Academic Course Information

Classification of Students


A student who has completed fewer than 30 semester hours of college credit will be given freshman status.


A student who has completed a minimum of 30 semester hours of credit will be given sophomore status.

Grade Description
AExcellent - 4 grade points per semester hour
BGood - 3 grade points per semester hour
CAverage - 2 grade points per semester hour
DLowest passing grade - 1 grade point per semester hour
FFailure - 0 grade points per semester hour
PPassing - not included in computing grade point average
WWithdrawn - not included in computing grade point average
INCIncomplete - not included in computing grade point average

Credit Hours

College credit hours are earned by students when they spend hours learning a skill or a specific body of knowledge. At IVCC, credit hours are assigned to each course when it is developed. One credit hour is equal to one 50 minute class "hour" per week for a lecture course over a sixteen week semester. The number of credit hours assigned to a course and required for student attendance are equated, based on the length and method(s) of the course. Credit hour equivalents vary for different types of methods (lecture, lab, field experience, etc.) All courses, including assigned credit hours, are approved by the Illinois Community College Board.

Student Honors

The academic honors recognized at IVCC include the following:

President's Honors

It is the policy of the Board of Trustees of Illinois Valley Community College that the "President's Honors" will include students earning a term grade point average of 3.75 to 4.00 in 12 or more semester hours. The 12 completed college-level semester hours exclude non-credit courses, courses taken for audit, and developmental courses. President's Honors will be awarded in the fall and spring semesters.

Academic Honors

It is the policy of the Board of Trustees of Illinois Valley Community College that "Academic Honors" will include students earning a term grade point average of 3.25 or above in 6 or more completed college-level hours. The 6 completed college-level semester hours exclude non-credit courses, courses taken for audit, and developmental courses. Academic Honors will be awarded in the fall and spring semesters.

Note: Students will receive the higher of the two applicable honors.

Annual Academic Awards Program

Students will receive a special certificate at the spring Awards Banquet for having achieved full-time honors status for two or three consecutive semesters.

Thomas J. McCormack Scholars

Students earning a minimum grade point average of 3.75 in 14 or more college-level semester hours each of the first three semesters will be designated as Thomas J. McCormack Scholars at the Annual Academic Honors Banquet held in the spring. Dr. McCormack was principal of LaSalle-Peru Township High School from 1903-1932 and was the first director of L-P-O Junior College, which was housed at the high school for many years.

Pass/Fail Grade

Students enrolling in certain designated courses may elect a pass/fail option. Students electing this option must declare their intent at the time of registration. No more than 12 semester hours earned in pass/fail courses are applicable to a degree and no more than three semester hours earned are applicable toward a certificate offered by the college.

Grade of "Incomplete"

"Incomplete" is a temporary grade assigned when illness, unavoidable absence, or other reasons satisfactory to the instructor prevent completion of the course requirements by the end of the semester. A grade of "INC" must be removed as designated by the instructor, but not later than the last class day of the semester following the issuance of the incomplete, excluding Summer semester.

If the incomplete is not made up within the allotted time, the grade for the course is changed to an F, or failing grade. Questions about incompletes should be directed to the Office of Admissions and Records.

Veterans must make up incomplete grades promptly to insure continued receipt of G.I. Bill benefits. Questions about the impact on veteran benefits should be directed to the Financial Aid Office.

Auditing a Class

Many courses at Illinois Valley Community College may be audited. An auditor is a participating listener in a course and is not required to take tests or submit reports unless the course is required for admission and/or progress in a program. A student auditing a class receives no grade or credit on a transcript. Registration for audit classes will be accepted beginning the week the class is scheduled to begin, provided space is available in the class.

Audit students pay the regular tuition and fee rates. A student may not change class registration from audit to credit or from credit to audit once the semester begins.

Further information about which courses may be audited and procedures for registering may be obtained from the Counseling Center or Deans Offices.

Attendance/Student Progress

Students are expected to attend all classes regularly. If absence from class is unavoidable, it is the student's responsibility to explain the absence to his/her instructor(s) and arrange to complete any work missed.

Instructors will identify their attendance policies in their course syllabi. If an instructor finds the number of accumulated absences violates the stated policy and is therefore interfering with the student's progress and ability to successfully complete the course, the student may be withdrawn from the course without notice.

In open entry/open exit courses taught in a non-traditional manner and in distance learning classes, steady progress toward completion of course objectives is required of all students. Students not making adequate progress in fulfilling course objectives may be withdrawn from the course without notice.

Withdrawal from Classes

Rationale: The purpose of the withdrawal option is to allow students to make responsible decisions regarding their academic status and their ability to complete an individual course. This responsibility is similar, and thus preparatory, to students' experiences in universities and the workforce. It is understood that for them to make informed decisions regarding their academic careers, students must have the appropriate information regarding their status. It is the instructor's responsibility, therefore, to provide students with some form of assessment of their academic status prior to the last official withdrawal date.

  • All withdrawals earn a grade of "W," which does not affect the GPA but deletes the course credit(s) for the involved course(s).
  • No refund is given for withdrawals.

Procedure for Student Withdrawal

1.        Students have until the end of the twelfth week of a regular 16-week semester course (or an equivalent length of time in courses of different lengths) to request a withdrawal.

2.     Students who wish to withdraw from a course can withdraw in person in the Office of Admissions and Records or online through WebAdvisor.

3.         In person withdrawals will require a photo ID and the withdrawal to be signed by the student. No instructor or dean signature will be needed. The yellow copy of the withdrawal will be forwarded to the instructor upon processing of the withdrawal.

4.         Online withdrawals will require full course information provided, as well as the Student ID number to serve as the student’s signature. An electronic copy of the withdrawal will be forwarded to the instructor upon processing of the withdrawal.

5.         Faculty will still have the same options to withdraw students. Instructors may initiate the withdrawal process if the student fails to comply with the attendance requirements as outlined in the course syllabus.

6.         There may be situations in which a withdrawal is not allowed or is rescinded due to academic integrity issues. In these cases, the faculty member will have the ability to rescind the withdrawal with the approval of the dean and the student will be notified by mail.

7.          Leave of Absence - Students who need to request a complete withdrawal (withdrawal from all courses) may do so using WebAdvisor or by submitting a Withdrawal Form to the Records Office.  Students who receive financial aid are strongly encouraged to contact the Financial Aid Office to determine what effect it may have on their current and future financial aid eligibility.

Academic Standings and Academic Probation

The scholastic requirements of the college are detailed below. To remain in "good standing," a student must achieve the minimum cumulative grade point average (GPA). Only students who have earned a cumulative GPA of 2.0 (C) or better will be recommended for transfer to other colleges and universities.

All students will be subject to the same scholastic requirements.

Academic probation or dismissal standards will not apply until a student has attempted a total of at least twelve (12) semester hours of credit.  Developmental course credit is eligible to be counted toward this total.

There are three levels of probation for students with poor academic performance. A student is placed on Academic Caution after the first semester of poor academic performance. After the second consecutive semester of poor performance, the student is placed on Academic Warning and, after the third semester, Academic Probation. Students placed on any level of probation are required to meet with a counselor to discuss their status and options for academic success.

A student will not be placed on academic dismissal status without first having been on the three levels of academic probation. If a student has not returned to good academic standing after the semester on Academic Probation, the student will be subject to Academic Dismissal.

Students are notified of Academic Dismissal by letter and a restriction is placed on the student's account. Students wishing to petition for re-admission must complete the appropriate form and meet with a counselor to develop an academic plan. This plan is then submitted to the Associate Vice President for Student Services for approval.

A student on Academic Dismissal may register for up to six (6) hours in summer session with permission in an attempt to improve his/her grade point average. Students must meet with a counselor and submit the registration form to the Associate Vice President in order to be registered.

**Students receiving financial aid or veteran's benefits need to review the Standards of Academic Progress Policy in the Financial Aid section, as the standards are different and have different consequences.


Associate Degree Completion

To qualify for any of the associate degrees conferred by the college, students must complete requirements of their degree and the following requirements which apply to all associate degrees:

  1. Successful completion of a minimum of 64 semester hours of credit.
  2. Of the minimum of 64 semester hours of credit required for the Associate in Arts, Associate in Science, and Associate in Engineering Science degrees, 60 semester hours must be earned in courses having a second digit of "0." (Example: ENG 1001 has a second digit of "0" whereas ENG 1205 has a second digit of "2"). Any course number below 1000 does not generate credit toward a degree.
  3. Completion at Illinois Valley Community College of at least 16 semester hours required for graduation. When online courses are incorporated into the student's educational plan, those courses offered through and taught by IVCC faculty will apply to the 16 semester hour requirement.
  4. Successful completion of all required courses for the Associate Degree desired and required minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.0. For the Associate in Arts (AA), Associate in Science (AS), and Associate in Engineering Science (AES) degrees, a minimum grade of "C" in English 1001, 1002 and Speech 1001 are required for graduation.
  5. File an intent to graduate. Intent to graduate forms must be filed during or prior to the semester in which graduation requirements will be fulfilled. The deadlines for filing the intent to graduate are as follows:
Date Event
July 1Summer Graduation (August)
October 1Fall Graduation (December)
February 15Spring Graduation (May)

Students in all associate degrees or certificates with continuous enrollment may use the catalog in use at the time of enrollment or any subsequent catalog. Students who are not enrolled for two consecutive semesters, excluding summer, must complete the requirements of the current catalog in use at the time of re-enrollment.

Students that are not currently enrolled in the term that they have applied to graduate may use the catalog in use at the time of enrollment if all requirements have been met. If all required courses are not completed, the student must complete the requirements of the current catalog in use at the time of re-enrollment.

Certificate Completion

To qualify for a certificate, students must complete requirements which apply to each specific certificate.

  1. Successful completion of all required courses for the certificate desired and required minimum grade point average of 2.0.
  2. Completion at Illinois Valley Community College of at least 25% of the coursework required for graduation.
  3. File an intent to graduate. Intent to graduate forms must be filed during or prior to the semester in which graduation requirements will be fulfilled. The deadlines for filing the intent to graduate are as follows:
Date Event
July 1Summer Graduation (August)
October 1Fall Graduation (December)
February 15Spring Graduation (May)

Cap and Gown Measurement

Cap and gown measurement information will be sent in February of each year for students who file an Application for Graduation inviting them to participate in the annual spring (May) commencement ceremony. Cap and gown measurement is held on a determined date on the Main Campus, allowing the opportunity for students to submit measurements for their graduation cap and gown. In addition to May graduates, August and December graduates are also invited to participate in the commencement ceremony as well. No fee is charged for the graduation cap and gown.

If you are within two (2) classes of graduation and plan to complete these classes during the upcoming summer semester, you can participate in the Commencement ceremony on Saturday, May 20, 2017.  You would simply need to fill out the graduation application, indicate summer graduation, and return completed form to the Admissions and Records Office by February 15.

Graduation Honors

F. W. Matthiessen Award

This award is presented during commencement to the student who has not only attained the highest grades but who has also distinguished himself/herself in service to the college and to the local community. This distinguished award is given to commemorate the civic leadership, community service and philanthropic spirit of Frederick Matthiessen, one of the area's most prominent industrialists and philanthropists.

Honors at Graduation

Honors at commencement will be as follows:

Cum Laude

GPA of 3.25 to 3.74

Magna Cum Laude

GPA of 3.75 and above

Summa Cum Laude -

Highest rank in scholarship above 3.75

Certificate Honors

GPA of 3.25 and above

Residency (Definition)

30-DAY RESIDENCY qualifies a student for In-District tuition.*

Students should be able to provide one or more of the following:

  1. Voter registration in District 513.
  2. Evidence of tax, utility or rent receipts in District 513.
  3. Driver's license and/or vehicle registration showing an address in District 513.
  4. Other documents which can verify residency in District 513.

subject to change

A student who resides with his or her parents or guardian in Community College District 513 is a resident student.

An emancipated student who is completely self-supporting and who has resided in Community College District 513 for at least 30 days prior to the beginning of the semester at Illinois Valley Community College shall be considered a resident of the District.

IVCC currently has dual admission agreements with Illinois Central College for students attending or paying taxes to Midland School District, Fieldcrest School District, and Henry-Senachwine School District, and with Sauk Valley Community College for students attending or paying taxes to Bureau Valley School District.  Dual admission agreements allow students to attend either community college at the current in-district tuition rates. Students will be coded as out-of-district and may be asked to prove residency with the Cashier to receive the in-district rate.

Important note: This does not imply residency for the purpose of admissions into limited admissions programs such as the IVCC Nursing Program. Students who reside outside the IVCC district and within these dual admissions areas are still considered out-of-district for any limited admissions program and will be admitted only after all qualified in-district applicants have been admitted.

Academic Forgiveness Options

Grade Exclusion Policy*

It is the policy of the Board of Trustees of Illinois Valley Community College that students will be provided an opportunity to achieve objectives without the demotivating effects of previously earned failing grades. To be eligible for consideration, a student must meet the following criteria:

  1. The student could not have attended any post-secondary educational institution for two consecutive semesters. (Summer sessions are not counted as semesters for this policy, but three consecutive academic quarters are considered the equivalent of two semesters.)
  2. Upon returning to IVCC after the two consecutive semester out-of-school period, the student must complete a minimum of 12 semester hours with a grade point average of 2.0 or better.
  3. Upon satisfying criterion (B), the student must apply to the Admissions & Credentials Analyst for implementation of the grade exclusion policy. Only Failing ("F" or "WF") grades will be excluded from computation of the cumulative grade point average. If the student wishes to repeat some courses in which failing grades were received, the student may utilize the college repeat policy for those courses. Students planning to transfer to another institution are cautioned that the receiving college may use all grades earned in repeated or excluded courses for computation of grade point average for admission or other purposes.

Repeating a Class

Students may repeat any course, regardless of the grade previously received (including "withdrawal"). However, credit will only be granted once except as noted in the "Course Descriptions" section of the catalog. Only the highest grade earned for any repeated course will be calculated into the grade point average. Students should be aware that, for transfer purposes, other schools may not calculate grade point average in this manner.

Proficiency Examinations

Credit for proficiency examinations may be granted for full college credit for all students currently accepted to Illinois Valley Community College. Proficiency examinations may be offered in the form of a course written examination, combination of written and performance examination, and/or documentation of prior learning through the use of a portfolio. The division in which the course is taught will place on file timelines and standards that must be attained to pass the examination. Approval to take an examination must be granted by the appropriate Dean. Credit offerings are at the discretion of each division and a list of the offerings and procedures are available in the Counseling Center and Division Offices. The current courses for which one may receive proficiency credit include but are not limited to:

Credit Hours
CSP 1210Basic Computer Skills for The Workplace1
CSP 1203Microsoft Office Professional I3
CSP 1230Computer Keyboarding Applications2
CSO 1202Microsoft Windows2
CSN 1200Using Internet and The World Wide Web3
BIO 1001General Biology I4
BIO 1007Anatomy & Physiology I4
BIO 1200Human Body Structure & Function3
BIO 1008Anatomy & Physiology II4


A $15.00 non-refundable fee is payable at the time the student makes application for a proficiency examination for each course.


Students passing the examination are granted college credit upon payment of the course tuition. In lieu of a grade, a P (Pass) is posted on the student's college transcript. No official record is made of not passing a proficiency examination. The student's grade point average is not affected in either case.  A maximum of 12 hours of credit can be earned through CLEP, Advanced Placement, military or other proficiency credit.

College Level Examination (CLEP)

The College Level Examination Program (CLEP) is a national testing service that provides students an opportunity to demonstrate college-level learning from experiences outside the classroom. Where appropriate, CLEP subject exams may be used to meet general education requirements. General exams will be equated to elective credit.

Through CLEP, a person can demonstrate knowledge that is awarded with academic credit. On-the-job experience, military training, personal reading, correspondence courses or telecourses are some of the sources that can prepare an individual to earn college credit. Transferability of CLEP credit is subject to the policies of the transfer school. All CLEP examinations are in addition to, not a replacement of, other forms of proficiency examinations, including departmental proficiency examinations. No grades are assigned for credit received through CLEP.

The College Level Examination Program includes two types of examinations. The CLEP General Examinations cover the areas of English composition, humanities, mathematics, natural sciences and social sciences and history. The General Examinations are intended to cover learning usually included within the general education requirements in a college program. The CLEP Subject Examinations test the knowledge or skills achieved by students completing specific freshman-sophomore level courses. Credit earned through CLEP tests cannot duplicate credit earned or attempted in college course work. Credit awarded for CLEP General or Subject Exam will be recorded as P (Pass) and earned semester hours of credit.

Information about CLEP General and Subject Exams, scores required for IVCC credit, transfer of credit, registration, cost, and testing location at IVCC are available in the Assessment Center, Admissions Office, and Counseling Center. Information is also available at

Advanced Placement (AP Credit)

Students may be awarded credit for the College Board's Educational Testing Services Advanced Placement Examinations when they correspond to equivalent IVCC courses. For other criteria in awarding Advanced Placement credit, students are to contact the Admissions Office or the Counseling Center. Credit awarded in this manner will be added to the semester credit hours earned, but not to the semester hours attempted or grade point average. The criteria for awarding credit are based on the recommendation of the consortium of colleges and universities that belong to the Illinois Articulation Initiative. Information on this group can be accessed through the following Web address: Students may be awarded credit for scores of 3, 4 and 5. Students transferring are urged to contact the college/university they plan to attend to see how test scores will be evaluated. If additional credit would be awarded, please contact the Admissions Office to determine if you are entitled to additional credit from IVCC.

Transfer Credit

(From other Regionally Accredited Colleges)

  1. Have transcript of credit earned at other colleges sent directly to IVCC Admissions Office - Official Transcripts Only.
  2. Complete a Request for Evaluation of Transcript form indicating the degree or certificate you are seeking. Credit to be accepted at IVCC must have at least a "D" grade. A "D" course may need to be repeated in certain IVCC programs.
  3. GPA (Grade Point Average) will not be transferred or computed into IVCC GPA unless credits equal 50% or more of the credits on an IVCC degree or certificate.
  4. A maximum of 12 credit hours with grades of "P" (Pass) can be transferred in.
  5. A maximum of 48 hours of credit can be transferred in for a degree. For a certificate-seeking student, a maximum of 75% of the total amount of credit hours required for the certificate can be transferred in. If a students has earned credit through another means (Advanced Placement, CLEP, Proficiency, or military), the total of all these types of credit may not exceed the maximum amounts listed above.

Military Service Contract

Veterans: Options open to veterans in evaluating prior military experiences:

  1. Up to four hours of physical education elective credit (HPE 0000) and two hours of HPE 1003 Personal and Community Health will be awarded if honorably discharged and with more than 12 months of active military service. A DD-214 is required by the Office of Admissions and Records, in order for credit to be granted. Reservists may also receive the same credit upon presenting their DD 2384-1 (NOBE) form.
  2. Elective credit may be granted based upon American Council of Education's "Guide to the Evaluation of Education Experiences in the Armed Forces."
  3. A maximum of 12 credit hours with grades of "P" (Pass) can be transferred in.