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Academic Standards

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Philosophy

Academic programs and co-curricular services and activities of the College directly support the College mission to promote a supportive, learning centered environment that empowers our students, provides enriching life experiences, and enhances the quality of life throughout our community. Academic instruction in the fields of Developmental Studies, Liberal Arts and Sciences, and several career oriented areas are designed to promote sharply focused disciplinary knowledge together with more generic critical thinking, problem solving and decision making skills. Co-curricular services, programs and activities complement the academic curriculum, providing opportunities for experiences that promote the development of personal and interpersonal competencies and appreciation for the value of continuous self-discovery and lifelong learning.

The policies of Finger Lakes Community College encourage the pursuit of scholarship within a positive and supportive environment. Academic Standards and Regulations are designed to support this philosophy and the College has adopted the following guidelines to assist in this purpose. The College faculty are authorized to specify attendance, testing, and grading policies consistent with the purpose and nature of the course, and the Academic Standards and Regulations that are listed in this section.

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Definition of Terms

Curriculum: A program of courses approved for a specific degree or certificate.

Electives: Credit courses, not required in a given curriculum, but which may be taken for credit toward graduation.

Full-time Student: A student enrolled for twelve (12) or more credits.

Part-time Student: A student who is taking fewer than twelve (12) hours during a semester.

Good Standing: A student who successfully accumulates credit hours and meets a cumulative grade point average according to the College's Standards of Progress.

Academic Probation: A student who fails to meet the College's Standards of Progress. A student on academic probation is limited to a maximum of 13 credit hours.

Academic Dismissal: A student who fails to meet the minimum Standards of Progress following a probationary semester.  A student who has been academically dismissed must complete the academic appeal process to be reinstated. The dismissal remains in effect until the student has been readmitted by the Committee on Academic Standing or, in certain circumstances, the Director of Community Standards.

Matriculated Student: A student is matriculated upon acceptance into a program of study at the College that leads to a degree or certificate.

Non-Matriculated Student: An individual who is taking courses without applying or being accepted for matriculation in a degree program. Non-matriculated students are restricted to no more than 11 hours of credit during any one term.

Overload Status: A student may enroll for more than 19 hours by securing approval from their advisor and the Associate Vice President. An additional fee is required.

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Grading System

The following grades are awarded in credit courses for which quality points are computed. The grades A, B, C, and D are applicable toward graduation requirements.

AAn honor grade given for work of excellence and distinction
BRepresents work of consistently high quality
CRepresents work of average quality, within broad ranges, which meets the essential requirements of the course
DIndicates some evidence of accomplishment but substantially below-average quality work
FNegligible academic accomplishment

The following grades are awarded for certain courses:

SSatisfactory completion of the course requirements
UUnsatisfactory work

The following symbols may be used for credit or non-credit courses. These are not counted toward graduation:

NA NA Never Attended Occurs when a student never attends any meeting of a course as defined by federal financial aid standards. NA is instructor-initiated and is not calculated in the student's grade point average.
MW MW Medical Withdrawal Students will be assigned a grade of MW if the student indicates that he/she withdrew from courses that they were enrolled in for a given semester for documented medical or psychological reasons.  To obtain MW grades for a semester, a student should first withdraw with W grades (see  above) during the period each semester that they are able to do so. Students must then submit a medical withdraw petition to have the W grades changed to MW. Petitions must be accompanied by supporting documentation from a licensed health care provider. Petitions may be submitted at the time of withdraw but no later than the fourth week of the subsequent semester following the withdraw from all courses to the Associate Vice President of Instruction and Assessment.
W Official Withdrawal from a course without penalty to a student's grade point average is permitted any time on or before the Friday of the week the class has met eighty percent of its scheduled time. The formal withdrawal is initiated by the student. The form becomes official when it is submitted to the Registrar and the grade of W (withdrawal) is entered on the student record. Course withdrawals during the first three weeks of a course will not be entered on the student's record.
I Incomplete indicates that a student was unable to complete a small portion of the course work by the end of the semester due to extenuating circumstances. This grade may be assigned at the discretion of the instructor and is a temporary grade. Instructors may require a signed contract that includes a description of the work to be completed and a deadline for completion. The deadline for completing incomplete work is at the instructor's discretion, but should not exceed one calendar year. After the student has completed the work, the instructor will submit a "Change of Grade Notice" to the Registrar for the removal of the "I" grade, and the student will be notified of the new grade. The Registrar's Office will notify the instructor of the course prior to the pending change of an "Incomplete" to a failure. Unless otherwise notified by the instructor, if the "I" grade has not been removed within one calendar year, it will be administratively changed to an "F". The student will be notified when the grade change occurs.
X Students will be administratively withdrawn if they fail to provide proof of immunity and acknowledgment of meningococcal meningitis vaccine information as required by New York State Public Health Law 2165 and Health Law 2167. A grade of "X" will not be calculated in the student's grade point average and cannot be used toward graduation.
AU Audit. A student may audit a course only with the written approval of the instructor. Such approval must be submitted to the Registrar's office prior to the end of the drop/add period. The student must pay the required amount as if registering for credit in the course. An auditor student may change status only during the normal drop and add period established by the college. A grade of AU is not earned credit and cannot be used to fulfill graduation requirements.
AW Students will be assigned a grade of AW, according to the Student Code of Conduct, for conduct reasons leading to suspension or dismissal before completion of their current semester. An AW grade will usually be accompanied by a Permanent Transcript Notation. Please see the Student Code of Conduct, "Sanctions", for more information

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Repeat Courses

A student who repeats a course (that cannot be repeated for credit) for a higher grade can only count the course as credit towards full-time status for purposes of financial aid if the student initially received a grade of "F" in the course or a higher grade is required by the academic department.

For those students who do repeat a course, the higher grade will be calculated in the cumulative grade point average and count as credits completed. Both courses will continue to appear on the student's transcript.

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Grade Point Average

The Grade Point Average (GPA) is determined by dividing the total number of credit hours with grade points into the total number of grade points earned. Credits for courses with a grade of "F" are added into the total number of credits for calculation of the GPA. All grades carrying grade points are used in calculation of the GPA. In the case of repeated courses, the higher grade is calculated in the GPA.

Grade Grade Points Grade Grade Points
A 4.0 C 2.0
A- 3.7 C- 1.7
B+ 3.3 D+ 1.3
B 3.0 D 1.0
B- 2.7 D- 0.7
C+ 2.3 F 0.0

Example of how a Grade Point Average (G.P.A.) is computed.

GRADE GRADE POINTS / HOUR CREDIT HOURS GRADE POINTS EARNED
A- 3.7 3 11.1
F 0.0 4 0.0
W 0.0 0 0.0
C+ 2.3 3 6.9
I 0.0 0 0.0
S 0.0 0 0.0
Grade Points Earned: 18.0
    Grade Points Earned   18    
G.P.A.  =  --------------------------  =  ---  =  1.8



Credit Hours Attempted
in Grade Point Courses

10

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Dean's List

Dean's List is recognition of high academic achievement for a semester. Full-time students are eligible if they are a matriculated student and achieve a 3.5 Grade Point Average for the semester (12 or more hours of earned credit) with no grade below passing and no incompletes.

Part-time students are eligible if they are a matriculated student, have completed a minimum of 12 credit hours at FLCC, earn a combined total of at least six credit hours for a given year and achieve a 3.5 Grade Point Average with no grade below passing and no incompletes. The Dean's list for part-time students is compiled at the end of the Spring term only.

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Standards of Progress

Finger Lakes Community College requires students to maintain a standard of progress to keep matriculation in a degree program and eligibility for financial aid. Good academic standing is important to all students. In order to be in good academic standing and to be making academic progress toward a degree or certificate, a student must meet a minimum cumulative grade point average according to the table below. At least once each semester, students are encouraged to meet with their faculty advisor or with a counselor in the Educational Planning and Career Services office to review their academic progress.

If the standard of progress is not achieved at the intervals noted below, a student will be placed on academic probation. A student who fails to meet the College's Standards of Progress for two semesters in succession is not in good academic standing and may be academically dismissed from FLCC.

In order to remain in good academi standing students should minimize these types of grades: F (failing), U (unsatisfactory), I (incomplete), NA (never attended), W (withdrawal) AW (conduct withdrawal), and X (administrative withdrawal).

Cumulative Attempted Credits Minimum Cumulative G.P.A. 
6-13 1.50
14-29 1.80
30 and greater 2.0

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Academic Probation

When a student fails to meet the Standards of Progress, the student is placed on academic probation. Academic probation serves as a warning that a student is in academic jeopardy. At the conclusion of the probationary semester, the student may

  1. Move to good academic standing if progress is achieved according to the intervals noted in the table above,
  2. Continue on academic probation if progress is shown towards meeting the Standards of Progress, or
  3. Be academically dismissed if progress is not shown towards meeting the Standards of Progress (refer to Academic Dismissal, below).

Students who have been placed on academic probation are required to meet with their faculty advisor or an advisor in the Educational Planning and Career Services office to discuss the requirements for good academic standing. A student on academic probation is limited to 13 credit hours unless an Probation Overload Request is filed with, and approved by, the Director of Community Standards. View frequently asked questions regarding academic probation »

Financial Aid

Students on probation may also lose eligibility for financial aid. For more information see Federal and State Academic Eligibility

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Academic Dismissal

When a student fails to meet the minimum Standards of Progress following a probationary semester, the student may be academically dismissed from the College.  Academic dismissal means that the student is no longer in a degree program, loses all financial aid, and is not eligible to return to FLCC without completing the Academic Appeal process (refer to Academic Appeals, below).

A student may appeal the dismissal due to extenuating circumstances. Dismissed students, regardless of their financial aid status, must appeal in order to continue or reactivate enrollment. Academic dismissal remains in effect until the student has been readmitted by the Committee on Academic Standing or, in certain cases, the Director of Community Standards. View frequently asked questions regarding academic dismissal »

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Academic Appeals

A student who has been academically dismissed from FLCC may appeal the dismissal if extenuating circumstances contributed to this dismissal (including, but not limited to; illness, injury, medical reasons, etc.) To begin the Academic Appeal process, the student must complete an Academic Dismissal Appeal and submit documentation to support the appeal. Academic Dismissal Appeal forms are available online at www.flcc.edu/offices/advisementcenter/.

Students are strongly encouraged to meet with a staff member in the Educational Planning and Career Services office to review the Academic Appeal process. The appeal and all supporting documentation must be returned to the Director of Community Standards by the stated deadline on the appeal. The Committee on Academic Standing will review and act on the appeal. The Committee on Academic Standing is comprised of faculty members, representatives from the Educational Planning and Career Services Office, Financial Aid Office, Bursar's Office, Project Success, and the Director of Community Standards. Appeals are reviewed by the Committee on Academic Standing and/or Director of Community Standards on a periodic basis throughout the academic year. The Committee on Academic Standing is the final authority on appeals of academic dismissal. Students will be notified in writing regarding the outcome of their appeal. Students may contact the Director of Community Standards with any questions regarding the Academic Appeal process at 585.785.1211.

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Reinstatement for Academically Dismissed Students

A student who has been academically dismissed for not meeting the College's Standards of Progress may gain re-admission if extenuating circumstances contributed to this failure (refer to Academic Appeals, above). If no extenuating circumstances contributed to this failure, the student may appeal after leaving the College for two academic semesters (fall and spring).

When an Academic Appeal is granted, the student will be reinstated with probationary status and required to meet conditions specified by the Committee on Academic Standing, or the Director of Community Standards, including, but not limited to, completing a specific course(s), limiting the number of credit hours for which the student may register, achieving a semester grade point average of 2.00, restriction from online courses, and successfully completing all coursework. Students failing to meet the conditions would be required to be separated from the College as follows:

1st failed contract – one year leave from Finger Lakes Community College

2nd failed contract – three years leave from Finger Lakes Community College

3rd failed contract – three years leave from Finger Lakes Community College

Students may contact the Director of Community Standards with any questions regarding reinstatement at 585.785.1211.

Note: Students that have been granted an Academic Dismissal Appeal must also complete and be granted a Financial Aid Appeal of Satisfactory Academic Progress for Federal Aid to be reconsidered for federal financial aid (Pell grants, loans, work-study and SEOG).

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Standard of Satisfactory Academic Progress for Purpose of Determining State Aid (TAP)

Failure to make satisfactory academic progress towards the completion of a degree or certificate may result in the loss of one or more semesters of New York State TAP or Aid for Part-time Studies (APTS). At the conclusion of each semester, the Financial Aid Office reviews all grades to determine if recipients are making satisfactory academic progress. To remain in good standing for NYS, a student must achieve a certain GPA and earn a certain number of cumulative credits before being certified for the next semester’s TAP payment.

Pursuit of Program

Satisfactory program pursuit is defined as receiving a passing or failing grade in a certain percentage of a full-time course load each term an award is received. The percentage increases from 50 percent of the minimum full-time course load in each term of study in the first year an award is received, to 75 percent of the minimum full-time course load in each term of study in the second year an award is received, to 100% of the minimum full-time course load in each term thereafter (refer to the table below). Students may not receive more than six (6) semesters of TAP in their pursuit of an Associate's Degree unless they are Educational Opportunity Program students.

Minimum full-time course load: 12 credits

Semester of Award* Student Must Complete
1 6 credits or credit equivalents
2 6 credits or credit equivalents
3 9 credits or credit equivalents
4 9 credits or credit equivalents
5 12 credits or credit equivalents
6 12 credits or credit equivalents
7** 12 credits or credit equivalents
8** 12 credits or credit equivalents
9** 12 credits or credit equivalents
10** 12 credits or credit equivalents

*The credits are prorated for students receiving aid for Part-time study.
**Applicable to Educational Opportunity Program students only.

Standards of Good Academic Progress

A student must be able to meet the College's Standards of Progress, Pursuit of Program requirements, and the Satisfactory Academic Progress Standards to remain eligible to receive State aid. Some of the programs affected are the Tuition Assistance Program (TAP), Child of Veteran Award, and Aid for Part-time Study (APTS).

The following chart should be used for students who first received TAP prior to 2010-11 or those who meet the definition of remedial student (below).

Before Being Certified for Payment # 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
Min. Credits 0 3 9 18 30 45 60 75
Min. GPA .0 .5 .75 1.3 2.0 2.0 2.0 2.0

A "remedial student" is defined as a student:

  1. whose scores on a recognized college placement exam or nationally recognized standardized exam indicated the need for remediation for at least two semesters, as certified by the college and approved by the State Education Department (SED); or
  2. who was enrolled in at least six semester hours of non-credit remedial courses (i.e. DST courses) in the first term they received a TAP award; or
  3. who is or was enrolled in an opportunity program (HEOP, EOP, SEEK CD).

The following chart should be used for students who first received TAP in 2010-2011 or later.

Before Being Certified for Payment # 1 2 3 4 5 6
Min. Credits 0 6 15 27 39 51
Min. GPA .0 1.3 1.5 1.8 2.0 2.0

How State Aid Requirements Treat…

Non-Credit Remedial Coursework

For purposes of determining state aid eligibility, non-credit remedial coursework (i.e. DST courses) are NOT considered when determining standards of good academic progress and cumulative GPA. However, completed DST courses will be used to determine satisfactory pursuit of program.

Courses Outside a Degree Program

Full time students must be enrolled in a minimum of 12 credit hours within their degree program each semester to be eligible for a Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) award. If a student is receiving a TAP award and wishes to enroll in coursework outside his/her degree program, the course(s) must be above and beyond the minimum full time load of 12 credit hours. An exception is made for students who are entering their final semester (that is, the semester the student is scheduled to graduate). In the final semester, the student is not bound by the requirement and is permitted to enroll in coursework outside of his/her degree program in addition to the courses necessary for graduation to receive a TAP award. (This is not allowed for federal aid.)

Part time students receiving Aid for Part Time Study (APTS) can only be funded for those courses pertaining to their degree program.

Repeat Courses

In determining a student’s eligibility for State aid, repeating a course in which a student earned a ‘D-’ grade or better cannot be counted toward full-time or part-time course load, unless it is required by the student’s curriculum. Full time students must maintain a minimum of 12 credit hours, not including the repeat course, to be eligible to receive a Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) award. Part time students receiving Aid for Part Time Study (APTS) will not receive payment for the portion of the award that would be used to cover the repeated course.

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Fresh Start Petition

Finger Lakes Community College (FLCC) recognizes the fact that some students may attend the College prior to being actually ready to pursue a college education. Students may attend a semester or two and receive failing or near failing grades. Often the student may stop attending and return many years later only to have the grades from his/her previous academic endeavor negatively impact his/her current academic work.

Students returning to FLCC after an absence may petition to have their prior work excluded from their current cumulative grade point average (CGPA). Upon written petition to the Assistant Dean of Student Services, students who have been away from the College for five or more years may be granted a Fresh Start. If a student has less than a five year absence from the College, but has extenuating circumstances that warrant a Fresh Start, the student may also petition the Assistant Dean, with appropriate documentation. The Assistant Dean may refer the petition to the Committee on Academic Standing who will consider the petition based on the documentation submitted. If the petition is approved, the student will be granted a Fresh Start.

If a student is granted a Fresh Start, the transcript will be modified as follows: grades of S (satisfactory) and C- or better will not be calculated in the CGPA, but the credit will count towards graduation requirements. The courses and grades would remain on the transcript to reflect an accurate academic history. Courses with grades of D+, D, D-, F, and U will also remain on the transcript to reflect an accurate academic history, but the grades would no longer be calculated into the CGPA and the credit would no longer count towards graduation requirements.

Students can be granted only one Fresh Start petition during their academic career at Finger Lakes Community College and should petition during the first academic year of their return to college. Download the Fresh Start Petition.

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