College Catalog: Academic Information
The focus of Academics and Guided Career Pathways is effective student learning for career and personal growth. To this end, faculty and staff are available to work closely with students from the point of application for admission through the progression of courses to completion of studies at Durham Tech.
Curriculum students meeting the requirements listed below will have the designation reflected on their permanent record.
President’s List – If a student is enrolled in a minimum of 12 curriculum credit hours and earns a 3.75 GPA or higher, the student will be placed on the President’s List for that term. This designation will be reflected on the student’s permanent record.
Dean’s List – If a student is enrolled in a minimum of 12 curriculum credit hours and earns a 3.25 to 3.74 GPA, the student will be placed on the Dean’s List for that term. This designation will be reflected on the student’s permanent record.
Part-Time Honor Roll – If a student is enrolled in 6 to 11 curriculum credit hours and earns a 3.25 GPA or higher, the student will be placed on the Part-Time Honor Roll for that term. This designation will be reflected on the student’s permanent record.
Students who meet the requirements listed below will have the designation reflected on the student’s permanent record and in the commencement program.
Cum Laude – If a graduating student has earned a cumulative GPA of 3.25 to 3.74, the student will graduate Cum Laude.
Magna Cum Laude – If a graduating student has earned a cumulative GPA of 3.75 to 3.99, the student will graduate Magna Cum Laude.
Summa Cum Laude - If a graduating student has earned a cumulative GPA of 4.0, the student will graduate Summa Cum Laude.
The Honors Program provides advanced opportunities for learning, leadership, and service within the arts and sciences curriculum. This program ensures that motivated students are offered leadership roles that will help enrich their academic pursuits with advanced scholarship. Students who present an acceptable Honors project and earn a final grade of A or B in the Honors course will receive an Honors designation on their transcript.
Academic achievement is also recognized through the Gamma Beta Phi Society and Phi Theta Kappa honor societies.
Academic Calendar for Credit Courses
The academic calendar lists class start dates, end dates, and holidays for the fall and spring semesters and the summer term for credit programs. The Registration section of the website provides information about advising, registration, payment, and withdrawal and refund deadlines.
Classification of Programs of Study
The College is authorized by the State Board of Community Colleges to award the Associate in Arts, Associate in Science, Associate in Arts in Teacher Preparation, Associate in Science in Teacher Preparation, Associate in Engineering, Associate in Fine Arts in Visual Arts, Associate in Applied Science, Associate in General Education, and Associate in General Education in Nursing degrees as well as diplomas and certificates. Several associate degrees allow students to complete up to two years of transferable course work toward a baccalaureate degree so the student will enter as a junior at a four-year college or university or have met the entrance requirements for a specialized degree. Other programs, ranging in length from one semester to two years, provide entry-level employment training.
The Associate in Arts (AA) and Associate in Science (AS) degrees are protected under the 2014 Comprehensive Articulation Agreement (CAA) and the 2015 Independent Comprehensive Articulation Agreement. Students who complete the AA or AS (totaling a minimum of 60 semester hours of credit) with a grade point average of 2.0 or higher and with a grade of C or above in all courses, will have satisfied the lower-division general education requirements at all NC public and most NC private four-year institutions and will transfer as a junior upon acceptance to a participating university. Students earning the AA are working toward degrees such as business, English, fine arts, history, nursing, psychology, and sociology, to name a few. Students in the AS program are working toward degrees that emphasize math and sciences such as biology, clinical lab science, geology, mathematics, physics, and radiology.
The Associate in Arts in Teacher Preparation (AATP) and Associate in Science in Teacher Preparation (ASTP) degrees are approved for transfer to some UNC System universities and independent colleges and universities that are signatories to the Uniform Articulation Agreement in Teacher Preparation between North Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities. The degrees consist of 60 semester hours of credit (SHC) of college transfer courses. Students in this program develop a broad liberal arts foundation in writing, math, science, humanities, and social sciences. They also complete field-specific training through a set of foundational education courses.
The Associate in Engineering (AE) degree is protected under the Uniform Articulation Agreement (Associate in Engineering) between the North Carolina Community College System and the five UNC institutions that offer the Bachelor of Science in Engineering (BSE) degree. Students who complete the AE program of study (totaling a minimum of 60 semester hours of credit) with a grade point average of 2.5 or higher and with a grade of C or higher in all courses and are accepted through competitive admission to a public four-year BSE program are considered both to have met the entrance requirements to the university engineering programs and the receiving university’s general education requirements.
The Associate in Fine Arts in Visual Arts (AFA) degree is protected under the Uniform Articulation Agreement (Associate for Fine Arts in in Visual Arts) between the University of North Carolina and its counterpart agreement with the NC Independent Colleges and Universities. It is designed for seamless transfer to one of the University of North Carolina Bachelor of Fine Arts/Visual Arts programs and many independent colleges in North Carolina. Students who complete this degree (totaling a minimum of 60 semester hours of credit) with a grade point average of 2.0 or higher and at least a C in all courses and are accepted through a competitive admissions process to a participating university will have met the entrance requirements for the Baccalaureate of Fine Arts program.
The Early Childhood Education Uniform Articulation Agreement provides guidelines for transferring the Associate in Applied Science (AAS) in Early Childhood Education Transfer degree to a Bachelor in Science degree in Birth-to-Kindergarten Teacher Education at participating UNC System universities. Students who complete the degree (with a minimum of 71 semester hours of credit) and earn a C or higher and an overall 2.0 GPA and who gain admission through a competitive admissions process may transfer at least 60 credit hours to a participating university.
The Associate in General Education in Nursing degree (AGE-N), governed by the RN to BSN Uniform Articulation Agreement with the University of North Carolina and a similar agreement with NC Independent Colleges and Universities, provides a pathway for Registered Nurses to complete general education requirements before transferring to complete a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) at most UNC System schools of nursing and many private institutions. Students who complete the AGE-N (with a minimum of 60 semester hours of credit) with a C or higher in all courses and an overall 2.0 GPA and who are accepted to a participating university through a competitive admissions process are considered to have met the nursing program entrance requirements and the receiving university’s general education requirements. These students can transfer at least 58 credit hours towards a BSN. The AGE-N is also designed for students who wish to begin their studies toward the Associate in Nursing degree with the long-term goal of earning a BSN.
The Associate in General Education (AGE) is a highly flexible degree program (with a minimum of 64 semester hours of credit) that is designed for students wishing to broaden their education with emphasis on personal interest, growth, and development. While not designed specifically for transfer, transferability of some courses is possible, depending on which specific courses are selected for the degree. Courses for the AGE degree may be selected from either the University Transfer programs or from technical programs, provided that a minimum of 18 credits in a general education core is included. Students should consult with their advisor about course selections based on their goals, and carefully review course descriptions for information about transferability. Additional information is available on the NCCCS College Transfer Articulation Agreements webpages.
The Associate in Applied Science (AAS) degree is awarded for two-year technical programs (with a minimum of 64 semester hours of credit) that focus on preparing the student for a profession or career advancement. There are senior institutions that accept some of these degrees as the first two years of a four-year program through four-year partnerships, also referred to as bilateral agreements. Other senior institutions evaluate the Associate in Applied Science degree on a course-by-course basis. Students should consult with their advisor about course selections based on their goals, and carefully review course descriptions for information about transferability. Information about the colleges and universities that offer transfer credit for courses in the Associate in Applied Science degree programs completed at Durham Tech is available on the Four-Year College and University Partnerships webpage.
A Diploma (with a minimum of 36 semester hours of credit) prepares students who intend to enter the workforce immediately following graduation from their program or who are seeking career advancement.
A Certificate (with a minimum of 12 semester hours of credit) prepares students who intend to enter the workforce immediately following graduation from their program or who are seeking career advancement.
Non-credit (Continuing Education) courses and programs provide education and training opportunities for targeted audiences. Courses are non-credit, short-term, and are offered in a variety of instructional delivery modes and locations. Non-credit options include programs that are designed to provide instructional opportunities for individuals seeking to gain new or upgrade current job-related skills. Programs can be delivered as a single course or bundled as a series of courses that provide instruction around skill competencies that lead to a recognized credential (licensure, certification, renewal, registry listing) or meet local workforce labor needs. Through Corporate Services, Durham Tech provides flexible, dynamic, customized training for industries and our community partners. The Center for Global Learner (CGL) serves non-native English speakers with courses in English as a Second Language (ESL) and Beyond Basic English as a Second Language (BBESL).
Durham Tech students can enter one of seven Guided Career Pathways with clear paths aligned to their career interests. Students can shift between short-term, long-term, and university transfer options within a Pathway with easier transitions.
Durham Tech offers classes in three "modes of delivery": seated (also called "traditional" or "face-to-face"), online, and hybrid (combination of seated and online).
Online classes can be synchronous (everyone is online at the same time) or asynchronous (students can go online when it is convenient for them).
If a student does not complete their catalog year program of study within a period of five years despite continuous enrollment at the College, the College may administratively update the student’s program catalog year to the most current year program of study. Students may also request to move to a more recent catalog year. This process maintains the integrity of changes in standards, prerequisites, course content, regulatory guidelines, and procedures.
Academic advisors are available to help students learn more about programs that are aligned with their interests, work skills, and personal goals. For each academic program of study, students will find information online about entry requirements, required and elective courses, potential career and/or transfer opportunities, and graduation requirements.
Course loads for full-time students are established by using the list of courses on the student’s academic plan of study.
Only courses included in the student’s academic program and any officially approved substitute courses count toward graduation.
To graduate, students must successfully complete all required courses by meeting required credit hours for the program of study, receiving a passing grade in each course required for the program of study, earning at least a 2.0 overall grade point average (2.5 for Associate in Engineering and 2.7 for the Associate in Arts or Science in Teacher Preparation), and completing a minimum of 25 percent of the required coursework at the College. In addition, specified programs may require a grade of no less than C for some courses and no less than a grade of B in other courses as designated in the appropriate program handbook.
When changing the primary program or adding a secondary program, a student must follow the steps in the
Readmission and Change of Program procedure.
Academic Programs Offered at Durham Tech
Note: Non-credit programs are in italicized type. Programs that have both curriculum and non-credit options are in bold italicized type.
Building, Engineering, and Skilled Trades
Business and Entrepreneurship
Accounting and Finance
Health and Wellness
Occupational Therapy Assistant
Creative and Liberal Arts
Associate in Arts
Human Services and Public Safety
Basic Law Enforcement Training
IT and Cloud Systems Administration
Science and Math
Associate in Science
View the alphabetical list of programs and the complete list of short-term, long-term, and university transfer options in the Programs and Pathways section of the website.
Descriptions of each credit and non-credit (Continuing Education) course, number of semester credit hours or contact hours, prerequisites, and corequisites are listed in the Courses section of the website. Course outlines for most courses are also available.
Durham Tech offers a wide array of online courses as a flexible alternative to traditional, on-campus classes. Credit online courses cover the same content as their traditional counterparts and follow the academic calendar. Students are required to complete assignments each week according to the class schedule, maintain regular contact with the instructor, and participate in online class discussions. While all coursework is completed online, attendance at an orientation or to take exams on campus may be required for some classes. Non-credit online courses offer students a convenient way to advance their career or learn something new.
View the Online Learning section of the website.
Classification of Students
Persons attending the College are classified as either credit students or non-credit students. Credit students can be admitted students or visiting students. Credit students are classified as either full-time or part-time students. Below are definitions for student classifications:
Credit Students – People who are enrolled in credit courses that can lead to an associate degree, diploma, or certificate.
Admitted Students – People who have been fully admitted to a program of study leading to an associate degree, diploma, or certificate. They are also eligible to be considered for course substitutions or credit by examination and qualify for academic recognition.
Visiting Students – People who have not been admitted to a program of study offered by the College and, therefore, are not officially pursuing a degree, diploma, or certificate, but who are taking classes that can lead to these credentials. They receive advising through Advising Services. They are not eligible to be considered for course substitutions, may not receive credit by examination, do not qualify for academic recognition, and are not eligible for federal financial aid.
It is strongly recommended that any student intending to complete a program of study at Durham Tech not proceed beyond one term of full-time study, or 12 credits, as a visiting student before applying for admission. Delay in applying for admission may result in loss of credits and other penalties or disadvantages.
Full-Time Students – People who have registered for a minimum of 12 credit hours for the term.
Part-Time Students – People who have registered for fewer than 12 credit hours for the term.
Non-credit Students – People who are engaged in education and training courses that lead to job-related skills, industry credentials/certifications, or personal enrichment and are not classified as credit courses within a degree, diploma, or certificate.
Grades and Grading System
Grades are available through Self-Service at the end of each term. Grade information includes the semester hour credits earned and the grade point average for the term.
Each term, Durham Tech establishes a date on which final course grades are due. To ensure that all students are treated in a fair and equitable manner, the College will not release a final grade for any student prior to the final grade due date.
Grading System and Grade Point Average (GPA) Calculation
Durham Tech employs a letter grading system to evaluate students’ performance in meeting the stated objectives of the of the instructional experience.
View the Grading System policy and procedure and the Grade Point Average (GPA) Calculation policy and procedure.
Change of Grade
Grades may be changed if an instructor has made a data entry error or miscalculated a final grade. Such a miscalculation may occur due to the inadvertent omission of an assignment, a missed electronic transmission of a grade or assignment, or a mathematical/calculation error.
View the Grade Change Request and Approval procedure.
A student may not enroll in the same course more than three times without departmental approval. Some Health and Wellness courses have a limit of one or two enrollments. A student may request a waiver from this restriction if they discuss their request with the appropriate dean and complete a waiver request form.
Repeating courses may have a negative impact on satisfactory academic progress. Students receiving financial aid should consult the Academic Standards for Financial Aid section of the website for additional information.
If a course is repeated, only the best grade is used in calculating the cumulative GPA. A student may choose to take a different elective course instead of repeating the same elective course; however, the credit hours and grade points for both courses will be included in calculating the GPA for graduation. Grade point averages for financial aid purposes are calculated based on all course attempts.
During the university transfer process, the senior institution may recalculate transfer students’ GPA using that institution’s method of calculation for course repeats.
All grades remain on the student’s transcript, regardless of whether they are included in the calculation of a student’s GPA.
Students may not register for two sections of the same course within the same term.
Course Prerequisites and Corequisites
Some courses have prerequisites and corequisites which are listed in the Courses section of the website. Courses covered by the Comprehensive Articulation Agreement (CAA) require students to complete any prerequisite course with a grade of C or better before taking these courses. This requirement may be waived on a case-by-case basis for CAA courses in non-transfer programs at the discretion of the program director and approval from their supervisor.
Corequisites are taken during the same term or a previous term. Advisors work with students to ensure that prerequisite requirements have been met.
Curriculum Semester/Term Length and Credit Hour Calculation
Durham Tech curriculum (credit) courses operate on a three-term academic calendar. The fall and spring semesters are each 16 weeks long; the duration of courses in the summer term is 8 or 10 weeks. In addition, the College offers some courses in 8-week mini-sessions during the fall and spring semesters, and occasionally offers instruction in time frames of varying length to meet the training demands or schedules of other agencies.
A credit hour at Durham Tech, as required by the State Board of Community Colleges Code, is calculated according to the following formula:
- Credit of one semester hour is awarded for each 16 hours of lecture and other instruction provided in a class under the supervision of an instructor;
- Credit of one semester hour is awarded for each 32 hours of "experiential laboratory work";
- Credit of one semester hour is awarded for each 48 hours of "faculty directed laboratory";
- Credit of one semester hour is awarded for each 48 hours of clinical practice; and
- Credit of one semester hour is awarded for each 160 hours of work-based learning.
Academic deans have the authority to substitute a course if it brings similar value to the program of study. Substitutions are distinctly separate from teach-out plans. Deans and program directors should review plans of study regularly to ensure they reflect current offerings and scheduling practices to avoid excessive substitutions.
View the Course Substitutions procedure.
Students who have met with an advisor during priority, general, or late advising and registration may register, make schedule adjustments, and add or drop courses by accessing Self-Service through the last day of registration. Students do not need to meet with an advisor again unless they are registering for classes not previously approved by an academic advisor or need additional assistance.
During the schedule adjustment period, new and currently enrolled students must contact an academic advisor to add courses or adjust existing schedules. Courses may not be added after the first scheduled class meeting. The first scheduled class meeting for online, asynchronous courses is the first day of the term.
For any course added during the schedule adjustment period, payment is due at the time of registration. Students requesting an exception to the schedule adjustment process must make a request to the academic dean over the program area responsible for the course.
On rare occasions, the College may reassign students to different sections or classes if it determines that such reassignments are in the best interest of the student or improves the teaching and learning process.
Incoming Transfer Students
Transfer students applying for admission to Durham Tech must meet all admission requirements for their chosen program.
View the Transfer Credit Award policy and procedure and the Readmission and Change of Academic Program procedure.
Requirements for Graduation
To be eligible for graduation, students must complete all courses and credit hours required in the program of study under which they were admitted with a minimum GPA of 2.0 (2.5 for the Associate in Engineering and 2.7 for the Associate in Arts and Sciences in Teacher Preparation degrees). In addition, specified programs may require a grade of no less than a C in some courses and no less than a B in other courses as designated in the appropriate program handbook.
Students must complete a minimum of 25 percent of earned credit hours at Durham Tech to complete the desired program of study at Durham Tech.
Students should complete a graduation application form for their degree, diploma, or certificate one semester before their anticipated date of graduation. For example, students should apply for graduation when they register for the fall semester if they plan to graduate at the end of spring semester. Refer to the Apply for Graduation webpage for instructions on how to complete the graduation application process.
View the Curriculum Program Completion and Graduation policy.