Below are some answers to common questions about grades, including letter grades, CPE, incomplete, and pass/fail.

What is the current pass/fail policy?

With the guidance of their advisors and the chairs of their departments, students may petition to take one, some, or all spring 2020 courses as Pass / Fail. Courses earning Pass do not count toward GPA but may count toward graduation and major, minor, or general education requirements; the decision to take a course Pass / Fail should be made in careful consideration of the requirements of the student’s program and future plans (see below). Courses earning a grade of a Fail would be counted in the GPA calculation.

Students who choose the Pass / Fail option are expected to fully participate in the course.

Students who take fewer than 12 credits for letter grades are ineligible for Dean’s List recognition. 

While students are normally restricted to taking 12 credits Pass / Fail, none of the courses taken Pass / Fail in spring 2020 will count toward this total.

The following notation will appear on all transcripts:

A global health emergency during this term required significant course changes.  Unusual enrollment patterns and grades may reflect the tumult of the time.
 

For undergraduate students:

  • a letter grade of D- or above would result in a grade of Pass
  • a letter grade of F would result in a grade of Fail
  • grades of Pass will not be used in GPA calculations.
  • grades of Fail will be used in GPA calculations.

For graduate students:

  • a letter grade of C- or higher would result in a grade of Pass.
  • a letter grade lower than a C- would result in a grade of Fail.
  • grades of Pass will not be used in GPA calculations.
  • grades of Fail will be used in GPA calculations.

Pass / Fail Option Requests

Students enrolled in coursework offering a letter grade in the Spring 2020 semester will be able to request to take one, some, or all of those courses in a Pass / Fail option through a portlet in PrideNet between April 13 to May 8.  Additional details about the location of this portlet will be forthcoming in a follow-up communication.

Note: Students enrolled in study abroad at a partner program are also eligible to take their Spring 2020 semester coursework in a Pass / Fail option. Students enrolled in study abroad at a partner program will not be able to make any Pass / Fail requests using the portlet mentioned above; however, the scheduled follow-up communication will detail the appropriate steps this group must take to make their request(s). 

How is Pass/Fail for Students in the Educator Preparation Programs being handled?

For undergraduate students:

  1. Educator Preparation students may choose to take a class pass/fail as long as no minimum grade is required (e.g., typically pre-practicum courses require a minimum grade of "B" or better, and many arts sciences major courses require a grade of "C-" or higher).  [To see which courses have minimum grade requirements, go to PrideNet--Academics--Educator Preparation--Undergraduate Admission to Teacher Prep--Find the spreadsheet for your specific major/program.]
  2. You may not take Practicum/Fieldwork courses Pass/Fail. All must be taken for a grade. 
  3. When there are extenuating circumstances students can petition for an exception to be made to 1 & 2 above.  This means that even when there is a minimum grade required, if there are extenuating circumstances, a student can petition to take one of those classes pass/fail. Students in this situation should e-mail their advisor(s) and department chair(s) with a list of the courses they wish to take pass/fail.
  4. This temporary policy will stay in effect as long as the temporary pass/fail policy for Springfield College as a whole is in place. 
  5. Note, students must earn a grade of D- or higher in order to pass a class they take pass/fail.  Failing grades will negatively impact students' grade point averages.

For graduate students:

  1. Graduate students in Educator Preparation programs may choose to take a class pass/fail as long as no minimum grade is required (e.g., PEHE graduate teacher candidates must earn a specific grade in PHED 636/637/638/639).
  2. You may not take Practicum/Fieldwork courses Pass/Fail. All must be taken for a grade.
  3. When there are extenuating circumstances students can petition for an exception to be made to 1 & 2 above.  This means that even when there is a minimum grade required, if there are extenuating circumstances, a student can petition to take one of those classes pass/fail.   Students in this situation should e-mail their advisor(s) and department chair(s) with a list of the courses they wish to take pass/fail.
  4. This temporary policy will stay in effect as long as the temporary pass/fail policy for Springfield College as a whole is in place. 
  5. Note, students must earn a grade of "C-" or higher in order to pass a graduate class they take pass/fail.  Failing grades will negatively impact students' grade point averages.

Can General Education courses be taken as Pass / Fail?

In many cases, yes. If the student's academic major or program allows it, then the course can be taken Pass / Fail, and a grade of Pass will fulfill the student's General Education requirement. However, if a major or program requires that a student receive a specific grade in a required General Education course, departments should advise their students to take that course for a letter grade.

What happens if a student makes a mistake in selecting a Pass/Fail option for a course that they need to have graded; is there an option to recover the grade?

Yes, the faculty will submit letter grades for all students.  After grades are submitted an adjustment will be made to the submitted grade based upon the selected option.  Should we need to make adjustments, chairs can submit a request to have the Pass/Fail option for that student and course overridden. 

Does this Pass/Fail option apply to all students?

Some majors or programs for accreditation reasons do not allow students to take courses Pass / Fail. Students in these programs will be advised on their options by their departments.

Who determines if a student can take a course pass/fail?

Some majors or programs for accreditation reasons do not allow students to take courses Pass / Fail.  Students in these programs will be advised on their options by their departments.  Department/Programs will determine whether or not courses can be taken Pass/Fail, and the Department Chairs, ultimately, will be responding to confirm or decline any student requests.

How will courses graded Pass/Fail from the spring 2020 semester be handled for students transferring to SC in future semesters?

We will accept Pass, Credit, and Satisfactory grades for the semesters disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic. For majors requiring a specific letter grade or GPA requirement, courses will be evaluated on a course-by-course basis for direct equivalency of major requirements.  If the direct equivalency to a major requirement can not be established, students will be awarded elective credit.

How do students petition for incomplete grades in the Spring 2020 semester?

The same way they would in a regular semester. They need to communicate with their faculty member as to the circumstances that are making it impossible for them to complete the work by the regular deadline for each course.

What is the policy for students with current incomplete grades?

The Registrar's Office contacted all students and the corresponding faculty who currently have incomplete grades/contracts. Given the current circumstances surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, students/faculty were offered the opportunity to extend their incomplete for an additional semester(s) as needed.  

Incomplete Grade Policy

Under these unique circumstances, faculty are encouraged to use as generously as possible the incomplete contract process to help maintain a student’s progress toward degree.

  • Students with existing incomplete grade contracts should be aware that they may request a deadline extension for completing them. The Registrar’s Office will notify these students and provide them instructions on how to extend their contracts; academic advisors will be cc’d on this email notification.  
  • Students petitioning for incomplete grades for Spring 2020 courses must complete incomplete grade contracts by the final exam period using the usual process. If they later require an extension beyond the contracted date, they may petition for an extension up to one year.

When will decisions be made about the summer and fall sessions?

Ongoing and TBD.  We will update as more information is distributed and additional decisions made.

Will student transcripts be altered in any way to document this semester as impacted by the pandemic?

The Faculty Senate approved the following wording for addition to every student transcript detailing the spring 2020 semester:

A global health emergency during this term required significant course changes.  Unusual enrollment patterns and grades may reflect the tumult of the time.

Course Withdrawal Policy

The course withdrawal deadline for Spring 2020 will be extended to May 12.

What is the procedure and deadline for withdrawal from a class?

The course withdrawal deadline for the Spring 2020 semester has been extended through May 12.  In an effort to make this process more efficient for all parties, course withdrawal requests no longer require the approval of the course instructor prior to submission (the process will still require the approval of the student’s advisor.) Further, the course withdrawal request process can now occur via email if the following steps are completed as listed:

  1. A student sends a communication from their Springfield College email account to their advisor’s Springfield College email account clearly indicating what course(s) they intend to withdraw from in the Spring 2020 semester.
  2. The advisor forwards the communication in step 1 from their Springfield College email account to the Registrar’s Office email account (registrar@springfield.edu) with a statement clearly indicating approval/disapproval for each course withdrawal request. 

The Registrar’s Office is also finalizing the details on several additional methods that course withdrawal requests will be accepted.  Information about these other methods will be forthcoming in the scheduled follow-up communication. 

Note: Regardless of whatever method is used, the Registrar’s Office will still contact the instructor of record to determine the student’s last date of attendance once an approved course withdrawal request is received.  The last date of attendance may have financial aid implications for the student. 

What is a CP grade and how is it awarded?

“Continued Progress” (CP) will be used for unfinished internships/field experiences/practicums this semester.  Faculty should notify Student Records Data Coordinator Diana Rand in the Office of the Registrar of any CP’s they wish to submit; emails should include the course information, student name, and ID number. Final grades can be awarded when the faculty member determines that the experiences have been completed and once again notifies Diana Rand. 

How does a CP grade work for graduating seniors in education?

All seniors currently enrolled in a practicum will earn full credit.  They are engaged in remote teaching & learning.   They all will be able to earn a grade and get their teaching license.   

All  juniors engaged in pre-practicum experiences are also going to be able to complete their experiences.  Of course the experience has been altered since they are not in schools, but they are still practicing and learning about teaching.

How are “holds” being managed for students during registration this year?

Students with holds have been contacted by the departments where the holds are in effect. Some of these have been released and resolved; however, absolute holds are still in place. (As of: 4/20/20)

How are we handing course evaluations this year?

Course evaluations for the Spring 2020 term will open on April 22nd.  Like many things, the course evaluation process has been disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic. To provide context for how these evaluations will be used on April 13th, the Senate passed a motion about the context in which faculty evaluations should be conducted.  Below is a segment of that motion that pertains to course evaluations, for the complete text of the motion, please refer to the Senate minutes:


 

The Faculty Senate supports an approach to evaluation that takes into consideration the unusual circumstances brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Faculty Senate advocates for an evaluation in which

 

1. All evidence of teaching and advising effectiveness (e.g., student evaluations of teaching, peer or chair observations) for full time and adjunct faculty) is appropriately contextualized in summative evaluations.  Summative evaluations may be included in formative assessments at the discretion of the faculty member being evaluated.

 

The procedure for administering these evaluations is outlined below:

  • All course evaluations will be conducted online.  We are using the same instrument questions (the former SIRII) but administering them via our survey platform, Qualtrics.
  • In Brightspace, the evaluation links will be available under the "Course Info" section of each course's Navigation Bar.   There will be two separate course evaluation links:
      1. Course Evaluation for Main Campus
      2. Course Evaluation for Regional/Online Campuses
  • Note for ROCE courses only: the course evaluation link is also listed in the week 13 module.  Students in these courses can access the link either here or as described above. 

Administration Tips

  1. Please consider setting aside time or assign time for your students to take the course evaluation before the semester is over.  You will need to direct/show students (as described above) where to find the evaluation links.
  2. Students will have to enter the course number and section for each course they are evaluating.  The first screen of the evaluation explains this in detail.
  3. As usual, all course evaluations are anonymous.
  4. The course evaluation links will remain open until the end of the semester.

Any questions or issues related to the administration of the evaluation should be directed to Raldy Laguilles, Director of Institutional Research at jlaguilles@springfieldcollege.edu

(As of: 4/23/20)

If students elect to take P/F classes this semester, will that impact Dean’s List or Honor Society invitations?

Yes, it could.  A student needs to have at least 12 graded credits to be considered for the Dean’s List. Students should contact their individual department chairs for more information on how P/F grades might impact departmental Honors programs. (As of: 4/20/20)

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