Academic Resources, Honors, and Graduation

Academic Resources


Fall River, C building, x2239

Bristol Community College bookstore can be found at the Fall River location and is operated by Follett Higher Education Group. Students can shop in-store at the Fall River location or order books and other materials online. Students can arrange to pick up books at any campus location for free or have books shipped for a fee.

Community-Based Learning

The Civic Engagement Program at Bristol offers students a unique opportunity to participate in Community-Based Learning courses that combine classroom theory in any discipline with hands-on experience with local non-profits or public service areas (e.g. public schools, government offices). Students engaged in a Community-Based Learning course are asked to learn about community needs which relate to what they are learning in class and identify ways to help address those needs. Students also complete one or more reflective exercisesto enhance understanding of course content, appreciation of the discipline, and sense of civic responsibility.

Students who successfully complete a Community-Based Learning course will receive a notation on their academic transcript and Experiential Education Center staff are available to assist students with adding the Community-Based Learning project to their professional resume.

Contract Learning

For students who want to investigate personal academic interests or pursue more experimental methods of learning, the College offers a flexible credit format where students can create part of their own study program. Advisors work with the student to determine plans, identify appropriate resource people, and write a learning contract. The contract includes the student’s goals, how and when s/he intends to accomplish them, and how that work will be evaluated. The credits earned are determined by the work proposed and may not total more than one-eighth of total credit hours required for graduation.

Students register with the Enrollment Center. Tuition is based on the number of credits determined through the learning contract. Proposals must be signed by the student, the advisor, the appropriate divisional dean, and the vice president of Academic Affairs. Credit will be awarded only if approval is granted before the student starts the project.

Credit for Prior Learning

All locations, x2123 

Credit for Prior Learning (CPL) is an opportunity to earn college credit by demonstrating knowledge that you have gained through a variety of experiences such as military training, corporate training, work or volunteer experiences, MOOCs, or other non-academic activities prior to enrolling at Bristol. Students must demonstrate how they have met course outcomes outside an academic program in one of three ways:

  • Credit by Credential
  • Credit by Examination
  • Credit by Portfolio

Fall River, K103,  x 2407 

Many academic programs require an internship to graduate or offer it as an elective course.  The Internship Program supports students who engage in internships during every step of the process, from updating resume materials, to securing an internship location, and completing the experience successfully.  

Library Learning Commons

All locations, x2105

The Library Learning Commons (LLC) at Bristol offers dynamic academic support services for all students, in every discipline, at every level.  Our mission is to provide all Bristol students with the support, access to content, and know-how to learn independently, follow their own curiosity, and collaborate effectively with others.  

The Library Learning Commons offers research assistance, writing and subject tutoring, entry-level support for navigating online courses, and academic mentoring. In addition to these services, the Library Learning Commons also provides the materials and spaces needed for study. We support students with access to calculators, laptops, textbooks, and research material, and other spaces for computing and printing.  Students may also reserve study rooms in Attleboro, Fall River, and New Bedford.  


All locations, x2105

Subject-based tutoring is available to all students.  Remote drop-in tutoring is available online.  In-person tutoring is available at all locations.  Students can also make an appointment via email.  Some courses have embedded tutors as well.

Writing Center

All locations, x2105  

The Writing Center provides free tutoring to help students build writing skills. It is staffed by faculty, professional, and peer tutors.  The center helps all writers, regardless of coursework.  Students can take advantage of in person tutoring in Fall River (Library Learning Commons), New Bedford, Attleboro, and Taunton.  Students can also access tutors online and through email.  Email is returned within 24-36 hours.

Academic Honors

Dean’s List

The Bristol Community College Dean's List honor recognizes students who achieve a semester GPA of 3.2 or better with a load of 12 credits or more and no grade below "C."

Honors Program

All locations, x3825

The Commonwealth Honors Program (CHP) at Bristol offers students honors courses in various academic disciplines. All students are welcome to try out a 100-level honors course, and can apply to the program after completing 12 credits in a program (or transfer) with a GPA of 3.45 or above. To graduate as a Commonwealth Honors Scholar, students must complete at least four CHP courses, including HON 260: Culminating Honors Project, earn a 3.45 GPA or higher, and graduate with an associate’s degree. Benefits include a $1000 stipend upon graduation, automatic acceptance to Honors Programs at UMass and other state universities, and opportunities to develop academic interests and mentoring relationships with faculty.   

The Commonwealth Honors Program Coordinator is Professor Kimberly Newton.  She can be contacted at or 774.357.3825.   

Phi Theta Kappa (PTK)

Phi Theta Kappa is the only officially recognized international honor society for two-year colleges in the United States and abroad. PTK inspires high achieving students to expand their educational experience beyond the classroom. Its hallmarks of scholarship, leadership, service, and fellowship offer a chance to achieve personal goals and give back to the community.   Students who have completed 18 credits with a cumulative GPA of 3.5 or higher are invited to become a member. 

The PTK Advisor is Professor Farah Habib. She can be reached at


Commencement and Awards

To be eligible for the Associate in Arts degree (A.A.), the Associate in Science degree (A.S.), or Associate in Applied Science degree (A.A.S.), students are recommended by the faculty if they:

  • Complete at least 60 credits (excluding developmental courses) of passing work. 
  • Fulfill course requirements established in the selected program of study. 
  • Earn a G.P.A. of at least 2.0 in work taken at the College applicable to their program. 
  • Complete at least 25 percent of the semester hours applicable to their program at the College.
  • Students may transfer back up to 45 credits with approval of the pertinent academic program/department to complete a degree, the Continuous Enrollment Policy notwithstanding. 

Students must Apply to Graduate to be eligible to receive a diploma and participate in commencement, which is the ceremony that honors graduating students. 


Each year, the College confers the honor of Valedictorian for one graduating student who demonstrates academic and service excellence.  S/he gives the Valedictory address at the Commencement ceremony and is a member of the Commencement Platform Party.  Students who will graduate with the highest grade point averages among all graduating students will be notified and invited to apply for the honor during the spring semester. Those who are interested in applying will be asked to submit an essay and a list of College activities and services.  These submissions and the candidate's academic record at Bristol Community College are used to select finalists for consideration.

Graduation honors

Associate degree students who maintain a cumulative G.P.A. of 3.2 to 3.49 will graduate “Cum Laude,” a G.P.A. of 3.5 to 3.79 “Magna Cum Laude,” and a G.P.A. of 3.8 or higher “Summa Cum Laude.” “Cum Laude” designations at graduation are based on academic performance through the Fall semester prior to the June graduation ceremony. Final “Cum Laude” designations include all coursework and are printed on the student’s official College transcript.