Incomplete Guidance: End of Summer terms

Jul. 24, 2018

Reminder to Review Faculty Guidance for Incompletes
Faculty members and academic advisors are encouraged to review the guidance regarding incompletes. 

Incomplete grades: Guidance on when to use them and why

Do you have a student who has not attended class for several weeks? Do you have a student who is missing most of the required work? If so, do not submit an Incomplete as the student’s grade or leave the student’s grade as In Progress! Instead, submit the appropriate earned grade for the student. If the student contacts you to discuss the grade after it is posted and you want to offer opportunities for the student to successfully complete the course, you still have options!

Inaccurately using Incomplete grades or leaving In Progress grades posted can harm a student’s academic progress, course sequencing, persistence, and graduation. Therefore, the following reminders are important:

  1. Do not leave In Progress (IP) grades in the system. All graduate and undergraduate Summer session courses should be assigned a grade by Friday, Aug.3, and undergraduate second five-week session courses should be assigned a grade by Friday, Aug.10.
  2. Incomplete grades should be used sparingly and only when a student has completed a majority of the coursework and has agreed to the remaining requirements and timeline.
  3. An electronic Incomplete Grade Form must be submitted when an Incomplete grade is posted. This form has been updated to provide more clarity for faculty and the Registrar’s Office regarding dates. To learn how to access the electronic Incomplete Grade Form, access these directions.
  4. Review the guidance regarding Incompletes to ensure that Incompletes are only being used in appropriate situations.

Best practices and guidance for using the Incomplete Grade Form: 


Best Practice

Student biographical information

Electronic form will autofill this information

Student’s remaining requirements

No more than one or two remaining assignments with their due dates, deadlines, and grading criteria and course grading scale

Deadline for submission of assignments to faculty member

Remaining coursework completion within one term or semester

Date Registrar’s Office will change grade to alternate grade

Date in advance of which faculty member will have student work graded and new grade submitted, if applicable; otherwise, the alternate grade will be applied

* If an extension is offered to the student, make a Note in the Student Success Portal so that the Registrar’s Office knows to defer the grade change until the extensions pass.

Alternate grade

Grade student will have earned without the completion of the remaining requirements


When issuing an Incomplete grade, the faculty member must explicitly state the commitment of the student and the faculty member. The faculty of record is expected to grade submitted work and post a final grade, using a Change of Grade Form, in a timely manner.

Students should not be awarded Incompletes in lieu of earning failing grades. If the student stops attending but fails to withdraw properly, the faculty of record should assign a student’s earned grade and/or a WF, not an Incomplete. Incompletes should also not be awarded when faculty members have recommended students to the Plagiarism Prevention Program (PPP).

Please also note that, if a faculty member needs the student to have continued access to WorldClassRoom in order to complete the course and resolve the Incomplete, the faculty member must forward the confirmation email received after completing the electronic Incomplete Grade Form to to request that access.

Student Success Portal, powered by Starfish, features

In order to improve tracking and successful resolution of Incomplete grades, we are leveraging features available in the Student Success Portal, powered by Starfish, including the following:

  1. Submitted electronic Incomplete Grade Forms are being uploaded into the Student Success Portal so that faculty and staff members may access the forms and the information they contain.
  2. Notes regarding changes to the original agreement for Incomplete grades (i.e., extended deadlines) and/or administrative changes (i.e., the grade being updated) are being tracked in the Student Success Portal. Faculty members are encouraged to make notes regarding students’ progress with their Incompletes and any changes to the original agreement.
  3. A Concerning Grades: Incomplete (I) system flag launched in early June 2018, automatically sending a message to students who had one or more Incomplete grades posted on their transcripts within the past year. This flag will remain active until the student’s Incomplete grade(s) change to an earned or administrative grade. As Incomplete grades are posted to students’ records, new flags will raise if the students do not have an active Concerning Grades: Incomplete (I) flag at the time the Incomplete is posted.

By more closely monitoring Incompletes and their resolutions and ensuring that all grades are posted in a timely manner, Webster can help keep students on track to meet their academic goals.

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