Grades

The chart below is intended for use by students in Prof. Holly Johnson’s classes at Mercer County Community College who are have questions about their final grade. Consult this chart first before contacting the professor with grade inquiries. In most cases, final grades are, in fact, final. If your situation is not on this chart, contact the instructor or the dean of Liberal Arts, Robin Schore (schorer@mccc.edu) with your query.

Problem

Possible reasons

What to do

I got a failing grade in the class, but I thought I was passing.

* It is possible that you did not accurately estimate your performance in the class throughout the semester.
* It is possible that you did not submit every assignment. As your syllabus indicates, you must turn in ALL assignments in order to be eligible to pass the class.
* It is possible that you failed your final exam or other end of the semester assignments and that moved your grade into the not passing zone.

Your grade cannot be changed. If the class is one you need in order to graduate, sign up to take it again in the next semester. Use all the skills you gained this semester to help you pass the class with room to spare the next time around.

I passed the class, but I got a lower grade than I thought I expected.

It is most likely that you scored lower on your final exam or other end of the semester project (such a final paper or research project) and that these scores pulled your grade down because final projects are worth a substantial portion of your overall grade.

Your grade cannot be changed. Attend final office hours so you can pick up your final exam and/or final project and see why you got the grade you got. You may also ask the instructor to show you your grade computed on her Excel spreadsheet so you can see how your scores on all assignments added up to your final grade score.

You can sign up to take the class again and try for a higher grade, which would cancel out the lower grade on your transcript.

I failed the class but I had an ON-GOING medical, legal, personal or family emergency during the semester.

If you had an ongoing medical, legal, personal or family emergency that prevented you from attending classes and submitting assignments at multiple points throughout the semester, then you have failed the class because your personal situation prevented you from receiving adequate instruction and keeping up with the work.

Your grade cannot be changed. On-going medical, legal, personal or family emergencies are very hard on students and the instructor has sympathy for the fact that the situation prevented you from passing the class or doing your best in it. You are advised to wait to take the class again once your personal situation has improved and you can fully devote yourself to your studies.

I failed the class but I had an LAST MINUTE medical, legal, personal or family emergency at the END of the semester.

You had a last minute emergency that prevented you from sitting for a final exam or submitting a final project, but you were passing everything and had submitted all your assignments throughout the semester.

Your instructor has the discretion to offer you an "Incomplete" grade. This would allow you to take your exam or submit your final project after the semester is over. The instructor will give you a limited time in which to complete the work. If you cannot complete it within that time frame, your not passing grade will stand.

I believe the instructor didn't like me or gave me an unfair grade on one or more assignments, and that is why I got a final grade that is lower than what I had anticipated.

In such a case, the burden is on the student to produce evidence that the instructor has not applied the grading criteria outlined in the course syllabus or other course documents, and/or has used a different standard for grading her work than was used for the rest of the students in the class.

You may contact the dean of Liberal Arts, Robin Schore, at schorer@mccc.edu to discuss your situation. He will ask to examine your work and the evidence you can present that you were treated differently from all others in the class. If he feels it is sufficiently warranted, he will advise you to fill out a grade appeal form and proceed with a formal college grade appeal process.

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