Jul 17, 2024  
2020-2021 Academic Catalog 
2020-2021 Academic Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Academic Procedures


Becoming Connecticut State Community College 

A merger of Connecticut’s 12 community colleges is underway. As a part of this merger, modifications will be made to academic programs. Students who do not complete their programs by the end of the Spring 2023 term will be matched with the Connecticut State Community College (CT State) program that most closely aligns with ​the student’s Spring 2023 program and is offered at the current  Housatonic Community College location. The College is committed to students completing their education with a minimum of disruption. Further details can be found and will be updated on the Frequently Asked Questions page: www.ct.edu/ctstate/academics.

Terms You Need to Know

First Year Student: a student who has earned fewer than 30 credits towards the degree

Sophomore: a student who has earned at least 30 credits towards the degree

Credit or Credit Hour: a standard of measure of the amount of instruction time required to successfully complete a course

Definition of Credit Hour:

The college defines a credit hour* as an amount of work represented in intended learning outcomes and verified by evidence of student achievement that is an institutionally established equivalence that reasonably approximates not less than -

(1) One hour of classroom or direct faculty instruction and a minimum of two hours of out-of class student work each week for approximately fifteen weeks for one semester or the equivalent amount of credit over a different period of time;

(2) At least an equivalent amount of work as required in paragraph (1) of this definition for other academic activities as established by the institution including laboratory work, internships, practica, studio work, and other academic work leading to the award of credit hours.

* Standards for Credit Hour of the Commission on Institutions of Higher Education, New England Association of Schools and Colleges, Standards for Accreditation Revision, July 1, 2011. Adopted by Housatonic Community College Curriculum Committee, December 8, 2011.

Full-time Student Status: students registering for 12 credits or more at HCC.

Part-time Student Status: students registering for less than 12 credits at HCC.

GPA (Grade Point Average): a numerical computation of the student’s academic grade.

Auditing: enrolling in and attending a course on a non-credit basis. The instructor’s permission is needed and an audit form must be properly completed within the specified time limits for that semester or session.

Dropping a course: officially withdrawing from a course. Drop procedures require filing a “drop” form available from the Registrar’s Office. Following the proper procedures can help prevent a failing grade or negative effect on the student’s grade point average.

Withdrawing from Housatonic: officially withdrawing from all classes in a semester. Following the proper procedures (see the Registrar) can help the student return to Housatonic in good standing. Withdrawal procedures require the filing of a “drop” form for all courses.

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Students have several registration options if they choose to register early for the upcoming semester. Early registration will permit students to have first choice of courses and class times. Payment of the appropriate College fees will hold these classes until full payment is made no later than three weeks before the start of classes. Fees are not refundable. Delaying registration until the beginning of the semester may result in desired classes and times being unavailable.

Students are strongly encouraged to be advised by an academic advisor or counselor. In addition, students must be in full compliance with all other college policies and requirements.

Registration is not complete until all forms are completed and submitted and tuition and fees are paid in full. Students who do not pay or make financial arrangements with the Business Office will have their registrations cancelled.

Full-time/Part-time Student Status

Students registering for 12 Credits or more at HCC are classified as Full-Time Student Status. Students registering between 6 and 11 Credits at HCC are classified as Part-Time Student Status.

Auditing Courses

A student not wishing credit may audit courses. This status may allow the student to participate in classroom activities. Tuition and fees are the same for audited classes.

Students must obtain the written approval of the instructor in order to audit a class. An Audit form signed by the class instructor must be completed within four weeks of the start of classes for a standard semester and earlier for summer or winter sessions. Forms are available at the Registrar’s office. Full tuition and fees are due for any audited classes. While the student may ask to have papers critiqued, the instructor is not required to grade an auditor’s course work. Audited classes are listed on the student’s transcript as AU. While a student may in succeeding semesters take for credit a class previously audited, students may not petition to receive credit for an audited class and may not change to a credit basis during the semester.

Change of Major/Add a Secondary Program

Students who wish to change their enrollment from one major to another (for example, to change from General Studies to Fine Arts - Art) or add a secondary program should obtain the proper form from the Academic Advising Office. The completed Change of Major form needs to be submitted to the Registrars Office, LH-L113.


With enrollment in college, students accept responsibility to take full advantage of their educational opportunity by regular attendance in classes and laboratories.

The college does not administer a uniform system of attendance regulations. At the beginning of each semester the instructor will provide a course outline and what he/she considers necessary for the successful completion of the subject matter. Students are expected to meet academic obligations or to assume the risks of failure.

The instructor will extend make-up of work missed because of absence or other reasons only when there is sufficient justification. Lack of attendance cannot be the sole ground for exclusion from a course.

Students must adhere to the attendance, tardy and participation policies specified in the class syllabus.

Make up exams may not be granted if the faculty specifies such. Make up exams may be granted due to extenuated circumstances justified with valid documentation such medical documentation.

Repeating a Course/Higher Grade Prevails

Students may only repeat the same course twice in which they receive a grade of “C-” or lower (C-, D+, D-, F). Credit will be granted only once for a course unless otherwise specified in the course description. The student transcript will reflect all grades, but for the purpose of the computation of the GPA, the higher or highest grade prevails. Repeated courses that are counted in the computation of the GPA are noted with “I” on the transcript following the grade points to indicate “included” in calculation. Courses that are not counted in the computation of the GPA are noted with “E” on the transcripts following the grade points to indicate “excluded” in calculation.

Incomplete Work

If there are exceptional circumstances, a student whose work in a course is incomplete at the time of grading may request a grade of “I” from the course instructor. The instructor will complete an Incomplete Grade Form which lists what the student must do to complete the course requirements and a default grade if the student fails to do so. If the work for the course and the procedures for changing a grade are not completed within 10 weeks of the following regular semesters (fall or spring), the “I” automatically converts to the default grade provided by the faculty member. (Grades of “I” received at the end of the spring semester would automatically revert to the default grade at the end of the fall semester.)

The student is responsible for meeting with the instructor to make arrangements to complete course work.

If an extension of time beyond one semester is needed, a written request must be filed in the office of the Academic Dean prior to the end of the 10-week period. Extensions will be at the discretion of the instructor and the Academic Dean.

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Withdrawing from College or Dropping a Course

A student who wishes to drop a course or to withdraw from the college should follow the official procedure outlined below. Students who do not officially drop courses or withdraw from the college or fail to complete courses satisfactorily may be subject to probation, suspension or dismissal.

  1. Contact an advisor in the Advising Center (LH-L112) or a faculty advisor and follow his or her instructions.
  2. Obtain an add/drop notice form from the Registrar’s Office or online at http://www.housatonic.edu/admissions-financial-aid/registration
  3. Students who cannot appear in person to withdraw from the college should attempt to work with an advisor. Students may withdraw online No phone-in withdrawals allowed.
  4. During Fall and Spring semesters, for all students who withdraw from the college or drop a course prior to, or during, the first two weeks of class of the semester, the course will not appear on the student’s transcript. Courses withdrawn from or dropped prior to the start of Summer or Winter sessions will not appear on the student’s transcript.
  5. Students who drop a course or withdraw from the college after two weeks, but prior to the end of 12 weeks after the start of classes for a standard semester, are entitled to receive a grade of “W” in each course from which they have officially dropped or withdrawn.
  6. A student with extenuating circumstances may appeal to the Dean of Student Affairs or the Dean of Academic Affairs for a withdrawal without grades after the 12th week but prior to the last day of classes. There must be clear documentation of the extenuating circumstances, and appeals will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.
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Online and Hybrid Courses

Online Courses

Distance education is a formal educational process by which a majority of instruction in a course occurs online.  Interaction between students and instructors, and among students, occurs when students are not in the same place, and incorporates computer- and web-based technologies to aid instruction.  Instruction must be regular and substantive.  The following instructional method codes and definitions are related to distance education in the CSCU system:

ONLN: All instruction and assessment take place online in an asynchronous environment.  There are NO on-ground requirements for proctored assessments or in-person orientations. 

OLCR: All instruction occurs online in an asynchronous format, but students are required to meet on-campus for assessments, proctored examination or orientations.

HYBR: Instruction occurs through a regular blend of face-to-face classroom instruction and online facilitated instruction.  As a result, the classroom seat-time is reduced - often by about 50%. 

LRON- LIVE/REMOTE/ONLINE: All instruction occurs online through synchronized learning, where the students and faculty meet live online/remotely at a designated time and day.

Please note that traditional, face-to-face courses are coded as “TRAD” and may be web-enhanced to some degree.  A “web-enhanced” course is one in which all instructional hours are delivered in class, and which also makes use of the LMS in some way (to house a syllabus or to otherwise aid instruction).  While the LMS will not be regularly used to substitute for traditional face-to-face meetings in a TRAD course, students are always expected to check the LMS for course assignments in the event of class cancelation or school closing.

Hybrid Course Schedule

The online Class Schedule indicates where and when your hybrid class will meet. The instructors will explain procedures for online course work during the first class meeting. All hybrid courses meet in the classroom on the FIRST scheduled class day.

In both online courses and hybrid courses, students should expect an amount of work equivalent to what would be required in any college level course. Taking an online or hybrid course gives students greater flexibility in scheduling their time; however, online requirements will be as time-consuming and demanding as traditional courses offered on campus.

Online Resources

As a student at Housatonic Community College, you may find that many of your instructors utilize Blackboard to host course materials online. To become familiar with Blackboard and the online learning environment, please check the following YouTube playlist: http://tinyurl.com/grb4bmo.  You may also review the “Blackboard Student Orientation” course within your list of courses in Blackboard.

For assistance with Blackboard or other educational technologies, the Educational Technology Department can be reached by email at hc-edtech@housatonic.edu or by phone at 203-332-5068.

Accessing an Online Course

HCC’s hybrid and online classes use the Blackboard course management system. You must be registered in a class before you will be able to log in*.

* How Do I Log In?

To access your online course, navigate to myCommNet (http://my.commnet.edu) and click “Log In”.  If you have never signed in before, you will need to enter your NetID@student.commnet.edu for your user name: (i.e., 01234567@student.commnet.edu).  Your default password is the first three letters of your birth month, the ampersand, and the last four digits of your social security number:  (i.e., Oct&4031).  Once you are logged in to myCommNet, the Blackboard link will be in the far-right column of the homepage.

For more information visit the Educational Technology website at https://www.housatonic.edu/student-services/educational-technology.

For assistance with Blackboard or other educational technologies, the Educational Technology Department can be reached by email at hc-edtech@housatonic.edu or by phone at 203-332-5068.

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Self-Paced Studies - Mathematics and English Courses and Computer Lab Support

Through the First Year Studies department, the college offers students the opportunity to take courses in both English and Mathematics in a self-paced, computer-based format during regular classroom meetings and through individualized instruction. Classes labeled “Self-Paced” are listed in the Housatonic online schedule each semester.

Self-Paced courses are designed for self-motivated students who are interested in pursuing course work using computers. These students may want a faster way to progress through their courses; alternatively, these students may prefer spending more time mastering the class material and want to move at a slower pace than a traditional class.

Students in Self-Paced Studies courses are required to attend every class to make progress. To complete the course, students must demonstrate proficiency on each assignment and test. Instructors and tutors help explain course material, answer questions, and assist with assignments. Students have access to their course materials through the Internet and in the college’s computer labs as well as through the Center for Academic Progress, available during both day and evening hours.

Located in Lafayette Hall in Room L152, Tutoring Center assists students enrolled in a self-paced course; both drop-in and one-on-one support is available. Students can stop by L152 to check the semester schedule.

For further information about self-paced courses, contact Professor Rebecca Samberg, Chairperson of First Year Studies, by email at rsamberg@hcc.commnet.edu or by telephone at 203-332-5153. 

Students in Self-Paced Studies may use the computer labs and receive course work assistance in the Tutoring Center, Room L152, Lafayette Hall. 

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Grades are Available at myCommNet

Semester grades can be obtained by the student in their myCommNet account at http://my.commnet.edu. Mid-term grades are posted mid-semester, final grades are posted at the completion of each semester. Unofficial transcripts may be printed from myCommNet at no cost.

Explanation of Grading System

Adopted May 1983, amended April 1990, April 2000, April 2001, April 2002, April 2020 (Based on the system office policy).

I. Credits

A credit is a unit of academic achievement which is awarded upon the successful completion of a course.

Definition of Credit Hour:

The college defines a credit hour* as an amount of work represented in intended learning outcomes and verified by evidence of student achievement that is an institutionally established equivalence that reasonably approximates not less than -

(1) One hour of classroom or direct faculty instruction and a minimum of two hours of out-of class student work each week for approximately fifteen weeks for one semester or the equivalent amount of credit over a different period of time;

(2) At least an equivalent amount of work as required in paragraph (1) of this definition for other academic activities as established by the institution including laboratory work, internships, practica, studio work, and other academic work leading to the award of credit hours.

* Standards for Credit Hour of the Commission on Institutions of Higher Education, New England Association of Schools and Colleges, Standards for Accreditation Revision, July 1, 2011. Adopted by Housatonic Community College Curriculum Committee, December 8, 2011.

II. Semester Hours

A semester hour is a measure of time usually corresponding to 50 minutes of lecture once per week for an entire semester.

III. Grades

Grades are an indication of the standard of academic work performed and/or the status of the student in relation to a course and/or the college. The academic grading system consists of five basic grades of student performance:

“A,” “B,” “C,” “D,” “F,” and three grades of student status: “I,” “M,” “W”. In addition, participants enrolled in non-credit courses through Continuing Education/Lifelong Learning may be awarded Continuing Education Units (CEUs) on a Pass/Fail (P/F) basis.

A letter grade of “A” through “F” indicates a student’s performance in terms of what was done, how much was done, and how well the class work was done from the start to the completion of a class. Other academic grades indicate a student’s status in terms of his/her entry or exit point from a class over time and condition (W) or at the close of the official grading period (I, M).

Academic Standard Grades



Grade Points per Credit Hour





90 - 92.99%



87 - 89.99%



83 - 86.99%



80 - 82.99%



77 - 79.99%



73 - 76.99%



70 - 72.99%



67 - 69.99%



63 - 66.99%



60 - 62.99%



< 60%


# following grade indicates



Pre-100 level course



I (Incomplete)



M (pre-100 level course courses only)



NP (Never Participated)

- 0

P (Passing for non-credit courses only)



S (Satisfactory progress, mid-term grade only)

- 0

U (Unsatisfactory progress, mid-term grade only)

- 0

W (Withdrawal)



Administrative Marks





The calculation of the Grade Point Average (GPA) shall be two decimal places, truncated.


The letter grades shown above, with an additional designation of “#,” shall also be used for grades awarded to students in developmental courses. 

IV. Mid-Term Grades

Mid-term grades are advisory grades indicating a student’s progress through the first half of a standard semester. If a student is making satisfactory progress, he/she will be awarded a grade of “S” to indicate satisfactory progress. If a student is not making satisfactory progress, he/ she will be awarded a grade of “U” to indicate unsatisfactory progress. A student in pre-100 level courses may also be awarded an “M” grade to indicate that he/she is maintaining progress, but not sufficient to attain the mid-term grade of “S.” When compared to traditional grades, the “S” grade equates to a grade of “C” or higher, while a grade of “U” equates to a “C-” or lower.

Mid-semester grades are merely estimates of the student’s progress and are not entered on permanent records. However, grades of “W” and “AU” are considered permanent final grades when awarded either as mid-semester or final grades and entered on permanent records. The only mid-term grades assigned are “S,” “U,” and “M.” Grades are not generally changed after one year of their issuance.

V. Statement on Satisfactory Progress*

  1. The grading system employed by each college should accurately reflect the academic achievement of the student. In order to ensure appropriate use of State resources available for the education of its citizens, each college will develop procedures to monitor satisfactory progress through its warning, probation and suspension policy.
  2. This policy shall be applicable to all students enrolled for pre-100 level courses and/or credit courses, no matter the number of credits for which they are enrolled.
  3. No course may be repeated for credit more than twice. The highest grade received will be used in calculating the student’s academic average. This does not apply to those courses that are designed to be repeated for additional credit.
  4. Satisfactory completion of fifty percent of the credits attempted (this phrase means actual continued enrollment beyond the add/drop period) will be the minimum standard for good standing.
  5. Students who have completed 11 or fewer credits whose Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA) falls below 1.5 will be given a written warning. Students who have completed between 12 and 30 credits inclusive whose CGPA falls below 1.7, and those who have completed 31 or more credits whose CGPA falls below 2.0, will be given a written notice that they are placed on academic probation.
  6. Students placed on academic probation will be required to take a reduced course load for one semester.
  7. Students who, after being placed on academic probation for one semester and after taking a reduced course load, fail to attain the required CGPA as shown above will be notified in writing that they are suspended for one semester.
  8. After the period of suspension, students may be reinstated, either as regular or probationary students, upon application to the college.
  9. An appeals process will be established by each college, which provides for due process.
  10. College procedures will be included in appropriate publications and communications.

(Adopted October 17, 1993, amended January 28, 2002, amended February 23, 2004, amended September 20, 2004)

* For more information see Academic Standards Criteria section of this catalog.

Definition of Grades & Administrative Marks


Academic Standard Grades. A letter grade of “A” through “F” indicates a student’s performance in terms of the quantity and the quality of that work performance. Only these grades are considered in the determination of a grade point average (GPA) for a student. Any grade followed by the # sign indicates a First Year Studies course and will not contribute any points to the student’s GPA.


Audit .Used for students not wishing credit for a course taken.  This status will allow them to participate in class activities without being required to meet the examination requirements of the course.  Students may ask to have papers critiqued, but faculty members are not required to grade an auditor’s coursework.  Full tuition and fees are charged for courses audited.  A student who wishes to change from credit to audit status must request this within the first four weeks of the course, using such forms and procedures as the college may prescribe.  Students auditing a course may not change to credit status.


Incomplete. Used as a temporary grade assigned by a faculty member when coursework is missing and the student agrees to complete the requirements. 

Although a student may request an Incomplete, the faculty member is not required to honor the request.  Faculty members should assign an Incomplete when there are extenuating circumstances, such as illness, that prevent a student from completing the assigned work on time.  Further consideration should be given to determine if the student has attended for at least 60% of the duration of the course and completed the majority of the course requirements, and, in the judgment of the faculty member, the student can complete the remaining work no later than the tenth week of the next standard semester.

Any faculty member that assigns an Incomplete shall document such an activity, and inform the student, the Academic Dean, the Registrar, and other appropriate parties, as needed, using a common form.  Supporting documentation, agreed upon by both the faculty and student, must include:

  • A brief description of the requirements to be completed;
  • The date by which the coursework must be submitted to the faculty member;
  • A statement that the Incomplete will change to a specific letter grade if the work is not completed by the tenth week of the next standard semester.

If a student submits the required work on time, the faculty member shall calculate a grade to replace the Incomplete and submit it to the Registrar no later than the 10th week of the following semester.  If a student fails to complete the required work or fails to submit the work by the specified time, or if the faculty member fails to submit a replacement grade, the Registrar shall convert the Incomplete to the letter grade specified, and that letter grade shall be entered on the student’s transcript.

Students with an Incomplete are temporarily ineligible for semester or graduation honors.  Upon conversion of the Incomplete to a letter grade, students may retroactively receive semester or graduation honors, and such recognition shall appear on the transcript, provided the student has earned the required GPA.


Maintaining progress. An administrative transcript notation used only for pre-100 level courses to indicate that the student is maintaining progress but not at the usual rate. It may be given to a student for a course only twice.


Never  Participated .A registration status used for students who have enrolled in coursework, but have failed to engage in an academically related activity by the predetermined census date.  Students who receive an NP designation are no longer permitted to attend a course section after an NP has been reported.  Additionally, they are not eligible to receive a final grade, and not eligible to access the learning management system for the affected course section.


Passing. Used for successful completion of courses taken on a pass/fail basis.  Students failing will receive a letter grade of “F.”


Transfer. Used in lieu of grades for courses accepted for credit from other institutions of higher education.


Withdrawal. Used to indicate that a student has withdrawn from a course.


Grade Point Average (GPA)

Grade points are calculated by multiplying the number of points of each grade by the total number of credit hours assigned to that course. The GPA is obtained by dividing the total number of grade points earned by the total number of credit hours attempted. Only the academic standard grades of “A,” “B,” “C,” “D,” “F” including plus and minus are used in calculating the GPA.

A student’s transcript identifies two different Grade Point Average (GPA) ratios. The first is the Semester GPA which is based upon the courses a student has taken during the current semester. The second is a Cumulative GPA which consists of all of the courses a student has taken at the college and the grades received for these courses:


Course Credit Hours Grade Grade Points x Credit Hrs Grade Points
ENG* E101  3 B+ 3.3 x 3 credits = 9.9
PSY* E111  3 D 1.0 x 3 credits = 3.0
MAT* E137  3 A 4.0 x 3 credits = 12.0
BIO* E105  4 B- 2.7 x 4 credits = 10.8
  13       35.7

The GPA for this student would be 2.74 for the semester
(35.7 divided by 13 = 2.74).

Appeal of Grades

A student who wishes to appeal an awarded grade should first confer with the faculty member concerned within 15 days from the time the Registrar posts grades. If the student is not satisfied with the outcome of that conference, the student may submit a written appeal with the Department Chair who will consult with the faculty member to help resolved the appeal. Once the Department Chair has concluded their review of the appeal and informed the student of their decision, the student may then contact the Academic Dean for further assistance. The written appeal must include the grade attained, the grade the student believes was earned in the course and the exact reason(s) the grade is incorrect. Reasons that a grade would be found to be incorrect are mathematical error or grade assigned on basis other than the criteria cited in the course syllabus.

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Students wishing to have an official copy of their transcript may request one online by accessing their myCommnet account. A request form, found on the college web site, may also be faxed or mailed to request transcripts. Transcripts, official or unofficial, will not be faxed. No telephone requests can be accepted. Transcript requests are normally processed within 10 working days. There is no charge for official transcripts; any questions contact the Registrar’s Office at 203-332-8592.

Student may also request transcripts electronically using the eTranscript link on the HCC website.

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Fresh Start for Readmit Students

The Fresh Start Option allows students who have not registered for college credit courses for two or more years and have a poor academic record to refresh their Grade Point Average (GPA) and develop a more favorable academic record. A poor academic record is defined as multiple courses completed with a GPA of less than 2.0. The only grades eligible for Fresh Start are those earned prior to readmission.

The Fresh Start Option may be used only once. A student must apply for this option prior to, or during, the first year after returning to HCC. Students are ineligible if they have completed a certificate or degree and the option will not apply to completed certificates or degrees.

If the request for the Fresh Start Option is approved, all grades previously earned will remain on the student’s transcript. The semesters for which Fresh Start is invoked will include a transcript symbol indicating that the policy is in effect. The original GPA will not be included in any subsequent computation of the new GPA.

A student must complete a minimum of 15 credits after returning to college under the Fresh Start Option to be eligible for a degree or certificate and for graduation honors. For more information, please contact Jeanine Gibson in the Academic Advising Center at jgibson@housatonic.edu.

Definition of Readmit Student

A “Readmit” student is a student returning to the college after an absence of at least 2 years (including summer and winter sessions).

Definition of a New Student

A “New” student is a first-time, first-year student attending any institution for the first time at the undergraduate level. This definition includes students enrolled for the fall term who attended the same college for the first time in the prior summer term. This definition also includes students who entered with advanced standing (college credits earned before graduation from high school - AP, Tech Prep/College Career Pathways, HS Partnership, etc.).

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Academic Standards Criteria

Satisfactory Progress:

Students are required to maintain satisfactory academic progress during their enrollment at the college. See Appendix XI of College Catalog for Board Policy 3.8 Satisfactory Academic Progress (includes Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy for Student Financial Aid Recipients).

Student Academic Standing:

To remain eligible for continued enrollment, a student must maintain a cumulative grade point average (GPA) equal to or above the minimum stated in the Academic Standards Criteria listed below. A student’s combined academic standing is determined based on cumulative credit hours, overall GPA, and progress evaluation:

Written Warning:

What it means: Student’s cumulative grade point average is low, and the student is at risk of continued poor performance at the college. (See chart for explanation.)

Result: A student is limited to 4 courses totaling no more than 13 credit hours including any required remedial courses. Students in this standing should seek additional advising, tutoring or other help that is available at the college. Please contact the Academic Support Center (LH-L152), or the Advising & Student Success Center (LH-L112) for further assistance. (See chart for explanation.)

GPA Probation:

What it means: Student’s cumulative grade point average has fallen below the required level. (See chart for explanation)

Result: A student is limited to 2 courses totaling no more than 7 credit hours including any required remedial courses. If the student has registered for more than 2 courses, he or she must contact the Advising & Student Success Center (LH-L112) immediately or student’s course load may be automatically reduced.

Progress Probation:

What it means: Student has not satisfactorily completed a minimum of 50% of student¹s class credits and is not making satisfactory progress towards the completion of his or her coursework, degree, and/or certificate. Grades of “F”, “F#”, “W”, “N” and “N#” are considered unsatisfactory completions and can result in a student being placed into Progress Probation status. (See chart for explanation.)

Result: A student is limited to 4 courses totaling no more than 13 credit hours including any required remedial courses. If student has registered for more than 4 courses, student must contact the Advising & Student Success Center (LH-L112) immediately or student’s course load may be automatically reduced.

GPA and Progress Probation:

What it means: Students who are on both GPA and Progress probation should read the two descriptions above. (See chart for explanation.)

Result: A student is limited to 2 courses totaling no more than 7 credit hours including any required remedial courses. If the student has registered for more than 2 courses, he or she must contact the Advising & Student Success Center (LH-L112) immediately or student’s course load may be automatically reduced.

GPA Suspension (prohibits registration):

What it means: Student’s accumulated credits and cumulative grade point average are below the required level. Students who have been placed on GPA Probation for one semester and who have not attained the overall GPA to move back into good standing are placed on GPA suspension. (See chart for explanation.)

Result: The student is suspended and is not permitted to register for classes at Housatonic for the upcoming semester without prior approval. If student has already registered for the upcoming semester, the student will be automatically dropped from all classes one week before the start of classes.

Progress Probation and GPA Suspension (prohibits registration):

Description: Students who are on both Progress Probation and GPA Suspension should read the two descriptions above. (See chart for explanation.)

Result: A student is not permitted to register for classes at Housatonic for the upcoming semester without prior approval. If student has already registered for the upcoming semester, he or she will be automatically dropped from all classes one week before the start of classes.

Student Academic Standing

Cumulative Credit Hours Overall GPA Academic Standing Maximum Credits Allowed
0.5 - 11.99 credits 0.0 - 1.49 GPA Written Warning 13 credits
12 - 30.99 credits 0.0 - 1.69 GPA GPA Probation 7 credits
31 - 999.99 credits 0.0 - 1.99 GPA GPA Probation 7 credits
Satisfactory completion in less than 50% of credits   Progress Probation 13 credits
After one semester of GPA probation   GPA Suspension 0 credits

Plan of Action for Students on Academic Probation/ Suspension

Every January 1st and June 1st,  all Probationary students are sent a letter from the Academic Dean’s Office delivered by mail to their homes notifying them of their Probationary status. The letter states:

Our records indicate that you are currently on Academic Probation and/or Suspension.  We are contacting you because we would like to help you get back on track and return to Good Academic Standing.

Academic Probation and/or Suspension can be serious.  As a result of this students:

  • Are restricted to a reduced course load

  • May face temporary Academic Suspension

  • Federal and State Financial Aid might be impacted. (You are encouraged to visit the Financial Aid Office to inquire about any change in your eligibility status. You may also check your financial aid status using MyCommnet)

In order to work your way out of Academic Probation and/or Suspension, you must first schedule a meeting with a professional advisor in the Advising & Student Success Center in Lafayette Hall L112.  Please fill out the first portion of the enclosed Probationary Plan for Success worksheet prior to your meeting. This way we can discuss your standing, next steps and your plan for success together!

The College is committed to helping you improve your academic performance so that you can return to good status and make progress toward your degree.  We will provide you with the services and resources to help you achieve academic success.  In return, you must commit yourself to work diligently and take advantage of the resources available to you.  With hard work and a new plan of action, you will meet your goals!

When Probationary students visit The Advising and Student Success Office …

Students will:

  1. Fill out a Probationary Plan for Success worksheet
  2. Have a full conversation with an advisor about their academic history, the student’s need and recommendations for attainment of good standing moving forward
  3. If applicable and available, be given list of workshops offered for the semester also available on housatonic.edu

Advisors will:

  1. Fill out Max Credit Hours form with brief explanation of courses suggested and/or notable comments
     - In the case that a student’s credits have been taken away, hours will be increased starting at no more than 7 hours max unless otherwise discussed and noted
  2. Enter comments in Banner

What happens when a letter is returned?

We try to reach out to the student by email, phone or locating them based on their course schedule.

What happens when there is no address in Banner?

We try to reach out to the student by email, phone or locating them based on their course schedule.



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Confidentiality of Student Records


The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) affords students certain rights with respect to their education records.

These rights are included in Appendix: Confidentiality of Student Records/Directory Information  

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Academic Honors

Academic Honors website http://www.housatonic.edu/degrees-and-certificates/academic-honors

Dean’s List Requirements

Full-time students who are matriculated in a certificate or degree program and who have successfully completed 12 or more credits of work in a qualifying semester with a GPA of 3.4 or higher*.

Part-time students who are matriculated in a certificate or degree program with a cumulative GPA of 3.4 or higher in consecutive semesters totaling 12 or more credits are eligible for the Dean’s list recognition*.

*Full time or part time students who are in a probationary status are NOT eligible for Dean’s list recognition, even if their cumulative GPA might otherwise make them eligible.  A course withdrawal “W” or incomplete “I” shall make student ineligible for recognition that semester.  Upon completion of an Incomplete “I”, the student may be recognized retroactively.

Academic Honor Societies

Phi Theta Kappa

Phi Theta Kappa (PTK), is the international honor society for two-year colleges. Students are rewarded for their high academic achievement with exclusive scholarships and leadership development opportunities. Eligible students who join HCC’s Chi Rho chapter of PTK develop skills in leadership, team work, and project management. They also have the opportunity to partake in scholarly research, campus events, community service, and attend PTK regional and national conferences. Membership eligibility requirements: completed 24 credits of college-level courses (may include transfer courses); 3.50 or higher GPA at HCC; currently enrolled at HCC in a degree or certificate program either as full- or part-time students. For more information, visit www.ptk.org.

Psi Beta©

Psi Beta is the national honor society in psychology for community and junior colleges. It is the first two-year honor society approved for membership in the Association of College Honor Societies, which regulates membership requirements. Psi Beta was founded for the purpose of stimulating, encouraging, and recognizing students’ outstanding scholarship and interest in psychology. Psychology students become members by invitation of the college chapter.

Alpha Beta Gamma

Housatonic Community College has a chapter of Alpha Beta Gamma, the International Business Honor Society. This society encourages scholarship among two-year college students in business. To be eligible for membership, a student must be enrolled in a business curriculum and must have completed 40 academic credit hours in courses leading to a degree. Additionally, the student must have attained a 3.2 GPA in business courses and a 3.2 overall cumulative average. Members are eligible for scholarships at four-year institutions, and have networking and leadership opportunities available through a variety of activities.

Tau Upsilon Alpha

Established in 2006 as a program of the National Organization for Human Services (NOHS), Tau Upsilon Alpha is a national honor society for students, alumni, and faculty in the field of Human Services. The purpose of the honor society is to honor academic excellence; to foster lifelong learning, leadership, and development; and to promote excellence in service to humanity.

Epsilon Pi Tau

Epsilon Pi Tau is an international honor society that encourages academic excellence in fields devoted to the general study of technology. Students who are enrolled in programs in science, engineering, and technology may be invited to be initiated into Epsilon Pi Tau upon completion of 30 credits in prescribed courses with a 3.00 GPA and the recommendation of their faculty advisor.

Student Clubs and Organizations can be found in the Student Activities section of this catalog.

Honors Program

Available for selected students

The Honors Program at HCC is especially designed for the outstanding student. It offers an enriched learning experience that stresses intellectual challenge, in-depth analysis and creative thinking. It includes expanded in-class study, interdisciplinary study, and independent work.

All full-time or part-time degree students may apply for the Honors Program if they meet the following requirements:

  • Completion of at least 12 credits at Housatonic 100 level and above;
  • A Grade Point Average of at least 3.5; recommendations from at least two faculty members.

To remain in the Honors Program, a student must:

  • Maintain a 3.5 GPA;
  • Earn grades of “B” or higher in all Honors courses.

To complete the Honors Program, the student must fulfill the requirements of the Honors Curriculum which include:

  • In-class honors (6 credits or more) - At least two regular degree program courses that the Honors student takes at a more personally challenging pace. For example: exploring and reporting on additional readings; completing advanced experiments, problems or case studies; teaching a class period; attending a seminar and reporting the information to the class.
  • Honors Seminar (HN E200, 3 credits) - An interdisciplinary course that examines a topic from the differing perspectives of the major academic disciplines; humanities, natural and physical sciences, and social sciences. This special course is offered in the fall semester only, and the instructor, topic and content vary from year to year. (HN E200 satisfies an open elective requirement. Prerequisite: ENG* E102 and permission of the Honors Advisor; recommended: literature or philosophy, psychology or sociology, history, laboratory science).
  • Honors Project (HN E225, 3 credits) - An original student project completed under the guidance of a faculty member that demonstrates the Honors student’s ability to apply knowledge and skills learned in the Honors Seminar in a creative and scholarly manner. Independent study contracts must be completed, submitted, and approved during the semester preceding the term in which the project is actually performed. Satisfies an Open elective requirement. Prerequisite: HN E200 and permission of the Honors Advisor; completed Honors project contract.

The Housatonic Scholar

Graduating students who have completed the Honors Program are given the prestigious distinction of being identified as Housatonic Scholars. The Scholar designation earns the student additional honors:

  • A certificate presented at Awards Convocation;
  • A notation on the college transcript;
  • Named in the Commencement program;
  • Name engraved on a bronze plaque located in the Lafayette Hall Welcome Center.

Applications for the Honors Program and forms for faculty recommendations and Honors courses must be obtained from the Honors Program Advisor, Kirk Hughes, Office BH-229, phone (203) 332-5137 KHughes@housatonic.edu.

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Please refer to the Faculty/Staff Reserve shelf in the Library or to the College or in the HCC Student Code of Conduct http://www.housatonic.edu/student-life/student-conduct.

Academic Dishonesty

Students of Housatonic Community College are expected to do their own work on assignments, laboratory exercises, quizzes, examinations and any other academic work. Cheating in any form is viewed by the faculty, the students and the administration as a most serious offense. See http://www.housatonic.edu/student-life/student-conduct.

Academic dishonesty can result in your receiving an “F” grade on the paper or exam in question and/or an “F” grade in the course. “F” penalties are invoked by faculty members. Academic dishonesty can result in suspension from college or expulsion from college. The last two penalties can only be invoked through the Dean of Student Services.

Faculty members explain to students exactly what is meant by academic dishonesty and plagiarism and what the penalties are at the beginning of the semester. If you have any question on these issues, consult with the faculty member prior to undertaking the action or submitting the paper.

Housatonic Community College Copyright Policy for Students

Copyright refers to exclusive legal rights authors or owners have over their works for a specific period. These rights include copying whole or parts of works, creating derivative works, and distributing or performing the works. Non-compliance with copyright laws is a legal offense and can result in serious college penalties: (see Student Code of Conduct) and broader federal offenses. The full description of Copyright Policy for Students is available at http://www.housatonic.edu/student-services/student-right-to-know

Additionally, all copyright-protected material used must include the complete source citation and the rights holder. This information should appear on the same page as the material itself.

For copyright questions not answered by this information, please contact a librarian for assistance.

Class Cancellations

Housatonic has the right to cancel any class or to change instructors. Upon course cancellation, a student will be notified and referred to an advisor or counselor who will meet with the student to select another ongoing course in which the student will be enrolled provided he/she meets the pre-requisites/parallels. Restrictions apply in equipment-related courses, and ENG* E101 and ENG* E102.

Weather (or Other) Cancellations, Delays or Closings

Occasionally classes have to be cancelled because of extreme weather conditions or other emergencies. The most detailed information is on the HCC website www.housatonic.edu or by calling 203-332-5000. Students should login to myCommNet to sign up for myCommNet Alert text messages to receive weather cancellations and closings.

Students are required to check Blackboard for course activity information in the event of a class cancellation.

Faculty Absences

If a faculty member is going to be late or cannot meet a class because of an emergency, he or she will make every effort to have someone inform you. Please always check blackboard to see any communication from your professor. If a faculty member is late arriving for class (more than 20 minutes), you can:

  • First Check blackboard to see if there are any instructions from the professor.
  • Go to the office of the department chair/designated support staff for that academic area and ask for guidance;
  • Circulate an attendance sheet with the course number and section for each student to sign. Provide this information to the offices listed above. At that point you are free to leave if you have received no other directions.

People with Disabilities

This policy is put forth to ensure that no qualified person be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or otherwise be subjected to, discrimination under any program or activity on a community college campus.

For the complete policy see http://www.housatonic.edu/student-services/disability-support


Computer Policies

Using computers is a very important part of your education. The HCC computer laboratories in Lafayette Hall, Beacon Hall, and in the Library are available for use by current HCC students. The lab hours are posted on the college web site. Labs are usually open when classes are in session and at specific times when the college is open and classes are not in session.

The Connecticut Board of Regents for Higher Education, and the State of Connecticut have endorsed uniform policies regarding computer use and computer software ownership. Under these policies, students cannot use the laboratory facilities to create software for any illegal activity nor can they use these facilities for personal work whether for a profit or non-profit purpose. Software cannot be duplicated or loaded unless the duplication or loading is directly related to a course and is under the direct supervision of a faculty member. Further, college policy forbids viewing pornographic or other potentially offensive material on the college computers. Violation of any of these policies may result in disciplinary action.

For the complete policy see http://www.ccsu.edu/hr/files/Acceptableusepolicy-revised2017-01-07.pdf.

Bringing Your Children to School

The college does not permit children unattended at any college location or in a vehicle parked in the parking garage. Children are not permitted in classes. The college reserves the right to ask students with disruptive children to leave the disrupted location including, but not limited to: faculty and student service offices, and the library. Students with children are expected to arrange suitable childcare services elsewhere while attending classes at Housatonic. 

Drug-Free Workplace

The Connecticut Board of Regents for Higher Education adopted the policy on drug-free workplaces for the system of community colleges.

No student or employee shall knowingly possess, use, distribute, transmit, sell, or be under the influence of any controlled substance on the college campus or off the college campus at a college-sponsored activity, function, or event. Use or possession of a drug authorized by a medical prescription from a registered physician shall not be a violation of this provision.

For the complete policy see Code of Student Rights, Responsibilities and Conduct.

Standards and Procedures for Student Discipline

The Connecticut Board of Regents for Higher Education has adopted the policy on student discipline for the system of community colleges.

For the complete policy see Code of Student Rights, Responsibilities and Conduct.

Student Rights

As a student, you are entitled to an atmosphere conducive to learning and to impartial treatment in all aspects of the teacher/student relationship. This includes the right to be evaluated solely on academic performance and not on any matter irrelevant to that performance. As a student you are free to take reasoned exception to the data or views offered in any course of study, but you are responsible for learning the content of the course of study as defined by official college publications, such as the college catalog and student handbook.

For the complete policy see Code of Student Rights, Responsibilities and Conduct.

Change of Address

The college must have your correct address and your correct name at all times. Therefore, you are required to report any change of address or name to the Registrar’s Office immediately, using a Change of Personal Data form.

Cell Phones/Pagers

Cell phones and other electronic devices are to be used in class only for class related activities at the discretion of the instructor. Students who ignore this policy may be asked to leave class or face grade penalties. When there are extenuating circumstances that require students to be available by phone or pager, the students should inform the instructor prior to class, so that together they can arrive at an agreement concerning the device.


Gambling of any type on the college campus or at a college sponsored activity, function, or event subjects you to disciplinary action. Connecticut General Statutes state that “any person who plays at any game for any valuable thing, or solicits another to do the same, upon any public conveyance, or wins or loses any valuable thing by so playing or betting on such play or by sharing in any stake or wager of those who bet or play, shall be fined not more than two hundred dollars and imprisoned not more than six months.

For the complete policy see Code of Student Rights, Responsibilities and Conduct.


The use of cigarettes, cigars, pipes, electronic nicotine delivery systems and vapor products in buildings and grounds at Housatonic Community College is prohibited with the exception of the marked smoking area adjacent to Beacon Hall. Electronic nicotine delivery systems include electronic devices that may be used to simulate smoking in delivering nicotine or other substances to a person who inhales from it. Vapor products are defined as any product that uses a heating element, power source, electronic circuit, or other electronic, chemical, or mechanical means, regardless of shape or size, to produce a vapor that may or may not include nicotine and which is inhaled by the user.

Racism and Acts of Intolerance

The community colleges have long been committed to providing educational opportunities to all who seek and can benefit from them, as evidenced in the mission statements and policies concerning student rights, affirmative action, and equal opportunity. The Connecticut Board of Regents and the colleges recognize that an important part of providing opportunity is creating a welcoming environment in which all people are able to work and study together, regardless of their differentness. 

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