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V.C.1.  Grading and Credit

V.C.1.01 Published Transfer Policy

The System shall adopt a policy to enhance the transfer of students based on the recommendations of the permanent advisory committee established by Section 51.3521 of the Education Code.

In its course catalogs, and on its website, the System shall publish guidelines addressing the practices of the System regarding the transfer of course credit. In the guidelines, the System must identify a course by using any common course numbering system adopted by the Coordinating Board.

V.C.1.02 Transfer of Core Curriculum Credits

If a student successfully completes the 42-hour core curriculum at an institution of higher education, that block of courses may be transferred to any other institution of higher education, and must be substituted for the receiving institution's core curriculum. A student shall receive academic credit for each of the courses transferred, and may not be required to take additional core curriculum courses at the receiving institution unless the Coordinating Board has approved a larger core curriculum at the institution.

A student, who transfers from one institution of higher education to another without completing the field of study curriculum of the sending institution, shall receive academic credit from the receiving institution for each of the courses that the student has successfully completed in the core curriculum of the sending institution. Following receipt of credit for these courses, the student may be required to satisfy further course requirements in the field of study curriculum of the receiving institution.

Each student must meet the minimum number of semester credit hours in each component area. However, an institution receiving a student in transfer is not required to accept component core course semester credit hours beyond the maximum specified in a core component area.

V.C.1.03 Core Courses Noted on Transcript

Each institution shall note core courses on the transcript of students as recommended by the Texas Association of Registrars and Admissions Officers.

V.C.1.04 Transfer of Field of Study Curriculum Credits

If a student successfully completes a field of study curriculum developed by the Coordinating Board, that block of courses may be transferred to a general academic teaching institution, and shall be substituted for that institution's lower division requirements for the degree program for the field of study into which the student transfers. The student shall receive full academic credit toward the degree program for the block of courses transferred.

V.C.1.05 Lower Division Courses Transferable

All lower division academic courses shall be fully transferable among public institutions, and must be substituted for the equivalent course at any public college or university in Texas. Except in the cases of courses belonging to a Coordinating Board approved Field of Study Curriculum, the applicability of transferred courses to requirements for specific degree programs is determined by the receiving institution. Each institution of higher education shall identify in its undergraduate catalog each lower division course that is substantially equivalent to an academic course listed in the current edition of the "Lower Division Academic Course Guide Manual".

V.C.1.06 Transfer Rules Codified

Responsibilities for universities regarding requirements and limitations on transfer of lower division courses, penalties for non-compliance with transfer rules, and resolution of transfer disputes are found in 19 Tex. Administrative Code Sec. 4.25, 4.26, and 4.27.

V.C.1.07 Transfer Dispute Resolution

The Coordinating Board, by rule, shall adopt procedures to be followed by:

  1. Institutions of Higher Education in resolving disputes concerning the transfer of lower division course credit; and
  2. The Commissioner of Higher Education or the Commissioner's designee, in making a final determination concerning transfer of the course credit, if the transfer is in dispute.

Each institution of higher education shall publish in its course catalog the procedures adopted by the Coordinating Board.

V.C.1.08 Institutions to Attempt Resolution with Student

If an institution of higher education does not accept course credit by a student at another institution of higher education, that institution shall give written notice to the student and the other institution that the transfer credit is denied. The two institutions and the student shall attempt to resolve the transfer of the course credit in accordance with the Coordinating Board rules.

If the transfer dispute is not resolved to the satisfaction of the student or the institution at which the credit was earned within 45 days after the date the student received the written notice of the denial, the institution that denies the transfer of the course credit shall notify the Commissioner of Higher Education of its denial and the reasons for the denial.

V.C.1.09 Commissioner Makes Final Determination

The Commissioner of Higher Education, or the Commissioner's designee, shall make the final determination about the dispute concerning the transfer of course credit, and give written notice of the determination to the involved student and institutions.

V.C.1.10 Withdrawal for Military Service

If a student withdraws because the student is called into active military service, the institution, at the student's option, shall:

  1. refund the tuition and fees paid by the student for the semester in which the student withdraws;
  2. grant a student, who is eligible under the institution's guidelines, an incomplete grade in all courses by designating "withdrawn-military" on the student's transcript; or
  3. as determined by the instructor, assign an appropriate final grade or credit to a student who has satisfactorily completed a substantial amount of course work and who has demonstrated sufficient mastery of the course material.

V.C.1.11 Excused Absence for a Person Called to Military Service

  1. Upon notice from a student required to participate in active military service, an institution shall excuse a student from attending classes or engaging in other required activities, including examinations.
  2. A student shall not be penalized for an absence which is excused under this subsection and shall be allowed to complete an assignment or take an examination from which the student is excused within a reasonable time after the absence.
  3. Each institution shall adopt a policy under this subsection which includes:
  4. the retention of a student's course work completed during the portion of the course prior to the student being called to active military service;
  5. the course syllabus or other instructional plan, so that the student will be able to complete the course without prejudice and under the same course requirements that were in effect when the student enrolled in the course;
  6. a definition of a reasonable time after the absence for the completion of assignments and examinations;
  7. procedures for failure of a student to satisfactorily complete the assignment or examination within a reasonable time after the absence; and
  8. an institutional dispute resolution process regarding the policy.
  9. The maximum period for which a student may be excused under this section shall be no more than 25% (twenty-five percent) of the total number of class meetings or the contact hour equivalent (not including the final examination period) for the specific course or courses in which the student is currently enrolled at the beginning of the period of active military service.
  10. Institutions are directed to develop and publish policies and procedures to ensure that students enrolled in LSC-Online, self-paced, correspondence, and other asynchronous courses receive equivalent consideration for the purposes of determining acceptable duration of excused absences and time limits for the completion of course work following an excused absence under this section.

V.C.1.12 Grading

The Chancellor shall implement procedures to ensure that the assignment of grades is fair, timely and reflective of student mastery. This shall include the provision of appropriate procedures for student appeal of assigned grades, and student rights to privacy with regard to grades and other academic records.

V.C.1.13 Credit by Prior Learning Assessment (PLA)

In addition to credit awarded for courses completed, credit may also be obtained by alternate means as approved by the Council for Education and Student Development (CESD). This may include such methods as: the Achievement Test (ACT); College Level Examination Program (CLEP); International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma, American Council on Education equivalency guides including military, Advanced Placement Program by the College Board, high school articulation agreements; System challenge examinations, portfolio reviews, skill performance examinations, and industry certification and licensure. See the Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) website for a complete listing of alternate methods for obtaining course credit.

LSCS Policy Manual Section adopted by the Board of Trustees on August 7, 2008

V.C.2. Academic Integrity and Academic Dishonesty

V.C.2.01 Academic Integrity

The System upholds the academic core values of learning: honesty, respect, fairness, and accountability. It promotes the importance of personal and academic honesty. It embraces the belief that all learners - students, faculty, staff and administrators - will produce their own work, and must give appropriate credit to the work of others. No fabrication of sources, cheating or unauthorized collaboration is permitted on any work submitted within the System.

V.C.2.02 Academic Dishonesty

Academic dishonesty includes, but is not limited to, plagiarism and cheating.

V.C.2.03 Consequences of Academic Dishonesty

Professors retain primary responsibility for matters relating to academic integrity within their classes. Professors should clearly state in a written report how the student's actions violated the academic integrity policy, how a grade was calculated and the actions taken.

Students wishing to appeal a penalty for alleged academic dishonesty in the classroom must use the academic appeal process. See V.C.3 Academic Appeals.

Students wishing to appeal sanctions imposed for an academic integrity violation related to general student conduct must do so through the Student Discipline Appeal Committee (See Section VI.F.6., Student Appeals).

LSCS Policy Manual Section adopted by the Board of Trustees on August 7, 2008

V.C.3.  Academic Appeals

V.C.3.01 Defined

An academic appeal is a formal request brought by a student to change a grade, or to challenge a penalty imposed for violation of standards of academic integrity, such as plagiarism or cheating. A request to change a grade or to challenge a penalty must be made within twelve (12) months of the action. A grade may only be changed by the instructor of record (or by a full-time instructor in the absence of the instructor of record) or by the Academic Appeals Committee.

V.C.3.02 Basis for Academic Appeal

An academic appeal will be considered if there is evidence that one or more of the following conditions exist:

  1. error in calculation of grade;
  2. deviation from the syllabus or System policy manual;
  3. academic disparate treatment of a student that is not addressed by EEO processes; or
  4. inappropriate penalty(ies) imposed for an academic integrity violation.

An appeal will not be considered because of general dissatisfaction with a grade, penalty, or outcome of a course, or because of disagreement with the instructor's professional judgment of the quality of the student's work and performance.

V.C.3.03 Procedure

Before a student may bring an academic appeal, he or she should first meet with the instructor to request that a change be made. If the student is not satisfied with the outcome or cannot consult with the instructor, he or she shall meet with the appropriate Academic Dean to determine if a resolution can be reached.

If a resolution is not reached and the student desires to pursue the appeal, the student will state specifically the basis of the appeal, in writing, to the Chief Academic Officer.

If the Chief Academic Officer determines that the appeal does not meet the requirements of this policy, he/she shall communicate this fact, in writing, to the student.

If the Chief Academic Officer determines that the appeal is appropriate under this policy, he/she shall convene the Academic Appeals Committee to consider the complaint.

The Chief Academic Officer shall notify the student, in writing, regarding the Academic Appeals Committee meeting date, the student's rights, and next steps in the process.

V.C.3.04 Academic Appeals Committee

An Academic Appeals Standing Committee shall be appointed at each College within the System for one year, and shall consist of:

  1. Four (4) full-time faculty members appointed by the Chief Academic Officer, one of whom shall be appointed chair of the Committee; and
  2. Two students who shall be nominated by the Chief Students Affairs Officer, and appointed by the Chief Academic Officer.

Members of the Committee shall be replaced or added by the Chief Academic Officer if conflict of interest is apparent, a member is unable to attend a hearing, or specific expertise is required in regard to the circumstances of the appeal.

V.C.3.05 Hearing Procedure

The Committee shall be convened by the chair, in a timely manner, and shall conduct its activities in private. The student and the faculty member shall be permitted to present witnesses, and evidence relevant to the appeal.

The Committee shall not be bound by rules of evidence, and shall conduct its hearing in an informal manner. The student or faculty member may have a representative present, but that representative shall not be allowed to participate during the hearing. A two-thirds majority of the full committee shall be required to change the grade, penalty or academic action at issue.

The Committee shall inform the Chief Academic Officer of its decision in writing. The Chief Academic Officer will notify the student and faculty member in writing of the Committee's decision.

V.C.3.06 Appeal Committee Final

The decision of the Academic Appeals Committee is final.

LSCS Policy Manual Section adopted by the Board of Trustees on August 7, 2008

V.C.4. Graduation

V.C.4.01 Guarantee of Additional Training for Certain Students

Under certain specified circumstances, the System guarantees graduates of its Associate of Arts, Associate of Science, Associate of Arts in Teaching, Associate of Applied Science and Certificate programs additional education and training, tuition-free, where such students lack appropriate mastery of specified competencies. The System shall publish specific conditions and requirements that must be met in order to take advantage of this guarantee.

V.C.4.02 Commencement Ceremony

An annual commencement exercise shall be held at the close of the spring semester and other times as appropriate. Students who complete degree or certificate requirements during the prior fall, current spring, or following summer sessions are invited to participate in the commencement exercises.


LSCS Policy Manual Section adopted by the Board of Trustees on August 7, 2008

V.C.5.  Guidance Programs and Services

V.C.5.01 Students with Disabilities

The System shall provide personal, academic or vocational counseling guidance, or placement services to its students without discrimination on the basis of disability. The System shall ensure that qualified disabled students are not counseled towards more restrictive career objectives than are non-disabled students with similar interests and ability.

V.C.5.02 Counseling Program

The System shall provide a counseling and guidance program, available to all students, for the purpose of aiding in adjustment to college campus living, appropriate placement in the curriculum, general social adjustment, and suitable professional placement. The program shall include the availability of a testing program that uses the best-known and most reliable instruments.

Placement and follow-up services should be provided to students using the System's counseling and guidance program.

V.C.5.03 Student Development

The Chancellor shall ensure that the System makes available to all students effective programs of student support services, including academic advising, counseling services, skills assessment and placement, career development, financial aid, student enrollment services, and support services for students with special needs.


LSCS Policy Manual Section adopted by the Board of Trustees on August 7, 2008