All Students, both registered and on the waitlist, are expected to attend the first class meeting. Instructors may drop all registered and waitlisted students who do not attend the first day of class, and they are required to drop those who quit attending prior to the census date for each class. They may, but are not required to, drop registered students who quit attending after census but before the final drop deadline for each class. Students are responsible for dropping their classes and withdrawing from the college, and should initiate the drop themselves.

All students admitted to the colleges of the Ventura County Community College District are expected to attend classes regularly, both because continuity of attendance is necessary to the individual and group progress in any class, and because financial support of the college is dependent upon student attendance. Absence for any reason does not relieve the student from the responsibility of completing all class requirements.

Additionally, it is the student’s responsibility to become aware of the attendance and absence policies of the instructor for each class in which they are enrolled at the beginning of the semester. When a student’s absences exceed 1/9 of the total class contact hours for the session (e.g. absence from the equivalent of two weeks of a regular semester-long class), the instructor may drop the student from the class and record a grade in accordance with the policy for dropping a course.

Distance Education Drop Policy

For Distance Education classes, specifically, those that are fully online, the drop policies of the individual instructor (as stated in the syllabus) may vary but are based upon the following:

  • Students are expected to attend the online class regularly, for a minimum number of hours and/or complete a minimum number of assignments or quizzes as determined by the instructor.
  • Students enrolled in online classes must regularly log in and actively participate or they may be considered non-participatory and be dropped.
  • Specific assignments within an online course can act as attendance or student activity indicators. If the assignment or activity is not completed by a given date, then a student is considered inactive and may be dropped. Attendance assignments or student activity indicators will be determined by individual instructors.
  • Attendance assignments or student activity indicators must be clearly defined in the course syllabus and fall into one of the following categories:
    1. Any assignment given before the census or drop dates.
    2. Assignments or activities indicating that the student has begun to participate in the online class.
  • Completion of assignments and activities by due dates.
  • Although it is the responsibility of the student to officially withdraw from a class, the instructor has the authority to drop a student for lack of active participation. The instructor is not required to notify the student after having provided students with the drop policy in the course syllabus. 

Regular Substantive Interaction Policy

In a distance education class, “regular substantive interaction” refers to frequent, substantive interaction between the instructor and his or her students, and among the students themselves, in the district-provided Learning Management System (LMS).

“Substantive interaction” between instructor and students is achieved through regular communication between the two parties. As in a face-to-face course, the instructor and his or her students must be able to initiate and participate in student discussions (or the equivalent) in an online environment via a variety of modalities in the district-provided Learning Management System (LMS). The instructor must regularly monitor and moderate any student assignments or activities in the online classroom in which students interact with each other. The instructor must be available to answer students’ questions about both the material and the course itself in an efficient and timely manner. The instructor must also provide regular and timely feedback on, and assessment of, student work. For example, the instructor should respond to students’ emails within the instructor’s stated availability contained in the syllabus; the instructor should provide feedback or grades on assignments within a week or within the instructor’s stated availability contained in the syllabus. In the context of a Distance Education (DE) course, the instructor must spend approximately as much time on these interactions as he or she would for a face-to-face course.

The modes that a DE instructor can use to create regular effective contact are almost limitless but should be easily accessible for the students and, when in question, verifiable. "Substantive interaction" includes teaching, learning & assessment consistent with the content AND at least two of the following:

  • Direct Instruction
  • Responding to questions
  • Facilitating group discussions
  • Other activities approved by the institution or accreditation agency 

The use of the district-provided LMS provides both accessibility and verifiability. The district-provided LMS and synchronous technologies include online chat (scheduled or unscheduled), telephone contact, video conferencing, virtual field trips, virtual meetings, or online presentation platforms such as Zoom. Asynchronous technologies include email and other correspondence, discussion forums or boards, class announcements via an LMS homepage, websites, blogs, podcasts, voicemail, SMS/text messaging, or e-lectures. Neither of these lists is exhaustive, as there are always new student learning technologies available at any given time. Any accessible medium (in compliance with Section 508 and the CCCCO Distance Learning Access Guidelines) is acceptable for facilitating regular substantive interaction.

Grading System and Practices

All course work, not just work that fulfills the requirements for associate degrees, certificates, diplomas, licenses, or baccalaureate-level work, is graded based on board policy.

Units of Credit

The Carnegie unit formula applies to all credit courses offered by the College, whether or not applicable to the associate degree. “One credit hour of community college work (one unit of credit) requires a minimum of 48 hours of lecture, study, or laboratory work at colleges operating on the semester system.”

The colleges of the Ventura County Community College District base its semester unit on one lecture class period of 50 minutes each week of a minimum 16-week semester. For practical purposes, the following terms are synonymous: unit, semester unit, semester hours, credit, credit hour.

For purposes of sections dealing with standards for probation and dismissal, all units attempted means all units of credit for which the student was enrolled in any college or university, regardless of whether the student completed the courses or received any credit or grade.