Educational Approach and Grading

Educational Approach and Grading

Oklahoma City Community College subscribes to a competency-based instructional philosophy. The ultimate goal of the instructional program is to enable each student to attain his or her highest possible level of learning.

Competency-based instruction is characterized by predetermined competencies shared with students in the form of observable and measurable learning objectives for each course. Assessment occurs through test items matched to specific objectives in terms of content and level. Student evaluations are based upon a student’s achievement of predetermined competency levels rather than on a comparison to other students’ performance. Each student is presented a course syllabus containing learning objectives and the procedure for determining final grades in the course.

Appealing a Grade

It is the student’s responsibility to review his/her academic transcript at the end of each semester to verify grades. An appeal of any final grade must be initiated within 90 days of the end of the semester. APPEALS WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED AFTER THIS DEADLINE.

A student choosing to appeal a final grade should first consult with the course instructor. If an agreed upon solution is not possible, the student may contact the division office for further procedures.

Policy # 4030

1.0 A student who believes a final grade in a course was incorrectly administered may appeal that grade.
2.0 Definition: Working day means any day, excluding Saturday and Sunday, on which the College is open for business, even if classes are not in session.
3.0 Procedure for Student Appeal of a Final Grade:
 3.1 The student must meet with the instructor who assigned the final grade and attempt to resolve the matter. The initial meeting with the instructor should occur as soon as possible and must occur within 90 calendar days after the final grade in question was placed on the student’s permanent record. The student may obtain help in establishing an appointment with the instructor from the appropriate academic division office. If the instructor is no longer available, the student must meet with the appropriate Department Director, Department Chair, or Program Director, who will act on behalf of the instructor.
 3.2 Appeal to Division Dean: Within ten (10) working days following the meeting with the instructor, if the student continues to believe the final grade is incorrect, the student may submit a fully completed “Student Appeal of a Grade” form to the appropriate academic Division office. The appeal must contain the student’s name, student identification number, current address, and telephone number; the instructor’s name; the course number, section number, and semester involved; the specific issue in question; the student’s position on the issue; and pertinent documentation relating to the issue. The Division Dean will request relevant information from the instructor and arrange a meeting with the student. The instructor may be present during the meeting. After meeting with the student and reviewing the appeal and any other available information, the Division Dean will make a recommendation to the instructor. Within ten (10) working days of the Division’s receipt of the Student Appeal of Grade form, the Division Dean will notify the student in writing by certified mail of the instructor’s decision.
 3.3 Appeal to Grade Appeal Committee: If the student continues to believe the final grade is incorrect, the student may appeal the instructor’s decision by requesting an appeal hearing before a Grade Appeal Committee. The student’s appeal must be in writing directed to the Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs and must be received by the Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs within five (5) Working Days of the student’s receipt of written notification from the Division Dean. If the student fails to submit the written request for an appeal hearing within this five (5) working day time period, the student loses all rights to appeal the instructor’s decision.
  3.3.1 Within ten (10) Working Days of Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs’ receipt of the student’s request for an appeal hearing, the Grade Appeal Committee shall be activated. The Grade Appeal Committee will be composed of faculty from each of the academic divisions, who have been elected by the faculty in the respective divisions, not to include the instructor involved in the case. The Grade Appeal Committee will also include three (3) students selected by the Vice President for Enrollment and Student Services.
  3.3.2 The hearing to consider the appeal of the student will be scheduled for a date not more than 15 Working Days from the date the Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs receives the student’s request for an appeal hearing. If, during the Summer Session, the Vice President for Academic Affairs determines that there are insufficient faculty for an appeal hearing, this time frame may be extended to September 1. All Grade Appeal Committee Hearings will be closed meetings.
  3.3.3 At the hearing, the Committee shall evaluate the request and allow the student and the instructor to present their positions and any supporting information. The student and the instructor shall have no more than one hour each to present their positions and any supporting information or evidence. The student shall present first, followed by the instructor. The student shall then have 15 minutes to rebut the instructor’s evidence. The burden of proving that the assigned final grade is incorrect rests at all times with the student. Neither the student nor the instructor shall be represented by an attorney at the hearing.
  3.3.4 The Grade Appeal Committee shall consider all information and documents presented by the student and the instructor, and the recommendation of the relevant Division Dean. The Grade Appeal Committee may also consider other documents the Committee deems relevant to the proceedings, and the instructor and the relevant Division Dean shall provide the Committee access to such documents.
  3.3.5 Extenuating circumstances involving sequential and prerequisite courses offered in less than 16-week formats will follow an accelerated procedure permitting student to provisionally enroll in next course until appeal process concludes. Certified mail and official college email will be used for official communication with the student.
 3.4 Committee Determination: At the end of the Grade Appeal hearing, the Committee will meet privately to discuss the case and make a determination. If the Committee determines by unanimous vote that it is highly probable that the assigned final grade is incorrect, then the final grade will be changed. If the vote is not unanimous, the assigned final grade will stand. The Committee will provide its determination in writing (not electronically) to the Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs within three (3) working days of the Committee’s reaching its determination. The Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs will notify the instructor and student by certified mail of the Committee’s determination within five (5) working days of the Associate Vice President’s receipt of that determination.
 4.0 Administrative Action: The Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs shall be responsible for the administrative action required to make any necessary final grade changes on the student’s record resulting from the Committee’s determination.

Definitions and Provisions

At the conclusion of a course, one of the following grades will be listed on the student’s transcript along with the course title.
A - (4.0 Grade Point) Excellent
B - (3.0 Grade Point) Good
C - (2.0 Grade Point) Average
D - (1.0 Grade Point) Below Average
F - (0.0 Grade Point) Failure

NOTE:

To satisfy degree requirements, students majoring in certain programs must earn a C or better or B or better in specified courses.
S-(Satisfactory)
In a limited number of courses, the grades S and U are used. An S is a neutral mark indicating minimal competencies have been met. An S is also used to indicate credit earned through advanced standing examination. The grade of S is not used in computing grade point averages.

U-(Unsatisfactory)
The grade of U indicates that a student did not meet minimum requirements in a course designated for S/U grading. The grade of U is not used in computing grade point averages.

I-(Incomplete)
When, in the instructor’s judgment, justifiable circumstances exist, the instructor may issue an I grade. The instructor prepares a contract specifying the work which must be completed, and the date by which it must be completed. The normal I contract period extends through the late registration period for the next major enrollment period, but may be as long as a period of one year. When the student completes the specified work, the instructor will replace the I grade with the appropriate grade: A, B, C, D, F, S, or U. If the instructor has not replaced the I grade within one year, the I grade will remain permanently on the student’s transcript. The I grade is not used in computing grade point averages.

W-(Official Withdrawal)
The student has officially withdrawn from the course. The student may withdraw as late as the twelfth week of a sixteen-week semester (or 3/4 of the duration of a shorter course) and automatically receive the grade of W. The W grade is not used in computing grade point averages.

AW-(Administrative Withdrawal)
The student has been “involuntarily” withdrawn by the institution during the designated semester for disciplinary, financial, or other administrative reasons. An Administrative Withdrawal for disciplinary or financial reasons requires approval by the Vice President for Enrollment and Student Services. An AW grade is not used in computing grade point averages.

AU-(Audit)
The student audited the course. The student receives no credit for the course and the grade of AU is not used in computing grade point averages. Note: A student may request a change in enrollment status from audit to credit through the late enrollment period. A student may change enrollment status from credit to audit through the official withdrawal period.

Cumulative GPA

Includes all course work attempted with the exception of developmental (zero-level) coursework.

Graduation GPA

This GPA is the same as the retention GPA, but excludes physical education activity courses.

Retention GPA

Includes all course work attempted with the exception of developmental (zero-level) coursework and hours which have been forgiven through the Repeat, Reprieve, or Renewal provision. Neither activity nor performance courses can be used to raise a retention GPA during a semester in which a student is on probation.

Grade Reporting

Grades are posted to the official transcript within five working days of the last day of the semester or term of enrollment. They may be accessed through the College web site at mineonline.occc.edu.

On-campus PC’s are available for accessing the web site. Students may also request and receive a transcript from the Office of Records.

Grading Systems

Students at Oklahoma City Community College successfully complete courses when they demonstrate that they have accomplished objectives at the levels required for the courses. Student performance is measured against standards set by program faculty. The grades which the students earn reflect the quality of their performances when measured against these standards.

Oklahoma City Community College conforms to the definitions of grading terms and the academic forgiveness provisions set forth by the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education.

Entry-Level Assessment

The academic background and skill level of any student enrolling in credit courses at Oklahoma City Community College will be assessed, and the student’s placement will be based on the results. Placement will be required in developmental course work (this course work does not apply to a degree program or GPA) where a need is indicated. Assessment will include an evaluation of entry-level basic skills and educational readiness as defined below.

Mathematics*

The ability to perform basic operations with real numbers and polynomials, graph in the Cartesian coordinate system, solve linear and quadratic equations, and model applications using linear and quadratic equations.

These are minimum entry-level skill requirements. If there is a higher level prerequisite skill or course, it would be used for placement. Guidelines and specific requirements are available through Office of Academic Advising.

Reading and Writing*

The ability to read and comprehend at the college entry level;  to write developed compositions that demonstrate the principles of unity, coherence, and organization and which contain specific details and effective use of language; to communicate using academic language and conventions of Standard American English; and to understand and interpret information to solve problems and think critically.

These are minimum entry-level skill requirements. If there is a higher level prerequisite skill or course, it would be used for placement. Guidelines and specific requirements are available through Advising and Career Services.


*The college prep courses may be found under English (ENGL) and Mathematics (MATH). Tutorial services are also available in the Communications Lab, Math Lab, Biological Sciences Center, Physical Science Center, Computer Science Lab, Accounting Tutorial Center, and on an individual basis.