Academic Policies and Information
Requirements and Policies for Degrees and Certificates
Student Declaration of Degree or Certificate Program
Students who choose a degree or certificate program upon admission to the College must follow the program requirements in effect for the academic year (typically September 1 to August 31) for which they are admitted.
College Modification of Degree or Certificate Requirements
If the College changes the degree/certificate requirements after a student has been admitted/readmitted, the student may complete the graduation requirements in effect at the time of admission/readmission or may choose the full requirements of the new program. Students who decide to change to the revised program requirements must complete and submit a Change of Academic Intent form online on the My Academic Life tab in OwlNet or by paper in the Registration and Records Office.
Student Change of Program
Students who change their program of study must complete the full requirements of the new program published in the College Catalog for the academic year (September - August) in which the change is made. Course substitutions and waivers previously approved for a program of study will apply to that program only. Students wishing to change their program of study must complete a Change in Academic Intent form online on the My Academic Life tab in OwlNet or by paper in the Registration and Records Office.
Requirements for the Associate Degree
To be eligible for an associate degree, students must:
- Complete a minimum of 60 credit hours of college-level work, with a cumulative grade point average of 2.00 or higher.
- Complete a minimum of 15 credit hours at Harford Community College.
- Complete general education, diversity, physical education, testing and essential technical standards as applicable, and degree requirements in each program of study in which the degree is to be awarded.
- All graduates must attain at least a C grade in ENG 101 English Composition (GE) or pass a standardized college-wide writing examination.
- Be recommended by the Vice President for Academic Affairs for graduation.
- Be conferred by the President and Board of Trustees of Harford Community College.
Requirements for Certificate
To be eligible for a certificate, students must:
- Complete the required courses of an approved certificate program with a grade point average of 2.00 or higher and such testing as may be required by the College.
- Earn at least 25 percent of the credit hours at Harford Community College.
- Demonstrate basic competencies in English, reading, and mathematics by completing the following:
- English: Scoring at or above college level on the writing assessment or passing ENG 012 Basic Writing, or ENG 018 Integrated Reading and Writing or ENG 060 ESL Basic Writing. The appropriate English course is determined by the specific certificate program requirements.
- Reading: Scoring at or above college level on the reading assessment or passing ENG 003 Reading and Understanding College Textbooks or ENG 018 Integrated Reading and Writing.
- Mathematics: Scoring at or above the level of MATH 021 Pre-Algebra II or passing MATH 001 Fundamentals of Mathematics or MATH 010 Pre-Algebra or MATH 020 Pre-Algebra I.
- Complete testing and/or essential technical standards as applicable.
- Be recommended by the Vice President for Academic Affairs for graduation.
- Be conferred by the President and Board of Trustees of Harford Community College.
Double/Multiple Programs of Study Declaration
With the exception of General Studies and Technical/Professional Studies, students may simultaneously pursue the requirements of two or more different programs of study. Pursuit of more than one program of study should be discussed in the early stages with an advisor and must be declared on the Application for Graduation. The student must follow the requirements in effect for the same year for all programs of study. Upon successful completion of double or multiple programs of study that fall under one degree type (i.e., A.A., A.S., A.A.T., A.F.A., or A.A.S.), students will be issued one diploma for that graduation term. Duplicate diplomas may be requested for a fee. In cases where students have successfully completed requirements for programs of study that fall under two or more degree types, a diploma for each type of degree will be issued. All programs of study will be announced at commencement ceremonies and will be annotated on the student's transcript of record.
Existing institutional policies governing graduation requirements and residency will remain in effect.
Additional Degree or Certificate
After completion of a degree or certificate, students may earn a subsequent degree or certificate by meeting the program requirements for that degree or certificate as long as the student has completed a minimum of 15 credits for the associate degree or 25 percent of the credit hours for the certificate at Harford Community College. Students must maintain a minimum grade point average of 2.0 in all courses completed for the additional degree or certificate.
Student Change of Educational Goal
Students who change their status from "Taking Courses" to seek a degree or certificate must follow the program requirements in effect for the academic year (September 1 to August 31) in which the change is made. Students who change their status from "Taking Courses" to seeking a degree must complete the College Academic Skills Assessment before the change of educational goal can be officially processed. Students identified as needing to improve one or more basic skills will be required to enroll in the appropriate transitional studies course(s) prior to or concurrently with the program requirements. Students who decide to seek a degree or certificate must complete and submit a Change of Academic Intent form online on the My Academic Life tab in OwlNet or by paper in the Registration and Records Office.
Students are responsible for following their program and meeting graduation and transfer requirements. Students are encouraged to seek assistance from the advising staff if they have questions. However, meeting graduation and transfer requirements is ultimately the responsibility of the student.
To apply for graduation, students must:
- Meet with an academic advisor to ensure they have met, or are on track to meet, the requirements of their degree and/or certificate.
- Ensure that the Registration and Records Office has current information on their intended degree and/or certificates. To update their intended degree/certificate, students must complete and submit a Change in Academic Intent form online on the My Academic Life tab in OwlNet or by paper in the Registration and Records Office..
- Complete and submit a Graduation Application online on the My Academic Life tab or by paper in the Registration and Records Office no later than:
- March 1 for May graduation,
- June 1 for August graduation, and
- October 1 for December graduation.
There are no exceptions to these deadlines.
Changes in Graduation Requirements
If the College changes a program in a way that prevents a student from meeting the graduation requirements in effect at the time of the student's admission, the change may necessitate appropriate course substitutions. Course substitutions must be appealed through an appeal form filed at the Registration and Records Office.
Awarding of Degrees and Certificates
Diplomas are conferred in August, December, and May of each year. August graduation requirements must be met by August 31; December graduation requirements must be met by December 31 and May graduation requirements must be met by May 31. Students will receive notification from the Registration and Records Office when diplomas or certificates for each graduation term are available for pick up. If the student has an outstanding financial obligation to the College, diplomas will not be issued until the obligation is resolved. The Registration and Records Office is authorized to issue letters of completion to students who need verification of program completion at other times.
The College reserves the right to award all degrees or certificates earned.
Formal commencement ceremonies are held in May for graduating classes within the academic year. For further information, please check the Commencement webpage.
Degree and Certificate Programs
Harford Community College (HCC) provides high quality, accessible and affordable educational opportunities for all ages. The college offers five different associate degrees and several certificates in unique programs of study (majors). The Community Education division offers training for the community, youth camps and senior programs. To learn more about HCC and the degree and certificate options HCC has for you, please see the Programs of Study list within the catalog. If you need further information, please contact the Office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs.
Associate of Arts (A.A.)
The Associate of Arts degree recognizes a curricular focus on the liberal arts (humanities, social sciences and similar subjects) and fine arts. The Associate of Arts degree not only transfers to appropriate baccalaureate programs, but also provides for career exploration and skills upgrading.
Associate of Fine Arts (A.F.A.)
The Associate of Fine Arts degree recognizes a curricular focus on the fine arts (studio, graphic, digital, photographic and similar arts subjects). The Associate of Fine Arts degree not only transfers to appropriate baccalaureate programs, but also provides for career exploration and skills upgrading.
Associate of Sciences (A.S.)
The Associate of Sciences degree recognizes a curricular focus on science, mathematics, engineering and technology. The Associate of Sciences degree not only transfers to appropriate baccalaureate programs, but also provides for career exploration and skills upgrading.
Associate of Applied Sciences (A.A.S.)
The Associate of Applied Sciences degree recognizes a curricular focus in a specific occupational area. The Associate of Applied Sciences degree is intended primarily for immediate employment or career mobility; it also provides some opportunities for transfer to baccalaureate programs.
Associate of Arts in Teaching (A.A.T.)
The Associate of Arts in Teaching degree recognizes a curricular focus in teacher education which meets the lower-level degree academic content, outcomes, and requirements for teacher education similar to the first two years of a baccalaureate program in teacher education. This degree requires a passing score on Praxis Core and a cumulative grade point average of 2.75 on a 4.0 scale and will transfer in total without further review by Maryland public and independent 4-year institutions.
Certificate programs offer training in skills that are specific to an occupation; they are available in several occupational fields. Certificates can be completed in six months to two years and include from 12 to 48 credits of course work.
Programs of Study
Harford Community College offers various program choices that lead to degrees or certificates. Visit the Programs of Study page for more information.
Harford Community College's academic degree programs utilize Curriculum Advisory Committees to assist in the continued growth of academic programs, as well as the development of new programs. Committees include community members with an expertise in the academic area for which they serve.
The following Curriculum Advisory Committees are currently in place:
Integrated Business and Applied Technology
- Business Management
- Computer Aided Design and Drafting
- Computer Information Systems
- Engineering Technology
- Information Systems and Cybersecurity
Behavioral Social Sciences
- Criminal Justice
Nursing and Allied Health Professions
- Medical Assisting
Arts & Humanities
- Mass Communications
Various curricula provide the opportunity for students to select elective courses from a broad range of disciplines beyond those listed as GB, GH, GI, GL, GM, and GS under General Education.
Behavioral/Social Science Elective - Any course in anthropology, criminal justice, economics, geography, history, paralegal studies, political science, psychology, and sociology.
Humanities Elective - Any course in art, communication studies, drama, English, foreign languages, mass communications, music, philosophy, photography, religion, theatre, and visual and performing arts.
Biological/Physical Sciences Elective - Any course in astronomy, biology, chemistry, earth science, environmental studies, forensic science, physical science, and physics.
General Elective - Any 100 or 200 level course in any discipline.
Diversity Course Graduation Requirement
Diversity Course Graduation Requirement
To be eligible for an associate degree, new and readmitted students must complete one 3-credit diversity course. Approved Diversity Courses are denoted with a D icon. The diversity course requirement enables students to explore, in depth, cultural differences based on age, ethnicity, gender, race, religion, sexual orientation, or social class. To complete this requirement, in most programs, students should select one of the 3-credit Arts/Humanities (GH), Behavioral/Social Sciences (GB), or Interdisciplinary/Emerging Issues (GI) General Education electives that also appears on the approved list of Diversity Courses (D).
|ANTH 101||Introduction to Physical Anthropology and Archaeology (GB) (D)||3|
|ANTH 102||Introduction to Cultural Anthropology (GB) (D)||3|
|ART 201||History of Art-Ancient and Medieval (GH) (D)||3|
|ART 202||History of Art-Renaissance to Modern (GH) (D)||3|
|CMST 105||Interpersonal Communication (GI) (D)||3|
|DRAM 203||Survey of World Drama (GH) (D)||3|
|DRAM 204||Survey of Modern Drama (GH) (D)||3|
|ENG 201||World Literature: 800 B.C. to 1600 A.D. (GH) (D)||3|
|ENG 202||World Literature: 1600 A.D. to the Present (GH) (D)||3|
|ENG 205||American Literature: Colonial Through the Civil War (GH) (D)||3|
|ENG 206||American Literature: Late 19th and 20th Centuries (GH) (D)||3|
|ENG 207||Perspectives in Humanities (GH) (D)||3|
|ENG 208||Contemporary Humanities (GH) (D)||3|
|ENG 210||Literature for Children and Adolescents (GH)(D)||3|
|ENG 215||Multicultural Literature: The 20th Century (GH) (D)||3|
|ENG 219||American Women Writers (GH) (D)||3|
|ENG 233||African-American Literature (GH) (D)||3|
|ENG 234||Ethnic American Literature (GH) (D)||3|
|ENG 238||Latin American Literature (D)||3|
|GEOG 102||Human Geography (GB) (D)||3|
|GEOG 103||World Regional Geography (GB) (D)||3|
|HIST 101||History of Western Civilization I (GB) (D)||3|
|HIST 102||History of Western Civilization II (GB) (D)||3|
|HIST 103||History of the United States I (GB) (D)||3|
|HIST 104||History of the United States II (GB) (D)||3|
|HIST 109||World History I (GB) (D)||3|
|HIST 110||World History II (GB) (D)||3|
|HIST 202||The Twentieth Century World (GB) (D)||3|
|HIST 207||African-American History (GB) (D)||3|
|HIST 208||American Ethnic History (D)||3|
|HIST 211||History of Africa (D)||3|
|HIST 214||History of the Middle East (D)||3|
|HIST 220||History of American Women (D)||3|
|HLTH 201||Human Sexuality (D)||3|
|IDS 201||Peace and Conflict: An Interdisciplinary Look (D)||3|
|MUS 201||The Art of Listening I (H) (D)||3|
|MUS 202||The Art of Listening II (GH) (D)||3|
|MUS 216||World Music (GH) (D)||3|
|MUS 222||Popular Music of the United States (GH) (D)||3|
|MUS 223||Listening to Jazz (GH) (D)||3|
|PS 204||Urban Government and Politics (GB) (D)||3|
|PSY 205||Psychology of Women (D)||3|
|PSY 209||Social Psychology (D)||3|
|RELG 210||Comparative Religion (GH) (D)||3|
|SOC 101||Introduction to Sociology (GB) (D)||3|
|SOC 102||Social Problems (GB) (D)||3|
|SOC 201||Marriage and the Family (GB) (D)||3|
|SOC 212||Race, Class & Gender in the United States||3|
|SPAN 205||Advanced Conversation (D)||3|
|VPA 201||Visual and Performing Arts Survey (GH) (D)||3|
Physical Education Graduation Requirements
Harford Community College requires students to earn no less than 1 credit in Physical Education for graduation from all degree programs. Visit the class schedule for a current listing of Physical Education courses offered by HCC. Descriptions of each course can be found in the course descriptions section of the catalog.
The College recognizes that successful student performance in college courses is dependent upon regular attendance and participation. Therefore, students are expected to attend all classes and to participate in all learning activities. Missed class time due to obligations such as religious practice, jury duty, military service, or participation in authorized College extracurricular activities will be considered excused absences. Students are responsible for contacting their instructors regarding all attendance matters. Documentation may be required for any excused absence.
Violation of the Student Attendance Policy could result in loss of financial aid and/or impact other third party funding sources, removal from the course, and/or failure of the course.
Students will be considered in violation of the HCC Attendance Policy if any of the following apply:
Face-to-face Classes: If at any time, a student has consecutive unexcused absences from scheduled classes equal to 13% of the instructional term.
Online Classes: If a student does not complete assignments, quizzes or tests directed by the instructor and/or outlined in the course syllabus for a syllabus for a consecutive time equal to 13% of the instructional term. Logging into a class without active participation as defined above does not count as attendance.
Hybrid Classes: If a student has any combination of consecutive unexcused absences or missed online assignments, quizzes or tests equal to 13% of the instructional term. Students using VA Education Benefits should consult with the Coordinator for Military & Veterans Services prior to enrolling into any online course(s).
Students are required to take the final examination in each course on the scheduled date at the end of each semester if credit is to be granted in the course. Permission for a special examination is at the discretion of the instructor.
For policies relative to prior years, please refer to the appropriate year's catalog.
HCC reserves the right to cancel any class for insufficient enrollment. You will be notified of class cancellations as they occur. HCC also reserves the right to change instructor assignments. Financial Aid will not pay for cancelled classes.
Dropping from Courses
Students must drop courses during the refund period to receive a full refund. Courses dropped during the refund period will not appear on the student's official record. To drop from classes, students must complete and submit a Credit Schedule Form to the Registration and Records Office. Students may also drop courses online via OwlNet.
Students dropping courses due to military service should refer to the Dropping or Withdrawing From Courses Due to Military Service policy.
Withdrawing from Courses
After the refund period, students may withdraw from courses during the official withdrawal period. In order to withdraw from classes, students must complete and submit a Credit Schedule Form to the Registration and Records Office or withdraw online via OwlNet. Students dropping courses due to military service should refer to the Dropping or Withdrawing From Courses Due to Military Service policy. The symbol W will appear on the student's record if the following withdrawals take place:
- A student withdraws by the official withdrawal deadline, which is approximately two-thirds through the semester, term, or session.
- The College withdraws a student who has been identified by the official withdrawal deadline as never attending the class or stopped attending the class. See the Attendance Policy for more information.
- An instructor and the faculty division dean may approve a student's request for a withdrawal after the official withdrawal deadline but before the last day of the semester, term or session for documented extenuating circumstances These circumstances include, but are not limited to, serious illness/accident/medical condition, death in the immediate family, involuntary transfer or change in work hours by employer.
- If the student believes the instructor and faculty division dean's denial of the withdrawal is inappropriate, the student has the right to appeal the late withdrawal to the Vice President for Academic Affairs/designee whose decision is final.
- By filing an appeal form with the Registration and Records Office, students may request a withdrawal after final grades are processed for documented extenuating circumstances such as, but not limited to, serious illness, death in the immediate family, involuntary transfer by one's employer, or involuntary change in working hours. Requests for late withdrawal will only be considered if they are made within one year from the last date of the semester/session in which the course was taken.
Harford Community College adheres to federal and state law on the duties to and the rights of students who are members of the U.S. Armed Forces, including the National Guard and the Reserves, when they are unable to attend classes or have to suspend their studies due to being called to active military duty or being mobilized. Students who cannot complete course requirements because of being called to active military duty or being mobilized should notify the Registration and Records Office. With appropriate documentation, students have the following options to choose from:
- A student may request their course(s) be dropped (removed from the student's record) and a full refund of tuition and fees will be granted
- A student may request a withdrawal from their course(s) and will be assigned a W on the student's record and a full refund of tuition and fees will be granted.
Students attempting to complete courses during active duty assignment, but need extended time, may request an Incomplete (I) grade. Refer to the Grades and Grade Reports policy. If the student pursues an Incomplete (I) grade, they are still responsible for the tuition and fees associated with the course(s). Requests from prior semesters, sessions, or terms will not be granted.
Once returning from active duty or being mobilized, service members are able to continue their studies at Harford Community College.
Involuntary Withdrawal from the College
In cases where a student is unable or unwilling to request a voluntary withdrawal from the College, and the student poses a direct threat of harm or substantially impedes the continuance of normal College functions, the College reserves the right to involuntarily withdraw such student.
The following grading policy is in effect for all students, regardless of the year in which they enrolled at the College. Deficiency reports for D or F academic performance are available to students approximately at the midpoint of the 15-week course.
Official grades and symbols earned by students in each course will be recorded and, upon request from the student, will be issued to designated individuals or agencies after all final grade processing is complete. Grade information is also available online. If the student has an outstanding financial balance due payable to the College, transcripts will not be issued until the obligation is resolved.
Grades and Quality Points
A - Excellent (4 Quality Points)
B - Good (3 Quality Points)
C - Average (2 Quality Points)
D - Poor (1 Quality Point)
F - Failure to meet course requirements (0 Quality Points)
Letter grades for transitional studies courses (courses below 100 level) will be noted with an asterisk *. D grades are not issued in transitional studies courses.
Symbols and Quality Points
W - Withdrawal (0 Quality Points)
I - Incomplete (0 Quality Points)
K - Audit (0 Quality Points)
N - No Grade Provided (0 Quality Points)
R - Continuing Research (0 Quality Points)
W - Indicates course withdrawal without a grade. Withdrawal can be initiated by the student or by the College. The symbol W is not used in computing the Grade Point Average (GPA).
I - Faculty member agrees that the student can meet course requirements without additional registration. The symbol I must be resolved by completing the requirements of the course within a period prescribed by the instructor, but in no case later than 60 days after the end of the semester in which the I was awarded. In the event the I is not resolved, the symbol will automatically convert to an F which will be used in computing the GPA.
K - Designates audit (not for credit). The symbol K will not be used in computing the GPA.
N - The N symbol is assigned by the Registration and Records Office in the event that a grade is not provided by the instructor. The N symbol must be resolved by the instructor.
R - Student is completing work on a portfolio and is awarded for satisfactory completion of APL 102 Portfolio Development Seminar, a continuing research component of the portfolio assessment program. Students may earn up to two R symbols. R is included in earned credits but is not used in computing GPA.
*M - The letter grade M is no longer processed as a grade by Harford Community College effective summer 2013 term; however, the policies applicable to the M grade will remain in effect for students who earned the M grade prior to its discontinuation. Students whose academic record shows the M grade should consult the College's credit catalog from previous years for details regarding the College's policies on the M grade. Students are also encouraged to meet with an advisor about how to proceed with course enrollment.
Change of Final Grade
In cases where a student alleges that a final course grade was unjustified, the student first attempts to resolve the conflict with the instructor by initiating the appeal process in writing no later than 60 days after the conclusion of the semester or term in which the grade was awarded. With the appeal, the student must submit in writing his/her rationale supported by appropriate documentation. If the conflict cannot be resolved, the complaint shall be presented by the student to the division leader in which the course is offered and if necessary, the division leader may request documentation about the complaint. The decision of the division leader is final.
Students may register for audit (not for credit) during any registration. Students may change from audit to credit only during the published schedule change period. Students may change from credit to audit with the instructor's permission at any time before the official withdrawal deadline. An instructor and the faculty division dean may approve a student's request for a change from credit to audit after the official withdrawal deadline but before the last day of the semester, term, or session for documented extenuating circumstance. These circumstances include, but are not limited to, serious illness/accident/medical condition, assignment to active duty in armed services, death in the immediate family, involuntary transfer or change in work hours by employer. Audit classes require the same tuition and fees as regular credit classes. Students auditing a course will be expected to meet requirements set by the instructor.
Grade Point Average
Semester Grade Point Average
The semester grade point average (GPA) is determined by multiplying the number of credit hours in each course successfully completed by the number of points corresponding to the final grade for the course. The total is then divided by the number of credit GPA hours completed during that semester. The GPA is computed only on college level credit courses complete at Harford Community College. Courses for which a symbol (W, I, K, N, R, M) is awarded will not be considered in calculating the GPA.
Cumulative Grade Point Average
The cumulative GPA is determined in the same manner as the semester GPA. In the case of repeated courses, only the last grade earned will be used in computing the cumulative GPA.
President's List and Dean's List
The President's and Dean's Lists Honors are awarded at the end of the fall and spring semesters. The following criteria will be used when recognizing scholarship of full- and part-time students.
- Students who receive a grade of C, D, F or I in any course that semester are not eligible for honors.
- Full-time: 12 college level1 credits or more must be completed that semester for full-time honors.
- Part-time: 12 college level1 credits must be accumulated prior to the semester under consideration to be eligible for part-time honors, and six college level1 credits must be completed in the current semester.
- Credit-by-exam and transfer credit are not included. Students must have a 3.76 or higher GPA for placement on the President's List (High Honors); a 3.50 to 3.75 GPA must be achieved for placement on the Dean's List (Honors).
Courses 100 level or above.
Students may request to have up to 16 college-level credits of D or F grades deleted from the calculation of their grade point average (GPA). Approved courses are designated as XD or XF, respectively, on their permanent record. Courses with a grade of D, which were previously used to award a degree or certificate, are not eligible for academic renewal. The requested D or F grades must have been earned in courses taken five or more years prior to the date of the request for academic renewal. Additionally, the student must have completed a minimum of 12 college level credits with a minimum 2.5 cumulative GPA since the last semester for which the academic renewal is being requested. These credits can be earned at any college/university. Official transcripts are required for verification purposes. Request for academic renewal can be made only one time. Under no circumstances will grades earned by a student at HCC be deleted from the student's permanent record or be excluded from any transcripts sent by HCC.
It is recommended that students meet with an academic advisor to determine which courses are most appropriate for this request. If the student disagrees with the determination of the Registration and Records Office, the student has the right to appeal the decision by filing an appeal form with the Registration and Records Office. The student will be notified of the decision.
Students should be aware that academic renewal granted by this institution may not be recognized by other institutions to which they may transfer.
Request for Credit Overload
Students in good standing may request a credit overload by meeting with an advising staff member through walk-in appointments with Advising, Career and Transfer Services.
Students may repeat a course only one time. Students wishing to attempt a second repeat (third enrollment) or more must receive the approval of an advising staff member, faculty advisor, or academic division dean. Certain courses previously identified by divisions (e.g. music ensembles, physical education activities, etc.) represent exceptions to the policy. Only the last grade earned in a repeated course will be used in computing Grade Point Average (GPA). The symbol M is considered a repeat. Symbols W and K are not considered repeats.
Requirements for College Readiness
English Proficiency and Requirements
Students must meet certain minimum composition requirements for written work submitted in all courses. These requirements state:
- All papers must demonstrate that the student has a reasonable degree of skill in presenting material in a clear and logical manner.
- All papers must demonstrate college-level competence in grammar and in the mechanics of composition, spelling, and punctuation.
- All graduates must attain at least a C grade in ENG 101 English Composition (GE) or pass a standardized college-wide writing examination.
Grades on papers that are poorly written, regardless of the course, may be reduced for the quality of the writing alone; in extreme cases, a failing grade in the course may be given for this reason alone.
A student whose first language is other than English will be required to take an examination to determine proficiency in English. If it is determined that a student is not adequately proficient in English, the College requires appropriate remedial or language training before the continuation of a program.
Harford Community College expects competence in reading, writing, and mathematics as the necessary foundation for success in college. Transitional Studies courses are offered for students who demonstrate on the Academic Skills Assessment the need to improve one or more of the basic skills. Transitional courses provide a supportive instructional environment that allows students to attain the basic skills and attitudes to perform effectively in college-level study.
Transitional Studies courses are listed under the English, mathematics, student development, biology and chemistry sections in the schedule of classes and begin with the number 0 or 00. These courses are used to determine full-time or part-time status; however, credits earned are shown as "0" on the student's academic transcripts and cannot be applied toward fulfillment of a degree or certificate. Grades earned in transitional studies courses are not computed into the student's GPA.
Students enrolling in transitional courses should allow one hour per week on campus in addition to class time. This time is necessary to complete tests and quizzes in the Test Center and to take advantage of other support services.
If Academic Skills Assessment results indicate that a student needs to enroll in transitional courses, such courses must be completed prior to or concurrently with other college courses. If enrolled in a degree or certificate program with an ENG 101 English Composition (GE) requirement or college level math requirement (100 level or above), the student must complete these courses before they attain 24 college-level credits. Furthermore, transitional courses required as prerequisites to college level English and math must be continued in sequence once begun until college level courses in English and math are complete. It is strongly recommended that students consult with an advisor before withdrawing from any Transitional Studies course.
Policies on Transfer Courses
Credit may be granted for coursework completed at regionally accredited institutions and from institutions that are candidates for regional accreditation. Course work completed at degree-granting and non-degree-granting higher education institutions that are not regionally accredited but hold national or specialized accreditation recognized by the U.S. Department of Education and /or the Council for Higher Education Accreditation may be considered for transfer credit on a case by case basis.
Students pursuing a degree or certificate at HCC should provide an official transcript to the Registration and Records Office prior to the completion of their first semester at HCC. Transcripts are considered official only if received by HCC in the issuing institution's sealed envelope within one year of the print date. Transfer courses are accepted based upon the student's declared program of study at HCC. Students who have previously earned an associate's or bachelor's degree will not be evaluated for General Studies.
A student is required to complete fifteen credit hours in residency at HCC in order to graduate with an associate degree and/or must complete 25 percent of the required credit hours for a certificate.
See Assessment for Prior Learning for policies regarding the awarding of credit through non-traditional learning.
All transcripts received by the Registration and Records Office are the property of the College and cannot be released to the student; they will not be duplicated, returned to the applicant, or forwarded to any other college, university, individual, or agency.
Since it may be difficult to assess transfer credit from another institution unless adequate information is available, it is the student's responsibility to supply the Registration and Records Office with a catalog and/or course syllabi from each institution previously attended, if requested.
If a student changes a program of study and wishes to have transcripts re-evaluated for consideration of additional transfer credit, a Request for Re-Evaluation of Transfer Credit form must be submitted electronically on OwlNet or in person to the Registration and Records Office.
Transfer students pursuing an associate degree or certificate are strongly encouraged to meet with an academic advisor in the Student Center prior to registering for credit courses. A review of assessment results, previous college credits and grades, and the length of time away from college should be taken into consideration when planning an appropriate course load.
Students seeking information about receiving credit through non-traditional learning should see the policy for Assessment for Prior Learning in the catalog.
Transfer of General Education Courses
HCC adheres to the general education and transfer policies of the Maryland Higher Education Commission (MHEC) and complies with Maryland COMAR 13B.02.02.16. All applicable general education courses are acceptable for credit with an earned grade of "D" or higher with the exception of ENG 101 English Composition (GE), which requires students to attain at least a "C" grade (HCC requires a "C" or higher in ENG 101 English Composition (GE)). Courses designated as General Education at non-MHEC institutions will be designated as General Education at HCC if applicable; however, a course cannot be accepted for General Education credit if less than three semester credit hours. Please note that some HCC programs of study require a grade of "C" or higher in specific courses. These are noted in the "Programs of Instruction" section of the college catalog.
Transfer of Non-General Education Courses
Non-general education credit applicable to the student's declared program of study will be transferred in as long as the calculated cumulative grade point average of the block of courses is 2.0 or higher. Please note that some HCC programs of study require a grade of "C" or higher in specific courses.
Transfer of Diversity Courses from Other Institutions
The College recognizes diversity courses completed at other institutions as long as they satisfy a Behavioral/Social Science, Arts/Humanities, or Interdisciplinary or Emerging Issues general education requirement at the sending institution.
Foreign College and University Credit
HCC does not evaluate documents issued directly from an out-of-country school. Documents must be evaluated and translated by a credential evaluation service. HCC requires a course-by-course evaluation and recommends the use of AACRAO or WES (World Education Service) but does accept official evaluations from members of the National Association of Credentialing Evaluation Services. Evaluations must be received by HCC directly from the issuing agency. Courses may be considered on a case-by-case basis.
Repeating of Transfer Courses
Transfer students with multiple repeats of the same course at previous institutions will have the most recent attempt, regardless of the grade or previous institution's repeat policy, reviewed for transfer credit. If you received transfer credit for a HCC equivalent course and then repeated the same course at HCC for credit, the transfer course credit will be excluded from your transfer record and the HCC grade becomes permanent. The HCC course will be included in the student's grade point average regardless if higher transfer grade was higher.
Repeating HCC Course by Transfer
A student who failed a course at HCC and then earned credit at another institution for the same course may use the transferred credit to satisfy the credit requirement for that particular course. In such cases the F grade will remain on HCC's permanent record, but will be noted as TF (repeated in transfer) and will no longer affect the cumulative Grade Point Average. Students must submit an official transcript to the Registration and Records Office.
A student who received a passing grade (C or better) for an HCC course cannot transfer the equivalent course to HCC. The credit will not be accepted.
Current Students Attending Other Institutions
Students who plan to take course work at other institutions after enrolling at HCC should have the courses approved in advance by an academic advisor. This process will assure that courses taken to meet program or General Education requirements will transfer to HCC.
Academic Standards for Credit Students
At the end of each semester, each student's academic standing is reviewed. Academic Standing is determined by the relationship between a student's GPA and the total cumulative GPA hours attempted. Transitional Studies courses numbered below 100 are not included in the calculation to determine institutional Academic Standing. Students receiving any form of financial support must meet satisfactory academic standards in both transitional and credit courses for Financial Aid. See Financial Aid in this catalog.
There are four levels of academic standing: Good Academic Standing, Academic Warning, Academic Restriction and Academic Suspension.
|Total Cumulative GPA Hours Attempted||Good Standing if GPA is||Academic Warning if GPA is below||Academic Restriction if GPA is below|
|0.5 -6.5||1.40 or higher||1.40||--|
|7.0 -12.5||1.40 or higher||--||1.40|
|13.0 - 17.5||1.50 or higher||--||1.50|
|18.0 - 22.5||1.60 or higher||--||1.60|
|23.0 - 27.5||1.70 or higher||--||1.70|
|28.0 - 32.5||1.80 or higher||--||1.80|
|33.0 - 37.5||1.90 or higher||--||1.90|
|38.0 and above||2.00 or higher||--||2.00|
Good Academic Standing
Students must maintain the minimum cumulative GPA as indicated on the Academic Progress Table to be placed in good academic standing. Students are required to earn a minimum GPA of 2.00 in order to be awarded an associate degree or certificate.
During fall and spring semesters, students in good academic standing may register for a maximum of eighteen (18) credits which may include a combination of:
- Nine (9) credits during a seven (7) week session.
- Twelve (12) credits during a ten (10) week session.
- Six (6) credits during a five (5) week session.
During the entire summer session, students in good academic standing may register for a maximum of twelve (12) credits which may include a combination of six (6) credits during any single summer session. If the session dates overlap, no more than six (6) credits may be taken. During the winter session students in good academic standing can register for a maximum of four (4) credits.
Students who have attempted from 0.5 to 6.5 total cumulative GPA credit hours with a GPA less than 1.4 are placed on Academic Warning.
Students placed on Academic Warning will have this fact noted on their grade reports and transcripts and they are required to:
- Meet with advising staff before registering for any credit or transitional studies course.
- Meet with advising staff before making any changes to their class schedule.
Placement on Academic Warning will continue until the student's cumulative GPA increases above the level indicated on the Academic Progress Table.
Students who have attempted eight (8) or more total cumulative GPA credit hours with a GPA less than the level indicated on the Academic Progress Table are placed on Academic Restriction.
Students placed on Academic Restriction will have this fact noted on their transcripts and they are required to:
- Meet with advising staff before registering for any credit or transitional studies course.
- Meet with advising staff before making any changes to their class schedule.
Students placed on academic restriction may register for a maximum of eight (8) credits during fall and spring semesters and summer session and four (4) credits during winter session.
Students who attain a 2.50 GPA or higher in at least six (6) college-level credits (courses numbered 100 or higher) during a restricted semester, yet fail to meet the minimum cumulative GPA on the Academic Progress Table, may discuss waiver of the eight (8) credit limit with an academic advisor.
Placement on Academic Restriction will continue until the student's cumulative GPA increases above the level indicated on the Academic Progress Table.
After a student is on Academic Restriction for one semester and does not achieve the minimum GPA as listed on the Academic Suspension Table during the next semester of enrollment, the student will then be placed on academic suspension.
Students will not be placed on Academic Suspension at the end of any review period in which they have achieved a GPA of 2.00 or higher.
Students placed on Academic suspension after the spring or summer semesters will not be allowed to re-enroll until the following winter semester. Students placed on Academic Suspension after the fall or winter semesters will not be allowed to re-enroll until the following summer semester.
After the semester of non-enrollment lapses:
- Students must see an advising staff member to request re-enrollment.
- Students who are removed from Academic Suspension will be on Academic Restriction and may not register for more than seven (7) credits until they earn status of Good Standing.
Academic Suspension Table
|Total Cumulative GPA Hours Attempted||Suspension if GPA is below|
|7.0 - 12.5||1.20|
|13.0 - 17.5||1.30|
|18.0 - 22.5||1.40|
|23.0 - 27.5||1.50|
|28.0 - 32.5||1.60|
|33.0 - 37.5||1.70|
|38.0 - 42.5||1.80|
|43.0 - 47.5||1.90|
|48 and above||2.00|
Alternative Instructional Delivery Modes
At Harford Community College students have the opportunity to explore service projects both in and out of the classroom. Academic Service Learning courses provide the student an interactive opportunity to engage in meaningful service in the community that is integrated into his/her course curriculum. Academic Service Learning courses are designed in a way that ensures the service enhances the student's learning and, in turn, this reciprocated knowledge benefits the community. Faculty ensure that purposeful civic learning opportunities are available which intentionally direct the student's learning while promoting active civic participation in the community. Student participation in Academic Service Learning is a component of the course that requires time outside of the classroom as determined by each faculty member's course requirements that are of reasonable expectations. For information call the course instructor or the:
Academic Service Learning Faculty Liaison
Compressed courses are offered during a shorter period of time than a traditional 15-week fall and spring semester. These courses are designed for students who want to take courses for periods of time between approximately 3 to 13 weeks. These courses offer the same content and clock hours as full 15-week semester courses, but the term of instruction is compressed and is offered within a traditional semester and during the winter and summer sessions.
Visit the schedule of classes for more information on compressed courses.
Online and Hybrid Course Learning
Four degree programs can be completed entirely online: General Studies, Business Administration, Computer Information Systems, and Psychology.
As a member of Maryland Online (MOL), the College participates in course sharing with other community colleges in Maryland, providing students the opportunity to take classes throughout the state without leaving Harford County.
The College supports several online models for course delivery including:
Online Courses: For online courses, instruction, course materials, and learning activities are delivered completely online. Students may be required to complete activities at a location other than their home (e.g., assignments which require an activity within the community or courses which may include but is not limited to a field placement or internship, attend orientations, and/or take proctored exams at a testing center). To be successful in an online course, you must be an independent learner who is motivated, has good time management, has good computer skills, and have reliable Internet access.
Hybrid Courses: Hybrid courses deliver some course materials and learning activities online and some course materials and learning activities face-to-face. Students will be required to come on campus for scheduled classes, labs, or other activities and to complete mandatory online work. To be successful in a hybrid course, you will need to be motivated to work independently between class meetings, have good time management skills, and have reliable Internet access and basic computer skills.
Web-Enhanced Courses: These courses require regularly scheduled attendance on campus but include online components.
A listing of all online and hybrid courses can be found in the schedule of classes and on the eLearning website.
The Honors Program is a selective program open to students who meet admissions requirements. To be eligible, new students must meet the requirements to enroll in college-level English and reading courses and must possess a minimum high school GPA of 3.2, or be recommended by a dean or Honors faculty. Current or transfer students must be eligible to enroll in college-level English and reading courses and must possess a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.2 in at least nine credits of college-level courses, or be recommended by a dean or Honors faculty member. Once admitted, students may select Honors courses along with courses unique to their degree programs. In order to be accepted into the program, eligible students must submit a program application to the Registration and Records Office. Once accepted, students must maintain a cumulative GPA of no less than 3.0 in Honors courses.
Students who successfully complete nine credits of Honors coursework with a 3.2 GPA will receive the "Honors" designation on their academic transcripts and be recognized at graduation. See the schedule of credit classes for the course listings.
Visit the Honors Program webpage for more information on the Honors Program at HCC.
Independent Study Courses
Independent Study courses (courses numbered 191-194; worth 1-4 credits) enable students to delve into areas of special interest. The design of an independent study course is based on the needs and interests of the student and is created in cooperation with a faculty member. The course must be approved by the faculty member and the appropriate division dean. Only six credits (total) per student will be awarded for independent study. Students who have completed fifteen hours of college-level course work are eligible for Independent Study courses.
Independent Study courses must have the appropriate approval and be registered in the Registration and Records Office by the third week of classes of a semester in which credit is to be granted.
Global Education and Engagement
There is significant national support for community colleges pursuing international education initiatives. The American Association of Community Colleges states, "the ability to live and work productively in a networked, global society is now demanded of everyone." The U.S. Departments of State and Education co-sponsor International Education Week with the goal of promoting "programs that prepare Americans for a global environment and attract future leaders from abroad to study, learn and exchange experiences in the United States." Harford Community College supports these goals through the Office of Global Education and Engagement.
Working collaboratively with the entire campus community, the mission of the Office of Global Education and Engagement is to prepare students and the community to actively participate in and help shape the future of the interconnected global society. Our activities stem from HCC's dedication to fostering "lifelong learning, global awareness, and social and cultural enrichment," and include creative experiences for students, staff and Harford County residents. Our programs include opportunities to travel and study abroad through credit, noncredit, and service-learning options; campus and community events highlighting global themes; student clubs that encourage multicultural integration; and a wide variety of activities in celebration of International Education Week each November.
Visit HCC's Global Education and Engagement webpage for more information on Global Education and Engagement and Travel/Study opportunities.
Special Topics Courses
Special Topics courses (1-9 credits) are intended to meet the needs of students, business and the community and will vary each semester depending on identified needs. The topic for study and course description will appear in the current Schedule of Credit Classes.
The College offers a variety of courses on weekends. Class schedules vary, but may involve attendance on Friday evening, Saturday, and Sunday. Weekend courses are scheduled over the regular 15-week semester and in compressed formats, meeting for only four to seven weekends. See the current schedule of credit classes for more details.
Prerequisites are courses that must be completed before attending a higher level course. Students can register for the next semester if presently enrolled in prerequisite course(s). If the student does not successfully complete the prerequisite, the College has the right to drop administratively the student from the higher level course.
Academic educational records are maintained for all students. This record contains all course work, including courses that are repeated, transfer credit, academic status, grade point average, disciplinary expulsion and degree(s) granted. This record is kept as a permanent record of the College.
Other educational records contain, but are not limited to, high school and/or college transcripts, letters the student may have sent to the College, copies of letters sent to the student by the College, test scores, and academic appeal information. These records are kept approximately two years after the date of last enrollment.
Transcript of Academic Record
Official academic records are kept on permanent file in the Registration and Records Office. All requests for transcripts must be submitted in writing or online. Telephone requests cannot be honored. Any financial obligation to the College must be cleared before a transcript will be released. There is a charge per transcript copy.