Grading System

Grade Significance Grade Points
A Exceptional 4.00
A- 3.67
B+ 3.33
B Good 3.00
B- 2.67
C+ 2.33
C Satisfactory 2.00
C- 1.67
D+ 1.33
D Poor 1.00
D- .67
F Failure 0.00
W Withdrawl Not Applicable
WP Withdrawal Passing Not Applicable
WF Withdrawal Failure 0.00
CR Credit Not Applicable
I Incomplete Not Applicable
P Pass (Granted for "C" or higher) Not Applicable
AU Audit Not Applicable

A grade point is a numerical value assigned to a letter grade. Each unit with a grade of “A” is assigned four grade points. Each unit with a grade of “B” is assigned three grade points, et cetera. Thus, for example, a three-unit course with a grade of B is assigned a total of nine grade points. A grade point average (GPA) is determined by dividing the total number of grade points by the number of units attempted for which grade points are assigned.

The term “current grade point average” refers to the GPA earned in the last session of enrollment. The term “cumulative grade point average,” on the other hand, refers to the average of the total of grade points accumulated divided by the total of all units earned with letter grades. The cumulative GPA is calculated and then entered on the transcript of the student’s academic record at the end of each session or semester. While courses are transferred from other colleges, grade point averages are determined only on the basis of courses completed at VU.

Incomplete Grades

Faculty may assign a grade of “I” (Incomplete) to students when they warrant additional time to complete coursework due to situations beyond their control (i.e. serious illness, accident, or death of a family member). They may only be awarded when the student’s grade would have otherwise been an “F”. Incomplete work must be made up no later than six calendar weeks following the last day of the term (or other academic session). If the work is not made up by this time a grade of “F” will automatically be assigned.  Extensions to the six week limitation are made only with the approval of the Dean of the College. Instructors are under no obligation to assign an Incomplete grade or to administer a make-up exam.

Grade Change Policy

Grades submitted by faculty to the Office of the Registrar are considered final. Students who believe a grade was assigned in error must contact the instructor of the course to review their records. Submission of a grade change to the Office of the Registrar can be made by the faculty member no later than two semesters following the term in which the grade was originally assigned. Requests for exceptions to this policy must be made to the appropriate Dean.  Instructors are under no obligation to accept late or additional work.

Grade Appeals

No course grade may be appealed more than one year after the end of the academic term in which the grade was assigned.

A course grade may be appealed only on the basis of one or more of the following justifications:

  1. Erroneous course grade assigned.
  2. Assigned course grade based on capricious or prejudicial evaluation of course work.
  3. Assigned course grade based on inconsistent or inequitably applied standards for evaluation.

A student wishing to contest a course grade should first seek an explanation from the faculty member assigning the grade. If the faculty member approved a course grade change, the faculty member shall submit a grade change to the Office of the Registrar and shall provide a written notification of the decision to the student.

Should the faculty member be unavailable or if the explanation given is deemed unsatisfactory, the student may appeal to the appropriate academic administrator (Department Chair, Professional Studies Chair, Graduate Program Director). The academic administrator shall seek to reach a mutually satisfactory resolution of the matter by conferring with the student and the faculty member. If the faculty member does not respond to attempts for conferral, the academic administrator will resolve the matter in light of the evidence presented. If resolution is achieved and results in a course grade change, the academic administrator shall submit the grade change to the Office of the Registrar and shall provide a written notification of the decision to the faculty member and the student. Should the faculty member be the academic administrator, the student may appeal the course grade to the appropriate academic Dean.

Should a mutually acceptable solution of the matter not be reached by the academic administrator, the student may appeal the course grade to the appropriate academic Dean, who will review the case and seek to reach a mutually satisfactory resolution of the matter. If resolution is achieved and results in a course grade change, the Dean shall submit a grade change to the Office of the Registrar and shall provide a written notification of the decision to the faculty member, the academic administrator, and the student. Should the faculty member be the Dean, the student may appeal the grade to the Provost.

Should a mutually acceptable resolution of the matter not be reached by the Dean, the student may appeal the course grade to the Provost, who will review the case, approve or disapprove a grade change, submit (if necessary) a grade change to the Office of the Registrar, and provide a written notification of the decision reached to the student, the academic administrator, and the appropriate Dean. The decision will not be subject to further appeal.

Course Repeat Policy

Academic courses offered at VUSC are not repeatable unless specifically noted in the catalog.  Those students who wish to retake a course due to a low or failing grade are permitted to register again for the same course during any given semester. All grades will appear on the student’s permanent academic record (transcript).  When a course is repeated, all grades will remain on the transcript, but only the higher grade is computed in the grade point average.  In the case that the grades are the same, only the most recent grade will be included in the G.P.A.

Class Attendance

Regular and punctual class attendance is expected and is essential to optimum academic achievement. Students in lower division classes are given an “F” for any course in which they have been absent more than one-fifth of the scheduled class meetings. Attendance requirements in upper division classes are established by each instructor.

Absences occasioned by participation in a college-approved activity (e.g. field trips, athletic contests) are governed by the following:

  1. Students are responsible for initiating the process of makeup work. Work must be submitted when due whether or not the student is present.
  2. Scheduled events (games, concerts, tournaments) constitute an excuse to miss class; however, practices do not.
  3. Students should clear their class schedules with coaches or directors before registering for classes to minimize potential conflicts.
  4. Missed classes for authorized events will count toward the one-fifth absence allowance. Student athletes and others affected by excused absences should be particularly careful not to miss other class sessions for unauthorized reasons.
  5. Students shall not be penalized for missing class for authorized college activities by loss of attendance points. On the rare occasion it would be impossible to make up a missed class or lab; the student should miss the activity and not be penalized by the coach or director.

Class Standing

Class standing, which classifies students for both academic and social activities, is determined on the basis of the accumulated number of college-level units (transferred to VU and institutional) in keeping with the following chart:

Standing Credits
Freshman 0-29
Sophomore 30-59
Junior 60-89
Senior 90+

Academic Probation 

“Academic probation” is a term used to designate a period of close academic supervision, generally including reduced allowable activities, imposed to improve unsatisfactory academic performance. Students on academic probation may not register for more than twelve units excluding physical activity courses during the probation period. Such students shall not hold a student body office and must curtail extracurricular work and activities as recommended by their faculty advisor. In certain cases, eligibility for participation in intercollegiate sports may be forfeited.

A student’s official transcript may reflect academic probation following any full semester in which a student’s current or cumulative grade point average (GPA) drops below a “C” average (2.0). This academic standing will remain in place unless the student receives a change of grade bringing both their current and cumulative GPA above 2.0 prior to the end of the withdrawal period of the following semester.

Academic probation will continue for the student until the current and cumulative GPAs are raised to 2.0 or higher.

Academic Disqualification 

A student is academically disqualified when there are two consecutive semesters of current or cumulative GPA below “C” (2.0). Students academically disqualified are precluded from further enrollment. In certain situations (explained in the letter informing the student of disqualification) students may appeal for re-entry. Appeals begin with the Dean of the College.  

Honors 

The Academic Honors list, produced following the end of each semester, honors all degree-seeking students with twelve or more units who have earned a GPA of 3.5 or above for that semester.

Students who have completed, by the end of the Fall semester, no less than 36 units (bearing letter grades) at Vanguard may be eligible to participate with provisional honors in the Commencement ceremonies ahead of actual completion of all courses required for graduation. The deadline for having honors designated at the Commencement Ceremonies is the end of the Fall semester.  Any grades and/or grade changes subsequently affecting the GPA will not be indicated for Commencement, but will be reflected in the honors posted with the degree on the transcript and diploma. Students official honors will be based upon their GPA at the completion of all coursework required for graduation and will be indicated on the permanent transcript and on the diploma. Students must complete a minimum of 45 units at Vanguard to have honors recorded on their transcript and diploma.  Students who have maintained a cumulative GPA of 3.500—3.699 will graduate cum laude. Those achieving a cumulative GPA of 3.700—3.899 will graduate magna cum laude, and those achieving an average of 3.900 and above will graduate summa cum laude.

Student Honor Societies

Student honor societies exist to recognize superior academic performance, provide academic enrichment to the Vanguard community, and to provide opportunity for students to gain greater exposure to academic disciplines. Undergraduate students may be accepted into the University’s chapter of the following honor societies:

Honor Society Subject
Alpha Kappa Delta Sociology
Lambda Alpha Anthropology
Lambda Pi Eta Communication
Phi Alpha Theta History
Pi Sigma Alpha Political Science
Psi Chi Pi Psychology
Sigma Beta Delta Business
Sigma Tau Delta English
Phi Epsilon Kappa Kinesiology
Sigma Theta Tau Nursing