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Academic Policies, Regulations, and Procedures

The responsibility for understanding and meeting graduation requirements rests entirely with the student.


Academic Advising Philosophy

Academic advising at Columbia College is based on the belief that advising is a developmental process, recognizing such logical and sequential steps as exploration of life goals, exploration of career goals, selection of a major program of study, selection and scheduling of courses. The decision-making process of exploring, integrating, and synthesizing should be an ongoing and multifaceted responsibility of both the student and the advisor, the ultimate goal of which is student growth. Through such a person-centered approach, academic advising assists students in creating a personally relevant plan for educational, career, and life fulfillment.

Academic Advisor

The College has a carefully planned program of student advising. In addition, individual relationships are maintained between students and instructors in the classroom and through informal conferences. After students have been admitted, they are assigned an advisor on the basis of admissions information. The advisor assists in planning academic work and in solving general problems during the student's college career. (A change in advisor may be made by making a formal request through the Registration Office.)

While the College provides academic advisement, the responsibility of meeting all degree requirements rests with the student. Students are required to officially declare their majors in the Evaluations Office during the semester in which 48-60 semester hours are scheduled for completion. The Evaluations Office completes degree checklists at 60 semester hours and 90 semester hours for use in academic advising.


Columbia College assesses student learning outcomes at all key points of the undergraduate experience.

Pre-matriculation. Entering student ACT Math subscores and ASSET math scores are used for math course placement. English Composition course placement is determined by a departmental writing assessment.

General Education. Achievement of general education outcomes is assessed by the Academic Profile (Short Form), administered to seniors during their culminating experience course.

Major. Achievement of outcomes in the major is assessed by the major culminating experience. The instrument of assessment varies from department to department.

Other. A sample of students is surveyed during odd-numbered years using the ACT Enrolled Student Survey; a sample of alumni is surveyed every three years using the ACT Alumni Survey.

Attendance and Lack-of-Effort Policies

Students are expected to attend all classes and laboratory periods for which they are enrolled. The instructor defines conditions under which an absence is excused. The instructor is responsible for the maintenance of standards and quality of work in his or her classes. An absence is an individual matter between student and instructor.

Students are directly responsible to instructors for class attendance and for work missed during an absence for any cause. If absences jeopardize progress in a course, the student's instructor will submit a course Warning Report promptly to the Registration Office. An instructor may drop such a student from the course; and any drop initiated during the semester or session by an instructor for a student's lack of attendance or lack of effort is recorded on the student's permanent record as grades F or W at the discretion of the instructor.

Students are notified if their instructor cannot meet with them during any regularly scheduled class period. In the event that the instructor does not arrive at an appointed class within 15 minutes after the class regularly begins and after representatives of the class have made inquiries in the Office of Academic Affairs, students are excused from the class.

Catalog Changes and Time Limit for Completing Degree

No time limit exists for a student to complete a degree. Students have the option of graduating under the requirements of the catalog in effect at the time of their graduation from the college or in effect at the time of their admission to the college, provided no more than eight years have elapsed between admission and graduation. Students enrolled through the Service Members' Opportunity College Program are exempt from the eight-year limitation.

The responsibility for understanding and meeting graduation requirements rests entirely with the student.

Changes in Registration

Final dates for courses to be added or dropped are listed for each semester on the official college calendar in this catalog. Final dates are also published by the Registration Office.

Adding a Course

Day students may add courses during the first week of a semester. Evening students may add courses until 5:00 p.m. on the fifth class day of the session (Saturdays not included). Forms are available in the Registration Office. The forms must be returned to the Registration Office before the end of the add period for the courses. Day students are required to obtain advisor approval before adding or dropping courses. At that time, courses are added to the students' schedules if space is available in the class.

Dropping a Course

Day students may drop a course(s) without academic penalty any time before the end of the first two weeks of day classes. Day students may drop a course(s) through Friday of the first week of the semester without financial liability (not applicable to total withdrawal). Evening students must drop courses by the fifth class day (by 5:00 p.m.) of the session (Saturdays not included) to avoid academic penalty and financial liability. Drop forms are available in the Registration Office. Day students must have their form signed by their advisor and returned to the Registration Office before the last official day to drop a class. Advisors' signatures are not required for Evening students.


Academic Dishonesty/Misconduct

The College expects students to fulfill their academic obligations through honest and independent effort. In a community of scholars committed to truth, dishonesty violates the code of ethics by which we live and is considered a serious offense subject to strong disciplinary actions. Academic dishonesty includes but is not limited to:

  1. Knowingly furnishing false or misleading information
  2. Falsification, alteration or misuse of college forms or records.
  3. Any joint effort in examinations, assignments, or other academic activity unless authorized by the instructor.
  4. Plagiarism in any form -- using another's phrase, sentence, or paragraph without quotation marks; using another's ideas or structure without properly identifying the source; or using the work of someone else and submitting it as one's own.
  5. Willfully aiding another in any act of academic dishonesty. Columbia College is equally concerned about the interpersonal social relationships that affect the learning environment. Respect for the conditions necessary to enhance learning is, therefore, required.

Procedures: Generally, the faculty will handle offenses and assign appropriate penalties without involving others. In case of alleged academic dishonesty and/or misconduct related to a course, the procedure listed below will be followed:

  1. The faculty member who, upon investigation, suspects dishonesty and/or alleges misconduct will, if possible, confer with the student suspected.
    1. If the instructor determines the student is innocent, the matter will be dropped.
    2. If the instructor determines the unacceptable behavior was unintentional, the violation will be explained and an alternative activity will be imposed; however, the Vice President and Dean for Academic Affairs and the Dean for Campus Life must be notified in writing of the incident.
    3. If the student admits guilt, or if the instructor determines there was intentional unacceptable behavior, the instructor may impose the penalty stated in the course syllabus. In the absence of a penalty stated in the course syllabus, the penalty for academic dishonesty will be an F on that activity, which is to be factored into the final grade. The Vice President and Dean for Academic Affairs and the Dean for Campus Life must be notified in writing of the incident and action taken.
  2. A student wishing to challenge or appeal the accusation of academic dishonesty or misconduct should seek the counsel of the Department Chair. The Vice President and Dean for Academic Affairs must be notified in writing of the results.
  3. If either party is not satisfied with the informal disposition, he/she may request a formal hearing. The individual must initiate the hearing procedure by filing an Appeal Request Form with the Vice President and Dean for Academic Affairs within one (1) school day after the informal disposition meeting. The written request will be forwarded to the two chairpersons of the campus Hearing Board.
  4. The two chairpersons of the Campus Hearing Board will review the request for appeal and determine if there are proper grounds for appeal and if the evidence submitted warrants reconsideration of the decision. All parties involved will be notified.

Nonacademic Misconduct

Conduct violations which occur between a faculty member and a student, or between students, and are course-related include but are not limited to:

  1. Disorderly conduct
  2. Harassment
  3. Verbal abuse
  4. Assault
  5. Interference with the educational opportunity of other students
  6. Attending class under the influence of alcohol or other drugs

Students attending class under the influence of alcohol and/or other drugs will be asked to leave class immediately. These students may be referred to the Wellness Center for evaluation before being allowed to reenter the classroom.

Class Conduct

Students are expected to conduct themselves on campus and in class so others are not distracted from the pursuit of learning. Discourteous or unseemly conduct may result in a student's being asked to leave the classroom. Persistent misconduct on the part of a student is subject to disciplinary action as outlined in the Student Handbook and in the course syllabus.

Student Conduct

Students may be disciplined for conduct which constitutes a hazard to the health, safety, or well being of members of the college community or which is deemed detrimental to the college's interest. These sanctions apply whether or not such conduct occurs on campus, off campus, at college-sponsored or non-college-sponsored events. Disciplinary action may also be taken regardless of the existence of any criminal proceedings that may be pending or in progress.

Credit and Testing

ACT Residual

The ACT Residual is offered periodically throughout the year. Registration is required. Scores are not reported outside of Columbia College. The cost is $28.50 which includes a $10 administration fee.

Advanced Placement

Columbia College awards semester hours credit for Advanced Placement Tests (AP). A score of 3 or above is acceptable. AP credit in English meets the college's requirement for ENGL 111.

Credit by Comprehensive Course Examination

Comprehensive tests constructed and approved by the faculty are available for some subjects. Students may obtain credit for courses through such examinations, provided they successfully pass with a grade equivalent to a C or better. Not more than 10% of the credit applied towards a degree may be granted in this form. No more than six hours of credit earned by such tests may be used to satisfy the residency requirement. A $300 nonrefundable fee per test is charged prior to the administration of the test to cover the cost of preparation and administration. Students who do not pass the examination may not retake it. To earn the desired credit, they must enroll in and pass the course.


Columbia College awards semester hours credit for the College Level Examination Program (CLEP). Credit for CLEP subject and general exams is awarded if the score is at or above the minimum score recommended by the American Council on Education. This score is set at the mean score achieved by students who earned a C in the respective course.

Official test records are submitted to the Evaluations Department for validation of academic credit. All credit completed by examination is reported on the transcript as "semester hours credit." Additional information about CLEP credit can be obtained in the Evaluations Department.
Contact the Test Administrator, located in the Career Center in St. Clair Hall, to take CLEP examinations.

Correspondence Credit

Correspondence credit is accepted if recorded on an official transcript from another regionally-accredited college or university.

International Baccalaureate

Columbia College accepts International Baccalaureate credit and will grant course credit to students who have passed the higher level examinations at a score of 5 or higher. To receive credit, please submit an official IB score report to Columbia College.

Evaluation of Academic Transfer Credit

If students enter Columbia College after attending another institution, they are referred to as transfer students. Generally, full credit is given for work completed with a C grade or higher at a regionally accredited college or university provided the courses are comparable to courses listed in the Columbia College catalog.

Students meet Columbia College's general education requirements for the baccalaureate degree if, prior to enrolling at Columbia College, they have completed at another institution an associate degree having at least 33 semester hours of general education requirements (including some hours in each of the Columbia College areas of distribution and English 111 or its equivalent and an English 112 course).

Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science degrees from institutions accredited by United States regional associations and/or approved by the United States Office of Education and recognized by Columbia College shall be honored as their equivalents at Columbia College with regard to general education requirements and their fulfillment.

If students have not received associate or baccalaureate degrees from the transferring schools prior to enrollment with Columbia College, Columbia College General Education requirements must be completed even if the previous schools' requirements were met.

To obtain credit, students submit official transcripts from each college or university attended when applying for admission to Columbia College. An official transcript is one that is sent directly from the institution attended to Columbia College and bears an embossed seal of the institution and signature of the Registrar. Students are required to identify all postsecondary institutions attended. Failure to do so may result in a bar to enrollment or dismissal.

Columbia College accepts credit transferred at the level granted by the transferring institution. It does not accept as upper-level if transferred from a two-year college.

Military Credit

Defense Activity for Non-Traditional Educational Support (DANTES): Semester hour credit recommended by ACE is awarded upon attainment of an acceptable passing score per section, or credit is awarded as determined by the testing authority at the time the test was taken. An official record of test results must be sent to the Evaluations Department.

Military Service: Columbia College requires the DD Form 214 (Discharge); DD Form 295 (Application for the Evaluation of Educational Experiences during Military Service); or a certified true copy of the student's Military Qualification Record. (Additional documents may at times be required.)

United States Armed Forces Institute (USAFI): USAFI standardized end-of-course tests are accepted at the 20th percentile or above. An official record of test results must be sent to the Evaluations Department.

Residence Credit

"Residence credit" or "credit earned in residence" refers to credits earned through Columbia College.

For Associate in Arts and Associate in Science degrees, 15 semester hours of the last 24 semester hours of coursework must be completed with Columbia College. For the baccalaureate degree, 24 of the last 36 semester hours of coursework must be completed with the college.

Final Examination Policy

Students in the Day Program are expected to take all final exams according to the final exam schedule, but are not expected to take more than two exams in one day. Students who are scheduled for three or more exams in one day and who wish to change their schedule should go to the office of Academic Affairs for assistance in rescheduling exam times.

Grading System

Students receive final grade reports at the end of each term. Grade cards are mailed to a student's permanent address.

Grades and Notations
A Excellent
B Superior
C Satisfactory
D Inferior
F Failing
I Incomplete: Unfinished work to be completed without further class attendance
N Audit: Did not complete course
S/U Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory: Recorded when the pass/fail option is chosen
U Unsatisfactory. An option that can be used as a grade for MATH 105, MATH 106, and ESOL 101, 102, 103, 105, and ENGL 107
W Withdraw
WE Excused from the course for extraordinary circumstances*
Y Audit: Completed course. No official credit recorded on transcript

* Extraordinary Circumstances

Generally, this phrase is narrowly interpreted to mean the development of unforeseen, unexpected circumstances beyond a student's control that prevent continued attendance in all classes (death of an immediate family member, a change in the student's employment, and mental or physical illness befalling the student or a member of his/her immediate family).


Grade appeals should be filed only when it is possible to demonstrate with substantial objective evidence that an incorrect or an unfair grade has been given. If a student believes that the final grade received in any course is incorrect or unfair, the student follows the grade-appeal procedure outlined as follows:

  1. Discuss the problem with the faculty member (instructor) involved.
  2. If not satisfied with that faculty member's explanation, seek mediation from the department chair.
  3. Failing resolution of the problem, student makes an appeal to the Vice President and Dean for Academic Affairs by requesting a grade appeal hearing with the Campus Hearing Board. This request is filed in writing with the Vice President and Dean for Academic Affairs within 60 calendar days after grades have been issued by the Registration Office. The Vice President and Dean for Academic Affairs may inform the student that his/her submitted materials do not support requests for changes in grades and/or forward the appeals to the Campus Hearing Board. The decision of the Campus Hearing Board is final. The chair of the Campus Hearing Board communicates this decision in writing to the student, the Vice President and Dean for Academic Affairs, the Dean for Campus Life, and any other parties involved in the appeal. If a change in grade or academic standing results, the chair of the Campus Hearing Board so notifies the Registrar of the new grade or change in standing.
  4. In the event that new evidence becomes available, a request may be made in writing to the Vice President and Dean for Academic Affairs, who determines if the appeal is to be reconsidered. If a question arises regarding procedural correctness or impartiality, the issue may be brought to the Vice President and Dean for Academic Affairs who has the final authority in passing judgment on these matters.


Students may audit a regularly scheduled class for no grade and no credit. However, participation in the course is noted on their official records. Auditing provides students with an opportunity to pursue an interest in a particular subject without being graded on the effort. Acceptable performance, attitude, and attendance, as defined by the instructor for the course, are expected. Audit enrollments do not fulfill requirements for course work for degree completion, requirements for load considerations by the Veterans Administration for educational benefits, or requirements for financial aid awards. If students enroll for an audit course, they are subject to regular enrollment procedures and a $75 per-semester-hour fee; students are also liable for all course lab fees. Admittance to class is based on space availability at the conclusion of the regular registration period, and instructor's permission. All students enrolling under this policy are required to complete the Auditing: Information and Request Form, which is available in the Registration Office.

Some programs of the College, e.g., English as a Second or Other Language (ESOL) courses and Nursing courses, are not available for audit.

Average (GPA)

Grade-point average (GPA) is determined by assigning point values to letter grades for each semester hour earned at Columbia College. Quality points are assigned as follows: A = 4, B = 3, C = 2, D = 1, F = 0.

For example, if a student completes the following 16 credit hours in a semester, this is how he/she would figure the GPA for that semester:
Course Credit hours Grade Total
Quality Points
English Composition 3 B 9
Biology 5 C 10
American History 3 B 9
Introduction to Business 3 A 12
Art and Ideas 2 A 8
16 48

Divide the total number of quality points earned (48) by the total number of credit hours attempted (16). The GPA for that semester would be 3.0 (B).

If a student fails a course, he/she receives no quality points for the course credit hours attempted. This failure, of course, adversely affects total quality points since the hours failed remain part of the formula for computing the GPA.

The cumulative GPA is determined by dividing the total quality points earned by the total credit hours attempted at Columbia College. Courses that are repeated (R grade) or taken on a pass/fail (S-U grade) basis are not considered when determining a semester or cumulative GPA. See section "Repeating A Course."

Changes of Grade

A change in grade may be made when a computational error has been made by the instructor or when a processing error has been made by the Registration Office. Request for a grade change is honored only when approved by the Vice President and Dean for Academic Affairs.


Students are designated freshmen, sophomores, juniors, and seniors according to the following standard of completed credit hours:
0 - 23.9 Freshman
24 - 51.9 Sophomore
52 - 83.9 Junior
84 - 120+ Senior

According to United States Department of Education regulations and Missouri Coordinating Board for Higher Education policy, all students applying for federal and/or state financial assistance must maintain satisfactory progress in a degree program to receive funding. Satisfactory progress is measured in terms of qualitative, quantitative, and maximum time frame standards. Once a student receives financial aid, all course work in prior terms will count toward these standards.

Directed Study

Directed study is available within most academic disciplines. Its purpose is to allow students to undertake additional, in-depth study of a topic that transcends the existing coursework described in the academic catalog. Directed study is not available for audit (see Audit above).

Students enrolling in these courses work closely with a selected faculty member, meeting on a regular basis, and working toward a mutually agreed-upon goal. Students approach a faculty member with a written proposal. If the proposal is approved, the faculty member and the student then complete the application form. The application form is to be submitted to the Vice President and Dean for Academic Affairs (for both Day and Evening students) for final approval. The proposal is to be attached to the form, which also requires approval by the supervising faculty member and his/her department chair.

This contract defines the title of the study, the learning objectives, resources to be used, evaluation methods to be employed, and other academic information. Since it is retained in the student's academic file, the proposal must be completed on the college form that is available in the Registration Office.

To be eligible for Directed Study, students must meet the following requirements: (1) completion of at least 45 semester hours of coursework, (2) prior completion of at least 6 semester hours in the discipline of the proposed study, and (3) a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher.

Incomplete Coursework

The mark of Incomplete is reserved for "extraordinary circumstances" that prevent a student from completing the requirements of a course by the end of the semester. Extraordinary circumstances is narrowly interpreted to mean unforeseen, unexpected circumstances beyond a student's control that prevent continued attendance in all classes (death of an immediate family member, a change in the student's employment, mental or physical illness befalling the student or a member of his/her immediate family). Only the instructor may grant an incomplete. In such cases the instructor makes specific written arrangements with the student for making up the grade.

If students receive an Incomplete, they must complete work by the end of the following semester (or by the end of two evening sessions for Evening students). Extensions beyond one semester completion time must be approved by the Vice President and Dean for Academic Affairs. Work not completed by that time results in the I being changed to an F on the permanent record. Students are responsible for this deadline.

When incomplete work in a course is completed, the instructor is responsible for reporting the letter grade that replaces the I on the student's permanent record.

Level -- see "Classification"


Students may elect to take one course per semester on a pass/fail basis. These may not be courses in the declared major area of study. (Exception: Honors projects in the major may be taken pass/fail.) Certain courses by program definition are always taken on a Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory basis. To receive a grade of S, work must equal the work of other students who earn an A, B, or C. Further details are available from faculty advisors or in the Registration Office. Students must designate at the time of registration that they wish to take a course pass/fail.

Each term, students enrolling in a course pass/fail may convert to the regular grading system (A, B, C, D, or F) until the end of the first quarter (usually 4 weeks for a semester, 2 weeks for a session) of that term. Courses taken on a pass/fail basis are not considered when determining Dean's List eligibility.

Repeating a Course

Any Columbia College course may be repeated at Columbia College in an attempt to improve the grade. The grade earned the second time the course is taken is used to determine grade-point average, and the first grade is identified as R (Repeat) on the transcript. The first grade does not figure in the total hours or the grade-point average. In all cases, the second grade is the one that is recorded. No duplicate credit is given. Additionally, students who use federal financial aid assistance must check with the Financial Aid Office to determine financial liability when repeating a course.


Total Withdrawal from Columbia College

The Dean for Campus Life establishes the official date of withdrawal for day students based upon the completion date of the withdrawal process and will verify the withdrawal date with other college offices. Information regarding academic and financial liability is available in the Campus Life Office.
All withdrawals by Day students for extraordinary circumstances must be approved by the Vice President and Dean for Academic Affairs and Dean for Campus Life. Requests for approval must be submitted, in writing, when withdrawal procedures are initiated. Substantiating documentation must be presented within a two-week period after withdrawal is initiated, or approval will be denied.

If a student is administratively withdrawn from school, the withdrawal date will be established by the office responsible for the action. Tuition, room, and board will be prorated according to the schedule listed in the portion of the catalog entitled "FEES". No credit will be given for nonrefundable deposits, laboratory or course fees, etc.

All withdrawals by Evening students for extraordinary circumstances must be approved by the Vice President and Dean for Academic Affairs. A letter from the student explaining the circumstances and substantiating documentation must be provided at the time of withdrawal.

Withdrawal From a Course

If students withdraw from courses between the end of the drop period and the end of the 12th week of classes (6th week in the evening) they receive a Withdraw (W) grade. Beginning with the 13th week of classes, (7th week in the evening), withdrawals may occur only if extraordinary circumstances are applicable. Students do not receive grade points for Withdraw grades, but the notation appears on their transcripts. See the explanation of extraordinary circumstances in the Grading System.

If, because of extraordinary circumstances as defined in the catalog, a student wishes to withdraw after the 12th week of classes (6th week in the evening), then a grade of WE (Withdraw Excused) may be requested. A request for a grade of WE must be accompanied by a letter from the student explaining the circumstances. In addition, substantiating documentation must be provided. A grade of WE may be requested any time during a term. It is not automatic and is subject to review and approval.

Discontinuing class attendance does not constitute withdrawal from a course; students must complete the above procedure to be officially withdrawn.

Course withdrawal forms, which explain attendant conditions, are available in the Registration Office. If students do not complete the withdrawal process, a grade of F (Failing) is recorded on their records unless they remain in the courses and complete them satisfactorily or unless they make other arrangements, such as demonstrating the existence of extraordinary circumstances or unless they receive an Incomplete (I).

Candidacy for Degree

Declaration of candidacy for degree must occur no later than one session prior to the last session of enrollment for degree completion. Candidacy forms are to be filed in the Evaluations Office after payment of the graduation processing fee at the Cashier's Window. Candidacy forms are available in the Evaluations Office.

Responsibility for understanding and meeting graduation requirements rests entirely with the student.

Graduation Requirements -- see "Catalog Changes"


Internships are in-depth, practical learning experiences wherein students are placed in various agencies and/or organizations compatible with their academic majors and educational interests. Internships are supported by the college's academic mission and by the belief that theoretical knowledge is enhanced by and through the application of that knowledge.

As learning experiences, internships are coordinated by faculty working in conjunction with a designated supervisor in the agency or organization. A formal contract is developed in cooperation with the student, the faculty member, and the agency supervisor. This contract defines the nature and objectives of the learning experience and the responsibilities of each party involved. Specific requirements vary with the academic programs and agencies involved.

Internships are available in the junior or senior academic years. Two course numbers are assigned for internships: 399 and 499. Students enroll for credit during the term in which they undertake the internship. They may enroll for credit up to a maximum of 12 semester hours at each level; however, certain departments may limit the number of hours for internship. Some programs require a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher for enrollment in internships.

Students are expected to work in an agency or organization for a minimum of 45 clock hours for every semester hour for which they enroll. In other words, if a student enrolls for an internship worth 9 semester hours, the student is expected to work 405 clock hours during the term in which enrollment takes place.

Evaluation of student performance is made by the faculty member and the agency supervisor. The successful completion of contracted papers, projects, and tasks must occur before credit is given. If a student is dismissed from an internship position by the agency for legitimate reasons (a situation tantamount to being fired), the student fails the course. However, if a situation beyond the student's control eventuates in that student's inability to complete the course, then the student must initiate action through the faculty member to find an alternative resolution.


Day Students

Students are charged an overload fee calculated from their semester enrollment status for hours above the eighteen-hour maximum. An overload of no more than three semester hours may be allowed in a semester with special permission from the Vice President and Dean for Academic Affairs. Students requesting an overload must have a minimum cumulative grade-point average of 3.0. Exceptions to the overload tuition fee are overloads resulting from choir, newspaper production, resident-assistant class for one credit, ROTC, and college-sponsored activities. The fee for 3 hours of overload credit is waived for students with a cumulative grade-point average of 3.75 or better only if such students have accumulated at least 30 semester hours from Columbia College.

Evening Students

Seniors with a minimum cumulative grade-point average of 3.0 and within 24 semester hours of graduation may request from the Vice President and Dean for Academic Affairs one session of overload (9 semester hours during the fall or spring semesters; 12 semester hours during the summer session). If approved for the overload, students will be charged $195 per semester hour for the 9-12 semester hours.

Probation, Suspension, Dismissal, and Readmission


Students are placed on academic probation and may be suspended or dismissed if they fail to maintain the following cumulative GPA standards by the time they have completed the indicated number of hours, including hours accepted in transfer:

  • 0 - 30.9 semester hours: 1.75 GPA
  • 31 - 45.9 semester hours: 1.90 GPA
  • 46 or more semester hours: 2.00 GPA

"Completed credit hours" refers to semester hours earned by a student for all courses for which letter grades (A, B, C, D, F, S, or U) have been received. Semester hours accepted in transfer from other colleges count as completed semester hours for determining GPA requirements; but, since no letter grades are recorded for transfer credits, such credits are not computed in the numerical GPA.

If students are placed on academic probation, they may not hold appointed or elected offices in any organization; they may not participate in intercollegiate athletic competition; they may not carry an overload; and they can no longer receive financial aid. Requests for reinstatement of financial aid awards are considered on an individual basis. Requests are submitted in writing to the Director of Financial Aid.

If students are placed on academic probation, they must earn sufficient quality points during their probation term to bring the GPA to the standards stated above. If they fail to do this, they are suspended for the following regular academic term(s) (the next fall or spring semester or the next two evening sessions). Day students may not serve a suspension during summer session.


  1. A suspension is imposed on students who do not earn sufficient quality points to bring their GPA to the standards stated above. This occurs at the end of one probationary term for the following regular academic term(s) (the next fall or spring semester or the next two evening sessions). Students may appeal the academic suspension action. The Admissions Review Committee reviews appeals cases on a timely basis.
  2. Regular-admit students completing their first semester or session at Columbia College with a GPA of 0 are suspended for one semester (Day student) or two sessions (Evening student). Summer-admit students completing courses with a GPA of 0 are suspended for two sessions. Students may NOT appeal this academic suspension action.
  3. Students who are admitted by the Admissions Review Committee (see Admissions section of this catalog) and who do not earn sufficient quality points to bring their GPA to the standards stated in the Probation section are dismissed (see below).

Academically dismissed students may be reviewed for readmission to Columbia College only after a three-year period has elapsed.


Students may be dismissed from Columbia College if they are granted readmittance after their suspension and fail to achieve a satisfactory cumulative grade-point average in the next term (semester or session).


Students must write a letter of appeal to the Vice President and Dean for Academic Affairs and apply to the Admissions Office for readmission to the college (day, evening, graduate, or Extended Studies Division) after a suspension or dismissal period is completed. The Admissions Review Committee reviews students' records, makes recommendations regarding eligibility to
return, and establishes conditions of return. Readmission to the College is not automatic and does not establish students' eligibility for financial aid.

Non-Degree Seeking Students

Non-Degree seeking students must earn a grade of C or better in each course in order to be eligible to reapply for non-degree seeking status. Students who do not maintain this standard may be subject to probation or suspension.

Students who are suspended may be ineligible to apply for non-degree seeking status again. In order to be reconsidered for admission to Columbia College, the student will be required to complete the process for degree-seeking students, including a review by the Admissions Review Committee.

Registration Policies

A student who registers as a Day student has all other semester hours registered for that term classified as Day semester hours, regardless of the Program (Evening or ESD) in which the semester hours are taken.

Day Students

Students register for courses prior to the beginning of each semester. If they are unable to register during the regular period, they may register late, upon payment of a late-registration fee. No registration is accepted after the fifth day of classes.

Columbia College policy allows day students to enroll for a full-time course load of up to 18 semester hours of credit in any one semester. A semester is defined as the sixteen-week term beginning in August and ending in December or the sixteen-week term beginning in January and ending in April. Semester hours are based on the number of hours per week students attend classes. A three semester hour course, for instance, requires students to go to classes three hours a week for the entire semester. Semester enrollment status is calculated by adding all hours (day and evening) for which students are properly registered.

International Students

Students holding immigration visas must maintain enrollment in at least 12 semester hours each semester. The Immigration and Naturalization Service may be notified if an international student drops below 12 semester hours in the Fall or Spring semesters.

Cancellation of Registration: Students may cancel registration any time through the close of official registration by submitting a written notification of registration cancellation to the Registration Office. Once classes have started, students wishing to discontinue enrollment must complete formal withdrawal procedures with the Dean for Campus Life.

Day Students Enrolling in Evening Classes

  • Students enrolled in the Day Program may be eligible to enroll in Evening courses, but only under extraordinary circumstances.
  • Eligibility. Day students requesting permission to enroll in an Evening course may not do so until Monday of the first week of the Evening session. Students must meet one of the following eligibility criteria:
    1. They are seniors who, through no fault of their own, must enroll in a specific course to graduate. (If students postpone until their senior year taking a course that they could have taken earlier, they do not qualify for enrollment in an Evening course under this criterion.)
    2. They are students who will benefit educationally by taking an Evening course that is not available in the day.
  • Requirements. Students applying for enrollment in Evening courses must submit written evidence documenting why the course is not and was not available in the daytime.

    If they are students paying at the per-hour tuition rate, they may not exceed a combined total of 8.9 semester hours during any one term (a 16-week semester, or 8-week session, or a combination of both). If a student wishes to enroll and his or her total number of credit hours exceeds 8.9, then that student must pay the full-time tuition rate.
  • Highest priority for enrollment in Evening courses is accorded students who have completed at least 84 hours toward a degree at Columbia College and who, through no fault of their own, cannot satisfy all graduation requirements during the Day and for whom no other options are available and therefore request to enroll in an Evening course to graduate.

Evening Students

Evening students enroll for coursework prior to the beginning of each session. Late registrations are accepted through the add period for each session. The late-registration fee begins on the first day of Evening classes. Five eight-week sessions are offered each year, beginning in January, March, June, August, and October, as well as two four-week sessions in June and July. Intersession courses may be offered in a two- and three-week format. Enrollment is limited to 8.9 hours during any eight-week session of the Fall and Spring semesters. Summer session students may take a total of nine semester hours in any combination of summer sessions. Intersession students are limited to three semester hours.

Release of Students' Files and/or Information

The purpose of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 is to provide students the option of denying access to his or her academic records by any person outside the institution, apart from a few specified individuals and in specific instances.

Under the provisions of the Act, students have the right to prevent the disclosure of "directory information," which is described as name, address, telephone number, e-mail address, dates of attendance, class, previous institutions attended, major field of study, awards, honors (including Dean's List), degree(s) conferred (including dates), past and present participation in officially recognized sports and activities, physical factors (height and weight of athletes), and date and place of birth. "Directory information" may be released at the discretion of the institution. However, students who do not wish any or all of this information to be released may prevent such release by completing and signing a Request to Prevent Disclosure of Directory Information prior to the first day of classes for each academic term. (This form is available in the Registration Office.) Students wishing to deny access to their records by specified individuals must complete this form.

Also available in the Registration Office are two other forms that students may complete and sign to grant the college permission to release information to their parents or to any third party they wish to specify.

Transcripts and Student Records

The college maintains permanent records showing the progress of each student. Student records indicate the rates at which he or she is progressing, final grades in each subject for each semester or evening session, withdrawals from courses, and re-enrollments in subjects from which he or she had previously withdrawn.

The college maintains records through the last date of attendance or the effective date of their unofficial withdrawal.

Transcripts of permanent student records cannot be shared with anyone, except instructors and other college officials, without written permission from the student. All financial obligations must be met before records are released to students. Transcripts cost $5.

Veterans Guidelines

Veterans are ineligible for tuition assistance unless a letter grade is assigned to each course for which they have been enrolled. Progress may be considered unsatisfactory when they are not progressing at a rate to permit graduation within the approved training time as certified by the Veterans Administration (VA). A reasonable extension of training time beyond the approved length of the curriculum may be allowed. However, whenever students require more than a reasonable extension (6 semester hours), they are reported to the VA for unsatisfactory progress.

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