Assignment and Removal of "Incomplete" in Grading
From time to time students visit my office to express concern about the status of their academic records. A particular area of concern is often the significance and possible consequences of an "incomplete". I have referred these students to the official statements and policies on the subject. These are: Section 333 of the Faculty Handbook on Grades and Grading; the College Catalog, pages 41-42; and the policy adopted by the Academic Senate with respect to the role of the Academic Regulations Committee and its ability to recommendthe changing of an "F" grade to withdrawal giving extenuating circumstances. In addition, the process of the removal of incomplete is covered by proceduresin effect in the Office of Admissions and Records.
Policy stipulates, among other things, that the incomplete should be assigned only when a student has not completed all required work, and further, that faculty are required to indicate, at the time the incomplete is as signed, what must be done in order to provide the basis for conversion to a regular grade.
Student concerns sometimes center about the possibility that an instructor might convert the incomplete to a letter grade without the work having been completed, to their disadvantage, or that the nature or extent of the work required be changed, to their disadvantage. Present policy seems clear on this matter: that an in complete means only that work has not been completed; that the nature and extent of that delinquency be stipulated at the time the incomplete is assigned and posted with the Registrar; and that the incomplete must be converted only when required work is completed.
On that basis, I have reassured students that they need not fear that faculty will convert posted incompletes to grades if the requirements stipulated remain uncompleted.