Dec 06, 2022  
2017-2018 Academic Catalog 
2017-2018 Academic Catalog Archived Catalog

College Regulations


Student Rights and Responsibilities

Flathead Valley Community College students are responsible for knowing the information, policies and procedures outlined in the catalog. The College reserves the right to make changes as necessary and once those changes are posted online, they are in effect. Students are encouraged to check online at for the current versions of all policies and procedures.

Release of Information

Flathead Valley Community College will release to outside agencies or persons, upon request, the following directory information pertaining to a specific student:

  • Name;
  • Photograph;
  • Phone number;
  • Temporary or permanent address;
  • Home or Campus Email address;
  • Campus;
  • Enrollment status;
  • Dates of attendance;
  • Area of study;
  • Degrees/certificates awarded;
  • Participation in officially recognized activities and sports;
  • Honors and awards received; and
  • Grade level.

Complete directory information of students will be provided according to the Solomon Amendment.

If a student chooses not to have any or all of the directory information released, he/she is required to inform the Admissions and Records Office in writing, by submitting a Release of Information form available in the Admissions and Records Office. The college will not release other information without written permission, unless subpoenaed by a court or tribunal of competent jurisdiction. (M.C.A.20-25-515).

Students have the right to review and inspect all information pertaining to their educational records, including admissions and academic records. The Admissions and Records Office requires at least 48 hours notice if a student wishes to review his/her records. A student may request an amendment to his/her records on the grounds he/she feels the records are inaccurate, misleading or violate his/her rights. If the amendment is denied, the contents can be challenged through a hearing process with the Dean of Students.

According to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) regulations, a student’s educational records may be disclosed without prior written consent to specific bodies. A record of each request will be kept in the student’s file. Students who believe that FVCC is not complying with the requirements of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) may file complaints in writing to: Family Policy Compliance Office, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Ave., SW, Washington, D.C. 20202-5920.

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act prohibits disclosure of academic information to third parties without prior written consent of the student. (Exception: the disclosure of academic information to other agencies or institutions that have requested the records and in which the student seeks or intends to enroll or is already enrolled so long as the disclosure is for purposes related to the student’s enrollment or transfer.)

Academic Probation and Dismissal

A degree-seeking or Running Start student will be placed on academic probation anytime his/her cumulative grade point average (GPA) falls below 2.0.

A student on probation will be required to meet with a Student Support Center advisor before starting the next semester to discuss academic goals and barriers and ways to achieve the goals. A review of the academic assistance available at FVCC and the development of a plan to assist the individual in achieving his/her academic goals will also take place.

If a student fails to improve his/her GPA each term while on academic probation, he/she will have two options: choose academic suspension for a period of no less than one year or agree to a plan of extensive remediation developed by the college. If remediation is unsuccessful or if the student fails to comply with the prescribed plan, he/she will be suspended immediately for no less than one year. A student reinstated after being on academic suspension will be required to meet with a Student Support Center advisor prior to registering each semester.

If a student has been on hiatus for three or more years, the probation status will be waived for the returning semester.

Once a student’s cumulative GPA improves to a 2.0 or better, he/she will be removed from academic probation or suspension status and will no longer be required to meet with a Student Support Center advisor.

A non-degree-seeking student who has a cumulative GPA below a 2.0 will be limited to less than six (6) credits per semester, without developing a remediation plan with a Student Support Center advisor, until the student’s cumulative GPA improves to a 2.0 or better.

Student Code of Conduct and Student Complaints

The purpose of this policy is to promote the prompt and efficient resolution of student conduct violations and student complaints about College employees. Complaints involving discrimination, harassment, sexual misconduct, stalking or retaliation are addressed in Board Policy Chapter 1 Section 60 and the Discrimination and Harassment Grievance Procedure. Copies of this procedure and the Student Complaint Form may be obtained from the Dean of Students or online at

FVCC students are responsible for knowing the information outlined in this document. The College reserves the right to make changes to this code as necessary and once those changes are posted online, they are in effect. Students are encouraged to check online at for current student policies and procedures.


The core values of student conduct at FVCC are as follows:

I. Integrity: College students exemplify honesty, honor and a respect for the truth in all of their dealings.

II. Community: College students build and enhance their community.

III. Social Justice: College students are just and equitable in their treatment of all members of the community and act to discourage and/or intervene to prevent unjust and inequitable behaviors.

IV. Respect: College students show positive regard for each other, for property and for the community.

V. Responsibility: College students are given and accept a high level of responsibility to self, to others and to the community.


The Code of Student Conduct and the student conduct process apply to the conduct of individual students and all College-affiliated student organizations. For the purposes of student conduct, the College considers an individual to be a student when the student registers for a class.

The College retains conduct jurisdiction over students who choose to take a leave of absence, withdraw or have graduated for any misconduct that occurred prior to the leave, withdrawal or graduation. If sanctioned, a hold may be placed on the student’s ability to re-enroll and /or obtain official transcripts and/or graduate and all sanctions must be satisfied prior to re-enrollment eligibility. In the event of serious misconduct committed while still enrolled but reported after the accused student has graduated, the College may invoke these procedures and should the former student be found responsible, the College may revoke that student’s degree.

The Code of Student Conduct applies to behaviors that take place on the campus, at College-sponsored events and may also apply off-campus when the Dean of Students or designee determines that the off-campus conduct affects a substantial College interest. A substantial College interest is defined to include:

  • Any situation where it appears that the student’s conduct may present a danger or threat to the health or safety of him/herself or others; and/or
  • Any situation that significantly impinges upon the rights, property or achievements of self or others or significantly breaches the peace and/or causes social disorder; and/or
  • Any situation that is detrimental to the educational mission and/or interests of the College;

The Code of Student Conduct may be applied to behavior conducted online, via email or other electronic medium. Students should also be aware that online postings such as blogs, web postings, chats and social networking sites are in the public sphere and are not private. These postings can subject a student to allegations of conduct violations if evidence of policy violations is posted online.

The College does not regularly search for this information but may take action if and when such information is brought to the attention of College officials. However, most online speech by students not involving College networks or technology will be protected as free expression and not subject to this Code, with two notable exceptions:

  • A true threat, defined as “a threat a reasonable person would interpret as a serious expression of intent to inflict bodily harm upon specific individuals”;
  • Speech posted online about the College or its community members that causes a significant on-campus disruption including speech that is obscene or defamatory.

The Code of Student Conduct applies to guests of the campus community whose hosts may be held accountable for the misconduct of their guests. Visitors to and guests of the College may seek resolution of violations of the Code of Student Conduct committed against them by members of College community.

There is no time limit on reporting violations of the Code of Student Conduct; however, the longer someone waits to report an offense, the harder it becomes for College officials to obtain information and witness statements and to make determinations regarding alleged violations.

Though anonymous complaints are permitted, doing so may limit the College’s ability to investigate and respond to a complaint. Those who are aware of misconduct are encouraged to report it as quickly as possible to the Dean of Students.

The withdrawal of a student facing an alleged violation of the Code of Student Conduct will not deprive the College of jurisdiction to determine whether there has been a violation and, if so, to impose appropriate sanctions.

College email is the College’s primary means of communication with students. Students are responsible for all communication delivered to their College email address.


Alleged violations of federal, state and local laws may be investigated and addressed under the Code of Student Conduct. When an offense occurs over which the College has jurisdiction, the College conduct process will usually go forward notwithstanding any criminal complaint that may arise from the same incident.

The College reserves the right to exercise its authority of interim suspension upon notification that a student is facing criminal investigation and/or complaint (additional grounds for interim suspension are outlined below). Interim suspensions are imposed until a hearing can be held, typically within two weeks. Within that time, the suspended student may request an immediate hearing from the Dean of Students to show cause why the interim suspension should be lifted. This hearing may resolve the allegation, or may be held to determine if the interim suspension should be continued. The interim suspension may be continued if a danger to the community is posed and the College may be delayed or prevented from conducting its own investigation and resolving the allegation by the pendency of the criminal process. In such cases, the College will only delay its hearing until such time as it can conduct an internal investigation or obtain sufficient information independently or from law enforcement upon which to proceed. This delay will be no longer than two weeks from notice of the incident unless a longer delay is requested in writing by the complaining victim to allow the criminal investigation to proceed before the College process.

Students accused of crimes may request to take a leave from the College until the criminal charges are resolved. In such situations, the College procedure for voluntary leaves of absence is subject to the following conditions:

  • The responding student must comply with all campus investigative efforts that will not prejudice their defense in the criminal trial; and
  • The responding student must comply with all interim actions and/or restrictions imposed during the leave of absence; and
  • The responding student must agree that, in order to be reinstated to active student status, they must first be subject to, and fully cooperate with, the campus conduct process and must comply with all sanctions that are imposed.


The College considers the behavior described in the following sub-sections as inappropriate for the College community and in opposition to the core values set forth in this document. These expectations and rules apply to all students. The College encourages campus community members to report to College officials all incidents that involve the following actions. Any student found to have committed or to have attempted to commit the following misconduct is subject to the sanctions outlined in Conduct Procedures.

I. Integrity: College students exemplify honesty, honor and a respect for the truth in all of their dealings. Behavior that violates this value includes, but is not limited to:

1) Falsification: Knowingly furnishing or possessing false, falsified or forged materials, documents, accounts, records, identification or financial instruments;

2) Academic Dishonesty: Acts of academic dishonesty as outlined in the catalog;

3) Unauthorized Access: Unauthorized access to any College building (i.e. keys, cards, etc.) or unauthorized possession, duplication or use of means of access to any College building or failing to timely report a lost College-issued student identification card or key;

4) Collusion: Action or inaction with another or others to violate the Code of Student Conduct;

5) Trust: Violations of positions of trust within the community;

6) Election Tampering: Tampering with the election of any College-recognized student organization:

7) Taking of Property: Intentional and unauthorized taking of College property or the personal property of another, including goods, services and other valuables;

8) Stolen Property: Knowingly taking or maintaining possession of stolen property;

II. Community: College students build and enhance their community. Behavior that violates this value includes, but is not limited to:

9) Disruptive Behavior: Substantial disruption of College operations including obstruction of teaching, research, administration, other College activities, and/or other authorized non-College activities which occur on campus;

10) Rioting: Causing, inciting or participating in any disturbance that presents a clear and present danger to self or others, causes physical harm to others, or damage and/or destruction of property;

11) Unauthorized Entry: Misuse of access privileges to College premises or unauthorized entry to or use of buildings, including trespassing, propping or unauthorized use of alarmed doors for entry into or exit from a College building;

12) Trademark: Unauthorized use (including misuse) of College or organizational names and images;

13) Damage and Destruction: Intentional, reckless and/or unauthorized damage to or destruction of College property or the personal property of another;

14) IT and Acceptable Use: Violating the College Acceptable Use Policy;

15) Gambling: Gambling as prohibited by the laws of the State of Montana. Gambling may include raffles, lotteries, sports pools and online betting activities;

16) Weapons: Possessing, concealing, brandishing, or giving the appearance of being in possession of a weapon. A weapon is defined as an instrument, article, chemical or other substance that is designed, used or likely to be used to commit a criminal offense, cause bodily harm or property damage including, but not limited to, any type of firearm, a knife with a blade 4 or more inches in length, a sword, a straight razor, a throwing star, nun-chucks, or brass or other metal knuckles, or other potential dangerous items;

17) Tobacco: Smoking or tobacco or e-cigarette use in any area of campus;

18) Fire Safety: Violation of local, state, federal or campus fire policies including, but not limited to:

a) Intentionally or recklessly causing a fire which damages College or personal property or which causes injury.

b) Failure to evacuate a College-controlled building during a fire alarm;

c) Improper use of College fire safety equipment; or

d) Tampering with or improperly engaging a fire alarm or fire detection/control equipment while on College property. Such action may result in a local fine in addition to College sanctions;

19) Animals: Animals, with the exception of service animals that provide assistance are not permitted on campus except as permitted by law.

20) Wheeled Devices: Skateboards, roller blades, roller skates, bicycles and similar wheeled devices are not permitted to be used inside College buildings or on tennis courts. Additionally, skateboards and other wheeled items may not be ridden on railings, curbs, benches, or any such fixtures that may be damaged by these activities, and individuals may be liable for damage to College property caused by these activities.

III. Social Justice: Students recognize that respecting the dignity of every person is essential for creating and sustaining a flourishing college community. They understand and appreciate how their decisions and actions impact others and are just and equitable in their treatment of all members of the community. They act to discourage and challenge those whose actions may be harmful to and/or diminish the worth of others. Conduct violations within this category (items 21-33) will be addressed through the Discrimination Grievance Procedure. Conduct that violates this value includes, but is not limited to:

21) Discrimination: Any act that materially interferes with any individual’s employment, education, living environment or participation in a FVCC program based upon an individual’s race, color, religion, creed, political ideas, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, marital status, veteran’s status, service in the uniformed services as defined by state and federal law, physical or mental disability, national origin or ancestry except as authorized by law.

22) Harassment: Any unwelcome conduct based on actual or perceived status including: [race, color, religion, creed, political ideas, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, marital status, veteran’s status, service in the uniformed services as defined by state and federal law, physical or mental disability, national origin or ancestry except as authorized by law]. Any unwelcome conduct should be reported to campus officials, who will act to remedy and resolve reported incidents on behalf of the victim and community.

a) Hostile Environment: Sanctions can and will be imposed for the creation of a hostile environment only when harassment is sufficiently severe, pervasive (or persistent) and objectively offensive that it unreasonably interferes with, limits or denies the ability to participate in or benefit from the College’s educational or employment program or activities.

23) Retaliatory Discrimination or Harassment: Any intentional, adverse action taken by an responding individual or allied third party, absent legitimate nondiscriminatory purposes, against a participant [or supporter of a participant] in a civil rights grievance proceeding, student conduct or policy violation or other protected activity [under this Code].

24) Bystanding:

a) Complicity with or failure of any student to [appropriately] address known or obvious violations of the Code of Student Conduct or law;

b) Complicity with or failure of any organized group to [appropriately] address known or obvious violations of the Code of Student Conduct or law by its members.

25) Abuse of Conduct Process: Abuse or interference with, or failure to comply in, College processes including conduct and academic integrity hearings including, but not limited to:

a) Falsification, distortion, or misrepresentation of information;

b) Failure to provide, destroying or concealing information during an investigation of an alleged policy violation;

c) Attempting to discourage an individual’s proper participation in, or use of, the campus conduct system;

d) Harassment (verbal or physical) and/or intimidation of a member of a campus conduct body prior to, during, and/or following a campus conduct proceeding;

e) Failure to comply with the sanction(s) imposed by the campus conduct system;

f) Influencing, or attempting to influence, another person to commit an abuse of the campus conduct system.

IV. Respect: College students show positive regard for each other and for the community. Behavior that violates this value includes, but is not limited to:

26) Harm to Persons: Intentionally or recklessly causing physical harm or endangering the health or safety of any person.

27) Threatening Behaviors:

a) Threat: Written or verbal conduct that causes a reasonable expectation of injury to the health or safety of any person or damage to any property.

b) Intimidation: Intimidation defined as implied threats or acts that cause a reasonable fear of harm in another.

28) Bullying and Cyberbullying: Bullying and cyberbullying are repeated and/or severe aggressive behaviors that intimidate or intentionally harm or control another person physically or emotionally, and are not protected by freedom of expression.

29) Hazing: Defined as an act that endangers the mental or physical health or safety of a student, or that destroys or removes public or private property, for the purpose of initiation, admission into, affiliation with, or as a condition for continued membership in a group or organization. Participation or cooperation by the person(s) being hazed does not excuse the violation. Failing to intervene to prevent (and/or) failing to discourage (and/or) failing to report those acts may also violate this policy;

30) Intimate Partner/Relationship Violence: Violence or abuse by a person in an intimate relationship with another (also called domestic and/or dating violence);

31) Stalking: Stalking is a course of conduct directed at a specific person that is unwelcome and would cause a reasonable person to feel fear;

32) Sexual Misconduct: Includes, but is not limited to, sexual harassment, non-consensual sexual contact, non-consensual sexual intercourse, and/or sexual exploitation;

33) Public Exposure: Includes deliberately and publicly exposing one’s intimate body parts, public urination, defecation, and public sex acts.

V. Responsibility: College students are given and accept a high level of responsibility to self, to others and to the community. Behavior that violates this value includes, but is not limited to:

34) Alcohol: Use, possession, or distribution of alcoholic beverages or paraphernalia except as expressly permitted by law and the College’s Alcohol Policy;

35) Drugs: Use, possession or distribution of illegal drugs and other controlled substances or drug paraphernalia except as expressly permitted by law and the College’s Drug Policy;

36) Prescription Medications: Abuse, misuse, sale, or distribution of prescription or over-the-counter medications;

37) Failure to Comply: Failure to comply with the reasonable directives of College officials or law enforcement officers during the performance of their duties and/or failure to identify oneself to these persons when requested to do so;

38) Financial Responsibilities: Failure to promptly meet financial responsibilities to the institution, including, but not limited to; knowingly passing a worthless check or money order in payment to the institution or to an official of the institution acting in an official capacity.

39) Arrest: Failure of any student to accurately report an off-campus arrest by any law enforcement agency for any crime (including non-custodial or field arrests) to the Dean of Students within seventy-two (72) hours of release.

40) Other Policies: Violating other published College policies or rules.

41) Health and Safety: Creation of health and/or safety hazards (dangerous pranks, hanging out of or climbing from/on/in windows, roofs, etc.)

42) Violations of Law: Evidence of violation of local, state or federal laws, when substantiated through the College’s conduct process.


The term “complaint” shall mean a claim or allegation by a student that a College employee(s):

  • Significantly failed to carry out their professional responsibilities or failed to deal with a student fairly and impartially;
  • Significantly failed to carry out an assigned responsibility or failed to apply college policy fairly and impartially; or
  • Performed an action which impinged on the rights or activities of a student in the legitimate pursuit of the educative process.

All student complaints must be filed within thirty (30) calendar days after the complainant knew or reasonably should have known about the complaint. Complaints shall be filed upon the Student Appeals Complaint Form available with the Dean of Students.


No retaliation of any kind will be made by either party against any student, College employee, or any participant in the complaint process by reason of such participation.

* The FVCC Code of Student Conduct is adapted from The NCHERM Group Model Developmental Code of Student Conduct and is used here with permission.

Academic Dishonesty

The faculty, staff and administration of Flathead Valley Community College believe academic dishonesty conflicts with a college education and the free inquiry of knowledge. Plagiarism, cheating, forgery, facilitating or aiding academic dishonesty, unauthorized access, or otherwise manipulating student records, and computer programs, are all forms of dishonesty that corrupt the learning process and threaten the educational environment for all students.

Plagiarism is using another person’s writing or works as one’s own. Plagiarism is an intolerable offense in the academic community and is strictly forbidden. Students must always carefully acknowledge others’ ideas as well as words.

The consequences of academic dishonesty may vary depending on the situation and the individual instructor involved. Any student involved in academic dishonesty will be subject to disciplinary action imposed by the instructor up to and including administrative withdrawal or a failing grade for the course.

In addition, academic dishonesty is grounds for disciplinary action under the Student Code of Conduct rules. The student found guilty of academic dishonesty may be reported to the Dean of Students for the initiation of disciplinary sanctions ranging from a warning to expulsion from the college.

Cell Phones

Cell phones and other noise-making devices are required to be turned off or silenced in classrooms, labs, library and study areas and at other functions where they may be disruptive.

Student Publications

Flathead Valley Community College recognizes that student publications are a valuable aid in establishing and maintaining an atmosphere of free and responsible discussion and intellectual exploration. They serve as vehicles to bring student concerns to the college community’s and public’s attention, and formulate student opinions on various issues.

As citizens, students enjoy the same basic rights and are bound by the same responsibilities as are all citizens. Among these rights are freedom of speech and freedom of press. The Flathead Valley Community College Board, faculty and staff shall not exercise editorial control over student publications, except where specifically provided by FVCC policies and procedures. The college shall not be deemed to endorse the content of these publications unless so stated.

Waiver of Regulations

Rules and regulations contained in this catalog have been adopted by the Flathead Valley Community College faculty, administration, and Board of Trustees and are subject to modification and revision. Students who feel that extenuating circumstances might justify the waiver of any college regulation may file a petition with the Dean of Students.

Campus Safety

FVCC works diligently to provide a safe learning environment for students, faculty, staff and visitors. For a copy of the annual crime report or to register for FVCC’s emerging notification system powered by e2campus, visit

Tobacco-free Policy

The College is committed to complying with the Montana Clean Indoor Air Act, and further supports a healthy, comfortable and productive work environment for all students, employees and visitors to the campus. Therefore, FVCC prohibits any form of smoking including the use of electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) or any form of tobacco usage in all of its campus facilities as well as at all points of entrance and exit from its facilities, including all walkways and parking lots. Smoking or tobacco usage is only allowed inside designated enclosures or designated tobacco usage areas. Failure to comply will result in disciplinary action as stipulated by College Policy for student infractions and the appropriate disciplinary process as set forth in collective bargaining agreements or Board of Trustees policy for faculty and staff.

Sexual Harassment Policy

Flathead Valley Community College recognizes the importance of every individual’s personal dignity and is therefore committed to providing an educational and work environment where students, faculty and staff are safe, secure and respected. FVCC is committed to serving as a learning community free of all forms of sexual harassment, exploitation or intimidation. Sexual harassment unfairly interferes with the opportunity for all persons, regardless of gender, to have comfortable and productive education and work environments.

It is also unlawful and against college policy to retaliate against an employee or student for filing a complaint of sexual harassment or cooperate in an investigation of sexual harassment.

Sexual harassment consists of unwanted or unwelcome behavior of a sexual or gender directed nature severe or pervasive enough to create an intimidating, hostile or offensive work or learning environment when:

  1. Submission to such conduct is made (either explicitly or implicitly) a term or condition of instruction, employment, or participation in any other college activity (quid pro quo); or
  2. Submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as a basis for evaluation in making academic or personnel decisions affecting an individual (quid pro quo); or
  3. Such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s performance or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work or learning environment.

Sexual harassment may result from an intentional or unintentional action and can be subtle or blatant. It can be verbal or physical and can occur in any setting, and the spectrum of behavior may range from verbal remarks to physical assault. The context of events and the totality of the circumstances surrounding those events are important in determining whether a particular act or series of events constitutes sexual harassment.

Student’s Responsibility

A student should speak up about sexual harassment when he/she witnesses or experiences it, either among students or staff. Retaliation is illegal.

A student who has been a victim of any form of sexual harassment, knows someone who has been a victim, or has questions regarding sexual harassment should contact the Title IX Coordinator at (406) 756-3841. Students may also contact Title IX liaisons in each campus building. The names of Title IX liaisons are posted in each building.

Student Consumer Information

The following information is available to the general public, prospective students and enrolled students. Please refer to the specific contact information to obtain additional information or to receive printed documentation.

Campus Safety Information

  • Campus security policies and crime statistics - Annual Campus Crime Report
  • Warnings of forcible and non-forcible offenses will be sent via e2Campus alerts and posted on bulletin boards in a timely manner on campus.
Safety Committee Chair: (406) 756-3901
Dean of Students: (406) 756-3812
Lincoln County Campus: (406) 293-2721

Drug and Alcohol Abuse Prevention

Counselor: (406) 756-3886
Lincoln County Campus: (406) 293-2721
Registrar: (406) 756-3845

Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)

Registrar: (406) 756-3845
Lincoln County Campus: (406) 293-2721

Financial Aid Information

Financial Aid Office: (406) 756-3849

General Information

Graduation Completion Rate

  •  Director, Institutional Research: (406) 756-3924

Refund Policy

Business Services Office: (406) 756-3831
Lincoln County Campus: (406) 293-2721
Financial Aid Office: (406) 756-3849
Lincoln County Campus: (406) 293-2721

Sexual Harassment Policy

Executive Director, Human Resources (406) 756-3841

Credits, Grading, Courses and Transfer


A transcript is an official record of each student’s coursework at FVCC and is maintained in the Admissions and Records Office. Requests for transcripts must be made in writing by the student to the Admissions and Records Office. Transcripts are free, but allow up to a week to process each request. Rush and fax requests are $15 per transcript and will be processed within 1-2 business days. Current students may print an unofficial transcript through the student portal at Transcripts are withheld if students have library fines or owe money to the college.


The typical unit of measurement of college work is called a credit hour. One credit is usually assigned for one lecture or laboratory period per week. The lecture period consists of 50 minutes; the laboratory period may consist of two or more hours. In addition to class time, the average student may expect two hours of outside work for each period of lecture or laboratory.

Class Standing

Freshmen are degree-seeking students who earned fewer than 30 semester credits. Degree-seeking students who have completed 30 or more semester credits are considered sophomores.

Full-time Student

In general, FVCC defines a full-time student as a person enrolled in 12 or more credit hours per semester. A part-time student is enrolled in 11 or fewer credits per semester. However, other definitions of full-time and part-time loads exist specifically pertaining to veterans, Social Security recipients, etc.

In order to earn a degree in two years, a student must enroll in an average of 15 credits per semester. For more information see your assigned academic advisor.

Students registering for more than 18 credits are required to obtain special approval from the Registrar.


Grade Reports

Grade reports are available at the end of each academic semester after all financial obligations to the college are met. Grade reports are available online at (student portal) or students can provide a self-addressed, stamped envelope to the Registration Office.

Students are required to meet course requirements to receive grades and credits.

All of the campuses that make up the Montana University System have adopted a grading system that includes pluses and minuses. This means that faculty system-wide have the right to award letter grades that include a plus or a minus (i.e., B+, B and B-; or C+, C and C-). Students should be aware of the following details; however, faculty members are not required to attach a plus or minus to their letter grades. That flexibility is based on the very important principle that faculty have the right to determine grades in their classes, based on their evaluation of student work. The highest grade a student can earn is an A. An A+ grade is not possible. Pluses and minuses will not be attached to an F. If a student has failed a class, the amount or degree of failure is unimportant.

A High degree of excellence 4.0
A-   3.7
B+   3.3
B Above average 3.0
B-   2.7
C+   2.3
C Average 2.0
C-   1.7
D+   1.3
D Below average 1.0
D-   0.7
F Failure 0.0
S Satisfactory
Equivalent to a “C” or better
SA* Satisfactory/Advance 
The student has achieved the needed competencies to advance to a higher level course.
SR* Satisfactory/Repeat 
The student has met individual expectations but must repeat before advancing to a higher level course.
U Unsatisfactory completion of course N/A
I Incomplete N/A
AU Audit N/A
W Withdrawal N/A
WI Withdrawal by Instructor or Administrative Withdrawal N/A
NG No Grade
The instructor has not submitted a grade for the student at the time of posting.

* This grading option is only available for developmental courses that can be repeated for credit.

Repeating Courses

Students may repeat any courses offered by FVCC. However, credits will be granted for the courses only once unless the catalog lists the classes as repeatable for credit. Each time students take the classes, the grades and credits will be recorded on their transcripts. This information will not be removed, but only the last grades and credits will affect the grade point averages and total number of credits. Non-letter grades such as I, AU, W and WI will not replace letter grades such as A or B. If students receive financial aid or veterans’ benefits, they should check with the Financial Aid Office before repeating a course.

Grade Point Average (GPA)

GPA is determined by dividing total grade points by number of semester hours attempted. S, SA, SR, U, I, W, WI, AU and NG grades are not included in the calculations. If the course has been repeated, the last grade received in a course will be used to calculate the GPA with the exception of W, WI, AU, NG or I grades.

If a student receives a grade he/she feels is inaccurate or inequitable, the student should consult with the instructor. Only the instructor can initiate a grade change. This is done by completing a grade change form and filing it with the Registration Office. The change will appear on the student’s transcript, and the student will not receive any other notice of the correction. If the student feels the situation has not been resolved equitably, he/she should review the Student Appeals Procedure. Copies of this procedure are available by calling the Dean of Students at (406) 756-3812.

Effective fall semester 2017, the maximum time frame to petition a revision/change to student transcripts or records is within one year of the semester in question. Effective fall semester 2011, the maximum time frame to petition a revision/change to student transcripts or records is within two years of the semester in question. The maximum time frame to petition adjustments to records prior to fall semester 2011 is within 10 years of the semester in question.


FVCC recognizes academic achievements according to the following standards:

Dean’s List

A student taking 12 or more credits in courses numbered 100 or above and earning a grade point average (GPA) of 3.5 or more for that semester will be placed on the Dean’s List. The Dean’s List is distributed to area newspapers for publishing unless a student files a “Release of Information” form in the Registration Office to not have this information published.

Graduation with Honors

Students graduating with final cumulative grade point averages of at least 3.75, will receive honors designations on their college transcripts. To be acknowledged at the graduation ceremony with high honors, students must have a cumulative GPA of at least 3.75 as of the semester prior to graduation.


Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory (“S/U”) grading is available only at the discretion of the instructor. A limit of 15 semester credits graded “S” may count toward an associate degree at FVCC.

Note: Transfer students must check their transfer institutions’ policies regarding acceptance of “S” credits.

Minimum Course Grades

All students must earn a “D-” or better in all classes used to satisfy elective credits in an associate or baccalaureate degree program; a “C-” or better in all classes used to satisfy a general education program; and a “C-” or better in all classes used to satisfy the prerequisites or required courses in a major, minor, option or certificate.

Note: Students need to be aware that although “C-” grades are accepted in general education, prerequisite and required courses (with some exceptions), students must maintain a cumulative grade point average of 2.0 (“C”) to graduate. The grade point equivalent of the “C-” grade is 1.7 which does not meet the 2.0 GPA graduation requirement.

The Minimum Course Grades policy applies to all students who are enrolled in the Montana University System or the three community colleges on or after fall 2005.

Copies of the Minimum Course Grades policy (MUS policy 301.5.3) are available from the FVCC Admissions and Registration Office or from Montana Board of Regents’ website at


An incomplete (“I”) grade is given when, in the opinion of the instructor, there is strong probability the student can complete the course without retaking it. In all cases, the “I” grade is given at the discretion of the instructor within the following guidelines:

  • The student has been in attendance and doing passing work up to three weeks before the end of the semester;
  • The student is unable to complete the requirements of the course on time because of extenuating circumstances, i.e., illness, death or illness in the immediate family, family emergencies, or military orders;
  • The instructor sets the conditions for the completion of the coursework including the time period within which the work must be made up (Due date for make-up);
  • The instructor prepares an “I” Grade Authorization form which specifies the coursework that must be made up as well as the time period within which the work must be completed. A copy of this form must be attached to the instructor’s grade roster;
  • An “I” grade shall be made up within 12 months from the end of semester the “I” grade was assigned unless the instructor sets a shorter time period.
  • An “I” grade converts to a failure (“F”) if it is not made up by the due date.
  • The “I” (incomplete) must be completed/made up through the instructor who assigned the “I” grade; the instructor changes the grade with the Grade Change Form which must be submitted to the Registration Office.


A student who audits a course attends class but does not receive credit for the course. To audit a course, a student must register for the course, complete an audit form and submit the form to the Registration Office by the date listed in the academic calendar  or 75% point of short or late starting courses. Instructor’s approval is required before a student may audit a class. The grade of “AU” will be recorded on the student’s transcript for this course. Full tuition and fees are charged for course audits. The audit grade cannot be changed to a letter grade once grades have been posted to the student’s transcript. In order to receive a letter grade in an audited course, a statement from the instructor and the student rescinding the audit grade option must be submitted to the Registration Office by the 75% point of the course.

Students receiving financial aid or veteran’s benefits should check with the Financial Aid Office before auditing a course.


A withdrawal is initiated by a student who wishes to drop a course. The effective date of withdrawal is the date the drop form is received by the Registration Office. Refunds, etc., are governed by regulations in effect on that date. In order to prevent a course from appearing on a student’s transcript, he/she is required to drop the class during its refund period.

  • Failing to attend class DOES NOT constitute withdrawal.
  • To withdraw from a course lasting the full semester, the student must have a schedule change form on file in the Registration Office by the date listed in the academic calendar .
  • The student can withdraw from short or late starting courses until the 75% point of the course.

Withdrawal by Instructor

The “WI” (Withdrawal by Instructor) grade may be issued at the discretion of the instructor only when extenuating circumstances prohibit a student from completing the course. This grade is not an option for students who have earned an “F” in the course.

Medical Withdrawal

A student may be eligible to withdraw from college classes due to certain medical conditions (applies to student or immediate family member only).

In order to qualify for this benefit, a student must complete an official withdrawal form, accompanied by medical documentation, signed by a doctor and attesting to an inability to complete classes due to health problems. Submit these two items to the Registration Office with a completed medical withdrawal form. Forms are available in the Registration Office.

The documents will be reviewed, and if they are approved, all grades for the semester in question will be removed and replaced with a “W.” “Medical Withdrawal” will be printed on the student’s transcript across the semester in question.


Interactive Television (ITV) Courses

State-of-the-art interactive television (ITV) allows both the Kalispell campus and the Libby campus to televise and receive live, two-way audio and video transmissions of select FVCC courses. Additional technology fees apply only to students registering to attend at a remote site. These courses will have section numbers in the 70’s in semester schedules.

Online Courses

Online courses allow students and instructors greater flexibility. Credit for these courses may be applied to certificate or degree programs. Students are responsible for obtaining access to a computer with internet access, the required browser and software, and a personal email account. For specific requirements, visit and click on “Please click here for a system check before you log in.” Students may use the campus computer labs as scheduling permits.

There are two types of online courses available at FVCC, hybrid and fully online. Hybrid courses replace some face-to-face time with an online requirement, but there will still be some required meetings on campus. These courses will have section numbers in the 90’s in semester schedules.

Fully online courses have no requirement for coming to campus or meeting face-to-face with instructors and take place completely online. However, online courses are not self-paced. Students are responsible for accessing their courses promptly and for meeting course due dates and deadlines. These courses will have section numbers in the 80’s in semester schedules.

For complete information regarding online courses at FVCC, including how to access your courses once you have registered, please visit “Online Resources” on the FVCC website at

Students registered for a fully online course who need technical assistance can contact the FVCC Help desk at 1-877-443-5741 or Desire2Learn also provides 24/7 technical support at 1-877-325-7778.

Independent Study

Credits through independent study are available to allow students to study in subject areas outside existing courses.

An independent study proposal should include a detailed description stating the objective(s) and the methodology of research and/or instruction to be employed by the student and the instructor.

An independent study course is developed with the guidance of a supervising full-time faculty member. The Vice President of Instruction and Student Services and division chair must approve all independent study proposals. Each credit of independent study should involve 45 plus hours of study. Regularly scheduled classes are not available for independent study.

Regular tuition and fee costs will be charged for independent study courses, and registration must be completed before starting the course.

A $40 late registration fee will be assessed to students registering for an independent study course after the second week of the semester or after the start of the course, whichever is later.

Directed Study

Directed study courses are courses currently approved by the Curriculum Committee, included in the current catalog and taught on an individual basis by full-time instructors at the same level as regularly scheduled courses.

The directed study option can be utilized only in unusual circumstances and is not an alternative to inadequate planning or inconvenient timing. Only persons who normally teach the courses are expected to teach the directed study courses. Regular tuition and fees will be charged for every directed study credit. Registration must be completed within the first two weeks of the semester.


Transfer of Credits to FVCC

Students wishing to transfer credits to FVCC must:

  1. Have a completed application on file in the Admissions Office; and
  2. Arrange to have an official transcript of previously attended institutions mailed to the FVCC Admissions and Records Office. Transcripts should be submitted at least 30 days before the semester begins. Credits will be evaluated by the Admissions and Records Office and accepted according to current scholastic standards. Students will be given written notification of the evaluation and the evaluation will be posted on the student portal. The number of credits accepted will be posted on the student’s FVCC transcript.

General Education Core

An undergraduate student entering or moving from one institution to another within the Montana University System who has not completed the general education core at the sending institution will be required to either complete the general education core at the campus to which they transfer or complete the MUS core.

FVCC, as a public institution legally committed to church-state separation, cannot accept as fulfilling the Humanities requirement those doctrinally-oriented courses in religion, scripture study and theology which are taught at Bible schools, seminaries, and theological institutes or which are directed primarily toward training clergy and lay missionaries in a specific faith or set of religious beliefs.

Outdated Coursework

In evaluating coursework from postsecondary institutions, the campuses within the Montana University System will:

  1. Guarantee that any postsecondary coursework taken within five years of being admitted or readmitted to the campus will be included in the transfer analysis of specific required classes in a major, minor, option or certificate;
  2. Guarantee that any postsecondary coursework taken within 15 years of being admitted or readmitted to the campus will be included in the transfer analysis of general education coursework; and
  3. Guarantee that any postsecondary coursework taken within 15 years of being admitted or readmitted to the campus will be included in the transfer analysis of elective coursework.

Coursework that falls outside these guarantee periods may be included in the evaluation, at the discretion of the individual campuses. Since it is a discretionary decision, it cannot be challenged by students.

Transfer Appeal Process

The following process has been implemented to assist students in resolving any questions or concerns they may have regarding the evaluation and acceptance of their transferred credits:

  1. The student should complete the Request to Appeal Evaluation of Credits Transferred to FVCC form. (Forms are available in the Registration Office.)
  2. The student should obtain a copy of the description for the course(s) in question; if it is available, the course syllabus is preferred.
  3. If the course(s) under review will be applied toward either an AA or AS degree, the student should take this information and any other pertinent information they may have to the appropriate division chair. If the course(s) in question will be applied toward an AAS degree or certificate program, the student is directed to see the faculty in the appropriate program of study.
  4. The division chair or program faculty review the material supplied by the student and either concur with the decision of the Registration Office or agree to accept the credit.
  5. If the division chair/program faculty agrees with the decision of the Registration Office, the student can appeal the decision to FVCC’s Vice President of Instruction and Student Services.
  6. The decision of the Vice President of Academic Affairs will be final.

Military Credits

Credits may be earned for courses completed in military service schools and training programs at the associate degree level as recommended by the American Council on Education in “A Guide to Evaluation of Education Experiences in the Armed Services.” A student is required to provide an official DD-214 and any transcripts of courses completed. A maximum of 15 credits may be used toward an associate degree.

Prior Learning/Course Challenge

A student admitted to FVCC may petition to challenge courses based on work done through private study and/or prior learning experience or to validate courses taken at non-accredited institutions. Course challenges will be considered on an individual case basis. Only courses listed in the current college catalog may be considered for challenge, although not all of the courses may be challenged. Additional stipulations include the following:

  • Students are not permitted to challenge a prerequisite course after having completed an advanced course at FVCC or any accredited college.
  • Credit by examination will not be granted for a course that a student has previously taken for credit or audited. Credit will be granted provided the student earns the equivalent of a grade of “C” or better.
  • Neither the grade of “S” nor credit earned through the challenge process will be counted in any given semester to determine credit load or grade point average, nor will they be included in computing cumulative grade point averages.
  • Students may challenge a course prior to or during enrollment through the first week of the semester.
  • Prior to challenging a course, a request to challenge form must be completed with the approval of the full-time faculty member and Vice President of Academic Affairs.
  • A $50/course challenge fee must be paid before taking the exam.

Course Substitution

A student who believes he/she possesses skill proficiency due to work experience can request a substitute class. The appropriate Division will review the student’s credentials that support proficiency, and if satisfied the student meets the class requirements, can approve a substitute class of equal or greater academic or technical content to be completed in substitution for the required class. This can include independent study course offerings.

Advanced Placement (AP) and CLEP Credit

Students may earn college credit by taking Advanced Placement (AP) Program tests while in high school and providing official transcripts showing satisfactory scores. The College Level Entrance Exam (CLEP) Program can also be used by anyone who can demonstrate competency in a variety of subjects by receiving a satisfactory grade on a CLEP general or subject test. FVCC awards credit based on ACE (American Council on Education) recommendations for both AP and CLEP.

The closest CLEP testing site is at The University of Montana, and their testing center can be reached at (406) 243-2175. Official transcripts can be obtained from CLEP Transcript Service, PO Box 6600, Princeton, NJ 08541-6600 or calling (609) 771-7865. Tests cost $70 each and are instantly scored (except the English Writing Test with Essay).

The FVCC policy for accepting either AP or CLEP credit is:

  1. Students must be degree-seeking.
  2. Official transcripts showing scores at the ACE minimums or above will be awarded credit with an “S” (satisfactory) grade. This grade is not used for calculation of the student’s grade point average. The number of credits awarded per test is determined by the Admissions and Records Office.
  3. There is no limit to the number of credits that may be granted, but only 15 credits of “S” grades may be used towards graduation requirements.
  4. General Education courses may be satisfied with CLEP/AP credit. The Admissions and Records Office makes these designations on the student’s FVCC transcript. Caution: Every college and university makes their own policies on the acceptance of CLEP and AP credit. Students intending to transfer cannot automatically assume every school will accept these credits as FVCC does. Students should verify the intended school’s policy.

Department approval may be necessary to replace specific requirements with CLEP/AP scores in the major.

Subject AP Score Credit/Placement
Art (Visual & Studio) 3 ARTZ 105  (3)
Art (History) 3 ARTH 200  & ARTH 201   (3,3)
Economics 3 ECNS 201  & ECNS 202   (3,3)
English 3 (for score on either the language and composition or the composition and literature exam) WRIT 101  (3)
3 (for score on both the language and composition and the composition and literature exams) WRIT 101  & WRIT 201   (3,3)
Italian (Language) 3 ITLN 101  & ITLN 102  (5,5)
French (Language) 3 FRCH 101  & FRCH 102  (5,5)
German (Language) 3 GRMN 101  & GRMN 102  (5,5)
Russian (Language) 3 RUSS 101  & RUSS 102  (5,5)
Spanish (Language) 3 SPNS 101  & SPNS 102  (5,5)
Political Science 3 PSCI 210  (3)
History - American 3 HSTA 101  & HSTA 102  (4,4)
History - World 3 HSTR 101  & HSTR 102  (4,4)
Math A.B. Exam 3 M 171  (5)
Math B.C. Exam 3 M 171  & M 172   (5,5)
Psychology 3 PSYX 100  (4)

AP credits are available for biology, chemistry, and physics if the AP score is three or greater under the following conditions:

  1. AP credits may be granted for the lecture portion of the course at the discretion of the appropriate college department; and
  2. AP credits may be granted for the laboratory portion of the course. Students applying for such credit must document their high school laboratory experience with lab reports/ notebooks. The decision to grant credit for the laboratory portion will be made by the appropriate college department.

Credits for other AP exams may be available.
Contact the Registration Office for more information.

International Baccalaureate (IB)

Students may earn college credit by taking International Baccalaureate tests while in high school and providing official transcripts showing satisfactory scores. International Baccalaureate credits will be accepted for college credit on a case-by-case basis until an official college policy is put in place.

Up to 30 credits of IB credit with scores of four or higher on the higher level exam will be accepted; however, only a maximum of 15 credits may be used towards graduation.

IB Credit

Flathead Valley Community College recognizes IB achievement and awards eight credits for each higher level exam passed with examination scores of four or higher. Standard level exams are not accepted.

IB Examination Minimum Score Semester Credits Gen Ed*
Biology HL 4 8 NL
Business & Mgmt. HL 4 8 -
Chemistry HL 4 8 NL
Classical Languages HL 4 8 GH
Design Technology HL 4 8 -
Economics HL 4 8 B
English A1 HL 4 3 credits W
5 credits H
English A2 HL 4 8 W
English B HL 4 8 W
French A1 HL 4 8 GH
French A2 HL 4 8 GH
French B HL 4 8 GH
Geography HL 4 8 G
German A1 HL 4 8 GH
German A2 HL 4 8 GH
German B HL 4 8 GH
History HL 4 8 B
Info Tech Global Society (ITGS) HL 4 8 -
Islamic History HL 4 8 GB
Language B HL 4 8 GH
Mathematics HL 4 8 M
Philosophy HL 4 8 H
Physics HL 4 8 NL
Psychology HL 4 8 A
Social & Cultural Anthropology HL 4 8 GA
Spanish A1 HL 4 8 GH
Spanish A2 HL 4 8 GH
Spanish B HL 4 8 GH
Theatre Arts HL 4 8 FH
Visual Arts HL 4 8 F
- - Elective A, B - Social Sciences
F - Fine Arts G - Global Issues
H - Humanities M - Mathematics
NL - Natural Science w/Lab N - Natural Science w/o Lab
W - Writing  

Math Waiver/Substitution Policy

Students with a math disability may apply to waive M 095~  and M 105 , provided the courses are not program requirements. The waivers apply only to potential Associate of Arts graduates. All students may petition for math course substitutions. Applicants should make requests prior to the semester in which graduation is expected. Contact Laura VanDeKop at (406) 756-3998 for a complete copy of the policy.

WRIT 101 Bypass Policy

Students who meet one of the following criteria may bypass WRIT 101W, College Writing I, and enroll in WRIT 201W, College Writing II, to satisfy the General Education Core Curriculum Writing requirement. The student does not receive a grade for WRIT 101W, nor is the student waiving a composition course. This is not a challenge policy, meaning that students must still take a writing course as required by their program or course of study, but can choose to challenge themselves in a higher level course if one of the following criteria is met:

  • A score of at least 32 on the ACT combined English/Writing section
  • A score of at least 11 on the ACT Writing Test Subscore
  • A score of at least 700 on the SAT Writing Section
  • A score of at least 11 on the SAT Essay Subscore
  • A score of at least 5.5 on the Montana University System Writing Assessment

Students may earn credit for WRIT 101W through AP, IB, and CLEP exams.

Transfer to Other Institutions

FVCC is fully accredited, enabling students to transfer to other colleges or universities with ease. Courses numbered 100 or above are considered transfer courses. FVCC keeps in frequent contact with other Montana colleges and universities in order to accommodate changes in curriculum and programs and to provide the best advising to students.

Regardless of the number of credits earned at FVCC, the number accepted toward a degree at another institution is determined by the institution awarding the degree. A student will be expected to meet the program requirements in effect at the institution to which he/she transfers. A FVCC student who has completed the FVCC general education core requirements can transfer to any Montana University System school and be guaranteed the transfer institution’s general education core requirements are met.

Transfer Agreements

Transfer agreements have been established in certain programs to facilitate transfer of Flathead Valley Community College credits to other institutions. Agreements include articulation procedures as well as course equivalency lists. The agreements guarantee transfer of credits once specific curriculums have been satisfactorily completed. Students interested in transferring under articulation agreements should discuss their plans with their academic advisors early in their studies.

How to Transfer

A student who plans to transfer to a four-year college or university, should follow these steps:

    1. Plan Ahead

a. Obtain or view online a current catalog from the transfer institution;

b. Review the transfer institution’s transfer and major requirements. Enroll in classes a typical freshman and sophomore take for the major field of interest selected; and

c. Review the transfer institution’s course equivalency guides or the Montana University System course equivalency guide at

    2. Keep in Touch and Pay Attention

a. Confer with the faculty advisor about fulfilling FVCC’s and the transfer institution’s general education and major requirements;

b. Discuss the transfer process with Student Support Center advisors;

c. Contact the Admissions Office and/or the major department of the transfer institution to learn about applicable transfer regulations. For example, several schools will only accept a grade of “C” or higher for major requirements. Similarly, some programs such as nursing and education have specific application deadlines; and

d. Meet with the faculty advisor often to assure a smooth transfer and appropriate course selection.

    3. Apply for Admission

a. Apply for admission and send official copies of transcripts to the transfer institution. When transferring to a public institution in Montana, request a transmittal of record to be forwarded to any college within the Montana University System for $8 at the Registration Office in Blake Hall. The transmittal replaces applying directly to the institution.

Single Admissions File/Transmittals

In order to assist undergraduate, degree-seeking students who (1) transfer between units of the Montana University System; or (2) enroll in coursework at more than one unit of the Montana University System in the same semester, the Montana Board of Regents authorizes a “single admissions file” that will follow the student throughout the System, much like a patient’s medical records, regardless of which campus(es) the student enrolls in.

If a student decides to attend another unit of the Montana University System under the two (2) situations described above, the student must complete a Request for Transmittal of Application Materials and submit it to the FVCC Registration Office. The Registration Office will prepare a certified copy of the student’s admissions file and pass it along to the unit or units identified in the admissions file transmittal form. An $8 fee will be assessed for the transmittal of records.

Copies of the Single Admissions policy (MUS policy 301.5.4) are available from the FVCC Admissions and Registration Office or from Montana Board of Regents’ website at