Course Participation Policy

Course Participation Policy

Statement of Policy

Students are expected to engage early in Excelsior University courses and remain active participants in academic-related activities throughout the term. Participation will be monitored on a weekly basis. Students who do not meet expectations may be administratively withdrawn (AW) from the course.


  1. An automated process will be run weekly to identify students who have not been actively participating in academic-related activities for the preceding week. All academic-related activity must be relevant to course content in the module posted/submitted.
  2. Students who were not active will receive an automated message informing them of their inactivity. The message will contain contact information for advising and resources at Excelsior.
  3. Three consecutive notifications (between weeks 1 and 6 in an 8-week course or weeks 1 and 13 in a 15-week course) will automatically result in an administrative withdrawal from the course. Repeated instances of non-relevant participation will be reviewed and may result in manual withdrawal from the course.
  4. Students with extenuating circumstances preventing them from participating must contact their instructor immediately. An excused absence is at the discretion of the instructor.
  5. Students who are AW will not be eligible for a refund of tuition and will owe any balance due.
  6. Financial aid recipients who receive AWs risk losing eligibility for some or all awarded aid for the trimester.
  7. Accumulation of six AW grades will result in dismissal from Excelsior. See related policy: Limitation on Multiple W and AW grades in Excelsior University Courses.

AW Appeal Process

  • Students have the right to appeal an AW grade.
  • They must do so by Tuesday at 11:59 pm ET during the week that they were assigned the AW.
  • The appeal must be sent to the School offering the course; see the list below.
  • The School will investigate and a decision will be made no later than noon on Friday.
  • If the appeal is approved, the School will notify the student, instructor and the Office of Registration and Records to remove the AW grade. The student’s access to the course will be restored.
  • In the event the student’s appeal is denied; the School will notify the student of this decision.
NOTE: Financial aid recipients who receive any combination of W and AWs in all courses within a term may lose eligibility to retain some or all awarded aid. Federal regulation mandates a recalculation, known as Return to Title IV, to determine the percentage of federal aid that has been earned; unearned aid must be returned to Federal Student Aid. The student’s last date of substantive participation will be the administrative withdrawal date, for purposes of this calculation.