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Grading Policies


Grading Policy for Undergraduates

Fall 2020 Grading Policy Update - 1000-level Courses Only

All courses 1000-level and below will be graded on a Pass/No Credit basis for fall 2020.

The first-year courses listed below were previously identified as Pass/No Credit for fall. This grading provision now includes all 1000-level courses dispersed throughout the major programs. All other courses will adhere to their usual grading modality and the College's existing grading policies.

No request to convert to Pass/No Credit grading is needed. Letter-grading will not be an option; all students enrolled in these courses will be graded on a Pass/No Credit basis regardless of class level.

For fall 2020,

  • a letter grade of A+ through C equates to a Pass
  • a letter grade of C- through F equates to a No Credit

A grade of P receives the course’s designated units of course credit (e.g. 3 units). A grade of NC receives 0 units of course credit. P/NC grades are not factored into the GPA. A student taking all P/NC coursework will have a 0.0 GPA following the fall term.

This update to the grading policy for 1000-level courses is for fall 2020 semester only. For all other Fall 2020 courses, standard grading policies apply.

Existing Grading Policies

All undergraduates are graded according to the following grade system:

A+ (4.3 grade points)
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)
F (zero)

All of the above grades are used in the calculation of the grade point average (GPA).


Definition of Grades

A = outstanding achievement -- significantly exceed standards
B = commendable achievement -- exceeds standards
C = acceptable achievement -- meets standards
D = marginal achievement -- below standards
F = failing


Other Grades

Additional grades CCA uses, though omitted when calculating a GPA* (the Graduate Program in and MBA in Design Strategy are exceptions, as they used grade points through the spring 2010 term):

I = incomplete
W = withdrawn
P = passing
NC = no credit


Interpretation of Grade Statistics

Credit Attempted: Total number of credits attempted.
Credits Completed: Total number of credits completed for successful completion of academic or studio coursework.
GPA Credits: Total number of graded credits used in calculating the grade point average (only CCA units included).
Grade Points: Value is derived by multiplying GPA credits by grade earned.
GPA: Value is derived by dividing graded points by GPA credits.


Interim Grade Reports

Near the midpoint of the semester, all instructors have the option of providing an interim evaluation of the progress of each of their students.

Progress is evaluated with one or two possible ratings:

UP = unsatisfactory progress
AT = attendance problem

A student who demonstrates unsatisfactory progress and attendance problems in a particular course may be assigned an evaluation of UP and/or AT by the instructor.

Students who have been assigned an evaluation of UP or AT will be notified by email of a problem with their progress. This notification will be sent to the student's CCA email account.

The notification is meant to warn of problems while there is still time for the student to improve the grade or withdraw from the course. Students who receive these notifications are strongly urged to consult with their instructors and their advisors to discuss their options and develop strategies for improving their academic performance.

The lack of receipt of an interim warning does not indicate that a student's performance in a given course is satisfactory. Students should always consult with their instructors regarding their progress in classes.


Incomplete Grades

Students who are unable to complete the work for a course due to a family emergency, personal illness or other extenuating circumstances may request an incomplete grade/extension of time.

At least two-thirds of the semester's course work must be completed and the student must be passing the course to be eligible for an incomplete grades. Incompletes are not granted to students on academic probation.

If a graduating senior receives an incomplete for a course taken in that student's last term at CCA, that student's degree will not be posted until the final passing grade has been received by the Registrar from the instructor.

Students who have received an incomplete must complete the outstanding course work and have a grade turned in within 5 weeks of the end of the term; instructors may set earlier deadlines at their discretion. If the student completes the work by the deadline, the instructor will assign a final grade for the course.

Otherwise, the instructor or the Student Records Office will assign a grade of F for the course. The student's schedule will be adjusted if they do not receive a passing grade for the class and it is a prerequisite for another course they are enrolled in. Notification of any schedule changes will be sent to the student's CCA email account.

Students on financial aid who do not complete all of their course work in a given semester may be required to complete that course work the following semester in order to maintain their financial aid eligibility. Completion of this work is in addition to any other enrollment and eligibility requirements.


Grade Forgiveness

Grade Forgiveness Policy

Undergraduate students may request to have the highest grade earned for a repeated course taken at CCA factored into their cumulative grade point average when the previous attempt is below a C. The original and subsequent grades earned will appear on the academic transcript; grade forgiveness does not retroactively affect a student’s Probation, Suspension, or Dismissal decisions made at the end of each term.

If a student repeats a course in Fall 2020 or after, forgiveness will apply to the most recent prior course attempt below a C grade. However, this is not a retroactive policy, so it will not apply when the repeated coursework was successfully completed with a C or higher grade prior to Fall 2020.

It may be possible to have a course where the earned grade is below a C fulfill another degree requirement, so please refer to the Academic Progress Report or discuss with your academic advisor. Once a course grade has been forgiven, the original course credits cannot count towards another degree requirement.

If a student chooses to repeat a course in which the grade earned was a C or higher, grade forgiveness is not an option, and all units attempted and all grade points earned will be used in the calculation of the student's cumulative GPA.

Only current, active students can request grade forgiveness. Once a student completes their degree, their record is final, and grade forgiveness cannot be requested. Grade forgiveness shall not be applicable for Non-Degree and Graduate Students nor for courses in which the original grade was the result of Academic Dishonesty.

There is no discount in tuition or fees for repeated courses. There are restrictions on the number of attempts that can be used to determine enrollment status for Federal Student Aid eligibility. See Eligibility Requirements for more information.

You can submit the request by logging in to Workday, search Create Request and select "Grade Forgiveness Request - Undergraduate".

If you have general questions about this policy, please email Student Records.


Grade Reports

Grades are visible to students through Workday once grades have been processed at the end of each semester. Grade reports include the student's term and cumulative grade point averages.

More information can be found by visiting Transcripts.


Grade Appeals

Any student who wishes to appeal a grade should discuss the matter with the instructor as soon as possible after receiving the grade. If the matter remains unresolved following this discussion, the student should consult with the chair of the program in which the course in question resides.

Only two conditions exist under which the college will consider changing a final grade as submitted by an instructor:

The grade resulted from a recording error.
Specific evidence exists that the instructor evaluated the student's work in a manner inconsistent with:
a. the grading policies stipulated in the course syllabus
b. that used to evaluate the work of other students in the course or specific evidence of personal bias against the individual student

A student who wishes to contest a grade for either of these reasons must contact the instructor of the course in writing by the end of the fourth week of the following semester. The student should request clarification of the grade and address one of these two conditions; in the case of the second condition, the student must also include evidence supporting the claim.

If the instructor is not available, the student should contact the appropriate program chair.

If attempts to resolve the issue with the instructor are unsuccessful, the student may appeal to the program chair and the divisional director within two weeks of receiving the instructor's decision.

The student must detail the nature of the discussions with the instructor and present a case justifying a grade change. After consultation with the instructor, the program chair and the director will weigh the evidence and make a final decision within two weeks of receiving the petition.

For further assistance with the process of grade appeals, undergraduate students should consult the Advising Office. Graduate students should contact their Program Manager for assistance.