Academic Policies and Rules
Policies Related to Enrollment
Student Load – Full-time Status
Full-time student academic status for the fall and spring term is 12 credit hours. Full-time student academic status for the summer term is 6 credit hours.
Student Load – Maximum Student Load
The maximum load to be carried during any semester by a student (including residence, correspondence, and extension courses) is 19 credit hours or the number of hours specified in the curriculum for the particular semester, whichever is larger.
A student who has attained a grade-point average of 3.0 on a load of at least 15 credit hours for the preceding semester may be permitted by the college president (or designee) to carry a maximum of three additional credit hours, provided the total is not in excess of 22 credit hours for the semester.
Normally, the maximum course load (including residence, correspondence, and extension courses) shall be four credit hours for the four-week intersession, six hours for the five-week session, seven credit hours in a six-week session, or 10 credit hours in the eight-week summer session. A student who has attained a grade point average of 3.0 may be granted permission by the college president (or designee) to carry a maximum of five hours in a four-week session, seven hours in the 5-week session, eight hours in a six-week session, 12 hours in an eight-week session, and fifteen hours in the twelve-week session.
A student on academic probation shall not take more than 15 credit hours in a semester, three credit hours in a four-week intersession, four hours in the five-week session, six credit hours in a six-week summer session, seven credit hours in an eight-week summer session and nine hours in the twelve-week session.
A student may be registered simultaneously at a KCTCS college and at another institution only with the approval of the college president (or designee), the credit hours obtained at the other institution being considered a part of the student’s maximum load. If the simultaneous registration has not been authorized, the transfer of credit from the other institution may be denied.
The grading system uses a series of letters, to which are assigned grade-point values. The system is based neither on an absolute numerical system nor on a distribution curve, but on the following descriptions:
A: represents exceptionally high achievement. It is valued at four grade points for each credit hour in non-remedial and non-developmental courses.
B: represents high achievement. It is valued at three grade points for each credit hour in non-remedial and non-developmental courses.
C: represents satisfactory achievement. It is valued at two grade points for each credit hour in non-remedial and non-developmental courses.
D: represents the minimum achievement for credit. It is valued at one grade point for each credit hour in non-remedial and non-developmental courses.
E: represents unsatisfactory achievement and indicates failure in the course. It is valued at zero credit hours and zero grade points in non-remedial and non-developmental courses. Credit may be obtained by repeating the entire course.
F: represents unsatisfactory achievement in a course taken on a Pass-Fail basis. It has no value in computing the grade point average. Credit may only be obtained by repeating the entire course. This grade may be used for developmental courses.
AU (Audit): has no value in computing grade-point average. A student who has been admitted to the college may elect to enroll in a course(s) as an auditor, except in selective admissions programs. Auditing courses in a selective admissions program requires admission to the program and availability of space in the courses. With few exceptions, any change from audit to credit by a student fully admitted to a college must be accomplished by the last date to enter a class and any change from credit to audit must be made by mid-term of the semester or session in which the student is enrolled. An audited class may be taken for credit at a later date. Anyone who desires to audit a class must be admitted to the college and officially registered for the course.
I: means that part of the work of the course remains unfinished. It shall be given only when there is a reasonable possibility that a passing grade will result from completion of the work. The instructor and student will discuss the requirements for completion of course with the time limit for completion not to exceed a maximum of one year; failure to do so will result in an automatic change of grade from I to E. Each college shall maintain a record of incomplete grades recorded in courses of that college. This record, completed by the instructor at the time the I grade is reported, shall include:
- the name and number of the student,
- the course number and hours of credit,
- semester or session and year of enrollment,
- signature of the instructor,
- a brief statement of the reason(s) for recording the incomplete grade, and
- an adequate guide for removal of the incomplete grade.
In the instructor’s absence, the division chairperson (or designee), shall forward to the college president (or designee) the appropriate letter grade to replace the incomplete grade.
IP: In Progress represents enrollment in a course for which there is no expectation the work will be completed during the assigned term. (i.e. a course whose end dates exceeds the end date of the standard term). The notation will be assigned at the end of the enrollment term to indicate the course work continues and will be completed in the next term. Students will only be enrolled in one (1) term even if the course continues beyond the term. When final grades are reported the IP notation will be replaced with the final grade.
W: represents a withdrawal from class without completing course requirements. A student may officially withdraw from any class up to and including the date of mid-term with a W grade. After the date of mid-term and through the last class of the semester or session, any student may officially request to withdraw from a course and receive a W which may be given at the discretion of the instructor. Each instructor shall state on the first or second class meeting the factors to be used in determining if a student will be allowed to withdraw during the discretionary period. An instructor shall not assign a student a W for a class unless the student has officially withdrawn from that class in a manner prescribed by the college. The grade of W may be assigned by the College Appeals Board in cases involving a violation of student academic rights or for academic offenses.
P: represents a satisfactory grade in a course taken on a Pass-Fail basis. The student who receives a P in a course shall be eligible to continue into the next sequential course(s). The grade of P may be assigned by the College Appeals Board in cases involving a violation of student academic rights. It has no value in computing the grade point average. This grade may be used for developmental courses.
MP: represents Making Progress and may be assigned only for developmental courses and means that the student has made significant progress but needs and deserves more time to achieve a passing grade. The student should re-enroll in the course in order to continue advancement to the level of competence set for the course. Grades may be earned following re-enrollment for developmental courses. The grade of MP has no value in computing grade point average.
Pass/Fail: may be selected for a maximum of two elective courses, subject to certain restrictions, by students with at least 30 credit hours and not on academic probation. Courses with these grades can count toward graduation but are not used in calculating grade-point standing. Courses taken on a pass-fail basis shall be limited to those considered as elective in the student’s program, and such other courses or types of courses as might be specifically approved. Prerequisites for such courses may be ignored at the student’s own hazard. The student is expected to participate fully in the course and take all examinations as though the student were enrolled on a regular basis. Students may not change from a pass-fail basis nor from a regular basis to a pass-fail basis after the last date for entering an organized class. Courses offered only on a pass-fail basis, remedial or developmental, or taken by special examination, shall not be included in the maximum number of elective courses which a student may take under these provisions.
Changing Grades: A grade once reported shall not be changed except when the instructor states in writing that an error has been made. The grade change must be submitted by the end of the following semester or session or, in exceptional cases, at the discretion of the president (or designee). However, each respective College Appeals Board may change a grade to P or W in the case of a violation of student academic rights or to a W in the case of an academic offense.
Grade-Point Average (GPA): The GPA on the KCTCS transcript is derived from all courses taken at KCTCS institutions. The grade-point average is the ratio of the total grade points earned to the total credit hours attempted excluding courses taken on a pass/fail basis and courses with grades of W, I, or IP. Total grade points are derived by multiplying the number of credit hours for the course by the number of grade points assigned to the grade earned: A = 4, B = 3, C = 2, D = 1, E = 0.
Reporting Final Grades: The final grades for a course shall be filed with the office of the college president (or designee) by such date as determined by the academic calendar.
Academic Probation, Academic Suspension, and Reinstatement
Academic Probation: A student earning a cumulative grade point average below a 2.0 at the end of a term shall be placed on academic probation. A student shall be removed from academic probation by earning at least a 2.0 cumulative grade point average.
Academic Suspension (Dismissal): If a student is placed on academic probation for two consecutive terms (which is noted on the transcript as “subject to dismissal” the second time) and does not earn either a cumulative GPA or a term GPA of at least a 2.0 in the third term, the student shall be academically suspended. Non-enrollment has no effect on probation status. The president (or designee) may grant an exception based upon an individual’s case. A student on academic suspension may not enroll in courses which count toward a KCTCS degree.
Reinstatement: A student who has been academically suspended may be reinstated by the president (or designee) after remaining out of the college for at least one 16-week semester and providing evidence of ability to perform at the level required. A student who has been academically suspended shall, upon reinstatement, be placed on academic probation and be subject to academic suspension if the student has failed to earn a current term GPA of 2.0 during the first term of reinstatement. Upon a second suspension, a student may be reinstated by the president (or designee) after remaining out of the college for at least two 16-week semesters and providing evidence of ability to perform at the level required.
Repeating a Course
A student may repeat a course for the purpose of improving a grade. The course must be repeated with the same grade option as the original enrollment in the course. The highest grade earned in a completed course shall constitute the official grade for the course and will be the only grade included within the cumulative GPA. Credit shall count only once for a KCTCS credential. If a student has been dropped from an occupation or technical program, course enrollment may be dependent upon readmission to the program. After a student has completed the same course twice, a division chair (or designee) in consultation with the instructor may refuse to approve a third registration in the same course, including those offered by correspondence, extension, and distance learning technology. Subject to the approval of the division chair (or designee), a student may receive approval for a substitution of comparable courses (e.g. MAT 146 Contemporary College Mathematics (3 credit hours) may be taken as a repeat option for MA 111U Contemporary Mathematics (3 credit hours) and vice versa.). Note: A parent course cannot be repeated using modules. Students who have received passing grade in a parent course are not eligible to enroll in any module of that parent course.
Any student with more than two exams scheduled on one day as described in the college’s final exam schedule shall be entitled to have one of those exams rescheduled. The student must submit a petition for rescheduling in writing to the instructor no later than one week prior to the last class meeting.
The Dean’s List recognizes the academic excellence of students who have earned an overall semester GPA of 3.5 or higher in courses numbered 100 or above. Honorary certificates of merit are generally awarded to students who have achieved this distinction.
Academic Bankruptcy (Readmission after Two or More Years)
A student who has been readmitted after having remained out of the KCTCS colleges for a period of two or more years, and who has completed at least 12 credit hours in college-level courses with a GPA of 2.0 or better after readmission, may choose to have none of the course work attempted in the colleges prior to the interruption included in the computation of the student’s GPA. The calculation of the GPA after the student declares bankruptcy begins with the semester of readmission. A student who has elected not to count past work in the computation of his or her GPA will continue to receive credit for those courses in which credit was earned with a grade of A, B, C, D, or P prior to readmission, without including those grades in the computation of the student’s GPA. A student who has completed a credential and re-enrolls may not apply the academic bankruptcy rule to courses taken for the credential already completed. A student may only use the academic bankruptcy option once.
Policies Related to Graduation
For all KCTCS degrees (the Associate in Arts, Associate in Science, Associate in Fine Arts, and Associate in Applied Science degrees) diplomas, and certificates, students must complete at least 25 percent of the approved curriculum credits at the KCTCS college granting the credential, regardless of the time the student has attended the college. Students must complete the college’s application for graduation within the posted deadline for the term.
- Associate in Arts, Associate in Science, Associate in Fine Arts, and Associate in Applied Science degrees: students must satisfactorily complete 60 credits, including the general education requirements as specified in the KCTCS Board of Regents Policies 4.11 and 4.12 and program requirements, with a cumulative grade point average of at least 2.0.
- Diplomas: students must satisfactorily complete a minimum of 36 hours including the general education requirements as specified by the KCTCS Board of Regents Policies 4.11 and 4.12 and program requirements, with a cumulative grade point average of at least 2.0.
- Certificates: students must satisfactorily complete an approved curriculum with a grade point average of at least 2.0 in the courses required for the certificate.
- Course substitutions may be made by the college president (or designee) on an individual basis with the advice of the appropriate division chairperson.
Specific information about the requirements for these programs is available on the next page in the Academic Credentials Awarded section.
Graduation With Honors
Students who have completed at least 45 credit hours of work toward degree completion or 30 credit hours of work toward diploma completion in the KCTCS colleges shall be graduated “With High Distinction” if they attain a grade-point average of 3.60 or higher on all work attempted. Students who have completed at least 45 credit hours of work toward degree completion or 30 credit hours of work toward diploma completion in the KCTCS colleges shall be graduated “With Distinction” if they attain a GPA of 3.40-3.59 on all work attempted.
Multiple Associate Degrees
A student will be eligible for an additional degree when the student has completed the requirements of the second curriculum including a minimum of six credit hours relevant to the second degree and beyond the requirements for the first degree. In no case will a degree be granted for the completion of a second option in a program. The completion of a second track, however, will be recorded on the transcript.