Howard Community College offers areas of study that lead to an associate degree, certificate, or letter of recognition. Students may enter a program designed for transfer to a four-year institution, or one that prepares for immediate entry to or advancement in a career. For assistance, contact the Office of Admissions and Advising.
- The Associate of Arts (A.A.) degree recognizes mastery in the arts and sciences.
- The Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) degree is designed primarily to lead to immediate employment.
- The Associate of Arts in Teaching (A.A.T.) degree is designed for transfer to a four-year institution to obtain a baccalaureate degree and teacher certification.
- The Associate of Science in Engineering (A.S.E.) degree is designed for transfer to a four-year institution to obtain a baccalaureate degree in engineering.
Associate degrees consist of general education courses, area-specific courses, and electives. To qualify for an associate degree, students must complete at least 60 credits in their program and earn a minimum of a “C” (2.0) overall grade point average. A minimum of 15 credits must be completed at Howard Community College. The college, to ensure the quality of its programs, reserves the right to determine which courses students must undertake to successfully complete a specific degree.
Completion of an A.A.T. degree requires a cumulative quality point average of at least 2.75 in the specified program of study, and a passing score on an approved basic skills test (pages 162-164). Completion of an A.S.E. degree requires a grade of “C” or better in certain courses. See program requirements for details (pages 140 and 143).
A certificate is awarded to full-time or part-time students who have concentrated study in a specialized subject matter area and have satisfied the following requirements:
- completion of the approved curriculum in the college catalog;
- achievement of a minimum of a 2.0 cumulative GPA;
- completion of a minimum of 25 percent of the credit hours at Howard Community College;
- recommendation of the faculty; and
- approval by the board of trustees.
LETTER OF RECOGNITION
A letter of recognition is awarded to full- and part-time students who have completed a designated group of courses, totaling fewer than 12 credits. Letters of recognition are associated with certificates and degrees. For more information, please visit the appropriate academic division office. Students should submit applications for Letters of Recognition to the appropriate academic division office.
Students who anticipate completing the requirements for an associate of arts degree, associate of applied science degree, associate of arts in teaching degree, associate of science in engineering degree, or a certificate are responsible for meeting with an academic advisor to preliminarily review an audit of the student’s completion of degree requirements and to complete an application to graduate. The application to graduate is available on the Office of Records, Registration and Veterans Affairs web page and in the Offices of Records, Registration and Veterans Affairs and Admissions and Advising. Upon the receipt of a completed application to graduate from the student, the Office of Admissions and Advising submits the application to graduate to the Office of Records, Registration and Veterans Affairs for final review and graduation clearance.
A Commencement is held in May each year. Students who complete degree or certificate requirements and all other requirements listed below prior to the May ceremony, as well as those who need to complete up to two courses during the subsequent summer term, may participate in the spring ceremony. Students must fill out a graduation application form for each degree requested.
The college has three degree graduation dates and one commencement. The deadlines for submitting graduation applications are:
|Degree Date||Graduation Application Deadline*|
**Graduation application deadlines are subject to change. Students are encouraged to consult with the Office of Records, Registration, and Veterans Affairs web page or the office of Admissions and Advising’s web page for the application deadlines.
**Students who will graduate in the summer, but would like to participate in the May commencement must submit graduation applications by April 15.
To be awarded a degree or certificate from Howard Community College, students must:
- achieve the minimum of a 2.0 or greater GPA for all coursework taken at HCC;
- complete all the requirements of an approved area of study in the college catalog;
- be in good academic and financial standing with the college; and
- have their graduation applications initially cleared by an academic advisor and submitted by the advisor to the Office of Records, Registration and Veterans Affairs.
During the final clearance process, students are notified of the status of their graduation through HCC student email. Diplomas and certificates are mailed to all candidates who have fulfilled the requirements of their programs. Students who do not complete area of study requirements for the term may apply for graduation in a future term.
Graduation candidates may be required to take a general education assessment examination prior to the date of graduation. The scores on the exam will be used for statistical purposes measuring student progress. The scores will not be a part of a student’s record or used for graduation clearance.
Graduation with Honors
Students who have maintained a cumulative grade point average of 3.5 or above will graduate with honors. Those students with a grade point average of 3.75 or above will graduate with high honors. Those who have a 4.0 grade point average will graduate with highest honors.
Other Graduation Distinctions
Students who successfully complete all requirements of special programs such as (but not limited to) the Frederick K. Schoenbrodt Honors Program, Silas Craft Collegians Program, James W. Rouse Scholars Program, STEM Scholars Program, and Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society will have that distinction recognized upon graduation.
PLACEMENT TESTING AND DEVELOPMENTAL EDUCATION POLICIES
Howard Community College’s faculty and staff are committed to student success. Research has shown that students with reading, writing, and mathematics skills below the college level are at great risk of failing college coursework. Therefore, the college requires students to take reading, writing, and mathematics placement tests in order to place them in courses appropriate to their skill level unless students qualify for an exemption as explained below. Information about placement testing is also available on the college website (howardcc.edu/testcenter).
Mandatory Placement Testing Policies
- Students planning to enroll in English or math courses or in courses requiring English or math prerequisites must take placement tests unless they qualify for an exemption (see #5).
- All students in learning programs requiring English or mathematics must take placement tests by the time they have completed 12 credits unless they qualify for an exemption (see #5). After completion of 12 credits, students will not be permitted to register until appropriate placement tests have been taken.
- All students seeking admission to clinical nursing courses must take the English placement test unless they have earned a U.S. bachelor’s degree.
- Placement tests may be taken up to two times each prior to enrolling in HCC English or math courses. The tests may be used for placement purposes for two years from the dates taken.
- Placement Test Exemption Policies
a. Non-Degree Seeking Students–Non-degree seeking students who are not otherwise exempt from taking the placement test have two exemption options:
- Upon completion of 12 credits, non-degree seeking students must consult with an advisor for consent to register for additional coursework without placement testing. Such consent is granted based upon academic goals and past performance.
- Enroll as a CustomClass student (noncredit student in a credit class). See page 44 or refer to the Schedule of Classes or the HCC website for more information.
b. Prior College-Level English and/or Math Coursework–Students who can verify with a transcript or grade report successful completion of prior college-level English and appropriate college-level math courses are exempt from taking the related placement test.
c. Completion of the Placement Test and/or the Highest Developmental Level at Another Maryland Community College–Students who have taken the placement exam at another Maryland community college within the past two years or students who have completed the highest level of English as a Second Language (ESL) developmental reading, writing, and/or math coursework at another community college are eligible for a placement test exemption.
d. Standardized Tests
- SAT Tests–Students do not have to take the reading or writing placement tests if they received a score of 550 or higher on the SAT Critical Reading test. A score of 550 or higher results in an English placement into ENGL-121 (College Composition). (Students who took the SAT prior to March 2005 do not need to take the reading or writing placement tests if they received an SAT Verbal score of 550 or higher.) The math placement test is waived for students with an SAT Math score of 550 or higher. This results in placement into MATH-122, 127, 128, 138, 141 and 143 (The math course a student takes is based on their learning program and/or transfer plan). Students seeking placement into MATH-181 (Calculus I) must take the math placement test.
- ACT Exams–Students who received an ACT Reading subtest score of 21 or higher do not need to take the reading placement exam. Students who received an ACT English subtest score of 21 or higher are exempt from the writing placement test. A score of 21 or higher on both the Reading and the English subtests results in placement into ENGL-121. The math placement test is waived for those with an ACT Math subtest score of 21 or higher. This results in placement into MATH-122, 127, 128, 138, 141 and 143 (The course a student takes is based on their learning program and/or transfer plan). Students seeking placement into MATH-181 (Calculus I) must take the math placement test.
- CLEP, DSST, AP, and IB Exams-Students who have taken English and/or math CLEP (College-Level Examination Program), DSST (Dantes Subject Standardized Tests), AP (Advanced Placement Program), or IB (International Baccalaureate Program) tests may receive placement test waivers based upon the test and score. IB scores of 4, 5, 6, or 7 are required on appropriate exams. CLEP test scores resulting in placement test waivers vary by test. In addition to leading to placement test waivers, these scores may also lead to the awarding of college credit in English and math.
Students must contact the Office of Admissions and Advising to arrange placement test exemptions (RCF-242; 443-518-1200, select #3; firstname.lastname@example.org).
Mandatory Developmental Education Courses
Students who require developmental education or basic skills coursework should enroll in the appropriate course(s). The required developmental education and basic skill sequence varies for each student based upon their skills in English and mathematics. Enrollment in developmental education or basic skills courses should continue each semester until the required sequence is completed.
The college recognizes that some students may need more intensive skill development in reading and/or writing than its English credit developmental education course sequence can provide. HCC’s REACH Program is designed to serve these students and prepare them to successfully move on to the developmental English sequence. For more information about the REACH Program, visit or contact the Office of Admissions and Advising (RCF-242; email@example.com; 443-518-1000; select #3).
Howard Community College delivers its academic programs in a variety of ways so students can choose to take courses from their homes or offices, reduce or eliminate the need to physically come to campus, or accelerate their course completion. eLearning courses are offered online via the Internet.
All eLearning courses meet the same objectives as the on-site course, are as academically rigorous, and transfer to other institutions. HCC recognizes that providing eLearning opportunities makes it possible for even more people to receive a quality education. Each semester there is an increase in the HCC courses offered at a distance. Check the schedule of classes for a complete listing of the current semester’s offerings. For more information, visit howardcc.edu/elearning.
Online courses allow students an opportunity to take classes from home, the office, or wherever they have access to a computer. Students interact with the instructor and other students via a dedicated course website. Students should be familiar with e-mail and accessing the Internet. Also, students must have access to the necessary computer technology, an Internet provider, and web browser.
Hybrid courses make significant use of the Internet and online resources in addressing the course objectives. Because so many of the course transactions are conducted online, the amount of on-campus class meeting time is half that of the traditional on-campus version of the course.
CREDIT FOR PRIOR LEARNING
Howard Community College (HCC) believes that learning is a lifelong process and knowledge is acquired in many different ways. In addition to the traditional classroom setting, mastery of college-level knowledge and skills may occur as a result of noncredit training and nontraditional learning experiences such as employment, military training and experience, noncollegiate training programs, advanced high school courses, and self-development. In accordance with Maryland State law, credit for up to 75 percent (generally 45 credits) of an associate degree, or 50 percent of a certificate, may be granted for prior learning. Credit age limitations apply to many nursing and allied health programs. Clinical coursework is generally not accepted if completed more than two years ago. Time limitations and minimum grade requirements may exist for science courses used as prerequisites for some nursing and allied health programs. Depending on the nursing and allied health program and science courses, the time limitation may be five or ten years. While age limitations do not apply to coursework in other programs, it is each student’s responsibility to ensure that they have adequate prerequisite knowledge to be successful in their program of study. Therefore, students are strongly advised to retake or otherwise review prior prerequisite coursework whenever necessary. To be awarded transfer credits, students must have a declared area of study. Official transcripts, along with an official transcript evaluation request form, must be submitted to the Office of Admissions and Advising. HCC charges a fee for the transcript evaluation process; this fee is waived for active duty service members, honorably discharged veterans, and their dependents, and always includes a general studies evaluation. All evaluations are conducted with 60 days of receipt. Current fees charged for single and multiple learning programs evaluations are available online and in appropriate college publications. When students change their learning program, a new transcript evaluation must be done. It is the student’s responsibility to officially request a new evaluation. Howard Community College cannot guarantee that other colleges and universities where students may transfer will evaluate their credit in the same way HCC does. Students are strongly encouraged to consult with transfer institutions regarding transfer credit policies. HCC’s transfer center, located within the Office of Admissions and Advising, can assist with this process.
Through reverse transfer, students who enrolled at HCC and transferred to a four-year institution prior to earning an associate’s degree may transfer credits earned towards the bachelor’s degree back to HCC in order to complete an associate’s degree. To be eligible for reverse transfer, students must have completed 15 college-level credits and earned a 2.0 GPA while attending HCC. For reverse transfer consideration, students must submit an official (sealed) transcript from the institution attended, complete an HCC transcript evaluation request form, as well as an HCC application to graduate form. Transcript evaluation fees are waived for students participating in the reverse transfer process.
Traditional Prior Learning
COLLEGE AND UNIVERSITY CREDIT–Credit may be granted by HCC for coursework completed at accredited colleges and universities. Transfer credit is granted by HCC based on a student’s learning program. A grade of “C” or higher is required for any coursework that is prerequisite to nursing and allied health clinical courses. HCC awards credit for other coursework completed with a grade of “D” or above. While “D” grades may satisfy general education requirements at transfer institutions, ”D” grades may not satisfy specific course requirements directly related to a student’s major at HCC or at the transfer institution.
INTERNATIONAL COLLEGE AND UNIVERSITY CREDIT–Credit is awarded, as appropriate, for coursework completed at international colleges and universities. However, HCC’s Office of Admissions and Advising generally does not evaluate international transcripts. Students seeking credit for coursework completed at international colleges and universities must have their transcripts evaluated by an international credentialing agency that is a nationally recognized accredited agency in the United States. Students must submit an official copy of the results directly to HCC’s Office of Admissions and Advising. Credit may be granted for international coursework based on the results of such evaluations. Otherwise, the same policies and procedures that apply to coursework completed at U.S. colleges and universities are used. Additional information and a list of several international credentialing agencies are available in the Office of Admissions and Advising.
HIGH SCHOOL ARTICULATION CREDIT–Students who have completed Howard County Public School System career programs through Career Academies may be eligible for academic credit at HCC through an articulation agreement with the school system. Eligibility for this credit is based on a number of factors, including the student’s HCC area of study, other college coursework the student has completed, the student’s grade in the high school course, and the specific terms of the articulation agreement. Students must submit to the college’s Office of Admissions and Advising an official high school transcript and an Articulated Credit Form (available in high school guidance offices and HCC’s Office of Admissions and Advising). The award of credit for high school coursework does not guarantee that transfer institutions will grant credit for these courses or grant credit in the same way.
Nontraditional Prior Learning
State law limits the number of credits that can be awarded for nontraditional learning to thirty (30) for both two-year and four-year colleges and universities. (This limit is based on a 60-credit associate degree or a 120-credit bachelor degree. The nontraditional credit limit can be increased proportionally when degrees exceed these credit totals.) The college awards applicable credits earned for the following nontraditional prior learning:
NONCOLLEGIATE PROGRAMS–Credit may be granted for educational programs that apply to students’ learning programs and have been successfully completed at noncollegiate organizations such as government agencies, corporations and businesses, trade and technical schools, and others. Noncollegiate courses will be evaluated in accordance with the American Council on Education (ACE) recommendations, as well as other approved organizations, in accordance with the college’s articulation agreements with nontraditional organizations and agencies. Official transcripts, along with an official transcript evaluation request form, must be submitted to the Office of Admissions and Advising.
MILITARY EDUCATION AND TRAINING–Credit may be granted for a variety of formal military, vocational, and educational programs based on a student’s declared learning program at HCC. Students will be awarded credit based on recommendations made by the ACE, as well as in accordance with the college’s articulation agreements with individual military branches and organizations. Official military transcripts, including Joint Services Transcript (JST), Community College of the Air Force (CCAF), or other military transcripts, must be submitted with a transcript evaluation request form to the Office of Admissions and Advising.
PORTFOLIO ASSESSMENT–Credit for prior learning acquired through employment, self-study, volunteer, civic, or other activities may be awarded through the portfolio assessment option. To earn credit through this method, students must enroll in a course specifically designed to assist in the development of a portfolio summarizing prior experiential learning. In COOP-160 Portfolio Development, students learn to document previous learning in a format that enables faculty to assess eligibility for academic credit. Students must demonstrate that prior learning and experience have resulted in the acquisition of college-level competencies and skills directly related to courses in their learning programs. Students have eighteen months to complete their assessment of prior learning through Portfolio Assessment. Specific prerequisites are necessary to participate in this program. For most programs, a maximum of 15 credits may be earned through this option. Further information may be obtained by contacting the business and computer systems division.
CREDIT BY EXAMINATION–Students may be awarded credit through nationally standardized or HCC institutional testing programs. Howard Community College has specific policies for all testing programs for which it awards credits based on scores, other credits earned, and students’ learning programs. Credit is generally not awarded for institutional exams taken at other colleges and universities. Students must submit official score transcripts, declare a learning program, and submit an official request for a transcript evaluation to receive credit for national examination programs. Howard Community College’s test center administers some of these exams to its current and prospective students. Information regarding required scores and credits awarded may be obtained by contacting the Office of Admissions and Advising.
The national examination programs for which the college awards credit are:
ADVANCED PLACEMENT (AP) EXAMS–These are subject-matter exams sponsored by the College Board and generally administered through high schools at the culmination of advanced placement course offerings. The college generally awards credit for scores of 3, 4, or 5. Further information can be obtained by contacting high school guidance offices or the College Board website.
INTERNATIONAL BACCALAUREATE (IB) EXAMS–These are subject-matter exams administered in high school international baccalaureate programs. The college generally awards credit for scores of 4, 5, 6, or 7. For more information, contact the Office of Admissions and Advising or the International Baccalaureate program website.
COLLEGE EXAMINATION PROGRAM (CLEP)–This is a national credit-by-examination program providing individuals of all ages and backgrounds the opportunity to receive credit for college-level achievement acquired in a wide variety of ways. General and subject examinations are available in many different areas. Howard Community College administers CLEP examinations to current and prospective students at its test center. Additional information regarding CLEP can be obtained by contacting the Office of Admissions and Advising or the College Board website.
DSST (formerly known as the DANTES Subject Standardized Tests)–Students participating in the DSST program have the opportunity to earn college credit for learning that has occurred outside the traditional classroom. Howard Community College administers DSST examinations at its test center. Students may earn up to three credits for each examination based on their scores and the American Council of Education’s (ACE) score recommendations. Additional information regarding DSST can be obtained by contacting the Office of Admissions and Advising or the DSST website.
EXCELSIOR COLLEGE EXAMS–Students may complete subject-based exams developed and offered through Excelsior College and Pearson VUE. Students must receive a grade of “C” or higher for these examinations to be equated to HCC courses. Exams are administered through the HCC test center. For more information and a list of accepted exams, please contact the Office of Admissions and Advising.
Institutional exams offered at HCC for selected courses include:
PROFICIENCY EXAMS–These exams are taken prior to course enrollment when students believe they have mastery of course skills and objectives. Successful test performance results in course credits and appears on transcripts as proficiency credit. Proficiency exams cannot be retaken and cannot be taken by students previously unsuccessful in courses for which they are seeking credit. Students must be admitted to the college prior to taking proficiency exams. A fee equal to fifty percent of the current in-county tuition for the course will be charged for each proficiency examination. Proficiency exams must be taken within thirty calendar days after fee payment; students who do not take exams within this thirty-day limit will be notified that credit will not be issued.
CHALLENGE EXAMS–These exams are taken after enrolling in courses when students believe they have acquired course skills and objectives. Successful test performance results in the award of course credit, which, along with the grade earned, appears on a student’s transcript. A challenge exam may only be attempted once during a course. If the exam does not result in a passing grade, the student remains in the course. There is no additional cost for challenge exams beyond course tuition and fees.
Students must contact the appropriate faculty or division chairperson to arrange proficiency and challenge exams. These exams are offered for some, but not all, credit classes. Information on proficiency and challenge exams is available in the Office of Admissions and Advising and in the appropriate academic division offices.
LPN-RN MOBILITY EXAM–Howard Community College administers the LPN-RN Mobility Exam as one part of the process of determining advanced standing in the LPN Pathways program. This exam is designed to facilitate LPN to RN career mobility. The exam is one method to assess prior learning and experience in the nursing field. It is used by HCC in combination with other requirements to award clinical nursing transfer credit and advanced standing in the LPN Pathways program. Further information may be obtained through the Office of Admissions and Advising.
HONORS AND ACADEMIC RECOGNITION
The Frederick K. Schoenbrodt Honors Program
The Frederick K. Schoenbrodt Honors Program offers excellent full- and part-time students of all ages flexible opportunities to fulfill their general education requirements as part of a supportive, intellectual community that helps prepare them for more advanced study and transfer. Students enjoy learning with outstanding faculty and peers in stimulating honors courses and through active participation in the college’s academic and cultural events.
The Frederick K. Schoenbrodt Honors Program admits students who meet one or more of the following criteria:
- A high school or college cumulative GPA of 3.2 or higher or a combined score of 1100 on the SAT (critical reading and math) and/or an ACT composite score of 25 or higher
- An HCC student with an HCC GPA of 3.2 or higher with a minimum of six but no more than 24 college-level credits completed
- A GPA of 3.2 or better at another institution for applicants who are transferring to HCC, with a minimum of six but no more than 24 college-level credits completed.
In certain circumstances, consideration will be given to students for whom traditional indicators of success are not always valid.
Honors students maintain a yearly cumulative GPA of 3.2 or higher at HCC and participate in honors-designated events each semester.
Students who successfully complete 15 credits of honors coursework and present satisfactory evidence of honors-events participation will receive Honors recognition at graduation.
Honors classes have limited enrollments. The college keeps the class size moderate in order to achieve maximum interaction between the instructor and the students.
James W. Rouse Scholars Program
This honors and leadership program is for incoming high school seniors and has specific criteria for admission. For further details, see page 47.
Dean’s List for Full-time Students
Students who have maintained at least 12 credit hours with a semester grade point average of 3.50 or better are eligible for nomination to the Dean’s List. Students cannot receive an F, L, or W grade during the semester and qualify for the Dean’s List. Students who have met the qualifications will be recognized as outstanding students by the college.
Dean’s List for Part-time Students
Part-time students who have completed 12 or more credit hours and earn a semester grade point average of 3.50 or better are eligible for nomination to the Dean’s List for Part-Time Students. Students must complete a minimum of six credits in the semester under consideration and cannot receive an F, L, or W grade during the semester and qualify for the Dean’s List for Part-Time Students. Students who have met the qualifications will be recognized as outstanding students by the college.
Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society
Alpha Alpha Sigma is the HCC chapter of Phi Theta Kappa, the national honor society of two-year colleges. To be invited to join, students must meet the following criteria during a spring or fall semester: accumulate at least 12 credits in 100- and 200-level courses and have at least a 3.5 cumulative GPA in those courses. To remain in the honor society a student must maintain a 3.2 GPA. Induction celebrations are held during both the fall and spring semesters. Phi Theta Kappa students who enroll in honors courses are eligible for a limited number of scholarships.
Alpha Beta Gamma Honor Society
Howard Community College is accredited by the Alpha Beta Gamma International Business Honor Society to initiate members into the honor society for business and related professional disciplines. Alpha Beta Gamma exists to reward academic excellence among business honor students and to recognize the contribution to learning and business of professionals. To achieve this goal, Alpha Beta Gamma provides leadership opportunities, forums for the exchange of ideas and the stimulation of interest in continuing academic excellence. Since its founding in 1970, over 65,000 students from accredited community, junior, and technical colleges have been initiated into the society. Alpha Beta Gamma is a member of the Association of College Honor Societies, and an affiliate member of both the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) and The Association of Canadian Community Colleges (ACCC). To be eligible for membership in Alpha Beta Gamma, a student must be enrolled in a business curriculum at HCC and have completed 15 credit hours with at least 12 credit hours applicable to a degree. In addition, the student must have at least a 3.0 GPA.
Alpha Eta Honor Society
Alpha Eta Society is the national scholarship honor society for the allied health professions. Alpha Eta recognizes the academic achievements of allied health students based upon their overall GPA. Allied health students that have achieved a 3.5 overall PGA are nominated for membership into the society.
Graduation with Honors
Students who have maintained a cumulative grade point average of 3.5 or above will graduate with honors. Students who have a grade point average of 3.75 or above will graduate with high honors. Those students who have a 4.0 grade point average will graduate with highest honors.
STEM Scholars Program
The STEM scholars program is a challenging honors program that brings together high-achieving students interested in pursuing majors in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. Students in this learning community focus on learning and practicing the technical, ethical, and communication skills needed to enter and succeed in these dynamic fields. Students enrolled in this program complete a one-credit seminar each semester in which they hone their skills in research, communication, teamwork, and career planning. Opportunities for mentorship, service learning, and cultural and recreational experiences are provided. This program has specific criteria for selective admissions which include academic performance, test scores, letters of recommendation, and an essay. For more information on the application process and admission requirements, please refer to: howardcc.edu/admissions.
Statement on Academic Freedom
Institutions of higher education exist for the common good and not to further the interest of either the individual faculty member or the institution as a whole. The common good depends upon the free search for truth and its free exposition. It shall be the policy of Howard Community College to maintain and encourage full freedom, within the law, of inquiry, teaching and research for all faculty.
Although academic freedom is fundamental to the rights of the teacher and the student, it carries with it related duties and responsibilities. The faculty member is entitled to freedom in the classroom in discussing subject matter but should be careful not to introduce controversial topics which are not related to the course. The faculty member is responsible for ensuring that the course content includes material specified by the college in the course description and course objectives.
The college faculty member is a citizen, a member of a learned profession, and an officer of an educational institution. When speaking or writing as a citizen, the faculty member should be free from institutional censorship or discipline. However, the special position of the faculty member in the community imposes special obligations. As a person of learning and an educational officer, he/she should remember that the public may judge the institution or the profession by statements made by individual faculty members. Therefore, accuracy, exercise of appropriate restraint and respect for the opinion of others should be displayed on- and off-campus. The faculty member should also make every effort to indicate that the opinions expressed are not necessarily those of the institution.
Statement on General Education and Liberal Learning
A liberal education prepares students to lead ethical, productive, and creative lives and to understand how the pursuit of lifelong learning and critical thinking fosters good citizenship. General education courses form the core of a liberal education within the higher education curriculum and provide a coherent intellectual experience for all students by introducing the fundamental concepts and methods of inquiry in the areas of mathematics, the physical and natural sciences, the social sciences, the arts and the humanities, and composition. General education courses develop students’ abilities to communicate effectively in oral and written English and to perform numerical analyses at a college level; develop students’ abilities to think and express themselves analytically, critically, and creatively, and to read with comprehension; foster qualities of open-mindedness, inquiry, and the rational assessment of data; provide opportunities for students to apply their knowledge and skills in solving complex problems and to apply ethical principles to inquiry; prepare students to adapt to the increasing integration of information technology in all fields of knowledge; encourage students to connect knowledge across these disciplines and to understand themselves as well as their social, aesthetic, political, and physical environment; and foster in students an understanding of and respect for diverse human cultures. Howard Community College recognizes the development of ethical judgment as an integral part of one’s education and supports the integration of ethical issues into the core curriculum.
Learning Outcomes Assessment and Accountability
Howard Community College (HCC) is committed to the philosophy of educational accountability. In order to determine that students are attaining the knowledge and skills appropriate to various courses and programs, regular and planned assessment activities occur.
The assessment activities may take diverse forms including standardized assessments, placement tests, faculty-developed evaluations, focus sessions, and surveys. The college believes that such input is vital to its responsibility to maintain quality instruction. Therefore, class time may occasionally be used for these activities and it is expected that students will participate in the processes when asked. Confidentiality of responses is ensured. Entering freshmen and graduating students may be required to take a standardized test of general education skills.
An academic complaint is defined as an issue related to classroom instruction or a grade dispute. A student who has an academic complaint, including a specific academic complaint involving a faculty member, that remains unresolved through informal means, may enter into a formal process of problem resolution. The student academic complaint procedures and the appropriate form may be obtained from the division offices or student services. A student who wants to initiate a formal academic complaint must submit an academic complaint form no later than the end of the seventh week of the next full semester.
- The student must begin the formal complaint process by scheduling an appointment with the instructor to discuss the problem. Many times misunderstandings can be resolved by honest, open dialogue.
- If the student cannot resolve the problem during the meeting with the instructor, the student may contact the division office to schedule an appointment to see the appropriate academic leader (e.g., division chair, associate chair) in that division. Prior to scheduling the appointment, the student must submit the student academic complaint form, including a written description of the problem, the resolution the student is requesting, and the signature of the instructor to confirm that the initial required meeting has taken place. If the concern is not resolved at the division level, the student’s written complaint, the instructor’s written response, and the division leader’s recommendation will be forwarded to the vice president of academic affairs. At this stage in the academic complaint process, the student has the right to meet with the vice president of academic affairs, but the student is not required to do so. That appointment must be made within two weeks of the meeting with the division leader. If the student has not made contact within two weeks, the student has waived the right to the meeting. After that two-week period, the vice president of academic affairs will make a judgment on the case.
- The decision of the vice president of academic affairs is final. This decision will be communicated to the student in a formal correspondence.
Grading and Attendance Policy
The methods for evaluation and grading within a course are clearly stated in the course syllabus. Evaluation procedures are objective and appropriately related to the course’s objectives and content.
HCC does not have a college-wide attendance policy. Regular class attendance, however, is one of the most important responsibilities of the student and in many cases will count toward the final grade. Attendance requirements will be clearly stated in the course syllabus and discussed by the instructor.
A student who wishes to drop a class and/or receive a refund must officially do so using myHCC or coming in person to the Office of Records, Registration and Veterans Affairs during the specified period of time. A section may only be dropped during the first twenty-percent of its scheduled meeting dates. Information about the refund period is published in myHCC. The percent of refund depends upon the date that the section starts and the date it is officially dropped. Classes that are dropped do not appear on the academic transcript. Drop periods are prorated for classes that have fewer meeting dates, and for late-starting classes. See page 27 for more information.
All students are strongly urged to consult with an academic advisor before making academic decisions. Additional procedures prior to dropping are required of the following students:
- Students receiving financial aid and scholarships–Students receiving financial aid and scholarships must inform Financial Aid Services and obtain a signature from authorized staff in this office.
- International (F1) students–International (F1) students must receive consent from an international student advisor.
- Active duty service members, veterans, and their dependents–Students using veterans education benefits or tuition assistance must notify the Office of Records, Registration and Veterans Affairs when dropping sections. Failure to do so may result in overpayment from the Veterans Administration or Department of Defense.
Never Attended Reporting
A student who registers for a section and does not report to class within the first twenty percent of scheduled class meetings will be reported by the faculty as having never attended which will appear as an NA grade on the student’s transcript. This may affect financial aid, veterans benefits, and tuition assistance, as well as student visa status and athletic eligibility.
A student who wishes to officially withdraw from a course must do so online using myHCC, or in person at the Office of Records, Registration and Veterans Affairs. Students who stop attending are not automatically withdrawn from classes, but may have financial aid, veterans benefits or tuition assistance affected.
The withdrawal period is between twenty percent and sixty-six percent of scheduled meeting dates. Withdrawal dates are in myHCC.
All students are strongly urged to consult with an academic advisor before making academic decisions. Additional procedures prior to withdrawing are required of the following students:
- Students receiving financial aid and scholarships–Students receiving financial aid and scholarships must inform Financial Aid Services and obtain a signature from authorized staff in this office.
- International (F1) students–International (F1) students must receive consent from an international student advisor.
- Active duty service members, veterans, and their dependents–Students using veterans education benefits or tuition assistance must notify the Office of Records, Registration and Veterans Affairs when withdrawing from sections. Failure to do so may result in overpayment from the Veterans Administration or Department of Defense.
Students withdrawing officially from a section will receive a grade of “W.” The “W” will appear on the student’s transcript and show as attempted credit, but will not be calculated into the student’s GPA. Withdrawal can affect academic standing, financial aid, veterans benefits and tuition assistance (see pages 27 and 34). Students who do not withdraw by the posted deadline must accept the final grade earned for the course.
Records and Registration Appeals Committee
A student who has an unexpected life event (illness or death in the immediate family, pregnancy or related issue, involuntary transfer/change in work hours, or called to active military duty via enlistment, activation, or deployment) during a semester may request an exception to Howard Community College’s dates and deadlines. In such extenuating circumstances, the student should submit a written request using the appeal form available online from the Office of Records, Registration and Veterans Affairs (howardcc.edu/rrvaforms), along with supporting documentation. Appeals must be submitted no later than the end of the seventh week of the next major semester. The appeals committee makes its determination based on documentation of extenuating circumstances as cited in the student’s appeal request. Students whose appeals are denied are entitled to submit a second appeal to the registrar.
Academic Persistence and Catalog Requirements
Students attending Howard Community College will follow the catalog requirements in effect during the semester they enrolled, or any catalog thereafter, provided they maintain continuous enrollment and do not have enrollment sanctions related to academic standing or the Student Code of Conduct. Students may take up to two calendar years off and still graduate under the catalog requirements they had been following as long as they complete a course in the last semester attended and complete a course in the semester they return (some exceptions can apply to nursing and allied health programs). Students who take more than two calendar years off must be readmitted to the college (page 24) though they do not need to pay another standard application fee.
All students who change their learning program must follow the curriculum requirements of the catalog in place when the change is made. (Exceptions are possible only in extraordinary circumstances such as military deployment.) Even when students select the same learning program, they must follow the program requirements in place when they are readmitted.
To officially change learning programs, students must complete a Change of Learning Program form, have it signed by an advisor, and submit it to the Office of Admissions and Advising. This form is available in this office or on the college’s advising website (howardcc.edu/advising).
Students who have been granted course substitutions or who previously transferred credits into the college must also officially request a re-evaluation of their academic record based upon their new learning program and/or the new catalogue they are following.
REGISTRATION AND ENROLLMENT
An audit designation must be specified at the time of registration. No credit will be given. Audit status can ONLY be converted to credit status and credit status can ONLY be converted to audit status during the first twenty percent of scheduled meeting dates of a section. Students may convert their status only once during that period. Audited courses do not count as part of the semester’s credit hour load nor as credit towards graduation. Audited courses will appear on the transcript with a grade of N. Students must meet course prerequisites to audit.
CustomClass is an enrollment option that allows students to enroll in credit classes without having been admitted as credit students or meeting the normal prerequisites. CustomClass students select this option at the time of registration and CANNOT later change to credit or audit status. They will be exposed to the material and instruction in a credit course but will not receive grades or transcripts for the course. Some courses may be eligible for CEUs (continuing education units) or certifications from the Continuing Education Division. Students may take up to 8 credits per semester as CustomClasses. For more information, call 443-518-4659, or visit howardcc.edu and search for “CustomClass.”
Cancellation of Courses
Howard Community College builds its schedule of courses based on enrollment trends and community needs. The college may cancel any course at its sole discretion. Sometimes courses are canceled due to insufficient enrollment. Early registration and payment helps ensure that a course will run. If a student is affected by a course cancellation, the student will be notified via email.
One semester hour of credit is generally assigned for each lecture period or laboratory session. Lecture periods are 52 minutes and laboratory sessions are two to three hours in length per credit.
Academic Schedule (Full-Time/Part-Time)
A full-time student schedule for either the fall semester or the spring semester of the winter/spring term generally consists of 12 to 18 credit hours. A student registered for fewer than 12 credit hours is classified as part-time. A schedule in excess of 18 credit hours must be approved by an academic advisor. Except in extraordinary circumstances, such approval will not extend beyond a load of 21 credit hours and will be based on a student’s demonstrated ability to be successful with a full load of 18 (non-audit) credit hours. During the summer term, a student may take no more than 12 credit hours across all sessions. During the winter intersession, a student may take no more than eight credit hours.
Students enrolled in certain allied health programs with a schedule of fewer than 12 credit hours, during the clinical phase, may be considered full-time from a program perspective. However, for financial aid purposes, a student must enroll in 12 aid-eligible credit hours to be considered full-time. Total developmental coursework in excess of 30 credit hours is not aid-eligible. More than one repeat of a previously passed class is not aid-eligible credit hours.
Students are expected to make satisfactory progress each term they are enrolled. Satisfactory academic progress (good standing) is demonstrated when students successfully maintain a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of at least a 2.00 or as defined below. At the end of the fall and spring semesters, the progress of each student will be reviewed. If a student’s cumulative GPA is below a 2.00, the student’s standing is determined by both attempted credits and a minimum cumulative GPA earned at HCC:
- 12 – 15 attempted credits, a minimum cumulative GPA of 1.00 is required;
- 16 – 30 attempted credits, a minimum cumulative GPA of 1.50 is required;
- 31 – 40 attempted credits, a minimum cumulative GPA of 1.75 is required;
- 41 or greater attempted credits, a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.00 is required.
Financial aid recipients are subject to additional standards of academic progress as required by federal Title IV regulations.
Students using VA education benefits are subject to additional standards of academic progress as determined by the Veterans Administration.
A student who has not achieved minimum cumulative GPA standards after 12 or more cumulative attempted credits will be placed on either academic warning or academic probation as described below.
After attempting 12 credits, a student who is not making satisfactory academic progress is placed on academic warning. Students on academic warning receive notification of their status and are required to follow the intervention procedure outlined for them in their notification. Students who achieve at least a 2.00 semester grade point average remain on academic warning until reaching good standing. Students who fail to meet this requirement are placed on academic probation.
Academic probation results when a student on academic warning fails to reach the prescribed minimum standard for cumulative GPA. It is recommended that students on academic probation meet with an academic advisor at least once prior to registration for the next semester. Students on academic probation will be limited to registering for eight credit hours in the next semester. Students who achieve at least a 2.00 semester grade point average remain on academic probation until reaching good standing. Students who fail to meet this requirement are placed on academic suspension.
A student on academic probation who fails to reach the prescribed minimum standard for cumulative GPA and does not achieve at least a 2.00 semester GPA during the next major semester (fall/spring) in which enrolled is placed on academic suspension. When placed on academic suspension, the student may not attend HCC during the next major semester. Students have the right to appeal the first academic suspension.
SUSPENSION APPEAL–Details of the appeals process are included in the notification about the student’s suspension. If a student’s appeal is granted, the student is reinstated and placed on academic probation. A student suspended for academic reasons a second or subsequent time is not permitted to register for any courses for one full calendar year.
REINSTATEMENT AFTER SUSPENSION–A student who has been suspended and has not been enrolled for one major semester or one full calendar year must contact retention services. Upon reinstatement, the student is placed on academic probation, the course schedule is restricted, and the student must meet the satisfactory progress standard as stated above. If satisfactory progress is not met, the student is suspended.
Final grades for Howard Community College students will be issued at the end of each semester. All grades earned will remain on the official transcript. Letter grades earn quality points according to the following schedule:
|Grade||Quality Points Per Credit Hour||Standard|
|A||4||Mastery of course objectives with outstanding quality of academic achievement|
|B||3||Mastery of course objectives with high quality of academic achievement|
|C||2||Mastery of course objectives|
|D||1||Minimum passing grade (does not meet minimum grade required for developmental courses and nursing and allied health prerequisites and courses).|
|F||0||Lack of mastery of course objectives|
|W||None||None Withdraw. This grade is given at the time of withdrawal no later than the end of the tenth week of classes.|
|I||None||Incomplete. A temporary designation generally given only in an emergency situation such as illness, which results in the student’s inability to complete course objectives. A student must have successfully completed 75 percent of the course objectives, as determined by the instructor, for the “I” designation. This designation must be changed to a permanent grade other than “W” or “L” within a period of time determined by the instructor at the time the “I” designation is assigned. Normally the period to complete objectives shall not exceed the end of the seventh week of the next full semester or it will be converted to an “F” grade. A written agreement by the instructor specifying the necessary objectives and period of time within which they need to be completed shall be sent to the student with a copy to the student’s permanent file.|
|L||None||The “L” grade is assigned only in some developmental courses to students who have not mastered the course objectives due to individual learning characteristics. In order to qualify for an “L” grade, students must work with steady diligence, effort, and near perfect attendance, and must show progress on course objectives. Students may be required to seek additional assistance beyond class sessions. The “L” grade is not computed in students’ grade point averages.|
|NA||None||Never Attended. This grade is assigned to students who register for a course and do not report or participate within the first 20 percent of scheduled class sessions.|
The total semester hours earned by a student are equivalent to the total of the credit hours for which a grade of A, B, C, D or F was recorded. A student’s grade point average (GPA) is recorded on the student’s official transcript. The GPA is calculated as follows:
Total Quality Points Earned Grade Point
Total Semester Hours Attempted = Average
Grades with the indication of “None” under quality points per credit hour in the grade schedule are not used in computing the GPA. Grade records are maintained in the Office of Records, Registration and Veterans Affairs. An official transcript may be obtained from the Office of Records, Registration and Veterans Affairs. Students who have not met all of their financial obligations will have transcripts and grades withheld until such obligations are satisfied.
If a student repeats a course, the highest grade earned in the course will count toward the grade point average (GPA); however, all attempts and the resulting grades will appear on the transcript.
Academic amnesty is designed to provide former credit students an opportunity to re-enter Howard Community College without the burden of previous poor academic performance (i.e., grades of D and/or F). The purpose of the policy is to make a fresh start possible. If a request for academic amnesty is approved, a student may have specific previously completed courses eliminated from the computation of his or her grade point average; these courses cannot be applied toward graduation.
The criteria for academic amnesty are as follows:
- After a minimum period of five years without being enrolled in credit courses (ten consecutive major terms) at Howard Community College and after the successful completion of six or more credits in the first semester back with a term GPA of 2.0 or higher, a returning student would be eligible to request amnesty for courses prior to their re-entry, including those courses that may be applicable to the student’s current course of study.
- A student requesting academic amnesty has the choice of applying the amnesty to all D and F grades or applying academic amnesty to the F grades only. All grades of A, B, or C will remain unaffected.
- All courses for which students have amnesty applied will continue to be a part of the student’s academic record and will appear on the student’s transcript. However, they will not be used in the calculation of the cumulative adjusted GPA. A notation will be made on the student’s transcript stating academic amnesty has been applied.
- Attempted credits would be the sum of all attempted credits, including the original enrollment.
- All “forgiven” completed credits will be calculated as 0. The sum of completed credits will start with the term in which the student successfully (term GPA of 2.0 or higher) completes at least 6 credits.
- Academic amnesty does not override program-specific limits on re-admission.
- A student may only utilize academic amnesty once.
- Once academic amnesty has been applied to a student’s record it is not reversible.
To initiate a request for academic amnesty, a student, with the assistance of an academic advisor, reviews all previous coursework to determine which option best meets the student’s academic goals. The student submits a Request for Academic Amnesty form to the Office of Admissions and Advising, and upon approval, the student’s amended record reflects the new calculation of the GPA and total hours earned. The initial grades will remain on the student’s transcript.
Financial Aid Considerations with Academic Amnesty
Federal financial aid regulations do not recognize academic amnesty (forgiveness), and instead require cumulative measures of satisfactory academic progress, including all attempted coursework.
- Students who receive academic amnesty may automatically be placed on financial aid restriction. Students must submit a written appeal to Financial Aid Services, and academic amnesty will be considered as a factor in the appeal process.
- Students who receive academic amnesty must still comply with all satisfactory academic progress requirements. For financial aid purposes, all students must comply with all satisfactory academic progress (SAP) requirements. All courses taken and grades received at HCC are used in this calculation regardless of a grant of academic amnesty.
- The 150% maximum timeframe applies based on all attempted coursework, including any forgiven classes.
- More information about financial aid is available on pages 31-36. For further information, contact Financial Aid Services (RCF-222, firstname.lastname@example.org, 443-518-1260).
Academic honesty is of utmost importance to Howard Community College (HCC). Broadly, academic honesty means incorporating one’s own thoughts and materials in all academic activities (e.g., papers, projects, lab reports). A violation of academic honesty involves misrepresentation, the submission of materials for evaluation that are not the student’s own, or fulfillment of an academic exercise that does not result from individual effort or intellectual production. Examples of academic dishonesty include, but are not limited to: unauthorized use or copying of materials, unauthorized assistance with assignments, unauthorized use of devices or tools, unauthorized prior knowledge of the contents of assessment instruments, such as exams, quizzes, or surveys, and falsification or fabrication of information.
Policy and procedures related to academic honesty are communicated through the college catalog, schedule of classes, course outlines, and faculty and student handbooks. At a minimum, all catalogs, schedules of classes and syllabi will contain the following statement: “Academic honesty, as defined in the Student Handbook, is expected of all students.”
To preserve the value of educational endeavors at HCC, faculty and students will exhibit academic honesty through the following core values:
- Integrity: doing quality work that reflects one’s best effort, honesty, and originality;
- Respect: giving credit to those who assist in educational endeavors; and
- Excellence: demonstrating a high standard of ethical behavior.
HCC maintains the following expectations for each student. Students will:
- submit work that represents the individual’s own achievements, investigations, and study;
- craft original work, contribute fairly to a group product, and acknowledge collaborators, even in collaborative learning opportunities; and
- present data that is true to the student’s own research, laboratory results, observations, and investigations, when reporting investigated results.
Students are expected to give full credit for the borrowing of others’ words or ideas. Intentional or unintentional use of another’s words or ideas without giving credit constitutes plagiarism. There are four common forms of plagiarism:
- duplication of an author’s words without quotation marks and accurate references or footnotes;
- duplication of an author’s words or phrases with footnotes or accurate references, but without quotation marks;
- use of an author’s ideas in paraphrase without accurate references or footnotes; or
- submission of a paper in which exact words are merely rearranged even though footnoted.
Every student is expected to submit work for a course or for any other academic purpose that has been done solely for that course or for that purpose. If the same or similar work is submitted to any other course or used for any other academic purpose within the college, prior written permission of the instructor must be obtained.
Any student intentionally aiding another student in any infraction of the academic honesty policy is considered equally responsible.
Faculty reserve the right to establish course-level policies in conjunction with, and in addition to, the stated academic honesty policy, provided that these policies are clearly delineated in the course syllabus. Procedures for dealing with infractions of the academic honesty policy follow. An infraction of academic honesty remains on a student’s disciplinary record for seven years.
FIRST INFRACTION–The faculty member will give the student a “0” or its equivalent on the paper, examination, or presentation in question. The faculty member will notify the student and explain the reason for the grade. This action could result in a lower final grade. The appropriate division chairperson will be informed of the infraction in writing and the vice president of student services or designee will notify the student in writing of the consequences and implications of this infraction.
SECOND INFRACTION–The faculty member will give the student a “0” on the paper, examination, or presentation in question. A second infraction of the academic honesty policy, either in the same course or in another course, will also result in an automatic “F” in the course in which the second infraction occurred. Upon written notification from the appropriate division chair that an academic honesty infraction occurred, and a determination is made that a second infraction has occurred, the vice president of student services or designee will notify the student of the “F” for the course and make the faculty member aware that a second infraction has occurred. The student will be dropped from the course and barred from further class participation.
In cases where the second infraction occurs in the same course, the faculty member will notify the student and explain the reason for the “F” in the course; otherwise, the vice president of student services or designee will notify the student of the “F” in the course. The vice president of student services or designee will notify the registrar that the student is to receive an “F” for the course. The vice president of student services or designee will meet with the student involved and apprise the student of the implication of this second infraction.
THIRD INFRACTION–The faculty member shall give the student a “0” on the paper, examination, or presentation in question. The faculty member will notify the student and explain the reason for the grade. A third infraction of the academic honesty policy will also result in an automatic “F” in the course in which the third infraction occurred. Upon notification from the appropriate division chair that an academic honesty infraction occurred and a determination is made that a third infraction has occurred, the vice president of student services or designee will notify the student of the “F” for the course and make the faculty member aware that a third infraction has occurred. The student will be dropped from the course and barred from further class participation. The vice president of student services or designee will also notify the registrar that the student is to receive an “F” for the course. A third instance of plagiarism or any behavior involving an infraction of the academic honesty policy will result in disciplinary action as determined through the student judicial process.
APPEALS–A student intending to appeal an infraction of the academic honesty policy should follow the academic complaint procedure (see Academic Procedures 10.14.02).