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G-11: ALTERNATIVE GRADING

Senate Policy 49-70 was enacted in spring 2020, in response to the novel coronavirus pandemic, to provide alternative grading for under situations of special Senate concern.  G-11 was created to address implementation of 49-70.  G-11 only applies when Senate has taken the extraordinary step of implementing 49-70 under a situation of special Senate concern; under normal circumstances, G-11 is not in force.  G-11 applies to undergraduate courses only.

  1. The option of alternative grading is only available during the situation of special Senate concern.  (For the spring 2020 semester, this corresponded to courses that concluded after March 6.  Students were not able to select alternative grading for courses that concluded prior to or on this date.  For the fall 2020 and spring 2021 semester, this applies to the entire semester.)
  2. For spring 2020: Grade point averages for limited sets of courses, sometimes used in determining Entrance to Major, will be calculated using the same rules as cumulative GPAs.  Students may, therefore, elect alternative grading for such courses without being penalized.

    For fall 2020 and spring 2021: Grade point averages for limited sets of courses, sometimes used in determining Entrance to Major for academically controlled majors, will be calculated using the same rules as cumulative GPAs. Students may, therefore, elect alternative grading for such courses without being penalized.
  3. Courses for which students elect alternative grading will earn credits toward semester classification if the student earns a SAT or V grade.
  4. Courses for which students select alternative grading will satisfy prerequisites in the same way as they would were a letter grade maintained.  If a C or better is required in a prerequisite course, a SAT grade will satisfy this, but a V grade will not.  If a passing (e.g., D or greater) grade is required in a prerequisite course, a SAT grade or a V grade will satisfy this.
  5. For spring 2020: If a C or better is required in a course to meet a curricular requirement, including ETM requirements, a SAT grade will count; a V or Z grade will not.

    For fall 2020 and spring 2021: If a C or better is required in a course to meet a curricular requirement, including academic ETM requirements, a SAT grade will count; a V or Z grade will not.
  6. Programs that require a B or better in a particular course can continue to require this for courses.  Units are expected to communicate this to students and recommend not using alternative grading if the necessary letter grade is achieved.
  7. Courses taken for alternative grades are counted in the course repeat policy. However, there is no restriction on repeating courses with an SAT grade as there would be for a C or better.
  8. For spring 2020: Courses taken for alternative grades do not count toward the ETM credit window, which will help students avoid surpassing the upper threshold of the ETM window. Colleges will provide the option for students to enter the major if counting earned credits from alternatively graded courses would have allowed a student to meet the minimum threshold.

    For fall 2020 and spring 2021: The credits for courses utilizing alternative grading do count towards the semester standing (SAT and V only) but are specifically excluded from counting toward the threshold for admission to administratively controlled majors. For students seeking admission to administratively controlled majors, colleges will continue to offer exceptions in meeting the lower credit window for alternative grades taken in spring 2020, but this will not be permitted for courses taken in fall 2020. Students seeking admission to academically controlled majors in the College of Engineering, which also rely on a credit window, will continue to have the option to enter the major if counting earned credits from alternatively graded courses would have allowed the student to meet the minimum threshold. In addition, each administratively controlled major has identified a list of ETM courses for which alternative grades cannot be used to satisfy the ETM requirements unless the course was taken in spring 2020.
  9. For spring 2020: Courses with passing grades for which students utilize alternative grades will count as University credits in determining eligibility for graduation with distinction.

    For fall 2020 and spring 2021: Courses for which students utilize alternative grades in fall 2020 will NOT count in meeting the minimum credit requirement to be considered for graduation with distinction.   
  10. For spring 2020: In determining student eligibility for Dean's lists, credits earned from courses using alternative grading (SAT and V grades only) will contribute to meeting the requirement of 12 credits for full time consideration.

    For fall 2020 and spring 2021: Courses for which students utilize alternative grades in fall 2020 will NOT count in meeting the minimum credit requirement to be considered for Deans' lists.
  11. For spring 2020: Courses for which students elect alternative grades can be used in the grade forgiveness process.

    For fall 2020 and spring 2021: Courses for which students elect alternative grades in fall 2020 CANNOT be used in the grade forgiveness process.
  12. The Faculty Senate has an expedited process and form to allow a student to submit a petition to use alternative grading in cases where a student's grade is finalized after the deadline. This includes the following situations: an instructor changes the student's letter grade in a course; a deferred grade is changed to a letter grade; or a grade is received after the deadline from a study-abroad program. 
  13. Selections are considered final unless there is a change in circumstance for which an exception would be appropriate. For example, a student who has changed majors, and now finds that they need a letter grade reported for a course for graduate school admission after having selected the alternative grade, may file a Faculty Senate petition through their adviser to request having their grade changed back to the original letter grade. For such requests, students will use the existing Faculty Senate petition process used to request exceptions to academic policies.
  14. For spring 2020: Students with academic integrity violations are permitted to utilize alternative grading for those courses. However, if a student received a conduct sanction including a recommendation of an XF grade, the contact sanction (indicated with an X) will be recorded on the transcript as an XF or XZ, making clear that the grade was impacted by an academic integrity violation. 

    For fall 2020 and spring 2021: A student who has received an academic sanction as a result of a violation of academic integrity will not be allowed to select alternative grading for that course.

Senate Policy 49-70 Supplemental Satisfactory Grade/Passing Grade/No Grade
Grading System – Baccalaureate and Associate Degree Candidates

Approved: ACUE (7-2-2020)
Revised: ACUE (10-5-2020)
Revised: ACUE (11-20-2020)
Item #8 added to this policy for informational purposes. This is not under the purview of ACUE. (12-3-20)
Revised: ACUE (12-14-2020)
Approved: ACUE (2-4-21)