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Pre-College Program (PCP)
Teachers College, Columbia University
Teachers College
Columbia University

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Pre-College Program (PCP)

Teachers College, Columbia University

Student Life > Academic Policy

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Student Life

Academic Policy


As a participant in the Pre-College Program (PCP), one of students’ main focuses is their academic progress. In addition to academics, students should engage in extracurricular activity and take advantage of every opportunity to increase their understanding of American culture.

Students will be expected to use English language skills during classroom hours as well as in the dormitories and on campus. They are also encouraged to read and write as much as possible outside the classroom.


The PCP staff endeavors to guide academic and personal growth and the greater Columbia University community provides support. To maintain this focus on learning and the tradition of academic excellence in PCP, the students, faculty, staff, parents, and community must stand in unison demonstrating high regard for learning and the personal academic integrity required for intellectual growth.

The following are examples of violations of the academic honor code. These will be met with the proper sanctions.
  • Copying homework 
  • Cheating on tests through various forms such as looking at someone else’s paper or using unauthorized sources
  • Plagiarism in essays and reports (Teacher College, Columbia University has a no tolerance plagiarism policy).
  • Seeking an unfair advantage by asking fellow students, “What is on the test?”
  • Chronic absenteeism on day of quizzes/tests

The PCP attendance policy requires that all students attend every class in its entirety. PCP has been designed to engage students in continuous instruction and classroom participation; therefore, class attendance and participation are vital to the goals of the Program, as well as students' academic success. Because tardiness results in the loss of in-class time and is a disruption to the learning process, it is expected that PCP students be on time to class. Continued tardiness is a disciplinary issue. Failure to adhere to the PCP attendance policy will result in student sanctions.


A student is late to class when he or she arrives more than 10 minutes after the start of the class, and will be marked as absent if he or she arrives more than 30 minutes after the start of the class. In addition, after three late arrivals, an unexcused absence will be marked on the student's record and an attendance report will be sent to the student’s parents. Unexcused absences will result in negative points towards the student’s grades.

If the student is at risk of an unsatisfactory grade or poor standing, the student will be reported to the Pre-College Program. Poor standing will be considered any total grade (Academic Performance and College Readiness) below 70%. The Office of International Affairs may place the student on Academic Probation for a given period of time. During the academic probation, the student is expected to improve his or her standing by improving grades, and will be expected not to violate any PCP or Teachers College, Columbia University policies including those related to attendance and dorm life. Failure to remove oneself from Academic Probation may result in removal from PCP. A student reported with poor academic standing or policy violations may have his or her legal status affected in the United States. Continued violations may result in the student’s expulsion from PCP and deportation from the United States.

There are certain instances in which a student may be authorized to miss class. These instances have been defined by the PCP staff and must be approved in advance:
  • Medical Emergencies or Major Illness
  • Special Leave or Family Emergencies
  • Academic Functions or Campus Tours
It is a student’s responsibility to manage his or her schedule and to provide evidence that the absence is authorized. The student must inform his or her instructor(s) prior to the absence. The student must provide evidence at the time the absence is authorized. If a student fails to inform their instructor prior to the absence, the absence is considered UNEXCUSED. In addition, a student who is absent (excused or unexcused) is still responsible for the completion of assignments missed because of his or her absence. If assignments are due the day of an excused absence, students must hand in the assignment on or before its due date.


Interaction with peers in English is one of the best ways to improve speaking and listening comprehension skills. However, if a student finds that he or she is struggling with the Program coursework, tutoring may be available. Students will be expected to take an active role in seeking tutoring assistance if needed, and private sessions are determined based on the availability and schedule of tutors and students. Students will be expected to pay all costs for private tutoring.


The Pre-College Program provides more than just the classroom experience. The goal is to help students become “college ready”. “Students are college ready when they have the knowledge, skills, and behaviors to complete a college course of study successfully, without remediation ( In addition to academic performance (knowledge and skills), all students will be graded on college readiness (behaviors). This includes but is not limited to participation in events and activities, time management, motivation and commitment, communications with instructors and Community Assistants (CAs), compliance of dorm life regulations (curfew, roommate relationship, cleanliness of room, respect of property, etc.), and adherence to Program rules and responsibilities including all policies listed in the PCP Handbook.

Grading consists of academic performance and college readiness (behavior). At the end of each term, students will receive a letter grade for each academic course and college readiness, based on the following grading scale.

Grading Scale:     
97 – 100%  A+
94 – 96%    A
90 – 93%    A-
87 – 89%    B+
84 – 86%    B
80 – 83%    B-
77 – 79%    C+
74 – 76%    C
70 – 73%    C-
0   – 69%     F


Student progress reports will be sent to parents on a monthly basis. These reports will include information on academic performance and college readiness. Progress reports will also include the student’s updated TOEFL and SAT test scores and any courses observed at Columbia.