staff. Other instances of student misconduct may include but are not limited to the following:
- The use of obscenities in the classroom, student lounge, or in any contact with university staff.
- The use of any racial, gender or ethnic attacks in the classroom, student lounge, or in contact with university staff.
- Harassment of fellow students, faculty, or staff either through personal attacks or repeated attempts to get a response prior to the published acceptable response time or after an appeal has been formally rejected by the university.
- Student misconduct of a possible sexual nature, which may include, but is not limited to, sexual discrimination, sexual harassment, or sexual violence, that denies or limits on the basis of sex an employee’s ability to provide aid, benefits, or services to students, or a student’s ability to participate in or benefit from CDU’s programs and activities
- Any yelling or other personally threatening behavior with faculty or staff.
- Intentional disruption of, or interference with, University academic or administrative activities.
- Continued disruption of online classroom learning.
- Any act of cheating in a course or aiding another student in cheating.
- Knowingly publishing or circulating damaging or false information (slander or libel).
- Any deliberate attack on or vandalism of University website or networks.
- Unauthorized access to another student record or classroom.
- Submission of any falsified CDU student information to any third party, including diplomas, transcripts, and registration information.
- Submission of fraudulent information on a student or loan application.
- Submission of any fraudulent information including information provided in the application.
- Submission of any falsified medical documentation, death certificates, or other third party documentation for disability accommodations, appeals, or appeals of academic dismissal.
- Failure to supply upon request appropriate or sufficient documentation to verify information submitted to CDU as part of the application process or otherwise.
- Failure to return material loaned by CDU staff or faculty.
If you or a proxy commits a conduct offense that is deemed to not merit expulsion on its own, you may be sent a letter of student misconduct from Academic Leadership. This letter will be placed in your student record and may be included in any future background investigation request. Students are responsible for the adherence to CDU conduct expectations for all designated third parties approved by a Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) or Power of Attorney (POA) form.
Two instances of student misconduct will count as multiple offenses as long as counseling has occurred prior to the subsequent incident. If a second instance of student misconduct occurs after you have received a Letter of Student Misconduct, you may be placed on suspension pending review of your case for possible expulsion.
CDU follows the letter and spirit of pertinent federal and state laws. CDU adheres to guidelines published by the Accrediting Commission of the HLC 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 emailing their request to the registrar (email@example.com).
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: Annie Hager, Title IX Coordinator
300 South George Street,
Charles Town, WV 25414
Phone: 304-724-5000, ext. 727
United States Department of Education
Office for Civil Rights
Lyndon Baines Johnson Department of Education Bldg.
400 Maryland Avenue, SW
Washington, DC 20202-1100
FAX: 202-453-602; TDD: 800-877-8339
Find our complete Title IX Compliance Policy here.
Complaint/Incident report Form
Title IX coordinator training materials
Credits earned at educational institutions accredited by an agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education may be substituted for credits earned at Catholic Distance University in the programs below. A maximum of 6 theology graduate credits earned within the last 5 years with a grade of 3.0 or higher may be transferred if earned from an institution(s) accredited by an agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education or whose courses are endorsed by an accrediting body recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. Acceptance of transfer credit is at the discretion of Academic Leadership. Credits for transfer must be from courses at the 100 level or higher. Certain requirements must be met, and the number of credits that may be considered for transfer vary by program. Click the links for information specific to each program.
Credits may also be granted for CLEP, Advanced Placement, DANTES, and International Baccalaureate examinations; see the Credit by Exam Policy for complete information.
Transfer credit is determined by the receiving institution, so students should check with an institution prior to enrolling at CDU to ensure that credits earned will be accepted.
NET PRICE CALCULATOR EXAMPLE: Click here to view an estimated cost of attendance.