Psychology Department Plus/Minus Grading Policy
Beginning with the Fall, 2006 term, instructors will have the option of assigning grades on a plus (+) and minus (-) scale for undergraduate and graduate courses (see http://www.gsu.edu/es/20425.html) for details from Enrollment Services). Departments were encouraged to develop a policy regarding this option.
The Psychology Executive Committee has considered the potential advantages, disadvantages, and ambiguities of plus/minus grading and recommends the following policy:
- Instructors of psychology courses may use plus/minus grading so long as
- the course syllabus clearly specifies how all grades (including plus/minus grades) will be awarded,
- the instructor assigns grades in strict accordance to the guidelines of the syllabus, and
- the syllabus includes the reminder that “Courses or criteria that require a grade B or C will continue requiring the same. Grades of B- or C- will not fulfill the requirement.”
- Instructors who elect not to use plus/minus grading for a course must indicate this clearly on the syllabus.
- Recognizing issues of academic freedom, no department-wide system for awarding points and grades is prescribed. However, course coordinators, in consultation with instructors, are responsible for ensuring that a uniform procedure for assigning plus/minus grades is used for all sections of each multi-section course each semester.
In this period of transition, clarity and consistency will be keys to implementing plus/minus grading in a way that minimizes student complaints and grade appeals. Each instructor should read the information at http://www.gsu.edu/es/20425.html and should understand how assignment of plus/minus grades affects students’ qualification of prerequisites, eligibility for Honors or other GPA-based activities, and financial aid.