Grading of Coursework
FSIHS utilizes a portfolio-based assessment system. This means that students are expected to remain actively engaged in the learning process and are assessed based upon mastery of the skills taught rather than rote memorization. Students are graded on a “mastered” or “needs work” scale rather than letter grades. Because all admitted students are capable of mastery, this approach better reflects each student’s standing in a class.
Students are graded on a wide range of assessments which reflect their level of mastery of the coursework. This includes online discussions, research papers, hands-on projects such as blending or formulation, reflection essays, timed responses to discussion prompts, and case studies. During an academic quarter, each full time student can expect the following requirements: 1 discussion post, 2 responses to another student’s discussion post, and 1 short quiz or project. Each full time quarter also concludes with the completion of 2 major portfolio projects. These range from a collection of case studies to the formulation of a product line. Part time students will complete exactly half of the work, so they will have either a discussion post or quiz/project each week and 1 portfolio project. Points are assigned for completion of each task and these points are used to determine overall course mastery.
How are Grades Determined?
Students are graded on a scale of 0-100 for each class. 75% of points must be achieved to earn a passing mark of “mastered.” A student’s grade reflects how well he/she demonstrated mastery of the class material through the coursework and assignments.
Professor Tip: A comprehensive learning experience involves trial and error. As your instructors, our goal is to help you move beyond your comfort zone and challenge you to embrace new concepts, approaches, and skills. Like any learning experience, there will be mistakes made along the way. The classroom is the ideal place for such mistakes. It is a safe learning environment and rather than soften the learning experience to prevent the frustration that comes from failing a test or identifying weaknesses, our goal as your instructors is to support you as you work through your weak points to ensure success when you are out of the classroom and launching your career.
One way we accomplish that is through our unique approach to assessment. Your assessments are specifically developed to evaluate mastery of the concepts, not mere regurgitation or rote memorization. Using Bloom’s Taxonomy of Educational Objectives, we strive to empower you to excel beyond knowledge to actual application, synthesis, and evaluation of these scientific principles. Course assessments mimic real life practice, not artificial classroom testing. As you approach each assessment, pay close attention to the instructions, to the details of the assignment, and to the entirety of the concepts you have covered in that class. We are here to support you every step of the way.
Students will receive an incomplete grade, marked as an “I” on their transcript, if the student fails to submit all required coursework and assessments. All students who receive an incomplete grade must meet with the Academic Coordinator or Program Coordinator and their respective instructor to review their academic plan and the steps necessary to successfully complete the program. Students with two or more incompletes will not be allowed to register for further courses until a plan of action is in place to ensure that students are able to complete additional courses. Incomplete grades have a 0.00 value towards GPA calculation.
Courses in which a final grade of “needs work” or “withdrawal” must be repeated at the normal tuition rate the next time the course is offered. A course may be repeated no more than one time. Remember that repeating a class will delay the graduation date. Once a class is repeated, the successful attempt will be reflected on your transcript.
To graduate, a student must master all coursework (earning 75% or more of all possible points), fulfill all financial obligations to the school, comply with all rules and regulations of the school, and have achieved a 90% cumulative attendance rate while enrolled.
How is GPA Calculated?
FSIHS does not assign GPA or honors status. Our emphasis is on mastery of the material. However, per postsecondary guidelines, our students do earn transcripts which reflect traditional grading scales. To calculate your Grade Point Average (GPA), you will need to know how many contact hours are in each of your courses and the final number of points you earned. To calculate total grade points, divide the contact hours of the course by 10, then multiply that number by the point value of the final grade. For example, a 30 contact hour course that has earned a B would produce 9 total grade points. Divide the total number of grade points earned by the balance of the total number of contact hours attempted divided by ten. For example, if a student earned an A in a 50 contact hour class and a B in another 50 contact hour class, the total number of grade points would be 35 and the GPA would be 3.5 (35 divided by 10).