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U of C gives students option for credit/fail in lieu of grades

By Kristy Koehler, March 22 2020—

Students at the University of Calgary will have the option to accept their final course grades or opt for a Credit Received (CR) or Fail (F) notation for their courses in the Winter 2020 semester.

In an email from the Provost’s Office, Dru Marshall, provost and vice-president academic, said that “the decision to allow this flexibility is a direct acknowledgment of this unprecedented situation.”

At the undergraduate level, grades of D and better will be eligible for conversion to Credit Received and at the graduate level, anything less than a B- will result in a Fail. CR grades will still be counted toward degree completion requirements but will not be factored into GPA calculations.

Final grades are expected to be released on May 12 and students will have the option, following receipt of the grades, to indicate their choice to the Registrar’s Office by May 22.

While the email noted that “some students will simply not be in a position to complete their coursework and may wish to withdraw,” there will be no refunds and the withdrawal deadline remains April 15.

Marshall acknowledged the time and effort put in by academic staff to transition their courses online in the wake of concerns about the novel coronavirus. 

“We trust our students will continue to apply themselves academically and seek the most from their courses and will act with integrity as they complete their course work and assessments in a remote learning environment,” read the email. 

Recently, the University of Alberta moved to a similar system, but students do not have the choice to keep their final grade. They will simply be assigned either “credit,” “incomplete,” or “non-credit” on their transcripts in lieu of a final letter grade. 

Students at U of C started a change.org petition in an attempt to convince administrators to do the same. Students’ Union president Jessica Revington said that many students had expressed their opinion to their elected officials, both for and against and indicated that an option would be important.

Marshall’s email says more details are forthcoming on the implementation of the system.

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