College offering expanded grading options for spring 2020

Due to the COVID-19 situation, the college has expanded its grading options for students for spring 2020. Please see below for options and crucial information. This is not new guidance or information, but it does seek to lay out all options in one place and answer common employee questions.
 
Standard grading: Students who have transitioned to all-online offerings will complete their courses, and faculty will assign a course grade as usual.

Pass/fail: Most courses will allow students concerned about their GPA at LCC to opt into pass/fail grading. However, students first must consult with an academic advisor to ensure this decision would not inadvertently impede their educational goals. Advisors are available by email, phone and live chat. Students enrolled in courses that result in licensure or certifications must also consult with their program advisor (lead faculty, director, associate dean, etc.) prior to making this decision to understand the possible implications of pass/fail on the ability to obtain such licenses or certifications. 

To receive a “pass” grade, the student must have received a grade of at least 2.0 in the course. Pass/fail grades are not calculated into students’ GPAs at LCC. However, the college cannot guarantee how other institutions will view a “pass” grade, or whether they will accept it for transfer. Please note that some courses at LCC are exempted from this pass/fail option specifically to help avoid negative outcomes. Courses for which pass/fail is not an option are listed on the college’s COVID-19 webpage.
 
Forms to request a pass/fail option will open on May 14, after final grades are available. All requests must be submitted by July 1, 2020.
 
Incomplete for non-paused spring 2020 courses: Students wishing an incomplete in non-paused courses must get approval from faculty prior to end of spring semester. When taking an incomplete, students do NOT need to register for the course again. Instead, they complete the remaining assignments for the course by themselves, without further instruction from their faculty. Students then submit the remaining assignments to their faculty, who will grade these assignments and give a final course grade. If these remaining assignments are not completed, the student will receive a course grade based on assignments submitted to date (i.e., missing the points of the lacking assignments). 

Students considering an incomplete should discuss the feasibility with their faculty.
 
Due to the COVID-19 situation, faculty may provide students with the option for an incomplete even if the course’s remaining work is greater than the usual “only a small portion…(for example, only 20% of the work…)” described in the college catalog. However, faculty should be aware that if the remaining assignments may require students to receive faculty input rather than minor consultation with the Learning Commons, an incomplete would not be conducive to student success and hence should NOT be offered.
 
Normally, when incompletes are given, instructors can specify the date that unfinished work must be completed by the student. However, due to the unusual circumstances, the deadline for completion of a spring 2020 incomplete for students not using VA benefits will be Monday, Nov. 30, 2020. For veteran students using VA benefits, the deadline will be May 10, 2021. Instructors should issue a grade change earlier if the work is completed before that date, but students have until the date specified above to complete the work.
 
Incomplete for paused spring 2020 courses: Many LCC courses with hands-on components had to be “paused” prior to completion, and are listed as “COVID19-Paused-Incomplete” on the college’s COVID-19 webpage. After much consideration of various options, the decision has been made to NOT extend the spring semester. Instead, faculty at the end of the semester will issue an incomplete grade to all students in a suspended/paused course, and the course will be restarted at a later time to be determined. 

Once dates for restart and completion for paused courses are determined, faculty will reach back out to their students with direction. In the meantime, students can wait for this contact. For veteran students using VA benefits, the final deadline for completion would be May 10, 2021.
 
Course withdrawal: The deadline for students to withdraw from a course via Self-Service Banner has been extended to May 9, 2020. Otherwise, the process for withdrawals has not changed. Students will not receive credit for a course from which they withdraw. The grade of W would appear on the transcript, and there would be no tuition refund. 

It is important to note that withdrawing from a course could cause negative financial aid implications, so students should consult with the Financial Aid department prior to making this decision.
 
For students worried about a grade, switching to pass/fail grading when the student has passed but with a grade lower than expected might allow a better outcome than withdrawal, because a pass grade (minimum 2.0) still allows students to receive credit for their course without impacting their GPA at LCC. Students weighing the merits of withdrawal versus pass/fail grading should consult with an academic advisor before making a decision. Students enrolled in courses that result in licensure or certifications must also consult with their program advisor (lead faculty, director, associate dean, etc.) prior to making this decision to understand the possible implications of pass/fail on the ability to obtain such licenses or certifications. Forms to request a pass/fail option will open on May 14, after final grades are available. All requests must be submitted by July 1, 2020.
 
Students who believe the option for course repeat or a tuition refund would be appropriate for a withdrawal due to the pandemic situation may submit a COVID-19 administrative appeal. Decisions will be made on a case-by-case basis, depending on the student’s applicable circumstances.
 
As always, please also refer to the fuller FAQs on LCC’s COVID-19 webpage.