Grading & Recording Policies

Sterling strives to develop leaders

1. Definition of Credits
A course credit unit is equal to fourteen 50-minute classroom sessions or the equivalent.
A laboratory credit unit is equal to at least 28 hours in the lab.
An out-of-class experience unit is equated in terms of performance rather than time.

2. Grading System
Grade reports are given to students and advisors at mid-term, at the end of each semester, and at the end of the interterm period. The report is sent to the student's home address at the end of each semester. A brief description of letter designations is given below:

A "Superior performance of all required work, or, in some cases, performance beyond that which is actually required."
B "Distinctly good work in all class requirements."
C "Fairly good performance of assigned work."
D "Inferior work"
F "Failure to meet minimum performance requirements."

I "Incomplete." Students who, for unavoidable reasons due to serious illness or family emergency, are unable to complete the course requirements before the end of the course may request that the course instructor assign to them a grade of "I"(incomplete). NOTE: a grade of incomplete WILL NOT be assigned unless the student requests it. The Incomplete Grade Form must be signed by the student, as well as the instructor. An incomplete grade must be removed by the course instructor by the seventh Friday of the following semester. Failure to remove the "I" results in an "F" or the grade assigned by the instructor.

IP "In progress." Grades have not been recorded.

P "Pass." This grade is given when students select the pass option and under the traditional grading policy would receive a grade of C- or above. The "P" grade is also recorded for students who successfully complete the requirements of any course which uses only the Pass/Fail grading system.

W "Officially withdrawn"

3. Pass Option
After the freshman year, students may elect to take certain courses on a pass basis. The purpose of this option is to encourage students to take courses outside their major areas or in fields with which they are unfamiliar, in order to get broader exposure to the liberal arts without being penalized by a possible low grade. Regulations governing this option are as follows:

A. Only four such options may be exercised while attending Sterling, no more than one per semester and only after the freshman year. (Courses which only assign the pass/fail letter grades do not count toward the total of four such courses that students may elect.);

B. Students on academic probation are not eligible to exercise this option;

C. The option may not be used for courses in a student's major discipline or in any courses which may be outside the discipline but are required for minor or in the teacher certification program;

D. Students should indicate their desire to exercise this option when first enrolling in a particular course. No change will be allowed in the selection of the Pass Option after the initial 10 day drop/add period;

E. When signing up for a course on a pass basis, students may indicate a desire to take a proposed grade rather than the "pass." If the student receives the desired grade, this grade is automatically recorded on the transcript rather than the "pass."In such a circumstance this option still counts as one of the four pass options available;

F. The option may not be used in courses needed to meet a Basic Skills requirement; and

G. The Pass Option applies only to grades of C- or higher. Grades of D+, D, D-, and F will be recorded as grades on the transcript.

4. Grade Points

A 4.0 A- 3.7 B+ 3.3
B 3.0 B- 2.7 C+ 2.3
C 2.0 C- 1.7 D+ 1.3
D 1.0 D- 0.7 F 0.0

5. Time Limitation
Students have seven (7) years from their initial enrollment to complete the requirements of the catalog under which they initially enrolled. Those taking longer will have to complete the requirements of the current catalog. Appeals will be considered by the VPAA working with the Academic Affairs Committee.

6. Classification of Students
Class standing is determined at the beginning of each semester as follows:

  • First-Year (Freshman) 0-31 credits
  • Sophomore 32-62 credits
  • Junior 63-93 credits
  • Senior 94 or more credits

7. Transcript requests
Students needing a copy of their Sterling College transcript must submit a personally signed, written request to the Registrar's office. Forms are available. The first transcript is free, thereafter a $3.00 fee per transcript must accompany each request. Transcripts will be released only if all financial obligations to SC are satisfied and educational loans are not in default.