Academic Guidelines

Academic (GPA) Requirements for Obtaining a Degree at TCC

When you have completed the 92 required credits listed as degree requirements for Human Services, you will be granted a technical arts degree (Associate in Applied Sciences in Human Services).   The college additionally requires that you have at least a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 2.00 overall and a cumulative GPA of 2.00 in course work taken at Tacoma Community College . 


 What happens if you fall below a 2.00 GPA? It depends!

 1.   If you fall below a 2.00 GPA in any given quarter , you will be sent an academic deficiency notice, but that's as far as it goes.   (However, it would be wise to consult with yourself, and anyone else who might be helpful, regarding the reasons for the low grades and remedies that will remove the problem in the following quarter.) 

2.   If you fall below a 2.00 GPA for 2 quarters in succession, you will be placed on academic probation and will be required to set up a program (after consulting with program coordinator) which will help you and improve your academic standing.   (This is, indeed, deeper water.   The college considers this serious and you had better, too, because the next step is...) 

3.   If you fall below a 2.00 GPA for 3 quarters in succession, you will be under academic suspension , and this is trouble you probably don't want.   It means you will not be allowed to enroll for the following quarter (Summer is included under Fall quarter, so if you are suspended following Spring quarter, you can't apply for re-enrollment until Winter quarter).   To be readmitted, you will have to petition the Academic Review Committee (see the TCC Catalog for official procedures). 

4.   If, after you've been readmitted, you should again fall below a 2.00 GPA (which, in essence, means 4 quarters of coursework in a row below 2.00), you will be suspended from the college for 3 consecutive quarters and dismissed from the Human Services Program either temporarily or permanently (see the Disciplinary Action section of this handbook).   Obviously, this is no way to earn a degree quickly and it also points to some continuing problems that need to be addressed.   At this point you may say to yourself, "Perhaps I need some outside help with this, because I'm not getting so far on my own!"   The college is equipped, through the counseling center, to help you, and we encourage you to make good use of its resources. 

Academic Review Policies and Procedures

Human Services students are required to adhere to the Human Services Code of Ethics, the Tacoma Community College Student Rights and Responsibilities Code (Ch. 132V-120 WAC) and the Tacoma Community College Academic Review Policy.   If college codes have been violated, the student will be referred to the Dean of Student Services for action by the college.   For the action likely to be taken by the college, please refer to the TCC catalog.   The Human Services academic action process is listed below. 

Failure to adhere to the Human Services Code of Ethics or to the academic standards of the program may result in one of the following academic actions: warning, probation or dismissal.


Academic warnings will be given in the following circumstances: 

  1. Earning a GPA below 2.0 in any given quarter. This warning is issued by the college, not the Human Services Program. 
  2. Receiving a "D" in any course required for the Human Services AAS degree or one-year certificate. This will result in a written warning from your Program Advisor. This course must be repeated! 
  3. Receiving two incompletes in any given quarter. This will result in a written warning from your Program Advisor. 

Warnings will be issued by the Program Coordinator for minor violations of the Code of Ethics. Examples of such violations include:

  1. Use of inappropriate language. 
  2. Complaints from clinical practicum settings. 
  3. Habitually coming late to class or poor attendance at class. 


Probation will be used as a tool to monitor and evaluate serious academic problems and infractions of the Code of Ethics.   Probation may last from one to three quarters.   Students placed upon probation must accomplish certain objectives agreed upon by the student and the program coordinator within a specified time frame.   These objectives will be specified in a contract signed by the student, his/her advisor, and the program coordinator.   Failure to complete the objectives of the probation will lead to review by the Academic Review Committee of the Human Services Program. 


Probation will occur under the following circumstances: 

  1. Earning a GPA below 2.0 for two quarters in succession.This probation is issued by the college.   
  2. The Human Services Professional Program follows the college procedure for this probation as listed in the TCC catalog. 
  3. Accumulating four incompletes. This probation is issued by the program coordinator. A contract for removing probationary status will be negotiated between the student and his/her advisor and approved by the program coordinator. 

Probation will occur for violations of the Code of Ethics. Examples of such violations likely to lead to probation include: 

  1. Failure to maintain confidentiality. 
  2. Plagiarism or cheating. 
  3. Substance abuse.

 Probation will occur if the student fails to correct the conditions giving rise to warnings as described under the heading WARNINGS


Dismissal from the Human Services Program may be on a temporary or permanent basis as determined by the Human Services Academic Review Committee. 


Dismissal will occur under the following circumstances: 

  1. Failing to pass a required Human Services course with a grade of "C" or better in two attempts. 
  2. Failing to maintain a GPA of greater than 2.0 following probation. 
  3. Failing to register for classes at the college two quarters in succession, excluding Summer quarter. This results in automatic dismissal from the program. Students wishing to reenter must apply for admission to the program. 

 Dismissal will occur for violations of the Code of Ethics.   Examples of such violations include:

1.   Excessive absences. 

2.   Being dismissed from a clinical site for unethical conduct. 

3.   Consistent pattern of substance abuse.  


Withdrawing from the Program

We will consider you to have withdrawn from the program if you do not attend for two quarters in succession. But not to worry, if you wish to return to Human Services classes you will just need to be readmitted into the program.The reasoning behind this policy is very simple: we must report attendance and graduation statistics to the State of Washington.

If you are suspended from the college for three consecutive quarters because of a GPA that has fallen below 2.0 for your last four quarters, you will fall under the same ruling as a student who has not attended for two successive quarters.   You will then need to be readmitted to the program in addition to petitioning the Academic Review Committee for reenrollment in classes.

Graduation Requirements

When you have completed all the coursework required for the Associate in Applied Sciences Degree in Human Services and wish to graduate, or you have completed all the coursework required for the one-year program and wish to receive a copy of the certificate, you need to do the following.

  1. Pick up an application for graduation at the Registration Office in Bldg 7. 
  2. Check with your advisor to make certain you have, in fact, completed all requirements. 
  3. Fill out the application, have it signed by the program coordinator, and RETURN IT TO THE CASHIER NO LATER THAN THE SECOND WEEK OF THE QUARTER IN WHICH YOU INTEND TO GRADUATE. You will be asked to pay a processing fee of $10.50 for each degree you earn.

Your application will then be evaluated and at the end of the quarter in which you have applied, your diploma will be sent to you.  

Graduation (commencement) ceremonies are held only once a year following the end of Spring quarter.  

Transferring to Four-Year Colleges

Some of you have further education in mind when you begin your coursework here.   Others begin to consider it as you get into your studies and change your horizons.   Insuring proper coursework for transferring to a four-year college or university, then, becomes an important ingredient in your program planning. Keep in mind that the final decision for credit transfers rests with institution to which you are transferring; therefore, you should contact them with any questions you may have. 

Several colleges in the area offer a variety of opportunities for you to continue your education. Although the following list is not all-inclusive, it may provide you with useful starting points.

Central Washington University (Ellensburg)

Pacific Lutheran University (Spanaway)

St. Martin's College (Lacey)                                      

The Evergreen State College (Olympia)

The Evergreen State College (Tacoma)

University of Phoenix (online)          

University of Puget Sound (Tacoma)

University of Washington (Seattle)      

University of Washington (Tacoma)

Washington State University (Pullman and distance education options)

Western Washington University (Bellingham)    


After spending two years of growth and development with you during your coursework here at TCC, we see your leaving as bittersweet.   You shared a good part of yourself with us and have left your impact.   We'll miss you.   On the other hand, we are enthusiastic about your future in the field and we wish you well.   We'd like to keep in touch with you to know how and what you're doing with your career, and to receive any feedback you might have regarding the program as you gain some perspective.   We'd also like to offer you the opportunity to earn continuing education credits by taking specialty courses and workshops that we will continue to generate in response to community needs.  

Please inform us of address changes and/or work changes so we don't lose contact with you .   We can be each other's best resources!



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