Grades & Student Evaluation
Students are evaluated on the attainment of core competencies through the fulfillment of course objectives and requirements as specified in each course syllabus.
In addition to the course grade, faculty may provide additional feedback on the student’s performance and growth in the form of written qualitative comments and verbal feedback provided during supervision meetings or in other educational forums. The determination of student progress is not limited to grades or grade point average, but includes all factors involved in students’ academic and clinical progress, professional development and behavior.
Grades are recorded for all students registered in a course for credit or non-credit. Students may access grades for the current term and their entire academic transcript via Empower. The school does not automatically mail paper copies of grades to students. Students who need an official copy of their transcript may request it via the Office of the Registrar.
Courses taken at MiSPP are awarded a letter grade; the four-point system (4.00) is used to compute the grade point average (GPA). A limited number of courses (noted below) are evaluated on a credit/no credit basis.
*for dissertation/master’s clinical project/internship/practicum use only
Effective academic year 2010-11, for students beginning the MA or PsyD programs:
- Grades of “C” and below will not count towards fulfillment of degree requirements and will affect academic standing.
- Any student who receives a grade of “C” in a course will be required to repeat the course.
A temporary mark of “IP” (In Progress) is given to students who are engaged in practicum, internship, individual scholarship project, or dissertation. “IP” will be given in practicum/internship when performance is satisfactory and the appropriate number of hours for the semester have been completed. “IP” is also given in individual scholarship project or dissertation when a student has satisfactorily completed enough individual scholarship project or dissertation work to warrant “IP” credit. The “IP” will be replaced on the transcript when “CR” (Credit) has been awarded in the final semester. If sufficient progress has not been made, a grade of “NC” may be awarded in any given semester.
Credit /No Credit
A grade of “CR” (Credit) is assigned upon satisfactory completion of practicum, internship, individual scholarship project, and dissertation. A grade of “NC” (No Credit) is assigned upon unsatisfactory performance in practicum/internship or unsatisfactory progress in /clinical scholarship project/dissertation courses. Grades of “CR” and “NC” are not used in calculating the grade point average; however, grades of “NC” are considered unacceptable grades for the purposes of student academic progress.
An “I” (Incomplete) mark will be granted only in exceptional situations for circumstances beyond a student’s control when requirements for a course cannot be completed in the normal time allowed. To be eligible, the student must be performing satisfactorily in the course. Examples of these circumstances may include catastrophic or life threatening illness or injury of the student; or injury or death of a member of the student’s immediate family. An “I” mark is allowed only with formal consent of the instructor and indicates that the student has presented a satisfactory reason for receiving an “I” mark. Students must request an incomplete prior to the last day of the class in question.
For an incomplete to be granted, students must file an Incomplete Agreement Form with the Registrar, which states what the student must do to satisfy the course requirements, and have it approved and signed by the instructor. Incomplete work must be finished by the end of the next semester.
Following completion of the course requirements, the notation of an “I” mark remains on the transcript alongside the final grade. If the coursework is not successfully completed by the end of the subsequent semester, the mark of “I” will be changed automatically to a grade of “F,” which will affect academic standing.
Grade Change Requests
A change to a posted grade may only be initiated by the course instructor. If the instructor who originally awarded the grade is no longer employed by MiSPP, any request for a grade change must be submitted to the Program Director.
Grade changes or alterations to student records are not permitted after a degree has been officially posted to the academic record.
Appeal of a Course Grade
Before filing a grade appeal, the student should first understand the following:
- The instructor has the sole responsibility for determining all grades and for assessing the quality of the academic performance of the student.
- A grade can only be appealed when there is demonstrable evidence that prejudice or an arbitrary action on the part of the instructor has influenced the grade. The burden of proof that such an unfair influence has affected a grade rests with the student appealing the grade.
- The student must provide objective evidence demonstrating that the instructor’s assessment of his/her academic performance on assignments, papers, exams, etc. was inaccurate and the final grade was subsequently inaccurate.
- Only final course grades may be formally appealed.
Step One – Instructor
A student who believes that a “C” or lower grade is inappropriate due to the reasons stated above has the right to appeal. To dispute a grade, a student must present a written letter of appeal to the instructor. The appeal must clearly state the facts the student believes support his/her claim, and the requested outcome. This appeal must be filed within the first ten (10) calendar days of the next semester immediately following the semester in which the grade was earned.
The instructor will meet with the student to review the student’s performance with regard to course requirements stated in the syllabus and to indicate how the grade was determined. If there is a discrepancy between the course requirements, evaluation methods and the grade awarded, it is incumbent upon the instructor to do whatever is reasonable to resolve the issue. The instructor will communicate his or her decision, in writing, within ten (10) days of receipt of the student’s written appeal. This must be directed to the student, copied to the Program Director and placed in the student’s academic file.
If the instructor is the Program Director, students bypass Step One and present their grade appeals to the Vice President. In such circumstances, the decision of the Vice President will stand as the final decision of the school.
Step Two – Program Director
If Step One does not resolve the concern, the student may, within five (5) calendar days of receipt of the instructor’s response, present an appeal to the Program Director (or Vice President if the instructor is the Program Director).
Students must present a letter of appeal with a clear statement of the grade change requested, basis for the appeal and the facts that support the request.
Within ten (10) days of receipt of the appeal letter, the Program Director (or Vice President) will render a decision and communicate, in writing, to the student and copy the decision to the faculty member.
If, upon review, the Program Director (or Vice President) determines that the appeal is clearly without merit or does not meet the requirements set forth under Appeal of a Course Grade, the Program Director (or Vice President) will deny the appeal and render a written decision to the student and instructor.
If, upon review, the Program Director (or Vice President) determines that the appeal does have merit, the Program Director (or Vice President) will conduct an investigation. After this investigation, the Program Director (or Vice President) will render a written decision to the student and instructor.
The decision of the Program Director (or Vice President) is final and no further appeal is possible. The outcome of the grade appeal will be placed in the student’s academic file.