Jul 22, 2024  
2019-2020 Catalog 
2019-2020 Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

GRCC Policies-Academic & Campus

Academic Policies

GRCC Campus Policies

Academic Policies

Grading Policy

Calculation of Honor Points--The use of plus and minus is optional; therefore, some instructors may choose not to use them.

Grade Honor Points
per Credit Hour
  Grade Honor Points
per Credit Hour
A 4.00   D+ 1.33
A– 3.67   D 1.00
B+ 3.33   D– 0.67
B 3.00   E 0.00
B– 2.67   I Incomplete
C+ 2.33   V Audit
C 2.00   W Student Initiated Drop
C– 1.67   DR College Initiate Drop
Grade Point Average (GPA) Calculation

The number of credit hours granted for a grade of E or higher is indicated in the description for each course. Each hour of credit is valued in honor points according to the grade received. I, W, and DR grades are not included in the grade point average calculations.

To determine grade point average, multiply the number of honor points of each grade received by the number of hours of credit for that course. E grades need to be calculated as attempted credits, using the above formula. Next, divide the total number of honor points by the total number of credit hours earned. A GPA calculator is available online at www.grcc.edu/registrarGPA.

Students are advised that many colleges and universities compute grade point average differently. Upon transfer to one of these institutions, the student’s grade point average might be recomputed and thus be lower than the GRCC grade point average.

Students are reminded that a 2.0 grade point average is required for graduation from Grand Rapids Community College.

No grade may be changed other than the I grade after the end of the semester during which the grade was earned unless an error occurred.

Audit (V Grade)

Students may choose to receive an audit grade of V for classes in which they enroll. Students may audit a class for enjoyment, for personal exploration, for gaining insight into a new subject, or for other reasons. Audit status does not count toward full-time enrollment or graduation. The course will appear on the student’s transcript.

Students pay full tuition for classes they audit and are expected to participate in all class activities. However, they are not compelled to take tests or examinations or to write term papers, but they may do so voluntarily.

Withdrawal Process (W Grade)

Students may withdraw from a course and receive a W grade until the 70% date of course completion (as noted on the class roster) through the Online Center or at the Enrollment Center. After the 70% date, students may not initiate a course withdrawal or receive a W grade and the final course grade (A, B, C, D, or E) will be assigned based upon all graded and missed assignments. Instructors may not assign a W grade. 

However, during the last 30% of a course, students who have a documented extenuating circumstance such as an illness or injury, or the illness, injury or death of a significant other or family member may apply for a Hardship Withdrawal (Student Medical/Hardship Withdrawal policy).

A DR may be assigned by the Registrar’s office if a student ceases to attend a class in accordance with the Attendance Policy, or, other instances as determined by the Registrar’s office where an administrative withdrawal is required. There is no impact on the student’s GPA for receiving a W or DR grade in the Grand Rapids Community College grading system; however, other institutions may have different policies governing the impact of W or DR grades on transfer student acceptance and/or their calculated GPA. In addition, W or DR grades may have a negative impact on financial aid eligibility.

Incomplete Grades (I Grade)

An incomplete grade of I may be temporarily assigned in the event of extenuating circumstances such as illness, injury, birth of a child, death of a family member, jury duty, or other situations that are beyond the control of the student and prevent completion of the course requirements during the semester. The following requirements must be met in order to receive an incomplete grade: 

The coursework up to the time of the absence has been satisfactory, and in the instructor’s judgment, the student can complete the required work without repeating the course or attending any class sessions in subsequent semesters.

Approximately 90% of the course time has elapsed or coursework has been completed as determined by the instructor.

Once the coursework is completed or the allotted time lapsed, the instructor will make the grade change in the Online Center within 10 business days. If the course work is not completed and/or the instructor does not change the grade, the incomplete grade will default to a grade of E one year from the end date of the class. In the event of further unforeseen, extreme or unusual circumstances, a written appeal for an extension may be made to the Associate Dean of Hiring and Evaluation of the School where the course resides.

Academic Standing

Grand Rapids Community College (GRCC) requires all students to make satisfactory academic progress. Satisfactory academic progress is reviewed at the end of each semester of enrollment after a student has attempted at least 12 (cumulative) credit hours at GRCC. This policy applies  to all credit students at GRCC regardless of degree status (personal interest, early/dual, non-degree, and degree), program of study, and financial aid status (recipients and non-recipients). Students in specific programs (both academic and support programs) at GRCC and students receiving financial aid and/or veterans benefits must also meet the specific academic requirements that determine continuation for these programs. Students who fall below the standards for Academic Progress will be notified and placed on probation or suspension. For more information on GRCC’s Academic Standing Policy, visit, Student Records-About Academic Standing.

Catalog Year Policy

Grand Rapids Community College (GRCC) students admitted as degree-seeking students are assigned the Catalog year in place during the semester they are admitted. This Catalog year is used to evaluate fulfilled graduation and academic program (major) requirements.

If a student declares a new academic program, they will be assigned a Catalog year based on the effective date of that change.

Students returning as degree-seeking, after an extended absence greater than two years (six semesters, including summer), will be assigned a Catalog year based on the semester declared on their readmit application.

Students may request through an advisor to fulfill the graduation and academic program (major) requirements of any Catalog year in place after their semester of admittance, or readmittance (if applicable).

Class Attendance
Each faculty member is required to create and make available a course syllabus which clearly and explicitly describes the course attendance policy. Faculty members are encouraged to create an attendance policy that takes into consideration anticipated (such as College-related activities, personal issues, etc.) and unanticipated (such as trauma, military duty, court appearances, etc.) absences.

Attendance policies must comply with the 14 day absence rule as defined by Department of Education (Title IV administration).  When a student has not attended a course during a 14 calendar day period, this absence is reported by faculty to the institution, and this report would initiate a withdrawal of that student from said class.  Faculty do not need to report an absence when a student is in communication and there is a shared understanding on how that student is making progress in the course.
Students are responsible for contacting their instructors regarding absences. Students must understand that they are responsible for class work missed during an absence, doing any extra work that may be required to replace in-class activities, and that missing class will impact student learning and may negatively impact grades. Each faculty member’s attendance policy, as stated in the course syllabus, is the final authority on any academic consequences associated with missing a class.

Attendance policies must take into consideration the need to comply with requirements of state and federal laws including the Americans with Disabilities Act, Title IV, and Title IX.
Each faculty member is required to maintain an accurate daily record of the attendance of each student enrolled in each of the faculty member’s classes. This record should include date of last attendance in the case of a student receiving an E or a W in the course.
Course Credit Hour Definition

Currently under revision.

Course Repetition

Students may repeat courses. Both the original course grade and the repeated course grade are entered into the student’s permanent record. Credit hours for graduation are recorded only once. If a student repeats a course, the transcript will show both grades, but will use only the credits and grade points associated with the higher grade for GPA computation.

Grade Reports

Grade reports are available to the student at the end of each semester and are accessible through the Online Center. Students needing assistance accessing their grades online may contact the Student Technology Help Desk. Student Records–Office of the Registrar will mail grades upon request. Transcripts, grade reports, and diplomas will not be distributed to students who have unpaid financial obligations to the College and other similar holds.

GRCC Generated Graduation Policy

Students will automatically be awarded the degrees and certificates that they earn at GRCC.  Students will have the opportunity to decline these credentials.

Generated Graduation Policy

Graduation Requirements

To be awarded an associate’s degree at Grand Rapids Community College, students must have:

  • Completed at least 60 credit hours of course work.
  • Completed at least 15 credit hours of course work at GRCC.
  • Completed the coursework outlined in the GRCC catalog for the program in which they are enrolled.
  • Earned a cumulative grade point average of at least 2.0 in all course work completed at GRCC.
  • Earned at least 6 credits of English composition or at least 3 credits of English composition and 3 credits in a Michigan Transfer Agreement (MTA) aligned communication course for all Associate Degrees for the degree they are seeking.
  • Earned credit for the appropriate general education Group Distribution Requirements for the degree they are seeking.
  • No courses below 100 level will be used toward graduation requirements, including the minimum number of credits that need to be completed.

Also, see the Graduation page in the catalog.

Mandatory Placement

GRCC students whose placement scores indicate that they need developmental coursework (in English, Math, or Reading) will be required to enroll in and pass that coursework before taking college-level English and Math courses, and other specified college-level courses.

Mandatory Placement Policy

Mandatory Student Orientation

All students new to GRCC who are seeking a degree or certificate are required to attend a mandatory New Student Academic and Financial Advising session prior to enrollment in courses. Excluded from this policy are students who transfer in 12 credits taken at another college. New students who enter with a high school GPA of 3.0 or higher will have the option to participate in an online version of the New Student Academic and Financial Advising program. An appeal may be made to participate in the online version if the student has extenuating circumstances and cannot attend the in person event (e.g. currently deployed in the military, only taking classes at a distance, etc.). These appeals need to be submitted in writing to the Director of Admissions and Enrollment.

Mandatory Student Orientation Policy

Max Student Credit Hour Load Per Semester

Students who want to enroll in more than 18 credit hours in a semester must get permission from the appropriate Associate Dean (e.g. the AD for Faculty Evaluation and Hiring in the School which houses the student’s program or the course which takes the student over 18 credits).

Max Student Credit Hour Policy

Minimum Institutional Credit Policy

Associate Degree - To be awarded an Associate’s Degree from Grand Rapids Community College, students must have earned a minimum of 15 credits through college-level course work within their program of study at GRCC.

Certificate - To be awarded a Certificate from Grand Rapids Community College, students must have earned a minimum of eight (8) credits through college-level course work within their program of study at GRCC.

*This policy does not apply to consortium agreements.

Minimum Institutional Credit Policy

Multiple Degrees

The College recognizes that there are instances where students may require additional degrees and certificates for employment or for personal growth and satisfaction. This policy applies to any Grand Rapids Community College (GRCC) student who has received a degree from GRCC. Students may be awarded additional associate degrees subject to the following stipulations:

A. The Associate of General Studies degree may not be earned as an additional degree.

B. No additional associate degree will be granted in programs that require the same Program Courses.

Multiple Degrees Policy


Prerequisites are courses or other activities (such as taking a placement test or getting department consent) that must be completed before a student can enroll in a class. Prerequisites are a necessary foundation for student success. Therefore, GRCC may prevent a student from taking a class if the prerequisites have not been met.

Prior Learning Assessment

Prior Learning Assessment is an alternative approach for analyzing prior learning in a non-academic setting and to grant credit for that learning in a non-academic setting.

Prior Learning Policy

Seminar Course Definition

This policy is currently under review.

Transfer, Test, and Industry Recognized Credential Credit:

Grand Rapids Community College (GRCC) awards college credit for students that have completed coursework at regionally accredited institutions, foreign institutions, external college-level tests, and industry recognized credentials. For accepted credits for coursework, tests, and industry recognized credentials please visit Transfer Credit.


GRCC Campus Policies

Americans with Disabilities Act

The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 prohibit discrimination with respect to individuals with disabilities. Any student, employee or staff who believes he or she has been discriminated against on the basis of disability should immediately bring the problem to the attention of the person(s) so designated under this procedure.

Grand Rapids Community College is committed to providing appropriate accommodations for students and staff with disabilities in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.

GRCC’s Disability Support Services provides academic support to qualified students with documented disabilities. Any student requesting an academic accommodation must schedule a meeting with Disability Support Services and provide documentation of disability and to complete the appropriate paperwork.

  • GRCC, through Disability Support Services, has the responsibility to provide every qualified student with a disability the following:
  • Equal access to educational and co-curricular programs, services, activities, and facilities available throughout the college.
  • Reasonable and effective accommodations, academic adjustments, and/or auxiliary aids, determined on a case-by-case basis.
  • Confidentiality of academic and disability information, except as required by law or with the written permission of the student.

Faculty or staff requiring accommodations should discuss their needs with their supervisor and/or Human Resources Generalist. The Office of the General Counsel and/or the Director of Accessibility will serve as a resource to all parties during this process. In most cases, the employee will be asked to submit documentation of the qualifying disability and requested accommodations in writing. Documentation of the qualifying disability should be from the medical practitioner who diagnosed the disability or who is providing care related to the disability. In reviewing requests for ADA accommodations, every effort will be made to keep all communications confidential.

ADA Coordinators

The following coordinators have been designated to carry out responsibilities under the ADA:

  1. Director of Equal Opportunity Compliance; Mable Engle, (616) 234-2120
  2. Disability Support Services Coordinator, Room 368, Student Center, (616) 234-4142.
  3. Director of Facilities, 225 Bostwick Avenue NE, (616) 234-3950
Campus Crime Report

The Annual Security Report which contains three years worth of crime data, crime reporting processes, and safety procedures can be found at http://grcc.edu/securityreport

Children in the Classroom and on Campus

1. Classroom Policy
GRCC prohibits bringing children to class and/or leaving them unattended on campus, such as halls, the library, the student center, or computer labs.

2. Campus Policy
Children accompanying visitors, employees, or students of Grand Rapids Community College must be under the constant supervision of a responsible adult while on GRCC property or on the site of any approved off-campus class or other GRCC event.

Children in the Classroom & on Campus Policy

Comprehensive Outcomes/Student Right to Know Reporting
Institutional Graduation/Completion and Transfer-out Rates

Grand Rapids Community College is pleased to provide the following information regarding the college’s graduation/completion and transfer-out rates. The information is provided in compliance with the Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008, as amended. Complete student outcomes data can be seen at our website and are updated annually. See: About Us-Student Consumer Information-Student Outcomes at Commpletion and Transfer-out Rates. 

Questions about GRCC’s Student Outcomes data should be directed to:

Mark Champion, Information Analyst
Institutional Research and Planning

Concealed Weapons Policy

Possession or use of firearms, explosives or weapons or anything that is intended to be construed as a weapon is not permitted on College property.

Weapons Policy

Consumer Information

Consumer Information may be obtained through the website at www.grcc.edu/aboutus/studentconsumerinformation


“Copyright is a constitutionally conceived property right, which is designed to promote the progress of science and the useful arts by securing for an author the benefits of his or her original work of authorship for a limited time. This statute balances the author’s interest against the public interest in dissemination and reproduction of information” (as stated in the GRCC Copyright Policy). This means that unless you wrote it, painted it, created it, etc., it is against the law for you to claim any part of an article, Web site, sculpture, movie, dance, etc., as your own work. If you want to use some part of another person’s work, you must give him/her credit for that content. In some cases, you must get permission from the copyright holder.

Copyright Policy

Criminal Background Checks

While the college does not run criminal background checks on all students, we have a number of secondary admission processes, program requirements, practicum experiences and/or involvement opportunities that will require a background check for admission/acceptance.

Criminal Background Check Policy

Equal Employment Opportunity
(616) 234-3169 or (616) 234-2120

Grand Rapids Community College creates an inclusive learning and working environment that recognizes the value and dignity of each person.

It is the policy and practice of GRCC to provide equal educational and employment opportunities regardless of age, race, color, religion, marital status, sex/gender, pregnancy, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, height, weight, national origin, disability, political affiliation, familial status, veteran status or genetics in all programs, activities, services, employment and advancement including admissions to, access to, treatment in, or compensation in employment as required by state and federal law.

GRCC is committed to reviewing all aspects of GRCC programs, activities, services and employment, including recruitment, selection, retention and promotion to identify and eliminate barriers in order to prevent discrimination on the basis of the listed protected characteristics.

The college will not tolerate any form of retaliation against any person for bringing charges of discrimination or participating in an investigation.

Ethics Concerns

The Ethics Monitoring System has been designed to provide students, staff, and members of the community with multiple means of reporting concerns regarding possible ethics violations. Every person has a responsibility to report facts giving rise to possible ethics violations to enable the college to conduct a prompt investigation and implement a timely and appropriate response. Examples of ethics concerns include but are not limited to the following:

• Use of college position or college resources for personal gain

• Actions that place the college at risk

• Plagiarism

• Fraud

• Sexual Harassment

• Retaliation

• Intimidation

• Misuse of College Resources

• Gross Misrepresentation

• Discrimination

• Bullying

GRCC is committed to investigate and resolve all complaints. Any student may file a complaint. Complaints will be dealt with in confidence unless the circumstances are such that a formal investigation is required.

To report ethics concerns: 

·        Contact the GRCC Ethics Hotline at (616) 234-3169

·        Report information to the Human Resources Department (ext. 3971)

·        Report the incident to Campus Police (ext. 4010)

·        Report incidents regarding students to any of the above or the Student Conduct Office (ext. 3449)

·        Send a written statement of facts to the Office of the General Counsel

·        Contact the Equal Employment Opportunity Office (ext. 2120)

GRCC Ethics Monitoring System Brochure

Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) Notification to Students of Rights

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) is a Federal law protecting the privacy of student education records. Grand Rapids Community College (GRCC) is subject to federal regulations under FERPA and is committed to student privacy and access to their educational records as defined under the law.

GRCC provides information to students on their rights under FERPA on their website at grcc.edu/privacy and in the Catalog. In addition, GRCC mails a postcard to all enrolled students in the Fall and Winter academic semester which includes the web address where students may navigate to review their rights. A student may request a paper copy of their rights under FERPA from Student Records.

Privacy and Access to Student Records (FERPA)

Harassment Policy

The College is committed to providing an academic and work environment that respects the dignity of individuals and groups. All forms of unlawful harassment are contrary to basic standards of acceptable conduct between individuals. For purposes of this policy, harassment means unlawful conduct related to a protected status which is prohibited under state and federal law or College Policy. Harassment is prohibited by state and federal law, as well as this policy, and will not be tolerated.

The College shall be free of all forms of harassment in all of its educational programs and activities. All employees and students have the right to learn and work in an environment free from harassment.

This policy applies to all aspects of the academic and work environment including, but not limited to, classroom conditions, grades, academic standing, employment opportunities, scholarships, recommendations, disciplinary actions, and participation in any community college activity. In addition, this policy applies to all terms and conditions of employment including, but not limited to, hiring, placement, promotion, disciplinary action, layoff, recall, transfer, leave of absence, training opportunities and compensation.

Harassment Policy

Student Medical-Hardship Withdraw
Grand Rapids Community College is committed to supporting students in achieving success in their intellectual and extracurricular endeavors. When documented illness, injury or hardship prevents a student from successfully meeting the requirements of their individual
course of study, it is the College’s policy to consider requests for withdrawal from their courses to enable the student to recover from their particular situation.
Right to Use Photographs

Grand Rapids Community College (GRCC) reserves the right to use photographs, taken either in class or on the GRCC campus, of GRCC students and/or their art, in perpetuity for the purposes of instruction, advertising and promotion of GRCC and its programs. Students, or parents of students who are minors, who do not wish to comply with this policy must notify the Student Records Office in writing when they register.

Sexual Misconduct

Members of the college community, guests and visitors have the right to be free from all forms of gender and sex-based discrimination, examples of which include acts of sexual assault, sexual harassment, domestic violence, dating violence, sexual exploitation and stalking. All members of the campus community are expected to conduct themselves in a manner that does not infringe upon the rights of others. This policy prohibits any sexual activity that does not have the clear consent of all parties involved.

GRCC will provide appropriate programming to promote the awareness of sexual misconduct for all employees and incoming students. This program will include information regarding safe and positive options for bystander intervention and information on risk reduction.

Sexual Misconduct Policy

Service Animals

GRCC will abide by applicable state and federal laws related to allowing Service Animals on campus. GRCC will allow Service Animals who meet Service Animal Training Requirements to accompany people with disabilities in all areas of the facility where the public is normally allowed to go. GRCC will appropriately modify any policies, practices, or procedures which may prevent an individual from utilizing a Service Animal, unless to do so would fundamentally alter the nature of the service or program GRCC is providing or would be a violation of a legitimate safety requirement. GRCC will respect the privacy of individuals using Service Animals, and will limit inquiry to the Permissible Questions described in the policy.

Service Animal Policy

Student Code of Conduct

The mission of the Student Code of Conduct Office is to promote and maintain a civil learning environment by holding students accountable to the expectations of the College. Through the management of the Code of Conduct, we educate students in support of their success in order to foster a respectful community.

GRCC expects students to be responsible, respectful, civil adults and the Code of Conduct exists to help maintain the learning environment on campus.

All enrolled students are held responsible for the Code of Conduct. We suggest all students make themselves familiar with these expectations.

Code of Conduct Policy

Student Email Policy

Grand Rapids Community College (GRCC) provides an email service for all students to use. Upon enrollment, GRCC students are required to use this college issued account for all GRCC email correspondences (sending and receiving). This email account will be used for official notification by the college related to matters such as, but not limited to, financial aid, registration, and payments. The college will not respond to emails that are sent from current students’ personal email accounts.

Student Email Policy

Tobacco Free Environment

Effective November 20, 2008, Grand Rapids Community College became Tobacco Free. GRCC is committed to protecting the health of students, staff, faculty and guests by prohibiting the use and/or sale of tobacco products on all GRCC properties. No person shall use, chew, smoke or sell tobacco products at any time or in any place on GRCC properties, including sidewalks within the boundaries of any GRCC campus. This policy shall extend to all properties owned, operated, leased or maintained by GRCC, including all Regional Centers, M-TEC properties, Learning Corner properties, the McCabe-Marlowe House, parking lots and ramps, including inside personal vehicles and Grand Rapids Community College vehicles. Tobacco products include tobacco used for any purpose including but not limited to: cigar, cigarette, and pipe smoking, and smokeless tobacco. Students shall not use, chew, smoke or sell tobacco products at any time while subject to the jurisdiction of the GRCC Student Code of Conduct.

Transgender Equal Opportunity

GRCC is committed to a College culture that respects and values all students and employees, and fosters understanding of gender identity within the College community. All students and employees will adhere to procedures established in connection with this policy to ensure a safe working and learning environment, free of discrimination and harassment, which promotes the educational and social well being of transgender students and employees.

Transgender Equal Opportunity Policy

Preferred Name

A preferred name may be used by a student who prefers to use a name other than their legal name throughout their time at GRCC. If you need to submit a preferred name change request, per GRCC’s Transgender Equal Opportunity policy, you should complete the GRCC Preferred First Name Change Request form and submit it to the Student Records Office.