Academic Information

Academic Credit

Credit Earned at Carl Sandburg College

The unit of credit measure is the semester hour which approximates the effort expended in 50 minutes of class work and 100 minutes of study during each week of the semester.

Credit for Courses Completed at Other Colleges and Universities

Credit will be granted for courses taken at other accredited institutions in which the student has earned a grade of "C" or better. Credit also will be awarded for courses in which a grade of "D" has been earned, providing the student's overall average from the institution is a "C" or better, unless otherwise stated by specific Carl Sandburg College program requirements. Transfer credit is evaluated and awarded by the Admissions and Records Office.

Credit will be granted toward specific Associate in Applied Science and vocational certificate programs through articulation agreements with Delabar Vocational Education System and Western Area Career System. Check with the Admissions and Records Office for specific applications.

The College will accept as transfer credit all appropriate hours earned at accredited institutions. Regardless of the number of hours accepted, a student must meet the College's residency requirement for graduation. See "Graduation Policies and Procedures" for additional information regarding residency.

Credit for Military Service

Credit for 3 semester hours of physical education and 3 semester hours of health education credit will be awarded to members or former members of the U.S. Armed Forces who have completed six months or more of basic or recruit training and have been honorably discharged or have transferred to the reserve component (includes the Army, the Air National Guard, and the Coast Guard). To receive this credit, the student must submit a petition to the Admissions and Records Office along with separation papers (DD214).

Certain experiences in military service may be submitted to the Admissions and Records Office for evaluation. The recommendations contained in "A Guide to the Evaluation of Educational Experiences in the Armed Services" by the American Council on Education are used as a basis for such evaluations.

Credit may be given for coursework applicable to a Carl Sandburg College curriculum which was taken through the Defense Activity for Non-Traditional Education Support (DANTES) or under the United States Armed Forces Institute (USAFI), provided the course is recommended by the American Council on Education. The student must submit official transcripts of satisfactory completion of the work to the Admissions and Records Office.

Credit for College Level Examination Program

The College recognizes undergraduate achievement as measured by both the general and subject examinations of the College Level Examination Program (CLEP). Scores may be submitted to the Admissions and Records Office for evaluation, and if the level of achievement is at or above the minimum standards and score levels established by the College, credit may be granted. Carl Sandburg College follows the guidelines of the American Council on Education in accepting CLEP credit. Students may earn up to 24 hours of credit from the general examinations of the College Level Examination Program in the areas of humanities, mathematics, natural sciences and social sciences. In addition, many of the CLEP subject examinations may be accepted for credit based upon the score recommendations of the American Council on Education.

Students should discuss the CLEP options with a Student Services counselor prior to registering for any of the examinations.

Regardless of the number of hours earned through CLEP, the student must meet the College's residency requirement for graduation. See "Graduation Policies and Procedures" for additional information.

NOTE: If results of CLEP examinations are to be sent to another school for credit recognition, students are advised to check with the transfer school to determine its policy toward credit by examination.

Departmental Proficiency Examinations

Students may receive credit for a course at Carl Sandburg College by passing institutional proficiency examinations with a grade of "C" or better. The decision as to whether or not any particular course may be eligible for proficiency is made by the instructional department offering the course. The fee for each proficiency exam is equivalent to the cost of CLEP exams. Regardless of the number of hours earned through proficiency exams, a student must meet the College's residency requirement for graduation. See "Graduation Policies and Procedures" for additional information. Additional information about proficiency examinations may be obtained from the Admissions and Records Office.

Advanced Placement Program

This program and associated tests are offered only in high schools. Students who have participated in the AP program may be eligible to receive credit and advanced placement on the basis of tests in certain subjects determined by Carl Sandburg College.

Students wishing such credit or placement should request the College Entrance Examination Board to send their AP scored examinations to the Admissions and Records Office. Upon notification from the Registrar, students can then have any credit which was awarded placed upon their transcript.

Illinois Community Colleges Online

Illinois Community Colleges Online (ILCCO) is a consortium of Illinois community colleges working together to provide leadership, facilitate collaboration and share resources in online and technology-enhanced education. This program allows students to enroll in online courses at other Illinois community colleges while maintaining their Sandburg enrollment status. Students will participate in another college's online course but will receive billing, financial aid and transcripts from Sandburg. Students can search for eligible ILCCO courses, by clicking on "Full Course Listings" on the Internet Course Exchange System (http://ice.ilcco.net/) or go to “Online Learning” under “Academics” on the main Sandburg website. To enroll in an ILCCO course, students need to contact their counselor as early as possible prior to the beginning of a semester as the enrollment process takes time and is not guaranteed.

Records

Academic Record Appeal

In accordance with the provisions of the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA), students may appeal the accuracy of their permanent record (transcript). This right permits the student to appeal only the accuracy of the record which contains the grade; it does not permit the student to appeal the grade given by the instructor. (See "Framework for Addressing Student Concerns, Grievances, Sexual Harassment, and Discrimination" for information about appealing grades.)

Academic record appeals must be filed by the student with the Admissions and Records Office within 60 days of the closing of the academic term.

Policy on Program Guarantees

The educational programs offered through Carl Sandburg College are of the highest quality. The Board of Trustees directs the administration to develop guidelines that guarantee graduates the following:

  1. Within proper circumstances, as articulated by the administration, transfer course work taken at Carl Sandburg College will be honored at educational institutions within the State of Illinois either as program requirements or as electives.
  2. Within proper circumstances, graduates of occupational programs offered through Carl Sandburg College will have the appropriate mastery of entry level skills.

In the event that graduates fail to have course work transfer or fail to have entry level technical skills, an opportunity to repeat or take additional educational course work at Carl Sandburg College will be offered to the student with a full tuition and fee waiver. (Policy No. 3.21)

Grading

Grades

Grades are issued at the close of each academic term on a letter basis indicating quality of academic work. Grades issued by Carl Sandburg College are:

Code Description
ASuperior work
BGood work
CAverage work
DPoor work
FFailing work
IIncomplete. Incomplete indicates that the student has, for acceptable reasons, been unable to complete the required work by the close of the semester. "I" is permissible only when the student has maintained a passing grade as revealed by the class record. An "I" must be changed by the instructor to an appropriate letter grade by mid-term of the following academic term or it will default to a grade of "F."
PSatisfactory work. Credit granted. Not calculated in grade point average.
UUnsatisfactory work. No credit granted. Not calculated in grade point average.
TAudit. Course which was taken without credit.
WWithdrawal. No credit. Not calculated in grade point average.

Grade Point Average

Grade point averages are calculated by dividing the number of grade points earned by the number of semester hours attempted.

The number of grade points for a given course is found by multiplying the grade point value (A = 4; B = 3; C = 2; D = 1; F = 0) by the number of semester hours which may be earned in the course.

Example:

Class Grade Points x Credit Hours = Total Grade Points
BiologyB3x4=12
SpeechC2x3=6
HistoryA4x4=16
Total1134

(34 divided by 11 equals 3.09)
Grade Point Average (GPA) is 3.09

Transcripts

The Admissions and Records Office will make a copy of a student's transcript (official academic or permanent record) when requested to do so. All requests for transcripts must be made in writing by the student. "Transcript Request" forms are available in the Admissions and Records Office and at http://www.sandburg.edu/admissions/request-transcripts .  No transcripts will be released without the written permission of the student. The College reserves the right to withhold transcripts of persons who have financial obligations with the College.

Transcript Evaluations

Official transcripts sent to Carl Sandburg College to be evaluated for transfer credit will be evaluated by program of choosing on admissions application.  Results of transcript evaluation will be sent to current students MySandburg email only.  For non current students transcript evaluation results will be sent via US mail. If your academic program changes after your initial choosing on application, please contact Angela Snow for a new evaluation for transfer credits. If you have further questions, please call Angela Snow at 309-341-5233 or asnow@sandburg.edu.

Academic Load

For purposes of certifying that a student is full-time academically, such student must be enrolled for at least 12 semester hours each semester and for at least six semester hours during a summer term. The normal academic load for students expecting to complete their degrees within a two-year period is 12-15 semester hours per term.

Classification of Students

Students are classified as follows:

Class Hours
Freshman0-29 semester hours
Sophomore30 or more semester hours
UnclassifiedNot pursuing a specific educational program

Repeating Courses

A student who receives a "D" or "F" in a course may repeat the course once.  Only the higher grade will be computed in the grade point average.  Please be aware that financial aid may not pay for repeated courses. NOTE: Students planning to transfer to another college or university are cautioned that the receiving institution may use all grades earned in computing a grade point average for admission purposes.

Auditing Courses

Students may audit courses. In such cases, grades of "T" will be assigned. This grade does not grant credit nor is it calculated in the grade point average. Students wishing to audit a class will be required to pay full tuition and fees for the class.

Students will be admitted to classes on an audit basis on a space-available status only. Students enrolling for credit will be given registration priority over students desiring to audit a course. Students may register to audit a course only during Late Registration (after the class has begun).

Students may change from "credit" to "audit" in a course from the first day of the class through the midterm date for that class. Students may, with permission from the instructor, change from "audit" to "credit" at any time prior to the midterm date for the class.

Auditing students are expected to attend class but are not required to submit assignments or take examinations.

Class Attendance

Students are expected to attend all regularly scheduled classes and are responsible for fulfilling the requirements of each semester. Individual instructors may set class attendance requirements that they consider to be reasonable and that are consistent with the objectives of the course. Instructors may assign final grades based, in part, upon class attendance.

Attendance/No-Show Policy

Effective Spring 2011: Students who do not attend class during the first four days of the semester will be dropped from the class.

Carl Sandburg College has a mandatory attendance policy for all classes. Non-attendance during the first four days of the semester/class will result in the class being dropped from your schedule. For online and self-paced courses, this means participating in the week one discussion and/or e-mailing your instructor. If you are unable to attend due to an emergency or conflict of a serious nature, you must contact your instructor. If an instructor is not designated, you should contact the Retention Specialist at 309.341.5338. If you are dropped from a course and wish to re-enroll, you will need instructor permission. Instructors have the right to deny you re-enrollment if the course is full or if it would be too late to make up missed work. If you decide to drop the class, it is your responsibility to verify that the course has been officially dropped from your class schedule and fees adjusted prior to the end of the 100% refund period.

Withdrawal from Courses

1.  Students may officially withdraw from classes until the Tuesday of the 14th week of a 16-week calendar.  See the Academic Calendar for withdrawal dates for terms less than 16 weeks. 

Students who withdraw from classes prior to the first day or during the refund period may do so without notation on their permanent records (transcripts).  After the refund period, students who withdraw from classes will receive a grade of "W" for those classes.  This grade will not affect the grade point average.  Refund dates are noted under the Tuition section of the catalog and are listed in the term's Class Schedule.

To withdraw from a class, students must notify their Academic Advisor either in person, over the phone, through email or by completing a Class Schedule Change form of their intentions of withdrawing from any or all courses.  The official date of withdrawal will be the date on which the form or letter is received by the Academic Advisor.  Students who do not officially withdraw from a course will receive a grade of "F" for that course. 

2.  Instructor-Initiated Withdrawal: Instructors may withdraw students from classes at mid-term for non-attendance. Instructors may also drop students at mid-terms if the student's progress is extremely poor preventing the student from passing the course. Instructor-initiated withdrawals will result in grades of "W".

3.  Administrative-Initiated Withdrawal: The administration may withdraw students from classes for emergency or disciplinary reasons after due process.  These withdrawals will result in grades of "W". 

*

Date is pro-rated based upon length of the term.

Important Note for Financial Aid Recipients

Students who withdraw or who receive instructor-initiated withdrawals from all of their courses prior to the 11th week of the semester and who received Federal Financial Aid (Pell Grant, SEOG, Direct Loans) to pay tuition, fees, books, or other institutional cost, will be responsible to repay part of the monies received. The College follows the federal requirements for Repayment of Title IV funds. A copy of this policy is available in the Financial Aid Office or the Business Office.

Records Policy

The College's policy regarding student records is intended to comply fully with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974. This Act was designed to protect the privacy of educational records, to establish the right of students to inspect and review their educational records, and to provide guidelines for correction of inaccurate or misleading data through formal and informal hearings. Students also have the right to file complaints with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act Office, Department of Education, Washington, DC 20202, concerning the alleged failures of Carl Sandburg College to comply with the Act. Copies of the College policy are available in the Admissions and Records Office.

Carl Sandburg College designates the following categories of student information as public or "directory information":  student's name, hometown, high school attended, full time, part time enrollment, approval candidacy for graduation, major field of study, enrollment status, dates of attendance, most recent education agency or institution attended degrees, honors, and awards received, height and weight of student athletes, participation in officially recognized activities and sports.

The above information may be disclosed by the institution for any purpose at its discretion. However, currently enrolled students may withhold disclosure of these items by notifying the Admissions and Records Office in writing within the first fourteen days of classes each semester. Request for non-disclosure must be made each semester.

Questions concerning the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act may be referred to the Admissions and Records Office.

Academic Standing

Students are expected to make satisfactory academic progress toward attaining an expressed educational objective. Satisfactory academic progress is measured in terms of grades earned. A 2.00 cumulative grade point average for all courses applicable to a specific degree or certificate is required for graduation from Carl Sandburg College. A 2.00 cumulative grade point average is also required for transfer to most senior institutions. Anytime either the semester or the cumulative grade point average falls below 2.00, the student should reassess his/her educational objectives and study habits. The student should seek assistance from instructors, academic advisors, and counselors in the reassessment process.

Good Standing

To be in good standing, a student must maintain a cumulative grade point average of 2.00.

Academic Warning: (Financial Aid Warning)

Students will be placed on Academic Warning if their cumulative GPA falls below a 2.0 or if their cumulative completion rate of courses attempted drops below 67%. Students who are placed on Academic Warning must demonstrate progress towards degree completion during their next semester of enrollment by earning a semester GPA of 2.0 and a semester completion rate of 67%. Students who are placed on Academic Warning may continue to enroll in classes and receive financial aid.

Academic Notice: (Financial Aid Dismissal)

Students previously placed on Academic Warning who fail to meet the Standards of Academic Progress will be placed on Academic Notice. Any student placed on Academic Notice must complete the next semester of enrollment with a 2.2 GPA and achieve a 75% semester completion rate to remain on Academic Notice. Students on Academic Notice and who meet the minimum GPA and completion requirements will be permitted to enroll in the upcoming semester even if the student’s cumulative GPA and cumulative completion rates remain below the required levels.    

Students placed on Academic Notice are strongly encouraged to schedule a meeting with their academic advisor to develop an academic plan that will allow the student to complete his/her program in a timely manner.  

Students placed on Academic Notice may be eligible to receive financial aid if they are approved to participate in the Academic Improvement Plan (AIP) through the Office of Financial Aid. Students interested in learning more about the AIP are advised to contact the Office of Financial Aid for specific program details.

Students who have been placed on Academic Notice and who earn a semester GPA below a 2.2 and/or whose completion rate is below 75%, will be placed on Academic Notice ll.

Academic Notice II: (AIP Dismissal)

Students placed on Academic Notice ll are allowed one additional semester to improve their academic standing. Students who fail to make significant improvements may be suspended from the college for the following semester and must appeal to be permitted to enroll for future classes.

Students placed on Academic Notice ll are required to schedule a meeting with their academic advisor to re-evaluate and to revise the student’s existing academic plan. Students placed on Academic Notice II will be restricted to enrolling in no more than 12 credit hours per semester. A registration restriction will be placed on the student’s account so that additional courses may not be added. Students on Academic Notice II must complete the semester with a 2.2 GPA and achieve a 75% semester completion rate to remain on Academic Notice II. Students on Academic Notice II and who meet the minimum GPA and completion requirements will be permitted to enroll in the upcoming semester even if the student’s cumulative GPA and cumulative completion rates remain below the required levels.    

The performance of students placed on Academic Notice II will be reviewed by the committee at the conclusion of each semester. Students whose performance failed to improve will be placed on Academic Separation. In situations of extenuating circumstances, the review committee may offer an extension of Academic Notice II, which would allow the student to enroll in future classes. However, these options will be reserved for students who have demonstrated significant improvement in their academic performance and who provide appropriate supporting documentation.      

Academic Separation:

Students placed on Academic Separation will be suspended from the college for one semester. A registration restriction will be placed on the student’s account to prevent any attempt to enroll while on Academic Separation. Students who are placed on Academic Separation at the end of the spring semester, will be suspended for both the upcoming summer and fall semesters.

If there are extenuating circumstances, a student may appeal the Academic Separation decision. The student may complete the Academic Separation Appeal Form to be considered for re-instatement by the committee.

At the conclusion of the separation period, students may complete an appeal for re-enrollment privileges. Students who choose to appeal must meet with their academic advisor in order to review and revise his/her academic plan and to complete the Academic Separation Appeal Form (ASAF). The student’s completed ASAF must include a detailed explanation of the changes that the student plans to make in order to satisfy the Standards of Academic Progress. This appeal will be submitted to the Student Services faculty committee for consideration.

If the ASAF appeal is granted, the student will be placed on Academic Notice II and must satisfy the requirements of that policy for the privilege of continued enrollment.

However if the student’s appeal is denied, he/she may re-appeal if additional supporting documentation is available, if extenuating circumstances were a factor or after an appropriate time frame has passed as determined by the Student Services faculty committee.

Students who have been placed on Academic Separation for a second or subsequent semester may re-enroll only after receiving permission from the Vice President of Academic Services or the Vice President of Student Services. Students who wish to pursue this option must schedule an appointment with either Vice President to determine if any enrollment options exist.

Academic Honors

A Dean's List and Honors List are published after each semester to recognize the academic achievements of our full and part-time students. To qualify for these honors, all students must complete a minimum of 12 semester hours of college credit courses (developmental courses do not qualify). Full-time students have earned 12 or more college-level credit courses in a term. Part-time students have earned 6-11 college-level credit courses in a term.

Dean's List

Full-time students who have earned a semester grade point average of 3.5 or better.

Part-time Dean's List

Part-time students who have earned a semester grade point average of 3.5.

Honors List

Full-time students who have earned a semester grade point average of 3.0 - 3.49.

Part-time Honors List

Part-time students who have earned a semester grade point average of 3.0 - 3.49.

Graduation Policies and Procedures

It is the responsibility of the student to know and to observe the requirements of his/her curriculum and the rules governing academic work. Although the advisor will attempt to help the student make wise decisions, the final responsibility for meeting the requirements for graduation rests with the student.  If the student is currently enrolled at Carl Sandburg College, they can apply online to graduate under WebAdvisor.

Degree and certificate requirements stated in the Carl Sandburg College catalog will remain in effect for five academic years beginning with the student's initial enrollment in a given academic program. If changes occur in graduation requirements subsequent to initial enrollment, the student may elect to graduate under the most recent degree or certificate requirements. If more than five years have passed since the student's initial enrollment and the courses are still available, the student may continue their program requirements based on their entry year.  If the courses in the student’s original program have been discontinued, the student must choose a more recent degree plan (within five years). Students who are pursuing a program with selective admission must be readmitted to the program and meet the requirements as determined by the certification of their field of study.

In addition to fulfilling the course requirements for individual academic programs as stated by the College, students who intend to graduate from Carl Sandburg College must meet these requirements:

  1. File a petition for graduation in the Admissions and Records Office prior to the beginning of registration for their last semester of classes. Petition forms are available in the Admissions and Records Office.
  2. Satisfy the minimum credit hour residence requirement.
  3. Fulfill all financial obligations to the College.
  4. Earn a cumulative grade point average of 2.0 or better for all courses which are applicable toward the degree or certificate.
  5. There may be occasions when a student meets the criteria to graduate but has not completed a petition to graduate.  Carl Sandburg College reserves the right to grant certificates or degrees to these students as qualifications are verified.
  6. Results of the petition to graduate will be sent to current students MySandburg email only.   If you are not a current student, and have submitted an application, results will be mailed to address on graduation application. If you have questions, please contact Angela Snow at 309-341-5233 or asnow@sandburg.edu

Residency Requirement for Graduation

Associate Degree candidates must earn fifteen (15) of the required semester hours in residence at the College. Certificate candidates must earn one-third (1/3) of the required semester hours in residence at the College. Residency is defined as enrollment and completion of courses taught by Carl Sandburg College. Credit earned by other than coursework (i.e., examination, advanced placement, etc.) may not be counted as part of the residency requirement for either degrees or certificates.

Graduation Honors

Honors

Designation for graduates whose cumulative grade point average is within the 3.50-3.69 range.

High Honors

Designation for graduates whose cumulative grade point average is within the 3.70-3.89 range.

Highest Honors

Designation for graduates whose cumulative grade point average is within the 3.90-4.00 range.

Certification

Candidates for certification in specific fields (i.e., nursing, cosmetology, dental hygiene, etc.) are responsible for fulfilling any special accreditation or certification requirements of the State of Illinois.

Carl Sandburg College Honors Program

The Carl Sandburg College Honors Program is for exceptional students who want to excel in college. Honors courses are intellectually challenging and involve considerable interaction among students and instructors. The Honors Program requires that students participate in an Honors Learning Community and complete an Honors Option.

Opportunities through Honors: friendly learning environment, challenging courses, independent study, honors scholarships, awards, and recognition on college transcripts.

There are many ways to be eligible to apply for the Honors Program. You can apply if you have one of the following: score of 83 or above on the Reading Skills section of the COMPASS test; a cumulative high school GPA of 3.5 or higher; graduated in the top 10% of your high school class; had a composite score of 25 or above on the ACT; received a combined score of 1000 on the SAT; completed 12 college transfer credits with a minimum 3.25 GPA; completed 12 Carl Sandburg College transfer credits with a minimum 3.25 GPA; or are recommended by an instructor or counselor.

If you meet one of more of these requirements, you should contact the Honors Program Coordinator and pick up an application. The application process is simple and you will be notified within two weeks if you are accepted into the Honors Program.

What is an Honors Learning Community? An Honors Learning Community combines two different courses in two different disciplines. The courses are team taught by two instructors. The faculty cooperate together to integrate content and coordinate syllabi, strategies, and assignments. Outstanding faculty teach the classes. Honors courses are designed to help students learn and apply diverse concepts while stressing collaborative activity and creative and critical thinking.

What is an Honors Option? An Honors Option is taken after completing the Learning Community Linked Classes with a minimum 3.0 GPA. For instance, you may give a presentation, do research on a specific topic, or volunteer your time. The experience will generate a paper or a portfolio. Early in the semester, you should work with your instructor to develop an Honors Option. Your instructor and the Honors Program Director will agree on what is to be completed for Honors Credit.

Upon successful completion, the Honors Program offers an Honors Certification. The award will be noted on your transcript, and you will be recognized at Spring Commencement.

The requirements for the Honors Certificate are as follows: you must complete a minimum of 6 Honors Credits from Honors Learning Community Linked Classes and complete a non-credit Honors project; and you must maintain a GPA of 3.0 in your Honors classes.

For more information, comments or questions about the Carl Sandburg College Honors Program, please contact the Honors Program Coordinator at Carl Sandburg College, 309.341.5317.