Interim Academic Policies - COVID-19

In light of COVID-19, the Academic Senate and the Provost’s Office are reviewing Saint Mary's College's academic policies and working to develop suitable temporary, interim policies and processes. Below are APPROVED new policies and modifications to exisiting academic policies. Additional policies and processes are under review. The list of those may be found HERE.

Undergraduate Academic Calendar

(Applies to Spring 2020 undergraduate programs and all School of Liberal Arts graduate programs)

  • New deadline - Submission of Spring 2020 Mid-term Grades: April 3

  • New deadline - Submission of grades for Incompletes from Fall 2019 and JanTerm 2020:  April 3

  • New deadline - Withdrawal from Spring 2020 courses without academic penalty:  May 1

  • Extended - Registration Approval Process (Advising Period): Apr 14-May 1 

  • New Dates - Registration for Fall 2020

    • Apr 30 Senior Registration 

    • May 4-6 Fall 2020 Registration 

    • May 13 Overload Registration- register for a 5th course 

 

Graduate and Professional Studies Academic Calendars

    Kalmanovitz School of Education

    • Extension of Masters Thesis and Dissertation Deadlines. Currently, Masters theses and Doctoral dissertation defenses are given a deadline of 30-days after the end of the spring term for completion in the Spring. For spring 2020, Masters candidates and Doctoral dissertation defenses will be given a deadline of 60-days after the end of the spring term for completion in the Spring.

    School of Economics and Business - Winter Quarter

    • New deadline - Submission of Winter Quarter 2020 Final Grades: April 3

    School of Liberal Arts

    • Spring 2020 SoLA Graduate Program Calendars. Dates and deadlines will continue follow the undergraduate semester calendar, including any modifications (see Undergraduate Academic Calendar section, above).
    • Extension of Masters Thesis Deadlines. MFA in Creative Writing will extend the thesis deadline for Spring 2020 to June 15

     

    Undergraduate Academic Policies

    • Academic Standing. Academic Standing review following the Spring 2020 term will use cumulative and major GPAs, calculated following the processing of students' letter grades vs. P/F grading decisions. After the calculations are completed, students whose recalculated cumulative and/or major GPA would improve their academic standing will improve accordingly. Students whose recalculated cumulative and major GPA or Spring 2020 term GPA would decrease their academic standing will be permitted to retain their current (as of March 15, 2020) academic standing through the Fall 2020 term. Academic Standing categories remain unchanged.
    • Transfer Credit Acceptance. We acknowledge that, like SMC, higher education institutions worldwide have created interim academic policies, and transfer courses taken at accredited institutions during the Spring or Summer of 2020 that do not conform to our regular policy will be considered for acceptance of credit and for application to degree requirements.

    • Pass/Fail Grading. In consideration of the significant disruptions this term, all undergraduate students will be permitted to convert any of their courses to Pass/Fail grading for the Spring 2020 semester. Details and guidance for students and advisors may be found here.

      • At the end of the Spring 2020 semester, all faculty will submit their course grades (A through F) to the Registrar. Students will have 7 days AFTER the date on which final grades are posted to convert course(s) to Pass/Fail grading. 

      • There is no limit on the number of Spring 2020 courses a student can convert to pass/fail and students can decide on a course-by-course basis.  

      • If a student exercises the Pass/Fail option for a course, any grade of D- or better will convert to a passing (P) grade. 

      • All courses that receive a passing (P) grade will count toward degree requirements, including core curriculum, major, and minor requirements and prerequisites, which overrides some departmental or college policies. 

      • Students will consult their advisors prior to their selection of courses to move to a P/F grading format. This advisory conversation will be a very important part of the process to ensure students understand the implications of electing the Pass/Fail option. Once a decision has been made by the student, it cannot be revoked. 

    • Community Engagement courses - Students who complete their Spring 2020 CE-designated courses will receive full CE credit. Faculty members will make arrangements with their students to adapt class requirements appropriately.

     

    Graduate and Professional Studies Academic Policies

    • Academic Standing.  Academic Standing review following the Winter 2020 quarter, Spring 2020 quarter, Spring 2020 semester, and Summer 2020 trimester terms will use cumulative and major GPAs, calculated following the processing of students' letter grades vs. P/F grading decisions. After the calculations are completed, students whose recalculated cumulative and/or major GPA would improve their academic standing will improve accordingly. Students whose recalculated cumulative and major GPA or Spring 2020 term GPA would decrease their academic standing will be permitted to retain their current (as of March 15, 2020) academic standing through the Fall 2020 term. Academic Standing categories remain unchanged.

    • Transfer Units for Graduate Students. Like Saint Mary’s College, higher education institutions worldwide have created interim academic policies in response to the COVID-19 global pandemic. Accordingly, transfer courses taken at accredited institutions during the Winter 2020 quarter, Spring 2020 quarter, Spring 2020 semester, and Summer 2020 trimester terms at other accredited institutions of higher education that do not conform to our regular policy will be considered for acceptance of credit and for application to degree requirements.

    • Pass/Fail Grading. In consideration of the significant disruptions this term, graduate students in most academic programs will be permitted to convert any of their courses to Pass/Fail grading for the Winter 2020 quarter, Spring 2020 quarter, Spring 2020 semester, and Summer 2020 trimester.

      • At the end of the term, all faculty will submit their course grades (A through F) to the Registrar. Students will have 7 days AFTER the date on which final grades are posted to convert course(s) to Pass/Fail grading. 

      • There is no limit on the number of Spring 2020 courses a student can convert to pass/fail and students can decide on a course-by-course basis.   

      • Generally, a grade of B-minus is considered a passing grade, under the Pass/Fail option for a course. However, exceptions are noted below.

      • All courses that receive a passing (P) grade will count toward degree requirements, which overrides some departmental or college policies.  

      • Program-Level Exception: Professional MBA considers a grade of “C” or better to be a passing grade (in current policy).
         

    • Continuous Enrollment. Due to the COVID-19 global pandemic, graduate programs may temporarily suspend the limitation of temporary leaves to a single term with approval by the dean of the school.

    • Timely Completion. Due to the COVID-19 global pandemic, extensions may be granted on an ordinary basis by the dean of the school. 
       

    Other Academic Policies and Notes

    • Clarification regarding "credit hours" and "contact hours" - Whether using synchronous or asynchronous instructional methods, instructors of classes that have moved online should consider the course learning outcomes as their guide. SMC has every confidence in our faculty's commitment to student learning and ability to exercise discretion in adjusting their face-to-face courses to continue to meet the learning needs of students. Our existing unit of credit policy already provides appropriate latitude for instructional modality. In addition, both Department of Education and WASCUC guidance have extended higher ed institutions' ability to adapt and respond to changing needs during this time.