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Professional Certificate and Advanced Certificate

Academic Policies

What academic policies apply to students enrolling in Professional Certificate or Advanced Certificate programs?  You can find a directory of current academic policy on this page or in our catalog.

If you have a question about any information on this page, please contact a Student Advisor at advisor@sessions.edu.

Admissions Criteria

Vocational Programs Admissions Policy

Students entering Vocational Certificate programs are expected to have earned a high school diploma, GED, or state-approved home school equivalent. Any student under 18 years of age must provide the signed permission of a parent or guardian. All students are expected to have a satisfactory command of the English language. Completion of the Professional Certificate is a prerequisite for entering the Advanced Certificate program.

Non-Discrimination Policy

Sessions College is in compliance with all requirements imposed by or pursuant to Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and section 504, Rehabilitation Act of 1973. The institution does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, creed, age, or national origin in its activities, programs, or employment policies, in accordance with Federal, State, and local laws.

Disability Policy

Sessions College is committed to providing qualified students who have a disability an equal opportunity to access the benefits of educational programs and activities in compliance with The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. Accommodations are provided to qualified students with disabilities. Students who believe they require accommodations should contact a Student Advisor at advisor@sessions.edu or call 800-258-4115 Option 2.

When Do Classes Start?

Classes for Vocational Programs begin monthly, on the 1st of the month.

 

What Kind Of Computer Do I Need?

To enroll in any program at Sessions College, you need a computer with an Internet connection, and may need specific software and/or art supplies. Click here to see requirements by program.

Academic Model

In Sessions College vocational programs, the assessment of skills, knowledge, and abilities is formal and continuous. The main focus of the program is on helping students attain technical and creative skills through practical work. Throughout the programs, student learning is primarily assessed through the evaluation of practical exercises. Practical exercises account for 100% of the grade in each course. 

In each course, students learn new topics presented in course lectures. Course lectures are graphical Web pages packed with images and illustrations, and supported as needed by video tutorials and reading assignments from an online library.

In each course, students complete exercises that they submit to their instructor in online Dropboxes for grading and feedback. Depending on the course, course exercises can range from digital imaging to Web page layouts, drawing, animation, and written essays, and more. Each exercise is designed to test the achievement of course and program objectives and contains specific instructions, performance objectives, and grading criteria. Instructors will provide grades and detailed critiques for each exercise. Students may revise assignments based on instructor feedback and resubmit them for further evaluation.

Program Requirements

Program Orientation

Upon completing registration, students are enrolled into an online Orientation class which must be completed before the start of term. In order to complete Orientation, students must:

1. Create a student profile.
2. Complete an advisor interview via telephone or email.
3. Get comfortable with how to access and utilize the Sessions learning environment.
4. Confirm their program schedule with their Student Advisor.

Course Substitution

Sessions College certificate programs include a list of required courses that are approved for the program. Students who have prior educational or work experience may be able to waive some required courses, provided they take an alternate course in the subject at an equivalent or higher level and complete the minimum clock hours required for the program.

Students who wish to substitute a course must submit one of the following items to validate their experience:

  • A school or college transcript indicating equivalent course(s) completed.
  • A resume indicating specific work experience.
  • Links to online work that indicates a specific area of competence.

Any student wishing to substitute a course must work with an advisor to identify a replacement course. Program advisement decisions are at the discretion of Student Services and Education Departments. Questions about course substitution can be addressed during the Program Orientation or by emailing advisor@sessions.edu.

Course Add/Drop

If a vocational certificate program student wishes to add/drop a scheduled course after it has begun, he or she may do subject to advisor approval, provided an alternate course in the subject at an equivalent or higher level is taken. A course may be added or dropped at no additional tuition cost if no exercises have been submitted. If exercises have been submitted or the replacement course is longer than the original course, the student may be responsible for additional tuition. Any questions about course add/drop should be directed to your Student Advisor..

Program Transfer

Students who wish transfer from one certificate program into another may be able to switch programs, subject to student advisor approval. Students who switch into a new program will need to meet all requirements of the destination program and tuition differences may be assessed if additional courses are required.  Students who transfer may also be required to sign a new enrollment agreement.

Accessing Courses

Once Program Orientation is complete, Vocational Certificate program students review their schedule and program start dates with their Student Advisor. The start dates represent the dates that courses will open. Each level in a program will be allocated 3 months of access. For Professional Certificate students, Level I will be available in month 1, and Level II will be available on month 4. Professional Certificate students will be permitted access to any uncompleted courses up their program end date. Beyond that time, extensions are available for students in good standing.

When a course opens, a link to the course will appear on the student’s homepage in the learning environment. Students are not required to start a vocational course on the day it opens, but in order to complete their programs on time, certificate program students are expected to maintain a pace of completing at least one assignment per week.

Students who complete their courses ahead of their schedule can request access to their next course(s). Students who fall behind schedule have until their program deadline to complete any of their scheduled courses but must complete all courses by the program end date.

Academic Progress

Vocational Certificate program students must attain satisfactory grades in all courses. At the midpoint of a certificate program, a student must have attained a grade average of 70 or higher in each course in order to continue. Students who do not meet this standard may be asked to retake courses or face dismissal. A certificate program student must attain a grade average of 70 or higher in order to graduate.

Graduation Requirements

In order to graduate a Sessions Vocational Certificate program, students must:

  • Complete all assignments and any graded exams in each course.
  • Achieve an overall average grade of 70 or higher.
  • Complete all required hours of coursework in the program.
  • Complete the program within the allotted timeframe or within the allowed period of extensions.
  • Have resolved all financial obligations to Sessions College for Professional Design.

Any questions about graduation requirements can be directed to your Student Advisor.

Program Extensions

The Enrollment Agreement for a Sessions College Vocational Certificate program provides a guarantee of service for the duration of the student’s program.

Professional Certificate program9 months (39 weeks)
Advanced Certificate program Concentration3 months (13 weeks)

After the expiration of the above time periods, the enrollment agreement is void.

Professional Certificate or Advanced Certificate students who reach their program end date and need more time can continue their enrollment for up to 6 additional months at a rate of $50/month, provided they have completed Level I of the Professional Certificate program. The program is an automatic payment plan. Students simply set up an automatic charge of $50 per month on their credit card, which will continue until the earliest of their cancellation, program completion, or 6 months. No partial month refunds are permitted, one extension is permitted per program, and extensions must be booked within one month of program end date.

Returning Students

Students who do not complete their programs within the period of their contract and any permitted extensions must re-enroll. A returning student may be awarded credit towards a new program for courses completed with passing grades. Courses completed will be evaluated for transfer to the new program to ensure that they are applicable to current program prerequisites and curriculum. Students are required to sign a new enrollment agreement and pay a $200 Registration Fee. Program tuition for re-enrollment is prorated at $75/lesson for the courses required to complete the new program. Returning students are provided with six months of access to complete their programs. Standard withdrawal and refund policies apply in a six month program contract.

Academic Policies

Clock Hour Definition

The program length for all Vocational Certificate programs is measured in clock hours. A clock hour is generally defined as a 60 minute period of time that contains 50 to 60 minutes of classwork, lecture, or lab work. In our vocational programs, clock hours are calculated to indicate the minimum hours required to complete a course or program, including time allocated to lectures, assignments, and student/instructor interactions.

Academic Freedom

Sessions Colleges is committed to supporting the expression of academic freedom by faculty, staff, and students. Academic freedom is the right of faculty, staff, and students to engage in creative exploration and research by examining, questioning, teaching, learning, exploring, critiquing, and producing work without adherence to prescribed doctrines. The expression of academic freedom does come with certain responsibilities including a commitment to accuracy, integrity, and adhering to respective Codes of Conduct. Controversy can arise and is not unexpected as a result of creative inquiry, however, the expression of academic freedom needs to include discretion and attention to distinguishing between knowledge and belief.

Copyright Policy

All courses and programs are owned by Sessions College and are protected by United States copyright laws and international treaty provisions. Therefore, you must treat Sessions College Course Material like other copyrighted material (e.g. a book or musical recording). Your course is limited to your personal use and you are prohibited from sharing your password or any of the Course Materials. You may not rent or lease the Course Material, nor may you modify, adapt, translate, reverse engineer, decompile, or dissemble them. If you violate any part of the Agreement, your right to take Sessions College courses terminates immediately and your password will be deactivated. Under no circumstances shall Sessions College be liable for any incidental, special or consequential damages that might result from the use or inability to use the Course Material or related documentation. Sessions College Course Material and related documentation are provided with RESTRICTED RIGHTS. Use, duplication, or disclosure by the Government is subject to restrictions as set forth in Subdivision (b) (3)(ii) of The Rights in Technical Data and Computer Software clause. Responsible developer is Sessions College, 51 West Third Street, Suite E-301, Tempe, AZ 85281.

Student Confidentiality and Privacy Policy

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA) is a federal law that protects the confidentiality of student education records. FERPA requires that schools provide a written policy protecting student privacy rights. Student privacy rights at Sessions College are as follows:

“Student” status applies immediately upon access to the individual’s first course at Sessions College. All students are covered under FERPA while attending Sessions College and upon exiting Sessions College for any reason.

Students have the right to request access to their education records, have their education records provided within 45 days of student request, and challenge the contents of their education records. The request for access must be in writing, by email to registrar@sessions.edu, by fax to 866-308-9411, or by mail to Sessions College for Professional Design, Main Campus, 51 West 3rd St, Suite E-301, Tempe, AZ 85281.

Amendments or challenges to the education record must be presented in writing to the Registrar, who will review the request and notify the student of the decision.

A student’s education records are only released to outside parties (such as spouses, parents, or employers) with written consent of the student, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent. Students’ education records are disclosed to Sessions College officials with legitimate academic interests.

Sessions College collects general “directory information” about students that may be disclosed or published publicly. For a full guide to the kind of information considered “directory information” under FERPA, visit this ED.gov page. Students may opt out of release of directory information. The complete directory information policy and opt-out form is available from the Financial Aid Department.

Students have the right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by a school to comply with the requirements of FERPA. The name and address of the Office that administers FERPA is: Family Policy Compliance Office, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW, Washington, DC 20202

Faculty Conflict of Interest

As an educational institution, Sessions College has a firm policy on preventing faculty conflict of interest. A conflict of interest occurs when a faculty member’s outside interests or commitments unduly affect his or her performance as faculty member. Any student or staff member who believes there is a faculty conflict of interest may provide a written summary of the complaint to advisor@sessions.edu. The complaint will be resolved using the same institutional process as our student grievance procedure.

Natural Events and Emergencies

When a natural event or other emergency issue impacts student/faculty access to online classrooms, Sessions College will send an announcement to faculty and students. Sessions College requests that faculty members defer to Sessions College recommendations regarding specifics situations and accommodations. In general, we request that faculty members apply flexibility for students who are significantly impacted by natural events and related concerns such as power outages that interfere with their ability to actively engage their online courses. We recommend that students facing classroom access issues contact their advisors to discuss options for maintaining satisfactory academic progress.

Exhibition of Work

Student work posted in the online classes may be nominated by instructors for the online Sessions Student Gallery. Nominations for the Sessions Student Gallery are evaluated by the Education Department and the gallery is updated each term. Gallery selections are based on many factors, and not all work that is submitted can be included. Sessions also reserves the right to publish excellent student work posted in the school learning environment in its promotional materials, including catalog, handbook, and website. Sessions does not own the original work and will not use the work for any other purposes than those outlined above.

Grading Policy

In Sessions College Vocational courses and programs, grades are based on instructor evaluation of submitted student assignments. Student assignments are evaluated on 1-100 scale based on grading criteria published in each course exercise.

Course work is assessed using an A – F grading system, where A = Excellent, B = Good, C = Satisfactory, D = Marginal, F = Failing. To pass each course, students must complete all assignments and any multiple-choice exams and achieve a course average of 65 or higher.

A+97-100
A93-96
A-90-92
B+87-89
B83-86
B-80-82
C+ 77-79
C 73-76
C- 70-72
D65-69
F64 or less

Each student assignment can be submitted a maximum of three times. Resubmission of assignments is encouraged, as instructor critique is essential to the learning process for an art and design student. When a resubmitted assignment is reevaluated, the final grade is stored in the student records.

Student Integrity and Code of Conduct

Student Identity Verification

Sessions College establishes the identity of each program student at enrollment by collecting identifying data that includes name, address, telephone number, date of birth, and social security number, and official documents that can range from high school or college transcripts to financial aid documents. Any information used for student identification is private and confidential and not shared with third parties.

During interactions with staff, students may be asked to provide their Student Identification Number, along with other requested sources of personally identifiable information, at any time, in order to verify their identity.

In order to access their classes, students are issued unique passwords for secure entry to the online learning environment. It is the responsibility of students to protect their passwords to prevent unauthorized access to their accounts at all times. School administrators can track IP addresses and login patterns at any time.

In our Associate Degree and Undergraduate Certificate programs, proctored written examinations are administered at regular intervals. Proctored exams must be facilitated by an online proctor through ProctorU or by an approved alternate proctor.

Behavior and Code of Conduct

In the pursuit of their educational goals, Sessions College students have certain responsibilities toward their fellow students, to their school, and to themselves. To fulfill these responsibilities, students are expected to adhere to the following items in the DEAC Student Code of Conduct. I will:
• Conduct myself with professionalism, courtesy and respect for others in all of my dealings with the institution staff, faculty, and other students.
• Present my qualifications and background truthfully and accurately for admission to the institution.
• Observe the institutional policies and rules on submitting work, taking examinations, participating in online discussions and conducting research.
• Never turn in work that is not my own, or present another person’s ideas or scholarship as my own.
• Never ask for, receive, or give unauthorized help on graded assignments, quizzes, and examinations.
• Never misrepresent or overstate my role producinga part or whole of a submitted assignment or other
artwork.
• Never divulge the content of or answers to quizzes or
examinations to fellow students.
• Never improperly use, destroy, forge, or alter my
institution’s documents, transcripts, or other records.
• Never divulge my student login information or password. • Always observe the recommended study schedule for my
program of studies.
• Always report any violations of this Code of Conduct
to the appropriate institution official, and report any evidence of cheating, plagiarism or improper conduct on the part of any student of the institution when I have direct knowledge of these activities.

Disciplinary Action and Dismissal

Sessions College students are expected to behave with respect toward their instructors and fellow students. Every individual has the right to be treated with respect in the school learning environment. Individuals who breach this code of behavior may be subject to disciplinary action up to and including dismissal.
• Plagiarism. Students may not copy another student or artist’s work (whether the work is an essay, a piece of visual artwork, or a page of code) without attribution.
• Obscenity. Students may not post or send obscene material within the learning environment. The judgment as to whether posted material is offensive and needs to be removed will be made by school administrators.
• Harassment. Students will not engage in verbal hazing and/or make derogatory remarks degrading an individual’s gender, race, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, or disabled status.
• Email spamming. Students will not engage in any massemailing of other students for any purpose, whether
promotional or informational.
• Privacy infringements. Students will not share any private
student information with third parties.
Committing any of the above actions may subject the student to disciplinary action. A student who violates the Enrollment Agreement or the Behavior and Conduct Policy will be subject to the appropriate disciplinary action, which may include: Written or verbal warning, suspension from a course or program, or dismissal from Sessions College.

Disciplinary Actions Appeals Process

Any student may appeal a disciplinary action, including dismissal from the College, by submitting a written appeal letter explaining any mitigating circumstances that led to the disciplinary action and/or any evidence that contradicts the disciplinary action. Appeals must be in writing and sent to the attention of the Appeals Committee at appeals@ sessions.edu within 15 days of notification of disciplinary action. The College will review the appeal promptly. If the appeal is successful, the disciplinary action will be removed or reduced, as appropriate. If the appeal is unsuccessful, the disciplinary action is final and will stand.

Complaint Policy

Student Grievance Procedure

Students who feel they have been treated unfairly relating to some aspect of school policy or procedure may register a formal complaint with school administration. Before registering a formal complaint, students are encouraged to make every effort to resolve the problem directly through constructive dialogue with their instructor, advisor, or other individual(s) involved. If a student wishes to register a complaint, he or she may use the following procedure:

Step 1: The student shall submit a written summary of the complaint to advisor@sessions.edu. Complaints must be filed within 3 months of cause of grievance.
Step 2: A Student Services representative will be assigned to the complaint and gather relevant data from student records, the learning environment, and third parties such as the instructor or other students if necessary.
Step 3: The Director of Student Services will review the complaint and provide a written resolution to the student within 15 days.
Step 4: A student who wishes to appeal the Director of Student Services’s decision may present an appeal to the school President within 7 days. The President will review the appeal and render a final decision to the student within 15 days.

If the student complaint cannot be resolved after exhausting the Institution’s grievance procedure, the student may file
a complaint with the Arizona State Board for Private Postsecondary Education. The student may contact the State Board at 1740 W. Adams Street, Suite 3008, Phoenix, AZ 85007, (602) 542-5709, or https://ppse.az.gov.

Filing Official Complaints

Individuals who have exhausted institutional grievance procedures and wish to file a complaint with appropriate authorities may do so at the following Web pages:

SARA Complaints

The Arizona SARA Council has jurisdiction over Arizona SARA-approved institutions and may be approached with any non-instructional complaint (for Distance Education students residing outside of Arizona). Prior to registering a non- instructional complaint with the Arizona SARA Council, the student/complainant must complete the Sessions College and the Arizona Board of Private Postsecondary Education complaint process outlined above. Non-instructional complaints may be made at this SARA page: http://azsara.arizona.edu/complaint-process. Students may also contact state authorization or accrediting agency contacts for specific issues. For online students who are residents of states outside of Arizona, complaints may be directed state consumer protection agencies listed in this document.

Withdrawal and Refund Policy

Withdrawal and Refund Policy

A student applying to a  Vocational Certificate program must pay a registration fee of $200. A student who cancels a Vocational Certificate program within five days of enrollment is entitled to a full refund of all fees and tuition. After five days, if a student cancels this contract, the school may retain the registration fee of $200, plus a percentage of tuition based on the number of weeks elapsed in a semester not to exceed the following. Certificate programs are administered in 13-week semesters until contract expiration.

For each student cohort, the semester begins on the first day of Orientation. For students who elect to start classes before first day of Orientation, the beginning of semester will be defined as the first day that course access is provided.

After 1 week80%
After 2nd week70%
After 3rd week60%
After 4th week50%
After 5th week40%
After 6th week30%
After 7th week20%
After 8th week10%
After 9th week0%

For example, a student canceling after the 2nd week of a semester would be entitled to a refund of 70% of the tuition for that semester. A student withdrawing from a course or program may notify the school of cancellation in any manner, by email, fax, phone, or mail:

Email: Bursar@sessions.edu
Fax: 1-602-354-9436
Phone: 1-800-258 4115
Mail: ATTN: Bursar
Sessions College for Professional Design
Main Campus
51 West Third Street, Suite E-301,
Tempe, AZ 85281

Within 30 days after withdrawal or dismissal, Sessions College shall tender to the student any refund that is due. Any questions regarding the refund policy may be directed to bursar@sessions.edu.