Message from Provost Burden Regarding New Pass/Fail Policy for Spring 2020 – March 24, 2020

Dr. John Burden, Spalding Provost

Good Afternoon Spalding Students,

The impact of the COVID-19 crisis is being felt by all members of our campus community – students, staff, faculty and alumni.  I wanted to share how proud I am of our University community during this time of uncertainty.  I ask that we continue to be patient and understanding with each other as we work our way together through this crisis.

As we begin Session 5, I wanted to make you aware of changes to the University’s pass/fail policy. These changes are in response to the switch from face-to-face and hybrid instruction to online-only instruction. This policy revision is in effect for Spring 2020 only. Please carefully consider the implications of taking a course pass/fail, in particular if you are an undergraduate who plans on applying to a graduate or professional program. You should also consult your academic and financial aid counselor if you are considering this option. Students who receive tuition assistance through their employer should contact their Human Resources department.

The revised policy includes:

  • All Session 5 and 6 University Studies courses and electives may be taken pass/fail.
  • The policy has been extended to all Spring 2020 courses, including graduate courses.
  • Courses graded P/F may satisfy major and concentration requirements, including minimum credit requirements. In some cases, academic units may restrict the use of the Pass/Fail option for courses that satisfy requirements in the major; students should check with their instructor to verify that the option is available in their course.
  • Students have up until one month after the end of the course to change from a letter grade to pass/fail.  This will be done through an online form that is currently under development.
  • While faculty will record individual letter grades on assignments, if students have chosen the P/F grading model, the final grade will reflect either a “P,” or “F.” A grade of “P” carries no grade points and is not included in a student’s session or cumulative GPA. A grade of “F” (failing) is recorded normally and computed into a student’s GPA.
  • Since instructors will still record letter grades for assignments, students will be able to request an official letter attesting to those grades, if necessary. This request must be presented within two weeks after the completion of the class. This letter would only attest to grades, not to GPA. Spalding will ensure that those who need evidence of their academic achievements during this time will be able to get it.
  • For students who are retaking a class to replace a previously earned “D” or “F”, the “P” grade will not be calculated into the GPA, though the credits will count toward major and degree requirements.
  • Students who plan on applying to graduate or professional programs should check with their advisor first so that they may review the requirements of those programs to ensure that a P/F grade would be acceptable.
  • The current limitations of 12 hours total of pass/fail coursework and one course per session or term have been waived.
  • In the event that the revised policy needs to be extended beyond Spring 2020, that will be approved and communicated at a later date. Should you have any questions, please contact your instructor and/or academic advisor.

Please continue to check the Spalding Healthy Together – Coronavirus Disease Information Page.  Here you will find the latest updates and links to resources such as:

  • Accessibility Services
  • Academic Advising
  • Counseling and Psychological Services
  • Career Development
  • Math Lab and Writing Center

We are committed to ensuring that students have the resources to successfully complete all of their coursework with the least amount of disruption possible. Please make sure that you stay in contact with your instructor. We have asked all faculty to be as flexible as possible to meet student needs during this crisis.

Thank you,

Dr. John E. Burden
Professor of Chemistry
Spalding University