Fall Grades Due Dec. 31, Guidance on Incomplete Grades

Dec. 18, 2018

Incomplete grades: Guidance on when to use them and why

Incompletes are tricky business. Webster has several resources available to help faculty determine when/if an Incomplete grade is appropriate.

If faculty prefer to ask someone for assistance and/or clarification, the teams in the Academic Advising Center and the Academic Resource Center are happy to help!

FAQs

Some common questions asked about student grading:

  • I have a student who has not attended class or completed any work for several weeks--is an Incomplete appropriate?
  • I have a student who is missing most of the required work--is an Incomplete appropriate?
  • I have a student who plagiarized a major paper--is an Incomplete appropriate?
  • I have a student who will need to take the class again in the Spring in order to complete all of the content due to extenuating circumstances. Should I file an Incomplete for this semester?

In all cases, the answer is no, an Incomplete is not appropriate. Do not submit an Incomplete as the students’ grades or leave the students’ grade as In Progress in these situations. Instead, submit the appropriate earned grade for the students. If the students then contact you to discuss the grade after it is posted and you want to offer opportunities for the students to successfully complete the course, you still have options!

Feel free to reach out to the teams in the Academic Advising Center or the Academic Resource Center for assistance and to discuss those options.

Incomplete grade guidelines and submissions

Some faculty question why it matters whether Incomplete grades are applied or that In Progress grades are left in these situations. In short, these approaches 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 Fall and Fall 2, 2018, courses grades are due by Monday, Dec. 31.
  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.

    The Registrar’s Office needs these forms to process grade changes as determined by the faculty of record, and other offices use the information on the forms to ensure that students have the necessary information and reminders. The Registrar’s Office is posting the forms in the students’ Student Success Portal, powered by Starfish, folders so that faculty and staff members can access the information and appropriately assist students.
  4. Review the guidance regarding Incompletes to ensure that Incompletes are only being used in appropriate situations laid out in the chart of requirements and best practices.

Student Success Portal features

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

  • 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
  • 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
  • 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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