COVID-19 Spring 2020 Grading Policy

New Grade Option and Course Withdrawal Extension

Q: What has changed about grading for Spring 2020 courses?

A:  A new grade option has been created for this semester. Students will be able to choose between the standard grade type (A-F) or the new PS/NS grade type for each eligible course completed in Express II or full-semester Spring 2020.  Students may choose the PS/NS option for one, some, or all their eligible courses.

  • Undergraduate (PS/NS): If the PS/NS grade type is selected, a PS will replace standard grades A through D-. An NS will replace standard grades F and WA.
  • Graduate (PS/NS): If the PS/NS grade type is selected, a PS will replace standard grades A-C. An NS will replace the standard grade F.

Q: Are all courses eligible for the PS/NS grade mode option?

A: No. Some courses are not eligible for the PS/NS option.  

  • The PS/NS grade type is only available for completed courses. An Incomplete (I) is not eligible for the PS/NS grade type.
  • The PS/NS grade type is not available for audit, repeat, and courses designated P/NP (pass/no pass), S/U (satisfactory/unsatisfactory) or IP (in-progress).
  • EDLS 100 Learning Strategies is not eligible for the PS/NS grade type.
  • Students may not request the “PS/NS” grade type for courses that are under review for academic dishonesty.

Q: Will courses graded with the PS grade type still fulfill curriculum requirements?

A:  Credit earned in courses graded PS can be used to fulfill major, minor, certificate, general education, and degree requirements. A standard letter grade is required for courses or programs that have a minimum grade requirement.

Q: If I cannot finish a course, can I withdraw instead of selecting the new PS/NS grade type?

A:  Yes. The deadline for students to academically withdraw from one or more full term or Express II courses has been be extended.  Students may withdraw between 12:01 am (EST) April 7, 2020 and 11:59 pm (EST) April 22, 2020 in Banner Self Service.  Students are responsible for clearing all registration holds in order to withdraw from a course.

Q: If I withdraw from a course during this time (April 7-22, 2020), am I eligible for a tuition refund?

A:  No.  Withdrawing from a course, or even all courses, during this extended withdrawal period will not make you eligible for a tuition refund.

The Process

Q: How will I view my grades?

A: On May 5, 2020, students will have access to their letter grades via the Significant Disruption (PS/NS) Grade Mode page in Banner Self-Service. Grades will not be located in the normal Student Grades channel in MyCharleston until they are finalized on May 7, 2020. Instructions on accessing grades in Banner-Self Service can be found on the Office of the Registrar webpage: https://registrar.cofc.edu/pdf/alternate-grade-ps-ns-guide.pdf 

Q: How will I select the PS/NS grading option?

A: Students will have two days to review their letter grades and make decisions regarding the new Significant Disruption PS/NS grade option. The opportunity to select the new PS/NS option will open for students in Banner Self-Service starting at 12:01 am (EST) May 5, 2020. The decision deadline is 11:59 pm (EST) on May 6, 2020. Students may change their selections during the two-day period (May 5th and 6th, 2020). All decisions are final as of 11:59 pm (EST) on May 6, 2020.  If you would like to select the PS/NS grade for any of your eligible courses, detailed instructions can be found on the Office of the Registrar webpage: https://registrar.cofc.edu/pdf/alternate-grade-ps-ns-guide.pdf 

Q: What if I know right now that I want the standard letter grade for all my courses?

A:  Standard letter grades (A-F) is the default.  If you do not want to select the PS/NS grade type for any of your courses, you do not need to take any action.

Q: If I want to select the PS/NS grade type, when will I need to decide?

A:  Students will have two days to view their letter grades and make decisions regarding the new Significant Disruption PS/NS grade option. The opportunity to select the new PS/NS option will open for students in Banner Self-Service starting at 12:01 am (EST) May 5, 2020. The decision deadline is 11:59 pm (EST) on May 6, 2020. Students may change their selections during the two-day period (May 5th and 6th, 2020). All decisions are final as of 11:59 pm (EST) on May 6, 2020. Students should plan to be available with access to a computer and internet during this time period.  Students who do not have access to a computer or internet during this time should contact the Office of the Registrar (843.953.5668 or email registrar@cofc.edu) prior to the deadline.

Making Your Decision

Q: Who should I talk to about making my decision?

A: In making the decision to retain standard grades or choose the new PS/NS grade type, it is critical for students to talk with their faculty, advisors, financial aid, and family.  The Center for Academic Performance and Persistence is a valuable resource for students making these decisions. Students should keep the following in mind:

  • A PS grade will earn credit hours but will not count in GPA calculations.
  • A NS grade will earn zero credit hours and will not count in GPA calculations.

Q: What factors should I consider when making this decision?

A:  Most students will choose to take the letter grade of C or better.  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.  Any student who cannot finish a course should consider withdrawing before the April 22, 2020 at 11:59 pm (EST) deadline.  Students who receive an F or WA grade will want to carefully consider the NS option. The Center for Academic Performance and Persistence has created a Decision Tree to provide guidance for students when considering the new grading option. 

Q: What if I am taking a class that requires a C or C- grade for my major or as a pre-requisite for another course, should I select PS?

A:  Several majors (e.g. Communication) and courses (e.g. MATH 111) have grade based requirements or pre-requisites, and these can only be satisfied by a standard letter grade. If you earn a letter grade that satisfies the program requirement or course pre-requisite, you do not need to do anything. Students with questions should consult with the Department or their advisor.

Q: What if my letter grade does not satisfy the C or C- program requirement or course pre-requisite?

A:  If you earn a passing grade, but do not meet the minimum grade requirement, you may select PS for Spring 2020. You will need to repeat the course in a future semester in order to meet the minimum grade requirement.

Q: How will selecting the new PS/NS grade type affect my GPA?

A:  A PS grade will earn credit hours but will not count in GPA calculations.  An NS grade will earn zero credit hours and will not count in GPA calculations.

Q: Will PS/NS grades count toward my State scholarship?

A: For South Carolina state scholarships (Palmetto Fellows, LIFE or SC HOPE), credit hours for the PS grade do count towards scholarship eligibility, but not the GPA criterion since the GPA is not impacted by the PS grade.  For questions regarding how the PS/NS grade type will impact scholarship eligibility, please email meritscholarships@cofc.edu.

Q: What if I am intending to transfer or need letter grades to appear on my transcript for review by a graduate school?

A:  If students anticipate needing their transcript to show a standard letter grade for transferability or future graduate school applications, the PS/NS grade type should not be selected.

Q: If I choose the PS/NS grade mode for a course, can I change my mind and go back to a letter grade at a later date?

A:  No.  Once you select the PS/NS grade type, the decision is permanent and cannot be changed.  

Q: How will selecting the PS/NS grade type affect my Academic Probation, STEP or First Year Impact Learning Contract?

A:  Students who are on any type of learning contact should contact the Center for Academic Performance and Persistence for guidance regarding their contract requirements and grade type selections.

Q: Can I repeat a course graded PS?

A:  Yes, a course may be repeated in a future term (in accordance with academic policy).  Only the standard grade type will be available.

Q: Will the PS/NS grade type be available in future semesters?

A:  No. The PS/NS grade type is only invoked during a time of significant disruption or closure as determined by the Provost and President of the College of Charleston.  Currently, the PS/NS grade type only applies to Express II and full-semester courses taken at the College of Charleston in Spring 2020.

Dean's List, President's List, Latin Honors

Q: Will the PS/NS grade type have an affect on the Dean’s List, President’s List, and Latin Honors (graduation)?

A:  Criteria for Dean’s List, President’s List, and Latin Honors remain unchanged; that is, only course credit earned at the College and graded with standard letter grades may be used to qualify. 

Official Transcripts

Q: Will anything appear on my transcript noting the Spring 2020 semester disruption?

A:  Yes. A notation will appear on all undergraduate and graduate official transcripts indicating significant disruption during the Spring 2020 semester.

Q: How will Spring 2020 grades appear on my transcript?

A:  Each course will show a standard grade type (A-F) or a PS or NS depending on the grade type selected.  Both grade types will not appear on the transcript.

  • Undergraduate (PS/NS): If the PS/NS grade type is selected, a PS will replace standard grades A through D-. An NS will replace standard grades F and WA. 
  • Graduate (PS/NS): If the PS/NS grade type is selected, a PS will replace standard grades A-C. An NS will replace the standard grade F.