Academic Policies Overview

The College's Mission

The college's mission is simple, based on our firm belief that a liberal arts education in a residential setting allows students to discover what their real talents and interests are, and that it develops in them the skills, abilities, and habits of mind in any field of endeavor, including ones that do not yet exist. It is the mission of Coe College to provide students an education that directs them toward a meaningful and successful life. Our curricular and co-curricular requirements and opportunities are built on these convictions.

Requirements and Opportunities

Students in The "U."

Coe's traditional liberal arts education assists students in first making the transition from high school to college and then making the transition from college to graduate school or to their chosen career. Coe College has a set of requirements for all students, as well as a wealth of options for students to pursue. All first-year students complete the First-Year Seminar in their first fall term. In addition, all students must complete the general education requirements for their earned degree, which include liberal arts experience courses, cultural perspective courses and writing emphasis courses. Students will also complete a practicum experience, which varies by discipline, in their junior or senior year, so they can make connections between their academic work and their plans for life after college. All students must also meet the requirements of at least one non-collateral major and complete at least 32 course credits with a minimum GPA in their major field and for the college. For more detailed information, see the Coe College Catalog.

In addition to the college requirements for graduation, Coe provides many opportunities for the students both in and out of the classroom to help prepare them for academic work while at Coe, as well as life after graduation. In the Stewart Memorial Library, the Library staff supports students in various ways through inter-library loans, online journal access, information literacy components to courses, and varied places to study.  Also in Stewart Memorial Library you can find the Learning Commons that provides various supports for student learning, including:

  • Peer tutoring in writing, speaking, technology, and specific disciplines
  • Need accommodations
  • Workshops on study habits and skills
  • Discovery of out-of-class opportunities, such as study away and scholarships
  • Various spaces for learning and consulting

Academic Advising

First-Year Seminar instructors serve as the primary advisors for first-year students in their respective sections. The advisor is available throughout the year to discuss academic and personal goals and to assist students in making course selections. Students may request a faculty advisor in their expected field of study to begin to advise them in their first spring term.

Faculty advisors will work with first-year students in their second term at the College to help the students create their Coe Plan, an individualized academic plan for their four years at Coe. This Plan will allow each student with his or her advisor’s guidance to determine the general taking of courses that will allow for the completion of graduation requirements while planning for study abroad, specific internship opportunities, or other academic plans that are important to the student.

Academic Integrity Policy

Students talking on the quad.

At Coe College, we expect academic integrity of all members of our community. Academic dishonesty is the willful attempt to misrepresent one’s work, cheat, plagiarize or impede other students' academic progress, and it is treated with the utmost seriousness by the college. Other forms of academic dishonesty include (but are not limited to) deliberately impeding other students' work and misuse of common academic property, in the libraries, labs and elsewhere.

Instructors have the responsibility for determining whether academic dishonesty has occurred and to take appropriate action. Sanctions for academic dishonesty may involve failure of the assignment or the course. Repeated acts of academic dishonesty will result in suspension or dismissal. A report of academic dishonesty is filed with the Vice President for Academic Affairs, and the student has the right to appeal. The entire Academic Integrity Policy is published in the Coe College Catalog.

Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) affords students certain rights with respect to their education records. A complete description of FERPA is available in the Coe College Catalog. In many situations, complaints relative to FERPA can be resolved with the college on an informal basis. Any student who wishes to discuss a FERPA complaint may contact the Registrar, lower level Voorhees Hall. To file a FERPA complaint with the U.S. Department of Education, contact the office that administers FERPA at:

Family Policy Compliance Office
U. S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Avenue, SW
Washington, DC 20202-4605

Grade Reports

Grades are recorded by the Registrar on the student’s permanent record and reported to the student and his or her advisor on

The Grading System

Passing grades are A, A-, B+, B, B-, C+, C, C-, D+, D, D-, or S (Satisfactory, given only for courses taken on a pass/fail basis). Failure is denoted by F, U (Unsatisfactory), or WF (given for withdrawal from a course after the seventh week of fall or spring term and computed as an F in the cumulative grade point average). The following symbols are used as status marks: W for approved withdrawal from a course, X for a course of study in progress which was planned for more than one term, O for no mark reported by the instructor, I for work not completed due to circumstances beyond the student’s control, and R for a repeated course.

Calculation of grade points is based on the following values:

A = 4.0 C = 2.0
A- = 3.7 C- = 1.7
B+ = 3.3 D+ = 1.3
B = 3.0 D = 1.0
B- = 2.7 D- = 0.7
C+ = 2.3 F = 0.0

The Academic Standing Committee determines the academic status of students. Each student who is not making satisfactory progress toward adequate grade point levels (see Coe College Catalog for more details) is evaluated at the completion of each term. The Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of the Faculty notifies the student of one of the following actions:

  • Warning - generally a first alert that improvement is necessary.
  • Probation - a more serious warning, indicating that substantial improvement must be made to get into good academic standing.
  • Dismissal - notification that a student in serious academic difficulty is being separated from the college immediately. Under certain circumstances, a student may appeal the immediate separation from the college.