Faculty Senate approves grading system changes

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On April 2, 2020

Missouri S&T’s Faculty Senate today approved a motion by the Academic Freedom and Standards Committee to change the grading system for the Spring 2020 semester, effective immediately. The policy includes:

  • Instructors will assign ABCD grades as normal
  • All F grades will be replaced by U grades
  • Students can request any or all of their classes be changed to S/U grading through June 5, 2020
  • Students who request S/U grading between April 1 and June 5, 2020, will have D grades converted to U, and ABC grades converted to S
  • Students can wait to see their instructor-assigned ABCDU grade before deciding to switch to S/U
  • For the Spring 2020 semester, S grades will be honored as a C-or-better grade for all prerequisites, and graduation requirements
  • S/U grades have no impact on a student’s grade point average (GPA).

View the presentation slides from the Faculty Senate meeting.

The full motion is below.

Academic and Freedom Standards Motion

The unanticipated change to providing all courses on-line for spring semester 2020 may be causing difficulties for some students and instructors. To allow instructors to continue to encourage and recognize achievement, while recognizing the unexpected burden placed on students, the S&T Academic Freedom and Standards Committee recommends the S&T Faculty Senate change the grading system for spring semester 2020 as outlined below. 

1.  Instructors will grade students on an ABCDU grading scale, rather than the conventional ABCDF scale.  The only difference between the scales, is that F level work will now be indicated with a U grade.

2.  Student who initially selected the ABCDF grading scale may elect to change it to the S/U grading scale at any time through close of business on Friday, June 5th.  Students will be able to view their instructor-assigned grade, now listed on the ABCDU scale, no later than Wednesday, May 27.

3.  Students will be allowed to select their grading scale on a class-by-class basis.  They may select S/U grades for some of their classes, while keeping others on the more conventional ABCDU scale.

4. Students who elected to change grading options in a class from ABCDU to S/U in April, May or June will have an instructor-assigned A, B or C grade replaced by an S grade.  These students will have instructor-assigned D grade replaced by a U grade. 

5.  The Faculty Senate instructs the Registrar, all academic departments, and all instructors to accept spring semester 2020 “S” grades as satisfying all graduation and prerequisite requirements which are normally satisfied by a grade of C or higher.  All spring semester 2020 A, B, C, D and U grades should be treated in the same manner as they are every other semester.

6.  Note that a “U” grade will not be considered a passing grade, even if the instructor initially assigned a grade of “D”.

7.  “S” and “U” grades will continue to have no impact on a student’s GPA calculations.

8.  These changes in the grading policy are only for spring semester 2020, with every expectation of a return to the conventional grading scales and deadlines for summer 2020 and future semesters.

9. Students may unilaterally select the S/U grade, and do not require the approval of their academic advisor or instructor.  However, this decision may have significant and unexpected consequences.  The Faculty Senate strongly encourages students to discuss this decision with their academic advisor, and advisors in other areas such as financial aid, veteran’s affairs, international studies and immigration, athletics, ROTC, taxation, and others.

10.  The deadline for instructors to submit grades to the Registrar’s office is changed from Tuesday, May 19 to Friday, May 22.  Grades will be visible to students in the JoeSS system no later than Wednesday, May 27.

11.  Instructors will not know at the time they assign semester grades, if a student has elected to change to the S/U scale in April, May or June (but obviously knows if a student selected the S/U scale back at the start of spring semester 2020).

12.  Any course in which a student received an S/U grade for spring semester 2020 may be repeated in future semesters.

13. Student Academic Regulation II.G.1 will not be enforced for spring semester 2020 coursework.  This regulation normally limits students to one pass/fail course per semester, and no more than 20% of their credit hours toward graduation as pass/fail classes.

14.  Student Academic Regulation II.G.2 will not be enforced for spring semester 2020.  This regulation normally prohibits a student from taking most of their required courses with the pass/fail option.

15.  Student Academic Regulation II.G.10 will be modified for spring semester 2020.  Students who change to the pass/fail grading scale after the month of March will have “D” work recorded as “U”, while students who selected the pass/fail option before the month of March will have “D” work recorded as “S”.  All other parts of this regulation remain the same.

16.  Student Academic Regulation II.G.11 will not be enforced for spring semester 2020.  This regulation normally prohibits a student from changing grading options after the second week of the semester.

17. Students will not be placed on scholastic probation or scholastic deficiency based on their spring semester 2020 grades.  Scholastic probation and deficiency are defined in section IX of the Student Academic Regulations.

18.  The university has an obligation to document the last date of academic activity for students who receive a grade of “U”, but not for students who earn grades of A, B, C, D or S.  If an instructor initially assigns a student a grade of “D”, and the student elects to change it to a grade of “U”, the last date academic activity will be assumed to be May 15, 2020, unless the instructor indicates otherwise.

19.  Students who wish to be considered for the spring 2020 S&T Semester Honor Roll, as defined in section VIII.E of the Student Academic Regulations, will need to complete 12 or more semester hours of work using the ABCDU grading scale.

(End of motion)

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On April 2, 2020. Posted in Announcements, Coronavirus