3.17.10 Satisfactory Academic Policy
Alexandria Technical and Community College, the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities board, federal and state law require that students make satisfactory qualitative and quantitative academic progress towards a degree or certificate to attend college and remain eligible for financial aid. The standards defined below are cumulative and include all periods of enrollment and all courses on the student's academic record (transcript), whether or not a student received financial aid. Students bear primary responsibility for their own academic progress and for seeking assistance when experiencing academic difficulty. Counseling, tutoring, mentoring, special programs and outside referrals are all available.
Qualitative Measure of Progress (Grade Point Average)
All students are required to maintain a 2.0 cumulative grade point (GPA). Grades of A, B, C, D, F, FW, U, I and IP will be included in the GPA calculation. (Refer to Policy 3.17.4 Grading System for further details on how the GPA is calculated.)
Quantitative Measure of Progress (Completion Percentage and Maximum Time Frame)
- All students are required to successfully complete a minimum of 66.67% of their cumulative registered/attempted credits. Grades of F, FW, I, U, W, IP and Z (or blank/missing) are treated as registered credits but NOT earned credits and thus negatively impact the percent of completion.
Maximum Time Frame (applies to financial aid recipients only)
- All financial aid recipients are expected to complete their degree/certificate at Alexandria Technical and Community College within an acceptable period of time. The maximum time frame for financial aid recipients is 150% of the published credit length of the program. Financial aid recipients may continue to receive aid through their cumulative registered credits that equal 150% of the required number of credits needed to complete their degree/certificate.
Alexandria Technical and Community College will evaluate satisfactory academic progress after each term which includes fall, spring and summer. All students with registered credits during a term will be evaluated at the end of that term.
Failure to Meet Standards
- If at the end of the evaluation period a student has not met either the GPA or completion percentage standard, the student will be placed on warning for one evaluation period. Students on warning are eligible to register and receive financial aid.
Suspension of Students on Warning Status
- If at the end of the warning period a student has not met both the cumulative grade point average and completion percentage standards, the student shall be suspended. Students on suspension are not eligible to register or receive financial aid.
Academic Exception – does not apply to financial aid
- If at the end of the warning period a student has not met both the cumulative grade point average and completion percentage standards but has a term grade point average of at least 2.5 and has completed a minimum of 75% of the courses registered for within the term, the student will automatically be placed on a probationary status when they appeal.
Suspension of Students Not on Warning Status
- Suspension for Exceeding the Maximum Timeframe. If at the end of the evaluation period a student has failed to meet the standard for measurement of maximum timeframe, the student shall be suspended from financial aid eligibility.
- Suspension for Inability to Meet Program Requirements within the Maximum Timeframe. If at the end of the evaluation period the institution determines it is not possible for a student to raise her or his GPA or course completion percentage to meet the institution's standards before the student completes their program of study at Alexandria, the student shall be suspended from financial aid.
- Suspension for Extraordinary Circumstances. Institutions may immediately suspend students in the event of extraordinary circumstances, including but not limited to previously suspended (and reinstated) students whose academic performance falls below acceptable standards during a subsequent term of enrollment; students who register for courses, receive financial aid, and do not attend any classes; and students whose attendance patterns appear to abuse the receipt of financial aid.
- Suspension at another MnSCU Institution. Students who have been suspended from another MnSCU institution within the past academic year shall be denied admission and financial aid at Alexandria Technical and Community College but may contact the Registrar's Office for the appropriate appeal form. Students who were suspended longer than one year ago (but who have not subsequently enrolled and been returned to good standing) may enroll at Alexandria Technical and Community College. Students in these situations would change to probation status.
- Suspension at a non-MnSCU institution. Students who have been suspended from a non-MnSCU institution are subject to the same standards as those students suspended from a MnSCU institution.
Return to Good Standing
If at the end of the warning period a student has met both the cumulative GPA and cumulative completion percentage standards, the warning status is ended and the student is returned to good standing.
Appeals and Probation
A student who fails to make satisfactory academic progress and is suspended has the right to appeal based on special, unusual or extenuating circumstances causing undue hardship such as death in the family or a student's injury, illness or hospitalization.
- Appeals are due by the date indicated in the correspondence if the student wishes to be reinstated for financial aid and/or enrollment.
- Appeals must be submitted in writing on a form(s) available from the college.
- The appeal must include an explanation of the special, unusual or extenuating circumstances causing undue hardship that prevented the student from making satisfactory academic progress.
- The appeal must also include what has changed in the student's situation that would allow the student to demonstrate satisfactory academic progress at the end of the next evaluation period.
- Supporting documentation beyond the written explanation is strongly encouraged.
- Initial consideration of appeals will be undertaken by the Director of Financial Aid, Registrar or designee. If denied, it may be resubmitted for consideration by an Appeal Committee.
- Appeals that are approved must contain an academic plan that, if followed, ensures the student would be able to meet satisfactory academic progress standards by a specific point in time.
All academic plans put in place for GPA deficiency will require a minimum term GPA of 2.50 during any probationary term. All academic plans put in place for percent (%) completion deficiency, will require a term completion percentage of 75% during any probationary term.
A student who has successfully appealed shall be placed on probation for one evaluation period. If, at the end of the next evaluation period, a student on probation status:
- Has met the institution's cumulative grade point average and completion percentage standards, the student shall be returned to good standing.
- Has not met the institution's cumulative grade point average and completion percentage standards but has met the conditions specified in his/her academic plan (2.50 term GPA and/or 75% term completion rate, depending upon the deficiency), the student shall retain his/her financial aid and registration eligibility under a probationary status for a subsequent evaluation period.
- Has not met the institution's cumulative grade point average and completion percentage standards and has also not met the conditions specified in his/her academic plan, the student shall be re-suspended immediately upon completion of the evaluation.
Notification of Status and Appeal Results
Students are notified in writing (letter or email) when the evaluation of satisfactory academic progress results in warning, suspension, or probation. The notice includes the conditions of the current status and the conditions necessary to regain eligibility for registration and financial aid. Notice of suspension also includes the right and process necessary to appeal suspension.
Appeal Result Notification
Students are notified in writing (letter or email) of the results of all appeals. Approved appeals include the conditions under which the appeal is approved and any conditions necessary to retain eligibility for registration and financial aid. Denied appeals include the reason for denial and the process to appeal the denial.
A student who has been suspended from financial aid eligibility may be reinstated after an appeal has been approved or the minimum cumulative GPA and completion percentage standards have been achieved. A student suspended from the college may be reinstated to enroll for classes after not attending Alexandria for one year. Neither paying for their own classes nor sitting out a period of time is sufficient in and of itself to re-establish a student's financial aid eligibility.
Treatment of Grades and Credits
Credits: The unit by which academic work is measured.
Registered (Attempted) Credits: The total number of credits for which a student is officially enrolled in at the end of the registration drop period each term.
Cumulative Registered Credits: Cumulative registered credits are the total number of credits registered for all terms of enrollment at the college, including summer terms and terms for which the student did not receive financial aid.
Earned Credits: Earned credits include grades of A, B, C, D, S, CR and P. They are successfully completed credits that count towards the required percentage of completion (66.67%) as defined by the quantitative measure.
Attempted, NOT Earned: Grades of F, FW, I, IP, W, U and Z (or a blank/missing) will be treated as credits attempted but NOT successfully completed (earned).
Fresh Start: Credits for which a student has been granted an academic fresh start WILL be included in all financial aid satisfactory academic progress measurements.
Audited Courses: Audited courses are not aid eligible and are not included in any financial aid satisfactory academic progress measurements.
Consortium Credits: Consortium credits are those credits for which a student is registered at another college, are accepted by Alexandria and are included for purposes of processing financial aid at this college. These credits are included in all satisfactory academic progress measurements.
Developmental Credits: Developmental credits are those awarded for remedial course work (below 1000 level). Students may receive financial aid for developmental credits up to a maximum of 30 credits hours (excluding ESL). These credits are included in all satisfactory academic progress measurements. However, up to 30 developmental credits are excluded from the maximum timeframe calculation.
Repeat Credits: Repeat credits are credits awarded when a student repeats a course in order to improve a grade. A student shall not be permitted to receive financial aid for more than one repetition of a previously passed course. (Refer to Policy 3.17.7 Repeating Courses for further details on how repeating courses affects satisfactory progress.)
Transfer Credits: Transfer credits are credits accepted by Alexandria Technical and Community College and applied to the student’s program requirements and shall be counted as credits attempted and completed for calculation of cumulative completion percentage. Grades associated with these credits shall not be used in calculating cumulative GPA.
Transfer credits accepted and applied toward a student’s general education, program or degree requirements shall apply toward the maximum time-frame calculation.
Withdraw: The mark of "W" (withdrawal) is assigned when a student withdraws from a class after the drop period. It is not included when calculating grade point average or earned credits. Thus, it does not impact GPA but does negatively impact earned credits and, therefore, negatively impacts the student's percent of completion.
Incompletes: The mark of "I" (incomplete) is a temporary grade which is assigned only in exceptional circumstances. It will be given only to students who cannot complete the work of a course on schedule because of illness or other circumstances beyond their control. An "I" grade will automatically become an "F" grade at the end of the first half of the next semester if requirements to complete course work have not been satisfactorily met. Instructors have the option of setting an earlier completion date for the student. A grade of "I" is included when calculating grade point average or earned credits. It negatively impacts GPA and the student's percent of completion.
In Progress: The mark of "IP" (in progress) is a temporary grade for courses that are not on a structured basis. A grade of "IP" is included when calculating grade point average or earned credits. It negatively impacts GPA and the student's percent of completion.
Academic Plan. A student who successfully appeals for reinstatement will be required by Alexandria to complete, during their probationary period, specific requirements contained in an academic plan developed for that student. At a minimum the academic plan will require a student to achieve a 2.50 GPA during their probationary term and/or a 75% completion rate during their probationary term, depending upon the deficiency.
Evaluation Period. Satisfactory progress is measured at the end of each academic term or at mid-point for programs less than one year in length.
Probationary Status. A student who has successfully appealed a suspension shall be placed on probation for one evaluation period. At the end of the next evaluation period, the student’s status will be reviewed again to determine their status at that time.
Suspension Status. A student on suspension status is not eligible to register or receive financial aid. Students who have been suspended may regain their eligibility only through the institution's appeal process or when they are again meeting the institution's satisfactory academic progress cumulative grade point average and completion percentage standards.
Warning Status. Students on warning are eligible to register and receive financial aid for one evaluation period despite a determination that the student has not met either an institution's grade point average standard, or completion percentage standard, or both.
Definition of Student:
- Pursuing Credential – student is admitted to Alexandria Technical & Community College and intends to complete a certificate, diploma or degree.
- Undeclared – student is admitted to Alexandria Technical & Community College with the intention of completing courses, but not a credential.
- Consortium/partner – student is taking classes at Alexandria Technical & Community College as part of an official consortium/partnership agreement with another college. This student may be admitted to Alexandria Technical & Community College or pursuing their credential from another college.
- Visiting – registered through MnOnline or the advanced search option at another college in the Minnesota State College and University system.
- Customized Training Credit-based Course – student is taking a credit-based course offered by Alexandria Technical & Community College's Customized Training Department.
- Post-secondary Enrollment Options – student is taking courses under the Post-secondary Enrollment Options program. The student may be taking classes at Alexandria Technical & Community College either pursuing a credential, undeclared or one of the following methods:
- Concurrent – student is taking a course(s) offered by Alexandria Technical & Community College in their high school. This student is subject to satisfactory progress review at the end of each term.
- Online College in the High School – student is taking an online course(s) offered by Alexandria Technical & Community College while in high school. This student is subject to satisfactory progress review at the end of each term.
Fresh Start. The fresh start option applies to academic standing only and does not affect financial aid satisfactory progress status. A student will return to the college with the status that was in effect when they last attended. A student may request an academic fresh start after completing their first term of enrollment if they meet the following criteria:
- Has not attended ATCC for five (5) academic years. (An academic year is three (3) semesters in length.)
- First term of enrollment is successfully completed (2.0 GPA and no withdrawals).
- Only prior D and F grades no longer count in GPA.
- Exception: If a student graduated from a program and a D grade was used to meet program requirements, that grade would remain and continue to affect academic satisfactory progress.
- With the exception above, a student cannot choose to keep some D grades and have fresh start applied to other D grades – it is all or no D and F grades.
- Student must complete the fresh start request form if they meet the above criteria.
Approved by: ATCC Leadership Council
Effective Date: 02/19/13
Last Date Revised: 02/14/13