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Bellevue College utilizes a consistent, published letter grading system to reflect a student’s achievement. For students who do not wish to take a course for a letter grade, an optional pass/fail grading system is available, as is the option to audit a course.
The student is responsible for initiating the removal of an incomplete grade or for correcting a grade he or she believes to be incorrect.
Students have the right to repeat a course as described in this policy.
Letter A-F Grades
“A” grades indicate “outstanding” achievement
A = 4.0 points per credit hour
A- = 3.7 points per credit hour
The “A” student:
- demonstrates consistent mastery of learning outcomes for the course;
- demonstrates ability to interpret, integrate, and apply learning outcomes beyond the context of the course through application of critical and creative thinking skills;
- completes work assignments that consistently exceed requirements and that interpret and apply objectives in new, unique, or creative ways;
- demonstrates consistent leadership in class-participation activities.
“B” grades indicate “high” achievement
B+ = 3.3 points per credit hour
B = 3.0 points per credit hour
B- = 2.7 points per credit hour
The “B” student:
- demonstrates a high level of competence in learning outcomes for the course;
- demonstrates ability to interpret, integrate, and apply learning outcomes within the context of the course through application of critical and creative thinking skills;
- completes work assignments that consistently meet most requirements;
- contributes regularly to class-participation activities.
“C” grades indicate “adequate” achievement
C+ = 2.3 points per credit hour
C = 2.0 points per credit hour
C- = 1.7 points per credit hour
The “C” student:
- demonstrates an adequate level of competence in learning outcomes for the course;
- demonstrates competent ability to interpret, integrate, and apply learning outcomes within the context of the course;
- completes work assignments that satisfy minimum requirements for the course;
- satisfies minimum requirements for class-participation activities.
“D” grades indicate “poor” achievement
D+ = 1.3 points per credit hour
D = 1.0 point per credit hour
The “D” student:
- demonstrates minimum competence in some learning outcomes for the course;
- completes work assignments that usually meet minimum requirements;
- contributes inconsistently or infrequently to class-participation activities.
“F” grades indicate “inadequate” achievement
F = 0 points per credit hour
The “F” student:
- cannot demonstrate competence in many or fundamental outcomes for the course;
- submits work assignments that frequently do not meet minimum requirements, or does not complete the assigned work;
- does not satisfy minimum requirements for attendance or contribution to class activities.
Students should be aware that the instructor determines whether the class will be evaluated using the “F” grade.
Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory (“S/U”) Grades
“S” grades indicate “satisfactory” achievement
- an “S” grade indicates a letter grade of “C” or better;
- students earn credit, but no points are calculated into the GPA;
- the use of the “S” grade is determined by the college;
- students may not choose the “S” grade as an option.
“U” grades indicate “unsatisfactory” achievement
- a “U” grade indicates a letter grade lower than a “C”;
- no points are calculated into the GPA;
- the use of the “U” grade is determined by the college.
Credit/Non-credit = CR/NC
Credit/non-credit (“CR/NC”) grades are granted for specific courses as determined by the college. Students may not choose this grading option. No points are calculated into the grade-point average.
Pass/Fail = P/F
No points are calculated for a “P” grade, which is issued in two separate instances: for those courses institutional recognized as using the “P” grade and for courses graded using “A” through “F” in which a student elects to be evaluated “pass/fail.” In the latter instance, all “P” grades must be supported with traditional letter grades, and when the student fails to receive a grade of “A” through “D,” a grade of “F” will be assigned and calculated in the grade-point average.
Courses which a student elects to take “pass/fail” may not be used to satisfy distribution requirements in the arts and sciences or science degrees. A student must declare intention for a “P/F” grade within the first ten (10) days of the quarter by filing the request in the student service center.
Pass/Fail Grading System
Students may ask to be graded on a “pass/fail” basis in a course by filing a request form at the registration office by the tenth instructional day of the quarter (for fall, winter, and spring; summer quarter has an alternate schedule). “Pass/fail” may also be determined at the time the student enrolls for the course.
- A “pass/fail” option cannot be used for a course for which a student has already received a letter grade.
- Instructors are required to transmit a traditional letter grade for transcript support for each student who elects the “pass/fail” option, except in those courses which have been approved by the institution for “pass/fail” grading; e.g., physical education activity, clinical nursing courses. The records office will retain the letter grade for later release to authorized agencies who may request it, but will print “pass” or “fail” on the student grade report and permanent record.
- No more than fifteen (15) credits may be taken “pass/fail” in satisfying requirements for an associate’s degree. Courses requiring a “P” grade are not included n the fifteen (15) credits.
- A grade of “P” earned in a course taken “pass/fail” will not be factored into the student’s grade-point average, but a grade of “F” will be calculated as “0” points for GPA purposes.
Official Withdrawal = W
Official withdrawals are accepted and recorded on one schedule for fall, winter, and spring quarters, and on a different schedule for summer quarter.
During fall, winter, and spring quarters withdrawals are recorded as follows:
- Through the tenth day of the quarter, the dropped course does not become part of the transcript.
- After the tenth school day and through the end of the seventh week of the quarter, the “W” grade will become part of the student’s transcript record, regardless of grade status at the time.
- No official withdrawal will be permitted after the start of the eighth week of the quarter.
During summer quarter withdrawals are recorded as follows:
- Through the sixth day of the quarter, the dropped course does not become a part of the transcript record.
- After the sixth day and through the end of the fifth week of the quarter, the “W” grade will become part of the student’s transcript record, regardless of grade status at this time.
- No official withdrawal will be permitted after the start of the sixth week of a summer Quarter.
Hardship Withdrawal = HW
“HW” indicates a withdrawal request made because of extenuating circumstances after the official withdrawal period is over. The student must contact the instructor to request this withdrawal option, or the faculty member may initiate the contact. No points are calculated into the grade-point average.
Course in Progress = Y
This symbol indicates a course which, by authorization of the vice president of instruction, officially continues beyond the terminal date of the present quarter. Normally, the course is completed and graded on or before the termination of the subsequent quarter.
Incomplete = I
No points are calculated for this grade. An “I” grade indicates that the student has not completed specific prescribed requirements for a course, usually for unforeseen reasons beyond the student’s control. The student is responsible for requesting the assignment of an “I” grade and for demonstrating why the “I” is appropriate. Granting the request and assigning the “I” grade is the prerogative of the instructor. If a student has performed at a passing level during the quarter but for some reason is unable to complete the course requirements, he/she may be assigned an “I” grade at the course instructor’s discretion. The nature of the deficiency must be such that removal of an “I” grade is not contingent on subsequent enrollment in the same course by the student.
An “I” will be posted to the transcript when submitted by the instructor with a contractual form which specifically indicates the work the student must complete to make up the deficiency and the date by which the deficiency must be resolved. Both the instructor and the student must sign the contract. The work for the course must be completed before the end of the next quarter (by the end of the following fall term if the “I” is given in the spring term), and an extension can be granted only with the instructor’s approval. If the student fails to complete the designated assignment(s), an “F” grade will be posted.
Removal of an incomplete grade
After the student completes the course requirements, resolving the deficiencies outlined on the contractual form within the negotiated time limit, the instructor is then responsible for returning the change of grade form to the records office for processing.
Audit = “N”
No counted for credit or grade-point average. A student must declare an intention to audit a course within the first ten (10) days of a quarter by filing the request in the registration office.
Auditing a course
An optional audit grade is available to all students and is governed by the following provisions and stipulations:
- Students may ask to audit a course by filing a request form at the registration office by the tenth instructional day of the quarter (for Fall, Winter, and Spring; Summer Quarter has an alternate schedule). The intent to audit may also be determined at the time the student enrolls for the course.
- Any person may enroll in a credit course as an auditor upon payment of the required enrollment fees.
- Auditors in a course are required to participate in all activities and meet all minimum standards expected of other students in the course, except that they will be excused from the final examination. Instructors are not required to transmit a traditional letter grade for an auditor.
- Audited courses do not satisfy the requirements for an Associate of Arts degree or a certificate.
- A grade of “N” earned in an audited course will not be factored into the student’s grade-point average.
Correcting a Grade
If a student wishes to contest the accuracy of a grade, it is important to consult with the instructor involved immediately.
Instructors receive audit sheets of all grades they have in all classes during the first ten (10) days of the next regular quarter. Errors may be noted on this audit sheet, and corrected, with a minimal problem to the student. After the tenth day of the following quarter, the student has one (1) year in which to correct a grading error. If the instructor is no longer employed at this college or is away from the campus for an extended time, students wishing to correct a grading error should talk with the division dean of that faculty member. After one year, grades are not changed except for extraordinary reasons.
Repeating a Course
Students may repeat a course taken at Bellevue College in order to improve their skills or the course grade. All course repeats must comply with the Procedures for Repeating a Course.
- The course-repeat policy only applies to courses that are taken at Bellevue College.
- A course may be repeated only twice (that is, taken a total of three times) unless otherwise specified in the college catalog.
- Credit for any course is earned only once (except courses designed to be taken multiple times, as noted in the Bellevue College Catalog).
- Only the highest grade awarded will be used in computing the Bellevue College GPA.
- Each grade received will remain on the student’s transcript; the Registrar will place an “R” next to other grade(s) received for that course.
- Courses must be repeated for a letter grade unless the course is only offered only as “satisfactory/unsatisfactory,” “credit/non-credit,” or “pass/fail.”
- The course repeat process DOES NOT apply to grade symbols: I, NC, W, HW, Y or Z.
- The Bellevue College repeat policy may or may not be recognized by other institutions, at their sole discretion.
To repeat a course, students must re-register and pay all necessary tuition and fees.
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It is the policy of Bellevue College that final exams may be used only in connection with the use of other evaluative techniques throughout each period of instruction, and no examination, including the final exam, shall make up more than 33 percent of a student’s final grade. Consultation between the instructor and the student is deemed desirable concerning the specific results of examinations, quizzes, or other evaluative techniques or circumstances.
Instructors are not required to give final examinations; however, a college-wide final examination period is scheduled each quarter, according to the following considerations and restrictions:
- The final week of the quarter shall have no more than a three-day schedule providing a contiguous two-hour time period for each class for purposes of testing, review, etc.
- The final exam schedule will be published in the quarterly schedule for each quarter.
- During the final examination period, classes are expected to meet during the published time whether final exams are being given or not; instructors have the option of giving no final exam or of giving exams of less than two hours’ duration.
- The final examination schedule is for college credit classes only. Continuing education and community service classes will meet as regularly scheduled through the final week of the quarter.
Restrictions and Conflicts
- Final examinations in the last week of the quarter are restricted to the examination schedule. Classes will meet according to the final examination schedule. Classes will not meet during the final examination period other than as indicated in the exam schedule.
- An instructor with questions and/or conflicts should discuss these with his or her division chair.
- Students shall not be required to take more than two final exams in any single day. The student should discuss the conflict in advance with the instructors involved, and make arrangements for an alternate day and time for one or more examination.
- Efforts are made to avoid double-scheduling of final exams. However, in instances when a student has more than one exam scheduled for the same time period, the student should discuss the conflict in advance with the instructors involved, and make arrangements for an alternate day and time for one or more examination.
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Withdrawal from a course is the termination of the student’s registration in that course. Withdrawals are classified as official only when the student withdraws via the web, submits a completed add/drop form to the registration office, or submits a signed request in writing. The criteria used for determining grading and recording procedures for official withdrawals during the academic year (Fall, Winter, and Spring Quarters) follow.
- Through the tenth day of the quarter, the dropped course does not become part of the transcript record. The instructor’s signature is not required.
- After the tenth school day and through the end of the seventh week of the quarter, the grade of “W” will become part of the student’s transcript record regardless of grade status at this time. The instructor’s signature is not required.
- No official withdrawal will be permitted after the start of the eighth week of the quarter. Faculty may assign an “HW” grade for a hardship withdrawal due to extenuating circumstances that may have occurred after the withdrawal period.
- A student who finds it necessary to withdraw completely from the college due to illness or military reassignment must comply with the procedures listed above. The vice president of student affairs may grant exceptions and authorize late withdrawals due to extraordinary circumstances. Students must submit appeals for exceptions in writing and provide documentation to support the claim of extraordinary circumstances.
- If a student stops attending classes without meeting the enrollment calendar and/or documentation requirements, the withdrawal will not be considered official and may result in a failing grade on the transcript. Moreover, the student will forfeit any refund which might otherwise be due.
Note: During the Summer Quarter the calendar for withdrawals is different. Students are encouraged to consult the academic calendar for more information.
Academic Standards Procedures
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Students must earn a cumulative GPA of 2.0 or better to remain in good academic standing. The following consequences will be imposed progressively for students who are not in good academic standing.
- Academic Warning
- Academic Probation
- One (1) Quarter Academic Dismissal
- Four (4) Quarter Academic Dismissal
*Consecutive quarter is defined to mean the next quarter in which a student is enrolled even if a break in time occurs. Note: Students will remain at currently assigned academic standard level if cumulative GPA remains below 2.0 but quarterly GPA reaches 2.0 or better.
Students carrying five or more credits will be placed on Academic Warning at the end of any quarter in which their quarterly GPA is below 2.0 Students who fail to make satisfactory progress over time will be placed on the next level of academic intervention. There is no appeal process to this level of intervention.
Students carrying five or more credits will be placed on Academic Probation at the end of any quarter in which their quarterly GPA is below 2.0 for a second consecutive quarter.
Students placed on Academic Warning or Academic Probation will be sent a letter that offers effective study tips and strongly encourages students to take advantage of college support resources for education planning.
Students on Academic Probation are required to complete an Academic Probation Contract that outlines steps for improving the student’s academic performance. A student on Academic Probation will be required to meet with an Academic Advisor, Counselor, or designated Faculty member (in certain programs) to review the plan prior to registration. Online registration will be blocked while the student remains on Academic Probation. There is no appeal process to this level of intervention.
One Quarter Academic Dismissal
Students carrying five or more credits will be placed on 1 Quarter Academic Dismissal at the end of any quarter in which their quarterly GPA is below 2.0 for a third consecutive quarter.
Students placed on 1 Quarter Academic Dismissal will not be permitted to register for any courses for credit the subsequent quarter. Dismissed students will be blocked from registering. Students who enrolled for classes prior to suspension status will be administratively withdrawn, and tuition paid will be refunded.
Students placed on 1 Quarter Academic Dismissal will be sent a letter that outlines the appeal process for reinstatement. To be considered for reinstatement, students must outline a plan for making measurable and substantial progress towards improving their grade point average and meet in person with the Dean of Student Success or designee.
All appeals are reviewed by the Dean of Student Success. If approved, the student will continue on probationary status until satisfactory academic progress has been met for two quarters or longer. Notification will be sent to the student outlining conditions of reinstatement.
Four Quarter Academic Dismissal
Students carrying five or more credits will be placed on 4 Quarter Academic Dismissal at the end of any quarter in which their quarterly GPA is below 2.0 for a fourth consecutive quarter.
Students placed on 4 Quarter Academic Dismissal will not be permitted to register for any courses for four quarters. Dismissed students will be blocked from registering. Students who enrolled for classes prior to suspension status will be administratively withdrawn, and tuition paid will be refunded.
Students placed on 4 Quarter Academic Dismissal will be sent a letter that outlines the appeal process for reinstatement. The student must submit to the Vice President of Student Affairs a suitable plan to improve academic performance. The student may be referred to an Academic Advisor, Counselor, or designated Faculty member (in certain programs) helps with the student’s progress.
Petitions to appeal an academic dismissal must be received in writing in the office of the Vice President of Student Affairs at least two weeks prior to the start of the quarter in which the student wishes to enroll. If approved, the student will continue on probationary status until satisfactory academic progress has been met for two quarters or longer. Notification will be sent to the student outlining conditions or reinstatement.
Student Academic Transcripts
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Unofficial copies of transcripts for advising or personal information may be obtained from the student affairs center or through the web online services. The comprehensive fee covers the cost of unofficial transcripts.
To obtain official copies of academic transcripts, students must submit requests in writing or through the web online services. There is a fee for official transcripts. In-person requests may be submitted to the student affairs center; mailed or faxed requests should be addressed to the records office.
A request for an official transcript must include the following information:
- full student name (and any previous names);
- student identification number;
- current mailing address;
- daytime phone number (including area code);
- last year and quarter the student attended BC;
- mailing address to which the transcript(s) should be sent;
- number of copies required;
- student’s signature.
Whenever possible, the college will transmit permanent records (transcripts) electronically.
In general, the course numbers from 001-099 designate pre-college or developmental level courses. Classes numbered from 100-299 are lower division college level. Courses numbered 300-499 are upper division bachelor-degree level. The course numbers 199 or 299 designate independent studies classes. Courses numbered 198 or 298 are special seminar classes. The courses numbers 194/195/196/197 or 294/295/296/297 are assigned for special topics classes.
Only college-level courses numbered 100 and above can apply to a Bellevue degree or certificate. Courses numbered below 100, however, can be used to meet some prerequisite or proficiency requirements.
Courses listed in this catalog constitute the total academic program of the college, but not all courses are offered every quarter or every year. Consult the quarterly schedule of classes at bellevuecollege.edu/classes for a list of specific course offerings.
Transfer to Bellevue College
In addition to earning credits by taking BC classes, students have other options for applying college level credits toward a BC degree or certificate. These options are listed below. For a credit evaluation, students must submit official transcripts or test score reports to the Evaluations/Graduation Office.
Credits Earned at Other Institutions
In general, BC only accepts credits earned at institutions accredited by their regional accrediting association provided that such credits have been earned through college-level courses that are applicable to the student’s program at BC. Credits from non-regionally accredited institutions follow the college’s policies and procedures for awarding non-traditional credit (see the section for Non-Traditional Credits).
There are six regional accrediting agencies. College-level credits earned at the institutions accredited by one of the following regional accrediting agencies are acceptable to BC’s degree or certificate programs based on their applicability.
- New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC)
- North Central Association Commission on Accreditation and School Improvement (NCA)
- Middle States Association of Schools and Colleges (MSA)
- Southern Association of Schools and Colleges (SACS)
- Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC)
- Northwest Association of Schools and Colleges (NWCCU)
The college reserves the right to accept or reject credits earned at other institutions of higher education. Currently enrolled students pursuing a degree or certificate may request an official evaluation to have their transfer credits reviewed by the Evaluations/Graduation Office. The information recorded on transfer credits and the transfer GPA become part of the student’s record; however, they are not part of the student’s official transcript. Not all transfer credits may apply toward graduation requirements. To view the transfer course equivalency tables, visit www.bellevuecollege.edu/transfer/.
Washington community and technical colleges (CTCs) offer reciprocity to students transferring within the CTC system who are pursuing the Direct Transfer Agreement (DTA) degree or the Associate in Science-Transfer (AS) degree. Students who completed an individual course that met distribution degree requirements or fulfilled entire areas of their degree requirements at one college will be considered to have met those same requirements if they plan to complete the same degree when they transfer to another community or technical college in Washington. These degree requirements include Communication Skills, Quantitative Skills, or one or more Distribution Area requirements, and also Diversity Degree Requirement. Students must initiate the review process and must be prepared to provide the necessary documentation to the Evaluations Office. Students must meet residence credit and continuous enrollment requirements at BC.
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he college awards credit for non-traditional learning for work completed in private study, at non-accredited institutions, military training, other industry related certificates and trainings, and for certain examinations. The following applies:
- Transferability of awarded credits are subject to the policies of the receiving institution and the college makes no claim regarding the application or transfer of awarded credits to the programs at other institutions.
- Awarded credits are subject to review and recommendation by faculty.
- The college will establish procedures and guidelines for students to request the awarding of non-traditional credit.
In accordance with the standards set by the State Board for Community and Technical Colleges and the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities, the college recognizes four categories of Credit for Non-Traditional Learning:
- Credit by Testing
- Prior Experiential Learning
- Extra-Institutional Learning
- Course Challenges (formerly Credit by Examination)
Certain courses are cross-listed in more than one discipline. Only one of the cross-listed courses may be taken for credits, not both. For example, the catalog description for POLS 201 states “Same as PHIL 201 . Either POLS 201 or PHIL 201 may be taken for credit, not both.”
Credits in composition, mathematics, world language, or science have to be taken in sequence. Out-of-sequence courses, in general, will not be applied towards graduation if completed after a more advanced level course has been completed. The student should check with the school they plan to transfer on the out-of-sequence policy.
Credit is not awarded for those courses that are similar enough in content that students should not receive credit for both classes. The courses will have different titles, course descriptions, and learning outcomes, but credit is not granted for both. For example, the catalog will specify “Either MATH& 141 - Precalculus I or MATH 138 - College Algebra for Business & Social Science may be taken for credit, not both.”
Residency Credit Requirement
At least one-third of the credits required for an associate degree or certificate must be completed in residence at BC. For a bachelor’s degree, at least 45 credits applied to the degree must be completed in residence at BC, of which 30 credits must be upper division.
Students in professional/technical programs may elect to graduate under the provisions of the official catalog in effect at the time they first started at the college OR at the time they apply to graduate, providing three years have not lapsed and they have remained continuously enrolled at the college. Students in transfer degree programs must follow current degree requirements to ensure their transferability to four-year baccalaureate colleges or universities.
Maximum Transfer Credit
Credits transferred from other institutions cannot exceed two-thirds of the credits required by the degree or certificate. All credits are subject to approval by the Evaluations Office based on credit equivalency, applicability to the degree or certificate, and the institution’s accreditation
The college reserves the right to accept or reject credit earned in professional, vocational or technical courses. Departments may review course equivalencies or requirements completed at other institutions. Some programs have provisions that coursework completed to satisfy degree or certificate requirements must be current. Previously completed credits may have exceeded the maximum length of time that
can lapse from time of completion.
World Languages Courses
The World Languages department strongly recommends that native speakers of a language do not take first-year courses in that language. Native language is defined as the language spoken in the student’s home during the first six years of his or her life and in which he or she received instruction through the seventh grade. A first-year course would be an incorrect placement for a student fitting this definition. Native-speaking students may either study another language in the program or contact the World Languages coordinator of their language for correct placement at a higher level.
This recommendation applies as well to heritage speakers for whom first-year language courses are not an appropriate placement. A heritage speaker is defined as a student who has had the language spoken in the home from childhood but has received limited or no instruction in that language. The World Languages program recommends that heritage speakers consult with the coordinator of their language for their correct placement level or consider another language offered by the program. Native and heritage speakers using one hundred level coursework for transfer credit at a university should check with the college/university for individual transfer credit policy.
Certain departments and programs at BC offer an “academic concentration” option. Students who are pursuing an Associate in Arts and Science transfer degree may elect to complete such a concentration for notation on their transcripts and diplomas. The academic concentration shows that the student has spent the time and effort to acquire depth in a particular discipline, in addition to meeting BC’s normal breadth of requirements. The “concentration” discipline may be the student’s intended major at a baccalaureate institution or it may simply be a topic he or she is interested in studying in depth.
A student is eligible to apply for an academic concentration if:
- the department has been approved to offer the concentration option (check the departmental list below);
- the student is pursuing an Associate in Arts and Science transfer degree; and
- the student submits an application approved by the program chair of the department.
Students must complete 20 credit hours in the concentration discipline as determined by the program. When a student satisfies the Associate in Arts and Sciences and the concentration requirements, her/his degree designation reads “Associate in Arts and Sciences with a Concentration in …” (for example, Associate in Arts and Sciences with a Concentration in Music).
Programs with an Academic Concentration:
- Criminal Justice
- Communication Studies
- Cultural & Ethnic Studies
- Film Studies
- Gender Studies
- Political Science
- Theatre Arts /Drama