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GSE Instructor Handbook: Course Completion

Final Examinations

Faculty need to have multiple ways to assess student learning and provide evaluation of student performance in every class. Assessments and criteria for grading need to be specified in the syllabus. In general, faculty are expected to administer a final examination or require a final project for each course as part of the evaluation and feedback process for each student.

Returning Student Work

Graded final examinations and/or final projects can be returned to the students in class, online (email or course management system), or via stamped, self-addressed envelopes provided by the student. In compliance with FERPA guidelines regarding student confidentiality, instructors cannot leave projects to be picked up, and must make arrangements with the students for their return.

Faculty/Course Evaluation Process

To maintain academic standards, the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities, which accredits PSU, requires that evaluations be completed by students who register for PSU credits. Because it is critical that we ensure the quality of our programs, faculty need to have students complete course evaluations.

Evaluation packets are provided to instructors before the end of the term. For CE/ED courses, contact the CE/ED office for an evaluation packet if you have not received one; for departmental courses, contact the department program assistant for a packet. Make sure you have a form for each student.

All evaluations are confidential until after grades have been submitted. To ensure responses are kept anonymous, follow closely the instructions on distribution, collection, and return of the evaluation forms that are provided with the evaluation packet.

  • The instructor who has taught the course should leave the room while the evaluation is taking place.
  • An evaluation form should be distributed to each student who has registered for the course by a designated student in the course.
  • The same student should collect the forms and follow directions on the manila envelope for returning them to the appropriate office.

A summary of the evaluations is sent to instructors after grades are submitted in the subsequent term.

Grading Guidelines

Grading policies and practices need to be made available to the students during the first two sessions and should be included in the class syllabus. The final grade evaluation should be based on the student’s individual performance. Student performance records on which the final grade is based should be retained by the faculty member for a minimum of one year following completion of the course.

Posting Grades

Every faculty member must ensure student privacy relating to class grades. Because grading is done online, posting to the student’s account occurs when the grading period is complete. Grades cannot be given out publicly nor can support staff give grade information.

For more information go to:

Definitions of University Grades

Grade Undergraduate Graduate
A Excellent Excellent
B Good Satisfactory
C Satisfactory Below graduate standard
D Inferior Failure
F Failure Failure
P Pass (C or better) Satisfactory completion (B- or better)
NP No Pass No credit, unsatisfactory

While there is no grade of A+ at PSU, instructors may assign “plus” (+) and “minus” (-) to other letter grades. Pass and No Pass can only be assigned to students in P/NP courses or who register for that grading option. When grading online, a pull-down menu will show the correct “grade mode” for the student, according to the student’s chosen mode at registration.

Giving an Incomplete

The instructor may issue an “I” (Incomplete) when the criteria below are met and satisfactory student-instructor arrangements are made. Students are responsible for negotiating and contracting with the instructor. A written contract must be completed (under forms, see Criteria for Assigning an Incomplete “I.”)

Criteria for Assigning an Incomplete

  1. Quality of existing work is C- or above
  2. Essential work remains to be done
  3. Reasons for the incomplete are acceptable to the instructor
  4. Formal agreement between student and instructor is reached, and written form is completed and filed with the department or CE/ED (under forms, see Criteria for Assigning an Incomplete “I.”)

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No Basis for Grade and Missing Grade Policies

The PSU Faculty Senate approved the following definition and rules regarding assignment of X grades and M Grades, effective fall 2011:

The X grade definition: Non-attendance and No Basis for Grade. The X grade is used when there is little or no attendance and no work/performance upon which to base an academic evaluation.

New Rule for X grades: X grades cannot be changed after initial submission and other grades cannot be changed to an X.

New Rule for M grades: M (missing) grades will change to a grade of X, one term after the initial term. Once converted to an X, cannot be changed.

Please refer to this site for more information about online grading:

Changing the Grading Option

Students may change their grade mode from Pass/No Pass to A-F or vice versa (only if the structure of the class permits) during the first part of the term, per PSU policy. For one term thereafter, the Office of Graduate Studies will consider petitions for registration errors. Note that for most graduate degree programs courses must be taken for a grade, rather than P/NP, to count toward the degree.

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Grading Deadlines

All PSU grading is currently conducted online. Grading deadline dates are usually the Tuesday following finals week. For CE/ED instructors only, reminder post cards are sent to remind them of grading timelines.

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Online Grading

All PSU grades are posted on the web. It is crucial that faculty not delay in reporting grades, which are normally due at 5:00 pm on the Tuesday after the end of the term. When grades are reported after the grading deadlines, students may have difficulty with financial aid and/or, in the case of preK-12 educators, pay increases.

Grades not posted by the deadline will record as "M," and will require a grade change to post the grade. M (missing) grades will change to a grade of X one term after the initial term. Once converted to an X, these grades cannot be changed.

To grade online: Go to the online PSU Information System ( It will ask for your user ID, which is your PSU ID number OR your social security number (no dashes), and your PIN, which is your date of birth the first time you login (six digits - March 5, 1950, would be 030550).

If you are having trouble logging on because of invalid numbers, please call the Registrar's office at 503-725-3435. You will need to give them the CRN of the classes you are grading. If you don't know the CRN, or if no students are showing online or students are missing, contact the department assistant or CE/ED (depending on where the course is offered).

For more information go to:

Grade Changes

Grades may be changed, when the situation merits, by the instructor in the online PSU Information System ( A recent policy changes allows instructors to make grade to grade changes online. Please note that only courses that are eligible for online grade change (1year/5 term limit) will be visible to the instructor. All grade changes past the time limit will require a paper SGR with an attached memo and department chair approval.

For more information go to:

Removing an Incomplete

Incompletes can be changed, when the situation merits, by the instructor in the online PSU Information System ( Note that only courses that are eligible for online grade change (1year/5 term limit) will be visible to the instructor. All grade changes past the time limit will require a paper SGR with an attached memo and department chair approval.

For more information go to:

Completing the SGR (Supplementary Grade Report)

A paper SGR is required (along with a memo and department chair approval) to request grade changes that exceed the time limit. SGR’s are for faculty use only, not for student use. If a student delivers, mails, or otherwise has access to his or her SGR it will not be accepted by the Registrar’s Office. See the department assistant for a paper SGR.