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What is academic standing?
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Academic standing describes your academic performance at Howard Community College.  Students in Good Standing have a cumulative QPA (Quality Point Average) of 2.0 or above.   Students with a Grade Point Average of 3.5 or higher may be nominated to the Dean’s List or the Dean’s List for Part-Time Students.  Students whose Grade Point Average is less than 2.0 GPA will either be on academic warning, academic probation or academic suspension.

How is a student’s academic standing calculated?
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Letter grades earned by students are awarded Quality Points per Credit Hour according to the chart below:


Quality Points Per Credit Hour




Mastery of course objectives with outstanding quality of academic achievement



Mastery of course objectives with high quality of academic achievement



Mastery of course objectives



Minimum passing grade (does not meet the minimum grade requirements for developmental courses, Nursing, Cardiovascular Technology, Emergency Medical Services, and Radiologic Technology prerequisites and clinical coursework.)



Lack of mastery of course objectives

The total semester hours earned by a student is equivalent to the total of the credit hours for which a grade of A, B, C, D or F was recorded.  The student’s grade point average is calculated as follows:

Total Quality Points Earned        =  Grade Point
Total Semester Hours Attempted      Average

2009-2010 Howard Community College Catalog, p39.

Is there academic recognition for students who earn a GPA of 3.5 or higher?
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Yes!  A full-time student who has accumulated a 3.5 or higher GPA for 12 semester hours in a semester or a part-time student who has accumulated 12 semester hours and has earned 6 credit hours in the term under consideration with a 3.5 GPA or higher may be nominated for the Dean’s List.  Students with an F, L, or W grade during the semester being considered are not eligible for the Dean’s list.

What happens if students do not meet the academic standard of “good standing.”
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All students should strive to be in good standing with the college.  Students who do not meet the standard of “good standing” with the college may be placed be on academic warning, academic probation or in the most serious circumstances, on academic suspension

  • Academic Warning: After attempting 12 semester credits, students who are not making satisfactory academic progress will be placed on Academic Warning. Students will receive notification of their academic performance by letter and email following the end of the semester.  Students who are placed on academic warning are required to: (1) complete the self assessment form found on the web at:; (2) meet with an academic success coordinator prior to the withdrawal date of the next major term; (3) consider interventions which will lead to academic success.
  • Academic Probation: Students who are on academic warning and fail to meet the minimum standard for cumulative GPA will be placed on probation.  Students placed on academic probation will: (1) be limited to 8 credits for the next semester; (2) complete the Academic Probation Form; and (3) meet with an academic advisor at least once prior to the next semester.
  • Academic Suspension: Students who are on academic probation and fail to meet the minimum cumulative GPA and do not achieve a 2.0 term GPA will be placed on academic suspension which means students will not be able to attend the next major semester.  Students have the right to appeal Academic Suspension.

What is the process for a student to appeal their Academic Suspension (first time only)?
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  • Students seeking to appeal their Academic Suspension must (1) submit a letter of appeal with supporting documentation by the deadline stated in the academic suspension letter.  All letters must be submitted to the Learning Assistance Center (RCF 340).
  • The Academic Appeals Committee will review all letters of appeal and supporting documentation.  The committee will make a decision to accept or deny the appeal.  Students will be notified of the committee's decision by mail and HCC email within two weeks of submission of the appeal.
  • If the student’s appeal is granted, the student will be placed on Academic Probation for the following semester.   A student suspended for academic reasons for a second or subsequent time will not be permitted to register for any courses for one full calendar year.

What is the readmission process for students who have been out for one major semester?
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Students who did not return to HCC for one major semester following academic suspension must contact the Coordinator of Retention.  Upon readmission the student will (1) remain on Academic Probation; (2) the student’s schedule will be restricted; and (3) the student must meet satisfactory academic progress.  Students with questions regarding Academic Suspension may contact Retention Services at 443-518-4822.

2009-2010 Howard Community College Catalog, p39.

Is academic standing the same as class rank?
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No.  Class rank is a system designed to compare one student to another.  Sometimes certain courses are given extra weight because they are harder.  In the case of academic standing, students are rated based on the standards set by the college - many students can be on the Dean’s list; likewise, a number can be on academic warning, too.  A number is not assigned to the student regarding where his or her standing is compared to another specific student.

How and when will I find out about academic standing?
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Students will be notified by postal mail and email following the end of the major semester (fall or spring terms).

Why do students struggle with meeting the academic standard of “good standing?”
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There are many reasons students struggle to make “good standing.”  Some of the reasons students may struggle include:

  • a lack of understanding of the rigors of college course work;
  • working too many hours on a part-time job while leaving too little time for class preparation;
  • undecided about one’s academic major ;
  • lack of knowledge about the resources available to assist students;
  • not seeing their academic advisor

What happens if I am placed on the Dean’s List or the Dean’s List for Part-Time Students?
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You will receive a letter following the major semester indicating that you have been placed on the appropriate Dean’s List.   You will be invited to a reception held annually in March to recognize students who are placed on the Dean’s List.

What is SAP (Satisfactory Academic Progress) for financial aid students?
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Students receiving financial aid must make Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) toward their degree or certificate requirements each semester as determined by Howard Community College and in accordance with federal regulations.   Federal regulations require that all previously attended semesters and all accepted transfer credits be reviewed for SAP, including periods of attendance in which financial aid was not received.  Students are evaluated for SAP and academic standing at the end of each Fall and Spring term.  Course withdrawals (W), incomplete grades (I) and the “L” grades are considered non-completion of attempted course work but are not calculated into the GPA.  Students who fall below the minimum requirements for satisfactory academic progress may be placed on restrictions.  Additional information may be found at: