‘Incomplete’ grade policy reworded

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Pacific’s incomplete policy was recently reworded and went through a slight change. A grade of incomplete is something given to students who satisfactorily complete the majority of class work but are not able to finish because of health or emergency reasons.

Associate Dean of Student Academic Affairs Steve Smith said, “The language of the policy was changed for one specific reason, to add clarity.”

The core of the policy is still the same, but the new language clarifies why an incomplete can be granted, as well as the dates by which they needed to be completed. With the previous language of the policy there was some confusion among some students and faculty, mainly about what the dates meant.

The old policy stated, “Incompletes given for fall semester or winter term must be completed no later than the following April 15. Incompletes given for spring semester or summer session must be completed no later than the following Nov. 15.”

Those dates were meant to be the deadline for when the incomplete grade had to be changed and submitted by the professor. However, some confusion arose because some people interpreted that those were the dates for when the student had to complete the make-up work for the course rather than when the grade had to be changed.

One significant change to the policy is that students are now given more time to make up the work for the incomplete. With the new policy, the completion dates for incompletes are: Dec. 31 of the following year for an incomplete given for fall semester, Jan. 31 of the following year for one given for winter term and May 31 of the following year for one given for spring or summer semesters.

Often times, professors would end up having to give a student an extension on the incomplete because health reasons or personal emergencies did not allow them to make up the work in the given time.

Smith said, “It was more logical to increase the time.”

The change is designed to give more time for those who need it, but students and professors can also agree on a timeline to complete the work. Smith empathized incompletes should be completed as soon as possible to avoid adding to the workload for the following semester.

He received positive responses from faculty members expressing thanks for the added clarity.

Smith said, “This underlines the importance for colleges to make policies clear and for students to know policies.”

He also added that while it’s unlikely that students are going to sit down and read the policy book cover-to-cover, he does think it’s a good idea for them to be familiar with some of the important ones and their dates.

The new policy about incompletes can be found in the college’s catalog.


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