System of Grading
The marks used at Graceland University to indicate grades and the grade points for each semester hour of credit are as follows:
A - 4 grade points. Thorough mastery of subject, and disposition and ability to apply it to complex and unfamiliar situations.
B - 3 grade points. Demonstrated competence in subject matter mastery and clearly above-average ability to handle familiar to somewhat complex problems in the field.
C - 2 grade points. Effective learning and the development of the skill necessary to handle the familiar and less complex problems in the field.
D - 1 grade point. Limited ability to see relationships and to make applications except as specifically directed. Lowest passing grade for admission to the next dependent course.
F - No grade points. Course must be repeated for admission to dependent course(s).
P - Pass, C or better.
I - Incomplete, no grade points. Minimum course requirements unfinished for reasons acceptable to the instructor. Incomplete grades must be initiated by the student. An "Incomplete Grade Contract", signed by the student and the instructor, is required before an Incomplete can be recorded. Grade given at the discretion of the instructor at completion of the work.
In-Progress, no grade points.
NR - Not Recorded, no grade points.
W or WD - Withdrawn from the course at a specified date.
A semester hour (s.h.) is the unit of measure used at Graceland University to signify the amount of work that is associated with successful completion of a course.
Awarding semester hour credit is based upon evidence of student achievement. Student performance is measured as it relates to the prescribed learning outcomes of the course.
Graceland University offers courses in a variety of instructional modalities, including:
- Face-to-face, blended, and online instruction
- 3-week, 8-week, and 15-week terms
Regardless of the length of term or the mode of instruction, it is expected that a student who is prepared for college-level work and reasonably motivated to succeed will spend a minimum of 37.5 hours per semester hour credit in course-related activity. This includes actual classroom instruction time, exams (preparing and taking exams), class preparation (e.g. reading and written assignments, project work, etc.), and other class-relevant activities (e.g. lab hours, field trips, etc.).
Traditional face-to-face classes are reasonably expected to meet in a face-to-face environment a minimum of 680 minutes per credit hour, e.g. for a three (3) semester hour course.
- 41 fifty-minute face to face sessions plus final exam time (semester-based class) or 28 seventy-five-minute face to face sessions plus final exam time (semester-based class).
- 8 four-hour face to face sessions (8-week subsession in trimester), or 14 three-hour face to face sessions (3-week sessions)
As described above, online classes will meet according to the model described herein, e.g.: spend a minimum of 37.5 hours per semester hour credit in course-related activity. This includes actual classroom instruction time, exams (preparing and taking exams), class preparation (e.g.: reading and written assignments, project work, etc.), and other class-relevant activities (e.g.: lab hours, field trips, etc.). Exceptions to this may be granted by the appropriate Academic Dean.
In order to demonstrate compliance with U.S. Department of Education regulations and standards established by the Higher Learning Committee, all Graceland University instructors will create a good faith estimate of the learning time associated with each course they teach.
Effective with the Spring 2012 terms, the estimates of learning time will be submitted to the Vice President of Institutional Effectiveness and published in a master syllabus to be maintained in the office of the appropriate Dean for all courses offered.
University policy allows a grade to be changed by the instructor if the instructor has a legitimate reason to change the grade. Reasons for changing a course grade include, but are not limited to, an error in determining the letter grade, an error in recording the letter grade, and evidence of violation of academic integrity. Instructors may not change a grade after it has been submitted to the Registrar by allowing the student to do additional work after the session has ended, unless the grade submitted was an incomplete.
Courses in which a student has earned a failing grade may be repeated for credit according to school policy. If a course is repeated, the last grade earned will be the one to compute the cumulative grade point average. If a course is repeated, the original grade remains on the student's permanent record with an indication that the student has repeated the course.
Graceland University may offer graduate-level study in selected topics from various disciplines upon approval by the Graduate Council. Graduate-level topics courses are repeatable for credit when topics vary and may be offered for a maximum of 3 s.h. on a letter-graded basis.
A written request for a grade of incomplete ("I") is initiated by the student at least two weeks prior to the course end date. Faculty may assign a grade of "I" in cases when students are unable to complete the work for a course due to reasons beyond their control, or in cases when the faculty deems an "I" the most appropriate grade to give. The grade of "I" should not be abused and should be used only in cases where the incomplete is unavoidable and legitimate. Students may be required to provide formal documentation to support an incomplete grade request.
An electronic "Incomplete Grade Contract" that includes the reason for the incomplete, work that must be completed to earn a final course grade and the required completion date is generated when an "I" is submitted as a course grade. The completion date must be no later than the last day of the next scheduled term. For example, an Incomplete Grade Contract for a course in the A session of a 16 week trimester will have a completion date of the last day of the B session in that same 16 week trimester, and a contract for a course scheduled during the Spring trimester will have a completion date of the last day of the Summer trimester. The "I" is a temporary grade and will be automatically converted to an "F" if the course has not been completed by the end of the next scheduled term. Extensions beyond one scheduled term are not allowed for graduate courses.