The academic policies and procedures contained in this section are necessary reading for all students attending Springfield Technical Community College. Please take some time to look through this segment as well as the entire Student Handbook.
The normal load for full-time students is 12 to 18 semester hours of credit. You should work with your academic advisor or counselor to see how many hours are right for you.
The quality point average (QPA) required in order to maintain a good academic standing is:
- A minimum of 1.5 cumulative average for students who have attempted 12 or more credits at STCC, including accepted transfer credits;
- A minimum of 1.7 cumulative average for students who have attempted 27 or more credits at STCC, including accepted transfer credits;
- A minimum of 1.9 cumulative average for students who have attempted 42 or more credits at STCC, including accepted transfer credits;
- A minimum of 2.0 cumulative average for students who have attempted 60 or more credits at STCC, including accepted transfer credits;
Note: Incomplete, withdrawal, and failure grades are counted as courses attempted, but incomplete grades and withdrawals are not factored into the quality point average.
Address Or Name Change
Students are responsible for notifying the Registrar's Office promptly of any changes in address and/or name. Name change requests must be accompanied by a certified copy of a court order indicating a legal name change has been granted. This requirement is consistent with state law requirements for changing one's name legally.
In keeping with the College's commitment to the success of its students, advising services are offered to every student. Critical to academic success, academic advising is a shared process between student and advisor that emphasizes the clarification and achievement of the student's academic goals.
Each day student at the College is assigned an academic advisor, who is a member of the faculty or professional staff. Students who have clear educational/career goals are typically assigned to advisors who have expertise in the students' field of interest, while students who are unsure about their goals are assigned to advisors who can help them define what these goals may be. Academic advisors assist students with academic decisions and serve as a source of information and support to their advisees. Students are encouraged to take advantage of this resource, while understanding that academic and career decisions are ultimately their own responsibility.
Students are notified of their advisor's name and location soon after classes begin.Students who attend evening, weekend, and/or online classes exclusively may arrange advising appointments through the Registrars' Office. In the middle of each semester, students meet with their advisors to select and register for the next semester's courses. Please note that many academic transactions require the advisor's signature, including course withdrawals and applications for graduation.
Attendance/Tardiness and Absences
As part of their responsibilities as learners, students are expected to report to class on time, and to attend classes regularly. If a student will be absent from class, the student should contact the professor directly to notify him or her of the absence. If the student is unable to contact the instructor he or she may notify the Dean of Student Affairs Office. Please note that notifying the Dean of Student Affairs Office does not mean that the student is excused for the absences.
Individual members of the college faculty set their own classroom attendance policies, which can be found on the course syllabi, and faculty have the right to withdraw students who fail to comply with their attendance policies. Alternatively, the Registrar of the College may administratively withdraw students for excessive absences if, at midterm of a Fall or Spring semester, a failing midterm grade is reported and the faculty member also reports that the student has not attended classes since the end of the fifth week of the semester.
Students may attend certain classes as auditors (i.e., without receiving credit) under the following conditions:
- Permission must be obtained from the advisor and/or instructor and submitted to the Registrar during the registration period, no later than the last day of Add/Drop.
- All established charges for the course must be paid.
- Priority in registration will be given to students who are registering in the course for credit.
- Audit courses will be reflected on students' permanent records as AU.
Students who wish to demonstrate proficiency in a course may take a Challenge Exam. The College has produced Challenge Examinations in subject-matter areas not found in the CLEP battery so that people who wish to demonstrate competence in specialized areas may do so. For more information, call the Coordinator of the Testing Center at 755-4709.
Change In Class Schedule
Students are permitted to add and drop courses (subject to the approval of faculty advisors) prior to the start of the semester and during the add/drop period without penalty.
Students may withdraw from a course after the Add/Drop period by submitting a Withdrawal Form, with signatures of the instructor and advisor, to the Registrar's Office. A final course grade of "W" will be recorded on the student's transcript and will not be calculated into the GPA. Students should refer to the Academic Calendar for the semester deadline date for filing a withdrawal. Information regarding the STCC refund policy is available from the Student Accounts Office.
Students wishing to officially withdraw from the College during the semester must submit a Withdrawal Form to the Registrar's Office. Final course grades of "WX" will be recorded on the student's transcript and will not be calculated into the GPA. Students should refer to the Academic Calendar for the semester deadline date for filing a withdrawal. Information regarding the STCC refund policy is available from the Student Accounts Office.
Cooperating Colleges Of Greater Springfield (CCGS)
The Cooperating Colleges of Greater Springfield is an educational consortium composed of the eight public and private colleges in the Greater Springfield area: American International College, Bay Path College, Elms College, Holyoke Community College, Springfield College, Springfield Technical Community College, Western New England College, and Westfield State College. Founded in 1971, the organization fosters the sharing of programs, talents, and facilities, to bring to this area the educational resources of a university while retaining the initiative and vitality of independent institutions.
Through cooperative planning at the presidential level and committees from different administrative levels, CCGS aims: (1) to enrich the educational offerings, cultural events, and social activities of the colleges, (2) to offer a wide variety of programs and fields of study to students at each institution, (3) to effect fiscal economies and to eliminate unnecessary duplication through joint planning, and (4) to act as an economic and educational resource to the Greater Springfield community.
The presidents of the eight member colleges of CCGS serve as its Board of Directors. They meet on a regular basis throughout the year to provide overall direction of the consortium's activities, and to ensure effective coordination of intercampus programs.
2) Academic Exchange
Cross-registration has been established so that, in each semester, any CCGS student attempting at least six semester hours in a day division degree program at their home institution, may enroll at a host CCGS college for a regular semester day division course, as long as the desired course is not over-subscribed and will be used to fulfill the student's degree requirements at the home institution. CCGS registration is limited to two courses per semester totaling up to eight credits. Students pay their home institution for the course(s). This policy does not apply to continuing education and summer courses at STCC. Contact the Registrar at the college where you wish to register to verify that institution's policy. Study at the host institution is scheduled as part of the student's normal credit load, and the registrar of the home college keeps all records for academic achievement. This cross-registration includes Army and Air Force Officer Training Corps (ROTC). (See the STCC catalog for further details.)
Students and faculty of CCGS colleges have direct access to the library collections of all eight colleges that collectively have over one million volumes, thus greatly expanding the opportunities for independent study and research. The Cooperating Libraries of Greater Springfield (CLGS) also includes the Springfield City Library and Western New England Law School Library. Students must have a current STCC library bar code on their school IDs to borrow items from any of the CLGS collections. Barcodes must be updated each semester.
A list of serials, magazines and journals in the member libraries and in 20 additional college and hospital libraries in Western Massachusetts is available online at: http://www.wmclgs.org/.
4) Career Fair
The CCGS Career Services officers organize an annual career fair for the students and alumni of the eight colleges. The career fair is held at different institutions each year.
Springfield Technical Community College's copyright policy and sanctions related to copyright infringement are located at http://www.stcc.edu/academics/policies/General_Policies.htm.asp. Additionally, students responisble for the unauthorized distribution of copyrighted material, including unauthorized peer-to-peer file sharing, will be subject to sanctions under the following: the STCC Student Code of Conduct, the STCC Accepatble Use Policy for Information Technology Resources, as well as possible civil and criminal liabilites.
In order to recognize above-average academic performance, a Dean's List is published each Fall and Spring semester and is noted on the official transcript. Any full-time matriculating student carrying 12 college level credits or more within the semester and who earns a 3.3 quality point average is placed on the Dean's List provided that no grade is less than a "C" (2.0) or an Incomplete grade in that semester. Matriculating students carrying less than 12 college level credits in a given semester may be awarded Dean's List status in the Spring semester if they accumulate a minimum of 12 college level credits during the Fall and Spring semesters and achieve a 3.3 quality point average with no grade less than a "C" (2.0) or an Incomplete grade for that period.
Developmental Courses (Non-College Level)
STCC offers courses that aid students with deficiencies in specific subject areas. These courses, with course numbers below 100, are intended to raise the student's skill to college-level. The following policy applies:
- Academic credit will be awarded for developmental courses, but will not count toward graduation credit.
- Developmental courses shall not be calculated into a student's quality point average on a semester basis, and will not be calculated into a student's cumulative QPA. However, these courses are calculated along with college-level credit to determine academic standing.
- All developmental courses shall appear on students' transcripts.
Be sure that you consult your academic advisor to see which of your courses are developmental.
|Quality Points Earned
per Credit Hour
* Non-credit courses are not figured into the Quality Point Average.
The Springfield Technical Community College Board of Trustees has statutory authority under the Commonwealth's Board of Higher Education to confer academic degrees. Candidates for Graduation shall have fulfilled the following requirements:
- Candidates for degrees and Board of Higher Education approved certificate programs must meet all departmental graduation requirements. A minimum of 15 credit hours in the major must be earned in residence at STCC.
- Students enrolled in an Associate in Science degree program are required to take a minimum of 20 credits in general education. For those in an Associate in Arts program, the minimum 33 credits in general education. For the Associate in Applied Science, the general education requirement is 16 credits. The configuration of courses is distributed among the math and natural sciences, the humanities and the social and behavioral sciences.
- Candidates for certificates of completion must meet all the departmental graduation requirements. A minimum of 12 credit hours in the major must be earned in residency at STCC.
- The student must have earned a minimum cumulative quality point average of 2.0 for all college level courses. Developmental courses are not credited toward graduation requirements.
- To earn a second degree at STCC, the student must complete a minimum of 15 separate and distinct credit hours in the major at STCC with a minimum GPA of 2.0, and meet all specific requirements for the new program. To earn a second certificate of completion at STCC, the student must complete a minimum of 12 separate and distinct credit hours in the major at STCC with a minimum GPA of 2.0, and meet all specific requirements of the new certificate of completion. Students wishing to complete both a degree and a certificate within the same department may do so as long as they fulfill all above requirements for both the degree and the certificate. When under these circumstances requirements overlap and the same course is required for both the degree and the certificate, students may apply the credit for a course they have taken only once toward both the degree and the certificate.
Effective Fall 2010 Updated 9-14-11.
Honors Program: A Commonwealth Honors Program
Responding to the needs of its many highly motivated and gifted students, Springfield Technical Community College offers Honors-level courses, an Honors Certificate and Scholarship Program, as well as Designations in Honors for those students of exceptional ability who are seeking an enriched collegiate experience.
Honors Program participants are selected on the basis of their academic potential and motivation. Entering freshmen with a 3.5 QPA from high school, or a 3.0 QPA from a high school honors program (or its equivalent), or a 1000 combined SAT score are eligible to apply for admission.
Currently-enrolled students at STCC are eligible after completing 12 college-level credits, if their QPA is 3.5 or better.
Students whose QPA's do not meet these standards, but who feel they have the ability and interest necessary to participate in the Honors Program may apply for admission by submitting a letter of recommendation from a recent teacher and an original piece of writing demonstrating academic competence (for example, a paper for a recent course).
DESIGNATIONS IN THE HONORS PROGRAM
For students interested in participating, but unable to complete the requirement for the Certificate and Scholarship, we have designed designations in Honors. Please note that the scholarship money is awarded only to Certificate Recipients.
Honors Certificate and Scholarship Recipient: A student who has completed satisfactorily all requirements for the Honors Certificate. The scholarship is awarded upon graduation.
The requirements - totaling 15 credits--are:
- 6 credits - Two Colloquia
- 3 credits - Library Research Colloquium
- 6 (+) credits - Add-on Components/Honors Independent Study
Commonwealth Honors Program Scholar: Student must have
- A cumulative GPA of 3.2/4.0
- Completed three honors courses (nine-credit hours) with a grade of B or better.
The program provides students an option to substitute an honors thesis or project involving independent research for one of the three required honors courses.
- One honors seminar or colloquium, which is interdisciplinary, for honors-level students only and preferably, team-taught.
Springfield Technical Community College Scholar: A student is required to complete satisfactorily 9 credits worth of honors work, such as add-on projects in three college-level courses or two honors-add ons and one colloquium or two colloquia and one honors add-on.
The grade of Incomplete (I) indicates that a major requirement of the course has not been completed. The following policy applies:
- The Incomplete grade is a temporary grade reserved for those special circumstances when a student, otherwise in good standing in a course, is unable to satisfy all course requirements by the end of the semester.
- The Incomplete grade is appropriate when the student is likely to complete the missing work by the end of the fourth week of the subsequent semester.
- Upon completion of the work, the instructor will change the "I" to a permanent grade; otherwise, the incomplete "I" will change to an "F" four weeks after the beginning of the next regular academic semester.
At mid-semester, students will be graded by each of their professors. These grades will be recorded by the Registrar and forwarded to each student's advisor during registration. These grades will not become part of a student's permanent record but are used to indicate his/her performance through the first half of the semester.
Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society
The Alpha Psi Sigma Chapter of the International Honor society for two-year colleges offers membership to any student who has earned 12 graduation credits with a quality point average of 3.5. Phi Theta Kappa emphasizes leadership, scholarship, fellowship, and community service, therefore members are required to perform a minimum of 10 hours of documented community service per semester in order to maintain membership in good standing. There is a $80 one-time membership fee. Please contact Rose Hill at firstname.lastname@example.org, for additional information.
A program change is defined as a change of major or department and, though permissible under certain guidelines, should be undertaken only with considerable thought and counsel. Students who are seriously considering a program change should seek immediate advice from their faculty advisor or a counselor. An Intra-College Transfer application must be filed through the Admissions Office to apply for a change of major or program. Students are advised to study carefully special requirements that are established by the program into which they seek admission. Some programs of the College require specific minimum scores to be achieved by the applicant on the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT1) of the College Entrance Examination Board or certain prerequisites are met. It should be noted that as a result of changes in a program, a student may find that his or her graduation may be postponed.
Repetition Of Courses
A student who receives an unsatisfactory grade in a course may repeat the course a maximum of two times unless the departmental guidelines stipulate a fewer number. All grades will appear on the transcript, but only the last grade will be used in calculating the quality point average.
For financial aid purposes, there is a limit to the number of times that students can repeat coursework. A student may repeat a previously passed course one time in an attempt to receive a better grade. A course that was previously not passed may be repeated up to two times.
Scholarships And Awards
There are a wide variety of scholarships and awards available, ranging from departmental achievement to all-College awards, to corporate and organizational awards and scholarships from off-campus sources. The reference librarian can assist students in finding information on many off-campus awards. On-campus awards are publicized through The STCCler in March and April. Individual departments publicize departmental and school awards.
STCC transcript requests must be made in person or in writing to the Registrar's Office. Transcript requests will not be accepted via email, telephone or fax. Transcripts will only be released to the authorized recipient indicated in the written request and official identification is required to pick-up a transcript. A transcript will not be issued when the student has an outstanding debt owed to the College.
There is a $3.00 fee charged for each official transcript. Allow 2 days for processing. Unofficial transcripts can be obtained at no charge in the Registrar's Office or from the student's WebAdvisor account.
Transfer Credit Policy
Courses taken at other accredited colleges and institutions may be transferable to STCC. Applicants should have copies of their official transcripts forwarded directly from previous institutions to the Admissions Office for transfer credit evaluation. Transfer credit is not reviewed or awarded until an applicant has been accepted into an academic program at STCC. Any applicant with a STCC hold on their record will not have any action taken on their admissions application or transfer credit evaluation.
Applicants who have had previous college experience must submit all official college transcripts whether or not they are seeking transfer credit. All submitted transcripts become the property of STCC and will not be returned. In order to meet the residency requirements, a minimum of 15 credits must be taken at STCC to receive a degree. The remainder may be taken at other institutions. Please know that an applicant may be asked to provide a course description to clarify the content of a course before transfer credit can be considered. Only courses in which the student has earned a "C" grade or better, are similar in content to those required in the student's program at STCC, and have been earned at a regionally accredited institution will be accepted. Please note that some academic programs require a higher earned grade than a C due to curriculum requirements. Some upper level or specialized courses may need to be reviewed by the applicants academic program chairperson in order to determine transfer credit eligibility.
Applicants with previous military experience or coursework seeking transfer credit should supply the Admissions Office with related documentation. Awarding of credit for military training, coursework and experience is evaluated via the American Council of Education Guide to the Evaluation of Educational Experiences in the Armed Services or by CLEP testing. Credits would need to be required within a student's academic program in order to be awarded.
Once college transfer credit, AP credit, Challenge credit or CLEP credit is awarded it can not be removed from a student's transcript at a later point.
Transfer applications are usually accepted for admission to the College in both September and January; however, the number of programs open for admission in January is limited. Contact the Admissions Office for further information.
Advanced Standing may also be granted to students who complete any of the following standardized tests:
- CLEP Examination for Advanced Standing
- Advanced Placement Program
For students who have recently taken developmental coursework in math at other western Massachusetts community colleges (Holyoke Community College, Greenfield Community College, and Berkshire Community College), it is currently the policy of STCC to consider successfully-completed developmental coursework when determining the placement of incoming STCC students.
Applicants who have successfully completed developmental math coursework from one of the above institutions should have copies of their official transcripts forwarded directly from that institution to the STCC Admissions Office for evaluation (transcripts are generally not reviewed until an applicant has been accepted into an academic program at STCC). Only developmental math courses taken at the above institutions no more than two years prior to transfer and for which a grade of C or better was received will be used to determine math placement at STCC. (For example, a student who has successfully completed a course equivalent to Algebra I will be placed into the Algebra II level at STCC).
The developmental coursework from the previous institution will be used only for placement purposes and will not appear as Transfer credit on the STCC transcript. The final decision of determining math placement based on previously-completed math coursework will rest with the STCC Admissions Office.
If you would like additional assistance with a class, tutorial assistance may be available. All you need to do is see your instructor or a counselor. You will be told if tutors are available for the subject area in question. There is no charge for these services. Tutors are available every day in the Math Individualized Learning Center, Bldg 17, Room 425 and in the English Tutoring Center, Bldg 13, Room 105. Tutoring may also be available in the Student Success Center Bldg 27, 1st floor. So remember, feel free to ask for assistance in any subject area.
If you are not doing well in a class or program at STCC, check with your instructor early in the semester to find out how you can improve your work. If you are still unable to perform satisfactorily according to your instructor's expectations for the course, contact your academic advisor as soon as possible. If you are unable to contact your advisor, or do not know who your academic advisor is, visit the Student Success Center to look up your advisor's name and contact information. Tutors are available in many subjects and can be accessed in the Student Success Center (Building 27/1st floor), the Math Center (17/425), the Writing Center (13/1st floor) and in individual departments. You are reminded that as long as you are registered in a class, you must make satisfactory progress. The college provides a date each semester in which you can withdraw from a course without penalty. To withdraw from the course, you will need to go to the Registrar's Office, Bldg. 15, 1st floor for the appropriate paperwork.