Academic Progress, Probation & Probation Appeal Process

In general, students at MiraCosta College are expected to select courses wisely. After preliminary adjustments in programs—usually completed within the first two weeks of a regular term—the student is expected to complete the courses chosen.

At times, for a variety of reasons, students either do poorly in course work or withdraw from courses prior to completion. This policy has identified the point at which a student is felt to be operating below a satisfactory level.

Note: Students should contact the Financial Aid Office regarding academic progress requirements for federal aid eligibility. Different requirements will apply.

Academic and Progress Probation

Academic and progress probation policies apply to college-credit students only.

Academic probation—A student shall be placed on academic probation if the student has attempted a minimum of 12 semester units resulting in an evaluative grade and has a grade point average of less than a "C" (2.0).

Progress probation—A student shall be placed on progress probation if the student attempted a total of at least 12 semester units and 50 percent or more of units attempted resulted in grades of "W"—withdrawal,"I"—incomplete, "NC"—no credit, or "NP"—no pass.

Academic and progress probation are calculated for the spring and fall semesters on the basis of the student's enrollment after the deadline to drop without a "W." Summer grades are included in overall calculations for the spring and fall semesters. Probation is posted on the student's permanent record.

The Admissions and Records Office shall make every reasonable effort to notify a student of academic and progress probation in a timely manner. Upon notification of probation, the student shall be directed to see a counselor prior to the next registration period to discuss ways in which the student can overcome academic deficiencies. Information on support services and appeal procedures will be included in the notification.

Removal from Probation

A student on academic probation for a grade point deficiency shall be removed from probation when the student's cumulative grade point average is 2.0 or higher.

A student on progress probation because of an excess of units for which entries of "W," "I," "NC," and "NP" are recorded shall be removed from probation when the percentage of units in this category drops below 50 percent.

Removal indicates no academic or progress probation notations for the successful term and does not mean removal of previous notations.

Academic and Progress Dismissal

At the end of each semester, a student who is on academic probation after two consecutively enrolled semesters shall be subject to dismissal  if the student earned a cumulative grade point average of less than 2.0 in all units attempted.

At the end of each semester, a student who has been placed on progress probation shall be subject to dismissal  if the percentage of units in which the student has been enrolled for which entries of "W"—withdrawal, "I"—incomplete, "NC"—no credit, or "NP"—no pass are recorded in at least two consecutive semesters reaches or exceeds 50 percent. (Summer intersession is not considered a consecutive term or semester.)

For the purpose of dismissal, semesters shall be considered consecutive on the basis of the student's enrollment after the deadline to drop without a "W," so long as the break in the student's enrollment does not exceed one full primary term. Dismissal is posted on the student's permanent record.

Notification of Dismissal

The Admissions and Records Office shall make every reasonable effort to notify a student of academic and progress dismissal in a timely manner.

Upon notification of dismissal, the student shall be directed to sit out for one regular semester, consult with a counselor to determine whether the reasons that led to the dismissal have been sufficiently corrected to enable improved performance and submit a new credit application upon return to the college. Information on support services and appeal procedures will be included in the notification.

Fall Dismissals 

Special circumstances exist for dismissals after the fall semester due to the fact that students enroll prior to fall grades becoming available.

  1. A student who is enrolled in the subsequent spring semester will be permitted to continue on probation without submitting an appeal. Dismissal status will be reevaluated at the end of the spring semester.
  2. A student who is not enrolled in the subsequent spring semester has the right to appeal by submitting a petition to the Committee on Exceptions. Students who have not enrolled in the spring will be dismissed unless their petition is approved.

Spring Dismissals

  1. A student who is enrolled in the subsequent summer intersession will be permitted to continue on probation without submitting an appeal for the summer only.
  2. A student who is enrolled in the subsequent fall semester has the right to appeal by submitting a petition to the Committee on Exceptions. Provided the petition is approved, the student will be permitted to continue on probation for the fall semester; otherwise, the student will be removed from classes for the fall.

Reinstatement Following Dismissal

A student who has been dismissed for academic and/or progress reasons may be reinstated when the student (a) does not attend for one primary semester (fall/spring), and (b) consults with a counselor to determine whether the reasons that led to dismissal have been corrected sufficiently to enable improved performance.

Students who believe their dismissal should be put aside after being notified of dismissal must immediately petition the Committee on Exceptions. It is the student's responsibility to indicate on the petition a clear statement of the grounds on which continued enrollment should be granted and to provide evidence supporting the reasons.

The decision of the Committee on Exceptions will be communicated to the student in writing by the dean of Counseling and Student Development. The student may appeal the decision of the Committee on Exceptions in writing to the vice president of Student Services or designee within 30 days of the date of notification of the decision of the Committee on Exceptions. The decision of the vice president is final.

If the dismissal appeal is granted, the student will be continued on probation for an additional semester. At the end of the additional semester, the student's academic record will again be evaluated to determine whether the student may be removed from probation, should be dismissed, or should be continued on probation.

Disqualification of Veterans Affairs Educational Benefits

When a veteran student or benefit-receiving dependent is placed on academic or progress probation for a second consecutive semester (not including summer session), the student becomes ineligible to receive veterans benefits for any subsequent semesters until the student has earned academic “good standing” by earning a 2.0 grade point average or above and falls below the 50 percent threshold for total withdrawals (W), incompletes (I), no credit (NC), and no pass (NP), regardless of the number of units completed. After two consecutive semesters on probation, MiraCosta College’s probation and dismissal policy may allow a veteran to enroll for another term, but the Department of Veterans Affairs will not allow certification for benefits. Students who are academically dismissed have possible options for reinstatement for enrollment purposes, but again, will not be eligible for benefits until the overall grade point average for MiraCosta College courses meets or exceeds 2.0 grade point average and the percentage of withdrawals, incompletes, no credits, or no-pass grades is less than 50 percent for all MiraCosta College courses combined.

Students who are disqualified from receiving Veterans Affairs educational benefits may appeal the disqualification to the Veterans Education Benefits Disqualification Committee and seek restoration of eligibility for benefits for any of the following reasons:

  1. The immediately preceding semester MiraCosta College grade point average has improved significantly.
  2. Documented extenuating circumstances beyond the control of the student.
  3. The combined grade point average from MiraCosta College and other regionally accredited institutions of higher education, for coursework completed after disqualification, meets or exceeds district academic standards.

Committee on Exceptions

The Committee on Exceptions deals with the occasional need to deviate from policy or procedure. In cases where students feel that such a deviation can be justified, they may request that the Committee on Exceptions render a decision. Such a request must be in writing (preferably typed) and should contain at least the following:

  • Precise explanation of what policy or procedure is in question and what adjustment is requested.
  • Clear statement of why the committee should feel compelled to grant the request.

The Committee on Exceptions meets as needed and is composed of the dean of Counseling and Student Development, chair; vice president of Instructional Services (or designee); the director of Admissions and Records; a counselor; and faculty representatives.

A student who is subject to dismissal may submit a written appeal to the Committee on Exceptions in compliance with administrative procedures. Dismissal may be postponed and the student continued on probation if the student shows evidence of extenuating circumstances or shows significant improvement in academic achievement.

(Sources: MCCD Administrative Procedures 4250 and 4255. All MiraCosta College board policies and administrative procedures are located on the Board of Trustees webpage.)