The UC San Diego Academic Senate has announced that UCSD students will be able to change their courses’ grading options from letter to pass/no pass until the end of finals week. The statement also announces that while no across-the-board exceptions to finals and grading options will be made for students, instructors are encouraged to be accommodating to students regarding their final exams.
“Many of our faculty colleagues, staff, and students are feeling especially distraught after the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery, and the violence disrupting peaceful civic marches. In addition, some of our graduate students are faced with the potential revocation of their visas per the recent Presidential Proclamation,” the statement reads. “Our goal is to reach out to fellow instructors to insure that our students’ permanent records and their ability to make future academic progress is not negatively impacted by the challenges that they have experienced this quarter, and provide them as much sympathy and support as possible through finals week.”
The senate’s pushing the deadline for students to decide their grading options is an expansion of its Spring Quarter 2020 decision to move the deadline to the end of Week 10. During traditional quarters with on-campus learning, the deadline is the end of Week 6.
The statement explains that under this extension instructors are not required to distribute final grades before the end of finals week, and that they intend this additional week to help students make their decisions regarding grading.
The statement also lists several options instructors may consider applying to their finals in order to better accommodate their students. These suggestions include assessing the format of their finals, adjusting their grading scale so that students’ grades cannot be lowered past Week 10, and making the course’s final optional.
The senate clarifies, however, that these changes to final exams will need to be made on an individual basis by instructors.
“Both EPC and Senate Council do not support approving any blanket exceptions that would require all undergraduate and graduate courses to be offered on a P/NP or S/U basis in Spring 2020,” the statement reads. “There is too much variation across disciplines, degrees, and student needs to advance a uniform policy. Every student’s circumstance is unique and they should be referred to their Dean of Academic Advising and financial aid advisor so that they can be fully informed of their options and potential consequences before making end of quarter decisions.”
This is a breaking story, and The UCSD Guardian has reached out to the university for further comment. This article will be updated with any further developments.
Photo by The UCSD Guardian.