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Header-Program Handbook

General Program Policies and Requirements

English Language Requirement
Required Quality of Official Documents
Standard, Minimum-Maximum Degree Periods
Rolling Registration
Program Prerequisites
Expected Quality of Student Work
Good Academic Standing
Full Time/Part Time Status
Official Dates of Acceptance, Enrollment, and Graduation
Minimum Required Achievement Levels
Communications Expectations
Course Numbering System
Course Length Limits
Continuation beyond Standard Limits
Course Load Limits
Course Prerequisites
Changes in Student Degree Major
Course Credit System
Transfer Credit Policy
Student Records and Documentation
Changes to Official Student Records
Policy on Re-issuance of Diploma
University Policy Changes

English Language Requirement
Akamai University is an English language university. All submissions and communications, written or verbal, from students to the faculty or the administration of the University should be in the English language and of scholarly standard, unless approved beforehand to the contrary. This policy applies to course papers, project reports and other course submissions, student portfolios, comprehensive examinations, final projects, and oral reviews. Official submissions or communications that do not conform to this policy may be rejected or returned to the student for proper translation. Students are advised to communicate any concerns in this regard early in the conduct of a degree program.

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Required Quality of Official Documents
The University maintains official archival documents as the permanent record in support of our students degree programs. Materials submitted by students should be original ink signed documents. Although original official documents are preferred, fax or email copies of completed official forms may serve for purposes of the permanent record if accompanied by a signed letter of transmittal from the authorized party. For certain purposes, faxed, photocopied, or unsigned documents transmitted by email or fax will not be permitted. Under such circumstances, clear instructions will be provided.

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Standard, Minimum-Maximum Degree Periods
The University has established standard degree periods at each degree level representing the best time estimate for completion of the degree. The standard degree period is two years for the Masters program, three years for Bachelors and Doctoral programs. The minimum required enrollment period for Bachelors and Masters programs is one full calendar year from the date of initial registration. At the Doctoral degree level, the minimum enrollment period is one and one-half calendar years (one full year and 180 days). The maximum periods allowed for program completion is four years for Masters, six years for Bachelors and Doctoral programs.

Waiving the Minimum Degree Period. Students that effectively and completely satisfy all requirements for the degree according to university guidelines may petition their graduate Committee Chair or undergraduate primary faculty advisor to waive the balance of the time remaining in the minimum degree period. With written support from the faculty in charge, the Center Director may submit approval waiving the minimum degree period for successful students. Upon receipt of written approval for waiver, the university administration will authorize issuance of the completion documents, provided all other University requirements have been met.

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Rolling Registration
Akamai University has a system of rolling registration. Students may apply to the University at any point in the calendar year and after acceptance may register and begin subject enrollment for their program. Following approval of the study plan, the first action in each student’s program, students may enroll for courses at any point in the calendar year, as arranged with the primary mentor. Students are asked to arrange their timeline and submit course enrollment forms at least four weeks in advance of their expected course start date to permit proper notification and preparation by course instructors.

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Program Prerequisites
Most Akamai University programs have stated prerequisites (academic, professional or licensing) as minimal expected preparation. Mandatory prerequisites are indicated in writing within the University s materials. Students are responsible for including any unmet program prerequisites as required elements of their degree.

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Expected Quality of Student Work
The University strives to help students gain superior abilities at creative application of new learning within the "real world" environment. To support this goal, students are directed in establishing an effective "project oriented learning environment" within which to explore and apply the learned materials. This requires selection and arrangement of field study sites, both formal and informal, wherein the student may observe the professional environment, and explore in stepwise fashion the application of new knowledge.

Akamai believes scholarly papers and research project reports to be the best approach for assessment of overall student academic quality. Effective student scholarly papers are creative and reflective in nature and of publishable quality. While we expect our students to found their written work in citations and references to the scholarly literature, we also expect their work to be of superior academic quality, addressing the higher levels of cognition. In other words, students should not just provide perfunctory responses to the readings, but more detailed and elaborate responses, integrating and applying the new learning with tasks and activities expected of practitioners.

Course papers need not be long (seven pages is often times sufficient) but they need to be complete, significant, interconnected, creative and far-reaching in meaningful detail. In lieu of scholarly papers, instructors may request students to submit project reports (similar to what would be expected of a professional practitioner). Other options for acceptable course evaluations are oral examinations (individual one-on-one with the instructor or before a group) or written examinations (essay type). It is also appropriate to conduct oral course examinations, when this is possible and appropriate to the circumstances of the instructor and the student. Written work evaluated for the course grade should be saved for possible later transmittal to the University for archival storage or publication in a University journal.

Work related to the thesis or dissertation (and to a more minor degree, the senior project) must reflect the capstone quality standard set by the University. No student should be permitted to graduate without first satisfying the high academic standards set by the University and upheld by the senior faculty overseeing student progress. For the most part, quality standards are published online by the University, but in addition, quality standards are inherent within the leadership of the senior faculty. Students that fail to satisfy the standards of achievement upheld by senior faculty should not be permitted to graduate without first conducting the needed upgrades and revisions required by these faculty leaders.

Good Academic Standing
To continue in good academic standing, degree students must maintain full time status at all times, maintain minimum achievement levels and academic grades, meet the expectations of senior faculty, and uphold their responsibility to communicate with faculty and administration. Furthermore, to maintain good standing, students must also abide by the standards for academic integrity and the honor codes at all times and maintain a positive relationship with the University community.

Good academic standing also requires that degree students maintain good academic progress that satisfies the academic standards and expectations of the graduate committee or undergraduate primary faculty advisor. This is particularly relevant to the graduate committee reviews of the comprehensive examinations, the research proposal and the final project elements (thesis or dissertation)of the program. Students that continually fall short of the expectations of faculty-in-charge and are unable to attain passing status over time may be recommended for additional courses of study. After completion of additional study, should the student continue to fall short of faculty expectations, suspension of the educational program should be recommended by the senior faculty member of the student's program.

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Full Time/Part Time Status
To maintain full time status, students must carry a minimum of six semester credits at all times. Students should progress in their programs at a rate that allows completion within the maximum degree period allowed. Short periods of inactivity of up to four weeks are permitted between course enrollments without impacting the good standing of the student. Also, once students reach the stage of the final examination and other finishing activities, they are no longer bound by the minimum credit enrollment policy.

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Official Dates of Acceptance, Enrollment, and Graduation

  • The official date of acceptance at Akamai shall be recorded as the date shown on the official letter of acceptance issued to the student. This letter is issued in a timely manner once all application materials and admission fees are received, evaluated and approved by the Akamai administration

  • The official date of registration at Akamai shall be that date when a letter of acknowledgement of registration is issued to the student. This letter is issued in a timely manner once all registration materials and tuition fees (or tuition installment agreement) are received, accepted and approved by Akamai University

  • The official date of completion at Akamai shall be that date when Akamai issues a letter of completion indicating final approval. This letter is issued in a timely manner once all finishing documents and materials verifying successful degree completion have been received and approved at Akamai.

    Minimum Required Achievement Levels
    To maintain minimum achievement levels, Bachelor's students must achieve and maintain a grade point average of "2.0" or above. An undergraduate student, whose GPA falls below "C" average will be placed on academic probation and required to complete an action plan to bring the grades up to the required standard.

    At the graduate level, including Master's and doctoral levels, students must maintain a grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 or better to remain in good standing the receive the degree. A graduate student, whose GPA falls below the minimum 3.0 will be placed on academic probation and required to complete an action plan to bring the grades up to the required standard.

    Graduate students that earn a grade of less than "B" (or Pass) in any subject must repeat the course and receive a grad of "B" or better (or a Pass score) to earn graduate credit.

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    Communications
    To uphold their responsibility to communicate, students are expected to maintain scheduled contact with their course instructors, their primary mentor, and the University administration, as stated in University policy.

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    Course Numbering System

    The University s course numbering system uses a three-letter code followed by a three number code. The letter code represents the degree program from which the course is drawn. The number code indicates the course type and academic level of the content.

    Foundational Academic Competencies
    Field Study
    Directed Study
    Comprehensive Examinations
    Dissertations, Theses and Senior Projects

    Foundational Academic Competencies
    These courses address the theories, principles and practices, historical, philosophical and social-cultural implications of the field, both at the core foundational level and at the advanced academic level. These courses are intended to cover the core coursework requirements for the academic major and minor and provide elective studies that serve to round out the student's program.

    500-599: Graduate Level Academic Competencies (Masters and Doctorate)
    These courses are open to graduate students and upper division undergraduates. These courses encompass the core academic competencies for graduate students and advanced studies for undergraduates.

    600-699: Doctoral Level Academic Competencies (Masters by permission)
    These courses represent the core academic competencies reserved for doctoral students. Master students may petition the instructor for special permission to enroll.

    Field Study
    Field study courses are open to students wishing to acquire advanced professional competencies and practical knowledge of the discipline through supervised practice, internship, apprenticeship, field exploration, laboratory experience, advanced professional experience, a student-directed project, or other appropriate field investigation. The field study is intended to expose the student to cases and situations which are representative of the role and function of an independent practitioner in the field of study. Each field study course is intended to permit the student to cover 150-300 hours in field contact projects. The course may be repeated in non-duplicative areas with permission of the primary mentor and by enrolling for the next number in the sequence.

    780-789: Graduate Field Study in XXX
    These field study courses are open to graduate students only.

    Directed Study
    Directed Study is designed to provide effective leadership and guidance to students wishing to undertake advanced elements of study that are not offered elsewhere across the University. While students are expected to select courses whenever possible from the available structured academic offerings, students may pursue through directed study a full composite of courses comprising a primary or supportive focus within their degree program.

    790-799: Directed Study in XXX
    These directed study courses are open to graduate students only.

    Comprehensive Examinations
    All students participate in University administered comprehensive examinations as a required element of their degree programs. Final examinations include both written and oral components. The written portion, designed by the primary mentor (with other faculty assistance), is open book style with selected essay questions presented to the student by email. The questions are designed to require the student to creatively respond to the subject matter, addressing real world problems and situations, through reflection, decision making, and problem solving, drawing upon the competencies acquired within the subject matter concentration. The student s written responses are expected to include effective citations and references to the academic literature. The oral component of the examination is usually conducted by telephone conference and is designed to permit a careful review of the student s responses on the written portion. A student s participation in the final examination follows completion of all academic requirements. At the graduate level, students participate in a second comprehensive examination following the review of their major project manuscript. This oral review of the final project is usually conducted by telephone conference and is designed to permit a careful review of the student s project and written manuscript.

    EXM 885: Comprehensive Examination-Master s Students
    Masters students complete this comprehensive examination as a required element of their academic program, prior to undertaking the thesis.

    EXM 895: Oral Review of Thesis
    This examination is an oral review of the Masters thesis conducted by the graduate committee immediately following their reading of the thesis manuscript.

    EXM 985: Comprehensive Examination-Doctoral Students
    This is the traditional comprehensive examination of doctoral students conducted by the graduate committee immediately following completion of the academic coursework and prior to undertaking the dissertation.

    EXM 995: Oral Defense of Dissertation
    This examination is an oral defense of the Doctoral dissertation conducted by the graduate committee immediately following their reading of the dissertation manuscript.

    Theses and Dissertations
    As the capstone for all degree studies at this University, students complete a major research project demonstrating excellence at their level of degree study. The form of research may be quantitative or qualitative research, participatory action research, or a major project demonstrating excellence, depending upon the field of study. Graduate courses include the dissertation proposal, dissertation research, or thesis proposal, and thesis research.

    RES 885: Thesis Proposal (2 credits)
    This course is required of all Master s students designed to guide them through the formal research proposal process for their final projects, according to the published policies of the University.

    RES 890: Thesis Research (4 credits)
    This course governs the conduct of the thesis project for the Master s level student. The Masters thesis is the demonstration of the mastery of a body of knowledge in a given field and is presented in a manuscript usually 75 or more pages in length. The final project may take any of several forms, depending upon the field of study and the expectations of faculty. This may be quantitative or qualitative research, participatory action research, or a major project demonstrating excellence.

    RES 985: Dissertation Proposal (4 credits)
    This course is required of all Doctoral students to guide them through the formal research proposal process for their final projects, according to the published policies of the University.

    RES 990: Dissertation Research (8 credits)
    This course governs the conduct of the dissertation project for the Doctoral level student. The dissertation is a major undertaking that is a demonstration of mastery of a field of study and an original contribution to the field usually 150 or more pages in length. The final project may take any of several forms, depending upon the field of study and the expectations of faculty. This may be quantitative or qualitative research, participatory action research, or a major project demonstrating excellence.

    Course Length Limits

    Initial Four Week Preparation Period
    Maximum and Minimum Course Duration
    Extending a 30-Day Grace Period

    Preparation for Course Enrollment
    Students are expected to submit course enrollment forms to the University administration by email, fax or post to be received at least 4 weeks before the formal course start date. This full four weeks permitted before the formal course start date allows the student to gain clarity from the course instructor and purchase required learning materials and texts before the onset of the course. Instructors are authorized to adjust the start date to accommodate late delivery of required learning materials. Extensions of course start dates should be reported in writing to the University administration.

    Maximum and Minimum Course Duration
    Progress through any course is negotiated directly with the course instructor according to the University’s published guidelines. The maximum course duration is set at 16 weeks. To allow effectiveness on the part of course instructors, sufficient time must be provided for reviewing lessons and providing effective feedback on student assignments. Therefore, as a matter of policy, courses of two or more credits may not officially be completed in less than 8 weeks. Courses of less than 2 credits may be completed in less than 8 weeks, when all assignments have been received, reviewed and graded to the satisfaction of the instructor. The course is deemed complete when the University administration receives the course grade report from the instructor.

    Extending a 30-Day Grace Period
    As the situation merits, the instructor may allow a 30-day grace period for students who have experienced temporary emergency circumstances (family, health or employment) that have made it impossible for them to complete the course requirements within allotted time. Students should request the academic extension in writing and the final decision rests with the course instructor. Both the student's written request for extension and the instructor's written approval of extension should be copied to the University headquarters for recording in the student's permanent record.

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    Continuation beyond Standard Limits
    The University has established standard maximum enrollment periods at each degree level, identifying the number of calendar years allowed for completion of the degree before continuation fees are assessed. Students wishing to continue their programs of study beyond the standard maximum period must submit a "letter of request for continuation" and include with the letter that first installment of the continuation fees. Continuation is extended on a quarter-by-quarter basis and approved students are assessed continuation fees at the rate of $250 per quarter, payable in advance of continuation. The standard maximum duration for the Associate's and Bachelor's Programs is three years;for Master's students the standard maximum is four years; and for Doctoral students the standard maximum is six years.

    Course Load Limits
    Since most standard courses should be completed within 16 weeks from their start date, it is necessary for students to consider their course load and time availability in scheduling course enrollment. To assure that students are not overextended, and that they have the needed time to produce work to the superior scholarly standard expected, the University asks that students not enroll for coursework in excess of 18 credits at any one time. Under unusual circumstances, students may make special requests in writing to the University administration if wish to enroll for course credits in excess of this limit. Such special requests will be reviewed only with the full support in writing from the primary mentor.

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    Course Prerequisites
    Many Akamai University courses have academic, professional or licensing prerequisites as minimal expected preparation for the course. These prerequisites are sited in writing by the University and usually can be found within the course descriptions. Students are responsible for meeting these prerequisites or equivalent requirements. Students who are unsure of eligibility should consult the course instructor or University headquarters prior to course enrollment.

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    Changes in Student Degree Major
    Students experiencing substantial changes in the focus of the academic or career focus following registration may seek to make an adjustment in their degree field or program concentration. Students must submit formal paperwork relative to such changes, demonstrating their eligibility for acceptance into the other degree field or concentration. Only those credits deemed eligible and appropriate for transfer will be allowed. Student fees are assessed to cover the costs related to adjusting the permanent record and contracting with a new primary mentor, if that is also deemed necessary. Students should inquire with the University administration for further guidance in making program changes.

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    Course Credit System
    Akamai University subject modules are credited via a calculation based upon the recommendations of the traditional Carnegie system. The Akamai University credit system is designed to be interchangeable with credit systems worldwide and easily comparable with other college calendar systems. Akamai courses are designed so that 15 classroom contact hours and a minimum of 15 additional hours of total time in independent study and assignments, a minimum total of 30 hours, shall be deemed equivalent to one Akamai semester credit. This includes time spent in residential seminars, completion of assignments, library research, reading and reflection, essay preparation, course papers, and other written submissions, projects and reports. It also includes work in study tours, field placement, research and other academic investigations, professional enhancement activities, attendance at lectures, classes, seminars and conferences or any other form of study or investigation that is included as a planned, allowed or required element of a course or tutorial.

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    Transfer Credit Policy
    Full credit is awarded for courses transferred from classroom-based colleges following the semester system. However, since not all classroom-based colleges have adopted the semester credit system, credit from other systems must be translated into Akamai University semester credits. When determining credit allowance for other systems, the total hours of classroom time must be calculated, taking into consideration the number of weeks of instruction and the length and frequency of classes. To determine the Akamai University credit equivalency, the total classroom hours over the term of the course are totaled and divided by fifteen. It is appropriate to round the credit determination to the nearest tenth of a point. If the college transcript does not indicate the classroom contact requirements and length of term for the non-semester system, students must obtain this information in writing from the college issuing the transcript.

    Course transferred from non-classroom activities such as from distance learning schools and other nontraditional colleges must also be translated to Akamai University semester credits. Under most circumstances, approximately one Akamai University credit may be awarded for each 45-50 hours of total time in external study activities. If the transcript does not list minimum study time requirements, this information must be obtained in writing from the college.

    Courses completed at training institutions or at colleges that are not fully accredited will be evaluated on an individual basis. Students should provide course descriptions and other materials from the outside college or training institution to assist in clarifying the academic material covered and time spent in study.

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    Student Records and Documentation
    The Akamai University has established special guidelines governing the content of the student diploma and transcript. Diplomas shall include the legal name of the student, the degree level awarded and the date of the award. Official transcripts shall include the degree level, degree major, degree minor, and title of final project. Transcripts will also include the date of initial registration, list of courses with letter grades, date of completion and score of comprehensive examinations, date of completion and score of oral defense of final project, and the date of graduation. Special requests for records of exact contact hours or other expectations from licensing agencies will be handled upon request on an individual basis

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    Changes to Official Student Records
    Official student records (transcript and diploma) are structured based upon the official documents submitted to the University and recorded by senior administration. Changes to these records are made only when errors or omissions are identified in the official documents and verified by University administration. The University is careful to reflect the content of the student's program as certified by the staff and faculty but in cases where errors are identified after the documents have been issued, corrections will be made to bring the official records into harmony with the correct official documents. Re-issuance of the University's diploma is authorized only when the erroneous document is returned to the University or certified destroyed by the recipient.

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    Policy on Re-issuance of Diploma
    Akamai University issues one original diploma upon completion of all degrees. The diploma is issued in the legal name of the student at the time of graduation. Graduates may request a replacement diploma be reissued when a sufficient reason is shown. Acceptable reasons for reissue would include request for legalization with University seal, loss or damage of original due to natural events or other reasons beyond ones control. Reissue will require a signed and notarized affidavit, identification of the requestor and return of the original issue if possible. The approval to issue a replacement diploma will be determined by the University President or Vice President. A replacement diploma will be reproduced in the same format and style as the most current diploma being issued. The replacement will be reissued in the same name as the original. It will contain the appropriate school seal and signatures. All replacement diplomas will contain an authorized reissue statement and date at the bottom. A diploma replacement fee of USD $25 will be assessed to cover the reissuance. When a replacement diploma is reproduced and signed it will be sent by courier at the expense of the graduate. Graduates requesting reissue of diploma should contact the administrative finance officer for calculation of the reissue fees and courier expense.

    A complete application for diploma reissuance shall include the following:

      Application and Affidavit completed signed before a valid notary republic
      A photocopy of a valid government issued picture identification or passport
      $25.00 diploma reissue ( methods for payments to Akamai University
      Courier shipment fees contact Akamai University in advance for quotation of courier fee)

    Applicants requesting reissuance of diploma must clarify the reason for the request for reissuance. Only one of the following reasons will be acceptable:

      Your name has legally changed since the issuance of your diploma
      Your original diploma was seriously damaged
      Your original diploma was lost in fire or theft
      Your original diploma was lost and not recovered
      You request reissuance of your diploma to include the University seal and serial number

    University Policy Changes
    The University reserves the right to modify its written guidelines, requirements, standards, policies and procedures at any time. It is the policy of the University to notified faculty and students in writing as soon as possible prior to such changes to allow sufficient time for discussion and personal decision-making before the effective date of the changes.

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    Akamai University is internationally accredited by the Accreditation Service for International Colleges (ASIC). The University has earned Premier status with ASIC for its commendable areas of operation. ASIC is an approved accrediting body for the purposes of compliance by the UK Border Agency (UKBA) is a member of the British Quality Foundation (BQF), sits on the Quality Standards Group of UK NARIC, and is one of a number of international accrediting bodies listed in the international directory by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) in the USA and is a member of the CHEA International Quality Group (CIQG).

    Akamai University
    187 Kino`ole Street
    Hilo, Hawaii 96720 USA