RWU implements pass/no pass policy for spring 2020 courses

Undergrad students will be allowed to convert their grades for the spring 2020 semester to pass/no pass effective immediately, according to an all-student email sent out by President Miaoulis on March 27. Students have until June 1 to choose which classes they’d like to convert. 

According to the email, the decision was made to “mitigate the impact of the crisis on student academic success and personal well-being.” The pass/no pass classes will not count toward a student’s GPA. 

“Spring 2020 will always stand out in our memory as well as in the history of higher education as a time of generosity and care,” said Miaoulis in the email. “This policy change is just one example of the student-centered approach that defines the RWU academic community and ethos.” 

Sue Bosco, associate provost for academic affairs, told The Hawks’ Herald this decision was worked on by many people in the administration, with input from students and faculty. She said students were interested in the policy and faculty members have been asking about it. 

“Our primary concern has been the level of student stress and the conditions that might affect how students are able to learn and work,” Bosco said. “We felt like there was really no need to have added stress on students.” 

“I’ve been here 20 years and I’ve never seen such a far reaching policy. We’ve never had anything like this happen.” 

Many universities around the country, such as Harvard College and the University of Michigan, have adopted alternative forms of grading. RWU is one of the first in Rhode Island to adopt the pass/no pass system.

“We know it’s going to be a challenging time,” Bosco said. “I hope students find it helpful and it gives them something to help them complete their semester more successfully.”