Academic Policy Updates in Response to COVID-19

In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, the College of Wooster is building flexibility into academic policies so that students have more options than they typically do regarding course enrollments and grading practices, etc.

Can I take my spring classes Pass-Fail?

The College is temporarily broadening the policies on electing a pass-fail grading structure (for courses other than Independent Study). For Spring Semester 2020:

Students may elect a Pass-Fail grading option for any course (including those in a major/minor)

Special note (wording TBD) on transcript noting unique policy changes specific to Spring Semester 2020 regarding pass-fail counting toward the major.

Students may elect as many courses as they wish on a Pass-Fail grading structure. Courses elected as Pass-Fail for Spring Semester 2020 will not count toward the maximum number of Pass-Fail courses that a student may take at Wooster.

The deadline for electing a Pass-Fail grading option is Monday, May 4 at 8:00 am.

Independent Study (-45100, -45200) will remain in the standard IS grading system.

How do I petition for course additions, drops, etc?

All petitions for course additions, drops, grade changes, double major proposals, etc. will be completed online.

What is the petition process?

The petition process will be more streamlined than usual. For most petitions or actions, there will be no required advisor or course instructor signatures. The Dean for Curriculum and Academic Engagement will work with the Registrar’s office to make decisions about each petition. In cases when an action may disrupt a student’s path to graduation, we may seek additional consultation. We normally process petitions within 24-72 hours, and we will try to keep this pace. Students will receive e-mail communication when a decision about any petition is made.

Although no advisor signature is required, the Dean for Curriculum and Academic Engagement encourages all students to consult with their advisors before taking any actions. In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is recommended that students e-mail their advisors to request consultation.

What is the deadline by which I need to drop a course?

The College is temporarily extending the deadline for dropping a course. For Spring Semester 2020: Students may drop any course by Friday, May 1 @ 4:00PM.

The minimum enrollment of 3.0 credits remains in effect. Requests to drop enrollment below 3.0 credits will require additional documentation via the “Other academic petitions” form.

What is the plan for Fall Semester?

It is our absolute intention to open in the fall with everyone back on campus. The news we hear from CDC, Dr. Fauci and our governor makes us confident that we will be back to our desired state -- providing the nation’s best opportunities for research, learning, and preparation for a life of purpose, by the time the College opens in late August.

However, student safety and well-being is our top priority. So, we have carefully developed backup plans – some quite creative – to make sure our students can still receive the type of personal, mentored education they expect and we are charged with delivering even if the pandemic continues. We are very fortunate to have the resources to do so, and our staff and faculty are ready to support students’ growth and learning in any circumstance.

Is there an I.S. Submission grace period?

The current I.S. deadline is Wednesday, March 25. The Registrar’s Office has made alternative/electronic submission possible (with an electronic, individualized IS completion pin for students!)

This Deadline Remains. However, the standard policy/procedures of a required petition for any late submissions is delayed until Thursday, April 2. In other words, there is a 1 week grace period where I.S. projects may be submitted without a petition. After 11:59PM on Wednesday, April 1, students must petition the Dean for Curriculum and Academic Engagement to develop a plan for completing and submitting their I.S. The following information was shared with students, and these policies/procedures apply, effective April 1, 2020.

What happens if I miss the deadline?

“Any delay in turning in a thesis (project) beyond the deadlines specified above automatically establishes the grade of ‘I’ for the thesis. The conditions for changing the ‘I’ to a passing grade will be established by the Dean for Curriculum and Academic Engagement after consultation with the student’s adviser. The ‘I’ automatically becomes ‘NC’ two weeks after the deadline for the submission of the thesis ...” (Faculty Handbook: Section 3.E.3.)

How do I convert an Incomplete into a passing grade?

The student must write a petition to his or her Independent Study adviser and the Dean for Curriculum and Academic Engagement indicating the reasons why the thesis/project was submitted late.

The Independent Study adviser must indicate in writing his or her support for the student’s petition and submit this statement to the Dean for Curriculum and Academic Engagement.

Upon review of the petition and statement of support, and if circumstances warrant, the Dean may approve the removal of the grade of ‘I’ and will indicate this to the Registrar, student, and adviser. (Faculty Handbook: Section 3.E.4.)

If I am granted an extension will it impact my grade?

“As appropriate, the adviser may take the late submission into consideration in assigning a final grade to the Independent Study Thesis/Project.” (Faculty Handbook: Section 3.E.4.)

“No thesis turned in after the deadline will receive a grade of Honors without the unanimous vote of the department and the approval of the Dean for Curriculum and Academic Engagement.” (Faculty Handbook: Section 3.E.3.)