Chapter 3: Instructional Policies

Number: 3.010 Legal Authority:  
Title: Absence of Instructor Implementation Date:  
Contact: Vice President Instruction Revisions: 4-13-2015, 6-3-2020

Instructors will report their absence from a regularly scheduled class to the appropriate supervisor or designee at the earliest possible time.

Number: 3.020 Legal Authority:

RCW 28B.50.252

SBCTC Policy Manual
Title: Advisory Committees for Vocational Programs Implementation Date:  
Contact: Dean of Instruction, Career & Technical Education Revisions: 2-1-2023

The College shall maintain program advisory committees for all state-approved vocational programs.

The normal class schedule is 50 minutes, with 10 minutes between classes. Labs and block classes operate on extended class periods of two or more hours. In those cases, it is appropriate for faculty to provide students with break periods. However, the cumulative time for breaks should not exceed the total of 10 minutes per hour. Students should be back in class and fully productive at the end of the break period. Breaks should be scheduled regularly throughout the class period and class periods may not be shortened by elimination of the break periods.

[Revised and Reviewed: Dr. Robert Frost, President, 4/13/2015]

Holding classes in accordance with adopted schedules has high priority in the educational program. However, the class periods can, on occasion, be superseded by other educational opportunities.

Deviations from posted schedules must be approved by the (Associate) Dean with the concurrence of the Vice President, Instruction for performance of duties in locations other than originally scheduled. This does not include absences from any scheduled classes. Classes may be dismissed in the following manners:

Class Dismissals by Administrators - As a general policy, classes will not be dismissed or cancelled en bloc. However, when notable speakers or programs are available and when it is deemed important that all students and faculty members have an opportunity to hear or see them, all classes may be dismissed or cancelled for this purpose. The decision as to whether or not the speaker or program justifies institution-wide class dismissal or cancellation will be made by the College President who may take into consideration staff recommendations. Approved dismissals or cancellations will be rare. In all cases, notice of such dismissal or cancellation will be given as far in advance as possible.

Class Dismissals by Instructors - Classroom learning often can be well supported by having students go out into the community to observe the practice of what is being studied. When the instructor feels those students could profit more by an activity outside but related to the classroom study than by the regularly scheduled presentation, classes may be dismissed by the instructor. When classes are dismissed by the instructor, the following conditions are to be met:

  1. The instructor can support the idea that students would, in the area being studied, gain more by the outside activity than by attending the regular class meeting.
  2. The most profitable time students may take advantage of the event is during the scheduled class time.
  3. The dismissal does not cause disruption to students' other classes.
  4. The instructor receives approval before dismissing the class from the (Associate) Dean. (NOTE: Approval of travel requests, and the provisions made therein for the classes involved, will constitute prior approval.)

Class Dismissal for Emergencies or Unusual Circumstances - Dismissal of classes caused by sudden disability preventing attendance of the instructor is covered in the CCFT Agreement and also refer to 1.350 suspended operations.

[Revised and Reviewed: Dr. Robert Frost, President, 4/13/2015]

Number: 3.060 Legal Authority: 4.170 Student Rights and Responsibilities
Title: Class & Office Disruptions & Student Discipline Implementation Date:  
Contact: Vice President, Student Services Revisions: 4-13-2015, 12-2-2020

Centralia College exists to provide educational programs for its students. Activities that disrupt the educational process will not be tolerated. All members of the faculty and staff have a responsibility to ensure the orderly conduct of the educational process.

Reference: 4.170 Student Rights & Responsibilities

Number: 3.070 Legal Authority:
Title: Class Records Implementation Date:  
Contact: Vice President, Instruction Revisions: 2-7-2024

Faculty members must keep accurate records of each class and each student's progress. Under FERPA an educational record may include all material related to student grades, such as papers, exams, gradebooks and discussion posts. Accurate attendance records are required by U.S. Department of Education Title IV. These records shall be maintained for the period of time required by the records retention schedule. These records are the property of the College. Upon leaving the College, instructors shall turn over such records to their supervisor.

Number: 3.080 Legal Authority: Policy 4.075 
Title: Class Rosters Implementation Date:  
Contact: Director, Enrollment Services Revisions: 4-13-2015, 1-8-2020, 12-2-2020

Faculty are expected to check their class roster online to ensure all students attending a class are registered.  Any person who is not registered for a class can only attend with an instructor’s permission and will not receive a grade or be granted credit.  Students who have registered but not attended will be dropped by the instructor according to Policy 4.075 – Attending & Withdrawing from Classes.

Faculty members are expected to maintain a healthful environment in their classes, labs, shops and office areas. Questions about occupational safety rules should be directed to the appropriate (Associate) Dean.

In classrooms, shops, and laboratories where potential hazard for eye injury is present, safety glasses and/or other appropriate face shields are mandatory.

Faculty members and instructional support staff are required to maintain a safe instructional environment, to provide instruction on proper use of safety equipment, and to provide instruction on the safe use of other equipment, chemicals, and materials. Faculty members or authorized instructional support staff are to supervise laboratories and shops when students are present.

[Revised and Reviewed: Dr. Robert Frost, President, 4/13/2015]

Number: 3.110 Legal Authority: FERPA
Title: Confidentiality of Student Records Implementation Date: 11-19-1974
Contact: Director Enrollment Services Revisions: 11-6-2019

The confidentiality of all students' educational records are handled in accordance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and its implementing rules.

Refer to Student Policy 4.085 Family Educational Rights & Privacy Act (FERPA) for additional information.

Contact: Vice President, Instruction

A course outline for every course the College offers shall be approved by the Vice President, Instruction after review and recommendation by the faculty department, the appropriate (Associate) Dean and Instructional Council. The course outline should reflect the learning outcomes and the content of the course. Whenever changes are made, the course outline should be updated and submitted to the (Associate) Dean for submission to the Instructional Council and the Vice President, Instruction.

[Reviewed and Revised: Dr. Robert Frost, President, 4/13/2015]

Number: 3.130 Legal Authority:  
Title: Course Syllabus Implementation Date:  
Contact: Vice President of Instruction Revisions: 4-13-15, 5-4-2022

Instructors are required to develop a course syllabus for each offering of a course and communicate the syllabus to students during the first week of the term. Following the syllabus checklist, the course syllabus will provide students with information on the course content, course requirements, and course expectations. Syllabi must be filed electronically by the census date of the course in the Instruction Office.

Vice President of Instruction

In compliance with U.S. Department of Education regulation and Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities policy, college level courses at Centralia College, regardless of modality, shall be at a level of rigor such that the average adequately prepared student will invest approximately 30 hours of effort for each quarter credit earned.

[Approved by Instructional Council 5/18/2015]

Number: 3.160 Legal Authority:  
Title: Final Examination Schedules Implementation Date:  
Contact: Vice President, Instruction Revisions: 4-13-2015, 2-7-2024

If a final exam is given during finals week, it will be administered in accordance with the examination schedule.

Number: 3.165 Legal Authority:  
Title: Fitness Center Use Implementation Date: 12-1-2010
Contact: VP Instruction, Dean Arts & Sciences, Director Student Life & Involvement Revisions: 4-13-2015, 10-2-2019

All current Centralia College students may use the Art and Glenna Symons Fitness Center during established hours by following posted rules.

Number: 3.170 Legal Authority:  
Title: Grade Assignment Implementation Date:  
Contact: Vice President, Instruction Revisions: 4-13-2015, 2-7-2024

Every faculty member will utilize a method for evaluating student learning that results in the assignment of a grade at the end of the course. Clear grading policies and/or student evaluation criteria must be on the class syllabus.

Number: 3.190 Legal Authority:  
Title: Grading System Implementation Date: 10-7-2009 
Contact: Vice President, Instruction Revisions: 7-30-2014, 1-8-2020, 1-6-2021

Centralia College uses a numerical grading system. Instructors report passing grades from 4.0 to 1.0 in .1 increments. Instructors assign the number 0.0 for failing work and must assign a date of last attendance. Numerical grades are equivalent to letter grades as follow:

4.0-3.8 A Superior achievement
3.7-3.5 A-  
3.4-3.2 B+  
3.1-2.8 B High achievement
2.7-2.5 B-  
2.4-2.2 C+  
2.1-1.8 C Average achievement *Note: 1.8 and 1.9 are below the 2.0 minimum requirement for program entrance or completion
1.7-1.5 C-  
1.4-1.2 D+  
1.1-1.0 D Minimum achievement
0.0 F Failure to meet minimum course requirements.
  W Withdrawal. May be awarded only on or before the last class day. May only be student initiated. Requires dated signature of student. Not calculated in the grade point average. The college encourages students to speak with their instructor(s) before withdrawal.
  I Incomplete. No grade points calculated.

The student must have:

  • finished a substantial portion of the work,
  • attended past the 35th class day,
  • be passing the course (1.0 or above),
  • and because of circumstances not ordinarily controllable by the student, was not able to finish the course prior to grading.

The instructor and student must complete the Individual Agreement contract that specifies what work is remaining and when it is due. The contract must specify the default grade, if the additional work is not accomplished by the time limit. The grade shall revert to the default grade, if no new grade is turned in by the instructor by the time limit. The instructor, student, and the Enrollment Services Office receive copies of the contract. If there is no contract or an incomplete contract when an “I” has been requested by the instructor, the grade shall be recorded as missing, until a complete contract is on file with Enrollment Services.

Incomplete work must be completed and submitted to the instructor by the deadline established by the instructor but not to exceed 180 days past the end of the quarter.
  N Audit. No credit. Not calculated in grade point average.
  S Passing with credit. Not calculated in grade point average. Used only by approved departments. Degrees and certificates may limit the use of S credits.
  U Unsatisfactory progress. Not calculated in grade point average. Used only by approved departments.
  Y In Progress. No grade point calculated. Used in courses, such as correspondence, that do not begin and end with the regular quarter calendar. Not calculated in grade point average. A student has two quarters to complete the class (an extension for a third quarter is available for an additional fee). The instructor will submit a change of grade form to Enrollment Services at the completion of the coursework within the time limit. If no new grade is turned in by the instructor a grade of 0.0 will be issued.

limitation to change a grade

Instructor may authorize a grade change within the next quarter of the academic year. Summer quarter is excluded (i.e., spring quarter grade changes must be made by end of fall quarter; summer quarter changes must be made by end of fall quarter).

Course audit

Students that are interested in auditing a course can observe class activities and receive instruction with an instructor’s permission without being required to complete assignments or take exams. To audit a course, the student must complete the Schedule Change form with the instructor’s signature, enroll by the census date, and pay appropriate tuition and/or fees. Auditing a course results in the class not being awarded credit or a grade. The transcript will show an “N’’ for an audited course and will not factor into the GPA.  

All honoraria must be authorized by the (Associate) Dean before commitment can be made to any visiting speaker. All invitations to visiting speakers receiving honoraria, although they may be initiated orally by the instructor, must be confirmed by the (Associate) Dean with a copy of the invitation sent to the Instruction Office.

If authorized, payment for the speaker, via an adjunct faculty contract or a personal services agreement, must be processed through the Instruction Office before the activity.

Number: 3.210 Legal Authority:  
Title: Independent Study Implementation Date:  
Contact: Vice President, Instruction Revisions: 4-7-2021

Independent study may be available to students to conduct independent research, independent reading and/or writing, or independent coursework under the supervision of a sponsoring instructor. The student shall also meet the criteria set forth in the college catalog.  All individual contracts must be approved by the appropriate dean.

Students must identify an instructor and develop the study by establishing a contract with an instructor that includes the following:

  • Instructor agreement to the terms of the study.
  • Mutually established subject materials, learning objectives, and performance standards.
  • Instructor evaluation of the learning objectives and performance standards.
Number: 3.215 Legal Authority:  
Title: Learning Management System (LMS) Implementation Date: 6-2-2021
Contact: Director, eLearning Revisions:  
In order to assure student privacy as required by FERPA, merging of classes in the Learning Management System (LMS) will only be done when merged classes are clustered classes meeting at the same date/time, but for administrative or other reasons are assigned different course numbers.

The Instructional Council has the responsibility for recommending to the Vice President, Instruction the following:

  1. Approval and deletion of new courses within programs and curriculum.
  2. Approval, review, and/or modification of curriculum and programs
  3. Establishing academic standards

New or revised general and academic course approval:

  1. Faculty members develop a course outline/proposal.
  2. The outline is reviewed by the faculty department for academic rigor and appropriateness to the curriculum
  3. Instructional administrator reviews the outline for technical components, e.g., form, hours, description, learning themes, CIP and program codes.
  4. The individual faculty makes improvements and corrections as identified by department and administrator.
  5. The course is presented to the Instructional Council along with documentation for how the course fits a degree or program.
  6. The recommendation is forwarded to the Vice President, Instruction for final action.

New or revised professional technical course approval:

  1. For new programs the Professional technical Dean files a Notice of Intent with SBCTC and manages the process directed by the WEC and SBCTC.
  2. If the notice is not challenged or denied, the program courses will be reviewed by the Instructional Council before being sent to SBCTC for endorsement.
  3. Once SBCTC has endorsed a new program, an advisory committee will be formed and course development will begin.

Professional Technical course development:

  1. New courses intended to fulfill newly SBCTC-endorsed professional technical programs will follow the same steps as outline for general and academic course approval. When possible, the process will include review and recommendations from the advisory committee.
  2. Revised courses will be reviewed by the program's advisory committee and the department before presentation to the Instructional Council.

Course or program deletion:

  1. Course deletions may begin with the faculty members within the discipline or may begin with administration. Program deletions must be supported by enrollment data.
  2. The faculty department and the appropriate academic administrator(s) will review programs recommended for deletion.
    1. The recommendation may be reviewed by the Instructional Council and forwarded to the Vice President, Instruction for final action.
Number: 3.230 Legal Authority:
Title: Professional Technical Program and Course Development Implementation Date:
Contact: Reviewed:
Under Review 4-3-2019

The professional technical program development procedure is provided here for overall direction and guidance to faculty and administrators in developing new programs. Detailed procedures are available from the Dean of Instruction, professional technical programs (the Dean). A summary of the steps are:

  • Submit a request for the program to the Dean.
  • If the concept is approved, the Dean submits a preliminary program notice of intent request with the State Board for Community and Technical Colleges.
  • If approval for planning is granted by the State Board for Community and Technical Colleges, the Dean selects an ad hoc advisory committee and conducts a feasibility study.
  • A positive feasibility study leads to the development of curriculum with assistance of the ad hoc advisory committee. The curriculum then must be reviewed by the Instructional Council and approved by the Vice President, Instruction.
  • Approval of the curriculum sets the stage for the identification of facilities and preparation of a capital facilities request if necessary.
  • A feasibility check is then conducted by the Dean and Vice President of Instruction. The President makes the final decision.
  • The Dean submits an occupational program approval to the State Board for Community and Technical Colleges.
  • The Dean releases information about the program to target markets and the public at large.
  • The Dean hires instructional staff, and acquires facilities and resources.
  • The Dean evaluates the program continually during initial stages of operation.
  • Instructors place students from the program in appropriate employment as feasible.
    • Instructors follow up former students. Formal evaluation of the program leads to continuation, modification, or elimination. The Dean recommends all modifications to the Vice President, Instruction through the Instructional Council.
Number: 3.270 Legal Authority:  
Title: Students’ Guests in Class Implementation Date:  
Contact: VP Student Services Revisions: 10-2-2019

For reasons of safety, health, and to provide the most conducive learning environment, only registered students may attend class, without prior faculty approval

Number: 3.290 Legal Authority:
RCW 28B.10.592
Title: Textbook Selection & Purchase Implementation Date:  
Contact: Vice President, Instruction Revisions:
4-13-2015, 6-7-2023

Textbook selection for courses will be made by faculty, contracted instructor or appropriate dean (in the absence of instructor), and should be selected with costs to the student and consistency with the course content in mind.  Instructors and faculty are responsible for including detailed information on Inclusive Access digital textbooks in their course syllabi and course material.

Faculty, contracted class instructors, or the appropriate dean (in the absence of class instructor) will be the responsible designator to communicate the required course materials for the class to the bookstore. If faculty, contracted class instructors, or dean is unable to meet requested and communicated bookstore deadlines, bookstore management will default to previously ordered course materials, taking into consideration class instructor and modality. The bookstore is responsible for publishing textbook costs in compliance with state and federal regulations.

Desk Copies - Complimentary copies (desk copies) of textbooks and other instructional materials may be available to the instructor from various publishers. Each instructor has the responsibility for contacting the publisher and requesting complimentary copies of books and other materials for their use in the classroom. Desk Copies can also be purchased from the bookstore via intra-district and dean or Vice President of Instruction approval. This should be done as soon as the instructor knows what texts will be used. Desk copies are the property of the college and, therefore, may not be sold. Copies that are no longer needed may be returned to the bookstore.

Campus contact: Vice President, Instruction

Centralia College recognizes the need to protect the rights, well-being, and personal privacy of individuals while serving as human subjects as part of training procedures in classroom, laboratory, or clinical activities.

Training procedures, demonstrations, and/or experiments that use human subjects shall be reviewed and approved by a committee established for review and approval of such proposals. All such activities that use human subjects will be closely monitored by responsible instructors. Students who enroll in a program or course that uses human subjects shall be informed of the procedures required during the first week of the course. Students who choose neither to participate as a human subject nor to accept an alternative activity will be informed that they may not be able to complete some courses/programs successfully.

Information provided to the students shall include the following:

  1. A written notification of the procedures to be followed including a description of the attendant risks and discomforts;
  2. A description of the benefits to be expected or the knowledge to be gained;
  3. An identification of available alternative activities;
  4. A statement that the subject may decline to participate at any time unless such procedure is required of the student to master a critical competence;
  5. An assurance that the identity of students involved in surveys will remain confidential; and
  6. The requirement that all students electing to participate in activities must present a written consent signed by the student or, if under the age of 18, parent or legal guardian prior to participation.

[Policy delegated by BOT to College, 9/21/00]
[Reviewed: Dr. Robert Frost, President, 4/13/2015]

Faculty should inform vendors of the times that are acceptable to visit. Classes or labs should never be interrupted to talk to a vendor about a product. State law forbids college personnel to accept gratuities from vendors.

Faculty should avoid conflicts of interest in dealing with vendors by being thoroughly familiar with the purchasing rules before promising to buy any product. The Purchasing Office assigns all field orders for purchases. All purchases must be approved by the (Associate) Dean that has signature authority over the budget.

Reference: Chapter 3, Section 3.090, Conflict of Interest - State Ethics Law

[Reviewed: Dr. Robert Frost, President, 4/13/2015].