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Spring 2020 Grading Policy Update

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Updated Grading Policy for Spring 2020 Classes

Tennessee Wesleyan University has a long history of educating the next generation of leaders to serve the East Tennessee region and the world.  Our style of interaction between faculty and staff and students is highly personal and relational.

The COVID-19 crisis presented a real challenge to this model of education, but a challenge to which faculty and students have risen.  The faculty and administration of TWU acknowledge that the transition to online learning has not been without significant difficulties for some students.  In acknowledgment of these challenges the University has put in place a temporary policy for the Spring 2020 term allowing students to opt for a pass (P) or a no grade (NG) for up to 8 hours of course work. 

The TWU Academic Leadership Team has closely monitored the higher education landscape and watched as colleges and universities have relaxed requirements for transfer and for graduate school admission to accommodate P grades in pre-requisite courses. 

However, it is still very important that students understand the implications of opting for a P or NG grade designation.  For this reason, students will be presented with a petition form following the release of grades that allows them to request that a course be converted to P/NG.  This form will need to be signed by an advisor acknowledging that the student has been advised about the consequences of the decision.  Ultimately this decision is the individual student’s decision and is irreversible once approved. 


For student convenience, TWU has developed a decision making flowchart.  Please consult the questions in this chart as you make your decisions concerning classes for spring 2020 courses. 

Download Chart             Download Petition Form

Yes. Course instructors will award final letter grades (A-F) to students in Spring 2020 courses as usual upon completion of the course.

Students may petition to have a final letter grade changed to a ‘pass’ (P) or a ‘no grade’ (NG) on a course by course basis.  P and NG will have no effect on the student’s cumulative GPA.  P will indicate that the student has met the minimum standards for learning in the course and will be considered as a passing grade for general education, major, and minor requirements.  Course credit will be assigned.  NG will indicate that the student does not receive credit for the course and will have to repeat the course if it is required for their degree program.

All students may only petition up to 8 semester hours to be changed to P/NG.  Typical courses are 3 hour courses.  Some lab courses are 4 total hours.  This means that for most scenarios, two courses are the maximum number of courses that can be changed.

P will be assigned in courses assigned a grade of A-D.  NG will be assigned for students who received an F for most programs.  Exceptions exist for programs that have specific requirements including Education, Management Excellence, Dental Hygiene Nursing, and Social Work programs below. 

Education and Management Excellence students who have earned a C- or higher may choose the option of taking the grade of P. Education and Management Excellence students who earned below a C- may choose the option of NG.

Dental Hygiene students must earn the required 75% (C) to receive the “P” designation.  Students with course grades D or F may petition for the “NG” designation but will be required to repeat courses, as per current policy.

Nursing students must earn the required 80% (C) to receive the “P” designation.  Students with course grades D or F may petition for the “NG” designation but will be required to repeat the course, as per current policy.  

Social Work students must earn the required 76% (C-) to receive the "P" designation. Students with course grades D or F may petition for the "NG" designation but will be required to repeat the course, as per current policy.

No. The P/NG option is not available to students in graduate programs. 

Petition forms will be made available on Reading Day.  For Spring Semester 2020 graduating seniors have until 5:00pm Wednesday, May 6 to submit their P/NG request; all other students have until 5:00pm Wednesday, May 27 to submit their request.

No.  Certain courses, as determined by each academic department, may be exempted from this option.  For example, a department may determine to not allow a student to take a P/NG for a capstone course.  Please communicate with your advisor to determine what courses are exempt.

Possibly.  Many graduate programs do not acceptant pre-requisite courses awarded a P grade.  Some institutions are waiving this requirement for classes taken in the Spring of 2020.  Others have not released guidance for prospective students.  Switching to a P grade for a TWU course might result in having to take the course again for a letter grade to meet pre-requisite requirements for some graduate programs.  Keep in mind that many graduate and professional programs are very competitive.  In these instances letter grades may be preferred to a P grade, reducing your chance of acceptance. 

Possibly.  Many institutions have policies in place preventing the acceptance of credits awarded a P grade.  Some institutions are waiving that requirement for classes taken in the Spring of 2020.  Others have not released guidance for prospective students.  Switching to a P grade for a TWU course might result in having to take the course again for a letter grade for transfer to some institutions.

No.  Students who are approved for a P/NG grade will not be eligible for Dean’s List honors for the Spring 2020 academic term. 

Yes. Students who are approved for a P/NG grade will still be eligible for Latin honors upon graduation.

This answer will depend on the student athlete’s situation.  The P grade indicates that the student has earned course credit, but will not affect the GPA.  For student athletes needing to improve their GPA, this option might not be a good choice.  The NG grade indicates that the student has not earned credit for the course and will not affect the GPA.  The NAIA has stated that the GPA requirement and 24-hour rule will still be in effect for the fall semester of 2020.  Student athletes should inquire with their coach or the Faculty Athletic Representative to determine the impact on eligibility prior to petitioning for a grade change. 

This answer will depend on the student’s scholarship situation.  The P grade indicates that the student has earned course credit, but will not affect the GPA.  For student athletes needing to improve their GPA, this option might not be a good choice.  The NG grade indicates that the student has not earned credit for the course and will not affect the GPA.  Students should speak with TWU Student Financial Services prior to petitioning for a grade change. 

No. This is a student decision.  However, the petition form will require that the academic advisor sign stating that they have advised the student about the academic implications of a change to P/NG.  Advisors are encouraged to make an effort to make a student who is considering this option aware of the possible implications of a P or NG on their transcript.  Selection of a P/NG grade may imperil acceptance of credits for transfer or acceptance to graduate or professional programs.  These programs may require the student to repeat the course for a letter grade.

New probation and suspensions will not be assigned for the Spring 2020. If a student is on academic probation for the spring of 2020, the student will be removed from probation if retention standards are met.  Should the student not meet retention standards, the student will remain on probation for the Fall 2020 term.