Jun 24, 2018  
2018-2019 Academic Catalog 
    
2018-2019 Academic 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 www.fvcc.edu/current-student/ 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 student directory information will be provided according to the Solomon Amendment.

Students who choose not to have any or all of the directory information released are required to inform the Admissions and Registration Office in writing, by submitting a “Release of Information” form available in the Admissions and Registration 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 Registration Office requires at least 48 hours’ notice to release a student’s records for review. Students may request an amendment to their records if they feel the records are inaccurate, misleading, or violate their rights. If the amendment is denied, the contents can be challenged through a hearing process with the Dean of Student Affairs.

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

Degree-seeking or Running Start students will be placed on academic probation anytime their cumulative grade point average (GPA) falls below 2.0.

Students 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 individuals in achieving their academic goals will also take place.

Students who fail to improve their GPA each term while on academic probation 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 Director of Student Services. If remediation is unsuccessful or if a 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 fewer than six 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.

Code of Student Conduct and Student Complaints

The purpose of Board Policy Chapter VII Section 60 Code of Student Conduct and Student Complaints is to promote the prompt and efficient resolution of student conduct violations and student complaints about College employees. The core values of student conduct at FVCC include integrity, community, social justice, respect, and responsibility. Complaints involving discrimination, harassment, sexual misconduct, stalking, or retaliation are addressed in Board Policy Chapter I Section 60 Discrimination, Harassment, Sexual Misconduct, Stalking, and Retaliation Policy and the Discrimination and Harassment Grievance Procedure. Copies of the Code of Student Conduct, Student Conduct Procedures, Student Complaint Procedures, and Student Complaint Form may be obtained from the Dean of Student Affairs or online at www.fvcc.edu/current-student/ under Policies, Procedures & Notifications.

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.

Academic Integrity

The faculty, staff and administration of FVCC 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/or computer programs, are all forms of dishonesty that corrupt the learning process and threaten the educational environment for all students. Academic misconduct is an intolerable offenses in the academic community and is strictly forbidden.

Students at FVCC are expected to practice academic integrity at all times.  Students have full responsibility for the content and integrity of all academic work submitted.  Ignorance of FVCC policy does not constitute a basis for waiving the policy or the consequences for violating that policy. Students unclear about a specific situation should ask their instructors or academic staff who will explain what is and is not acceptable in their classes or on campus.

Violations of this policy will result in appropriate disciplinary action up to and including expulsion.  Copies of Board Policy Chapter VIII Section 20 Academic Integrity and corresponding procedures may be obtained from the Dean of Student Affairs or online at www.fvcc.edu/current-student/ under Policies, Procedures and Notifications.

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 Student Affairs.

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 www.fvcc.edu/campus-safety.

Smoking and 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. 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.

Discrimination, Harassment, Sexual Misconduct, Stalking and Retaliation 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 sexual harassment complaint or cooperating in an sexual harassment investigation.

Copies of Board Policy Chapter I Section 60 Discrimination, Harassment, Sexual Misconduct, Stalking, and Retaliation Policy and the Discrimination and Harassment Grievance Procedure may be obtained from the Title IX Coordinator, Dean of Student Affairs or online at www.fvcc.edu/current-student/ under Policies, Procedures and Notifications or at  www.fvcc.edu/campus-guide/campus-safety/title-ix/.

Campus Crime Report

The health and safety of students, faculty, and staff is important to FVCC.  Each year the College publishes an annual security report that provides information on important policies and procedures related to campus crime and crime statistics, alcohol and drugs, sexual assault, and risk management.  Copies of the Annual Security Report may be obtained from the Dean of Student Affairs or at www.fvcc.edu/campus-safety/.

Student Consumer Information

The general public, prospective students and enrolled students may visit www.fvcc.edu/student-admissions/ to view the College’s Student Consumer Information page which includes information on FVCC’s student body, price of attendance, retention rates, voter registration forms, textbook information, copyright infringement policies, and more.

Credits, Grading, Courses and Transfer


Transcripts

A transcript is an official record of each student’s coursework at FVCC and is maintained in the Admissions and Registration Office. Requests for transcripts must be made in writing by the student to the Admissions and Registration Office. Transcript requests take up to a week to process. Rush and fax requests are $15 per transcript and will be processed within 1-2 business days. Current students may print an unofficial transcript online via the Student Portal. Transcripts are withheld if students have library fines or owe money to the College.

Credits

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 to three hours of outside work for each credit of lecture or laboratory.

Class Standing

Freshmen are degree-seeking students who have 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.

Grades

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 via the Student Portal or students can provide a self-addressed, stamped envelope to the Admissions and 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 evaluations 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.

GRADE INTERPRETATION GRADE POINTS
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
N/A
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.
N/A

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 most recent 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 Admissions and 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 Student Affairs 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.

Honors

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 Admissions and 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

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, excluding credits awarded from Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate exams.

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 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 http://mus.edu/transfer/minimumgrades.asp.

Incomplete

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 Admissions and Registration Office.

Audit

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 Admissions and 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 a 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 Admissions and 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.

Withdrawal

A withdrawal is initiated by a student who wishes to drop a course. The effective date of withdrawal is the date the Course Add/Drop form is received by the Admissions and 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 Course Drop/Add form on file in the Admissions and 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 retroactively withdraw from college classes and/or initially request a medical withdrawal based on certain medical conditions (applies to student or immediate family member only).

In order to qualify for this benefit, a student must complete a Course Add/Drop 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 Admissions and Registration Office with a completed medical withdrawal form. The Medical Withdrawal form is only available at the Admissions and 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.

Courses

Interactive Television (ITV) Courses

State-of-the-art interactive television (ITV) allows both the Kalispell campus and the Lincoln County 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 www.fvcc.edu/online-education 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 www.fvcc.edu/online-education.

Students registered for a fully online course who need technical assistance can contact the FVCC Help desk at (406) 756-3930 option 3, or onlinehelpdesk@fvcc.edu. 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 Academic and Student Affairs 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

Transfer of Credits to FVCC

Students wishing to transfer credits to FVCC must:

  1. Have a completed application on file in the Admissions and Registration Office and
  2. Arrange to have an official transcript of previously attended institutions mailed to the FVCC Admissions and Registration Office.

Transcripts should be submitted at least 30 days before the semester begins. Credits will be evaluated by the Admissions and Registration Office and accepted according to current scholastic standards. 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 Flathead Valley Community College and other individual campuses in the Montana University System. 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 contact the Admissions and 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 Admissions and Registration Office will provide the supplied information to the appropriate division chair or faculty member. If the course(s) in question will be applied toward an AAS degree or certificate program, the Admissions and Registration Office will contact faculty and program directors in the appropriate program of study.
  4. The division chair or program faculty will review the material supplied by the Admissions and Registration office and either concur with the original evaluation or agree to accept the credit.
  5. If the division chair or program faculty agrees with the original evaluation, the student can appeal the decision to FVCC’s Vice President of Academic and Student Affairs.
  6. The decision of the Vice President of Academic and Student 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 and CLEP Credit

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 Course Challenge form must be completed with the approval of the full-time faculty member and Vice President of Academic and Student Affairs.
  • A $50/course challenge fee must be paid before taking the exam.

*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 CLEP. FVCC is a CLEP testing site.

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 International Baccalaureate (IB)

Students may earn college credit by taking the Advanced Placement (AP) exams or International Baccalaureate (IB) exams while in high school and providing official transcripts showing satisfactory scores. Flathead Valley Community College recognizes IB achievement and awards credits for each higher-level exam passed with examination scores of four or higher. Some standard-level exams are accepted. Students may contact the Admissions and Registration Office with any further questions on which AP and IB exams are accepted.

The FVCC policy for accepting either AP or IB credit is as follows:

  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 Registration Office in partnership with faculty.
  3. There is no limit to the number of credits that may be granted and applied toward an FVCC degree although some programs may require letter grades for degree completion.
  4. Department approval may be necessary to replace specific requirements with AP and IB scores in that program.
  5. General Education courses may be satisfied with AP and IB credit. The Admissions and Registration Office makes these designations on the student’s FVCC transcript.

Please Note: Every college and university makes their own policies on the acceptance of AP or IB 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.

Math Waiver/Substitution Policy

Request for math course substitution will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.  Contact the Disability Services Coordinator at 406-756-3376 or refer to the disability services manual at www.fvcc.edu/disability for the course substitution policy and assistance with completing substitution requests.  Applicants should make requests prior to the semester in which graduation is expected.

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; or
  • 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. An 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 www.mus.edu/Transfer/transfer.asp.

    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 and Registration 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 Admissions and 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 Admissions and Registration Office. The Admissions and 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 http://mus.edu/borpol/bor300/301-5-4.pdf.