Jul 14, 2024  
2024-2025 Course Catalog 
2024-2025 Course Catalog

Academic Information

Academic Integrity

Academic integrity-doing one’s own work in course assignments and in tests-is one of the most important values in higher education. Receiving credit for plagiarizing or cheating violates that value. 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 in tests or in written and oral reports 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.

Academic Recognition

Executive Academic Dean’s List: Students who have earned 6 credits in any semester with a 3.50 to 3.99 grade point average are honored by being named to the Executive Academic Dean’s List. Students are mailed or emailed a certificate from their respective Executive Academic Dean and the names of students on the list are sent to their hometown newspaper for publication.

President’s List: Students who have earned 6 credits in any semester with a 4.00 grade point average are honored by being named to the President’s List. Students are mailed a certificate from the president and the names of students on the President’s List are published in their hometown newspaper.

Attendance and Enrollment

Students have the primary responsibility for dropping courses or withdrawing from the College if they decide not to attend. The College, however, has administrative procedures whereby students may be dropped.

At the beginning of the semester, instructors are asked to report the names of students who do not attend class. Students are notified and dropped from those courses. If there has been an instructor error and they wish to reenroll in class, they must obtain their instructors’ written permission by an established date. Financial aid may be adjusted for students who are administratively dropped.

When approximately one-third of the semester has passed, instructors are asked to report progress grades for all students or those who have quit attending class. All students are notified. Those students who have been dropped for quit attending from all courses and have financial aid may be required to repay financial aid under the federal repayment formula and will be notified. (For information on the Return of Title IV Funds, please see the Financial Aid  section.) The students will have the established options to appeal in writing to the Financial Aid Appeals Committee or the Petition for Policy Waiver Committee.

Auditing Courses

Students may enroll in most courses on an audit basis with instructor approval. Audit enrollment may be denied in select courses based on prerequisite knowledge or skills, high demand or other criteria. For example, a course with a practicum or clinical experience may not be appropriate for audit participation.

The same amount of tuition is due for audited courses as students pay to take the courses for credit. Audited courses appear on students’ records with no credit and marks of “N.”

Students auditing courses are not required to complete regular assignments or examinations, though attendance is expected. Instructors may exclude students who are auditing from participation in portions of the course, such as special projects. Enrollment on an audit basis does not qualify for financial aid or insurance purposes.

The deadline for changing a course from credit to audit is the same as the deadline for dropping a course. Completion of a Drop/Add form with the instructor’s signature is required prior to processing an audit request. If a course has been placed on audit, it cannot be changed back to credit unless the semester has not begun.

Grade Appeals

Students should first attempt to resolve questions about grades 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 this procedure is available in any DMACC Student Service office. Students begin the process by meeting with a Counselor or Advisor on their campus.

Grade Reports

Final grade reports are available on the DMACC web information system or MyDMACC approximately one to two weeks after the end of a semester. Progress grade reports are issued prior to midsemester and the deadline for dropping classes. Students are notified and grades are available via the DMACC web information system or MyDMACC. This report notifies students of their grade thus far in the semester. The intent of this notification is to allow students time to improve their academic performance. Students who have been reported as quit attending class are also notified.

Grading System

Grading Scale

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.

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  

Other Grade Designations:

I Incomplete
N Audit
P Pass
T Testing
L Life Experience/Alternative Credit

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 value of the grade 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” was received).


  Semester Hours   Quality 

Composition I 3 x B+ (3.33) = 9.99
Fund. of Oral Communication 3 x A (4.00) = 12.00
Finite Mathematics 4 x C- (1.67) = 6.68
Intro to Computer Literacy 3 x C+ (2.33) = 6.99
Elementary Spanish I 5 x D+ (1.33) = 6.65
TOTAL 18 semester hours 42.31
Divide 42.31 points by 18 semester hours = 2.350  

Other Credit Options and Special Offerings

Advanced Placement (AP)

The Advanced Placement (AP) program allows high school students to earn college-level credit when they earn a qualifying score on their examination(s). DMACC can award credit for advanced placement scores, if the student has earned a minimum score of 3 or 4, depending on the subject area. Examinations are available is a range of subjects, including art, computer science, English, foreign languages, history, mathematics, music, physical sciences, and social sciences.

Advanced Standing Credit

A maximum of half of semester hours of credit required may be earned through proficiency examinations, military credit, national standardized tests and employment experience. Advanced Standing credit will be included on the student’s permanent record. Credit will not be granted if students have successfully completed college courses representing the same content.

Alternative Methods for Obtaining Credit

Students may obtain college credit for competencies gained through formal training, work experience or certain approved examinations. Some alternative methods available include:

  • Converting DMACC continuing education coursework to credit.
  • Converting DMACC corporate training to credit.
  • Earning credit for experiential learning through portfolio development or skills demonstration.
  • Earning credit through the assessment of work experience.
  • Converting certification or licensure from a state or national examination to credit.

Students should first examine the competencies for courses to determine which course or courses provide instruction in the subject area. Course competencies are available on the Internet via the DMACC homepage. “Student Application for Alternative Credit” forms are online through Dynamic Forms. Students should contact the department chairperson in that subject matter area to start the process and determine if there is a possibility of obtaining credit and the method of assessment that may be available and appropriate for that course. Students may be required to complete a challenge test, develop a portfolio and/or provide documentation. There is a $50 application fee for awarding alternative credit.

Credit earned by alternative credit is entered on students’ permanent records at the end of the semester of which the application was filed by the drop deadline. If an application is received after the drop deadline the credit will be applied at the end of the following semester.

Any credit awarded through alternative means will be posted to the transcript with marks of “T” or “L.” These marks are not included in the grade point average.

Challenge Tests (DMACC Local Department Examinations)

Students who have met the entrance requirements of the College and who are matriculating in a program of study leading to a degree, diploma or certificate may take locally constructed departmental examinations for credit in certain specified areas for which they and the department feel they have the necessary preparation.

  • Students may challenge test a course only once. This can occur at any time prior to formal registration in that course or, if the students are enrolled in the course, by the designated drop date for the course.
  • The student will be assessed a $50 non-refundable administration fee to be paid prior to attempting the department exam. Charges are not rescinded, nor is payment refunded, if the student does not successfully challenge the course. 
    • If the student challenges a course, in which they are currently enrolled beyond the 100% refund date, they are assessed the $50 administration fee and tuition is not refunded if they pass the exam.
    • if the student fails the challenge test while enrolled in the equivalent course, they may remain in the course. 
  • A course that is a prerequisite to a course that has been successfully completed cannot be challenged.
  • A challenge test cannot be used as a course repeat.
  • Credit earned by challenge testing is entered on students’ permanent records as a “T” and is not included when computing grade point average.

Students interested in taking a Challenge Test should contact the appropriate academic department for specific information on tests available and fees for testing.

Credit for Educational Experience in the Armed Forces

Educational experiences in the armed forces can be validated and accepted for credit by the College. Credit is granted based on statewide policies at Iowa colleges and universities and is based on the applicability of the educational experiences toward meeting the requirements in the student’s program of study. JST transcripts are certified by the American Council on Education (ACE). ACE offers a publication titled the ACE Military Guide, which provides guidance in coursework and credit evaluations

Credit is awarded only for significant learning experiences as recommended by the ACE guides. No credit will be awarded based on the Military Occupational Specialties (MOS) evaluation program.

Credit may be awarded for coursework completed via correspondence, classroom study and/or examination through the United States Armed Forces Institute. Credit may also be granted on the basis of scores earned on the Subject Standardized Test of the Defense Activity for Non-Traditional Educational Support (DANTES). Official copies of transcripts showing such work are required for credit evaluation by the Office of Credentials.

College-Level Examination Program (CLEP)

The College-Level Examination Program (CLEP) offers exams for introductory level college coursework, allowing students to potentially earn college credit by passing the exam(s) with a minimum test score. DMACC can award college credit for CLEP exam scores if the student has earned a minimum score of between 50 and 66, depending on the subject area.

CLEP testing is available on the Ankeny and Boone campuses. For more information, visit the Testing Center website.


Under a special agreement, a limited number of students may enroll, tuition-free, in one course at Drake University, Grand View University or Iowa State University during the Fall or Spring semester, provided they are taking at least 12 semester hours at DMACC, have earned 12 semester credits (including transfer credit) and have a cumulative 2.00 GPA. This credit will be added to the DMACC transcript according to transfer credit guidelines. This agreement does not apply to Summer term.

For more information on Cross-Enrollment, contact the DMACC Registration Office at 515-964-6800.

Independent Study

Independent study provides an opportunity for the above-average student to do independent research in areas not covered in the regular curriculum or to explore in greater depth a topic covered in a course. Each independent study project must be arranged in advance through a supervising faculty member. The standard tuition charge will be made. Independent study may not be used to earn credit for any courses listed in the College catalog or substitute for any required or option courses in a program.

Each independent study may be for one to four credits. A maximum of four hours of elective credit in any one semester and eight hours in total may be earned through independent study.

Students may register for coursework in independent study at any time during the semester.

International Travel/Study Courses

Many DMACC faculty have traveled extensively and lived or studied in countries around the globe. Wishing to share their interest in and expertise of a particular country or region of the world, these faculty members arrange international travel and study opportunities for students. Since the tours are educational travel, students may receive academic credit on designated trips. These international travel/study programs permit students to spend one or two weeks exploring a country, with additional time spent at home reading, writing and reflecting about the country they have experienced. Most travel/study courses are independent study credits under a global studies (GLOS) acronym.

For information on the Study Abroad in England program or international travel/study courses, please contact the Global Studies chairperson at 515-965-7032.

Postsecondary Enrollment Options Act

Eligible high school students may be accepted for admission to DMACC under Iowa’s Postsecondary Enrollment Options Act.

Approval by the high school is mandatory before high school students may be accepted under this program. If the students are approved and accepted, the high school will pay up to $250 per course of the cost of the tuition, fees, books, materials and supplies. Students enrolled under this program take DMACC courses and credit is earned as DMACC credit. For more information, contact the DMACC Registration Office at 515-964-6800.

Study Abroad

DMACC offers students an opportunity to take selected classes in English, speech, history and humanities during a Spring semester Study Abroad in London program. The program is offered by DMACC as part of the Iowa Community College International Association’s Study Abroad Consortium. Students from all 15 of Iowa’s community colleges spend 10 weeks in London studying with an Iowa community college instructor. A British professor at the University of London teaches British Life and Culture, a mandatory course in the curriculum. Classes are held on the University of London campus. Students reside with families in local homes. In addition to lectures and class discussions, students are able to take advantage of an expanded classroom as they tour museums and historic monuments and attend live theatre performances in London and the surrounding area. Students are expected to enroll for 12 credits, which may include some independent study work. Program arrangements are made by the American Institute for Foreign Study, which specializes in study abroad programs for colleges and universities. Financial aid is available for study abroad.

Repeat Coursework

Students may repeat a course previously taken at DMACC if the course is currently being offered.

Students who fail a required course may repeat and pass that course at Des Moines Area Community College in order to fulfill graduation requirements. The repeated course must be the exact course that was taken earlier in order for the repeat procedure to apply. This privilege does not pertain to courses failed while in attendance at other colleges and universities. If a student transfers a course and then completes the equivalent course at DMACC, the DMACC course will remain on the transcript and will be included in grade point average calculation. The transfer credit will be forfeited. Des Moines Area Community College cannot make changes in the grades issued by other institutions. 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

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.


FL 10-11  PSY 111 D  3.00  E
SP 11-12  PSY 111 A  3.00  I

Incomplete and Failing Mark Policies

Students 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 students must complete the course by the midsemester date of the following semester. Incomplete grades are generally not approved by instructors unless there are extenuating circumstances such as serious injury or illness. An extension of time to complete the work for the course may be granted by the instructor until the end of the semester. A grade of Incomplete automatically changes to an “F” if the coursework is not satisfactorily completed within the time period specified.

Academic Standing Policy

Des Moines Area Community College has implemented an Academic Standing Policy to identify students who have difficulty successfully completing courses and to prescribe practices that may help students succeed.

The following applies to credit enrollment at Des Moines Area Community College.

Passing grades are required in all courses outlined in the program of study. A cumulative grade point average of 2.00 in all course work applicable to the degree, diploma, or certificate of specialization is required for satisfactory progress or completion.

Students who have attempted 1 or more credits with grades of A, A-, B+, B, B-, C+, C, C-, D+, D, D-, F, P, L,T, I or W at Des Moines Area Community College are subject to the following academic progress standards:

  1. Satisfactory academic progress is indicated by a cumulative grade point average (G.P.A.) of 2.00 or higher.
  2. Satisfactory academic progress is also indicated by completing 67% or more of cumulative attempted credits.
  3. Guidelines for placing a student on “ACADEMIC WARNING”:
    1. A student whose cumulative G.P.A. falls below 2.00 and/or their completion rate is less than 67% at the end of any semester will be placed on ACADEMIC WARNING for the next semester of enrollment;
    2. A student on ACADEMIC WARNING will return to a status of “good academic standing” when his/her cumulative G.P.A. is raised to 2.00 or higher and/or their completion rate is 67% or greater;
    3. A student on ACADEMIC WARNING will continue on warning status if his/ her semester G.P.A. for the semester following his/her placement on probation is 2.00 or higher but the cumulative G.P.A. remains below 2.00 and or/the cumulative completion rate is less than 67%. This same rule will apply for subsequent semesters of enrollment.
  4. Guidelines for placing a student on “CONDITIONAL ENROLLMENT”:
    1. A student on warning who earns a semester G.P.A. of less than 2.00 and/or completes less than 67% of the attempted credits will be placed on CONDITIONAL ENROLLMENT for the following semester of enrollment;
    2. If the student is registered for the following semester and is placed on CONDITIONAL ENROLLMENT for that semester, he/she will be required to meet with a counselor/ advisor no later than the fifth day of the CONDITIONAL ENROLLMENT semester to review his/her course selections and complete and Academic Improvement Plan. Failure to comply will result in canceled classes;
    3. If the student placed on CONDITIONAL ENROLLMENT is not yet registered for the next semester, he/she must meet with a counselor/advisor prior to re-enrolling for any credit coursework to complete an Academic Improvement Plan;
    4. A student on CONDITIONAL ENROLLMENT who earns a semester G.P.A. of 2.00 or higher and the completion rate is 67% or higher but whose cumulative G.P.A. remains below a 2.00 and the cumulative completion rate is less than 67% for the semester will remain on CONDITIONAL ENROLLMENT;
    5. A student on CONDITIONAL ENROLLMENT who earns a semester G.P.A. and a cumulative G.P.A. of 2.00 or higher and a semester and cumulative completion rate of 67% or higher will be placed in good standing.
  5. Guidelines for placing a student on “ACADEMIC DISQUALIFICATION”:
    1. A student on CONDITIONAL ENROLLMENT who earns a semester G.P.A. of less than 2.00 and/or a semester completion rate of less than 67% will be placed on ACADEMIC DISQUALIFICATION.
    1. A student placed on ACADEMIC DISQUALIFICATION must appeal that placement to the Academic Reinstatement Committee chaired by the Director of Student Development before any re-enrollment may occur.
    2. The student on ACADEMIC DISQUALIFICATION must complete an Academic Improvement Plan (AIP) with an Academic Advisor or Counselor at any DMACC location.
    3. The appeal must be made in writing and must at a minimum explain the reasons for the past unsatisfactory academic performance and how the student proposes to improve their performance as shown on page 4 of this procedure.
    4. The committee may grant or deny the appeal based on the written statement or the committee chairperson may choose to conduct a personal interview with the student or require the student to undergo counseling or academic assessment before making a decision.
    5. If the appeal is granted, the committee chairperson is authorized to impose reasonable restrictions on the student’s subsequent enrollment.
    6. Individual programs of study may impose additional re-enrollment requirements.
  7. A student placed on ACADEMIC DISQUALIFICATION may appeal that placement to the Academic Reinstatement Committee prior to a class starting. Appeals received after a class begins will not be accepted. The appeal must be made in writing, and must at a minimum explain the reasons for the past unsatisfactory academic performance and how the student proposes to improve his/ her performance. The Committee may grant or deny the appeal based on the written statement or the committee chairperson may choose to conduct a personal interview with the student or require the student to undergo counseling or academic assessment before making a decision. If the appeal is granted, the committee chairperson is authorized to impose reasonable restrictions on the student’s subsequent enrollment.

Student Records-Confidentiality

Student Records-Confidentiality-Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)

Des Moines Area Community College complies with the laws of the State of Iowa and the United States in the maintenance of, access to, and release of student records. All procedures conform to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), sometimes referred to as the Buckley Amendment.

At its discretion, DMACC may provide certain information designated as “Directory Information” to the public unless students have requested that their Directory Information not be released. Directory Information is defined as student name, address, telephone number, date and place of birth, major field of study, dates of attendance, degrees and awards received, most recent educational institution attended, participation by the student in officially recognized activities, weight and height of members of athletic teams, email address, and photograph.

With the exception of the Directory Information items listed above, all student records are considered to be confidential and are open only to designated school officials with a legitimate educational interest in the records, and others as designated in the College’s FERPA procedure. Except as provided for within the Act, personally identifiable information about students will not be released without the student’s written permission.

Under FERPA, students also have certain rights to inspect and review their education records, request amendment of their records, consent to disclosure of personally identifiable information contained in education records, and file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning an alleged failure to comply with FERPA.

To obtain copies of the procedure and more detailed information, contact the Registrar’s Office on the Ankeny Campus or refer to the DMACC Student Handbook.

Transfer Credit

A maximum of 43 semester credit hours of transfer credit is applicable toward associate degree requirements. For diploma and certificate programs, a maximum of two-thirds of the program credits may transfer into DMACC (one-third of the credits must be earned at DMACC). The total grade point average of credits transferred to DMACC must equal 2.00 or higher. Some programs (e.g., Health Service programs and Accounting Specialist) may require a minimum grade of “B” or “C” in specific courses that fulfill a degree requirement. Grades earned at other colleges or universities will not be used in the computation of students’ grade point averages at DMACC. Refer to the Admission section  on the Evaluation of Previous Training and Education for more details on transcript processing and transfer credits.

Transcript Requests

Des Moines Area Community College will send or issue a transcript when students, or former students, make a request.

Transcripts can be requested online using the DMACC Web Info System. Transcripts can also be requested by downloading the Transcript Request form on the DMACC website and mailing, faxing it to DMACC Academic Records- Transcript Request, 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. Electronic Transcripts may also be requested from the National Student Clearinghouse-see DMACC website link above for details. 

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. There is a fee to have transcripts emailed from the National Student Clearinghouse. 

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 or MyDMACC.

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 or MyDMACC.

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 transferability of Des Moines Area Community College courses to other colleges and universities is determined by the receiving institution.
  • Official college or university transcripts and high school transcripts are required during the application process. Students should request that documents from all prior schools be sent directly to the transfer institution. 
  • A financial aid transcript may be required from each college or university attended in order to receive aid at the transfer institution.
  • Students should keep a copy of all course syllabi taken at other institutions. These may be needed when discussing transfer credit.
  • Copies should be kept of all documents completed, as well as a record of names and phone numbers of people contacted at the transfer institution. This will help if there is a need to clarify information in the future.
  • Applications for most major Iowa colleges and universities and information on colleges and universities throughout the United States are available at the Ankeny Campus Career Center in Building 5, the Ankeny Campus Student Center.