NVCC 1995-1996 Catalog

Academic Information

[ NVCC Home Page | Table of Contents | Administrative Information | Previous Page | Next Page ]


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 in the class syllabus which is distributed at the beginning of each term. Successful learning requires good communication between students and instructors; therefore, in most cases, regular classroom attendance 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 "I" grade is used for verifiable unavoidable reasons. Since the "incomplete" extends enrollment in the course, requirements for satisfactory completion will be established through student/faculty consultation. Courses for which the grade of "I" (incomplete) 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 which 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. A "W" grade should be awarded only under mitigating circumstances which 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 chair. "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 "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 001-009) and all ESL courses (001-016). "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 "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 "F" except under mitigating circumstances which 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 chair is required to audit a course.

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 which 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.

          Credit                                 Credit      Total
Course    Hours         Grade       Grade        Hours       Grade
          Attempted                 Points       Comp'd      Points

BIO 101     4             A           4            4           16
ENG 111     3             B           3            3            9
MUS 141     2             C           2            2            4
PED 109     1             D           1            1            1
FRE 101     5             F           0            0            0
PSY 100     0             W           0            0            0
           __                                     __           __
           15                                     10           30

Students who think that a semester grade is in error may check by contacting the appropriate instructor through the instructional division within 90 working days after grades are mailed. If the grade is in error, the instructor will take the necessary steps to correct it. After the 90 working day period, the grade will stand, except in the case of "I" grades, which must be changed within one academic semester of their issuance.

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: 090, 190, 290; 095, 195, 295; 096, 196, 296; 097, 197, 297; 098, 198, 298; 099, 199, and 299.

If you were enrolled during any semester or session from summer 1994, or thereafter, these are your guidelines for repeating a course: (1) If you repeat a course, only the last grade earned is counted in computing the cumulative and curriculum GPA; (2) Grades of "W," "X," and "I," shall not count as first or subsequent attempts for purposes of this policy. These criteria apply only to courses you take under the semester system 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, et al.

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 the 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:

a. Prior to petitioning for academic renewal you must demonstrate a renewed academic interest and effort by earning at least a 2.5 GPA in the first twelve (12) semester hours completed after re-enrollment. b. All grades received at the College will be a part of your official transcript.

c. 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.

d. 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 transferred from other colleges or universities. e. The academic renewal policy may be used only once and cannot be revoked once approved.

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 001-009), 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 001-009), you will be assigned a "U" (unsatisfactory). You should meet with your counselor for possible re-evaluation 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

Final grade reports are mailed to you after the end of the semester. If you would like to learn about your grades before receiving the grade mailer, you may call NOVAnet, 323-3770 or 330-3770 (Prince William County).

Honor Roll and Dean's List

Your name will be placed on the Honor Roll for any semester in which your cumulative grade point average is 3.50 or higher and you have earned a minimum of 20 semester hours of credit at NVCC.

Your name will be placed on the Dean's List for any semester in which your cumulative grade point average is 3.20 or higher and you have earned a minimum of 15 semester hours of credit at NVCC.

Academic Standing

The College is responsible for letting you know when you are having academic difficulty. After you receive official notice, the aollege will assist in setting objectives, planning for improved study habits, and dealing with other factors that relate to your academic progress.

The College will send you official notification on your student grade report when you are having academic difficulty. 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.

The College provides the following official indications of academic difficulty:

1. Academic Warning

If you fail to maintain a minimum grade point average of 2.00 for any semester or fail any course 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. A suspended student may be readmitted after termination of the suspension period and upon formal written petition to the chair of the Admissions Committee. 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 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.

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 cannot 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. Plagiarism. 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. Collusion 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 which allows previous academic study, examination, or occupational experience to be evaluated for possible college credit. Only program placed students may apply for advanced standing. 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 chair responsible for your curriculum.

To obtain advanced standing or transfer credit, you must submit official documentation to the Office of Admissions and Records at your home campus. Simply submitting documents will not initiate their evaluation. Contact the Office of Admissions and Records at your home 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 which fall into seven basic categories:

1. Transfer Credit From Other Colleges

Credit may be transferred only from colleges and universities which 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.

Official transcripts from other institutions will be evaluated only after you have been admitted to the College and program placed. All acceptable courses will be transferred as closely to the NVCC course equivalent as possible. If 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 chair 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 chair responsible for your curriculum may accept courses that were completed more than 10 years ago if you have worked in the field or otherwise demonstrated that you have maintained technical competence.

If you have completed an AA or AS 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.

Credit from international post-secondary institutions must first be evaluated by one of the private evaluation agencies recognized by NVCC. 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 your home 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 publication, A Guide to the Evaluation of Educational Experiences in the Armed Services, and approved by the division chair of your curriculum. The following information must be obtained:

a. Full and correct title of course;

b. Location of training;

c. Length of course in weeks;

d. Exact dates of attendance;

e. Service which gave the course.

You must submit an official record and initiate the request for evaluation. Active duty service members 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 Ace 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 which is ten years old or older must be approved by appropriate division chairs.

Credit may be granted for Army primary and secondary MOS's if current proficiency can be documented or if recommendation is included on a AARTS transcript. For personnel entering service before 1984, credit may be awarded if included on a DD214 or DD295. A commanding officer's certificate will be required to demonstrate current proficiency. Credit for Navy Enlisted Ratings (NER), Coast Guard Enlisted Ratings (CGER), and Marine Corps enlisted specialties and schools may be given in accordance with ACE Guide recommendations.

3. Credit for Non-Traditional Courses

Transfer credit for non-traditional courses will be awarded only in accordance with the recommendations of the NVCC Credit through Advanced Placement Guide booklet or the American Council on Education 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 technical programs to give college credit for courses completed while still in high school. Check with a counselor or advisor at your home campus to see if you qualify.

5. Credit by Examination

Advanced standing may be granted to students who have successfully completed examinations in any of the following programs:

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

c. Advanced Placement (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 ETS to NVCC for inclusion in your permanent record at your home campus. Contact the Office of Admissions and Records for procedures required to initiate an evaluation of transfer credit. d. 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 101, AIR 111, DRF 151, HRT 100, RTH 121, RTH 131, and RTH 145. Credits earned through ABLE exams cannot be used to fulfill residency requirements.

6. Credit for Prior Learning (PLACE)

In addition to the Advanced Standing Program, NVCC has a program called PLACE (Prior Learning Activity for Credit Evaluation). PLACE is 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 STD 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. 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 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 the Office of Admissions and Records at your home campus 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 the Office of Admissions and Records at your home campus 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 chair 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 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 may:

1. 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.

2. 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.

3. If you are proficient in a foreign language not offered by NVCC or through CLEP, you may request waiver of the foreign language requirement in A.A. Degrees. 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.

Last revised: Saturday, Jun-25-2005 10:18
Comments to: webmaster@nvcc.edu