Cleveland State Community College provides quality instruction in Tennessee Transfer Paths, career-technical programs and learning support. Academic support services are available to assist students in the pursuit of their educational objectives. Academic standards reflect the institution’s concern for excellence and integrity.
General Regulations Information
The following notices, regulations and rules govern the grading system, degree requirements, credit awards and miscellaneous academic matters.
Grading System and Quality Point Calculation
The quality of student performance in individual courses is indicated on the student’s permanent record by a letter grade. The scholastic standing and progress of a student is expressed in terms of a Quality Point Average (QPA), which is calculated for the semester and cumulatively. The semester QPA is calculated by dividing the total number of quality points by the total number of quality hours (excluding withdrawals and proficiencies) attempted during the semester. The cumulative QPA is calculated by dividing the total number of quality points earned by the total number of quality hours (excluding transfer hours, withdrawals and proficiencies) during the student’s entire academic career.
All grades become part of the student’s permanent scholastic record.
- Use of Quality Point Average (QPA)
- A student transcript shows a QPA for collegiate level courses excluding transferred hours (designated by “Total Institution”) and a combined QPA for Developmental Studies and collegiate level work (designated by “Institution Combined”).
- TBR Policy No. 2:03:01:01 requires:
- That a combined QPA for Developmental Studies and collegiate level work be used to determine academic probation and suspension, financial eligibility and athletic eligibility;
- That the QPA for collegiate level courses be used to determine graduation eligibility;
- That the QPA for collegiate level courses be used to determine eligibility for graduation honors, Dean’s and President’s lists and departmental awards.
- Calculation of the Quality Point Average The following chart indicates the number of quality points assigned for each letter grade per semester credit hour (SCH) earned.
|Quality Points Awarded
||Per Semester Hour
||Passing but below average
- Other markings which may appear on the grade reports and transcripts are as follows:
AU (Audit)–Indicates that the student elected to enroll in the course for no grade or credit. Audits do not replace grades previously issued.
I (Incomplete)–Indicates that the student has not completed all the work of the course for a reason acceptable to the instructor. The instructor will complete an agreement outlining the assignments, examinations or other work that must be completed by the student in order to remove the Incomplete. The student and the instructor will sign the agreement, both will receive a copy for their files and the original will be filed in the division dean’s office. A student may not be granted an Incomplete unless he/ she has a reasonable expectation of passing the course when the Incomplete is requested. A student who receives an Incomplete should not re-register for the course but must contact the instructor no later than two weeks from the beginning of the succeeding semester, excluding summer, and must make up the incomplete within eight weeks from the beginning of the succeeding semester, excluding summer. Upon the student’s completion of the required work, the instructor will calculate the student’s grade, complete a change of grade form and file it with the Enrollment Services Office. The hours for the “I” grade will not be calculated into the student’s quality points or GPA until removed or until the time limit for removal has expired. Failure to resolve the “I” grade by the end of the subsequent semester (excluding summer) will result in automatic failure, and a grade of “F” for the course will be recorded on the student’s permanent record. In the developmental studies area, an “I” grade must be removed before a student can begin the next course in a sequence.
P (Pass)–Indicates that the student has successfully completed a course. Credit indicated by “P” counts toward meeting graduation requirements but has no effect on the QPA. The grade “P” is subject to the stipulations for Alternate Credit as published in the catalog.
NP (No pass)–Indicates a student did not earn credit. This grade is not computed in the gradepoint average. Students may not change from the “P/NP” option to another grading option once the option has been exercised.
PR (Proficiency)–Indicates that the student earned credit by taking a proficiency examination. The grade is not computed in the QPA. Effective with the 2001-2002 catalog, a grade of “A” or “B” will be assigned and will be computed in the QPA. See “Credit for Non-Traditional Learning” for detailed information.
E (Excluded Course) or I (Included Course)–Indicates that the student has repeated a course. When computing the GPA of a student who has repeated one or more courses, the college will count only the last grade received in the repeated course(s) and count hours attempted only once provided that the number of repeats in any single course does not exceed two (three attempts totaled). If a student repeats a course more than twice, the grade in the third and subsequent attempts shall be used in determining the GPA. Students may not repeat a course in which a “B” or higher grade was earned unless approved by the Vice President for Academic Affairs.
W (Withdrawn)–Indicates that a student has officially withdrawn with the approval of the advisor from a course or courses during the official withdrawal period as published in the Academic Calendar. Beginning with the second week of classes, and not later than the end of the 10th week of the semester, a student may officially withdraw from a course(s) and receive a “w” grade. Beyond the date specified in the Academic Calendar, a student may only withdraw with approval of the Late Withdrawal Committee if it can be demonstrated and documented that an unusual condition or hardship exists. Unusual conditions or hardships may include severe illness, sudden change in work requirements or other legitimate reasons that may be approved by the Late Withdrawal Committee. Late withdrawal forms are available in the Enrollment Services Office and must be returned to that office after proper approvals have been received. “W” grades are not used in the computation of the GPA.
- Grade Changes
Course instructors may change an officially recorded grade with the approval of the Vice President for Academic Affairs or the Academic Dean.
- Grade Reports
Grade reports are available for each student at the end of each term; grades are recorded on the student’s permanent record approximately one week after the final examination period.
- Academic Transcripts and Other Records All records pertaining to student admission and academic progress are maintained in the Enrollment Services Office.
- Official copies of a transcript are provided to the student or will be mailed directly to another college, firm, agency or other responsible addressee upon presentation of a written request signed by the student.
- Copies of a student’s academic transcripts are provided free of charge.
- No official academic records or transcripts will be released until the student’s admission file is complete and all financial obligations to the college have been met.
Academic Fresh Start Policy
The “Academic Fresh Start” is a plan of academic forgiveness provided for students who have demonstrated academic responsibility following their re-entrance to college. The Fresh Start allows the calculation of the GPA and credit hours toward graduation to be based only on work done after returning to college.
Readmitted students who were formerly enrolled at Cleveland State Community College, as well as transfer students, who meet institutional requirements for admission and who have been separated from all institutions of higher education for a minimum of four (4) years are eligible for the Fresh Start. In order to be granted a Fresh Start, the student, at the time of readmission or admission as a degree-seeking student, must make formal application to the Enrollment Services Center requesting the Fresh Start. After applying for the Fresh Start, the student must complete at least 15 semester hours with a minimum GPA of 2.0 for all work attempted. Any course(s) used for a previously awarded degree or certificate are not eligible for Fresh Start.
After satisfying the requirements, the student will be granted the Academic Fresh Start. The student’s permanent record will remain a record of all work; however, the student will forfeit the use for degree or certification purposes all college or university degree credit earned prior to the four-year separation upon the granting of the Fresh Start. Previously satisfied placement test requirements will not be forfeited. Any courses used for a previously awarded degree or certificate are not eligible for Fresh Start. GPA and credit totals will be based only on the work beginning with the date of the Fresh Start.
The student may be granted the Academic Fresh Start only once, and when granted is irrevocable. All Tennessee Board of Regents institutions will honor a Fresh Start provision granted at another TBR institution. Non-TBR institutions may not accept the GPA as it is calculated with the Fresh Start. The Fresh Start program is not available for any coursework earned prior to the awarding of a degree or certificate at a higher education institution.
Awards and Honors
Students graduating with the following GPA’s will receive the corresponding honor designation on their diplomas:
3.80 — 4.00 With Highest Honors
3.60 — 3.79 With High Honors
3.30 — 3.59 With Honors
In addition, each semester the President will recognize students achieving a 4.0 average by placing their names on the President’s List. The Vice President for Academic Affairs will recognize outstanding students each term by placing their names on the Dean’s List (3.50–3.99) or the Honor Roll (3.0–3.499). To qualify for these awards, a student must have completed at least 12 credit hours of college-level courses during the term. This status is recognized only once per semester and status is granted based on the GPA as of the finalization of grades. (P/NP grades are excluded from the computations applicable to these honors.)
The Distinguished Graduate Award will be given at spring Commencement ceremonies to the graduating student who has contributed most to the advancement and betterment of Cleveland State Community College. The Cleveland State Community College Foundation provides a stipend to the honored student.
The Distinguished Faculty Award is bestowed annually upon the instructor judged to reflect the highest standards of professional excellence in service. A Foundation stipend accompanies the award.
The Distinguished Staff Award is given to the college staff member who is judged to have contributed most to maintaining the highest standards of excellence in service to the institution and its constituencies. A Foundation stipend accompanies the award.
Several Student Awards are given to students who have distinguished themselves in their major areas of study or service. A public Awards Night ceremony is conducted each spring to honor these outstanding students.
The Honors Program is for students who excel in academics and have a desire to explore in greater depth the major topics covered in the curriculum. The Honors Program, designed to augment the course work required for a degree, is open to all students who meet qualifying criteria. It includes specially designed honors courses as well as honors–level sections and components of standard courses.
These honors courses are designed to:
- challenge academically well-prepared students;
- allow students to explore opportunities for professional growth and development;
- offer opportunities for independent and original work;
- offer opportunities for in-depth study of interdisciplinary issues;
- enable students to demonstrate their ability to succeed in challenging work, documenting their potential for future success;
- enhance potential opportunities for scholarships; and
- provide special recognition at graduation.
Honors Program Options
Students may choose from one of the following Honors Program options:
- Honors Achievement Designation–To receive the Honors Achievement Designation, a student must complete 18 hours of Honors course work (including four hours of honors program specific courses which may be any combination of Honors Colloquium, Leadership Development, or Interdisciplinary Prespectives.) with an overall average of 3.0 or better while meeting the associate degree requirements and have a 3.25 GPA at graduation. The diploma and transcript will carry a seal bearing the designation “HONORS ACHIEVEMENT.”
- Honors Recognition–To receive the Honors Recognition Award, a student must complete 12 hours of Honors course work (including one hour of honors program specific courses which may be Honors Colloquium, Leadership Development, or Interdisciplinary Perspectives.) with an overall average of 3.0 or better while meeting the associate degree requirements and have a 3.25 GPA at graduation. The transcript at degree completion will carry an “Honors Recognition” notation.
- Honors Sample–Students who meet qualifying criteria may sample a few Honors courses. Honors courses will be identified as such on transcripts.
Honors Program Qualifying Criteria
All applications are reviewed by the Honors Review Committee. A student must meet the following criteria to be admitted into the Program:
- First Time Freshmen–Must have a cumulative high school GPA of 3.5 or higher on a 4.0 scale; or must have an ACT composite score of 24 or higher or SAT combined score of 940 or higher.
- All developmental studies requirements, with the exception of DSPM 0850 (Intermediate Algebra), must be satisfied prior to admission to the Honors Program.
- Currently Enrolled Student–Must have a cumulative GPA of 3.25 or higher after completing a minimum of 12 semester credit hours of college-level work of which nine hours must be at Cleveland State Community College.
- Transfer Student–Must transfer from an accredited institution’s honors program with recommendation of its director and meet all Cleveland State requirements with the exception of residency; or must transfer from an accredited institution with a minimum of 12 hours college-level credit and a GPA of 3.25 or better, a written recommendation from a faculty member at the transfer institution and approval of the Honors Review Committee.
Any exceptions to the above criteria must be approved in writing by the Honors Review Committee and the Vice President for Academic Affairs.
For information about Honors course descriptions, please see the catalog index for page numbers. Contact the Honors Program Director at (423) 472-7141, Ext. 468, for additional information.
International Achievement Recognition
Students completing the course requirements listed below with an overall GPA of 3.0 or better, while meeting the associate degree (AA or AS), will receive an “International Achievement” notation on their transcript.
may be substituted for any of the above-listed courses. For the AA, students should take six credit hours of Foreign Language. For the AS, students should also take six credit hours of Foreign Language if they are planning on taking a second year of Foreign Language. A maximum of nine credit hours from the list may be transferred to CSCC from another college. A minimum of nine credit hours, therefore, must be completed at CSCC. If you think you may qualify for this recognition, please notify the Admissions and Records Office at the time you submit the Intent to Graduate Form.
Academic Probation and Retention Standards
The minimum Grade Point Average (GPA) required to achieve the associate degree or certificate is 2.0. Additional requirements are made for continued enrollment in the Medical Assistant and Nursing programs.
Consistent with the standards of good academic practice and in compliance with Tennessee Board of Regents policy No. 2:03:01:01, Cleveland State Community College reviews the academic standing and progress of students at the close of each semester. The minimum requirements for progression and graduation are described below.
- Graduation. The minimum cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA) required for earning an associate degree or a certificate at Cleveland State Community College is 2.0.
- Progression. In order to be eligible for continued enrollment in good standing and to progress toward degree completion, a student must have earned the minimum GPA set forth below for the total number of semester credit hours attempted.
- Associate Degree
||Quality Hours Attempted
||Min. Cumulative GPA
2. Certificate (Reference is to percentage of required program hours attempted.)
||Sem. Hours Attempted
||Min. Cumulative GPA
- Academic Probation. A student who fails during any term to attain a cumulative GPA at or above the level indicated above for the credit hours attempted will be placed on academic probation for the subsequent term.
- Academic Suspension.
- If a student on probation fails to attain either the above cumulative standard or a 2.0 GPA for the term of the probation, the student will be placed on suspension in the following manner:
- A student receiving a first suspension at the end of the fall semester will not be eligible to re-enroll at Cleveland State until the following summer semester.
- A student receiving a first suspension at the end of the spring semester will not be eligible to re-enroll at Cleveland State until the following spring semester.
- A student receiving a first suspension at the end of the summer semester will not be eligible to re-enroll at Cleveland State until the following spring semester.
- When a student re-enrolls at Cleveland State following a suspension, his/her status will be considered post-suspension probation. During post-suspension probation the following applies:
- A student who attains the cumulative standard above shall be in good academic standing.
- A student who attains a 2.0 GPA during the post-suspension probation but is still below the cumulative standard shall remain on probation.
- A student who does not attain a 2.0 GPA for that term and is still below the cumulative standard shall be placed on a 12–month (three terms including summer) suspension.
- Appeal of Academic Suspension. A student may appeal his/her suspension. Appeals must be submitted in writing along with supporting documentation to the Assistant Director of Enrollment Services and Registrar who may convene the Admissions and Records Subcommittee for deliberation. If the appeal is successful, the student will be placed on post-suspension probation. In this case, the guidelines for post-suspension probation under D.2 above will apply.
- Repeated Suspensions. Any suspension subsequent to a previous suspension will be a 12-month (three terms including summer) suspension unless otherwise specified by the Assistant Director of Enrollment Services and Registrar.
Requirements for Degrees and Certificates
NOTICE: Degree and certificate requirements shall remain in effect for a maximum of seven years from the beginning of the first academic term covered by this catalog. Subject to the seven-year limit, students may choose to graduate under the provisions of the catalog in effect the year they entered Cleveland State Community College or under a later catalog in effect for any term they are enrolled. Students may not elect catalogs from years they were not enrolled for at least one term.
Graduation Procedures and Requirements
- Intent to Graduate Form–Students are encouraged to complete the Intent to Graduate form during the semester preceding the semester of anticipated graduation. Students must file an Intent to Graduate form by the deadline for the intended graduation semester as outlined in the college calendar and on the website. Intent to Graduate forms are processed through the Enrollment Services Center.
- Graduation Residency Requirements–At least 25 percent of semester credit hours applied toward a degree or certificate must be completed at Cleveland State Community College.
- Graduation and Educational Requirements–To be eligible for graduation and receive a degree or certificate from Cleveland State Community College, the student must meet the following requirements:
- The cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA ) in all college credit course work must be at least 2.0 or higher. The GPA requirement for the AST degree is 2.75. This GPA excludes credits transferred from other institutions and all Learning Support coursework.
- The minimum number of semester credit hours required for a degree is 60. Certificates may vary in credit hour requirements. AAS degrees vary in credit hour requirements.
- Course requirements set forth in the appropriate curriculum guide must be satisfied.
- Substitutions for required courses in student’s curriculum must have the advisor clearly state in writing the desired substitution and reason for the request. Course substitutions must be approved by the student’s advisor, the appropriate department dean, Director of Enrollment Services, and the Vice President for Academic Affairs. Forms are available in the Enrollment Services Office or from the Admissions Link of the CSCC website.
- All deficiencies identified through ACT or COMPASS testing must be resolved before a degree may be awarded.
- The maximum number of allowable externally earned credits cannot be exceeded.
- All obligations, financial or otherwise, to the college must be resolved and all library and college materials returned before diplomas are released to students.
- Required Testing–All graduates in degree programs must take a graduation exit exam. In addition, any or all students may be required to take one or more tests designed to measure general education achievement and achievement in major areas as prerequisites to graduation and for the purpose of evaluation of academic programs. Unless otherwise indicated in an individual program, no minimum score or level of achievement for exit testing is required for graduation. Participation in testing may be required of all students, of students in selected programs and of students selected on a sample basis. To comply fully with this provision, students must authorize the release of their scores to the institution.
- Multiple Degrees or Certificates–Students cannot receive multiple AA or AS degrees at a TBR institution. However, students may receive multiple AAS degrees and/or certificates either simultaneously or at separate times provided all requirements are met. Students may also receive a combination of degrees such as AS and AA, AA and AAS or AS and AAS. The following regulations apply:
- At least 16 hours of additional credit that is not applied to the first major, must be completed for each additional degree with a minimum grade point average of 2.0. Students may not receive a separate degree for completing multiple concentrations under one major.
- Students may earn multiple certificates without restrictions provided course and GPA requirements are satisfactorily completed.
- Commencement Ceremony–Commencement is the formal conferring of a degree or certificate upon the student who has satisfied all requirements. Degrees are conferred at the end of each semester. Graduation ceremonies are held at the conclusion of Spring and Fall Semesters and are open to students who have completed all requirements since the previous commencement. Summer graduates will participate in the Spring Commencement prior to their term of completion.
Academic advising is an institutionally-initiated support service designed to assist students in developing and meeting their short-term and long-term academic goals. Academic advising is accomplished through one-on-one and small group interactions between students and academic advisors, supplemented with the use of technology.
Academic advising is mandatory for all part-time and full-time degree and certificate seeking students. First-time students, including freshmen and transfers, as well as readmitted students must attend a New Student advising and Registration session. Students are assigned a faculty advisor in their program of study by the appropriate division during their first semester of enrollment. All students receive an Advising Syllabus, which includes advisor/program information, expectations for students and advisors, as well as resources.
CSCC believes that academic advising is a partnership between advisors and students and must include: Creating an environment supportive of the learning process, Enhancing intellectual and personal growth, Defining educational/career goals, Developing an educational plan, Efficient and effective course selection, and Completing certificate/degree requirements.
Calendar and Credit System
Cleveland State Community College operates on the semester system with the standard academic year consisting of two terms of 15 weeks each. There are selected accelerated alternatives provided throughout the year. The standard credit is by the semester hour.
Cancellation of Classes
Any scheduled class may be cancelled by the college. Students will not be financially penalized for a class cancelled due to low enrollment.
Classification of Student
A degree-seeking student will be classified as a Freshman until the completion of 30 semester hours, after which the student will be classified as a Sophomore. Those not seeking degrees at Cleveland State Community College will be classified as Non-degree Special Students.
The normal credit load for a full-time student is 15-18 credit hours per semester. The maximum full time student load without special permission is 20 credit hours per semester. Any student desiring an overload (above 20 hours) must have the signed approval of one of the academic deans.
General Education Requirements
The purpose of the Tennessee Board of Regents’ general education core is to ensure that college students have the broad knowledge and skills to become lifelong learners in a global community that will continue to change. Because courses in general education should emphasize breadth, they should not be reduced in design to the skills, techniques or procedures associated with a specific occupation or profession. As a fundamental element of the baccalaureate degree essential for full completion of all majors and minors, the general education core is included in lower-division courses; but universities may add general education courses at the upper-division as well.
General education provides critical thinking skills for analysis to continue to seek truths, to discover answers to questions and to solve problems. Specifically, educated people practice and are literate in the various methods of communication. They recognize their place in the history, culture and diverse heritages of Tennessee, the United States and the world. They appreciate the web of commonality of all humans in a multicultural world and are prepared for the responsibilities of an engaged citizenship. They recognize the ethical demands of our common lives. They demonstrate the skills and knowledge of the social and behavioral sciences to analyze their contemporary world. They are familiar with the history and aesthetics of the fine arts. They understand and practice the scientific and mathematical view of the world.
Finally, Tennessee’s general education core provides for its citizens the means to make a better living. It also, perhaps above all, enables its citizens to make a better life.
General Education Goals
The goal of the Communication requirement: To enhance the effective use of the English language essential to students’ success in school and in the world by way of learning to read and listen critically and to write and speak thoughtfully, clearly, coherently and persuasively.
The goal of the Humanities and/or Fine Arts requirement: To enhance the understanding of students who, as citizens and educated members of their communities, need to know and appreciate their own human cultural heritage and its development in a historical and global context. Also, through study of Humanities and/or Fine Arts, students will develop an understanding, which they otherwise would not have, of the present as informed by the past.
The goal of the Social/Behavioral Sciences requirement: (a) To develop in the student an understanding of self and the world by examining the content and processes used by social and behavioral sciences to discover, describe, explain and predict human behavior and social systems; (b) To enhance knowledge of social and cultural institutions and the values of this society and other societies and cultures in the world; and (c) To understand the interdependent nature of the individual, family and society in shaping human behavior and determining quality of life.
The goal of the History requirement: To develop in students an understanding of the present that is informed by an awareness of past heritages, including the complex and interdependent relationships between cultures and societies.
The goal of the Natural Science requirement: To guide students toward becoming scientifically literate. This scientific understanding gained in these courses enhances students’ ability to define and solve problems, reason with an open mind, think critically and creatively, suspend judgment and make decisions that may have local or global significance.
The goal of the Mathematics requirement: To expand students’ understanding of mathematics beyond the entry level requirements for college and to extend their knowledge of mathematics through relevant mathematical modeling with applications, problem solving, critical thinking skills and the use of appropriate technologies.
General Education Course Requirements for Associate of Arts, Associate of Science and Associate of Applied Science
Every Tennessee Board of Regents (TBR) institution incorporates 41 semester hours (listed below) into its Associate of Arts (AA) and Associate of Science (AS) degree program requirements and 35 semester hours (listed below) into its Associate of Fine Arts (AFA) degree program requirements and accepts all courses designated as meeting these requirements. The TBR has eliminated unnecessary repetition of these courses for students transferring to institutions within the TBR system. Because each TBR institution has a unique mission and its own distinctive curriculum, an institution may require students to complete additional courses in the minimum degree subject areas and in other areas that may comprise an institutional General Education Program. Students planning to receive a bachelor of arts or associate of arts degree must demonstrate proficiency in a foreign language as prescribed in the institutional degree requirements. The Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degree is not designed to transfer to baccalaureate programs; however, a general education component (15-17 core semester hours) is required.
Although the courses fulfilling the minimum degree requirements may vary in actual design among institutions, many contain similar content. These courses are identified by common course rubrics (prefixes) and numbers in all TBR institutions to facilitate transferability. The actual courses designated by each institution to fulfill the Minimum Degree Requirements, including courses that may not be a part of the common course prefix and numbering pattern, are denoted within course descriptions in catalogs by the ◆ symbol. A complete matrix of the current courses that satisfy the Minimum Degree Requirements at all TBR institutions and an explanation of the common course rubric and numbering system are available on the TBR web site www.tbr.state.tn.us. However, students are advised that the TBR General Education Core Curriculum changed effective Fall 2004 and degree requirements began changing in Fall 2005.
General Education Courses
Humanities and/or Fine Arts
1See note below:
1Students who lack the required one unit (one year) of American History from High School as an admissions requirement must complete six semester hours of American History or three semester hours of American History and three semester hours of Tennessee History to fulfill the history requirement in general education. Otherwise, students may choose from among the history courses approved at a particular institution to fulfill the six semester hour requirement in history.
For TBR General Education courses, consult the previous section for approved courses. Students should consult their advisor and curriculum guide for assistance. Senior institution catalogs should be consulted for program requirements and transferability of courses.
Certain majors may specify computer courses appropriate to the major. Students should consult advisor and curriculum guide.