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    Gwinnett Technical College
   
 
  Sep 23, 2017
 
 
    
2017-2018 Course Catalog & Student Handbook

Academic Policies



The purpose of Gwinnett Tech’s academic policies is to ensure fairness and consistency in the manner in which academic performance is administered, evaluated and communicated to students. Academic performance is measured by comparing the student’s actual acquisition of skills and knowledge with the prescribed learning outcomes of courses and programs. Such skill and knowledge, validated by the Technical College System of Georgia and local occupational advisory committees, is designed to prepare students for successful entry and advancement in their respective career choices.

Academic Freedom

Gwinnett Technical College embraces and adopts the following statements of policy as published by the State Board of the Technical College System of Georgia.

Gwinnett Technical College supports the concept of academic freedom. In the development of knowledge, research endeavors, and creative activities, faculty and students must be free to cultivate a spirit of inquiry and scholarly criticism. Instructors are entitled to freedom in the classroom in discussing their subject, but they should be careful not to introduce into their teaching controversial matter which has no relation to their subject. Faculty and students must be able to examine ideas in an atmosphere of freedom and confidence.

Gwinnett Technical College safeguards and protects these rights of academic freedom by providing faculty and students the right to initiate grievance procedures should they have complaints dealing with the infringement of or personal penalization as the result of the exercise of this freedom.

Gwinnett Technical College also recognizes that commitment to every freedom carries with it attendant responsibilities. The faculty members must fulfill their responsibilities to society and to their profession by manifesting competence, professional discretion, and good citizenship. When they speak and write as a citizen, they will be free from institutional censorship or discipline, but their special position in the community imposes special obligations. As professional educators, they must remember that the public may judge their profession and their institution by their utterances. Hence, they should at all times be accurate, exercise appropriate restraint, show respect for the opinions of others, and make every effort to indicate they are not speaking for the institution.

At no time shall the principles of academic freedom prevent the institution from making proper efforts to assure the best possible instruction for all students in accordance with the objectives of the institution.

Intellectual Property

Through its mission, Gwinnett Technical College is dedicated to the dissemination of knowledge that is vital to the workforce needs of the community. The college also affirms its commitment to innovation and encourages faculty, staff and students in the development of new teaching methodologies, scholarly works, educational software, and all other intellectual property. Students may obtain a copy of the full intellectual property policy in the office of academic affairs. 

Academic Integrity 

Gwinnett Tech expects students, faculty, and staff to conduct themselves with honesty, character and academic integrity. Academic integrity is defined by the Center for Academic Integrity (AcademicIntegrity.org) as “a commitment, even in the face of adversity, to five fundamental values: honesty, trust, fairness, respect, and responsibility.” Gwinnett Tech promotes and expects all members of the college community to conduct themselves professionally and with academic integrity. 

Gwinnett Tech considers academic integrity an integral part of learning. Any infraction of this honesty policy is detrimental to the student’s education and the integrity of the College. The following cases of dishonesty are strictly forbidden: 

  • Plagiarizing any assignment. “Plagiarism” means using someone else’s ideas or words without using quotation marks and/or giving credit by citation of source(s). 
  • Copying/submitting another person’s work. 
  • Unauthorized taking of someone else’s work. 
  • Using unauthorized notes or equipment (including programmable calculators) during an examination. 
  • Stealing an examination or using a stolen examination for any purpose. 
  • Allowing another student to have access to your work, thereby enabling that student to represent the work as his or her own. 
  • Having someone else take a quiz or exam in your place or assisting someone in any way during a quiz or exam, or using any unauthorized electronic device or other unauthorized method of support during a quiz or exam. 
  • Fabricating information, such as data for a lab report. 
  • Falsifying a patient’s medical record or a student’s clinical record, or any other student record, including a record of attendance. 
  • Using another person’s file, flash drive, diskette, or copying another student’s computer program. 

Instructors may use any one or more of the following disciplinary measures for addressing instances of dishonesty: 

  • Award a zero for the assignment; 
  • Assign a failing (“F”) grade for the course; 
  • Recommend the dismissal of the student from the program. 

Additionally, if an online student is suspected of dishonesty, the instructor can require the student to take onsite or proctored tests, or to complete other assessments to authenticate the student’s level of proficiency. 

Academic Status 

Students attending Gwinnett Tech are expected to meet certain academic standards. Students who maintain a cumulative GPA of 2.0 (C) or better are considered to be in good academic standing. 

Academic Warning 

Students who do not earn a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0 (C) will be placed on academic warning. “Academic Warning” will appear on the student’s transcript. Additionally, when accessing grade reports via GTC-Web.org, “Academic Warning” will appear on a student’s grade report. Notification of academic standing will be sent to the student’s Gwinnett Technical College email account. Students who earn a minimum semester GPA of 2.0 (C) for the following semester but do not have an average cumulative GPA of 2.0 (C) will remain on Academic Warning. 

Academic Probation 

Students who do not earn a minimum semester GPA of 2.0 (C) for the next semester of enrollment following an academic warning will be placed on academic probation. “Academic Probation” will appear on the student’s transcript. Additionally, when accessing grade reports via GTC-Web.org, “academic probation” will appear. Notification of academic standing will be sent to the student’s Gwinnett Technical College email account. Students on academic probation will be limited to enrollment of no more than 12 credit hours for the period of probation. 

Academic Dismissal 

Students who do not achieve a minimum semester GPA of 2.0 (C) for the next semester of enrollment following academic probation will be dismissed from the college. “Academic Dismissal” will appear on the student’s transcript. Additionally, when accessing grade reports via GTC-Web.org, “Academic Dismissal” will appear. Notification of academic standing will be sent to the student’s Gwinnett Technical College email account. 

Students who have been academically dismissed from the college the first time will be eligible to return after one semester. Additional admissions testing will not be required unless the applicant fails to meet minimum admission standards as required by a particular program of study. Students who return after academic dismissal will be placed on academic probation and must meet with an Enrollment Advisor in the Enrollment Support Center to complete an academic contract prior to registration. Readmitted students who do not achieve a minimum 2.0 (C) grade point average for the first semester of re-enrollment will again be academically dismissed from the college and will not be eligible to return for one full calendar year from the ending of the semester of dismissal. Students not enrolled for two or more semesters must reapply to the college. 

Attendance Policy 

Students are expected to be punctual and attend all classes for which they are registered as scheduled throughout the semester. Instructors will keep an accurate record of class attendance. Students anticipating an absence or tardy should contact the instructor in advance or provide notification as soon as possible. It is the responsibility of the student to account for instructional time missed and to seek permission for make-up work at the discretion of the instructor. If the student does not attend classes, submit assignments, or, when applicable, contact instructors in a timely manner (either in person, by phone, or by e-mail) a failing grade(s) may result. Students are advised of the attendance policy for each class by the instructor and through the course syllabus. Special attendance policies may be enforced for some programs. 

Absence 

An absence will be recorded when a student misses class or is tardy more than 10 minutes past the start of a class hour. This policy does not include students who attend approved field trips, who complete assignments early as authorized by the instructor, or who participate in an open lab situation. This policy also does not include students who are called for jury or military duty. In all such cases, students must inform their instructors (and the Financial Aid Office, if appropriate) prior to their absence, when possible, and provide appropriate documentation. 

Withdrawal Policy

Each semester, students’ class schedules become official upon payment of required fees (either by the student or by award of financial aid). Students who drop a class during the drop/add period (on or before the third day of the semester for a full semester class, or on or before the second day of the term for a term C class) will be removed from the class roll, and the course will not show on the student’s academic record. A 100 percent refund is issued for classes dropped during the drop/add period of the term. 

Thereafter, students may officially withdraw from a course without academic penalty by the designated withdrawal date for the semester and receive a “W” grade for the course. The “W” grade is not computed in the student’s grade point average, but does count in terms of financial aid eligibility. To officially withdraw from a course, students can withdraw online or meet with an Enrollment Advisor in the Enrollment Support Center to fill out the appropriate forms. Students who must withdraw from all classes will have to do so in person at the Enrollment Support Center. There is no refund for classes withdrawn after the drop/add period of the term. 

Students who withdraw after the designated withdrawal date for the semester will receive a “WF” grade, unless a “W” grade is approved by the Academic Affairs Office through the appeal process for hardship withdrawal. Students must follow the withdrawal procedure as described in the paragraph above. A “WF” grade is computed in the student’s grade point average as a failing grade and counts toward the student’s financial aid eligibility.

If you are awarded financial aid, please refer to the Return to Tile IV Financial Aid Withdrawal Policy  section of the catalog to determine the impact withdrawing from courses may have on your financial aid.

Hardship Withdrawal Appeal

Students have the right to appeal for a Hardship Withdrawal with the Academic Affairs Office. Consideration of a Hardship Withdrawal is limited to certain criteria which may include, but is not limited to: hospitalization of the student, the death of an immediate family member during the semester of the withdrawal, the student being assigned to active military duty or jury duty for more than three consecutive days during the term. The appeal must be submitted in writing to the Academic Affairs Office no later than one week into the following term. All decisions on appeals of hardship withdrawals rendered by the Academic Affairs Office shall be final. 

No Show 

Students who do not participate or attend in the first week of classes will be designated as “No Show” and will be removed from the class roster. Online students who do not participate during the first week of the term will be dropped as a “No Show.” For hybrid courses that meet once per week, students must attend or participate online during the week to avoid “No Show” designation. For web-enhanced courses, students must attend during the first week to avoid “No Show” designation. When submitted as a “No Show”, the course will not appear on the student’s academic record and a 100 percent refund of applicable tuition and applicable refundable fees will be given. Financial aid students will be responsible for all charges related to any classes for which they are designated as “No Show”. Financial aid will not pay for “No-Show” classes. It is the student’s responsibility to confirm his/her registration status for each course during the registration and drop/add periods. 

The responsibility to register for classes and drop those classes that are no longer desired to be taken resides solely with the student. Classes in which students no longer desire to participate should be dropped during registration or the drop/add period. The “No Show” process is the college’s administrative recordkeeping process and students should not attempt to use or rely on this process to ensure classes are removed from their schedules. 

Tardy 

A tardy will be recorded when a student arrives 1 to 10 minutes late for a class. When a student is tardy more than 10 minutes of a class hour, an absence will be recorded for one class period. 

Competency-Based Courses 

Course syllabi identify those competencies that should be demonstrated by students in order to successfully complete a course. Course syllabi may also identify certain competencies as critical. Competencies may be further described and/or governed in supplemental course policy statements, schedules, assignment lists, etc., provided to students. 

Assessments of a student’s level of competence may be achieved by, but are not limited to, the following methods: written, oral and/or practical quizzes, tests and examinations; assigned written and/or oral projects (including homework assignments, term papers, classroom presentations, etc.); and classroom, laboratory, and/or clinical observations of student learning activities. 

In order for a student to receive credit for a course, the final weighted average of all course assessments must be a minimum of 70 percent. However, failure to demonstrate achievement of any critical competency(ies) by the end of a semester will result in a grade of “F.” 

Students who fail to demonstrate achievement of any critical competency(ies) during the semester may, if authorized by the instructor, be given an additional assessment opportunity to demonstrate competence. The additional opportunity will be comparable to, but not necessarily identical to, the initial assessment. The maximum grade awarded for the additional assessment will be determined by the instructor. 

A student who fails the final assessment of any critical competency(ies) during a semester may be administratively withdrawn from the course if continued participation is deemed harmful to the student and/or to others. 

Course Cancellation and Instructor Changes 

Gwinnett Tech will make every effort to offer scheduled courses. The College reserves the right, however, to cancel courses due to insufficient student enrollment. In the event of a course cancellation, the academic affairs office will give students the option of receiving a refund, if appropriate, or changing to another class based on availability. The College also reserves the right to change instructors, as well as course dates, times and locations from those published in the course listings. 

Learning Support 

Gwinnett Tech offers academic support through learning support courses for students whose transcripts, SAT scores, and/or placement tests in math, reading, and/or writing indicate a lack of academic preparation for regular programs of study. Students whose transcripts or placement test scores show an underdevelopment in any or all of these areas are required to successfully complete the appropriate learning support course(s) before they are fully accepted to a program of study. The required learning support courses are identified during the admissions process and reported to the student. Learning support courses are divided into two tracks - certificate/diploma and associate degree level. Student test scores may indicate that a sequence of both diploma and degree learning support courses are needed. 

Elective Courses 

Students must choose approved electives based on the list provided in the program of study area in the catalog of their year of acceptance. 

Prerequisite Courses 

Students must meet the prerequisite requirements based on the current catalog. Prerequisites are listed in the catalog under Course Descriptions  .

The First Year Experience Course (FYES 1000)

The First Year Experience course (FYES 1000 ) is an integral part of every student’s first semester experience at the college. It is a required course within the academic curriculum of all degree and diploma programs at the college, as well as most certificate programs. To achieve the most from this academic requirement, all incoming new beginning and transfer students, and readmitted students are required to enroll in FYES 1000  during their first semester of enrollment. There are limited criteria which may exempt a student from taking this course based on qualifying number of credit hours previously earned at other colleges or previous degree(s) earned. 

Students who believe that they may qualify for an exemption from FYES 1000  and have not requested transcript evaluation should e-mail RegistrarsOffice@GwinnettTech.edu to have previous college transcripts evaluated. Steps to request transcript evaluation are listed under Web Registration Instructions. Students will receive an email notification when the evaluation is complete. Students who are not eligible for exemption after the evaluation will need to enroll in the course. 

Students who do not enroll in the course during their first semester, those who do not pass, and those who withdraw from the course during their first semester will be sent notifications to their student email accounts regarding the need to enroll in the course during their second semester of enrollment. Students identified as needing the course as part of their program’s curriculum and do not enroll during the second semester are subject to an advising hold on their accounts prior to registration for the next or future semesters. Students with an advising hold would be required to meet with an Enrollment Advisor in the Enrollment Support Center to ensure they have been advised of this missing academic and graduation requirement for their program of study. 

An Enrollment Advisor at the Enrollment Support Center can confirm a student’s FYES 1000  course requirement in their program of study. For additional questions or information regarding the course requirement, contact the Enrollment Support Center at EnrollmentSupportCenter@GwinnettTech.edu

Grades 

The purpose of Gwinnett Tech’s grading system is to establish policies and standards which are fair to all students and ensure that all courses include an effective and uniform policy for assessing and awarding grades. The grading system and course weights for each course are explained to students by the instructor at the beginning of the semester and are included in the course syllabus. Grades are posted on GTC-Web.org at the end of the semester and are available for student access and review. 

Letter Grades - Values of letter grades are as follows:
A = 90 - 100 I = Incomplete EX = Credit by Examination 
B = 80 - 89 W = Withdrew TR = Credit by Transfer
C = 70 - 79 WF = Withdrew Failing A* = Learning Support
D = 60 - 69 AC = Articulated Credit B* = Learning Support
F = 59 and below AU = Audit/Warranty C* = Learning Support

For students to receive credit for a course, a minimum of 70 percent (C) is required. This course must be completed with a “C” or better before the student will be eligible to start any additional course work that requires this class as a prerequisite. 

When students successfully repeat a course in which they received an “F” or “WF”, the new grade is added to the transcript. The “F” or “WF” also remains on the transcript. An incomplete grade can only be given to students who are passing a course but who cannot complete the course for good cause. These students will be awarded an incomplete, or “I” grade, and will be given an extension of three weeks into the following term to complete the course. If the work is not completed within 21 calendar days from the first day of the following term, the “I” grade will be automatically awarded an “F” grade for the course. Under extenuating circumstances, the student may petition the course instructor in writing for a specified extension of time beyond the three-week period, but must do so and receive approval prior to the end of the initial extension period. 

Course Repeat Policy/Forfeiture of Credit 

If a student registers for a course for which he/she has already received credit, the student forfeits the previous credit in that course for graduation purposes and the new grade will be calculated for purposes of meeting graduation requirements. Students who receive a grade of “D”, “F”, “W”, or “WF” three times for the same course will be prohibited from retaking the course at the college. Exceptions to this policy can only be made by the Academic Affairs Office. 

Work Ethics Grades 

Nationally, as well as in Georgia, employers have expressed concerns about work ethics as one of their top issues. The U.S. Department of Labor estimates that 80 percent of workers who lose their jobs do so not because of the lack of occupational skills, but because of poor work ethics. In response, the Technical College System of Georgia requires that technical education include an evaluation of occupational skills and work ethics. Each course will have two grade components assigned. In addition to a course grade, a Work Ethics grade is also posted on the transcript. 

The curriculum for work ethics was developed and has been established statewide. The ten work ethics are identified and listed below: 

  • Attendance: the student attends class, arrives/leaves on time, notifies instructor in advance of planned absences, and makes up assignments punctually. 
  • Character: the student displays loyalty, honesty, trustworthiness, dependability, reliability, initiative, self-discipline, and self-responsibility. 
  • Teamwork: the student respects the rights of others, is a team worker, is cooperative, is assertive, displays a customer service attitude, seeks opportunities for continuous learning, displays mannerly behavior. 
  • Appearance: the student displays appropriate dress, grooming, hygiene, and etiquette. 
  • Attitude: the student demonstrates a positive attitude, appears self-confident, and has realistic expectation of self. 
  • Productivity: the student follows safety practices, conserves materials, keeps work area neat and clean, and follows directions/procedures. 
  • Organizational skills: the student manifests skills in personal management, time management, prioritizing, flexibility, stress management, and dealing with change. 
  • Communication: the student displays appropriate verbal and nonverbal skills. 
  • Cooperation: the student displays leadership skills, appropriately handles criticism and complaints, demonstrates problem-solving capability, maintains appropriate relationships with supervisors and peers, and follows chain of command. 
  • Respect: the student deals appropriately with cultural/racial diversity, and does not engage in any harassment of any kind. 
The Work Ethics grading scale is as follows:
Exceeds Expectations = 3 points  
Meets Expectations = 2 points  
Needs Improvement = 1 points  
Unacceptable = 0 points  

Work Ethics grades are not assigned for learning support classes or for courses where “W” or “WF” grades have been assigned. 

Grade Appeals 

A student who elects to appeal an academic grade is required to adhere to the following process: 

Step 1. The student first appeals a final grade to the course instructor. The appeal must be written and submitted no later than the 15th calendar day of the following term. The instructor will respond in writing within seven calendar days. 

Step 2. If the appeal is not resolved at Step 1, the student may appeal to the appropriate division dean. This appeal must be written and submitted within seven calendar days after receipt of notification from Step 1. The division dean will respond in writing within seven calendar days. 

Step 3. If the appeal is not resolved at Step 2, the student may appeal to the Office of Academic Affairs. This appeal must be written and submitted within seven calendar days after receipt of notification from Step 2. The student must submit a written statement, along with any documentation that he/she wishes considered in Step 3 of the appeal process. The Office of Academic Affairs will review the appeal and determine further steps to be taken. If it is deemed necessary, the Office of Academic Affairs will assemble a five-member appeals committee including two faculty members from the division in which the appeal was initiated, but outside of the program concerned; one faculty member from another division; one member from Student Affairs; and one division dean. The student has the right to be assisted by any single advisor he/she chooses, at his/her own expense. The student is responsible for presenting his/her own case and, therefore, advisors are not permitted to speak or to participate directly to the committee. This step, including any student and/or faculty interviews and the committee’s written response to the student by the division dean on the committee, should be completed within seven calendar days. The decision of the Vice President of Academic Affairs or the appeal committee, if assembled, is final. 

During the grade appeal process and unless otherwise advised, the student should continue to attend classes in which he/she is enrolled. Health Science, Health Imaging and Informatics, or Nursing Science students in an appeal process should contact the appropriate division dean or the office of academic affairs to receive direction and approval of further attendance. Appeals of work ethics grades will follow the above steps, but will conclude at Step 2. The division dean’s decision on a work ethics grade appeal is final. 

Grade Changes 

Instructors may change assigned grades up to a maximum of two semesters after the grade was originally assigned. Any requests for grade changes after two semesters will require approval by the Vice President of Academic Affairs. 

Grade Point Average (GPA) 

A student’s academic standing is based on a cumulative and term grade point average (GPA). All credit hours attempted at Gwinnett Tech in any program of study are used in calculating the GPA. Credit earned in other institutions, credit by examination, credit by articulation, and credit given for learning support classes are not used in computing GPA. 

The numerical grade points for academic letter grades are as follows: 

A =   4.0 D =   1.0
B =   3.0 F =   0
C =   2.0 WF =   0

The grades of EX, I, W, TR, AU and AC do not have numerical grade points and are not used in calculating the GPA. Learning support courses are awarded grades of A*, B*, C*, D* or F*. These courses do not generate grade points and are not used in the calculation of the academic GPA. 

Course Transferability 

Transferability of Gwinnett Tech courses is assured by all other Technical College System of Georgia technical colleges. Occupational and academic core courses in the associate degree curriculum are transferable to other colleges and universities at the discretion of the receiving institution. To facilitate the transfer process and maximize the number of credits applied toward a bachelor’s degree, Gwinnett Tech has established articulation agreements with accredited four-year colleges and universities. Articulation agreements between the Technical College System of Georgia, the University System of Georgia, and the Georgia Independent College Association also specify general education courses that are guaranteed to transfer between SACSCOC-accredited institutions. Each year, Gwinnett Technical College hosts its annual Transfer Fair to provide students an opportunity to meet with representatives from the college’s articulation partners and learn more about pathways to a bachelor’s degree. Visit GwinnettTech.edu/content.cfm?PageCode=articulation for a listing of Gwinnett Technical College articulation agreements. If you have additional questions or if your interests are not fully represented in the college’s established agreements, please contact the Academic Affairs Office or your program director.