Maricopa Community Colleges

Maricopa Governance

Online Policy Manual

2.3 Scholastic Standards

2.3.1 Academic Load
2.3.2 Attendance
2.3.3 Grading
2.3.4 Academic Probation (Progress)
2.3.5 Instructional Grievance Process
2.3.6 Withdrawal
2.3.7 Academic Renewal

2.3.8 Honors Program
2.3.9 General Graduation Requirements
2.3.10 Transcripts for Transfer
2.3.11 Academic Misconduct
2.3.12 Non-Instructional Complaint Resolution Process


2.3.1 Academic Load

A credit hour is defined as an amount of work represented in course competencies and verified by evidence of student achievement that reasonably approximates not less than one hour of classroom or direct faculty instruction and a minimum of two hours of out-of-class student work each week for approximately fifteen weeks for one semester hour of credit, or the equivalent amount of work over a different amount of time, or at least an equivalent amount of work for other academic activities, including laboratory work, internships, practica, studio work, and other academic work leading to the award of credit hours. In accordance with common practice in higher education, instruction representing a credit hour is typically delivered in a 50 minute class period.

Students carrying at least twelve (12) credit hours will be considered full-time students for the fall and spring semesters. Three-quarter-time is 9 - 11.9 credit hours. Half-time is 6 - 8.9 credit hours. Fewer than six (6) credit hours is considered less than half-time. Academic load for summer and special terms may be defined differently. Contact the Admissions and Records Office/Office of Student Enrollment Services for clarification. As provided in the Reduced Course Load administrative regulation, a student may be deemed a full-time student carrying fewer than twelve credit hours pursuant to an accommodation of a disability.

Courses may vary in length, and begin and end throughout the year. A credit hour indicates the value of an academic credit. Standards for the awarding of credit hours may be time based or competency based. To obtain credit, a student must be properly registered and must pay fees for the course. The fall and spring semesters are typically sixteen (16) weeks in length. Summer sessions are typically five or eight weeks in length.

Students desiring to take more than eighteen (18) credit hours must obtain approval from the designated college official. Ordinarily, only students with a grade point average of 3.0 or higher for the preceding semester or first semester students who were in the upper quarter of their high school graduating class are permitted to carry more than eighteen (18) credit hours.

Students participating in extra-curricular or co-curricular activities or receiving financial assistance may be required to maintain a specified minimum academic load.

Students who are working, have considerable extra-curricular or co-curricular activities, or have been reinstated from academic suspension/probation should plan their academic load accordingly.

Schedule Changes

Students may change their schedule by following the designated procedures at their college of enrollment. It is the student's responsibility to notify the college if he/she will no longer be attending the class (see Appendix S-7 for Withdrawal Procedures).

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2.3.2 Attendance

  1. Official Absences
    1. Official absences are those that occur when students are involved in an official activity of the college, i.e., field trips, tournaments, athletic events, and present an official absence excuse form. Absences for such events shall not count against the number of absences allowed by an instructor or department. Students who must miss a class for an official reason must obtain an official absence verification card from the appropriate vice president or designee and present it to the appropriate instructor(s) before the absence. Prior arrangements must be made with each instructor for make-up work. If prior arrangements have been made, the student will not be penalized.
    2. Other official absences include jury duty and subpoenas. Appropriate documentation will be required. Prior arrangements must be made with each instructor for makeup work. If prior arrangements have been made, the student will not be penalized.
    3. In the event of military commitments. Absences for periods of up to one week will not be counted against the number of absences allowed by an instructor or department. The student is required to provide appropriate documentation of the specific orders, length of assignment and location. Prior notification must be initiated with each instructor to discuss make-up work. If the length of the absence will be longer than one week, the instructor and the student will determine whether there is sufficient opportunity for the student to make up the work. If it is determined that the length of absence for the military commitment provides an undue hardship on the student’s ability to make up the assignments, he or she will be provided an opportunity to request an incomplete grade or drop the class or, in the case of open-entry classes, the opportunity to request an extension.
    4. In the event of the death of an immediate family member, absences for periods of up to one week will not be counted against the number of absences allowed by an instructor or department. Students should contact instructor(s) as soon as possible to arrange for make-up work. Appropriate documentation will be required (for example, a copy of the obituary or funeral program). In specialized programs that require clinical rotations, this regulation may not apply.
  2. Religious Holidays
    Students shall have the right to observe major religious holidays without penalty or reprisal by any administrator, faculty member or employee of the Maricopa Community Colleges. Absences for such holidays shall not count against the number of absences allowed by an instructor or department. At least one week before the holiday, students shall submit to their instructor(s) a written statement that includes both the date of the holiday and the reason why class attendance is impossible. Prior arrangements must be made with each instructor for make-up work. If prior arrangements have been made, the student will not be penalized.

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2.3.3 Grading

  1. Policy
    It is the policy of the Maricopa Community Colleges that a grade will be assigned at the conclusion of the course. Official grades are available on designated college web sites.

Grade Key

A
Excellent 4 grade points per credit hour
B
Above Average 3 grade points per credit hour
C
Average 2 grade points per credit hour
D
Passing 1 grade point per credit hour
F
Failure 0 grade points per credit hour
I
Incomplete Not computed in grade point average
IP
Course in Progress Not computed in grade point average
N
Audit Not computed in grade point average
P*
Credit Not computed in grade point average
W
Withdrawn, passing Not computed in grade point average
Y
Withdrawn, failing 0 grade points per credit hour
Z
No Credit Not computed in grade point average

* A "P" is judged to be equivalent to a grade of C or higher.

  1. Incomplete Grade
    1. Students who are doing acceptable work may request an incomplete grade "I" if they are unable to complete the course requirements by the end of the term because of illness or other extenuating circumstances. If the request is approved by the instructor, he or she shall define, in a written/electronic contract, how the course will be completed.
    2. Students must complete the requirements within the time period agreed to--maximum time allowed is seven (7) months from the last date of class in which the grade of incomplete was assigned. Students who do not complete the requirements within seven (7) months will have their grade recorded in accordance with the written contract. Students should NOT reregister for the course to complete the contract.
  2. Repeating a Course/Improving a Grade
    To improve a previously earned grade, students may repeat the course up to three times after the initial attempt to improve a grade.  (A “W” or “Y” is not considered an attempt.)  Students planning to repeat a course should seek advisement prior to enrolling.  The lower grade(s) for repeated courses will automatically be excluded from the grade point calculation.  All enrollments in a course will appear on the transcript.  Check individual courses and programs for exceptions.
  3. Credit/No Credit Courses (P/Z)
    1. Some courses may be taken under a credit/no credit grading system. These courses carry grades of P (credit, equivalent to a grade of C or higher) or Z (no credit) and are not computed in the student's grade point average. Credits earned with a grade of P may be counted toward graduation with the exception of AGEC (Arizona General Education Curriculum).
    2. The prescribed time limits are for full-semester classes. Time limits for classes which meet fewer than sixteen (16) weeks are adjusted accordingly. See "Important Deadlines for Students".
    3. In courses with credit/no credit (P/Z) grading, the student may request standard grading (A, B, C, D, F), within fourteen (14) days including the date of the first class meeting. The instructor must immediately notify the Admissions and Records Office/Office of Student Enrollment Services.
    4. In courses with standard grading (A, B, C, D, F), the instructor determines if the credit/no credit option is available. If the option is available, the student must obtain the permission of the instructor. The instructor must notify the Admissions and Records Office/Office of Student Enrollment Services within fourteen (14) days including the day of the first class meeting.
    5. It is the student's responsibility to verify the transferability of credit/no credit courses. Some universities place a limitation on the number of credit/no credit courses that can be transferred.

      Advisory note: Some institutions outside the Maricopa Community Colleges may translate the Z grade as failing.
  4. Audit Courses
    1. Auditors are those who enroll in a course for the sole purpose of obtaining information; they receive no credit, grades, homework, or tests. If an auditor wishes to earn credit, he or she must change from audit status to credit status within the first week. If a student wishes to audit a course for which he or she is enrolled for credit, the change must be made within the first five (5) weeks of a semester. Auditors are subject to the same attendance policies as other students and must meet the same prerequisite requirements or obtain approval of the instructor. See the fee schedule for charges. Financial aid is not available for audited courses.
    2. The prescribed time limits are for full-semester classes. Time limits for classes which meet fewer than sixteen (16) weeks are adjusted accordingly and appear in the "Important Deadlines for Students".
  5. Important Deadlines for Students

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2.3.4 Academic Probation (Progress)

  1. Probation
    A student will be placed on academic probation if, after completion of twelve (12) or more credit hours, the student's cumulative grade point average is less than:
Credit Hours for Which Grade Points are Computed at Resident Maricopa Community College (A,B,C,D,F, and Y)
Minimum Grade Point Average Required
12-15
1.60
16-30
1.75
31-45
1.90
46+
2.00

(Students should also be aware that graduation requires a cumulative minimum grade point average of 2.00).

Students on academic probation may take no more than twelve (12) credit hours per semester unless approved by the Admissions and Standards Committee.

  1. Continued Probation
    A student on academic probation who fails to raise the cumulative grade point average to the required minimum standards (see above) will be placed on continued probation and may be limited to taking six (6) credit hours. Regulations regarding continued probation do not apply to the summer session. Credit hours earned in summer sessions will be included in the cumulative grade point average.

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2.3.5 Instructional Grievance Process - Appendix S-6

A student who feels that he or she has been treated unfairly or unjustly by a faculty member with regard to an academic process such as grading, testing, or assignments, has the right to appeal according to the approved procedures.

The appeal process for grades must be initiated no later than sixty (60) calendar days from the date the grade was issued. Steps outlining the process are available in Appendix S-6.

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2.3.6 Withdrawal

To withdraw from a course or courses from the college, students must follow approved procedures (See Appendix S-7). The Office of Admissions and Records provides information about the withdrawal process. The official date of withdrawal is the date the withdrawal is received in the Admissions and Records Office/Office of Student Enrollment Services.

Never attending is not an allowable refund exception or an excuse of the debt incurred through registration.  Please see the refund policy.

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2.3.7 Academic Renewal

Students who are returning to this college after a separation of five (5) years or more from the Maricopa Community College District, may petition for academic renewal. The request must be in writing and submitted to the Admissions and Records Office/Office of Student Enrollment Services at the college where the grades were earned.

Academic renewal at one of the Maricopa Community Colleges does not guarantee that colleges outside the Maricopa Colleges will accept this action. Acceptance of academic renewal is at the discretion of the receiving institution.

  1. Prior to petitioning for academic renewal, the student must demonstrate a renewed academic performance by earning a minimum of twelve (12) credit hours and a cumulative grade point average of 2.5 or higher within Maricopa Colleges after reenrollment.
  2. Upon approval, all courses taken prior to reenrollment with a grade of "A," "B," "C," "D," "F," and "Y" will be annotated as academic renewal on the student's permanent record. All course work affected by academic renewal will not be computed in the grade point average. Courses with grades "A," "B," or "C" will have the associated credit hours counted in the total credit hours earned. Such credit will not be computed in the grade point average.
  3. All course work will remain on the student's permanent academic record, ensuring a true and accurate academic history.
  4. The academic renewal policy may be used only once at each college and cannot be revoked once approved.
  5. Students who have been granted Academic Renewal must also meet the Financial Aid Standards of Academic Progress if they wish to receive financial aid.

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2.3.8 Honors Program

Each of the Maricopa Community Colleges has an honors program. Interested students should contact the college honors coordinator for information about the program and available scholarships, including the Chancellor's, Foundation's, and President's Scholarships.

President's Honor List

The President's Honor List for each college consists of all students who complete twelve (12) or more credit hours in residence in courses numbered 100 or higher in a given semester with a college semester grade point average of 3.75 or higher.

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2.3.9 General Graduation Requirements

Note: Also see Catalog Under Which a Student Graduates (AR 2.2.5)

All students are required to complete the degree and/or certificate requirements as approved by the MCCCD Governing Board. The college reserves the right to make necessary course and program changes in order to meet current educational standards. In addition, students must:

  1. be credited in the Admissions and Records Office/Office of Student Enrollment with not fewer than: 60 semester credit units in courses numbered 100 or above for the Associate in Arts degree, Associate in Science degree, Associate in Transfer Partnership degree, and Associate in General Studies degree; 60 semester credit units for the Associate in Applied Science degree; 62 semester credits for the Associate in Business degrees. For specific certificate programs, be credited with not fewer than the minimum total of credit units required for the certificate program.
    Students not continuously enrolled, as outlined in the Catalog Under Which a Student Graduates policy, must satisfy current graduation requirements.
  2. have earned a minimum of 12 semester credit units toward the degree or certificate at the district college granting the degree or certificate. The 12 hours in the AAS degree curricula may be in the Required Courses area and/or Restricted Electives courses. Courses from the General Education Core and Distribution area are excluded. In cases where the certificate requires fewer than 12 credit units, a minimum of six credit units must be completed at the college awarding the certificate. The minimum of six credit hours in the certificate or degree curricula may be in the Required Courses area and/or the Restricted Electives. Courses from the General Education Core and Distribution areas are excluded.
    Shared Programs are programs offered at multiple colleges but not available at all colleges. The requirements are identical at all the colleges offering the program.

    A shared program requires a minimum of six credit hours from the total program requirements to be completed with a grade of “C” or better at the college awarding the certificate or degree. The exception is the Nursing program. For those shared programs with less than six credit hours, the total hours for the program must be completed at the college awarding the certificate.
  3. have filed an application for the degree or certificate with the Admissions and Records Office/Office of Student Enrollment Services on the date determined by the college/center.
    Students must apply for graduation from the college where they have successfully completed Block 4 of the Associate in Applied Science in Nursing.
  4. have a minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.000 at the college granting the degree.
  5. have a minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.000 in all courses used to fulfill degree requirements.
    Some specific programs have higher grade requirements. It is the student’s responsibility to be aware of these program requirements.
  6. have removed, thirty (30) days after the anticipated graduation date, all deficiencies on the record to use those courses toward program completion.
  7. have removed any indebtedness to any MCCCD college /center.
  8. have paid required degree or certificate application fee.

See fee schedule for charges.

Graduation with Honors
All courses used to fulfill graduation requirements, including courses from other accredited institutions, will be entered in the grade point average calculation for honors designations.
Students who have the following grade point averages will graduate with the following distinctions:
• 3.50 to 3.69 “with distinction” 
• 3.70 to 3.89 “with high distinction” 
• 3.90 to 4.0 “with highest distinction” 

Certificates/Degrees
The Maricopa Community Colleges offer Certificates of Completion as well as Associate Degrees, one of which is conferred on each student who has completed a program of study. These certificates and degrees are as follows: (1) Certificate of Completion (Career Program Specified); (2) Academic Certificate; (3) General Education Certificate; (4) Associate in Arts; (5) Associate in Science; (6) Associate in Business; (7) Associate in General Studies; (8) Associate in Transfer Partnership; (9) Associate in Applied Science (Career Program Specified).

All candidates for a degree and/or certificate must complete the General Graduation Requirements as approved by the MCCCD Governing Board.

All students are urged to meet with a faculty advisor, program advisor or counselor as soon as possible to determine which program meets their needs and to plan their course of study.

Licensure Disclaimer
Maricopa Community Colleges courses and programs prepare students for entry into a variety of professions. Many of these professions require that a person hold an occupational license or certificate in order to work in a particular field. Typically, a person must meet certain legal requirements before obtaining such a license or certificate. These requirements are established by county, state or federal agencies, and often are based on a person’s character, or whether the person has been convicted of a criminal offense. It is possible for a student who has obtained a degree or certificate from a community college to be denied the right to work in a particular profession after completing the degree or certificate because of concerns over the student’s character or criminal background. Any student preparing to enter a field for which a professional license or certificate is required is strongly advised to consult with the appropriate government agency that issues such credentials. That agency can provide the student complete information about any requirements the law imposes for working in a particular occupation.

MCCCD General Education Statement
The general education core of the program of study for an associate degree or a certificate helps students develop a greater understanding of themselves, of their relationship with others, and of the richly diverse world in which they live. The general education experience provides students with opportunities to explore broad areas of commonly held knowledge and prepares them to contribute to society through personal, social, and professional interactions with others. General education fosters students’ personal development by opening them to new directions, perspectives, and processes.

Through its general education requirements, the Maricopa County Community College District is committed to helping students develop qualities and skills that will serve them throughout their lives. General education opportunities encourage students to:

The general education experience at MCCCD is composed of specific elements across the curriculum designed to provide the learner with essential knowledge and skills:

General Education Designations (example: (FYC), [SB], [HU], etc.)
Effective fall 2000 the course evaluation and/or general education designation as listed in the Arizona CEG (Course Equivalency Guide) within the Arizona Course Applicability System (AZCAS) is valid for the term in which the student is awarded credit on the transcript. A course evaluation and/or general education designation may be subject to change. Given that curriculum is dynamic at both MCCCD and the institutions to which MCCCD students transfer, students have the option to petition for general education evaluations and/or general education designations.

The college reserves the right to make necessary course and program changes in order to meet current educational standards.

AMENDED February 22, 2011, Motion No. 9781, 9782

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2.3.10 Transcripts for Transfer

The transcript is issued upon written request only. Those students who want to transfer to other institutions of higher education, including other Maricopa Community Colleges, must request their transcript be sent from the Admissions and Records Office/Office of Student Enrollment Services. However, transcripts may be shared within the Maricopa Community College District without the written request of the student in compliance with FERPA.

Official transcripts will not be issued to students having outstanding debts to any of the Maricopa Community Colleges. The release of transcripts is governed by the guidance of the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (see Records Policy in the Student Rights and Responsibilities section of this manual). There is no charge for unofficial transcripts, or for official transcripts sent between Maricopa Community Colleges. See the Tuition and Fee Schedule for charges for other official transcripts.

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2.3.11 Academic Misconduct

  1. Definitions
    1. Academic Misconduct - includes any conduct associated with the classroom, laboratory, or clinical learning process that is inconsistent with the published course competencies/objectives and/or academic standards for the course, program, department, or institution. Examples of academic misconduct include, but are not limited to: (a) cheating and plagiarism (including any assistance or collusion in such activities, or requests or offers to do so); (b) excessive absences; (c) use of abusive or profane language; and (d) disruptive behavior.
    2. Cheating is any form of dishonesty in an academic exercise. It includes, but is not limited to, (a) use of any unauthorized assistance in taking quizzes, tests, examinations, or any other form of assessment whether or not the items are graded; (b) dependence upon the aid of sources beyond those authorized by the faculty member in writing papers, preparing reports, solving problems, or carrying out other assignments; (c) the acquisition, without permission, of tests or other academic material belonging to or administered by the college or a member of the college faculty or staff; and (d) fabrication of data, facts, or information.
    3. Plagiarism is a form of cheating in which a student falsely represents another person’s work as his or her own – it includes, but is not limited to: (a) the use of paraphrase or direct quotation of the published or unpublished work of another person without full and clear acknowledgment; (b) unacknowledged use of materials prepared by another person or agency engaged in the selling of term papers or other academic materials; and (c) information gathered from the internet and not properly identified.
  2. Academic Consequences
    Any student found by a faculty member to have committed academic misconduct may be subject to the following academic consequences, based on the faculty member’s judgment of the student’s academic performance
    Warning - A notice in writing to the student that the student has violated the academic standards as defined in 1.A.
    Grade Adjustment - Lowering of a grade on a test, assignment, or course.
    Discretionary assignments  - Additional academic assignments determined by the faculty member.
    Course Failure - Failure of a student from a course where academic misconduct occurs.
  3. Disciplinary Sanctions
    If the misconduct is sufficiently serious to warrant course failure, and if either (a) the failure results in a student being removed from an instructional program or (b) the student refuses to accept responsibility for the misconduct and its academic consequences, the faculty member will, in addition to awarding the course grade, consult the department chair and the vice president of academic affairs as to whether institutional sanctions set forth below should be sought under AR 2.5. Regardless whether the student has accepted responsibility for academic consequences, in all cases of academic misconduct the faculty member may make recommendations for sanctions and may file a written complaint of misconduct. The vice president of academic affairs will serve as the student conduct administrator in all academic misconduct cases, and will follow the procedure established in AR 2.5.2 to evaluate whether disciplinary sanctions are warranted. College probation, suspension, or expulsion will be imposed only by the vice president of academic affairs or designee, and only after the student has received the procedural rights provided in AR 2.5.2.
    1. Disciplinary Probation - Disciplinary probation is for a designated period of time and includes the probability of more severe sanctions if the student commits additional acts of academic misconduct.
    2. College Suspension - Separation of the student from the college for a definite period of time, after which the student is eligible to return. Conditions for readmission may be specified. (A suspension from one Maricopa Community College will apply to all other colleges/centers in the District.)
    3. College Expulsion - Permanent separation of the student from the college. (Expulsion from one Maricopa Community College will apply to all colleges/centers in the District.)
  4. Appeal of Sanctions and Consequences for Academic Misconduct.

Students can appeal academic consequences by following the instructional grievance process. (AR 2.3.5; Appendix S-6) Students may appeal disciplinary sanctions as provided in AR 2.5.2. If the student appeals through both processes, the instructional grievance process will be suspended until a final decision is reached in the student discipline procedure. In all cases in which financial aid has been adversely affected by academic consequences or disciplinary sanctions that are the subject of ongoing hearing or appeal proceedings, the student may appeal the financial aid determination on the grounds that a final decision has not been made. In such an event, a final decision on financial aid will not be made until after the final decision on consequences and/or sanctions.   

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2.3.12 Non-Instructional Complaint Resolution Process

A student who feels that he or she has been treated unfairly or unjustly by any employee with regard to a non-instructional process such as a student or administrative services has the right to file a formal and written complaint according to the approved procedures. See Appendix S-8

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AMENDED thorough direct approval from the Chancellor and Exeuctive Vice Chancellor & Provost, August 7, 2013

AMENDED through the Administrative Regulation Process, March 25, 2013

AMENDED through the Administrative Regulation Process, March 13, 2012
AMENDED through the Administrative Regulation Process, March 4, 2011
AMENDED through the Administrative Regulation Process, February 23, 2010
AMENDED through the Administrative Regulation Process, March 3, 2009
AMENDED through the Administrative Regulation Process, January 24, 2008

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