As an academic and artistic community, RMCAD seeks to support the development of the highest levels of creativity, growth and learning within each individual. It is our community’s belief that this is accomplished by careful, personal transformation effected through the incorporation of academic and artistic integrity, through a focus and attentiveness to process as well as resultant forms and product, and through acknowledging those upon whose work each is informed and inspired. As citizens of this community, each has the right and duty to expect honest and authentic work from self, peers, and all others. Further, RMCAD recognizes that this commitment to integrity is the path to discovering one’s own creative voice and art. Representing the work of others as one’s own damages the creative self and inhibits success toward the goal of authenticity. Thus, RMCAD holds in high esteem this Code of Conduct by which each pledged to abide.
The foundation of a college or university is truth and knowledge. Academic dishonesty is conduct or behavior including, but not limited to cheating, plagiarism, unauthorized possession or disposition of academic materials, falsification, collusion, or other forms of dishonesty affecting the academic environment. Other forms of dishonesty include but are not limited to furnishing false information to any College official, faculty member, or office; forgery, alteration, or misuse of any College document, record, or instrument of identification.
The Code of Conduct also prohibits disorderly conduct in the form of disparagement, harassment, exhibitions of aggression, discrimination, or any behavior that disrupts the learning environment.
Members of the community caught abusing the above standards may be removed from good standing with the organization until the situation has been resolved by the appropriate RMCAD delegates.
Definitions of Academic Dishonesty:
Plagiarism is a form of cheating. To plagiarize is “to steal and pass off the ideas or words of another as one’s own, use a created production without crediting the source, commit literary theft, or present as new and original an idea or product derived from an existing source” (Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, 1993). Plagiarism is intellectual theft, a serious academic offense with serious consequences.
Plagiarism extends to self-plagiarism, which is the use of one’s own previous work in another context without citing that it was previously used. This can be work created in other classes or for outside college activities. Any deviation from this policy should be addressed in writing by the faculty member;
Cheating is defined as the giving or taking of any information or material with the intent of wrongfully aiding oneself or another in academic work considered in the determination of a course grade or the outcome of a standardized assessment;
Presenting the visual media, intellectual property, or creative efforts of another as your own; or
- Any other form of inappropriate behavior which may include but is not limited to falsifying records or data, lying, unauthorized copying, tampering, abusing or otherwise unethically using a computer or other stored information, violation of any college, state, or federal laws or policies, and any other act or misconduct which may reasonably be deemed to be a part of this heading.
To commit or assist someone in committing academic dishonesty is grounds for disciplinary action and possible suspension or expulsion from the college. Students who observe or become aware of apparent academic dishonesty should report the matter to faculty or administration.
Procedures for Addressing Academic Dishonesty
Faculty members are expected to use reasonable and practical means of preventing and detecting academic dishonesty. If a faculty member has evidence that a student has engaged in an act of academic dishonesty, the faculty member will report the issue to the Committee on Plagiarism. RMCAD faculty reserve the right to submit written works to anti-plagiarism tools to verify the authenticity of student work. If the student admits to the infraction, and the faculty member judges that the preponderance of evidence supports the allegation, the faculty member may then assign an academic penalty.
An initial act of academic dishonesty may result in an “F” for the assignment, at the instructor’s discretion. All incidents of academic dishonesty are reported to the Committee on Plagiarism (COP), overseen by the Dean of Students. The COP will notify the Chair of the department in which the course resides if plagiarism has occurred; depending on the nature of the violation other relevant departments will be notified (ie; Advising, Registrar, Financial Aid). Students will receive advisement from the Committee and referral to resources and information to assist in avoiding subsequent offenses. Three or more reported offenses may result in probation or expulsion from the college. Information about incidents of academic dishonesty is kept on file in the Office of Student Affairs. No further action is initiated unless the incident constitutes a major infraction, the student has a prior record of infractions, or there are subsequent reports of misconduct. If the student disputes the decision of the faculty member regarding alleged academic dishonesty, a hearing may be requested through the Conduct Review Board outlined in the Student Policies + Procedures | Student Information section. The request must be received by the Dean of Students no later than 30 calendar days after the first day of classes of the next term. If no appeal is filed within the time period, then the decision of the faculty member is final.
Please see The Department of Student Advising for more information.
Rocky Mountain College of Art + Design offers students additional Academic Support outside of the classroom. For more information, please see the Student Resources section of the catalog for information about the Library, Student Learning Center, TECHBAR, and more.
Diversity Within the Curriculum
The curriculum at Rocky Mountain College of Art + Design supports the school’s Mission, Vision, Values, Diversity Statement, and Institutional Outcomes. There are no curricular or educational expectations for any student to personally prescribe to the concepts presented in any class; however, RMCAD does expect students to engage in a variety of academic disciplines that are intended to build skills necessary for informed, meaningful, and critical thinking and engagement. RMCAD requires faculty and students to adhere to the institutional, departmental, and course learning outcomes.
Alternative curriculum, presentations, readings, assignments, and discussion prompts are not available based on race, culture, nationality, ethnicity, religion, ideology, personal beliefs, geographic origins, class, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity and expression, disability, age, and/or personal history.
All courses at RMCAD include assessment of student knowledge, capacities, and skills developed in both academic and studio work. Assessment methods and instruments are appropriate for assessing student knowledge, capacities, and skills, and the stated learning outcomes of undergraduate and graduate education. The College continually examines and adjusts the content and delivery of the curriculum to correspond with the expectations of the knowledge, capacities, and skills of students. The Curriculum Committee (CC), the Program Review and Assessment Committee (PRAC), the Program Department, and the Program Department Advisory Boards are responsible for this review and revision process. RMCAD engages in ongoing self-evaluation and modification, consistent with the nature of the art and design fields. Students have direct access to faculty, Department Chairs, and administration to ensure that student needs are known and addressed. Students entering under the current Catalog are subject to the Policies and Procedures of this catalog regardless of the method of course delivery.
RMCAD - Distance Learning Definition
Distance Learning, also called online learning or e-learning, is a form of education in which a course is conducted over the internet using our Learning Management System (LMS) when an instructor and students are physically separated and any portion of a course is not offered in person. The LMS facilitates the regular and substantive interaction between instructors and students to deliver a distance learning course through lectures, assessments, learning activities, submission of assignments, and other communications. Distance learning courses are most often delivered through asynchronous (not live) activities but may include synchronous (live) activities as indicated by the instructor in the course syllabus.
The distance learning course design and delivery must meet the following minimum regular and substantive interaction standards to meet the federal definition of distance education found in 34 C.F.R. § 600.2.
Providing the opportunity for substantive interactions with the student on a predictable and scheduled basis commensurate with the length of time and the amount of content in the course or competency; and
Monitoring the student’s academic engagement and success and ensuring that an instructor is responsible for promptly and proactively engaging in substantive interaction with the student when needed on the basis of such monitoring, or upon request by the student.
Engaging students in teaching, learning, and assessment, consistent with the content under discussion, and also includes at least two of the following—
- Providing direct instruction;
- Assessing or providing feedback on a student’s coursework;
- Providing information or responding to questions about the content of a course or competency;
- Facilitating a group discussion regarding the content of a course or competency; or
- Other instructional activities approved by the institution’s or program’s accrediting agency
Distance Education Course Design
Student-instructor or student-student regular and substantive interaction is primarily facilitated via the LMS which allows the parties to interact synchronously and asynchronously from separate physical locations. All distance learning courses at RMCAD must be designed to provide for regular and substantive interaction between instructors and students as defined in this policy and federal regulation. At a minimum, a distance learning course must include two types of substantive activities scheduled at regular intervals throughout the course. This intentionality in the distance learning course design enhances an instructor’s ability to engage with students throughout the course of study to provide instruction, support, and supervision of activities. This creates a positive environment in the distance learning classroom which in turn enhances student learning and engagement.
Distance Learning Attendance
Rocky Mountain College of Art + Design is an attendance-taking institution in all course delivery modalities, including distance learning. Attendance is a measure of engagement and interaction that is academically related. Consistent attendance, class participation, and thoughtful engagement offer students the most effective opportunities to gain command of the knowledge, skills, and aptitudes for the course of study; therefore, RMCAD students are required to attend class, be prepared to work, and be on time. The primary goal of attendance is to promote student and faculty engagement, to ensure that students have an opportunity for interaction with faculty and peers regarding academic matters, and to provide students with the opportunity to engage with assignments designed to build skill, knowledge, and learning partnerships.
In a distance learning course, attendance is recorded on days that the student has one of the following attendance activities in the LMS in accordance with 34 C.F.R. § 600.2:
- Attending a synchronous class, lecture, recitation, or field or laboratory activity, where there is an opportunity for interaction between the instructor and students;
- Submitting an academic assignment;
- Taking an assessment or an exam;
- Participating in an interactive tutorial, webinar, or other interactive computer-assisted instruction as assigned by the course instructor;
- Participating in a study group, group project, or an online discussion as assigned by the course instructor; or
- Interacting with the course instructor about academic matters.
A student is not considered to be in attendance for simply logging into the LMS with no attendance activity as listed above.
Distance Education Attendance Guidelines
Attendance is recorded for distance learning courses based on a student completing or participating in an attendance activity included in this policy.
Distance learning students are required to complete an attendance activity twice per week, one by mid-week and one by the end of the week. Attendance is recorded on the day the activity occurred. A student is considered present for mid-week attendance by completing an attendance activity due that week by Wednesday at 11:59 PM MT. To be considered present for the end-of-week attendance the student must complete an attendance activity due that week after Wednesday at 11:59 PM MT but no later than Sunday at 11:59 PM MT of that week. Attendance must be recorded by faculty by midnight MT on Thursdays and Mondays. Attendance must be recorded for the period that the activity is submitted and not the date that it was due. Attendance is a record of participation during each bi-weekly attendance period.
For the purposes of attendance recording, late assignment submissions will be recorded as attendance during the period of the submission and will count toward the mid-week or end-of-week attendance for the week in which the assignment is submitted, regardless of when it was initially due. Attendance activities that occur outside of the LMS must be recorded within the LMS to count toward attendance.
Failure to meet the requirements for attendance will result in the instructor marking the student absent. There are no excused absences for the purposes of recording attendance. Failure to regularly attend may result in a lower, or failing, grade as distance learning attendance is often directly tied to weighted learning and assessment activities. Failure to regularly participate in a distance learning course may result in being withdrawn from RMCAD.
Students who demonstrate poor attendance, interaction, and engagement will be contacted by their faculty member and/or Academic Program Department Chair, and by the Office of Student Affairs and/or the Office of Financial Aid Advising and/or the Office of Academic Advising.
RMCAD encourages all students who anticipate an absence at any time to contact their instructor(s). If a student is unable to communicate with their instructor(s), they should contact their Academic Program Department Chair and/or their Academic Advisor.
Students should also review their syllabi for additional assignment submission policies which are department-specific.
Rocky Mountain College of Art + Design is an attendance-taking institution. Attendance is a measure of engagement and interaction that is academically related. Consistent attendance, class participation, and thoughtful engagement offer students the most effective opportunities to gain command of the knowledge, skills, and aptitudes for the course of study; therefore, RMCAD students are required to attend class, be prepared to work, and be on time. The primary goal of attendance is to promote student and faculty engagement, to ensure that students have an opportunity for interaction with faculty and peers regarding academic matters, and to provide students with the opportunity to engage with assignments designed to build skill, knowledge, and learning partnerships.
Due to Federal Financial Aid Guidelines, faculty must document all attendance for all students. Campus attendance is entered for each scheduled class on the same day that the course is held and must be posted by midnight mountain time (MT). Online attendance is based on student participation and submissions and is recorded by faculty on Thursdays and Mondays and must be posted by midnight MT.
Students who demonstrate poor attendance, interaction, and engagement will be contacted by their faculty member and/or Academic Program Department Chair, and by the Office of Student Affairs and/or the Office of Financial Aid Advising and/or the Office of Academic Advising. Failure to regularly participate in courses may result in being withdrawn from the course, program, and college.
RMCAD encourages all students who anticipate an absence at any time to contact their instructor(s). If a student is unable to communicate with their instructor(s), they should contact their Academic Program Department Chair and/or their Academic Advisor.
Students should also review their course syllabi for additional attendance requirements which are department-specific.
Campus Attendance Procedures
Campus students are considered present when they arrive at the physical or online synchronous class on time (no greater than 15 minutes late) and remain engaged in interaction related to lectures, active learning, assignment completion, discussion, exams, or other academic interactions for the duration of the course period, including prompt return from breaks. Failure to meet the requirements for attendance will result in the instructor marking them absent. Failure to regularly participate in class may result in a lower or failing grade as campus attendance is often directly tied to class participation, application, and understanding. Failure to attend class may also result in being withdrawn from the college.
Online Attendance Procedures
Online students are considered present for mid-week attendance when they log into the online classroom (LMS) and submit completed work for any gradable activity, including discussion posts, that addresses the assignment requirement(s); due that week on Wednesdays by 11:59 PM MT. To be considered present for the end-of-week attendance they must log in to the LMS and submit completed work for any gradable activity, including discussion posts, that addresses the assignment requirement(s); after Wednesday at 11:59 PM MT but no later than Sunday at 11:59 PM MT of that week.
For the purposes of attendance recording, late assignment submissions will be counted toward mid-week or end-of-week attendance for the week in which the assignment is submitted, regardless of when it was initially due. Academically related activities that occur outside of the LMS must be recorded within the LMS in order to count toward attendance. Failure to meet the requirements for attendance will result in the instructor marking the student absent. There are no excused absences for the purposes of recording attendance. Failure to regularly attend and participate in-class activities and assignments may result in a lower, or failing, grade as online attendance is often directly tied to weighted learning and assessment activities. Failure to regularly participate in class may also result in being withdrawn from the college.
Week One Attendance
Students in both campus and distance learning courses must complete an attendance activity during week one of the term. Failure to post attendance during week one of the term will result in an Automatic Withdrawal from class(es). Students not enrolled within a term will be withdrawn from the institution.
The Office of the Registrar will verify all attendance.
Students who have failed to attend a campus or distance learning course during week one as defined in the attendance policy will be administratively withdrawn from the course. If the student feels that their attendance record inaccurately reflects their attendance, they must contact the instructor and have the instructor verify with the Office of the Registrar that the student was marked as “absent” in error (see “Unofficial Withdrawals ” in Financial Aid for information regarding the return of Title IV Funding).
14-Day Non-Attendance Policy
After the drop deadline, students in a campus or distance learning course who fail to attend for a continuous period of 14 days before the Withdrawal deadline will be considered an administrative withdrawal and will receive a “W” assigned by the Office of the Registrar. Students who fail to attend a campus or distance learning course for a continuous period of 14 days after the Withdrawal deadline will receive an “FN” (Failure for Non-Attendance) grade assigned by the Office of the Registrar (see “Unofficial Withdrawals ” in Financial Aid for information regarding the return of Title IV Funding). A student who does not attend any scheduled course for 14 consecutive days will be considered unofficially withdrawn by RMCAD and the College will determine the amount of earned Title IV funding and the student’s financial obligations based on the last day of attendance.
Last Day of Attendance
The last day of attendance is the last day that a student completes an attendance activity in any course, as marked by his or her instructor. If the last day of attendance occurs in a distance learning course, this date must be supportable by an attendance activity contained in the LMS system.
If a classroom disruption is due to specific student behaviors, faculty have the right to dismiss the student(s) from the class session. If the student(s) refuse to leave upon request, RMCAD Security or the Dean of Students will be called to escort them from the classroom. Instructors are not authorized, however, to remove a student from the course entirely. Student dismissals from a class session will be treated as absences by faculty. The faculty has the authority to enforce consequences for the student’s absence(s), in accordance with the class syllabus. This does not, however, limit the ability of the instructor or a fellow student from reporting or filing formal complaints concerning disruptive behavior occurring within the classroom.
All communications with faculty or other students—whether in class, face-to-face, on paper, or by telephone, email, or other electronic means—are subject to the same standards of conduct, behavior, and discipline as classroom behavior. Standards of conduct are outlined in the Student Code of Conduct including – Disorderly Conduct, Threatening Behavior, Harassment + Discrimination, Interference, Obstruction, or Disruption, Online Conduct + Written Communication.
Definition of Credit Hour
RMCAD utilizes the guidelines of the US Department of Education as the foundation for the definition of a credit hour:
A credit hour is an amount of work represented in intended learning outcomes and verified by evidence of student achievement that is an institutionally established equivalency that reasonably approximates not less than:
(1) one hour of classroom or direct faculty instruction and a minimum of two hours of out-of-class student work each week for approximately fifteen weeks for one semester or trimester hour of credit, or ten to twelve weeks for one quarter hour of credit, or the equivalent amount of work over a different amount of time; or (2) at least an equivalent amount of work as required in paragraph (1) of this definition for other activities as established by an institution, including laboratory work, internships, practica, studio work, and other academic work leading toward to the award of credit hours. (34 CFR §600.2)
RMCAD courses are offered in an eight-week format for both campus and online programs. RMCAD requires a minimum of 1.875 hours of contact and 3.75 hours of outside work (student study and preparation) per week for eight weeks, or the equivalent, per credit hour.
For on-campus lecture courses, three-credit classes meet on campus for a minimum of 45 hours during a term, with approximately 90 hours of outside work, or the equivalent, and as necessary to achieve the stated course learning outcomes. For on-campus studio courses, three-credit classes meet for a minimum of 87 hours during a term, with approximately 48 hours of outside work, or the equivalent, and as necessary to achieve the course learning outcomes.
For internships and field experience, one term credit hour represents 45 hours of internship or work-related experience. RMCAD does not award credit for short-term workshops or for attendance at meetings sponsored by the college or other institutions or organizations unless such credit is acceptable toward specific programs at our institution.
For online courses, the curriculum mirrors the learning outcomes and academic standards of the analogous on-campus course and requires students to complete the equivalent amount and rigor of work. For example, for a 3-credit course, 135 hours of student work, or the equivalent, are required; for a 2-credit course, 90 hours of student work, or the equivalent, are required. For online courses that do not have an analogous on-campus course, the College establishes standalone learning outcomes, and each credit is supported by an equivalent amount and rigor of work as required by College policy and regulatory requirements (45 hours of student learning activities for each unit of semester credit or the equivalent).
The exact number of hours per week an individual student spends on each online course will vary based upon the individual’s study styles, technology proficiencies, learning preferences, and prior experience with course topics.
Program Types + Course Types Definitions
Program Types and Elements
Major: A Major consists of a sequence of related courses that serve as the student’s primary field of academic focus. The Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) focuses on developing students’ cultural, communication, design, and critical thinking competencies. Each BFA degree is comprised of coursework from Foundations, Liberal Arts, and major-specific studio coursework, which allows students to develop professional skills in their chosen art and design field. Some majors require the completion of an emphasis or a concentration. In these cases, this designation is listed under the BFA Degree Requirements found within the Academic Catalog.
Double Major | Dual Degree: A Double Major is defined as a single degree earned in two academic disciplines. At this time RMCAD curriculum design does not facilitate the completion of double majors as major requirements in all programs exceed what could be completed in the allowable elective credits within the primary major. A Dual Degree is defined as the completion of two separate degree credentials while concurrently enrolled. Dual degree programs must be predefined and determined by the granting institution. RMCAD does not currently have programs defined to support or facilitate the completion of two degrees concurrently. Students may be enrolled in only one degree program at a time. Highly motivated students who wish to complete a second degree may be eligible to do so upon completion of the first degree and upon successful admission to a second degree program.
Minor: A Minor consists of a sequence of related courses that serve as an overview of a specific discipline secondary to the major course requirements. A minor would consist of a minimum of 12% of the total semester credit hours (15-24 semester credits) required to complete a degree. RMCAD does not currently offer minors-see Emphasis instead.
Emphasis: Emphasis refers to a sequence of related courses that serve as a specialized field of academic focus within the Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA). An emphasis must comprise a minimum of 10% of the total semester credit hours required to complete the degree, approximately 12-24 semester credit hours. Some majors, such as Art Education, require the completion of an emphasis. Emphasis course requirements are listed under the BFA Degree Requirements found within the Academic Catalog.
Concentration: Concentration or Specialization refers to a sequence of courses for a total of 6 to 12 credits that serve to provide students with expertise in a focused subject matter supporting the Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA). A concentration or specialization is comprised of less than 10% of the total semester credit hours required to complete the degree requirements.
Lecture: A Lecture is a method of instruction in which students are taught a topic by a faculty subject matter expert (see the “Contact Hours” section of the RMCAD Catalog for credit hour requirements).
Studio: A Studio is a hands-on workshop within the fields of art and design. Studio courses include lectures, mentorship, and research; however, the primary method of instruction occurs with students’ direct practice and production (see the “Contact Hours” section of the RMCAD Catalog for credit hour requirements).
Independent Study: Undergraduate Independent Study courses are intended to give exceptional upper-level students an opportunity for individualized and specialized study in an area of art or design not offered in the regular curriculum. The purpose is to explore an area of personal interest related to a student’s major field of study, wherein the teaching and learning occur outside of a formal classroom setting. A junior or senior-level student with a GPA of 3.5 or higher may petition to take one three-credit Independent Study course as part of the degree program. The Independent Study Proposal Form must be accompanied by a syllabus created by the instructor and student, including a course description, calendar, rationale, goals, and objectives. The course number for all Independent Study courses is 3990; and the prefix reflects the program of study under which the course is instructed (e.g., AN 3990, FA 3990).
Internship: An internship is a structured practical experience in a professional program, supervised by a professional practitioner approved by the Program Department Chair, the Director of Career and Alumni Services, and/or a faculty member. An internship is conducted off-campus at a professional location (see the “Contact Hours” section of the RMCAD Catalog for credit hour requirements).
Lab: A Lab provides a workshop or specific, supplemental resource information to a course. Labs present content with a higher degree of autonomy (see the “Contact Hours” section of the RMCAD Catalog for credit hour requirements).
Portfolio Review: A Portfolio Review is an evaluation of a student’s professional proficiencies and competencies in the programmatic outcomes (see the “Contact Hours” section of the RMCAD Catalog for credit hour requirements).
Grading + Evaluating Student Progress
Cumulative Grade Point Averages
Grade reports reflect standard letter grades. RMCAD uses a 4.0 scale to calculate cumulative grade point averages.
||Grade Point Value
The policies on late submission of assignments and grading criteria vary by the academic department and are clearly stated in the course syllabus distributed during the first week of classes. Every course undertaken at RMCAD is included in computing the grade point average, except those in which an AU (audit), P (pass), R (repeated course), or W (withdraw) is posted.
GRADING SCALE POINT DISTRIBUTION + PERCENTAGES
Students are graded on the basis of prompt and satisfactory completion of assignments, attitude, attendance, and individual progress as outlined within the course syllabus. Students are expected to have the materials and supplies necessary for the successful completion of assignments.
|Exceptional: Extreme dedicated effort, superior results, and progress.
|Above Average: Dedicated effort, creditable results, progress, strong participation, generally focused and on time.
|Average: Average effort and results, fulfillment of all requirements, little participation, or inattentiveness.
|Marginal: Little to no evidence of effort, participation, or achievement; or evidence of cheating.
|Failure / Fail: No evidence of effort, participation, or achievement; or evidence of cheating.
||(59 or below)= no credit
|FN (Fail Non-Attendance)
||(60/100)= credit awarded*
* credits not used to calculate GPA but counted toward graduation.
No grades are given in a Pass/Fail course; instead, students will either receive a “P” for passing the class (a 60% equivalent or above) or an “F” for failing the class (a 59% equivalent or below). “P” (passing) grades are not available as an option for grade substitutions and are used only for courses approved to be offered on a Pass/Fail basis (indicated in course descriptions).
RMCAD allows students to repeat a class in which they have received a failing grade (F, FN) or have withdrawn from the course (W). Students are required to take the class again in the next term that it is available. Credit is earned for the course only once and students will keep the highest grade obtained when repeating a class. The lower grade for the particular course will be removed from the GPA calculation but will remain on the transcript and the retaken course annotated with the grade suffixed with “**”—ex: C**.
Additionally, the credits will be included in the total attempted credits that may impact a student’s satisfactory academic progress. Students who are using Financial Aid and/or VA benefits will be impacted after the third attempt according to the federal guidelines which state students receiving Financial Aid and/or VA benefits can only have 3 attempts in the same course. If the student enrolls in a repeated course for a fourth time, this course will not be eligible for Financial Aid and tuition must be paid in cash. This rule applies whether or not the student received aid for earlier enrollments in the course. This will in most cases affect the student’s graduation date. Students that are on their second attempt will receive a warning from the Financial Aid Department prior to the start of their attempt. Additionally, these students will be required to meet with the Student Learning Center (SLC) to ensure they have the proper academic support.
Students receive midterm and final term grades via RMCAD’s online student portal. Final grades are posted to the student portal within one week of the end of the term. Students who are unable to access their grades by the end of the first week of the following term should contact the Office of the Registrar. The Financial Aid Office notifies Academic Advising of Unsatisfactory Academic Progress.
Grade Appeal Procedure
Faculty are responsible for stating clearly the instructional objectives of the course at the beginning of each term and for evaluating student achievement in a manner consistent with the stated objectives. Students are responsible for maintaining standards of academic performance established in the syllabus for each course in which they are enrolled.
The grade appeal procedure provides a formal process for students to request a review of final cumulative course grades they think were incorrectly awarded. Individual assignment grades are not eligible for this appeal procedure. The student must formally petition for a grade appeal to the instructor in writing, using the RMCAD Grade Appeal Form. The required form is available from the Office of the Registrar.
The burden of proof rests with the student to demonstrate that the cumulative grade assigned for the course was made on the basis of any of the following conditions:
- A grading decision was made on some basis other than performance and other than as a penalty for academic dishonesty.
- A grading decision was based on standards unreasonably different from those which were applied to other students.
- A grading decision was based on a substantial, unreasonable, or unannounced departure from the course objectives and assignments.
Grade appeal petitions will only be considered for the final cumulative grade awarded for the course. Grade appeals will not be considered for individual assignments within courses.
Grade appeal petitions may result in a lower grade than initially awarded by the individual instructor.
The student must submit a grade appeal, in writing, to the instructor who issued the grade, no later than 30 calendar days after the first day of classes of the next term.
If, after subsequent consultation with the instructor, the student is not satisfied and wishes to pursue the issue, or if the instructor is not available or does not respond within 14 days, the student should submit an appeal, in writing, to the Department Chair in which the course was taught. Documentation supporting the grade change based on the appropriate category(ies) set forth above is to be submitted with the appeal. If no appeal is filed with the Department Chair within 45 calendar days after the first day of classes of the next term, the grade shall be considered final.
The Department Chair will discuss the matter with the student and with the instructor and will document the appeal and the Chair’s response.
If the student is not satisfied with the Department Chair’s response and wishes to pursue the matter further, the student should submit an appeal in writing to the Instructional Affairs Committee (IAC) within 14 days from the receipt of the Chair’s response. Again, all documentation supporting the appeal should be included. The IAC may request additional information from the student, faculty member, and Chair. The IAC will review the submitted documentation and recommend approval or denial of the appeal.
The IAC will document the decision and provide copies to the student, the instructor, and the Chair.
This decision of the IAC is submitted to the Dean of Students for communication and processing approval. This decision of the IAC is final.
The result and documentation of the review will be compiled by the Registrar and placed in the student’s academic file.
If the student deems the final decision and accompanying evaluative comments are inaccurate, misleading, or a violation of the privacy or other rights of the student, the student may insert a written comment in the record.
In extenuating circumstances, an “I” grade may be assigned by the instructor with permission from the Department Chair, and in accordance with the eligibility requirements set forth below. Students may request an “I” grade for more time to complete the required coursework, which the student was prevented from completing in a timely way due to non-academic reasons. Students will be asked for documentation to justify the request, though it is important to remember that such documentation does not automatically validate the request. Other circumstances may be taken into consideration, such as the pattern of performance and participation in the course, and any additional factors that the instructor deems relevant. To be eligible for an “I” grade, students must be passing the course at the time of the request and must have completed at least 75 percent of the coursework up to week 6 as specified in the syllabus. The Incomplete Grade Petition form must be submitted to the Office of the Registrar by the Friday of week six in an 8-week term.
All “I” grades require an Incomplete Grade Petition specifying the remaining coursework required for completion and timeline for removal of the “I” grade. This agreement is subject to the approval of the instructor and the Chair of the department or program. If the coursework is not completed within the prescribed time frame, the “I” will change to the earned grade in the course, including the outstanding coursework. The maximum time in which students must complete all coursework is no later than the Friday of week four of the next term. Students cannot have more than one outstanding “I” before enrolling in the next session. Financial aid disbursements scheduled for the following semester will be delayed until the “I” grade is updated to reflect a final grade for the course.
A student who has suffered a death in the family or other personal event of sufficient seriousness to prevent the student from completing coursework and who has successfully completed 75% of the coursework up to week 6 as specified in the course syllabus, is eligible to petition for the grade of incomplete to the instructor. An eligible student must follow the procedures stated below or negate eligibility.
Because of federal financial aid rules, students who are on academic probation cannot petition for or receive a grade of Incomplete under any circumstances.
Students who are graduating seniors cannot receive a grade of Incomplete and graduate. An incomplete grade automatically postpones graduation.
No extensions or second incomplete petitions can be accepted in relation to the original agreement. In the event that the instructor and Chair deny the petition for an incomplete grade, the student may submit a petition to the Dean of Students. The Dean will confer with the instructor and Chair and may require additional documentation and information to substantiate the petition over and above what was previously submitted and will render a final decision.
The student must formally petition the instructor in writing for the grade of Incomplete, using the RMCAD Incomplete Grade Petition form. The required form is available through the Office of the Registrar. The petition is a contract stating the make-up work to be completed and the completion date and must be signed by the instructor, the student, and the Department Chair.
It is the student’s responsibility to initiate the petition and obtain the signatures required. The student must submit the completed form to the Office of the Registrar for approval of the Incomplete.
Approvals are not granted to incomplete or late RMCAD Incomplete Grade Petition forms.
Students must complete and submit to the instructor all work by the Friday of week four of the next term.
The instructor must submit the final grade to the Office of the Registrar by the Friday of week five of the following term. All due dates stated on the incomplete petition must be met. If they are not, the “I” grade will automatically change to the earned grade in the course. There will be no exceptions.
RMCAD approves policy appeals under rare and extraordinary circumstances. To request a policy appeal, students submit the Policy Appeal Form, including the appropriate situational evidence and/or documentation, available through the Office of the Registrar and submitted no later than the end of the following term. The College does not guarantee the approval of policy appeal petitions. All policy appeals are reviewed by the Dean of Students. Decisions are final and binding.
In order for a student to graduate from a bachelor’s degree program at Rocky Mountain College of Art + Design the student must:
- Complete all required courses in a given program of study.
- Have at least a 2.0 cumulative grade point average (2.5 for Art Education majors).
- Have earned a minimum of 120-126 term credits, depending on their program, for a bachelor’s degree. A minimum of 30 credits must have been earned at RMCAD, including the final 15 credits of study, which must be completed at RMCAD (active military students are exempted from the residency requirement).
- Have completed a minimum of two portfolio reviews for the BFA degrees.
- Have an acceptable body of work for a graduation exhibition for the BFA degrees.
In order for a student to graduate from a Master of Arts degree program at Rocky Mountain College of Art + Design the student must:
- Complete all required courses in a given program of study.
- Have at least a 3.0 cumulative grade point average.
- Have earned a minimum of 30 credit hours for a Master of Arts Degree (refer to specific degree requirements). At least 24 credit hours including capstone courses such as thesis, portfolio, or applied project must have been earned at RMCAD. A maximum of 6 semester hours of transfer credit will be accepted toward completion of graduation requirements.
Undergraduate students who maintain a high level of scholastic excellence throughout their college career receive the earned degree with honors. Honors are determined by the student’s cumulative grade point average.
Cum Laude: 3.5 – 3.6 Cumulative GPA
Magna Cum Laude: 3.61 – 3.79 Cumulative GPA
Summa Cum Laude: 3.80 – 4.0 Cumulative GPA
Graduate students who maintain a high level of scholastic excellence throughout their college career receive the earned degree with honors. Honors are determined by the student’s cumulative grade point average.
Passed with Distinction: 4.0 GPA
Honors designations on transcripts are based upon the student’s complete academic record at RMCAD. Only credits earned at RMCAD are used to determine a student’s grade point average. Students whose grade point average qualifies them for graduation with honors the term before they graduate will be recognized at the commencement ceremony.
One Valedictorian will be chosen to represent their graduating class (per academic year) as the student who best symbolizes RMCAD academically. The Valedictorian will be a student who has achieved a 4.0 GPA, or who has achieved the highest cumulative GPA among their graduating class.
In the event there are multiple students who fit these criteria, the student with the most credits earned at RMCAD will be awarded the honor. Should multiple students have the same CUM GPA and credits earned at RMCAD, the student’s conduct, civic engagement, and community involvement history will be reviewed. The student with a demonstrable history of campus and civic engagement and a history clear of conduct violations will be selected as valedictorian.
Eligibility for Participation in Graduation Events
BFA Students are eligible to participate in commencement exercises and the RMCAD Graduation Exhibition only if they have completed all of the degree program requirements and are officially graduating in the same term. Students are added to the graduation list when they have attended the Mandatory Grad Meeting and have completed the requisite paperwork and submitted relevant information, found within the Mandatory Grad Meeting, provided by the Office of the Registrar. Each semester, all on-campus graduating BFA students have the opportunity to participate in an on-campus exhibit. The BFA Graduation Exhibition is a college tradition and a privilege that brings all students, faculty, staff, and community together for a celebration of the talent and hard work of the graduates. Participating students must be present for the installation and exhibition of the show. Online students who are unable to participate in the on-campus exhibition are invited to have their work included in an online exhibition that will also be exhibited in the on-campus exhibit.
The current retention rate for Rocky Mountain College of Art + Design is 58% percent for full-time first-time freshmen who started in the fall term of 2019. This retention rate is comparable to that of other schools of similar size and focus.
The current six-year average graduation rate for Rocky Mountain College of Art + Design is 39% percent for full-time first-time freshmen who started in the fall term of 2013. This graduation rate is comparable to that of other schools of similar size and focus. The four-year average for the Student Right-to-Know completion or graduation rate calculation is 43%.
Undergraduate students must be enrolled full-time to be eligible for honors. Students who begin a term as full-time but withdraw from one or more courses resulting in less than full-time status for a term are ineligible.
Honors are determined by the term grade point average requirements as follows:
- Dean’s Honor Roll: 3.5–3.99
- President’s Honor Roll: 4.0
Liberal Arts Policy
RMCAD students are scheduled for courses based on the program sequence that is designed by the Office of the Registrar and the Academic Program Chair. The program sequence was written to distribute liberal arts, foundations, and core program requirements over the lifetime of a student’s program in order to create a well-rounded student learning experience both online and on campus. The program requirement sequence also ensures that students establish the necessary skills and knowledge to succeed in courses throughout the development of their degree program. RMCAD strongly believes that the liberal arts and foundations coursework is as important to the development of strong artists as their core program coursework. Students are encouraged to follow degree sequence plans as closely as possible. Students deviating from the prescribed sequence may not be able to progress in their program until key requirements are fulfilled.
Transfer students are also required to complete all liberal arts coursework in a timely manner. RMCAD requires 33-45 credit hours of liberal arts coursework and transfer students may often transfer in some of the required courses. Students are encouraged to follow degree sequence plans as closely as possible. Students deviating from the prescribed sequence may not be able to progress in their program until key requirements are fulfilled.
(Updated October 2022)
RMCAD students enrolled in the BFA, art, and design programs are required to pass a minimum of two portfolio reviews as a part of RMCAD’s regular assessment of student outcomes.
Sophomore/Freshman Portfolio Review The first portfolio review is managed by the program department before the student has earned 60 credits. Transfer students must complete the Freshman/Sophomore Portfolio Review prior to the completion of their second semester. Transfer students will be required to complete a Portfolio Review regardless of the number of transfer credits awarded. The Freshman/Sophomore Portfolio Review has been established in compliance with NASAD accreditation requirements to ensure that RMCAD art and design students demonstrate strong potential for professional success. The sophomore portfolio reviews may be included within required major courses or as stand-alone courses. Students prepare and present a portfolio demonstrating foundational art and design skills. Successful completion of the review is required for students to continue with the course requirements in their degree program. The Freshman/Sophomore portfolio review must be successfully completed prior to the completion of 60 credits unless an exception is approved by the Program Department Chair.
Students who fail Freshman/Sophomore Portfolio Review must schedule and retake the portfolio review the next time it is available. Students who fail will be notified by their Instructor and Program Department Chair regarding issues and required areas of improvement and will be required to complete a Retake Plan to prepare for successful completion of the second attempt. Retake planning will be guided by the Program Department Chair with support from Academic Advisors, Financial Aid Advisors, and registration Schedulers. The Retake Plan is a tool for supporting student success and may include requirements to redo work, complete specified courses, and engage with tutors or other activities to assist the student in preparing for success. Students who fail a second attempt must register for the portfolio review in the next semester and will not be allowed to advance into upper-level coursework in the major until they pass.
Junior + Senior Portfolio Reviews All BFA students are generally required to complete a second and third, major-specific portfolio review during the student’s junior and senior years. Junior and Senior portfolio reviews may be included within required major courses or as stand-alone courses. When included within a course there is a notation in the course description in the Academic Catalog. Please see the major-specific course descriptions.
Students who fail the junior and/or senior portfolio will be required to retake the course when it is next available and complete it successfully to fulfill graduation requirements. Students who fail will be notified by their Instructor and Program Department Chair regarding issues and required areas of improvement and will be required to complete a Retake Plan to prepare for successful completion of the second attempt. Retake planning will be guided by the Program Department Chair with support from Academic Advisors, Financial Aid Advisors, and registration Schedulers. The Retake Plan is a tool for supporting student success and may include requirements to redo work, complete specified courses, and engage with tutors or other activities to assist the student in preparing for success.
Students and employees are not permitted to use any materials, or to register, or seek to register, any trademark, service mark, domain name, trade name, or a corporate name that includes or is confusingly similar to any of RMCAD’s trademarks, trade names, service marks, copyrights and copyrightable works, trade secrets, or other proprietary information, or any derivative thereof, in any manner or media, without express written consent from the RMCAD President permitting the use of such Intellectual Property.
For example, students are prohibited from securing, registering, or creating any website, email address, blog, or social media address or account that uses or refers to any RMCAD Intellectual Property; from submitting, sharing, displaying, or uploading any Intellectual Property (including video, graphics, and other content found on public websites maintained by RMCAD and its affiliates) to or on any website, social media website, video-sharing website, or any other media content- sharing website.
Use of College Name and/or Logos
Students, faculty, and staff may use the College name and logos to identify themselves. Only with the express written permission of the College may the College name or logos be used by individuals or entities in a manner that implies College endorsement or responsibility for particular activities, products, or publications for commercial purposes or promotion of individuals or groups.
Artwork and projects created by students as part of a RMCAD course of study are done for educational purposes and represent both the student’s ideas and the influence of the College’s faculty. The college reserves the right to display, retain, and reproduce student work for exhibition, publication, marketing, or any other purpose without the student’s consent. The use of these materials by RMCAD will be limited to promotional and educational activities for the benefit of the school and its students.
Students agree to grant Rocky Mountain College of Art + Design (RMCAD) perpetual license to all materials created in the course of a school project or activity including but not limited to art, i.e.: paintings, drawings, design, illustration, animations, character design, images, video, film, computer media, audio recordings, and other creative work created in the course of a school project or activity.
Students hired to carry out specific tasks that contribute to the Intellectual Property of RMCAD retain no rights of ownership in whole or in part to that Intellectual Property or to the Student’s contribution to that work. RMCAD also reserves the right to use students’ likenesses and/or voices in RMCAD advertising or promotional pieces.
RMCAD is committed to complying with all applicable laws regarding copyrights. As an institution devoted to the creative process, RMCAD supports the responsible, good faith exercise of full fair use rights as codified in federal law at 17 U.S.C. § 107 by faculty, librarians, staff, and students in teaching, research, and service activities. Except as allowed by law, it is a violation of this policy and law for RMCAD faculty, staff, or students to reproduce, distribute, display publicly, perform, digitally transmit (in the case of sound recordings or audiovisual works), or prepare derivative works based upon a copyrighted work without the permission of the copyright owner.
Students who engage in illegal downloading or unauthorized distribution of copyrighted materials using the school’s information technology system are subject to disciplinary action under the Student Code of Conduct up to and including dismissal from their program. In addition, consequences for copyright infringement can include civil and criminal penalties. In general, anyone found liable for civil copyright infringement may be ordered to pay either actual damages or “statutory” damages affixed at not less than $750 and not more than $30,000 per work infringed. For “willful” infringement, a court may award up to $150,000 per work infringed. A court can, in its discretion, also assess costs and attorneys’ fees. For details, see Title 17, United States Code, Sections 504, 505. Willful copyright infringement can also result in criminal penalties, including imprisonment of up to five years and fines of up to $250,000 per offense. For more information, please see the website of the U.S. Copyright Office at www.copyright.gov. Students who engage in illegal downloading or unauthorized distribution of copyrighted materials using the school’s information technology system are subject to disciplinary action under the Student Code of Conduct up to and including dismissal from their program.
As a general guideline, students are permitted to use copyrighted materials in their projects/assignments. However, fair use only permits the use of copyrighted material for coursework/assignments. If a student’s course work contains any copyrighted material, the student is not permitted to use that work in a portfolio, demo reel, website, or anything outside the scope of that specific course assignment.
The information provided above is not intended to provide legal advice but instead clarification of the federal statutes as understood by RMCAD. Faculty and staff should refer to the National Employee Handbook and the Academic Affairs Manual for additional information regarding copyright regulations and requirements.