Grading Policy - Home

How to Get Your Grades

Grades are not mailed to students. Access your grades through Student Online Services, from the comfort of your home or from the kiosks on campus.

See the academic calendar for dates when grades are available.

Grading system and policy

See also the district policy manual.

Pierce College's grading system is designed to provide a permanent record reflecting your performance and achievement in a variety of courses and programs. Grades are reported in numeric fractions to the nearest tenth, while grade point average (GPA) is computed to the nearest hundredth. The numeric grades shown in the first column below will appear on your record. The letter equivalent and/or explanation of the grade appears beside it.

Numeric
Letter Grade Equivalent
 
4.0 - 3.9
A
 
3.8 - 3.5
A-
 
3.4 - 3.2
B+
 
3.1 - 2.9
B
 
2.8 - 2.5
B-
 
2.4 - 2.2
C+
 
2.1 - 1.9
C
 
1.8 - 1.5
C-
 
1.4 - 1.2
D+
 
1.1 - 1.0
D
 
0.0
F   (Indicates student did not do passing work in the course, did not attend during the quarter, or did not officially withdraw).
 

Note: Winter Quarter 2013 the following grades were eliminated:

0.9 D
0.8-0.7   D- (0.7 lowest passing grade)

Grade Symbols

Letter Name Explanation
*   Grade missing or not yet issued.
W Withdrawal¹ Student-initiated, following official withdrawal procedures.
I Incomplete¹ Issued when a student has been delayed in completing the required work. To receive an "I" the student and instructor sign an Incomplete Contract by the last day of the instructional quarter. Time limit for removal of "I" grade is determined by the instructor, but not to exceed four quarters following the quarter in which the grade was issued. Instructor may convert "I" to "0.0" or allow it to remain as "I" if the student has not completed work by completion deadline.
Z In-Progress¹ Student is currently in progress toward the attainment of course objectives. Used only for continuous enrollment courses. Time limit for removal of "Z" grade is determined by the instructor, but not to exceed four quarters following the quarter in which the grade was issued. Instructor may convert "Z" to "0.0" or allow it to remain as "Z" if the student has not completed work by completion deadline.
Y In-Progress¹ Student is currently in progress toward the attainment of course objectives. Used only for continuous enrollment courses. Students must re-register for the course to complete course objectives. Grade cannot be changed.
P/NP Pass/No Pass¹ See "Pass/No Pass" section below.
R Repeated Course¹ The "R" shows beside the lower grade received and only the higher of the two grades is computed in the GPA. (See "Repeating a course" section below.)
NC No Credit¹ Faculty-initiated grade (for example, if student appears on class roster but never attends class). This grade is not computed in the grade point average and cannot be changed.

¹ - Not computed in GPA

Grade Point Average (GPA)

Grade point averages are calculated by dividing the grade points by the credit hours completed.

Grade Changes

Grade changes should occur only when a legitimate error has been made in computing, reporting or recording a grade, or when a temporary grade (such as "I" Incomplete or "Z" In-Progress) needs to be changed to a permanent grade. Grade changes are reported to the records office on a Grade Change Form, signed and submitted by the instructor who issued the original grade or, under special circumstances, by the appropriate division chair, if the faculty member cannot be contacted.

Grade changes will be accepted and posted to your record up to four quarters (including summer) following the quarter in which the original grade was issued. This time limitation applies to "I'' and "Z" grades as well as other grades. Exceptions to the four-quarter time limit may be made only in cases of documented grading errors.

Questions about grades should be directed to the appropriate instructor immediately. When one year has elapsed from the time the grade was issued, it will become a permanent part of your record.

Student Grade Appeal Procedure
(document updated January 19, 2011)

Pass/No Pass

You may take courses for Pass/No Pass credit if they are not in your field of major or in the required distribution of credits for Pierce College's degrees. Pass grades may only be used as general elective credit for AAS and AS degrees. Courses which are prerequisites for other courses should not be taken Pass/No Pass.

You and your instructor must sign a Pass/No Pass Contract by the last instructional day of the quarter. Pass/No Pass grades are not computed in the GPA. No credit is attached to a No Pass grade. NP is assigned when minimum standards of the class are not met.

You may withdraw from a class being taken Pass/No Pass by following the same procedures as for any other class.

Repeating a Course

You may repeat a course to improve your grade. However, both grades will remain on the transcript. For graduation purposes, only the higher of the two grades will be computed in the GPA. Contact the registration/records office after completing the repeated courses so your transcript can be updated.

If you are planning to transfer, you should be aware that the policies of other colleges and universities vary as to which of the grades is used in computing the GPA.

Auditing a Course

Most classes at Pierce College may be audited. This means you attend the class regularly but don't need to take exams and won't receive college credit. You will need to register and pay for the class. You may change from credit to audit or audit to credit through the 10th day (8th day in summer quarter) of the instructional quarter, with the instructor's signature.

Independent Study

Independent study is a contract established between you and an instructor for in-depth work in a particular area of interest to you. The bulk of responsibility for the study, research, and completion of the course rests with you, the student. The instructor provides guidance and final evaluation.

If you wish to propose an independent study, you should find an instructor willing to enter into a contract for that particular study, then file four copies of the contract: one with the registrar, one with the instructor, one with the division chair and one in your own records.

Tuition for independent study is consistent with regular tuition rates. A maximum of five credits per class may be carried through independent study during a quarter. Credits earned through independent study may be used only in the general elective category of the AAS and AS degrees. A maximum of 15 independent study credits may apply toward any professional/technical degree or certificate. Independent study classes cannot be titled the same as an existing course.

Final Examinations

A final examination is part of most courses. You are required to take final examinations when scheduled in order to receive credit for courses.

Grade Report

You may access your quarterly grades using the college's Student Online Services. Grades will be withheld if you have a financial obligation to the college, which may include loans, fines or delinquent fees.

Questions about grades should be directed to the appropriate instructor immediately. Grades will become a permanent part of your record when one year (four quarters) has elapsed from the time the grade was issued.