UTEP announces new satisfactory/unsatisfactory grading system due to pandemic

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UTEP announced Monday in an email to students a temporary change to its course grading policy that will allow professors to offer a “Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory” grading option for spring 2020 courses.

Anahy Diaz, Reporter

UTEP announced in an email to students a temporary change to its course grading policy that will allow professors to offer a Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory grading option for spring 2020 courses 

The aim of this change in policy is to provide students with flexibility and help ease the stress of transitioning to online courses due to the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak, explained the university in a campuswide email sent Monday.    

Spearheaded by UTEP’s faculty and administration, this system will give students the option to have an “S, for satisfactory, or “U,” for unsatisfactory, appear on their transcript, without either performance affecting their GPA. A grade of “S” will demonstrate the student has met prerequisite requirements and will count towards their degree requirements, while a failing grade will appear as a “U.” 

The temporary Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory policy will however be implemented at the discretion of the instructor. 

 “Many instructors may determine that this option would be detrimental to students in their particular course, especially if it is a critical course for demonstrating competency in the field and could impact a student’s ability to move into meaningful professional work or graduate school,” the email read. “Instructors have the authority to determine if this option should be available for their courses.” 

 Students have been asked to contact their instructors to determine if their course will be eligible for this option. The university also encouraged students who need to increase their GPA or are planning to apply to graduate or professional schools to discuss this option with their advisors to determine if it is in their best interest.  

 Students who determine this grading system is appropriate for them are required to complete the Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory Grade Mode Form and submit it to [email protected] using their Miners email.  

 The university also announced it will be extending the deadline for students to drop a course to May 7. The courses dropped in Spring 2020 will receive a withdrawal grade and will not count towards a student’s six-course drop limit.  

 These changes come in less than a month since UTEP President Heather Wilson announced the institution’s transition to online courses beginning March 30 as a way to prevent the spread of COVID-19.  

 As of Monday, 115 positive coronavirus cases have been reported in El Paso County 

 Anahy Diaz may be reached at [email protected]