2016-2017 Academic Catalog and Student Handbook 
    May 20, 2024  
2016-2017 Academic Catalog and Student Handbook [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Academic Information

Academic Advisement

New students will be assisted by Student Services advisors and staff in making career decisions, selecting courses and accessing appropriate support services. Currently enrolled students will then be assigned an academic advisor who will assist in future career and course selection decisions. Academic advisor contact information is located online at AccessOTC. All degree-seeking students should file an Education Plan, approved by their assigned advisor, before registering for their second semester. For Advising resources and tutorials, visit otc.edu/advising. For more information, call (417) 447-6900.

Developmental Courses

Developmental courses are courses that are numbered below 100. These courses provide instruction in basic math, reading, writing and study skills that are necessary for achieving almost all academic and career goals. Courses with the prefix TLC are offered through the Speckman Tutoring and Learning Center and include a variety of study skill courses.

Developmental courses are not counted toward a certificate or degree program and are not a part of the grade point average (GPA) calculation. Students taking developmental classes should determine if there are any financial aid implications.

High School Programs

OTC Career Center

Enrollment through the OTC Career Center is an excellent way for eligible high school juniors and seniors who reside in the OTC district (plus Bolivar, Fair Grove, Marion C. Early, Seymour and Sparta) to engage in career exploration, prepare for a community college or four-year university, and develop career and technical education skills needed in today’s global economy and workforce. Students attend one half day of classes, either mornings or afternoons, at their high school and then attend college-level career and technical education courses on the OTC main campus. Each year of enrollment, students have the opportunity to earn high school and college credits simultaneously; on average, students may earn up to 32 hours of college credit when enrolled in an OTC technical program for two years through the OTC Career Center. Tuition and transportation are provided by the student’s high school and the college textbooks are loaned to the student by the OTC Career Center. The office is located on the first floor of the Industry Transportation & Technology Center, Suite 109 on the OTC Springfield Campus. For more information, call (417) 447-8126.

Middle College

Middle College, located at OTC Springfield Campus, opened in 2008 to provide local students with an alternative, contemporary model of education. Middle College serves juniors and seniors in high school who seek a change from the traditional school experience. The program is focused on college and career readiness and designed to inspire student learning through a stimulating college environment, innovative teaching and internship experiences. All students select a career pathway from one of five areas: early childhood, diesel/automotive technology, medical services, computers and agriculture. The typical student can earn 20+ college credits by the time they graduate from high school. Students from Springfield Public Schools, Rogersville, Republic and Sparta may apply through their high school counselor. Students must be selected and approved by their home high school prior to admission. Middle College is a scholarship-based program. All tuition, fees and textbooks are free. An annual student enrollment fee of $60 is paid by the student. Additional information may be located on the web at otc.edu/middlecollege or by calling the office at (417) 447-6997.

Health Professions Academy

The Health Professions Academy opened in fall 2013 to help high achieving students interested in the healthcare field finish high school and start college early. The typical student can earn 30-40 college credits by the time they finish high school through this accelerated program. Eligible students must apply during their sophomore year and meet the following criteria: 3.00 GPA, good attendance and economic need. Students will participate in an interview selection process and family income will be required to determine eligibility. The Health Professions Academy is a scholarship-based program. All tuition, fees and textbooks are free. An annual student enrollment fee of $60 is paid by the student. The Health Professions Academy is operated under the educational umbrella of the Middle College high school program. Additional information may be located at otc.edu/middlecollege or by calling the office at (417) 447-6997.

Dual Credit

The OTC Dual Credit program provides an opportunity for eligible students to enroll in college-level courses and earn both college credit and high school credit simultaneously by taking OTC classes at their high school or online. The primary purpose is to provide introductory college experiences for high performing high school students within the college service region. For more information please visit the OTC Dual Credit webpage at otc.edu/dualcredit or email dualcredit@otc.edu.

Early Start Students

High school students sixteen (16) years of age or older may be admitted to some courses on the college campus under certain conditions. A permission form can be obtained from Student Services. For more information, call (417) 447-8198 or visit otc.edu/highschool.


OTC’s newest high school program, FastTrack allows students to take courses at any OTC campus or education center during their high school hours and the high school is responsible for the tuition. FastTrack is currently only available at the Hollister, Laquey and Ozark school districts. This program is a great opportunity for high schools that do not have instructors qualified to teach dual credit courses and/or do not have the technology or the space to participate in online dual credit. Students get a real taste of college-level courses and campus life. For more information, call (417) 447-8198 or visit otc.edu/highschool.

Adult Education and Literacy (AELEL)

(Certificate of High School Equivalence Preparation and English as a Second Language)

OTC’s Adult Education and Literacy (AEL) program at provides specialized instruction to help students build or refresh the basic academic skills necessary for success in the workplace, developing English as a Second Language (ESL), success on the Certificate of High School Equivalence exam, or in preparation for post-secondary education. The free classes are available throughout Greene, Polk, Dallas, Lawrence, Christian, Stone, Taney, Webster and Wright counties in cooperation with local school districts and agencies. AEL is funded by OTC and Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. Call (417) 447-8860 for location and enrollment information.

Adult Education Transition Program

Improve your English and math skills at no cost through OTC’s Adult Education Transition program. Through this program, you have the chance to strengthen your academic skills by targeting courses specific to your needs. This no cost opportunity increases your chance of success and allows you to complete your certificate or degree with fewer developmental courses.

Many students starting college may need to review skills they have forgotten. Others may have learning gaps in subjects they found difficult or missed in school. The Adult Education Transition program helps you be better prepared for success. One of the best things about the Adult Education Transition Program is that it is individualized. That means you will only study the things you need to learn. Students’ skills are reviewed after 50 hours of attendance.

Center for Workforce Development (CWD)

The Center for Workforce Development is an important economic development arm of OTC. The center is focused on supporting and increasing job skills for southwest Missouri’s workforce talent pipeline by delivering industry-specific and accelerated job training programs. These programs meet the service area’s business needs in order to maintain a stable economy.

CWD staff work with local employers to design workforce training programs that meet specialized training needs. Program topics may include pre-employment training programs or customized, incumbent worker training programs. Types of workforce job training programs available range from updating or developing new technical skills, computer training, team-building, basic supervision skills, manufacturing, safety, robotics, green construction, alternative energy, Transport Training Institute with CDL licensing, engine mechanical and executive leadership development. Job skills training and professional certificate programs are available for careers such as Certified Nurse Assistant, Pharmacy Technician, Phlebotomy Technician, Child Development Associate, among many others. For more information and assistance, (417) 447-8901 or visit workforce.otc.edu.

Computer Use Expectations for Seated Courses

In today’s computer-based society, it is imperative that students develop computer skills. Therefore, OTC students are expected to use online technology to assist n the learning process. At a minimum, students are expected to login to the online learning platform (i.e. Blackboard) where course syllabus and faculty information are located. In addition, students may be expected to further utilize online technology as required by the instructor.

Honors Program

The Honors Program at OTC allows qualified students the opportunity to engage in unique learning opportunities while developing close academic relationships with peers and instructors. The OTC Honors Program provides academically motivated and high-achieving students who conduct themselves in a responsible manner the opportunity to develop their full potential through collaboration with a designated community of scholars and enhanced/additional learning environments and opportunities.

The Honors Program is designed to:

  • Encourage critical and creative thinking through curriculum that requires analysis, interpretation, synthesis and problem solving.
  • Provide an enriched and innovative program of study to students who demonstrate a motivated and inquiring attitude toward education.
  • Foster team building, collaboration and leadership through the skillful use of communication.
  • Promote responsible and challenging actions for the common good as an active, engaged citizen.
  • Build a network of academic and community resources.

The Honors Program is a selective admissions program with limited enrollment per semester, please contact the Director of the Honors Program for more information concerning the application process, the coursework requirements, and the program completion requirements. Visit otc.edu/honors for more information.

Classification of Students

Freshman. A student who has completed fewer than thirty (30) credit hours of course work.

Sophomore. A student who has completed thirty (30) or more credit hours of course work.

Concurrent Enrollment

Concurrent enrollment of a student at more than one educational institution may be appropriate and should not be discouraged, but the student should consider the demands of the total academic load.

Course Numbering System

001-099 Developmental

Will not count toward the requirements for a certificate or degree.

100-199 Freshman-Level Courses

May be counted toward the requirements for a certificate or degree.

100 level courses assume minimal background knowledge and/or skills. These courses introduce students to the vocabulary and methods of the discipline.

Those offered by the Allied Health and Technical divisions would normally appear in the first year of the preferred course sequence.

Those offered by the General Education division would traditionally be freshman level courses for students majoring or minoring in this discipline at a four-year institution.

200 and Above Sophomore-Level Courses

May be counted toward the requirements for a certificate or degree.

200 and above level courses assume both background knowledge and/or skills. These courses expect students to apply and synthesize background knowledge and/or skills.

Those offered by the Allied Health and Technical divisions would normally appear in the second year of the preferred course sequence.

Those offered by the General Education division would traditionally be sophomore level courses for students majoring or minoring in this discipline at a four-year institution.

Course Delivery Options

Seated Course

Courses that require regularly scheduled on-campus class attendance for the entire semester.

Online Course

Courses in which students access all course materials, participate in course activities and interact with other students and the instructor over the internet. Each online course requires at least one proctored event. Some specifically determined courses may require more than one proctored event.

Hybrid Course

Courses in which a portion of the curriculum is conducted online and a portion requires on-campus attendance. Face-to-face meeting times will be clearly stated in the semester schedules.

Grading System

Official grades are issued for each student at the end of each semester. Students enrolled in credit courses will be graded by the letter grade system indicated below:

Grade Points Definition
A 4 The student has, in an exemplary way, met the objectives established for the course
B 3 The student has, in a superior way, met the objectives established for the course
C 2 The student has adequately met the objectives established for the course.
D 1 The student has minimally met the objectives established for the course.
F 0 The student failed to meet the objectives established for the course.
AU 0 The student enrolled in and completed the course as an “auditor.” Requirements for successful completion as an auditor are arranged with the course instructor. Does not count as credit for the course.
G 0 Academic Fresh Start. Used in conjunction with the original letter grade earned by the student. Course no longer counts toward a certificate or degree. Not counted for academic honors.
I 0 An “I,” or incomplete, indicates that a student has been doing acceptable work but has not completed a small amount of the work. It is the student’s responsibility to have this deficiency removed within six (6) weeks after the incomplete is assigned. When, in the judgment of the instructor, a student is not making a reasonable effort to remove the incomplete, the grade will automatically be changed to an “F.”
N 0 Used in conjunction with letter grades of A,B,C,D for classes which are traditionally below college level (less than 100 level). These courses are not included in consideration for honors.
NP 0 Not Passing. Given for courses (less than 100 level), as well as selected courses which have been approved by the Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, to be offered on a Passing/Not-Passing system.
P 0 Passing. Awarded upon successful completion of Continuing Education course. May also be used for selected credit courses with the approval of the Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs.
S 0 Credit by Exam. The student received credit for the course through proficiency examination. This symbol counts as hours earned but not as hours attempted. Not more than 24 credit hours may be earned through “Credit by Exam” unless otherwise approved by the Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs.
W 0 Withdrew. The student withdrew prior to the deadline to withdraw. This symbol does not count as hours attempted or as hours earned.
R Repeat Code The student has repeated the course work.

Course Load/Overload

It is required that the maximum course load for each of the following academic terms be observed:

Term Maximum Credit Hours
Summer 10 credit hours
Fall 21 credit hours
Spring 21 credit hours

Students may not exceed these maximums unless they have received permission for an overload from an academic advisor. The student must complete a time management plan and is expected to have carried a minimum of 12 credit hours of college level courses during the previous semester and maintained a GPA of at least 3.0.

Enrollment Definitions

Full-Time: A student enrolled for twelve or more credit hours.

Part-Time: A student enrolled for fewer than twelve credit hours.

Previously Earned Credit

Certain vocational and technical course work earned more than six (6) years prior to the awarding of a degree or certificate may be counted only with the approval of the Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs.

Credit by Exam (Test Out)

It is the policy of the college that credit for specified courses may be awarded by examination. A student who can demonstrate the required competencies, by means of an established assessment, may receive credit for a course. Please see the Student Handbook for procedures to complete this process.

Probation & Suspension

The Academic Probation and Suspension policy applies only to students enrolled in credit programs.

A minimum cumulative 2.00 GPA is necessary for graduation. Transfer credits are not included in the GPA computation. Degree- and certificate- seeking students performing below the satisfactory level outlined in the schedule detailed below will automatically be placed on academic probation until they attain the satisfactory GPA level.

Probationary students are expected to work closely with their instructors, advisors and counselors in order to improve their academic performance. Probationary students will be required to limit their semester course load to 12 hours or less as determined by the advisor and approved by the appropriate administrator. Students may also be required to enroll in developmental course work.

The Cumulative Grade Point Average Schedule

Cumulative Hours Attempted GPA Satisfactory Level
6-25 1.50
26-40 1.75
41+ 2.00

Probationary students who have not attained satisfactory progress levels will be suspended for one semester at the end of three consecutive probationary semesters of enrollment. Students on academic suspension are not eligible for re-enrollment at OTC the following full semester. They may be re-admitted on probation after one semester’s suspension.

Repeating Courses

Credit Courses. Courses with earned grades may be repeated to allow a student to improve his/her grade point average. Once a class is repeated, the new grade replaces the previous grade in the grade point average. If a student elects to repeat a course, the grade earned from the final attempt of the course is the final grade, even if that grade is lower than the previous attempt. All previous attempts will be shown on the transcript as a repeated course and will not be included in the semester or cumulative grade point average calculations.

Center for Workforce Development. Students may enroll in community enrichment courses as many times as necessary to accomplish their individual goals, provided they continue to show progress, do not prohibit others from participating, and are willing to pay fees.

Academic & Course Grade Appeal

The college has established an equitable and orderly process to resolve academic dissatisfaction. This may include final grades, instructional procedures, attendance, instructional quality and situations related to academic issues. For a detailed procedure, please see the 2016-2017 Student Handbook .

Academic Fresh Start

Students returning to OTC after an absence of three years or longer, with a cumulative OTC GPA of less than 2.0, may apply for Academic Fresh Start in order to recover from a deficient GPA. Academic Fresh Start will be limited to those cases in which the student’s prior record does not reflect his/her current maturity with respect to motivation, attitude and ability. For a detailed procedure, please see the 2016-2017 Student Handbook .

Academic Hardship Withdrawal

An Academic Hardship Withdrawal may be granted to students who experience non-academic emergencies which interfere or prevent the completion of coursework and cannot be resolved through traditional withdrawal methods. Typically, hardships (non-academic emergencies) tend to fall into one of three categories: medical, personal and financial. Hardship withdrawals are not granted unless there is a compelling reason for such requests.

The Academic Hardship Withdrawal process is not the appropriate venue to resolve or petition instructional or financial matters (e.g., grades, refunds). Such concerns must be addressed to the respective department. In addition, the Hardship Withdrawal process is not an alternative means to drop classes after the published drop date to remove unwanted grades or preclude resulting academic/financial aid actions (warning, probation, exclusion, etc.). For a detailed procedure, please see the 2016-2017 Student Handbook .

Final Examinations

It is the policy of the college that all courses will include a comprehensive end-of-term assessment. Each course will have a consistent assessment to be given during the pre-determined final testing period for each section of the course regardless of location or delivery method. This assessment will be of a comprehensive nature to measure the students general understanding of the topics covered throughout the course. Each assessment will be delivered in a manner to most effectively utilize the allotted time period provided. Any deviation from these procedures must be approved by the Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, prior to the scheduled assessment period. Please see the OTC website for the current final examination schedule.

Graduation Requirements

Successful candidates for graduation will:

  • Complete all degree or certificate requirements for his or her chosen field of study.
  • Have a minimum cumulative 2.00 GPA after his or her final semester. Select programs may require a higher cumulative GPA.
  • Take 15 of the final 30 semester credit hours in residence at OTC. Certificate programs will require the number of credit hours in residence proportional to the associate degree.
  • Complete all steps in the application for graduation process.

Please complete all processes for graduation as described in the 2016-2017 Student Handbook .

Academic Honors

OTC recognizes students for academic achievement. Honors recognition may be earned by both full and part-time students. Students who complete 12 or more credit hours will be eligible for the Chancellor’s and Dean’s lists. Courses below 100 level will not be included. Recognition will be given for the term in which a 12 hour increment is completed. The recognition shall be based on the grade point average attained during the 12 credit hour increment. Once a 12 hour increment is completed, a new 12 credit hour increment for eligibility for the Chancellor’s and Dean’s list will begin. The following criteria shall be used:

  1. Eligible students earning a GPA of 3.85 or above will be placed on the Chancellor’s List for the term.
  2. Eligible students earning a GPA of 3.50 to 3.84 inclusive will be placed on the Dean’s List for the term.

Graduation Honors

The cumulative GPA at the end of the semester will be utilized by the Registrar to rank the candidates for associate degrees and certificates for academic honors. Final honors will be posted to the transcript and diploma using the final cumulative GPA.

  • 4.0 - Summa Cum Laude
  • 3.85 to 3.99 - Magna Cum Laude
  • 3.5 to 3.84 - Cum Laude


OTC holds commencement exercises once a year following the spring term. Students completing program requirements in the spring, summer and fall semesters are invited to participate in the ceremony. Students should apply for graduation whether or not they plan to attend the graduation ceremony.


Once you’ve applied for graduation, your coursework will be verified and your diploma mailed to you within six to eight weeks of the end of the term you finish. Your diploma will be sent to the mailing address on file for you in Student Services, provided that your record is clear of all holds.