Instructions for Giving an "Incomplete" Grading Symbol

Some facts about Incompletes:

  • Less than 5% of student receiving Incompletes actually finish the work.
  • More than 95% of Incompletes turn to Fs.
  • Incomplete grades are not placeholders for students who did not complete assignments. Using them in this fashion violates Ed Code and Board Policy.
  • Incomplete grades are considered in computation of progress probation.
  • Incomplete grades create problems for students on academic probation, especially if the student is being dismissed.
  • Incomplete grades are treated as failing grades for financial aid computation.
  • Incomplete grades that turn into an "F", generally result in a petition requesting a "W."

According to California Education Code, and College policy:

Incomplete academic work for unforeseeable, emergency, and justifiable reasons at the end of the term may result in an "I" symbol being entered in the student's record. The condition for removal of the "I" shall be stated by the instructor in a written record. This record shall contain the conditions for removal of the "I" and the grade assigned in lieu of its removal. This record must be given to the student with a copy on file with the Admissions and Records Office until the "I" is made up or the time limit has passed.

A final grade shall be assigned when the work stipulated has been completed and evaluated, or when the time limit for completing the work has passed. The "I" may be made up no later than one semester following the end of the term in which it was assigned. The "I" symbol shall not be used in calculating units attempted nor for grade points. The student, under extenuating circumstances, may request an extension of the time limit for making up the "I" by submitting a General Petition for consideration.

When you should give an "Incomplete?"

When the student contacts you after completing at least 75% of the class with documented, extenuating circumstances that prohibit the student from finishing the class.

When you should NOT give an "Incomplete?"

  • When the student misses the final examination and did not have an extenuating circumstance that prohibited them from being present for the exam.
  • When the student fails to turn in assignments by the end of the class.
  • When the student tells you a good story, but has no documentation to back it up.

Your responsiblity

  • Meet with the student to agree upon the work necessary to complete the course.
  • You must issue the student a grade on the Final Grade Roster.
  • Complete the Assignment of Incomplete Grade form. This form is also available in the Admissions and Records Office and can be completed when you bring in your Roster Certification Form.
  • Document, on the Assignment of Incomplete Grade form, all assignments that must be completed for the student to receive a passing grade.
  • Note the timeframe allowed for completion of missing work. Students have one semester after the posting of the Incomplete grade to complete the work (not including summer). Your contract with the student may specify a lesser amount of time.
  • Sign the "Assignment of Incomplete Grade" form.
  • Submit the "Assignment of Incomplete Grade" with your Roster Certification Form to the Admissions & Records Office, DeRicco Student Services Building.
  • Ensure that the student has "access" to you the following semester, so that he or she may make arrangements to complete the work.

Admissions & Records responsibility

  • Provide a copy of the Assignment of Incomplete Grade form to the student.
  • Provide a copy of the Assignment of Incomplete Grade to the faculty member via e-mail.
  • Post the Incomplete grade and record the grade that will be posted if the student does not complete the agreed upon work.

Some Suggestions

  • Don't give incomplete grades without documentation.
  • Give the grade the student earned.
  • If/when assignments are completed, you may change the grade via the electronic Grade Change form embedded in the Grade Roster. A signed hard copy of the form must be submitted in order for the change to take affect in the system.
  • You have no responsibility for follow up. (Giving a grade instead of an incomplete is a great "motivator" for students to finish the class.)

Ultimately, the grade you give a student is your decision. Suggestions are simply provided for informational purposes.