SECTION ONE: GENERAL PRINCIPLES
1.01 Purpose of Grades
The final course grade should reflect an accurate evaluation of the student’s understanding of course material, cumulative performance on required tasks and assignments, and achievement of intended learning outcomes. The college encourages faculty to provide graded feedback to students throughout each semester so that students can gauge their academic performance and their understanding of course content.
1.02 System for Grading
At the conclusion of each term, faculty calculate a final grade for each student, enter the final grade in the college’s online system, and record the final grade for each student in a grade book for each section they teach in the term. Faculty are required to enter final grades in the college’s online system by the deadline for each term published in the college’s academic calendar. Students may view the final grade they earned in each course section by logging into the college’s online system after the grade posting deadline. The college does not issue grade reports to students. Faculty submit all grade books for the term to the Registrar and to the Associate Dean of Instruction to whom the faculty member reports. The Registrar is responsible for posting each grade to each student’s college transcript.
1.03 Description of Grades
The following grades may be assigned by faculty:
- A Excellent
- B Good
- C Average
- D Minimum passing
- F Failure
- I Incomplete college-level course (see process below)
- IP In Progress developmental course
- P/F Pass or Fail
- W Withdraw
- Au Audit
Each course syllabus will document the methodology the faculty member will use to determine the final grade, and the score or points the student must earn to achieve each letter grade. The numerical ranges are established by the instructors and/or the divisions.
The college designates a limited number of courses, typically developmental support courses, as “pass/fail” courses. The college will not calculate a “P/F” grade as hours attempted when calculating grade point average.
In order to withdraw from a course and receive a “W” grade, a student must contact the Office of Enrollment Services. When a student withdraws from a class after the census date but before the last day to withdraw as indicated on the college’s academic calendar, the Registrar will enter a “W” grade on the student’s transcript.
Faculty may administratively withdraw a student from a class section if the student fails to participate and/or to attend the course by contacting the Office of Enrollment Services. The Office will direct the faculty member to complete necessary documentation, including the student’s last date of attendance.
SECTION TWO: INCOMPLETE AND IN-PROGRESS GRADES
2.01 Incomplete Grade
For college-level courses, the “I” grade indicates that extenuating circumstances beyond the control of the student have prevented the student from completing the required course assignments during the term, and that the student has completed at least 75 percent of the required course assignments with a passing grade as defined in the course syllabus.
When the college authorizes an “I” grade, the student must complete the incomplete work for the course by the end of the next long term, or within a timeframe specified by the instructor and approved by the Associate Dean of Instruction. Failure to complete the work during the prescribed time may result in a failing grade for the course. The college will calculate the “I” grade as hours attempted in computing the student’s grade point average.
2.02 Incomplete Grade Process
The following steps are necessary when an “I” grade is warranted.
- Student informs faculty member of extenuating circumstances beyond the student’s control that prevent the student from completing the course with a passing grade.
- Faculty member determines if the circumstances described by the student are significant enough to prevent the student from completing the course and are beyond the control of the student.
- If the faculty member determines the circumstances are significant enough and beyond the control of the student, the faculty member calculates (a) the percentage of the total work required in the course that the student has completed, (b) the cumulative grade the student has earned on completed course work to date, and (c) the reasonable timeframe the student will have to complete the coursework.
- After completing steps 2 and 3, if the faculty member determines the student may be eligible to receive an “I” grade, the faculty member will submit a written request to his/her Associate Dean of Instruction for authorization to award the “I” grade. The request should include a description of the steps 2 and 3, as well as a detailed description of the course work that the student will need to complete for the course.
- After reviewing the faculty member’s request, the Associate Dean of Instruction may approve or deny the “I” grade in writing to the faculty member, the student, and the Registrar.
- It is the responsibility of the student to complete the course work within the required timeframe allowing for adequate time for the faculty member to grade the assignments.
- The faculty member submits the student’s final grade within the timeframe required by this policy.
2.03 “In Progress” Grade
An “IP” grade indicates the student has earned less than a “C” grade in a developmental course, but has demonstrated a good faith effort in terms of course meeting attendance, assignment completion, and engagement in classroom activities. The student must repeat the developmental course in which an “IP” grade was assigned and earn a passing grade in the course to progress to college-level courses or the next developmental course. The student may also progress by re-taking the Texas Success Initiative (TSI) examination and earning a passing score at any time.
SECTION THREE: GRADE POINT AVERAGE
3.01 Grade Point Average
The student’s grade point average (GPA) is significant in determining eligibility for continued financial aid, for continuance in school, for acceptance at a transfer institution, for graduation, and eventually for employment after completion of a formal education. Grade points are granted for all courses, with the exception of developmental courses, on the basis of the value in semester credit hours for the course and the grade earned as follows:
- A 4 grade points per semester hour
- B 3 grade points per semester hour
- C 2 grade points per semester hour
- D 1 grade points per semester hour
- F, I, P/F 0 grade points
3.02 Special Circumstances
When a course is repeated, the most recent grade earned is the effective grade for calculating grade point average. All developmental courses posted to a student’s permanent record will be designated by brackets in the credit earned and grade point columns. While a grade will be shown for each developmental course taken, the grade will not be included in the cumulative grade point average calculation. Developmental courses may not be used to satisfy degree requirements.
3.03 Grade Appeal
The College recognizes a student’s right to consistent and relevant forms of assessment and grading. Academic grievances involving assignment grading should be discussed with the course instructor. A grade appeal is a written request submitted by a student to change a course grade (not an assignment grade) for a legitimate reason. Students have four (4) calendar months from the date the course grade was posted by the faculty member to submit a grade appeal. Typically, a course grade may only be changed by the instructor of record. Should the employment of an instructor of record end and/or that instructor become incapacitated or unavailable to consider a grade appeal, the Associate Dean of Instruction responsible for the academic division in which the course is offered or the Vice President of Academic Affairs have the authority to change a course grade if appropriate. “Incapacity” means the physical or mental inability to enter grades for the purposes of this subsection only.
3.03.1 Basis for Grade Appeal. An appeal will not be considered merely because a student is dissatisfied with a grade or disagrees with the instructor’s professional judgment of the quality of the student’s work or performance. When filing a grade appeal, the student must document credible evidence of one of the three conditions:
1. a mathematical error in the course grade’s calculation,
2. a deviation—by the instructor—from the course syllabus or the College’s policy manual (this document), or
3. the faculty member’s decision when assigning the course grade was arbitrary, capricious or prejudicial.
“Arbitrary” means no reasonable factual basis for reaching the conclusion or taking the action. “Capricious” means unpredictable and subject to whim. “Prejudicial” means irrational attitude of hostility directed against an individual, which does not include hostility on the basis of any legally protected status. If a student believes a course grade involved illegal discrimination, harassment, or retaliation, the college encourages the student to file a complaint as described in Regulation FFD. Any basis for grade appeal outside of the three conditions listed above or of illegal discrimination, harassment, or retaliation will not be considered, and the College will inform the student of this policy and refuse to process the appeal.
3.03.2 Grade Appeal Process. When a student has credible evidence that one of the conditions described above influenced an assigned course grade, the student should initiate the following procedure within four months after the course grade was posted.
Step One: Using the college’s Student Complaint and Appeal Form (see FLD Exhibit in this manual), submit a written request for the instructor of record for the course section in which the student was enrolled to review the grade. The student should provide credible evidence that he/she believes establishes that one of the three conditions exist. The instructor of record shall respond to the student in writing within five (5) days of receiving the appeal.
Step Two: If the instructor of record denies the student’s appeal, the student may use the Student Complaint and Appeal Form to appeal to the appropriate Associate Dean of Instruction. The student should provide credible evidence that he/she believes establishes that one of the three conditions exist.
Step Three: If the Associate Dean of Instruction denies the student’s appeal, the student may use the Student Complaint and Appeal Form to appeal to the Vice President of Academic Affairs. The student should provide credible evidence that he/she believes establishes that one of the three conditions exist. The decision of the Vice President of Academic Affairs is final.
3.03.3 Alignment with Regulation FLD. Unless provided in this regulation, the definitions, requirements, and principles (e.g., timing, scheduling, costs, representative, etc.) of Regulation FLD also apply to this regulation.