Course Catalog Introduction and General Course Information


All students are required to be enrolled in five core courses each semester. Students wishing to enroll in more than five core courses for a semester must meet the criteria or have permission from the Vice Chancellor of Academic Programs. Art courses, music courses, drama courses, physical activity/wellness courses, residential education courses, independent study, and forums are not included in the five.

Students’ initial placement in certain courses is based on testing, previous instruction, and other course placements. Students who demonstrate exceptional mastery of world languages, chemistry, physics, or biology may qualify to exempt course requirements in that discipline. Students are not permitted to be exempt from the NCSSM mathematics requirement, the NCSSM Engineering and Computer Science requirement, or the NCSSM American Studies requirement. Placement in these subject areas, though, takes into account placement assessments based on prior studies.

Evaluation and Grading

There are two semester grade-reporting periods and one January term grade-reporting period each year. During each semester, progress reports will be recorded after the fifth week of class (Progress Report 1) and after the 10th week of class (Progress Report 2). Students’ progress reports and final grades are recorded as letter grades using the following scale:

A = Outstanding achievement
B = Superior, meeting all course requirements
C = Acceptable, minimally meeting requirements of course
D = Unsatisfactory, no NCSSM credit toward graduation

Some classes and requirements that do not factor into a student’s GPA, for example Campus Service, may opt to use instead a simpler scale of:

S = Satisfactory
U = Unsatisfactory

A “+” or “-” may be added to grades of A, B, and C. Grades of D+, D-, S+, S-, U+, and U- are not recognized as valid evaluations by NCSSM.

Instructor comments accompany any grade of a C-, D, or U in any grading period. Any student receiving multiple grades of C- or any grade of D or U at any grading period will work with their support team to establish an academic support plan.

All grades are reported to students, families, and appropriate staff through NCSSM’s student information system. Only the final grade for any course will be listed on the NCSSM transcript. Transcripts sent to colleges or to other organizations to which students apply are accompanied by the NCSSM School Profile, which includes contextual information about the school, our student population, and our grading system.

No Class Rankings

The school population is highly motivated and selected through a competitive process. Since the majority of students are clustered near the top of the grading scale, it would neither benefit students nor clarify the character of the academic program to rank students.