Time Frame for Degrees and Certificates
SC4 continuously reviews all academic programs to ensure students receive up-to-date curriculum. Due to the ever-changing nature of the academic programs, SC4 monitors the time frame in which students complete their program(s). Students may follow the degree requirements included in the catalog year upon initial enrollment at SC4 or select any of the subsequent catalog years for which they are enrolled. Students will have a maximum of five years to complete the degree/certificate requirements listed in their selected catalog. For example, students entering SC4 in 2021 may graduate using the 2021 catalog’s degree requirements until 2026. A student who has not enrolled for a period of five years or more must follow the catalog that is in effect the semester upon re-enrollment to the college.
NOTE: An exception to this policy concerns programs that have been inactivated. Students who were not already enrolled in a program when it was inactivated are not allowed to move backwards into a catalog year in which an inactive program was active for purposes of enrolling in the inactive program.
A second (or third, and so on) certificate/degree may be awarded to students who complete the specified program requirements. Students must apply for graduation from each of the programs for which requirements have been met.
Application for Graduation
Current students may apply for graduation via their student self-service account or by completing a graduation application available at sc4.edu/support-services/records-and-registration/graduation-requirements/. SC4 students may graduate at the conclusion of each semester. Applications must be submitted by the following deadlines:
||Application Deadline (last day of semester unless otherwise specified)
||Feb. 28 (to ensure inclusion in Commencement materials)
||Feb. 28 (to ensure inclusion in Commencement materials)
Students must satisfy all degree/certificate requirements and have a minimum overall GPA of 2.000 to earn a degree/certificate. Students who do not meet the requirements for graduation may have their application reconsidered the following semester.
All graduation candidates are invited to attend Commencement, hosted annually following the conclusion of the winter semester (May). A bulletin with detailed Commencement information is published in April and mailed to all graduation applicants. Graduation candidates satisfying all requirements and financial obligations to the college will receive their degree/certificate in the mail by approximately:
Replacement degrees and/or additional copies are available for a fee. Contact the Records office at (810) 989-5550 for details.
It is the philosophy of St. Clair County Community College that students may need a “Fresh Start” at some point in their college career. The Fresh Start procedure allows students who were enrolled in one applied program and have now re-enrolled in a different applied program and have successfully completed at least 12 credits in the new program the opportunity to have their cumulative grade point average reflect their present academic success. To be eligible for Fresh Start, students must have at least a two-year stop-out prior to their applied program change. Interested students should schedule an advising appointment for a complete outline of this procedure. Note: Students who are following the General Education program while seeking admittance to a competitive-admissions Health Sciences program are not eligible for Fresh Start.
Students are expected to take the courses required by the program of study in which they are enrolled. If circumstances necessitate a substitution, students may work with their program’s occupational coordinator or department chair to complete an electronic Course Substitute Request form. The form must list the required course(s) to be substituted, and the rationale for each substitution. The occupational coordinator, department chair and registrar must approve all substitutions. Having a course waived will not reduce the total number of credits required for an associate degree/certificate, nor the course distribution requirements for the associate degree or certificate program.
A college credit course taken at SC4 for which a final grade has been recorded may be attempted a total of two times. The nursing retake policy is located in the Nursing Policy Handbook. Non-credit courses can be repeated indefinitely. A withdrawal (“W”) from a class counts as an attempt and is included in the retake policy. Students wishing to attempt a course for the third time must submit an appeal to the Achievement Center.
The best grade earned becomes the officially recorded grade. All attempts remain on the official transcript, including the semester, course number and grade earned, although only the best grade will be used to calculate the institutional grade point average.
Transfer Credit to SC4
Students wishing to transfer credit to St. Clair County Community College must have an official transcript sent from their previous college(s)/university. Credits for courses taken elsewhere will be evaluated for potential equivalent credit (per a student’s declared program of study) by the registrar or their designee. Transfer credit is accepted with grades of “C” or better or an equivalent of 2.000 or higher based on a 4.000 scale from other colleges and universities which are approved by the American Council on Education and/or accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) or its regional equivalent. Recognized regional associations of colleges and schools include Middle States, North Central, New England, Northwest, Southern, and Western. Official transcripts submitted from non-HLC accredited institutions will be considered and/or evaluated on an individual basis with assistance from faculty content experts. Credit that is transferred in does not carry a grade point, and therefore does not count towards graduation honors at SC4. A maximum of 44 advanced standing credits may be used towards a 62-credit hour associate degree; a maximum of 20 credits of advanced standing may be used towards a 30-credit hour certificate. Contact the Records office at 810-989-5550 for additional information on transferring credits to SC4.
Advanced Standing Credit
SC4 provides students with alternative ways to earn college credit. Awarded credits will be placed on the transcript as “Credit By Exam/Work Experience” (i.e. credit posted does not carry a grade point) and may or may not transfer to other institutions. The following outlines the many options available.
Credit-By-Exam − Students pay a fee to complete an exam and may earn college credit based upon the results. The following are samples of Credit-By-Exam options.
- Advanced Placement (AP) − High school students taking AP courses may take an exam offered by CollegeBoard, the non-profit organization which administers the Advanced Placement Program. SC4 generally grants credit for scores of 3 or above (a few courses require a score of 4 or better; contact the Records office at (810) 989-5550 for details). Students must request that an official copy of their AP scores be sent directly to the Registrar from CollegeBoard (apstudents.collegeboard) or (888) 225-5427.
- College Level Examination Program (CLEP) − CLEP offers national standardized tests in selected academic areas. SC4 grants credit for scores of 50 or above, with the exception of ENG 101, which also requires an essay component. Contact the Testing Center located on the second floor lobby, SC4 Welcome Center, or call (810) 989-5555 for details.
- Discipline/Subject Exams − Course-specific exams developed by SC4 faculty provide students the opportunity to earn credit for a specific course. Contact the appropriate discipline to inquire if any exams are available.
Experiential Credit − Students who can demonstrate they have gained the knowledge contained in a particular course(s) may receive a maximum of 12 credit hours of “Experiential Credit.” Credits are only applicable to Applied Arts and Science (AAS) degree programs. Students must pay a fee and enroll in the appropriate AAS program for the credits to be applied. For complete details, contact the Records office at (810) 989-5550.
Military Credit − SC4 may award credit(s) based upon military training and occupation specialties. Credits must be directly applicable to the program of study and the student must submit an official military transcript to the Registrar. No fee is required for transcript evaluation services.
Articulation Agreements − SC4 has established articulation agreements with numerous vocational/technical centers, trade academies, etc. which enable students to receive specific credit(s) within their program of study at SC4. No fee is required but students must complete the articulation application and submit it with the required documentation to the Registrar.
Transfer Credit from SC4
Students wishing to transfer credits from SC4 to another college/university should work closely with their academic advisor to ensure the credits will transfer to the school of choice. As a general policy, colleges and universities will not accept courses for transfer with a grade less than “C.” Since colleges and universities vary as to the prescribed curriculum for the first two years of a bachelor degree program, it is very important that an entering student choose a specific school(s) for transfer. In addition to using transfer equivalency guides and working with an SC4 advisor, students are strongly encouraged to contact the transfer institution to ensure the credits they are taking will transfer. Transfer information also is available through the Michigan Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers (MACRAO) website at macrao.org, or the Michigan Transfer Network at mitransfer.org.
Transfer students also should be aware that some four-year colleges and universities consider “I” and “W” grades as less than satisfactory; therefore, it is important to check the transfer policy of the receiving institution.
Notification to Students of Rights Under FERPA
It is the policy of St. Clair County Community College to comply with the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), the federal law that governs release of and access to student education records.
A student is an individual for whom the college maintains education records and who is or has been enrolled in and attended credit bearing courses at the college.
Education records include those records which contain information directly related to a student and which are maintained by the college or by a person acting for the college. The following are not education records: records kept in sole possession of the maker, law enforcement records, records relating to individuals employed by the college, records related to treatment provided by a health professional, records that contain information about an individual after that person is no longer a student, i.e. alumni records.
Directory information may appear in public documents and may otherwise be released to individuals outside the college without the student’s specific consent. St. Clair County Community College has designated the following items as directory information:
- Name, hometown, college email address
- Student status; part-time/full-time
- Major field of study
- Participation in officially recognized activities and sports
- Dates of attendance, degrees, date of graduation and awards
Non-disclosure of directory information may be requested by currently enrolled students. Non-disclosure means the college may not release any directory information about the student, except as permitted under the provisions of FERPA. The college may not even acknowledge to third parties that the person is a student.
Legitimate educational interest is the need to review an education record in order for a college official to carry out his or her responsibilities in regard to performing an administrative task outlined in the official’s duties, or performing a supervisory or instructional task directly related to the student’s education.
A college official is any person employed by the college in an administrative, supervisory, academic, research or support position; a person elected to the Board of Trustees; a student or college graduate serving on an official college committee or assisting another college official in performing his or her tasks; a person employed by or under contract to, or serving as the agent of, the college to perform a specific task.
Authorized disclosures without the student’s prior written consent include but are not limited to information necessary to the health and safety of the student or other individuals if the college determines that there is an articulable and significant threat to the health or safety of a student or other individuals, internal disclosures for legitimate educational reason, information returned to the author/sender of the information, information forwarded to schools where the student plans to enroll or transfer, notice to parents about drug and alcohol violations.
Beginning the first day of class, you have the following rights concerning your student records:
- The right to inspect and review all material in your file(s) except:
- Professional mental health treatment records to the extent necessary, in the judgment of the attending physician or professional counselor, to avoid detrimental effects to the mental health of the student or of others. These records may, however, be reviewed by a physician or other appropriate professional of your choice.
- Financial information furnished by your parents in support of an application for financial aid.
- Confidential letters of recommendation that were placed in your file prior to January 1, 1975.
- Confidential letters of recommendation concerning admission, employment or honorary recognition, for which you have waived access. (The college may not require you to sign a waiver in order to obtain services, but a person writing a recommendation may insist on a waiver as a condition for his or her writing it.)
- Personal notes made by a faculty member or counselor that are accessible only to that person and are not shared with others.
- Materials in any admissions files, until you have been admitted to, and have attended the college.
- All other records which are excluded from the FERPA definition of education records.
Education records are maintained in a number of college offices. Requests to review records must be made in writing to the responsible official of each office that maintains the records. The responsible office will comply with the request within 45 days of receipt.
- The right to request an amendment of your education records if you believe it is inaccurate or misleading. If you believe there is an error in your record, you should submit a statement to the college official responsible for the record, clearly identifying the part of the record you want changed and why you believe it is inaccurate or misleading. That office will notify you of the decision and advise you regarding appropriate steps if you do not agree with the decision.
- The right in most instances to control access to information in your records by persons or agencies outside the college. With respect to college officials, information from your records will be made available only if the college official can demonstrate a legitimate educational interest consistent with their official functions for the college and consistent with normal professional and legal practices. Except for directory information, however, persons outside the college - including your parents and/or spouse - will be given information from your records only:
- when you authorize it in writing, or
- in connection with your application for or receipt of financial aid, or
- in connection with studies conducted for the purpose of accreditation, development and validation of predictive tests, administration of student aid programs, or improvement of instruction, or
- when disclosure is required in a health or safety emergency or by federal or state law or by subpoena. If information from your record is subpoenaed, a reasonable attempt to notify you will be made as quickly as possible. In addition, the results of a disciplinary hearing conducted by the institution against the alleged perpetrator of a crime of violence will be made available to the alleged victim of that crime.
- The right to limit disclosure of your directory information. If you do not want the college to release those items designated as directory information, you must file a written request to that effect. Be cognizant of the consequences of that action before making the decision to do so. Information is not withheld selectively. If you choose to have directory information withheld, all items designated as directory information will be withheld from everyone who inquires. If you have requested non-disclosure of directory information and wish to repeal that request, you must file a written request to that effect with the registrar.
- The right to a hearing if you believe that you have been improperly denied access to your records, your records contain information that is inaccurate or misleading, or information from your records has been improperly released to third parties. If you believe that one or more of these situations has occurred, contact the head of the office responsible for the record or send an email to the registrar at email@example.com detailing the specifics of the situation including the office(s) and records involved. If the head of the office does not agree with your contention, you may request a hearing by a hearing panel or hearing officer designated by the Registrar. If the decision of the hearing panel or hearing officer agrees with you, the necessary corrective action will be taken. If the decision of the hearing panel or hearing officer disagrees with you, you have the right to submit an explanatory statement, which must be included as a permanent part of your record.
As of Jan. 3, 2012, the U.S. Department of Education’s FERPA regulations expand the circumstances under which your education records and personally identifiable information (PII) contained in such records - including your Social Security Number, grades, or other private information - may be accessed without your consent. First, the U.S. Comptroller General, the U.S. Attorney General, the U.S. Secretary of Education, or state and local education authorities (“Federal and State Authorities”) may allow access to your records and PII without your consent to any third party designated by a federal or state authority to evaluate a federal- or state-supported education program. The evaluation may relate to any program that is “principally engaged in the provision of education,” such as early childhood education and job training, as well as any program that is administered by an education agency or institution. Second, federal and state authorities may allow access to your education records and PII without your consent to researchers performing certain types of studies, in certain cases even when we object to or do not request such research. Federal and state authorities must obtain certain use-restriction and data security promises from the entities that they authorize to receive your PII, but the authorities need not maintain direct control over such entities. In addition, in connection with Statewide Longitudinal Data Systems, state authorities may collect, compile, permanently retain, and share without your consent PII from your education records, and they may track your participation in education and other programs by linking such PII to other personal information about you that they obtain from other federal or state data sources, including workforce development, unemployment insurance, child welfare, juvenile justice, military service and migrant student records systems.
Questions about the policies and procedures of any unit should be directed to the head of that unit. Questions about the college’s “Policies on Student Rights and Student Records” or about the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 should be directed to: Carrie Bearss, Registrar, Phone: 810-989-5501.
Student Right to Know
In compliance with the Higher Education Act of 1965, SC4 provides information regarding the college’s graduation/completion and transfer-out rates. Details related to this information are available at www.sc4.edu/about/student-right-to-know. As a part of the college’s instructional program improvement efforts, and to meet the requirements of the Carl D. Perkins Vocational and Technical Education Act, Section 113 and the Workforce Investment Act of 1998, Section 122, the college uses student Social Security Numbers to compile certain data for the purpose of instructional program improvement and Perkins and WIA reporting. This is in compliance with FERPA.
Solomon Amendment Directory Information
Effective March 29, 1997, schools are required to provide the Department of Defense, upon request, access to the following:
- The student’s name, address, and telephone number
- The student’s date and place of birth
- The student’s level of education, academic major and any degrees received
- The educational institution in which the student was most recently enrolled per the Department of Education, the Solomon Amendment supercedes most elements of FERPA, including the college’s ability to limit the disclosure of data not determined to be directory information.
Students may request in writing to withhold the release of any or all information to the Department of Defense. Requests should be made to the Registrar.
Standards of Academic Success
SC4 monitors the academic progress of all students on a semester basis. A student must make satisfactory progress towards completion of a degree or certificate in order to continue enrollment at the college. The Standards of Academic Success for SC4 students are:
- Students with a cumulative institutional GPA of 2.000 or above will be considered “Satisfactory.”
- Students with a cumulative institutional GPA below 2.000 will be considered “Unsatisfactory.”
If a student’s cumulative institutional GPA falls below 2.000, the student is placed on Academic Warning. If a second semester of enrollment results in a cumulative institutional GPA below 2.000, a student is moved to Academic Suspension. Students are notified of Academic Warning via their SC4 student email account; students are notified of Academic Suspension via postal mail. Details of the complete procedure are available by contacting the Registrar.
Following final examinations, grade reports are available to students online via their student self-service accounts, except to those who owe fees to the college. Grades are recorded as follows:
The grade point average (GPA) is computed for each semester as well as for the total credit hours attempted at SC4. In accordance with the grading system scale, students earn grade points for each credit completed at SC4. The GPA is calculated as follows:
Total grade points earned ÷ Number of credit hours attempted = GPA
NOTE: Health Science Programs’ clinical courses, as well as select Health Science externship/internship courses, are graded on a “S” and “U” grading system. Satisfactory, Unsatisfactory, and Withdraw grades are non-punitive, and do not earn a student grade points and therefore are not included in a student’s grade point average calculation.
The “I” incomplete grade is used by instructors to note that the student, for good reason, has not completed the course requirements by the time final grades were recorded. To qualify, the student: (1) should have completed at least 80% of the work (excluding the final exam), (2) must have been in good attendance, and (3) can be reasonably believed to complete the course independently with a passing grade. If agreed to by both faculty member and student, an agreement delineating exactly what is required, how it is graded, and when it is to be completed must be signed by both parties and placed on file in the Records office.
Unless otherwise agreed to in the contract, work must be completed by the end of the next regular semester. In extenuating circumstances, an extension beyond the normal period may be obtained by the presentation of a petition by the student, and an endorsement by the instructor. Incomplete grades are not counted in the cumulative institutional grade point average until the timeline for course completion has passed. If a grade of “Incomplete” is not removed within the specified time, the grade of “I” will be changed to the grade specified by the instructor on the incomplete grade form. A grade of “I” is considered unsuccessful for financial aid satisfactory academic progress purposes. Students concerned about their financial aid eligibility should consult the Financial Aid office.
Grade Change Timeframe
All grade change requests must be initiated within one year following the end of the course(s) for which the grade was officially recorded. No grade change requests will be accepted following the expiration of that period of time.
Academic Honors will be awarded to students who have earned a minimum of 62 credits for an associate degree and 30 credits for a certificate, and have completed all program requirements based upon the following scale:
- Summa Cum Laude = Overall GPA of 3.800 − 4.000
- Magna Cum Laude = Overall GPA of 3.500 − 3.799
- Cum Laude = Overall GPA of 3.000 − 3.499
Note: Academic honors are based on a student’s overall GPA (i.e. all attempted credits on a student’s transcript, excluding repeated courses where only the best grade counts). Honors are not based only on courses required for a specific program.
Student Class Level
Freshman = 1 − 26 credit hours completed
Sophomore = 27 or more credit hours completed
President’s Honor List
Students enrolled in a minimum of six credit hours with an SC4 semester GPA of 3.000 or above will be placed on the President’s Honor List.