Academic Policies

Semester System

Mitchell operates on a three-semester system. Credit of one semester hour is awarded for each:

  • 16 hours of class work
  • 32 or 48 hours of laboratory work
  • 48 hours of clinical practice
  • 160 hours of work experience such as cooperative education, practicum, and internships


All students must register at the beginning of each semester of attendance. Students may not attend courses for which they are not officially enrolled. Formal completed enrollment is based on the official class rosters generated by the Office of Student Records after registration.

Course Load

A student registered for 12 semester hours is considered full-time. These requirements are the minimum in order to receive full VA benefits. The normal course load for an A.A., A.S., or A.F.A. degree is 16 credit hours per semester. The normal course load for A.A.S. technical degrees is 18 credit hours per semester. Students may not register for more than 21 credit hours without approval of the Vice President for Instruction. Approval to carry more hours will be based on past academic achievement. Students who are employed while attending college should consult with their faculty advisor to determine an appropriate course load.


Students are classified as freshmen from initial enrollment until they earn 30 semester hours credit. After that, they are classified as sophomores. For student activities purposes, students must have been enrolled for a minimum of two semesters before they are classified as sophomores.

Withdrawal Policy

It is the student’s responsibility to withdraw from a class by the withdrawal date noted on the College’s Academic Calendar.* Failure to withdraw by the required date may result in receiving a grade of “F” for the course(es). Students are encouraged to consult with their instructor and advisor prior to withdrawing from a class.

For students in violation of the College’s Code of Conduct, the Vice President for Student Services reserves the right to issue an administrative withdrawal from one or all classes.**

* The Academic Calendar can be found on the College website or on Page 7 of the 2018-2019 Mitchell Community College Catalog.

** The Student Code of Conduct can be found on the College website and in the 2018-2019 Student Handbook.

Attendance Policy

Effective Fall 2018, Mitchell Community College is a non-attendance taking institution. However, Mitchell will collect attendance information from faculty through the census date (10% point) of a class session as required by the North Carolina Community College System.

Faculty are required to submit attendance rosters, indicating those students who have either never attended class(es) or have never participated in the course (i.e. by submitting assignments, completing a syllabus quiz, or attending an in-class meeting). Each Faculty member is required to communicate attendance expectations to their classes. These attendance expectations should be included in the course document and faculty members’ syllabus for each course

Attendance Expectations

Attendance begins on the first scheduled day of class, even for students who register late. All students are expected to attend and be on time for all classes and corresponding sessions (labs/clinics/etc.).

In order to remain enrolled in an online class, a student must attend class (verified by completion of a class assignment) on or before the class census date. For seated and hybrid classes, a student must be physically present in class on or before the class census date. Being absent does not relieve the student from completing class requirements.

The Instructor’s policy on make-up work must clearly stated in the class syllabus. Obtaining and making up missed work is the student’s responsibility.

Attendance Exceptions

Attendance will still be required for High School Students (Early College and Career & College Promise), programs requiring licensure (BLET and Cosmetology) and Veteran students. For veterans to be eligible for benefits, their last day of attendance in each class must be monitored.

Census Date Policy

In order to remain enrolled in a course, a student must attend class (verified by completion of the class assignment) on or before the class census date. For seated classes, a student must be physically present in class want to before the class census data. Students enrolled in a hybrid class or an online class must take the census assignment.

If a student does not meet the Census Date requirement, the student must be reported as a no-show for the class. Students reported as a “no-show” are considered withdrawn from the class; a grade of “NS” will be reported on the students transcript.

Satisfactory Academic Progress

To be considered in good academic standing and making satisfactory academic progress toward a degree, diploma, or certificate, a student must maintain a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 2.0 or higher.
Total hours attempted are used in the computation of the overall cumulative GPA. This includes both passed and failed courses, with the exception of courses that have been repeated. For repeated courses, only the highest grade earned will be included in the calculation of the grade point average.

Academic Probation

Since 2.0 is the minimum cumulative grade point average (GPA) required to graduate, curriculum students who fail to maintain a cumulative 2.0 GPA at the completion of any semester will be placed on academic probation for the following academic term. The Director of Student Records/Registrar will notify students and their advisors by college email or letter of probationary status and will advise those students to make an appointment with their academic advisor or, if a Special Credit student, to make an appointment with a counselor.

Academic Suspension

A student who does not maintain a cumulative GPA of 2.0 or above for two consecutive semesters will be placed on academic suspension. A suspended student is prohibited from enrolling in the College until he or she has petitioned the Academic Review Board to receive permission to re-enroll.

Academic Re-Instatement

Suspended students seeking readmission must petition the Academic Review Board prior to the beginning of the semester. This written statement should include the reasons he or she would like to be admitted, his or her work schedule, proposed course load, educational goals and any other information that might provide an explanation of the circumstances that led to the academic suspension.

The Academic Review Board will review the letter and any other supporting documentation submitted by the student and will make its decision. Re-enrollment may be contingent on the student taking specific courses or activities as required by the Academic Review Board. The sole intent of the Board will be to provide the student the greatest possible opportunity for academic success.

Important Note for Students Receiving Financial Aid: The Academic Review Board can grant permission to re-enroll but does not make decisions regarding financial aid eligibility. Students who have been granted permission to re-enroll will need to contact the Financial Aid Office to discuss the status of their financial aid.

Credit Hour and Coursework Policy:

Mitchell Community College credit hour policy aligns with the state and federal directives specified in State Board of Community Colleges Code 1G SBCCC 100.1 Definitions, 1D SBCCC 400.97 Courses and Standards for Curriculum Programs, and Code of Federal Regulations 34 CFR 600.2. The College complies with these regulations in determining the amount and level of credit awarded for courses regardless of the instructional delivery methods.  The College also follows directives described in the North Carolina Community College Combined Common Course Library (CCL).

II. Definitions

A. Credit Hour: A way of measuring the academic time to which a class is equivalent.

B. Semester Credit Hour: A semester credit hour is an academic unit earned for no less than sixteen 50-minute sessions of classroom instruction.  For each class session, this basic measure may be adjusted proportionately to reflect modified academic calendars and formats of study.

C. Student Membership Hour: A student membership hour is one hour of scheduled class or laboratory for which the student is enrolled.

D. Curriculum: An organized sequence of credit-bearing courses leading to a degree, diploma, or certificate. All curriculum programs are designed to provide education, training, or retraining.

E. Curriculum Coursework: Any credit-bearing course preparatory for or required in any regular curriculum or available as an acceptable elective for any curriculum which includes elective hours.

F. Continuing Education Coursework: Any non-credit-bearing course organized for the teaching of any defined category of subject matter or special skills and presented through a single course, or through a discrete training program or training project organized and offered outside the regular curriculums offered by the institution.

G. College and Career Readiness (formerly Basic Skills): Any non-credit-bearing course that assists students in obtaining the knowledge and skills necessary for work, further education, family self-sufficiency and community involvement. The College offers a comprehensive adult education and literacy program including Foundational Skills, Compensatory Education, English as a Second Language, and General Educational Development (GED).

III. Procedures for determining credit hour

The level and amount of credit for each course in the North Carolina Community College CCL has been determined on a system-wide basis. Instruction is provided for each course based on the number of contact hours listed in the CCL for that particular course. Instruction is delivered by a variety of methods, including traditional and online formats, or a combination of both. Students also participate in course instruction and outside studies to achieve the course learning outcomes.

The awarding of credit hours(s) for asynchronous online and alternative delivery methods of instruction is reflective of the amount of student work necessary to achieve the course objectives and represents an equivalent amount of student work defined by the clock hours for the awarding of credit hour(s).

Laboratory, clinical, and work experience courses from the CCL convert from credit hours to contact hours per course using the following guidelines:

A. Credit of one semester hour is awarded for each 32 hours of experiential laboratory work. Experiential laboratory work consists of instruction given to a student by an instructor to increase the student’s knowledge and skills without immediate student application.

B. Credit of one semester hour is awarded for each 48 hours of faculty-directed laboratory work. Faculty-directed laboratory work involves structured and coordinated demonstration by an instructor with immediate student application.

C. Credit of one semester hour is awarded for each 48 hours of clinical practice. Clinical practice is a structured, faculty-directed learning experience in a health sciences program which develops job proficiency. Clinical practice requires significant preparation, coordination, and scheduling by the faculty and is under the supervision of an instructor or preceptor who is qualified for the particular program.

D. Credit of one semester hour is awarded for each 160 hours of work experience such as cooperative education, practicums, and internships. Student activity in work experience is planned and coordinated by a College representative, and the employer is responsible for the control and supervision of the student on the job.

Academic programs offered online have the same total semester credit hours as the equivalent programs offered in a traditional, face-to-face, or seated environment.