Policy Number: I-18
Last Reviewed: December 2, 2014
Responsible Dept.: Vice President of Academic and Student Affairs
Policy Document (PDF)
The quality of performance in any academic course is reported by a letter grade, the assignment of which is the responsibility of the instructor. These grades denote the character of study and are assigned quality points as follows:
A Excellent: 4 grade points per credit
B Good: 3 grade points per credit
C Average: 2 grade points per credit
D Poor: I grade point per credit
F Failure: 0 grade points per credit
Other grades may be assigned to include I Incomplete; P Pass; S Satisfactory; R Re-enroll; U Unsatisfactory; W Withdrawal and X audit. These grades are not included in the calculation of grade point averages. Courses graded with an S, R, U, or X will not result in the award of credits.
Faculty have the prerogative to establish how each letter grade is determined in their courses. The grading requirements, including grading scale, must be documented in the course syllabus. Virginia Western does not have a college-wide grading scale, but leaves this to the discretion of the teaching faculty.
Once a grade is awarded, it is normally permanent. In situations where there are documented, mitigating circumstances or an uncontested error, grade changes must be requested within one year of receipt of the grade in question. For contested grades, students are allowed to submit a grade appeal only if they do so within one month after the grade is posted. Information regarding final grade appeals are found in the Student Grievance Policy. Virginia Western's grade plan is reviewed annually under the supervision of the College Registrar and the Vice President of Academic and Student Affairs.
In order to receive any letter grade, a student must have attended a minimum of one class meeting or the equivalent in the case of a distance learning course. In a distance learning course, initial student attendance is determined by course participation as measured by accessing and using course materials, completion of a class assignment, participation in a course discussion, or other evidence of participation.
Students who enroll in a course but do not attend a minimum of one class meeting or the distance learning equivalent by the census date will be administratively deleted from the course. In this case, there will be no tuition refund for the course. Students who are dropped from a course by the instructor for non-attendance cannot be reinstated unless instructor error is determined.
A grade of "W" is awarded to students who withdraw or are withdrawn from a course after the drop period, but prior to the completion of 60% of the session. Students who cease attendance prior to the withdrawal deadline may be withdrawn from the class. Students who are withdrawn by the instructor for non-participation cannot be reinstated unless instructor error is determined.
After the completion of 60% of the session, a student who withdraws or is withdrawn from a course will be assigned a grade of "F". Exceptions to this policy may be made under mitigating circumstances. Such circumstances must be documented and a copy of the documentation must be placed in the student's academic file. In order to be eligible for an administrative withdrawal, the student must have been making satisfactory progress in the course at the time of withdrawal.
Students seeking exceptions to this withdrawal policy must submit an Administrative Withdrawal Form and a copy of the documentation of the mitigating circumstance to the Admissions Office Manager.
The grade "I" is to be used only for verifiable, unavoidable reasons that a student is unable to complete a course within the normal course time. To be eligible to receive an "I", the student must (1) have satisfactorily completed more than 60% of the course and attendance requirements and (2) must request the faculty member assign the "I" grade and indicate why it is warranted. The faculty member has the discretion to decide whether the "I" grade will be awarded. Since the "incomplete" extends the enrollment in the course, requirements for satisfactory completion shall be established through consultation between the faculty member and the student.
In assigning the "I" grade, the faculty member must submit an Incomplete Grade Contract that (1) states the reason for assigning the grade; (2) specifies the work to be completed and indicates its percentage in relation to the total work of the course; (3) specifies the date by which work must be completed and (4) identifies the default grade (B, C, D, F, P, R, or U) based upon the coursework already completed. Completion dates may not be set beyond the subsequent semester (to include summer term).
If the work is not completed in accordance with the dates outlined in the Incomplete Grade Contract, the student will be awarded the default grade. The default grade will be final. At the end of each term, all outstanding "I" grades will be changed to the default grade prior to final grade processing.
Students desiring to attend a course without taking the examination or receiving credit for the course may do so by registering to audit through the usual registration process and paying the normal tuition. Permission of the academic dean or the College Registrar on the Audit Approval Form is required to audit a course.
Audited courses carry no credit and do not count as a part of the student's course load. Students desiring to change status in a course from audit to credit or from credit to audit must do so within the add/drop period for the course.
Students who desire to earn credit for a previously audited course must re-enroll in the course for credit and pay normal tuition to earn a grade other than "X". Advanced standing credit cannot be awarded for previously audited courses.
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