Student Responsibility for Catalog Information
Each student is responsible for the information contained within this catalog. Failure to read the regulations will not be considered sufficient reason for noncompliance with such regulations.
The Board of Trustees of Iowa Western Community College reserves the right to revise and modify any curriculum, instructional program, and/or course of study without prior notification of applicants or students. Such revisions and modifications will apply to prospective students and may be applicable to students currently enrolled.
General Education Philosophy
General education courses are an important component of the community college learning experience. General education imparts common knowledge, promotes intellectual inquiry, and stimulates the examination of different perspectives, thus enabling people to function effectively in a complex and changing world.
General education is not exclusively related to a student’s technical or professional field but is the part of a degree or diploma program that prepares students to meet personal, social, and lifelong learning needs. At Iowa Western Community College, the goal of general education is to enhance the development of the individual into a responsible, understanding, and productive citizen. The integration of career goals, with a knowledge of culture, society, global issues, and challenges, will prepare the student for their place in the future.
General education requirements will vary by program of study. Students should refer to the degree requirements section of the catalog for specific requirements.
Arts and Sciences/College Transfer Programs
All Arts and Sciences college transfer students must select a program of study, and they are encouraged to seek an associate degree. Each program of study is designed to provide the opportunity to explore in depth a specific area of academic interest. The Associate of Arts and Associate of Science degrees are transferable to four-year institutions. Each of the Arts and Sciences programs have been developed by the faculty in that specific field and are to be used as guidelines for student planning and academic advising.
Career and Technical Programs
A career and technical program is a professionally developed sequence of learning experiences designed to prepare students for immediate entry into the workforce. Graduates of these programs receive certificates, diplomas, Associate of Applied Arts, or Associate of Applied Science degrees. Students enrolling in Career and Technical programs are required to consult with the program chair to develop their individual program plans. In many instances, a carefully developed program plan provides for transferability of courses leading to a Bachelor’s degree.
Twelve or more credit hours is considered full-time status for the fall and spring semesters, as well as the summer session. The normal course load for a student expecting to graduate with an Associate in Arts, Associate in Science, or Associate in General Studies degree is 15-16 credit hours per semester. Students in Career and Technical programs must follow the approved curriculum.
Students are limited in the number of hours they may carry. In the fall and spring semesters, students in Arts and Science programs may take up to 20 hours, and students in Career and Technical programs may take up to 21 hours. In the summer term, all students are limited to 12 hours. This limitation is intended to help the student, and, if good scholarship is demonstrated, a petition for increased load may be granted in subsequent terms. Students who wish to petition for an academic overload should meet with an Academic Advisor in the Advising and College Success Programs department.
A student’s academic classification is determined by the number of semester credit hours of academic credit they have earned. A student who has earned 1 through 32 credits is classified as a freshman, and a student who has earned 33 or more credit hours is classified as a sophomore.
Faculty record student attendance for every class according to the requirement set forth in the Faculty Handbook. Attendance may be verified by sources both on and off campus. These sources include, but are not limited to, Iowa Western Community College employees; the Veterans Administration; high school guidance counselors; Iowa Western accreditors; personnel from local, state, or national government; private human services agencies; and scholarship-granting organizations. This policy is subject to the limitations outlined in the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).
Arranged Course Study
Students may enroll in a course on an individual basis with special permission of the appropriate Division Dean and the Vice President of Academic Affairs. Normally, this will only be permitted when a specific course has not been scheduled during the semester or when a serious schedule conflict has occurred.
Audit Course Study
Audit enrollment in courses provides students the opportunity to attend class as a non-credit participant. Audit enrollments require that the student and instructor agree about what portion(s) of the course the student plans to audit and the requirements the instructor has about the student’s class attendance and participation. If the student fulfills the agreement for the audit, the student will receive the symbol of “N” (Audit) for the course and it will be entered on the student’s academic transcript. If the student does not fulfill the audit agreement, the Records and Registration Office, upon request of the instructor, will delete the course from entry on the student’s academic transcript. The audit enrollment symbol carries no credit or grade point value and is not eligible for student financial aid. With the permission of the instructor, academic dean and the Records and Registration Office, a student may change from credit enrollment status to audit status through the twelfth week of the semester or comparable summer semester period. Once a student opts to audit a course, the audit status cannot be changed to receive a letter grade. Registration procedures and fees are the same as for regular class enrollment. Students taking courses for credit may displace auditors if the courses are full. Courses that cannot be audited include:
- Clinical courses
- Arranged courses
- Courses with the following prefixes:
Cooperative Education/Internship Programs
Students may earn and apply up to eight semester hours of cooperative education and/or internship credit toward a degree or diploma.
This program enables students to participate in periods of off-campus work experience closely related to classroom theory and educational goals. Cooperative Education students may or may not be paid for their services, depending on an agreement between employer and student. Cooperative Education stems from the principle that the vast world of experience has a lot to offer students and can enhance classroom learning. Work experience contributes to the development of positive work habits such as honesty, punctuality, courtesy, cooperative attitudes, and willingness to learn. Some work experience may modify ideas and plans concerning career choices.
All Cooperative Education courses require approval of the program chair. In addition, the student must have successfully completed a minimum of twenty semester hours toward their degree and have achieved a grade point average of 2.0 or greater.
This program enables students to participate in periods of off-campus work experience closely related to classroom theory and educational goals. Students participating in the internship may or may not be paid for experience, depending on the agreement between employer and student. The internship provides the opportunity for the student to enhance their education by gaining actual work experience in their program of study. The experience contributes to the development of positive work habits such as honesty, punctuality, courtesy, cooperative attitudes, and willingness to learn. Technical skills are enhanced.
All internship courses require approval of the program chair. Students must have successfully completed a minimum of twenty semester hours in their program and have achieved a grade point average of 2.0 or greater.
When applicable, Iowa Western Community College awards alternative credit to students who have attained knowledge and skills through experience and training outside the traditional college classroom, including non-collegiate institution training, such as armed forces and service schools, and non-credit courses. Students may also earn credit by demonstrating proficiency through successful completion of standardized examinations and departmental exams.
Credit by Standardized Examination
Students may earn and apply credit hours toward an associate degree, diploma or certificate by meeting minimum score requirements, as recommended by the American Council on Education (ACE) College Credit Recommendation Service, on approved subject-matter tests of the College Level Examination Program (CLEP), Advanced Placement (AP), and DSST (formerly DANTES). All test scores must be sent directly from the testing agency to the College. Only credit that can be applied toward the student’s degree requirements will be transcripted. Credit received by standardized examinations may not be used to satisfy the residence credit requirement for any degree, diploma or certificate. A maximum of 30 credit hours will be transcripted for CLEP credit. The credit is recorded on the student’s transcript without a grade, and, therefore, will not be calculated in the student’s G.P.A.
Credit by Departmental Examination
An Iowa Western Community College student may, by requesting and receiving approval of the appropriate program chair and academic dean, challenge an Iowa Western Community College course for which there is no College Level Examination Program (CLEP) test. Credit by departmental examination is a means of being granted alternative credit by satisfactorily demonstrating subject-matter competency through an examination developed, administered, and evaluated by college faculty. Before seeking approval to take a departmental examination, a student should be prepared to show evidence that they have attained equivalent knowledge and skills through work experience, training, or non-credit programs and courses. The student will be assessed 50% of tuition for a challenged course and must pay prior to attempting the departmental exam; charges are not rescinded, nor is payment refunded, if the student does not successfully challenge the course. A course may be challenged by departmental examination one time only. A course may not be challenged if the student has already received a grade in the course at Iowa Western Community College. The credit for a successfully challenged course, defined as a grade of “C” or higher on the departmental examination, is recorded on the student’s transcript with a grade of “T” and, therefore, will not be calculated in the student’s G.P.A. Credit received by departmental examination shall be used to fulfill degree, diploma and certificate requirements. Course credit by departmental examination may not be used to satisfy the residence credit requirement for any degree, diploma, or certificate. Students challenging courses are hereby given notice that credit awarded by departmental examination may not be accepted for transfer by other institutions.
High School Articulation
Students may earn college credit for an Iowa Western Community College career and technical program by demonstrating knowledge and skills while in a high school career and technical program. Local high school instructors and Iowa Western Community College instructors have mutually agreed upon the competencies (knowledge and skills) and levels of performance transferable between select high schools and Iowa Western Community College programs.
Credit Through Training by Non-Collegiate Institutions
An Iowa Western Community College student may be awarded credit for applicable armed service school experiences and training, non-collegiate institution training, or earned professional certifications and licensures. Where applicable, credit shall be awarded in accordance with The American Council on Education’s College Credit Recommendation Service, the ACE Guide to the Evaluation of Educational Experiences in the Armed Services, or other approved organizations. Only credit that can be applied toward the student’s degree requirements will be transcripted. Credit received through training by non-collegiate institutions shall be used to fulfill degree, diploma and certificate requirements. The credit is recorded on the student’s transcript without a grade, and, therefore, will not be calculated in the student’s G.P.A. Credit received through training by non-collegiate institutions may not be used to satisfy the residence credit requirement for any degree, diploma or certificate.
Credit Through Non-Credit Course Completion
A student who completes a pre-approved non-credit course section at Iowa Western Community College may be eligible to earn semester hour credit that can be applied toward a degree, diploma or certificate. In order for credit to be awarded, the non-credit course must meet the competencies of a credit course, as determined and approved by the appropriate academic dean, as well as the Vice President of Academic Affairs, prior to the start of each course section offering. The student must successfully complete the course, as defined in the pre-approval process, in order for credit to be transcripted. The credit is recorded on the student’s transcript without a grade, and, therefore, will not be calculated in the student’s G.P.A. Credit received by non-credit course completion shall be used to fulfill degree, diploma and certificate requirements. Credit received by non-credit course completion may be used to satisfy the residence credit requirement for any degree, diploma or certificate. Transcription of such credit doesn’t indicate acceptance to the College; a student must submit an application for admission and meet all requirements for admission in order to enroll in credit courses.
The Iowa Western Community College Testing Center proctors tests for prospective, new, and current Iowa Western Community College students. The Testing Center proctors a variety of examinations, including tests requiring accommodations, tests for online courses, College-Level Examination Program (CLEP) tests, and Iowa Dental Board examinations. Students may be charged a fee for proctoring services.
Iowa Western Community College offers Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps courses through the University of Nebraska at Omaha and Army Reserve Officers Training Corps courses through Creighton University.
Course activity is organized around scheduled class meetings, which students are required to physically attend.
Course activity consists of a combination of scheduled face-to-face sessions complemented with an instructor-directed online component. Students are required to physically attend in-person class meetings as well as participate in online course activities.
Web-based technologies are used to extend course activity to students at any location with internet access. Students are required to participate in virtual sessions at scheduled times.
Course Activity is done online through instructor-directed learning and is not self-paced. Faculty may offer in-person or online real-time instruction.
Web-based technologies are used to extend course activity to students at remote sites in real time. Students are expected to physically attend class meetings at approved locations.
Interim Session Courses
Iowa Western Community College offers at least one interim session, lasting approximately two weeks, each academic year. Since the number of days that constitutes an interim session varies from year to year, so too will the number of actual hours spent in class. Course content will be delivered in a manner conducive to learning for the length of the session.
Service-Learning and Community Service
Service-learning, community service activities, and civic engagement are essential components of the comprehensive education Iowa Western Community College provides its students. Iowa Western Community College offers a variety of ways for students to learn how to become active citizens in both the local community and in our larger diverse global society. Iowa Western Community College students participate in service-learning projects connected to courses, provide valuable community service for local nonprofit organizations, and are encouraged to become active in civic issues.
Faculty and staff, in partnership with representatives of nonprofit community organizations, design service-learning projects based on two main objectives:
- Meeting community needs, which helps strengthen the community.
- Advancing the students’ understanding of specific course content and related civic learning objectives.
Strong reflective components are built into the course not only to help students consider relationships between their service and the course curriculum but also to help students consider the impact their service has on their personal values and professional goals. There are more than one hundred nonprofit agencies in Council Bluffs and the surrounding areas that utilize volunteers on a regular basis. There are a number of courses in a variety of disciplines at Iowa Western Community College that include a service-learning component within their curriculum.
Course Numbering System
Beginning with the 2006 Fall semester, Iowa Western Community College converted to a statewide common course numbering system. The Iowa community colleges developed a systematic numbering system for all credit courses offered by Iowa community colleges. The goal of the numbering system is to facilitate transfer and articulation processes for community college students in Iowa.
Other colleges differ in their curriculum requirements. Students anticipating transfer to another institution are encouraged to plan a program of study in accordance with the degree requirements of the institution to which they plan to transfer. The evaluation of credits for transfer is always made by the accepting institution. Students receiving less than a grade of “C” in any course may experience difficulty in transferring such credit to another institution.
All courses in Arts and Science programs are considered to be transferable to other institutions. Career and Technical courses are designed to prepare students for a specific occupation and are not necessarily designed to be transferable. However, Iowa Western Community College has transfer agreements for Career and Technical courses with several institutions.
Unit of Credit
The semester hour is the basic unit of credit of Iowa Western Community College. A semester hour of credit usually represents one hour of class work or two to four hours of laboratory work each week for a semester, although variation from this standard is possible in some courses.
The grading system used at Iowa Western Community College is stated below.
||Indicates superior work and excellent progress.
||Indicates work and progress above the average standard.
||Indicates work and progress that meets the average standard.
||Indicates work and progress below the average standard.
||Indicates work and progress below the minimum standard.
||Indicates that course requirements have not been completed.
||(This grade must be completed by the following semester or the “I” will revert to an “F,” unless the instructor and student request that the Records and Registration Office extend the time limit.)
||Indicates withdrawal from the course. Grade is not calculated in grade point average.
||Indicates credit by exam.
||Indicates audit of a course - no credit granted.
||Repeated course. (Used prior to Fall 2003.)
||No credit - no pass.
||Required - no credit.
Pass/No Pass Course Grading Policy
Iowa Western Community College offers a limited number of courses that can be taken on a pass/no pass basis. In order for a course to be considered specifically for pass/no pass grading, it must be designated as a pass/no pass through curriculum action and noted in the course description in the college catalog.
The grade award for pass/no pass courses shall be:
||No pass/no credit
Credits earned through course work as P-Pass shall count toward the total number of credits earned by the student while enrolled at Iowa Western Community College. However, no numerical value is assigned to a P-Pass grade. P-Pass course grades are not used in calculating the student’s term or cumulative grade point average.
Grade Point System
A grade system is used to compute a student’s grade point average. The numerical value assigned to each grade is as follows:
|Each semester hour of A
|Each semester hour of B
|Each semester hour of C
|Each semester hour of D
|Each semester hour of F
A student’s grade point average is computed as follows:
- For each course, multiply the credits earned by the numerical value of the grade received in that course.
- Compute the sum of all grade points received for all courses.
- Divide the total grade points by the number of credits attempted. Disregard the credits attempted for any course in which an I, T, W, P, Q, or N mark was received.
Transfer of Credit from Other Institutions
Iowa Western Community College will accept the credits awarded to a student who has done successful work, “C” or better, at an accredited college or university whose institutional accreditor is recognized by the United States Department of Education. A grade of “C” or higher is required for the credit to transfer, however, only the credit will be transferred. Grades for transfer credit will not affect the student’s cumulative grade average and will not appear on the student’s Iowa Western Community College transcript. Courses taken for pass/fail or satisfactory/unsatisfactory grades may only be transferred if the pass or satisfactory grade is equivalent to at least a “C” or higher. All acceptable college credit will be evaluated by the Registrar and then transfer credit applicable to the student’s program of study will be awarded. This transfer credit information will be available upon request during the initial term of enrollment.
The College will accept a maximum of sixteen semester hours of Career and Technical credits from another regionally accredited institution as elective credit only towards the Associate in Arts or the Associate in Science degree. The College will accept a maximum of thirty semester hours of Career and Technical credits as elective credit only toward the Associate of General Studies degree.
Official transcripts must be sent directly from the institution where credit was earned to the Iowa Western Community College Records and Registration Office. It is the responsibility of the student to have international transcripts translated into English and evaluated by World Education Services (WES) or Educational Credential Evaluators (ECE). Records submitted to the College as part of the admissions procedure become part of the official file and cannot be returned to the student or forwarded to another institution.
Iowa Western Community College cannot guarantee how other colleges may treat the acceptance of transfer credits.
President’s Honor Roll
All full-time students who earn a semester grade point average of 3.5 or above will be listed on the President’s Honor Roll.
Honor Society - Phi Theta Kappa
Students who have successfully completed a minimum of twelve credit hours towards an Associate’s degree and who have a cumulative grade point average of 3.5 or above will be invited to join Phi Theta Kappa. This national honor society initiates students during the fall and spring semesters of each year. PTK graduates are eligible to wear the PTK gold stole and tassel at graduation.