Academics & Research News

UH officially extends interim grading policy through spring

UH has officially extended the interim grading policy through the end of Spring 2021, Provost Paula Myrick Short said in an email to the University community on Thursday morning.

After setbacks from the winter storm and the ongoing pandemic, Short decided it would be in the best interest of the students to bring back the pass/fail grading system, which will work the same as in past semesters.

Once students receive their end of semester grades, they will have the option to choose between pass/fail grading or the standard letter grading for their qualifying grades.

The pass/fail option gives students who earned a D- or below in a course to receive an NCR, no credit reported. Any grade above a D- will earn the student an S in that course, and receive course credit.

Earlier in the semester, health and human performance major Angela Rabalais began circulating a petition calling for bringing back the interim policy that now has over 7,000 signatures.

In the petition, Rabalais said students are going through unprecedented times, with their mental and physical health at risk affecting their academic performances.

“Hopefully most of us won’t have to use the policy, but we can have peace of mind now that we know it’s there,” the petition read.

Student Government Association president Jasmine Khademakbari, in a letter to Short on Tuesday, said the pandemic, along with the winter storm, caused financial and academic difficulties for students and a decline in their mental health.

“The added stress brought about by the winter storm in combination with the pandemic has been astronomical,” Khademakbari said in the letter. “Many UH students do not have the privilege of having academics be the sole focus in our lives.”

Khademakbari mentioned in the letter that without the interim grading policy, students may take a semester off or quit higher education entirely without the policy giving them an opportunity to maintain good academic standing.

In a news release, the #RiseUp campaign thanked the many student groups that worked to bring attention to the issue.

Relations director Mariana Cordero met with President Renu Khator and advocated for the policy’s extension.

“This decision is a defining moment in our semester,” the statement read. “It is our hope that we may continue to keep pushing and rally through difficult times and emerge stronger than ever before.”

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