Academics

Last Updated: 

Jun 1 2014

Davidson County Community College is committed to helping students reach their full academic potential and to preparing them for success in their careers and further academic pursuits. The College has adopted academic policies that are intended to help students achieve their educational goals. Each student is expected to make satisfactory progress toward reaching those goals.

Learning Competencies

Learning competencies are embedded in each associate degree program at the College. Each competency is equally important for the success of our graduates as they pursue careers and further study.

1. Communicate effectively.
2. Think critically.
3. Demonstrate information literacy.
4. Demonstrate interdependence.

Rights and Responsibilities

Students, instructors, administrators, and advisors have certain rights and responsibilities in order to ensure that the DCCC grading system is used to improve academic performance.

The student has the following rights:

1.  to know the basis for his/her evaluation in each course;

2.  to appeal a grade;

3.  to have all policies and procedures, which he/she does not understand, explained simply and completely;

4. to be able with reasonable effort to make arrangements for appointments with instructors, administrators, and other staff members;

5.  to be informed of his/her academic progress; and

6.  to be given appropriate accommodations for documented disability.

The student has the following responsibilities:

1.  to make a reasonable effort to meet all objectives and goals for each course taken;

2.  to meet with his/her instructor(s) and advisor, particularly at the first indication of academic difficulty;

3.  to set realistic educational goals with the help of an instructor and advisor;

4. to make arrangements with his/her instructor to complete necessary work and to remove an incomplete (“I”) grade within the time allowed but before the end of the subsequent semester;

5. to know and follow the procedures of the College when dropping a course and/or withdrawing from the College;

6. to meet periodically with his/her advisor to review his/her progress toward graduation;

7.  to understand and follow all academic policies and procedures of the College as presented in the College catalog and to ask for help when he/she does not understand; and

8.  to make his/her disability known and to provide valid documentation of the disability.

The instructor has the following rights:

1. to define performance requirements for specific grades;

2. to determine the best methods of developing information, knowledge, and skills for courses; and

3. to expect reasonable effort on the student’s part to attain the goals and objectives of the course.

The instructor has the following responsibilities:       

1. to evaluate grading procedures periodically;

2. to inform students at the beginning of the course of the objectives of the course and the grading system to be used;

3. to investigate new and different ways to enhance and develop skills and to evaluate students;

4. to provide students with periodic feedback and opportunities for individualized assistance;

5. to maintain an atmosphere that facilitates learning; and

6. to maintain a relationship and rapport with students that facilitates learning.

Advisors and administrators have the following rights:

1. to have access to student records;

2. to receive a response regarding the disposition of referrals made to other programs and/or services in the College; and

3. to be provided with needed materials and information.

Advisors and administrators have the following responsibilities:

1.  to provide means whereby students are informed of any policy and procedural changes;

2.  to provide the necessary time, resources, and facilities needed for teaching and learning to take place;

3.  to provide a grade appeal process;

4.  to provide appropriate counseling and advisement services;

5.  to provide leadership in continuing development and evaluation of a standard grading system; and

6.  to respect the confidentiality of the student’s records.

Academic Integrity Policy

The College is committed to fostering a learning environment where students perform to the best of their own abilities and where academic integrity and honesty pervades.

True intellectual growth is dependent upon honest work. As scholars, Davidson County Community College students are expected to demonstrate integrity in all of their academic pursuits by doing their own work, without unauthorized assistance from others. The College will not tolerate academically dishonest acts such as, but not limited to, cheating, fabricating, plagiarizing (including multiple submissions of one’s own work), and/or assisting others in academically dishonest acts.

Cheating is defined by the College as gaining or receiving unauthorized help during any academic assignment including using or attempting to use unauthorized:

•   information (e.g. notes, someone else’s work, test bank information),

•   communication (e.g. talking, writing, or signing/signaling others),

•   electronic devices (e.g. cell phones, blackberries, mp3 players, calculators, digital recorders/cameras, or other data storage device) during any academic assignment or test.

Fabricating is defined as generating false data, sources, or citations for any academic assignment.

Plagiarizing includes any attempt to pass another’s work off as one’s own, in part or in whole, without properly acknowledging the source. This includes directly quoting, summarizing, or using ideas, images, or data from another’s work without properly citing the source as well as submitting purchased or borrowed papers as one’s own. Submitting one’s own work for multiple assignments without the express consent of the instructor is also prohibited.

Assisting others in academically dishonest acts includes any activity that is intended to help another person cheat, fabricate, or plagiarize. These acts include, but are not limited to, allowing another to copy work, providing test questions or answers, unsanctioned collaboration, and completing an academic assignment for someone else.

Academic penalties for academic dishonesty include, but are not limited to, the following:

•   Verbal warning

•   Written warning

•   Failing grade for the assignment involved

•   Failing grade for the course

•   Removal from the course

Via the course syllabus, faculty will inform students in writing of the College’s Academic Integrity Policy. Therein, the faculty will list specific penalties they will invoke for academic dishonesty in the course. Students who remain enrolled and engaged in courses beyond the review of the syllabi are considered to have read and agree to both the College’s policy and the academic penalties that may be invoked by each faculty member in each individual course. Academic penalties for violation of the policy can and may be applied differently by the faculty of the College.

Assessing the academic work of students is the purview of the instructor; therefore, issues regarding academic dishonesty should be resolved between the instructor and the student. However, any unresolved issues will be referred to the appropriate Academic Dean for further review. On the rare occasion when resolution is still unreachable, the infraction may be referred to the Vice President for Academic Programs and Services. The Vice President’s decision will be final.

Please note: Violation of the Academic Integrity policy is a violation of the Student Code of Conduct. As outlined in the DCCC Student Code of Conduct, academic dishonesty is strictly prohibited. Students who violate the academic integrity policy will be reported to the Vice President, Student Affairs and Enrollment Management. Multiple violations may result in the Vice President issuing additional sanctions, up to and including expulsion, as outlined in the Student Code of Conduct Section.

Student Classification

The College uses the following student classification system:

1.  Full-time: A student who is enrolled for 12 or more semester hours of course work.

2.  Part-time: A student who is enrolled for less than 12 semester hours of course work.

3.  Freshman: Any student who has earned fewer than 25 semester hours of credit.

4.  Sophomore: A student who has earned 25 or more semester hours of credit.

Course Load and Credits

Credit Hour Policy

Davidson County Community College provides instruction for each course based on the number of contact hours listed in the North Carolina Community College Combined Course Library (CCL) for that particular course. Instruction is delivered by a variety of methods, including traditional and online formats or a combination of both. Students will participate in course instruction and outside studies to achieve the course learning outcomes.

A semester credit hour is an academic unit earned for no less than sixteen 50-minute sessions of classroom instruction or its equivalent with a normal expectation of two hours of outside study for each class session. This basic measure may be adjusted proportionately to reflect modified academic calendars and formats of study.

The award of credit hour(s) for asynchronous online and alternative delivery methods of instruction is reflective of the amount of student work necessary to achieve the course objectives and represents an equivalent amount of student work defined by the clock hours for the award of credit hour(s).

Laboratory, clinical, and work experience courses from the CCL convert from credit hours to contact hours per course using the following guidelines:

•   Credit of one semester hour is awarded for each 32 hours of “experiential laboratory work.” This consists of instruction given to a student by an instructor to increase the student’s knowledge and skills without immediate student application.

•   Credit of one semester hour is awarded for 48 hours of “faculty directed laboratory work.” This involves structured and coordinated demonstration by an instructor with immediate student application.

•   Credit of one semester hour is awarded for each 48 hours of “clinical practice.” This is a structured, faculty-directed learning experience in a health sciences program, which develops job proficiency. Clinical practice requires significant preparation, coordination, and scheduling by the faculty and is under the supervision of an instructor or preceptor who is qualified for the particular program.

•   Credit of one semester hour is awarded for each 160 hours of “work experience” such as cooperative education, practicums, and internships. Student activity in work experience is planned and coordinated by a College representative, and the employer is responsible for the control and supervision of the student on the job.

Course Load Policy

A student who carries twelve (12) or more semester hours of course work is considered a full-time student. Registration in excess of 20 credit hours (13 hours in the summer term), including contact hours for pre-curriculum courses, requires written permission of the student’s academic advisor and the appropriate Associate Dean. Students who work should adjust their course loads accordingly.

Course Load for Veterans, Dependents, and Reservists 

A student enrolled in a College program and receiving Department of Veteran Affairs benefits is required to carry 12 credit hours in course work each semester in order to receive full educational benefits. Any student enrolled for 3/4 or 1/2 of the full-time requirements as mentioned above is eligible for proportionate compensation. Students enrolled less than 1/2 time are compensated for in-state tuition and fees only. Additional information is available from the Financial Aid Counselor/Veterans’ Services at the College.

Pre-curriculum Placement

The College provides pre-curriculum courses for students to enhance their opportunities for educational success in regular college courses of study. The academic placement of a student is based upon the student’s academic record and the College placement process. Depending upon the student’s needs, goals, and the results of a placement assessment, the student may be advised to enroll in pre-curriculum courses designed to assist in developing the academic skills necessary for success in college-level courses.

Student Success Course Policy

All first time in college students with an unweighted high school GPA less than 3.0 are required to complete a student success course in their first semester. If a student fails to complete the course in the first semester, he or she will be registered for it in the following term.  If the course is not completed in the following term, the student will be blocked from registering for any other courses until the student success course has been completed.

Students Enrolling in External Instruction

Davidson County Community College offers a number of courses defined as “external instruction” for regularly enrolled students to meet program requirements. “External instruction” is defined as instruction received at a site or sites to which a student is sent by the College to participate in instructional activities. Within the scope of “external instruction” is practical training, which includes cooperative education courses, internships, directed practice, and clinical practicums. External instruction also includes hybrid and online instruction as well as traditional face-to-face experiences. The purpose of external instruction is to provide students practical occupational experience as an integral part of their formal education and to provide students with alternative means of scheduling educational experiences.

Transfer Credit

A transfer student is defined as a student entering the College who has attended another institution of higher education. In addition to submitting all other required application materials, students must have official transcript(s) sent directly to the College by the institution(s) which originally granted the creditor hand carry the transcript(s) in a college stationary sealed envelope. “Faxed” transcripts are not considered official.

Davidson County Community College will consider granting credit for work done at institutions of higher education which are accredited by organizations which are recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation.  Courses submitted for transfer credit must be equivalent or determined to be appropriate substitutions for offerings at DCCC. Initial decisions regarding the transfer of credit for selected courses are made by the Director, Student Records and Registration. The Director may consult with the Associate Dean or Dean in the program of study, and/or the Vice President, Academic Programs and Services for final decisions.

However, students who have earned a baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution AND are enrolling in an applied science (A.A.S.) program will be considered to have fulfilled the general education requirements of courses in the following areas: communications (6 semester hours), humanities/fine arts (3 semester hours), social/behavioral sciences (3 semester hours), and natural sciences (3 semester hours). These courses will be accepted as a block, meaning that a course-by-course evaluation will not be needed.

Students who have attended a college or university outside the United States must have their tanscripts evaluated by World Education Services (WES) before they can be reviewed for possible transfer credit. The official WES evaluation must be submitted in a sealed envelope to the Director, Student Records and Registration. Evaluation of foreign transcrpts by WES does not guarantee transfer credit will be granted, and the standard transfer credit policy will apply.  The College does not grant credit for a course in which a student earned a grade of "D" at another institution. However, a transfer student may be given credit for a sequence course taken at another institution if the student's overall grade point average in the sequence is at least a "C." Transfer credit is not awarded for credit by exam granted by other institutions.

Transfer students must pass at least 25% of the required semester hours of credit at this College in order to be eligible to graduate with a degree, diploma, or certificate. Grade point average for graduation, honors, and continuing enrollment is computed on courses taken at Davidson County Community College only.

Time Limitations on Previous Credits

It is the intent of the College that entering students will be successful. Time limitations may restrict the acceptance of credits from both internal and external sources if it is determined that course material or content is outdated. The Dean over the program of study in which the course is taught will make the decision regarding the acceptance of credit for such courses.

Credit Through Testing and Advanced Placement

The College gives advanced placement credit to students who have demonstrated ability to do advanced work through past academic achievement and/or assessment processes. Credit for prior learning is awarded using several means of evaluation including: College administered challenge exams, the College Level Examination Program (CLEP) and the Advanced Placement Program (AP) of the College Entrance Examination Board, Defense Activity for Non-Traditional Educational Support (DANTES) courses and subject standardized tests, state or national certification and/or licensure examinations, and Armed Forces Services courses.

College Administered Challenge Examinations

A student who is currently registered at the College and who can document evidence of possible proficiency in a subject may request a challenge examination to measure competency in that subject. The performance on such an examination must be “C” or above in order to earn credit. A student who successfully completes a challenge examination will be awarded a grade of “CE” and credit hours for the course, but quality points will not be awarded and the grade is not included in the grade point average.

For more information on challenge examinations, a student should contact a faculty member or his/her academic advisor.

College Level Examination Program (CLEP)

The College Level Examination Program is a national testing program of the College Entrance Examination Board through which a person may obtain college credit in a particular subject area by demonstrating proficiency on an examination. DCCC does not administer these exams. Area colleges and public libraries administer the CLEP General and Subject exams. There is a charge for each exam and pre-registration is required.

The College awards credit for the subject area exams only. Students must request to have an official CLEP score report sent to the Director, Student Records and Registration. If the minimum score is achieved, a grade of “T” (Transfer) and credit hours for the course are awarded. No quality points are awarded, and the grade is not included in the grade point average. The student shall receive credit for the Subject Examinations at the levels recommended in the current edition of CLEP SCORES: Interpretation and Use, College Entrance Examination Board, Princeton, NJ, as modified by College policy. The current examinations and minimum acceptable scores can be found at https://clep.collegeboard.org/college-credit/davidson-county-community-college?destination=/search/colleges/us%3Fsearch_type%3D0   

Exceptions:

1. Subject examination credit awarded in the student’s major is contingent on satisfactory performance in an advanced course in that department.

2. A minimum of 25 percent of the required semester hours must be completed at Davidson County Community College for a student to be eligible for a diploma, degree, or certificate.

3. Duplicate credit will not be awarded.

Advanced Placement Program (AP)

The College gives credit for courses in which College Entrance Examination Board Advanced Placement Examinations have been given and in which appropriate levels of competence have been demonstrated. If a student has taken Advanced Placement exams in high school, he or she should request an official AP score report from the College Board to be sent directly to the Student Records Office for evaluation of credit. If credit is awarded, a grade of “T” (Transfer) and credit hours for the course are awarded. No quality points are awarded, and the grade is not included in the grade point average.

College Credit for Career and Technical Education

Students who successfully completed high school Career and Technical Education courses may receive credit for Davidson County Community College courses that cover the same content or skills development as identified by statewide or local articulation agreements. Students must have received a grade of “B” or better in their high school course and achieved a score of 93 or better on the standardized CTE post assessment. The Application for Articulated Credit is available from the county or city school systems and must be approved by a school administrator before submission to the Student Records Office.

Defense Activity For Non-Traditional Educational Support (DANTES)

The DANTES program is a testing service conducted by the Educational Testing Service (ETS) to enable military personnel to obtain college credit for knowledge and skills acquired through nontraditional educational experiences in the Armed Forces. The College awards credit where applicable to the student’s program of study following the guidelines set by the American Council on Education. A grade of “T” and credit hours for the course(s) are awarded. No quality points are awarded, and the grade is not included in the grade point average. Official records for persons who completed DANTES Subject Standardized Tests after July 1, 1974, can be obtained from DANTES Contractor Representative (CLEP), Educational Testing Service, Box 2819, Princeton, NJ 08541.

Credit When It's Due

CWID is a grant funded project with a goal to improve the rate of completion of the Associate of Arts and Associate of Science degrees through the reverse transfer of credit.  A reverse transfer of credit occurs when a public university or college, which can confer a baccalaureate degree, allows credit from courses taken at its school to be transferred to a community college so that that community college can confer an associate degree on the student who has already transferred to the four-year school.

The following University of North Carolina (UNC) campuses are participating in the grant-funded project: Appalachian State University, East Carolina University, Fayetteville State University, North Carolina State University, the University of North Carolina Charlotte, the University of North Carolina Greensboro, the University of North Carolina Wilmington and Western Carolina University.

The following North Carolina Community College System (NCCCS) campuses are participating in the grant-funded project: Asheville- Buncombe Technical Community College, Cape Fear Community College, Catawba Valley Community College, Central Piedmont Community College, Coastal Carolina Community College, Davidson County Community College, Durham Technical Community College, Fayetteville Technical Community College, Forsyth Technical Community College, Gaston College, Guilford Technology Community College, Martin Community College, Pitt Community College, Rowan-Cabarrus Community College, Stanly Community College and Wake Technical Community College.

Transcript level data from the eight participating universities will be retrieved by the UNC General Administration (UNC-GA) office and disseminated to the proper community college for evaluation for the possible awarding of a degree. The file sent to the community college will include all data necessary for the process and awarding of the degree. The coursework completed by the student for degree consideration will be limited to courses with a grade of C- or higher. This data will be considered an official academic record for the student. 

The transfer of credits and all pertinent data between UNC-GA, the universities and the community colleges, including notification to the student, will be processed pursuant to the policies and procedures of the institution that will be accepting the transfer credits in accordance with the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) regulations.  Further, the participating UNC and NCCCS campuses will fully comply with the requirements of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) with regard to the transcript level data disclosed among and between institutions for the purpose of accommodating reverse transfer, as well as any other individual student data that may be transferred.

The following are policies and procedures for North Carolina Community Colleges and universities participating in the CWID initiative. Students eligible for degree review as part of the CWID initiative will be those currently enrolled and future transfer students at one of the eight participating universities who transferred from one of the fifteen participating community colleges (CCs).

Policies
1. CCs are in agreement that the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools on Colleges residency regulation of 25% of credits earned (16 credit hours) by the student will be the review limit for a degree by the granting institution.
2. The degree granting institution will be determined by the following:
     a. Most recent CC attended meeting SACS residency regulations
     b. If there is more than one CC meeting the above requirement, the CC from which student has received the most credits will review the student for the degree.
3. Only courses in which the student has received a grade of C- or higher from the university will be included in the data.
4. All credits received by the student from other schools (since the student attended the granting CC) will be included in the data if available for review in awarding the degree.
5. For the purpose of this student population the readmission application process and fee will be waived.
6. Each student will be processed for the degree based on the degree program that the CC determines per their rules and regulations, with the best interest of the student as the guiding principal.
7. Each CC will waive the graduation fee and graduation application to process and award the degree.
8. Upper division courses completed at a four-year institution may be considered for lower division substitution on a case-by-case basis.

Procedures
1. Student completes a minimum of 16 hours towards an Associate in Arts or Associate in Science at Davidson County Community College (DCCC).
2. Student who transfers to a participating 4-year university agrees to participate in CWID through the College Foundation of North Carolina (CFNC) webpage (http://www.cfnc.org/reversetransfer).
3. Student’s data will be sent to the DCCC upon completing 50 total credit hours as assessed by the information from the currently attended university. The student’s data will be sent each subsequent semester the student is enrolled until he/she has earned an associate’s degree or a total of 90 credits or until 5 years has passed from the time the student transferred into the university, whichever comes first.
4. Initial data will be sent to CCs in June 2014 and then each subsequent fall and spring semester (time in the semester to be determined later).
5. Each semester the data is received, the DCCC Records Office will evaluate the student’s credit and inform the student through his/her university email address once an associate degree has been earned.  The student should expect this email by April, after the fall semester report is received, or September, after the spring semester report is received.
6. Assuming there is no hold on the student’s record, DCCC will print a diploma to be mailed to the student’s home address and send information about participating in commencement through their university email address. The student should expect to receive this information in April of the academic year the degree is awarded.

Additional questions may be answered at a the FAQ webpage on the CFNC website (http://www.cfnc.org/reversetransfer) or by the Director, Student Records and Registration. 

Professional Training and Certification Examinations

The College may award credit for courses in which the competencies have been demonstrated through selected state, national, or professional training and certification examination testing. This training and these examinations must be individually evaluated in collaboration with academic departments to identify individual course competencies for which credit is to be awarded. The College reserves the right to require students to complete additional competency testing to ensure the currency of knowledge prior to awarding course credit for certification examinations. Transfer credit for professional training and certifications is awarded on the student’s transcript. However, a grade is not recorded, quality points are not given, and the student’s GPA remains unchanged.

Awarding Credit for Continuing Education Units

Awarding credit for continuing education courses work involves at least three considerations:

1. The educational quality of the course for which the student desires credit.

2. The comparability of the nature and content of the continuing education course with the curriculum course for which credit is desired.

3. Demonstration of competencies/learning outcomes by the student, either as part of the course or subsequent to it.

Davidson County Community College will award academic credit for continuing education courses only when there is documentation that the continuing education coursework is equivalent to a designated credit course.

The process for evaluating and documenting continuing education coursework for credit is outlined below.

1. Student obtains an official transcript documenting the continuing education coursework. The student fills out the “Request for Evaluation of Continuing Education Coursework:” (This form is available on-line or at the Davidson County Community College Records Office.)

2. The student submits a “Request for Evaluation of Continuing Education Coursework” to the Associate Dean or Director, Student Records and Registration.

3. The Associate Dean attaches a copy of the continuing education instructor’s statement of qualifications and a copy of appropriate course competencies and forwards the evaluation request packet to the appropriate academic dean.

4. The academic dean reviews the faculty credentials of the person that taught the continuing education course to ensure that the individual has the appropriate educational credentials and confers with appropriate faculty member(s) to evaluate the continuing education coursework.

5. The faculty member(s) evaluates the continuing education coursework and recommends appropriate action. The academic dean and faculty member complete and sign Part II of the “Request for Evaluation of Continuing Education Coursework for Awarding Credit.” The form is then forwarded to the Vice President, Academic Programs and Services, for final approval. It is then forwarded to the Records Office.

6. The Records Office notifies the student of the recommendation. If recommended, the credit is recorded on the student’s transcript. However, a grade is not recorded, quality points are not given and the student’s GPA remains unchanged.

Armed Forces Services Courses

Students who have completed Basic Training in the military are awarded four (4) semester hours of credit in physical education where applicable to their program of study. A grade of “T” and credit hours are awarded. No quality points are awarded and the grade is not included in the grade point average. A copy of the student’s DD214 form or military transcripts (AARTS or SMART transcript) must be submitted to the Director, Registration and Student Records, in order for credit to be awarded.

Students who have taken college-level studies while in military service may be eligible to receive credit for military course work and military occupational specialties (MOS) where such are applicable to the student’s program of study. The student should request to have their military transcript (AARTS or SMART transcript) sent directly to the Admissions Office at DCCC. These transcripts may be requested via the Internet at www.acenet.edu. The College awards credit where applicable to the student’s program of study by following the guidelines found in the current Handbook to the Guide to Council on Education. A grade of “T” and credit hours for the course(s) are awarded. No quality points are awarded the grade is not included in the grade point average.

The College has been designated a Service members Opportunity College (SOC) for service members who study at any regionally accredited college. While in the military, a service member may transfer appropriate credits to DCCC to have courses in which a “C” grade or better was earned entered on his/her DCCC transcript. A grade of “T” and credit hours for the courses are awarded. No quality points are awarded, and the grade is not included in the grade point average. The College also participates in the Concurrent Admissions Program (ConAP), a joint program of the Army Recruiting Command and the College, which admits new soldiers into DCCC at the time of enlistment in the Army or Army Reserves and defers enrollment for classes until completion of military service.