Student Progress Committee

The Student Progress Committee is charged with interpreting and enforcing academic policies, making decisions on a student’s academic standing, and working with the Registrar’s Office, The Advising Center, and Department Chairs to alert students to progress issues that may affect their graduation.

Chaired by the Associate Dean for Student Academic Affairs, it is comprised of the Associate Deans of the College, the Registrar, the Director of Academic Advising, the Disability Services Coordinator, the Director of Financial Aid and the Director of Student Success.

Oxy’s academic policies may be found in the college catalog. Developed, vetted, and approved by the Faculty’s Academic Planning Committee, they apply to all students, and their purpose is to guarantee the integrity of an Occidental degree while ensuring that students are treated fairly and equitably.  Every student has the right to ask for an exception to an academic policy but given the above stated purpose of these policies students should be aware that exceptions are granted rarely and only when a student can provide evidence of special or extenuating circumstances. Requests for an exception to an academic policy must be submitted via a Petition for Special Consideration to the Office of the Registrar. Once submitted they are reviewed by the Student Progress Committee and the student is promptly notified of the committee’s decision.

Students who wish to request an exception to any academic policy may submit a Petition for Special Consideration to the Office of the Registrar. 

Appealing a Decision of the Student Progress Committee

This Appeals Policy is for Student Progress Committee decisions on:

  • Petitions for Special Consideration

  • Applications for readmission to the college after suspension due to academic standing

  • Independent Patterns of Study

  • Independent Studies

Student Progress Committee decisions on grade appeals are not subject to this policy, but follow the Grade Appeals Policy in the catalog.

Students who have received a notice of a semester of academic concern, a required academic leave, or dismissal, and who wish to request a reconsideration of their academic standing in light of new information, must submit a Petition for Special Consideration following the procedure outlined in the section below titled  “Requesting Reconsideration of a Student Progress Committee Decision Regarding Academic Standing."

It is presumed that the decisions of the Student Progress Committee result from consistent, fair, and equitable application of relevant standards, policies, and procedures. Should a student wish to contest a decision of the Student Progress Committee, the student submits, in writing, an appeal letter to the Dean of the College, (sternberg@oxy.edu), with a copy to the executive secretary to the Dean, (mmancera@oxy.edu) and the Student Progress Committee, (spc@oxy.edu), within 5 calendar days of email notification of the Student Progress Committee's decision. An appeal letter must set forth reasons for the appeal.  An appeal may not be based on a disagreement with the standards, policies, and/or procedures themselves. Rather, any appeal of a Student Progress Committee decision must be based upon, and provide reasons in support of, one or more of the following criteria:

  • New Information of a Substantive Nature: New, significant or relevant information regarding the case becomes available that could not have been discovered by the student at the time of the Student Progress Committee’s deliberation. Information is not considered new if the student voluntarily withheld the information at the time the committee deliberated regarding those decisions.

  • Significant Procedural Error: The specified procedural error or error in interpretation of the academic policies may have substantially affected the Student Progress Committee’s deliberations such that the error prevented the Student Progress Committee from rendering a fair decision.

Upon receipt, the appeals letter will promptly be reviewed by the Dean of the College, or her designee.

If the Dean of the College or her designee determines that there is new information of a substantive nature, the petition and the appeals letter, with the Dean of the College or her designee’s determination, will be sent to the Student Progress Committee for reconsideration. The decision of the Student Progress Committee upon this second deliberation is final, and will promptly be communicated to the Dean of the College or her designee, the student, the registrar, and the chair of the Student Progress Committee.

If the Dean of the College or her designee determines that there has been a significant procedural error he or she may return the complaint to the Student Progress Committee with instructions to correct the error, and to reconsider the findings as appropriate. The decision of the Student Progress Committee upon this second deliberation is final, and will promptly be communicated to the Dean of the College or her designee, the student, the registrar, and the chair of the Student Progress Committee.  In rare cases, where the procedural error cannot be corrected by the Student Progress Committee (as in cases of bias), the Dean of the College or her designee will determine whether to uphold, modify or overturn the Student Progress Committee’s decision. In such cases the decision of the Dean of the College or her designee is final and will promptly be communicated with the student, the registrar, and the chair of the Student Progress Committee.

If the Dean of the College or her designee determines that the new information is not substantive and that there has been no significant procedural error, the decision of the Student Progress Committee will be upheld. This decision of the Dean of the College or her designee is final, and will promptly be communicated with the student, the registrar, and the chair of the Student Progress Commitee.

Requesting Reconsideration of a Student Progress Committee Decision Regarding Academic Standing

At the close of each semester, the Student Progress Committee reviews the records of all students whose semester or cumulative GPA is close to, or below, 2.0, who have fallen behind normal progress toward their degree, or who have received at least one grade of F for the semester. The Student Progress Committee decides the academic standing (good standing, a semester of academic concern, a required academic leave, or dismissal) of the student whose records are under review according to the policy published in the catalog, and promptly communicates its decision to the student.

Should a student wish to request reconsideration of a decision regarding their academic standing they may submit a Petition for Special Consideration to the registrar within 10 calendar days of email notification of the Student Progress Committee's decision.  While the Student Progress Committee encourages students to review any such Petition with their academic advisors, they will be accepted with no supporting signatures. The grounds to request reconsideration must be detailed in the Petition, and may not be based on a disagreement with the standards, policies, and procedures themselves. Specifically, the grounds to request reconsideration of a decision of the Student Progress Committee on academic standing must include the following criteria:

  • New Information of a Substantive Nature: New, significant or relevant information regarding the case that was not presented to the committee at the time of the Student Progress Committee’s deliberation.

Upon receipt of the Petition the Student Progress Committee will reconsider the case and communicate their decision to the student. If the Student Progress Committee upholds its original decision regarding the academic standing of a student, the student has the right to follow the appeals policy that applies to decisions of the Student Progress Committee regarding standard Petitions for Special Consideration.