A student enrolling at SFCC should be aware of the college’s policies, procedures and options regarding course enrollment.
Academic dishonesty, including cheating or plagiarism, carries consequences ranging from failure in a particular course to suspension from the college (Policy 2-1 Student Code of Conduct).
Students must be admitted to SFCC; registered for class(es); have paid all tuition and applicable fees; and in good academic standing to attend class(es). Students are expected to attend all sessions of their courses. Each faculty member will establish specific attendance requirements (including punctuality) for each course and will inform students of these requirements at the beginning of the semester and in the course syllabus. Faculty are not expected to drop students for non-attendance, nor should students expect faculty to do so. Any student who is consistently absent or tardy jeopardizes good scholastic standing in the class.
Students not properly admitted, registered or having paid tuition and applicable fees are not allowed to attend or participate in class(es).
Changes in Enrollment
Students who wish to change their course enrollment status may do so during the allowed time frame, (see Academic Calendar ) from their online student portal account or by obtaining the appropriate form from the Welcome and Advising Center. The following changes in enrollment are permissible:
Students may add full-semester courses through the end of the add/drop period only. Late-starting courses may be added up to the date of the first class meeting.
Audit to Credit/Credit to Audit
For a full-semester course, a student may change enrollment from audit to credit or from credit to audit until the end of the eighth week of instruction during the spring or fall semester and through the end of the fourth week of instruction in a summer session. Changes from audit to credit require the faculty member’s signature. For deadlines applied to courses that are less than a full semester in length, see the alternative calendar grid in the course schedule of classes or contact the Welcome and Advising Center or the Registrar’s Office. A course taken for audit may not be used to meet a prerequisite or corequisite.
Drop or Withdrawal
Students who drop a full-semester course during the first three weeks of the fall or spring semester or the first two weeks of the summer session will receive a refund and no grade will appear on the official transcript. A grade of “W” will appear on the student’s record if the student officially withdraws after the third week of the fall or spring semester or after the second week of the summer session. The deadline for withdrawing is at approximately 60 percent completion of the course term. There is no refund associated with a withdrawal. Drop and withdrawal deadlines for short courses vary. Contact the Welcome and Advising Center at 505-428-1270 for more information.
Students are responsible for initiating an official drop or withdrawal from a course, from all courses or from the college. There are two ways to officially drop or withdraw from a class:
- Online through your student account at mysfcc.edu; or
- In writing to the Welcome and Advising Center.
Verbal requests, whether made in person or over the phone, cannot be processed. Students should not assume that they are automatically dropped or withdrawn from a class for non-attendance or non-payment. A student who has not officially dropped or withdrawn from a class will receive a final grade in the class and will not be eligible for a refund. Contact the Welcome and Advising Center at 505-428-1270 or the Registrar’s Office at 505-428-1267 for more information.
Students may enroll in any given course for credit or for audit only if they have met the prerequisite(s) for the course. Students who audit courses are not required to complete assignments; consequently, they receive neither grades nor credit. Courses that are audited cannot be used to fulfill prerequisites or corequisites.
Credit Hour Definition
Credit for courses successfully completed is awarded based on semester hours of credit. Each semester hour of credit in a lecture class requires a minimum of 15 hours, or 750 minutes of instruction per semester. Each semester hour of credit in a laboratory course, including studio, clinical, practicum, and other formats requires a minimum of 30 hours or 1,500 minutes of instruction per semester. Additionally, for each credit hour of in-class time spent in a course, two hours of out-of class work (e.g., homework, reading, assignments, projects, activities) are also required.
Classification of Students
The following are standards for the academic classification of students:
- Freshman: A student who has completed fewer than 33 credits
- Sophomore: A student who has completed 33 or more credits
Full-time enrollment in a regular fall or spring semester (16 weeks in length) is 12 to 18 credit hours; three-quarter enrollment is 9 to 11.99 credit hours; half-time is 6 to 8.99 credit hours; and less than half-time is 0-5.99 credit hours for fall and spring semesters. For financial aid purposes, this applies to summer as well, even though in a summer session the usual load is 6 to 9 credit hours because of the compressed time frame. An overload is more than 18 credit hours in a regular semester or more than nine hours in a summer session. Students wishing to take an overload must obtain permission from an advisor or counselor. To be eligible to take an overload, students must have a cumulative GPA of at least 2.5 with no grade lower than a C in any course in the previous semester.
In certain circumstances, courses required by degree or certificate plans may be substituted with other courses that satisfy similar learning outcomes. A student must gain permission from the appropriate department chair to substitute a course. No course substitions will be accepted for Non-Approved General Education courses in any area for the college’s General Education Core Curriculum Area requirements.
In most cases, students may repeat any course without special permission. Both course enrollments and both grades of the repeated class will appear on the transcript. Only the last grade earned will be applied to degree requirements and used to calculate the cumulative GPA, however, unless the course is designated “repeatable for degree or certificate credit.” When there is a difference of credit hours, the value of a repeated course will be used for the purpose of calculating the cumulative GPA and in determining the satisfaction of degree requirements. If a student in their final semester fails a course in which a passing grade was previously earned, the grade of F will be waived in favor of the higher grade earned.
NOTE: Certain forms of financial aid will not provide assistance to students who repeat courses they previously completed successfully. Compliance with such regulations is the student’s responsibility.
Basic Skills and Developmental-Level Courses
SFCC offers developmental-level courses in which students build foundational skills in reading, writing and mathematics. These courses are designated with a department name and a number below 111 - for example, MATH 102 , ENGL 108 or READ 101L . In addition to developmental courses in core academic skills, SFCC offers developmental courses in programs across the curriculum to support students in job preparation, career planning and personal growth.
Developmental coursework carries credit for financial aid purposes and may be required by SFCC to ensure success at the college level. However, credits earned in classes numbered below 111 do not fulfill specific SFCC degree or certificate requirements. Students should be aware that state and federal financial aid programs limit the amount of funding that can be used for developmental-level coursework.
First-Year Student Success Course
All degree-seeking students are encouraged to take either FYSS 111 or FYSS 116 (based on placement test reading scores) during their first semester at SFCC.
Students may fulfill course prerequisites by:
- Completing the required course at SFCC with a grade of C or higher
- Demonstrating proficiency on a placement test administered through the Testing Center
- Submitting qualifying ACT, SAT, AP or CLEP scores
- Submitting transcripts from another institution that demonstrate completion of an equivalent course with a grade of C or higher.
A math or science course taken more than three years ago cannot fulfill a prerequisite for a subsequent math or science course unless a student can demonstrate proficiency. Because course material differs from college to college, placement testing is the best way to determine accurate course placement. The college reserves the right to disenroll or transfer a student who does not meet the necessary course prerequisites. Contact the Testing Center at 505-428-1625 for more information on placement testing or course prerequisites.
Waivers of Prerequisites
A student may be permitted to waive a prerequisite based on demonstrated mastery of skills. A student must petition the appropriate department chair or designee for permission to waive a prerequisite.
Science Lab Corequisite Waiver/Withdrawal
Students who wish to register for science classes must register for the corequisite labs. The only exception is when students have previously earned a C or higher in either the lab or lecture portion. In that case, students do not have to register for the portion of the course that they have completed successfully. The lab and lecture portions of the class will be graded as two separate classes. Students who desire to withdraw from a science course or change to audit must withdraw from or change to audit in both the lab and the lecture sections. In exceptional cases, students may withdraw from the lab or the lecture section only, with the permission of the science department chair and in consultation with the faculty. Students must have completed a substantial percentage of the lab and lecture requirements before this option will be considered.
Two types of grades are issued at SFCC: midterm grades and final grades. Midterm grades are issued after the eighth week of the semester for full-semester courses. They are intended to give students an indication of their progress in the course(s) they are taking, but are not part of a student’s permanent record and do not appear on the transcript. Final grades are based on the overall quality of work. They appear on a student’s transcript and are calculated toward the grade point average (GPA). Letter grades are defined as follows:
||Grade Points per Unit of Credit
Students must earn a C or better for all degree requirements. D represents insufficient mastery to satisfy prerequisites.
Other Grades Description
||Audit: Students do not earn credit for audited courses. These courses are not computed in the GPA but are recorded as AU on students’ permanent records. Audit courses may not be used to meet prerequisites or corequisites.
||Incomplete: The grade of “I’ is given only when extenuating circumstances beyond the student’s control have prevented completion of the coursework within the official dates of the semester.
A grade of Incomplete “I” may only be entered when the faculty member and the student agree on what remaining work is to be finished and the deadline by which the work is to be submitted to the faculty member for review and a final grade. A change of grade form will be submitted by the faculty member to the Registrar’s Office to enter the completed grade.
To be eligible for consideration of Incomplete “I” as a grade, a student must have completed no less than 60 percent of the required coursework. Departments may have more stringent requirements for how much of a course must be completed to be eligible for an “I”. The faculty member and the student will both sign the Support Document for Entry of Incomplete Grade, attaching supporting documentation of the extenuating circumstance whenever possible. This documentation must be filed with the Registrar’s Office, Room 203.
If the required work is not completed by the agreed-upon deadline, which cannot exceed one year (12 months) from the published end of the semester in which the grade was assigned, the incomplete grade “I” automatically is changed to an F grade.
An “I” grade may affect financial aid eligibility if a student is receiving financial aid.
||In Progress: The course has not ended by the time grades are submitted.
||Withdrawal: A grade of W is given to students who officially withdraw from a course after the third week of a regular semester or the second week of a summer session, but before 60 percent of the course is complete.
||Pass/Fail (selected courses only): P = grade of C or better. Students earn no grade points. Credit hours are counted toward graduation. Courses approved for this option are labeled as such in course descriptions.
||Progress (selected developmental courses only): This grade indicates that a student has made progress but has not met the achievement requirements of the course and is not able to advance to the next level course. No honor points are earned and the credit is not computed in the GPA, nor is it counted toward graduation. Students may earn a progress grade twice, after which time they must earn a letter grade. Courses approved for this option are labeled as such in course descriptions.
||Not Reported: This grade is given when a faculty member has not submitted grades when grades are processed by the Office of the Registrar.
NOTE: Grades earned from HPER courses were not calculated into a student’s GPA between Spring 2013 and Fall 2014.
Calculating the Grade Point Average
The GPA is calculated by dividing the total grade points by the total GPA hours in the following manner:
- Grade points are calculated by multiplying the number of credit hours for an individual course by the point value assigned to the grade. For example, a three-credit-hour course with a grade of C, (point value of 2) equals 6 grade points. (See above for points awarded for each letter grade.)
- To determine the GPA, the total number of grade points earned in all courses is divided by the total number of credit hours attempted.
Students are responsible for meeting deadlines for dropping and withdrawing from classes without penalty. A faculty member has the discretion to withdraw a student if the student stops attending or never attended during the period before the withdrawal deadline. The instructor will attempt to contact the student prior to initiating the withdrawal. Students may also request to be withdrawn at the Welcome and Advising Center due to special circumstances that are outside their control within the current semester.
Every fall and spring semester, students who have taken a minimum of 9-credit hours of course work and who earn a current term GPA of 3.5 or above are placed on the Dean’s List. Pass/Fail courses are not considered in the GPA or the 9 credits as there are no point values attached. Students who attain this academic distinction are notified by a letter from the dean of the school in which they have declared their major, or, if they are undeclared, from the Dean of Liberal Arts.
Academic Probation and Suspension
Students will be placed on academic probation at the end of any semester in which their cumulative GPA (based on at least 16-semester hours of all course work attempted) is less than 2.0. Probationary status serves as a red flag that a student is not earning sufficiently high grades to graduate. Students on probation are encouraged to meet with an advisor or counselor to discuss academic planning and support needs.
Students on academic probation may continue to enroll in classes provided they maintain a semester GPA of 2.0 or higher. Otherwise, they are subject to academic suspension (see below). No student on probation will be allowed to take more than 12 credit hours during a regular semester or six credit hours during a summer session except by permission of the Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs. The student remains on probation until the cumulative GPA is raised to at least 2.0.
Students serving a probationary semester are subject to academic suspension at the close of that semester if, based on at least 36 hours of all course work attempted, their cumulative GPA is less than 2.0. Academic suspension means that a student may not enroll in courses at SFCC for a specified time. The duration of an initial suspension is one semester; the duration of any subsequent suspension is two regular semesters. After the specified time has elapsed, the student will be placed on probation and will be subject to the requirements listed under probation and/or suspension.
Students have a duty to be honest in their academic endeavors and to maintain academic integrity. If there is a violation related to an academic issue, the faculty member teaching the course may give the student a verbal warning. The faculty member will meet with the student, explain the nature of the unsatisfactory performance or behavioral issue, and indicate future expectations of the student. The student will have the opportunity in the meeting to discuss the issues raised with the faculty member and clarify expectations.
To make an academic appeal, a student should take the following steps:
- The student must first present the appeal in writing to the faculty member involved. The faculty member either approves or denies the appeal.
- If the written appeal is not resolved at this level, the student may then present the appeal to the appropriate dean.
- If the appeal is still not resolved, the student may then present the appeal in writing to the Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs. The decision of the Vice President is final.
See SFCC Policy 3-11 Appeal of Academic Decisions.
Only a student or faculty member may initiate a request for a change of grade, and such a change must be initiated within the first academic year after the grade is given. To make a grade appeal, the student should take the following steps:
- The student must appeal to the faculty member for a grade change.
- If the matter is not resolved, the student may then appeal to the appropriate department chair.
- If the matter is not resolved by the department chair, the student may then appeal to the appropriate dean, who will mediate the appeal.
- If the appeal is not resolved by the dean the student may then appeal in writing to the Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs who will review the appeal and make a recommendation. The decision of the Vice President is final.
See SFCC Policy 3-11 Appeal of Academic Decisions.
Students may request, through the Office of Academic and Student Affairs or through an advisor or counselor, to have up to two semesters of failing grades removed from consideration in their GPA. The grades remain on the transcript but are noted to indicate that academic renewal has been applied. This request may be made one time only. Failing grades earned at SFCC from a student’s GPA calculation may be removed when the student meets the following conditions:
- A period of one year must have lapsed since the grades in question were earned;
- A minimum of 12 credits must have been successfully completed with a 2.0 GPA prior to the petition for renewal;
- The student must be in good academic and financial standing with the institution; and
- Academic renewal will only be granted one time during the academic life of the student at SFCC.
Appeal of Academic Suspension
The appeal process for a student who has been suspended by SFCC or by another college is as follows:
- The student may appeal in writing to the Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs, who can approve or deny the appeal based upon various factors, including whether the student has completed the required suspension time (one semester for the first offense, two semesters for the second offense). The student may then be referred to an academic advisor or counselor to discuss an academic probation and re-enrollment plan.
- If the appeal for re-enrollment is denied, the student may then appeal to the Student Academic Appeals Committee as follows:
- The student must present a written appeal providing a complete statement of the student’s case to the Registrar for transmittal to the Student Academic Appeals Committee.
- The student may either present the case to the committee in person or permit the appeal to be heard on the basis of written documentation only.
- Hearings dealing with suspension from SFCC will be scheduled prior to registration and will occur no later than the second day of instruction.
The decision of the Student Academic Appeals Committee is final. If the committee decides to readmit a suspended student, the admission status will be probationary.
Students are expected to behave responsibly and respectfully while on campus and when interacting with other students and college staff and faculty members.
If a student violates SFCC Policy 2-1 Student Code of Conduct or any other college policy that applies to students and the issue is not related to an academic issue, the faculty or staff member with the concern regarding the violation should raise it with the Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs.
Student appeals of a non-academic nature must be brought before the Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs for resolution, provided that no other procedure exists.
Faculty members who teach skills-based courses and who determine that a student is not at an appropriate course level may recommend that the student transfer to a higher-level or lower-level course. The vertical transfer is done only upon the recommendation of the faculty member. If the student is moving down a level, the transfer must take place within the first four weeks of a regular semester or the first two weeks of a summer session or short course. If the student is moving up a level, the transfer must take place within the first two weeks of a regular semester or the first week of a summer session or short course. A horizontal transfer to a course at an equivalent level must take place within the first four weeks of a regular semester or the first two weeks of a summer session or short course.