Procedure 3.01.38 - FAQs for Course Entry in Non-Traditional Curriculum Sections


As part of the funding system for the North Carolina Community College System, student membership hours are tracked and used to determine funding levels for future years. To earn membership hours for a student, they must be registered in a course and begin participating (enter) by the census date (10%-point) of the course. In seated sections this determine can be made by observing the student in the class meeting and documenting it on the census/attendance roster. In non-traditional curriculum sections questions sometimes arise as to when a student has begun participating in a course.

If I am teaching a reduced-seat time or hybrid class how does my online time impact the census date and student entry into the section?

For these type classes the seated component is considered to be critical since there is less time that the student is actually spending with the instructor. The census date is determined using only the seated portion of the course. This means that great care should be exercised in the placement of seated meetings relative to the online content of the course so that inappropriate dates do not result. For example, a class with a single meeting at the end of the term should rarely be created. This would indicate that the student is not “entering” the course until the end of the term. It is unlikely that students coming to the last meeting have not already done a significant amount of course work. A more appropriate format for a class with very limited meetings would be to have a meeting early in the term to orient the students to the course. This meeting would serve as their entry point. (Note: This would be a required meeting for them since it would be the census date.) Classes that require proctored assessments can be constructed as entirely on-line with students able to choose a proctored setting for assessment. This is may be more appropriate in some cases. Other than care in the construction of the section, these classes are treated in the same way as regular seated classes using only the seated component.

How do I deal with Information Highway Classes?

In these classes students attend at multiple locations and it is sometimes challenging to determine who is present each day. As part of the agreements established for these classes, there should be an indication as to who is responsible for verifying attendance at each of the sites participating. Those records provide documentation for course entry and attendance. The census/attendance roster should match the records. Note: Only students that are physically located at Southeastern Community College will be recorded in our attendance records. Other campuses will have systems set up for students located there.

How do I deal with Information Highway Classes?

In these classes students attend at multiple locations and it is sometimes challenging to determine who is present each day. As part of the agreements established for these classes, there should be an indication as to who is responsible for verifying attendance at each of the sites participating. Those records provide documentation for course entry and attendance. The census/attendance roster should match the records. Note: Only students that are physically located at Southeastern Community College will be recorded in our attendance records. Other campuses will have systems set up for students located there.

What about completely online classes?

Since students are not physically present for these classes some other method must be used to determine the students have begun participating in the course. College policy requires that any students that have not entered the section by the census date must be dropped/withdraw so care should be exercised to provide opportunities for students to document they have begun working on the class. Assignments in the course such as “Entry Assessments” (which quizzes students about course requirements) or “Ice Breakers” (where students introduce themselves to the class) are easy ways to show student is participating. If students are unable to complete one of these assignments, a log of student sign-ins to the class can be generated showing the student has been started working with the course materials. Students with no access, due to technical issues, may be able to begin work through school email with the instructor. (Note: The College communications policies require all work occur through college system.) We want the students to be successful in the class and do not want to drop/withdraw someone that is trying but we do need to correctly identify which students have entered the course. Please ensure that your census/attendance roster indicates an appropriate entry point for the student based upon their actions in the course. You must submit documentation for how entry dates were determined for the student for potential audit in the future. If there are questions, you may be contacted to explain the date you presented.

What if my class meets irregularly?

In these cases it is best to create a section calendar which shows all meetings from this calendar an appropriate census date can be determined. This calendar needs to be created at the point the class is scheduled. While this means some automatic calculations in the computer system cannot be used, once the class is built correctly then the resulting census/attendance roster should be correct. If you have changes in your meeting times you need to notify the Curriculum Information Coordinator so a change can be made in the census/attendance roster if necessary.

What if I have some other unique situation?

If your class is not one of the frequently occurring types mentioned above, please work with your chair/dean to determine the best way to document student entry. They will seek assistance from the Curriculum Information Coordinator and Chief Academic Officer for you. Whatever method is determined you should keep notes for future audit.

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Reviewed: February 16, 2020