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    Dec 13, 2018  
2017-2018 Gaston College Student Handbook 
    
2017-2018 Gaston College Student Handbook [THIS CATALOG IS OUT-OF-DATE. USE THE CURRENT CATALOG TO FIND CURRENT PROGRAMS.]

Academic Credit from Gaston College



Grading System

Grade Description Quality Points per Semester Hour
A Superior 4
B Above Average 3
C Average 2
D Lowest Passing Grade 1
F Failure 0
CE Credit by Examination 0
I Incomplete Grade 0
WA Withdrawal after the 10% date 0
WI Withdrawal by Instructor 0
AU Audit 0
X No grade reported by instructor 0
*TR Transfer from another institution 0
*TA Transfer from another institution. Grade of "A" assigned to the student by the transferring institution. 0
*TB Transfer from another institution. Grade of "B" assigned to the student by the transferring institution. 0
*TC Transfer from another institution. Grade of "C" assigned to the student by the transferring institution. 0
*TP Transfer Pass (Tech Prep, AP, CLEP credit) 0
IP In Progress 0
P Pass Developmental courses - 0 per semester hour and ACA 111 and MAT 001 -1 semester hour 0
R No Credit - Developmental courses and ACA 111 and MAT 001 - 0 per semester hour 0
E Excluded Course - Academic Forgiveness 0
NS No Show 0
S Satisfactory Progress 0

 * All transfer credits count toward hours attempted, but do not affect the student's grade point average.

Further Explanation of Grades

  • WI Grade - Withdrawal by the instructor when the Attendance Policy is broken. WI grades count toward hours attempted, but do not affect the student's grade point average.
  • WA Grade - A "WA" is assigned to a student who wishes to withdraw from a course or courses within the first eleven weeks of the semester and who has previously attended one or more class meetings. WA grades count toward hours attempted, but do not affect the student's grade point average. A student who wishes to withdraw from a course or courses must follow the official procedure, which is initiated in the Records and Registration Office. (See "Withdrawal Process .")
  • AU Grade - Students who wish to audit courses (see "Audit Process ") must follow the regular registration procedures and declare the audit status to the course instructor. A student who registers for an audit may not receive a grade or credit hours for the course. The fees are the same as for regular college credit. The decision to audit cannot be reversed. AU grades do not count toward hours attempted, and therefore, do not affect the student's GPA.
  • Credit by Exam (CE) - A student may petition the department for permission to seek class credit by examination. Upon the student's successful completion of the exam, the division dean will notify the Office of Records and Registration of the outcome of the exam.  A grade of "CE" will be earned as a result of successful completion of the examination. The student may take the examination for a class only one time. Although credits by examination will be applied toward graduation requirements, quality points are not computed for a grade of "CE." Credit. Credit by Examination cannot be earned for classes numbered less than 100 or for courses in which the student earned a grade or was enrolled and did not drop prior to the first day of the class. This includes audits and withdrawals. For further information about credit by exam, contact the Office of Records and Registration.
  • I (Incomplete) - Students who need extra time to complete the objectives of a class because of unusual circumstances such as extended sickness or hospitalization, may receive a grade of "I." This must be agreed upon in advance by the student and the instructor. The instructor will submit a final grade of "I". Course work must be completed by the contracted date agreed to between the student and the instructor. The incomplete grade is not computed in the grade point average. However, if the coursework is not completed by the twelfth week of the following semester, the "I" grade will be converted to a grade of "F".
  • IP (In Progress) - indicates the student has made satisfactory progress toward the completion of developmental course work, but has not completed all of the objectives necessary to progress to the next level. An "IP" grade is not computed in the grade point average (GPA). Students receiving a grade of "IP" will not receive financial aid for the class on the second enrollment. Effective Summer 2013, IP grades are no longer used.
  • Grades preceded by an "R" indicate the class has been repeated. Only the highest grade will be computed or applied toward a degree or diploma. Students must contact the Office of Records and Registration after repeating classes.
  • Grades preceded by an "E" indicate Academic Forgiveness was granted. These classes are excluded in the calculation of the cumulative grade point average.
  • Grades of "S" indicate satisfactory progress in component classes.
  • Grades of "P" indicate satisfactory performance in Developmental Education classes, ACA 111 and MAT 001 and are excluded in the calculation of the cumulative grade point average.
  • Grades of "R" indicate that the student has made satisfactory progress toward the completion of developmental course work, ACA 111 or MAT 001, but has not completed all of the objectives necessary to progress to the next level. These classes are excluded in the calculation of the cumulative grade point average.
  • An average of "C" is defined as a grade point average of 2.00 on all computed grades.

How to Calculate Your Grade Point Average

A student's grade point average (GPA) is computed by adding the total quality points for each and dividing that number by the total credit hours for the semester. Quality points are calculated by multiplying the credit hours by the semester quality points. The GPA is then computed by dividing the total quality points by the total credit hours. Please see the example below.
Quality Points
A = 4   B = 3   C = 2   D = 1   F = 0
Subject Grade Semester Quality Points Credit Hours Total Quality Points
CIS 110
ENG 111
HIS 111
PSY 150
A
C
B
A
4
2
3
4
3
3
3
3
12
6
9
12
  Totals   12 39
39 Total Quality Points
12 Total Credit Hours

= 3.25 Semester GPA

Calculation of Grade Point Average

The formula for calculating a student's grade point average is: Quality Points divided by Credit Hours Attempted = Grade Point Average.

Final Grades

At the end of each semester, students may obtain their grades online by accessing WebAdvisor at www.gaston.edu.

Final Grade Appeal Procedure

Questions and concerns about final grades are often the result of misunderstandings about grading practices and expected standards. Direct communication between the instructor and the student usually clears up these misunderstandings. It is the responsibility of every student to follow these guidelines to resolve the problem. It is the responsibility of each faculty member and administrator to fulfill his or her role in accordance with these procedures. Students wishing to appeal a grade must initiate the process before mid-term of the semester following the semester in which the final grade was received.

It is the purpose of the grade appeal policy to outline appropriate steps the student should take to clarify any questions about final grades or grading practices. These steps are summarized as follows:

A. The student should make an appointment with the appropriate instructor when there is any question about a particular grade or the instructor's grading policy. Examples of questions that may be discussed include the following:

1. Clarification of the overall grading plan for the course, including relative weights of exams, etc.

2. Correction of errors made in grading.

3. Explanation of specific grading questions such as the correct answer to an exam question or the basis for a grade received on a term paper.

B. The student seeking additional clarification or information on matters related to grading should make an appointment with the appropriate department chair. Questions such as the following may be answered by the department chair:

1. Department policy on grading for a particular course.

2. Departmental attendance policy or an instructor's approved attendance policy.

3. Questions related to differences in interpretations of approved policies.

C. Students seeking further recourse related to a final grade received should make an appointment with the division dean. The division dean should discuss the questions raised with the instructor and the department chair, give the student an official interpretation of the grade, and explain the appeal process.

D. Should the student choose to appeal, the process is as follows:

1. The student should make an appeal in writing to the Vice President for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management stating the sequence of events leading to his or her appeal and any personal interpretations related to the case. This written appeal must be made no later than the mid-term of the semester following the semester in which the grade was received. Contact the Registrar's Office for the official deadline date to file a written appeal.

2. The Vice President for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management, or designee, notifies the instructor that an appeal has been made and activates a committee to hear the student's appeal. Membership of the Final Grade Appeal Committee is as follows:

a. Vice President for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management, or designee.

b. Vice President of Academic Affairs.

c. An instructor from the department involved, selected by the instructor's department chair. (The Chief Officer for Academic Affairs will select an instructor from another department within the division if the department chair's grading policy is appealed.)

d. A faculty member selected by the student making the appeal.

e. An instructor selected by the instructor whose grade is being appealed.

f. An instructor selected by the President of the Faculty Senate. This instructor should be a member of the Senate from a division other than the one in which the appeal is made.

g. One additional instructor may be selected by the Vice President for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management, or designee, if needed, to insure a balanced representation.

E. A meeting of the Appeal Committee is scheduled by the Vice President for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management, or designee. This meeting will be scheduled as quickly as possible, but will depend on the schedules of all involved parties.

1. The committee examines the evidence and discusses the case with the instructor and the student.

2. The committee arrives at a decision which is sent as a recommendation to the instructor. (The student and Vice President for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management, or designee are also informed of the recommendation.)

3. If the instructor does not follow the recommendation of the committee, the President's Executive Council will determine the appropriate course of action.

4. In all cases, the faculty member has recourse through his/her department chair, division dean, and vice president.

F. After the Final Grade Appeal Committee has heard the student's complaint, this completes the appeal process for the student.

Academic Alert/Probation/Suspension

Any student who maintains less than a 2.00 cumulative grade point average after any given semester is placed on Academic Alert. The Records and Registration Office will notify the student placed on Academic Alert, in writing. A student who is placed on Academic Alert must meet with his/her advisor or a counselor in order to develop a plan for improving his/her grade point average prior to registering for future terms.

The second successive semester that the GPA is below 2.0 the student will be placed on Academic Probation. A student who is placed on Academic Probation must meet with his/her advisor or a counselor in order to develop a plan for improving his/her grade point average prior to registering for future terms.

The third successive semester that the GPA is below 2.0 the student will be placed on Academic Suspension and will not be allowed to re-enroll at Gaston College for one semester.

During the period in which a student is placed on Academic Suspension, the student is encouraged to meet with a counselor or advisor in order to develop a plan for improving his/her grade point average. Students who wish to change their major/program must complete a Change of Major form available in the Counseling Center. Students receiving financial aid and veterans benefits who change their major should consult with the Office of Financial Aid or the VA representative.

Students who have been academically suspended and who choose to appeal their suspension status can do so by completing the appropriate forms available from the Records and Registration Office. Students are also strongly encouraged to attend one of the Student Success workshops in the Student Affairs division. Information on the workshop dates and the appeal process are available in the Records and Registration Office.

All written appeals should include a realistic plan to achieve good academic standing, recognition of the problems that have affected the student's academic progress, and a plan to resolve those issues. If the Academic Suspension Appeal Committee approves the appeal, the student will be allowed to register and continue their enrollment at Gaston College on a probationary basis. Gaston College may require additional requirements as a condition of re-enrollment.

Students who have been academically suspended and who expect to receive any type of financial aid must meet with a financial aid specialist to discuss the possibility of having financial aid re-instated as well as to discuss any other conditions that must be met.

Academic Complaints

Any complaints about your academic experiences (other than final grades - see Final Grade Appeal) may be addressed informally or formally. If possible, talk directly to your instructor in a professional, courteous manner about your issue, and make a good faith effort to resolve the issue. If this approach does not work to your satisfaction, you may wish to make a formal, written Academic Complaint. The Academic Complaint Form is located in Appendix I, and you may also obtain a copy from an administrative assistant in any dean's office or in the online version of the Student Handbook at www.gaston.edu. The form asks you to put your complaint and your proposed resolution in writing, and it guides you through the process. It is recommended that you try to resolve the issue at the instructor level, but you may need to start at the department chair level if you are unable to start with the instructor. If you inappropriately attempt to register your complaint to a higher administrator at Gaston College, you will most likely be directed to follow the Academic Complaint process through the proper channels unless you have an urgent issue of health, safety, or welfare that warrants immediate attention. Please see Appendix H  for further details.

Academic Forgiveness

The Academic Forgiveness Policy allows Gaston College students who have experienced academic difficulty at Gaston College to have one opportunity to have grades below a "C" excluded from the cumulative grade point average (GPA). Academic difficulty is defined as less than a 2.00 cumulative grade point average at Gaston College. This policy provides for raising the cumulative grade point average by excluding all grades of "D" or "F" earned prior to the date of eligibility for Academic Forgiveness. A student may be granted Academic Forgiveness only once. For a complete list of criteria, benefits and provisions of Academic Forgiveness visit the Office of Records and Registration. Completed forms should be returned to the Office of Records and Registration. Once this office receives the form, it is forwarded to the appropriate divisional dean for review.

Grounds for Student Academic Dismissal

The College has the right to dismiss a student in violation of academic regulations or policies. Dismissal from Gaston College for academic reasons may be initiated by a faculty member, department chair, division dean, or the student's advisor upon petition to the Vice President who administers the program. Academic dismissal is based upon the concept of "Satisfactory Progress" in a specific course or program as stated in terms of minimum grades; completion of course sequences; and the achievement of certain knowledge, skills, and abilities.

The department head and divisional dean shall document violations and submit the case to the Vice President.  The student shall be given the chance to appeal the violations with the Vice President before a decision regarding dismissal is rendered.  When the Vice President completes the investigation, the student will be informed of the decision in writing. The decision of the Vice President is final.

Students may petition for re-admission after one complete semester with approval of the divisional dean and Vice President (Vice President only for Public Safety programs).

Dismissal from an Occupational Program

If the department chair determines that a student is not a safe and dependable practitioner in the lab, shop, clinic, or field area in the progress of a course, the student may be dismissed from the program with the concurrence of the Vice President who administers the program. By virtue of the fact that certain courses of many occupational programs are offered in a one- or two-year sequential pattern and are offered only once during the sequence, a student has no opportunity to repeat one of these courses or to elect a substitute course. Therefore, a student who fails one of these courses will be dismissed from the program at the end of the semester in which the failure occurs.

The department head and divisional dean shall document violations and submit the case to the Vice President.  The student shall be given the chance to appeal the violations with the Vice President before a decision regarding dismissal is rendered.  When the Vice President completes the investigation, the student will be informed of the decision in writing. The decision of the Vice President is final.

Students may petition for re-admission after one complete semester with approval of the divisional dean and Vice President (Vice President only for Public Safety programs).

Course Repeat Policy

A student may repeat a class to attempt to raise his/her grade point average. The original class must be taken at Gaston College and be repeated at Gaston College in order to honor the repeat policy. When a class is repeated, both classes will remain on the academic record, but only the highest grade is used in computing the grade point average. Students may repeat a class for credit no more than three times within a five-year period. Counting the first attempt and three repeated attempts allowed by policy, a student may take the same class a maximum of four times. A student may not re-enroll in a class in which credit by exam (CE) has been awarded. Please note the Course Repeat Policy may be different in health related programs. For those specific requirements, please refer to that health program handbook.

Honors Lists

President's List - A full time student achieving a grade point average of 4.0 for the semester for 12 or more semester hours with no grade of I, CE, WA, AU will be recognized on the President's List.

Dean's List- A full time student achieving a grade point average of 3.5 - 3.99 for the semester for 12 or more semester hours with no grade of I, CE, WA, AU and no grade lower than a B (grades of C, D, F, and R) will be recognized on the Dean's List.

Honor's List - A part time student enrolled for six to eleven credit hours, achieving a grade point average of 3.5 or above for the semester for 6-11 semester hours with no grade of I, CE, WA, AU will be recognized on the Honor's List.