Jul 18, 2018  
College Catalog & Student Handbook 2017-18 
College Catalog & Student Handbook 2017-18 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Academic Policies

Student Classification

Freshman: A student who has earned fewer than 24 semester hours of credit.

Sophomore: A student who has earned at least 24 semester hours of credit.

Full-time: A student who is registered for 8 or more semester hours of credit.

Part-time: A student who is registered for fewer than 8 semester hours of credit.

Unit of Credit

Credits are issued in semester hours and meet or exceed requirements set by the Iowa Department of Education for minimum instructional time per credit. An average credit hour load is 10-12 semester hours per term.

Course Load

Full-time: 8 semester hours or more each term

Part-time: Fewer than 8 semester hours each term

3/4-time: 6 to 7 semester hours each term

1/2-time: 4 to 5 semester hours each term

Students may not carry a course load of more than 15 semester hours in any term without permission of the appropriate instructional dean.

Grading Symbols

A = 4.0
B = 3.0
C = 2.0
D = 1.0
F = 0.0/Failure
I = Incomplete
J = Grade reported next term
L = Credit for prior education
M = High school articulation credit
N = Audit, no credit
O = Academic Renewal
P = Pass
R = Repeated - no credit (Prior to Fall 1998)
T = Credit by examination
V = Withdrawal to military
W = Withdrawal
X = Course repeated - no credit

All indicated prerequisites must be successfully completed with a passing grade to satisfy course requirements.

Incomplete Grades

Students who are unable to complete assigned work in a course may be given a grade of “I” (incomplete). Students must complete the assigned work as soon as possible (at the discretion of the instructor/department chair), but no later than six weeks into the following term. Grades for courses left with an “I” past the six-week completion period will automatically convert to “F”.

Appeal of Final Grade

Indian Hills Community College students are responsible for maintaining standards of academic performance established by the instructor for each course in which they are enrolled. A student may appeal a final course grade that he/she feels is inaccurate or unwarranted. The final grade appeal process is recognized as the appropriate method students may utilize to appeal a disputed grade. The final grade appeal process should begin as soon as possible following the date of issue of final grades, and in any case, no later than 10 regular academic days into the next college term following the enrollment period for which the challenged grade was issued. (The college “term” is defined as fall, winter, spring, summer one, summer two, or full summer)

Indian Hills Community College will provide students the appropriate due process in disputing final grades. All grades submitted by faculty are considered final and a part of a student’s permanent academic record. Indian Hills Community College believes it is the student’s responsibility to review and understand the final grades on their permanent academic record. Indian Hills Community College provides students access to final grades and their permanent academic record. Students who do not initiate the appeal of final grades within 10 regular academic days forfeit the right to appeal a final grade, and the grade on the permanent academic record is final.

Grade Appeal Process
  1. The student shall confer with the instructor who issued the challenged grade to ascertain and/or reaffirm the method for grade determination. If the matter is not resolved at this point, the student may proceed to step 2.
  2. The student shall confer with the appropriate program director or department chair. The program director or department chair shall confer with the instructor and the student, and the program director or department chair shall render an opinion to the student.
  3. If unsatisfied with the opinion of the program director or department chair, the student may confer with the Academic Dean. It is understood that the Academic Dean will initiate a closed meeting between the student and instructor, and act in a mediating role to ensure that no misunderstanding exists regarding the grading policy of the instructor. If the matter is not resolved at this point, the student may initiate a final grade appeal to be reviewed by the Academic Standards Committee. The final grade appeal reviewed by the Academic Standards Committee must be initiated by the student no later than 15 regular academic days into the next college term following the enrollment period for which the challenged grade was issued.  (The college “term” is defined as fall, winter, spring, summer one, summer two, or full summer)
  4. The student wishing to complete a final grade appeal hearing before the Academic Standards Committee must submit in writing and must fully state the basis for the grade challenged, identifying the reason or reasons the student feels the grade is unwarranted.  The written appeal shall be filed by the student with the Executive Dean of Student Services within 15 regular academic days into the next college term. The written appeal should be completed in the form of a standard business letter, identify the course name and the faculty member teaching the course. The appeal letter must document the rationale for the appeal, and include appropriate facts related the final grade being appealed. 
  5. The Executive Dean of Student Services shall present the student’s written appeal to the chairperson of the Academic Standards Committee. The written appeal shall be sent electronically to the chairperson who will set a hearing date in the consultation with other members of the Academic Standards Committee. The chairperson will have 5 regular academic days to identify the appropriate meeting date, time, and location of the hearing. The chairperson of the Academic Standards Committee will communicate in writing the date of the hearing to the student and faculty member involved in the final grade dispute.
  6. At least 5 regular academic days of notice must be given to the parties affected to insure an opportunity to prepare for the hearing. The Academic Standards Committee hearing shall be held in closed session unless the student requests in writing to the Chair of the Academic Standards Committee that it be open. The open session must be requested 2 regular academic days prior to the hearing.
  7. During the hearing, both the student making the appeal and the instructor who issued the challenged grade shall be given the opportunity to testify and present evidence and/or witnesses. Each shall have the opportunity to hear and question adverse witnesses.
  8. The Academic Standards Committee decision shall be based solely on the evidence introduced at the hearing. The student bares the burden of proving that there are sufficient grounds to change the grade.
  9. After hearing the appeal, the Academic Standards Committee shall have up to 2 regular academic days to decide either to reject the appeal or to uphold it. The Office of the Executive Dean of Student Services will be notified of the decision and rationale for the decision in writing by the Academic Standards Committee chairperson. The Executive Dean of Student Services shall in turn notify in writing the student and the instructor who issued the challenged grade. Should the appeal be granted, the committee chairperson and the instructor shall re-examine the student’s course work and recommend in writing appropriate steps to rectify the disputed grade. The decision of the Academic Standards Committee is final.
  10. A student who wishes to pursue the grade appeal beyond the jurisdiction of the Academic Standards Committee may submit a written appeal within five (5) days through the Executive Dean of Student Services to the Vice President of Academic Affairs, who will review all facts and determine if the student’s due process rights were protected.

Pass/Fail Course Grading Policy

Indian Hills Community College offers a limited number of courses that can be taken on a Pass/Fail basis. In order for a course to be considered specifically for Pass/Fail grading, it must be designated as a Pass/Fail through curriculum action and noted in the course description in the college catalog. 

The grade award for Pass/Fail courses shall be:
     P = Pass
     F = Fail

Credits earned through course work as P-Pass shall count toward the total number of credits earned by the student while enrolled at Indian Hills Community College. However, no numerical value is assigned to a P-Pass grade. P-Pass course grades are not used in calculating the student’s term or cumulative grade point average. 

Transfer Credit

Indian Hills accepts credits from other regionally-accredited, post-secondary institutions and will apply these credits, when appropriate, toward requirements of the program in which the student is enrolled. Acceptance of credit by Indian Hills does not guarantee acceptance at other colleges. Indian Hills does not accept as transfer credit courses for which a grade of “D” or less (or equivalent) was earned. Courses will be evaluated by the Registrar for final determination as to transferability of credit.

Students transferring from a technical education program to the Arts and Sciences Program may transfer up to 16 semester hours of technical education credit. These credits will be applied toward the elective requirements for the student’s particular major. Contact an academic advisor to find out how your credits transfer.

Students earning Arts and Sciences transfer credit in international programs will have their credits processed in accordance with the IHCC International Students Policy. Contact the Registrar for additional information.

Audit Policy

Students may be allowed to audit certain courses. Students who audit will not be held responsible for lesson assignments or tests and will not receive credit for the course.

A student should indicate a course is being audited during registration. Tuition for courses audited is charged at the normal credit hour rate. Registration for a course may be changed from audit to credit or from credit to audit anytime prior to midterm with permission from the instructor.

Repeat Policy

Students may repeat a course in order to earn a higher grade. Requests to repeat any course require approval from the appropriate department. The lowest grade earned will then be replaced with an “X”. Permission to repeat courses in which a grade of “C” or higher was earned will be granted on a course-by-course basis and will require permission from the appropriate Dean(s) and from the Registrar.

Students wishing to take advantage of this policy must file a “Notification of Intent to Repeat Courses” form in the Registrar’s office. This form must list each course the student wishes to repeat. The highest grade earned in a repeated course will be calculated in the student’s cumulative GPA (The “X” carries no credit, nor does it affect a student’s grade point average). Students who withdraw from courses they are repeating will retain their original grades.

Academic Renewal Policy

Students may request permission to remove one entire academic term from future degree and GPA considerations.

To be eligible for academic renewal consideration, students must be currently enrolled at Indian Hills Community College.

Academic Renewal is based on the following conditions:

  1. Renewal may be applied to only one academic term.
  2. ALL courses and credits that were taken during the chosen term will be removed from consideration for GPA and degree requirements. Students MAY NOT combine courses from multiple terms to comprise the term dropped.
  3. If the student has been previously awarded a degree or diploma, the chosen term MUST be after the term in which the degree or diploma was awarded.
  4. All courses for the chosen term will remain on the student’s academic record. Grades for those courses will be changed to the “O”. [Note: Courses marked with a grade of “O” do not meet graduation requirements in any program at Indian Hills Community College.]
  5. A student may be granted only ONE academic renewal.
  6. All other IHCC academic rules, policies and requirements apply.

Students should begin the renewal process by discussing their desire to pursue academic renewal with a counselor or advisor in the program in which they are currently enrolled. Students must submit a properly completed Administrative Appeal form to the Registrar’s office.

Examinations for Credit

Indian Hills will accept for credit appropriate test scores from the College Level Examination Program (CLEP). A maximum of 16 semester hours earned through the CLEP Program may be applied to the associate degree requirement.

Complete CLEP rules, guidelines, subject matter examinations and test fees are available from the IHCC Testing Centers on the Ottumwa and Centerville campuses. Students are advised to review these policies before registering to take any of the exams. There is a charge for each CLEP test. However, there is no additional charge to add CLEP credit to an Indian Hills Community College transcript.

Credit by CLEP exam will not be granted:

  1. if it duplicates courses previously passed or failed.
  2. for a course which the student does not meet the stated prerequisites listed in the granting community college’s catalog, or
  3. for a course which is a prerequisite to one for which credit has previously been earned.

Students can contact the Ottumwa Testing Center by calling (800) 726-2585, ext. 5142, or (641) 683-5142. The Centerville Testing Center can be reached at (800) 670-3641, ext. 2232, or (641) 856-2143. Students can also send an email to testing@indianhills.edu.

Students may “test out” of certain courses at Indian Hills. The student must be enrolled in the course and is usually required to take the final exam. The student must achieve an “A” or “B” to receive credit for “testing out.” Indian Hills “test out” grades will appear as a “T” on the transcript. Contact an advisor or instructor prior to enrolling if you wish to test out of a course.

Credit for Prior Learning

Credit for Prior Learning (CPL) is defined as college credit earned through experiences outside of Indian Hills credit course completion or transfer course completion. CPL can be earned in a variety of methods, such as work experience, professional training, industry-recognized credentials, credit by examination, military training and more. A maximum of 18 technical credits can be earned through the CPL process. A maximum of 30 credits may be awarded for CPL of any kind, with the exception of transfer credit from other institutions of higher learning. A student must request alternative credit be awarded, the credit is not awarded automatically.

Schedule Changes/Withdrawal 

Students may add classes to their schedule during the first five college calendar days of a 12-week term either online or through the academic advisors or technical program directors. Students may enroll in SUCCESS Center courses through the tenth week of the term. Students may elect to drop courses through the eighth college calendar day of a 12-week term with full refund. There are no refunds after the eighth college calendar day. 

No adds can be made to a student’s schedule after these first five class days and no drops with refund can be made to a student’s schedule after these first eight class days. No student can enroll for the new term after the fifth class day. Students may drop with grade “W” from classes through the 10th week of a 12-week term and receive a “W” (withdrawal) on their transcripts. Withdrawal and drop dates may vary for courses scheduled for less than a full 12-week term. Students should contact their academic department for specific dates.

The procedure to add/drop or withdraw must be completed within two days of the first notification to the department official. The procedure is as follows:

  1. Obtain and complete the Add/Drop/Withdrawal form in the Academic Advising Office or Technical Program offices. The student’s signature is required.
  2. Take completed form to Enrollment Services for proper authorization.
  3. If schedule change increases credit hour load, report to the Business Office for payment of any additional tuition and fees.
  4. If schedule change decreases credit hour load and a refund is due, the Business Office will issue a refund check within four weeks of the withdrawal date.

Failure to follow these procedures in withdrawing or dropping from a course will result in a grade of “F” for the course.

Students withdrawing from college are required to obtain and complete withdrawal papers. Completion of proper procedures ensures the student will not receive failing grades for all courses during the term of withdrawal. Withdrawal papers may be obtained from the department offices. Online students need to contact an academic counselor, program director or department administrator to drop all courses.

(Refer to section on Return of Title IV Funds .)

Arranged Study

Arranged study is the procedure whereby eligible students may take approved courses on an independent basis due to emergency, hardship or unusual circumstances. Arranged study is not available in all subject areas, and students must document their need for this type of study to their department administration.

Academic Progress/Probation/Dismissal

Minimum satisfactory scholastic achievement is represented by a 2.0 grade point average each term of enrollment. Students who fall below this level will be placed on academic probation for the following term. Students who fail to achieve a 2.0 GPA during their probationary term may then be dismissed from their current program or from the college. Students not dismissed must have permission from their Dean and from the Registrar to re-enroll for the next term. Very poor work in any term, however, may result in dismissal at the close of that term.

NOTE: To graduate, a student must achieve a 2.0 cumulative grade point average as well as comply with all other academic requirements.

Class Attendance

Attendance is important and expected. Class attendance policies are established by divisions and instructors. Students are expected to meet all program and class requirements, including those pertaining to attendance.

Students Attending School-Sanctioned Events

It is the intention of IHCC to provide meaningful and equitable education for all students. No individual student or group of students will receive either preferential or punitive treatment; all students will have an equal opportunity to perform to the best of their abilities. IHCC recognizes that students should be allowed to make up work missed while attending school-sanctioned events. IHCC also recognizes that the total educational experience of the student is of primary importance and that the student must take responsibility for his/her own academic growth. In order to ensure that students can realize both their scholastic and extra-curricular goals, they need to follow these basic rules:

  1. When students schedule their classes, they should keep in mind that they need to minimize the number of absences from classes. In addition, they should inform their instructors of any conflict between class time and extra-curricular schedules.
  2. At the beginning of the term, or as soon thereafter as possible, students should present their instructors with a list of required absences.
  3. Prior to missing class for a school-sanctioned event, the student must make arrangements with instructors for any tests, quizzes and class work that he/she will miss.
  4. If a student has any question about an instructor’s execution of these policies, that student should speak to the instructor first. If a satisfactory conclusion is not reached, the student then should speak with the appropriate department chair or dean.
  5. Students attending school-sanctioned events are representing IHCC and must adhere to school policies regarding conduct.

Transcript Policy

  1. Indian Hills Community College has authorized the National Student Clearinghouse to provide transcript ordering via the Web at www.studentclearinghouse.org.
  2. A processing fee of $5.00 per transcript will be charged for all transcripts produced.
  3. Transcripts will not be released if a student is considered to be in default on a student loan or if there are outstanding financial obligations to the college.

Retention of Student Records

Indian Hills Community College retains the official academic record (transcript) of enrollment and credits earned in Indian Hills Community College credit programs in perpetuity. All other student record documents will be destroyed three years after the student’s last enrollment at Indian Hills. Students who believe there is an inaccuracy in their official academic records (transcript) must notify the Registrar’s office immediately.

Graduation Requirements

Graduation will be certified by the issuance of a degree or diploma. Satisfactory completion includes complying with all program requirements, as well as the following:

  1. The student must achieve at least a 2.00 cumulative grade point average;
  2. A minimum of 16 semester hours in an associate degree program must be earned at Indian Hills (a minimum of 12 semester hours, or one term, in a diploma program must be taken at Indian Hills);
  3. The student must have made arrangements for meeting all financial obligations to the college.

Associate of Arts Degree (AA)

The student must meet all previously listed general requirements and earn a total of 61 semester hours, which include the following:


6 hours composition
3 hours speech

Humanities/Fine Arts

3 hours literature, minimum
5 hours electives from humanities and/or fine arts

Social Sciences

3 hours U.S. History or Western Civilization
6 hours electives from social sciences


3 hours lab science
3 hours mathematics
2 hours mathematics or science elective

Distributed Electives

7 hours from the above disciplines

General Electives

20 hours unrestricted electives; a maximum of 16 hours technical education credit may be included; must include 1-3 hours of computer literacy and SDV101 How to Be Successful in College

Associate of Science Degree (AS)

The student must meet all previously listed general requirements and earn a total of 61 semester hours, which include the following:


6 hours composition
3 hours speech

Humanities/Fine Arts

3 hours literature, minimum
5 hours electives from humanities and/or fine arts

Social Sciences

3 hours U.S. History or Western Civilization
6 hours electives from social sciences


30 hours mathematics and science
Must include 3 hours mathematics and 3 hours lab science, minimum

General Electives

5 hours electives, technical education credit may be included; must include 1-3 hours of computer literacy and SDV101 How to Be Successful In College

Associate of General Studies (AGS)

The student must meet all general graduation requirements.

The student must prepare a tentative educational plan that demonstrates uniqueness prior to acceptance into the AGS program. Before beginning any coursework toward the degree, the student’s educational plan must be approved by an academic advisor and the Academic Standards Committee, contain courses totaling at least 60 hours of credit, and be submitted to the Registrar’s office. The general studies degree is designed to indicate the student has achieved an educational goal in an area unique to his or her own interests. The degree may be transferable on a course-by-course basis.

Associate of Applied Science Degree (AAS)

The student must meet all previously listed general graduation requirements as well as successful completion of an approved technical education program. The following are approved AAS programs:

Agricultural/Biofuels Process Technology
Associate Degree Nursing
Associate Degree Nursing-Online/Hybrid Completion
Automotive Collision Technology
Auto Technology
Aviation Maintenance Technology
Aviation Pilot Training
Business Specialist - Accounting
Business Specialist - Office Management
Computer Networks and Security
Computer Software Development
Construction Management Technology
Construction Technology
Criminal Justice
Culinary Arts
Dental Hygiene
Diesel Technology
Early Childhood Associate

Electrical and Renewable Energy Technology
Electromechanical Technology
Electronic Engineering Technology
Geospatial Technology
Health Information Technology
Interactive Media Technology
Landscape and Turfgrass Technology
Laser & Optics Technology
Machine Technology
Medical Laboratory Technology
Nutrition and Dietary Management
Occupational Therapy Assistant
Physical Therapist Assistant
Radiologic Technology
Robotics/Automation Technology
Sustainable Agriculture and Entrepreneurship
Welding Technology

Dual Major Policy

For students planning to transfer to a four-year institution for a bachelor’s degree, it is possible to combine degrees from some Career and Technical and Health Sciences programs with an Associate of Arts degree for a dual major. A dual major form must be filed with the Office of the Registrar prior to registering for classes. For more information on this option and a list of courses the student will need to add to the current major, please speak with an academic advisor, the department chair or dean of the specialized major.


The student must meet all general requirements and complete an approved program of at least 15 semester credits and not more than 48 semester credits. The program and its length must be stated on the diploma. The following are approved diploma programs:

Accounting Assistant
Avionics Electronic Technician
Business Specialist
Child Care Technician
Clinical Laboratory Assistant
Computer Accounting
Construction Trades
Culinary Assistant
Dental Assisting
Electrical Systems
Electromechanical Technician
Electronic Technician
Health Unit Coordinator
Healthcare Documentation Specialist
HVAC and Refrigeration
Machine Operations
Medical/Insurance Coding
Office Technology and Media Design Specialist
Pharmacy Technology
Practical Nursing
Practical Nursing - Evening
Process Control
Surgical Technology
Therapeutic Massage
Welding Technology

Certificate of Completion

A Certificate of Completion is granted to students who meet the graduation requirements of an approved program of instruction that is not intended to result in the awarding of a degree or diploma. The course and its length should be stated on the certificate. The length may not exceed 48 semester credits.

General Education

The general education curriculum builds a foundation of knowledge that allows for a broad understanding of life; it also defines and promotes effective communication and critical thinking skills that create for the student the basis for making learning a lifelong goal.

IHCC is committed to preparing its students for a challenging future. The Career and Technical and Health Sciences divisions at the college educate students to excel in their chosen professions while Arts and Sciences students learn the essentials necessary for them to succeed in baccalaureate programs. All students, however, take General Education courses designed to impart common knowledge, intellectual concepts and attitudes that every educated person should possess.

Though General Education requirements vary by program, all General Education courses enrich students’ lives academically, professionally and personally.

General Education Categories and Goals

The General Education components of programs at Indian Hills Community College address the following:


Goal: Communicate effectively to the intended audience

Computer/Information Literacy

Goal: Apply technology and information for academic, professional and/or personal purposes


Goal: Understand people, cultures, diversity, aesthetics and/or historical purposes

Mathematical Reasoning

Goal: Apply mathematical techniques to solve problems

Scientific Systems

Goal: Demonstrate scientific understanding, including knowledge of systems, methodology and application