Grading System

Number: 

1.13

Policy Name: 

Grading System

Sponsor: 

Abraham Dones (Revision)
Assistant Dean, Admissions, Registration, and Records/Registrar

Lisa Inman
Dean, Student Development and Support

Custodian: 

Admissions, Registration, and Records

Effective Date(s): 

August 2015; August 2017 (Revision); January 2019 (Revision);
March 5, 2021 (Revision)

Next Review Date:

2022-2023

Location:

durhamtech.edu/policies-and-procedures/grading-system

Citation: 

SACSCOC C.S. 10.2

 

Policy Statement

Durham Technical Community College employs a letter grading system to evaluate student performance in meeting the stated objectives of the classroom, laboratory, shop, clinical setting, or work experience.

Procedure

In accordance with the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)’s Principles of Accreditation, Durham Technical Community College (Durham Tech) makes its grading policy publicly available. The College currently uses the following letter grades, credit types, and grade points for credit courses: 

1Developmental Education or EFL course grades
2Historical grades which may appear on transcripts for past terms but are no longer assigned
3Temporary grades assigned as a result of/during emergencies (e.g., pandemics) and adverse conditions

Grade/Credit Type Significance Grade Points Per Semester Hour
A Superior Work 4
A*2/PA2 Superior Work in Developmental Education 4
AU Audit  
B Very Good Work 3
B*2/PB2 Very Good Work in Developmental Education 3
C Average Work 2
CC2 Completion Credit for Developmental Math Module  
CE Credit by Examination  
D Below Average Work 1
F Unsatisfactory Work (Must Repeat Course) 0
F2 Failure Due to Excessive Absences 0
I Incomplete (Make-up Work Required)  
IE3 Incomplete-Emergency (Make-up Work Required)  
IP2 In Progress (Must Repeat Developmental Course)  
NC Non-Course Credit  
NP2 Not Passing (Must Repeat Developmental Math Course)  
NS No Show (Student Never Attended Course)  
P Pass  
P1, P2, P3 Pass Tier 1, Tier 2, Tier 3 in Transition English and Transition Math  
R1 Repeat (Must Repeat Developmental or English as a Foreign Language (EFL) Course)  
SR Senior Citizen Audit  
TR Transfer Credit  
W Withdrawal  
WE3 Withdrawal-Emergency  
WP2 Withdrawal – Passing  
X Grade Not Yet Reported  



Explanation of Grades

Durham Tech assigns the following grades when a student does not achieve a grade of A, B, C, D, or F: 

  • AU: Audit – The grade of AU is assigned when a student enrolls in and regularly attends a course on a non-credit basis. Enrollment is subject to space availability and prior approval. Refer to the Course Auditing procedure for additional information. 
     
  • CC: Completion Credit for Developmental Math Module – The historical grade of CC was assigned for each of the modules a student completed within a Developmental Math Shell (DMS) course. The CC grade was calculated into the student’s completed hours for the purpose of determining completion rates but was not calculated into the student’s GPA. For instance, students who registered for DMS 002 were expected to complete two (2) DMA modules within that two-credit-hour shell course; the two (2) completed modules (e.g., DMA 010 and DMA 020) each earned the grade of CC. If students completed only one (1) of the required modules, they earned the grade of CC for the first module (DMA 010) but not the second (DMA 020).
     
  • CE: Credit by Examination – The grade of CE is assigned when a student has applied for and successfully completed the requirements for credit by examination. Qualified credit students with relevant prior training or experience may earn academic credit for certain courses by examination. The CE grade does not transfer to other institutions; the credit is typically used to document relevant prior training, work experience, or competencies.

    Students may receive credit by examination for selected courses. Refer to each program’s credit by examination page for additional information.

    To qualify for credit by examination, students must: 

    • be enrolled in a credit program and registered for the course for which they wish to receive credit by examination; and

    • score at least eighty-five (85) percent on the examination. (The required passing score may be higher for certain courses.) The examination may be taken only once, and a student failing the examination must complete the course for a grade.
       

    No more than ten (10) percent of the total credit hours required by a student’s plan of study may be earned by examination without prior approval from the Vice President of Academics and Guided Career Pathways/Chief Academic Officer.

    The following groups are not eligible for credit by examination:

    • Students graduating with a CE grade as part of the sixty (60) University Transfer program hours. The CE grade is not transferable under the Comprehensive Articulation Agreement (CAA);
       
    • Veterans who are financing their education through veterans’ benefits are not eligible for credit by examination because their eligibility requires attendance throughout the duration of the course.
       
    • Career and College Promise (CCP) students. Credit by examination is not an option for high school students.
       

    Students interested in receiving credit by examination should contact the appropriate program director at least five (5) calendar days prior to the start of the term. The program director will provide the student with an application and information about the process, including deadlines and whether a pre-test is required. The student must complete their examination within the first fourteen (14) calendar days of the term. They must submit their application to the program director and obtain approval within the first seven (7) calendar days of the term.

    The program director will submit the student’s application, exam, and results to the dean. Upon approval, the dean will forward the documentation to the Vice President of Academics and Guided Career Pathways/Chief Academic Officer. Upon approval, the Vice President of Academics and Guided Career Pathways/Chief Academic Officer will send a copy of the documentation to Admissions, Registration, and Records. Admissions, Registration, and Records will verify the student’s enrollment and course registration; ensure that the ten (10) percent limit of credits earned by examination has not been exceeded; assign the CE grade; and maintain all related documentation.

    Students who achieve the minimum passing score must not drop the related course; they must remain on the roster to receive credit for the course. Students who fail to pass the examination must complete the course to receive credit.
     

  • F2: Failure Due to Excessive Absences – The grade of F2 is assigned when a student misses more than the allowed percentage of class meetings as outlined in the Class Absences policy.
     

  • I: Incomplete (Make-up Work Required) – The grade of I may be assigned if a student has completed at least eighty (80) percent of the coursework and has a grade of C or better at the time of the I grade request. The I grade is reserved for extenuating circumstances (e.g., accident, illness) and is not appropriate for students who otherwise fail to turn in final assignments by the last regular class day or fail to appear for the final examination. Deans have the discretion to determine grading options for students who have completed less than eighty (80) percent of the coursework but have maintained a grade of C or better average at the time of the I grade request.

    Students who wish to request the I grade must confer with their instructor and submit their request on or before the last class day of the term. Students must provide the instructor with documentation of the extenuating circumstances necessitating the I grade. Please Note: Students’ financial aid eligibility may be impacted by I grades. Students should consult with a Financial Aid advisor to discuss any potential impact.

    If the instructor determines that the student’s circumstances warrant assigning the I grade, they will complete an I grade request before final grades are due for the course; the request will include written instructions specifying the work to be completed and the completion deadline. The instructor will submit the request to the program director/chair, who will forward it to the dean. Only the dean or their designee may approve an I grade request.

    The dean will notify the director/chair, instructor, and student of their decision in writing within three (3) working days. The dean or their designee will notify Admissions, Registration, and Records of approved requests.

    When the student completes their coursework according to the instructor’s requirements, a grade for that work will be assigned and computed into the final course grade. The instructor will submit a Change of Grade form via eForms to the director/chair, who will forward it to the dean. If the student does not complete the coursework by the end of the subsequent semester, the I grade will be changed to an F.

    If the incomplete course is an essential prerequisite for a subsequent course, the student may be required to remove the I grade within a significantly shorter period of time. Otherwise, the subsequent course must be dropped. If a student receives an I grade during the term before the term of graduation, they must remove the grade by the midterm of the term in which they intend to graduate. For example, a student with a May 2021 graduation date must remove I grades assigned during the Fall 2020 semester by the midterm of Spring 2021.
     

  • IE: Incomplete-Emergency (Make-up Work Required) – Due to COVID-19, the College established the grade of IE during the Spring 2020 term. Students assigned the grade of IE during the Spring 2020 semester had until the last day of the Fall 2020 semester to meet the requirements for Spring 2020 courses. The College may extend the completion deadline should conditions related to COVID-19 persist for an extended period. Should the College continue to operate under conditions related to COVID-19 in subsequent terms, students who are assigned the grade of IE will have until the last day of two (2) terms following the term during which the IE grade was assigned. For example, IE grades assigned for the Summer 2020 term would require completion by the end of the Spring 2021 term.

    Students may be assigned the IE grade if they have completed at least sixty (60) percent of the coursework and have a grade of C or better at the time of the request. The IE grade is assigned only when extenuating circumstances related to COVID-19 exist or arise. Examples of extenuating circumstances include, but are not limited to, the following:

    • Student illness;
    • Illness of someone the student provides care for;
    • Financial hardship; and
    • Lack of appropriate technology.


    The program dean will use their discretion to determine if the IE grade may be assigned for students who have completed less than sixty (60) percent of the coursework but have maintained an average grade of C or better as of the time of the request.


    Please Note: Students’ financial aid eligibility may be impacted by IE grades. Students should consult with a Financial Aid advisor to discuss any potential impact.

    Refer to the Incomplete-Emergency (IE) Grade procedure for additional information.
     

  • IP: In Progress (Must Repeat Developmental Course) – The historical grade of IP was assigned when a Developmental Education student earned a course average below the threshold to earn a passing grade for the course but made significant progress toward meeting course objectives.
     

  • NC: Non-Course Credit – The grade of NC is assigned when a student earns non-course credit for validated industry-recognized credentials based upon evidence that the competencies required for the credential also meet the learning outcomes or competencies of the course.
     

  • NP: Not Passing (Must Repeat Developmental Math Course) – The historical grade of NP was assigned when a student in Developmental Mathematics Shell courses (courses with a DMS prefix) did not master all course competencies in the required modules within the shell course.
     

  • NS: No Show (Student Never Attended Course) – The grade of NS is assigned when a student registers but never attends a course before the ten (10) percent point in attendance.
     

  • P: Pass – The grade of P is assigned when a student successfully completes a course. The P grade is calculated into the student’s completed hours for the purpose of determining completion rates but is not calculated into the student’s GPA.
     

  • P1, P2, P3: Pass Tier 1, Pass Tier 2, Pass Tier 3 in Transition English and Transition Math – The grades of P1 and P2 are assigned after a student successfully completes Tier 1 and Tier 2, respectively, of Transition English (ENG 002). The grades of P1, P2, and P3 are assigned after a student successfully completes Tier 1, Tier 2, and Tier 3; respectively; of Transition Math (MAT 003). These grades are calculated into the student’s completed hours for the purpose of determining completion rates but are not calculated into the student’s GPA.
     

  • R: Repeat (Must Repeat Developmental or English as a Foreign Language (EFL) Course) – The grade of R is assigned only in some Developmental Education and EFL courses (most courses with a number of 99 or lower) when a student does not master all course competencies. The student must re-enroll in the course before progressing to the next level of coursework. The R grade is calculated into the student’s attempted hours for the purpose of determining completion rates but is not calculated into the student’s GPA.
     

  • SR: Senior Citizen Audit – The grade of SR is assigned when a senior student (an individual who is at least sixty-five (65) years of age as of the first day of the course) enrolls in and regularly attends a course on a non-credit basis. Enrollment is subject to space availability and prior approval. Refer to the Course Auditing procedure for additional information.
     

  • TR: Transfer Credit – The grade of TR is assigned when a student earns transfer credit for courses taken at other accredited institutions based upon evidence that the competencies required for the transferred course also meet the learning outcomes or competencies of a course offered at Durham Tech.
     

  • W: Withdrawal – The grade of W is assigned when a student officially withdraws or, in certain circumstances, is dropped from a course by the instructor during the first sixty (60) percent of the class meeting hours. After the sixty (60) percent date, a letter grade other than W may be assigned for the course, depending on the circumstances under which the student left the course. (Refer to the College Catalog for more information about withdrawals and the Drop, Withdrawal, and Refund Deadlines page for the last day to withdraw from a course with a grade of W.)
     

  • WE: Withdrawal-Emergency – Due to COVID-19, the College established the grade of WE during the Spring 2020 term. The WE grade is assigned in cases where students are not able to continue in a course due to extenuating circumstances related to COVID-19. Examples of extenuating circumstances include, but are not limited to, the following:

    • Student illness;
    • Illness of someone the student provides care for;
    • Financial hardship; and
    • Lack of appropriate technology.
       

    Students’ financial aid eligibility is not impacted by WE grades.

    Refer to the Withdrawal-Emergency (WE) Grade procedure for additional information.
     

  • WP: Withdrawal-Passing – The historical grade of WP was assigned when a Developmental Education student retested on the ASSET or COMPASS test after the sixth week of the term and scored well enough to proceed to the next level.
     

  • X: Grade Not Yet Reported – The grade of X is assigned when a student’s final grade has not yet been reported by their instructor.
     

Purpose of Revisions

August 2017 Revision: The previous procedure listed F2 as a historical grade. Since the College resumed its use of the grade in Fall 2016, the procedure was revised to reflect this change.

January 2019 Revision: In Fall 2018, the grading system was updated to reflect changes under the state-wide reorganization of developmental education (Reinforced Instruction for Student Excellence (RISE)). The revised system was implemented in Spring 2019.

June 2020 Revision: Due to the COVID-19 emergency, the College added two grades to the grading system in Spring 2020: Incomplete-Emergency (IE) and Withdrawal-Emergency (WE). For recordkeeping purposes, the policy was revised to document the incorporation of these grades.

Definition

Working Days – Days when the College is open and operating under a normal schedule. This excludes weekends, closings due to adverse conditions, and holidays.