Academic Policies

Transfer of Credits

All CDKC course credits, properly selected to meet the lower-division requirements of a given subject major, are accepted by the colleges and universities of Montana, as well as by accredited colleges and universities outside the state. Students should check with the department to which they plan to transfer to insure full acceptance of credits in a specific program. If you plan to transfer to a four-year college or university, follow the steps listed below:

  1. Determine as soon as possible the college to which you wish to transfer.
  2. Obtain a current catalog of that institution and study entrance requirements and suggestions for courses for freshman and sophomore students in your major field of interest. Refer to current articulation agreements if available.
  3. Confer with your advisor about fulfilling requirements. CDKC has a Transition Counselor specifically for this purpose. Please see the Student Affairs Department.
  4. Confer, either by letter or by personal interview, with an Admissions Officer or department chair of the college to which you want to transfer for further information about curriculum and transfer regulations.
  5. Check at least a semester before transfer, making certain all requirements will be met to the satisfaction of the four-year college.
  6. Some colleges have specific grade and/or test requirements. Research such requirements carefully.

Class Scheduling

Daytime classes, evening classes, and weekend (Friday-Saturday) workshops are offered by the college during each semester of the academic year. There is little or no distinction between daytime and evening classes. The latter are offered primarily for the convenience of adults in Lame Deer and surrounding communities, as well as for other part-time or regular daytime students.

Policy on Nondiscrimination

In accordance with Title VI and VII of the Civil Rights Act, Title IX of the Education Amendments, and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, Chief Dull Knife College has a policy of nondiscrimination in employment practices and in admission, access to, and conduct of educational programs. Discrimination is prohibited on the basis of race, sex, color, national origin, religion, age, handicap, and marital or parental status. Any student, employee, or applicant for admission or employment may file a discrimination grievance. Inquiries or grievances should be directed to the Equal Opportunity Officer, Chief Dull Knife College.

Drop, Add, and Withdrawal

A student who desires to drop, add, or withdraw from a course must obtain the appropriate form from the Registrar’s Office. Before the transaction is official, the form must be signed by the instructor of the course, the student’s advisor, and the financial aid officer. Should a student desire to withdraw from all his or her courses, signatures of the instructor, advisor, financial aid officer and registrar are also required.

A student can withdraw from a course until the Friday of midterm week without a notation on the transcript. After this time, a “W” will be placed on the transcript if the student is passing the course at the time of withdrawal; an “E” will be placed on the transcript if the student is not passing the course at the time of withdrawal. This “E” will be considered within the GPA. The last day to withdraw from the class will be five days before the final. The Dean of Academic Affairs and the Dean of Student Affairs will be responsible to make exceptions for extraordinary circumstances.

The instructor can initiate the drop/withdrawal process when a student has exceeded attendance requirements and has made no formal contact with the instructor explaining the absence.


“I” grades are assigned when illness or unavoidable circumstances have prevented a student from completing the quantitative requirements of the course. The student and instructor must complete an “Incomplete Grade Report Form” indicating the course work to be completed and the deadline date for completion. Once the “Incomplete Grade Report Form” is signed by both the instructor and student, the deadline date will not be extended. Students will have the following semester to complete the course work unless the instructor indicates an earlier date. If the course work is not finished, the grade will be changed from an “I” to an “F” grade. “Incompletes” should be given only if a student has completed 2/3 of their class. Students receiving an “I” may lose their eligibility for Financial Aid or Graduation.

Repeating a Course

Students who repeat a course will have the most recently earned grade counted toward GPA and graduation requirements. Both credit entries and both grades appear on the student’s transcript.

Auditing Courses

Students may audit courses for no grade or credit. This must be so indicated to the Registrar by the “ last day for adding classes” each semester. After this date, no changes can be made from audit to regular enrollment, or vice versa.

Grades and Grade Point Average (GPA)

Grades are based upon the quality of work done. The grade-point-average is determined by dividing total grade points earned by the
number of credits carried. The meaning of each grade and its value in grade points is as follows:
A - Excellent achievement, 4 grade pts./credit
B - Good; above average, 3 grade pts./credit
C - Satisfactory; average, 2 grade pts./credit
D - Below average; passing, 1 grade pt./credit
E - Withdrew Failing, 0 grade pts./credit
F - Failure, 0 grade pts./credit
I - Incomplete, No credit
W - Withdrew, No credit
AU - Audit, No credit

Midterm Grades

A student who wishes to see his/her midterm grades should contact the instructor of the class. No “I” grade will be assigned at midterm. Students who are failing or who are remiss in attendance will be notified by CDKC.

Final Grades

Final grades are submitted by the instructor at the end of the semester. Final grade reports will be mailed to students by the Registrar’s Office.

Pass/Fail Policy

Some courses are graded on a pass/fail basis. Students performing at a satisfactory level will receive a grade of “P” which will not be included in the computation of the Grade Point Average (GPA). Students not performing satisfactorily will receive a grade of “F” which will be used in calculating the GPA. All courses offered on a pass/fail basis will be indicated with (P/F) following the course description in the back of this catalog.

Student Orientation

The Student Orientation Class is required for all new incoming students. This orientation class is designed to make the adjustment to college life a pleasant experience. Students will become acquainted with college personnel and location of classrooms. This class will also acquaint students with registration, financial aid, tutoring, counseling, student clubs and organizations.

College Skills

College skills is required for returning students who are on financial aid probation or suspension. The goal of this course is to enhance the potential for academic success at CDKC.

CLEP Credits

CLEP, the College Level Examination Program is a national program that enables the student to achieve credits for courses by examination rather than by attending classes. CLEP credits are honored by CDKC.

Class Attendance Policy

Chief Dull Knife College expects students to attend all of their classes on every scheduled day. Students are expected to maintain an 80 percent attendance rate or higher for all classes. For the purposes of this policy, there is no distinction between excused and unexcused absences; attending less than 80 percent of class hours regardless of the reason will initiate a formal procedure (see student handbook).

Classification of Students

Full-Time - enrolled for 12 or more credits
Part-Time - enrolled in less than 12 credits
Freshman - having fewer than 30 credits
Sophomore - having 30 or more total credits

Challenge Examinations

Students may, with the approval of the student’s advisor, the instructor, and the Dean of Academic Affairs, request to receive credit for a course by special examination. Performance on the examination will become the basis for a grade in the course and the results will be recorded on the student’s permanent record. Students may not challenge a course which is a prerequisite to a course already completed. Challenge credits may not be applied toward the last 15 credits required for graduation. Challenge examinations need to be added and completed prior to the closing date of “ Last Day to Add Classes-No Registration” each semester. Challenge fees are the same as those which apply to courses taken for credit.

Official approval forms should be secured in advance from the Office of the Registrar.

Academic Standards

The college will make all reasonable efforts to assist students toward academic success. Degree and certificate students are required to maintain a cumulative 2.0 “C” Grade-Point-Average (GPA). Some programs, scholarships or grants may require a higher GPA. Students who do not achieve a minimum of 2.0 GPA for any one semester will be notified that their work for that semester does not reflect a satisfactory level of progress, and jeopardizes their degree or certificate objective. Two successive semesters of such notification will require a consultation among student, faculty advisor, and counselor to determine the most appropriate course of action, and may result in a recommendation that the student be dropped from enrollment at the college for at least one semester.

Course Numbers and Classification

Course numbers at Chief Dull Knife College are interpreted as follows:

  1. The two-letter prefix indicates an area of study. For example BU is an abbreviation for Business and all courses offered in this specific area are prefixed by this two-letter code.
  2. The first digit of the three digit code following the two letter prefix indicates whether a course is at the developmental (0), freshman (1), or sophomore (2) level. Sophomore level courses may be taken during the first year of study if a) they have no unsatisfied prerequisites and b) the instructor determines that the student has sufficient background to be successful in the course.
  3. The second digit of the three-digit code indicates whether the course is designed as an occupational/vocational course or is designed for transfer. A second digit of 0,1,2,3, or 4 indicates an occupationally (A.A.S. Degree or Vocational Certificate program) oriented course. A second digit of 5,6,7,8, or 9 indicates a transfer (A.A. degree) oriented course. Courses designated as occupational or vocational are not intended for transfer to four-year institutions but are designed to provide skills applicable to the College’s designated A.A.S. and Certificate programs.
  4. The third digit in the three-digit sequence indicates whether the course is one of a sequence.
  5. Special case numbers are as follows:
    • 241 or 271 Practicum Courses. Students may enroll in practicum experience courses, which will be numbered under the appropriate departmental heading. These courses are designed to give the students working experience in their field of concentration. A maximum of 4 credits per semester will be awarded for Practicum courses, with a maximum of 12 credits counted toward graduation.
    • 240 or 270 Independent Study Courses. CDKC offers two categories of independent study:
      • The first category is the regular coursework equivalent. When there is an unalterable schedule conflict a student may take a regular course by independent study. Course requirements are the same as for regular courses.
      • Second category is independent study for which there is no course equivalent. The student must obtain approval from a sponsoring instructor and must work with the instructor in developing an individual contract that states the objectives, the resources to be used, the method(s) of evaluation, and the relationship of the independent study to the individual’s educational objectives. A cumulative GPA of 2.5 and permission of both the sponsoring instructor and the Dean of Academic Affairs is required in order to take a course in either category of independent study. A student may take a maximum of one independent study course per semester. A maximum of 9 credits of independent study may be applied to graduation requirements. A student must have 30 or more credits or be a sophomore to take an Independent Study course in either category. The independent study form must be turned in with the registration card during registration. The following steps need to be followed:
        1. Approval and signature from Advisor;
        2. A GPA of 2.5 or higher;
        3. Signature from the Instructor;
        4. Signature from the Dean of Academic Affairs; and
        5. Signature from the Registrar.
      • 249 or 299 Special Courses, Workshops, Seminars. A course, seminar or workshop within a subject area may be organized for the study of some special topic of interest which is not available in the regular curriculum. Special topic courses will not fulfill the group requirements for graduation. The maximum number of credits within this category that a student can apply toward graduation is six.
      • 277 Internship Courses. Students may enroll in internship courses with the consent of a sponsoring instructor. Internship courses will be numbered under the appropriate departmental heading. A maximum of 6 credits per semester will be awarded for Internship courses, with a maximum of 12 credits counted toward graduation.

Credit Load Recommendation

A full study “load” for the average student is 15 credits per semester, which means that approximately 45 hours per week is devoted to college work. Students employed in outside work should reduce their credit load proportionately and should consult with their Advisor in determining an appropriate credit load. The following are maximum credit load recommendations:

Freshman - 15 credit hours
Sophomores - 18 credit hours

Scholarship Honors

The names of students carrying 12 or more credits who maintain a cumulative grade-point-average of 3.5 or higher will appear each semester on the President’s Honor List. Students with a 3.0-3.49 will appear on the Dean’s List.

Semester Unit of Credit - Definition

College work at Chief Dull Knife College is measured in terms of semester credits. A “credit” in a lecture-type class involves 1 hour of classroom work and 2 additional hours of outside work or preparation weekly. There may be variations of this pattern to accommodate courses, which utilize laboratory, studio, shop and workshops. A 3-credit course (lecture type) thus meets 3 hours per week, but assumes that an additional 6 hours will be spent in study or other courserelated work. Computed in this manner, the average credit load of 15 units involves approximately 45 hours of college work per week on the part of the student.