2019-2020 College Catalog 
    
    Jun 26, 2019  
2019-2020 College Catalog

Rules, Provisions & Other Regulatory Information


 

Academic Rules

Academic Integrity and Student Responsibilities Rule

Academic requirements and policies determined by the College consistent with the West Virginia Council for Community and Technical College Education (CCTCE) and Higher Education Policy Commission (HEPC), West Virginia Northern Community College Board of Governors, and professional and regional accreditation guidelines, apply to all students who enroll in credit courses and degree programs.

Academic Integrity. The College’s academic program requirements are determined according to standards of each field, as recommended by qualified faculty in consultation with professionals in the field and approved by the Vice President of Academic Affairs, Curriculum Committee, and the President. Academic programs are approved by the WVNCC Board of Governors. All academic programs undergo a periodic program review involving professionals in the field and other educators with reports reviewed by the Board of Governors and CCTCE. Accredited programs undergo additional review and meet specific requirements for the professional accreditation. In addition to the specific academic course and program requirements, academic policies assure the integrity of the academic experience and degree.

Assessment of student academic achievement is an important aspect of assuring achievement of state and national academic standards. This process includes the administration of standardized assessment measures that determine the achievement level of students at West Virginia Northern in specific areas and levels as compared with other students in similar levels and specialties across the country. These assessments are required of students; however, individual scores are not used as part of students’ grades. Instead, it is information that permits the College to assess its strengths and needs to assure academic integrity in academic programs. Assessments are administered to students completing A.A.S. degrees to assess job-related skills as compared to specific occupational standards. These assessments are scheduled at times to make it convenient for students to participate. Completion of state mandated assessments are a graduation requirement, and failure to comply with completion of required assessments can result in a “hold” on student records until completed.

Academic Program Completion Timeline Requirements. Students are expected to complete program requirements that are listed in the catalog at their time of entry into the program provided graduation requirements are completed within five years and the student does not withdraw temporarily from the college for two consecutive semesters (excluding summer). Students who do not take courses for more than two consecutive semesters (excluding summer) must complete a new application for admission and undergo review with an academic advisor in the program to determine applicability of prior courses, which may result in a revised plan for completion of degree requirements. Students who do not complete degree requirements within five years must have a new plan for completion approved to assure the degree reflects current program competencies.

Petition for alteration in graduation and program requirements may be submitted by students who request a modification in course requirements when they can document that program competencies or general education goals have been met in other ways. This petition should be initiated by the student in consultation and with the approval of the academic advisor and requires approval of the division chair/program director and the Vice President of Academic Affairs.

Course substitutions for courses no longer offered by the College can be made by the division chair/program director administering the affected courses, with the approval of the Vice President of Academic Affairs. Efforts are made to assist students in completing degree requirements in an efficient and timely manner.

Class Attendance and Participation. Although classes vary with regard to requirements, activities, and instructional methods, attendance and active participation are the responsibility of students who wish to succeed. Students are expected to make progress and meet course expectations in time frames outlined by the instructor. During the first week of classes, students receive instructor expectations and should clarify any questions regarding these requirements. It is the student’s responsibility to consult with the instructor regarding attendance or participation problems to determine if alternative arrangements can be made. Failure to attend or actively participate can result in administrative withdrawal by the instructor.

Academic Honesty and Support of a Learning Environment. All students are responsible for their own academic work and behavior that supports a learning environment. Dishonesty results in disciplinary action such as lower grade, failing grade, administrative withdrawal, program probation, suspension or dismissal. Behavior which interferes with the rights or learning environment of others can result in administrative withdrawal, suspension, or dismissal. Students have rights to appeal such decisions consistent with rule. See Student Rights and Responsibilities.

Plagiarism includes using someone else’s ideas without giving credit to that person in an appropriate citation or using someone else’s words without placing them in quotation marks and/or without identifying that person in an appropriate citation.

Cheating includes such practices as receiving test answers from or giving test answers to another student, submitting another student’s work or another source as one’s own work (unless permitted to do so as a result of a joint assignment), stealing tests or test items, or using notes when not permitted.

Student Rights and Responsibilities

The submission of an application for admission to the College represents an optional and voluntary decision on the part of the prospective student to partake of the program and privileges offered by the College pursuant to the policies, rules, and regulations of the Board of Governors and the College. Institutional approval of that application, in turn, represents the extension of a right or privilege to join the College community and to remain a part of it so long as the student fulfills the academic and the behavioral expectations that are set forth in the policies, rules, and regulations of the College. A complete copy of academic rights and responsibilities as well as Student Code of Conduct policies, rules, regulations, disciplinary action, and appeals procedures is available at the Campus Service Center and the College’s web page.

Student Academic Rights. Each student shall have the following academic rights:

  1. The right to be graded or have his/her performance evaluated solely upon performance in the coursework as measured against academic standards. The student shall not be evaluated prejudicially, capriciously, or arbitrarily. West Virginia Northern Community College, pursuant to the requirements of Titles IV, VI, and VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and the Age Discrimination Act of 1975, does not discriminate against applicants, employees, or students on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, disability, age or national origin in its employment policies and/or educational programs or activities, including admissions to such. Inquiries concerning this policy should be directed to the Campus Counselor at an individual campus or by calling the Human Resource office at 304-214-8901.
  2. The right to have any academic penalty reviewed.
  3. The right to have access to a copy of the college catalog or program brochure in which current academic program requirements are described (e.g., required courses, total credit requirements, minimum grade point average, probation standards, professional standards, etc.).
  4. The right to receive from the instructor written descriptions of content and requirements for any course in which they are enrolled (e.g., attendance expectations, special requirements, laboratory requirements including time, field trips and costs, grading standards and procedures, professional standards, etc.).

The instructor of each course is responsible for assigning grades to students enrolled in the course, consistent with the student’s academic rights.

Student Rights Related to Records. Admissions records, grade reports, financial aid records and reports of disciplinary action are official student records that are maintained by the College’s Records Office and Financial Aid Office. Consistent with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, as amended, students are ensured the right to view the information in their own file as outlined in the law and to dispute any items that are believed not to be appropriate for the file. Copies of most items may be obtained by the student, except copies of documents provided by a third party, such as high school and other college transcripts and immunization records.

Access to records by academic advisors, counselors, and other West Virginia Northern personnel who have a need to know specific information to provide advice, counseling, and appropriate services is provided. Access to and copies of student records, such as transcripts, will not be provided to others unless specifically requested in writing by the student.

For students with outstanding financial obligations, the College may administratively drop a student from classes for non-payment.

A “hold” on student’s records will be placed if a student’s obligations to the College are outstanding. Copies of transcripts will not be provided if a “hold” is placed on records and student may not be able to register for classes until satisfactory arrangements for meeting those obligations are met.

Directory information. WVNCC designates the following categories of student information as public or “Directory Information.” This information may be disclosed by WVNCC for any purpose, at its discretion:

  • Name of Student.

Designation of Limited Use Directory Information. WVNCC designates the following categories of student information as “Limited Use Directory Information.”

  • Age of Student.
  • Awards.
  • Campus.
  • City and State of residence.
  • Class Status (i.e., freshman).
  • Dates of Attendance.
  • Degree(s) and Date(s) Conferred, including anticipated graduation dates.
  • Enrollment Status (i.e., full time or part time).
  • Honors.
  • Major Field of Study.
  • Official Address.
  • Participation in Officially Recognized Activities and Sports.
  • Photographs, videos or other media containing a student’s image or likeness (collectively “Student Images”).
  • Place of Birth.
  • Telephone Number.
  • WVNCC issued student electronic mail addresses (“Email Addresses”). Accordingly, this information will not be provided to external parties not contractually affiliated with WVNCC. Use and disclosure of this information shall be limited to (1) publication on websites hosted by, on behalf of, or for the benefit WVNCC; (2) those officials within WVNCC who have access, consistent with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, to such information and only in conjunction with an official institutional purpose.

Rights related to membership in College community. Enrolled students are extended rights and privileges as part of the College community so long as the student fulfills the academic and behavioral expectations that are set forth in the College’s policies, rules, and regulations. These rights include essential freedoms of scholarship and inquiry central to all institutions of higher education, access to campus resources and facilities, freedoms of expression, association, rights to privacy and confidentiality of academic and disciplinary records, and rights of due process as are applicable to them.

Standards of Conduct. All students are subject to, and are required to comply with, observe, and obey the laws of the United States and the State of West Virginia; ordinances of local, city, county, and municipal governing bodies; policies, rules, and regulations of the College, its governing board, the Council for Community and Technical College Education (CCTCE), and the Higher Education Policy Commission (HEPC); and the directions and orders of the officers, faculty, and staff of the institution who are charged with the administration of institutional affairs and WVNCC Student Code of Conduct.

Failure to meet standards of conduct can lead to disciplinary action with sanctions including probation, suspension, or expulsion. Failure to meet standards of conduct will be evidenced by, but not limited to, failure to comply to laws, ordinances, policies, and appropriate institutional instructions; disorderly conduct; theft or damage to property; disruption or interference with the rights of others; disruption or interference with an institutional activity, program, meeting, classroom, clinic, or laboratory activity, or other operation; hazing; firearms rule (bringing illegal firearms, explosives, weapons of deadly force, or other weapons of mass destruction on school property), or participation in discrimination activities.

Disciplinary action is taken consistent with the seriousness of the alleged offense and with due process consistent with CCTCE and HEPC guidelines and as outlined in the College’s procedures. Disciplinary sanctions of suspension or expulsion imposed by any public state college or university in West Virginia apply to the person sanctioned not only at the institution where the sanction was imposed, but shall also be effective at all institutions in the public higher education system. Disciplinary suspension may be noted on the college transcript.

Academic Responsibilities. Students are expected to adhere to academic standards in all academic settings, classrooms, laboratories, clinics, and any other activities that are part of academic requirements. Normally, students may finish a program of study according to the requirements under which they were admitted to the program. However, requirements are subject to change at any time, with reasonable notice provided to the students.

Failure to meet academic requirements, including those for academic honesty, may be subject to one or more of the following penalties:

  1. A lower grade or failure of the course or exclusion from further participation in the class (including laboratories or clinical experiences), all of which may be imposed by the instructor.
  2. Academic probation as determined and defined by the College.
  3. Academic suspension as determined and defined by the College.

Academic dismissal is defined as termination of student status, including any right or privilege to receive some benefit or recognition or certification. A student may be academically dismissed from a limited enrollment program and remain eligible to enroll in courses in other programs at the College, or a student may be academically dismissed from the College and not remain eligible to enroll in other courses or programs at the College.

Academic Appeals may be used by a student who feels he or she has received a final grade in error or feels he or she has been dismissed from a program in error. There are specific deadlines. Refer to the College website, Academic Affairs, Student Rights and Responsibilities, for guidance.

Standards of Academic Progress Rule

Rule. Any student who does not meet the Standards of Academic Progress after his/her first semester will be placed on Academic Probation. A student’s academic progress is computed at the end of each fall and spring semesters and the summer term. Transfer students are evaluated after his/her first semester at WVNCC.

Standards of Academic Progress Criteria. The criteria for Standards of Academic Progress are a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of at least 2.0 and a semester GPA of at least 2.0.

Academic Probation Requirements. A student is placed on Academic Probation for the semester or term after the student’s cumulative GPA and/or semester GPA falls below 2.0. The student is notified in writing by the Registrar’s Office. Academic Probation is not notated on the official college transcript.

At the end of the first, second, and third semesters on Academic Probation, a student who fails to have a 2.0 semester and cumulative GPA remains on Academic Probation. The student is limited to no more than 12 credit hours.

At the end of the fourth semester on Academic Probation, a student who fails to have a 2.0 semester and cumulative GPA remains on Academic Probation. The student is limited to no more than 5 credit hours.

Students who meet the criteria for Standards of Academic Progress by having both a semester GPA of 2.0 and a cumulative GPA of 2.0 are removed from Academic Probation and reinstated to good academic standing.

Academic Suspension Requirements. Students who fail to meet the criteria for Standards of Academic Progress after five consecutive semesters of Academic Probation are suspended for the next semester from all classes for failure to adhere to the terms and conditions of Standards of Academic Progress. Upon returning to school, students are returned to Academic Probation status and are limited to 5 credit hours unless transfer coursework has been completed resulting in a cumulative GPA of 2.0. If the student fails to meet Standards of Academic Progress a fifth time, they are suspended for one year. Academic Suspension is not notated on the official college transcript.

Provision Exceptions. This rule does not supersede Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress for students on financial aid or for students admitted to specific College programs that have their own Standards of Progress guidelines, such as those in Health Sciences or due to articulation or 2+2 agreements with other colleges or institutions.

Students with extenuating circumstances beyond their control that led to Academic Suspension may appeal their suspension to the Registrar’s Office. Students must submit a written statement explaining the circumstances and providing evidence of how they will meet Standards of Academic Progress if their suspension is waived or amended. Appeal decisions are made by the Appeals Panel, in consultation with the student’s academic advisor. The decision of the committee is final. A student is allowed only two consecutive waivers in his/her academic career. Academic Probation status is not appealable.

Grading Rule

Policy: West Virginia Northern Community College uses a letter grade system to indicate the quality of coursework performed by students. The following marks are designated for use. Definitions and quality points, where appropriate, are shown:

Grading and Meaning Quality Points Per Credit Hour
A - Excellent 4 quality points per credit hour
B - Above Average 3 quality points per credit hour
C - Average 2 quality points per credit hour
D - Below Average 1 quality point per credit hour

Not acceptable as passing in some programs; may not be transferable as passing to some colleges.

F - Failure (non-passing grade) 0 quality points per credit hour
I - Incomplete 0 quality points per credit hour

An “I” grade indicates that a student has met attendance requirements, if any, is doing passing work, and has satisfactorily completed all assignments, requirements, and/or exams up to that point, but is unable to complete the end term requirements (generally the last 1-2 weeks of the semester) before grades must be submitted because of extreme factors (such as illness or emergency) beyond the student’s control. In such instances, the student must contact the faculty member before final grades are submitted for that semester and request an incomplete. If the faculty member is willing to grant the incomplete, a written form is completed by the faculty member and submitted to the Registrar’s Office identifying specific requirements to be met. The “I” grade may be replaced by a regular letter grade by the faculty member (or Division Chairperson if faculty member is no longer available) if the coursework is completed by the following deadlines: For Spring Semester and Summer Semester courses, work must be complete prior to December 1 of the following Fall Semester, unless an earlier deadline is specified by the faculty member granting an Incomplete. For Fall Semester courses, work must be completed prior to May 1 of the following Spring Semester, unless an earlier deadline is specified by the faculty member granting an incomplete. No time extensions are allowed. An incomplete grade not made up by the established deadline automatically becomes an “F”. Semester and Cumulative Grade Point Averages will be recalculated upon completion of the Incomplete or when the Incomplete becomes an F, if not completed. This will affect Standards of Academic Progress and may affect Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress, and therefore financial aid eligibility.

K - Credit 0 quality points per credit hour

Credit without a grade, in courses designated in the catalog as graded on a “credit- no credit basis” and for credit earned by examination. “K” grade is defined as equivalent to “C” or higher.

N - No Credit 0 quality points per credit hour

Used to designate no credit earned in courses designated in the course description in the catalog as graded on a “credit-no credit” basis.

R - Re-enroll 0 quality points per credit hour

Indicates that a student’s progress is satisfactory, but course competencies have not been mastered. The student should re-enroll in the course. No quality points are awarded.

W - Withdrawal 0 quality points per credit hour

Indicates official withdrawal prior to the beginning of the 11th week of class. For short-term classes and summer classes, the “W” must be issued before 60% of the class sessions have concluded. These withdrawal dates will apply to all student-initiated withdrawals and faculty “administrative withdrawal” where the instructor determines that the student cannot meet course requirements because of irregular class attendance or failure to successfully complete assignments. Administrative withdrawal may be processed at any time during the semester by the instructor of a course if the instructor dismisses the student for disruptive behavior that interferes with the learning environment or other disciplinary reasons. The Business Office, at any time, may also initiate an “institutional withdrawal” for non-payment of tuition, fees, or any monies due to the college. Students should refer to the Student Rights and Responsibilities in the catalog. A total withdrawal from the institution will be allowed at any time before the last week of a semester (not including final exam week). The student will receive a “W” grade for all ungraded courses at the time of withdrawal. Beginning with the Fall 2012 semester, the “W” grade will be included in attempted hours. This change will not affect the GPA.

X - Audit 0 quality points per credit hour

Indicates the student registered as an audit student and participated but did not earn credit. A student may switch from credit to audit or audit to credit only during the first two weeks of a semester class or comparable period in short-term classes or summer session.

Z - No Grade Reported

A “Z” grade indicates that the faculty member has not submitted a grade.

# or ## - Not counted in GPA

A # or ## after a grade indicates that the grade is not calculated in the student’s grade point average.

Grade Point Average (GPA) is determined by computing the total number of quality points earned in 100 level or above courses and dividing by the total number of credits in 100 level or above courses in which registered. Cumulative GPA is determined by computing the total number of quality points earned in 100 level or above courses in all eligible college courses taken. Grades in courses transferred from other colleges are included and considered consistent with West Virginia rule.

A in 3 credit hour course (3 x 4) = 12 quality points

B in 4 credit hour course (4 x 3) = 12 quality points

C in two 3 credit courses (6 x 2) = 12 quality points

D in one 2 credit course (2 x 1) = 2 quality points

F in one 3 credit course (3 x 0) = 0 quality points

I in one 0 credit course (0 x 0) = 0 quality points

HERE IS AN EXAMPLE:

38 quality points divided by 15 credits = 2.33 GPA

38 quality points divided by 18 credits = 1.80 GPA

Grades are submitted by faculty members immediately after the end of each course or term or when a grade change is made. Official grades are available online and will be posted on Northern on the Web for students to view and print unofficial copies usually within 10 days from the end of the semester. Students needing an official copy of their grades should do so by requesting an official college transcript. Grades are not available to students who have outstanding financial obligations to the College. Grades are not posted or provided via telephone to assure privacy.

Grade changes can be made only by the course instructor. Grade changes must be made by the end of the next term in which the grade was received, excluding summer sessions, or by grade appeal or approval of the Registrar and the Vice President of Academic Affairs.

Transfer Credit. Based on official transcript information, credit for courses taken previously at other regionally accredited institutions are accepted and treated as if taken at WV Northern. Courses from unaccredited colleges are evaluated on an individual basis. Courses are evaluated toward the degree requirements at WVNCC; therefore, some transfer courses may meet degree requirements and others may count as electives. Courses taken at other WV public colleges and listed on the “Core Coursework Transfer Agreement ” will fulfill appropriate general education requirements.

Effective with the Fall 2014 semester, only the grades of A, B, C, and D (or the equivalent) will transfer to WVNCC for newly admitted transfer students. The transfer grade of F will be noted on the transcript as TR-F and count toward attempted hours, but will not be calculated in the grade point average. Students who transferred prior to Fall 2014 will follow the policy in effect at the time they were admitted and will have all grades transcripted.

West Virginia Northern Community College’s Deletion of Outdated Course Work from Computation of Grade Point Average policy will be used with “F” grades prior to Fall 2010. “F” grades will be noted on the transcript (**) and count toward attempted hours, but will not be calculated in the grade point average.

In many instances, the College has adequate course information from other area institutions. In other instances, students should be prepared to provide additional information to permit an adequate review. Students are urged to resolve questions about transfer credit prior to enrolling or no later than the first semester of attendance at WVNCC. Students are also cautioned to read and understand all academic policies especially as applied to graduation.

Transcripts

Students may request an official transcript of completed coursework at any time. The College uses the National Student Clearinghouse etranscript service for all transcript requests.The link to the etranscript process can be found by visiting www.wvncc.edu. If a student has an outstanding hold on her/his account, a transcript will not be provided until the obligation is satisfied.

‘D’ and ‘F’ Repeat Provisions

Consistent with West Virginia Council for Community and Technical College Education and Higher Education Policy Commission rules, if a student earns a grade of “D” or “F” (including failures because of regular and/or irregular withdrawal) on any course taken no later than the semester or summer term during which the student attempts the 60th semester hour, and if that student repeats this course prior to the receipt of a baccalaureate degree, the original grade shall be disregarded and the grade or grades 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. Financial aid will pay for only one repeat of a previously passed course. See financial aid SAP  policy for more details.

Academic Forgiveness Provisions

In addition to the “D” and “F” repeat provisions, the College will grant students’ requests for deletion of grades for courses taken under the following conditions for purposes of grade point average required for graduation:

  • Students must not have been enrolled in college on a full-time basis during any semester or term in the last four consecutive years.
  • Only grades for courses taken at least four years prior to the request for academic forgiveness may be disregarded for grade point average computation.
  • In cases where grades may be disregarded for grade point average computation, these grades shall not be deleted from the student’s permanent record.
  • In instances where students request and gain academic forgiveness and then transfer to another institution, the receiving institution is not bound by the prior institution’s decision to disregard grades for grade point average computation.

‘C’ or Higher Grade Repeat Provision

A student may repeat a course in which a grade of “C” or higher was earned. All grades will be calculated in the grade point average. The original grade will not be deleted from the grade point average. Credit hours from repeated courses can only be applied once toward completion of degree requirements. Financial aid will pay for only one repeat of a previously passed course. See financial aid SAP policy for more details.

Graduation Requirements / Certificate or Degree Program

Program requirements in the catalog at the time a student is admitted in an academic degree program will be utilized for certification that a student has completed appropriate degree requirements for graduation provided that graduation requirements are completed within five years. Students may elect to meet program requirements in the current catalog, provided all requirements in the current catalog are followed. Students who do not complete graduation requirements within five years will follow the catalog in effect at the beginning of the sixth year or the year of subsequent re-enrollment. It should be noted that students who do not take West Virginia Northern courses for two consecutive semesters (excluding summer) will be required to complete a new admission application for re-admission and will follow the program requirements in effect at the time of readmission.

Students are urged to work with the academic program advisor concerning any questions regarding graduation requirements. Part-time students who complete courses over a number of semesters will need to plan carefully since programs are frequently updated to maintain currency in career requirements. Substitutions for courses no longer offered by the College may need to be made.

The Records Office certifies students have completed all academic requirements for the awarding of the degree.

If an academic program is terminated, students impacted will be notified in accordance with Council for Community and Technical College Education and Higher Education Policy Commission procedures, and the College will offer the courses needed by currently enrolled students and assist the currently enrolled students in completing the degree program. Generally, a two-year program will continue for a year after the decision for termination is made.

Graduation Requirements - General. All students who graduate from West Virginia Northern will document completion of the following requirements in addition to those required for specific degrees:

  • Complete and submit the application for graduation 45 days prior to completion of the degree requirements.
  • Earn the minimum number of credit hours of academic credit required in the individual’s degree program in the specific courses required as certified by the program faculty.
  • Demonstrate basic proficiency in reading, English and math as evidenced by demonstration of proficiency on placement tests or completion of the required supplemental coursework and program coursework prerequisites.
  • Achieve a 2.0 or higher cumulative grade point average on all college work that is not excluded in the computation of GPA as a result of applying other West Virginia Northern policies such as that for outdated coursework.
  • Complete a minimum of 15 semester hours of credit at West Virginia Northern Community College, including the Board of Governors and Occupational Development programs (an exception for Board of Governors major student.
  • Fulfill all obligations to the College.
  • Complete a First-Year Seminar course within the first year of enrollment. This requirement is limited to students entering Northern as first-time freshmen.
  • Complete all college-level courses with a grade of “D” or better unless requirements that are more rigorous are required for a specific major.

Commencement ceremonies are conducted in May at the conclusion of the spring semester. Students who have completed graduation requirements during that year are invited to participate. Specific information is provided when students are provisionally certified for graduation. Arrangements for graduation robes, announcements, and other items should be made through the Bookstore. Diploma covers are presented to those attending the commencement ceremony. Diplomas are mailed to graduates once all degree requirements are certified.

Academic Honors

Students achieving academic success are recognized each semester by three distinctions. The deadline for being recognized for fall honors is February 1, and for spring honor recognition is September 1. The deadline for updating honors on academic transcripts is May 1 for fall courses and December 1 for spring courses. These academic honors are:

Merit List – is for students who earn at least six semester hours in credit classes and have a semester grade point average of 3.25 or higher, including courses numbered below 100 in this catalog.

Dean’s List – is for students who earn at least nine semester hours in credit classes and have a semester grade point average of 3.5 or higher, excluding courses numbered below 100 in this catalog.

President’s List – is for students who earn at least 12 semester hours in credit classes and have a semester grade point average of 4.0, excluding grades earned in courses numbered below 100 in this catalog.

Honorary Societies

Students who demonstrate academic excellence may be invited to membership in the local chapter of Phi Theta Kappa (PTK), a national honorary society for community and junior college students. Membership in Phi Theta Kappa honorary society is noted on diplomas of members. In addition to PTK, Lambda Nu (LN) is a national honor society for the radiologic and imaging sciences, open to students in the Radiography program who have earned a 3.0 or higher GPA. Its objectives are to “foster academic scholarship at the highest academic levels, promote research and investigation in the radiologic and imaging sciences, and recognize exemplary scholarship.” (See Student Organizations, Student Services  section).

Graduation Honors

Graduates with an overall grade point average of 3.25 or higher at the end of the fall semester are designated as honor students at the graduation ceremonies.

An Associate degree level student achieving the highest cumulative grade point average and completing the least number of credit hours is recognized as the valedictorian of the graduating class. In the case of a tie, the number of “K” credits may be considered. Students who wish to be considered for Valedictorian or special academic recognition need to apply for graduation by April 1.

Consumer Rules

Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action Rule

West Virginia Northern Community College is morally and legally committed to a rule of equal opportunity and prohibits discrimination with respect to race, sexual orientation, gender, age, color, religion, disability, veteran status and national origin for all employees, students, prospective students and applicants for employment. West Virginia Northern Community College neither affiliates with nor grants recognition to any individual, group or organization having such discriminatory policies or practices.

This rule extends to all West Virginia Northern Community College activities related to the management of its educational, employment, financial, business and other affairs. It applies to all personnel management practices including, but not limited to, recruiting, hiring, transfer, promotion, training, compensation, benefits, layoff and termination. West Virginia Northern Community College is committed to maintaining an atmosphere that is free of discrimination and harassment in any form.

West Virginia Northern Community College will continue to take affirmative action measures to ensure the entry of qualified minorities, women, veterans and the disabled as defined by law into the faculty, staff and student bodies.

In education, equal opportunity on a merit basis is fundamental to equality in all other forms of human behavior; therefore, commitment to this goal is required of every College employee.

Any infractions of this rule will be subject to disciplinary actions as deemed appropriate and defined by College Rule. Inquiries concerning this rule should be directed to Chief Human Resource Officer Peggy Carmichael, who is designated coordinator for Title IX and Section 504. Her telephone number is 304-214-8901 and her office is located in Room 125-B, B&O Building, Wheeling campus. Her email address is pcarmichael@wvncc.edu.

Sexual Discrimination/Harassment Rule

Students at West Virginia Northern Community College are entitled to an educational environment free from all forms of sexual harassment.

No member of the College community may engage in sexual harassment or discrimination against another or conduct herself/himself in a manner that creates a hostile or offensive learning environment. It is the responsibility of any student who knows about sexual harassment or discriminatory conduct to bring it to the attention of a College official.

Sexual harassment includes any unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors or other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature. It is a form of sex discrimination that is both reprehensible and unlawful.

Students should feel free to make complaints concerning allegations of sexual harassment. To the extent possible, strict confidentiality will be maintained in all investigative procedures.

Students who believe that they have been the subject of sexual harassment or discrimination should contact the Campus Counselor for guidance and clarification of complaint procedures.

If a student charges sexual harassment, the Code of Conduct or Academic Sanctions and Appeals Provision applies.

Resource materials regarding sexual harassment are available in the campus Learning Resource Centers. Additionally, the College has a sexual assault rule. For a complete version of the rule, contact the Human Resource Office or Office of the Vice President of Student Services.

Firearms Rule

Firearms, explosives, weapons of deadly force, or other weapons of mass destruction are not allowed on the property except for legally authorized law enforcement officials.

Any infractions of this rule will be subject to disciplinary actions as deemed appropriate that may include reprimand, probation, suspension, expulsion and referral to law enforcement agencies. Action for visitors may include removal from the premises, future ban from premises, referral to law enforcement agencies, etc.Infractions of this rule should be reported immediately to the Human Resource office, Campus Dean, other college official or law enforcement agency.

Drug-Free Schools and Communities Information

The purpose of this information is to comply with the Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act of 1989 and the Drug-Free Work Place Act of 1988.

This information applies to the entire College community, including students, faculty, staff and visitors to any of the campuses or classroom buildings.

Standards of Conduct: The unlawful manufacture, distribution, dispensing, possession or use of illicit drugs and alcohol on West Virginia Northern Community College property or as a part of any College activity is prohibited. It is prohibited to come to work, class or any College-sponsored function under the influence of alcohol or illicit drugs.

Disciplinary Sanctions: Consistent with College, local, State and Federal laws, the College will impose disciplinary sanctions for violation of the standards of conduct outlined above and prohibited in the Drug-Free Schools and Communities laws. Violations could result in expulsion from school, termination of employment and/or referral to law enforcement agencies as is consistent with College policies. Federal trafficking penalties include substantial fines and imprisonment up to life. West Virginia Law provides for penalties dependent on the classification of the substance, the activity involved and other convictions. The most severe penalties are for possession with intent to sell. Convictions may provide for fines and/or imprisonment with the amount and time dependent upon other factors.

College sanctions will be consistent with procedures used in other disciplinary actions as described in the Student Code of Conduct and Governing Board rule. For employees, sanctions may include oral warning, written reprimand, suspension, termination and referral to law enforcement agencies. Disciplinary sanctions for students may include reprimand, probation, suspension, expulsion and referral to law enforcement agencies. Action for visitors may include referral to law enforcement agencies.

Health Risks: There are many known health risks linked to the use of alcohol and illicit drug use. Preventable illness, disabilities and deaths are estimated to affect 25.5 million Americans.

Alcohol: Alcohol abuse is often characterized by one of three different patterns: (1) regular and daily use, (2) drinking large amounts of alcohol (binging) at specific or irregular times, or (3) periods of sobriety interspersed by periods of heavy drinking and intoxication. The disorder is progressive and can be fatal. If you recognize any tendencies toward alcohol abuse in yourself, your friends or loved ones, please seek help as outlined below.

HEALTH RISKS OF OTHER DRUGS INCLUDE:

Narcotics (including opium, morphine, codeine, heroin and others): Physical addiction, loss of awareness, respiratory restriction and possible death.

Depressants (including barbiturates, Quaaludes and others): Slurred speech, disorientation, shallow respiration, coma is likely with overdose.

Stimulants (including cocaine, amphetamines and others): Increased heart rate and blood pressure, possibly leading to death; increased excitation; loss of appetite.

Hallucinogens (including LSD, “mushrooms,” PCP, mescaline and others): Illusions and hallucinations; poor perception of time and distance; psychotic and unpredictable behavior, often leading to injury and arrest. Symptoms may reappear (flashback) some time after use.

Cannabis (marijuana, hashish, THC and others): Unrealistic euphoria, diminished inhibitions, disoriented behavior, diminished motivation, increased pulse.

Counseling and Referral Assistance: Help and referral are available in each Campus Counselor’s Office. Services are confidential. A listing of some available community resources is in the Student Handbook and in the Campus Counselor’s Office on each campus. There are many resources to help you or anyone you care about find treatment.

Additional information is available in the Student Handbook.

Compliance Notifications

The College provides annual notification to students (and faculty, staff as required by law) under the provisions of the Higher Education Act of 1974, as amended, for compliance with Student Right to Know Reporting and under provisions of the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act of 1998 (Clery Act) relating to Campus Crime Reporting/Disclosure. The College has available in written form through Campus Student Service Centers required statistics and publications which are also posted on its website. The College complies with the Timely Warnings notification of the Clery Act, as needed.

Red Flag Rules

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) www.ftc.gov, the federal bank regulatory agencies, and the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) www.ncua.gov have issued regulations (the Red Flag Rule) requiring financial institutions and creditors to develop and implement written identity theft prevention programs, as part of the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions (FACT) Act of 2003. In compliance to this new rule, West Virginia Northern Community College has established a policy to respond to fraud and activity duty alerts. The College will properly dispose of consumer report information and provide information to victims of identity theft. We will properly handle notice of identity theft and respond to any notification received from identity theft to prevent refurnishing blocked information. West Virginia Northern Community College will comply with the rules regarding sharing information with affiliates and provide an oral, written, or electronic notice when a possible flag has been set. The College will also comply with the guidelines adopted by the Federal banking agencies, and the FTC for use when furnishing information to a Credit Reporting Agency (CRA) regarding the accuracy and integrity of the information relating to the consumer that such entities furnish to CRAs. We will provide notice regarding negative information and take appropriate action when receiving a notice of discrepancy in the consumer’s address.

Catalog Rule

This catalog is provided for informational purposes to students/applicants and contains official announcements of College rules, programs of study and courses offered.  This catalog does not constitute a contract, expressed or implied, between any applicant, student or graduate of West Virginia Northern Community College.  The College reserves the right to appeal, revise or amend information contained herein.

Interim catalog addenda may be issued during the life of this publication.  It is the responsibility of the student to read and abide by the catalog and any subsequent addenda that may be published.

Students enrolling at West Virginia Northern Community College must follow the program requirements in the catalog in effect at the time of entry into the College (provided graduation requirements are completed within five years).  Students have the option of meeting program requirements in a later catalog, provided all requirements of the later catalog are met.

Securing a degree does not guarantee employment.  Employment is a contract/agreement between employee and employer; the College is not responsible for the hiring decision of any employer.