The College has instituted a system of academic advising which provides students with consistent guidance and support to enable them to effectively manage their time and studies at the College and better positions them to successfully complete their programme of study.
Each student is assigned to a academic advisor by the department chair. Students are encouraged to meet with their faculty advisor at least two times per semester: once prior to registration and mid-semester so that their advisors can determine whether they are on track with their studies and refer them assistance where necessary.
Advisors may recommend a reduced course load for students who are at risk for academic probation or failure.
Students must register for classes according to instructions and deadline dates contained in the Schedule of Classes and the Academic Calendar prior to the beginning of each semester.
Students are required to use personal data (i.e. a User Identification Number [ID assigned by the College]; and a Personal Identification Number (PIN)) to register online.
PINs – All students are assigned PINs. If the student forgets or disables his/her PIN, he/she must present picture ID, if in person, or answer a security question, if over the telephone, to have Help Desk personnel reestablish PIN information.
Registration Locations – As long as registration is open, students may register online anywhere there is internet access. During registration periods, the computer laboratories will be staffed with registration assistants.
Registration is considered complete when the student has paid all college fees, completed all requirements for accessing GATE funding or paid tuition fees where applicable and payment has been officially certified by the Office of the Registrar and Bursar.
Students with outstanding financial obligations to the College (for example, college fees, tuition fees or library fines) may not register for classes until such obligations are resolved to the satisfaction of the College.
Students who enroll in courses and have not effected payment by the end of the late registration period will be automatically de-registered from the classes. Clearance to re-register must be sought from the Office of the Registrar. A late registration fee will be assessed to the student once permission is obtained.
Students may register for classes up to three weeks after the start of the semester. A late fee will be assessed to students who register during the late registration period.
Registration may be permitted after the end of the registration period, but only in exceptional circumstances. In such cases the students may find space availability in courses limited.
Students who register late in a course must accept primary responsibility for covering any material that they may have missed.
Full-time students who wish to register for more than 15 credits in Trimesters I and II and 9 credits in Trimester III, or part-time students wishing to register for more than 9 credits in Trimesters I and II and 6 credits in Trimester III must receive written permission from the relevant department chair.
Only students who have a 2.75 grade point average or above will be eligible for consideration for a course overload.
All appeals to the decision of the department chair should be made in writing to the relevant academic dean.
The decision will be forwarded to the Office of the Registrar for implementation. The Office of the Registrar will advise the student in writing of the decision.
Adding and Dropping Courses
Students are permitted to add and/or drop a course during the registration period, which ends on the deadline date for late registration.
Students must obtain the approval of their academic advisor in order to add or drop a course.
The drop/add period begins each semester immediately following the last day of registration and extends through the first two weeks of the next semester.
Students may drop a course via Banner Self-Service at any time prior to the end of the drop/add period.
After the drop/add period ends, students can no longer drop a course, but may be able to “withdraw” from a course by completing the paperwork.
Withdrawal from a Course
Students wishing to withdraw from a course may do so by completing and submitting the appropriate form which is included in the registration package and is available from the Office of the Registrar.
Submission of the appropriate forms within the stipulated time period will result in a “W” being recorded on the student’s transcript for the course in question.
Students who withdraw from a course are only entitled to a refund if the forms are duly submitted to the Office of the Registrar after sign off by the department chair within the deadline specified in the Academic Calendar.
A withdrawal form must be completed by the student and the appropriate signatures obtained. The signature of the student’s department chair is required.
The effective date of withdrawal is that on which the student’s department receives and dates the form.
The student must then forward the form to the Office of the Registrar for processing.
The grade of “W” on the transcript indicates that the student withdrew from a course after the drop/add period.
This grade will remain on the official transcript but will not factor into the student’s grade point average.
Students who withdraw from a course after the add/drop period without completing a withdrawal form and submitting same to the Office of the Registrar within the prescribed deadline will have an “F” grade recorded on their transcript for the course in question.
COSTAATT reserves the right to deny registration to any individual who
- has violated the Student Code of Conduct as outlined in the College’s catalogue;
- is currently suspended or dismissed from the College;
- is not making the required academic progress as defined in the catalogue; or
- when the College is unable to offer the courses needed to enable a student to meet his/her educational objectives.
A student may enroll to audit a credit-bearing course. No credit will be awarded for the course, but a grade of X will be recorded on the student’s transcript.
Enrolment for audit classes will require the department chair’s approval and must be made only during the second week of a 15-week term.
Regular tuition and college fees will be charged for the course, and refunds will be authorized only by the Bursar.
Students will not be allowed to change their audit status to regular credit status at any time. Credit-based registration cannot be converted to audit status at any time.
COSTAATT has a minimum 65% attendance requirement for all students enrolled in degree programmes. The College has adopted a continuous assessment approach to evaluating students’ progress in attaining course objectives in order that students have timely feedback on the status of their learning. As such, students who do not attend class regularly are at risk of missing continuous assessment requirements, which will impact negatively on their final grade.
Students who are required to miss an extended number of class sessions because of illness or work obligations must provide documentary evidence from a designated authority recognised by the College, in order to be exempted from the class attendance requirement. Written approval must be provided by the Head of Department in order that the class attendance requirement may be waived for a student who has received and submitted the necessary documentation.
It is expected that classes will begin and end at the times designated in the Schedule of Classes. Instructors are not obliged to review material for students who routinely arrive late for class.
Cell Phone Use
Students are required to switch off or place their cell phones on vibrate mode upon entering the class, and to leave the classroom to answer any emergency calls.
Most courses offered by the College utilize a continuous assessment approach to evaluating performance outcomes in order to ensure that students are provided with a detailed insight into their progress in attaining the course objectives. A variety of assessment techniques are used, including but not limited to essay papers, research papers, quizzes, reports, group projects and presentations.The times for continuous assessment activities are specified in the course outline. Students must make every effort to be present for these assignments. On rare occasions, missing an assignment is unavoidable due to illness or other obligations. In such instances, students may seek their instructor’s approval to complete no more than two (2) make-up assignments. Students who miss continuous assessment assignments must provide their instructors with documentation that gives evidence of compelling reasons for their absence from class. Failure to provide such evidence will result in a “F” grade being assigned for the assessment in question.
Students who are unable to sit the final examination for serious personal or professional reasons may request approval to sit a deferred examination by completing the appropriate form. This form must be submitted to the department chair within two (2) working days of the end of the final examination period.The Appeals Committee of the Faculty Senate will review all requests for deferred examinations and inform each student of the decision taken. A fee of $300 to cover examination preparation and administration costs is assessed to students who have received the requisite approval from the Appeals Committee to sit the examination.
Deferred examinations will be administered two weeks after the end of the final examination period. Only in exceptional cases will the Administration give consideration to scheduling a deferred examination at a later date.
The College utilizes two grade modes, Standard and Pass/Fail. A grade will be assigned at the conclusion of each course, using one of the grade modes.
Standard Grade Mode (STAN)
|Letter Grade||Grade Description||Grade Value (%)||Numerical Points|
|A||Excellent||90-100||4.00 grade points per credit hour|
|D||Minimum Passing Grade||60-64.9||1.00|
|I||Incomplete||Not computed in grade point average|
|X||Audit||Not computed in grade point average|
|W||Withdrawn||Not computed in grade point average|
Pass/Fail Grade Mode (PASS)
|Letter Grade||Grade Description||Grade Value (%)||Numerical Points|
|P||Pass||Not computed in grade point average|
|F||Fail||Not computed in grade point average|
Only certain courses offered by the College carry the Pass/Fail grading option for which no grade value is assigned (e.g. pre-college courses). A “P” is judged to be equivalent to a grade of D or higher.
Authorization for changing from a standard grade mode to a pass/fail grade mode can only be obtained on the basis of a recommendation from the Department Chair, the Registrar and the Vice President, Academic Affairs.
A letter grade of “W” is recorded on the transcript of a student who has submitted the appropriate withdrawal forms for the course in question. No quality points are assessed for the course.
This grading option is open to students who are unable to successfully complete a course after enrolling, due to serious personal or professional constraints.
Documented evidence to support this request is required for consideration of this grading option.
Permission to have an “Incomplete” grade recorded for the course must be given by the student’s instructor, academic advisor, department chair and the relevant academic dean.
Students who have obtained permission to receive an “Incomplete” grade have one semester subsequent to the semester in which the request was approved to complete all outstanding assignments.
A letter grade of “I” is recorded on the student’s transcript until the outstanding assignments are submitted and assessed.
Department Chairs will then complete a grade change form to have the new grade for the course recorded. Grade change forms are available from the Office of the Registrar.
Grade Point Average
A student’s grade point average (GPA) is calculated on the basis of credits attempted and quality points awarded for a particular semester.
Quality points for a course are based on multiplying the grade value assigned to the letter grade for that course by the number of credits for the course.
The total number of quality points earned per semester is divided by the total number of credits attempted to calculate the student’s Grade Point Average.
Grade point averages are calculated to the nearest hundredth. There is no rounding.
Students may appeal a grade assigned by a lecturer by completing the appropriate Grade Appeal form.
The College will ensure that the assignment in question is reviewed by at least two lecturers in the subject area. A fee of $200 to cover administrative costs is assessed to the student in order to initiate the grade appeal process.
If the appeal process results in findings that the student was unfairly assessed, the fee will be credited to the student’s account and/or reimbursed.
Good Academic Standing – Students attending the College who maintain at least a 2.00 cumulative GPA are considered to be in good academic standing.
Academic Probation - Students who have completed up to three semesters in a degree level programme of study and have attained less than a 2.00 cumulative GPA are considered to be on academic probation. They will be issued an academic warning letter by the Office of the Registrar. Students on probation must show two consecutive semesters of improved GPA to regain the “good academic standing” status.
Suspension - Students who placed are on academic probation, having completed up to three semesters of study with a cumulative GPA of less than 2.00 and who fail to improve their GPA by the end of the fourth semester will be placed on suspension from their programme of study for one semester.
Mandatory Withdrawal on Academic Grounds – Students who are re-admitted to their programme of study after having being placed on suspension for one semester and who are still unable to achieve the minimum passing GPA of 2:00 in the semester in which they have been re-admitted to their programme of study will be advised to withdraw from their programme of study.
Re-Admission after Mandatory Withdrawal – Students who have been advised by the Administration to withdraw from the programme of study in which they are enrolled on academic grounds are, nonetheless, eligible for admission to other programmes of study offered by the College, once they meet the matriculation requirements.
Repeating a Course
Students who have failed a particular course may re-register for the course and repeat the course in order to achieve a passing grade.
The highest grade achieved in this process will be recorded as the final grade for that course and will be used in the computing of the cumulative GPA.
Opportunities to repeat a course are constrained by the programme completion limits established by the College. (See Duration of study in College Catalogue.)
Leave of Absence
A leave of absence is a temporary interruption of one’s studies, generally for a period of one or two semesters. The College recognizes two types of leave of absence:
Personal Leave – A personal leave of absence allows a student to interrupt his/her studies for one or two semesters with the approval of the department chair.
Students are expected to request a personal leave of absence before the last day of classes in the preceding semester of enrollment, as it is assumed that personal leave of absence is something one plans for in advance.
Medical Leave – A medical leave of absence will be granted if, due to personal or health problems, it becomes impossible for the student to continue. A grade of W (withdrawn) will be assigned to each course for which the student was registered.
Obtaining Leave of Absence Approval
A student who is contemplating personal or medical leave shall notify his/her department chair. For a personal leave of absence, the student only needs to explain his/her reasons and sign a form. For medical leave of absence, the student is required to provide a letter from a health professional, physician or therapist, recommending the leave.
Documents & Certification
Certification of Learning Outcomes
It is the responsibility of the Office of the Registrar to issue official transcripts.
The Office of the Registrar will no longer issue student/unofficial transcripts. Students may print unofficial transcripts from Banner via Self-Service.
Official transcripts will only be issued to students upon completion and submission of a Request for Transcript Form. (See Transcript Request Guidelines.)
Requests for official transcripts will be denied to any student who is indebted to the College.
Transcript Request Guidelines
The Registrar’s Office provides transcripts of a student’s official academic record upon written request. A fee for each official transcript is charged for this service.
All transcript requests must include the following student information:
- Complete name, including any previous names or name changes
- Dates of enrollment
- Student identification number
- Date of birth
- Status at time of enrollment
- Student’s signature (required)
- Complete mailing address of recipient and student
Issue of Transcript Services
A valid picture ID is required for to collect transcripts in person.
Transcripts can be issued ONLY to the student who is requesting the transcript; to a third party who has written authorization from the student and a valid picture ID; or mailed to a requested address; or faxed to a requested recipient.
Academic background and demographic information including signature of student (see above for complete list of required information) must be provided before transcript can be released.
If the student requesting the transcript would like to have it faxed to another destination, the recipient’s name, telephone number, and fax number must be supplied on the request form. The following statement is also required for transcripts that are to be faxed: “I understand that the requested document may be received at a location that is not secure, and may not be accepted as an official transcript.”
Special Mailing Services
The Office of the Registrar also offers mailing services in which a transcript is couriered to another destination (other than the student’s address). The recipient’s name, mailing address (not a P.O. Box number) and phone/fax numbers must be supplied on the written request form.
Failure to supply the recipient’s complete address and phone/fax number, may result in a delay in processing the request.
Student ID Cards
Student ID Cards and Valid Stickers
The Office of the Registrar will supply all students with student ID cards.
Obtaining a Student ID Card
Student ID cards are available after the payment of College fees and as soon as student information is available in the ID system. Students must present one passport-sized photograph, with their full name in block letters clearly written on the back of the photograph as well as their student ID number. Students are required to affix their signature to the Student ID card before the card is laminated.
Valid stickers will only be issued after the student can supply the Office of the Registrar with proof of payment of College fees.
Replacement of Lost ID
A fee is charged to any student requiring a replacement ID card. Official academic records from another institution must not be reproduced or distributed to an external source.
The Office of the Registrar will provide official statements and letters of certification at the request of a student or external institution/agency, and in accordance with the College’s Disclosure of Information policy.
Students may request certified letters for reasons such as:
- Admit term and expected graduation date
- Class schedule
- Degree conferred
- Examination schedule
- Full-time/part-time/registration status
- Indication of academic standing
Response to student requests for certification of enrolment, degree conferred, class schedules etc. will be produced within three (3) working days.
Students who wish to change the degree programme in which they are enrolled must consult with their Academic Advisor and secure the approval of the relevant Head of Department before they will be considered for admission to a a new programme of study.
Academic Programme Quality & Relevance
Since its inception COSTAATT has had a special mandate to design and deliver programmes that are cutting edge, internationally bench-marked and relevant to the country’s social and economic development needs.
The College is therefore committed to reviewing and continually upgrading its curricula and in 2008; faculty embarked on a major curriculum re-engineering exercise which led to the introduction of several new bachelor’s degree programmes and an expanded core curriculum designed to produce graduates who are better equipped to face the challenges of the twenty-first century.
The College operates on a semester system in which the academic year comprises two major semesters, each lasting approximately sixteen (16) weeks, and a short eight (8) week session in June and July. Students are advised to consult the academic calendar for dates and deadlines such as academic advisement and registration, deadlines for withdrawals from classes without penalty and examination dates.
Instruction and Assessment
The standard unit used to define instructional time at the College is the credit hour. The credit-to-contact hour ratio is determined by the type of instructional activity as set out below:
|Type of Instruction||Credits/Contact Hours|
|Lecture||1 credit 15 contact hours in a lecture class|
|Laboratory||1 Credit ranges from 30 to 90 contact hours in a laboratory setting in which students work with limited supervision by lecturer.|
|Clinical Practice||1 credit ranges from 45 to 90 contact hours in a workplace setting under the supervision of a clinical coordinator or supervisor.|
The number of credits per course ranges from one (1) to four (4). In general, full-time students register for twelve (12) to eighteen (18) credits per semester, while part-time students register for three (3) to nine (9) credits.
Student-centeredness is the organizing principle which defines the College’s approach to instruction. Through this approach, faculty members make every effort to meet students at their point of need, and to develop strategies and approaches that cater for different learning styles. To do this, they employ a variety of instructional and assessment activities which are aimed at developing diverse types of knowledge, skills and competencies.
A key aspect of the College’s student-centred approach to teaching and learning is the adoption of a continuous assessment model in which students are assessed at regular intervals during the course and provided with timely feedback which allows them to adjust their study skills, time management and use of academic support services accordingly. Students can check their grades online using the Banner Grade book facility.
Final examinations are usually held in the last week of the semester and generally account for no more than forty(40) percent of total marks for the course.
Course Numbering System
The course numbering system at the College is designed to immediately telegraph information about course content, sequencing, level of difficulty and type of instruction to the student.
Course codes are alpha-numeric with four letters assigned to indicate the discipline or subject area of the programme, and three numbers assigned to designate curriculum sequencing information.
The numeric component of the course code consists of three digits: The first digit indicates the level of the programme, as outlined below.
|400 – 499||Senior /Final year of baccalaureate degree|
|300 – 399||Third year of baccalaureate degree|
|200 – 299||Second year of baccalaureate degree|
|120 – 199||First year of baccalaureate degree in the major area of study|
|100 – 119||College level courses in the discipline which may be accessed by non-majors for college level credit|
|000 – 099||Pre-college courses (COMPASS courses)|
The second and third digits indicate the progressive level of difficulty of each course within the level. For example, a communication course numbered COMM 156 will be more difficult than a course numbered COMM125.
The new course numbering system also uses select two-digit codes to designate specific types of teaching/ learning activities. The two-digit codes also reflect the degree of difficulty of the learning requirements.
Thesis/Senior Project – 99
Portfolio – 88
Independent Study – 77
Internship – 66
Practicum – 55
Seminar – 33
Achieving student success at the College is dependent on a partnership between students and faculty. While it is the responsibility of faculty to be knowledgeable in their field of study and capable of effective instructional delivery, students must assume personal responsibility for their own learning and managing their academic progress both in and out of the classroom.
The goal of the new core curriculum is to ensure that all COSTAATT graduates can:
- have an arsenal of tools and techniques to become adept critical thinkers and problem solvers;
- understand and communicate our unique perspective on a range of social, economic, scientific and cultural issues;
- have a deeper understanding of themselves and others of different races, ethnicities, religions and cultures;
- be more entrepreneurial and innovative;
- become effective change agents;
- make the Caribbean a proactive player on the world stage; and
- excel in a globalised world.
Students enrolled in all degree programmes (associate and bachelor’s level) are required to complete the relevant core curriculum courses from the following list:
Language and Communication
- Fundamentals of Writing
- Communication in the Workplace
- Comparative Literature
- Introduction to Spanish
- College Mathematics Option (varies by discipline)
- Fundamentals of Statistics
- Fundamental Research Skills
History and Culture
- History of Trinidad and Tobago
- Introduction to the Study of Society
- Foundations of Art and Music
Understanding Individuals, Communities and Institutions
- Understanding Human Behavior and Diversity
- Leadership and Ethics
- Foundations of Natural Science
- Contemporary Issues in Science
Understanding the Economy and Economic Development
- Introduction to General Economics
- Fundamentals of Entrepreneurship
- Environmental Issues and Sustainability
- World Issues in Public Health
- Comparative Religion
Students should be guided by their academic advisors as to the appropriate sequence of enrolment in core curriculum courses.