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Grading

Grades are Available at myCommNet

Semester grades can be obtained by the student in their myCommNet account at http://my.commnet.edu. Mid-term grades are posted mid-semester, final grades are posted at the completion of each semester. Unofficial transcripts may be printed from myCommNet at no cost.

Explanation of Grading System

Adopted May 1983, amended April 1990, April 2000, April 2001, April 2002.

I. Credits

A credit is a unit of academic achievement which is awarded upon the successful completion of a course.

Definition of Credit Hour: 

The college defines a credit hour* as an amount of work represented in intended learning outcomes and verified by evidence of student achievement that is an institutionally established equivalence that reasonably approximates not less than -

(1) One hour of classroom or direct faculty instruction and a minimum of two hours of out-of class student work each week for approximately fifteen weeks for one semester or the equivalent amount of credit over a different period of time;

(2) At least an equivalent amount of work as required in paragraph (1) of this definition for other academic activities as established by the institution including laboratory work, internships, practica, studio work, and other academic work leading to the award of credit hours.

*Standards for Credit Hour of the Commission on Institutions of Higher Education, New England Association of Schools and Colleges, Standards for Accreditation Revision, July 1, 2011. Adopted by Housatonic Community College Curriculum Committee, December 8, 2011.

II. Semester Hours

A semester hour is a measure of time usually corresponding to 55 minutes of lecture once per week for an entire semester.

III. Grades

Grades are an indication of the standard of academic work performed and/or the status of the student in relation to a course and/or the college. The academic grading system consists of five basic grades of student performance:

"A," "B," "C," "D," "F," and three grades of student status: "I," "M," "W". In addition, participants enrolled in non-credit courses through Continuing Education/Lifelong Learning may be awarded Continuing Education Units (CEUs) on a Pass/Fail (P/F) basis.

A letter grade of "A" through "F" indicates a student's performance in terms of what was done, how much was done, and how well the class work was done from the start to the completion of a class. Other academic grades indicate a student's status in terms of his/her entry or exit point from a class over time and condition (W) or at the close of the official grading period (I, M).

Administrative marks include: AU.

Academic Standard Grades

Grade Grade Points per Credit Hour
A 4.0
A- 3.7
B+ 3.3
B 3.0
B- 2.7
C+ 2.3
C 2.0
C- 1.7
D+ 1.3
D 1.0
D- 0.7
F 0
following grade indicates 
Developmental Studies course
0
I (Incomplete) 0
M (Developmental Studies courses only) 0
P (Satisfactory progress, mid-term grade only) 0
W (Withdrawal) 0
U (Unsatisfactory progress, mid-term grade only) 0
Administrative Marks
AU 0

IV. Mid-Term Grades

Mid-term grades are advisory grades indicating a student's progress through the first half of a standard semester. If a student is making satisfactory progress, he/she will be awarded a grade of "P" to indicate satisfactory progress. If a student is not making satisfactory progress, he/she will be awarded a grade of "U" to indicate unsatisfactory progress. A student in developmental courses may also be awarded an "M" grade to indicate that he/she is maintaining progress, but not sufficient to attain the mid-term grade of "P." When compared to traditional grades, the "P" grade equates to a grade of "C" or higher, while a grade of "U" equates to a "C-" or lower.

Mid-semester grades are merely estimates of the student's progress and are not entered on permanent records. However, grades of "W" and "AU" are considered permanent final grades when awarded either as mid-semester or final grades and entered on permanent records. The only mid-term grades assigned are "P," "U," and "M." Grades are not generally changed after one year of their issuance.

V. Statement on Satisfactory Progress*

1.The grading system employed by each college should accurately reflect the academic achievement of the student. In order to ensure appropriate use of State resources available for the education of its citizens, each college will develop procedures to monitor satisfactory progress through its warning, probation and suspension policy.

2. This policy shall be applicable to all students enrolled for developmental and/or credit courses, no matter the number of credits for which they are enrolled.

3. No course may be repeated for credit more than twice. The highest grade received will be used in calculating the student’s academic average. This does not apply to those courses that are designed to be repeated for additional credit.

4. Satisfactory completion of fifty percent of the credits attempted (this phrase means actual continued enrollment beyond the add/drop period) will be the minimum standard for good standing.

5. Students who have completed 11 or fewer credits whose Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA) falls below 1.5 will be given a written warning. Students who have completed between 12 and 30 credits inclusive whose CGPA falls below 1.7, and those who have completed 31 or more credits whose CGPA falls below 2.0, will be given a written notice that they are placed on academic probation.

6. Students placed on academic probation will be required to take a reduced course load for one semester.

7. Students who, after being placed on academic probation for one semester and after taking a reduced course load, fail to attain the required CGPA as shown above will be notified in writing that they are suspended for one semester.

8. After the period of suspension, students may be reinstated, either as regular or probationary students, upon application to the college.

9. An appeals process will be established by each college, which provides for due process.

10. College procedures will be included in appropriate publications and communications.

(Adopted October 17, 1993, amended January 28, 2002, amended February 23, 2004, amended September 20, 2004)

* For more information see Academic Standards Criteria section of this catalog.

Definition of Grades & Administrative Marks

A-F

Academic Standard Grades. A letter grade of "A" through "F" indicates a student's performance in terms of the quantity and the quality of that work performance. Only these grades are considered in the determination of a grade point average (GPA) for a student. Any grade followed by the # sign indicates a Developmental Studies course and will not contribute any points to the student's GPA.

Incomplete. May be awarded by an instructor only when a majority of course requirements and assignments has been successfully completed. The "I" grade is a deferred grade, neither passing nor failing, on the official transcript. Incomplete work must be submitted to an instructor at least 14 days before the 10th week of the following regular semester so that grades can be submitted no later than the 10th week of the following regular semester, fall or spring.

M

Maintaining progress. An administrative transcript notation used only for Developmental Studies courses to indicate that the student is maintaining progress but not at the usual rate. It may be given to a student for a course only twice.

P

Passing. "P" is used as a Midterm Grade to indicate satisfactory progress (See IV above “Midterm Grades”). It is also used for students enrolled in non-credit courses. The CEU is a measurement (one unit equals ten class contact hours) nationally recognized by business, industry and professional organizations for evaluating an individual's effort toward professional growth. When "P" is used for a non-credit course, it may reflect performance at any of the passing levels (A, B, C, D). Permanent records of CEUs are kept by the Office of Continuing Education programs.

U

Unsatisfactory progress, mid-term grade only.

AU

Audit. "AU" is used for students wishing to take a credit course for no credit. Students must pay the regular fees and audit status must be indicated within four weeks of the start of class. The audit student will receive no credit and a grade of "AU" and may not change to a credit basis. The student may in succeeding semesters take for credit any course he/she has previously audited. Audit courses will be reflected on the student's record as "AU." The student may not petition for credit for the audited course.

W

Withdrawal. "W" is used for students who formally withdraw from a course. Students who withdraw through the Registrar's Office within the first two weeks of the semester receive no grade for the course. Students who formally withdraw after the 2nd week, but prior to the end of the 6th week of classes, automatically receive a grade of "W." After six weeks and up to the 12th week of classes, a "W" may be awarded by the instructor only if formal withdrawal is initiated by the student, and at the discretion of the instructor.

Transcripts

Students wishing to have an official copy of their transcript may request one online by accessing their myCommnet account. A request form, found on the college web site, may also be faxed or mailed to request transcripts. Transcripts, official or unofficial, will not be faxed. No telephone requests can be accepted. Transcript requests are normally processed within 10 working days. There is no charge for official transcripts; any questions contact the Registrar's Office at 203-332-5088.

Grade Point Average (GPA)

Grade points are calculated by multiplying the number of points of each grade by the total number of credit hours assigned to that course. The GPA is obtained by dividing the total number of grade points earned by the total number of credit hours attempted. Only the academic standard grades of "A," "B," "C," "D," "F" including plus and minus are used in calculating the GPA.

A student's transcript identifies two different Grade Point Average (GPA) ratios. The first is the Semester GPA which is based upon the courses a student has taken during the current semester. The second is a Cumulative GPA which consists of all of the courses a student has taken at the college and the grades received for these courses:

Example:

Course

Credit Hours

Grade

Grade Points x Credit Hours

Grade Points

ENG* E101 3 B+ 3.3 x 3 credits = 9.9
PSY* E111 3 D 1.0 x 3 credits = 3.0
MAT* E137 3 A 4.0 x 3 credits = 12.0
BIO* E105 4 B- 2.7 x 4 credits = 10.8
  13     35.7

The GPA for this student would be 2.74 for the semester (35.7 divided by 13 = 2.74).

Fresh Start for Readmit Students

The Fresh Start Option allows students who have not registered for college credit courses for two or more years and have a poor academic record to refresh their Grade Point Average (GPA) and develop a more favorable academic record. A poor academic record is defined as multiple courses completed with a GPA of less than 2.0. The only grades eligible for Fresh Start are those earned prior to readmission.

The Fresh Start Option may be used only once. A student must apply for this option prior to, or during, the first year after returning to HCC. Students are ineligible if they have completed a certificate or degree and the option will not apply to completed certificates or degrees.

If the request for the Fresh Start Option is approved, all grades previously earned will remain on the student’s transcript. The semesters for which Fresh Start is invoked will include a transcript symbol indicating that the policy is in effect. The original GPA will not be included in any subsequent computation of the new GPA.

A student must complete a minimum of 15 credits after returning to college under the Fresh Start Option to be eligible for a degree or certificate and for graduation honors. For more information, please contact the Counseling Center at 203-332-5097.

Definition of Readmit Student

A "Readmit" student is a student returning to the college after an absence of at least 2 years (including summer and winter sessions).

Definition of a New Student

A "New" student is a first-time, first-year student attending any institution for the first time at the undergraduate level. This definition includes students enrolled for the fall term who attended the same college for the first time in the prior summer term. This definition also includes students who entered with advanced standing (college credits earned before graduation from high school - AP, Tech Prep/College Career Pathways, HS Partnership, etc.).

Appeal of Grades

A student who wishes to appeal an awarded grade should first confer with the faculty member concerned within 15 days from the time the Registrar posts grades. If the student is not satisfied with the outcome of that conference, the student may submit a written appeal with the Department Chair who will consult with the faculty member to help resolved the appeal. Once the Department Chair has concluded their review of the appeal and informed the student of their decision, the student may then contact the Academic Dean for further assistance. The written appeal must include the grade attained, the grade the student believes was earned in the course and the exact reason(s) the grade is incorrect. Reasons that a grade would be found to be incorrect are mathematical error or grade assigned on basis other than the criteria cited in the course syllabus.
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