Provost announces optional ‘Pass/D/Fail’ grading policy

Carrollton Gatton senior Linda Cruz has four tests, a presentation and a paper all due on “hell week,” the colloquial Gatton term for the week before finals. This year, hell week brings her more work than finals week, where she will just study for tests.

Cassady Lamb

The Office of the Provost announced a new grading policy option Tuesday morning in an email to faculty and staff.

This new policy, labeled “Pass/D/Fail” or “PDF,” is a grading policy held by many educational institutions across the country, including Columbia University and Princeton University.

The PDF policy “is designed to maintain academic standards and meet accrediting requirements while at the same time providing choice and flexibility for both undergraduate and graduate students as they navigate this challenging time,” Provost Cheryl Stevens said in the email.

PDF gives students the option to transition from traditional grading held by the university. Students are given the choice to do the switch until May 8.

A “P” will represent any grade of a “C” or better, and it will not impact GPA. A “D” will count as a traditional “D” and will be counted for credit and impact GPA. An “F” will represent a traditional failing grade, and will not be counted for credit and impact GPA.

The news comes two days after a WKU student, Georgia Hoffman, created a petition on the popular website to change the university’s traditional grading scale to one of a Pass/Fail.

The petition has more than 2,200 signatures, but it is unknown whether it had any impact on WKU’s decision for the new PDF policy.

Also included in the email is the announcement that the class withdrawal date has been pushed to May 1.

“If students believe at that point that they might earn a Fail in a course, after consultation with their advisor, they could choose to withdrawal in order to preserve their academic standing,” read the email.

More information on new policy changes can be found here.

News reporter Cassady Lamb can be reached at [email protected]. Follow her on Twitter at @lambp0p.