Sep 15, 2019  
2011-12 Catalog 
2011-12 Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Policies, Procedures, Statistics and Notifications

This appendix contains three types of policies and/or procedures, and information about notifications required by law. Additional information about Highline’s policies, procedures and statistics can be found online.

College Policies

Advertising on Exterior Campus Bulletin Boards

The Center for Leadership and Service maintains exterior campus bulletin boards for on- and off-campus events and activities. Anyone wishing to post materials should go to the Center for Leadership and Service or for approval and posting procedures. 


Educational Planning & Advising Center staff provides advising to new students. Advisers are available via phone and e-mail and on a drop-in basis in the center. Educational planners are knowledgeable about degrees, certificates and campus policies and procedures, as well as transfer to a four-year university or college and preparation for a specific major.

Students who have earned 30 or more credits are encouraged to request and maintain contact with a faculty adviser while attending Highline. To request a faculty adviser, a student should visit the Educational Planning & Advising Center in Building 6 or  and complete the “ Request an Adviser ” form.

Generally, a faculty adviser will be matched to a student’s academic program or intended degree. If a student’s educational goals change, a new faculty adviser can be assigned. The faculty adviser can be an invaluable resource when planning class selection and degree completion, but ultimately the student is responsible for final class selection. Students who are unable to schedule an appointment with their faculty adviser, may meet with an educational planner for advising and referrals.

Consumer Information and Student Right to Know

Students and other interested persons can access information on completion and/or graduation rates; district security policies and crime statistics; athletic program participation rates and financial support data; completion and/or graduation rates for student-athletes; information regarding student records under the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA); and the alcohol and drug policy by visiting Highline’s Website.

Paper copies of the above documents may be obtained from the executive assistant for Student Services in Building 6, room 218.

Highline Community College
MS 6-11, P.O. Box 98000
Des Moines, WA 98198-9800
(206) 878-3710, ext. 3077

Debts to the College

College debts include, but are not limited to, such items as outstanding tuition and fees, National Science Foundation checks, library fines, financial aid repayments, late class add fees, Student Tuition Easy Payment Plan (STEPP) payments and fees, and parking tickets.

Students are responsible to pay all fines and other financial charges as soon as notification is received. Highline Community College may withhold registration, conferring academic credentials, transcripts and other college services when a payment has not been made on time.

Additionally, the college may pursue collection efforts on any outstanding debts as authorized by RCW 19.16.500. Highline Community College’s policy regarding withholding services for outstanding debts is described in WAC 32I-122.

Drug and Alcohol Abuse Program

This information is provided pursuant to the Drug-Free Schools and Committee Act Amendments of 1989 (Public Law 10 1.22b).

The unlawful manufacture, distribution, dispensation, possession and/or use of a controlled substance as currently defined by law is prohibited in or on property owned, leased or otherwise managed by Highline Community College. The use of any controlled substance (illicit drugs or alcohol) is prohibited except when use or possession is prescribed by an authorized medical doctor or dentist.

The use of illicit drugs and alcohol presents a clear and present risk to the health of a student or employee and may cause impairment of the health of fellow students and employees.

“The disease of alcoholism knows no boundaries as far as personalities are concerned. It does not recognize rank, social class, wealth or fame. It strikes everyone with the same insidious force, and consequences are the same.” (Joseph Pursch, M.D.) The same statement applies to the use of illicit drugs. Addiction to alcohol or drugs may be lethal.

Sanctions against a student found to be in violation of the above restrictions may be imposed, subject to the student’s right of appeal. Sanctions may involve a warning, disciplinary probation, emergency withdrawal, suspension or dismissal. The college is responsible for referring the violation to the appropriate law enforcement agency.

No employee or contractor will report to work while under the influence of illicit drugs and/or alcohol. Violation of this rule by any employee may result in referral for mandatory evaluation/treatment for a substance abuse disorder. The Washington state Employee Assistance Program (EAP) or a college contracted referral agency will be utilized in accordance with the applicable negotiated agreements; the laws of the state of Washington, specifically RCW 28B.16 and RCW 28B.10; and applicable federal laws that supersede Washington state statutes.

Students are asked to refer to the Students Rights and Responsibilities information codified at this printing in WAC 132I-120.

Assistance for students is available by appointment through the Counseling Center, located in Building 6. Self-referral can also be made to agencies such as the following:

  • Alcohol/Drug 24-Hour Help Line, (206) 722-3700 or 800-562-1240;
  • Navos, (206) 241-0990;
  • King County Crisis Clinic Information Line, (206) 461-3200.

Equal Employment Opportunity/Non-discrimination Statement

The college provides equal opportunity in education and employment and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, creed, religion, or status as a veteran of war. Prohibited sex discrimination includes sexual harassment (unwelcome sexual conduct of various types).

El colegio universitario ofrece igualdad de oportunidades en
educación y empleo, y no discrimina por raza, color, nacionalidad,
edad, discapacidad, sexo, orientación sexual, estado civil, creencias,
religión o estatus de veterano de guerra. La discriminación sexual está
prohibida e incluye el acoso sexual (varias formas de conducta sexual
no deseada).

Колледж предоставляет равные возможности при получении
образования и приеме на работу и обеспечивает отсутствие
дискриминации на основании расовой принадлежности, цвета
кожи, национальности, возраста, физических недостатков,
половой принадлежности, сексуальной ориентации, семейного
статуса, убеждений, вероисповедания или статуса ветерана
войны. Недопустимая дискриминация по половому признаку
подразумевает сексуальные домогательства (неприемлемое
сексуальное поведение во всех его проявлениях).


학교는 교육과 고용에 대한 평등한 기회를 제공하며
인종, 피부색, 출신 국가, 나이, 장애, 성별, 성 정체
성, 결혼 여부, 종교, 신념 및 재향 군인 자격에 대해
차별하지 않습니다. 금지된 성차별 행동 중에는 성
희롱이 포함됩니다 (부적절한 여러 종류의 성적 행
위 및 행동).

Highline Community College offre un accès équitable à l’éducation
et à l’emploi, et n’établit aucune distinction fondée sur la race, la
couleur, l’origine nationale, l’âge, l’incapacité, le sexe, l’orientation
sexuelle, la situation de famille, la croyance, la religion ou le statut
d’ancien combattant. La discrimination de genre faisant l’objet d’une
interdiction englobe le harcèlement sexuel (comportement sexuel
importun sous diverses formes).

Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment is illegal under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act and Title IX of the Educational Amendment and is against Highline Community College’s policies and will not be tolerated in any form. It shall be the policy of Highline Community College, consistent with its efforts to respect the dignity and integrity of employees, students and the general public, to provide an environment free of sexual harassment.

Sexual harassment is any unwanted verbal or physical sexual attention that is repetitive and one-sided. Report sexual harassment to:

Director of Human Resources
MS 99-200, P.O. Box 98000
Des Moines, WA 98198-9800
(206) 878-3710, ext. 3812


Highline Community College supports the health and well-being of its campus community members. For this reason, smoking is prohibited on campus, except in designated areas.

Student E-mail

Student e-mail accounts at Highline Community College are the primary method of official communication between students and the campus community.

Official communications are those involving

  • Instruction and classroom activities
  • Campus safety and emergencies
  • Routine College business

In general, e-mail is not appropriate for transmitting sensitive or confidential information unless it is matched by an appropriate level of security.

  1. Confidentiality regarding student records is protected under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA). All use of e-mail, including use for sensitive or confidential information, will be consistent with FERPA.
  2. E-mail will not be the sole method for notification for any legal action.
  3. The full text of the policy is available at

Student Records

Students are responsible for ensuring that the college has their correct name and address. Students needing to report a name change should visit the Registration office in Building 6 and submit a “Student Name Change” form with appropriate documentation - a driver’s license, passport etc. Students can update their address at

Students’ Rights and Responsibilities

Students are responsible for their own success. In order for students to improve their chances of success, it is important for them to know what is expected. A student’s registration constitutes acceptance of the responsibility to comply with college policies and regulations. In addition to the responsibilities listed below in the “Students’ Rights Regarding Their Educational Records” section, a student’s rights and responsibilities are fully outlined in the “Student Rights and Responsibilities” booklet available from the office of the Chief Student Affairs Officer/Vice President of Student Services or at  .

Students’ Rights Regarding Their Educational Records

Students at Highline Community College have certain rights regarding their educational records. These rights are part of the federal legislation known as the FERPA.

Students have the right to do the following:

Inspect and review their educational records within 45 days of the day that the college receives a request for access.

Students should submit to the registrar in Building 6 a written request that identifies the record(s) that they wish to inspect. The registrar will make arrangements for access and notify the student of the time and place where the records may be inspected.

Request the amendment of the student’s education record(s) that the student believes are inaccurate or misleading.

Students may request the college amend a record that they believe is inaccurate or misleading. The process for submitting such a request is to write to the registrar, clearly identify the change that needs to be made and why the record is inaccurate or misleading. Please note: There is a separate process for students who wish to request a change to a correctly recorded grade. Information about how to challenge a properly recorded grade is available from faculty, advisers and deans.

If the college decides not to amend the record as requested by the student, the registrar will notify the student of the decision and advise the student of his or her right to a hearing regarding the request for amendment. Additional information regarding the hearing procedures will be provided to the student when notified of the right to a hearing.

Consent to disclosure of personally identifiable information contained in the student’s education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent.

One exception that permits disclosures without consent is to school officials with a legitimate education interest.

A school official is a person employed or contracted by the college in an administrative, supervisory, academic, research or support staff position (including campus safety officers). Additionally, it may include a person, company or agency with whom the college has contracted (such as an attorney, auditor, collection agent, public service agency, education agency or school); a person serving on the Board of Trustees; or a student serving on an official committee, such as a disciplinary or grievance committee, or assisting another school official in performing his or her tasks. Volunteers and interns serving in any of these capacities are also considered school officials.

A school official has a legitimate education interest if the official needs to review an education record to fulfill his or her professional responsibility.

Upon request, the college may disclose education records without student consent to officials of another school in which a student is concurrently enrolled, or seeks or intends to enroll.

The college also may publish or provide the following directory information to any person who requests it: Student name, address, program of study, quarters of attendance, participation in officially recognized activities or sports, weight and height of members of athletic teams, dates of attendance, or degrees and awards received.

In addition, the college provides to military recruiters the following additional directory information: date and place of birth and level of education.

Students who do not wish the college to release their directory information must notify the registrar in writing.

Students may file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by the college to comply with the requirements of FERPA. Complaints should be sent to the office that administers FERPA:

Family Policy Compliance Office
U.S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Avenue, SW
Washington, DC 20202-5920

Students’ Social Security Numbers

To comply with federal laws and assure students may take advantage of education tax credits, Highline Community College must request your Social Security Number (SSN) or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN). This information is used to report Hope Scholarship and Lifetime Learning credits, to administer state/federal financial aid, to verify enrollment, degree and academic transcript records, and to conduct institutional research. If you do not submit your SSN/ITIN, you will not be denied access to the college; however, you may be subject to IRS civil penalties (refer to Internal Revenue Service Treasury Regulation 1.6050S-1(e)(4) for more information). Pursuant to state law (RCW 28B.10.042) and federal law (FERPA), the college will protect your SSN from unauthorized use and/or disclosure.

Instructional Policies

Academic Freedom

Academic freedom allows all faculty to seek and present knowledge in their respective disciplines. Faculty members are free to explore problems and issues, without fear of interference from administrators, the Board of Trustees, governmental agencies, the public, students or parents of students. Faculty members have a basic responsibility to promote freedom of thought, expression and the pursuit of knowledge.

Faculty members have an obligation to protect students’ rights to freedom of inquiry. In using potentially controversial materials, the faculty member has the obligation to ensure the material meets the valid educational objectives of the class. Faculty members have the responsibility to exercise reasonableness and good judgment in their presentations and to function within the ethics and standards of their respective disciplines and the teaching profession.

Academic Honesty

Students are expected to maintain a high standard of honesty in their academic work. Cheating and plagiarism are specifically prohibited under the college’s Student Rights and Responsibilities provisions.

Acts of cheating may include submitting for credit work that is not the student’s own, copying examination answers from fellow students or other sources or assisting other students in acts of these kinds.

Plagiarism, the presentation of another’s writing or ideas as one’s own, can take a number of forms — failing to cite sources, copying source texts or online sources without quotation, or inadequately paraphrasing or synthesizing source materials.

Students who are unsure of what might constitute plagiarism or cheating are encouraged to consult their instructors, class materials and other college resources for guidance.

Academic Standards

Highline’s Academic Standards Policy was established to maintain excellence in academic standards and to encourage students to assume responsibility for their own academic progress. Academic standards also ensure that students with educational difficulties are informed of the many resources available at Highline.

The Academic Standards Policy applies to all Highline students enrolled in credit courses.

First Quarter Probation

A student attempting six or more credits in graded courses at Highline Community College will be placed on first quarter probation when his or her cumulative grade point average (GPA) falls below 2.0.

All students on first quarter probation will receive a notification letter about his or her academic status and steps to take to improve educational success. A student placed on first quarter probation must meet with an adviser to discuss his or her educational plans and campus resources prior to registering in classes for the next quarter.

A student on first quarter probation will not be able to register for a future quarter before meeting with an adviser. A student who does not have a faculty adviser or who is unable to contact his or her faculty adviser should contact the Educational Planning & Advising Center to receive an adviser assignment.

A student on first quarter probation may not take more than 15 credits without written permission from the director of the Educational Planning & Advising Center or a faculty adviser.

Second Quarter Probation

A student on first quarter probation who attempts six or more credits in graded courses at Highline Community College and earns less than a 2.0 cumulative GPA, will be placed on second quarter probation unless his or her quarterly GPA is 2.25 or higher, in which case the student will remain on first quarter probation.

A student placed on second quarter probation will not be able to register for a future quarter before meeting with an adviser. A student who does not have a faculty adviser or who is unable to contact his or her faculty adviser must contact the Educational Planning & Advising Center to receive an adviser assignment.

A student on second quarter probation may not enroll in more than 15 credits without written permission from the director of the Educational Planning & Advising Center or the faculty adviser.


If a student on second quarter probation attempts six or more credits in graded courses at Highline Community College and earns less than a 2.0 cumulative GPA, the student will be suspended unless his or her quarterly GPA is 2.25 or higher, in which case the student will remain on second quarter probation. The office of the vice president for Student Services will notify these students. A suspended student who has already registered will have his or her registration cancelled and the tuition and fees refunded.

A student who is suspended from Highline Community College will not be permitted to enroll for any credit courses for three consecutive quarters from the end of the quarter for which the suspension occurred. A student who returns after suspension will automatically be placed on first quarter probation status.

A student who fails to maintain the required academic standards due to special or extraordinary circumstances may petition the Scholastic Review Committee for conditional reinstatement. Petition forms are available in the office of the Vice President for Student Services in building 6, room 218.


Students are expected to attend all sessions of their classes. Some instructors may require class attendance as part of their grading criterion. Only students in a valid enrollment status may attend classes.

Catalog Information

Highline’s catalog contains general information about the college and its programs, courses, services, staff and policies. Information is subject to change between catalog updates. It is the student’s responsibility to become familiar with all academic and administrative regulations and procedures that relate to his or her course of study.

Course Requirements

Students are responsible for meeting the requirements of any course in which they are enrolled. Instructors will inform students of course requirements in the course syllabus.


College Credits

Courses offered during the instructional year are assigned credit values of one or more credits. In general, a class that meets two hours a week awards two hours of credit per quarter; one that meets five hours a week awards five credit hours. Some classes, such as laboratories, may vary from this pattern.

Necessary preparation time will also vary according to the class and the student’s background.

Credits are earned only for courses in which students are officially enrolled.

One semester credit hour is equivalent to one and one-half quarter credit hours.

Credit Load

The normal load for a full-time student varies from 12 to 18 credits. Students must average 15 credits of applicable courses each quarter in order to complete a 90-credit program in six quarters or two calendar years.

Students who want to take more than 18 credits per quarter must have permission of their faculty adviser or program coordinator. If an adviser or coordinator is unavailable, permission may be obtained from the division chair. When such an overload is requested by an evening student, or by any student during breaks between quarters or during summer quarter, permission may be obtained from Educational Planning & Advising Center staff. Visit  for informaton about additional credit charges.

Placement Information

Advanced Placement: Students may receive college credit for a score of three or above on an Advanced Placement test taken in high school. In some subjects, 10 to 15 credits may be awarded for a score of five. Advanced Placement credit may be used to satisfy distribution or elective requirements.

For a list of Advanced Placement course exams and their credit equivalency, see the “Advanced Placement Equivalency Table ” in Appendix F.

Note: Advanced Placement credits used at Highline may not transfer to other colleges or universities. Students need to check with the individual schools.

Military Service Schools, Military Experience, DANTES, CLEP and Other Training: Credit may be granted for training received at other institutions as recommended by the American Council on Education. To receive credit, a student must present evidence of satisfactory completion of such education to the credentials evaluator in the Registration office in Building 6. Credit for this type of learning may be used for restricted/grey area credit only and is limited to 15 credits for the transfer associate degree.

Examination or Challenge: A currently enrolled student who believes previous professional, business or educational experience, or private study has provided the skills and knowledge required for passing a course offered by Highline may be permitted to challenge that course by examination.

Courses that may be challenged and procedures for challenging can be obtained from the department that schedules the course.

Credit for this type of learning may be used for distribution or elective credit and is limited to 15 credits for the Associate of Arts and Associate of Science degrees. For details, speak with the credentials evaluator in the Registration office in Building 6.

International Baccalaureate: Highline will grant five credits for each higher level subject in which a score of five or higher is achieved. These credits may be used to satisfy distribution or elective requirements.

Note: International Baccalaureate credits used at Highline may not transfer to other colleges or universities. Students need to check with the individual schools.

Departmental Placement: Individual departments have different requirements.

English. All ENGL or ENGL& courses have prerequisites of either previous courses or minimum scores on either the COMPASS or Secondary Level English Proficiency (SLEP) placement tests. Students should check the quarterly class schedule before enrolling in an English course.

Mathematics. Most MATH or MATH& courses have prerequisites of either a previous course or a minimum score on the COMPASS placement test. Students should check the quarterly class schedule before enrolling in a mathematics course. For information, contact a mathematics instructor.

Reading. Many courses require a minimum COMPASS reading score.

World Languages. Most world language courses have prerequisites of a previous course, grade and/or minimum score on the COMPASS placement test. Students can usually select the right level for their first college foreign language course by using these guidelines:

  • Students who have not studied - or who have very minimal study in - a foreign language, enter 121;
  • Students who have successfully completed (grade 2.0 or better) two years of a high school language are ready for 122;
  • Students who have successfully completed three years of a high school language are ready for 123;
  • Students who have successfully completed more than three years of a high school language enter 221;
  • Students who have considerable preparation other than high school and college and some fluency in the language can enter 221;
  • Native speakers of a language must register for 221 or higher.

Students are urged to discuss preparation for world language study with their adviser or the instructor of the language so that satisfactory placement can be made. Instructors will help place students through the end of the registration period.

Caution: Some four-year colleges and universities do not grant credit for 101 or 121 to students who entered college in fall 1987 or later if they had two or more years of that language in high school.

Transfer Credits

Highline Community College grants academic credits toward its degrees for courses completed at other regionally accredited institutions. To have other colleges’ transcripts evaluated, an official transcript must be sent to the credentials evaluator in Building 6, along with a “Request to Evaluate Other College Transcript” form. The form is available in Admissions/Entry Services and the Registration office in Building 6. Students will receive a copy of the transcript record upon completion of the evaluation.


All examinations must be taken at the times scheduled by the instructors. A request to take an examination at any other time must be approved by the instructor.

Final Examinations for Courses

A final examination or evaluation is part of each course. Students are required to take the final examination or participate in the evaluation at the scheduled time in order to complete the course and receive credit. A final examination schedule is included in the quarterly class schedule.

Grades and Transcripts

Grade Point Average

Grade point average (GPA) is a measure of a student’s overall academic achievement. GPA is computed on both a quarterly and cumulative basis from those courses in which students have received grades. The cumulative GPA shown on the student’s transcript is based solely on courses taken at Highline and specifically excludes transfer credits.

GPA is computed by dividing the total cumulative grade points by the total possible credits for courses taken. Grade points are calculated by multiplying the number of credits by the numeric value of the grade for each course. The sum of the grade points is then divided by the total possible credits.

Credit or pass grades are printed on the transcript as CR and do not count in the quarterly or cumulative GPAs, but do count as credits earned. I, N, W and NC grade symbols do not count in the quarterly and cumulative GPAs and do not count as credits earned toward graduation.

Students are encouraged to review their transcripts carefully. Questions about grades, grade points or credits should be immediately presented to the instructor of the class or the registrar.

Grade Report

Grades are available approximately five days after the quarter ends at

Grading System

Highline uses a numerical grading system to measure and evaluate student performance. Instructors are responsible for measuring and evaluating the performance of their students and must provide a course syllabus that clearly defines the grading requirements for each course.

Instructors may report numerical grade points within a range of 0.0 to 4.0, in 0.1 increments. Grades in the range of 0.0 to 0.6 do not satisfy minimum academic standards for earning credit.

Numerical grades measure achievement according to the following standards:

4.0 Highest achievement
2.0 Satisfactory achievement
0.7 Minimum achievement for credit
0.0-0.6 No credit

Note: Students are responsible for checking with appropriate departments for minimum grades required for program completion or as prerequisites for higher-level courses.

Other Grading Symbols

In addition to numeric grades, the following letter grades are also used. Of these, only the CR (credit) grade will be awarded college credit. Explanations of each symbol follow this list:

   CR Credit  
   I Incomplete  
   N Audit  
   NC No Credit  
   R Repeated Class  
   W Withdrawal  
   * Missing Grade  

CR: Credit. Completion of course requirements at the 2.0 level or above. Must be initiated by the student at the time of registration or by the 15th instructional day of the quarter (an equivalent date is listed in the quarterly class schedule for summer).

The instructor will provide a numerical grade point evaluation, and if it is 2.0 or above, it will automatically be converted to CR by the registrar’s office. Otherwise, the numerical grade given by the instructor will be entered.

Only 15 CR credits are applicable toward the Associate of Arts Option A degree. CR credits may or may not be recognized by other institutions. Other degrees and programs will designate the maximum number of applicable CR credits. Divisions may designate specific courses which are only graded CR/NC.

I: Incomplete. An instructor may issue an I when the following conditions apply:

  • A student was still registered for the class after the official withdrawal date;
  • A student satisfactorily completed at least 80 percent of the total coursework but was not able to complete all coursework due to extenuating circumstances;
  • A student and instructor have agreed on a date of completion to occur within the following 12 months;
  • A student has received an “Incomplete Grade Contract” from the instructor, and this form has been filed with the registrar.

The I will be converted to a numerical grade or CR/NC upon completion of the course requirements. If the I is not removed through the completion of the requirements after 12 months, it will be converted to the grade earned, as shown on the “Incomplete Grade Contract.” This converted grade may not be changed.

N: Audit. Students may enroll for a course on an audit (N) basis. Regular tuition and fees are charged. Auditing students must attend at least 50 percent of the classes. Failure to do so will result in no entry being made on the transcript. The N does not carry decimal points. Students may change from an audit to a credit status, or vice versa, if all appropriate instructional paperwork is completed by the 15th instructional day of the quarter.

NC: No Credit. NC indicates a student did not satisfactorily complete course requirements at the 2.0 level to receive credit. The NC grade is used only for courses designated by an instructional division as CR/NC, and carries no GPA calculation.

R: Repeated Class. The symbol R prefixed by a numerical grade or CR, such as 3.2R, indicates the class was repeated. See statement on repeating a course following this section.

W: Withdrawal. The W grade indicates that the student withdrew from the course, in keeping with college withdrawal policies. The W carries no credit, indicates neither passing nor nonpassing work at the time of withdrawal and does not affect GPA. Some courses, identified in the catalog and/or quarterly class schedule, require group participation and are not eligible for a W without the instructor’s permission.

If a withdrawal to the registrar’s office is submitted on or before the 15th instructional day of the quarter (an equivalent date will be listed in the quarterly class schedule for summer) the class will not be reported on the transcript.

First-week nonattendance. In order to accommodate students waiting to register for a course, instructors have the discretion to initiate a withdrawal at the end of the first week of the quarter (or its equivalent for summer). This withdrawal may be authorized when students do not attend at least 60 percent of the class time during the first week. Students should contact their instructors to request an exception to this policy so that in the event of unavoidable absences they will not be withdrawn.

*: Missing Grade. An asterisk (*) indicates that no grade was received from the instructor.

Repeating a Course

Students may repeat courses taken at Highline in order to improve their skills or GPA. To repeat a course, a student must reregister and pay all necessary fees. Upon completion of the repeated class, notify Records & Registration to request the GPA recalculation be performed. Each grade received will appear on a student’s record, but only the last grade awarded is used in computing a GPA. Such substitutions may or may not be recognized by other institutions. Credit for a course is earned only once. A course may not be repeated more than twice.

Grade Forgiveness Policy

(Approved by Faculty Senate, June 2, 2010)

This policy provides an option for qualified students to set aside or exclude quarters previously attempted or completed from the GPA, when the coursework does not reflect their true academic ability.

With written approval of the adviser, students who meet the conditions outlined below may petition the Registrar to exclude from their transcript grades that negatively affect their cumulative credits and cumulative GPA. All courses and credits prior to the selected quarter will be excluded.

Option 1

  1. Student has not been enrolled for at least 1 year.
  2. Student must have completed 15 credits with a 2.5 GPA or better (since returning to Highline).

Option 2

  1. Student has less than a year’s break in enrollment.
  2. Student must have completed 30 credits with a 2.5 GPA or better (after the most recent quarter to be excluded)

Further conditions:

Students cannot select individual courses or quarters for forgiveness. For example, if a student wishes to exclude courses in which failing or poor grades were received during the fourth quarter at Highline, all work taken during the first four quarters would be excluded.

Credits and grade points for excluded courses will be changed to zero (0) and will not be included in the Highline credit total and GPA. The course number, course title, and original grade will remain on the transcript.

Once forgiven, courses and credits may not be reinstated, may not be used as prerequisites, and may not apply toward degree requirements. Students will be allowed to have Grade Forgiveness applied once.

Financial Aid does not honor Grade Forgiveness.

Although Highline Community College makes provisions for Grade Forgiveness, students should not assume that other colleges to which they transfer will compute the GPA in the same manner. Only the Highline record can be set aside; the College cannot set aside records from other colleges.

“Grade Forgiveness Request” forms are available at the Registration Office, Building 6, 1st Floor.


An official transcript is a grade report of academic achievement and carries the signature of the registrar and the college seal. Institutions receiving a transcript will interpret it according to their own policies.

Transcript request forms are available at the Registration office and A fee for each transcript is payable at the time of the request. Current fees are available at

For an unofficial copy of a transcript, visit

Transcripts from Other Schools

Highline does not release or certify copies of transcripts from other institutions. Transcripts that have been submitted to Highline from previously attended secondary schools and colleges become part of Highline’s official file and may not be returned to the student or the college.

Official transcripts from previously attended schools and colleges must be received by the Registration office in Building 6 directly from the sending institution.


June commencement is a ceremony for those students who have completed or plan to complete their degree or certificate during fall, winter or spring of the current academic year, or the summer quarter immediately following. Participation is not required. Ceremony participation does not guarantee degree completion.

Highline encourages all students to apply for graduation at least two quarters prior to the anticipated graduation date. The “ Application for Graduation/Request for Graduation Evaluation ” form is available at the Registration office in Building 6, lower level or online at

Submission of the application for graduation form initiates an evaluation of all coursework applicable to the degree indicated. Upon completion of this process, students are notified of the results. A degree or certificate will not be awarded until the application for graduation is on file in the Registration office and a credentials evaluator has determined all required coursework has been successfully completed. A student may not earn more than one transfer degree (AA-DTA) at Highline Community College.

The Graduation Review Board considers requests for substitutions and waivers to degree requirements. Such requests must be submitted in writing to the Graduation Review Board at the Registration office in Building 6.


Highest Scholastic Achievement Award

The Highest Scholastic Achievement Award is presented each commencement to the graduating student(s) who has attained the highest GPA and who has completed all degree requirements by the end of the spring quarter of the academic year of graduation. “Highest Scholastic Achievement Award” will be printed on the transcript.

Honors at Graduation

A student completing an Associate of Arts or Associate of Science degree who achieves a college-level cumulative GPA of 3.5 to 4.0 is eligible for honors at graduation. The transcript will indicate “Honors.” Winter quarter GPA is used for students who are scheduled to complete degree requirements during spring or summer quarter.

Honors Scholar

Students with a 3.5 GPA or higher, who have completed the 35 required honors credits, will graduate as Highline Honors Scholars. For information, see “Honors Scholar ” in the Instructional Programs Overview section.

Quarterly President’s and Vice President’s Lists

A student completing 12 or more credit hours of courses numbered 100 and above during any quarter at Highline Community College with a quarterly GPA of 3.5 to 3.99 and with no grade below 2.0 or an incomplete (I grade) is placed on the Vice President’s List for the quarter. A student with a 4.0 GPA will be placed on the President’s List. The transcript will indicate’ “Vice President’s List” or “President’s List” for the quarter(s) involved. Honors are generally posted to the transcript the third week of the following quarter.

Instructional Cycle

College Year: The college instructional year consists of fall, winter and spring quarters of approximately 11 weeks each and a summer quarter of about eight weeks.

During the instructional year, class sections are offered during the early morning, late afternoon and evening hours at the college and at other sites throughout the district. Transfer, professional-technical and basic skills courses are offered during summer quarter, as well.

College Quarters: Highline offers classes on a quarterly schedule. Fall quarter classes begin in late September, winter quarter begins in January and spring quarter begins in late March or early April. Summer quarter begins in June.

Instructional Grievance Process

Highline Community College provides a process through which students can seek resolution of complaints about instructional matters. Typically, these matters include grades and classroom practices. Excluded from this process are those complaints for which other specific remedies are provided such as Title IX discrimination claims.

An attempt should be made to resolve all instructional complaints in an informal manner. The interests of all are best served when complaints are resolved at the lowest possible level of the administrative structure.

Step 1: Discussion with Faculty Member

The student should first discuss the situation with the faculty member involved, before meeting with anyone else. Any employee of the college receiving a complaint concerning a faculty member shall encourage the complainant to meet with the faculty member involved.

Step 2: Discussion with Department Coordinator and/or Division Chair

If the student has already discussed the matter with the faculty member or refuses to do so, and desires to pursue the complaint, the student will be directed to meet with the division chair if the complaint is against a full-time faculty member, or with the department coordinator if the complaint is against a part-time faculty member.

Upon hearing the complaint, the chair or department coordinator should attempt to facilitate resolution by encouraging further discussions between complainant and the faculty member, using a third-party intermediary if necessary.

Step 3: Written Grievance to Division Chair and Faculty Member

If all attempts at an informal resolution have failed, the student must submit in writing to the chair and the faculty member involved the complaint and a chronology of the attempts at resolution. The faculty member may choose to send the chair a written response to the complaint.

After reviewing the complaint with the parties involved, the chair will provide, in a timely manner, a written response to the complainant and faculty member, which includes the chair’s resolution to the complaint. Failure of the faculty member to comply with the resolution, if applicable, will be considered the same complaint and will be appealed to the chair.

Step 4: Appeal to the Vice President for Academic Affairs

If the student wishes to pursue the matter, he or she must provide to the vice president of Academic Affairs all written materials initially provided to the chair and the response from the chair.

Upon reviewing the complaint with the appropriate parties, the vice president of Academic Affairs (or designee) will provide an opportunity for the faculty member and the complainant to submit additional materials related to the written complaint. The vice president of Academic Affairs (or designee) may consider other related complaints in reaching a resolution.

Prior to issuing a written response, the faculty member will have the opportunity to review all written materials the vice president of Academic Affairs (or designee) has considered in resolving the complaint(s). Copies of the vice president of Academic Affairs’ (or designee’s) resolution will be sent to the complainant and the faculty member.

Progress Standards for Financial Aid Recipients

Students applying for or receiving financial aid should review the Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy in order to ensure continued eligibility for financial aid. Copies of the policy are available in the Financial Aid office in Building 6 or online at

Student Complaint Policy

The Student Complaint policy and process is published in the Student Rights and Responsibilities Code WAC 132I-120, which is available online at .