Grades & Grading Policies

Academic Record Symbols

Evaluative Symbols

Symbol Definition Grade Points
AExcellent4.0
BGood3.0
CSatisfactory2.0
DLess than satisfactory1.0
FFailing0.0
PPassing (at least satisfactory)
NPNo Pass (less than satisfactory or failing)
 

Pass/No Pass

Courses may be offered in either or both of the following categories:

  • Courses in which all students are evaluated on a "pass/no pass" (P/NP) basis.
  • Courses in which each student may elect at the time of enrollment, or before 30 percent of the class has elapsed by filing an application to the Admissions and Records Office, to take the course on a "pass-no pass" (P/NP) basis. 

A student electing to be evaluated on the P/NP basis will receive both course credit and unit credit upon satisfactory completion of the course. In computing a student's grade-point average, grades of "P" and "NP" are omitted.

A passing ("P") grade is granted for performance that is equivalent to the letter grade of "C" or better. A student who fails to perform satisfactorily will be assigned a no pass (NP) grade.

The student is held responsible for all assignments and examinations required in the course. The standards of evaluation are identical for all students in the course.

In the progress probation and dismissal procedures, "NP" grades are punitive. (See Academic & Progress Probation.)

Non-Evaluative Symbols

Symbol Definition
IIncomplete
IPIn Progress
RDReport Delayed
WWithdrawal
MWMilitary Withdrawal
 

Incomplete (I)

Incomplete academic work for unforeseeable, emergency, and justifiable reasons at the end of the term may result in an "I" symbol being entered in the student's record. The condition for the removal of the "I" shall be stated by the instructor in a written record. This record shall contain the conditions for the removal of the "I" and the grade assigned in lieu of its removal. This record must be given to the student with a copy on file with the Admissions and Records Office until the "I" is made up or the time limit has passed. A final grade shall be assigned when the work stipulated has been completed and evaluated, or when the time limit for completing the work has passed.

The "I" may be made up no later than one semester following the end of the term in which it was assigned.

The "I" symbol shall not be used in calculating units attempted nor for grade points. The student, with instructor's concurrence under extenuating circumstances, may request an extension of the time limit for making up the "I" by petitioning to the Committee on Exceptions.

In Progress (IP)

The "IP" symbol shall be used only in those courses that extend beyond the normal end of an academic term. It indicates that work is "in progress" but assignment of an evaluative symbol (grade) must await its completion. The "IP" symbol shall remain on the student's permanent record in order to satisfy enrollment documentation. The appropriate evaluative symbol (grade) and unit credit shall be assigned and appear on the student's permanent record for the term in which the course is completed.

The "IP" shall not be used in calculating grade point averages. If a student enrolled in an "open-entry/open-exit" course is assigned an "IP" at the end of an attendance period and does not re-enroll in that course during the subsequent attendance period, the appropriate faculty will assign an evaluative symbol (grade) in accordance with subdivision (a) of Section 55023 of Title 5 of the California Code of Regulations to be recorded on the student's permanent record for the course.

Report Delayed (RD)

The "RD" symbol may be assigned by the Admissions and Records Office only. It is used when there is a delay in reporting a student's grade due to circumstances beyond the student's control. It is a temporary notation to be replaced by a permanent symbol as soon as possible. "RD" shall not be used in calculating grade point averages.

Withdrawal (W)

Withdrawal from a class or classes shall be authorized by the following conditions:

  • Students who withdraw from class during the first 10 percent (see college calendar) of the term of the course will have no entries made on their permanent record.

  • Students who withdraw from class between 10 percent and 75 percent (see college calendar) of the class term will have a "W" entered on their permanent record.

  • After 75 percent (see college calendar) of the term, students shall receive one of the following grade symbols: A, B, C, D, F, P, NP, IP, RD, or I.

  • Under extenuating circumstances students may be authorized to withdraw from class(es) after the 14th week or 75 percent of the term, whichever is less. Requests for authorization to withdraw under these conditions must be submitted to the Committee on Exceptions.

  • The "W" shall not be used in calculating grade point averages, but excessive "W's" shall be used as factors in probation and dismissal procedures (Section 55024 of Title 5 of the California Code of Regulations).

  • A "W" shall not be assigned, or if assigned shall be removed from a student's academic record, if a determination is made pursuant to Sections 59300 et seq (Title 5 of the California Code of Regulations) that the student withdrew from the course due to discriminatory treatment or due to retaliation for alleging discriminatory treatment or that the student withdrew because he or she reasonably believed that remaining in the course would subject him or her to discriminatory treatment or retaliation for alleging discriminatory treatment.

Military Withdrawal (MW)

Military withdrawal denotes withdrawal without penalty. This grade is not considered for progress probation. This grade is used when an active duty military or reservist has received orders to transfer as in accordance with Section 55024 of Title 5 of the California Code of Regulations.

Credit by Examination

A notation shall be added to the transcript when a course is taken by examination.

Grade Point Average

Grade point average, otherwise known as GPA, has important and far-reaching effects on a student's academic standing. Therefore, students should know how to calculate their GPA.

Calculating GPA

  1. Add the total number of graded units completed (A, B, C, D, or F). Note: Courses offered or taken on a pass/no pass (P/NP) basis do not influence a student's GPA, but they may affect his or her financial aid.
  2. Calculate the total number of grade points by multiplying the number of units the course is worth by the corresponding number of grade points earned as dictated by the grade received (reference the Evaluative Symbol table above). For example, a "C" in a 5-unit math course would be                             5 (number of units) x 2 (grade points for "C" grade) = 10 points
  3. Continue in this manner for all letter-graded courses taken. Then add those numbers to get the total number of grade points completed.
  4. The final step in calculating the GPA is to divide the total number of grade points by the total letter-graded units.

Example:

Course Units Grade Grade Points
HIST 1103.0C(3 x 2.0 = ) 6.0
MATH 1053.0B(3 x 3.0 = ) 9.0
BIO 1013.0C(3 x 2.0 = ) 6.0
BIO 101L1.0D(1 x 1.0 = ) 1.0
CS 1073.0P
Total letter-graded units = 10* 
Total grade points = 22
22 (grade points) divided by 10 (letter-graded units) = 2.2 GPA
*Note: CS 107 is not included in the GPA because it was taken P/NP.
 

Grade Changes

By law, the instructor is solely responsible for the grades assigned; no instructor may be directed to change a grade except in certain narrow circumstances authorized by the California Education Code §76224(a): “When grades are given for any course of instruction taught in a community college district, the grade given to each student shall be the grade determined by the instructor of the course and the determination of the student’s grade by the instructor, in the absence of mistake, fraud, bad faith, or incompetency, shall be final.”

When challenging a grade assigned by an instructor, the burden of proof is on the student to provide evidence of mistake, fraud, bad faith, or incompetence.

The removal or change of an incorrect grade from a student’s record shall be done pursuant to California Education Code §76232 or by an alternative method that ensures each student shall be afforded an objective and reasonable review of the requested grade change. Whenever a grade is changed for any reason, corrected transcripts will be sent to any educational institution to which a student has submitted official transcripts that included the original grade.

Definition of Terms

  • Mistake—An unintentional error such as a clerical error or an error made by the instructor in calculating a student’s grade

  • Fraud—A deliberate misrepresentation of the truth in order to secure unfair or unlawful gain

  • Bad faithAn intentional or malicious act that infringes on the rights of someone else

  • Incompetence—A lack of ability, qualification, fitness, or performance

  • Evaluative symbols—A, B, C, D, F, P, or NP

  • Nonevaluative symbols—I, IP, RD, W, MW

Requesting a Change from an Evaluative Symbol to Another Evaluative Symbol

  1. Students requesting a grade change from one evaluative symbol to another should first attempt to discuss the request informally with the instructor—in person or by email—within sixty (60) instructional days (excluding weekends and holidays) of the date when official grades are posted. If contact with the instructor is not possible because the instructor is not available, the student has filed a discrimination complaint, or the district determines there may have been gross misconduct by the original instructor, then the student should make initial contact with the appropriate department chair—in person or by email—within sixty (60) instructional days (excluding weekends and holidays) of the date when official grades are posted to discuss the grade-change request.

  2. If the student’s grade-change request is not resolved satisfactorily by contacting the instructor, the student should contact the appropriate department chair—in person or by email—within ten (10) instructional days (excluding weekends and holidays) after the student’s discussion with the instructor. The department chair or his/her designee will investigate and address the student’s request by email or letter within ten (10) instructional days.

  3. If the student wishes to appeal the finding of the department chair or his/her designee, the student must make a request by email or by letter to the Academic Senate president within ten (10) instructional days (excluding weekends and holidays) of receipt of the department chair’s or his/her designee’s written notification.

    • Wherever possible, the instructor who first awarded the grade will be apprised of all evidence and given every opportunity to rebut the evidence or to submit a voluntary change of grade prior to the Academic Senate president’s final decision.

    • In the case of fraud, bad faith, or incompetence, the final determination concerning removal or change of grade will be made by the Academic Senate president in consultation with the superintendent/president. In all cases, the instructor who first awarded the grade will be given written notice of the change.

  4. The Academic Senate president will notify the student of a final decision within thirty (30) instructional days (excluding weekends and holidays) of receiving the appeal. If the Academic Senate president is directly involved in the grade-change request, then another full-time Academic Senate Council member will be chosen by lot to address and respond to the appeal in writing.

  5. The written notification of the Academic Senate president’s final decision will be copied to the superintendent/president in cases where no grade change is recommended.

Students and instructors wishing to change a grade after sixty (60) instructional days (excluding weekends and holidays) of the date when official grades are posted must submit their request in writing to the Committee on Exceptions. Such requests must be made within three years of the date when the grade was posted. The Committee on Exceptions will consult with the instructor of record, review deadlines, and examine extenuating circumstances. Approved changes will be submitted to the Admissions and Records Office through a grade change form approved by the instructor and chair of the Committee on Exceptions.

Requesting a Change from an Evaluative Symbol to a Nonevaluative Symbol

A student who requests a grade change from an evaluative symbol to a "W" (Withdrawal) or "NR" (No Record) must submit his or her request in writing to the Committee on Exceptions. Such requests must be made within three years of the date when the grade was posted.The Committee on Exceptions will consult with the instructor of record, review deadlines, and examine extenuating circumstances. Approved changes will be submitted to the Admissions and Records Office through a grade change form approved by the instructor and chair of the Committee on Exceptions.

A student who requests a change from any grade to a Military Withdrawal (MW) must submit proof of orders compelling a withdrawal of courses to the Director of Admissions and Records. (Please refer to Administrative Procedure 5075.)

Requesting a Change from a Nonevaluative Symbol to an Evaluative Symbol

Changes of “I” (Incomplete) to an evaluative grade are based on criteria identified by the instructor in the “Petition for Incomplete Grade” signed by both the instructor and the student when the “I” was issued. The agreed upon criteria must be satisfied no later than one semester following the end of the term in which the “I” was assigned. The student, with the instructor’s concurrence that extenuating circumstances prevented the student from satisfying the criteria within the time limit, may request an extension of the time limit by petitioning the Committee on Exceptions.

(Sources: MCCD Board Policy/Administrative Procedure 4230; MCCD Board Policy/Administrative Procedure 4231; MCCD Administrative Procedure 4232; MCCD Board Policy/Administrative Procedure 4235. All MiraCosta College board policies and administrative procedures are located on the Board of Trustees webpage.)