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Miami University announces extensions for alternative grading options


Miami University’s Division of Student Life announced several policy changes and extended deadlines regarding course credit options on its Instagram story Wednesday. 

Students are now able to take a grade of incomplete — “IU” for all undergraduate courses and “IG” for all graduate level courses — at any time during the spring 2020 semester. The deadlines to withdraw from undergraduate classes and the deadline to elect for a credit/no credit grading option were also moved to April 17. This is a change from the original February deadline.

The credit/no credit grading option was already available to students but has been expanded with this policy change.

“The [credit/no credit] option will also include more courses than typically available for this semester only,” the Division of Student Life wrote on its Instagram page. 

Jeffrey Wanko, associate provost and professor in the Department of Teacher Education, said these changes have been made to allow for students to adjust to remote instruction and complications moving off campus.

The credit/no credit grading system is not to be confused with a pass/fail grading system. Unlike failing a course on a pass/fail grading system, Wanko said, not earning credit for a class on a credit/no credit grading system does not negatively affect a student’s GPA. He emphasized that the university supported the credit/no credit option rather than a pass/fail option in order to give students an advantage in the event of course failure. 

Electing to take an incomplete credit means after an agreement is made between a student and their instructor, coursework can be completed at a later date to receive a standard letter grade. Students who choose this option are now able to complete coursework for spring 2020 courses by the end of the fall 2020 semester. 

“[Electing for an incomplete credit is] a good solution for some students so that they can be in the right frame of mind to be working on [course] material,” Wanko said. “I advise faculty to help understand what students are making the request for and whether or not [taking] this extended time would be a good idea for them to do that.”

Although the deadline was extended to withdraw from spring 2020 courses, according to Miami’s current course withdrawal policies, full-time undergraduate students are still required to be enrolled in a minimum of 12 credit hours. In order to withdraw from a course and to convert a course to a credit/no credit grading system, students must contact their instructor to make a request.

This comes two weeks after a petition was created to campaign for all Miami courses to convert to a credit/no credit grading system. As of March 25, the petition garnered almost 7,400 signatures. Although neither the Division of Student Life nor Wanko attributed the policy change decision to the petition directly, both mentioned public concern as an important factor.

“We’re sharing all we know right now — the administration is working hard on details and creating a system that will make this work,” the Division of Student Life wrote on its Instagram page.

Both the provost’s office and the Division of Student Life indicated more information would be available in the near future. Wanko said the registrar’s office was currently running systems tests to evaluate how policies on course changes are best implemented and might change in the future.

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Wanko indicated that as the coronavirus pandemic evolves, academic deadlines would have to be continually reevaluated as new concerns arise.

More information on how to withdraw from classes and updates on the division’s policies regarding coronavirus can be found on Miami Division of Student Life’s linktree.  Information regarding incomplete course credits is also available on the Miami registrar’s website.