Grading Policy

Grading Policy


All courses that students register for that have not been dropped as permitted during the designated add/drop period, are added to their official transcript. The academic grading scale is as follows:

NOTE: Each course syllabus will list the minimum passing grade for the course.

Grade                      Numerical Grade                       Equivalent GPA
   A                                  (93-100)                                              4.0
   A-                                 (90-92)                                             3.67
   B+                                 (87-89)                                             3.33
   B                                   (83-86)                                             3.0
   B-                                 (80-82)                                             2.67
   C+                                 (77-79)                                             2.33
   C                                 (73-76)                                               2.0
   C-                                 (70-72)                                             1.67
   F                                 (Below 70)                                         0.00
   W*                              Withdrawal                                       0.00
  WF                          Withdraw/Failing                                 0.00
   P*                                  Passing                                            0.00

* This grade is not included in GPA calculation

Administrative Grades
AP        Advanced placement: Student has passed a Challenge Exam. (Not part of the GPA)

I            Incomplete: Assigned to students who have not satisfied all academic requirements for a course. Students who receive an Incomplete in any given course are expected to satisfy the academic requirements for the “I” grade within two weeks of the end of the course. Students who receive an “I” in the Massage Clinic 1 and 2 are given until the second week of the following trimester to complete the academic requirements. Incomplete grades that are not made up by the end of this period are automatically changed to an “F”. It is
the student’s responsibility to contact his/her instructor to make up any missed work or exams to satisfy the academic requirements of the course. 

PL        Prior Learning Credit (Not part of GPA)

T           Transfer Credits: Indicates satisfactory completion of equivalent course work completed at another institution. (Not part of GPA) 

W          Withdrawn: Student has officially withdrawn from the course. (Not part of GPA)

WF       Withdrawn Failed: Student does not meet course requirements for reason of non-attendance and receives a failing grade. (Part of GPA).

Grading Criteria

Grades are generally based on a combination of exam scores, research papers or assignments, participation, and contribution to the class, etc. The specific weighting that will be used in determining grades may vary based on the course and may be obtained from the instructor or contained in the respective course syllabus. Classes may have both practical and written examinations. The general criteria for evaluating practical examinations and other factors such as participation in class, ability to accept correction, adherence to required dress code and hygiene may be used in calculating a student's grade. 

Criteria for Evaluating Practical Exams

Students’ practical skills will be assessed by the individual instructor(s) for each technique class. Aside from a written demonstration of the fundamental teachings of each program, students must also demonstrate a basic level of skill in Western and Eastern Massage Therapy or Acupuncture technique which reflects this understanding.

They must demonstrate professionalism in application of the specific skills required by the respective technique. Each student will be assessed individually by his or her instructor, who will examine technique considering the student’s overall performance in class throughout the term. Ratings are assigned on an individual basis, considering the student’s progress during the term. While the knowledge and skills which each student is expected to demonstrate are listed in the specific objectives for each course, the following are general categories and guidelines upon which the grading of practical examinations is based:

  • Hygiene: Each student is expected to be physically clean and attired in a freshly laundered and pressed uniform which meets College specifications. Students’ hands must be immaculately clean, with nails cut short to prevent injury to the patient. All students are expected to wash their hands with soap and water before and after all treatments, and to disinfect the table after each patient use.
  • Professionalism: Students are expected to demonstrate a professional attitude toward the patient. This means that each patient’s complaint is taken seriously. Students are expected to refrain from making jokes, chewing gum, gossiping or engaging in any other behavior that denigrates their profession. Willingness to accept correction and constructive criticism is a major criterion in evaluating a student’s professional attitude.
  • Attention to the Patient: While questioning the patient as to his or her medical history, the student’s full attention must be focused on the patient. This includes eye contact with the patient; awareness of the patient’s physical and emotional boundaries; the patient’s breathing, sound of the patient’s voice, etc. The student is to attend to the patient’s comfort on the table with respect to body position, support, draping, etc. Students will be evaluated on whether the appropriate oils or liniments are used when necessary.
  • Posture and Distribution of Body Weight – Students will be evaluated on their body mechanics, which includes their awareness, alignment and correct posture throughout the treatment.
  • Skills in Technique – In basic technique classes, this criterion includes palpation skills, consistency of movement and transition from one stroke or manipulation to the next with fluidity in rhythm and strokes. Technique skills include the correct execution of particular movements. For example, in Western technique, this applies to the application and execution of effleurage, petrissage, friction, tapotement, vibration, joint movement and corrective exercises. In Asian Bodywork Massage, the correct order of treatment and application of circular thumb pressure, circular digital pressure, circular palmar pressure, palmar embrace, thenar embrace and thumb stroking are evaluated. Accurate tracing of the channels is also required.
  • Advanced Skills – In the Applied Technique classes, all of the above requirements are expected, but at advanced levels of skill. Additional techniques will be graded, such as specific treatment patterns for common pathological conditions in Western technique, and accuracy of point location, sensitivity, appropriate depth, pressure and direction of points, as well as specific treatment patterns in Asian Bodywork Massage.

Students will be rated on a scale of 1-5 for each area as follows:

1. Failure
2. Poor
3. Fair
4. Good
5. Excellent

Grade Appeals

Upon receiving a grade that a student considers unfounded, he or she may approach the instructor directly to request a grade change. If the student feels that the instructor’s response is not satisfactory, the student may submit a written appeal to the office of Student Services and follow the same procedures outlined below under Grievance and Complaint Procedures.


Reviewed 2023 01