Departmental Policies

Grading

The Chemistry faculty have agreed that ALL departmental class syllabi contain the following phrase:

According to the Xavier University Catalog, a grade of "A" is earned for "Exceptional" performance. This is also the agreed grading policy of the faculty in the Chemistry Department.

All of the Chemistry faculty have been informed that if a faculty member awards over 50% "A" grades in a class (either lecture or laboratory), then that faculty member is required to submit a written explanation to the chair of the department as to why they believe that over half the class is "Exceptional" in their performance. These written explanations are shared with the rest of the chemistry faculty and serve as discussion points concerning grading policy. The chemistry senior research course CHEM400 is exempt from this requirement.

Department of Chemistry Grading Scale Policy

The Chemistry Department faculty is agreed on the meaning of the following letter grades:

A grade - the student's performance is exceptional.

A student who is able to attain a grade of A in a course is doing exceptional work. The student is clearly able to use concepts to analyze a question or problem and to synthesize a solution with little or no direct intervention or direction by faculty or staff. The student has a grasp of wide ranging concepts to solve multi-step problems by organizing the information and applying the appropriate methods of analysis, and is be able to integrate this information into a complete picture. This would be demonstrated primarily through written examinations, solutions of problems, reports and papers and also in an exceptional organizational ability in conducting experiments and in recording and reporting results. The student also demonstrates an excellence in the ability to write in a clear, concisely and timely manner, and to organize and express thoughts to others in written and oral form.

B grade - the student's performance is good.

A student who is able to attain a grade of B in a course has a good understanding of the course material. Such a student is able to use major concepts to analyze a question or problem and synthesize a solution with some direction by faculty and staff. This student possesses a good understanding of the information from texts and lectures and can adequately utilize this information to analyze questions and reach appropriate conclusions. This ability would be demonstrated primarily through written examinations, solution of problems, reports and papers and also in a clear organizational ability in conducting experiments and in recording and reporting results. The student also demonstrates an above average ability to write clearly, concisely and in a timely manner, and to organize and express thoughts to others in writing, and to some degree in oral form.

C grade - the student's performance is satisfactory.

A student who is able to attain a grade of C in a course has a satisfactory understanding of the course material. Such a student is able to recognize concepts and to use them to solve relatively ordinary problems using these concepts, but with more complex problems this student will require significant assistance of faculty and staff. This student will have the ability to extract information from a text and lecture and to answer direct questions. The student will be able to use basic information to reach simple conclusions, but will probably be unable to analyze complex problems by synthesis of such basic information into more complex forms. This would be demonstrated primarily through written examinations, solutions of problems, reports and papers and also in an ability to conduct experiments and record and report results. The student also demonstrates an average ability to write in a clear, concise, and timely manner, and to organize and express thoughts to others in writing.

D grade - The student's performance is minimally acceptable.

A student who is able to attain a grade of D in a course has a minimal understanding of the course material. Such a student will be able to only minimally use basic concepts and extract only the most basic information from the texts and lectures. The student will have little or no ability to utilize course concepts in reaching conclusions. This student will only minimally be able to answer the most direct questions regarding such course concepts. This would be demonstrated through written examinations, solutions to problems, reports, and papers and also in a less than average organizational ability in conducting experiments and in recording and reporting results and in completing work in a timely manner. The student also demonstrates a below average ability to organize and express thoughts to others in writing.

F grade - the student's has not been able to master the most basic concepts necessary for understanding of the material.

A student who receives a grade of F in a course has demonstrated a significant lack of understanding of the most basic course concepts. Such a student also demonstrates failure to complete assignments, and failure to use concepts or to reach the simplest of conclusions. This would be demonstrated primarily through written examinations, solutions of problems, reports and papers and also in a lack of organizational ability in conducting experiments and in recording and reporting results.

Students found violating the University Academic Honesty Policy will receive a grade of 'F' irrespective of their abilities in the class.