UI adopts “Pass COVID/No Pass COVID” grading for spring semester

By Willie Cui, Staff Writer

The University Senate voted to pass EP.21.062 at their meeting Monday afternoon, giving students the option to elect for a “Pass COVID/No Pass COVID” grading mode that would not factor into GPA calculation.

Under the proposal, students with grades of D- or above can replace their grade with “Pass COVID,” which would show up on transcripts as “PZ” and count as course credit.

Students with grades below D- can replace it with “No Pass COVID” or “NZ” on their transcript and will not receive course credit. 

The proposal gives students a six-day window — from May 22 to May 27 —  to elect for “Pass COVID/No Pass COVID” this semester.

Students in Law, MD or DVM programs will not be able to use this option.

The proposal also extends the deadline to drop a course without a grade of W to 11:59 a.m. (CT) on “the last day of instruction” for all courses. 

For full semester and second term courses this would be May 5, and for first term courses, the deadline would be March 19.

At the Senate meeting, several faculty senators expressed concern over how the now-approved proposal might affect College of Education students.

Karla Möller, faculty senator and professor in Education, noted that the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) normally requires grades of at least C- for the University to recommend students for professional licensure.

Meghan Hazen, the University Registrar, responded that a member of the College of Education contacted ISBE and was told that ISBE “passed a dispensation” and “will accept grades as low as a D- towards certification.”

However, Jim Shriner, faculty senator and professor in Education specializing in special education, claimed that he had heard the opposite from his contacts in ISBE.

“We heard it differently for special education majors, that a C- was required,” Shriner said at the Senate meeting.

Nevertheless, Dana Yun, student senator and junior in Engineering, said that “in the grand scheme of our entire student population,” implementing the proposal would do more good for the students than a harm.

Yun also noted that last semester’s credit/no credit policy helped to “relieve a lot of stress for people,” even for students who did not end up using it. 

“I think we have to recognize that we may have saved lives,” Yun said. “And I think that’s so powerful.”

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