The transition to remote classes raises many challenges and there is no single solution that meets the needs of every course, instructor and student. Below you will find information on Stevens’ grading policy, appropriately adjusted to deal with the situation on hand, and recommendations to guide you.
Updated May 13, 2021
- Changes to the grading policy have been adopted for the fall 2020 and spring 2021 semesters.
- The information about class guidelines and procedures are intended only as recommendations. Faculty members are the experts in their courses and subjects; they will determine how best to structure their material, exams, and labs, and will in turn communicate this to their students.
New Grading Policy for Undergraduate Students
All undergraduate students at Stevens will be permitted to convert ONE course used toward undergraduate requirements to pass/fail grading for the spring 2021 semester.
The course for which undergraduate students receive a passing (P) grade will count toward degree requirements. Note that this overrides some departmental or school/college policies. At the end of the semester, all faculty will submit their course grades (A-F) online to the Registrar’s Office per the Stevens Grading Policy.
Students will have until May 28, 2021 to change one course to pass/fail grading.
This option also applies to graduate courses, either originally taken through online or on-campus, to fulfill undergraduate degree requirements.
Students may decide to make the conversion in consultation with the Office of Undergraduate Academics. This advisory conversation will be a very important part of the process to ensure students understand the implications of electing the pass/fail option.
The academic leadership chose this adjustment to the policy after reviewing decisions being made at many other institutions across the country. Further guidance and procedures for this option will be communicated to you and the students soon.
A pass/fail grade in a class will not contribute towards the student’s calculated undergraduate GPA.
Note that for graduate students, and undergraduate students taking classes for graduate credit, there will be no change in the grading policy that is currently in effect.
Additional questions about the grading policy for fall 2020 should be emailed to [email protected].
Undergraduate Student Financial Aid and Scholarship Renewal for 2020-21
To relieve some anxiety about scholarship and financial aid renewal for next year, Stevens is taking the steps below. We are committed to assisting students who are experiencing academic difficulty due to COVID-19 and will be as flexible as possible as we assess eligibility for financial aid and scholarship renewal. For initial questions, please contact the Office of Financial Aid.
- The 3.20 GPA renewal requirement for the Presidential, Ann P. Neupauer, and Clark Scholarships has been suspended for the 2019-2020 academic year. However, students receiving these scholarships must meet Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) standards for the scholarships to be renewed for the 2020-21 academic year.
- Satisfactory academic progress (SAP) standards for renewal of federal, state and institutional scholarship and grant aid is comprised of a minimum GPA requirement and progress toward completion of the student’s degree program. Students who elect to use the pass-fail option will not jeopardize renewal providing they continue to make progress toward their degree (earn at least 67% of the credits attempted).
- Students not meeting satisfactory academic progress standards (SAP) may appeal. Stevens’ appeal policy considers all extenuating circumstances, which is inclusive those related to the COVID-19 outbreak (illness of student or family member, compliance with quarantine period or disruption resulting from the outbreak). Students who are not making SAP will receive notification after grades are submitted and instructions on how to appeal via email in late June.
Guidelines for Teaching Continuity, Including Online Exams, Lab Classes and Design Classes
Our faculty will be flexible and accommodating without compromising educational integrity. Instructors will have the opportunity to revise their syllabus for the semester. Assignments may change, but additional assignments should not be added unless they are to be used in lieu of an exam. All instructors will revise syllabi with an updated schedule, assignment and grading information and post them on Canvas by Friday, March 27.
The following guidelines and best practices for exams, lab classes, and design classes will be considered:
- Ask students to sign the Honor System Pledge.
- Change an exam to another kind of assessment, such as a term paper.
- Change an exam to a series of assessments worth fewer points, such as quizzes and online presentations.
- Use open-book exams with appropriate time restrictions.
- When using online proctoring tools, do not require students to turn on a webcam.
- Should the exam be conducted online, plan to offer a “trial quiz” first, during the week of March 23rd, to allow for a test run prior to the launch of the exam, which you may plan to offer the following week or later in the semester.
- Use previously available video recordings (produced either at Stevens or other institutions) to demonstrate experiments.
- For critical demonstrations with no available recording, instructors may go to the lab to broadcast or record for online teaching. Please get permission to access the lab ahead of time. It is imperative to follow strict protocols for safety and protection from the coronavirus.
- Use online instructional resources as much as possible.
- Modify the scope and direction of design projects to avoid utilizing any on-campus resources, such as the machine shop access, assembly spaces, labs, and travel.