UW students can request ‘S/U’ grading for spring semester - Casper, WY Oil City News
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UW students can request ‘S/U’ grading for spring semester

File; Brendan LaChance, Oil City News

CASPER, Wyo. — University of Wyoming students have the opportunity to shift to a “satisfactory/unsatisfactory” grade for the current semester.

A statement from the University of Wyoming, sent Thursday afternoon, says that the decision was made by the UW Board of Trustees on March 26. According to the statement the decision was made amid concerns of the COVID-19 pandemic and the university’s plan to move all coursework online by the end of March.

Students have until mid-April to make the change to “S/U” grading.

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Here is the full UW statement:

University of Wyoming students will have the opportunity to shift from conventional letter grades to “satisfactory/unsatisfactory” grading for courses they take during the current spring 2020 semester.

The UW Board of Trustees approved the change today (Thursday) in response to a recommendation from the university’s administration. The plan resulted from UW’s move to online course delivery March 30 for the remainder of the spring semester, prompted by concerns over the novel coronavirus COVID-19.

“We believe the optional ‘S/U’ or ‘pass/fail’ grading strategy will ease the necessary transitions into remote course delivery due to the COVID-19 pandemic, relieve undue stress and promote strong engagement,” Provost Kate Miller says.

Students will have until April 17 to submit requests to change from conventional grading to “S/U” grading under the new policy, which applies to all undergraduate and graduate coursework, not just elective courses.

Undergraduate students will be required to consult with and obtain approval of their instructors and academic advisers before making the change. Graduate students must receive approval from their major professors. An exception request to change their grading option will be available on the Office of the Registrar’s website and must be filled out by students and electronically signed/approved by their advisers or major professors.

Existing university regulations allow students to request “S/U” grading for elective courses during the normal drop-add period, which ended Feb. 5 this semester. The board’s action is a temporary exception that extends the deadline to request “S/U” grades to April 17 for this semester only.

As is the case at many universities, “S/U” grading long has been provided as an option for UW students to take courses in subject matter areas outside their majors and related fields so that their academic experience may be broadened, without harming their grade-point averages. But, with the move to online instruction this semester, UW is making “S/U” grading an option for students to take in all undergraduate and graduate coursework, including general education courses — not just elective courses.

Neither a “satisfactory” nor an “unsatisfactory” grade has an impact on a student’s GPA. But an “unsatisfactory” grade does not allow the student to receive course credit.

“If students are applying to graduate school, including professional schools, or if their lives are not disrupted dramatically by the coronavirus crisis, it may be beneficial for them to stay with conventional grading and have letter grades displayed and calculated into their GPAs,” Miller says. “Students should discuss possible federal aid impacts with their advisers and/or the Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid before requesting the switch.”

UW is one of many universities to expand use of this option because of the move to online instruction due to COVID-19 during the spring 2020 semester. Others include Colorado State University, the University of Nebraska, Iowa State University, the University of Minnesota, Indiana University, the University of Maryland, Georgetown University and Duke University.

University of Wyoming Statement March 26, 2020

The Latest Statistics from the Wyoming Department of Health:

What to do if you are feeling sick: In the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak, the Casper-Natrona County Health Department says that people who are feeling sick or exhibiting symptoms should contact their primary physician.

If you do not have a primary care provider, and live in Natrona County, please contact the COVID-19 hotline, operated by the Casper-Natrona County Department of Health. The line is open Monday – Friday 8:00 am – 5:00 pm 577-9892. Hotline services are intended for Natrona County residents and may not be able to provide specific information to persons calling from out of county.

Officials ask that you please do not self-report to the Emergency Room. Persons experiencing problems breathing should call 9-11.

For general inquiries and non-symptom related questions about COVID-19, please contact the Casper-Natrona County Health Department via email: covid@cnchd.org

  • Practice Social Distancing by putting distance between yourself and other people. This is especially important for people who are at higher risk of getting very sick.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick
  • Stay home if you’re sick
  • Cover coughs and sneezes. Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow.
  • Clean AND disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily. This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks.

A list of area closures attributed to COVID-19 are available here.