Education Planning

Absence Due to Religious Beliefs

1985 Regular Session


Chapter 375


Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:

Chapter 151C of the General Laws is hereby amended by inserting after section 2A the following section:

Section 2B. Any student in an educational or vocational
training institution, other than a religious or denominational educational or vocational training institution, who is unable, because of his religious beliefs, to attend classes or to participate in any examination, study, or work requirement on a particular day shall be excused from any such examination or study or work requirement, and shall be provided with an opportunity to make up such examination, study, or work requirement which he may have missed because of such absence on any particular day; provided, however, that such makeup examination or work shall not create an unreasonable burden upon such school. No fees of any kind shall be charged by the institution for making available to the said student such opportunity. No adverse or prejudicial effects shall result to any student because of his availing himself of the provisions of this section.

A copy of this section shall be published by each institution of higher education in the catalog of such institution containing the list of available courses.

Approved October 8, 1985


Academic Innovation and Distance Education (AIDE)

Academic Innovation and Distance Education provides support for BHCC’s distance education courses and platforms.  BHCC's web-based and hybrid courses use a Learning Management System called “Moodle.”  If you are taking a Web or Hybrid course, or are taking face-to-face classes that use Moodle, we are here to support you. If you have any questions, or need assistance with any of our platforms, please email:

Distance Education Course Offerings

BHCC’s distance education courses offer a flexible, convenient option to motivated learners seeking an alternative to traditional classroom education. 

Bunker Hill Community College offers two exciting options for distance learning:

  • Web courses: These internet-based courses allow students to complete their coursework anywhere they have access to a computer and the internet.
  • Hybrid courses: These courses combine traditional classroom components with online learning experiences and activities.

To find out more about BHCC’s programs of study, visit our online program list. You can also search for web and hybrid courses online.

Bunker Hill Community College is committed to using the most advanced technologies to enable teaching and learning for a diverse population. Academic Innovation and Distance Education offices are located in E-230 in the main building. To contact the office for assistance, call 617-228-2466 or e-mail

Academic Standing

Students are considered to be in good academic standing if they:

  • Attempted 12-30 credits and successfully completed at least 67 percent of the total number of credits attempted with a cumulative grade point average of 1.79 or higher, or
  • Attempted more than 30 credits and successfully completed at least 67 percent of them with a cumulative grade point average of 2.0 or higher.


To achieve successful academic performance, you must attend all regularly-scheduled classes and laboratory sessions. If you’re having a hard time attending courses, talk to your instructors and advisors.

If you know you will be absent for three or more class sessions in a row because of a family emergency or personal illness, let your faculty member know and complete a CARE Report at When you return to class, you are responsible for discussing completion of all course requirements with your course instructors. If the instructor and you find it impossible for you to complete all assigned work, you may need to withdraw from the course.

If you do not attend classes during the first four weeks of the semester, you will be withdrawn from the course and may receive an NA (non-attendance) grade. The grade appears on your transcript and is counted toward credits attempted but is not computed in the grade point average. The NA grade designation is not used during the summer semester.


SelfService is portal for degree/credit bearing students to access:

  • Course registration, course catalog, class schedule, grades, unofficial transcript, degree progress and other academic information
  • Financial information and payments, health insurance waivers and other administrative information and tasks
  • Add emergency contact, change and confirm address and phone contact information

Access Selfservice at using just your BHCC username (BHCC email address without the and BHCC password.

Course Registration

If you have a GPA of at least 2.00, you can register online.

Academic Information

You can access information about your academic performance online that includes semester grades, unofficial transcripts and placement test summaries.


You can pay online—if your student payment account and immunization records (if applicable) are in good standing. The system accepts payments using VISA, MasterCard, Discover and American Express, and from a checking or savings account. International students have the benefit of making payments in the currency of their choice through the Payment/Western Union link on the Finance page.

You can also access your financial account summaries from the Finance page. Your account page shows both current semester payments received and balances due.

Financial Aid

Through the online services system, you can see and print your financial aid award letters, and current and previous years’ financial aid records. You can also check the status of your current financial aid application documentation.

Obtaining a Password

Upon acceptance to college, your BHCC Account will be setup. You will retrieve your BHCC username and password through your Acceptance letter.
Keep your BHCC username and password confidential. You will use the credentials to access all BHCC technical services including, but not limited to:

  • Email
  • Office365 applications
  • Online learning system
  • Online portfolio system
  • Webex
  • LinkedIn Learning · All other applications that are available through our Single Sign On Portal

If you forget your password or need college related technical assistance, contact BHCC Technical Support Services:

Your BHCC account and access will be removed from our systems if you are not registered for two consecutive semesters. Example, if student attends in Spring 2023, but does not register for Fall 2023 or Spring 2024, account will be removed at beginning of Fall 2024.

BHCC will not retain email accounts and messages in students’ accounts once removed from our systems.

Catalog Year

The term “catalog year” refers to the academic year in which students are admitted to the College. You must fulfill the program requirements listed in the College Catalog in effect for your catalog year. If you are readmitted to the College after an absence of five or more years, you must fulfill the catalog year/program requirements in effect at the beginning of the semester of readmission. If you change your program, you must fulfill the catalog year program requirements in effect at the beginning of the semester following the date of the change.

Center for Self-Directed Learning

Students may enroll in college credit courses available through the Center for Self-Directed Learning (CSDL). Students have the flexibility to make their own schedules, and complete assignments and tests according to their unique learning needs. The CSDL provides individualized, independent instruction under the supervision of professional learning specialists and professional tutors. CSDL students are always active participants in the learning process, solving problems, answering questions and developing skills.

To ensure that effective learning takes place, student progress is evaluated on a continuous basis. Courses can extend over the entire semester, or be completed in a few weeks, depending on the student’s needs.

Course facilitators and tutors are available to guide and assist you at all times during scheduled hours of operation. For schedule information, see the posted schedule or ask a staff member for help. Refer to the current course schedule booklet or the College website for a detailed listing of CSDL course offerings.

The CSDL is located in Room E321. Visit the CSDL web page for the current semester’s hours. For more information, call 617-228-2225 or email:

Commonwealth Honors Program at BHCC

The Commonwealth Honors Program at Bunker Hill Community College is a statewide program overseen by the Honors College at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. BHCC is one of many of the Commonwealth’s colleges and universities that is a member of this program.

Within the Commonwealth Honors Program, students will find and create opportunities to excel academically in a rich and challenging environment and to become a member of a diverse and inclusive community of scholars, building on the strengths of the college community’s diversity. For admission requirements and benefits, including transfer opportunities and scholarships, visit

Course Load

You are considered a full-time student if you carry 12 or more credit hours in a fall or spring semester or 6 credit hours in a summer session. You must enroll in a minimum of 15 credit hours per semester of college level course work to complete an associate degree program in two years. If you wish to carry more than 18 credits during a fall or spring semester or 9 credits during a summer or mini-session, you must get written permission from the Dean of your program of study or a designee.

Final Examination Schedule

Final examinations take place during a student’s last class for each course enrolled during the semester. The final examination Assessment Period is usually scheduled the next two days after the last day of classes. Students who have more than two exams scheduled in one day may request to reschedule the exam. Students who miss final examinations must notify the appropriate Academic Dean of their program area immediately, stating the reason. The individual faculty member makes the decision regarding makeup of final exams.

Fresh Start Policy

Under the Fresh Start Policy, you may enroll in BHCC without having to carry a very poor GPA record or low completion rate from years back that could prevent you from graduating or completing a program. The policy states:

  1. The student must be a former Bunker Hill Community College student who has credits from BHCC.
  2. The credits held by the student must be at least 5 years old. No credits shall have been earned or attempted at BHCC within the past five years.
  3. The credits will be treated as the College treats credits transferred from other colleges. Credit will be granted for a course where a grade of C or better was earned, and will be counted as free electives or as courses fulfilling requirements depending on the program requirements of the re-entering student. Only credits subsequently taken at BHCC are counted in the GPA. Likewise, only the completion rate following the return will be used to determine progress.
  4. This process can be used only once. If the student drops out again and then returns, the student cannot start again with a new GPA or a new completion rate.
  5. This process does not affect the need to repeat courses in certain programs where the earlier completion may be considered out of date. (This is often the case in science, computer technology, and health programs such as nursing).
  6. In all cases where these policies are at variance with federal financial aid policies, the federal policies will determine eligibility for such aid.

Grade Appeals

In the interest of due process, the College provides an appeal process for students who believe that a recorded final grade does not accurately reflect their academic performance in a course. Grades can be appealed in instances where a student believes that an inaccurate final grade has been issued such as arbitrary grade issuance, inconsistent grading practice, or calculation error. For issues of academic dishonesty, please refer to the College’s Student Code of Conduct.

A student who alleges an error or injustice in the grading process may file a Grievance under the Student Grievance Procedure only after contacting the faculty member in an attempt to resolve the issue within 30 calendar days after the course has ended.

If student is not able to resolve concerns informally with the faculty member, they may proceed to Level Two by completing an online Academic Grade Appeal Form. A grade appeal grievance shall proceed no further than Level Two, Step Two.

Complete process and frequently asked questions concerning grade appeals may be found on the Dean of Students web page

Graduation Information


If you expect to graduate, you must apply for graduation during your final semester. To graduate, you must:

  • Complete a minimum of 60 credit hours (not including developmental courses) with a minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.00.
  • Attain a minimum of 15 credit hours through courses you enrolled in and successfully completed at BHCC.
  • Complete all program requirements.
  • Meet all requirements of the College, including payment of any outstanding financial obligations and submission of state-mandated immunization requirements.

Second and Subsequent Degrees

After earning an associate degree at BHCC, you may apply to earn additional associate degrees. To qualify, you must complete the required courses for each additional degree as well as a minimum of 15 credit hours beyond the first and any subsequent degrees.


To qualify for a BHCC certificate, you must complete all course requirements for the certificate. A minimum of 25 percent of the required credit hours must be successfully completed at the College with a minimum minimum GPA of 2.00 (not including developmental courses).

Graduation with Honors

Bunker Hill Community College recognizes academic achievement for graduating students who have completed degree requirements and earned exemplary grade point averages:

Highest Honors: Students with a cumulative GPA of 3.90 - 4.00, less developmental credits.

High Honors: Students with a cumulative GPA of 3.50 - 3.89, less developmental credits.

Honors: Students with a cumulative GPA of 3.30 - 3.49, less developmental credits.

The College also gives honors awards for the highest grade point average, less developmental credits, in each program.

Learning Communities

BHCC’s Learning Communities provide credit-bearing opportunities for students to learn in a supportive and engaging environment. Each learning community is grounded in a set of core academic and student development outcomes that include reflection and self-assessment, critical thinking, integrated communication, intercultural competence and teamwork. Students enrolled in BHCC Learning Communities:

  • Learn in a small class setting that incorporates hands-on activities such as field study and team projects.
  • Engage in interdisciplinary learning experiences that are culturally relevant and sustaining.
  • Benefit from teacher-to-student mentoring and integrated support services, including success coach advising and peer mentoring.
  • Receive support and guidance in identifying academic goals, engaging in career exploration, and making decisions about further education, work and life goals.
  • Collaborate with peers who share similar goals and aspirations.
  • Are more likely to stay in college, do well in their coursework, and achieve their academic goals.

BHCC offers two types of Learning Communities: Learning Seminar for First-Year Students and Learning Community Clusters. If you are a first-time college student pursuing an associate degree and enrolled in nine or more credits, you are required to take a Learning Community Seminar or a Learning Community Cluster within your first year.

Learning Community Seminars for First-Year Students

These seminars enable you to explore a topic of interest while learning to navigate the College and access support networks. Each seminar is supported by a designated Success Coach who collaborates with seminar instructors and assists you with setting and meeting your educational, career and personal goals. Many seminars are served by Achievement, Cultural Competency and Engagement (ACE) Peer Mentors, who help you to adjust to the academic, social and personal environment at BHCC.

Learning Community Clusters

Clusters allow you to take two or more courses together, and learn and study with the same group of students. Clusters are planned around common academic themes and encourage you to make connections among different disciplines. Many clusters allow you to accelerate your progression through developmental English and Math or ELL course work. To enroll in a cluster, you must meet the prerequisites or co-requisites for each of the courses in that cluster.

For more information about BHCC’s Learning Communities, stop by the Office of Learning Communities, room E-231, Charlestown Campus.

Repeating a Course

Students may repeat courses in which they earn a grade of D, F, W, WA, or NA. Students can petition Academic Records to repeat a course when they have obtained a C grade or better but should recognize that they do so at a substantial risk. The process may be used no more than three times for courses with a letter grade of C or better. Repeating a course when the earlier attempt is a C or better is allowed only if the higher course grade is a course prerequisite or program requirement to continue in or enter a specific academic program. The grade in the final attempt automatically becomes the official grade for purposes of calculating grade point average and for determining eligibility for graduation. The grades for each attempt, however, are recorded and always remain on the student’s transcript. Repeating a course may not be allowed in specific programs with outside accreditation. Example for determining a Cumulative Grade Point Average: The total quality points for a course is computed by multiplying:

Course Credits Attempted Grade Grade Quality Points Quality Points earned
ENG112 3 A- (3.70) 11.10
MAT196 3 C+ (2.30) 6.90
BIO102 4 B (3.00) 12.00
SPN201 3 F (0.00) 0.00
Total 13     30.00

Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA): 30.00 ÷ 13 = 2.31

Graduation Grade Point Average is calculated in the same manner but excludes developmental course work (i.e. courses numbered below 100).

Satisfactory Academic Progress

In order to continue at Bunker Hill Community College and/or receive financial aid, students must make satisfactory academic progress toward a degree or certificate. Satisfactory academic progress is the calculation of the cumulative course completion rate and grade point average of a student. The College considers students to be achieving satisfactory academic progress if they complete 67 percent or more of the total number of credits attempted and meet the following minimum cumulative grade point average:

Cumulative Credits Attempted

Cumulative Grade Point Average

Fewer than 12

No minimum



More than 30


 This includes credits taken at BHCC as well as those officially transferred in.

Academic Warning

The College places students on Academic Warning if they do not meet the criteria for satisfactory academic progress. 

Academic Improvement

The College places students on Academic Improvement if they meet the criteria for satisfactory academic progress during their Academic Warning semester or Academic Probation semester, and their cumulative GPA and completion rates do not meet the criteria for Good Academic Standing.

Academic Probation

The College places students on Academic Probation if they do not meet the criteria for satisfactory academic progress during their Academic Warning semester and their cumulative GPA and completion rates do not meet the criteria for Good Academic Standing.

Academic Suspension

The College places students on Academic Suspension if one or more of the following circumstances occur during any probationary semester:

  • Student’s semester grade point average is below 1.79 and the student’s cumulative GPA is below 1.79. (Student has attempted between 12 and 30 credits to date at BHCC) or;
  • Student’s semester grade point average is below 2.00 and the student’s cumulative GPA is below 2.00. (Student has attempted more than 30 credits to date at BHCC) or;
  • Student has completed less than 67% of the total number of credits attempted in an Academic Probation semester and student has completed less than 67% of the total cumulative number of credits attempted. (Please note that grades of F, IP, N, NA, W and WA count as credits attempted).

Students on Academic Suspension are prohibited from attending the college for a minimum of one semester unless the suspension status is successfully appealed. Following a minimum leave of one semester, students may appeal their academic suspension by meeting with the Associate Dean of Academic Affairs or designee.

Appeals Process for Probation and Suspension

Students placed on academic probation or suspension from the College for unsatisfactory academic progress have the right to appeal. Students who successfully appeal their academic suspension will be placed on academic probation when they return to BHCC. Students should contact the Associate Dean of Academic Affairs for more information. Academic reinstatement does not automatically re-establish eligibility for Financial Aid. Students should follow the Financial Aid appeals process separately from the academic appeals process.  See the Financial Aid section of this handbook for information on the appeals process.

TRiO Student Support Services

The TRiO Student Support Services Program is a free federally funded program that provides comprehensive academic and student support services designed to help students achieve their educational goals at Bunker Hill Community College and to transfer to their four-year school of choice. You must apply and be selected to participate.

TRIO provides one-on-one services including academic counseling, transfer advising, retention and resources support, peer tutoring, mentorship and cultural enrichment events, academic encouragement and college transfer information. The program also provides workshops on a variety of topics focusing on learning strategies, financial literacy, life management skills, career exploration assistance and the college transfer process.

To qualify for these services, you must be a matriculated student enrolled in college-level courses with intent to graduate and transfer to a four-year school. You must demonstrate an academic need, meet program criteria and:

  • Be a first-generation college student, or
  • Meet federal income guidelines, or
  • Have a documented disability.

The TRiO Student Support Services office is located in Room E-226. To contact the office, call 617-228-2303 or email

The TRiO Student Support Services Program is funded by the U.S. Department of Education.