University of the Rockies Catalog - General Academic Policies and Information
Assessment serves as a window into student learning. Through this window we can measure the success of our students during their academic careers. Assessment is not a single activity; instead it is a process of continuous improvement to select and analyze meaningful data throughout the institution that supports our commitment to high-quality learning and academic excellence. We consider assessment of student achievement, learning, and satisfaction fundamental for University of the Rockies to accomplish its mission. The assessment process is grounded in a culture of inquiry to support and enhance the student experience. Each year we pose new questions related to student learning as we work to meet the university’s mission: University of the Rockies provides high-quality, accessible learning opportunities globally for diverse groups of individuals seeking preparation for life goals, professional practice, service, and distinguished leadership.
Assessment at University of the Rockies is an ongoing reflective process informed by ideas, experiences, and tangible data. Our goal is to gather meaningful assessment data utilizing manageable and sustainable methods and processes. We align our assessment activities in a way that supports the continuous improvement of university programs and practices, and a positive student experience.
At University of the Rockies Institutional Outcomes (ILOs) reflect the commitment to the highest standards of academic, interpersonal, and professional preparedness, as well as a guide for continued growth. All students regardless of discipline are expected to achieve this overarching set of outcomes. All programs and course learning outcomes are mapped to the ILOs. This alignment of outcomes serves as a framework for assessing and improving student success.
ETHICS – Acts in an ethical, legal, and professional manner according to the current codes of ethics in the respective disciplines.
CRITICAL THINKING SKILLS – Demonstrates the ability to use critical thinking skills.
COMMUNICATION – Communicates effectively in written form and oral presentation.
EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE – Exhibits emotional intelligence.
LIFELONG LEARNING – Engages in the practice of lifelong learning.
DIVERSITY – Supports diversity and multi-cultural issues and recognizes their impact.
University of the Rockies continuously looks for ways to improve our academic programs. In the event we plan to make a significant improvement to a program, as deemed so by the University, we will post that information on our Student Consumer Information page, www.rockies.edu/about/consumer-information. Once an effective date for a significant improvement to an academic program is determined, information about the change will be posted on the website. Please note that significant improvements to academic programs generally only impact new students enrolling with a start date after the effective date. In the event that a significant improvement impacts current students in the program, students will be notified directly.
The Master of Arts in Counseling (all specializations), the Master of Arts in Psychology, Career Management & Counseling, Master of Arts in Psychology, General Psychology, and Master of Arts in Psychology, Sport & Performance Psychology, and the Doctor of Psychology, Clinical Specialization operate in a “non-standard term” format. In the non-standard term format, students typically take 2 classes at a time. Each term is nine weeks in length.
Many programs offered at the Denver Campus and all programs offered Online (except for the Master of Arts in Counseling) operate in a “non-term” format. In the non-term format, courses run continuously, rather than in semesters, and students typically take one course at a time and move on to the next course without a break. Courses are 6 weeks or 9 weeks in length.
Please refer to Course Delivery in the Academic Policies: Non-Standard Term Format or Academic Policies: Non-Term Format sections of this Catalog for additional information related to program and course delivery.
University of the Rockies defines “credit hour” as the approximate amount of work represented in intended learning outcomes and verified by evidence of student achievement. According to the traditional definitions of credit hour (the Carnegie Unit), a credit hour is reasonably equivalent to 45 hours of learning time. Student achievement of course learning outcomes is what ultimately validates the credit hours assigned to a course. The number of credit hours assigned to a course is commensurate with the total effort required of a student in order to achieve the course learning outcomes, not solely the number of clock hours a learner devotes over the duration of a course.
All required enrollments associated with the Pre-Doctoral Internship (School of Professional Psychology) total five credit hours. Students are advised that all Pre-Doctoral Internships must be completed in not less than 12 months and not more than 24 months.
No credits are awarded for required activities associated with Annual Assessments of Student Progress, Portfolio requirements, Advancement to Practicum, Oral Examination, or the Comprehensive Examination.
Credits required for Practica are based on the number of clock hours in the Practicum.
The grade point average is determined by dividing the total number of quality points earned by the total number of credits attempted for which quality points are given. The grades of “Incomplete” and “Passing” do not alter the grade point average. If a student repeats a course, only the most recent grade earned affects the grade point average; the grade point value of the first grade is no longer included in calculating the cumulative average. “W,” “WU,” and “I” grades are counted as credits attempted but not earned when calculating completion-rate requirements for satisfactory academic progress. No grades are awarded for transferred credits and transfer credit hours are not reflected in the University of the Rockies grade point average.
|A = 4.0 quality points||C+ = 2.3 quality points|
|A- = 3.7 quality points||C = 2.0 quality points|
B+ = 3.3 quality points
|U = 0.0 quality points|
B = 3.0 quality points
|WU = 0.0 quality points
B- = 2.7 quality points
|Note: a student may only receive a combination of two C, C+,
NP, U, and WU grades at the doctoral level.
Other Grading Designations
|U =||(Unsatisfactory) A grade of U indicates that the student has not demonstrated a satisfactory level of competence in the subject area being evaluated. Credit is not given for coursework in which this grade is earned. The class may be repeated; however, the grade earned in the first attempt remains on the transcript permanently and a repeat symbol is added to indicate that the course has been repeated. The final grade for a second attempt is indicated in the term it is completed.|
|WU =||(Withdrawn - Unsatisfactory) A grade of WU is issued when a student drops or is administratively dropped from a course after 67% of the total instructional time has elapsed, based on the last date of attendance. Credits are marked as attempted and grade points are equivalent to a “U” grade. Practicum, Thesis, and Dissertation courses are excluded.|
R or ** =
|(Repeat) Appears after the grade earned on a first attempt and indicates that the course has been repeated. Grades indicated with an “R” or followed by a ** are not used in calculating the cumulative GPA, but do count as attempted credits.|
|(Transfer Credit) Credits are attempted and earned.
|(Progressing) Indicates student eligibility to continue to the next term of a multiple term experience such as dissertation courses and internship. Credits are attempted and earned. However, PR grades will be changed to Pass only when the student completes all academic requirements for successful completion of dissertation courses or internship. Students who have not completed all requirements of the experience after enrollment in the minimum number of terms required or who have not remained continuously enrolled since the beginning of the course experience may need to enroll in additional credits. Credits are attempted and earned.
|P =||(Pass) A grade of P, or Pass, is given for satisfactory completion of practica, final defense of dissertation, comprehensive exams, and internship. Credits are attempted and earned.|
|NP =||No Pass (No Pass-Unsatisfactory) A grade of NP is given for failure to complete practica, dissertation, comprehensive exams, and internship in a satisfactory manner. Credit is attempted but not earned.|
|I =||(Incomplete) See policy regarding grades of Incomplete. Credits are attempted but not earned.|
|W =||(Withdrawn) A grade of W is given when a student drops or is administratively dropped from a course after the add/drop period. Credit is attempted but not earned.|
|AU =||Audit. Credit is not attempted and is not earned.|
|TA =||Teaching Assistant (non-credit bearing).|
When a course is repeated, the grade point average will be calculated based on the grade given in the most recent course. Both courses remain on the transcript. The first attempt is attempted but not earned, and will count negatively toward successful completion rates once repeated. Students are required to repeat any course required for their degree program that they do not satisfactorily complete. Grades of NP, U, W, and WU are not satisfactory in any program. An overall minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00 or higher is a graduation requirement for all programs.
Exceptions to the limit on repeating courses must be reviewed and approved by the appropriate School Dean when a student presents compelling extenuating circumstances and is otherwise eligible to continue based on satisfactory academic progress requirements. Appeals should be sent to the Registrar’s Office to be reviewed with the appropriate School Dean. The final written decision will be communicated by the Registrar’s Office. Students wishing to repeat any coursework previously passed should refer to the Tuition, Fees, and Financial Aid section of the Catalog.
Repeating coursework in either the non-standard term format or non-term format may impact financial aid eligibility. Students should refer to the Tuition, Fees, and Financial Aid section of the Catalog.
Master’s Level Programs:
A student may repeat any course with grades of NP, U, and WU once. A maximum of two different courses with grades of NP, U, and WU may be repeated. There is no restriction on the number of courses with a grade of C or C+ that may be repeated at the Master’s level so long as other requirements of satisfactory academic progress are met.
Any courses repeated as part of a Graduate Certificate will be counted as repeated courses in a degree program if a student chooses to apply the Graduate Certificate coursework into a University of the Rockies degree program.
Master’s level students who exceed the number of allowable NP, U, and WU grades within a 12 month period will be academically dismissed from their program of study.
Doctorate Level Programs:
A student may repeat any course with grades of C, C+, NP, U, and WU once. A maximum of two different courses with grades of C, C+, NP, U, and WU may be repeated. Grades of C and C+ will count towards meeting degree requirements; however, a student may only receive a combination of two C, C+, NP, U, and WU grades at the Doctorate level.
Doctorate level students who exceed the number of allowable C, C+, NP, U, and WU grades within a 12 month period will be academically dismissed from their program of study.
Doctor of Psychology, Clinical Specialization Program:
A student may repeat any course with grades of C, C+, NP, U, and WU once. A maximum of two different courses with grades of C, C+, NP, U, and WU may be repeated. Grades of C and C+ will count towards meeting degree requirements; however, a student may only receive a combination of two C, C+, NP, U, and WU grades in their program.
Doctorate level students who exceed the number of allowable C, C+, NP, U, and WU grades within a 12 month period will be academically dismissed from their program of study.
Incomplete (“I”) grades are issued at the discretion of the instructor and based upon compelling circumstances. The “I” grade appears on the grade reports and/or official transcripts. To issue a grade of “I” for a course, the following conditions must be met:
*Immediate family is defined as including husband, wife, domestic partner, grandparent, grandchild, mother-in-law, father-in-law, brother-in-law, sister-in-law, daughter-in-law, son-in-law, (step/adoptive) mother, (step/adoptive) father, (step/adoptive) brother, (step/adoptive) sister, and (step/adoptive) child. Additional considerations can be made on a case by case basis as determined by the University. Please contact email@example.com for specific consideration.
^ For information regarding Readmission of Students After Military Service under the Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008, please reference this section in the Catalog.
Note: Please refer to the Student Rights and Responsibilities section in this Catalog for complete details on the University of the Rockies Grade Appeals policy.
Students who wish to take a limited number of courses and do not wish to be enrolled in a degree program at University of the Rockies may enroll as non-degree seeking students (non-degree students or non-matriculated students) by completing an application for admission. Non-degree seeking students pay the standard tuition rate, are ineligible for financial aid, and are not reported as “in-school” for loan deferment purposes. Credit is granted when courses are successfully completed and all earned grades are recorded.
Applicants seeking to enroll in one or more courses as a non-degree seeking student are generally expected to meet the admissions requirements for the degree program through which the course(s) are offered including any prerequisite coursework required for an individual course. Admission requirements for enrolling in coursework as a non-degree seeking student are outlined specifically in the Admission Policies and Requirements sections of this Catalog.
Registering as a non-degree seeking student in no way guarantees or implies admission to a University of the Rockies degree program. Non-degree seeking students planning to formally apply for admission to a degree program should have their intended course selections reviewed by their Student Advisor or Registrar Advising Specialist to determine relevance and potential applicability to the program. Final determination of applicability will be reviewed and approved by the Registrar’s Office. Students who wish to apply non-degree seeking coursework to a University of the Rockies degree program may apply up to 15 credits to a Master’s program and up to 12 credits to a Doctoral program.
Individuals who have previously matriculated at University of the Rockies but are not in attendance currently, those who previously have been denied regular admission, or those who have been dismissed or disqualified from University of the Rockies must petition the Provost and receive permission to register as a non-degree seeking student. Graduates of the University of the Rockies are generally permitted to register for continued coursework as non-degree seeking students.
The number of non-degree seeking students in any course may be limited. University of the Rockies reserves the right to limit courses for which a non-degree seeking student may register, as well as to assess the suitability of a non-degree seeking student for any course.
University of the Rockies reserves the right to make adjustments to student schedules, including, but not limited to course dates, sequence, and modality as deemed necessary by University administration. Registration in a particular course section or with a specific instructor is not guaranteed.
University of the Rockies may cancel or postpone courses or programs as deemed necessary by the University. In such situations, the University will work with students in an effort to provide them with the opportunity to reschedule or to transfer to a comparable University course or program, if available. Any payments made for canceled courses will be refunded or applied to another University course or program. The University will make a reasonable attempt to notify affected students through various communication methods.
Any adjustments made to a student’s schedule, whether due to failing, repeating, dropping or administratively dropping a class, or taking unscheduled breaks may have academic and/or financial implications, including prior loan(s) entering the Grace/Repayment period with an effective date of the student’s last date of attendance. Students are strongly encouraged to consult with their Student Advisor (online) or the Registrar’s Office (Campus) to be advised on the implications of any potential schedule change. The Student Advisor or the Registrar’s Office may recommend that the student request a break in attendance due to class availability.
With written permission of the Academic Department Chair and the course instructor, University of the Rockies students and graduates may audit an on-ground course offering for half of the current tuition if they have previously taken the course at University of the Rockies or another approved accredited institution of higher education. An audit of a course is for the purpose of reviewing theoretical material. An audit is not to be used in lieu of taking a course for credit. Although students who audit a course are not expected to take exams or write papers, they are expected to meet all of the attendance requirements and come to class prepared to participate in class discussions in order to receive audit credit. The instructor of record determines whether or not the term “audit” will be added to the student’s transcript. No letter grade will be given for a course audit. University of the Rockies does not allow online course auditing due to the accelerated nature of course offerings and the unique nature of the online classroom environment.
Students who are requesting a program change must submit any additional admission materials required for the new program of study. Students must meet admission requirements and complete all degree requirements in the current Catalog at the time of admission to the new program. Admission is not guaranteed. The University will determine the conditions under which the student may enroll and will convey those conditions to the student.
Changes in programs or specializations may result in the reduction of applicable transfer credit and total earned credits towards the completion of the degree. A reduction in total earned credits may also result in a decrease in the amount of financial aid for which the student may be eligible. Adding an additional specialization to a degree may also result in an increase in total program cost. Students changing or adding a specialization in a Master’s degree program must do so prior to starting the final course in their program. Students adding or removing a specialization may be required to complete a different set of core courses. To change or add a specialization, a student must complete an Area of Study Declaration form and may need to submit an updated application and sign a new enrollment agreement.
Students who wish to pursue an additional specialization within a degree program may do so by successfully fulfilling the requirements for that specialization. Students who elect to complete additional specializations will be required to complete additional comprehensive exam questions related to their additional specialization courses as well. Coursework in the additional specialization must be completed within the normal timeframe for the degree. All specializations must be declared before completing all graduation requirements and, in a Master’s degree program, prior to enrolling in the Comprehensive Exam. After a degree has been conferred, additional specializations may not be declared.
Note: Specializations in General Psychology, Career Management and Counseling, and Sport and Performance Psychology can only be paired with each other.
Students may not enroll in more than one degree program concurrently at University of the Rockies. Students must complete one degree and be eligible before applying for an additional degree.
A student who has previously earned a degree at University of the Rockies, or an appropriately credentialed university, and wishes to earn an additional degree must fulfill all degree and graduation requirements applicable to the additional degree. Any credits applied to a previously awarded degree cannot be applied to a subsequent degree, except in the case of Master’s degree credits towards the post-baccalaureate Doctor of Psychology, Clinical Specialization. In all other cases, if a student has completed coursework that fulfills content requirements for the additional degree, the student must complete additional courses to fulfill total credit requirements for the additional degree.
The University Registrar or designee processes all degree rescindments. A University of the Rockies degree may be rescinded when there is clear and convincing evidence that one of the following has occurred:
University of the Rockies determines that a student is officially withdrawn when he or she requests to officially withdraw or takes an academic leave from the University. Online students wishing to officially withdraw from University of the Rockies must notify their assigned Enrollment Services Advisor, Student Advisor, or other advisor within the Enrollment Services or Student Services Department. Campus students wishing to officially withdraw must notify the Registrar’s Office.
For official withdrawals, a student’s withdrawal date is:
University of the Rockies determines that a student is unofficially withdrawn when he or she falls into one of the following categories:
For unofficial withdrawals, a student’s withdrawal date is:
One official transcript of coursework is provided free of charge upon graduation. In addition, doctoral internship applicants are provided one official transcript free of charge. Directions on how to obtain additional transcripts, or transcripts needed before graduation, and information on the current transcript fee may be found at www.rockies.edu/transcript. Only official transcripts may be provided to third parties upon written consent from the student via the Transcript Request form. Students may print copies of their unofficial transcripts, free of charge, through the Student Portal. Transcripts will be withheld if a student has a transcript hold or is delinquent in his or her financial obligations to the University.
Non-Term programs: MA degree maximum per academic year: 24; PsyD and PhD maximum per academic year: 36
Students may petition in writing to the Academic Department Chair for the level of program for an increase to the maximum number of credits they may attempt per academic year. The student must obtain written permission from the Academic Chair before the student may register for additional coursework. Students are encouraged to contact their Student Advisor (online) or Registrar Advising Assistant/Financial Aid Specialist (Campus) for advisement regarding scheduling and financial implications prior to petitioning to the Academic Department Chair.
Students in the Doctor of Psychology, Clinical specialization program may transfer up to 36 semester hours when that coursework matches University of the Rockies’ curricular offerings.
Courses accepted in transfer must come from a regionally accredited institution and be approved by the Provost or designee. Only courses with a grade of “B-” or above will be considered for transfer credit. Quarter credit hours will be converted to semester hours using the following formula: Quarter Credit Hours x 2/3 = Semester Credit Hours. The converted hours must be equivalent to at least 3 semester hours to be considered for applicability toward a University of the Rockies degree program.
Except in the case of the post-baccalaureate Doctor of Psychology, Clinical Specialization program, graduate courses cannot have been used to satisfy the requirements for a previous graduate degree, including University of the Rockies courses.
Applicable transfer credits will be applied to a student’s record once all required official transcripts have been received and the student has been fully admitted.
University of the Rockies reserves the right to determine the relevancy of the transfer course content based on institutional catalog course descriptions, course syllabi, program level, and/or other satisfactory documentation. The University may determine that a course cannot be transferred due to residency requirements, local laws, and/or program requirements. In addition, coursework completed more than 10 years prior to the date of admission is subject to review for currency and applicability to the current degree program. Please see the Course Descriptions section of this Catalog for courses that cannot be transferred into University of the Rockies.
Students are responsible for reviewing applied transfer credit. Students may submit a Transfer Credit Appeal form with appropriate documentation to request any prior credits completed outside of University of the Rockies to be re-considered for applicability toward a University of the Rockies degree program. Students earning credits outside University of the Rockies post-matriculation must submit an Appeal to Apply Transfer Coursework Post-Matriculation form for the credit to be considered for applicability toward their University of the Rockies degree program.
University of the Rockies has no articulation agreements with any other college or university.
Please refer to Transfer of Clinical and Counseling Practicum Hours in this section of the Catalog for transfer credit information related to practicum hours.
University of the Rockies may accept non-traditional credit courses evaluated by American Council for Education (ACE) as a graduate-level equivalent on a course-by-course basis. Students will be responsible for requesting military transcripts and/or ACE transcripts that may include graduate-level equivalent courses in order to be officially evaluated for course-specific transferability.
Because University of the Rockies is a regionally accredited institution, other institutions may elect to accept University of the Rockies credits. However, students should be aware that the transfer of credit is controlled by the receiving institution, and therefore cannot be guaranteed by University of the Rockies unless part of a valid articulation agreement or included in an articulation numbering system.
Outside any formal partnership or agreement, students considering transferring to another institution have the responsibility to determine whether that institution will accept University of the Rockies credits. University of the Rockies does not imply, promise, or guarantee transferability of its credits to any other institution.
Note: Service members should review the policy relating to Readmission of Students After Military Service under the Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008 in this section of the Catalog.
Students who withdraw and/or are withdrawn from University of the Rockies may request reinstatement to the same degree/program in which they were enrolled at the time of withdrawal. Students seeking reinstatement to University of the Rockies should contact their Student Advisor for online programs and the Registrar’s Office for ground programs. Students seeking reinstatement to a different degree/program must submit a new application required for the new program of study. Students must meet admission requirements and complete all degree requirements in effect for the program of study corresponding with the catalog year in which the student changed his or her program. Students who are out over 180 days must submit all required documentation and meet full admission status requirements, as outlined by the admission requirements for their program. Reinstatement is not guaranteed. If reinstatement is granted, University of the Rockies will determine any conditions under which the student may be reinstated and will convey those conditions in writing. Students who are readmitted are subject to the policies set forth in the Catalog and in effect at the time of readmission.
Note: Service members should review the policy relating to Readmission of Students After Military Service under the Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008 in this section of the Catalog.
Students who withdraw and/or are withdrawn from University of the Rockies for one year or more and are seeking readmission to the same or a different degree/ program must submit a new application. This process is to ensure that the University has current demographic information for each student. If the student has continued his or her education at another school since leaving the University, official transcript(s) from any other college attended should be submitted to the Registrar’s Office. Students must submit all required documentation, meet full admission requirements as outlined by the admissions requirements for their program, and complete all degree requirements in effect for the program of study at the time of readmission. Readmission is not guaranteed. If readmission is granted, the University will determine the conditions under which the student may re-enroll and will convey those conditions to the student in writing. Students who are readmitted are subject to the policies set forth in the Catalog and in effect at the time of readmission. Students seeking reinstatement to University of the Rockies should contact the Admissions department.
A student who is a member, or the souse of a member if the member has a dependent child, of the Iowa national guard or reserve forces of the United States and who is ordered to state military service or federal service or duty is entitled to the following provisions for each course the student is attending:
Students who request to drop any current course(s) due to military necessity and do not need to request a break in attendance should submit a Military Course Drop/Incomplete Request.
Students who request a break in attendance of 45 days or greater due to military necessity may do so by submitting a Military Withdrawal Request. This request form also facilitates withdrawal from any current course(s), if necessary.
Both request forms are available in the Student Portal.
University of the Rockies does not deny readmission to a service member of the uniformed services for reasons relating to that service. Students who meet the criteria outlined in the following will be readmitted with the same academic status as the student had when he or she last attended University of the Rockies. An affected service member is any individual who is a member of, applies to be a member of, or performs, has performed, applies to perform, or has the obligation to perform, service in the uniformed services. Service in the uniformed services means service, whether voluntary or involuntary, in the Armed Forces, including service as a member of the National Guard or Reserve, on active duty, active duty for training, or full-time National Guard duty under Federal authority, for a period of more than 30 consecutive days under a call or order to active duty of more than 30 consecutive days.
Any student whose absence from University of the Rockies is necessitated by reason of service in the uniformed services is entitled to readmission if all of the following apply:
However, no advance notice by the student is required if the giving of such notice is precluded by military necessity, such as a mission, operation, exercise, or requirement that is classified; or a pending or ongoing mission, operation, exercise, or requirement that may be compromised or otherwise adversely affected by public knowledge.
In addition, any student (or an appropriate officer of the Armed Forces or official of the Department of Defense) who did not give advance written or verbal notice of service to a Student Advisor, an Enrollment Services Advisor, Admissions Counselor, or the Registrar’s Office may meet the notice requirement by submitting, at the time the student seeks readmission, an attestation to University of the Rockies that the student performed service in the uniformed services that necessitated the student’s absence from University of the Rockies.
When determining the cumulative length of the student’s absence for service, the period of service does not include any service:
An affected service member must, upon the completion of a period of service in the uniformed services, notify University of the Rockies of his or her intent to return to University of the Rockies not later than three years after the completion of the period of service. However, a student who is hospitalized for or convalescing from an illness or injury incurred in or aggravated during the performance of service in the uniformed services must notify University of the Rockies of his or her intent to return to University of the Rockies not later than two years after the end of the period that is necessary for recovery from such illness or injury. A student who fails to apply for readmission within the required period does not automatically forfeit eligibility for readmission to University of the Rockies, but is subject to the established University of the Rockies’ general policies and practices.
A student who submits an application for readmission to University of the Rockies must provide to University of the Rockies documentation to establish that:
In order for a service member to qualify for these benefits by reason of service, a student must submit appropriate documentation to the University. Documents that might establish service member eligibility include, but are not limited to:
University of the Rockies may not delay or attempt to avoid a readmission of a student under this section by demanding documentation that does not exist, or is not readily available, at the time of readmission.
Students who meet the criteria for readmission after military service outlined previously will be promptly readmitted with the same academic status as when they last attended or were last admitted to the institution, but did not begin attendance because of that membership, application for membership, performance of service, application for service, or obligation to permit service. “Same academic status” means that University of the Rockies shall admit the student:
If the student is admitted to a different program, University of the Rockies will assess no more than the tuition and fee charges that other students in the program are assessed for that academic year.
If University of the Rockies determines that the student is not prepared to resume the program, or will not be able to complete the program, the University will make reasonable efforts at no extra cost to the student to help the student become prepared or to enable the student to complete the program, including but not limited to providing refresher courses at no extra cost to the student, and allowing the student to retake a pretest at no extra cost to the student.
University of the Rockies is not required to readmit the student on his or her return if:
University of the Rockies is a participating institution in the Voluntary Education Partnership with the DoD. In accordance with this partnership, any Active Duty, National Guard, or Reservist student who attends the University will receive a military degree plan within 60 days after the individual has been accepted for admission.
The student will receive a Military Degree Plan with the evaluation of previous coursework received and the requirements for the degree program selected.
The Military Degree Plan affords the student the opportunity to complete the degree requirements within the enrolled degree program within five (5) years of the issued date without the loss of academic progress. Students who choose to change their degree program will forfeit the issued degree plan and be reissued a new Military Degree Plan for the new program.
Doctoral students have an In-Residence Workshop requirement as part of the Doctoral programs, excluding Doctor of Psychology, Clinical Specialization. The In-Residence Workshop Series prepares students for their Doctoral Capstone, dissertation, and post-doctoral experiences. These interactive in-person sessions offer students an opportunity to meet and collaborate with colleagues and faculty.
The Workshops include three in-residence weekend workshops in Denver, Colorado as part of their graduation requirements. Students may elect to enroll in an optional fourth in-residence workshop. The face-to-face setting of the in-residence weekends allows students the opportunity to meet faculty and administration as well as to interact closely with other students. In-residence weekend workshops will be scheduled no less than four times per year for students to enroll in the appropriate workshop. Due to the unique nature of the in-residence experience, students are expected to attend the full sixteen (16) hours of instructional time for each in-residence weekend workshop. Failure to attend 90% or greater, at least fourteen (14) hours, of the instructional time during the in-residence session will result in the student being withdrawn from the workshop and required to repeat it.
In-Residence Workshops are scheduled concurrently with other courses. Students experiencing extreme temporary hardship that precludes him or her from completing the workshop as scheduled may submit an In-Residence Workshop Schedule Appeal.
In-Residence Workshop 1
This interactive workshop contributes to a student’s commitment toward lifelong learning. As practitioners, leaders, and scholars, students will engage in self-awareness and learn to become active participants in supporting their personal, professional, and academic goals. Students will consider what it means to be a participant of a scholarly community, and how becoming a scholar-practitioner can impact the students’ professional community and future goals. Students will engage in the scholarly skills of writing, critical thinking, and research as they learn how to explore topics within their own discipline. Students will formulate questions and provide structured responses, discuss the results and impact of data, recognize the need and scope of research problems, and search for scholarly articles and documents. The dissertation process will be introduced as students will connect their dissertation preparation to the rest of their scholarly journey. In-Residence Workshop 1 will be scheduled following the completion of 2-6 courses.
In-Residence Workshop 2
In the second workshop of the In-residence series, students will continue to build on scholarly competencies, focusing on critical thinking skills and developing more advanced research skills involving assessment and feedback. Through discussion, assessment, feedback, and reflective activities, students will learn a variety of skills, both insight- and action-based, with a core focus on critically assessing oneself and others in order to serve as leaders and scholars in their communities of practice. Students will evaluate a problem statement, critique a scholarly paper, interpret data, and synthesize ideas through the development of a literature review. In-Residence Workshop 2 will be scheduled following the completion of 7-12 courses.
In-Residence Workshop 3
In the third workshop of the In-residence series, students will continue to build on scholarly competencies with clarity and accuracy about data or complex ideas, focusing on the dissertation process and how this definitive scholarly product supports the community in which students serve. As leaders in scholarship and in their communities, it becomes increasingly essential for students to recognize the complexity of the people with whom they interact. In this advanced workshop, students explore their understanding of different populations and the impact of diversity on their research and professional experiences by creating relevant questions. Students will learn to write a problem statement as well as a scholarly paper with a focus on the ethical and legal access and use of information. Students will further explore how to generate, and implement new knowledge as well as create visuals of data in a variety of contexts for scholarly and professional application. In-Residence Workshop 3 will be scheduled following completion of 13+ courses and prior to enrolling in Dissertation Planning I.
In-Residence Workshop 4 (Optional)
This workshop is optional. The session provides an opportunity for students to return to the University of the Rockies community to support the dissertation process, specifically enhancing the quality of their research question, research design, methodology, and/or the analysis. This open-forum, community-based workshop provides the setting to support student-faculty interaction and personalized solutions in assisting students who desire additional face-to-face support.
Note: Attending and completing an In Residence Workshop outside of concurrent coursework does not meet the criteria to establish Title IV financial aid eligibility. A financial aid student considering this option should contact their advisor to discuss the impact on loan repayment.
In-Residence Workshop Schedule Appeal
Students experiencing extreme temporary hardship may be approved to extend the requirement to attend an in-residence workshop within the academic year it is scheduled. In-Residence Workshop Schedule Appeals may be approved for the following documented reasons that directly impacted the student’s ability to complete the scheduled requirement:
^ For information regarding Readmission of Students After Military Service under the Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008, please see the General Academic Policies and Information section of this Catalog.
*Immediate family is defined as including husband, wife, domestic partner, grandparent, grandchild, mother-in-law, father-in-law, brother-in-law, sister-in-law, daughter-in-law, son-in-law, (step/adoptive) mother, (step/adoptive) father, (step/adoptive) brother, (step/adoptive) sister, and (step/adoptive) child. Additional considerations can be made on a case by case basis as determined by the University. Please contact the appropriate Dean for specific consideration.
In-Residence Workshop Schedule Appeals may be submitted in writing to the appropriate Academic Department Chair for the level of program explaining in detail the extenuating circumstances precluding the student from attending the workshop as scheduled. Students may submit only one appeal during the course of their degree program.
Licensing boards may require that a student, during the course of his or her Doctoral program, be enrolled for at least three academic years of study from the degree-granting institution, and at least one year must be in full-time residence. To satisfy this residency requirement, University of the Rockies requires students to complete full-time enrollment of six semester hours or more of regular coursework for five consecutive terms (one year). Students should be aware that this is a requirement for graduation.
Students may petition to take fewer than the previously mentioned hour requirement, but they must be aware that doing so may delay Comprehensive Exams, and therefore delay program completion. Comprehensive Examinations are administered at designated intervals only.
Students accepted into the Master of Arts in Counseling, Marriage, Couples, and Family Counseling or Clinical Mental Health Counseling Specializations, or the Doctor of Psychology (PsyD), Clinical Specialization degree programs are required to have proof of professional liability insurance in order to register for their first term of practicum. Due to the liabilities associated with direct care, students need to be insured during clinical practicum and internship training. Professional liability insurance can be purchased from one of several insurance carriers. Students are required to show proof of coverage by providing a copy of the face sheet to the University Registrar or designee at the time of registration. A copy of the face sheet will be in the student’s file in the Director of Clinical Training’s office.
After admission to the Master of Arts in Counseling, Marriage, Couples, and Family Counseling Specialization or Clinical Mental Health Counseling Specialization, or the Doctor of Psychology (PsyD), Clinical Specialization programs, students are required to join their respective professional organization (i.e., for the Clinical Mental Health Counseling Specialization, the American Counseling Association; for the Marriage, Couples, and Family Counseling Specialization, the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy; and for the PsyD, Clinical Specialization, the American Psychological Association). University of the Rockies will credit the base annual student-rate membership dues for students who were actively enrolled at the time they joined the organization. Active students who submit a receipt for the required student-rate annual dues will receive a credit that can be applied to the next term’s tuition.
Memberships in other professional associations remain the individual student’s responsibility. Membership in a professional organization is not a substitute for professional licensure in any state.
A Clinical Practicum (minimum of 1,500 hours) is required for all students in the PsyD, Clinical Specialization program. Students who enter the program with a clinical Master’s degree may receive credit for up to 700 hours of practicum. The number of transferable practicum hours is determined by the University Registrar in consultation with the Director of Clinical Training. Students in the Master of Arts in Counseling program are required to complete a total of 700 hours of practicum and internship.
Students who are completing a practicum or counseling internship in Colorado must obtain registration with the Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA) prior to beginning their practicum experience at the University, and all mental healthcare specialization students in the School of Professional Psychology must have personal liability insurance prior to beginning practicum. Students will be required to provide documentation of registration with DORA if they are completing practicum hours in Colorado, and documentation of a current professional liability policy for all clinical practicum experiences.
The Practicum experience gives students the opportunity to integrate Core Competencies, Clinical Proficiencies, and academics as they apply their learning in a real world clinical setting. Students build the skills they will need to be successful in the mental health profession. The Practica also give students the chance to discover the clinical relationship skills and techniques that work for them in the clinical setting and the client populations with which they are most effective. The level of professionalism and enthusiasm, with which students approach their practica, has a direct bearing on their success and the quality of their learning experience.
In the Clinical Practica, students must understand their professional obligations to clients and to the University. They must strive to maintain appropriate relationships and demeanor whenever clients are present. As the American Psychological Association (APA) Code of Conduct states, “Psychologists uphold professional standards of conduct, clarify their professional roles and obligations, accept appropriate responsibility for their behavior, and adapt their methods and needs to different populations.”
Students in the PsyD, Clinical Specialization complete Clinical Practicum requirements in community settings with the approval of the Director of Clinical Training. Supervision must be provided by a licensed psychologist who is credentialed and approved by the Director of Clinical Training .. These supervisors agree to be in regular communication with the Director of Clinical Training. Students in the Master of Arts in Counseling program also complete their Practicum and Internship hours in community settings, with the approval of the Director of Clinical Training. Supervision for MA Counseling students should be provided by licensed mental health professionals, including those with doctorates in Counselor Education and Supervision, those with a Master’s Degree in Counseling who are Licensed Professional Counselors, or by those who are licensed psychologists, as approved by the Director of Clinical Training.
University of the Rockies may accept up to 700 hours of clinical practicum or up to seven semester credits from approved accredited institutions when those practicum hours are demonstrated to be from a clinical psychology doctoral program that has similar standards of training as University of the Rockies. In such cases, the student must take at least an additional 800 hours of clinical practicum in the University of the Rockies Doctor of Psychology, Clinical Specialization program. Final determination of the acceptance of practicum hours will be made by the Director of Clinical Training.
For students in the Master of Arts in Counseling program, University of the Rockies may accept up to 300 hours of practicum or internship or up to three semester credits from approved accredited institutions when those practicum or internship hours are demonstrated to be from a Master of Arts in Counseling program (with a Clinical Mental Health Counseling or Marriage, Couples, and Family Counseling Specialization or equivalent degree) that has similar standards of training as University of the Rockies. In such cases, the student must take at least an additional 400 hours of practicum and/or internship in the University of the Rockies Master of Arts in Counseling, Clinical Mental Health Counseling or Marriage, Couples, and Family Counseling Specialization program. Final determination of the acceptance of practicum hours will be made by the Director of Clinical Training.
The University of the Rockies faculty understands that as a part of becoming a professional counselor or marriage and family therapist one needs to be aware of his or her biases, beliefs, and challenges. Therefore, each student in the Master of Arts in Counseling, Marriage, Couples, and Family Counseling or Clinical Mental Health Counseling Specializations, or the Doctor of Psychology (PsyD), Clinical Specialization program is required to participate as a client in psychotherapy with a licensed mental health professional. Being a client can be a growth experience as well as an educational opportunity for the graduate student.
For Master’s students, the requirement is met through a minimum of 20 hours or sessions of psychotherapy over a minimum of 20 weeks. For Doctoral students, the requirement is met through a minimum of 30 hours or sessions of psychotherapy over a minimum of 30 weeks. Fifteen of the acquired therapy hours or sessions must be with the same mental health professional. At least 20 of the hours must be in an individual modality. Students may apply up to 18 hours of personal therapy if they have acquired them within the preceding five years with a licensed mental health professional.
University of the Rockies considers 30 hours a minimum number of therapy hours over a minimum of 30 weeks and encourages additional sessions if the student believes it would be of benefit personally or professionally. A requirement of additional hours of therapy may also be a part of a student’s development plan designed by the student and his or her advisor or other student support or administrative offices. An additional therapy requirement may also be imposed by the University.
Therapy must be conducted by a licensed mental health professional contingent, who is not a University of the Rockies faculty member. Verification of participation must be indicated in a letter, on the letterhead of the licensed mental health professional, stating the number of sessions and hours spent in therapy, the period of time over which the therapy occurred, and the modality of the therapy. Diagnosis and treatment issues discussed in therapy must not be included in the letter. Verification must be sent to the Registrar’s Office and must be on file at the time the student takes his or her Doctoral Comprehensive Examination. Therapy fees are the responsibility of the student and are not covered by tuition.
Students will be eligible to apply for doctoral candidacy in Doctor of Psychology (PsyD), Clinical Specialization after they have completed the following:
Candidacy is officially conferred by the President of the Faculty Council upon recommendation by the student’s Faculty Mentor. An appeal of the candidacy decision may be made to the Provost.
The PsyD, Clinical Specialization has two stages of Comprehensive Exams – a Doctoral Qualifying Exam and a Doctoral Comprehensive Exam.
Doctoral Qualifying Exam
The Doctoral Qualifying Exam is an objective assessment of students’ knowledge of coursework content from the first 39 credits of the curriculum.
The Doctoral Qualifying Exam can be taken after the completion of the first 39 credits of coursework (6 terms) and must be successfully completed before the third year of coursework. Students must obtain approval to take the Doctoral Qualifying Exam from their Faculty Mentor and the University Registrar. Students who entered the program with a Master’s degree must take the Doctoral Qualifying Exam prior to their second year of study in the PsyD, Clinical Specialization at University of the Rockies.
Doctoral Comprehensive Exam
The Doctoral Comprehensive Exam is a summative assessment procedure that assesses students’ knowledge of the field of clinical psychology, their ability to diagnose and conceptualize clinical cases, and to present this information in both oral and written formats. This examination must be passed prior to beginning Pre-Doctoral Internship.
Once students have successfully completed the Doctoral Qualifying Exam, achieved Doctoral Candidacy status, completed all required coursework, and submitted documentation of their 30 hours of personal therapy, they may apply to their Faculty Mentor and the University Registrar for approval to take the Doctoral Comprehensive Exam.
Unless authorized by the University, the University prohibits students from conducting formal research using institution-related data at University of the Rockies, Ashford University, or Bridgepoint Education, including conducting retrospective or prospective research, with the intent to disseminate or publish.
Students may conduct dissertation and non-dissertation research using University of the Rockies data about faculty, staff, former students or current students contingent on receiving approval from the Institutional Review Board. Conducting dissertation or non-dissertation research without appropriate Research Review Board or Institutional Review Board approval is an Academic Integrity violation and could result in a sanction.
Any research published based on University of the Rockies data requires approval from the Provost, Legal, and Institutional Research. In addition, disseminated findings must protect the identity of our institution by referring to University of the Rockies with a pseudonym.
Surveys, interviews, and focus groups associated with course assignments may, except for assignments related to dissertation courses, be administered by students to University of the Rockies’ students, faculty, staff, or external parties only with explicit approval of the University of Rockies’ faculty member teaching the class.
Students working on dissertations should refer to the Dissertation Handbook for further guidance.
For additional information on policy related to research, please see Unapproved Research as a part of Academic Integrity Violations in the Student Rights and Responsibilities section of this Catalog.
As a requirement for graduation from University of the Rockies with a degree of Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) or Doctor of Psychology (PsyD), each student must complete and successfully defend a dissertation. The purpose of the Dissertation is to ensure that the student has mastered the ability to pursue a systematic investigation, which examines significant issues or problems in applied psychology. The Dissertation requirement is also designed to contribute to the student’s knowledge, skills, and research expertise in psychology. Students choose a topic that addresses carefully chosen research questions that the student then investigates with quantitative or qualitative research, with a meta-analysis, or with a program design or program evaluation.
Students are enrolled in Dissertation for five credits. Students not completing their dissertation during that period and not enrolled in any other course or internship (for PsyD, Clinical Specialization students) will register in Dissertation Extension to remain in the program.
Students are urged to plan carefully and allow approximately 8 weeks (individual experiences will vary) for the time required to complete all remaining steps in the dissertation process after the Final Oral Exam.
Prerequisites, timelines for completion, and attendance requirements for Dissertation, as well as a detailed explanation of each step in the process, are described in the Dissertation Handbook.
Students are encouraged to create portfolios during the course of their program to showcase their best work and to have a document to utilize and submit when applying for internships, post-doctoral programs, or for employment.
A final step in the graduation process is the submission of a Petition to Graduate form to the Registrar’s Office. This triggers an audit of the student’s record to ensure that he or she has met all requirements for graduation at the intended time. After the student has completed the final term of his or her program, his or her name, upon recommendation of the faculty, is submitted to the University of the Rockies Board of Trustees. Formal graduation ceremonies are held once a year. Students are encouraged to attend graduation unless prohibited by military orders or serious illness.
The date of degree conferral recorded on the student’s transcript and diploma will reflect the end of the term in which the student completes all degree requirements. Degree completion is generally recorded on a student’s official transcript within 30 days of successful completion of ALL program requirements being recorded. Diplomas are generally ordered within 30 days of successful completion of all program requirements being recorded and payment of all related tuition and fees. Ordered diplomas may take an additional six (6) to eight (8) weeks to arrive. Diplomas, certificates, transcripts, and verifications of degrees awarded will be withheld until all accounts at the University are paid in full. Diplomas will not be issued at the graduation ceremonies.
Diplomas are ceremonial documents and reflect the degree the student earned and the date of degree conferral. The official academic record of a student’s achievement is the transcript, which reflects the degree earned, any specializations the student completed, and the date of degree conferral.
Submission of the completed Petition to Graduate form is a requirement for participation in University of the Rockies’ commencement ceremony. To be eligible to participate in commencement, students must be scheduled to meet all degree requirements prior to the date of commencement at the time of the submission. Exceptions will be reviewed by the University Registrar or designee. Commencement is held once a year. The deadline for petitioning to participate in the ceremony is published on the Petition to Graduate form. Petitions received after the deadline will be forwarded to the next commencement date.
The University may grant Master’s and Doctoral degrees posthumously. When the University determines that a deceased student was in good standing and had completed enough credits towards a degree, the President, or designee, has the authority to grant the degree posthumously.
Typically, students pursuing a Master’s degree should have successfully completed the majority of their coursework (within 9 credits of meeting degree requirements) for the program of study and students pursuing a Doctorate degree should have successfully completed all course requirements and completed the preliminary oral defense of their dissertation.
Formal requests may be submitted in writing to the Registrar’s Office for consideration by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.