College Catalog

Admission and Registration

Admission to the General College

Sandhills Community College maintains an open-door admission policy for high school graduates and others 16 or older who hold a high school equivalency or an adult high school diploma. Additionally, those who are at least 18 years of age but who do not have a high school diploma or equivalency may be accepted for admissions to an adult basic education or adult secondary education program; students may also enroll in continuing education classes or as a special, non-degree-seeking student. Admission to the College does not guarantee placement into a specific program of study.

Sandhills Community College reserves the right to deny admission or readmission to students whose presence on campus is construed by the administration as harmful or potentially harmful to Sandhills Community College students, faculty, and/or staff. Students admitted to the College must
adhere to the Student Code of Conduct, which prohibits conduct that significantly impairs the welfare or the educational opportunities of others in the college community.

Exceptions to the admissions policy, including the U.S. Department of Education Ability to Benefit provision, may be determined after a conference with the Vice President of Enrollment Management.


Admission to Continuing Education

Detailed information regarding enrollment into Continuing Education programs and courses is available in the “Continuing Education” section of this Catalog.


Admission to Curriculum Education

Non-Degree-Seeking Student (Special and Visiting Students)

Admission as a Special or Visiting Student requires the following:

  • Submit a completed official admissions application form.
  • Submit documentation supporting that any applicable course prerequisites have been met.

Special students may register for courses if course prerequisites are met and if space exists in the class. Further admission information concerning special and visiting students is available below in the “Student Classifications – Guidelines for Admission” section.

Degree-Seeking Student

Admission to associate’s degree, diploma, and certain certificate programs requires the following:

  • Submit a completed official admissions application form.
  • Submit an official high school transcript indicating graduation with a diploma, a high school equivalency certificate (HSE), or an adult high school diploma.
  • Submit official college transcripts from all previously attended institutions.
  • Attend a required orientation session.

It is the responsibility of the student to make certain the required documents are sent; however, the Student Services Division will provide guidance with admissions and placement.

Further admission information concerning specific student populations is available in the “Student Classifications – Guidelines for Admission” section.


Placement Determination

Placement determination is required for students who plan to enter an instructional program; special students who enroll in English, mathematics, or other restricted courses; and high school students taking college courses.

  • Students will be placed based on the highest of the following placement methods:
  • Unweighted GPA reflected on a high school transcript;
  • Qualifying minimum score on high school equivalency exam;
  • RISE, ACUPLACER, ASSET or COMPASS scores, or qualifying SAT or ACT scores;
  • College credits in English and mathematics awarded as transfer credit;
  • Associate degree or bachelor’s degree.

Students who do not achieve college-level placement will be advised to enroll in transition courses to prepare them for future program placement. Please note: In some instances, students may challenge a course by passing a departmental exam and earning Credit by Exam (CE). Such requests must be made through the appropriate department chair.

For further details, contact the Admissions Office at (910) 695-3725.

Program Placement

Students who desire to enter a specific instructional program and who meet the testing and placement criteria will be placed in the program of their choice as long as vacancies exist. Placement of qualified candidates into the programs will be made according to the published program admission requirements, which may include the date by which the candidates successfully meet testing and placement criteria and the date by which all required records are received by the college. Program placement requirements and special program requirements are outlined on program sheets that can be obtained online through the Programs link located on the SCC homepage.



New students are required to complete orientation prior to registering for classes. Orientation will allow you to learn about the college, hear from financial aid representatives, meet your instructors, and discover campus resources.

Registration for Curriculum Classes

Registration dates for each semester are listed in the academic calendar located in the front of this Catalog and online at Admission and program placement requirements must be met before students may register. Students are not officially registered for classes until tuition and fees have been paid.

Last Day to Register

Academic integrity dictates that the “last day to register” (as noted in the Academic Calendar), generally, is the final opportunity for previously enrolled or new students to register for classes in any given semester.


Student Classifications – Guidelines for Admission

New Students

New students enrolling in curriculum classes must meet the admissions requirements outlined above.

Readmitted Students

A student will maintain an active application status provided a break in enrollment does not equal or exceed 2 years. Students returning after an absence of 2 years and those students who applied but never attended must be readmitted following this procedure:

  • Submit a completed official admission application form.
  • Submit transcripts from all regionally accredited colleges or universities attended since applying to or attending Sandhills.
  • Attend a required orientation session.
  • Meet the admission and graduation requirements of the Catalog in effect at the time of readmission.

Students who have not attended Sandhills Community College in at least five years may be required to re-submit an official high school transcript indicating graduation with a diploma, a high school equivalency certificate (HSE), or an adult high school diploma, as well as transcripts from all regionally accredited colleges or universities previously attended. College and university transcripts
will be evaluated for transfer credit by the Office of Records and Registration using criteria in effect at the time of readmission.

In addition, students changing from Special Student status to Degree Seeking must submit a change of status form and submit any required documents to the Admissions Office to become eligible for readmission.

Students returning to Sandhills after a break of two semesters may be required to submit a new residency application. Contact admissions for questions at (910) 695-3725.


Foreign Students

Permanent Residents

Applicants must provide current valid documentation from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) before being admitted and placed under regular admissions policies.


Other Visas

Applicants must provide current valid documentation from the U.S.  Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) before being admitted — as allowed — and placed under regular admissions policies.

F-1 Visas

The International Student Office located in Blue Hall 101 assists F-1 visa students and students who desire to apply for F-1 visas. The office assists F-1 visa students in communication with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) regarding appropriate employment authorization, extension of Form I-20 expiration dates, foreign student transfers of Form I-20s from other colleges, and international student advising. Further, all F-1 students and other non-immigrant visa holders who wish to change to the F-1 student status are mandated by USCIS regulations to have a current record of local and an international address on file with the college.

Applicants seeking an F-1 student visa must provide a satisfactory academic record. Further, an Affidavit of Support form and a letter from your sponsor's bank giving specific current account balance information is needed. Please limit your bank documentation to no more than 10 pages. The minimum current balance should be at least $26,154 (US dollars) available for your tuition, fees, transportation, housing, meals, books, and other living expenses for one academic year for an individual student. For dependents, add $5,000 for the spouse and $2,000 per child.  Applicants seeking an F-1 student visa must provide documentation showing graduation from a secondary school that is equivalent to secondary schools in the United States. English as Foreign Language (EFL) students must submit a Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) score as evidence of ability to use English at a level of competence necessary for college work. Students can view TOEFL exams and dates at A minimum score of 68 is required for the Internet-based TOEFL exam (iBT – with no less than grade 17 on each section), and a minimum score of 213 on the computer-based TOEFL exam (CBT). However, exceptions to the college policy may be granted in rare instances. Applicants seeking an F-1 student visa should contact the Admissions and Community Recruitment Department at Sandhills Community College for additional information. New F-1 students have 72 hours upon arrival in the state to report to the Admissions and Community Recruitment Department – please bring your travel documents (e.g., passport, F-1 visas, I-94 card or online print out and Form I-20). Additionally, F-1 students are required to make an appointment with the Principal Designated School Official (PDSO) for international student affairs within a week of their arrival to complete international student orientation. To schedule an international student orientation, please contact the PDSO, Rosa McAllister-McRae, at (910) 246-4944 or All applicants seeking an F-1 student visa should contact the Admissions Department at Sandhills Community College for additional information.

Undocumented Immigrants

According to North Carolina and federal legislation, community colleges are responsible for ensuring that a student who is lawfully present in the U.S. will always have priority for a space in a class or program of study over a student who is not lawfully present in the U.S., if there are space limitations. As such, Sandhills Community College follows these admission requirements for undocumented immigrants:

  • Colleges should neither enroll undocumented students into a class or program of study for which there are waiting lists, nor should colleges register undocumented students for classes until the conclusion of the last published registration period.
  • Colleges shall admit an undocumented immigrant only if they attended and graduated from a U.S. public high school, private high school, or home school that operates in compliance with State or local law. Undocumented immigrants with a HSE diploma are not considered to have "graduated from a U.S. public high school, private high school, or home school" and therefore are not eligible to be admitted to a community college. An undocumented immigrant with a diploma from an Adult High School that is located in the U.S. and operates or operated in compliance with State or local law is eligible to be admitted to a community college.
  • Undocumented immigrants may not be admitted into a program of study that requires a professional license since federal law prohibits states from granting professional licenses to undocumented immigrants.
  • Undocumented immigrants will be charged out-of-state tuition whether or not they reside in North Carolina.

Foreign College Transcripts

Foreign college transcripts must be translated into English with a comprehensive course-by-course report before the Office of Records and Registration at Sandhills will evaluate these documents for potential transfer credits. Sandhills will accept official course-by-course foreign college transcript reports from companies that are members of either the Association of International Credential Evaluators (AICE) or the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services (NACES).

Students must contact the company directly and instruct them to mail an official report directly to Sandhills. Students also must request a course-by-course evaluation. Document-by-document evaluations will not be accepted by Sandhills for transfer credit. The Office of Records and Registration, (910) 695-3739, provides further information.

Transfer Students

Transfer students must meet the same admission criteria as all new students. In addition to submitting all other application materials, transfer students must submit official transcripts of all post-secondary credits previously earned at other accredited institutions. Students will not be allowed to register beyond their first semester unless all required transcripts are received. These official transcripts become a part of the student’s permanent record and cannot be sent to other institutions or returned to the student.

Sandhills Community College will consider granting credit for work done at other regionally accredited institutions of higher education. Courses accepted for transfer credit must parallel course offerings at Sandhills Community College as determined by the Director of Records and Registration, the Vice President of Instruction, and/or the appropriate Department Chair. The Higher Education Directory is used for verification that institutions are regionally accredited. This allows SCC to determine whether to accept transfer credits from that college. Upon review of the approved transfer credits, the Director of Records and Registration enters course information for any transferred classes into Colleague. Transfer credits are indicated by TR in the student record. The Director then files the official transcript from the accredited college in the student’s permanent academic file. Courses approved to satisfy the NCCCS Comprehensive Articulation Agreement general education, pre-major or elective course requirement will also be considered for acceptance as transfer credit. Transfer credit may be allowed only for courses in which a student has earned a grade of a “C” or higher. Transfer credit for master’s level coursework is not transferrable. Any exception to this policy must be approved by the Vice President of Instruction.


Special Students

Any high school graduate or anyone 18 years of age or older who does not plan to earn a degree, diploma, or certificate but who wishes to enroll in a college credit course may be admitted as a special student. Special students may register for courses if course prerequisites are met and if space exists in the class. A current SCC student’s registration may take precedence over a special student’s registration. Exceptions to any of the above statements must be approved by the Vice President of Instruction.

Special students will be required to show proof of placement or course completion prior to enrolling in English, mathematics, or other restricted college-level courses. Students who have not met one of these requirements will be allowed to register only for non-restricted course.

Special students are not eligible to receive financial aid or veteran’s benefits.

After successfully completing 16 semester hours of course work, a special student should meet with a counselor or with a Transfer Center Advisor concerning possible placement into a curriculum. Upon a later decision to pursue a degree, diploma, or certificate at Sandhills Community College, the special student will be asked to complete a new application, submit proof of high school graduation, and meet certain placement criteria.

Special students planning to transfer credits to another institution are encouraged to obtain written permission with specific course information from the institution from which graduation is planned.

Home-Schooled Degree-Seeking Students

Students who have graduated from a home school must provide the following documentation for admission:

  • Proof that the home school is listed with the NC Division of Non-Public Education.  This can be verified by the admissions office at or a copy of the Certificate of Inspection issued by the State of North Carolina can be provided as verification.
  • A final high school transcript, which includes the official school’s name and the principal’s signature. The transcript must also include the graduation date and both the state and home school established minimum scores required on a Nationally Standardized Test.

If the above criteria cannot be met, home school applicants may also elect to take and pass the HSE exam in lieu of a high school diploma.

Career and College Promise

Career and College Promise offers structured opportunities for qualified high school juniors and seniors to enroll in community college courses. These provide pathways that lead to a certificate, diploma, or degree as well as provide entry-level job skills and industry certifications. Academic credits earned through Career and College Promise shall enable students who continue into postsecondary education after graduating from high school to complete a postsecondary credential in less time than would normally be required. Sandhills Community College offers three types of pathways: Career and Technical Education to include Workforce Continuing Education, College Transfer, and Cooperative Innovative High Schools Program.

Career Technical Education Pathways

The Career Technical Education Pathways lead to a certificate aligned with one or more high school Career Clusters. Additional information on these pathways is available online at the College Programs for High School Students at

The Workforce Continuing Education Pathways lead to credentials from national, state, or industry-recognized associations making them eligible to enter the workforce or continue to earn an advanced degree.

College Transfer Pathways

The College Transfer Pathway allows a student to complete 32-35 semester hours of transfer courses, including English and mathematics, for qualified junior and senior high school students. College Transfer Pathways are also open to freshman and sophomore high school students identified as academically or intellectually gifted in Math and English and who meet specific requirements. Additional information on these pathways is available online at

Cooperative Innovative High Schools Pathway

SandHoke Early College High School (SECHS) represents a partnership between the Hoke County School System and Sandhills Community College to implement a Cooperative Innovative High Schools program. SECHS is designed to introduce students to the college setting in their sophomore year of high school by taking Sandhills Community College courses along with honors-level high school courses. The school offers a five-year program through which students have the opportunity to earn both their high school diploma and an Associate in Arts degree or an Associate in Science degree by successfully completing two years of transferable college credit.