Course grades are based on evaluations of students’ mastery of course objectives. Each instructor’s grading policy will be published in the course syllabus and approved by the dean in advance of the first day of class. A student is responsible for all work assigned during the course and must discuss any issues with completing the required course work with the professor.
Undergraduate courses: Undergraduate students will receive credit for courses in which they earn a grade of D or higher. However, if a student’s GPA falls below 2.0, he or she may be placed on academic probation. Students in undergraduate nursing courses must earn a C+ (77%) or higher to receive program credit.
RN to BSN progression: The standard of performance required for undergraduate nursing programs is C+ (77%) or higher in all nursing courses. Students who earn a grade of less than C+ in any nursing course must repeat the course and earn at least a C+ in order to complete the program of study. If a student’s GPA falls below 2.0 he or she may be placed on academic probation.
RN to BSN/MSN progression: The standard of performance required for undergraduate nursing programs is C+ (77%) or higher in all undergraduate nursing courses. Students who earn a grade of less than C+ in any undergraduate nursing course must repeat the course and earn at least a C+ in order to complete the program of study. If a student’s GPA in the undergraduate program falls below 2.0 he or she may be placed on academic probation. The standard of performance required for graduate nursing programs is B (83%) or higher in all graduate nursing courses. Students who earn a grade of less than B in any graduate nursing course must repeat the course and earn at least a B in order to complete the program of study. If a student’s GPA in the graduate program falls below 3.0 he or she may be placed on academic probation.
Graduate courses: Graduate students will receive credit for courses in which they earn a grade of B- (80%) or higher. Credit will not be granted for grades of C+ (77%) or below. Students who receive a B- may proceed, but must maintain an overall GPA of 3.0. Students who earn a grade of C+ or lower in a graduate course must repeat the course and earn at least a B- in order to complete the program of study.
Course-based competency master’s programs: In American Sentinel’s course-based competency master’s programs, students do not earn grades, but earn mastery when they complete a competency according to scoring rubrics. Students are self-directed in this program, but must make satisfactory academic progress by completing at least two competencies within 16 weeks.
MSN and DNP progression: The standard of performance required for graduate nursing programs is B (83%) or higher in all nursing courses. Students who earn a grade of less than B in any nursing course must repeat the course and earn at least a B in order to complete the program of study. If a student’s GPA falls below 3.0 he or she may be placed on academic probation.
|Grade||Grade Point Value|
Grade Point Averages
A student’s grade point average (GPA) is computed by dividing the total number of grade points earned by the number of credit hours for which grades were awarded. The grade points are calculated by multiplying the grade quality points for the grade earned for each course by the number of credit hours associated with course.
A student’s academic average is stated in a cumulative grade point average (CGPA), which is based on all grades and credit hours earned to date. Both GPA and CGPA include classes that are required for graduation in the student’s current program of study (including electives) and exclude developmental courses and any other courses considered to be ineligible by licensing, state or provincial authorities. The CGPA shows whether a student is meeting the standards of academic progress, is eligible for graduation and is eligible for academic honors. American Sentinel grades on a 4.0 (unweighted) GPA scale.
To graduate, undergraduate students must achieve a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0, and graduate and doctoral degree students must achieve a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0.
GPA Calculation Example
Course Credits Grade earned Grade points
|Course||Credits||Grade Earned||Grade Points|
|American History||3||B||3 x 3 = 9|
|Art History||3||C||3 x 2 = 6|
|Intro to Computer Science||3||A||3 x 4 = 12|
|Adv. Database Systems||3||C||3 x 2 = 6|
To calculate the semester GPA, add the total grade points, and divide by the number of credit hours attempted.
For this example, the semester GPA equals 33/12 = 2.75.
Cumulative Grade Point Average
The cumulative GPA (CGPA) is the overall cumulative academic average achieved by a student. The CGPA becomes permanent at graduation, except for authorized grade changes. In addition:
If a course is repeated, the highest grade is used for the CGPA. Courses may be taken for credit after proficiency or transfer credit has been awarded. The grade earned is then used for both the term GPA and CGPA.
Transfer credit may be granted for courses taken at other institutions. Grade points earned at other institutions are not included in the CGPA. However, the course and the grade earned remain on the transcript in the term in which the course was completed.
A semester/term GPA is not affected by subsequent course repeats or other adjustments to the CGPA.
Students have access to their grades at any time during their program. Throughout each course, they will be able to keep track of their progress and check assignment due dates, examination dates and grades.
An undergraduate student who receives a failing grade of F in a required course must repeat the course and receive a passing grade at American Sentinel University. A course for which an F is awarded is included in the semester or term GPA and cumulative GPA. When the student repeats the course and earns a passing grade, the F will no longer be calculated in the cumulative GPA.
American Sentinel University offers the opportunity for students who either need to or choose to repeat a course to do so. When a course is repeated, the grade considered for the credit and GPA calculations will be the higher of the grades earned. Each attempt will be used in evaluating the course completion ratio. All attempts will appear on the student’s official transcript.
The following describes the academic forgiveness policy by degree:
- Doctoral Programs: One grade retake is allowed that is not factored into the student’s GPA.
- Master’s Programs: Two grade retakes are allowed that are not factored into the student’s GPA.
- Undergraduate Programs: Three grade retakes are allowed that are not factored into the student’s GPA.
Students who are currently enrolled in any program and who have already received failing grades will not have any failing grade factored into their GPA as long as they retake the course and earn a passing grade. As of November 1, 2015, any subsequent failing grade is subject to be factored into the student’s GPA as detailed in the above policy.
An incomplete grade of I signifies that not all required course work was completed during the term/semester. An incomplete grade is a temporary grade that is assigned by a faculty member only when all of the following conditions are met:
- The student has been making satisfactory progress in the course, as determined by the instructor.
- The student is unable to complete some course work because of unusual circumstances that are deemed acceptable by the professor.
If a student meets the above criteria, he or she may be granted an additional 14 calendar days to complete a course by a faculty member (beyond the official published last day of the course). If the student completes the course, he or she earns a final grade for the course.
Credits associated with courses in which a temporary I grade is received count toward total semester credits attempted and minimum cumulative credits completed at American Sentinel. A temporary I grade does not impact the calculation of cumulative GPA. Credits associated with courses in which a temporary I grade is received will count toward the maximum time frame for completion (see the Satisfactory Academic Progress policy).
Students are not allowed to audit courses at American Sentinel University.
American University does not utilize pass/fail grades in courses for academic credit. In American Sentinel’s course-based competency master’s programs, students do not earn grades, but earn mastery when they complete a competency area according to scoring rubrics.
Certain academic actions may be appealed, including:
- Academic warning and probation
- Academic dismissal
- Course grades
Academic appeals must be in writing and must be submitted to the dean prior to the end of the add/drop period of the term. Written appeals will be considered by American Sentinel’s Chief Academic Officer or the Grievance and Appeals Committee. Written appeals must contain:
- The student’s name and student ID number
- The date of appeal
- The student’s program of study
- The last date of attendance (for inactive students)
- The reason and nature of the appeal, including the decision or action that is the cause of the appeal
- The specific relief that is sought by the appeal
- An explanation and documentation of any extenuating circumstances
- The student’s signature
It is the student’s responsibility to meet the appeal deadline by the end of the add/drop period of the new term. The Chief Academic Officer or the Grievance and Appeals Committee will take action on the appeal within five business days. Written documentation of the final appeal disposition will become a part of the student’s academic file. The student will be notified in writing and will be given a copy of the final disposition, which must be signed and dated. Decisions of Chief Academic Officer or the Grievance and Appeals Committee are final.
Appeals may be made only under extraordinary or unique circumstances. The student may be required to meet certain conditions to continue or resume enrollment. Appeals granted with conditions must clearly describe the conditions and any time requirements within which they must be fulfilled. Tracking and follow up on the conditions of the appeal must be recorded and placed in the student’s file. A student who fails to meet appeal conditions is subject to immediate dismissal.
Grade Appeals Process
Students that have a disagreement with how an assignment or examination is graded should contact the appropriate faculty member. If the instructor discovers a potential error in grading, the student must return the entire assignment or examination. If warranted, the grade for that assignment or examination may be changed. If so, the instructor notifies the Registrar to change the grade in the student’s record. If a grade change is not warranted, the instructor provides clarification to the student, explaining why a change was not made. If the student does not agree with the instructor’s change or explanation, the student may appeal this decision as part of an appeal of the final course grade as described below.
Students may appeal final grades if they adhere to the following process:
- The student must first appeal by email to the faculty member within 30 calendar days after receiving notification of the final grade. The student must clearly state the specifics of his/her appeal. The faculty member will respond to the student by email within seven calendar days.
- If the student does not agree with the faculty member’s decision, the student may appeal to the Dean’s office by email within 14 calendar days of receiving the faculty member’s response or, if no response was received, within 14 days of when the student originally sent the appeal to the Faculty. The student should forward a copy of his/her original appeal, the faculty member’s response and any additional information that the student believes to be pertinent. The Dean’s office will provide a response to the student’s appeal within 14 days.
- If the student does not agree with the decision from the Dean’s office, he/she may request a formal appeal. The request for an appeal must be made in writing to the Chief Academic Officer (CAO) within 60 days after the grade was received. The CAO will convene a student Grade Appeals Committee, which consists of:
- Two staff members, one of which will be the Director of Student Success or his/her designee and the other a staff member not involved in the issue, and
- Three faculty members, two of which must teach in the student’s academic program.
- The Chief Academic Officer may ask for additional information from the Dean, faculty member or student to bring before the Grade Appeals Committee and should communicate the decision to the student by email, including rationale, as soon as possible but within 30 days of receipt of the appeal. The decision by the Grade Appeals Committee and the Chief Academic Officer is final.
A student’s failure to follow the steps outlined above will disqualify any appeal. A student’s status does not change during the appeal process.