Academic and Grading Policies

Absence of Student Due to Religious Beliefs

Any MWCC student who is unable, because of his/her religious beliefs, to attend classes or to participate in any examination, study or work requirement on a particular day shall be excused from any such examination or study or work requirement and shall be provided with an opportunity to make up such examination, study, or work requirement which he/she may have missed because of such absence on any particular day; provided, however, that such makeup examination or work shall not create an unreasonable burden upon such school. No fees of any kind shall be charged by the institution for making available to the said student such opportunity. No adverse or prejudicial effects shall result to any student because of his availing himself of the provisions of this section.

Academic Honesty Policy

Students enrolled in MWCC’s courses are responsible for academic honesty. All members of the MWCC community strive to promote honesty in scholarship and research. The primary responsibility for maintaining standards of academic integrity rests with the individual student. Academic honesty is required of all students at MWCC. The Academic Honesty Policy is intended to establish and enforce uniformly just and equitable procedures for resolving allegations of dishonesty. Students must also become knowledgeable about what constitutes cheating, plagiarism, and fabrication by asking the instructor and consulting with the academic support center. Students are instructed to resolve questions or confusion about appropriate documenting and referencing techniques before submitting assignments. The instructor reserves the right to fail students who cheat, plagiarize, or fabricate. Academic dishonesty is prohibited at MWCC and includes but is not limited to:

Cheating: intentional use and/or attempted use of trickery, artifice, deception, breach of confidence, fraud and/or misrepresentation of one’s academic work. Includes giving or receiving aid during examinations or in completing laboratory assignments, computer programs, or other work assigned in courses, unless given explicit permission by the instructor.

Examples: use of books, notes, or other materials during an examination, unless permitted; copying others’ work or unauthorized cooperation in doing assignments or during an examination; use of purchased essays, term papers, or preparatory research for such papers; submission of work originally done by someone else; submission of the same written work in more than one course without prior approval from the instructors involved; falsification of experimental data or results; unauthorized use of username or password; use of false signatures or initials on course related material.

Plagiarism:  using another person’s words or ideas without acknowledgement. (For full explanation of the Plagiarism Policy, see section below.)

Fabrication:  intentional and unauthorized falsification and/or invention of any information or citation in any academic exercise.

Examples: the use of “invented” information in any laboratory experiment or academic exercise without notice to and authorization from the instructor; alteration and resubmission of returned academic work without notice to and authorization of the instructor; misrepresentation of the actual source from which information is cited.

Student rights and responsibilities

Students are responsible for being aware of and understanding the MWCC Academic Honesty Policy. Students have rights to due process (see under Consequences). Students have the right to file a grievance if they feel that the faculty’s action taken in the alleged incident abrogated their student rights.

Faculty rights and responsibilities

Faculty members reserve the right to ensure that students engage in, and preserve, intellectual honesty. Faculty members who suspect plagiarism, cheating or other academic misconduct will file a written complaint with the vice president of academic affairs.

Consequences, student discipline

Any student who violates these standards is subject to the MWCC Student Disciplinary Policy and Procedures, which includes academic dishonesty under the definition of misconduct.

Academic Program Cancelation

The college reserves the right to discontinue academic programs due to enrollment or other factors.  Students who are currently enrolled in the elected program will be notified in writing of the termination procedures and timelines. Formerly enrolled students will be required to select a new program of study or alternately complete the program within the prescribed time frame.

Academic Standing

President’s and Dean’s List

Students who in a given semester have earned a minimum of 12 semester hours with a quality point average (QPA) of 4.0 qualify for the President’s List. Students who in a given semester have earned a minimum of 12 semester hours with a quality point average (QPA) of 3.30 to 3.99 qualify for the Dean’s List. Foundation courses do not count in QPA calculation.

Academic Warnings

Faculty have the option of issuing academic warnings anytime during the semester. Warnings may be issued because of (1) incomplete assignments, (2) lack of effort, (3) tardiness, and (4) excessive absences.

Amnesty Policy for Returning Students

A student who returns to the college after a three year absence and changes his/her program of study may request that grades acquired before returning to the college not be counted in the calculation of the cumulative quality point average (QPA) unless such courses may be used to meet the degree requirements in the new program. Students may only apply for amnesty once.

Audit Policy

The college will accept requests to audit courses starting one week before the start of classes through the last day of the “add period” for each semester. Permission will be granted provided: (1) the enrollment in the class is above the minimum enrollment, (2) the instructor will state in writing that his/her acceptance of the student is on an audit basis, (3) all fees are payable upon approval of the request to audit. Failure to comply with the payment procedure will nullify the approval of the request. Once the student has registered for a course for credit, he/she may not request a change to audit status except as delineated in the above policy. One course per semester may be audited. Academic credit is not granted for an audit course.

C Grade Policy for Foundation Courses

A grade of C or better must be achieved in BIO099, ENG096, ENG098, MAT001, MAT002, MAT 003, MAT090, MAT092, MAT096, RDG090, RDG096, RDG098, and all ESL courses (ELC,ELG, ELR, ELW) before a student can enroll in the next higher level class. If a student receives a C- grade or below and wishes to take the next higher level class, he/she may petition to enroll in it by retesting in the assessment center and achieving a score that would place him/her in the next higher level.

Change in Degree Requirements

In the event that a curriculum is changed between the time a student begins a program of study and the time the program is completed, the student may choose to satisfy either the graduation requirements in effect when the program was begun or those in effect when the program is completed. If more than 5 years have elapsed between the time when the program of study was begun and the time when it is due to be completed, changes in course content and program structure may be so substantive that credits earned at the beginning of the program of studies cannot continue to be counted toward the satisfaction of graduation requirements. In such cases, the student’s option to apply for graduation under the original terms of the program of study may no longer apply. In certain cases, at the discretion of the program division dean, a course normally required for graduation may be replaced by a substitute course. Likewise, certain programs have policies requiring completion of course earlier than 5 years. Students with questions should consult the specific program department chair or division dean.

Change of Major

Changing a major is an important academic decision and should be thoughtfully considered. Students who would like to change from one program of study to another can obtain the Change of Program Request Form in the advising center (Gardner campus), through the main offices on the Leominster and Devens campuses, or online. Effective September 1, 2011, all program change forms require an advisor’s signature to be processed. Students should also note that program changes may have financial aid implications.

A change of program initiated will become effective for the start of the subsequent semester. Students may petition to have the change made effective during the current semester. Current students must apply for admission to selective programs through the admissions office. Students wishing to change from a non-matriculated to matriculated status, and those who have previously graduated and wish to begin a new program of study, must complete a new admissions application in the admissions office.

Changing Courses

During the first week of classes, students may drop courses without academic or financial penalty. Students may add courses during the first week of each semester subject to seat availability and college policy (excluding lab sciences).

Class Attendance Policy/Extended Absence

Success in college is often related to class participation and attendance. Students are expected to attend ALL scheduled class meetings. If a student is unable to attend a class, it is the student’s responsibility to communicate with the instructor and make up work that was missed as a result of his/her absence. Absence does not constitute an excuse for academic work due. Excessive absence is defined by each faculty member and included in the course syllabus. If a student is excessively absent, he or she may be withdrawn or receive a failing grade for the course. MWCC supports the individual attendance policy as stated on every course syllabus. In the case of emergency or illness that will cause a student to miss three or more consecutive sessions, the student should notify his or her specific instructors. If a student expects to be absent for an extended period due to illness, accident, etc., he/she should notify the vice president of student services office (students need not call for an absence of one day).

College Credit Hour

One college hour of classroom or direct faculty instruction and a minimum of two hours of out of class student work each week for 15 weeks for one semester of credit or equivalent amount of work over a different amount of time.  For example, a three credit course is 3 college hours of classroom instruction and a minimum of six hours out of class student work per week for a 15 week semester.  Laboratory work, internships, practicum, studio work, clinical placements and other work leading to credit hours will be at least equivalent to what is listed above.  Out of class work is listed as a minimum estimate.  Students should expect to spend more time on out of class work dependent upon the course.

Commencement Awards

President’s Keys

A President’s key is awarded to one full-time and one part-time graduating student who have achieved outstanding academic performance in their program of study in residence at MWCC. For purposes of these awards, full-time is defined as a student enrolled in 12 or more credits or full-time by program for each term of attendance. Part-time is defined as 11 or fewer credits for each term of attendance.

Dean’s Key

A Dean’s key is awarded each year to the graduating student who, in the opinion of the vice president of student services and staff, has made the most outstanding contribution to the life and spirit of the college through active participation in student activities and who has made significant contributions to the college community.

Graduation Honors

Graduation with HONORS is awarded to students who have completed all graduation requirements for an associate degree and have achieved a quality point average of 3.30 to 3.59; HIGH HONORS is awarded for a quality point average of 3.60 to 3.79; and HIGHEST HONORS is awarded for students with a quality point average of 3.80 or above. Honors determination at graduation will be based only on the courses directly applied to the degree requirements. In cases where more credits have been taken than necessary for a degree, only those grades for courses meeting the degree requirements will be used in the computation for Honors designation. Students who complete a certificate program with a quality point average of 3.3 or higher will be granted MERIT at graduation.

Computer Access Recommended for Students

MWCC highly recommends that students have access to a computer to support their coursework. Access is available to students through labs at MWCC’s Gardner, Leominster, and Devens Campuses as well as the library at the Gardner Campus. Students can also check with their local libraries about the availability of computers for public use.

Copyright Policy

Copyright is an “intellectual” property right, defined as the exclusive right of a creator to reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, display, sell, lend or rent his/her creation(s). Copyright protects “forms of expression,” (e.g. poetry, prose, computer programs, artwork, written or recorded music, animations, movies and videos, java applets, web pages, architectural drawings, photographs, and more) that are fixed in a tangible medium.

MWCC students, faculty, and staff who are responsible for college activities or projects are responsible for learning about applicable fair use and for following its dictates. Members of the college community who willfully disregard the copyright policy do so at their own risk and assume all liability. The best advice is to act in an informed and good faith manner.

FAQ: What will happen if I do not follow this policy accurately?
The person who actually commits the infringement is liable. Case law is slowly evolving. In cases of “willful disregard of the law,” criminal actions may be taken. Statutory damages of up to $100,000 per work infringed may be awarded.

Willful infringement means that you knew you were infringing and you did it anyway. Ignorance of the law is no excuse. If you don’t know that you are infringing, you may be liable for damages—only the amount of the award will be affected.

Go to http://subjectguides.mwcc.edu/copyright for the full text of Copyright and Fair Use at MWCC: Guidelines for the College Community.

Course In Progress (CIP) Grades

CIP grades are used for selected courses still in progress at the end of the usual semester. Students enrolled in MOD and DIS courses are allowed two semesters to complete the course, with a CIP entered at the end of the first term. Following the completion of the second term, the policy reverts to the “I” policy.

Course Load

Generally a student may enroll in no more than 18 credit hours per semester, or nine credits per cycle unless he/she has a cumulative quality point average of 3.2 or above and the approval of the vice president of academic affairs.

Repeat Course Policy

Students may repeat a course one time.  Permission to repeat any course for a second time must be received by the division dean or campus dean/managers. Students may be allowed to receive financial aid funding for one course repeat in order to improve upon a passing grade.  Any additional repeats cannot be covered by financial aid.   In repeating a course, the higher grade will be used in the calculation of the student’s cumulative quality point average (QPA). A repeated course (along with the original attempt) must be counted as attempted credits in the calculation of the standards of satisfactory progress. The student’s transcript will record both grades with the annotation of repeat. Students may also retake courses at another accredited college. The students must receive a C or better in order to transfer the credit (not quality points) back to MWCC. In this case, the MWCC grade will no longer be used in the QPA calculation.

Full-time Students and Sophomore Status

Full-time status is considered to be 12 or more credits per semester.  Students intending on graduating in two years should plan on enrolling for at least 15 credits per semester. Enrollment in 12 credits will be certified as full-time status for financial aid, veterans’ benefits, and private health insurance certifications. Students will be classified as freshmen and sophomores based on their earned credits. To be considered a sophomore, a student must have earned 30 or more credits.

Grade Changes

Only the course instructor may initiate grade changes. Grade changes need the authorization of the appropriate division dean and the vice president of academic affairs. Except under very unusual circumstances, a grade change will not be considered after the midpoint of the semester following that in which the initial grade was earned.

Grade Policy for Failing Grades (F)

Failing grades will be awarded to students who completed the course, but did not meet the minimum course objectives. For students not having completed the course, the Withdrawal from Courses Policy below will be followed.

Grading System

The college uses the following grading system:

Letter                Quality
Grade               Points  

A                      4.00
A-                     3.70
B+                    3.30
B                      3.00
B-                     2.70
C+                    2.30
C                      2.00
C-                     1.70
D+                    1.30
D                      1.00
D-                     0.70
F                     0.00

Students may receive the following codes:

CIP       Course in Progress
I           Incomplete
IP         In-progress
L          Audit
P          Passing (credit given)
S          Satisfactory
U          Unsatisfactory
W         Withdrawn (without grade point penalty)

The quality point average (QPA) is calculated by multiplying the number of credits for each course a student attempts by the quality points of the grade received in each course and dividing the total by the total credits attempted. For example, if a student enrolls in four three-credit courses, earns an A in one, a B in another, an F in the third, and a C in the fourth, the quality point average for that semester would be 2.25.

Calculating Quality Point Average

 

Credits Attempted

Grade

Grade Quality Points

Total (Credits X Grade Quality Points) Equals

3

A

4.0

12

3

B

3.0

9

3

C

2.0

6

3

F

0.0

0

Total:

12

 

 

27

Quality point average (27/12) equals 2.25. (The quality points for each grade are given in the section on grades.)

Credits transferred from other institutions or earned by challenge examination, CLEP, Advanced Placement (AP) examinations, pass/fail courses, or by experiential learning, will not be used in the computation of the quality point average.

Note:

  • Nursing- all BIO and NUR classes require at least a C+ (77) for students to be eligible for promotion to next level.
  • Physical Therapist Assistant-all PTA and BIO199 and 204 courses require at least a C+ (77) for students to maintain good standing.
  • Clinical Laboratory Science-all BIO, CHE, MAT, and CLS courses require at least a C+ (77) for a student to maintain good standing.
  • Dental Hygiene-all DHY courses require a C+ (77) for students to be eligible for promotion to next level course work.

Dental Assisting- all DAC courses require a C+ (77) for students to be eligible for promotion to next level course work.

Graduation Procedure

An associate degree or certificate is awarded upon completion of the program requirements as outlined in this catalog. The procedures for graduating students are as follows:

1.  Any student who believes that he/she has met or will meet the degree requirements for graduation must complete a petition to graduate form no later than October 1 for December graduation, and March 1 for May and August graduation. Students who complete degree requirements in December and those anticipating completion in August are invited to participate in the May commencement exercises.

Petitions are available from academic advisors, the advising center or the records office. Late petitions will be considered only under special circumstances and may result in the late delivery of a diploma.

2.  All degree requirements, including transfer credits, degree substitutions, and other necessary documentation, must be completed and accepted by the college no later than April 1 for May and August graduation and November 1 for December graduation. The only exception to this rule would be courses in which the student is planning to complete in the summer session and those currently enrolled at MWCC. The degree or certificate will be awarded at the end of the term when required credits have been earned. All grade changes must be received no later than 30 days after the end of the semester to be included for graduation for that term. There is a $25 diploma replacement fee if graduation date is more than three years old.

Students not completing all requirements at the end of the academic year may choose to enroll at another accredited institution and transfer these credits to MWCC for application to the degree. With this option the degree will be awarded with the next graduating class.

Graduation Requirements

MWCC offers the associate in arts and the associate in science degrees, as well as a variety of certificates. The associate in arts degree shall be granted to students who have satisfactorily completed the requirements of a college-designed, and Department of Higher Education approved, program of collegiate-level courses of which at least 33 credits have been drawn from the field of liberal arts and sciences.

The associate in science degree shall be granted to students who have satisfactorily completed the requirements of a college-designed, and Department of Higher Education approved, program of collegiate-level courses of which at least 22 credits shall be drawn from the field of general education outside the field of specialization.

To be eligible to receive an associate degree, students must complete all the requirements of one of the college’s degree programs with a maximum of 50% of program requirements in transfer credits (up to 45 credits under special circumstances and with permission of Department Chair/Division Dean/Vice President of Academic Affairs) with a cumulative quality point average (QPA) of not less than 2.0. Students earning a certificate must complete all requirements with a minimum cumulative quality point average of 2.0. In addition, students must earn a minimum of 15 credits in residence at MWCC.

Incomplete (I) Grades

An I grade is given at the discretion of the instructor and allows a student an additional 30 calendar days from the date of the final examination to complete all course requirements. Students receiving an I grade have a responsibility to consult their instructor, and the instructor has a reciprocal responsibility to present an opportunity to complete course requirements. If at the end of the 30 day extension no passing grade is submitted to the records office by the instructor, the I grade will automatically be recorded on the student’s transcript as an F. Extenuating circumstances may extend this period of time at the discretion of the instructor, division dean, and vice president of academic affairs.

Institutional Effectiveness and Learning Outcomes Assessment

Institutional effectiveness is the ability of a college to produce desired outcomes for the population it serves. Learning outcomes are guided by the college’s mission and by the needs of the college’s constituencies. Institutional effectiveness means a college has a discernible mission, is producing outcomes that meet constituency needs, and can conclusively document the outcomes it is producing is a reflection of its mission.

MWCC is fully accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges. This association requires that a college have in its institutional effectiveness plan measurable student learning outcomes. MWCC has developed a comprehensive outcomes assessment plan. Through this assessment plan, outcomes can be compared to the college’s mission statement and goals resulting in a composite picture of the institution’s effectiveness. MWCC will assess students by using a multiplicity of measurements of student work that include general education competency assessment, program competency assessment, and students’ personal and social growth assessment. To ensure that students receive a full complement of general education core competencies across the disciplines, the following general education competencies have been developed in accordance with MWCC’s mission and goals.

General Education Competencies

Embedded in each of the following general education competencies is critical thinking that requires students to demonstrate problem solving and the ability to use inference to draw conclusions and use deductive and inductive reasoning.

  1. Written and oral communication in English–Students demonstrate the ability to write and speak effectively for a variety of occasions, audiences, and purposes. Students should be able to:
    Use writing to formulate and express ideas.
    Articulate an idea as a thesis, hypothesis, or other statement and support it clearly with organized appropriate content.
    Obtain relevant information through research to support a thesis and document sources accurately adhering to standard professional guidelines.
    Orally express ideas and opinions appropriately for specific audiences, occasions, and topics.
  2. Quantitative reasoning and scientific modes of inquiry–Students demonstrate the ability to use scientific inquiry and mathematical modes of thinking. Students should be able to:
    Apply the principles of the scientific method (hypothesis, testing, and conclusions) to current science or societal related issues.
    Apply numeric, graphic, and mathematical symbols and other forms of quantitative reasoning accurately and in an appropriate manner using technology when necessary.
    Communicate the methods and results of quantitative problem solving in a concise manner.
  3. Information literacy–Through electronic and traditional modes, students demonstrate the ability to identify access, evaluate, and use information effectively, ethically, and legally. Students should be able to:
    Demonstrate knowledge of how print and electronic information is gathered, stored, and accessed.
    Determine what information is needed and use appropriate search strategies to find information as efficiently as possible.
    Critically evaluate information and its sources for accuracy, authenticity, and bias.
    Select, organize, and present information through written and electronic media.
    Use and access information ethically and legally.
  4. Understanding self–Students demonstrate the ability to understand the value of aesthetic and ethical principles and significant personal, civic, and cultural issues. Students should be able to:
    Demonstrate knowledge of the forces in one’s life and contribute to one’s individual development including the impact of family, social environment, and physical/emotional health and well-being.
    Examine the values, beliefs, norms, and differences of others as they relate to one’s self.
    Demonstrate knowledge of ethical, civic, and social issues relevant to community and the world: past, present, and future.
    Demonstrate an understanding of the ethical and aesthetic expressions of the humanities.

A capstone course is a graduation requirement for most programs. A student must complete at least 45 credits in his/her program before enrolling in a capstone course. Additionally, a particular program’s curriculum may require an exit examination, a portfolio, or another required method of assessment.

MWCC Credits Applied Toward Degree—Age of Credits

For the most part, all prior comparable courses taken at an accredited US college or university will be applied toward the degree or certificate program. The college does reserve the right to not accept prior coursework if significant changes in the area of study have occurred, or if current knowledge is necessary for student success.

Technical and professional courses that have been completed many years prior to the completion of the academic degree will be evaluated on an individual basis to determine their applicability toward a given degree program. For example, computer coursework or allied health courses may have changed significantly and may no longer satisfy degree requirements due to changes in technology or professional practices. Generally, courses completed within a ten-year period are applicable toward degree completion. Students should discuss any concerns regarding the applicability of credits earned with their academic advisor or division dean.

Plagiarism Policy

Plagiarism is defined as the unauthorized use of another individual’s ideas, thoughts, or opinions, and expressing them as one’s own without attribution to the individual as the source, of those ideas or expressions. It also includes the use of facts, charts, and other graphic representations or information that is not common knowledge, and presenting them without acknowledging the source whether they are in printed form or in an electronic format. Plagiarism not only includes direct quotes but also paraphrasing. Each course syllabus may address specific procedures and penalties associated with the violation of the plagiarism policy for that course.

Plagiarism is a serious breach of academic honesty and is not tolerated at MWCC. If a faculty member suspects that a student has engaged in plagiarism, it is the student’s responsibility to provide the sources the student used in preparing his/her project. If the faculty member suspects that plagiarism is involved, he/she will follow this procedure:

  • The faculty member will notify the student within 10 days of the alleged incident and arrange for a meeting with the student.
  • If, after an informal meeting the faculty member and the student cannot reach a resolution of the incident, the faculty member will fill out a student plagiarism report available from the division dean.
  • Once the plagiarism report has been issued, to overcome the accusation of plagiarism, the student must provide proof of his/her sources.
  • If, upon investigation by the faculty member, the student has been found to be responsible, the student will be notified by the faculty member in writing by means of the student plagiarism report. If the student has been found not responsible, the report will be expunged.
  • If the student is found responsible, the student will be offered an opportunity to sign the report. If the student does not accept the finding of responsibility, the student has the option of appealing the decision to the appropriate division dean.
  • The student receives a copy of the report signed or unsigned and the faculty member keeps a copy of the report as part of the class record and forwards the report to the vice president of academic affairs and a copy to the appropriate division dean.

Students found to have engaged in plagiarism based on the evidence may be subject to, but not limited to, the following sanctions that are to be imposed by the faculty member:

  • Receive a grade of zero for the assignment.
  • Receive a grade of F for the course.
  • Refer the case to the Vice President of Academic Affairs for further action through the student disciplinary procedures.

If the case is referred for student disciplinary action, the faculty member agrees that the disposition of the case including the imposition of any sanctions or actions will be determined by the committee. At the faculty member’s discretion, a temporary file will be maintained in the vice president of academic affairs’ office outlining the facts of the incident and its resolution. This record will be maintained for the duration of the student’s enrollment not to exceed two years. If the student drops out and does not enroll for the succeeding semester, the student retains the right to appeal the decision for a period not to exceed 12 months.

Prerequisites

The college catalog description for each class indicates the prerequisites for that course. A student cannot be admitted to a course without meeting the listed prerequisite. A grade of I, W, CIP, IP, or F does not satisfy any prerequisite requirements. Consequently, a student with a grade of I, W, CIP, IP, or F may not enter a higher level course in the same discipline.

Probation or Suspension

Students are required to maintain good academic standing.  The academic review board may suspend students who do not meet the standards listed below from the college.

Total Number of Credit Hours Attempted

Minimum Quality Point Average Required for Good Standing

12 or less

1.65

13-24

1.70

25-36

1.76

37-48

1.82

49-60

1.88

61+

2.00

  1. Attempted credits include all courses registered for except those dropped during the first week of classes.
  2. Each repeated course counts toward registered credits, although only the higher grade received is used in the grade point computation.
  3. The first semester that a student fails to meet the minimum quality point average (QPA) requirement, he or she will be placed on academic probation.
  4. A student who has been on probation for one semester and who fails to make the minimum quality point average the following semester will be suspended from the college.

Appeal Process

A student who has been suspended from the college may petition for reinstatement based upon mitigating circumstances. To petition, the student should respond to the suspension letter he/she receives by completing the petition for reinstatement, in which he/she articulates the mitigating circumstances that he or she would like taken into account in consideration of the appeal. The petition and the student’s entire academic record will then be considered by the academic review board, which will render a decision relative to the student’s status at MWCC. A reinstated student is granted an additional probationary semester but may not be entitled to receive financial assistance. Students denied reinstatement may appeal to the vice president of academic affairs.

Satisfactory Academic Progress—Student Financial Assistance Recipients

In accordance with federal and state policy, the college has established a separate satisfactory academic progress policy for the recipients of federal Title IV student financial assistance and other campus-based assistance. This policy requires students to earn at least 67 percent of all credits attempted and to complete their program in at least 150 percent of the normal time that would be expected and earn a 2.0 cumulative grade point average. The complete financial aid satisfactory academic progress statement can be obtained from the financial aid office.

Transfer of a Student from Higher Level to Lower Level Courses

Occasionally, an instructor feels that a student should revert to a lower-level course in the same discipline. The student and instructor should discuss this matter and include the student’s academic advisor. If both the instructor and advisor concur that this is in the best interest of the student, the division dean will be contacted for approval; and if appropriate, the student will be placed in a new course dependent on instructor approval. The enrollment in a lower-level course should be completed in a timely fashion to ensure appropriate academic progress.

Withdrawal from College

Students who withdraw from the college should do so in person or in writing. Student must obtain a withdrawal form from the advising center in Gardner or from the receptionist at our branch campuses (Leominster, Devens, and Fitchburg). Students who officially withdraw from the college prior to the ninth week for full semester courses, or the fourth week for cycle courses, will receive a grade of W. Students who do not officially withdraw from the college (fail to complete the withdrawal form) are subject to a grade of F regardless of the level of performance or the time of withdrawal. Financial aid recipients withdrawing from the college may owe a refund of federal funds disbursed based upon the approved federal refund policy. If a student stops attending classes but does not formally withdraw, the student will receive an F in any course involved. F’s are averaged into the QPA for all students.

Administrative Withdrawals

Administrative withdrawals may occur after the ninth/fourth week as a result of extenuating circumstances by following the Withdrawal from College policy.

Withdrawal from a Course(s)

A student may formally withdraw from a course through the end of the ninth week of a full semester or fourth week of a cycle. A grade of “W” will be recorded on the student’s transcript. Students are required to speak to their instructor or assigned advisor before withdrawing from any course. The procedure for course withdrawal includes getting the proper form from the advising center in Gardner or from the receptionist at our branch campuses (Leominster, Devens and Fitchburg), bringing the form to their instructor or assigned advisor, and returning the signed form to the advising center or branch campus. Please be advised that ceasing to attend a class may result in an instructor initiating the withdrawal from a class prior to the end of the ninth/fourth week. Course withdrawals will not be processed after the ninth/fourth week of classes. If the student stops attending after the ninth/fourth week of class, the student will receive an F grade. F’s are averaged into the QPA for all students. Any withdrawal may affect progress toward degree and future eligibility for financial aid. Contact the record’s office for information on your student records.