Academic Policies 2020-2021

Eight Semester Guarantee


If you are a first semester college student starting college for the first time after high school (and have taken no college courses other than while in high school or the summer after), you may be eligible to participate in the Eight Semester Degree Completion Program (DCP). This program assures that if you follow and successfully complete a recommended sequence of courses and requirements you can graduate in eight semesters. All freshmen entering the University must accept participation, decline participation or acknowledge ineligibility for participation in the Degree Completion Program by signing the Participation Document. You will learn more about the policy and sign the document during Henderson Seminar.

View degree plans from the Registrar's web page. Plans may also be obtained directly from the faculty department chair for your selected program of study.

Eight-Semester Degree Completion Policy (DCP)

Henderson State University (HSU) is committed to helping all of its students identify and achieve their educational goals. The many Henderson State University programs of study and activities provide opportunities to students to follow varied career and learning paths and enjoy educational experiences of different kinds. Plans for degree completion are available in the Academic Catalog and from colleges, schools, and departments. Academic advising services in each college and school assist students in making plans for their own degree completion and in carrying them out consistent with students’ abilities, circumstances, and preferences.

The Eight-Semester Degree Completion Program (DCP) makes it possible for qualified degree-seeking freshmen to express their intention — and assume the associated obligations — to complete identified bachelor’s degree programs of study in four academic years. The list of majors and degrees designed to be completed in eight semesters and for which the DCP is available is maintained by each college and school. It may be accessed from the DCP Web site and is published in the Academic Catalog. Colleges, schools and individual departments can provide this list as well. Before registering for their first semester of study, all freshmen entering the university must accept participation, decline participation, or acknowledge ineligibility for participation in the DCP by signing the Participation Document. New freshmen will be notified regarding how to view the Participation Document on-line and learn more about registering for a Degree Completion Program. A student’s participation or nonparticipation in the DCP will not affect scholarship eligibility.

Students who are admissible to the DCP and who choose to participate have the responsibility for meeting all requirements specified by the university and their degree completion plan and the responsibility for complying with the DCP policy. The university is responsible for providing academic support and for ensuring that students can complete university, program and course requirements within eight consecutive semesters. The university will also provide students with timely notifications to the student’s official university e-mail address regarding advising, registration, and other requirement completion information.

A student may choose at any time to discontinue participation in the DCP without penalty. Students are encouraged to discuss such choices with an authorized academic advisor for the program of study. Participation and subsequent withdrawal from the DCP will not jeopardize the student’s opportunity to complete the degree program, to do so in a timely manner, or to complete another degree program or major by fulfilling program requirements.

In some circumstances, it may be in a student’s best interest to decline participation or withdraw from the DCP. Examples include students who are not prepared to choose a major before enrolling for the first semester and students who feel that a full semester class load of 15 or 16 hours will be too heavy given other responsibilities. Other students may plan to study abroad for a semester in an institution where the required courses are not offered or to participate in a semester-long internship program not included in the program plan. A decision or need to work or participate in certain time-intensive curricular and extra-curricular activities such as band and intercollegiate athletics may make it impossible to schedule all requirements in some programs. A student may be required to withdraw from the DCP as a result of illness or other personal circumstances that make it impossible to do his or her best work, continue as a full-time student, or complete requirements in the time available. There are also a number of acts and events that may or will cause the DCP agreement to be voided; these are identified below in the section “Student acts and other events that will or may void the degree completion plan agreement.”

Requirements for Admission to the Eight-Semester Degree Completion Program (DCP):

  1. Participants must begin their program of study in the fall semester as first-time, full-time freshmen and must be committed to be full-time students able to enroll in and successfully complete at least 31-36 hours each academic year.
  2. Participants must have chosen a major included in the DCP, must meet all admission requirements for the chosen program of study including applicable program grade point average and other grade requirements, and must have been admitted to programs requiring formal program admission.
  3. Participants must be qualified to begin enrollment in the fall semester without being required to take remedial courses in math, English, or reading or other course prerequisites to entry-level courses in the chosen program of study

Requirements for Continuance and Completion of the Eight-Semester Degree Completion Program:

  1. Students must follow exactly the degree completion plan for the chosen major and must meet all the specified requirements in their degree plan each semester unless an alternative is approved by an authorized academic advisor for their program or unless they have already met the requirement.
  2. Students must be continuously enrolled in and successfully complete at least 31-36 semester credit hours of appropriate course work each academic year as outlined in their degree completion plan.
  3. Students must make satisfactory academic progress as defined by the university and degree program and must maintain the grade point average required by the university and the program of study.
  4. Students must monitor their own progress in meeting the requirements identified in their degree completion plan, consistent with the program plan.
  5. Students must register for classes at the first/earliest assigned time during their designated registration period each semester for the following term. For courses required for graduation, students must accept any available course or class section that does not conflict with other required courses. Students should understand that special scheduling accommodations cannot be guaranteed for work or other activities including athletics and band.
  6. Students must seek assistance from an authorized academic advisor for their chosen program of study if they are unable to identify or register for any course(s) required for that semester in their degree program. For situations in which an authorized academic advisor for the program cannot identify a required course for the student to take, the advisor must notify the department chair and dean for the student’s program of study that it has not been possible for the student to complete registration for a required course for the next semester of enrollment. Notification must be made in writing immediately following the unsuccessful attempt to register. Consistent with the terms of the degree completion program, the chairperson or dean will identify an alternate course, in writing, to fulfill graduation requirements or will provide an override to allow the student to enroll in the required course(s).
  7. Students must complete registration no later than the last official day of class for the fall or spring term preceding the next term of enrollment, unless the identification of an appropriate course to complete the student’s registration is still in progress.
  8. Students must have prior written approval by an authorized academic advisor before enrolling in any course at another institution (such as concurrent enrollment, enrollment during a summer term, or study abroad) if the student wishes to transfer the course and have the course included in the coursework submitted for the degree completion plan.
  9. Students must confer with an authorized academic advisor for their program before withdrawing from a required course as such a withdrawal will void the DCP agreement.
  10. Students must at all times maintain an accurate local address, and telephone number in official university records. Students may make changes to such information in the Registrar’s Office as needed and should make them immediately following any change.
  11. Students must respond in a timely way to any official notice or message from an authorized academic advisor and to any official notice regarding registration, degree progress, financial obligations or aid, or any other university requirement.
  12. Students must make timely application for all necessary financial assistance, consistent with deadlines.
  13. Students must meet all university degree requirements (including formal application for graduation consistent with deadlines and requirements as established by the Registrar for the semester in which the student is scheduled for graduation).

Student Acts and Other Events That Will or May Void the Degree Completion Plan Agreement:

  1. Withdrawing from (“dropping”) a required course
  2. Receiving a failing grade in a required course or receiving a grade below that required by the program
  3. Changing one’s major or degree program
  4. Withdrawing from Henderson State University
  5. Failure to meet any degree requirement(s) as specified and in the time specified
  6. Unauthorized non-payment or delayed payment of any tuition or fees
  7. Incurring a disciplinary action affecting the student’s enrollment
  8. Failing to comply with any other requirement of the Eight-Semester Degree Completion Policy.