University Senate approves temporary alternative to withdrawal grade, creates syllabi update

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The University of Connecticut’s University Senate approved a new temporary grade to serve as an alternative to the W (withdrawal) grade. Photo by Avery Bikerman/The Daily Campus.

The University of Connecticut’s University Senate approved a new temporary grade to serve as an alternative to the W (withdrawal) grade as well as an updated syllabi policy to ensure that professors are providing students with an accurate and comprehensive syllabus on the first day of class, according to University Senate minutes.   

These two policies were voted on during the March 1 meeting by the scholastic standards committee and subsequent information was shared with university staff through Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs Carl Lejuez.  

The new grade, reflected on transcripts as ‘No Record COVID’ (NRC), will better show employers and higher-ed programs that the grade was received during the pandemic, and heavily impacted by it. 

The [new grade] will “provide students who withdraw from courses an option to note that the W grade was received during the height of the COVID pandemic,” Lejuez said in the email.  

Students can find the form to request a class withdrawal, as well as the NRC option on their transcript, through the Office of the Registrar’s website. This form is due April 28. For previously withdrawn courses, eligible students will receive an email later in the semester once the NRC request portal becomes available. 

In order to have eligibility to convert the W grade to an NRC grade, the student must have been approved to withdraw from a course in any semesters held in 2020, along with winter and spring 2021. Students must also be either undergraduate, Ratcliffe Hicks, graduate, non-degree or Pharm D.  

The University Senate also voted to amend their By-Laws, Rules, and Regulations regarding professors creating and distributing their syllabi for their respective courses, which would ensure students are provided with the necessary information they need to make wise decisions regarding their course load.  

“Instructors shall specify what will be taught, when and how it will be taught, when and how learning will be assessed, how grades will be assigned and (for distance education courses) how student identity will be authenticated,” according to the March 1 meeting minutes. 

After April 5. 2021, instructors of any course, internship or independent study must provide students with comprehensive syllabi in writing on the first day of class. But, these changes do not apply to UConn Law, Medicine, or Dental Medicine.  

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