SPS Academic Policies and Procedures

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School of Professional Studies (CCSPS) Catalog Main

Contents

Orientation

Orientation for SPS students is mandatory and is held one week prior to the start of the first class and includes an online component that must be completed by all new incoming students for them to be allowed to continue in the program. During the orientation process, the new student is introduced to Centenary College – its mission, geography, academic code of conduct, program expectations and policies, as well as other students, faculty, and administrators. All students are required to participate in a one-week online orientation component in order to become fully acclimated to the Learning Management System.

Catalog

Students are governed by the catalog under which they were admitted. This applies to first-time students and readmitted students (the readmit date will determine the catalog). If a student feels that a subsequent catalog would provide them with an advantage, they may request of the Vice President for Academic Affairs to be moved under a more recent catalog. A student may not request to be governed by a previous, or older, catalog.

Academic Advising

Although Centenary College believes that all students are responsible for their own education, academic programs, and successful completion of program degree requirements, the College provides an Academic Advising Program to assist students in making appropriate decisions about their academic programs and courses. Incoming students are assigned to Program Advisors, whose guidance and assistance help to ease the transition to college life. New students initially meet their program advisors at orientation and set up an initial advisement meeting during their first course at Centenary to discuss their career aspirations and their academic programs and to select their classes for Degree completion. Throughout their course of study, students are encouraged to meet often with their advisors, who monitor the student's academic progress, help the students clarify career goals and relate these to their academic goals, share and disseminate information, and advise students on college policies and degree requirements.

Registration

New and Returning SPS students are registered for their required classes based on an audit of transfer credit(if applicable)upon admittance to each program. SPS students can approve registration for their courses 7 days prior to the start of the course. Accepting courses is required for students to be added to the course roster and to gain access to course information via the Learning Management System.

Online Course Policy for SPS Students

Centenary College is dedicated to providing its students with a quality educational program that both challenges them and meets their individual needs. Having the flexibility of scheduling online classes as part of their course load is one element in meeting our students’ expectations. Even though online classes may be more accessible to a student’s schedule, the content and workload are as challenging, if not more challenging, than in a face-to-face class. In the online environment, students can review course materials and interact with other students and the instructor via e-mail, chat rooms or threaded discussions. Online courses are similarly structured as on-ground courses – e.g., they have a syllabus, required texts, weekly assignment, projects, papers, and/or tests. To be successful in an online environment, students are expected to possess basic computer skills – i.e., they should be able to send and receive e-mail; attach, send and open documents from e-mail or internet sites; participate in online chats or threaded discussions; research topics using web-based resources, including the library’s online databases; possess a working knowledge of Microsoft Office Word, PowerPoint, and/or EXCEL programs; and have access to the College’s learning management system . In addition, the successful online student must have strong time management skills, be self-motivated and self-disciplined, and possess excellent writing skills.

Grading Policy for Undergraduate Students

Grading System

The value of grades may generally be described as follows:

A Excellent
B Good
C Average
D Below Average
F Failure
AU Audit (No Credit)
I Incomplete
MD Medical Excuse
P Pass (in a Pass/Failure option course)
W Withdrawal

Pluses and minuses may be used in reporting grades and they are computed in the grade average. Their use is optional with the instructor.

Determination of Grades

Each instructor is responsible for determining the grading and examination policy for his/her class. This policy includes how the instructor arrives at the course grade for each student, the proportion of grade given for papers, tests, hourly exams, semester examinations, or other requirements of his/her course. The instructor must provide a written copy of his/her policy, along with a course syllabus, to his/her class and he/she must file a copy of the policy with his/her Department Chairperson, the Faculty Office, the Academic Affairs Office. Once grades are posted in the Registrar's Office, they are considered final and cannot be changed by the instructor unless there was an error in the posting or calculation of a specific grade.

Calculation of Grade Point Average

Averages for all students are determined by the point scale as follows:

A = 4.0 C = 2.0
A– = 3.7 C– = 1.7
B+ = 3.3 D+ = 1.3
B = 3.0 D = 1.0
B– = 2.7 D– = 0.7
C+ = 2.3 F = 0.0

The average is computed by dividing the total number of credit hours attempted into the total number of quality points earned. Pass/Fail grades are not used in determining grade point averages.

Removal of a Grade of "F" from Computations

When a course in which an undergraduate student has received a grade of "F" is repeated at Centenary, both the original grade of "F" and the grade for the repeated course will appear on the student's transcript. However, the computations of the student's cumulative grade point average will be based on the grade received for the repeated course. If a student finds it necessary to take a course for the third time, the first "F" will not be calculated in the cumulative grade point average but the second and third grades will be included in the average, and all grades received for that course will appear on the transcript. If a student who repeats a course receives a "W" the original grade of "F" will prevail. If the student retakes the course at another institution, the original grade of "F" in the course taken at Centenary remains in the cumulative grade point average. Exceptions to this policy are Internships, Independent Studies, and Practicum courses.

Grading Policy for Graduate Studies

Graduate students enrolled in a master degree program must maintain good academic standing to continue in their respective program of study. Graduate students are required to have a GPA of 3.0 in order to receive a degree. The academic standing and grading policy for each graduate program is listed under that department. A graduate student who has received a grade of C may appeal to the Academic Review Board to request a determination of eligibility to repeat the course. (The student is not required to make such an appeal; however, in some cases, it will be necessary for a student to raise the grade for certification or licensure requirements, or to obtain the 3.0 GPA necessary for graduation.) Decisions will be made on a case-by-case basis. No grades of D will be given (anything lower than a C- is an F). A grade of F will result in dismissal from the program. A minimum GPA of 3.0 is necessary for graduation.

If a student repeats a course in which a grade of C has been received, both the original grade and the repeated grade will count in the GPA. Both grades will also be used to determine eligibility to stay in or to be removed from the program.

Graduate Course Listing and Graduate GPA

All graduate courses for which a student registers (including repeated courses) are listed on the transcript and are used to calculate the student's grade point average whether or not they are taken to fulfill degree requirements.

Graduate Degree Completion

Graduate students must complete the degree within 7 years. If a student does not complete the degree within 7 years, s/he will need to reapply. Upon readmission, the student will be responsible for completing the program currently in effect. Where applicable, such as in the Education Department, state regulations must also be met.

Students who do not take courses for six months or more must also reapply.

Graduate Grading System

The value of grades may generally be described as follows:

A Excellent 4.0
A- 3.7
B+ 3.3
B Good 3.0
B- 2.7
C+ 2.3
C Average 2.0
C- 1.7
F Failure 0.0
I Incomplete 0.0
MD Medical Withdrawal 0.0
W Withdrawal 0.0

Pluses and minuses may be used in reporting grades and they are computed in the grade average. Their use is optional with the instructor.

Determination of Grades

Each instructor is responsible for determining the grading and examination policy for his/her class. This policy includes how the instructor arrives at the semester grade for each student, the proportion of grade given for papers, tests, hourly exams, semester examinations, or other requirements of his/her course. The instructor must provide a written copy of his/her policy, along with a course syllabus, to his/her class and he/she must file a copy of the policy with his/her Department Director of the Graduate Program, the Faculty Office, and the Academic Affairs Office. Once grades are posted in the Registrar's Office, they are considered final and cannot be changed by the instructor unless there was an error in the posting or calculation of a specific grade.

Calculation of Grade Point Average

Averages for all students are determined by the point scale as follows:

A = 4.0 C = 2.0
A– = 3.7 C– = 1.7
B+ = 3.3 D+ = 1.3
B = 3.0 D = 1.0
B– = 2.7 D– = 0.7
C+ = 2.3 F = 0.0

The average is computed by dividing the total number of credit hours attempted into the total number of quality points earned. Pass/Fail grades are not used in determining grade point averages.

Incomplete

An incomplete is not computed in the grade point average. When the course is completed, the cumulative average will be recalculated, replacing the "I" with the value for the grade received. A grade of "I" must be completed within 30 days from the end of the class; otherwise a permanent grade of "F" will be recorded for the course(s).

Audits

A student may audit a course with the consent of the instructor. A student must declare he/she is taking a course for audit at the time of registration, or during the one week Add/Drop period. Otherwise, all courses for which a student registers will be for credit. The charge for auditing a course is one-half of the for-credit charge. Visit www.centenarycollege.edu for current charges.


SPS Attendance Policy

Students are expected to attend all scheduled classes. A student who finds it necessary to be absent from class should, as a matter of courtesy, inform the instructor in advance of the absence. If absences occur, it is the student's responsibility to make up the work missed and to contact the instructor in regard to the missed work. Permission to make up any type of course assignments may be granted at the discretion of the instructor. Absences in excess of two classes without a documented reason will result in withdrawal from the course and/or a grade of “F” for the course. However, it is within the discretion of the instructor to excuse the absences due to compelling circumstances. A student who is absent from three consecutive classes, excluding holidays and emergency cancellation of classes, will be withdrawn automatically from the course.

SPS Grievance of a Grade

If a student has a grievance in regard to the misapplication of an instructor's grading policy for a course, he/she must comply with the following procedures:

  1. the student first must make an appointment with the instructor in question to discuss the manner in which the grading policy was administered;
  2. if still dissatisfied, the student must then make an appointment with the Department Dean to discuss the issue in an attempt to resolve the conflict; if the instructor in question is the Department Dean, then the student must make an appointment with the Vice President for Academic Affairs to discuss his/her concerns.
  3. If still dissatisfied, the student then must file an appeal in writing with the Academic Review Board (ARB). The student must send a written explanation of his/her situation to the Dean of Students for Academic Support and request a hearing with the ARB, clearly stating the reason for the request, and provide, when appropriate, supporting documentation.

Grade appeals will not be heard by the ARB unless they are based on misapplication or arbitrary application of an instructor's grading policy or unusual extenuating circumstances.

All appeals must be filed no later than the last day of the sixth week of the accelerated class immediately following the one in which the grievance occurred. Both the student and the instructor are required to attend the grievance hearing, if one is called. If the instructor is unable to attend, the department chair at his/her discretion may choose to attend instead. The department chair may also attend with the instructor if he/she chooses to do so.

Academic Probation

A student's academic standing at Centenary is determined by his/her academic performance. Normally, a student is either in good standing, on academic probation, or academically dismissed from the College. To be in good academic standing, all students are expected to comply with the following minimal requirements:

Freshman Year 1 - 12 credits 1.600
13 - 23 credits 1.700
Sophomore Year 24-39 credits 1.800
40 - 55 credits 1.900
Junior Year 56 - 71 credits 2.000
72-87 credits 2.00
Senior year 88 or more credits 2.000
(Including a 2.000 in the major field)

Please Note: The credit hours shown above are comprised of the total semester hours attempted, including grades of "P," Prior Learning Assessment credits, and transfer credits.

A student whose cumulative grade point average, and whose major cumulative grade point average during their senior year, falls below the minimum required for good academic standing is noted as being on "academic probation." A student on “academic probation” will have his/her records evaluated by the Academic Review Board (ARB) and, at the discretion of the ARB, may be given either a probationary semester in which to raise his/her cumulative grade point average to the level required for good academic standing, or dismissed from the College. A student who is given a probationary semester is restricted to a maximum of four classes during his/her semester of probation. All decisions regarding academic probation are based on a student's cumulative grade point average (not that of the current or past semester). All decisions regarding reduced course loads, continuance on probationary semester, dismissals, and any exceptions in general to the academic policy of the College are the province of the ARB. A student who is on a probationary semester and who fails to raise his/her cumulative grade point average to the level required for good academic standing after one semester of probation will be considered for dismissal. Students who are on a probationary semester are not eligible to participate in campus activities – i.e., clubs, student government, Greek organizations, interscholastic sports, etc. Students who are on a probationary semester can continue to use their financial assistance if they qualify as determined through the Office of Financial Aid. “Academic Probation” is noted on a student's transcript.

SPS Academic Progress Regulations

All students are expected to show consistent, methodical progress toward their chosen degree. The following Academic Progress Regulations apply to all students at Centenary College. Failure to maintain proper academic progress as outlined below could result in the loss of financial aid and/or dismissal from the College. In the event of dismissal, financial obligations will be in accordance with the College’s refund policy. The Office of Financial Aid is responsible for determining student eligibility for financial assistance. The Academic Review Board is responsible for determining whether a student who shows a systematic pattern of failure to maintain proper academic progress is to be dismissed from the College. The academic progress for all students is evaluated at the end of each semester. First-time full-time enrolled degree students, in order to attain satisfactory progress toward the completion of a degree, must earn a minimum of 24 credit hours in their first 12-month period (including equivalent credit hours earned in development courses), whether or not the student receives financial aid during that period. To maintain satisfactory progress thereafter, full-time degree students are advised to earn a minimum of 32 credit hours in any subsequent 12-month period and progress yearly from class to class. To maintain eligibility for financial aid, full-time students must earn minimally 24 credit hours toward their degree over any 12-month period. The College may require a student to attend summer sessions at either Centenary or another accredited institution (with permission) in order for him/her to maintain satisfactory progress and remain eligible for financial aid. Students who have been notified by the Office of Financial Aid that they have not maintained proper academic progress and, therefore, are not eligible to receive financial aid for the upcoming semester/year may appeal that decision in writing to the Director for Financial Aid. Questions concerning the appeal procedure should be addressed to the Office of Financial Aid. First semester freshmen will not be dismissed for academic reasons.

Class Standing

A student's class standing is determined by the number of credits earned, as follows

  • Freshman 0-23 credits
  • Sophomore 24-55 credits
  • Junior 56-87 credits
  • Senior 88 or more credits

Dismissal from the College

Any student who displays a systematic pattern of failure to maintain proper academic progress in one or more semesters, who is on probation for an academic semester, or who violates the College's “Academic Code of Conduct” may be academically dismissed from the College by the Academic Review Board.

Students on Academic Probation must sign a contract indicating their willingness to meet certain criteria established by the ARB in order to remain at the college. Progress will be reviewed by the ARB on a monthly basis. Students not meeting the agreed upon criteria may be dismissed at any time during the semester after a hearing with the ARB. Dismissals from the College for academic reasons are noted on a student's transcript: “Academic Dismissal.” Students who violate the College rules and regulations regarding social conduct may be suspended or dismissed by the Judicial Committee in accordance with procedures set forth in the College's Student Handbook.

Appeals

Any student who has been dismissed by the ARB may appeal in writing to the ARB. Letters requesting an appeal must be postmarked or received by the College on or before, but no later than, fifteen calendar days of the date on the letter of dismissal. Grounds for appeal may include technical error, changes in temporary grades, extenuating circumstances, and/or additional information not previously available to the committee. Letters of appeal must state the reason for appeal and, where possible, should be accompanied by appropriate documentation. The decision of the ARB is final. Students will be notified in writing within three weeks of the action taken. A second dismissal is final.

Readmission

Students seeking readmission after dismissal for academic reasons may petition for readmission after one academic year. The student is encouraged to have earned at least twelve to fifteen credits at an accredited institution of higher education with a 2.3 cumulative grade point average and must follow the readmission policies of the College. Readmission is not automatic.

Academic Code of Conduct

As an academic community, Centenary College endorses the pursuit of knowledge through open and honest discourse. Therefore, the College expects students to conduct themselves honestly in all academic activities. Any action which compromises this integrity or otherwise attempts to discredit the knowledge a student has acquired is inappropriate and unacceptable. Through continued participation in the academic code of conduct, students demonstrate respect for Centenary's commitment to academic excellence. It is the intent of the College faculty and trustees that each student acknowledges and adheres to the code. The following definitions of academic code violations encompass misrepresentations of fact and falsification of any portion of the academic process:

  1. Plagiarism is knowingly copying published or unpublished material without acknowledging the source.
  2. Duplicate course assignment is submitting the same assignment without the instructor's approval for more than one course, or submitting an assignment based on another student's work.
  3. Collusion is working with one or more students without the approval of the instructor to complete a project that is expected to be the result of individual effort.
  4. Unacceptable classroom conduct includes (a) disruptive and disrespectful behavior; (b) cheating during examinations and laboratory projects by sharing material, looking at another's work, use of unauthorized books, sources, or memory aids, and/or communicating verbally or non-verbally in order to attain assistance; (c) other types of inappropriate actions that impede the learning process.
  5. Falsifying information is intentionally giving fraudulent information for the purpose of (a) avoiding negative sanctions; (b) seeking special privileges; (c) assisting another in these purposes.
  6. Computer interference is causing damage to or disruption of on-line databases housed on campus, including piracy of copyrighted material and inappropriate duplication of computer disk information. Sanctions for the violation of the “Academic Code of Conduct” are determined by the instructor, but they are limited to academic sanctions pertaining to the course in question – e.g., resubmitting the assignment; grade reduction; failure of the course; etc. Recommendations for more severe sanctions are to be forwarded to the Academic Review Board. Students have the right to appeal sanctions to the Academic Review Board in compliance with the policies of Centenary College and the “Academic Code of Conduct.” Copies of the “Academic Code of Conduct,” in its entirety and with appeal procedures, may be secured from the Registrar's Office.

All students are expected to adhere to Centenary College’s policy concerning Academic Honesty. Any student found cheating, plagiarizing, submitting non-original work, etc., will receive a grade of zero (0) for that work. Flagrant cases of academic dishonesty may result in the student’s being dismissed from the class and referred to the Academic Review Board for further action or sanction as deemed appropriate, up to and including dismissal from Centenary College.

Individual instructors or departments may impose additional penalties. Check the syllabus for the policy that applies to each class.

Course Changes

Any SPS student who wishes to change their scheduled courses must contact their program advisor prior to the start of the class. If you wish to change your schedule after the start of a class, please refer to the Withdrawal Policy.

Leaves of Absence

Students are entitled to take up to three (3) leaves in a 12 month period. A leave of absence (LOA) is defined as an approved break in attendance longer than 29 consecutive days and not exceeding 180 days in a 12 month period. All LOA requests must be approved by the Financial Aid Department and the student’s Program Advisor.

Student’s on an approved Leave of Absence and receiving Federal Financial Aid will not be considered withdrawn, and a return of funds will not be required. However, students receiving a New Jersey tuition Assistance Grant (TAG) will forfeit their grant by taking a Leave of Absence. Financial Aid may include, but is not limited to, TAG, Pell, and Stafford loans.

To request an LOA, the student must send a written request to his/her Program Advisor . The student must include the reason for the LOA with the expected date of return. The PA will submit the LOA form to the Financial Aid office and it must be completed while the student is still in attendance in the current course and no later than the student’s last day of attendance.

Students may request a Leave of Absence if they are between courses. The student must meet the following requirements:

  • The student’s last date of attendance (LDA) must be the last day of the most recently completed course. (For online courses the last date of attendance will be recorded as the first day of the last week of class.)
  • The request must be made prior to, or no later than, the first day of class for the next scheduled course.
  • Should unforeseen circumstances prevent a student from providing a request prior to the last day of attendance, an exception may be granted. Unforeseen circumstances may include medical and family emergencies, or business travel.
  • The LOA will be based on the number of days between the last date of attendance (LDA) and the date of reentry. The first approved LOA and its associated LDA is used when determining the start date for the 12 month period.

Failure to Return: Students who fail to return from an approved LOA, on the date indicated on their form, will be administratively withdrawn from the program.

The Federal Return of Title IV funds calculation will be completed as of the last date of attendance and any unearned funds will be returned to their federal and/or state source. The return of these unearned funds may cause a tuition balance for which the student is responsible.

Withdrawal Policy

Any SPS student who wishes withdraw from a course or withdraw from the program must contact their program advisor. Students who withdraw from a course or courses between the first and fourth week of class, will have a grade of “W” (withdrawn) posted on their transcripts. In addition, please note the SPS refund policy (visit www.centenarycollege.edu for current fees). If a student withdraws from a class after week four of the course, an automatic grade of “F” will be recorded.

Transcripts

The College issues two types of transcripts – unofficial (given to the student) and official (issued directly to a college or an employer) upon written request of the student or alumni. The official transcript bears the College Seal. Requests for transcripts should be directed to the Registrar's Office. No transcript will be issued unless a student's final account has been paid in full. Students who request transcripts must pay a fee for each transcript requested.

Degree Applications

All SPS students who plan to graduate with a degree from Centenary are required to complete a Candidate for Degree Application Form in the Registrar's Office. This form must be completed a minimum of 8 weeks prior to their anticipated graduation and submitted to the Registrar with the conferment fee. Students should check the Academic Calendar for the exact deadline dates for filing.

Degree Requirements

Centenary’s School of Professional Studies offers programs leading to the degrees of Associate in Arts, Bachelor of Science, Bachelor of Arts, Master of Arts,quality advising and keeps accurate records to assist the student, it is ultimately the student's responsibility to make certain that all degree requirements have been successfully met.

Candidates for any degree from Centenary College must successfully complete the following requirements:

  1. Baccalaureate degree candidates must successfully complete the College's Core Requirements. Associate degree candidates must successfully complete the College's Core Requirements as outlined in their respective programs.
  2. All graduates must successfully complete 128 semester hours for a Bachelor degree or 64 hours for an Associate degree with a cumulative grade point average of 2.000 or better, and a minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.000 in their major field of study, as well as specific program requirements as outlined by the College catalog at the time of admission.
  3. All degree candidates must complete their final 32 credit hours of course work at Centenary. Exceptions to this policy can be made only by the Dean of the School of Professional Studies.
  4. Master’s degree candidates must complete the requirements outlined in their respective program with a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or better.


Associate Degree

Candidates for the Associate in Arts degree must complete a minimum of 64 credit hours and attain a minimum 2.0 cumulative grade point average. Students who are working toward the Associate degree must complete the final 32 credit hours for academic work at Centenary.

Double Major

Centenary students may declare a double major. If the designations cross degree lines (BA, BS, BFA, BSW), the student must declare which designation is primary. The requirements for both majors must be completed in addition to the College core. Courses may be shared between degrees, providing the core and all major requirements for each degree are completed. A minimum of 128 credits is required.

The SPS student must declare the double major or change of major with the Director of Adult Student Services. Notification of the double major will be made to the advisor and the Department Chairs for both majors.

Second Baccalaureate Degree

Candidates for a second baccalaureate degree who already hold a baccalaureate degree from either Centenary College or another accredited college or university must satisfy the following requirements to qualify for a second baccalaureate degree from Centenary College.

  1. Meet the minimum residency requirement set by Centenary of 32 credit hours;
  2. Successfully complete the major and the College core requirements for that degree;
  3. Maintain a minimum overall cumulative grade point average of 2.0;
  4. Maintain a cumulative grade point average of 2.0 in the major.

While transfer credit may be applicable to avoid duplication of course work, the residency requirement of 32 credits must be met. Appropriate courses with a grade of C- or better will be accepted for transfer.

Minors

Minors for SPS students must be declared with the Program Advisor. A minor must also be identified on the Graduation Application prior to the awarding of the degree, and it must be completed at the same time as the major in order for it to be awarded.

Honors Designations

Baccalaureate degree candidates who have achieved a cumulative average of 3.5 or better based on at least 50 graded semester hours of credits earned at Centenary will receive honors designations on their degrees. Credits earned through Prior Learning Assessment and/or CLEP exams do not count towards eligibility for honors designations. The specific designations are as follows: Summa Cum Laude, 3.850-4.000; Magna Cum Laude, 3.700-3.849; Cum Laude, 3.500-3.699.

Commencement

Centenary College awards degrees three times during the year: May, September, and January. There are two Commencement ceremonies, during the months of January and May as designated in the Academic Calendar. September and January graduates must participate in the January Commencement ceremony. Candidates for any degree (Associate, Bachelor or Master) must have completed all of their degree requirements in order to participate in either the January or May Commencement ceremony.

To be eligible to participate in the Commencement ceremony all students must be in good academic standing.

Undergraduate students must have an overall minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.000. Additionally, the GPA in the major courses must be 2.000 or better. Undergraduate candidates for graduation who do not have a minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.000 and a GPA of 2.000 in the major courses at the time of Commencement will be excluded from participation in that Commencement ceremony and will be given no more than one semester – i.e., summer sessions, fall, or spring, whichever is relevant – in which to raise their cumulative grade point average to 2.000 or above in order to qualify for graduation. Students who are not successful in meeting the requirements of this probationary semester will be dismissed from the College for failure to maintain satisfactory academic standing and progress.

Any students who have not met their financial obligations to Centenary College in full, or who have not made satisfactory arrangements with the Business Office for payment, will be denied the privilege of participating in the Commencement ceremony.

Graduation applications must be completed and delivered to the Registrar’s Office by the date specified in the Academic Calendar along with the graduation fee. Graduation applicants who do not meet the specified application date will be moved to the next graduation date following completion of the application and payment of the graduation fee.

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