The Narrative Evaluation Process

Narrative Evaluations and Grade Equivalents
At Antioch University Santa Barbara, narrative evaluations serve as the official record of a student’s academic progress. These narrative statements both describe and evaluate the student’s work.

Faculty members write narrative evaluations for every credit-earning learning activity recognized by Antioch, whether it is sponsored learning such as classes and independent studies or non-college sponsored learning such as prior learning activities. Narrative evaluations give faculty the opportunity to describe the student’s skills and knowledge, development and achievement during the learning activity. These evaluations can provide students with valuable information about their current limits and strengths. They can also help students identify their developmental goals and strategies for attaining them.

For a graduate-level learning activity, a narrative evaluation for which the student has received credit indicates that the student’s work would have earned a minimum of a “B” if grades were given. In the undergraduate program, a narrative evaluation for which the student has received credit indicates that the student’s work has earned a minimum of a “C” grade equivalent. In most cases, narrative evaluations can be copied and sent with a transcript to graduate schools for admission purposes or to employers for reimbursement purposes.

In some cases, however, narrative evaluations are not sufficient to meet the needs of a student. Students sometimes need grade equivalents and/or a GPA equivalent to be considered for admission to specific graduate programs or to qualify for financial aid, scholarships, and employer reimbursement, or for other reasons.

A student interested in a particular graduate program is advised to inquire whether grade equivalents are desired by that institution. Similarly, students can determine whether employers or financial institutions require such information.

University-wide policy currently forbids grade equivalents from appearing on the student’s transcript. Grade equivalents can only appear on the narrative evaluations, copies of which can accompany a transcript at the student’s request.

Faculty Responsibilities
Antioch’s history and mission, since its inception, has been to expand and advance educational opportunities. Antioch faculty members have a fundamental responsibility to promote and support students in their pursuit of educational and career goals. In order to do this successfully, they should not deny students opportunities for educational and financial support. Graduate schools, education-financing institutions, and other organizations often require grades or grade point averages in order to give Antioch students financial support to continue their education. When a student requests a grade equivalent for a valid reason, it will be provided. Certain learning activities can be exempted from this requirement (such as internships, clinical training, and certain independent study projects) as long as the inability to obtain a grade equivalent for that activity is specified in writing.

Procedures for Obtaining Grade Equivalents
Students may request to have their Letter Grade Equivalents displayed on their narrative evaluations by submitting a request to  Once requested, Letter Grade Equivalents will display on all credit-earning learning activities, except for programs and courses that do not issue Letter Grade Equivalents.  When an instructor provides a grade equivalent, he or she adds it on the evaluation form of the course. Once a grade equivalent has been submitted for a credit-earning activity, it is added to the student’s permanent file.

Providing an Overall GPA Equivalent
If a student needs a GPA equivalent to be generated to satisfy a necessary, documented external demand, this is done by the Office of Student Services. The GPA equivalent is calculated using information from all learning activities at Antioch University, subject to the guidelines set forth by the requesting institution and the program. The following guidelines are utilized to calculate the GPA equivalent:

  • If a grade equivalent was submitted by a faculty member at the time an Antioch course was taken, that grade equivalent will be used in the creation of the GPA equivalent.
  • For credit-earning activities that have not been exempted, and for which the student was not previously given a grade equivalent reflecting overall course performance, the instructor of the course or the Chair of the program will generate a grade equivalent. Each program has specific guidelines for that process that are delineated in their individual sections of this catalog.
  • The GPA equivalent is based on performance in all activities that a student completed as part of his or her degree. It does not include learning activities that are designated with an “Incomplete” or “Withdrawn” status.
  • The GPA equivalent does include “No Credit” coursework. This includes any learning activity that had been awarded an “Incomplete” and then converted to a “No Credit.” If a student repeats a course for which he or she earned “No Credit” and earns credit during this subsequent enrollment, only the “Credit Awarded” grade equivalent is used in the calculation of the GPA equivalent.

Next Section: Grade Equivalency

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