Transfer Credits

Transferring from Southwestern

Transfer students are responsible for determining the requirements of the institution and program to which they plan to transfer.  Official Southwestern transcripts can be ordered and delivered by using myLakerLink or visiting the Student First Stop Center.

Transferring to Southwestern

Southwestern Oregon Community College accepts college level credits earned in academic certificate and degree programs from colleges and universities accredited by one of the following regional Associations of Colleges and Schools -- Middle States, North Central, New England, Northwest, Southern or Western.

Official transcripts are processed after the students have been formally accepted to the college. Send official transcripts to the Student First Stop Center. Send placement test scores to Educational Support Programs and Services (ESPS).

Credit may be granted for military courses based upon The Guide to the Evaluation of Educational Experiences in the Armed Services and if the courses apply to the student's Southwestern majors. Three (3) credit hours of PE 185 Sport/Activity courses may be granted toward an associate's degree at Southwestern for completion of military basic training.

Credit for Prior Learning

Credit for Prior Learning is an opportunity for Southwestern students to be granted credit for verifiable, college-level learning that is acquired outside the college setting through life or work experience. There are several ways to gain Credit for Prior Learning, including the College Level Entrance Examination Program (CLEP), challenge exams by course, Advanced Placement Program (APP), military training, industry certifications/training programs, or Prior Learning Assessments (PLA). Talk to your advisor to learn more about options.

Students must be working toward a degree, be enrolled, and complete a minimum of three credits at Southwestern during the quarter in which a class is challenged or prior learning is assessed. Students may request credit for prior learning for up to 25% of their credits to satisfy the requirements for a one-year certificate or two-year degree. If planning to transfer to another institution, it is recommended that the student check with their intended transfer school for acceptance of challenge/PLA credits. Challenge/PLA credits do not count toward determining financial aid or veteran’s benefits and payment (half the tuition) is required before the Challenge/PLA process is started.

Advanced Placement Program (APP)

High school seniors who participate in the College Entrance Examination Board’s Advanced Placement Program may seek advanced placement in a variety of disciplines. Entering freshman who have taken the APP tests should have the results sent to the Student First Stop Center. Advanced placement and/or college credit may be granted upon recommendation of the appropriate party. Credit may be granted only if students are working towards a degree/certificate, enrolled and completed a minimum of three credits at Southwestern during the quarter. The Student First Stop Center and the Educational Support and Programs Services can provide interested students with procedures.

Course Challenge

Students who believe that they have the knowledge and skills from life experience, industry training or professional certification, may request to challenge a course by petition or by an examination in lieu of class attendance. (Laboratory classes may be challenged with the approval of the dean/faculty.) Successful challenge results in grade and credit on the Southwestern permanent record identified as credit for challenge. Credit may be granted only if the students are working towards a degree/certificate, enrolled and completed a minimum of three credits at Southwestern during the quarter the challenge is assessed. The Student First Stop Center and the Educational Support Programs and Services will provide interested students with procedures.

Students may not drop or withdraw from challenged courses. Financial aid recipients cannot use financial aid dollars to “challenge” courses.

College Level Examination Program (CLEP)

Students enrolled at Southwestern may receive credit for certain college courses by submitting official scores from the College Level Entrance Examination Program (CLEP). Successful CLEP exam results in grade and credit on the Southwestern permanent record identified as CLEP. The Student First Stop Center and the Educational Support Programs and Services can provide interested students with procedures. Click here to learn more about specific tests, credits and equivalent scores.

Accelerated Learning / High School Dual Credit

Accelerated Learning is under Southwestern Oregon Community College’s Dual Credit program. In cooperation with certain high schools, Southwestern offers students the opportunity to earn both Southwestern lower division transfer credit and career technical credit through submission and acceptance of a registration form per college deadlines, and completion of course materials and standards as approved by Southwestern. A list of high schools and courses approved to earn Southwestern credit is available online at the High School Connections webpage. Each high school’s counseling office will also have a list of courses approved at that school. The list varies among high schools.

Earned credit will be transcribed to a Southwestern permanent record. Earning Southwestern credit at a high school does not automatically enroll a person in a Southwestern certificate or degree program. Southwestern admissions procedures and requirements must still be met. Credit transfer acceptability is at the discretion of the receiving institution.

Grade Point Average

Code Description
A Excellent: 4 grade points
B Above Average: 3 grade points
C Average: 2 grade points
D Below Average: 1 grade point
F Failing: 0 grade points
Z Grades were not received from the instructor. Grades will be entered and available via myLakerLink once they are received.
  • Southwestern computes GPA using the 4-point system and by dividing the total grade points by the total quality credits.
  • Grades are assigned based on work completed at the end of the scheduled class time. Additional work or make-up after the ending date of the class is not justified unless an Incomplete was assigned.
  • Grades and/or records found to be fraudulent will be changed.
  • Grades are not mailed; they are available via myLakerLink.

Incomplete Grades

Code Description
I Incomplete: 0 points per credit hour – ‘I’ grade is given for work that could not be completed during the finals week for the term because of circumstances beyond the student’s control. ‘I’ grades require the student’s current earned letter grade to be attached to the ‘I’ grade and the date when the Incomplete contract is to expire. If the student does not fulfill her/his contract within the designated time, the grade will automatically revert to the given grade.
IB Incomplete 'B' earned: 3 grade points
IC Incomplete 'C' earned: 2 grade points
ID Incomplete 'D' earned: 1 grade point
IF Incomplete 'F' earned: 0 grade points
IU Incomplete Unsatisfactory earned: 0 grade points

Pass-Fail Grading Option

Certain courses offer students an option to receive a grade of S (satisfactory) or U (unsatisfactory) instead of letter grade (A, B, C, D, or F). This option must be exercised at the time of registration.  Courses required for your degree program must be taken for a letter grade.

S Grade: For evaluation and transferability purposes, the 'S' grade is equivalent to a grade of C or better.

Audit Option

Students electing to audit a class (no grade, no credit) must choose this option at the time of registration or no later than the end of the sixth week of instruction for standard term-length classes. Check with the Student First Stop Center for last day to change grading status for nonstandard-length classes. Auditing students pay in accordance with the tuition schedule and participate to a degree determined by them and the instructors. Audited courses at time of registration are not eligible for financial aid.

Course Repeat and Ability to Benefit Policy

For academic purposes, the ability to benefit from instruction is defined as the ability to achieve the skill level or knowledge to apply the subject matter in an academic or practical situation. This is defined as at least an S or C grade.

A student may repeat a course once to improve a grade. A second repeat may only be attempted with the recommendation of a counselor, and a third repeat requires the approval of the Vice President of Instruction.

Refer to the Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy available online.

All course attempts will remain on the transcript. Only the highest grade will be reflected in the cumulative grade point average (GPA) calculated for Southwestern cumulative gpa. Financial aid is required by Federal regulations to calculate the cumulative grade point average using the historical transcript of all actual grades earned.

Some courses may be taken more than once for credit (e.g., PE 185 Sport/Activity courses). In these cases, the grades of the repeated courses will reflect in the cumulative GPA.

Academic Notification System

To help students be successful, the Academic Notification System has been developed to monitor the academic progress of students.

The Academic Notification System is a three-step process designed to alert students to potential lack of progress during their academic career.

Step 1 – Academic Notification: This status results when students' term grade point average (GPA) are below satisfactory progress (2.0) or students have received two or more ‘U’ or ‘F’ grades in one term.

Step 2 – Academic Probation: If the student has received Academic Notification Status and the term GPA is again below 2.0 or the student has received two or more ‘U’ or ‘F’ grades in one term, the student is placed on academic probation. The student will continue on probation until the cumulative GPA is 2.0 or higher, provided that satisfactory progress is maintained during this time.

Step 3 – Academic Suspension: If, during any term while on probation or previous suspension, the student does not make satisfactory progress, the student will be suspended. This status results when the term GPA and current cumulative GPA are below 2.0.

Appeals for reinstatement to Southwestern Oregon Community College after academic suspension are found at Student First Stop, forms.  Appeals for reinstatement are reviewed by the Academic Standards Committee.

Students receiving financial aid must complete an additional appeal process (FA appeal for reinstatement) following an academic or financial aid suspension.

Students who are academically suspended, but have been absent from Southwestern for five or more years, will be automatically reinstated.  After meeting with their advisors, students must contact the transcript evaluator located in Dellwood Hall for the automatic reinstatement.

The Purpose of the Academic Notification System

To assist each student with accomplishing his/her educational goal by:

  • Alerting the student and the college of academic difficulties or deficiencies.
  • Providing an opportunity for the college to be of assistance to the student in setting and achieving academic goals.
  • Assisting the student in utilizing the facilities and personnel of the college.
  • Creating an atmosphere in which the student may be successful in his/her pursuit of an education.

Academic Honors

To graduate with academic honors, students must meet the criteria for graduation and have a 3.75 cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA). Cumulative GPA includes all transfer credits from other colleges. All coursework from other colleges will be included in the cumulative GPA, regardless of applicability to current coursework. Southwestern offers a number of options to achieve academic honors. To be recognized, students must meet the following criteria:

Academic Excellence

Achieve a term grade point average of 4.0 for the quarter with a minimum of 12 credit hours will be listed on the Academic Excellence Roll for that quarter.

Honor Roll

Achieve a term grade point average of 3.5 to 3.99 inclusive with a minimum of 12 credit hours will be listed on the Honor Roll for that quarter.

Dean’s List

Achieve a term grade point average of 3.0 and 3.49 with a minimum of 12 credit hours will be listed on the Dean’s List for that quarter.

Southwestern Scholar

Appear on the Honor Roll or achieve Academic Excellence for the entire academic year (Fall, Winter, and Spring terms).

Phi Theta Kappa

Phi Theta Kappa is the international honor society for two-year colleges. Alpha Kappa Phi is the Southwestern chapter of Phi Theta Kappa. To join Alpha Kappa Phi, a student must have accumulated a total of 12 college-level credits at Southwestern toward an associate’s degree and must have a 3.5 cumulative GPA or higher. All members must also maintain at least a 3.5 cumulative GPA.