Grading Guidelines

Grades and Transcripts

Definitions

These terms appear throughout this policy document, and these general definitions are offered to help clarify what exactly these terms mean.

Transcript: An official transcript is a complete, chronological representation of a student’s academic record. It includes all courses attempted at Portland Community College, including those withdrawn from and those repeated. It also includes a summary of all transfer credits accepted by PCC.

Drop Deadline: A course is “dropped” from a student’s registration when the request to un-enroll from the course is received before the published drop deadline for the course. Dropping a course removes the course from the student’s PCC transcript and also any related tuition/fees for the course. The drop deadline is different for each term and is dependent on the length of the class. For specific information about the drop deadlines in current and future terms, please refer to the PCC Academic Calendar.

Withdrawal Deadline: A course is recorded as withdrawn with a ‘W’ mark on the transcript when a student request to un-enroll from the course is received after the drop deadline but before the withdrawal deadline. The withdrawal deadline is different for each term and is dependent on the length of the class. For specific information about the withdrawal deadlines in current and future terms, please refer to the PCC Academic Calendar.

Grades

Roles and Responsibilities

  • Students are responsible for:
    • Understanding the default grade option for each credit class when they register.  See the “Grade Options” section below. (Also see Grade Options, Student Records.)
    • Making any informed and permitted changes to their grade option selection subsequent to their registration and prior to the withdrawal deadline.
    • Finding out if a specific grade option is required for courses in their programs of study.
    • Maintaining regular and successive attendance and participation in registered classes. Repeated absences may affect final grades. (see G302.)
    • Dropping or withdrawing from registered classes prior the respective deadlines or they will earn grades for the classes.
    • Being aware of their final grades/marks on their Academic Transcripts. And initiating the grade appeal process, if appropriate. (See Student Rights and Responsibilities Handbook, "Right to protection from improper academic evaluation.")
    • Seeking appropriate guidance and advice related to paying for classes and Academic Standing (e.g., financial aid, academic advisor, veteran's benefits, etc).
  • Faculty are responsible for:
    • Clearly explaining the grade criteria and expectations, including attendance and make-up policies, in the class syllabus. (See S704, Syllabus.)
    • Understanding the default grading option and all available grade options for the courses they teach.
    • Informing students, upon request, of their current progress or grade in the class.
    • Maintaining regular and substantive interaction with students throughout the term.
    • Recording accurate final grades/marks according to each student’s selected grade option by 5pm on the first Monday after the end of the term.
    • Recording the last date of attendance for each student who earns an F or NP. (See G302.)
    • Retaining records of student work and grades in all classes for a minimum of three years after the academic year in which the original grades were recorded.
  • Subject Area Committees (SACs) are responsible:
    • Specifying which grade option(s) are available for each credit course in their subject areas.
    • Determining the default grade option for each credit course in their subject areas.
    • Specifying whether Audit is available for each credit course in their subject areas.
    • Determining if a specific grade option is required for courses applied to Degrees or Certificates in the Subject Area.

Grade Options for Credit Courses

All courses have a default grade option which is determined by the SAC.

  • Letter grade option (standard A-F system)
  • This grade option uses A, B, C, D, and F, as described in the table below
  • This grade option is not available for some courses
  • PCC does not use + or - 
  • A majority of classes use the A-F grade option by default. If the default grade option for a course is P/NP, and A-F is available, students may change to the A-F grade option by completing the official process prior to the withdrawal deadline.
Letter Grade Description Quality Points for Credit
A Excellent 4.0
B Good 3.0
C Satisfactory 2.0
D Unsatisfactory but receiving credit 1.0
F Fail 0.0
  • Pass/No Pass grade option
    • This grade option uses P and NP as described in the table below.
    • This grade option is not available for some courses.
    • P and NP grades are not included in the computation of a student’s GPA.
    • If the default grade option for a course is A-F, and P/NP is available, students may change to the P/NP grade option by completing the official process prior to the withdrawal deadline.
    • This grade option is not allowed for courses used to satisfy the requirements for some degrees and certificates.
    • Students planning to transfer should be aware that other colleges and universities often have restrictions on courses taken pass/no pass.
Grade Description Definition
P Pass This grade represents satisfactory achievement for which the student would have earned a grade of C or better under the A-F letter grade option.
NP No Pass This grade represents unsatisfactory achievement for which the student would have earned a grade of D or F under the A-F letter grade option. This grade does not count as credit toward a degree or certificate.

Marks for Credit Courses

  • I:    Incomplete
    • This is a temporary mark an instructor may use when a student has successfully completed the majority of a class but needs additional time to complete some of the requirements.
    • This mark should only be used when the student does not need additional instruction to complete the course.
    • Prior to submitting this mark, the instructor and student must sign a written agreement that describes the missing requirements, the basis for the requirements’ evaluation, the effect on the final grade computation, and the completion date (within one year of the end of term in which the class was taught) for the requirements.  The written agreement must also indicate what final grade the student will receive if the identified coursework is not completed by the completion date. A copy of the agreement must be shared with the appropriate administrator’s office.
    • If no replacement grade for an I mark has been recorded by the instructor within one year of the end of the class’ term, the I mark will automatically be changed to the final grade indicated by the instructor in the written Incomplete agreement and when the instructor submitted final grades for the class.
    • A student cannot complete an Incomplete by retaking the class.
    • This mark does not entitle the student to repeat a course without paying tuition.
    • It may be impossible to receive this mark in some courses (e.g., courses where equipment use is required).
  • W:    Withdrawal
    • This mark is assigned when a student has completed the official withdrawal process after the drop deadline and before the withdrawal deadline.  See “Withdrawing from Classes” in the Transcripts section below.
    • Withdrawals may affect Financial Aid or other funding sources, and students should speak to a Financial Aid representative and/or to a representative from their other funding source before withdrawing from a class.
  • CIP:    Course in Progress
    • This is a temporary mark used only for designated courses in modular or self-paced programs that do not conform to the normal academic calendar or for flight courses.
    • A student cannot complete a CIP by retaking the course.
    • This mark does not entitle a student to repeat a course without paying tuition.
    • If the course is not completed within a year, the CIP changes to an F or NP (No Pass) on the transcript, based on the Student’s prior grade option.
  • AUD:    Audit
    • This mark may be used only by Registration.
    • A student who audits a class is permitted to attend a class without receiving a grade or credit for the class even though tuition/fees must be paid.
    • This mark is not available for some courses.
    • To be assigned an AUD mark, a student must obtain permission from the instructor and notify Registration prior to 5:00 pm on Friday of the first week of the term.
    • This mark does not satisfy requirements for entry into courses where prerequisites are specified.

Marks for Continuing Education Units (CEUs)

Grade Description Definition
SC Satisfactory Completion This mark is used when a student satisfactorily completes continuing education units (CEUs).
NSC Not Satisfactory Completion This mark is used when a student does not satisfactorily complete CEUs.
 

Marks for Non-Credit ABE and ESOL Courses

Mark Description Readiness for the next level
CM Successful Completion This mark is used when a student successfully completes a class and is ready to move on to the next level.
PR Progressing This mark is used when a student successfully completes a class and is ready to move on to the next level.
N Needs Improvement This mark is used when a student’s progress needs improvement in one or more of the following areas in order to meet course outcomes: attendance, assignment completion, classroom participation, and/or CASAS level gains.
L Left the Class* This mark is used when a student stops attending a class. The student must repeat the course in order to continue in the non-credit program.
UP Unsatisfactory Progress This mark is used when a student should not continue in the non-credit program. (Reasons may be inability to progress after repeated attempts, behavior, or other reasons.)

Transcripts 

Computing Grade Point Average (GPA)

  • Grade points are computed on the basis of four points for each credit of A, three points for each credit of B, two points for each credit of C, one point for each credit of D, and zero points for each credit of F.

  • Grade points are computed using the values in the above table under “Grade Options for Credit Courses," multiplying the point value by the number of credits earned.

  • The grade point average (GPA) is the quotient of the total grade points divided by the total credits in which letter grades (A, B, C, D, and F) are received.

  • Grades of P and NP and all marks (SC, NSC, I, W, X, CIP, E, NS, AUD, CM, PR, N, L, and UP) are not included in the computation of the GPA.

  • GPA is computed on PCC grades only.

Repeated Courses

  • When a student takes the same credit course more than once, the grade earned for each attempt will appear on the transcript.

  • The highest grade earned for a course will be calculated into the student’s GPA and included in the student’s total credits earned; all other grades earned for that course will be denoted with an “E” on the transcript and excluded from both the GPA and the total credits earned unless a course can be taken more than once for credit and then the oldest grade for that course will be excluded only when the repeat limit is exceeded.

  • Students planning to transfer and/or relying on funding sources such as Federal Financial Aid or Veteran's Benefits should be aware that other colleges, universities, and agencies often have restrictions on the number of courses which can be repeated  courses. 

Grade Changes

  • A grade cannot be changed once it has been recorded in the Office of the Registrar unless an error or an omission occurred in assigning the original grade. An instructor could change a grade in response to incorrect data entry or miscalculation. An instructor may also change a grade if a student submits coursework that catalyzes a grade change (e.g., submitting late coursework which changes an "Incomplete" to a letter grade).

  • All grade change requests must be submitted by the instructor within one year of the grade submission, including grade changes made as a result of resolving a disputed grade, completing an Incomplete, and requests to remove a grade/course from the transcript.

  • If the instructor is no longer employed by PCC and, following a good faith effort to contact the instructor, the instructor is not available for consultation, a grade change may be made by the appropriate Division Dean providing there is sufficient evidence to make the change.

  • If a grade dispute cannot be resolved with the instructor, the student may follow the grade appeal procedure.

Dropping from Classes

  • Drops are available for any course that a student is officially registered for regardless of whether that course appears on an official transcript.

  • A student may drop a registered class by completing the official drop process prior to the drop deadline.

  • Such action by a student shall result in no charges for the class (or reimbursement if charges have already been paid); for credit courses, the class will be removed from the student’s transcript if the course is dropped before the deadline.

Withdrawing from Credit Classes

  • Withdraws are only available for credit courses that appear on an official transcript.

  • Students may withdraw from a registered credit class by completing the official withdrawal process after the drop deadline and prior to the withdrawal deadline.

  • This action shall result in a mark of W appearing for the class on the student’s transcript.

  • If a student does not withdraw before the withdrawal deadline, a grade will be assigned by the instructor.

Grades/Marks Overview 

A comprehensive list of Grades/Marks which may appear on PCC transcripts

Grade/Mark Description GPA Quality Points per credit
A Excellent 4.0
B Good 3.0
C Satisfactory 2.0
D Unsatisfactory but receiving credit 1.0
F Fail 0.0
P Pass - Satisfactory achievement for which the student would have earned a grade of C or better under the A-F letter grade option. Credit granted. N/A
NP No Pass - Unsatisfactory achievement for which the student would have earned a grade of D or F under the A-F letter grade option. No credit granted. N/A
I Incomplete N/A
CIP Course In Progress N/A
CIPR CIP Re-register* N/A
AUD Audit N/A
W Withdrawal N/A
NR Never recorded N/A
X Insufficient basis for grade N/A
R Repeated course N/A
SC Satisfactory Completion (CEUs) N/A
NSC Non-satisfactory completion (CEUs) N/A