Penn State To Offer Modified Grading System For Spring 2020 Classes

Penn State will give students the option to modify their grades this semester due to the coronavirus pandemic’s remote learning period, the university announced in a virtual town hall Tuesday.

Yvonne Gaudelius, associate vice president and senior associate dean for undergraduate education, said her team wanted to give control to students — whether they wanted to keep a letter grade or if a more accommodating option was available.

Faculty will post grades and students will have a week to decide if they want to switch it to one of three grades: Satisfactory (C or better), Passing (D or better), or No Grade (not passing). These requirements will count toward gen ed requirements and semester standing.

Provost Nick Jones added students can replace Ds and Fs with Vs and Zs, respectively, indicating what these grades mean and letting people know it was due to these unique and unprecedented circumstances.

How this will impact major requirements will be decided on a case-by-case basis, but more clarification should be available within the coming days.

The shift in the grading scale will apply to all undergraduate students at any Penn State campus, as well as World Campus students and those returning from study abroad trips. The new system will not apply to graduate students.

“The main goal of this shift in the grading scheme is to provide students with flexibility, recognizing that this has just been an exceptional and unusual time for students,” Gaudelius said. “We also want to minimize the effect on critical factors such as GPAs and transcripts.”

On March 17, the Faculty Senate passed a resolution in favor of implementing this new policy.

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About the Author

Anthony Colucci

Anthony Colucci was once Onward State’s managing editor and preferred walk-on honors student who majored in psychology and public relations. Despite being from the make-believe land of Central Jersey, he was never a Rutgers fan. If you ever want to know how good Saquon Barkley's ball security is, ask Anthony what happened when he tried to force a fumble at the Mifflin Streak. If you want to hear the story or are bored and want to share prequel memes, follow @_anthonycolucci on Twitter or email him at [email protected]. All other requests and complaints should be directed to Onward State media contact emeritus Steve Connelly.

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