Category Archives: The Incomplete “I”

A Reminder About the Incomplete “I”

This post duplicates information found earlier in the blog (and accessible by clicking the “The Incomplete ‘I'” category in the right-hand column). But this is critically important information which all students need to keep in view, and so as July turns to August and the fall semester starts to rise on the horizon, let’s just make sure everyone is clear on the policy surrounding the incomplete “I.”

First off an incomplete might be granted by a professor in place of a real course grade to students who have completed most of the required work for a course and who have met attendance requirements. The incomplete is not intended for students who get buried under other work and life-responsibilities and need more time. It is intended for emergency situations, for students who experience an unexpected crisis (such as a debilitating illness or major life-upheaval) at a specific point during the term which unexpectedly interrupts their ability to complete all required work for a course by the end of the semester. Each professor has the right to not grant an incomplete and instead grant some other grade, including an F, based on whatever work the student completed during the regular term.

Students who find themselves in a situation which might warrant an incomplete must request it of the professor. Even if the professor agrees, she or he might still require you to complete a form to initiate the incomplete.

Sometimes an incomplete can be a life-saver for students who experience sudden crisis and find themselves unable to complete the work for course in a timely way, but in just about all cases students should avoid incurring an incomplete. Many students who take an incomplete never resolve it: because life goes on, new responsibilities and coursework come along, and it just becomes very difficult to find time to go back and do work on past requirements. It is also difficult for your professors to deal with incompletes because your professors’ work, responsibilities, and lives move forward too. It is a big deal for everyone when a student takes an incomplete, which is one reason why a professor simply might not grant it.

If a student is granted an incomplete for a course, the student should work to complete the missed work and so remedy the incomplete as soon as possible–and prior to the start of the next semester. At the maximum, students have no more than one year in which to remedy the incomplete: after that year the potential credits for the course and tuition for the course are lost, and the incomplete cannot be changed into any real grade. The incomplete “I” is thereafter locked permanently on your transcript.

So for example students who have an incomplete from fall 2017 have only until the end of the fall 2018 semester to remedy the incomplete. Once the fall semester ends, all fall 2017 incompletes are locked in and cannot be fixed. And note: sending your professors paperwork at 11pm on the 365th day of the year’s window is not acceptable. So, anyone still seeking to correct fall 2017 incompletes should already be working right now with their professors to fix the incomplete.

In all cases it is the responsibility of a student who receives an incomplete to do what is necessary to fix the incomplete well before the one-year window closes: to stay in touch with the professor, to know what work needs to be done, to keep the one-year maximum deadline in view. It is not the responsibility of any professor to keep track of incompletes granted in the past, or of the one-year deadline for any incomplete. If anyone has any questions about this please, as always, contact the program director at cloots@mercy.edu

The Incomplete “I” Revisited

As we approach the end of the fall 2017 semester let me remind (or inform) everyone about the situation surrounding the “incomplete” or “I” mark a student might request/receive in place of an actual grade. This post repeats information from earlier blog posts on this same subject, but this is critical information for program students to know so please make sure you’re all aware of this.

First off the incomplete might be granted by a professor to students who have completed most of the required work for a course and who have met attendance requirements. The incomplete is not for students who get buried under work and other responsibilities and need a little more time. It is intended for emergency situations, for students who experience an unexpected crisis (such as a debilitating illness) at a specific point during the term which unexpectedly interrupts their ability to complete all required work for a course. Each professor has the right to not grant an incomplete and instead grant some other grade, including an F, based on whatever work the student completed during the regular term.

Students who find themselves in a situation which might warrant an incomplete must request it of the professor. Even if the professor agrees, she or he might still require you to complete a form to initiate the incomplete.

Sometimes an incomplete can be a life-saver for students who experience sudden crisis, but in just about all cases students should avoid incurring an incomplete. Many students who take an incomplete never resolve it: because life goes on, new responsibilities and coursework come along, and it just becomes very difficult to find time to go back and do work on past requirements. It is also difficult for your professors to deal with incompletes because their work, responsibilities, and lives move forward but they now have to figure out how to accommodate, tend to, assess, and sometimes even just remember what this work is that a student left untended in the past. It is a big deal for everyone when a student takes an incomplete, which is one reason why a professor simply might not grant it.

If a student is granted an incomplete, the student should work to complete the missed work and so remedy the incomplete as soon as possible–and prior to the start of the next semester. At the maximum, students have one year in which to remedy the incomplete: after that year the potential credits for the course and tuition for the course are lost, and the incomplete cannot be changed into any real grade.

So for example students who have an incomplete from fall 2016 have only until the end of this current fall 2017 semester to remedy the incomplete. Once this semester ends, all fall 2016 incompletes are locked in and cannot be fixed. And note: sending your professors paperwork at 11pm on the 365th day of the year’s window is not acceptable. So, anyone still seeking to correct fall 2016 incomplete should be in the very final stages of resolving them. If anyone has any questions about this please, as always, contact the program director at cloots@mercy.edu.

A Reminder About Incomplete Grades (the “I”)

As we near the end of the spring 2017 semester please keep in mind the way that incomplete “I” grades work. Some of you may have received an incomplete for a course in the past (meaning you got an “I” for your grade instead of a real letter grade). I posted about this several years ago here, but let me post on it again just to remind everyone what’s up, and of the things you need to be thinking about if you have any incompletes on your transcript.

First off the incomplete might be granted to students who meet attendance requirements and complete most of the required work for a course. The incomplete is intended for students who experience an unexpected crisis (such as illness) at a specific point during the term which interrupts their ability to complete all required work for a course. Each professor has the right to not grant an incomplete and instead grant some other grade, including an F, based on whatever work the student completed during the regular term. Students who find themselves in a situation which might warrant an incomplete must request it of the professor. Even if a professor agrees to give you an incomplete you should avoid them at all cost. Many students take an incomplete figuring that they will make it up in good time, and then don’t–because life goes on, new responsibilities and work come along, and it just becomes very difficult to find time to go back and do work on past requirements.

If a student is granted an incomplete, the student should work to complete the missed work and so remedy the incomplete as soon as possible–and prior to the start of the next semester. At the maximum, students have one year in which to remedy the incomplete: after that year the potential credits for the course and tuition for the course are lost, and the incomplete cannot be changed into any real grade.

So for example students who have an incomplete from spring 2016 have a little more than two weeks from the day I’m posting this (April 25) to remedy the incomplete (because the last day of the semester is May 9). Once this spring semester ends, all spring 2016 incompletes are locked in and cannot be fixed. And note: sending your professors paperwork at 11pm on the 365th day of the year’s window is not acceptable. Professors might have upwards of a hundred final papers they’re reading for all their regular classes, and your incomplete paper will usually go to the bottom of that stack and be read in proper time–not rushed to the front of the line as some might hope. So, anyone seeking to correct spring 2016 incompletes should be communicating with and working with their professor now to establish the necessary schedule required to remedy the incomplete.

 

The Incomplete “I”:

Sure, you thought this was going to be about the strangeness of the ego and the I, but instead it’s just a post about the “I” grade-placeholder some of you sometimes get. Let me explain here all about the “I.”

An “I” is something that a professor might give to a student temporarily in place of a final grade. The “I” signals “incomplete” and is not therefore a real grade of any credit or GPA significance.

It can only be given in cases where a student has met all attendance requirements and completed most of the other course requirements, but for some reason was unable to complete some of the written work by the final semester deadline. Typically in graduate English an “I” might be given to a student who completed most all course work successfully and on time except for the final term paper. In these cases the student may contact the professor and politely request a temporary “I.” Even in such situations, a professor does not have to grant the temporary “I” and rather often gives a real final course grade (A through F) based upon the student’s semester of work. It is not a student’s right to be granted an “I.” The granting of an “I” should be a special and rare event as it causes issues which extend beyond the semester and into future semesters. Students should never presume that an “I” will be granted and should aim to complete all work during the semester so as to avoid the issue of the “I” even being raised.

In the rare cases where an “I” is granted the student must complete the missing work which led to the “I” and submit that work to the professor as soon as is possible. As a general rule the work should be completed and submitted before the start of the next semester. The ultimate time limit for turning a graduate level “I” into a real grade is 12 months. But again, consider that if you’ve left unfinished work until the 11th month you’re now having to research and write on topics which you were studying almost a year ago, and you’re now asking your professor to consider work related to a course from almost a year ago. Again, in the rare event that you do need an “I” and are granted one by your professor, please be diligent and remedy it prior to the start of the next semester.

If the incomplete “I” is not remedied within the twelve month limit it cannot be turned into a real grade. In that case it remains a permanent “I” on the transcript and the student receives no credit for the course.

It is the student’s responsibility to be wary of the time limit for remedying an “I,” to submit all missing work to the professor within that time limit, and to maintain a record of the timely submission of such.

If you have any further questions about this, feel free to contact me at cloots@mercy.edu.