Grading Policies

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.

Grading Standards

Whereas recent published data suggest that student grades are moving toward A's and B's being the most frequent grades, with C's declining significantly, and

Whereas colleges are experiencing increasing pressure to produce "successful" grades (variously defined), and

Whereas pressure from students to award higher grades is perceived by many to be accelerating, and

Whereas evidence of student success measured in criteria other than grades suggest that student ability to demonstrate mastery of course content is not accelerating, and

Plus/Minus Implementation

Resolved that the Academic Senate for California Community Colleges direct the Executive Committee to expedite consultation and Board of Governors action such that plus and minus grading will be available to faculty as soon as is reasonably possible, and

Resolved that the Academic Senate for California Community Colleges direct the Executive Committee to provide appropriate assistance for local academic senates and college faculty wishing to implement plus and minus grading at their colleges including, possibly, a breakout session at a future session.

Adoption of "Symbol for Unofficial Withdrawal" Document

Resolved that the Academic Senate adopt the document "Symbol for Unofficial Withdrawal" and

Resolved that the Academic Senate direct the Executive Committee to prepare a consultation digest item to seek changes in Title 5 grading policies and procedures to allow for an evaluative symbol other than a "W" indicating an unofficial withdrawal by the student after the drop date, such symbol to be computed in the GPA as 0 points.

A Symbol for Unofficial Withdrawal

Whereas an "F" does not accurately represent the performance of a student who has stopped attending a class as opposed to trying and failing to succeed in the class, and

Whereas in order to properly evaluate student success, this distinction needs to be clearly made,

Resolved that the Academic Senate for California Community Colleges seek changes in Title 5 grading policies and procedures to allow for an evaluative symbol other than an "F" indicating an unofficial withdrawal by the student after the drop date, such symbol to be computed in the G.P.A. as 0 points, and

Adoption of the Plus/Minus Paper

Resolved that the Academic Senate for California Community Colleges adopt the document "Plus and Minus Grading Options: Toward Accurate Student Performance Evaluation" as amended. (Document available from the Senate Office) M/S/C Disposition: Board of Governors, CIOs, CSSOs, Ca1SACC, Chancellor's Office, Executive Committee, Local Senates

Promoting Thoughtful Faculty Conversations About Grade Distributions

Assigning grades to student work, both during the academic term and as a summation of a stu-dent's mastery of subject matter, is a longstanding practice in all levels of education, from kin-dergarten through graduate and professional studies. Recently, a variety of factors have brought the criteria for assigning, and the resulting distribution of letter grades under heightened scrutiny.

Promoting and Sustaining an Institutional Climate of Academic Integrity

This Academic Senate paper is in response to two resolutions from Fall 2005 concerning academic dishonesty. One resolution, 14.02, "Student Cheating," sought clarification on a System Office legal position that limits the ability of local faculty to fail a student for a single incident of academic dishonesty, and pending the result of clarification, to seek an appropriate Title 5 change.

Toward Accurate Student Performance Evaluation: Symbol for Unofficial Withdrawal

Resolution 14.1 S95 calls for the Executive Committee to develop a proposal for a symbol other than an F to indicate when a student separated from a course without officially withdrawing. The concern is that an examination of student outcomes may incorrectly lead the faculty to change curriculum or pedagogy in light of student failures recorded instead of an official withdrawal. The resolution calls for the value of the grade to be zero in the calculation of the GPA.

Plus and Minus Grading Options: Toward Accurate Student Performance Evaluations

For at least a decade the Academic Senate for California Community Colleges has urged the Board of Governors to pass regulations that would permit the use of plus/minus grading at the discretion of the local district. Primarily, for the sake of administrative convenience of reporting and receiving data, the community colleges are precluded from the practice. The fair and accurate evaluation of student performance is a fundamental responsibility of the faculty.

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