2020-2021 Catalog 
    
    May 26, 2020  
2020-2021 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 that 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. All courses meet the standard number of contact hours. 

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.

 

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 face-to-face, hybrid, and online courses is expected and supports student success.

Student Absence on Religious Holy Days

The College respects students’ religious observances even though they may conflict with the College’s class meetings, assignments, and examinations.

Religious Holy Day (“Holy Day”) means a holy day observed by a religion whose worship places are exempt from property taxation under Section 11.20 of the Texas Tax Code. The student’s religious denomination should recognize the Holy Day as one observed by its members on that day. Please note that mission trips, camps, retreats, and individual religious rites are not considered Holy Days.

This policy and these procedures apply to on-campus, online, and hybrid instruction students except for those students whose absence may interfere with patient care.

  • Each faculty member shall communicate the attendance policy to his or her classes, and students should attend all classes in which they are enrolled. A student excused under the College’s Religious Holy Days Policy may not be penalized for the absence, and no instructor may unilaterally deny a student the opportunity for make-up work under the College’s Religious Holy Days Policy; however, an instructor may appropriately respond if the student does not complete any postponed or rescheduled assignment or exam.
  • A student needing to observe a Holy Day must, to the extent practicable, provide written notice to the course instructor(s) as far in advance as possible. The notice requirements must be consistent with (or no more arduous than) the instructor’s attendance policy for other excused absences.
  • Excused students will be allowed to take missed exams or complete pending assignments within three working days following the absence. A student who does not complete an exam or assignment within the specified time period following the absence may receive a failing grade or no grade for that exam or assignment.
    Please note that accommodating absences for Holy Days does not include substantially modifying academic standards or adjusting the essential requirements to any program of instruction.
  • If a student and an instructor disagree about the nature of the absence being for the observance of a Holy Day as defined herein, or if there is similar disagreement 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 applicable chief academic officer.
    The chief academic officer’s decision is final.

For complete information, please reference College Board Policy Manual Section VI.D.2 and associated Chancellor’s Procedures, available at www.lonestar.edu/policy.

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 a grade of 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 only). 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. An IP grade 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

 

 

       I Incomplete. Given instructor and director approval, work must be completed according to the  timelines stipulated by the instructor but no later than the end of the next semester with a similar  class time and day availability. Failure to complete the work within the specified time will result in a  grade of N. 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 N. No‐shows to a course or unexcused  absences are not acceptable reasons to be given a grade of I and will be issued an N.    

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-credit hour course and earns an A accumulates 12 grade points for that course.  LSC is on a four-point grading scale system which inlcudes:  A = 4.00 grade points; B = 3.00 grade points; C = 2.00 grade points; D = 1.00 grade points, and F = 0.00.

A student’s grade point average is computed by adding the grade point values for all 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.  W, I, and IP grades are not calculated in the GPA.  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, or academic suspension. These three 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 campus 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 cumulative GPA of less than 2.0, the student is placed on academic warning.
  • Academic Probation: The second time a student earns a semester GPA and a cumulative GPA of less than 2.0, the student is placed on academic probation.
  • 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 campus at which the majority of their courses have been completed. For more information on appealing a suspension, students may contact their campus 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, or suspension, and also receiving financial assistance are encouraged to contact their campus financial aid office to determine further eligibility.

Academic Integrity

Lone Star College upholds the academic core values of learning: honesty, respect, fairness, and accountability. LSC promotes the importance of personal and academic honesty from its students, instructors, and faculty members. LSC’s academic integrity policies embrace the belief that all learners-students, faculty, staff, and administrators - produce their own work and give appropriate credit to the work of others. No fabrication of sources, cheating, or unauthorized collaboration is permitted on any work submitted to the College or work submitted to third parties.

LSC treats academic integrity violations or engaging in academic dishonesty by students as grounds for disciplinary action under LSC’s Academic Misconduct Policy found in Board Policy Section V.F. LSC treats academic integrity violations or engaging in academic dishonesty by instructors as grounds for disciplinary action under Board Policy Section IV.

Academic Appeals

An academic appeal is a formal request by a student to change a grade for an approved basis. A grade appeal must be made within 12 months of the date the grade was posted by the registrar. A grade may only be changed by the instructor of record, the instructor’s department chair, the academic dean, 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) a mathematical error in the grade’s calculation; (2) a deviation-by the instructor-from the course syllabus or LSC policy manual; or (3) disparate treatment of a student that is not addressed by EEO policies. 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 unable to informally resolve a grade dispute, a student may initiate an academic appeal only by filing a Final Grade Dispute Form with the instructor of record for that course.  If the student is not satisfied with the instructor of record’s decision or cannot consult with the instructor, the Final Grade Dispute Form must be submitted to the appropriate dean to determine if a resolution can be reached.

If a resolution is not reached, and the student desires to pursue the appeal further, the student may appeal to the Chief Academic Officer (“CAO”) by submitting the Final Grade Dispute Form to the CAO of the college employing the instructor of record. If the Chief Academic Officer determines that the appeal does not meet the requirements of this policy, he or she shall communicate this in writing to the student. 

If the Chief Academic Officer determines that the appeal is appropriate under this policy, he or she will convene the Academic Appeals Committee to consider the complaint. The Chief Academic Officer will notify the student regarding the Academic Appeals Committee’s meeting date, his or 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.

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 graduation GPA of 3.9 - 4.0 will be acknowledged by Summa Cum Laude on the diploma.
  • Students who attain a cumulative graduation GPA of 3.7 - 3.899 will be acknowledged by Magna Cum Laude on the diploma.
  • Students who attain a cumulative graduation GPA of 3.5 - 3.699 will be acknowledged by Cum Laude on the diploma.

Currently enrolled students are acknowledged each semester through the President’s 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 

The Honors College is an academic program bringing together rigorous coursework, dedicated faculty mentors, leadership opportunities, domestic and international travel and substantial scholarships.  This unique academic experience is designed to meet the needs of high-achieving students by providing challenging coursework with out-of-the-classroom activities across a broad range of disciplines. Various graduation distinctions are available for students who pursue Honors College opportunities. More details about The Honors College are available at LoneStar.edu/HonorsCollege.

Honors College students may choose to take individual honors course, work toward an honors distinction with multiple course, or apply for our Honors College Chancellor’s Fellows Program.  Chancellor’s Fellows pursue a two-year, full-time course of study requiring a minimum of 27 honors credit hours toward completion of an Honors associate of arts or associate of science degree. The curriculum includes a six-hour course taken during the first semester, as well as additional required honors courses.

During this two-year plan of study, Fellows take courses that engage and challenge students inside and outside the classroom through small classes and close interaction with dedicated faculty. With an extensive Honors co-curriculum-from leadership training to undergraduate research opportunities to international travel, The Honors College provides an advanced academic environment preparing graduates for the most competitive university programs and careers.

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; 1240 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 Associate Vice Chancellor of International, Honors, and Engagement Programs or the Honors Director on your campus. For additional information and contacts, visit LoneStar.edu/HonorsCollege at LSC.

Phi Theta Kappa

Colleges within the Lone Star system have active chapters of the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society. Students who have a 3.5 or higher cumulative GPA, have completed at least 12 college level credit hours at Lone Star College, and enrolled in at least three credit hours at Lone Star College are eligible for membership. Students who enrolled as Dual Credit students in participating high schools as a Lone Star College Dual Credit student are also eligible to become members of Phi Theta Kappa.

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, regional, 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.

Lone Star College has partnered with Gulf Coast community colleges through the Texas Gulf Coast International Education Consortium (TGCIE) to diversify study abroad program options. Courses are conducted online and contain a short-term study abroad component. For program offerings, see http://www.lonestar.edu/tgcie/programs.htm.

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 student’s offcial 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 student’s 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 that course through prior learning assessment. 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 75 percent of an academic certificate or degree. 

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/learning-assessment.htm 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/military-experience for further details.
  • Licensure/Certifications - College credit may be awarded for state and federal licensure and professional certifications.
  • Joint Forces San Antonio, METC, approved articulation for members of the U.S. armed services - Lone Star College curriculum teams approved course credit for combined work experience and training. Please visit LoneStar.edu/ departments/veteransaffairs/PLA%20Table.pdf
  • U.S. Military students will receive six (6) hours of college credit in business for documented credit in leadership training and three (3) years of service.

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

LSC Libraries

LSC Libraries support the curriculum and student success through the provision of in-person and online reference assistance, information and digital literacy instruction, collection development, inter-library loan, course reserves, and circulation services. Each library provides co-curricular programing and events to facilitate lifelong learning opportunities among students, faculty, staff and community members. 

Through LSC Libraries online catalog and research databases, LSC faculty and students can access thousands of general and specialized full-text articles, e-books, images, audio and video clips and an array of other resources. For more details, including library locations and hours, visit 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.