WIU announces new pass or fail option for students

MACOMB, Ill. (NEWS3) — Western Illinois University announced a major change to its grading option for students.

Since the remaining of the spring semester is online due to COVID-19, the WIU Faculty Senate along with the Council on Admissions, Graduation and Academic Standards (CAGAS) approved a new measure. This means students will have the option of pass/fail grading for the spring 2020 semester. It applies to full-semester and second eight-week courses.

A letter sent to faculty Friday afternoon informed teachers that any spring 2020 undergraduate student who receives an undergraduate course grade of D- or above may choose to take the pass/fail grading option.

The approval also means “P” or passing grades earned in spring 2020 only, will not count against the 12 semester hour maximum of general elective pass/fail credit allowed for graduation. General education and major and minor course requirements may be fulfilled with those “P” grades.

Officials said students need to talk with their academic advisor or faculty before deciding on selecting the options.

“Electing a Pass/Fail grading option may negatively impact a student’s ability to obtain professional credentials/licensure following graduation, or to be accepted into postbaccalaureate graduate or professional school programs,” WIU Faculty Senate Chair Christopher Pynes said in the letter to faculty.

Officials said students should be aware that a “P” grade might not meet departmental/school graduation requirements or future course prerequisites that have a minimum grade specified and that it is not included in the calculation of the students grade point average. 

The new option cannot be used under the grade replacement policy to replace the GPA impact of a prior course attempt and it cannot be reversed after May 20

WIU sent a letter to students, faculty and staff two weeks ago, informing them the university is extending its withdrawal deadline. The new deadline for students to withdraw from regularly scheduled spring 2020 courses was moved to April 26. This includes withdrawing from individual courses or requesting a total withdrawal from the university. If a student withdraws after the 10th day of the semester, WIU will not issue a refund but the student will receive a “W” grade on their WIU transcript.

In order to opt in to the pass/fail grading option, undergraduate students must email the WIU Office of the Registrar at R-Office@wiu.edu between May 13 and May 20 with a copy to their academic advisor, identifying which course(s) they would like to switch to pass/fail.