2015-2016 Student Catalog 
    Jun 17, 2024  
2015-2016 Student Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]


In this section, you will find our admissions policy and learn how to attend as a non-matriculated student.


Applying to Niagara County Community College is the first step toward achieving the goal of a high-quality education. NCCC has an “open enrollment” admission policy to admit applicants who have graduated from an accredited high school or have a high school equivalency diploma. Students who have not completed high school will meet with an admissions advisor to discuss completing the high school equivalency at NCCC as well as other options.

Applicants who are accepted into the college must also meet any entrance requirements for the program to which they apply.

Applications to the college are accepted throughout the year until the semester begins, on a space available basis. Applications are considered on a first-come, first-serve basis (see curriculum information located in each program description), thus, early application is encouraged.

Application to the college are submitted online at www.niagaracc.suny.edu.

Admissions Categories and Application Process

Students entering NCCC are accepted under one of the following classifications:

New Student

A new student, referred to as a freshman, has no prior college experience as a matriculated (one enrolled in a credit-bearing certificate or degree program) student.

Definition of Terms

Curriculum - The set of courses leading to a degree or certificate.

Full-Time Students - Those registered for twelve (12) or more credit hours of study in a given semester.

Part-Time Students - Those registered for fewer than twelve (12) credit hours of study per semester.

Matriculation - The formal admission of a student into a degree or certificate program. Matriculation is granted when a student’s application is confirmed by a letter of acceptance from the college’s Office of Admissions. Loss of matriculation will occur if a student does not enroll in any credit bearing courses for at least one semester or more. Exceptions are noted in this catalog.

Resident - To claim residency for tuition, students must have lived in New York State for at least one year prior to the beginning of classes and in the current county for at least six months. Identification may be requested to prove residency. Acceptable IDs are student’s driver’s license, dated voter registration card, car registration, tax return, college or high school transcript, police ID, utility bill in student’s name, rent receipt or cancelled check in student’s name. Correspondence, such as a bank statement envelope, with a postmark that proves sufficient length of residence is also acceptable. Expired IDs are not acceptable.


A readmit student is one who previously attended NCCC in a matriculated status and who meets one of the following criteria:

  • Attended previously in a matriculated status, but has interrupted enrollment for at least one semester;
  • Was academically dismissed;
  • Voluntarily withdrew from a matriculated status;
  • Potential graduate who returned to NCCC in a different program in a consecutive semester;
  • NCCC graduate in certificate or associate degree program continuing enrollment in a different academic major.

Readmit students who wish to continue their education at NCCC in a matriculated status must apply for readmission through the Admissions Office. Students who readmit to the college must follow the curriculum requirements at the time of readmission. Students who were academically dismissed and wish to readmit must file an academic appeal. For more information on academic dismissal policy and options for reinstatement, see Academic Policies & Services .

Readmit students must also complete prerequisites as required in their program of choice before an application can be accepted.

Student Outcomes

Some of our students who are in the attrition category found that they must “stop out” for a semester or two. Some of their reasons include financial considerations, family responsibilities, health concerns or other personal reasons. These students are welcomed back to campus whenever their circumstances permit, and many students do return. 

Student Outcomes Charts .

Transfer Students

A transfer student is one who has completed at least one course at another college. Official transcript(s) will be evaluated to determine if any credits are applicable to the certificate or degree program. A minimum of 50 percent of the credits required for the certificate or degree program must be completed at NCCC.

An official transcript can be obtained by student’s request from the Registrar’s Office at the previous college(s) attended. Transfer credits may be accepted for members of the U.S. Armed Forces by submitting a Certified DD214 form.

Final admission to the college is contingent upon the receipt of the following by the Office of Admissions:

  • High school transcript or GED (Does not apply to non-high school degree applicants);
  • Completion of prerequisites as required in the program of choice;
  • Official college transcripts from any institution previously attended;
  • Completion of college placement tests or exemption from testing. There is a testing fee;
  • Record of immunization must be forwarded to the Wellness Center (C-122) before registration.

Applicants are encouraged to submit standardized test scores (eg., SAT or ACT) as part of the application process for admission. If submitted, these tests will be used only to determine if the student must take the college placement tests.


NCCC welcomes the opportunity to offer educational opportunities to students of different countries. Students can apply by using the SUNY foreign student application, available in the NCCC Admissions Office. The following documentation is required before admission can be granted:

  • High school transcript and verification of graduation from an accredited high school;
  • Autobiographical statement detailing the goals of the student and reasons for pursuing an education at NCCC;
  • Assessment of English skills;
  • TOEFL score of 500 minimum for applicants whose first language is not English;
  • Certified bank statement of financial support equal to or greater than current tuition and living expenses estimated by the campus for one year.

Applications for international students must be received by August 1 for fall matriculation and December 15 for spring matriculation. 

Applicants Without a High School Diploma

Applicants who are interested in pursuing a certificate or degree but have not completed their high school requirements may matriculate in the Liberal Arts and Sciences program with a high school equivalency concentration.

Upon satisfactory evidence that a non-high school diploma liberal arts student has successfully completed 24 credits as a matriculated student in the designated areas listed below, the student may apply to the New York State Education Department for issuance of a New York State High School Equivalency Diploma Based on Earned College Credit. The application and College Credit Certification Form for this diploma can be found at http://www.acces.nysed.gov/ged/college_credit.html. An official transcript of courses completed must be forwarded with these forms from NCCC to the State Education Department.

The 24 credits must be distributed as follows:


State Education Requirements

NCCC Courses


Writing/English Language Arts






Natural Science



Social Science






Any courses required by your degree program.*

*Academic Foundations courses, designated by the first digit 0 in the course number, do not apply toward this 24 credit requirement.  Also, courses with AAC or GES prefix do not count toward this 24 credit requirement. 

Because of the demands of college, this method of obtaining an equivalency diploma is most appropriate for persons at least 18 years of age who have experienced a break in their formal education.

However, in some cases the needs of younger students who possess the maturity and seriousness of purpose to succeed in college can be met. All applicants under 18 years of age must be recommended to the program by their high school counselor and must have successfully completed grade 10. Any applicant under 18 years of age must be approved by the Director of Admissions. All applicants must meet minimum placement assessment scores.

Note:  Subject to standard tuition and fees and is not eligible to receive Financial Aid.  Financial aid may become available once the student is awarded and the college receives the high school equivalency diploma.  See Tuition and Fees Section of the College Catalog.

Home-Schooled Students Admission

Under New York State law an institution of higher education may admit, as matriculated students, only persons who have a high school diploma or its recognized equivalent. Because of this requirement, the State University of New York has established a specific admissions policy for home-schooled students. The purpose of the policy is to ensure that home-schooled students are treated fairly yet in accordance with the requirements of the state and federal law. The policy set forth below deals exclusively with the criteria for eligibility to be considered as an applicant for admission to either a state-operated campus or a community college under the program of the State University of New York. Once eligibility for consideration is established, the applicant also must meet any campus-specific admissions requirements (i.e., high school grade-point average, SAT I, ACT, SAT II scores, essay, letters of reference, extracurricular activities).

Applicants Beyond the Age of Compulsory Attendance

Maximum compulsory school attendance age is reached when the student has completed the school year in which he or she turned 16 or such older maximum age as the board of education of the school district may designate for required school attendance pursuant to section 3205(3) of Education Law.

Home-schooled students will be eligible for further consideration as applicants for admission to matriculated status if they can provide either 1) a letter from the superintendent of the school district in which the student resides, attesting to the student’s completion of a program of home instruction meeting the requirements of Section 100.10 of the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education and section 3.47(a) of Rules of the Board of Regents attesting to the student’s completion of a program of home instruction that is the substantial equivalent of a four-year high school course of instruction sample letter or 2) passing score on the general comprehensive examination for the state high school equivalency diploma (and the diploma itself when available). When the student has reached the maximum compulsory school attendance age, he or she is eligible to take the state high school equivalency diploma test. A student may not take the equivalency test until July 1 of the year in which he or she turned 16.

A diploma issued by a correspondence school that is not accredited or registered in New York State is not acceptable as the recognized equivalent of a high school diploma.

Applicants Under the Age of Compulsory Attendance

These home-schooled students will be eligible for consideration as applicants for admission to matriculated status only if the student can provide a letter from the school district in which the student resides attesting to the student’s completion of a program of home instruction that is the substantial equivalent of a four-year high school course of instruction and meets the requirements of Section 100.10 of the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education and section 3.47(a) of the Rules of the Board of Regents.

Students in the above mentioned category will be required to take the college’s placement tests in math, reading and writing.

Admission of Persons with Felony Convictions or Disciplinary Dismissals

The college-wide admissions application form now includes mandatory questions regarding felony convictions and dismissal from college for disciplinary reasons. An affirmative response to either question will not automatically prevent admission, but you will be asked to provide additional information. This information will be reviewed by campus personnel to ensure campus safety. Any falsification or omission of data may result in a denial of admission, or disciplinary action.

Felony Conviction

A felony in New York State law is a crime for which more than one year in prison may be imposed. The felony question applies if you have been convicted as an adult.

Applicants with previous felony convictions will complete a questionnaire that includes, but is not limited to, personal information, intended program of study, criminal and rehabilitative history. In addition, the following are required: transcripts and records from all previously attended college(s), and a letter of recommendation from the applicant’s Probation or Parole Officer (or character reference if parole/probation is not applicable).

Disciplinary Dismissal

Applicants who have been dismissed from an institution of higher learning for disciplinary reasons must provide transcripts and records from all previously attended college(s), and a letter of recommendation from the dean of students or an administrative official from the institution. Contact the Admissions Office for more information.

Applications must be received and completed 60 days prior to the start of the semester.

Early Admissions Program

The Early Admissions Program is designed to provide an opportunity for qualified high school students to begin taking college-level courses before completing high school graduation and, with school permission, as fulfillment of high school graduation requirements. To be eligible for the program, students must have completed 10th grade. Two routes may be employed in applying for early admissions.

Plan A is designed for students who plan to take college courses rather than attend traditional high school courses. To apply under this method:

  1. The high school counselor and student must meet to discuss plans for early admission and determine if college courses could be used to fulfill high school graduation requirements. A letter of recommendation will be needed from the high school counselor for a student seeking early admission.
  2. The student will complete an NCCC admission application or a SUNY common application form.
  3. If the student uses an NCCC admission application, he/she must request a personal appointment with admissions personnel and bring a student copy of his/her high school transcript.
    If a SUNY application is used, the high school counselor will complete the appropriate portion of the SUNY common application form. A copy of the student’s transcript bearing a notation that the student is applying under the Early Admissions Program must be included.
  4. The student is responsible for requesting an official transcript be sent from the college’s Registrar to the high school counselor upon completion of courses.

Plan B is designed for the student who will be attending classes at the college on a part-time basis as well as high school. The directions for application under this method are:

  1. The high school counselor and student must meet to discuss plans for early admission and determine if college courses could be used to fulfill high school graduation requirements.
  2. The high school counselor will use the early admissions recommendation form to submit the applicant’s eligibility for participation in the program to the Office of Admissions.
  3. The student should contact the Office of Admissions to arrange for an appointment with admissions personnel to discuss course selection and registration procedure.
  4. The student is responsible for requesting that an official transcript be sent from the college registrar to the high school guidance counselor upon completion of courses.

Note:   A student is not eligible for financial aid if he/she is registered simultaneously at NCCC and high school.  Early Admit students are not eligible for enrollment in the College Acceleration Program (CAP) classes.

High School Articulation

A number of articulation agreements have been made between NCCC, the Orleans-Niagara BOCES, Erie 1 BOCES and local high schools. These articulation agreements give students the opportunity to earn credit or advanced placement for certain courses they take while in high school. Contact your high school counselor for more details. Application for college credit is available to those students who attend NCCC, meet the articulation requirements and complete and submit the necessary paperwork within 2 years of high school graduation.

College Acceleration Program (CAP)

The College Acceleration Program (CAP) is an articulation program between NCCC and area high schools which allows students the opportunity to obtain college credit while still enrolled in high school. CAP is accredited by the National Alliance of Concurrent Enrollment Partnerships (NACEP), University of Minnesota-Duluth, 1049 University Drive, Duluth, MN 55812, (218) 726-8833. The college-level courses are taught at the high school. By taking advantage of this opportunity, students earn college credit while in high school and experience a smoother transition to college. For additional information, please go to: http://www.niagaracc.suny.edu/academics/hscollegecourses_2.php 

College Placement Testing Requirements for Matriculated Students

College placement testing in writing, reading and math are required of all prospective students. Placement tests measure strengths and weaknesses of an applicant’s academic background. Academic Foundation courses are required if a weakness is detected by the placement test. If such coursework is required, it must be taken in the student’s first semester.

Placement testing must be completed before a student can register for courses. A fee and picture I.D. are required at time of taking the tests. Placement scores are valid for three years. Exemption from placement testing may be possible if prior credits have been completed at the college level or with appropriate NYS Regents, SAT, or ACT scores.

Exemptions from taking college placement tests:

  • The Writing Test
    Regents English Examination score of 77 or higher for English ll.
  • The Reading Test
    Regents English Examination score of 77 or higher
    SAT Verbal of 500 or higher
    ACT Reading score of 23 or higher
  • The Mathematics Test
    Regents Math A exam score of 75 or higher or
    Regents Math B exam score of 60 or higher or
    Integrated Algebra exam grade of 80 or higher or
    Integrated Geometry exam grade of 75 or higher or
    Integrated Algebra 2 and Trigonometry exam grade of 75 or higher or
    SAT Mathematics score of 500 or higher or
    ACT Mathematics score of 20 or higher

High School Course 1, 2, and 3 math exams will no longer be used as waiver criteria.  Students that have course 1, 2, or 3 must be tested. These scores are subject to change.

Cross Registration

Niagara County Community College participates in a Western New York Consortium Agreement whereby full-time, matriculated students may cross register for one course, without cost (course related fees apply), at a private or public, two-year or four-year college which is a member of the consortium. You are eligible for this program only if you are a full-time student currently enrolled in a degree program at your “home” institution. Currently there are 19 colleges and universities in Western New York that participate in the consortium, including Erie Community College, Genesee Community College, Jamestown Community College, SUNY at Buffalo, Buffalo State College, Niagara University and Canisius College. Each participating institution may make its own policy regarding admittance of a cross registered student, so please check the policy of the institution you will be cross registering with. Cross registration at NCCC is dependent on seat availability, and is permitted only during the open registration sessions held just prior to the start of a semester. Forms are available at the Registration and Records Office in the Ernest Notar Administration Building.

Attending as a Non-Matriculated Student

An individual may take courses at the college as a non-matriculated student who is not seeking a certificate or degree from NCCC. Students may also enter on a non-matriculated basis if they are not prepared to matriculate. Non-matriculated students are not required to have graduated from high school or possess a high school equivalency diploma. Non-matriculated students are not eligible for financial aid.  Contact the Registration and Records Office to enroll or review the website information.

Non-matriculated students are required to pass college placement tests before enrolling in courses which require the assessments as a prerequisite. All other prerequisites must also be met. If a prerequisite course was taken at another institution, an unofficial transcript or grade mailer proving successful completion will be a sufficient waiver.

A student whose high-school class has not yet graduated and/or is under the age of 18 and who wishes to take classes on campus at Niagara County Community College as a non-matriculated student may do so under the following conditions:

  1.  The student must be at least 16 years of age
  2.  The student must have the Non-matriculated Application signed by their parent and/or legal guardian

Exceptions to the requirements outlined in 1 and 2 above may be authorized in special circumstances by the Registrar or the approval of the Vice President of Academic Affairs.

Applicants with previous felony convictions need to complete a separate packet of materials including a questionnaire regarding criminal and rehabilitative history. A letter of recommendation is also required from the applicant’s probation or parole officer (or character reference if parole/probation is not appropriate). The application must be completed and submitted 60 calendar days prior to the start of the semester.

Transfer Opportunities

Dual Admissions Program

The NCCC Dual Admissions is a special transfer program developed in conjunction with the following four-year colleges and universities: Bryant & Stratton, Canisius College, D’Youville College, Daemen College, Empire State College, Franklin University, Hilbert College, Medaille College, Niagara University, SUNY College at Brockport, SUNY College at Buffalo, SUNY College at Fredonia, the University of Buffalo, SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, SUNY Upstate Medical University and Utica College of Syracuse University. (Additional colleges will be added to the Dual Admissions program in the near future). 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’s degree in the appropriate NCCC curriculum. After receiving their associate’s degree, students will enter with junior status and all credits will transfer (according to the appropriate curriculum guide). For further information contact the Student Development Department or review agreements at www.niagaracc.suny.edu.

Advantages to a Dual Admissions agreement include early registration and guaranteed acceptance to the four-year college if terms and conditions of the agreement are met.

The requirements to participate in the Dual Admissions program are as follows:

  1. Student must be a first-time college student;
  2. Student must graduate from NCCC;
  3. Student must maintain an academic GPA required at colleges listed above;
  4. Student must apply for Dual Admissions prior to the completion of 30 credits.

To discuss this Dual Admissions program, please contact the Student Development Department at 716-614-6490.

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 the Student Development Department.

Articulation Agreements

Another option that provides an effective transfer route is called an articulation agreement. Articulation agreements confirm that participating colleges agree on course equivalences for individual majors. NCCC has over 100 articulation agreements with colleges and universities across the country.