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Petition for Modification of Academic Requirements

The purpose of academic policies

The purpose behind all academic policies is to preserve the integrity of the Lewis & Clark degree and provide our graduates with an exceptional credential - nationally valued and respected.  Academic regulations are approved by the faculty of Lewis & Clark College and may be modified for an individual student only upon the approval of the Curriculum Subcommittee on Petitions, Appeals and Student-Designed Majors (Petitions Committee).  The full policy on modification of academic requirements can be found in the College Catalog

Who hears academic petition matters?

The Subcommittee on Petitions, Appeals and Student Designed Majors is a subgroup of the faculty members currently serving on the Curriculum Committee. Upon the request of the petitioning student, the student member of the Curriculum Committee may join the Petitions Committee for the hearing of petitions. (Please note that the student representative is not available in the summer semester.) The Director of Student and Departmental Account Services will make determinations on financial matters related to academic petitions.

The task of the Petitions Committee is to ensure that exceptions to the regulations are granted only after careful consideration of all the facts and the student’s academic record, and that decisions are made with consistency and fairness. (Please note that policies involving curricular matters such as General Education may not be granted exceptions via the petitions process.) 

How is the petition evaluated?

Your petition will be reviewed to determine whether an extenuating circumstance and significant need exists that would present a compelling reason to grant an exception. Modifications are not typically granted unless the following criteria are met:

  • An extenuating circumstance prevents the student from adhering to policy
  • A significant need exists
  • The student demonstrates advisor and/or other faculty/staff support for the exception
  • Documentation that is pertinent to the matter is included with the petition
  • The Committee believes the exception is in the best interest of the student and will not harm the College or the value of the degree

Examples of extenuating circumstances and need:

A student wishes to add a course after the add/drop deadline because the student was unexpectedly hospitalized during the end of the add/drop period. The course is needed as part of the student’s major. The student has included a copy of the emergency room receipt and a letter of support from the advisor.

A student wishes to apply more than 4 credits of transfer credit in the senior year (Senior Residency Policy) because the student is taking two 4 credit quarter-system courses at another college to fulfill the foreign languages general education requirement. Both quarter-system courses are required to fulfill the GE requirement, but equate to 5.33 semester credits. The student is completing the requirement in a language that LC does not offer, and has included a letter of support from the advisor which explains why the student was best served by completing the requirement using courses not offered at LC.

What matters are not appropriate for a petition?
  • A student has been attending class for weeks but never turned in the Add/Drop form.  There is no serious no extenuating circumstance (e.g., hospitalization, serious illness in the family, etc).  While such a petition is technically allowed, the committee does not tend to view these favorably.
  • A student would like to withdraw from a course in which an incomplete grade was awarded. This is not allowed. Once a grade (incomplete or otherwise) has been awarded and the semester has been concluded, the student may not withdraw from the course.
  • A student wants to satisfy a General Education requirement with a course that has not been designated to fulfill GE.  This is not allowed.  A course is designated to fulfill GE requirements or not.  It can’t fulfill GE for one student, but not another.
  • The student wants to graduate but has earned less than 128 credits.  The committee will not approve of granting a degree to a student who has not fulfilled the minimum credit requirement to earn a degree.
  • The student wants to use advanced placement credit to fulfill General Education requirements. This is not allowed. AP credit cannot satisfy GE requirements for one student but not another.
Talk to your Advisor first!

Before filing a petition, the student must meet with the Academic Advisor to consider ways of fulfilling the requirement without the need for modification. In many cases, alternatives exist that would achieve the same objective. If that is not possible, the student may submit a petition by following the instructions below.

  1. The student should meet with the advisor to discuss the proposed petition to determine if it is necessary.
  2. If the advisor believes the petition is necessary, the advisor should review and sign the petition, and provide a letter of support explaining the necessity to the Subcommittee on Petitions, Appeals, and Student-Designed-Majors.
  3. The requested information must be typed. No handwritten petitions will be accepted. The form can be filled out online and the student should complete his or her part of the form before printing it for the advisor’s signature.
  4. If the policy/procedure for which the student is requesting an exception requires a form (overload card, add/drop slip, internship form, etc), the completed form must be included with the signed petition.  Be sure to include an academic plan approved by the advisor.
  5. The student should obtain necessary documentation and letter(s) of support, and then return the completed petition to the Office of the Registrar.  Incomplete petitions or hand-written petitions will not be accepted. 
  6. The completed petition must be submitted to the Registrar at least two weeks prior to the next scheduled meeting of the Curriculum Subcommittee on Petitions, Appeals, and Student-Designed Majors.  The subcommittee shall meet at least monthly during fall and spring semester unless there are no petitions to be considered.
  7. The completed petition and supporting documentation will be submitted to the subcommittee by the Registrar.  The Registrar shall attend the subcommittee deliberations in an ex-officio capacity. 
  8. The Registrar will notify the student of the Committee’s decision by email.
  9. The decision of the faculty committee is final. 
FORM:  (download the form and open in Acrobat to fill out the form before printing)
Petition for Modification of Academic Requirements