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WSI Policies and Procedures for Credit and Non-Credit Students


Applicants will be admitted to the Institute who has met one of the following:

  • have graduated from high school; or

  • have earned high school equivalency; or,

  • have met the criteria of one of the Institute's programs described in the catalog or course description.

Non-Credit Personal Enrichment (non-PDU/CEU) courses are open to persons age 16 or older unless otherwise stated in the course description. Students may enroll in Personal Enrichment courses and other 001-199 level courses without being admitted to the Institute.

Admission to the Institute may be denied to those persons whom the Institute considers to be a potential danger to the safety, security, and educational environment of the Institute. The Institute may revoke (or may subject to certain conditions) the admissions of any already admitted person who is deemed to be a potential danger to safety or security or threatens to disrupt educational processes.  Such persons shall be afforded due process as required by law.

Are You under 16?

All courses are intended for persons over the age of 16, unless specifically stated for youth.

Tuition and Fees

Costs are listed with each course description. Full payment of tuition and fees or third-party payment documentation must accompany the completed registration form(s). Students are individually responsible for payment of tuition, fees, and all other charges.

Registration Fee (must accompany application) (non-refundable) $20.00 USD

Course Tuition (dependent upon the course)


Course Extension - First (Maximum 30 Days)

10% of Tuition

Course Extension - Subsequent (Approval Required)

15% of Tuition

Credit by examination (not refundable)


Graduation, certificate programs (not refundable)

$25.00 USD

Letter of Recognition

no cost

Portfolio assessment (not refundable)

$500.00/course USD

Check returned NSF (not refundable)

$50.00 USD

Student Transcript

$5.00 USD

Official Transcript

$10.00 USD

Late registration

$5.00 USD

Replacement of certificate

$15.00 USD

Replacement of Letter of Recognition

$15.00 USD

* Tuition and fees are subject to change without prior notification.  Tuition and fees are due on the day that you register for classes.


Delinquent Accounts

Please note that financially delinquent accounts may be referred to an outside collection agency. If this occurs, the individual or company will be responsible for all attorney and collection agency fees imposed.

Tuition Refund Policy

Students officially withdrawing from a continuing education course during the published period are eligible for a refund. Students withdrawing after the normal refund period will not receive a refund. Check the academic calendar for withdrawal deadlines each semester.

In extreme circumstances, when the student is forced to withdraw after the normal refund period, the Institute may consider granting a partial refund of tuition and fees.


Students wishing to drop a course and receive a refund must make their request online. Refunds will first be applied to any past-due balances owed the Institute. 

Refund Procedure

A student officially withdrawing by the last Institute business day prior to the start of a class is eligible for a 100 percent refund of tuition and applicable fees (see the tuition & fees to determine those fees which are refundable). In addition,

For courses that last 6 weeks or longer:

·         100% refund prior to the first day of class

·         50% refund during the first week (the 7 calendar day period following the first day of class)

·         0% refund after the second week

For courses that last 15 days to 5 weeks:

·         100% refund prior to the first day of class

·         50% refund during the first two days following the start of class (does not include the first day of class)

·         0% refund after the first two days

For courses, Workshops, Seminars that last 14 days or fewer, and all Online (web-based) Courses:

·         100% refund prior to the first day of class. In the case of On-line courses, students have 3 days from date of registration, or until they logon for the first time.

·         0% refund on the first day of class or later.

Withdrawing From Classes

Students may withdraw by using the Student Services website.  If a course is dropped before the withdrawal date, a grade of “WD” will be recorded for the final grade. (See the Academic Calendar for withdrawal dates.) After that date, students will receive the earned grade of “A” through “F” for all courses in which they are enrolled.

In the event of medical or personal emergencies, the withdrawal form must be processed by the specified date. A student who receives a failing grade for a course as a result of academic dishonesty may not subsequently withdraw from the course.

Involuntary Withdraw Procedure

An involuntary withdrawal may qualify a student for a partial refund or credit of tuition fees after the normal refund deadline. In order to be eligible for a partial refund or tuition credit, the student, or next of kin, must submit a letter and appropriate substantiating documentation to support such a withdrawal request prior to the end of the course. (All fees must be paid prior to receiving a refund or tuition credit).  Students taking online courses may only qualify for a partial tuition credit.

A withdrawal is considered involuntary if it results from one of the reasons described below:

1.     Military Duty

To withdraw due to military duty, student must have entered active duty involuntarily, have been transferred involuntarily, or be a dependent of a military person who has been transferred involuntarily.  Student must provide a copy of military orders signed by the individual’s commanding officer or other appropriate official.

2.     Hospitalization

In the case of hospitalization, student must have certification from a physician stating that the student’s medical condition required hospitalization for 72 hours or longer, and/or that the medical condition requires the student’s withdrawal.  Required certification:

a)     must be an original letter on official letterhead (no photocopies), and

b)    must specifically state that the student’s medical condition required hospitalization for 72 hours or longer, and that the medical condition requires the student’s withdrawal from class, and

c)     must give the date on which the hospitalization began.

 3.    Death

If a death of the student or immediate family member of the student has occurred, withdrawal is considered involuntary.   Immediate family members include the following: spouse, parent, child, sister, or brother.  Appropriate required documentation:

a)     an official death certificate, or

b)    a copy of a newspaper obituary notice, and

c)    a letter from a physician (or other appropriate medical professional) verifying the student’s relationship to the deceased. (If relationship is not evident, additional documentation may be required.)

Other Extreme Situations

Requests for an involuntary withdrawal based on other extreme situations will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Requests will only be considered for the current semester, or in the case of online courses, current (active) registration.

Withdraw Procedure

Students requesting an involuntary withdrawal must complete the Involuntary Withdraw form found on the Student Services website. The student or authorized representative must explain in detail the nature of the situation and any specific circumstances (e.g., illness, death in the family, military transfer, etc.) that may support the request.

Schedule Changes/Withdrawals

To add or drop a class, you must make the change online by submitting a Change of Schedule form on the Student Services website. 

Adding into Closed Classes

Occasionally, seats will become available in a class that has been closed. If a seat becomes available, you can add the class online. Payment is required at the time of the registration.

Course Cancellations

The Institute reserves the right to cancel any course due to unforeseen circumstances. However, every attempt will be made to prevent undue hardships on students. Students enrolled in courses cancelled by the Institute will automatically receive full refund of tuition and fees.

Class Schedules

Courses are offered at times and locations considered most appropriate for their intended audiences. Since all programs are not offered during both day and evening hours, students should review their intended curriculum to ensure that it is available at acceptable times as well as at an accessible location. An annual schedule is available online. Students should use this information to plan the following academic year.


Many course descriptions contain statements of prerequisites. Prerequisites tell the student the criteria for admission to a course. The intent of prerequisites is to ensure that students have the level of skill and knowledge that will assure them a reasonable expectation of success in the course. Prerequisites may include specific Institute courses, certification from a particular organization or agency, employment in a certain field, etc.

Full Classes

Seats in classes are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Students should plan to register early to ensure that they are able to enroll in the course of their choice. Occasionally, seats will become available in a class that has been filled. Students can monitor seat openings through the Student Services website. If a seat becomes available, students can add the class through the same site.

Wait List

Students trying to register for a class that is full may choose the “wait list” option. This option allows students the opportunity to register for a class if a seat becomes available. Notices of available seats are e-mailed automatically every morning, Monday through Friday. The student has until midnight of the day the notice is received to enroll in the course. If a student does not enroll in the course, his or her name will be dropped from the wait list and the seat will be offered to the next person.

Student Changes to Class Schedule

Students may make changes in their schedules according to the dates reflected in the schedule of classes for the respective semester. To accomplish a change in their schedule, students can use the Student Services website.


Registration dates and schedule adjustment dates are listed in the schedule of classes. Students may take advantage of mail-in or online registration as outlined in the schedule of classes.

Notice to Students with Disabilities

Western Shores Institute is committed to making it possible for individuals with disabilities to be full participants in its programs, services, and activities in compliance with Title II of the Americans with Disabilities/ADAA, Section 504 of the Vocational Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and all of its pertinent laws.

Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to attend the Institute and take any courses desired, so long as the prerequisites are met. Services and reasonable accommodations such as extended time for tests, etc., are provided for students with disabilities.

Student Progress and Academic Records 

Academic Participation/Substantive Interaction

WSI students are required to participate in their courses in a regular, timely and substantive manner.  This participation includes the following elements:

  • Navigating through the course syllabus and modules to identify and understanding course expectations by the instructor.

  • Engaging in the assigned and background readings for each module including viewing of video and/or PowerPoint presentations by the instructor.

  • Posting substantive comments in the threaded discussions - at a minimum of once per week for each module.  Simple agreement or disagreement with comments posted by others will not be considered substantive interaction.  In order for a student’s threaded discussion comments to be considered substantive there must be explanations of agreement or disagreement, introduction of new ideas or personal experiences related to the subject-matter.

  • Incorporating instructor feedback into subsequent assignments and modules.

  • Attending and participating in on-line conferences where applicable.

  • Preparing and submitting homework and any other assignment when they are due to the instructor.

Should issues arise which might preclude active participation, students must immediately communicate with their instructors and/or advisors for guidance with respect to applicable institute policies related to extensions, leave of absences, etc.


Grades are the means by which students assess their progress in course work. Students can expect to be graded frequently and in a variety of ways in each course. Grades are not assigned in many continuing education classes. Final grades will be available through Online Services within one week of the completion of the semester.

Grading System and Reporting

The following grading system is used:



Grade Point Value 











 Below Average















 Average or Above



 No Grade Given by Instructor



 Failure, Non-Attendance



An FX grade designates a failure due to never having attended or ceasing to attend class at or before the midpoint of the course without formally withdrawing.


The grade of incomplete or “I” is exceptional and must be arranged by the student with the instructor's approval. It is given only for work that has been qualitatively satisfactory, but which because of circumstances beyond the student’s control, does not satisfy the full requirements of the course. With the approval of the Instructor, an incomplete grade may be changed by completing the outstanding work during one 30-day period following the end of class in which the Incomplete was assigned. The cost to extend the course is $50 for the first extension. A single 30-day extension can be requested on-line.

A subsequent extension must be formally requested through the Registrar's office, and approved by the Instructor and the Academic Dean, for contingencies such as, but not limited to, military service and health problems of an incapacitating nature verified by a physician's statement. Extensions of time must be requested prior to the expiration of the original extension.  When the outstanding work has been completed during the agreed-upon time period, the final grade will be immediately reported to the Registrar's Office by the Instructor.  The "I" mark will be removed and replaced with the grade for the completed coursework. The time limitation prevails whether or not the student maintains continuing enrollment.  Upon expiration of an approved extension, grades of incomplete courses remaining after the deadlines will automatically become "F" grades. No extensions will be granted that exceed the duration of the original course.


Courses in level 400-699 are reserved for the Executive Master Certificate Programs.  Even though WSI is not a degree-granting institution, these programs award credit hours following the recommendations outlined in Maryland State COMAR 13B.02.02.16:

Credit Hours

An in-State institution shall award 1 semester hour of credit for:

  • A minimum of 15 hours, of 50 minutes each of actual class time, exclusive of registration, study days, and holidays;

  • A minimum of 30 hours, of 50 minutes each of supervised laboratory or studio time, exclusive of registration, study days, and holidays;

  • A minimum of 45 hours, of 50 minutes each of instructional situations such as practica, internships, and cooperative education placements, when supervision is ensured and learning is documented; or

  • Instruction delivered by electronic media based on the equivalent outcomes in student learning of this regulation, and may include a combination of telelessons, classroom instruction, student consultation with instructors, and readings, when supervision is ensured and learning is documented.

Questions and Answers

Will Student Credits, CEUs, and/or PDUs Transfer to another Institution?

Credit hours are only awarded for the Executive Master Certificate Programs.  All other courses use either CEU or PDUs.  Decisions concerning the acceptance of CEUs or PDUs are at the sole discretion of that organization.  Decisions concerning the acceptance of WSI credits by any institution other than WSI are made at their sole discretion.  WSI makes no representation whatsoever concerning the transferability of any WSI credits to any institution other than WSI.  It is unlikely that any credits earned at WSI will be transferable to or accepted by any institution other than WSI.

What is Remedial Education?

According to the State of Maryland, remedial education means a course or series of courses or services, or both, designed to remedy deficiencies in preparation for college-level work, especially in reading, writing, mathematics, and study skills that cannot be applied to credit for a degree or certificate.

 Student and Official Transcripts

Transcripts, Certificates, and Letters of Recognition Documents

Students and former students may request academic record transcripts from the Registrar’s Office that will list all courses completed, along with any CEU, PDU, and/or Credit completed. No transcripts will be released if any financial obligations to the Institute have not been met. Transcripts will not be issued to a third party without the written authorization of the student. The cost of a certificate for the completion of a program is included in the graduation fee.

Please send a request to the Registrar's Office and include the following (or fill out the Transcript request form on the Student Services website):

  • Name (and any former names used)
  • Current mailing address
  • A contact phone number in case of questions
  • Social security number and Student ID number (if known)
  • Last semester attended
  • Number of transcripts requested
  • The address(es) to send the record(s)
  • Your signature

Please note:  There is a fee for student and official transcripts.

Permanent Record Information Policy

Western Shores Institute maintains records for each student who attends the Institute. The Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), as amended, afford students certain rights with respect to their education records.

All students have the right to see their own records and to challenge any documentation that they feel is erroneous. A copy of the Institute’s procedures for challenging file or record contents is available, upon request, from the Registrar’s Office.

Records cannot be released without the student’s written authorization, with certain exceptions permitted by FERPA. (Some student information is designated as public or directory information. The institution may disclose such information for any purpose, at its discretion.)

Student Conduct

A community of higher learning can make its maximum contribution only if high standards of integrity, courtesy, and accomplishment are maintained by every member of the Institute. Responsibility for achieving this goal falls upon students, faculty, and administration alike.

The Institute reserves the right to discipline any student for any behavior, on Institute premises or in connection with Institute-sponsored activities, which is judged as detrimental to the aim and objectives of the Institute.

Earning Continuing Education and Professional Development Units

Continuing Education Unit (CEU)

The Continuing Education Unit (CEU) is a nationally recognized method for recording participation in a continuing education (credit-free) program that does not carry credit toward a degree but does meet established criteria for increasing knowledge and competencies. The CEU was created to provide a standard unit of measure, to quantify continuing adult education and training activities, and serve the diversity of providers, activities, and purposes in adult education.

 CEUs are commonly used by individuals to supply an employer or prospective employer with information on continuing education and training experiences and to provide documentation to registration boards, certification boards, or professional organizations.

One CEU = ten contact hours of participation in organized continuing education experience under responsible, qualified direction and instruction.

CEU Award Criteria

Students wishing to earn CEUs must:

  • Demonstrate completion of all course objectives, skills, or assignments listed on the course outline.
  • Attend a minimum of 80% of the course sessions (more stringent criteria may be applied to the definition of “successful completion” of any or all of the courses at the discretion of WSI or its clients). Attendance will be taken for every class as part of the Institute's recordkeeping system and to meet the criteria for awarding CEUs.
  • One CEU is granted for every 10 hours of Instruction.

Professional Development Units (PDU)

The (PDU) is a nationally recognized method for recording participation in a professional education (credit-free) program that does not carry credit toward a degree but does meet established criteria for increasing knowledge and competencies. PDUs are the measuring unit used to quantify approved learning and professional service activities. 

 One PDU = one contact hour of participation in a planned, structured learning experience or activity.

PDU Award Criteria

Students wishing to earn PDU must:

  • Demonstrate completion of all course objectives, skills, or assignments listed on the course outline.
  • Attend a minimum of 80% of the course sessions (more stringent criteria may be applied to the definition of “successful completion” of any or all of the courses at the discretion of WSI or its clients). Attendance will be taken for every class as part of the Institute's recordkeeping system and to meet the criteria for awarding CEUs.

To Receive CEUs or PDUs

To receive continuing education units (CEU) or Professional Development Units (PDU) from WSI, you must complete the course by passing with 70% or higher.