Temporary Emergency Grading Policy – Spring 2020

In response to the current COVID-19 pandemic, MUW transitioned to online, remote, and alternative forms of delivery for the Spring 2020 semester to ensure that students would be able to continue progression toward degree completion. Academic Council has approved the following COVID-19 Emergency Grade Policy to allow students maximum flexibility in light of the changed circumstance. This option for alternative grades for Spring 2020 should allow students to focus on learning outcomes and successful course completion. This temporary policy is NOT retroactive to include first term classes but does apply to both full term and second term courses that are currently in progress.

This temporary policy allows for students to choose an assignment of PE (Pass Enhanced), PS (Pass Satisfactory), and NP (No Pass) grades for the Spring 2020 semester only. 

 

 

Faculty Assigned Grade

Emergency Option (chosen by the student)

B

PE

C

PE

D

PS

F

NP

A faculty member will assign the grade in the course in accordance with the original grading scale, generally a traditional letter grade. After the faculty assigned grade is posted, a student may choose to complete a form indicating course(s) that they would like to invoke the emergency grade option between Tuesday, May 5 and noon on Tuesday, May 12.  The option is available for individual courses.  For any student failing to meet the deadline, there will be an appeal process to request invoking this option for a short period of time following the deadline. 

To invoke the change in grade mode, the Emergency Grade Change Request Form is available through Banner Web under Student Services, then, Student Records.

What is a PE (Pass Enhanced) Grade?

A grade of PE earn course credits, but are not counted in the semester, overall, and institutional grade point averages. As a result, a PE grade DOES NOT impact the determination of whether a student graduates with academic honors. A PE grade DOES satisfy the “C or better” prerequisite that may exist in some courses. A PE grade DOES accrue attempted hours and earned hours.

What is a PS (Pass Satisfactory) Grade?

A grade of PS also earns course credits, but are not counted in the semester, overall, and institutional grade point average. As a result, a PS grade DOES NOT impact the determination of whether a student graduates with academic honors. A PS grade DOES NOT satisfy the "C or better" prerequisite for another course. A PS grade DOES accrue attempted hours and earned hours.

What about an NP Grade?

A grade of NP earns NO course credits and DOES NOT count in the semester, overall, and institutional grade point average. It satisfies no course requirements. A NP grade DOES accrue attempted hours, but NOT earned hours.

Considerations

Students are strongly encouraged to thoughtfully consider the decision to transition a course grade to the emergency option. While this option may provide short-term relief, it is permanent and could present significant long-term consequence. For example, many professional and graduate programs may not consider grades of PE and PS as sufficient for meeting admissions standards. Other consequences may include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Financial Aid Status
  • Academic Scholarship Status (both internal and external)
  • Academic Status (probation and suspension)
  • Athletic Eligibility
  • Graduation Status
  • Tuition Remission (e.g. employer-based, veteran or dependent)

 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

 

General FAQ

What are the student grading options?
As is the case with any semester, students will be assigned traditional letter grades. After final grades are posted, students may opt to maintain their assigned letter grade or convert an assigned grade into one of the options below:

PE (Pass Enhanced)
A grade of PE earns course credits, but is not counted in the semester, overall and institutional grade point averages. As a result, a PE grade does not impact the determination of whether a student graduates with academic honors. A PE grade does satisfy the “C or better” prerequisite that may exist in some courses. A PE grade does accrue attempted hours and earned hours.

PS (Pass Satisfactory)
A grade of PS also earns course credits, but is not counted in the semester, overall, and institutional grade point average. As a result, a PS grade does not impact the determination of whether a student graduates with academic honors. A PS grade does not satisfy the "C or better" prerequisite for another course. A PS grade does accrue attempted hours and earned hours.

NP (No Pass)
A grade of NP earns no course credits and does not count in the semester, overall and institutional grade point average. It satisfies no course requirements. A NP grade does accrue attempted hours, but not earned hours.

Faculty Assigned Grade

Emergency Option (chosen by the student)

B

PE

C

PE

D

PS

F

NP

 

What courses are eligible for conversion to PE, PS, or NP?
All full term and accelerated second term courses, both undergraduate and graduate, completed during the Spring 2020 semester are eligible for PE, PS, or NP grades. This policy does not retroactively include accelerated first term courses. This policy does not include any grades earned after the Spring 2020 semester.

How many courses can students opt into the PE, PS, or NP option?
There is no limit on the number of courses a student may choose to convert into PE, PS, or NP grades. Students may apply emergency grades for individual courses, which may result in a Spring 2020 transcript that is a mix of some courses with traditional grades and some with emergency grades.


Student FAQ

Do I have to opt for the PE, PS, or NP option?
If you are satisfied with your faculty assigned grades, you may choose to keep their assigned grades.

When can I opt for PE, PS, or NP grades?
After the faculty assigned grade is posted, students may only choose to invoke the option between Tuesday, May 5 and noon on Tuesday, May 12. For any student with an extenuating circumstance that fails to meet the deadline, there will be an appeal process to request invoking this option for a short period of time following the deadline.

How do I opt for a PE, PS, or NP grade?
To invoke the change in grade mode, a grade change authorization form will be provided prior to May 5. The form may be completed between Tuesday, May 5 and noon on Tuesday, May 12.

What happens if I take no action?
If a student does not complete the grade authorization form, they will receive the letter grades assigned to them at the conclusion of the semester.

What if I change my mind later?
The conversion of the faculty assigned grade is an irreversible action. You may not change your mind later.

Why might I want to maintain my faculty assigned grades?
While opting for grades made possible by the Spring 2020 grade policy might provide short term relief, these grades could have consequences in the longer term. Students should consider maintaining their traditional letter grades if:

  • They want the faculty assigned grade utilized in the calculation of their GPA. Students are strongly encouraged to think about the impact on not only the semester GPA, but also institutional and cumulative GPA.
  • They plan to apply for admission to a graduate or professional program or any type of program that has competitive admissions (see below).
  • They plan to seek professional licensure.
  • The requirements of financial aid package or tuition reimbursement program require the completion of a specified number of graded credit hours per semester.
  • Other circumstances warrant it.

How do grades of PE, PS, and NP impact the calculation of grade point average?
Grades of PE, PS, and NP receive 0 GPA hours and 0 quality points. As a result, these grades do not factor into the calculation of GPA.

Grades of PE and PS do accrue attempted hours and earned hours. A grade of NP accrues attempted hours, but not earned hours. Therefore, these grades can negatively impact calculation of satisfactory academic progress.

A course in which I am currently enrolled is a prerequisite for a later course with an atypical prerequisite or program restriction. Should I opt for the PE, PS, or NP option?
It depends. For example, a grade of PE which is indicative of A-C performance, may not be adequate to satisfy a prerequisite in which a B or above is required. Similarly, a grade of PE may not be adequate for progression within a program. Or if a program has a course that only allows a limited number of unsuccessful attempts in a course, a grade of NP may not be satisfactory for continued progression in program. Students should check with their academic departments or advisors to see if a grade of PE, PS, or NP is adequate for progression in their programs.

Can a grade of PS be used to satisfy a major or minor requirement?
It depends. If the program of study for a major or minor requires all courses or particular named courses to be completed with a grade of C or better in order to graduate, a grade of PS may not be used to satisfy that requirement. If a program of study for a major or minor allows any passing grade to satisfy a major or minor requirement for graduation, a grade of PS may be used to satisfy that requirement.

How do these grades appear on a transcript?
For those courses that a student chooses to convert the faculty assigned grade into a grade of PE, PS, or NP, those grades will appear on the transcript next to the course just as a traditional letter grade would. To aid other institutions in evaluating your credit, these grades will be defined as a part of the grade legend that appears on the back of the academic transcript.

How does a grade of PE, PS, or NP work on a repeated course?
Although all grades for both current attempts and historical attempts appear on the academic transcript, only the last attempted grade factors into the calculation of the grade point average and satisfying degree requirements. Therefore, the last grade attempted – whether it be the faculty assigned grade or an emergency option grade – will serve as the grade of record.

I am a student interested in professional licensure or enrolling in a competitive placement or graduate program. Should I consider opting for a grade of PE, PS, or NP?
If you plan to sit for a professional license, you should check with the state or licensing body by which you plan to be licensed. Some states or agencies may not accept grades of PE, PS, or NP. Similarly, some graduate programs or programs with competitive admissions processes (both at MUW and elsewhere) may not accept these grades for the purposes of program admission. Before making this decision, you should check with the program to which you are considering making an application.

I am not performing well in a course and believe I may not earn an assignment of a grade of D or above. Should I drop or stay enrolled in the course?
It depends. If you can still earn a grade of WP by dropping a course now, it might be worth considering that option. Although a grade or WP and NP would have a similar negligible impact on the grade point average, a grade of WP (which signifies withdraw passing) might look better to prospective employers. Please check with your faculty member concerning the assignment of your grade. Students have until Friday, April 24, to drop course(s).

I am a graduate student. How does this grade policy specifically affect me?
A grade of PE will not count against a graduate student's allowed number of "C" grades (no more than two grades of "C" prior to exclusion from graduate study at MUW). A grade of PS or NP will not count against a graduate student's allowed number of "D" or “F” grades (any grade of "D" or “F” results in exclusion from graduate study at MUW).

A grade of PS may not be used to satisfy any course requirement within any MUW graduate program.

Some graduate programs at MUW may have prerequisites or program progression requirements that must be completed with grades of B or above. In those instances, a grade of PE may not be used to satisfy those requirements.

How can I access the Change of Grade Form?
Students may access the Emergency Grade Change Request Form through Banner Web under Student Services, then, Student Records.  The form will only be available from May 5 through noon on May 12, 2020.  Please email Tammy Prather in the Registrar’s Office at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if you have any problems with the form during that time.

 

When I consider how the alternate grading scale might impact my GPA, should I focus only on my grades for semester?
Most program progression, scholarship and financial aid and competitive placement requirements are based on cumulative (i.e. overall) GPA and sometimes, institutional GPA.  Cumulative GPA is reflective of your GPA on coursework completed at all institutions.  Institutional GPA is reflective of your GPA on coursework completed only at MUW.  Therefore, you are very strongly encouraged to consider the effect of converting faculty assigned grades on not only your semester GPA, but also your cumulative or institutional GPA.  Your cumulative and/or institutional GPA at the end of the last semester is available to you in Banner. 

As a general rule of thumb:

  • A student with a GPA of 3.01 or higher at the end of the last semester would earn a higher GPA by converting only faculty assigned grades of B or below to an emergency grade. 
  • A student with a GPA at the end of the last semester between 2.01 and 3.00 would earn a higher GPA by converting only faculty assigned grades of C or below to an emergency grade. 
  • A student with a GPA at the end of the last semester between 1.01 and 2.00 would earn a higher GPA by converting only faculty assigned grades of D or below to an emergency grade. 
  • A student with a GPA at the end of the last semester between 0.00 and 1.00 would earn a higher GPA by converting only faculty assigned grades of F to grades of NP.

Also, please remember there may be other considerations when making this decision beyond GPA.  These considerations are discussed throughout the FAQ.        

 

How might the emergency grade policy impact my scholarships and financial aid?
Financial Aid awards are highly individualized.  If you have any questions about a scholarship or any other type of financial aid, you should contact the Office of Financial Aid at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or (662) 329-7114.


FAQ for Faculty and Staff

As a faculty member teaching courses, how will this policy affect me?
You should continue to assess student performance in the manner in which you already doing. When it is time to assign the final course grade in Banner, you will assign students an appropriate letter grade as you always do. Final grades are due on Monday, May 4 at 9 a.m.

I am a faculty or staff member providing assistance to a student, what do I need to know?
For students asking questions about the emergency grading policy, please encourage them to review this FAQ. This comprehensive list of answers should address the vast majority of questions a student might ask. If a course or program has a situation that does not fall neatly within the parameters of the emergency grade policy, please consult your department chair, dean, or the Registrar's Office, as appropriate.

If a student asks about the emergency grading policy impacts student financial aid or scholarships, please encourage them to refer the question to the Office of Financial Aid.