Document Sample
Understanding_Your_GPA Powered By Docstoc
					Understanding Your GPA

   Presented By: Dawn K. Miles, M.Ed.
 Grade Point Average
In Spring 2010 the University changed their Academic
Standards. Be aware that some academic programs, for
example, Education and Social Work, require a higher
GPA to be a 2.50 to remain in good standing within the
specific program.

The negative consequences of not maintaining the
minimum GPA standard includes being placed on
academic probation or dismissal from an academic
program or the university. Furthermore, failure to
maintain a minimum GPA standard may effect your
financial aid, on-campus housing options, extra-
curricular activities, and athletic eligibility.
 Academic Policies
Grade point average, or GPA, is a numerical
representation of your academic performance that
is based on the letter grades that you earn each

Grading System:
 The professor must be fully accountable for the grading of
  students. Each professor has the responsibility of
  maintaining class records to a reasonable level of detail on
  each student enrolled in class.
Grading Chart
Letter      Point                                        Definition
Grade    Equivalency
  A              4             Excellent performance of course requirements, far above minimum

  B              3             Good performance of course requirements, well above minimum
                               acceptable standards.

  C              2             Satisfactory performance of course requirements, clearly meets
                               minimum acceptable standards for undergraduate work but is
                               marginal for graduate level work.

  D              1             Barely acceptable performance of undergraduate course
                               requirements, clearly below average for graduate work.

  F              0             Performance failed to meet minimum acceptable standards.

  I              0             Incomplete work; 75 % of course requirements completed
                               satisfactorily, but work toward course completion suspended with
                               prior permission of professor.

It should be noted that “plus” or “minus” letter grades (B+, C-, etc.)
are not part of the grading system.

Course Syllabi
 The course syllabus and/or course outline along with
  the catalog description upon which it is based
  constitutes the basis for instructional accountability,
  course evaluation, and quality assurance.

  The document will include as a minimum, but not
  necessarily be limited to, the following:

  1. Standard course description; Course
     procedures and/or requirements
  2. Performance standards; Grading system and
     criteria to be used in calculating the final grade
     for the course
  3. Instructor’s office hours, location, etc.
  4. Textbooks and /or required readings.
Examination Policy
1. Progress Examinations: During the semester, faculty are
   required to conduct periodic assessments in order to determine
   student progress. A midterm assessment is required. These
   assessments will be given during the class period and will not
   exceed the time frame for the class. Students should be
   informed of the results of such assessments upon their

2. Final Examinations: Unless prior written approval is attained,
   the University requires each faculty member to conduct a final
   assessment of each student. The final assessment may be in
   the form of an examination, project, etc. This assessment is to
   be administered at the time specified on the Academic Calendar
   that is distributed to each faculty member at the beginning of
   each academic year. No change by the instructor in the final
   assessment schedule may be made unless it is approved, in
   writing, by the dean of the school or director of the division.
Students Right to Know
Students have the right to review with faculty
     members their final assessments.

For this reason:

 Final assessments should be kept on file for one calendar
 In addition to the final assessment, other assessments are
  to be administered and out-of-class work assigned in a
  manner deemed appropriate by the instructor and detailed
  in the course syllabus.
 Sufficient work should be assigned and evaluated prior to
  midterm so that the student can clearly assess progress in
  the course.
Academic Progress
Spring 2010 all undergraduate students enrolled at Alabama
A&M University will be subject to the conditions set forth in
this regulation:

The minimum cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA) standard
for all undergraduate students is outlined below:

    Classification           Credit Hours            Minimum GPA
      Freshmen                   1 - 30                    1.50
     Sophomore                  31 – 63                    1.75
        Junior                  64 – 94                    2.0
        Senior               95 and above                  2.0
Class Attendance Policy
A student is permitted one (1) unexcused absence for
each credit hour generated by the class. For example,
two (2) absences are allowed in a two-hour class.
1. Class attendance is expected as well as a privilege and students are required
   to be punctual and prepared.

2. Learning experiences proceed at such a rapid pace that attendance is
   necessary if students are to acquire the knowledge and develop the
   competence, skills and strategies that students need to be successful in their

3. Students are required to carry out all assigned work and to take examinations
   and quizzes at the class period designated.

4. Failure to take examinations and quizzes, and/or carry out assignments at the
   designated times may result in an appropriate reduction in the final grade,
   except as provided under #6.

5. Arrangements for make-up work, due to excused absences, must be initiated
   by the student.

Attendance Policy Cont.…
6. Excused absences can be obtained, upon presenting documentation to
   Student Affairs, for the following reasons indicated below:

a.   Personal Illness or Illness of a Family Member.      Documentation bearing the
     signature of Doctors, Dormitory Counselors, Infirmary and/or Hospital Officials,
     Athletic Trainers, etc. shall constitute proof.

b.   Death in the Family. Funeral programs, newspaper obituaries, statements from
     funeral directors shall constitute proof.

c.   Subpoena for Court Appearance. The student’s copy of the document shall
     constitute proof.

d.   Emergencies or Circumstances over which the Student has no Immediate
     Control. Appropriate corroboration, documentation and/or explanation shall
     constitute proof.

e.   Trips and/or activities by members of student organizations sponsored by
     academic units, and activities officially authorized by the appropriate
     university. Authorized excuses, dispatched from the appropriate offices, instructors,
     coaches or sponsors over the signature of the Department Chairperson and Dean or
     Director, shall constitute proof.

Grading Policies
Changing of Grades

All course grades (except “I” grades) are intended to be final and
permanent. It is expected that faculty will arrive at and report final
grades as accurately and precisely as the nature of the evaluation of
student achievement and the grading system will permit. It is
considered the faculty’s direct and personal responsibility to insure
that grades are fair and reported correctly the first time.

Final grades cannot be improved by “make-up” work, after the
end of the term.
Grading Policies Cont.…
Incomplete Grades
An “I” grade is intended to be only an interim course mark. It is to be used
only if a student has satisfactorily (hereby defined as a C average or better)
completed at least 75% of the course requirements, and there is an
excusable and acceptable reason for his/her not having completed all
requirements prior to grade reporting time.

Students may obtain credit for courses in which their marks are
“Incomplete” only by completing the work of the course in a satisfactory
manner. The incomplete grade must be removed within one year of the
date the “I” is awarded or the end of the next term that course is offered. If
this is not done, the grade in the course automatically and permanently
becomes a failure (“F”). The grade of “I” - Incomplete - shall be neutral in
the calculation of the grade point average.

A student “DOES NOT” need to re-register for a course in order to
                     remove an I grade.

Grading Policies Cont.…
Repeating Courses

Any student who registers for credit for any course and who satisfies the
requirement shall receive credit for that course; however, no student shall
receive credit for the same course twice.

Students may repeat courses to improve their grade point averages.
Only the highest grade will be included in his/her grade point average.
Credit will be allowed only once. This policy applies only to courses
repeated at AAMU.

A student who fails a required course should repeat the course at the next
time offered. A student should be encouraged to repeat an elective course
in which he/she receives a grade of “F” by his/her advisor, major
department chairperson or school dean.

Advantages of a Good GPA

1. Professional programs such as Social Work, 2.50
   cumulative GPA is required for admission to candidacy in
   their program.

2. Eligible for membership in honor societies.

3. Eligible for memberships in fraternities and sororities.

4. Semester Dean’s List recognition.

5. Graduating with honors.

6. Great Internship opportunities.

7. Better job offers and salary upon graduation.
Consequences of Low GPA
1. Loss of Scholarship

2. Loss of Financial Aid

3. Placed on Academic Warning and Academic

4. Being Suspended from the University

5. Being Dismissed from your Academic Program

6. Unable to get good recommendations for jobs and/or

7. Loss of NCAA Eligibility to participate in sports

8. Unable to graduate
Academic Status
Grade point calculation for academic status shall be made at
the end of each term. (Fall, Spring, Summer) All students
enrolled for three (3) or more hours are subject to academic
warning, probation and/or suspension.

Students who are on academic warning and probation may
take a maximum of twelve (12) semester hours for Fall and
Spring semesters and nine (9) semester hours for Summer.
If students do not remove probationary status, after four (4)
consecutive semesters (AW, AP, CP, 2CP), they will be
suspended from the University for poor scholarship.
Academic Status Cont.…
Academic Warning: A new student who does not meet minimum
requirements for remaining at the University will be placed on
Academic Warning (AW) after the first (1st )semester the student
enrolls at the University or the 1st semester student falls below
academic standards after becoming in good academic standing.

Academic Probation: A student is placed on Academic
Probation (AP) the following semester (2nd Semester registered)
after Warning if the cumulative grade point average fails to reach:

 1.50 for students with 0-30 semester hours earned
 1.75 for students with 31-63 semester hours earned
 2.00 for students with 64 hours or more
 Academic Status Cont.…
Continued Probation: A student is placed on Continued Probation
(CW) the following semester (3nd Semester registered) after Academic
Probation if the cumulative grade point average is still below academic

2nd Continued Probation: A student is placed on 2nd Continued
Probation (2CP) the following semester (4th Semester registered) after
Continued Probation if the cumulative grade point average fails to
reach academic standards.

Temporary Suspension: A student is Temporarily Suspended (TS)
from the University and unable to continue matriculation for one (1)
semester without being approved to register by the Academic Appeals

Probation After Suspension: A student is placed on Probation After
Suspension (PAS)the following semester (5th Semester registered)
after Temporary Suspension or if approved to register for current
semester without completing Temporary Suspension and their
cumulative grade point average is still below academic standards.
Academic Status Cont.…
2nd Probation After Suspension: A student is placed on 2nd
Probation After Suspension (2PAS) the following semester (6th
Semester registered) after Probation After Suspension if the cumulative
grade point average fails to reach academic standards.

Indefinite Suspension: A student is Indefinitely Suspended (IS)
from the University and unable to continue matriculation for a minimum
of one (1) full academic year (Fall, Spring, Summer) without being
approved to register by the Academic Appeals Committee.

Academic Status Example:
1st Semester: AW (Fall 2010)
2nd Semester: AP (Spring 2011)
3rd Semester: CP (Summer 2011)
4th Semester: 2CP (Fall 2011)
5th Semester: TS (Spring 2012)
6th Semester: PAS (Summer 2012)
7th Semester: 2PAS (Fall 2012)
8th Semester: IS (Spring 2013)

   Students who are Suspended from the University are unable to enroll at other
                institutions while serving academic suspension.
Just how important is your
GPA? -                     Heather Huhman, Examiner.c

January 6th, 2009 9:56 am ET

The short answer to the question is, “it depends.” It depends on your industry, whether you’re applying for an
internship or entry-level position and sometimes just even on the organization.

“For example, consulting and major public accounting firms seek candidates with strong GPAs – 3.6 and above –
whereas other business-related roles may not be as particular, like some sales professions,” said Dale Austin,
director of career services at Hope College.

You will likely find there are internships with a minimum GPA requirement. However, if yours is below the
requirement, it doesn’t mean you’re not a worthy candidate. Organizations, particularly larger ones, simply need
(legal) ways to weed out the hundreds, if not thousands, of applications they receive for any one position. At the
internship level, GPA is an easy way to accomplish this.

“Employers want to see that a student has applied themselves well in the classroom, before that student takes on
responsibilities inherent in the workplace,” said Mike True, director of the Internship Center at Messiah College.
“Oftentimes, when students do an internship, they straddle two worlds – taking some academic classes while also
testing the waters of the workplace. That can be stressful. If students have not done well academically, employers
are wary of them doing well in the workplace with an internship.”

Kristen Campbell, national director of College Prep Programs at Kaplan Test Prep and Admissions, adds, “Without
a long résumé of professional accomplishments, employers have few criteria on which to judge potential new hires.
For students fresh out of college with little or no work experience, the GPA may be one of the most important
factors potential employers look at when evaluating their candidacy.
But, GPA is “not the be-all end-all” says Karen Nethersole, Esq., CEO and founder of Full Circle NY.

“It is important for a student to show that he or she takes courses seriously enough to do whatever it takes to
achieve the highest grade possible. This shows the ability to work consistently and persistently to achieve excellent
results,” said Nethersole. “An employer also needs to look for well-rounded candidates who can demonstrate what
they are doing beyond school that shows some kind of leadership. It's not just about GPA or the courses taken. It's
about what you are bringing to the table.”
Just how important is your
GPA? -                     Heather Huhman, Examiner.c


Steven Rothberg, president and founder of, adds, “The vast majority of employers use GPA
as merely one of many factors when considering candidates. So, if your GPA is low but your other qualifications are
exemplary, then you still stand a good chance of landing an interview and being hired.”

What general guideline should you follow when deciding whether or not to include your GPA on your résumé?

“As a rule of thumb, I regularly counsel entry-level and internship candidates that they should definitely include a
GPA on the résumé within the education section when they have been on the Dean’s List or have a GPA of at least
3.0,” said Todd Nilson, director of Talent Acquisition Partners. “Sometimes, it is appropriate to also include the GPA
within one’s major course of study, again if the GPA is high enough.”

Ken Wisnefski, president of, adds, “If a candidate’s GPA is not very high, then they should leave it
off but be prepared to place a positive spin on the reason for leaving it off if asked.”

 Does Your GPA Really Matter?
Laura Morsch, writer

Studies have shown college graduates earn up to 75 percent more than people with just a high school diploma. So
students earn good grades, study for the SATs and rack up an impressive list of extracurriculars in their quest for
that oh-so-important acceptance letter.

But now that you're in, can you relax? Just how important are your college grades to future employers? Are those
long hours at the library and those all-night study sessions really worth it?

Where it really counts
Keeping your grade point average (GPA) up can be vital to your academic success. Slacking off could land you on
academic probation, or the university could yank your scholarship. Plus, according to the U.S. News and World
Report, maintaining a high GPA is crucial to those who dream of attending top graduate schools like Harvard
medical school (3.8 average GPA), Yale law (3.9) or Stanford business school (3.6).

The realities of the job market
Thankfully, most employers don't enforce these same academic standards on their applicants. According to the
National Association of Colleges and Employers' "Job Outlook 2005" survey, 70 percent of hiring managers do
report screening applicants based on their GPA, but the largest group say they use a 3.0 as their cutoff.

All other factors being equal, an employer is more likely to choose the candidate with stellar grades, but that doesn't
mean a so-so student can't land a competitive job with a prestigious company.

Employers understand that students have different circumstances. Employers do take a university's reputation into
consideration, but they also understand working to pay your way through school, extracurricular involvement and
extenuating circumstances can lower your academic marks.

Having relevant experience like internships is key to getting ahead in today's cutthroat job market. Luckily, a
superior GPA from a top-ranked university isn't required to get an internship, according to the Princeton Review.
Internship coordinators look for candidates with a go-getter attitude, something that can be expressed in a cover
letter and interview – a resume or transcript.
 Does Your GPA Really Matter?

Don't be deceptive
Although employers may not automatically cut you for your low grades, leaving your GPA off of your resume
completely may do you more harm than good. If you're a new grad and omit your GPA from your resume, you might
find employers warily wondering how terrible your grades really are. One career adviser even said if there's no GPA
on a resume, he automatically assumes it's under a 3.0. And it should go without saying that you should never lie
and tell an employer you have better grades than you really do.

Resume remedies for mediocre students
If your GPA falls below your dream employer's minimum standards, you do have options. Again, leaving the figure
out isn't wise, but you should emphasize your academic strengths as much as possible.

Luckily, some business schools and other graduate programs pay closer attention to the grades you earned during
your junior and senior years than to your overall transcript. This can really help out people who are struggling to
raise their averages after a rough transition into college life. Another option is to list your major GPA, or your
average grades for only the classes taken in your major. offers these tips for choosing which GPA to include: If your major GPA is higher than a 3.0, and
your overall grades fall below that cutoff, only list your major average. If both averages are higher than a 3.0 and
your major GPA is at least three-tenths of a point higher than your overall average, feel free to list both. Always
round to the nearest tenth of point.

And remember what President George W. Bush told a group of graduates in 2001: "To all the C-students, I say, you
too can be president of the United States."

                                   Laura Morsch is a writer for