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    Lone Star College System
   
 
  Aug 18, 2017
 
 
    
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2017-2018 Catalog

Academic Policies, Procedures and Services



Common Course Numbering System

LSC is part of a group of Texas colleges and universities that teach courses similar in nature and have been designated with common numbers. The purpose of assigning a common number is to facilitate transferability of courses among participating institutions.

The Texas Common Course Numbering System (TCCNS) identifies courses needed when transferring to another member institution after completion of course work at LSC. Courses contained in the TCCNS are general academic courses (not developmental courses and workforce courses).

More information about the TCCNS at LSC may be obtained at tccns.org or by visiting the admissions office.

Courses numbered from 1000 to 2999 are college-level courses. Courses numbered 0000 to 0999 are considered developmental/pre-college level. These courses carry institutional credit, but are not considered transferable. Credits from these courses do not meet degree requirements.

Credit for Courses

The semester hour is the unit of measurement at Lone Star College. One semester credit hour is generally defined as one hour of class per week for a 16-week semester lecture course. The number of semester hours for a course which includes a laboratory, practicum, or internship component varies. Courses delivered in shortened semesters are expected to have the same number of contact hours and the same requirement for out-of-class learning as courses taught in a normal semester.

It is the student's responsibility to take courses in sequence and at the proper level. Students are encouraged to seek advising prior to enrollment each semester.

Flexible Schedule Options

The colleges of LSC offer a number of alternative scheduling options in addition to the traditional semester length college credit courses. Some of these options require fewer student trips to campus.

Hybrid Classes
Hybrid classes are a combination of online instruction and campus-based instruction.

Online Learning
The instruction for online classes is delivered via the Internet. Students must have access to a computer and Internet services. Proctored exams at an approved location may be required. Students enrolling in online classes are expected to login to their classes before the end of the first day of the class. Students having any difficulties should contact the LSC-Online helpdesk as soon as possible by calling 832.813.6700, or e-mailing online@LoneStar.edu.

Weekend College
Courses are scheduled Friday night, Saturday or Sunday. Meeting times vary by campus.

Mini-Mester Terms
Typically, mini-mesters are offered in December and May each year in a condensed timeframe with a standard number of contact hours.

Condensed Formats
Selected courses are available in accelerated time frames of fewer than 16 weeks. All courses meet the standard number of contact hours.

Class Attendance

Students are expected to abide by the faculty members attendance policy as stated in the course syllabus. It is the student's responsibility to consult with faculty members regarding absences and the possibility of make-up work. Attendance in hybrid or other classes is not optional.

Student Absence on Religious Holy Days

A student needing to be absent from class to observe a religious holy day must submit a written notice to each instructor whose class falls on that day. Written notice must be provided to the instructor no later than the second class meeting. The student may deliver the written notice personally to the instructor by receipted delivery, or in the alternative, the student may forward the written notice to the instructor by receipted courier delivery or by United State certified mail, return receipt requested, sent in enough time so as to be delivered no later than the fifteenth day after the first day of the semester. Upon receipt of a timely written notice, the student's attendance record will properly reflect an excused absence.

A student who is absent from classes for the observance of a religious holy day shall be allowed to complete an assignment or take an examination scheduled for that day within a reasonable time after the absence. A student who is excused under this section may not be penalized for the absence; however, the instructor may appropriately respond if the student fails to satisfactorily complete any missed assignment and/or examination. If a student and an instructor disagree about the nature of the absence for the observance of a religious holy day as defined [above], or if there are similar disagreements about whether the student has been given a reasonable time to complete any missed assignments or examinations, either the student or the instructor may request a ruling from the Chief Student Services Officer or designee. The student and instructor shall abide by such ruling.

Examinations and Grading Standards

Course outcomes are provided in the faculty member's course syllabus to students at the beginning of each course. The evaluation of student course progress and the final grade are based on the degree of mastery of course outcomes.

A final examination or evaluation activity will be given in each course at the end of each semester during the scheduled examination period unless the faculty member has made special arrangements with the appropriate vice president.

There are four grades indicating that grade point credit has been received. One grade (F) and marks listed below indicate that no credit has been achieved. The marks are an accounting device to indicate enrollment in courses with no credit received and no grade points awarded. A mark of CR indicates that the student has received credit for a course but no grade was awarded. In some program areas such as developmental studies and nursing, a grade of C or above is required to meet degree requirements or indicates that credit has been received.

Using the following system, final grades or marks are reported for each student for every credit course taken:

Credit Grade Marks Interpretation Grade Points
A Excellent Performance 4
B Good Performance 3
C Acceptable Performance 2
D Passing (not available for developmental studies courses and some specialized programs) 1
F Failing 0
I Incomplete. Given instructor and dean approval, work must be completed according to the timelines on the I contract but no later than the end of the subsequent fall or spring semester. Failure to complete the work within the specified time will result in an F. A student should not register again for a course in which a mark of I has been given. If the student registers for the course, the I will change to a grade of F. Not Computed
W Withdrawal Not Computed
IP Course in progress (for developmental courses). Students who earn an IP have participated fully in the class but have not met all criteria for making progress to the next level of courses. IP remains on the transcript. Not Computed
NR Not Reported by faculty member Not Computed
NC No Credit (prior to September 1982) Not Computed
NP Not Passing (after August 2012) Not Computed
X No Credit (prior to September 1975) Not Computed
P Pass (after August 2012) Not Computed
P Course in Progress (prior to September 1993) Not Computed
CR Credit Awarded Not Computed
TCR Credit Awarded Not Computed
Continuing Education Grades  
S Satisfactory  
N Non-Satisfactory  

Grade Point Average

Grade points earned for each course are determined by multiplying the number of points for each grade by the number of credit hours the course carries. For example, a student who takes a three-hour course and earns an A accumulates 12 grade points for that course.

A student' grade point average is computed by adding the grade point values for all college-level courses for which grade point values (A, B, C, D, and F) may be computed, and dividing this total by the appropriate number of credit hours attempted during the same period. Only hours for which grades are awarded are used in calculating the grade point average. All grades are calculated for the student in the MyLoneStar portal; grades include both developmental and college credit courses.

Academic Accountability

The academic standards of LSC are based on a philosophy of maximizing student progress toward successful course and program completion. Academic success in college requires maturity and dedication to regular and well-defined study habits. Academic standards criteria are designed to monitor student progress so that the student and college staff can explore options to assist students who have difficulty meeting minimum requirements for successful course or program completion.

Academic standing is computed at the end of each enrollment period and is based upon the following grades and marks (A, B, C, D, F) earned by the student at LSC. Different grade point average calculations are used in determining academic standing:

  • Semester Grade Point Average (GPA): Includes grades earned in all courses at LSC during the most recent semester (includes developmental courses).
  • Cumulative Credit GPA: Includes grades earned in all classes at LSC (includes developmental courses).
Academic Standing Categories:
  • Good Standing: A student will be considered to be in good academic standing when the student earns both a semester and a cumulative GPA of at least 2.0.
  • Academic Progress: A student will be considered to be making academic progress when the student earns a semester GPA of at least 2.0 but has a cumulative GPA less than 2.0.

Students who do not maintain the minimum GPA's outlined above will be placed on academic warning, academic probation, continued academic probation or academic suspension. These four academic status levels alert the student, faculty and staff to problems in the student's academic performance so that strategies for intervention and assistance can be employed.

Students placed into one of the following academic standing categories are expected to take advantage of the many resources available on each campus and may be required to establish contact with their college advising center for additional support and assistance.

In addition, students whose status is other than good standing may be required to register for a reduced course load, register for specific courses, or participate in specially designed programs designated by the college.

  • Academic Warning: The first time a student earns a semester GPA of less than 2.0, the student is placed on academic warning.
  • Academic Probation: The second time a student earns a semester GPA of less than 2.0, the student is placed on academic probation.
  • Continued Academic Probation: A student will be placed on continued academic probation when the student: 1) has been on academic warning and probation and; 2) has a cumulative GPA that is 2.0 or higher; and 3) has a semester GPA that is less than 2.0. Students may still enroll in courses under the guidelines stated above.
  • Academic Suspension: A student with a continuing history of low academic performance is placed on academic suspension when the student: 1) has been on academic warning and probation; 2) has a cumulative GPA below 2.0; and 3) has a semester GPA below 2.0. An academic suspension will result in a student being denied enrollment for a minimum of one spring or fall semester. Students desiring to appeal a suspension must follow the guidelines stipulated by the individual college at which the majority of their courses have been completed. For more information on appealing a suspension, students may contact their college counseling center.

A student who re-enters the college after having been suspended will return on academic probation status and will be subject to the requirements outlined above.

Financial Aid Students: Students receiving financial assistance must make satisfactory academic progress in accordance with this college policy and are also subject to the academic progress requirements governing financial assistance awards. Students on academic warning, probation, continued probation, or suspension, and also receiving financial assistance are encouraged to contact their college financial aid office to determine further eligibility.

Academic Achievement Recognition

There are several ways that outstanding academic achievement by students is recognized at LSC colleges. Graduates are recognized as follows:

  • Students receiving a certificate from LSC with a cumulative 4.0 GPA will be acknowledged by With Distinction on the diploma in recognition of this achievement.
  • Students who earn a degree from a LSC with a cumulative GPA of 3.9 - 4.0 will be acknowledged by Summa Cum Laude on the diploma.
  • Students who attain a cumulative GPA of 3.7 - 3.899 will be acknowledged by Magna Cum Laude on the diploma.
  • Students who attain a cumulative GPA of 3.5 - 3.699 will be acknowledged by Cum Laude on the diploma.

Currently enrolled students are acknowledged each semester through the Presidents List if they have accumulated at least 12 credit hours (including developmental studies hours) and have a semester grade point average of 3.30 or above for 6 or more credit hours completed that semester. All I grades must be changed to a letter grade prior to computing the semester GPA for Presidents List status.

The Honors College at LSC

The Honors College at LSC is an academic program designed to meet the needs of high-achieving students seeking to improve their college transcripts and transferability with challenging coursework provided across a broad range of disciplines. The Honors College offers a wide range of opportunities for honors students - from incoming freshman wanting to graduate with an Honors AA or Honors AS degree, to high-achieving students seeking to graduate with Honors distinction, to students interested in earning individual honors course credit.

Honors College courses will engage and challenge students inside and outside the classroom through small classes and close interaction with dedicated faculty. Opportunities to enrich the total college experience while at The Honors College include travel, off-campus educational and cultural events, service learning opportunities, conferences and special seminars.

The Honors College at LSC Eligibility

Open to new or returning students with at least one of the following:  A high school GPA of 3.5 on a 4.0 scale; 1150 or higher on the SAT (combined math and critical reading/writing sections); 26 or higher composite score on the ACT; 3.25 GPA with 9 or more college credit hours with a minimum 3.25 GPA.

The Honors College at LSC Benefits

Honors College students have access to:

  1. Presentation of undergraduate research at local, regional, and national conferences
  2. Extensive scholarship opportunities
  3. Opportunity for advanced undergraduate research with a Faculty mentor
  4. Integration of advanced academics with experiential learning, including Model UN, Speech and Debate, and more
  5. Honors Orientations, small, interactive classes and sense of community
  6. One/one mentoring with Honors Faculty
  7. Specialized academic advising
  8. Opportunity to earn honors graduation distinctions, including an Honors Associates Degree
  9. Professional internship opportunities
  10. Articulation agreements with major transfer universities.
Honors College Merit Scholars

The Honors College offers substantial merit-based awards to eligible incoming and returning honors students. These Honors Scholar Merit Awards are designed to support honors studies, such as coursework, capstone travel opportunities, and undergraduate research.  Scholarship requirements and award amounts vary by campus.

The Honors College Fellows

A limited number of incoming freshmen will be admitted each fall as Chancellors Honors College Fellows. Recipients of this award will receive a scholarship package to pursue a course of study culminating in an Honors AA or AS degree. The Honors College Fellows curriculum is comprised of a two-year, full-time course of study requiring a minimum of 27 honors credit hours toward completion of an Honors AA or Honors AS. The curriculum includes a 6-hour cohort taken during the first two semesters, as well as a second-year international capstone experience. Honors Fellows must meet additional eligibility requirements, which can be found at LoneStar.edu/HonorsCollegeFellows. Added benefits of being an Honors Fellow:

  1. Honors Associate Degree (AA or AS).
  2. Scholarship package to include tuition and fees (up to 15 credit hours of in-district tuition per semester).
  3. Book allowance (up to $600 per semester).
  4. Allowance (up to $600 per semester).
  5. International travel opportunities.

Questions? Contact the Executive Director of the Honors College or the Honors Director on your campus. For additional information and contacts, visit LoneStar.edu/The Honors College at LSC.

Phi Theta Kappa

Colleges within the system all have active chapters of Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society. Students who have a 3.5 cumulative GPA or higher, have completed at least 12 college-level credit hours at a community college, and are currently enrolled in at least three credit hours are eligible for membership. In addition to emphasizing academic excellence, Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society promotes the hallmarks of leadership, service, and fellowship among its members. In recent years, members from the college's chapters have held several leadership positions within both the international and the Texas region of this society and have been recognized with numerous awards. Graduating students belonging to the local and international Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society will be recognized in the commencement program and may wear the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society stole with their regalia.

Study Abroad

Lone Star College students have the opportunity to study abroad. Faculty-led courses are offered each academic year, and the overseas component is often short-term. In a Study Abroad course, students register for both the course and trip and must meet college as well as international travel requirements (such as a valid passport) for participation. Study abroad courses provide students with an opportunity to expand their global understanding within the context of completing requirements for standard college courses. Study abroad courses can also fulfill some of the requirements for the International Studies Area of Concentration. Students may register for a Study Abroad course hosted by any campus in the system. For more information and a full listing of study abroad courses, visit LoneStar.edu/Study-Abroad.

Service Learning

Service learning combines community service with academic instruction to create an opportunity for experiential learning. Students will find service learning opportunities offered in a variety of courses system-wide. Students who engage in a minimum of 15 contact hours of service learning activities in a course will receive service learning designation for the course on the transcript.

Military Science

The Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) is an educational program designed to provide students with the opportunity to become an Air Force officer while completing an academic degree. The Air Force ROTC program provides cadets the opportunity to develop and strengthen leadership skills, while maintaining camaraderie within the corps. Air Force ROTC Detachment 003 maintains Cross-Town agreements with several Houston area colleges and universities, including Lone Star College-North Harris. All classes are held on the main University of Houston campus. Go to LoneStar.edu/AF-ROTC for more information.

Advanced Standing

Advanced standing permits a student to move to more advanced work by the equating of test results, previous grades, and/or interviews by the appropriate department. Advanced standing is not placed on a students official transcript. No credit is awarded. There is no fee for this evaluation. Contact the dean of the specific subject area for more information.

For additional information and levels/scores for advanced standing, contact the counseling/advising office.

Prior Learning Assessment

Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) allows students to demonstrate their knowledge in a number of content areas for college credit. This arrangement offers students an opportunity to lower costs and prevent repetition of material mastered outside the traditional college experience. LSC faculty members assess employment, industry certification/licenses, non-credit workforce training, corporate training, exams and military service for potential college course credit.

Students enrolled in a course on or after official day may not request credit for a prior learning experience.  Students must request assessment of their learning experience with a campus advisor. Students who wish to transfer PLA credit must verify transferability with the academic institution of interest.

PLA credit is only awarded when it applies to an available LSC course and program of study. Students pursuing any prior learning assessment option may receive credit for up to 50 percent of certificate or associate degree coursework.

Prior Learning Assessment options include:

  • Portfolio assessment enables students to document their non-traditional learning experiences for review by LSC faculty members. LSC will not award credit based solely on years of employment. Experiences must be verifiable and demonstrate achievement of learning outcomes for the course credit requested. In addition to documentation, students may be asked to display specific skills and/or complete an interview to assess content knowledge. More information is available at LoneStar.edu/pla-portfolio.
  • Lone Star College has established equivalent course credit for minimum passing scores for several external challenge examination programs, including the Achievement test (ACT), College Level Examination Program (CLEP), AVANT Placement, Advanced Placement (AP), and International Baccalaureate (IB). Visit LoneStar.edu/exam-credit for options.
  • Internal challenge exams have been developed by LSC faculty and administered through campus testing centers or academic departments. Challenge exams may only be taken once and credit awarded only applies to LSC graduation requirements; these credits will not transfer. Go to LoneStar.edu/challenge-exams for details.
  • Students who attend institutions not accredited by regional accrediting entities must pursue prior learning assessment to request LSC course credit. Visit LoneStar.edu/Non-Regionally Accredited for student eligibility requirements and application instructions. See an advisor/counselor for additional assistance.
  • Students have the opportunity to earn college semester credit hours for certain LSC Continuing Education (CE) courses. Students must meet all admissions requirements for credit enrollment before requesting PLA credit through CE articulation. Visit LoneStar.edu/CE Articulation for eligibility requirements and a list of CE courses eligible for articulation.
  • American Council on Education (ACE) uses expert evaluators to review workplace training, military experiences and national exams for potential college credit matches. ACE provides colleges and universities with recommendations, and acceptance of suggested course credit is the prerogative of the college. Students seeking credit for ACE reviewed trainings and exams must provide an ACE transcript. Military veteran students should visit with a VA advisor for assistance with requesting credit by ACE. Visit LoneStar.edu/ACE for further details.

For information about other PLA options or for more details about student eligibility criteria, limitations and guidelines, visit LoneStar.edu/PLA.

Academic Integrity

Lone Star College upholds the core values of learning: honesty, respect, fairness, and accountability. LSC promotes the importance of personal and academic honesty. LSC embraces the belief that all learners - students, faculty, staff and administrators - will act with integrity and honesty and must produce their own work and give appropriate credit to the work of others. Fabrication of sources, cheating, or unauthorized collaboration is not permitted on any work submitted within the system.

The consequences for academic dishonesty are determined by the professor, or the professor and academic dean, or the professor and chief student services officer and can include but are not limited to:

  1. Having additional class requirements imposed,
  2. Receiving a grade of zero or F for an exam or assignment,
  3. Receiving a grade of F for the course,
  4. Being withdrawn from the course or program,
  5. Being expelled from the college system.

Professors should clearly document how the student's actions violated the academic integrity policy, how a grade was calculated, and the actions taken.

Academic Appeals

An academic appeal is a formal request 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 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. Students in specialized disciplines should check their student handbook for program-specific appeal procedures.

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) disparate academic treatment of a student that is not addressed by EEO processes; or (4) inappropriate penalties 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. Disagreement with the instructor's professional judgment of the quality of the student's work and performance is also not an admissible basis for an academic appeal.

Before a student brings 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 must meet with the appropriate dean to determine if resolution can be reached.

If 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 in writing to the student. 

If the Chief Academic Officer determines that the appeal is appropriate under this policy, he/she will convene the Academic Appeals Committee to consider the complaint. The Chief Academic Officer will notify the student regarding the Academic Appeals Committee meeting date, his/her rights, and next steps in the process.

Refer to the website for more information: LoneStar.edu/academic-appeal. The decision of the Academic Appeals Committee is final.

LSC Libraries

The library at each campus provides access and user privileges to resources and services for students, faculty and staff in support of their curricular, workforce and leisure needs.

The libraries maintain a common library catalog of holdings, so that students at any campus have online access to the system-wide collections. Each campus library provides online access to a variety of collections and information including full-text databases, indexes to journals, and a variety of internet resources. Library users are able to access electronic resources remotely from their home computers or from their mobile devices. The libraries provide a variety of methods for students to interact with library staff. Library facilities and selected services are available to the community according to system-wide policies.

LSC libraries participate in several reciprocal/joint borrowing agreements. Through the Harmonic Consortium, the LSC libraries provide borrowing privileges with the Montgomery County Memorial Library System and the Harris County Public Library. Other partnerships provide additional access to resources throughout the state and the nation.

Student holds, including library holds, bar the release of official transcripts. Students are responsible for clearing their library records. Library holds are removed when all obligations with the library are cleared. For more information, visit the libraries homepage at LoneStar.edu/library.

Learning Centers

Learning Centers at each college provide facilities and services to extend learning beyond the classroom and to enable students to achieve academic goals. Services may include individualized tutoring in reading, writing, math, science, foreign languages, ESOL and other disciplines, group sessions and workshops on student success skills, research skills, course related materials, Internet access, and computer programs, as well as academic testing. Facilities may include computer labs providing access to e-mail, the Internet, and course related software, as well as specialized labs supporting specific disciplines. Materials supporting both direct course outcomes and generalized study skills are available from the Internet, in print, or through audio-visual aids. For more information, visit  LoneStar.edu/learning-centers.