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Academics

Academic Amnesty/Forgiveness

Academic Amnesty/Forgiveness allows students a second chance regarding their academic performance.  This one-time policy allows previous poor academic performance to no longer be calculated into your grade point average (GPA).  To be eligible for academic forgiveness, a student must meet the following criteria:

  1. Student has not attended a college or university in the previous three calendar years.
  2. Student has changed academic program of study.
  3. Student has completed at least 12 credit hours with a grade point average of 2.0 or better upon returning to HCC.

If granted, the grades for all courses completed prior to the student’s return will be excluded from the official GPA but will remain on the official transcript with a notation of academic amnesty/forgiveness.  If a student is receiving financial aid, Satisfactory Academic Progress guidelines will apply.

Students must request academic amnesty/forgiveness by submitting a letter or email to the Dean of Enrollment Services.
Academic Probation-Dismissal

A student may be placed on academic probation for failure to achieve the minimum cumulative grade point average required for good standing:

Total Hours Attempted GPA Required
9-16 1.50
17-32 1.70
33-48 1.85
49+ 2.00 

Once a student is placed on probation, the student must earn at least a 2.0 in the subsequent semester and raise the cumulative GPA to meet or exceed the required GPA in order to return to Good Standing.

If a student on probation earns at least a 2.0 in the subsequent semester but does not meet the cumulative GPA required, the student will be placed on Continuing Probation.

If a student on probation does not earn at least a 2.0 in the subsequent semester and does not meet the cumulative GPA required, the student will be placed on Dismissal. The student will have to sit out for a semester in order to return.

Students on probation, continuing probation and dismissal are required to see the Academic Standing Program (ASP) Advisor for educational planning and academic support. Individualized strategies will be developed to assist the student to identify causes of academic difficulties and to achieve satisfactory grade point averages. College services will be utilized to help the student reach his or her educational potential and goals. Students who fail to see the ASP advisor or complete required support work will not be allowed to register for subsequent classes.

A student placed on dismissal at the conclusion of fall will sit out the spring semester. A student on dismissal at the conclusion of spring will sit out summer and fall semesters. A student on dismissal at the conclusion of summer will sit out the fall semester.

Students placed on dismissal may seek advising and academic assistance during the semester(s) of non-attendance. Heartland reserves the right to limit the credit hours of previously dismissed students upon their return to the College. All dismissed students are required to see the ASP Advisor to develop success oriented strategies before being allowed to register.

Admissions

HCC is an open-admission institution. The College admits any student who can benefit from our programs, including:

  • High school graduates,
  • GED certificate holders,
  • All persons 18 years of age or older,
  • Transfer students from other colleges and universities, and
  • Current high school students.
  • College Now students
  • Dual Credit students

Admission to the College does not ensure admission to a particular course or program of study. The Illinois Board of Higher Education has established minimum high school course requirements for admission into any public universities and community college transfer (A.A..  A.S.,  A.E.S. degree) programs.

Admission to certain programs may be limited and subject to specific requirements. Students should check with an academic advisor to determine their status regarding these requirements. In limited enrollment programs, the College will give preference to residents of District 540.
Alternative Credit Options (Advanced Placement)

Advanced Placement (AP) Program Credits

The Advanced Placement Program is sponsored by the College Board. The examinations are administered at designated high school testing centers. Students will be awarded credit as indicated below. Official advanced placement scores must be sent directly to HCC from the College Board. Students will be awarded as credit indicated below

AP Examination Score Credit Granted HCC Course
Art History 3 or higher 6 ART 211, 212 History of Art I and II
Biology 3 or higher 4 BIOL 161 Principles of Biology I
Calculus AB 3 or higher 4 MATH 161 Calculus I
Calculus BC 3 or higher 8 MATH 161, 162 Calculus I and II
Chemistry 3 4 CHEM 120 Fundamentals of Chemistry
Chemistry 4 or 5 5 CHEM 161 General Chemistry I
Chinese Language & Culture 3 8 CHIN 101, 102 Chinese I and II
Chinese Language & Culture 4 or 5 8 CHIN 201, 202 Chinese III and IV
Comparative Govt & Politics 3 or higher 3 POS 220 Comparative Governments
Computer Science A 3 or higher 4 CSCI 130 Computer Science I
Computer Science Principles 3 or higher 3 General Elective
English Lang & Composition 3 3 ENGL 101 Critical Reading & Writing
English Lang & Composition 4 or 5 6 ENGL 101, 102 Critical Writing and Multimodal Composition
English Lit & Composition 3 3 ENGL 101 Critical Reading & Writing
English Lit & Composition 4 or 5 6 ENGL 101 Critical Writing & LITR 111 Intro to Literature
Environmental Science 3 or higher 3 EASC 111 Environmental Earth
European History 3 or higher 3 HIST 102 Western Civilization II
French Language & Culture 3 8 FREN 101, 102 French I and II
French Language & Culture 4 or 5 8 FREN 201, 202 French III and IV
German Language & Culture 3 8 GERM 101, 102 German I and II
German Language & Culture 4 or 5 8 GERM 201, 202 German III and IV
Human Geography 3 or higher 3 GEOG 101 World Geography
Italian Language & Culture 3 8 ITAL 101, 102 Italian I and II
Italian Language & Culture 4 or 5 8 ITAL 201, 202 Italian III and IV
Macroeconomics 3 or higher 3 ECON 102 Principles of Macroeconomics
Microeconomics 3 or higher 3 ECON 101 Principles of Microeconomics
Music Theory 3 or higher 4 MUSI 110 Music Theory, Keyboard & Aural
Physics 1: Algebra-Based 3 or higher 5 PHYS 161 College Physics I
Physics 2: Algebra-Based 3 or higher 5 PHYS 162 College Physics II
Physics Test C: Elect & Magnt 3 or higher 4 PHYS 172 Electricity & Magnetism
Physics Test C: Mechanics 3 or higher 4 PHYS 171 Mechanics
Psychology 3 or higher 3 PSY 101 Introduction to Psychology
Spanish Language & Culture 3 8 SPAN 101, 102 Spanish I and II
Spanish Language & Culture 4 or 5 8 SPAN 201, 202 Spanish III and IV
Spanish Literature & Culture 3 or higher 3 General Elective
Statistics 3 or higher 4 MATH 141 Introduction to Statistics
Studio Art: 2-D Design 3 or higher 3 ART 102 Two-Dimensional Design
Studio Art: 3-D Design 3 or higher 3 ART 103 3-D Design
Studio Art: Drawing 3 or higher 3 ART 104 Basic Drawing
US History 3 or higher 6 HIST 135, 136 US History I and II
US Government & Politics 3 or higher 3 POS 101 American Government & Politics
World History 3 or higher 6 General Elective
Capstone Research 3 or higher 3 Credits based on research topic
Capstone Seminar 3 or higher 3 Credits based on seminar topic
Alternative Credit (College Level Examination Program)

College Level Examination Program (CLEP) Program Credits

Heartland Community College accepts a full range of College Level Examination Program (CLEP) exams which measure mastery of introductory college-level subjects.

In order to receive credit the student must request an official copy of exam scores to be sent directly from the College Board to HCC. Credit will be awarded as indicated below.

CLEP Examination Score Credit Granted HCC Course
Composition & Literature
College Composition 50 3 ENGL 101 Composition I
Analyzing & Interpreting Lit 50 3 ENGL 111 Introduction to Literature
Humanities 50 3 HUMA 101 Intro to Humanities
Languages
French Language Level 1 50 8 FREN 101 and 102 French I and II
German Language Level 1 50 8 GERM 101 and 102 German I and II
Spanish Language Level 1 50 8 SPAN 101 and 102 - Spanish I and II
French Language Level 2 65 8 FREN 201 and 202 French III and IV
German Language Level 2 65 8 GERM 201 and 202 German III and IV
Spanish Language Level 2 65 8 SPAN 201 and 202 Spanish III and IV
Science and Math
Biology 56 4 BIOL 161 Principles of Biology I
Chemistry 52 5 CHEM 161 General Chemistry I
College Algebra 50 4 MATH 109 College Algebra
College Mathematics 50 3 MATH 131 Explorations in Mathematics
Calculus 50 4 MATH 161 Calculus I
Social Science and History
*Introductory Psychology 60 3 PSY 101 Introduction to Psychology
*Introductory Sociology 60 3 SOC 101 Sociology
**Western Civilization I 56 3 HIST 101 Western Civilization to 1500
**Western Civilization II 56 3 HIST 102 Western Civilization Since 1500
General Exams
Humanities 56 6 3 credits Fine Arts and 3 credits Humanities
Social Science/History 56 6 3 credits of Social Science and 3 credits of History
Natural Science 65 6 3 credits of Biological Science and 3 credits of Physical Science

*Students can receive credit for PSY 101 OR SOC 101 (credit will not be awarded for both courses)

**Students can receive credit for HIST 101 OR 102 (credit will not be awarded for both courses)

Alternative Credit (International Baccalaureate)

International Baccalaureate (IB) Program Credits

Heartland Community College recognizes the International Baccalaureate (IB) standard level (SL) and/or higher level (HL) examinations.  Official IB transcripts must be sent directly to HCC before credit will be granted.  Students will be awarded credit as indicated below.

 

 

IB Examination

 

Score

Credit Granted

 

HCC Course

Arts

 

 

 

Dance

4 or higher

3

General Elective

Film

4 or higher

3

FILM 101 Introduction to Film Studies

Music

4 or higher

3

General Elective

Theater

4 or higher

3

THEA 101 Introduction to Theater

Visual Arts

4 or higher

3

ART 150 Understanding Art

 

 

 

 

Individuals and Societies

 

 

 

Anthropology (HL and SL)

4 or higher

3

ANTH 101 Intro to Cultural Anthropology

Bus Management (HL and SL)

4 or higher

3

BUSN 110 Introduction to Business

Economics (HL and SL)

4 or higher

3

ECON 102 Principles of Macroeconomics

Geography (HL and SL)

4 or higher

3

GEOG 101 World Geography

Global Politics (HL and SL)

4 or higher

3

POS 151 International Relations

History (HL and SL)

4 or higher

3

General Elective

Information Tech (HL and SL)

---

---

No credit granted

Philosophy (HL)

4 or higher

3

PHIL 101 Introduction to Philosophy

Philosophy (SL)

4 or higher

3

PHIL 111 Logic

Psychology (HL and SL)

4 or higher

3

PSY 101 Introduction to Psychology

World Religions (HL and SL)

4 or higher

3

RELI 215 Major World Religions

 

 

 

 

Language Acquisition

 

 

 

Classical (HL and SL)

4 or higher

3

General Elective

Language B/Beginning (HL and SL)

4 or higher

3

General Elective

Language AB/Advanced (HL and SL)

4 or higher

3

General Elective

 

 

 

 

Language and Literature

 

 

 

Language A (HL and SL)

4 or higher

3

ENGL 101Critical Reading and Writing

Literature B (HL and SL)

4 or higher

3

LITR 111 Introduction to Literature

Literature & Performance

4 or higher

3

LITR 111 Introduction to Literature

 

 

 

 

Mathematics

 

 

 

Mathematical Studies (SL)

4 or higher

3

MATH 131 Explorations in Math

Mathematics (HL and SL)

4 or higher

3

MATH 131 Explorations in Math

Further Mathematics (HL)

4 or higher

3

MATH 131 Explorations in Math

 

 

 

 

Sciences

 

 

 

Biology (HL)

4 – 5

4

BIOL 114 Contemporary Biology

Biology (HL)

6 – 7

4

BIOL 161 Principles of Biology I

Biology (SL)

4 or higher

4

BIOL 114 Contemporary Biology

Chemistry (HL)

4 or higher

4

CHEM 120 Fundamentals of Chemistry

Chemistry (SL)

4 or higher

4

General Elective

Environ Systems (HL and SL)

4 or higher

3

General Elective

Physics (HL and SL)

4 or higher

3

PHYS 110 Physics in Everyday Life

Alternative Credit (Military, Prior Learning, & Illinois Seal of Biliteracy)

Military Credit: The College follows the recommendations of the American Council on Education (ACE) when granting credit for military training.  Veterans may also be granted six (6) semester hours of military credit for the DD214 for one (1) year of active duty.

Prior Learning Credit: The College reserves the right to award credit for prior learning experiences on a case by case basis.

You may also receive college credit for the first two semesters of foreign language upon completion of the Illinois State Seal of Biliteracy by submitting the the proper form within three years of high school graduation. 

Assessment of Basic Skills

To increase the likelihood of student success, HCC requires basic skills testing for new students. Basic skills assessments in writing/reading and mathematics are used to determine appropriate placement into HCC courses. Completing assessment is required prior to meeting with an advisor. For students who have previous college coursework, assessment requirements will be determined after a review of the student's transcripts. Students may be eligible to bypass assessment. Please check this webpage for qualify criteria.

Students with special testing needs regarding the basic skills assessment process should contact Disability Support Services prior to taking the assessment.

For more information regarding the Testing Center, please visit https://www.heartland.edu/testing/index.html.
Attendance

Since satisfactory progress is important to college success, all students are expected to attend classes regularly and promptly. The specific attendance policy of any course is outlined in the syllabus. Specific attendance requirements may exist in certain courses or programs, or for students receiving special services.

Students who are absent from a class or laboratory period are held responsible for material and work they may have missed by their absence or tardiness. Instructors are not required to accept late work or allow make-up testing. If accepted, such work may receive a lower grade. However, the college must also meet the supporting academic success of pregnant and parenting student guidelines. (Also, please see related policy regarding College Sponsored Events)

Illinois Community College Board Guidelines

At midterm, the instructor is required to certify students’ attendance according to the requirements of the Illinois Community College Board. At midterm, or at any other time during the semester until the close of business on the last day to withdraw, an instructor may administratively withdraw a student whose pattern of absence causes the instructor to seriously question the intent of the student to further pursue the course or to complete the course with a passing grade.

Auditing a Class

Students may register to audit a course for no credit or grade.  This is most often done when a student wants to gain an understanding of the content covered, but does not need the course as a program requirement.  Auditing a course allows the student to participate in a course without the pressure of tests, papers and other course assignments.  The student will pay full tuition and fees when enrolled in an audit. You must see an advisor to enroll as an audit. Once class has begun you cannot change to “credit”.

Students must declare their intent to audit a course at the time of registration with an advisor.  Students may not change from credit status to audit status or from audit status to credit status.  A grade of “U” will appear on the transcript.  Please check with financial aid before enrolling in a course for audit.

College-Sponsored Events

This policy reflects the rights and responsibilities of impacted parties when participation in College-sponsored events conflicts with classroom attendance to ensure that students participating in College-sponsored events have the opportunity to be evaluated on course material and are not penalized for their absence from the classroom.

The heart of learning and academic success takes place in the classroom, and as such, classroom attendance and participation is vital to student success. Therefore, every student at Heartland Community College (HCC) must make classroom attendance a priority.

HCC is also committed to promoting and supporting co-curricular engagement and success by its students, in large part because co-curricular success can work to strengthen classroom and academic success.

Because there are times when college-sanctioned participation in co-curricular events may conflict with classroom attendance, HCC has established the following policies outlined below.

Student Participants will:

  1. Remain mindful that they are representatives of HCC and thus, academics is their primary responsibility. As such, students will remain diligent in their focus on success in the classroom which enables their participation as HCC representatives outside the classroom.
  2. Inform instructors at the beginning of the semester of their affiliation with a student organization and of scheduled absences through a formal letter from the organization they will be representing.
  3. Inform instructors of specific classroom absences two weeks in advance, or if that is not possible, as soon as the absence is known.
  4. Realize that absence is not an excuse for late work. Students should request from their instructor the opportunity to complete evaluated coursework and exams prior to the College-sanctioned event which will cause their absence, and take responsibility to make up any work that has been missed by adhering to the instructor’s policies regarding making up missed coursework.
  5. In the event of a disagreement regarding the Instructor’s policy, the student will discuss it first with the instructor, and if no resolution can be achieved, the student will proceed through the Student Appeals process as outlined in the Student Handbook.

Student Organizations with activities resulting in classroom absence will:

  1. Make every reasonable effort to minimize conflicts between activity scheduling and student classroom attendance (e.g., avoid scheduling events on the same days and times) and give primary attention to the fact that excessive absences lead to missed learning opportunities and may result in lower grades.
  2. Communicate to students that their first responsibility is that of a student and that they are responsible for the completion of all coursework in their classes. As such, student organization leaders should encourage students to excuse themselves from participation in events if the student or the organization leader feels the student’s academic performance is suffering.
  3. Provide updated formal documentation of the schedule for the season (including campus departure times) to students as soon as it is available, and maintain an updated version on the College’s shared drive for access by all instructional staff.
  4. Inform student participants of their responsibility to notify instructors regarding impending absences two weeks in advance, or if that is not possible, as soon as the absence is known.
  5. Refer the student with a concern to the Division Dean.
  6. Refrain from contacting any instructor directly when a disagreement occurs in an attempt to intercede on the student’s behalf.

Academic Advisors will:

  1. Make every effort to avoid schedule conflicts for student participants during the course selection process.
  2. Actively dissuade student-participants from enrolling in classes that present them with such conflicts.
  3. Advise students regarding their participation in co-curricular events based on their academic performance.

Instructors will:

  1. Afford student participants who are absent from class due to College-sanctioned events the opportunity to make up and be evaluated on any missed coursework or exams that were assigned a point value.
  2. Not penalize student participants who are absent from class due to College-sanctioned events.
  3. Provide reasonable accommodations to ensure student participants have an opportunity for classroom evaluations assigned a point value.
  4. Notify their supervisor in the rare case when no reasonable accommodation can be made within the classroom (e.g., science lab that cannot be replicated; nursing clinicals required by accrediting bodies, etc.). If the Division Administrator deems no reasonable accommodation can be made, the instructor will notify the student and the Division Administrator will notify the Vice President of Instruction.

Examples of reasonable accommodations include: A) Advanced make-up of an assignment or exam; B) Attending an alternative class session to participate in a classroom activity; C) Providing an alternative assessment and evaluation.

Examples of unacceptable accommodations include: D) Requiring that missed evaluations be counted as a low grade to be dropped; E) Requiring that missed exam points be added to a future exam; F) Denying the student the opportunity to make up missed points.

The Vice President of Learning and Student Success will:

  1. Determine what constitutes a college-sanctioned event, in consultation with the Chair of the College’s Curriculum and Academic Standards Committee.
  2. Act as the arbiter when all avenues to resolve conflicts have been exhausted.

Current Activities and Groups that are college-sponsored include:

Athletics - Team members of Baseball, Softball, Men’s & Women’s Soccer for athletic contests

Clubs & Organization Officers - Illinois Community College Student Activities Association Student Leadership Conference

Phi Theta Kappa Officers - State wide conference & national conference

Student Government Association President - Attendance at quarterly Illinois Board of Higher Education - Student Advisory Committee Meetings

Student Government Association (SGA) and Heartland Activities Committee (HAC) Officers - Illinois Community College Student Activities Association Student Leadership Conference

SGA, HAC, and Clubs & Organization Officers (possibly some general students) - Illinois Community College Board - Student Advocacy Day (Lobbying Day) in Springfield

Student Trustee - Attendance at quarterly Illinois Community College Trustee Association - Student Advisory Committee Meetings Attendance at annual Student Trustee Leadership Training Workshop

This policy was formulated after an extensive review of student attendance policies, including those at Dyersburg State Community College, Illinois Central College, Illinois State University, Illinois Wesleyan University, Lakeland Community College, Moraine Valley Community College, Parkland College, Rock Valley Community College, Tallahassee Community College.
Commencement

A commencement ceremony is conducted once a year at the end of the spring semester.  Fall and summer graduates are eligible and encouraged to participate.  Information regarding the ceremony will be sent to students to their Heartland email early in the spring semester.  Students interested in participating in the commencement ceremony must submit an application for graduation through their IRIS account.  Instructions for applying for graduation can be found online at https://www.heartland.edu/graduation/apply.html.

For additional questions regarding the graduation and the ceremony, contact the Records Office at Records@heartland.edu

Credit - Change in Hours

Credit Change and Graduation Requirements

As career and technical programs change to meet employment demands, there are times when courses decrease in credit value.  The result may be that students meet all course requirements but fall short of the total credits required of an earlier catalog.  In these situations one of the following options will be implemented to reach program completion.

Utilize a more recent catalog in which the lower credit value is applicable (substitutions may be necessary).

Apply any additional credit hours that have not yet been applied to the program requirements to reach the total credits required to satisfy program requirements.

If the above options are not feasible and the student has met all course requirements for the program, the total credits required for the program may be decreased, provided a minimum of 60 credits have been completed.

Credit-No Credit Options

The purpose of the credit/no credit option is to encourage students to explore courses without concern for the letter grade assigned to the course. Students must declare their intent for the credit/no credit option at the time of registration with an advisor.

The following requirements apply to the credit/no credit option:

  • Students may take up to 25% of their course work on a credit/no credit basis.
  • Credit/no credit status cannot be changed after the end of the full refund period (the first 10 days of a 16-week class and prorated for shorter sessions).
  • Students may not register for the credit/no credit option if they are not in good standing.
  • Students must earn the equivalent of a grade of C or better to earn a CR grade.
  • Students should be aware that some courses are only offered on a credit/no credit basis.
Please be aware that some colleges and universities may not accept courses completed under the credit/no credit option.
Dean's List

Full-Time Student Dean’s List

At the end of each fall and spring semester a Full-Time Student Dean’s List is published naming those students enrolled in twelve semester hours or more during the preceding semester who earned at least a 3.5 GPA.

Part-Time Student Dean’s List

At the end of each fall and spring semester a Part-Time Student Dean’s List is published naming those students enrolled in six to eleven semester hours during the preceding semester who earned at least a 3.5 GPA. 

Equal Opportunity Statement

The College provides equal educational opportunities to all students and equal employment opportunities to all employees and applicants for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, gender, sexual orientation, national origin, age, disability, marital status, status as a veteran, or any other protected status under federal, state or local laws. This policy applies to all terms and conditions of enrollment and employment.

Heartland Community College expressly prohibits any form of harassment in the learning and working environment, including but not limited to, sexual harassment and harassment based on any status or condition protected by applicable law, rule or regulation. The College prohibits discrimination based on any such protected status and shall maintain compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, the Violence Against Women Act of 1994, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967, the Illinois Human Rights Act, and all other laws, rules and regulations that apply to College operations.

To the extent that there are conflicts between the terms of any College policy and applicable law, such applicable law shall be controlling. Whenever a specific external law, rule or regulation is referenced in these policies, such reference shall be to the most recent enacted and amended version of such law, rule or regulation.

Final Exam Policy

Dates and times for final exams held during finals week are available through IRIS by clicking “Exam Schedule” from the “Other Academics” drop down menu.

The following classes will have final exams on the last day of class:

  • Classes meeting only on Friday
  • Classes meeting only on Saturday
  • Classes ending earlier in the semester

If a student has three or more final examinations scheduled for the same day, the student is required to take two exams that are scheduled for that day and to make arrangements with the other instructor(s) to reschedule the other final examination(s). The student must notify the instructor(s) about such conflicts by the withdrawal deadline of the affected class(es).

Grades

Midterm and final grades will be available to students online at my.Heartland through the IRIS tab. Once in IRIS, the student should click on the following links to view midterm and final grades:

Self Service > Student Center > Other Academics > Grades

The student should click on the radio button for the desired semester and career (i.e. fall 2015 undergraduate). If a student does not have Internet access, a copy of the grade report may be obtained in person by visiting Enrollment Services in Normal, Lincoln or Pontiac. Grade reports will be mailed only to the student’s address on file if requested over the phone.

The Heartland Community College grading philosophy grows out of our vision of educational excellence. This common philosophy provides a framework for each academic division and instructor as they establish their own individual course grading system, evaluation methods and course policies using the shared general rubrics for letter grades given below.

Letter grades serve as a vehicle to promote meaningful evaluation of student achievement, to inform students of academic progress, and, as necessary, to improve student performance, habits, and practices. Using a letter grade as a prerequisite for subsequent courses means we believe that the grade was assigned through a conscious judgment about a student’s readiness to proceed to more advanced study.

At Heartland, students’ academic achievement is measured by their mastery of course objectives and content. We challenge students to meet these recognized standards of achievement and we assign grades based on their success in doing so. Simply stated, we believe that the responsibility for academic achievement rests with the student and that holding students responsible for their learning promotes their academic growth.

A (4.0)

This grade represents consistently outstanding performance that demonstrates superior understanding and skillful use of important course concepts. Performance at this level signifies that the student is extremely well prepared to continue with more advanced study of the subject.

B (3.0)

This grade represents performance significantly beyond the level necessary to achieve the course objectives. Work is of high quality but not consistently at an outstanding level. Performance at this level signifies that the student is well prepared to continue with more advanced study of the subject.

C (2.0)

This grade represents an acceptable achievement of the course objectives. Performance at this level signifies that the student is reasonably well prepared to continue with more advanced study of the subject.

D (1.0)

This grade represents less than adequate performance. It signifies questionable readiness to proceed with more advanced study of the subject.

F (0.0)

This grade reflects unacceptable performance. The student is not yet ready to proceed with more advanced study of the subject, and must repeat the course successfully to receive credit

Grade point averages (GPA) are used to determine the academic standing of a student, as well as to award honors. The number of grade points earned in a given course is calculated by multiplying the number of points assigned to the specific letter grade earned in the class by the number of semester hours the course carries. Thus, a grade of B (3.00 grade points) in a course which carries 4 semester credit hours would earn a student 12 (3 x 4) grade points.

A student’s GPA for a semester is computed by dividing the total number of grade points earned by the total number of semester hours completed (indicated as GPA Units on the transcript) with the exclusion of developmental education courses. The division is carried out three places to the right of the decimal point and rounded off to two places.

GPAs are calculated at the conclusion of each semester. Courses with grades of I, W, U, R, P, CR, NC, #, NR, NP, X and * are not considered part of the total hours completed for purposes of determining a student’s GPA, but these grades are recorded on the student’s academic record.

GPAs only average the grades given for Heartland Community College courses numbered 100 level or above. A semester GPA represents the average for one semester; a cumulative GPA reflects the average of courses taken throughout a student’s academic career at HCC.

Graduation Requirements

All of HCC's degree and certificate program requirements are outlined in the college catalog. Students must meet the program requirements of the catalog in effect at the time of their acceptance to the program. If they do not enroll for three semesters or more (including summer), they must submit a new application to the College, and they will be held to the program requirements of the catalog in effect at the time of their return. There may be situations in which a different catalog may be more appropriate for determining graduation. For these cases, students will need to submit their request to change degree requirements in writing to the Dean of Enrollment Services.

The College confers degrees and certificates at the end of each semester. Students must complete the online graduation application prior to the deadline listed below for the semester in which they are planning to complete their program.

Program Completion Semester Deadline to Submit Graduation Application
Fall semester December 18
Spring semester (May)   Participating in the ceremony  April 1
Spring semester (May)   Not participating in the ceremony  May 22
Summer semester (July)   Participating in the ceremony  April 1
Summer semester (July)   Not participating in the ceremony  August 7

The following are the steps to complete the application for graduation.

  • Go to myHeartland
  • Log in with your log-in name and password
  • Click on the IRIS tab
  • Go to My Academics
  • Select Apply for Graduation from the drop down menu and enter the required information

Multiple Degrees/Certificates

Students may earn multiple degrees and certificates at Heartland Community College.  Students interested in completing programs must:

  1. Declare any additional programs degree by submitting a new college application.
  2. Complete all course requirements for each degree and/or certificate.
  3. Students looking to earn more than one transfer associate degree must complete an additional 15 credit hours at Heartland Community College beyond the first degree.
  4. Submit an application for graduation for each degree and/or certificate.
Incomplete Grades

An incomplete grade may be given to a student who, by the withdrawal date, can reasonably be expected to pass the course. Incompletes may be granted only when justified by extreme circumstances (e.g. serious illness, accident, death or serious illness in the immediate family). Incomplete grades are not given for such reasons as unjustified failure to appear for the final examination.

A written agreement, outlining the requirements to be met must be signed by the instructor and the student. The agreed upon requirements must be completed no later than the end of the following semester (excluding summer semesters). If the work is completed by the agreed upon date, the instructor will assign a grade by submitting the grade change form; if the work is not completed, the “I” grade will be changed to an “F” grade

Informed Consent

A student gives written permission on the appropriate consent form and acknowledges by that action that the student’s written assignments or projects in HCC courses may be used by faculty members for teaching and/or for research purposes. Such use might consist of, but is not limited to, inclusion of the student’s work, in whole or in part, in research studies which are published, either in print or electronic media, for an academic audience, or distribution to other classes, again either in print or electronically, for use in class discussion or as models to illustrate possible approaches to course topics. When reproducing student work, the College will preserve the student’s anonymity.

Guidelines on Preparing an Informed Consent

The informed consent should include the following information:

  • A description of the research project and the expected duration
  • Information regarding the conditions of the subject’s participation in the study
  • A description of the proposed research procedures
  • A statement concerning the expected benefits of the study
  • A statement describing any possible risks and discomforts the subject may experience
  • A description of how confidentiality will be maintained
  • Contact information about the researcher
  • Participant signature.
Maximum Course Load

The recommended maximum number of semester hours for a student during an academic semester is: 18 hours for a 16-week term; 9 hours for a summer term; 8 hours for dual enrollment.

Enrolling in more than the maximum load requires approval from the Director of Enrollment Services. Granting of this request will depend on the student’s academic record. Caution is advised for students concurrently enrolled at other institutions, to adhere to the maximum load policy.
Optional Disclosure of Private Mental Health Information

In accordance with the Student Optional Disclosure of Private Mental Health Act at: http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/publicacts/fulltext.asp?Name=099-0278&GA=99.  This Act states that an institution of higher learning may disclose mental health information if a physician, clinical psychologist, or qualified examiner makes a determination that the student poses a clear danger to himself, herself, or others.

What Information Will Be Disclosed?

Heartland Community College (HCC) is providing students the opportunity to authorize in writing the disclosure of certain private mental health information to a designated person of their choosing. 

This policy provides you with the option to designate a person to whom HCC may disclose certain private mental health information. HCC will contact the person of choice if HCC’s Student Counseling Services determines that:

  1. You pose a clear danger to yourself or to others.
  2. Protection is needed for you or another person from a clear, imminent risk of serious mental or physical injury, disease or death.

The physician, clinical psychologist, or qualified examiner shall, as soon as possible but no more than 24 hours after making the determination, attempt to contact the designated person and notify the designated person that the physician, clinical psychologist, or qualified examiner has made a determination that the student poses a clear, imminent danger to himself, herself, or others.

Student Authorization

You are not required to designate a person. Only do so if you desire. Should you choose to designate a contact person, it can be anyone over the age of 18 (e.g., parent, sibling, friend, etc.). Students shall be given the option to rescind their authorization at any time and may also change their designated person at any time by using the form from he Records Office (CCB 1600).

The form can be completed from this link:  https://www.heartland.edu/consumerInfo/healthInformationDisclosure.html

Please note that HCC reserves the right to contact your parent, legal guardian, spouse and/or other emergency contact as required or permitted by law.
Privacy of Educational Records

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, also known as FERPA, is federal law that protects the privacy of your education records.  FERPA applies to all schools that receive funds under the U.S. Department of Education.

Current and former students are granted the following rights under FERPA:

  1. The right to inspect and review your education record
  2. The right to have control over the disclosure of information from your education record
  3. The right to seek to amend incorrect education records
  4. The right to file a complaint with the US Department of Education

Educational records are records that are directly related to a student and maintained by the College.  You must provide written consent before the College will release protected information. The following, though not limited to, are examples of educational records: transcripts, course schedule, grade point average, and HCC ID number.

If you wish to view your education records, you must submit a signed letter to the Records Office (CCB 1600).  The College must respond to the request within 45 days.

FERPA allows schools to release, at their discretion, information that is generally not considered to be harmful or an invasion of privacy if released without prior consent from students.  Heartland Community College identifies the following as directory information:

  • Name and address
  • Telephone number
  • Dates of attendance
  • Degree, honors, and certificates received or anticipated
  • Major field of study
  • HCC email address
  • Weight and height of student athlete
  • Participation in officially recognized activities and sports
  • Institutions previously attended
  • Photograph of student athlete
  • Enrollment status

You may request that Directory Information not be released by submitting the “Prevent Release of Directory Information” form to the Records Office (CCB 1600).  The request remains in effect until the College receives written authorization to revoke the request.

FERPA guidelines indicate that rights transfer from the parent/guardian to the student once the student enrolls in a college course.  However, the College may disclose educational records to parents without written consent if you are a dependent for tax purposes (tax information must be submitted to the College).

Students are encouraged to visit the Records Office (CCB 1600) with questions regarding FERPA.  Additional information may be obtained at:

Please address complaints to:   

Family Policy Compliance Office

U.S. Department of Education

400 Maryland Avenue, SW

Washington, DC 20202-8520

Registered Sex Offenders

The College maintains an open enrollment philosophy and welcomes people from all backgrounds to the campus. There are instances when the past conduct of an individual and their rights must be balanced with the College’s responsibility to maintain a safe and secure environment for all persons on the campus. The safety and security of all persons, especially those who have not yet have reached the age of emancipation, is always at the forefront of the College’s actions, and specifically in this policy regarding a Registered Sex Offender (RSO) on the campus.

All students, faculty, staff and other visitors on campus, who are RSOs are hereby required to report their status as a RSO in such a manner as prescribed by the College President to insure compliance with Illinois law and be consistent with this policy.

In keeping with past practice of the College, and Illinois law, RSOs who either attend classes, participate in other community or public programs on the campus, or work at Heartland Community College or any of its satellite facilities, are required to submit a written request to attend classes or participate in other functions on campus. The request must be submitted in a timely manner before the class, event, or employment is scheduled to begin to allow adequate time for the College to review the request and make a determination on their ability to be on campus. The written request must be submitted for each semester or any time the RSO changes his /her classes or begins a new class or College program. RSO’s seeking to attend classes or attend public programs or other community events on campus must contact the Dean of Student Support Services to report their status.

Repeating a Course

Students may repeat any course regardless of the grade previously earned (including withdrawals).  Credit will only be granted once except for those courses with variable credit as noted in the course description in the catalog.  Only the highest grade earned for any repeated course will be calculated into the students’ grade point average (GPA).  Although the previous grade is not factored into the students’ GPA, all grades will appear on the students’ transcript.  A notation regarding the repeat will appear on the transcript. However, students may attempt to earn a better grade as many times as they wish.  Transferring students should be aware that other schools may calculate GPA differently.

Residency Requirements

Individuals are considered residents of Heartland District 540 if one of the following criteria is met for at least 30 days prior to the start of the academic term. Documentation of residency must be provided by the first date of the semester.

  • A graduate of a District 540 high school within the last year.
  • Residing with his/her parent or guardian within the District.
  • Emancipated minor, completely self-supporting and residing within the District.
  • Married and maintaining a family residence within the District.
  • Single and self-supporting as defined by the Federal Office of Education and maintains a residence within the District.
  • Residing outside the District, but working full-time within the District.
  • Residing outside the District, but is a dependent of a parent/guardian who commutes to work full-time within the District.
  • Residing outside the District, but pays property taxes on land within the District.

Valid documentation (issued and signed within 30 days prior to the start of the academic term), which is acceptable for verification of residency, includes:

  • High school transcript from a District 540 high school
  • Voter’s registration in District 540
  • Tax, utility or rent receipts in District 540
  • Driver’s license or vehicle registration showing a District 540 address
  • Bank account statement in District 540.
*These requirements do not apply to non-immigrant international students. For information on international student requirements, please see: www.heartland.edu/international/students/.
Student Right-to-Know Disclosure

As an institution participating in Title IV Higher Education Act programs, Heartland Community College is required by federal law to disclose graduation and transfer-out information in compliance with the Student Right-to-Know Act. Information on program completion and transfer to other institutions by Heartland students is available at: www.heartland.edu/consumerInfo/studentRightToKnow/

The College, in compliance with the Jeanne Clery Act, annually publishes its crime statistics and a summary of policies and programs in its Annual Security Report, which may be accessed at https://www.heartland.edu/studentLife/safety.html

In addition, the College makes available to the College community its annual College Violence Prevention Plan which may also be accessed at https://www.heartland.edu/studentLife/safety.html

Transfer from Other Colleges & Universities

Students who intend to transfer to Heartland must have official transcripts from another college or university sent to the Records Office at Heartland Community College. In order to assure the smoothest transfer possible, official transcripts should be evaluated before meeting with an HCC academic advisor. If the student cannot get an official transcript right away, they may submit an unofficial transcript at time of enrollment. An official transcript will be required after the first semester. Financial aid eligibility may also be impacted by previous success at other colleges and universities. Failure to provide official transcripts may block your enrollment in subsequent semesters.

Transfer to Other Colleges & Universities

Heartland Community College participates in a variety of transfer agreements and baccalaureate degree completion programs with several colleges and universities. For a complete list of Transfer Agreements visit www.heartland.edu/advisement/transfer/agreements.html.

Students who intend to transfer to a four-year institution should plan their first two years at HCC with an academic advisor in order to assure the smoothest transfer possible. Since graduation requirements vary among senior colleges and universities, students are encouraged to discuss their transfer plans early to ensure appropriate course selection.

It is the student’s responsibility to follow the recommendations of the institution to which he/she intends to transfer upon completion of study at HCC. Students preparing to transfer are advised to refer directly to the official catalog of the college or university they plan to attend and meet that institution’s requirements and recommendations for a selected area of concentration. Transfer resources can be found at www.iTransfer.org as well as https://www.transferology.com/index.htm

Withdrawals

When the student withdraws or the College removes the student from a course or courses after the refund date, that transaction is recorded as a withdrawal and the student will need to pay the tuition due for the class.  A withdrawal will result in a recorded W grade on the student transcript. Note: removal from a course or courses for disciplinary reasons may result in a recorded F grade on the student transcript. (Please also see the Refund Requests after the Refund Deadline policy.)

Student Initiated

The decision to withdraw from one course or from all courses should be made in consultation with an academic advisor, classroom faculty and/or a Financial Aid staff member (if applicable). Stopping payment on a tuition check or terminating a payment plan will NOT automatically cancel a registration. Students are responsible for understanding that a withdrawal may result in loss of financial aid and that failing to properly withdraw from a class may result in receiving a failing grade of F for that class.

A student may withdraw at any time until the published withdrawal deadline. Deadlines are published on the HCC website. Deadlines vary based on the start and end date of each class.

It is the student’s responsibility to officially withdraw from a course or from the College. Students may withdraw online through my.Heartland by accessing IRIS or in person with an advisor. If using IRIS to withdraw, the student should retain a copy of the successful transaction. If circumstances prevent the student from coming to the College or using IRIS, withdrawal may be completed by mail. The College does not accept withdrawal requests made by telephone, so students should visit Advisement (CCB 1000) if they need assistance.

Faculty/Administrative Initiated

At midterm, the instructor is required to certify students’ attendance according to the requirements of the Illinois Community College Board. At midterm, or at any other time during the semester until the close of business on the last day to withdraw, an instructor may administratively withdraw a student whose pattern of absence causes the instructor to seriously question the intent of the student to further pursue the course or to complete the course with a passing grade.

A student also may be withdrawn from a class by administrative action as a result of emergency or disciplinary procedures under the provisions of Board policy on Students’ Rights and Responsibilities. Students have the right to appeal either a faculty or administrative withdrawal through the Student Dispute and Appeal process.

Withdrawls - Medical

If the refund deadline has passed, a student may request a refund, dropped charges or credit due to extenuating or emergency circumstances. Extenuating or emergency circumstances include a medical situation. Students should contact the Dean of Enrollment Services immediately after the situation. Students must seek resolution regarding any non-course-related issues within 30 business days of the end of the semester in which the dispute occurs.

To be considered for a refund of tuition after the refund date, a letter or email request must be written by the student and submitted to the Dean of Enrollment Services. The request should include the rationale and evidence as to why the College should approve the refund request. Each request will require a brief meeting with the Dean of Enrollment Services. 

In cases of medical withdrawal, a medical professional should provide evidence that the medical condition impaired the student from being successful in the given semester. Medical withdrawals maybe requested for all or part of one’s academic load.   

(This information is also cross listed in the Refund Requests After the Refund Deadline policy in the Financial section of the Student Handbook).

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