WARNER ROBINS, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) - Students at Middle Georgia Technical College are challenging the school's grading policy.
One student has created an online petition asking the school to change it, claiming it's mathematically incorrect.
After his 4.0 grade average started slipping at Middle Georgia Technical College, James Holden had questions.
"I saw the grading policy and I knew something looked wrong..." says Holden.
It was just a business tech class--document formatting--simple; but one of his assignments deducted 45 points for missing 10 of 30 items, resulting in a 55%. Mathematically, it should be a 66%. Other students have complained about the grading system in a problem they say transcends departmental boundaries. They filled out the online petition at change.org.
"The inaccuracy also extends to the Medical Terminology classes at MGTC," says student Jessica Prater.
"I have felt unfairly graded at Middle Georgia Tech. I believe that there is definitely something wrong with their grading policies," says student Rachel Herring, who dropped out of the college because of her experience there.
Administrators say the grading scale is part of a larger system.
"The Technical College System (TCSG) do have state standardized curriculum, so a course that's offered at one technical college will teach the same competencies as another technical college," says Dr. Amy Holloway, VP of Academic Affairs at CGTC, which is currently merging with Middle Georgia Tech.
The syllabus for Holden's class does warn it's not an easy course..and it requires near perfection; but Holden and his classmates maintain the math just doesn't add up.
"The problem is, you can't earn as many points as you take off," says Holden. "On any given assignment you can only earn 100 points while being able to lose up to 200 or more."
Holden had a meeting with school administrators on February 27, and one of them agreed there are things the school needs to improve when it comes to grading, but it won't happen until MGTC officially merges with Central Georgia Tech in the fall.
"If you're improperly measuring student achievement, where does the worth of a grade come from?" Holden asks.
Administrators have an open-door policy for students who have concerns about their grades.
"This is a good opportunity--especially with younger students--to help to be able to mentor and guide them in conflict resolution," says Dr. Holloway. She also added expectations are made clear at the beginning of the course.
"Our standards are high, we're preparing students for the work force," she says.
In the meantime, Holden and classmates say they're paying for school, but the educators aren't making the grade.
41NBC reached out to the VP of academic affairs at the Warner Robins campus to talk about her meeting with Holden with other administrators on February 27, but we were told her position on the grading policy is the same as Dr. Holloway's.