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Charleston School of Law Juris Doctor Program Catalog and Student Handbook 2023-2024

Academic Catalog and Handbook

Overview

Students are responsible for knowing and complying with the below Policies and Procedures, which apply to each testing and exam period. 

Please contact the Office of Academic Affairs with any questions, 843.377.2420, or 843.377.2423.

Pre-Test Procedures

AGS Number

In order to protect the confidentiality of all students and to preserve anonymity in the grading process, the Charleston School of Law utilizes an anonymous grading system identifier, unique to each student; this identifier – otherwise known as the AGS number – is assigned to each student for each testing period. Prior to a particular assessment or exam period, students may retrieve their AGS number from their CSOL Access account.

Computer Use

Prior to any testing period, the IT Department will contact all students with specific information about downloading the software and preparing for the testing.

Testing Rooms

Upon entering testing rooms, students must:

  • Secure all personal belongings in a backpack, brief case, or purse in the front of the room or in the area designated by the proctor. Students may not return to their personal belongings while the test is in process, except under the direct supervision of the proctor.
  • Remove all electronic devices on his or her person and from the test workspace. Only the computer used to take the test may be in the student's possession.  Electronic devices include: cell phones, smartphones, smartwatches, MP3 players, hand held computers, PDA’s, calculators (unless permitted), cameras, radios, tape recorders, headphones/headsets, wireless email devices and/or any other electronic device. All watches must have alarms disabled.
    • Please note: A student who violates this rule will be removed from the testing room and his or her test will not be submitted for grading. 

No materials may be on a student’s desk or in his or her possession 15 minutes prior to start of the test. Students may not write any notes or do any writing of any sort prior to the start of the test.

During the Test

When the proctor announces the start of the test, no student shall speak or communicate in any way with another student. Students shall not communicate with each other until after they have left the testing room at the conclusion of the testing.

  • Students must also be mindful that there may be some students who have not yet taken the test.  Students are bound by the Honor Code not to discuss the test with any student who has not yet taken it.

Testing Materials

There shall be no materials of any kind in a student’s possession or on a student’s work space during a CLOSED BOOK test. Students taking LIMITED OPEN BOOK tests will be allowed to bring in only those materials specifically authorized by the professor.

  • Please note: A student who violates this rule will be removed from the testing room and his or her test will not be submitted for grading. 

Computer Issues

Students who experience computer problems during an exam should follow the “Computer Troubleshooting Instructions” found in the section on School of Law Standard Instructions; these instructions are included on all proctored assessments and exams. 

Restroom Breaks

Students may leave the testing room, with proctor permission, only to use the restroom on the same floor as the testing room in which the student is taking the test. Students are not permitted to visit any other areas for any other reason during the test. Students who leave the testing room to use the restroom must sign the “Restroom Sign-Out/In Sheet” located at the front of the testing room. Students must indicate the time they left the testing room and the time they returned. No additional time will be awarded for time spent in the restroom.

Emergency Situations and Exam Interruptions

Students are expected to make all efforts to take assessments and examinations as scheduled. Students must be mindful of traffic and weather conditions that may impact their timely arrival to a test. The School of Law understands that extraordinary circumstances may arise that might prevent a student from taking a test as scheduled, or from completing a test already started. In an effort to be fair both to students who experience an extraordinary circumstance and to students who took the test as scheduled, as well as to protect the integrity of the process, the following procedures have been developed for proctored assessments and exams.

  • For other graded assignments, such as oral arguments, presentations, or final projects and papers, the provisions in the professor’s syllabus will control. If there is any confusion regarding this, the professor and the student may contact the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, 843.377.2423, for guidance.

Emergency Situation Affecting an Individual Student

The Associate Dean for Academic Affairs is authorized to determine whether a student is experiencing an emergency and whether some form of accommodation regarding the assessment or exam is warranted. The Academic Dean has discretion whether to grant an accommodation; this decision is final. The Academic Dean may require contemporaneous documentation of the emergency, such as medical documentation.  Students with pre-existing conditions, illnesses, or situations that could cause an unexpected interruption during an assessment or exam should discuss the situation with the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs before the testing period.

  • For situations that arise before an assessment or exam begins:
    • Students who are ill or experiencing an extraordinary personal situation must contact the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs before an assessment or exam begins.
    • Students should call 843.377.2420 or 843.377.2423 to report illness or an extraordinary personal situation. The Academic Dean or his or her designee will discuss the situation with the affected student to determine the appropriate course of action.
    • Students will be required to provide documentation, such as a doctor’s note, when appropriate.
  • For situations that arise during the administration of an assessment or exam:
    • If an extraordinary situation which would affect a student’s ability to complete the exam occurs during the testing, the student must notify the Proctor immediately. The Proctor will then refer the student to the Academic Dean. A student in this situation must identify himself/herself before the assessment or exam ends, as accommodations cannot be made after the fact for illness during an assessment or exam.
    • If after consulting with the Academic Dean it is determined that the student is unable to complete an exam due to a medical or mental health issue, then the student must immediately visit a medical professional for diagnosis and treatment. It is important to note that a contemporaneous, comprehensive and professional evaluation of a student in this situation is an important element in determining the appropriate next steps in such a situation.
  • Possible accommodations for emergency situations involving an individual student:
    • The Academic Dean may accommodate emergency situations in a number of ways. These include but are not limited to:
      • Allowing the student additional time to complete the test, either in a designated testing room or elsewhere.
      • Allowing the student to take the test at a later time. This option is generally only available to a student who has not already started the test or seen it.
      • Allowing the student to withdraw from the course.
    • The Academic Dean’s decision on how to accommodate an emergency is final. If a student refuses to follow the Academic Dean’s decision or instructions, his or her test will not be submitted to the professor for grading.

Emergency Situation Affecting Test Administration 

  • Building Fire Alarm: Upon the sounding of a fire alarm or other alarm indicating an emergency requiring evacuation of the building, students must:
    • Follow instructions of the proctor or other authorized personnel.
    • Stop writing or typing, and turn face-down on the desk any material.
      • The proctor will make note of the time of stoppage so that time can be added back to the allotted time when it is safe to return and restart the test.
    • Leave all personal belongings including computers in the test room.
    • Proceed to the designated meeting area.
    • Stay out of the building and test room until authorized personnel have instructed otherwise.
    • Upon return to the test room, the proctor will inform students of the remaining time to complete the test based on the time that was recorded upon exiting the building. Students must follow all instructions of the proctor, including waiting until the proctor gives the signal to re-start the test.
  • Building Power Failure: If power in the building goes out, the proctor will note the time. Students must:
    • Stop writing or typing, and turn face-down on the desk any material. Students should sit quietly at their desk.
      • The proctor will make note of the time of stoppage so that time can be added back to the allotted time when power is returned.
    • The administration will notify the proctor of appropriate next steps.
    • Upon restart of the exam, the proctor will inform students of the remaining time to complete the test based on the time that was recorded at the time of the power failure. Students must follow all instructions of the proctor, including waiting until the proctor gives the signal to re-start the test.
  • Other disruptions: On rare occasion, other circumstances may disrupt the test administration in a particular room or in the building as a whole. In the event of such disruptions, the Academic Dean may, in his or her discretion, extend the time of the test for all students in the particular room or in the building.  The Academic Dean may also report the general circumstances of the extension of time to the professor whose examination was being taken.

Late Arrivals

Students who arrive late to an assessment or exam are not allowed extra time to complete the test, absent some extraordinary circumstance. Whether such a circumstance is extraordinary is committed to the discretion of the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, who will also determine whether any time accommodation is appropriate.

  • If a student is late to a test or exam, that student must contact the Office of Academic Affairs immediately, either prior to arrival or upon arrival, so that a decision can be made regarding whether any time accommodation is appropriate. 
    • The student will also be given instructions regarding which room to report to to take the test.

Students who are not seeking time accommodations should report directly to the assigned testing room. Students should enter the room quietly and check with the proctor. Students will be given a Bluebook in which to write their answers. No additional time will be allowed if a student chooses to use his or her time to log into the exam software.

Failure to Appear

If a student fails to appear for a scheduled test or exam, the student must notify the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs as soon as possible but no later than 24 hours after the scheduled start time of the assessment or exam. The following policies apply:

  • If the student demonstrates extraordinary circumstances beyond the student’s control, the Academic Dean may authorize a delay in the student’s assessment or exam. If a delay is authorized, however, the assessment or exam, with the fully allotted time and no grade penalty, must be taken at the earliest available time as determined by the Academic Dean. In general, this rescheduling must take place before the end of the current assessment or exam period. If the student does not take the assessment or exam on the date scheduled by the Academic Dean, the student will receive a failing grade on the assessment or exam.
    • The student must also demonstrate extraordinary circumstances outside the student’s control that prevented the student from contacting the Academic Dean prior to the start of the test.
  • If the student fails to notify the Academic Dean within 24 hours of the scheduled start time of the assessment or final exam, the student will not be allowed to take the assessment or exam and will receive a failing grade for the test.  If, however, the student makes a separate showing of extraordinary circumstances beyond the student’s control, and the Academic Dean finds the reasons justifying such late notice to constitute extraordinary circumstances beyond the student’s control, the Academic Dean may allow the student to take the assessment or final exam as set forth above.
  • The Academic Dean has the authority and discretion to determine whether circumstances qualify as “extraordinary circumstances beyond or outside the student’s control.”