Grading Policies

Grading Policy for Undergraduates

All undergraduates are graded according to the following grade system:

A+ (4.3 grade points)
A (4.0)
A- (3.7)
B+ (3.3)
B (3.0)
B- (2.7)
C+ (2.3)
C (2.0)
C- (1.7)
D+ (1.3)
D (1.0)
F (zero)

All of the above grades are used in the calculation of the grade point average (GPA).

Definition of Grades

A = outstanding achievement -- significantly exceed standards
B = commendable achievement -- exceeds standards
C = acceptable achievement -- meets standards
D = marginal achievement -- below standards
F = failing

Other Grades

Additional grades CCA uses, though omitted when calculating a GPA* (the Graduate Program in and MBA in Design Strategy are exceptions, as they used grade points through the spring 2010 term):

E = extension
W = withdrawn
P = passing
NC = no credit

Interpretation of Grade Statistics

Credit Attempted: Total number of credits attempted.
Credits Completed: Total number of credits completed for successful completion of academic or studio coursework.
GPA Credits: Total number of graded credits used in calculating the grade point average (only CCA units included).
Grade Points: Value is derived by multiplying GPA credits by grade earned.
GPA: Value is derived by dividing graded points by GPA credits.

Midterm Progress Reports

Near the midpoint of the semester, all instructors have the option of providing a midterm evaluation of the progress of each of their students.

Progress is evaluated with one of two possible ratings:

UP = unsatisfactory progress
AT = attendance problem

Only one rating can be assigned for each course. A student who demonstrates unsatisfactory progress and attendance problems in a particular course may be assigned an evaluation of UP or AT by the instructor, but not both.

Students who have been assigned an evaluation of UP or AT will be notified by email of a problem with their progress. This report will be sent to the student's CCA email account.

The report is meant to warn of problems while there is still time for the student to improve the grade or withdraw from the course. Students who receive these reports are strongly urged to consult with their instructors and their advisors to discuss their options and develop strategies for improving their academic performance.

The lack of receipt of a midterm warning should not be taken to indicate that a student's performance in a given course is satisfactory. Students should always consult with their instructors regarding their progress in classes.


Students who are unable to complete the work for a course due to a family emergency, personal illness or other extenuating circumstances may request an extension.

At least two-thirds of the semester's course work must be completed and the student must be passing the course to be eligible for an extension. Extensions are not granted to students on academic probation.

If a graduating senior receives an extension for a course taken in that student's last term at CCA, that student's degree will not be posted until the final passing grade has been received by the Registrar from the instructor.

Students who have received an extension must complete the outstanding course work and have a grade turned in within 5 weeks of the end of the term; instructors may set earlier deadlines at their discretion. If the student completes the work by the deadline, the instructor will assign a final grade for the course.

Otherwise, the instructor or the Student Records Office will assign a grade of F for the course. The student's schedule will be adjusted if they do not receive a passing grade for the class and it is a prerequisite for another course they are enrolled in. Notification of any schedule changes will be sent to the student's CCA email account.

Students on financial aid who do not complete all of their course work in a given semester may be required to complete that course work the following semester in order to maintain their financial aid eligibility. Completion of this work is in addition to any other enrollment and eligibility requirements.

Grade Reports

Grade reports are available to students through WebAdvisor once grades have been processed at the end of each semester. Grade reports include the student's term and cumulative grade point averages.

More information can be found by visiting Transcripts. Students can grant viewing access of their grades to their parents or guardians by activating the 'Parent Access to WebAdvisor'.

Grade Appeals

Any student who wishes to appeal a grade should discuss the matter with the instructor as soon as possible after receiving the grade. If the matter remains unresolved following this discussion, the student should consult with the chair of the program in which the course in question resides.

Only two conditions exist under which the college will consider changing a final grade as submitted by an instructor:

The grade resulted from a recording error.
Specific evidence exists that the instructor evaluated the student's work in a manner inconsistent with:
a. the grading policies stipulated in the course syllabus
b. that used to evaluate the work of other students in the course or specific evidence of personal bias against the individual student

A student who wishes to contest a grade for either of these reasons must contact the instructor of the course in writing by the end of the fourth week of the following semester. The student should request clarification of the grade and address one of these two conditions; in the case of the second condition, the student must also include evidence supporting the claim.

If the instructor is not available, the student should contact the appropriate program chair.

If attempts to resolve the issue with the instructor are unsuccessful, the student may appeal to the program chair and the divisional director within two weeks of receiving the instructor's decision.

The student must detail the nature of the discussions with the instructor and present a case justifying a grade change. After consultation with the instructor, the program chair and the director will weigh the evidence and make a final decision within two weeks of receiving the petition.

For further assistance with the process of grade appeals, undergraduate students should consult the Advising Office. Graduate students should contact their Program Manager for assistance.