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A review of Cosumnes River College's grading policies and academic regulations:

Academic Honors

The distinction of honors and highest honors is noted on a student’s transcript for each semester in which a student has enrolled in twelve (12) units or more, and has earned a grade point average (GPA) of at least 3.0 (honors) or 3.5 or higher (highest honors). Students earning academic honors or highest honors may be eligible to participate in the college's Honors Program. For further information, see Honors.

Honors at Graduation
Students who maintain a high grade point average are eligible for honors at graduation. Students who maintain a grade point average of 3.0 or better are eligible for graduation with honors, and students who maintain a grade point average of 3.5 or better are eligible for graduation with highest honors. All college coursework that a student has completed is used to calculate honors at graduation (including coursework taken outside of Los Rios). The published lists of students are compiled from the data available at the time of publication and may be subject to subsequent revision.

Academic Renewal

A student may petition to have previous substandard work (Ds and Fs) earned at Cosumnes River College discounted. Courses and grades which no longer reflect a student’s current educational objective and current level of academic success may upon petition be discounted in the computation of the grade point average (Title 5, Section 55046). The following conditions must apply:

  • A minimum of twelve (12) consecutive months shall have elapsed since the end of the semester or summer session in which the work to be alleviated was recorded; and a minimum of twelve (12) semester units (or its equivalent) with a grade of C or Pass/Credit or better shall have been attained. The coursework must have been completed at a regionally accredited college.
  • Current educational objectives must be discussed with a counselor and the counselor’s recommendation must be included on the petition.
  • No more than thirty (30) units of substandard grades may be discounted.
  • Under no circumstances may course work be discounted if it was used to fulfill requirements for a degree or certificate that has been awarded.
  • All grades remain on the permanent record and transcript of grades. However, a proper notation on the transcript will indicate the specific grades that were discounted from the grade point average.
  • Once elected, the academic renewal cannot be reversed.
  • Academic renewal is not intended for courses that are required and/or will be repeated.

Students with questions regarding this policy should contact the Counseling office. Academic renewal petitions are initiated with a counselor.


For students to successfully complete their college work, regular class attendance is necessary, and students are expected to attend all sessions of classes in which they are enrolled (Los Rios Regulation R-2222).

All students who remain enrolled in a class after the last day to withdraw (see the Academic Calendar) will be issued a letter grade for the course. If a student has stopped attending but not dropped the class, the student may receive an F grade for the course on their permanent record. Exception to this policy involves completion of the Cosumnes River College Student Petition, with appropriate signatures and documentation of extenuating circumstances.

Excessive Absences
Students are expected to attend all sessions of the class in which they are enrolled. Any student with excessive absences may be dropped from class (Title 5, Section 58004).

Per Los Rios Regulation R-2222, a student may be dropped from any class when that student’s absences exceed six percent (6%) of the total hours of class time. Instructors shall state in each course syllabus what constitutes excessive absences for that course.

Non-Attendance at First Class
Per Los Rios Regulation R-2222, students who fail to attend the first session of a class may be dropped by the instructor.

Auditing Courses

Cosumnes River College does not permit auditing of classes, which is defined as attending a course(s) without having enrolled, without responsibility for completing assignments, and without receiving a grade or credit.

Catalog Rights

To graduate from any Los Rios District college, you may choose to meet the requirements established in one of three course catalogs during your academic career:

  • The catalog in use when you were admitted to a Los Rios college.
  •  The catalog in use when you originally enrolled in an accredited college or university.
  •  The catalog in use at your intended graduation date from a Los Rios college.

Course Repetition and Repeatability

Repetition of courses must be conducted by all California community colleges in compliance with Title 5, Sections 55040 through 55046.

Course Repetition Where Substandard Grade is Recorded
Where a student has received a substandard grade in a course taken at a college, a student may repeat that course up to a maximum of two (2) times in an effort to alleviate the substandard academic grade. Substandard grade is defined as a notation of D, F, NC (No Credit), NP (No Pass), or W (Withdrawal). This regulation is effective across all Los Rios colleges.

The grade and credits earned in the final enrollment shall be used exclusively in determining the grade points earned for that particular course (Title 5, Section 55042).

Repeatable Courses
Courses taken where a grade of C or better was earned cannot be repeated. There are, however, certain specialized courses that are designated as “repeatable” and are listed as such in the course description. These include:

  • Courses for which repetition is necessary to meet the major requirements of CSU or UC for completion of a bachelor’s degree
  • Intercollegiate athletics and their related conditioning courses may be repeated to meet requirements for California Community College Athletic Association (CCCAA) eligibility.
  • Intercollegiate academic or vocational competition courses with the primary purpose to prepare students for competition
  • Variable unit courses that are open entry/exit such as math, reading, and writing laboratory courses. Students may re-enroll in these courses as many times as necessary to complete one time the entire curriculum of the course.
  • Work Experience courses, which can be taken again when there is new or expanded learning on the job for a maximum of six (6) to sixteen (16) units.

Repetition Without Substandard Grades
Unless a specific exception applies, a student who has received a satisfactory grade shall not repeat the course. Satisfactory grade is defined as A, B, C, P (Pass), or CR (Credit). There are special circumstances that allow for repetition. However, the student must submit a petition requesting the course repetition. These include:

  • Students may repeat a course where a course is required by a statute or regulation as a condition of continued paid or volunteer employment, or as a result of a significant change in industry or licensure standards such that repetition is necessary for employment or licensure. These repetitions are not limited and are granted based on the college’s verification of established legal mandates (Cal. Code Regs., Title 5, section 55040).
  • Students may repeat a course if there has been a significant lapse of time since the first grade was obtained, and:
    • If the college has a properly established recency prerequisite for a course or program (Title 5, Section 55043).
    • If the college finds that another institution of higher education to which the student seeks to transfer has established a recency requirement which the student shall not be able to satisfy without repeating the course in question (Title 5, Section 55043)
  • The college finds that the student’s most recent previous grade is, at least in part, the result of extenuating circumstances. Extenuating circumstances are verified cases of accident, illness, or other circumstances beyond the student’s control. This is a one-time exception.
  • A special course that can be repeatable by petition so that a particular student can be approved to repeat it as a disability-related accommodation.

Limitations on Active Participatory Courses
Active participatory courses are those courses where individual study or group assignments are the basic means by which learning objectives are obtained. These include kinesiology/physical education (PE) active participatory courses, as well as visual and performing arts active participatory courses (theatre arts, music, and art). Some courses in these categories are related in content and have been placed in groups that the Los Rios colleges are calling “families” of courses. Each family of courses allows for skill development beyond an introductory level.

Students are limited to taking a maximum of four courses in any one family across all four Los Rios colleges, regardless of how many courses there are. Sometimes a family of courses may include more than four. For example, the Modern Dance Technique family of courses across the four Los Rios colleges includes five courses – DANCE 330 through DANCE 334 (Modern Dance I, II, III, IV, and V).

In addition, if a student gets a substandard grade [a notation of D, F, NC (No Credit), NP (No Pass), or W (Withdrawal)] in any course within a family, the substandard grade counts as one of the four course limitations in the family. The list of families of courses is available in the Counseling office. Please consult with a counselor for more information.

Good Standing

In some circumstances, a previous substandard grade (D's or F's) can be alleviated. You may petition for discounting these units in computing the grade point average, if they meet the criteria set out by the Admissions/Records policies. However, no discount will be given for coursework required for a degree or certificate that has been granted.

Grades and Grade Point Averages

Types of Grades
A Excellent 4 grade points per unit
B Good 3 grade points per unit
C Satisfactory 2 grade points per unit
D Passing (not satisfactory) 1 grade point per unit
F Failing 0 grade points per unit
P Pass (C or better) not computed in GPA
NP No Pass (less than C) not computed in GPA, but affects progress probation  and dismissal
I Incomplete not computed in GPA, but affects progress probation and dismissal
W Withdrawal not computed in GPA, but affects progress probation and dismissal
EW Excused Withdrawal not computer in GPA, does not affect progress probation and dismissal, does not count as one of your three attempts

Grade Point Average
The grade point average is found by taking the (Total Grade Points Earned) divided by (Total units attempted with a letter grade).

Progress Percentage 
The progress percentage is found by taking the (Total units with W, I and NC) divided by (Total units enrolled).

Pass/No Pass Grading
You may choose one course each semester from courses which allow Pass/no Pass (P/NP) grading. A petition must be filed with the admissions office before the deadline published in the Class Schedule. A grade earned with an "A", "B" or "C" grade will be recorded as P with units earned. A "D" or "F" grade will be recorded as NP with no units earned. Units attempted for P/NP grades are not computed in the grade point average but are used for determining progress probation and dismissal. Once you have filed for P/NP grading in a course, it cannot be changed to a letter grade. No more than 15 units of Pass/No Pass may be applied toward an AA or AS degree.

Incomplete Grading
An instructor may assign an incomplete grade, "I", when the instructor believes the student cannot complete the requirements of the class before the end of the semester due to unforeseeable emergency and justified reasons. To receive credit for the class, the student must finish the incomplete work within one year after the end of the semester. After the work is completed and evaluated, or when the time has expired, a final grade will be assigned. A student receiving an incomplete may not reenroll in the class.

In Progress
If you receive an "in-progress" grade, you must re-enroll in the class in the next semester. If you don't re-enroll, a grade will be assigned in lieu of the "in-progress."

Withdrawal from Class
A student may officially drop a class without notation on the permanent academic record/transcript prior to the point in which 15% of a class has occurred (see Academic Calendar for deadlines). Withdrawals occurring after this time, and before the point in which 75% of the class has occurred, shall result in a W notation on the permanent academic record/transcript. Official withdrawals are those that have been processed via eServices or in the Admissions & Records office.

A W grade on the permanent academic record/transcript is used for determining progress probation and progress dismissal. No withdrawals are permitted during the last 25% of a course (see Academic Calendar for deadlines), except due to extenuating circumstances (verified cases of accidents, illness, or other circumstances beyond the control of the student), for which a student may request withdrawal through the student petition process. After consultation with the instructor and with administrative approval, the grade may be recorded as a W rather than as a less than satisfactory or failing grade on the permanent academic record/transcript. In all other cases, after the 75% date, a student will receive a grade in the course.

Military withdrawal is available for students who are members of an active or reserve military service, and who receive orders compelling a withdrawal from courses. Students requesting military withdrawal must file a student petition and include supporting documentation.

Excused withdrawal is available when a student is permitted to withdraw from a course(s) due to specific events beyond the control of the student making his or her ability to complete a course(s) impractical. These events may include a job transfer outside the geographical region, an illness in the family where the student is the primary caregiver, when the student who is incarcerated in a California state prison or county jail is released from custody or involuntarily transferred before the end of the term, when the student is the subject of an immigration action, or other extenuating circumstances. Excused withdrawal shall not be counted in progress probation and dismissal calculation. Excused withdrawal shall not be counted toward the permitted number of withdrawals or counted as an enrollment attempt.

Leave of Absence

Students may petition for leaves of absence from a college of the Los Rios Community College District in order to maintain catalog rights to a specified degree requirement option (Los Rios Policy P-7242).

Leaves of absence may be granted for verified medical and military situations that prevent the student from attending classes in any session in a calendar year. Such leaves shall be limited to two (2) consecutive calendar years. In extenuating circumstances, a leave of absence may be extended beyond the two-year limit.

Per Los Rios Regulation R-7243, a petition for leave of absence should be filed in advance whenever possible. Students requesting a leave of absence during a semester must follow college withdrawal procedures. Students applying for medical leave of absence must furnish a statement from the attending medical physician explaining the necessity for the student to interrupt enrollment. Students applying for military leave of absence must furnish a copy of the military orders inducting service.

Remedial Unit Limitation

The California Community Colleges Board of Governors has adopted regulations limiting the number of remedial course units a student may take to thirty (30). These courses are usually numbered 1-99. Students may petition for a waiver to the 30 unit limitation through a counselor. However, federal financial aid does not allow a student to receive aid for more than 30 remedial units.

Unit/Academic Load

Per Los Rios Regulation R-7211, fifteen (15) units each semester is considered a full college load. Twelve (12) units each semester is a minimum full-time load and is usually acceptable to qualify for scholarships, grants, loans, and holding student offices.

Fall/spring semester - Eighteen (18) units per semester is a maximum load. Unit limit shall be district-wide. A petition to exceed the maximum load must be submitted in writing to the college at which the additional units will be taken prior to registration (at Cosumnes River College the petition would be initiated through a counseling appointment). A student may petition up to a maximum of six (6) additional units district-wide through this process.

Summer session - Eight (8) units per summer session is a maximum load. Unit limit shall be district-wide. A petition to exceed the maximum load must be submitted in writing to the college at which the additional units will be taken prior to registration (at Cosumnes River College the petition would be initiated through a counseling appointment). A student may petition up to a maximum of four (4) additional units district-wide through this process.

Full governmental subsistence for veterans and dependents requires the unit load of twelve (12) units (with reduced benefit amounts dependent on the total number of enrolled units).

The following categories require the minimum unit load indicated:

  • International students - twelve (12) units
  • Student athletes - twelve (12) units, including kinesiology/physical education.

Unit of Credit

Units of credit are assigned to courses based on the “Carnegie Unit,’’ which assigns one unit of credit for three hours of work by the student per week. Usually this means one hour of lecture or discussion led by the instructor and two hours of outside preparation by the student. In laboratory courses, three hours of work in the laboratory are normally assigned one unit of credit which may include some additional preparation outside of class time. Students can find the number of units of credit with each course description.