Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Dear Students,

Last Friday, the Faculty Senate unanimously endorsed the following statement to you our students. 

“We are all working together to adapt to the challenging circumstances presented by the SARS-CoV-2 virus. The faculty of Springfield College are here to support all of our students in their learning and life efforts during this and every semester, and we look forward to completing the semester successfully together.”

Late yesterday afternoon, they put into action support for students as they changed three important policies – Pass/Fail, Course Withdrawal, and Incomplete.  Below are the details of the changes and some frequently asked questions.  Next week you will move into the Advising period. It is important that you talk with your advisor about how these changes may or may not work for you based upon your academic goals.

Martha A. Potvin
Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs

Ted France
President of the Faculty Senate

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.

UNDERGRADUATE STUDENT POLICY

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.

GRADUATE STUDENT POLICY

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.

Course Withdrawal Policy

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

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.

Questions & Responses:

  1. 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.
  2. 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. 
  3. 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.

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Dear Students, Faculty, and Advisors:

In response to the on-going pandemic and its implications on operations in the Spring 2020 semester, an email communication from the Division of Academic Affairs was sent yesterday (March 31st) that detailed the ability for students to take coursework in a Pass / Fail format as well as the extended deadline for students to request course withdrawals.  The intent of this communication is to provide several details about both processes.

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). 

Course Withdrawal Requests

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. 

Best,

Marshall Bradway, M.B.A. | Registrar