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Academic Policies & Procedures

Click on one of the following headings.

Many of the policies listed below are outlined in greater detail in the SMCC Student Handbook.


Every enrolled student is expected to attend all sessions of lectures, shops, classes, laboratories and field trips as required by their instructors or department policy. All work missed must be made up to the instructor's satisfaction. A student can be administratively dismissed by the instructor or the Department Chair for excessive absences. A grade of "AF" is assigned.

Course Load

No full-time student is allowed to carry more than the designated credit hours in any specific program per semester. Students requesting additional credit hours must receive permission from their advisors and approval from the Registrar.

Full Time/Part Time Status

Full time status for financial aid, veterans, benefits, insurance discounts, etc. is 12 or more credit hours. Anything less than 12 is considered part time. Credits awarded for the following are not considered when determining full time status: transfer credits, work experience credits, exempt credits, audits, challenge exams.

Academic Standing

To remain in good academic standing, students must maintain a semester's grade point average (GPA) of at least 2.0 (see grading system) and a "C" grade or better in all their technical classes. Programs leading ultimately to licensure may have additional requirements.

Probation Dismissal

A semester's grade point average (GPA), for all matriculated students, below 2.0 automatically places the student on academic probation for the following semester. Any student on probation is given mandatory credit limits. Students will be dismissed from their programs after two consecutive probational semesters (unless continuation is recommended by their Advisor or Department Chair).

1.50-1.99 GPA—Academic probation (allowed full course load)
1.00-1.49 GPA—Strict probation (limited to 10 credits)
0.00-0.99 GPA—Conditional probation (limited to 7 credits)

Grading System

Grades at Southern Maine Community College are given with letters representing levels of achievement. The basis for determining a grade is the relative extent to which the student has achieved the objectives of the course. The letter grades signify:










High honors


Satisfactory, successful, and respectable meeting of the course objectives.

Low-level work; passing but unsatisfactory. Individual departments may
limit the number of D grades accepted for graduation.

Failure to meet the course objectives.(No credit)

Administrative failure assigned at the discretion of the college. (No credit)

Incomplete; a temporary grade given when the student, due to extraordinary
circumstances, has failed to complete required work. Required work must
be completed, and a grade submitted by mid-semester following the semester in which the I grade was received. An I grade which is not removed during this period, automatically becomes an F, although in extraordinary circumstances an appeal is possible.

Approved withdrawal during the third to fifth week. Course "drops" prior
to the third week will not be recorded on the grade reports.

Successful completion of courses approved for the pass/fail option.


* Not computed in the GRADE POINT AVERAGE. Course grading carried into the following semester for a course which had not had a grade submitted (approved courses only)

"Plus" (+) and "minus" (-) grades may be used with the following values assigned:


  4.00 grade points per credit hour
3.67 grade points per credit hour
3.33 grade points per credit hour
3.00 grade points per credit hour
2.67 grade points per credit hour
2.33 grade points per credit hour
2.00 grade points per credit hour
1.67 grade points per credit hour
1.33 grade points per credit hour
1.00 grade points per credit hour
0.00 grade points per credit hour

To compute the grade point average for a semester, first multiply the grade points earned in each course by the number of credit hours assigned to that course. The resulting product is the number of quality points for that course. Then divide the total number of quality points earned during the semester by the total number of credits attempted in that semester.

To compute the cumulative grade point average, divide the total quality points earned by the total credits attempted in all semesters. Note: Pass\Fail courses and credits granted through CLEP or AP examinations, work experiences, or transfer credits are not to be considered when computing grade point averages.

Course Retakes

Students may retake a course for credit towards graduation with the approval of their Advisor. The student must indicate at registration that the course is a retake. Any course in the same subject area which is of equal or greater difficulty is considered a retake. The student's cumulative Grade Point Average will reflect the most recent grade received in a repeated course.

Adding Courses

Students who wish to audit a course must have approval from their Advisor or the Registrar in advance. Audit courses must be declared at registration or during the ADD/DROP period. No credits are earned for an audit, and it cannot be used toward graduation requirements.

Independent Study

A student may request an opportunity for independent study in an area not covered in normal course offerings. All requests must be in writing and have prior approval of the Instructor, Department Chair and Academic Dean. The student must indicate an independent study at the time of registration or during the ADD/DROP period.

Scholastic Warnings

Warnings of unsatisfactory performance in individual courses are distributed after the mid point of each semester for all day matriculated students.

Dean's List

Matriculated students carrying 6 or more credit hours who achieve a minimum semester grade point average (GPA) of 3.00 qualify for the semester's Dean's List. Students having courses graded as incomplete (I) are not eligible. Students who have requested to be excluded from the directory information (Directory Exclusion request), by law, can not be included on the Dean's List, published in the local newspaper.

Full-time matriculated students (carrying 12 credit hours or more) who achieve a minimum semester GPA of 3.00 qualify for the semester's Dean's List.

Part-time matriculated students who complete 12 credit hours during a calendar year and achieve a minimum GPA of 3.00 will be included on the annual Part-time Dean's List, published each summer.

Transfer Credit

Grades of "C" or better (C- not allowed) in courses comparable to those offered at SMCC will be accepted in transfer from accredited institutions. Courses in question will be reviewed with the concerned department. A maximum of 30 credits may be transferred by students in degree or diploma programs, and no more than 15 credits toward a certificate program. Such a request requires an official transcript from the other college. Transcripts for incoming freshmen should be on file in the Admissions Office 30 days prior to the semester for which consideration for transfer credit is to be given. Transcripts from other institutions submitted to SMCC will become the property of the college and will not be reproduced and/or mailed to other institutions. A student's grade point average at SMCC will not reflect grades in courses transferred from other institutions.

Students who wish to transfer credits from SMCC to other colleges should note that the decision to accept credits is determined entirely by the institution to which the student transfers, although most applicable SMCC credits are readily accepted by most area colleges. Please see further details on transfer credits and articulation agreements.

Credit by Examination

Credit for College Level Examination Program (CLEP), General Exams and selected Subject Exams will be granted in applicable subject areas. No more than 30 credits may be granted. A minimum acceptable score of 50 is recognized as recommended by the American Council on Education (ACE) on all exams. Click here for a full list of CLEP exams recognized for credit.

Students with documented skills and the permission of the Department Chair may qualify to sit for challenge exams in selected courses in their programs. Students must register and pay a challenge exam fee for the course. Challenge exam credits do not count towards full-time status for financial aid and the Veteran's Administration. A letter grade is assigned and calculated into the grade point average (Credits for Advanced Placement (AP) courses/exams are granted for scores of "3" or higher for appropriate courses.)

Credit Through Experience

Students can be exempted from selected courses or receive "work experience" credit based on documented work experience and approval of the Department Chair and the Registrar. Work experience can be used toward meeting graduation requirements.

Add/ Drop/Audit Policy

Students who drop a course during the one-week "add/drop" period receive a 100% refund of the tuition and technology fee for that course. A student may withdraw from a course only during the semester in which s/he is registered for that course. The withdrawal period is the second to ninth week of the fall and spring semester. There is no refund for withdrawn courses. To withdraw from a course, a student must complete and submit the appropriate course withdrawal form, available at the Office of the Registrar. The designation "W" will appear on the transcript after a student has officially withdrawn. A course withdrawal is an uncompleted course and may adversely affect financial aid eligibility. Failure to attend or ceasing to attend class does not constitute withdrawal from the course.

Students who wish to audit a course must obtain permission for the Office of the Registrar. Students planning to audit a course are required to pay full tuition and fees. The request to audit may be made no later than drop/add week.

Readmission of Former Students

Students who have withdrawn voluntarily or who have been dismissed from the College for academic or disciplinary reasons and who wish to be considered for readmission must make written request for readmission. If freshmen technology courses are needed, the student must re-apply through the Admissions Office, otherwise a reinstatement request with appropriate signatures is submitted to the Registrar. It is expected that evidence of further academic progress, supported by the recommendation from appropriate academic authorities, will be available to the Committee on Admissions at the time of reapplication.

Administrative Dismissal

Upon recommendation of an instructor or departmental chairperson, students who stop attending one or more courses and neglect to submit proper withdrawal forms to the Registrar may be administratively dismissed from the College. The Bursar may also petition the Dean of Student Affairs to dismiss students who fail to meet their financial obligations to the College. Dismissal does not diminish financial obligations or remove students from class lists. A grade of "AF" is assigned in all affected courses.

Withdrawal from College

Students withdrawing from the College must complete a withdrawal form and submit it to the Registrar's Office after sitting for an exit interview with the Dean of Student Affairs. The official date of withdrawal is the date the completed form is submitted to the Registrar's Office. If a student withdraws from school after the fifth week, letter grades are assigned by the student's instructors.

Graduation Requirements

* All students must successfully complete all courses in their Associate Degree, Diploma or Certificate program to graduate.

* Technical classes must be completed with at least a "C" grade.
Some programs have a higher standard.

* All candidates for graduation from Associate Degree or two-year Diploma
programs must attain a 2.0 minimum cumulative grade point average (GPA).

* Certificate students must attain a 1.8 or better cumulative GPA.

* All Associate Degree or Diploma students must complete at least
30 of their credit hours directly through the College. Certificate students
must complete at least 15 of their credit hours directly through the College.

* Students with a GPA from 3.00 to 3.74 are designated as graduates with honors.
Graduates with a 3.75 or higher GPA receive high honors.

* Degrees, Diploma and Certificates will not be awarded by the College until all
financial obligations are met, and then only if the student contacts the Registrar's Office.

Gold Cord/Dean of Student's Award

The Gold Cord is worn at graduation by the full or part-time student with the highest cumulative GPA in his/her program who has met all graduation requirements. Spring semester grades are not considered in the cumulative GPA calculation.)

The Dean of Student's Award (Blue Cord) is worn by the full-time student with the highest cumulative GPA in his/her program, who has met all graduation requirements. Spring semester grades are not considered in the cumulative GPA calculation.

Class Cancellations

If classes are cancelled due to inclement weather for the entire day or postponed for a few hours, announcements will be made on major local radio stations. Announcements for day classes will begin around 6:00 a.m., evening classes by 3:00 p.m. All such missed classes may be rescheduled.

Transferring from SMCC

Many SMCC graduates wish to continue their education and have successfully transferred to a wide variety of Baccalaureate Degree granting colleges. Although the colleges that students transfer to determine what credits they will accept, SMCC students frequently are able to transfer all or most of their credits from our Associate Degree programs. Please click here to view a chart of formal articulation agreements, memos of understanding and informal transfer agreements with four-year colleges and universities. Many other colleges readily accept a wide variety of credits.










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