Graduate Evaluation and Grading Policy and Procedures

Graduate Evaluation and Grading Policy and Procedures

Sponsor:

School for Graduate Studies and School of Nursing and Allied Health

Contact:

Director of Graduate Student Services

Category:

Graduate Studies

Number:

310.046

Effective Date:

09/01/2019

Implementation History:

This policy supersedes the Policy and Procedures for Graduate Evaluation and Grading Policy initially approved July 1, 2007 and revised July 1, 2012. The Graduate Studies and Policies Committee (GSPC) will review this policy periodically and make further recommendations.

Keywords:

Graduate, grades, outcomes, GPA, repeating, transcript

Background Information:

Purpose

To define the evaluation and grading system for graduate students.

Definitions

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Statements

Graduate Evaluation and Grading

Empire State College features student-centered, mentored learning in all of its modes of study, from guided independent study to residency-based courses and online or blended courses. Regardless of the method of study:

  • The learning experience effectively supports the student's active engagement with the subject of study.
  • The course instructor guides, responds to and evaluates students throughout the learning experience.
  • In independent studies, evaluation procedures_ are targeted to the needs of the particular individualized study.

Learning Contract/Syllabus

The learning contract or syllabus defines the learning objectives of the course, the learning activities to be completed, and the methods and criteria for evaluating the student's performance. A well-designed learning contract /syllabus lays the foundation for effective student evaluation by clearly outlining learning objectives and activities and methods and criteria for evaluation. The course instructor evaluates the student's work in light of these elements throughout the learning experience. Thus, the course instructor's feedback to the student is rooted in the learning contract /syllabus itself and occurs throughout the course.

Evaluation

Grades issued at Empire State College document students' academic growth. At the same time, students need to meet the minimum performance standards established for each course for credit to be awarded. To support student achievement, ESC faculty may afford students opportunities to revise work during a course in order to meet performance standards at the minimum or a higher level. Nevertheless, a student who works hard and shows progress, and is still not able to meet the stated criteria for evaluation, does not earn graduate credit.

Grades

The college uses a 4.00 grading scale. The grade assigned to a graduate course completed at Empire State College may be any of the following:

GradeQuality PointMeaning
A 4.00 Performance is above expectations.
A- 3.67
B+ 3.33 Performance meets expectations.
B 3.00
B- 2.67 Performance is below expectations.
C+ 2.33
C 2.00
F 0.00 Performance does not meet minimum requirements

Pass (P) - This grade is awarded for specific courses in which the student has performed at the B or better level. 

No Pass (NP) - This grade is awarded for specific courses in which the student has performed at the 8- or lower level. 

NP does not count as credit earned and therefore may negatively impact satisfactory academic progress. Please refer to the Graduate Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy.

Incomplete (IN) - When extenuating circumstances arise, a student may request an outcome of incomplete (IN) from the course instructor. The course instructor may submit an incomplete only when the student has consistently engaged in ,learning activities and has successfully completed at least 50 percent of the work before the end of the term. The course instructor is not obligated to grant_an incomplete. 

A student who receives an IN grade must complete the course within 15 weeks of the end date of the term, or earlier if the course instructor has specified an earlier completion date.

If the course is not completed within the incomplete period, the IN automatically converts to F.

IN does not count as credit earned and therefore may negatively impact satisfactory academic progress. Please refer to the Graduate Satisfactory Academic Progress policy.

Administrative Withdrawal (ZW) - If a student registers for a course, does not withdraw, and does not engage in significant learning activities throughout the term, the course instructor may submit a grade of administrative withdrawal (ZW). 

ZW does not count as credit earned and therefore may negatively impact satisfactory academic progress. Please refer to the Graduate Satisfactory Academic Progress policy.

Withdrawal (WD) - A withdrawal (WD) is initiated by the student status. 

A student may withdraw form a course on or before the end of the 10th week of a 15-week term or the end of the 5th week of an 8-week term.

Evaluated Credit (EV) - In master's programs that provide an opportunity for assessment, an EV denotes credit awarded through the assessment process. 

Grades of NP, IN, ZW, WD and F have specific implications for financial aid eligibility. For an explanation, see the Empire State College Statements on Eligibility for New York State Financial Aid and Federal Financial Aid.

Grade Point Average (GPA) Calculation

Graduate Cumulative GPA
  • is based on graduate level courses enrolled in at Empire State College;
  • includes courses regardless of program and matriculation status;
  • does not include transfer credit or credit awarded through assessment;
  • based only on Empire State College courses in which a letter grade is assigned; and
Graduate Program GPA
  • is based on courses in the active academic program(s) and calculated by active program (e.g. advanced certificate or degree);
  • based only on courses enrolled in at Empire State College that are a part of the active academic program(s);
  • does not include transfer credit or credit awarded through assessment;
  • based only on Empire State College courses in which a letter grade is assigned; and
  • is used to determine recommendation for graduation.

The following letter grades are included in the GPA:

GradeQuality Points
A 4.00
A- 3.67
B+ 3.33
B 3.00
B- 2.67
C+ 2.33
C 2.00
F 0.00

Repeated Courses

A student may repeat a graduate course only once. When a student repeats a course, the highest grade will be used for purposes of the calculation of a grade point average. Grades of IN, ZW, and WO do not replace the original grade in the calculation of the grade point average. The original course remains a part of the transcript . Note that both the original and the repeated course must still be included in the satisfactory academic progress calculation. Since a course can only be repeated once, if a student is not successful when attempting to repeat a required course, the student is dismissed from her/his academic program.

Minimum Grade Point Average Requirement

Empire State College graduate students must maintain a program GPA of at least 3.00. A program GPA of at least 3.00 is a requirement for graduation.

Master of Arts in Teaching students must maintain a program GPA of at least 3.00 in order to be recommended for and maintain NYS transitional B certification.

Please refer to the Graduate Academic Standing Policy for details regarding warning and dismissal.

Procedure for Retroactive Assignment of Grades

Prior to July 1, 2007 the college provided narrative evaluations without grades. On occasion, a student who received narrative evaluations would later request that the college assign grades to the narratives. When such a request was received, the college, where possible, added grades to the narratives.

For students matriculated in a graduate program at Empire State College before July 1, 2007, the college will continue to respond to student requests, consistent with the procedure detailed below. For students who re-matriculate after that date, there will be no later assignment of letter grades to narrative evaluations.

The procedure for retroactive assignment of grades is as follows:

  • For each Empire State College course for which the original course instructor is available, the course instructor is responsible for assigning a grade based on the contract evaluation and the instructor's records and recollection of the student's work in the course. If the course instructor is no longer available, or if the course instructor is not able to make a letter grade judgment, no grade is assigned. In exceptional circumstances, this procedure cannot fully meet a student's needs. In such a case, the dean of the appropriate school consults the provost on appropriate alternatives.
  • The dean of the appropriate school forwards the grades to the college registrar.
  • The registrar adds the grades to the narrative evaluations, and thereby includes them in the student's official transcript.

Appeal of Grades

A student may appeal a grade as provided in the Student Academic Appeals Policy.

Applicable Legislation and Regulations

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Related References, Policies, Procedures, Forms and Appendices

Transfer Credit, Academic Appeals Policy and Procedures, Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy, & Graduate Academic Standing Policy