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Grades and Pass/No Pass Option

Grades

The state legislature mandates a grading policy for all California community colleges (Title 5, California Code of Regulations, Section 55021). In compliance with this mandate, the South Orange County Community College District Board of Trustees has established the following provisions under Board Policy 5300, Grading Policy.

Academic Record Symbols and Grade Point Average

Letter grades will be averaged on the basis of their numerical grade point equivalencies to determine a student's grade point average (GPA). The highest grade will receive four points and the lowest grade will receive no (0) points using the following evaluative symbols:

 
Definition
Grade Point
A
Excellent
4
B
Good
3
C
Satisfactory
2
D
Passing, less than satisfactory
1
F
Failing
0
FW
Failing Withdrawal (Starting spring 2019)
0
P
Pass (equivalent to "A," "B," or "C"; units are earned but are not counted in GPA)
0
NP
No Pass (equivalent to "D" or "F"; no units are earned, and units are not counted in GPA)
0
SP
Satisfactory Progress (non-credit only); no units are earned, and units are not counted in GPA
 
UG
Ungraded (non-credit only); no units are earned, and units are not counted in GPA
 

Pass/No Pass Option

Students may be evaluated on a Pass/ No Pass grading basis in either of the two following categories: (a) courses in which all students are evaluated on the Pass/No Pass basis, or (b) courses in which each student may elect to be graded on either a Pass/No Pass or a letter grade basis. Students must declare the Pass/No Pass option within the first 30% of the semester, after which it is irreversible. Students may request the grading option change through their MySite account or in person at the Office of Admissions and Records.

A Pass ("P") grade indicates satisfactory (a letter grade of "A," "B," or "C") work in the class and units awarded with such a grade. No grade points are assigned, however, and the grade is not used to compute the grade point average.

A No Pass ("NP") grade indicates less than satisfactory work (a letter grade of "D" or "F"); and with such a grade, no units are earned, nor is the grade used to compute the grade point average. However, units attempted for which "NP" (as defined in Title 5, California Code of Regulations, Section 55022) is recorded will be considered in probation and dismissal procedures.

Note: In lieu of the traditional letter grade, the P/NP option is offered so that students may explore subject areas of interest outside of their major areas of competence or known abilities without being overly concerned with a grade or with jeopardizing their grade point average. 

Factors to Consider with the Pass/No Pass Grading Option

There are a number of factors that students-especially transfer students-should consider before making the decision to opt for completion of a course on a Pass/No Pass basis:

  • Taking a course on a Pass/No Pass basis is not auditing. Students are held to attendance regulations and must complete all examinations and required coursework.
  • Some colleges and universities specify that courses required for a major be completed on a graded ("A"-"F") basis.
  • Students required to complete 60 units of coursework with a grade point average of 2.4 prior to admission to the University of California must complete at least 46 of the required units on a graded ("A"-"F") basis. Courses to remedy a University of California admissions deficiency are not acceptable if completed on a "Pass" basis.
  • Students planning to apply to competitive admissions programs should complete specifically required courses on a graded basis.
  • "No Pass" ("NP") grades are factored into the calculation for progress probation. See Academic Renewal, Probation, Dismissal  for a definition of progress probation.
  • Students planning to graduate from the South Orange County Community College District must establish a minimum 2.0 grade point average for at least 12 units in residence completed at Irvine Valley College.
  • Standards for the Dean's List or other academic honors require completion of a minimum of 12 units in letter-graded courses.z