Grades are a standardized way to indicate how well you succeeded in meeting the requirements of the course and the expectations of the instructor. Each instructor at Hesston designs her or his own grading system. The grading system will be explained in each course syllabus you receive.
When are grades given?
Grades are given at the middle and end of each semester. Grade reports can be viewed on my.hesston.edu by you, your advisor and your parents if you have given them access through the parent portal. Midterm grades are reported after the first eight weeks of the term. The purpose of midterm grades is to help you see how well you have done up to that point in the term. In some cases, midterm grades are reassuring. At other times, they serve as a wake-up call, warning you that you need to put forth greater effort or take a different approach to your studies. Midterm grades do not become a part of your permanent record (except for grades in first eight-week courses which are final).
Final grades are given at the end of each semester. These grades remain on your record permanently and are available through my.hesston.edu.
How is my GPA calculated?
The grade point average (GPA) is determined by dividing total quality points by the total hours attempted. To calculate your GPA, follow these steps:
- Determine the quality points earned for each course by multiplying the number of credit hours by the quality points associated with the grade. For example, if you earn a grade of C (two quality points) in a four-hour course, multiply two (quality points) by four (credits). Thus, you have earned eight quality points for that course. If you earn an A in a three-hour class, multiply four by three. Do this for each course in which you were enrolled.
- Add together the quality points earned in all classes combined. Divide that total by the total hours attempted, including failed courses. For example, if you earned a total of 48 quality points and had attempted 15 hours, divide 48 by 15. Your GPA for that term is 3.20. Even if you earned a no credit (NC) in some of the attempted hours, you still must divide by 15.
Can I do anything to change a low grade?
The only way to improve a low final grade is to repeat the course at Hesston College. When courses are repeated, the first attempt remains on your record. But only the hours and the grade earned with the second attempt are used in calculating your grade point average (even if the grade is poorer the second time). Taking a similar course (even with the same name) at another college is not considered a repeat for GPA purposes.
If you suspect that a grade was given in error, contact the course instructor. The instructor can authorize a grade change in such cases.
An appeal of a final grade must be submitted no later than 30 days after the final grade has been submitted.
Where can I get help if I’m doing poorly in a class?
If you are working hard and putting in long hours, but still are not satisfied with the results, here are some suggestions:
- Visit with the instructor. Often he or she can give you a bit of extra assistance or at least give you some tips on how best to approach the particular course.
- Request a tutor in the ACCESS lab. The service is free to you, but the tutor, usually another student in your class, gets paid from special funds the college has available.
- Study with other students in the class.
- Check out the other services available in the ACCESS lab in Smith Center.
If you have trouble making use of these suggestions, visit with your academic advisor. He or she can help you make the appropriate contacts. In any case, do not wait to seek help.
What can I do if I have a diagnosed special need?
If you have a diagnosed special need, you must volunteer the information; the college is not permitted to ask you for this. Once you make your needs known, the college is obligated to take reasonable measures to provide the services you need in order to be successful. You may begin by notifying the ACCESS program director. The director can help determine with you what accommodations can be made. Often these are simple measures—relocating your classes so that the room is accessible (almost all classrooms at Hesston are), seating you so that you can see and hear as well as possible, permitting you to take examinations in settings other than the regular classroom, arranging for a tutor, and so forth. The college may request professional documentation in order to arrange the most appropriate accommodations.