Grading System and Satisfactory Academic Progress
Midterm and Final Grades
Midterm grades are used by faculty for advising purposes, but do not appear on transcripts. Midterm and final grades can be viewed at my.dunwoody.
The College uses a traditional four point grading scale. Grade Point Average (GPA) is determined cumulatively and for each semester of enrollment. All GPA information is found on a student’s transcript. Cumulative GPA must be 2.0 or above for students to remain in good standing.
Calculating Grade Point Average (GPA)
The GPA is computed by multiplying the grade value by the number of credits to determine “quality points” for each class and then dividing the total quality points by the total number of credits.
Here is an example of a GPA calculation:
3-credit course x 4 points (grade of “A”) = 12.00 quality points
4-credit course x 3.33 points (grade of “B+”) = 13.32 quality points
4-credit course x 2 points (grade of “C”) = 8.00 quality points
Totals: 11 credits divided into 33.32 quality points = 3.03 GPA
The following shows the letter grade and corresponding quality point.
A = 4.00
A- = 3.67
B+ = 3.33
B = 3.00
B- = 2.67
C+ = 2.33
C = 2.00
C- = 1.67
D+ = 1.33
D = 1.00
D- = 0.67
INC = 0.00 Incomplete calculated as F in GPA
TR = Transfer – Not calculated in GPA yet will affect pace rate
CR = Credit Given – Not calculated in GPA
W = Withdrawn – Not calculated in GPA yet will affect pace rate
AU = Audit – Not calculated in GPA and will not affect pace rate
* = Grade value not calculated in GPA under current academic plan yet will affect pace rate
NCR = No Credit Given – Not calculated in GPA
[ ] = Bracketed grade indicates repeat
TO = Test Out – Not calculated in GPA and will not affect pace rate
The “F” Grade
Students failed to meet course requirements, receive an “F” grade. A student who fails a course must repeat the course or may request to complete alternate course requirements, as available. If a failed course is retaken and passed, the new grade will supersede the previous grade and be counted toward the GPA. Both the failed and retaken courses will count toward the pace rate calculation.
The “W” Grade
A “W” grade means a student has withdrawn from a course after the add/drop period. No credit is awarded for the course, but it does count as credits attempted and toward the pace rate calculation. Grades of W may impact financial aid eligibility.
The “[ ]” Grade
When a course is repeated, both grades will show on the transcript but only the highest grade will be used in computing (GPA). The repeated grades appear in brackets. Financial aid will apply to the courses repeated when the original grade was passing (D- or above). Repeat courses may be eligible for financial aid. Only those grades with quality points in the above list will be used in computing a student’s GPA.
The “*” Grade
A grade followed by an asterisk (*) symbol denotes a grade earned for a course that is no longer relevant to the current academic plan in place. Grades of W will not be asterisked. Please note that these courses will count toward the pace rate calculation.
The “AU” Grade
Registration for a course without credit (AU grade) carries the same tuition and fees as courses taken for credit. You must consult with the course instructor concerning audit requirements and submit a Student Request form with the instructor’s signature to the Registrar’s Office during the first five days of the semester or the first three days of summer session. Once you have registered you cannot earn a letter grade. A course you have previously audited may be re-taken later for credit and a letter grade.
The “INC” Grade
A grade of incomplete may be issued if a student encounters extenuating circumstances that prevent the student from completing course requirements by the end of the course duration. Extenuating circumstances may include illness, military orders, or other circumstances deemed appropriate by the instructor. The purpose of the incomplete is to grant an extended period of time that will be agreed upon by the academic program manager/dean. In order to be eligible for an incomplete grade, a minimum of 75 percent of the course’s academic requirements must be successfully completed by the student at the time that the request is filed.
INC (Incomplete) Process
To request an incomplete, students are required to meet with the instructor to discuss whether an incomplete grade is appropriate for their situation. If the instructor approves the student’s request for an incomplete, the instructor may request an Incomplete form from the Registrar’s Office. The form must be completed with the date in which all requirements must be met, along with the signatures of the student, instructor, and program manager/dean. Once the form is received by the Registrar’s Office, the incomplete will be tracked for completion and the form will be added to the student’s record. After the deadline for work to be completed has passed, the instructor will complete a grade change form with the updated grade and submit to the Registrar’s Office for processing. The new grade will be recalculated into the GPA and will affect a student’s Satisfactory Academic Progress.
A student who believes a final course grade is inaccurate or unfair should proceed as follows:
- Consult with the instructor to fully understand the grounds and procedures used to determine the final course grade. The goal of this conversation is to reach mutual understanding about the criteria, assessment, and the final course grade assigned and, if necessary, to correct any errors.
- If there is no resolution after the conversation with the instructor or the instructor is not available for the initial conversation, the student should contact the program manager or dean.
- If a resolution is not reached through steps one and two, the student should submit a written petition to the Office of the Dean of Students. This appeal must be submitted no later than 45 calendar days after the beginning of the next semester following the term in which the final grade in dispute was recorded. The Dean of Students will provide a resolution in writing within 15 business days of the appeal.
Satisfactory Academic Progress
Introduction and Purpose of the Policy
Dunwoody College of Technology, consistent with federal and state law, requires that a student, regardless of tuition payment source, enrollment status, or program of study, make satisfactory academic progress toward a degree or certificate in order to receive financial aid and attend classes. The definition of satisfactory academic progress is defined in federal and state law and includes a consideration of the student’s grade point average and the pace with which the student is moving through the program. Dunwoody applies those definitions in this policy. A student is responsible for ensuring that they are progressing in their field of study and needs to access student support services, such as tutoring and the Writing Center, when they are feeling challenged.
Definition and Standards of Satisfactory Academic Progress
Grade Point Average
To maintain satisfactory academic progress standards, students are to meet or exceed a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 2.0.
The student must meet or exceed the minimum cumulative pace (completion) rate of 67%. This means that the student must successfully complete 67% of the courses that they have attempted. The Pace Rate is calculated using the following formula. Pace is calculated by the cumulative number of credit hours successfully completed (including accepted transfer credits and prior Dunwoody courses) divided by the cumulative number of attempted credit hours (including accepted transfer credits and prior Dunwoody courses).
Grades of NCR, W, F, and INC in a course will negatively impact pace rate, in that the course will be considered a course taken but not an earned credit. Credits attempted in other programs at Dunwoody will impact the pace rate, as well.
Maximum Timeframe to Receive Financial Aid
A student receiving financial aid must complete their program of study within 150% of the program’s published total credits. Transfer credits are included in this calculation. Once the 150% plateau is reached the student no longer can receive financial aid. The student must also be aware that any time during a student’s academic experience at Dunwoody, if it is determined that it will be mathematically impossible for the student to complete a program of study within the 150% timeframe, Dunwoody is required to make the student ineligible for financial aid and must inform the student of their ineligibility.
Frequency of Evaluation
Satisfactory Academic Progress is evaluated for every student by Student Affairs at the conclusion of each semester after all of the final grades have been submitted.
Course Completion Used in Calculating Academic Progress
The calculation of Grade Point Average and Pace is undertaken with the first class taken. All courses are cumulatively included in the calculation whether the student received financial aid or not.
Credits in which the student is enrolled at the end of the semester’s drop period.
Cumulative Attempted Credits
Total number of credits for which the student has been registered at Dunwoody, regardless of the program and regardless of whether the student received financial aid.
Credits Successfully Completed
Credits counted toward the degree or certificate. The student has successfully completed the requirements of the course as defined by the program and course syllabus. Grades indicating passing and calculated into the GPA are; A, A-, B+, B, B-, C+, C, C-, D+, D, D-. A grade of CR (Credit Given) will not be included in the GPA calculation but will positively affect pace.
Credits Not Successfully Completed
Credits attempted but not successfully completed and as such will not be counted toward the degree or certificate. The student has not successfully completed the requirements of the course as defined by the program and course syllabus. Grades indicating non-successful completion include F, W, INC. A grade of NCR (No Credit Given) will not be included in the GPA calculation but will negatively affect pace.
Repeating an F Course
A student who fails a course must repeat the course or may request to complete alternate course requirements, as available. If a failed course is retaken and passed, the new grade will supersede the previous grade and be counted toward the GPA. Both the failed and retaken course will count toward the pace rate calculation.
Other Course Types and Transcript Indications and Implications on GPA and or Pace
Audit Courses (AU)
Audit courses are not eligible for financial aid. The audited courses will not be calculated into the GPA and will not affect the pace rate.
Credit Given (CR)
A credit given classification is most often used for internships and clinical experiences. The CR grade will not be included in the calculation of the GPA but it will positively impact pace.
For courses where the student has not completed the course requirements and the instructor has provided the student with additional time to complete the course, the grade indication incomplete or INC is used. If the student does not complete the work in the time indicated by the instructor, the grade converts to an F. The F grade will impact the student’s GPA and pace rate.
No Credit Given (NCR)
A no credit given classification is most often used for internships and clinical experiences. The NCR grade will not be included in the calculation of the GPA but it will negatively impact pace.
Courses transferred into the program of study from another higher education institution. These courses are not calculated into the GPA but do affect the pace rate.
The student has withdrawn from a course after the add/drop period. There is no impact on the student’s GPA. The course is counted as attempted credits and as such affects the pace rate. W grades may impact financial aid eligibility.
Change of Major
Students wishing to change their curriculum (major) must fill out a Change of Curriculum form, available in the Registrar’s Office. The form must be approved by the appropriate program manager/ dean. A new academic plan will be assigned. Grade values earned in courses that no longer apply to the new major or award level in place will be removed from GPA calculations and noted on the transcript with an * following the grade. However, the actual letter grade earned for all courses taken will remain on the transcript. From the transferred grades a new cumulative GPA will be determined. Please note that all attempted Dunwoody courses will be included in the pace calculation, that means all credits taken under all majors will be included in the maximum attempted credits and the calculation of credits attempted and earned.
Students wishing to take courses in the summer term, the credits taken in the summer will be included in the maximum attempted credits and the calculation of credits attempted and earned.
Concurrent Programs of Study
Students wishing to pursue two avenues of study at the same time, the credits taken under all majors will be included in the calculation of the GPA as well as the maximum attempted credits and the calculation of the credits attempted and earned. The maximum timeframe rule for completion of 150% will still apply with the rule based upon the longer of the programs.
When Satisfactory Academic Progress Standards are Not Met
Evaluation of satisfactory academic progress is conducted by Student Affairs at the end of each semester. If it is found that the student’s cumulative GPA has fallen below 2.0 or pace rate below 67%, the student will be placed on academic warning.
- The Office of the Dean of Students will alert students by Dunwoody email to their academic warning once all final grades have been submitted for the previous semester.
- Included in this notification will be the information on the student’s current status in regard to Satisfactory Academic Progress and the Academic/Pace Warning Success Plan form.
Financial Aid Under Warning Status
A student placed on Academic Warning will have one semester of financial aid to bring their status into compliance with the definition of satisfactory academic progress, both GPA and pace.
Academic Warning Process
- A student placed on Academic Warning will be encouraged to complete an Academic Warning Success Plan form with their program director/dean. The Academic Warning Success Plan will be developed with the student’s academic dean/director and outline the steps the student needs to take to successfully meet the satisfactory academic progress standards by the end of the warning semester. Forms will be sent with the notification but can also be obtained here.
Evaluation at the Conclusion of the Academic Warning Semester
- At the conclusion of the Academic Warning Semester if the student now meets both the GPA and pace standards, the warning status will end and the student will again be placed in good standing.
- If at the conclusion of the Academic Warning semester the student still does not meet the GPA and pace standards, the student will be on academic probation and will not be eligible for Title IV financial aid programs or State of Minnesota programs.
Consideration will also be given to the student’s ability to meet the satisfactory academic progress standards within the maximum timeframe standard of 150%.
Financial Aid Suspended
As stated above, financial aid (Title IV and State) will be suspended if the student does not meet the GPA and pace standards.
- The Office of the Dean of Students will alert students by Dunwoody email to their financial aid suspension once all final grades have been submitted for the previous semester.
- Included in this notification will be the information on the student’s current status, their right to appeal, the appeal process, and the Academic Probation Appeal form which includes the Academic Success Plan.
Student Appeal Process
A student who does not attain the satisfactory academic standard has the right to appeal the determination. In order to execute the appeal, the student needs to complete the following elements. A student will have two weeks (14 days) from receiving the notification to complete a SAP appeal.
- Obtain and fill out an Academic Probation Appeal form. This was included in the notification but can also be obtained here.
- On their form, they should include their success plan on how to improve their GPA or Pace Rate.
- The student needs to make an appointment with the program manager/dean and Associate Dean of Students.
- With the program manager/dean, the student will develop an Academic Success Plan including courses to be taken and resources to be accessed by the student to meet the Satisfactory Academic Progress standard. Consideration has to be given as to whether the student can meet the standards and also meet the maximum timeframe (150%) to receive financial aid.
- The student needs to meet with the Associate Dean of Students, a Financial Aid Counselor, and the Dean of Students, the student will review the Academic Plan and identify any further resources that may benefit the student’s success.
The Dean of Students will make a determination on accepting or denying the appeal within ten days. Elements taken into consideration regarding the appeal include:
- The student’s GPA and pace rate
- The student’s grades
- Compliance with the Academic Warning Success Plan
- Overall attendance in the previous semester
- Student rationale for lack of compliance and plan for future compliance
- Academic Plan and the ability to meet the plan along with the maximum time frame to receive financial aid (150%)
- Recommendations of the department
The Dean of Students can approve or deny the appeal. The Dean of Students' office will alert students by Dunwoody email of the Dean of Students determination.
- If the appeal is approved, the student’s financial aid eligibility will be reinstated and the student will be placed on Academic Probation and expected to complete the Academic Plan.
- If the appeal is denied, the student’s enrollment will be involuntarily terminated and all monies paid to the school for the new semester will be refunded.
A student, who has successfully appealed their Satisfactory Academic Progress financial aid suspension, will move forward and execute the Academic Plan. The first semester of the plan is the probationary term. The student’s performance at the end of the semester will be evaluated to determine the student’s progress.
- If the student has met the Satisfactory Academic Progress standards, the student will return to good standing.
- If the student has not met the Satisfactory Academic Progress standards, but has met the standards established in their Academic Plan the Academic Probation status will continue and be evaluated at the end of the next semester.
- If the student has not met the Satisfactory Academic Progress standard and has not met the standards established in their Academic Plan, the student’s financial aid will be suspended.
A student, who has had their financial aid suspended/ terminated as defined in the processes outlined above and has not exceeded/or assured to exceed the 150% completion rate, can appeal for reinstatement of their financial aid and ability to enroll at Dunwoody College of Technology. The student will be counseled as to the reinstatement appeal process at the time that financial aid is suspended/terminated. It must be understood that there is no guarantee that the student who undertakes an appeal will be reinstated into Dunwoody or to receiving financial aid.
Conditions under which this appeal can be submitted include:
- All appeals must be made in writing and submitted to the Dean of Students. The Dean of Students will make a determination on accepting or denying the appeal within ten days. Conditions under which the student will be reinstated will be determined by the Dean of Students should the appeal be approved.
- Subsequent to financial aid suspension/termination at Dunwoody, the student has attended another institution of higher learning and demonstrated academic success in one or more courses which can be transferred back into the Dunwoody programmatic academic plan. A student who seeks to pursue the appeal process needs to work closely with Dunwoody to ensure that the courses they are going to enroll in at another institution will be transferrable to Dunwoody and to identify how the successful completion and transfer of the courses would affect their Satisfactory Academic Progress status at Dunwoody. Official transcripts for these courses must be submitted as part of the appeal documentation.
- Consideration will be made as to what has changed in the student’s situation that now affords them the ability to succeed.
- Above all, the student will have to demonstrate that they meet Dunwoody’s Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy and that they are eligible for federal financial aid.
It should be noted, that neither the student paying for their own classes at Dunwoody nor the student sitting out a term will affect the student’s academic progress status, so neither is sufficient to establish eligibility.