Message from Dean Betsy Farmer March 26, 2020

Dear Students,

  I hope that your first week of remote classes is going well. There are clearly challenges in changing our instructional approach so quickly, but I appreciate the efforts and patience of you and your instructors in adjusting to this very atypical situation.

  As I have been talking with some of you, I know that there is some confusion around the newly announced grading policy. In case you are not aware, the university is allowing students, for this semester, to have S (successfully completed) or NC (no credit) on their transcript in place of a letter grade. Let me see if I can spell out some of the details, so that you will understand this and make informed decisions about this:

  1. This is fully voluntary. You do not have to use the S/NC option, and you can make the decision for each class that you are taking.
  2. You do not have to make a decision about whether you want to utilize the S/NC option until after the semester is over and your letter grade is assigned. Therefore, you and your instructor do not need to do anything differently now -- just continue with your classes and getting grades on your assignments as usual. 
  3. S/NC grades do not affect your GPA. 
  4. A course that receives an S counts towards graduation/requirements. A course that receives an NC does not (but it does not affect your GPA)
  5. Once you see your grades, you can decide if you want to keep your letter grade or if you want to switch to an S/NC.
    1. For Social Work, an S will represent a grade that would keep you in good academic standing or that is required for graduation/progress/prerequisite
      1. This means that, for the BASW program, a grade of C- or higher would translate to an S (a D or F would be graded as NC)
      2. For MSW required courses, a grade of B- or higher would translate to an S; for general electives, a grade of C- or higher would translate to an S
      3. For PhD courses, a grade of B- or higher would translate to an S
  6. If you decide that you want to convert any of your grades to S/NC, you will contact the program director of your program to request this change
  7. I have been in contact with other deans of schools of social work around the country. We are all in agreement that using the S/NC option will not affect your competitiveness or eligibility for graduate programs in social work nationally.

Other grade-related modifications based on COVID-19:

  1. We understand that this has been a challenging and unusual semester, therefore:
    1. No students will be placed on academic probation based on grades this semester
    2. If you are currently on academic probation, we will give you another semester to achieve the GPA needed to get off academic probation 

I hope that this helps to clarify the provost's note. If you have questions about any of this, I recommend talking with your program director (Dr. Keith Caldwell for BASW students; Dr. Yodit Betru for MSW students; Dr. Katie Greeno for PhD students).

Please take care and have a good rest of the semester!