Grading

Final grade reports are sent to students at the end of each term reflecting the semester hours attempted and earned, grades achieved, and grade points earned for each course in which students are enrolled. Only these final grades are used in computing the grade point average (GPA) and are recorded on the permanent academic record.

The following grading structure is in effect at Kishwaukee College:

GradeDescriptionExplanation
AExcellent 4 quality points earned per semester hour of credit
BAbove Average3 quality points earned per semester hour of credit
CAverage2 quality points earned per semester hour of credit
DBelow Average1 quality points earned per semester hour of credit
FFailure0 quality points earned per semester hour of credit
PPass Passing; represents academic achievement equivalent to letter grade of "D" or higher. Credit granted as hours completed; not included in GPA computations.
SSatisfactoryGrade used for satisfactory progress in courses which are not transfer or career courses (i.e., not intended for use in courses numbered at the 100/200 level). Credit granted as hours completed; not included in GPA computations.
NCNot Completed/No CreditNC for a non credit course implies "Not Completed"; NC for a credit-bearing (nonpunitive grade) course implies "No Credit" (no penalty; not included in GPA computations). Intended for use in course work offered in classes numbered below 100, vocational skills classes at the 900 level, Adult Basic Education, Adult Secondary Education, English as a Second Language, and Continuing Education classes.
UUnsatisfactory (non-punitive grade)Credit not earned (no penalty); not included in GPA computations. Not intended for use in courses numbered at the 100/200 level.
Grading Symbols
SumbolDescriptionExplanation
IIncomplete; course requirementsTemporary symbol (no penalty); not included in GPA computations. Not completed.
NRNot ReportedGrade not reported at time of grade processing; not included in GPA computations.
WWithdrawalCredit not earned (no penalty); not included in GPA computations.
AUAuditNo hours attempted or earned; not included in GPA computations.
^ Forgiveness Applied to forgiven grade. Not included in completed credits; not included in GPA computations.
Special Symbols - to denote credit awarded - not included in GPA calculations.
SymbolExplanation
APCredit earned through College Board Advanced Placement Program (AP).
PCCredit earned through College Level Examination Program (CLEP).
PDCredit earned through Defense Activity for Non-Traditional Education Support Examinations (DANTES).
PECredit earned through ACT Proficiency Examination Program (PEP).
PMCredit earned through military training and/or experience evaluation.
PXCredit earned through Kishwaukee College departmental proficiency examination and/or evaluation methods.

Prior to the 1983 spring semester, an AU (audit) granted may be reflected on Kishwaukee College transcripts as either an “N” or “R” grade. Prior to and during the 1970-71 academic year at Kishwaukee College, the “WP” (Withdrawal-Passing) and “WF” (Withdrawal-Failing) grades were in use. The “WP” grade reflects credit not earned (no penalty) and is not included in GPA computations; the “WF” grade represents credit not earned (penalty), and is included in GPA computations.

Grade Point Average (GPA)

The quality of a student’s work is measured by the grade point average. The GPA is used to determine eligibility for: graduation, Dean’s List honors, other honors and scholastic awards, athletic eligibility, and eligibility for financial assistance.

Kishwaukee College uses a four-point system of GPA computation. A student’s GPA is calculated by multiplying the numerical equivalent for each grade earned by the semester hours for each course, resulting in quality points earned for each course. The total number of quality points is then divided by the total number of GPA credits to obtain the GPA. Credits earned by proficiency are not used in GPA computations; nor are grades of AU, I, NC, NR, P, S, U, or W.

Two GPAs are computed after each term of enrollment at Kishwaukee College; the semester GPA and the cumulative GPA. The semester GPA represents the GPA computation for the current term’s course work, while the cumulative GPA is based on all course work attempted.

Additionally, GPA computations on grade reports and the Kishwaukee College transcripts are separated according to an all-course GPA (representing grades for all course work attempted, including developmental courses), and a transfer-course GPA (representing only courses numbered at the 100/ 200 level).

Transcripts of Educational Record

The Admissions, Registration, and Records Office will provide an official transcript of a student’s academic record upon written request by the student. Effective January 1, 2011 official transcripts will be charged $5.00 per each copy ordered. Transcripts will not be released without the written permission of the student. Transcript requests by telephone or e-mail will not be processed by Kishwaukee College.

Transcripts will not be released for students who are under financial obligation to Kishwaukee College, state or federal financial aid agencies, or whose records are encumbered for administrative reasons.

The Admissions, Registration, and Records Office at Kishwaukee College reserves the right to insist that transcripts be mailed to addresses designated by students requesting official transcripts.

Academic Standing

Academic evaluation of students is conducted at Kishwaukee College according to the following guidelines:

Good Standing

Students who have attempted 12-20 semester hours of college-level credit at Kishwaukee College must have a cumulative GPA of at least 1.750 to be in good standing. Students who have attempted more than 20 semester hours of college-level credit at Kishwaukee College must have a cumulative GPA of at least 2.000 to be in good standing.

Restricted Standing

Students who drop below the minimum GPAs required for good standing as described above are placed on restricted standing status until such time as they raise their GPAs to or above the appropriate GPA required for good standing. While on restricted standing, the following limitations will be in effect:

  1. Students must meet with a college counselor each term prior to official enrollment. Written approval for registration by a counselor is required.
  2. Students on restricted standing may enroll for no more than 12 semester hours for a fall or spring semester or 6 hours for a summer term, unless written approval for a higher course load is provided by a counselor.

The College reserves the right to designate students as on restricted standing on the basis of other criteria besides the cumulative Kishwaukee College GPA. Examples include: failure to enroll in or successfully complete developmental classes in English, mathematics or reading; significant history of course withdrawal; lack of significant progress toward degree/certificate objective; or failure to achieve an overall 2.000 GPA for graduation purposes, which will include transfer credit GPAs for students with credit from other colleges.

The restricted standing classification is not intended to be punitive in nature, but to facilitate the potential for student success by requiring contact with available counseling services. In addition to required counseling and reduced course load, students on restricted standing may be required to comply with other educational procedures deemed necessary by the College to aid each student in achieving his/her educational goals. Kishwaukee College reserves the right to deny enrollment to any student who fails to follow proper advisement procedures related to restricted standing status.

Repeating a Course

Students may repeat a course under one of the following conditions:

1. The class is authorized by the Illinois Community College Board to be repeated, in which case the number of times the course may be repeated will be noted in the text of the course description. Repeatable classes are those which carry special topics and are not offered as part of the regular college curriculum, or those for which repeated practice might help to refine or improve a skill.

2. A class that is not designated as repeatable my be repeated in order to enhance the grade or for other related purposes.

If a student exceeds the maximum number of attempts allowed, he or she will be stopped at registration. If desired, the student may audit the class after all allowed attempts are completed.

Only the best grade of the repetition will be computed in the student’s grade point average (GPA), but all attempts will be listed on the transcript.

In some cases a repeated course may not be covered by financial assistance resources. Consult the financial aid office prior to re-enrolling for a completed class. In addition, other colleges may count all grades for repeated courses when determining a transfer GPA. It is the students’ responsibility to acquaint themselves with the policy of the college or university to which they plan to transfer.

Incomplete Grade Policy

The grade of “I” (Incomplete) may be given by an instructor if, in the instructor’s judgment, there are extenuating circumstances which merit granting a student more time beyond the end of the term to complete course requirements.

To request consideration for an incomplete grade, a student must complete an Incomplete Grade Contract form available through the Admissions, Registration, and Records Office. The completed contract form must be presented to the instructor prior to the instructor’s submission of final course grades.

The College is not obligated to approve the awarding of an incomplete grade. If the Incomplete Grade Contract form is approved, the actual deadline for finishing incomplete course requirements will be determined by the instructor.

However, an “I” grade must be removed by the end of the following semester (excluding summer term) unless a longer extension is approved in writing by the instructor and the appropriate academic dean. Any requests for extensions of incomplete grades must be submitted in writing by the student to the course instructor prior to the deadline established for resolving the “I” grade.

For incomplete grades granted during a fall semester, the course instructor must submit a change-of-grade form to the Admissions, Registration, and Records Office by the final day of the following spring semester. For incomplete grades granted during a spring semester or summer term, the course instructor must submit a change-of-grade form to the Admissions, Registration, and Records Office by the final day of the following fall semester.

Resolution of incomplete grades is a student responsibility. Any unresolved, incomplete grades in courses numbered at or above the 100-level will be converted to failures (“F”) by the Admissions, Registration, and Records Office according to the deadlines indicated above, unless a change-of-grade form has been received from the course instructor by the appropriate deadline.

Unresolved incomplete grades in courses numbered below the 100-level will be converted to non-punitive NC grades by the Admissions, Registration, and Records Office if a change-of-grade form has not been received from the course instructor by the appropriate deadline. Once an incomplete grade has been converted to an “F”, a student must re-enroll in the course (including payment of tuition and fees) to pursue course credit.

A student may not withdraw from a course once an incomplete grade has been issued.

Change of Grade

Students’ grades are considered final when recorded by the Admissions, Registration, and Records Office. A grade cannot be changed after recording, unless it is an “I” grade, or a grade which resulted from an error in computation or recording.

Once a final grade other than “I” is submitted by an instructor, a student may not complete additional course assignments to raise the grade originally earned.

Students in disagreement with a final grade should consult with the appropriate course instructor. Under certain circumstances, a final course grade may be appealed. The formal procedure for a grade appeal is referred to below in the section titled Grade Appeal Procedure.

Fair and Equal Evaluation of Students

Students shall have fair and equal access to the criteria used by instructors to determine a final course grade. Instructors will explain and interpret the criteria to the students and announce that grades will be determined in accordance with the guidelines set forth in the course syllabus or any addenda to it.

Grade Appeals

The grade appeal procedure is available for students to review a final course grade. Assessing a student’s academic performance is one of the major responsibilities of instructors and is solely their responsibility. It is not the intent of this policy neither to question the judgment of instructors nor to subject them to pressure from any source. It is NOT for review of the judgment of an instructor in assessing the quality of a student’s work.

A grade appeal may be based on one or all of the following:

  1. assigning a final course grade on some basis other than a student’s performance in the course;
  2. assigning a final course grade using more or less demanding standards than applied to other students in the class; or
  3. assigning a final course grade with substantial departure from the standards set forth by the instructor’s syllabus or any addenda to it.

Grade Appeal Procedures

A student who believes a final course grade is inaccurate or unfair should proceed as follows:

  1. Consult with the instructor to fully understand the grounds and procedures used to determine the final course grade. The goal of this conference is to reach mutual understanding about the criteria, assessment, and the final course grade assigned, and, if necessary, to correct any errors.
    If the instructor is not available, the immediate supervisor of the instructor should be contacted.
  2. If there is no resolution after consultation with the instructor (or the instructor’s immediate supervisor, if instructor is not available), the student should confer with a counselor or faculty advisor. The counselor/advisor shall discuss the situation, review any information available and inform the student of the procedures involved in the appeal process. The counselor/advisor may suggest a meeting between instructor (or instructor’s immediate supervisor, if instructor is not available) and student, if agreeable to both parties, in an effort to reach an understanding and resolution.
  3. If a resolution is not reached through steps one and two, the student shall submit a written petition to the chair of the Academic Standards Committee or his/her designee, requesting that a Grade Appeal Committee convene to review evidence of the alleged inaccurate or unfair final course grade. This petition must be submitted no later than 45 calendar days after the beginning of the next fall or spring semester following the term in which the final grade in dispute was recorded.
    The issues should be described as specifically and completely as possible, and a statement of possible solution should be offered. The chair of the Academic Standards Committee or his/her designee will provide a copy of the petition to:
    1. the instructor;
    2. the instructor’s immediate supervisor; and
    3. the Vice President of Student Services.
    The instructor (or instructor’s immediate supervisor, if the instructor is not available) shall respond in writing to the petition to the chair of the Academic Standards Committee or his/her designee within 10 working days of notification.
    Upon receipt of the instructor’s (or supervisor’s) written response to the student’s petition and upon determination of the final composition of a Grade Appeal Committee, the chair of the Academic Standards Committee or his/her designee shall convene the Grade Appeal Committee to resolve the situation and communicate with all involved parties.

Grade Appeal Committee Membership

Upon receipt of a written petition by a student, the chair of the Academic Standards Committee or his/her designee will select four members of the Academic Standards Committee as candidates to serve on a Grade Appeal Committee. At least two teaching faculty members must be selected as candidates; no more than two college administrators may be identified as candidates.

The Student Association shall select three of its elected members as candidates to serve on a Grade Appeal Committee.

The chair of the Academic Standards Committee or his/her designee and the president of the Student Association shall provide the names of their candidates to the petitioning student. A Grade Appeal Committee shall consist of five (5) members:

  1. the chair of the Academic Standards Committee or his/her designee;
  2. the instructor’s supervisor; and
  3. three (3) members selected by the petitioning student, one member selected from candidates identified by the Student Association, and two members (including at least one teaching faculty member) from candidates identified by the Academic Standards Committee.
  4. The student must make his/her selections within 10 calendar days of the receipt of the list of candidates. Failure to do so will terminate the grade appeal process.

Neither the student nor the instructor involved in an appeal may serve as a member of the Grade Appeal Committee reviewing that specific appeal.

Grade Appeal Committee Responsibilities

Prior to the end of the semester that the student submitted the petition, the Grade Appeal Committee will resolve the issue. The Grade Appeal Committee may meet with the instructor (or instructor’s supervisor, if instructor is not available) and student, individually or together, if the committee deems it necessary.

Grade Appeal Committee shall make one of the following decisions:

  1. the final course grade assigned was NOT inaccurate or unfair and shall stand as recorded; or
  2. the final course grade was assigned inaccurately or unfairly. The Grade Appeal Committee shall then determine an appropriate grade to be assigned.

Whether or not the student is present upon final disposition of the grade appeal process, the final decision shall be communicated to him/her in writing by the chair of the Academic Standards Committee or his/her designee.

The Grade Appeal Committee shall notify, in writing, both the student and the Vice President of Student Services of its decision within 10 days. If a grade change has been approved by the Grade Appeal Committee, the Vice President of Student Services shall complete a change-of-grade form and forward this to the Records Office for modification of the student’s academic record.

The decision of the Grade Appeal Committee is final.

In the grade appeal process, it is not the intent of the administration to force faculty members to defend themselves regarding grades they award to students.

It is, however, the intent of the administration to allow students a procedure by which they can appeal a final course grade they firmly believe has been awarded inaccurately or unfairly. In order to fairly provide students this opportunity, items such as the course syllabus and any addenda, specific grades earned on various tests and/or assignments, and attendance (if maintained by the instructor), may be requested from the instructor to weigh against the students’ presentation of evidence of their course performance.

Academic Forgiveness Policy

Kishwaukee College recognizes that students may return to college after an extended absence and be seriously encumbered by a prior academic record that is exceptionally poor. Likewise, students may have experienced failure in a course of study that was inappropriate for their talents, or may have performed poorly because of serious illness or personal problems. Nevertheless, these students are now committed to a new beginning in their academic careers and can demonstrate the ability to succeed in college.

Accordingly, students may petition one time for forgiveness of up to 15 hours of prior “F” grades in accordance with the following guidelines:

  • At least two years must have elapsed between the end of the semester in which the failing grades were earned and the date of the petition.
  • Subsequent to the last semester in which failing grades occurred, and prior to petitioning for academic forgiveness, the student must have earned at least 15 consecutive credit hours at Kishwaukee College in courses numbered 100 or above, with a cumulative GPA of 2.5 or above and with no individual class grade lower than a “C”.
  • A student seeking academic forgiveness must submit her/his petition in writing to the Vice President of Instruction. A thorough justification for forgiveness as well as the precise identification of the semester(s) affected will be included in the petition. The justification must identify the circumstances in place when the failing grades were earned and how those circumstances have changed.
  • Forgiveness grades remain on the student’s record but are not computed in the student’s grade point average.

Note: Kishwaukee College accepts no responsibility for the ways in which another academic institution or employer might interpret a student’s use of the forgiveness option. Students planning to transfer to another college or university are cautioned that the receiving institution may use all grades earned in computing GPAs for admission or other purposes.

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