How do I control which courses count toward GPA?

Schools often offer a wide variety of courses, some of which may affect student GPAs, some of which may not. This article outlines the four components you need to check to make sure a course counts toward GPA.

  1. The course must appear on report cards and count toward GPA (Course settings)
  2. The report card must count as an official grade (Report dard settings)
  3. The report card item list must have an official grade (Report card item list settings)
  4. The grading scale must count toward GPA (Grading scale settings)

Course settings

When creating the course, pay attention to the settings in the Report Card tab. The course needs to be set to show on course-based report cards and it must be labeled as counting for GPA.

To check the settings of a course:

  1. Go to (SD) Admin Main > Course - Single View
  2. Search for the course
  3. Go to the Report Card tab
    • Show On Course Based Report Cards should be set to “Yes”
    • Counts for GPA should be set to “Yes”

If you need to change the settings, be careful. If the course has been used in previous academic years, you should create a new course instead of editing the existing course. Otherwise, you will affect the GPAs in previous academic years.

Report card settings

All grades that count toward GPA must appear on an official report card. If multiple report cards exist, some may be official, while others are simply labeled as progress reports. Official report card grades are used in the system for GPA, state reporting, and granting earned credits. A grade affecting GPA must be entered into an official report card.

To check which report cards are official:

  1. Go to Admin Main > Grade Reporting > Define Report Cards
  2. Check the Options column to see which report card(s) are labeled as Official Grade

The Official Grade field cannot be changed once set, so if no official report cards exist, you must create a new report card that does count. If the grades have been entered into a progress report, you will have to re-enter them into an official report card.

Report card item list settings

Report card item lists serve as the link between the student grades in the instructors’ gradebooks and how that information is formatted on the actual report card. All courses that appear on the report card must have a report card item list. For a course to count toward GPA, one of the report card items on that list must be labeled as an Official Grade. Only traditional grades can count as an official grade.

To check which report card items are considered official grades:

  1. Go to (SD) Admin Main > Grade Reporting > Report Card Item Lists
  2. Click report card items next to the report card item list used on the course
  3. Look at the Options column to verify that one of the report card items is labeled “Official Grade”

If there are no Official Grade report card items you can edit one report card item, check the “Official Grade (shown on transcripts)” box, and Save; or you can create a new report card item to labeled as official. A grade must be entered into that report card item to count toward GPA.

Report card item lists are yearly entities, which means you can change them without affecting the GPA in prior years. However, any change to the report card item list will affect all courses using that list.

Grading scale settings

Grading scale settings also determine which grades count toward GPA. If you are worried that a specific grade isn’t counting toward GPA, figure out which traditional grading scale is assigned to that course, and then check the settings of that grading scale.

To check which grading scales count toward GPA:

  1. Go to (SD) Admin Main > Grading Scales
  2. Look at the options in the Title column next to each grading scale
    • Calculate Average must be set to “Yes”
    • Used for GPA must be set to “Yes”
  3. Look at the settings in the Scale column
    • GPA Values must exist for each letter grade

If you need to change the settings, you may want to create a new grading scale and assign it to the course. Otherwise, you could affect grades/GPAs in previous academic years.

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