Jul 12, 2024  
2018-2019 Undergraduate Catalog 
2018-2019 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Academic Support Services

The Office of Academic Success 

The Office of Academic Success (OAS) empowers students to develop skills to make their college career more successful. OAS programming helps motivate students to set higher goals in school and life thereby holding them accountable for demonstrating attitudes and behaviors that coincide with reaching their goals. The office aids students in maximizing their success by providing a wide range of free academic support services staffed with trained professionals. The staff works closely with other departments on campus in order to provide a holistic approach to student support. The services we provide are designed to give students the tools and information they need to be independent learners, enabling them to thrive and students reach their ultimate potential. 

Academic Success consists of the academic advising and the Student Success Center. The services provided by OAS include advising workshops, supplemental instruction, student learning assistants, and early alert notifications.

The Office of Academic Success provides OAS 103 which is an academic recovery course for students readmitted to the university and/or display a need for support through academic recovery.

The Office of Academic Success also provides OAS 201 which is a leadership course to empower students academically, civically, and professionally through leadership training development.

Academic Standing and Satisfactory Academic Progress

At the end of each semester, the records of all matriculated students are reviewed to determine satisfactory academic progress. A student’s academic standing at Shaw University is classified in one of five official standings: Good Standing, Academic Watch, Academic Warning, Academic Suspension, or Academic Dismissal. A student will remain in good academic standing if he/she demonstrates satisfactory academic progress in accordance with the standards listed below. Standards by which a student will be evaluated include progress in increments of hours completed (quantitative) and cumulative grade point average earned (qualitative).

Quantitative Standards:

  • Students must successfully earn two-thirds (i.e., 67% rounded to the nearest whole number) of the credit hours attempted. Attempted hours include all hours attempted at the University, as well as transfer hours. Transfer credit hours from another institution that are accepted toward the student’s academic degree program will count as both attempted and completed hours. [Example: If a student has attempted (enrolled in) in a total of 32 credit hours, he/she must earn a minimum of 21 credit hours (32 credit hours x 0.67 = 21 credit hours) in order to maintain satisfactory academic progress.]
  • The maximum time frame allowed for a student to complete degree requirements and remain eligible to receive financial aid is 150% of the total credit hours required to receive a degree in a particular course of study. [Example: If a particular degree program requires a minimum of 123 credit hours, then the student may be eligible to receive financial aid for a maximum of 185 attempted credit hours (123 credit hours x 150% = 185 credit Hours).]

Qualitative Standard:

  • A student’s cumulative grade point average must meet the criteria specified in the table below.
Credit Hours
0 - 29 1.5
30 - 59 1.8
60 - 89 2.0
90 and above 2.0

Please note: all correspondences regarding academic status are sent electronically to the student’s official Shaw University email and BearsNet. For security all other email addresses will not be used regarding private and sensitive information.

Academic Watch

At the end of each semester, the records of all matriculated students are reviewed to determine satisfactory academic progress. If a student achieves a GPA of 0.999 or less at the end of a fall or spring semester and has attempted 24 or more semester hours; and if the student is otherwise found to be in good standing; then the student will be placed on academic watch.The Academic Watch will trigger a flag in Jenzabar which will allow faculty to see the student is on Watch. The Academic Watch will not be entered on the student’s transcript. Academic Watch will not lead to further sanctions such as suspension or dismissal. Students on Academic Watch must take the following actions:

  1. Repeat failed courses that are core requirements for their degree or required for their major.

  2. If students have not already done so, visit the Office of Academic Success for referral for additional assistance from the academic department for the failed course and/or attend mandatory sessions in Academic Success.

  3. Maintain regular contact with their academic faculty advisor.

Consequences of Failing to Maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress

Academic Warning

A student is placed on Academic Warning when the student’s semester grade point average and credit hours are below the minimum requirements according to the qualitative and quantitative standards above. Once a student who has previously been on Academic Warning has achieved Good Academic Standing for two consecutive semesters, he/she comes off of academic sanction. If at any point, the student fails to meet academic progress again, the academic standing begins anew with an Academic Warning.

Students who have an Academic Warning or are readmitted after an Academic Suspension or Dismissal must adhere to the following:

  1. Enroll in no more than 13 semester hours.
  2. Repeat all failed courses that are core requirements for their degree or required for their major.
  3. If students have not already done so, visit the Office for Academic Success for an Academic Recovery Plan, referral for additional assistance from the academic department for the failed course and/or attend mandatory sessions in Academic Success.
  4. Mandatory Weekly-Check -In’s with the Office for Academic Success.
  5. Complete two hours of mandatory tutorial services at the Tutorial Center.
  6. Maintain regular contact with their academic faculty advisor and the Office for Academic Success according to their individual Academic Recovery Plan.
  7. All academic probationary students’ academic progress and participation will be documented and shared with the SAP Academic Standards Committee throughout and at the end of the semester.

Academic Suspension and Academic Dismissal

If a student fails to remove the Academic Warning sanction by the end of the following semester, the student will be placed on Academic Suspension. The student’s transcript will now state - Academic Suspension. Students who fail to meet the Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) may appeal the suspension (see appeal procedures below). If the appeal is granted the student may remain at the institution and is considered to be on Probation for Academic Suspension. A student may remain on Probation for Academic Suspension for the time stipulated in the Academic Recovery plan, and as long as he/she meets the benchmarks in the plan.  

Requirements for Federal Student Aid Recipients.  

Letters of appeal should be based on a mitigating circumstance that negatively impacted the student’s ability to meet the minimum required standards. Examples of such circumstance may include, but are not limited to: death or prolonged illness of an immediate family member, medical illness by the student that created undue hardship, natural disasters beyond the control of the student or other personal or family matters/situations that may have negatively impacted the students’ ability to meet the minimum required standards.

If applicable, documentation that supports any retroactive grade changes that may have occurred.

Students, who appeal their suspension, may be readmitted upon the recommendation of the Academic Standards Committee. Students, who do not appeal their suspension, must leave the university for at least one semester.

If a student’s appeal is granted, the student may remain at the institution and will be assigned to work with the Office for Academic Success on a recovery plan. The student will be attending on probation but the Academic Suspension will remain on the student’s transcript until the student is in good standing, or until the student goes on Academic Dismissal.

Students readmitted on Academic Suspension must meet with the Office of Academic Success to develop an Academic Recovery Plan. The Office of Academic Success staff will review a student’s progress at the end of each semester/term as outlined in the Recovery Plan to determine if the student has made progress under the plan. The Office of Academic Success will report to the Office of Financial Aid whether the student has or has not complied with the conditions of the Recovery Plan. If so the Academic Standards Committee, based on the report  from the Office of Academic Success, will permit the student to continue to remain in school under the terms of the Recovery Plan.  If the student fails to meet the terms of his/her Academic Recovery Plan and improve his/her cumulative gpa then that student is subject to Academic Dismissal.

A student who has been academically dismissed will be required to leave the university for one semester. They may appeal the dismissal in writing to the Academic Standards Committee in care of the Vice President for Academic Affairs.

Appeal Procedures

The Appeal Process for Academic Suspension and Academic Dismissal is also addressed in the Appeal Procedures listed under Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Requirements for Federal Aid Recipients.  

Any student who is on Academic Suspension may appeal the suspension in writing to the Vice President for Academic Affairs/Academic Standards Committee. The request must include documentation to support the extenuating circumstances. Examples of acceptable documentation include, but are not limited to: death certificates, statements from physicians(s), clergy, or other verifiable information.

  1. The letter of appeal must be received by the Academic Standards Committee according to the date specified in the letter.
  2. Below is the required information that must be submitted with the academic appeal letter. Appeal submissions without this information will not be reviewed

Student Appeal Letter

Item 1:  Please identify the obstacles you encountered last semester:

Upon review of your past academic history, what circumstances negatively impacted your grades? Describe and discuss in detail obstacles you faced.

Examples of common obstacles are below:

Academic Obstacles:

Ineffective study skills, lack of effective time management skills, unprepared for exams and why, what worked in high school doesn’t work anymore, hard to concentrate, difficult classes/not prepared for course level, conflict with professor, unable to understand course content or find important information, poor reading skills, poor study skills, did not disclose individualized learning plan which would have allowed for classroom modifications

   Personal/Other Obstacles:

Financial difficulties, health problems, hard to get out of bed in the morning, use or abuse of alcohol or other substance(s), possible learning disability, difficulty sleeping at night, pressure, stress, anxiety, tension, excessive time spent online, family issues, extracurricular activities, working long hours


Item 2: Generate potential solutions for overcoming the obstacles you described and discussed:

Think about possible solutions for overcoming the obstacles you described. Make sure you list and discuss potential solutions for overcoming the obstacles you faced in your academic success recovery plan.


Item 3: Commit to workable and achievable solutions:

What are the most achievable solutions you are willing to try? How will these solutions help you? What changes will you need to make to achieve your goals? What will these solutions require of you in terms of time and effort?

Please note: The information provided will be included in final academic recovery plan completed with the Office for Academic Success. The academic recovery plan must also be shared with the Office of Financial Aid.

1. The Office for Academic Success will submit the student’s appeal to the Academic Standards Committee. The Academic Standards Committee will review the academic suspension and/or the academic appeal. If the appeal is approved, the readmitted student will be allowed to resume attending classes on probation. If the appeal is denied, the Academic Suspension /Academic Dismissal will stand and the student will be required to comply with the conditions based on the decision of the Academic Standards Committee.

2. If the student fails to complete the Office of Academic Success Re-admit process, the appeal will be forfeited and the student will not be able to attend for the semester and must re-appeal for consideration of readmission for a different semester.

3. If student does not appeal for ensuing semester, the student will have an appeal deadline until the week before formal classes begin of semester appealing to attend. The only exceptions to this deadline are military deployment, death of an immediate family member, and/or an  immediate medical emergency. All supportive documentation must be provided at the time of appeal submission.


A student who has been readmitted twice on an appeal is no longer eligible to be readmitted to the University.


Any student who has previously attended Shaw University, but was not in attendance during the prior semester or who withdrew from the University before completing the prior semester. A student who has been academically dismissed from the University must refer to the section on Satisfactory Academic Progress. A student who formally withdrew may apply for readmission prior to the beginning of the next scheduled semester or summer session.

Any student who has previously attended Shaw University, but was not in attendance during the prior semester or who withdrew from the University before completing the prior semester, is required to submit an appeal letter to the Academic Standards Committee. All correspondences with students occur electronically via email. Once the student has received his/her re-admit status, the student must complete an application for readmission with the Office of Admission. A student who is appealing to return back to the University, and he/she has an Academic Warning or University Withdrawal will not have an appeal to count against them.  

If the appeal is denied, by the Academic Standards Committee, the student is referred to attend a Community College enrolling and successfully passing full-time transferable credits. The official transcript from the community college must be submitted for review of academic progress. Please not only credit hours will transfer and not grade point averages. Once the student re-submits the appeal letter with the official transcript from another University/ Community College; the Academic Standards Committee members will review all documents for the semester he/she is applying.

A student who has been readmitted twice on an appeal is no longer eligible to be readmitted to the University.

Contact Information for the Academic Standards Committee:
  Mail: Shaw University
  Academic Affairs/Academic Standards Committee
  118 East South Street

Raleigh, NC 27601

Fax: 919-821-5155

Email: appealletters@shawu.edu     


Please contact the Office of Academic Success for additional assistance at (919) 582-4990.

Withdrawals, Incompletes, and Repeats

Withdrawals, incompletes, “Z” grade, and repeated courses will not be exempt from the calculation of attempted hours. Students will be required to complete the minimum number of credits as outlined in the above chart.


Supplemental Instruction (SI) is an academic assistance program that utilizes peer-assisted study sessions. SI sessions are regularly scheduled, informal review sessions in which students compare notes, discuss readings, develop organizational tools, and predict test items. Students learn how to integrate course content and study skills while working together. The sessions are facilitated by “SI leaders”, students who have previously done well in the course and who attend all class lectures, take notes, and act as model students.


  1. To increase retention within targeted historically difficult courses
  2. To improve student grades in targeted historically difficult courses
  3. To increase the graduation rates of students  

SI is a “free service” offered to all students in a targeted course. SI is a non-remedial approach to learning as the program targets high-risk courses rather than high-risk students. All students are encouraged to attend SI sessions, as it is a voluntary program. Students with varying levels of academic preparedness and diverse ethnicities participate. There is no remedial stigma attached to SI since the program targets high-risk courses rather than high-risk students.  

Early Alert System

The Early Alert System is a campus-wide effort to identify undergraduates students including CAPE needing assistance from academic and student services. The Early Alert System is designed for faculty and staff to identify students early in the second and 7th week of a semester who need assistance due to academic performance, class participation, and/or behavioral issues.

The James E. Cheek Learning Resources Center

The James E. Cheek Learning Resources Center, named in recognition of the seventh president of Shaw University, was dedicated in 1969. The Learning Resources Center (LRC), located on the central campus serves as Shaw University’s main campus library for undergraduate and graduate research. Specialized collections supporting academic programs are: The G. Franklin Wiggins Library that supports the Graduate School of Divinity and the Curriculum Materials Center (CMC) that supports the Department of Education. The main campus library also maintains resource centers at nine distant learning sites throughout the state of North Carolina for the Centers for Alternative Programs in Education (CAPE).

The Cheek Learning Resources Center’s collection includes over 94,000 circulating books, 3000 reference books, and a collection of 510 videos and DVDs. Access to 119 electronic databases is provided through NC Live including 5,059 audiovisual items and 7,421 full-text journal articles. NC Live also provides user access to 60 electronic reference books which support the Gale Virtual Reference Library. A computer lab equipped with 20 computers and a printer is also located on the second floor of the Cheek library. The library also has 14 additional computers located in the first floor Reading Room of the Cheek Library. Shaw University provides distance learning students at remote sites with access to all resources of the main campus library including electronic databases, full text journals, newspapers and electronic books. The Curriculum Materials Center Education Library maintains a collection of over 10,000 volumes that include books, teaching aids, lesson plans, audiovisual materials, curriculum guides, North Carolina classroom projects, periodicals, and a variety of non-print materials that support the education program. Additional access is provided to the resources of the Cheek main campus library which includes access to 30,723 electronic books provided through NCLIVE. The Curriculum Materials Center library is also equipped with 8 computers, a printer and 2 scanners. The G. Franklin Wiggins Library houses a collection of over 15,000 volumes of professional, reference, and general books for the Shaw Divinity School. The collection also includes periodicals, microfilm, audio tapes of sermons, videos and newspapers. Access to a full range of electronic periodicals and resources is provided through the American Theological Library Association (ATLA) database and the Cheek main campus library databases and resources. The Wiggins Library is also equipped with 4 computers and a printer. Through cooperative agreements, Shaw University graduate students and faculty are provided with access to additional reference and specialized program resources at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary Library and Duke University Divinity School Library. The Shaw Divinity School also has a satellite or additional library at the High Point CAPE site. This site houses approximately 2,000 books and provides computer access to all Shaw University resources.

The two special collections of African-American resources are the Mollie Houston Lee (1800 volumes) and John Wilson Fleming (3200 volumes) collections. These collections are located on the second floor of the library in the Reference department. They include fiction, biographies, literary criticisms, anthropologies and other resource materials by and about African-Americans, as well as Africans across the Diaspora.

The University Archives, a division of the library located on the first floor of the Cheek Learning Resources Center is the depository for records having research or historical value and also includes records transferred to its custody. The University Archives houses rare books, manuscripts, documents of members of the academic and administrative staff and records of faculty and student organizations.

The Reference Services Department, located on the second floor of the Cheek Library is responsible for assisting the university’s community with accessing information needs both electronically and in print format. Materials in this collection are non-circulating; however, a coin operated copy machine is conveniently located on the Reference floor.

The Public Services/Circulation Department of the library caters to the borrowing and lending needs of all library users. This department is responsible for transactions involving the general book collection, inter-library loan, reserved instructional materials and non-book resources such as videos, audio and media equipment. The Circulation Department is also responsible for providing support in the use of media equipment.

Information literacy is defined as “the ability to know when there is a need for information, to be able to identify, locate, evaluate, and effectively use that information for the issue or problem at hand.” Each semester, library orientation and Information Literacy instruction is provided for freshman, new students and distance learning students. Bibliographic Instruction is also provided for classes in all disciplines. The types of instructional training include: group instruction; individual instruction and online tutorial training. Sessions include step-by-step guides for writing research papers; citation resources; plagiarism; locating books in the Library of Congress Classification system and searching for journals and articles via NCLIVE.

Ask-A-Librarian Service is a new reference feature that offers research assistance via e-mail. Students, faculty and staff may email the library with reference questions and receive an online response within 24 hours.

For more information about the Shaw University libraries, visit www. shawuniversity.edu/libraries.htm.

Experiential Learning and Career Development Center

The mission of the Experiential Learning and Career Development Center is to provide centralized, comprehensive and progressive programs, services and resources in preparing students to achieve meaningful and successful career development. Assistance is also available to alumni of the University.

The Career Development Center is customer focused and centralizes the functions of off-campus student employment (full-time employment, summer jobs, internships, part-time employment, and post-graduation employment) and career counseling. Individuals who are formally enrolled in a degree program at Shaw University or who are Shaw graduates are eligible to use the facilities, programs and services of the Center.

Student Success Center

Our mission at the Student Success Center is to strengthen each student’s Math, Science and Writing skills. The Student Success Center provides academic support to a diverse community of learners by making available extensive academic intervention for those simply seeking to excel academically and beyond, those with a GPA of 2.0 and below, and those who need special academic assistance. Students will gain confidence as they achieve their academic endeavors. 

Services provided by the Student Success Center:

  • One-on-one sessions
  • Small group sessions
  • Study Strategies Workshops

First Year Programs

The mission of First Year Programs is to provide services and programs to help facilitate the successful transition to the college campus for first-year and transfer students. The goals of First Year Programs are:

(1) to introduce students to university student support services and campus resources, such that transition to the college environment will be a positive experience; (2) to help facilitate student adjustments and choices to challenges related to the intellectual, emotional, and aesthetic components of student life by providing appropriate information; and finally (3) to provide opportunities for students to experience academic success at Shaw University.

The First Year Programs are intended to be a positive experience and most importantly, it promotes Shaw University’s Motto, Pro Christo et Humanitate (For Christ and Humanity).

First Year Programs’ Course Requirements

  • Freshmen                  OAS-100
  • Transfer                    OAS-101
  • Adult Students           OAS-102

All  students should register for and attend an OAS course their first semester at the University. 

CASES is an OAS 100, 101 and graduation requirement

As an integral part of their OAS 100 or 101 class, Raleigh Day students participate in CASES (Cultural, Academic and Spiritual Enrichment Seminars). The CASES component of the OAS class is designed to 1) expose students to the cultural opportunities that our downtown Raleigh location has to offer, 2) enhance students’ academic skills and perspective, and 3) enrich their spiritual growth.


The CASES program includes specific mandatory events which all students are required to attend depending on the semester they begin school.  It also requires students to choose among a variety of cultural opportunities to attend during the semester they are taking their OAS class. Those opportunities may include cultural festivals, museum visits, exhibits, and music or theatrical performances.


The mandatory university activities that OAS students must attend are as follows:

During the fall semester the required events include: Fall Convocation in September, The Bessie Boyd Holman Lecture Series in Ethics and Values in October, and Founder’s Day/Homecoming Convocation in October/November.

During the spring semester the required events include The Martin Luther King, Jr. Program in January, Religious Emphasis Week in February, and University Awards Day in April.


For those required university functions, students must wear proper attire in order to receive credit for attendance.

Male Attire: Males must wear a navy blazer (with Shaw University Crest), gray slacks, white button-down shirt, burgundy Shaw tie, and dress shoes.

Female Attire: Females must wear a navy blazer (with Shaw University Crest), gray skirt or dress slacks and white blouse, Shaw scarf, and dress shoes.


Students who have not fulfilled all requirements for the First Year Programs:

Will not be certified for graduation

Will not be allowed to run for an elected office

Will not be allowed to serve as a First Year Peer Mentor nor a Residence Advisor (RA)

Will not be allowed to pledge, participate in fraternity or sorority membership intake processes


Shaw University exists to advance knowledge, facilitate students learning and achievement, to enhance the spiritual and ethical values of its students, and to transform a diverse community of learners into future global leaders, adding value to the quality of life. Hence, within a liberal arts framework, the “Ethics and Value Thrust” of Shaw University aims to prepare future leaders for success in their major field of study and ensuring vocation with demonstrated knowledge, skills, and values of reflective moral reasoning and action contributing to the quality of life. As part of the University’s emphasis on ethics, values, and character building, worship at the Thomas J. Boyd Chapel is designed to strengthen the spiritual dimension of character development throughout the campus community.

The “Ethics and Value Thrust” is infused into the University core curriculum.