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Academic Policies and Procedures

Registration for Classes

Students will be permitted to attend classes only when the instructors have received evidence of proper registration. Registration dates and deadlines are listed in the official college calendar. Students may add courses, make section changes or drop courses only within the period specified in the calendar.

Full-Time Student Status

During the fall and spring semesters, a full-time student is one who is enrolled for at least 12 hours of courses, including both credit and non-credit (i.e., developmental) courses. Full-time status may be required of some students, depending upon financial aid or scholarship status. Some students are also required to be full-time if covered under parental health insurance. A student must be enrolled for four credit hours in a summer term to be considered full-time.

Maximum Course Loads

The normal maximum course load in a long semester is 15-18 semester hours. Overloads (more than 18 credit hours) must be approved by the Dean of Instruction. No student will be allowed to enroll for more than 21 semester hours regardless of the number of grade points earned the preceding semester. Maximum course load total on all Lamar campuses combined is 21 semester hours.

Course Numbering

Lamar State College-Orange uses the state approved Common Course Numbering System for all academic courses. Each academic course has a letter code and/or numerical code. The letters are an abbreviation for the subject. For example, ENGL indicates an English course. Most courses meet three hours each week and have a credit value of three semester hours. Each number contains three or more figures:

  • The first number indicates the rank of the course: 1, freshman level; 2, sophomore level. The second number indicates the number of semester hours of credit.
  • The last number(s) indicates the order in which the course normally is taken.

Applied music courses are numbered so the second number indicates both semester hours of credit and number of private lessons each week.

Semester Hours

The unit of measure for credit purposes is the semester hour. Two or more hours of laboratory work are counted equivalent to one classroom hour. For laboratory work that requires reports to be written outside of class, two clock hours are usually counted as one semester hour.

New Courses

In order to meet changing educational requirements, the college reserves the right to add any needed courses at any time without regard to the listing of such courses in the catalog.

Minimum Class Enrollment

The college reserves the right not to offer any courses listed in the class schedule if fewer than 10 students register for the course.

Class Attendance

Regular class attendance is important to the attainment of the educational objectives of the college. The instructor may keep attendance records and will formulate an attendance policy consistent with division policies but suited to the needs of the particular class. The instructor's policy will be explained in detail to the class at the beginning of the semester and will appear in the course syllabus.

Observance of Religious Holy Days

A student who misses an examination, work assignment or other project because of the observance of a religious holy day will be given the opportunity to complete the work missed within a reasonable time after the absence. The student may not be penalized for these excused absences unless the student fails to complete satisfactorily the missed assignment or examination within a reasonable time after the excused absence. This policy does not apply to any student absence which may interfere with patient care.

A "religious holy day" means a holy day observed by a religion whose places of worship are exempt from property taxation under Section 11.20 of the Tax Code.

Academic Integrity

The college does not tolerate cheating or plagiarism. Cheating involves either giving assistance to another student or receiving assistance from another student during a quiz, test, examination or other individual assignment unless the instructor has explicitly permitted such assistance.

Plagiarism means "to take and use as one's own the writings or ideas of another" (American Heritage Dictionary). Before submitting any paper for any course at the college, the student must acknowledge each source used consciously, whether published or unpublished. Even an idea presented in the student's own words but consciously taken from a source must be acknowledged. In addition, quotation marks (or indenting) must set off phrases or longer passages copied verbatim. Each instructor will explain any special means required to avoid plagiarism in his or her own field.

The assignment of grades is the responsibility of the instructor. Thus, if the instructor determines that a student's work has been intellectually dishonest, the instructor may award the student an "F" for the course or for the specific task determined to have been dishonestly accomplished. Such action will be preceded by a meeting with the student to provide an occasion for refutation, explanation or mitigation. In cases where the faculty member and student cannot reach agreement, and after consultation with the division chair/director, the student may make a written appeal to the Dean of Instruction within five school days of the meeting with the faculty member. If not resolved, the student may make a written appeal to the Vice President for Academic Affairs within five days.

The faculty member's charge must include an academic penalty, the most severe being removal from the course with a grade of "F." Additionally, LSC-O may propose an institutional sanction in repeated or blatant cases of academic dishonesty. A student involved in an appeal of an intellectual dishonesty case has the right to remain in class until a decision is made.

In cases of a possible institutional sanction, a judgment will be rendered by the Vice President for Student Services. A student who is found guilty of intellectual dishonesty loses his or her right to withdraw voluntarily from the course in which cheating occurred.

Grade Replacement/Course Repetition
Policy and Procedures

  • Lamar State College-Orange students will have one opportunity to replace grades earned in undergraduate courses.
  • If a student repeats a course, the official grade (for calculation of grade point average) will be the second grade earned - regardless of whether it is higher, lower or the same - although the first grade will remain on the student's official transcript.
  • The repetition of a LSC-O course at another institution will not replace the grade earned at LSC-O in the calculation of a student's cumulative grade point average, nor will a grade earned in a LSC-O course replace a transcripted grade earned in the same course at another institution.
  • Any grade earned by further repetition of a course (third and subsequent grades earned in the same course) will be included in the calculation of a student's cumulative grade point average.
  • A "Q" grade for a dropped course or a "W" grade for withdrawal from the college counts as the one allowable attempt at course repetition. If the student receives a "Q" or "W" grade on the repeated course, the original grade will be calculated into the grade point average, and the student will not be allowed a subsequent attempt to replace the original grade under this policy.
  • Before repeating a course for grade replacement, a student must receive approval from the Registrar.
  • College honors will be determined on the basis of a cumulative grade point average that includes ALL grades earned, even those replaced according to this policy.

To process a request for grade replacement, the student is responsible for completing all of the following steps:

  • obtain a grade replacement form from the Admission and Records Office (Ron E. Lewis Library Building, room 341);
  • ensure that the previous and current courses are exactly the same;
  • enroll (register);
  • receive signature approval from the Registrar on the form and return it to the Admission and Records Office before the 12th class day for the fall and spring semesters, fourth class day for Summer I and Summer II and first class day for mini-sessions; and
  • complete the course.

Classification of Students

Students are classified as freshmen, sophomores and post-baccalaureate. For the purpose of determining eligibility to hold certain offices and for other reasons, officially enrolled students are classified as follows:

  • Freshman: has met all entrance requirements but has completed fewer than 30 semester hours;Sophomore: has completed a minimum of 30 semester hours with 60 grade points;
  • Post-baccalaureate: holds a bachelor's degree but is not pursuing a degree program.

Grading System

A ........Excellent
B ........Good
C ........Satisfactory
D ........Poor
F ........Failing
W .......Withdrew from all classes
Q ........Dropped course
U ........Unsatisfactory
S ........Satisfactory
I ..........Incomplete
NG .....No grade

The grade of "W" or "Q" is given if the withdrawal or drop is made before the penalty date and/or if the student is passing at the time of withdrawal or drop.

Incomplete

The grade of "I" may be given when any requirement of the course, including the final examination, is not completed. Arrangements to complete deficiencies in a course should be made with the instructor. Incomplete work must be finished during the next long semester. If not, the Admission and Records Office must change the "I" grade to the grade of "F." The course must then be repeated if credit is desired.

An "I" grade also automatically becomes an "F" if the student registers for the course prior to removing the deficiencies and receiving a grade change. The instructor may record the grade of "F" for a student who is absent from the final examination and is not passing the course.

Grade Changes

A grade may not be corrected or changed without the written authorization of the instructor giving the grade; or, in the event that an instructor is no longer employed by Lamar State College-Orange, the Dean of Instruction may authorize a grade change after reviewing grade records. The written instruction for a grade change should be accompanied by a statement explaining the reason for the change and must be signed by the division chair/director.

Grade Point Average Computation

The grade point average is a measure of the student's overall academic performance and is used in the determination of academic standing, rank in class, eligibility for graduation, etc.

To compute a grade point average, grade points are assigned to a letter as follows: "A," 4 points; "B," 3 points; "C," 2 points; "D," 1 point; and "F," "I," "S," "NG," "Q," "U," and "W," 0 points.

The number of grade points earned in a course is obtained by multiplying the number of semester hours of credit by the number of points assigned to the letter grade made in the course.

The grade point average is calculated by dividing the total number of grade points earned by the total number of semester hours attempted in courses for which the grades "A," "B," "C," "D," "F," and "I" are assigned. Thus, for grades "S," "U," "NG," "W," and "Q," neither semester hours nor grade points are used in the computation of the grade point average. Hours attempted reflect all work taken, whether passed, failed or repeated.

Beginning with the fall 1994 semester, all Lamar campuses modified their procedure for grade point average computation. Each campus began maintaining an independent grade point average that reflects only the coursework attempted on that specific campus. The old procedure of combining all coursework into one comprehensive grade point average will continue to be used for any courses taken prior to fall 1994. For additional information interested parties may contact the registrar's offices on the respective campuses.

Final Grade Report

Final grades are available at all times by accessing the Online Student Information System via the Internet at www.lsco.edu. Instructions on how to access grades via web for students are available in the Lamar State College-Orange Schedule of Classes and the Admission and Records Office.

Grade Appeals and Academic Grievances

A student may appeal a final grade by first contacting the instructor concerning the grounds for appeal within five days. If the dispute is not resolved at this level, the student must follow the procedures outlined in the Student Handbook. Other grievances of an academic nature are subject to the same appeals process.

Dean's List

At the end of each semester, the Admission and Records Office prepares a list of all full-time (those who completed 12 or more semester hours) students who have earned, for that semester, a grade point average of 3.4 or above. This list is the Dean's List and is announced by the Dean of Instruction after each fall and spring semester. Clinical courses do not count toward the Dean’s List.

President's List

At the end of each semester, the Admission and Records Office prepares a list of all full-time (those who complete 12 or more semester hours) students who have earned, for that semester, a grade point average of 4.0. This list is announced by the President after each fall and spring semester. Clinical courses do not count toward the President's List.

Change of Major

Students wishing to change their majors must have the approval of the division chair/director. The approval must be in writing on the Change of Major form. These forms are available in the Advising and Counseling Center and the Admission and Records Office. All such changes are initiated by the completion of the proper form. Prior to changing majors students should meet with their assigned academic advisor.

Changing Schedules

All section changes, adds, and drops must be approved by either the academic advisor, the division chair or Advising and Counseling Center personnel. All such changes are initiated by the completion of the proper form. A course may not be added after the first week of a long semester or the first two days of a summer session.

Dropping Courses

After consultation with the instructor, a student may drop a course and receive a grade of "Q" during the first six weeks--two weeks in the summer session--of the semester. For drops after this penalty-free period, the instructor records a grade of "Q" or "F" on the drop form, indicating that the student was passing or failing at the time of the drop. A grade of "Q" may not be assigned on the grade sheet unless an official drop has been processed through the Admission and Records Office. For refund purposes the effective drop date is the date the drop form is received in the Admission and Records Office with all appropriate signatures. A student may not drop a course after the published deadline. It is the student's responsibility to obtain all required signatures on the drop form before the end of the drop period. Prior to dropping a course students should meet with their academic advisors.

Reinstatement to Class

A student may be reinstated to class upon written approval by the major instructor of the course and the instructor's division chair/director or the Dean of Instruction. The official form must be processed in the Admission and Records Office.

Instructor-Initiated Drop

When absences, other than approved absences, interfere with the student's performance, the instructor may recommend to the division chair/director that the student be dropped from the course. If this action is taken after the first six weeks of the semester, a grade of "F" may be recorded for the course. In the case of an instructor-initiated drop the student’s academic advisor will be notified.

Withdrawals

Students wishing to withdraw from all classes must fill out withdrawal petitions in the Admission and Records Office. Students must clear all financial obligations and return all books, laboratory equipment, and other materials. Four copies of the withdrawal form signed by the division chair/director, the Business Office, Financial Aid Office and the Vice President for Student Services are presented to the Admission and Records Office by the student. For refund purposes the effective withdrawal date is the date the withdrawal petition is received in the Admission and Records Office with all appropriate signatures.

The Business Office will return such fees as are refundable according to the schedule shown under the "Fees" section of this catalog. After the penalty-free period the instructor may assign a grade of "F" for courses at the time of withdrawal.

A student may not withdraw after the published deadline. A student who leaves without withdrawing officially will receive a grade of "F" in all courses, will forfeit all refundable fees, and is not relieved of outstanding financial debts.

Prior to withdrawing from classes students should meet with their academic advisor.

English Requirement

A full-time student (one taking 12 or more semester hours) enrolled in a program of study requiring English must register for freshman English until credit for six semester hours in composition coursework has been earned. This policy does not apply during the summer terms.

Academic Probation and Suspension

Students are expected to make acceptable scholastic progress toward their degree objectives. A "C" is the minimum satisfactory grade and a "C" average--a 2.0 grade point average (GPA)--constitutes satisfactory performance. Students earning less than a "C" (2.0) GPA are not making satisfactory academic progress and will be put on scholastic probation for as long as this deficiency exists. The grade point deficiency is the number of grade points fewer than those required for a "C" average.

A student with a grade point deficiency of 25 or more grade points at the end of the fall and spring semesters shall be suspended. However, no first-time college student shall be suspended at the end of his or her first semester of attendance.

Students returning from an academic suspension must continue to reduce their grade point deficiencies every semester of enrollment until the deficiencies are eliminated. If students fail to reduce their deficiencies in any one semester, they will be suspended again unless approved for probationary re-enrollment by the Vice President for Academic Affairs.

Veterans’ Satisfactory Academic Progress

The Veterans’ Administration must be notified of unsatisfactory progress the second semester a student has not completed classes with a 2.0 grade point average. Veterans should contact the Veterans' Affairs Office for additional information.

Academic Appeals Procedures

After an enrollment lapse of four or more years from Lamar State College-Orange and after completing successfully (2.2 average) 24semester hours of coursework, a student may petition to disregard a maximum of two entire successive semesters of work taken previously at Lamar State College-Orange. The petition shall be filed with the Registrar and approved by the Vice President for Student Services.

When approved by the Vice President for Student Services, disregarded coursework shall not count in determining the student’s grade point average for academic progress or for graduation; however, the work shall remain on the transcript with an appropriate notation and shall be used in determining honors. Once a degree has been conferred, a student may not use the academic appeals procedure for any courses used to award the degree or to calculate the cumulative grade point average.

Eligibility for Extracurricular Activities

An extracurricular activity is understood to be any non-class-related activity representing the student body, a student organization, a department or division organization or any such activity representing the college.

Any full-time student not on disciplinary or scholastic probation who is officially registered is eligible to become a candidate and/or to hold student office. In some cases part-time students are also eligible to hold office. Any full-time or part-time student not on disciplinary or scholastic probation is eligible to represent the college in any extracurricular activity provided the student has a grade point average of at least 2.0 for both the whole of college work completed at Lamar State College-Orange and for the preceding semester.

For the purpose of establishing eligibility, two six-week summer terms may count as one semester.

Transfer students have the same eligibility as freshman students until completion of one semester at Lamar State College-Orange.

Credit by Examination and Advanced
Standing Examination

Advanced standing examinations are intended only for those students who have had the equivalent, in formal or informal training, of the work being presented in the course in question. These exams may be taken only once unless otherwise approved by the division chair/director or Dean of Instruction. Credit may be granted to those who pass departmental advanced standing examinations with a grade of "B" or better. Normally, departmental examinations will be given only if College Level Examinations Program (CLEP) subject examinations are not available.

To secure permission for such examination, a student must obtain the written permission of the division chair/director responsible for the course. A fee of $25 must be paid to the Cashier's Office. Forms are available in the Testing Center.

A student who has previously and/or is currently enrolled in a course or has received a grade (passing or failing) in a course may not take an advanced standing examination in that course. Credit earned by examination is not granted or transcripted if the student does not complete at least one course at LSC-O subsequent to earning credit by exam. A fee of $25.00 per credit hour must be paid to the Cashier’s Office for credit to be transcripted.

Advanced Placement

The first two optional testing programs listed below are offered to enable first-time college students to qualify for advanced standing and/or college credit. These tests must be taken before enrollment. Applicants also may qualify for credit through the College Level Examination Program (CLEP).

  1. Advanced Placement Examinations (Optional)

Applicants who wish to receive credit for college-level work completed in high school may do so by submitting scores from the College Entrance Examination Board's Advanced Placement Examinations. Examinations are given each May by high schools. Arrangements are made through high school counselors. Subject matter areas and the basis for granting credits are as follows:

Subject Area Required Score Credit Granted
Art Score of 3 or above Art 1316, 1311
Biology Score of 3 or above Biology 1406-1407
Calculus    
AB Test Score of 3 or above Math 1325 or Math 2413
BC Test Score of 3 or above Math 2312, 2413, & 2914
Chemistry Score of 3 or above Chemistry 1411
Computer Science    
A Test Score of 4 or 5 Computer Science 1420
AB Test Score of 4 or 5 Computer Science 2420
Economics (Micro) Score of 3 or above Economics 2302
Economics (Macro) Score of 3 or above Economics 2301
English Score of 4 or 5 English 1301-1302
  Score of 3 English 1301
Foreign Language Score of 3 1311
  Score of 4 1311, 1312
  Score of 5 1311, 1312, 2311
Govern./Compar. Score of 3 or above 3 hrs. elective
(non-advanced)
Government/Pols Score of 3 or above Government 2302
History/American Score of 3 or above History 1301-1302*
History/European Score of 3 or above History 2312-2322

* State law requires three semester hours of classroom instruction in some phase of American history in addition to credit by examination.

  1. SAT II - Subject Tests

    Students with outstanding high school records or who have participated in accelerated programs are encouraged to take the College Entrance Examination Board’s Subject Tests in available academic areas. The results of those tests may allow the student to bypass introductory level courses. Students scoring at or above college standards are awarded credit according to the following chart. SAT II Subject Tests are given on most of the regularly scheduled SAT test dates. Registration bulletins are available from high schools.

    Subject Area CEEB Test Required Credit Granted
    English English ENGL 1301
    Composition   Completion of ENGL 1302 with a grade of "C" or better
    Foreign Language Spanish 0 to 6 semester hours
    Chemistry Chemistry CHEM 1411 if validated by completion of CHEM 1412
    with a grade of "C" or better
    Mathematics Level I Up to 6 semester hours depending on placement and validation.

  1. College Level Examination Program (CLEP)

    Lamar State College-Orange awards credit on the basis of most of the subject examinations on the College Level Examination Program (CLEP). A complete list is available from the Testing Center. The essay sections of the English Composition and Literature examinations are required and the determination for the awarding of equivalent English credit is based upon the strength of the written essays.

    The amount of credit awarded to a student who attended college before taking the examination will depend upon which college courses the student completed. Credit will not be awarded if the student received prior credit for the same course or its equivalent. Grades will not be assigned and hours will not be used in the computation of grade point averages.

International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Program

Lamar State College-Orange recognizes the IB Diploma Program. Students who receive an IB diploma and receive scores of "4" or above on Higher Level (HL) or Standard Level (SL) examinations will be awarded a minimum of 24 semester credit hours (see table). Students who have not received an IB diploma may be granted credit on an individual course-by-course basis as determined by participating academic departments. A copy of the official IB transcript must be submitted to the Office of Admissions to receive transfer credit. All applicable Texas statutes and Lamar State College-Orange policies must be compiled with and are in effect for course transferability.

Exam Score = 4+
On all levels
Credit
Granted
Equivalent Course
Group 1 - Language (AI)
English HL 6 hrs. ENGL 1301, 1302
  SL 3 hrs. ENGL 1301
  A or B 3 hrs. ENGL 1302
Group 2 - Second Language (A2)
Spanish SL 6 hrs. SPAN 1311, 1312
Group 3 - Individuals and Society
History Americas HL 6 hrs. HIST 1301, 1302
  SL 3 hrs. HIST 1301
Economics HL 6 hrs. ECON 2301, 2302
  SL 3 hrs. ECON 2301
Philosophy HL or SL 3 hrs. PHIL 1301
Psychology HL or SL 3 hrs. PSYC 2301
Group 4 - Experimental Sciences
Chemistry HL 8 hrs. CHEM 1411, 1412
  SL 4 hrs. CHEM 1411
Biology HL 8 hrs. BIOL 1406, 1407
  SL 4 hrs. BIOL 1406
Physics SL 4 hrs. PHYS 1401
Group 5 - Math and Computer Sciences
Mathematics HL 3 hrs. MATH 1325
  SL 3 hrs. MATH 1314
Computer Sciences SL 3 hrs. COSC 1301
Group 6 - Arts
Visual Arts (A) HL or SL 3 hrs. DRAM 1310
Visual Arts (B) HL or SL 3 hrs. ARTS 1301
Music HL or SL 3 hrs. MUSI 1306

Transfer Credit for Correspondence Courses

The following regulations will apply to work completed through correspondence:

  • Lamar State College-Orange does not offer correspondence courses but will accept for transfer and application toward an associate degree or certificate up to nine (9) semester credit hours of correspondence courses which have been satisfactorily completed in a correspondence division of an accredited college or university.
  • Students who desire to earn credit by correspondence and apply the credit toward a degree or certificate at LSC-O must secure the approval of their major advisor and the division chair/director. Forms for this purpose may be obtained in the Admission and Records Office.
  • All correspondence work in which a student is enrolled during a given semester will count as a part of the student's maximum load permitted for that semester. A student will not be given permission to exceed the maximum load by enrolling in correspondence courses, and any correspondence work which is completed without approval will not be accepted for transfer to Lamar State College-Orange.
  • Correspondence work must be completed, and an official transcript showing the grades and credits earned must be filed in the Admission and Records Office at LSC-O no later than 14 days before the date of graduation. If credit is filed after this period, the student’s graduation may be deferred to the following semester or summer. It is the student’s responsibility to have an official transcript sent to the Admission and Records Office at LSC-O from the Registrar’s Office where the correspondence work was completed.
  • Correspondence courses will not be approved for students who are ineligible to enroll at LSC-O, for those students who may be on academic or disciplinary probation or suspension and/or for beginning freshmen prior to registration at LSC‑O. Also, correspondence courses may not be used to repeat courses.
  • A maximum of nine (9) semester credit hours may be earned through correspondence work and applied toward a degree or certificate at LSC-O; the work normally should be in general education, minor or elective areas. Correspondence work cannot be used to satisfy major field requirements.

Transfer Credit Evaluation

Credit earned at other accredited institutions may be considered for credit by Lamar State College-Orange according to the following policies; however, credit evaluation is not automatic:

  • Official transcripts reflecting all completed coursework must be sent directly to Lamar State College-Orange Admission and Records Office from the issuing institution.
  • A Transfer Credit Evaluation Request form must be completed and turned in to the Admission and Records Office. Transfer credit evaluation will not be processed until all official transcripts have been received.
  • Courses will be transferred as credit only, and the grades will not be used in calculating students’ GPAs except in the case of honor graduates, where all courses attempted will be used in calculating the cumulative grade point average for the determination of honors.
  • “D” grades earned at other institutions are transferable, but departments may refuse to count them toward degrees.
  • Transfer students completing Transfer Credit Evaluation Requests will be informed of the amount of credit that will transfer no later than the end of the first academic term in which they are enrolled.

Transfer of Military Credit

Credit may be granted for military experience. A Transfer Credit Evaluation Request form must be completed and turned into the Admission and Records Office. Credit will be evaluated upon the evaluation recommendations outlined in the American Council on Education (ACE) Guide to the Evaluation of Educational Experiences in the Armed Services. Students must submit the following documents:

  • Form DD214
  • Military Transcript Summary sent directly from the American Council on Education

Nontraditional Credit Education
Evaluation

Policy and Procedures

Academic credit may be granted for education obtained through a variety of nontraditional methods including continuing education, non-accredited private and technical college coursework, military training, and credit by examination. Students planning to transfer to a four-year institution are advised to confer with the institution to which they plan to transfer regarding acceptance of nontraditional credit.

The evaluation of nontraditional education is based upon the guidelines of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS). Credit may also be awarded based on recommendations contained in the National Guide to Educational Credit for Training Programs published by the American Council on Education. A copy of this guide is located in the Admission and Records Office.

Nontraditional credit will be evaluated and approved by the division chair/director of the subject area for which the credit is being requested, using the following guidelines:

  • Texas Success Initiative requirements, including course pre/co-requisites, must be met prior to the award of nontraditional credit.
  • A maximum of 21 hours of nontraditional credit may be awarded.
  • Nontraditional credit may be awarded to an LSC-O matriculated student after the census date of the first semester of enrollment.
  • Credit is noted as nontraditional on the transcript and will receive a grade of “S” (satisfactory), with the exception of LSC-O departmental credit by exam, which are shown with a letter grade of “A” or “B.”
  • Applicants seeking nontraditional credit for courses that do not meet SACS criteria may apply for credit through the credit-by-exam option.
  • Nontraditional credit will not be counted toward resident credit with the exception of LSC-O Continuing Education overlay classes.

Procedures for Requesting Credit for Nontraditional Education

  1. The student initiates the request in the Admission and Records Office by completing the appropriate form and presenting documentation, if required.
  2. The Admission and Records Office sends the form to the appropriate division chair/director for evaluation. Departmental approval is not normally required of ACE Guide recommendations.
  3. The form is returned to the Admission and Records Office and a copy of the completed evaluation is mailed to the student.
  4. After payment is received, the nontraditional credit is posted to the student’s academic record. A transcript showing posted credit is mailed to the student.

Testing and Placement

The Texas Success Initiative (TSI)

The purpose of the Texas Success Initiative is to ensure that students enrolled in Texas public colleges and universities possess the academic skills needed to perform effectively in college-level coursework.

All students subject to the requirements of the Texas Success Initiative must take the Texas Higher Education Assessment (THEA), Compass, or the ASSET test. Students must present scores to register for classes unless otherwise exempt. Students who have missed all reasonable institutional testing opportunities, through no fault of their own, may register for classes, but must take the THEA or ASSET not later than the end of the first semester of enrollment. Students who fail to test during the designated semester will not be permitted to re-enroll in any courses other than non-degree credit courses until they have tested.

The following students shall be exempt from the requirements of the Texas Success Initiative:

  • For a period of five years from the date of testing, a student who is tested and performs at or above the following standards:
    • ACT: composite score of 23 with a minimum of 19 on both the English and mathematics tests;
    • Scholastic Assessment Test (SAT): a combined verbal and mathematics score of 1,070 with a minimum of 500 on both the verbal and the mathematics tests
  • For a period of three years from the date of testing, a student who is tested and performs on the Texas Assessment of Academic Skills (TAAS) with a minimum scale score of 1,770 on the writing test, a Texas Learning Index (TLI) of 86 on the mathematics test and 89 on the reading test
  • For a period of three (3) years from the date of testing, a student who is tested and performs on the eleventh grade exit-level Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS) with a minimum scale score of 2200 on the math section and/or a minimum scale score of 2200 on the English Language Arts section with a writing subsection score of at least three
  • A student who has graduated with an associate or baccalaureate degree from an institution of higher education.
  • A student who transfers to an institution from a private or independent institution of higher education or an accredited out-of-state institution of higher education and who has satisfactorily completed nine hours of college-level coursework including a “B” or better course.
  • A student who has previously attended any institution and has been determined to have met readiness standards by that institution may be waived from TSI requirements as long as they are taking classes listed on the certificate plan declared.
  • A student who is serving on active duty as a member of the Armed Forces of the United States, the Texas National Guard or as a member of a reserve component of the Armed Forces of the United States and has been serving for at least three years preceding enrollment.
  • A student who on or after August 1, 1990 was honorably discharged, retired or released from active duty as a member of the Armed Forces of the United States or the Texas National Guard or service as a member of a reserve component of the Armed Forces of the United States
  • A student who is enrolled in a certificate program of one year or less (Level-I certificates, 42 or fewer semester credit hours or the equivalent) at a public junior college, a public technical institute or a public state college

Otherwise, all full-time and part-time students enrolled in a college-level certificate (see counselors for exceptions) or degree program must take the THEA (Texas Higher Education Assessment), Compass, or ASSET examination for reading, writing, and mathematical skills.

At Lamar State College-Orange all Level II certificate and degree-seeking students must take the THEA, Compass, or ASSET for placement purposes. Texas Success Initiative requirements do not apply to Level I certificates.

Pre-collegiate courses, such as developmental reading, writing and math, are not counted in calculating the credit hours for meeting testing requirements. For further information please contact the Testing Center at (409) 882-3330.

Entering LSC-O students who are not otherwise exempt must take the ASSET, Compass, or THEA prior to registration.

Mathematics and English Placement

Diagnostic placement tests in mathematics and English are required for all students who are enrolling in math and/or English for the first time to determine the course most appropriate for the individual's skill level. Results of this test are used for placement into the appropriate level math course. While most students will take only one exam, it is possible that a few may need to take additional exams to determine placement. The math tests take 60 minutes each, and test results will normally be available immediately. English tests take 45 minutes. Although maintained in records for student advising, scores do not appear on the student transcript.

Successful completion of the Texas Success Initiative requirements does not eliminate the requirement for math and English placement testing. Students who have received passing grades in math and/or English courses may continue with the next course in the sequence. Students who have failed or dropped will re-enroll at the level indicated previously. The division chair/director can provide additional information about placement.

Graduation with Honors

To be designated as an honor graduate, a student must:

  • have completed at least 30 semester hours at Lamar State College-Orange; and
  • have a grade point average of at least 3.5 for all coursework attempted at Lamar State College-Orange and all attempted work at other institutions attended.

A grade point average of 3.5-3.64 qualifies a student for "honors" (cum laude), 3.65-3.79 for "high honors" (magna cum laude) and 3.80-4.00 for "highest honors" (summa cum laude).

Grades earned the semester of graduation are included in the calculation of grade point averages for honors. Both diplomas and permanent records indicate graduation honors.

Second Associate Degree

When two associate degrees are taken simultaneously or one has been taken previously, the second associate degree may be granted upon the completion of all required work for the second degree. However, a total of 15 semester hours above the number required for the degree having the greater semester hour requirements must be completed.

Graduation Under a Particular Catalog

A student normally is entitled to graduate under the degree provisions of the catalog in effect at the time of the first completed semester of enrollment with this exception: a catalog more than seven years old shall not be used.

The program of the student who interrupts enrollment for reasons other than involuntary military service for more than one calendar year shall be governed by the catalog in effect at the time of the student's re-entry to the college. The student who interrupts enrollment for involuntary military service must re-enroll within one year from the date of separation from military service in order for this provision to apply. For these purposes enrollment shall be defined as registration for and successful completion of at least one course during an academic term. A student forced to withdraw for adequate cause before completion of a course may petition for a waiver of this provision at the time of withdrawal.

The program of the student who changes a major from one department to another within the college shall be governed by the degree requirements in effect at the time the change of major becomes effective.

At the discretion of the division chair/director, the student will be required to comply with all changes in the curriculum made subsequent to the year in which the student was enrolled. Deletions and additions of courses will be of approximately equal credit so that no student will have an overall appreciable increase of total credits required for graduation.

Graduate Guarantee Policy

Lamar State College-Orange guarantees that students who successfully complete two-year programs of study in technical fields will have the job skills for entry-level employment in the occupational fields for which they have been trained. Graduates with associate of applied science (AAS) degrees who are judged by their employers to lack these basic skills will be entitled to a maximum of twelve (12) additional credit hours of tuition-free training in their field of study. The following conditions apply to this graduate guarantee policy:

  • The graduate must have earned the AAS degree beginning May 1993 or thereafter in a technical, vocational or occupational program published in the college catalog.
  • The graduate must have completed the AAS degree at Lamar State College-Orange with a minimum of 75 percent of the necessary credits earned at Lamar State College-Orange and must have completed the degree program within a four-year time span from the date of initial enrollment.
  • Graduates must be employed full-time in job fields directly related to their AAS programs of study as certified by the appropriate academic officer.
  • Employment must commence within 12 months of graduation.
  • The employer must certify in writing that the employee is lacking entry-level skills identified by Lamar State College-Orange as program exit competencies and must specify the areas of deficiency within 90 days of the graduate's initial employment.
  • The employer, graduate, division chair/director, and other appropriate academic officers will agree upon a written plan for educational retraining. Retraining will be limited to 12 credit hours related to the identified skill deficiency and to those classes regularly scheduled during the period covered by the retraining plan.
  • All retraining must be completed within a calendar year from the time the educational plan is agreed upon.
  • The graduate and/or employer are responsible for all costs associated with enrollment except tuition. This includes fees, books, insurance, uniforms and other course-related expenses.
  • The guarantee does not imply that a graduate will pass any licensing or qualifying examinations for a particular career.
  • A graduate's sole remedy against the institution and its employees for skill deficiencies shall be limited to 12 hours of tuition-free education as outlined under the conditions described above.
  • A request to implement the graduate guarantee policy can be initiated through a written contract with the President's Office within 90 days of the graduate's initial employment.