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Credential Completion & Graduation (Policy)

Office of Origin: Academic Affairs & Student Affairs
Responsibility: Provost and Vice President, Academic Affairs, Vice President of Student Affairs
Original Date Adopted: 3-28-17
Dates Reviewed: 2-23-2021, 3-10-2021 (C)
Last Date Board Approved: 3-28-17

Certain requirements must be met both to complete a Lake Michigan College (LMC) degree or certificate and to officially graduate from a program. These requirements, as outlined below, must be satisfactorily met prior to credential conferral and will be verified for each student who applies for a degree or certificate.

Credential Completion

Lake Michigan College currently offers associate degrees and certificates. Each level of credential requires the following:

  1. Associate Degree 
    To earn an associate degree, a student must satisfactorily complete a minimum of 60 credit hours which apply directly to the degree. This degree has a residency requirement of 20 credit hours; i.e., a minimum of 20 credits must be conferred by LMC and cannot include credits earned through TR, CEL, AC, AP, CLEP, or credit by exam.
  2. Certificate 
    To earn a Certificate, a student must satisfactorily complete 1-59 credit hours, depending on the certificate program, which apply directly to the certificate. Certificates requiring 30 credits or more have a residency requirement of 15 credit hours; i.e., a minimum of 15 credits must be conferred by LMC and cannot include credits earned through TR, CEL, AC, AP, CLEP, or credit by exam. Certificates requiring less than 30 credit hours do not have a residency requirement, nor are they eligible for Honors recognition.

For any credential earned, the following requirements apply: 

  1. All credits earned toward a credential must be at or above 100-level coursework. 
  2. The student must have an active admission application on file and must be considered certificate or degree-seeking. 
  3. The student must have a cumulative LMC GPA of at least 2.00. 
  4. All degree and/or certificate program requirements, including transfer credits used toward program completion, must be completed by the last day of the semester in which the student is graduating, for fall and summer graduation applicants. Spring applicants may finish any requirements during the immediately following summer term. Students who do not complete requirements by the end of the immediately following summer term must reapply for graduation. The College does not back-date degree or certificate conferrals. 

All credentials which bear academic credit must be formally approved through the College’s curriculum process and must be awarded through the graduation process in accordance with this policy and administered by the Registrar’s Office. 

Graduating from a Program

A student may graduate from a program under the catalog in effect at the time of matriculation or any subsequent catalog. However, no student may graduate from a program under a catalog that is more than 5 academic years old at the time of graduation.

Students who have completed, or are near completion of, their program requirements must apply for graduation by the published deadline in order to have their degree or certificate award conferred and receive their diploma. This requirement applies regardless of a student’s intent to participate in the commencement ceremony.

A commencement ceremony is held once per year in May. Summer and fall graduates are invited to participate in the May ceremony.

Graduating with Honors

Honors status for graduation is based upon the student’s cumulative LMC GPA and awarded according to the following scale: 

Honors: 3.25-3.74 cumulative LMC GPA 

High Honors: 3.75-3.99 cumulative LMC GPA 

Highest Honors: 4.00 cumulative LMC GPA 

Honors status as announced at the Commencement Ceremony does not include the current Spring semester, as final grade processing occurs after the ceremony takes place. A final Honors status will be determined at the time of degree conferral.

Additional Associate Degrees

A student may earn subsequent associate degrees if all requirements for the degree have been successfully completed, and provided the following conditions are met: 

  1. A minimum of 15 additional credits hours of coursework which applies specifically to the additional degree. 
  2. The additional degree is completed under the requirements in effect at the time of graduation (i.e. the current catalog) and in accordance with all applicable policies.

Credential Conferral

In order to maintain federal reporting compliance, all awards conferred will be posted within 30 calendar days of the end of the semester in which the student completes graduation requirements. 

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