Jul 22, 2024  
2021-2022 Catalog 
2021-2022 Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

GRCC Academic Policies

A GRCC student walking down the commons


For more information on GRCC Policies visit: www.grcc.edu/generalcounsel/policies

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/session 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, 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 veteran’s benefits must also meet the specific academic requirements that determine continuation for these programs. Students who fail to meet the standards for Academic Progress will be placed on probation or suspension.

Standard of Satisfactory Academic Progress

Once a GRCC student has attempted 12 credit hours, he/she must maintain a cumulative grade point average of not less than the following:

Credit Hours Attempted Min. Cumulative GPA Required
12-14 1.5
15-28 1.75
29 and Above 2.00

Academic Probation

Students are placed on Academic Probation when they have attempted at least 12 credit hours at GRCC and have failed to meet the minimum cumulative GPA listed above. The student will be notified of probation status. Students on academic probation are required:

1. To complete the Academic Success Workshop prior to the fourth week of the semester/session following placement on academic probation. A registration hold will be placed on the student’s account until this requirement has been met.

2. In collaboration with a counselor/advisor, the student will complete a written success contract. Enrollment limitations may be recommended based on counselor/advisor success assessment.

3. To obtain a minimum semester GPA of 2.0 for every semester/session.

Academic probation is removed when the cumulative GPA requirement is met.

Academic Suspension

A student on academic probation who does not achieve a minimum semester GPA of 2.0 in any subsequent semester/session will be placed on Academic Suspension. The student will be prohibited from enrolling in classes at GRCC for the next two subsequent semesters/session. The student placed on suspension may appeal to the Academic Probation and Suspension Committee for immediate return. The Committee’s decision is final.

Readmission for Academic Suspension

Students returning following a two semesters/session suspension period must complete and submit an Academic Suspension Return Form to the Student Records Office. Students following the early return option after one semester/session suspension must complete and submit an Academic Suspension Return Form to the Student Records Office. The early return option required the following enrollment conditions: (CLS 102 Practicing Strategies for Academic Success or PY 97 Strategies for College and Life Success, if not passed and a limit of 8 total credits for the semester) Students will be required to meet with a Counselor/Advisor prior to being able to register for classes and are required to maintain a semester GPA of 2.0 or higher for subsequent semesters/sessions.


The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) is a Federal law protecting the privacy of student education records. 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. 

More information maybe found on the Student Records web page: www.grcc.edu/studentrecords/studentrightsunderferpa

Code of Conduct

The mission of Grand Rapids Community College is to provide the community with learning opportunities that enable people to achieve their goals.  In order to achieve its mission, the College must foster a secure learning environment by protecting people, property and processes. The Student Code of Conduct sets forth expectations for individuals who choose to become part of the College community.

More information maybe found on the Student Life web page: www.grcc.edu/studentlifeandconduct/studentconduct

Grading Policy

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 (Late Semester 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.

Catalog Year

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 re-admittance (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

Courses are the way in which the curricular content and experiences are delivered. Course formats are purposefully defined in the context of the goals and expectations of students and their learning. Courses have student learning outcomes and must meet the same learning outcomes regardless of delivery method (face-to-face, online, or hybrid) and location where offered. A credit hour gives value to an amount of work in the course. 

For more informaton on the Definitions, vist the Glossary of Course Enrollment Terms at www.catalog.grcc.edu

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.

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.

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 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.

Max Student Credit Hour 

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).

Minimum Institutional Credit 

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.

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.

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.

Seminar Course Definition

Seminar courses employ instructional methods that work best among a small group of learners, such as, but not limited to, intensive discussion, reading primary literature, individual or group presentations, and/or learning special laboratory-based skills. Seminar courses are variable credit offerings. The credit hour allocation for each seminar topic is established by the instructor in the seminar topic proposal.

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 web page at: www.grcc.edu/studentrecords/transfercredit