As the spring semester comes to a close, the College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Institute of Public Health, is joining a growing number of colleges around the country in its response to grading students during COVID- 19.
The move to online-only courses forced University leaders to examine whether temporary changes were needed to finish out the academic year. The College developed a grading policy that would offer students the option to take all of their courses for Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory (S/U) credit rather than a letter grade in light of the sudden switch to online learning due to COVID -19.
“Due to the untoward effects of COVID-19, the College, in concert with the University, decided to afford learners an opportunity to select the S/U grading option during the Spring 2020 semester. For those learners who may be negatively impacted by and earn lower grades during the pandemic, the S/U option will ensure that their cumulative grade point average is not diminished. Moreover, these actions will safeguard our student pharmacists from losing scholarship and financial aid awards,” Said Marlon S. Honeywell, Pharm D., CoPPS executive associate dean and professor.
Students will have until May 6th to decide whether to take their courses for credit rather than for a grade. The S/U option is not factored in GPA and choosing this option will affect their overall grade point average. CoPPS, IPH students are asked to consult with their advisers before changing to the S/U option.
In addition to the temporary change in grading policy, the College is expressing its compassion for those enrolled in a most rigorous curriculum by the following new and specific actions including, the forgiveness of the fourth-course failure if occurred during the COVID-19 spring term. This option is done as a means of preventing permanent dismissal. Also, a remediation policy was created to capture qualifying students and allow them three weeks to secure a passing grade if failing due to the effects of COVID-19.
“I am elated that faculty, staff and learners are adjusting intuitively to the new communications medium. In fact, over the past four weeks, the College facilitated faculty and staff meetings, classes in all professional years, and individualized tutoring sessions employing the Zoom platform. Zoom has truly been a phenomenal tool for teaching and learning during the COVID-19 pandemic,”said Dr. Honeywell.