Grading Policies

Student work is evaluated throughout the semester through examinations, quizzes, research and writing assignments, projects and participation in class discussions. Final exams and/or projects typically comprise less than 50 percent of the final grade for a course.

Grading Guidelines for Faculty 

The following guidelines* are not intended to dictate exact grade distributions in courses but are rather intended to prevent grade inflation and to provide useful benchmarks for the benefit of course instructors and external reviewers. Not all courses will assign A's or F's for instance, depending on the actual quality of work submitted by the students.

Grade Score Grade Point Description
A 80-100 4.0 Excellent
B+ 75-79 3.5 Very Good
B 70-74 3.0 Good
C+ 65-69 2.5 Average
C 60-64 2.0 Fair
D+ 55-59 1.5 Barely Satisfactory
D 50-54 1 Weak / *Conditional Pass
E below 50 0 Failure
I --- --- Incomplete

A 'D' grade does not count towards credits in a major area of study, nor does it count towards prerequisites for other courses.

 

A typical Grade Point Average (GPA) for a course is approximately 3.0. (This GPA would result, for example, from 23% A's, 50% B's, 20% C's, 5% D's, and 2% F's.) A class whose GPA falls outside the range 2.7 - 3.3 should be considered atypical, and instructors for such courses should submit an explanation for the deviation from the norm in order to facilitate external examiner review of the course.

Instructors have discretion to adjust final grades upwards or downwards by 0.3 - 0.7 points, on the basis of class participation, class attendance, and timely submission of assignments. For example, a student who earns a B- on the basis of final score alone may be awarded a final grade of B or B+ if he or she regularly attended classes and demonstrated a good understanding of the material during classroom discussions. Conversely, a student who earns a B- on the basis of final score alone may be awarded a final grade of C+ or C if he/she consistently skipped classes, consistently submitted assignments after prescribed deadlines, and/or did not demonstrate a deep understanding of the material during class discussions.

Instructors for courses that involve significant writing and critical analysis should consider the following guidelines in assigning grades.

 

Grade Quality of Writing
A
  • A challenging hypothesis/proposition, clearly stated and argued
  • Logical organization
  • Textual evidence/quotations that are well contextualized within the discussion, and — chosen in order to effectively prove the point at hand
  • Precise word choice/elegant and unpretentious vocabulary
  • No errors of grammar, punctuation, or spelling (and no typos)
B
  • A relevant hypothesis/proposition, clearly stated and argued fairly well
  • Fairly strong organization, one or two jumps in logic, scattered evidence or redundancy
  • Textual evidence/quotations that are well contextualized within the discussion, and chosen in order to effectively prove the point at hand
  • Precise word choice/unpretentious vocabulary
  • Minimal errors of grammar, punctuation, and spelling (no typos)
C
  • A hypothesis/proposition, stated and argued
  • Attempts at organization, with several jumps in logic, scattered evidence and/ or redundancy
  • Textual evidence / quotation that are chosen in order to effectively prove the point at hand
  • Imprecise word choice
  • Errors of grammar, punctuation, and spelling
D
  • An unsuccessful hypothesis/proposition, or no hypothesis/proposition
  • Attempts at organization, with jumps in logic, scattered evidence and/or redundancy
  • Textual evidence/quotations
  • Imprecise word choice
  • Errors of grammar, punctuation, and spelling
E
  • Blatant lack of effort to fulfil the requirements of the assignment
  • Penalty for (very) late paper that wasn’t cleared with the instructor or for other serious issue as plagiarism. Note: Cases of suspected plagiarism should be brought to the attention of the Dean of Students as soon as they are discovered. Faculty unfamiliar with Ashesi’s policies should also consult their head of department for advice of proper procedures. See Section 13 for information about Ashesi’s ethical standards and Honor Code.

Class Attendance

Attending and participating in class, laboratory sessions and discussion sessions are essential to the process of learning at Ashesi University. Students benefit from lectures and discussions with their teachers and classmates. By missing classes, students are failing to take advantage of and contribute to the full potential of Ashesi’s educational experience. As such, teachers will take attendance and participation into account in assigning students’ grades. While each teacher will determine how class attendance affects students’ grades, general guidelines at Ashesi University are as follows.

  • Any absence may affect the student’s grade. If an absence is due to illness, the student should bring documentation from a health professional to the faculty, if approved, the absence should not affect the student’s grade.
  • Faculty members are not required to administer substitute assignments or examinations for students who have missed class without prior notification and approval, or in the absence of approved documentation from a health professional
  • If a student misses the equivalent of more than three weeks of classes over the course of a semester, an instructor may fail the student in the course, or, in the event that the absence was due to a proven illness or other emergency, the student may seek permission from the Dean of Students or Provost for an Incomplete grade (see section 5.21)

Probation and Dismissal

  • Students will be placed on academic probation if, at the end of any semester, their cumulative GPA or semester GPA is less than 2.0 (average C) but not less than a 1.5, or if their semester GPA is less than 1.5 but their cumulative GPA is 2.5 or above.
  • Continuing students will be subject to academic dismissal from Ashesi if (1) they fail to make normal degree progress, (2) their grade-point average falls below 1.5 for the previous regular semester and their cumulative GPA is less than 2.5, (3) after one semester on probation they have not achieved a cumulative and regular semester GPA of 2.0 (C average).
  • Although the first semester grades for freshmen will be counted towards their GPA, first semester grades will not be used to dismiss a student. A student in the freshman class will only be subject to academic dismissal from Ashesi University if after the second semester, the semester GPA is below 1.5. The cumulative GPA will not be factored into academic dismissal for freshmen. After the freshmen year, all continuing students will be subject to the dismissal policy for continuing students.

Course Load

The student course load at Ashesi is typically 4 to 4.5 units. If a student has a cumulative grade point average (GPA) or previous semester GPA of 3.3 or above, then the student may register for up to one additional unit. Under no circumstances will a student be allowed to register for more than 5.5 units. Under certain circumstances, a student may ask to take fewer than 4 units, or may be advised to take fewer than 4 units. For a course load of 2 units or under, the student will pay pro-rated tuition; for 2.5 units or above, the student will pay full tuition.

Repeating a Course

A course may ONLY be repeated if the grade on record is D+, D or E.  Students may take a course for the third time only after meeting with an academic advisor and obtaining written approval from the Provost. Only the most recently earned grade will be used in computing grade-point averages. All instances of the course will appear on the student’s transcript, although the course will not be counted multiple times toward graduation requirements.  Students must register for repeated courses must be registered in FOCUS, and course load requirements per semester must be fulfilled (see section Student Course Load).

Incomplete Grade

An Incomplete (“Inc”) grade may be assigned only if the student has been given permission for an Incomplete by the Dean of Student and Community Affairs or the Provost because of an emergency or illness.  An Incomplete is appropriate only if the student’s work in a course has been of passing quality and a minority of the work of the course is left outstanding, as determined by the instructor. 

The instructor must agree with the student on a date for the completion of the work, which must be approved by the Provost; an effort should be made to complete remaining work by the first week of the following semester. An Incomplete grade must be replaced by a final grade within two weeks of the completion of the work.  If the work is not completed by the agreed upon date, either the grade will revert to an “E”  or whatever grade the student earned assuming a 0 on the incomplete work, or the completion deadline will be extended by the Provost. 

Academic Honours

Dean's List
Students with a GPA of 3.5 or above at the end of a semester are placed on the Dean’s List. This status is noted on each student's academic record.

Graduation Honours
For the sake of clarification, the following table indicates how Ashesi’s classification of degrees maps on to the classification system at the University of Cape Coast and The University of Mines and Technology (through which Ashesi is accredited and Ashesi students receive diplomas). 

Students who earn a cumulative GPA of 3.5 for all undergraduate work earn Cum Laude (honours). Those with a cumulative GPA of 3.7 for all undergraduate work earn Magna Cum Laude (high honours). Students with a cumulative GPA of 3.85 for all undergraduate work earn Summa Cum Laude (highest honours).