Jan 28, 2022  
College Catalog 2017-2018 
College Catalog 2017-2018 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Academic Regulations

Student Handbook

The Student Handbook outlines college services available to students and summarizes a Student Rights and Responsibilities are available on the RTC Website.

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) affords students certain rights with respect to their educational records. They are:

  • The right to inspect and review the student’s educational records.
  • The right to request the amendment of the student’s educational records to ensure that they are not inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise in violation of the student’s privacy or other rights.
  • The right to consent to disclosures of personally identifiable information contained in the student’s educational records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent.
  • The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by Renton Technical College to comply with the requirements of FERPA.
  • The right to obtain a copy of Renton Technical College’s student records policy. The policy is available in the Registrar’s Office, Robert C. Roberts Campus Center (Building I).

For information regarding the Student Records Policy, please contact the Registrar’s Office at (425) 235-2352, ext. 5537.

Leave of Absence

The college does not grant formal leaves of absences to students.

Grading Policy

Grading criteria are determined by the instructor. These criteria and how grades are achieved must be shared, in writing, with the student on the first day the student begins class. For courses that are taught within professional-technical programs, grading criteria and policies will be shared in writing with students on the first day that the course is taught. Grading policies must be on file and approved by the instructor’s dean.


Grades will be submitted as decimals which students can convert as follows:

Decimal Grade Letter Equivalent
4.0-3.9 A  
3.8-3.5 A -
3.4-3.2 B +
3.1-2.9 B   
2.8-2.5 B -
2.4-2.2 C +
2.1-2.0 C   
1.9-1.5 C -
1.4-1.2 D +
1.1-1.0 D  
0.9-0.7 D -
0.0 F  


S Satisfactory
U Unsatisfactory
Y In Progress
I Incomplete
N Audit
R Repeating a Course
V Unofficial Withdrawal
W Withdrawals
HW Hardship Withdrawal

S/U Satisfactory or Unsatisfactory

An “S” grade is not figured into the grade-point average. A “U” grade is figured as a “0.”

Y-In Progress

A “Y” grade is given to all the students in a class who are doing passing coursework but need additional instruction and time to complete course requirements or competencies. Students are required to re-register for the course and pay all tuition and any other charges. The Y remains on the transcript for the quarter assigned, while the final grade will be posted to the quarter in which the student re-enrolled in the course. The Y grade earns no credit and does not affect the GPA.


When a student is not able to complete a class for reasons beyond his control an instructor may assign an incomplete. It should be given ONLY when there is a reasonable expectation that the student will complete the specified work in the time allowed without additional instructional time. To receive an “I” grade, the student MUST have an “Incomplete Contract” signed by the instructor and the dean and submitted to registration prior to the grade being submitted. An “I” grade reverts to the assigned “grade without completion” after one quarter (not including summer) unless otherwise specified on the incomplete contract. The original is sent to the registrar with copies to the student, instructor, dean and counselor or advisor.


An audit means the student registers on a space-available basis to attend the class and to listen, but not do graded work. The student pays full tuition and fees, but attends class for information only. The N grade does not earn credit and does not affect the GPA. The audit grade option must be approved by the instructor and submitted to the registration office by the 10th day of the class. Once registered for an audit, the student cannot change to a graded option.

R-Repeating a Course

The qualifier “R” on a transcript means a course has been repeated, and is excluded from credits and grade point average. All grades will still appear on the transcript whether repeated or not. The most recent grade will be used to compute the GPA. Students may not take a course more than twice without permission from the Vice-President of Student Services. Repeating certain courses may require permission from the instructor or the appropriate administrator.

V-Unofficial Withdrawal

Students who attend briefly, rarely, or not at all, and who fail to officially withdraw from a course or a program with a W grade, may be assigned a grade of “V” at the discretion of the instructor. The V grade does not earn credit and does not count in the GPA calculation.


A student may officially withdraw from a program or class by completing the appropriate form and submitting it to registration by the eighth week of the quarter. After the eighth week, the student cannot receive a “W” and will be graded based on the course requirements as described in the course syllabus. A withdrawal prior to the 10th day of the quarter is not listed on the transcript. After the 10th day of the class, a “W” will appear on the student’s transcript but it is not computed in the GPA. An official withdrawal can only be initiated by a student or a counselor or advisor at the request of the student.

HW-Hardship Withdrawal

Under very exceptional circumstances, instructors can request a hardship withdrawal for a student. This can be requested at any time during the quarter for a student who has attended class regularly and has completed assignments with passing grades but for reasons beyond his or her control must drop out. A hardship withdrawal must be signed by the instructor, the dean and the Vice-President for Student Services.

Grade Appeal

A student who feels he did not get the grade he earned must first speak to the instructor involved. If the dispute is not resolved, the student may file a grade appeal with the supervising dean.

Grade appeals must be based on:

  • Errors were made in calculating or posting the official RTC grade,
  • The instructor did not follow the grading criteria outlined in the course syllabus, or
  • Grading criteria were not uniformly applied.

A grade appeal MUST be filed within two (2) instructional days of the end of the quarter. A grade appeal filed after one (1) quarter in which the grade was earned, will not be considered. The student will be notified of the result of their grade appeal via email within four (4) instructional days of filing.

Academic Standards of Progress

Renton Technical College expects students to make academic progress. The academic standing of each Renton Technical College student is carefully monitored to support the full development of each student’s academic potential. The faculty and staff are committed to student success and academic progress.

Progressive Intervention

Academic Alert:

Students must maintain an average of 2.0 or better in the program and/or a grade of 2.0 or better in designated courses. It is the responsibility of the instructor to inform the students doing less than 2.0 work of their status at least four weeks prior to the end of each quarter/reporting period. This is to be done in writing using the Student Academic Progress Report form. After the student and the instructor have signed the Progress Notice form, a copy must be forwarded to the program administrator. Students receive a progress notice indicating that academic performance is unsatisfactory and are advised to seek assistance.

Academic Probation:

Registration will supply instructional administrators and financial aid with a list of all students receiving a grade average of less than a 2.0 in a program. These students are required to meet with a designated faculty advisor and program administrator to develop specific steps to improve their academic record. An educational plan must be drafted and approved by the appropriate administrator.

Academic Restriction:

Continued academic difficulties will result in academic restrictions to be determined by the Instructor and the appropriate administrator. Students are blocked from registration activity and must complete an academic plan, to be presented to a subcommittee of the Academic Standards Committee, prior to registration. Academic restrictions will be continued and/or increased each quarter the student’s cumulative GPA remains below 2.0. Academic restrictions may include, but are not restricted to the following: reduced credit load, mandatory participation in tutoring services, academic suspension, and academic dismissal. Students on academic restriction are not eligible for financial aid.

Students who are suspended or dismissed must file an application for readmission and secure permission from the Academic Standards Committee before resuming their education.

This committee is comprised of the instructional administrator for the program or the department in question, a program or course instructor, and the Vice-President for Student Services. When financial aid has been canceled due to unsatisfactory progress, students may use one of the following options to reinstate eligibility:

  • Successfully complete at least six credits, with a GPA of 2.0 or better without the help of financial aid. (The student will need to notify financial aid at the end of the successful quarter); or
  • Students who believe that they had circumstances beyond their control that prevented them from making satisfactory academic progress may submit an appeal for reinstatement of aid.
  • Readmitted students will be placed on probation and will be subject to the normal standards of academic progress.


Only the Academic Suspension status can be appealed. The student must show proof of circumstances over which they did not have control and/or show proof of making measurable and substantial progress towards repairing their academic performance. The appeal is an informal meeting with the Academic Standards Committee. This committee reviews appeals on a case by case basis. The decision of the committee is final.

Lifting Progressive Intervention

If a student raises their grade to an average of 2.0 or better, the college will remove the student from Progressive Intervention.


The academic year for career training programs, General Education and Basic Studies at Renton Technical College is divided into three quarters of 11 weeks each, and a summer session of six weeks. One credit is earned for each 11 hours of lecture/discussion or for 22 hours of laboratory/applied learning. For work site instruction or on-the-job training, a different ratio may apply.

For retraining and upgrading programs, one credit is earned for each 11 hours of lecture/discussion or for 22 hours of laboratory/applied learning.

For Apprenticeship programs, one credit is earned per 16.5 hours of total instruction.

Transfer of Credits

When a student transfers to another college, that college determines the transferability of specific courses and programs. RTC maintains credit reciprocity agreements with many institutions of higher learning, but students are advised to check carefully with the institution where they expect to transfer. Students transferring to RTC from other institutions must have an official transcript. Courses with less than a “C” grade will not be accepted by RTC.

Credit Assessment

Students who have had program-related coursework at other institutions prior to attending Renton Technical College may be awarded credit for advanced placement. Credit transfer is awarded by the Registrar in the following ways:

College Credit

For coursework which was completed at another college or university accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency recognized by the Department of Education.

Tech Prep Credit

Credit earned through participation in Tech Prep programs as determined by the Puget Sound Dual Credit Career Consortium Articulation Agreement and governed by the rules and regulations between the college and school districts.

Military Coursework

Credit for coursework completed while the individual was in one of the branches of the U.S. Armed Services including the Coast Guard.

Credit for Industry Courses

Industry courses are courses (graded or non-graded) offered by industry for its employees and are usually taught by industry personnel.

Individual Course Challenge Credit

Credit is awarded when the individual has passed a comprehensive test of the course content. There are limited opportunities to challenge individual courses at this time. Students are encouraged to contact the program Dean/Director for more information.

Advanced Placement (AP)

Renton Technical College grants credit in a variety of subject areas for students who obtain a particular score on their College Board Advanced Placement Exams. Students must submit an official copy of their AP scores to the Credentials Evaluation office. Upon evaluation of those scores, the student will be notified of accepted credits. Credit is posted to the student transcript at the time of graduation.

College Level Examination Program (CLEP)

College Level Examination Program exams are computer-based tests that allow students to demonstrate their ability in a given subject. By obtaining a particular score, recommended by the American Council of Education, students can obtain college credit. Students must submit an official copy of their CLEP scores to the Credentials Evaluation office. Credit is posted to the student transcript at the time of graduation.


Students may request official transcripts by submitting a completed transcript request from the Enrollment Services Office. Orders are generally processed within one week.

To obtain a transcript request form, call the Enrollment Services Office at (425) 235-2352 or go to RTC.edu

Program Completion Standards

A Certificate of Completion will be issued when:

  • A student completes all program requirements with a cumulative GPA of 2.0 or higher
  • A student completes all designated courses (classes requiring a 2.0 or higher and identified as such in the official course outline) with a 2.0 or higher
  • A student earns all required credits in the program of study as identified in the official course outline on file with the Vice President of Instruction
  • A class in which a student earns a GPA of .06 or lower cannot be used toward any requirement in a degree or certificate

Academic Achievement

All USA Academic Team

The All USA Academic Team Scholarship competition is for students who have been in an AAS program for at least two quarters, have excellent grades and a history of community service and have been nominated by their instructors for the campus competition. To compete, students must write an essay and obtain letters of recommendation. The college selects two representatives to go on to a state-wide competition, receive a monetary award and attend a luncheon with the Governor.

President’s Honor List

Students who complete a Certificate, AAS, or AAS-T degree of 21 credits or more with a GPA of 3.7 or higher by the end of the previous quarter earn the right to wear a gold cord during the graduation ceremony. If they continue to qualify after the grades for their graduating quarter are posted, students will receive a letter signed by the President of the college and a statement will appear on their transcript.

Vice-President’s Honors List

To qualify for the Vice-President’s Honors List, students must be enrolled for a total of 12 credits or more during the quarter. Students must complete all courses for which they are registered with a GPA of 3.7 or higher. There is no limit to the number of quarters that a student may appear on the list. Students who achieve this distinction will receive a letter signed by the Vice-President for Instruction acknowledging their achievement.

BAS Degree Honors Designations

For the Bachelor of Applied Science programs, honors designations are:

  • Cum Laude: With distinction 3.85 - 3.89 GPA
  • Magna Cum Laude: With great distinction 3.9 - 3.94 GPA
  • Summa Cum Laude: With highest distinction 3.95 - 4.0 GPA

Phi Theta Kappa

In keeping with the Renton Technical College philosophy of encouraging excellence in all of our programs, we are constantly looking for ways that individual students and teams of students can be recognized for their skills and academic excellence.

Recognition for academic excellence is bestowed in two ways: by the school and by an international honor society, Phi Theta Kappa. The RTC chapter, Beta Phi Delta, was founded in 2014. It is rated as one of the fastest growing regional and national chapters of Phi Theta Kappa.

Program Description

Phi Theta Kappa, the international honor society for two year colleges, recognizes student academic excellence and leadership potential and gives members the opportunity for involvement in leadership, travel, and campus and community service activities.

How do I join Phi Theta Kappa at RTC?

After you have completed at least 12 credits successfully at RTC, if your cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA) is equal to or greater than 3.5 on a 4 point scale, you will be sent an invitation to join Phi Theta Kappa.

Does it cost money to join?

There is a fee to join the National PTK organization. It is a one-time fee. We do NOT charge anything extra for membership in the RTC Chapter.

What’s my incentive to join?

Opportunities for Service and Leadership: We encourage PTK members to organize or participate in college and community service events. There are opportunities to demonstrate leadership at the event level, and at the PTK chapter level.

Recognition: If you keep your grades high, and graduate with a 3.5 GPA, you will be allowed to wear a special stole on your gown at graduation. Your membership in PTK will be noted on your official transcript, and you will be given a gold seal that you can place on your certificate or degree, when you receive it.

Scholarships: You may also apply for PTK transfer scholarships, to go on towards a four year degree, which are only offered to PTK members!

Contact faculty advisor Tim Culler, tculler@rtc.edu or Director of Student Engagement, Jessica Supinski, jsupinski@rtc.edu for more information.


Application for Graduation

To receive a Certificate or an Associate of Applied Science Degree or Direct Transfer Degree from Renton Technical College, a student must complete an Application for Degree or Certificate form.

The application is located at: rtc.edu/graduation or can be obtained at the Enrollment Services Office located in the Roberts Campus Center, Building I. The Application for Graduation must be completed by the first week of the quarter in which the student expects to graduate in order for the student to be listed in the graduation program.

Commencement Ceremony

The Renton Technical College graduation ceremony is held each year in June on the last day of the Spring Quarter. Any eligible student completing a degree, certificate, high school diploma or GED through Renton Technical College at any time during the academic year (fall through summer) may participate. All students must complete and submit an Application for Graduation in order for the student to be listed in the graduation program. Caps and gowns are required and can be purchased in the RTC Bookstore.