Online Academic Policies and Procedures

by admin

Academic Policies and Procedures

Table of Contents

Academic Accommodations

Students interested in receiving academic accommodations and/or support services must contact the school’s ADA Specialist. To receive academic accommodations, students must first provide the school’s ADA Specialist with appropriate documentation of their disability. Please see the Academic Accommodations policy in the school catalog for more information.

Back to TOC

Terms and Credits

PCI programs of study are based on 12 week terms. Many programs are modular and are defined as three (3) four-week courses or modules. Each course is assigned a specific number of contact and credit hours, depending on the student learning outcomes and requirements of the course. One clock hour equals 50 minutes of instruction. Students are also required to complete assignments or projects outside of class in order to meet the requirements of the course and contact hours.

Back to TOC

Contact Hour to Quarter Credit Hour Conversion Formula

Courses at PCI may include lecture classes, lab/clinic classes, internship/externship/ practicum hours, or a combination of these. One quarter credit hour is awarded for each of the following: 10 contact hours of lecture, 20 contact hours of lab/clinic work or independent study, and 30 hours of externship.

For Title IV financial aid funding purposes, one quarter credit is awarded for each 25 contact hours in a certificate program.

NOTE: It is the academic policy of Pinnacle Career Institute that every 80 hour per module course includes out-of-class learning activities required to support the learning objectives. These are reflected in the assignment of credit hours and course grades. Documentation of completion of assigned outside work will be required in each class. Assigned outside work is calculated into the overall grade for the course. Time needed to complete online work will vary based on the individual student.

Out of class learning activities are not considered in the overall contact hour calculation for classes with 100 hours of lecture, lab, and/or intern/externship/practicum cumulatively.

The formula for calculating the number of required outside hours of work for classes less than 100 total contact hours is based on the overall number of contact hours divided by 20 times 5. For example if there are 80 contact hours in the course the formula for calculating number of required outside work hours would be 80 divided by 20 times 5 equals 20 hours of required outside learning activities over the length of the course.

Back to TOC

Academic Integrity

The student has full responsibility for both the content of academic assignments submitted for evaluation and the integrity with which all academic work submitted for evaluation has been done. Ignorance of an express rule regarding inappropriate student conduct does not excuse one from adhering to appropriate ethical standards in the completion of academic assignments.

Students are expected to complete their own work unless instructions state collaboration is acceptable or required. Failure to cite outside sources and/or copying work from another student is considered academic dishonesty. Offenders are subject to academic censure which may include failure of an assignment, failure of a course, or termination from school. Please see the Academic Integrity policy in the school catalog for further information.

Back to TOC


Online Expectations

Pinnacle Career Institute delivers its online programs via the internet. Students and faculty members interact with one another in virtual classroom environments via presentations, videos, simulations, assignments, labs, weekly participation in forums with faculty and other students, quizzes and tests. Success depends upon the individual student’s self-motivation, ability to undertake self-directed study and determination to meet all assignment deadlines. At PCI, we find our most successful students dedicate on average more than 25 hours per week to their studies and access their online classroom daily. Keeping pace weekly with participation and homework assignments is essential to successful course and program completion. Interaction with other students and faculty each week is an important element of each course.

Students enrolled in online classes will be expected to complete a significant portion of their course work independently. Due to the nature of online learning, the instructor‘s role is that of a facilitator and guide. In that role, the instructor will provide the student with guidelines and learning activities and will offer feedback and evaluation as well as guided discussions as the student proceeds with the course.


The institution’s philosophy on attendance supports its mission for preparing students in allied health, business, and technical careers and professional related fields. Students are expected to attend their class for each four week module and complete all academic activities assigned throughout each academic week. An academic week begins at 12:00 am CST Monday through 11:55 pm Sunday CST. Attendance for each week is documented through the submission of a minimum of one graded activity per week in the registered module. A student who does not submit a minimum of one graded activity per week in the module will receive an attendance warning. A student, who does not submit a minimum of one graded activity for two consecutive weeks (14 days), will be considered to have administratively withdrawn from the institution. Graded activities are defined as any activity, quiz, paper, lab, etc., excluding forums.
In addition, a student may only receive one attendance warning per module. A student who does not submit a minimum of one graded activity per week for two non-consecutive weeks within the module will automatically receive a failing grade and will be required to repeat the class. NOTE: Logging into the LMS without doing any academic work will not count as attendance.

First Time Students

The start of your online studies is of high importance to your academic success at Pinnacle Career Institute. All first-time students are required to complete a minimum of one graded activity per week within the module. Attendance warning is not an option for the first two weeks of the mod for a first time students. A student who does not submit a minimum of one graded activity (not including forums) for two consecutive weeks (14 days) will not be considered to have entered the institution. There will be no attendance exceptions for extenuating circumstances during the first module.

Back to TOC


Any student who fails a course will immediately be placed on an Academic Improvement Plan. The plan must be completed in collaboration with the Director of Education, Program Coordinator and Student Success Coordinator, must be of quality and submitted and approved by 5pm CST, Friday of Week 1 of the next subsequent course. Any student who does not complete their Academic Improvement Plan in the time allotted may be administratively dropped from the program.

Back to TOC

Assignment Submission

  • All assignments, labs, projects, and papers must be written utilizing PCI Writing Style rules and guidelines.
  • The file naming format consists of the Student's last name, first initial, course code, dash, and assignment number (no spaces between characters): DoeJXXX0000-1. Files must be submitted in Microsoft Word.
  • Your assignment or essay must be typed on standard-sized paper (8.5" x 11") with appropriate margins.
  • Be sure to include citations for quotations and paraphrases with references in PCI format and style. PCI Plagiarism Manual and Citation Guide
  • You must include a Reference page if citing material. PCI Plagiarism Manual and Citation Guide
  • Abstracts, Appendixes, Author notes, Footnotes, Tables, and Figure caption are not required unless requested by your instructor.

Back to TOC

Late Work Policy

Each week, assignments and quizzes are due at various days during the week, or at the latest, by Sunday, 11:59 pm CST. If an assignment, lab or discussion is missed, the student may be allowed, with just cause, to make it up or submit it late (at the discretion of the instructor); however, the grade can be lowered by 50% if submitted during the first week past the due date. No credit will be earned if submitted during or after the second week past the due date. Late assignments or quizzes are not accepted after the close of the class with an approved Request for Incomplete.

Back to TOC

Last Day to Submit Work

Your class closes on the fourth Sunday night of each module at 11:59 pm CST. You will not have access to the class after this time so please remember to have all assignments and quizzes submitted. This means that if you are in the system starting to submit assignments, or taking your quiz, at 11:59 pm CST you will be locked out of the system and you will not be able to submit your work. For example, if you log in at 11:30 pm CST on Sunday night to begin your quiz you will only have 29 minutes to complete it.

Back to TOC