Oct 02, 2023  
2014-2015 Catalog-EXPIRED 

Academic Policies and Procedures

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  

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 and W 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 can 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 a grade of “audit” (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. 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.

Students must declare their audit or graded status to their instructor during the first 25% of the class. Credit status may not be changed to audit status and audit status may not be changed to credit status after this time limitation. Students may make arrangements on an individual basis with their instructor to change from audit to credit status. If they expect to do so, they must take all tests and examinations and write all assigned papers.

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 can apply for a Hardship Withdrawal through the Office of the Associate Dean of Student Success and Retention. Students may apply to withdraw from a single course or multiple courses. There is no impact on the student’s GPA for receiving a W grade in the Grand Rapids Community College grading system; however, other institutions may have different policies governing the impact of W grades on transfer student acceptance and/or their calculated GPA. In addition, W grades may have a negative impact on financial aid eligibility.

Incomplete Grades (I Grade)

An incomplete (I) grade can 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 (I) grade: 

  1. 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.
  2. Approximately 90% of the course time has elapsed or coursework has been completed as determined by the instructor.
  3. An incomplete form has been completed. This form will indicate the actions the student will take to finish the course, when those actions will take place (not to exceed one year), and the grade the instructor will submit (A, B, C, D, or E) should the work remain incomplete after the allotted time. Both the student and instructor will make every effort to sign the form and a copy will be provided to the student and the instructor’s Department Head/Program Director.

Once the coursework is completed or the allotted time lapsed, the instructor will submit an official grade change within 10 business days. If the course work is not completed and/or the instructor does not submit an official grade change, the incomplete (I) 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 can be made to the Associate Dean of Hiring and Evaluation of the School where the course resides.

 Grade Reports

Grade reports are available to the student at the end of each semester and at the end of the Summer session and are accessible through the Web site: www.grcc.edu. 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 and diplomas will not be distributed to students who have unpaid financial obligations to the College.

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 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, see www.grcc.edu/academicstanding.


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. If you have questions about prerequisites at GRCC, please visit www.grcc.edu/prerequisites.

Catalog Year Policy

Grand Rapids Community College (GRCC) students are required to fulfill the graduation and program requirements of the Catalog in effect at the time they officially declare their program as a degree-seeking student. If students change their program, they must fulfill the graduation and program requirements of the Catalog in effect for the academic year in which the student made the change. Students may petition to fulfill the graduation and program requirements of the Catalog in effect at the time of graduation instead of being governed by the above two guidelines.

Mandatory Student Orientation

All students new to GRCC who are seeking 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 Placement

Beginning in Winter 2010, students whose Accuplacer test scores indicate they should take developmental English (EN 97 ) and math courses (MA 95 , or MA 96 , or MA 97 ) will be required to enroll in and pass those courses before they may take college-level composition and math courses. Please be advised that GRCC is moving toward a policy of mandatory placement in all developmental education courses (not just English and math). Please consult GRCC’s online Catalog (www.grcc.edu/catalog) for updates on mandatory placement policies.

Mandatory College Learning Success – CLS 100

Beginning Winter 2014, all students new to GRCC with a high school GPA of less than 3.0, who are enrolled in a degree seeking program, are required to complete a college learning success course, either PY 97  (Strategies for College & Life Success for students with two or more developmental placements) or CLS 100  (Introduction to College: New Student Experience). Students not placing into PY 97   who possess a mastery of the content offered in CLS 100  may attempt a Challenge Exam for CLS 100 . Passing this exam will exempt a student from the course and provide them with 2 credits by examination. Students must complete the course requirement their first semester at GRCC. A degree-seeking student who has already successfully completed 12 or more credits of college-level courses at another college or university or has received GRCC transfer credit for these courses will not be required to complete CLS 100  or PY 97 .

Multiple Degrees

The college recognizes that there are instances where students may require additional degrees for employment or for personal growth and satisfaction.  Multiple degrees may be granted when requirements in this section are met.

  1. Students may earn only one transfer degree (Associate of Arts and Associate of Science).
  2. The Associate of General Studies degree may not be earned as an additional degree.
  3. Subsequent associate degree(s) must each include a minimum of an additional 15 unique semester credit hours earned at GRCC.
  4. Degree and program requirements for the additional degree will be based on the catalog that is in effect when the student officially elects the new degree and/or program.
  5. No additional degree will be granted in the same program or curriculum in which the first degree was earned.

A candidate for graduation who has maintained continuous enrollment may follow, insofar as possible, the requirements listed for the desired degree in the College Catalog in effect the year this student entered the College. Any deviation from this rule must be approved in writing by the appropriate Dean.

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 for GPA computation will use only the credits and grade points associated with the higher grade.

Acceptance of C- Grades

This policy is currently under view during the 14/15 academic year.

Class Attendance

Grand Rapids Community College believes that attendance is essential to student success and sees excessive absenteeism as a very serious matter, but also believes the classroom instructor is the best evaluator of the impact attendance may have on student success in any given class.

Grand Rapids Community College makes no distinction between “excused” and “unexcused” absences. If students are not present in a class in which they are enrolled, they are absent, regardless of the reason.

Faculty and staff will comply with the requirements of state and federal law, including the Americans with Disabilities Act and Title IX.

Students who participate in college sponsored extra-curricular activities should discuss potential attendance conflicts with faculty members in advance. Students should understand that each faculty member’s attendance policy, as stated in the course syllabus, is the final authority on any academic consequences associated with violation of the policy. These consequences can include reductions in the overall student grade, but can not include permanent expulsion from the course (See Attendance Policy 8.8A). Consequences for not meeting attendance standards must conform to other college policies, including the Student Code of Conduct, and allow for due process when necessary. Students must understand that they are responsible for all class work missed under such circumstances and that missing class could have a negative impact on the student’s learning.

Student Academic Grievance Procedure

Purpose: To resolve a grade dispute between a student and an instructor in a timely manner with academic integrity.

Please refer to www.grcc.edu/grievance for the official policy.

General Information and Policies

Notification to Students of Rights Under FERPA

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) affords students certain rights with respect to their educational records. They are:

  • The right to inspect and review the student’s education records within 45 days of the day the College receives a request for access. Students should submit to the Student Records Office written requests that identify the record(s) they wish to inspect. The College will make arrangements for access and notify the student of the time and place where the records may be inspected. If the records are not maintained by the College official to whom the request was submitted, that official shall advise the student of the correct official to whom the request should be addressed.
  • The right to request the amendment of the student’s education record that the student believes is inaccurate or misleading. Students may ask the College to amend a record that they believe is inaccurate or misleading. The student should write the College official responsible for the record, clearly identify the part of the record he or she wants changed, and specify why it is inaccurate or misleading. If the College decides not to amend the record as requested by the student, the College will notify the student of the decision and advise the student of his or her right to a hearing regarding the request for amendment. Additional information regarding the hearing procedures will be provided to the student when notified of the right to a hearing.
  • The right to consent to disclosures of personally identifiable information contained in the student’s education records except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent. One exception, which permits disclosure without consent, is disclosure to school officials with legitimate educational interests. A school official is a person employed by the College in an administrative, supervisory, academic, research, or support staff position (including law enforcement unit personnel and health staff); a person or company with whom the College has contracted (such as the National Student Clearinghouse, an attorney, auditor, or collection agency); a person serving on the Board of Trustees; or a student serving on an official committee, such as a disciplinary or grievance committee, or assisting another school official in performing his or her tasks. A school official has a legitimate educational interest if the official needs to review an education record in order to fulfill his or her professional responsibility as determined by the Provost/Executive Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs.
  • The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by Grand Rapids Community College to comply with the requirements of FERPA. The name and address of the Office that administers FERPA is:

Family Policy Compliance Office
U.S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Avenue SW
Washington, DC 20202-4605

Directory Information is information not generally considered harmful or an invasion of privacy if disclosed. It includes:

  • Name, address, telephone listing, e-mail address
  • Student status: Part-time/full-time; freshman/sophomore
  • Major field of study
  • Weight and height of athletes
  • Most recent previous school attended
  • Photographs
  • Date and place of birth
  • Participation in officially recognized activities and sports
  • Dates of attendance, degrees, date of graduation and awards

A student’s right to opt out of directory information disclosure under FERPA does not include the right to refuse to wear or disclose a student ID card or badge.

Further disclosures by state and local educational authorities are now allowed without student’s consent on behalf of the institutions that provided the personally identifiable information.

Stop Form for Information Release

The College may release Directory Information to other educational institutions about students who are on the graduation list. Students who do not wish this information released must fill out the Directory Information STOP form. See grcc.edu/privacy for more information on the form and FERPA.

Reporting Requirements

In order to improve the instruction offered at Grand Rapids Community College and to meet the requirements of the Carl D. Perkins Vocational and Technical Education Act, Section 113, and the Workforce Investment Act of 1998, Section 122, GRCC may use a student’s Social Security number in order to compile summary reports as mandated by these acts.

 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 http://cms.grcc.edu/about-us/student-consumer-information.  

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

Mark Champion, Information Analyst
Intuitional Research and Planning

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.

Campus Policies

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

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. Please see the Criminal Background Check Policy (6.20) at grcc.edu/policy for additional details.

Children in the Classroom and on Campus

GRCC prohibits bringing children to class OR leaving them unattended on campus, such as in halls, the Library, the Student Center, or computer labs.

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.

Please refer to www.grcc.edu for the official policy.

Concealed Weapons Policy

The Grand Rapids Community College Policy on Concealed Weapons is also available for review online at  http://grcc.edu/sites/default/files/docs/policies/14-2_firearms_explosives_or_weapons.pdf


“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.

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.

Tobacco Free Environment Policy

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.

Equal Employment Opportunity

(616) 234-4241

It is the policy and practice of GRCC to provide equal educational and employment opportunities regardless of age, race, color, religion, marital status, sex (including pregnancy), sexual orientation, height, weight, national origin, disability, 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. 

Any individual who believes (s)he has experienced discrimination, been denied equal employment opportunity, or experienced retaliation, harassment, coercion, interference, or intimidation should report it immediately to his/her supervisor, or the Office of General Counsel (234-4241). More information can be found on GRCC’s website http://cms.grcc.edu/ethics.









Student Complaint Process

Regardless of the type of complaints or grievance you would like to file, there is a place on campus for your concern to be heard. The type of concern determines where to start with your complaint. More information can be found at www.grcc.edu/studentaffairs/studentcomplaintprocess


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. 4176)

Americans with Disabilities Act Discrimination Procedures

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, non-employee or non-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. Disability Support Services Coordinator, Room 368, Student Center, (616) 234-4142.
  2. Executive Director for Equity, 118 Main Building, (616) 234-3720.
  3. Director of Facilities, 225 Bostwick Avenue NE, (616) 234-3950.

Consumer Information

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

Medical Withdrawal Policy

Grand Rapids Community College is committed to supporting students in achieving success in their intellectual and extracurricular endeavors. When documented illness or injury prevents a student from successfully meeting the requirements of his or her course of study, it is the College’s policy to consider requests for withdrawal from the College to enable the student to regain his/her health.  Contact the Associate Dean of Retention Services at 234-4839 or 347 Student Center.