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How to Compute Career GPAs - CR Portal

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Date10/20/2017
TitleHow to Compute Career GPAs - CR Portal
SummaryMMS Online Clients: this article is designed to walk the user through the steps involved in calculating career grade point averages (GPA).
Summary2
Prior To Implementation

Be an MMS Online Client.
 
Requires administrative/staff access to the Single Sign-On (SSO) page for MMS Portals and Grades.
 
The following must be completed before GPAs can be calculated.

  1. Grades to be entered for students.

  2. GPA Categories to be created in MMS Generations.

  3. Grade point levels set in the Valid Grades List done in MMS Generations.

  4. GPA levels and course credit values set in the Course Catalog done in the Staff Portal.

  5. Grade Plan setup for GPA complete (indicate which marking periods to use for GPA and what percentage of course credit is awarded for any marking period that may be used for GPA).

Resolution
  1. Log in to MMS through the SSO page.

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  1. Click on Grades > Compute GPA. 

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  1. From the drop-down list select the GPA Category to store the computed GPAs.

  2. Select the formula to use.

    1. You can have credits affect the GPA’s outcome by checking the option to Weight grade point average by course credit. This will make courses with higher credit values count more toward the GPA.

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  1. You can have GPA calculated based only on the Grade Points set in the Valid Grades List, without respect to course credit value. This will add up the total possible GPA points then divide by the number of courses.

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  1. You can have the GPA calculated by only totaling all the grade points set in the Valid Grade List.

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  1. Select the computation type of Career GPA.

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  1. Once this is selected, the Choose years for career GPA area becomes available.

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  1. Click the Choose years for career GPA area to view the list of school years from which you can select. Click a school year to add it to the selection to compute GPA from. Click in the area again to view the drop-down list and select additional school years.

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  1. Select level to use.

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  1. You can use the curriculum level associated with the course in the Course Catalog. This is used to make a grade, such as A+, be worth more grade points for advanced classes than remedial classes. For example, an AP class can get a maximum of 4.5 GPA points because it is associated with Level 1 Grade Points and a remedial class can get a maximum of 3.75 GPA points because it is associated with Level 2 Grade Points.  See Knowledge Base Article on How to set up Grade Point Levels in the Valid Grades List and associate them with a course in the Course Catalog

  2. Alternatively, you can select a specific GPA level to apply to all courses if you want to have an un-weighted GPA.  This would mean that grades such as A+ in all courses, AP or remedial, are considered as having the exact same Grade Point Value (e.g., 4.00).

  1. Select the Grade Point Value Group. Normally Grade Point Value Group #1 is used. If multiple groups are defined, then you can choose them as needed (for example, different grade point values defined for producing 4.0 GPAs versus 100 point GPAs).

  2. Select Include transfer courses in computing the career GPAs. Transfer courses are courses that were taken at a different school and entered into the MMS database as transfer courses for the purposes of credit calculation, computing GPA, and transcripts.

  3. Allow substitution when empty grade field(s) are found. If this option is selected, the Set up grade field substitution area is available. Caution is advised when computing credits as part of the GPA calculation – as credits are not generally computed for courses without a final average grade. Consider not using grade field substitution when computing GPA, except at the end of the year and only if partial credits can be awarded for incomplete courses. This option uses the Credit % for a grade as entered in the Grade Schemes in MMS Generations (Grades > More Grades Editing Jobs > Edit Grade Schemes).

  4. Set the range of students to be processed. By default, all students are selected. The students available in this list are based on the Student Filter. The selection of students can be further reduced by using the filters in the Student Range area pictured below.

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Click OK to return to the main setup area. The number of students selected is displayed:

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  1. Check the Email Log File box to access the Compute GPA Log. Once checked, a field is made available to enter an email address to send the log to. The log displays the detailed results of the grade point average (GPA) calculation, including credit totals and the calculated GPA for each student.

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  1. Compute.

  2. An email containing the log file is received if the option was selected. The log is a tab-delimited text file that is best viewed as a spreadsheet using a program such as Microsoft Excel. 

The Log results are easiest to follow if you are working with a single student at a time. You should select only one student using the Student Range button. Process the GPA and the log is emailed. Open the log to view the results.

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Verify the student's courses, using the log. MMS will ONLY count courses which have Yes for Include in GPA. The log includes an Include column which can be used to verify courses that count towards GPA have Yes selected.

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!!! Important !!! If a course DOES NOT have Yes selected and should count toward GPA, correct the problem in the course catalog. In the Staff Portal, go to Manage > Edit Course Catalog. Locate the course and select Yes for Include in GPA as pictured above. Save.
 
MMS will ONLY consider courses that have an associated Grade Plan. The log includes a Grade Plan, Grade Field and message columns which can be used to verify courses that count towards GPA have a grade plan selected. If the course has a grade plan assigned, the Grade Field column shows the associated grade code, such as FAV, Qt1 or T1.
 
!!! Important !!! If the course DOES NOT have a grade plan assigned, the message column for this course will read Has no grade plan. If a course does not have a grade plan assigned and the course should count toward GPA, you will need to correct the problem.  In the Staff Portal, go to Manage > Edit Course Sections. Locate the section of the course and then click on Edit selected section button.  Select the appropriate grade plan from the Grade Plan drop-down list. Save.

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The Grade column of the grid shows the grades MMS considered towards this GPA calculation.
!!! Important !!! If the grade for this marking term IS NOT shown, then MMS did not consider the grade towards this GPA. This means one of two things:

(1) If the course is not yet complete, you should go back to step #9 and choose to substitute grade fields. Through grade field substitution, you tell MMS the sequence it should follow if it encounters an empty grade field in a student's grade record. For example, if the final average (FAV) is empty, look next to the mid year average (MAV) and semester 2 average (S2A). If the midyear average is empty check for a quarter 1 grade or quarter 2 grade. If the semester 2 average is empty check for a quarter 3 grade or quarter 4 grade.

(2) You did not select a substitution sequence for this particular grade field.

Compare the grade points for each grade with the results in the Grade Points column in the log. Two situations are described below:
Situation #1:
If the grade points for the course are shown as 0 (zero), look at the message column for an explanation. Typical reasons are as follows:

  • Grade field is empty. MMS does not calculate grade points for an empty grade field. For the current marking term, make sure the student does not have missing grades. Note: You do not need to be concerned about empty grades in marking terms that have yet to occur.
  • Empty grade field - no substitution. MMS found an empty grade field and did not know which grade it should substitute in this situation. You should go back to step #9 and choose an appropriate grade field to substitute when this grade field is empty. Through grade field substitution, tell MMS the sequence it should follow if it encounters an empty grade field in a student's grade record.
 
Situation #2:
If the Grade Points are incorrect.
 
Remember, if you selected the option Weight grade point average by course credit in step #2 then an adjusted grade point value is used. For example, suppose the student earns an A+ for their quarter 1 grade. During quarter 1, the course is only 25% complete. At this time the A+ only reflects a small portion of the final grade, so the grade points are weighted accordingly. If an A+ is worth 4.00 grade points and the course is only 25% complete, multiply 4.00 by .25 (the course credit comes into play here too -- if it is a .50 credit course, then the calculation is 4.00 X .50 X .25 for a result of .50) for a result of 1.00 which is the total grade points MMS would use in this situation. Several items to verify:
  • Verify that the course has the correct grade plan assigned (Grade Plan column).
  • Verify that the percentages are set correctly for this grade plan. In MMS Generations, go to Grade Reporting Jobs > More Grades Editing Jobs > Edit Grade Schemes and click on the Grade Assignments/Weighting Plans tab. Verify that the % Credit column is set correctly for each grade field in each grade plan.
  • Double check the GPA Level choice in the Course Catalog for this course.
  • Verify that this grade has the correct number of grade points entered for this GPA level. In MMS Generations, go to Grade Reporting Jobs > More Grades Editing Jobs > Edit Valid Grades List. Locate the grade and appropriate grade point value group. Based on the course level from the course catalog, verify the grade points for the appropriate grade point level.
Remember, if you selected not to Weight GPA by course credit in step #2 then the full grade point value is used.
  • Double check the GPA level choice in the course catalog for this course.
  • Verify that this grade has the correct number of grade points entered for this GPA level. In MMS Generations, go to Grade Reporting Jobs > More Grades Editing Jobs > Edit Valid Grades List.  Locate the grade and appropriate grade point value group. Based on the course level from the course catalog, you will verify the grade points for the appropriate grade point level.
Compare the credits for each Grade with the results in the Credit column in the grid. Two situations are described below:
 
Situation #1:
If the Credits for the course are shown as 0 (zero), typical reasons are as follows:
  • If the message column displays NC Grade the grade does not earn a student credit. Set in the P/F/NC column in the Edit Valid Grades List operation found in MMS Generations.
  • If the grade is considered failing, the credit figure counts toward Credits Attempted ONLY.
  • Verify that the credits are set correctly in the course catalog for this course.
Situation #2:
If the Credits are incorrect.
 
If you selected the option to Weight grade point averages by course credit in step #2 then an adjusted credit value is used. For example, suppose that ONLY a quarter 1 grade is entered for the course. During quarter 1, the course is only 25% complete, so the credits are weighted accordingly. If the course is worth 1.00 credit when complete according to the Course Catalog and the course is only 25% complete, multiply 1.00 by .25 for a result of .25 which is the total credits MMS would use in this situation. Several items to verify:
  • Verify that the course has the correct grade plan assigned (Grade Plan column).
  • Verify that the percentages are set correctly for this grade plan. In MMS Generations, go to Grade Reporting Jobs > More Grades Editing Jobs > Edit Grading Schemes and click on the Grade Assignments/Weighting Plans tab. Verify that the % Credit column is set correctly for each grade field in each grade plan.
  • Double check the Credits in the course catalog for this course.
Remember, if you selected not to Weight GPA by course credit in step #2 then credits DO NOT have any effect on the student's GPA. In this situation the Credit column shows a tally of courses the student is taking. Beside each course, you will see 1.
  1. It is recommended that the Settings be saved for future calculations.
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  1. GPAs are now calculated and can be included in transcripts, report cards, etc.

Additional Information

Additional KBAs are available at CR Knowledge Base.
Additional Tech Bytes are available at CR Tech Bytes.

Applies to VersionsCR Portals – Version 1.2; MMS Generations: 14.2.15.
Key WordsCredits, Calculating GPA, grade point average, Compute GPA Log, weighted GPA, Edit Grading Schemes, Edit Valid Grades List, NC grade, Edit Grading Schemes

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