TO: Faculty
FROM: Laura Woodworth-Ney, Executive Vice President and Provost
SUBJECT: Spring 2020 Grading Clarification
Dear Faculty,

I have had many questions from you and from our students regarding the potential use of a Pass/No Pass (equivalent to P/F) grading system for the current Spring 2020 term, either on a course-by-course basis or as an across-the-board action for the institution. I am reaching out to address the main questions that I have received on this topic as well as on the topic of Incomplete grades. The Office of the Provost is making every effort to accommodate students because of the unique circumstances of the Spring 2020 term while maintaining the integrity of ISU’s grading system.

Additional grading information is available here and has been shared with the Council of Deans.

Laura Woodworth-Ney
Executive Vice President and Provost
Pass/No Pass (P/NP) FAQ
Q: Is Idaho State University moving to a P/NP (Pass/No Pass, equivalent to P/F) grading system for the Spring 2020 term?
A: No, ISU will retain the original grading structure of the courses as they were programmed at the beginning of the Spring 2020 term.

Q: Wouldn’t it be better for students if we moved to a P/NP structure campus-wide?
A: Most students will not, on an individual basis, benefit from a blanket P/NP structure. Reasons for this include:
  1. There may be detrimental Financial Aid implications to moving to a P/NP grading system. P/NP grades are not included in the GPA and therefore may negatively impact a student’s Satisfactory Academic Progress calculation. Students should speak with the Financial Aid Office or Central Academic Advising regarding the implications of transitioning to a P/NP grade. 
  2. Medical Schools, Graduate Schools and other post-baccalaureate training opportunities often do not accept P/NP grades for the purposes of meeting prerequisite requirements.
  3. P/NP grades will not replace a letter grade in repeat processing. If a student opts to change a C or better grade to a Pass grade, that course will count towards degree requirements but will not replace a historical poor grade in the same course.
  4. A number of our specialized accreditations require the use of a letter grading system.

Q: Do students have any options to receive a P/NP grade due to the extraordinary circumstances of this term?
A: Yes. ISU is allowing students to petition to transition to a P/NP grade after Spring 2020 grades post and prior to July 1, 2020. The online petition will require review by the faculty member and an adviser. This method will allow students with justification for a P/NP grade the means to receive the advising needed to ensure that the P/NP choice is the right one for their individual circumstances. A student must earn a C grade or better to transition to a P grade, as the C grade is the lowest recognized at ISU as “ always acceptable toward an undergraduate program and graduation requirements unless specifically excluded for a particular course, program, or degree ." A student who earns a C- or less may transition to a NP grade. P/NP grades are not calculated as part of the GPA.

Q: Where do I send students to get questions answered about grading and their Financial Aid?
A: Students should speak with the Financial Aid Office or Central Academic Advising regarding the implications of transitioning to a P/NP grade. 
Financial Aid
(208) 282-2756
Central Academic Advising
(208) 282-3277
Incomplete Grades FAQ
Q: How do I submit an Incomplete Grade?
A: To issue an Incomplete grade for an undergraduate course taught during the Spring 2020 term faculty members should notify the Office of the Provost by submitting this form . Once the incomplete grade has been approved, it will be posted by the Office of the Registrar.

Q: Will an Incomplete Contract with the student still be required?
A: Yes, once the Incomplete grade is approved through the Office of the Provost, the faculty member will move forward as normal and execute an Incomplete Contract.
Idaho State
For more information or updates related to COVID-19, please see isu.edu/coronavirus. The University has also set up a COVID-19 hotline at (208) 282-INFO to answer any additional questions.