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Academic Policies

Grading System and Appeals

Grade reports are accessible via the college website at the conclusion of each semester. Students may access their grades online, privately and securely, at any time. Grade reports may also be obtained in-person at the Student Records office.

Grades earned are determined by instructors at the end of each semester or session and are recorded on the student's transcript which is maintained by the Student Records office.

Applicability to Courses

  • Academic Foundations (ENG0--, MAT0--) courses use A through C, NC, X, W, WI, WA, WN, N, CIP and I.
  • Other remedial, developmental and preparatory courses use S, NC, X, W, WI, WA, WN, N, CIP and I.
  • All other credit courses use A through F, X, W, WI, WA, WN, N, CIP, and I.

Effective May 2013
Grade Definition Nominal
quality point value
A  Superior Achievement 93-100 4.0
A-   90-92 3.7
B+   87-89 3.4
B  Above Average Achievement 83-86 3.0
B-   80-82 2.7
C+   77-79 2.4
C  Average Achievement 70-76 2.0
D  Minimally Passing 60-69 1.0
F  Academic Failure 0-59 0.0
S  Satisfactory (Comparable to C or Higher) 70-100  
NC  No Credit 0-69  
X  Audit    
TR  Credit by Examination or Experience    
W  Withdrawal – Student Initiated    
WI  Withdrawal – Instructor Initiated    
WA  Withdrawal – Administration Initiated    
WN  Withdrawal – Never Attended    
N  No Grade Reported by Instructor    
CIP  Course is Still In-Progress    
I  Incomplete – No Credit Earned
I indicates that the instructor is affording the student extra time to earn a grade in the course. The amount of extra time is determined by the instructor, up to a maximum of 16 calendar weeks after grades are submitted. An I which has not been resolved within 16 calendar weeks is changed to an F or NC grade, as appropriate to the course.

See also interpretations for earlier grading systems (Aug. 1986 through May 2013).

Quality Point Average

A student's Quality Point Average (QPA) for each semester is computed by:

  • multiplying the quality point value of each grade by the number of credits designated for that course;
  • adding the results of these computations;
  • dividing this total by the number of credits attempted during the semester.

The table below outlines a sample computation.

Grades in courses transferred from another institution are not included in computing quality points or averages. Credits earned by examination or for prior experience are entered on the student's transcript but do not affect the quality point average.

How to Compute a QPA
Course Credits Registered Grade Credits Attempted Point Value Quality Points
ENG 101
English Composition I
3 C 3 2 6
PSY 101
Introductory Psychology
3 A 3 4 12
BIO 101
General Biology I
4 B 4 3 12
HIS 101
History of Western Civilization to 1648
3 W -- -- --
HPE 110
Concepts of Health & Fitness
2 I -- -- --
OST 109
Keyboarding for Computer Users
1 F 1 0 0
TOTALS:   16   11   30
Quality Point Average (QPA) = (Quality Points)/(Credits Attempted) = 30/11 = 2.73

Grade Appeals

Any student may initiate an appeal of any course grade or related academic action or decision that affects the student's standing at the college. The procedure for appealing an academic action, decision, or course grade includes the following steps:

  • The student must make an appointment and meet with the instructor involved to discuss the action, bringing any relevant materials such as course outline, originals or copies of papers, lab reports, themes, and examination grades.
  • If the student is unable to resolve his or her concern with the instructor, the student must write a formal appeal statement on a Grade Appeal Form describing the exact nature of the appeal for review by the dean of the academic division or the chair of the academic department responsible for the course. Unless an extension is granted, this formal appeal must be filed within 30 working days of the end of the semester or session in which the grade was assigned.

    It is the student's responsibility to bring all relevant evidence in his or her possession to the division dean. If some materials needed as evidence have not been returned by the instructor during the semester or are unavailable, the student is responsible for requesting that the division dean/chair secure such evidence prior to the meeting.
  • If the grading instructor is still employed by the college, the dean's/chair's authority is limited to reviewing the evidence and advising the instructor that a grade change may be in order. If the instructor is no longer employed, the dean/chair may designate another full-time faculty member in the discipline to act on the appeal. If the division dean acts personally on behalf of a previously employed instructor, any resulting grade change is subject to review by the Academic Integrity Committee and approval by the Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs.

    The dean shall act on each appeal as quickly as possible, acknowledging receipt of the appeal to both student and instructor within 10 working days of its receipt and providing the student with a decision within 20 working days of its receipt.
  • If the student is not satisfied with the action of the division dean and still wishes to pursue the matter, the student must make an appointment to discuss the action with the chairperson of the Academic Integrity Committee. The college Information Center, the Student Records office or any academic division office will provide information about contacting the current chairperson.

    The committee chairperson, in consultation with members of the committee, decides whether there is enough evidence to hold a hearing and advises the student about whether or not a hearing will be held.

    If such a hearing is to take place, all parties involved normally are notified at least 10 working days in advance. In this notification, the student is advised of the rules and procedures for the hearing. The student must be present and must bring all evidence pertaining to the grade to this meeting. The 10-day notification may be waived by the student if a faster disposition is desired.

    As soon as all parties are present at the hearing site, the Academic Integrity Committee chairperson begins the proceedings and…
  • explains the chosen method of recording the hearing.
  • orally reviews the procedures for the hearing and for subsequent appeals.
  • introduces the student and instructor as well as members of the hearing committee (or divisional representative).

    The student then presents the case including all evidence related to the appeal. All evidence must be related to the appeal or it will not be allowed. The instructor is then invited to respond to the evidence presented and may ask the student for additional information. Subcommittee members may ask questions of each of the parties involved or may request additional evidence at any time during the hearing.

    Once all of the parties have had the opportunity to present their arguments and subcommittee members are satisfied that they have heard and seen all of the available information, the subcommittee meets to discuss the appeal and to make an appropriate decision. The subcommittee may decide to…
  • recommend a change to the Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs for final action.
  • make no change.

    If the committee decides that no grade change is in order, it informs the student. If it decides that a change is in order, it sends its recommendations to the Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs for final action.
  • If not satisfied with the decision of the chairperson of the Academic Integrity Committee not to hold a hearing or with the decision of the committee as a result of a hearing, the student may appeal the action directly to the Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs. The vice president examines the evidence, including the decision reached by the Academic Integrity Committee, and makes a final judgment. No further appeals may be made.

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