Attendance/Student Participation
Education is a cooperative endeavor between a student and his or her instructor. Instructors plan a variety of learning activities to help their students master the course content. Your contribution is to participate in these activities within the framework established in the class syllabus. Faculty will identify specific class attendance policies and other requirements of the class in the class syllabus that is distributed at the beginning of each term. Successful learning requires good communication between students and instructors; therefore, in most cases, regular classroom attendance, or regular participation in the case of a non-traditional course format, is essential.
It is your responsibility to inform your instructor prior to an absence from class if this is requested by the instructor in the class syllabus. You are responsible for making up all course work missed during an absence. In the event of unexplained absences, your instructor may administratively withdraw you from the course.

A credit at NVCC is equivalent to one collegiate semester hour credit. One credit is awarded for each of the following:

1. One hour per week of lecture (15 hours per semester plus an exam period).
2. Two hours per week of laboratory with one hour of out-of-class practice (45 hours per semester plus an exam period).
3. Three hours per week of laboratory with no out-of-class practice (45 hours per semester plus an exam period).
4. Courses offered in a non-traditional format require an equivalent amount of time.

Grading System
A = Excellent—4 grade points per credit
B = Good—3 grade points per credit
C = Average—2 grade points per credit
D = Poor—1 grade point per credit
F = Failure—0 grade points
I = Incomplete—No grade point credit. The incomplete (I) grade is used for verifiable unavoidable reasons. Since the I grade extends enrollment in the course, requirements for satisfactory completion will be established through student/faculty consultation and documented on the incomplete grade form. Courses for which the grade of I has been awarded must be completed by the end of the subsequent semester or another grade (A, B, C, D, F, P, R, S, U, or W) must be awarded by the instructor based upon course work that has been completed. (Nursing courses must be completed within the first two weeks of the subsequent semester.) For I grades earned at the end of the spring semester, you will have through the end of the subsequent fall semester to complete the requirements of campus-based courses. ELI students must complete courses by the dates assigned at the time the I grade is awarded, usually 16 weeks after the original end of enrollment date. In exceptional cases, extensions of time needed to complete course work for I grades may be granted beyond the subsequent semester, with written approval of the provost or designee. A withdrawal (W) grade will be awarded only under mitigating circumstances that must be approved and documented. This documentation will be retained electronically.
P = Pass—No grade point credit; applies to non-credit courses. May also apply to non-developmental courses approved by division dean. Passing (P) grades are not included in grade point average calculations. Only seven credit hours of P grade at the 100 level or above may be applied toward graduation. This maximum may be extended to fifteen credit hours for an approved experiential learning program such as PLACE.
R = Re-enroll—No grade point credit. A grade of re-enroll (R) means that you were making satisfactory progress but did not complete all the course objectives. You must re-enroll and pay the appropriate tuition to complete the course objectives. (The R grade applies to a limited number of courses.)
S = Satisfactory—No grade point credit. Used only for satisfactory completion of a developmental studies course (numbered 1-9) and all ESL courses (1-20). Satisfactory (S) grades are not included in grade point average calculations.
U = Unsatisfactory—No grade point credit; applies only to developmental studies, ESL courses, non-credit courses, and specialized courses and seminars at the discretion of the College.
W = Withdrawal—No grade point credit. A grade of withdrawal (W) is awarded if you withdraw or are withdrawn from a course after the add/drop period but prior to the completion of 60% of the session. After that time, you will receive a grade of failure (F) except under mitigating circumstances that must be documented on the NVCC 125-47 form. This documentation will be retained electronically. See "Withdrawal From a Course" section.
X = Audit—No grade point credit. Permission of the instructor and the division dean is required to audit a course.

Calculating Your GPA
The grade point average (GPA) is determined by dividing the total number of grade points earned in courses by the total number of credits attempted. Courses that do not generate grade points are not included in credits attempted. The GPA is carried out to two digits past the decimal point (example 1.00). No rounding shall be done to arrive at the GPA. The table below illustrates a GPA of 2.00 obtained by dividing 30 by 15.







BIO 101






ENG 111






MUS 141






PED 109






FRE 101






PSY 100












If you think that a semester grade is in error, you may check by contacting the appropriate instructor through the instructional division by the end of the next full semester. If the grade is in error, the instructor will take the necessary steps to correct it. After the next semester, the grade will stand. For grades earned at the end of the spring semester, you will have through the end of the subsequent fall semester to correct the discrepancy.

Repeating a Course
You will be limited to two enrollments in the same credit course. If you need to enroll in the same credit course more than twice, the need must be documented and presented for approval by the provost or provost's designee. This limitation does not apply to courses in the "Description of Courses" section of this catalog identified as general usage courses: 90, 190, 290; 93, 193, 293; 95, 195, 295; 96, 196, 296; 97, 197, 297; 98, 198, 298; 99, 199, and 299.

If you were enrolled during any semester or session from fall 1988 or thereafter, and you repeat a course, only the last grade earned, not the higher of the two grades, is counted in computing the cumulative and curriculum GPA and for satisfying curricular requirements. (This policy is effective only for students who have been enrolled since summer 1994.) When a course is repeated and the grade of F is earned, all grades, credits attempted, credits completed, and quality points for previous enrollments in that course are no longer applicable. Grades of W, X, and I shall not count as first or subsequent attempts for purposes of GPA calculation. These criteria apply only to courses you take under the semester system (beginning fall 1988) at NVCC. Graduates' curriculum and cumulative GPAs and honors designations at the time of graduation will remain unchanged. Certain courses where repeat enrollments cover new subject matter are not eligible for this policy. Examples are applied music and music ensemble, general usage courses, and others.

Academic Renewal
If you are a student who returns to the College after a separation of five (5) years, or more, you may petition for academic renewal. The request must be in writing and submitted to a campus Admissions and Records Office.
If you are found to be eligible for academic renewal, D and F grades earned prior to re-enrollment will be deleted from the cumulative and curriculum grade point average (GPA), subject to the following conditions:

1. Prior to petitioning for academic renewal you must demonstrate a renewed academic interest and effort by earning at least a 2.50 GPA in the first twelve (12) semester hours completed after re-enrollment.

2. All grades for credit courses received at the College will be a part of your official transcript.

3. You will receive degree credit only for courses in which grades of C or better were earned prior to academic renewal, providing that such courses meet current curriculum requirements.

4. Total hours for graduation will be based on all course work taken at the College after readmission, as well as former course work for which a grade of C or better was earned, and credits accepted from other colleges or universities.
5. The academic renewal policy may be used only once and cannot be revoked once approved by the dean of Student Development.

Developmental Courses Grading
An S grade will be assigned to indicate satisfactory completion of the course objectives for each developmental course.

If you are making satisfactory progress but have not completed all of the instructional objectives for a developmental course (numbered 1-9), you will be assigned an R (re-enroll) and you must re-enroll and pay the appropriate tuition to complete course objectives.

If you are not making satisfactory progress in a developmental course (numbered 1-9), you will be assigned a U (unsatisfactory). You should meet with your counselor for possible reevaluation of your goals and for determination of any subsequent academic work.

Credits earned for developmental courses are not counted in grade point computations toward graduation or in determining sophomore status. They are used in determining full-time or part-time status.

You are expected to take tests at regularly scheduled times. In addition, every student is required to take a final examination, receive an appropriate evaluation instrument, or continue receiving instruction during the scheduled final examination period. Any deviation from the final examination schedule must be approved by the campus provost. You have the right to review your final exam for one semester after the end of the term in which the final exam was taken.

Grade Information
Grades are obtained through NovaConnect Web at or NovaConnect Telephone, (703)-323-3770 or (703) 330-3770, Prince William County. Grade reports are not mailed..

Academic Honors
The College provides the following recognitions for academic excellence:

1. Presidential Scholars
Your name will be placed on the Presidential Scholars’ list for any semester that your grade point average is 3.75 or higher. You must have completed at least nine (9) semester hours in the current semester (excluding developmental courses) and have earned a minimum of twenty (20) semester hours of credit at NVCC.

2. Dean's List
Your name will be placed on the Dean’s List for any semester that your grade point average is 3.50 or higher. You must have completed at least six (6) semester hours in the current semester (excluding developmental courses) with no grade lower than C.

Academic excellence recognitions can be viewed online on your Unofficial Transcript through NovaConnect Web at

Academic Standing
You are considered in good academic standing if you maintain a semester minimum GPA of 2.00, are eligible to re-enroll at the College, and are not on academic suspension or dismissal status.

When you are having academic difficulty, notification will appear on your Unofficial Transcript that can be viewed online through NovaConnect Web at You will be given an appropriate period of time to show improvement. The College may determine that you are best served by being prevented from further registration for a period of time if you show no academic improvement.
If you are having academic difficulty, one of the following official indications will appear in your grade report on NovaConnect Web.:

1. Academic Warning
If you fail to maintain a minimum grade point average of 2.00 for any semester you will receive an academic warning.

2. Academic Probation
If you fail to maintain a minimum cumulative grade point average of 1.50, you will be placed on academic probation until your grade point average reaches 1.50 or better. The statement "Placed on Academic Probation" will be included on your permanent record. You will be ineligible for appointive or elective office in student organizations and usually will be required to carry less than a normal course load the following semester. While on academic probation you are required to consult a counselor. An average between 1.50 and 1.99 may not result in formal academic probation; nevertheless, a minimum of 2.00 in your curriculum is a prerequisite to the receipt of an associate degree. Part-time students will not be placed on academic probation until they have attempted 12 semester credit hours.

3. Academic Suspension
If you are on academic probation and fail to attain a minimum grade point average of 1.50 for the next semester, you will be placed on academic suspension. Academic suspension normally will be for one semester unless you reapply and are accepted for readmission to another curriculum of the College. The statement "Placed on Academic Suspension" will be included on your permanent record.
If informed that you are on academic suspension, you may submit an appeal in writing to the chair of the Admissions Committee for reconsideration of your case. After termination of the suspension period, you must meet with a counselor or dean of Student Development to be reinstated. Students will not be placed on suspension until 24 semester credit hours have been attempted.
Following your reinstatement after academic suspension, you must achieve a minimum 2.00 grade point average for the semester; you must enroll in a special section of an SDV 100 course or take part in a specially developed program. You must maintain at least a 1.50 grade point average in each subsequent semester of attendance. You remain on probation until your overall grade point average is raised to a minimum of 1.50.

4. Academic Dismissal
If you do not maintain at least a 2.00 grade point average for the semester of reinstatement to the College when on academic suspension, you will be academically dismissed. If you have been placed on academic suspension and achieve a 2.00 grade point average for the semester of your reinstatement, you must maintain at least a cumulative 1.50 grade point average in each subsequent semester of attendance. You will remain on probation until your cumulative grade point average is raised to a minimum of 1.50. Failure to attain a cumulative 1.50 grade point average in each subsequent semester until cumulative GPA reaches 1.50 will result in academic dismissal.
Academic dismissal normally is permanent unless, with good cause, you reapply and are accepted under special consideration for readmission by the Admissions Committee of the College. The statement "Academic Dismissal" will be placed on your permanent record.

5. College Procedures for Students Academically Suspended or Dismissed
The procedures listed below apply to students who have been academically suspended or dismissed:

a. You are notified of your academic suspension/dismissal through both your grade report on NovaConnect Web and a letter sent from the College that describes the suspension/dismissal policy and the steps available to you for appealing.
b. A “hold” will be placed on your record so that you cannot register. The hold will indicate “academic suspension” or “academic dismissal” and is a part of your academic record.
c. If you choose to appeal, you are required to write a letter to the chair of the campus Admissions Committee requesting an exception to the policy. The letter should detail the causes for your academic difficulties and describe remedies you propose to improve your academic performance.
d. If you are requesting reinstatement to the College, you must meet with a counselor and/or dean of Student Development.
e. The campus dean of Student Development will make the reinstatement decision.
f. The dean of Student Development’s reinstatement decision may be appealed to the campus provost.

Academic Dishonesty
When College officials award credit, degrees, and certificates, they must assume the absolute integrity of the work done by you; therefore, it is important that you maintain the highest standard of honor in your scholastic work.

Academic dishonesty shall not be condoned. When such misconduct is established as having occurred, it subjects you to possible disciplinary actions ranging from admonition to dismissal, along with any grade penalty the instructor might, in appropriate cases, impose. Procedural safeguards of due process and appeal are available to you in disciplinary matters.

Academic dishonesty, as a general rule, involves one of the following acts:

1. Cheating on an examination or quiz, including the giving, receiving, or soliciting of information and the unauthorized use of notes or other materials during the examination or quiz.
2. Buying, selling, stealing, or soliciting any material purported to be the unreleased contents of a forthcoming examination, or the use of such material.
3. Substituting for another person during an examination or allowing such substitution for one's self.
4. Plagiarizing. This is the act of appropriating passages from the work of another individual, either word for word or in substance, and representing them as one's own work. This includes any submission of written work other than one's own.
5. Colluding with another person in the preparation or editing of assignments submitted for credit, unless such collaboration has been approved in advance by the instructor.
6. Knowingly furnishing false information to the College; forgery and alteration or use of College documents or instruments of identification with the intent to defraud.

Transfer Credit and Advanced Standing
NVCC has an advanced standing program that allows previous academic study, examination, or occupational experience to be evaluated for possible college credit. Only students who have declared a major may apply for advanced standing. Students must have completed at least one course at NVCC before an official transcript reflecting transfer credit will be issued. No more than 75% of a degree or certificate may be earned through advanced standing credits. Advanced standing credits that are to be used to meet the specific requirements of a curriculum must be approved by the division dean responsible for your curriculum. Consult the NVCC publication, College Credit Through Advanced Standing at, for a complete list of advanced standing opportunities.

If you wish to obtain advanced standing or transfer credit, only official transcripts will be evaluated. An official transcript is one that has the seal of the institution and the signature of an official of that institution. An official transcript must be received in a sealed envelope from the sending institution that has no overt sign of having been opened or otherwise disturbed. Official transcripts may be mailed directly from the transferring institution to an Admissions and Records Office at NVCC or delivered in acceptable condition, such that the receiving Registrar has confidence that the record received is authentic. Official transcripts that are sent to College faculty also may be accepted. Contact the Office of Admissions and Records at any campus for procedures required to initiate the evaluation of transfer credit or other advanced standing.
Transfer credit or advanced standing is available to students for educational experiences that fall into the following eight basic categories:

1. Transfer Credit From Other Colleges
Credit may be transferred only from colleges and universities that (a) are accredited by the Commission on Colleges or the Commission on Higher Education of the regional accreditation associations, such as the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools or (b) conform to the requirements published in the Transfer of Credit Practices of Designated Educational Institutions by the American Association of College Registrars and Admissions Officers with regard to credit accepted for courses that are appropriate to the reporting institution’s baccalaureate programs.

Official transcripts from other institutions will be evaluated only after you have been admitted to the College and declared a major. All acceptable courses will be transferred as closely to the NVCC course equivalent as possible. If the course is in a discipline offered at the College but the course content is unlike any course at NVCC, elective credit may be granted. Generally, credit is awarded only for courses with a grade of C or above.

You may take courses at other institutions while attending NVCC. You should receive approval from the division dean at NVCC responsible for your curriculum to ensure that these courses meet the requirements of your program at NVCC.
Technical courses that were completed more than 10 years ago are not normally accepted for credit toward a certificate or degree. The division dean responsible for your curriculum may accept courses that were completed more than ten years ago if you have worked in the field or otherwise demonstrated that you have maintained technical competence.

If you have completed an Associate in Arts (A.A.) or Associate in Science (A.S.) in a non-occupational/technical field or any higher degree at a regionally accredited U.S. institution of higher education, you will be considered to have met all general education requirements for degrees and certificates at NVCC. The exception to this policy is that you must achieve the level of mathematics specified in a curriculum.
Any Virginia Community College System (VCCS) course in which you receive a grade of C or better (excluding general usage courses) will transfer as the same course at any other college in the VCCS. (This applies only if the College offers the course wanting to be transferred.)

Credit from international post-secondary institutions must first be evaluated by a private evaluation agency that follows guidelines of the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers (AACRAO). You must send an official transcript to the agency and request an English translation with a course-by-course evaluation. The transcript evaluation must be sent directly from the evaluation agency to any campus Office of Admissions and Records. You must pay private evaluators for their fees for evaluation of your international transcript.

2. Credit for Military Service
Credit will be granted for military service school courses if the awarding of credit is recommended in the current edition of the American Council on Education’s publication, A Guide to the Evaluation of Educational Experiences in the Armed Services, and approved by the division dean of your curriculum. The following information must be obtained to receive credit for military service:

a. Full and correct title of course.
b. Location of training.
c. Length of course in weeks.
d. Exact dates of attendance.
e. Service that gave the course.

You must submit an official record and initiate the request for evaluation. Active duty servicemembers must submit a DD295 certified by the commanding officer and the education officer. This form must be mailed directly from the Education Office to NVCC. Veterans and reserve personnel must submit a certified copy of the DD214.* The veterans advisor on each campus can certify a copy of the original.

*Students entering the Army on or after January 1984 must submit an AARTS (Army American Council on Education Registry Transcript System) transcript in lieu of a DD295 or DD214. Air Force personnel, both active and veteran, must submit a CCAF (Community College of the Air Force) transcript.

The military service courses should be equivalent to NVCC courses and will be applied as the student's program determines. Military service credit in occupational/technical areas that is ten years old or older must be approved by appropriate division deans.

Credit may be granted for Army primary and secondary MOS's (military occupational specialty) at Skill Level 20-40 if current proficiency can be documented. Credit for MOS Skill Level 10 will only be granted for ratings prior to October 1991, however, credit may be granted for courses leading to this skill level after October 1991. See also “Servicemembers Opportunity College” in the Student Development Services section of this catalog.

3. Credit for Non-Traditional Courses
Transfer credit for non-traditional courses will be awarded only in accordance with the recommendations of the NVCC College Credit through Advanced Standing booklet or the American Council on Education’s publication, National Guide to Educational Credit for Training Programs.

4. Credit for High School Courses
In some cases the College has articulation agreements with high school career and technical programs to grant college credit for courses completed with a B grade or better while still in high school. You must apply for articulated credit within two years of your high school graduation and successfully complete one course at the College before the credit will be reflected on your transcript. For more information contact the Tech Prep Office at 703-323-3008 or refer to its Web site at
You may also receive credit for high school courses through dual enrollment. Please refer to the “Dual Enrollment of Current High School Students and Home School Students” in this section for details.

5. Credit by Examination
Advanced standing may be granted to students who have successfully completed examinations in any of the following programs:

a. Advanced Placement (AP). AP examinations of the College Entrance Examination Board may be used for advanced placement. Specific college course credits will be granted for scores of three, four, or five on the Advanced Placement (AP) examinations. You must have official AP score reports forwarded from the Educational Testing Service (ETS) to NVCC for inclusion in your permanent record. Contact an Office of Admissions and Records for procedures required to initiate an evaluation of transfer credit.

b. Assessment by Local Examination (ABLE). ABLE examinations may be constructed by NVCC where tests are not available from outside sources such as CLEP. The College grants specific course credit for acceptable performance on ABLE examinations for AIR 111, AIR 121, DRF elective, HLT 141, HRT 100, ITE 115, NAS 150, NUR 105, SDV 100, and SDV 195. Credits earned through ABLE exams cannot be used to fulfill residency requirements.

c. College Level Examination Program (CLEP). CLEP examinations from the Educational Testing Service are approved for advanced standing. CLEP is a program of credit by examination that offers students the opportunity to earn college credit for knowledge acquired outside the conventional college classroom. To participate in the CLEP program, contact a campus counseling office.

d. International Baccalaureate (IB). Students completing the Higher Level exams for International Baccalaureate may be granted advanced standing credit for a score of four or higher. You must have an official report of exam scores sent from the International Baccalaureate Organisation to the registrar at your campus of record.

e. United States Armed Forces Institute (USAFI) tests. NVCC will award specific course credit for acceptable scores on the United States Armed Forces Institute (USAFI) tests. As USAFI is no longer operative, arrangements have been made for the Defense Activity for Non-Traditional Education Support (DANTES) to administer and store standardized subject tests and General Educational Development Tests (GEDs) for military personnel.

To obtain results of USAFI courses and high school and college-level GEDs, follow these instructions:
(1) For military personnel tested through USAFI prior to July 1, 1974, write to DANTES Contractor Representative (Transcripts), P.O. Box 2879, Princeton, New Jersey, 08541.
(2) The scores of military personnel tested overseas after July 1, 1974, may be obtained from Educational Testing Services, Box CN6604, Princeton, New Jersey, 08541-6604.
(3) Military personnel tested in the United States at official GED centers or by State Departments of Education must request transcripts directly from the State Department of Education or the official GED center concerned.

6. Credit for Prior Learning (PLACE)
PLACE (Prior Learning Activity for Credit Evaluation) is an NVCC program for adults who have gained college level learning through work, volunteer activities, participation in civic and community assignments, travel, independent study, and similar "life experiences."

In order to convert these experiences into college credit, students must register for SDV 298, Seminar and Project PLACE Workshop. This course assists students in assembling a portfolio of evidence of their accomplishments. Completed portfolios are assessed by designated faculty who may recommend the awarding of credits.

Up to 15 semester credits in degree programs or 10 semester credits in certificate programs may be awarded through the portfolio process. In rare cases, more credits may be awarded at the instructor's discretion. Credits earned through PLACE cannot be used to fulfill residency requirements.

7. Credit for Physical Education
a. For Military Service/Basic Training. Physical education credit may be awarded to persons who have completed basic training based on the recommendation in the American Council on Education’s (ACE) Guide to the Evaluation of Educational Experiences in the Armed Services regardless of the date of military experience. DD Form 214 is required for veterans and DD Form 295 is required for servicemembers on active duty. Contact an Office of Admissions and Records for procedures required to initiate an evaluation of transfer credit.
b. For Approved Police and Corrections Academies. If you completed a program of study at a state academy recognized by the Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services, you may be granted all or part of the physical education credit required for a degree program. Contact an Office of Admissions and Records for procedures required to initiate an evaluation of transfer credit.
c. Waiver for Active Duty Fire Fighters and Police. If you are currently employed by a fire department or police force and can document that you have completed physical fitness requirements for the job, you may have the two-credit physical education requirement waived. Such a waiver is at the discretion of the division dean responsible for your curriculum and will require that an additional two credits of general elective be completed to meet the total number of credits required for a degree. A Petition for Substitution and Waiver (NVCC 125-032) form must be completed.

8. Waiver for Foreign Language Credit and Advanced Standing
If you have completed two years of a single foreign language in high school or your native language is not English, you have the following options:
a. Request assessment by the College faculty if it is currently a language taught at NVCC. Such assessment could place you into levels above the introductory course in the foreign language sequence. If you are granted advanced placement, additional general electives may have to be completed to meet the minimum credit requirements for the degree.
b. Take a CLEP exam if prior education is in a language covered by CLEP. If you achieve a satisfactory score, you will be awarded credit for the foreign language that may be used toward completion of a degree.
c. Request waiver of the foreign language requirement in A.A. degree, if you are proficient in a foreign language not offered by NVCC or through CLEP. Proficiency is generally indicated if you have at least the equivalent of a high school diploma from an institution where the primary language is other than English. If the foreign language requirement is waived, additional general electives must be completed to meet the minimum credit requirements for the degree. This waiver is accomplished through a substitution/waiver form generated by your faculty advisor.



Northern Virginia Community College 2005
This page was last updated on June 21, 2005 5:15 PM