In order to ensure that all students’ work is graded according to the same standards, all grades in the Writing Program are subject to departmental review. This means that instructors bring all student folders to the Writing Program offices to be reviewed twice a semester—once at mid-semester and again after the final papers have been handed in and graded.
During folder review, instructors meet with the directors of the program to discuss how the class is going: assignments, student papers, and teacher comments are all read and discussed. Considerable energy is devoted to assuring that grades are accurate and that the comments are fair and helpful.
Each course page offers more information about the grading criteria for that course. Students who question the grades they receive should first review their instructors’ comments to see what areas need to be improved. If, after reviewing the comments, they do not have a clear sense of what they need to do to improve their writing, they should schedule an appointment with their instructors to discuss what can be done to improve their writing.
If a student is not happy with the grade received at the end of the semester, he or she should schedule a meeting with the teacher during final office hours to discuss the grade. Teachers will explain the process used to arrive at the final grade. If, after meeting with the teacher, a student is still not satisfied with the final grade, he or she should make an appointment to meet with one of the Writing Program's Assistant Directors. The directors ask that all students bring their folder of papers to this meeting and be prepared to discuss why they think their grades are not accurate.
The only available passing final grades for Writing Program courses are: A, B+, B, C+, and C. We do not use a minus grade or a D.
In addition to an F, other distinct non-passing grades are sometimes given. They are:
NP: The "NP" grade signifies that the paper in question is "not passing." A paper that receives an "NP" demonstrates that the author made a reasonable attempt to complete the assignment but failed to meet the minimum requirements necessary to receive a passing grade. The "NP" is, thus, distinct from the "F," which signifies a failure to complete the assignment and a failure to demonstrate any meaningful moments of successful engagement with the assigned materials.
It is not unusual for students to receive one or two NPs during the first half of the semester in 101. By the second half of the semester, though, most students will have mastered the basic skills necessary to dependably receive passing marks.
An NP is not given as the final grade in a course. The course equivalent is the EF, which is listed below.
NC: This is a non-punitive failing grade awarded to students who, despite their best efforts throughout the term, are not yet regularly producing passing work. Students who receive this grade have attended the class regularly, completed all papers, and taken the final, but their work is not yet of passing quality. Even though some students have improved throughout the semester, they may not be strong enough as writers to complete the next level writing requirement.
The Ernest Mario School of Pharmacy does not accept the EF grade.
TF: The "TF" grade is a temporary failing grade given to students who, for extraordinary reasons, have not completed the assigned work in the time allotted. If a student receives a TF, he or she should contact the instructor to find out why this grade was received, and what needs to be done to turn it into a passing grade. The TF will eventually turn into an F if satisfactory work is not submitted.
TZ: The TZ is given to students who have a documented emergency or other reason for not completing the course.
If all work was submitted in a class and the final course grade was an 096-TF, please visit the Plangere Writing Center for more information.
095P: This is a non-punitive failing grade awarded to students in 355:100 and 100R who, despite their best efforts throughout the term, are not yet regularly producing passing work. Students are retroactively de-registered from 355:100 and then re-registered in 355:095 in place of 355:100. Instead of receiving a failing grade for 355:100, students will receive a "P" for passing 355:095, a course which essentially stands in for the original 355:100 course on the student's transcript.
The grade of "095P" indicates that the student earned 3 "E credits" in a course called 355:095. These credits are "empty" credits--this means they do not count towards graduation or get factored into the GPA. They do get counted within the number of credits a student is carrying for the semester, however, and can thus assist students in maintaining full-time status.
TZ: A "TZ" grade is assigned when a student is unable to finish his/her course work due to a verifiable emergency situation. This grade is rarely used in the Writing Program.