Update from Provost Aaron J. Kuecker, March 26, 2020

Dear Students and Faculty

Trinity has revised its policy towards grading for the current courses in the Spring 2020 semester. This policy provides the option for Pass/Fail grading in some courses. You have all received a document that the policy, FAQs, and situations in which a decision to select Pass/Fail grading could be beneficial or disadvantageous. In addition, the document lists courses and academic programs that have external constraints that do not allow for Pass/Fail grading as an option.

It is important to note that Pass/Fail grading is not beneficial in every case. Student can consult with both their academic advisor and Student Success Coach about their decision-making in this regard.

The Pass/Fail grading request form in the student portal will be accessible beginning late next week.

The policy is designed to recognize that fact that the transition to online learning impacts students in disproportionate ways. In particular, while some students have access to quiet working space and ample technology, other students are in situations where they are caring for younger siblings, working to support their families, or living in areas where internet providers only offer limited bandwidth. It is our goal to ensure that these students are not negatively impacted by circumstances beyond their control.

What does this policy mean for grading of student work?
Professors will continue to grade all student work with regular grading scale. Students request Pass/Fail grading through their student portal on an electronic form that will go live late next week. Professors will submit regular letter grades for all students and, for students who selected Pass/Fail, the Registrar will transcript grades as either P or F.

What grade constitutes P or F?
In cases other than those prescribed by discipline-specific accreditation, licensure, or other constraints, a student earning a D- or higher will receive a P. P grades do not impact cumulative GPA positively or negatively. F grades negatively impact cumulative GPA.

How should professors communicate with students about Pass/Fail grading?
The documentation distributed to all students and faculty is designed to help students understand that there are situations in which Pass/Fail grading is not in a student’s best interest. Students with questions should consult these FAQs, as well as to their academic advisors and Student Success Coaches for conversation about their choices.

Along with the Pass/Fail policy for this spring, keep in mind that Trinity’s Incomplete policy also remains active and could be a positive option for students experiencing particular challenges as a result of this disruption.

Our goal in this season at Trinity is to support your flourishing even in the midst of these new circumstances. This policy is designed with that commitment in mind.


Provost Aaron Kuecker

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