Written notification of the basis for grades should be provided within the first five calendar days of a semester or its equivalent. This information is included in the course syllabus.
Any changes in that basis should be presented to the students in writing (Senate Policy 47-20, Basis for Grades).
The syllabus should contain a detailed explanation of your grading practices, especially how the final grade will be determined. If you will compute the final grade on the basis of a formula involving percentages or points, describe the formula specifically.
Students have a right to hold you to your statements on the syllabus concerning how you will grade them, and they will if they receive a lower grade than they expect. So it is important to think carefully about your policies ahead of time, to express them clearly in the syllabus, and to reinforce them orally and perhaps on individual assignment sheets as well.
There are ways to retain some flexibility in grading for those cases where you think a student’s performance is not fully measured by a mathematical calculation of grades, such as by indicating that you will also take into account other factors, such as class participation (if that is not part of your formula) and improvement.
Registration, Course Add/Drop, Late Drop, and Withdrawal
Students would need to withdraw from the University in person. Adding and dropping courses is done by the student in LionPATH.
Dropping courses may reduce a student’s ability to maintain normal degree progress, possibly delaying graduation. There are also financial issues to consider when dropping courses since dropping a course may affect the student’s financial aid.
A student may complete the drop process without consulting you or an advisor. It is strongly advised that you place a statement in your syllabus urging students to meet with you or their advisor if are they considering dropping your course or withdrawing.
Final grades are submitted using LionPATH and are due within 48 hours of the last day of the semester or final exam, if applicable. You will need your PSU access account user id and password, as well as Two-Factor Authentication (2FA) to access LionPATH. Tutorials are available.
Students may request to defer their final semester grade. (There is no such thing as an “incomplete” grade in the Penn State system.) You may approve the request if, in your judgment, the student has a good and sufficient reason.
Deferred grades should be approved only in unusual circumstances and never because a student failed to complete course work without reason.
To assign a deferred grade, choose the grade symbol of DF. When an instructor assigns a DF, the deadline is 10 weeks following the end date of the course.
Deferred grades that are not changed to a quality grade by the end of the ten-week deadline are automatically recorded as an “F” grade.
An instructor may grant an extension beyond 10 weeks for extenuating circumstances only. A Deferred Grade Extension form is available from the Registrar’s Office and must be submitted prior to the DF deadline.
Grade changes are appropriate if a final grade has been assigned but a miscalculation on the part of the instructor has occurred.
Grade changes should not be used to allow a student to do additional work or revise work after the semester has been completed and a grade has been submitted.
A corrected grade may be submitted by the instructor for a course taken in a previous semester to correct a mistake made in calculating or recording a grade for a particular student.
Each student is responsible for checking the semester grade report for accuracy immediately upon receipt and for informing the instructor of any course in which the student suspects an error has been made in grading.
Each instructor is responsible for checking the semester grade list in LionPATH after grades have been recorded for a previous semester.
If an error in calculating or recording a grade is brought to an instructor's attention, the instructor may correct the grade using LionPATH.
No grade change can be made more than one year after the end of the semester in which the course was taken.