Students are expected to attend all classes, laboratories, and shops as scheduled unless there is a compelling reason to be absent.
Maximum Course Load
The standard student load of a full-time student is 15 credit hours per semester although 12 credit hours are considered full-time. Course loads of up to 21 hours can be approved by an academic advisor in Advising & Testing provided the student has a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.0. For course loads greater than 21 credit hours a Dean’s signature is required. Certain career and technical programs approved by the State Board for Community Colleges and Occupational Education may require students to take up to 24 credit hours per semester. For such programs, students will be allowed to take all necessary courses. In no case may a course load exceed 24 credit hours per semester except by written approval of the Vice President for Instructional Services at or before the time of registration.
Student work load for a course should be estimated according to the following formula: two hours of outside preparation for every one hour of lecture and one hour of outside preparation for every two to three hours of laboratory. Any course syllabus that indicates different preparation times takes precedence over this general requirement.
Change of Major/Program
Students may declare and/or change a program of study at any time during the term in which they are enrolled. Prior to changing their major, students are strongly encouraged to meet with an academic advisor in the Advising & Testing office and the Financial Aid Office to discuss the impact changing a course of study will have on an educational plan. A change in major places students under the academic and curriculum requirements of their new program as published in the current college catalog. The form can be found at www.ppcc.edu/records/change-of-major.
Credit by Examination
Students may take a comprehensive examination for credit if they are enrolled in a course and have the approval of their instructor and dean. Students must complete the examination by the census date for the course and will receive the grade earned on the examination as a final grade for the course. Students may attempt a test-out only once per course.
Credit Completion Progress Standard
For students who have attempted fewer than 9 credit hours, the college will monitor credit completion through an Alert process. These students are not subject to the Credit Completion Progress guideline.
Credit Completion Progress standards apply to all students who have attempted 9 or more credits at a CCCS college, regardless of the number of term credits they attempt from that point forward. Credit Completion Progress standards shall be applied consistently and uniformly within each CCCS institution. All colleges will determine Credit Completion Progress standards following the posting of the majority of term grades for each semester. Students placed on warning 1, warning 2 or warning 3 will be notified of their status. Credit Completion Progress status will be maintained in the student information system. Students placed on a warning status will be notified via their college portal. Colleges may choose to notify students of their status via other methods as well. The Credit Completion Progress status of a student is specific to the home institution and does not impact a student’s enrollment at other CCCS colleges.
Designates a practice for measuring and notifying students of their credit completion rate.
Recognizing the value of credit completion for all students with regards to retention, transfer and credential attainment, the Colorado Community College System (CCCS) has established the following practice and procedures for measuring and notifying students of their credit completion progress. This procedure is intended to be informational and helpful, but also establishes clear standards of credit completion progress that must be met and maintained in order to be a successful student in our colleges. CCCS colleges are encouraged to devise and implement appropriate Alert and Retention strategies with regards to credit completion progress.
Credit Completion Progress: Will include all credit bearing classes (developmental and college level) will be used to calculate the percent of attempted credits passed. This includes summer term courses.
Only courses taken “in residence” will be used for this calculation; “In residence” means taken at the students home institution. Courses taken elsewhere and transferred in do not apply. The credit completion rate for this procedure will not necessarily match those used for financial aid purposes or athletic eligibility.
Grades considered to be passing when computing the percent of attempted credits passed are as follows: A, B, C, D, P, S/A, S/B, S/C, and S.
Grades considered to be failing when computing the percent of attempted credits passed are as follows: I, F, U/D, U/F, W, and AW.
Course Completion Rate is calculated by dividing the total attempted credits by the number of credits successfully completed as per the definitions above.
Student has attempted fewer than 9 cumulative credit hours will not be assessed for credit completion.
Student has attempted at least 9 cumulative credit hours and has a cumulative course completion rate of at least 50%.
Student has attempted at least 9 cumulative credit hours and has a cumulative course completion rate of less than 50% for the first time.
Student has attempted at least 9 cumulative credit hours and has a cumulative course completion rate of less than 50% for the second time.
If a student on Credit Completion Probation passes 50% or more of their attempted term credits, but fails to raise their cumulative completion rate to 50%, they will be allowed to continue the next term, but will remain on Credit Completion Probation.
Student has attempted at least 9 cumulative credit hours and has a cumulative course completion rate of less than 50% for the third time.
- Students on Warning 1 will receive a communication regarding their credit completion status and will be given information on resources, best practices, etc.
- Students on Warning 2 will receive a communication regarding their credit completion status and will have a credit completion hold (which will impact registration) placed on their student account at their home college. The student will not be able to make any changes to their student account until they meet with an advisor.
- Students on Warning 3 will receive a communication regarding their credit completion status and will have a credit completion hold (which will impact registration) placed on their student account at their home college. The student will not be able to make any changes to their student account until they meet with an advisor. The college reserves the right to limit the number of credit hours that the student may take when a student is on Warning 3 status.
Transfer to PPCC
All credits earned at regionally accredited colleges or universities (including PPCC) or other approved educational institutions may be applied toward fulfilling PPCC program requirements. Transferability of credit is based on the following conditions:
- Credits must have been earned within 15 years prior to admission to PPCC.
- Courses in which a grade of C or above was earned will be accepted in transfer when the courses are applicable to PPCC programs and in accordance with PPCC requirements. Credit will be transferred only from an official transcript from the originating institution.
Students who have credits they wish to transfer to PPCC that can replace a substandard grade earned at PPCC must see an advisor to initiate that request. If approved, this will result in the points associated with that grade being excluded from the student’s cumulative GPA. The grade earned at PPCC will still appear on the student’s official transcripts. Other institutions receiving a PPCC transcript for transfer of academic courses are not bound by this college policy and may choose to calculate the student’s transfer GPA to include all grades, even those excluded by PPCC under this policy.
International Transcript Evaluations
Students who have attended international institutions and want their credits evaluated for transfer must first have the international transcripts evaluated by a recognized member of the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services (NACES) and have an official copy of their course-by-course credit evaluation report sent directly to Pikes Peak Community College (PPCC). Students who plan to study a program at PPCC similar to what they studied at their former international institution, might be able to transfer some credits from that program to their new program at PPCC. Not all credits will transfer. Transferability of credit is based on the following conditions:
- The courses taken at an international institution must be comparable to what we offer at PPCC to be accepted for transfer.
- College credits must have been earned within 15 years prior to admission to PPCC.
- PPCC only accepts college-level courses with a grade of C or better.
- Students may also be required to provide English-translated course descriptions for courses that they wish to have transferred.
Steps to transferring in college credits:
Step 1: Apply for PPCC admissions.
Step 2: Declare a degree or certificate program.
Step 3: Submit an official copy of the NACES course-by-course evaluation report to the PPCC Records Office located at the Centennial Campus. Official copy must be in a sealed envelope from the evaluation service – do not open it.
Students may also request to have the evaluation sent directly to:
Pikes Peak Community College
Attn: Records Office, Box C-8
5675 S. Academy Blvd.
Colorado Springs, CO 80906
The Records Office will determine if PPCC can transfer some of your credits to a PPCC degree program.
A complete list of approved NACES members can be found at www.naces.org.
Below are recommended evaluation services for a course by course evaluation of your international educational record.
Educational Credential Evaluators, Inc.
Phone: (414) 289-3400
World Education Services
Phone: (212) 966-6311
Josef Silny & Associates
Phone: (305) 273-1616
PPCC has partnered with Parchment to manage the ordering, processing, and secure delivery of official student transcripts. Students may request copies of their official transcripts from PPCC by filling out a transcript request form. The transcript cost is based on the method of delivery and destination. During the ordering process you will be able to see the exact charge prior to entering your credit card information. Transcripts are not released until all accounts with PPCC is current. The transcript request form and costs can be found online at www.ppcc.edu/records/request-transcripts.
Inventory of Common Grading Symbols
||Excellent or Superior
||Satisfactory (A-level) work in a developmental course
||Satisfactory (B-level) work in a developmental course
||Satisfactory (C-level) work in a developmental course
||Unsatisfactory (D-level) work in a developmental course
||Unsatisfactory (F-level) work in a developmental course
||Grade not yet reported
||Credit awarded through Credit for Prior Learning (Prior to Fall 2015)
||Prior Learning Assessment (Effective Fall 2015)
AU – Audit
By auditing a course, a student may participate in course activities, but does not receive a formal transcript grade. Students must indicate intent to audit a course at registration or by the deadline listed in the course schedule. Audited courses are not eligible for the College Opportunity Fund stipend. Students will be responsible for the full in-state or out-of-state tuition. Audited courses do not meet the credit hour requirements for financial aid or veteran benefits and may not be applied to certificates or degrees.
AW – Administrative Withdrawal
This “withdrawal” grade is assigned by the College when a student has been withdrawn for administrative reasons. No academic credit is awarded. The course will count in attempted hours.
I – Incomplete
The Incomplete grade is a temporary grade and is designed for students who, because of documented illness or circumstances beyond their control, are unable to complete their course work within the semester, but have completed a majority of the course work (defined as at least 75 percent of all course assignments and tests) in a satisfactory manner (grade C or better).
If circumstances beyond the student’s control prevent the student from completing a test or assignments at the end of the term, then it is the student’s responsibility to initiate the request for an Incomplete grade from the instructor. The instructor will determine whether the student has a reasonable chance of satisfactorily completing the remaining course activities in a timely manner.
In requesting an Incomplete grade the student must present to the instructor the documentation of circumstances justifying an Incomplete grade.
The instructor will complete and sign an Incomplete Grade Contract and will submit it to Student Services with final grades for the semester. The instructor must assign an incomplete grade on the regular grade roster in a timely fashion.
Incomplete Grade Contract must include the following information:
- Student Name (F, MI, L)
- Student ID #
- Course Number and Section
- Reason for assigning a grade of incomplete (statement of extenuating circumstances)
- Work to be completed for removal of incomplete grade (instructor should be very specific including the work to be done and how the final grade is to be calculated)
- Evidence of completion of 75 percent of the semester course work
- Completion of a work plan that includes the following
- What, when and how assignments and tests will be submitted to complete the course,
- The time period in which the work must be completed.
- Instructor Signature and Date
- Student Signature and Date
Students are encouraged to let instructors know, as soon as possible, if they are having difficulties with any part of the course. In the event that a student and instructor cannot reach resolution concerning an Incomplete, then the student should contact the Chief Instructional Officer of the College.
Military personnel and emergency management officials who are required to go TDY in the middle of a term should contact their instructor for special consideration. Documentation of official TDY assignment is required and must be approved by the Chief Instructional Officer.
Active Duty exception: The Department of Defense requires all Incomplete Grades assigned in classes funded through Tuition Assistance to receive a final grade and have it reported to the respective branch of service within 120 days from the end of term date.
Incomplete grades which are not converted to a letter grade by the instructor after one subsequent semester (not including summer semester) will revert to an F grade. If the student would have earned a letter grade higher than an F without completing the work, faculty should be encouraged to submit that higher grade before the automatic conversion to F.
S – Satisfactory
The satisfactory grade is equivalent to a grade of “C or better.” The course will count in attempted and earned credits, but will not carry quality points.
U – Unsatisfactory
The unsatisfactory grade is equivalent to a “D” or “F” grade. The course will count in attempted credits, but will not carry earned credits or quality points.
S/A, S/B, S/C
These are satisfactory grades awarded only for developmental courses. The A, B, and C indicate the level of satisfactory performance. These grades are not included in the GPA calculation. The course will count for attempted and earned credits.
These are unsatisfactory grades awarded only for developmental courses. The D and F indicate the level of unsatisfactory performance. These grades are not included in the GPA calculation. The course will count in attempted credits, but will not carry earned credits.
W – Withdrawal
The “Withdrawal” grade is assigned when a student officially withdraws from a course. A withdrawal can only be processed during the first 80 percent of the course. No academic credit is awarded. The course will count in attempted hours.
Last Date of Attendance
Faculty are required to provide the last date of attendance for each student who is awarded an F or U/F grade.
SP – Satisfactory Progress
This symbol is limited to certain approved courses that extend beyond the end of a normal semester. No academic credit is awarded until the course is completed.
Z – No Grade Submitted
The grade of “Z” is a temporary grade entered by the Registrar when a grade is not received from the course instructor. This “Z” grade is replaced and credit is awarded upon the Registrar’s receipt of the grade.
CPL – Prior Learning Credit
A symbol of “CPL” indicates that the course and credits to which it is attached were awarded according to BP 9-42, Credit for Prior Learning.
PLA – Prior Learning Assessment
A symbol of “PLA” indicates that the course and credits to which it is attached were awarded according to BP 9-42, Prior Learning Assessment.
The Repeat Field on the transcript will be marked I – Include in hours and GPA calculation, A – Exclude from earned hours and GPA calculation, or A – Exclude from earned hours but count in GPA calculation.
NOTE: Courses with a grade of D or F are not generally transferable and will not transfer to other institutions under GT Pathways or the 60+60 Bachelor’s Degree Transfer program.
Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory: students may request to take up to six credit hours each semester on a Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory (S/U) grading basis. They may take a maximum of 15 credit hours under this grading option while enrolled at PPCC. (Credit hours earned in a course where S/U is the only grading standard count toward this 15-hour maximum.) Students must have prior approval by the appropriate division dean for each course unless the course is only offered with the S/U option. This option must be requested at the time of registration. After the drop/add period, this option may not be changed except by written recommendation from the appropriate division dean and approval by the Vice President for Instructional Services. Pikes Peak Community College considers a grade of C or better to be satisfactory. A satisfactory grade earned under this option does not affect the Grade Point Average (GPA) but increases the total number of credit hours passed. Grades of D or F will be considered unsatisfactory, will affect the GPA, and will increase the total number of credit hours attempted.
Audit: students may register to audit any course by indicating this option on the registration form at the time of enrollment. The audit option is not available online. The regular tuition rate applies. After the posted drop date, students may not change their registration from credit to audit, or from audit to credit, except by written recommendation from the appropriate division dean and approval by the Vice President for Instructional Services. Audit grades do not transfer and are not computed in the GPA. Courses taken by audit do not count toward enrollment status for financial aid or veterans’ educational benefits and are not eligible for the COF stipend.
A change of grade (other than from an Incomplete) is permitted only as a result of faculty/instructor or administrative error in calculating, posting, or recording a grade.
A student has one full year from the time in which the grade was issued to submit a written request for a grade reevaluation to the faculty member. The process is as follows:
Grade review with faculty/instructor. If no resolution is reached or satisfactory explanation given, then:
Review by department chair. If no resolution or satisfactory explanation, then:
Review by division dean or assistant dean. If no resolution is reached or satisfactory explanation given, then:
Review by the Vice President for Instructional Services or the appointed Assistant to the Vice President for final resolution.
An Incomplete (I) grade may be removed when the remaining class objectives are completed by the date indicated on the “Incomplete Course Agreement” form or no later than the end of the next full 15-week semester. The resulting change of grade is made by the instructor of record and is approved by the appropriate instructional division dean. Course work not completed within the allotted time will be assigned a Failing (F) grade. Students may not re-enroll in a class in which an incomplete grade is pending, since according to the College’s definition of enrollment, they are still enrolled.
How to Calculate Your GPA
Grade Point Average (GPA) is calculated by dividing the total amount of grade points earned by the total amount of credit hours attempted. It may range from 0.0 to 4.0 Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory (S/U) grades are not factored in the student’s GPA. Incompletes (I) or Withdrawals (W) do not receive grade points and do not have an effect on the GPA.
When a course is repeated, regardless of initial grade earned, the highest grade earned will be calculated in the GPA. However, all grades earned at PPCC will appear on the transcript. A course may be used only once to meet graduation requirements for any degree or program.
Designates parameters for Academic Renewal.
A maximum of 30 hours can be excluded from the GPA.
Courses and grades approved for Academic Renewal remain on the transcript but are excluded from the GPA calculation/s.
Academic Renewal applies to D and F grades only.
In order to apply for Academic Renewal, students must wait a minimum of two academic years from the last term being considered for Academic Renewal.
Students must be enrolled and have completed at least 6 hours with a 2.0 term GPA to be awarded Academic Renewal. For a Reverse Transfer Degree only, the student may fulfill this requirement, by demonstrating enrollment in at least 6 credit hours with a 2.0 term GPA during last semester of attendance at the four year institution.
Students can only apply for Academic Renewal once, and it is not reversible.
Students at Pikes Peak Community College are required to meet with an academic advisor prior to submitting a request for Academic Renewal.
Academic Progress Standing
For students who have completed fewer than 9 credit hours, the college will monitor satisfactory progress through an Academic Alert process. These students are not subject to Academic Standing.
Academic Standing applies to all students who have completed 9 or more credits at a CCCS college, regardless of the number of term credits they attempt from that point forward. Academic Standing shall be applied consistently and uniformly within each CCCS institution. All colleges will determine Academic Standing following the posting of the majority of term grades for each semester. Students placed on probation or suspended will be notified of their status. Suspended students will not be allowed to attend any CCCS college in the subsequent semester/s unless an appeal is approved. Academic Standing status will be noted on the advising, official, and unofficial transcripts. The Academic Standing of a student is not specific or limited to the home institution; it does impact a student’s enrollment at other CCCS colleges.
Designates a practice for measuring and notifying students of their academic standing.
Recognizing the value of measuring academic progress for all students, the Colorado Community College System (CCCS) has established the following practice and procedures for measuring and notifying students of their academic standing. This procedure is intended to be informational and helpful, but also establishes clear standards of academic progress that must be met and maintained in order to be a successful student in our colleges. CCCS colleges are encouraged to devise and implement appropriate Academic Alert strategies early in the term to assist students who are experiencing academic difficulties. A student’s academic standing at one college will impact academic standing at another CCCS college.
Only college level classes will be used to calculate term and cumulative GPA’s. This includes summer term courses.
Only courses taken “in residence” will be used for this procedure; “In residence” means taken at the student’s home institution. Courses taken elsewhere and transferred in do not apply. The GPA calculations for this procedure may not match those used for financial aid purposes or athletic eligibility.
Cumulative Grade Point Average will be abbreviated as CGPA.
Term Grade Point Average will be abbreviated as TGPA.
Student has completed fewer than 9 cumulative credit hours with a CGPA => 2.00 for all classes completed.
Student has completed fewer than cumulative 9 credits with a CGPA < 2.00 for all classes completed.
Student has completed at least 9 cumulative credit hours and has a CGPA => 2.00 for all classes completed.
Student has completed at least 9 cumulative credit hours and has a CGPA < 2.00 for all classes completed.
Returning to Good Standing
By the conclusion of the Academic Probation term, the student must raise their CGPA to at least 2.0. If this condition is met, the student returns to Good Standing.
If a student on Academic Probation earns a TGPA of at least 2.00 for all classes completed during the term, but fails to raise their CGPA to at least 2.0 for all classes completed, the student will be allowed to attend the next term, but will remain on Academic Probation.
If a student on Academic Probation earns a TGPA of less than 2.0 for all classes completed, the student will be suspended and will not be allowed to enroll at any CCCS College for the next term, excluding summer term (as summer term may not be used as a “suspension term”).
- Summer term may not be used as a “suspension term”.
- Summer term may be used to remediate (improve) the GPA. If a student wishes to enroll for summer term after being suspended, they will need to follow their home institution’s process.
- Initial suspension is for one term, excluding summer term.
- A second suspension is for two terms, excluding summer term.
- If a student, who has served the suspension time for initial suspension or second suspension, wishes to return, the student will be allowed to re-enroll only after meeting with an academic advisor at the CCCS College that the student wishes to attend. The student will be placed on Academic Probation.
- A third suspension is for two full years, or 4 academic terms excluding summers.
- If a student, who has served the third suspension time of two years, wishes to return, the student must meet with an advisor from the CCCS College the student wishes to attend in order to get their suspension hold removed.
- Students may appeal their suspension based on procedures developed by their home college or the CCCS College they wish to attend. At a maximum, students may appeal to their home college and to one other CCCS College of their choice.
- If the student’s suspension appeal is approved, the student will be placed on Academic Probation.
- If the student’s suspension appeal is not approved, the student may be dropped from all courses registered for in upcoming terms at their home college. Students are ultimately responsible for their enrollment and need to check their enrollment schedule for accuracy.
- The student needs to check with their home college regarding enrolling for summer term classes.
At the conclusion of each semester students will receive their grades and be notified by the Registrar regarding their Academic Standing.
Students placed on Academic Suspension will be dropped from their classes.
For students on Academic Suspension there is an appeal process that is outlined in the notification that they receive from the Registrar regarding their academic standing.
Students wishing to file an appeal for an exception to the academic suspension policy need to meet with an academic advisor in Advising & Testing to begin the process of appealing:
- Students will be required to write a letter of appeal
- Students will be required to complete an Academic Suspension Appeal Form
- Students will be required to submit a copy of their most recent unofficial transcript
The completed appeal form and supporting documents will be reviewed by the Academic Suspension Appeals Committee which includes a representative from each Instructional Division as well as Student Services. Students will be notified via their student email of the Committee’s decision regarding their request for an exception to the academic suspension policy and any conditions that apply to their reinstatement. The Academic Suspension Appeals Committee may uphold the suspension; may grant the appeal without conditions; or may grant the appeal with conditions such as; limiting the number of credit hours a student may register for, or requiring a study skills class, etc. The Academic Suspension Appeals Committee’s decisions are final and may not be appealed further. There is no guarantee that a student who is granted an appeal will be allowed to re-enroll in the classes from which the student was previously dropped for being on academic suspension.
The last day to file an Academic Suspension Appeal is always the Friday just prior to the last week of registration before each semester.
Any student who wishes to pursue an instructional concern or change of grade must exhaust the following options in sequence prior to petitioning the Vice President for Instructional Services. (Examples of instructional or course concerns deal with instructor behavior, class policies, and unfair expectations or demands.)
- The student must meet with the instructor and attempt to resolve the problem. If no resolution:
- The student must state the concern in writing and meet with the Department Chair (in the case of an adjunct instructor) or Dean / Associate Dean (in the case of a faculty member). Departments may require specific documentation. Please contact the appropriate division. If no resolution:
- The student will meet with the Dean.
If the student contests the Dean’s decision, he/she must submit the request in writing to the Office of the Assistant to the Vice President for Instructional Services. The request should include documentation of everything that the student wants considered in the decision. The Dean will also submit all written documentation and recommendations. The Vice President for Instructional Services or a designee will notify the student of the decision in writing. This decision will be final.
Term Academic Honors
PPCC provides an opportunity for students to be recognized with Academic Honors, on a term-by-term basis. Students who qualify will receive a notation for that term on their official transcripts.
Term Grade Point Averages required to qualify for these Term Academic Honors, are as follows:
||3.50 – 3.749
||Vice President’s List:
||3.75 – 3.99
S/U grades and grades for Developmental Education coursework are not included in the Grade Point Average Calculation. Students must complete a minimum of 12 eligible credit hours in the term to be considered for Term Academic Honors.
Graduation Honors Policy
Graduation honors recognize outstanding academic achievement throughout a student’s academic career. The honors are awarded to students who complete the requirements for an associate degree and earn a 3.5 or better cumulative grade point average based on the end of the Fall term. A minimum number of 15 credits taken at PPCC is required to be eligible for graduation honors. The three levels of recognition are defined as follows and will be posted on the student’s transcript.
|Cum Laude (with honor)
||3.50 to 3.749
|Magna Cum Laude (with great honor)
||3.75 to 3.99
|Summa Cum Laude (with highest honor)
Application for Certificate or Degree
Prior to applying for graduation, students should meet with an academic advisor in Advising and Testing or their faculty advisor to ensure that they are close to graduating. When students have verified that they are close to graduating, they must file an application for graduation. Once students have applied, their application will undergo an audit to see if they have completed all the necessary coursework. Degrees and certificates will be granted during the semester in which the final requirements are completed. Students need to apply for graduation by the published deadlines. The application for graduation and deadlines can be found at www.ppcc.edu/academics/records/graduation/.
Mid-way through the Fall and Spring semesters, the Records Office will research records of students who have attended PPCC in the previous three semesters to identify and automatically award those who are determined to be eligible for a degree or certificate based on courses taken at PPCC. Awards will be posted at the end of the semester.
Each May, PPCC produces a gala graduation ceremony to honor graduating students. To participate, you must be eligible for graduation and must submit an Application for Graduation online by the deadline. Potential graduates will receive an initial letter of information about graduation from the Student Life Office. Caps, gowns, tassels and instructions on the ceremony are all available through the Bookstore. If you are eligible, join us for this festive celebration of your success! The 2019 ceremony will include eligible participants who graduated Summer 2018, Fall 2018 and anticipated graduates in Spring 2019.
Participation in the graduation ceremony does not imply that a degree has been awarded. All degree requirements must be met before a degree is awarded.
Assessment of Student Learning
Assessment is the ongoing process of establishing measurable learning outcomes, providing students with sufficient opportunities to achieve those outcomes, systematically gathering evidence of student learning, and using the resulting findings to confirm and improve student learning. PPCC’s assessment framework reflects the vision of the College as stated in the 2016-2022 Strategic Plan and aligns with regional and programmatic accreditation standards. With the guidance of Assessment Coaches, academic departments regularly assess what students know or are able to do upon completion of individual courses/programs and document how assessment results are used to continuously improve teaching and learning.
Assessment of student learning in Career and Technical Education degree programs focuses on the skills and knowledge that employers consider are most important to workplace success. Those program-level outcomes are generally driven by field competencies and industry standards. In the general education disciplines, assessment of student learning focuses on a number of essential skills also known as general education learning outcomes. In Fall 2016, PPCC voted to adopt the following statewide gtPATHWAYS competencies as its general education learning outcomes.
- Civic Engagement - Actions wherein students participate in activities of personal and public concern that are both meaningful to the student and socially beneficial to the community.
- Creative Thinking - Capacity to combine or synthesize existing ideas, images, or expertise in original ways and the experience of thinking, reacting, and working in an imaginative way characterized by a high degree of innovation, divergent thinking, and risk taking.
- Critical Thinking - Ability to analyze information and ideas from multiple perspectives and articulate an argument or an opinion or a conclusion based on their analysis.
- Diversity & Global Learning - Ability to critically analyze and engage complex, interdependent structures and constructs and their implications for individuals, groups, communities, or cultures.
- Information/Literacy - Skills needed to find, retrieve, analyze, and use information.
- Inquiry & Analysis - Inquiry is the systematic process of exploring issues/objects/works through the collection and analysis of evidence that results in informed conclusions/judgments. Analysis is the process of breaking complex topics or issues into parts to gain a better understanding of them.
- Oral/Presentational Communication - Ability to deliver a well-prepared and purposeful presentation grounded in credible information and organized effectively.
- Problem Solving - Ability to design, evaluate, and implement a strategy to answer a question or achieve a goal.
- Quantitative Literacy - Ability to use quantifiable information and mathematical analysis to make connections and draw conclusions.
- Written Communication - Ability to write and express ideas across a variety of genres and styles.
PPCC’s philosophy of general education aligns with the Colorado Community College System (CCCS) State Board Policy on General Education (BP 9-40) which states: “General education is ‘general’ in several clearly identifiable ways: it is not directly related to a student’s formal technical, vocational or professional preparation; it is a part of every student’s course of study, regardless of his or her area of emphasis; and it is intended to impart common knowledge, intellectual concepts, and attitudes which every educated person should possess.” PPCC values the skills and competencies that its general education curriculum provides to students, preparing them for advanced education, employment, and participation in an increasingly diverse and global society.
More information about PPCC’s assessment of student learning framework can be found at www.ppcc.edu/about/assessment/.
PPCC encourages and supports the scholarly endeavors of its students. Pursuit of scholarly work and research often involves the use of human subjects for data collection and analysis. PPCC’s Institutional Review Board (IRB) reviews human subjects research proposals to ensure that i) the rights and welfare of human subjects used in research studies are protected, ii) risks have been considered and minimized, iii) the potential for benefit has been identified and maximized, iv) all human subjects only volunteer to participate in research after being provided with legally effective informed consent, and v) any research is conducted in an ethical manner and in compliance with established standards. Students seeking to conduct such research may not solicit subject participation or begin data collection until they have obtained clearance by the PPCC IRB. Forms and operating procedures are available at www.ppcc.edu/instutitional-effectiveness/irb.