2015-2016 Catalog and Handbook 
    Jul 19, 2024  
2015-2016 Catalog and 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.


Attendance in all courses is considered critical at Southeast Technical Institute. Academic success and student learning are closely related to attendance and participation.

Mandatory attendance requirements may be required in specific programs.

Each instructor will include on the course syllabus the attendance requirements for that class. Because courses differ in design, delivery, and requirements, the effect of absences on a student’s grade may vary.

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.

Hybrid/Accelerated/Late Start/Online Classes

If a student’s course schedule determined after the 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 traditional 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.

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 www.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.

Southeast Tech 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 the student’s program or the institute. See also Financial Aid Warning, Probation, and Suspension rules.  

Academic Recovery Course

Students placed for the first time on financial aid warning or probation or academic probation are required to take and pass Southeast Tech’s Academic Recovery 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 Southeast Tech. Southeast Tech will automatically register the student for the course. Failure to attend the course on a regular basis will result in the removal of the student from Southeast Tech as an administrative withdraw. The Academic Recovery 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 is available to students through STInet and will 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. Grades 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).

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.

Advisory Committees

Advisory Committees from business and industry represent a strong partnership Southeast Tech enjoys with regional business leaders and the Sioux Falls community. These committees are typically comprised of six to twelve representatives, who regularly meet with program instructors and administration to discuss current job market trends, recent developments in industry, task competencies for courses, equipment selection, and student performance. As resource persons, these committee members provide the most direct and up-to-date index of the marketplace. Committee members also serve as classroom speakers and judges for student organizations. In addition, advisory members facilitate the assessment process by functioning as external panels/readers. This education/business partnership ensures validity of task competencies and measures the effectiveness of the Institute’s mission.