Grading Policies


Rowan-Cabarrus Community College operates on a grade-point system, and each  student’s academic standing is established by a “Grade-Point Average” (GPA) determined by numerical values assigned to each grade. At the end of each semester, students will access final grades via WebAdvisor based on the following Scale.  Health programs and Developmental Studies courses are graded on a variation of this scale.*

Students enrolled in  Associate Degree Nursing , Practical Nursing programs, Dental Assisting and Radiography should refer to the specific  program webpage  for the numerical grade  required in related courses  Each program will list the required minimum grade for admission to and continuation in the program. All health program students should refer to the specific program handbook regarding the minimum grade to be earned for program progression.

In Developmental Studies courses, a grade of 80 or above is required for satisfactory completion. The North Carolina Community College System has established this minimum standard for satisfactory completion of developmental courses.  Students earning numerical grades below 80 will receive the grade of “R” (Repeat) and must register again for the course. Developmental Studies courses are noncredit courses and are not included in the Grade-Point Average (GPA).

Grades and Quality Points

Grade % Description Quality Points per Semester Hour Notes
A 90 – 100% Excellent 4
B 80 – 89% Good 3
C 70 – 79% Average 2
D 60 – 69% Below Average 1
F Less Than 60% Failing 0 Student did not meet the minimum objectives of the course.
I Incomplete 0 Student did not meet the objectives of the course due to unusual circumstance.  By written agreement, faculty may allow the work to be completed prior to the end of the following semester or term. This must be agreed upon in advance by the student and the instructor, with all work completed prior to the end of the following term. Time given to complete the work cannot exceed the original length of the class.
W Withdrawn 0 Student officially withdrew after the census date and before the 65% point of the semester.
AU Audit/No Credit Earned 0 Student registered for the course and requested “audit” status before the 10% point of the semester.   Audit status is not possible after the 10% point.
CE Credit by Examination 0 Student must register for the course.
R Developmental Course Repeat 0 Student did not meet the objectives of the course.  Course must be repeated.  Student must register for and complete the course with a satisfactory grade.  Course is not computed in the GPA.
P Passed 0 Course is not computed in the GPA.

Grade of Incomplete (I)

Students who need extra time to complete the objectives of a course because of unusual circumstances such as extended sickness or hospitalization may receive a grade of “I” (Incomplete). This must be agreed upon in advance by the student and the instructor, with all work completed prior to the end of the following term. Time given to complete the work cannot exceed the original length of the class. Students should refer to the course syllabi for information related to all grading standards. The student and the instructor must complete an Incomplete Grade Agreement form which details the work to be completed no later than the agreed date or no later than the end of the next academic term.  The “I” is computed in the Grade-Point Average as “0″ quality points.  However, when a student completes the provisions necessary for the removal of an “I,” the “I” will be removed from the student’s record and replaced with the grade earned. The GPA will then be recomputed using the grade earned. If course requirements are not met  by the deadline given, the grade of “I” will automatically be changed to a grade of “F.” The student must register again for the course.

Grade of Withdraw (W)

Please see the Navigation Station articles on withdrawal.

Auditing Courses

Students who wish to audit courses must register for those courses. If an audit is not declared at the time of registration, students must obtain approval from the instructor of the class and submit a drop/add withdrawal to student services for processing by the end of the 10% point of the semester. Students auditing courses receive no credit but are encouraged to attend class, participate in discussions and take examinations. Normal attendance policies will apply. Students withdrawing during the semester will be given a grade of “W.” Fees for audits are the same as for regular enrollment.  Academic credit is not earned for audited coursework. Therefore, any audited coursework will not be considered for transfer credit toward any other RCCC program. Audited courses are not eligible for transfer credit to another institution.

Credit by Examination

Students enrolling at the college who believe they are proficient in a subject due to Continuing Education Units (CEUs), life experiences or professional certifications may request credit by examination. The examination may be written, oral, a performance test, or a combination of these.

To seek credit by examination, a student should obtain guidance from his/her faculty advisor, approval from the program head of the course in question, and must be registered for the course for which credit by examination is sought. The examination for credit must be administered by the instructor during the first eight class days of the semester. Fees for credit by examination are the same as for regular enrollment. If the examination is completed satisfactorily with a grade of “C” or better, the instructor will then complete a “Credit By Examination” form and forward it to the director of records for a grade of “CE” to be awarded. A student who is unsuccessful with the examination may not request a second attempt but may remain in the course through completion of the semester. The decision of the examining faculty is final.

Credits earned by examination will be entered on the student’s permanent record, but quality points will not be awarded for such credit. Credits earned by examination may be used to satisfy graduation requirements but cannot be used to satisfy the policy stating 25% of the credits required for graduation must be taken at RCCC. Hours earned by credit by examination will not be used to satisfy VA or Pell Grant requirements. Hours earned by credit by examination are not transferable to other colleges. For further information, contact the program head of your area of study or the Student Services Office. Students receiving financial aid, scholarships or third party payment of tuition are responsible for checking with the Financial Aid Office before requesting Credit by Examination.

Grade of “R” (Developmental Studies)

Grades of A, B, C, D, F, AU and CE do not apply in Reading/English and Math developmental courses, which are not-credit and are not included in the Grade Point Average (GPA). Theses developmental courses are pass/repeat courses, and a final average of 80 or above is required for successful completion. Students earning a final average below 80 will receive a grade of “R” (Repeat) and must register again for the course.

Calculating Grade-Point Average (GPA)

The GPA for one semester is obtained by the following method.

  1. For each course, multiply the total semester hour credits for the course by the number of quality points awarded for the grade in the class (see table above). This is the grade point for the course.
  2. Add together the grade points for all courses.
  3. Divide the sum of all grade points by the total number of semester credit hours. This is the grade-point average.

GPA Calculation Example

For example, Joe Smith has the following schedule and earned the following grades.

Course Semester Credit Hours Joe Smith’s Grade Quality Points Grade Points
(Semester Credit Hours x Quality Points)
Course #1 3 A 4 12
Course #2 4 C 2 8
Course #3 3 B 3 9
  • Total Grade Points = 29
  • Total Semester Credit Hours = 10
  • Grade-Point Average (Total Grade Points / Total Semester Credit Hours) = 2.9
Joe Smith’s grade-point average for these three courses is 2.9.

Cumulative Grade-Point Average

The cumulative GPA is determined by using the total grade points in two or more semesters divided by the total course credits attempted in two or more semesters.

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