Academic Standards and Important Policies & Procedures
Academic dishonesty is unacceptable and will not be tolerated. Cheating, forgery, plagiarism, and collusion in dishonest acts undermine the college’s educational mission and the students’ personal and intellectual growth. Westchester Community College students are expected to bear individual responsibility for their work and to uphold the ideal of academic integrity. Any student who attempts to compromise or devalue the academic process will be sanctioned.
Cheating harms the college community in many ways. Honest students are frustrated by the unfairness of cheating that goes undetected and therefore unpunished. Students who cheat skew the grading curve in a class, resulting in lower grades for students who worked hard and did their own work.
Definition of Academic Dishonesty:
Consequences of Academic Dishonesty:
If a student is found guilty of academic dishonesty, faculty members have the right to either:
Because of the relationship between attendance and course achievement, students are expected to attend all scheduled classes.
It is the responsibility of each faculty member at the start of the course to provide a clear written statement of the methods used to evaluate student achievement. Each faculty member also has the responsibility to advise students of his/her policies on make-up tests or assignments and on the treatment of missed assignments. Faculty members are encouraged to take into consideration extenuating circumstances when making individual decisions.
Traditionally, faculty members allow up to two hourly absences for each credit hour (i.e., six absences from a course which meets three times per week in a fifteen-week semester) strictly for personal emergencies. There are some courses (i.e., clinical, laboratory, performance, etc.) that may demand different attendance. This information should be specified to the student at the onset of the course.
Student attendance cannot be the sole determinant of a final grade in a course (i.e., although a student’s grade can be affected by poor attendance, a faculty member cannot assign a grade of “F” solely for absences); however, students are strongly cautioned to be mindful of how professors link attendance requirements to other aspects of how they are evaluated. This can seriously affect their grade, and even result in failure. Students have the right to appeal the grade according to the established college procedure as stated in the “Student Rights & Responsibilities” document, available in the Student Affairs Office.
Students Unable to Attend Courses on Certain Days Because of Religious BeliefsSection 224a, Paragraph 6-a, of the New York State Education Law regarding absence from classes for religious observance states that “... each student who is absent from school, because of his or her religious beliefs, must be given an equivalent opportunity to register for classes or make up any examination, study or work requirements which he or she may have missed because of such absence on any particular day or days. No fees of any kind shall be charged by the institution for making available to such student such equivalent opportunity.”
A grade will be assigned for each credit course in which a student enrolls, in accordance with the following grading system:
The following grades do not affect grade point averages:
Grade Points, Credit Hours, Index
The credit hour value of a course is determined by the number of hours per week for which the course is scheduled during a regular semester. In general, one credit hour is given for each hour of class (lecture-recitation) per week and one-third or one-half credit hour for each hour per week of laboratory or courses where outside preparation is less extensive.
Grade points are obtained by multiplying credit hours by the quality points corresponding to the letter grade earned in the course. For example, a grade of “A” in a three-credit-hour course would give a total of 4 quality points x 3 credit hours = 12 grade points. A grade of “B” in the same course would give a grade point total of 3 x 3 = 9 points.
The grade point average is obtained by dividing the total number of grade points earned in all courses by the number of credit hours attempted (withdrawals are not considered attempts). If all grades are “A,” the index would be 4.0; B = 3.0; C = 2.0; D = 1.0; F = 0.0.Full-time students who achieve a semester grade point average of 3.5 to 3.74 will have their names placed on the Dean’s List; those who achieve a grade point average of 3.75 to 4.0 are placed on the President’s List.
Students are expected to make satisfactory academic progress toward a degree. This includes maintaining appropriate academic standards (specified GPAs based on attempted credits) and passing a minimum number of the courses for which they are enrolled each semester.
It is college policy to provide all possible assistance to students so that their courses will be successfully completed and their educational goals achieved. Accordingly, instructors must be explicit in presenting course requirements, including attendance policy, especially at the beginning of the term.
As soon as grades are posted at the end of each semester, a student can access his or her grades online by visiting www.sunywcc.edu/grades. This grade report (which can be easily printed by the student) will show the current academic index as well as the cumulative average. The student copy of the grade report cannot be used as an official transcript. In order to receive credit and a grade for a course, a student must register and pay for the course prior to the registration deadline for that semester or summer session. Students who wish to receive a hard copy of their grade report can do so, at no charge, by contacting the Registrar's Office either by phone (914-606-6810) or by sending an email to Registrar@sunywcc.edu
A student whose work is not satisfactory is so informed by the instructor at mid-term. An informal conference is usually held with the instructor in order to discuss difficulties and suggest withdrawal or plan a course of action which should result in improvement and satisfactory achievement by the end of the semester.
Students who have passed fewer than 32 cumulative credits are placed on probation if their semester grade point averages (SGPA), based on 9 credits or more attempted, are below 2.0. Students on probation may take no more than 14 charged credits per semester. Students on probation are mandated to meet with the designated counselor.
Probationary students who receive a subsequent SGPA of 2.0 or above for 9 or more charged credits are taken off probation. *Students who receive a subsequent SGPA of 1.75-1.99 are retained on probation; those who earn a subsequent SGPA lower than 1.75 are placed on Academic Restriction.
Academic Standards for Dismissal**
1.By raising their academic averages to satisfactory levels (by repeating or taking new courses), students are automatically reinstated into the former curriculum.*** Alternatively, after raising their averages, students may work with the Counseling Office to transfer to a new curriculum.***
2.By working with the Counseling Office, a student may petition the right for reinstatement to a former or new curriculum. Where circumstances warrant, a student may be accepted back into full-time matriculated status or the college may accept a student back into an academically restricted status (see previous page).
Deadlines for Reinstatement
Academic Reinstatement After an Absence Students who have not registered for an academic year, may be permitted to return to classes full-time on a provisional, non- atriculated basis by working through the Counseling Office. Full Academic Reinstatement will still require compliance with either paragraph 1 or 2 of this section.
* The status of students taking fewer than nine charged credits while on Probation will be based on their SGPA for the most recent two semesters attempted.
** When the semester and the cumulative GPA’s each yield a different academic status, the more severe status will have priority.
*** Reinstatement or entry to Nursing, Dietetic Technology, Respiratory Therapy, Radiologic Technology, and Human Services requires the permission of the curriculum chair.
Note: Reinstatement to a curriculum does not automatically mean financial aid reinstatement, since some financial aid programs are governed by independent standards
For students returning to Westchester Community College after a prior unsuccessful start and a lengthy absence, our institution offers the Fresh Start Program. Students who have not enrolled in credit classes at the college for, at least, the three prior years, and who have poor grades on their transcripts may apply. This program allows all prior grades to be made non-applicable in a student’s program. Fresh Start can be used by each student only once, and students must apply for the Fresh Start program through the Counseling Office prior to re-registering for the first semester back at the college.
An official transcript is one bearing the seal of the college and the signature of the Registrar. Official transcripts are not given to students or alumni but, with a written request from the student, are mailed directly to institutions or persons considering an application for admission or for employment. Transcripts cannot be sent by FAX. An advance notice of at least one business day is required for the Registrar’s Office to fulfill a transcript request. There is a $3.00 fee per transcripts.
Transcript request forms are available in the Registrar’s Office. Requests for transcripts may also be submitted in writing to the Registrar. If a student owes money to the college from any previous semester, no academic transcripts will be forwarded to any other institution until the debt is paid.
An unofficial transcript is one given to the student for his or her own use and is marked “unofficial” or “student copy.” A student can also obtain an unofficial transcript by visiting www.sunywcc.edu/transcripts
Confidentiality of Student Records
Access to Other Records
Student records are maintained by the Office of the Registrar, Room 107, Administration Building, where Request Forms for record access may be obtained.
Any questions concerning the procedure to be followed in requesting such a hearing should be directed to the Dean of Student Personnel Services.
The information given below will help you determine what courses to take, help you decide what to take first, and inform you of exams, evaluations or courses you may have to take before registering for certain courses or programs. The procedures for making changes in your curriculum and withdrawing from courses are also explained.
Maximum Credit Load
Students entering or continuing at the college who are required to take Basic Writing along with a non-credit mathematics course (Computational Skills or Beginning Algebra) or College Reading and Study Skills may take no more than 14 charged credits.
Students may not register for more than two courses in any single Summer session.
Prerequisites and Corequisites
Students should see an academic counselor or their Curriculum Chair for more specific information about taking courses in proper sequence.Online Courses
Students with a GPA below 2.0 at Westchester Community College require special permission from a counselor to register for a fully online course.
On a one-time basis, students may repeat courses* they have completed with a grade of “D”** or “F.”
Taking a course more than twice** requires approval from the Chairperson of the department in which the course is given, your Curriculum Chairperson, an Associate Dean or a counselor.
Repeating a course in which a grade of “C”** or better was earned previously also requires approval of one of the persons listed above.
Students may be asked to leave a course if they do not have the necessary approval to take the class.
When two or more grades exist for the same course, all grades will remain on the transcript; however, only the highest grade will be used to calculate the cumulative grade point average. Courses repeated after graduation will not change the graduation average.
* Certain health science and field experience courses are restricted.
A student who wishes to audit a credit course must formally register and pay for the course after obtaining permission to do so from the instructor. This permission must be obtained no later than the first day of class. Students who are permitted to audit a credit course are subject to payment of all tuition and fees. The audit grade shall be designated as “NC.”
A mature adult student (60 years or older) who wishes to audit a credit course must formally register and pay for the course through the Mainstream Office (914-606- 9793), not through the Office of the Registrar. Once registered they must obtain permission from the instructor. Only two mature adult auditors are permitted in class, however not all classes are open to mature adult auditors. Mature adult auditors shall not be included on class rosters and will not receive a grade. They pay only a $8.00 fee for insurance purposes.
Withdrawal Policies and Procedures
Withdrawal from College: Last Day of Classes Before Final Exams
Student Initiated Withdrawal from a Course
While it is the right of a student to withdraw from a course, withdrawal without following the procedure listed below may result in the student’s failure of the course. To withdraw from a course:
Faculty Initiated Withdrawal from a Course
Student Initiated Withdrawal from the College (All Courses)
Students who withdraw from the college and wish to register for the next semester may do so.
Credit for Work Completed Elsewhere
Matriculated students may obtain credit for college level work completed in addition to their regular college courses. A few basic rules apply. The college can grant credit only for specific equivalent coursework in the student’s curriculum, and the number of credits for each specific course cannot exceed the credit value of that course. To obtain a degree, the student must satisfactorily complete a minimum of 32 credits of acceptable coursework in the degree curriculum at the college.
A student may be granted a maximum of 32 credits obtained through one or more of the following methods:
A student cannot earn duplicate credit for examination programs and college studies covering the same material.
For further information contact:
Procedures for students wishing to make curriculum changes:
See your Academic Counselor and/or Curriculum Chairperson to be sure you will have satisfied all degree requirements by the time you plan to graduate.
Requirements for the Associate in Arts (A.A.), Associate in Science (A.S.), and Associate in Applied Science (A.A.S.) degrees, and all certificate programs are as stated in the appropriate curriculum descriptions (See Programs of Study).
The minimum cumulative grade point average required for graduation is 2.0.
Students who have completed four or more honors courses will be designated as Honors Program Graduates.
Candidates for the Associate degree must pass two semesters of Physical Education (one health/fitness, one sport). Those students who are physically unable to participate in physical education activities can fulfill their P.E. requirement by completing the Health and Sports for Life class. Students who become temporarily incapacitated due to accident or injury during the school term must contact the Student Health Center as soon as possible regarding withdrawal from physical education for that term.
All students are responsible for communicating their anticipated graduation date to their Curriculum Chairperson and for submitting an Application for Graduation Form to the Registrar’s Office during the January prior to May graduation. Students expecting to complete their degree requirements in December must do this by November of their final Fall Semester. The student is responsible for ensuring that all graduation requirements have been met. If graduation requirements are not successfully completed by the deadline, it is the student’s responsibility to contact the Registrar’s Office to change the Application for Graduation to indicate a new anticipated date of graduation. Under no circumstances can a degree be conferred retroactively.
Graduation Honors and Distinctions
Graduation with Highest Distinction. Graduation recognition for students with a cumulative average of 3.75 or higher.
Honors Graduate. Graduation recognition for students who have completed four or more Honors courses.
Honors Program Graduate, a student who:
Students who complete their graduation requirements at the end of the fall semester, or during the summer sessions, are also invited to participate in the May commencement ceremony by filing an Application for Graduation with the Registrar’s Office by this deadline.
Additional Degree or Certificate
Matriculated students for an additional certificate, or a certificate in a different discipline area from the Associate degree, must complete an additional number of credits equal to at least one-half the requirements of that certificate at the college. Such credits must encompass the required courses for the certificate.
A student who has successfully completed a certificate may apply those credits earned, where appropriate, to fulfill the requirements or electives in an Associate degree program.
In the interest of establishing and maintaining an appropriate learning environment, maximizing the educational benefit to all students, maintaining an atmosphere of safety and comfort, and clarifying the faculty and students’ expectations of classroom conduct, the College has established the following policy:
Alcohol and drug abuse are devastating both to the user and to the college community. In addition to impacting the lives of others in dangerous ways, users of illegal drugs and alcohol subject themselves to serious health problems both now and for years into the future, including addiction, disease, and loss of physical skills. Substance abuse is a major cause of accidents, and can seriously affect academic performance and campus morale. Possession, use, and distribution of illegal drugs or alcohol on college property or at college-sponsored events are forbidden. Infractions will result in serious disciplinary action; students could be expelled. Employees could be fired.
The college, therefore, discourages students and employees from covering for co-workers or fellow students who are users but rather encourages them to assist users in getting help. Students should seek out faculty members, counselors, the Student Health Office (914-606-6610) or Student Affairs (914-606-6731). Employees can go to their immediate supervisors or to Westchester County’s Employee Assistance Program (914-995-6070).
In addition, under local, state, and federal laws, illegal use of drugs and alcohol is a serious crime. Conviction of a felony carries serious consequences, including loss of citizenship rights during the period of sentence and a possible jail term. Convictions may also jeopardize future employment opportunities.
Further information on the legal consequences of alcohol and drug abuse can be found in the Library/Educational Technologies Center under Public Law 101-226.Additional information is also available from the Associate Dean of Student Development and Support Services Office, Room 219, the Office of Student Affairs, Room 109, or the Security Department, Room 113, in the Student Center Building..
If a student owes money to the college from a previous semester, no academic transcripts will be forwarded to any other institution, nor can the student re-register at Westchester Community College, until the debt is paid.
Westchester Community College is without dormitories or resident students. Parking lots, walkways, and areas surrounding each building are well lighted, and the campus is regularly patrolled by the 24-hour guard service. While there have been occasional incidents of crime, the campus has generally been a safe and secure environment.
In order to maintain this status and improve upon it, all members of the campus family are required to maintain up-to-date identification cards which are available, free of charge, from the Security Office in the Student Center. There is a $10 fee to replace lost ID cards. In addition, all students, faculty, staff, and visitors are advised to:
Blue Light Phones
There are 15 strategically located emergency blue light phones on campus that connect directly with the County Police without having to dial. These phones are for emergencies requiring immediate police assistance. Directions for proper use are printed on the inside of the call box in English and Spanish. In addition, the Security Department emergency phone number is 6-911.
In addition, the college has free emergency cell phones available for any student, faculty, or staff member. Please contact our Security Office in the Student Center.
Crime statistics for the the various Westchester Community College campuses can be found on our Crime Statistics Page.
Incidents occurring at the EOC-W are reported to the Assistant Dean for EOC, and records are kept. Reports are made to the Yonkers Police Department (914-337-7900) if appropriate. Copies of these incidents/reports are sent to the Security Director of Westchester Community College for reporting purposes. Ossining and Peekskill Extension Site statistics are also available in the Security Department.
Emergency procedures to follow for fire or injuries or other medical emergencies, techniques on how to avoid becoming a crime victim, and lists of resources are available to students and employees in the brochures, “Campus Safety and Law Enforcement” and “Sexual Assault Prevention,” widely distributed to all incoming students. Additional copies of these brochures can be obtained from the Security Office in the Student Center.
Lastly, Westchester Community College has free emergency cell phones available for any student, faculty, or staff member. Please contact our Security Office in the Student Center.
Westchester Community College is committed to creating a community free from violence. Sexual Assault, harassment, dating/domestic violence and stalking as defined by State and Federal law will not be tolerated at Westchester Community College, college supported events or activities, or at functions of recognized student organizations, on or off campus. Westchester Community College will take action, as needed, to discourage, prevent, correct and if necessary, discipline behavior that violates this standard of conduct. Rape and sexual assault constitute crimes. Federal and New York State Law and college policy prohibit such behavior.
Confidentiality is fundamental to all aspects of cases dealing with sexual assault. The names of sexual assault victims shall not be revealed by persons responsible for implementing and enforcing the provisions of this policy, except with consent of the victim.
The college recognizes the necessity of a community which is open and intellectually stimulating, where diversity of ideas is valued and every person's safety, dignity and autonomy is respected whether they are students, faculty, or staff, and regardless of race, ethnicity, age, religion, class, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, or disability..
General Definition of Terms
Westchester Community College endeavors to establish and maintain an environment in which individuals of various groups and backgrounds learn to live together in an atmosphere of mutual respect. Furthermore, the college asserts that students’ educations are inadequate unless they have acquired knowledge and appreciation of human diversity and have established sets of values with which to function positively in a pluralistic society.
Respect for and understanding of cultural diversity in all its forms is a strong antidote for prejudice, racism, and discrimination based on religion, national origin, ethnic grouping, color or other socially-derived attempts to deny people their human rights. Accordingly, the college strives to find the common elements that unite us and the positive differences that strengthen us.
A student who wishes to make a complaint about a faculty member, employee, or another student regarding alleged discrimination based on race, color, creed, national origin, age, gender, sexual preference, or disability should register that complaint with the Associate Dean of Student Affairs (914-606-6733), located in the Student Center. At that time, the student will be advised of the next step to be taken. (A complaint about sexual harassment would be referred to the sexual harassment officer.)
An employee who wishes to make a complaint about a supervisor, fellow employee, faculty member, or student regarding alleged discrimination based on race, color, creed, national origin, age, gender, sexual preference, or disability should register that complaint with the Affirmative Action Officer (914-606-6977). (A complaint about sexual harassment would be referred to the sexual harassment officer).
In any case of alleged discrimination, the first step would be to attempt to resolve the complaint informally.
If a resolution satisfactory to both complainant and respondent is reached within 15 working days through the efforts of the Associate Dean of Student Affairs, the Affirmative Action Officer, another appropriate College official, or other designated person, the case shall be closed. A written notice to that effect will be sent to the complainant.
If no informal resolution is possible, and the student or employee wishes to pursue the complaint, a grievance must be submitted in writing. Such formal grievances must be filed within 45 working days following the alleged discriminatory act, or the time the complainant first becomes aware of that alleged discrimination. Student POLICIES AND PROCEDURES 20 grievances must be filed with the Associate Dean of Student Affairs, who will forward the grievance to the appropriate College official. Employee grievances must be filed with the Affirmative Action Officer, who will do the same.
All cases of alleged discrimination for any of the above-mentioned reasons will be forwarded to the Affirmative Action Officer. In cases of alleged discrimination based on gender, the grievance also will be forwarded to the Title IX Gender Equity Coordinator; in cases of alleged discrimination based on disability, the grievance also will be forwarded to the 504 Disability Coordinator. In all cases the discrimination complaint will be dealt with in a timely fashion by each compliance officer in the manner described above.
A decision will be sent in writing to the grievant within 30 working days of the receipt of the formal complaint by all appropriate parties.
After a fact-finding determination has been made, the complaining student, employee or person who has been found to have engaged in the harassing or discriminatory behavior may appeal the decision directly to the Vice President of Student Development and Support Services. To ensure that the Vice President of Student Development and Support Services is apprised fully of the basis for the appeal, the person appealing should submit a detailed written memo to the Vice President. Such appeal must be submitted within seven (7) working days of the issuance of the final fact-finding determination. The Vice President shall make such additional investigation as is reasonably necessary, and then, unless a longer period of time is required, within seven (7) working days after such further investigation promptly issue a written appeal determination. A copy of the appeal determination shall be provided to the Department, the complainant and the employee accused of misconduct.
In accordance with Federal regulations, the New York State Human Rights Law and Section 504, Westchester Community College does not discriminate on the basis of age, race, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, disability or handicap in educational programs, activities and employment.
The following individuals may be contacted for further information on Affirmative Action and Section 504:
IX/Affirmative Action Coordinator
Section 504 Coordinator
Sexual harassment includes any unwanted verbal or physical sexual advance, requests for sexual favors, sexually explicit derogatory remarks, and sexually discriminating remarks which are offensive or objectionable to the person at whom they are directed or which cause a person discomfort or humiliation.
On campus, sexual harassment destroys the trusting relationship that should exist between students and others in the academic community. For employees who are its victims, it can put jobs in jeopardy, threatening salaries, promotions, and working conditions. In all cases, the harasser has introduced a personal element into what should be a sex-neutral situation, and has prevented people from benefiting fully from their education or employment.
Whether verbal or physical, sexual harassment is an act of aggression. It is a violation of both federal law (section 703 of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Title IX Education Amendments of 1972) and state law (New York State Human Rights Act).
In order to maintain an educational environment fully conducive to learning and academic freedom and to ensure employment free of intimidation, Westchester Community College has both a moral and legal obligation to investigate all com-plaints of sexual harassment and to pursue sanctions when warranted. The college encourages students and employees to confront sexual harassers, to report incidents, and/or to seek advice and assistance. Help is available from the college’s sexual harassment officer (914-606-6931). She is charged with the responsibility of investigating sexual harassment complaints and with instituting the more formal procedures in existence for resolving them. Students may also speak with the Associate Dean, Student Development and Support Services (914-606-6733), with guidance counselors, and with faculty advisors. The Women’s Forum is available to adult women students (914-606-6901).
The college has prepared a brochure on sexual harassment to define the subject and suggest ways of handling incidents. A fuller statement of the college’s sexual harassment policy, explaining procedures in more detail, was adopted in the Fall of 1992 and published in the Faculty Handbook. Both brochure and statement are available from any of the persons listed above, and from the offices of the Associate Deans. In addition, complying with policies adopted by Westchester County and mandated bylaw, all administrators, staff, and full-time faculty have been undergoing training about sexual harassment. This training program will continue for new employees and faculty members..
It is the policy of Westchester Community College to make every effort to protect the environment, especially in the following ways: