College Catalog: Academic Information
The focus of Academics and Guided Career Pathways is effective student learning for career and personal growth. To this end, faculty and staff are available to work closely with students from the point of application for admission through the progression of courses to completion of studies at Durham Tech.
Full-time curriculum students who earn a grade point average between 3.25 and 3.74 for the semester are named to the Dean’s List for that semester. Full-time curriculum students with a grade point average of 3.75 or above are named to the President’s List for the semester.
Full-time or part-time students completing their plan of study with a grade point average between 3.25 and 3.74 are graduated with honors, while students maintaining a grade point average of 3.75 or above throughout their studies are graduated with high honors. Students who have earned a grade point average of 3.75 or above are recognized in the printed program distributed at the Commencement ceremony.
Academic achievement is also recognized through the Honors Program and two honor societies: the Gamma Beta Phi Society and Phi Theta Kappa. View the Student Clubs and Organizations web page for more information.
The Honors Programprovides advanced opportunities for learning, leadership, and service within the arts and sciences curriculum. This program ensures that motivated students are offered leadership roles that will help enrich their academic pursuits with advanced scholarship. Students who present an acceptable Honors project and earn a final grade of A or B in the Honors course will receive an Honors designation on their transcript.
Academic Calendar for Credit Courses
The academic calendar lists class start dates, end dates, and holidays for the fall and spring semesters and the summer term for credit programs. The registration section provides information about advising, registration, payment, and withdrawal and refund deadlines.
Classification of Plans of Study
The College is authorized by the State Board of Community Colleges to award the Associate in Applied Science, Associate in Arts, Associate in Engineering, Associate in Fine Arts, Associate in Science, and Associate in General Education degrees as well as diplomas and certificates. Requirements for these awards follow:
- Associate in Arts (AA) – Completion of all requirements for the Associate in Arts degree totaling a minimum of 60 semester hour credits. This two-year degree leads to a four-year baccalaureate degree offered at the university. The Comprehensive Articulation Agreement (CAA) enables graduates who are admitted to a North Carolina public college or university to transfer with junior status. Students earning the AA are working toward degrees such as business, English, fine arts, history, nursing, psychology, and sociology, to name a few.
- Associate in Fine Arts (AFA) – Completion of all requirements for the Associate in Fine Arts degree in Visual Arts, totaling a minimum of 60 semester hour credits prepares students for a studio arts major at a four-year university.
- Associate in Science (AS) – Completion of all requirements for the Associate in Science degree totaling a minimum of 60 semester hour credits. This two-year degree leads to a four-year baccalaureate degree offered at the university. The Comprehensive Articulation Agreement (CAA) enables graduates who are admitted to a North Carolina public college or university to transfer with junior status. Students in the AS program are working toward degrees that emphasize math and sciences such as biology, clinical lab science, engineering, geology, mathematics, physics, and radiology.
- Associate in Applied Science (AAS) – Completion of all required courses as listed on the specific program’s plan of study totaling no fewer than 64 semester hour credits. The AAS degree prepares students who intend to enter the workforce immediately following graduation from their program, or are seeking career advancement.
- Associate in General Education (AGE) – Completion of all requirements for the Associate in General Education degree totaling a minimum of 64 semester hour credits. The flexible AGE program is designed for students wishing to broaden their education with emphasis on personal interest, growth, and development, rather than for career preparation or transfer.
- Associate in General Education (AGE) – Nursing – Completion of all requirements for the Associate in General Education degree totaling a minimum of 60 semester hour credits. The Associate in General Education (AGE) in Nursing is designed for students who wish to begin their studies toward the Associate in Nursing degree and a Baccalaureate degree in Nursing.
- Diploma – Completion of all required courses identified on the program’s plan of study totaling no fewer than 36 semester hour credits, and prepares students who intend to enter the workforce immediately following graduation from their program, or are seeking career advancement.
- Certificate – Completion of all required courses identified on the program’s plan of study totaling no fewer than 12 semester hour credits, prepares students who intend to enter the workforce immediately following graduation from their program, or are seeking career advancement.
Durham Tech awards degrees, diplomas, and certificates in a variety of academic areas, and in a variety of formats – day, evening, hybrid, and/or online – to meet the needs of all learners.
A student admitted to a degree, diploma, or certificate program must meet the requirements listed on the curriculum’s plan of study for the academic year during which the student was accepted.
Academic advisors are available to help students learn more about programs that are aligned with their interests, work skills, and personal goals. For each academic program of study, students will find information on entry requirements, required and elective courses, potential career and/or transfer opportunities, and graduation requirements.
Course loads for full-time students are established by using the list of courses on the student’s academic program.
Only courses listed on the student’s academic program and any officially approved substitute courses count toward graduation.
A student must receive a passing grade in each course required for the plan of study. To graduate the student must successfully complete all the required courses, the required credit hours for electives, and have at least a 2.0 overall grade point average. When changing the primary program or adding a secondary program, a student must follow the steps in the Readmission and Change of Program procedure.
The list of academic programs is below, but the full list of degrees, diplomas, and certificates is available on the academic programs web pages.
Creative and Liberal Arts
Building and Skilled Trades
Business and Entrepreneurship
Health and Wellness
Occupational Therapy Assistant
Human Services and Public Safety
Science, Engineering, and Math
Descriptions of each credit course, hours, credits, prerequisites, and corequisites are listed in the courses section. Course outlines are also available there for most courses.
Durham Tech offers a wide array of online courses as a flexible alternative to traditional, on-campus classes. College curriculum online courses cover the same content as their traditional counterparts on campus and follow the academic calendar. Students are required to complete assignments each week according to the class schedule, to maintain regular contact with the instructor, and to participate in online class discussions. While all coursework is completed online, attendance at an orientation on campus may be required for some classes. Noncredit online courses offer a convenient way to advance your career or learn something new. More information is available in the Online Learning section.
Classification of Students
Persons attending the College are classified as either curriculum or visiting students and as full-time or part-time students according to the following definitions:
- Admitted Students – Persons who have been fully admitted to a program of study leading to an associate’s degree, diploma, or certificate. Admitted students are served by academic advisors in their programs of study. They are also eligible to be considered for course substitutions or credit by examination and qualify for academic recognition. They may also benefit from other academic options offered by the College unless restricted from doing so by the program in which they are enrolled.
- Visiting Students – Persons who have not been admitted to a program of study offered by the college and, therefore, are not officially pursuing a degree, diploma, or certificate. As non-degree students, they receive advising through Admissions and Advising Services. They are not eligible to be considered for course substitutions, may not receive credit by examination, do not qualify for academic recognition, and are not eligible for federal financial aid. Once a visiting student has completed 18 credit hours at Durham Tech, the student must apply for admission to a program of study to continue to enroll in credit courses.
It is strongly recommended that any student intending to complete a program of study at Durham Tech not proceed beyond one semester of full-time study, or 12 credits, as a visiting student before applying for admission. Delay in applying for admission may result in loss of credits and other penalties or disadvantages.
- Full-Time Students – Persons who have registered for a minimum of 12 credit hours for the semester.
- Part-Time Students – Persons who have registered for fewer than 12 credit hours for the semester.
Grades and Grading System
Grades are available through Self-Service at the end of each semester. Grade information includes the semester hour credits earned and the grade point average for the semester.
Each semester, Durham Tech establishes a date on which final course grades are due. To ensure that all students are treated in a fair and equitable manner, the College will not release a final grade for any student prior to the final grade due date. Furthermore, instructors will not arrange early exams for any student in order for the student to meet deadlines at another institution. Students who find that this policy conflicts with grade reporting deadlines at their home institution must work to resolve the matter at that college or university rather than at Durham Tech.
View the Grading System policy and procedure in the Policy and Procedures section. This also includes the credit by examination procedure.
Change of Grade
Grades may be changed if an instructor has made a data entry error or miscalculated a final grade. Such a miscalculation may occur due to the inadvertent omission of an assignment, a missed electronic transmission of a grade or assignment, or a mathematical/calculation error. View the Grade Change Request and Approval procedure.
Grade Point Average
Durham Tech employs a letter grading system to evaluate the student’s performance in meeting the stated objectives of the classroom, laboratory, shop, clinical setting, or work experience. Review the Grade Point Average (GPA) Calculation policy and procedure.
A student may repeat a course for a better grade two additional times. A student may not enroll in the same course more than three times without departmental approval.
Some Health Technologies programs have a limit of two enrollments. Repeating courses may also have a negative impact on satisfactory academic progress. Students receiving financial aid should consult the Satisfactory Academic Progress section for additional information.
Students may repeat a course for which they have already earned a grade. In such an instance, only the higher grade will be used in calculating the cumulative and program grade point average for graduation. A student may choose to take a different elective course instead of repeating the same elective course; however, the credit hours and grade points for both courses will be included in calculating the grade point average for graduation. Grade point averages for financial aid purposes are calculated based on all course attempts.
During the university transfer process, the senior institution may recalculate transfer students’ grade point averages using that institution’s method of calculation for course repeats.
All grades remain on the student’s transcript, regardless of whether they are included in the calculation of a student’s grade point average. Students may not register for two sections of the same course within the same term.
Course Prerequisites and Corequisites
Some courses have prerequisites and corequisites which are listed in the course descriptions section. Before these courses may be taken, any prerequisite course must be completed with a grade of C or better (completing with a grade of B or better is required in Developmental Education courses). Corequisites must have been taken during a previous or the same semester (completing with a grade of C or better). Advisors work with students to determine that prerequisites have been met.
Semester Length and Credit Hour Calculation
Durham Tech operates on a three-term academic calendar. The fall and spring semesters are each 16 weeks long; the summer term is 8 or 10 weeks long. In addition, the College offers some courses in 8-week mini-sessions and occasionally offers instruction in time frames of varying length to meet the training demands or schedules of other agencies.
A credit hour at Durham Tech, as required by the North Carolina Administrative Code, is calculated according to the following formula based on a 16-week semester:
- 1 hour of classroom instruction per week equals 1 credit hour;
- 2 hours of supervised laboratory instruction per week equal 1 credit hour;
- 3 hours of supervised manipulative laboratory, shop, or clinical practice per week equal 1 credit hour; and
- 10 hours of work experience, practicum, or internship per week equal 1 credit hour.
The core curriculum for any program of study should be maintained with integrity and followed completely. From time to time, however, it may be necessary or reasonable to waive a required course or substitute a course of equal value and classification to facilitate the completion of a student's program. Department deans have the authority to waive or substitute a course if it brings similar value to the program of study or if the student has not been able to enroll in the course because it has not been offered or has been offered in a manner or schedule impossible for the student. View the Course Waivers and Substitutions procedure.
Students who have met with an advisor during priority, general, or late advising and registration may register, make schedule adjustments, and add or drop courses by accessing Self-Service through the last day of registration. Students do not need to meet with an advisor again unless they are registering for classes not previously approved by an academic advisor or need additional assistance.
During the schedule adjustment period, the first week of classes, new students who are not currently enrolled may register only for classes that have not yet begun. Currently registered students may adjust their schedules to add courses. These students may register for seated or hybrid courses only (not online courses), and the section of the course being added must have met no more than once. For any course added during the schedule adjustment period, payment is due at the time of registration. Students requesting an exception to the schedule adjustment process must make a request to the academic dean over the program area responsible for the course.
On rare occasions, the College may reassign students to different sections or classes if it determines that such reassignments are in the best interests of the student and/or of the teaching and learning process.
Standards of Progress
Durham Tech requires that students maintain a minimum grade point average of 2.0 in order to be eligible for graduation. In order to assist students in their academic pursuits and ensure that they can successfully persist through graduation, the College has established an academic progression plan which provides parameters for the quality of academic performance.
The College offers multiple support services to help students make satisfactory academic progress. Students should monitor their individual progress each semester and seek additional support services if at risk for not meeting the standards.
Incoming Transfer Students
Transfer students applying for admission to Durham Tech must meet all admission requirements for their chosen program. More information can be found in the transfer credit evaluation and the Readmission and Change of Academic Program sections of the website.
Transferring to Other Institutions
The Arts, Sciences, and University Transfer (ASUT) program allows students to complete up to two years of course work for a baccalaureate degree. The wide variety of freshman-level and sophomore-level courses satisfies general education requirements at senior institutions across the United States. Completion of the Associate in Arts or Associate in Science degrees enables an eligible student to transfer as a junior to University of North Carolina System institutions after acceptance at the four-year university.
Associate in Arts, Associate in Engineering, Associate in Fine Arts, and Associate in Science
Durham Tech offers the Associate in Arts (AA), Associate in Engineering (AE), Associate in Fine Arts (AFA), and Associate in Science (AS) degrees in its University Transfer program. The AA and AS degrees are protected under the 2014 Comprehensive Articulation Agreement (CAA). Students who began their program Fall Semester 2014 or later and who complete the AA or AS (with a 2.0 or higher and with a grade of C or above in all courses), will have satisfied the lower-division General Education requirements at all NC public four-year institutions and will transfer as a junior upon acceptance to a University of North Carolina (UNC) System institution.
The AE degree is protected under the February 2015 articulation agreement between the North Carolina Community College System and the five UNC institutions that offer the Bachelor of Science in Engineering (BSE) degree. Students who complete the AE plan of study with a 2.5 or higher and with a grade of C or higher in all courses and who are accepted through competitive admission to a public four-year BSE program should be able to complete their degree within two additional years.
Students who earn the AFA degree should work with AFA advisors at Durham Tech for personalized assistance in transferring to a four-year institution for the Bachelor of Fine Arts or Bachelor of Arts in Art degree. University Transfer advisors and faculty in the Arts, Sciences, and University Transfer department can assist students with general transfer information and planning for public and private institutions in North Carolina.
Associate in Applied Science
The Associate in Applied Science (AAS) degree is awarded for two-year technical programs that focus on preparing the student for a profession. There are senior institutions that accept some of these degrees as the first two years of a four-year program, often referred to as bilateral agreements. Other senior institutions evaluate the Associate in Applied Science degree on a course-by-course basis. Information about the Colleges and universities that offer transfer credit for courses in the Associate in Applied Science degree programs completed at Durham Tech is available on the Bilateral Agreements by Program web page.
Associate in General Education
While not designed specifically for transfer, the Associate in General Education (AGE) is a highly flexible degree program, which a student may structure to meet individual needs. Transferability of courses depends on which specific courses are selected for the degree. Courses for the AGE degree may be selected from either the University Transfer program or from technical programs, provided that a minimum of 18 credits in a general education core is included. Additional information is available on the Bilateral Agreements by Program web page.
Requirements for Graduation
To be eligible for graduation, students must complete all courses and credit hours required in the plan of study under which they were admitted with a minimum grade point average of 2.0 (C). In addition, specified programs may require a grade of no less than C in some courses as designated in the appropriate program handbook. Transfer credit may not exceed 75 percent of the total credit hours required to complete the desired program of study. Students must complete a minimum of 25 percent of the total credit hours required to complete the desired program of study at Durham Tech.
Students should complete a graduation application form for their degree, diploma, or certificate one semester before their anticipated date of graduation. For example, students should apply for graduation when they register for fall semester if they plan to graduate at the end of spring semester. Refer to the Apply for Graduation web page for instructions on how to complete the graduation application process.