Academic Requirements and Policies

Academic Excellence   
Here at Excelsior Community College academic excellence is highly treasured, and it is in this regard we therefore seek to recognise it as much as possible. Students are encouraged at every step of the way to strive towards excellence in their academic careers here at ECC. It is with this view in mind that we put on an annual Academic Awards function. This to showcase those of our students who have done exceptionally well in their respective programmes over the previous academic year.

Add/Drop Procedure

Students who wish to change a course, that is, add or drop a subject, are required to do the following:

  • Collect an “Add/Drop” form from the Student Affairs Office
  • Complete the form, take it to the Head of School to be signed and then return it to the Student Affairs Office.
  • Request add/drop of courses within 4 weeks of the start of the semester.
  • Make periodic checks with the Student Affairs Office to ensure that the adjustment is made to their records.

Refunds will not be granted for courses that are dropped after 4 weeks into the start of the semester.


Students are expected to have at least 90% average attendance at all classes. Students who are unavoidably absent are required to present a valid medical certificate or a letter of explanation to the Head of School and copied to the Student Affairs Office for the student’s file.

A student who is absent for more than four (4) consecutive classes or a maximum of five (5) consecutive days in any one semester, without prior explanation, must report to the Head of School before returning to classes.

Class Times

Day Students:                                                  Monday to Friday ( 8:00 am – 5:00 pm )

Evening Students:                                           Monday to Friday ( 5:00 pm – 9:00 pm )

Week-end  College Students:                        Friday ( 5:30 pm – 8:30 pm )

                                                                           Saturday ( 8:00 am – 6:00 pm )

Students may also be required to attend classes outside of the hours stated above.

Change of Programme

A student may request to transfer to another programme at the start of an academic year. Such requests should be made on the form provided in the Student Affairs office and should be signed by the Head (s) of the School (s) involved. Requests for transfer of programme should be made within the first 4 weeks of the academic year.

Course Repeat (Redo) Policy

Students who fail a limited number of courses may be allowed to take supplemental examinations. Examinations failed in Semesters 1 and 2 must be taken during the same academic year. This provision does not apply where part-time/week-end  students may fail an exam during the Summer semester as they are expected to do the Supplemental exam during the next academic year. Students should refer to their specific programme booklets for guidelines governing supplemental examinations.

A fee is charged for supplemental examinations. Students should pay the fee and present the receipt to the Student Affairs Office within the time period indicated so that an examination card may be issued.

When a student repeats a course, the new grade and credits will be included in his/her cumulative G.P.A.

Grade Appeal Procedure

A student has the right to appeal the grade received for a course or component of a course..

The Appeal Process is as follows:

  • The student should confer with the course lecturer and seek to have the matter resolved.
  • If there is no resolution the student should make a written appeal to the Head of School. The appeal should be filed within ten (10) working days of the  grade being made available.
  • Requests for re-mark of final examination scripts attract a fee that must be paid to the Accounts Department. The proof of payment must be attached to the written appeal and submitted to the Head of School, through the Registrar’s office.
  • The Head of School should conduct an investigation and submit a written response within ten (10) working days of receipt of the written appeal.
  • Should a change of grade be required, the Head of School should communicate this to the Registrar.
  • If the student is still dissatisfied, a further appeal  can be made to the Grade Appeals Committee.
  • The decision of the Grade Appeals Committee will be regarded as final.

The Grade Appeals Committee

The Grade Appeals Committee is chaired by the Vice Principal, Academic Affairs and should comprise the Registrar or his/her appointee; the Head of the School, the Student Union Staff Advisor and a member of the Academic Board who is not a member of staff.  In the event that any of the officers named above is a party to a dispute being heard by the Committee, the Principal shall nominate another member of staff to replace him/her.

The Grading System

The College uses a four point grading system.  Students should consult their programme handbooks for the grade point average scales. The table below outlines the grades and codes used by the Council of Community Colleges of Jamaica (CCCJ) as at September 2014.

Examination Grades, Points and Distribution 

Percentage ScaleGradeGrade PointStudent  Performance Description
45-49D+1.33Marginal Fail – Re-sit
40-44D1.00Fail – Redo

 Calculation of GPAs

1) Multiply the course credit by the earned grade point to obtain the total grade points for each course.

2) Add the total grade points for all courses.

3) Add the total course credits for all courses attempted.

4) Divide the total grade points earned by the total course credits; i.e.,Step 1 is divided by Step 2.

Course Credit333333422
Grade Points43.72.703.302.302.001.70 
Grade Points Earned1211.108.109.906.906.06.8060.80
G.P.A.       2.76

G.P.A.=Grade Points Earned / Total Course Credit= 60.80 / 22 = 2.76

Levels of Award

Associate Degree                                                                                                                                          


Bachelor of Science Degree

3.70-4.0First Class Honours
3.30-3.692ndClass Honours(Upper)
2.70-3.292nd Class Honour (Lower)

Plagiarism/Cheating Policy and Procedures 

Incidences of academic misconduct include, but are not confined to, plagiarism and other forms of academic cheating. These acts are offences and the offenders shall be sanctioned as detailed in the Code of Conduct.

  • Plagiarism

Any student who uses, or attempts to use, the work of another person (whether authorized or not), and seeks to submit same as his/her own work, will be deemed to have committed plagiarism.

  • Other Forms of Academic Cheating

Academic cheating includes, but is not restricted to,  the attempt to commit or commission one or more of the following:

  • Breaches of the Examination Guidelines
  • Altering the records of marks or grades
  • Substituting for another person or allowing another person to substitute for oneself in the sitting of an examination or test
  • Procuring or attempting to procure a test/examination paper prior to the authorized administration

Procedures for verification of allegations of academic dishonesty

a. Where a student is suspected of plagiarism, the tutor/lecturer shall inform him/her of this allegation, and explain the basis on which the suspicion was formed. The student shall be allowed to respond to the allegation. The  matter may be reported to the Head of School for further  investigation/action.

b. A tutor who suspects a student of cheating in a class test/assignment, shall  inform the student of the allegation. The student shall surrender any  item (s) deemed to be evidence of the charge, but he/she  shall be allowed to continue the test/assignment.  If necessary, the student shall be given new writing paper and/or test paper.  Where the student contests the charge, the matter shall be reported to the Head of Department for further investigation.

c. Where a student admits to the offence, it shall be determined whether or not the student has a record of previous offences.

d. The outcome of the investigation in c) above, shall be taken into account in determining the level of sanction to be applied.

e. Procedural rules g – i below shall apply in instances where the student  
challenges the allegation .

f. Where a candidate is alleged to have engaged in misconduct during the sitting of final examinations, the candidate shall be informed of the allegation by the invigilator, and shall surrender any item(s), deemed to be evidence of the allegation. The candidate shall be allowed to continue writing the examination paper.  Where necessary, the invigilator shall give the candidate a new answer booklet/question paper to facilitate the completion of the examination. The invigilator shall complete the Examination Irregularity Form and give the candidate the relevant form to respond to the allegation in writing.

g. Where the candidate challenges the allegation raised in the invigilator’s report, a  Committee shall be empanelled to hear the matter.

h. Written  notice of the hearing shall be communicated to the student at least two days before the scheduled date

i. The Committee shall comprise at least three, but not more than five, persons.  A member of the Committee shall be a student representative and there shall be at least one member of  faculty. The candidate shall be allowed to present his/her defense and where appropriate, call witnesses.

j. The recommendations of the Committee shall be submitted to the Principal, or , in cases involving programmes administered by the CCCJ, to the Examination Committee of Council.


The penalties for academic misconduct include, but are not confined to:

i. Award of grade zero to the work in question

ii. Voiding of all work previously submitted for the course in question

iii. Disqualification of the student from all examinations of the College for a specified period

iv. Dismissal from the College

Transfer to other Institutions


1. Student informs Registrar (Excelsior) in writing of his/her intention to transfer to another institution

2. Registrar pulls file and checks to determine if student is financially clear

If student is not financially clear

3. Registrar informs students that outstanding payments must be made prior to request being satisfied.

If student is financially clear

4. Registrar prepares letter including the following information to institution requesting that transfer student be accepted: 

  • Name of Student
  • Identification #
  • Programme being pursued
  • Year in Programme
  • Courses outstanding
  • Submission of grade sheets upon completion of course(s)

N.B  (1)   If student is completing majority of courses at institution to which he/she is requesting transfer student must request a transcript to be sent to institution

(2)  If student is pursuing Council of Community Colleges of Jamaica (CCCJ) programme and 5 years has elapsed the student would need to be aligned to the current programme

5. Registrar places copy of letter on student’s file.

Under-enrolled Day Classes 

The College reserves the right to cancel any programme/course that is under-enrolled or not financially viable. This will be done within one (1) month of the start date for the programme/course.

Withdrawal from ECC

Withdrawal from the College (Official)

A student wishing to withdraw from a programme should complete the Withdrawal Form provided in the Student Affairs Office.  A student who officially withdraws from a programme may be able to claim credits earned provided he/she re-registers within a period not exceeding five (5) academic years.

Unauthorized Withdrawal

A student who is absent from classes for more than four consecutive weeks without completing a Withdrawal Form will be deemed to have withdrawn unofficially from the College.  Re-admission will be considered only after the student applies to the College and undergoes the usual application procedures, including the interview.

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