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The new grade designations are only available to undergraduate and Chang students
On Tuesday night, the Senate Priorities Committee approved new grading designations in response to the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on students’ grades.
For Winter 2020 courses, undergraduate and Chang School students will have the option of maintaining an assigned letter grade, choosing to replace a final undergraduate course grade or grades with a credit (CRD) or to drop a course without academic penalty with a no credit (NCR) grade.
The new designations are not available for graduate students enrolled in the Yeates School of Graduate Studies. Options for eligible students include:
- Keeping an assigned letter grade and having it recorded on a transcript. This grade will contribute to the student’s GPA calculation.
- Choosing CRD to replace a passing letter grade and receiving credit for the course. This grade will not contribute to the student’s GPA calculation.
- Choosing NCR to drop a course without academic penalty. The NCR will replace the student’s letter grade and it will not contribute to their GPA calculation. If it’s a required course, students will need to complete it at a later date.
The office of the provost and vice-president, academic said in an email to students that the decision came with “unanimous support” from the deans of the university.
The news comes one week after an online petition was launched calling for the school to award students pass or fail grade for the 2020 winter semester due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Four thousand students have signed as of Wednesday morning.
“Due to this unexpected pandemic, COVID-19, I believe that students’ health and safety comes first before our assignments and grades,” Ester Shabani, the creator of the online petition, said in a post on the petition’s webpage. “I am starting this petition so all students can focus on taking care of ourselves and those around us.”
Last week, the University of Toronto expanded its Credit/No Credit policy to all courses. In place of a grade, a notation of CR will appear on the transcript beside the course if the course is passed with a 50 per cent or higher final mark or NCR if the course is not passed.
That same week, the University of Alberta temporarily abandoned its letter grade system. Students at the University of Calgary will also have the choice to receive a letter grade for their winter term courses or to opt for a pass or fail grade. At the University of Ottawa, students are also demanding the administration give students the option of having their courses adopt a pass or fail grading system.