Petrel Points 101

Petrel Points are awarded for attending events or participating in activities that have been pre-approved as part of the Petrel Point program. Students can find out about these events on our Petrel Point calendar. If you are hosting an event that you would like to count for a Petrel Point, please fill out our Event Request form.

When a student arrives at a Petrel Point event they should see a student scanner or an OUthority figure waiting to scan their Petrel Pass. If there is no OUthority figure present, students should look for a sign-in sheet or talk to the event coordinator to record their attendance. Make sure to sign in!

Students can check their Petrel Points progress on OASIS, under their “Academic Profile” on the “OASIS for Students” menu. Points should appear on OASIS after about 10 days If you do not see a point for an event you attended, please fill out our Request for Petrel Points Review form

Petey the Petrel

Frequently Asked Questions

Do all students have to acquire Petrel Points?
The answer to this question depends on the status of each student when he/she first began at Oglethorpe. The Petrel Points program targets first-time freshmen who originally entered Oglethorpe in the fall semester, 2007, or thereafter. Every such student must acquire a particular number and distribution of Petrel Points. All other students are exempt from any Petrel Points requirement.

The characteristics of a first-time freshman are:

  • They came to Oglethorpe within one year following their high school graduation.
  • They have not taken any college-level courses during the time period following their high school graduation and matriculation to Oglethorpe. The only exception to this would be courses taken at Oglethorpe the summer after the student’s high school graduation. Please note, this does not include dual enrollment while still in high school.

Those satisfying the above definition and who entered Oglethorpe in the fall semester, 2007, or thereafter are required to fully participate in the Petrel Points program.

It should be stressed that first-time freshmen may have acquired a significant number of college credits prior to entering Oglethorpe. These credits may derive from AP, IB, CLEP, joint enrollment and other similar programs. These credits do not, however, impact or modify in any way the definition given above.

Students who enter Oglethorpe in a class standing other than first-time freshmen (and this includes all transfer students, even freshman transfers, as well as students here on a limited-term basis, such as Rotary Scholars and foreign exchange students) are exempt from any Petrel Points requirements. However, students who are exempt are still encouraged (although not required) to participate in the program.

If I have 12 Petrel Points but they are not in the 6-4-2 model, do I still have to acquire more Petrel Points?

Yes, minimum of 6 AEI, 4 CE and 2 CLC Petrel Points is required, bringing the total obligation to at least 12 points. The distribution requirement must be completed to to fulfill the graduation requirement.

How long do I have to complete my Petrel Points obligation?

Students required to participate in the Petrel Points program are mandated to complete their obligation within their first two regular (i.e.: fall and spring) semesters enrolled at Oglethorpe. This is consistent with the fact that the Petrel Points program targets freshmen, and is meant to be concluded during one’s first year in college.

What are the consequences for not completing my Petrel Points obligation by the deadline?

After a student’s first two regular (i.e.: fall and spring) semesters in enrolled at Oglethorpe, those who have not completed will be made to register with the freshmen. For example, suppose a first-time freshman enters Oglethorpe in the fall semester. Suppose further that by the next fall semester he/she has not yet satisfied his/her Petrel Points requirement. When registration week occurs that fall, for the next (spring) semester, the student will be required to register with that year’s freshmen rather than with his/her own (sophomore) class. This can cause scheduling difficulties. Notably, students may find that particular courses, or particularly desirable sections of courses, are closed by the time he/she is permitted to register.

After a student’s Petrel Point requirement has been overdue for more than one year, these students will not be able to register for classes without approval from the Associate Provost. Using the example above, these would be students who, even after registering with the freshmen class for 2 semesters, still have not completed their points.

Lastly, compliance with the Petrel Points program is a graduation requirement. Those not having satisfied this obligation will not be allowed to graduate.

Are there incentives to finish the program on time?

The Petrel Points program is a requirement for all first-time freshmen entering in the fall semester, 2007, and later. There are punishments for not completing the program on time, but there are no explicit rewards for meeting one’s obligations in a timely fashion. However, we hope and believe that there will be educational, retention, engagement and cultural benefits for having done so.

Are there incentives for finishing the program early?

Yes. We believe that our Petrel Points initiative will be most successful and meaningful if embraced (and therefore completed) early in one’s freshman year. We also believe that students will continue to derive significant benefits by being engaged in AEI, CE and CLC events, projects and activities throughout their college careers, not just during the time period when the 12 required Petrel Points are being earned. To that end, we award prizes at each year’s Honors and Awards Convocation for those who finish their Petrel Points obligation first, those who have accumulated the most Petrel Points in a given year, and so forth.

Incentives for FYS and OGL sections: Rewards will be given to the first three sections of First Year Seminar which completely fulfill their Petrel Points obligations. The first section to finish will receive a cash prize of $60 per person; in this context “person” means all students enrolled in the section, all peer mentors and the instructor. For example, if 14 students are enrolled, there are three peer mentors and one instructor, then that section would receive a cash prize of 18 × $60 = $1,080. The class can use this award to plan an excursion or event of their own choosing (although some limitations apply to the scope or purpose of such trips). In the same way, the second- and third-place sections to complete their Petrel Points obligations will receive similar cash awards, but of $40/person and $20/person, respectively. 

Please note:

  • This award is only valid if the FYS section completes their points during the Fall semester
  • Completion times will be prorated based on each section’s enrollment. For example, if a section of 8 students finishes its Petrel Points obligation in 21 days (meaning 21/8 = 2.625 days were required per student) and a section of 18 students finishes in 45 days (meaning 45/18 = 2.5 days were required per student), then the latter section wins the award even though it took significantly longer for that section to complete their points.
  • If any student enrolled in a section, or any one of the section’s mentors, is proven to have gotten even a single Petrel Point by fraudulent means, then that entire section will be disqualified from receiving any award.
  • If two sections tie for first place, all members of each section, plus all mentors and instructors, will receive the average per-person award for first- and second-place finishers; each class would, in this scenario, receive $50/person, to be used as described above. There would be no second-place award in this case. Similar rules would apply to two sections tying for second place; everyone would receive the average per-person award for second- and third- place finishers, namely $30/person, and there would be no third-place award. If two sections tie for third place, all students, mentors and instructors of both sections will receive the full third-place award of $20/person. Three-way and higher ties are considered to be extremely unlikely. In the event of a three-way or higher tie, a reasonable accommodation will be made for all pertinent students, mentors and instructors.
  • Winners must submit to the provost a plan for how they propose to use their awards. The provost has final authority over the practicability of each plan.
  • All sections of Fresh Focus and First Year Seminar can participate in the competition. This includes sections of these courses specifically designed to accommodate transfer students, foreign exchange students, Rotary Scholars and others who do not have to participate in the Petrel Points program.
How do I apply for an event to receive Petrel Points? Who can apply?

Anyone affiliated with Oglethorpe University–faculty, staff, and students, can apply for their event to count for Petrel Points. Fill out this form to apply.

How do I know which events count for Petrel Points?
Events that have been approved for Petrel Points are found on our PETREL POINT EVENT CALENDAR. Please note that while some events may be advertised as points, only those events listed on this calendar are awarded points. The only exception are some CE events organized through the Center for Civic Engagement.

Note, the calendar is updated weekly, so check back often for the most up-to-date schedule.

Can a student get a Petrel Point for going to an event that is required for a course?

Yes, this scenario is entirely consistent with the co-curricular focus of the Petrel Points program. These types of events are consistent with the goal to create connection between classroom activities and various co-curricular events which support them. The only requirement is that no class time be sacrificed in order to compensate students for their attendance at such events. Providing that is true, the student will receive a Petrel Point for attending an approved event, even if that attendance was required by a classroom teacher.

I attended an event, but the point is not showing on OASIS?
Points are not uploaded automatically, so these points generally do not appear for about 1 week. If after a week you still do not see your point, please fill out our Request for Review of Incorrect or Omitted Petrel Points. This form must be completed within 90 days of the event or the request WILL NOT be approved.

What if I arrive at an event and no scanner is on duty?

If this is the case, one of 3 things has likely happened:

  • This event was not approved for Petrel Points.
  • There was no scanner assigned to the event due to event size, type, or scheduling conflicts. In this case, the event organizer should have a sign-in sheet to collect names and Petrel Pass numbers. Make sure you give the coordinator your Petrel Pass number, or they will have to collect if from you later.
  • The event has already been going on for 30 minutes and the scanner has left. In this case, you will not receive a Petrel Point for the event. The rationale is that students are to attend these events for the experience and arriving more than half an hour later will diminish the full experience of the event.
What if I get my Petrel Pass scanned, enter the venue, pick up some food or drink and then leave?

Then you are guilty of fraudulent behavior. It is inappropriate to obtain Petrel Points (or anything else) by dishonest means. The scanners will make every attempt to record the names of parties who engage in such behavior. Those so identified will face Code of Student Conduct charges.

What if I present my friend's Petrel Pass to be scanned because my friend really needs Petrel Points?

Then you are guilty of fraudulent behavior. It is inappropriate to obtain Petrel Points (or anything else) by dishonest means. The scanners will make every attempt to record the identities of parties who engage in such behavior. Those so identified will face Code of Student Conduct charges.

I am planning to transfer after 2 years, do I have to get Petrel Points?

Providing you start Oglethorpe as a first-time freshman, then yes. While we shall be sorry to lose you after two years, the fact remains that, during those two years, you are expected to make satisfactory progress on your Oglethorpe education. That means you will abide by our academic and social regulations. All first-time freshmen are required to gain a minimum of 12 Petrel Points during their first two semesters enrolled at Oglethorpe. This includes those who ultimately transfer after a certain time period.

I have finished my Petrel Points, do I have to continue to get my Petrel Pass scanned?

Yes, scanning for attendance serves several purposes. One is to keep track of Petrel Points for those who aren’t yet finished with the program. But there are other reasons, too. For example, sometimes events are funded by external granting agencies and we want to have an accurate attendance count of everyone who went. Also, we would like to monitor attendance generally to see if the Petrel Points program causes it to increase over time (even among those who have finished the requirement). Finally, in the long run it is Oglethorpe’s plan to develop for each graduate a co-curricular transcript, documenting all sorts of things that each person did during his/her tenure here. That could be a powerful aid in landing a job or getting into the best graduate schools. Your attendance at various events would form one component of that co-curricular transcript. So, as you can see, there are many compelling reasons for us to scan the Petrel Passes of all those attending various events, even well after those persons finish the Petrel Points program.