ACADEMICS

ACADEMIC POLICIES

English Proficiency

Students in the BA and lower programs of CBTS are required to take English Grammar and Composition courses. These courses are foundational to the student’s work at CBTS and should be taken at the beginning of studies. While BA students will do a year of English Grammar and Composition, students in the Diploma program will have two years of the course. In the C.Th program, the students will have an English curriculum that covers five years of their studies. It is expected that the standards of English taught in these classes will be seen in written and spoken assignments in other courses. After completing this course, a student may be required to re-take the course if his or her performance in the program falls short of expected standards.

All students in the MA and M.Div programs must show that they have an acceptable level of English Grammar and composition. It is assumed that students in the MA and M. Div programs already have competence in English Grammar and Composition. Each student’s ability to write and communicate in English will be judged through taking the English Grammar and Composition course and submitting written assignments as part of the course requirements. This course carries 3 credit hours (for the purpose of calculating the student’s work load) but the credit hours are not counted towards the degree requirement. The rationale is that English is an under graduate level course and is offered here for remedial purposes.

MA and M.Div students who already have proficiency in English and believe that this course is not for them, will be given the option to test out of the course. This exam will take place during the first week of class. Those who take the exam and score 80% and above will be exempted for the part of the course being offered that semester.

Throughout their program, all students will continue to submit written assignments that must meet the acceptable English Grammar and Composition standards. Faculty reserves the right not to grade a paper which does not show accuracy and care in the writing process. A lower grade will also be given for papers which show deficiencies in writing skills. For these reasons, it is strongly recommended that all students take the course at the beginning of their program.
Students in the BA and lower programs of CBTS are required to take English Grammar and Composition courses. These courses are foundational to the student’s work at CBTS and should be taken at the beginning of studies. While BA students will do a year of English Grammar and Composition, students in the Diploma program will have two years of the course. In the C.Th program, the students will have an English curriculum that covers five years of their studies. It is expected that the standards of English taught in these classes will be seen in written and spoken assignments in other courses. After completing this course, a student may be required to re-take the course if his or her performance in the program falls short of expected standards.

All students in the MA and M.Div programs must show that they have an acceptable level of English Grammar and composition. It is assumed that students in the MA and M. Div programs already have competence in English Grammar and Composition. Each student’s ability to write and communicate in English will be judged through taking the English Grammar and Composition course and submitting written assignments as part of the course requirements. This course carries 3 credit hours (for the purpose of calculating the student’s work load) but the credit hours are not counted towards the degree requirement. The rationale is that English is an under graduate level course and is offered here for remedial purposes.

MA and M.Div students who already have proficiency in English and believe that this course is not for them, will be given the option to test out of the course. This exam will take place during the first week of class. Those who take the exam and score 80% and above will be exempted for the part of the course being offered that semester.

Throughout their program, all students will continue to submit written assignments that must meet the acceptable English Grammar and Composition standards. Faculty reserves the right not to grade a paper which does not show accuracy and care in the writing process. A lower grade will also be given for papers which show deficiencies in writing skills. For these reasons, it is strongly recommended that all students take the course at the beginning of their program.

Academic Standing

A student is in good academic standing if s/he maintains a cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA) of 70%, conducts his/her personal lifestyle with spiritual and moral integrity, is a law-abiding citizen, and meets all financial obligations to the school. Each student is expected to be in good health to be able to do the required course work. The administration of the school reserves the right to discontinue any student who does not meet the above standards.

Change of Academic Status

If a student wants to change from full-time to part-time, s/he must apply in writing to the office of the Dean. Likewise, a student changing from part-time to full-time must submit an application to the office of the Dean for such a change. If the application is approved, the student will be required to submit a plan of study drawn up in consultation with his or her program advisor. Whenever there is an academic status change, a fee of 5000 frs will be charged. Part-time students are those who are taking 8 hours or less and full-time students are those taking 9 hours and above.

Academic Probation/Termination

The following are rules that apply to probation and termination.

Academic Probation
Any student who fails to maintain a cumulative GPA of 70 will be placed on probation beginning the following term. In other words, if in the first term, a student’s GPA falls below 70, he or she will be on probation the second semester. This is because a grade point below 70 is unacceptable for graduation.

Academic Termination
When placed on probation, a student may not take more than 15 credit hours during the semester he is on probation. In the event that a student continues to fall below the 70% grade point average, he may be terminated from CBTS. A student will remain on probation until he attains the required grade point average, but if there is no evidence of steady progress, the student will be asked to withdraw from the program.
Temporary Pardon on Health Grounds
A student with health problems attested by a medical officer, who is unable to complete course work, may be given permission by the office of the Dean to stay out of class for a period of time. In such a case, the student’s situation will be made known to the teacher of the course, and a time agreed upon when the student will be able to complete the work. The work must be completed within the agreed upon time. Failure to do so will result in the student having to retake the course. See the section on “Incomplete Grades” for an explanation of the procedure

Temporary Pardon on Health Grounds

A student with health problems (attested by a medical officer), who is unable to complete course work, may be given permission by the office of the Dean to stay out of class for a period time. In such a case, the student's situation will be made known to the teacher of the course, and a time agreed upon when the student will be able to complete the work. The work must completed within the agreed upon time. Failure to do so will result in the student having to retake the course. See the section of incomplete "Grades" for an explanation of the procedure.

Validation of Courses

A student who has taken a course before can seek to be excused from the course. In such a case, an examination will be administered to the students by the teacher of the particular course. If s/he passes the exam with a minimum score of 70%, the script of the exam and the grade must be forwarded to the office of the Dean by the teacher. When a student is excused from the course, it does not reduce the credit hours to be taken for graduation. It simply means that the student will be allowed to take a different course in the same area and the validated course will be replaced in the student’s transcript by the course taken at the same or higher level. A student who initiates this process will be charged a validation fee of 5000 frs.

All courses must be validated before a student can graduate. In other words, while in the program, any course that is registered for must be validated. A student will not be allowed to graduate when he or she has failed any course while in the program. When a student receives a fail grade in a course, he cannot change that grade by doing more assignments. He or she will have to retake the course. The academic office will not change a grade that has been submitted and entered into the student’s transcript. In rare instances when this is necessary, the teacher will be the one to appeal to the academic office in writing stating the reasons for the change of grade. Evidence that justifies the change of grade will be required from the teacher before the case can be considered

Academic Advisor

Advisors assigned to students will advise them about which courses to take. It is very important that students have good relationships with their advisors. The advisor helps the student to plan his/her course of study in accordance with the requirements of the program. However, it is the student’s responsibility to be sure he or she has completed the requirements of the program before graduation.

Registration

Students are expected to pre-register for courses at the time specified by the academic office, usually during the previous semester. Failure to do so will result in a late registration fee of 5000 frs. When school begins the following semester, final registration will take place during registration days. Students should note that by registering late, they may not have access to all the courses desired. Registration is closed after the first week of classes.

Students should plan their registration carefully, after consulting with their advisors. It is the student’s responsibility to see that he meets all the requirements for graduation. Students who do not follow the curriculum carefully may find it difficult to graduate in the desired year. Also, all financial obligations to the school must be met before a student can be allowed in class. This is done by either paying all the fees or giving evidence to the school of adequate financial sources to cover the cost of education.

Change of Registration

All changes made after registration is closed must be made through the Dean’s office. A student is expected to fill out a change of registration form to either add or drop a course. A course dropped without a change of registration form will result in a fail in the student’s transcript. A student may drop a class at anytime during the first two weeks of the term without penalty. After the first two weeks of the semester, any class dropped will carry a failing grade in the transcript. Students have the first two weeks of classes to add a course or drop a course.

Change of Concentration

Students may change concentrations by making a written request to the Dean who will make note of it in the student’s file, and notify the advisor involved. BA students have up to two years to choose a concentration. During the two years, they can concentrate on the core courses while deciding on an area of concentration. MA students must settle on their concentration after the first year of studies

Course Load

Students entering the BA and MA/M.Div programs at CBTS have a certain number of credit hours to complete before graduation. This means that they will have to space their work according to their ability. Some students are able to carry heavier loads than others. Below is an explanation of the course load requirements (does not apply to students in the Certificate of Theology and Diploma of Theology programs).

Minimum Load

A full time student at CBTS can carry a minimum load of 9-12 credit hours per semester. This load is recommended for students who have other ministries that they are involved in, students studying under academic probation, and students who are performing below average academic standards.

Average Load

The average load for students at CBTS is 12-15 credit hours per semester. This is the recommended load for most students who struggle a bit in their studies and want to maintain a good grade point average.

Maximum Load

The maximum load is 16-18 hours per semester. This is a heavy load and is only recommended for people with exceptional academic ability. No student is allowed to sign up for 18 hours unless approved by the academic Dean’s office. The student will have to provide evidence that he or she is able to carry such a load and perform well. There are three things that will allow a student to take more than the average load: (1) A GPA of 80 and above, (2) permission from the academic advisor and (3) permission from the academic Dean.

Assignments outside Class

For each class period (55 minutes), a student is expected to give the equivalent of two class hours of preparation outside of class. For example, for a class that meets for 4 hours a week, a student should expect to put in 8 hours of preparation for that class each week. Similarly, a student taking a total of 15 credit hours should plan on working 30 hours a week outside of class in order to do the assignments for the courses.

Absences

Students are expected to attend all classes in which they are enrolled. Even when a student misses a class, he is responsible for all the academic work missed. A student may not miss more than six class hours during a semester. Absences must be approved by the teacher in each course. In the case of an emergency or ill health, a student can be absent from class without advance notice but must have someone notify the teachers within 24 hours. An absence is an absence, meaning that even those caused by medical emergencies will be counted toward the six allowed class period absences. Note that absences are measured by hours and not by days. If a student is absent from class on a day where the class meets for three hours, he or she has missed three of the six allowed

Tardiness

Tardiness is disruptive to the programs of CBTS. Students are to make every effort to be on time to class. If for some reason the student has to be late, the teacher should be informed ahead of time. Being late to class 3 times for any reason, will be considered as an absence.

Phones

Telephones are not allowed in classes. If you must have your phone with you, it should be turned off completely. A teacher will send a student out of class whose phone rings or who is found manipulating his or her phone. When a student is sent out of class, he will be marked as absent. Class periods are strictly for teaching and studying.

Withdrawal from School

A student may desire to withdraw from CBTS either temporarily or permanently. The reasons for this withdrawal must be deemed necessary by the school administration. Thus, the student will need to seek permission in writing through the office of the academic Dean. The application should contain reasons for the withdrawal.

Temporary Withdrawal
In the case of a temporary withdrawal, the student should indicate when he plans to return to complete the program. A written application for reinstatement to the school is required.

Terminal Withdrawal
A student may choose to withdraw permanently or be asked by the school to withdraw. This decision will be necessary when it is deemed that continuation is practically, morally, spiritually, or academically impossible. A student who is so discharged may not seek to resume at a later date. The only option for such a student is to reapply afresh. It should be noted, though, that a student discharged by CBTS on a permanent basis is not likely to be re-admitted based on a fresh application, unless there is very clear evidence of change in the situation that led to the dismissal

Transfer of Credits

A student can transfer credits from another school, provided CBTS accepts the credibility of the school. In the case of transfer of credits, no credits will be accepted for which a student has already been granted a degree. In other words, a student who has already obtained a degree for credits taken, cannot use those credits again for another degree sought.

Theses and Projects

Students in the BA and MA/M.Div programs are expected to write a thesis or carry out a project. Students in the Biblical and Theological Studies, Missions and Evangelism, and Pastoral Care concentrations are required to write a thesis. Those in the translation program do projects. The BA and MA/M.Div programs normally require 9 credit hour theses. Information on regulations for writing thesis and projects is found in the CBTS Manual for the Writing of Theses/Projects and Research Papers (forth coming). It is the responsibility of the student to follow the guidelines and meet all the deadlines. The school also allows students to choose a non-thesis tract. Those who choose this tract will have to take an additional 9 credit hours to account for the thesis hours. These hours must be taken in the student’s area of concentration and should be approved by the Dean’s office.

Incomplete Grades

Sometimes during the course of studies, because of reasons approved by the dean’s office, a student may not be able to complete the requirements of the course. In this situation, the student will write an application through the teacher to the Dean to be allowed an incomplete for the course. The application should include reasons for the request and when the work will be completed. Note that the work must be completed no later than three weeks into the next semester. In the event that the student is still unable to complete the work, a decision whether to repeat or not repeat the course will be made by the academic committee and the student’s advisor. This decision will be final. A teacher cannot decide by himself or herself to give a student an incomplete grade without this procedure being followed

Absences from Exams

No excuse will be given to a student who fails to show up for an examination unless his or her absence is verifiable health reasons. In that case s/he will make a written request to the teacher in which s/he explains the reason for the absence. When approved, the teacher and the student must agree on when the exam should be taken, and the Dean informed. For regularly scheduled exams, a student may not take the exam more than a week before the scheduled date. A student wishing to take an exam before the scheduled date must make a written request to the Dean

Grading System

Grades will be reported to the students in writing by the office of the Academic Dean. A student is not to request an oral report of grades from the Dean or from teachers. Courses in which a student fails (having a final score below 60%) will be repeated or replaced by another course in the same area. This must be approved by the Academic committee. Note though that if you replace a failed course with another course, the grade of the new course along with the failed grade will be figured into your total GPA. If the failed course is repeated, the failed grade will be replaced by the new grade. In either case, whether the course is repeated or replaced, the failed course will be listed in the transcript even if it is not figured into the GPA.

The following grading scale is followed at CBTS in evaluating course work:

Academic Dishonesty

Any form of academic dishonesty, for example, cheating in an examination, plagiarism, etc. must be reported in writing to the academic office by the teacher. There will be disciplinary actions for such matters.

Cheating in an examination
When a student cheats in an examination, a 0 will be giving for that exam or any part of the course requirement where the cheating occurs. Additionally, the student caught cheating will be sent for academic counseling by their academic advisor.

Plagiarism
Plagiarism refers to the use of borrowed material without giving credit to the source. It is a form of stealing where a student presents ideas or words as his or her own when in reality they are taken from another source. This source can be a published work or another student’s work. Depending on the extent of plagiarism, as determined by the teacher, this offense may result in failing grade for the part of the course affected. In cases where the plagiarism is extensive and there is evidence that the student was purposeful and sought to deceive, there could be an outright fail for the course.

Repeated instances of cheating or plagiarism will result in the student being sent to the disciplinary committee (see student handbook for details on the nature and function of the disciplinary committee) for further action.

Duration of Programs

The duration of the BA program is four years, but students are allowed up to six years to complete the program. The duration for the MA program is 3 years but students are allowed up to 5 years to complete. No student will be allowed to continue in either program after these time limits. This information does not apply to the C.Th and D.Th students since their programs are set up differently.

Graduation

Graduation at CBTS is in the first week of June each year. Upon the recommendation of the academic committee, students are approved for graduation if the following conditions are met:
Evidence of consistent Christian growth during the time of study at CBTS
Completion of all required courses as indicated in the curriculum. The school is not responsible for students who fail to take required courses when they are offered. It is the responsibility of the student to make sure that he takes all the required courses before graduation.
Satisfactory completion of all field work.
All financial obligations are settled with the bursary.
Students writing theses or doing projects must have them completed and approved before graduation. Follow the datelines given for submissions.
At the beginning of the final term, students must file their Intent to Graduate form with the office of the Dean. One week before graduation, all students must complete a “Graduation Approval Form.” This form is the final clearance for graduation showing that all the graduation obligations have been met.
Attendance at graduation is required unless a student applies and is approved to graduate in absentia.

Academic Transcript Request

Current and former students requesting their academic transcript must complete and submit a “Transcript Request Form” to the office of the Dean. The form is available from the Registrar and must be submitted with a transcript fee payment. For current students, there is no charge for transcripts

Study Periods

Students in the upper programs (BA and MA) of the school can plan their study schedule as fits their needs. It is assumed that they will use their time well and meet all course requirements on time. Students in the lower programs of the school (C. Th and D. Th) have study periods on their class schedule. All students in these programs are expected to be in class or library studying during these hours. These periods are designed to provide guided times during the day in which students can make progress in their assigned course work. Students found outside class or library about during these periods will be subject to discipline. There are assigned break periods during the day when students can do other activities. An atmosphere of quiet should prevail in the classroom during these study periods. In general, all students must maintain quiet during the school day to avoid distracting classes.
Student Grievance
A student of The Cameroon Baptist Theological Seminary can attempt to resolve a problem with a faculty or staff member either through the Informal Grievance Process or the Formal Grievance Process. A grievance is any behavior or decision directed against the student which he perceives to be in error or unfair. A grievance may include a grade or evaluation of any course work, or a student feeling that he or she was treated unfairly by a faculty or staff member.