Dear Faculty Colleagues,
We want to inform you and solicit feedback about proposed changes to policies about non-standard grades at Lane, especially the NC grade and the Incomplete. These changes were brought to Faculty Council on April 27 by Dawn Whiting, LCC’s Registrar, and Faculty Council will be discussing the proposals again at our May 11 meeting. Please feel free to share your views by commenting publicly on this post or by emailing Aryn Bartley at email@example.com or Jessica Alvarado at firstname.lastname@example.org by Thursday, May 10, at 5 pm.
NC: Dawn Whiting, our registrar, has proposed to eliminate the NC grade at Lane. She notes that, while faculty often believe that the NC grade does not have a negative impact on students, it does in fact impact both attempted credits and, subsequently, financial aid. The NC grade, therefore, doesn’t impact GPA, but it does impact a student’s academic progress. Last term, Lane had 557 NCs; the term before that, we had 644. We are the only community college in Oregon that still has this grading option.
Incomplete: Lane currently has almost 40,000 outstanding Incompletes. Dawn proposes the following changes to the way Incompletes are handled. 1) When an Incomplete is entered into Banner, the faculty member will mark both the deadline for completion and the grade the student will receive if they do not complete expected work. 2) Incompletes will have a recommended completion deadline of one term with an option for a faculty member to extend that deadline up to a year. 3) Banner will be programmed to automatically transfer a grade from an Incomplete to what the grade would have been originally after the agreed-upon deadline has been reached. 4) Both faculty members and students will need to complete and file contracts for Incompletes, including details about expected work and a deadline. 5) The request for an Incomplete should be initiated by the student.
Specific proposed language follows:
I indicates Incomplete: When a student has satisfactorily completed 75 percent or more of the course work as defined by the instructor and noted in the syllabus, but is unable to finish the remaining required scheduled work due to circumstances beyond the student’s control. An Incomplete grade is not used to avoid a failing grade or if scheduled work is not time convenient for the student. A grade of Incomplete must be made up within one term from the last day of the original term it was taken, but may be extended up to one year at the discretion of the instructor. A request for Incomplete must be a student initiated request but the approval is at the discretion of the instructor. Granting an incomplete requires a contract between the student and instructor detailing the work to be finished. A contract must be filed for each approved incomplete. The contract must contain a deadline by which outstanding work is to be completed.
It cannot be required that a student retake or audit a course during the term of the incomplete. When a student enters into an incomplete contract, it is the responsibility of the student to understand the terms of the contract. At the end of the contract date, the incomplete will convert to a standard grade as determined by the terms of the contract.
The procedure for submitting an incomplete is as follows:
Student initiates request for incomplete with the instructor. The instructor and student fill out the incomplete form and both sign, agreeing to the terms of the incomplete contract. A clear deadline must be written on the contract as well as the grade that will be earned if the student does not complete the required work as noted on the contract. The incomplete form is turned into the department administrator. When the incomplete is entered into Banner, the incomplete contract is sent to StudentRecords@lanecc.edu and imaged into application extender in SHACRSE [a form in Banner that reports on a student’s grades and courses – ed. note Aryn Bartley]. Enrollment Services will verify that a contract has been submitted for each incomplete issued. For Incompletes that are missing the corresponding contract Enrollment Services will contact the instructor to request the form. Upon expiration of the contract, Banner will update the student record to reflect the default grade from the contract, if a grade change form is not submitted by the faculty.
Dawn sent an informative Q/A document regarding these changes, which is attached to the email we just sent out to the faculty.
At last Friday’s meeting, Faculty Council members were receptive to the proposed changes, but we wanted to communicate those changes to the faculty at large to receive your feedback before we meet next Friday. Again, please feel free to share your thoughts by commenting on this post or by emailing Aryn Bartley at email@example.com or Jessica Alvarado at firstname.lastname@example.org.
All the best,
Aryn Bartley and Jessica Alvarado
Faculty Council co-chairs