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Emergency Grading Option for Spring Semester 2020

Virginia State University

Emergency Grading Option for Spring Semester 2020

Virginia State University’s transition to remote instruction sought to ensure the health and safety of the university community amidst the uncertainties of the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic. Mindful of the extraordinary circumstances that this transition may pose for students and faculty, the University, in consultation with the Faculty Senate and the Academic Credits Committee, has decided to implement the following emergency grading policy for undergraduate and graduate courses completed during Spring Semester 2020 only.

Emergency S/SP/U Grading Policy

All students will have the option of electing to receive a letter grade for their courses or to switch some or all of their Spring Semester 2020 courses to a pass (S/SP)/fail (U) grading system. Academic credits successfully completed under the pass/fail grading system will count toward the total earned semester hours but will not be included in the calculation of the cumulative grade point average. Students must declare their request for pass/fail grading in a specific course no later than 5:00 PM (Eastern Time) on May 15, 2020. Because decisions are final, students are strongly encouraged to consult with their academic advisors and consider carefully which courses they decide to change to the pass/fail grading option. Ultimately, the decision to designate a course for pass/fail grading and any responsibility associated with that decision reside with the individual student.

A. The emergency pass/fail grading system will apply the following grades to undergraduate courses:

  • S (Pass) Satisfactory or passing performance at the undergraduate level (letter grades A to C). Academic credit earned.
  • SP (Pass) Satisfactory or passing performance at the undergraduate level (letter grade D). Academic credit earned.
  • U (Fail) Unsatisfactory or failing performance (letter grade F). No academic credit earned.

B. The emergency pass/fail grading system will apply the following grades to graduate courses:

  • S (Pass) Satisfactory or passing performance at the graduate level (letter grades A to B). Academic credit earned.
  • SP (Pass) Satisfactory or passing performance at the graduate level (letter grade C). Academic credit earned.
  • U (Fail) Unsatisfactory or failing performance (letter grades D to F). No academic credit earned.

Courses that currently offer S/U grades as the only grading options will continue to offer that grade.

1. The S/SP/U grading option may be selected by any student for any or all courses during Spring Semester 2020 only. Students may also choose not to select the S/SP/U grading option and retain their letter grades.

2. A passing grade (S, SP) will not be factored into the GPA; however, these courses will count towards earned semester hours. A failing grade (U) will not be factored into the GPA, and no semester hour credit will be earned.

3. There will be no changes to the manner in which faculty traditionally input final grades. Faculty will maintain and record grades in accordance with the letter grade system in the VSU catalogs for courses that are currently based on letter grades. At the end of the exam period, faculty will submit those grades to the Office of the Registrar.

4. For undergraduate courses, letter grades of A to C will be converted to “S”; letter grades of D will be converted to “SP”; and letter grades of F will be converted to “U.” Faculty will not be notified of the identity of students in their courses who opt for S/SP/U grading.

For graduate courses, letter grades of A to B will be converted to “S”; letter grades of C will be converted to “SP”; and letter grades of D and F will be converted to “U.” Faculty will not be notified of the identity of students in their courses who opt for S/SP/U grading.

5. To receive S/SP/U grades, students must submit the S/SP/U Opt In form to the Office of the Registrar’s web page by 5:00 PM on May 15th. The form and additional instructions on selecting the S/SP/U option will be available on the Office of the Registrar’s website. Students and their academic advisors should also consult the FAQs for addition information.

6. Deans’ list designations will be suspended for Spring Semester 2020.

A notation will be made on the student’s official VSU transcript indicating the emergency steps taken during Spring 2020 in response to this global health crisis to assist graduate program admissions and prospective employers in understanding the extraordinary circumstances under which students were forced to continue progression toward program completion.