Student Rights and Responsibilities
Flathead Valley Community College students are responsible for knowing the information, policies, and procedures outlined in this 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 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:
- Phone number;
- Temporary or permanent address;
- Home or campus email address;
- Campus location;
- 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 “Nondisclosure of Directory 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 FERPA may file complaints in writing to the Family Policy Compliance Office, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Ave., SW, Washington, D.C. 20202-5920.
FERPA 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 Academic Suspension
All students will be placed on academic probation anytime his/her cumulative grade point average (GPA) falls below 2.0.
Academic Probation process for degree-seeking or Running Start students:
A student on academic probation will be required to meet with a Student Support Center advisor to discuss academic goals and barriers and ways to achieve their goals. A review of the academic assistance available at FVCC and the completion of an Academic Plan to assist the individual in achieving his/her academic goals is required before the student may register for any future semesters.
If a student improves his/her semester academic GPA to a 2.0 or higher, but the cumulative GPA is still below a 2.0, the student remains on academic probation. Before registration for future terms, the student is required to meet with a Student Support Center advisor each semester until his/her cumulative GPA is a above a 2.0.
If a student fails to improve his/her semester GPA while on academic probation, he/she will be placed on academic remediation. The student is provided two options: choose to leave FVCC for a period of no less than one year, or agree to a Remediation Plan developed by the Student Support Center advisor and approved by the Director of Student Services. If the student does not complete a Remediation Plan one week prior to the start of the academic remediation semester, the student’s schedule may be cancelled. If the student’s academic remediation semester GPA is below a 2.0 and/or the student did not successfully complete the Remediation Plan, he/she will be academically 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 to develop an updated Remediation Plan prior to registering. The plan will be approved by the Director of Student Services. If the reinstated student does not earn a 2.0 or higher semester GPA, he/she will be academically suspended for no less than one year. If a student improves his/her semester academic GPA to a 2.0 or higher, but the cumulative GPA is still below a 2.0, the student remains on academic remediation. Before registration for future terms, the student is required to meet with a Student Support Center advisor each semester until his/her cumulative GPA is a above a 2.0
Once a student’s cumulative GPA improves to a 2.0 or better, he/she will be removed from academic probation or academic remediation.
The Academic Probation process for non-degree seeking students:
A non-degree-seeking student who has a cumulative GPA below a 2.0 will be limited to five credits or fewer per semester until the student’s cumulative GPA improves to a 2.0 or better.
Non-degree seeking students with a cumulative GPA below a 2.0 may request to enroll in more than five credits per semester by creating an Academic Plan with a Student Support Center advisor. If the non-degree student does not earn a semester GPA of a 2.0 or higher while on an Academic Plan, the student will be limited to five credits or fewer per semester 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 corresponding procedures. Copies of the Code of Student Conduct, Student Complaint Policy, Student Conduct Procedures, Student Complaint Procedures, and Student Complaint Form may be obtained from the Dean of Student Affairs or online at fvcc.edu/current-student under Policies and Procedures.
The Code of Student Conduct and the student conduct procedures 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.
FVCC faculty, staff, and administration 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 offense in the academic community and is strictly forbidden.
Students at FVCC are expected to practice academic integrity at all times and 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 the 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 fvcc.edu/current-student under Policies and Procedures.
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.
FVCC 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 help 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 FVCC 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. Copies of Board Policy Chapter VII Section 50 Student Publications may be obtained from the Dean of Student Affairs or online at fvcc.edu/current-student under Policies and Procedures.
Waiver of Regulations
Rules and regulations contained in this catalog have been adopted by the FVCC 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.
FVCC works diligently to provide a safe learning environment for students, faculty, staff, and visitors. To review FVCC’s emergency procedures or report a campus incident, visit www.fvcc.edu/campus-safety. Through the Safe Walk program, students, faculty, and staff may call for an escort to a building or a car on campus by calling (406) 471-8700 (Kalispell) or (406)291-6086 (Lincoln County Campus).
In case of a campus emergency, FVCC will send out alerts through Omnilert to campus email addresses. Although campus email accounts are automatically enrolled to receive emergency messaging, FVCC will also send validation messages to personal email addresses and mobile phone numbers on record. Validation messages provide a convenient opportunity for all new and returning students and faculty to opt-in to receiving emergency alerts. Personal email addresses and phone numbers can be managed, added, and deleted by visiting fvcc.edu/campus-safety and clicking on Emergency Notification system.
Smoking and Tobacco-free Policy
FVCC is committed to complying with the Montana Clean Indoor Air Act and 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. Copies of Board Policy Chapter I Section 85 Smoking and Tobacco Free Policy may be obtained from the Dean of Student Affairs or online at fvcc.edu/current-student under Policies and Procedures.
Discrimination, Harassment, Sexual Misconduct, Stalking, and Retaliation Policy
FVCC 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 a sexual harassment investigation.
Copies of Board Policy Chapter I Section 60 Discrimination, Harassment, Sexual Misconduct, Stalking, and Retaliation Policy and corresponding procedures may be obtained from the Title IX Coordinator, Dean of Student Affairs, or online at fvcc.edu/current-student under Policies and Procedures or at fvcc.edu/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 and Fire Safety Report may be obtained from the Dean of Student Affairs or at fvcc.edu/campus-safety.
Student Consumer Information
The general public, prospective students, and enrolled students may visit fvcc.edu/student-consumer-info to view FVCC’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
A transcript is an official record of each student’s coursework at FVCC and is maintained in the Admissions and Registration Office. Requests for official transcripts must be made online at www.fvcc.edu/transcripts and cost $10 per order. Transcripts are processed within 10 business days of receipt. Rush transcripts are sent within two business days of receipt and there is a $15 charge per transcript. Rush orders cannot be processed during campus closures. Delays may occur during registration and the beginning or end of each semester. Official transcripts will not be issued until all accounts with the college are in good standing.
Current students may print an unofficial transcript free of charge online via the Student Portal.
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.
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.
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, and other specific groups.
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 or Director of Student Services.
Grade are available at the end of each academic semester after all financial obligations to the college are met. Grades are available online via the Student Portal. 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. Therefore, 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-). However, faculty members are not required to attach a plus or minus to letter grades. 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.
||High degree of excellence
Equivalent to a “C” or better
||Unsatisfactory completion of course
||Withdrawal by Instructor or Administrative Withdrawal
The instructor has not submitted a grade for the student at the time of posting.
Students may repeat any courses offered by FVCC. However, credits will be granted for the repeated 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. Grades of S, U, I, W, WI, AU and NG 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.
FVCC recognizes academic achievements according to the following standards:
A student taking 12 or more credits in courses numbered 100 or above and earning a GPA of 3.5 or higher 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 Non-disclosure 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 (“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 must be earned in all classes used to satisfy the prerequisites or required courses in an associate of applied science, certificate of applied studies, or certificate program.
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.
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.
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 is 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;
- 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 and submitted to the Admissions and Registration Office;
- 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” 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.
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 at the 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.
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.
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 submit a 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 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 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 70s in semester schedules.
Online and Hybrid Courses
There are two types of online courses available at FVCC: hybrid and online. Students taking hybrid or online classes are responsible for obtaining access to a computer with internet access, the required browser and software, and a college email account. For specific requirements, visit fvcc.edu/online-education. Students may use the campus computer labs as scheduling permits.
Hybrid courses meet online and on campus. These courses are assigned section numbers in the 90s in semester schedules.
Online courses have no requirement for coming to campus or meeting face-to-face with instructors. 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 are assigned section numbers in the 80s in semester schedules.
For complete information regarding online courses at FVCC, including how to access your courses once you have registered, visit the FVCC website at fvcc.edu/online-education.
Students who need technical assistance with a hybrid or online course can contact the FVCC Help desk at (406) 756-3930 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Independent study credits are available to allow students to study subject areas outside existing courses.
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 the appropriate 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 may 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 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
- Complete and submit a degree-seeking application to the Admissions and Registration Office;
- Arrange to have an official transcript of previously attended institutions mailed or officially submitted to the FVCC Admissions and Registration Office; and
- Have completed college coursework at a regionally accredited institution.
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.
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. Click here for more information about student options regarding the general education core: General Education: Core Complete!
In evaluating coursework from postsecondary institutions, the campuses within the Montana University System guarantees 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;
- within 15 years of being admitted or readmitted to the campus will be included in the transfer analysis of general education coursework; and
- 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 FVCC 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 transferred credits:
- The student should contact the Admissions and Registration Office.
- The student should obtain a copy of the description for the course(s) in question; if it is available, the course syllabus is preferred.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- The decision of the Vice President of Academic and Student Affairs will be final.
Credits may be earned for courses completed in military service schools and training programs at the associate degree level. 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. FVCC is a CLEP testing site.
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. FVCC 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. Accepted AP and IB exams are listed at fvcc.edu/ap. Students may contact the Admissions and Registration Office with any further questions on AP and IB exams.
The FVCC policy for accepting either AP or IB credit is as follows:
- Students must be degree-seeking.
- Official transcripts showing scores at the accepted minimum 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.
- 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.
- Department approval may be necessary to replace specific requirements with AP and IB scores in that program.
- 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 its 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 transfer 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 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 transfer credit, 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 who plan to transfer.
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 Articulation 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 an academic 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, a Request for Transmittal of Application Materials can 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 the campus(s) at which the student enrolls.
If a student decides to attend another unit of the Montana University System under the two 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 identified in the Request for Transmittal of Application. 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.