Today at approximately 3:34 p.m. Florida Tech’s Provost, Korhan Oyman, announced in an email to the Florida Tech community that a pass or no credit option would be implemented for the remainder of the semester.
In the email, Oyman stated that Florida Tech administration realizes the multiple changes this semester, including the switch to online instruction only, has significantly disrupted students’ educational experiences.
“As such, Florida Tech has made several changes to academic policies and processes to provide students with opportunities for successful completion of their degrees,” Oyman said in the email.
The new grading model allows for undergraduate students to receive a P for pass in place of their letter grades without having an effect on their current GPA. The model also allows for students to select the pass or no credit option on a course-by-course basis in which they are currently enrolled in for the 2020 spring and summer semesters. An F in any class would count as a no credit (NC).
The same policy applies for graduate students. However, letter grades of both D and F will result in a no credit (NC).
The email also stated that a “P” will infer that a student has met all course specifics of a minimum letter grade requirements and “demonstrated the acquisition of associated student learning outcomes.”
It is noted that students cannot ask to switch back to a letter grade once the pass or no credit option has been selected. Furthermore, students that receive a “no credit” in a class must repeat that class. Students that do not make a request for the pass or no credit option will receive a letter grade for their final grade by their professor.
For aviation and flight courses that receive an “incomplete” (I) grade, and courses with a satisfactory or unsatisfactory (S/U) grading model are excluded from this temporary policy change.
Students must request a pass or no credit form, which can be found on the registrar’s website under the forms and documents section, by May 15. The form also must be signed by the students department head, program chair, site director and or other applicable signatures before sending to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Also announced in the email was that online instruction would continue into the summer of 2020 and face-to-face instruction will resume in the fall of 2020.
In terms of Florida Tech’s academic standing policy, Oyman said that the undergraduate and graduate probation and dismissal policies will be suspended for students who are enrolled in classes during the spring and summer 2020 semesters. Academic standing for such students affected will be re-evaluated by the end of the fall 2020 semester. The only exception to this policy will be for students who choose the letter grade option and are able to raise their cumulative grade point average.
Factors such as financial aid eligibility, athletic eligibility, and admittance to graduate school were listed as careful considerations students should take into account when deciding between a pass or no credit and letter grade option.
Provost Oyman told the Crimson in an email that this decision was a collective effort involving many deans, departments and other offices.
“We did our best, and I believe we provided the best option to our students,” Oyman said. “They [students] need to know that we understand the hardship came with these sudden changes due to COVID-19 but we are working tirelessly to help and support them.”
Madison Ulvenes, a sophomore and SGA senator at Florida Tech, created a petition through change.org for pass or fail classes on Mar. 25. As of today, that petition has over 2,300 signatures.
“I would like to thank President McCay and all administrative staff at Florida Tech for reacting proactively to the ongoing pandemic,” Ulvenes said in a statement to the Crimson. “ The petition was created to ensure that the needs of our community would be heard.”
Ulvenes also thanked everyone that participated and signed the petition.
“It would not have been possible without the students support,” she added.
According to Heidi Hatfield-Edwards, the chair for the school of arts and Communication, the pass or no credit option is ‘the right thing to do” given the current circumstances.
“This is such a difficult time and even though we are doing the very best we can, students still have technical issues, or there are students who are not nearby or in different time zones all while trying to have to deal with their school work,” Hatfield-Edwards said. “This type of option gives them [students] a little more flexibility and lets some of the stress decrease during this abnormal time.”
Florida Tech’s pass or no credit announcement also stated that department heads and program chairs will be available for students to discuss their decision with.
“We are here to support you in your academic and personal goals,” Oyman said in the email. “As this is an unprecedented time in history, we feel these changes will allow you the ability to continue with your courses without additional stress and burden.”