On Thursday afternoon, clarity was given to the undergraduate and graduate students of Southern University and A & M College in terms of how the Spring 2020 semester grading policy will be changed as a result of COVID-19.
The normal grading policy will remain in place throughout the rest of the semester. Once students can view their final grades on Wednesday, May 13, they have two weeks until Wednesday, May 27 to choose between multiple options: keeping the grades given by their various instructors, electing to receive a ‘Pass’ from a class, or electing to receive a ‘Withdraw’ from a class.
Students opting to receive a ‘Pass’ or ‘Withdraw’ grade from a class will need to complete an electronic request form that would still need to be forwarded to the appropriate faculty, department chair, and academic dean prior to being received by the Registrar’s Office before the deadline of Wednesday, May 27. Student initiated withdrawal from classes has been extended beyond the original deadline of April 13 until the last day of classes.
Students may also receive an ‘Incomplete’ grade for a class they were previously passing before circumstances beyond their control prevented them from completing course work, but that designation can only be made by the instructor. Students receiving an “Incomplete” grade will be given an extension until December 10, 2020 to complete all needed assignments to receive a letter grade for that class.
Interim Executive Vice Chancellor, Dr. Bijoy Sahoo, was available for comment prior to the official announcement, explaining the process taken by the administration to determine the new grade policy. “We are a system…and we are going to be governed by the guidelines of the [Southern University System]. But the system also gives us flexibility to tailor to the needs of the campus within the framework of the system.”
Academic advisement and counseling will be available through the Center for Student Success during the two-week grade review period, ensuring students can understand the implications that come with their decisions. Consolidated SUBR email accounts are also in the process of being created for students to voice their needs directly to their respective colleges or departments.
Dr. Sahoo says the intention of this new policy is to help students without harming them academically, acknowledging the abrupt and difficult choices students had to make regarding their living and learning environments. He also affirmed that receiving a ‘W’ grade will not be calculated towards a student’s GPA or hinder their ability to retake classes.