Jun 22, 2024  
BC3 Academic Catalog: 2016-2017 
BC3 Academic Catalog: 2016-2017 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Academic Policies

Institutional Degree Requirements

At BC3, degree programs (A.A., A.S., A.A.S.) include a set of courses, also known as Institutional Degree Requirements (IDR’s) or the CORE. These courses are a blend of liberal arts and occupational courses that provide the necessary tools to enter an occupation or pursue advanced studies. The general education CORE or IDR’s for all programs based on minimum credits is listed below:

  • Communication Skills, 6 credits
  • Health Science/Physical Education, 2 credits
  • Computation Skills or Mathematics, 3 credits
  • Natural Science or Computer Science, 3 credits
  • Social Science or Humanities, 3 credits

The core is embedded in the distribution requirements of all BC3 Associate Degree programs and provides consistency among all Associate Degree programs.

Certificate of Achievement programs must have a minimum of 30 credits, 24 credits in a career specialty, 3 credits in Workplace Communications or English 101, and 3 credits in the general education core of the Institutional Degree Requirements (IDR’s) as referenced in the College Catalog. Programs with external accreditation requirements may vary from these guidelines.

Workplace Certificate programs must have a minimum of 12 credits. Workplace Certificate programs that require 22 or more credits must include 3 credits in Workplace Communications (ENGL 110) or College Writing (ENGL 101) and 3 credits in an additional general education core as referenced above. Programs with external accreditation requirements may vary from these guidelines.

Degree & Certificate Requirements

  1. A GPA of 2.0 or better is required to graduate with an Associate Degree or to earn a Certificate of Achievement or Workplace Certificate.

  2. All requirements for preparatory coursework must be completed prior to the receipt of an Associate Degree, Certificate of Achievement, or Workplace Certificate.

    • For an Associate Degree, maximum of 45 credit hours may be transferred back to BC3.

    • For a Certificate of Achievement, a minimum of fifteen (15) college credits must be completed at BC3 exclusive of credits for prior learning.

    • For a Workplace Certificate, a minimum of one-half of the minimum credit requirement for the certificate must be completed at BC3 exclusive of credits for prior learning.

  3. For a second major, a student will be required to complete a minimum of an additional fifteen (15) credit hours for an Associate Degree and nine (9) credit hours for a Certificate of Achievement or a Workplace Certificate. These credit hours must be approved in advance by the dean of the second major.

  4. A student is responsible for fulfilling all Associate Degree, Certificate of Achievement, or Workplace Certificate requirements.

  5. To be eligible for graduation honors, a student must have successfully completed thirty (30) semester hours at BC3.

Accreditation Academic Statement

As an institution of higher learning, Butler County Community College (BC3) strives to assist individuals in establishing and achieving their educational and professional goals. The College integrates academic standards throughout courses and programs created to encourage the highest level of achievement for all students. BC3 has many programs that not only follow the institution’s academic policies, but must also submit to intense scrutiny from accreditation agencies and field experts. Therefore, BC3 supports and expects that certain programs will follow the academic rigor required by the College and supports stringent guidelines, procedures, and policies recommended for specialty fields. The College trusts in the credentials and the expertise of its faculty to make decisions regarding these specialized fields and their subsequent implementation.


  1. All students must apply for graduation before the deadline of February 15 for May graduation, June 15 for August graduation, and September 15 for December graduation.
  2. Students must complete an application for graduation available at the Office of Records & Registration. There is a non-refundable $40 graduation fee for each degree applied for, payable at the time of application. Applications received after the posted deadline will be assessed a $25 late fee.
  3. Students must re-apply for graduation if they do not qualify the first time of application.
  4. If a student applies for graduation after leaving the College for two calendar years or longer, the student must fulfill graduation requirements in the program planner and catalog current in the semester the student applies for graduation. Request for exemptions may be made in writing to the Dean responsible for the program.

Students who need to complete six or fewer credits in order to meet the requirements for a degree may participate in the May graduation ceremony if they are registered for, and have paid to take the needed six or fewer credits in the summer.  In order to participate, however, students must have at least a 2.0 grade point average at the time of the May graduation ceremony.  Students must inform the office at the time they apply if they wish to participate in the ceremony.

Drop Policy

  1. Students may drop classes or make changes to their schedule through the MyBC3 Student Portal or in person at any BC3 location.
  2. Each semester, course sessions will have variable drop/withdrawal and refund deadlines. Please see the semester Enrollment Guide or visit bc3.edu for the schedule.

Add Policy

  1. Students may add classes or make changes to their schedule through the MyBC3 Student Portal or in person at any BC3 location.
  2. Students can add a class in course sessions up to 11:59 p.m. the day after the first class meeting. If a course is not full, exceptions may be permitted with the approval of the dean to add the class after the deadline.
  3. Students can add a class in Fast Track sessions up to 11:59 p.m. the first day the class meets.

Withdrawal From a Course

A student may withdraw from a course up to and including the third week of a semester without a penalty or any statement appearing on his/her record. A student may withdraw from a course after the third week period up to and including the ninth week of the semester with a W grade on his/her record. “W” grades do not affect the student’s GPA.

Withdrawal From College

  1. All withdrawals from the College must be processed through the Office of Records & Registration. Failure to do so will result in a student receiving “F” grades in all courses pursued at the time the student discontinues class attendance, and the “F” grades will become part of the student’s permanent record.
  2. Medical Withdrawal-A student may request a medical withdrawal by submitting a Medical Withdrawal Form completed by a physician. The form must be submitted to the Office of Records and Registration by the last class day of the semester before the week of final exams. The Vice-President for Student Services will review each medical withdrawal request on a case-by-case basis. A 50% refund will be issued if the Medical Withdrawal Form is returned by mid-term of the semester.

Full-Time Students/Part-Time Students

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.

Credit Hours

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 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.

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.

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.

Grade Reports

The College emails a link to an electronic grade report to each student immediately following the close of the semester. Also, the College emails a link to an electronic grade report at mid-semester will also be issued for all students who have earned a D or an F.

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)

Preparatory & Developmental Courses

Preparatory and developmental courses are specifically designed to prepare students for college level courses by developing the basic skills and understanding necessary for success. Placement test results determine if students are required to enroll in preparatory and/or developmental courses. Preparatory and/or developmental courses are available in English, reading, math, and algebra. Preparatory and developmental courses earn institutional credits and must be passed with a C grade or higher.

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.

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.

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.

Change of Program

Students who desire to change their program may do so at any time by contacting the Office of Records & Registration. Students who elect to change programs should consult their advisors to determine additional curriculum needs.

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.

Class Attendance

It is imperative that students attend all classes and scheduled conferences on time. All work missed regardless of the cause, must be completed based on faculty member requirements. In all cases of anticipated absence, students should confer beforehand with the faculty member concerning the course work.

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.

Graduation Honors

Students may attain graduation honors by earning the following Grade Point Averages:

Summa Cum Laude 3.75 - 4.0
Magna Cum Laude 3.50 - 3.74
Cum Laude 3.25 - 3.49

Credit for Prior Learning

Students are able to receive academic credit for prior learning enabling them to begin their college work at an advanced level thus, shortening the time required to obtain a certificate or degree. Credit may be granted by: transfer of credit, college level examination program, credit by examination, general life experience, and credit through articulation agreements. No more than 45 credits for any given program will be allowed from a combination of transfer credits, division tests, CLEP credits, articulation credits, and Life Experience credits.

A. Transfer Of Credit

  1. The Office of Records & Registration, in consultation with the Vice President for Academic Affairs and Deans, will review incoming transfer of credits only from official transcripts.
  2. A student may transfer a total of 45 credit hours toward a degree at Butler County Community College.
  3. College level courses taken while in the U.S. Armed Forces and submitted on official service forms are transferable if sanctioned by the American Council on Education. Army, Coast Guard, Marine Corps, and Navy Active Duty, Reserve and Veterans can order official transcripts through https://jst.doded.mil. Air Force service members can get transcripts from the college attended.
  4. Credits will be accepted when earned in degree programs at regionally accredited (i.e. Middle States, etc.) and/or degree-granting institutions.

B. College Level Examination Program

Selected CLEP credits will be accepted based upon a review and approval of the appropriate divisional faculty. A complete list of CLEP credits accepted may be obtained in the Office of Records & Registration.

C. Credit By Examination

Division tests may be developed and used for granting of credit. Testing has been developed in some English, health, speech, drafting, and business courses. The non-refundable fee is half of the current year’s tuition cost per credit payable in advance. Complete details and procedures are available in the Office of Records & Registration.

D. College Credit for Work or Life Experience

Current students and prospective students can earn college credit based on prior work or life experience. Credit can be awarded for: employment, training programs, certifications, military service, independent study, community service, and completing free online courses. Go to College Credit Fast Track (ccfasttrack.org) to review the process and create a log-in to complete a petition for credit. Once a petition is received, an advisor will review the information along with the respective Academic Dean or the VP for Academic Affairs. If approved, you will be contacted to create a comprehensive, detailed portfolio highlighting your expertise. Students pay $125.00 + $4.00 processing fee for each portfolio reviewed by assessors in their respective area. For more information or to learn more about the steps contact BC3 Admissions by calling 724-284-8501.

E. Articulation Agreements

Articulation agreements exist with many high schools and area vocational technical schools for the purpose of granting recognition for the achievement of learning comparable to college level. Information on agreements can be obtained from the Admissions Office, Office of Records & Registration, or the Vice President for Academic Affairs.

F. Advanced Placement Program

The College participates in the Advanced Placement Program (AP) of the College Entrance Examination Board (CEEB). Under this program, the College grants credit and advanced placement to students with completed College-level courses in secondary schools and with an AP test score of three or higher.

Statute of Limitations

The Dean responsible for the program, as well as the Director of Records & Registration, must review and approve courses specific to the particular program taken at Butler County Community College more than ten (10) years before the date of the intended degree.

Application of transfer credits specific to the program that were completed more than ten (10) years before completion of the intended degree program shall be reviewed by the Dean responsible for the program and by the Director of Records & Registration.