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General Information

AB540 Students
On October 12, 2001, Governor Davis signed into law Assembly Bill 540 (Stats. 2001, ch.814) which adds a new section to the California Education Code. Section 68130.5 creates a new exemption from payment of nonresident tuition for certain nonresident students who have attended high school in California and received a high school diploma or its equivalent.

  1. The new law does not grant residency, it requires that certain nonresident students be exempted from paying nonresident tuition.
  2. Students exempted from paying nonresident tuition pursuant to section 68130.5 do not become residents for eligibility purposes for any state-funded program (e.g., EOP&S, Cal Grant programs, or for purposes of a BOG Fee Waiver).
  3. Students who meet the exemption requirements and who are unlawful immigrants are not eligible for any federal or state financial aid program. Many private sources have created scholarships specific to students not eligible for traditional financial aid programs. (scholarship link)
  4. Students exempted from paying nonresident tuition pursuant to section 68130.5 are not eligible for the Governor’s Merit Scholar Programs because these scholarships are only available for California residents.
  5. Students must meet all requirements in section 68130.5 (a) (1) – (4) to be eligible for the exemption.
    a. The student must have attended a California high school for three or more years. There are no provisions for partial attendance (e.g. two years and 7 months). The law does not require consecutive attendance nor require that the student attended the last three years in California (in the case of four-year high schools).
    b. Such attendance could be at multiple California high schools. Attendance at continuation high schools, charter high schools and K-12 approved independent education is acceptable.
    Attendance at a home school is not acceptable unless the home schooling was provided in a manner recognized under state law. The law does not distinguish between public and private high schools. There is no time limit on how far in the past the student might have attended a California high school.
    c. The student must have graduated from a California high school or attained the equivalent thereof (e.g., a GED or a high school proficiency exam).
    d. Except for nonimmigrant aliens, any nonresident student who meets the first two requirements shall be exempted from nonresident tuition even if he or she is a US citizen or lawful immigrant.
    e. If the student has filed an application with the INS to legalize status, the student may already be eligible for resident fee status if the student has resided in California for more than one year since the time of INS application. (See Title 5 Section 54045.)
  6. Students who are nonimmigrant aliens (the most common being the F series student visas and B series visitor visas), are not eligible for this exemption. (A full description of nonimmigrant alien classification may be found in paragraph 15 of subsection (a) of Section 1101 of Title 8 of the U.S. Code.) People who entered the country as nonimmigrant aliens but subsequently have gone out of status are not eligible for this exemption until they apply to INS to change their status to something other than nonimmigrant.
  7. High School transcripts are required to apply for AB540.

Advanced Placement Test
Credit may be given for Advanced Placement Tests with scores of 3, 4, or 5. Contact the counseling office.

Attendance: First Class Meeting
All registered students should be present at the first meeting of the class unless other arrangements have been made with the instructor. Students who are not present by the end of the first class may lose their place to someone who is in attendance and wishing to enter. If you do not attend you must drop the class to insure your record is clear.

Students will not be permitted to attend classes for which they are not officially enrolled.

Basic Skills Enrollment
The California Education Code limits students to no more than 30 semester units of pre-collegiate basic skills units. ESL and learning disabled students are exempted. Students who feel they would benefit by taking more than 30 semester units of pre-collegiate basic skills courses should see the Dean of Counseling and Student Development.

California Residency
If asked, a student must provide proof of California residency (or in some cases, parent residency) for the past 12-24 consecutive months. If the student is unable to document proof of California residency, he/she may still enroll but must pay non-resident fees. To establish residency a student must be able to prove eligibility, physical presence and the intent to remain as a resident (12 months) or 24 months of physical presence. Some visa types are precluded by federal law from establishing residency. In addition to other requirements, a student must be able to prove residency for one year and one day prior to the beginning of the semester. Selected exemptions from non-resident fees are provided in law: such as certificated public school employees, agricultural workers, military personnel and their dependents. If you feel that you might qualify for an exemption, or have questions about residency, please contact the Admissions and Records Office.

Campus Security Policy
Rio Hondo College is responsible for the preparation of the Annual Security Report in compliance with the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Crime Statistics Act. This report is prepared in cooperation with the local law enforcement agencies surrounding the Rio Hondo College campus as well as the Santa Fe Springs Fire Academy, in addition to the information compiled by campus security and the Office of the Dean of Student Life. Statistics are compiled by the College for certain crimes reported by a victim or witness to the campus security or a campus official with significant responsibility for student and campus activities. This report also includes certain crimes reported to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department as required by the Act.

An updated report is made available by October 1st of each year, with a full text of the report located on the Rio Hondo College web site at http://www.riohondo.edu /facilities/security.htm

Changes in Schedule
Rio Hondo College reserves the right to make changes in the class schedule. When enrollment in any class is not sufficient to justify its continuance, the class may be cancelled.

Classification of Students
Freshman -Students with 0 to 29 units
Sophomore -Students with 30 to 59 units

Students enrolled for:
0 - 5.99 units - Less than 1/2 time
6 - 8.99 units - Half-time
9 - 11.99 units - 3/4 time
12 units and above - Full-time
Summer Students enrolled in 4 units are considered full-time.

Credit by Examination
Credit for some courses may be earned by successful completion of an examination depending on departmental policy. Application forms are available in the Admissions and Records Office. Student’s transcript will denote credit earned by credit by exam.

Pass/No Pass Petitions
Students may enroll in one course each semester on a pass/no pass basis. Those who choose this option and successfully pass the course requirements will not receive a letter grade (A, B, C) but will receive credit earned. P (pass) is defined as a grade of “C” or better. The option is designed to encourage students to explore classes in which they might not otherwise enroll. The deadline to petition P/NP classes is as follows:

Deadlines for P/NP petitions:

Dean’s Honors List
The Dean’s Honors List is published each semester. It includes all students whose semester grade point average is 3.5 or higher in 12 or more graded units completed (fall and spring semesters only).

Directory Information
This is to serve as public notice that the following information is regarded by Rio Hondo Community College District as “Directory Information,” and may be released for distribution unless stop action is initiated by a student on the Rio Hondo College Directory Information Denial of Release form available in the Admissions Office. Directory Information includes: a student’s name, whether or not he/she is currently enrolled, participation in officially recognized activities and sports, weight and height of members of athletic teams, degrees and awards received. A request for directory information will be denied to any parties if the college determines that such release is not in the best interest of the student (Board Policy No. 5040). Further information may be obtained from the Admissions and Records Office.

Directed Study
The course is intended for students who have the ability to assume responsibility for independent work and to prepare written and oral reports; who possess a 3.0 overall grade point average, or for whom the instructor feels an exception should be made. Directed study may be developed from any topic arising from or related to a course of study that will result in developing breadth and depth in that subject area. The project selected will be described in the contract agreed upon by the student and instructor. (Arranged: 48 hours per unit, 6 hours of which must be with the instructor.) The contract must be turned in to the Office of Student Learning Support located on the third floor of the Library before the end of the fourth week of the current semester. Limited to 1 to 3 units.

Entrance Requirements
High school graduates or individuals 18 years of age or over who show evidence that they can profit from instruction may enroll in Rio Hondo College. All classes are open to the public. No person shall on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age or physical or mental disability be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any educational program or activity sponsored by Rio Hondo College. HS transcripts are required at the time of application.

Exception to the 18 unit (15 unit) Limit
Students are limited to 18 units (15 units for summer sessions) unless they receive written approval from a counselor to take additional units. Students adding over 18 units (15 units for summer sessions) must add during open or late registration.

Students who want grades will need to access them in the following way:

Determination of a student’s grade by the instructor, in the absence of mistake, fraud, bad faith, or incompetency, shall be final. Grades given in error will be expunged from the record. Grades from a grading scale shall be averaged on the basis of the point equivalencies to determine a student’s grade point average. Computing a student’s degree applicable grade point average will include only grades earned in degree applicable course work. See College Catalog for more details on grades.

Name Change Procedure
Continuing or Returning Student who wish school records to reflect a name change must provide acceptable legal documents before a name change is made. Acceptable evidence includes, but is not limited to, marriage license and court documents.

Open Enrollment in all Classes
In compliance with the policy of Rio Hondo Community College District, every class offered, unless otherwise indicated in the official catalog and schedule of classes, shall be fully open to enrollment and participation by any person who meets the academic prerequisites of such classes and who is otherwise eligible for admission to and enrollment in the college. Every person, otherwise eligible, shall be allowed to enroll in and attend any class wherever offered throughout the District.

Repetition of Course Guidelines
It is a violation of state law and college policy (Board Policy 4225) to repeat a course unless certain conditions are present. This policy shall not take precedence over any existing state or federal regulation.

  1. A course in which a student grade of a D, F or NC has been recorded may be repeated only once.
    • In computing the Grade Point Average (GPA) of a student repeating courses, the most recent earned grade shall be used for courses repeated for a grade of D, F or NC for the first 20 units of coursework repeated. In order to ensure a true and complete academic record, the original grade record shall not be changed or removed on the official academic transcript.
    • Students may use coursework from an accredited college to replace Rio Hondo College coursework in which an F, D or NC was recorded provided the courses are articulated as being equivalent.
    • A student must complete a Course Repetition with Previous Substandard Grade form available in Admissions and Records in order to remove the effects of the F, D, or NC grade from the GPA.
  2. A course in which a student grade of a CR or C or better has been recorded may not be repeated except under extenuating circumstances or a significant lapse of time.
    • Any student wishing to repeat a course for which they received a CR or C or better grade must complete a Course Repetition with Previous CR/C or Better Grade form available in Admissions and Records and submit it with appropriate signatures and approvals to Admissions and Records.
    • In computing the GPA of a student approved to repeat a course because of extenuating circumstances or significant lapse of time, the most recent grade will not earn additional units or grade points towards improving or changing the previous grade earned in the class.
    • Successful repetition of a course originally passed does not carry additional unit credit towards a degree or certificate
  3. Students who repeat a course without appropriate authorization will be administratively dropped from the class.
  4. A student’s record will be appropriately marked indicating those courses that have been repeated.
  5. A course may be repeated without a petition if it is listed in the college catalog as a repeatable course.

Student Financial Obligations
Students with any outstanding financial obligations to the college (e.g., library fines, laboratory fees, etc.) will have student privileges withheld, including, but not limited to, notification of grades, sending of transcripts, and right to register.

Student Grievance Procedures
Students who have a grievance against any faculty or staff member may request a hearing of the College Review Board. A grievance is an alleged wrongful act by a Rio Hondo College staff or faculty member which has an adverse effect upon a student’s academic or personal status at Rio Hondo College (See Administrative Procedures). The Review Board is composed of three members of the full-time faculty, three members of the student body and one member of the administrative staff. Students may petition for a hearing before the College Review Board by filing a request in the Office of Student Life. The recommendation of the College Review Board is advisory to the Superintendent/President of the College.

Student Records/Transcript
Upon written application, a document verifying grades or enrollment will be issued by the Office of Admissions and Records. The first two copies requested are issued free of charge. Thereafter, a fee of $3.00 for each record is charged. Forms are available in the Office of Admissions and Records.

Withdrawal From Courses
There are three types of course withdrawal.

  1. Withdrawal without receiving a “W.” If a student withdraws from a course before the listed “last day to drop without a ‘W’” deadline, there is no “W” grade on the students record (transcript).
  2. Withdrawal with a “W.” A student who withdraws after the “last day to drop without a ‘W’” deadline and before the deadline to drop a class, gets a “W” grade. The “W” grade is not used to calculate a student’s grade point average, but is used for progress probation/dismissal.
  3. Military withdrawal. This occurs when a student who is a member of an active or reserve U.S. military service receives orders compelling a withdrawal from courses. Upon verification of such orders, a student can petition to withdraw from classes and when authorized, the student will be withdrawn with a “MW” Military Withdrawal note on the student’s transcript. Military withdrawals are not counted in progress probation and dismissal calculations. Withdrawal petitions are available in the Admissions and Records Office.
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