Dec 04, 2023  
Middlesex Community College Academic Catalog 2010-11 
Middlesex Community College Academic Catalog 2010-11 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Academic Information

This section includes important information related to academic affairs at Middlesex not found elsewhere in the catalog.


Skills Evaluation/College Placement Testing and Developmental Courses


Before starting a degree or certificate major program of study, all students are required to take computerized placement tests (CPT) in reading, writing and mathematics. Placement tests evaluate abilities in basic areas of knowledge that are the foundation for college studies. Students with CPT scores below the necessary proficiency levels are required to take some courses specifically designed to improve their learning abilities and study skills, and equip them for college-level work. They receive attention from faculty, learning specialists, academic advisors and counselors who cooperate in presenting classes, workshops, one-to-one sessions, tutoring and staffing academic labs. MCC’s developmental courses are specifically designed for students who need to improve skills in areas that are fundamental to achievement of their academic and career goals. Credits are given for developmental courses, but do not apply to graduation requirements in any academic major program of study.

Adding/Dropping Courses


To Add a Course to Your Schedule – Fall & Spring Semester

Through the first week of a semester: 

  • Students may add a course to their schedule by visiting the college website:  (if you have your username and registration PIN), by calling 1-800-818-3434, or by visiting a Student Information Center.

During the second week of classes:

  • In extenuating circumstances, students may submit a Late Admit form, signed by the instructor of the class they want to add, and return it to the Student Information Center. 

To Add a Course to Your Schedule – Summer Semester 

  • For summer classes that meet twice per week: Students may add a class before the second meeting, prior to the start of class. For summer classes that meet four times per week: Students may add a class before the third meeting, prior to the start of the class.

To Drop a Course from Your Schedule – Fall & Spring Semester

Through the first week of a semester:

  • Students may drop courses by visiting the college website: (if you have your username and registration PIN), by calling 1-800-818-3434, or by visiting a Student Information Center.

Through the second week of the semester:

  • Students may drop courses by calling 1-800-818-3434, or by visiting a Student Information Center.

To Drop a Course from Your Schedule – Summer Semester

  • For summer classes that meet twice per week: Students may drop a class before the third meeting, prior to the start of the class.  For summer classes that meet four times per week: Students may drop before the fourth meeting, prior to the start of the class.

When adding or dropping courses, students should make every effort to arrange a meeting with an academic advisor to ensure that their course changes meet their major program of study requirements. 

Course Withdrawal


Students may officially withdraw from a course and be assigned a grade of “W” during the first two-thirds of the fall and spring semester. Students may withdraw by completing a Course Withdrawal form, available in the Student Information Center, by calling 1-800-818-3434, or by timely notification through mail or fax message. Failure to attend a course or section does not constitute formal withdrawal. Students who stop attending class are expected to complete the Add/Drop procedure (during the first two weeks of the semester) or the Course Withdrawal procedure (during weeks three through 10) to avoid receiving a grade of “F” for courses in which they were enrolled but did not attend or stopped attending. After the 10th week of the semester, an instructor may initiate withdrawal for students whose grade was passing before the student stopped attending class.

Please refer to the Summer Withdrawal Policy for withdrawal information on Summer Semester courses.

Detailed withdrawal information for all sessions is available at 

Withdrawal from the College


Students may withdraw from the college and be assigned course grades of “W” if they submit written notification of their withdrawal to the Student Information Center or call 1-800-818-3434 by the last day of class of the semester. Official Withdrawal forms are available in the Student Information Center. Students who do not officially withdraw will be carried on the college rolls and will receive failing grades for all tests and assignments not completed. 

Auditing Courses


Students are allowed to audit a course with the permission of the instructor and according to the instructor’s conditions. Any change from “credit” to “audit” status or from “audit” to “credit” status must be made during the first month of classes during the fall and spring semesters. For summer sessions, any changes must be made during the first four class meetings. Full tuition and fees apply to audited courses. Students receive no credit for audited courses.

Repeated Courses


If a course is repeated, the highest grade earned in the course will become the official grade for the course and the one included in the cumulative grade point average. However, all courses will continue to be listed on the student’s transcript.

Grade Appeals 

The college recognizes that in rare cases a student may have cause to challenge the grade in a particular course. Specific information regarding the grade-appeal process is described in the Student Handbook, which is available on the Middlesex web site:

Change of Major Program of Study


Students who decide to change from one academic major program of study to another should visit the Student Information Centers or call 1-800-818-3434.

Students should thoroughly review the description and coursework of the new degree or certificate they are considering, and consult with their academic advisor about making the change.  An application is required for some major programs of study with additional admission prerequisites (see Admission  for complete Internal Transfer information).

    Change of Major Program of Study Degree Requirements and Application of Credits

  • Only completed courses that meet the requirements for the new major program of study, or courses that are acceptable electives in that major program of study, will be counted toward the total credits needed for completing the degree or certificate. 
  • Credits already earned and the cumulative grade point average will be retained on the student’s record. 



Students are expected to attend all classes and laboratory sessions, except in cases of illness or other reasonable excuses. Instructors state their class attendance policy in the course syllabus, and students are accountable for the attendance policy as established for each course. Students should contact their instructors in case of emergency or illness resulting in extended absence or irregular attendance. They may also find it helpful to discuss their situation with a counselor. 

Absence for Religious Reasons


Students who, due to religious beliefs, are unable to attend classes or to participate in any examination, study or work requirements on a particular day, shall be excused from any such examination or study or requirement, and shall be provided with an opportunity to make up such examination, study, or work requirement which he/she may have missed because of such absence on any particular day, provided however, that appropriate prior notice is provided to the instructor and that such makeup examination or work shall not create an unreasonable burden upon the school. No fees of any kind shall be charged by the institution for making available to said student such opportunity. No adverse or prejudicial effects shall result to any student for availing himself/herself of the provisions for an absence for religious reasons in accordance with Chapter 151 C Section 2B, General Laws of the commonwealth of Massachusetts. 

Class Cancellations & Campus Emergencies


(Including Snow Days)

In the event of inclement weather or a campus emergency, students should access school-closing, class-cancellation and other important campus information by visiting our website:

School-closing and delayed-opening information will also be available from television stations Channel 4 (4WBZ), Channel 5 (ABC), Channel 7 (WHDH) and Channel 25 (FOX); radio stations WBZ (1030 AM), WCAP (980 AM) and WRKO (680 AM); as well as other media outlets. Students can sign up online for e-mail and text-messaging alerts from the major TV stations at:

Students may also contact the college directly at 781-280-3200 or 978-656-3200.  

In the case of a “delayed opening” announcement, the college will open at 10 a.m. Under such circumstances, all classes normally scheduled to begin before 10 a.m. will not be held.

Individual class cancellations resulting from instructor absences are posted in classroom buildings and, when possible, online.



The following grading system is used by the college:

Grade Points Interpretation
A 4.00 93-100
A- 3.65 90-92
B+ 3.35 87-89
B 3.00 83-86
B- 2.65 80-82
C+ 2.35 77-79
C 2.00 73-76
C- 1.65* 70-72
D+ 1.35* 67-69
D 1.00* 63-66
D- 0.65* 60-62
F 0.00 Failure; official withdrawal after 10 weeks
W Indicates withdrawal from a course
P Grade assigned to indicate the successful completion of a practicum in a clinical course; or other courses which utilize a pass/fail system
I Incomplete
IP Course in progress
COM Designation used in noncredit courses to indicate the completion of the course
AU Audit (no credit)

* Please note that the grades of “C-, D+, D, D-” and “F” earn quality points that are less than the minimum 2.00 Grade Point Average (GPA) needed for graduation.

Incomplete Grades


The grade “I” or Incomplete is recorded when, for reasons beyond his/her control, the student misses a final examination or some part of the required coursework. No quality points are awarded for an Incomplete. All “I” grades must be removed by completing necessary course requirements within the following semester. After that period, remaining Incomplete grades will be converted to a grade of “F.” In unusual cases, an extension of this period may be granted through the Registrar. Requests for extensions must be in writing. 

In Progress Grades


To receive the IP (“In Progress”) grade for self-paced coursework, students must:

  • complete at least one-half of the course material;
  • demonstrate good attendance;
  • sign a contract with the instructor detailing the conditions and timeframe for full completion of the course.

Students with “IP” grades must complete the course in the semester following the one in which they began it, or receive an “F” grade, unless an extension has been granted by the instructor. 

Computation of Grade Point Average


The cumulative grade point average (GPA) is calculated by multiplying the quality point value of each grade by the number of semester hours designated for each course, and dividing the total of these quality points by the total number of semester hours attempted. In computing the grade point average, only coursework attempted at Middlesex Community College will be considered. 

The Dean’s List


All students carrying 12 credit hours or more, who earn a 3.20 grade point average or higher in any semester, without “D, F, I” or “IP” grades, shall be acknowledged by inclusion on the Dean’s List, which is posted each semester. The notation is made on the permanent record of each student named. Part-time students receive similar consideration upon completion of each block of 15 credits. 

Mid-Semester Deficiency Reports


At the mid-point of each semester, students who are performing at the “D” or “F” grade level, or are otherwise judged by their instructors to be in danger of failing a course, will be notified in writing. This notification will not become a part of the student’s permanent record at the college. 

Graduation Requirements


Middlesex Community College associate degrees require completion of a minimum of 60 credits in specific coursework comprised of courses in the student’s area of concentration and a core curriculum of general  education in Liberal Arts and Sciences. Certificates require completion of specified coursework related to particular fields of employment and they can also serve as the basis for further higher education or professional studies. Most of the credits earned in certificate programs may be applied toward an associate degree in a related major program of study at Middlesex.

Students receive the Associate in Arts (AA) or Associate in Science (AS) degree, depending upon the major program of study completed when they have fulfilled the following requirements:

  1. Completion of at least 60 semester hours or the minimum number of semester hours and courses required by a specific major program of study and the core curriculum. Except in major programs of study specifying fewer courses, most students must present at least 20 courses of passing work.
  2. Achievement of a cumulative grade point average of at least 2.00.
  3. Minimum of 15 semester hours of coursework completed at this college.
  4. Minimum of 9 semester hours of coursework completed at this college in the field of specialization.
  5. Payment of all financial obligations.

Students receive certificates when they have fulfilled the following requirements:

  1. Completed the requirements of the certificate program in which enrolled.
  2. Achievement of a cumulative grade point average of at least 2.00.
  3. Payment of all financial obligations. 

Graduation Honors


Candidates for the associate degree whose cumulative grade point average is at least 3.20 will be graduated with honors; those with a cumulative grade point average of 3.50 will be graduated with high honors; those with a cumulative grade point average of 3.70 will be graduated with highest honors. To be eligible for graduation honors, students must earn a minimum of 35 credit hours at Middlesex. 

MCC Engaged Scholars


Engaged Scholars are graduating Middlesex students who, as part of their academic coursework, have demonstrated a significant commitment and contribution to the community. MCC Engaged Scholars have distinguished themselves by their ability to think critically about social issues and create meaningful social change. With this honor, MCC recognizes that these students have applied their skills, knowledge and research to address real social issues, and have collaborated with local agencies and area organizations to address the critical problems and needs our communities face. In order to be considered for this honor, students must have completed a minimum of 57 hours of service in college-designated service-learning or civic-engagement-based courses over  three or more semesters, and received exemplary evaluations by community partners. For further information, contact MCC’s Center for Community Engagement at 978-656-3159 or 781-280-3556.   

Honor Society Membership


Each spring the Alpha Delta Omicron chapter of Phi Theta Kappa, the national honor society for two-year colleges, initiates students who have earned a cumulative 3.70 or higher grade point average. To be considered for initiation, students must have earned 24 credits at the college by the end of the prior fall semester. Initiation takes place at the annual spring Honors Night. 

Second and Dual Degree Status


To receive a second associate degree from Middlesex Community College, after completion of the initial degree program, students must complete a minimum of 15 additional semester hours of credit at the college beyond the credits used to satisfy the requirements of the first associate degree. The Liberal Studies program may not be the second degree under this option.

In addition to the minimum 15 semester hours requirement, students must meet all specific degree requirements of the major program of study for which the second degree is sought. Therefore, in some cases, the requirements for the second associate degree will exceed 15 additional semester hours of study.

Career program students who wish to graduate in two major programs of study, but who do not intend to continue after graduation from MCC to study for a second degree, may apply for dual program (double major) status. Such students must fulfill all degree requirements for both major programs of study, which may require the completion of more than 60 credits. The Liberal Studies program may not be used as one of the two degree programs.

Academic Standing and Probation

Academic Standing


Students are expected to make adequate progress toward a degree to continue at Middlesex Community College.  In order to be considered in acceptable academic standing, each semester, students must satisfactorily complete at least 50 percent of the total number of credits attempted, and/or meet the following criteria:

Credits Attempted Minimum Overall Grade Point Average
up to 12 1.7
13 to 24 1.8
above 24 2.0

NOTE: The federal government has established regulations regarding satisfactory academic progress and eligibility for financial aid.  These standards are separate from the college’s policy on satisfactory academic progress regarding academic standing and probation. See Financial Aid  for information about financial aid eligibility.

Academic Probation


Students who do not meet the satisfactory course completion requirements listed above are placed on academic probation and are restricted to a maximum of 14 credits.  Those who do not earn a minimum grade point average of 1.0 or satisfactorily complete 50 percent or more of the credits attempted during the probationary semester will be dismissed from the college. 

Restricted Probation


Students who earn a grade point average between 1.0 and 2.0 during a probationary semester are placed on restricted probation and are permitted to carry a maximum of 10 credits. If they do not earn a minimum grade point average of 2.0 or satisfactorily complete 50 percent or more of the credits attempted during the probationary semester, they shall be dismissed from the college. Students who meet the minimum standards during the probationary semester, but whose overall grade point average remains lower than 2.0, are placed on academic probation. 

Probationary Support Services


Students placed on academic probation or restricted probation must meet with a counselor or designated advisor to discuss the factors interfering with their academic progress and to determine appropriate course selections for the next semester. Conditions of probation may include: repeating course(s) in which the student received poor or failing grades; enrollment in developmental or other specified courses to improve study and learning skills; and mandatory meetings with an assigned advisor. Other recommendations might include counseling, tutoring and disability support services. 

Dismissal and Appeal


Students who are dismissed from MCC may appeal the dismissal through the Office of the Provost/Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs, or after not attending Middlesex for a minimum period of one semester, may be readmitted to the college. Students returning to the college after dismissal are placed on Restricted Probation.    

Student Completion Rates


Students enter community colleges with a variety of academic, career and personal goals. Many enroll at the college planning to complete a degree or certificate program. Others are more directly interested in improving their basic academic skills, mastering specific job skills, preparing to transfer to a bachelor’s degree-granting institution or learning about topics of personal interest. In addition, community college students often must balance a variety of competing responsibilities, such as family, work and school, which make it difficult for many of them to enroll full time every semester.

As of January 2009, 56 percent of the full-time students entering Middlesex in the class of 2005:

  • completed a degree or certificate program;
  • transferred to a bachelor’s degree-or other certificate-granting institution;
  • or remained enrolled at MCC.

Of this entering class, 40 percent either completed a degree or certificate program at Middlesex, or transferred to a bachelor’s degree-granting institution. The completion rate for this student cohort (those who earned a degree within three years or certificate within 18 months) is 14 percent.

On a 2003 Student Goals Achievement Survey, 91 percent of the students who left Middlesex Community College in good academic standing prior to earning a degree or certificate reported they had completely or partially satisfied their primary educational goal.

Semester Schedule for Updated Course Information


To supplement the Academic Catalog, a Semester Schedule is published in advance of the fall, spring and summer semesters. It contains the most current official information on Middlesex course listings, class sections, hours and locations. It is intended for use as a registration guide to course selection each semester, and is widely available at the Bedford and Lowell campuses prior to the registration periods. The Semester Schedule is also available on the college website at

Clinical Standards in Health Programs


In addition to specified academic achievement levels, students in MCC Health programs must demonstrate a satisfactory level of performance in clinical settings. Students may be withdrawn from the clinical area at any time during the semester for illness, inappropriate behavior, unsatisfactory performance, or unsafe practices. Because the clinical components are essential to these programs, students who are withdrawn for reasons other than a temporary health problem are also subject to dismissal from the program.

Students in Health programs must earn a grade of “P” (for Pass) in practicum clinical coursework or a minimum grade of “C” in clinically related courses. Those who do not meet these requirements are dismissed from the program. Dismissal in cases of failure to earn the required grades is similar to other academic programs. However, decisions on readmission to Health Programs are guided by the Health Careers Division’s Policy on Readmission to Health Programs. This policy is available in the MCC Admissions Office, as well as the office of the Dean of the Health Careers Division.

A Health Careers Student Review Committee, made up of program coordinators and representatives of Student Services, Enrollment Services and related programs, meets twice yearly to discuss students who have failed, withdrawn or dropped out of Health programs. The purpose of the review committee is to provide a second opportunity for motivated students to continue in their program after they complete a specified plan preparing them for readmission. In some cases, the committee recommends that a student choose another career field, with the help of college counselors and academic advisors.

Educational Records and Transcripts



Privacy rights regarding access to information are observed in accordance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, commonly known as the Buckley Amendment.    

In accordance with the provisions of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) (Section 438 of the General Education Provisions Act 20 USC 1232),  Middlesex Community College has adopted the regulations given below to protect the privacy rights of its students.  Revisions and clarifications will be published as experience with the law and the institution’s policy warrants.

Students are informed of their rights under this act through the College Catalog and the Student Handbook. In compliance with this federal law, the college has established a policy to protect students from misuse of information in their personal folders and to allow students access to their own folders. The policy is summarized as follows: 

Location of Educational Records


Most educational records are kept in the Office of Records and Registration. Other offices may maintain informal or unofficial records. Inquiries concerning those records should be made in writing to the Registrar.  For information on how to request your transcript, see Transfer Information .

Disclosure of Information from Records 


Directory Information - The college, unless requested not to do so by the student, will release directory information about individual students to anyone who inquires. “Directory Information” is limited to name, address, e-mail address, date of enrollment, date of graduation, degree received, curriculum in which the student is enrolled, date of birth, participation in officially recognized activities and sports, weight and height of athletic team members, and official college honors such as Dean’s List.  Students who do not wish to have directory information released must complete a “Request to Prevent Disclosure of Directory Information” form in the Student Information Centers. In no case will the college release a list of all students or groups of students to non-college personnel.

Non-Directory Information - No information, other than that contained in the directory (as outlined above), will be released without a student’s written consent except when prior written consent is not required by the Act.  The college must disclose educational records without written consent of students to those federal and state government agencies and officials provided by law.  The college must also provide the access of education records to: 

a. personnel within the college determined by the college to have legitimate educational interest. “Legitimate Education Interest” is defined as the demonstrated need to know by those college officials who act in the student’s education, professional employees and other persons who manage student record information.

b. officials of other institutions in which a student seeks to enroll on condition that the issuing institution attempts to inform students of the disclosure, or makes such a transfer of information a stated institutional policy. (This notification is to be considered as such.)

c. organizations contributing to a student’s financial aid, or determining financial aid decisions concerning eligibility, amount, condition and enforcement of terms of said aid.

d. organizations conducting studies to develop, validate and administer predictive tests, to administer student aid programs or to improve instruction.

e. accrediting organizations carrying out their functions.

f. parents of a student who have established that student’s status as a dependent according to the Internal Revenue Code. (Parent(s) must provide a certified copy of the appropriate federal income tax form.)

g. persons in compliance with a judicial order or lawfully issued subpoena, provided the college makes an attempt to notify the student.  (The student will be notified in writing by the Registrar that a subpoena has been issued.)

h. persons in an emergency, if the knowledge of information, in fact, is necessary to protect the health and safety of student(s) or other persons.

Note:  Information concerning applicants to the college who have not yet enrolled will not be released to anyone.

Inspection and Review of Records


Students may inspect and review their educational records upon request to the Registrar. As of January 1975, students have the right to examine their own files. There are however, limitations that do exist on students’ rights to inspect and review these records.  The college does reserve the right to deny students access to confidential letters and recommendations placed in their files prior to January 1975, confidential letters and recommendations associated with admission, employment or job placement, or honors to which students have waived rights of inspection and records containing information about more than one student. (In such cases, the college must permit access to that part of the record which pertains only to the inquiring student.) 

Challenge of Records


Students have the right to challenge records they believe to be inaccurate, incomplete or incorrectly disseminated. If the outcome of the challenge is unsatisfactory, the student has the right to a hearing.  And if the outcome of the hearing is unsatisfactory, the student may submit an explanatory statement for inclusion in the education record. Such a statement shall become part of the information contained in the educational record and will be disclosed with it. 

Records of Requests and Disclosures


The college will maintain records of requests and disclosures of non-directory information.  The records of requests shall include the names and addresses of the person(s) who requested the information and their legitimate interests in the information.  Records of requests and disclosures need not be maintained for: 

  1. those requests made by students for their own use.
  2. those disclosures made in response to written requests from students.
  3. those made by school officials.
  4. those specified as Directory Information.

The records of disclosures and requests for disclosures are considered a part of the students’ education records; therefore, they must be retained as long as the education records to which they refer are retained by the college. 

Right of Complaint


Students who believe that the college is not complying with the requirements of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) or the regulations issued by the Department of Education implementing that Act may file complaints in writing to:

U.S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Avenue, SW
Washington, DC 20202-5920

Copies of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act as amended are available in the Office of Records and Registration.