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Academic Policies

A sampling of policies is included below for quick access. Complete academic polices are included in the University’s Academic Catalogs.

Challenge of Final Course Grade

A student who wishes to challenge a final course grade must submit an email request to the faculty member, the Department Chair and the Dean of the applicable school/division within 14 days of the issue of the final grade report. Petitions submitted beyond the two-week period may be accepted at the discretion of the faculty member who issued the final grade. The faculty member should respond by e-mail reply to the student within three weeks with copies to the Department Chair, the University Registrar, and the Dean of the applicable school/division. The student or the faculty member may refer the matter to the Department Chair, or the Dean of the applicable school/division if the Department Chair is the faculty member who issued the grade. The Dean is the final appeal. Conferral of a degree closes all challenges. In matters of academic integrity, grade challenges may be referred to the Academic Integrity Committee.

Changing Catalog Years

Undergraduate and graduate students are subject to requirements based on a particular catalog, referred to as the student’s “catalog year.” The catalog year is determined for new students as the catalog in effect at the time of their initial enrollment in courses at Bay Path, provided there is no break of more than 12 months in enrollment. The student’s catalog year determines both the major and general education requirements for degree completion; therefore, students who are reinstated to Bay Path after leaving in poor standing will be placed on the catalog in effect when they return.

Federal Credit Hour

Except as provided in 34 CFR 668.8(k) and (l), a credit hour is an amount of work represented in 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
  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, practica, studio work, and other academic work leading to the award of credit hours.

Student Complaint Policy and Process

This policy and process applies to complaints that students may have concerning academic matters. The policy does not include issues related to final course grades (see challenge of final course grade policy). Also, it does not apply to such issues as sexual or other harassment based upon sex, age, race, religion, color, national origin, sexual preference, or disability (see policies on harassment and related issues).

The student first should discuss the complaint directly with the faculty member and try to resolve it at that level. A student who attempts to begin the process at a higher administrative level will be directed to address the issue with the faculty member first.

If the student refuses to confer with the faculty member or the faculty member refuses to confer with the student, the student may confer with the department chair/program director or with a faculty advisor. If such a meeting occurs prior to the student meeting with the faculty member, the department chair will inform the faculty member of the student’s request to meet and, if known, the nature of the issue, prior to the meeting. The department chair/program director will not engage in substantive discussion with the student (i.e., inquire into the exact details or circumstances surrounding the complaint) but will listen to the student’s concerns, inform the student that the concerns will be communicated to the faculty member, recommend that the student meet with the faculty member to resolve the issues and, if necessary, arrange time for the student and faculty member to meet to resolve the complaint, if appropriate, with the director present.

If an acceptable solution is not reached at this stage of the process (as stated above), the student must then document his or her complaint in writing and deliver a copy to the faculty member and the department chair/program director, respectively. In these cases, the department chair/program director will make a judgment about the student complaint and inform the faculty member, student, and the Dean of the appropriate school. If the complaint is judged to be valid, the department chair/program director will ask the faculty member to respond to the issue in writing or to resolve the issue in an appropriate manner.

If the resolution is unacceptable to the student, the student may appeal to the Dean. The decision of the Dean is final and may not be appealed further.

If the resolution is unacceptable to the student, the student may appeal to the Vice President for Academic Affairs. The decision of the Vice President for Academic Affairs is final and may not be appealed further.

Non-Academic Complaints

Non-academic complaints and reports regarding discrimination, sexual or other harassment based upon sex, age, race, religion, color, national origin, sexual preference, or disability (see policies on harassment and related issues) may be shared with:

Dinah Moore
Dean of Students and Engagement
Blake Student Commons 116
Office Phone: 413-565-1415
Google Voice: 413-206-9671

Distance Education Student Complaints

Students enrolled in distance learning programs who reside in states covered under NC-SARA (see SARA member states and territories) may contact Claire Jenson at

Appeals to Government Agencies

Please note that the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education (DHE) will accept complaints of any nature (academic, discrimination, harassment, etc.) regardless of the subject, where the student resides, or how they are taking classes. Complaints which are not eligible for review under the SARA Complaint process will be filtered out (i.e. grade appeals) but only after the DHE has determined that the subject of the complaint is ineligible for review under the SARA Complaint process.

Student Identity Verification in Distance Learning

Purpose and Scope

This policy applies to all credit-bearing online courses or programs offered by the Bay Path University, beginning with the application for admission and continuing through to a student’s graduation, transfer or withdrawal from the University. The purpose of this policy is to ensure that Bay Path University operates in compliance with the provisions of the United States Federal Higher Education Opportunity Act (HEOA) concerning the verification of student identity in distance education and the expectation of the New England Commissions of Higher Education (NECHE).

The HEOA requires that institutions offering distance education or correspondence courses or programs have processes in place to ensure that the student registering for a course is the same student who participates in the course or receives course credit. The HEOA requires that institutions use one of the following three methods:

  • A secure login and pass code;
  • Proctored examinations; and
  • New or other technologies and practices that are effective in verifying student identification.


Bay Path University employs a secure login and passcode for student accounts. Upon enrollment, each Bay Path student is assigned a sequentially generated nine-digit student identification number. All Bay Path University students are provided credentials for secure access to University systems, including for distance learning. Students are responsible for providing their complete and true identity information in any identification verification process. Bay Path students are required to follow the acceptable use policy, which includes stipulations that they may not provide someone his or her password or allow others to use his or her account.

Students use their unique credentials, including their Bay Path email address and a password, to access the My Bay Path portal, which is the gateway to a number of information systems and resources including Canvas, the University’s learning management system. Canvas integrates with University authentication services to ensure appropriate and secure student access to course materials. All users of the University’s learning management system are responsible for maintaining the security of login information and passwords and any other access credentials as required. Attempting to discover another user's password or attempts to gain unauthorized access to another person's files or email is prohibited.

In the event that an exam for a distance course must be proctored, the instructor is required to make arrangements in advance with students. These arrangements must include advance notification of any fees associated with proctoring.

Bay Path University complies fully with the provisions of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), 20 U.S.C. 1232g, which protects the privacy of student information in distance education by requiring, with certain limited exceptions, that the student's consent must be obtained before disclosing any personally identifiable information in the student's education records.