ATC Catalog

Aiken Technical College

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Academic Policies

Aiken Technical College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award associate degrees. Upon successful completion of program requirements, ATC awards the Associate in Arts degree, the Associate in Science degree, Associate in Applied Science degrees as well as diplomas and certificates.

Education Division

ATC Education Division

Core Educational Outcomes

Aiken Technical College endorses and promotes the following core educational outcomes for all degree and diploma students:

  1. Graduates will demonstrate effective oral communication skills.
  2. Graduates will demonstrate effective written communication skills.
  3. Graduates will solve problems using critical thinking skills and formulate strategies to identify, collect, analyze, develop, and evaluate information.
  4. Graduates will demonstrate quantitative skills and analysis appropriate to their area of study.

Degree, Major and Emphasis or Concentration

The following definitions are offered for clarification:

  • Degree: A broad area of study within a specialization
  • Major: A general area of study within a specialization
  • Emphasis or Concentration: A more specific area of study within a specialization

Advanced Standing

A student who has had similar or equal educational experiences to those required in ATC’s curricula may be granted advanced standing upon approval of the courses for transfer and the successful completion of required exemption examinations. Aiken Technical College also offers advanced standing based on The America Council on Education (ACE)recommendations.

Advanced Placement Tests

ATC accepts results from the College Level Examination Program (CLEP), DANTES (DSST), International Baccalaureate (IB) and the Advanced Placement (AP) tests for advanced placement and exemption of classes.

The College Board (AP), DANTES, and Education Testing Service (CLEP) provide guidelines for awarding credit based on their respective tests. These guidelines are followed by ATC in awarding credit.

International Baccalaureate Credit (IB)

Aiken Technical College will award credit for completion of an IB course with an examination grade of “4” or higher. IB courses taught through the Advanced Placement program (AP) will require a score of “3” or better on the AP examination. Students should notify Enrollment Services that they have earned these scores in order for the Enrollment Services Center to officially post their credit(s).

For each level of credit to be awarded, a specific course prefix and number are listed as an exemption on the student’s transcript. The college updates the list of scores as new information is received from the testing agencies. The student must achieve the following scores to receive college credit:

Advanced Placement Test Score Requirements
Test Score
American History 3
American Government/Politics 3
Art History 3
Biology 3
Calculus AB 3
Calculus BC 3
Chemistry 3
Computer Science 3
Computer Science: A 3
Computer Science: AB 3
English Language & Comp 3
English Lit. & Comp 3
European History 3
Government & Politics (US) 3
Macroeconomics 3
Microeconomics 3
Math: Calculus AB 3
Microeconomics 3
Physics B 3
Physics C: Elec. & Mag 3
Physics C: Mechanics 3
Psychology 3
Spanish Language 3
Spanish Literature 3
Statistics 3
United States History 3
World History 3

CLEP Test Score Requirements

ATC Course CLEP Exam Score Credits
CHM 110 Gen. Chemistry 50 4
CPT 101 Info. Systems & Computer Appl 50 3
ECO 210 Principles of Macroeconomics 50 3
ECO 211 Principles of Microeconomics 50 3
ENG 101 Freshman College Composition 50 3
ENG 102 Analysis & Inter. of Literature 50 3
ENG 205 English Lit. 50 3
FRE 101 Level I French Language 50 4
FRE 101 & 102 Level II French Language 52 8
GER 101 Level I German Language 50 4
GER 101 & 102 Level II German Language 52 8
HIS 101 Western Civ. I 50 3
HIS 102 Western Civ. II 50 3
HIS 201 History of U.S. I 50 3
HIS 202 History of the U.S. II 50 3
MAT 110 Algebra 50 3
MAT 111 Trigonometry 50 3
MAT 140 Calculus w/ Elem. Functions 50 4
MGT 101 Principles of Management 50 3
MKT 101 Principles of Marketing 50 3
PSC 201 American Gov’t. 50 3
PSY 201 Intro. Psychology 50 3
PSY 203 Human Growth & Development 50 3
PSY 210 Educational Psychology 50 3
SOC 101 Intro. Sociology 50 3

Dantes (DSST) Test Score Requirements

ATC Course DSST Exam Title Criterion-Referenced Cut Score Norm-Referenced Cut Scores Credits
ACC 101 Principles of Financial Accounting n/a 47 3
ART 101 Art of the Western World 400 n/a 3
AST 101 Astronomy 400 n/a 3
BUS 140 Business Math 400 48 3
BUS 225 Business Ethics & Society 400 n/a 3
CPT 101 Introduction to Computing 400 45 3
CRJ 101 Criminal Justice 400 49 3
CRJ 130 Introduction to Law Enforcement 400 n/a 3
ENG 160 Technical Writing 400 46 3
HIS 102 Western Europe Since 1945 n/a 45 3
MAT 110 Fundamentals of College Algebra 400 47 3
MAT 120 Principles of Statistics 400 48 3
MGT 150 Principles of Supervision 400 46 3
MGT 201 Human Resources Management 400 46 3
MGT 240 Organizational Behavior 400 48 3
PHI 110 Ethics in America 400 46 3
PSY 203 Lifespan Dev. Psychology 400 46 3
REL 103 Introduction to World Religions 400 48 3
SPC 205 Principles of Public Speaking 400 47 3

Institutional Credit By Exam

Where approved by the department chair, students may take exemption exams for courses in subject matter they believe they have already mastered. Students must apply to the department chair and pay the required fee of $30 before taking the exemption exam. If the request is denied or the student does not pass the exam, the student must take the course to obtain credit. The exam fee is non-refundable.

Technical Advanced Placement (TAP)

Qualified students in certain academic programs may receive Technical Advanced Placement (TAP) credit for approved courses completed in high school. Information about TAP credit is available through the Enrollment Services Center and academic program faculty.

The American Council on Education

Aiken Technical College awards credit based on ACE recommendations. A student must have an official evaluation of their prior learning or workforce training sent directly to the Enrollment Services Center for our evaluation and posting of credit. The acceptance of credit will follow the same criteria as transferring credits from a previous college to Aiken Technical College.


ATC Advisement Academic advisement is an essential component of each ATC student’s achievement of his or her educational, career, and personal goals. This achievement is accomplished through the utilization of a full range of college and community resources. To be successful, each student must establish a positive rapport with his or her advisor. Together, the student and advisor will develop a program completion plan which will lead to graduation.

To successfully complete an academic program at ATC, each student should be aware that advisees (students) have a number of responsibilities. Advisees must:

  1. State and explain personal goals, values, abilities, inabilities, and interests.
  2. Contact the assigned advisor periodically to keep the lines of communication open and to keep the advisor aware of changes, problems, etc.
  3. Make appointments for advisement and registration as early as possible to get the classes desired and keep all scheduled appointments. As a courtesy, we ask that advisees always call if canceling an appointment and reschedule if needed.
  4. Become aware of the College’s policies and procedures as outlined in the ATC Student Handbook.
  5. Bring all essential documents and materials needed for advisement and scheduling.
  6. Accept responsibility for all decisions regarding career, educational and personal goals.

Attendance Requirements for Satisfactory Progress

It is the policy of Aiken Technical College to encourage and support student academic achievement and progress by adopting an 80 percent minimum attendance policy for all credit classes. The calculation of absences begins with the date of the first class meeting. (The only exception to this requirement is in those courses which permit enrollment on an ongoing basis.)

  1. One absence is defined as failing to attend one hour of class or lab. For example, if a class meets two hours per day and a student misses one of those hours, then he or she is charged with one absence.
  2. A student should attend all class and lab meetings. Individual faculty members are authorized to set attendance standards higher than the 80 percent minimum to reflect the needs and objectives of a given course. It is the student’s responsibility to see the instructor about missed work.
  3. Withdrawals: The student is responsible for contacting his or her instructor(s) and asking to be withdrawn online. Disciplinary and administrative withdrawal cases are exceptions.
  4. Violation(s) of attendance requirements may change the eligibility of the student for financial aid or veterans benefits.

Auditing Courses

A student who desires to attend classes regularly but does not wish to take examinations or receive grades or credit may register as an audit student. The decision to be an audit student must be made at the time of registration and approved by the faculty member. Once the class has started, the status cannot be changed.

Once a student has enrolled to audit a course, he or she cannot take the course for credit or vice versa within the same semester. An audit student may choose whether to participate in class discussions and take tests. An audit student must pay the same fees charged to students taking the class for credit.

Changing Schedules

A student may change schedules through the add/drop period each semester.

To drop a course during the add/drop period, the student may use MyATC Portal or visit the Enrollment Services Center. To add a course during the add/drop period, the student may need approval from the course instructor, Department Chair, or Dean.

Course Exemptions

Exemption exams (Institutional Credit by Exam) are available for any student who wishes to avoid repeating subject matter which has already been mastered. A student seeking to exempt courses for which he/she has not already registered must complete an Exemption Exam Request Form available through the Enrollment Services Center. If the exam request is approved by the department chair, a $30 fee will be charged for the exam. Upon the successful completion of the exam under supervision, a grade of "E" will be entered on the student's transcript for the class exempted. If the student does not pass the exemption exam, he or she must enroll through normal procedures in order to receive credit. See "Advanced Standing"

Exemption After Enrollment in a Course

Students already enrolled in a course are also eligible for possible course exemption. A student in this category must request and complete an exemption exam from the instructor before the fifth day of the semester. If the instructor deems such an exam appropriate, they will establish a time, date, and location for the examination prior to the end of the add/drop period and report the results on the standard Course Exemption form. If the student successfully completes the exemption exam, a grade of “E” will be assigned. The grade of “E” is not calculated in the student’s grade point average. No grade is assigned if the student fails the exemption exam. Students failing will be required to remain enrolled in the course for the regular semester length to receive credit for the course. Students who exempt a course or courses in which they have already enrolled and paid their fees and do not elect to add another course will not be eligible for a full refund and may have their financial aid award reduced accordingly.

Grade Point Average

A grade point average (GPA) is maintained for each credit student. The grade point average is determined by dividing the sum of the grade points earned for each course by the total number of credit hours attempted.

A program GPA of 2.0 is required for graduation. To determine GPA, numerical value grade points are assigned to final grades as follows:

A = 4 points
B = 3 points
C = 2 points
D = 1 point
F = 0 points

To determine the GPA based on the four-point system used by ATC, use the following steps: Write down the courses taken and the grade achieved in each course. Multiply the number of credit hours by the points for each grade earned to determine the quality points for each class. (A = 4, B=3, C=2, D=1, F=0, WF=0) Total the quality points (grade points). Total the credit hours. Divide the quality points (grade points) by the number of credit hours.


PSY 201 3 C(2) = 6
ENG 101 3 B(3) = 9
BIO 101 4 A(4) = 16
HIS 202 3 D(1) = 3
ECO 210 3 F(0) = 0
16 34

In this example, the student’s GPA for the semester is 2.12 (34 divided by 16). The cumulative GPA represents the grade point average for all the credit hours the student has pursued. A student can calculate his or her cumulative GPA simply by totaling the number of courses and quality points (grade points) earned in all semesters at ATC, then dividing the total quality points by the total number of credits pursued (See calculation above).


Aiken Technical College students are awarded one of the following grades for each course in which they are officially enrolled based on the stated criteria:

  1. A* - Represents excellent work as demonstrated by ability to master course content. “A” is used in GPA calculations, earns credit hours, and carries a value of four grade points for each credit hour.
  2. B* - Represents above average work as demonstrated by mastery of a significant portion of course content. “B” is used in GPA calculations, earns credit hours, and carries a value of three grade points for each credit hour.
  3. C* - Represents satisfactory work as demonstrated by an average mastery of course content. “C” is used in GPA calculations, earns credit hours, and carries a value of two grade points for each credit hour.
  4. D* - Represents work which is below average and shows a minimum comprehension of course content. “D” is used in GPA calculations, earns credit hours, and carries a value of one grade point for each credit hour.
  5. F*- Represents a failure to meet minimum course objectives. “F” is used in GPA calculations, earns no credit hours, and carries zero grade points for each credit hour attempted.
  6. I - Represents “Incomplete” and is assigned at the discretion of the faculty member when a student has made satisfactory progress toward meeting the course requirements but (a) has not satisfactorily completed a final project or assignment, (b) has not taken and/or passed all required tests and has been given the option of a makeup test, or (c) has missed the final exam for an acceptable reason but has not made up the exam by the time grades are due. An “I” does not affect GPA calculations, earns no credit hours, generates no grade points, and defaults to “F” automatically after one semester unless the instructor denotes a different grade. It is the student’s responsibility to resolve an “I” grade prior to the end of the following semester.
  7. E - Represents “Exempt” and is used when a student passes an AP, CLEP, DANTES, IB or exemption exam for a particular course, or demonstrates proficiency in the skills or content to be mastered in that course through continuing education credits (CEUs), work experience, experiential or military experience training. “E” is not used in GPA calculations and does not generate grade points but does earn credit hours.
  8. TR - Represents “Transfer Credit” and is assigned for allowable equivalent credit earned at other colleges for which a minimum grade of “C” was earned. “TR” is not used in GPA calculations and generates no grade points but does earn credit hours.
  9. AU - Represents “Audit” and is not used in GPA calculations, earns no credit hours, and carries no grade points.
  10. U - Represents “Unsatisfactory” and denotes unsatisfactory progress in a Continuing Education course. “U” does not affect GPA calculations, earns no credit hours or Continuing Education Units (CEUs), and generates no grade points.
  11. W - Represents “Withdrawn” and is used in either of the following cases: (a) a student withdraws after the end of the add/drop period but on or before the midterm date or (b) a student withdraws from classes after midterm because of extenuating circumstances and is passing those classes in which he or she is enrolled. “W” is not used in GPA calculations, earns no credit hours, and carries zero grade points for each credit attempted.
  12. WF - Represents “Withdrawn Failing” and may be used when a student is failing and formally withdraws from a class after midterm. “WF” is used in GPA calculations, earns no credit hours, and carries zero grade points for each credit hour attempted.

* Note: Grades awarded for transitional studies courses will not be used in GPA calculations. A guide to calculating GPA is in the Student Handbook.

Dean's List

Both full- and part-time students who are in college credit degree, diploma or certificate programs and who meet specified criteria are eligible for the Dean’s List.

A student must meet the following criteria:

  1. Complete a minimum of nine (transitional) semester hours for credit courses;
  2. Achieve a minimum 3.50 grade point average.

Note: A student who receives a final grade of “I,” “F,” “WF” or “W” in the semester is not eligible for the Dean’s List.

This notification comes from the Enrollment Services Office after grades are received each semester.

Review of Student Grades (Appeals)

The assignment of grades should be based on information provided in the course syllabus; therefore, grades are given at the discretion of the faculty member. Students must seek a review of their assigned grade through the faculty member, department chair, dean, and Vice President of Education and Training.

It is the policy of Aiken Technical College to permit a student to request a grade review if they feel justified in contesting a final grade received in a course taken for credit at Aiken Technical College.


ATC Graduation Commencement exercises to award degrees, diplomas, and certificates are held annually on campus. A student is eligible for graduation when he/she completes the requirements for a degree, diploma or certificate. The student must complete an Application for Graduation and turn in the form to the Enrollment Services Center by the deadline for the appropriate semester.

Graduation Requirements

All students who expect to receive a degree, diploma or certificate from Aiken Technical College must complete a number of requirements.

Specific course requirements for each major are defined later in this catalog. Regardless of the level of award, all students must meet the following requirements:

  1. Complete all general education requirements specified for the award.
  2. Complete all program credit hours.
  3. Complete all academic course credit with a minimum of a cumulative 2.0 program grade point average (GPA).
  4. Complete all residency requirements (courses taken at ATC) as specified for each award. A student must take and earn a minimum of 25 percent of credits required for graduation from a degree, diploma or certificate program of study at Aiken Technical College. Regardless of the comparability of courses and the number of courses successfully completed at other accredited post-secondary institutions, a student must successfully complete a minimum of three higher-level courses (as determined by the academic advisor) representative of the major program or discipline at Aiken Technical College. The total of both courses accepted for transfer and courses exempted cannot exceed 75 percent of the credits required for completion of a program.
  5. Complete all financial obligations to the college.
  6. Complete all proper applications for graduation by the established deadline.
  7. A student who achieves a cumulative 4.00 grade point average qualifies to graduate “With Highest Honors.” A student who achieves a cumulative 3.75-3.99 grade point average qualifies to graduate “With High Honors.” A student who achieves a cumulative 3.50-3.74 grade point average qualifies to graduate “With Honors.”

Repeating Courses

When a course is taken more than once, only the last grade earned for the course is calculated in the cumulative GPA.

Standards of Progress

Satisfactory Academic Progress

To remain in good standing, a student enrolled in regular curriculum classes must maintain a 2.0 grade point average (GPA). Financial aid students must also meet other Standards of Academic Progress as outlined in the “Award Terms and Conditions” brochure.

  1. Degree, Diploma and Certificate Programs: A program GPA of 2.0 is required to graduate from any degree, diploma or certificate program.
  2. Career Development: A student enrolled as Career Development (CD) must comply with the same standards of progress as described above.
  3. Transitional Education Courses: An ATC student enrolled in transitional education courses must make satisfactory academic progress in each discipline in which he or she is enrolled in order to proceed to the next course. This requires a student to earn a grade of “A,” “B” or “C” in all transitional education courses.

Academic Warning

The first time a student fails to meet academic standards (semester GPA and/or GPA below the required cutoff hours attempted), they face the following actions:

  1. The student is urged to seek study skills assistance or counseling in the Academic Success Center.
  2. The student is restricted to taking no more than twelve semester hours in the fall or spring semester (nine semester hours during the summer term).

If a student raises their semester average above the minimal standards but their cumulative GPA remains below standard, the student remains on academic warning status with the same limitations noted above.

Academic Probation

If both the semester and cumulative GPAs are still under a 2.0 GPA after one semester in academic warning status, the student faces the following actions:

  1. The student must take any needed transitional course(s).
  2. The student is limited to nine semester hours in fall or spring semester (six during summer session).
  3. The student should note the potential for suspension following the “probation” semester if they do not maintain the required GPA for the term. In addition, if either the semester or cumulative GPA remains below standard, the student will remain on probation with all of its limitations.

Academic Suspension

If both the cumulative and semester GPAs are below a 2.0 GPA after one semester in academic probation status, the student will be suspended for one semester. If the student has extenuating circumstances and wishes to appeal the one-semester suspension, he/she may appeal in writing to the Vice President of Enrollment Management or designee. A student is not immediately readmitted under normal circumstances.


  1. A letter will be sent to the student with the status and instructions for appeal.
  2. The student is prohibited from enrollment for one semester unless he/she successfully appeals(Summer term does not count as a suspended semester).

The initial decision of the designated college official regarding suspension may be further appealed to the Vice President of Enrollment Management. After consultation with the student and evaluation of the circumstances, the Vice President of Enrollment Management rules on the student’s appeal. The decision of the Vice President of Enrollment Management regarding suspension is final.

If the student is readmitted on appeal or has been readmitted after serving a semester of non-attendance, he/she will be continued/readmitted on probationary status with a limit of nine semester hours.

Academic Dismissal

If a student is readmitted to ATC and fails to maintain a 2.0 GPA during the readmission semester, he/she will be dismissed from the College.


  1. A letter will be sent to the student with the status and instructions for appeal.
  2. The student is prohibited from further academic enrollment at ATC unless readmitted on probationary status after one full year of non-attendance. See "Readmission after Suspension or Dismissal" below.

Suspension/Dismissal Appeals

Suspension or dismissal for academic reasons is based on the College’s Standards of Progress. Students in academic difficulty usually benefit from a period of time to refocus their academic pursuits, earn support funds and review career decisions. Therefore, the College will require these students to withdraw from the college for a selected period of time. Appeals of this suspension or dismissal are made to the Vice President of Enrollment Management or his/her designee.

Examples of acceptable extenuating circumstances for appealing Academic Suspension:

  1. Hospitalization for an extended period of time (doctor’s verification must be attached to appeal).
  2. Divorce/separation/family crisis causing extreme hardship (Divorce Decree, Separation Agreement, or other verifiable documents must be attached to appeal).
  3. Death or serious illness in the immediate family causing extreme hardship (a verifiable document must be attached to appeal).
  4. Other verifiable circumstances causing hardship and significantly contributing to poor academic performance (a verifiable document must be attached to the appeal).

Examples of non-acceptable circumstances for appealing Academic Suspension:

  1. A low GPA
  2. Transportation problems
  3. Changes in employment schedule
  4. Failure to withdraw officially from classes
  5. Taking too many courses or taking the wrong courses
  6. Minor illness in immediate family
  7. Childcare problems

Readmission after Suspension or Dismissal

Aiken Technical College recognizes that the circumstances of a student who has been academically suspended or dismissed may change. A student who has been academically suspended or dismissed may be readmitted after one full academic year of non-attendance.

To be readmitted, the student must appeal to the Vice President of Enrollment Management in writing, asking for an interview to explain how his/her circumstance has changed. After the student completes an interview, a decision will be made regarding the student’s request to be readmitted.

If readmitted under this policy, the student is readmitted on probationary status and can take a maximum of nine credit hours. The Student will be permanently dismissed from the College if he/she does not earn a 2.0 GPA for the semester of readmission. The student’s cumulative GPA is not adjusted upon re-entry to the College.

Withdrawal/Termination and its Effect on Satisfactory Progress for all Students Enrolled in Credit Courses

  1. The withdrawal period begins on the first day of class after the add/drop period.
  2. A student must initiate a withdrawal on or prior to the midterm date to receive a grade of “W.”
  3. A student who is failing and withdraws after the midterm date or whose last date of attendance is after the midterm date may be assigned a grade of “WF.”
  4. A student who is failing and fails to initiate a withdrawal before the final exam period receives a grade of “F” for the course.

©2018 Aiken Technical College, 2276 J. Davis Highway, Graniteville SC 29829

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