[BLC] Program Effective Date to Meet Graduation Requirements

Scott Copeland scopeland at sbctc.edu
Fri Jul 12 10:44:58 PDT 2019

The policy geek in me had my mind drifting to my former registrar days during your discussion on graduation timeline requirements at the Tuesday BLC meeting.  So, did a little research this morning that you may or may not find helpful, but did personally satisfy my curiosity on the topic.
First, I recall some part of the discussion asking where such a graduation timeline requirement should be posted.  For official policies and such, NWCCU offers the following definition of a college catalog:
The official bulletin or publication of a higher education institution stating admission and graduation requirements, majors, minors, current offerings, costs, faculty, and all other significant information necessary for an accurate understanding of the institution.
Next, a search of college policies discovered the most common graduation timeline statement:

Students may graduate under provisions of any official catalog in effect over the last five years, counting backwards from when they applied for graduation.

Further research unearthed a range of graduation timelines from four to as many as eight years.  Given the fact that at least half of the BAS programs are relatively new, not sure these graduation timelines would be appropriate for BAS programs.

Also discovered the following which may suit BAS programs that must meet external licensure/certifications such as healthcare fields and teaching programs.

____ College curriculum is based on current industry standards. Returning _____ College students who left prior to completion of their program must meet the program's graduation requirements as described in the current _____ College Catalog. _____ College students who have completed the technical requirements of their program but have not completed the General Education requirements for a degree or certificate will have one year from their date of withdrawal to complete the required General Education classes. If a longer period of time elapses before General Education courses are completed, the student will be required to meet the program's graduation requirements as described in the current ______ College Catalog.

I really appreciated someone's suggestion that the timeline begin at the time of admission and enrollment into the BAS program---will most likely require an amendment to a college's graduation timeline policy or establishing an additional policy specifically for BAS programs. The upside?  Clearer for students to understand and follow.

There, this policy geek is satisfied.  Enjoy your weekend, everyone!

Scott a Copeland

Scott A. Copeland
Associate Director, College Relations and Policy Guidance
Education Division
Washington State Board for Community and Technical Colleges
Office: 360-704-4397
Cell: 360-791-6026
scopeland at sbctc.edu<mailto:scopeland at sbctc.edu>

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