Classification of Students
- Freshman: A student who has earned fewer than 30 semester hours of credit.
- Sophomore: A student who has earned 30 or more semester hours of credit.
Bishop State Community College adheres to the Alabama Community College System Board of Trustees policies and procedures for determining credit hours awarded for courses and programs. Additionally, the College also adheres to the Federal definition of a credit hour as being an amount of work represented in intended learning outcomes and verified by evidence of student achievement that is an institutionally established equivalency that reasonably approximates:
- Not less than one hour of classroom or direct faculty instruction and a minimum of two hours out of class student work each week for approximately fifteen weeks for one semester or trimester hour of credit, or ten to twelve weeks for one quarter hour of credit, or the equivalent amount of work over a different amount of time, or
- At least an equivalent amount of work as required outlined in item 1 above for other academic activities as established by the institution including laboratory work, internships, practicum, studio work, and other academic work leading to the award of credit hours.
The following policies and procedures must be followed by all colleges in the Alabama Community College System. Alabama Community College System Board of Trustees Policy 705.01: Converting Contact Hours to Credit Hour Equivalencies requires institutions to operate on a semester system and defines semester credit hours as “the average number of hours of instruction weekly during a 15-week period, with an hour of instruction defined as not less than 50 minutes of instructor/student contact”. A semester system is defined as a fall semester, spring semester, and a summer term. A variety of class meeting schedules that fall within this structure may be present within the institutions. Alabama Community College System Board of Trustees Policy 706.01: Credit Awarded Through Non-Traditional Means General has established guidelines for awarding credit for courses and programs outside the commonly accepted practices in higher education.
Course work at Bishop State Community College is measured in terms of “semester hours.” The semester hour of credit (or credit hour) is based upon the average number of hours of instruction taught weekly. The ratio of weekly contact hours to credit hours varies with the type of instruction being used and the division of the College. Alabama Community College System Board of Trustees Policy 705.01outlines six general categories or types of instruction: (1) Theory, (2) Experimental Laboratory, (3) Practical Application Laboratory, (4) Clinical Practice, (5) Preceptorship, and (6) Internship. A variety of class meeting schedules fall within this structure and are offered within the Academic, Health Science and Technical Divisions of the College. The definitions for each category/type of instruction are:
- Theory. Instruction focused on principles, concepts, or ideas. Generally, requires extensive out-of-class preparation prior to class each week as well as follow-up assignments. “Theory” instruction is the term which is used to include lecture, recitation, discussion, demonstration, seminar, and other standard classroom instruction. “Theory” instruction is under the direct supervision of an instructor. Ratio: 1:1 (one hour of credit for one hour of theory instruction as defined.)
- Experimental Laboratory. Instruction focused on experimentation in a classroom, laboratory, or studio through teacher-assisted, hands-on learning experiences. An experimental laboratory is generally required in conjunction with the theory of an academic course. Work is normally completed in the learning environment but may include out-of-class assignments such as practice and/or laboratory report writing. ‘Experimental laboratory’ instruction is generally under the direct supervision of an instructor. Ratio: 2:1 (one hour of credit for two hours of “experimental” instruction as defined.) or 3:1 (one hour of credit for three hours of “experimental” instruction as defined.
- Practical Application Laboratory. Experience-based instruction takes place in a simulated environment for the purpose of developing occupational competencies related to the use of equipment, tools, machines, and other program-specific work products. A practical application laboratory is generally required in career and technical programs and requires limited out-of-class assignments per week. In a practical application laboratory emphasis is placed on the use of equipment, tools, machines, etc. found within the lab environment. ‘Practical application laboratory’ involves the development of manual skills and job proficiency and is under the direct supervision of an instructor. Ratio: 2:1 or 3:1, depending on program. (One hour of credit for two or three hours of “practical application” instruction as defined.)
- Clinical Practice. Experience-based instruction is focused on practical activities generally found in healthcare or service occupation programs. These experiences are offered in a practical environment and are for the purpose of developing skills related to the discipline. A clinical practice laboratory is generally required in healthcare related fields. Work is normally completed in the learning environment but may include out-of-class assignments. ‘Clinical Practice’ is under the direct supervision of an instructor. Out-of-class assignments each week are used to prepare the student for the clinical experience. Ratio: 3:1 (one hour of credit for three hours of ‘clinical practice’ instruction as defined.)
- Preceptorship. P3 or P5. Advanced experience based instruction is provided under the supervision of a licensed healthcare professional, for the purpose of enhancing occupational competencies. The course instructor works with the healthcare professional to determine the clinical assignments for students. The instructor must be readily available for consultation with the healthcare professionals. Ratio: 5:1 or 3:1 (one hour of credit for five hours or three hours of preceptorship instruction as defined.) NOTE: programs of study for which accreditation and/or licensing bodies require a different ratio must comply with discipline-specific time-to-credit criteria.
- Internship. “Internship” is the term which is used to include cooperative education, apprenticeships, practicums, and sponsored work instruction. Internship involves the development of job skills by providing the student with a structured employment situation that is directly related to, and coordinated with, the educational program. Student activity in internship is planned and coordinated jointly by an institutional representative and the employer, with the employer having the responsibility for control and supervision of the student on the job. Work is normally completed in the learning environment but may include out-of-class assignments. Ratio: 5:1 (one hour of credit for five hours of “internship” instruction as defined. NOTE: programs of study for which accreditation and/or licensing bodies require a different ratio must comply with discipline-specific time-to-credit criteria.
Policies defining the recommended student load and guidelines which must be met to be able to take an overload are described in the Student Handbook and Catalog. The recommended student load per semester is 15-18 semester hours. A cumulative GPA of 2.0 or higher and permission of the appropriate instructional dean is required for a course load greater than 18 hours. A student is considered full time when registered for 12 or more semester hours. These guidelines apply to all students regardless of mode of delivery.
All distance education courses are provided in accordance with the credit hour policy and procedures. As required by Federal Requirement 4.9, the College’s credit hour policy conforms to commonly accepted practices in higher education and to Commission policy.
Distance education courses must be approved according to the course development procedures in the College’s Distance Learning Policy Manual, which includes a comprehensive review process to ensure quality and equivalence to a traditional course. The amount of faculty instruction and the amount of required student work for online courses must be equivalent to that of a traditional lecture class.
The student course load for a full-time student will be 12 to 18 credit hours per semester. Credit hours above 18 credit hours will constitute a student overload and must be approved by the Academic or Technical Dean. No student will be approved for more than 24 credit hours in any one term for any reason.
To assist students in monitoring the completion of course work in their majors, they should access a copy of their degree plan prior to registering and seeing their advisors. The Degree Plan identifies all courses in Areas I-V required in students’ declared majors, courses completed by students, and courses students need for graduation. The Degree Plan also identifies free elective courses taken, courses taken that were not completed, placement test scores, and GPA data. Instructors are required to use degree plans when advising students toward completion of courses for their degrees. Students should take only courses in their degree plans if they are receiving Financial Aid. NOTE: Courses taken outside of students’ degree plans will not be covered by Financial Aid.
Online courses are taught via the internet. Students must have a computer with access to the internet and the appropriate software.
If you have questions, you may call the Center for Distance Learning at 251-405-7144.
Students who live more than an hour from the Main campus may find a proctor to administer their final exam in their local area. The proctor approval form must be completed and returned to the instructor of the course by the end of week 10 (Fall, Spring) or week 6 (Summer).
To be eligible to serve as a proctor, a person must hold one of the following positions:
- Administrator or full-time faculty member from an institution of higher education
- Administrator within the K-12 school system
- Professional testing center test administrator
- Military Education Officer (for active military students)
- Head librarian at a public library
A proctor cannot be a friend, relative, or student.
All proctors must be approved by the course instructor by the end of week 11 for Fall and Spring semesters and week 8 for the summer semester. If a proctor is not approved, then the student will be notified immediately so that he/she may find an acceptable replacement.
Proctors must have the ability to receive email and print an exam. Proctors may administer the exam in one of the following ways:
- Provide students with online access so that they may take a password protected exam
- Allow students to take the exam on a computer, then email the results to the instructor from the proctor’s email address
- Print and administer a paper and pencil exam, then fax the answer sheet to the instructor.
Students MUST show a valid driver’s license, state or military ID, or passport to the proctor at exam time.
For questions regarding this form please the contact course instructor or call the Center for Distance Learning at 251-405-7144.
Hybrid courses, which include a combination of on-campus instruction and online instruction, are taught at Bishop State Community College. Days and times are listed for the on-campus portion of the instruction; however, other activities will take place online. Students may be able to register for two hybrid courses if the on-campus course meetings are on different days and/or at different times.
**Students in Associate in Arts and/or Associate in Science degree programs may complete no more than 28 semester hours in online coursework. Such courses are designated with WW and WH in the course schedule.
Developmental instruction is designed to develop the academic competencies necessary for students to successfully complete college-level courses. Developmental courses do not meet graduation requirements or requirements for completion of a degree, diploma, or certificate. Developmental courses have been developed in English, reading, and mathematics. Any student enrolled in two or more transitional courses should be advised not to enroll in more than 16 total credit hours per semester.
Grading System: Letter grades are assigned according to the following system for all courses for which students have registered:
|A - Excellent
||90 - 100
||4 quality points per semester
|B - Good
||80 - 89
||3 quality points per semester
|C - Average
||70 - 79
||2 quality points per semester
|D - Poor
||60 - 69
||1 quality point per semester
|F - Failure
||0 quality points per semester
|W - Withdrawal
|I - Incomplete
|AU - Audit (Official)
Satisfactory grades are: A, B and C. Senior colleges and universities can refuse to grant credit for a course in which the student has earned a grade of D. A grade of F is assigned to students who fail a course or discontinue class attendance without following the procedures for withdrawing from courses. A grade of Incomplete (I) is assigned when the student has been prevented by illness or other justifiable cause from completing the required work or taking the final examination. A student who must miss a final examination has the responsibility of notifying his/her instructor and providing acceptable evidence concerning the cause of his or her absence upon return. A grade of Incomplete (I) must be cleared prior to the end of the succeeding semester. Failure to remove the grade of I within the specified period will result in the student being assigned an F. The student’s academic standing, his or her GPA, is obtained by dividing his total number of quality points by the total number of semester hours for which the grades A, B, C, D, and F are assigned.
Students are expected to maintain the required GPA levels based on the number of hours attempted at Bishop State
|12 - 21 Semester Hours Attempted
|22 - 32 Semester Hours Attempted
|33 or more Semester Hours Attempted
When the cumulative GPA is at or above the GPA required for the total number of credit hours attempted at the College, the student’s status is CLEAR. When a student’s cumulative GPA is below the GPA required for the number of credit hours attempted at the college, the student is placed on ACADEMIC PROBATON. When the cumulative GPA of a student on Academic Probation remains below the GPA required for the total number of credit hours attempted at the college but the semester GPA is 2.0 or above, the student remains on ACADEMIC PROBATION. When the cumulative GPA of a student on Academic Probation remains below the GPA required for the total number of credit hours attempted at the college and the semester GPA is below 2.0, the student is suspended for one semester. The transcript will read SUSPENDED-ONE SEMESTER.
The student who is suspended for one semester may appeal. If, after appeal, the student is readmitted without serving the one semester suspension, the transcript will read SUSPENDED-ONE SEMESTER/ READMITTED UPON APPEAL. A student who is on Academic Probation after being suspended for one semester (whether the student has served the suspension or has been readmitted upon appeal) without having since achieved CLEAR academic status and whose cumulative GPA falls below the level required for the total number of hours attempted at the institution but whose semester GPA is 2.0 or above will remain on Academic Probation until the student achieves the required GPA for the total number of hours attempted. A student returning from a one-term or one-year suspension and, while on academic probation, fails to obtain the required GPA for the number of hours attempted and fails to maintain a term GPA of 2.0, will be placed on a one-year suspension. A student may appeal a one-term or one-year suspension.
The permanent student record will reflect the student’s status (except when the status is clear). When appropriate, the record will reflect ACADEMIC PROBATION, ACADEMIC SUSPENSION - ONE-TERM, ACADEMIC PROBATION - ONE-YEAR, ONE-TERM SUSPENSION -READMITTED ON APPEAL, OR ONE-YEAR SUSPENSION - READMITTED ON APPEAL. The student who is readmitted upon appeal re-enters the College on Academic Probation. The student who serves the calendar year suspension re-enters the college on Academic Probation. All applicable academic designations except CLEAR will appear on the student’s transcript.
Grade reports can be obtained online immediately following the end of each semester. Any grade appeal must be initiated by the mid-term of the semester following the assignment of the grade in question.
Change of Grade Policy
Instructors assigned to a specific course are responsible for evaluating and assigning an appropriate letter grade to all students after completion of that course. The criteria used to evaluate student performance and to determine letter grade earned will be provided to the student on the course syllabus at the beginning of the course. At the end of the semester, all grades assigned by the instructor will be considered final. If an error in grading or another valid reason for a grade change has occurred, the instructor may request a Change of Grade with documentation to the appropriate Dean for approval. All Change of Grade requests must be submitted by mid-term of the following semester in which the grade was assigned. After approval, the grade change will be forwarded to the Admissions Office for final recording. All grades are final when recorded; no grades are changed unless students provide instructors with a valid reason and documentation to request a grade change. Grade changes are made at the discretion of the instructor.
Alabama Articulation Program (STARS)
The Alabama Articulation Program (also called STARS-Statewide Articulation Reporting System) is a computerized articulation and transfer planning system designed to inform students who attend Alabama community colleges about degree requirements, course equivalents, and other transfer information pertaining to specific majors at each state-funded four-year institution. STARS is an efficient and effective way of providing students, counselors, faculty, and educators with accurate information upon which transfer decisions can be made. STARS is the information link between the state’s public two-year and four-year institutions. If used properly, the STARS database can prevent the loss of course credit hours, provide direction for the scheduling of course work, and ease the transition from one institution to another. Students who are interested in receiving a Transfer Guide & Contract should contact the STARS website: http://stars.troyst.edu or www.bishop.edu. Other concerns should be directed to the counselors and advisers on the various campuses.
Cooperative education opportunities are available to full-time students in certain occupational and technical programs. Students who are interested should consult their advisers or an instructor in their major or concentration.
Academic Honors and Recognition
The College recognizes superior academic achievement by publishing the President’s List, the Dean’s List, and the Honor Roll at the end of each semester.
President’s List - All students carrying 12 or more semester hours who have earned a GPA of 4.00. Pre-college (developmental) courses will be calculated in the semester GPA, but these courses will not count towards minimum course load requirement.
Dean’s List - All students carrying 12 or more semester hours who have earned a GPA of 3.50 through 3.99. Pre- college (developmental) courses will be calculated in the semester GPA, but will not count towards minimum course load requirement.
Academic Achievement - Students are eligible for the Honor Roll when (a) there is a minimum overall GPA of 2.00 in at least 12 or more semester hours and (b) a 3.00 GPA for the current semester. Pre-college (developmental) courses will be calculated in the semester GPA, but these courses will not count towards minimum course load requirement.
Other Academic and Technical Awards
The President’s Outstanding Student Award is presented annually to an outstanding graduating student from an associate degree program. The recipient is selected by a screening committee, based on criteria established for the award. The criteria can be obtained from the Office of Student Development Services on each campus.
The Green-Knight Technical Award is presented annually to an outstanding student graduating from a certificate program. The recipient is selected by a screening committee, based on criteria establish for the award. Criteria for this award may be obtained from the Office of Student Development Services.
Who’s Who Among Students in American Junior Colleges Awards are presented annually. Students selected have distinguished themselves in scholarship, community service and extracurricular activities for inclusion in the national publication.
Graduation Honors for Degrees and Certificates
Degrees and certificates with honors are conferred in accordance with the following grade point averages:
|3.90 to 4.00 —- (With Highest Honors)Summa Cum Laude
3.70 to 3.89 —- (With High Honors) ……Magna Cum Laude
3.50 to 3.69 —– (With Honors) ……………………..…Cum Laude
||3.50 to 4.00—– Graduation with Distinction
Class Attendance Policy
Class attendance is strongly encouraged. Students are expected to attend all classes as scheduled and exercise regularity and punctuality in attendance. Excessive absences may affect a student’s final grade. Absences will be recorded for each class, and no absences will be considered excused. Absences are counted from the first day of the student’s registration in the course. The attendance policy for classes on special schedules, such as the Health Related Programs, will be announced during the first class meeting by the respective departments. These attendance policies take precedence over any other policy. Students are responsible for all coursework from the first scheduled day of class. Students must abide by coursework and test makeup policy indicated in the course syllabus. Exceptions to any attendance policy will be made only for persons required to fulfill military duty, jury duty, or court witness obligations. Students must request approval for these exceptions in advance and provide documentation to the Admissions Office on the Main Campus prior to the scheduled dates of absence. Exceptions must be approved by the College Registrar or the Dean of Students.
Bishop State Community College reserves the right to cancel any class. When a class cancellation occurs, the student must see a counselor or advisor for any necessary schedule adjustments.
Evening and Off-Campus Classes
Evening and off-campus classes are dependent upon sufficient enrollment. No guarantees are made by Bishop State Community College concerning the frequency of course offerings or the length of time needed to complete a program. If enrollment falls below required levels, it may be necessary for evening and off-campus students to enroll in day classes to complete their program of study. Evening classes are offered at all four campuses: Main, Baker-Gaines Central, Carver, and Southwest, and off campus classes are offered at the following sites: Alma Bryant High School, Baker High School, Citronelle High School, McIntosh High School, the Bishop State Community College Semmes site, and the Bishop State Community College Theodore Site.
Assignment of Instructors
The assignment of instructors to classes listed in the semester schedule is tentative. The College reserves the right to change the instructor assigned to any class offered in the schedule.
Final examinations are required in all courses at the end of each semester. The dates for the final examinations for each semester are listed in the annual calendar located on the college website and each Semester Schedule of the Classes Booklet. All final examinations are proctored exams.