LCIE Policies

Individualized Study

LCIE is committed to the idea that people learn more effectively when their experience and goals converge. To this end, the University actively fosters the participation of students in the planning of their educational programs. Students are also expected to individualize their cluster group work through directed independent research. Upon enrolling in LCIE, each student is assigned a faculty advisor who helps the student plan and coordinate a program of study from entry through degree completion.

In addition to assisting students in the design of their programs of study, the faculty advisor acts as a mentor, provides a source of continuity to students’ ongoing academic experience, and evaluates the overall quality of their work. In regularly scheduled conferences, the faculty advisor monitors student progress by reviewing course work and by providing feedback on projects.

Full-Time Accelerated Pace

The academic year at Lindenwood College for Individualized Education consists of 12-week terms with 13 cluster meetings per term. The LCIE student enrolls in one cluster per term, earning nine credit hours in most degree programs. New students may be admitted at the beginning of each term, and they may pursue a full-time academic program by attending all four terms during the year.

In this manner, students make rapid progress toward degree completion while still fulfilling professional and personal responsibilities. Students in LCIE are not permitted to take more than one cluster per quarter. The accelerated format employing clusters is based on the assumption that highly motivated students are entirely focused on the content of their clusters during the quarter.

The one cluster limit maximizes the likelihood of a quality effort resulting in a quality learning experience. Limiting a student’s course load is intended to protect the academic integrity of the LCIE program and its degree offerings. Students are allowed to take a three-credit-hour course in the same quarter in which they are enrolled in a cluster. Normally, a maximum of 12 credit hours per quarter is allowed. In rare situations, an LCIE student is permitted to take additional coursework in the day semester program. In this instance, a student is permitted to take a combined (day semester and evening quarter) total of twenty four (24) hours. Students wishing to take hours in excess of 12 semester hours are required to complete a “Petition for Policy Exemption.”

Cluster Cancellation Policy

Decisions regarding cluster cancellation due to weather conditions come from the Provost who notifies students and faculty via Rave alerts, television and radio announcements, Lionmail, and website notices. The decision is made after reviewing weather reports and traffic conditions and after consultation with location directors via the Dean of LCIE. Only the Provost has the authority to cancel clusters due to weather conditions. The only exception to this policy is an emergency, and, in this case, the LCIE Office Manager must be notified when a cluster is cancelled. In addition, all cancel led clusters must be rescheduled and made up sometime during the term.

Cluster Attendance Policy

LCIE is an accelerated program designed for motivated learners who take responsibility for their education. It is assumed that a student will not miss any classes. However, recognizing that LCIE students are working adults, one absence can be compensated for (at the instructor’s discretion) through additional assigned work. Two absences will result in a grade drop in one, two, or all three of the cluster courses, depending on the class format and the instructor’s judgment. Three absences are unacceptable as that represents one-fourth of the class periods. A student who has missed or will miss three cluster meetings will receive failing grades in the cluster. The first class (Saturday for graduate students and new undergraduate students and the first week of classes for returning undergraduate students) and the thirteenth class (arranged by the instructor) are both considered part of the scheduled coursework and attendance will be counted accordingly.

In addition, the LCIE attendance policy is structured so that it incorporates tardiness and early departure from class as part of overall attendance reporting. Students are expected to arrive for the beginning of class periods and remain until the instructor terminates the class meeting. Instructors will monitor and record the names of students who arrive late for class meetings or who leave class early. Tardy or early departure absences are cumulative and counted according to the LCIE absence reporting policy. Students who accumulate four hours of tardy or early departure penalties will be assessed one evening’s absence. This policy shall be strictly enforced and in no cases shall exceptions be allowed.

Cluster Textbook Policy

All students must have their textbooks by the first cluster meeting. Students also have the responsibility of making sure they purchase the correct textbooks for each cluster or class. This is especially true when students choose to purchase textbooks from sources other than the Book-X-Change, Lindenwood’s online bookstore. It is the responsibility of the student to purchase the correct textbooks for the cluster in which he or she is enrolled. Lindenwood University will not accept responsibility for any textbooks that were not purchased from the Book-X-Change.

Textbook Ordering

Textbooks for all clusters in LCIE are available through the Book-X-Change, an online book source. To order texts, students should go to the Lindenwood University website and access the Book-X-Change through a direct link ( to the company. Students will need to know the number of each course within the cluster and be prepared to use a credit card to order books. Students are strongly encouraged to order books at least two weeks before the beginning of the quarter and have them shipped directly to their home addresses.

Failure to Complete Cluster Assignments

A grade of “I” (incomplete) is given at the end of a term only for failure to complete course work due to exceptional circumstances beyond the student’s control, such as an extended illness, hospitalization, or death of a close relative requiring absence from campus for more than a few days. When assigning an incomplete grade, the professor should consider whether the student is capable of successfully completing the course. Incompletes should be offered only toward the end of the term for students who are, at the time, successfully completing the coursework.

An “I” grade must be resolved prior to the end of the next term, semester, quarter, or 5-term program; otherwise, it automatically becomes an “F.” Any request to extend the time needed to complete an “I” must be submitted to the registrar no later than two weeks before the date the grade is due. Requests will then be sent to the dean of LCIE and vice president for academic affairs to be considered for approval.

The Culminating Project

Some LCIE students may complete a culminating project. A Culminating Project is an integral part of the student’s program and is equivalent to an extended paper or honors thesis. Under the supervision of the Faculty Advisor, the student will design a culminating project and complete it during the last quarter of study in LCIE. Students will enroll in ICU 48900, Culminating Project, at the same time that they register for their last coursework or cluster. Students who do not finish their project within their last term must register for a culminating project extension (ECU 48900) for each term that the project is not completed. The culminating project is an opportunity for a student to synthesize his or her major areas of study and to demonstrate mastery of basic written and oral skills and concepts.

The project may be a thesis, a demonstration, or a creative work. It may involve a combination of media. If the project is a film, video, computer program, etc., it must still include written analytical documentation. The culminating project, designated on the student transcript as ICU 48900, carries one semester hour of academic credit.

A grade of “C” or above is necessary to pass the culminating project. The culminating project is NOT an option for students majoring in business administration, criminal justice, fire science management, health management, human resource management, information technology, or mortuary management.

The Capstone Course

The capstone course is required for students majoring in business administration, communications, criminal justice, fire science management, health management, human resource management, information technology, and mortuary management. Students who take the capstone course must have completed all of their required core clusters in their areas of concentration or enroll in the capstone course concurrently with the final core cluster. The course will emphasize the theories and concepts of the major from an academic viewpoint as well as their practical applications in the professional setting. The course requires a mastery of the concepts within the major and integrates academic studies with issues faced by practicing professionals in their area of employment. Consequently, students should expect midterm and final examinations, case analyses, and at least one major research paper during the term of enrollment. A grade of “C” or above is necessary to pass this course.

Undergraduate LCIE Policies

Requisite Study in the Major

Requirements vary, but at least 54 semester hours in the major area are necessary for most degree programs, 50 percent of which (three clusters) must be taken at Lindenwood University. In some majors, LCIE requires prescribed areas of study to be covered. In other majors, requirements are more flexible and the program of study is developed by the student in consultation with the faculty advisor.

Special Topics Courses/Numbers

Special topics courses/numbers, listed in the catalog, are designated for use as substitute classes for those who have taken, through transfer credit, one part of a nine-hour cluster. A special topics course may be taken only in conjunction with a cluster and is not used as a separate course or tutorial. Special topics numbered courses may not be used to extend the cluster for three extra hours beyond the nine-hour cluster; the student may not take a 12-hour cluster. In cases in which the student needs one more hour to graduate, the faculty advisor may allow the special topics course number to be used for one additional semester hour of credit (e.g. 10-semester-hour cluster).

Graduation Requirements

In addition to completing the work necessary to qualify for a baccalaureate degree, the student must meet LCIE graduation requirements within the scope of the specific degree program designed with the help of the faculty advisor. The following are the overall requirements for graduation from LCIE with a baccalaureate degree:

  1. Successful completion of at least 128 semester hours.
  2. Successful completion of the LCIE general education requirements.
  3. Demonstration of a satisfactory knowledge of English in oral and written forms, as evaluated by the faculty advisor and instructor each term.
  4. Completion and approval of the culminating project or the capstone course.
  5. Completion of the last 36 semester hours of study within the Lindenwood University system.
  6. Forty two (42) semester hours must be upper division courses, numbered 30000 or above.
  7. Completion of at least 50 percent of the courses required for a major within the Lindenwood University system.
  8. A minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.0 in all courses taken within the Lindenwood University system, as well as in the student’s major.