Grading, Student Equity, and Developing Senate Guidelines

Whereas, The Academic Senate for California Community Colleges supports quality education for all students in a fair and equitable manner;

Whereas, There can be vast differences between grade distributions for students taking the same course with different instructors, formats and lengths;

Whereas, Online professor ranking services are demanding grade distributions from institutions and students are making their choices based upon these sources; and

Minimum Grade Requirement for Associate Degree Courses

Whereas, Students receiving an associate degree should demonstrate appropriate levels of knowledge and competencies in their selected areas of emphasis/major;

Whereas, A grade of "C" denotes a student's satisfactory performance and completion of expected learning outcomes; and

Whereas, For some associate degrees, the courses for the System Office approved certificates are the same as those required for the area of emphasis/major;

Student Academic Dishonesty and Grading

Whereas, There is confusion across the state about the options that faculty have for awarding grades and/or disciplining students following incidents of student academic dishonesty; and

Whereas, There is great variance in policies in California community colleges regarding grading and disciplining students for academic dishonesty;

Resolved, That the Academic Senate for California Community Colleges investigate the legal and professional obligations and options for faculty in grading policies and disciplinary actions following student academic dishonesty; and

Student Cheating

Whereas, When a student has engaged in any form of academic dishonesty, the array of penalties that the instructor may impose on a student has been limited in some districts but not in others; and

Whereas, A 1995 opinion by Ralph Black, then legal counsel in the System Office, holds that an instructor may fail a student for the assignment on which that student engaged in cheating or plagiarism, but not award a failing grade for the entire course for one incident of cheating or plagiarism;

Grading Policies

Whereas students have a right to know grading policies in their courses in a timely manner, and

Whereas legislation in the area of grading policies has the potential to infringe on academic freedom,

Grading Policy

Whereas teachers do care for their students, and

Whereas teachers have the best interest of students in their minds and hearts, and

Whereas teachers are professional in their conduct fulfilling academic responsibilities, and

Whereas Assemblyman Campbell has withdrawn his bill regarding current semester grading policy changes,

Plus/Minus Grading

Whereas some institutions in the University of California and the California State University systems use plus/minus grading, and

Whereas the California community college system is an integral part of the higher education Master Plan, and

Whereas the Academic Senate for California Community Colleges has a long-term commitment to plus/minus grading, and

Whereas students and faculty would benefit from a grading system that provides the opportunity for greater detail related to the evaluation of student learning,

Plus/Minus Grading

Whereas grading policy is recognized as an area of faculty expertise and both faculty and students find it useful to employ a grading system that allows plus/minus grading,

Resolved that the Academic Senate for California Community Colleges reaffirm to the Board of Governors its position that plus/minus grades be allowed as final course grades in the California Community Colleges.

FW Grading

Whereas the FW grade has the potential to disqualify economically disadvantaged students from financial aid, and

Whereas the Academic Senate for California Community Colleges has supported an ever increasing access to community colleges, and

Whereas many questions have not been answered on student financial aid concerning the FW grade,

Resolved that the Academic Senate postpone forwarding the FW grade proposal to the Board of Governors until the effect of the FW grade on financial aid is clarified, and

GPA in Major

Whereas there is no minimum Grade Point Average (GPA) that students must achieve solely in their major courses, and

Whereas students' achievement in their majors could affect their ability to perform in the field,

Resolved that the Academic Senate explore the feasibility of setting a minimum grade point average for degrees and/or certificates in a major, and

Resolved that the Academic Senate explore the possibility of implementing a minimum GPA of "C" for courses in a major.

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