SLCC views education as critical to improving quality of life and is committed to providing learning opportunities that are accessible, affordable and of the highest caliber. It seeks to achieve its goals through an open, welcoming environment that supports student achievement and also encourages independence and maturity. Upon enrolling at SLCC, students are expected to become acquainted with College policies, requirements, procedures, and regulations, and to remain cognizant of them while enrolled.
Academic Advisors, Counselors, Divisional Deans, Department Chairs, Program Coordinators, Instructors, Administrators, and others assist all students in becoming acquainted with College regulations, but students must assume final responsibility for understanding all College procedures. In no case will a regulation be waived or an exception be granted because a student pleads ignorance of the regulation.
When changes are made between catalog publications, students are informed through the normal channels of communication. These include, but are not limited to, announcements made to students by Instructors, College publications such as bulletin board posters, and general College mail, and email. Changes become effective whenever the proper authorities so determine.
Class Attendance Policy
Class attendance is regarded as an obligation as well as a privilege, and all students are expected to attend regularly and punctually all classes in which they are enrolled. Failure to do so may jeopardize a student’s scholastic standing and may lead to suspension from the College.
Attendance Records and Individual Class Policy
Faculty members, in the majority of courses within the College, shall generally develop and implement their own absence policies. The determination of what constitutes “excessive absences” rests with the instructor (with the exception of authorized and approved College sponsored events) but generally must not be more stringent than the College recommended minimum of 10% of the total class meetings. This translates into five (5) class periods for classes meeting on a three (3) day-a-week schedule, three (3) class periods for classes meeting two days a week and two (2) class periods for classes meeting once a week. Faculty members engaged in educating students in specialist programs involving specialist experiences (i.e. Health and Clinical experiences, Internships or Practicums) will be required to set attendance requirements that conform to the relevant programmatic accreditation and/or state & federal requirements.
All Faculty members are required to state in writing and explain to their students their expectations in regard to both class attendance and makeup work due to all absences prior to the close of the first week of classes during a regular semester and the third day of classes during a summer session.
Justification for Absences
Absences are considered unauthorized unless the absences are due to illness, personal or family emergencies, or sanctioned school activities. Students may be asked to produce documented evidence of the event or incident leading to the absence. Whenever an absence is excused, the student will be permitted to make up the work without penalty. Excused absences may not be treated punitively by the instructor.
Requests for excused absences must be submitted to each instructor within three days after the student returns to classes for classes meeting on a three (3) day-a-week or two (2) day-a-week schedule. For classes meeting on a one (1) day-a-week schedule, documentation must be submitted at the next class meeting following the absence. However, if the student has prior knowledge that s/he will miss certain classes, justification should be submitted to these Instructors in advance of the absences.
Absences for sanctioned school activities will be excused when the student presents a confirmation signed by an appropriate College official.
Effects of Excessive Absences
When a student accumulates excessive absences, the instructional sanctions involved will follow the Instructor’s developed and stated attendance policy. This policy however cannot be applied if the absences involved are less than ten percent of class-time. Faculty are unable to withdraw students, as the responsibility for course withdrawal, within the approved period, resides with individual students.
A student who encounters course sanctions for absences and believes these are excessive or incorrect may seek a conference with the instructor, if not resolved then to the appropriate Division Dean. Should these actions not be satisfactory to the student, the student should complete the course and upon receiving the final grade follow the Academic Grade Review and Appeal procedure detailed elsewhere in this catalog. The final decision of this process will be considered binding.
An essential rule in every class of the College is that all work for which a student will receive a grade or credit be entirely his/her own or be properly documented to indicate sources. When a student does not follow this rule, s/he is dishonest and undermines the goals of the College. Cheating in any form, therefore, cannot be tolerated, and the responsibility rests with the student to know the acceptable methods and techniques for proper documentation of sources and to avoid cheating and/or plagiarism in all work submitted for credit, whether prepared in or out of class. Definitions of cheating and plagiarism:
Cheating in the context of academic matters is the term broadly used to describe all acts of dishonesty committed in the taking of tests or examinations and in the preparation of assignments. Cheating includes, but is not limited to, such practices as gaining help from another person, using crib notes when taking a test, relying on a calculator if such an aid has been forbidden, and preparing an assignment in consultation with another person when the instructor expects the work to be done independently. In other words, cheating occurs when a student makes use of any unauthorized aids or materials. Furthermore, any student who provides unauthorized assistance in academic work is also guilty of cheating.
Plagiarism is a specific type of cheating. It occurs when a student passes off as his/her own the ideas or words of another person, when s/he presents as a new and original idea or product anything which in fact is derived from an existing work, or when s/he makes use of any work or production already created by someone else without giving credit to the source. In short, plagiarism is the use of unacknowledged materials in the preparation of assignments. Thus, the student must take care to avoid plagiarism in research or term papers, art projects, science reports, laboratory experiments, and the like.
SLCC considers both cheating and plagiarism serious offenses. Penalties may include a grade of “zero” for the assignment in question, a reduction of grade in the course, an “F” in the course, or if the breach of academic integrity is egregious, dismissal from the College.
Students who receive Academic Sanctions for violating Academic Integrity may appeal the sanction using the Grade Review and Appeal procedure detailed elsewhere in this catalog only after the final Grade is awarded.
Faculty members are expected to inform their students in writing of the procedure used to determine the final grade, along with the approximate weights in course syllabi, which should be distributed within the first week of classes. After the award of a final grade, students have the opportunity to engage in either or both an informal and a formal grade review procedure to address concerns. This procedure follows the College’s grade review and appeal procedure, detailed later in this catalog. Unreturned examinations and unclaimed student graded materials are kept on file for 12 months following the conclusion of a course. If the faculty member leaves the College during this period, these materials will be accessible in the office of the appropriate Division Dean. After 12 months, all unreturned or unclaimed student materials are securely destroyed.
The grade points assigned to each grade are used to determine the number of grade points earned for each course a student completes. Grade points earned for each course are determined by multiplying the number of grade points assigned to each letter grade by the number of credit hours the course carries.
A student may withdraw/drop a course or resign from the College within the add/drop period of the semester enrolled without any grade or notation being made on his/her permanent record. After this time a “W” will be assigned until 50% of the semester is completed, after which, an “F” will be awarded.
Final grades are reported for each student for every course undertaken according to the following grading system:
||Percentage Grade *
||Quality Points per Credit Hour
||Highest Degree of Excellence
||90% - 100%
||High Degree of Excellence
||80% - 89%
||70% - 79%
||Unsatisfactory for Degree Credit
||60% - 69%
||59% - Below
* If you are a student in the PN or RN Nursing program the grading scale for specific courses in these programs is as follows: A 94% - 100%, B 88% - 93%, C 80% - 87%, D 70% - 79%, F 69% - below.
Certain final letter grades are governed by specific guidelines. These are detailed following:
“W” - Withdrawn
A grade of “W” indicates the resignation or cancellation of the student from the College or the dropping of a course prior to or by the deadline printed in the Schedule of Classes. The course and grade of “W” will be posted to the student’s permanent record but will not be included in the calculation of the semester or cumulative averages. Students are cautioned that withdrawal from courses may impact their financial aid and eligibility for other services (e.g., insurance coverage).
“I” - Incomplete
A student who is passing but, due to circumstances beyond his/her control, does not complete the prescribed course work may receive the grade of “I” at the discretion of the Instructor. As a course grade, the “I” yields neither credit nor quality points applicable toward a degree. The grade of “I” may be converted to a grade of “A”, “B”, “C”, “D”, or “F” upon the successful or unsuccessful completion of course requirements, as specified by the Instructor, and only upon submission by the instructor of an official change-of-grade form. The grade of “I” must be converted to a substantive grade at the earliest possible time in the following semester. This ideally, is within the add/drop period, however, the last day to convert a grade will be last day of the semester. After that time, the “I” will be automatically changed to an “F”. In the event the grade of “I” is changed to an “F”, the student’s academic status may change. If an automatic grade of “F” causes an academic suspension, the student will be allowed to complete the semester on probation. Any credits earned during a summer session will also be granted.
Extenuating circumstances such as prolonged medical problems, serious accidents, death in the immediate family, or special circumstances concerning the course itself may permit the extension of the deadline for the completion of an “I” grade. The request for such an extension must be initiated by the student and must be signed by the Instructor and the appropriate Division Dean. The extended deadline may not be beyond the deadline for withdrawing from a course with a grade of “W” in the following regular semester.
“P” - Pass
The grade of “P” is used to show the achievement of the student in by-passed courses and may be applicable to some clinical/lab courses. It is also used to indicate credits earned through certain non-traditional sources (e.g., advanced placement, credit by examination and certain military experiences). The credit hour value of such a course is counted as hours earned and may be applicable toward a degree, but it is not used in computing the semester and cumulative averages.
“AU” - Audit
The grade “AU” signifies that the course has been audited. No credit is earned and the semester hour value is not used in computing the semester and cumulative averages. Students exceeding the instructor’s absence policy or not participating in all course activities may be given a grade of “W” instead of “AU”.
“R” - Repeat
The letter “R” (which appears only on a student’s permanent record or a transcript) indicates that a course so marked has been repeated. This grade is assigned based on the College’s repeat/delete policy as outlined in the following section.
Course Repeat/Delete Policy
A student may repeat a course in which s/he has previously enrolled at SLCC, no more than 2 times after the first attempt (a total of three attempts) unless approval is granted by the Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs. When a repeat occurs, an “-R” is added beside the first grade, and the first grade is not computed in the SLCC cumulative grade point average. The last grade received becomes the official grade for the course and is the grade used to compute the SLCC adjusted cumulative grade point average. A “W” grade does not delete a prior grade, though it does count as one repeat attempt.
The grade for a course taken at other institutions and repeated at SLCC will not be negated from the cumulative average at SLCC. The grade received in the original course taken at the other institution (even though “repeated” at SLCC) will count in all applicable grade point averages. Professional programs (e.g., EMTP, Nursing) may set specific rules for the treatment of repeated courses in calculating the grade point average necessary for entry into and graduation from these programs.
Students should be aware that four-year colleges and universities and many professional programs may not honor SLCC’s repeat/delete policy. The repeat/delete rule will be honored for any transfer student whose transcript indicates repeated courses at another school using the criteria as outlined for SLCC students. The course repeat/delete policy is not applied when calculating the grade point necessary to obtain honors and/or awards bestowed by the College.
Other Grades that may appear on your Academic Transcript
Other Grades are used by the College to indicate specific course outcomes on your academic transcript. The following table provides a summary of these notations and associated quality points. A definition of each grade follows.
||No Grade Reported
Final Examinations and Final Grade Reports
Final examinations are generally required in all courses and shall be held at the end of each semester and summer session in accordance with the published schedule. A student absent from a final examination because of illness or other valid reason may be allowed to take a special examination upon the approval and at the convenience of the student’s Instructor.
A final grade is awarded in each course for which a student is officially registered at the end of each semester and summer session. This grade is recorded in the Registrar’s Office and becomes a part of the student’s permanent record. Final grades will be made available online to each student at the conclusion of each semester and summer session.
For the correction of any error made in the reporting of course grades, the student should apply to the Registrar. If an error is one of transcription, it can be corrected by the Registrar. If the error was made by an Instructor, a Grade Change Form must be submitted to the Registrar with the correct grade and the signatures of Department Chair and Division Dean in order to make the corrective changes in the student’s record.
Except in cases of error, no Instructor may change a grade which s/he has submitted to the Registrar. If a student finds omissions or possible errors in his/her grade report, s/he should request a review of his/her record by the Registrar no later than the last day of the student’s next semester in residence and in no case after a lapse of one year.
Change of Grade
After a grade is recorded in the Registrar’s Office, it can be changed only upon certification by the Instructor on the proper form obtained from the SLCC website and only with the Dean’s approval. A grade of “W” entered on a student’s permanent record can only be changed or withdrawn from the record in extra ordinary circumstances by the Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs.
Students are eligible for academic honors upon the completion of 12 hours at SLCC (exclusive of developmental courses).
- The Chancellor’s List recognizes those students who have a semester grade point average of 4.00.
- The Dean’s List recognizes those students who have a semester grade point average between 3.40 and 3.99.
- The Faculty’s List recognizes those students who have a semester grade point average between 3.00 and 3.39.
Transcripts and Letters of Verification
- Written application for a transcript should be made in the Registrar’s Office at least two (2) business days in advance of the date on which it is to be mailed or picked up.
- Transcripts may not be released until all financial or other obligations to the college are satisfied.
- Letters of Enrollment are not given until after the add/drop period has concluded. The Enrollment Verification form should be submitted to the Registrar’s Office three (3) business days in advance.
- A fee of $5.00 is levied for each transcript requested.
A student’s academic status is determined by the policies established by the Louisiana Community and Technical College System to implement the academic standards of a college. The standards adopted by SLCC ensure appropriate academic progress at the College and assure students they are making progress toward completion of an academic goal. Students who do not meet the standards are subject to being dismissed from the College. Academic status may affect a student’s eligibility for scholarships, standing with Selective Service, eligibility for special insurance rates, loans, work-study programs, and many other student activities.
Definitions of Key Concepts used in determining Academic Status
Quality Hours - credit hours for which a student registers and receives a grade of “A”, “B”, “C”, “D” or “F”. Credit courses, for which a student receives a grade of “P”, are included in earned hours, but not quality hours. Courses for which students register, but later withdraw with a grade of “W” are included in attempted hours, but not quality hours.
Cumulative Quality Hours - All hours for which a student has registered and received a final grade of “A”, “B”, “C”, “D” or “F” at the college, as well as all quality hours accepted in transfer (including hours that would have been accepted had the student not earned a grade of “F”).
Adjusted Quality Hours - Credit hours for which a student registers and receives a grade of “A”, “B”, “C”, “D” or “F” at the college, excluding those credit hours removed from the calculation of the student’s grade point average through application of the repeat/delete policy and/or those credit hours removed through academic amnesty.
Transfer Adjusted Cumulative Grade Point Average - This grade point average (GPA) is based on the grades earned on course work taken at other colleges and universities which the student has transferred to SLCC.
The transfer adjusted cumulative GPA is used to determine the academic status of transfer students with college credits from other institutions once they declare themselves as degreeseeking at SLCC. This could be at the point of initial enrollment at SLCC, at the point of re-entry, or at the point at which 15 hours have been attempted. The transfer cumulative GPA is entered on the transcript of degree-seeking students once they declare a major.
SLCC Adjusted Cumulative Grade Point Average - This grade point average (GPA) is based on the grades earned in all course work taken at SLCC after the repeat/delete rule is applied. This GPA is reflected on the semester grade reports and on transcripts and is used to determine academic status of students at the College each semester after they have been enrolled for one semester or more (for students initially admitted as first-time students, beginning at the end of the first semester in which 15 hours or more have been attempted). It is also used to determine eligibility for graduation from SLCC (in conjunction with the degree program adjusted cumulative GPA).
Semester Grade Point Average - This grade point average is based on grades earned during a semester or session. It is determined by dividing the number of quality hours earned during a given semester or session by the quality points. This GPA is recorded on the student’s grade report and on the transcript. Evaluated (for certain students) in conjunction with the SLCC adjusted cumulative average, it is used to determine academic status at the end of each semester.
Categories of Academic Status
There are three categories of academic status: academic good standing, academic probation, and academic suspension. Students will receive official notification of their academic status. Such notice is not a prerequisite to students’ placement in one of the above categories. The College will attempt via email to inform students of any changes in academic status. Students have the responsibility to ascertain their academic status using LoLA prior to the beginning of the next enrollment period. Each category is determined by evaluating the appropriate cumulative and/or semester grade point average.
Academic Good Standing
Non-Transfer Student - A continuing SLCC non-transfer student is considered to be in good standing if s/he is not on probation or was not admitted provisionally. A student placed in good standing at the end of his/her first semester at SLCC remains in good standing until the SLCC adjusted cumulative grade point average falls to the probation level. This occurs when the SLCC adjusted cumulative average is at or less than the minimum standard reflected in the SLCC scale. The scale is presented in the section “Category: Probation” which follows.
Transfer Student - A transfer student who has a 2.0 or higher transfer, adjusted cumulative grade point average, at entry into SLCC is considered to be in good standing. A transfer student who has an SLCC cumulative grade point average of 2.0 or higher at the end of the first semester of enrollment at SLCC is continued in good standing. (A 2.0 average occurs when the number of quality points is twice the number of quality hours attempted.) The transfer student’s academic status at the end of each subsequent semester of attendance at SLCC will be based on the SLCC adjusted cumulative grade point average only.
Non-Transfer Student - A student who enters SLCC as a first-time freshman and continues at SLCC is placed on academic probation if after attempting a total of 15 hours or more, the adjusted SLCC cumulative average is at or below the minimum standard reflected in the SLCC sliding scale.
Transfer Student - A transfer student enters SLCC on probation if the transfer adjusted cumulative average is less than 2.0. Also, a transfer student who is admitted to SLCC while on suspension from another higher education institution is admitted on probation. EXCEPTION: No student will be placed on probation before s/he has attempted at least 15 credit hours of college courses.
At the end of his/her first semester at SLCC, the student admitted on probation will:
- Be placed in good standing if his/her first semester GPA (at SLCC) is 2.0 or higher;
- Be suspended if s/he does not achieve an SLCC semester grade point average of 2.0 or higher.
Scale for Determining Probation
The scale used by SLCC for placement on probation after a student has earned 15 or more quality hours is illustrated below:
|Adjusted Cumulative–Quality Hours Attempted
||Adjusted Cumulative GPA
||2.00 or less
|24 or more
A student must enter on academic probation or be placed or continued on academic probation at the end of a given semester before being at risk of earning an academic suspension at the end of the following semester. A student on academic probation will be suspended from the institution for one semester at the conclusion of any semester in which s/he fails to earn a semester grade point average of 2.0. The notation “Academic Suspension” will be placed on the student’s permanent academic record.
Exemption from Academic Suspension
No student will be suspended before s/he has attempted 24 total credit hours (at SLCC or through a combination of SLCC and other institutions).
- If a student is suspended at the conclusion of a spring semester, the student is suspended for the following fall semester. If a student is suspended at the conclusion of a fall semester, the student is suspended for the following spring semester.
- A student placed on suspension at SLCC can be readmitted on probation after the suspension period has elapsed or after a successful appeal for readmission has been made.
- A student suspended at the end of the spring semester may attend the summer session without appeal. If the student raises his/her SLCC adjusted cumulative GPA to 2.0 or higher at the end of the summer session, s/he is placed in academic good standing and his/her suspension period is lifted. If the student does not raise his/her SLCC adjusted cumulative GPA to 2.0 or higher in the summer session, the suspension for the fall semester is in effect. In this case, only one suspension is counted against the student, and the student may attend the fall semester only after a successful appeal.
- A student who has been placed on academic suspension and achieves a 2.0 grade point average for the semester following reinstatement must maintain at least a 2.0 grade point average in each subsequent semester of attendance until s/he achieves an SLCC adjusted cumulative grade point average of 2.0. Failure to make a 2.0 grade point average in any subsequent semester before the SLCC adjusted cumulative grade point average of 2.0 is achieved will result in another one-semester suspension.
SLCC Student on current Academic Suspension
A SLCC student on academic suspension seeking to be considered for readmission to SLCC during a suspension semester must complete all steps of the appeal and enrollment process; these are outlined below:
Student obtains an instruction sheet from the Registrar’s Office that outlines the appeal process.
- Student writes a letter of appeal following the guidelines in the instruction sheet.
- Student may schedule an appointment with the appropriate Division Dean to review circumstances that led to the suspension and to discuss the letter of appeal.
- The appeal is presented to the Committee on Academic Standards by the Divisional Dean, if necessary.
- Credits earned during this semester will be applicable to a degree at SLCC and other institutions.
Students who are academically suspended and whose appeals are not approved are required to sit out for one full academic semester (not including summer sessions) before returning from Suspension.
SLCC Student Readmission or Admission after Academic Suspension
Readmission without Appeal
- A student suspended from SLCC for academic reasons who remains out of the College for at least one semester is eligible for readmission to SLCC on academic probation.
- A student who has been suspended for a specified period of time for academic reasons from another institution is eligible for admission to SLCC provided all other admission criteria are met. The student will be admitted on academic probation.
- A student who has been suspended from another institution for academic reasons for an indefinite period of time (length not specified) will not be considered for admission to SLCC until the time would have elapsed had the suspension been incurred at SLCC.
Readmission with Appeal
A student who has been suspended may appeal to attend the College during the student’s suspension period. The guidelines for readmission after academic suspension with appeal are in accordance with the following policies:
- Students status is changed to probation with prior suspension.
- Students may register for no more than 12 credit hours without divisional dean approval.
Student on suspension from other LCTCS Institutions
A student on suspension from an Institution within the Louisiana Community and Technical College System (LCTCS) seeking to be admitted to SLCC during a suspension semester must follow the following directions
- A student suspended at the end of a spring semester from institutions within the Louisiana Community and Technical College System may attend the summer session at SLCC without appeal. These students will be admitted on academic probation and may take a maximum of twelve hours. If at the end of the summer session, the student’s SLCC average is at least a 2.0, the student is eligible to continue at SLCC. If the 2.0 GPA is not achieved, the student is ineligible to attend SLCC during the fall semester without written appeal.
- A student who is suspended at the end of a fall semester or whose suspension is continued from a spring semester at an institution within the Louisiana Community and Technical College System may attend SLCC through the following guidelines:
- The student enrolls in a maximum of 12 semester hours though a lesser number as recommended. The student may obtain permission to enroll in developmental or college-level courses at SLCC.
- Credits earned in developmental courses during this period will be applied to SLCC developmental requirements and may be used to satisfy developmental requirements of the suspending institution. (It is the student’s responsibility to determine if the school from which s/he was suspended will accept any developmental course credits earned at SLCC toward completion of developmental course(s) needed at the suspending institution.)
- Credits earned in college-level courses during this period can be applied to a degree program at SLCC. These credits may also be accepted toward a degree at the suspending LCTCS institution provided a grade of “C” or higher is earned in each of the courses to be transferred
- Students should check with the LCTCS institution of expected transfer or return to assure transferability of credits earned during this period.
Students on suspension from other Louisiana Higher Education Systems and Systems in other States
A student who has been academically suspended from a college or university in other Louisiana systems and/or from other states and has an adjusted cumulative average less than 2.0 may enroll at SLCC.
Credits earned by students in this status can be applied toward an associate degree program at SLCC. However, these credits may not be accepted for degree credit by the suspending institution or any other college or university. It is the student’s responsibility to determine the transferability of credits earned under this status.
Grade Review & Appeals
A student who believes that the final grade, which has been recorded in a course does not reflect a fair and accurate assessment of the student’s work may appeal the grade. The grade being appealed is the final grade; individual test scores in any course are not subject to this appeal procedure. The following appeal procedure shall not be used to question the professional judgment of an Instructor or the content of an examination.
Conditions for Appealing a Final Grade
- Only final grades in a course may be appealed.
- In order to avoid any misunderstanding of the reasons that a final grade may be appealed, the following is a list of the only conditions which are grounds for appeal:
- When a student contends that the professor has violated the professor’s own specified grading standards or has imposed criteria different from those used to evaluate the academic work of other students in the class.
- When the student has been charged by the professor with violating Academic Integrity (e.g. cheating, plagiarism, or collusion) resulting in a reduced grade or a grade of “F” in the course. If the student contends that the charges are untrue and the penalty therefore unjust, this appeal procedure will afford him/her due process against such charges.
- When the student has been given either the grade of “F” in a course or a lower grade in a course than s/he earned by his/her academic work because the professor accuses the student in violation of College rules or regulations which should be administered by the Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs and not by the instructor in any given course.
- When the instructor demands as a condition of passing a course any conditions not germane to the subject matter of the course.
Grade Review and Appeal Process
Grade reviews concern only the correct allocation of a final grade in a course. The responsibility for evaluating student work, and assigning grades, reside with the Instructor of the course.
The purpose of the grade review and appeal process is to:
- provide an initial informal opportunity for a student to understand the reasons a final grade was assigned by a particular Instructor
- allow an Instructor, at an initial stage, to become aware of and correct possible errors and an opportunity to informally consult with Department/Divisional peers to ensure that the grade has been appropriately assigned according to academic performance.
- in the case of the grade remaining disputed, provide a clear formal procedure for the student and Instructor to follow to a written decision. In this process, the student has the burden of proof to objectively demonstrate that the final grade assigned is inappropriate.
- provide an appeal process that is accessible to both student and Instructor that results in a final college level written decision.
Informal Resolution Process
As the grade review and appeal process concerns itself only with the allocation of the final grade, after the semester has ended, individual scores for assessment items cannot be individually appealed during a semester using the formal process. Students are encouraged, at all times, to meet with a faculty member to discuss and understand individual assessment outcomes. However, if this interaction does not resolve an understanding of a student’s performance and resultant assessment outcome, the student is required to wait until the final grade is awarded. At that time, the student can seek an overall review of the grade awarded following the review and appeal process.
Should a student believe that the grade they received was in error, or not representative of their effort, they should within ten (10) business days of the grade posting make an appointment to meet with the Instructor. This meeting ideally be scheduled as soon as possible and must occur within five (5) business days after the student request. In this initial, informal conference, the Instructor will explain how the final grade was assigned. Should errors be detected the Instructor will reasonably correct these and may consult with appropriate colleagues before doing so. More than one informal scheduled meeting may be required. In the event the Instructor is not available, or will not meet with the student, or the meeting cannot be reasonably scheduled, or the outcome of the scheduled and completed informal meeting has not resolved the issue the student may choose to immediately follow the formal process described following.
Formal Resolution Process
If the case cannot be resolved through the informal process, the student has the option to follow the formal grade review and appeal process. To proceed, a student within five business (5) days, of the last scheduled informal meeting with the Instructor, the student is required to compile and submit a complete written petition. This can be achieved electronically, using the student Email account with both the Instructor and the appropriate Divisional Dean receiving copies. It may also be achieved using paper copy with the student hand delivering copies to both the Instructor and the appropriate Divisional Dean.
The written petition must include:
- a typewritten letter detailing the reasons why the grade assigned is not representative of the student effort with clear supporting rationale
- a copy of the syllabus of the course
- a copy of the disputed assessment materials or relevant assessment documentation.
- optionally, any other materials as relevant, to the issue
The materials submitted to the Instructor must be complete. This is a process that involves, at minimum, a written document containing the reasons why the grade assigned was not the grade earned. It must be written with rational clear argument and related evidence to support that position. Incomplete materials cannot be supplemented later in this process. The review and appeal will consider only the reasons provided in the written letter along with supporting documents.
Advice to students concerning formal grade review and appeals
The grade review/appeal policy is only able to review actions of an academic/instruction nature in awarding the final grade. This process should not be utilized in a case in which a student feels s/he has experienced discrimination. If the student feels that s/he has experienced discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, gender identity, national origin, citizenship status (including document abuse), gender, age, disability, veteran status, genetic information, or sexual orientation, the student should refer to the Discrimination Complaint Procedures for Students as administered by the Vice Chancellor of Student Services. Should the reasons in the written petition explain or allege that he grade was received was a result of an alleged discriminatory action, the materials will be immediately forwarded to the Vice Chancellor of Student Services and this formal process will be terminated.
The student grade review and appeal petition must address issues of a grade being incorrectly awarded, not issues concerning the perceived quality of instruction. While the College is concerned with a perception of a lack of instructional quality, this is not sufficient grounds to argue for a change in grade. Such perceptions do need to be drawn to the attention of the Department and Division Deans; however, this should be during the semester and not at the end of the semester and are not normally grounds for a grade change. However, in the opinion of the Division Dean, if the quality of instruction was severely deficient, this circumstance will be referred directly to the Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs for further investigation and resolution. The student should be aware, that even if this investigation confirms severe deficiencies in instructional qualities, a grade change will not be automatically granted - in this case, the student will be required to demonstrate the appropriate knowledge or skill by completing one or more supplementary alternative assessment(s). This may include skill Competency Examinations, assignments, projects or other examinations as deemed necessary. This will allow the student to clearly demonstrate they appropriately possess the level of knowledge or skill mastery commensurate with the grade they are appealing to obtain. Use of supplementary assessment has no review and appeal process and the supplementary assessment outcome(s) will be substituted appropriately into the original table of assessment and the final grade will be then be recalculated. This new grade will be awarded and is final.
In a normal grade review and appeal process, a student is required to provide clear evidence demonstrating that they performed at a level sufficient to warrant a different grade, one other than that allocated following syllabus guidelines. Arguing, that in different circumstances, the outcome may have resulted in the desired grade will not be considered valid. The responsibility is for the student to clearly show that s/he actually earned the grade, according to all standards set out in syllabi, but was incorrectly assigned a lower grade.
The Formal Appeal Process
The following process timeline limits will apply:
- A formal grade appeals must be lodged within twenty (20) business days of final grade postings. Please note that while an informal meeting is desirable to resolve a grade issue, students can move directly to the formal process. Formal grade appeals lodged after this time period must demonstrate extenuating circumstances that precluded preparation and submission. Approval of the Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs will be required to submit the written petition materials to the Instructor concerned. No grade appeal will be considered, under any circumstances, 12 months after the final grade has been posted.
- Students need to complete each step and reasonably submit all the required materials. Should the student not complete each step or submit all required materials, the review and appeal process will be concluded.
- Students engaged in the formal grade review and appeal process will be able to register and enroll and commence studies in courses, as if the disputed grade was at least satisfactory for continuance. This is to ensure students are not disadvantaged by the appeal process if it extends into the proceeding semester. However, when the final appeal outcome is confirmed and if the grade confirmed allows the student to be enrolled in the classes being taken, they can continue. If not, the student will be immediately administratively withdrawn. This withdrawal will be applied irrespective of their performance level. If the appeal process is prolonged, any final grade in course subsequent to the appealed grade course, will be withheld until the appeal grade decision is finalized. If the finalized appeal grade is not an appropriate prerequisite for the class completed, the completed course grade will remain withheld, until such time the student attains the appropriate prerequisite entry grade. There is no appeal process for these actions, as the administrative withdrawal of a course or holding of the grade is based on not attaining the appropriate grade prerequisite requirement. This is no different to a student who doesn’t have the required entry grade who also cannot receive any access to, or grading, in the course.
- Step 1 Meeting at the Instructor Level:
The student prepares the written materials as described above within five business (5) days, of the last scheduled informal meeting with the Instructor (within twenty (20) business days of the final grade posting). The Instructor should, upon receipt the formal petition, record the date time received, and advise the Department Chair/Program Coordinator that a formal grade review has been received. The appropriate Divisional Dean should also be contacted regarding the receipt of a formal grade appeal and should be able to confirm they are also in receipt of a copy of the same materials directly from the student. The Instructor should now schedule a formal review meeting with the student and discuss the matters raised in the written petition. The Instructor may invite the Department Chair or Program Coordinator and request that Faculty Senate President be in attendance at this formal meeting that seeks to find a resolution. Every attempt will be made to maintain confidentiality during this process. A faculty member will not be required to respond to an appeal petition that is incomplete, which is not in writing and which, when appropriate, does not contain appropriate and relevant documentation including dates, times, materials, etc. If this meeting fails to find resolution the Instructor will be required to provide a written outcomes document. This written document will be provided to the Department Chair or Divisional Dean as the next level of the process.
- Step 2 Meeting at the Department Level:
If a faculty member is not available, or does not schedule a meeting, or respond to the formal student petition, or the Instructor meeting does not produce a resolution, within five business (5) days, the student should now contact directly and provide a complete copy of the petition materials to the Department Chair or Program Coordinator. The Department Chair or Program Coordinator will attempt to effect a resolution, however if this is also not successful or Department Chair or Program Coordinator is the Instructor involved or all these people participated in the initial formal meeting with no resolution, the student may move directly within five business (5) days of this meeting to contact the appropriate Divisional Dean to schedule a formal meeting. All outcomes documentation either created by the Instructor or by the Department Chair/Program Coordinator, at all the attempted resolution meetings must now be forwarded to the Divisional Dean.
- Step 3. Meeting at the Divisional Dean Level:
The Divisional Dean has already received a copy of the original student petition earlier in this process, and once the student makes contact for a meeting, will immediately request and receive, from the appropriate Instructor and Department Chair, the summary written outcome documents generated at each meeting for review. The student is also required to prepare a further short written document for the Divisional Dean, clearly stating from the student’s perspective why the previous meetings did not reach resolution. This will require the student to explain how the issues raised in the original petition have not been adequately explained and/or addressed in relation to their review and appeal. This may be achieved electronically using the student Email account or on paper using hand delivery. The Dean will check that the student submission is timely and then schedule a formal meeting(s) within ten (10) business days of receipt of the student request and materials. If the Divisional Dean does not respond within 10 days of the student seeking a formal meeting or is unavailable or declares that they have a direct conflict of interest in this appeal, the student should immediately contact directly the Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs (VCAA). The VCAA will ensure all appropriate timelines are extended and will appoint an alternative academic administrator to convene this level meeting thereby ensuring the appeal process proceeds.
At this level meeting the Divisional Dean/Academic Administrator may also invite the Instructor, Program Coordinator and/or Department Chair, Faculty Senate President as the final attempt to resolve the appeal. The Dean has up to twenty (20) business days after this meeting to gather further information and convene, if necessary, further meetings. If a resolution is reached through this process and the Divisional Dean/Academic Administrator and Instructor agree to the student requested grade change, the Divisional Dean/Academic Administrator will process grade change ending the grade review process. If no resolution/agreement can be reached following this meeting and if required the twenty (20) business day time period has not elapsed, the Divisional Dean or Academic Administrator will compose and issue a resolution decision in writing. This will be sent to both the student and Instructor. This will either uphold the petition or deny the petition providing for a process of appeal at the College level. After receiving the final written decision both the student and the Instructor retain the ability to make a final appeal to the Academic Standards Committee of the College. If the Dean or Academic Administrator fails to render a decision in writing within the twenty (20) business days after the formal meeting, the student can progress this matter without written finding to the Academic Standards Committee.
- An Appeal to Academic Standards Committee:
Within five business (5) days of receiving the Division Dean/Academic Administrators outcome in writing, either the student or Instructor can decide to appeal the outcome rendered to the Academic Standards Committee of the College. This is achieved by writing a cover letter to the Chairperson of Academic Standards explaining how the process has not resolved or adequately explained the grade awarded. A copy of all petition materials must be included and copies of all additional documents and materials involved in the process including the decision of the Dean/Academic Administrator must be appended to this letter. An incomplete submission may end the process or prolong the process at the discretion of the Committee. The Chairperson will place the appeal on the next meeting agenda of the Committee. At the discretion of this Committee a subcommittee may be formed to further investigate and provide a recommendation to the full committee. A recommendation to the VCAA will be rendered only when this subcommittee has satisfied its diligence and reported back to the full Committee. Typically the whole process can be completed within 20 business days but depending on complexity can extend the time required to not more than 40 business days to satisfying Academic Integrity. The Academic Standards Committee and or subcommittee formed to review the appeal reserves its ability to convene a meeting with the student, the Instructor and other relevant parties as needed in examining the appeal. The entire Academic Standards Committee formulates a final recommendation and forwards this to the Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs for final decision and action.
- The Final College outcome
The Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs reviews the recommendation of the Academic Standards Committee and then renders the final grade decision in writing within ten (10) business days. This will be sent to both the student and Instructor. All relevant documentation will be retained by the college. This is the final binding level in the College concerning a grade appeal and an appeal against an Academic sanction.
- Louisiana Community and Technical College System
South Louisiana Community College is a member of the Louisiana Community and Technical College System (LCTCS) whom has a governing Board of Supervisors. Following LCTCS Policy 2.004 Student Conduct and Appeal Procedures, after all due process procedures at the Institutional level are exhausted. A student can choose to appeal to the Board of Supervisors. The Appeal must be made within thirty (30) days of the Institutions final decision and it will follow LCTCS procedures.
Reservist and National Guard Mobilization Activation
Awarding of Academic Credit/Grades
Mobilization/Activation during the add/drop periods of a semester will result in the complete withdrawal of the student from SLCC without penalty and without punitive grade. Tuition and fees that have been paid will be refunded 100 percent exclusive of non-refundable fees.
Mobilization/Activation during the period between the end of the add/drop period and the last day to withdraw from classes with a grade of “W” will result in the awarding of the grade of “W” in all classes in which the student is officially enrolled. Tuition and fees that have been paid will be refunded 100 percent exclusive of non-refundable fees.
Mobilization/Activation during the period between the next class day after the last day to withdraw from classes in a semester with a grade of “W” and approximately one (1) to two (2) weeks [five (5) to ten (10) class days] prior to the end of a regular semester [three (3) to six (6) class days for a summer session] will result in the student:
- Choosing to take the grade of “W” in each course in which the student is officially enrolled. In this case, tuition and fees which have been paid will be refunded 100 percent exclusive of non-refundable fees, or
- Requesting, with the concurrence of the Instructors of the affected courses in which the student is officially enrolled, to take an incomplete grade in some or all of these courses. Students are cautioned that prolonged absence may affect their ability to complete the coursework required for removal of incomplete grades. The student may choose to take the grade of “W” in some courses and request the grade of incomplete (with the instructor’s concurrence) in other courses. This option will result in a refund of that portion of tuition paid for those courses in which the student chooses to receive a grade of “W” (fees will not be refunded).
Mobilization/Activation during the last five (5) to ten (10) class days of a regular semester [three (3) to six (6) days for a summer session] will result in the student:
- Choosing to take the grade of “W” in all courses in which the student is officially enrolled. In this case, tuition and fees which have been paid will be refunded 100 percent exclusive of non-refundable fees, or
- Requesting, with the concurrence of the Instructors of the affected course in which the student is officially enrolled, to take an incomplete grade in some or all courses. The student may choose to take the grade of “W” in some courses and request the grade of incomplete (with the instructor’s concurrence) in other courses. This option will result in a refund of that portion of tuition paid for those courses in which the student chooses to receive a grade of “W” or
- Requesting, with the concurrence of the Instructors of the affected courses in which the student is officially enrolled, to receive a final grade in some or all of his courses based upon the student’s work in the course up to the date of mobilization/activation. The student may request incomplete grades (with the concurrence of course instructors) in some courses, choose the grade of “W” in some courses, and request final grades based on coursework completed (with the concurrence of course instructors) in some courses. This option will result in a refund of that portion of tuition paid for those courses in which the student chooses to receive a grade of “W” (fees are not refunded), or
- Requesting, with the concurrence of the Instructors of the affected courses in which the student is officially enrolled, to take an early final examination in some courses in order that the instructor can determine a final course grade for the student. The student may request (with the concurrence of the course instructors) to receive a final grade based upon coursework prior to the date of mobilization/activation in some courses, request (with the concurrence of course instructors) incomplete grades in some courses, choose the grade of “W” in some courses, and request early final exams (with the concurrence of course instructors) in some courses. This option will result in a refund of that portion of tuition paid for those courses in which the student chooses to receive a grade of “W” (fees are not refunded)
Time Limit for Removing Incomplete Grades
If the mobilized/activated student requests, with the concurrence of the course Instructors involved, incomplete grades in all or some of the courses in which s/he is officially registered, the student shall have no longer than one year after conclusion of the involuntary term of active duty, to meet with College officials and work out a timetable for removing the incomplete grade(s).
Academic Status upon Re-Enrollment
When students whose higher education academic careers are interrupted by mobilization/activation re-enroll at SLCC within one year of completion of their involuntary term of active service, SLCC will make every possible effort to place these students back into their academic studies track as close as possible to the same place the students occupied when mobilized/activated. The normal readmission fees will be waived for these students. This will allow students to continue their academic studies with as little interruption as possible.
- For students re-enrolling under circumstances as described above, every reasonable attempt will be made to give preferential enrollment into high demand courses necessary for them to continue their studies with as little interruption as possible. This is particularly necessary for students who are enrolled in curricula that require sequenced courses of study.
- Time spent on mobilized active duty will not be counted in determining the institution Catalogs under which the student may meet curricular or degree requirements. That is, where SLCC allows the student to choose either the Catalog in effect upon first entering the institution, as long as the student’s attendance was continuous, or any subsequent Catalog for a given period, the time while on involuntary active duty will not be counted. A person who, upon being offered separation from involuntary active duty, reenlists or otherwise voluntarily extends active duty, retains the right of Catalog choice only for the period of initial involuntary mobilization
- The number of credit hours for which the student chooses to receive a grade other than “W” will determine the amount that will be refunded.
- In some courses where the grade is based entirely upon a final exam or final project (e.g. EMTP courses), this option is not available.
- If certain courses required in a student’s curriculum are no longer taught at the time of re-enrollment, SLCC will make reasonable accommodations with substitute courses, independent study, or other appropriate means.
- In instances of substantial curriculum change during the period of involuntary military service, the student’s Divisional Dean or Department Head may work with the student and prescribe a special curriculum, not necessarily following any given Catalog, which will assure proper preparation of the student for his/her respective profession.
- If a student’s curriculum no longer exists at the time of re-enrollment, SLCC shall reasonably assist the student in changing to a new curriculum or transferring to an institution where the desired curriculum is available.
If a student is mobilized/activated while holding a scholarship under the control of the College in which the student is enrolled, then that student shall have this scholarship, or an equivalent scholarship, upon re-enrolling after the student’s period of involuntary active duty so long as the student remains otherwise eligible. This provision shall lapse if the student does not re-enroll at SLCC within a one-year period from the time of separation from his/her involuntary active duty period.
Since course textbooks change regularly, students who are mobilized/activated are strongly urged to sell those course textbooks they do not intend to keep for their personal collection at the time they leave the College.