West Chester University Announces COVID-19 Alternative Grading Policy

West Chester University Announces COVID-19 Alternative Grading PolicyCredit: West Chester University of Pennsylvania

WEST CHESTER, PA— As West Chester University begins alternate modes of instruction (Zoom, Skype, conference calling, email, etc.) for the remote education of students on March 30, the University announces a temporary new “opt-in” grading system for all undergraduate and graduate students for the spring 2020 semester and until the disruption to the learning environment lessens from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The COVID-19 Alternative Grading Policy is designed to reduce the stress that many students are experiencing due to worldwide disruption. One week after grades have been posted for the semester, WCU’s temporary policy allows for undergraduate and graduate students to choose from two available grading options that will enable students to complete the semester successfully without fear of negatively impacting grade point averages (GPAs). The flexible policy is effective immediately.

“In the midst of today’s sweeping global health challenges, West Chester University stands by its promise to put students first and foremost in order to help them succeed,” stated an email message sent to WCU students, faculty, and staff on March 27 by WCU President Chris Fiorentino, Provost Laurie Bernotsky, Deputy Provost Jeffrey Osgood, and Chair of the Curriculum and Academic Policies Council Josh Auld.

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“The University understands that over the course of the last few weeks, students’ lives have been totally disrupted by a pandemic that has ripped across our nation and turned day-to-day living completely upside down,” the University-wide email acknowledged. “Knowing that the stresses of this reality are indeed creating an added burden for our students, WCU is seeking to maintain an educational environment centered on learning by focusing on the acquisition of the knowledge and skills necessary for students to be successful in their personal and professional lives.  It is in this context that we are implementing a temporary policy that allows our students to focus on what is most important: learning.”

Highlights of West Chester University’s COVID-19 Alternative Grading Policy:

FOR UNDERGRADUATE STUDENTS

On a course-by-course basis, and one week after grades have been posted, undergraduate students will have the option to select one of the following grading options:

Option 1:

  • A, A-, B+, B, B-, C+, C, and C- will continue to be recorded and will impact a student’s GPA.

Option 2:

  • A-, B+, B, B-, C+, C, and C- will be recorded as “satisfactory” and will not impact a student’s GPA.

In addition, the following will be applicable for all undergraduate students:

  • D+, D, and D- will automatically be converted to “credit earned,” will count as credit earned for the course and have no impact on a student’s GPA. If the course serves as a prerequisite and has a minimum grade requirement for future courses, “credit earned” will not satisfy those minimum grade requirements.
  • F will automatically be converted to “no credit earned,” will not count as having successfully completed the course and have no impact on a student’s GPA.
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FOR GRADUATE STUDENTS

On a course-by-course basis, and one week after grades have been posted, graduate students will have the option to select one of the following grading options:

Option 1:

  • A, A-, B+, B, and B- will continue to be recorded and will impact a student’s GPA.

Option 2:

  • A-, B+, B, and B- will be recorded as “satisfactory” and will not impact a student’s GPA.

The following will be applicable for all students regardless of the option they select:

  • C+, C, and C- will automatically be converted to “credit earned,” will count as credit earned for the course and have no impact on a student’s GPA. If the course serves as a prerequisite and has a minimum grade requirement for future courses, “credit earned” will not satisfy those minimum grade requirements.
  • F will automatically be converted to “no credit earned,” will not count as having successfully completed the course and have no impact on a student’s GPA. However, an F will still result in automatic dismissal. Upon petition by the student or the approval of the Graduate Coordinator, the automatic dismissal may be waived.
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Shared governance groups have come together to support the adoption and implementation of WCU’s COVID-19 Alternative Grading Policy. The policy was approved by the University’s Curriculum and Academic Policies Council Executive Committee, a group empowered to make decisions between the body’s Assembly meetings.

The University’s primary shared governance leadership was also consulted, including the president of the WCU Chapter of APSCUF, the president of Faculty Senate and immediate past president, and the chair and co-chair of the Council of Chairs.

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