CDS Undergraduate Program Grading Philosophy

CDS Undergraduate Program Grading Philosophy

The CDS major is a rigorous, pre-professional major which leads to advanced study in speech-language pathology, audiology, and related fields. With that in mind, CDS faculty members work to ensure students gain the scientific, theoretical, and applied clinical knowledge to prepare them for future careers. Grades in the courses serve as one metric to allow graduate programs and employers to evaluate CDS graduates.

Grading in the CDS department reflects the following fundamental principles:

  1. A grade, whether a final grade or one for an individual assignment, is to be determined based on objective criteria applied equally for all students.
  1. Grades are assigned for the work product submitted by the studentFaculty members are unable to evaluate or give credit for factors such as level of effort or time taken to complete an assignment.
  1. Grades are based on work outlined in the course syllabus which is available to all students.  Individual extra credit assignments will not be considered or accepted.

Following these principals, individual faculty members may choose assignments, grading criteria, and scales for calculation of final grades which fit within the nature of content covered and individual philosophies.

Regarding the assignment of final grades, the CDS faculty members agree student requests for grade changes after final grades have been posted will not granted unless an error has been made in calculating or inputting the final grade.


Students have reported that it is helpful to understand how performance in a course relates to the final grade. The CDS faculty developed the following descriptors of student performance to provide context for how an A grade reflects the quality of work completed in CDS courses.

A student receiving a grade of “A” typically demonstrates:

  • an in-depth knowledge of the course content;
  • a high degree of accuracy identifying and describing factual knowledge related to the course;
  • a thorough understanding of scientific and theoretical foundations of the content areas, which the student can clearly explain;
  • the ability to integrate and synthesize key concepts across course topics and accurately apply these to clinical examples;
  • the ability to articulate assumptions and reasoning associated with alternative points of view;
  • the ability to develop and use guidelines for prioritizing factors to consider when choosing among solution options;
  • the ability to communicate appropriately for a given audience and setting both orally and in writing.

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