[image-1]A new grading policy will give College of Charleston students generous latitude to make sure the impact of a semester wracked by campus closures and COVID-19 precautions is noted on their transcripts.

Monday morning, CofC notified students of the addition of a new pass-fail grade for classes and a course withdrawal extension for the Spring 2020 semester. Under the new system, referred to as PS/NS, grades between A and D- will be considered a pass (PS), while withdrawals from absences and grades of F will be considered a fail (NS). Incomplete courses are not available for the PS/NS option.

“The amount of work and creativity that went into drafting this Policy is impressive including research into other institutions’ responses, reviewing our existing policies and seeking and using input from faculty, staff, and students,” said Frances C. Welch, the College’s interim provost, in a campus email on Monday. [content-1] PS/NS grades will not count toward GPA scores, so students are encouraged to be smart about which classes they choose to grade in the new system. All courses passed with a PS will still provide their original credit hours. If students don’t want to select the grading format now, they can wait to see their final grades at the end of the semester, at which time they’ll have 48 hours to decide whether to apply the PS/NS grade scale or accept the standard letter grade.

“In general, it is likely that most students will chose to take the letter grade of C or better,” the school recommends on their website. “For a C- grade, students should check their program requirements. Students who receive a D+, D, or D- grade may want to consider the PS grade.”
[content-2] If students still want to withdraw from a course, the deadline for withdrawal has also been extended until April 22.

The Citadel will not provide a pass-fail option for their students, according to communications director Kim Keelor-Parker, but they have extended the deadline to withdraw from a class to April 28 for the Corps of Cadets.

This new policy is in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The outbreak has already forced significant interruptions to the education system in South Carolina, forcing schools to shift to online classes. The College is still encouraging students to stay away from facilities unless its necessary to enter them and is conducting all classes online for the rest of the semester.