2012-2013 Catalog & Handbook 
    Dec 09, 2023  
2012-2013 Catalog & Handbook [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Academic Information

Cancellation of Classes

Southeast Tech reserves the right to cancel any scheduled class and also to combine class sections due to insufficient enrollment. In the event of a class cancellation for the semester, refunds will be issued. Information regarding Southeast’s refund for individual class drops is available from the Student Success Center.

Academic Activity

For students to receive federal financial aid, students must have academic activity. If academic activity isn’t confirmed in each class, federal financial aid will be cancelled or reduced based on the classes where academic activity is confirmed.

The United States Department of Education defines Academic Activity as:

  • Physical attendance where there is direct interaction between the instructor and student;
  • Completion and submission of an academic assignment, quiz, or exam;
  • Participation in a study group as assigned by the instructor;
  • Participation in an online discussion;
  • Initiated contact with the instructor pertaining to an academic course.

Academic Activity is NOT:

  • Logging into an online class or STInet;
  • Meeting with an academic or student success advisor.

Schedule Changes – Course Adds/Drops/Withdraws

Courses are not dropped by discontinuing attendance. Students may drop or add courses through the last day of the add/drop period online at stinet.southeasttech.edu. Once the add/drop period has expired, students must complete an add/drop form and submit it to the Student Success Center. The add/drop period applies to all courses within the semester, even courses which begin mid-semester.

A drop or termination is not considered official until it has been processed through the Registrar’s Office. Students who discontinue a course without dropping the course online before the add/drop period or completing the proper paperwork after the add/drop period will still be considered enrolled in the course and will receive failing (“F”) grades for these courses.

Courses dropped after the add/drop period has expired are not eligible for a refund, unless the student is terminating enrollment (see the Tuition Refunds – Terminating Enrollment section for more information).

Fall and Spring Semesters

The first five days of the Fall and Spring semesters mark the semester add/drop period.

Courses may be added after the first week of the semester only with the permissions of the instructor. After one week and before the close of the twelfth week of the Fall and Spring semesters students may withdraw from a course and receive a grade of “W” (withdraw) without affecting their grade point average. No withdrawal will be permitted during the last four weeks of the semester (last two weeks for courses running for 8 weeks).

Late Start Courses (All Semesters)

Students who do not drop late start classes (traditional, hybrid or online) during the add/drop period of any semester will be required to pay for these courses. Late start courses are any courses with a start date after the semester’s add/drop period.

Summer Semesters

Summer I session generally runs the month of May.
Summer II session generally runs from early May to the end of July.
Summer III session generally runs from early June to the end of July.

Courses dropped during the first two days of the Summer I session (add/drop period) will not appear on the student’s transcript. Students may withdraw from a Summer I class and receive a grade of “W” through the ninth day of the class. No withdrawal from a Session I class is permitted after the ninth day of the class.

Courses dropped during the first five days (add/drop period) of the Summer II and Summer III semesters will not appear on the student’s transcript.

After the first week and prior to the last two weeks of the Summer II and Summer III sessions, students may withdraw from a course and receive a grade of “W” (withdraw) without affecting their grade point average. No withdraw will be permitted during the last two weeks of the Summer II and Summer III sessions.

Student Withdrawal – Terminating Enrollment

Students planning to withdraw completely from the school either temporarily or permanently are required to complete a “Student Termination Form.” Refunds are based on the Tuition Refund Process (following section). A student who terminates enrollment will automatically be dropped from all pre-registered courses for the following semester.

Students wishing to re-enroll at a later date are required to complete a new application for admission.

Tuition Refunds – Terminating Enrollment

Southeast Tech realizes that students may find it necessary to terminate their education prior to the end of a given academic term. The institution is required to establish a fair and equitable refund process. The following applies to all students who completely withdraw from Southeast Tech. The process is effective for all terms (including summer school) and evening courses, and applies whether a student is a full-time student or a part-time student.

Students must complete a termination form and submit it to the Student Success Center in order to terminate enrollment. The date the form is received by the Registrar’s Office will be regarded as the student’s last day of attendance.

Students completely withdrawing from all coursework during the add/drop period will receive a 100% refund on tuition and fees, with the exclusion of some certification or testing fees.

Students completely withdrawing from all coursework after the add/drop period has expired will have refunds of tuition and fees calculated based on the date the termination form was received in the Registrar’s Office. See the Business Office in Room 204 of the Mickelson Building for a refund schedule. (See the Calculation of Refunds and Earned Financial Aid section for more information.)

Note: Students receiving an earned grade for any course during the semester are not eligible for a refund.

If the proper paperwork is not completed, the student is still responsible for full payment of the course and all courses will be graded accordingly. Students completing and submitting the proper termination paperwork in the time frame indicated in the “Schedule Changes - Course Adds/Drops/Withdraws” section will receive withdrawal grades (“W”) for all courses for the semester. Letter grades will be issued for all course withdrawals outside the time frame in the “Schedule Changes - Course Adds/Drops/Withdraws” section.

Unofficial Withdraws

Students who leave Southeast Tech without completing the required termination paperwork and have all unearned failing grades are considered “unofficial withdraws.” (Unearned failing grades are determined by STI based upon the student’s last day of attendance. Students are considered to have earned a failing grade if student attendance in any course occurs beyond the 60% mark date for the semester or if the student has attended at least 60% of an accelerated course.) Unofficial withdraws will receive failing grades for all their coursework and their withdrawal date will be considered the midpoint of the semester. A 50% refund for unofficial withdrawals will be applied. A Return of Title IV funds will be calculated and federal funds will be sent back to the Department of Education.

Please note: When an unofficial withdraw is applied, STI has the right to bill the student for the federal funds that are sent back to the Department of Education. Also note that students who receive at least one A, B, C, D, P or I grade in a given semester will not be considered an unofficial withdraw for that semester.

Re-entry of Withdrawn Students

Students who have withdrawn from enrollment in a Southeast Tech program and would like to be reinstated as a student are required to submit an Application for Admission form.

The student’s Southeast Tech academic record and financial standing with the institute will be reviewed prior to acceptance. Students who were previously suspended from a program, did not show satisfactory progress in a program, violated Southeast Tech policies or state or federal laws, or have an outstanding financial obligation to the institute may be denied acceptance or be required to take additional coursework before or after program acceptance. Re-entry students are subject to being placed on a waiting list if their chosen program is full.

Calculation of Refunds & Earned Financial Aid

See Financial Aid  section for more details.

Hybrid/Accelerated/Late Start/Online Classes

If a student’s course schedule determined after the add/drop period includes late start, accelerated, or online classes, the student will be charged in full for these courses regardless of attendance or if the student drops the course before the course begins.

Besides traditional in-class courses that require student attendance on campus for the full semester of the course, Southeast Tech also offers various courses using the following structures:

Hybrid: A combination of meetings with the instructor and “on your own” assignments and reading. Classroom meeting time is reduced, requiring students to complete more work outside of class. In addition, interaction via electronic means such as email and the STInet LMS is utilized.

Accelerated Learning: Classes meet a reduced number of weeks, or hours per week. The pace of the class is accelerated, requiring class work to be completed in fewer weeks, or in less time per week. Both instructor/class interaction and interaction via the STInet LMS and/or email is used.

Online: No in-person class meetings are held. Tests could be proctored per instructor choice. Learning may be over the entire semester or accelerated. Interaction between instructor and students and between students takes place via electronic means such as email and the STInet LMS.

Students must be self-motivated and have a computer at home with a broadband Internet connection to take online or hybrid courses. Students should also consider their learning styles when deciding upon a course structure that fits them best. Most Accelerated Learning, and all Hybrid and Online courses require the use of a computer meeting STI specifications.

Credit Hour Definition

Southeast Tech defines a traditional credit hour over a 16 week semester to be one 50-minute period per week for a lecture credit hour and a minimum of two 50-minute periods per week for a lab credit hour, with an expectation of two to three hours of outside work performed by the student for each credit hour. Southeast Tech defines the expected student learning outcomes for each course through its course syllabi. Achievement of these learning outcomes is verified through various assessments – tests, quizzes, portfolios, assignments, etc.

For alternate delivery formats, including online, hybrid and accelerated courses where traditional in-class hours are reduced, the expected learning outcomes of the students are equivalent to the expected learning outcomes of the regular credit hour courses. Student expectations for outside work, however, increase to include the reduced in-class hours of lecture and/or lab hours associated with the course. Achievement of the learning outcomes is verified through various assessments – tests, quizzes, portfolios, assignments, chats, videos, etc. Students have equivalent access to courses, course information, instructors, etc. through the Southeast Tech LMS system.

Southeast Tech assures that all courses, regardless of delivery method, provide the same level of instruction through the following:

  • Professional development of faculty regarding alternative delivery formats
  • Curriculum review process including alternative delivery formats
  • Development of Southeast Tech courses by Southeast Tech faculty
  • Review of courses by Southeast Tech academic administrators
  • Student evaluation of courses
  • Faculty evaluations by academic administrators
  • Supervision of and assurance by the Vice President of Academics that the credit hour requirements are followed appropriately

Changing Your Program of Study

Students who wish to be considered for a different program of study after starting school must complete a “Program Transfer Form” which is available in the Student Success Center. After a review of admission qualifications and determination of program capacity, a program transfer may be granted.

Repeating a Course to Raise the Grade

If a student repeats any course, the student may petition the Registrar’s Office to apply only the highest grade in calculating the cumulative grade point average. Both letter grades will remain on the transcript, but the highest grade earned will be calculated in the cumulative grade point average. It is the student’s responsibility to request only the highest grade be used in the calculation. Credits and grade points earned for the lower grade cannot be counted toward graduation. The Pell Grant is not available for repeat courses.

Military Service – Withdrawal Without Penalty

Students required to withdraw from Southeast Tech before completing a semester may receive credit and refund privileges if the following conditions are met:

  • The individual is a regularly enrolled student
  • He/she belongs to a military unit called for duty, or is drafted (not eligible for deferment).
  • Deployment activation paperwork must be provided to the Registrar.
  • Class attendance will continue until the last practical day before reporting for duty as determined by Southeast Technical Institute.

An eligible student who is required to report for military duty not earlier than four calendar weeks prior to the date a semester ends, or after completion of at least 75 percent of an extension enrollment, will be given full credit for all courses or lessons of which he/she has an average of “C” or better. An eligible student who receives credit for any course for which he/she is enrolled will not be entitled to any refund of tuition or fees paid for the privilege of pursuing such course. An eligible student who does not receive credit for a course or lesson in which he/she is enrolled will be entitled to a full refund of tuition and academic fees.

Students who have applied and been accepted to Southeast Tech but are unable to attend Southeast Tech due to military service are required to submit a new application for admission for the following year and will be placed in the program or at the top of any wait list.

Academic Records

A transcript is a record of courses taken and the credits, grades, and grade points earned at Southeast Tech. Also listed on the transcript are credits transferred from other institutions or gained through Advanced Standing.

Transcripts are usually required when students are applying for scholarships, jobs, or when applying for admission to another school. Southeast Tech students are encouraged to review their transcripts and to keep their own records of courses, credits, and grades for work completed. Students may receive a copy of their official Southeast Tech transcript by ordering a transcript online through getmytranscript.com. Current students may also print out unofficial transcripts at stinet.southeasttech.edu.

All current and former students of Southeast Tech are entitled to copies of transcripts of their work at Southeast Tech, unless the student has an outstanding obligation to Southeast Tech. Transcript information cannot be provided over the phone.

STI will not release high school transcripts or other post-secondary transcripts to students.

President’s List

Each semester a President’s List is published identifying students enrolled full-time who showed exemplary scholarship ability. Students must have a semester grade point average of 3.5 or higher to qualify for the President’s List.

Academic Probation

All students accepted into a program of study who have taken 12 or more credits and have not maintained a 2.0 cumulative grade point average will be placed on academic probation. Probation is an indication that the student is performing below accepted levels established by the school and industry. Any student placed on academic probation will have one semester to raise their performance. Failure to achieve a 2.0 cumulative grade point average or to make satisfactory progress toward a 2.0 cumulative grade point average may result in termination from school. See also the Financial Aid Warning, Probation, and Suspension rules.

Strategies for Academic Success Class

Students placed for the first time on financial aid warning or probation or academic probation are required to take and pass Southeast Tech’s Strategies for Success course in order to remain a Southeast student. Students who do not take the course and students who fail the course may be permanently removed from their program and from attending STI. STI will automatically register the student for the course. The Strategies for Success course credits cannot be used in the calculation for full time/part time status for financial aid purposes.

Student Progress Reports/Midterm Grades

Once each semester instructors will note in STInet student midterm grades. This information will then be shared with Academic and Student Success Advisors to better inform the advisors on the progress of their students.

Grading System

Students will be graded for each course. A grade report will be issued at the end of each semester and placed on the student’s transcript. If an incomplete (“I”) is received for the reporting period, all work must be made up within four weeks or the “I” will automatically become an “F” grade.

Definition of letter and points assigned are as follows:

A-Superior 4 points  
B-Above Average 3 points  
C-Average 2 points  
D-Below Average 1 point  
F-Failing No points  
I-Incomplete No points  
CR-Credit. No points  
P-Passing No points  
W-Withdraw No points  
AU-Audit No points  
AR-HS Articulation No points  
NC-No Credit No points  

*Grades cannot be provided to any student or any third party over the phone.

Exempting a Course in Calculating GPA

  • A student who has changed an area of study and has successfully completed a minimum of twelve credit hours in the new area with a grade average of “C” or better, may petition to exempt the “D” or “F” coursework accumulated in the student’s former major, minor, specialization, or career program in calculating grade point average.
  • The choice of courses to exempt is the responsibility of the student with the recommendation of the new program advisor and the approval of the Registrar.
  • The student must petition for exemption in writing not later than one full semester prior to intended graduation.
  • Exempted courses referred to above will be left on the transcript but marked to indicate that hours and grades were not used in computing graduation requirements (grade point average and hours needed to graduate).

Transferring Credits and COMPASS Scores to Other Schools

Students who wish to transfer credits to another institution should contact the Admissions Office of that school for an evaluation of their Southeast Tech transcript.

Southeast Tech courses are designed to prepare students to enter the work force. Acceptance of these courses for credit at other post-secondary institutions is strictly the function of the receiving institution. Southeast Tech does not guarantee the transfer of credits earned to other post-secondary institutions. Students who wish to transfer credits to a South Dakota public university should contact the Admissions Office of the desired university for an evaluation of their program objectives and technical institute transcript. An individual evaluation of course credits will be made by the receiving public university in accordance with institutional and Board of Regents policy.

Southeast Tech students who wish to transfer their Compass test scores to another institution should contact the ACT center at 605.367.6014. A $7 handling charge is required for all requests for COMPASS, TEAS, HOBET, or STEP test results.

Note: Students who wish to take the COMPASS for purposes of attending another school will be assessed a $35 fee.

Grade Changes

No grade changes are allowed after one year of the semester the course was taken.

Challenging a Grade

A student who believes he or she has received an inaccurate grade must immediately notify the Registrar’s Office of a discrepancy. (A challenge to a grade must take place within one calendar year of grade issuance. A grade cannot be contested after one year has passed.)

A student may challenge a grade based on two criteria:

  • Clerical or administrative error
  • The instructor assigned the grade in a manner inconsistent with the criteria stated in the course syllabus

If the grade is found not to be a clerical error, the student must schedule a meeting with the faculty member to attempt to resolve the grade dispute. If the student is not satisfied with the disposition of his or her grade appeal, the student has the option to request a review of the grade by the Vice President of Academics. The decision of the Vice President of Academics is final.