Education Policies

Students are taught by an experienced, dedicated faculty who are devoted to sharing their trade, technical, and academic expertise. Enrollment is limited to approximately 95 new students each year to maintain a sound student-faculty ratio (about 13:1). The constant interaction in class and shop and on the campus enables students to form close relationships with their fellow students and instructors–friendships that often last a lifetime.

Students study one trade during their three years at Williamson, earning either a Craftsman Diploma or an Associate in Specialized Technology Degree. Students can receive a Craftsman Diploma in Carpentry or in Masonry. With more advanced technical instruction, students can receive an Associate in Specialized Technology Degree in Construction Technology (with a carpentry or masonry emphasis); Horticulture, Landscaping, and Turf Management; Machine Tool Technology; Paint and Coatings Technology; or Power Plant Technology.

Classes are typically small in size. The maximum number of students in a classroom or laboratory setting is approximately 40 students, although most classes include fewer than twenty.

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Williamson is accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges and is approved and authorized by the Pennsylvania Department of Education to confer the Associate in Specialized Technology Degree.

An institution’s accreditation does not guarantee that credits earned at that institution will be accepted for transfer by any other institution. Decisions concerning the acceptance of credits by any institution other than the granting institution are made at the sole discretion of the receiving institution. Students considering continuing their education at or transferring to other institutions must not assume that credits earned at this School will be accepted by the receiving institution. Students must contact the registrar of the receiving institution to determine what credits, if any, that institution will accept.

All programs at Williamson require full-time attendance for three school years. There are two 16-week semesters each year and the normal attendance schedule is 39 hours per week. (The Horticulture, Landscaping, and Turf Management program includes an additional 5-week summer program between the freshman and junior years, while the second semester of the senior year is abbreviated by six weeks.) On average, the School’s trade/technical programs require a total of approximately 145 credits or 3,500 clock hours to complete. The credit hours assigned to the courses listed in this catalog are determined as follows: one credit hour is granted for (a) each fifteen (15) contact hours of classroom lecture/theory instruction; (b) each thirty (30) contact hours of laboratory/ shop training and instruction, or; (c) each forty-five (45) clock hours of practicum, externship, or work-related experience. A “clock hour” or “contact hour” of classroom, laboratory, or practicum instruction equals fifty minutes.
Williamson uses the traditional grading system based on the four-point scale, including plus and minus marks. A grade of Pass or Incomplete does not affect the calculation of grade point averages. If a student receives a grade of Incomplete for a class, he has one semester following the conclusion of that class to satisfy the requirements for that class, at which point, if he fails to remove his Incomplete, his grade reverts to a failure.
The School has established the following cumulative grade point average (GPA) standards:

At the end of: GPA At the end of: GPA
1st semester 1.5 4th semester 2.0
2nd semester 1.7 5th semester 2.0
3rd semester 1.9 6th semester 2.0

If a student’s cumulative GPA falls below the standard, he will be required to meet or exceed the cumulative GPA standard for all ensuing semesters at the School. Failure to do so will result in enrollment termination. If a student fails to meet the School’s cumulative GPA standard in the last semester of his senior year, he cannot graduate from the School.

If a student does poorly in a course, he is expected to seek help from his instructor and, if necessary, further help from a tutor. All freshmen receive study skills training.
If a student fails a course, he must find an equivalent course at another institution and have a Course Failure Compensation Proposal approved by the Williamson instructor whose course he failed and by the Dean of Education. The student must take the proposed course within three semesters following the semester in which the failure occurs (summer vacation counts as one semester), or the School will withdraw his scholarship. All failures must be compensated with a grade of “C” or higher before graduation. The student’s original grade will remain on his transcript and the compensating course will be noted on the transcript. The initial grade will be used in calculating his cumulative grade point average.

Failure of three courses or failure of either a trade theory or trade skills course for which a suitably equivalent course at another institution cannot be found results in cancellation of scholarship.

If a student in the Construction Technology degree program fails a course and is unable to receive a passing grade in an approved, equivalent course at another institution prior to his scheduled graduation from Williamson, and if the course that the student failed is not required as part of the diploma program in the student’s area of study, the student will be transferred into that diploma program. In order to receive his degree, the student must meet the requirements for Course Failure Compensation listed above no later than one year from the date of his graduation from Williamson.

If a student performs poorly in a class, the instructor of that class may place the student on academic probation, requiring the student to attend evening study hall. A student remains on probation until his grade improves and the instructor removes him from probation. If a student is on Academic Probation for more than five consecutive weeks or is on probation for two classes simultaneously for more than two consecutive weeks each, the Education Office notifies the student’s parents (no additional letters are sent after this notice). For the complete Academic Probation policy, please consult the Student Handbook.
A student who does not meet School requirements with regard to minimum cumulative grade point average or course failure will have his Williamson Scholarship cancelled. Any appeal of scholarship cancellation or request for readmission must be submitted to the Dean of Education, who will arrange a review by the Scholastic Standards Committee, composed of the Dean of Education, the Registrar, and the Director of the student’s trade program. The committee may confirm the scholarship cancellation, allow continuation with specified conditions, or may permit a transfer to another curriculum for which the student may still be eligible.
Because Williamson’s curriculum is specifically oriented toward trade and technical applications, the School does not exempt students from courses on the basis of having successfully completed advanced placement courses or similar courses at other post-secondary institutions.
The Dean’s List is announced after each semester to recognize academic excellence. Students who achieve a 3.67 grade point average or higher are placed on the Dean’s List.
To qualify as a candidate for the Associate in Specialized Technology Degree or for a Craftsman Diploma a student must have satisfactorily completed a program of study as described in this catalog and must conclude his studies with a cumulative grade point average of 2.0 or higher. In order to complete a program successfully, students must complete all the credit requirements of that program. Students have a maximum time of three years at Williamson to complete their program requirements; in rare cases approved by the School President, students may take a leave of absence for a semester or year, completing the entire program in four years.
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) is a federal law applicable to institutions receiving federal funds. It provides each student with the right to:

  1. Inspect and review his educational records;
  2. Request the amendment or correction of personal records to ensure that they are not misleading, inaccurate, or in violation of the student’s privacy or other rights; and
  3. Require personal consent to disclosures of individual identifiable information contained in the records, except for categories of data not subject to the prior consent requirement. The Williamson School specifically reserves the right to disclose data on student progress and disciplinary matters to parents.

Should Williamson be governed by FERPA in the future, copies of the FERPA and applicable school policies may then be obtained in the Office of the President.

Students and alumni in good standing may request official copies of their transcripts by submitting a signed, written request to the Registrar. To have the transcript sent to a third party, the request must include proper forwarding directions. Requests by phone will not be honored. A $5.00 fee is charged to cover expenses.
Students should anticipate paying annual fees to cover Shop and General expenses. Fees vary from program to program, and are subject to limitations. For more information on student fees, click here, or to pay your student fees online, click here.
If a student would like to know the availability of comparable program information related to tuition, fees, and program length, he should contact the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges; mailing address: 2101 Wilson Boulevard, Suite 302, Arlington, VA 22201; phone: (703) 247-4212; fax: (703) 247-4533; Website: www.accsc.org.