Mastery and Grades
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The UW Flexible Option program is organized as distinct competency sets made up of a series of competences, or identified skills and knowledge, that must be mastered and successfully demonstrated in order to advance toward your degree or certificate completion.
Mastery is demonstrated through assessments. Depending on the content covered, your assessments can range from objective exams to essays to recorded presentations to interviews to case study analyses.
When you complete an assessment, your work is considered for mastery. When all assessments within a given competency set show that you have achieved mastery, you will have completed your set. In some cases, you may need more than one attempt to demonstrate mastery of a particular competency or assessment. Visit the Student Resource Center for your program of study and click on the Repeating a Competency Set link to learn more about the repeat policy at your home institution and your options.
At the conclusion of each subscription period, a letter grade is assigned to reflect your level of mastery in each competency set. In addition to traditional letter grades of A – F, you may see a grade of PR (used by UW-Milwaukee and UW-Parkside) or IP (used by UW Colleges). The PR or IP grade may be given to a student who has shown progress in mastering one or several competencies within a given set, but who may not have attempted all assessments.
Grading scales and use of the PR or IP can vary somewhat and may be applied differently by instructors. It is important that you read through your Competency Set Orientation Guides and assessment descriptions carefully so that you fully understand the expectations of your competency set and what determines mastery. Your Academic Success Coach can assist in helping you fully understand expectations of a competency set.
Grade Point Average
As in traditional learning, your final competency set grades will result in a grade point average, or GPA. A student will earn both a subscription period grade point average and a cumulative grade point average, which is the culmination of all grades received for your work at your institution.
How a Grade Point Average is Calculated
Each grade earned in a given competency set corresponds to a grade point value. Current traditional grade point values (on a 4 point scale) are:
A = 4.00
A- = 3.67
B+ = 3.33
B = 3.00
B- = 2.67
C+ = 2.33
C = 2.00
C- = 1.67
D+ = 1.33
D = 1.00
D- = 0.67
F+ = 0.33
F = 0.00
To calculate a subscription period grade point average
Multiply the number of credits for each competency set by the grade point value corresponding to the grade you earned. Do this for each competency set. Then add up all totals and divide by the total number of credits in which you enrolled for that subscription period. The result will be your subscription period grade point average.
Example: You are enrolled in ENG 102X, HIS 102X and MAT 101X, for a total of 9 credits. At the end of the subscription period, your level of mastery was assigned grades of A, B+ and A-.
Eng 102 3 credits A = 12 grade points
His 102 3 credits B+ = 9.99 grade points
Mat 101 3 credits A- = 11.01 grade points
12 + 9.99 + 11.01 = 33 ÷ 9 = 3.6
To calculate a cumulative grade point average
Follow the process above. However, ALL credits and multiplied values earned to date at that institution are added and then divided by the total number of credits in which you enrolled at that institution. The result will be your cumulative grade point average.
Your GPA and Dual Enrollment
It is important to know that grade point averages are institutionally based; that is, they are calculated only on those competency sets taken at a particular institution. This means that if you are enrolled in more than one institution at the same time, you will earn a subscription period GPA and cumulative GPA for each institution through which competency sets are being completed.
Grade point averages are calculated and transcripted separately for each institution attended. For example, if you are enrolled in a UW-Milwaukee Flexible Option degree program and are taking UWM competency sets, but are also completing competency sets with UW Colleges , you will earn one subscription period and cumulative GPA for UWM, and another similar set of GPAs for UWC. In this case, because your UWM record and UWC record are distinct and separate, GPAs also remain separate and are not averaged together in any way.
Your GPA and Academic Actions
There may be times when you have difficulty achieving mastery. If your grade point average falls below minimum university-wide standards for any subscription period, it is important to know you will be subject to academic action. Academic action could become a serious matter if not well-understood. Visit the Student Resource Center for your program of study and click on the Academic Action Policy link learn about your institution’s policy and how you can remain in good standing.
Still Have Questions?
We are here to help! If you need additional help in understanding what is meant by mastery, or the role that grades play in UW Flexible Option, contact your Academic Success Coach.