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Academic Policy

Academic Policies


Academic Standing

For students who are taking, or have taken, a total of six credits or more, the following Academic Standards apply:

Good Standing
A student achieving a semester grade point average (GPA) of 2.0 or better at the end of a semester of enrollment is in good standing.

Academic Probation
A student will be placed on Academic Probation when the current semester GPA is less than 2.0 at the end of a semester of enrollment. Students placed on academic probation will receive written notification acknowledging academic probationary status. Within thirty days of written notification, the student will be required to meet with an academic advisor, counselor, or case manager to develop an academic improvement plan. If an academic improvement plan is not completed, an academic hold will be placed on the student’s record. A student will be reinstated to good standing if the student achieves a semester grade point average of 2.0 or better at the end of their probationary semester.

Academic Suspension
A student will be suspended from Nicolet College when the current GPA is less than 2.0 for the second consecutive semester. A student placed on academic suspension will be notified in writing, and an academic hold will be placed on the student’s records. If the student is pre-registered for any upcoming semesters, the enrollment for the classes will be canceled.
If a student placed on Academic Suspension wishes to re-enroll in classes at Nicolet College, the student may request a meeting with the Vice President of Teaching, Learning, and Student Success to review their academic status. Based on that review, the vice president will determine the action to be taken.

Students having difficulty maintaining good academic standing are encouraged to seek early assistance from their course instructor(s), their academic advisor, counselor, or case manager.

Advanced Standing with Credit

Advanced standing with credit may be granted when it is determined that an individual's expertise is equivalent to the competencies in one or more course requirements for a diploma or degree program. Recognition of advanced standing is an effort to minimize duplication of competencies attained from previous education, life, or work experience.

To be eligible for advanced standing, a student must first be officially accepted into a certificate, diploma or degree program at Nicolet. The student should then contact his/her academic advisor in the Welcome Center for directions and assistance with the request for advanced standing procedures.

Credits earned through this process do not take the place of the minimum number of credits students must earn at Nicolet.

For all advanced standing credits awarded, with the exception of high school articulations, registered apprenticeships, military education credits, and national examinations, a fee of 25% of course tuition and fees is assessed for all credits earned through advanced standing. If a student is already enrolled in a course, the advanced standing evaluation must be completed during the first 14 calendar days of the semester, the first seven calendar days during the Summer Semester, or the first 15% of the course hours for courses shorter than a full semester. If credit is granted, the student will be withdrawn from the course and will receive a refund of 75% of the tuition and fees paid for the course. Students on financial aid programs should consult with the Financial Aid Office before beginning the advanced standing procedure, since reducing the number of enrolled credits may have financial aid implications.

Students who are not satisfied with the outcome of their request for credit for prior learning should follow the Student Complaint and Grievance procedure.

Options available for Advanced Standing with Credit are as follows:

High School Coursework

Credit will be granted for high school coursework that the student successfully completed if this coursework meets one of the following criteria: (a) It is covered by an articulation agreement with the high school and the student earned a minimum 3.0 grade point on a 4.0 scale; (b) It is part of a recognized Youth Apprenticeship program; or (c) It is otherwise comparable in scope and content to a specific course or courses (not covered by an articulation agreement), as deemed by program faculty.  

To be eligible for articulated high school credit, the student must be enrolled at Nicolet within 27 months of high school graduation. 

Written/Performance Examinations

 A student may elect to prove his/her knowledge of course competencies if the student believes he/she has already acquired the knowledge from coursework or prior life experiences. The criteria for the examination are determined by the course instructor(s) and approved by the Dean of Instruction. The examination for a specific course can be taken only once. Credits are recorded on the transcript however, they are not calculated into the cumulative GPA. 

National Examinations

Credit may be granted for a specific course or courses with a minimally acceptable score on an examination with nationally recognized standards. National exams include, but are not limited to, the College Board Advanced Placement (AP), College-Level Examination Program (CLEP), DANTES, the International Baccalaureate exams, and nationally recognized exams in specific occupational areas. 

CLEP: Credit will be granted for the applicable diploma or degree course for CLEP general or subject examination scores of 50 or above. The Nicolet Assessment Center administers CLEP examinations. 

AP: Credit may be granted for the applicable diploma or degree course for AP scores of 3 or above. Official national examination scores will be evaluated by the Registrar. 

Work Experience
Credit may be granted for work experience deemed comparable to program coursework by program faculty. A list of comparable competencies signed by the employer is required.

Registered Apprenticeships
A student who possesses a Wisconsin Journey-Level Certificate from a program that included a minimum of 400 hours of paid related instruction will be awarded 39 credits in occupational specific courses under the following conditions:

  • The student enrolls in a Technical Studies Journey-Level Worker program
  • The student presents appropriate documentation

Experiential Learning
A student may be awarded credit for previous life experiences and/or appropriate non-collegiate coursework. The student's portfolio will assist appropriate college personnel in determining credits to be granted. Coursework from business and industry training, government agencies, and/or other sources will be granted in conformity with the American Council on Education National Guide to Credit Recommendations for Non-Collegiate Courses.


Students are expected to attend all sessions of each class in which they are enrolled. The instructor will give students the written attendance policy for each course at the first course meeting. Failure to conform to the attendance policy may result in the student’s grade being lowered, up to and including a failing grade for the course.

Any student enrolled in a course at Nicolet College who is unable to attend the first session of the course must contact his/her instructor prior to the second session to ensure continued enrollment in the course. Students who do not attend the first session and do not contact their instructor by the second session may be displaced from the course by a student on a waitlist.

Absences due to illness or other unavoidable circumstances may be excused if the instructor of the course is completely satisfied as to the cause. Absences resulting from a student’s participation in approved activities arranged by the College will be excused if such activities have been scheduled by the instructor in cooperation with other involved instructors. An excused absence does not relieve the student of responsibility for completing all course requirements to the satisfaction of the instructor. 

Auditing a Course

An audit is a grading option where students have the privilege of attending classes, have limited course responsibilities, and do not receive credit for the course. A course that has been audited will appear on the student’s transcript with an "AU" grade, but the course does not count toward a degree or certificate. Students must meet course prerequisites, and pay full tuition and fees for courses they audit. Credit-seeking students have priority when course space is limited. By 154 WI. Stat.§36.27 (1)(b), students over 60 years of age may audit courses on a space-available basis without payment of tuition but must pay all other applicable material or course fees. The tuition exemption excludes community service courses and apprenticeship courses.

Course requirements for auditing students are set by the instructor. Students considering auditing a course should consult with the instructor prior to registering as an audit or on the first day of class to discuss expectations. Based on the discussion, students will receive a set of written expectations for an auditing student within the first week of class. Students must return a completed Request to Audit form to the Welcome Center within the first week of class. Since learning is a shared responsibility in a class, the following expectations are examples of possible auditor responsibilities:

  • Contribute to the learning environment of the class by participating during class sessions.
  • Adhere to all rules regarding attendance. If an auditor volunteers to work on a group project where the other group members are graded, the auditor is required to complete his/her group work.

A student may be asked to withdraw if the audit expectations are not being met. Faculty also may issue a withdrawal grade ("W") if audit expectations are not met.

A student may change his/her registration status from credit to audit using the standard procedures for schedule changes, following these guidelines:

  • During the first half of the course, a student may change from credit to audit with the consent of the instructor.
  • In the second half of the course, a student may change from credit to audit with the consent of the instructor and if he/she is passing the course at the time of the change.

A student who has elected to change to audit may not, at a later date, change back to credit status.

A student who initially elects to audit may change to credit if:

  • He/she has completed the work to that point following the required timelines of the course.
  • The instructor validates that all course requirements for credit have been completed satisfactorily at the time the student makes the request.
  • Approval for the change is signed by student and instructor and submitted to the Welcome Center.

Course Substitution

When courses are no longer offered due to a curriculum change, alternative course requirements will be identified and approved by the lead program instructor and the Vice President of Teaching, Learning, and Student Success for substitution so that the student will have the total credits required for graduation. Approval must be documented and maintained in the student’s academic file by the academic advisor.

Under extenuating circumstances, a student may be allowed to replace a course required for graduation from a program. The replacement course must be at the same aid code level or higher and in the same curriculum category, (i.e. technical studies/occupational specific or general studies/occupational supportive). A student should request a course substitution through his/her academic advisor. The academic advisor, in conjunction with the appropriate program faculty, must approve the substitution. Approval must be documented and maintained in the student’s academic file. The Vice President of Teaching, Learning, and Student Success must approve any exception.


Students may earn credit only for courses in which they are officially registered for credit. The maximum number of credits for each course is shown following the course description. Courses may be offered for fewer credits as indicated in the semester course schedule.

Credit for Prior Learning

Nicolet College recognizes that prior to enrolling, a student may have acquired some of the skills, knowledge, and competencies included in programs offered by the College. The College will make every effort to ensure students receive credit for prior learning. Each candidate for a certificate, diploma, or degree must earn a minimum of 25% of the required technical studies, occupational specific, or liberal arts credits from Nicolet College.  These established minimums cannot be met through advanced standing.

Transfer of Credit

When students want to transfer credits from a nationally or regionally accredited institution of higher education to a certificate, diploma, or degree program at Nicolet, a credit evaluation will be conducted by the Registrar, in conjunction with the appropriate academic advisor and program faculty. Students must apply for admission and have official transcripts sent directly from the granting institution to the Welcome Center at Nicolet. Nicolet will grant transfer credit only for courses that apply to the student’s certificate, diploma, or degree program at Nicolet. Transfer credits are not used in determining grade point average (GPA). Only credits awarded a minimum 2.0 grade point on a 4.0 scale qualify for transfer to Nicolet College.  Articulated credits negotiated between high schools and technical colleges for high school courses for which students later seek college credit require a minimum 3.0 grade point on a 4.0 scale to qualify for transfer as credit for prior learning.

Credits are accepted for transfer courses when course content is confirmed to be comparable. Time limits shall not restrict the awarding of credit for prior learning unless the College has documented a specific programmatic reason for time limits.

For a student transferring from one Wisconsin Technical College System (WTCS) institution to another, credit awarded for courses meeting a general education requirement at one WTCS institution will meet the same general education requirement at Nicolet.

If a transferred course is evaluated as comparable and acceptable, the credit value assigned by the granting institution will be applied toward an appropriate Nicolet certificate, diploma, or degree.

A student who has earned a postsecondary or professional degree from a nationally or regionally accredited institution of higher learning will receive credits towards fulfilling WTCS applied associate degree general education core requirements, regardless of the student’s prior course of study, time since degree award, or technical college program in which the student is enrolled. Students who qualify for 21 general education credits may need to complete some additional general education core requirements based on documented program-specific general education requirements.

Military education credits will be accepted for transfer in conformity with the American Council on Education Office of Educational Credits as outlined in A Guide to the Evaluation of Educational Experience in the Services. Students must present an official military transcript for evaluation.

International credits may qualify for credit for prior learning if the international credits are deemed comparable to credits offered by Nicolet College. Students seeking credit for international coursework must provide an official evaluation of academic credentials which has been completed by an approved organization/association such as the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers (AACRAO).

Credit Limits

Students may enroll in up to 18 credits during the Fall or Spring Semester and 12 credits for Summer Semester. Enrollment in more than the maximum number of credits requires approval from the Vice President of Instruction.

Anyone enrolled for 12 or more semester credit hours is considered a full-time student. Anyone enrolled for fewer than 12 credit hours during a semester is considered a part-time student. Most career programs are structured with 16-18 credits per semester to complete the degree in the one- or two-year time frame.

Dean's List

The Vice President of Teaching, Learning, and Student Success publishes the Dean’s List each semester. The list includes the names of all program students with a grade point average of 3.5 or higher for the semester just concluded. “I” and “W” grades are not considered in the computation. 


Students are required to take their course examinations as scheduled. Permission from the course instructor is required in order to take an examination at a time other than the scheduled time or to have a special examination.


Under extenuating circumstances, students may request an Incomplete grade. To receive an Incomplete, students must have completed 50% of the coursework. It is up to the instructor to decide if the request is feasible based on the reason for the request, the type of class, and whether or not it is possible for the student to complete the course work in an acceptable method and time frame. A signed Incomplete Contract between the student and the instructor must be filed in the Welcome Center by 4 pm on the deadline day. The deadline day for submitting an
Incomplete Contract is one calendar week prior to the end of the course. Exceptions to this deadline will only be made due to extenuating circumstances as approved by the Registrar. An Incomplete grade can be carried for only one semester (Summer Semester does not count as a semester.) If a grade is not issued by the completion of the following semester, a grade of “F” will automatically be recorded on the student’s transcript. Once given, the Incomplete grade cannot be changed to a Withdrawal grade. The instructor will file a change of grade upon completion
of work specified in the Incomplete Contract.

Phi Theta Kappa

Phi Theta Kappa is an international honor society for two-year colleges. Nicolet’s Chapter, Alpha Nu Iota, focuses its efforts on service and scholarship. Members are nominated to join by the President of the College based on their academic record. The nominee must be a current student, have completed 12 credit hours of coursework, and must have a cumulative GPA of 3.50 or higher. Initiates are responsible for the membership fee and are entitled to a membership certificate, transcript stamp, and recognition at graduation.

Repeating a Course

Students may repeat courses unless specific program policy prohibits it. However, course credits will apply only once toward meeting program degree requirements. Only the highest grade will be used for GPA calculations. Students on financial aid programs must consult with Financial Aid personnel before repeating a course. Please note that when transferring credits, some institutions do not ignore repeated courses and may use those duplicate course grades in GPA calculations.


Students who would like copies of their official transcript to be sent to another institution, agency or individual must submit an electronic request through Docufide ( A student who wishes official copies of transcripts or test scores which have been sent to Nicolet from other institutions must request this information from those other institutions. Only unofficial copies of records from other institutions can be obtained at the Welcome Center.

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