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OPIE Academic and Student Policies

Classroom Conduct Policy

OPIE students are expected to further the educational mission of both OPIE and Ohio University, following community standards. In order to promote and facilitate learning, students need to act in a courteous, respectful, and mature manner towards their professors and peers.

Students who violate the following offenses will be subject to a sanction or reprimand or disciplinary probation according to Ohio University Standards. Two of the most common offenses are:

  • Disturbing the Peace - Disturbing the peace and good order of the university (including classrooms) and surrounding communities.
  • Failure to Comply - Failure to comply with legitimate directives of university officials (includes professors).

More information is available on the Office of Community Standards and Student Responsibility website.

Credit/No-Credit Policy

The following policy, which applies to all students enrolled in OPIE courses, has been adopted because consistent attendance and practice is important for effective language learning. Students who skip classes or don’t prepare for class not only slow their own language progress but also disrupt the learning of their classmates. Group and pair work is important for quicker language development, so your class participation each and every day is necessary!

  • The official grades for an OPIE course are Credit (CR) and No Credit (NC).
  • A grade of Credit is reported for a student who has
    • Attended and actively and positively participated* in class at least 90% of the time
    • Completed at least 90% of out-of-class assignments on time.

*Students who are active and positive participants are awake and are engaged with their professors and their peers. This means that they are actively participating in whole class and group discussions. They work cooperatively with fellow classmates in pair work. During class time, they are concentrating on the subject matter of the class. Additionally, their homework is completed in a thoughtful manner, well before the start of class, and they have their textbooks and required materials.

Examples of “inactive” behavior are sleeping in class, checking a cellphone during class, not interacting with peers and the professor, trying to complete homework just before the start of the class, and not having their textbook or required materials. These actions do not help students improve their English.

  • A grade of No Credit is reported for a student who has failed to
    • Attend and participate in at least 90% of all scheduled classes
    • Complete at least 90% of out-of-class assignments on time.
  • If a student earns one Credit (e.g. in attendance) and one No Credit (e.g. in homework), the No Credit will be reported.
  • Students who receive No Credit (NC) at the end of the semester will be placed on probation, and the No Credit grade will appear on students’ permanent Ohio University academic transcripts.
  • Students who have already received one semester of overall No Credit should not make travel plans to leave the United States at the end of each following semester until they officially know that they will not be receiving No Credit for a second time. The end-of-semester proficiency report will provide a link to a document that states this information.
  • Any student who receives No Credit for any two semesters will be dismissed from OPIE and Ohio University.
  • Dismissed students can
    • Transfer to another academic institution*
    • Return to their home country.
    • Submit a Dismissal Appeal Form**

*Students who have transferred to another academic institution may re-apply to Ohio University after completing a minimum of 20 semester hours of classes and demonstrating a minimum 2.75 grade point average.

**Students who receive notice that they will be dismissed on the basis of no credit may appeal the decision by submitting a Dismissal Appeal Form to the OPIE Office by 12:00 p.m. on Friday of the University final exam week. This Statement of Appeal should describe any unusual circumstances that contributed to the student’s lack of progress. OPIE will review the appeal and make a decision by 5:00 p.m. on Friday of the University final exam week (the same day). The Dismissal Appeal Form is available at See your OPIE Advisor with any questions.

  • Note: Ohio University and OPIE classes begin during the first week of the semester, so you should arrive and get settled prior to the first day of classes.
  • Late Homework: All students are expected to submit homework on the assigned date and time. Students submitting late homework should not expect to receive credit for that particular assignment unless they have made prior arrangements with their professor or have other extenuating circumstances (acceptable reasons). Late homework may be graded to determine student's English proficiency even though credit is not given. A teacher may accept late homework if a student is tardy for class and has a good reason. However, if a student is consistently tardy for class (more than three times), the teacher is not required to give a student full credit for the assignment. If a student has a problem with a homework assignment, she/he should contact the professor before the assignment is due. Appropriate and timely communication with your professor is important in all cases.

In-Class Cell Phone Policy

Use of cell phones (or other interactive technology such as iPads, laptops, etc.) is not allowed during class time unless permitted by your professor. If you have a special situation, please consult your professor before class. Students who disregard this policy will receive a written warning. Three warnings will equal one hour of unexcused absence. The purpose of this policy is to provide a classroom atmosphere that promotes language learning without disruptions for both students and teachers.

Lateness Policy

Students are expected to arrive to all classes on time. For example, for an 8:35 a.m. class, a student should be in class and ready to study at 8:35. A tardy is defined as being five minutes late for class. Three tardies equal one unexcused absence. If a student attends less than 40 minutes of a 55-minute period, he or she will be counted absent for that hour. If a student consistently arrives after the scheduled start time of the class, the teacher may enforce a stricter lateness policy for the individual student. If class time is lost at the beginning of class due to tardiness and the class session lasts more than one hour, teachers have the discretion to reduce the amount of break time between hours. If a student misses 15 minutes or more of an hour of class without prior approval, the student should be marked (and informed) absent regardless of when the 15-minute period of absence occurs.

OPIE Excused Absence Policy

Ohio University and OPIE expect students to attend their classes. Attending 90% of your classes is an OPIE requirement to obtain Credit for the semester. If you miss classes beyond the 90% requirement, it can only be for legitimate (excused) reasons by the University. We call these “excused” absences.

These “excused” absences include illness, death in the immediate family, religious observances, and involvement in University-sponsored activities. Excused absences will be accepted and will NOT count toward “No Credit.”

However, due to OPIE requirements and the intensive nature of your English courses, these excused absences cannot be for more than three days. The purpose of your visa is to study, so you should be attending classes regularly. For medical absences longer than three days, you are strongly advised to meet with your OPIE adviser. For extended or frequent absences due to health issues or special circumstances, please consult with your OPIE advisor about your situation.

If you believe you will need to withdraw from your OPIE courses due to medical problems, please contact the International Student and Faculty Services Office as soon as possible to discuss.

Here are some important things to remember about being absent from class:

  • You are required to notify your professor as soon as possible and provide evidence (e.g. a doctor’s note, a note from your OHIO sports coach) to support the legitimacy of your absence. For more information, see the “Class Attendance Policy” section in the OHIO Undergraduate Catalog.
  • For ALL absences, you are expected to complete as much of your missed homework as possible in a timely manner. Please discuss each late homework situation with your teacher. If multiple days of work have been missed, we advise you to meet with your professor to arrange modified due dates. In the event that you do not make up the homework in the specified amount of time and in an acceptable manner, you will receive “no credit” for those assignments.
  • If you miss a test or a quiz due to an absence, professors will not permit you to take the quiz or test. If you miss a test or quiz due to an excused absence, professors might permit you to take the quiz or test within a timely fashion. Missing tests and quizzes will lower your grade.
  • Ohio University and OPIE assume that, whenever possible, you will visit Campus Care or another doctor without missing class.
  • Absences for reasons similar to these will NOT be excused:
    • Attending or spending additional time studying for another course.
    • Seeing an advisor, changing registration, or taking the TOEFL iBT.
    • Going to the bank, paying bills, taking a driving test, or meeting someone at the airport.

Lack of Progress and Dismissal

Students in OPIE are expected to make satisfactory progress in the development of their language skills. At the end of each semester, students are expected to advance to the next level in the program (e.g., Intermediate to Advanced). No student may repeat a level more than twice. If a student fails to advance to a higher level (e.g., Intermediate to Advanced) after taking a level for the third time, he/she will be dismissed from OPIE and Ohio University.

For students in Bridge studies, passing any class counts as making progress for the semester, even if the student fails and must repeat other classes taken that semester. However, students will not be permitted to take any class more than three times. A student who fails the same Bridge class three times will be dismissed from OPIE and Ohio University unless he/she has valid test scores that qualify him/her to advance.

Students who have already received two semester of No Progress in a row should not make travel plans to leave the United States at the end of the semester until they officially know that they will not be receiving ‘No Progress’ for a third time.

Students who receive notice that they will be dismissed according to this policy may appeal the decision by submitting a Dismissal Appeal Form to the OPIE office by 12:00 p.m. on Friday of the University final exam week. This Statement of Appeal should describe any unusual circumstances that contributed to the student's lack of progress. OPIE will review the appeal and make a decision by 5:00 p.m. on Friday of the University final exam week (the same day). The Dismissal Appeal Form is available online. See your OPIE Adviser with any questions. If a student is dismissed, he/she will need to return home or transfer his/her I-20 to another institution.

Overall No Credit

OPIE students earn credit in individual OPIE courses by attending at least 90% of the classes and completing at least 90% of the homework assignments. However, OPIE students also earn overall credit for a semester by attending at least 90% of the classes and completing at least 90% of their homework assignments total in all of their OPIE courses for that semester. If you have received Overall No Credit, it means that you have not attended 90% of all your OPIE classes and/or completed 90% of all your OPIE homework in all your OPIE classes. When determining whether students will be placed on probation or dismissed, OPIE considers their overall credit, and not their credit in an individual course.

Student Problems, Concerns, and Complaints

Do you have a problem or complaint about a situation or experience within OPIE that has a negative effect on your dignity (self-esteem), learning, or opportunity to make progress? If so, OPIE would like to know about your problem or complaint and help to resolve it so that you can continue to learn in the best environment possible.

  • You may take the concern or complaint to an OPIE advisor. (If you do not know who your advisor is, you can find OPIE Advising details in the Student Handbook and posted on the office door of Gordy 133.) Your advisor will help you fill out the Student Grievance Report Form.
  • You may complete the Student Grievance Report Form.

Once your complaint has been officially recorded, the OPIE Director will investigate*. The Director may talk with you and may also talk with any people involved in your complaint. The OPIE Director will make a decision (a resolution) about your complaint. You will receive a written copy of the resolution. The OPIE Director will keep a copy of the Student Grievance Report Form and the resolution.

*Note: If your complaint is about a problem that is important to you but does not directly relate to your ability to learn and make progress in your English studies (e.g., you don’t like getting up early), then your advisor will meet with you to discuss strategies to help you resolve your problem.

OPIE Course Evaluations

At the end of the semester, you will be asked to evaluate your professors, textbooks, and courses. We appreciate your honest feedback because it helps us to improve our program. Your responses are anonymous (nameless) and will not be given to the professor until your final grade has been posted.


OPIE textbooks should be purchased from one of the university bookstores in Athens. Your teacher will give you a map and tell you where you can buy your books. Note: OPIE students must buy NEW, CLEAN (with no writing) textbooks and workbooks. OPIE strongly discourages students from buying their textbooks online for three reasons:

  • Students need their textbooks for the first day of classes. Online orders usually do not come quickly enough, and you will begin to fall behind in your work and learning.
  • It is important that you buy the correct edition so that the page numbers are the same. This is difficult to do online.
  • Often our textbooks come in a bundle, or with a workbook, CDs, and an Internet access code—items you will need for the first week. Online purchases may not come bundled.

Smoking Ban & The Tobacco Free Initiative

To encourage wellness and make Ohio University a healthy and productive environment, effective August 1, 2015, Ohio University requests that all students (and employees) use no tobacco products (including cigarettes, e-cigarettes, cigars, hookahs/shishas, chew, etc.) on campus property. This includes

  • Campus buildings
  • Outside of all campus buildings
  • In campus parking lots (on foot or in cars)
  • On sidewalks or roads adjacent (next to) campus buildings

Ohio University understands nicotine/tobacco addiction (habits) and offers help to users who choose to quit. Go to the Smoke and Tobacco-Free Campus website and  or talk to your OPIE adviser or OPIE professor to find out more information.

Catmail Email

To start your Ohio University email account, go to Ohio University Account and follow the directions. You will need to know your OHIO PID number and will need to enter your date of birth (must be entered in this order: month/day/year. For example, April 9, 2003, should be entered as 04/09/2003).

To check your email, go to: Check your OHIO email daily. Use it as a primary email for communication with your professors, advisors, and administrators at Ohio University.

To avoid losing important messages in Spam or Junk folders, please, do not forward your Catmail to another email account that you may have. It is your responsibility to keep track of important information and notices that you receive through Catmail.


You can get your OHIO identification card (ID card) at the Tech Depot, located on the bottom floor of Baker University Center. It is very important that you get this as soon as possible.

OPIE Websites and Social Media

Communication with Students

Information is shared with students primarily through e-mail and/or Microsoft Teams. All students are expected to check their Ohio student e-mail and Teams regularly and respond to such communication in a timely manner.


During each semester, you will receive two evaluations from each professor.

Mid-Semester Evaluation

The mid-semester evaluation will give you information about the work you have done during the first part (usually five or six weeks) of the semester so that you can continue to do as well or better during the remaining weeks. Your professor will meet with you to go over this information.

End-of-Semester Evaluation

In the final student evaluation, your professor(s) will give you a letter grade (A, B, C, etc.), will make comments indicating your readiness for advancement, and will report your attendance and completion of out-of-class assignments. Your letter grade will indicate your mastery of the language objectives of the course and level of OPIE that you are attending. Your attendance and completion of homework are used to determine your official Ohio University grade of ‘Credit’ or ‘No Credit’.

Teacher Evaluations

At the end of the semester, you will be asked to evaluate your professors, textbooks, and courses. We appreciate your honest feedback because it helps us to improve our program. Your responses are anonymous (nameless) and will not be given to the professor until your final grade has been posted.

OPIE Course Registration

After you begin attending courses and before the end of the 2nd week of the semester, the OPIE administration will register you for your OPIE courses.

Sometimes a hold will be placed on your account by another campus office. A hold prevents course registration. Holds are placed for a variety of reasons (e.g., a balance at the Bursar’s Office, an incomplete housing contract, an unreturned library book, failure to meet with your academic advisor, failure to take the TB test at OhioHealth Campus Care, etc.). You cannot be registered until your holds are removed. All holds must be resolved by Friday of the second week of classes. Your CORE teacher will give you purple and red slips notifying you to take care of holds. You can also see holds on your My OHIO Web portal.

Once you are registered, you will be charged for a full-semester’s tuition. If you would like to withdraw and receive some money back, you must officially withdraw before the end of the second week of the semester. Check the Ohio University Academic Calendar to see more information about registration deadlines, tuition refunds, and housing/dining refunds.

Workshop for Undergraduate Admission to Ohio University

OPIE offers an Ohio University Admission workshop to all students who are considering applying to Ohio University at the undergraduate level. The workshop is facilitated by representatives from the Office of Undergraduate Admissions who assist undergraduate students in completing their online applications. Students receive information about the time/date/location of this workshop via the OPIE Zone, email, and class handouts.

Bobcat Student Orientation

All OPIE students admitted to undergraduate programs at Ohio University, need to attend Bobcat Student Orientation (BSO) prior to starting their full-time academic studies. The goal of the BSO is to familiarize students with the academic requirements specific to various colleges, introduce students to academic advisors from their departments/colleges, and facilitate class registration. BSO attendance is required by Ohio University; if you do not attend, the university will place a ‘hold’ on your account that will prevent you from registering for classes. See details at the Bobcat Student Orientation website.

Academic Misconduct

OPIE follows the Ohio University’s policies on Academic Misconduct. For more details and examples, see Community Standards and Student Responsibility.

Academic misconduct includes (but is not limited to) the following:

  • Being dishonest in fulfilling academic requirements.
  • Cheating (i.e., answering questions on a test, quiz, or assignment by means other than your own knowledge--e.g., using notes or cell phones; talking to others, looking at another student’s paper)
  • Plagiarizing (i.e., using the ideas or writing of someone else as your own).
  • Un-permitted collaboration (e.g., having someone else rewrite your work for you).
  • Fabrication (e.g., using invented or made up information).
  • Using advantages not approved by the professor (e.g., looking at a copy of an exam ahead of time).
  • Knowingly permitting another student to plagiarize or cheat from one's work.
  • Submitting the same assignment in different courses without consent of the professor.
  • Changing material on a graded exam or quiz and then requesting a re-grading of the exam.


  • The first time a student commits an act of academic misconduct, he/she will need to meet with his/her OPIE professor to discuss the situation. If necessary, the professor can require the student to meet with the OPIE director or an administrator. At this time, the student will receive a verbal warning that will be documented in his/her file, and he/she will be instructed not to commit another act of academic misconduct. A grade penalty, such as an F, may be imposed on the assignment or test.
  • If the student commits a second act of academic misconduct, a written warning will be placed in his/her file describing the offense. The student will meet the OPIE director or an administrator. A grade penalty, such as an F, may be imposed on the assignment or test.
  • If the student commits a third act of academic misconduct, he/she will be referred to the Office of Community Standards and Student Responsibility for disciplinary action*.

All students should understand that the penalty for academic misconduct can range from a verbal or written reprimand** to expulsion***. Academic misconduct is an A-1 violation of the Ohio University Student Code of Conduct.

  • *Disciplinary action means a punishment for doing something wrong
  • **Rprimand means a warning for having done something wrong
  • ***Expulsion means that you are asked to leave the University

Academic Probation and Dismissal

At the end of each semester, every undergraduate student (part-time and full-time) taking academic classes must have earned at least a 2.0 minimum accumulative GPA or he/she will be placed on academic probation. To be removed from probation, the student’s accumulative GPA must reach at least 2.0. Failure to meet the minimum accumulative GPA may result in academic dismissal from Ohio University.

A student on academic probation who does not earn an accumulative GPA of 2.0 at the end of the semester may continue at Ohio University if they meet one of the two following criteria:

  • Earn an accumulative GPA of at least 1.6 (for students with less than 30 credit hours earned)
  • Earn a semester GPA of at least 2.0 For Ohio University’s complete policy on academic probation, please see Academic Policies and Procedures in the Ohio University Undergraduate Catalog.