Jul 20, 2024  

Academic Policies

Academic Advising

The Heritage University Office of Advising serves pre-major undergraduate students (freshman, transfer and re-admit) attending Heritage through the Toppenish campus. The Office of Advising provides services such as: course planning, interpretation of academic policies and procedures, clarification of academic and career goals, and monitoring progress toward academic goals, declaration of major, and assistance with connecting students to local and on campus resources.

Students are responsible for consulting with their academic advisor to select courses for final approval. Students are responsible for planning and completing advising forms with the assistance of his or her advisor. A close advisor-student relationship can be very helpful, and students are required to meet with their academic advisor twice per semester; once prior to midterms and once after midterms or at any time to discuss academic problems, interests and goals.

Students receive the name of their academic advisor upon enrollment to Heritage University. Students who do not know who their academic advisor is must contact the Office of Advising for assignment of an advisor.

Students who have declared into a program will be referred to the corresponding faculty advisor for academic advising.

For more information, contact Heritage University Office of Advising at 509-865-0725 or advising@heritage.edu.

Heritage University Student Advocate Program

The mission of the Heritage University Student Advocate Program is to provide outreach and support services to promote student success and retention. Students who need assistance can receive academic advisement through a trained academic advisor, mentor and/or counselor. The main priority of the Advocate Program is to assist, motivate, and empower students for self-development and self-actualization. Students who are experiencing personal issues impacting their academic performance should contact Office of Advising at 509-865-0725 or advising@heritage.edu.  Students may also contact the Northwest Employee Assistance Program for cost free confidential counseling services at 509-575-4313.

Academic Progress

Satisfactory academic progress is defined as the normal progression toward a certificate or degree by a full-time or a part-time student in a reasonable amount of time.

Academic Warning, Probation, and Suspension

A student whose midterm grade for any course is below a GPA of 2.00 may receive an academic warning in writing upon recommendation of the course instructor.

If the semester GPA is below 2.00, the student is placed on academic probation. Once an undergraduate student is placed on academic probation, the student must attain at least a 2.00 semester GPA for the next six semester credits in order to continue their studies. A student on academic probation for two consecutive semesters is subject to academic suspension, which is noted on their permanent record (transcript).

After each semester, the academic standards committee reviews the grades of all students who have made unsatisfactory progress and decides the action to be taken. Students are notified by letter of the committee’s decision and are given the opportunity to appeal in writing to the provost/vice president of Academic Affairs if circumstances warrant.

The university reserves the right to dismiss at any time a student whose conduct, academic standing or health is such that the administration believes continuance at the university undesirable.

Academic Honesty Policy

The pervading spirit underlying the mission and goals of Heritage University is the pursuit of justice and truth in every aspect of a student’s education. Honesty and integrity are expected of all members of the academic community and are essential to the learning process. Professors must demonstrate, by precept and example, the necessity of rigorous honesty in the use of sources and of utter respect for the work of others.

Heritage students have the responsibility to adhere to academic honesty in all their educational endeavors. Faculty has the responsibility to model academic honesty and to prevent, detect and confront students who violate it.

Academic dishonesty is serious and will carry appropriate sanctions ranging from a written record of the violation being placed in the student’s file, to course failure, and even to suspension or dismissal from the university. Academic dishonesty includes, but is not limited to, cheating, plagiarism, and all behavior inconsistent with academic integrity and honesty.

When a faculty member has reasonable cause to believe that academic dishonesty has occurred, the following procedures shall be followed:

  1. The faculty member will confer with the respective student concerning the violation and discuss the course of action to be pursued.
  2. The faculty member will file a short report of the incident and consult with the provost/vice president of Academic Affairs regarding the sanction.
  3. For cases involving academic theft, alteration of data, unauthorized access or fraud, the provost/vice president of Academic Affairs will confer with the student to determine the nature of the offense, the involvement of the student and the course of action to be pursued. The appropriate sanction will be imposed. The provost/vice president of Academic Affairs shall make the decision based on the merits of the case. The reasons for the decision shall be put in writing and given within ten (10) days to the student and/or faculty member involved.
  4. A student or faculty member may appeal a decision by requesting a hearing in accordance with the procedures stated in the student handbook or the faculty handbook.

Academic Grievance Process

Students who feel that an academic decision affecting them should be re-examined may present their case according to the following grievance process. These steps are followed until the concern is resolved:

  1. A student confers with the instructor concerned.
  2. If the student believes the matter has not been satisfactorily resolved, the student confers with the department chair or department director.
  3. If the student believes the matter has not been satisfactorily resolved, the student confers with the college dean to seek assistance in resolving the concern.
  4. A student makes an appointment with the provost/vice president of Academic Affairs to seek assistance in resolving the concern.
  5. The student and the provost/vice president of Academic Affairs may request a hearing committee to review the matter.
  6. The provost/vice president of Academic Affairs communicates the decision to the concerned student.

The grievance procedure is explained in the student handbook, which is available in the Student Services Center.


Regular attendance and participation in classes is expected and considered essential for successful academic work. Each instructor is responsible for including an attendance policy for his or her class in the course plan shared with the students at the beginning of the course, and each student is responsible for the policy stated for each course. A student must assume full responsibility for work missed because of their absence.

A faculty member may recommend an administrative withdrawal whenever a student misses two consecutive class sessions and does not contact the instructor. A failing (F) grade may be assigned by the instructor if a student does not follow the prescribed procedures for withdrawing from a course.

Consistent with Heritage University’s mission and values and pursuant to RCW 28B.10.039 as amended, and Substitute Senate Bill 5166, HU allows student reasonable absences for reasons of faith or for organized activities conducted under the auspices of a religious denomination, church, or religious organization. A student who, due to the observance of religious holidays, expects to be absent or endure significant hardship during scheduled class hours, will be reasonably allowed excused absences under this policy.

The student requesting an excused absence for reasons of faith must submit the Request for Absence for Reasons of Faith Form to each instructor at least two (2) weeks prior to the beginning of the semester in which the absence is anticipated to occur. The form is located on the Student Forms page under the Students tab in MyHeritage. The request must include an explanation of how the absence is related to a reason of faith or organized activities conducted under the auspices of a religious denomination, church, or religious organization. The student is solely responsible for ensuring documentation authorizing the absence is provided according to the instructions.

Each faculty member will determine what specific adjustments, if any, will need to be made to the student’s scheduled in-class work or assignments. The faculty member will inform the student in writing of any adjustments within three (3) instructional days of receiving the documentation requesting the absence.

Absences allowed under this policy will not in and of themselves adversely impact a student’s grade; however, students are expected to make up or complete all coursework or assignments that have been adjusted by the faculty member due to the absence. Faculty members have the right to require the student complete the coursework prior to or after the allowed absence.

A student whose request for absence under this policy is denied may appeal according to the HU Academic Grievance Process.

Compassionate Leave for Students

In keeping with the mission and spirit of Heritage University, our policy is to grant compassion leave, when needed. Faculty and staff are urged to be sensitive to the cultures of Heritage University students. (For instance, for some who have experienced the loss of a loved one, a funeral may last for a week.) The following are guidelines for granting compassionate leave.

Authority for granting compassionate leave rests with the Vice President of Student Affairs and Enrollment (VPSAE) or his/her designee. Ideally, when a student requires leave, s/he will contact the Office of Student Affairs. If the student first contacts another staff or faculty member, that person will notify the VPSAE, who will in turn inform the following:

  • Department chair, if the student has a declared major, who in turn will contact those faculty members whose classes are impacted.
  • Advisor (academic advisor or faculty advisor, as appropriate).
  • Support staff as needed.

Compassionate leave does not excuse a student from completing course requirements. As soon as possible, he or she will negotiate a plan with each of his or her instructors to meet the learning outcomes for each course. Faculty are authorized to find alternate ways to help students meet the learning outcomes in accordance with agreed plans, including departing from their syllabi, if necessary, to accommodate students who have been granted compassionate leave. If, by the end of the semester, it is not possible for the student to meet all the course outcomes, an Incomplete [See “Incomplete” policy] may be granted. If neither an incomplete nor alternate assignments prove possible, Administrative Withdrawal [See Administrative Withdrawal Policy] will be permitted. Once a plan has been created, the student will be responsible for the completion of the plan.

This protocol grows out of our desire to respect and accommodate the personal, cultural, and familial responsibilities of our students. Negotiations related to compassionate leave, which may be moderated by the Vice President of Student Affairs and Enrollment (VPSAE) or a designee, must be conducted in an atmosphere of kindness.

Catalog Year Policy

Students must fulfill one of two sets of requirements: Those in the catalog in effect at the time of official acceptance to Heritage, or those from the current catalog. The complete degree requirements of only one catalog must be followed. Students seeking teacher certification are responsible for following ongoing changes in these regulations. Since courses and department requirements are subject to change without notice, all courses necessary to complete all department requirements may not be available on a continuing basis. Substitutions for discontinued courses are required and authorized by the department chair and provost/vice president of Academic Affairs.

Change of Grade

It is the student’s obligation to verify the transcript change when an incomplete grade is to be replaced with a final grade. A change of grade form, signed by the instructor, must be received in the Registrar’s Office before a change is posted to the permanent record.

Grades, once turned in, may be changed by instructors only upon demonstration of clerical error and completion of a change of grade form within the next semester after the grade was given. All failing (F) grades are final.

Grades used to meet graduation requirements cannot be changed after the degree is posted.

If an incomplete (I) grade is not replaced by a final grade within the following semester or the date indicated on the removal of incomplete form, or if the instructor of record has not extended the date on the contract filed for removal of incomplete in the Registrar’s Office, the incomplete will be changed to an F (failure) or the grade indicated on the contract by the instructor.

Classification of Students

Matriculated students are those who are officially admitted to pursue a degree or certificate. Non-matriculated undergraduate students may take up to 12 academic credits without pursuing a degree or certificate. Nonmatriculated graduate students may take up to 8 academic credits without pursuing a degree.

Undergraduate students are ranked according to the total number of semester credits they have successfully completed:

  • Freshmen: fewer than 30 semester credits
  • Sophomores: 30-59 semester credits
  • Juniors: 60-89 semester credits
  • Seniors: 90 or more semester credits

Graduate students are identified by their acceptance into the graduate department.

Course Enrollment Policy

  1. Any student seeking to register for undergraduate university credit in university courses must meet all admissions requirements and must take a placement test. Most sections of this test are computerized and are administered using the multimedia software package Adaptex. The dean of the college may waive the test for special circumstances.
  2. An admissions testing committee will monitor the placement testing process.
  3. The admissions testing committee will determine the minimum placement test score that is likely to predict success in the most basic remedial course offerings at the university.
  4. The director of testing will meet with students who test below that score and advise them to take remedial course work elsewhere and then retest at Heritage.
  5. Students are required to take the course(s) into which they are placed through the assessment testing.
  6. The admissions testing committee will establish an exit test to be administered when students have completed any remedial sequence of courses.
  7. Transfer students who are unable to take HUM 305 in their first semester must take the transfer assessment test independently in that first semester. If students fail the assessment of language skills, they will be required to take and pass ENG 199.

Course Load

The usual minimum full-time undergraduate load is 12 semester credits (6 in summer term). No more than 18 credits per semester (9 in summer term) may be taken without approval of the advisor, the college dean, and the provost/vice president for Academic Affairs, and upon written request of the student. The minimum full-time graduate load is 6 credits in the fall, spring and summer terms. Candidates for a master’s degree must comply with the following course load policy:

  • 6-8 semester credits (normal graduate load)
  • 10 semester credits (no permission required)
  • Over 10 semester credits (college dean approval required)

For the purpose of financial aid and deferment of loans, half-time enrollment for graduate students is considered two (2) semester credits.

Concurrent Enrollment

Students who are working toward a degree at Heritage and wish to register simultaneously at another college or university must receive prior approval of the college dean and the provost/vice president for Academic Affairs, in order for outside courses to apply to their degree department. A maximum of 18 semester credits per semester (9 in summer term) may be taken by undergraduates regardless of where the credits are earned. Prior approval must be obtained for concurrent enrollment.

Course Syllabi

Faculty members prepare a course plan or syllabus for each course. The syllabus is a guideline for the course and may be altered at the discretion of the instructor. Changes in the course plan are communicated to the class; each student is responsible for the revisions communicated.

Credit Hour and Semester Definitions

Credit Hour Requirements: Federal regulations require that all courses follow the Heritage University definition of a credit hour as described in HU Policy. A credit is an amount of work represented in intended learning outcomes and verified by evidence of student achievement that is an institutionally established equivalency that reasonably approximates not less than: 1.) One hour of classroom or direct faculty instruction and a minimum of two hours of out of class student work each week for approximately 15 weeks for one semester or 2.) At least an equivalent amount of work as required in paragraph (1) of this definition for other academic activities as established by the institution, including laboratory work, internships, practice, studio work and other academic work leading to the award of credits.

The academic year is two semesters of 15 weeks each and a summer session of six or eight weeks.

Credits/Courses at Heritage University

In addition to regular courses, several other means of obtaining academic credit are available if the student obtains approval from the academic advisor, the appropriate department chair and the provost/vice president for Academic Affairs. (See also “Non-Degree .”)

Credit by Examination

Selected courses may be challenged for academic credit. Students must contact the Registrar’s Office and complete the credit by examination application according to the guidelines. The examination must be completed within one year from the application date; registration for the course credits must be completed three weeks prior to the end of the semester. Credits are indicated on the transcript as credit by examination with a P (pass) if the course is successfully challenged. No more than two courses per semester may be challenged unless approval is obtained from the provost/vice president for Academic Affairs.

Differential Scheduling

With the approval of the provost/vice president for Academic Affairs, a regular catalog course may be offered out of sequence for an individual student through differential scheduling. Differential scheduling is an exception and not the rule. Differential scheduling may be considered in conjunction with other alternatives in order to meet degree requirements for a department. Courses in the major department or in another department that can be substituted for degree requirements may be considered. Courses offered online by Heritage faculty or OCICU faculty may also be considered.

Differentially scheduled courses must be considered only under the following circumstances:

  • Student has achieved upper-level (junior- or senior-level) classification
  • Only 300- to 400-level courses may be offered on differential scheduling basis
  • Student has achieved a cumulative GPA of 2.5 or better
  • Student is planning to graduate before the next time the course is offered
  • Faculty may teach no more than three differentially scheduled courses during a semester

Education Outcome Assessment Policy

Education outcome assessment for an individual student is not a specific means of assessment but rather a representative body of a student’s work. The student’s educational outcome assessment provides an accurate reflection of what students know currently and will be able to do after completing a major course of study.

The university education outcome assessment policy requires that all seniors integrate specialized knowledge, theories, research methods and technical skills they have learned over the course of their study in a particular major. Thus, each graduating senior will provide evidence of accomplishing the educational outcomes of that particular major as a part of their graduation requirement.

The university education outcome assessment may include a senior research project, senior community project, senior thesis or materials developed in a capstone course. In certain majors, seniors may be required to develop a portfolio of materials (e-portfolio or paper portfolio) from different courses and summarize the themes and experiences. Seniors may also be required to give an oral presentation of their project before a panel of faculty or external reviewers.

Grading and Evaluations

The quality of the student’s work is reported to the department chair at midterm if it is at a D or an F level. Midterm warning reports may be issued and are used as a basis for advising students.

Final grades are determined by the combined results of assignments, examinations, class attendance and participation, and mastery of the subject as evidenced by the ability to communicate clearly in both oral and written form. The following letter grades and grade points per credit are used to denote the quality of a student’s work.

Grade Description Grade Points
A Excellent 4.0
A-   3.7
B+   3.3
B Above Average 3.0
B-   2.7
C+   2.3
C Average 2.0
C-   1.7
D+   1.3
D Below Average 1.0
D-   0.7
F Failure 0.0
P/NP The pass/non-pass (P/NP) option is usually reserved for elective courses with the advisor’s approval and signature and only within the add period of each semester. The P grade indicates that a grade of A, B, C or D was earned. Additionally, a P/NP grade is given for courses as noted in the catalog description. It is recommended that faculty indicate the A, B, C or D equivalent under “Comments” on the final class roster.
I An incomplete grade indicates that the student, for a serious reason approved by the instructor, the department chair and the vice president for Academic Affairs, has not completed all required course work by the end of the semester and has a reasonable probability of passing the course when all requirements are completed. A contract for removal of incomplete grade form specifies the requirements to complete the course and change the grade. An incomplete cannot be converted to a passing grade after a maximum of one semester, starting from the last day of the regular course. A fee will be assessed. (This is an instructor-initiated mark.)
IP An in-progress grade is given only in the case of a course offered that spans more than one semester as designated by the university. It does not replace an incomplete grade.
WX Unofficial withdrawal is assigned only in cases where a student registers but ceases attending without officially applying for withdrawal, or for which official withdrawal after deadline (WA) is not approved. WX is computed as an F. A WX grade does not exempt a student from financial obligations incurred at registration. (This is an instructor- or administration-initiated mark.)
WA An administrative withdrawal, WA, is assigned in cases where a student registers but never attends classes, or where students experience trauma of such proportions (not reflecting on their academic ability or seriousness of purpose) that they are incapable of continuing. A WA situation does not necessarily exempt a student from the financial obligation incurred at registration. The request for WA is made in writing to the registrar before the final two weeks of a course. (This is an administration-initiated mark.)
AU Permission to audit is granted at registration by the registrar for only non-laboratory courses and on the condition that space is available.
NR Grade has not been reported.
NC Non-credit course.

Note: A minimum passing grade for each course in the major is determined by the department chair of the degree/major. Please see the department for your declared degree and major for assistance.

Grade Point Average

The grade point average (GPA) is computed by dividing the total number of grade points by the total number of credits granted for courses taken. The letter grades P, NP, I, WA and AU are not computed in the GPA and, except for the P grade, are not counted as credits applicable to a degree or certificate. The WX grade is computed as an F grade in the GPA. Grade point averages are computed on both a cumulative and a semester basis.

Grade Reports

Grade reports are available through My Heritage. Located: Student tab: Academics: View Grades.

Honors and Awards

Dean’s List

At the end of each semester (summer term excluded), full-time matriculated undergraduates who have earned semester grade point averages of 3.50 or better; who do not have grades of I, F or WX; and who have at least 12 credits of courses above the 100 level (graded with a weighted grade), are placed on the university dean’s list. This distinction is noted on the permanent record (transcript).

Academic Achievement List

At the end of each semester, full-time or part-time matriculated undergraduates who have earned semester grade point averages of 3.00 or better, and do not have a grade of I, WX or F, are placed on the academic achievement list.

Graduation/Commencement Honors

Baccalaureate honors (summa cum laude, magna cum laude, and cum laude) are awarded to graduates receiving a first baccalaureate degree. These honors are awarded to those students who have completed no fewer than 60 credits at Heritage and have the following cumulative grade point averages:

  • Summa cum laude 3.90-4.00
  • Magna cum laude 3.60-3.89
  • Cum laude 3.30-3.59

Honor cords are worn at graduation, if no incomplete (I) grades are on the student’s record by graduation day.

The Academic Excellence Award is presented by the board of directors to the graduate receiving a baccalaureate degree who has the highest cumulative GPA based on credits obtained from the university. The graduate must have completed a minimum of 64 credits at Heritage.

The Award of Distinction is presented by the President’s Council to the graduate receiving a baccalaureate degree and fulfilling the following criteria:

  1. At least a cumulative GPA of 3.00 based on credits obtained at Heritage.
  2. Completion of a minimum of 60 credits at Heritage.
  3. Contribution to the betterment of the university in some way.
  4. Active interest in student affairs, e.g., student government, tutoring, unselfish assistance to the needs of other students.

Graduation and Commencement

Application for Graduation

Formal application for graduation for all degrees and certificates must be filed in the Registrar’s Office at least two semesters before the projected graduation date.

  1. Students fulfill either catalog requirements in effect at the time of their official acceptance to the university or requirements from a newer catalog. The complete requirements of only one catalog must be fulfilled unless exceptions are authorized by the provost/vice president for Academic Affairs.
  2. Students seeking teacher certification are responsible for keeping up-to-date on changes in these regulations.
  3. All financial obligations to the university must be cleared before graduation.

Graduation/Commencement Exercise and Diplomas

Graduation is a step-by-step process leading up to receiving your official degree.

Commencement refers to the ceremony, officiated by the president of the university, which is an opportunity for the students to share the excitement and importance of their academic accomplishments with peers, family and friends.

Commencement is a celebratory event, not a declaration of completion of degree requirements. Anyone can participate in the ceremony if they have not participated in a previous ceremony, and if they are within two courses and/or 6 credits of degree completion (if enrolled summer term and applied for graduation).

  1. Degrees are awarded at Heritage at the end of the fall, spring and summer semesters. Students must apply for graduation for the term they intend to graduate, to be considered a candidate for the degree. The graduation ceremony is held at the end of spring semester (May). All students who completed degree requirements are encouraged to participate.
  2. Students completing their final degree/certificate requirements during the summer semester may participate in the spring ceremony as a “walker”. The “walker” student has applied for graduation for the summer term, and is confirmed by the Registrar’s Office that they will complete their degree/certification requirements.
  3. The degree and diploma/certificates are awarded only after all requirements are fulfilled. Walking early does not imply that degree/certificate requirements have been met or that the student is actually graduating during that ceremony.
  4. Names of summer graduation candidates will be published in the spring (May) commencement program.
  5. Only undergraduate students who have completed all degree requirements will be recognized for Latin honors.                                                                 

Note: The Latin honors designation listed in the Commencement Program may not reflect final honors status, since the program is printed prior to the posting of final grades.

Incomplete Grade

An incomplete grade (I) is given when a student, for a serious reason approved by the instructor, the department chair and the provost/vice president for Academic Affairs, has not completed all required course work by the end of the semester and has a reasonable probability of passing the course when all the requirements are completed. A contract for removal of incomplete grade form specifies the requirements to complete the course and change the grade. An incomplete grade cannot be converted to a passing grade after a maximum of one semester, starting from the last day of the regular course.

If an incomplete grade is not replaced by a final grade within the following semester, or the date indicated on the removal of incomplete form, or for which the instructor of record has not extended the date on the contract for removal of incomplete form filed in the Registrar’s Office, the incomplete will be changed automatically to an F (failure) or the grade indicated on the contract. The total time an incomplete may be extended is one year from the date of the original course. A fee will be assessed.

Independent Studies

Independent study opportunities are available to students under the catalog headings of 390: Advanced Topic, 490: Internship, 495: Special Project and 497: Senior Thesis. All independent studies must be approved by the provost/vice president for Academic Affairs.


Undergraduate Department

A course of study in one area consisting of a minimum of 30 credits, including 24 upper-division credits, constitutes a major. The college indicates specified course work, if applicable, and the number of credits required.

Graduate Department

A major is declared by the student on the graduate application form. A master’s degree requires a minimum of 32 semester credits.

Non-degree Certificate Program

Students seeking OSPI certification must declare their intentions on the graduate application of admission form. A Professional certificate requires a minimum of 10 semester credits. An Educational Administration certificate requires a minimum of 22 semester credits, and an Educational Staff Associate (ESA) certificate requires a minimum of 10 semester credits.

Major Selection and Change

Students are encouraged to declare a major by their sophomore year, at the latest. Students who are undecided about a major field of study are assigned an advisor from the Advising Center. To change a major or to declare a major, a student must complete a change of major form or declaration of major form, respectively; obtain the necessary signatures; and return the form to the registrar or local campus administrative office. An advisor will be assigned from within the new department.


A course of study in one area consisting of a minimum of 15 credits, including 12 upper-division credits, constitutes a minor. The department may indicate specific courses and the number of credits required.


Former Heritage students who have been inactive for one year (or two terms) are classified as inactive and must apply for re-admittance by completing the regular admissions process.

Returning students who have been inactive for one years will graduate under the catalog current at the time of re-entry. Suspended students may apply for reinstatement after one semester (excluding summer term) from the suspension date by completing the regular admissions process. Reinstated students re-enter on academic probation and follow the academic probation regulations.

Re-admission is a requirement for any matriculated student who has finished a graduate course of study and returns to Heritage for another course of study, such as a certificate or an endorsement. Students seeking re-admittance need to apply for re-admission and pay the current admission fee.


Students are not permitted to register for courses unless they have been officially admitted to the university and have completed financial arrangements with the Student Accounts Office. Students are encouraged to register for each semester on the days specified in the published schedule. Students will meet with their advisors before registration days to plan a program of courses. New students officially register for all academic credits by completing a registration form, obtaining the assigned advisor’s signature, arranging for tuition and fee charges in the Student Accounts Office and Financial Aid Office, and filing the form in the Registrar’s Office on Toppenish campus or in the appropriate administrative office at off-campus centers.

Currently enrolled students may register during the open enrollment period designated by the events calendar on MyHeritage, the online student information and registration system. No student is permitted in courses unless officially registered. Students who register late are subject to a fee.

Graduate Student Registration

Students with a baccalaureate degree who do not wish to pursue a program toward a graduate degree or certificate may register for courses, if prerequisites are satisfied. Non-matriculated students may take only 8 semester credits.

Registration Changes and Withdrawals

Currently enrolled students may add or drop courses during the open enrollment period by using MyHeritage, the online student information and registration system, after they have completed financial arrangements with the Student Accounts Office. New students may add or drop courses after the open enrollment period by completing the add/drop form, obtaining the advisor’s signature, completing financial arrangements with the Student Accounts Office, and filing a copy in the Registrar’s Office. Courses may be added during the first two weeks of the semester (first 10 percent of short-term courses), as published in the schedule. Courses may be dropped during the first four weeks of the semester (first 25 percent of short-term courses), as published in the schedule. Courses dropped during the first two weeks are not recorded on the student’s permanent record. Requests to drop courses after the first four weeks (25 percent) of a semester require an administrative withdrawal (WA), which must be approved by the registrar before the final two weeks of a course. An add/drop fee is charged except in cases where course cancellations by the university force registration changes.

Repeating Courses

A university course may be repeated. The original and the repeated course remain on the transcript, but only the higher grade is computed in the grade point average, and credit is awarded only once.

Special Topics, Workshops, Seminars and Institutes

Courses that are not listed in the catalog and that are designed to fit the needs of a particular group of students are designated as special topics, and are taught as regularly scheduled courses in a given term. The course number is either 103, 203, 303, 403 or 503, according to the level involved.

Student Records and Responsibilities

Student academic records are confidential, and access to them is limited to the student and, for advisory or other educational purposes, to designated administration and faculty. This policy is consistent with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA). The student’s academic record may not be released to other persons or agencies outside the university without the written permission of the student. Students, upon request, may inspect and review their academic records in the Registrar’s Office. A copy of the university policy in compliance with FERPA is available below and in the Academic Affairs or administrative offices on each campus.

Notification of Student Rights under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA)

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) afford students certain rights with respect to their education records. These rights include the following:

  1. The right to inspect and review the student’s education records within 45 days of the day the university receives a request for access. Students should submit to the registrar, dean, head of the academic department, or other appropriate official a written request that identifies the record(s) they wish to inspect. The university official will make arrangements for access and notify the student of the time and place where the records may be inspected. If the records are not maintained by the university official to whom the request was submitted, that official shall advise the student of the correct official to whom the request should be addressed.
  2. The right to request amendment of the student’s educational records that the student believes is inaccurate or misleading. Students may ask the university to amend a record that they believe is inaccurate or misleading. Students may request amendment of a record by writing the university official responsible for the record, clearly identifying the part of the record they want changed and specifying why it is inaccurate or misleading.
  If the university decides not to amend the record as requested by the student, the university will notify the student of the decision and advise the student of his or her right to a hearing regarding the request for amendment. Additional information regarding the hearing procedures will be provided to the student when they are notified of the right to a hearing.
  1. The right to consent to disclosures of personally identifiable information contained in the student’s educational records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent.
  One exception that permits disclosure without consent is disclosure to school officials with legitimate educational interests. A school official is a person employed by the university in an administrative, supervisory, academic, research, or support staff position (including law enforcement unit personnel and health staff); a company or person with whom the university has contracted (such as an attorney, auditor, or collection agent); a person serving on the Board of Trustees; or a student serving on an official committee, such as a disciplinary or grievance committee, or assisting another school official in performing his or her tasks.
  A school official has a legitimate education interest if the official needs to review an education record in order to fulfill his or her professional responsibility.
  1. The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failure by Heritage University to comply with the requirements of FERPA. The following is the name and address of the office that administers FERPA:
  Family Policy Compliance Office
U.S. Department of Education
600 Independence Avenue, SW
Washington, DC 20202-4605

Note: Some student information is considered directory-type data and may be released to the public. Student directory information includes the following:

  • Name, address, telephone listing
  • Field of study (major)
  • Date and place of birth
  • Participation in officially recognized activities and sports
  • Dates of attendance, degrees and awards
  • Photographs

FERPA Annual Notice to Reflect Possible Federal and State Data Collection and Use

As of January 3, 2012, the U.S. Department of Education’s FERPA regulations expand the circumstances under which your education records and personally identifiable information (PII) contained in such records — including your Social Security Number, grades, or other private information — may be accessed without your consent. First, the U.S. Comptroller General, the U.S. Attorney General, the U.S. Secretary of Education, or state and local education authorities (“Federal and State Authorities”) may allow access to your records and PII without your consent to any third party designated by a Federal or State Authority to evaluate a federal- or state-supported education program. The evaluation may relate to any program that is “principally engaged in the provision of education”, such as early childhood education and job training, as well as any program that is administered by an education agency or institution. Second, Federal and State Authorities may allow access to your education records and PII without your consent to researchers performing certain types of studies, in certain cases even when we object to or do not request such research. Federal and State Authorities must obtain certain use-restriction and data security promises from the entities that they authorize to receive your PII, but the Authorities need not maintain direct control over such entities. In addition, in connection with Statewide Longitudinal Data Systems, State Authorities may collect, compile, permanently retain, and share without your consent PII from your education records, and they may track your participation in education and other programs by linking such PII to other personal information about you that they obtain from other Federal or State data sources, including workforce development, unemployment insurance, child welfare, juvenile justice, military service, and migrant student records systems.

Student Directory Information

Some student information is considered directory-type data, as explained above, and may be released to the public if a student is enrolled at Heritage. Student directory information includes name, current enrollment, address, telephone number, date and place of birth, participation in officially recognized activities and sports, dates of attendance, field of study (major), honors, degrees, whether full-time or part-time, and photographs. All other information regarding the student academic record is restricted and may not be released.

Students may request that directory information not be released to the public by indicating this during registration or at any time in the Registrar’s Office, Toppenish, the Moses Lake office, the Seattle office or the Kennewick (Tri-Cities) office.


Heritage (and former Fort Wright College) students may obtain copies of their transcripts through a written request to the Registrar’s Office. The request must include the student’s full name, name when taking university courses, dates of attendance, birth date, Social Security number and signature. A $10 fee is required per transcript request. Financial indebtedness to the university will prevent the release of a student’s transcript and diploma.

Student academic records are on file in the Registrar’s Office. Duplicate copies, in the event of a disaster, are available on backup tape in the campus Information Technology Office.

Transcripts from Other Institutions

Student transcripts and other related documents that have been submitted to the university as a requirement for admission become part of the official file and are not returned to students. Copies of these documents cannot legally be released to any other school or agency without permission of the student.

Transferability of Heritage University Credit

Heritage is an accredited university. Recognition as an accredited university means that the accrediting association recommends that Heritage transcripts be evaluated on the same basis as those of other accredited colleges and universities. Students are reminded that each college and university sets its own rules for accepting particular course credits toward various degree requirements. The Office of Admissions, registrar, or department chair at the institution to which a student wishes to transfer should be consulted about which credits will transfer to fulfill requirements at another institution.

Course Numbering System

Below 100 Developmental courses for which credit is granted but which do not fulfill any degree requirements; a pass (P) or non-pass (NP) grade is given in such courses.
100-299 Lower-division courses intended primarily for freshmen and sophomores.
300-499 Upper-division courses intended primarily for juniors and seniors; 390 is reserved for Advanced Topic, 490 for Internship, 495 for Special Project and 497 for Senior Thesis.
500-599 Graduate courses that seniors may take only with permission of the graduate chairperson.
600-699 Graduate courses used for free electives.

The following numbers are reserved in all departments for any level of course. Courses with these numbers must have the approval of the provost/vice president for Academic Affairs and the registrar.

x03 Special topics courses, workshops or institutes that are not listed in the catalog and are taught to specialized groups. The special topics number may also be used for new courses that emerge between catalog printings.
9xx Courses that are offered through the Lifelong Learning Institute for site-based and site-sponsored updating in-service of teachers and other professional groups.

Course Symbols, Prefixes and Descriptions

Each course listing includes a prefix, a course number, a course title, number of contact hours, a course description and, when applicable, a prerequisite.

(2/3) Numbers in parentheses following the course title indicate the contact hours of lecture, followed by laboratory hours required each week during the semester.
Q Non-credit, Lifelong Learning Institute.
ISP Integrated Studies Department combines courses from a variety of disciplines. Must be taken as a block.
W A course prefix and number followed by the letter W indicate a writing-intensive course.
X A course prefix and number followed by the letter X indicate a course completed by examination.
K A course in which credit was earned through the LINK Department.
L Denotes a laboratory course.

Writing-Intensive Courses

Recognizing the importance of good writing skills in students’ employment or advanced studies, Heritage University has instituted an intensive writing requirement to ensure that students continue to develop these skills throughout their academic careers. After passing through the mandatory composition sequence (ENG 101 and ENG 102), all students must complete at least four (4) writing-intensive courses, of which at least two (2) must be in the student’s major field of study and at least two (2) must be from the upper level (3XXW or 4XXW). Courses indicated by a “W” in the catalog and semester course schedule fulfill this requirement.

Students enrolled in writing-intensive courses can expect writing assignments throughout the semester. These assignments will be designed to teach the writing skills appropriate to that discipline. Thus, depending on the nature and level of the course, the written work may vary from response cards, lab reports, essay examinations, or other short but frequent assignments to longer reports or academic papers. Students whose written work needs improvement will be referred to the Academic Skills Center or the Writing Center for tutoring both during and after the semester.


The following table identifies the course prefixes and the academic department responsible for administration of the courses at the time of this catalog printing. Complete descriptions of the courses are given in the respective department sections of the catalog.


ACCT Accounting Arts and Sciences
ACS American Cultural Studies Arts and Sciences
ART Art Arts and Sciences
ASL American Sign Language Arts and Sciences
ASTR Astronomy Arts and Sciences
BADM Business Administration Arts and Sciences
BLE Bilingual Education Education
BIOL Biology Arts and Sciences
CHEM Chemistry Arts and Sciences
COMM Communications Arts and Sciences
CPSC Computer Science Arts and Sciences
CPSY Counseling Psychology Arts and Sciences
CRMJ Criminal Justice Arts and Sciences
DAN Dance Arts and Sciences
ECE Early Childhood Education Education
ECS Early Childhood Studies Education
ECON Economics Arts and Sciences
ED Education Education
EDR Education Education
ENG English Arts and Sciences
ENSC Environmental Science Arts and Sciences
FIN Finance Arts and Sciences
FISH Fisheries Arts and Sciences
FOR Forestry Arts and Sciences
FR French Arts and Sciences
HCAD Health Care Administration Arts and Sciences
HIS History Arts and Sciences
HON Honors Special Departments
HORT Horticulture Arts and Sciences
HPER Health, Physical Education/Recreation Arts and Sciences
HUM Humanities Arts and Sciences
LAT Latin Arts and Sciences
MATH Mathematics Arts and Sciences Arts and Sciences
MTED Mathematics Education Education
MUS Music Arts and Sciences
NTCE Nuclear Arts and Sciences
NURS Nursing Arts and Sciences
PHIL Philosophy Arts and Sciences
PHSC Physical Science Arts and Sciences
PHYS Physics Arts and Sciences
POSC Political Science Arts and Sciences
PSY Psychology Arts and Sciences
RDG Reading/Literacy Education
REL Religion Arts and Sciences
SAH Sahaptin Arts and Sciences
SOC Sociology Arts and Sciences
SOWK Social Work Arts and Sciences
SP Speech Arts and Sciences
SPAN Spanish Arts and Sciences
SPED Special Education Education

English Developmental Courses:

AELP (ESL) Courses                                                                                 Credits

Eng 95                        AELP Writing                                          4

Eng 97                        AELP Reading                                        4

Developmental Courses for Native English Speakers

Eng 98                        College Reading                                    4

Eng 99A                      Basic Writing Skills I                               4

Eng 99B                      Basic Writing Skills I I                             4


English 95 & 97

The English 95 and 97 courses were developed when it became clear that many students need ESL instruction. These courses are designed to parallel the English 98 and English 99 sequences, not precede them. The hope is that students will be able to move from the ESL sequence into regular college classes, rather than the English 98-99 sequence. However, if necessary, they can take English 98-99.

English 98 & 99

English 98, College Reading, is designed to help underprepared students succeed in college level classes requiring college level reading, and English 99 A & B, Basic Writing Skills, are a two-semester course sequence designed to help underprepared students succeed in college level classes. Currently, students must pass a test in order to move from the English 99 sequence to the College Composition sequence. 

While the numbering system makes it appear that the courses are a sequence running from 95 through 99, they really aren’t because each number stands for a different language skill. The sequencing that takes place is between the A and B levels such as English 99A & B.

Student Placement

This is the pattern of registration for these classes. First, all entering freshmen, as well as transfer students without 100-level or above courses in English and math, take the Heritage University assessment test. Students who need remediation may be placed anywhere in the 90’s series. 

At the end of each semester, a mastery test is given in each class. On the basis of class performance and test results, teachers make recommendations for course placement for the next semester. Teachers send these recommendations to Janet Castilleja, who makes sure that these recommendations are available to advisors. Important: these recommendations are mandatory in accordance with the decision of the Academic Affairs Committee.

ESL Students

Students may be placed in any combination of the English 95-97-98-99  courses, depending on test scores. At the end of each semester, students are given a mastery test of the required skills. Recommendations for future course placement are made based on test scores and course work, with teacher input. As mentioned above, these recommendations are mandatory

Native English-speaking Students

Students may be placed in any combination of the English 98-99 courses. At the end of each semester, students are given a mastery test of the required skills. Recommendations for future course placement are made based on test scores and course work, with teacher input. As mentioned above, these recommendations are mandatory.