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Student Responsibilities

Students are responsible for reading and following the policies and procedures as outlined in this catalog. Each student is responsible for completing all degree requirements established by the college and each department.

Academic Honesty

SOWELA Technical Community College encourages academic honesty in all classes and requires academic honesty from all students. Students are expected to maintain honesty and integrity when completing all academic assignments and examinations.
Academic dishonesty includes, but is not limited to the following:

  • Submitting another student’s work as your own or allowing a student to submit your work as his/her own

  • Copying from another student on assignments or during an exam or allowing a student to copy from your assignments or exams

  • Receiving exam questions from a student who has already taken an exam or giving questions to a student who has not taken an exam

  • Listing false references

  • Making up research data

  • Using an author’s work without proper credit and citation (plagiarism)

  • Plagiarizing any part of an assignment, essay, or exam

  • Using unauthorized materials obtained from instructors or students

  • Receiving unauthorized help on assignments or tests

  • Altering grades

Plagiarism, cheating, and other forms of academic dishonesty will not be tolerated. Any student found guilty of such dishonorable acts in academic work will receive a grade of 0% for the work presented. The instructor may also refer the student to the appropriate administrator for further disciplinary action that could result in an “F” in the course, dismissal from the course, dismissal from the college, and/or possible legal action.

Absences for School-Sanctioned Activities

Faculty advisors for school-sponsored and/or school–sanctioned activities may request excused absences for participating students. Advisors should address such requests to the Dean of Instruction prior to the event. Students will be permitted to make up any work that is missed. Further, any assignments due on the day(s) of the events will be accepted on the first day of class following the event, without a penalty being levied. If students miss an exam, they will be permitted to make up the exam without penalty. Advisors are expected to use discretion when scheduling students to work in shifts. They should make every attempt to limit the number of absences by working around the student’s class schedule as much as possible.


Class attendance is considered both a privilege and a responsibility. As such, students are expected to attend all classes for which they are enrolled. All instructors will maintain attendance records.

Absences for school-sanctioned activities, mandatory military exercises, validated illnesses, and jury duty are excused. Other absences from class may be considered excused or unexcused as determined by the instructor. School policy will be followed as it relates to school-sponsored/sanctioned activities.

If a student accumulates excessive unexcused absences (10% or more of the scheduled class meetings in a given class) or excessive total absences (20%), i.e. a combination of excused and/or unexcused absences, the instructor may recommend to the student’s department head that he/she be withdrawn from that class(administrative withdrawal). Some departments have strict attendance policies mandated by state boards or federal guidelines.
Any student who receives a Pell Grant or other financial aid and who withdraws from any or all classes may be subject to losing the Pell Grant or funding for the next semester. Students receiving a Pell Grant may also be subject to repaying a portion of the grant in certain circumstances.

Faculty members are required to state in the course syllabus expectations regarding class attendance. Students who are dropped for non-attendance have the right to appeal. (See Academic Appeals Procedure)

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Dropping Classes

If a student accumulates excessive unexcused absences (10% or more of the scheduled class meetings in a given class) or excessive total absences (20%), i.e. a combination of excused and/or unexcused absences, the instructor may recommend to the student’s department head that he/she be withdrawn from that class. Instructors must clearly state in the syllabus whether or not they will drop a student for non-attendance. Students are responsible for understanding the attendance and drop policies as noted in the syllabus for each class in which they enroll.

Students are responsible for dropping classes if they are unable to complete the classes and do not intend to receive a grade. Students are expected to notify their department head or their advisor if they intend to drop a class. Students must not assume that a faculty member will drop them from class.

Students who officially drop a class prior to the published deadline will receive a grade of “W” in that class for the semester. This deadline is published each semester in the Schedule of Classes. Failure to properly drop may result in a grade of “F” being assigned for the semester. If a student who is dropping a class or classes or who is withdrawing from the college is receiving any type of financial aid, he/she must notify the Financial Aid Office, the WIA Office, and/or any other source of funding. Failure to do so may jeopardize any future financial aid and may result in the student owing a repayment of funds.

Equipment, library books, or any other items belonging to an instructor or to the college must be returned. Lockers should be cleaned out. The college is not responsible for any items left on campus.

The advisor or department head inputs student employment information directly into the Student Information System. If a student secures employment after withdrawal, he/she is asked to notify his/her instructor/department head or the Placement Officer.

Instructors who drop students for non-attendance must notify the students that such action has occurred. Students who are dropped for non-attendance have the right to appeal. (See Academic Appeals Procedures.)

Grading System

Students are evaluated by their instructors relative to the following factors: knowledge of course work, ethical behavior, safety, job performance, work attitudes, ability to follow instructions, ability to get along with others, attention to assignments, and pride in workmanship.

A: 90-100% - Excellent; earns credit hours; carries a value of 4 quality points for each credit hour.

B: 80-89% - Above average; earns credit hours; carries a value of 3 quality points for each credit hour.

C: 70-79% - Average; earns credit hours; carries a value of 2 quality points for each credit hour.

D: 60-69% - Below average; earns credit hours but may not meet graduation requirements; carries a value of 1 quality point for each credit hour.

F: 59% or below - Failure; earns no credit hours; carries 0 quality points for each credit hour.

I: Incomplete - Indicates that work is incomplete due to mitigating circumstances in a course taught in the traditional manner. The student may not re-enroll in the class. An “I” does not affect GPA calculation and earns no credit hours. If incomplete coursework is not completed by the published date in the academic calendar, the student will automatically receive an “F” in the course.

W: Withdraw - Indicates that a student has officially withdrawn (dropped) from a course. The student must notify his/her advisor or department head.

WR: Withdrawal due to natural disaster or unforeseen circumstances.

NG: No grade.

NC: No credit earned.

S: Satisfactory.

IP: In Progress.

U: Unsatisfactory.

P: Pass/credit earned.

CR: Credit received.

AU: Audit.

The grading scale may vary in programs regulated by state boards or federal guidelines. Students will be able to view their final grade reports through LOLA by the close of business on the published date in the Academic Calendar.


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Incomplete Grades ( I’s )

An “I” grade may be requested only in extraordinary circumstances when a student who is passing is unable to complete the course on schedule. “I” grades may be issued for students who are currently passing the class, attending regularly, and can reasonably complete the coursework by the deadline published in the academic calendar or by the date agreed upon in the Incomplete Grade Contract. The student is responsible for making up the work within the mandated time period. The “I” grade will convert to an “F” grade if not changed by the date published in the Academic Calendar.

Examples of extraordinary circumstances are serious illness or injury, death in the family, change in employment schedule or sudden need for employment, act of nature, and other emergencies deemed appropriate and verified by the instructor.

The Procedure for Awarding an “I” is as follows:

  1. Student should initiate request for grade of “I” with the instructor.
  2. Student and instructor complete and sign Incomplete Grade Contract/Request Form after the student provides verification of extraordinary circumstances.
  3. Incomplete Grade Contract/Request Form must be approved by the Dean of Instruction.
  4. Incomplete Grade Contract/Request Form (and verification) is submitted to the Registrar’s Office prior to the last day of the semester or the day that grades are due.

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Dean’s List

The Dean’s List has been established as a means of encouraging and recognizing academic excellence. The criteria for qualification are as follows:

  • Full-time students (those who complete twelve or more semester credit hours in a semester and/or six semester credit hours in a summer term) will qualify for the Dean’s List if their grade point average (GPA) for the current term is 3.5 or higher.

  • The student must not have a grade of “F” or an incomplete (“I”) for the current semester, nor can grades for transfer credit be used in the computation of GPA for the Dean’s List.

Academic Probation and Suspension

A student who fails to maintain satisfactory academic progress (GPA of 2.0) during any term will be placed on academic probation at the end of that term. The student will remain on academic probation during the following enrollment period. If the student on probation earns a 2.0 or higher, he/she is taken off of probation. If the student is unable to maintain satisfactory academic progress during this enrollment period, the student is then suspended for the upcoming term.

During this suspension term, the student may not enroll in any program at SOWELA.
Students reentering school after academic suspension will reenter on academic probation. Students not maintaining satisfactory academic progress after one semester/term of academic probation will not be allowed to enroll in any program for one calendar year from the date of the second suspension.

NOTE: Satisfactory academic progress and readmission guidelines for the Practical Nursing program differ due to the Practical Nursing Department and State Board of Practical Nurse Examiners policies. State Board policies will supersede those of the school.

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Academic Appeals Procedure

A student who seeks to appeal a grade must follow the academic chain of authority (Instructor – Department Head – Dean of Instruction – Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs – Chancellor). Grades may be challenged within the first two weeks of the next semester.
A student who seeks to appeal an administrative withdrawal must follow the academic chain of authority. An appeal of an administrative withdrawal must be initiated within 10 days of the action.

Repeat Courses

If a student repeats a course, the letter grade earned in previous attempts to pass the course will have a grade/R. Only the last grade earned will be used in computing the GPA.

Change of Major

A student may transfer from one program to another provided the student meets the requirements that are in the current catalog for the new program. The student wishing to transfer must complete a Program Change Request Form in the Registrar’s Office. Students will not officially be enrolled in the new program until the following semester. All applicable credit earned will transfer to the new program.

Catalog Policy

A student must meet the requirements of the current catalog or the catalog in effect at the time of entry provided graduation is within five years from his/her entrance date. An option does not exempt anyone from the general regulations. Credits earned earlier than five years before graduation will be subject to review and evaluation by the appropriate department head. If a student changes his/her program, or does not enroll for one semester or more (other than a summer term), he/she must use the current catalog in effect at the time of re-entry or department change.

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Textbooks and supplies may be purchased/rented from:
Textbook Rentals
(Across from SOWELA)
3815 J. Bennett Johnston Ave.
(337) 439-4767

On-line bookstores may also be used to purchase books.
Used textbooks may be purchased from students.

Library and Learning Resource Center (LLRC)

The LLRC is located in the Computer Building and is open from 7:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. The center supports teaching and learning through its many resources and commitment to service. The facility is 5,300 square feet with seating for 140, including 20 computers, photocopier, and video viewing stations.

The LLRC has a collection of approximately 4,000 books in an easily accessible open-shelf arrangement organized by Library of Congress, and over 70,000 electronic books available on and off campus. The library subscribes to 80 periodical titles including newspapers, journals, and magazines. Students, faculty, and staff have access to numerous resources in electronic format such as ejournals, digital photos, government documents, dictionaries, maps, and encyclopedias. The LLRC is a member of LOUIS: the Louisiana Library Network, which provides online access to over 40 full-text databases and most public Louisiana college and university library catalogs.

The library staff is available to assist patrons individually with their informational needs or conduct instructional classes. For assistance call (337) 421-6530 or email

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