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    TCS Education System
   
 
  Nov 18, 2017
 
 
    
2015-2016 Colleges of Law General Catalog [Archived Catalog]

Enrollment



6.1 Admission Standards

  1. Admission Standards: JD Program
    A JD applicant is considered for admission in one of three categories-“regular,” “special,” and “transfer.” These categories are defined by the State Bar of California and reflect differences in academic background. The supporting materials a prospective student must submit with the application include, but are not limited to: official transcripts, a 3-page personal statement, at least one letter of recommendation, and (if LSAT was taken) an official LSAT score. An applicant with a bachelor’s degree must submit official transcripts showing the applicant’s bachelor’s degree and any graduate degrees earned; an applicant without a bachelor’s degree must submit an official transcript from each accredited college or university attended. Additional requirements for admission vary slightly, depending on which admissions category applies to a prospective student. All supporting materials must be submitted prior to an admissions decision.
    1. Admission as a Regular Student
      1. Prospective students who will be considered for admission as “regular students” include those who have earned, from a college or university accredited by one of the six academic regional accrediting agencies in the United States,:
        1. a bachelor’s degree;
        2. an associate degree with an academic major; or
        3. at least 60 semester, general academic units (or 90 quarter units) in subjects considered academic in content. 
      2. Applicants with a cumulative GPA of less than 2.0 are not eligible for admission.
    2. Admission as a Special Student
      1. State Bar regulations permit the admission of a limited number of applicants who do not meet the academic requirements for “regular student” admission. Prospective students who are at least 21 may apply for admission as “special students.”
      2. Applicants in this category must be personally interviewed by the Dean and provide, in addition to the application materials required of all applicants, the following:
        1. a minimum score on the LSAT in the 50th percentile or above;
        2. one additional letter of recommendation (two in total);
        3. scores of at least “50” on CLEP (College-Level Examination Program) tests, including a) either the “College Composition” or “College Composition and Modular” test, and b) TWO tests, each designed to correspond to full-year courses (6 semester hours each) or FOUR other tests, each designed to correspond to semester courses (3 semester hours each) selected from at least two of the following subjects:
          • Composition and Literature (Humanities Examination only)
          • Science & Mathematics
          • Business
          • History & Social Sciences
          • Foreign Language
      3. After completing the first-year curriculum, each “special student” is required to take the State Bar’s First-Year Law Students’ Examination (FYLSX). Under State Bar rules, a “special student” who does not pass the examination may continue law studies if otherwise in good academic standing, but failure to pass by the third consecutive administration of the test after becoming eligible will result in loss of academic credit and dismissal from law studies. Additional information about attending law school as a “special student” is available from the State Bar.
    3. Admission as a Transfer Student
      1. An applicant who has attended another law school is subject to specific requirements, which vary depending on the applicant’s academic status at the prior law school (see Transfer Credit Policy, Section 6.9). When more than two years have elapsed since an applicant was enrolled at a prior law school, the applicant is not eligible to “transfer” but may apply for admission as a beginning student, without transfer credit. When no more than two years will have elapsed since the applicant was enrolled at the prior school, admission as a “transfer student” will be considered.
      2. A “transfer student” applicant must meet the requirements set forth above for admission as either a “regular” or “special” student. At least 60 days before the semester for which admission is sought, the “transfer student” applicant must submit the application materials required of all prospective students and, in addition, must submit transcripts from all law schools previously attended.
    4. Admission with Advanced Standing: General Requirements
      1. Due to the cyclic nature of the Colleges’ course offerings, a “transfer student” admitted with advanced standing will be allowed to enroll beginning only with a summer session or fall semester. “Transfer student” applicants must provide a letter from the Dean of the prior law school, indicating whether or not the applicant was a student in good standing and eligible without condition to continue law studies.
      2. An applicant in good standing from an accredited law school may be admitted with transfer credit for courses successfully completed at the prior law school, up to a maximum of 30 semester units of transfer credit. An applicant from an unaccredited law school, or at another accredited law school in the absence of good standing, may be admitted with transfer credit of up to 15 units only:
        1. if the applicant received a score of 580 or higher on the State Bar’s First-Year Law Students’ Examination (FYLSX) and,
        2. for courses tested on the FYLSX (Torts, Contracts, Criminal Law).
      3. Credits earned more than two (2) years prior to the “transfer student’s” admission cannot be applied toward JD degree completion.
    5. Admission After Prior Law School Disqualification
      An applicant previously disqualified from, or without good standing at, the prior law school rarely will be admitted. The Academic Standards and Admissions Committee will consider such applicant’s admission with the same guidelines applied to former students of the Colleges who apply for readmission after academic disqualification, as follows:
      1. An application for “immediate readmission” (when less than two years have elapsed since academic disqualification) will be considered only if the applicant can substantiate that the disqualification was caused by exigent circumstances of an extreme, unavoidable, immediate, and personal nature.
      2. An application for “delayed readmission” (when more than two years have elapsed since academic exclusion) must document that, during the period since exclusion, the applicant has engaged in work, study, or other activity which provides a compelling reason to conclude that there now exists a materially greater potential for success in a law degree program. The application should focus on the applicant’s activities and accomplishment during the period, not on the mere passage of time. The applicant must also submit an LSAT score, at or above the 50th percentile. 
  2. Admission Standards: MLS Program
    To be considered for admission, an MLS applicant must have:
    1. A bachelor’s degree with a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.3. (Those who do not meet the GPA requirement, but show an ability to succeed at graduate-level work through professional or other experience, may be considered by the Admissions Committee on a case-by-case basis. Applicants with a cumulative GPA of less than 2.0 are not eligible for admission.)
    2. TOEFL scores or transcripts showing an English composition class with a grade of “C” or better may be required of students for whom English is the second language.
    3. Official Transcripts showing degree conferral with the appropriate GPA, and TOEFL scores if required for a student, must be submitted prior to enrollment. However, under approved circumstances a student may be able to submit his or her official transcripts by the end of the student’s first term. Failure to submit official transcripts by the end of the first term will result in a student being withdrawn from the School and unregistered from all future courses.

6.2 Leave of Absence: MLS Program Only

  1. If a student finds it necessary to interrupt progress toward the MLS degree, a leave of absence may be granted for good cause shown. A leave of absence may only be granted at the beginning or the end of a session after the student has completed at least one term. A leave of absence allows a student to return under the same program requirements if the leave is no longer than two terms. If a student does not return to Active status when his/her leave expires, the student will be subject to new program requirements in effect at the time of re-entry, if any.
  2. A leave of absence will not be granted to a student on academic probation.
  3. A student wishing to leave during a term prior to the end of the withdrawal period must apply for a leave of absence and must demonstrate the existence of good cause. To demonstrate good cause, the student must provide documentation showing extenuating circumstances beyond his or her control. Extenuating circumstances include, but are not limited to, the following: illness, death of a close family member, extreme emotional stress, and similar circumstances. A student who takes a leave of absence will be automatically withdrawn from all coursework in which the student is enrolled. The student must indicate when the leave will begin. A student who finds it necessary to take a leave of absence is advised to review the Satisfactory Academic Progress policy, specifically as to rate of progress. (See Section 6.8.)
  4. The minimum requirements for a leave of absence are:
    1. A student must be meeting SAP (Satisfactory Academic Progress).
    2. A student must have no disciplinary, ethical, financial, or academic inquiries pending.
    3. A student must have earned credit in at least one term.
    4. A student must give written notification of leave of absence on the Leave of Absence Request form to the Registrar prior to the first day of the term immediately following the last term which the student was enrolled.
    5. The Leave of Absence Request form must state clearly and completely the reason(s) for the leave and be supported by documents showing good cause.
    6. A student must pay all tuition and other amounts then owing to the School as of or prior to the date the leave of absence begins. 
  5. A leave of absence may be granted for a maximum of two terms as set forth in Paragraph A above. Failure to return after the specified duration of the leave is considered withdrawal from the MLS program. A retroactive leave is not permitted.
  6. A student who takes a leave of absence must nonetheless complete all requirements for a degree within the maximum time frame allowed; a leave does not extend the time to complete degree requirements.
  7. The leave of absence may be noted on the student’s transcript for each approved term until the student returns to the School. A student who does not return from a leave of absence by the agreed-upon term will be administratively withdrawn from the institution. To be re-entered or readmitted, an administratively withdrawn student must submit a re-entry form or re-apply, as applicable. (See Section 6.7.) If admitted after re-application, a student must follow the program requirements in effect at the time of readmission.
  8. For purposes of this section, a Leave of Absence Request form shall be deemed delivered as of the earlier of:
    1. Date marked on an e-mail submission, when a signed Leave of Absence Request form is received by COL Student Services or the Registrar.
    2. Postmark date imprinted by U.S. Postal Service, if a signed Leave of Absence Request form is mailed by U.S. mail to the Registrar.
  9. An appeal from any decision on a Leave of Absence Request is to be directed to the Academic Standards and Admissions Committee (ASAC) and delivered in writing to the Administration Office no later than 10 calendar days after the Administration Office sends the student written notice of a decision on the submission by e-mail or postal delivery. ASAC will send written notification of its appeal decision within 30 calendar days of receipt.

6.3 Withdrawal: JD Program

  1. Official (voluntary) withdrawal is not available to students who are academically disqualified or otherwise dismissed from the program.
  2. Under State Bar regulations and School policy, students must be enrolled in the entire assigned curriculum during every Fall and Spring semester. During Fall and Spring, students may not withdraw from a selected course or courses and withdrawal is permitted only on a total basis. Withdrawal is, however, permitted from one or more JD courses during Summer session.
  3. A student will be permitted to officially withdraw from the JD program only if s/he delivers, prior to commencement of the first final examination for the semester or session in which the student is enrolled, a signed and completed Withdrawal Request form to the Administration Office of the student’s principal campus. A Withdrawal Request form delivered after that time will not be effective until the start of the next semester or session.
  4. A student will be permitted to officially withdraw from a JD Summer session course only if s/he delivers, prior to the final examination in that course, a signed and completed Withdrawal Request form to the Administration Office of the student’s principal campus. Withdrawal from one or more Summer session courses will not be treated as withdrawal from the School unless the student submits a Withdrawal Request form as required in paragraph “C” above.
  5. Except as provided in Paragraphs C and D, a student shall be deemed to have officially withdrawn from the School on the date the student delivers a signed and completed Withdrawal Request form to the Administration Office of the student’s principal campus, unless the form specifies a later date. In the event the Withdrawal Request form is mailed by postal delivery, the effective date will be the date of postmark, unless the form specifies a later date.

    Except as provided in Paragraph D, a student shall be deemed to have officially withdrawn from a JD course on the date the student e-mails or hand delivers a signed and completed Withdrawal Request form to the Administration Office of the student’s principal campus, unless the form specifies a later date. If the Withdrawal Request form is mailed by postal delivery, the effective date will be the date of postmark, unless the form specifies a later date.
  6. A student shall be administratively withdrawn from the School, when the student fails to timely complete any of the attendance or other requirements for one or more courses in which the student was enrolled during a semester (not including any Summer session). Upon a student’s showing of good cause, the Dean may waive or grant an extension to a student to complete requirements.
  7. A student shall be administratively withdrawn from any Summer session course in which the student was enrolled when the student fails to complete any of the attendance or other requirements for that course.
  8. Failure to timely complete course requirements includes failure to sit for a regularly scheduled examination, or to submit, when due, any final paper or other final assignment required in that course. A student administratively withdrawn because of failure to timely complete course requirements remains subject to the consequences of such failure as described under other sections of this Catalog. For example, a student who fails to sit for a final examination in a course as scheduled will receive a grade of “F” for that course.
  9. For purposes of this section, the date of a student’s administrative withdrawal shall be deemed the day on which the student failed to complete the attendance or other requirements for the student’s course(s).
  10. An appeal as to any decision on a Withdrawal Request is to be directed to the Academic Standards and Admissions Committee and delivered in writing to the Administration Office no later than 10 calendar days after the Administration Office sends the student written notice of the decision by e-mail or postal delivery.

6.4 Re-enty/Readmission After Withdrawal: JD Program

  1. Re-entry of Students in Continued Good Standing or Having Accepted Probation
    1. Subject to the other limitations set forth below, a student who, in continued good standing or having accepted the terms of probation, officially withdraws from the School is entitled to re-enter the program, provided that the student submits a Re-Entry form and re-enrolls within the time frames set forth below. A student may submit for re-entry to the program only once.
    2. A student eligible for re-entry under Paragraph 1 must re-enter at the beginning of a Fall semester unless s/he has completed at least the entire first year curriculum, in which case the student may instead re-enter during a Summer session. The first day of the semester or session the student re-enters into must be within 365 days from the student’s last date of attendance.
    3. The student re-entering within the time limits set forth above will receive credit for all courses for which credit was previously awarded at the School except where withdrawal was prior to completing a course of more than one semester duration (such as Contracts or Civil Procedure) or where the student was required to repeat courses under the conditions of probation imposed by the Academic Standards and Admissions Committee; no credit will be given for any semester or portion of such courses.
    4. A student in continued good standing or having accepted probation who was eligible for readmission but who did not re-enter within the time limits set forth above, is not entitled to readmission as a matter of right, but must re-apply to the program by submitting an Application for Admission.
  2. Readmission of Students Other Than in Good Standing or Having Accepted Probation
    1. A student who, in other than good standing or having accepted probation, officially or unofficially withdraws from the program, is not entitled to readmission as a matter of right, but only at the discretion of the Academic Standards and Admissions Committee (ASAC). This section also applies to a student who, having once withdrawn, re-enters and then withdraws any subsequent time.
    2. Where the student withdrew prior to completing a course of more than one semester duration (such as Contracts or Civil Procedure), no credit will be given for any semester or portion of that course. 
  3. Readmission of Military Students
    In keeping with the School’s policy to assist military students and their families, any student whose withdrawal from the JD Program is necessitated by reason of service in the Armed Forces shall be entitled to readmission at the same academic status and tuition rate attained prior to such service, provided the student (or an appropriate officer of the Armed Forces) gives advance notice of such service to the Registrar. Because State Bar requirements dictate that a student’s legal education must be completed within 84 months, the Registrar will make every effort to devise an individual academic plan for a military student seeking to return to law studies following an interruption of his or her education when called to serve.

6.5 Withdrawal: MLS Program

  1. Official Withdrawal
    1. A student may withdraw from individual MLS courses or from the program by submitting a Withdrawal Request form to the Registrar.
    2. A student who elects to discontinue all courses in the MLS program while currently enrolled in courses, between semesters, or while on a leave of absence will be considered officially withdrawn. During the Add/Drop period, a student may remove courses from his/her schedule by submitting a signed Withdrawal Request form to the Registrar. Up to the date of each session designated Last Day to Drop with a “W”, withdrawal will be noted on the student’s transcript with a “W”; thereafter the student will receive a letter grade which will be calculated into the cumulative GPA. If a student elects to withdraw from all courses and from the School, s/he must submit a Withdrawal Request form. Notification of withdrawal will be ineffective if not submitted by signed Request, or if delivered after the close of business on the Last Day to Drop with a “W”. 
  2. Unofficial Administrative Withdrawal
    A student shall be administratively withdrawn from a course in which the student is enrolled when the student fails to complete in a timely manner any of the attendance or other requirements for the course. A student who is administratively withdrawn from all courses in which the student is enrolled during a session will also be withdrawn from the MLS program.
    1. A student who does not participate in a course within the first week of classes will be unregistered from the course. If that is the student’s only course, s/he will be withdrawn from the MLS program.
    2. For purposes of this section, except as otherwise provided, the date of a student’s withdrawal shall be deemed the last day of the add/drop period for the term from which the student is being administratively withdrawn.
    3. The cumulative grade point average of a student who is deemed administratively withdrawn from the MLS program shall be recalculated at the time of withdrawal, notwithstanding any contrary provisions in this Catalog. If the resulting cumulative grade point average would result in academic disqualification, that student will be academically disqualified, and his or her transcript will reflect such disqualification.

6.6 Re-entry/Readmission After Withdrawal: MLS Program

  1. Re-entry of Student in Good Standing
    A student in good standing who officially withdraws from the MLS program is entitled to re-enter the program once, provided that the student submits a Re-entry Form and re-enters at the beginning of a term which begins no later than 365 days from the student’s last date of attendance. Otherwise, the student must re-apply to the program by submitting an Application for Admission.
  2. Readmission of Military Students
    In keeping with the School’s policy to assist military students and their families, any student whose absence from the MLS Program is necessitated by reason of service in the Armed Forces shall be entitled to readmission at the same academic status and tuition rate attained prior to such service, provided the student (or an appropriate officer of the Armed Forces) gives advance written notice of such service to the Director of the MLS Program and the cumulative length of the absence and of all previous absences by reason of service in the Armed Forces does not exceed five (5) years.

6.7 Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP): JD Program

  1. A JD student is required to maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) toward the completion of the JD degree. This requires meeting standards for minimum cumulative grade point average (cGPA), rate of academic progress, and completion within the program’s maximum time frame. Each requirement is explained below. A student failing to meet these requirements will be subject to academic probation and/or disqualification. A student is evaluated for SAP at the end of each Spring semester. Any student with an outstanding course grade of Incomplete at the time of review may not be able to continue until the Incomplete course has been successfully completed.
  2. Cumulative Grade Point Average (cGPA)
    1. JD students must maintain a cGPA of 2.0 or higher to remain in good academic standing and to graduate.
    2. A student’s cGPA is determined once a year at the end of each Spring semester.
    3. If a student is administratively withdrawn or voluntarily withdraws before the end of any semester or session, the student’s academic standing will be calculated at that time, and will be determined by his or her cGPA. The cGPA is based on all courses the student has completed in the program since initial enrollment, except repeated courses. 
  3. Rate of Academic Progress
    1. A student’s rate of academic progress is measured at the end of each Spring semester.
    2. To complete the program at an acceptable rate, a student must complete a minimum 67% of all units attempted during the year since the last Spring semester. Because the degree requirement is 84 units, the student must make academic progress at a rate such that the student would complete the required 84 units for the JD by the time s/he has attempted 126 units (1.5 x 84 units).
    3. In calculating progress, all units attempted at the School or transferred and applied from another school are considered. Grades for units attempted that count negatively against successful completion rates are “F”, “FA”, “INC”, “W”, and repeated courses. Courses for which credit is earned (courses with a grade of at least D- or Marginal Pass) are considered completed in calculating rate of progress. 
  4. Maximum Time Frame
    COL expects all JD students to complete the program within four years. Any student who will not do so must seek an extension of time, by filing a petition to continue showing good cause and a clear plan for completing all graduation requirements. In all cases, the JD program must be completed within 126 credit hours attempted (150% of the length of the 84-unit program).
  5. Students readmitted to or continued on probation in the JD program by decision of the ASAC may be required to meet conditions as to their academic progress each semester/session. Such conditions address academic progress and do not constitute discipline within the meaning of this Catalog.
  6. Amendments to policies pertaining to academic standing, disqualification, advancement, retention, probation, and graduation may be made by the Dean, with the advice and recommendations of the Faculty and its committees, subject to the ultimate direction and control of the Board of Trustees. Except as required to comply with federal or state laws and regulations, or the requirements of the School’s accrediting agencies, no amendment concerning academic standing, disqualification, advancement, retention, probation or graduation will be effective earlier than the semester/session beginning after the notification of the change is given.
  7. To meet the academic requirements for graduation, a student must have attained a minimum 2.00 cumulative grade point average, successfully completed all required courses and bar review program, and accumulated at least 84 units; in addition, to graduate the student must have paid all fees, charges and tuition due.
  8. Academic Advisement
    A first-, second- or third-year student who receives a grade below “Pass” or “C” during any Fall semester will receive a notice advising the student that his or her academic performance must be improved in order to achieve the 2.00 cumulative GPA required for good academic standing when academic standing is calculated at the end of the next academic year, or as may otherwise be applicable based on a student’s Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Recovery Plan. This early advisement is given to encourage the student to voluntarily seek academic assistance or take other steps that might assist the student to improve his or her performance. Academic Advisement does not disqualify the student for Financial Aid and is not recorded on the student’s official transcript.
  9. Academic Probation
    1. A student who does not achieve a cumulative grade point average (cGPA) of 2.00 or higher and/or does not satisfy rate of progress at the end of a Spring semester will be placed on academic probation. To continue active enrollment after being placed on academic probation, the student must submit a petition to continue and receive approval by the Academic Standards and Admissions Committee (ASAC). ASAC will outline requirements that the student must meet by the end of the following Spring Semester, in a Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Recovery Plan. A student who is placed on probation and does not fulfill the requirements of his/her probation and SAP Recovery Plan will be academically disqualified.
    2. A student who receives a final grade of “F” in any letter-graded, required course will be placed on academic probation, unless such student is otherwise academically disqualified because of his or her cumulative GPA or withdrawn. Such student will have until the end of the academic year following the academic year in which such grade was received to repeat that course. The student must receive a final grade of “C+” or higher in that course when repeating it to meet the cGPA requirement for SAP, otherwise, the student will be academically disqualified from the School with no right to petition for immediate readmission. See Section 6.7.P, Petition for Readmission After Disqualification. It is within the Dean’s discretion to determine what other courses, if any, the student may be allowed to take while the student repeats a course. While enrolled, the student may repeat only one failed required course, and may do so only once.
    3. A student who receives a final grade of “Fail” in any Pass/Fail-graded, required course after the Fall semester of the first year will be placed on academic probation, unless such student is otherwise academically disqualified because of his or her cumulative GPA or withdrawn. Such student will have until the end of the next semester/session when the class is offered to repeat that course. The student must receive a final grade of “Pass” or higher in that course when repeating it, otherwise, the student will be academically disqualified from the School with no right to petition for immediate readmission. A student who receives a final grade of “Fail” in Introduction to Law and/or Legal Analysis but who advances into the second year will not be required to repeat those courses but must make up the units by enrolling in additional elective courses. 
  10. Academic Disqualification
    1. A JD student is subject to academic disqualification if, following the end of Spring Semester:
      1. The student does not have a cGPA of 2.00 or higher and/or does not satisfy rate of progress
      2. A student who was on academic probation during the academic year just ended has failed to fulfill the School’s requirements for Satisfactory Academic Progress or to meet the conditions of the student’s SAP Recovery Plan. The State Bar requires that such students be academically disqualified.
    2. A student disqualified from the School is ineligible for financial aid and must petition for readmission after disqualification. (See Section 6.7.P.)
    3. In-school loan deferment status ends as of the disqualification date. According to the U.S. Department of Education regulations, financial aid previously received by a disqualified student may be returned to the lender by the institution depending on the date of disqualification. In such cases, the student may owe the School for aid returned or outstanding charges. 
  11. Academic Disqualification becomes effective as follows:
    1. for any student who is on academic probation at the end of Spring Semester and fails to meet requirements of Satisfactory Academic Progress, immediately upon the denial by the ASAC of the student’s petition for change of grade that would enable the student to fulfill the School’s requirements for good academic standing and/or the ASAC’s conditions of probation or, if the student has not timely filed such a petition, on the day following the last day for filing such a petition.
    2. for any student who was not on academic probation during the academic year just ended, immediately upon the decision of the ASAC denying the student’s pending petition(s) that would restore the student to good standing or allow the student to continue on academic probation or, if the student has not timely filed such petition(s), on the day following the last day for filing such petition(s). 
  12. A student is no longer subject to academic disqualification if the ASAC: 1) grants the student’s petition to continue on probation (after having completed the academic year just ended in good standing) or 2) authorizes a grade change, such that the student achieves a cGPA sufficient to allow the student to continue on probation, or is otherwise able to fulfill the School’s academic requirements and/or the student’s conditions of probation.
  13. Petition to Continue on Academic Probation
    A petition to the Academic Standards and Admission Committee (ASAC) for permission to continue on probation may be filed only by a student who was meeting SAP (and therefore was not on probation) during the academic year just ended. A student is not eligible to file a petition to continue when, after having been allowed to continue in the law degree program on probation during the academic year just ended, the student fails to satisfy the terms of probation. State Bar regulations require that such a student be academically disqualified.

    A student’s eligibility to petition to continue on Academic Probation is contingent upon the student’s cGPA and progress within the JD program. The minimum cGPA required to be eligible to petition is as follows:
    1. At the end of the student’s first Spring semester, if the student began the program that semester, the minimum cGPA required to petition to continue on probation is 1.5.
    2. At the end of the first-year curriculum, whether the student began the program in Spring or Fall semester, the minimum cGPA required to petition to continue on probation is 1.7.
    3. At the end of the second-year curriculum, the minimum cGPA required to petition to continue on probation is 1.85.
    4. At the end of the third-year curriculum, the minimum cGPA required to petition to continue on probation is 1.98.
  14. Procedures for Petition to Continue on Academic Probation
    1. A student who seeks permission to continue on probation must file a written petition to continue within 3 days of the date the Registrar places the student on probation and sends the student e-mail or other written notice of his/her failure to maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP). To continue in the program, the student must obtain the permission of the Academic Standards and Admissions Committee (ASAC).
    2. The ASAC will consider a petition to continue at a particular time or concerning essentially the same facts and circumstances only once; reconsideration will not be granted. The petitioning student is strongly encouraged to include in the petition all facts, circumstances, and issues s/he wishes to have considered. Facts asserted should be corroborated by neutral (unrelated) third parties and documents whenever possible.

      The petition should set forth: 1) facts showing that the student’s lack of academic success was caused by a traumatic event or serious hardship at the time examinations were given that kept the student from performing at his or her normal level, rather than a lack of the capability to satisfactorily study law, and 2) a plan to recover from those circumstances and achieve good academic standing.
    3. In making its decision, the ASAC may consider all aspects of the student’s academic record at the School, including attendance history. The ASAC will determine whether the student, if reinstated on probation, will be likely to achieve good academic standing, maintain SAP, and graduate from the JD program. The Petition will be denied by the ASAC if it finds that the student is not likely to succeed in these efforts.
    4. Decisions of the ASAC on matters concerning petitions to continue are final and may not be appealed elsewhere within the School. The Dean has no authority to grant a petition to continue.
    5. An approved petition will be forwarded to the Financial Aid Office for review.
      1. The Financial Aid Office has the right to deny aid even if the ASAC grants leave to continue/reinstatement into the JD program. The student is required to meet with a Financial Aid advisor to review financial implications if aid is denied.
      2. The Financial Aid Office has the right to request additional documentation .
  15. Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Recovery Plan
    1. The student must meet with his/her Academic Advisor and agree, in writing, to the terms of his/her individual SAP Recovery Plan as explained by the Advisor.
    2. The student’s fulfillment of the conditions stated in the SAP Recovery Plan will be monitored at the end of each semester or session. At that time, a student who has not fulfilled the terms of the SAP Recovery Plan will be academically disqualified.
  16. Petition for Readmission after Disqualification
    1. An individual who was academically disqualified may petition for readmission on academic probation.
    2. A petition for readmission must meet the following requirements:
      1. The petition must be addressed to the Academic Standards and Admissions Committee (ASAC) and fulfill the requirements set forth in the ASAC’s Charter, a copy of which is available on the Gateway or by request to the Administration Office. An applicant petitioning the ASAC is presumed to know the contents of the Charter.
      2. The petition must be accompanied by an official LSAT score report with a score as required under paragraph 6 below,
      3. The petition must be filed at least 30 calendar days before the first day of classes for the semester in which the applicant seeks readmission.
    3. The ASAC will consider a petition for readmission at a particular time or concerning essentially the same facts and circumstances only once; reconsideration of the same petition will not be granted. An applicant is strongly encouraged to include in the petition all facts, circumstances, and issues s/he wishes to have considered.
    4. Decisions of the ASAC on matters concerning petitions for readmission are final and may not be appealed elsewhere within the School. The Dean has no authority to grant a petition for readmission.
    5. Any petition for readmission will, if granted, readmit the applicant at the beginning of a Fall semester or, in some instances, a Summer session; readmission will not be granted to begin in a Spring semester.
    6. Pursuant to State Bar regulations and School policy, the ASAC may grant readmission to an applicant previously disqualified for academic reasons only when the applicant makes an affirmative showing that s/he possesses the capability to satisfactorily study law. Such a showing may be made:
      1. At any time, if the applicant satisfies the ASAC, through credible evidence, that the student’s disqualification was not caused by the applicant’s lack of capability to satisfactorily study law, but resulted from a traumatic event or serious hardship when the relevant exams were given that prohibited the applicant from performing at his or her normal level. Further, State Bar rules require that the applicant for readmission provide a score on the LSAT; the School requires a score normally at or above the 50th percentile when the petition is filed under this subparagraph.
      2. For an applicant disqualified upon the completion of his/her first year, at any time, if the applicant has passed the First-Year Law Students’ Examination with a score normally at or above 580. State Bar rules require that the applicant for readmission provide a score on the LSAT; petitions filed under this subparagraph should be supported by an acceptable LSAT score.
      3. After two years have elapsed since the disqualification, if the applicant demonstrates to the satisfaction of the ASAC that work, study, or other experience during the interim has resulted in a stronger potential for law study than the applicant exhibited at the time s/he was previously disqualified for academic reasons. State Bar rules require that the applicant for readmission provide a score on the LSAT; the School requires a score normally at or above the 50th percentile when the petition is filed under this subparagraph.

6.8 Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP): MLS Program

  1. An MLS student is required to maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) toward the completion of the MLS degree. This requires meeting standards for minimum cumulative grade point average (cGPA), rate of academic progress, and completion within the program’s maximum time frame. Each requirement is explained below. A student failing to meet these requirements will be subject to academic warning, academic probation, and/or disqualification. A student is evaluated for SAP at the end of each semester. Any student with an outstanding course grade of Incomplete at the time of review may be required to successfully complete that course before being allowed to continue in the program.
  2. Cumulative Grade Point Average (cGPA)
    1. An MLS student must maintain a cGPA of 3.0 or higher to remain in good standing and to graduate.
    2. A student’s cGPA is determined as of the end of each semester.
    3. If, before the end of any session, a student is administratively withdrawn, voluntarily withdraws, or takes a leave of absence, the student’s academic standing will be calculated at that time and will be determined by his or her cGPA. The cGPA is based on all courses the student has completed in the program since initial enrollment. 
  3. Rate of Academic Progress
    1. A student’s rate of academic progress is measured at the end of every semester.
    2. To complete the program at an acceptable rate, a student must complete a minimum of 67% of all units attempted by the end of each semester.

      For a student beginning the program in Spring 1 of 2014 (January 1, 2014) or thereafter, the student must make academic progress at a rate such that the student would complete the required 30 units for the MLS by the time s/he has attempted 45 units (1.5 x 30 units).

      For a student who began the program before Spring 1 of 2014 (January 1, 2014), the student must make academic progress at a rate such that the student would complete the required 24 units for the MLS by the time s/he has attempted 36 units (1.5 x 24 units).
    3. In calculating progress, all units attempted at the School or transferred and applied from another school are considered. Grades for units attempted that count negatively against successful completion rates are “F”, “INC”, “W” and repeated courses. Courses with a grade of “C” or higher are considered completed in calculating rate of progress. 
  4. Maximum Time Frame
    1. The MLS program must be completed within five (5) years of beginning the program.
    2. A student beginning the 30-unit (30 credit hours) MLS program in Spring 1 of 2014 (January 1, 2014) or thereafter is expected to complete the MLS program in no more than 45 credit hours attempted (150% of the length of the 30-unit program).
    3. A student who began the 24-unit (24 credit hours) MLS program before Spring 1 of 2014 (January 1, 2014) is expected to complete the MLS program in no more than 36 credit hours attempted (150% of the length of the 24-unit program).
  5. A student readmitted to or continued on probation in the MLS program by decision of the ASAC may be required to meet conditions as to his/her academic progress each session. Such conditions address academic progress and do not constitute discipline within the meaning of this Catalog.
  6. Amendments to policies pertaining to academic standing, disqualification, advancement, retention, probation and graduation may be made by the Dean pursuant to Section 1.3, with the advice and recommendations of the Faculty and its committees, subject to the ultimate direction and control of the Board of Trustees. No amendment concerning academic standing, disqualification, advancement, retention, probation or graduation will be effective earlier than the semester/session beginning after notification of the change is given.
  7. Academic Good Standing For Graduation
    To meet the academic requirements for graduation, a student in the MLS program must have attained a minimum 3.00 cGPA and have successfully completed all required courses with a grade of at least “B-“. A student beginning the MLS program in Spring 1 of 2014 or thereafter must have accumulated at least 30 units. A student who began the MLS program prior to Spring 1 of 2014 must have accumulated at least 24 units. In addition, to graduate the student must have paid all fees, charges and tuition due.
  8. Academic Warning
    1. A required course in which the student receives a grade below “B-” will not be accepted toward the MLS degree requirements but will be included in calculating the overall grade point average and does contribute to the rate of progress calculation.
    2. At the end of any semester, a student whose cGPA falls below a 3.00 or who has not completed the required percentage of credits attempted will be placed on academic warning, and required to meet with his/her advisor and/or program chair, and repeat any required course(s) in which the student did not earn at least a “B-” in the following session (if the course is being offered) or as soon thereafter as the course is offered.
    3. A student who is placed on academic warning must demonstrate, by the end of the next semester, reasonable progress in improving his/her cGPA to continue enrollment.
    4. A student on academic warning who does not achieve a cGPA of 3.00 or higher at the end of the next semester will be placed on academic probation.
    5. A student on academic warning will be removed from academic warning if s/he raises his/her cGPA to 3.00 or above by the end of the next semester.
    6. A student on academic warning does not, by virtue of that status, become ineligible for Financial Aid. 
  9. Academic Probation
    A student on academic warning who does not achieve a cGPA of 3.00 or higher at the end of the next semester will be placed on academic probation. A student who is placed on probation and does not fulfill the requirements of probation will be academically disqualified.
  10. Petition for Reinstatement
    1. To obtain permission to continue in the MLS program, a student who is placed on academic probation must:
      1. Submit a timely Petition for Reinstatement and Appeal form (“petition”) to the Registrar,
      2. Be granted reinstatement by the ASAC,
      3. Meet with his/her advisor and/or program chair who will develop a SAP Recovery Plan, and
      4. Repeat any required course(s) in which the student did not earn at least a “B-” in the following session (if the course is being offered) or as soon thereafter as the course is offered.
    2. The petition should set forth any extenuating circumstances (such as illness, death in the family, extreme emotional stress, etc.) as set forth in Paragraph 3 below, that will enable the ASAC to assess the student’s academic record and determine whether the student, if reinstated on probation, likely will be able to achieve good academic standing, maintain SAP, and graduate from the MLS program. The Petition for Reinstatement and Appeal will be denied by the ASAC if it finds that the student is not likely to succeed in these efforts.
    3. Petition Process
      1. A Petition for Reinstatement and Appeal directed to the ASAC must: 1) be filed with the Registrar within 3 days of the date the Registrar gives notice that the student has been placed on probation; 2) state clearly, specifically, and fully the extenuating circumstances being asserted as a basis for probation; 3) provide clear, convincing, and objectively verifiable evidence of the extenuating circumstances; and 4) set forth in detail the student’s plan for approaching his/her studies while on probation to regain good academic standing at the end of the semester on academic probation.
      2. Such a petition is deemed filed on the earliest of the following dates:
        1. Date on which a completed and signed letter petition is received by the Registrar during regular business hours.
        2. Postmark date imprinted by U.S. Postal Service, if a signed petition is mailed by U.S. mail to the Registrar.
        3. Date marked on an e-mail submission, if a signed petition is sent via e-mail to the Registrar.
      3.   If the student is approved for reinstatement the student will be placed on academic probation and must then:
        1. Meet with his/her advisor and/or program chair who will develop a SAP Recovery Plan, and
        2. Repeat the course(s) s/he did poorly in immediately in the following semester (if the course is being offered) or, if the student is otherwise successful in being removed from probation, as soon thereafter as the course is offered. 
      4. The ASAC’s decision on the petition is not subject to appeal.
    4. An approved petition will be forwarded to the Financial Aid Office for review.
      1. Financial Aid has the right to deny aid even if the ASAC approves the student for reinstatement into the MLS program. The student is required to meet with a Financial Aid advisor to review financial implications if aid is denied.
      2. Financial Aid has the right to request additional documentation. 
  11. Removal from Probation
    A student who is reinstated on probation will later be removed from academic probation if s/he fulfills all of the following requirements:
    1. Raises his or her cumulative GPA to 3.00 or above in the semester during which s/he is on academic probation,
    2. Successfully meets the requirements of their SAP Recovery Plan, and
    3. Is meeting the pace requirement for the MLS program. 
  12. Academic Disqualification
    1. A student on academic probation is academically disqualified and will be dismissed if s/he:
      1. Fails to petition for and receive reinstatement by the ASAC, or
      2. Fails to meet the conditions of the SAP Recovery Plan at the end of the academic probation period, or
      3. Does not meet the pace requirements of the MLS program according to the maximum time frame. 
    2. Disqualification status may not be appealed. 

6.9 Transfer Credit Policy

  1. JD Transfer Credit for Prior JD Law Studies
    1. Law Studies at an Accredited Law School, in Good Academic Standing as Defined by Prior School
      When admitting a JD student who has previously studied law in another law school’s JD program, when the law school is accredited by the Committee of Bar Examiners of the State Bar of California or approved by the American Bar Association, the School may accept up to 30 units of credit from the other law school as transfer credit provided credit was earned in a JD program no more than 2 years prior to applying to COL. Credit may be granted under this section only for whole courses (for example, both Contracts I and Contracts II when the whole Contracts course takes two terms to complete) in which the applicant received a grade at the good standing level or higher as defined by the law school where the courses were taken. Transfer credit for courses completed at a prior law school, if granted by the School, will be entered on the student’s transcript with a grade of TC and will be disregarded in computing the cGPA.
    2. Law Studies at an Unaccredited Law School or Absent Good Standing
      Where the student has completed law studies in a JD program at an unaccredited law school, or at another accredited law school (as defined in Paragraph 1 above) in the absence of good standing, transfer credit may be granted for JD courses if the student takes and passes the State Bar of California’s First-Year Law Students’ Examination with a score of “580” or higher. In this case, the student will be awarded transfer credit for 15 units. Unit credit will be entered on the student’s transcript with a grade of TC for 6 units in Torts, 6 units in Contracts and 3 units in Criminal Law, and will be disregarded in computing the student’s cGPA. When a student is applying in the absence of good standing, in addition to the foregoing, State Bar rules require that the student must be able to document a score on the Law School Admissions Test (LSAT).
  2. JD Transfer Credit for JD Law Studies Elsewhere While Enrolled As Continuing Student
    Students in good academic standing who have successfully completed the second year curriculum may petition the Dean for permission to enroll in up to 6 summer elective units offered in the JD program of another law school when: (1) good cause exists for taking the course(s) at another school and (2) the other law school is accredited as defined in Section A.1 above. The student may petition for credit for “study abroad” programs administered by an accredited law school. Credit will not be given for study via any form of distance education, whether online or by correspondence study. Permission to receive transfer credit will be granted for only one summer session at another law school and may be subject to other conditions imposed by the Dean including, but not limited to, the minimum grade that will be required for such transfer credits to be accepted. In all cases, the Dean’s written permission must be obtained before the student begins studies elsewhere.
  3. MLS Transfer Credit
    When admitting a student who has previously studied at another Master of Legal Studies or equivalent degree program at a regionally-accredited institution, the School may accept as transfer credit, depending on the circumstances, up to 6 units of credit. The School may accept up to 12 units for study in the School’s own JD degree program. In all cases credit will only be given for a grade at the good standing level or higher at the awarding school or program, for courses completed within 36 calendar months prior to the date the applicant is to begin MLS studies. Transfer credit from another school or program, if granted, is entered on the student’s transcript with a grade of “TC” and is disregarded in computing the cGPA.

6.10 Enrollment Status

  1. Full-time and Half-time Status
    COL has established minimum credit hour enrollment thresholds for determining full-time and half-time enrollment status. A JD student is classified as a full-time student when enrolled, per semester/session, in at least six (6) units and as a half-time student when enrolled in at least three (3) units. An MLS student is classified as a full-time student when enrolled, per semester, in at least four (4) units and as a half-time student when enrolled in at least two (2) units. These enrollment standards are used for the following purposes:
    1. To determine eligibility for financial aid,
    2. To provide enrollment verification,
    3. To qualify for student benefits, and
    4. To qualify for in-school loan deferment.
  2. Impact on Program Requirements
    These credit hour enrollment thresholds do not supersede academic program requirements regarding the pace at which a student must move through a degree program. Academic programs generally require students to take more credit hours per term to maintain adequate progress toward degree completion.