Table of Contents

The Academic Credit Hour
Grading System
Incomplete Grade
Pass/Fail Option
Repeating Courses
Withdrawal from Courses

The Academic Credit Hour

Middlesex Community College’s policy on credit hours follows that of the U.S. Department of Education and the New England Association of Schools and Colleges. A credit hour represents academic work requiring the equivalent of (1) One hour of classroom or direct faculty instruction and a minimum of two hours of out of class student work each week for approximately fifteen weeks for one semester or trimester hour of credit, or ten to twelve weeks for one quarter hour of credit, or the equivalent amount of work over a different amount of time; or (2) At least an equivalent amount of work for other academic activities as established by the institution including laboratory work, internships, practica, studio work, and other academic work leading to the award of credit hours.

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Adopted February 2014. Middlesex Community College is committed to supporting student success. The College acknowledges that there is often a direct correlation between student success and classroom attendance. A student who misses an individual lecture or classroom activity may limit her/his learning opportunities as well as diminish the learning experience of all members of a course. Moreover, an absence may negatively impact such student’s ability to remain current with course information. This often results in a struggle to keep pace with peers in the course.

Students are expected to attend all class sessions for which they are registered. It is the responsibility of students to make up all course work missed because of legitimate class absences and to notify the instructor if they know when an absence will occur. Students who are reported as never attending a course may be withdrawn from the course by the College. Such withdrawal may jeopardize a student’s academic standing, financial aid award, and/or veterans’ benefits.

Instructors of online courses may define “attendance” as regular participation in electronic course activities including, but not limited to, discussions, chats, journals, quizzes, and assignments. Students who fail to participate in the prescribed manner may miss deadlines for assignments and reduce their ability to maintain pace with course topics and work.

Instructors are required to take attendance during the first three weeks of class for the purpose of reporting to the Financial Aid Office those students who have never attended class. Instructors are encouraged, but not mandated by the College, to require students to attend each class, take attendance in their courses, and assess student attendance either directly or through regular graded classroom participation and/or assessments. However, student attendance cannot be the sole basis for a course grade.

All instructors have the right to prepare and teach college-approved courses to best represent the fields in which they teach, in accordance with approved course descriptions and class schedules. Attendance can be tied to many planned classroom activities and assessments that can be tied directly to a student’s grade. For example, missing a weekly quiz because of non-attendance can negatively impact a student’s grade. Failing to participate in a “regulated” classroom discussion can also result in a negative impact on a student’s grade. Missed laboratory or studio activities and participation in group work, can result in a negative grade.

Faculty members are required to distribute to students during the first week of classes, subject to subsequent modification, a course syllabus which contains information as to course objectives, topics and assigned time-frames, indication of evaluative and grading mechanisms to be utilized, reading and attendance requirements, special circumstances under which student absences may be excused, and stipulations for making up work and exams missed during instructor-excused absences. Specific course requirements will be noted in each course syllabus.

Note: Veterans should contact the college Veterans Affairs office for more information about attendance and their funding.

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Audit (AU)

Students not wishing a course grade and college credit may “audit” a course.  This status will allow them to participate in class activities without being required to meet the examination requirements of the course. Students may ask to have papers critiqued, but faculty members are not required to grade an auditor’s course work.

Students may register as auditors under the following conditions:

  • Full tuition and fees must be paid.
  • “Audit” status must be declared at the time of registration, or can be changed from credit status to audit status within the first four weeks of the course.  All permissions and registrations for auditing courses must be filed in the Records Office by this deadline.
  • The course grade will be entered as “AU,” which is an administrative transcript notation signifying no credit was awarded.
  • Full-time students must obtain the consent of their academic advisor.

Students auditing a course may not change to credit status.  Declaring audit status is an irrevocable decision.

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Grading System

Adopted by the Board of Regents for Higher Education, August 13, 2015; amends and replaces policies adopted by the Community-Technical Colleges Board of Trustees in 2000-2003.

All Community Colleges will use the same grading system as defined below:

Grade           Quality 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

Effective Spring 2001, the calculation of the Grade Point Average (GPA) shall be to two decimal places truncated.

The letter grades shown above, with an additional designator, shall also be used for grades awarded to students in developmental courses. The current practice is that a # symbol shall be added immediately following the grade (for example, B#).

Posting of “F” Grades

The online grading process requires additional information whenever a grade of F is assigned. To record a failing grade, the instructor is asked to select one of the following codes:

  • F: This grade is reserved for students who have, in the judgment of the instructor, completed assignments and/or course activities throughout the term sufficient to make a normal evaluation of academic performance possible, but who have failed to meet course objectives.
  • UF (unearned F): This notation is awarded to students who were enrolled in a course, did not officially withdraw, but who failed to participate in course activities through the end of the term. It is used when, in the judgment of the instructor, completed assignments and/or course activities were insufficient to make normal evaluation of academic performance possible. Students who receive this notation will have reported on their behalf a “last date of participation” by the assigning faculty member. When saved on the grade roster, this notation will immediately convert to a regular grade of F on the student’s transcript. It will be punitive and count in the GPA.  The UF notation is used for internal reporting and will not appear on the student’s transcript.

In order to enter and save the UF grade notation, the instructor will be required to provide the last date of participation in the course.  A student is considered to have participated in a course if ANY of the following scenarios apply:

  • The student submitted an academic assignment.
  • The student submitted an exam.
  • There is a documented record of the student participating in an interactive tutorial or computer-assisted instruction.
  • There is a documented posting by the student showing the student’s participation in an online study group that was assigned as part of the course.
  • There is a documented posting by the student in a discussion forum showing the student’s participation in an online discussion about academic matters.
  • There exists an e-mail from the student or other documentation showing that the student initiated contact with a faculty member to ask a question about the academic subject studied in the course.

Note: A Blackboard login (recorded as “Last Access” in the Blackboard Grade Center) is NOT a valid “last date of participation” in any course including courses offered entirely online through Distance Education.

Using the criteria listed above, the faculty member must assess whether or not the student participated in the course for a portion of the term.

If “yes,” the UF notation must be entered with the date on which the most recent instance of participation occurred. 

If “no,” the UF notation must be entered using the date of the day prior to the term start date.  For example, if the term begins on August 31, enter August 30.

In instances where the notation of UF is assigned, the college must be able to document the student’s participation as recorded by the instructor via the use of any of the records listed above. Instructors are not expected to take extraordinary efforts to document participation, but should draw on the records they customarily use in evaluating course work, such as gradebook posting, participation in a group activity, test grades or any other means ordinarily used by the instructor to document student performance.

Administrative Transcript Notations – Letters other than A-F

AU – Audit
An administrative transcript notation for students auditing a course. This status will allow them to participate in class activities without being required to meet the examination requirements of the course. A student who wishes to change from credit to audit status must request this within the first four weeks of the course, using such forms and procedures as the college may prescribe. Students auditing a course may not change to credit status.

I – Incomplete
A temporary grade assigned by the faculty member when course work is missing and the student agrees to complete the requirements. The use and management of this grade is prescribed in Board of Trustees policy 3.5.1—Granting of an Incomplete, adopted July 23, 2001.

M – Maintaining Progress
An administrative transcript notation used for developmental courses only to indicate that the student is maintaining progress. It may be given to a student for a course only twice.

P – Pass
An administrative transcript notation for successful completion of courses taken on a pass/fail basis. Students failing will receive a grade of “F”.

R – No Grade
An optional administrative transcript notation for any situation where there is no grade reported by the instructor at the end of the traditional semester.

TR- Transfer
An administrative transcript notation in lieu of grades for courses accepted for credit from other colleges and universities.

W – Withdrawal
An administrative transcript notation used to indicate that a student is withdrawn from a course in accordance with the procedures prescribed by the college.

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Incomplete Grade

Board of Regents Policy 3.5.1, originally adopted by the Community-Technical Colleges Board of Trustees July 23, 2001

An “incomplete” is a temporary grade assigned by a faculty member when coursework is missing and the student agrees to complete the requirements. Although a student may request an incomplete, the faculty member is not required to honor the request. The faculty member should assign an incomplete when there are extenuating circumstances such as illness that prevent a student from completing the assigned work on time and, in the judgment of the faculty member, the student can complete the remaining work within the time limit established by this policy.

If an incomplete is assigned, the faculty member will set forth in writing a description of the work to be completed, the date by which the work must be submitted (i.e. the end of the 10th week of the next standard semester), and a statement that the “I” will change to a specified letter grade if the work is not completed by the due date. An “I” will convert to an “F” grade if no make-up grade has been specified.

Students with an “I” are temporarily ineligible for semester or graduation honors. Upon conversion of the “I” to a letter grade, students may retroactively receive semester or graduation honors and such recognition shall appear on the transcript, provided that the student has earned the required grade point average.

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Pass/Fail Option

Students may elect to be graded on a satisfactory/unsatisfactory basis in any unrestricted elective (appears in the program designs simply as “elective”). The Records Office must be notified of this intention at the time of registration. Grades received in these courses will be entered on the transcript as “P” or “F.” Credit towards graduation will be given for no more than four courses taken under this option. Because course transferability may be affected by this option, a student should consult with an advisor prior to choosing this method.

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Repeating Courses

No course may be attempted more than three times. The highest grade received will be used in calculating the student’s academic average. This does not apply to those courses that are designed to be repeated for additional credit.

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Withdrawals from Courses

A student may withdraw from any course after the add/drop period, until the end of the 11th week of the semester (for the Fall and Spring semesters). This deadline is published in the Academic Calendar. The withdrawal deadline for accelerated courses (late start/early end, winter, and summer) is the date at which 75% of the total course time has been completed.

A student must take the responsibility for initiating and completing a withdrawal. It is in the best interest of the student to discuss a withdrawal with his or her academic advisor, and/or the Instructor in the course. A student who wishes to withdraw from a course must:

  • Obtain a withdrawal form from the Records Office,
  • Fill in and sign the form,
  • Obtain the signature of the course instructor, and (if applicable) financial aid staff member and/or veterans counselor, and
  • Return the completed form to the Records Office prior to the deadline.
  • A student who is taking an online course and is unable to come to campus, should contact the course instructor to request a withdrawal electronically, prior to the deadline.

A student who wishes to completely withdraw from MxCC must notify the Records Office of that intention. The College prefers the student to come in personally and obtain signatures as described above. However, notification may be made in writing.

A withdrawal will be recorded as a “W” on the student’s transcript. Withdrawing from a course makes the student ineligible for Dean’s List recognition in that semester.

A student who misses the withdrawal deadline, and who has extenuating circumstances, may choose to file an “Appeal for Late Withdrawal” form with theDean of Academic Affairs. This form must be signed by the instructor indicating his/her permission for withdrawal before the appeal will be considered.

Any student who stops attending a class and fails to complete a withdrawal form will receive a letter grade for that course (A – F).

Course withdrawals may affect state and federal benefits programs. If a student who is receiving financial aid withdraws from a course, he or she must notify the Financial Aid Office immediately.If a veteran withdraws from a course, he or she must notify the Veterans’ Counselor immediately.

A student may not obtain a transcript notation of “W” in a course if there exists substantial reason to believe the student has engaged in a violation of academic integrity in the course. A transcript notation of “W” will only be permitted for such student when the final resolution results in a finding that the student did not commit a violation of academic integrity in the course.

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