Each faculty member has the academic freedom and responsibility to determine grades according to any method, chosen by the faculty member, which is professionally acceptable, communicated to everyone in the class, and applied to all students equally. However, prejudiced or capricious academic evaluation by a faculty member is a violation of a student's rights and constitutes valid grounds for a grade appeal. Faculty are urged to include a written statement of their grading policy on course syllabi.
The University of North Carolina at Wilmington uses the quality point system and semester hour credit for calculating student achievement. Plus (+) or minus (-) grades may be awarded at the discretion of the instructor. Passing grades range from A to D- (there is no A+). For a listing of the quality points and a description of the performance associated with each grade, see the Undergraduate Catalogue.
A student's quality point average is determined by dividing the accumulated number of quality points earned by the accumulated number of quality hours attempted. Hours attempted for which a grade of "F" is received are included in this calculation.
Grading criteria must be applied equally to all students. If an instructor gives any student in a class an opportunity that can raise the student's grade (for example, the opportunity to revise work, retake an examination, or do work for additional credit), that same opportunity must be afforded to all students in the class. Failure to receive equitable opportunities in grading constitutes valid grounds for a grade appeal.
At the discretion of the instructor, a student may be given a grade of Incomplete when the work in the course has not been completed for reasons beyond the control of the student. Instead of reporting the grade on SeaNet, the instructor must also complete a "Form for Assigning an Incomplete," available in departmental offices. It is the responsibility of the faculty member 1) to send copies of the form, once approved by the departmental chairperson, to the the Registrar when the grades are due, and 2) to specify to the student the exact terms and conditions necessary to satisfy the incomplete including the date by which all work needs to be completed. All incomplete grades must be removed, no later than the end of the next regular semester; otherwise the "I" becomes "F". A student must not register for a class when attempting to remove a grade of Incomplete for that class. When a student with an Incomplete grade has successfully completed all required work, the instructor submits a completed "Report of Conversion of Grade or Incomplete" form, available in the departmental office.
The grade of "I" (Incomplete) may be assigned only if all of the following conditions pertain:
The grade if "I" should not be given for any of the following reasons:
For these cases, the appropriate grade is F. If the instructor later learns that the student was incapacitated, the instructor can submit a grade change. However, F is the only appropriate grade when a student has not completed coursework without being excused by the instructor. Students may retake such a course under the course repeat policy.
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA, also known as the "Buckley Amendment") is an amendment to the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965. Simply stated, the law provides college students with the following three rights:
In this regard, the law requires that students be informed of their rights within the stated provisions of the law. All UNCW students are to be informed that in compliance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 these rights will be adhered to on this campus.
Parents who provide more than half of a student's financial support may have access to academic information if the "Parent's Request for Academic Eligibility Information" form is on file in the appropriate dean's office or in the Center for Academic Advising. Students may authorize access to other individuals only through a written consent form signed by the student. These forms remain in the student's file.
Obligations for faculty include the following:
A statement concerning student records, including procedures for inspecting, reviewing and amending records, is provided in the UNCW Student Handbook and Code of Student Life.
All grading is recorded on the web via SeaNet for Faculty. (For information about how to access SeaNet, see the SeaNet guide or phone 962-3126). Grade reporting deadlines are mandatory and are taken seriously; faculty must meet the deadlines in order for grades to be processed, for the students to be notified, and for final graduation check. Students obtain their grades through SeaNet for Students or SeaPort (the university’s telephone interactive voice-response system), and no grade reports are mailed to students. Faculty may verify grades by viewing them on SeaNet for Faculty. Faculty should correct grade discrepancies by the published deadline located under the “Grading Period” link on SeaNet for Faculty. After the deadline, faculty should correct grade discrepancies by filling out a “Change of Grade” form (available in departmental offices), obtaining the necessary signatures, and forwarding it to the Office of the Registrar.
Final grades for semesters and summer sessions are available to students through SeaNet for Students or the SeaPort system as soon as they have been processed on-line. A faculty member who chooses to post grades must devise a system to insure anonymity; neither students’ names nor their social security numbers nor other symbols that could identify them to others may be displayed. Faculty may not leave graded material in public areas (for example, outside their offices) for students to pick up.
Should it be necessary for a faculty member to change a student's grade, the appropriate form ("Report of Conversion of Grade or Incomplete") is available in departmental offices. The faculty member must state the justification for changing the grade and must have the grade change approved by the department chairperson and the dean.
University policy requires the scheduling of final examinations at the end of each semester. Under this policy, the final examination schedule provides a three-hour period for each examination and allows a maximum of three examinations per day. The length of the final examination, up to a maximum of three hours, is at the discretion of the instructor.
All classes must meet during their respective final examination periods. If a final examination is not required, the instructor will determine how the assigned time is to be used. In those few courses for which this is not an academically sound requirement (e. g. laboratories, senior seminar), the instructor and students may be excused from meeting by the department chairperson, who is responsible for notifying the appropriate dean of all such cases.
The final examination schedule is posted on the Registrar's website prior to the preregistration period for each semester. Rescheduling of a final examination for an entire class may be done only with the approval of the appropriate dean. Students in a course having multiple sections may take the final examination with another section only by permission of the instructor and if it does not cause conflict in another course. No makeup final examination will be given except for reasons of illness or other verified emergency. Students who are absent from a final examination for reasons acceptable to the instructor must take the makeup examination at the convenience of the instructor.
A student who is scheduled to take three final examinations in one calendar day may have one rescheduled by notifying the three instructors and the appropriate deans of this desire at least two weeks before the beginning of the final examination period. It is the responsibility of the three instructors, working with the student, to reschedule one of the examinations and so inform the student and the appropriate deans at least one week before the beginning of the final examination period.
Ordinarily, quizzes or tests should not be given at the end of the semester or summer term (last five weekdays in a semester, last three weekdays in a summer term).
Faculty are expected to retain all unreturned papers, including examinations and term papers, for a period of one calendar year, in order to ensure a basis for possible review of a grade. A faculty member should be willing to discuss any unreturned graded material at the request of a student.