Academic Standards & Grading
Grades used in evaluating the work of students are as follows:
|Level of Performance||Letter Grade||Quality Points Earned|
|Superior||A||4 per credit|
|Good (above average)||B||3 per credit|
|Average||C||2 per credit|
|Minimum (passing below average)||D||1 per credit|
|Failing||F||0 per credit|
|Incomplete (pending official grade)||I||0 per credit|
|Withdraw (no grade assessment)||W||0 per credit|
|Audit||AU||0 per credit|
|Credit||CR||0 per credit|
|No credit||U||0 per credit|
Grade-point averages are used to determine class standing and eligibility for graduation, the Dean’s and President’s Honor Lists, and membership in honor societies.
The grade-point average (GPA) is a numerical ratio of credits and grade points received. The following are examples of the method of computing the grade-point average:
- A student receiving 16 credits of B has earned 48 grade points. The GPA is 48 ÷ 16 = 3.0.
- A student receiving 16 credits of which 8 credits are B and 8 credits are C has earned 40 grade points. The GPA is 40 ÷ 16 = 2.5.
Credits earned in courses in which a grade of CR is given are not included in the computation of the GPA. When a course is repeated, only the last grade is included in the calculation. Grades of I, W, U or AU do not represent credit earned and are not included in the computation of the GPA. When a grade of F is received, the credits are included in the computation of the GPA. Under the A/Cr/U option, a grade of A is the only grade which will be used in GPA and honors calculations.
The overall grade-point average uses the same numerical ratio and includes all undergraduate credit earned at institutions accredited by the North Central Association or a similar regional agency.
Courses evaluated by pass-fail criteria receive the number of credits for that course with a grade of CR. A failure will result in a grade of F and no credit. Credits earned in courses that are stipulated in the catalog as being graded on a pass-fail basis will not be used in computing grade-point-averages for honors.
A course grade change must be approved by the instructor, chairperson and dean. The approved grade change must be submitted to the Registrar prior to the end of the next regular (Fall/Spring) term after the close of the semester in which the original grade or incomplete was awarded. After this time period, a grade change must be approved by the Admissions and Graduation Committee.
Under certain circumstances, during the final grading process an Incomplete Grade Contract may be completed, approved and signed by the instructor, student and department chair. An incomplete grade may be given when accident, illness, death in the immediate family, or other documented circumstances beyond the student's control, prevent the student from completing some course requirements. An incomplete grade should only be considered when the majority of course requirements have been satisfied and the student is receiving a passing grade in said coursework. Students should be aware that an incomplete grade may affect the initial calculation of academic standing, eligibility for semester honors and eligibility for federal, state or institutional financial aid programs.
An incomplete grade must be removed within eight weeks after the last final exam day for the current term (fall, spring, summer); otherwise, the grade will be recorded as an “F". Any extension of time beyond the allotted eight weeks is not permitted. After the eight week deadline, the instructor of record may, under documented and justified conditions, submit a grade change to replace the “F” (see Grade Change policy).
The Incomplete Grade Contract with all signatures must be submitted to the Registrar's Office by the last day to submit final grades for the term which the Incomplete grade is being requested. No Incomplete Grade Contracts will be accepted after this date. Copies of the contract should be made and given to the instructor, student and department chair.
Credit by Examination
Credit for general studies courses and major field courses may be obtained by taking a CLEP exam (College-Level Examinations Program) or a comprehensive test designed by the academic department for which the test-out applies. Each department determines which courses are appropriate for credit by examination and the test instrument to be used. Normally students request credit by examination early in their college career to avoid ineligibility at a later date.
Students may receive credit by examination if they:
- Are eligible to enroll at Missouri Western;
- Are not currently enrolled in a course for which an examination is being requested;
- Are granted written permission by the Testing Coordinator or the chairperson of the department to which the test would be applicable.
Note: A student must be degree-seeking and have courses in progress for the current semester at Missouri Western before Credit by Examination is included on the academic transcript. Further, the student must have transcript activity at the end of said semester in order to retain the Credit by Examination information on the transcript.
Students are not eligible to receive credit by examination if they have:
- Earned prior credit in the course at Missouri Western or in transfer;
- Audited the course;
- Attempted the course and received any transcripted grade assessment, or taken a college course or courses which contain the same basic material.
A complete list of every course eligible for Credit by Examination is available in the University Testing Center, Spratt 105, or at www.missouriwestern.edu/testing. Please contact the Testing Center at 271-4116 for specific guidelines, the Petition for Test Out Form, applicable fees, and to schedule an appointment.
Missouri Western State University may accept a total of 30 credit hours (maximum applicable to a degree) obtained through non-traditional credit or credit by examination. A student must be degree-seeking and have courses in progress for the current semester at Missouri Western before non-traditional credit is included on the academic transcript. Further, the student must have transcript activity at the end of said semester in order to retain the non-traditional credit information on the transcript.
Credit earned through the United States Armed Forces Institute (USAFI) in accordance with the recommendation of the Commission on Accreditation of Service Experiences of the American Council on Education, extension work from regionally accredited institutions of higher education, and correspondence work from regionally accredited institutions of higher education are generally recognized if documented by written records from the U.S. government and institutions of higher education.
Transcripts and Records of Academic Work
Official transcripts will have a certifying signature, date of issue, and university seal. Requests for official transcripts must be made online through the student's GoldLink account or at www.missouriwestern.edu/registrar/transcripts and requires the student’s signature. A fee will be charged. Official transcripts will not be issued to or for students who have a debt with the university until such indebtedness has been paid in full, or to students who have failed to complete required entrance and/or exit requirements. Unofficial transcripts may be obtained by a student through their GoldLink account from the Missouri Western website. Unofficial transcripts may not be accessed by students who have a debt with the university until such indebtedness has been paid in full, to students who have failed to complete required entrance and/or exit requirements, or to students with coursework prior to 1985. Questions about unofficial transcript restrictions may be directed to the Registrar's Office at 816-271-4211 or Eder Hall 102. Student transcripts received from other colleges and universities become the property of Missouri Western, and are not reissued to the student or to another institution.
Pathways to Academic Student Success (PASS)
Pathways to Academic Student Success (PASS) is a deliberate intervention program for students in each fall cohort who are on academic probation because they fall below a 2.0 overall grade point average after their first semester. Each fall cohort consists of first-time, full-time freshmen.
Students are automatically enrolled in PASS for the spring semester following their first semester if they earn below a 2.0 overall GPA. There is no student cost for the course, and its intent is to encourage positive study habits and connect students with campus resources. These strategies include time management, studying at the library, working with tutors at the Center for Academic Support, and meeting with peer and staff mentors. The objective is to help these students raise their GPA and completion rate while immersing them into the campus culture of academic options and resources.
Academic Probation and Suspension
Students are placed on academic probation if the overall grade-point average (GPA) drops below 2.0. Students are placed on academic suspension if their overall GPA drops below the suspension GPA in the Table of Academic Standards which corresponds to the overall GPA hours, subject to the provisions listed below. To be placed on academic suspension a student:
- Must have been on academic probation or suspension during the previous semester (including Summer); and
- Must have a term GPA lower than 2.0.
Transfer students will be evaluated based on Missouri Western’s Academic Standards. If found to be on suspension, the student will be subject to MWSU policies as if the suspension had been earned at Missouri Western.
Table of Academic Standards
|Overall GPA Hours1||Probation if Overall GPA is less than||Suspension if Overall GPA is less than|
Grades assigned as I, W, AU, CR or U are not included in GPA hours.
Appealing an Academic Suspension
Students who believe that the causes of their suspension merit special consideration may submit a letter of appeal challenging their suspension. The deadline date for appeals is stated in the official notice of suspension that is emailed to the student's campus email address and sent to the current mailing address reported by the student. Appeals received after the deadline stated in the notice of suspension will not be considered. The Academic Regulations, Standards and Honesty Committee will review all appeals. The Committee may reinstate a student based on documented circumstances beyond the student’s control. It is the student’s responsibility to complete a Suspension Appeal form and provide documentation clarifying how the circumstances that caused poor performance have been addressed. More information can be found here.
Students who are suspended because their GPA is adversely affected by grades over ten years old may also petition for reinstatement immediately following notice of suspension. It is the student’s responsibility to complete a Suspension Appeal form, provide documentation, and a recalculated GPA to include only grades earned within the last ten years. The ten years are to be calculated from the semester in which the student’s current suspension occurs. The Committee will review each suspension of this type on a case by case basis, considering all factors, and may reinstate students if the evidence warrants it.
If reinstatement is granted for any circumstances, the student remains on academic probation. Furthermore, the suspension under appeal will remain on the student’s record as a suspension and will be counted as such.
Readmission After Suspension
Students placed on academic suspension may not attend MWSU for the time period indicated below unless the Academic Regulations, Standards and Honesty Committee grants their appeal. A “semester” is defined as the Fall or Spring terms only.
|First Suspension||One semester|
|Second Suspension||Two semesters|
|Third Suspension||Four semesters|
|Fourth Suspension||Eight semesters|
|Fifth Suspension||Twelve semesters|
|Sixth Suspension||Sixteen semesters|
Students applying for readmission after completing the required suspension period must file a new application with the Admissions Office. Students readmitted after suspension will enter on academic probation unless transfer work raises their overall GPA to a good standing status.
Academic Renewal Policy
The Academic Renewal Policy is an appeals procedure which allows a current student to request an adjustment to his or her overall grade point average and credit hours earned. Through this policy Missouri Western seeks to give a student who has matured during his/her absence from university coursework a second chance in his/her college career, while also keeping the integrity of Missouri Western’s academic standards.
Undergraduate students who are currently enrolled as a degree-seeking student may be eligible to petition for academic renewal.
- The student must not have been enrolled in college-level coursework as a degree-seeking student for five or more consecutive years. Hours earned for developmental, dual credit or continuing education courses are excluded from this five year time-frame.
- After the above mentioned five year university absence, the student must have completed at least two consecutive semesters at MWSU, earned at least 18 credit hours in courses 100 level or above at MWSU, received no course grade lower than a "C", and earned an overall GPA of 3.0 or higher during all semesters since the most recent five year absence. Note: A student may be disqualified from academic renewal eligibility if more than 15% course withdrawals (“W” grades) are recorded in the semesters since the most recent five year absence.
Students who meet the above criteria may petition the Admissions and Graduation Committee for academic renewal by completing and submitting the Petition for Academic Renewal form (available in the Registrar’s Office). The applicant should attach to the form a letter of explanation and support documentation, if applicable, addressing the circumstances which occurred during the semester(s) he/she is requesting to be excluded from their Missouri Western transcript and his/her academic experience and personal and professional accomplishments achieved during the timeframe away from higher education. The student must also include written support from their advisor or other faculty member in their major department with their Academic Renewal request. If approved, the student will receive an updated copy of the transcript once the Academic Renewal process has been complete.
- All credit and grades earned prior to the selected point in time will be excluded from GPA calculations and credit hours earned.
- Excluded coursework cannot be used to meet degree or prerequisite requirements. Students should work directly with their department to address major coursework or prerequisite requirements.
- “Academic Renewal” will be noted on the transcript for each relevant semester.
- Academic renewal will be applied to transfer work if it occurred before the selected point in time.
- Students will not be granted Academic Renewal after an application for graduation has been submitted or a previous degree awarded.
- Students who receive academic renewal are not precluded from graduating with honors.
- Academic Renewal may impact financial aid eligibility. Applicants should contact the Director of Financial Aid for information and clarification.
- Academic Renewal is irrevocable.
- Students are limited to one appeal of academic renewal during their academic career at Missouri Western State University.
- Academic Renewal may not be used to obtain athletic eligibility.
- Academic Renewal is a Missouri Western State University policy and may not be recognized by outside agencies or other institutions.
The President's Honor List is globally calculated one time, immediately following each semester and published thereafter. To be included on the President's List, a student must be carrying 12 or more credits with a grade-point average of 4.0, exclusive of audits, incompletes or credit earned in courses that are stipulated in the catalog as being graded on a pass-fail basis. A Dean's Honor List is globally calculated one time, immediately following each semester and published thereafter. To be included on the Dean's List a student must be carrying 12 or more credits with a grade-point-average of 3.5 or higher, exclusive of audits, incompletes or credit earned in courses that are graded on a pass-fail basis. Any grade change which results in a student not qualifying for an Honor List designation will have the designation removed from their student record.
Final Exam Policy
The final exam schedule will be published by the Registrar’s Office prior to each semester and the designated period will be used either for administration of a final exam or for other appropriate course terminating activities. All courses, including 1 and 2 credit hour courses, will have final exams in their regular classrooms during final exam week according to the published schedule. It is the responsibility of both students and faculty to comply with the final exam policy. Final exam guidelines are listed below:
- Final exam periods are 2 hours with 1 hour between periods.
- Final exam information will be documented in the course syllabus.
- Classes which begin at a time not listed on the final exam schedule will observe the final exam time of the closest previous class time listed.
- Classes which meet at different hours (for example, 9:00am on Monday/Wednesday and 10:00am on Thursday) will hold the final exam based on the first hour and day listed.
- Classes with linked lecture and laboratory sections will observe the final exam period based on the section that carries the credit hours.
- Classes which meet at 4:30pm or after will hold final exams at their regular class time during the final exam week. Those evening classes with two meetings per week will use the first meeting for the final exam with the second meeting used at the discretion of the instructor.
- Blended classes (B1=Online 1%-69%) which have weekly meeting times will hold final exams in their regular classrooms according to the published schedule.
- Blended classes (B2=Online 70%-99%) and 100% online classes will hold final exams during the final exam week according to the course syllabus.
- Saturday classes will hold final exams at their regular class time during the final exam week.
- Off-Schedule classes will hold final exams on the last scheduled class meeting.
- First 8-week classes will hold final exams on the last scheduled class meeting.
- Second 8-week classes will hold final exams according to the designated time during the full-semester final exam week.
- Summer classes will hold final exams on the last scheduled class meeting.
- Any student who has three or more final exams scheduled on the same day may make arrangements with instructors of those courses to reschedule one final exam to another day during the final exam week. The student may appeal to the appropriate dean for assistance, if needed. That appeal should be made no later than one month prior to the last day of the final exam week.
- If a final exam is canceled for inclement weather every effort will be made to make the exam up prior to the end of the published final exam week. Communication regarding any final exam schedule adjustments will be made via the Missouri Western website and through the Griffon Alert system.