2014-2015 Student Catalog 
    Jul 22, 2024  
2014-2015 Student Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Academic Policies & Services

Detailed information on academic policies, procedures, grades, graduation requirements, study abroad, retention, status of our past graduates and the co-curricular, extra-curricular and special services provided to students



Academic Policies

The identity of Niagara County Community College is found in the closeness of faculty-student relations. Course and curriculum objectives are defined by the faculty with consideration of the interests and abilities of students. Faculty members help students to recognize interests and to achieve individual goals. The following policies and regulations are designed to assist students in meeting these goals and to maintain high standards and quality of instruction.

Course Cancellation Policy

Niagara County Community College fully expects to offer all courses as advertised each semester. While every effort is made to offer all courses, at times conditions exist which may prevent the offering of a particular course or courses. Such conditions include, but are not limited to:

  • insufficient student enrollment;
  • lack of a qualified faculty member;
  • lack of an appropriate facility;
  • lack of financial resources.

If no other day or evening, on-campus or off-campus section of a cancelled course is available, the college will make every effort to help students who have registered for the cancelled courses, to enroll in an alternative course which will meet graduation requirements.

The college does not guarantee course alternatives solely on the basis of student convenience or preference.

Academic Integrity Policy

Honest participation in academic endeavors fosters an environment in which optimal learning can take place and is consistent with the mission of NCCC. Academic misconduct is destructive to the spirit of an educational environment and, therefore, cannot be condoned.

The following definitions will apply:

  1. The term “cheating” includes, but is not limited to, use of any unauthorized assistance in taking quizzes, tests or examinations; dependence upon the aid of sources beyond those authorized by the instructor in writing papers, preparing reports, solving problems or carrying out other assignments; the acquisition without permission of tests or other academic materials belonging to a member of the college’s faculty.
  2. The term “plagiarism” includes, but is not limited to, the use by paraphrase or direct quotation, of the published or unpublished work of another person without full and clear acknowledgment. It also includes the unacknowledged use of materials prepared by another person or by an agency engaged in the selling of term papers or other academic materials.
  3. The term “academic misconduct” includes any or all forms of the above.

Unless an instructor has provided students with an alternative academic integrity policy at the start of the semester, the college policy that follows will apply:

For the first incidence of academic misconduct in a course, the student will receive a grade of F (or zero) for the test, assignment or activity.

If there is a second incidence in the same course, the student will receive a grade of F for the course.

The instructor who believes that an incidence of academic misconduct has occurred will discuss it immediately with the student. If, in the judgment of the instructor, the student has committed an act of academic misconduct or if the student admits that there has been misconduct, the instructor will assess the appropriate penalty.

Instances of admitted or proven academic misconduct should be reported in writing to the Vice President for Academic Affairs. The purpose of this reporting will be to track individuals who have repeated incidences. If such a pattern of behavior is found, the Vice President of Academic Affairs will determine an appropriate sanction on a case-by-case basis.

Students who think they have been treated unfairly may invoke the Academic Grievance procedure, which is explained in the student code of conduct handbook.

Attendance Policy

The student is expected to be present and on-time for every class in which he/she is registered. The student is responsible for meeting the objectives of each course and for participating in the learning experiences which occur in the classroom. Excessive absences or tardiness by the student may make it impossible for the instructor to assist the student in meeting either, or both, of these criteria. The ability to make-up class work, assignments or examinations is at the discretion of the instructor. Consequently, the instructor may determine that excessive absences or tardiness have made it impossible for the student to complete the course successfully.

If this determination is made during the first two-thirds (2/3) of the course, the student may withdraw from the course and his/her grade-point averages will not be adversely affected. If this decision is made after the completion of two-thirds (2/3) of the course, the student may earn an I, N or F as a final grade. During the first week of class, the instructor will define what constitutes excessive absences and tardiness.

Regulations require all faculty members to record attendance. The student’s failure to attend class may result in loss of financial aid and/or academic standing. Any student who will be absent from a class or classes for one week or longer should contact the Office of Student Services so that individual instructors may be notified.

A student who plans to participate in intercollegiate athletics may experience a conflict with academic curricular course work. Missing a class, or another requirement such as a field placement, clinical experience or internship because of participation in intercollegiate athletics is not an excused absence.

In some situations, instructors may agree to treat the intercollegiate contest as a field trip. It is your responsibility to obtain a release form from the athletic department, have it signed by the coach, and submitted to the appropriate instructor(s) prior to a contest. You are responsible for making up coursework, and completing missed assignments. (See below). This is not an option in many curricula.

If you are planning to join an intercollegiate team, consult with an admissions counselor in selecting your curriculum, and confer with your academic advisor and the respective coach in the athletic department so that you will be able to fulfill your academic obligations while playing a sport.

Students shall not be penalized for class absences due to unavoidable or legitimate required military obligations not to exceed two (2) weeks or 15% of the course, or unless special permission is granted by the instructor.  Instructors must also consider the student’s overall attendance and progress when determining if sufficient attendance/work completed warrants a passing grade.  Students are responsible for notifying faculty of such circumstances as far in advance as possible, and for providing documentation to verify the absence.  Official notice will be sent to members of the faculty by the Office of Veteran Services upon receipt of documentation.  Faculty members are responsible to provide reasonable accommodations or opportunities to make up exams or other course assignments.

Absence Due to Field Trips

If an instructor arranges a field trip for a class, it is the student’s responsibility, in advance of the trip, to inform the instructors of any classes that will be missed as a result of the field trip. Instructors should try to arrange opportunities for students to make up work missed because of the trip, but the individual student is responsible for completing missed assignments.

Absence Due to Religious Observance

According to Section 224-A of the New York State Education Law: “Any student in an institution of higher education who is unable, because of his or her religious beliefs, to attend classes on a particular day or days shall, because of such absences on the particular day or days, be excused from any examination or any study or work requirements. It shall be the responsibility of the faculty and of the administrative officials of each institution of higher learning to make available an equivalent opportunity to  make up any examination, study or work requirements which he or she may have missed because of such absence on any particular day or days. No adverse or prejudicial effects shall result to any student because of his or her availing himself or herself of the provisions of this section.”

Fresh Start Policy

Fresh Start is an appeals procedure that allows a student returning to NCCC after a prolonged absence to request academic forgiveness of prior cumulative grade point average (GPA).  The policy is designed for students who have gained maturity outside of higher education and have demonstrated acceptable academic performance following their return. 

The granting of Fresh Start is subject to the following conditions:

  1. Students must have a complete absence of attendance from NCCC for a period of five years or more;
  2. Fresh Start is available after successful completion of the returning semester as a full-time student who has been admitted into a degree/certificate program (matriculated) at NCCC. Successful completion is defined as passing a minimum of 12 credit hours, earning a grade of C or higher in each course.
  3. Fresh Start affects only those courses taken PRIOR to the five (5) year absence.
  4. All courses taken in the time period prior to the 5 year break in attendance with a grade of C or better (or S grade) will be carried forward and treated in the same manner as transfer credit showing earned hour ONLY, without grade points and without calculation into GPA.
  5. Credits from the prior enrollment period of attendance with a grade of C- or lower will no longer be counted as earned credits at NCCC, will NOT apply to the degree, will not calculate into GPA, and will need to be retaken if applicable to the student’s degree/certificate program.
  6. All original credits and grades will remain on the permanent NCCC transcript to reflect an accurate academic history.
  7. Students may apply for Fresh Start only once during their NCCC career.
  8. Fresh Start, once elected, may not be revoked.

Fresh Start is a policy of NCCC.  As such, student should be aware it may not be recognized by outside institutions or for financial aid purposes.  Discounting of grades may impact financial aid eligibility.  Students are advised to consult with their academic advisor and financial aid prior to election of Fresh Start.

Interested students must submit the Fresh Start application to Academic Affairs no later than the last day of classes in which the student re-enrolls after the 5 year break in attendance.

Grading System

Students receive final grades at the end of each semester. The following letter grade and grade-point system is used:


Grade Points

Notes (See following paragraphs)



Outstanding Achievement









Above Average Achievement


















Below Average Achievement



Minimum Passing Grade









Indicates that a student has attended a course without working for or receiving credit.



Insufficient information for grading









Transfer credit






Course withdrawal



College withdrawal when student officially withdraws during a semester

Minimum Curricular Requirements

While the minimum passing grade is D- certain curricula may require a minimum grade of C (2.0).  Please refer to the individual program requirements.

I Grade - Incomplete

A student who requests an I grade (Incomplete) is required to arrange for completion of course work with his or her instructor. A grade of Incomplete may be given if all of the following conditions are met:

  1. Student requests the Incomplete grade
  2. Student has completed the majority of coursework
  3. Student could not complete the course due to circumstances beyond the student’s control
  4. Student can complete the work independently

The maximum time for the change of an I grade to a performance grade is determined by the instructor, but shall not exceed one academic year.  If no change of grade is made by the instructor prior to the deadline, the I grade will automatically be converted to an F grade. The Registration & Records Office will inform the instructor and student of the approach of the one year deadline. Students will be sent notification at the address last known on file. To request an Incomplete grade, the appropriate form titled “Request for Incomplete Grade” must be obtained in the Registration & Records Office.

J Grade

A grade of J indicates that a student has attended a course without working for, or receiving, credit. The decision to audit a course is irrevocable.

Auditing Course Policy

At registration a student who chooses to audit a course must file a Request For Audit form in the Registration and Records office.  Full tuition and all applicable fees must be paid for audited courses.  Audited courses are not eligible to receive Financial Aid.  Senior audits: anyone 60 years of age or older is eligible to audit up to 4 credit hours per semester without paying tuition.  Applicable fees apply.

N Grade

A grade of N indicates insufficient information for grading purposes. This grade indicates that the course was not completed and can negatively affect financial aid.

NG (Nongradable) Grade

A grade of NG is associated with the lab or clinical component of some courses and does not count in the grade-point average.

S/U Grades

A grade of S will indicate satisfactory completion of the course and will receive credit. A grade of U will indicate unsatisfactory completion of the course and will receive no credit. In either instance the grade received will not be used in determining the student’s grade-point average. Students who elect to file for an S/U grade will be ineligible for the Dean’s list.

Students enrolled in an associate degree program may elect a maximum of fourteen (14) credit hours to be graded S (Satisfactory) or U (Unsatisfactory). For students in a certificate program the maximum is seven (7) credit hours. It is recommended that these credit hours be taken outside of the student’s major area of study. During the first week of the semester, the instructor will indicate his/her criteria for the traditional letter grades and for the S and U grades. Students must file a Request for S/U grade with the Registration & Records Office by the end of the 10th week of the regular semester if they elect the S/U option. Once this form has been filed, the decision is irreversible. However, students should be aware that at the discretion of the instructor an N grade may be assigned as per college grading policy.

Some courses are graded only on the S/U grading system. In these cases, the instructor will notify students that this is the only grading system for the course and students do not have to file an S/U form.

T Grade

When courses are accepted for transfer credit from another college, a T will be noted on the transcript where a grade would normally be recorded. The T carries no point value; therefore, it is not considered when calculating the term, degree, or cumulative GPA. However, this grade does carry earned hours. Only courses completed at NCCC are used in computing a grade-point average.

W Grade - Withdrawal From a Course

To withdraw from a course, a student is required to obtain an Add/Drop form from the Registration & Records Office which will identify the course being dropped. The student must complete and sign this form and return it to the Registration & Records Office for processing by the published deadlines.

Course withdrawals are permitted through the first two thirds (2/3) of any course. Please consult the Registration and Records Office as there are specific deadlines for deleting a course from the student’s schedule, versus deadlines for issuing W grades. The grade of W will not affect the student’s grade-point average, but may negatively impact the student’s academic standing and/or ability to receive financial aid.

X Grade - Withdrawal From the College

If a student decides to withdraw from all of the courses for which he or she is registered, the student must file an application for withdrawal from the college available in the Registration & Records Office. Before you file the withdrawal form, it is advisable to speak with a counselor in the Student Development Office to explore your options and receive important information.

Students who withdraw from the college receive an X grade for all of their current courses, and are removed from any future registered coursework. This applies to any modular courses which may have been completed, resulting in the conversion of performance grades to X grades. A grade of X does not affect a student’s grade-point average but may negatively impact the student’s academic standing and/or ability to receive financial aid.

Non-Progress Grades

Grades of F, I, J, N, U, W and X are non-progress grades and, if excessive, can affect academic standing and/or ability to receive financial aid.

Withholding of Grades

Student grades may be withheld from any student for unpaid financial obligations to the college or defaults on certain types of loans.

Grade-Point Average

Academic Foundation Course Grading and GPA

Letter grades A, A-, B+, B, B-, C+, C, C- D+, D, D-, F, S and U for foundation courses are followed by an asterisk (*). These grades carry no point value; therefore, they are not considered when calculating the term, degree or cumulative GPA.

Student achievement is measured by the grade-point average (GPA). A student’s grade-point average is calculated and used in different ways. This information is reported on the student’s grade report and the official college transcript.

Term GPA: Includes only semester data. The semester GPA is used to determine eligibility for the Dean’s list and Part-time Honor’s List.

Degree GPA: Includes all courses taken at NCCC that apply to the student’s current curriculum. Curriculum data is used to determine eligibility for graduation.

Cumulative (Overall) GPA: Includes all credit hours taken at NCCC. Cumulative data is used by some transfer colleges to determine eligibility for admission.

These academic indices are calculated by dividing the sum of the grade points earned for grades of A, A-, B+, B, B-, C+, C, C-, D+, D, D- and F, by the sum of the credit hours carried. Credit hours and grade points for foundation  courses, courses in which the student earned a S or U grade, or grades of I, J, N, NG, T, W and X are not calculated into any GPA.

To compute the term GPA, note the grade points listed in the section entitled “Grading System” for each grade (e.g., A = 4, B+ = 3.3). Multiply the number of points equivalent to the letter grade earned in each course by the number of credit hours for the course to arrive at the grade points earned in each course. Total the grade points earned in all courses taken during the semester. Divide the sum of grade points by the total number of credit hours; the quotient represents the term GPA.

The degree GPA is determined in the same manner as the term GPA, except that all courses that apply to the student’s current curriculum are taken into account.  A minimum 2.00 degree GPA is required for graduation although some programs have an additional cumulative GPA requirement.

The cumulative GPA is determined in the same manner as the term GPA, except that all courses the student took at NCCC are taken into account..

NCCC’s Academic Standards

NCCC’s academic standards are designed to assist students in achieving their educational goals. The system provides periodic and helpful intervention for students working toward completion of a college degree or certificate. The college supports a three-part intervention system: Academic Warning, Probation and Dismissal.

Matriculated status and good academic standing are granted at the time a student is accepted into an approved curriculum. In order to maintain matriculated status (and all the benefits associated with it, including financial aid eligibility), a student must meet the academic policies as follows. Failure to meet the required standards will result in loss of matriculated status. Please note that the warning and probation policies do not affect matriculation. Academic Dismissal will result in loss of matriculated status.

Good Academic Standing Policy

The following chart shows the minimum credits and the minimum grade point average required to maintain matriculated status and eligibility for Federal Financial Aid (Pell, Work-Study, Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant, Perkins Loans and Stafford Loans). Placement level on the evaluation chart will be determined by the number of NCCC attempted credit hours.

In order to maintain eligibility for matriculated status and federal financial aid, students must:

  • Maintain academic progress based on the college’s Academic Standards Policy outlined below, and
  • Successfully complete any required Academic Foundations coursework, and
  • Complete a reasonable ratio of total courses registered (excessive nonprogress grades of F, I, J, N,U, W and X can affect academic standing), and …
  • Achieve an acceptable grade-point average (GPA) as outlined below for all courses taken.

Academic progress for matriculated status and federal financial aid is measured based on the chart below using credits attempted, credits earned, and grade point average.  PLEASE NOTE:  Students who exceed the required number of credits in their certificate or degree program by 50 percent will lose their eligibility for financial aid.

After Attempting This Many Credits:








A Student Must Have Earned At Least This Many:








With a Cumulative GPA of At Least:








Students who do not meet the above criteria will be evaluated based on their current semester academic progress and will be considered on probation if they meet the following criteria.       

Students Registered For 6-11 Cr. Hrs. Must Complete








Students Registered For 12+ Cr. Hrs. Must Complete








With a Semester GPA of At Least








New York State Academic Policy

The following chart shows how many credit hours and the cumulative grade-point average a student must have accumulated to receive a payment of NYS Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) or the Aid for Part-Time Study (APTS) Program in her/his current semester. The chart also shows how many credits a student must have completed with a passing or failing grade during that term before being certified for a future payment.

State Academic Progress is measured based on the chart below using number of TAP payments received to date, credits earned, and grade-point average:

For students accepted into program 2010 or earlier:            

Before being certified for this payment







For Satisfactory Progress
A student must have earned at least this many credit hours







With a grade-point average (GPA) of at least







For Pursuit of a Program of Study
A student must have completed this number of credit hours in the preceding semester.








For students accepted into program 2011 or later:            

Before being certified for this payment







For Satisfactory Progress
A student must have earned at least this many credit hours







With a grade-point average (GPA) of at least







For Pursuit of a Program of Study
A student must have completed this number of credit hours in the preceding semester.







  • Students are eligible to apply for a one-time waiver to reinstate their state aid (TAP or APTS). This one-time waiver applies to any school attended, not just enrollment at NCCC.
  • APTS awards are considered half-payments and evaluations are prorated based on half-time enrollment.
  • Students receiving military tuition benefits from NYS may also be affected by this chart.

Academic Requirements for Students Placed in Academic Foundations Course Work

Placement in academic foundations courses is determined by scores achieved on the college placement tests. Students who score below the NCCC standard in writing, reading and/or mathematics are required to enroll in the appropriate academic foundations course(s) listed below:

  Writing: ENG 099
  Reading: AAC 040/041/042

MAT 001
MAT 002 (should be taken the semester immediately following the completion of MAT 001)

College policy states that students are required to enroll in foundations courses in their first semester.

  • A student placed in all three foundations courses must pass at least one after the first attempt or face academic dismissal.
  • Students enrolled in one or two foundations courses must pass the foundations course(s) after a maximum of two consecutive attempts or face academic dismissal.

When it is necessary to repeat a foundations course, it must be repeated in the next period of enrollment. Foundations courses are non-credit and are not used to calculate academic standing (attempted hours, earned hours or GPA).

Academic Warning

Academic warning letters are sent to any matriculated student who earns a cumulative grade-point average of less than 2.0 (C average) after earning at least six credit hours. This status does not affect academic standing and does not appear on the student’s transcript. A student on academic warning is encouraged to make greater efforts to improve academic progress.

Academic Probation

Students on probation are expected to fulfill the terms outlined in their probation letter. Exceptions for any subsequent dismissals will only be granted for hardship situations. It is important that the student carefully review the recommendations and requirements stated in the probation letter. Failure to comply with this responsibility is grounds for denial of any future academic appeal requests. Probation status is awarded when

  • First-Time Probation students are those who have been determined as a first-time academic dismissal. These students are granted an automatic appeal for one-semester.
  • Semester-based Progress Probation is based on the Good Academic Standing chart and assumes that the student did not make overall progress because of past problems but allows them to be recognized for current academic progress. This probation status acknowledges that there is a concern based on the standard and identifies students for appropriate intervention for future success.
  • Appeal Probation status is granted when a student was dismissed and then reinstated through the appeal process as a matriculated student.

A student on Academic Probation is limited to registering for no more than 13 credit hours during a semester and may be required to attend tutoring, counseling, study sessions, and/ or general education study courses to help him/her improve academic performance.

Academic Dismissal/Financial Aid Reinstatement

Academic dismissal (loss of matriculation and removal from future courses) and/or the loss of financial aid occur when a student fails to meet applicable college and/or financial aid academic policies. The following options are available for reinstatement:

The student may complete the course work necessary to regain matriculation and/or financial aid eligibility by attending as a nonmatriculated student. Upon earning the necessary credit hours or gradepoint average, the student may reapply for matriculated status through the Admissions Office. A student who is dismissed and eventually reinstated must meet any new curriculum requirements in effect on the date of reinstatement.

In those cases where only federal and/or state aid is affected, the student may continue as a matriculated student without receiving such aid until the necessary credit hours or GPA are achieved. It is the student’s responsibility to inform the Academic Affairs Office and/or Financial Aid Office of any grade change or additional coursework which occurred after the evaluation period that may improve academic standing.

A continuing student may request an academic appeal (an exception to enroll in probation status and/or continue to receive financial aid for another semester) by filing an application as indicated on the notification letter indicating he/she is considered as not making academic progress.

A readmit student will be notified of their academic dismissal status and given information pertaining to this by the Admissions Office when application for readmission is made.

The appeal must be submitted in writing on the appropriate form and must indicate the reasons for unsatisfactory achievement and plans for improvement. Appeal requests are reviewed by an Academic Success Team. The student will be notified in writing of the Academic Success Team’s decision and must abide by the terms and conditions of that decision.

A student on dismissal status may have accompanying constraints placed upon his or her enrollment, if their appeal has been approved, and/or may be required to attend tutoring, counseling, study sessions, and/ or general education study courses to help him/her improve academic performance.

Federal Aid Academic Policy (PELL, Loans, Campus Aid)

For Federal financial aid academic eligibility refer to the college Good Academic Standing chart. In addition to meeting chart criteria, 94 credits is the maximum number of allowable attempted credits to receive federal aid. Students who exceed this limit may file an appeal to request consideration of further federal aid eligibility based on special circumstances.

Academic Grievance Policy

As a public higher education institution, NCCC shall afford each student due process regarding an academic concern. As it is difficult to indicate the specific type of concern for which a student could legitimately institute an academic grievance, each concern shall be handled on an individual basis. All students are entitled to fair treatment.

No adverse action shall be taken against a student for filing a complaint about an academic concern.

See the NCCC Student Rights and Responsibilities Handbook for the entire Academic Grievance policy and procedure.

Policies Related to Academic Standards

Course Load Limitation

To take more than eighteen (18) credit hours per semester students must obtain permission from their academic advisor or the division chair. Students with a cumulative grade-point average less than 2.5 normally will not be permitted to do so.

Course Prerequisite Enrollment Policy

Niagara County Community College reserves the right to deregister any student from a course for which he/she does not meet the necessary course prerequisites. Issues of safety, irrespective of satisfactorily meeting prerequisites, may also mandate a student’s de-registration from a course. The college will make every attempt to find a suitable replacement course, PROVIDED there is sufficient evidence that subsequent enrollment will constitute a successful academic experience.

Repeat Course Policy

Students may repeat a course in an attempt to improve their grade. All grades will appear on the transcript. 

The most recent grade recorded will be the official grade earned, whether it is higher or lower than the original grade, and will be the grade used to compute the degree and cumulative grade-point average. NOTE: A U or N grade may not replace an F grade.

However, if a student earns a failing grade (F or U grade) in the repeated attempt, the student may petition the Vice President of Academic Affairs for approval to restore an original performance grade. This action must be initiated by the student in a letter of request prior to the end of the subsequent semester. If the most recent grade is a nonprogress grade (I, J, N, X, or W grade), the original grade will be used in grade point calculations. All original grades will remain on the transcript even if the student withdraws or fails to complete the repeated course (I, N, X, or W grade).

Students who elect to transfer should be aware that the transfer institution may not accept the repeated grade.

While a student may repeat a course at another college, only a course taken at NCCC will be used to compute the NCCC grade-point average (GPA). Courses repeated after graduation will not change the degree GPA achieved at graduation.

Students who elect to repeat a course for which credit has already been earned should be aware of the financial aid implications. Students should discuss their situation with the Financial Aid Office regarding the consequences as they pertain to the financial aid rules currently in effect.

Students in the practical nursing, physical therapist assistant, radiologic technology and surgical technology programs may be required to repeat a biology and/or major core courses(s) in which they earned an A through C grade more than five years before enrolling in a subsequent course. See the appropriate curriculum page in this catalog for the Five-Year Course Policy for nursing, physical therapist assistant, practical nursing, radiologic technology or surgical technology.

Substitution of Course

Under certain circumstances, a student may be granted a course substitution for a required course. When a student does receive such a substitution, he/she must take a different course to fulfill the minimum number of credit hours required for his/her curriculum. The substitution does not reduce the credit hours required for graduation but changes the specific distribution of the hours in the curriculum affected by the request.

A student who has reason to request a substitution of a course should obtain a substitution request from the Registration & Records Office and consult his/her academic advisor. The student, the advisor and the Division Chair for the course must sign the substitution card.

College Placement Testing

The college assesses writing, reading, and mathematical skills of all applicants to determine appropriate course placement and support services. After filing an application, a student will be instructed to take the college placement tests. Students are charged a testing fee for this service. Students whose placement assessment scores indicate a need for foundation courses must take those courses during the first semester of attendance and continue taking them in successive semesters until completing them satisfactorily. Successful completion of foundation coursework is a prerequisite to enrollment in specific courses and is a condition for acceptance into some college programs.

If the applicant has already demonstrated academic competency in the aforementioned areas, he/she may request exemption from taking one or more tests by providing information such as scores on the NYS Regents, ACT, or SAT exams, or transfer college transcripts to the Admissions Office for evaluation. See the Admissions  section for more information.

Descriptions of foundation courses in writing, reading, and mathematics are found in the course description section of this catalog under the following headings: ENG 099M, AAC 041M/042M, MAT 001/002/003. Academic Foundation courses are non-credit and do not count toward degree requirements. These courses may count towards financial aid eligibility.

Students who are required to take two or three foundation courses are limited to no more than 14 credit hours in their first semester. . Students are strongly recommended to restrict their course loads to 14 credit hours until all foundation courses are successfully completed. Students who need three foundation courses are accepted into a program with a developmental concentration for the first term and are assigned special academic advisors who will provide guidance and referrals as needed to promote academic success.

A student with a disability may request testing accommodations by providing supporting documentation to the Accessibility Services Program Administrator in the Student Development Department (A131). Such arrangements must be made before scheduling a testing appointment. For further information on testing, contact the Testing Center at 614-6728.

Transfer Credit Policy

A maximum number of  transfer credits awarded cannot exceed one-half (50 percent) of the total credits required for a certificate or degree program.  Only credits from regionally and nationally accredited colleges and programs are acceptable.  For commonly transferred courses, visit our website’s course equivalency guide.  Transfer credits will be evaluated upon matriculation (acceptance) into a program. 

It is the responsibility of the student to: 

  • Contact the Registrar’s Office at each college where he/she has earned credits to have a transcript sent for evaluation of course work that may apply to the program at NCCC.
  • Request that an official transcript be sent to the Admissions Office at NCCC.

Transfer credit will be granted when a course applies to the certificate or degree program at NCCC. Please note: 

  • Only courses with a grade of C (2.0) or above are eligible for transfer. Grades of C-, D+, D, D-, F, or U will not be accepted. Courses with a grade of S (Satisfactory) may be accepted, except in certain allied health programs, or for “major” courses in some programs.
  • College credits are evaluated based on applicability to the degree major.  If your major is changed after arriving at NCCC, transfer credits will be re-evaluated based on the new major.
  • When a course is accepted for transfer credit from another college, a grade of “T” will be noted on the transcript and degree evaluation. The “T” grade carries no point value; therefore, it is not considered when calculating the term, degree, or cumulative GPA.
  • Transfer credits carry “earned hours” only, not GPA hours.
  • If a student completes a course at NCCC for which transfer credit was already accepted, the course credits taken at NCCC will apply toward the program and be used when calculating the grade point average. The transfer credit will be removed from the academic record.
  • The student will receive written confirmation indicating courses that have been accepted for transfer credit.
  • AP (Advanced Placement) transcripts and CLEP (CEEB College Level Examination Program) scores must come directly from College Board. Contact CollegeBoard.org to request an official copy to be sent to NCCC. Scores of 3 or higher on AP exams in applicable courses are acceptable.
  • International Baccalaureate (IB) credit is awarded for courses taken in high school with an HL designation and a score of 4 or higher. An IB transcript must be submitted to receive credit.
  • Credits earned through military service as recommended by the American Council on Education Registry are acceptable, as are other military credits, when applicable to the curriculum. Appropriate military documents (DD214, military transcript) must be submitted to receive credit.
  • If college courses were taken in high school, you must request an official transcript from the college through which those courses were taken in order for the credit to be evaluated.
  • If you earned credits at a college or university outside of the United States you must have your credits evaluated by a professional Credential Evaluation Agency. These agencies provide professional course by course evaluation of college and university credits.
  • Students who transfer from Niagara County Community College to another college or university without completing degree or certificate requirements will be permitted to transfer credit hours to NCCC for fulfillment of graduation requirements. A maximum of 50 percent of credits required for a certificate or degree program can be transferred from a regionally or nationally accredited college or university to NCCC.

SUNY Transfer Credit Appeal Process

Students who do not agree with the college’s decision on the granting or placement of credit earned at a prior SUNY institution have the right to submit an appeal to the college’s Transfer Credit Evaluator. 

Students requesting an appeal should be prepared to provide reasonable material to support their case, such as the course description or syllabus in question.  Contact the Transfer Credit Evaluator in the Registration and Records Office to begin the appeals process.  If you do not agree with the NCCC decision, you may appeal to the SUNY system provost at http://www.suny.edu/provost/transfer/studenttransferappeal.cfm

Transfer Articulation Agreements

NCCC graduates have successfully transferred to all of the SUNY colleges/universities and to countless other colleges throughout the U.S. and Canada. Upper-division and four-year colleges, both public and private, actively recruit NCCC graduates. Each college has unique policies regarding transfer. Some guarantee full junior status upon completion of the associate degree, while others evaluate transferability of credits on a course-by-course basis. 

Transfer Agreements: Specific transfer (articulation) agreements have been developed with many colleges and universities. The purpose of these agreements is to facilitate the transfer process by outlining an optimal selection of NCCC courses to be taken prior to transfer. All transfer articulation agreements applicable to a curriculum are listed with the curriculum requirements in this catalog. Copies of agreements are available to students on the Admissions web page. 

The Transfer Process: For students planning to transfer, Student Development offers a wide array of services that assist students with selecting a transfer college, selecting proper NCCC courses, and filing a transfer application. Early, careful planning will maximize transfer opportunities. Preparation for transfer should begin during a student’s first semester at NCCC. 

Students should consult the catalog of the prospective transfer institution when choosing electives at NCCC. Students should also work closely with their faculty advisor and the Student Development Department at NCCC. Course transferability varies from college to college, and the final determination of transfer credit is made by the transfer institution. It is the responsibility of the student to be informed about transferability before selecting courses at NCCC. 

NCCC Dual Admissions Program: Dual Admissions is a special transfer program developed in conjunction with the four-year colleges and universities listed in the Student Services, Transfer Counseling section. Students must apply prior to the completion of 30 credits. They are granted guaranteed admission to the four-year college upon graduation with an associate degree in the appropriate NCCC curriculum. Additionally, junior level is guaranteed along with all transfer credits. For further information, contact the Student Development Department. 

SUNY Transfer Guarantee: An opportunity to continue full-time study at a four-year State University of New York college is guaranteed to all New York residents who transfer directly from NCCC with an AA or an AS degree. Acceptance to a specific college or academic program is not guaranteed. Strict deadlines and other rules are enforced to qualify for this program. For further information, contact Student Development.

Credit Hours and Academic Expectations

Success in college requires more independent effort than study in high school. Niagara County Community College, like colleges throughout the country, uses the “Carnegie Unit” as a measure of the amount of effort required per credit hour. For lecture courses, students should expect to spend at least two hours on coursework outside of class for every hour the class meets. A lecture or discussion course that meets one hour per week for a semester carries one credit hour. In laboratory and studio courses and other learning experiences which require less outside study, students need to spend two to three hours in class to receive one credit.

When students are planning their schedules for registration, those who have extensive responsibilities such as a job or a family should consider the time required to be successful in their courses. Students may have a more rewarding learning experience by, for example, enrolling in 12 or 13 credit hours for five semesters than 15 or 16 credit hours for four semesters. By enrolling for an additional semester, students may earn better grades, which may be viewed favorably by potential employers and by officials at transfer colleges.

Academic Services


The NCCC Tutor Program provides individual and small group tutoring services.  To request a tutor or apply to become a tutor, visit the Academic Achievement Center in the Learning Commons located on the main floor of the Henrietta G. Lewis Library.  Tutoring services are designed to provide a supportive learning environment, instill confidence, encourage independence as learners, and provide individual or small group peer tutorial assistance and academic support.

Peer Tutors must attend a training session and will be paid an hourly wage for their service. All tutors must meet the minimum qualifications or be recommended by an instructor.

Cooperative Education Program

One of NCCC’s goals is to prepare graduates to assume productive and rewarding careers. Cooperative Education (also known as Co-Op) is an elective career-related work experience taken for academic credit. It is a supervised work-based learning experience that enables students to combine academic work with on-the-job training. A Co-Op experience gives you the opportunity to learn by doing: you apply your academic skills and develop new proficiencies in a practical work setting. For more information, please see the Cooperative Education  section under Student Services.

Disney College Program

Niagara County Community College and the Walt Disney World® Resort have partnered to offer you an opportunity of a lifetime! You can join thousands of other college students from around the world to participate in a paid internship at the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida. And…You can earn NCCC college credit while learning, earning and living the Disney College Program experience! In addition to the work experience, students can participate in a variety of educational opportunities, such as the program’s Collegiate Courses, Professional Development Series, Disney Exploration Series, and more.

In most cases, these credits count as general or business electives toward graduation requirements. You select the number of credits you wish to take (from 6-12 credits). The Disney College Program Co-Op (6 credits) is required of all students participating in the program; it offers six credits for performing 240 hours of work experience while at the Walt Disney World® Resort in Florida. You should contact your school adviser before registering to make sure these credits are transferable. If you are not a current NCCC student, please contact us as we may have options available to you.

In addition to receiving college credit from NCCC, you also may earn a “Ducktorate” degree or certificate of completion from the Disney College Program! For more information, contact 716-210-2547 or email jcarlo@niagaracc.suny.edu.

International Education

An important role of higher education is to prepare individuals to interact in a global community. NCCC is committed to promoting, supporting, and celebrating an international environment at NCCC. To accomplish this, the college strives to create access to and appreciation for international and cross-cultural experiences, perspectives, initiatives and advocacy.

Study Abroad Opportunities

State University of New York study abroad programs are open to NCCC students if program requirements are met. Currently, SUNY has more than 500 programs for students wishing a study abroad opportunity. To view the program availability, visit the www.sunysystemabroad.com website.

For more information about study abroad or international education opportunities, contact Academic Affairs at 614-6450 or stop in Room A-241. 

Credit for Prior Learning

Niagara County Community College recognizes that learning takes place in all phases of life, not just in a classroom. The knowledge students gain through employment, life, or self-interests may earn credit toward a degree. There are several ways in which a student can demonstrate his/her knowledge and receive college credit. Matriculated students interested in pursuing credit for prior learning should contact the Office of Academic Affairs at 614-6450.

Standard College Equivalency Exams

Credits can be earned through a national “credit by examination” program. The tests are based upon typical courses offered at most colleges. By taking the exam and passing it, a student may bypass actual enrollment in certain courses in his/her major. The examinations stress broad conceptual knowledge rather than factual information. The most popular of the national “credit by examination” programs are the College Level Examination Program (CLEP), a division of Educational Testing Services and Dantes Exams. CLEP exams are offered at the Niagara Falls Trott Access Center,  (716) 278-8151. For the outlines of the CLEP and Dantes exams and scores that NCCC accepts, see chart below.


Computer Based Testing (CBT) and Paper and Pencil Testing

 ACE Recommended Score1

 Semester Hours1



Introductory Business Law



Financial Accounting



Information Systems and Computer Applications



Principles of Management



Principles of Marketing





American Literature



Analyzing & Interpreting Literature



College Composition



English Literature





French Language, Level 1



French Language, Level 2



German Language, Level 1



Spanish Language, Level 1



Spanish Language, Level 2



Level 1 - equivalent to the first two semesters (or 6 semester hours) of college-level foreign language  course work.  

Level 2 - equivalent to the first four semesters (or 12 semester hours) of college-level foreign language course work.  



American Government






History of the United States I: Early Colonization to 1877



History of the United Sates II: 1865 to Present



Human Growth and Development

50 3

Introduction to Psychology

50 3

Principles of Macroeconomics

50 3

Principles of Microeconomics

50 3

Social Sciences and History



Introductory Sociology



Western Civilization I: Ancient Near East to 1648



Western Civilization II: 1648 to Present








4 + 2



4 + 2

Natural Sciences





Calculus with Elementary Functions

50 3

College Algebra

50 3

College Mathematics

50 3




1 The scores and semester hours that appear in this table are the credit-granting scores and semester hours recommended by the American Council on Education (ACE). The scores listed above are equivalent to a grade of C in the corresponding course.

The American Council on Education, founded in 1918 is the major voice in American higher education and serves as the focus for discussion and decision-making on higher education issues of national importance. As such, it strives to ensure quality education on the nation’s campuses. Within ACE, the Center for Adult learning and Educational Credentials is the pioneer in evaluating extra institutional learning, assisting postsecondary education institutions in establishing policies and procedures for awarding credit base on ACE evaluations.

Advanced Placement

Niagara County Community College accepts credit for Advanced Placement (AP) courses when a student scores three (3) or higher on the Advanced Placement examination. In addition, students need to contact individual departments to learn how their AP credit is applied to a specific program. For example, Niagara County Community College ordinarily awards only elective credit for Advanced Placement courses in art. To be considered for credit for Drawing I, a student must present a portfolio to the NCCC Art Department.

College Sponsored Challenge Exams

If students feel they already have the knowledge taught in a particular course, they may, in some cases, “challenge” the course. The student meets with the instructor and earns credits by demonstrating, through testing, expertise in the course material. This program is administered by the college and is somewhat flexible; however, courses may not be challenged on demand. Students will receive only S/U grades for challenge examinations (please see S/U policy). A grade of “S” will equate to transfer credit, carrying a grade of “T” and have no impact on the calculations of GPA, counting toward earned hours only. There may also be limitations on the conditions for challenging courses. There is a fee for challenge exams.


This is a written description of what an individual has learned in life or work experiences and how these experiences equate to courses offered at NCCC. It must include documentation such as certificates, brochures, letters of reference, etc. to support your statements of competency, knowledge, and/or skills. A maximum of 14 credits may be earned through portfolio development. The number of credits students may receive for their portfolio may not exceed the number of credit hours awarded for the equivalent course. Student cannot be enrolled in a course for which they are preparing the portfolio. The portfolio becomes the property of the college. There is a fee for this portfolio evaluation. If the student chooses to develop a portfolio, help is available.  The college follows the recommendations of the Council for Adult and Experiential Learning (CAEL) to guide in portfolio assessment.

Military Experience

Experience gained in the military, particularly in technical training programs and specialty schools, may also be worth credit. Send Form DD214 to the county clerk to be certified.  Two credits in  Physical Education apply to a program.  Students may also receive American Council on Education (ACE) credit through experience in the military by applying for the evaluation through the appropriate Armed Forces department.  A copy of this evaluation should be sent directly to the Admissions Office for processing, then forwarded to the Transfer Credit Evaluator for review.

Independent Study

Students may take a maximum of 10 credit hours of independent study. The objectives of independent study are (1) to provide an opportunity for the development of closer faculty-student relationships through the exploration of topics of mutual interest, (2) greater academic freedom for the student in the selection of his or her field of study, (3) guidance of the student in areas of knowledge outside of his or her existing curriculum and (4) application of knowledge obtained through traditional study to carefully selected areas of interest outside the classroom. Regular course offerings may not be taken for independent study credit. The proposal for independent study must be submitted by the student on a request form (available in the Office of Academic Affairs) in writing to the division chair for approval. The proposal is the shared responsibility of the instructor and the student. The instructor will be responsible for the academic soundness of the project and evaluation of the student’s performance. Since the purpose of independent study is to extend a student’s knowledge BEYOND the courses which are part of existing curricula, proposals for independent study credit will not be accepted if they duplicate regular course offerings.

Independent study proposals may begin any time during a semester and may conclude at any time. However, the time schedule must be presented in advance and must be strictly observed. Time extensions may be granted only in exceptional cases and only by the division chair. Additional tuition charges may be required and payment must be made before beginning an independent study project.

Academic Honors

Semester Academic Honors

The Dean’s List is for matriculated students who are registered for a full-time course load of 12 or more credit hours and whose semester academic average is 3.5 or higher with earned grades of A, A-, B+, B, B-, C+ or C. Students are ineligible for the Dean’s List if they have incomplete coursework (I or N grades), a grade of S, U, W or a grade below C for that semester. Students who receive an S grade(s) in courses where S/U grades are mandated will still be eligible for the Dean’s List, provided that they have completed 12 or more hours of course work in addition to all courses graded on the mandatory S/U grade basis. Academic foundations courses do not count toward the Dean’s list.

The Part Time Honor’s List is for matriculated and nonmatriculated students who are registered for a part-time course load of 6 to 11 credit hours and whose semester academic average is 3.5 or higher with earned grades of A, A-, B+, B, B-, C+ or C. Students are ineligible for the Part Time Honor’s List if they have incomplete coursework (I or N grades), a grade of S, U, W or a grade below C for that semester. Academic Foundations courses do not count toward the Part Time Honor’s List.

If a student is on academic probation, warning, or dismissal or if they have elected to file for an S/U grade, they are ineligible for the Dean’s or Part Time Honors List.

The Dean’s and Part Time Honors Lists are published following the Fall and Spring semesters only. There is no Dean’s List or Part Time Honors List published for the summer semesters.

Graduation Honors

The total grade points earned in courses that apply to the student’s curriculum are added together and divided by the total number of credit hours. The resulting degree grade-point average (GPA) determines graduation with honors according to the following scale:


With Merit

3.30 - 3.59


With Distinction

3.60 - 3.79


With High Distinction

3.80 - 4.00

Honors Institute

The Niagara County Community College Honors Institute provides traditional and non-traditional students with proven academic ability a challenging and supportive academic environment. Honors engages students in an interactive learning experience where students acquire a creative and comprehensive understanding of concepts in an interdisciplinary and global context where they are encouraged to think critically, hone research skills, demonstrate leadership, and develop a commitment to civic responsibility. 

The Honors Institute aids students in their transfer to a four-year college or university to earn their bachelor’s degrees and students enrolled in the President’s Scholars Program or Honors Program within the Institute are eligible for designated Honors scholarships. 

Students may enroll in the curriculum of their choice, but, depending on the program they apply to, need to complete between 14 and 18 credit hours of Honors courses. Students who complete the program requirements will have their achievement noted on their diploma and transcript.

 To be considered for the Honors Institute, incoming students to the college must graduate in the top 20 percent of their high school class, have earned a competitive score on the SAT exam and submit names of references to support their candidacy. Current students and non-traditional students should contact the Honors coordinator, Dr. Rebekah Keaton at 614-6809 for information regarding admission requirements. 

Degree Requirements

Degree candidates must satisfactorily fulfill degree requirements specified for the curriculum in which they are matriculated. Candidates also are required to attain a minimum degree grade-point average of 2.0 in the curriculum from which they are graduating and must have met all financial obligations assessed by the college. Graduation fees are not refundable.  NOTE: Some programs have an additional cumulative GPA requirement.

In order to receive their degrees or certificates, candidates must notify the Registration & Records Office of their intent to graduate by filling out a graduation application and paying the required fee. The graduation application initiates the process of official validation and should be submitted in the student’s final semester prior to graduation.

Posthumous Degree

The Trustees of Niagara County Community College shall consider the posthumous award of a degree for a student who has met the following criteria at the time of death:

  1. The student passed away during the semester in which he or she would have graduated;
  2. The student is deemed to be in good academic standing at the time of death;
  3. Either the chair of the department from which the degree will be awarded or the Vice President of Academic Affairs recommends the award; and
  4. The student would have otherwise met all other requirements for graduation.

Awarding of Degrees

Niagara County Community College is authorized by the Board of Regents of the University of the State of New York to award the Associate in Arts Degree (AA), the Associate in Science Degree (AS), and the Associate in Applied Science Degree (AAS) to regularly matriculated students upon successful completion of curriculum requirements.

Associate in Arts Degree

The AA degree is awarded to candidates who successfully complete a program which parallels the first half of the liberal arts curriculum for a baccalaureate degree. Niagara County Community College offers an AA degree to those who successfully complete a university parallel curriculum in:

Human Services  
Liberal Arts And Sciences  
Liberal Arts And Sciences: Humanities and Social Science  
Liberal Arts And Sciences: Humanities and Social Sciences (Jointly Registered with SUNY College at Buffalo-Childhood Education 1-6 BS)  
Liberal Arts and Sciences: Teaching English to Speakers of other Languages (TESOL)  

The AA degree graduate is fully prepared for admission, with advanced standing, to a baccalaureate program.

Associate in Science Degree

The AS degree is awarded to candidates who successfully complete a university parallel professionally oriented curriculum in:

Business: Business Administration 
Computer Information Systems 
Computer Science 
Criminal Justice 
Digital Media 
Economic Crime Investigation 
Engineering Studies 
Environmental Studies 
Fine Arts 
Health Studies 
International Business 
Liberal Arts And Sciences: Math and Science  

Physical Education Studies 
Public Communication 
Recreation Studies 
Sport Management 
Theater Arts  

The AS degree is organized to permit an appropriate course of study in a specific field. AS degree graduates are prepared to transfer to bachelor degree programs.

Associate in Applied Science Degree

The AAS degree is awarded to candidates who successfully complete a program which emphasizes career preparation. Niagara County Community College offers Associate in Applied Science degree curricula in:

Animal Management 
Baking and Pastry Arts 
Business: Accounting 
Business: Administrative Assistant 
Business: Business Administration 
Business: Retail Business Management 
Computer Aided Drafting & Design (CADD): Mechanical, Process Piping & Control  

Culinary Arts 
Emergency Management 
Gaming And Casino Management  

Hospitality Management 
Individual Studies  

Massage Therapy 
Mechanical Technology: Mechanical Design 
Medical Assistant 
Physical Therapist Assistant 
Radiologic Technology  

Restaurant Management  
Surgical Technology 
Tourism Management And Event Planning  
Winery Operations  

Requirements for Receiving More Than One Degree

In order to receive more than one associate degree from NCCC, a student must do the following:

  • Successfully complete the degree requirements for each degree.
  • Complete a minimum of thirty (30) credit hours beyond the requirements of the previously earned degree(s).

In order to receive an associate degree and a certificate from NCCC, a student must do the following:

  • Successfully complete the degree requirements for the associate degree program.
  • Successfully complete the certificate requirements for the certificate program.