Academics reside at the heart of the college experience. It is important that students become self-reliant in their pursuit of academic goals. The information in this section is designed to help students understand the expectations and pathways to successful completion of an LCC academic program.
Course syllabi are provided electronically via the online learning management system. Course syllabi are official contracts between the student and instructor. If a student has a question regarding information contained on a syllabus, he/she should contact the instructor as soon as possible.
Lamar Community College believes that the assessment of student learning helps to create a positive learning experience for students. The College assesses student learning at different points: when a student enrolls, as a student completes each course, and as a student prepares to graduate. Refer to the basic skills assessment section in the Getting Started section in this catalog for more information on how Lamar Community College measures student skills prior to registration at LCC. See grades and grade reports and general student learning outcomes, for more information regarding the measurement of student success in LCC coursework.
Grades and Grade Reports
||Passing (A-level) work in a developmental course
||Pasing (B-level) work in a developmental course
||Passing (C-level) work in a developmental course
||Non-passing (D-level) work in a developmental course
||Non-passing (F-level) work in a developmental course
||Incomplete for a developmental course
||Administrative Withdrawal (available as an individual college option)
||Grade not yet reported
The “Incomplete” grade is a temporary grade and is designed for students who because of documented illness or circumstances beyond their control are unable to complete their course work within the semester. For more information on the process to request in incomplete, see Schedule Changes in this section.
P/A, P/B, P/C, F/D, F/F
These grades are awarded only for developmental courses. The P/A, P/B, and P/C indicate levels of satisfactory performance, while F/D and F/F indicate levels of unsatisfactory performance. These grades are not included in the GPA calculation. The courses with P/A-P/C grades count for attempted and earned credits. Courses assigned a F/D or F/F count for attempted credits but do not carry earned credits.
W-Withdrawal and AW-Administrative Withdrawal
A “Withdrawal” is noted when a student officially withdraws from a course. A student can officially withdraw online by accessing his/her Lope Access portal account or in the Student Services Center. In extreme circumstances, a student can request an Administrative withdrawal from an Administrator. “Administrative withdrawal” is assigned when a College administrator withdraws the student. These courses are not calculated in hours completed or GPA.
A withdrawal can only be processed during the first 80 percent of the course. The class will still appear on a student’s transcript with a “W,” however, a “W” will not affect credit or cumulative GPA. An instructor is required to provide the last date of attendance for each student who has been assigned a grade of “W”. The course counts in attempted hours. Students who do not officially withdraw by the deadline date will be assigned a grade by the instructor. A “W” cannot be submitted by a faculty member as a final grade.
The College may initiate withdrawal in instances, including death, veteran non-attendance, or disciplinary action, or if the student does not meet the specific prerequisite(s). For more, see Schedule Changes later in this section.
Last Date of Attendance
An Instructor is required to provide the last date of attendance for each student who receives an “I,” “F,” “W,” “AW,” or “U/F” grade. Additional information is listed under Schedule Changes in this section.
By auditing a course, a student may participate in course activities but does not receive a formal transcript grade. Students must indicate intent to audit a course at registration or by the census date listed in the course schedule. Audited courses are not eligible for College Opportunity Fund stipends. Students are responsible for the full in-state or out-of-state tuition. In addition, audited courses do not meet the credit hour requirements for financial aid or veteran benefits and may not be applied to certificates or degrees.
The Repeat Field on the transcript is marked I-Include in hours and GPA calculation, E-Exclude from earned hours and GPA calculation, or A-Exclude from earned hours but count in GPA calculation.
Change of Grade
Final grades entered online or with Student Services are unalterable unless a Grade Change Form is completed and signed by the instructor. It is the responsibility of the student to request a grade change from the instructor. This procedure must be completed within the semester immediately following the term in which the omission or error occurred.
Final Grade Appeals
The authority for establishing course requirements, competencies, and outcomes, as well as for assessing (grading) student work is vested in the faculty; therefore, the College’s philosophy is that instructors are best positioned to make qualitative evaluations of student work. When a student believes there are inequities or procedural errors in assignment of the final course grades, including grading penalties resulting from academic dishonesty, the student may initiate the following appeal procedure:
- Student meets with instructor to appeal the grade.
- If not resolved above, the student meets with his/her academic advisor. The advisor attempts to resolve the issue with the faculty member and communicates back with the student.
- If not resolved above, the student meets with the appropriate dean to discuss and resolve the dispute.
- If the student feels that the issue has not been satisfactorily resolved, he/she may submit a written appeal explaining the dispute, relevant facts, and supporting documentation to the appropriate dean.
- The instructor, academic advisor, and dean meet to make a decision within ten working days of the submission.
- The decision is communicated to the student within five working days.
- The student may appeal the committee’s decision to the Vice President of Academic Services who will render the final decision within 30 days.
Academic appeals should be made in as timely a manner as possible and must be filed no later than the semester subsequent to when the course in question was taken.
Lamar Community College Student Learning Outcomes
LCC equips students to intellectually and ethically compete for professional and academic advancement in an ever-changing world. The learning outcomes described below represent the essential components that work together to produce the desired academic result of college coursework. LCC utilizes aspects of the Association of American Colleges and Universities LEAP Essential Learning outcomes - https://www.aacu.org/leap/essential-learning-outcomes. It is expected that every LCC graduate will achieve these outcomes.
- Problem Solving
- Reliability & Conscientiousness
- Focus & Follow Through
- Goal Setting
- Civility & Respect
- Ethical Behavior
- Technological Literacy
Social Connectedness & Engaged Citizenship
- Involvement in Campus Life
- Serving & Supporting Others
- Global Awareness
LCC Academic Honesty Philosophy
Lamar Community College strives to provide an environment reflective of our Core Values. Academic honesty is interconnected with our core values of integrity and respect. We steadfastly adhere to high moral principles, honesty, and professional standards; we foster the same values in our students. We believe that the intellectual development that occurs in a college setting is the product of each student developing their own original thoughts and creating original materials. As such LCC values Academic honesty as a cornerstone of our institution.
Academic honesty is “a set of values and skills that promote personal integrity and good practice in teaching, learning and assessment.” ¹ Acting with honesty in our academic work demonstrates respect for our faculty and fellow students. By performing all academic work through the values of honesty and respect, we create a community of trust that fosters a learning environment that equips LCC students to intellectually and ethically compete for professional and academic advancement in an ever-changing world. They help build a sense of self-confidence and are key to building trust within relationships.2 Academic honesty includes but is not limited to performing all academic work without plagiarism, cheating, lying, tampering, stealing, giving or receiving unauthorized assistance from any other person, or using any source of information that is not common knowledge without properly acknowledging the source.3 Academic work includes but is not limited to scholarly work and research conducted by faculty, students and staff.
The College does not tolerate any form of academic misconduct. Even one misconduct infraction can destroy an exemplary reputation that has taken years to build.4 Academic misconduct includes, but is not limited to, plagiarism, cheating, fabrication, and knowingly or recklessly encouraging or making possible any act of plagiarism, cheating, or fabrication.
Plagiarism is the act of appropriating another person’s written, artistic, or musical composition, or portions thereof, or ideas, language or symbols, and then conveying material as the product of one’s own mind, without giving credit to the originator.
In written work, direct quotations, statements which are the result of paraphrasing or summarizing the work of another, and other information which is not considered common knowledge must be cited or acknowledged. Quotation marks or a proper form of identification shall be used to indicate all direct quotations.
Cheating is the act of using or attempting to use, in examination or other academic work, material, information, or study aids which are not permitted by the instructor. Cheating includes, but is not limited to, using books, notes, calculators, copying from or conversing with others during an examination (unless such external aids are permitted by the instructor); or having one person do research, write papers, or take examinations for another person. The submission of large portions of the same work as part of the academic work for more than one course can be considered cheating unless such submission is permitted by the instructor.
Fabrication is the invention of material or its source and using either as an authority in academic work. Fabrication includes, but is not limited to, inventing the data for a scientific experiment; inventing the title and author of a publication in order to use the invented publication as a source; or knowingly attributing material to an incorrect source. See program specific handbook for more information.
An act of Academic Misconduct will be processed according to the Academic Misconduct procedure, Student Disciplinary Procedure, Board Policy (BP) 4-30; System President’s Procedure (SP) 4-31a.
Copyright infringement is the act of exercising, without permission or legal authority, one or more of the exclusive rights granted to the copyright owner under section 106 of the Copyright Act (Title 17 of the United States Code). These rights include the right to reproduce or distribute a copyrighted work. In the filesharing context, downloading or uploading substantial parts of a copyrighted work without authority constitutes an infringement. Penalties for copyright infringement include civil and criminal penalties. In general, anyone found liable for civil copyright infringement may be ordered to pay either actual damages or “statutory” damages affixed at not less than $750 and not more than $30,000 per work infringed. For “willful” infringement, a court may award up to $150,000 per work infringed. A court can, in its discretion, also assess costs and attorneys’ fees. For details, see Title 17, United States Code, Sections 504, 505. Willful copyright infringement can also result in criminal penalties, including imprisonment of up to five years and fines of up to $250,000 per offense. For more information, please see the website of the U.S. Copyright Office here.
1 adapted from https://www.ibo.org/contentassets/71f2f66b529f48a8a61223070887373a/academic-honesty.-principles-into-practice—celina-garza.pdf
2 adapted from University of Berkeley Department of Astronomy Statement of Integrity. http://astro.berkeley.edu/prospective-students/integrity-statement
3 adapted from https://ovpi.uga.edu/sites/default/files/uga-academc-honesty-policy-may-07.pdf
4 Statement adapted from University of Montana College of Business Academic Honesty Statement https://www.business.umt.edu/ethics/academic-honesty.php
Process for Academic Misconduct
When a student engages in some form of academic misconduct, a faculty member has the autonomy to address the incident directly and immediately. The faculty member will impose sanctions as consistent with those outlined in his/her syllabus or institutional standards. These sanctions may include any or all of the following:
- a zero or an “F” on the work in question;
- a zero or an “F” for the course;
- other academic penalties as outlined in the instructor’s course requirements and expectations
Upon a determination of academic misconduct, the faculty member will fill out an Academic Dishonesty Form and submit it the Academic Dean. Any instance of Academic Dishonesty in an LCC course, whether on-campus or Concurrent Enrollment, must be reported, via a formal Academic Dishonesty form, to the college’s Academic Dean. The Academic Dean may decide to impose additional sanctions and may notify other LCC employees about the misconduct as necessary.
- The faculty member will address the specific charge with the student by meeting with the student to discuss the charge, present the evidence, and hear the student’s explanation.
- If the faculty member determines that the student has committed academic misconduct, the faculty member will inform the student of the consequences of the misconduct and the sanctions the faculty member will impose consistent with those outlined in his/her syllabus or institutional standards. Students who are judged to have engaged in some form of academic misconduct will be subject to any or all of the following:
- a zero or an “F” on the work in question;
- a zero or an “F” for the course;
- other academic penalties as outlined in the instructor’s course requirements and expectations.
- The faculty member will fill out an Academic Dishonesty Form and submit it to the Academic Dean. Any instance of Academic Dishonesty in an LCC course, whether on-campus or Concurrent Enrollment, must be reported, via a formal Academic Dishonesty form, to the college’s Academic Dean.
- If a second instance occurs, the Academic Dean will meet with the student to discuss the misconduct and make a determination of any additional sanctions. The Dean will inform the student in writing that this infraction and resulting sanctions will be filed in the Office of the Vice President of Academic and Student Services and will remain a part of the student’s permanent record.
- The Academic Dean will communicate with appropriate LCC employees about the misconduct to provide additional resources and support to students for prevention of further infractions. Appropriate employees may include, but are not limited to: academic advisors; athletic coaches; college counselors; college navigators; concurrent enrollment high school principals and/or counselors; the Director of Library and Learning Support Services; the Resident Life Director; and student club advisors.
- After a documented third offense, additional events are subject to the Student Disciplinary Procedure as noted in the Student Handbook. Multiple, recurring or otherwise egregious incidents may result in suspension or expulsion. Students wishing to appeal penalties resulting from the above should follow the Student Disciplinary Appeal process.
The Lamar Community College academic year is based on a semester system beginning with the summer semester (April/May through July/August), continuing with the fall semester (August through December), and ending with spring semester (January through April/May). See the Welcome section for the current academic calendar.
Recommended full-time course load is 15 to 18 credit hours per semester. Students enrolled in Career and Technical Education programs are exempt from the 18 credit limit; however, they cannot take more than 20 credits per semester without approval of Administration. The maximum course load for concurrent enrollment students is 15 credits per semester. The appropriate vice president, dean or an advisor may require a student to reduce his/her semester course load.
Satisfactory academic progress for full-time students is defined as the successful completion of at least 12 credits per term with a minimum GPA of 2.0. In order to graduate in four semesters a student must complete 15 credits, excluding developmental courses, per semester.
Semester Academic Honors
LCC provides an opportunity for students to be recognized with Academic Honors on a semester-by-semester basis. Students must complete a minimum of 12 college-level credits during the semester to be eligible for this recognition (excludes developmental). The College has three recognized Academic Honors: President’s List, Vice President’s List and Dean’s List. Students who qualify will receive a notation for that semester on their official transcripts. Students who receive a grade of F, I or U will be ineligible for Academic Honors. These lists are published after the end of the regularly scheduled fall and spring semesters based on the information available at that time. (Academic Honors are not awarded for summer semester.)
President’s List - GPA of 4.0
Vice President’s List - GPA of 3.75-3.99
Dean’s List - GPA of 3.5-3.74
Academic Probation and Suspension
LCC wants all students to succeed and encourages all students to make responsible academic choices. Occasionally, a student does not receive the grades necessary to maintain satisfactory academic progress. The College has adopted regulations governing academic probation and suspension:
- The student is placed on academic probation if he/she has attempted at least 9 cumulative credit hours at LCC and his/her cumulative GPA falls below 2.0. Transfer credits from other institutions are not calculated in the GPA.
- The student is placed on academic suspension if he/she fails to attain at least a 2.0 GPA during the probationary semester.
The Registrar will notify you if you are placed on academic probation or suspension; the notification may be made via email to your student email account or regular USPS mail to your address on file. Probation will be in effect until your LCC cumulative GPA reaches a minimum of 2.0.
While on academic probation, you must maintain a minimum semester GPA of 2.0 based on hours completed for EACH semester of attendance. If you fall below the 2.0 semester GPA for any semester while on probation, you will be placed on academic suspension.
A student who is placed on academic suspension is not able to enroll full-time for the next semester of attendance (summer semester excluded) and/or he/she will be dropped from all future semester(s) courses. One may petition the appropriate dean by submitting a formal letter explaining the circumstances that led to being placed on academic suspension and that he/she is ready to resume studies. Processing of petitions may take up to two weeks; therefore, students are encouraged to submit petitions early for enrollment. If the petition is approved, the student may enroll for less than full-time status for one semester. He/she must attain a minimum semester grade point average of 2.0 for that semester, or again is placed on academic suspension.
A student who has been suspended from an academic program has the following options:
- Serve a one-semester suspension period prior to re-admission as a full-time student. At the end of the suspension period, the student may petition the appropriate dean for re-admission.
- Enroll as a part-time student carrying eleven (11) hours or fewer. Once the student achieves a 2.0 GPA, he/she is again able to enroll full-time.
Full-time students who are re-admitted after suspension re-enter on probationary status.
Suspension 2 - If while on S1 status (reinstatement after first suspension) the student’s term GPA again falls below 2.0, the student is placed on Suspension 2. Student is required to “sit out” for two full semesters (spring/fall or fall/spring). Suspension applies to LCC and all CCCS colleges. If student is pre-registered, he/she will be dropped by the Registrar. Student is notified via LCC email account, a hold is placed on the student’s account and a letter sent via USPS. Student is required to meet with the Dean of Academics to develop and plan for success and to map out the courses required to complete their program.
Suspension 3 - If while on S2 status (reinstatement after second suspension) the student’s term GPA again falls below 2.0, the student is placed on Suspension 3. Student is required to “sit out” for two full years. Suspension applies to LCC and all CCCS colleges. If student is pre-registered, he/she will be dropped by the Registrar. Student is notified via LCC email account as well as via a letter sent USPS and a registration hold is placed on the student’s account. Student is required to meet with the Dean of Academics to develop a plan for success and to map out the courses required to complete his/her program.
Note: Academic probation/suspension is different from Financial Aid Warning/Ineligibility. Please see Financial Aid for information about Financial Aid Warning/Ineligibility.
The Academic Renewal policy recognizes that a student’s ability to succeed academically changes over time as life situations and maturity levels change. If approved, an Academic Renewal is recorded as a permanent change to the student’s Lamar Community College academic record. A student seeking an Academic Renewal must complete the Academic Renewal petition form and attach a detailed letter explaining the rationale for the petition, reflection on previous periods of matriculation, and the reasons why the student believes he or she is now prepared for success at LCC. Requests are reviewed by the Academic Dean and are not automatically granted. When an Academic Renewal is granted, the following conditions apply:
- Academic renewal is granted only once and is not reversible;
- There must be at least two academic years between when the coursework was completed and re-enrollment in LCC;
- The student transcript will reflect the entire academic record and no classes will be deleted or removed; an Academic Renewal notation also appears on the transcript. Only courses subsequent to the renewal are included in credits earned toward degree completion and GPA calculations;
- After returning, the student successfully completes at least six (6) semester college level credits with a 2.0 minimum GPA. All courses must be with a “C” grade or better. After enrolling in a second successive semester, a student may apply for Academic Renewal;
- Up to 30 credits of courses prior to the renewal are excluded from credit and GPA calculations;
- In terms of academic and financial aid status, a student granted a renewal has the same rights and privileges as new or returning students in good academic standing; academic renewal will not change Satisfactory Progress for Financial Aid eligibility and previous grades are subject to interpretation by specific Financial Aid Policy;
- Students applying for Academic Renewal are responsible for investigating the potential impact on transfer admission, VA, and other agencies and organizations. Other institutions receiving an LCC transcript for transfer of academic courses are not bound by this policy and may choose to calculate student’s transfer GPA to include all grades, even those excluded under this policy.
Students are expected to attend all sessions for courses in which they enroll. When circumstances make regular attendance impossible, students should report such absences to the instructor as soon as possible and make up assignments as required. If students do not attend any class sessions between the start of the course and the census (drop) date, they may be identified as a “no-show” by the instructor and dropped from the course. Online students should be aware that if they do not log in to online classes prior to the census date, they may be reported as “no-shows” as well. It is the student’s responsibility to drop courses one does not attend; the College reserves the right to drop documented “no-show” students. Being dropped as a no-show student can have significant negative consequences for students on financial aid and/or veterans’ benefits.
LCC Administrators may drop or withdraw students for other documented reasons.
Attendance in an online course is defined as accessing the course and completing at least one academic activity. What constitutes an online academic activity may vary from course to course, based on the uniqueness of each course.
Instructors must inform students of their specific attendance policies verbally and/or on syllabi; it is the student’s duty to know an instructor’s attendance policy. If a student misses numerous classes, he/she may be advised to withdraw from a course. The instructor also has the option of setting guidelines for how attendance may affect a student’s grade. Participation in College-sponsored activities or other excused absence does not relieve students from making up work missed as required by the instructor.
Students may add or drop courses online, or in person by contacting the Student Services Center. Any attempted schedule changes that cannot be completed online must be done in person through the Student Services Center. The Drop/Add form is available in the Student Service Center. It is the responsibility of the student to complete the form, secure all required signatures, notify the advisor of the change, and return the form to the Student Services Center. No drop or add is official until the completed form is returned and recorded. The effective date for the Drop/Add is the date the completed form is received by Student Services.
Students are financially and academically responsible for all courses for which they have registered until the student formally drops or withdraws from the course. Notifying an instructor or advisor is not sufficient to drop or withdraw; the student must follow the formal drop or withdrawal process through Student Services. Failure to complete the formal drop/withdrawal process, even for courses never attended, is likely to result in an “F” grade and the student incurring the cost of the course.
Students may add open classes during the first week of the term without approval. After the first week, class adds require instructor approval with instructor’s initial on the add form. No class adds are permitted after the census date.
Students may drop a class at any time prior to the census date. Drops made before census date result in no financial or academic liability for the class.
The “incomplete” grade is a temporary grade and is designed for students who, because of extraordinary circumstances are unable to complete their coursework within the semester but have completed a majority of coursework (defined as at least 75% of all course assignments and tests) with a grade C or better.
The student is responsible to initiate a request for an “incomplete” grade; forms are available from the Student Services Center.
Incomplete grades which are not converted to a letter grade by the instructor after one subsequent semester (not including summer semester) revert to an “F” grade.
Last Date of Attendance
An Instructor is required to provide the last date of attendance for each student who is awarded an “I,” “F,” or “U/F” grade. In addition, if a withdrawal grade of “AW” or “W” is listed as a final grade, then the last date of attendance is also required to be furnished by the instructor.
After the census date, up to the withdrawal date (80% of course completion) students may officially withdraw from a course(s). A student can officially withdraw online by accessing his/her portal account (Lope Access) or at the Student Services Center. In extreme circumstances, a student can request an Administrative withdrawal from an Administrator. A withdrawal results in no academic grade (a W” is noted on the student’s record). Students withdrawing from a course after the census date are obligated to pay the full cost of the course. Students withdrawing from courses after the census date are obligated to pay the full course tuition & fees.
Certain programs may have clearly stated attendance and other standards that could result in a student being administratively withdrawn from course(s) by the Vice President of Academic and Student Services. Other administrative withdrawals are granted only under exceptional circumstances such as the following:
- The student is unable to take the necessary steps to withdraw (i.e., physically unable to complete the process) or;
- The student has violated college policy.
Withdrawal for Emergency/Military Activation
Military and emergency management personnel who are unable to complete a course due to a call to active status under a state or national emergency have a choice either to withdraw from courses(s) without a grade or receive an incomplete with an opportunity to complete the coursework at a later time. Documentation of official TDY assignment is required and must be approved by the Vice President of Academic and Student Services.
All college-level courses may be repeated. Each registration for the course and each grade received is listed on the transcript. On the transcript a notation follows the course indicating that the course was repeated and designating whether the course is included in the GPA. The highest grade is used in the GPA calculation. All credit hours earned for initial and repeated courses are deducted from a student’s remaining COF stipend eligible hours.
In the event that the same grade is earned two or more times for a repeated course, the most recent instance of the duplicate grade will be included in the term and cumulative GPA. All other recent instance of the duplicate grade will be excluded from the term and cumulative GPA.
“Repeated” courses may be applied only one time to a certificate or degree, except for variable credit courses and designated courses that may be repeated for professional or personal development. LCC reserves the right to designate courses that may be “repeated” within program requirements.
Developmental courses are eligible to be repeated with prior approval from the Dean of Academics. All developmental courses appear on transcripts.
A directed study course is specifically designed for a student who, due to extraordinary circumstances, is unable to attend regularly scheduled class meetings of a required course. The directed study is appropriate only under special circumstances (e.g., the student needs the course for graduation and the course is not being offered during the student’s final semester; or the student has special needs that prevent attendance in a regularly scheduled class). If the course the student wants to take is offered as a regular class, an online course or other distance learning method, then the student is advised to take the course in one of these alternative delivery modes rather than request directed study.
Prior to beginning a directed study course, a student must complete and have an approved directed study contract specifying the work needed to meet course requirements. The directed study contract requires approval signatures from the student’s advisor and the appropriate dean. The student and directed study instructor determine meeting times to monitor and discuss the student’s progress. See tuition and fees section for more information regarding cost.
Course Delivery Options
Lamar Community College understands that students have different learning styles and lifestyle demands. It offers students several options for taking courses through LCC. Options include:
- Classroom-based courses These include most courses offered on the LCC campus, taught in traditional classrooms, technology-enriched classrooms and labs, and science/nursing labs.
- Web-enhanced courses Courses use the Internet in the class, but do not substitute any face-to-face time with Web content. Web content includes course evaluations, tests, and assignments.
- Hybrid courses Courses substitute some face-to-face contact time with Web content. A hybrid course will have a maximum of 66% of the contact hours for the course delivered online.
- Online courses Online classes do not have any face-to-face contact time; all work and interaction take place on line. This includes LCC Online and CCCOnline, CCCS’s online learning option. While LCC Online courses are taught by on-campus and adjunct instructors, CCCOnline courses are taught by instructors throughout the United States.
- Live-remote courses offered live to students at remote locations. These courses include the Distance Learning courses established in cooperation with Southeastern-member BOCES schools as well as courses taught on campus that allow remote access to students not located in the classroom at LCC.
Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) is non-college or experience-based learning that has been attained outside the sponsorship of accredited postsecondary education institutions. PLA includes learning acquired from work and life experiences; correspondence and extension courses; individual study and reading; civic, community and volunteer work; and participation in informal courses, in-service training sponsored by associations, business, government, and industry or successful completion of Colorado Department of Corrections approved CTE certificate programs.
- PLA Credit is not awarded for experience, but rather for college level learning which entails knowledge, skills, and competencies that students have obtained as a result of their prior learning experiences.
- Once a student has been admitted to the College and has chosen a program of study, the student becomes eligible for PLA Credit.
- Academic credit will be awarded only for those courses directly applicable to the student’s declared program as outlined in college publications.
- A student may use PLA Credit to fulfill any degree, certificate, or graduation requirement, but a mandatory 25% of credit must be earned at the College that will confer the degree or certificate.
- All work assessed for PLA Credit must meet or exceed “C” level work. Minimum cut-off scores on standardized tests are set at “C” level work.
- PLA Credit will be assessed by faculty subject matter experts as determined by the College.
- Please see the PLA Credit Cost Matrix box below for the fees for PLA.
- PLA cannot be used to meet residency credit requirements of certificate or degree programs.
- LCC does not guarantee transfer of credit for Prior Learning outside the Colorado Community College System.
- All work assessed for PLA must meet or exceed “C” level work. Minimum cut-off scores on standardized tests are set at “C” level work.
Methods for Awarding Credit for Prior Learning
There are five methods available for awarding PLA: standardized tests, institutional challenge examinations, portfolios, published guides, and successful completion of a CCCS-approved Colorado Department of Corrections (CTE) certificate program.
To apply for PLA Credit, please contact your Academic Advisor or the Dean of Academic Services.
Lamar Community College offers credit for achievement and knowledge gained outside the traditional classroom through standardized tests such as College Level Examination Program (CLEP); both general and subject examinations; the Advanced Placement Program (APP) and International Baccalaureate (IB) programs; DSST Exams (formerly known as DANTES exams); UExcel Exams (formerly known as Excelsior College Examinations); and other nationally recognized industry testing, training, licensing or certification programs. The College charges no fees for credits awarded; however, the student incurs cost associated with administering a national standardized test. For information, contact Learning Support Services @ 719.336.1528.
Institutionally-approved examinations such as objective tests; essays; and oral, hands-on or simulated demonstrations will be used to evaluate the competency of students in specific courses listed in the College catalog. Examinations are the equivalent of the comprehensive final examination for the courses challenged and are available at the option of and with approval of the appropriate dean.
A student who believes that he/she possesses competencies for a required course prior to registering may request a “challenge” of the course from the appropriate dean. The challenge exam form is available from the Student Services Center.
Currently enrolled students at Lamar Community College can earn credit for experiential learning through presentation of a portfolio. The portfolio is not merely a study of accumulated knowledge but rather an examination of learned life experiences discussed in essays and presented through publicly verifiable documentation. Faculty in the appropriate program area evaluate the portfolio and award credit commensurate with learning. For more information and/or portfolio guidelines, contact the Academic Dean.
Development of Portfolio
Upon request from a student, Lamar Community College (LCC) will provide a course, workshop, or orientation session designed to assist students in identifying, describing and documenting skills and knowledge gained through prior learning experiences. LCC will also provide, upon request, more detailed information regarding the required format of the portfolio. When developing their portfolios, students must address each of the evaluative criteria delineated below:
- The learning must be demonstrable and verifiable;
- The learning content must have both theoretical and applied components;
- The learning must be college level;
- The learning must be currently applicable to the student’s certificate or degree requirements; and
- The learning must be equivalent to the competencies of a specific course or courses.
Evaluation of Portfolio
- Evaluation of the portfolio will be conducted by subject matter expert(s), designated by the System or LCC.
- The portfolio work must be evaluated as “C” level or above and contain evidence of proficiency in the competencies in the course(s), in order to award academic credit.
- The evaluator should be prepared to produce documentation to defend the evaluation, including rubrics and notes. No partial credit will be awarded.
- The student may appeal the evaluation decision according to the appeal process outlined in the CCCS PLA Credit Manual. Colleges are responsible for developing the process and publicizing information to students.
The System accepts credit recommendations for both military and industry evaluated training programs and credentials from the following local and nationally recognized entities.
- Educational Experience in the Armed Services as documented on the Joint Services Transcript (JST): The credit recommendations of the American Council on Education (ACE), as published in The Guide to the Evaluation of Educational Experiences in the Armed Services, will be used to evaluate military training and learning experiences.
- ACE Workforce Training as documented on the ACE Transcript: National Guide to College Credit for Workforce Training.
- Workforce and other Non-Accredited Training as documented on The National College Credit Recommendations Service (NCCRS) transcript. In the event of conflicting credit recommendations between the ACE and NCCRS organizations for the same training or credential, the ACE recommendations will take precedence.
- Faculty Evaluated Local Industry and Workplace Training: Individual colleges may use information obtained through their own prior learning assessment evaluations for local industry and training programs. As appropriate, these evaluations should be shared with other colleges to support students moving around the state.
Military or Business/Industry Training Credit
Formal military and/or business/industry training may qualify for credit. Military credit is based on submission of a Joint Services Transcript (JST), Defense Language Proficiency Test (DLPT), SMART (Navy and Marine Corps), AARTS (Army) or Community College of the Air Force transcript, or through a service record evaluation using American Council on Education Guidelines.
Business/Industry training credit is also awarded based on an evaluation using the appropriate American Council on Education guidelines, and the National College Credit Recommendations Service (NCCRS) transcript. The college may use information obtained through their own prior learning assessment evaluations for local industry and training programs. The College does not charge fees for credits awarded under this policy. For more information, contact the Academic Dean.
Transfer of Credit
- Within the System: PLA Credit must be accepted for transfer amongst all colleges, provided that the credits apply to a degree or certificate program at the institution the student is entering.
- To State Colleges and Universities: Transfer guides and articulation agreements shall include information on the transfer of PLA Credit as stipulated in the Colorado Commission on Higher Education (CCHE) Policy and General Procedures for Transfer.
CCCS-Approved Colorado Department of Corrections CTE Certificates
A student who completes coursework at a Colorado Department of Corrections facility may transfer any career and technical post-secondary course credits with a grade of “C” or better earned while enrolled in the approved program. These eligible career/technical credits may be applied to the requirements of a program. These eligible career/technical credits may be applied to the requirements of a program leading to a certificate or to an Associate of Applied Science or an Associate of General Studies degree at a Colorado Community College System college. Transfer is limited to CTE coursework. Post-Secondary credits accepted in transfer from the Colorado Department of Corrections must come from a State Board for Community Colleges and Occupational Education (SBCCOE) approved CTE certificate program and be instructed by CCCS credentialed faculty. An annual review of Department of Correction Programs will be completed by the CCCS Chief Academic Officer/Provost or her/his designee.
PLA CREDIT COST MATRIX
|No cost for transcript evaluation. Testing fees may apply
||No cost for transcript evaluation.
If a student has stopped out of college, the Alternative Credit Project™ (ACP) provides a pool of online courses that Lamar Community College will accept towards a degree (up to 75% or 45 ACP credits). See LCC’s Alternative Credit Project web page about how this works for LCC students.
Lamar Community College makes its educational resources available to citizens throughout Southeastern Colorado through on-campus classes and outreach programs in Prowers, Baca, Kiowa, and Cheyenne Counties. These classes serve the educational needs of individuals who are unable to devote themselves to full-time study. Services can include courses for professional upgrading or re-training, avocational courses, and evening/weekend associate degree programs on and off campus. Also included are special interest non-credit courses, special programs, conferences or workshops, and co-sponsorship of community activities.
Employers may choose to help their organization succeed by upgrading their employees’ skill set. The College can organize a short course or a group of courses in virtually any subject to meet organizational needs. Individuals, businesses, industry, social, and cultural groups have requested many training modules while the College has initiated others. The College is available to develop programs in cooperation with other educational institutions, businesses, government, health agencies, and organizations within the community.
These courses enable high school students to receive concurrent high school and college-level credit. The primary purpose is to deliver a quality college experience to high performing high school students. Courses challenge the student in rigorous college level coursework. To be eligible, students must be enrolled in high school (9-12th grade). Specific placement tests are required for admission to some college courses. More information is available through the Concurrent Enrollment Coordinator at 719.336.1514.
A “fifth-year” program, ASCENT allows high school students to continue an additional year after twelfth grade as both a high school and LCC student. Students must be pre-approved by school district administration, and other conditions apply. Contact the Concurrent Enrollment Coordinator at 719.336.1514 to determine if ASCENT is best for an individual student.
Each student has a degree of flexibility in planning a program of study at Lamar Community College. Important considerations in planning are the student’s educational and career objectives. A student who changes programs of study may take longer to graduate or may transfer with a loss of credit.
Students who intend to earn a baccalaureate degree should plan coursework to meet the requirements of the Associate of Arts (A.A.), Associate of Science (A.S.), or certain Associate of General Studies (A.G.S.) degrees. Following the program degree plan ensures observation of general education requirements and enough elective credits to fulfill the 60 credit hours required for these degrees. Students may include determination of an area of emphasis, but do not need an emphasis area in order to earn an A.A. or A.S. It is important that students work with their academic advisors and the Transfer Coordinator.
The Colorado Community College System (CCCS) has adopted a set of guidelines to define the conditions under which a student can expect to graduate with an Associate of Arts or an Associate of Science degree in two calendar years. The Academic Advising Center at each individual CCCS community college can provide additional information. At LCC, students can acquire this information at the MAP Center, Student Services Office or from their Academic Advisor.
CCCS colleges guarantee that a student is able to complete all coursework necessary to earn an A.A. or an A.S. degree from a specific CCCS college in 60 credit hours and in 24 months.
Students must satisfy all the conditions described below to be eligible for this guarantee:
- Enroll at the same community college for at least four consecutive semesters, excluding summer.
- Register within one week of the beginning of registration for each semester.
- Have completed required remedial coursework before beginning the count of two years to degree completion.
- Enroll in and pass (with a “C” or better in each course) an average of 15 credit hours in coursework that applies to the A.A./A.S. in four consecutive semesters.
- Obtain a recommended plan of study for the A.A. or A.S. degree, signed by the student and community college advisor, prior to registration for the second semester, and according to the requirements of the students’ community college.
- Follow the signed plan of study.
- Continue with the same degree (A.A. or A.S.) from entrance to graduation.
- Retain documentation demonstrating that above requirements were satisfied (advising records, transcripts, etc.).
Your A.A. or A.S. degree will transfer to all Colorado public 4- year colleges and universities with the following requirements.
- Complete your A.A. or A.S. degree including 35 credits of state guaranteed general education courses,
- Earn a “C” grade or better in each course,
- At least 60 hours of your A.A./A.S. degree will transfer completely, upon admission to a baccalaureate liberal arts and sciences major in Colorado’s public four-year institutions* AND
- You are guaranteed to be able to finish your liberal arts and sciences baccalaureate degree in just another 60 hours.
*See your transfer advisor as soon as possible for a list of degrees applicable. Special articulation agreements exist for Teacher Education, Business, and Engineering that specify which lower division credits you need. Certain majors require essential lower-division prerequisites. Please see an advisor for information about obtaining a transfer guide that will help you select lower-division credits that will speed you on your way to finishing the baccalaureate degree.
Credit earned for prior learning, Advanced Placement, correspondence courses, CLEP and other tested-only credit may not apply. The institution to which you transfer will evaluate these credits according to its own policies.
Only academic courses with a letter grade of “C” or better will be accepted for transfer; courses with grades of “F,” “D,” “IP,” “I,” “S,” “U,” “AU,” and “Z” are not transferable. If a course is taken pass/fail or satisfactory/unsatisfactory, the grade must be “C” or better to be satisfactory or pass.
Upon completion of the Transfer Core all core classes will be guaranteed to transfer. If the Transfer Core is not completed, courses will be evaluated on a course-by-course basis.
Completion of both the Transfer Core and an A.A. or A.S. degree with a grade of “C” or better in each of the courses in the Transfer may qualify student to transfer under the Statewide Transfer Policy (60 + 60), but does not guarantee it.
Students who began classes in the fall of 2003 or after must follow the guidelines established for the new Guarantee Transfer Courses.
Student Appeals Policy
You may file an appeal if you
- graduated with an A.A./A.S. degree,
- completed 35 credits of state-guaranteed general education courses, and
- earned a C grade or better in each course, AND your transcript evaluation indicates that you need more than 60 hours to complete your bachelor’s degree, or your state-guaranteed courses are NOT applied to graduation requirements.
For a complete copy of the Colorado Commission on Higher Education’s Transfer Policy, please see www.cccs.edu or www.state.co.us/cche.html.
In an effort to expand options and opportunities for our students, LCC has entered into articulation agreements with four-year colleges and universities for various programs. The course requirements for these articulations are specific to the institution to which the student would transfer their Associate of Art or Associate of Science degree. Below is a list of current articulation agreements. These agreements allow students to take their first two years of study at Lamar Community College and transfer all courses in order to pursue their bachelor’s degree at a four-year institution in Colorado and beyond. Please see your academic advisor or the transfer coordinator for additional agreements, as well as details and further information.
||Program of Study
|UC- Colorado Springs
||Nursing; Sports Conditioning and Training; Health and Wellness Promotion; Health Science Pre-Physical Therapy;
|Mesa State College
||Athletic Training (pending);
|CSU - Pueblo
||Exercise Science (pending);
Associate of Arts (no designation); Associate of Science (no designation);
AA - Anthropology*; AA - Business*; AA - Agricultural Business*; AS Animal Science*; AA - Criminal Justice*; AA - Economics*; AA - Early Childhood Education; AS - Engineering; AA - Elementary Education; AS - Equine Science*; AA - History*; AA/AS - Psychology*; AS - Soil & Crop Science *; AA - Studio Art*.
* Degrees with designation. See Areas of Study for more information.
Graduation and Commencement
Students planning to graduate are required to meet all requirements for their degree or certificate. Students must complete an “Intent to Graduate” form and file it with the Student Services Center during the semester prior to anticipated graduation. Candidates for graduation must fulfill these requirements:
- Submit Intent to Graduate form by October 1 for spring completion, March 1 for summer completion, or April 1 for fall completion.
- Achieve minimum number of semester credit hours of satisfactory completion necessary to meet the curriculum requirements for the student’s program of study.
- Earn a minimum of a 2.0 cumulative grade point average for all work attempted.
- Students must earn a grade of C or better for all course applied toward the award of any Associate of Arts or Associate of Science degrees. Students matriculated prior to 2012-2013 and continuously enrolled may still be able to apply a grade of D toward their program if the program allowed it per the catalog for the year in which they matriculated.
- For students transferring from another institution, earn 15 credit hours or more toward a degree while in attendance at LCC. For certificates, at least 25% of credits earned must be completed at LCC.*
- Upon completion of a degree, students may be awarded an additional new degree after successfully completing 15 different applicable credits at LCC.
- If a student is unable to complete the requirements for a certificate or associate degree by the graduation date noted on the approved Intent to Graduate form, then the student must submit a new Intent to Graduate form with a revised graduation date listed.
- The catalog in use during a student’s first enrollment in the college is normally used in determining completion of degree or certificate requirements. The effective catalog may, however, be no more than six (6) years old at the time of graduation. A student may elect to meet the requirements of any subsequent catalog published during the six-year period including the current year. A student who has a break in college enrollment of three consecutive semesters or more, including summer semester, must meet the program requirements of the catalog in use at the time of readmission.
*In order to complete the requirements for an LCC degree or certificate, a student must earn 25% or more of the required credit hours (minimum of 15 credit hours for a degree) at LCC. Transferred credits must be documented by an official transcript that shows grades of “C” or better for those credits. A College may consider an appeal to award a degree or certificate to a student transferring from another CCCS College and who has not completed 25% of their credits in residence. In order to approve the appeal, the College must be able to explain and justify its decision. Two or more CCCS Colleges may enter into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that would allow students to complete a degree or certificate without satisfying the 25% credits in residence requirement. The MOU must be signed by each participating College, shared with the Vice Chancellor for Academic and Student Affairs, and provided to the Higher Learning Commission.
A student who is within 12 credits of successful degree completion at the time of spring commencement and plans to complete those credits at LCC during the summer semester, may be eligible to participate in commencement exercises.
Online courses with registrations through LCC are included in LCC residency hours.
The College reserves the right to substitute courses for those no longer offered, to modify course content at any time, to approve the substitution of one course for another in any program or degree, or to waive any course prerequisite.
A $35.00 non-refundable graduation fee is assessed to a student’s account in the semester a student submits an “intent to graduate” form to LCC Student Services Center. Students are encouraged to participate in graduation activities, including walking in commencement, upon completion of their degree or certificate programs.
Students graduating with multiple degrees and/or certificates will only be assessed the $35 fee once per two consecutive academic years.
Candidates for graduation from LCC may expect to receive confirmation of their graduation status six to eight weeks after the end of the term. During that time, fulfillment of graduation requirements is verified and posted to transcripts, and diplomas are mailed. There is a $25.00 charge for replacement diplomas.
A formal graduation ceremony is held once a year at the conclusion of spring semester. Candidates for graduation include both certificate and degree-seeking students. For graduation information contact the Student Services Center.
Graduation honors recognize outstanding academic achievement throughout a student’s academic career at LCC. Honors are awarded to students who complete the requirements for an associate degree and earn a 3.5 or better cumulative grade point average. Only college level courses completed at LCC are included in the GPA calculation. Individual colleges may choose to designate a minimum number of credits to be earned in residence at the college to be eligible for graduation honors. The three levels of recognition are defined as follows and are posted on the student’s transcript.
|Summa Cum Laude (“with highest honor”)
||4.00 Cumulative GPA
|Magna Cum Laude (“with great honor”)
||3.75 to 3.99 Cumulative GPA
|Cum Laude (“with honor”)
||3.50 to 3.749 Cumulative GPA
|(See Grades and Grade Reports earlier in this section for more information)