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Spring 2020 Grading Policy

This page was last modified on May 4, 2020 at 03:29 pm. This page will keep the TCC community informed of the college’s actions and any operating schedule changes as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.


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The COVID-19 emergency, and the resulting closure of college campuses and transition to remote instruction, has created access and learning challenges for many Virginia Community College System (VCCS) students. To ensure students’ academic progress is not adversely impacted in the Spring 2020 semester, the VCCS is instituting a temporary default Pass/Withdraw/Incomplete grading scale for classes with an end date of April 7, 2020 or later.

Remote instruction classes, with the exception of developmental courses, with an end date of April 7, 2020 or later will be graded under the P/W/I system. Students do have the option to request the A-F grading scale. This includes dual enrollment courses. Developmental courses will be graded under the current S/U/R grading scale.

The new and temporary grading policy is outlined in the chart below.

Letter Grade What does the Grade Mean? How does it Apply?
P+Pass with a grade of “C-” or higher Applies to college transfer and technical education courses. A grade of P+ will not impact a student’s GPA.  
P-Pass with a grade of “D” Applies to college transfer and technical education. A grade of P- will not impact a student’s GPA.  
WWithdrawA student may withdraw, or a faculty member may withdraw a student, up until the end of term.
IIncompleteThe faculty member and student may agree to a plan to complete remaining course requirements no later than the end of the fall 2020 term.

P/W/I Grading System FAQs

The grading system will automatically be used by instructors to report spring 2020 grades in courses covered by this policy. Students do not have to request the P/W/I system. However, if a student wishes to use the A-F grading system, the student must notify each instructor separately. If the student opts in to the graded A-F system, the student cannot later choose the P/W/I system.

The instructor will use the grading policy published in the course syllabus. For course grades of C- or higher, a P+ grade will be reported. For course grades of D, a P- grade will be reported. For course grades of F, the student may withdraw from the course with a grade of W. If a student with an F grade does not withdraw from the course, the instructor will withdraw the student.

A W grade is for students who choose to withdraw from the course or who would otherwise earn an F grade in the course. Students may withdraw themselves or the instructor may report the withdraw grade of W. A grade of W will be reported on the student’s transcript. The W grade does not affect Grade Point Average (GPA).

The answer may vary by your program of study. For example, a P- grade is not acceptable for the Nursing program. Students in selective programs should discuss options with their program advisors.

The I grade signifies that the student has not completed the course. The I grade will be used only in the following cases:

  1. More than 60% of the course has been delivered, but the college is unable to deliver instruction in hands-on courses, such as welding and CNA, before the semester ends.
  2. The student has completed more than 60% of the course with a grade of C or higher and the student and instructor agree that it will be possible for the student to complete the remainder of the course by an agreed upon date, not to exceed the end of the fall 2020 semester. The student must request the I grade. Students who have not completed more than 60% of the course with a grade of C or higher will be withdrawn from the course.

For condition #2 above, (1) the student must request the I grade and (2) the final decision about whether to award the I grade rests with instructor.

The grades will not be factored into the student’s GPA.

TCC students interested in applying to one of the health professions programs with selective admissions are advised to request a letter grade in applicable courses in order to be awarded the appropriate points towards admission in their chosen program. Students with a P+ in courses that award points toward admission will earn the same number of points as a “B” grade.

Students taking coursework at another college/university who have the option of a letter grade are also advised to request a letter grade in applicable courses. If the option does not exist, the admissions committee will review each case on an individual basis.

Students with concerns or questions should seek advisement from the department or an advisor prior to making a decision. The grade scale selection by students is final and irrevocable.

Students planning to apply to the Nursing program should select the A-F grading scale to ensure highest degree of competitiveness for selective admissions processes in nursing. Any pre-admission student accepting/earning P+ grades for spring 2020 courses will earn a grade score of 2.5 for the purposes of admissions calculations. Any student receiving P- grades in NSG or pre-requisite courses will fail to meet the minimum criteria of 80 or better for progression in the program or admission to nursing.

Your instructor will inform you to their best of their ability of your current grade in the course approximately one week before the ending date. Then, you must notify each of your instructors of your decision at least one day prior to the course ending date. See the Dynamic Class Schedule.

Instructions for making A-F grade scale requests will be sent to your student email account.

If you do not submit a request to use the A-F grading system by the specified deadline, your instructor will apply the temporary grade scale (P+, P-, I, W). Please discuss with your instructors to determine what might be in your best interest.

If you are taking a dual-enrollment course, additional information and guidance will be provided soon.

P grades are considered successful in our SAP policy so they will not negatively impact a student’s status.  We are awaiting further guidance regarding the treatment of unsuccessful grades such as W and I from the U.S. Department of Education.  However, it is anticipated that institutions will be permitted to exclude from SAP calculations any attempted credits that were not completed due to a qualifying emergency, without requiring an appeal from the student.

Students receiving veteran benefits should consult with their veterans’ advisor before making a decision. The Center for Veteran’s and Military education can be reached via email at AskVetAffairs@tcc.edu.

Students using military Tuition Assistance (TA) must have a letter grade of “C” or better for all non-developmental courses in order to avoid debt with their service branch. These students should request a letter grade from their instructor for each course instead of using the default grading system. Contact military@tcc.edu for more information.

TCC is working with high school divisions to address dual enrollment. Guidance is forthcoming.


A-F Grading System FAQs

Students who wish to be graded under the A-F grading system must notify each instructor separately of their request. The deadline for doing so varies by the session in which students are enrolled, and once a student chooses to be graded under the A-F system, the student may not switch back to the P/W/I system.

Deadlines for requesting use of the A-F system are:

  • May 7, 2020 (for 8-week and 12-week classes)
  • May 10, 2020 (for 16-week classes)
  • TBD (for dual enrollment classes)

You will receive an email in your TCC account for each course you are enrolled in that ends after April 7. The subject line will be “Opt Out of Temporary Grade Scale Declaration.” Inside these emails is a link to a form that simply asks if you would like to receive an A-F rather than the P/W/I scale. A notification will also appear in your Canvas course with a link to the same form.

If no form is submitted, you will receive a grade of P+, P-, W, or I.

All notifications for courses ending in May will be sent the weekend of April 11-12, with a due date to opt out. Once the due date has passed, your instructors will be notified of all opt-out submissions for their course.

By May 4, your instructors, to the best of their ability, will inform you of your grade so far in their courses. That will allow you to make an informed decision about whether to take the default grade or request an A-F letter grade.


Degree & transfer FAQS

P+ grades will be counted towards course completion and graduation requirements for required courses. P- grades will be counted towards course completion and graduation for required courses, except for courses where a grade of C or higher is required. Students in programs requiring a B or A grade for continuance should consult with their program advisor before making a decision about the grading system to use.

P+ grades can be used to satisfy prerequisite requirements. P- grades can be used to satisfy prerequisite requirements, except if a grade of C or higher in the prerequisite course is required.

The State Council of Higher Education in Virginia (SCHEV) has received assurances from all public­ colleges and universities in Virginia, that courses graded P+ will be awarded transfer credit. It is the hope of the VCCS that private and for-profit colleges and universities in Virginia, as well as public, private, and for-profit colleges and universities in other states, will accept P+ grades for transfer but the decision will rest with those institutions. Students planning to transfer to an institution other than a public Virginia college or university should check with each school to determine how the P+ grade will transfer. W grades will appear on the student’s transcript, but will not count for course completion for transfer. I grades must be completed or they will become W grades.

A note will be placed on the student’s transcript indicating what the P+ and P- grades mean.