Incomplete Grade Guidance for Fall 1 and Fall 2
December 04, 2020
Effective June 1, 2020, the allowable timeframe for grades of Incompletes changed to a maximum of two terms following the course end date. To illustrate this change in policy, if a faculty member assigns a student a grade of Incomplete for Fall or Fall 2, 2020, the deadline for submission of student work may not exceed two terms – the end of Spring 2, 2021.
In a situation when a student is assigned a grade of Incomplete at the end of Spring 2 or the end of the Spring semester, the maximum allowable timeframe is the end of Fall 1 – as Summer does count as a term for grades of Incomplete for both graduate and undergraduate students. Faculty members may always assign a timeframe less than two terms in length and are, in fact, encouraged to do so if a shorter period of time is reasonable to allow the student the opportunity to complete their remaining coursework.
Grade due dates and submission of grades of Incomplete
Undergraduate and Graduate School of Education Fall and Fall 2, 2020, session grades are due Dec. 18. Graduate Fall 2, 2020, session grades for courses not in the School of Education are due Dec. 31.
Grades of Incomplete are an option that faculty may select to allow students to complete their work if the situation is appropriate. Per catalog policy, appropriate situations are those “where the student has satisfactorily completed major components of the course and has the ability to finish the remaining work without re-enrolling.” (The graduate catalog policy is available at webster.edu/catalog/current/graduate-catalog/academic, and the undergraduate catalog policy is available at webster.edu/catalog/current/undergraduate-catalog/academic.
Any faculty member who submits a grade of Incomplete (I) for a student will be prompted to complete the Incomplete Grade Form and provided with a button to access and complete the form.
Please be sure to complete the Incomplete Grade Form whenever a grade of Incomplete is submitted for a student. The Incomplete Grade Form is an important record-keeping and communication tool that allows various offices to complete the necessary procedures to give the student access needed to complete their work. The form also allows other members of the student’s success network to help the student successfully resolve their grade of Incomplete.
Incomplete Grade Forms are also forwarded to the applicable students to document faculty expectations and timelines with regard to the grades of Incomplete, making the forms an even more essential tool for record-keeping and communication purposes.
Who do I contact if I have questions?
Faculty may connect with teams in the Academic Advising Center and the Academic Resource Center if they have any questions or need any clarification. Some examples of questions received in the past include the following:
- 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 another semester in order to complete all of the content due to extenuating circumstances. Should I file an Incomplete for this semester?
In all of these cases, the answer is no, an Incomplete is not appropriate. Do not submit an Incomplete as the student’s grade or leave the student’s grade as In Progress (IP) in these situations. Instead, submit the appropriate earned grade for the student. If the student then 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.
NOTE: Please only assign students applicable grades for their degree level. Allowable grades for graduate students may be found at webster.edu/catalog/current/graduate-catalog/gradingsystem, and allowable grades for undergraduate students may be found at webster.edu/catalog/current/undergraduate-catalog/grading.
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.
To connect with the Academic Advising Center, please call 314-968-6972 or 800-982-3847 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
To connect with the Academic Resource Center, please directly contact the appropriate member of the Academic Resource Center team, or reach out to Erica Ellard, director of the Academic Resource Center, at 314-246-7702 or email@example.com.
In Progress (IP) grades vs. grades of Incompletes
Some faculty question why it matters if grades of Incomplete are applied or In Progress (IP) grades are left in these situations. In short, these approaches can harm a student’s academic progress, course sequencing, persistence, and graduation/completion. Therefore, the following reminders are important:
- Do not leave In Progress (IP) grades in the system. Grades of Incomplete should be carefully discussed with students if they are expecting to graduate/complete their programs at the end of the term or semester. Grades of Incomplete may delay students’ graduation/completion dates, and faculty should ensure that these students are aware of the possible delays.
- An electronic Incomplete Grade Form must be submitted when an Incomplete grade is posted. This form provides the necessary information for other faculty and staff members to support the student as they complete their work. The form is also sent to the student to document the expectations for resolution of the grade of Incomplete and provides details necessary for the Registrar’s Office to process the necessary grade changes on the specified dates. To learn how to access the electronic Incomplete Grade Form, access these directions.
Once the forms are submitted, the Registrar’s Office posts the forms in the student’s folder in the Student Success Portal, powered by Starfish, so that faculty and staff members can access the information and appropriately assist the student.
- When issuing a grade of Incomplete, 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 the electronic Change of Grade Form (available through Connections), 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 a grade of Incomplete. Incompletes should also not be awarded when faculty members have recommended students to the Academic Integrity Education Program (AIEP).
NOTE: Unofficial withdrawals (WF) should be used instead of failing grades (F) only if the student has stopped attending but has not officially withdrawn from the course.
Step-by-step guidance on assigning a grade of Incomplete
Using the Student Success Portal, powered by Starfish, to boost successful completion of Incompletes
In order to improve tracking and successful resolution of grades of Incomplete, we are leveraging features available in the Student Success Portal, powered by Starfish:
- 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 grades of Incomplete (e.g., extended deadlines) and/or administrative changes (e.g., 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. It is recommended that faculty also email this information to firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org to ensure that this information is fully communicated to all relevant offices that support students with grades of Incomplete.
- A Concerning Grades: Incomplete (I) system flag is raised when a grade of Incomplete is posted, automatically sending a message to each student who has one or more grade of Incomplete posted. This flag remains active until the student’s grade(s) of Incomplete change to an earned or administrative grade.
By more closely monitoring grades of Incompletes and their resolutions and ensuring that all grades are posted in a timely manner, Webster can help students remain on track to meet their academic goals.