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.

Number: 3.040 Legal Authority:


Title: Class Breaks Implementation Date:  
Contact: Vice President, Instruction Revisions:
4-13-2015, 4-5-2023

Continuous lecture classes that last two or more hours should incorporate a break period at a predetermined time based on any number of criteria, such as content of the lecture, length of the class, and physical demands placed upon students. Laboratory classes or classes in which the student traditionally works independently may or may not require a break, depending on the judgment of the faculty. The cumulative time for breaks should not exceed the total of 10 minutes per hour. Students are expected to be back in class and fully productive at the end of the break period. Classes may not be shortened by elimination of break periods.

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 However, the class periods can, on occasion, be superseded by other educational opportunities.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.

Number: 3.090 Legal Authority: WAC 296-828
Title: Classroom/Laboratory Safety Implementation Date:  
Contact: Vice President, Instruction Revisions: 4-13-2015, 5-1-2024

Faculty members and instructional 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.

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.

Number: 3.120 Legal Authority:  
Title: Course Outlines Implementation Date:  
Contact: Vice President, Instruction Revisions:
4-13-2015, 4-5-2023

The course outline is the official document that the College uses to communicate course information and student learning competencies. A course outline for every course the College offers shall be approved by the Vice President of Instruction, after review and recommendation through the curriculum review and approval process. Course outlines shall serve as the official document used to determine transfer equivalencies for student course transfer.

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.

Number: 3.135 Legal Authority:
DOE Rulling
NWCCU Policy
Title: Credit Unit Equivalence Implementation Date:  
Contact: Vice President, Instruction Revisions: 4-13-15, 5-1-2024

In compliance with U.S. Department of Education regulation and Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities policy, students can expect to spend approximately 30 hours of effort for each unit earned in courses at Centralia College, regardless of modality.  

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.  

Number: 3.200 Legal Authority: RCW 42.52.130
Title: Honorario for Faculty Initiated Speakers Implementation Date:  
Contact: Vice President, Instruction Revisions: 5-1-2024

An honorarium is an amount of money paid to a professional person for which fees are not legally or traditionally required in recognition of a special service. All honoraria must be authorized by the appropriate supervisor before commitment can be made to any visiting speaker. The individual receiving the honorarium may not be an employee of Centralia College as outlined in RCW 42.52.130.

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. All invitations to visiting speakers receiving honoraria, although they may be initiated orally by the instructor, must be confirmed by the appropriate supervisor with a copy of the invitation sent to the Instruction Office.

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.
Number: 3.220 Legal Authority:  
Title: Learning Management System (LMS) Implementation Date:  
Contact: Vice President, Instruction Revisions: 5-1-2024


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.
  3. The recommendation may be reviewed by the Instructional Council and forwarded to the Vice President, Instruction for final action.
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.