- Southwest operates on a semester calendar system.
- The fall semester begins in late August and ends in mid-December.
- The spring semester begins in mid-January and ends in mid-May.
- Each semester is approximately 15 weeks long. Within the summer semester, which is fast-tracked, are two summer sessions, each approximately five weeks in length; and an extended summer term of approximately 10 weeks.
||Full-Time – 12 credits or more
||Three Quarter Time – 9-11 credits
||Half-Time – 6-8 credits
||Less than Half-Time – 1-5 credits
Maximum Fall and Spring Load
The maximum number of credits in which a student may enroll for the fall or spring semester is 18. Exceptions to these limits must be approved by the appropriate department dean.
Maximum Summer Load
The maximum number of credits in which a student may enroll for summer is a total of 15 credits with no more than eight credits in any one of the five-week sessions. Exceptions to these limits must be approved by the appropriate department dean.
The academic credits earned in a student’s chosen academic program will be accepted from institutions of higher education when the course content and teaching faculty can reasonably be assumed or determined to be equal to that at Southwest.
Only the courses, credits and grades applicable to the student’s academic program at Southwest and only courses for which the student has earned a grade of “C” or better will be accepted. If credit for a particular course is not accepted by Southwest, the student may appeal to the appropriate department chair for analysis and reconsideration of acceptance of the credits. Once the credit becomes a part of the student’s official record at Southwest, it will not be removed. Transfer credit hours and grades will be used when calculating the cumulative grade point average. Southwest awards transfer credit from collegiate and non-collegiate institutions, examinations, military training and experiential learning.
Many students have previous work or military experience which may be applicable to a degree program. Therefore, the College offers several programs designed to give adult students “advanced standing” in a specific associate degree program. Credit is awarded only in areas offered within the Southwest curriculum and must be related to the educational program in which the student is enrolled.
Alternative credit programs include the following:
Advanced Placement (AP) Examination
Advanced Placement (AP) Examination Students who successfully complete the Advanced Placement Examination with an appropriate score of 3 may receive credit for required or elective courses in their programs of study in the subject areas of biology, chemistry, English, history, mathematics, and physics.
Credit may be granted for military service schools and USAFI/DANTES Subject Standardized Tests (eDSST and eCLEP) that have been satisfactorily completed with a test score equivalent of a “C” or better, been determined to have an equivalent at Southwest, and is appropriately related to the student’s academic program of study. Test results may be submitted to the Admissions and Records Office for evaluation and possible application to the student’s program of study. Students desiring to take the above mentioned tests should contact the Southwest Millington Center Office in Navy College, NAS Mid-South (901) 333-4851.
Veterans having 12 months continuous service are exempt from taking a physical education activity course and will receive two semester hours of credit in lieu of the physical education course. To receive the credit, veterans are to contact the Veterans Affairs counselors at (901) 333-4185 or (901) 333-5115.
Any student who is enrolled in good standing at Southwest may, by passing a challenge examination, earn credit for some courses offered by the College. Some laboratory, clinical, and performance courses require long-term evaluation of competence and therefore cannot be challenged for credit by exam. These examinations are designed and administered by full-time faculty members who have the appropriate academic credentials to teach the course. Credit by Challenge Examination is not available for all courses. Students need to contact the appropriate Department Chair to get a list of courses available for Challenge Examination.
A student will be allowed only one attempt per course to pass a challenge exam. Students who pass challenge examinations will receive a grade of “ES.” A student who fails the examination will receive a grade of “EU.”
Procedures for Challenge Examinations
Students must register and pay tuition and fees for the course in which a Proficiency Exam is requested.
- The Exam must be administered between the 5th and 14th day of the semester.
- Students must obtain a letter grade of at least a “C” or higher on the exam according to the grading scale of the course syllabus. If the student fails to meet the “C” standard no credit will be awarded. The student may attend the class for which they are registered or withdraw according to the scheduled deadlines for the semester.
- Exams cannot be used to repeat courses.
A student wishing to attempt a challenge examination must have the endorsement of his/her academic advisor and submit to the department chair a completed Petition for Credit by Examination form, which can be acquired from the appropriate academic department, and pay a fee of $15. Students must also provide evidence that they have previously acquired the requisite knowledge to successfully pass the challenge exam. Once approved, the department chair will schedule the challenge examination at a time mutually convenient to the student and the department faculty. Students may not accumulate through challenge examinations more than two-thirds of the total credits required for graduation nor more than two-thirds of the total hours required for a particular major or concentration.
College-Level Examination Program (CLEP)
Equivalent college credit may be awarded to a student who has earned an acceptable score on the subject examination of the College-Level Examination Program (CLEP). The awarding of CLEP credit is subject to the following conditions and limitations:
- Credit awarded through CLEP by other institutions must meet the minimum standards set forth for Southwest students to be acceptable for transfer.
- The course equivalencies, number of semester credit hours awarded, and minimum scores required for each subject.
CLEP examinations are as follows:
|Survey of World Civilizations I
|Survey of World Western Civilizations II
|CLEP General Examination Freshman College Composition (essay required)
||PSCI 1010 and PSCI 1020
||SOCI 1010 and HIST 1510
Experiential Learning Credit
Students may receive credit for college-level learning that has taken place outside of college or university classrooms prior to enrolling in Southwest. The learning may have taken place on jobs or in other life situations. This credit is awarded when students explain and document in a portfolio what they have already learned in life that a particular course at the College is designed to teach. Students should contact the chair of the department that houses the course(s) in which they wish to earn experiential credit for the applicable policies and procedures. Please note:
- Credit earned through the portfolio is not included in the calculation of the student’s Grade Point Average (GPA). The student receives a grade of “E” (Experiential Credit) for the equivalent course when credit is awarded. No entry is made on the student’s transcript for unsatisfactory portfolios when no credit is awarded.
- Request for credit by the portfolio method can come from almost any area of the curriculum (core, concentration or electives) unless a specific career-accrediting agency does not allow portfolio or alternative credit.
- Students wishing to apply for portfolio credit must be registered as students of the College during the semester in which they are applying for credit.
- Students must have taken necessary placement exams and must have completed any required developmental studies courses in reading and writing.
- Students must apply for portfolio credit at least two semesters prior to graduation and must submit portfolios at least one semester before graduation.
- Students must be able to demonstrate and document how all courses for which portfolio credit is requested relate to their educational goals and the learning outcomes for each course that the student desires to replace with portfolio credit.
- Students who have failed courses cannot challenge them by portfolios and no course already taken may be replaced with portfolio credit.
Procedures for Requesting College Credit Through a Prior Learning Assessment Portfolio
- The student will schedule an interview with the appropriate Department Chair (or designee) in order to determine if the student has the appropriate level of experience, credentials, and prior learning to justify receiving credit for the requested course.
- If the Department Chair (or designee) deems that the student’s supporting evidence is worthy of consideration, the student will be given the Department’s Portfolio Guidelines for prior learning assessment and permission to submit a Portfolio.
- The student will submit the completed Portfolio to the Department Chair for review. The Department Chair will have the appropriate, academically qualified, faculty member to review the Portfolio and make recommendation to approve/disapprove the portfolio for the requested credit. The faculty member will then forward the Portfolio with his/her recommendation to the Chair who will make a recommendation and forward it on to the Dean for final recommendation.
- The student will be notified of the final recommendation of approval or disapproval of the portfolio credit recommendation. If approved, the Dean will notify the Records office of the credit awarded.
A student who exhibits the capability of mastering the content of a given course by self-study and who meets the normal prerequisite requirements may request independent study. The student must obtain approval of both the advisor and the department chair. Independent study is also subject to the availability of faculty. Students may not pursue courses in which they have received a grade, or earned credit in an equivalent or more advanced standing course. Only grades of “A”, “B”, “C”, “F” and “W” will be assigned to independent study.
Servicemembers Opportunity College (SOC)
The U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) has designated Southwest as a Servicemembers Opportunity College (SOC). SOC, a consortium of National Higher Education Associations with more than 1,800 members, functions in cooperation with the DOD and the military services to help meet the voluntary higher education needs of service members. SOC institutional members subscribe to certain principles, criteria, and guidelines as outlined in the SOC Guide to ensure that high quality academic programs are available to military students.
Southwest is committed to upholding these principles, criteria, and guidelines. Southwest grants academic credit for military training and experience, plus knowledge acquired through other nontraditional modes of training based on recommendations made by the American Council on Education. Such credit may be applied to meet degree requirements when applicable to a service member’s program. For more information regarding this program or for a SMART Transcript evaluation, please call (901) 333-4030 or 333-4851.
A student may automatically repeat any course for which an “A” or “B” grade was not earned. If the grade of “A” or “B” was earned in a course, permission from the respective department chair is needed to repeat the course; or repeating the course must be required for entry into one of the College’s academic programs. The GPA will be calculated using the last grade assigned to the repeated course (even if the last grade is lower than the previous grade) and the attempted credit hours will be counted only once for the course with one exception; if the course is attempted three times or more, the third grade and each subsequent grade and credit hours for the third and each subsequent attempt will be used in calculating the GPA.
At Southwest, the instructor of record, or the department chair when the faculty member is no longer available, may change an officially posted grade. The instructor of record begins the process by completing the Change of Grade form and submitting the form to the department chair and appropriate dean for endorsement. With all appropriate endorsements, the completed form should be submitted to the Admissions and Records Office for posting to the student’s academic record.
Grade of Incomplete
The grade of “I” (Incomplete) may be assigned when the student is passing a course but is prevented, by documented extraordinary circumstances, from completing a course on schedule. The instructor of record determines whether such circumstances pertain. A student who receives an “I” grade must complete all required work and remove the incomplete “I” grade by the deadline indicated on the academic calendar. Failure to complete work by the deadline results in automatic failure. A grade of “F” will be posted for the course on the student’s permanent academic record. Upon the student’s completion of the required work, the instructor of record will calculate and post the student’s earned grade by filing a signed Change of Grade form with the Admissions and Records Office.
Any student may initiate an appeal of any course grade within six (6) months after the conclusion of the semester in which the grade was earned. The procedure for appealing a course grade is as follows:
- The student must make an appointment and meet with the instructor to discuss the grade, bringing any supportive documentation such as course outline, originals, or copies of papers, lab reports, themes, and examination grades.
- If the student still believes that further appeal is warranted, the student must submit a “Grade Appeal” form to the department chair involved.
- If the response from the above step is not satisfactory, the student may forward the record of written appeal to the division dean.
- Should further resolution be requested beyond the dean’s involvement and response, the student must notify the division dean who will forward the request to the Grade Appeals Committee of the Faculty Senate.
- After consideration of the student’s request, the faculty member’s response, the recommendations of the division dean and the Grade Appeals Committee, the Provost/Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs will make the final determination and notify the student.
Plagiarism, cheating and other forms of academic dishonesty are prohibited. A student guilty of academic misconduct, either directly or indirectly through participation or assistance, is immediately responsible to the instructor of the class. In addition to other possible disciplinary sanctions that may be imposed through regular College procedures as a result of academic misconduct, the instructor has the authority to assign an “F” grade or a zero for the exercise or examination, or to assign an “F” grade for the course. College sanctions for academic misconduct may include suspension or dismissal from the College. If a grade of “F” is assigned to a course as a result of academic misconduct, a student may not withdraw from or drop that course.
When a student believes that he/she has been wrongfully accused of academic misconduct, he/she should:
- Seek resolution with the instructor
- If resolution is unacceptable, seek resolution from the instructor’s department chair
- If resolution is unacceptable, seek resolution from the academic dean of the department
- If resolution is unacceptable, file a grievance by presenting the facts of the case in writing, with any supporting documentation, to the Provost/Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs, who will schedule a hearing before the Academic Appeals Committee
The student is responsible for moving through the process as expeditiously as possible and the grievance must go to the Academic Appeals Committee within thirty (30) days of the incident. The instructor charging the student with academic misconduct must report the incident, including all pertinent facts, to the department chair within five (5) business days after the charge has been made. The incident report must include any action taken against the student by the instructor for the academic misconduct. Members of the Academic Appeals Committee will review the incident report upon the student filing a grievance.
Any student engaged in disruptive conduct violating the general rules or regulations of the College will be subject to disciplinary action