Student Handbook - Academic Policies

Academic Appeal Procedure

The SVCC Academic Appeal Procedure provides a fair and orderly process of steps for students who wish to pursue an instructional or grade issue appeal. The informal step begins with the instructor followed by the option to appeal to the appropriate dean. If the decision of the appropriate dean is not satisfactory, the student can request an appeal to the Vice President of Academics and Student Services. If the issue is not resolved, the student can request an appeal to the Academic Appeals Board who makes a recommendation to the Dean of Student Services. The student has the right to then appeal to the College President with a final right to appeal to the SVCC Board of Trustees. In taking any such action, students shall assume the burden of proof concerning any perceived error. For the detailed policy, including appeal timelines, refer to the SVCC catalog under policies or visit svcc.edu/academic-appeals-policy.

Academic Standing

Successful class completion AND Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA) MATTER!

All students are expected to maintain progress toward achievement of their academic goals. Students who do not comply with academic standing requirements at SVCC are subject to academic alert, supervision, suspension, or dismissal. For academic standing, a student's cumulative GPA includes courses numbered 100 or above taken at SVCC and any course work transferred from other colleges. The cumulative GPA excludes developmental and adult basic education courses. Term courses include courses below 100 level (developmental courses), transfer credit, and pass/fail courses.

Academic alert, supervision, suspension, and dismissal are NOT recorded on a student's academic transcript.  Students are notified via student email of academic standing status, restrictions, and required schedule changes after grades are posted and standing is calculated each semester (including the summer term).

To be in good academic standing,  students must maintain a cumulative GPA of 2.0 or higher AND complete 49% of term courses each semester. Students who do not maintain good academic standing will be required to enroll to CSS 100 (Student Success Skills), limit total credits per semester, and register with advisor approval.

For more information, view the Academic Standing policy in the SVCC catalog under Policies at svcc.edu/policies/academic-standing.

Academic Records

A permanent cumulative record is kept on each student. This record shows, for each term all credits attempted and earned, all grades earned, and term and cumulative grade point averages (GPA). Only transfer and career and technical educational (CTE) courses that apply to a degree or certificate will be included in the GPA.  Grade reports at the end of each term indicating course work for the current semester, grades earned, and term and cumulative GPA may be viewed at Student Self-Service.

Academic Freedom

It is the policy of Sauk Valley Community College to maintain and encourage an atmosphere of freedom within the teaching and learning environment. The College believes that creative scholarship can thrive only in an atmosphere where there is freedom for examination of ideas. Such freedom includes the right to investigate problems, and to evaluate and question accepted theories. It carries with it the responsibility to offer alternative solutions in an unbiased manner and to develop in students the habit of independent investigation.

Freedom to teach and freedom to learn are inseparable facets of academic freedom. The freedom to learn depends upon appropriate opportunities and conditions in the classroom, on the campus, and in the larger community. Students should exercise their freedom with responsibility.


Regular and prompt attendance is expected in all SVCC courses. Attendance requirements are established by individual instructors and included in each course syllabus. The student is responsible for adhering to each instructor’s attendance requirements as set forth in the course syllabus. The instructor may withdraw a student involuntarily from a course when excessive absences have occurred. The instructor will determine the validity of absences and whether the student will be allowed to make up class work and/or examinations. Students wishing to withdraw from a class should file a drop form online at svcc.edu/admissions.  Refer to the Academic Calendar each semester for student-initiated drop dates and refund timelines. Only students actively enrolled are allowed to attend classes unless instructor permission is granted.

Directory Information/Confidentiality

The following information is designated by the College as public or "directory" information: name, address, telephone listing, major field of study, dates of attendance, photographs, full-time/part-time status, degrees and awards received, the most recent educational agency or institution attended by the student, participation in officially recognized activities and sports, and weight and height of members of athletic teams. The institution may release directory information at its discretion.

Currently enrolled students may request to withhold Directory Information by submitting to Admissions & Records a Request to Prevent Disclosure of DirectoryInformation form. For more information contact the Registrar (Student Services Center) at 815.835.6378 or visit svcc.edu/ferpa.


FERPA stands for Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act and it is a federal law that protects the privacy of educational records, provides students and parents of eligible dependent students the right to inspect and review their educational records, the right to seek to amend those records, the right to limit disclosure of information from those records, and the right to file with the U.S. Department of Education concerns of alleged failures by the institution to comply with FERPA. For more information, contact the Registrar (Student Service Center) at 815.835.6378 or visit  svcc.edu/ferpa.

Graduation Procedures

Degree and certificate-seeking students must apply for graduation at the beginning of the semester in which they will fulfill their graduation requirements. Proper notification of intent to graduate must be on file in Admissions & Records no later than the mid-term of the fall, spring or summer semester in which students intend to complete their award. The College reserves the right to administratively award degrees/certificates upon completion if any program.  A Commencement Ceremony is held once a year at the end of spring semester for all fall, spring, and summer graduates who wish to participate. For more information about graduation eligibility requirements, contact the Registrar (Student Services Center) at 815.835.6378 or view the graduation policy in the SVCC catalog at svcc.edu/graduation-policies.

Human Subject Research

Sauk Valley Community College is committed to ensuring the responsible and ethical treatment of all human subjects involved in research, whether conducted by College students, employees, or by outside researchers. This responsibility is shared by SVCC and the researchers. SVCC policy and federal regulations require that any research activities involving human subjects be conducted in such a manner as to:

  • Respect and Protect the Rights, Privacy, and Welfare of the Subjects Involved
  • Ensure that Informed Consent is Obtained when Appropriate or Required
  • Ensure that the Potential Benefits from the Research Outweigh any Risks

Anyone proposing to conduct any kind of research involving human subjects on College premises, on College students or employees or on behalf of the College must first obtain the approval of SVCC's Institutional Review Board (IRB). SVCC student researchers must have an employee sponsor. The student or sponsor should contact the Director of Research and Planning  815.835.6336 (3L06) before beginning any human research.