Grade Policy

The assignment of grades is the exclusive responsibility of the individual instructor. DVC grading policies are based on the faculty’s philosophy, California Administration Code, Title 5 (Sec. 51300­51325), and the Contra Costa Community College District Board Policy 4001.

DVC uses the following evaluative grades and non­-evaluative symbols:

Grade   Grade points per unit
A Excellent 4
B Good 3
C Satisfactory 2
D Passing, less than satisfactory 1
  (Not a recommending grade for continuation in sequential courses)
F Failing 0

The following grade symbols are not considered in calculations of cumulative grade point averages,
but the “W,” “I,” and “NP” grades are considered in determinations of progress probation and dismissal:

An “I” followed by a grade of B, C, D, F, or N is an incomplete grade that has not yet expired. The grade that follows will be issued if the incomplete is not made up or the incomplete contract expires.

Grade   Grade points per unit
I Incomplete 0
P Pass 0
  (At least satisfactory or a C grade; units not counted in GPA)
NP No Pass 0
  (Less than satisfactory; units not counted in GPA)

The following are non­-evaluative symbols:

Grade   Grade points per unit
W Withdrawal 0
  (Assigned to students who withdraw from a class within the allowed time.)
MW Military Withdrawal 0
  (Assigned when a student who is a member of an active or reserve United States military service receives orders compelling a withdrawal from courses.)  
IP In Progress 0

(Indicates the course was in progress beyond the end of the term.)

RD Report Delayed 0

(Indicates delay in reporting grade.)


Grades earned on non degree applicable courses are not included in the degree applicable grade point average.

Academic honors

Students who have completed at least 12 letter-­graded units during the term and earned a grade point average of at least 3.0 will receive honors recognition on their transcripts.

Graduation honors

Graduation honors will appear on a student’s transcript if a 3.5 grade point average in all college work (excluding non degree applicable and upper division courses) is maintained at the end of the semester in which the student has applied to graduate. A student intending to graduate in the spring semester must have a 3.5 grade point average as of February 1 for honors to appear in the ceremony program, but the 3.5 grade point average must be maintained at the end of the semester to have honors appear on the student’s transcript.

Incomplete grades

An incomplete grade must be made up no later than one calendar year following the grade assignment or it will automatically revert to the alternate grade assigned by the instructor. Students who receive an “I” grade can not register for the same course in which they received the incomplete. Incompletes will be given only in cases of emergency such as accident, illness, or family emergency. Extensions to the one year deadline may be granted for good cause with instructor approval. The instructor must notify the Admissions and Records Office.

Pass/No Pass grades (P/NP)

These grades are not used in the calculation of grade point averages, although the units for P grades are applied toward the 60 required for an associate degree. Four­-year colleges often limit the number of P units that they will accept from transfer students. To determine if there are any negative implications to choosing a P/NP grading, students are advised to refer to the policies of the college to which they intend to transfer. P/NP grade option cannot be reversed after 25 percent of the class has passed.

Student choice (SC)

A course labeled “SC” means that before the deadline, students can decide to take the course for a letter grade or for a P/NP grade. Students must complete a form in the Admissions and Records O ce to take the course for a P/NP grade. If students do not choose the P/NP option before the deadline, they will be issued a letter grade for the course. It is often best to discuss this choice with a counselor.

Students have until the fourth week of the class (or 25 percent of the term for shorter classes) to decide. After the deadline has passed, the grading choice may not be reversed.

Non credit courses

Non credit courses are open to all students for registration. There are no enrollment fees for non credit courses, but an application for admission is necessary. Non credit courses are not graded and are non degree applicable.

Fairness in grading

During the first week of each class, instructors will give their students a copy of their class syllabus, which will include their grading policies. Students may expect instructors to:

  • record the student’s grade for each oral and written test or report that will affect the final grade, notify the student of the grade, and, if necessary, review the results with the student;

  • evaluate the student within the first quarter of the course and notify the student of the results of the evaluation;

  • count a final examination for no more than half the course grade;

  • base final grades on at least three of the student’s tests and/or reports (exception in cases of violations of DVC’s academic dishonesty procedure 4001.04). 

Note: Instructors are expected to retain any test or report that is not returned to a student for a period of one academic year. Grade records should be available for a period of three years after grades are awarded. Instructors who are not scheduled to teach should leave their records with their division dean.

Grade corrections

Students who believe that they have received an incorrect grade must initiate a grade correction within one calendar year after they received the grade. To have a grade corrected, students must ask the instructor to correct the grade and have them submit a grade correction form. The instructor has final authority to determine if the student’s grade should be changed.

Note: Except in extenuating circumstances such as serious illness, grade corrections may not be made from “F” to “W.” It is the student’s responsibility to withdraw from a class prior to the drop deadline.

Student grade complaints and appeals

For full information on the grade appeal process, see "student appeals for grade changes" in the college catalog.