Academic Affairs

Board of Trustees Policy

Subject: Comprehensive Grading (Student Assessment)

Number: 3.5

Date: June 2022

Supersedes: October 2017, September 2014, November 2013, June 2007, June 2004


Montgomery County Community College is committed to maintaining academic integrity, enhancing student success, refining course assessment, and ensuring accuracy, compatibility, and consistency across all of the related components of grading. A comprehensive, institutional policy regarding grading fosters alignment with these endeavors, while ensuring compliance with Federal Title IV guidelines. Grades are assigned by the instructor and can only be changed through instructor-initiated grade change or established College processes, such as the Grade Appeal Policy. The Comprehensive Grading Policy is implemented in concert with other College policies such as Grade Appeal, Student Academic Code of Ethics, and Academic Progress.


Plus/Minus Grading

Faculty have designed a grading policy that permits accurate monitoring and assessment of student performance.

Graded Designations
Grades Quality Points Definition
A 4.00 Surpasses Expectations
A- 3.67 Surpasses Expectations
B+ 3.33 Above Expectations
B 3.00 Above Expectations
B- 2.67 Above Expectations
C+ 2.33 Meets Expectations
C 2.00 Meets Expectations
D 1.00 Below Expectations
F 0.00 Academic Failure
XF 0.00 Academic Misconduct 
Institutional Grading Scale
A 93 - 100
A- 90 - 92
B+ 87 - 89
B 83 - 86
B- 80 - 82
C+ 77 - 79
C 70 - 76
D 60 - 69 
F 0 - 59
XF 0.00


Code Description
FS F stopped attending
NP No pass
P Pass
S Satisfactory at midterm
U Unsatisfactory at midterm

Non-Graded Designations
Code Description
AU Audit
AT Attended
AW Audit withdrawal (obsolete)
CE Credit by exam
CL Credit for prior learning experience
CR Credit (obsolete)
I Incomplete
M Military leave

Code Description
NC No credit
NG No grade (obsolete)
NS No show for attendance
W Student Initiated Withdrawal
WEX Withdrawal with approved excuse (obsolete)


Grading System

The grading system at Montgomery County Community College is a plus/minus system with associated quality points. These quality points are used in the calculation of the cumulative grade point average (GPA) for college level courses. A student's cumulative GPA is determined by dividing the number of credits attempted into the quality points earned. The use of a GPA Calculator can assist in calculating the cumulative GPA. Each instructor provides written explanation of the College approved grading system in the course syllabus, as well as consequences that may impact learning and grades. Students are responsible for obtaining a clear understanding of the grading system, including imposed consequences.

Monitoring of Attendance and Student Progress

Instructors are required to complete attendance reporting after 20% of the course contact time has occurred - at the second week of the semester or at the conclusion of the second class meeting in an accelerated session. An Early Alert is automatically issued for any student not attending class(es), so that proactive intervention can be initiated by the student’s academic advisor/counselor. Instructors report students who have attended class meetings using a code of "AT" (Attended), and students who have never attended using a code of "NS" (No Show). If the student began course attendance and subsequently stopped attending, the instructor would report the student as "AT" and enter a Last Date of Attendance (LDA). It is the responsibility of the student to notify the College when there is the intent to withdraw from classes. Failure to attend class meetings or to pay tuition and fees does not constitute a withdrawal ("W"). The instructor, after consultation with the Division Dean, determines course reentry for a student after extended absence or lack of beginning attendance in the course. The College does not disburse financial aid to students who have been identified as ineligible through this procedure.

Administrative Deregistration

Students are administratively deregistered for the purposes of dropping them from class rosters when they have been reported as a "NS" (No Show). Administrative deregistration is treated the same as a regular drop status as it relates to the students’ GPA and course attempts. Instructors will assign an "FS" grade to a student who began attendance but subsequently stopped attending and did not withdraw.

Midterm Academic Progression

At the midterm period of each semester/session, instructors are required to enter into the electronic grading system an indicator of student progress. An "S" is entered if the student is making satisfactory academic progress (A, B, or C grade, or based upon course requirements and faculty feedback); a "U" is entered if the student is attending classes and is not making satisfactory academic progress (a D or F grade, or based upon course requirements and faculty feedback). A Starfish Alert will be immediately entered for any student receiving a grade of "U," so that proactive intervention can be initiated by the student’s academic advisor/counselor. At midterm, if the student has stopped attending, the instructor will assign a midterm grade of "U," enter a Last Date of Attendance (LDA) and a final grade of "FS."

Repeating a Course

Students can repeat a course to earn a higher grade. After two course attempts, requests for the third must be approved by a Dean, Director, or Advisor/Counselor.* A student who would like to request the possibility of an additional attempt must meet with the Vice President of Academic Affairs or designee for consideration. The College uses the best grade earned at the College in the course to calculate the student’s GPA; however, the grade from each course attempt will appear on the student’s transcript. It is important to note that all course withdrawals and audits count as attempts. Courses transferred to MCCC from another institution count as attempts and can be used to meet prerequisite requirements but are not included in GPA calculations. 

* Health career programs require the student to obtain the approval of the Program Director.

Withdrawal from Courses

The College’s Registration Calendar outlines specific dates associated with the withdrawal process that must be followed. Students initiate the process of course withdrawal after consultation with the instructor and/or an academic advisor/counselor. After the Add/Drop period ends and prior to completion of 60% of the course time, a student wishing to withdraw must submit an official withdrawal form. An official grade of "W" (Withdrawal) is assigned to the course. After completion of 60% of the course time and prior to 75% of the course time the student must request and receive permission from the course instructor to withdraw from the course. 

After 60% of the course has been completed, students may request a withdrawal due to circumstances beyond the students' control. For medical, catastrophic or other circumstances beyond the student’s control, students can request excused withdrawal from a course during the semester after 60% of the course time has elapsed, and until one calendar year after the course ended. Students are required to submit supporting documentation. The instructor will be notified of the request and have 3 business* days to provide input for consideration by the Withdrawal Appeals Committee which will review all documentation. The Committee's decision is final and will be shared in writing with the student(s) and instructor(s). The Committee should be composed of five members: financial aid/bursar's office representative, advising/counselor, two teaching faculty members, and an Academic Affairs Administrator. 

A student may not withdraw from the course if an instructor has requested an investigation into an alleged act of academic dishonesty and is seeking an XF grade or suspension or expulsion from a program of study or clinical setting. 
The student still has the right to withdraw from the course if it is determined by the instructor that the consequences of the violation of the Academic Code of Ethics would not prevent the student from continuing in the course. 

*Business is defined as day of College operation with classes in session excluding weekends. 

Incomplete Grade

The College’s Registration Calendar outlines specific dates associated with the incomplete grade process. After 75% of the course time has been completed but before the last day of the session, (see College registration calendar for specific dates), students with satisfactory academic standing who are unable to complete their coursework due to valid, unforeseen circumstances can request an incomplete grade of "I" with the permission of the instructor by submitting the Request for an Incomplete Form. If the request is approved, the instructor outlines an agreement of the work the student must complete on the Incomplete Form. The deadline for completing the course requirements is determined by the instructor, and may not exceed three months** after the final day of the session in which the Incomplete grade was issued. If the agreement of work is not fulfilled by the deadline, then the "I" grade (Incomplete) is changed to the earned grade considering all course requirements completed and not completed 

** If a course requirement requires longer than three months, for example, a performance-based assessment, then this deadline can be extended with the approval of the Dean or Program Director.

Auditing a Course

"AU" (Audit) indicates that the student has registered for the course for no academic credit. Financial Aid does not cover audited courses. The College’s Registration Calendaroutlines specific dates associated with the audit process. The course instructor determines and communicates expectations and work required. Students who do not meet the instructor's expectations will receive an "AW."

Instructor permission is required to change from credit to audit status. Changes from credit to audit status are only allowed before 75% of the course time is completed (see College registration calendar for specific dates). Instructors are not obligated to grant such requests.  An assignment of a "W", "AW", or an "AU" in a credit course is counted as an attempt and an official registration. Select ART, ESW, CIS and Foreign Language courses may be exceptions to the subsequent registration rule. "AU" registration beyond a third registration is contingent on space availability and is determined after the class cancellation process. 

There are certain courses at the College which may not be audited.

Academic Dishonesty

Conduct involving academic standards can be found in the Student Academic Code of Ethics. Instances of academic dishonesty are to be submitted through the College’s Early Alert System.

*Students who completed a Summer 2022 course should reference the previous Comprehensive Grading (Student Assessment) Policy.