Grades & Student Evaluations


Grading at Bread Loaf should reflect the grading faculty do at their home institutions for students at the master's level. Bread Loaf uses a letter grade system—from A to F:

A/A+ distinguished
A- to B+ very strong
B satisfactory
B- passing but problematic
C+ or below failing work.
F incomplete performance.

The following policies apply:

  • Students will not receive credit for courses in which they have earned a C+ or lower.
  • MA and non-degree students who have earned one B-, and MLitt students who have earned one B, in a Bread Loaf course will be placed on academic probation until their record improves. During that time, their course and campus choices will need to be preapproved by the director.
  • MA and non-degree students who have earned more than one B-, and MLitt students who have earned more than one B, or students who have earned a grade of C+ or lower may be denied readmission to the program.

Submission of Grades

Grades are submitted electronically on BannerWeb, during the last week of the summer session (see the Campus Information Sheets for dates). Faculty will use their Middlebury ID number and PIN to log in to BannerWeb from the Middlebury College homepage ( and select the following menus: Faculty and Advising; Faculty Services; Grades: Grade Roster for ALL Students. The course and student lists where grades are to be posted will appear once the appropriate term (summer 20xx) is selected.

Student Evaluations

In addition to assigning grades, Bread Loaf faculty write detailed narrative appraisals of each student’s work in the course and indicate whether the student is prepared for advanced independent study. This evaluation becomes part of the student’s permanent record and explains the significance of the grade. We use these evaluations in advising students and monitoring their progress, preparing letters of recommendation (which quote the evaluations verbatim), making scholarship award determinations, and carrying out other kinds of academic assessments.

  • Faculty should assess the student’s achievements on each of the major assignments as well as the student’s progress across the course, assessing in some detail the student’s abilities as writers, readers, discussants, and, where applicable, teachers and performers. Descriptions of course design are unnecessary; verbatim quotations of comments on student papers are less helpful than reflective overviews of the strengths and weaknesses of the writing and thinking. The correlation between the grade and the narrative evaluation should be clear.
  • Faculty should also indicate in the evaluations whether the student is ready to pursue independent work of the sort demanded by an IRP or at the Oxford campus, where one unit of each course consists of independent study.
  • Evaluations are confidential, except in cases in which students have not waived their rights to view the letter. If a student declines to waive his or her rights to see faculty comments, we will mark “Not Confidential” on the grade roster beside that student’s name. Faculty may follow their own instincts in what to write under these circumstances, though we do expect faculty to offer some evaluation, as they do in responding directly to student work (see Student Records and Confidentiality).
  • Student evaluations are due, without exception, at the end of the summer session and should be submitted electronically, following the template of the Student Evaluation Form, to the campus coordinator. Faculty should make sure that the grade on the evaluation form matches the grade submitted online.
  • Completing student evaluations is part of each faculty member’s contractual obligation: faculty who do not complete these evaluations on time may not be reappointed for a subsequent summer.

Grade Appeals

Any student wishing to appeal a grade may do so by speaking first to the instructor of the course.  If no resolution is reached, the student may appeal the grade officially in writing to the BLSE director within 90 days of the grade submission.  The appeal must include the original, graded copies of all relevant course work and a detailed explanation of what, in the grading process, the student believes to be unfair. The BLSE director will then solicit a report from the faculty member that explains the grading policies in the course and the reason for the given grade.  After reviewing these materials, the BLSE director will make a final determination. If the director recommends a grade change, the student’s official transcript will be updated within 10 days. Students have a right to appeal the decision within 30 days to the VP of Academic Affairs and Dean of the Schools. 

Effective April 2016