Award of Credit

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One of the basic principles on which Burlington College is established is the value placed on the individual student as an equal partner in the learning process. The award of credit for a learning activity by both the student and instructor employs a narrative evaluation process to describe and assess the individual student’s progress toward meeting the learning goals stated in the approved learning contracts, also called Learning Agreements. By the published semester evaluation deadline, each student meets individually with the instructor for every learning activity to share written narrative evaluations and to sign the credit sheet awarding credit.

Each learning activity is documented in the student’s file by a packet that consists of a credit sheet, the Learning Agreement, a student self-evaluation, and an instructor evaluation of the student’s work. Narrative transcripts and permanent student records include copies of learning contracts and evaluations for all learning activities for which credit is awarded.

Narrative Evaluations
Both the student and instructor write a narrative evaluation for each learning activity; the instructor’s evaluation is abbreviated for workshops and mini-courses. The purpose of the evaluation is to document the student’s progress toward, or accomplishment of, each stated learning goals. The stated learning activities and basis for evaluation in the Learning Agreement should be used in supporting a claim to meeting each goal. All evaluations must be typed and should be approximately one single-spaced page in length.

If the student does not submit a self-evaluation, credit will not be granted. If the student evaluation is still missing at the end of the subsequent semester (regardless of enrollment status), a “no credit” is administratively awarded for the learning activity. If an approved learning agreement is not submitted a “no credit” is administratively awarded, regardless of other documentation received.

The credit options available on the credit sheet are credit, no credit, low pass (the equivalent of a “C- or below” grade at a traditional institution for undergraduates and “B- or below” for graduate students), and incomplete. Full credit awarded at the undergraduate level is consistent with a C letter grade at minimum. At the graduate level, expectations are higher; the award of full credit represents achievement of at least a B letter grade equivalent. The maximum number of low-pass credits allowed are: twelve for a bachelor’s degree; six for an associate’s degree; zero for a certificate program; and zero for a master’s degree. No low-pass credits may be counted to satisfy a writing requirement or any requirement in a student’s major; no low-pass credits are applicable within certificate and graduate programs. Incompletes are granted solely at the discretion of the instructor, and are awarded only in cases where there is a finite amount of work (25% or less of the total) to complete within an agreed upon limited timeframe. Incompletes that are not completed in accordance with the instructor’s requirements are administratively changed to no credit at the end of the subsequent semester, regardless of student’s enrollment status.

Should a student and instructor not agree on the credit award, the student’s advisor will facilitate a meeting to reach an agreement. If agreement is not reached, the dispute is resolved by the Academic Programs Committee (APC) with no opportunity for appeal.

Letter Grades
Burlington College values the narrative process, but also recognizes that students may desire letter grades. In these cases, students file a petition through the advisor and notify the instructor during the free add/drop period. Even if a grade is granted, both the student and the instructor must complete the narrative evaluation before credit is awarded. Students enrolled in the graduate program receive letter grades.

Grade point averages (GPA) are available only to those undergraduate students who have followed the above process and obtained letter grades as a supplement to the narrative evaluation process for all of their Burlington College coursework. GPAs do not appear on official transcripts; rather, they are provided as a supplement to an official transcript as requested in writing by the student. GPAs are calculated only for credits earned through Burlington College; transfer credits are not included in these calculations. (In certain situations, GPAs based only on transfer credits may be calculated to meet financial aid eligibility requirements.)

GPA is calculated as follows:
Each letter grade has a quality point value: A = 4, A- = 37, B+ = 3.3, B=3….D-=0.7. F=0. Grade point average is calculated by multiplying each of the letter grades by the number quality points for that grade. Divide this quality point total by the total number of credits. It is important to note that although I, MS, SF, and W carry 0.0 grade points, the credits for them are still calculated into the grade point average and the completion ratio.

I = Permanent Incomplete
MS = Missing Student Evaluation
SF = Missing Student and Faculty Evaluation
W = Withdrew with Academic Penalty

(Note: Although D- is a passing grade, grades below a C, designated as low pass, do not satisfy Burlington College skills and major requirements in undergraduate programs, nor do grade below a B in graduate programs.)

Students should note that although credit awarded for Study Abroad and Cross-Registration learning activities is reflected on a Burlington College transcript, supporting documents (i.e., foreign transcripts, etc.) are not included in the official Burlington College transcript. Students needing official transcripts or documentation for those credits earned are advised to contact the granting institution directly.