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Academic Policies & Information

ACADEMIC PREPARATION
In an effort to assure that all students pursuing degrees or certificates at NCCC are fully prepared to succeed in college credit courses, the College administers placement tests, such as the COMPASS, to evaluate student readiness to meet college-level mathematics, reading, and writing requirements. Students who score below the minimum standards for college level courses will be required to take developmental (pre-college) course work. In those cases where developmental courses are indicated in more than one area, the student will be required to successfully demonstrate competencies at the developmental level as a prerequisite for registration in general education courses. Developmental level courses are signified by a zero as the first digit in the course number and do not count toward graduation but will be figured in the student’s GPA.

Non-native speakers of English may elect to take developmental courses in English (ENGL 015, ENGL 016).  However, those courses will not be mandated and are not part of the mandatory placement requirements.

ASSESSMENT OF STUDENT LEARNING
Assessment of Student Leaning is an integral part of the education process at NCCC.  NCCC has a genuine interest in continuing an ongoing assessment of student learning as a way of measuring its success in meeting its mission and enhancing its academic programs. Student input constitutes the critical source of assessment data. All students will be expected at various junctures during their educational career at NCCC to contribute to the assessment program by completing surveys, standardized tests, and exit interviews as required by their curriculum.

CELL PHONE POLICY
Student cell phones and pagers must be turned off or set to silent setting during class time.  Faculty may approve an exception to this policy. Course syllabi often identify a cell phone policy. Students are required to follow this policy when attending these classes. 

DUPLICATE DIPLOMAS
The first diploma is free of charge but any additional copies are $15.00 per diploma and must be paid before it can be ordered.

PLACEMENT TESTING
All degree-seeking students or students enrolling in a math or English course must provide placement test scores before enrolling in classes. ACT, SAT, ASSET and COMPASS are all acceptable placement tests. Students without placement scores on file will be given the COMPASS or ASSET. The placement scores will be used to place students in appropriate math, reading, and writing courses.

EARLY ACADEMIC WARNING SYSTEM
NCCC’s Early Academic Warning System was implemented to alert students, advisors, and activity sponsors when a student is struggling in a course. Instructors issue an “early warning notification” for all students earning a D, F or NP at designated reporting dates set throughout the semester. When an early warning notice is received by the student services office, notification is sent to the student with a copy to the advisor and activity sponsor. Students are encouraged to contact their instructor and/or advisor when they receive an early warning notification.

GRADING SYSTEM
Grades are issued and recorded as “A” (Superior), “B” (Good), “C” (Satisfactory), “D” (Poor), “I” (Incomplete), “F” (Failure), “XF” (Failure due to violation of Academic Honesty policy), “P” (Pass), or “NP” (No Pass). No grades are recorded with a plus or a minus. The grade of “W” (Withdraw) is recorded on the academic transcript for courses from which a student has withdrawn and an “AW” (Academic Withdrawal) when the student has been withdrawn from the course by the instructor.

The Pass/No Pass grade is not calculated in the student GPA, but the course(s) will count as college credit and be counted toward hours for graduation. Courses may utilize this type of grading when recommended and approved by the chief academic officer and the curriculum committee.

Incomplete Grades
An incomplete (“I”) grade may be issued by an instructor for a course when a student is making satisfactory progress, but the student is unable to complete the work due to unavoidable circumstances. Every grade of “I” must be removed within the first nine weeks of the semester following the receipt of this grade (excluding summer); otherwise, the “I” automatically becomes the grade indicated by the instructor on the incomplete contract. A contract must be completed between the student and faculty member prior to the last day of semester and signed by both in order to acquire a grade of incomplete.  In emergency cases, a petition for exceptions to this rule may be made to the chief academic officer (Chanute) or the academic dean (Ottawa).

GRADE POINTS
Students will have their grade point averages (GPA) computed on the following basis: for each credit hour of “A,” four (4) points;  “B,” three (3) points;  “C,” two (2) points;  “D,” one (1) point;  “F,” zero (0) points, “XF,” zero (0) points.  In order for students to have a “C” average and be eligible for graduation, they must have a minimum of 64 credit hours and 128 grade points. The GPA is the quotient obtained by dividing the number of grade points earned by the number of credit hours for which grades “A,” “B,” “C,” “D,” “F” or “XF” is recorded. See the Academic Honesty section for an explanation of the “XF” grade.

The grade of “W” (Withdraw) or “AW” (Administrative Withdraw) is not reflected in the computation for the student’s GPA, but is a permanent part of the student’s academic transcript.

Students must maintain a GPA of 2.0 or higher in order to graduate.

Student Grades
Student grades will be made available directly to the student. Grades are not issued by phone or by email. Student grades may not be released or discussed with parents or others unless a release signed by the student is presented or is in the student file. Students may access their grades via their Inside NC account. See the Privacy Rights of Students section.

ATTENDANCE
Attendance policies will be set by each instructor at the beginning of the course. 

Absences that occur due to students participating in official College activities are excused except in those cases where outside bodies, such as the State Board of Nursing, have requirements for minimum class minutes for each student. Students who are excused will be given reasonable opportunity to make up any missed work and will not be penalized for the absence. Proper procedure should be followed in notifying faculty in advance of the student’s planned participation in the event. Ultimately it is the student’s responsibility to notify the instructor in advance of the planned absence.

Unless students are participating in a school activity or excused by the instructor, they are expected to attend class. If a student’s unexcused absences exceed 100 minutes per credit hour for the course, or, in the case of on-line or other non-traditional courses, the student is inactive for one-eighth of the total course duration, the instructor has the right, but is not required, to withdraw a student from the course. Once the student has been withdrawn for excessive absences, the registrar’s office will send notification to the student, stating that he/she has been withdrawn. A student may petition the chief academic officer for reinstatement by submitting a letter stating valid reasons for the absences within one week of the registrar’s notification. If the student is reinstated into the class, the instructor and the registrar will be notified.

FINAL EXAMINATIONS
Final examinations are considered an important part of each course. All courses are required to hold substantial final examinations, and all students are required to take them. All final examinations will be conducted at such time and place as designated by College officials.

ACADEMIC HONESTY
A standard of honesty, fairly applied to all students, is essential to a learning environment. Students are responsible for learning the content of any course of study outlined by their instructors, regardless of any views or judgments privately held and for demonstrating their attainment in an honest manner. Students violating such standards must accept the consequences and penalties assessed by appropriate classroom instructors or other designated persons. All cases may result in discipline at the college level and may result in suspension or dismissal. Students accused of abridging the policy of academic honesty may protect themselves through established academic appeal procedures and are assured due process and the right of appeal from accusations or penalties felt to be unjust. The faculty, staff, and administration of NCCC will neither condone nor tolerate violations of this policy.

A.    Definitions
Violations of the academic honesty policy include academic dishonesty, which is behavior in which a deliberate means is employed to gain undeserved intellectual credit or advantage, either for oneself or another, or which is disruptive of a course of study. Some examples of academic dishonesty are:

1.     Plagiarism, intentionally using the printed/published data, distinctive ideas, or language of someone else without specifically acknowledging the original source, for example, copying another student’s paper, creative work, article, or computer work and submitting it as one’s own original work. On the other hand, the use of “common knowledge” or of ideas that are not distinctive to a single source does not require acknowledgement. Subject to the foregoing, the particular circumstances under which acknowledgment is required may vary among the different disciplines, which make up the College; in addition, the manner or style used to acknowledge a source will vary among disciplines. In a particular course, students must follow the acknowledgement/citation customs and standards of the discipline offering the course and acknowledge sources in the manner expected by that discipline. The instructor in each course is responsible for making these standards clear.

2.     Unauthorized collaboration on out-of-class projects. Students may not present work as individual when, in fact, the work was done with other students.

3.     Cheating on exams, defined as the unauthorized or inappropriate use of information about the exam (questions/answers) and/or the taking of an exam with the assistance of unauthorized materials such as notes, textbooks, crib sheets, etc. It is the responsibility of each instructor to inform students which information aids, if any, may be used on exams.

4.     Unauthorized access to exams in advance of the examination. Students who in any unauthorized manner obtain exams in advance of the date and hour of the examination are committing an act of academic dishonesty. Unauthorized access to exams does not include obtaining copies of exams given in previous semesters and returned to students, but it does include a sharing of information about an unreturned exam between a student in an earlier section of a class and a student in a later section.

5.     Aiding and/or abetting an academically dishonest undertaking. A student is responsible for ensuring that other students do not misuse his/her work. Students are required to protect the integrity of their own work by, for example, not allowing, knowingly or through carelessness, another student to plagiarize a term paper or copy answers to an exam.

B.   Responsibility for Academic Honesty
The fundamental responsibility for the maintenance of the standards of honesty rests upon the student. It is each student’s responsibility to be familiar with College policy on academic honesty and to uphold the standards at all times in all situations.

Faculty members are responsible for clarification to their classes of those standards of honesty for class assignments or projects where such standards may be unclear or when such standards vary from the accepted norm. Each faculty member shall also make clear to each class early in the semester the faculty member’s own policy toward penalties he or she gives for breaches in academic integrity. Faculty are expected to take reasonable precautions to protect academic honesty.

C.  Consequences of Academic Honesty Violations
Incidents of academic honesty violation in the classroom will be the responsibility of the individual instructor. Upon discovery of such violations, the instructor will have a private meeting with the student to inform him/her of the situation. The consequences of violation of the academic honesty policy are at the discretion of the instructor and can range from redoing the assignment for partial credit to course dismissal, to the receiving of a grade of “XF” for the course. A grade of “XF” indicates the student failed the course due to violations of academic honesty policy and remains on the permanent transcript unless removed by passing a course in ethics and integrity. All actions taken by the instructor will be documented by the instructor, reported to the division chair and the chief academic officer and a copy of the documentation placed on file with the chief student affairs officer. If the student does not agree with the actions taken by the instructor, he/she may utilize the student grievance policy listed in the NCCC Student Handbook.

Records of acts of misconduct will be kept on file by NCCC. In cases of serious violations of the academic honesty or multiple violations of the policy, the chief student affairs officer may require a meeting with the student to determine what action needs to be taken. Actions may range from a warning to dismissal from the College.

ACADEMIC MINIMUM STANDARDS AND REINSTATEMENT PROCEDURES
A student whose career GPA falls below a 2.0 will be placed on academic probation for one term (semester). Should the grade point or percentage of course work not raise above the minimum standards during the probation period, the student will be academically suspended. Exceptions may be made at the registrar’s or chief academic officer’s discretion.

Failure to attend and participate in coursework as determined by the College may result in the administrative withdrawal from college level coursework. Students placed on academic probation will be required to enroll in and successfully complete Study Skills and Test-Taking Strategies (CURR 101) and Goal Setting (CURR 102) during the probationary semester. NCCC may also require additional student success courses. These courses will assist students in becoming master students and developing good study habits and test-taking skills. If a student is administratively withdrawn from Study Skills and Test-Taking Strategies (CURR 101) and/or Goal Setting (CURR 102), this will violate his/her probationary status and may result in academic suspension.

Academic Probation and Suspension
Should a student’s career GPA not be raised to at least a 2.0 GPA during the probation period, the student will be academically suspended. A student placed on academic suspension may appeal to the chief academic officer (Chanute) or the academic dean (Ottawa).

Academic Reinstatement Procedures
Students may be reinstated on academic probation after being academically suspended by following these procedures:

1.     The student will meet with his/her academic advisor and together they will determine an appropriate class schedule.  Consideration should be given to the following:

a.     Maximum hours of enrollment allowed to be academically successful,
b.     Other college and/or family related obligations for the up-coming semester, (i.e.  athletics, scholarship related activities, and household responsibilities),
c.     Previously attempted courses which were not completed satisfactorily,
d.     Degree intent or long-term goals,
e.     Intended graduation or transfer date,
f.      Reasons student encountered academic difficulties in the past and how to address these concerns in the future, and
g.     How the student’s advisor can assist in this process and who else they will call upon for support, including enrollment in additional course work designed to assist the student in achieving academic success.

2.     The student, after giving consideration to the above, will develop an action plan for his/her own future academic success and have it reviewed and signed by his/her advisor.

3.     The student will present the completed action plan and the proposed class schedule to the chief academic officer (Chanute) or the academic dean (Ottawa) for consideration of approval for reinstatement.

4.     If approved, the student will sign an agreement wherein he/she agrees to acquire a semester GPA of at least a 2.0, meet with his/her advisor monthly, and follow a personal academic success action plan throughout the reinstated semester.

5.     The chief academic officer (Chanute) or the academic dean (Ottawa) and academic advisor will also sign this agreement and a copy is to accompany the enrollment form and be incorporated into the student’s record in the registrar’s office.

6.     The registrar will remove the academic suspension (“AS”) hold and replace it with an Academic Probation (“AP”) hold.

7.     Any early warning and/or mid-term grades for students on Academic Probation status will prompt follow-up meetings to be scheduled with their academic advisor.

8.     The student will remain on Academic Probation status as long as he/she maintains a 2.0 term GPA until such time as his/her career GPA reaches 2.0 or higher.

Should a student fail to maintain a term GPA of 2.0 while on reinstatement, the student will revert back to academic suspension, and the student will meet with the chief academic officer (Chanute) or the academic dean (Ottawa) to determine if re-enrollment will be permitted.

ACADEMIC CLEMENCY
Students may eliminate poor academic records within the restrictions of the following policy:

Requirements and Limitations
1.     To be eligible, the student must be currently enrolled at NCCC and must have completed at least twelve (12) consecutive credit hours at this institution with a 2.5 GPA.  In addition, the student must meet one of the following criteria:

a.     Make a complete curriculum change OR
b.     Wait an interim of two years from the date of the grades before filing for academic clemency.

2.     Up to 15 semester hours of specific “F” and/or “D” grades may be petitioned for exclusion from the computation of the student’s GPA.

3.     When a course has been excluded from the computation of the GPA, it shall not be counted for graduation but will remain on the student’s transcript.

4.     Academic clemency will be granted only once while at NCCC.

5.     This policy refers to NCCC only.  A student transferring to another institution will have to follow the other institution’s policy.

6.     Grades which have been excluded from the computation of the GPA will be identified on the student’s transcript by an ampersand (&).

7.     Granting of academic clemency does not affect or alter a student’s record for athletic eligibility.

8.     Students granted academic clemency may not receive honors at graduation.

9.     While credits removed from the computation of the  GPA as a result of academic clemency will not be used to meet course or program requirements, they will be used to determine eligibility for financial aid awards.

Procedure
1.     Students wishing to petition for academic clemency must complete and submit a letter requesting academic clemency to the chief academic officer. The letter should contain reasons why academic clemency is requested and a list of courses the student wishes to remove from his/her transcript.

2.     Petitions may be filed upon enrollment at NCCC, but academic clemency will not be granted until a student has completed 12 hours and met the requirements as stated in #1 above.

3.     Upon receipt of the petition, the academic clemency committee will review the student’s transcript and current enrollment, and make a recommendation on clemency.

4.     If academic clemency is granted, all previous course work will continue to appear on the transcript, but the grades in those courses which have been granted academic clemency will not be included in the student’s NCCC cumulative GPA.

 

ACADEMIC FRESH START
Academic fresh start is a policy which provides students with poor or marginal academic college records the opportunity to resume work toward their degree without the burden of a poor GPA due to past academic performance. A student must be returning to college after a four-year absence to qualify for academic fresh start. Academic fresh start removes all prior college grades from the student’s transcript while Academic Clemency is limited to removal of 15 credit hours. This policy refers to NCCC only. A student transferring to another institution will follow the other institution’s policy. 

Students must meet the following requirements before being granted this option:
1.     Separation from all institutions of higher education for at least four years,

2.     Formal application to the chief academic officer (Chanute) or the academic dean (Ottawa). (This application should describe the reasons for the request and outline an academic plan, which includes the declaration of an area of academic interest.)

3.     Agree that the calculation of the GPA and credit hour totals will be based solely on work completed after this point and enrollment at NCCC and the student will forfeit use of all credit hours toward a degree earned prior to being granted.

If academic fresh start is granted, the student may resume his/her studies with the understanding that:
1.     Academic fresh start at NCCC may be granted ONLY ONCE.

2.     The student’s permanent record will remain a record of all work, regardless of the institution at which that work was completed; however, the returning student will forfeit the use of all credit hours toward a degree earned prior to the four-year separation period.

3.     The student’s record will carry a notation designating when the academic fresh start was granted and noting that the calculation of GPA and credit totals for degree purposes begins with that date.

4.     Students applying for admission under academic fresh start must meet admission requirements established by NCCC.

5.     This policy refers to NCCC only.  A student transferring to another institution will have to follow the other institution’s policy.

CHANGE OF SCHEDULE
Adding or Dropping Courses
Students may elect to change their course schedule without penalty and without permission during the first week of classes (contact the student services office for add/drop dates for courses lasting less than a full semester). After the first week of classes the chief academic officer (Chanute), the academic dean (Ottawa), or their designees, must approve all exceptions.  Students who wish to withdraw from courses during this add/drop window should follow theses procedures.

Students who wish to add or drop selected courses after the add/drop window has closed should follow these procedures:

1.     Obtain a Drop/Add Form from the student services office,
2.     Obtain the instructor’s signature,
3.     Obtain the advisor’s approval, and
4.     Return the form to the student services office to complete the process.

A student’s financial aid may be adversely affected by numerous drops.

Students are expected to complete the courses for which they register.  Failure to properly withdraw from classes may result in the assignment of “F” grades for their classes. Students who wish to withdraw from courses should review the withdraw procedure later in this section.

Withdrawing from Courses
The student who only informs the instructor that he/she intends to withdraw or who simply ceases to attend is not officially withdrawn from class. Unless the procedure described below is followed, the student’s name will remain on the class roster, and the instructor will be required to submit a grade other than “W.”  In addition, the student will be charged all appropriate tuition and fees.

If a student wishes to withdraw from one or more courses, he/she should seek the counsel of his/her advisor and obtain the proper forms from the student services office. The completed withdraw form must be on file in the student services office before the withdraw is official.

If a student elects to withdraw from one or more classes after the 20th day from the start of a semester or after the completion of 25% of a short course and before 75% of the class has been completed, the grade of “W” (withdraw) will be recorded on the transcript. After 75% of the class has been completed, the student may not withdraw nor may the instructor assign the grade “W” or “AW” (Administrative Withdraw). Under extenuating circumstances, the student may appeal to the chief academic officer (Chanute) or the academic dean (Ottawa) to withdraw with the grade of “W” after 75% of the class has been completed.

Students who find it necessary to withdraw from their entire enrollment at NCCC are asked to meet with the chief student affairs officer. Completing this process helps to avoid any future holds on student records that may make it difficult to return to NCCC or transfer to another college. Students receiving any type of federal financial assistance must also complete an exit interview and should contact a staff member in the financial aid office.

GRADE APPEALS
Grades are based only on academic standards and the instructor’s evaluation of how well a student achieved those standards. Final grades shall be based upon written grading criteria given to the student at the beginning of each course.  Each instructor is required to issue a syllabus for the course during the first class session each semester outlining the requirements for the course and the grading criteria to be used in the course.

Grounds for grade appeals include:
1.     Failure of the instructor to follow the written criteria given to the student at the beginning of the course (or failure of the instructor to provide written criteria as required).

2.     Alleged errors in the mathematical calculation of grades.

3.     Alleged errors in recording the grade on the student’s transcript.

4.     Non-academic issues such as attendance (i.e. if a student completed the work and would otherwise have been entitled to a grade acceptable to the student, but did not receive the grade due to poor attendance, poor class participation, discrimination, etc.).

If a student questions the calculation or recording of a grade, the student shall first confer with the appropriate course instructor. If the problem cannot be resolved with the instructor, then to the instructor’s supervisor. If the problem is not resolved with the supervisor, then the student may initiate the grade appeal process found in the Student Handbook. Investigation of the grade appeal would relate to determining whether a student’s grade was affected adversely by calculation, recording, or non-academic issues as outlined above.

A grade appeal must be filed no later than ninety (90) days from the last day of the spring, summer, or fall term in which the class was attended. Each grade being questioned must be appealed separately.

REPEATING COURSES
Students receiving unsatisfactory grades will be allowed to repeat the course for credit. For a course repeat, the student need not obtain approval from the chief academic officer to re-enroll. However, students may not enroll in a particular course more than two times, unless the course has been designated for repeat credit. The most recent grade will replace the prior grade received for the repeated course to count toward graduation requirements and the GPA. However, the original grade will remain on the student’s transcript to be considered by any receiving institution to which the student may transfer. 

Courses which have been designated to be taken for additional credit may not be taken for more than six credit hours to apply toward a one-year certificate, or for 12 credit hours to apply toward a two-year certificate or associate degree. Students should check with financial aid to determine whether repeating a course for grade replacement will affect their award. Any exceptions to this policy must be petitioned by the student to the chief academic officer.

KANSAS TRANSFER ARTICULATION AGREEMENT
A student who completes an Associate of Arts or Associate of Science degree at NCCC and whose program of study has met the Kansas Transfer Articulation Agreement will be accepted with junior standing and will have satisfied the general education requirements of all Regent universities. Students transferring to Regent universities who have not completed an Associate of Arts or Associate of Science degree will be given general education credit for any articulated general education course completed at the community college. Additional information regarding the transfer and articulation agreement is available in the student services office.