This executive order is issued pursuant to Sections 40104 and 40104.1 of Title 5 of the California Code of Regulations, and Section II (a) of the Standing Orders of the Board of Trustees of the California State University, and is effective with the Fall 2009 academic term (semester or quarter).
This executive order establishes administrative grading symbols, minimum standards governing the assignment of grades, policies on the repetition of courses, policies on academic renewal, and provisions for appeal to ensure that the rights and responsibilities of faculty and students are properly recognized and protected.
A. Administrative Grading Symbols
The administrative grading symbols AU, I, IC, RD, RP, W, and WU along with the definitions, rules, and procedures governing their application shall be utilized as circumstances require on all California State University campuses. Use of the symbols AU and RD are optional with each campus, except that where utilized, the definition and circumstances of application shall be as provided herein. No other grading symbols except the traditional grades of A, B, C, D, or F; or the non-traditional grades of A, B, C, NC; or CR-NC (where specifically authorized) shall be employed without the express prior approval of the Executive Vice Chancellor and Chief Academic Officer. To the extent permitted by Section 40104.1 of Title 5 of the California Code of Regulations, each campus may use plus and minus designations in combination with traditional letter grades of A, B, C, and D.
1. AU (Audit). The following catalog statement reflects the
minimum requirements for enrollment as an auditor. Authority to permit enrollment in this status
rests with each campus. When audit
status is permitted, students may not change from credit to audit later than
the census date for the term for which the student is enrolled in the course
for which such grades are to be awarded.
If enrollment as an auditor is permitted, the following statement
together with any further campus requirements shall appear in the campus
Enrollment as an auditor is subject to permission of the instructor provided that enrollment in a course as an auditor shall be permitted only after students otherwise eligible to enroll on a credit basis have had an opportunity to do so. Auditors are subject to the same fee structure as credit students and regular class attendance is expected. Once enrolled as an auditor, a student may not change to credit status unless such a change is requested no later than the last day to add classes in that term. A student who is enrolled for credit may not change to audit after the _____ week of instruction. (Insert appropriate number for campus.)
2. I (Incomplete
Authorized). The “I” symbol shall be used only when the faculty member concludes that a clearly identifiable portion of course requirements cannot be met within the academic term for unforeseen reasons. An Incomplete shall not be assigned when it is necessary for the student to attend a major portion of the class when it is next offered. An Incomplete is also prohibited where the normal practice requires extension of course requirements beyond the close of a term, e.g., thesis or project type courses. In such cases, use of the “RP” symbol is required. The conditions for removal of the Incomplete shall be reduced to writing by the instructor and given to the student with a copy placed on file with the appropriate campus officer until the Incomplete is removed or the time limit for removal has passed.
A student may not re-enroll in a course for which he or she has received an “I” until that “I” has been converted to a grade other than “I”; e.g., A-F, IC.
An Incomplete shall be converted to the appropriate grade or symbol within one year following the end of the term during which it was assigned provided, however, an extension of the one-year time limit may be granted by petition for contingencies such as intervening military service and serious health or personal problems. Where campus policy requires assignment of final grades on the basis of numerous demonstrations of competency by the student, it may be appropriate for a faculty member to submit a letter grade to be assigned in the event the Incomplete is not made up within one year. If the Incomplete is not converted to a credit-bearing grade within the prescribed time limit, or any extension thereof, it shall be counted as a failing grade in calculating grade point average and progress points unless the faculty member has assigned another grade in accordance with campus policy.
The symbol “I” (Incomplete Authorized) indicates that a portion of required course work has not been completed and evaluated in the prescribed time period due to unforeseen, but fully justified, reasons and that there is still a possibility of earning credit. It is the responsibility of the student to bring pertinent information to the attention of the instructor and to determine from the instructor the remaining course requirements which must be satisfied to remove the Incomplete. A final grade is assigned when the work agreed upon has been completed and evaluated.
An “I” must normally be made up
within one calendar year immediately following the end of the term during which
it was assigned.
This limitation prevails whether or
not the student maintains continuous enrollment. Failure to complete the assigned work will
result in an “I” being converted to an “IC” symbol, unless the faculty member
assigns a specific letter grade at the time the Incomplete is assigned, which
would replace the “I” in the student’s record after the calendar year deadline.
3. IC (Incomplete
Charged). The “IC” symbol may be
used when a student who received an authorized incomplete “I” has not completed
the required course work within the allowed time limit. The “IC” replaces the “I” and is counted as a
failing grade for grade point average and progress point computation.
4. RD (Report
Delayed). The “RD” symbol may be
used where a delay in the reporting of a grade is due to circumstances beyond
the control of the student. The symbol
may be assigned by the registrar only and, if assigned, shall be replaced by a
substantive grading symbol as soon as possible.
An “RD” shall not be used in calculating grade point average or progress
points. Although no catalog statement is
required, whenever the symbol is employed, an explanatory note shall be
included in the transcript legend. The
registrar shall notify both the instructor of record and the department chair
within two weeks of the assignment of RD grades.
5. RP (Report in
Progress). The “RP” symbol shall be
used in connection with thesis, project, and similar courses in which assigned
work frequently extends beyond a single academic term and may include
enrollment in more than one term. The
“RP” symbol shall be replaced with the appropriate final grade within one year
of its assignment except for master’s thesis enrollment, in which case the time
limit shall be established by the appropriate campus authority. The president or designee may authorize
extension of established time limits.
The following statement shall appear in the campus catalog:
“RP” symbol is used in connection with courses that extend beyond one academic
term. It indicates that work is in
progress but that assignment of a final grade must await completion of
additional work. Work is to be completed
within one year except for graduate degree theses. (Insert campus statement describing the time
limit for theses.)
6. W (Withdrawal). Withdrawal from a course (or courses) may be
permitted, without restriction or penalty, during a time period established by
the campus. However, this time period
shall not extend beyond the census date.
No symbol need be recorded in such instances. In connection with all other approved
withdrawals, the “W” symbol shall be used.
6.a. Undergraduate students may withdraw from no
more than 18 semester-units (27 quarter-units).
6.b. Campuses may elect to be more restrictive on
withdrawals than the maxima listed above.
6.c. The limits apply only to units attempted at
6.d. Withdrawals after the census date and prior
to the last twenty percent of instruction may be assigned only for serious and
compelling reasons. Permission to
withdraw during this time shall be granted only with the approval of the
instructor and the department chair and/or dean as described by campus policy. All requests to withdraw under these
circumstances and all approvals shall be documented as prescribed by the
campus. The requests and approvals shall
state the reasons for the withdrawal.
Records of such approvals shall be maintained in accordance with the
campus record retention policy.
6.e. Withdrawals shall not be permitted during the
final twenty percent of instruction except in cases, such as accident or
serious illness, where the cause of withdrawal is due to circumstances clearly
beyond the student’s control and the assignment of an Incomplete is not
practicable. Withdrawals of this sort
may involve total withdrawal from the campus or may involve only one course,
except that course grade and credit or an Incomplete may be assigned for
courses in which sufficient work has been completed to permit an evaluation to
be made. Requests for permission to
withdraw under these circumstances shall be handled and filed as indicated in
the preceding paragraph, except that such requests must also be approved by the
academic administrator appointed by the president to act in such matters. Such withdrawals will not count against
maximums provided for in 6.a.
A “W” shall not be used in
calculating grade point average or progress points.
The following statement shall
appear in the campus catalog:
symbol “W” indicates that the student was permitted to withdraw from the course
after the _____ (day/week) of instruction with the approval of the instructor
and appropriate campus officials. It
carries no connotation of quality of student performance and is not used in
calculating grade point average or progress points.
In addition to this statement, the
campus catalog shall include a description of the procedures to be followed in
withdrawing from a class or from the campus.
Such procedures shall be consistent with all applicable provisions of
this executive order.
6.f. WU (Withdrawal Unauthorized). The symbol “WU” shall be used where a
student, who is enrolled on the census date, does not officially withdraw from
a course but fails to complete it. Its most
common use is in those instances where a student has not completed sufficient
course assignments or participated in sufficient course activity to make it
possible, in the opinion of the instructor, to
report satisfactory or
unsatisfactory completion of the class by use of the letter grade (A-F). The instructor shall report the last known
date of attendance by the student. The
symbol “WU” shall be identified as a failing grade in the transcript legend and
shall be counted as units attempted but not passed in computing the grade point
average. In courses which are graded
Credit/No Credit or in cases where the student has elected Credit/No Credit
evaluation, use of the symbol “WU” is inappropriate and “NC” shall be used
instead. The following statement shall
appear in the campus catalog:
symbol “WU” indicates that an enrolled student did not withdraw from the course
and also failed to complete course requirements. It is used when, in the opinion of the
instructor, completed assignments or course activities or both were
insufficient to make normal evaluation of academic performance possible. For purposes of grade point average and
progress point computation this symbol is equivalent to an “F.”
If local campus policy prescribes
other instances where this symbol may be used, the foregoing statement shall be
extended to cover such instances.
B. Repetition of Courses
Undergraduate students may repeat courses only if they earned grades
lower than a C.
Repeats with “Grade Forgiveness” (Grade forgiveness is the circumstance in
which the new grade replaces the former grade in terms of the calculation of
2.a. Undergraduate students may repeat up to 16
semester-units (24 quarter-units) with grade forgiveness.
2.b. Undergraduate students may repeat an
individual course for grade forgiveness no more than two times.
2.c. Grade forgiveness shall
not be applicable to courses for which the original grade was the result of a
finding of academic dishonesty.
3. Course Repeats with “Grades Averaged”:
Campuses may permit undergraduate
students to repeat an additional 12 semester-units (18 quarter-units), i.e.,
units in addition to the 16 semester-units (24 quarter- units) for which grade
“replacement” is permitted. In such
instances the repeat grade shall not replace the original grade; instead both
grades shall be calculated into the student’s overall grade-point average.
4. Campuses may elect to be more restrictive on
course repeats than the maxima listed above.
5. The limits
apply only to units completed at the campus.
C. Academic Renewal
1. Under certain circumstances, a campus of the
university may disregard up to two semester or three quarters of previous
undergraduate coursework taken at any institution from all considerations
associated with the requirements for a baccalaureate degree.
These circumstances are:
1.a. The student has formally requested such
action and presented evidence that substantiates that the work in question is
substandard and not representative of her/his current scholastic ability and/or
performance level, and
1.b. The previous level of performance was due to
extenuating circumstances, and
1.c. All degree requirements except the earning of
at least a “C” (2.0) grade point average have or will soon have been met.
University policy regarding academic renewal is not intended
to permit the improvement of a student’s grade point average beyond what is
required for graduation.
determination, that one or more terms shall be disregarded, shall be based on
careful review of evidence by a committee appointed by the president, which
shall include the designee of the chief academic officer and consist of at
least three members.
Such final determination shall be made only when:
2.a. Five years have elapsed since the most recent
work to be disregarded was completed, and
2.b. The student has earned in residence at the
campus since the most recent work being considered was completed:
2.b.i. 15 semester (22 quarter) units with at least
a 3.0 GPA or
2.b.ii 30 semester (45 quarter) units with at least
a 2.5 GPA or
semester (67 quarter) units with at least a 2.0 GPA
When such action is taken, the student’s record shall be
annotated so that it is readily evident to users of the record, that NO work
taken during the disregarded term(s), even if satisfactory, has been applied
towards the meeting of degree requirements.
However, all work must remain legible on the record.
If another institution has acted to remove coursework from
consideration, such action shall be honored in terms of that institution’s
policy. But, elimination of any
coursework’s consideration shall reduce by one term the two semester/three
quarter maximum on the application of academic renewal to an individual CSU
student’s record. Campuses may adopt
more stringent policies with regard to academic renewal, but no more lenient
policy maybe used regarding the removal of coursework being considered for the
meeting of baccalaureate degree requirements.
of Grades and Grade Appeals
The following principles support the minimum standards
governing the assignment of grades and provisions for appeals:
have the sole right and responsibility to provide careful evaluation and timely
assignment of appropriate grades.
(Administrative grading symbols may be assigned only in accordance with
the provisions of this executive order.)
is a presumption that grades assigned are correct. It is the responsibility of anyone appealing
an assigned grade to demonstrate otherwise.
the absence of compelling reasons, such as instructor or clerical error,
prejudice or capriciousness, the grade assigned by the instructor of record is
to be considered final.
who believe that an appropriate grade has not been assigned should first seek
to resolve the matter informally with the instructor of record. If the matter cannot be resolved informally,
the student may present his/her case to the appropriate campus entity, have it
reviewed and, where justified, receive a grade correction.
the instructor of record does not assign a grade, or if he/she does not change
an assigned grade when the necessity to do so has been established by
appropriate campus procedures, it is the responsibility of other qualified faculty
to do so.
faculty” means one or more persons with academic training comparable to the
instructor of record who are presently on the faculty at that campus.
campus faculty senate has authority and responsibility for providing policy and
procedures for the proper implementation of the foregoing principles.
campus president is responsible for ensuring that the policies and procedures
developed by the faculty senate are in conformance with the principles and
provisions of this executive order and for ensuring that such established
policies and procedures are carried out.
Each campus shall implement policy and procedures covering
the assignment of grades and grade appeals which include at least the
time and manner of reporting course grades including provisions for assuring
that such grades have been assigned by the instructor of record.
under which the instructor of record may change a grade once assigned, and
procedures for making such changes.
means for preliminary review of potential appeals that may resolve differences
before initiation of formal proceedings.
for which a grade appeal is permitted.
or more committees for hearing grade appeals which shall provide safeguards to
assure due process for both student and instructor. Such committees shall include student
membership. Student members shall not
participate in assignment of grades.
6. 6. Procedures whereby grades are assigned by other qualified faculty in circumstances where the instructor of record does not do so, including those instances where a grade change is recommended by a grade appeals committee and the instructor of record does not carry out that recommendation.
of time limits for completion of various steps in the appeal process and of the
time period during which an appeal may be brought.
of the extent of the authority of appeal committee(s), including provisions
which clearly limit grade changes to instances where there is a finding that
the grade was improperly assigned.
of committee authority to actions which are consistent with other campus and
10. A statement
that there is a presumption that grades assigned are correct. Thus, the burden
of proof rests with the individual who is appealing.
for dealing with allegations of improper procedure.
of authority to revise policies and procedures for grade appeals to the campus faculty senate. The campus president is responsible for ensuring
that such revisions conform to the principles and provisions of this executive
13. 13. Provision for annual reporting to the campus president and campus faculty senate on the number and disposition of cases heard.
These policies and related procedures shall be published in a manner that ensures that all faculty and students have an opportunity to be aware of them (in class schedules, faculty manuals, student handbooks, etc.). While it is not necessary that policy and procedures be published in their entirety in generally circulated documents, such publications shall ensure that the students are aware that policy and procedures exist and where they may be obtained.