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Faculty Handbook

2.9. Grading

General Policies
Issuance of grades and formulation of individual attendance policies are the prerogative of the instructor. Faculty must provide feedback to students about their progress prior to the last published day to withdraw without academic penalty. Grades are expected to conform to those listed below. Any deviations must be approved by the Faculty Senate and the Office of the Registrar.

The following are the final grades included in the determination of the scholastic grade point average:

Grades Definition Quality Points per Credit Hour
A Excelent 4
B Good 3
C Satisfactory 2
D Passing, but less than satisfactory 1
F Failing 0
WF Late withdrawal 0

Special Purpose Grading Symbols
I - The grade of “I” denotes an incomplete grade for the course, and will be awarded only when the student has done satisfactory work up to the last two weeks of the semester, but for nonacademic reasons beyond his/her control is unable to meet the full requirements of the course. A grade of “I” must be removed (by completing the course requirements) within one calendar year from the end of the semester in which the “I” was originally assigned. In addition, should the student enroll in classes at KSU during the calendar year, the grade of “I” must be removed by the end of the first semester of enrollment during that calendar year. Upon completion of the course requirements within the specified time limits, a final grade will be assigned on the basis of the student’s total performance. If the course requirements are not completed within the specified time limits, then the “I” will be changed to an “F” (for a course which awards letter grades of “A”, “B”, “C”, “D”, or “F”) and the cumulative and adjusted grade point average will be recalculated accordingly or the “I” will be changed to a “U” (for a pass/fail course which awards a grade of “S” or “U”). An “I” cannot be removed by reenrolling in the course.

K - This symbol indicates credit awarded for CLEP or Advance Placement (AP) exams.

W - This symbol indicates that the student was permitted to withdraw from the course without academic penalty. The “W” will be allowed only with the approval of the registrar and is available up to the date published in the most current version of the semester calendar as the last day to withdraw without academic penalty. Withdrawals without penalty may be permitted after this period in documented hardship cases only with the approval of the registrar. A course in which a grade of “W” has been assigned will not be included in the calculation of the student’s scholastic average. This notation will be printed on the final class roll after authorization by the registrar.

WF - This symbol indicates that the student was permitted to withdraw from a course after the first 28 working days (including registration days) of the semester with the approval of the registrar. The grade of “WF” is counted as an “F” in the calculation of the student’s scholastic average. This notation will be printed on the final class roll after authorization by the registrar. To change a “WF” to a “W”, students may appeal to the academic standing committee for consideration of unusual circumstances.

S - This symbol indicates satisfactory completion of a non-degree credit course and is not included in the calculation of the scholastic average. It also indicates satisfactory completion of certain credit laboratory-type courses specifically designated by overall faculty action.

U - This symbol indicates unsatisfactory completion of a non-degree credit course and is not included in the calculation of the scholastic average. It also indicates unsatisfactory completion of certain credit laboratory-type courses specifically designated by overall faculty action.

IP - This symbol indicates progress in a non-degree credit course, but not sufficient to meet the prerequisite requirements for the succeeding course and are not included in the calculation of the scholastic average. Used for developmental studies courses in Learning Support Program only.

V - This symbol indicates that the student was given permission to audit the course and is not included in the calculation of the scholastic average. Students may not transfer from audit to credit status or vice versa.

NR- This symbol indicates that no grade was reported.

Course Withdrawal
Students may withdraw from one or more courses any time before the last three weeks of the semester. However, as of fall 2004, students will be allowed a maximum of eight total withdrawals if they enter KSU as a freshman. Transfer students will be allowed one withdrawal per fifteen credit hours attempted, for a maximum of eight. Students who choose to pursue a second degree at KSU will be allowed two additional withdrawals. Students who entered KSU before fall 2004 will be allowed one withdrawal per fifteen credit hours attempted for a maximum of eight after the institution of this policy. Students who exceed the maximum number of withdrawals will receive a grade of “WF” for any subsequent withdrawals. To completely or partially withdraw from classes at KSU, a student must withdraw online through Owl Express.

Students who officially withdraw from courses before the last day to withdraw without academic penalty will receive a grade of “W” and receive no credit. Students who officially withdraw after the last day to withdraw without academic penalty and before the last three weeks of the semester or who have exceeded the maximum number of withdrawals will receive a grade of “WF,” which will be counted as an “F” in the calculation of their grade point average.

The only exceptions to these withdrawal regulations will be for instances involving unusual circumstances, which must be fully documented. Students may appeal to the academic standing committee for consideration of unusual circumstances. Exact withdrawal dates will be published in the official academic calendar. Students who simply stop attending classes without officially withdrawing usually are assigned failing grades. Students will receive refunds only when they withdraw from ALL their classes and only by the schedule outlined in the University System refund policy.

Reporting Grades
Faculty members enter their grades on line through a section login and across a secure network. Faculty members will login to Kennesaw’s home page and then click on OWL EXPRESS. The online grading system will be available from the start of final examinations until the due date and time as published in the academic calendar for that semester.

Errors in Grades
Errors in grades must be reported to the Office of the Registrar immediately. In general, no grade changes will be made after the end of the semester/term following the semester/term in which the grade was assigned except with the approval of the Academic Standing Committee. In general, the Academic Standing Committee will not consider requests for grade changes beyond one year from the end of the semester in which the grade was assigned. A petition for a grade change will not be accepted after the date of graduation. 

Changing Grades
Changes in grades may be made only on the form designated for this purpose. All changes must be approved by the appropriate dean or department chair and submitted to the registrar. The Official Grade Change Form is used to correct entries as well as to record grades for courses in which the grade of “I” had been previously assigned.

The Official Grade Change Form is the only form that can be used to change a student’s grade once it has been recorded on his/her official transcript. The form can be obtained in each departmental office or in the Office of the Registrar. In general, the Academic Standing Committee will not consider requests for grade changes beyond one year from the end of the semester in which the grade was assigned. For undergraduate and graduate students, grades of “I” must be changed to A, B, C, D, or F, by completing course requirements within one calendar year from the end of the semester or summer term in which the “I” was originally assigned. In addition, should the student enroll in classes at KSU during the calendar year, the grade of “I” must be changed by the end of the first semester or term of enrollment during that calendar year.

 

Grade Appeals
Students’ rights to grade appeals are defined in the university catalog. A key element in the grade appeal procedure is the faculty member’s responsibility to publish a specific grading policy for each of his/her classes. Specifically, the grade appeal procedure states: “Each faculty member must specify his/her grading policy, at the first of the semester. He/she may change his/her grading policy for cause after that time, but he/she must do so uniformly, with ample notification to students, if at all possible.”

Note that failure to publish the grading policy would mean that a faculty member would have great difficulty in sustaining his/her assigned grade if a student appealed with anything but a frivolous or irresponsible basis for his/her charge. The grading policy should be quite specific and should be distributed to each class in written form. Some departments may also require faculty members to file grading policy statements in the departmental office. Because the student can submit a grade appeal to the Department Chair within 20 business days after the first day of classes of the next academic term after the academic term in which the final grade was awarded to the student (see Grade Appeals Procedure, section B), it is strongly recommended that instructors retain any student papers, tests, projects, or other materials not returned to the student for 70 days after the end of a semester or if an appeal is filed until the appeal is resolved. Refer to the following section for specific grade appeal procedures.

Grade Appeal Procedure
Kennesaw State University is committed to treating students fairly in the grading process. Students may appeal a final grade that they receive in a course, but interim grades or grades on specific assignments are not appealable. Any such appeal must be based on an allegation that the faculty member has violated his/her stated grading policy or that the grade was a result of discrimination or retaliation. The student has the burden of proving these allegations. All formal appeals under these procedures will be based only on the written record.

  1. Informal: Students are encouraged to discuss concerns and disputes over final course grades with the faculty member, prior to filing a formal grade appeal, in an effort to understand the basis of his/her grade. Faculty are encouraged to be available to students for such discussion regarding grades so that if possible, grade disputes can be resolved informally. The Office of the University Ombuds can provide assistance to students and faculty with resolving disputes informally in an effort to bring resolution to the matter prior to the initiation of a formal complaint. If the student has evidence of discrimination or retaliation, the student may bring his/her concerns directly to the Ombuds Office without first reviewing the matter with the faculty member.
  2. Formal: In situations where such informal resolution does not occur or is not successful, the student may appeal the final course grade to the Department Chair. The appeal must be in writing and describe the precise basis for the appeal. Any pertinent information must be submitted with the appeal in order to be considered in this or subsequent appeals. The appeal must be submitted within 20 business days after the first day of classes of the next academic term (fall, spring, summer [or any other term]) after the academic term in which the final grade was awarded to the student. The Chair will invite the faculty member whose grade is appealed to provide a written response to the student’s appeal statement. The Department Chair (or the Chair’s designee) will review the allegations and conduct any additional fact finding as needed and will provide a decision in writing to the student, within 20 business days of the receipt of the complaint in the Department. The Chair’s written decision will specifically address the relevant issues raised by the student. In preparing the written decision, the Chair shall consult with the EEO officer or the Chief Diversity Officer if there is an allegation by the student that discrimination or retaliation had an impact on the grade that was awarded.
  3. The student may appeal the Department Chair’s decision within 20 business days of being notified of the Chair’s decision. Such appeal will be made, in writing, to the Dean of the College in which the Department is located. At the Dean’s discretion, the Dean can appoint an advisory panel, consisting of two (2) faculty members from outside the department where the grade was awarded and one (1) student to review the written documentation and make a recommendation to the Dean. The advisory panel may invite the student and the faculty member who awarded the grade to meet with the panel to share each party’s position on the grade dispute. The panel will provide a written recommendation to the Dean within ten (10) business days of the receipt of the appeal. The Dean will issue a decision to the student, in writing, within ten (10) business days of the receipt of the report from the advisory panel or within twenty (20) business days of the receipt of the written complaint from the student if no panel was appointed.
  4. The student may appeal the Dean’s decision to the Provost, in writing, within twenty (20) business days of being notified of the Dean’s decision. [However, if it is a graduate course, the student will direct this written appeal to the Graduate Dean, and the Graduate Dean will issue a decision to the student, in writing, within twenty (20) business days of receiving the appeal. Within twenty (20) days of that decision, the student may then appeal to the Provost as is described in this section]. The Provost, will issue a decision to the student, in writing within twenty (20) business days of receiving the appeal.
  5. The Provost’s decision is final, and decisions regarding grades may not be appealed to the Board of Regents (BoR Policy 4.7.1).
  6. Nothing in this grade appeals process prohibits the parties from settling this matter at any stage with the assistance of mediation through the Ombuds office. However, any attempt to settle the matter through mediation does not affect time deadlines for this grade appeals process.

 

Final Examination Policy
To help maintain the integrity of the academic program and to facilitate uniform procedures across colleges and schools, faculty members are to adhere to the following polices regarding final examinations:

  • A final examination is defined as an exam covering course material from mid-term (or earlier in the semester) to the end of the semester. A final examination schedule is published each semester by the Office of the Registrar.
  • Final examinations should not be given during the last week of classes.
  • For courses where a final examination may not be appropriate, the decision not to give a final examination shall be made by the instructor of record.
  • For 1 or 2 credit hour courses that are not taught in the traditional 15-week time frame or laboratory courses, the examination date and time will be determined by the instructor.

The Undergraduate and Graduate Catalogs can be found at:
https://web.kennesaw.edu/registrar/students/course_descriptions