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Grading Policies

Your college work at El Camino is evaluated, graded, and reported by instructors and professors. Instructors maintain a careful record of graded assignments that note a minimum of three grades plus the final examination grade for each class and each student. 

Grades, Grade Points, and Grade-Point Average

Grade points are numerical values that indicate the scholarship level of letter grades. The grade-point average equals the total grade points divided by the total units attempted for credit courses in which letter grades have been assigned. Grade points are assigned according to the scale in the chart below. For purposes of this policy, a week of a semester is defined as one having at least three days of campus-wide instruction, as scheduled in the El Camino College calendar.


Grading Symbols
A Excellent 4 points for each unit
B Good 3 points for each unit
C Satisfactory 2 points for each unit
D Passing, less than satisfactory 1 point for each unit
F Failing 0 points for each unit
P Pass, at least satisfactory (formerly C for Credit)  
NP No Pass, less than satisfactory (formerly NC for No Credit)  
I Incomplete  
IP In Progress  
W Withdrawal  
MW Military Withdrawal  
EW Excused Withdrawal  
RD Report Delayed  

Some courses are offered only on a P/NP basis, while others are offered on a P/NP or letter grade option, depending on what the student selects by the fourth week of a 16-week class or 30% of a class. If earning a P grade, you will receive unit credit toward graduation if the course is degree applicable. Noncredit courses may also be offered P/NP. Unit credit earned in P/NP courses will not be considered when calculating grade-point average.

Designation of P/NP or option P/NP grading is included in the course description. All grades in credit courses except W and P/NP will be considered in determining the grade-point average. While NP and W grades are not used in grade-point determination, an excessive number of withdrawals or NPs is subject to course repetition limitations and probation or dismissal regulations.

Opting for a Pass/No Pass instead of a grade is a BIG DEAL. For information on the grading basis decision process, you can watch a video, view this presentation or contact a counselor for guidance. Deadlines for each semester/term are on the Pass/No Pass form. P/NP is nonreversible.

Pass/No Pass Request Form

You may receive a notation of “I” (Incomplete) and a default grade when you did not complete your academic work for unforeseeable, emergency, and justifiable reasons. The Incomplete grade to be assigned by the instructor and designated on the student’s transcript will be IB, IC, ID, IF, or INP. Collectively, these grades will be referred to as an “I” grade.

The written record containing the conditions for removal of the “I” will be held in the Records Office through the sixth week of the next regular semester. If you do not complete the required work by the end of the sixth week, the “I” will automatically be removed, and the default grade will be assigned. Any extension of the time for completion of the required work must be approved by the division dean. You may petition for the extension of time on a form provided by the Admissions Office.

The “IP” symbol shall be used only in those courses that extend beyond the regular end of an academic term. It indicates that work is “in progress,” but that assignment of an evaluative symbol (grade) must await its completion. The “IP” symbol shall remain on your permanent record in order to satisfy enrollment documentation. The appropriate grade and unit credit shall be assigned and appear on your permanent record for the term in which the course is completed. The “IP” shall not be used in calculating grade-point averages.

If you are enrolled in an “open-entry, open-exit” course, assigned an “IP” at the end of an attendance period, and you do not re-enroll in that course during the subsequent attendance period, the appropriate faculty will assign the grade A through F, P, or NP on your permanent record for the course.

It is your responsibility to officially drop a class by the published withdrawal date. If you fail to drop by that date, you may be subject to a substandard grade. You may also be dropped by the instructor if you are absent for more than 10% of the scheduled class meetings. Withdrawal from classes is authorized through the 12th week of instruction in a 16-week class, or 75% of a class, whichever is less. If you remain in class beyond the published withdrawal date, a grade A through F, P, or NP or an “I” shall be assigned. If you must withdraw after the published withdrawal date due to extenuating circumstances, you may petition for assignment of a “W.” Extenuating circumstances are verified cases of accidents, illnesses, or other circumstances beyond the control of the student.

No notation (“W” or other) shall be made on the academic record if you withdraw prior to the close of the second week of a 16-week class, or 20% of a class, whichever is less. Any withdrawal occurring after the published “No Notation” date shall be recorded as a “W” on your record. The “W” shall not be used in calculating grade point averages, but excessive “Ws” shall be used as factors in course repetition and probation and dismissal procedures.

Military Withdrawal occurs when a student who is a member of an active or reserve United States military service receives orders compelling a withdrawal from courses. Upon verification of such orders, the student may be assigned "MW.” Military withdrawals shall not be counted in the limitation on excessive withdrawals nor in progress probation and dismissal calculations.

An Excused Withdrawal (EW) occurs when a student is permitted to withdraw from a course(s) due to specific events beyond his/her control, affecting his or her ability to complete a course(s). This may include a job transfer outside the geographical region, an illness in the family where the student is the primary caregiver, when the student who is incarcerated in a California state prison or county jail is released from custody or involuntarily transferred before the end of the term, when the student is the subject of an immigration action, or other extenuating circumstances making course completion impractical. In the case of an incarcerated student, an excused withdrawal cannot be applied if the failure to complete the course(s) was the result of a student's behavioral violation or if the student requested and was granted a mid-semester transfer.

Upon verification of these conditions by the registrar and consistent with the District's required documentation substantiating the condition, an excused withdrawal symbol may be assigned at any time after the period established by the governing board during which no notation is made for withdrawals. The withdrawal symbol is an “EW.”

An Excused Withdrawal shall not be counted in progress probation and dismissal calculations and shall not be counted toward the permitted number of withdrawals or counted as an enrollment attempt.  The EW does not qualify for a refund.

The “RD” symbol may be assigned by the registrar only. It is to be used when there is a delay in reporting the grade of a student due to circumstances beyond the control of the student. It is a temporary notation to be replaced by a permanent symbol as soon as possible. “RD” shall not be used in calculating grade-point averages.

Additional Information

When grades are given for any course of instruction taught in the El Camino Community College District, the grade given to each student shall be the grade determined by the instructor of the course, and the determination of the student's grade by the instructor, in the absence of mistake, fraud, bad faith, or incompetency, shall be final.

A student who alleges that a grade in a course was given as a result of mistake, fraud, bad faith, or incompetency may appeal the grade within 18 months of the last day of the term in which the grade was posted.
Upon determination by the District that a grade in a course was given as a result of fraud, the District may change or remove the fraudulent grade from the student’s transcript of record based on the recommendation of a faculty committee. Such action may be initiated upon determination of the fraud without regard to the time limits imposed on other grade appeal actions.

Procedures for changing or removing grades in accordance with this policy have been developed by the superintendent/president or designees in collegial consultation with the Academic Senate.

This policy supersedes the section of BP 4220 that deals with grade change procedures.

Students may view Administrative Procedure 4231 (Grade Change) on the El Camino College website.  
For more information on Academic Probation and Course Repetition Policy and Procedures, view the College catalog.

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