John Dee Bright College

Academic Regulations

Standard Course Load

The standard course load at Bright College consists of the following:

  • 13 credit hours in the fall and spring semesters of the first academic year.
  • 12 credit hours in the fall and spring semester of the second academic ear.
  • 3 credit hours in the January term of the first and second academic years.
  • 6 credit hours in the summer between the first and second academic years.

Additional Courses

Bright College students in good standing (i.e., not on academic probation or suspension) are eligible to take additional credit hours each regular semester above and beyond those required for the associate degree with no overload or additional tuition charges. Course-specific fees, such as lab fees and the costs of textbooks and materials for these courses, remain the student’s responsibility.

    • In the first semester, a student may take one additional credit-hour.
    • In the second, third, and fourth semesters, a student may take one additional class of up to four additional credit-hours. For the purposes of this policy, a lab section offered in conjunction with a three-credit course does not count as an additional course.
    • A student may request an exception to the first-semester limit or to the number of courses (but not the number of credit-hours) permitted in the second, third, and fourth semesters. To do so, the student should contact the Professional and Academic Support Specialist.
    • Repeated coursework (see below) will count against the allowable overload after the first semester and will require the payment of an administrative fee.

Bright College student registration for non-Bright-College classes will follow general Drake University undergraduate registration schedules and processes.

Transfer Students

The articulation of transfer credits will be made on a case-by-case basis.

Ordinarily, college credits earned at a fully accredited college or university in the United States can be applied to ongoing education at Drake following the completion of the Associate’s Degree, but not to the completion of the Associate’s Degree itself.

Depending on their prior coursework, however, students may be able to transfer twelve credits toward the first semester’s required coursework in Bright College in order to start in January or spring, rather than August, of the first year.

To do so, those credits must comprise the topic areas of the first-semester seminar components:

  • Written Communication
  • Contemporary US History
  • Race, ethnicity, identity, and/or immigration in the United States.

In extraordinary circumstances, the dean, in consultation with the registrar’s office and faculty, may authorize exceptions to the transfer-credit area-of-study requirements above.

Students who transfer into the spring semester, rather than the first January term, will be required to take JBC 025 in the second January and pay the appropriate overload tuition and fees.


Part-Time Students

With the exception of students repeating a course or seminar component after all other degree requirements have been met, all students attending Bright College enroll on a full-time basis.

Personal and Academic Integrity

The policy outlined below is based on the idea that Academic Integrity is essential to the mission of Bright College. At the same time, it recognizes that there are degrees of severity in instances of academic dishonesty and that error is, first, an occasion for learning and growth before becoming an occasion for sanction.

For the purposes of this policy, personal integrity is acting in accordance with the integrity pledge above, and academic integrity is truthful self-representation in work submitted for academic evaluation. For instance, when students submit work for evaluation, they implicitly claim that it represents their own effort, learning, and understanding of expectations, and they cite others for the insights, ideas, labor, or time on which they have relied. An evaluator working with such a student has a high degree of certainty that the quality of the work submitted by that student represents no more than the student’s own abilities.

By contrast, when students engage in academic dishonesty, they (at minimum) rob themselves of the opportunity to learn and develop in the areas under evaluation. Often, they do so by claiming—either explicitly or implicitly—credit for others’ work, such as the work of established thinkers, performers, and writers whose work is available publicly; of their classmates; or of an organization, enterprise, computer code, or algorithm.

Above all, academic dishonesty is a breach of the relationship of trust among students, faculty, and staff that is the cornerstone of effective teaching and learning. It is a grave offense against not just the individuals involved, but also against the project of education as it is carried out at Bright College and Drake University.

Please note that these policies apply to any student enrolled in a course offered through the John Dee Bright College; at the same time, a student enrolled in Bright College who violates the Bright College integrity pledge is subject to sanction in Bright College as well as in any non-Bright College courses, programs, or university activities in which the violation occurs. All students are subject to university-wide policies overseen by the Drake University Community Standards Office in addition to course, program, and college-level policies. In other words, a single act of academic dishonesty may warrant sanctions from multiple university offices and divisions.

Sanctions for breaches of academic integrity vary widely, depending on the severity of the violation, the number of violations a student has committed, and (to the extent the instructors and Dean are able to determine) the student’s motive or intention. Sanctions may include any (or any combination) of the following:

Academic Error

In cases deemed the result of academic error (e.g., improper citation, incomplete citation, incorrect attribution, and the like), sanctions pertaining to evaluating and grading coursework are determined by the instructor(s) in consultation with the Dean. Sanctions may include one or more of the following:

        1. Redoing the assessment
        2. Completing additional assessments
        3. Receiving a grade reduction for the assessment
        4. Failing the assessment

Academic Dishonesty

Instructors who find that a student has committed an act of academic dishonesty will report that finding to the Dean.

In cases deemed an intentional attempt at deception (i.e., academic dishonesty), sanctions are determined by the Dean in consultation with the instructor(s). Sanctions may include one or more of the following:

        1. Any of a-d above
        2. Receiving a grade reduction for the course or seminar
        3. Receiving a grade of F for course or seminar
        4. Suspension
        5. Expulsion

The following will be treated as instances of Academic Dishonesty:

        • Plagiarism: presenting someone else’s work as one’s own
        • Using machine-generated (e.g., AI or ChatGPT) work without the explicit permission or invitation of the instructor; when in doubt, ask first.
        • Self-Plagiarism: presenting work completed for another class, for which the student has already received credit, in fulfillment of a later assignment without permission from all instructors
        • Cheating: presenting a classmate’s work as one’s own or relying on a classmate to carry out work assigned to them (including taking credit for a group project to which the student did not meaningfully contribute)
        • Non-Citation: including no indication that exact phrases have been drawn from an outside source, even when that source has been assigned for the class
        • Aiding and Abetting: knowingly allowing another student, whether a classmate or not, to represent one own work as theirs

Conscientious Retraction: A student may avoid penalty for academic dishonesty if they retract, in writing, the submitted work and admit to wrongdoing before they have reason to believe they are suspected of academic dishonesty.

To retract a submitted assignment, the student must:

  • Send an email to the instructor and Dean with the subject line “Conscientious Retraction.”
  • In the email:
    • Explain clearly which submitted assignment they wish to retract or how they have aided or abetted another student’s academic dishonesty
    • Explain in detail why the assignment represents an act of academic dishonesty
    • Explain what factors led them to commit academic dishonesty in the first place
    • Offer an apology

Conscientious Retraction does not lead to an automatic extension or opportunity to redo an assignment. Thus, the normal consequences for missing deadlines or for providing insufficient evidence of having met learning standards may remain in effect, even though the penalties specific to academic dishonesty may have been waived.

Appeal: A student wishing to appeal a Bright College instructor’s determination of, and/or penalty for, academic dishonesty should write a detailed email to the Dean (subject line: Academic Dishonesty Appeal) explaining why the instructor’s decision was erroneous. The appeal must be filed within one week of the student being notified of the instructor’s decision, as represented by the date of the original notification. The Dean will conduct such investigation as might be necessary for the case and issue the final decision, including interviewing the instructor and the student and reviewing evidence submitted by both parties.[1]

If a student believes that any determination pertaining to academic dishonesty is biased or based upon discrimination, harassment, or related retaliation, as defined and prohibited by Drake University policy, the student should initiate the complaint process set forth in the relevant policy: Non-Discrimination and Discriminatory Harassment Policy (Non-Sex-Based), or Sexual Harassment Policy.

[1] An appeal of a final course grade awarded based on a finding of academic dishonesty follows different procedures summarized in section II.x below.

Academic Evaluation and Grading

Student evaluation may take the form of grades, scores, and verbal and written feedback to students, or a combination of more than one of the above. Final grades in all seminars and classes are reported to the university registrar as letter grades.

Grades in the John Dee Bright College are based on the degree to which each student has demonstrated that they have met the stated learning outcomes of the course. Generally, two factors are at play in determining grades:

  1. The level at which a student demonstrates the ability to perform consistently and reliably by the end of a module, unit, course, or seminar in reference to standards and expectations articulated for each course
  2. The sufficiency/completeness of the evidence provided by means of assignments and observed performance

Within the parameters of the College mission and of the course outcomes recorded in the general catalog, instructors will use their professional judgment in setting course standards, devising assignments, delivering instruction, and determining grades.

While grades largely represent the quality of student performance on assigned and graded work, they also necessarily represent student compliance with course policies, particularly with respect to work completion, deadlines, attendance, and other baseline expectations of enrollment.

Students may, at any time during the term, request of their instructors an explanation of their grade and advice about how to improve their performance. They should expect their instructors to maintain timely and up-to-date records of student performance and to make those records available to students upon request.

Final Grade Appeal Process


The John Dee Bright College recognizes that, from time to time, a final grade in a course, seminar, or seminar component may have been recorded erroneously. Therefore, the following policies and processes have been designed to ensure timely and fair review and resolution of final grade appeals initiated by the students and, when necessary, to correct any errors in the reporting of final grades.


These policies have been adopted by the General Faculty of The John Dee Bright College and authorize the Dean or the Dean’s assignee(s) to enact them and ensure their integrity. They conform to University-wide policies set forth in the Drake University General Catalog, as authorized by the Faculty Senate, and provide details specific to courses offered through Bright College. Should a discrepancy arise between the procedures and timelines set forth here and those of the general catalog, the catalog policies shall prevail.

These policies are maintained by the Dean’s office and promulgated through the Bright College Student Handbook and Bright College Faculty Handbook.


Only the individual student who believes they have been awarded an erroneous grade may initiate an appeal. No other person may initiate an appeal on that student’s behalf, and a student who wishes to appeal their grade must do so individually.


Throughout this policy, “Business days” are defined as weekdays during which the university is open, with each business day ending at 4:30 pm CST. Weekdays and holidays when the university is closed do not count in this timeline.


This policy refers only to errors in the reporting of final grades. It does not cover questions about grades earned on individual assignments within a course. Questions about the grading of tasks, projects, and other work assigned during a course or seminar should be resolved between the student and the instructor except when the student believes that they have been graded unfairly as the result of discrimination, sexual harassment, or retaliation as defined and prohibited by Drake policy. In such a case, the student should initiate the complaint process set forth in the related policy: Non-Discrimination and Discriminatory Harassment Policy (Non-Sex-Based) or Sexual Harassment Policy.

This policy speaks specifically to final grades awarded in courses offered through Bright College courses (that is, courses with the JBC prefix). Appeals for grades in courses offered through other colleges or through Drake’s interdisciplinary studies program (INTD) are governed by policies and procedures specific to those colleges.

If a student is unsure about which college, school, or unit offers a given course, they should contact the Office of the Registrar (


The Drake University general catalog stipulates that students must initiate a grade appeal within 10 business days following the final grade submission deadline published by the Registrar.

Before filing a formal appeal, the student should contact the instructor to seek resolution. If a resolution cannot be reached, or if the student cannot reach the instructor via Drake email, they should file a formal appeal.

Students may appeal a final grade for one or more of the following reasons only:

  1. A procedural or clerical error by the instructor has had a negative impact on the student’s grade.
  2. The grading is arbitrary (based on random choice), capricious (impulsive or motivated by personal whim), or outside generally accepted norms.
  3. The evaluation was of a different standard than that required of other students in the class. Possible examples: some students were permitted to submit late work without penalty and others were not; extra credit opportunities were provided to some but not all students.

Students must provide evidence sufficient to support how their appeal meets one or more of the grounds for appeal; lack of evidence may result in dismissal of the appeal.

Students may not appeal a final grade on the grounds that they disagree with the professional judgment of the instructor as to the quality of the student’s performance, work, or demonstration of course standards. 

If a student believes that their grade is based upon discrimination, harassment, or related retaliation, as defined and prohibited by Drake policy, the student should initiate the complaint process set forth in the related policy: Non-Discrimination and Discriminatory Harassment Policy (Non-Sex-Based) or Sexual Harassment Policy.

If an agreement between the parties involved occurs at any step of the appeals process, the appeal is concluded, and the grade may not be appealed again.

Procedures and Timelines

Initiating a Formal Appeal: All formal appeals should be written and delivered to the instructor/course coordinator via Drake email, with the Dean copied on all communications. The subject line of this email must read: “Formal Grade Appeal” and include the course or seminar number and semester.

The student making the appeal is responsible for ensuring that the appeal is received by the instructor and the Dean; students are strongly encouraged to enable “read receipts” for these messages. The initial email should be marked “Important.”

The Dean should be copied on all email communication during the appeal process. However, no response from the Dean should be expected unless and until the appeal process requires the Dean’s input.  All email communication should be acknowledged within three business days.

The formal appeal should include both the rationale (why the student believes the grade is in error) and justification (explanation and evidence) for this appeal.  The letter of appeal should include all the following information:

(a) course for which the grade is being appealed;

(b) instructor name(s);

(c) reason for appeal (see above for the list of reasons); and

The instructor/course coordinator should notify the student upon receipt of the appeal by replying to their email. If the instructor/course coordinator does not acknowledge receipt within three business days, the student should send an additional appeal communication to the instructor/course coordinator and the Dean. 

Instructors/course coordinators will e-mail a decision to the student within 3 business days of acknowledging receipt of the appeal.  If the instructor/course coordinator fails to provide a decision within three days, the student should contact the Dean to further the appeal.

  • If the instructor/course coordinator grants the appeal, they process the change of grade. 
  • However, if the instructor/course coordinator denies the appeal, the student has 3 business days to appeal the final grade in writing (email) to the Dean. 

The possible final decisions regarding these appeals are:

  1. Denial of the appeal, meaning that the initial grade remains unchanged.
  2. Granting the appeal, at which point the final course grade will be changed.

Instructor/Course Coordinator Denial of Appeal: If the instructor/course coordinator denies a student’s appeal or if the instructor does not respond to the appeal within three business days of the student having submitted it, the student can then appeal to the Dean of the College. Upon receiving an email from a student appealing their instructor’s denial, the Dean will acknowledge receipt by replying to their email and expressing intent to investigate the appeal.

This review by the Dean will determine whether any decision to deny the appeal is upheld or further review is needed. The Dean may, in depending on circumstances, appoint another faculty member to carry out such review.

The Dean has three business days from the date of acknowledging receipt of the appeal to render a decision and provide the decision to all parties. The Dean or the dean’s appointees may extend timelines for review may if some necessary evidence or relevant individuals are not available or if additional input from the faculty of the College or other University officers is required.

Conflicts of Interest

Every effort will be made to identify and mitigate conflicts of interest during the review and adjudication of grade appeals. If any person authorized to review, grant, or deny an appeal finds that their private, personal interests, including relationships that extend beyond the scope of their professional relationships, they will recuse themselves and ask the Dean to appoint another person to carry out their responsibilities with respect to enacting this policy.

If the Dean is the instructor or course coordinator, the initial appeal goes to an Associate Dean for final decision. If the Associate Dean determines further review is needed, the Provost may be consulted on the matter.

Chain of Appeals Timeline

Each step is allotted a maximum of 3 business days.  If a step is completed quicker than 3 days, the overall length of the appeal may be shortened.  

Appeals Process Step[2]


Student initial email to instructor or course coordinator

Within 10 business days following the final grade submission due date or of the final grade submission itself, whichever is later.








Instructor acknowledgment of receipt


Within 3 business days of prior step







Instructor decision on appeal



Within 3 business days of prior step






Student acknowledgement of receipt




Within 3 business days of prior step





Student email appeal to the Dean





Within 3 business days of prior step




Dean acknowledgment of receipt






Within 3 business days of prior step



Dean decision on appeal







Within 3 business days of prior step, unless additional time is needed.


Student & instructor acknowledgement of receipt








Within 3 business days of prior step

Steps in Appeal

Student’s Initial Email

Student Appeal

Instructor Response

Student Appeal

Chair Response

Student Appeal

Dean’s Response

Instructor Appeal

Dean’s Response

Max Days

10 Days

3 Days

3 Days

3 Days

3 Days

3 Days

3 Days

3 Days

3 Days


[2] Party responsible for initiating communication has been underlined for clarity.

Academic Standing, Probation, and Suspension

Bright College balances opportunities for students whose Grade-Point Averages (GPAs) fall below 2.0 to improve their academic standing with student accountability. In addition to the University-wide policies and procedures governing minimum GPA, probation, and suspension for full-time students described in the general catalog’s section on University-wide Academic Probation and Suspension under Academic Regulations above, Bright College students must meet the following requirements to remain enrolled and in good standing.

Upon request, a student placed on suspension may remain enrolled in a January or Summer Course for which they had already registered prior to notification of suspension, and the suspension will take effect immediately upon the conclusion of that course.

Satisfactory Progress toward Degree

A student must pass all required courses and maintain a 2.0 over-all GPA to graduate on time. A student may not have failed more than one course or seminar component without having repeated at least one of them to remain enrolled at Bright College, as explained below, except in rare cases.

Repeating a Courses and Seminar Component

A student is not automatically granted permission to repeat a course; the student must contact the Professional and Academic Support Specialist to do so, who will then consult with the faculty and review the student’s overall record before granting permission to repeat. The College does not guarantee the availability of opportunities to repeat a course or seminar component.

To repeat a course or seminar component, a student will enroll in one of the following, at the discretion of the dean in consultation with the faculty:

  • an independent study bearing the course number of the course or component to be repeated; or
  • an approved equivalent course offered in one of Drake University’s disciplinary departments along with a required tutorial; or
  • a section of the same course offered in a subsequent year.
  • satisfactory demonstration of subject-matter learning through additional coursework integrated into coursework within a subsequent seminar or course; or
  • a combination of the above.

When the repeated course bears fewer credit hours than the original course or seminar component, the student will work with the Professional and Academic Support specialist to arrange instructional activity to satisfy the additional credit requirement. An administrative fee will be assessed.

Repeating a course during the regular semester will reduce the number of additional Drake credits a student may enroll in beyond the Bright College curriculum.

A student who has earned a failing grade in two or more courses or seminar components without having repeated or enrolled in a repetition of all but at most one of them may not proceed in the program until this requirement is met. In some cases, part-time enrollment may be necessary to meet this requirement.

Integrated Seminar Components

Each integrated seminar is composed of three 4-credit components, which appear as separate classes on the student’s transcript. Students must pass all courses and seminar components to earn the associate degree. Courses and individual seminar components may be repeated to replace a low grade with a higher grade, when doing so is necessary to ensure satisfactory and timely progress through the program and/or comply with University probation and suspension policies outlined above.

A student must earn a passing grade in at least two of the three components of any integrated seminar to progress to the next regular semester, in addition to meeting minimum requirements for continuation outlined in the University’s Probation and Suspension policy above. Students who receive one and only one failing grade in a seminar component but still meet minimum requirements of the Probation and Suspension policy above may register for and attend future courses and seminars.

A failing grade in two or all three of the components of an integrated seminar, regardless of GPA, will result in a one-semester suspension effective at the beginning of the next semester, and the student will be required to re-enroll in a subsequent year to repeat the entire seminar in order to progress in the program. Students may register for and attend summer courses, but not future seminars or January courses until the period of suspension expires.

A failing grade in only one component of an integrated seminar will require the student, upon application, to repeat the failed component the following semester. See Repeating Courses and Seminar Components immediately above .

A student who fails a repeated component may, with the approval of the dean, continue to repeat the component in following semesters, paying the associated administrative and (as applicable, overload) fees, until they pass the component, provided they continue to pass all other components of concurrent integrated and culminating seminars.

If a student has failed two components of two separate interdisciplinary seminars without making satisfactory progress toward repeating and passing at least one of them, the student will be subject to a one-semester suspension, and must apply to re-take the entire seminar during which the more recent failure occurred and repeat the component failed earlier in a subsequent year.

A student is not automatically granted permission to repeat a course; the student must apply to the dean for permission to do so. The dean will then consult with the faculty and review the student’s overall record before granting permission to repeat. The College does not guarantee the availability of more than one opportunity to repeat a seminar component.

January and Summer Courses

A student who fails the January course JBC 025 may proceed in the program, but must repeat the course in a subsequent semester, January, or summer and pay associated overload tuition and fees.

A student who fails the summer course JBC 041 and/or 045 may proceed in the program, but must repeat the course in a subsequent semester or summer and pay the associated additional tuition and fees.

Students will be responsible for timely paying the associated administrative fees and any tuition overload associated with course repetition.

A student who needs to repeat a course or seminar component to regain good standing or to demonstrate satisfactory and timely progress toward their degree will work with the Student Professional and Academic Support Specialist or another member of the Dean’s office staff to secure arrangements for doing so.

President’s List, Dean’s List, and Honors at Graduation

Bright College recognizes outstanding academic performance at the end of each regular semester and during graduation ceremonies. The conferral of these recognitions is governed by the general undergraduate policy above.

Bright College graduates who have demonstrated high academic performance are recognized with honors at graduation. The conferral of these is governed by the general undergraduate policy above.

Please note that students who transfer to Bright College with credit toward the associates’ degree may not qualify for honors of graduation if they have not earned at least 60 grade-bearing credits at Drake.

Entering Drake University’s Bachelor’s Degree Program

John Dee Bright College graduates who complete their degree in good academic standing (i.e., not under academic probation) may continue into Drake University’s bachelor’s degree programs.

Students will work with the Professional and Academic Support Specialist to plan for continuing at Drake University during their second year in Bright College. Bright College students will also work with the university’s Office of Admission as they transition into the university’s bachelor’s degree program.

The Bright College associate degree satisfies Drake University’s general education curriculum requirements. To complete a bachelor’s degree at Drake, students will need to complete a total of 120 credit-hours, including up to 62 hours of Bright College coursework; 25 additional upper-division credit hours; and major-specific coursework. Some Drake University bachelor’s degree programs accept some Bright College credit hours toward their major requirements, at the discretion of the faculty in those programs.

With advance planning, many bachelor-degree programs at Drake can be completed in as little as two years. While Bright College cannot guarantee that graduates will earn their bachelor’s degree in two additional years, staff will work with students and representatives of other Drake academic departments to plan for degree completion in as close to that time frame as possible, depending on the student’s chosen major.

The information in this catalog does not constitute a contract between the university and the student. The university reserves the right to make changes in curricula, admission policies and processes, tuition and financial aid, academic standards and guidelines, student services and any other regulations or policies set forth in this catalog without giving prior notice.