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Attendance/Withdraw Policy

Academic Integrity Statement

Academic integrity is highly valued in our campus community. Academic integrity directly concerns ethical behaviors which affect both the academic environment and the civic community. Academic dishonesty seriously violates the integrity of the academic enterprise and will not be tolerated at Southwest Texas Junior College. Academic dishonesty is regarded as any act of deception, benign or malicious in nature, in the completion of any academic exercise. Examples of academic dishonesty include cheating, plagiarism, impersonation, misrepresentation of idea or fact for the purpose of defrauding, use of unauthorized aids or devices, falsifying attendance records, violation of testing protocol, inappropriate course assignment collaboration, and any other acts that are prohibited by the instructor of record.

Class Attendance

Students are expected to regularly attend all classes in which they are enrolled and are responsible for the subsequent completion of all work missed because of an absence. Any class work missed because of an absence and not subsequently completed may affect the grade of the student regardless of the reason for the absence.  The manner in which make-up work for absences is administered is left to the professional discretion of the individual faculty member. SWTJC makes no distinction between excused or unexcused absences. Therefore, the instructor may count all absences except when prohibited by State law or statute. According to State law there may be a valid reason for a student’s absence from class. Acceptable reasons are, but not limited to: personal illness, death in the immediate family, religious holy days in compliance with Section 51.911 of the Texas Higher Education Code, military or legal obligations, or school trips. It is the responsibility of the student to inform the instructor of an excused absence related to one or more of the aforementioned categories and to ask for make-up work.

An instructor may request the withdrawal of a student from a class when the total number of absences exceeds SWTJC criteria for "Excessive Absences" and the student has failed to make the appropriate contact with the Instructor regarding the validity of the absence and the need for make-up work.  The SWTJC definition of "Excessive Absences” the total number of absences exceeding the equivalent of two weeks of class meetings in a course; specifically, (a) six absences from a class that meets three times per week (typical MWF schedule), (b) four absences from a class that meets two times per week (typical TTH schedule) and, (c) two absences from a class that meets once per week (an evening course, e.g.). Attendance counting begins on the official first day of class.  When a student reaches the "Excessive Absence" threshold, the instructor may request that the student be reported to the Vice-President for Academic Affairs.  The "Excessive Absences Form" is used for this purpose.  If the absences continue, the instructor may initiate an enforced withdrawal by using the "Class Withdrawal Form."   Following agreement by the Vice-President for Academic Affairs, the student will be dropped from the class.  When an instructor requests the forced withdrawal of a student from a class, a grade of “EW” will be recorded


Minimum Scholastic Standards

In order to remain in Academic Good Standing, students must maintain a minimum semester and overall GPA of 2.0.  Students who fail to maintain this minimum standard will be placed on Scholastic Probation or Scholastic Suspension, as appropriate.  In determining whether a student will be placed on probation or suspension, all grades except W, EW, NP, P, or I, will be used in computing GPA.  Students are responsible for knowing their scholastic standing.  Ineligible students who register with the college will be subject to dismissal with forfeiture of all tuition and fees. 

Requests for exceptions to the following policies and procedures must be made in writing to the Vice-President for Academic Affairs.

Scholastic Probation

Scholastic Probation is an emphatic warning that the quality of the student’s work has not met minimum scholastic standards.  A probationary status is an opportunity for students to continue at SWTJC in order to improve their scholastic performance.  Students will be placed on scholastic probation at the end of any semester if their semester OR overall GPA is less than 2.0.  Students on Scholastic Probation may register after meeting with an academic advisor.

A student on probation will be limited to enrolling in no more than 12 semester credit hours during a regular term and 3 semester credit hours during a summer term.  In addition, priorities bellow will be followed:

  1. Students must enroll in all required Developmental Education courses.
  2. Students must enroll in a College Success Skills course if required.
  3. Students will be encouraged to re-take a course or courses not successfully completed.
  4. Students must follow course requirements of their degree plan.

Removal from Scholastic Probation

A student on Scholastic Probation returns to Academic Good Standing by earning a GPA of 2.0 or higher in the next semester of enrollment AND by having an overall GPA of 2.0 or higher.  A student continues on academic probation while either the current semester or the overall GPA isles than 2.0.

Scholastic Suspension

A student on Scholastic Probation who fails to earn at least a 2.0 GPA for the next semester of enrollment AND who fails to earn an overall GPA of at least 2.0 by the end of that semester will be placed on scholastic suspension.  The student will not be permitted to enroll at SWTJC until a fall or spring semester has elapsed.

Appeal of Scholastic Suspension

A student placed on Scholastic Suspension may appeal to the Vice-President for Academic Affairs or an appropriate designee.  The appeal must be in writing.  The ‘Scholastic Suspension Appeal Form” is available online.

If the Vice-President for Academic Affairs grants the student’s appeal, the student will be admitted under Conditional Probation.  If the student’s appeal is denied, the student may appeal to the Academic Appeals Committee.  If the appeal is denied by the Committee, the student shall be informed of the right of appeal to the President of the College.

Conditional Probation

If the appeal is approved, the student will be admitted under Conditional Probation.  A student on Conditional Probation will be limited to enrolling in no more than 6 semester credit hours during any long term and no more than 3 semester credit hours during any summer term.  In addition, priorities below will be followed:

  1. Students must enroll in all required Developmental Education courses.
  2. Students must enroll in a College Success Skills course if required.
  3. Students must re-take a course or courses not successfully completed.
  4. Students must follow course requirements of their degree plan.
  5. Other conditions may apply as deemed appropriate.

If the student’s semester GPA while on Conditional Probation equals or exceeds 2.0, the student will advance to Scholastic Probation.  If the student’s semester GPA is below 2.0, the student will be placed on Scholastic Suspension.

Removal from Scholastic Suspension

A student enrolling after a fall or spring semester’s lapse due to Scholastic Suspension will automatically be placed on Conditional Probation.

Admission Following a Scholastic Suspension at Another College

Students who are on Scholastic Suspension at another college or university may be admitted to SWTJC through the following procedure:

  1. Each student must appeal in writing for admission to the Vice-President for Academic Affairs or an appropriate designee.
  2. If denied admission by the Vice-President, the student may appeal to the Academic Appeals Committee.
    1. In case of denial of admission by the Committee, the student shall be informed of the right of appeal to the President of the College.

Grade Point Averages Used at Southwest Texas Junior College

GPA

SWTJC

Academic

SWTJC

Developmental

Transfer

Academic

Transfer

Developmental

Overall

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

SWTJC

Yes

Yes

No

No

College Level Course

Yes

No

Yes

No


Changes and Withdraws

Adding, Dropping

Courses may be added, changed, or dropped in the Registrar’s Office. Under special circumstances and with prior approval from the Registrar’s office, a student may drop a course by fax. Please include all personal and course information on the request.  Consult academic calendar for date regulations.  Late registration, drops and adds will be allowed for only two days following regular registration.  Evening students will be allowed only to drop and add classes, but not register late, up to two days following their first evening class meeting.  A student who withdraws from a class during the first twelve weeks of the semester until the published last day to withdraw will receive a W for that class.  No withdrawals are allowed after the withdrawal deadline published in the Academic Calendar.  As mandated by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, the withdrawal deadline is determined at the 75 percent point of a course.  After the withdrawal deadline students will receive a grade of A, B, C, D, Q. F or I.

Six Course Drop Rule Policy

Senate Bill (SB) 1231 was passed by the 80th Texas Legislature.  This bill provides that, except for several specific instances of good cause, undergraduate students enrolling as first-time freshmen at a public institution of higher education in fall 2007 or later will be limited to a total of six dropped courses during their entire undergraduate career.

As a result of this bill, Southwest Texas Junior College will not permit an undergraduate student a total of more than six dropped courses, including any course a transfer student has dropped at another institution of higher education.  All courses dropped after the Official Census Date are included in the six-course limit unless (1) the student withdraws from all courses or (2) the drop is authorized by an appropriate College official as an approved Drop Exception.

Drop Exceptions can be approved if the student documents that the drop was required for one of the following reasons and for that reason the student could not satisfactorily complete the course:

  1. A severe illness or other debilitating condition that affects the student’s ability to satisfactorily complete the course;
  2. The student’s responsibility for the care of a sick, injured, or needy person if the provision of that care affects the student’s ability to satisfactorily complete the course;
  3. The death of a person who is considered to be a member of the student’s family or who is otherwise considered to have a sufficiently close relationship to the student that the person’s death is considered to be a showing of good cause;
  4. The active duty service as a member of the Texas National Guard or the armed forces of the United States of either the student or a person who is considered to be a member of the student’s family or who is otherwise considered to have a sufficiently close relationship to the student that the person’s active military service is considered to be a showing of good cause;
  5. The course is dropped while the student is still in high school;
  6. The course dropped is repeated and passed;
  7. The change of the student’s work schedule that is beyond the control of the student, and that affects the student’s ability to satisfactorily complete the course; or
  8. Other good cause as determined by Southwest Texas Junior College.

For purposes of this section, a “member of the student’s family” is defined to be the student’s father, mother, brother, sister, grandmother, grandfather, aunt, uncle, nephew, niece, first cousin, step-parent, or step-sibling; a “person who is otherwise considered to have a sufficiently close relationship to the student” is defined to include any other relative within the third degree of consanguinity, plus close friends, including but not limited to roommates, housemates, classmates, or other persons identified by the student for approval by the institution, on a case-by-case basis.

This policy affects those beginning with entering first-time-in-college freshmen fall 2007.  Enrollment and drop activities of students affected by this legislation will be monitored.  Those who drop six or more courses without an approved Drop Exception will incur drop restrictions during all subsequent semesters and may incur other enrollment limitations or requirements.

SWTJC students liable under this legislation who plan to attend another Texas public college or university should determine that institution’s policies and penalties for dropping courses and for approving Drop Exceptions.  This policy is in accordance with Section 51.907 of the Texas Education Code.

Withdrawals from the College

Students wishing to withdraw from the college for the remainder of a semester must complete an Exit Questionnaire at the Registrar’s Office.  Students who do not follow this procedure will receive an F in all courses registered for that semester.  Merely discontinuing class attendance does not constitute a drop or withdrawal.  Students should clear all outstanding charges due the institution to avoid holds on official records.

Withdrawals from the college before the end of the twelfth week of the semester will show a W for each subject on the student’s record.  Students who stop attending courses during the thirteenth through the fifteenth week (prior to final exam week) will receive a grade as determined by the instructor.

Time Limitation on Appeals for Grade Changes

The college has established a time limitation for a student to appeal for a grade change.  An incorrectly assigned grade may be appealed by a student up to the end of one academic year following the incorrect award.

Students Entering Military Service

Students who have been called to active duty during the semester will be given credit for the courses if they: (1) covered the essential phase of the work, (2) attended at least one-half of the semester, and (3) made satisfactory progress and received authorization from the Vice-President for Academic Affairs.

Access and Privacy of Records

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, grants students four rights:

1)       Right of access to their educational records.

2)       Colleges must seek a student’s consent before educational, financial or business records are released to third parties (including parents and spouse).

3)       Students have the right to challenge any inaccurate, misleading or inappropriate information in their educational records.

4)       Colleges are required to inform students of these access and privacy rights guaranteed by FERPA.

Under this act, certain protected classes of information cannot be released to any third party without the specific written release from the eligible student.  Protected classes under FERPA include any information concerning a particular student’s grades, grade point averages, social security number, courses, and other “protected student records” maintained by the college. Any student can elect to have even “Directory Information” (e.g., address) secured from release to any party without the student’s written consent. To prohibit release of “Directory Information,” a student must complete the appropriate form at either the Uvalde, Del Rio, Eagle Pass, or Crystal City SWTJC facilities.

Classification of Students

A student who has completed 0-29 semester hours of work, exclusive of Physical Education (KINE) is classified as a freshman.  A student who has completed 30 or more semester hours but not more than 60, exclusive of KINE, is classified as a sophomore.  Any student taking 12 semester hours will be considered a full-time student.


Grades and Grade Reports

College level course grades are designated in terms of letters and grade points, which may be interpreted according to the following chart.  Grade point averages are computed by assigning value to each grade as follows:
A Excellent (90-100)                                 4 grade points
B Good (80-89)                                        3 grade points
C Average (70-79)                                    2 grade points
D Passing (60-69)                                     1 grade points
F Failure (59-Below)                                  0 grade points
Q Failure based on attendance                    0 grade points
I (Conditional/Incomplete)                         0 grade points
W Withdrew                                               0 grade points
NR Not Reported by Instructor                      0 grade points
I (Conditional/Incomplete)                         0 grade points
CIP Course in Progress                                  0 grade points
Z (Six Course Drop Rule) Not counted as courses attempted    0 grade points

 

I becomes F if the student does not complete the necessary work by the end of the first six-weeks of the following semester (including summer school).   

Developmental courses (college preparatory) are graded on an A, B, C, F, Q, I, P, or W basis.  Developmental courses are calculated in the overall GPA.  The grade of EW stands for Enforced Withdrawal.  Grade point averages are computed by assigning values to each grade as follows:

A............................. 4 points                    F.............................. 0 points                    P.............................. 0 points

B.............................. 3 points                   Q............................. 0 points                    W............................ 0 points

C.............................. 2 points                   

Refer to chart outlining “Grade Point Averages used at SWTJC” previously listed.

If students repeat a course for which they have credit, the best grade received is the permanent grade for the course.  The previous grade must stay on the permanent record, but is not included in determining the GPA.


Examination Policies

A final examination for each course is given at the end of each semester during the officially scheduled “Final Exam Period.”  Other examinations are given at the discretion of the instructor.  A student who must be absent from a final examination should petition the Vice-President for Academic Affairs for permission to reschedule the examination.  Postponed examinations must be taken within six weeks from the beginning of the following semester.  A student absent without permission from the final examination will receive a grade of “F” for the final exam.

Student Honors

Honor Graduates

Students satisfying the requirements for the A.A., A.A.T., A.S., and A.A.S. degree with the following GPA will graduate as follows:

3.90 to 4.00 GPA        ---        Summa Cum Laude

3.70 to 3.89 GPA        ---        Magna Cum Laude

3.60 to 3.69 GPA        ---        Cum Laude

Honor Roll

The Dean’s Honor Roll is composed of those students who are enrolled for 12 or more semester hours of work in a fall or spring semester, excluding all developmental hours, and who make a GPA of 3.60 or better on their semester grades.  The Dean’s Honor Roll is published as soon as possible after the close of the fall and spring semesters.

The President’s Honor Roll is composed of those students who are enrolled for 12 or more semester hours of work in a fall or spring semester, excluding all developmental hours, and who make a GPA of 4.0 on their semester grades.  The President’s Honor Roll is published as soon as possible after the close of the fall and spring semesters.


Auditing Courses

Southwest Texas Junior College discourages auditing of college courses.  However, students who desire to audit a course may be permitted to do so at the discretion of the Vice-President for Academic Affairs, provided that space is available for them in the desired class.  Audit students will be required to pay the regular tuition and fees.  No more than one course may be audited in any one semester.  Under no circumstances can credit be given at any time for college a college course taken as an audit.