Classification of Students
Students are classified as follows:
- Freshman: A student who has completed fewer than 30 units.
- Sophomore: A student who has completed 30 or more units.
- Part-time Student: A student enrolled in fewer than 12 units.
- Full-time Student: A student enrolled in 12 or more units for a primary term.
No previous enrollment record recorded at Golden West College.
Continuing enrollment at Golden West College from one primary term to the next primary term. A primary term is defined as a fall or spring semester.
Previously enrolled at Golden West College; however, did not attend at least two primary terms (fall and spring) requiring the student to re-apply to the college.
In accordance with Title 5, section 40401, a Golden West College student has the following catalog rights:
An undergraduate student remaining in attendance in regular sessions at any California State University campus, at any California community college, or any combination of California community colleges and campuses of The California State University may for purposes of meeting graduation requirements elect to meet the requirements in effect at the campus from which the student will graduate either:
It is the responsibility of the student to indicate, at the time the graduation petition is submitted, which catalog they elect to follow. If a student does not petition to graduate and loses their catalog rights, they will need to meet the graduation requirements of the year in which they are applying.
Documented Military Withdrawal (MW) will not be considered an interruption of enrollment. Catalog rights may be superseded when:
(1) A program in which an outside agency or licensing body requires that students complete specific courses within an established time frame or
(2) Vocational program requirements change to comply with industry standards.
On Campus/Hybrid Classes
It is important that students attend/participate in the first class meeting of every class in which they are registered, since a full period of instruction will begin the first scheduled day of the class (or the semester for online classes). Instructors are expected to drop students who miss the first class meeting or do not participate in an online class to allow waitlisted students to add to the course.
Students are expected to attend classes regularly. Failure to attend may be taken into consideration by instructors when assigning grades. Students who miss the first class meeting, are absent for two continuous class meetings or have too many absences MAY be dropped by the instructor at any time during the semester until the final deadline for withdrawal. Instructors may have more restrictive requirements for attendance and these requirements shall be stated in the class syllabus.
For online classes, the definition of attendance is based on participation in academically-related activities such as:
- Submitting an academic assignment
- Taking an exam, an interactive tutorial, or computer-assisted instruction
- Attending a study group that is assigned by the institution
- Participating in an online discussion about academic matters
- Initiating contact with a faculty member to ask a question about the academic subject studied in the course
Each instructor will determine the attendance policy for the class and its implication for successful completion of the course. It is the student’s responsibility to drop classes they are no longer participating in or attending. Please see College withdrawal policy.
Course Load Limit
College work is measured in terms of the “credit unit.” In a recitation-lecture course, a college unit is normally defined as one hour of lecture and two hours of homework per week. In the laboratory, three hours in the classroom per week with no outside work constitute one unit of credit.
The credit value assigned to a course is not determined by the number of class meetings per week, but by the number of hours of work required of the student.
No student will be permitted to carry more than 19 units during fall/spring semesters and 9 units during the summer session, or 6 units during the winter intersession within the Coast Community College District (GWC, CCC, OCC) without permission from the Director Admissions and Records or designee. Please complete the Student Petition for Overload to begin this process https://www.goldenwestcollege.edu/enrollment/admissions/forms/index.html
Concurrently enrolled high school students are limited to 11 units for the Fall/Spring semesters, 9 units for Summer and 3 units during Intersession. Exceptions to these unit limits will be considered on a case-by-case basis or based on the Dual Enrollment program in which the student is participating.
OPTIONAL PASS/NO-PASS OR GRADE CLASSES
In these courses, students may elect to receive either a traditional letter grade of “A” through “F” or Pass/No Pass for the course.
Pass/No Pass Grading Option
This is only available for courses that have a Pass/No Pass (P/NP) grade option. A course labeled as “letter grade only” in the course catalog is not eligible for this option. Students selecting this option (if available) must submit the request online via their MyCoastPortal or by submitting the request electronically to Admissions & Records. For filing deadlines and form access, please visit https://www.goldenwestcollege.edu/records/index.html
Students selecting this option will receive a P for Pass (Satisfactory Completion) or NP for No Pass (Unsatisfactory Completion) grade symbol at the end of the semester instead of a letter grade (A, B, C, D or F).
NOTE: In classes graded on this basis, students are held to attendance regulations and academic standards expected in the standard graded course.
Once the Pass/No Pass grading option deadline has passed, the grade option cannot be reversed. Before selecting this option, students are strongly advised to consult with a counselor. Generally, it is not recommended that students select the P/NP option for major courses as well as various CSU/IGETC requirements.
Please contact the Transfer Center or Counseling Office to ensure you discuss your transfer goals when making the decision to select the P/NP grade option. Some universities will not allow transfer credit for classes taken on a Pass/No Pass basis. If a student discovers that the transfer institution will not allow a Pass grading symbol, the student will not be able to change it back to the letter grade option after the deadline passed. There are no exceptions to the deadline.
- A maximum of 15 units of Pass/No Pass option coursework earned at an accredited college or university is counted toward the degree requirements for an Associate’s Degree.
- Grades of “NP (No Pass)” are considered unsatisfactory and are counted towards progress probation and/or dismissal.
- In courses where one performance standard determines unit credit, there is no option and only a “Pass” or “No Pass” is given.
Students are advised to read the following statements before deciding to pursue a course on a graded (“A” to “F”) or Pass/No Pass basis.
- A grade of “Pass” or “No Pass” does not affect a student’s grade point average at Golden West College.
- “NP”, “W”, and “I” grades are utilized by Golden West College in the determination of academic probation and disqualification. (Refer to college regulations concerning “Probation/Disqualification.”)
- Courses taken at Golden West College to remedy an admissions deficiency for the University of California due to poor or incomplete high school preparation are not acceptable if completed on a “pass” basis. Students required to complete 60 units of course work with a grade point average of 2.4 prior to transfer to a University of California campus, such as Irvine, must complete at least 42 of these units on a graded (“A” through “F”) basis.
- Some universities may specify that courses required for a major be completed on a standard grade basis (“A” through “F”).
- A grade of “pass” is equivalent to a “C” for purposes of transfer.
- Some universities specify that courses taken to satisfy general education breadth requirements be completed on a standard grade basis (“A” through “F”).
- Some institutions limit the number of units completed on a “pass” basis which are accepted toward the bachelor’s degree.
- Students planning to apply to competitive admissions programs such as the health professions are usually advised to complete the specified preparation on a graded basis (“A” through “F”).
To select the Pass/No Pass grading option, please visit the Admissions & Records Forms page.
Withdrawal is not an automatic process. The student is responsible for officially withdrawing, through their MyCoastPortal to avoid receiving an “F” or “NP” (no-pass) grades.
Upon entering Golden West College, the student assumes the responsibility of completing each course in which they are registered. A college student is expected to attend all sessions of the classes in which they are enrolled. An instructor may drop a student for excessive absences when the instructor determines that, due to absences, the student may not successfully complete the course. Students who miss the first meeting of the class will be dropped. Students who are dropped by their instructors for missing the first class meeting or for excessive absences should verify the instructor drop with Admissions and Records in order to avoid grade penalties and to comply with critical drop dates as specified. After a student has been dropped from the class for unexcused absences, appeal for reinstatement will be considered only under extenuating circumstances.
When withdrawing from a class, students should be aware that the following policies apply:
Classes will not appear on a transcript (a “W” will not be assigned) when a student officially withdraws during the first two (2) weeks of full semester (16-week) fall or spring courses, and 20% of all other length courses. Students should refer to their class schedule “Student Class Program, Web Schedule Bill” for specific course withdrawal deadlines.
A “W” will appear on a transcript for official withdrawals made between the first instructional day of the 3rd week and the last day of the 12th week for full semester (16-week) fall or spring courses and more than 20% and less than 75% in all other length courses.
MW (Military Withdrawal)
“Military Withdrawal” occurs when a student who is a member of an active or reserve United States military service receives orders compelling a withdrawal from courses. Upon verification of such orders, a withdrawal symbol of “MW” is assigned. Military withdrawals shall not be counted in progress probation and dismissal calculations.
EW (Excused Withdrawal)
"Excused Withdrawals" occurs when a student is permitted to withdraw from a course(s) due to specific events beyond the control of the student affecting the ability to complete a course(s) and may include a job transfer outside the geographical region, an illness in the family where the student is the primary caregiver, when the student who is incarcerated in a California state prison or county jail is released from custody or involuntarily transferred before the end of the term, when the student is the subject of an immigration action, or other extenuating circumstances, making course completion impracticable. In the case of an incarcerated student, an excused withdrawal cannot be applied if the failure to complete the course(s) was the result of a student’s behavioral violation or if the student requested and was granted a mid-semester transfer. Upon verification of these conditions and consistent with submitted documentation substantiating the condition, an excused withdrawal symbol may be assigned at any time after the period established by the governing board during which no notation is made for withdrawals. The withdrawal symbol so assigned shall be an “EW.”
- Excused withdrawal shall not be counted in progress probation and dismissal calculations.
- Excused withdrawal shall not be counted toward the permitted number of withdrawals or counted as an enrollment attempt.
- Excused withdrawals will not create a refund for the course(s).
Could there be any consequences to dropping classes with an excused withdrawal "EW?"
Students need to speak with the appropriate departments to understand their individual circumstances concerning degree completion, athletic eligibility, financial aid implications (such as being required to pay back money received through financial aid awards), and other implications not listed. Please contact the appropriate departments with questions prior to submitting your request. Once your petition is reviewed, the action is final and cannot be reversed.
To apply for an Excused Withdrawal, please complete this digital form: https://www.goldenwestcollege.edu/excused-withdrawals/index.html
An incomplete grade (I) may be assigned when the course is not completed for unforeseen, emergency and justifiable reasons, with permission from the instructor, and the student intends to complete the work after the end of the term. The condition for the removal of the “I” shall be stated by the instructor as well as the grade assigned in lieu of its removal in a written record available to the student at Enrollment Services.
The “I” must be made up no later than one year following the term in which it was assigned. If the work assigned is not completed within that year, then the grade will revert to what is indicated on the Incomplete Grade Form submitted by the instructor.
A final grade shall be assigned when the work stipulated has been completed and evaluated by the instructor or when the time limit for completion of the work has passed.
Note: When unusual circumstances prevail, a petition may be filed with Enrollment Services requesting a reasonable extension of time.
IP (In Progress)
The “IP” (In Progress) grade indicates that the class extends beyond the normal academic term. It indicates that work is “in progress” but assignment of a final grade awaits completion of the course. The “IP” symbol remains on the student’s record and is not used in calculating units attempted or grade points. The appropriate evaluative grade, units and grade points are assigned and appear on the student’s record for the term in which the course is completed.
Note: There are very few classes at Golden West College that qualify to use the IP grade.
The NG symbol is assigned to non-graded courses.
Grading (Credit Courses)
Student performance in courses is indicated by one of 10 grades. Grades which carry point value, and which are used in determining the grade point average (GPA), are as follows:
|Grade||Significance||Grade Points per Unit|
|D||Passing, less than satisfactory||1|
The following grades are not part of the GPA computation:
|Grade||Significance||Grade Points per Unit|
|P||Pass, at least satisfactory||Unit credit granted|
|NP||No-Pass, less than satisfactory or failing||No units granted|
|W||Withdrawal||No units granted|
|I||Incomplete||No units granted|
|IP||In Progress||No units granted|
|MW||Military Withdrawal||No units granted/No penalty|
|EW||Excused Withdrawal||No units granted/No penalty|
|NG||Non-Graded||No units granted|
Grading (Noncredit Courses)
The following grades will be used for noncredit courses. These grades shall not be used in calculating grade point averages, have no numeric value, and shall not be considered in determining academic probation, progress probation, or dismissal.
|SP||Satisfactory Progress towards completion of the course|
|P||Passing (at least satisfactory)|
|NP||No Pass (less than satisfactory, or failing)|
|W-NC||Withdrawal after the start of the class|
Final examinations are required in all courses, except physical education. Normally final examinations are given the last week of class. No student will be excused from these examinations. Students must be in attendance at Golden West College for the entire semester and must take the final examination to receive credit.
Grade Grievance Procedures
All grade grievances will be handled through the student grievance process outlined in the sections below. However, in general and by law, the instructor is solely responsible for the grades they assign. No instructor may be directed to change a grade except in certain narrow circumstances authorized by California Education Code Section 76224(a), “When grades are given for any course of instruction taught in a community college, the grade given to each student shall be the grade determined by the instructor of the course and the determination of the student’s grade by the instructor, in the absence of mistake, fraud, bad faith, or incompetency, shall be final.”
Stage One – Informal Problem Resolution
When a student has a complaint about their final grade in a course, the student should be encouraged to make every effort to meet with the Faculty Member to resolve the complaint. If the student is unable to meet with the Faculty Member, the student is encouraged to use the services of a campus advisor for this meeting or at any point during the informal resolution level or the formal grievance stage of the process. If a satisfactory resolution is not achieved with the Faculty Member, the student may proceed to the Faculty Member’s immediate supervisor to resolve the issue. The immediate supervisor is usually the Division Dean.
If the complaint cannot be mutually resolved at the informal problem resolution level, then the student may file a formal written grievance by completing the Student Grievance Form and filing it with the College Grievance Officer within the limitations period. Grade grievance petitions must be submitted prior to the end of the sixth week of the subsequent semester, following the semester (or summer session) in which the grade was assigned.
Stage Two – Administrative Review of the Formal Complaint
Upon receipt of the written and signed Student Grievance Form, the College Grievance Officer shall promptly forward a copy to the person against whom the complaint has been lodged and the Faculty Member’s supervisor. The College Grievance Officer may proceed with any investigatory meeting with the Faculty Member if there is a basis for a legitimate complaint.
Stage Three – Appeal of Findings
When students appeal a finding that favors the Faculty Member, the Faculty Member will be provided timely notice of the appeal and of the Faculty Member’s right to a union representative if follow-up meetings or hearings require the Faculty Member’s participation.
Stage Four – Change Procedures
If the Grade Grievance Officer determines that a grade-change may be warranted, a grade-grievance panel will be convened.
The Vice President of Instruction will convene an appropriate panel, which includes a faculty member from the appropriate academic division. If the instructor of record or the student wish to appear before the panel, they will be given at least a week to prepare for the meeting. A good-faith effort will be made to decide the case within twenty-five (25) days.
If the panel recommends a grade change, the panel’s division faculty member will submit a grade-change form to the Director of Admissions and Records.
Technical Departures from this Procedure
Technical departures from this procedure and errors in their applications shall not be grounds to void the college’s right to make and uphold its determination unless, in the opinion of the Chancellor, or designee, the technical departure or error prevented a fair determination of the issue.
Associate Degree Petition
Golden West College awards the Associate Degree to students who have met all the requirements for graduation. GWC offers the Associate in Arts, as well as associate degrees for transfer to the CSU. These may include Associate in Arts (AA-T) or Associate in Science (AS-T) degrees. These degrees are designed to provide a clear pathway to a CSU major and baccalaureate degree. California Community College students who are awarded an AA-T or AS-T degree are guaranteed admission with junior standing somewhere in the CSU system and given priority admission consideration to their local CSU campus or to a program that is deemed similar to their community college major. Check with a transfer counselor to determine which degree should be completed. The Associate Degree may not be automatically awarded. A petition must be filed in Admissions & Records at the beginning of the semester in which the student completes the final requirements to guarantee graduation. Please note, the guaranteed filing deadline for ADT verification is typically the 15th day of September (for Fall graduation) and February (for Spring graduation). For specific deadlines please check with the Transfer Center or Admissions & Records.
Petitioning periods for the Associate Degree are:
- Summer – July 1 through August 1
- Fall – August 15 through November 15
- Spring – January 15 through April 15
Certificate Awards Petition
Golden West College offers two types of certificate awards in career programs designed to prepare the graduate to enter a particular field of employment.
- Certificate of Achievement: Requires 12 or more units in a state approved program. Certificates of Achievement are not automatically awarded. A petition must be filed in Admissions & Records at the beginning of the semester in which the student will be completing the final requirements. Petitioning periods are listed below.
- Certificate of Specialization: Approved programs of less than 18 units. Certificates of Specialization are not awarded automatically. A petition must be filed in Admissions & Records at the beginning of the semester in which the student will be completing the final requirements. Petitioning periods are listed below. Certificates of Specialization are not printed on official academic transcripts.
Petitioning periods for the Certificate Awards are:
- Summer – July 1 through August 1
- Fall – August 15 through November 15
- Spring – January 15 through April 15
A list of career programs and requirements can be found in the Degrees and Program Section of this catalog. Check with a counselor to determine the requirements for completion.
Academic Honesty Policy
Golden West College has the responsibility to ensure that grades assigned are indicative of the knowledge and skill level of each student. Acts of academic dishonesty make it impossible to fulfill this responsibility. Faculty have a responsibility to ensure that academic honesty is maintained in their classroom. Students share that responsibility and are expected to refrain from all acts of academic dishonesty. The Student Code of Conduct, Board Policy and Administrative Procedures 5500, shall be applied to all incidents of academic dishonesty.
If faculty members believe a student is responsible for Academic Misconduct, they should submit an Incident Report. The College Disciplinary Officer (CDO) or Designee, will follow up with a letter to the student that a report alleging Academic Misconduct has been received. The student will be given the opportunity to meet with the Campus Disciplinary Officer or their Designee, to discuss the allegations. If the student does not take the opportunity to discuss the allegations, then the automatic sanctions will be to write a reflective essay and complete an academic integrity tutorial. Faculty will be copied on this correspondence with the student. Faculty may also assign a “0” or “F” for the assignment or exam where the student committed Academic Misconduct. A second report of Academic Misconduct will likely result in suspension from all Coast Community College District colleges.
A student shall be placed on probation whenever they meet one of the two conditions listed below:
- Academic Probation: Has attempted at least 12 semester units at a college in the District as shown by the official academic record and has a cumulative grade point average of less than 2.0 in all units which were graded.
- Progress Probation: Has attempted at least 12 semester units at a college in the District as shown by the official academic record and the percentage of all units in which the student has been enrolled for which entries of "W", "I," and “NP” are recorded reaches or exceeds 50 percent.
All probationary students shall be notified of their status and provided with counseling services. A student on academic probation shall be removed from academic probation when the student's cumulative grade point average is 2.0 or higher. A student on progress probation shall be removed from progress probation when the percentage of units in the categories of "W," "I," and “NP” drops below 50 percent.
Education Code Section 70902(b)(3); Title 5 Sections 55031-55034
Academic Disqualification Policy
A student at Golden West College who is on academic or progress probation shall be disqualified whenever he or she meets one of the two conditions listed below:
- Academic Disqualification: A student who is on academic probation shall be subject to dismissal if the student has earned a cumulative grade point average of less than 2.0 in all units attempted in each of three consecutive semesters.
- Progress Disqualification: A student who is on progress probation shall be subject to dismissal if the cumulative percentage of units in which the student has been enrolled for which entries of “W,” “I,” and “NP” are recorded in three consecutive semesters reaches or exceeds 50 percent.
Note: Prior to reinstatement the following semester, the student must complete the Golden West College online Probation/Disqualification Tutorial Workshop and submit the results to the counseling department in order to be cleared to register for classes.
Any student disqualified from a college within the Coast Community College District may be dismissed for a minimum of one semester. A student dismissed from one District college shall not attend another District college during the semester of disqualification.
Reinstatement may be granted, denied, or postponed according to criteria developed by the colleges in coordination with the Vice Chancellor of Educational Services and Technology.
BP 4250: Adopted June 7, 1989 Revised January 16, 1990 Renumbered from CCCD Policy 030-4-5, Fall 2010 Revised December 2, 2013 Revised June 20, 2018 Revised June 19, 2019
Academic Renewal Policy and Procedure
This Academic Renewal Policy for Golden West College is issued pursuant to Section 55764 and 55765 of the California Administrative Code (Title 5) regulations and in accordance with Coast District BP 4240. The purpose of this policy is to disregard past substandard academic performance of a student when such work is not reflective of their current demonstrated ability. It is based on the recognition that due to unusual circumstances, or circumstances beyond the control of a student, the past substandard work will negatively affect their academic standing and unnecessarily prolong the rate at which the student may complete their current objectives. Academic renewal is intended to facilitate graduation from a college in the District and/or enable qualified students to transfer to a four-year college or university.
If the specific conditions listed below are met, the colleges in the District may disregard from all consideration associated with the computation of a student’s cumulative grade point average (GPA) up to a maximum of 30 semester units of course work taken at any college in the District for graduation or transfer purposes only.
- The course work to be disregarded is substandard (grades of D, F, or NP). If approved, the selected course work shall be disregarded in that semester, except those courses required as a prerequisite or to satisfy a requirement in the student’s current declared program of study.
- A minimum of 15 semester units has been completed at any regionally accredited college or university with a cumulative GPA of at least 2.0 in all course work subsequent to the course work to be disregarded.
- At least 12 months have lapsed since the most recent approved request for academic renewal.
- Academic renewal cannot be reversed once it has been granted.
- A student may request academic renewal a maximum of two times district-wide during enrollment at the colleges in the District.
All course work will remain legible on the student’s permanent record (transcript), ensuring a true and complete academic history. However, students’ permanent records will be annotated so that it is readily evident to all users of the records that the units are to be disregarded. This notation will be made at the time that the academic renewal has been approved by the appropriate college office.
If another accredited college has acted to remove previous course work from consideration in computing the GPA, such action shall be honored in terms of its procedure. However, such units disregarded shall be deducted from the 30 semester units maximum of course work eligible to be disregarded at a college in the District.
Interpretation of the academic renewal procedure is the responsibility of the appropriate college official who may, for compelling reasons, make exceptions to the stated conditions provided the requirements of Title 5 Section 55044 are observed. All receiving schools may not accept the District’s academic renewal Policy and Procedure.
The Admissions and Records and Counseling departments at the colleges in the District are responsible for implementing this procedure.
Academic Freedom Board Policy 4030
Title 5, Section 51023
Accreditation Standard II.A.7
Agreement between the Coast Federation of Educators American Federation of Teachers Local 1911 and Coast Community College District August 11, 2011-June, 2012
Recognizing that free search for truth and the expression of diverse opinions are essential to a democratic society, both the District and the Federation will affirm the principles of academic freedom, with the understanding that
- Academic Freedom is essentially the right of faculty to express or discuss in their classrooms and throughout the District challenging ideas and topics related to courses they teach and their own academic, professional expertise. The primary responsibility is to achieve the objectives of the course outline of record. This does not preclude Faculty Members from using their professional judgment in discussing other topics with their students when aimed at enhancing student learning. The expression of this right is guided by a deep conviction of the worth and dignity of students and the advancement of their knowledge.
- Academic Freedom includes the right of faculty to create and to use instructional materials that may be thought-provoking or controversial and are relevant to the courses they teach to enhance student learning. These rights notwithstanding, Academic Freedom is to be practiced within the parameters of commonly recognized standards of teaching, professional conduct, and applicable policies and laws.
- Faculty Members recognize the special responsibilities placed upon them. These responsibilities include the obligation to exercise critical self-discipline and sound judgment in using, extending, and transmitting knowledge. In the conduct of their teaching and professional lives, faculty members demonstrate intellectual honesty and devotion to continual improvement of scholarly competence.
With the shared understanding of the rights and responsibilities, Academic Freedom will be promoted and protected.
A Faculty Member’s exercising of their right of academic freedom as delineated below shall not be subject to any adverse action affecting the Faculty Member’s employment status with the District:
- For the development and publication of instructional materials, as well as the interpretation of course content and adoption of innovative instructional methods compatible with the course outline of record and standards accepted within the academic community;
- For exercising freedom to examine or endorse unpopular or controversial ideas within their fields of professional expertise as appropriate to course content, discussions with students, or academic research or publication. In so doing, the Faculty Member shall attempt to be accurate, fair, objective, and show respect for diverse opinions;
- For using or recommending, within the parameters of (a) above, instructional materials which may challenge prevailing social attitudes, or contain unpopular or controversial ideas;
- For presenting all points of view in teaching and discussing controversial ideas or content in their courses and for including library materials of broad and diverse interest, information and enlightenment without prejudice in regards to the race/ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, nationality, social, political or religious views of the authors;
- For expressing in an appropriate forum the Faculty Member’s viewpoint on matters of College and District policy.
- In collegial life, for example, for participation in the governance of their colleges, and engaging in the collegial expression of opinions in their department, college, and/or District meetings.
Political activities on college campuses shall be governed by District policies and procedures which shall be in accordance with the requirements of applicable Federal and State law.
The District shall respect the Faculty Member’s right in public life to exercise freedom of speech, freedom of association, freedom of union activity, and freedom to express expert opinions in a public forum provided it is clear that the Faculty Member is not speaking or acting on behalf of the District.
Adopted February 5, 2003
Renumbered from CCCD Policy 030-3-1.5, Fall 2010
Revised January 15, 2014