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Academic Records

[1] Grades and Quality Points

At the end of each semester or summer term, instructors report the final grades of all students in their classes to the Office of the Registrar. The grade of a student in any course is determined by the quality of work, the regularity of attendance, and the thoroughness of preparation.

Grades are expressed as letters, with equivalents as follows:

LetterDescriptionGV*
AExcellent4
BGood3
CAverage2
DPassing1
FFailing0
WWithdrawnN/A**
XDeferred Credit (Incomplete Grade)N/A**
PRProgress - CreditN/A**
CRCreditN/A**
NCNo CreditN/A**
AUAuditN/A**
NRNo Grade ReportedN/A**

*GV = Grade Value (also referred to as “Quality Points” or “Grade Points”): the “quality point” value per credit hour of a grade
**N/A: Hours attempted where W, X, PR, CR, NC, AU, or NR is involved are not used in computing the grade point average.

Note: Beginning with the fall 2017 term, the grades of WP and WF are no longer used. Consult an earlier issue of the Undergraduate Bulletin for their use and meaning.

Transitional Studies (UNIV 0331, 0332, 0333, 1100, 1300, 1301, 1330, 1340, and 1500) and Intensive English Program (IEP) courses are not used in computing the cumulative grade point average for earning any degree from the university.

All grades, once reported, remain a matter of permanent record. Any appeal or question concerning an assigned grade must be made within one calendar year of the time the grade was awarded, as outlined in the Student Handbook.

Deferred Credit (Incomplete Grade). The grade of X is given only if satisfactory completion of the remaining course requirements can result in a passing grade for that semester’s work. An X grade is not computed in the grade point average. One calendar year is the maximum time allowed for removal of an X grade except in individual study courses and theses. If one year passes and the X has not been removed, the grade will be changed automatically to an F. An individual instructor may specify a shorter period for removal of an X. The instructor is required to state in writing the requirements for removing the grade of X at the time it is assigned. A copy of the requirement is provided to each of the following: the registrar, the Graduate School (in the case of a graduate student), the student, and the department chair; a copy is, of course, retained by the instructor. Failure of the student to meet these requirements may result in the X becoming an F. A student may not re-enroll in a course for which an X is in effect.

No student may be cleared for conferral of an undergraduate degree until all incomplete (X) grades have been removed and all unreported grades (NR) have been reported. In order to be awarded a degree as expected, a student who finishes the semester in which they intend to graduate with an X grade must have submitted the required work to the instructor no later than one calendar week after the last day of final exams for that semester, and the instructor must have submitted a change of grade form to remove the X grade no later than two weeks after the last day of final exams for that semester. If these deadlines are not met, award of the degree will be delayed.

[2] Grade Point Average (GPA)

To obtain the qualitative index of a student’s scholarship, the total number of quality points accumulated is divided by the total number of semester GPA hours to give the ratio known as the grade point average (GPA).

In the following scenario, a student enrolls in five courses (sixteen credit hours) as follows:

CoursesCH*GradeCH × GVQP**
WRTG 13103A(3 × 4)12
HIST 23013B(3 × 3)9
MATH 14964B(4 × 3)12
H ED 13203B(3 × 3)9
JOUR 23003A(3 × 4)12
Total1654
QP ÷ CH = semester GPA; in this case, 54 ÷ 16 = 3.375

* CH = Credit Hours
** QP = Quality Points: the credit hour value of a course multiplied by the grade value of the assigned grade

[3] Course Repeat for Grade Forgiveness

Students considering grade forgiveness should be aware that many graduate schools, professional schools, employers or other institutions, in considering admission or employment, recompute the GPA and include all courses attempted even though a course has been repeated. This means that if the cumulative GPA has been raised because of grade forgiveness, the recomputed GPA will be lower.

A student may repeat in residence any course in which a D, F, or WF grade is earned. Both grades will remain on the permanent record, but only the second grade will be used to calculate the grade point average. This option may be used only once for each course in which a D, F, or WF was received unless a student successfully appeals to repeat a course again. No course may be repeated for the purpose of grade forgiveness after a course for which it is a prerequisite has been passed. The grade forgiveness provision is applicable only to undergraduate courses.

[4] Adjustments and Appeals Committee

When warranted by special circumstances, a student is entitled to petition the University Academic Adjustments and Appeals Committee for relief of an unfair hardship brought about by academic regulations. The petition form, online in the Registrar’s web site, should be completed with the assistance of the student’s advisor. The form may be submitted online.

[5] Transcripts

A university transcript is a complete and unabridged academic record, without deletions or omissions, prepared for the purpose of communicating information concerning a student. The university prepares and issues two categories of transcripts:

Official – includes a statement of the student’s status, the signature of an authorized official, and the legal seal of the university. An official transcript is sent directly from the university to an institution, agency, or individual upon receipt of a written request of the student.

Unofficial – presents a listing of courses for which the student enrolled. The academic achievement of the student is indicated in terms of a grade for each course. An unofficial transcript is made available through the student’s myUCA self-service account. It does not include an authorized signature or the official seal of the university. An unofficial transcript is not sent to other institutions, agencies, or individuals.

Transcripts may be released only after all financial obligations to the university are satisfied.

[6] Attendance

A student’s official program is regarded as his or her obligation to the institution, full performance of which requires regular and punctual class attendance and active participation. A student is responsible for coming to class prepared, completing any missed work if the student is absent, and knowing the dates and places of required course examinations. Attendance and tardiness are primarily a student-teacher-class relationship, but the university has a concern for the fulfillment of such obligations by the student. Absences that indicate negligence about class attendance may lead to cancellation of registration and a withdrawal grade (W) in the course. In flagrant cases, the student may be suspended from the university. Individual instructors may assign a withdrawal grade (W) for non-attendance to any student but must do so by the deadline date for a student to officially withdraw specified in the academic calendar for the semester. Make-up examinations and assignments are required only for valid absences as determined by the faculty member. Students who miss an examination or assignment without a valid excuse may receive a failing grade for that exam or assignment. Faculty and students should work together to mitigate the impact of absences of those students who miss class while officially representing the university.

See also Change of Registration/Withdrawal from Courses or the University in this bulletin.

[7] Academic Standing: Good Standing, Alert, Probation, Suspension

Note: All standards with respect to good standing, alert, probation, and suspension, are binding and are not, therefore, subject to appeal. These standards apply to all degree-seeking undergraduate students. The same standards apply to non-degree or undeclared students.

Only courses that count for undergraduate degree credit will be used to compute the grade point average for consideration of good standing, alert, probation, and/or suspension. “Term grade point average” refers to the grade point average for an entire fall, spring, or summer term.

A student enrolled in Transitional Studies (UNIV) and Intensive English Program (IEP) courses will also be subject to the retention policies of the Department of Student Transitions and/or the Intensive English Program.

[7.1] Good Academic Standing

A student who is not on probation or suspension is considered to be in good academic standing. Evaluation of academic standing for all sessions of a term will occur at the end of each term (fall, spring, and summer).

[7.2] Academic Alert

A student is given an academic alert whenever their term grade point average is less than a 2.0. A student who has been given an academic alert, but who is not on academic probation or suspension, is still considered to be in good academic standing.

[7.3] Academic Probation

A student is placed on academic probation whenever their cumulative grade point average is less than 2.0. A student will be removed from academic probation whenever their cumulative grade point average is at least a 2.0.

Note: Students on probation are required by the university to participate in a program to improve their academic standing.

[7.4] Academic Suspension

A student on academic probation will be academically suspended if the student meets the following criteria:

  1. a term grade point average less than 2.0 (excluding summer) immediately following academic probation and
  2. a cumulative grade point average less than the minimum listed below. (The calculation of grade point average hours will include grades A, B, C, D, F, and WF.)
    GPA Hours Minimum Cumulative GPA
    1–30 1.70
    31–59 1.85
    60 or more 2.00

A student on suspension from UCA may apply for readmission under the Schedule of Readmission following academic suspension. A student suspended from UCA who earns academic credit from another accredited college or university, as defined by the Undergraduate Bulletin in Admission to the University Section [7] Transfer of Credit, during the period of suspension may, if the course is transferable, receive credit for the course at UCA when readmitted. A course is transferable if it is identified as transferable to UCA in the Arkansas Course Transfer System (ACTS) and meets a requirement for a degree at UCA. Courses not part of ACTS may be evaluated by the appropriate academic department chairperson for transferability.

First academic suspension will be for two consecutive terms (including summer).

Note: A student on first academic suspension may, if eligible and accepted, continue at UCA through the UCAN (Unlocking College Academics Now) Program with the status “continued on academic probation.” A student who successfully completes the UCAN Program may enroll for the subsequent term, but will remain on probation if his/her cumulative grade point average is less than 2.0. A student who does not successfully complete the UCAN Program in any term (including summer) will be on first academic suspension for the subsequent two consecutive terms.

Second academic suspension will be for one calendar year.

Third academic suspension will be academic dismissal. Students academically dismissed from UCA cannot be readmitted unless they are granted academic clemency under the provisions listed in the Undergraduate Bulletin.

[8] Academic Clemency

Academic clemency is intended to provide a second chance to the student who, having left college after an unsuccessful experience, grows to appreciate education and, having been out of college for an extended period, seeks admission or readmission. The policy of academic clemency applies to all students meeting the conditions below. Students in the process of academic clemency are conditionally admitted until successful completion of the process.

[8.1] Eligibility

  • An individual must not have been enrolled in any institutions of college or university rank for a period of at least five years (60 months) immediately preceding enrollment or re-enrollment at the University of Central Arkansas.
  • An individual must be an undergraduate student seeking the initial undergraduate degree (associate or baccalaureate) from the university in order to be eligible for academic clemency consideration.

[8.2] Process

  • Application for academic clemency must be made at the time of application for admission or readmission to the university. A student who fails to meet the requirements for the granting of academic clemency will not be eligible to continue at the university.
  • Application for academic clemency will be made through the Office of the Registrar. The application will be reviewed and the appropriate decision rendered by the Office of the Registrar.
  • In order for academic clemency to be granted, a minimum 2.0 grade point average and a minimum of 12 semester credit hours must be earned within one calendar year from the date of enrollment or re-enrollment.

[8.3] Terms and Conditions

  • Under academic clemency an individual forfeits all grades and credits (including transfer) earned prior to the minimum period of non-enrollment, and such grades and credits will not be considered in any academic deliberations from that point forward at the university.
  • Courses on which academic clemency is granted will be recorded on the permanent academic record but will not be used in the computation of the cumulative grade point average. The notation academic clemency granted (date) will be placed on the permanent academic record to identify those courses excluded from computation in the cumulative grade point average.
  • In regard to financial aid history, state and federal regulations take precedence over the institutional policy of academic clemency.
  • In regard to athletic eligibility, all semesters/terms of attendance, including any of granted academic clemency, will be considered in the determination of athletic eligibility certification.
  • A declaration and granting of academic clemency may be exercised only once in an individual’s academic career, and such declaration and granting is final and irreversible.
  • Policies related to academic clemency pertain to the University of Central Arkansas only and might not be honored by other institutions for admission to undergraduate programs, admission to graduate programs, or admission to professional programs.

[9] Grade Appeal Process

Students may initiate an appeal only after having officially received the final grade in the course.

All formal appeals must be initiated no later than the second Monday of October (when appealing a final grade received in a spring or summer course) or the second Monday of March (when appealing a final grade received in a fall semester course.) Appeals must take place in the semester immediately following the semester during which the alleged grievance occurred, whether or not the student is enrolled that semester.

The syllabus is an agreement between the student and instructor. By staying enrolled in the class, the student accepts the policies and terms outlined in the syllabus. Therefore, all matters having to do with department policy or with curriculum and program requirements are not appealable, nor are any of the instructor’s stated classroom policies such as attendance and behavior policies.

The procedures described in the Grade Appeal Policy are available only for appeal of a semester or term grade based on one or more of the reasons listed in Table A.

Table A

  1. A mathematical error in calculation of the grade or clerical error in recording of the grade that remains uncorrected.

In order for a grade appeal to be considered for reasons other than mathematical or clerical errors, the student must prove that the instructor has issued a grade in an arbitrary, capricious, or discriminatory * manner, such as

  1. The assignment of a grade to a particular student by application of more exacting requirements than were applied to other students in the course;
  2. The assignment of a grade to a particular student on some basis other than performance in the course;
  3. The assignment of a grade by a substantial departure from the faculty member’s previously announced standards.

* Refer to the following definitions of arbitrary, capricious, and discriminatory:

Arbitrary
Arbitrary in this context refers to a grading decision for which there is no sound academic reason, or a decision based solely on preference or whim.
Capricious
Capricious in this context refers to a grading decision not resulting from a reasonable and announced grading policy and procedure.
Discriminatory
Discriminatory in this context refers to a grading decision reflecting differential treatment based on race, religion, color, age, sex, sexual orientation, disability, or national origin.

According to university policy, unless there is a mathematical or clerical error, or arbitrary, capricious, or discriminatory behavior, the professional judgment of the instructor is not a matter that can be challenged or appealed in this process. It is the student’s responsibility to prove the grade that was issued reflects a mathematical error, or was assigned in an arbitrary, capricious, or discriminatory manner.

If a student believes the instructor has issued a course grade reflecting a mathematical or clerical error, or in an arbitrary, capricious, or discriminatory manner, the student must follow these steps:

INFORMAL APPEAL

Step 1

Talk to the instructor about the situation. If the concern is resolved, no further action is necessary.

If the faculty member is no longer employed by the university, the student may proceed to the Formal Appeal Process.

If the faculty member is employed by the university and declines to discuss the grade with the student, the student may proceed to the Formal Appeal Process.

FORMAL APPEAL PROCESS

The formal appeal process must be initiated no later than the second Monday of October (when appealing a final grade received in a spring or summer course) or the second Monday of March (when appealing a final grade received in a fall semester course.) Appeals must take place in the semester immediately following the semester during which the alleged grievance occurred, whether or not the student is enrolled that semester.

Step 2: Review by the Department Head *

* In case of unavailability of the department head, in order to ensure timeliness of the appeal process, the review may be conducted by the assistant or associate department chair or assistant/associate dean of the college.

  • The student completes the Grade Appeal Form, electronically submitting the form, along with supporting materials, to the head of the department in which the course was offered. List of Department Heads and contact information
  • If the faculty member and the department head are the same person, the student should move directly to step three of the process.
  • Supporting materials should include evidence of informal attempts to resolve the issue, which of the criteria (listed in Table A) the student is claiming and why, and any documentation (e.g. syllabus, communications, assignments, or tests.)
  • If the student chooses to include witnesses, current contact information must be included.
  • The department head will have two weeks (10 business days) after receipt of the Grade Appeal Form and supporting materials to consider the appeal and make a determination regarding the appeal.
  • The department head’s consideration of the appeal must include communication with the instructor and the student for fact-finding, clarification, and an attempt to resolve the grievance. Witnesses may also be contacted.
  • If either individual (instructor or student) does not respond to the department head, the department head must document attempts to initiate communication.
  • If a resolution cannot be reached between the student and the faculty member, the department head will issue a decision.
  • The department head’s decision must be communicated via university email to the student and the instructor no later than the 10th business day following receipt of the appeal.

If the student is satisfied with the outcome, the appeal process ends here. If the student is not satisfied with the outcome, the student may move to step 3.

Step Three: Review by the Academic Dean *

* Grade appeals may be reviewed by an associate dean as the official designee of the dean.

  • Within five (5) business days of receiving the determination of the department head, the student must submit the Grade Appeal Form and supporting materials to the dean of the college in which the course was offered. The student should include a copy of the department head’s decision communication. List of Academic Deans and contact information.
  • The dean will have two weeks (ten business days) after receipt of the Grade Appeal Form and supporting materials to consider the appeal and make a determination regarding the appeal. The consideration of the appeal may include communication with the student, instructor, and department head for fact-finding and clarification purposes. Witnesses may also be contacted.
  • The dean’s decision must be communicated to the student and the instructor no later than the fifth business day following receipt of the appeal.

The student may proceed to step four only if they believe the process or policy was not followed.

Step Four: Official Policy and/or Process Review by the Office of the Provost

  • Within five (5) business days of receiving the determination of the dean, if the student believes the official Grade Appeal policy and/or process have not been followed, the student may appeal to the Office of the Provost for a review. This review is not of the Grade Appeal itself, but of the processes surrounding the appeal. All grade appeal reviews are normally performed by the Associate Provost for Academic Success.
  • The student must submit all materials from prior levels of review, plus an explanation of why they believe the official policy and/or process were not followed.
  • The Office of the Provost will have one week (five business days) after receipt of the Grade Appeal Form and supporting materials to consider the appeal and make a determination regarding the appeal.
  • The Provost’s ruling must be communicated to the student and the college dean no later than the fifth business day following receipt of the appeal.

If it is found that the official policy and/or process were not followed, the student has the right to start the formal appeal process again. In such cases, the Provost may assign different individuals to review the grade appeal. The student must submit the Grade Appeal Form and supporting materials to the department head within five (5) business days of receiving the Provost’s ruling.