The policy, which was approved recently by the college's Educational Policy Committee and goes into effect this fall, stipulates that final grade changes for undergraduates enrolled in A&S courses should be made "only for exceptional reasons," such as illness. Furthermore, students must have already finished most of the course work to receive an extension, and must arrange a specific date by which they will complete requirements.
"These provisions will help resolve something which, while not a widespread problem, has been a recurring issue," Fr. Barth said. "The policy simply establishes some clear guidelines and expectations for determining whether it is appropriate to provide a student the opportunity to complete course requirements beyond the end of a semester."
Requests for extensions to complete a specific assignment, such as a final paper or examination, will be considered, though requests to complete a major portion of the course work will not. The faculty member granting the extension then will submit an "incomplete" for the course grade and arrange the completion date with the student. The details must be reported to the appropriate A&S associate dean.
Any grade changes must be handed in for approval by the A&S associate dean by a specific deadline: For courses given the previous fall, the agreed-upon date must be no later than six weeks after the beginning of the spring semester, and no later than Aug. 1 for spring courses. Incomplete grades will revert to "F"s after those dates, and will be considered final grades.
"With this policy in place, there is now less room for misunderstanding," Fr. Barth said. "It brings far more clarity to the process and to the agreement between faculty member and student about what needs to be done and when."
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