April 1, 2020
A Message to Students from Kathryn M. LaFontana, PhD, Vice President for Academic Affairs
I hope you are doing well given the very difficult situation that we are all in this semester due to the coronavirus. I want to reiterate that all of us, instructors and advisors, faculty and staff, are fiercely committed to your success, and we are doing whatever we can to support you through this crisis. As you heard from the Registrar’s office last Friday, academic advising has been extended until April 24, and registration for the Fall semester begins on April 28. You are also able to register for summer classes at any time, with permission from your academic advisor. Please get in touch with your academic advisor as soon as possible to discuss registration (or to discuss your eligibility for graduation if you are in the final semester of your program).
I also want to share several very important pieces of information regarding course withdrawals and Pass/No Credit grades. These policies are being modified for this semester only because of the pandemic.
- The last date to withdraw from a class without special permission from VPAA will be extended from April 3 to April 24 for this semester only. No refunds will be given, but the student will receive a W on the transcript instead of a letter grade.
- The restrictions on converting from a letter grading system to Pass/No Credit currently state that a) undergraduate students may take only one course per semester as Pass/No Credit, and b) a course must be converted to Pass/No Credit before 50% of the semester is over. Both of these restrictions are being waived this semester only because of the coronavirus. Students will be allowed, with the approval of their academic advisors, to convert more than one course to P/NC this semester, and grades may be converted to P/NC rather than a letter grade until April 24.
- The undergraduate catalog also states that core courses and major courses may not be taken as P/NC courses. For this semester only, core courses may be converted to P/NC grades without additional permission from the Director of the Core Curriculum. Regarding major or program courses, in most cases these courses cannot be converted to P/NC grades. In the following programs, accrediting rules prohibit P/NC grades: undergraduate and graduate Nursing, teacher education, Social Work, and Counseling and Art Therapy. Other programs may allow P/NC grades, but this is decided on a program-by-program basis. Students are strongly encouraged to speak with your academic advisor to determine what is most appropriate for your particular situation.
- In all cases, students will need to get a signature from an academic advisor using the Course Changes and Withdrawal Form. (You will find a fillable copy of the form attached to the email version of this message sent to you on April 1.) Athletes must get a signature as well from the Faculty Athletic Representative. Students are reminded that P/NC grades are not included when calculating your GPA, so if you are trying to increase your GPA for Satisfactory Academic Progress or NCAA academic eligibility, or trying to make President’s List or Dean’s List, or striving to get admitted into a graduate program, this is probably not a good option for you.
Please email me if you have any questions, and I pray that you and your families are safe and healthy.