With input from the Faculty Senate and the Associated Students, and with the approval of the Provost, the University will – with the modifications described below – return for Fall Quarter 2020 to the standard and published grading policy posted below. This temporary policy has no bearing on courses graded S/U or on grading in the Fairhaven College, which has its own grading policy. https://catalog.wwu.edu/content.php?catoid=16&navoid=3961#Grades_and_Grade_Reporting
Requesting P/NP grades: Students may designate a course as Pass/No Pass by submitting a request with the Registrar’s Office after registering for the course; they may change this designation by submitting the change to the Registrar’s Office at any time through the seventh week of a quarter; for extension program courses, pass/no pass grading designation may be elected up to the end of the seventh week for regular quarter-long courses, or prior to the third class meeting for shorter courses. Students may be advised to stay with a letter grade if required for accreditation, veteran status and benefits, or other purposes.
P/NP grades: Undergraduate students opting for P/NP (EP/NP*) grading in Fall Quarter 2020 will receive an EP for grades of D+ and above. A grade of D or D- will be recorded as a NP, which will not earn credits or be reflected in the GPA. A grade of F will be recorded as NP on the transcript, will not receive degree credit, and will not be reflected in the GPA. By choosing not to opt for EP/NP grading, a student may have a D or D- reported to their transcript, which will earn credits and be reflected in the GPA. Departments requesting a different minimum grade for credit may petition their Dean and will announce the course grade rubric before the start of classes. This policy has no bearing on courses graded S/U.
Credit: A grade of EP* during Fall Quarter 2020 will count towards curricular, major, continuation, and graduation requirements unless noted by a department and included in the respective syllabus.
Rationale: In Spring Quarter of 2020, the coronavirus pandemic led the university to shift to remote learning, a modality that was new for many faculty and students. These uncharted teaching/learning conditions made it necessary to adopt a temporary grading policy that would accommodate student acclimation to the new learning environment and that would afford students a certain flexibility in how their work in courses would be formally registered. While the challenges brought on by the pandemic have by no means disappeared, the return to some face-to-face instruction, as well as more familiarity with remote and online teaching/learning, supports returning to the standard rank (letter grade) system. The later date by which students must opt for a P/NP grade (Week 7, as opposed to the standard Week 4 reporting deadline to the Registrar), recognizes a continued need for flexibility and the fact that the decision might be better informed after mid-term. As other universities make the same decision, it is also in the best interests of our students to revert to rank grading, retaining some aspects of the flexibility present in the temporary policy (more time to decide on requesting P/NP, etc.).
*EP (Pass – Exceptional Circumstance) is to be used as the P grade in grade submission. It is necessary in order to facilitate the appropriate qualification of the P grade in Banner and DegreeWorks during the period of the temporary grading policy.