The average course load for students is 15 semester hours. To be considered full-time, students must be enrolled in a minimum of 12 semester hours. Students will not be allowed to take in excess of 18 semester hours unless they obtain permission or the curriculum chosen requires more hours. Students may be advised to take fewer hours than a curriculum requires which could extend the number of semesters of attendance. Permission to take more than the maximum 18 semester hours allowed must be obtained from the Vice President of Student Affairs.
Active Duty Military
Active-duty military personnel (and their dependents) whose permanent change of duty station is Colorado may qualify to pay in-state tuition by submitting written certification through their assigned base/ post Education Services Office.
Classification of Students
Students are classified according to the number of credit hours completed. Freshmen are those who have completed from 0-29 credit hours; sophomores are students who have completed 30 or more credit hours. Students who carry a class load of less than 12 semester hours are classified as part-time.
After the first five days of classes, all courses added must be approved by the instructor of each course added. Students may officially drop classes during the first 12 class days of the term. Failure to officially drop by the deadline does not negate any financial obligation. Students wishing to drop or add a course or withdraw from college must secure necessary forms from Student Services Center.
The college reserves the right to withdraw students from classes at any time during any given semester. Generally, these withdrawals are initiated as a result of non-attendance of classes, nonpayment of tuition, or disciplinary problems. Such withdrawals do not negate any financial obligation on the part of the student.
Withdrawal from College
If a student withdraws from a course any time after the 12th class day until the end of the 12th week of the semester, the grade of “W” will be recorded on the student’s permanent record. A student who withdraws from the college before the end of the semester must obtain a withdrawal form from Student Services Center. Leaving school before financial obligations are cleared will cause the withholding of all credit earned at the college. Students attending college under the GI Bill® (GI Bill® is a registered trademark of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs) are required to notify the VA certifying official in Student Services Center and the Veterans Administration whenever there is a change in training status.
Records and Transcript of Credits
All grades reported to Student Affairs by instructors are entered upon permanent records. These grades will be changed only in the case of a grading or reporting error by the instructor. Grades and transcripts may be withheld in cases where the student has an indebtedness to the college. To protect the confidentiality of records, no transcript will be released without student’s written or electronic request. One week is customary for the processing and mailing of all transcript requests. The educational record maintained in Student Services Center usually contains the courses completed and grades earned, admissions application, previous educational record (high school or college transcript), health form, and an A.C.T. and/or S.A.T. score report if submitted.
Repetition of Courses
Students may repeat any course at Otero. Duplicate credit will not be granted; only the highest grade and quality points earned when the course is repeated will be counted in the cumulative grade point average. Although repeating a course helps a grade point average, some four year colleges average all courses attempted whether courses have been repeated or not. It is the responsibility of students to advise Student Affairs in writing when a course is repeated.
All students are automatically issued a college student e-mail address once the student has enrolled. This address will be the preferred e-mail address inside the Banner system. Any existing personal student e-mails will remain in the Banner system, but will no longer be the preferred account. Students will have the ability to forward e-mail from the college-issued account to their personal account. It is very important that students go to www.otero.edu to activate their e-mail account. Once on Otero's home page, students should click on "My Otero" located in the upper right corner of the homepage. When the site opens up, students enter their student number and password to log on. Instructions to activate the e-mail account can be found on the homepage. This e-mail address is the address that will be used for official correspondence from the college.
Public Information and Student Record Security
Under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, the information in student
files may only be released under specific conditions. Current or former students of
Otero College have complete access to their records and may view them upon request
at the Office of Student Affairs. If records contain errors, appeals in writing must
be submitted to the Vice President of Student Affairs.
The following is considered public information and may appear in college directories, publications, and news releases, or be disclosed to anyone inquiring:
• name • major field of study • dates of attendance • participation in officially recognized activities and sports • weight and height of athletic team members • degrees and awards received
Students may withhold disclosure of public information by filing a written request
with Student Services. All other information in student records is considered private
and not open to the public without written student consent. Only the following individuals,
because of their official function, have access to this information:
Otero College officials; state or federal education authorities; officials evaluating application for financial aid; state and local officials requesting reporting data; organizations conducting studies for educational institutions or agencies; accrediting organizations; parents of dependent students (proof of dependency required); and Veterans Administration staff.
In case of judicial orders or emergencies in which information is needed to protect student safety, health or welfare or that of others, Otero may also release information without consent. To review the full Family Education Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, go to: http://www.otero.edu/academics/academicpolicies/ferpa.aspx
Guaranteed Transfer Courses and the 60 + 60 Agreement
For the AA/AS degree, the State Guaranteed General Education Transfer Courses and the Colorado Community College General Education Requirements have been incorporated into the degree.
Completion of the AA/AS degree with a grade of "C" or better in every course guarantees that the student can transfer to any Colorado public 4-year institution AND complete a liberal arts or science baccalaureate degree with an additional 60 credits taken at the 4-year institution.
NOTE: Variations to this guarantee apply to Degrees with Designation. See the descriptions of these special degrees in the Degree Program section of this catalog.
The Colorado Community College system has a communication requirement of either COM 115 - Public Speaking or COM 125 - Interpersonal Communication.
Students should understand that a "D" grade may fulfill Otero's graduation requirements as an academic elective, but will negate the guarantee of the 60 + 60 transfer degree. Students should also understand that any Credit for Prior Learning, Advanced Placement, correspondence courses, CLEP, any credits transferred in from another college, or tested only courses, may not apply to the guaranteed 60 + 60 transfer degree.