GCC General Catalog 2009-2010
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General Catalog 2009-2010

Scholastic Standards

Academic Load (AR 2.3.1)

The following guidelines are for institutional purposes. Rules regarding academic load for financial aid eligibility, veteran benefits and athletic eligibility may be defined differently.

Students carrying at least twelve (12) credit hours will be considered full-time students for the fall and spring semesters. Three-quarter-time is 9 - 11.9 credit hours. Half-time is 6 - 8.9 credit hours. Fewer than six (6) credit hours is considered less than half-time. Academic load for summer and special terms may be defined differently. Contact the Admissions and Records Office/Office of Student Enrollment Services for clarification.

Courses may vary in length, and begin and end throughout the year. A credit hour indicates the value of an academic credit. Standards for the awarding of credit hours may be time based or competency based. To obtain credit, a student must be properly registered and must pay fees for the course. The fall and spring semesters are typically sixteen (16) weeks in length. Summer sessions are typically five or eight weeks in length.

Students desiring to take more than eighteen (18) credit hours must obtain approval from the designated college official. Ordinarily, only students with a grade point average of 3.0 or higher for the preceding semester or first semester studentswho were in the upper quarter of their high school graduating class are permitted to carrymore than eighteen (18) credit hours.

Students participating in extra-curricular or co-curricular activities or receiving financialassistance may be required to maintain a specified minimum academic load.

Students who are working, have considerable extra-curricular or co-curricular activities, or have been reinstated from academic suspension/probation should plan their academic load accordingly.

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Schedule Change

Students may change their schedule by following the designated procedures at their college of enrollment. It is the student's responsibility to notify the college if he/she will no longer be attending class (see Appendix S-7 for Withdrawal Procedures).

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Attendance (AR 2.3.2)

Only persons who are registered for a class at any of the Maricopa Community Colleges may attend that class.

Attendance requirements are determined by the course instructor. Students who do not meet the attendance requirement as determined by the course instructor may be withdrawn.

Students who fail to attend the first scheduled class meeting, or to contact the instructor regarding absence before the first scheduled class meeting may, at the option of the instructor, be withdrawn.

At the beginning of each course, each faculty member will provide students with written attendance requirements. It is the student's responsibility to consult with the instructor regarding official or unofficial absences. Absences begin to accumulate with the first scheduled class meeting.

Students bear the responsibility of notifying the Admissions and Records Office/Office of Student Enrollment Services when they discontinue studies in a course or at the college. Please refer to Appendix S-7 for Withdrawal Procedures.

A. Official Absences

Official absences are those which occur when students are involved in an official activity of the college (e.g., field trips, tournaments, athletic events) and present an official absence excuse form. Absences for such events shall not count against the number of absences allowed by an instructor or department. Students who must miss a class for an official reason must obtain an official absence verification card from the appropriate dean or associate dean and present it to the appropriate instructor(s) before the absence. Prior arrangements must be made with each instructor for make-up work. If prior arrangements have been made, the student will not be penalized.

Other official absences include jury duty and subpoenas. Appropriate documentation will be required. Prior arrangements must be made with each instructor for makeup work. If prior arrangements have been made, the student will not be penalized.

In the event of the death of an immediate family member, absences for periods of up to one week will not be counted against the number of absences allowed by an instructor or department. Students should contact instructor(s) as soon as possible to arrange for make-up work. Appropriate documentation will be required (for example, a copy of the obituary or funeral program). In specialized programs that require clinical rotations, this regulation may not apply.

B. Religious Holidays

Students shall have the right to observe major religious holidays without penalty or reprisal by any administrator, faculty member or employee of the Maricopa Community Colleges. Absences for such holidays shall not count against the number of absences allowed by an instructor or department. At least one week before the holiday, students shall submit to their instructor(s) a written statement which includes both the date of the holiday and the reason why class attendance is impossible. Prior arrangements must be made with each instructor for make-up work. If prior arrangements have been made, the student will not be penalized.

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Grading (AR 2.3.3)

A. Policy

It is the policy of the Maricopa Community Colleges that a grade will be assigned at the conclusion of the course. Official grades are available on designated college web sites.

Grade Key:

A - Excellent (4 grade points per credit hour)

B - Above Average (3 grade points per credit hour)

C - Average (2 grade points per credit hour)

D - Passing (1 grade point per credit hour)

F - Failure (0 grade point per credit hour)

I - Incomplete (Not computed in grade point average)

IP - Course In Progress (Not computed in grade point average)

N - Audit (Not computed in grade point average)

P* - Credit (Not computed in grade point average)

W - Withdrawn, passing (Not computed in grade point average)

Y - Withdrawn, failing (effective Fall 2000) (0 grade point per credit hour)

Z - No Credit (Not computed in grade point average)

* A "P" is judged to be equivalent to a grade of C or higher.

B. Incomplete Grade

Students who are doing acceptable work may request an incomplete grade "I" if they are unable to complete the course requirements by the end of the term because of illness or other extenuating circumstances. If the request is approved by the instructor, he or she shall define, in a written contract, how the course will be completed. The contract will be filed with the Admissions and Records Office/Office of Student Enrollment Services.

Students must complete the requirements within the time period agreed to - maximum time allowed is seven (7) months from the last date of class in which the grade of incomplete was assigned. Students who do not complete the requirements within seven (7) months will have their grade recorded in accordance with the written contract. Students should NOT reregister for the course to complete the contract.

C. Repeating a Course/Improving a Grade

To improve a previously earned grade, students may repeat the course up to three times after the initial attempt to improve a grade. (A "W" or "Y" is not considered an attempt.) Students planning to repeat a course should seek advisement prior to enrolling. The lower grade(s) for repeated courses will automatically be excluded from the grade point calculation. All enrollments in a course will appear on the transcript.  Check individual courses and programs for exceptions..

D. Credit/No Credit Courses (P/Z)

Some courses may be taken under a credit/no credit grading system. These courses carry grades of P (credit, equivalent to a grade of C or higher) or Z (no credit) and are not computed in the student's grade point average. Credits earned with a grade of P may be counted toward graduation with the exception of AGEC (Arizona General Education Curriculum).

The prescribed time limits are for full semester classes. Time limits for classes which meet fewer than sixteen (16) weeks are adjusted accordingly. See "Important Deadlines for Students."

In courses with credit/no credit (P/Z) grading, the student may request standard grading (A,B,C,D,F), within fourteen (14) days including the date of the first class meeting. The instructor must immediately notify the Admissions and Records Office/Office of Student Enrollment Services.

In courses with standard grading (A, B, C, D, F), the instructor determines if the credit/no credit option is available. If the option is available, the student must obtain the permission of the instructor. The instructor must notify the Admissions and Records Office/Office of Student Enrollment Services within fourteen (14) days including the day of the first class meeting.

It is the student's responsibility to verify the transferability of credit/no credit courses. Some universities place a limitation on the number of credit/no credit courses that can be transferred.

Advisory note: Some institutions outside the Maricopa Community Colleges may translate the Z grade as failing.

E. Audit Courses

Auditors are those who enroll in a course for the sole purpose of obtaining information; they receive no credit, grades, homework, or tests. If an auditor wishes to earn credit, he or she must change from audit status to credit status within the first week. If a student wishes to audit a course for which he or she is enrolled for credit, the change must be made within the first five (5) weeks of a semester. Auditors are subject to the same attendance policies as other students and must meet the same prerequisite requirements or obtain approval of the instructor.. See the fee schedule for charges. Financial aid is not available for audited courses.

The prescribed time limits are for full semester classes. Time limits for classes which meet fewer than sixteen (16) weeks are adjusted accordingly. See "Important Deadlines for Students."

F. Important Deadlines For Students

Deadlines are based on calendar days and begin with the first day of class. Deadlines that fall on a weekend or holiday advance to the next college work day.

Important Deadlines for Students Chart

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Academic Probation (Progress) (AR 2.3.4)

A. Probation

A student will be placed on academic probation under the following conditions:
1. If, after completion of twelve (12) or more credit hours, the student's cumulative grade point average is less than:

Credit Hours for Which Grade
Points are Computed at Resident
Maricopa Community College
(A, B, C, D, F, and Y)
Minimum Grade Point
Average Required
12-15
16-30
31-45
46 +
1.60
1.75
1.90
2.00


(Students should also be aware that graduation requires a cumulative minimum grade point average of 2.00).

2. If, in transferring from any accredited institution of higher education, the student's cumulative grade point average from other colleges and universities does not meet the requirements listed above.

Students on academic probation may take no more than twelve (12) credit hours per semester unless approved by the Admissions and Standards Committee.

B. Continued Probation

A student on academic probation who fails to raise the cumulative grade point average to the required minimum standards (see above) will be placed on continued probation and may be limited to taking six (6) credit hours.

Regulations regarding continued probation do not apply to the summer session. Credit hours earned in summer sessions will be included in the cumulative grade point average.

C. Admission of Suspended Students

Transfer students who do not meet the minimum grade point average listed under Scholastic Standards may be admitted on academic probation.

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Instructional Grievance Process (AR 2.3.5 & Appendix F)

A student who feels that he or she has been treated unfairly or unjustly by a faculty member with regard to an academic process such as grading, testing, or assignments, has the right to appeal according to the approved procedures. The appeal process for grades expires one year from the date the grade was issued.

Steps for students to take:

  1. Discuss the issue with the faculty member involved. This conference should be requested by the student within fifteen (15) working days from the time the student knew or reasonably should have known about the unfair or unjust treatment.
  2. If, within ten (10) working days of the request for the conference with the faculty member, the problem is not resolved or the faculty member has been unable to meet with the student, the student may continue the process by filing a written complaint with the department/division chairperson and appropriate administrative officer at the college/center. This written complaint must be filed within ten (10) working days following the previous deadline. The written complaint will be given to the faculty member five (5) days before any official meetings are convened.
  3. Upon receipt of a written complaint, the department/division chair or appropriate college administrative officer will work with the parties in an attempt to resolve the conflict. The faculty member may ask that the college faculty senate president be in attendance. Every attempt will be made to maintain confidentiality during this process.
    A faculty member will not be required to respond to a complaint which is not in writing and which, when appropriate, did not have specific documentation including dates, times, materials, etc. The written complaint will be made available to the faculty member.
  4. If the grievance is not resolved at this level within ten working days, the student should forward to the vice president of academic affairs or designee , a copy of the original written complaint with an explanation regarding action taken at each prior level. The vice president of academic affairs or designee will meet with the student, faculty member, the college faculty senate president if requested by the faculty member, and department/division chairperson and attempt to resolve the issues. This level will be the final step in any grievance process regarding grades.
  5. If the grievance, other than those concerning grades, is not resolved by the vice president of academic affairs or designee, it may be forwarded in writing by the student to the college president for final resolution. The college president or designee will expedite a timely examination of the issues and will issue a final written determination in the grievance process.

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Non-Instructional Complaint Resolution Process

A student who feels that he or she has been treated unfairly or unjustly by any employee with regard to a non-instructional process such as a student or administrative services has the right to file a formal and written complaint according to the approved procedures. Steps for students to take:

  1. Discuss the issue with the employee involved. The student should request this conference within fifteen (15) working days from the time the student knew or reasonably should have known about the unfair or unjust treatment.
  2. If, within ten (10) working days of the request for the conference with the employee, the problem is not resolved or the employee has been unable to meet with the student, the student may continue the process by filing a written complaint with the appropriate supervisor of the employee where authority exists to take corrective action. This written complaint must be filed within ten (10) working days following the previous deadline. The written complaint will be given to the employee five (5) working days before any official meetings are convened.
  3. Upon receipt of a written complaint, the appropriate supervisor will work with the parties in an attempt to resolve the conflict. Every attempt will be made to maintain confidentiality during this process. An employee will not be required to respond to a complaint which is not in writing and which, when appropriate, does not have specific documentation including dates, times, actions, supporting documents, etc. The written complaint will be made available to the employee.
  4. If the complaint is not resolved at this level within ten (10) working days, the student should forward to the or appropriate college/center dean and/or associate dean, a copy of the original written complaint with an explanation regarding action taken at each prior level. The dean and/or associate dean will meet with the student, the employee, and the relevant supervisor and attempt to resolve the issues.
  5. If the associate dean and/or dean do not resolve the complaint, the student may forward it in writing to the college president for final resolution. The college president or designee will issue a final written determination in the complaint process.

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Withdrawal (AR 2.3.6)

To withdraw from a course or courses from the college, students must follow approved procedures. The Admissions and Records Office/Office of Student Enrollment Services provides information about the withdrawal process.

The official date of withdrawal is the date the withdrawal is received in the Admissions and Records Office/Office of Student Enrollment Services.

Never attending is not an allowable refund exception or an excuse of the debt incurred through registration. Please see the refund policy.

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Student Withdrawal Procedures

A. Withdrawal from Specific Courses

The prescribed time limits are for full semester classes. Time limits for classes which meet fewer than sixteen (16) weeks are adjusted accordingly. See "Important Deadlines for Students." Failure to file an official withdrawal form may result in failing grades and responsibility for course tuition and fees.

A student may officially withdraw from specific courses in the following ways:

  1. Through the 7th week*, a student may initiate an official withdrawal from any course by completing the withdrawal process online using the student self service system or by submitting a course withdrawal form to the Admissions and Records Office/Office of Student Enrollment Services in accordance with the published deadlines. A grade of W (withdrawn, passing – not computed in the grade point average) will be assigned.
  2. After the 7th week*, a student must initiate a withdrawal request with the faculty member.  After consultation with the student, the faculty member approves the request, a grade of W (withdrawn, passing – not computed in the grade point average) or Y (withdrawn, failing – computed in the grade point average as a failing grade) will be assigned. If the request is not approved, the student will remain in the course.
  3. A student has the right to appeal a withdrawal decision according to the approved procedures. Steps outlining the proces are available in Appendix S-6.

*The prescribed time limits are for full semester classes. Time limits for classes which meet fewer than sixteen (16) weeks are adjusted accordingly. See "Important Deadlines for Students." Failure to file an official withdrawal form may result in failing grades and responsibility for course tuition and fees.

NOTE: Withdrawing from a class will not entitle the students to a refund of tuition/fees if the withdrawal is processed outside the refund policy.

B. Complete Withdrawal from College

Students electing to withdraw from the college must contact the Admissions and Records Office/Office of Student Enrollment Services no later than two weeks* before the end of the last class meeting and may be required to file a written request.

A grade of W will be assigned in all courses for students who withdraw by the end of the 7th week* of classes. Withdrawals completed after this time will result in a grade of W (withdrawn, passing) or Y (withdrawn, failing).

*The prescribed time limits are for full semester classes.  Time limits for classes which meet fewer than sixteen (16) weeks are adjusted accordingly.  See “Important Deadlines for Students.”  Failure to file an official withdrawal form may result in failing grades and responsibility for course tuition and fees.

C. Withdrawal of Financial Aid Students

In accordance with federal regulations (CFR 668.22), a student may be required to repay federal financial aid funds if they completely withdraw or are withdrawn, or fail to earn a passing grade from all classes during a semester. Further information is available at the college Office of Student Financial Aid. This could affect a student's ability to receive Financial Aid in the future at any school.

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Faculty Withdrawal Procedures

A faculty member has the option of withdrawing a student who has accumulated unofficial absences in excess of the number of times a class meets per week.  Students withdrawn for excessive absences may be reinstated only with the approval of the faculty member.  A grade of W will be assigned through the 7th week*.  After the 7th week*, a grade of W or Y will be assigned.  Faculty members electing to withdraw students must record the withdrawal through the online system, including last date of attendance and withdrawal code.

*The prescribed time limits are for full semester classes.  Time limits for classes which meet fewer than sixteen (16) weeks are adjusted accordingly.  See “Important Deadlines for Students.”  Failure to file an official withdrawal form may result in failing grades and responsibility for course tuition and fees. Refunds will only be processed within the refund period.

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Academic Renewal (AR 2.3.7)

Students who are returning after a separation of five (5) years or more from the Maricopa Community College District, may petition for academic renewal. The request must be in writing and submitted to the Admissions and Records Office/Office of Student Enrollment Services at the college where the grades were earned.

Academic renewal at one of the Maricopa Community Colleges does not guarantee that colleges outside the Maricopa Colleges will accept this action. Acceptance of academic renewal is at the discretion of the receiving institution.

  1. Prior to petitioning for academic renewal, the student must demonstrate renewed academic performance by earning a minimum of twelve (12) credit hours and a cumulative grade point average of 2.5 or higher within Maricopa Colleges after reenrollment.
  2. Upon approval, all courses taken prior to reenrollment with a grade of "A," "B," "C," "D," "F," and "Y" will be annotated as academic renewal on the student's permanent record. All course work affected by academic renewal will not be computed in the grade point average. Courses with grades "A," "B," or "C" will have the associated credit hours counted in the total credit hours earned. Such credit will not be computed in the grade point average.
  3. All course work will remain on the student's permanent academic record, ensuring a true and accurate academic history.
  4. The academic renewal policy may be used only once at each college and cannot be revoked once approved.
  5. Students who have been granted Academic Renewal must also meet the Financial Aid Standards of Academic Progress if they wish to receive financial aid.

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Honors Program (AR 2.3.8)

Each of the Maricopa Community Colleges has an honors program. Interested students should contact the college honors coordinator for information about the program and available scholarships, including the Chancellor's, Foundation's, and President's Scholarships.

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President's Honor List

The President's Honor List for each college consists of all students who complete twelve (12) or more credit hours in residence in courses numbered 100 or higher in a given semester with a college semester grade point average of 3.75 or higher.

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