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    Des Moines Area Community College
   
 
  Sep 23, 2017
 
 
    
2017-2018 Student Handbook

Academic Information



Grading System

The grading scale and designations for DMACC coursework are listed below. Please note that it is the option of each faculty member whether or not to incorporate the plus/minus values into their grading scale. The course syllabus should specify the grading scale.

Other Grade Designations:  
W Withdrawn/Dropped  
I Incomplete  
N Audit  
P Pass  
T Testing  
L Life Experience  
Letter Grade Numerical Value

  A 4.00  

  A- 3.67  

  B+ 3.33  

  B 3.00  

  B- 2.67  

  C+ 2.33  

  C 2.00  

  C- 1.67  

  D+ 1.33  

  D 1.00  

  D- .67  

  F .00  

Computing GPA

The method of computing grade point average (GPA) is as follows:

  1. Multiply hours of credit in each course by the appropriate numerical grade value to find the quality points.
  2. Total the quality points earned.
  3. Divide the total quality points earned by the total number of semester hours taken (excluding courses in which a “W,” “I,” “N,” “P,” “T” or “L” were received).

Example (divide 40.98 points by 17 semester hours = 2.411):

  Semester Hours Grade Quality Points  

Composition I 3   B+ (3.33) = 9.99    
Fundamentals of Speech 3   A (4.00) = 12.00    
Finite Mathematics 4   C- (1.67) = 6.68    
Intro to Computer Literacy 3   C+ (2.33) = 6.99    
U.S. History 4   D+ (1.33) = 5.32    

Total 17         40.98    

Repeat Coursework

Students may repeat a course previously taken at DMACC if the course is currently being offered. When a course is repeated, only the hours and the grade point value of the last grade earned will be included in calculating the grade point average. Earlier grades recorded for the repeated course will remain on the transcript record, but will be excluded from the GPA calculation. Withdrawing from a course that is being repeated and receiving a grade of “W” does not constitute a course repeat.

Repeat Symbols On The Transcript

I-Grade value included in the GPA calculation
E-Grade value excluded in the GPA calculation
The repeat symbol will be noted in the far right column on the transcript record next to the respective course.

Example: FL 11-12 PSY111 D 3.00 E
  SP 11-12 PSY111 A 3.00 I

Incomplete Coursework

Students who experience extenuating circumstances such as serious injury or illness and as a result are unable to complete some portion of assigned coursework during the regular semester may sign a contract with an instructor approving an “I” (Incomplete) grade. In such cases, the student must complete the course by the midterm date of the following semester. Incomplete grades are generally not approved by instructors unless there is an extenuating circumstance. An extension of time to complete the work for the course may be granted by the instructor until the end of the semester. Incomplete grades automatically change to F grades if the coursework is not satisfactorily completed within the time period specified (ES 4562 and ES 4563).

New Start

Students who have been absent from the College for at least five consecutive years (60 months) may request that up to two consecutive semesters of grades be removed from their grade-point average calculation. Students must first be readmitted to the College. Students who have earned a postsecondary award from DMACC are ineligible for New Start. They may initiate the New Start process by meeting with an advisor and completing a Petition for New Start form. In the first 12 credits earned after readmission, the student must have a GPA of at least 2.5 and all grades must be a C or better with no withdrawals or incomplete grades. College Preparatory classes do not count as the 12 institutional credits needed for a New Start to be applied. Unsatisfactory grades earned as a result of academic misconduct will not be forgiven. Grades that are not counted in the GPA as a result of an approved New Start will be noted on the student’s transcripts with the # symbol. Notation of academic progress will not be changed or removed from the transcript as a result of an approved New Start. Once approved, New Start is irrevocable. New Start applies only to DMACC. There is no guarantee, expressed or implied, that New Start will be recognized by any other college or university. (ES 4566 ). See also: www.dmacc.edu/student_services/pages/policies_procedures.aspx.

Grade Reports

Final grade reports are posted to student records one to two weeks after the end of a semester.

PROGRESS GRADE REPORTS are posted to student records prior to the midterm date. This allows students time to access the academic achievement center, tutoring and other academic success resources designed to improve or enhance their academic performance should it be necessary.

OFFICIAL FINAL GRADES for all students may be viewed by logging into DMACC’s Web Info System. 

Grade Appeals

Students should first attempt to resolve matters with their instructors. If students wish to proceed further, they should follow the steps outlined in the Appeal of Final Grade Procedure. A copy of the procedure is available in any DMACC Student Services Office. Students are required to meet with a counselor or advisor. Counselors and advisors are available on each campus to assist students with the appeal process ( ES 4660 ). See also: www.dmacc.edu/student_services/pages/policies_procedures.aspx.

Academic Integrity

Academic integrity, doing one’s own work in course assignments and on tests, is one of the most important values in higher education. Receiving credit for plagiarizing or cheating violates the value of all degrees conferred. It is unacceptable for students to submit another person’s work as their own. If students quote, summarize, paraphrase or use an author’s idea, they must acknowledge the source; otherwise, they are plagiarizing. Allowing others to accept credit for work not their own is also cheating. Students who plagiarize or cheat will be held accountable by their instructor and are subject to the sanctions outlined in the Academic Misconduct Procedure. (ES 4670 ) See also: www.dmacc.edu/learntocite.

Mathematics Placement

Students who wish to enroll in a mathematics course at DMACC for the first time will be required to take the ALEKS mathematics placement assessment. Exemptions may include:

  • Current DMACC students who have earned a C- or higher in a transfer equivalent math course within the previous 18 months from the date of enrollment will be exempt.
  • Students who only need MAT772 for their program of study are also exempt. www.dmacc.edu/mathplacement

Course Substitutions

On a limited basis, students may request course substitutions in their programs of study. Course substitution is defined as “the replacement of one course with another.” Course substitutions will be allowed only:

  • When the student clearly demonstrates knowledge/competency in the subject area for which the substitution is requested and when such knowledge/competency is accurately assessed through measures such as testing, documentation of prior coursework or certification.
  • When the substituted course reflects similar or complementary content/skills.
  • As a reasonable accommodation for students with disabilities.
  • In clearly warranted situations, such as a scheduling conflict beyond the student’s control.

Students who wish to request a course substitution should contact the chairperson in their program of study. Non-core courses may not be substituted for courses designated as core requirements for a particular academic award. Adjunct courses may not be substituted for required courses and may not be used to meet degree requirements other than electives. In programs exceeding 24 credit hours, no more than one-sixth of the total number of credits may be substituted. In programs of fewer than 24 credit hours, only one course of no more than four semester credit hours may be substituted.

Academic Semester Awards

DEAN’S LIST: Students who have earned at least six credits in any semester with a 3.50 to 3.99 grade point average are honored by being named to the Dean’s List. Students receive a certificate from their respective Dean/Provost, and the names of students on the list are sent to their hometown newspaper for possible publication.

PRESIDENT’S LIST: Students who have earned at least six credits in any semester with a 4.00 grade point average are honored by being named to the President’s List. Students receive a certificate from the President, and the names of students on the President’s List are sent to their hometown newspaper for possible publication.

Honors Program

The Honors Program offers you the opportunity to be challenged at your ability level while providing one-on-one advising and mentoring. If you are a high-achieving student with a 3.5 or above cumulative GPA, the Honors Program can help you achieve what you want out of life, whether you transfer to a four-year college or university honors program or enter the workforce after graduation from DMACC. As a student in the Honors Program, you will not be required to take any more credits than you will already take to receive your two-year degree. Honors Program students are often awarded scholarships. Go to www.dmacc.edu/honors for more information, including the online application.

Phi Theta Kappa

Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society (PTK) recognizes and encourages scholarship among two-year college students. To achieve this purpose, PTK provides opportunities for leadership and service, exchanges of ideas and ideals, lively fellowship and stimulation of interest in continuing academic excellence. A number of institutions offer scholarships for transferring PTK members. Students are encouraged to contact their campus PTK Advisor for more information. http://www.dmacc.edu/clubs/ptk

Terminology

ARTICULATION: The formal agreement of movement of academic credits from one college to another.

AUDIT: To attend a class without receiving credit. Instructor permission required.

COLLEGE PREPARATORY: Courses designed to aid students whose educational background requires additional strengthening to achieve success in regular college-level courses. These courses do not transfer or apply to a student’s program of study.

CORE: Courses that constitute the body of traditional liberal arts curriculum in the first two years of a baccalaureate degree. Generally, these courses have transfer status among receiving institutions.

COREQUISITE: A course that must be taken concurrently with another course.

CRN: Course Registration Number. The number identifying the specific section of a course.

CROSS-ENROLLMENT: Under a special agreement, DMACC students may enroll in a class at Drake, Grand View or Iowa State. Students must have earned 12 semester hours at DMACC and be a current, full-time student in good standing. The credits earned while on the cross-enrollment plan will be added to the DMACC transcript. Not available Summer term.

DEGREE: An award conferred by a college or university upon completion of a particular program of academic work. Some typical college degrees are Associate of Arts (AA), Associate of Science (AS), Associate of Applied Science (AAS), Bachelor of Arts (BA) and Bachelor of Science (BS).

DROP/ADD: After completing registration, students may change their schedules by adding and/or dropping classes. Students may add a class during the first week of classes and drop a class up to the end of the tenth week of the semester for a full-term class. The drop period is prorated for classes with a duration less than the full semester.

ELECTIVE: Courses students choose to take outside of the core requirements. Depending on the number of elective courses required, electives may cover a variety of subject areas or concentrate on one major area.

FULL-TIME STUDENT: To be classified as full-time during the Fall or Spring semester, students must take a minimum of 12 credit hours per Fall and Spring semester. Students must take a minimum of eight credit hours during the Summer term.

PART-OF-TERM: The portion of the semester in which a class meets. Each course is assigned a Part-of-Term, based on the start and end date of the course.

PART-TIME STUDENT: To be classified as part-time during the Fall and Spring semester, students must take 11 credit hours or fewer. During the Summer term, students must take seven credit hours or fewer.

PREREQUISITE: A skill, course or other criterion necessary for students to succeed in a course.

SEMESTER CREDIT HOUR: A unit of measurement used to determine approximately how many hours students are required to spend in class each week, and how many units will be accumulated toward graduation.

SEMESTER: An enrollment period (15 weeks in the Fall and Spring and 10 weeks in the Summer).

Transferring From DMACC To Another Institution

Students considering transfer to another college or university should contact an admissions or transfer counselor at that institution early in the planning process. The following outline provides tips for a successful transfer:

  • Meet with a DMACC advisor each semester to schedule classes for the upcoming semester and discuss transfer plans.
  • DMACC offers many partnership programs with four-year colleges and universities. For more information, visit www.dmacc.edu/transfer.
  • Schedule a campus visit as soon as possible with any institutions you may be considering. When scheduling a visit, ask for an appointment with an advisor. Also, write down the names of contact people at the transfer college. Periodically, representatives from other institutions visit DMACC. Check your campus for more information.
  • Complete an application for admission to the selected college or colleges. Complete financial aid, scholarship and housing applications. Watch for deadlines and complete all materials as early as possible. Many colleges set firm application deadlines.
  • Request to have all college transcripts sent to the transfer college. In order for transcripts to be sent to the transfer college, students must contact each college attended and request that they release all academic transcripts to the selected transfer college.
  • Attend a registration/orientation day at the transfer college. Some colleges allow students to preregister for classes. Be alert to any registration/orientation procedures and stay in touch with the transfer college.

Transcript Requests

DMACC will send or issue a transcript when students, or former students, make a request.

Transcripts may be requested online using the DMACC Web Info System. Transcripts may also be requested by downloading the Transcript Request form on the DMACC website and mailing, faxing it to DMACC Academic Records, or emailing it to transcripts@dmacc.edu. Transcript Request forms are also available at each campus. The Transcript Request form must be filled out completely, or it may not be processed.

A letter requesting a transcript will also be honored. Transcript request letters must include the student’s name,social security number or DMACC ID number, telephone number, dates of attendance, the address to where the transcript should be mailed, and the student’s signature.

Transcripts are sent within three to four working days after the receipt of the request. During peak periods (end of semester), processing a transcript request will take longer. Transcript requests are processed in the order they are received. There is no fee for transcripts unless special services are requested.

Transcripts mailed directly from DMACC to the receiving institution are marked as official. Copies of transcripts issued directly to students are considered unofficial. Students may view their academic record on the DMACC Web Info System.

Students with an unpaid financial obligation to DMACC will not be issued transcripts, and academic records may not be viewed on the DMACC Web Info System.