Policy No. 2:03:01:00

CLEVELAND STATE COMMUNITY COLLEGE Cleveland, Tennessee

SUBJECT:  Grading System and Quality Point Calculation

The quality of student performance in individual courses is indicated on the student’s permanent record by a letter grade.  The scholastic standing and progress of a student is expressed in terms of a Quality Point Average (QPA), which is calculated for the semester and cumulatively.  The semester QPA is calculated by dividing the total number of quality points by the total number of quality hours (excluding withdrawals and proficiencies) attempted during the semester.  The cumulative QPA is calculated by dividing the total number of quality points earned by the total number of quality hours (including transfer hours but excluding withdrawals and proficiencies) during the student’s entire academic career.

All grades become part of the student’s permanent scholastic record.

  1. Use of Quality Point Average (QPA)
    A student transcript shows a QPA for collegiate level courses including transferred hours (designated by “U”) and a combined QPA for Remedial and Developmental (R/D) QPA and collegiate level work (designated by “U*”).
    TBR Policy No. 2:03:01:01 requires:
    • that a combined QPA for R/D and collegiate level work be used to determine academic probation and suspension, financial eligibility, and athletic eligibility;
    • that the QPA for collegiate level courses be used to determine graduation eligibility, graduation honor eligibility, and term honors.
  2. Calculation of the Quality Point Average
    The quality point average is determined by dividing the total number of quality points earned by the total number of credit hours which the student attempted except for credit hours in courses from which the student withdraws in good standing or for courses in which the student receives grades such as pass/fail and which are not considered when determining the QPA.
    The following chart indicates the number of quality points assigned for each letter grade per semester credit hour (SCH) earned. 
    Letter Grade Quality Points Awarded Per Semester Hour
    A 4
    B 3
    C 2
    D 1
    F 0

Other grades which may appear on a student’s grade reports and transcript are as follows:

  • AU (Audit) – Indicates that the student elected to enroll in the course for no grade or credit.  Audits do not replace grades previously issued.
  • I (incomplete) – Indicates that the student has not completed all the work of the course for a reason acceptable to the instructor.  A student who receives an incomplete should not re-register for the course, but must contact the instructor no later than two weeks from the beginning of the succeeding semester, excluding summer, and must make up the Incomplete within eight weeks from the beginning of the succeeding semester, excluding summer.
  • Upon the student’s completion of the required work, the instructor will calculate the student’s grade, complete a change of grade form, and file it with the Enrollment Services Center.
  • The “I” grade is calculated as an “F” until removed.  Failure to resolve the “I” grade by the end of the subsequent semester (excluding summer) will result in automatic failure, and a grade of “F” for the course will be recorded on the student’s permanent record.  In the developmental studies area, an “I” grade must be removed before a student can begin the next course in a sequence.
  • The “E” grade may be assigned to students enrolled in Learning Support 0800-courses who have mastered some of the competencies in the course but not master all competencies within the semester.  This grade shows progression towards completion of Learning Support requirements.
  • PR (Proficiency) – Indicates that the student earned credit by taking a proficiency exam.  The grade is not used in the computation of the quality point average.
  • If the proficiency exam is not passed, the student must either remain in the course for the remainder of the term or officially withdraw within the period specified by the official calendar.
  • Proficiency examinations may not be taken to repeat coursework or be used in lieu of the “I” or “F” grades.
  • A student may take the proficiency examination for a course only once.  A maximum of 25 percent of the total hours required for a degree or certificate may be earned through proficiency examination.
  • R (Repeated Course) – Indicates that the student is repeating a course.  When computing the quality point average of a student who has repeated one or more courses, the College will count only the last grade received in the repeated course or courses and count hours attempted only once provided that the number of repeats in any single course does not exceed two (three attempts totaled).  If a student repeats a course more than twice, the grade in the third and subsequent attempts shall be used in determining the quality point average.  Students may not repeat a course in which a “B” or higher grade was earned unless approved the Vice President for Academic Affairs.
  • W (withdrawn) – Indicates that a student has officially withdrawn with the approval of the advisor from a course or courses during the official withdrawal period as published in the Academic Calendar.  A student may withdraw officially from any course(s) without receiving a failing grade until the end of the tenth week of classes as identified in the Academic Calendar.  Beyond the date specified in the Academic Calendar, a student may only withdraw with approval of the Vice President for Academic Affairs if it can be demonstrated that an unusual condition or hardship exists.  Unusual condition or hardships may include extensive illness, unexpected relocations of residence or place of employment, or other legitimate reasons that may be approved by the Vice President for Academic Affairs.
  • A single student transcript will include term and cumulative QPA calculations which ensure that all TBR institutions treat remedial/developmental hours alike in calculating QPA. The transcript will include the following: (1) a QPA comprised only of hours taken in courses numbered 100 and above ("college only" QPA) and (2) a QPA comprised of hours taken in courses numbered 100 and above and hours taken in Remedial/Developmental courses ("combined" QPA).

Grade Changes
Course instructors may change an officially recorded grade.  If beyond one semester, not including summer, approval from the appropriate Dean and the Vice President for Academic Affairs is required.

Grade Reports
Grade reports are available to each student at the end of each term; grades are recorded on the student’s permanent record approximately one week after the final examination period.

Academic Transcripts and Other Records

  • All records pertaining to student admission and academic progress are maintained in the Enrollment Services Center.
  • Official copies of a transcript are provided to the student or will be mailed directly to another college, firm, agency, or other responsible addressee upon presentation of a written request signed by the student.
  • The first ten copies of a student’s transcript are provided free of charge.  There is a per transcript fee for all requests after the tenth copy.
  • No official academic records or transcripts will be released until the student’s admission file is complete and all financial obligations to the College have been met.


Source: TBR Policy No. 2:03:01:01 and ClSCC Catalog

Approved: Curriculum and Academic Standards Committee meeting of 1/25/94 and 2/7/13; President’s Cabinet meeting February 19, 2013.