Academic Policy Changes for Grading and Academic Standing
Spring 2020

Important Message from the Provost

Academic Policy Changes for Grading and Academic Standing for Spring 2020

Introduction

The disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic has reminded us that the most basic precondition for the learning that we do together is the health and safety of our community. With that fundamental truth in mind, Florida Southern worked methodically toward the decision to transition to remote delivery of learning for the remainder of the spring 2020 semester. This transition helps to protect the well-being of our community while still giving us an opportunity to continue to learn and grow.

We realize that the change to remote learning is a challenge and that it will be more difficult than ever for students to focus on their courses for the rest of this semester. As such, we have made a number of changes to academic policies to provide students with more options in progressing towards their degrees. Student success remains our priority, and these academic policy changes are designed to help students focus on their learning right now, while providing maximum flexibility in deciding what is best for them as they prepare for life after graduation.

The changes include grading and academic standing policies for the spring 2020 semester. These policy changes are enumerated below, and they are in effect only for the spring 2020 semester. They apply to all courses in all programs, with the exception of the Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) program. Students in the DPT program should consult with the Dean of the School of Physical Therapy regarding arrangements and policies in that area. All other students are strongly encouraged to discuss these policies with their advisors before making any decisions.

All other academic policies described in the 2019 – 2020 Academic Catalog remain in effect unless they conflict with the special spring 2020 policies as detailed. It bears repeating that these policies are in effect for the spring 2020 semester only and that students should discuss these policies with their advisors before making any decisions.

We hope that these policy changes will relieve some of the stress of the current situation, and in doing so, allow students and faculty to focus on learning and achieving key outcomes in this new remote learning environment.

Brad E. Hollingshead, Ph.D.
Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs

Grading Policies

  1. After final letter grades are posted for the spring 2020 semester, students will have until May 8, 2020, to select whether they will have the letter grade recorded on their official transcript or whether they will choose the option of Pass/No Credit. If students choose a letter grade, that grade will be calculated into the cumulative grade point average as usual. If students choose the Pass/No Credit option, either a “P” or “NC” will be recorded on their transcript; neither will impact the student’s cumulative grade point average.
    1. For undergraduate students, a Pass (P) can be earned only if the instructor records a letter grade of A – C for the course; a letter grade of D or F will be counted as No Credit (NC).
    2. For graduate students, a Pass (P) can be earned only if the instructor records a letter grade of A – B- for the course; a C+ or lower will be counted as No Credit (NC).
    3. Graduate students may choose the letter grade of C if a previous C grade has not been earned in the program; otherwise, they should choose the No Credit (NC) option to avoid having more than one C in the program and risking dismissal.
  2. Students who do not make a choice between the letter grade or Pass/No Credit option by the deadline of May 8, 2020, will have all grades default to the letter grade assigned by the instructor of the course. Students will receive directions on how to choose between the letter grade and Pass/No Credit option before final grades are recorded.
  3. Students who choose the Pass/No Credit option and earn a P will have the corresponding course counted toward their graduation requirements, whether the course fulfills a major or minor requirement, a general education requirement, a graduate program requirement, or is being taken as an elective. A grade of NC means that no credit was earned for the course.
    1. It is important for undergraduate students to recognize that earning NC may mean that they will have to repeat the course in a future semester and/or slow their progress toward degree. If the course has to be repeated, it will be repeated under the College’s Grade Forgiveness policy.
    2. It is important for graduate students to recognize that while earning NC will not lead to automatic dismissal from the program, it will mean that they will need to repeat the course and/or slow their progress toward degree. If the course has to be repeated, it will be repeated under the College’s Grade Forgiveness policy.

Academic Standing Policies

  1. The Academic Standing Policy for undergraduates (pp. 43 – 48 in the 2019 – 2020 Academic Catalog) is suspended for the spring 2020 semester. Students’ current academic standing will be recalculated at the end of the fall 2020 semester, when the Academic Standing Policy resumes.
  2. The one exception to the previous item is that students who choose letter grades and raise their cumulative grade point average sufficient to remove themselves from Academic Alert, Academic Warning, or Academic Probation will be considered on a case-by-case basis and may be able to improve their academic standing before the fall 2020 semester.
  3. Students who choose the Pass/No Credit option for any course are not eligible to be named to the Dean’s List or as a President’s Scholar in the spring 2020 semester.
  4. Choosing the Pass/No Credit option in the spring 2020 semester will in no way impact requirements to continue in the Honors program for undergraduates or in any graduate program. Students will not be dismissed from these programs if choosing this option means that their cumulative grade point average remains the same as the previous semester or even declines from it.