Sep 25, 2018  
BC3 Academic Catalog: 2018-2019 
    
BC3 Academic Catalog: 2018-2019

Academic Principles


Academic Standing

Academic Alert

Academic Probation

Academic Suspension

Adademic Dismissal

Institutional Credit

Auditing Courses

Dean’s & President’s List

Student Complaint & Academic Grievance Policy

Grade Availability

System of Grading

Final Grades

Forgiveness Policy

Calculating Your GPA

Repeating Courses

Academic Load

Credit Hours

Academic Dishonesty/Plagiarism

Academic Standing

Students will be held to the standards regarding academic standing that are listed below. Preparatory and/or developmental coursework will be used to determine academic standing. However, these courses are NOT included in the GPA displayed on the official transcript.

Academic Alert

Students will be placed on Academic Alert if their cumulative GPAs fall below 2.0 (provided their semester GPAs do not fall below 1.5). Students on Academic Alert will receive a letter with a listing of various campus resources for improving their academic performance. In addition, it is recommended that these students work with their academic advisors to improve their progress toward graduation.

Academic Probation

Students will be placed on academic probation for one semester if their cumulative GPAs fall below 2.0 and their semester GPAs fall below 1.5 (provided the cumulative GPA does not fall below the requirement for enrollment). Students on academic probation must obtain a counselor’s signature in order to register and will be limited to a maximum of 13 credits. Any student registered for the upcoming semester that is placed on academic probation for the current semester, must attend a mandatory group advising session. Failure to do so will result in the cancellation of the student’s schedule.

Academic Suspension

Students will be placed on academic suspension for a semester if their semester GPAs are below 2.0 and their cumulative GPAs are in one of the following categories:

Credits Attempted       GPA
      12-23.5 less than 1.0
      24-35.5 less than 1.5
      36+ 1.5-1.79

Academic suspension will prevent students from registering at the College until the end of the next fall or spring semester. Students who are academically suspended may appeal in writing to the Director of Records and Registration to continue their studies.  All appeals are subject to review by the Committee on Readmission.

Academic Dismissal

Students will be dismissed if they have attempted 36 credits or more and have semester GPAs below 2.0 and cumulative GPAs below 1.5. Dismissal is permanent unless the student successfully appeals to the Director of Records & Registration for review by the Committee on Readmission.

Institutional Credit

Institutional Credit is assigned by the institution to courses which are deemed to be preparatory or developmental in nature. Institutional credit cannot be applied toward graduation requirements and is not usually transferable to another institution. Grades in these courses are used to determine academic standing and are calculated into an institutional GPA. The institutional GPA is not displayed on official college transcripts and will not be used to determine President’s List, Dean’s List or graduation honors.

Auditing Courses

Students who desire to take courses without credit or grades may choose to audit such courses by paying full tuition and fees. Audit students may not revert to credit basis after the published deadline date for adding classes. Students taking courses for credit may not revert to audit after the published deadline date for adding classes. Audit credit is considered institutional credit and does not apply toward graduation.

Dean’s & President’s Lists

At the end of each semester, students who have earned 12 college level credits* and have a semester grade point average (GPA) of 3.75 or higher are named to the President’s List. Students who have earned 12 college level credits* and have a GPA of 3.50 to 3.74 are named to the Dean’s List.

Part-time students will be awarded the appropriate academic honor at the end of each semester when 12 college level credits* are earned with the required cumulative GPA. If a part-time student who has not yet earned a unit of 12 college level credits* enrolls as a full-time student, he or she is evaluated at the end of the full-time semester. If he or she then returns to part-time status, the accumulation of a new unit of 12 college level credits* begins.

*Institutional credits (developmental and preparatory courses), transfer credits, and pass/fail courses do not count toward academic honors.

Student Complaint & Academic Grievance Policy

A. If the student complaint is grade related the student should proceed with the following steps:

  1. Informal Process: The student should make every possible effort to resolve the complaint by discussing it with the instructor or other people concerned. Most grade appeals are resolved at this step.
  2. Formal Process Step One: If grade appeals are not resolved between the student and faculty member, the student must submit the Butler County Community College Final Course Grade Appeal Form to the Dean of the Division in which the course is listed.
  3. The Dean may consult with the faculty member before giving the student a written judgement on the appeal or may advise the student on alternate strategies in resolving the situation. The Dean will respond in writing to the student, preferably within seven (7) days.
  4. Formal Process Step Two: Complaints not resolved between the Dean and the student can be submitted in writing to the Vice President for Academic Affairs (VPAA) for further review. Include the Final Course Grade Appeal Form and the Dean’s response with your written complaint.
  5. The VPAA will conduct an appropriate investigation that may include meeting with the student, faculty member and Dean. The VPAA will respond in writing, preferably within seven (7) days. The written response will become part of the student’s record.
  6. The decision of the VPAA shall be final unless within five (5) school days after receipt of the decision, the student files a letter with the President.
  7. Formal Process Step Three: The President will review the matter to ensure the process and documentation was followed and render a decision.
  8. Grade appeals must be initiated no later than 10 days after the beginning of the next semester.

B. The purpose of the Final Grade Appeal is to provide students with a procedure to grieve a course grade. Students who believe that their final grade does not reflect an accurate academic evaluation of their work may initiate a grade change appeal in accordance with provisions of this document. All academic rights and privileges of faculty are to be honored in this process.

C. A faculty member’s judgement of the academic performance of the student cannot be appealed.

D. An appeal can be made based upon factors other than the academic judgment of the instructor such as, but not limited to, the following:

  • The instructor made an error or did not calculate the grade as stated in the course outline;
  • Significant deviation from grading procedures stated on the course outline; or
  • The student, though no fault of his or her own, may not have been accorded the same opportunity to complete the requirements for the course, such as time, access to materials or access to the instructor as other students in the course.

If you have any questions in regard to how to complete this form or acquire assistance, please contact the Vice President for Academic Affairs office at 724-287-
8711, Ext. 8262

E. If the student complaint is academic in nature, but not grade related: for example, complaints about instructors, staff, courses or requirements the following steps must be taken:

  1. Formal Process Step One: Student complaints not resolved between the student and faculty/staff/administrator or other people concerned must be submitted in writing to the appropriate Dean using the Butler County Community College Student Grievance Form. The Dean may consult with the faculty member or other people concerned before giving the student a written judgment on the appeal or may advise the student on alternate strategies in resolving the situation.
  2. Formal Process Step Two: Complaints not resolved between the Dean and the student must be submitted in writing to the Vice President for Academic Affairs (VPAA). The VPAA will conduct an appropriate investigation that may include meeting with the student, faculty member, other people concerned and Dean. The VPAA will respond in writing, preferably within seven (7) days. The written response will become part of the student’s record.
  3. Formal Process Step Three: The decision of the VPAA shall be final unless, within five (5) college days after receipt of the decision, the student files a letter with the President.
  4. Formal Process Step Four: The President will review the matter to ensure the process and documentation was followed and render a decision.
  5. Student Grievances should be initiated in a timely manner during the semester the grievance occurred, but no later than 10 days after the beginning of the next semester.

F. Students who reside outside of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and are enrolled in online courses through Butler County Community College should attempt to resolve any academic issues or complaints through the College’s standard procedure for filing academic grievances. If the issue is not or cannot be resolved after all internal procedures have been exhausted, the student may file a complaint with the appropriate state agency or the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (the College’s primary accrediting agency). This is in compliance with the Federal Department of Education’s State Authorization Regulations.

Contact information for State Agencies:

  • http://bc3.edu/onlinelearning/StateAuthorization/StateAgencyContacts.pdf
  • Middle States Commission on Higher Education: http://www.msche.org

Butler County Community College Final Course Grade Appeal Form

  • For a copy of the appeal form, please refer to http://www.bc3.edu/directory/humanresources/pdf/statements-rights-responsibilities.pdf.

Grade Availability

Final grades are available after all final grades have been received at the conclusion of each semester.  Mid-term grades, of D and F, which have been reported are available after the mid-point of the semester.  Grades are available online under the Self-Service Menu on the Student Portal.

System of Grading

  1. The grading system is based on a 1.0 to 4.0 scale.
  2. The letter grades, which contribute to the GPA, are:
  A Superior 4
  B Above Average 3
  C Average 2
  D Below Average 1
  F Failure 0
  I Incomplete 0

The letter grades, which do not affect GPA, are:

  S/U Satisfactory / Unsatisfactory
  W Withdrawal
  P Transfer Grades
  P Challenge Test Grades
  T Audit
  WM Withdrawal Medical
  1. An incomplete grade may be issued to a student who has not completed all of the assignments. The incomplete must be satisfied by the end of the following semester or it becomes an F grade. Only a grade of A, B, C, D, or F can replace an incomplete when the student completes his/her assignment(s).
  2. No grade, with the exception of an incomplete, should be changed after once issued unless there is a clerical error or extreme circumstances. The V. P. for Academic Affairs should then be involved. Requests for a change in grade must be made within one semester of the assignment of the grade.
  3. A “W” grade cannot be issued after the ninth week of the semester.

Final Grades

Responsibility for the assignment of final grades rests with the course instructor. A student questioning a grade has the right to seek an explanation from the individual faculty member. If the explanation is not satisfactory, and providing the student has evidence that a grade is in error, the student may discuss the matter with the Dean of the appropriate division.

Forgiveness Policy

Students who change their programs have the option of transferring D grades to the new program or having the D and F credits earned, credits attempted, and grade points placed at 0 by applying for the Forgiveness Policy. Options under the Forgiveness Policy are available only after the successful completion of 15 new credits (2.0 grade point average) in the new program. This may be applied for only once. Students are not permitted to repeat the forgiven courses in the future.

Calculating Your GPA

Grade Points are determined by multiplying the academic credit hours of a course by the quality point value of the grade received (A=4, B=3, C=2, D=1, F=0).

A student’s grade point average is determined by dividing the number of credits attempted into the number of grade points. For example:

 Course Credits Grade Grade Points
English I 3 A 3 x 4 = 12
General Psychology 3 C 3 x 2 = 6
Biology I 4 D 4 x 1 = 4
Intermediate Algebra 3 F 3 x 0 = 0
Health Science 3 A 3 x 4 = 12
Physical Fitness 1 B 1 x 3 = 3
  17 Total Credits   37 Total Grade Points

37 Grade Points / 17 Credit Hours = 2.17 Grade Point Average (GPA)

Repeating Courses

A student may repeat a course for the purpose of improving competency in the subject area. The grade received when repeating the course becomes the grade of record. However, it must be noted that some senior institutions will count both the original and the second grade when computing GPAs.

Academic Load

The normal academic load for a full-time student registered for the fall or spring semesters may vary from 12-18 credit hours per semester. No student may schedule more than 18 credit hours per semester without special permission from the V. P. for Academic Affairs. During the summer sessions, the normal academic load should equal not more than one credit for each week of class.

Credit Hours

Students who register for 12 or more credits are considered to be full-time students. Students who register for fewer than 12 credits are considered to be part-time students.

A. A credit hour is equated with a minimum of 55 minutes of classroom or direct faculty instruction regardless of the modality of instruction, and a minimum of 110 minutes of out-of-class student work per week for a semester (approximately 14 weeks). 

B. Laboratory hours may vary from two to four hours per meeting per week for a semester and will be equated as one credit hour.Clinical areas will be considered on an individual basis.

C. Students in online courses can expect to spend a minimum of 55 minutes per credit reading and reviewing online content and supplemental materials, and a minimum of 110 minutes per credit completing online and offline activities and assignments per week for a semester (approximately 14 weeks).  

D. Hybrid courses follow the same guidelines as stated above for an online course, plus the additional requirement of four (4) or more on-campus meetings.The time spent on-campus is accounted for in the design of the course and does not require additional credit hours to be apportioned.The time spent on-campus may vary and should be subtracted from the total number of minimum hours expected for completing the course as calculated in C above.

Academic Dishonesty/Plagiarism

Evidence of academic dishonesty will result in an F grade for that assignment, test, etc. If the same student commits academic dishonesty again, dismissal from the College will be recommended to the Vice President for Academic Affairs.

Online Testing and Student Identity Verification Guidelines In compliance with federal regulations (34 CFR 602.17(g)), online instructors shall require students who participate in such classes and/or take exams to verify their identity by using a secure login, a pass code, a webcam, and a microphone; or to take proctored exams.

Students may be required to have photo identification for proctored examinations, which may include video and audio recording with consent of the student. In addition, new or other technologies and practices to assist in verifying student identity may be utilized.

Additional costs for proctoring services or use of other technologies and practices may apply and notice of such costs will be provided to students at the time of registration. Costs may vary.

Review and Appeal Students who are charged with academic dishonesty shall have the charges heard and may appeal sanctions imposed, if any, according to the levels of authority and the processes outlined in the Academic Grievance procedure.