Photographic Center NorthWest

Education Policies

+ Academic Policy for All Students
+ Administrative Policies
+ Academic Policies for Certificate Students
+ Code of Conduct

Academic Policy for All Students

Advanced Placement
Students may obtain advanced placement credit based on an interview, a review of the student’s portfolio, and/or a test administered by Photographic Center Northwest (PCNW).

Assignments
Students should expect to spend at least 2 to 3 hours in outside work for each hour in class.

Attendance
Weekly attendance is vital to student success in PCNW courses. We require that students attend the first meeting in order to retain their spot in the class. A waiver may be granted if permission is given by, and subsequent arrangements made with, both the PCNW Registrar and Faculty.

If a student fails to attend three classes during the quarter, or if a student is tardy (more than ten minutes late) for three classes, the student’s grade will drop one increment (for example, from B+ to B). If the student fails to attend more than three classes or is tardy for more than three classes, the instructor may exercise their right to permanently drop the student from the class. Should a student be dropped from a class due to nonattendance, a grade of X will be assigned and the regular tuition refund policy will apply.

Cancellation of Classes
PCNW reserves the right to cancel a class, for example if the number of students enrolled is deemed insufficient. Students can expect to receive notice of class cancellation at least one week prior to the first class meeting.

Credit for Classes
PCNW operates on a four-quarter academic year. Credit for classes is based on the number of hours of class instruction offered per week over the course of a quarter; one credit for each class hour. All PCNW classes are lecture/discussion classes, which may include lab/studio time actively supervised by faculty, where one class hour represents two hours of work outside class. Tuition is charged on a per credit basis.

Grade Changes
In all circumstances, only the instructor may make grade changes, by sending a memo to the Registrar that describes an instructor error that justifies the grade change.

Grading
PCNW uses a four-point grading scale, as indicated below:

A+, A 4.0 Superior performance
A- 3.7
B+ 3.3
B 3.0 Good performance
B- 2.7
C+ 2.3
C 2.0 Adequate performance
C- 1.7
D+ 1.3
D 1.0 Poor performance
D- 0.7
F 0.00 No Credit
X 0.00 Withdrawal due to Excess Absences (No Credit)
W 0.00 Withdrawal with No Credit
HW Hardship Withdrawal
NS Grade Not Submitted (administrative)
I 0.00

In case of circumstances beyond the student’s control, an instructor may grant a student an extension for submitting final work. If the work for the course is not completed within reasonable due date set by faculty, the “I” becomes the default grade the instructor assigns for the work that was completed or NC (No Credit) if no default grade is submitted/recorded.

For non-certificate students who do not wish a grade:
Satisfactory/Passing
Unsatisfactory/Failing

Non-Academic Dismissal
All non-academic dismissals are decided by PCNW administration and a committee of faculty members. Such dismissals may result from infractions of school regulations or violations of local or state law. The school may dismiss a student who disrupts the normal conduct of classes and school activity. The student has a right to appeal the decision and/or appeal for re-admittance as described in the Student Grievance Procedure of this document. Readmission will be based on the student satisfying the same requirements as a student applying to the Certificate in Fine Art Photography (see Academic Policy for Certificate Students) and student ability to demonstrate resolution of the problem that led to dismissal.

Required Equipment and Supplies
In most courses, students are required to have access to a 35mm Film and/or Digital SLR camera with normal lens, a tripod, and a portable flash unit. Specific materials or supplies required for a class will be described in the course syllabus. Students should be prepared to bring equipment to each class session. PCNW does not provide basic camera equipment required for class. Many classes also require purchase of equipment or supplies in order to participate in the class or to complete assignments. For example, students must purchase their own paper and film. The cost of supplies and quantity used will vary widely depending on the course. PCNW does not assume responsibility for a student’s equipment if damaged, lost, or stolen.

Student Eligibility and Ability to Benefit
There are no prerequisites for our entry-level classes and we do not administer tests to predict a student’s ability to benefit from our classes. We find that the best test of a student’s photographic ability is to enroll in a beginning class.

Student Grievance Procedure
If a student has a grievance with a faculty or staff member of PCNW, the student is encouraged to first attempt to reconcile the grievance with that individual. If reconciliation is not possible at this level, the student may take their concern to the Programs Chair and/or Executive Director. If the grievance is still not resolved, the student may request that the Board of Trustees appoint a review committee.

Student Records
As required by federal legislation, PCNW has a policy on the rights of students to privacy of their educational records and access to the information on file. Students have the right to review the records, files, and data maintained for his or her educational benefit, and also a right to challenge those records. To obtain transcripts or other records please contact the Registrar; all files are kept on site at PCNW.

Directory Information
The following directory information may be revealed by PCNW to any inquirer, unless the student requests in writing within ten days of starting classes that PCNW should withhold such information:
a) Name
b) Dates of Attendance
c) Completion Status

Disclosure of Personal Information without Request
PCNW will not disclose personally identifiable information from the student’s record without the student’s written consent unless the disclosure is:

– To federal or state authorities.
– To accrediting organizations in order to carry out their accrediting functions.
– To comply with a judicial order or subpoena if PCNW makes a reasonable effort to notify the student of the order or subpoena prior to release of the information.
– To officials of another school to which the student has applied.
– To organizations conducting studies involving testing, student aid programs or instruction where personally identifiable information will not be passed along.
– To protect the health or safety of a student or other persons.
– To organizations or agencies who sponsor the student at the school by paying the full cost of training directly to the school.

Students who wish to inspect their records must send a written request to the PCNW Registrar and/or Programs Chair five days in advance. Students also have a right to challenge the accuracy of the records.

Transcripts
Students may obtain official PCNW transcripts of their academic record by submitting a written request to the Registrar. One official transcript may be requested free of charge, after which there is a $10.00 fee for up to 5 official copies. No official transcript will be released for students with financial obligations to PCNW.

Quarterly Schedule
Registration dates and procedures are stated in the online registration and classes page of our website. Each quarter, classes, workshops and related information are posted online and in the printed schedule.

Withdrawal from School
Student withdrawal will be deemed to have occurred as of the date the student submits written notification to the Registrar of their intention to withdraw. Notice of withdrawal must be received by the Registrar before a refund may be issued. A refund may be issued, if and only if the student withdraws from classes within the drop period outlined in the Administrative Policies. A grade of W will be issued if withdrawal occurs before the ninth week of the quarter. If withdrawal is after the eighth week, the grade will be HW (Hardship Withdrawal) when the student must withdraw for a medical/family hardship reason communicated to the school in writing. Otherwise, the student will receive an F (Failing). Re-enrollment in the same course(s) at a later date will require payment of full tuition. (See Administrative Policies below for specific refund schedule.)

Accommodations & Disabilities Services
PCNW acknowledges that traditional methods and programs may not suit the needs of every student in our classes and workshops. If you have a learning, physical, or psychological disability, the education staff at PCNW can work to provide you with additional support, resources, or accommodations where possible. We strive to create fully accessible opportunities for a diverse student body to participate in courses at PCNW, and the Education staff is able to provide aids from shared notes and additional time on assignments or exams, to access related accommodations related to classroom spaces.

All accommodations and adjustments will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis according to the needs of the individual student and the demands of the class or program offered. Accommodations that require a change in the fundamental nature of the course, curriculum, or activity, or that cause an undue financial or administrative burden to PCNW may not be approved. In that case PCNW may be able to help with referrals to other institutions or programs that are a better match for the individual. You may be required to submit documentation that establishes the nature of the disability and lists recommended services. We encourage that prospective students consider disclosing any accommodations needs ahead of registering to the education staff to ensure that we can provide a good fit for your educational needs and goals. All accommodations that are approved will be provided at no additional cost to the student. Travel-related accommodations cannot be considered. Students always have the opportunity to discuss their accommodation needs with education staff at PCNW.

Please do not hesitate to contact the Education staff with questions about disabilities services or to request an accommodation.

Administrative Policies

Courses Cancelled by PCNW
If PCNW determines a course must be canceled prior to the start date and/or fails to fulfill its obligation to complete any course after the course has begun, the students enrolled are entitled to a refund of all tuition and fees paid for the course.

Late Payment Penalty
If payment is not received by the billed due date, students are subject to a $50.00 late fee charge per month. If payment is still not received after 90 days, the account will be sent to a collections agency. If the student fails to make either part of the two-part payment when due, PCNW may declare the entire amount of the indebtedness immediately due and payable. The student is further liable for all costs and attorneys’ fees for the collection of any amount not paid when due.

Refund Policies for Classes
The amount of tuition refunded for classes is determined by the cancellation or withdrawal date. The cancellation/withdrawal date is defined as the postmark date on mailed written cancellation/withdrawals or the date of receipt of written cancellation/withdrawal submitted to the Registrar. All refunds will be determined based on the withdrawal date. Notice given to the instructor rather than the administration is not considered notice of cancellation or withdrawal.

Class Refund Information and Deadlines (the information and deadlines outlined below apply to non-Certificate students; refunds for students enrolled in the Certificate in Fine Art Photography are governed by the policies outlined in Academic Policies for Certificate Students):

– If a student withdraws from a class prior to the first day of the academic quarter as published on the PCNW Web site, PCNW retains 15% of the total tuition.
– If a student withdraws on or before the 14th day of the academic quarter, PCNW retains 50% of total tuition.
– The drop period is defined as the first 14 days of the academic quarter as published on the PCNW website. Students who withdraw after the 14th day of the quarter are not eligible to receive a refund or transfer.

In any case in which a refund is due a student, the refund shall be made within 30 days of receiving the student’s notice of cancellation or withdrawal from the school. PCNW cannot be responsible for giving refunds for classes, workshops, or other programming dropped or missed due to illness, emergencies, or events beyond our control if notification of cancellation/withdrawal is not received within the stated deadlines. All tuition refunds are issued in the form of a check.

Refund Policies for Workshops
The amount of tuition refunded for workshops is determined by the cancellation or withdrawal date. The cancellation/withdrawal date is defined as the postmark date on mailed written cancellation/withdrawals or the date of receipt of written cancellation/withdrawal submitted to the Registrar. All refunds will be determined based on the withdrawal date. Notice given to the instructor rather than the administration is not considered notice of cancellation or withdrawal.

Workshop Refund Information and Deadlines
– If a workshop is cancelled by PCNW the enrolled students are entitled to a full refund of tuition.
– If a student withdraws more than seven days prior to the workshop the student is eligible for a refund of tuition less a $25.00 administrative/cancellation fee OR if a student wishes to transfer to an alternate workshop offering a $25.00 transfer fee will apply.
– If a student withdraws less than seven days prior to the workshop there will be no refund or transfers.

In any case in which a refund is due a student, the refund shall be made within 30 days of receiving the student’s notice of cancellation or withdrawal from the school. PCNW cannot be responsible for giving refunds for classes, workshops, or other programming dropped or missed due to illness, emergencies, or events beyond our control if notification of cancellation/withdrawal is not received within the stated deadlines. All tuition refunds are issued in the form of a check.

Re-Registration
PCNW has a right to deny re-registration of a student until all financial obligations to PCNW have been met.

Sexual Harassment Policy
Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature constitute sexual harassment when:

– Submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of a person’s employment or academic advancement;
– Submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for employment decisions or academic decisions affecting the person; or
– Such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with a person’s work or academic performance by creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive environment.

Complaint Procedure
If any student feels he or she has been subjected to any instance of sexual harassment, he or she shall immediately report the incident to the Programs Chair and/or Executive Director. The administration will promptly and fairly review all complaints, and conduct an investigation whenever indicated. To the highest degree possible, allowing for a fair investigation, PCNW will treat all complaints in a confidential manner. At a minimum, any investigation will include interviews with the person bringing the complaint and the alleged offender.

Corrective Action
If, as a result of the investigative process, it is determined that an individual has violated the sexual harassment policy, PCNW will take prompt corrective action. The nature of the corrective action will be commensurate with the nature of the offense and the frequency of the behavior, and the corrective action may include disciplinary sanctions up to and including termination of employment or contract, or expulsion from the school.

Standards of Ethical Practice
It is the policy of PCNW to conduct all programs without discrimination on the basis of sex, race, national origin, religion, age, marital status, sexual orientation, disability or veteran status. This policy applies to admissions, counseling, training, placement, and employment and to all aspects of the organization and administration of programs. Any inquiries by individuals pertaining to the above, including the provisions of Title IX, Education Amendments of 1972 as further amended, or under the handicapped discrimination provisions of Section 504, Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended, should be sent to PCNW’s Executive Director who is the reviewing officer. PCNW will not knowingly enroll a student who cannot benefit from the training.

Tuition and Expenses For All Students
Tuition for PCNW classes is charged at a per credit rate, per quarter. Courses that require access to a darkroom, digital lab or studio in order to complete assignments in the course are noted in the catalog. To use PCNW facilities to complete assignments, the student must pay rental fees in addition to tuition. For current tuition and fees, see pcnw.org/classes and pcnw.org/facilities-overview. Most courses require purchase of equipment or supplies in order to participate in the class or to complete assignments. For example, for many classes, students must have a 35mm manually adjustable camera (film and/or digital) and purchase their own paper and film. The cost of such supplies and quantity used will vary widely depending upon course and student needs.

Academic Policies for Certificate Students

Admission to the Certificate in Fine Art Photography

Timing
Applications to the Certificate in Fine Art Photography are accepted on an annual basis; the application deadline is posted on the Certificate in Fine Art Photography page.

Current students considering the Certificate in Fine Art Photography are strongly advised to apply by the time they have taken 22 credits toward completion of the program.

Students accepted into the Certificate in Fine Art Photography will obtain priority in registration.

Application
Applications are considered on an annual basis; see the Certificate in Fine Art Photography page for current deadlines and application forms. In order to be considered for admission to the Certificate in Fine Art Photography, prospective students must submit the following:

APPLICATION FEE | $20.00

CERTIFICATE PROGRAM APPLICATION FORM | Student must complete and submit this form along with the supporting materials and documents listed below.

STATEMENT | In 500 – 1,000 words, please outline:
1. Why you are applying to the Certificate in Fine Art Photography at Photographic Center Northwest (PCNW)
2. Your past experience in photography, including any personal projects, classes or programs of study you have undertaken
3. Your personal or professional goals as they pertain to the Certificate in Fine Art Photography
4. A statement about your ability to engage in a long-term course of study from a time, focus and financial perspective
5. Any other information you feel is pertinent to your admission to the Certificate in Fine Art Photography

SUPPORTING DOCUMENTS | In order for a Certificate in Fine Art Photography application to be considered, and for a student to be accepted into the program, the student must provide PCNW with one of the following:
• Transcripts from Undergraduate or Graduate studies
• Proof of High School Diploma or GED
• Evidence of successful completion of two years of courses at an accredited college or equivalent credentials from a foreign educational institution

PORTFOLIO | Please submit a selection of 10-15 images, including 5 images from a single body or collection of work.

Supporting Documents
To be accepted to the Certificate in Fine Art Photography, the student must provide the school with a high school diploma, a GED certificate, or evidence of successful completion of two years of courses at an accredited college or equivalent credentials from a foreign educational institution, and must sign an Enrollment Agreement.

GPA
The student is provisionally admitted for the first quarter and must obtain a minimum GPA of 3.0 during that quarter to remain in the Certificate in Fine Art Photography.

Advising
Advising occurs on an annual basis to connect with Certificate students in preparation for the upcoming academic year to provide them with a broad overview of potential course progress, and on a quarterly basis as a touch-point to help ensure they are progressing as desired or to address any changes to anticipated progress based on available course offerings. Additional portfolio reviews are conducted prior to continuation into advanced level coursework within the Certificate in Fine Art Photography to ensure students are prepared for the course sequence leading to the final Thesis year; these portfolio reviews are conducted by the Programs Chair, along with a panel of Faculty and other PCNW staff.

The Programs Chair and Registrar work in collaboration to advise students through the Certificate in Fine Art Photography. The Registrar provides an outline of completed and remaining requirements, potential program completion timelines based on these requirements and anticipated course schedules, and the Programs Chair works individually with students to provide guidance through those requirements to address progress through the program along with student development and interests. Advising is conducted both through individual meetings and/or e-mail/phone communication.

Certificate students are encouraged to meet/communicate with the Programs Chair prior to registration each quarter. All students may consult with the Registrar and/or Programs Chair as needed to help with academic choices.

Course Requirements
See the Certificate in Fine Art Photography page for complete information about program requirements.

PCNW reserves the right to revise programs of study in order to provide maximum instructional benefits without additional cost to the student.

Library Resources
With over 2,000 holdings, the PCNW Library provides our community with a collection of works by and about significant historical and contemporary photographers and photographic practice – from concept to critical theory to technical mastery. Materials from the library must remain in the library and are available for reference only, accessible during our regular business hours.

Students enrolled in the Certificate in Fine Art Photography are also encouraged to make use of regional libraries for research work related to photographic practice. These libraries include the Seattle Public Library, the Seattle University Library and the University of Washington Libraries. (For more information on accessing materials in area research libraries, contact the Programs Chair at education@pcnw.org).

Program Length
Students enrolled in the Certificate in Fine Art Photography taking two or three classes a quarter, three quarters a year, will complete this program in three years, with the last year devoted largely to the thesis class. Most of our students complete the program in five years. The majority of Certificate in Fine Art Photography courses are offered in the evening, with some daytime options. Potential program completion timelines available from the Registrar.

Graduation Requirements
Eligibility requirements for completion of the Certificate in Fine Art Photography are as follows:

• Completion of required courses, listed on the Certificate in Fine Art Photography page, for a total of 53 credits. The certificate student is bound by the requirements as of the time of admission to the Certificate in Fine Art Photography. A student may petition the Registrar and/or Programs Chair to waive required classes for one or more of these reasons:
o PCNW has agreed to accept a transfer of credit from another educational institution;
o PCNW has agreed to waive completion of a course based on the experience of the student and/or based on a portfolio review or examination and the student has successfully completed a more advanced course at PCNW, such as a waiver of Photography I: Black and White and completion of Photography II: Black and White;
o The course required at the time of the student’s admission to the Certificate in Fine Art Photography is no longer offered and the student has completed an equivalent course offered by PCNW.

• An attendance rate of 80% or higher.

• Financial obligations to PCNW satisfied.

• All Certificate students are required to complete the Thesis class and meet thesis requirements, communicated to the student in writing, including the creation of a body of work of gallery stature and defense of that work before a thesis review panel. A student may not graduate, regardless of academic status, if the work created for the thesis exhibition fails to meet the school’s standards.

Satisfactory Progress
There is no specified timeline for completion of the Certificate in Fine Art Photography; Certificate students may move toward completion at their own pace, however, if a student has not completed the program after 5 years they will be asked to resubmit an enrollment agreement to affirm their continued commitment toward completion.

In order to remain a Certificate student, the student must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00. If the student falls below the minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00, the student will be given a warning on the student’s quarterly grade report. That student must have achieved a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00 by the next quarterly grade report for that student, or the student will not be allowed to continue as a certificate student. The student has a right to appeal the decision and/or appeal for re-admittance by request to the Registrar. If the student’s grievance is still not resolved, the student may request that the Programs Chair appoint a review committee. Readmission will be based on the student satisfying the same requirements as a student applying to the Certificate in Fine Art Photography and student ability to demonstrate resolution of the problem that led to lack of satisfactory progress.

Transfer Credits
Students may obtain credit for courses taken at other institutions providing the following:
1) courses at another institution were taken in the last 5 years,
2) the other institution is a 4-year college or university accredited by a United States accrediting organization that has been recognized by the United States Department of Education (USDE),
3) credits at the other institution are calculated comparably to PCNW credit formulas, and
4) the coursework completed at the other institution is comparable to the coursework required by PCNW.

Transfer credits are evaluated and approved by the Registrar and Programs Chair. Students must earn at least half of the credits required in the Certificate in Fine Art Photography at PCNW. Students interested in transferring PCNW credits to another institution are responsible for investigating transfer credit guidelines of the receiving institution.

Estimated Cost of the Certificate in Fine Art Photography
The total cost of the Certificate in Fine Art Photography provided below is a range, given the variation from student to student, which courses the student chooses, what equipment and supplies the student buys and how much time the student spends using the facilities. PCNW reserves the right to increase tuition and fees. The following is our current projection for completion of the program in three years. Please note that most of our students take five years to complete the Certificate in Fine Art Photography, and this may increase the overall cost.

Tuition, assuming a 5% per year increase in tuition and assuming the student completes the Certificate in Fine Art Photography in three years (updated fall 2018): $14,575
Facility rental fees, which are subject to incremental increases, and vary depending on class choices: $2,400
Supplies purchased by the student (paper, film): $3,600
Camera (required to do class assignments) and other equipment: $1,200
Required materials and textbooks, purchased new: $1,000
Total of the above: $22,775
Estimated cost of completing the Certificate in Fine Art Photography in the next three years (beginning 2018): $22,775-$24,000

Refund Policy for Certificate in Fine Art Photography Students
The amount of tuition refunded for classes is determined by the student’s last date of attendance. When calculating refunds, the official date of the student’s termination is the last day of recorded attendance:
a) When PCNW receives notice of the student’s intention to discontinue the training program (submitted to the Registrar); or
b) When the student is terminated for a violation of a published school policy which provides for termination; or
c) When a student, without notice, fails to attend classes for thirty calendar days

Refund Information and Deadlines for Certificate Students

If the student completes this amount of training: The school may keep this percentage of the tuition cost:
One week or up to 10%, whichever is less 10%
More than one week or 10% whichever is less but less than 25% 25%
25% through 50% 50%
More than 50% 100%

In any case in which a refund is due a student, the refund shall be made within 30 days of receiving the student’s notice of cancellation or withdrawal from the school. PCNW cannot be responsible for giving refunds for classes, workshops, or other programming dropped or missed due to illness, emergencies, or events beyond our control if notification of cancellation/withdrawal is not received within the stated deadlines. All tuition refunds are issued in the form of a check.

Code of Conduct

PCNW facilities are private property, open to enrolled students, participants in our current programs, professional members of our community (instructors, models, staff, etc.), and to public renters who have completed an orientation. The general public is welcome into the gallery spaces and to public events as guests to PCNW.

Members of the PCNW community and the general public are requested to abide by the following Code of Conduct in order to ensure that PCNW is a comfortable, safe and secure place to engage in one’s artistic pursuits.

The following activities are prohibited at PCNW:

– Smoking and illegal drug use (smoking tobacco: must be 25 feet from the entrance and open windows);
– Consuming alcohol (special events are the exception);
– Using potentially toxic materials anywhere in the building without permission from the Facilities staff and proper ventilation;
– Burning objects or creating potential hazards or offensive smells (ex: toning, improper chemical mixing) that disturbs others in the building;
– No pets. With regard to service animals, PCNW is ADA compliant;
– Engaging in disruptive or unsafe behavior that disturbs others;
– Damaging PCNW equipment, exhibited art work, or property, including graffiti;
– Threatening others physically or engaging in verbal harassment;
– Acting unreasonably and interfering with others’ use of the facility or class time;
– Entering or remaining in the building after hours without written prior permission from the Executive Director and Facilities staff;
– Not cleaning up after yourself or not putting away or returning equipment properly;
– Deliberate damage of any PCNW property, building, and/or equipment;
– Damage of any PCNW property, building, and/or equipment due to negligence;
– Theft, including office supplies, equipment, art works and any other property in the building

Anyone not complying with the PCNW Code of Conduct will be asked to leave PCNW premises and may be barred from all future access to PCNW facilities and programs.

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