Jun 21, 2024  
2024-2025 WNCC College Catalog 
    
2024-2025 WNCC College Catalog

Academic Policies



Academic Transfer

Transferring Credits to WNCC

Academic Credit

Students wishing to transfer to WNCC credits earned at other accredited post-secondary institutions must have an official transcript sent directly from that institution to the WNCC Registrar for evaluation (registrar@wncc.edu). The Registrar and applicable department faculty determine transferability based on the equivalency of courses requested for transfer. As part of that determination, the College evaluates the depth and breadth of course content. Only courses that are similar in content are applied toward a WNCC degree, diploma, or certificate.

Nontraditional coursework (CLEP, Experiential Learning Credit, etc.) must be documented and is subject to review by the Registrar and the appropriate academic division.

Transfer credit is given for classes in which a grade of C- or better is earned from a regionally accredited institution. Transfer of courses from non-accredited institutions are subject to division approval.

Nontraditional or Experiential Learning Credit

WNCC recognizes that learning takes place throughout life and that college-level learning is not limited to institutions of higher education or to classroom settings. The rational for allowing experiential learning credit is that adult life and work can offer learning equivalent in substance and complexity to that offered in classrooms.

A maximum of 12 credits of nontraditional or experiential learning credit may be earned in a single subject area included in the College Catalog. No more than 16 credits may be applied toward graduation.

Advanced Placement

Advanced Placement (AP) is a program created by the College Board which offers college-level curricula and examinations to high school students. These courses can earn a student college credit and/or qualify the student for more advanced classes while in college.

To receive credit for AP courses, an official report from the College Board must be submitted to the Registrar’s Office (registrar@wncc.edu) documenting that the student has completed the examination with a rating of at least “3.” Credits by Advanced Placement are held pending subsequent enrollment. A grade of “P” is recorded on the academic transcript.

A maximum of 12 AP credits may be earned in subject areas included in the College Catalog. An additional four hours may be earned in another subject area to be applied toward degree requirements.

College-Level Examination Program (CLEP)

The College-Level Examination Program (CLEP) is a credit-by-examination program that allows individuals to demonstrate mastery of introductory college-level material. With a sufficient score on a specific exam, individuals can receive academic credit for prior learning acquired outside of the traditional college classroom.

WNCC participates in CLEP in both subject and general areas. Satisfactory scores in the general examination of CLEP may be used to earn up to a maximum of 16 credits at WNCC. A maximum of 12 CLEP credits may be earned in a single subject area included in the College Catalog. CLEP credits are held pending subsequent enrollment. A grade of “P” is recorded on the academic transcript. Failures are not listed.

Details concerning the earning of credit by this method can be obtained directly from the Student Success Center or the Testing and Tutoring Center.

Experiential Learning Credit

Students may petition the Registrar (registrar@wncc.edu) to receive academic credit for experiential learning acquired through certain life/work experiences. Each petition is assessed on its own merit, and each academic department is responsible for determining whether it will participate in the experiential credit process. All experiential earning must be validated through portfolio or some other suitable evaluation process.

WNCC restricts the number of credits that may in earned in a single subject area to a maximum of twelve (12). Subject areas and courses are limited to those identified in the College Catalog. Experiential credit awarded by WNCC may not transfer to other institutions; the determination of transferability rests with the accepting institution.

Military Training

WNCC accepts Military Training credit as recommended by the American Council on Education. Please contact the Registrar (registrar@wncc.edu) for further information.

Note: Not all colleges accept nontraditional or experiential learning credits. Students need to be fully aware that the credits may not transfer to another institution.

Transferring Credits from WNCC

Associate Degrees

The Associate of Arts (AA), Associate of Science (AS), and Associate of Fine Arts (AFA) degrees prepare students for transfer to a four-year college or university.

To receive a degree from Western Nebraska Community College, a student must meet the requirements stated previously in this catalog. AA, AS, and AFA degrees are based on the requirements listed herein, and the emphasis area listings that follow are recommended courses of study. It is the student’s responsibility to know the requirements for their chosen degree.

Four-year colleges and universities have their own requirements for a bachelor’s degree. Students who plan to transfer to a four-year college/university should consult their faculty advisor and transfer advisor early in their WNCC career to determine the appropriate curriculum.

Any student planning to transfer to the University of Wyoming should be aware that the American Government course transfers; however, the student will be required to take a test in Wyoming History and Government to fulfill the Wyoming government and constitution requirement mandated by the State Legislature.

A student who lacks a high school diploma or GED and is enrolled in academic transfer courses may take a maximum of 15 credits. Enrolling in further academic transfer courses requires a high school diploma or GED. Additionally, students accumulating 12 credits of coursework must take the ACCUPLACER® or provide documentation verifying an ACCUPLACER® exemption before enrolling in more courses.

The Nebraska Transfer Initiative

The Nebraska Transfer Initiative is a cooperative effort by Nebraska’s public and private higher education institutions to facilitate transfer of students who have earned an Associate of Arts degree into baccalaureate-level programs. The core of this initiative is a common general education cluster of courses. The student, in consultation with an assigned faculty advisor, transfer advisor, and the institution to which the student is transferring, should select the remainder of credits required for the Associate of Arts degree.

The initiative provides a smooth transition with a minimum loss of time and credit when the baccalaureate granting institution in Nebraska accepts it. Effectively, through this initiative, associates and baccalaureate-granting institutions are equal partners in providing the first two years of a baccalaureate degree.

Essentially, any student who has successfully completed the courses identified in the articulated Associate of Arts general education core curriculum with an equivalent of a C (2.0 on a 4.0 scale) or higher and is admitted in transfer to a participating institution is:

  • granted standing comparable to current students who have completed the same number of equivalent credit courses toward an associate/baccalaureate level degree; and
  • able to progress toward an associate/baccalaureate degree completion at a rate comparable to that of students who entered the associate/ baccalaureate institution as first-time freshmen.

Participating institutions in this initiative include:

  • Bellevue University
  • Central Community College Area
  • Chadron State College
  • Clarkson College
  • College of Saint Mary
  • Concordia College
  • Grace University
  • Hastings College
  • Little Priest Tribal College
  • Metropolitan Community College Area
  • Midland Lutheran College
  • Mid-Plains Community College Area
  • Nebraska Christian College
  • Nebraska Methodist College
  • Nebraska Wesleyan University
  • Northeast Community College Area
  • Peru State College
  • Southeast Community College Area
  • Union College
  • University of Nebraska
  • Wayne State College
  • Western Nebraska Community College
  • York College

To learn more about the Nebraska Transfer Initiative and to view the list of courses included in the Nebraska Transfer Initiative, as well as those courses for which there is a statewide syllabus, please visit statewidecourses.org/home.html

For more information on the initiative and specific institutional requirements, please contact transfer advisor and the institution to which you are transferring.

Reverse Transfer

Students who transfer before they graduate from WNCC are eligible to take advantage of the reverse transfer program. Reverse transfer simply involves requesting transcripts be sent from the credit-granting institution to WNCC for review. If the courses taken at the credit-granting institution meet the missing requirements for a student’s associates degree, WNCC will award the degree. This program allows students to finish their associates degree while pursuing their studies at another accredited institution of higher education.

Assessment

Assessment is an ongoing, systematic, and organized process aimed at understanding and improving student learning, the environment for student learning, and all College operations. Assessment promotes quality across the institution by providing evidence to guide effective decision making regarding institutional and programmatic changes, as well as classroom teaching modifications. It is a process that involves all members of the College community - faculty, students, staff, and administration - and provides the foundation for quality improvement based on data collection, analysis, planning, and allocation of resources.

WNCC is committed to assessment, both in and out of the classroom, and seeks to improve teaching and learning, as well as persistence and completion rates.

Program Review

A formal review of all instructional programs offered by Western Nebraska Community College takes place on a five-year cycle, using an internal process and one developed by and reported to the Nebraska Coordinating Commission for Postsecondary Education (CCPE). Programs also may be reviewed at the discretion of a department, division, or Educational Services. Advisory committees comprised of business and industry representatives meet once a semester and provide recommendations regarding program content. A listing of the advisory committees of the College appears in the “College Information ” section of this catalog.

Tests and Examinations

Tests and examinations are an integral part of education. Not only do they provide motivation for study, but they are also used in the assessment of learning outcomes and the evaluation of educational objectives. Tests and examinations may be administered in all courses at the discretion of the instructor.

Attendance

Attendance and participation are necessary and required components to successfully completing a course. Successful students attend class regularly, come to each class prepared, and engage in class activities. Classes at WNCC are set up in a format in which students will not only be participating in lectures and discussions, but they will also be experiencing a variety of activities throughout the semester that will help them master the material. It is vital for students’ success that they experience these different learning tools for maximum benefit from the course. Students who are repeatedly tardy or absent from class will be missing vital components necessary for their success. Students should review their respective instructor’s attendance policy found in the class syllabus.

Faculty may, at their discretion, utilize an “attendance warning notice” to make students aware of the ramifications of excessive absences. Faculty may also administratively withdraw students from a course for failing to attend. Such action cannot be taken after the last day to withdraw from a class as established by the Registrar each semester, and students have the right appeal that action. Faculty may, however, continue to issue an attendance warning notice as necessary after the last day to withdraw from class.

Students who stop attending class should not assume they have been administratively withdrawn and should follow the institution’s formal withdrawal process for courses or from the College.

Absence for Emergencies

If a student must miss class due to an unforeseen circumstance (accident, bereavement, serious illness, etc.), the student should contact their instructor or instructors prior to the absence to discuss or arrange to make up missing work. Instructors may ask for documentation that validates the absence; instructors are expected to make reasonable arrangements for the completion of missing work.

Absence for Sanctioned School Activities

Students participating in sanctioned school activities will not be penalized for missing class if the student and instructor have met prior to the absence and have arranged to complete all missing work. Students are responsible for discussing the absence and missing assignments with the instructor, along with a plan for completion, before the scheduled activity date. Instructors are expected to make reasonable arrangements for the completion of the missing work for these students. Students who know they will be repeatedly absent due to school activities should speak with their advisor on alternative course selections that may fit in better with the activity schedule.

Disabilities and Accommodations

If a student believes it may not be possible to abide by the absence policy because of issues related to a disability, the student must contact the Counseling Director (Disability Services Officer) before the academic semester begins or as soon as the need arises to discuss the matter of a possible accommodation. Determination of eligibility for a disability-related class absence is made on a case-by-case basis.

Absence for Military Duty

A student responding to a lawful deployment order through a branch of the United States armed forces may avail themself of specified course alterations or modifications by requesting a Military Leave of Absence (MLOA) through their instructor. Military leave policy relates to students who are registered for classes at WNCC, whether by face-to-face or distance learning instructional delivery.

Absence for Religious Observation

A student may request an excused absence from class for participation in religious observances. In all such instances, it is the student’s responsibility to request, preferably in writing, that the instructor excuse the absence and to discuss how the absence will affect the student’s ability to meet the course requirements. A student should make any such requests by the end of the second week of classes.

Medical Withdrawal

WNCC recognizes that students may experience medical situations that significantly limit their ability to function successfully or safely in their role as students. In those situations, students should consider requesting a medical withdrawal, which permits students to take a break from college life and their studies so that they may receive treatment and later return to school with an enhanced opportunity to achieve their academic goals. It is imperative students considering a medical withdrawal meet with Financial Aid before finalizing a full drop.

Work-Based Learning

Western Nebraska Community College recognizes that there are important elements of career preparation that cannot adequately be taught within the confines of the classroom. Work-based learning opportunities, in the form of job shadowing, practicums, clinical rotations, and internships allow students to apply classroom theory to real-life, on-the-job experiences. These experiences provide a critical link between the classroom and a chosen career. They also provide students the opportunity to develop the “soft skills” employers look for: professionalism, work ethic, effective communication and interpersonal skills, and personal responsibility and initiative.

Job Shadowing

A job shadow is a short-term learning experience in which a student observes and “shadows” an individual who works in an occupational area of their interest. Typically, job shadows only last a few hours, up to a day. These experiences are good opportunities for students to learn about a “day in the life” of the careers they are interested in. There is no academic credit associated with job shadowing. Job shadows can be set up in the Career Pathways & Advising Office.

Practicum

A practicum requires an in-class component of learning and is always tied to academic credit at WNCC. It is not a paid learning experience.

Practicums are typically arranged by a faculty member as part of the instruction of a course - the opportunity to put into practice what is being taught in the course at that time and building on past instruction. A student earns one college credit per 45 hours of practicum experience in the semester. At WNCC, practicums are most common in the health and social sciences.

Clinical Rotation

A clinical rotation is built into many of the health sciences programs at WNCC as a part of the curricula or program of study. Clinicals, like practicums, require an in-class component of learning and are always tied to academic credit. They are also unpaid learning experiences.

Clinical sites are set up by administrators and program directors at the College, so students are assigned to sites based on availability and fit. These rotations allow students to apply knowledge from the classroom to real life medical situations. Schedules are arranged around class schedules, and credit is provided for the experiences. Just as with a practicum, a student earns one college credit per 45 hours of practicum experience in a semester.

Internships

An internship is work-based learning that ties academic education to the workplace. Students participate in relatively short-term work placements, that can be paid or unpaid. Students are typically responsible for identifying internship opportunities, though faculty members and advisors in the Student Success Center may have resources to share with interested students.

An internship may or may not be tied to academic credit at WNCC. Internships that are tied to academic credit are guided by learning objectives and evaluated by both the employer and a WNCC faculty sponsor. When tied to academic credit, the course becomes a part of a student’s schedule and is evaluated just like a regular class. Some academic programs require internship courses in order to graduate.

WNCC does not require a formal evaluation for internships that are not tied to academic credit, and these experiences will not show up on a student’s transcripts. Also, internships do not require any in-class learning experiences as do practicums, but typically require prior in-class learning experiences that tie to the

Internships can be pursued in any academic term - fall, spring, or summer. If a student is interested in exploring an internship, there are two criteria the student must meet:

  • Twelve (12) credit hours in program-specific coursework related to the internship as determined by the department and faculty sponsor.
  • A minimum cumulative GPA of 2.5 in program-specific coursework.

Prior to the beginning of the semester, a student will meet with a faculty sponsor, the internship coordinator located in the Student Success Center, and the employer with whom the student is interested in working to develop an internship agreement. The faculty sponsor, in consultation with the employer and the students, will determine the number of credit hours the student will earn upon completion of the internship. The number of credit hours will depend upon the length of employment and total hours worked. A student earns one college credit per 60 hours of internship experience in the semester.

Once the training agreement is in place, the coordinating instructor will make periodic visits or phone calls to the respective internship site for evaluative purposes and will ultimately determine the final grade.

A maximum of 12 internship or practicum credit hours can be applied towards a degree.

For more information about work-based experience, please contact the Student Success Center at 308.635.6000 or pathways@wncc.edu.

Note: A veteran may not be eligible to receive VA benefits and participate in work-based learning. Please check with the Military and Veterans Affairs Office before proceeding.

Course/Credit Information

Course Abbreviations

Western Nebraska Community College uses the following standard abbreviations for academic subject areas as part of its course designations and descriptions. The first four characters, as presented below, represent the specific academic subject area.

ACCT Accounting
ADNR Nursing (Associate Degree)
ANTH Anthropology
ARTS Art
AUTB Collision Repair & Refinish Technology
AUTO Automotive Technology
AVIA Aviation Maintenance
BIOS Biological Sciences
BSAD Business Administration
BSTC Business Technology
CHEM Chemistry
CRIM Criminal Justice
DSLT Diesel, Truck, & Heavy Equipment Technology
DRAF Drafting Technology
ECED Early Childhood Education
ECON Economics
EDUC Education
EMSP Emergency Medical Services
ENGL English
ENGR Engineering
GBST Global Studies
HIMS Health Information Technology
HIST History
HLTH Health Occupations
HUMS Humanities
HUSR Human Services
INFO Information Technology
LPNR Nursing (Practical)
MATH Mathematics
MEDT Medical Laboratory Technician
MNGT Management
MRKT Marketing
MUSC Music
NURS Nursing
PHED Physical Education
PHIL Philosophy
PHOT Photography
PHYS Physical Sciences
POLS Political Science
PRDV Personal Development
PSYC Psychology
SOCI Sociology
SPAN Spanish
SPCH Speech
SURT Surgical Technology
THEA Theatre Arts
TRAN Transportation
UTIL Powerline Construction and Maintenance
WELD Welding Technology

Course Numbering

  1. Courses offered at Western Nebraska Community College have an eight-character code grouped in three (3) sections.
  2. The first four characters (NNNN-xxxx) represent the academic subject area in which the course is normally taught.
  3. The fifth character (xxxx-Nxxx) represents the level of the course.
  4. The sixth, seventh, and eighth characters (xxxx-xNNN) represent the specific course number.

This system of course coding provides identification of courses by discipline and level as well as transferability with other institutions.

  1. If both the fifth and sixth characters are “zero” (xxxx-00xx) these courses are developmental in nature. Developmental courses do not meet graduation requirements for associate degrees, diplomas, or certificates.
  2. If only the fifth character is a “zero” (xxxx-0xxx) the courses are not transferable and do not meet graduation requirements for AA or AS degrees but meet graduation requirements for the AAS degree.
  3. If the fifth character is “one” (xxxx-1xxx) it is a freshman level course offering; and if “two” (xxxx-2xxx) a sophomore level course offering.
  4. The sixth and seventh characters are assigned to identify each specific course.

Course Offerings

The College reserves the right to select the courses offered during any semester. Course offerings are announced in the official schedule for the semester but are contingent upon sufficient enrollment levels and staff availability. Course scheduling is subject to change without prior notification.

Credit

The unit of measure for a course is a credit; one credit is earned in a course that is scheduled for one class hour per week for a 15-week semester. An exception to this rule is for labs associated with a lecture course. For labs, two or three class credits in the laboratory are required for a single credit.

Credits for each course are indicated after the course title and are awarded in accordance with the minimum requirements as follows:

  1. Semester Hours: Total number of credit hours a course is assigned
  2. Lecture Classroom: A supervised lecture (15 contact hours per credit).
  3. Laboratory Hours: A supervised laboratory experience (30 contact hours per credit).
  4. Vocational Laboratory: A supervised laboratory experience in a vocational field (45 contact hours per credit).
  5. PE Hours: A course requiring students to participate in physical training or conditioning or other physical exercise activities, sports, or games (30 contact hours per credit).
  6. Ensemble Hours: A course requiring recital-, performance-, or ensemble-focused experiential work, where students, through practice or rehearsal, engage in the creative and artistic act of performing works of music for a jury or audience (15 contact hours per credit).
  7. Studio Hours: A course in which all students are engaged in created or artistic activities which are new and unique and not formulated in a lecture setting.
    • Art Studio Hours (25 contact hours per credit)
    • Music Studio Hours (7.5 contact hours per credit)
    • Dance Studio Hours (45 contact hours per credit)
  8. Practicum/Clinical/Recitation: A supervised experience in a clinical setting either on or off campus (45 contact credits per credit).
  9. Internship: An outside work experience governed by the College (60 contact credits per credit).

Credit for a course may be earned only once. Exceptions are made for the following courses which may be taken more than once for credit though there is a limit on the number of credits that can be earned:

Graduation Requirements

To be accepted as a degree candidate, the student must show eligibility by completing a written degree audit with the Registrar by the graduation application deadline of the term they wish to graduate. This deadline is set for the second Friday of November for fall graduation, the second Friday of April for spring graduation, and the second Friday of June for summer graduation. Students must also meet the following minimum qualifications:

  • all entrance requirements must be fulfilled,
  • all financial obligations to the College must be paid, and
  • a minimum of 60 credits must be earned with a grade point average of 2.0 (“C”) on all WNCC credits.

The commencement ceremony takes place each year at the close of the spring semester.

Residency Requirement for Graduation

Students must complete 25% of their degree requirements from WNCC.

Any exceptions to this requirement must meet with the express approval of the Chief Academic Officer.