Academic Policies

Academic Calendar

The College of Western Idaho (CWI) operates on the semester system. The academic year includes two 16-week semesters (fall and spring) and multiple summer terms. See the academic calendar page for important dates.

In addition to full semester-length courses, CWI offers shortened courses, such as 4-week or 8-week courses. Day, evening, weekend, and online courses are available in order to meet the needs of students who have work or family responsibilities.

College Credit Hours

CWI grants credit for college work based on the national standard of the Carnegie Unit. CWI defines a credit hour as follows:

A credit, sometimes referred to as semester credit or semester hour, is related to time spent in class, study, preparation, laboratory, or field experience.

One semester credit hour normally requires 45 hours of student work, or:

  1. 50 Minutes in class each week for one semester (which assumes twice this amount of time in study and preparation outside the classroom), or
  2. Two to three hours in laboratory each week for a semester, or
  3. The equivalent combinations of 1 and 2.

Credit for workshops and short courses is granted on the basis of one-semester credit for 45 hours of scholarly activity.

Course Numbering

The following numbering system is used for all credit courses offered by CWI:

  • Zero Level (000–099): Course content is considered below college-freshman level. These courses are not applicable for graduation.
  • One Hundred Level (100–199): Course content taught at the college-freshman level.
  • Two Hundred Level (200–299): Course content taught at the college-sophomore level.

Student Class Level

The following number of completed credits determines a student’s class level:

Class Level Credits Completed
Freshman 1–25
Sophomore 26 or more

Enrollment Status

Full-time Students: Degree-seeking students taking 12 or more credits per term.

Part-time Students: Degree-seeking students taking fewer than 12 credits per term.

Non-matriculated Students: Non-degree-seeking students.

President’s List and Dean’s List

The President’s List and Dean’s List are term-based distinctions that recognize academic excellence based on grade point average (GPA). These distinctions are awarded at the end of each term (semester). To be eligible for either list, a student must have completed six (6) or more credits of letter-graded courses within a single term. Because pass/no pass courses are not used to calculate a student's GPA, they are excluded when calculating the six (6) or more credits of letter-graded courses needed to be considered eligible. Grades of Incomplete (I) and/or missing grades will prevent a student from receiving honors.

Minimum GPA Requirements
President’s List: 4.00 Term GPA
Dean’s List: 3.50 to 3.99 Term GPA

Students on the President’s List or Dean’s List are congratulated and notified by email at the end of the term. The President’s List and Dean’s List are published on the Academic Honors page on CWI’s website to honor those receiving these distinctions; however, students who qualify for either list will be omitted from the online publication if they have submitted a Directory Hold/Privacy Form to One Stop Student Services. 

Repeating Courses

The effect of repeating a course is as follows:

  • Only the highest grade earned on a repeated course will count in the GPA.
  • All grades other than “A” are repeatable.
  • All iterations of the course will continue to show on the transcript with their respective grades.
  • A grade of “D” or above is considered passing in most courses.
  • Certain courses may be repeated and the credits accumulated. For all others, the course with the lower grade is marked to show that it has been repeated.

Limited Attempts

Any student wishing to improve their grade in a course to meet core or degree requirements may register to repeat a course. A student may register directly into the course on the first three attempts.

Note: Some programs may not allow multiple attempts for a course.

Permission to register beyond three attempts must be obtained from the department chair over the area of study.

Courses dropped within the first 10 days of the semester are excluded from the three-registrations maximum. Also excluded from this policy are courses that can be taken multiple times for additional credit, such as fitness-activity courses, private music lessons, and art-studio classes.

Note: Please refer to the Standards of Satisfactory Academic Progress for Financial Aid Eligibility catalog page to review how numerous attempts at a course may affect financial aid eligibility. Students receiving VA Education benefits should contact a VA Specialist prior to repeating any coursework.

Duplicate Course Registrations in the Same Semester

Students can be enrolled in only one section of a class (e.g., CWI 101, ENGL 101) at a time. Intentional and unintentional registrations for duplicate courses and not permitted within the same semester. The Registrar's Office will monitor duplicate registrations and will administratively drop students from duplicate courses.  Students will be notified when administrative drops occur.

Class Attendance and Participation

CWI recognizes that regular attendance is the student’s responsibility. Regular attendance and active participation not only contribute to a student's academic success but may have a significant impact on eligibility to receive federal financial aid and/or Veteran Affairs (VA) educational benefits. 

Beginning of the Course

Instructors are required to verify attendance by the drop/refund deadline (census date) for the course. Refer to the academic calendar for specific dates based on course start date and length. To avoid being administratively dropped from a class, a student must establish a record of attendance and participation by the course census date. A record of attendance is established by students doing any one of the following (20 U.S.C. § 1070g, 1091b; 34 CFR 668.22):

  • Physically attending a class where there is an opportunity for direct interaction between the instructor and students.
  • Submitting an academic assignment.
  • Taking an exam, an interactive tutorial, or computer-assisted instruction.
  • Attending a study group that is assigned by the institution.
  • Participating in an online discussion about academic matters.
  • Initiating contact with a faculty member to ask a question about the academic subject studied in the course.

Note: Logging into an online class, or supplementary electronic platform for an on-campus class, and NOT doing any of the above does not establish a record of attendance.

The Registrar shall monitor the attendance verification process, and, as reported by instructors, shall administratively drop students by the census date of the course when attendance cannot be verified.

If the student’s attendance is verified by the course census date, the student will not be administratively dropped for nonattendance. If a student stops attending after attendance has been verified, the instructor should address the attendance concerns with the student. The instructor may also submit a Care Report to request an advising referral. 

Individuals not enrolled in a particular class may not attend sessions of that class.

Note: The College must make adjustments in federal financial aid and VA benefits when a student drops a course or no longer attends and/or actively participates. These adjustments may result in students owing funds to the College, the U.S. Department of Education, and/or the Veterans Administration.

End of the Course

Instructors are required to enter the last date of attendance at the end of the semester when submitting any of the following failing/incomplete grades:

  • F – Fail
  • NP – No Pass
  • NC – No Credit
  • I - Incomplete

A grade of X – Fail (stopped attending) will be administratively assigned by the Registrar based on the last date of attendance reported by the instructor for any F – Fail grades where the student stopped attending before the end of the course. 

Note: Students must withdraw themselves if they decide not to complete any classes. Students who stop attending yet do not drop/withdraw from their classes will get failing grades (or whatever grades they earned). After 75 percent of the term has elapsed (twelfth week of the semester for fall and spring full-semester classes) students cannot initiate drops/withdrawals. Students will be issued grades after this deadline.

Attendance Policy Related to Grades

The instructor has the responsibility to determine the attendance guidelines that best promote learning in a particular course. On or before the first meeting of each class, the instructor is expected to articulate and inform students in writing via a course syllabus about specific class attendance requirements. In general, instructors should exercise fair and consistent standards in determining when to excuse an absence and/or when to provide opportunities to make up for missed exams and assessments. An excused absence or make up opportunity must be provided to students who miss class to observe a recognized religious day, to fulfill a civic responsibility (e.g., jury duty or military service), or to represent the College of Western Idaho in an official capacity (e.g., Speech and Debate Tournament in which you are competing).

Examinations

Any student absent from a written test shall be regarded as having failed that test. However, if such absence is caused by some unavoidable, extenuating circumstance, the instructor shall give a comparable test to the student at a later date. The burden of proof for extenuating circumstances lies with the student and final determination is made by the instructor.