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Copyright Policy

The following is a summary of certain copyright responsibilities and is intended for general information only and therefore cannot be used to determine the legality of an intended use of materials. For more detailed information, please consult the CCS Copyright Compliance guide.

Copyright Basics

Copyright is part of the United States (Title 17, U.S. Code) and international law that grants rights and protection to authors and developers of creative works. Among the rights granted are the rights to:

  • reproduce the work,
  • prepare derivative works based upon the work,
  • distribute copies of the work to the public,
  • perform the work publicly,
  • display the copyrighted work publicly,
  • perform the work publicly by means of a digital audio transmission, and
  • assign these rights to others.

Copyright only protects works that are "fixed in a tangible form of expression." Copyright does not protect ideas or processes (although processes can be patented). To make use of copyright protected material without the consent of the author is a violation of the law. The exceptions to this are:

  • works that have passed into the public domain (over 70 years old), and
  • works used in the manner prescribed under the Fair Use part of the copyright law.

Fair Use

Fair Use of a copyrighted work which is NOT an infringement, including reproduction in copies, includes the following purposes:

  • criticism,
  • comment,
  • news reporting,
  • teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use),
  • scholarship, and
  • research.

In determining whether the use made of a work in any particular case is a "Fair Use", the following factors should be considered:

  • the purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit;
  • educational purposes;
  • the nature of the copyrighted work;
  • the amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole; and
  • the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work.

The following is an excerpt from the Board Policy 7.50.20 Use of Copyrighted Materials:

Community Colleges of Spokane recognizes that United States copyright laws exist for the public good and balance the intellectual property rights of authors, publishers, license holders and copyright owners with the educational community’s need for the free exchange of ideas. CCS will adhere to the provisions of U.S. copyright laws, including all relevant copyright and patent laws, the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, the Technology, Education and Copyright Harmonization (TEACH) Act, Guidelines for Off-Air Recording and all other relevant laws and regulations.

Grading Policy

Community Colleges of Spokane grading system provides a permanent record of grade evaluations that reflect, in various ways, successful course and program completion. The colleges operate on a quarter system. The quarter hour of credit is the unit of instruction.

Grade Legend

Grades at CCS are reported in numerical fractions to the nearest tenth. Letter grade equivalents are as follows:

Numeric GradeLetter Grade Equivalent
3.8 - 4.0A (superior achievement)
3.5 - 3.7A-
3.2 - 3.4B+
2.9 - 3.1B (above average achievement)
2.6 - 2.8B-
2.3 - 2.5C+
2.0 - 2.2C (average achievement)
1.6 - 1.9C-
1.3 - 1.5D+
1.0 - 1.2D (minimum achievement)
0.0F (failure)

Grade Symbols

Explanation follows symbol.

WOfficial Withdrawal
ZSpecial Withdrawal
* (or blank)Non-graded Section/Missing Grade

Conditions for which they are assigned:

F Fail - Less than 1.0 grade points/0.0 credit calculated in GPA. Courses designated with a pass/fail option must be approved by the College Curriculum Committee prior to the beginning of a course.
I Incomplete - 0.0 grade points; no credit. Incomplete grades “I” may be issued only to those students whose work to date is passing but not completed at the end of the quarter. All "I" grades issued by an instructor must be accompanied by an "Incomplete Contract."

All incompletes must be made up prior to the official end of the next quarter with the following exceptions: (1) "I" grades earned spring quarter must be made up prior to the official end of fall quarter, and (2) "I" grades issued to students in the career and technical division of the college are to be made up according to a special schedule developed by the Department Chair and the Chief Academic Officer, and (3) an incomplete that is not made up will default to the decimal grade listed on the Incomplete Contract.
N Audit - Special registration. 0.0 grade points; no credit.
P Pass - 0.0 grade points; credit not calculated in GPA. A passing grade may be issued in certain pre-designated courses or experience-related evaluations for credit rather than the regular grading system. Courses designated with a pass/fail option must be approved by the College Curriculum Committee prior to the beginning of a course.
W Official Withdrawal - 0.0 grade points; no credit. All official withdrawals "W" prior to the seventh week of the quarter are the sole responsibility and prerogative of the student and must be initiated and completed by the student. The official withdrawal date for summer quarter will be prorated accordingly. To prevent a "W" grade showing on the student transcript, the student must drop the class or withdraw completely by the tenth day of the normal quarter, eighth day for summer quarter. Short courses will be prorated accordingly.

Exceptions to the refund policy will be considered only if, in the judgment of the college, an extreme hardship has been caused by illness, hospitalization, or military transfer. A student must submit an appeal for an exception to the refund policy with a completed official withdrawal form and written documentation (letter from the doctor in the case of illness) to the registrar. For the case of medical withdrawal, in addition to the withdrawal form, the Medical Withdrawal Request/ Appeal Form must also be completed along with a written or typed letter on business letterhead from the student’s health care provider stating date(s) of care, the health condition being treated and the letter must state "Patient is unable to attend classes and must withdraw from school."
Z Special Withdrawal - 0.0 grade points; no credit. All withdrawals of this type must be designated by the instructor on the regular grade sheet at the end of the quarter.
  1. After consultation with the student prior to the end of the quarter, the faculty member may agree to grant a special withdrawal on the last day of the quarter. The decision to grant the special withdrawal is to be based on what is best for the student in light of his or her educational objectives.
  2. In the event that a student enrolls for a class and stops attending, a special withdrawal may be granted only by the instructor on the last day of the quarter.
  3. Students meeting attendance requirements of the instructor but doing failing work may be given a special withdrawal by the instructor. This must be changed by the instructor to a regular academic grade reflecting proper achievement level if requested by the student prior to the official end of the next quarter.
The faculty member is under no obligation to agree to grant a special "Z" withdrawal.

Only faculty may change a "Z" grade to a decimal grade by submitting an online grade change form to the Registrar's office.
* (or blank) Non-graded Section/Missing Grade - The non-graded section of a lecture/lab course OR no grade received from faculty.

Other Indicators

Repeat - Most courses are not repeatable for credit. If a student repeats a course, the highest grade earned is used for computing credits attempted, credits earned and grade point average. Repeats are noted as "Grading Basis: Repeated."
Repeat for Credit - Some courses are approved to repeat up to a maximum number of occurrences or credits. Courses repeated for credit may be noted as "Authorized Repeat."

Grade Point Average (GPA)

Grade Point Averages are calculated by dividing grade points earned by the credit hours attempted. The following is an example of a grade point avearage computation:

Credit Hours Attempted Times (X) Grade Equals (=) Grade Points Earned
5 X 3.0 = 15.0
3 X 4.0 = 12.0
4 X 2.0 = 8.0
5 X 1.0 = 5.0
1 X 0.0 = 0.0
18       40.0

Divide 40.0 by 18 to calculate a grade point average of 2.22.

You may download a Degree Application (Adobe Acrobat Reader required).

Students who plan to receive a two-year degree or a one-year certificate must file a Petition for Graduation with the graduation evaluator. Signed applications should be turned in at the Admissions Office or faxed to (509) 533-3237.

Students should apply for a degree when they have completed 50% of the degree requirements. Filing a Petition for Graduation provides the student with the opportunity to review and check his or her degree or certificate requirements. It allows the student an opportunity to plan or change his or her course schedule to ensure completion of all requirements. It also ensures that all degrees/certificates earned will be correctly posted to the student's transcript.

Degrees/certificates will not be awarded if the student has not fulfilled all financial obligations to the college.

Degree Requirements

Check your program career guide for a requirements checklist.

A student is eligible to graduate either (1) by completing the degree requirements in effect at the time of initial enrollment within four academic calendar years, or (2) by completing the requirements in effect at the beginning of the last continuous (summer quarter excepted) enrollment or (3) by completing the most recent requirements in effect during the quarter of graduation.

A candidate for a degree may include courses newly approved to meet degree requirements even though the course approval comes after the credit has been earned.

In instances where changes in professional degrees and certificates make the above guidelines inappropriate, the respective division administrator, working with the individual student, shall determine which degree requirements to follow.