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Academic Policies

You will find a listing of BC3's Academic policies on this page. If you have any questions or cannot find what you are looking for please contact the Office of Academic Affairs at 724.287.8711 Ext 8263

Policy Titles

The following links provide comprehensive information about Butler County Community College's academic policies. Please click on the policy title to reveal the description.

Academic Standing

After attempting 12 credits, students will be held to standards regarding Academic Standing which are listed below. Preparatory and/or Developmental coursework will be included in the GPA calculation for the purpose of Academic Standing. These courses are not included in the official GPA displayed on the transcript or grade mailer.

Academic Alert

Students will be placed on Academic Alert if their cumulative GPAs fall below 2.0 (provided that their semester GPA does not fall below 1.5). Students on Academic Alert will receive a letter with a listing of various campus resources for improving their academic performance. In addition, it is recommended that these students work with their academic advisors to improve their progress toward graduation.

Academic Probation

Students will be placed on Academic Probation for one semester if their cumulative GPAs fall below 2.0 and their semester GPAs are below 1.5 (provided that their cumulative averages do not fall below that required for remaining enrolled). Students on academic probation will be required to attend group intervention sessions prior to the start of the semester and will be limited to 13 credits.

Academic Suspension

Students will be placed on academic suspension for a semester if their semester GPAs are below 2.0 and their cumulative GPAs are in one of the following categories:

Credits Attempted GPA
12-23.5 Less than 1.0
24-35.5 Less than 1.5
36 1.5-1.79

Academic suspension will prevent students from registering at the College until the end of the next fall or spring semester. Students who are academically suspended may appeal in writing to the Director of Records and Registration to continue their studies subject to review by the Committee on Readmission.

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Academic Load

The normal academic load for a full-time student registered for the fall or spring semesters may vary from 12-18 credit hours per semester. No student may schedule more than 18 credit hours per semester without special permission from the V. P. for Academic Affairs. During the summer sessions, the normal academic load should equal not more than one credit for each week of class.

Auditing Courses

Students who desire to take courses without credit or grades may choose to audit such courses by paying full tuition and fees. Audit students may not revert to credit basis after the published deadline date for adding classes. Students taking courses for credit may not revert to audit after the published deadline date for adding classes. Audit credit is considered institutional credit and does not apply toward graduation.

Change of Program

Students who desire to change their program may do so at anytime by contacting the Office of Records & Registration. Students who elect to change programs should consult their advisors to determine additional curriculum needs.

Class Attendance

It is imperative that each student be regular and prompt in attendance at all classes and scheduled conferences with faculty members. All work missed by the student, regardless of the cause, must be made up to the satisfaction of the faculty member. In all cases of anticipated absence, the student should confer beforehand with the teacher concerning the assignments. Students are expected to be in the classroom or the laboratory at the scheduled hour.

Credit for Prior Learning

Students are able to receive academic credit for prior learning that may enable them to begin their college work at an advanced level and shorten the time required to obtain a certificate or degree. Credit may be granted by: transfer of credit, college level examination program, credit by examination, general life experience, and credit through articulation agreements. No more than 45 credits for any given program will be allowed from a combination of transfer credits, division tests, CLEP credits, articulation credits, and Life Experience credits.

  1. Transfer Of Credit
    1. The Office of Records & Registration, in consultation with the Vice President for Academic Affairs and Deans, will review incoming transfer of credits.
    2. A student may transfer a total of 45 credit hours toward a degree at Butler County Community College.
    3. College level courses taken while in the U.S. Armed Forces and submitted on official service forms are transferable if sanctioned by the American Council on Education.
    4. Students enrolled in NAIT accredited programs must take a minimum of 12 semester credits of management and/or technical coursework at Butler County Community College.
    5. Credits will be accepted when earned in degree programs at regionally accredited (i.e. Middle States, etc.) and/or degree-granting institutions.
  2. College Level Examination Program Selected CLEP credits will be accepted based upon a review and approval of the appropriate divisional faculty. A complete list of CLEP credits accepted may be obtained in the Office of Records & Registration.
  3. Credit By Examination Division tests may be developed and used for granting of credit. Testing has been developed in some English, health, speech, drafting, and business courses. The non-refundable fee is half of the current year's tuition cost per credit payable in advance. Complete details and procedures are available in the Office of Records & Registration.
  4. Life Experience Guidelines for awarding credit for life experience are essentially those taken from ones suggested by the American Council on Education dated January 1977. A student presents to the Vice President for Academic Affairs a proposal describing the broad outline of the learning experience. A comprehensive, detailed portfolio is then prepared under the direction of a faculty member (portfolio advisor). A group of no fewer than three College faculty members and administrators will evaluate the specific-detail portfolio and will recommend the credit to be given. The student pays half of the current year's tuition cost for each credit requested in his portfolio. If "credit by examination" is available for a course, the faculty member(s) have the option of requiring the examination to be take in lieu of "life experience." Complete details and procedures are available from the Vice President for Academic Affairs' office, the Office of Records & Registration, or the Dean of the academic division's office.
  5. Articulation AgreementsArticulation agreements exist with many high schools and area vocational technical schools for the purpose of granting recognition for the achievement of learning comparable to college level. Information on agreements can be obtained from the Admissions Office, Office of Records & Registration, or the Vice President for Academic Affairs.
  6. Advanced Placement Program The College participates in the Advanced Placement Program (AP) of the College Entrance Examination Board (CEEB). Under this program, the College grants credit and advanced placement to students with completed College-level courses in secondary schools with an AP test score of three or higher.

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Credit Hours

  1. A credit hour is equated with a minimum of 55 minutes of classroom or direct faculty instruction regardless of the modality of instruction, and a minimum of 110 minutes of out-of-class student work per week for a semester (approximately 14 weeks).
  2. Laboratory hours may vary from two to four hours per meeting per week for a semester and will be equated as one credit hour. Clinical areas will be considered on an individual basis.
  3. Students in online courses can expect to spend a minimum of 55 minutes per credit reading and reviewing online content and supplemental materials, and a minimum of 110 minutes per credit completing online and offline activities and assignments per week for a semester (approximately 14 weeks).
  4. Hybrid courses follow the same guidelines as stated above for an online course, plus the additional requirement of four (4) or more on-campus meetings. The time spent on-campus is accounted for in the design of the course and does not require additional credit hours to be apportioned. The time spent on-campus may vary and should be subtracted from the total number of minimum hours expected for completing the course as calculated in C above.

Dean's and President's List

At the end of each semester, students who have earned 12 college level credits* and have a semester grade point average (GPA) of 3.75 or higher are named to the President's List. Students who have earned 12 college level credits* and have a GPA of 3.50 to 3.74 are named to the Dean's List.

Part-time students will be awarded the appropriate academic honor at the end of each semester when 12 college level credits* are earned with the required cumulative GPA. If a part-time student who has not yet earned a unit of 12 college level credits* enrolls as a full-time student, he or she is evaluated at the end of the full-time semester.If he or she then returns to part-time status, the accumulation of a new unit of 12 college level credits* begins.

*Institutional credits (developmental and preparatory courses), transfer credits, and pass/fail courses do not count toward academic honors.

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Degree and Certificate Requirements

  1. A GPA of 2.0 or better is required for all Associate Degrees, Certificates and Diplomas.
  2. All requirements for preparatory coursework must be completed prior to the receipt of a degree, certificate or diploma.
    • For an Associate degree, maximum of 45 credit hours may be transferred back to BC3.
    • For a certificate, a minimum of fifteen (15) college credits must be completed at BC3 exclusive of credits for prior learning.
    • For a diploma, a minimum of twelve (12) college credits must be completed at BC3 exclusive of credits for prior learning.
  3. For a second major, a student will be required to complete a minimum of an additional fifteen (15) credit hours for an Associate Degree, nine (9) credit hours for a Certificate, and six (6) credit hours for a Diploma. These credit hours must be approved in advance by the Dean of the second major.
  4. A student is responsible for fulfilling all degree or certificate requirements.
  5. To be eligible for graduation honors, a student must have successfully completed thirty (30) semester hours at BC3.
  6. A diploma will not be issued coincident with or subsequent to the granting of a comparable certificate or degree.

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Figuring Your G.P.A.

Grade Points are determined by multiplying the academic credit hours of a course by the grade point value of the grade received (A=4, B=3, C=2, D=1, F=0).

A student's grade point average is determined by dividing the number of credits attempted into the grade points. For example:

Class Credits Grade Grade-Points
English 3 B 3 x 3 = 9
Psychology 3 F 3 x 0 = 0
Sociology 3 C 3 x 2 = 6
Biology 4 D 4 x 1 = 4
Math 3 A 3 x 4 = 12
*Prep Reading 3 A 3 x 0 = 0
16 cr. 31 gp's

*Institutional Credit

31grade points / 16 semester hours = 1.9 grade point average (GPA)

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Final Grades

Responsibility for the assignment of final grades rests with the course instructor. A student questioning a grade has the right to seek an explanation from the individual faculty member. If the explanation is not satisfactory, and providing the student has evidence that a grade is in error, the student may discuss the matter with the Dean of the appropriate division.

Forgiveness Policy

Students who change their programs have the option of transferring D grades to the new program or having the D and F credits earned, credits attempted, and grade points placed at 0 by applying for the Forgiveness Policy. Options under the Forgiveness Policy are available only after the successful completion of 15 new credits (2.0 grade point average) in the new program. This may be applied for only once. Students are not permitted to repeat the forgiven courses in the future.

Full-Time Students / Part-Time Students














Students who register for 12 or more credits are considered to be full-time students. Students who register for fewer than 12 credits are considered to be part-time students.


Grade Reports

There will be a semester end grade report issued to each student immediately following the close of the semester. There will be a mid-semester grade report for all students who have earned a D or an F grade. Students earning grades of D and F will be encouraged to see the instructor of the course.


  1. All students must apply for graduation before the deadline of February 15 for May graduation, June 15 for August graduation, and September 15 for December graduation.
  2. Students must complete an application for graduation available at the Office of Records & Registration. There is a non-refundable $40 graduation fee for each degree applied for, payable at the time of application. Applications received after the posted deadline will be assessed a $25 late fee. Graduation does not take place automatically!
  3. Students must re-apply for graduation if they do not qualify the first time of application.
  4. If a student applies for graduation after leaving the College for two calendar years or longer, the student must fulfill graduation requirements in the program planner and catalog current in the semester the student applies for graduation. Request for exemptions may be made in writing to the Dean responsible for the program.

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Graduation Honors

Students may attain graduation honors by earning the following Grade Point Averages:

  • Summa Cum Laude 3.75 - 4.0
  • Magna Cum Laude 3.50 - 3.74
  • Cum Laude 3.25 - 3.49

Institutional Credit

Institutional Credit is assigned by the institution to courses which are deemed to be preparatory or developmental in nature. Institutional credit cannot be applied toward graduation requirements and is not usually transferable to another institution. Grades in these courses are calculated into an institutional GPA which is used to determine Academic Standing. The institutional GPA is not displayed on college transcripts and will not be used to determine President's List, Dean's List, or graduation honors.

Institutional Degree Requirements

All degree programs at Butler County Community College are designed to encompass a set of courses (the core) that foster the ability to communicate effectively and persuasively in standard written and spoken English, a commitment to a healthy lifestyle, the ability to compute, an understanding of scientific methodology or basic computer science, and an awareness of what it means to be a responsible member of society.

Degree programs (AA, AS, AAS) include a set of courses, also known as Institutional Degree Requirements (IDR's) or the CORE. These courses are a blend of liberal arts and occupational courses that provide the necessary tools to enter an occupation or pursue advanced studies. The general education CORE or IDR's for all programs based on minimum credits is listed below:

  • Communication Skills, 6 credits
  • Health Science/Physical Education, 2 credits
  • Computation Skills or Mathematics, 3 credits
  • Natural Science or Computer Science, 3 credits
  • Social Science or Humanities, 3 credits

The core is embodied in the distribution requirements of all programs in the College and provides consistency among all degree programs.

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Preparatory and Developmental Courses

Preparatory and developmental courses are specifically designed to prepare individuals for occupational, technical, or transfer by developing basic skills and understanding necessary to succeed in these curricula. The results of placement tests determine if a student is required to enroll in preparatory and/or developmental courses. Preparatory and/or developmental courses are available in English, Reading, Math, and Algebra. Preparatory and developmental courses earn Institutional Credits.

Repeating Courses

  • A student may repeat a course for the purpose of improving competency in the subject area. The grade received when repeating the course becomes the grade of record. However, it must be noted that some senior institutions will count both the original and the second grade when computing GPAs.

Schedule Change (Drop/Add)

  1. All schedule changes must be made through the Office of Records & Registration.
  2. Each semester, the Office of Records & Registration will process schedule changes up to the beginning of the second week of classes. After this time, students may drop but not add classes.

Statute of Limitations

The Dean responsible for the program, as well as the Director of Records & Registration, must review and approve courses specific to the particular program taken at Butler County Community College more than ten (10) years before the date of the intended degree.

Application of transfer credits specific to the program that were completed more than ten (10) years before completion of the intended degree program shall be reviewed by the Dean responsible for the program and by the Director of Records & Registration.

System of Grading

  1. The grading system is based on a 1.0 to 4.0 scale.
  2. The letter grades, which contribute to the GPA, are:
    • A - Superior 4.0
    • B - Above Average 3.0
    • C - Average 2.0
    • D - Below Average 1.0
    • F - Failure 0
    • I - Incomplete 0
  3. The letter grades, which do not affect GPA, are:
    • S/U- Satisfactory / Unsatisfactory
    • W-Withdrawal
    • Grades for Courses Earning Institutional Credit
    • P-Transfer Grades
    • P-Challenge Test Grades
    • T-Audit
    • WM-Withdrawal Medical
  4. An incomplete grade may be issued to a student who has not completed all of the assignments. The incomplete must be satisfied by the end of the following semester or it becomes an F grade. Only a grade of A, B, C, D, or F can replace an incomplete when the student completes his/her assignment(s).
  5. No grade, with the exception of an incomplete, should be changed after once issued unless there is a clerical error or extreme circumstances. The V. P. for Academic Affairs should then be involved. Requests for a change in grade must be made within one semester of the assignment of the grade.
  6. A "W" grade cannot be issued after the ninth week of the semester.
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Withdrawal from a Course

A student may withdraw from a course after the third week period up to and including the ninth week of the semester with a "W" grade on his/her record. "W" grades do not affect the student's GPA.

Withdrawal from College














  1. All withdrawals from the College must be processed through the Office of Records & Registration. Failure to do so will result in a student receiving "F" grades in all courses pursued at the time the student discontinues class attendance, and the "F" grades will become part of the student's permanent record.
  2. Medical Withdrawal - A student may apply for Medical Withdrawal at any time during the semester before the week of final exams. Application is made by submitting to the Office of Records & Registration a Medical Withdrawal Form completed by a physician no later than the last class day of a semester. The V. P. for Student Affairs will review each Medical Withdrawal request on a case-by-case basis.

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Academic Calendar

Academic Calendar


Course Catalog

BC3 Course Catalog


Contact Academic Affairs

Bruce Russell
Interim Vice President, Academic Affairs
724.287.8711 Ext 8262


Renee J. Piovesan
Secretary, Academic Affairs
724.287.8711 Ext 8263


Butler County Community College • 107 College Drive • Butler, PA • 16002
724.287.8711 • Toll-Free: 888.826.2829 • Fax: 724.285.6047
mailing address: PO Box 1203 • Butler, PA • 16003-1203

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