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The Clarion

The Student News Site of Bethel University

The Clarion

The Student News Site of Bethel University

The Clarion

Classes to be graded with pass/fail system


A faculty email from Associate Provost Deborah Sullivan-Trainor Wednesday night announced that ‘pass/fail’ will be the default grading system for most spring semester classes.

By Zach Walker

Bethel administration has decided to transition from traditional letter grades to a “pass/fail” system for most classes through the end of the semester.

The system, which is officially titled “S/U” or “Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory” will apply to all classes except those that were already taught online before the transition to virtual learning.

“I think that moving to pass/fail will help to relieve the emotional stress that everyone is feeling at this time,” Dean of Arts and Humanities Barrett Fisher said. “It acknowledges that both faculty and students are experiencing a learning environment that neither had anticipated.”

Classes in departments with licensing requirements will also retain traditional letter grades. Deans of those departments will reach out to faculty and students with that information.

Following the new system, students who receive a letter grade of D or higher will be granted an S. A letter grade of F is equal to a U, or “Unsatisfactory.”

Professors may require students to complete all classwork and tests in order to receive a grade of S.

If a student wishes, he or she can decide to be graded with the traditional system by submitting a request by May 1. More information about the process will be communicated at a later date.

“I worry that students won’t put in as high a quality of work because of the low standards to pass,” Psychology Professor Joel Frederickson said. “But for students who have COVID-19 or whose families have been severely impacted by COVID-19, it could really help relieve some stress for them.

This story will be updated as more information is announced.


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