Department of Theatre Arts Review Policy
All students at Ithaca College are held to academic standards governed by the Dean’s office and the Academic Standards Review committee regarding students’ academic status.
In addition, the Department of Theatre Arts embraces professional standards in the studio, classroom and production laboratory. A comprehensive ongoing review process occurs across all five degree programs: B.S. in theatre arts management, B.A. in theatre studies, B.F.A. in theatrical production arts – with concentrations in design or technology, and B.F.A. in musical theatre or acting. Review is an essential component of upholding the quality and integrity of the training provided, especially in the B.F.A. (pre-professional) programs.
After a student is admitted, the faculty has every expectation that they will engage fully with the training, and will be capable of benefiting from and meeting the goals and competencies of their degree program. All aspects of the student’s work are considered, including classroom, studio and production elements. Students will be given specific, written feedback about their particular strengths, areas for growth, and any concerns related to the competencies of their area. Specific review criteria and competencies, content and timelines vary by program.
Following a review by their area faculty, students are considered in good standing if they meet or exceed the competencies for their area. Students in good standing are making satisfactory or better progress, and are engaged, collaborative and productive, demonstrating their developing skills in all aspects of their work. The area faculty will provide support and help identify resources for all students throughout the review process.
Students who are not making satisfactory progress, or are not meeting one or more of the area competencies will be placed on probation. In addition to not meeting the competencies, students may be placed on probation for other issues, including but not limited to: unprofessional behavior, poor performance in major courses, demonstrating an unwillingness to engage in the work in classes or production, failing to fulfill responsibilities in classes or production, or exhibiting actions or behaviors that are detrimental to the learning atmosphere.
Students placed on probationary status for the first time should make a detailed plan for improvement based on the written feedback. The identified areas of concern will be considered at all subsequent reviews. At the end of any semester on probation, a student may be changed to good standing status, remain on probation, or be discontinued from the degree program.
If a student is placed on probation for more than one semester, the student should consider alternate majors at Ithaca College and must meet with the Academic Advising Center and the Assistant Dean of Humanities and Sciences to develop a plan for changing majors if the need arises.
A student may be discontinued from the major if they have continually failed to meet standards or competencies expected in their particular major after one or more semesters on probation, and a change of major is required. Additionally, students who have exhibited behavior that is unprofessional or detrimental to the learning atmosphere may be discontinued at any time. Students have the option to self-discontinue and change their major rather than have the departmental action move forward and become a part of their record. Students discontinued from the B.F.A. majors may not audition or interview for readmission into those programs. A student may choose to change their major outside of the review process at any time, and should inform the area coordinator of the program via email. Some new majors have specific admission requirements and these must be followed prior to approval of the change of major. Details can be found here.
IMPORTANT NOTE: For competency-based concerns and issues regarding professionalism, in most cases, students will not be discontinued from the major without one semester on probation. For egregious behavior or unprofessionalism, in accordance with the Student Conduct Code, students may be discontinued from the major at any time.
Students who are discontinued from a major may appeal the decision only if extenuating circumstances exist which the area faculty were unaware of at the time of the review. The appeal must be sent electronically to the area coordinator and the department chair within two days of receipt of their discontinuation letter, and be typed, double-spaced, and may not exceed two pages. Additional materials may accompany the appeal letter, such as medical documentation or other supporting documents detailing the extenuating circumstances. The appeal will be considered by the area faculty and the chair, whose decision shall be final.