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What Faculty Need to Know About UCF’s New Student “S/U” Grade Option

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From Dr. Michael D. Johnson, UCF Interim Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs

All of us care deeply about our students’ well-being and success. Juggling education, jobs and job loss, family responsibilities, and concerns about the future has become a struggle for many of our students. To alleviate student stress, and after consultation with deans and the Faculty Senate leadership, we have developed a Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory grading option that students can choose for their classes. Today, Interim President Seymour announced this option to students. I am writing to explain what this means for you with more specifics to follow in coming days.

Students will be able to elect satisfactory/unsatisfactory grading in any course. Faculty members will continue to assign grades as outlined in the syllabi. At the end of the semester, the grades you submit will be converted by the Registrar’s Office to either satisfactory or unsatisfactory, for students selecting this option. The grade designation will appear on their transcript with an annotation that the S/U option was offered this spring semester because of the pandemic.

Choosing this option might not be wise for a student in all circumstances. For example, there may be issues associated with financial aid, meeting major requirements, etc. We are developing information about these matters to help students decide, and to help advisors answer student questions. It will be important for students to discuss the option with advisors. This information will be available to students and advisors before the opt-in period begins.

In brief, this is how opt-in for students will work:

  • Undergraduate and graduate students may opt into S/U grading and may choose during a yet-to-be-determined time in April;
  • Students may choose course-by-course;
  • S/U grades will have no effect on GPA;
  • Courses with “S” grades will count toward degree requirements, but not necessarily toward majors (if, for example, a “B” is required in a certain course in an undergraduate major);
  • For students who opt into S/U grading:
    • Undergraduate grades of “A” through “C” will be replaced by “S”; “C-” and below will be replaced by “U”;
    • Graduate grades of “A” through “B-” will be replaced by “S”; “C+” and below will be replaced by “U”.

In very few cases, certain courses may be excluded from this opportunity. I am in discussion with deans about this and other finer details. In addition, the M.D. program, which is on a different academic calendar, is excluded from this program.

More details are coming soon about how students can opt in, deadlines, etc., along with information for students about the pros and cons.

The opt-in choice for students recognizes the very difficult time that they and all of us face and upholds UCF’s commitment to student success. I deeply appreciate the adjustments you have made in short order to keep advancing teaching and learning at UCF while navigating the personal challenges of your own. More about supporting faculty during this challenging time will come soon. Thank you.

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For the latest coronavirus developments at UCF, see the university’s Coronavirus website.