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    Oct 20, 2018  
2017-18 Gaston College Catalog 
    
2017-18 Gaston College Catalog [THIS CATALOG IS OUT-OF-DATE. USE THE CURRENT CATALOG TO FIND CURRENT PROGRAMS.]

Policies and Procedures



Student Responsibility

Gaston College has established a set of regulations, policies, and standards in order to provide an academic environment that will promote quality education and assure compliance with state, federal, accreditation, and certification directives and statutes.

Students are responsible for the proper completion of their academic programs based upon the requirements stated in the Gaston College Catalog in conjunction with the current schedule. Faculty members, staff members, counselors, and administrators are available to help students with planning, but the responsibility of fulfilling all requirements rests upon the student.

Class Attendance and Participation

The instructional work of the college is designed for class participation and attendance. The responsibility for class participation and attendance is placed specifically on the individual student. Official college requirements are based on a 90% participation rate. Therefore, if a student has failed to participate in 10% or more of the scheduled class hours or learning activities, a student may be withdrawn by the instructor or assigned a grade of "F" up until the published withdrawal date. For students violating participation requirements after the published withdrawal date, a grade of "F" may be assigned by the instructor. Once an instructor has posted a grade, the student no longer has an option to withdraw from that class.

This policy does not remove the right of faculty to reward or penalize students for participation and attendance issues at any point during the semester. Please review course-specific instructions related to attendance to ensure compliance with stated requirements for this class. Faculty may enforce an alternate policy where required by divisional or departmental practices, accreditation requirements, and other similar issues.

The student is responsible for all material covered in each course for which he or she is registered. In no instance does absence from class relieve the student of the responsibility for the performance of any part of the course work. The student is further responsible for initiating any request to make up work because of class absence. The decision to assist the student with make-up work, including tests, in every case rests with the instructor. The instructor may require verification of medical and personal circumstances presented by the student to influence this decision. Course work not made up may affect a student's grade in the final evaluation since the instructor is not required to offer the student an opportunity to make up course work.

A student may seek reinstatement into class by submitting a written request to the instructor. If the request is denied, the student can petition for reinstatement directly to the Vice President for Academic Affairs, who will make a final ruling upon the petition. If the request is approved, a reinstatement form must be completed and submitted to the Records and Registration Office.

Student Code of Conduct

All students have the right to a safe, peaceful, quality, and honest educational environment. Therefore, students are expected to conduct themselves in accordance with generally accepted standards of scholarship and conduct. Actions identified in the Student Code of Conduct are strictly prohibited at Gaston College. More specific information regarding the Student Code of Conduct can be found in the Student Handbook. Copies may be obtained  from the Information Center in Student Affairs, or on the College's website at www.gaston.edu.

Standard of Honesty

Dishonesty, cheating, plagiarism, and knowingly furnishing false information to the College are regarded as serious offenses. It is expected that cases of  academic dishonesty will first be considered at the department faculty level; then the matter will follow procedures in accordance with the Student Code of Conduct.

Academic and Non-Academic Student Complaints

Gaston College strives to resolve academic and non-academic student complaints, grievances, and appeals in a prompt, fair, and cordial manner. The following information provides students with options regarding academic and non-academic complaints. Students can also find information about different College complaint, grievance, and appeal procedures by visiting the College's Consumer Information webpage at http://www.gaston.edu/consumer-information/.

Academic Complaints

Any complaints about your academic experiences (other than final grades - see Final Grade Appeal in the Catalog and Student Handbook) may be addressed informally or formally. Information and procedures for filing a formal, written Academic Complaint can be found in Appendix H and Appendix I in the Student Handbook.

Non-Academic Complaints

Student concerns about unfair and inequitable treatment, discrimination, and harassment should follow the procedures outlined in each item below for resolution.

  • Student Complaints

A student complaint is a College-related problem or condition, which a student believes is unfair, inequitable, or a hindrance to his or her participation in the College learning experience. The Student Complaint Procedure can be found in Appendix J of the Student Handbook.

  • Disability Grievances

If any student believes that he/she has been discriminated against because of a disability by any Gaston College employee, he/she has the right to seek review of such concerns. The Disability Grievance Procedure can be found in Appendix K of the Student Handbook.

  • Sexual and Other Unlawful Harassment or Misconduct

In accordance with Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, and the Clery Act and Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), it is the policy of Gaston College to provide a working and learning environment free from sexual and other unlawful harassment or misconduct. Employees and students are encouraged to report matters related to sexual and other unlawful harassment or misconduct to a supervisor, instructor, or other College official or administrator, so that a prompt, fair, and impartial investigation into the circumstances of the alleged incident may be conducted. More information is available in Appendix F of the Student Handbook.

Records and Registration Office

The Records and Registration Office directs registration each semester for curriculum classes. This office provides transcripts (official and student copies), verification and certification of enrollment status, processes drops/adds, withdrawals, and final grades. This office directs the graduation ceremony each year, orders and issues diplomas, evaluates previous college transfer work, processes name and address changes, and academic advisor assignments. Specific registration information is contained in the college's schedule of classes.

Confidentiality of Student Records

Gaston College has a long-standing commitment to the protection of students' rights and privacy of information. Gaston College complies with the provisions of the Federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, State of North Carolina Law, and the State Department of Education Division of Community College rules. These federal and state requirements relate to accessibility and confidentiality of student records.

Annual Notice to Students of their Rights under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) of 1974

Gaston College Policy and Procedures Manual section 4-31, Confidentiality and Access of Student Records, provides pertinent and detailed information concerning classification, access and release of student records. Detailed information is also provided in the Gaston College Student Handbook, which is made available on the College's website at www.gaston.edu. Hard copies are available upon request.

Students' Rights to Question their Official Student Record

Students have the right to inspect their educational records and correct such records, if warranted. All student records are open for inspection and review by students and eligible parents unless they waive this right. An eligible parent is the parent or legal guardian of students who are under 18 years of age or who claim students as dependents as defined in Title 26 U.S.C.S.S. 152 Internal Revenue Code. Eligible parents must provide evidence that the student is underage and/or a dependent to the Records and Registration Office prior to reviewing the records.

Definition and Release of Educational Records

There are three categories of records: 1) Directory Information Records, 2) Limited Access Records, and 3) Sole Possession Records.

  1. Directory Information Records includes the student's name, address, telephone number, major field of study or program, dates of attendance, enrollment status, and degrees and awards received. Gaston College may disclose directory information about a student without the consent of the student unless the student has properly objected to the release. Any student not wishing the release of directory information must file a written request with the Records and Registration Office no later than the last day of Late Registration. This information will only be released by the Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs or a designee after the requestor has demonstrated a legitimate need to have such information. Otherwise, the College may disclose directory information for legitimate purposes.
  2. Limited Access Records pertain to the permanent academic records of the student, disciplinary records, financial information, and testing data. The college will not release information in Limited Access Records without the written permission of the student.
  3. Sole Possession Records pertain to records of instructional, supervisory, and administrative personnel that remain in the sole possession of the maker and are not accessible or revealed to any other person.

    In addition, Gaston College may, without the consent of the student or eligible parents, disclose information kept in the student's permanent record to the following:
    • Gaston College officials with a legitimate educational interest. College officials include faculty, administrators, staff, student employees, third parties or agents authorized to act on behalf of the College. A legitimate educational interest is presumed to exist if the information is necessary for the official to perform tasks that are specified in the position description or contract agreement; to perform a task related to the student's education, discipline, service or benefit such as, counseling, job placement, financial aid, health insurance, community resources, etc.
    • Authorized representatives of the Comptroller General's Office, the Secretary of the Department of Education, and state educational authorities.
    • Veterans Administration officials.
    • Persons or organizations providing financial aid.
    • Accrediting organizations carrying out their accrediting functions.
    • Persons in compliance with a judicial order or a lawfully issued subpoena.
    • Persons who seek information in connection with an emergency, if in the view of a reasonable person, the knowledge of such information by appropriate persons is necessary to protect the health or safety of the student or other persons.
    • Organizations or individuals conducting studies on behalf of the college or for other educational agencies or institutions for the purposes of developing, validating, or administering predictive test, improving and understanding student services, student aid programs, improving instruction, etc. These studies must be conducted in a way that will not permit the personal identification of students and their families by persons other that the authorized representative of such organizations and the information must be destroyed when the studies have concluded.
    • Military recruiters requesting recruitment information in accordance with the United States Code Title 10 and other pertinent laws.
    • To institutions, authorities, and/or agencies in accordance with federal, state, and local laws, policies, and procedures.

      Individuals or agencies not outlined above may obtain student record information only with written authorization from the student. The authorization for release of information must include:
      1. date of request
      2. student's social security number
      3. student's signature
      4. specific contact name or agency
      5. summary of information which may be released

Release of Transcripts

In accordance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) of 1974, transcripts will only be released or sent upon the written request of the student. Official and student copies of Gaston College transcripts should be requested in writing to the Records and Registration Office. Transcripts will not be released unless all tuition, fees, and other obligations due the college have been satisfied. It is against Gaston College policy to fax or email transcripts. There is a $7 charge for official transcripts, although this is subject to change at the discretion of the college. Official transcripts may be ordered and student transcripts may be obtained in person or online at www.gaston.edu under Quick Links.

Gaston College does not issue transcripts of other colleges and universities or high school transcripts. Any student needing a transcript from a college or high school in which they previously attended, must contact that institution directly.

Change of Address

Students are required to keep an updated address on file with the Records and Registration Office while they are enrolled at Gaston College. A request for a change of address should be submitted in writing to the Records and Registration Office or submitted via WebAdvisor. Change of Address forms are available in the Records and Registration Office and on the Gaston College web site www.gaston.edu under Student Resources.

Student Classification

Day: A student who is enrolled for a majority of course work scheduled before 4:30 p.m.

Evening: A student who is enrolled for a majority of course work scheduled after 4:30 p.m.

Full Time: A student who is enrolled for twelve or more semester hours.

Part Time: A student who is enrolled for fewer than twelve semester hours.

Full-time and Part-time Status: A student must be registered for at least 12 semester hours to be considered a full-time student. 9-11 credit hours is considered three-quarter time, 6-8 credit hours is considered half-time, and 5 or fewer credit hours is considered less than half time. If you have student loans and are enrolled as less than half-time, you will not be in a deferred status and will be in repayment. Although the normal course load for a full-time student is 16 semester hours, a counselor or advisor may recommend a heavier or lighter course load depending on the student's ability and/or the student's previous academic performance.

Change of Major/Program

Students wanting to change their designated major or program of study may do so by meeting with an Academic Advisor or Counselor in the Counseling Center to discuss career and educational goals. If deemed necessary, a Change of Major form will be completed indicating the desired changes to the student record. The official change of major will become effective for the same semester if submitted within the first nine days of classes for the fall and spring semesters and within the first four days of classes for the summer semester. Change of major forms submitted thereafter will be effective the first day of classes for the next semester. Students are strongly encouraged to meet with their new advisor to review previous coursework and obtain information about program requirements for their new major. Please note that students receiving financial aid or veterans benefits will need to consult with the Office of Financial Aid before changing their major.

Registration Process for Curriculum Courses

How To Register

Students are responsible for registering each semester during the designated registration periods. Before a new student can register for courses, he/she must have an application on file in the Office of Admissions, taken the NCDPA or been waived, and have completed new student orientation. Prior to the start of the semester, registration is held for all students - current, new, and returning. Students are encouraged to register when eligible in order to secure classes needed for their program. The actual dates for all registration periods are published on the Gaston College website at www.gaston.edu. Students can add or drop classes during the published registration periods by obtaining the proper form from the Records and Registration Office, or through WebAdvisor.

WebAdvisor

WebAdvisor is a web interface that allows you access to your student record at Gaston College. This information is official records at Gaston College. Regardless of which campus on which you take classes, your student records will be available online.

With WebAdvisor you can:

  • Make a payment
  • View your account summary
  • View your class schedule
  • View current and past grades
  • Obtain an unofficial transcript
  • Request an official transcript
  • View your student profile
  • Add a class
  • Drop a class
  • Change your password
  • Change your address
  • View your financial aid status
  • View your program evaluation

To access WebAdvisor, go to the college website,webadvw.gaston.edu/ If you have questions or problems, please contact the Student Registration and Records Office at 704.922.6232 or 704.922.6234 .

Registration is a three-step process.

  1. Students may wish to meet with an advisor or counselor to select courses.
  2. Students will register using WebAdvisor or in person.
  3. Students will pay their registration fees by the deadline listed on the Gaston College website at www.gaston.edu, (dates are also listed on the Academic Calendar   in this catalog).

A student will not receive credit for any course in which registration has not been completed. Students attending a class for which they are not officially registered will not receive a grade or credit hours for the course. Students are ultimately responsible for dropping courses so that no money is owed.

The privilege of registering may be withheld by the college for the following reasons: unpaid fees, overdue library materials, or incomplete admission records.

Students are highly encouraged to obtain a printed schedule reflecting their course registration online using WebAdvisor or through the Records and Registration Office.

Students who wish to register for courses through the Continuing Education division must contact the appropriate person at 704.922.6251. Continuing Education is located on the second floor of the Dalpiaz Student Success Center on the Dallas Campus. Although no admission application is required, most community education courses require a reservation form with payment in advance.

Auditing Process

Students who audit a class receive no credit. When auditing a class, students are encouraged to attend class, participate in class discussions, and take exams. Students who wish to audit a course must be properly registered for the course. Fees for auditing a course are the same as for credit students. Performance in an audited course will not affect the student's grade point average. Students must complete an Audit Form, obtain the signature of the instructor and submit it to the Records and Registration Office. Audit status may be declared by the end of the drop/add period in any semester. Once declared, audit status cannot be reversed. The published deadline dates to audit a class for any given semester are available in the Gaston College calendar. A grade of "AU" will appear on student transcript.

Withdrawal Process

Although instructors have the option of withdrawing a student from his/her class, if the student fails to maintain the attendance or participation requirements established by the instructor, it is the student's responsibility to withdraw from a course in which he/she does not wish to continue. Withdrawal from a course for academic reasons must be initiated by the student prior to the 70% point of the class. The published deadline dates to withdraw from a course for any given semester are available on academic syllabi or by contacting  Records and Registration at 704.922.6232.

The student must complete an official withdrawal form available from the Records and Registration Office and indicate the last day of attendance on the form. An instructor's signature is not required to withdraw from a class. The Records and Registration Office must receive the withdrawal form by the published deadline date. A withdrawal letter grade of "WA" is assigned to a student who has attended at least one class session before the withdrawal is processed. A withdrawal letter grade of "NS" is assigned to a student who has never attended a class session. Although the "WA" and "NS" grade appear on the student's academic transcript, these will not affect the student's cumulative grade point average. After the eleventh week, a course withdrawal requires the approval of both the instructor and division dean. Students must provide written documentation for medical and administrative withdrawals.

NOTE: Students who maintain high scholastic averages are not recognized for the President's, Dean's or Honor's List if a withdrawal appears on his/her transcript for the given semester.

After the 70% point of a class, withdrawals may be granted for the following reasons:

  • Medical - for reasons of accidents or illness
  • Administrative - for unusual or unavoidable circumstances

NOTE: A student who stops attending classes for any reason should not expect the instructor to withdraw him or her from the class. It is the student's responsibility to officially withdraw by completing and submitting a withdrawal form in the Records and Registration Office by the deadline date published in the Gaston College Calendar. Failure to do so could result in a grade of "F", which is counted as a grade and computed in the student's cumulative grade point average.

Unofficial Withdrawals and Financial Aid

Financial aid is awarded to students contingent upon completion of the semester. Federal financial aid recipients who completely withdraw from class, stop attending, drop out, or are dismissed/suspended from class prior to completing 60% of the semester are subject to a Return of Title IV (R2T4) calculation that will determine if the student is responsible for repayments of any financial aid. Return of Title IV (R2T4) calculations are based on the student's recorded attendance and/or class participation.

Additionally, all attempted courses including withdrawals and transfer credit and all periods of attendance at Gaston College are considered towards the 150% maximum time frame requirements regardless of whether financial aid was received for these periods. Once a student reaches the 150% maximum time frame, the student will be considered ineligible for aid.

Consequences of Withdrawals for Students Who Receive Financial Aid

Federal financial aid recipients who withdraw from class or stop attending prior to completing the semester may owe a repayment to the U.S. Government. Calculations are based on the last date of attendance/participation in the class. If a portion of the aid is unearned, the College is required to return the funds to the federal government. If it is determined that the student owes the US Department of Education, failure of the student to repay the debt or make payment arrangements within 45 days of notifications will result in the loss of Title IV eligibility at all institutions. In addition, students will not be allowed to register for future terms at the college.

Course Substitutions

Under special circumstances, a course substitution may be made in a student's program of study. The student is responsible for requesting his/her department chair for consideration of substituting a completed course for one not completed in their program of study. The course could be taken at Gaston College or another institution. If the course is taken elsewhere, the course must meet transfer requirements. Both the divisional dean of the student's program and the divisional dean of the course being requested for substitution are responsible for approving the course substitution. The Records and Registration Office must be notified by utilization of the Course Substitution Form. Substitutions cannot be granted for core courses which are required for the program.

NOTE: The Records and Registration Office is responsible for maintaining the Course Substitution Form in the student's permanent record. However, there are no changes made to a student's transcript when the divisional dean approves a course substitution.

Awarding of Credits

Credit by Examination

Students who wish to receive course credit for competencies acquired through work experience or other non-academic experiences can request Credit by Examination. The student is responsible for requesting credit by examination. The instructor, in partnership with the divisional dean, is responsible for granting or denying the request for Credit by Examination. A grade of "CE" is assigned for successful credit by examination on the student's academic record. Only hours earned for credit are recorded. Credits by Examination will be applied toward graduation requirements, but students must satisfy the graduation requirements related to credit hours completed in attendance at Gaston College. Quality points will not be awarded. A grade of "CE" is not used in computing a student's grade point average. The instructor is responsible for keeping records of the examination and reporting the results, using the Credit by Examination form, to the Records and Registration Office by the third week of class. Credit by Examination cannot be earned for classes numbered less than 100 or for courses in which the student earned a grade or was enrolled and did not drop prior to the first day of the class. This includes audits and withdrawals.

No student may request Credit by Examination for more than 18 credit hours. Because of the nature of the Emergency Medical Science program, students enrolled in this program are exempt from the college's policy on maximum "CE" credits.

Effective with the Spring 2014 term, a student who wishes to attempt Credit by Examination must meet with the academic department to provide evidence of proficiency in the course in which he/she is requesting Credit by Examination. The Credit by Examination fee is $50 and the student does not need to register for the class. The examination must be administered during the first 10 days of the semester and may be taken only once. A student who receives any type of financial aid should consult with the Office of Financial Aid before attempting Credit by Examination.

Advanced Placement

If a student has taken AP (Advanced Placement) courses in high school and has earned a score of "3" or higher, he/she is eligible to receive college credit for that score. Scores older than five years are not considered for transfer credit. The results of the Advanced Placement Examination should be sent directly from The College Board to the Records and Registration Office. To obtain official score reports contact:

AP Services
P.O. Box 6671
Princeton, NJ 08541-6671
Telephone 609.771.7300
Fax 609.530.0482

CLEP Credit

College-level credit is awarded to students who provide official CLEP (College Level Examination Program) results to the Records and Registration Office. Scores of 50 or above on subject examinations are required for college credit. No credit is given for the general examination. CLEP scores older than five years are not considered for transfer credit. For further information on CLEP contact:

CLEP
P.O. Box 6601
Princeton, NJ 08541-6601
Telephone 609.771.7865

Military Credit

Military Credit is awarded based on the Guide to the Evaluation of Education Experiences in the Armed Services.

Awarding of Transfer Credits From Another School

Students may be eligible to receive transfer credit(s) to Gaston College from regionally-accredited colleges and universities. Gaston College accepts transfer credits from institutions of higher education that are accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and other regional agencies recognized by the Council on Postsecondary Accreditation as described in the current edition of Transfer Credit Practices of Designated Educational Institutions published by the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers.

A transfer credit evaluation is provided for each student with prior college work when the student has an application for admission on file with the Office of Admissions. Students must earn at least 20 semester credit hours of their course work at Gaston College in order to receive a degree or diploma from Gaston College.

Time limits may restrict the transfer of some courses if it is determined that the course material is outdated. Only course work completed at Gaston College is used in computing grade point averages.

Once a transfer evaluation has been completed, a copy of the evaluation will be mailed to the student. The student should meet with his/her academic division to determine how and if the course work will apply toward the student's degree program and graduation requirements at Gaston College.

Credits That WILL Transfer to Gaston College

  1. Courses which have a Gaston College equivalent course in terms of course title/content/semester hour equivalency.
  2. Courses earned with letter grades of "C" or higher.
  3. Courses from regionally-accredited schools.
  4. Some military credits on a case-by-case basis with proper documentation.
  5. CLEP score(s) 50 or above subject to examination, less than five years old.
  6. AP credit (Advanced Placement Credit) for scores of "3" or higher, less than five years old.
  7. Credit from foreign institutions, only if an official course-by-course evaluation is provided and all other transfer requirements have been met.
  8. Possible CJC credit for students who successfully complete the BLET program.
  9. Possible DET credit for students who successfully complete Dietetic Technician programs and are recommended for credit by the Chair of the Dietetic Technician Department.
  10. Possible FIP credit earned from the National Fire Academy as recommended by ACES and approved by the Director of the Fire Protection Technology program.
  11. Possible AUT credit earned through the ASE examination and approved by the Chair of the Automotive Systems Technology program.
  12. Emergency Medical Science (EMS) credit is given to those that have passed the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians (NREMT) cognitive and practical examinations and received National EMS Certification as an EMT-Basic. These students must provide a letter from NREMT stating that they have passed their certification along with their NREMT certification card. Upon receipt the EMS Department Chair reviews their course work for credit to be accepted by Gaston College.
  13. Massage Therapy credit is given for those that complete the Massage Therapy Certificate containing 617 hours as well as passing the Massage and Body Licensing Exam (MBLEX). Students that meet these criteria are awarded credit for MTH 110 MTH 120  and MTH 125 .
  14. The North Carolina High School to Community College Articulation Agreement is honored by Gaston College. As outlined in this agreement, high school students have an opportunity to earn college credit for specific courses taken in high school.
  15. Tech Prep credit may be awarded to high school students who complete specific high school courses. The following criteria must be met: a grade of "B" or higher earned on the high school course and a raw score of 80 or higher on the Career Technical Education post-assessment. Students must enroll in Gaston College within two years of their high school graduation date to receive this credit. Gaston College must be provided an official high school transcript from the School County Office showing the course(s), the grade(s) earned, and the corresponding Career Technical Education post-assessment scores. If the post-assessment scores are not reflected on the high school transcript, a letter on school letterhead stating the post-assessment scores and the corresponding course must be submitted with the high school transcript.

Credits That WILL NOT Transfer to Gaston College

  1. Courses which do not have a Gaston College equivalent course in terms of course title/course content/semester hour equivalency.
  2. Courses earned with a letter grade lower than a "C", unless taken at a NC Community College. Please be aware that a "C" or better grade may be required for certain academic programs.
  3. Courses from regionally non-accredited schools.
  4. Co-op work experience courses.
  5. Any computer classes five years or older.
  6. Any OST class five years or older.
  7. Department-specific time limit restrictions (varies by department).
  8. Courses earned through credit by examination.

Transferring to Another School From Gaston College

Counselors and other members of the college faculty and staff are available to advise and assist any student planning to transfer to a four-year institution. It is the student's responsibility to follow their intended school's admission requirements closely. These requirements are indicated in the particular institution's catalog.

Because of the highly specialized nature of courses in particular programs, some courses are not designed for transfer to a four-year institution. Students also should note that courses numbered 100 or lower usually do not transfer.

Students are strongly advised to see a counselor or advisor regularly if they are planning to transfer to a four-year college or university. Representatives from four-year colleges visit the campus regularly in order to help Gaston College students plan their transfer programs.

Students that have been granted academic forgiveness or have repeated courses with deficient grades should contact their intended transfer institution about their course transfer policy. Many institutions count all course attempts upon transfer.

Charlotte Area Educational Consortium

Gaston College is a member of the Charlotte Area Educational Consortium, which includes 22 other area colleges and universities. A cross-registration program provided by the consortium allows Gaston College students to take certain courses at other colleges if not available at Gaston. Information on cross-registration is available in the Records and Registration Office or by visiting CAEC Online at www.caeconline.org.

Grading System

The college, as part of the North Carolina Community College System, converted to the semester system during the summer session of 1997. All credits earned prior to summer 1997 are listed as quarter hour credits. All credits earned in subsequent terms are semester credits.

The grade point average is calculated by dividing the total number of semester hours attempted, including both courses passed and failed, by the total quality points. Listed below is a detailed example of the formula for how to determine a GPA:

  1. Convert the grades to quality points. Multiply the letter grades' values by the number of credit hours attempted in each course. Letter grades have the following values: A=4, B=3, C=2, D=l, F=O, WA=O. (I, WI, WA, P, R, AU, TR, IP, CE, and X are not included in the determination of a GPA.) For example, if a student earns a B in a 3-hour course, the quality points would be 9 (3 grade points times 3 credit hours equals 9 quality points.)
  2. Add all the quality points.
  3. Add all the hours attempted.
  4. Divide total quality points by the total hours attempted to determine the GPA.

A final grade is the instructor's evaluation of the student's work and achievement throughout a course. Grades are given at the discretion of the instructor. Once a grade has been submitted, it will not be changed, except in the event of a clerical error or as a result of the Final Grade Appeal Process.

Procedure for Final Grade Appeal

Questions and concerns about final grades are often the result of misunderstandings about grading practices and expected standards. Direct communication between the instructor and the student usually clears up these misunderstandings. It is the responsibility of every student to follow these guidelines to resolve the problem. It is the responsibility of each faculty member and administrator to fulfill his or her role in accordance with these procedures. Students wishing to appeal a grade must initiate the process before mid-term of the semester following the semester in which the final grade was received. These steps are summarized as follows:

  1. The student should make an appointment with the appropriate instructor when there is any question about a particular grade or the instructor's grading policy. Examples of questions that may be discussed include the following:
    1. Clarification of the overall grading plan for the course, including relative weights of exams, etc.
    2. Correction of errors made in grading.
    3. Explanation of specific grading questions such as the correct answer to an exam question or the basis for a grade received on a term paper.
  2. The student seeking additional clarification or information on matters related to grading should make an appointment with the appropriate department chair. Questions such as the following may be answered by the department chair:
    1. Department policy on grading for a particular course.
    2. Departmental attendance policy or an instructor's approved attendance policy.
    3. Questions related to differences in interpretations of approved policies.
  3. Students seeking further recourse related to a final grade received should make an appointment with the division dean. The division dean should discuss the questions raised with the instructor and the department chair, give the student an official interpretation of the grade, and explain the appeal process.
  4. Should the student choose to appeal, the process is as follows:
    1. The student should make an appeal in writing to the Vice President for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management stating the sequence of events leading to his or her appeal and any personal interpretations related to the case. This written appeal must be made no later than the mid-term of the semester following the semester in which the grade was received. Contact the Registrar's Office for the official deadline date to file a written appeal.
    2. The Vice President for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management, or designee, notifies the instructor that an appeal has been made and activates a committee to hear the student's appeal. Membership of the Final Grade Appeal Committee is as follows:
      1. Vice President for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management, or designee.
      2. Vice President of Academic Affairs.
      3. An instructor from the department involved, selected by the instructor's department chair. (The Chief Officer for Academic Affairs will select an instructor from another department within the division if the department chair's grading policy is appealed.)
      4. A faculty member selected by the student making the appeal.
      5. An instructor selected by the instructor whose grade is being appealed.
      6. An instructor selected by the President of the Faculty Senate. This instructor should be a member of the Senate from a division other than the one in which the appeal is made.
      7. One additional instructor may be selected by the Vice President for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management, or designee, if needed, to insure a balanced representation.
  5. A meeting of the Appeal Committee is scheduled by the Vice President for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management, or designee. This meeting will be scheduled as quickly as possible, but will depend on the schedules of all involved parties.
    1. The committee examines the evidence and discusses the case with the instructor and the student.
    2. The committee arrives at a decision which is sent as a recommendation to the instructor. (The student and Vice President for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management, or designee, are also informed of the recommendation.)
    3. If the instructor does not follow the recommendation of the committee, the President's Executive Council will determine the appropriate course of action.
    4. In all cases, the faculty member has recourse through his/her department chair, division dean, and vice president.
  6. After the Final Grade Appeal Committee has heard the student's complaint, this completes the appeal process for the student.

Letter Grade System

Grades are based on several factors including attendance, recitation, written and oral quizzes, reports, papers, final examination, and other class activities. At the beginning of each course, it is the responsibility of the instructor to notify students in writing about the grading practices that will be used. The evaluation will be expressed according to the following letter system:

Grades Quality Points
A Superior - 4 per semester hour
B Above Average - 3 per semester hour
C Average - 2 per semester hour
D Below Average - 1 per semester hour
F Failure - 0 per semester hour
CE Credit by Examination - 0 per semester hour
I Incomplete - 0 per semester hour
WI Withdrawal by Instructor with prior attendance - 0 per semester hour
WA Withdrawal with prior attendance - 0 per semester hour
AU Audit - 0 per semester hour
X No grade reported by instructor - 0 per semester hour
TR Transferred credit - 0 per semester hour
TA Transferred credit - 0 per semester hour
TB Transferred credit - 0 per semester hour
TC Transferred credit - 0 per semester hour
TP Tech Prep transferred credit - 0 per semester hour
S Satisfactory - 0 per semester hour
NS Did not attend at all (No Show) - 0 per semester hour
IP In Progress (developmental classes) - 0 per semester hour
E Excluded grade (Academic Forgiveness) - 0 per semester hour
N No Credit
P Pass Developmental courses-0 per semester hour and ACA 111 and MAT 001 -1 semester hour
R Repeat Developmental courses and ACA 111 and MAT 001 - 0 per semester hour

Further Explanation of Grades

Grades preceded by an "R" on the grade report indicate the course has been repeated. No quality points are calculated for course grades proceeded by an "R."

Grades preceded by an "E" on the grade report indicate excluded grades (Academic Forgiveness Policy) No quality points are calculated for course grades preceded by an "E".

TR Grade - The "TR" grade is assigned to credits accepted in transfer, or other credits granted. The grade authorizes credit without further qualification of student performance. The "TR" grade does not affect a student's grade point average in any way and is not used in determining whether a student qualifies to graduate with academic honors.

TA Grade - The "TA" grade is assigned to credits accepted in transfer or other credits granted. The grade of "A" was assigned to the student from the transferring institution. The grade authorizes credit without further qualification of student performance. The "TA" grade does not affect a student's grade point average in any way and is not used in determining whether a student qualifies to graduate with academic honors.

TB Grade - The "TB" grade is assigned to credits accepted in transfer or other credits granted. The grade of "B" was assigned to the student from the transferring institution. The grade authorizes credit without further qualification of student performance. The "TB" grade does not affect a student's grade point average in any way and is not used in determining whether a student qualifies to graduate with academic honors.

TC Grade - The "TC" grade is assigned to credits accepted in transfer or other credits granted. The grade of "C" was assigned to the student from the transferring institution. The grade authorizes credit without further qualification of student performance. The "TC" grade does not affect a student's grade point average in any way and is not used in determining whether a student qualifies to graduate with academic honors.

I Grade - When a student fails to complete the requirements of a course, the student may be given an "Incomplete" or "I" grade. To be awarded this grade, the student must present to the instructor valid reasons for not having completed the course requirements. The instructor will determine the requirements for a course grade, which must be completed by the twelfth week of the next semester. The grade "I" is not computed into the grade point average until it is replaced by a permanent grade. If the incomplete is not removed by the twelfth week of the semester, an "F" will be assigned by the Records and Registration Office.

WA Grade - A "WA" is assigned to a student who wishes to withdraw from a course or courses within the first eleven weeks of the semester and who has previously attended one or more class meetings. "WA" grades do not affect the student's grade point average. A student who wishes to withdraw from a course or courses must follow the official procedure, which is initiated in the Records and Registration Office. (See "Withdrawal Process".) 

WI Grade - A "WI" is assigned to a student who has been withdrawn from a course or courses within the first eleven weeks of the semester by the course instructor due to attendance policy violation or online participation violation and who has previously attended one or more class meetings. "WI" grades do not affect the student's grade point average.

AU Grade - Students who wish to audit courses (see "Audit Process") must follow the regular registration procedures and declare the audit status to the course instructor. A student who registers for an audit may not receive a grade or credit hours for the course. The fees are the same as for regular college credit. The decision to audit cannot be reversed. "AU" grades do not count toward hours attempted, and therefore, do not affect the student's GPA.

S Grade - The grade of "S" indicates satisfactory progress toward the completion of coursework in nursing assessment courses.

NS grade - A "NS" is assigned to a student who has never attended (No Show) a course or courses within the first three weeks of the semester by the course instructor.

IP Grade - A grade of "IP" indicates unsatisfactory progress toward the completion of course work in developmental education courses. The "IP" grade allows a student in a developmental course to continue the course in a subsequent semester until all course requirements are met. The student must re-register for the course in the subsequent semester and the grade will be assigned when the work has been concluded. Exceptions to continue the "IP" into a third semester must have written permission of the Department Chair of Developmental Education. Effective Summer 2014, IP grades are no longer used.

Pass Grade - For Developmental Education classes.  A Pass indicates that all work was completed at 80% or higher for DMA and DRE Developmental classes.  Also used for ACA 111 and MAT 001. Pass grades are excluded in the calculation of the cumulative grade point average.

Repeat-Grade - For Developmental Education classes, ACA 111 and MAT 001. This grade indicates non-completion of all objectives necessary and are excluded in the calculation of the cumulative grade point average.

* Only course work taken at Gaston College is used in computing grade point averages.

Withdrawals/Unofficial Withdrawals

  • Students can withdraw from classes through the published deadline each term.
  • Students who do not enter a class prior to the 10% point (census date) receive a grade of "NS" (No Show) and are responsible for all tuition and fees.
  • Students who stop attending/participating in classes without officially withdrawing will be considered unofficially withdrawn. The faculty member has the option of withdrawing the student and the last date of attendance/participation is added to the student record. If the students did not withdraw by the published withdrawal date, the faculty member may assign a grade of "F" and the last day of attendance/participation is marked on the grading roster.

Unofficial Withdrawals and Financial Aid

Financial aid is awarded to students contingent upon completion of the semester. Federal financial aid recipients who completely withdraw from class, stop attending, drop out, or are dismissed/suspended from class prior to completing 60% of the semester are subject to a Return of Title IV (R2T4) calculation that will determine if the student is responsible for repayments of any financial aid. Return of Title IV (R2T4) calculations are based on the student's recorded attendance and/or class participation. Students must follow the attendance requirements set forth in the course syllabus. If attendance requirements are not met, instructors may initiate the unofficial withdrawal process. It is the student's responsibility to withdraw from a course in which they do not wish to continue.

Additionally, all attempted courses including withdrawals and transfer credit and all periods of attendance at Gaston College are considered towards the 150% maximum time frame requirements regardless of whether financial aid was received for these periods. Once a student reaches the 150% maximum time frame, the student will be considered ineligible for aid.

Consequences of Withdrawals for Students Who Receive Financial Aid

Federal financial aid recipients who withdraw from class or stop attending prior to completing the semester may owe a repayment to the U.S. Government. Calculations are based on the last date of attendance/participation in the class. If a portion of the aid is unearned, the College is required to return the funds to the federal government.If it is determined that the student owes the US Department of Education, failure of the student to repay the debt or make payment arrangements within 45 days of notifications will result in the loss of Title IV eligibility at all institutions. In addition, students will not be allowed to register for future terms at the college.

Academic Standing

Repeating a Course

All repeated courses and course attempts will appear on the student's transcript. The cumulative grade point average will be computed to count only the course with the highest grade. Repeated courses include those with grades, audits, withdrawals, and incompletes. A student may not re-enroll for a course in which an incomplete (I) was awarded until that "I" is removed. A student may not re-enroll for a course where credit by examination (CE) has been awarded. Students should also refer to catalog information about repeating courses in the Financial Aid section. A student may repeat a Gaston College curriculum course for credit up to, but not more than three times within a five-year period. Counting the first attempt and three repeated attempts allowed by policy, a student may take the same class a maximum of four times. Courses may be repeated in order to improve a student's cumulative grade point average, to achieve mastery of the course content, or to meet graduation requirements. Students with extenuating circumstances may contact the academic dean and request that an exception to the policy be made. The academic dean must approve all policy exceptions, and the justification for the exception must be filed in the student's permanent record. A denial of a request for a policy exception may be appealed to the president.

Students should read information about repeating courses as it pertains to separate program admission standards, especially in the Health and Human Services division. Upon completion of the repeated course, the student must notify the Records and Registration Office.

Academic Alert/Probation/Suspension

Any student who maintains less than a 2.00 cumulative grade point average after any given semester is placed on Academic Alert. The Records and Registration Office will notify the student placed on Academic Alert, in writing. A student who is placed on Academic Alert must meet with his/her advisor or a counselor in order to develop a plan for improving his/her grade point average prior to registering for future terms.

The second successive semester that the GPA is below 2.0 the student will be placed on Academic Probation. A student who is placed on Academic Probation must meet with his/her advisor or a counselor in order to develop a plan for improving his/her grade point average prior to registering for future terms.

The third successive semester that  the GPA is below 2.0 the student will be placed on  Academic Suspension and will not be allowed to re-enroll at Gaston College for one semester.

During the period in which a student is placed on Academic Suspension, the student is encouraged to meet with a counselor or advisor in order to develop a plan for improving his/her grade point average. If the student decides to choose another major/degree program, a Change of Major form must be completed by the student and signed by the advisor or counselor and then returned to the Counseling Center.

Students who have been academically suspended and who choose to appeal their suspension status can do so by completing the appropriate forms available from the Records and Registration Office.

All written appeals should include a realistic plan to achieve good academic standing, recognition of the problems that have affected the student's academic progress, and a plan to resolve those issues. If the Academic Suspension Appeal Committee approves the appeal, the student will be allowed to register and continue their enrollment at Gaston College on a probationary basis. Gaston College may require additional requirements as a condition of re-enrollment.

Students who have been academically suspended and who expect to receive any type of financial aid must meet with a financial aid specialist to discuss the possibility of having financial aid re-instated as well as to discuss any other conditions that must be met.

Academic Forgiveness

The Academic Forgiveness Policy allows Gaston College students who have experienced academic difficulty at Gaston College to have one opportunity to have grades below a "C" excluded from the 38 cumulative grade point average (GPA). Academic difficulty is defined as less than a 2.00 cumulative grade point average at Gaston College. This policy provides for raising the cumulative grade point average by excluding all grades of "D" or "F" earned prior to the date of eligibility for Academic Forgiveness. A student may be granted Academic Forgiveness only once. Students that have been granted academic forgiveness or have repeated courses with deficient grades should contact their intended transfer institution about their course transfer policy. Many institutions count all course attempts upon transfer.

Criteria for Applying for Academic Forgiveness

  • A student must have been out of school for at least three sequential semesters OR have changed his/her major.
  • Grades must reflect at least a 2.00 grade point average in at least 12 semester hours in the new major before a student is eligible to apply for Academic Forgiveness.

Procedures for Academic Forgiveness

  • Students who are interested in applying for Academic Forgiveness must obtain the Academic Forgiveness Petition and information from the Records and Registration Office.
  • Once completed by the student, the Records and Registration Office will review the petition to determine basic eligibility. Eligible petitions will be forwarded to the student's divisional dean for review and a final decision.
  • The student's divisional dean will act upon the petition and return it to the Records and Registration Office.
  • If forgiveness is approved, the Records and Registration Office will notify the student of the decision and include an updated student transcript, which will reflect the excluded grades.
  • The new GPA calculation on the updated student transcript will exclude all "D" and/or "F" grades. All other grades that are "A", "B", and/or "C" will be included in the GPA calculation and will count toward graduation requirements unless other policies supersede this policy.
  • The student's GPA will be calculated based upon the date of eligibility and all criteria being met. The excluded courses will remain on the student's transcript but will not count toward program/graduation requirements or be calculated in the student's grade point average. No courses are removed from the transcript. If Academic Forgiveness is approved, the excluded course grades will be preceded by an "E" on the student's transcript.
  • If forgiveness is denied, the Records and Registration Office will notify the student with a letter of explanation.
  • Review and processing of Academic Forgiveness generally takes two to four weeks.

Exclusions and Limitations of Academic Forgiveness

  • Any credits for courses earned with a grade of "D" are not retained.
  • Students who plan to transfer to another college or university should know that the receiving institution is not required to disregard the excluded course grades. Once approved, Academic Forgiveness cannot be reversed.
  • The minimum grade point average needed for admission for specific programs may or may not utilize the new grade point average.
  • Financial Aid policies regarding Satisfactory Academic Progress are still applicable. Students who receive any type of financial aid should contact the Office of Financial Aid prior to applying for Forgiveness.

Grounds for Student Academic Dismissal

The college has the right to dismiss a student in violation of academic regulations or policies. Dismissal from Gaston College for academic reasons may be initiated by a faculty member, department chair, division dean, or the student's advisor upon petition to the Vice President who administers the program. Academic dismissal is based upon the concept of "Satisfactory Progress" in a specific course or program as stated in terms of minimum grades; completion of course sequences; and the achievement of certain knowledge, skills, and abilities.

The department head and divisional dean shall document violations and submit the case to the Vice President.  The student shall be given the chance to appeal the violations with the Vice President before a decision regarding dismissal is rendered.  When the Vice President completes the investigation, the student will be informed of the decision in writing.  The decision of the Vice President is final.

Students may petition for re-admission after one complete semester with approval of the divisional dean and Vice President.

Dismissal from an Occupational Program

If the department chair determines that a student is not a safe and dependable practitioner in the lab, shop, clinic, or field area in the progress of a course, the student may be dismissed from the program with the concurrence of the Vice President who administers the program. By virtue of the fact that certain courses of many occupational programs are offered in a one- or two-year sequential pattern and are offered only once during the sequence, a student has no opportunity to repeat one of these courses or to elect a substitute course. Therefore, a student who fails one of these courses will be dismissed from the program at the end of the semester in which the failure occurs.

The department head and divisional dean shall document violations and submit the case to the Vice President.  The student shall be given the chance to appeal the violations with the Vice President before a decision regarding dismissal is rendered.  When the Vice President completes the investigation, the student will be informed of the decision in writing.  The decision of the Vice President is final.

Students dismissed from an occupational program under this policy may petition for re-admission in a later class with approval of the divisional dean and Vice President.

Honors Lists

President's List

The President's List is an honor roll for students who earn a grade point average of 4.00 on 12 or more semester hours of work (not including CE credits) in any given semester and with no Withdrawals or Incompletes recorded.

Dean's List

The Dean's List is an honor roll for students who earn a grade point average of 3.50-3.99 on 12 or more semester hours of work (not including CE credits) in any given semester and with no grade lower than a "B"(grades of C, D, F, and R) and no Withdrawals or Incompletes recorded.

Honor's List

The Honor's List is an honor roll for part-time students who earn a grade point average of 3.50 or higher on 6 to 11 semester hours of work (not including CE credits) in any given semester and with no Withdrawals or Incompletes recorded.

Catalog of Record

A student who is in continuous attendance (summer semester excluded) may graduate under the provisions of the catalog in effect on his/her date of entry provided the courses are still offered or he/she may choose to meet the requirements of a subsequent issue. A student not enrolled for a period of two consecutive years (six consecutive terms) must reapply to the college and will return under the provision of the catalog in effect at that time, unless otherwise mandated by accrediting agencies or governing bodies. A student who changes programs must meet the requirements of the catalog in effect at the time of the change of program.

Graduation

The divisional dean validates the requirements for degrees, diplomas, and certificates. Requirements for a degree, diploma or certificate will vary according to the curriculum. Students should refer to their particular program requirements.

  • A 2.00 grade point average is required for graduation.
  • For an associate degree, at least 25 percent of semester credit hours of major courses or other required hours must be completed at Gaston College (residency requirement). Grades of "D" or higher (grades of "C" or higher are required for designated programs) for an associate degree or diploma must be completed in attendance at Gaston College.
  • For a diploma, at least 50 percent of  semester credit of major courses or other required hours must be completed in attendance at Gaston College (residency requirement). Grades of "D" or higher are required (grades of "C" or higher are required for designated programs).
  • For a certificate, at least 75 percent of semester credit hours or other designated hours must be completed at Gaston College (residency requirement). Grades of "D" or higher are required (grade of "C" or higher are required for designated programs).
  • Courses numbered less than 100 do not count for credit towards graduation.

It is the responsibility of the student to ensure that all course and graduation requirements are met.

Graduation Process and Procedures

Students are required to complete and submit a graduation application for degrees and diplomas to the Records and Registration Office. The application deadlines are listed in the Gaston College Calendar. Graduation applications received after the deadlines are accepted for the next semester. A graduation fee of $45 is charged to each graduating student. The specific date of the commencement ceremony is listed in the Gaston College Calendar. Degrees and diplomas will be ordered and transcripts will be updated each semester to reflect completion for students that submit the application for graduation before the deadline each semester. Applications submitted after the deadline will be processed for the following semester thus, delaying the student's graduation completion.

Students that complete requirements in the summer and fall semesters will be given the opportunity to participate in the spring ceremony.

Graduation

Marshals:
Students with at least 36 hours and the highest GPA are eligible to serve as marshals. Marshals perform various duties including distributing programs, seating guests, and assisting graduates.

Honor Graduates:
Students with a grade point average of 3.8 or above on all work completed at Gaston College are eligible for a degree or diploma with high honors. High honor graduates wear gold honor cords. Students with a grade point average of 3.5, but below 3.8 on all work completed at Gaston College are eligible for a degree or diploma with honors. Honor graduates wear burgundy honor cords.