Grading accommodations, exclusively in spring 2020 semester

Posted on April 3, 2020

Dear Campus Community,

With compassion and accessibility as our guiding principles, Fresno State is focused on ensuring the academic success and retention of all students. Given the current circumstances, we are proud that our faculty are resilient in transitioning to virtual instruction, creative in delivering instruction and understanding of our students’ individual situations.

Exclusive to spring 2020, Fresno State will replace all grades of an F with a “no credit” grade (NC). The F grade will be removed from all grade rosters and will be replaced with a NC.

In addition, undergraduate students will be allowed to petition to switch B and C grades to a “credit” grade (CR).  Students who earn a D can petition to switch the grade to a NC. 

Graduate students will be allowed to petition to switch B grades to CR. Letter grades, C and D, can be switched to NC.

These options will be made available to students beginning on Monday, April 27, and will end on Tuesday, May 26. Exceptions to this deadline may be allowed by the registrar on a case-by-case basis.

Please note, an academic department will be able to request to opt out of the above-explained arrangement for specific classes. To opt out, the department shall write a memo explaining the reason the class should not permit CR/NC. The request will be evaluated by the dean, who will then send it to the provost for final approval.

Departments may have some classes opt out for the following possible reasons:

  1. A course is tied to a credential program.
  2. A course is tied to a licensing board that requires students receive grades.
  3. A course is part of an accredited program that requires students receive letter grades.

If a department does not opt out, a grade of CR in a major course would count toward completion of that department’s major requirement, as a one-time exception for spring 2020.

For students, some reasons to maintain letter grades include the following:

Financial Aid Eligibility

A student who does not earn letter grades in a particular term may jeopardize their financial aid eligibility for subsequent terms. To ask about your specific case, contact the Office of Financial Aid at 559.278.2182 or email financialaid@mail.fresnostate.edu.

Graduate and Professional School Admission and/or Certification and Licensure

  • A number of licenses, certifications and credentials require letter grades in applicable courses.
  • Some graduate or professional programs require grades in prerequisite or major courses for admission.
  • Credential students must maintain a GPA of 3.0 or greater in order to enter clinical practice and be recommended for credentialing.

Student Veterans

Student veterans must receive letter grades for enrolled courses or they stand to lose benefits. In the case of veterans, the registrar may change a “no credit” grade to an F to avoid having a negative impact on their financial aid.

Student-Athletes

Student-athletes must earn at least 6 (not 9) units with letter grades each semester to be considered as making progress toward a degree and remain eligible for their sports. Unless the NCAA changes this policy for spring 2020, student-athletes must abide by this requirement.

International Students

International students must complete a sufficient number of units with a letter grade to maintain immigration status. Also, an unauthorized withdrawal (WU) grade adversely affects immigration status.

Students on Academic Probation

Students on academic probation need to complete courses for a letter grade as they strive to raise their GPA above a 2.0. A grade of CR will not positively impact their GPA. The dean of undergraduate studies can grant an exception on a case-by-case basis.

Currently, there is a limit of 24 (not 18) units of CR coursework that can count to fulfill the requirements of a baccalaureate degree. We are still waiting to hear from the CSU’s Chancellor’s Office if the 24 (not 18) units allowed for CR will be relaxed.

By collaborating closely with academic and administrative colleagues, in addition to the ASI president, we collectively hope these accommodations are helpful for our students as they strive to successfully complete the spring 2020 term and beyond.

Sincerely,
Saúl Jiménez-Sandoval, Ph.D.
Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs

Carolyn Coon, Ph.D.
Dean of Students and Acting Vice President for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management