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    Russell Sage College
  Nov 30, 2020
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Academic Policy - General


Study Abroad

 Sensitivity to international interdependence and to the importance of multicultural perspectives is fostered in various ways in the College’s offerings. Study abroad and structured travel in another country support these directions, as does the “cross-cultural” component of general education. International study promotes rapid personal, as well as intellectual, growth, widens horizons, and opens the way to unexpected career options.

Sage sponsors several international study opportunities and is affiliated with other colleges for additional programs. Each year Sage faculty offer a variety of foreign travel courses. Sage faculty-sponsored programs in recent years have included: France, England and Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, and Vietnam.

The Sage-sponsored program at the Center for Cross-Cultural Study (CC-CS) in Seville, Spain, has become a tradition for a number of Sage students who can present satisfactory standing at the post-intermediate level of college Spanish. The Center offers courses in language, literature, history, and the fine arts from the intermediate to the advanced level. Some internships may also be arranged, but a semester’s advance notice and near fluency in Spanish are required.

Sage students may also participate in study abroad programs offered by The Associated New American Colleges, which offer a broad array of travel opportunities.

Students enrolled either in the sponsored or affiliated programs pay their regular tuition and room-and-board fees to Sage. Students are eligible to continue to receive financial aid during their time away from campus. Books, miscellaneous personal expenses, and the cost of travel are not covered.  Credit earned in Sage-sponsored study abroad programs appear on the transcript as Sage credit.

Early planning for study abroad is essential; students must meet with their academic advisor, the Director of Cultural Enrichment and Diversity and the office of Financial Aid at least one semester in advance. Good academic standing is required for eligibility. 

Specifics about different programs and advising are available though the Office of Cultural Enrichment and Diversity. The director is also available for assistance should a student decide to enroll in a program not sponsored by or affiliated with Sage.  Coursework completed at a program that is not affiliated with Sage is subject to the same policies as other “transfer credit after matriculation” (see “Credits” section of Catalog). Specifically, students should fill out and have signed transfer credit forms that are available in the Registrar’s Office before they register for courses in a study abroad program. No grade below a “C-” will be accepted for transfer.  Note that students who participate in a study abroad program not affiliated with Sage will likely need to take a leave of absence from Sage while they are abroad and make their own financial arrangements through the institution that is sponsoring the program.

All inquiries about study abroad should be made at least one semester in advance to:

Sabrina McGinty
Director of Cultural Enrichment & Diversity
Hart Hall
45 Ferry St.
Troy, NY 12180
[email protected]



Class Attendance

The educational plan for baccalaureate degree programs depends upon the full cooperation of students and faculty. Prompt attendance at academic appointments (classes, lectures, conferences, and examinations) is an essential part of this educational plan. It is expected that students will keep all academic appointments; the responsibility for work missed because of absence rests entirely upon the student. Attendance is required at seminars, laboratories and practice teaching. In addition, departments may require attendance in any of their courses or course sections where such requirement is deemed consistent with the educational objectives and the manner of delivery of those courses.

Final Examinations

During the final examination period, students are not required to take more than two (2) final examinations per day and may request a make-up time for the additional examination(s), if desired. Students requesting a make-up examination must work together with all faculty involved, and the Dean of the College, if necessary, to determine which examination will be rescheduled.

Schedule of Examinations

Russell Sage College is committed to the principle that all credit-bearing activities must involve a concluding assessment of student learning by the responsible faculty. Faculty members are expected to keep a record of such assessments.

In most college courses the appropriate assessment is a written final examination. RSC requires such examinations to be given in accordance with the examination schedule. When a deviation from the schedule is necessary the Registrar and the Department chairperson or Dean of RSC should be notified of the change.

Faculty members are expected to minimize interference with students’ other academic responsibilities when they schedule different kinds of concluding examinations (lab, clinical, etc.). In no case may an examination be set at a time which results in a conflict for students with a regularly scheduled meeting of another course. The Registrar publishes a schedule of final examinations each semester. The following policies apply:

  • Final examinations should be given in the examination period except in emergency circumstances.
  • If, for some pressing reason, a student asks to take the final examination at a time other than the normal examination period, it is up to the instructor to grant or refuse the request and to make arrangements with the student.
  • If no examination is scheduled during the final examination period, then the final examination period must be used as a class meeting for another meaningful culminating activity.

Special Academic Programs

In keeping with the commitment to educational diversity, Russell Sage College offers its students an opportunity to participate in a number of special programs and courses, including independent projects, dual and interdisciplinary majors, internships, and minors. Several of these, as well as additional options, are described below. Consult the director of advisement or your faculty advisor for more information.

Russell Sage College Honors Program

Honoring Women’s Voices

The Russell Sage College Honors Program is an academic program intended to enhance the student’s educational experiences at Russell Sage College. By focusing on women, the program brings scholarship by and about women into all courses; it also depends upon pedagogical styles that are consistent with meeting the program objectives. The program is designed:

  • to be a complement to general education and to majors;
  • to be cross-disciplinary;
  • to encourage self-directed learning;
  • to encourage independent work;
  • to examine diverse knowledge;
  • to foster critical thinking and writing.

The program has three options:

  1. General Honors: Enroll in a 12-credit program of honors courses and graduate with distinction as an Honors Scholar.
  2. Advanced Honors: Juniors and/or seniors enrolled in General Honors work in a one-to-one relationship with a faculty member on an Independent Honors Project. Students will design and carry out their own project in their major or in another area of interest.
  3. Honors Affiliate: Enroll in one or more honors courses in areas of particular interest to you. Receive “Honors” designation on your official transcript.

Students who have a high school average of 92 or above or who have maintained a college grade point average of at least 3.4 are eligible to participate in the program, and must complete a brief (one page) application to enroll officially.

All inquiries about the Russell Sage College Honors Program should be directed to:

Professor Jack Harris
Director, Honors Program
Russell Sage College
45 Ferry St
Troy, NY 12180
[email protected]

Founder’s Seminar

Founder’s Seminar (SST 111-112) is a two-semester study of a single topic that is intellectually challenging for students and faculty; some of the topics studied include “Evidence,” “Passion,” “Edges & Middles,” and “Friction and Flow.”  In the fall, students discuss presentations on the topic made by faculty from the different disciplines and professions. In the spring, students develop their scholarly voices as they work on topically-organized individual projects which they present to their classmates. Students earn 1.5 credits (Pass/Fail) each semester.  These courses are required for all entering first-year students and count toward their elective requirements.  Founder’s can be an entry point for the Russell Sage Honors program, Honoring Women’s Voices.

Special Topics

Special topics courses may be offered in each discipline under the numbers 248, 348 and 448. Students should consult with the program coordinator or instructor offering the course to obtain a detailed description of that course.

Honors Projects

Each discipline may offer an honors seminar under the numbers 410, 411.

Independent Work

Independent work may take the form of independent study, an internship, or regular courses taken independently. Students must read “Rules and Regulations of Independent Work,” available in the Office of Student Services, and complete a contract for independent study before enrolling.

Independent Study: Independent study is defined as academic inquiry carried on outside the usual instructor/class setting. The credit awarded is variable. To be eligible, students must have completed 30 credits with a 2.7 cumulative grade point average (GPA) at Sage or another accredited college.

Internship: An internship is defined as a credit-bearing work experience in the field, which fosters the development of applied skills and typically increases professional competence, links theory and practice, and offers opportunities for career exploration. The credit awarded is variable. To be eligible, students must have completed at least 45 college credits with an overall cumulative GPA of 2.0 and a major GPA of 2.2.  Note that some programs have higher GPA requirements.  Internships also require prior completion at Sage of at least 6 credits in the discipline awarding the internship credit with a grade of “C” or better. (See also Internships and Field Experience, below.)

Individual Study (Regular Courses Taken Independently): When a student does not have access to a scheduled course within a reasonable time frame and there is a compelling educational reason, she may seek approval from the appropriate program coordinator and faculty member to take a course independently. To be eligible the student must have completed at least 30 college credits with a 2.0 overall GPA or 2.2 GPA in the major. Certain specially designated nursing courses require an overall and major GPA of 2.7.

Contracts for Independent Work: The terms and conditions for all independent work are set down in a contract, which requires the written agreement of the student, the faculty supervisor, and the field supervisor. The contract must also be approved by the student’s faculty advisor, and the department chairperson (or program coordinator).

Contract forms are available online and in the Office of Student Services. The completed contract must be on file with that office before the start of the semester during which the independent work will be done.

Credit Ceilings for Independent Work: In general, no more than 15 credits of independent work, i.e. any combination of independent study, courses taken independently and/or internship, may be counted toward the baccalaureate degree. There are, however, two exceptions to this ceiling:

  • Students who are enrolled in a dual major or who are taking a single major along with a formal minor or concentration in a different discipline may take up to 18 credits of independent work;
  • Students who take a single internship worth 15 credits may take an additional 3 credit independent study.

The ceiling for any such combinations that may be counted toward the degree is 21 credits.

Internships and Field Experience

Academic programs at Sage offer students a broad range of opportunities for off-campus internships and field experiences that connect classroom learning with practical experience. These resources enable students to explore and clarify academic and career goals, develop new skills, and prepare for the changing organization of work. Internships, cooperative education work experiences, community service, “shadowing,” and informational interviewing placements are available in businesses, community agencies, schools, legislative and governmental offices, and a wide variety of student interest areas.

The Career Center has extensive listings of these sites in its onlline employment database, SAGElink.  Career counselors are also available to help with career assessment, guidance, and placement. Internships carrying academic credit must be planned with and approved by a faculty advisor, and an internship contract must be completed and filed in the Office of Student Services. (See “Independent Work,” above, for more information.)

Accelerated Undergraduate/Graduate Programs

Russell Sage College is responding to the demand for advanced education in certain professions by offering accelerated programs that let highly qualified students earn a Bachelor’s Degree along with a Master’s or Doctorate Degree in a continuous course of study, thus saving both time and money. The following accelerated programs are offered:

  • Pre-Law/Law (a 3+3 program with Albany Law Schoo)
  • BA or BS and Master’s in Business Administration (M.B.A.) at Sage
  • BA or BS and MS in Education at Sage
  • BA and M.A.T. in adolescence (secondary) education for Art, English, Mathematics or Social Studies at Sage
  • BS and MS in Nursing at Sage
  • BA or BS leading to the MS in Occupational Therapy at Sage
  • BA or BS leading to the Doctorate in Physical Therapy at Sage
  • BA/BS with Rensselaer
  • BA or BS and MS in Public Administration at Sage
  • The Renaissance Baccalaureate

The Nursing program requires both the graduate and undergraduate degree in that discipline. Other accelerated programs allow students to choose their undergraduate major from a large roster of arts and science as well as professional majors. Indeed, combinations of undergraduate work in the liberal arts, e.g., a major in English, Sociology, or Psychology, with graduate professional work, are considered particularly effective.

Part-time students are also eligible to apply. Students are usually admitted to the 3 + 3 program with Albany Law School as first-year students, although they may also apply at the end of their first year. Students in the other programs may apply either as entering first-year students or at any time prior to the second semester of the junior year. Students who wish to apply after they have been admitted to Sage may obtain an application from the History, Law, and Government department offices or the Dean of Sage Graduate School.

In all accelerated undergraduate/graduate programs, students must maintain certain minimum GPA requirements and meet specific program requirements. See the appropriate catalog pages or consult with the program coordinators in the specific disciplines for more information.

Interdisciplinary Majors (Self-Designed)

In addition to those majors offered in the regular college curriculum, students may design interdisciplinary majors to accommodate and define particular academic interests. Examples include majors that combine coursework in art and sociology, in history and economics, and in English and psychology. Many other combinations are possible. Students should first consult with their advisor and then write a proposal explaining their areas of interest and listing the courses that will enable them to achieve their objectives. This proposal must be approved by a faculty advisor or department chairperson in each discipline and by the Dean of the College. At least one-half of the credits of the proposed interdisciplinary major must be credits completed as a matriculated baccalaureate level student. Students requiring assistance with developing an interdisciplinary studies proposal may consult a faculty member or the Director of Academic Advising.

A student may also propose a self-designed minor, with the sponsorship of faculty advisor(s) from one or more departments.

Minors for Undergraduate Bachelor’s Degree Students

A minor is a coherent group of courses that allows students to explore, in a structured way, an area of interest outside the major. Each minor is defined by one or several academic departments and consists of at least five one-semester courses usually totaling 18 to 20 credits. Nine of the required minor credits must be distinct from major requirements.

Minors are commonly declared at the end of the sophomore year but may be declared any time before the second term of the senior year or before completion of 105 credit hours, whichever comes later. Successful completion of at least a one-semester course in the discipline is a prerequisite to such declaration.

Minors are designated on student transcripts along with the major if all requirements are met, including a GPA in the minor of at least 2.2.

Transfer students must complete at least one half of the courses required for a minor at Sage.

Academic Adjustments for Students with Disabilities

Academic requirements may be modified, on a case-by-case basis, to afford qualified students and applicants with disabilities an equal educational opportunity. Complete information on these policies, and procedures for requesting these adjustments may be found in the Student Life section of the catalog.