Providing flexible grading options and updates to spring semester calendar
October 9, 2020
Today completes our seventh week of classes! While we want to continue to check in with you regarding your experience this fall, in this Friday message, we also wanted to share two important updates related to our COVID-19 planning: flexible grading options and adjustments to the spring semester calendar.
None of us have ever navigated a global pandemic of this magnitude. COVID-19 has brought many challenges, but it has also taught us to be more flexible, adaptable and to show empathy and understanding of how you are affected by this global pandemic. We want to thank the Undergraduate Student Government and the Faculty Senate for passing their resolutions in support of flexible grading options, similar to last spring semester. This grading option is effective immediately, and we hope it provides additional support for your academic progress as you focus on your classes this fall semester. Below are some initial details regarding flexible grading options for this fall semester:
- All undergraduate and graduate students will be allowed to convert any or all standard-graded courses to the COVID-19 S/U (Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory) grading option for fall semester 2020.
- If students choose this option, any course that the student receives a “C” or higher in will be converted to an “S” and will count toward their degree, regardless of current department, college or University requirements.
- Students in 15-week classes will have until Wednesday, Nov. 18, to switch to the S/U grading option.
- Students enrolled in Fall I seven-week classes will receive a message today about S/U grading options. Those enrolled in Fall II seven-week classes have until Friday, Dec. 4, to switch to an S/U grading option.
- Courses converted to the S/U grading option may not be utilized for GPA recalculation of a prior grade earned.
- Changing the grading option to S/U for fall semester 2020 will not have an impact on students’ ability to receive Latin Honors for graduation and/or their eligibility for Dean’s List. Courses that are switched to S/U because of COVID-19 will count toward a student’s total letter-graded credits (TLCs) but will not be calculated in their cumulative GPA.
- If a student is taking an Honors-designated course, they should consult with their Honors advisor before changing the grading option to S/U, since that change would prevent the class from calculating into their Honors GPA.
- Any grades changed to S/U during fall semester 2020 will not count toward the 16-credit maximum allowed by the existing University policy on grading options.
- Students may not adopt the S/U grading option for College Credit Plus (CCP) courses.
Students are strongly encouraged to meet with an advisor or coordinator before deciding to convert from a letter grade to an S/U grade to ensure it is in their best interest. This step is important for all students, but especially for graduate students or students in pre-professional programs such as pre-med or pre-law or those students interested in pursuing graduate education.
Please visit the Office of Registration and Records website for additional information, including instructions for how to request the S/U grading option.
As previously shared, classes will resume on Jan. 11, 2021. In addition, the last day of classes is still scheduled for April 23, with final exams occurring April 26-30, 2021. Our spring commencement exercises remain scheduled for April 30 and May 1, 2021.
Out of an abundance of caution and to limit the potential travel and community spread of COVID-19, we have decided to cancel Spring Break, which was scheduled for March 22-26. However, we still believe our students, who work so hard, deserve scheduled breaks from their coursework. We are announcing four Wellness Days this spring semester where classes will not be held. On the dates below, we will also offer wellness programming for our community as well as opportunities for us to focus on our commitment to create public good. Additional details will be available in the coming weeks.
- Thursday, February 18
- Friday, February 19
- Monday, March 22
- Tuesday, March 23
- Wednesday, April 21
As we shared the past six Fridays, we appreciate your understanding and flexibility as we navigate these first weeks of the semester. Our faculty and staff remain committed to supporting you and your education at Bowling Green State University.
This week and throughout the fall semester, we want to continue to offer to you the opportunity to share your concerns and your positive experiences. We want to hear from you. Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, and we will follow up.
We continue to review your submissions to our weekly survey about your academic experiences this fall. More than 730 students completed it to date. It shows we have made progress, but resuming in-person learning this fall was a large task, and there is always more work to do. The survey remains open for you to complete, and it is informing our decision-making this semester.
We continue to safely host various events on campus for those students who live in Bowling Green and the surrounding communities, and we have recently made safe adjustments to our residence hall visitor policy. Tonight, we are hosting a viewing of the original "Jumanji" in the BGSU Theater along with giant board games in the Lenhart Grand Ballroom in the Bowen-Thompson Student Union. In addition, we are hosting outdoor residence hall events starting Monday, bringing some more fun to where our students live and learn. A list of events is available on our Campus Activities website.
We must remain diligent in our effort to slow the spread of COVID-19. Four weeks ago, we shared our plans for randomized surveillance testing of asymptomatic undergraduate and graduate students. A full dashboard of our testing results is available.
Remember to avoid large gatherings and events, and avoid attending multiple small gatherings and events, which are often workarounds for the 10-person limit. We continue to emphasize that we are counting on each student, faculty and staff member to be responsible and hold others accountable. We are so proud of how our community is working through this and following protocols. We must continue to stay focused. Wear a face covering. Wash and sanitize your hands. Stay 6 feet apart and physically distance yourself. Monitor your health. If you have questions or reports about COVID-19, email our chief health officer and his team at email@example.com. They are prepared to respond.
We are in this together, and we will continue to check in every Friday throughout the semester. Seven weeks down – just six weeks until Thanksgiving. See you virtually or in person soon.
Rodney K. Rogers, Ph.D.
Joe B. Whitehead Jr., Ph.D.
Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs