Jul 01, 2022  
2019-2020 Academic Catalog 
    
2019-2020 Academic Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Academic Procedures



Classification of Students

Freshman 0-29 Credit Hours Earned
Sophomore 30 or more Credit Hours Earned

Declaring a Major

All Pierpont degree seeking students must declare a major of study. Majors of study can only be changed at certain time periods during the year. Changes can be made by filing out a Change of Major Form. Changing majors may have financial aid implications.

Dropping of Class(es)

Students may drop a course(s) with a "W" being recorded up to the Friday during the:

  1. 10th Week of a Full Semester
  2. 5th Week of the 1st 8 Week Session
  3. 5th Week of the 2nd 8 Week Session
  4. 5th Week of Weekend College
  5. 3rd Week of the 1st 5 Week Summer Session
  6. 3rd Week of the 2nd 5 Week Summer Session
  7. 8th Week of the 10 Week Summer Session

Students may drop a course by logging into their online Pierpont ROAR account. Dropping courses may have additional fees, financial aid and refund implications.

Excessive Course Withdrawal Fee

(Effective August, 2006) Students who withdraw from individual classes will be charged a $50.00 fee for each course from which they drop after the allowable maximum. Currently students may drop a total of four courses before the fee is charged.

Late Registration

Late registration fees are assessed in accordance with the fee schedule cited under "Expenses and Financial Aid." Late registrants often fail to obtain satisfactory schedules; the policy of the institution is to give priority to students who register on time.

Repeating a Course (Effective: August 2017)

Pierpont Community & Technical College enforces Series 22 of the West Virginia Council for Community & Technical Education as follows:

If a student earns a grade of "D" or "F" (including failures due to regular and/or irregular withdrawal) in any course taken no later than the semester or summer term during which the student attempts the sixtieth semester hour, and if that student repeats this course prior to the receipt of a degree, the original grade shall be disregarded and the grade earned when the course is repeated shall be used in determining his/her grade point average. The original grade shall not be deleted from the student's record. Courses passed with a grade of "C" or better may not be legally repeated.

Grades for courses repeated more than once or repeats of courses attempted in semesters following the one in which the sixtieth hour was attempted will be used in determining grade point average.

Courses completed at Pierpont with a grade of "D" or "F" may be repeated at any recognized accredited higher institution, provided the course at the other institution is deemed an equivalent course by Pierpont and the above stipulations are met. Regularly enrolled students who complete work at another accredited institution must secure written permission from the registrar before attempting such coursework. The transfer grade policy will apply to these grades.

Schedule Changes

Students may not add new classes to their schedules after a term registration (add/drop period) has ended. Classes that are dropped during this period do not appear on students' transcripts and tuition and fees will be recalculated.

Semester Load

In order to be considered for permission to carry more than 18 credit hours in a given semester, a student must have an overall GPA of 3.0. In addition, the student must have a 3.0 GPA from the previous term OR be enrolled in the last semester prior to graduation. Student Credit Load Exception forms must be signed by the School Dean and the Provost if student is taking over 21 credit hours. Hours may not exceed 25 credit hours in any 16-week semester. Although 12 credit hours is considered full-time, a 15 credit hour load will allow the student to graduate on time.

Summer School

Pierpont offers summer sessions each year. Courses are offered at various locations to accommodate both traditional and nontraditional schedules including both day and evening offerings at the Fairmont Locust Avenue Campus, Advanced Technology Center, Caperton Center and other regional locations. Class terms may include but are not limited to two 5-week sessions, a 10-week session, and an 8-week Weekend College session. Virtual courses and intensive courses are also available. The requirements for admission and the character of the work required are the same for the summer session as required during the regular academic year.

Withdrawal from Pierpont

Students can withdraw from the institution with grades of "W" being recorded prior to the last week of classes (this means receiving "W"s for all courses). Students who fail to follow this procedure will receive grades of "F". Students can withdraw by logging into their online Pierpont ROAR account. Students are urged to print a copy of the transaction for their records. Be sure to drop classes in semesters beyond the semester in which you have registered but have not yet occurred if you have pre-registered for the next semester.

Start of Semester Attendance

In order to be in compliance with the Department of Education Financial Aid regulations, all faculty members are required to report non-attendance by the end of the second week of courses for each term. Students who have failed to withdraw will be administratively removed from courses the following week in order to properly adjust Title IV funding.

Student Attendance

Attendance: Students are expected to attend regularly the class and laboratory session of courses in which they are registered. Regular attendance is necessary to the successful completion of a course of study and is an integral part of a student's educational experience. Although a student may jeopardize his/her grade by non-attendance, the final grade should reflect performance, not attendance only.

Absences: In the administration of its attendance policy, Pierpont Community & Technical College recognizes two kinds of excused absences: (1) the institutional absence, resulting from participation in an activity in which the student officially represents Pierpont; and (2) the unavoidable absence, resulting from illness, death in the family, or other causes clearly beyond the student's control. Other types of student absences may be regarded as either excused or unexcused at the discretion of the student's instructor or program of study. Pierpont relies chiefly on its faculty to encourage a reasonable pattern of class attendance and on the maturity of its student body to establish such a pattern. Each instructor shall make available on the first day of class what the attendance requirements are and what penalties shall be imposed for nonattendance.

If an instructor establishes a policy penalizing absent students by lowering their grades, the instructor MUST distribute a written statement of this policy to the student during the first class period of the term. The statement should contain precise information relating to a percentage of grades cut per unexcused absence and the instructor's definition of an excused or unexcused absence. Responsibility for establishing that an absence is "excused" subsequently rests with the student, who must explain the absence to the instructor at the first class meeting following the absence. The instructor is not permitted to require a doctor's excuse; however, the student should be prepared to give a plausible account of the absence.

In cases where the student's grade is jeopardized by the instructor's ruling that the absence is unexcused, the student may appeal for re-evaluation to the Registrar. Before the class meets again, the student must petition the School Dean as determined by the Registrar to investigate the case and make a ruling. If the instructor's judgment is overruled, the instructor would then have the option of appealing to the Academic Appeals Board. The ruling of the Academic Appeals Board is final.

If the student does not request an evaluation of the absence by the instructor at the first class meeting following the absence, the student is regarded as having agreed that the absence was properly unexcused.

Any instructor who establishes a policy penalizing a student must file his/her policy with his/her school Dean. The Dean should review all policies and confer with any instructor whose policy seems unworkable. In all cases, students must be present for all major examinations.

Academic Regulations

The Student Handbook contains information concerning student rights and responsibilities, attendance, absences, and matters of academic dishonesty. Students are responsible for familiarizing themselves with these policies.

Academic Integrity

Pierpont values highly the integrity of its student scholars. All students and faculty members are urged to share in the responsibility for removing every situation which might permit or encourage academic dishonesty. Cheating in any form, including plagiarism, must be considered a matter of the gravest concern. Cheating is defined here as the obtaining of information during an examination; the unauthorized use of books, notes, or other sources of information prior to or during an examination; the removal of faculty examination materials; the alteration of documents or records; or actions identifiable as occurring with the intent to defraud or use under false pretense.

Pierpont Academic Dishonesty Policy (2016 revision)

Academic dishonesty is defined to include, but is not limited to, any of the following:

Plagiarism is defined in terms of proscribed acts. Students are expected to understand that such practices constitute academic dishonesty regardless of motive. Those who deny deceitful intent, claim not to have known that the act constituted plagiarism, or maintain that what they did was inadvertent are nevertheless subject to penalties when plagiarism has been confirmed. Plagiarism includes, but is not limited to, submitting, without appropriate acknowledgment, a report, notebook, speech, outline, theme, thesis, dissertation, or other written, electronic, visual, or oral material that has been copied in whole or in part from the work of others, whether such source is published or not, including, but not limited to, another individual's academic composition, compilation, or other product, or commercially prepared paper.

Cheating and dishonest practices in connection with examinations, quizzes, papers, and projects, include, but are not limited to:

  • Obtaining help from another student during any graded assignment (including but not limited to examinations, quizzes, and on-line assignments)
  • Knowingly giving help to another student during any graded assignment (including but not limited to examinations, quizzes, and on-line assignments), taking an examination or doing academic work for another student, or providing one's own work for another student to copy and submit as his or her own. The unauthorized use of notes, books, or other sources of information (including cell phones) during examinations
  • Obtaining an examination or any part thereof without authorization

Forgery, misrepresentation, or fraud includes, but is not limited to:

  • Forging or altering, or causing to be altered, the record of any grade in a grade book or other educational record
  • Use of documents or instruments of identification with intent to defraud
  • Knowingly presenting false data or intentionally misrepresenting one's records for personal gain
  • Knowingly furnishing the results of research projects or experiments for the inclusion in another's work without proper citation
  • Knowingly furnishing false statements in any academic proceeding

Any student that is charged with academic dishonesty may appeal the decision first with the instructor, then the Dean, followed by the Academic Appeals Committee and finally the Provost/Vice President of Academic Affairs

Process to Initiate a Charge of Academic Dishonesty

To initiate and process a charge of academic dishonesty, including plagiarism, cheating, and academic fraud, and/or to begin the process of issuing sanctions/punishment, the instructor must do the following:

  1. Notify the student in writing of the charge and the penalty and schedule a conference within five academic days of discovering the infraction.
  2. Meet with the student to discuss the issue, to present evidence, to review all relevant materials, to give the student opportunity for rebuttal, and to complete the Notification of Academic Misconduct (NAM) form as soon as possible but no longer than five academic days following the discovery of the violation.
  3. Responsibility/Resolution
  1. If the student accepts responsibility for both the charge and the sanctions, he or she signs the misconduct form and the case is closed. Within five academic days of resolution of the case, faculty should make three copies of the NAM form: one for the student, one for faculty records, and one for the Office of the Provost.
  2. If the student does not accept responsibility as charged, he or she may appeal to the dean of the program (the paperwork should be forwarded to the Dean by the instructor). If the student and dean reach a resolution, the dean should make three copies of the NAM form: one for the student, one for departmental records, and one for the Office of Provost. These copies should be distributed within five academic days of resolution of the case.
  3. If the student and the dean do not reach a resolution, the student may appeal to the Academic Appeals Board (the paperwork should be forwarded to the Academic Appeals Board Chair by the Dean). This appeal must be initiated within five academic days of the student's meeting with the dean.
  4. If the student appeals to the Academic Appeals Board, the assigned panel will examine the case, and a decision will be reached. All case information and case results should be held in strictest confidence.
  5. If the student disagrees with the decision of the Academic Appeals Board, he or she may appeal to the Provost, whose decision is final, (the Chair of the Academic Appeals Board will forward the paperwork onto the Provost). The appeal must be initiated within five academic days of the student receiving the decision from the Academic Appeals Board Chair.

.Academic Forgiveness Policy

(Amended by the Admissions and Credits Committee on May 5, 2016 and approved by Faculty Assembly on May 13, 2016)

Only the students applying for readmission after the effective date of this policy will be eligible for forgiveness under this policy.

The Academic Forgiveness Policy does not alter, change or amend any other existing policies at Pierpont and is formulated to be consistent with WV Title 135 Procedural Rule, Series 22 Sections 4 and 5 of the West Virginia Council for Community & Technical College Education and supersedes all previous policies.

Academic forgiveness is intended for the Pierpont student returning to college with a grade point deficiency and for the purpose of calculating a grade point average for graduation only and are excluded from candidacy for Honors designation upon graduation. Students seeking Academic Forgiveness must meet with an Administrative Officer and complete an Academic Forgiveness Request form prior to the last day of class for the semester in which the student is readmitted to the college. The form will be submitted to the Registrar. Contact the Pierpont Office of Student Services or Office of the Provost/Vice President for Academic Affairs for additional information.

A student may be eligible for academic forgiveness under the following conditions:

  • The student has not been enrolled at any college on a full-time (12 credit hrs. or more) or a part-time basis at any higher education institution for a period of four (4) consecutive years immediately preceding readmission into Pierpont and has applied to and been re-admitted into Pierpont on probation;
  • The student must meet all institutional degree requirements for the student's program of study;
  • The policy covers only students who have not been awarded their first academic degree;
  • Students must schedule and attend a meeting with an appropriate Administrative Officer to discuss grade exclusion prior to submitting an Academic Forgiveness Request Form; The Administrative Officer will deliver the Academic Forgiveness Request Form to the Registrar.
    Only D and F/FIW grades received prior to the four-year non-enrollment period may be disregarded for GPA calculation for graduation purposes only.

The Academic Forgiveness policy excludes the examination of letter grades transferred in from other institutions that are on the official Pierpont transcript.

Once grades have been excluded from the GPA calculation it is with the understanding that courses for which the D grades were earned cannot be used to satisfy any requirements for graduation and no credit will transfer over.

When and if all prerequisite conditions have been met, academic forgiveness will be applied upon the successful completion of at least twelve credit hours of courses numbered 1000 or above with a minimum GPA of 2.0, earned at Pierpont Community & Technical College.

When forgiveness is granted, grades of D, F and FIW earned prior to the aforementioned four-year period are excluded from the computation of the grade point average. However, no failing grade will be removed from the permanent record. The academic forgiveness policy may be applied after a student has earned 12 credit hours that apply toward graduation, with a minimum GPA of 2.0.

The Registrar will officially calculate the student GPA disregarding D, F/FIW grades earned before the return to college. However, grades shall not be deleted from the student transcript. No grade will be permanently removed from the student transcript.

Only currently enrolled students are eligible to apply for Academic Forgiveness.

Academic Forgiveness can only be granted once for any student.

This policy pertains only to the GPA calculation for graduation and does not pertain to GPA necessary for special academic recognition, graduation with honors, financial aid standards of progression, or admission requirements for certain programs of study.

Academic Forgiveness is institution specific. There is no guarantee that academic forgiveness granted by Pierpont will be honored by FSU or other institutions, and Pierpont is not bound by the decision of any other institution to disregard grades earned in college courses.

The Board of Governors AAS Degree Program is governed by a different forgiveness policy.

Academic Second Opportunity Policy for Transfer Students

(Approved by Admissions and Credits Committee, May 5, 2016 and approved by Faculty Senate, May 13, 2016)

This policy does not alter, change or amend any other existing policies at Pierpont and is formulated to be consistent with WV Title 135 Procedural Rule, Series 22, Sections 4 and 5 of the West Virginia Council for Community & Technical College Education and supersedes all previous policies.

Purpose: One of the missions of the community college is to help students who have previously attended college and done poorly be able to recover and successfully complete a degree plan and enter the workforce. The Academic Second Opportunity Policy is for transfer students who have never attended Pierpont Community & Technical College, are degree seeking and are transferring in with a GPA and attempted credit hours that will make it difficult to earn a degree.

Policy: A student who has a GPA lower than 2.00 and has been separated from a Higher Education Institution other than Pierpont Community & Technical College for at least four academic years, and has never been enrolled at Pierpont, may request an application for Academic Second Opportunity. The student must meet with an approved Academic Affairs or Student Services Administrative official before filing a request. The request must be received prior to the last day of class for the semester in which the student is admitted to the College. This request will be reviewed upon completion of twelve graded semester credit hours.

If the application for Academic Second Opportunity is accepted, all previous academic work remains on the student's permanent record, but the grades for previous work are not used in computing the grade point average. Grades of C minus or higher earned during previous college attendance are computed as "passing hours" (P) and may be applied to major program and graduation requirements. Grades of D or lower earned during previous college attendance may not be applied to the major program or graduation requirements. The student pursues his or her academic program with no initial Pierpont Community & Technical College or higher education grade point average, and thereafter is subject to the conditions of warning, probation and suspension that govern all students.

Once invoked, Academic Second Opportunity cannot be revoked and it may be awarded only once and may not be awarded retroactively. This policy pertains only to the GPA calculation for graduation and does not pertain to honors, financial aid standards of progression, or admission requirements for certain programs of study. Students who are awarded Academic Second Opportunity are excluded from candidacy for the Honors designation upon graduation. A student who has a degree from another institution is not eligible for consideration.

The Board of Governors AAS Degree program and readmitted Pierpont students are governed by different forgiveness policies.

Probation/Suspension Policy

(Approved by Faculty Senate October 11, 2012)

Satisfactory Academic Standing

A student is deemed to be in Satisfactory Academic Standing when his/her cumulative grade point average, based upon coursework taken at Pierpont, is 2.0 or higher

Unsatisfactory Academic Standing

A student is deemed to be in Unsatisfactory Academic Standing when his/her cumulative grade point average, based upon coursework taken at Pierpont, is below 2.0.

Academic Probation

  1. The status of Academic Probation is automatically applied to a student when the cumulative grade point average, based upon coursework at Pierpont, falls below 2.0.
  2. The status of Academic Probation will be removed only after the cumulative grade point average, based upon coursework taken at Pierpont, is 2.0 or higher.
  3. A student who is placed on academic probation may continue to enroll on a full-time basis but will be limited to 15 semester hours.

Academic Suspension

The academic records of students on probation will be reviewed at the end of each regular semester with regard to Academic Suspension. The following guidelines will be used in the review.

  1. Academic Suspension occurs when a student's cumulative grade point average, based upon coursework taken at Pierpont, falls below the minimum required GPA in relation to the overall attempted institutional and transfer hours (listed below).
     
    Credit Hours* GPA (Attempted hours at Pierpont plus transfer credits)
    16-29 1.45
    30-59 1.75
    60+ 2.00
  2. The Suspension list will be compiled at the end of the fall and spring semesters.
  3. Students will be placed on probation for one semester before they are subject to Academic suspension.
  4. Students can be placed on suspension if they have been on probation in any previous semester.
  5. No student with a current semester GPA of 2.0 or higher will be subject to academic suspension.
  6. A student who is initially academically suspended from Pierpont will not be permitted to enroll in coursework at Pierpont for the following fall or spring full semester. One full fall or spring semester constitutes the required period of suspension.
  7. A student who is academically suspended twice from Pierpont will not be permitted to enroll in coursework at Pierpont for a full academic year. One full fall, spring, and summer semester constitutes the required period of suspension.
  8. A Pierpont student may be eligible for readmission after their first or second period of suspension is over, but must reapply through the Office of Admissions to have his/her Academic Suspension hold removed, and must schedule and meet with an academic advisor every two weeks to verify attendance and review course progress.
  9. Students who have been suspended three times from Pierpont will not be permitted to enroll in coursework at Pierpont for four full academic years (four fall, spring and summer semesters). Students may be eligible for readmission after the period of suspension is over but must reapply through the Office of Admissions to have his/her Academic Suspension hold removed, and must schedule and meet with an academic advisor every two weeks to verify attendance and review course progress.
  10. Suspension decisions may be appealed in writing and brought before the Admissions and Credits Committee. Each decision made by the Admissions Committee will be handled on a case by case basis.
  11. Pierpont will accept credit for courses taken at an accredited higher education institution during the period in which a Pierpont student is suspended.

Procedure for Appeals Not Otherwise Provided for Certain Academic Penalties

Section 6 (appeals of the Pierpont Policy 18 (Student Academic Rights) contains the policies and procedures by which a student may appeal or challenge any academic penalties imposed by a faculty member of Pierpont.

Pierpont provides published appeal procedures for final course grades, academic probation, and academic suspension. Other academic penalties not covered by published procedures such as penalties imposed by an instructor in accordance with Section 5.2 of Policy 18, maybe appealed as follows:

  1. The student shall contact the instructor to resolve the matter. (At this point and at all levels, the required meeting shall be held as soon as possible but in no instance exceed the time limits set forth in Policy 18.)
  2. If the student does not receive satisfaction after contacting the instructor, he or she may appeal to the program Coordinator or Dean of the School of the instructor, indicating the purpose of the appeal in writing. If the instructor is the program Coordinator or Dean of the School, the written appeal shall be sent to the College Provost/Vice President for Academic Affairs who shall take the Deans or Coordinators part in the procedure.
  3. If either the student or instructor is not satisfied with the decision of the Coordinator or Dean, either may submit a written appeal to the Chair of the Academic Appeals Board Committee. The Chair shall schedule a meeting as soon as possible to hear the case and render a decision. The Committee shall observe the procedure set forth in Section 6.3.2 of Policy 18.
  4. The student or the instructor may appeal the Committee's decision in writing to the President of Pierpont or designee. The decision of the President or designee will be final.

The procedure prescribed herein shall also be followed in appeals of academic dismissal from a limited enrollment program, except such an appeal will begin with the Dean of the School. Further, the provisions of Section 7 of Policy 18 shall be applied in appeals of academic dismissal.

Protection Against Prejudicial or Capricious Academic Evaluation Appeal Procedure (Revised 2013)

It is the policy of Pierpont Community & Technical College that students are responsible for fulfilling prescribed course objectives, completing stated course assignments, and adhering to stated academic standards for each course in which they are enrolled. Students' grades will be based solely on performance measured by academic-related standards, and students will not be penalized for taking reasoned exception to views expressed in the academic forum.

Students who believe that their final grade reflects capricious (without apparent reason) or prejudiced academic evaluation or reflects discrimination based on race, color, religion, national origin, age, gender, sexual orientation, or disability may employ the following procedures to seek modification of such an evaluation. The procedures are designed to ensure just, impartial, and expeditious investigation and resolution of a student's claim.

Except in certain unusual circumstances, the following procedures must be followed in sequence by students who believe their grade to be unfair for the above reasons, although the deadline dates may be accelerated with consent from both parties at the departmental level. Failure of the student to meet any of the deadlines in this process voids the appeal.

  • Students must contact the instructor involved within the first ten days of the term immediately following grade issuance. Errors in evaluation or misunderstanding of the grading system of the instructor may be resolved in this way. If, for some unforeseen reason, the instructor is unavailable in that period, students must inform the Office of Academic Affairs in writing by completing the Academic Complaint Form within the first ten days of the term immediately following the grade issuance that they question their final evaluation in the course. The Office will refer the complaint to the appropriate School Dean or Program Coordinator who is then charged with contacting that instructor to attempt resolution.

  • If students do not receive satisfaction from consultation with the instructor and believe their grade to be the result of prejudicial or capricious evaluation, or that it reflects discrimination based on race, color, religion, national origin, age, gender, sexual orientation, or disability, they may appeal the grade. The student will inform the Office of Academic Affairs of their intent to appeal by completing the Academic Complaint Form. The Office of Academic Affairs will refer the appeal to the Dean of the School of the instructor in writing of their intent to appeal, including a summary of the reason(s) and the grade they feel they deserve. The notification must be filed within the first ten school days that school is in session following the semester or term for which the grade was received. Summer school grades may be appealed within the first ten days of the fall term. If the instructor is also the Dean, or Associate Dean of the School, this notice of intent to appeal shall be sent to the Provost/Vice President for Academic Affairs, who shall take the Dean or Assistant Deans part in the next procedure.
  • Upon being notified of the appeal, the School Dean (Provost/VPAA, if applicable) will schedule a meeting of the program Coordinator, the student, and the instructor. This meeting should be scheduled within ten school days of the notification, except for extraordinary circumstances, in which case it would be as soon as possible. At this meeting, in an informal conference, the Dean should try to resolve the issue between the student and instructor. All pertinent information must be presented to the issue. Written copies of this decision shall be forwarded immediately to the Office of Academic Affairs, and Provost/VPAA, the Coordinator, instructor and student, with off-campus mail being sent certified or registered. This correspondence should specify the next possible stage in the appeal process and should also specify the exact deadline date of any further appeal. That date shall be ten school days from the mailing date of the Dean's decision.
  • If either the student or the instructor is not satisfied with the decision of the Dean, an appeal may be made to the Office of Academic Affairs within the specified deadline period. The appealer must send written notice of intent to appeal within ten school days of the mailing date of the Dean's mailing, unless postal officials verify that the party did not receive the earlier correspondence within the specified period. The case will be sent to the Academic Appeals Board. The procedures of the Academic Appeals Board are outlined in the Pierpont Faculty Handbook. The Appeals Board will hear the case, and may call in the student, instructor and/or Dean. A decision will be made to uphold the Dean's decision or to reverse it by the Appeals Board. Notice of this decision will be sent from the Appeals Board Chair to the student, instructor, and Dean, with off-campus mail being certified or registered. This correspondence shall also outline the next possible step in this process and shall specify the exact date (ten school days following this mailing) of the next deadline.
  • If either the student or the instructor is not satisfied with the decision of the Academic Appeals Board, an appeal may be made to the Provost/VPAA or designee. The appealer must send written notice of intent to appeal within ten school days of the mailing date of the Appeal Board Chair mailing, unless postal officials verify that the party did not receive the earlier correspondence within the specified period. The decision of the Provost/VPAA or designee is final.