Dec 06, 2019  
2019-2020 College Catalog 
  
2019-2020 College Catalog

Academic Information



Academic Year

The College’s academic year is divided into three terms: Fall Semester, Spring Semester, and Summer Term. In some majors, students need to attend classes only during Fall and Spring Semesters. Other majors require students to attend both semesters and the Summer Term. For scheduling and entry options, see the curriculum guides for each major.

Time Commitment

A full-time schedule is defined as a minimum of 12 credit hours per week of classroom instruction or laboratory work and an average of 18-24 hours per week of outside study. Students balancing work and family with college coursework should be aware of the time commitment and plan accordingly. No student can carry more than 18 credits per term without permission from the department head or dean. See Course Load section for details.

Academic Policies

Academic Fresh Start

The Academic Fresh Start (AFS) is designed to allow a returning student at Tri-County Technical College, under specific conditions, to have all grades earned in previous terms excluded from the overall calculation of the institutional grade point average (GPA). However, a student granted an AFS will continue to have all courses and grades on transcripts.

Academic Fresh Start is open to a returning student under the following conditions:

  • Three years must have elapsed from the end of the last semester of attendance at TCTC and the time of re-enrollment.
  • The student must have earned at least 24 credit hours (including developmental courses) from TCTC.
  • The student can petition for an AFS only once during an academic career at TCTC.
  • A petition must be submitted by the student no later than the first day of class for the term in which AFS is being sought.
  • Exclusion of the student’s courses and grades cannot be reversed.
  • Although excluded courses and grades cannot be used to fulfill a student’s graduation requirements, the courses can satisfy prerequisite requirements.
  • A copy of the student’s application for AFS will be maintained in the student’s permanent file.
  • If a credential (degree, diploma, or certificate) has already been awarded to the student by TCTC, no courses taken prior to the award will be considered for AFS.

This local policy does not supersede any state or federal policies related to determination of scholarships, student financial aid, or other matters related to student cumulative GPA. Decisions regarding academic standing at other institutions and course transfer by other institutions reside with the receiving college or university. Such decisions may be made without consideration of the AFS granted by TCTC.

For additional information regarding the Academic Fresh Start, contact TC Central, Pendleton Campus, Ruby Hicks Hall, Room 105.

Academic Honors

Dean’s List and President’s List: Each term, the College recognizes students who excel in their academic studies. To be eligible, a student must meet all of the following requirements for the term:

  • Be classified as a degree-, diploma-, or certificate-seeking student;
  • Earn at least 12 credit hours in courses numbered 100 or higher;
  • Attain a GPA of 3.50 - 3.99 for the Dean’s List or 4.00 for the President’s List; and
  • Cannot earn an F, WF, or U grade for courses numbered 100 or below, MAT 150 or ENG 150.

Alpha Zeta Beta (AZB): AZB is the local chapter of Phi Theta Kappa, a national honor fraternity for community and junior college students. To be eligible for membership, students must:

  • Be enrolled in an associate degree program;
  • Have accumulated a minimum of 12 credit hours; and
  • Have achieved and maintained a GPA of at least 3.50.

Academic Distinction: Each term, the College recognizes part-time students who excel in their academic studies.  To be eligible, a student must meet all of the following requirements:

  • Be enrolled in 6 to 11 credit hours for two consecutive terms; and
  • Earn at least 12 semester hours during the two consecutive terms, with a grade of A in each attempted course.

Attendance Policy

Tri-County Technical College believes that class attendance is crucial to student success. As such, the College requires regular attendance to promote academic success and effective workplace skills required by employers. Additionally, the College must maintain compliance with all Federal Financial Aid statutes regarding attendance. Therefore, a student who accumulates more than the allowable number of absences during the term will be withdrawn from the course.

A student may not be absent for more than 14 consecutive calendar days in a term. NOTE: the 14 consecutive day rule does not include extended College scheduled breaks of five or more days (i.e., Spring Break). Weekends and scheduled breaks fewer than five days are included in the 14 consecutive day rule.

Individual Academic Divisions/Departments may have a more rigid attendance policy. Those policies must be communicated in writing to students on the first day of class.

Auditing

A student who wishes to attend credit classes, but who does not wish to take examinations or receive a grade or semester hour credits, may register as an audit student.

An “Audit Registration Form” must be completed and returned to TC Central prior to the last day of the add period. Students may not change status (credit to audit or audit to credit) after the add period for the term.

Audit students pay regular course tuition and fees and are eligible for refunds according to the Tuition Fee Refund for Credit Programs policy and procedure during the drop/add period. Audit students must adhere to the College attendance policy during the drop/add period.

Students who previously audited a course must register and pass the course in order to receive credit for the course. Students may not receive credit by examination for previously audited courses. Exceptions to this rule may be granted by the Senior Vice President upon written request of the student. An audited course may not be used to fulfill prerequisite requirements. Participation of audit students in class discussions and examinations is at the discretion of the instructor.

Classification of Students

  • Student: A person registered at the College is considered to be a student only when all fees and tuition are paid.
  • Full-Time Student: A student enrolled for 12 or more credit hours in a degree, diploma, or certificate program in a given term.
  • Half-Time Student: A student enrolled for 6 to 11 credit hours of coursework in a given term.
  • Less than Half-Time Student: A student enrolled for fewer than 6 credit hours of coursework in a given term.
  • First Semester Freshman: A student who has earned fewer than 15 credit hours.
  • Second Semester Freshman: A student who has earned between 15 to 29 credit hours.
  • First Semester Sophomore: A student who has earned between 30 to 44 credit hours.
  • Second Semester Sophomore: A student who has earned 45 or more credit hours.
  • Non-Degree Student: A student enrolled in one or more courses who has no immediate intention to transfer into or graduate from a program at the College. To be classified as a non-degree student, a student must be at least 18 years of age, or be a high school graduate or the equivalent, or be a high school student with permission from principal and parents/legal guardians. Exceptions must be approved by the Senior Vice President, the Dean of Student Development, or their designees.
  • Transient Student: A student enrolled in one or more courses with the intention on transferring the credit(s) back to the student’s home institution.
  • Corporate and Community Education Student: A student enrolled in a Corporate and Community Education class/seminar.

Course Load

A student may enroll in, at most, eighteen credit hours in either the fall or spring semester unless specific approval is given by the department head and the division dean, or unless the program credit hour requirement published in the College Catalog exceeds eighteen credit hours for the given semester.  In the case of summer term any student whose program of study is in the Arts and Sciences Division or in the Business and Public Services Division may enroll in at most fifteen credit hours unless specific approval is given by the department head and the division dean, or unless the program credit hour requirement published in the College Catalog exceeds fifteen credit hours. Engineering and Industrial Technology and Health Education students may enroll in, at most, eighteen credit hours in the summer term unless specific approval is given by the department head and the division dean.

New or Modified Course Prerequisites

New or modified course prerequisites are applicable, independent of the student’s edition of the Catalog. Requests for exceptions are considered through the same processes as they are for other prerequisites.

General Education Course Requirements

General Education at Tri-County Technical College is a college-wide program of learning that provides students a foundation for becoming a well-educated person. This program provides students with foundational knowledge, skills and values to be life long learners, critical thinkers, and collaborative and engaged citizens of a global community.  A life long learner values and finds fulfillment in learning opportunities that arise beyond the formal educational experience. A critical thinker engages in rational decision making and problem solving. A collaborative and engaged citizen appreciates uniqueness and diversity, exhibits integrity, and acknowledges the contributions of others.

In order to earn an associate’s degree, a student must complete at least 15 semester hours of general education coursework, including at least three semester hours of humanities/fine arts, at least three semester hours of social/behavioral sciences, and at least three semester hours of natural sciences/mathematics. To earn an associate’s degree, a student must complete one of the following courses: SPC 205 ENG 155 ENG 156 , ENG 165 SPC 200 , or SPC 209 . Students should refer to the general education section of their chosen program of study to determine the specific requirements for that program. A list of general education courses is located in the General Education Course Offerings  section of this Catalog.

Students enrolled in programs in the Business and Public Services Division, the Health Education Division, or the Engineering and Industrial Technology Division who are considering transferring to a four-year institution should consult with their academic advisor when choosing their general education courses, as not all courses listed will transfer or apply to intended majors.

Course Waiver

With the approval of the department head, a required course may be waived. When this occurs, no credit hours are awarded toward a degree, diploma, or certificate. Students will be required to take an approved substitute course if additional credit hours are needed to fulfill the curriculum requirements for the associate degree, diploma, or certificate. If a general education course is waived, another appropriate general education course must be substituted if the minimum number of general education credit hours required is not earned. The source of the credit substituted may be the completion of an academic course or the receipt of credit through any method for which advanced standing is established. For changes in major, the decision regarding the course waiver will not apply to the new major.

Distance Learning

To better serve the residents of the tri-county area, the College has developed distance learning classes for students who either cannot, or choose not to, come to one of our campuses on a regular basis. All on-campus services are available for students enrolled in distance learning. Students are responsible for ensuring that they have the computer skills and access to computer, audio, and visual equipment required for the courses in which they enroll. They should carefully note published descriptions of distance learning courses as some may require on-campus meetings or supervised tests. All students enrolled in online courses are expected to log in, communicate with the instructor, keep up with assignments, meet all due dates and participate in courses as directed by their instructor. Distance learning courses follow the same calendar as on-campus courses, including registration, drop/add and tuition and fee payment dates. Students enrolled in distance learning courses are expected to meet the same requirements as students enrolled in equivalent on-campus courses and to adhere to College policies and procedures.

Grade Definitions

A Excellent: “A” is used in GPA calculations, earns credit hours, and carries a value of 4 grade points for each credit hour.
B Above Average: “B” is used in GPA calculations, earns credit hours, and carries a value of 3 grade points for each credit hour.
C Average: “C” is used in GPA calculations, earns credit hours, and carries a value of 2 grade points for each credit hour.
D Below Average: “D” is used in GPA calculations, earns credit hours, and carries a value of 1 grade point for each credit hour.
F Failure: “F” is used in GPA calculations, earns no credit hours, and carries 0 grade points for each credit hour attempted.
I Incomplete: “I” does not affect GPA calculations, earns no credit hours, and generates no grade points. The student will be allowed 20 instructional days into the succeeding term/session to complete the unfinished assignments (see www.tctc.edu/calendar for specific dates). The instructor may set an earlier deadline for completion of assignments. If fewer than 20 instructional days are granted, the due date for completion must be stated in writing to the student and the Registrar. “I” defaults to “F” automatically after 20 instructional days into the succeeding term if the requirements for a course grade are not completed within the 20-instructional-day period.
W Withdrawn: “W” is not used in GPA calculations, earns no credit, and generates no grade points.  “W” may be given from the end of the drop period up to the completion of 65% of the term/session for which the class is offered (see www.tctc.edu/calendar for specific dates). 
WF Withdrawn Failing: “WF” is used in GPA calculations, earns no credit hours, and carries 0 grade points for each credit hour attempted. It is used only for Academic Integrity violations.
S Satisfactory: “S” does not affect GPA calculations, earns Continuing Education Units (CEUs), generates no grade points, and applies to noncredit programs only.
U Unsatisfactory: “U” does not affect GPA calculations, earns no Continuing Education Units (CEUs), generates no grade points, and applies to noncredit programs only.
AS Advanced Standing: “AS” earns credit hours but is not used in GPA calculations and does not generate grade points. An “AS” is given for allowable equivalent credits earned with advanced standing credit.
AU Audit: “AU” is not used in GPA calculations, earns no credit hours, and generates no grade points.
E Exempt: “E” is not used in GPA calculations, earns credit hours, and generates no grade points. An “E” is awarded for Tri-County Technical College courses which the student has been permitted to exempt as a result of testing, equivalent work experience, or other educational experience.
TA Transfer: “TA” earns credit hours but is not used in GPA calculations and does not generate grade points. A “TA” is given for allowable equivalent credits earned with the grade of “A” at other post-secondary institutions. All transfer grades must be supported by an official transcript from the post-secondary institution.
TB Transfer: “TB” earns credit hours but is not used in GPA calculations and does not generate grade points. A “TB” is given for allowable equivalent credits earned with the grade of “B” at other post-secondary institutions. All transfer grades must be supported by an official transcript from the post-secondary institution.
TC Transfer: “TC” earns credit hours but is not used in GPA calculations and does not generate grade points. A “TC” is given for allowable equivalent credits earned with the grade of “C” at other post-secondary institutions. All transfer grades must be supported by an official transcript from the post-secondary institution.

Developmental courses numbered less than 100 generate no credit hours, do not affect the GPA, and do not count toward graduation. Developmental courses numbered 100 do generate credit hours and affect the GPA but do not count toward graduation in any certificate, diploma, or degree program. Grades of A, B, C, D, F, W, I and AU are earned in these courses. Grades marked with an asterisk on a student’s transcript are not include in GPA calculations.

Grade Changes/Discrepancies

A student wishing to protest a course grade must first attempt to resolve any disagreement with the instructor. If the student is unable to reach a satisfactory resolution with the instructor, the student should contact the course department head. All grade changes, including Administrative Drops, must be submitted no later than the 20th class day, as indicated on the Academic Calendar, of the subsequent term/session.

Grade Point Average Calculation

Grades are calculated on a 4.0 scale. Points are awarded in this manner:

Grade   Grade Points per Credit Hour
A =   4
B =   3
C =   2
D =   1
F =   0
WF=   0

Sample Calculation

Assume a student has taken the following courses with the results shown.

Course   Credit Hours   Grade   Grade Points
BIO 101   4.0   B   3
ENG 156   3.0   C   2
MAT 110   3.0   F   0

To calculate GPA, multiply the number of credit hours by the grade points to determine the number of quality points.

Course   Credit Hours   Grade Points   Quality Points
BIO 101   4.0   3 = 12.0
ENG 156   3.0   2 = 6.0
MAT 110   3.0   0 = 0.0

Add credit hours; then add quality points

Credit Hours   Quality Points  
4.0   12.0  
+3.0   +6.0  
+3.0   +0  
——————-
10.0   18.0  

Divide the number of quality points by the number of credit hours = GPA

18 divided by 10 = 1.80 GPA

Academic Concerns and Complaints

Concerns and complaints related to learning experiences in a class or course generally can be resolved by communicating with the instructor with whom the concern or issue originated. If after communicating an academic concern to the instructor, the student feels the issue has not been resolved, the next person to contact is the department head.

If after communicating with the department head, the student still feels that the issue has not been resolved, the next person to contact is the appropriate division dean.

If after communicating with the appropriate division dean, the student feels the issue remains unresolved, an appointment may be scheduled with the Dean of Student Development. Prior to scheduling that meeting, the student must document efforts to resolve the concern by submitting a completed Academic Affairs Student Concern/Complaint form, available from the Dean of Student Development.

Mandatory Placement Policy

Tri-County Technical College is committed to its mission of educating students to meet the requirements of today’s workforce. In order to ensure the success of students at TCTC, all students are required to take the placement test prior to enrolling, unless previous transcripts satisfy courses prerequisites. These scores provide proper placement into English, reading, writing, mathematics and science classes. TCTC has a mandatory placement policy that requires students who score below minimum levels in reading, writing and/or math to take transitional coursework before enrolling in certain courses. This requirement enables students to develop the essential academic skills needed to succeed in their college-level classes. Also, in order to ensure student success in future college-level classes, students must master the prerequisite skills offered in each class to progress to the next level class.

Repeating a Course

When a course is repeated, all grades will be entered on the student’s permanent academic record and the highest of the grades will be included in the GPA calculations. In the case of identical grades, the initial grade received will be included in the GPA calculations. Students who plan to transfer should understand that the receiving college may recalculate grade point averages, including repeat grades, according to that college’s policies. Veterans should be aware that the VA will not pay educational benefits for repeating a course for which the student has previously received graduation credit. Students receiving any type of financial aid should contact the Financial Aid Office to discuss the implications of repeating a course.

Courses taken under the former quarter system may not be replaced in the GPA calculation with a semester course unless authorized by the Senior Vice President.

Standards of Academic Progress

The purpose of having Standards of Academic Progress (SAP) is to assist students in attaining their educational goals by providing a scale by which to measure progress toward graduation. A minimum institutional grade point average (GPA) of 2.0 is used at the College to determine SAP. Institutional intervention strategies are in place for students who fall below this standard.

In order to remain in good standing, a student enrolled in classes and pursuing an associate degree, diploma, or certificate must achieve and maintain a minimum of a 2.0 institutional GPA, excluding exempted or transfer hours.

PROGRESSION REQUIREMENTS FOR STUDENTS RECEIVING FINANCIAL AID

Students participating in Federal Financial Aid or other student aid programs are subject to specific SAP requirements that impact continued eligibility. The College administers financial aid programs according to the regulations set forth by the United States Department of Education and other regulatory bodies. These requirements are articulated in the Satisfactory Academic Progress for Federal and Other Student Aid Programs policy. Information can also be found in the Standards of Progress for Financial Aid Programs section of this Catalog.

PROGRESSION REQUIREMENTS FOR HEALTH EDUCATION STUDENTS

A grade of “C” or greater is needed in all required courses within the Health Professions Department, and in the Practical Nursing and Veterinary Technology Programs. Nursing (Associate Degree and Transition Nursing) require a grade of “B” or above to progress in all NUR courses within the program.  A student may repeat a maximum of two major courses. Students should also refer to individual program handbooks for additional information.

OTHER PROGRESSION REQUIREMENTS

Other programs may have internally or externally mandated requirements which must be met. Such requirements are published in this Catalog in the section for those specific academic majors.

Academic Standing

Academic standing is determined during end-of-term processing, at which point students are coded as follows:

  • Good Standing: To be classified as being in Good Standing, a student must maintain the minimum institutional GPA requirements as stated in this catalog.
  • Academic Warning: A student previously in Good Standing who falls below a 2.0 institutional GPA will be placed on Academic Warning for the next term of enrollment. A student who achieves a 2.0 institutional GPA at the end of their Academic Warning term is placed back in Good Standing.  
  • Academic Probation: A student who has been on Warning for the preceding semester and whose institutional GPA remains below a 2.0 will be placed on Academic Probation for the next term of enrollment. A student who achieves a 2.0 institutional GPA at the end of their Academic Probation term is placed back in Good Standing.
  • Academic Suspension: A student whose institutional GPA remains below a 2.0 at the end of the term of probation will be placed on Academic Suspension and will not be permitted to register for the following academic term.
  • Academic Dismissal: A student whose institutional GPA remains below a 2.0 at the end of the term of suspension will be dismissed from the College and will not be permitted to register again without approval of the Academic Appeals Committee.

Requirements for Students Not in Good Standing

Students not in Good Standing are notified via e-mail of their current status and the requirements that must be completed to return to Good Standing. In addition, students on Academic Suspension and Academic Dismissal are notified of their academic standing at the College by hard copy letter sent to the permanent address on record.

Status for students will be indicated on their permanent academic records. Registration will be prevented for students on Academic Suspension until they have satisfied all requirements as outlined here:

REQUIREMENTS OF STUDENTS ON WARNING: Students placed on Academic Warning will meet with their academic advisor to discuss the factors affecting their academic performance.

REQUIREMENTS OF STUDENTS ON PROBATION: If an institutional GPA of 2.0 is not achieved at the end of an Academic Warning semester, the student will be placed on Academic Probation for the following semester. During the registration period for the semester in which the student has been placed on Academic Probation, the student will be required to meet with the academic advisor to determine whether any schedule adjustments are needed.

REQUIREMENTS OF STUDENTS ON SUSPENSION: If an institutional GPA of 2.0 is not achieved at the end of an Academic Probation semester, the student will be placed on Academic Suspension. For students preregistered for the following semester, their schedules will be dropped.  Students on Academic Suspension are not allowed to register for the following semester. After a one Academic Suspension semester, students must meet with a counselor in the Student Development and Wellness Programs office to discuss academic progress and to identify appropriate actions to improve performance. The counselor will complete the Registration Approval form for the subsequent semester. Students will submit the Registration Approval form to their faculty advisor. The advisor will update the student’s completion goals and course schedule for the subsequent semester. Students on Academic Suspension are ineligible to register for the following semester until final grades are posted.

Students who have completed one semester’s absence on Academic Suspension will continue to be on Academic Suspension until the end of the semester in which they returned. If an institutional GPA of 2.0 has not been achieved at the end of the subsequent semester, the student will be dismissed from the College and will not be allowed to register again without approval of the Academic Appeals Committee.

Academic Appeals Committee and Procedure

PURPOSE: The purpose of the Academic Appeals Committee is to hear student requests for reactivation after not returning to Good Standing in the semester following Academic Dismissal. 

COMMITTEE MEMBERSHIP: The Committee will be composed of the following: Senior Vice President, Chair; Dean of Student Development; one Credit Dean appointed by the Senior Vice President; and three faculty appointed by the Senior Vice President. Upon written request of the student, a Student Government Association (SGA) representative may also serve on the Academic Appeals Committee.

APPEALS PROCEDURE: At least eight (8) weeks prior to the first day of classes of the proposed reactivation semester, a student desiring to have their record reactivated must submit to the Senior Vice President a Petition for Reactivation. The petition must include a complete explanation for the student’s poor academic performance. To the extent possible, verifiable documentation should also be included. The student may appear before the Committee when it convenes.

DECISIONS: The Senior Vice President will inform the student in writing of the Committee’s decision four (4) weeks prior to the first day of classes of the reactivation semester. If the decision is to allow the student to return, the student will be allowed to register.

APPEALS TO THE PRESIDENT: If the petition is denied, the suspension may be appealed to the President of the College, whose decision is final. The petition to the President must be submitted within three (3) work days of receiving the decision of the Academic Appeals Committee. The President will review all related information and will inform the student in writing of the final decision no less than ten (10) work days prior to the beginning of the semester in which the student desires to re-enter. A copy of the President’s written decision will be sent to the Senior Vice President. If the decision is to allow the student to return, the student will be allowed to register.

SUBSEQUENT REACTIVATION: If after one year of no enrollment following Academic Dismissal the student desires to return, a written request must be submitted to the Senior Vice President at least eight (8) weeks prior to the beginning of the semester of desired enrollment. The Senior Vice President may request a meeting with the student as part of the decision-making process. The Senior Vice President will inform the student of the decision in writing at least four (4) weeks prior to the beginning of the semester. If the decision is to allow the student to return, the student will be allowed to register. Academic standing for prior semesters will not be altered in any way.

Acceptance of Credit and Awarding of Advanced Standing

The College allows students the opportunity to earn credit through transfer of courses from other post-secondary institutions and through advanced standing opportunities. However, a student must earn a minimum of 25% of the credit hours required for a degree, diploma, or certificate through courses taken at the College. Included in the approved coursework for a diploma or degree must be two courses selected from the curriculum major (excluding electives), unless specifically exempted by both the department head and dean.

A student does not have to be admitted to the College in order to have experiences or coursework evaluated for advanced standing credit. A student must, however, be enrolled in a curriculum program to have advanced standing credit documented on an official College transcript.

Transfer Credit

Tri-County Technical College will grant credit for courses taken at other regionally accredited post-secondary institutions provided the student earned a “C” (or minimum grade point of 2.0) or above in those courses.. Transfer credits from a college without regional accreditation must be approved by the Senior Vice President. Exceptions will be documented and submitted and to the Registrar’s Office. A student’s official transcript from other colleges will be evaluated and credit determined by the appropriate subject department head or program coordinator. Transfer credit will be granted according to the following guidelines:

  • A student’s official transcripts from other colleges will be evaluated and credit determined by the appropriate subject department head.
  • Credit will be given for the equivalent College course.
  • If the equivalent College course credits do not exceed the course credits being transferred by more than one-half credit hour, full credit for the College course will be granted. If the College course credits exceed the course credits being transferred by more than one-half credit hour, the student has the option of taking an exemption exam or requesting a course waiver.
  • Elective credit may be granted for courses for which the College does not have an equivalent course.
  • Transfer credit may be granted for all applicable courses without regard to when the credit was initially earned. (Exceptions: Some curricula may require that credit be earned within a specified period of time. In some technical courses, the student may also be advised to validate competency.)
  • If a student has exempted prerequisite courses and has earned credit for advanced courses at an institution where previously enrolled, the student may request that exemption credit also be granted by the College by providing appropriate documentation. In lieu of appropriate documentation, the student may take an exemption exam (for credit) or request a course waiver (no credit). 

While enrolled in a degree, diploma, or certificate program at the College, students must secure permission from their advisor prior to taking courses at other post-secondary institutions for transfer credit. The form must be submitted to the Registrar’s Office/Student Data Center prior to taking the course.

Technical Advanced Placement (TAP)

The College will award credit for specific College courses to area high school students who have successfully completed all procedures outlined in TAP Teacher Recommendation forms. Students taking high school courses, especially in occupational and technical areas, that cover skills and competencies equivalent to content in Tri-County Technical College courses, may qualify to earn credit for the Tri-County courses. Students may have their skills verified through examination or by completing coursework that requires the use of skills acquired in high school. Validation guidelines for each course are included in the Teacher Recommendation forms in the TAP section of the College website (www.tctc.edu/TAP). High school students who would like more information about TAP should contact their guidance counselor or occupational teacher and/or review the TAP information on the College’s website. TAP credit will be documented on College transcripts as “Technical Advanced Placement” credit. A copy of the test, or other equivalency verification, must be submitted to the Registrar’s Office/Student Data Center along with the Advanced Standing Credit form.

College Level Examination Program (CLEP)

Students may receive credit for courses by making an acceptable score on the CLEP tests. Although the College does not administer the CLEP, students may contact the Registrar’s Office for more information. Credit will be recorded on transcripts as “Advanced Placement.”

Advanced Placement Examinations (AP)

The College recognizes the Advanced Placement Program of the College Board. High school students interested in receiving Advanced Placement credit are encouraged to participate in their high school’s Advanced Placement (AP) programs. Examination results should be sent to Tri-County Technical College by the College Board. Credit is awarded to those who earn 3, 4, or 5 on the College Board AP examination. Credit will be recorded as “Advanced Placement” on transcripts.

International Baccalaureate Higher Level Examinations (IB)

Students may receive credit for courses by making an acceptable score on IB Higher Level Exams. Students may contact TC Central for more information. Credit will be recorded on transcripts as “Advanced Placement.”

Experiential Learning

Military Education: The College recognizes educational experiences in the armed services. In determining credits to be awarded for such experiences, recommendations provided in the Guide to the Evaluation of Educational Experiences in the Armed Services, published by the American Council on Education, are considered. Credit will be recorded on the student’s transcript as “Educational Experience.”  A copy of the supporting documentation must be submitted to the Registrar’s Office/Student Data Center with the Advanced Standing Credit form.

Documented Work Experience: The College may grant credit for documented work experience in writing from the student’s employer. The justification must tie the prior experience to the competencies of the relevant course. The subject-matter department head will determine the relevancy of the documented work experience to a specific course and ensure the work experience does not duplicate credit already awarded or planned for the student’s academic program. Elective credit may be awarded at the discretion of the subject-matter department head. Documented work experience credit may be awarded for no more than 25% of the credit hours applied toward a degree, diploma, or certificate. Credit will be recorded on the student’s transcript as “Work Experience.”  A copy of the supporting documentation must be submitted to the Registrar’s Office/Student Data Center with the Advanced Standing Credit form.

Examination Credit

Students who believe they have mastered course outcomes through work or educational experiences wishing to receive course credit without enrolling in classes by taking an examination, must:

  • Present evidence documenting education or work experience that is similar to the content of a particular course to the appropriate department head.
  • Submit a request for the examination to the appropriate department head who will determine eligibility for the exam.
  • Pay a fee of $75 for each examination, and present the receipt at the time the exemption exam is administered.
  • Earn a grade of at least a “C” on the examination, as defined in current course syllabi. Credit will be recorded on the student’s transcript as “Exemption Exam.”
  • A student may not retake an exemption exam. (Exceptions due to extenuating circumstances may be granted by the Senior Vice President upon receipt of a written request from the student.)

In no case can the exception be granted more than once for a course. A student who has enrolled in a course (i.e. audited, failed, withdrawn, etc.) will not be permitted to take an exemption examination for that course. A copy of the test must be submitted to the Registrar’s Office/Student Data Center along with the Advanced Standing Credit form.

CHE State Policies and Procedures

The Commission on Higher Education (CHE) for the state of South Carolina coordinates post-secondary education in public-supported institutions, including policies and procedures for students and their course credits transferring between and among these institutions. The CHE has established transfer policies and procedures that all State public institutions must follow.

Most courses in the Associate in Arts and Associate in Science majors are designed for transfer to other colleges and universities (see Arts and Sciences Division section). Credits earned in other majors may be evaluated by other institutions on an individual basis.

The chief transfer officer at the College is the Dean of the Arts and Sciences Division. This officer administers the transfer degree programs (Associate of Arts and Associate of Science) and coordinates the advising of transfer students. Students may consult the dean of their programs of study for questions concerning transfer of courses into program curricula. CHE regulations and procedures are listed in Appendix 2.

Statewide Articulation Courses



Tri-County Technical College offers 64 of the 86 courses articulated by CHE.


These courses transfer to any four-year public institution in South Carolina.

Transferable Courses



Tri-County Technical College offers numerous other transferable courses taught by faculty who are credentialed at the University Transfer level. It is the responsibility of the receiving institution to evaluate student transcripts and to make decisions concerning which courses are applied to particular degree programs.

Arts and Sciences


Business & Public Services


Registration/Schedule Changes

Purpose of Academic Advising

Academic advising is a critical component of the transformational educational experience at Tri-County Technical College. Its primary purpose is to assist students in the development of meaningful curricular and co-curricular plans and to align those plans with attainable life goals.

Academic Advisors provide students with specialized, personal contact, and seek to meet student needs in the following ways:

  • Assist in the development of realistic educational plans compatible with academic, life, and career goals based on a student’s abilities and time constraints;
  • Provide individualized, proactive academic guidance throughout a student’s academic career, including monitoring and following up on student progress;
  • Aid students through their academic careers in developing decision-making skills and in becoming autonomous and self-reliant;
  • Refer to appropriate support services both on campus and in the community; and
  • Provide job placement information and university transfer assistance as needed.

Essential to the advising process is the need to listen to and respect advisee concerns and maintain confidentiality.

Registration

Academic advising for course selection is mandatory for all students enrolled in a degree, diploma, or certificate program.  Registration dates are listed on the Academic Calendar available on the website at www.tctc.edu/calendar. Prior to each term, students should complete the following registration processes:

CURRENTLY ENROLLED STUDENTS may register for courses online via eTC after being advised for course selection. Appointments with advisors should be made during the “Advising for Currently Registered Students” period.

NEW, RETURNING, or TRANSFER STUDENTS may register for courses online via eTC after attending orientation and being advised for course selection.

After completing the registration process, ALL STUDENTS should:

  • Verify financial aid award status, if applicable, via their eTC account.
  • Pay tuition and fees in the Business Office. No student is officially enrolled until all fees are paid.

Drop/Add Period

Students interested in changing their schedules after classes have started may do so online via eTC. Students may add classes to their schedules during the first three instructional days and drop classes during the first five instructional days of a 14-week session. Students who wish to change sections of the same course or move from certain upper and lower Biology, Chemistry, English, Reading, or Math courses will be allowed to do so throughout the drop period. The add and drop periods will be prorated for sessions of varying lengths as published in the academic calendar.

Students who add courses after the term begins are responsible for classes missed. Students receiving financial aid must contact the Financial Aid Office to review their adjusted financial aid awards.

Withdrawal from a Class

Any student may withdraw from a class online via eTC with a grade of “W” after the drop/add period but prior to the completion of 65% of the session for which the class is offered. A student who has not withdrawn or been withdrawn prior to the deadline will receive the final course grade calculated as stated in the course syllabus.

A grade of “W” may be awarded after the deadline provided the student presents reasonable, documented, non-academic circumstances as justification for an exception to the withdrawal policy. Such an exception requires the approval of the instructor and head of the department in which the course is housed.

The student is responsible for all transactions, including notification of the Financial Aid Office, if financial aid, scholarships, or VA education benefits are being received.

Withdrawal from the College

All students officially withdrawing from the College must complete a “Withdraw from College” form available in TC Central. Students are required to meet with a Financial Aid counselor prior to submitting the form to TC Central. NOTE: Students leaving the College without completing the “Withdraw from College” form are considered unofficially withdrawn.

A student’s federal financial aid eligibility must be recalculated for students who withdraw (officially or unofficially), drop out, or are dismissed prior to completing 65% of a semester. Federal Financial Aid includes Federal Pell Grant, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG), and Federal Stafford Loans.  Federal Financial Aid must be returned to the federal government based on the percent of unearned aid.  A student who does not complete at least 60% of a semester may owe a repayment to the College and/or the federal government for the amount of unearned Federal Financial Aid based on the length of time the student was enrolled. Immediate repayment may be required.

A student who owes the College may not be permitted to register for a subsequent term or obtain an academic transcript until the debt is paid.  Payment should be made to the Business Office. A student who owes the federal government may be turned over to the U.S. Department of Education and be required to provide documentation of a satisfactory payment arrangement before federal or state financial aid eligibility is restored.

Graduation

Graduation Requirements

To apply for graduation and have the opportunity to participate in commencement, a student must meet the following requirements:

  • Satisfactorily complete the required courses and the number of credit hours specified in a program of study.
  • Achieve at least a 2.00 grade point average in the program of study.
  • File a completed “Graduation Application” with the Registrar prior to the graduation application deadline, as indicated on the Academic Calendar.
  • Pay all financial obligations owed to the College.
  • Earn a minimum of 25% of the credit hours required for a degree, diploma, or certificate through courses taken at the College.
  • Earn credit for a minimum of two courses selected from the major curriculum (excluding electives) at the College, unless specifically exempted by both the department head and dean administering that major.

Only those students who have applied for graduation by the deadline and who have met all requirements for graduation may participate in the commencement ceremony.

Students who have applied for graduation but do not meet all graduation requirements will be notified by the Registrar, via certified letter, that they are not eligible to graduate. To be considered for a future graduation, students must submit a new graduation application and satisfy all other requirements as outlined here.

Students who satisfy all curriculum and financial requirements, but do not apply for graduation (as outlined in this catalog), will be administratively awarded the appropriate credential within one semester of completion. These students will not participate in the commencement ceremony.

Credential completion will be indicated on the student’s official transcript. Students may request a copy of the credential by submitting the Credential Order form and paying the appropriate fee.

Commencement Ceremonies

Commencement ceremonies are held at the end of the Spring Semester and the Summer Term each year. All students must apply to graduate. All graduates are encouraged to attend the commencement ceremonies.

Graduation Honors

Graduates who have outstanding institutional grade point averages will be recognized as honor graduates. Honors designations are as follows: 3.50 - 3.74 (Cum Laude); 3.75 - 3.94 (Magna Cum Laude); and 3.95 - 4.00 (Summa Cum Laude).

Gold tassels designate that students are graduating Summa Cum Laude. Honor cords designate by color that students are graduating Cum Laude (blue), Magna Cum Laude (silver), and Summa Cum Laude (gold). The College covers the costs of gold tassels and honor cords.

Student Records

Transcripts

College academic transcripts are issued by the Registrar’s Office/Student Data Center. Current students and alumni may request a transcript via their eTC account or online at www.tctc.edu/transcript.

Enrollment Verification

In cooperation with the National Student Clearinghouse (NSC), the College provides a free self-service program that allows current students to view and print advanced registration and enrollment verifications via eTC.

Advanced registration verifications are available approximately two months prior to the beginning of the semester/term. Enrollment verifications are typically available to students five days after the drop/add period for any given term.

Alumni seeking an enrollment verification must contact TC Central, Pendleton Campus, Ruby Hicks Hall, Room 105.

Change of Major

Enrolled students who want to change academic majors must first meet with a Success Coach, the Division Resource Specialist in the division of the new major, a Career Services counselor, or the Director of Advising to discuss the appropriateness of the new major, the effect on degree completion, and possible financial aid implications. A Change of Major form will be completed to document the change and will be submitted by the student to TC Central for processing.  Students on the Anderson, Easley, and Oconee, Campuses may complete the form after meeting with the Community Campus Student Services Coordinator. The deadline to change a major for the current term is noon on the last day to add courses for that term.

Change of Student Information

Students are obligated to ensure that their names, addresses, and telephone numbers are current and accurate in the official records of the College. Failure to do so can cause delay in the handling of student records and emergency notifications. Currently enrolled students can make address and telephone number changes through their eTC accounts. Name changes must be made by contacting TC Central.

Confidentiality of Student Records

Student academic and educational records are confidential and are maintained by the appropriate record custodian. These records are not disclosed without the student’s written consent as defined by the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA).

Students have a right to inspect their educational records and request a correction of records that may be inaccurate, misleading, or in violation of privacy or other rights. Students may obtain a copy of the College’s policy regarding FERPA from the Registrar or Corporate and Community Education. (Students may refer to the Student Code for SC Technical Colleges in Appendix 3 for additional information.)

Release of Student Information

Directory information (or releasable information) is general information that may be released by the institution for any purpose, at its discretion, to anyone without consent of the student. The following is considered directory information at Tri-County Technical College: student name, address, telephone number, e-mail address, birth date, major, participation in officially recognized activities, attendance dates, enrollment status, degrees/awards received, most recent previous school attended, and photographs and electronic images.

Students have the right to withhold disclosure of directory information under the FERPA. To withhold disclosure, written notification must be received in TC Central by the end of the second week of classes each term (or the first meeting of Corporate and Community Education courses).

Student Right to Know

In compliance with the Student Right to Know Act, the College makes available its completion and transfer rates to all current and prospective students. Additionally, the College is required to provide information regarding campus public safety policies and to report the number of on-campus criminal offenses during the most recent calendar year and the two preceding calendar years. Information regarding completion and transfer rate is available at www.tctc.edu/rates. Information regarding on-campus criminal offenses is available at www.tctc.edu/campuspolicereport.

English Fluency in Higher Education Act

Students in classes taught by faculty whose first language is other than English have the right to expect the instructor to speak in English in a way that is judged to be reasonably understandable. In the event that is not the case, the student may follow the grievance procedures to file a complaint. Such complaints will be handled according to College policy. Students should contact the Senior Vice President to obtain a copy of the policy.

Academic Support Services

Assessment Center

The Testing Center administers placement tests, academic make-up testing, nursing entrance exams, and tests for third party distance learning. The Center also proctors tests for students requiring testing accommodations approved through the Accessibility Resource Center.  Students are encouraged to arrive at the Testing Center early enough to allow sufficient time to complete testing prior to the published closing time. A picture ID is required. Acceptable forms of identification are a state-issued picture ID (a driver’s license for example), a military ID, or a valid school ID (high school or college). Presenting a TCTC student ID is highly recommended and will expedite the check-in process. For more information about Testing Center services, email placement@tctc.edu or call 864-646-1300.

Library

Tri-County Technical College operates a Learning Commons at each of its four campus locations. The Learning Commons combines traditional Library, Tutoring and Supplemental Instruction resources in one environment. On the Pendleton campus, is it located on the third floor of the Student Success Center and is open 7:30am - 7:30pm Monday through Thursday and 8:00am - 2:00pm on Friday. All community campuses have a Learning Commons open for varying hours. At all locations, learners will find a welcoming common space that encourages exploration, creation, and collaboration between students, instructors and the community at large. For more information, call 864-646-1750.

Library Resources

The library provides both print and digital resources that enrich and support the educational programs of the College and enable students to become effective users of ideas and information. Print items include books, magazines, and newspapers. Digital resources include academic databases, journals, magazines, newspapers, computer-based learning activities, and streaming media. Knowledgeable staff are available to provide consultation and instruction in identifying, locating, assessing, and analyzing the information needed to support research assignments.

Tutoring Services

Our trained, qualified tutors provide free individualized and small group academic assistance to students at all campuses of the College. Tutors work collaboratively with students to build skills and content knowledge in math, science, economics, Spanish, psychology, engineering, and more. Tutors also offer writing support in all subject areas. In addition to course-specific support, academic coaching is also available on topics such as study skills, time management, note taking, technology literacy, and other skills for college success. Appointments are encouraged and can be made online via Starfish. Walk-in appointments are not guaranteed during peak times of the semester. Online tutoring is available to qualifying students through asynchronous writing review and Skype for Business. Services are offered free of charge to TCTC students.

Supplemental Instruction

Supplemental Instruction (SI) is a course-specific resource for students to receive extra help and study time through collaborative sessions led by peers.  Students are allowed to attend tutoring at any stage of the learning process; however, academic assistance is most effective when utilized early and frequently as part of a student success plan.

Tutoring Center

Tutoring Center 

Other Learning Experiences

Bridge Programs

Tri-County Technical College has transfer agreements enabling students to “bridge” to several postsecondary institutions. Each program is unique, but in all cases, students who meet specified criteria may transfer to the senior institution after completion of the program requirements at Tri-County.  For additional information on any of the Bridge programs listed below, call 864-646-1686.

Bridge to Clemson: A first of its kind in South Carolina, this invitation-only program blends the traditional academic experience at Tri-County with the social and cultural experiences of Clemson University. Invitations are extended by Clemson to those who narrowly miss admission to the University. Bridge students attend Tri-County for their first year and must earn 30 transfer credits and a 2.5 GPA at Tri-County during their Bridge year in order to transition to Clemson for their second year. Students live together in a Bridge-designated community on Clemson’s campus and have access to student life programs and services at both Tri-County and Clemson.

Bridge to Lander: Lander University has developed a partnership agreement with all 16 technical colleges in South Carolina. The program provides advising and academic support for prospective freshman transfer students who have been identified by the institutions and who meet the GPA requirements.

Bridge to USC: This statewide agreement is intended to make transitions from SC technical colleges to USC as seamless as possible and to increase the success of transfer students once they are enrolled at the Columbia campus. The University and technical colleges will identify and contact students who are eligible for the program. Participating students will have access to a variety of services from Tri-County and USC.

Columbia College Four-Year Right Here: Columbia College has partnered with Tri-County to provide an Associate’s to Bachelor’s Degree Program that allows students to complete their bachelor’s degree through Columbia College in the evenings on Tri-County’s campus at a significantly discounted tuition rate. Students graduating with an applicable associate’s degree will be able to complete their bachelor’s degrees within two full calendar years. Students apply directly to Columbia College’s Associate’s to Bachelor’s Degree Program. Students can also pursue academic programs in Columbia College’s Evening College. 

USC Upstate Direct Connect: USC Upstate has developed a partnership agreement with several upstate colleges that guarantees admission to USC Upstate for students who graduate with an Associate in Arts Degree, an Associate in Science Degree, or selected Associate in Applied Science degrees. To enable a smooth transition, the program provides enhanced academic advising and accelerated admission to USC Upstate.

Other articulations: Tri-County Technical College has developed major-specific transfer agreements with a number of four-year universities. For more information, contact the Bridge Programs Office at 864-646-1686.

Dual Enrollment and Career Pathways for Success

Tri-County’s dual enrollment and career pathways programs provide opportunities for qualified high school juniors and seniors, with permission from their parents or guardians and high school officials, to take Tri-County courses. Opportunities include university transfer courses as well as technical courses offered through career pathways that seamlessly connect secondary and post-secondary curricula in a specialized career field. Students must submit the online Dual Enrollment Application for Admission and a Dual Enrollment Permission Form with the appropriate signatures in order to be admitted to the College. For additional information, contact 864-646-1505 or 864-646-1501.