The American College of the Building Arts

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Academic Policies

Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) (20 U.S.C. §1232g; 34 CFR Part 99) is a federal law that protects the privacy of student educational records. The law applies to all schools that receive funds under an applicable program of the Department of Education.

For additional information on FERPA:

Family Policy Compliance Office/U.S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Avenue, SW Washington, DC 20202-4605
Phone: 202-260-3887

Transfer Credits

Applications from incoming transfer students will be evaluated on an individual basis. The American College of the Building Arts does not automatically award transfer credit for courses at other institutions. Such credit will be awarded only if (1) the course was taken at a regionally accredited institution and was completed with a grade of “C” or better; and (2) the student passes an institutional assessment exam offered by the ACBA professor, where applicable.

The curriculum at ACBA has been carefully constructed to ensure the student acquires the knowledge, skills, and abilities of the “educated artisan.” Due to the integrated nature of the General Education and Craft Specialization curricula at ACBA, courses are often not exact equivalents to those taken elsewhere. Therefore, in order to request transfer credit for any previous coursework, a course syllabus, course description, and/or booklist for the original course may be required in order to facilitate comparison.

In certain cases, and only with permission of the Admissions Committee, an ACBA course may be waived if the student has transfer credit that substantially exceeds the ACBA course. General elective credit may be granted at the discretion of the Office of Academic Affairs for transfer courses that fit the mission of ACBA.

Each transfer credit request is evaluated on an individual basis and credit will be awarded accordingly if it is found to be appropriate. Current students may not transfer any credits into the ACBA program without prior written permission of the Vice President for Academic Affairs and the Registrar.

The American College of the Building Arts cannot guarantee that courses taken at ACBA will transfer to other institutions of higher education, as it is at the discretion of the receiving college or university.

Special Enrollment

The curriculum at ACBA has specialized academic and artistic objectives. In exceptional cases, and upon the recommendation of the faculty, applicants who are deemed to have a satisfactory record of experience and education may be admitted to courses for one term at a time (space permitting), and must be readmitted at the beginning of each subsequent term. Students in this category may take courses from the General Education, Craft Specialization Support, and Elective areas, but are not permitted to take the Craft Specialization courses. Students with special enrollment status who desire to become candidates for a degree from ACBA must meet all appropriate requirements for admissions. Special Student Enrollment Applications are available from the Office of Admissions and Educational Services.

Academic Standing, Progress, Probation, and Readmission

The curriculum at the American College of the Building Arts constitutes a very intensive program. All early courses form the foundation for later courses and many later courses cannot be completed without knowledge gained at lower levels. For this reason, students are required to make satisfactory academic progress in order to remain enrolled at ACBA.

Students are required to maintain an overall GPA of a 2.0, as well as a 2.0 GPA in the Craft Specialization. Any student with an average below the minimum will be placed on Academic Probation. Any student whose average does not improve after one full semester will be subject to dismissal from the College. Students may apply for readmission after one calendar year. They will then have one semester to achieve a cumulative GPA of 2.0/2.0 in the Craft Specialization. In cases where, mathematically, a student requires more than one semester to reach the required GPA, the Vice President for Academic Affairs may grant a one-semester extension to the readmission status. Should the student fail to achieve a GPA of 2.0 (overall and in the Craft Specialization) or higher in the allotted period of time, they will be dropped for academic deficiency and are not eligible to reapply to ACBA. The student must meet with an academic advisor or a course professor to plan a strategy for improving grades which will be filed with the Office of Academic Affairs.

First-year students must maintain a Craft Specialization GPA of 2.0 or higher to advance to the second year of the Craft Specialization. In the event that the student does not achieve the 2.0 GPA, the student must meet with the Vice President of Academic Affairs in order to discuss the student’s academic options.

Disability Services

Any student with a bona fide, documented physical, psychological, or learning disability should contact the Office of Academic Affairs to discuss appropriate accommodations. All information on type of disability is held in strict confidence and is only disclosed by the student or with written permission of the student.

Attendance and Tardiness

Students are expected to attend each scheduled class for the full time period. Any absences or tardiness are a part of each student’s record. If a student’s tardiness exceeds fifteen minutes of class time, they will be considered absent for the course meeting. Absences are considered unexcused unless satisfactory evidence is provided by the student to merit an excuse for the absence.

Generally speaking, absences due to: illness, jury duty, death of an immediate family member, court summons, religious observances, or required military duty are regarded as excused. This is not an all-inclusive list, and students should speak with their instructor whenever they have an obligation or an emergency during course hours. Students have an obligation to inform their course instructors as soon as possible of the days on which they will be absent (prior to the absence is highly encouraged).

A student will be dropped from any course in which unexcused absences are equivalent to two weeks of classes (6 hours in three-credit courses and 30 hours in five-credit courses). Students will also be withdrawn from a course when total absences (excused and unexcused) equals three weeks of class time (9 hours in a three-credit course and 45 hours in a five-credit course). Any student dropped for excessive absences will receive a grade of FA in the course. An FA is the equivalent of an F for GPA computation purposes.

Drop/Add, Withdrawals, and Leave of Absence


A student may change his/her schedule during the first week of class (the Drop/Add period) without penalty. This may only be done with the permission of the faculty advisor or the Vice President for Academic Affairs, and the Registrar. The student must complete and submit the Drop/Add form to the Office of the Registrar.


A course withdrawal must be accomplished by the date published on the Academic Calendar and will result in a grade of “W” being issued for the course.

A complete withdrawal from the College (with or without a Leave of Absence) must be approved by the Vice President for Academic Affairs and the Registrar.

Leave of Absence

An official leave of absence (LOA) is granted to a student when mitigating circumstances (e.g. active military duty, serious illness or death in the student’s immediate family, emergency financial obligations) require a student to be out of school for an extended period of time such as a semester or a year. The LOA will only be granted if the mitigating circumstances require it and the student is in good academic standing (a cumulative GPA of 2.0 or higher). The LOA preserves the student’s status at ACBA; students will receive all school communications, including registration materials for subsequent semesters.

The Office of the Registrar has all appropriate forms for Drop/Add, Withdrawal, and/or a Leave of Absence.

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