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Program Progression Policy

Ref. No. Executive sponsor Policy steward Approval authority First approved Last reviewed Effective date Next review
23.01 Vice President, Academic and Equity Director, Enrolment & Registrar Executive Council Oct. 19, 2020   Oct. 20, 2020 Oct. 2021
  1. Purpose
    1. NSCC is committed to fair and transparent policies and processes that help students progress through their program and assists College stakeholders in supporting the student experience.
    2. The Program Progression policy articulates the College’s approach to program delivery and student progression through their learning. It supports understanding of their path to success, and faculty and College stakeholder understanding of the mapping and delivery of programs and courses.
    3. Stewardship of the Program Progressions Policy is the responsibility of the Director, Enrolment and Registrar, in partnership with Student Finance, Academic Development and academic schools.
  1. Scope
    1. This policy applies to all students registered in College programs that grant an academic credential through conferral.
  1. Definitions
Term Definition
College Credential Program An approved set of courses and learning requirements, deemed a program of study, that lead to a credential such as a certificate, diploma, advanced diploma or graduate certificate. College credentials are awarded through official parchments that grant a successful student the rights and privileges bestowed at conferral.
Conferral The official granting of a credential, with all its rights and responsibilities.
Course Auditing The practice of attending and participating in a course without the requirement to meet learning outcomes associated with the course. Students do not receive credit for audited courses.
Course Load The number of units and/or courses associated with an academic program that a student enrols in through their progression of study. Course loads are generally determined by term and can be considered either a full-time
or a part-time load. A full-time course load is a minimum of 60% and up to 100% of the program requirements per term, based on the curriculum document’s course list. A part time course load is less than 60% of the program requirements per term.
Declared A status assigned to a student who has been admitted to a credentialed program.
Graduate A student who has successfully completed all program requirements and has been officially conferred to their credential, with all its rights and privileges.
Interruption in Studies Identifies that a student has withdrawn, or been administratively withdrawn, from a program or has not been enrolled in courses related to their program for a period of 8 months or longer.
Graduation Requirements Includes all academic and learning requirements of a program to meet successful completion and awarding of a credential. Graduation requirements are outlined in the program’s official curriculum document.
PLAR/Prior Learning Assessment Recognition The process for assessing non-formal and informal learning acquired in work, life and educational settings as equivalent to the learning outcomes of a college course.
RPL/Recognition of Prior Learning A comprehensive term that refers to the recognition of the sum of an individual’s learning that has occurred prior to the present. RPL recognizes that learning is life-long and occurs in formal, non-formal, informal work, life and educational situations. RPL creates pathways for recognizing that some prior learning may be equivalent to the content of one or more college courses
Residency The minimum percentage of a program’s delivery units that must be completed through learning with NSCC to be award an NSCC credential.
Student A person who is registered in a course or program at NSCC.
Transfer Credit Credit awarded for formal courses completed on the basis that the learning outcomes are equivalent and current to the courses within a student’s program of study.
Tuition The dollar value assigned and charged to enrol in a course. Tuition and fees refer to the cost of courses and the additional fees associated with student status and College programs and services.
Undeclared The status assigned to a student who is enrolled/registered in a course(s) but has not been admitted to a credentialed program.
Unit A measure that defines the value of a course relative to the completion of a program. It is determined based on instructional time and articulated in the program’s curriculum document.
  1. Policy
    1. Course Load
      1. College credentialed programs have an approved curriculum which includes a list of all courses and learning requirements, mapped by term, that are mandatory for program completion and conferral of credentials.
      2. Student course loads are deemed either full-time or part-time, depending on the number of units a student is enrolled in within a term.
      3. Tuition and fees are assigned and calculated based on course loads. Full-time students are assigned tuition and fees per term based on more than 60% of full-time enrolment. Part-time students are assigned tuition and fees based on the approved per unit cost of a course.
      4. Students are permitted, with approval of the Academic Chair, to enrol in course loads higher than 100% of the recommended number of units per term. In these cases, additional tuition and fees will apply.
    2. Residency Requirement
      1. NSCC is committed to reducing barriers to program completion and to the recognition of prior learning for academic credit.
      2. A student may be granted credit in their NSCC program for learning obtained from other institutions. Assessment of learning outside of a program is done through Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL).
      3. A minimum of 25% of the learning and program outcomes in a program of study must be earned through that program to be eligible for its NSCC credential. This 25% does not include RPL or applied learning, such as work experience, practicums, and clinicals.
    3. Interruption in Studies and Student Completion
      1. Students who have interrupted their studies and are seeking to return to their program are required to meet all current admission and program requirements.
      2. Readmission to a program will be subject to availability of space in the program.
      3. A student must be in good academic and financial standing to return to their program of study.
      4. Students who have interrupted their studies will not be permitted to return to a program that is no longer offered by the College.
      5. Students have three times (3x) the typical delivery of a program to complete all program requirements to earn a credential. In the case of a 2-year diploma, students have a maximum of 6 years to successfully complete their program. Maximum length to complete is calculated from the program start date until completion of the last requirement of the credential. Exceptions to this may be made through the approval of the Academic Chair.
    4. Course Auditing
      Course auditing supports NSCC’s access and learning-centered approach to education.
      1. Registration with audit status requires the written permission of the Academic Chair.
      2. Course auditing is available to declared and undeclared students.
      3. Audited courses will be recorded on the student’s official academic record.
      4. Pre-requisite and/or co-requisite requirements remain in place to audit a course.
      5. Regular enrolment in a class can be changed to an audit status up to the deadline to withdraw without academic penalty.
      6. Auditing status cannot be changed to regular enrolment after the end of the second week of class.
      7. Courses not eligible for auditing include, but may not be limited to, those of an applied nature, those with safety or legal restrictions, work experience, clinicals and internships, and co-operative education courses.
      8. Students are not eligible to receive credit, or prior learning assessment recognition (PLAR), solely based solely on audit participation in a course.
      9. Space restrictions and student maximums may preclude some courses from audit eligibility.
      10. Tuition and fees apply at a rate of 50% of the course cost.
    5. Graduation Requirements
      1. The College establishes graduation requirements in College credential programs to ensure program quality, relevance, consistency and currency of learning.
      2. Students are required to successfully complete all program requirements in order to graduate from a College credential program.
      3. The College reserves the right to change program curriculum and requirements. Students who complete a program in the minimum delivery time of their offering will not be subject to changes made during their course of study, except in cases where certification or industry standards require it. Students who take longer than the minimum delivery of the program offering may be subject to the program’s updated learning and graduation requirements.
    6. Exceptions
      Exceptions to the Program Progression Policy must be approved by the academic school Dean and the Director of Enrolment and Registrar.
  1. Policy Supports

13.11 Parchment Policy 
23.11 Grading Policy 
24.11 Academic Performance Policy 
25.01 Prior Learning and Assessment Policy