S/U Grading Advisers and Instructors

Spring 2020 S/U Grading Policy – Information For Instructors And Advisers

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Ursinus College has instituted a policy for the Spring 2020 semester which allows students to opt into an S/U grading scheme for any or all courses they are currently enrolled in. Under this policy, students may opt in without adviser approval; however, we strongly encourage students to discuss their decision with advisers and instructors. Included below are (a) the key points of the policy, (b) important questions to discuss with students who are considering opting in, and (c) a FAQ for students.

Key points of the S/U policy – for instructors

  • The goal of this policy is to protect students whose academic performance may suffer significantly due to the stress and disruption caused by the pandemic.
  • For Spring 2020 only, an “S” (Satisfactory) grade should be awarded to any opted-in student whose work would have earned any passing grade, i.e., D- or better. A “U” (Unsatisfactory) grade should be awarded to students who would ordinarily have earned an F.
  • Instructors will enter grades of S or U for students who have opted into the S/U scheme. Students who have opted in will have the grade of “S” pre-entered, and instructors will change the grade to a “U” where necessary.
  • Instructors should continue to grade all students normally for the remainder of the semester and to maintain those records. Transcripts for this semester will have an addendum about this semester’s exceptional situation. At the end of the semester, instructors will be asked only to indicate, where applicable, that a given S grade corresponded to a grade lower than C for that student.

Key points of the S/U policy – for advisers

  • Students do not need advisers’ permission to opt in, but they are encouraged to discuss their decision with their adviser and instructors. Students will opt-in via an online form, beginning on April 13.
  • Students must opt in by April 29. No opt-ins or opt-outs will be permitted after this date without a formal appeal to the Academic Standards and Discipline Committee.
  • A grade of S will not affect a student’s GPA, positively or negatively, but course credits will count normally towards satisfying core, major, and graduation requirements.
  • A grade of U is equivalent to an F; it will be calculated into a student’s GPA as a zero, and the student will earn no credit towards graduation for the course.

Talking to your advisees about the S/U grading option

Here are the main questions a student should consider before opting for the S/U grading scheme: