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Saturday, September 23, 2023

Academics & Research

UH yet to renew interim grading policy for spring as fall deadline approaches

As the deadline for submitting requests to take advantage of the interim grading policy approaches, the University has yet to announce whether the system will continue into the next semester. | File photo/The Cougar

With the fall semester coming to a close and professors submitting final grades, students can take advantage of UH’s interim pass-fail grading policy through their MyUH portals until Dec. 23 at 5 p.m.

Extended from Spring 2020 until the end of this term, the policy allows students to choose how each grade they receive appears on their transcript. The University has yet to announce whether the policy will be extended into Spring 2021. 

They can choose the Satisfactory or No Credit Reported options in courses for which they do not wish to receive a letter grade and do not want to count toward their GPA. All grades above a D- will receive an S and course credit, while all scores below a D- will become an NCR and will not award course credit. Students may have to retake courses with an NCR grade. 

Although she did not use the policy towards her grades, broadcast journalism senior Jeana’e Jackson finds the policy helpful for students after a difficult semester.

“This semester was the toughest semester of my entire academic career,” Jackson said. “For one, I felt like the semester was rushed. I feel like I did not receive the same effort I put into my classes from some professors, and it took a toll on me this semester.”

Jackson cites concerns about burnout, stress and the overall impact of pandemic conditions on mental health as reasons for keeping the policy in place. 

“Students are still transitioning, and it’s taken a toll on a lot of students’ mental health,” she said. “I have many colleagues who feel defeated and are not motivated after the workload from this semester. And unfortunately, with the times that we are in, I think that the interim grading system is necessary.”

Like Jackson, psychology junior Natalia Barrera also found the semester extremely difficult to navigate. Keeping up with her online classes was taxing, but she pushed through with help from her professors, who were easily accessible. 

“I would like UH to extend the pass-fail system for my peers who had to move back to their countries, lost their jobs or homes,” Barrera said. “The pandemic has been hard on everyone, and it is fair that the grading policy continues.”

Barrera also notes that the pandemic is still ongoing, and many students are still undergoing a rough time. She believes the grading system could be helpful as students continue to adjust.

“There are some students who had to mourn the loss of a family member or endure other traumatic experiences,” Barrera said. “The grading policy needs to still be in place for us. Expecting an exceptional performance from students is difficult right now.”

For more of The Cougar’s coronavirus coverage, click here.

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